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#464453 - 05/16/13 06:58 AM Today's Belize News: May 16, 2013
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The San Pedro Sun

Emaciated Spider Monkey rescued on Ambergris Caye
Authorities on Ambergris Caye, acting on information received, launched an operation at a residence in the southwestern tip of the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town where a spider monkey was rescued. The adult female spider monkey was being held captive and is believed to be in very poor condition and extremely underweight for its size. Scientifically known as Ateles Geoffroyi, spider monkeys are classified as a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and in Belize they are protected. The operation was carried out by members of the San Pedro Police Department, the Tourism Police Unit and American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) on behalf of the Belize Forestry Department. According to Cherie Chenot-Rose, research biologist at ACES, the monkey was tied to a rope that was fastened to a metal chain hooked to a small little shed in a yard. “The police noticed the monkey chained outside, two iguanas and some other miscellaneous wildlife, not yet identified in the person’s home… it is illegal to have any wildlife in Belize without the proper permits from the Belize Forestry Department,” said Chenot-Rose. More importantly is that the Forestry Department does not issue permits to keep any species of monkey as a pet. The rescued spider monkey was transported to the Wildtracks facility in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District where it will be treated and rehabilitated.

Caleb Orozco’s case against Attorney General now in deliberation
Section 53 of the Belize Constitution 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.” Essentially this law criminalizes all acts of anal sex between men and men, men and women and men and children, regardless of age and consent. For about three years Caleb Orozco, Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), had prepared to challenge Section 53 in the Belize court of law, since according to the law homosexual intercourse between consenting adults is a criminal activity. The court hearing began on Tuesday, May 7th. The claimant’s party consisted of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Human Dignity Trust, the International Commission of Jurists and UNIBAM. They argue that the case is not about legalizing gay rights in Belize, but rather empowering a person’s right to privacy and human dignity since the laws seems to degrade and criminalize acts that occur in the privacy of home. “I am forcing the issue to the Supreme Court because of discrimination, whether it’s selective discrimination or unjust discrimination. You cannot pick or choose the fundamental rights and freedom that we have as humans. It is my right to bring the issue to the court and treat the issue fairly, not with the prejudice that is perceived but with the discussion it deserves,” said Orozco.

Consolidated Waters donates to Rotary for San Mateo residents
One community on Ambergris Caye that does not have proper access to safe drinking water is San Mateo, situated just north of the heart of Belize’s largest tourism town of San Pedro. Water samples extracted along various sections of the waterlines conducted by Engineers without Borders, as recently as January, 2013, showed that the waters were contaminated with coliform (fecal bacteria), making it unsafe to drink. In an effort to continue addressing the lack of proper drinking water, Consolidated Water Belize Limited has made a donation to the Rotary Club of Belize. The donation was held on Friday May 10th, where members of the Belize Rotary Club were presented with a check. One of the organizations in Belize that has been helping in addressing the water issue in San Mateo is the Rotary Club of Belize. The club has been providing water-filter buckets to the people of San Mateo in order for them to treat their own water – making it safe for drinking. After carefully following the work that The Belize Rotary Club has been doing with San Mateo residents, Consolidated Waters – Belize Limited decided to help by ways of a donation of $2,500BZ. President of the Belize Rotary Club Maria Coye said that the donation will go a long way in their efforts in San Mateo. “This donation will be used to purchase more water-filter buckets. What will happen is that we will have Rotary International match the donation so that we can get more from it. The essential thing is that the people of San Mateo will be benefiting from filter buckets so that they can have safe drinking water. This is part of a countrywide effort in different rural communities to address the lack of proper, clean and safe drinking water,” said Coye.

Nyisha Gabourel – a multi-faceted diamond in the rough
For our first Diamond in the Rough, we are very excited to present our first artist, Nyisha Gabourel. Nyisha is a multi-talented artist (we are talking the usual arts and THEN SOME…Nyisha is a barber too!). We share with you just a few of the many extraordinary pieces in Nyisha’s gallery (see above). MBB knows talent when it sees it, so be sure to keep an eye on her!

Ambergris Today

Teens Belize Org. Crowns Miss Top Celebrity 2013
Press Release - Teens Belize Organization is humble to present the official results of the Miss Top Celebrity Pageant, verified by the Chairpersons of Teens Belize, Floridalma Fajardo and Abel Coleman; the Executive Director, Kenny Jacobs; the Teens Belize Committee and the official judges. Charlyn Flowers Miss Punta Gorda Miss Top Celebrity 2013-14 The ten candidates who participated in this year’s pageant are Roxannie Bowman, Leilani Nah, Victoria Canul, Marilyn Lopez, Charlyn Flowers, Nikki Chan, Shanice Flowers, Ivorie Mendez, and Jenny Ramirez. They brought a package of intellect, talent, beauty, grace, eloquence and national pride to this year’s pageant which positively echoed across the world. Besides this, they advocated the values of discipline, respect and self- growth to our Belizean youth. They are “The Belizean Inspiration: Nothing More, Nothing Less.” s

Crime Stoppers Signs Go Up Around Town
Eight Crime Stoppers information signs have gone up at key points around San Pedro Town, especially at entry points on the island on Monday, May 13, 2013. On hand to do the work were Town Councilor in charge of Policing, Wally Nuñez, along with fellow Councilor Gabriel Nuñez, Town Council Forman Freddie Gonzalez and San Pedro Superintendent of Police, Luis Casteaños. The signs were placed at island entry points which include aross from Tropic Air and Maya Island Air airport terminals and one each at the San Pedro/Belize Express and Caye Caulker Water Taxi Terminals, two at the Villas at Banyan Bay intersection and two on the north end of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge in the Boca del Rio Area.

Misc Belizean Sources

“My Life, My Dreams, My World”: By Maria Luisa Villarreal
The Mexican Embassy invites you to the opening of the art exhibition: “My Life, My Dreams, My World” By Maria Luisa Villarreal. Opening: Thursday, May 16th, 2013 6:30 pm Entrance is FREE and open to the general public Institute of Mexico Belize City (Corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street)

Chocolate Week in Belize with Taza Chocolates
Cotton Tree Lodge & Taza Chocolate are proud to present Chocolate Week! This March, we invite you to join Taza cofounder Alex Whitmore for a full week in beautiful Belize, exploring the Mayan origins of chocolate and relaxing in the thatched-roof cabanas of Cotton Tree Lodge. Alex has spent the last several years travelling extensively through Latin America and the Caribbean, sourcing the highest quality organic cacao for Taza Chocolate. These efforts have recently led us to Belize where, in partnership with Cotton Tree Lodge and Maya Mountain Cacao, we're laying the groundwork for our next single origin chocolate bar. For enthusiasts seeking to better understand the chocolate-making process from bean to bar, this is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Drums not Guns a fundraiser to help the youths of Belize
I would like to pass on to you a link to a good cause started by Emmeth Young. A Belizean trying to make a difference for the youths of Belize. "Drums not Guns came about because many of the youths of my villages were going up into the city to join gangs, and when they come back, they come back in their coffin. They get killed by gun violence. So I decided to start a program called 'Drums not Guns'." If you have been looking for a hand carved drum from Belizean hard woods you can get one made by the youths of Belize and help this is a great cause.

Placencia Belize Resorts Prepare for the Annual Lobsterfest Celebration in Placencia Village – June 28, 29 & 30
The Placencia Lobsterfest is a grand celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize and attracts thousands of local and international visitors to the Placencia Peninsula. The manager of guest services at Chabil Mar, Tiffany Edwards, tells us about what to expect at Placencia Lobsterfest 2013. "Of course there are lobster dishes of all types and recipes and each dish will be eligible to enter the Placencia Lobsterfest 2013 "Best Lobstah" Dish Competition. And for those not so keen on lobster, no worries. The food vendors have you covered with shrimp, fish, chicken, steak, pork and sumptuous vegetarian sides. Many of the cooks at the Placencia Lobsterfest come to the beach carrying years of strong family kitchen traditions. Food is Placencia’s ultimate cultural immersion experience. Taste Creole, Mayan, Garifuna, Caribbean, European, Asian and North American culinary influences at the leading gastronomic party in Belize." "No Belize festival would be complete without Music. Popular local DJs, musicians and major headlining Belizean bands will have visitors and locals alike moving and shaking their feet in the sand throughout the weekend. Chabil Mar Resort will be featuring Garifuna drummers at their open-air beachside restaurant on Friday evening to compliment the weekend's event and then guests can stroll along the beach to the site of the official festivities."

International Museum Day Celebration 2013
The Benque House of Culture posted some publicity stills from their celebration. In related news, they'll be having the Benque tourism plan launch today at Centennial Park at 2:00pm.

BNE Fire Unit in Action
Cool news of the day. Belize Natural Energy's Fire Unit went to Buena Vista primary school to assist with their fire drill. They spoke to the students, and showed how their equipment works and stops fires. Thanks, BNE, for making their day! "Members of BNE's Fire Unit visited Buena Vista Village this week to participate in the school's fire drill."

Melonie Gillett Releases Lord Be Her Breath
Melonie Gillett has uploaded Lord Be Her Breath to Soundcloud for cancer month in honor of her aunt being a cancer survivor. You can download it for free. Beautifully sang. Thanks, Melonie! "In 2009, my aunt was diagnosed with Stage 4 Lung Cancer. She battled and survived for 2 years, defying the next day death certificate that the doctors had given her. She was and still is a major part of me, and who I am as an artist. I wrote this song for her and she did a picture video for it...just like she had done with so many of my performances and songs before. Here you go....dedicated to Verna Gardiner Ewing and all those who batttle with cancer. I will always love you, auntie!!"

Scarlet Macaws in the Chiquibul
Tony Rath got some amazing pictures of the Scarlet Macaws, and many other birds, when he joined the FCD and the Scarlet Macaw researchers as they performed health checks last month. Beautiful shots. A selection of scarlet macaw images from an April 2013 expedition into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize, with the Scarlet Macaw Biomonitoring Team.

Sacred Heart Primary Enjoys Education Week
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library hosted Sacred Heart Primary students from standard 1 and standard 3, where they got some great stories read to them. The SIPL takes Education Week seriously. "This morning the Std 1 students of Sacred Heart visited the SIPL as part of education week for stories and activities."

Benque Tourism Plan Launch
The Benque Viejo Tourism Committee will be launching the new tourism plan, website, travel guide, and Heritage Tour for Benque today at 2:00pm in Centennial Park. This is a monumental event for Benque, and Cayo, because Benque will be another tourism destination. Lake Benque is on its way to becoming a major tourist attraction too. Everyone is invited.

International Museum Day at Benque HoC
The Benque House of Culture's celebration of International Museum Day was great, and they had a great turnout from the local primary schools. They launched their new Belizean Heroes and Benefactors exhibit for the occasion. Antonio Beardall was there from the Institute of Archaeology, and he did a wonderful job of explaining to the students about antiquities, and how we need to preserve the culture and history of Belize. The Belize Audubon Society was there to give information on their 9 protected areas in Belize, and the National Heritage Library had an interesting display of older books and memorabilia. "The Benque House of Culture celebrated International Museum Day by inviting all the local schools out for events and presentations, and the opening of their Belizean Heroes and Benefactors exhibit."

Pedestrian Safety Month
May is Pedestrain Safety Month, and the GOB has released some safety guidelines. They are helpful, especially when you consider how some people drive. Stay safe! "It's Pedestrian Safety Month! Be sure to check out the list of pedestrian safety tips from the Road Safety Unit. Remember, 'Wheels and Feet Share the Street!' Happy Monday Facebook Family!"

Channel 7

Grijalva Accepts Blame for Noh Mul Destruction
Since Friday of last week, Denny Grijalva has gone from a relatively obscure northern politician to a household name. He’s the owner of De-Mar’s Stone Company – and after a long and, (can we say?), “stony” silence, he issued a statement today. Grijalva says he was out of the country – and addressed the matter as he returned today. His statement says, quote. “as the Managing Director of De’ Mar’s Stone Company - it is my duty and indeed my obligation to inform the public…of the sequence of events leading to this unfortunate incident.” The statement explains that quote, “De’ Mar’s was recently contracted to undertake the construction and rehabilitation of roads in Douglas Village also in the Orange Walk district. My understanding is that a first site for the excavation of material was identified by the company Foreman. The Chairman of Douglas Village was reportedly not satisfied with the quality of the material and as such he obtained permission from a landowner to extract material from his property from which material has been excavated for well over a decade.” The statement the goes unto say, quote: “De’ Mar’s excavation on the site began at around 8:00 am on Thursday, May 9 and continued up to 5:00 pm that day. Operations resumed the following day when at around 10:30 am persons identifying themselves as officials from NICH…appeared on the site…(and) instructed the company Foreman to halt operations.”

Institute Of Archeology Director Visits Noh Mul
But whether they did it for a day or a decade, De-Mar’s Stone Company is the one in the crosshairs of legal and public scrutiny. The investigation is underway and today the Director of the Institute Of Archaeology went to the site to see it for the first time. 7news was there when he arrived. Jules Vasquez reporting Today when Dr. Jaime Awe arrived at the scene, he shook his head in weary bewilderment, seeing the site for the first time - the rubble of the ruin, he walked around it to get a sense of the scale of destruction. Looking at the back side, the towering, fractured edifice and it’s near demolition was apparent and undeniable. Dr. Jaime Awe - Director, Institute of Archaeology "Now seeing it firsthand like you said in 3-D, it's just gut wrenching. It's obivous as you look at the stratigraphy there that this was a big temple that was built stone by stone and was carved out by the Mayas from their own qurries in the past. When I looked at it just now it reminded me of the coring of an apple - when you core an apple you cut out all the outside and what you're left at the end is the core. So you don't have any idea of what the apple used to look like in the outside." Awe said it is the undoing, the rubbishing of centuries of painstaking work by hand with stone tools:

Police And Media Make Peace, Plan to Move Forward
Often in our Newscast, we are forced to highlight the strained relationship that the media has with the Police Department. And that’s because we often work at cross purposes: On one side, the media requires full disclosure to properly inform the public, and on the other hand, police have to protect certain information to ensure a proper investigation results in a successful prosecution. And that creates friction – leaving the media to speak to a designated police press officer – who often has not been updated by the officers commanding at various formations. And so, the information that reaches our newsroom is in such a form that if we were to present it to you, in the form it arrives, there would be more questions than answers. Well that should change now – or at least, start to change. Police Commissioner Allen Whylie, who has been making bold administrative decisions since he was appointed he has extended a hand of friendship to the press. In an unprecedented first step, members of the media were invited to make presentations to the senior police officers in the first ever police-media summit. Today, Commissioner Whylie opened the workshop with a surprising move in which he changed the rules of media engagement for these commanders, allowing them to speak freely if they so choose, on matters in their jurisdiction. Here’s what he said -

Compol Assures Successful Investigation In Eligio Killing
And while we had the opportunity, we asked Whylie to comment on the death of 18 year old Rasheed Eligio, who was shot to death by police last Friday in Punta Gorda. As we showed you, his family is very upset with the department because according his mother; the officers abused their authority when they used deadly force against him. As we also reported, that Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano was having difficulty with the PG officers, who have refused to own up to firing the bullet which killed Eligio. Today, Whylie told us that these challenges will not stop the department from pursuing justice in this shooting. Allen Whylie - Police Commissioner "Let me first express condolences to the family of Mr. Eligio. As Mr. Mariano explained there is a thorough investigation both criminally as well as internally been done. I know that sentiments are high because it's a police related shooting but the process of investigation is not an overnight system and it does take time. Indeed the post mortem results were required and the ballistics is needed to confirm which weapon - there were a number of different weapons out there. Officers did admit to shooting but none have admitted to shooting the individual and that will take us through the issue of investigation and the ballistic match.

Crime Stats: Murder, Carnal Knowledge Up, Other Major Crimes Down
And while senior police officers got to hear from the media today, one of them, the officer in charge of the Northern Zone, also got a big up from police. Senior Superintendent of Police Joseph Myvette, who heads the Northern Zone received a cheque for a thousand dollars for the best performance in reducing Major Crimes during the month of April. In Belmopan this afternoon, Police Minister John Saldivar also presented Myvette with a Certificate of Award for the best performance by the Orange Walk Formation for the same period. Those crime statistics still show 2013 outpacing 2012 for murders – there have been 41 up to the end of April, 2013. Up to the end of March 2013, reports of Robbery, Burglary and Theft were down – when compared to the same period in 2012, while rape was unchanged and carnal knowledge went up.

We’ve Heard of US Navy Seals, But Belize Coast Guard Seals?
This morning 7News and other media houses got a last minute invitation to attend a graduation ceremony at the Coast Guard Headquarters. But as soon as we got there, we were un-invited – and that’s because the US Navy training was classified. We later got the story in a press release form the ministry of national security. 24 members of the Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU) participated in a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course. The release says they were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy in Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search and Seizure, Weapon-Handling Skills, Waterborne Techniques among other areas. The release says this is moving towards development of what is called the Belize Coastguard Seal Team. It adds that “The Coastguard Seal Team is the special operating arm of the Belize National Coastguard, and is charged with the responsibility of conducting high-risk operations, counter-narcotics operations, counter-terrorism operations, and maritime interception operations.”

Fisheries Makes Off-Season Bust
Tonight, the Fisheries Department is in possession 2,000 dollars’ worth of out of season lobsters, undersized conch, and illegally harvested fish fillet. They intercepted these fisheries products on a commercial vessel yesterday, and the captain and crew are now facing criminal charges. Their vessel has been confiscated by the Fisheries Department, and it will not be released until June 10, the earliest, when the matter goes to court. Today, a member of the Fisheries Department, allowed us to view the cache, and he briefed us about the status of those products: Hampton Gamboa – Member, Fisheries Department "Yesterday which was the fourteenth of May - we got some information that a vessel was harvesting lobsters in the southern portion of Tobacco Caye range and South Water caye marine reserve. This vessel came into Belize City harbor yesterday morning right about 9:00a.m and there was a quick response by fisheries personnel both in vessel and in vehicle - and we were able to board this sailboat.

Female Cross Country Abruptly Cancelled
The 24th Female Cross Country was scheduled for Sunday May 19th but tonight Belize’s female cyclists are crestfallen because the event has been abruptly postponed. Who’s to blame? Well, you can safely chalk it up to the ongoing upheaval in the sport …. A press release was sent out by the Belize Cycling Association stating that an injunction has been brought against Hilly Martinez – the President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth games association and the interim executive of the Belize Cycling Association. The injunction is from president of the Association, Emil Moreno. “As a result the Female Cross Country race and other upcoming events have been cancelled until the matter gets straightened out.” That leaves the lady cyclists very let down and understandably very angry. Defending Champion Kaya Cattouse told us how she feels: Kaya Cattouse - Defending Champion "First and foremost receiving this news today was - I really don't know how to explain it; you have been training for a race and you're the defending champion, you're looking for that repeat and it's just postponed. I don't even know if the word is 'postponed' because it's just cancelled there will be no female cross country this year.

SJCJC Grants Scholarships, SJCHS Threatens Mass Suspension
Saint John’s Juniour College today announced that it is making 1.54 million dollars worth of Jesuit scholarships available to its 2013 Juniour College graduates. This year’s awardees are Natasha Khawani, Dionne Habet, Edgar Nah, Aaron Stock, Shan Shan Tam, Gian Hernandez, Aldair Gongora, Yael Perrera and Ki’ila Salas. In other, less happy news from the school, today, 7News received several calls from concerned parents in relation to a developing situation at Saint John’s College high school. It centers around a 3rd form class which is facing the threat of mass suspension and academic failure because of a stolen cellular phone belonging to one of the female teachers. The class is suspected to have information which could lead to the discovery of the culprit, but they have been uncooperative with the administration. As a result, the Prinicipal of the School is determined to get to the bottom of the situation, and it is causing the parents to worry that her disciplinary action is too drastic.

Four Injured When Government Prado Flips
There was an accident today on the Burrell Boom Road near the Data Pro Compound. It happened this afternoon around three when a Toyota Prado with government plates flipped and tumbled off the road. Four prison officer who were hitching a ride received injuries and were transported to the KHMH. Reports tell us that the Prado was found to have four or five cases of contraband Carta Blanca Beer.

Cacao Fest Comes Around Again
The 2013 Chocolate Festival is scheduled for May 24 -26, and the Festival’s committee is finishing up preparations, for the event. It is one of the biggest events on the calendar which is focused primarily in Southern Belize. It will be filled with activities, but the centerpiece is those organically grown cacao beans from the south and the many delicious treats they can make. Today, the Vice Chair of the Committee told us why you should go. Armando Chocho - Vice Chairman "One of the objectives of the chocolate festival is to raise awareness for Toledo district as a responsible tourism destination. We do that by true the Cacao Chocolate Festival, by promoting the Toledo's rich culture, the food that we have to offer and of course the natural resources - the waterfall, the Archaeological site, the snorkeling and the barrier reef, all of this in the Toledo district. That is one of the reasons but also to celebrate Cacao and chocolate, a lot of Belizeans love chocolate and who else wouldn't love chocolate and so the chocolate festival weekend was designed about all things chocolate and cacao. People can come down to the Toledo district and learn more about how chocolate is made and learn more about the Mayan farmer and how they cultivate their cacao and of course their living. There will be a chocolate demonstration making process; we'll also have Cacao trail tours - going into the communities for people to have an opportunity to learn where cacao comes from and how chocolate is made."

#464454 - 05/16/13 06:58 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 16, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Wasn’t me? Denny Grijalva passes blame on Noh Mul destruction
Denny Grijalva, the politically connected Orange Walk businessman in the very hot center of what has become worldwide condemnation of the destruction of Noh Mul, has been missing in action since Sunday. News Five attempted to contact him with no success, and we were told he was in Guatemala City and that he arrived back [...]

Commissioner of Archeology, Jaime Awe assesses destruction of Noh Mul
And while the release from Grijalva makes no reference to Mayan mounds, the fact is that the land is full of them, and they are very obvious even to the untrained eye. Commissioner of Archaeology, Dr. Jaime Awe and members of his team have maintained that the destruction of the monument could not possible be [...]

‘Mind boggling’ comments from archeologist over destruction
After our visit to the site today, it is clear that notwithstanding a release in which he refers to the matter as just an unfortunate accident, the authorities…at least those from the Institute of Archaeology, are not buying that story. In fact, speculation is that the destruction was deliberate since, as inconceivable as it seems, [...]

11 Indian nationals charged with illegal entry
Charges of illegal entry were formally read to eleven Indian nationals, who appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, after being detained by police on Tuesday for entering Belize unlawfully.  Arraigned were thirty-six year old Ghanshyamkumar Patel, nineteen year old Ronakbhai Patel, thirty-one year old Davinder Singh, twenty-two year old Dalbir Singh, thirty-three year [...]

Will Emil Moreno ride again as cycling president?
The twenty-fourth running of the Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic, scheduled for this Sunday as well as other upcoming races have been postponed indefinitely.  The annual Women’s Cross Country ride from San Ignacio Town to Belize City is the second largest sporting event for female cyclists.  This year’s race promised a number of familiar faces, [...]

Monkey held captive for 11 years
Authorities have rescued a spider monkey at a house in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro where the animal has been held captive for some eleven years. The female spider monkey is described as being in very poor condition and extremely underweight. The monkey was rescued during a special operation carried out by members [...]

BelAm family loses everything in fire
A family of seven relocated back to the Belize from the United States just a few days ago to start a business and retire in Crooked Tree. But those dreams and plans literally went up in flames when their belongings and cash were completely destroyed by a mid-afternoon fire in the center of the village. [...]

Cost of diesel goes up
There is more gas pain to report on tonight as the cost per gallon of diesel will increase by thirty-two cents at midnight.  Motorists will now be paying ten dollars and twenty-three cents, up from nine dollars and ninety-one cents per gallon.  While the cost of diesel is on the rise, the price per gallon [...]

Investigation into shooting of man in police custody
The family of eighteen year old Rasheed Elijio, a fisherman of Dangriga, is seeking answers in his shooting death, saying that his killing was unnecessary. Elijio’s grieving mother also told News Five on Tuesday that they know who shot and killed her son last Friday in Punta Gorda after he escaped from lawful custody earlier [...]

April major crime stats shows Belize District is leading
Moments ago the police department released its major crime statistics for the month of April 2013. There were eleven murders in April; Belize City had six murders more than half the monthly total while Orange Walk and Toledo reported none. There were two rapes for the month in the Corozal and Stann Creek Districts. Twenty-three [...]

Honduran national, 48 years, remanded for touching 9 year old
There are growing reports of sexual abuse against minors. Forty-eight year old Honduran national, Jose Aquino, is the latest person to be remanded to prison following an allegation that he molested a nine year old girl.  Aquino is being accused of touching the underage girl inappropriately in her private parts. On Tuesday, he appeared before [...]

Police and media train on getting along and sharing
Dialogue between the Belize Police Department and members of the local media, in an effort to improve an often hostile relationship, is a rare occurrence.  So, when reporters were invited to make presentations to the brass of the force this morning, it was a unique opportunity to openly discuss opinions and impressions that have been [...]

Youths tell how chess improves the mind at 6th Chess Olympiad
The annual Chess Olympiad was held this year in Belmopan; one hundred and fifty players from primary to high schools tested their mental ability in a game that requires tremendous concentration. The event didn’t disappoint, aside from the competition there were side shows which also required special skills. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.   Jose [...]


Police Commanders Meet With The Media
This morning the Belize Police Department hosted representatives of the media to discuss ways of improving the relationship between the two. According to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, the purpose of the workshop is to enhance the officer’s abilities to communicate with the...

Thorough Investigation Has Been Launched Into Noh Mul Destruction In Northern Belize
The destruction of the over two thousand year old ruin Noh Mul has drawn national and international attention and not in a good way. Today, archaeologists were back on the site in the San Jose Village area in Orange Walk Town. Dr. John Morris Associate Director for Research at the Inst...

Mexican Authorities Complete Bridge Spanning Belize and Mexico
A new bridge at the Belize/Mexico border has been completed after six years of construction works. It was supposed to be a joint operation carried out by both Belize and Mexico but back in 2009 Mexico had concluded its part of the bridge and works on this side of the border had not beg...

Family of Six Remains Homeless Following House Fire
A fire at the Aldana residence in Crooked Tree Village, Belize District, shortly after noon on Tuesday has left all six of the occupants homeless. The brothers, David, John, Derek and Leon Aldana were preparing lunch and left a frying pan with fish frying unsupervised. The ...

Police Commissioner Says Internal and Criminal Investigations Continue Into The Shooting Death of An Escaped Prisoner
Preparations to put eighteen year old Rasheed Elijio to rest are under way for Saturday. Elijio is the detainee that escaped from police custody on May 10th while being escorted to a bus that would take him and others to the Belize Central Prison. Elijio was fatally shot once on the ri...

Company Owner Makes Statement Regarding The Destruction of Noh Mul By His Workers
The man at the center of the controversy, Denny Grijalva issued his own release today. Grijalva says his company De’ Mar’s was recently contracted to undertake the construction and rehabilitation of roads in Douglas Village. He says his understanding is that a first s...

Chinese National Charged For Employing Without Permit
Thirty-four year old Jin Tian Chen, a naturalized Belizean originally from China, was charged with employing a person not in possession of an employment permit when he appeared in court today. Chen wanted to plead guilty to the charge but Magistrate Dale Cayetano entered a plea of not ...

Jury Deliberates Woman's Fate Following The Stabbing Death of Her Boyfriend In 2010
A jury of seven women and two men is deliberating today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of 26 year old Deshawn Lino, charged with manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of her boyfriend, Shamir Henry, which occurred on September 2, 2010, a...

Eleven Indian Nationals Charged for Illegal Entry to Belize
Eleven Indian nationals appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrates court this morning where they were each charged with one single count of illegal entry. The group consisting of eight men, two women and a minor was found in Santa Elena Town yesterday afternoon, not too far from the...

UB's History and Anthropology Department Issues Release On Noh Mul
The incident involving the destruction of Noh Mul has gained an unprecedented amount of attention both locally and internationally. Today the Students and Alumni of the Department of History and Anthropology of the University of Belize sent out a press release expressing their outrage ...

Young Boy Endures Medical Complications and Massive Weight Loss Following Fall From Tree
Twelve year old Graciano Ramos is currently at the KHMH receiving treatment. Back in February, Ramos sustained a fractured skull and went into a coma after he fell from a tree in Orange Walk. Since the unfortunate incident Ramos’s road to recovery has been bumpy and tonight Ramos...

Diesel Fuel Increases By Three Percent
The price of gasoline has increase, well for diesel that is. As of last night the price of Diesel increase from $9.90 to $10.22- an increase of 32 cents. The price of regular stays at $11.71 and super remains at $12.12. ...

Activities Continue For Education Showcase 2013
Education Showcase 2013 continues with a number of activities held at various schools throughout the country. We join Correspondent Fem Cruz to hear about activities held in Belmopan. FEM CRUZ "In connection with Education Week under the theme, ' Working together...

Man Remanded To Prison For Stealing School Bag and Books From Teenage Student
Twenty-three year old Kenroy Parham, a laborer of Curassow Street who allegedly stole a school bag with school books from a 15 year old female student, was denied bail when he appeared in court today. Parham was charged with theft, common assault, handling stolen goods and using threat...


BTIA Orange Walk Chapter Takes First Hand Look Of Destruction Site
In last night’s newscast, we informed you of the press release the Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, issued in reference to the demolition of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site. This morning, Chairman of the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter Osmany Salas, visited the Maya site where he expressed the sentiment of the action being a deplorable one. Osmany Salas - Chairman of the BTIA Orange Walk Chapter “You know representing the Orange Walk Chapter of BTIA, I think I speak for all of them when I say that we are deeply sadden and outraged about this and we hope that something is done about this, by the authorities because I been made to understand that is happening too frequently. A senior government official told me just yesterday and he didn’t want me to mention his name but he told me that Orange Walk is the most culprit when it comes to knowingly destroying Mayan sites for road fill. Unfortunately a major site such as this one, one of the tallest if not the tallest mount of NOK MUL site had to be destroyed for the people to get more interested and concerned about these activities, like this main mount behind us, I understand from the archaeologist is pretty much a write off and looking at it now you can see that ones the rains come the rest will basically wash off so literally this major structure will be wash down the drain. We at BTIA have always had NOK MUL in our long terms plans. We are a small growing chapter just became active and just figure that somewhere down the line NOK MUL would play a key role in developing this destination in Orange Walk so this is what is so outrageous and what saddens us, I mean Cuello site is another one that is in our plans and we already had preliminary contact with the landowner.” Salas also stated that the BTIA Chapter in Orange Walk Town has become active in the North and that they will keep a close eye on the development of the criminal process in this situation.

New Bridge Officially Opens For Vehicular Traffic
If you are heading out to Chetumal or anywhere within the Mexican states anytime soon, you will enjoy the relief of passing through the border at least, faster than what we are used to and that is because the new bridge named “Chaktemal” has been completed and opened for motorists and pedestrians. The new bridge, which has been long awaited, promises to reduce traffic congestion that by now many Belizeans have become accustomed to and often at times deterred many from visiting neighbouring Mexico. However, that is no more. Reporter Irvin Aragon and Cameraman Kenric Simpson made the journey this morning to the border and filed the following report. Irvin Aragon - Reporting For a little over 5 years, Belize was unable to complete the Belizean side of the road and facility leading to the new bridge named “Chaktemal” as was agreed between the two countries. Mexico began complying with their part of the bargain in 2007 when the agreement was made and two years later they had completed their side of the bridge, Belize however, showed no sign of development on our side. Prime Minister Barrow stated that the rest of the work needed for the bridge to be operable would have been funded by the Central American Bank of Economic Integration but that the process of the bank was too slow. It was not until early this year in the month of February that the outgoing president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon, pledged to complete the work on the bilateral bridge. The then president Calderon, lobbied with Mexico’s ministry of communication and transport in the state of Quintana Roo and the ministry of defence, to use eleven members of the Mexican military and some four millions dollars to complete the project. According to the Mexican officials, the work only lasted three weeks and today the good news is that it was officially tested in order to design a system here on our side of the Bridge. We spoke to some of the motorist who on a daily basis will use this new bridge.

Orange Walk Police To Investigate Destruction Of Maya Mound
The story of the destruction of the largest structure of the Noh Mul Temple has travelled across the globe and has caused an outpour of condemnation by the wider community, conservationists, and historians. The magnitude of the demolition is greater felt outside of the country of Belize, than within Belizean communities as is evident by a tourist that travelled all the way from the US just to witness the destruction first hand. Our news team was present on the scene as they were waiting for the man who heads the Archaeological Department here in Belize and filed the following report. Victor Castillo - Reporting This morning, we travelled to the Noh Mul Site where the evidence of the destruction can be seen from far away. Once we arrived on the scene, we were met by a tourist who travelled all the way to the site to see the magnitude of the destruction for himself. Steve Parks from Idaho, USA, has been following the stories on the international media and cannot believe what he is witnessing. Steve Parks – Tourist “Oh yeah I actually I read about it first and then I read the home town newspaper from our home town in IDAHO in the states and it is a large article talked about excavation of a Mayan ruin in northern Belize and then I looked further and then I found the pictures in the internet and then we drove over here today to take a look at it. It is unbelievable and then I think they said something that I didn’t know what it was but there is no way somebody didn’t know what this was, it is obvious even somebody from IDAHO know what this is.”

Denny Says "It Wasn't Me"
Grijalva goes on to say that he instructed the Foreman after that to immediately cease all operations, to shut down all the equipment, trucks and excavator and had them removed from the site on Saturday, May 11th at around 10:00am. In the final paragraph of the five paragraph unapologetic release, Grijalva states, and we quote, ”Recognizing that the buck stops at my desk, I share the public’s concern and indeed condemnation at the unfolding of this very unfortunate incident. While I will be launching an internal investigation, I am committed to fully cooperate with the authorities in their investigation into this regrettable incident.” End of quote. With that statement, is Denny Grijalva absolving himself of all culpability? Is he passing the blame on to his Foreman? Is he laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Chairman of Douglas Village or land owner? He says he will launch an investigation into how the demolition of Noh Mul could have happened and to us here at CTV-3 that can simply be interpreted as one of those persons mentioned in the release will take the blame. Of importance is that at no time in his release did he mentioned that De’ Mar’s Stone Company had a valid mining permit for that site. Our attempts to contact Denny Grijalva have been futile but we do understand he is presently out of the country. We will continue to follow this story as well as our attempts to speak with Grijalva in this matter.

Future Historians Denounce Demolishing Of Noh Mul
Chiming in this morning with a letter condemning the actions of De Mar’s Construction Company and its owner Denny Grijalva, is the History and Anthropology Department of the University of Belize. In their letter, the UB History and Anthropology students express their outrage at what has occurred and state, “We would go as far as condemning this act as an act of patrimonial genocide.” End quote. The university students put together four points that they suggest government implement in efforts of preventing any future occurrences of the destruction of any National Heritage Site. 1. When a license is given out to any company to conduct land clearing or mining, a trained inspector that can identify mounds, must be sent to assess the land in consideration and approve the license to carry out such activities. 2. Government has to provide closer oversight when any Maya and colonial period archaeological related structures, landmarks or artifacts are found. 3. Government should work fervently in enforcing our laws and making sure that Belizeans get retribution for the irreparable damage caused to the Maya World. Political affiliation, religious orientation, race, ethnicity, and all other aspects of social status must be set aside so that the law can be upheld. The constitution states clearly that mounds are protected by the government therefore, the protection must be observed. And 4, measures be set in place to inform all such agencies as well as those which assist with the preservation and promotion of Belize’s heritage that Belize will not tolerate this kind of activity and will seek to mitigate the effects of the destructive acts through continued education.

Three Day Workshop Seeks To Strengthen The Work Of SIRDI
Yesterday morning, members of the Ministry of Agriculture, technicians of the Belize Cane Framers Association, sugar cane farmers and personnel from the SIRDI team, commenced a three day workshop that is taking place at the BSI staff club. IICA country representative Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, along with facilitator of the workshop Dr. Falguni Guharay, was on hand yesterday morning for the opening of the very important workshop. Dr. Ibrahim mentioned that the Inter-American Institute for the Cooperation on Agriculture is joining hands with the European Union in efforts to strengthen the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute. Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim - Country Representative of IICA “We have training course her to train extensionist from SIRDI, from the Sugar Cane Association, BSI, University of Belize and the Ministry on new techniques for extension services to farmers. The main objective is to promote better capacity for participatory methodology using farm approach where the technicians will be more prepared to help farmers to make better decision on improving the productivity of the sugar cane production. IICA is working closely with SIRDI to provide training to the extension workers here so that they would have a better capacity to work and provide technical assistance to the farmers.” According to Dr. Guharay, his visit to Belize is in the capacity of a consultant for the project, so as to improve the competiveness of sugar cane in Belize.


De Mar’s managing director issues statement on Noh Mul destruction
The excavation of the Noh Mul mayan monument has been at the forefront of social and media discussions. There has been outrage expressed both at home and abroad. Well today, managing director of the company accused of the incident issued a press release. Denny Grijalva says that his company...

History of another Mayan site damaged by developers
While all eyes have been on Noh Mul, or at least what’s left of it, there is another regarded Mayan Site in the country that suffered damage by the hands of developers. Parcels #7139 and #7140 in the Mountain View Area of Belmopan, were set aside as “Special Develop...

Indian nationals in Court on Immigration charges
Yesterday we reported on another group of Indian nationals who were caught entering Belize illegally through the Western Border. This would make a second group in two weeks. The group of eleven, two of whom are women, were caught on Tuesday morning at around 2am. Police set chase on...

Crime Statistics for April released
The Ministry of National Security has released its major crime statistics for the month of April. There have been eleven murders in total with the most of those happening in the Belize District; six in all. Cayo and Corozal both had two murders last month while the Stann Creek...

Fishermen intercepted with illegal lobsters
A group of fishermen suspected of making multiple raids in central and southern Belize for outlawed seafood were caught at it by authorities this week. The group faces individual and total fines of nearly $11,000 for lobster, conch and fish fillet that do not fit the prescribed criteria for...

Commissioner of Police recognizes the importance of the media
Today the Police Department’s senior command was in Belize City for its latest strategy meeting – on relations with the press. They have not always been the best, but Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie says the Department recognizes the importance of the media in Belize. Allen Whylie – Commissioner...

Police launch investigation into shooting of escaped prisoner
This week the Police Department has come under fire for the alleged role of police officers in Punta Gorda in the death of 18 year old Rasheed Elijio. Elijio was shot while being chased by police officers who claimed that he escaped from them while being transported to Central...

UB Professor Alleges Abuses By Administration
Ahead of the close of the school year and first registrations for the University of Belize (UB), a study conducted by the students of the school under the watch of Adjunct Professor Patrick Menzies has revealed alleged abuses by the university’s administration. This is on the issue of acceptance...

St. Martin’s Government School celebrates Education Week
Fresh off an extravagant Mother’s Day celebration, the St. Martin’s Government School today, in conjunction with Education Week, has organized a host of activities for students, as well as teachers. Today, the school campus was abuzz with excitement, as the kids were engaged in creative expression activities, such as...

29 Graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course
Twenty four members of the Belize National Coastguard and five members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), graduated from a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course. They were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy. The course covered Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search...


We Need To Save The Earth!
We Need to save the earth! Our environment is precious and without it we wouldn’t be alive. Plants and animals need us and we need them. We have an ecological relationship with each other. But the problem is that we are releasing more carbon than we could even imagine. Such as burning petroleum, gas and using factories that release it into the atmosphere, even our carbon footprints. A carbon footprint is the measure of the amount of greenhouse gases, measured in units of carbon dioxide, produced by human activities. A carbon footprint can be measured for an individual or an organization, and is typically given in tons of CO2-equivalent (CO2-cq) per year. Think, for 1 gallon of gasoline the car burns that’s 19 pounds of carbon dioxide, so if your family drives a car 1,000 miles for 1 month that’s 240,000 lbs. of carbon dioxide released.

Belize National Coastguard Graduation: Trained By US Navy Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen
Members of Belize Coastguard and Anti Drugs Unit Graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course Supervised by the US Navy

NOW WITH AN EXTENDED DEADLINE – Regional Entrepreneurship Training Program

“Baby Boy” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
A really lazy morning for me yesterday. A couple of email exchanges with Benny’s in respect of appliances (oven(range for non UK readers), microwave and refrigerator) for the Ground Floor self-contained apartment of our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize to fully understand the quotation that they sent me and my administrative tasks for the day were completed. Easy. I next took a drive to the lots that we have in Fire Coral Street (the San Pablo area) to see if the area in front of them had been cleared of the car carcasses that were there when I last visited. Pleased to say that all of the broken down vehicles had been removed (OK some of the parts e.g. an engine had been dumped on our land to join the brush and plastic bags) and it was a lot,lot more presentable. Perhaps my letter to the Mayor (even though it did not receive the courtesy of a response) may have worked after all. Rose and I had thought that our visit to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday would -because of the planned one/two week closure of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge- mean parking the golf cart on the southern side and walking (the bridge will be operational for pedestrian and bicycle access) the half mile to the house. I had picked up the news though (when taking my daily read of the Ambergris Caye Forum) that the closure has been delayed until midnight on Saturday.

Granito: How To Nail A Dictator
In a stunning milestone for justice in Central America, a Guatemalan court recently charged former dictator Efraín Rios Montt with genocide for his brutal war against the country’s Mayan people in the 1980s — and Pamela Yates’ 1983 documentary, When the Mountains Tremble, provided key evidence for bringing the indictment. Granito: How to Nail a Dictator tells the extraordinary story of how a film, aiding a new generation of human rights activists, became a granito — a tiny grain of sand — that helped tip the scales of justice. An Official Selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. A co-production of ITVS. A co-presentation with Latino Public Broadcasting.

When the Mountains Tremble
When the Mountains Tremble filmed in 1982 at the height of the Guatemalan Army’s repression against the Mayan indigenous people, has become a classic political documentary. It describes the struggle of the largely Indian peasantry against a heritage of state and foreign oppression. Centered on the experiences of Rigoberta Menchú, who later became a Nobel Peace laureate, the overall effect of the film is exhilarating. With clarity and energy it conveys the birth of a national and political awareness.

A Message to Belizeans
by PACO For quite some time now, some of us have stated emphatically that going to the ICJ is not a viable option through which Belize should seek an end to Guatemala’s unfounded claim to our sovereign territory. During this period, we have been maligned by those who opt to tow the line and adhere to the status quo. That has not deterred us, for we know that our position is based on the truth and reality. Recently, a certain gentleman gave an interview in which I believe he actually highlighted a critical element on which many who oppose going to the ICJ, base their position. I contend that as long as the military oligarchy controls the Guatemalan government, that institution lacks credibility and can not be trusted, especially within the construct of going to the ICJ, whose decisions have been demonstrated to be unenforceable.

International Sources

Indigenous Hawaiian’s Take on Monsanto and GMOs
At 9 am on an overcast morning in paradise, hundreds of protesters gathered in traditional Hawaiian chant and prayer. Upon hearing the sound of the conch shell, known here as Pū, the protesters followed a group of women towards Monsanto’s grounds. “A’ole GMO,” cried the mothers as they marched alongside Monsanto’s cornfields, located only feet from their homes on Molokai, one of the smallest of Hawaii’s main islands. In a tiny, tropical corner of the Pacific that has warded off tourism and development, Monsanto’s fields are one of only a few corporate entities that separates the bare terrain of the mountains and oceans. This spirited march was the last of a series of protests on the five Hawaiian islands that Monsanto and other biotech companies have turned into the world’s ground zero for chemical testing and food engineering. Hawaii is currently at the epicenter of the debate over genetically modified organisms, generally shortened to GMOs. Because Hawaii is geographically isolated from the broader public, it is an ideal location for conducting chemical experiments. The island chain’s climate and abundant natural resources have lured five of the world’s largest biotech chemical corporations: Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont Pioneer and BASF. In the past 20 years, these chemical companies have performed over 5,000 open-field-test experiments of pesticide-resistant crops on an estimated 40,000 to 60,000 acres of Hawaiian land without any disclosure, making the place and its people a guinea pig for biotech engineering. The presence of these corporations has propelled one of the largest movement mobilizations in Hawaii in decades. Similar to the environmental and land sovereignty protests in Canada and the continental United States, the movement is influenced by indigenous culture.

Traveling Photographer: Belize
Belize serves up a delightful cocktail of white sandy beaches, turquoise Caribbean waters, steamy green jungles, and blue mountain view. With Mexico to its north and Guatemala to its south, Belize lies on the Caribbean coast of Central America. The potent combination of its warm climate, lush scenery, and compelling wildlife will get your creative juices flowing. Just pack your swimsuit, a waterproof camera, and your sense of adventure for this photo trip of a lifetime. Here’s how. Highly popular among sun-worshipping tourists, Belize’s glittering sandy beaches are just as perfect for photo enthusiasts. Dangriga, Hopkins, and Placencia are wonderful tourist towns, and all three give you easy access to coastal scenery.

Regional body launches climate change project
The European Union has given a grant of $8.6 million euros to support a regional project to improve Caribbean food security in the context of climate change. The project, which was being introduced and coordinated in a two-day session in Trinidad, is being conducted in four countries in the region: Belize, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, and Trinidad and Tobago. The project is being organised by the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute. The crops that are being planted will be, in Barbados, sweet potato and yam; in Belize, corn and beans; in St Kitts and Nevis, sweet potatoes, beans, peas and pigeon peas; and in Trinidad and Tobago, sweet potatoes and corn. The project is aimed at producing plant materials that are resilient to extreme climate and which must be put in the hands of the farmers and ensure that consumers have access to these nutrition rich foods. Deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of food production, Stephanie Elder-Alexander, who represented the ministry at the session, said climate change has become the overriding environmental issue of our time.


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