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#463862 - 05/08/13 12:18 PM Today's Belize News: May 8, 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 latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Defiant, Part III:
Somehow, her life started getting back on track. She had hated the feeling of dependence, especially when her son looked at her like she was the only person in the world that mattered. In a few months, she had felt the kind of fierce love and possessiveness she had only heard of. She had thought that once upon a time, she had loved her baby’s father, but looking into the soft brown eyes of her innocent little boy, she knew that was nothing compared to what she felt now. If life was to work out, she would make every effort, if only for the tiny human being that depended on her.

The San Pedro Sun

Captured croc tortured to death in San Pedro
For the last several weeks the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary ACES team has been concentrating on capturing and relocating problematic crocodiles in the San Pedrito/Airstrip area of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. Permitted by the Belize Forestry Department to address crocodile problems in Belize, ACES had been asked to remove crocodiles from the area due to safety concerns in regards to their proximity to the tarmac. Neighbors in the area have also asked ACES to remove the crocs as some have lost their dogs to the opportunistic predators. With a netted trap setup in a canal alongside the airstrip, the team routinely checks to see if a croc has been captured. When they are successful, scientific data is collected on the animal and then it is relocated far away from people or detained in a permanent holding facility. Over the weekend, local children pulled one of the captured crocodiles from the ACES trap and brutally tortured it to death.

Zillah Flota is Miss Chiquitita 2013-2014
It is a pageant held as a fundraiser for the San Pedro Pre School, and this year, four little beauties went onstage in the hopes of capturing the tiara and title of Miss Chiquitita. At 8PM on Saturday May 4th, the pageant kicked off with a dance number that introduced each of the girls: Zillah Flota, Seydi Francela, Destiney Gonzalez and Emy Segovia. The crowd that gathered at the Central Park was enthusiastic in their applause and encouragement of each child, and it was apparent that the five judges would have a hard time handing down their decision. Felix Ayuso, Yakarelis Hernandez, LilianaNuñez, Caitlyn Stolley and Marivel Gomez were tasked with judging the girls on their poise, talent and overall charm and performance on stage. Melly Badillo and Dalinda Guerrero were the tabulators for the evening.

PM Barrow returns from SICA meeting in Costa Rica
The Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is back in the country after attending a meeting of Heads of State of the Central American Integrated System (SICA) of which US President Barrack Obama was a guest. The SICA meeting took place in Costa Rica on May 3rd and 4th and the highlight of the meeting was a meeting of the regional SICA Heads of State with President Obama where issues related to the regional economy, drugs and security were discussed. The SICA meeting was planned to coincide with Obama’s visit to Costa Rica on the invitation of President Laura Chinchilla. According to official media releases from Costa Rica all Heads of State of Central America including Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, an open critic of Obama, was present. The Central American leaders, in speaking to President Obama highlighted that if there is not increased cooperation on behalf of the main consumer of the drug (United States), the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime will not be enough. , said Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Dominates in Mahahual, Mexico Fishing Tournament
The Governor's Fishing Cup XXII Mahahual 2013 was a total success as the crew of the vessel Hook Line & Sinker of San Pedro Belize, took first place with a score of 9,435. Nobody could exceed 314 lbs of the stunning blue marlin caught by the vessel "Hook Line + Sinka", claiming to be the big winner of the fishing competition. According to reports, the 314-pound blue marlin caught by the fishermen of San Pedro is the largest in an official tournament and is a historic catch. Team "Hook Line + Sinka" consisted of Captain Joshua Reyes and fisher folk - Kevin Kelly, Alby Godoy, Ricky Marin and Kim Kelly.

Flashbacks: Casita over the Sea
Fishermen and tourist guides have always found it fascinating and a convenience to build small ‘bodegas’ or storage space on the pier and very close to their operating stations. Most fishermen would build these ‘bodeguitas’ over the lagoon on the west side of Ambergris Caye. There they would store fishing lines, hooks, sinkers, rod and reels, nets, hook sticks, and even diving masks and fins. The next day it is very convenient to pick up the equipment and put it into the boat for another day at sea. The tourist guides, on the other hand, would build their ‘bodeguitas’ on the east or front side of Ambergris Caye. There they would store, let me see, masks and fins, snorkels, sun block, and perhaps a dive tank or two.

25 Years Ago: Strange Home Remedies to Remove Head Lice!
A lot of parents used the extermination method, more or less as we would use an insecticide to get rid of all kinds of insects, mosquitoes, flies, roaches etc. Therefore they would rub the head with kerosene, yes kerosene, until it was fully moist. Not oblivious of the fact that kerosene was sort of a harmful chemical, some parents opted to use Dettol, a brand name of a disinfectant. Dettol was used to disinfect hospitals and homes, the floors and walls of bathrooms as well as the basins and toilet bowls. Imagine walking about with smell of Dettol coming from your head.

Misc Belizean Sources

Crime Reports in Belize
interesting new website. see how long they stay at it.... belizecrime.crowdmap.com

National Bank of Belize
A National Bank of Belize is on its way. The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) funds will form part of bank’s pool. Minister Joy Grant: “We intend to accept deposits and turn this into a full-scale bank…” Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities Joy Grant will head the new National Bank of Belize, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced will be established to force commercial banks to revisit their interest rates, but which will also serve as a vehicle through which the Government will supply an initial $20 million for residential mortgages at a rate of 6.5%. “This is a wonderful idea whose time has come…” said Barrow, adding that, “We mean to take it to the limit where this thing is concerned… We expect to be giving people a better return on their deposits than the commercial banks are doing.”

US oil company to restart drilling operations in Belize
Treaty Energy Corporation, a US-based energy company, has announced a new operational structure for its subsidiary company, Treaty Belize Energy Ltd, along with the recommencement of drilling operations in Belize. Treaty Energy Corporation's CEO, Andrew Reid, announced that Max Mohamed has been appointed to be the president and CEO of Treaty Belize Energy Ltd. Mohamed is a geologist and has been overseeing Treaty Energy's exploration for oil in Belize, pertaining to the two hundred thousand acres of Princess Petroleum's onshore concession. Treaty Belize Energy has drilled three wells so far on the concession, the San Juan #1, San Juan #2 and San Juan #3. While in the process of drilling on San Juan #3, a Supreme Court ruling was issued against the government of Belize, concerning several offshore concessions, including the Princess Petroleum Concession. Two of these offshore concessions included a small acreage onshore, one of which is the Princess Petroleum Concession.

VIDEO: Total chaos at the vital statistics / registration office in Belize
You would think with the new office for the vital statistics that things would have improved but, exactly the contrary is true. People stand and wait for hours at a time only to get the news that they will have to come back tomorrow or they lost the application. Some folks had been coming back for days to get the same results. The air is thick with anger and frustration as the sole guy searching trough the chaos of mixed up papers exchanges curse words with one of the guy that just got told to come back making you wonder how long it will take for a riot to break out. Something has to be done A.S.A.P. because whatever they are doing IS NOT working.

VIDEO: Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
Join us on a day tour, two tank dive-snorkel combo as we depart from Placencia Village. Silk Cayes aka Queen Cayes is a protected area and managed by S.E.A. Belize "Southern Environmental Association" The Gladden Split & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve lies within the central region of the Barrier Reef off the coast of Placencia Village. Thanks for sharing and choosing Belize as your vacation destination.

Bleach My Bones Demo Video
Rick Galvez, aka the Nudist, has the demo video for his song Bleach My Bones out. It's interesting, to say the least. Cayo has some great talent. Give it a watch. If you like it, Rick plays at the Soul Project all the time.

Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation has scholarships available. "The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation is pleased to invite applications for the following scholarships for academic year 2013 – 2014. The Foundation emphasizes that once applicants are accepted into a program the main criteria for consideration is financial need. High School Scholarships tenable at any recognized High School in the country of Belize covering the cost of all Fees, Tuition and Books for a maximum of 4 years"

Education Week at the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library is celebrating Education Week by inviting the local schools over for some storytelling and fun. Today, they had Sacred Heart Primary students from infant 1 and 2. Happy Education Week!

Belize Coalition at AGRIC
The Belize Coalition to Save Our National Heritage had a booth at Agric, and they got a lot of pictures of people enjoying their exhibit. They had games, prizes, and educational activities for their guests. "The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage would like to send a heartfelt THANK YOU to all the volunteers who came out to assist us at the National Agriculture and Trade Show! Thank you as well to all who visited our booth and took the time to interact with us and learn about our organization, the petroleum industry, and Belize's offshore and onshore protected areas! Together, you all made our booth a success and we look forward to your support at future events!"

Cancer Society Open Day
The San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society is having its first event in Cayo. This Saturday, May 11th, at 9am, at the Cayo Welcome Center, they'll be having their Open Day. There will be information booths, medical professionals, and BFLA reps there to answer questions.

Smart River Challenge Results
Smart had their River Challenge at Agric Saturday morning. Here are the results from the race. Great job guys! "Smart and the Belize Canoe Association would like to Congratulate the winners of the Smart River Challenge held on May 4th and would also like to thank all the teams that participated."

Vegetable Rice
In this video I used my new rice cooker to make an easy rice menu with with shrimp, chicken and vegetables. This meal was simple to make and very tasty and filling.

Channel 7

Finally, It Begins: Caleb Vs. GOB
The case of Caleb Orozco against the Government of Belize started today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere, you’ll know that Orozco is challenging the constitutionality of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code which says that quote, “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” Orozco says that violates his right to privacy, dignity and equality as a gay man. In a case that has become an international cause célèbre, he is joined by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Human Dignity Trust, and the International Commission of Jurists. On the other side is the Government of Belize which is joined by Roman Catholic Church, the Belize Church of England Corporate Body, and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches. That’s Gay rights, and human rights on one side, and Church and state on the other – bigger than any heavyweight legal fight we’ve ever seen. After months of agitation and buildup, it finally started today, the first round in this culture war between public morality and individual freedom of choice. Daniel Ortiz was in court all day, and here’s his report.

Coro Police Caught With Contraband Gas?
A cell phone video posted on YouTube shows Corozal police filling up their patrol pickup with fuel in Santa Clara village. The video claims that the gas is contraband. If true, that would seem to be a super-embarrassment for police, but the police press office, coolly put out a release today explaining the circumstance. The release says, quote, “On May 6th at…2pm, Corozal police mobile unit while in the execution of a Supreme Court Order in the village of Santa Clara, Corozal in the recovery of a tractor that was in dispute between members of (a) family, ran out of fuel. The police were offered assistance and were refueled by a member of the family with just enough to make it to an official Service Station. A video is now being shown on the internet initiated by an aggrieved family member from whom the tractor was recovered… showing the police mobile being refueled by…a member of the family who is now in the possession of the tractor….”

Woman’s home Burned Down, After Same Fate Befell Sister
In early March we told you about the murder of 23 year old Abel Arana in Hattieville. That was followed by the torching of Tifarrah Usher’s Hattieville home. Why? Because she is the sister in law of the man who is believed to have shot Arana. No one was arrested, and now another the home of another Usher sister has burned down. Just after midnight, Messelina Usher got the call that her house in Hattieville was burning. Messelina is the girlfriend of the man believed to have killed Arana. Today she told us how all this retaliation has turned her life upside down. She says she’s certain they broke into her house and burned it down. Messelina Usher - Hattieville Home Burned "You will see where they pulled out the horse and staple to open the door to get inside - I guess it's from inside the fire started." Jules Vasquez "Now you don't think that the fire started spontaneously. You believe that someone did it - that this is arson?" Messelina Usher "I believe this is arson and I believe it's the same person that burnt down my sister's house.

Hunger Hurts Students Chances At Success
As the old creole saying goes, “empty crocus bag cyaahn stan’ up” – it means that if you haven’t eaten, you won’t be good for much. Well, multiply that by ten, for a young student who hasn’t eaten and is expected to sit in a hot classroom and listen to mostly boring teachers wax on while their belly is growling like a caged jaguar. Indeed, hunger is a reality in many schools across Belize – and now the Ministry of Education is trying to address it with the launch of a school meals programme. It’s already up and running and feeding kids in the Belize and Stann Creek districts – but it was officially launched today. 7news was there when lunch was served. Dr. Candy Armstrong - Director of Education Support Services "The Ministry of Education is currently providing 100% funding for the three School Meal Programmes in two districts, Belize and Stann Creek. A mid-day meal is provided for all students who are beneficiaries to this programme. In addition, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, students receive De-worming tablets, vitamin A supplement, access to dental care and they engage in regular activity while they are at school."

"Crazy’s" Sentence Concurrent, Not Consecutive
Last night, we told you about 29 year-old Michael “Crazy” Arnold who was convicted of a second rape charge in the Supreme Court. He pleaded guilty the offence and Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced him to 15 years. We said it would run consecutively with the remaining 10 years of his current sentence for a previous rape conviction. That was an error. In fact, Justice Lucas' actual ruling was that the new sentence is to run concurrently with the previous one, not consecutively. So, he will only serve a total of 15 years in prison, not 25 as we had reported.

Belize Fisheries Blacklisted By EU
The European Commission has blacklisted Belize and 7 other countries for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and it could have far-reaching consequences for our fisheries exports. The blacklist was announced two weeks ago when the European Parliament's fisheries committee voted to list Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu.
 This decision is described as the first of its kind, but at this time, does not include any trade sanctions. That could change though, and if the situation does not improve, the European Union could impose a ban on selling fisheries products from Belize to that trading bloc.

Woman, Daughter Terrorized in Belmopan
Last night 7:00 a business woman of the Maya Mopan area near Belmopan was terrorized in a coordinated, armed attack. 39 year old Miriam Navarette – a Guatemalan Business woman was closing her Grocery Store when three armed, masked men wearing gloves and forced their way inside. One of the men was armed with grabbed her by the neck and put the gun to her head while another man grabbed her 12yr old daughter. The two females were pushed inside their adjoining house and the men closed the door while another kept watch outside with a rifle. After assaulting a 42 year old man in the home, and snatching up three hundred dollars from the cash register and assorted electronics and jewelry, the men left, firing shots into the air.

Cycling Election Overturned
A month ago, we told you about the challenge from Daniel Cano in relation to the Western Elections for the Cycling Association. On April 7, the National Olympic Committee held elections in the western region and former Cycling Association president Emil Moreno was re-elected as president along with vice president Gilroy Requena. Cano challenged the results on the grounds that members of the cycling community were allowed to register on the date of the elections, and allowed to vote. That was contrary to an agreed upon deadline, and the Olympic Committee should not have allowed those late members to vote. Well, after several weeks of deliberation, the Protest Committee of the Olympic Committee decided last night that he’s right, they should not have voted. As a result, the elections from April 7 are voided and new elections will be called. They have not set a date as yet when those new elections will take place.

African American Actor Wole Parks Got “It” From His Belizean Mom
Last year we told you about Wole Parks, the African American Actor with Belizean roots. For Wole, his Belizean roots aren’t just happenstance, he says they are an integral part of his identity and shape the way he navigates the entertainment world. That’s because he was raised by a strong Belizean Woman, Lillette Parks a former teacher at St. Hilda’s. He says apart from rice and beans and chilmole, Lillette Parks also gave him the confidence and the attitude to thrive in a competitive environment. He’s been in Belize since Saturday – and before he left today, he gave us an interview. Monica Bodden Reporting Wole Parks plays "Manny" in Premium Rush, a 2012 major Hollywood action movie in which he is the pumped-up rival of the star, Joseph Gordon Levitt. Parks is a first generation American son of a Belizean mother Lilette Parks and a Tanzanian father whom he never met. He credits his mother for his success.

New High Commissioner Cometh
Last night we told you all about the embarrassing legal flap that the British Foreign Office was put through after former British High Commissioner to Belize John Yapp was abruptly sent packing in 2008. A British Court found that it was improperly done, and with no good reason – after he was insubstantially alleged to have inappropriately touched a woman’s backside. That was five years ago and now there will be a new British High Commissioner to Belize – the second since the Yapp incident. The commission sent out a release today informing us that Peter Hughes has been appointed British High Commissioner to Belize to take the place of to Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service after three years in Belize. Hughes will arrive in August.

Channel 5

UNIBAM: Gay all the way to the Supreme Court
The church is threatening fire and brimstone, calling homosexuality an abomination and is praying for the protection of section fifty-three of the Criminal Code. But notwithstanding all that, Caleb Orozco is having his day in court, or in this case, a week in which Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hear arguments from attorneys representing Orozco, [...]

15 attorneys fighting the UNIBAM case
In the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize, the Attorney General is being represented by Crown Counsels Nigel Hawke, Gillian Smith, Herbert Panton and Magali Perdomo, while the Church, as an interested party, is being represented by distinguished attorneys Eamon Courtenay, Rodwell Williams, Michel Chebat, Jacqueline Marshalleck and Christopher Coye. Today [...]

Treaty Belize Energy Limited to proceed with oil drilling despite court ruling
Two weeks ago, Justice Oswell Legall ruled that six oil contracts were null and void. Today, there is news that Treaty Energy Corporation, the parent company of Treaty Belize Energy Limited, is proceeding with plans to continue drilling operations. In the ruling, Justice Oswell Legall invalidated the offshore oil concessions granted between May 2004 and [...]

Do you support decriminalizing sodomy?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support decriminalizing sodomy? 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 comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

Cops and contraband fuel caught on camera
A citizen journalist’s cell phone video capturing police in the act has gone viral. The video of uniformed cops at a house allegedly known for dealing in contraband fuel was taken by a man who had a run in with the law over his tractor. The cops removed the tractor and then a man is [...]

Europe blacklists Belize for illegal unreported unregulated fishing
Belize has been blacklisted by the European Union among eight countries that are considered non-cooperative in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.  The list also includes Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu. On April twenty-fourth the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee adopted a measure that [...]

A house where murder was committed goes up in flames; family believes their lives are at risk
A house went up in flames in the dead of the night on Wednesday in Hattieville. The house was vacant because the owner, Messalena Medina had moved to Belize City. She had been receiving threats ever since the March fourth murder of Abel Arana which occurred at the same house. Medina believes she at risk [...]

Vigil to pray away gay on the cusp of UNIBAM case
On the eve of the landmark trial of Caleb Orozco against the Attorney General, hundreds gathered at the steps of the Supreme Court. Emotions were running high among the faithful; they all had different views but they mostly want to leave section fifty-three of the Criminal Code as it stands. Mike Rudon has a report. [...]

New British High Commissioner appointed to Belize
The appointment of a new High Commissioner has been announced by the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Pat Ashworth, who has been serving in Belize for a number of years, is retiring from the British Foreign Service. His successor is Peter Hughes, who has tremendous diplomatic experience having served in Australia, the Caribbean, South Asia, Afghanistan and [...]

Couple survives robbery in Belmopan
Thirty-nine year old Miriam Janet Navarette, a Guatemalan businesswoman of Maya Mopan, reported to Belmopan police that her store was robbed by a team of three armed bandits on Monday night.  Shortly after seven o’clock, the trio entered Shalon Grocery on Bethel Street where they proceeded to relieve her of three hundred dollars from the [...]

5 family members robbed a cab driver
A group of five family members including a fourteen year old minor was today arraigned on a single charge of robbery. Allegations are that last Saturday, the group robbed taxi-driver, Nestor Galindo of his personal items including a cell phone and radio. On arraignment, they appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Charged were siblings: Cathelee Reyes, [...]

Father argues with granddaughter and daughter chops him
A misunderstanding among members of a Belize City family, in the wee hours of Monday morning, has resulted in charges being brought against fifty-three year old Medardo Cocom and his stepdaughter.  Cocom reported to police that sometime around one o’clock he had an argument with thirty-four-year-old Chriselda Cabanas at their Custard Apple Street address, when [...]

Shift of funding from tertiary to primary level?
Following today’s launch of the Southside Feeding Program at the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road in Belize City, the media had a chance to discuss the future of the Ministry of Education’s plans during Education Showcase 2013. Minister Patrick Faber has often referred to a focus on primary school rather than tertiary level to [...]

Ministry gives free food to needy students on south side
A healthy diet helps to keep school children attentive in the classrooms but many families are having a tough time in providing proper and regular meals to their children.  This morning, the Ministry of Education launched the Southside School Meals Program which will provide free meals to needy students. Thirteen schools from the south side [...]

Young basketball players return from King James Classic
A contingent of young Belizean athletes has returned to the jewel after playing friendly games against US high school basketball teams. While the host teams were more experienced in techniques, the local athletes also proved their mettle on the basketball courts. On hand were recruiters looking for potential talent. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.   [...]

LOVE FM

Day One Of Orozco vs Attorney General of Belize Concludes In Supreme Court
The most awaited court challenge of Caleb Orozco Vs. the Attorney General of Belize gave way in the Supreme Court this morning. The case which was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am got off to a late start at about 10:30 a.m. The court was packed to capacity as representatives from both sid...

Belizeans Assemble For Prayer and Vigil Against Homosexual Issue
Hundreds of Belizeans assembled in the vicinity of the Supreme Court last night on the eve of the much publicized case of Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM challenging the constitutionality of Section 53 of the laws of Belize. The Churches had called on all B...

Belize Action Fears Introduction of Homosexuality Teachings In Classrooms
In September 2010, the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) along with its Executive Director, Caleb Orozco filed a case in the Supreme Court of Belize challenging Section 53 of the Criminal Codes of Belize. Currently, section 53 of the Criminal Code of Belize states: "E...

Ministry of Education Sees Decrease In Students Sitting PSE
Yesterday an estimated seven thousand three hundred and ninety one Standard 6 students throughout Belize sat the second and final part of the Primary School Examinations- a decrease of about one hundred and forty two students according to Principal Education Officer for National Exams,...

Man Assaulted by Step-Daughter
MEDARDO COCOM 53yrs D.O.B 05.11.59 Belizean Carpenter of # 4350 Custard Apple Street, Fabers Road Belize City reported that on 06.05.13 at about 1:00am while at home he had a dispute with his step daughter CHRISELDA CABANAS 34yrs D.O.B 23.09.78 Belizean Domestic of same address. As a r...

Search At Fish Market Yields Suspected Cannabis
On Wednesday 1st May, 2013 at 7:50pm, police were on mobile patrol in the Conch Shell Bay area and conducted a search at a fish market located on West Collet Canal, Belize City. The search led to the discovery of a transparent plastic bag containing green leafy vegetable substance susp...

Four Men Face Charges For Firearms, Ammunition and Marijuana
Police have charged four men for possession of possession of controlled drugs and kept firearm and ammunition without a gun licence. Police say on April 22 police conducted searches on 34-year-old Jeffery Murrillo, 22-year-old Windel Gibson, 34-year-old Ignatius Garcia and 49-yea...

City Council Causes Delay In Burial
There was another glitch involving a grave spot, this time at the Eternal Garden Cemetery at mile thirteen on the Western Highway. An anonymous relative of the deceased who was laid to rest today called Love News to the cemetery where they arrived at four this evening to cond...

Forest Fire Sets Two Storey Structure Ablaze
A two storey-building at miles 29 on the Southern Highway caught ablaze due a forest fire as many residents of Miles 29 on the Southern Highway believe. Our News Room received information that a two storey building just in front of the Georgetown Technical High School in the...

Feeding Program Rolls Out With Funding From Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education Youth and Sport officially introduced its School Meal Program- a feeding program that is being funded fully by the Ministry. Three schools in the Stann Creek and Belize Districts will benefit from the program in its initial stage. According to Dr. Candy Armstr...

Four Adults and A Minor Arraigned on Charge of Robbery
Five persons, one of them a 14 year old girl, were charged with robbery when they appeared today in court today. The adults are 27 year old Kareem Williams, 19 year old Kevin Alvarez,19 year old Keisha Westby and 23 year old Cathelee Reyes. They and the minor pled not guilty to the cha...

Belize and Australia Team Up To Protect Barrier Reefs
The fragile Belize Barrier Reef eco-system has come under constant threats due to global warming and the effects of climate change. But while we have very little control over Mother Nature’s effects, we can control how we care for these natural wonders by the way we develop...

Belize Gets New British High Commissioner
A new British High Commissioner to Belize will take up his post later this year. Peter Hughes OBE will succeed Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. Hughes will take up his appointment during August. Hughes began his diplomatic career in 1985 as ...

CTV3

Video Captures Police Refuelling Police Vehicle With Contraband Fuel
A video showing a police officer attached to the Corozal Police formation refueling the police vehicle with what is believed to be contraband fuel has gone viral and is causing quite a stir in the social mediums. We could describe to you what exactly was captured in the video but instead we’ll let you see and judge for yourself. To view the video click on the following link. http://youtu.be/p-S5zOa8qZ4 If you were left in wonder, the hierarchy of the Belize Police Department wasn’t. Here is what they say happened. According to a police report, on May 6th, 2013, at approximately 2:00pm, Corozal police’s mobile unit ran out of fuel while one of the officers was executing a Supreme Court Order in the village of Santa Clara. The uniformed police officer was in the midst of recovering a tractor that is presently in dispute between members of the Correa family when he noticed that the vehicle was running low on fuel and would not make it to the gas station. The officer was offered assistance by a member of the Correa family, who is allegedly a well known contrabandist. The man, according to police, gave the officer just enough fuel to reach the nearest service station. Police say that the video was taken by an aggrieved family member from whom the tractor was recovered and given to the member of the Correa family who refueled the police vehicle. What ever the case, we’ll see where the investigations will lead or if anyone will be charged for that matter.

Miss Diosa Maya Is Named Miss Rotaract 2013
As we told you earlier on in the newscast Miss Diosa Maya Internacional Grisel Carballo was one of the 8 Rotaractors who represented Belize in this year’s Rotaract 18th Bi District Conference held in Tegucigalpa Honduras from the 1st to the 5th of May. During her participation in the Bi District Conference, Carballo completed another milestone as she was named Miss Rotaract 2013 and won an award for the best Arabian Costume. Grisel Carballo Miss Rotaract 2013 “The Friday night was the Arabian night it is just a night that they called and everybody had to go with an Arabian custom of their own and there was competition for best custom and I got that award for best costume, the costume was designed by me, I made it on my own and I am proud to say I won that award and after the dinner we had the presentation for Mr Rey Feo our Rotaractor, Mr Rotaract and Miss Rotaract and I went up for Miss Rotaract and I also got that title. I won Miss Rataract for 2013 and my presentation was based upon, I went up there and I described my country and I talked about the Mayan culture and I talked about the diverse culture of our country, population and the geographic location of our country and it was more of an informative and persuading them to come and visit our country.”

Minor Charged For Drug Trafficking
A fifteen year old minor from Orange Walk has been arrested and charged by Orange Walk Police for the crime of drug trafficking. Since the individual is a minor, we are unable to reveal his name but what we can tell you is that yesterday at around 11:00am police searched a residence located on Royal Palm Street where the 15 year old minor in the presence of his father handed over a black plastic bag containing 286.8 grams of cannabis. This morning the minor appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where he was charged for drug trafficking and offered bail which he met.

Belize Receives Four Awards At 18th Bi District Conference
From May 1st to the 5th 2013, more than 100 youth from Central America including 8 from Belize converged in Tegucigalpa Honduras for Rotaract’s 18th Bi District Conference. Among those representing the country was former president of Rotaract Orange Walk, Stephanie Acosta and member Grisell Carballo. On a yearly basis, Rotaract hosts a Bi-district conference for all Rotaractors from the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panamá to commemorate the past year and plan for the coming year. Stephanie Acosta – 18th Rotaract Bi District Conference. “The purpose of this conference is to select the new leaders for the upcoming Rotaract year and also to select and present awards for the various club and individual outstanding Rotaractors. The countries that participated are those that belong to the two Rotaract districts 4240 and 4250. Now Rotaract clubs from 4240 consist those from Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and Belize is part of the 4250 district and so 4250 consist of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, so Rotaractor from all those clubs were present at this by-district conference.”

Guinea Grass Resident Remanded For Firearm and Ammunition Offences
On Sunday afternoon 24 year old Vildo Westby, a Belizean laborer of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District, was detained by police after one air pistol containing one .22 live round was found in the ATV he was driving and 15 .22 live rounds of ammunition was found on him. As mentioned last night Westby was detained pending investigations and yesterday afternoon he appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where he was charged for prohibited firearm and ammunition. Since the Magistrate Court does not offer bail for a firearm offence, Westby has a period of ten days to apply for bail at the Supreme Court level.

Belize Represented In International Body Building Competition
This year Belize will participate for the first time in the Mr. Hercules Olympia Body Building Competition that will take place this weekend in Colchester, London where the world’s top-form bodybuilders will participate in the power event of the year. Rigo Vellos, who recently won 1st place in the Corozal Bodybuilding Competition in the Senior Category held this past weekend, also won 1st place in the Habet and Habet Mr. Physique Competition which was held in Placencia over the Easter weekend. Vellos is also the current 2012 Mr. Belize title holder and plans to defend the title in this year's Mr. Belize. But the road to the competition proved to be no easy task for Vellos who had to raise funds to cover for his flight, food and hotel accommodation. We will keep following this story and bring the results of the competition as soon as they are made available.

Belize's Foreign Minister Heads To The OAS
By now you may be acquainted with the fact that the Belize/Guatemala Referendum has been called off by both countries. In Belize the announcement was made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow during his first quarterly press conference held on April 29th. The move was first made by Guatemala who wanted Belize to amend its referendum laws from a sixty percent voter turnout to a simple majority so as to level the playing field. While Guatemala has practically announced to the world that they are backing out of the referendum, Belize is yet to be officially informed about the country’s position. All indications are that the official information will be divulged during a meeting scheduled to take place between Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera and the Secretary General of the OAS Miguel Insulza. The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at the OAS headquarters in Washington. We understand that the opposition will also have representation in the meeting as former P.U.P Leader John Briceno will be present. Included among the topics that will be discussed are the Adjacency Zone and the future of the December 2008 special agreement between both countries.

A Story Of Resistance Opens At The Corozal House Of Culture
The Corozal House of Culture is presently hosting an exhibition entitled “A Story of Resistance” in Belize and is expected to continue through the month of May and the first week of June. The exhibition is being carried out by the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH, with the aim of educating, primarily the students. Debra Wilkes Gray, Corozal House of Culture “This is an exhibit that we are very excited about and it is called a story of resistance in Belize and it was produced by the Institute of Cultural and Social Research under the National Institute of Culture and History.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “What is the purpose of the exhibition?” Debra Wilkes Gray, Corozal House of Culture “It is educating people in the development of Belizeans as a country and there are crucial moments in time that has helped shape this country so with this exhibit, it is a visual documentation of recorded moments such as the labour movement, such as the Mayan resistance slavery, women even a timely piece right now which is the Guatemalan claim to territorial here in Belize.”

A Visit To The Optometrist Free Of Cost
Visiting the Optometrist is very costly here in the country of Belize, but today a group consisting of 24 undergraduates and 2 practicing Optometrist from Memphis Tennessee were in the Village of Caledonia in the Corozal district rendering their services in eye examinations and providing eye glasses and temporary relief eye drops to those who needed it most free of cost. The team works under the umbrella of the Praying Pelican Mission, a group of missionaries who travel across the globe assisting countries in need in several areas including in the health sector. Today reporter Irvin Aragon along with Cameraman Kenric Simpson travelled to Caledonia where they paid to the optometrist. Irvin Aragon – Reporting The cost of adequate health care in Belize is very high, including a visit to the Optometrist. Many Belizeans refuse to visit an “eye specialist” because of the high cost that one needs to pay especially if the optometrist recommends the use of eyeglasses. Often at times, the problem is not as serious as the patient might believe but the lack of regular checkups, in the longer run, does result more expensive.

Annual Festival Of Arts Brings Talent Alive
Today, primary schools from across the Orange Walk District participated in this year’s annual Festival of arts which forms part of the long list of activities scheduled for Education Week celebrated from May 5th to the 17th. In the morning the audience was elated by students of the rural communities and in the afternoon students from the various primary schools within town took to the stage bringing to light their hidden talent. Victor Castillo reports. Victor Castillo - Reporting Today the Banquitas House of Culture was the venue for this year’s Festival of Arts forming part of the week of activities scheduled for Education Week. Over 15 primary schools, eight of them from rural communities, participated in this year’s event. As students took to the stage, talent came alive as they presented under the categories of drama, dance and music. Leroy Green – National Coordinator For Expressive Arts “Well it is the second half of the Orange Walk Primary School festival of arts and so the children are showcasing their talents in drama, dance and music. They are not being judged because it is not a competition, they are being adjudicated in the sense that the adjudicators’ reports will go back to the schools and these define the standards that they are at and how they need to go and improve in teaching and producing items of arts. My role at the ministry is that I travel from district to district holding workshops with a team in drama, dance, music and creative writing, motivating teachers to teach it as a regular subject in school. The festival of arts is one of the ways in which we assess what the teachers are actually doing at school where arts are concern.”


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PlusTV

Challenge to the Belize’s Sodomy Law began in Court Tuesday
The case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize on the constitutionality of Belize’s sodomy law got on the way today in the supreme court. It was a packed court room with local and international lawyers for the plaintiff as well as those representing the government and...

Masked robbery in Maya Mopan
There was a masked robbery at a grocery store in Maya Mopan last night. Owner of the store, Miriam Navarette was closing up her store – Shalon Grocery, around 7pm, when three masked men dressed in dark clothing, gloves and carrying firearms, forced their way inside. One of the...

Belize blacklisted by the European Fisheries Committee
Belize is one of eight countries which has been blacklisted by the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee. On what grounds? Well the Committee says that Belize is being non-cooperative in the fight against legal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The blacklisting was proposed by the European Commission, but ultimately voted on...

Armenia Lands Commission Chairman explains land controversy
Plus TV, over the past two weeks, has been reporting on some of the challenges facing Armenia Village; one of those primary issues being land. If you’ve been following any of our recent reports on the community you’ll know that the Village of Armenia has a Lands Committee which...

PUC Chairman encourages renewable energy sources
Much of Belize’s power supply is obtained through fossil fuel sources – either Mexican power or that of the gas turbines at Blair Atoll and Mile 8 gas plant on the Western Highway – or hydro electric sources. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has been tasked with looking at...

Family drama in Belize City leaves two persons in jail
Family drama in Belize City has left two persons behind bars. Police were called to the home yesterday afternoon, where a 53 year old resident reported that he got into an argument with his 34 year old step daughter, who also lives at the house. He claims she chopped...

Police caught on tape allegedly fueling up on contraband gas
Police were caught on tape in Corozal, allegedly purchasing contraband gas. The video you are looking at was taken on a cell phone camera and the original file is a little over two minutes long. It captures the dealers filling up a can measuring almost a gallon in size....

Belmopan Lions sponsor eye clinic
The Belmopan Lions Club is hosting its annual eye clinic. Every year the Club partners with a group of both Professional and Student Doctors from VOSH (Volunteering Optometric Service to Humanity), Southern College of Optometry in Memphis Tennessee. The clinic started on Monday and runs for four days. Plus...

Experts partner to preserve Barrier Reef
Today in Belize City, experts on the world’s two largest reef systems met to discuss how they can partner together to fight certain issues affecting both. Belize’s Barrier Reef is second to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in terms of length but according to the experts they both face issues...

Belize Special Boat Unit defends maritime areas
The Belize Special Boat Unit is tasked with defending the country’s maritime areas. The SBU was formed five years ago, under the Maritime Unit, which is now the Belize Coast Guard. The SBU held an exhibit at this year’s Agric Show, where we learned about the responsibilities of this...

School feeding launched
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports today launched a school feeding program that will benefit students from thirteen schools from Southside Belize City and six in Dangriga Town. According to the Ministry, the program is focused on helping to accomplish one of the strategies outlined in the Belize...

New British High Commissioner to Belize
A new British High Commissioner to Belize has been appointed. Peter Hughes OBE will take up his appointment in August of this year, in succession to the current Commissioner Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. The soon to be British High Commissioner, Peter Hughes, began...

Amandala

BAMERS GO TO BAT TODAY
UNIBAM says homosexual acts should be decriminalized; Belize Action says section 53 should not be changed. Today, Tuesday, May 7, a landmark constitutional challenge brought by Caleb Orozco, United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) executive president, against the Attorney General of Belize in regard to section 53 of the Criminal Code, will be heard in the Supreme Court of Belize. The case has led to a heated contention between the churches and the claimant, Orozco. We spoke to Director of Belize Action, Pastor Scott Stirm, yesterday, who had announced that Belize Action, its supporters and members of the churches were planning a gathering for an awareness rally last night in the Supreme Court parking lot. Stirm had said they were asking that all concerned citizens be present at the event. The primary activities which they planned as part of the event included a brief presentation on the core issues which underscore the case and its importance, as well as a session for prayer and worship. “Basically the position of Belize Action is we’re saying to the changing of section 53, our sodomy and natural act laws, we’re going to agree together against the changing of these laws,” Stirm said. “The primary reason why we feel so strongly is the law they’re saying is a violation of their human dignity, personal privacy and human rights has never once been used to prosecute any case for any consensual act but it has been used repeatedly over and over for sexual abuse,” he went on to say.

JOHN PAUL HENRY FERNANDEZ, 32, DIES OUTSIDE NIGHTCLUB
Did someone shoot him, or did he shoot himself? Two children, ages 4 and 8, are now without their father, John Paul Henry Fernandez, 32, who died of a gunshot wound at about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, outside the Palm Island nightclub, situated at about Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Initial reports by investigators were that the club had closed and Fernandez, a laborer of a Flamboyant Street address, and a security guard, Eduardo Torres, were socializing in the yard, when Fernandez suddenly grabbed a gun from the security guard, placed it behind his head, and pulled the trigger. The bullet reportedly went into his head and came out of his mouth, killing him almost immediately. Fernandez’s family, however, strongly rejects this story, and said that Fernandez would never kill himself. Police say that they were called to Palm Island at about 3:40 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, and when they went there, they saw Fernandez lying face up in a pool of blood inside the compound, with a gunshot wound to the right side of the head. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

FINED – NOT CONFINED -FOR INDECENT ASSAULT UPON A FEMALE CHILD, 6
John Baptist, 38, walked out of court a very happy man this morning after trial judge Justice Troadio Gonzalez handed him a fine, and not jail time, for two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Baptist was charged with one count of carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, after a report was made against him by the victim, who was 15 at the time of the trial. The child testified about being assaulted by Baptist for a period of almost ten years, and of Baptist having sex with her from she was only 6 years old. She also spoke of the lewd acts committed upon her by Baptist, including him performing oral sex on her on more than one occasion. After hearing the evidence, the jury could not decide on a verdict on the carnal knowledge charge, found him not guilty on the first count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, but guilty on the other two charges of indecent nature. The judge gave Baptist time to prepare his mitigation plea and to also have persons appear and speak on his behalf. However, when Baptist appeared in court today, he was the only one present: no one appeared to speak on his behalf.

MICHAEL “CRAZY” ARNOLD, 35, PLEADS GUILTY TO RAPE, AGAIN
Arnold is currently serving time for another rape, and the prosecution asked for life, but the judge only gave Arnold 15 years. Michael “Crazy” Arnold, 35, is currently serving a 12-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to a rape charge back in May of 2011. This morning, he again pleaded guilty to another rape charge when he appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr. According to a presentation of the facts of the case by Kaysha Grant of the DPP’s office, at 10:00 p.m. on September 18, 2010, the victim, 29 at the time of the rape, said she was at her apartment and was heading toward a shared bathroom when Arnold approached her. Arnold told her to come to him, but she refused and that was when Arnold pulled out a firearm and placed it at her head. Arnold then told her to perform oral sex on him, but she refused, telling him that his penis was dirty. Arnold then grabbed the victim and pulled her into his room (apartment), where he put the firearm under his pillow, grabbed a machete that was beside the bed, and placed the blade against her neck. Arnold told her that it would be easier to chop her up than to shoot her because the gunshot would make too much noise.

IACHR CALLS OUT GOB OVER MAYA LAND RIGHTS
“Ultimately, the Government and Maya will have to sit at the table and talk. They will have to come to some kind of resolution on the issue… The Maya people are not going anywhere.” – Antoinette Moore, SC The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), issued a statement today, calling out the Government of Belize for having allowed private companies to carry out oil exploration and exploitation and logging activities in the traditional lands of Maya communities under permits issued by State authorities without first consulting with the Maya. “Specifically, the information indicates that illegal extraction and destruction of natural resources from traditional Maya lands in the Toledo District has taken place recently with the alleged collaboration and/or acquiescence of State agents,” the IACHR statement went on to say. The IACHR noted that Belize also failed to report to a working meeting on the Maya land rights case this March. It also expressed concern over reports of a newly-granted logging concession in traditional Maya lands without the required consultation. (See press release elsewhere in this edition of Amandala.) Maya Leaders Alliance spokesperson Cristina Coc told Amandala that they made the request for IACHR intervention. The MLA’s main concerns continue to be the petroleum and logging concessions that Government has issued without consulting the Maya, but also Governments’ non-compliance and non-reporting on the issues.

STRIKERS QUIET, HOME TEAMS WIN IN WEEK 1 OF PREMIER LEAGUE SEMIFINALS
Police 3:1 BDF, FC Belize 1:0 Bmp Bandits. The turnout was not the best for the opening games of the Premier League semifinal playoffs; which is a bit strange, but not completely surprising, in what has traditionally been the time when fans flock to the stadiums to witness the best of the semipro league in quest of a shot at the national championship of Belize. It was an Agric Show weekend; there was little in the way of real football advertisement promotion; football fans were recently deflated by the cancellation of the much anticipated first national team Friendly since qualifying for the Gold Cup; and the recent controversial elimination of perhaps the hottest team down the stretch, Placencia Assassins, may not have helped to spark the frenzied fan attraction that usually accompanies the start of the Premier League semifinals. Whatever the cause, it will be either redemption time or the “showers” this coming weekend for the top seeded teams who both lost round 1 of their semifinals. Defending champion Belmopan Bandits and 3-time former champion Belize Defence Force (BDF) will both be at home with their backs against the wall, having lost their “away” game this past weekend. On Saturday night at the FFB Stadium, it was #3 seed Police United pulling out an injury time 3-1 victory over #2 seed BDF, who suffered a serious setback when their national team goalkeeper Frank Lopez was ejected at the 27th minute for his remarks to referee Christopher Reid. Police midfielder Amin “Tacos” August had given his team an early lead at the 4th minute, but defender Tyrone Pandy equalized for BDF at the 11th minute. It was 1-1 at the end of regulation, but both Tacos (90+’) and midfielder Trevor “Burger” Lennen (90+’) struck in injury time to give Police the 3-1 win.

PUBLIC MORALITY, PRIVATE MORALITY Editorial
On Saturday afternoon a national television station showed images which appeared vulgar and could have been considered a display of public immorality. This was live television featuring Belizean principals. The likelihood is not high that there will be any outcry about this incident. All the focus of Belize’s religious righteous is on this week’s Supreme Court case which seeks to change a law about private morality. Belize ran into a serious problem with an attack on our public morality when American cable television became the norm in Belizean homes about twenty five years ago. For many years it seemed that movies with X-rated and pornographic content could not be regulated by any local authority, and the children of Belize were thus exposed, within the assumed protection of their own homes, to extreme behavior, which included homosexuality and lesbianism. At some point, Belize’s Carnival had become an annual display of public immorality, featuring lewd dancing and behavior. We can’t say at what point Carnival got out of control, or if this was a result of our moral guidelines having been destroyed by cable television. Even though Carnival included little children behaving almost as lewdly as their older counterparts, it took some years before there was a rise in public complaints about the children’s attire and their gyrations.

TWO INFANTS DROWN IN THE BELIZE DISTRICT
Separate incidents of infant drowning occurred over the weekend. One-year-old Kyle Leslie of Belize City was found drooping over a bucket of water in his home on Friday, May 3, 2013. Subsequently, on Saturday, May 4, five-year-old David Cruz drowned in a pond behind his home in Burrell Boom Village. Kyle’s mother, Tanya Leslie, 19, said that she went outside for about five minutes to talk to someone and when she went back into the house she found Kyle leaning over a bucket of water in the house. Leslie said that the bucket was kept in the house as a container in which they washed dishes. She told us that it seemed that the baby had been playing in the water because they found his truck next to the bucket and water was in the truck. Inside the bucket were three plastic cups, which Leslie said were drinking cups that were kept on the purified water container. Leslie’s other son, a two-year-old, was also left in the house when she went outside. She told us that when she walked into the house, he was standing at the door looking back at his brother lying over the bucket.

TEENAGER STABBED TO DEATH ON RIVER BANK IN SAN IGNACIO
Shaheem Slusher, 18, of San Ignacio, died after being stabbed in the right side of the neck by a man with whom he had an altercation at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, on the river bank behind the Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio. According to the family, Slusher had been swimming in the river when he decided to approach a young woman and ask her to go make a purchase for him. The young woman’s boyfriend, 31-year old Brian Burke of Esperanza, however, came up to him and objected to the request, and they became involved in an argument by the riverside, which resulted in Slusher being stabbed. Police said that when they responded to reports of the stabbing and went to an area by the riverside behind Pit Pan Bar, they saw Slusher’s body, with stab wounds to the neck and to the left shoulder. Slusher was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Blogs

San Pedro Branch Belize Red Cross Update and Carilones Kitchen new location
Yesterday Anthony Philip and I went on Reef Radio and TV’s morning show with David Marin to talk about what the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross has been doing and give updates on the First Aid Program. One of the exciting things SPBRC has been working on is to get an emergency warning siren system for the island. We recognize a need to be able to reach a large portion of the community in a short amount of time should we ever need to. Thanks to Stacy from the Phoenix Resort we have also been networking with an Ambulance person and seeing how we can assist him in getting a service up and running on the island. The next Certified First Aid Course is going to be hosted by Las Terrazas Resort and it will be held at Seascape Villa’s on May 3oth. Graham confirmed La Perla is sending Four people and Playa Blanca two, I am pretty sure The Phoenix and Victoria House will be sending staff as well. They have both been amazing at supporting the program by sending 5 or so staff to each training. Both Resorts have 15 staff working there now that have first Aid Training and that number will keep growing monthly. Thanks goes out to all the other Ambergris Caye businesses who have stepped up to join the program and get staff certified, please see First Aid Program page to get the list of all participating businesses.

Food is an Essential Part of the Adventure in Belize
In order to survive in the increasingly competitive tourism industry, even the most remote resorts must pay careful attention to their kitchens as travellers are placing greater emphasis on a quality dining experience, the food and beverage manager of a popular Belizean eco resort advises. Bryony Fleming Bradley, of The Lodge at Chaa Creek in western Belize, said that the days of adventurous travellers being satisfied with food that was simply hot and palatable are over. ”Some years back, our guests would always comment at how happily surprised they were with the quality of the food we served, as it usually exceeded their expectations of what would be found in such a pristine location. “These days, expectations are definitely higher, and there is a greater emphasis on things like presentation, variety and where and how the ingredients are sourced,” she said. “Fortunately, Chaa Creek began as a family farm, and we still maintain a Maya organic farm that supplies our restaurant, so fresh produce has never been a problem. In fact, Chaa Creek has been growing healthy organic food for literally thousands of years.” Ms Fleming Bradley explained that Chaa Creek sits within the Macal River Valley, which was once a large Maya trade and agricultural centre. The Chaa Creek area, nestled on the banks of the Macal River and situated between the two important ancient cities of Caracol and Tikal, was populated by hundreds of Maya farming families who produced food for the urban centres.

Regional Entrepreneurship Training Program with P3Ventures

US Air Force Assists in School Construction in Belize
Air Force civil engineers and Army combat heavy engineers lay mortar on structural blocks April 19, 2013, at the construction site of Louisiana Primary School at Orange Walk in Belize. Civil engineers from the U.S. and Belize are constructing various structures throughout Belize as part of an exercise called New Horizons. Building these facilities will support further education for the children of the country and provide valuable training for the U.S. and Belizean service members. New Horizons is an annual training exercise for U.S. military civil engineers and medical professionals that prepare participants to deploy, conduct joint operations with partner nations, and redeploy back to the United States. New Horizons 2013 is scheduled to take place in the Central American country of Belize from early-April to late-June.

“Jeans On” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Over to Belize City yesterday morning to visit The Dental Center to see Doctor Hernandez – on his monthly visit from Guatamala City – for him to hopefully form an opinion as to why one of the implants he had installed did not work. With a trip to the ‘big city’ I dispensed with the normal attire of shorts and put my jeans on. Funny but wearing jeans I just feel that I get bothered less by the pedlars and people looking for a handout. Must look less like a tourist! Anyway, I took the 8.30 am Belize Express Water Taxi over which got me there in good enough time to pop in to Brodies for a spot of shopping (mostly toiletries) and then onto The Tile & Stone Center to pick up the samples that Rose wanted to have a closer look at before making the final choice for her bathroom. The visit to meet Doctor Hernandez proved to be somewhat uneventful. He explained the things that could have caused the problem. Explained that he wants to leave it a few months to see how the bone in my jaw reacts and sent me to the Belize Diagnostic Centre for a panoramic X-ray (at a cost of BZ$ 160) after which I caught the 1.30 pm Caye Caulker Water Taxi back to Ambergris Caye where Rose was waiting for me so we could run ‘home’ to drop off the stuff I had bought.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Teriyaki Glazed Skillet Chicken
1/2 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup loe-sodium soy sauce 1/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons watr 3 teespoons garlic, minced 1 teespoon fresh gingr, microplaned 1 lb. boneless skinless chicke breests thin cut N' large skillet combine lemon juice, soy sauce, white and brown sugar, watr, garlic and gingr. Cook ovr medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirrin' frequentlee. 2-4 minutes.

International Sources

Caleb Orozco v. Attorney General of Belize: Upholding Human Rights for All?
In a recent speech in London, Sir Shridath Ramphal, the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, laid out his views opposing the criminalization of homosexuality, wherever it occurs. Sir Shridath quoted another stalwart of anti-discrimination, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has said that the violence and criminal sanctions suffered by LGBTI people across the world are intended to make them "doubt that they too are children of God," which he calls "nearly the ultimate blasphemy." Sir Shridath went further, equating opposition to the persecution of LGBTI people with the campaign to end slavery in the 19th century and the anti-apartheid struggle of the 20th century. "The abolitionists were pilloried, but they prevailed," he said. "The abomination was not their campaign, as the plantation owners complained, but the evil of slavery itself." Sir Shridath Ramphal, who played a pivotal role in dismantling apartheid, is an unapologetic advocate of decriminalization. He recognizes criminal sanctions for what they are, a colonial legacy that never had a part in the indigenous cultures on which they were imposed and that should have been repealed long ago. This month, Caleb Orozco, the head of United Belize Advocacy Movement, or UniBAM, a small human rights organization in Belize, will attempt to do just that. His case challenging the constitutionality of section 53 of the Belize criminal code, which criminalizes consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex, is due to be heard by a court in Belize today, May 7.

Change of High Commissioner to Belize
Mr Peter Hughes OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to Belize. He will succeed Mr Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. Mr Hughes will take up his appointment during August 2013. Mr Hughes began his diplomatic career in 1985 as Desk Officer in Defence Department and has served overseas in Australia, the Caribbean, South Asia, Afghanistan and North East Asia

Encroaching Sea Already a Threat in Caribbean
The old coastal road in this fishing village at the eastern edge of Grenada sits under a couple of feet of murky saltwater, which regularly surges past a hastily-erected breakwater of truck tires and bundles of driftwood intended to hold back the Atlantic Ocean. For Desmond Augustin and other fishermen living along the shorelines of the southern Caribbean island, there's nothing theoretical about the threat of rising sea levels. "The sea will take this whole place down," Augustin said as he stood on the stump of one of the uprooted palm trees that line the shallows off his village of tin-roofed shacks built on stilts. "There's not a lot we can do about it except move higher up."

Scottish scientists launch crowd-funding for robots that repair coral reefs
The ocean covers over 70% of the planet, but is threatened by multiple stressors such as bottom fishing, pollution and climate change. Coral reefs support the livelihoods of almost half a billion people; marine litter affects around half of all marine mammals and kills almost a million seabirds per year. These threats require active and urgent intervention to ensure global sustainability of human livelihoods and biodiversity. Currently, habitat remediation or restoration can only be achieved in small patches. In deep sea ecosystems, these tasks are also too dangerous for direct human intervention. A team of scientists and engineers at Edinburgh University is committed to addressing these threats using innovations in computing, marine biology, and undersea robotics to revolutionize how such threats are addressed, combining autonomous underwater robotics with 'swarm intelligence.' Nature shows how groups or swarms of organisms (e.g. bees and termites) operate collectively to achieve complex objectives.

Deep sea diving robots to save world’s coral reefs
SCIENTISTS in the Capital are raising funds to create robots capable of repairing endangered coral reefs unreachable by deep sea divers. The experts at Heriot-Watt University have teamed up with a Marine Systems Engineering Laboratory at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Centre in Massachusetts and a coral “nursery” in Belize to create the “Coralbots”, which will use special arms to repair damaged 
underwater ecosystems. David Crone, a professor of computer science at Heriot-Watt University, said: “In September last year we had an event called The Heriot-Watt Crucible, which was seeking to bring experts in different disciplines together to see what they could learn from each other. The proposal for this collaboration between marine biologists and 
robotics experts to preserve and repair coral reefs was one of the winning ideas.” Having secured enough money from the university to start the project, the scientists now need a further £68,890 to manufacture and “train” the first of two bots, and they are hoping the support of businesses, schools and concerned individuals will help them reach their target.

Opening arguments in Belize anti-sodomy law hearing urge court to uphold constitution
Chris Hamel-Smith, the lead counsel for claimant Mr Orozco, urged the court to look carefully at the constitution, citing the right to privacy, home and family life, and the recognition of human dignity of every individual. The Trinidad and Tobego attorney argued that Section 53 discriminates against sexual minorities, and urged the court to find Section 53 inconsistent with the constitution. Ultimately, the Constitution requires “respect for individual conscience, respect for diversity of ways of being, respect for diversity of world-views and diversity of views,” said Hamel-Smith. “Be not afraid. We do not come here to advocate a world view that disrespects or forces or imposes anything on…[your] community,” Hamel-Smith said in addressing arguments of the supremacy of God. He added: “this case is about…the nature of the open, democratic and pluralistic society contemplated by the Belize Constitution.”

Belize: Supreme Court set to debate around decriminalisation of homosexuality
The Supreme Court in Belize will today begin to debate the country’s criminal code which outlaws same-sex sexual activity. Under the Central American country’s code, gay citizens currently face a penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment. Section 53 states: “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, is part of a constitutional challenge to overturn the ban on same-sex sexual activity. UNIBAM Executive President Caleb Orozco spoke to PinkNews about the case in July 2012.

Treaty Energy Corporation Appoints New CEO of Treaty Belize Energy and Plans to Restart Drilling Operations in Belize
Treaty Energy Makes Managerial Changes to Better Streamline Operations in Belize and to Restart Drilling Operations on San Juan #3 after Supreme Court Ordered Injunction against the Government of Belize. Treaty Energy Corporation TECO -3.23% (www.treatyenergy.com), a growth-oriented international energy company, is pleased to announce a new operational structure for its subsidiary company, Treaty Belize Energy, Ltd., along with the recommencement of drilling operations in Belize. Treaty Energy Corporation's CEO, Andrew Reid, announced that Mr. Max Mohamed has been appointed to be the President and CEO of Treaty Belize Energy, Ltd.

Strong ties between fly fishers lead to MSU, Belize collaboration
Strong connections between fly fishers in southwest Montana and Central America have led to new research at Montana State University. The project is focused on conch, a sea snail that's known for its delectable meat and large shell. The research is spearheaded by one of the managers of Turneffe Flats Resort who is working on his master's degree in fish and wildlife management at MSU and could someday - if his fans are right - become prime minister of his country, Belize. Alex Anderson, 27, not only served two years as student body president at the University of Belize, but he helped drive two major projects that promote conservation in this country along the Caribbean Sea. One created Belize's largest marine reserve. The other led to the protection of bonefish, permit and tarpon as catch-and-release species in Belize. Anderson comes from a family of fly fishing guides and worked seven years at the internationally known Turneffe Flats Resort. Although he grew up in Cotton Tree, a town of 600 people and three streets, he is known all over Belize. "There are a little over 300,000 people in the country, and 200,000 know Alex," said his faculty adviser, Al Zale, leader of the Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit in MSU's Department of Ecology. Anderson also has a heart for Belize, and it's currently beating for people who are trying to make a living selling conch.

OPENING ARGUMENTS IN BELIZE URGE SUPREME COURT TO UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION
Today began the four day constitutionality challenge trial of Belize’s Section 53 anti-sodomy law in their Supreme Court. I have been watching the #UNIBAM twitter feed all afternoon (Belize = CST) for wonderful live-tweeting from Asa DeMatteo and now have been emailed (thank you!) the Press Release for Day One. The Press Release relays that the proceedings “began today with a reminder of the supremacy of the Constitution and the fundamental rights it guarantees to every individual.” The rights the Belizean Constitution guarantee include “the rights including privacy, freedom of conscience and expression, personal privacy and home and family life, and the recognition of human dignity of every individual.” Lead counsel for the Claimant, Trinidad and Tobago attorney Chris Hamel-Smith, CS, “argued that Section 53 discriminates against sexual minorities in Belize, on its face and in its impact on the LGBT community, and counseled the court that finding Section 53 inconsistent with the Constitution would not amount to legislative action.”


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