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#466669 - 06/15/13 12:37 PM Today's Belize News: June 15, 2013
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Silly for Sliders
We all have things that we look forward to throughout the year. Maybe it’s a holiday or celebrating your birthday that you eagerly anticipate each year, or maybe it’s a favorite season or event? Some could say they live for the opening season of baseball while others can’t wait for mangos to ripen on the tree. Whatever the occasion may be, you find yourself counting the days, hours and minutes until the long awaited day has arrived. Gushing with embarrassing enthusiasm you find yourself acting like a kid on Christmas morning or the birthday girl who finally got her pony, your zeal and excitement is off the charts. One such occasion that has me salivating in anticipation each year is the opening of lobster season on June 15th. Of course this means bring on the grilled lobster, the stewed and stirred and baked and broiled lobster…all a delicious treat, but you can have them…because I will be waiting on the doorstep at Casa Picasso on the evening of June 15th waiting for LOBSTER SLIDERS!

Prom 2013 – SPHS Graduates get Glam!
Thursday June 13th was a highly anticipated night, as San Pedro High School (SPHS) graduates had the opportunity to dress up for that most glamorous of occasions: Prom Night! As always, a crowd awaited the arrival of the couples, dressed to impress, as they walked the red/purple carpet heading to their party station at El Divino at Banana Beach Resort. Below is a gallery of some of the evening’s looks.

Matachica launches San Pedro Day Camp
Just in time for the summer holidays, Matachica Resort and Spa is pleased to announce the launch of San Pedro Day Camp. After identifying a need for summer activities for Belizean children, Nicholas Lighter, son of Daniel Lighter, owner of both properties, established a brand new summer program, San Pedro Day Camp. Nicholas and four of his Montreal-based classmates have banded together to fundraise and organize San Pedro Day Camp, a nonprofit summer camp that will offer fun outdoor activities to local children to enjoy the summer months with friends. The camp will offer daily activities such as swimming, soccer, football, volleyball, dodge ball, beach games, treasure hunts, snorkeling, board games, and arts & crafts. Based at Isla Bonita Elementary School, San Pedro Day Camp will host 50 children each week throughout July. As a result of their fundraising efforts in Canada, Nicholas and his team are able to cover all expenses for the program, including free camp T-shirts, daily snacks, games, sports equipment and arts & crafts supplies. Each child will be able to enjoy the fun of summer camp without any costs to their families.

An overview of the national PSE results
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports officially released the Primary School Examination (PSE) results late on Friday June 7th, and one student from Ambergris Caye is amongst the highest in the country. 13 year-old Jennessa Sierra of San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRC) came in second in the entire country from amongst 7,359 students who sat the exams. She tied with two other students from the Cayo District. According to Miriam Pott Codd, the Education Officer for Belize Rural South, of the 197 registered students, 192 sat the exam on two separate dates earlier this year. Sierra did not only capture the highest in both her school and on the island, but tied with Nelson Esteban and Vicente Hulse of Saint Andrews Anglican School in the Cayo District for second place countrywide. She obtained a total of 386 points of a possible 400 points. A few minutes after receiving the good news at her home, an overjoyed Sierra spoke to The San Pedro Sun. “It feels great and I am amazed. I knew that if I put my all I would do good. I didn’t expect to do so well!” she said. “I want to thank my parents, teachers, friends and everyone who helped me.” Sierra added, “This means a lot to me and I don’t have words to describe how I feel.” She plans to attend San Pedro High School (SPHS).

Ambergris Today

Belize in Cover of National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine June/July Issue
National Geographic’s Traveler Magazine June/July issue features Belize’s Turtle Inn on its cover. The magazine features the World’s Best Eco-lodges where it highlights 25 spots to sleep in the wild. Here is what National Georgrphic wrote about Belize’s Turtle Inn:

A Night In Dubai Themed Prom for San Pedro High
San Pedro High School Prom Night has become a spectator’s sport on Ambergris Caye as hundreds flocked to the street outside of Banana Beach Resort, prom venue, to marvel at the beautiful dresses and suits worn by the senior class of 2013. This year’s prom theme was “A Night in Dubai” and was held at El Divino Restaurant on Thursday, June 13, 2013.

Misc Belizean Sources

“Biggest Ever” Lobster Fest Kicks Off in Belize
This year’s series of Lobster Fests celebrated along Belize’s Caribbean coast and cayes is set to become the biggest yet, with three main festivals taking up most of the month of, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s food and beverage manager. “The Lobster Fests have always been something people all over Belize look forward to, and as more and more travellers discovered Belize, the seasonal parties began growing from small local celebrations to major events.” Ms Fleming Bradley explained, “And this year, judging from the number of enquiries we’ve had, we’ll be seeing the fests biggest yet,” she added. Originally held in fishing villages to celebrate the opening of lobster season in June, the lobster fests would welcome in the first catches of the season and the long awaited return of income for many of the villages’ inhabitants. Musical groups would arrive and along with conspicuous consumption of seafood and drinks there would be dances and beachside barbeques.

Caribbean fisheries experts attend 9th CRFM Scientific Meeting
National and regional fish experts from across the Caribbean are meeting in St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week for the 9th Annual Scientific Meeting, organised and sponsored by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). The group—which is meeting in Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines this week, until Friday, June 14—is currently engaged in working group meetings to conduct scientific data analyses for providing advice to the region’s fishery managers, to review fisheries management progress and ongoing challenges, and to identify priorities for advancing statistical and other scientific approaches required to support new and emerging management needs of major fisheries within the CRFM membership and the Wider Caribbean. During this 9th Annual Scientific Meeting, national fisheries reports from CRFM member states—which provide details on production data and the fishing fleet—are also being presented.

Catwalk in the Jungle Models
The Catwalk in the Jungle Fashion Show is tonight at the Cayo Welcome Center. It starts at 7:00pm. Emmanuel Mangar will be performing during the event. A portion of the proceeds from the event will got to a feeding program to support families with children who are unable to provide nutritious meals for the kids.

Commemorating our Fishermen – 18th Annual Lobster Festival!
Caye Caulker’s biggest annual event, Lobster Fest is just one week away! We are anticipating another exciting weekend celebration commencing with the Miss Lobster Fest Pageant Friday evening at 7pm and ending with the beach party on Sunday, June 30. As the official lobster season opens today, June 15, fishermen will set their lobster traps and get ready to reel in the bountiful catch and so we mustn’t forget why we celebrate: “to commemorate all the fishermen who have made Caye Caulker what it is today.” Caye Caulker began as a fishing village, with lobster as its main catch. Today fishermen observe conservation policies which regulate their catch. The length of the lobster’s tail must weigh over four ounces or the cape length/carapace must exceed three inches. The lobster season ends in mid-February, 2014. As we kick off the new lobster season during next week’s Lobster Fest, we can expect an array of lobster dishes, fourteen food booths, a live band, local DJs and eight other booths including The Fisheries Department, Wildlife Conservation, and the Belize Shark Project. Contests including the “biggest-lobster” contest and perhaps another “greasy pole climb” contest will also highlight the weekend. This highly sought out annual event is a celebration for the entire family –the young and the young at heart and we encourage those who miss the island to visit next week, or to simply visit our Facebook page for a mini play-by-play of Lobster Fest 2013. Let the celebration begin!

Channel 7

Belizean Student Dies In Taiwan Cycle Accident
Tonight a family in the Cayo district is making preparations to bring their loved one home – after Clarencio Coc died in Taiwan where the 26 year old was on an academic scholarship. According to reports posted by Belizean students in Taiwan on Facebook, last night in Pingtung, Taiwan, Coc was on the back of a motor scooter driven by a Guatemalan student, Mervin Hernandez when it was hit by an out of control car. Hernandez was reportedly crushed under the car while Coc flew into a ditch. It was in a heavy rain, so he was reportedly carried downstream – and rescuers took some time to find his body. But by the time they did, he had already drowned. The accident is reported to have happened near the entrance to their school, the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology.

Convicted Quadruple Murderers Denied By Appeals Court
You probably remember convicted quadruple murderers Leslie Pipersburg and Patrick Robateau. In March 2004, they were convicted of killing security guards Kevin Alvarez and Fidel Mai and civilians David Flores and Cherry Tucker after a robbery of Bowen and Bowen in July of 2002. They appealed that conviction at the Privy Council, and in February of 2008, the court quashed it and set aside their death sentences. They were granted a retrial, which took place in April of 2011, where they were convicted a second time, and sentenced to life in prison. Well, they weren’t satisfied with that, so they filed an appeal which was heard today at the Court of Appeal. Attorney Simeon Sampson presented the court with one main ground on behalf of his client Patrick Robateau. After the session 7News discussed it with him outside of court, and here’s how he explained it: Simeon Sampson - Attorney for Patrick Robateau "Robateau was intercepted in Mexico, apparently in flight and he was taken by the Mexican authorities to our Belize Embassy in Mexico City where he was met by Mr. Figueroa, our Ambassador at the time, and the case for the prosecution - not the trial - was that when the Ambassador was apparently investigating this matter, it was back and forth with the Belize authorities and so forth.

Belizean Detained In Cuba With Chinese Passports
Tonight, a Belizean man is detained by authorities in Cuba after he tried to get into that country while carrying two Chinese Passports. 7news has learned that he is 28 year old Carlos Murga who was intercepted flying into the Jose Marti Airport in Havana Cuba over last weekend. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belize has confirmed through a spokesperson that the Belize Embassy in Cuba is aware of his detention and is assisting him as they would any Belizean detained by a foreign authority. Now, a case like this points immediately to the possibility of human smuggling and visa fraud – and in previous cases Cuba has been known as a gateway for this type of illicit activity. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse confirmed today that his ministry is aware of the case and is quote, “gathering information so that it can get a clear picture of what has taken place.”

Hon. Briceno Defends Fortis
Former PUP Leader John Briceno is making news tonight after a thousand word letter he wrote to a US Newspaper was used as an advertisement by Fortis in New York Newspapers. You’ll recall that Fortis used to own BEL and still owns BECOL. Well, now Fortis is trying to purchase an electric company in the Central Hudson Valley in New York State and must appear before the New York Public Service Commission to prove their worthiness. Opponents of the FORTIS in the US have enlisted the support of conservationists in Belize – and Fortis, it seems has enlisted Briceno. His letter is in response to a newspaper commentary published in the US by Robert Kennedy, Jr. in which he said that Fortis has a deceitful past and pointed to its track record in Belize when the Chalillo Dam was built in 2003 – when Briceno was Minister of Natural resources.

An Educational Legend Retires
Today was the last day of the 2012-2013 high school year at Wesley College in Belize City, and it was also the last day for Brenda Armstrong as the school’s principal. She’s a career educator had an institution-defining tenure of 24 years as the school’s leader, but she’s decided that it is time for her to retire from the teaching profession. But after so many years, one just doesn’t end a profession without a major disruption in routine and lifestyle. So 7News caught up with her today where she discussed the decision. She also told us about the hundreds of Belizeans she’s influenced, and how her final class gave her a grand send-off yesterday: Brenda Armstrong - Outgoing Principal, Wesley College "That going away session was really a heart-warming experience, 24 years as a school leader is not a short time and it doesn't hit you until you actually are in the position of having somebody read a citation for you, or write a poem for you, sing a song and all of that was done by my students and they really made me feel very appreciated. In fact it was called Appreciation Day and it made me realize that I have touched the lives of a lot of people.

FFB Needs Half Mil
Tomorrow will make exactly 2 weeks since Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Barrow held the Inspiration Telethon to raise half a million dollars for the Inspiration Center. And now the Football Federation of Belize is hoping the public is still inspired to give them – half a million for their historic run to the Gold Cup. They’re asking each Belizean to donate at least 1 dollar to fund the National Team’s first appearance in the Cup, which will be played next month in the US. They’ve organized their own Telethon, which happens tomorrow, and this evening, 7News spoke to a representative of the FFB, who explained how it will work: Marlon Kuylen - Executive Member, FFB "Well we're hoping that the Belizean citizens continue to display the patriotism that they have or they did when we were playing in Costa Rica. We can only do as good as our funds allow us to. Right now that the team is in full camp which means 4-5 days they'll be at the federation, it's costing us around $13,000 a week. We have to train in the Mountain Pine Ridge because of the altitude in Salt Lake City where we will play Costa Rica so the players need to do that kind of training to get used to it. Then again there's the diet, a special diet that they have to abide by and if we don't get the funding, something will have to suffer."

Marin On Mute But Popular At The Polls
Health Minister Pablo Marin is probably the only politician in recent memory who’s made news by not saying anything. Marin appeared front and center at a press conference two weeks ago to discuss the 13 babies that died in the pediatric intensive care unit. But he was the only one at the head table who didn’t say anything. Now, to put it kindly, he is not a man known for his oratorical skills – and it was a heated event, so we could kind of understand his role there as a mute placeholder. But others have taken exception to it – and now are taking further exception because at his press conference this week – the PM basically said, it’s ok if the Honourable Marin keeps quiet, because he wins elections. Here’s what the PM said, and what the Leader of the Opposition had to say in response:.. Reporter "This is your Minister of Health and he does not say a word - I don't know if he was not allowed to speak or he chose not to speak." Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "You know I was at that press conference and I'm doing a press conference and there's three Ministers, four Ministers here - it's good to welcome Santi back after his accident - and they don't speak.

UDP Claiming Village Victories, PUP Playing The Romantic
And while Fonseca took issue with Barrow’s explanation about Marin’s popular successes as a fair trade for his press conference quietude – the background issue is that success at the village council polls. We are loathe to get into village council politics, because the slates do not run under PUP or UDP colours and to know who’s running for which party, you’d really have to know the village personalities. But it’s made it to the news tonight because– and with just a week left to go, the UDP is boasting that it has made impressive gains in the number of village councils it controls. Those gains have been largely in the Belize District Stann Creek districts while the PUP has made gains in the Toledo District. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister boasted that the UDP has increased its hold on village seats by 10% since the last round of council elections in 2010 which would mean that in 2013, Francis Fonseca’s PUP is faring off worse than John Briceno’s did in 2010. Here are the comments of both political leaders:… Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "This Sunday is the last Sunday in the 2013th Village Council election. Every single Sunday the UDP has been recording massive victories, we're now at a point where we're at 67.7% of the seats we have won. In 2010 we won 54."

Seeking Community Healing
For as many problems as there are on the southside of Belize City – there are thinkers with solutions – some say a curfew will help, others say poverty alleviation, some say more community policing. But having an opinion is easy, it’s doing the work that’s the tough part. And that’s why Perry Sticks Smith stands out; he’s planning his second day of healing for this weekend at the Albert Hoy Field on Raccoon street. What’s a day of healing? Well it started early this year in the George Street community after the Dean Street Massacre. Sticks plugged into that effort and used it as a model which he’s now taking to the Queen Square and Mesopotamia Divisions. He explained:…. Perry Smith, AKA Sticks - Care-taker, Dubu Field "All those days of healing started from Dean street from the tragic quadruple murder that took place. That community saw that they needed to rebuild their morale, build back up their spirit and show that they aren't like what everybody thinks they are. I was out there and I saw that it is beautiful that it sparked form a tragedy but it was something beautiful that needs to be taken not only on Dean Street because other communities are suffering just like how Dean St. is suffering. In the Lake Constituency, right at St. Martin's we had the second day of healing in April and during that day of healing - Ptita came to me and told me he is with me and wanted to work and that he had a community that we needed to 'buss' next, and that was Dubu Field."

The Garifuna Collective Taking Up Andy’s Torch
The Garifuna Collective is going on a major, 25 stop North American tour with Canadian Folk Singer Denny Michel. The collective has collaborated with Michel on a few songs – and this video shows them rehearsing for the tour this week in San Pedro. But the tour won’t just be collaboration, the Collective has its first album named Ayo – a word that means goodbye, a nod to the band leader they used to tour with, Andy Palacio. Now, the collective is forging out on its own with this new album – which will be released in July when they are on tour. And while that album – produced by Ivan Duran – should be well received, Michel’s album with the collective has already been nominated for a Juno award – which is the like the Canadian Grammy’s.

Concert for The Youths
Tomorrow, the Institute of Creative Arts is organizing a concert for the youths as part of the schedule for this year’s Festival of the Arts. It is part of ICA’s effort to use the arts as an avenue of outreach to Belizean youths and they’ve put together a line-up of big name Belizean artists. The Creative Arts Development Officer explained more about the show: Joseph 'Stamp' Romero - Creative Arts Development Officer ICA "As we move to finish the Fesitval of Arts calendar we have a huge concert planned for the youths, it's one of those concerts where we allow the arist to give back to their community. A lot of our recent artists are just proud to be a part of this event, this is another event where they can say they are a part of something huge, something that helps develop the young people artistically. So people can come out and see Nello Player, Jackie Castillo, Jenko, Ernestine Carballo, Denise Castillo, Belize Generation Dance Company, TR Shine just to name a few so we have a really great line up of artist who just basically said yes to the idea to doing a concert just for the young people." Daniel Ortiz "Ok so tell us what exactly are you guys hoping to accomplish?" Joseph 'Stamp' Romero "Well we have one featured act, Marlen Vancin, from E.P York he's one of the young artist that I've seen that shows a great deal of promise and so tomorrow she's featured with these bigger acts.

Tony Wright Wants Kids To Feel Fathers Day
Sunday is father’s day and Promoter and Musician Tony Wright is organizing his fifth annual Father’s Day Song Competition and Concert. But this year, there’s a change. He recruited the involvement of the Ministry of Education and gotten high schoolers to participate. The rule is they have to write inspiring songs about fathers – which they’ll perform with a band. Wright explained:.. Tony Wright - Promoter, Father's Day Concert "First it started with mothers and we didn't have any problem with that but we definitely thought that Dad needed some love also. We have a lot of dads out there that put out their all for their children and so it's all about Dad and we wanted them to write lyrical content concerning Dads. We didn't want anything with 'deadbeat dad' we wanted something with upliftment with Dad. They will have a variety of music, some will sing reggae, some will sing rap and some will do punta so it's a variety of different music." ‘ The concert will be on Saturday night at 7:30 at the Bliss Center. The first place winner will win a thousand dollars – plus get a thousand dollar scholarship.

RDX in BZE
They are one of the hottest dancehall groups in the Caribbean with hit songs like Jump and Kotch – and tonight RDX is in town to perform at a weekend concert. The group who has been touring in Europe this year landed in the jewel this afternoon and one of their first stops was here at 7news. Renigade - RDX "First and foremost I'd like to just say that it's a pleasure being here, it's coming to you all shortly. I want to big up all the Belizeans here at home and abroad and RDX is here. It's a good feeling. This place hot though and they said it will be hotter tomorrow night." Monica Bodden "You guys just touched down?" Delomar - RDX "Yes we just touched down and as Renegade just said it's a wonderful vibe. The second time around and that time we were like in the country area and now we're in town. We're ready to mash up the town."

Channel 5

Is G.O.B.’s $30 Million tax assessment of BISL lawful?
The government took control of the Belize International Services Limited (B.I.S.L.) and nationalized the International Business Companies Registry (I.B.C.R.) and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) on Tuesday, [...]

Teachers’ Union meets to respond to Education Minister’s verbal assault
The international business community is not the only sector that is taking a hit from G.O.B. The Belize National Teachers Union (B.N.T.U.) is considering its next move after Minister of [...]

OCEANA says G.O.B. refuses to accept ruling of court
The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities it’s in its own battle with OCEANA Belize. On Thursday, the ministry sent out a release responding to a recent [...]

But how does G.O.B. continue to defy court orders?
The ministry has also proceeded to issue maps indicating areas currently being held by various companies, including Princess Petroleum and Providence Belize Energy, for oil exploration.  The Petroleum and Geology [...]

Belizean student killed in accident in Taiwan
A Belizean studying in Taiwan has passed away. Clarencio Coc has been studying Plant Health at the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology in southern Taiwan since 2010. According [...]

How do P.S.E. students fare in Social Studies and Science
By now you are aware that the seven thousand five hundred and thirty-three students that took the Primary School Examination did not perform well in English and Math. The Ministry [...]

Coalition says teachers won’t get raise on G.O.B.’s schedule
The potential of a commercial oil find by Maranco Energy Belize Limited in northwestern Orange Walk was used by Prime Minister Barrow much like a dangling carrot back in April, [...]

But Maranco’s Production Sharing Agreement is favorable to G.O.B.
The report was generated using cost data from BNE’s Spanish Lookout oil field, the existing terms of Maranco’s production sharing agreement, as well as corporate tax.  The Production Sharing Agreement, [...]

Senior citizen busted by his wife for marrying another woman
Crime in Belize is typically categorized by murder, assault, carnal knowledge, robbery and burglary… So it is rare when a case falls out of those categories. But a senior citizen [...]

Murder suspect on the run with his son
An all points bulletin, issued for the apprehension of Sergio Moran, whom it is strongly believed brutally killed his wife on Wednesday in Caye Caulker, remains in effect tonight.  Moran [...]

Duo loses appeal and remains convicted of robbery/murder
Twice convicted multiple murderers Patrick Robateau and Leslie Pipersburgh were in the Court of Appeal, just one of the their many stops during a legal process which has gone from [...]

1 year anniversary of Jasmine Lowe’s murder
When thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe disappeared in June, 2012, the nation joined her parents in fear, and Cayo residents combed the land for clues. The murdered teen’s death changed [...]

They robbed him, but court gave him bail
Two Belize City men were today charged for a robbery of an Orange Walk businessman in the court of Magistrate Adolph Lucas. The duo, twenty-eight year old Jaime Villanueva and [...]

Entire Maskall family hauled to court for marijuana charges
Also in court, four persons including two females, one a minor and the mother of a one month old newborn were in court today facing charges for drug trafficking. Earlier [...]

Tests show Cross Country cyclists rode drug free
Immediately following the 2013 annual cross country cycling classic held in late March, several cyclists were selected to take a mandatory anti-doping test of which Channel Five was one of [...]

Mayor dragged one more time to court to decided old city debt
The headlines and the country’s immediate future are both mired in court battles. The former managers of the registries and OCEANA Belize are not the only people taking on G.O.B. [...]

Taiwan gives scholarships to Belizean students
Earlier this year, in January, the Taiwanese Embassy held a scholarship briefing with students, teachers and principals from various educational institutions across the country.  It was to provide information on [...]

Artist’s works are Contagious
Contagious…it is a new exhibit that is launching tonight at the Image Factory. Although presumed to be the works of several artists, it is in fact the artwork of nineteen [...]

Jeanelle Mencias writes September Celebrations Theme
The September celebrations are months away but the National Celebrations Commission held its 2013 competition for the theme. And earlier this week, the commission announced that this year’s theme is: [...]

LOVE FM

Driver's License Fee Increases
If you drive a motor vehicle and you have to renew your driver’s license then you will have to pay an additional 20 dollars hereafter, no matter where you live. Today Belize City Mayor told Love News that it was a decision that came from the Ministries of Transport and Local Governmen...

Organizer of Gay Pageant Says Event Is Private
Yesterday the Association of Evangelical Churches and Evangelical Missions from Orange Walk sent out a press release stating their opposition against a gay pageant that was planned to be held on June 29th. In the release the association claims the event violates the principles and moral val...

Belize Prepares For A Special Father's Day Event
Father’s day will be internationally observed this weekend and in Belize there is preparation for a special event geared toward that special person and that is a song competition. The competition is being hosted by the Association for Belizean Artist First, which is an organization th...

Concerned Residents In Dangriga Discuss National Gender Policy
The Revised National Gender Policy has been in the forefront of controversy lately. As a result we have been reporting on various discussions led by different groups and organizations who oppose to some of its content, the latest being that of the Association of Churches and Evangelical Lea...

Scholarship Recipient Dies In Taiwan
A Belizean student has been confirmed dead following a traffic accident in Taiwan which occurred around 9:45 on Friday night in Taiwan which is sometime after 8:00 o’clock local time. He has been identified as twenty six year old Clarencio Coc of San Antonio Village in the Cayo Distri...

Possession of Sea Cucumber Deemed Illegal Shortly
The Belize Fisheries Department sent out a press release this morning informing all fishermen and the general public that in accordance with the law, no persons shall take, buy, sell or have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th of this year. The Ministry of ...

Family of Eight Loses Home In Fire
A family of eight has been left homeless after a fire completely destroyed their houses in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “On Thursday, June 7 sometime around 6:15 Belmopan Police responded to information received that a house in the Salvapan Area in Panama...

Another Dismissal By The Belize Court of Appeals
An appeal by 27 year old Leroy Gomez, who was convicted of rape and robbery and was sentenced to 15 years for each offence, was dismissed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Gomez’ conviction and sentence were affirmed. Gomez’ attorney, Hubert Elrington, had appealed on five g...

Guilty Verdict Upheld For Convicted Murderers
Appeals by Leslie Pipersburgh and Patrick Robateau, who were convicted of two counts of murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment, were dismissed today by Belize court of Appeal. Their convictions and sentences were affirmed. The main ground of appeal for Pipersburgh was that there was no ev...

Sugar Factory Workers Receive Dividends Earlier Than Expected
LOVE NEWS understands that some 400 hourly paid BSI workers today received 30% of dividends owed to them by the sugar processing company before ASR acquired majority shares in October 2012. This represents approximately 1.5 million dollars. The workers received 50% upon the signing of ...

Weekend Graduation For University of Belize
Over four hundred students are expected to graduate from the University of Belize this weekend. Students who have successfully completed their course of studies will receive diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor and Certificate levels tomorrow at the Seventeenth Commencement Exercise at the U...

Elderly Citizen Sodomized In His Village
Unconfirmed information to Love News is that an elderly man of Armenia village was raped by two young men from the village. Our sources tell us the incident happened on Tuesday night as the elderly man was on his way home. We understand that in the process the...

CTV3

Leader Of The Opposition Says There Was No Secret Agreement
In a lengthy press conference held in the old capital yesterday, the Prime Minister of Belize revealed the details of what he called a secret agreement made between Belize International Services Limited, (B.I.S.L.) and the Musa Administration. The agreement, which gave BISL and extension to operate for 10 years, was signed back in 2005 by then Prime Minister Said Musa and then Attorney-General Francis Fonseca. But according to the now Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca, the Prime Minister is just finding an excuse to divert from the real issues affecting the country. Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition To the substantive issue of disagreement, it was a letter of agreement…this was an old agreement that dates back to 1993—some ten years before I became a member of parliament. But when this matter came up—and this is a matter that was discussed in cabinet and I recall that discussion quite clearly—it was a discussion about the performance of the company, how it had been doing and generally the discussion that was generated demonstrated that the company was doing well; it had served Belize well.

Who's To Blame For Bad Performance In PSE Results
This year, a total of seven thousand five hundred and thirty students sat the Primary School Examination which indicated a 5% increase over last year. This year’s results, which were released last week Friday, show that despite having top scorers in every district, there is nothing to applaud for when it comes to overall performance. While subjects such as Science and Social Studies have steadily improved to satisfactory performance, Math and English continue to be the centre focus for most of the stakeholders in the education system. That was revealed today during a press conference held by the Ministry of Education in Belize City. Christopher Aird, Chief Education Officer explained that English is one of the areas that needs urgent attention since half of the student body that sits the PSE, is scoring below performance.

Miscalculation Leads To Inconsistency In PSE Grades
Yesterday CTV3 News received several calls from irate parents stating that the Ministry of Education was retracting their child’s PSE scores because an error was committed with the calculation. Most of the calls were made by parents of students enrolled at Trail Farm Government School. Every year the Ministry of Education releases two PSE reports. One is provided to the principal of each school and the second, an individual report, is made available to each student that sat the exam. While both reports should enclose the same grades some schools have discovered that the grade of the student is either higher or lower showing a discrepancy on behalf of the Ministry of Education. This, we are made to understand, is taking place country wide and today when we questioned Minister of Education Patrick Faber about the situation, during a press conference held in Belize City, he was vague in his response.

No Need For Pablo To Apologize For Death Of 13 Infants
During yesterdays press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow fielded a number of questions from the media as he touched basis on a number of national issues including the KHMH scandal. The P.M mentioned that as it pertains to the death of 13 infants at the nation’s referral hospital back in March, the draft final report prepared by the Pan American Health Organization is looking to give a black eye to the KHMH. All indications are that as a result of the report, two persons are about to resign from their position at the hospital. Now, all of that sounds good. But what shocked the nation yesterday was the response provided by the P.M when asked why the Minister of Health Pablo Marin did not address the nation on the issue during a press conference held at the KHMH back in May. In his response the Prime Minister beat his chest keeping to his motto that a party is all about winning elections. So, if the parents of the dead infants expect an apology from the Minister of Health, well, it’s best they wait sitting down.

Minister Of Education Lashes Out At BNTU
The main topic of discussion for today’s press conference held by the Ministry of Education was to discuss the 2013 PSE results. We’ll get to that in a few, but for now we’ll tell you that the overall results are not good. But who’s to blame? Apparently it is the teachers because today Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, lashed out at the Belize Teachers Union. The minister says that one of the reasons the results have not been able to improve is because the union has not given the Ministry its full support. The Belize National Teacher’s Union is the largest union in the country of Belize which provides a number of services for teachers and those in the education system. But according to the Minister, the union has been failing miserably which has taken its toll especially in the results of not only the PSE, but all other examinations that are conducted throughout the year. The lack of professionalism and proper ethics in the classroom spells failure, according to Faber. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education “It is absolutely amazing and I’ll go on a limb that teachers are saying that we want a salary adjustment of 30% when the government is saying we can’t afford it but then we have the same old results and there is no denying that teachers have a tremendous effect on what these results are and correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t hear the Union talking about how we can improve professionalization in the teaching service at all and I challenge them it is not a quarrel but a challenge I said before and I will do it again we want you to insist that teachers get more professional training.

Controversial Revised Gender Policy Is Here To Stay
The revised Gender Policy 2013 continues to gain major opposition from the religious sector. On June 7th Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with church leaders from Belmopan to discuss the contents and the language used in the policy, which according to church leaders, promotes homosexuality. But even after the meeting, the Prime Minister has categorically stated that the policy is here to stay. And he made that clear yesterday during his lengthy press conference in Belize City. Dean Barrow Prime Minister of Belize “To the extent that there is that paragraph that calls for diversity that is a matter of principle for the Government of Belize and cannot be reviled for, however as you know I have met with a number of church leaders last such meeting being on Friday I was accompanied in that meeting by ministers Godwin Hulse, John Saldivar and Lizell Alamilla and I reiterated my position I will not withdraw the gender policy but I have said repeatedly to the extent that there is terminology used to the extent that are wordings there are language formulations that are being misunderstood that are subject to misinterpretation the government is perfectly willing to sit with the churches and rework the language in order to put matter beyond any doubt, already there were three such formulation that were agreed that could be reworked that group was the representatives of the Belmopan pastors there is clearly a far larger body that they tell me will sent formal submission to government by way of brief being prepared by lawyers, we will look at that I thought we could work things out without the presence of the lawyers, you know when lawyers get into any equation that trouble and if they call for their lawyer I would have to call for my lawyers and I don’t think that is necessarily helpful but in any event suffice it to say that we made some progress on Friday against the backdrop of my insistence and I believe the acceptance on the part of churches that there would be no withdrawal of the policy.”

Education Is Everyone's Business
At the Ministry’s press conference today, the Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, highlighted a number of issues of utmost importance to the education system particularly the role every stakeholder plays. While the Minister stated that his Ministry has been carrying out its responsibilities with utmost attention and dedication, there is room for improvement. Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education “I want to begin with the role of the school in terms of what can be done about these results and of course we implore schools to take ownership for their performance and for the quality of education that they deliver, that is a must. Self-evaluation and development of school improvement plans are key so I want to challenge all principals, you heard Mr Lopez say we are going to get deeply into the analysis of these results but we want you to study the trend after it is presented to you. The ministry has said to our schools, we want you to take ownership, we want you to be able to self-reflect and come up with your own solutions and not wait on the ministry to put in place a one size fits all approach you to help you fix the problem that exist in your school, so we want the school to do it part. Does the ministry have a role in dealing with these grades that we aren’t happy with? Yes we do. We examined this performance nationally and we used it as a basis for further informing of our policy decisions. We also wish to provide pressure and support for school to improve. The ministry is not to be in the classroom everyday monitoring teachers, and that is to say we are depending in our management and our principals to be doing that role but I will be getting into that role of what we expect of them in just a minute but it is to tell as well that the ministry sees as one of our responsibilities to be pressuring those and supporting those more importantly. It is not a fight we want to be supporting you to make sure that you are doing what you should be doing as to improve on the quality of education.”

LOVE TV

High School Students Perform For Their Fathers
Father’s day will be internationally observed this weekend and in Belize there is preparation for a special event geared toward that special person and that is a song competition. The competition is being hosted by the Association for Belizean Artist First, which is an organization that aims at highlighting Belizean artists and music, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports and will feature songs in different genres done by students. Vice President of the Association is Jorge Ernesto Babb. JORGE ERNESTO BABB “In this competition we selected 10 finalists from 6 different high schools in Belize City because this competition is dealing directly with the students at the high schools because it is in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.” NATALIE NOVELO “So what is your primary objective of having a father’s day song out there?” BABB “Well we have found out that in the past, most Belizeans only want to celebrate Mothers’ Day and have big ceremony for Mothers’ Day; so, five years ago we said better we attack the father’s day thing and just concentrate on this and put the dedication that the children today big up their fathers; because the fact is that many children say their fathers left them and went about their business; but that’s the reality of their character; I would say that is not our business but we want to unite them and have children sing for them because the reality is that if it wasn’t for our fathers we wouldn’t have been here and if it wasn’t for your mother you wouldn’t have been here and so it is both of them to unite as one and you need to big up two of them, no one is better than the other; 2 of them come as 1 because as the bible says leave your mother and father unite as 1.

National Gender Policy Still A Pressing Issue
The Revised National Gender Policy has been in the forefront of controversy lately. As a result we have been reporting on various discussions led by different groups and organizations who oppose to some of its content, the latest being that of the Association of Churches and Evangelical Leaders. A group in Dangriga is stating their dissatisfaction with the policy and will hold consultations on the matter. Here is Correspondent Harry Arzu with the details. HARRY ARZU “A number of concerned citizens from Dangriga have organized a series of consultations for the residents of this municipality to discuss National Gender Policy. A community activist and one of the organizers of the events told Love News that influential organizations from this municipality were not consulted or involved in the drafting of the policy.” ACTIVIST “The objective of this community forum is to inform members of this community of the content of the revised National Gender Policy 2013 about things in this policy that could impact the lives of our children, morality and family life. The fact that all stakeholders were not consulted in the drafting of this policy speaks of the total disrespect for the views and opinion of all stakeholders.” HARRY ARZU “Despite the fact that the Prime Minister said that he will not withdraw the policy, what is it that you intend to accomplish form the consultation? ACTIVIST “For the members of this community to decide where we desire to be taken; what we intend to achieve is to register the concerns of the attendees with intention to protest against this policy. I am inviting all parents, parents to be, guardians, teachers, youth and all others in between to join in the struggle for our children’s future.” HARRY ARZU The first consultation to discuss the revised National Gender Policy takes place on Saturday, June 15 starting at 6pm at the Benguche Community Centre.”

Belizean Dies In Road Accident In Taiwan
A Belizean student has been confirmed dead following a traffic accident in Taiwan which occurred around 9:45 on Friday night in Taiwan which is sometime after 8:00 o’clock local time. He has been identified as twenty six year old Clarencio Coc of San Antonio Village in the Cayo District who was attending the National Pingtung University of Science and Technology and resided in Pingtung. Love News understands that Coc was travelling on a motor bike along with a Guatemalan student when they collided into a car. The Guatemalan, Melvin Hernandez died on the spot while Coc died while undergoing treatment at the hospital. Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Wu says there is still much more information to gather from the accident but he shared with us the information that the embassy has so far. DAVID WU “About 11 o’clock this morning, we received a phone call from Taiwan telling us that there were two students, both of them were scholarship recipients, they were starting in Pingtung Technology University. At the time, we only knew that they were in a very serious car accident; their nationalities are Guatemalan and Belizean, the Belizean is Clarencio Coc. My embassy with Belize’s Foreign Ministry and also our Foreign Ministry and Belize’s embassy in Taipei, we are working very hard to get more details and get contact with the family. Now, we have the primary report from the University where Mr. Coc was starting. One of the lecturers told us unofficially that both students went to a party on Friday evening and on the way back to the university, they had a collision and the driver was the Guatemalan and he passed away; the Belizean student was seriously injured and rushed to the ICU but he passed away later. We have been trying to get in contact with Coc’s family; the information in his file at our embassy, it states that he was a scholarship recipient in 2010 and he only had one year left to become a graduate of the university. We really regret such tragic news and now, we are working with Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; his sister has already been notified and we are trying our best to see in what way we can help his family.” Clarencio Coc is a former Food Processing Technician at the Tumul K’in Center of Learning. Wu says that a number of Belizean students will shortly leave to pursue new scholarship opportunities in Taiwan this year and he provided the following advice for the safety of students to pursue this educational venture.

Sea Cucumber Season Closes Soon
The Belize Fisheries Department sent out a press release this morning informing all fishermen and the general public that in accordance with the law, no persons shall take, buy, sell or have in possession, export or attempt to export any sea cucumber after June 30th of this year. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development says that any person found in possession of sea cucumber after the 30th of June will be charged and prosecuted in a court of Law in accordance to the Fisheries Regulations.

Belmopan Fire Leaves Eight Homeless
A family of eight has been left homeless after a fire completely destroyed their houses in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “On Thursday, June 7 sometime around 6:15 Belmopan Police responded to information received that a house in the Salvapan Area in Panama Street Extension, Belmopan was engulfed in flames. Upon arrival at the scene, they observed two wooden houses adjacent to each other with zinc roofing, one measuring 20 by 15 feet and the other measuring 12 by 12 feet along with the contents were completely destroyed by fire. Love News spoke to one of the owners of the house, Mrs. Yolanda Saki, 45-year-old, Belizean vegetable vendor of Panama Street who said that sometime around 6pm on the same date, her daughter 24-year-old, Jennifer Saki went to buy at a nearby grocery shop leaving Yolanda’s five grandchildren with her at home. Saki said it was very hot inside the house so she decided to go outside along with her grandchildren to sit down on some bags of sand. About ten minutes of sitting outside, she heard a loud pop like the sound of a gun coming from inside the house. She immediately ran inside the house and noticed that her house was on fire. Saki, along with her neighbors tried to extinguish the fire but was unable to do so. The value of the houses and items are yet to be ascertained. The cause of the fire is still unknown. Police investigation continues. Love News understands that there was nothing the family could salvage from the fire and they were left empty handed. To help the family you can call 624-5684 or 666-6720.

Workers at Belize Sugar Industry Get Early Dividends
LOVE NEWS understands that some 400 hourly paid BSI workers today received 30% of dividends owed to them by the sugar processing company before ASR acquired majority shares in October 2012. This represents approximately 1.5 million dollars. The workers received 50% upon the signing of the subscription deal on October 2ndlast year. The agreement was that after the payment of 50% of money owed to them since 1998, nine months after BSI workers would receive 30% of the monies owed. That brings them to July 2, 2013; but it seems the money came before that date, which is not bad. The remaining 20% of that money is expected to be paid in April 2014; thus closing that chapter of dividends owed to the workers for almost 14 years. In March this year (2013) the company announced a three million dollar profit sharing among the entities that owned shares from BSI before majority shares were acquired by ASR. That amount was approximately 2.4 million dollars.

University of Belize Graduation Set For The Weekend
Over four hundred students are expected to graduate from the University of Belize this weekend. Students who have successfully completed their course of studies will receive diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor and Certificate levels tomorrow at the Seventeenth Commencement Exercise at the UB Central Campus in Belmopan. Of the four hundred and seventy one graduates, two hundred and ninety eight are females and one hundred and seventy three are males. The largest number of graduates totalling one hundred and fifty-three is from the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, followed by one hundred and thirty three from the Faculty of Education and Arts, one hundred and thirty two from the Faculty of Science and Technology and fifty three from the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health and Social Work. During the ceremony students will receive the official white, gold and purple honour chords recognizing those graduating with Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude and Summa Cum Laude respectively. There are forty three honour graduates. The President of UB, Dr. Cary Fraser, has extended congratulations to all graduates for their dedication, commitment and achievement saying quote “The University continues to play a significant role in nation building by educating and empowering future leaders to become decision makers who can create opportunities for Belizeans and chart the way for future generations.” End quote. The ceremony will kick off at 10:00 am and the feature address will be delivered by Guest speaker, Senator Godwin Hulse who is also the Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management.

Police Seeking Young Men Following Sodomy of An Elderly Man
Unconfirmed information to Love News is that an elderly man of Armenia village was raped by two young men from the village. Our sources tell us the incident happened on Tuesday night as the elderly man was on his way home. We understand that in the process the senior citizen received injuries and had to be taken to the hospital by a concerned villager. He is receiving treatment at the KHMH. In the meantime, residents of Armenia have expressed their concern over the incident as no one has been arrested. We understand the elderly man lives with is elderly wife. Police continue their investigation into this incident.

PlusTV

Patrick Faber says media gave wrong impression on PSE comments
Yesterday, after the Hon. Patrick Faber’s press conference, headlines for media outlets countrywide were less than flattering for the Minister in charge of education. And this morning, he called in on Rise and Shine to shed further light on some of the issues he addressed, issues he says were...

Belizean student in Taiwan involved in fatal traffic accident
A Belizean studying in Taiwan was involved in a fatal traffic accident. Clarencio Coc, originally from Cayo, was along with a Guatemalan student, going home from a party, when the motorcycle they were on crashed into another vehicle. The Guatemalan student, who was the driver of the cycle, was...

Francis Fonseca defends signing of the BISL agreement
Yesterday we gave you a rundown of the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca’s response to Prime Minister Dean Barrow calling him and former Prime Minister Said Musa out on Wednesday. The Prime Minister said in that Press conference that the two former Ministers signed a ‘secret’ agreement to...

Belize based company ordered to close
The National Post, which is a national Canadian based newspaper is reporting that Global Pharmacy Canada, which can be found online, is being ordered to close its Ontario Canada operations amid disclosure that it’s actually a Belize based company. According to the article, Global Pharmacy Canada advertise its “dedicated...


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Fire in Belmopan leaves family homeless
Two houses were burnt to the ground last night in Belmopan on Panama Street in the Salva Pan area. It happened shortly after 6 o’clock. Owner of one of the homes, Yolanda Saki, says that her daughter had recently gone to a nearby store and left her five grandchildren...

Elderly man on life support after he is brutally beaten and sodomized
Disturbing reports reaching plus news is that an elderly man was beaten on Monday night and sodomized. Plus news has confirmed that the incident took place on Monday night in the Village of Armenia where the individual was socializing at a local bar. The elderly person was under the...

Opposition Leader says good leadership is needed in schools
Francis Fonseca is a former Minister of Education and presided in the early years of the Primary School Examination. Eleven years later with little change in the mean scores, Fonseca says it’s time for a serious look at the education sector. Hon. Francis Fonseca – Leader Of The Opposition:...

Orange Walk Mayor will not support transvestite pageant
Last night, we told you about a pageant for transvestite males that has been stirring controversy in the north. Pastors and other concerned citizens in Orange Walk are contesting the Ms. Gay Goddess Pageant, which sees male contestants from across the country. The show was slated for June 29th,...

Man in Southern Belize may face bigamy charge
A man in southern Belize may be facing a bigamy charge. Yesterday, a 67 year old housewife of the Magoon Area, visited the Punta Gorda Police Station and reported that her husband, whom she has been married to since 1997, wed another woman in May of this year. The...

Meet the Author Program honors Lawrence G Vernon
The Meet the Author Program, initiated by the National Heritage Library of Belize, honors Belizeans who have contributed to the literary output of the nation, and the latest author to be recognized is Lawrence G. Vernon. He joins the likes of Felicia Hernandez, His Excellency the Governor General of...

Amandala

GLENFORD “BUCKET” BERMUDEZ, 42, WINS APPEAL AFTER 2 LAWYERS “FOUND NO LEGAL GROUNDS”
Appeal Court President Manuel Sosa said that “The jury was subjected to contradictory and confusing direction.” Glenford “Bucket” Bermudez, the ex- BDF soldier who was convicted of fatally shooting his wife, Racquel Requeña Bermudez, 41, had his appeal allowed when he appeared unrepresented before the judges of the Court of Appeal. It was alleged that on November 22, 2007, Bermudez ran his wife’s car off the Hattieville/Boom Road when she was heading to the Belize Central Prison. After the car ran into a ditch, Bermudez allegedly shot Requeña with a shotgun to her head, causing her death. Bermudez then unsuccessfully attempted to end his own life by tying a piece of wire around his neck and attempting to hang himself from a tree. Bermudez was convicted of the murder on April 27, 2011, and was sentenced to life in prison by Justice Herbert Lord.

KEON “GAMBIS” WILLIAMS, 35, ACQUITTED OF UNNATURAL CRIME AND AGGRAVATED ASSAULT CHARGES
The male victim, now 17, told the court that he lied to police in his statement. Keon “Gambis” Williams, 35, walked out of court a free man after Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr., instructed the jury to find him not guilty. This came about after the first witness, the now 17-year-old victim of the alleged unnatural crime and aggravated assault, took the stand and told the court that his mother made him give the report to police. He also told the court that he wants to drop the case and what he told the police in his statement was a lie. When asked by the Crown’s representative, Kaysha Grant, if he was threatened or promised anything to make such a statement to the court, the minor replied no. According to police, the child and his mother went to the police station and reported that sometime in November of 2009, the child, then 14, was at the BTL Park on Albert Street when he was approached by Gambis, whom he had known for three years. Gambis told him to take off his pants, after which Gambis turned him around and had anal sex with him.

GUAT DAD KILLS WIFE, FLEES WITH SON, 9
A 28-year-old mother, Julia Moran, of the Black Neighborhood of Caye Caulker, was viciously killed and mutilated in her home, and her husband, Sergio Moran, has since absconded, taking their 9-year-old son with him. The incident occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 12. Moran lived upstairs of a house that was one of four houses in the yard of a “Ms. Paula,” her landlady. Her neighbours told police that they heard “noise and ruction” at about 12:30 Wednesday morning when Moran’s husband, who is a chef at Roses Restaurant, came home. According to Moran’s neighbours, they heard her husband knock on the door, but there was no answer, and the door was not opened. The husband, they said, then kicked open the door and went in, and an altercation with his wife began. The neighbours said that after about 45 minutes, they heard him threaten his wife with violence, and they heard her say, “Don’t do it Sergio,” and then there was silence.

2 STABBED IN ORANGE WALK; 1 ASSAILANT REMANDED
Two men, who were stabbed in two separate incidents on Saturday, June 8, in Orange Walk, are now being treated for their injuries at the Orange Walk Hospital. The victims are Misael Valdez, 18, of Trial Farm, who is in a serious condition, and Irvin Cantun, 28, of San Jose Palmar, who is in a critical condition. Valdez suffered stab injuries to his chest and neck, while Cantun was stabbed in his neck, chest, and stomach. Alejandro Itzab, 40, a Belizean laborer of San Jose Palmar Village in Orange Walk, has been charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm in connection with the stabbing of Cantun. He was taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Tuesday, where he was remanded at the Belize Central Prison until August 8, when he is to be returned to court.

2 ACCUSED MURDERERS CAPTURED
The second of two vicious Cayo criminals who had terrorized the districts has been captured, and they are both locked away at the Belize Central Prison on charges of aggravated burglary, murder, armed robbery and other violent offences. They have been remanded to prison until August 8. Police said that the men, identified as Marvin “Bamboo” Neal, 25, of San Ignacio and Jerod “Steel Bab” Arthurs Lamb, 27, were the killers who went into the home of Steven Valencia in Santa Elena Town on Tuesday, January 29, and killed him in front of his two children, ages 4 and 7, and robbed him of $7, which was the only money found in Valencia’s house after they ransacked it. Valencia was shot once in the center of the upper back, in the right thigh and in the ankle. Police also contend that on Tuesday, April 16, the same two killers went into the home of a woman in Rumors Resort on the Benque Viejo Road, Cayo District, where they beat and choked her, tied her up and left her to die in her laundry room. They then went into her home, from which they stole various items, then got away.

265-GRAM WEED BUST ON SANTA CRUZ ROAD
The “weedist” walked into the hands of policemen on mobile patrol. San Ignacio police have labeled a bag containing 265 grams of marijuana as an exhibit, to be used as evidence against a man who was found with the drug and was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Police say that about 2:15 a.m. Saturday, June 8, on Santa Cruz Road in Santa Elena, Cayo, while they were on mobile patrol, they saw a man of Hispanic descent dressed in a white T- shirt walking down the road. The officers reported that upon seeing the police vehicle, the man threw a black plastic bag into the bushes to the side of the road and continued walking towards the vehicle. Police immediately stopped him and took him back to the area where he threw the bag, and retrieved it. They said that in his presence, they opened the bag and found that ganja was in it.

DANGRIGA SPORTS STATS
Interoffice basketball finals: The Finals of the Dangriga Town Council Interoffice Basketball Tournament were held last Friday at the Why-Not Island. Third place went to Belize Bank. First place went to Police, as they defeated Digicell-4G to gain the championship. Father’s Day Over-40 cycling: This Sunday, there will be a big Over-40 cycle race in conjunction with Father’s Day. The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association will be hosting its second Annual Over-40 Male Cycle Race, starting from Waruguma Shed on Ecumenical Drive at 10:30 a.m. and head to Silk Grass Village and back, with one lap around Dangriga Town and finish in front of Family City Supermarket. Registration per rider is only $5.00. First place $300.00; second $200.00; third $100.00. Station prizes will be provided for both going and coming. For more information, riders can contact Mr. Peter Morgan or Moses Lopez at 625-4022. Primary school volleyball: According to results from yesterday at the Why-Not Island in the Stann Creek District Sports Council Primary Schools Volleyball Regional tournament, representing the Stann Creek District next week Friday at Bird’s Isle in Belize City will be Sacred Heart Primary males and Holy Angels females.

BELMOPAN CITY COUNCIL KIDS AND YOUTH CUPS 2013 CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND
The Belmopan City Council Kids and Youth Cups 2013 climaxed this past weekend at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium with All Star games on Saturday, June 8, and championship games on Sunday, June 9, for both the Kids and Youth Cups. All Star games The opener on Saturday saw the Belmopan City Council Kids All Stars defeating Orange Walk Kids All Stars, 4-0, with goals from Tahj Reid (7’), Dalton Moreira (17’), Darrel Matute (30’) and Tyzae Carr (33’). And in the nightcap, it was Belmopan City Council Youth All Stars prevailing by a similar 4-0 score over Orange Walk Youth All Stars, with goals from Noah Moro (28’), Jairo Lopez (33’ & 63’) and Tarique Humes (69’). The Belmopan Football League, the organizers of the tournament, want to extend their thanks and appreciation to La Immaculada RC School and Mr. Carlos Umana for accepting our invitation to participate in this year’s All Star games for the Belmopan City Council Kids and Youth Cups.

LORD MICHAEL’S GHOST Editorial
“The middle class in rich countries is shrinking, and a tiny set of people is accumulating unimaginable riches. Groups and individuals with huge wealth use it to gain inordinate political influence. The ’99 percent’ feel swindled, impoverished, and exploited by the rich and powerful 1 percent.” - pg. 218, The End of Power, Moisés Naím, Basic Books, New York, 2013 In late 2011, then PUP Leader Johnny Briceño resigned, and the Albert area representative and then PUP Deputy Leader, Mark Espat, became Interim Leader. During his 11 days as Interim Leader, Mark Espat was endorsed by 30 of the 31 area reps/standard bearers for leadership of Belize’s oldest political party. In early 2008, following the resignation of the 1996-2008 PUP Leader, Said Musa, Mark Espat had been one of three candidates for PUP leadership, along with the aforementioned Briceño and present PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca. Espat and Briceño had withdrawn their candidacies because they wanted a more democratic convention, with more delegates given a chance to vote. Francis Fonseca was supported by the aforementioned Musa, Ralph Fonseca (his first cousin), and PUP Leader Emeritus, Rt. Hon. George Price. Mr. Briceño then re-entered the race, supported by Mr. Espat and another PUP Deputy Leader, Cordel Hyde, and defeated Mr. Fonseca in a PUP leadership convention.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
In our editorial on Tuesday, we pointed out that the heat on the ruling UDP should definitely be more intense than it is, given the amount of “hot button” issues which have arisen recently and thrown a negative light on the present administration. We suggested that there may be a disconnect between the philosophy/policies of the Opposition PUP and the interests of the trade unions/workers of Belize. In this column, I would go even further: I would say that this present PUP does not seem to have harnessed the energies of the youth. The PUP came out of the March 2012 general elections somewhat surprised by their 14-seat performance, and definitely upbeat. There were a couple area representatives from the South and the West, in fact, who were thrilled by their ascension in the power structure of the party, and they wanted to protect their new national power. For sure, after the last generals the PUP embarked on a period of several months where it seemed as if they were convinced they could win in 2017 (or whenever) by concentrating on the Districts outside of Belize, Districts where they had won more seats than the UDP in 2012. It appears at this stage that the UDP this year have won more village councils than they did in 2010, when Orange Walk Central’s Johnny Briceño was leading the PUP. The village council results are not all that unexpected, because Belizean villagers, like the bulk of Belizean voters, are more politically sophisticated than they have ever been. They realize how immensely powerful the national government is, that the UDP may control Belmopan for the next four years, and so the pragmatic villager will not rush to go against the UDP at this stage of the political cycle. This pragmatism favors the ruling party, as well as the fact that the UDP village slates have more resources available for campaigning and election day logistics.

HY NOT “PUNTA ROCKERS” INSTEAD OF “JAGUARS”? Letters
W Dear Editor, Why did our football team come up with the name for our national team, “Jaguars”? I think the University of Belize has already used “Jaguars.” We should have been innovative and used a name like “Punta Rockers” to help promote our cultural music. For example, look at Jamaica and Trinidad national team names – Reggae Boyz for Jamaica and Soca Warriors for Trinidad. Both are promoting their type of music for which theIr countries are famous. Although the jaguar is a native of Belize it is still associated with other countries. Just an observation

NOT THE SAME PM, SAYS HAKEEM Letters
Dear Editor: In 2008 when the Barrow administration came into power I thought this administration would solve Belize’s problems and make us proud. But after listening to the PM at the press conference on Wednesday I am convinced it’s not the same PM that was elected 2008. I was very disappointed when a reporter asked him why the Minister of Health didn’t speak at the press conference concerning the babies and the answer he gave. He told the reporter he won’t blame Minister Pablo Marin because Minister Marin is winning village council elections in Corozal and that’s good for him. Come on, Mr. PM, are village council elections more important than the lives of those babies? Sometime ago when Doug Singh was Party Chairman for the UDP, he mentioned that this Barrow administration is not to govern, but to win elections. Now I see where he’s coming from. Shame on this PM; he must be losing it.

PLEASE, MR. PM, DECLARE BELIZE GMO-FREE! Letters
Dear Prime Minister Barrow, Once again the eyes of the world will be on Belize as it struggles with the disclosure that GMO soybeans are illegally growing in Northern Belize. I am not alone in considering this to be a serious issue, not unlike that of an ecoterrorist, who, by the very nature of cross-pollination, intentionally contaminates the surrounding environment (including water systems, numerous non-targeted animals, insects and organisms, and the soil) with a man-made protein whose characteristics and actions are barely understood. Vertical transfer and resistance are already being noted in scientific studies that these proteins are having impacts well beyond those desired by the biotech industry. The world is rapidly awakening to the existence of adverse and understudied GMOs – to their many and serious dangers and negative effects. I am sure you are aware of the highly-publicized March Against Monsanto that happened in 436 cities in 52 different countries on May 25. The mainstream media chose to ignore the event, but the Internet overflowed with photos, blogs and videos of the phenomenal participation of over 2 million people.

RESPONSE TO JOHN BRICEÑO’S LETTER ON BEHALF OF FORTIS Letters
Dear Editor, Hon. John Briceño penned a Letter to the Editor that Fortis, Inc. used in a full page ad as part of their attempt to quash any objections to their purchase of C.H. Energy, in upstate New York. One of the letters opposing the takeover was from Robert Kennedy, Jr., who spoke of Fortis’ record in Belize. Briceño felt “compelled to correct the errors in the commentary and present your readers with an accurate account of the developments that took place under my watch.” Unfortunately, his “accurate account” is about as accurate as his pronouncements back in 1999-2008. One has to wonder if Mr. Briceño even wrote this letter. The reason I say this is because he refers to the NEAC as the “National Environmental Assessment Committee.” The NEAC reviews all Environmental Impact Assessments. The Department of Environment was part of Briceño’s portfolio, Wouldn’t he know the NEAC stands for the “National Environmental Appraisal Committee”? He should know that but the article misnames it not once, but twice. He states that there was complete disclosure and public consultations, but this is less than accurate. There was no full disclosure on the secret contracts that the government signed with Fortis until after BACONGO sued the Department of Environment and the Public Utilities Commission.

PETER KING CONTRERAS, 44, PLEADS GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER
Today, Peter King Contreras, 44, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his mother-in-law, Argentina Garcia, 50. The facts which were read to the court stated that at 9:30 a.m. on December 13, 2010, Garcia arrived at King’s Cuisine Restaurant, which was operated by Contreras, and located in Ladyville. Garcia had gone to the restaurant to see her daughter, Lesley, who was Contreras’ common-law wife. At about noon that day, Contreras offered Garcia a ride to the intersection of Philip Goldson International Airport road and the Philip Goldson Highway in order for her to catch a bus back to Indian Creek, where she resided. According to Contreras’ caution statement, which was recorded at 6:56 a.m. on December 14, 2010, “It was whilst on the way to the intersection that Garcia and I got into an argument, where she told me ‘Why would Lesley want a loser like you?’ “After that, I punched her twice in her face and then a struggle ensued and she attempted to exit the vehicle. But I stopped her by using a rope, and I used that same rope and choked her to death.

BELIZE TRYING TO AVERT EU SANCTIONS OVER IUU FISHING ON HIGH SEAS
“…Belize keeps an International Merchant Marine Registry responsible for vessel registration which does not ensure that vessels flying the flag of Belize have a genuine link with the country.” - Official Journal of the EU, November 2012 “…Belizean authorities were not empowered to require information from and to conduct administrative investigations of operators, registered owners and beneficial owners of the fishing vessels flagged to Belize,” the journal said. Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on Wednesday that a primary justification for the Government of Belize’s decision to take full control of the merchant shipping registry, along with the registry for International Business Corporations (IBCs), which were being managed by Belize International Services Limited under a contract dating back to 1993, is to avert impending sanctions by the European Union (EU), which they have threatened to impose due to allegations that Belize—which has about 130 flagged vessels operating on the high seas, but only 28 of which land products in the EU—has been deemed uncooperative in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Barrow said that the EU, by way of the Commission decision of November 2012, has served Belize notice that unless the country gets control of the registry and does something to regularize the operations of the registry and in particular of the fishing fleet, its exports to the EU will be banned.

PERRY “STICKS” SMITH DOES IT AGAIN: ANOTHER DAY OF HEALING AND CANDLELIGHT VIGIL
After a successful Day of Healing and candlelight vigil event that was held in the Lake I community in April, in which over 700 people participated, Perry “Sticks” Smith is organizing a similar event, which will be conducted in the communities of Queen Square and Mesopotamia at the Albert Hoy Football Field, next to the Raccoon Street Police Headquarters. The Day of Healing and candlelight vigil for these neighbourhoods will be held on Sunday, June 16, Father’s Day. Smith said that the aim of the event is to provide an opportunity for neighbourhood residents to show love and appreciation for each other, to make an effort to take back their community, and to appreciate and nurture the talents of the children. It is designed to be a family fun day, on which parents will come out with their children, to have wholesome fun and engage in friendly competition, and to see the talents of the children. Some of the activities planned for the occasion include writing competitions, drawing, lime and spoon races, a football tournament, a volleyball game, and plotting of the maypole. Medals and trophies will be given to the winners, and parents participating in the competitions will also be given medals and prizes, Sticks said.

The Reporter

Editorial
After so much has been said about the contaminating effect of chemically engineered grain, it has been shocking to learn that GMO soybean seeds have not only been smuggled into Belize, but actually planted by Mennonite farmers of Orange Walk.

Government takes over ship registry to avert EU sanctions
The Government of Belize has taken control of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) to prevent a ban on Belize’s marine exports to the European Union. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that the EU has served Belize a written notice saying [...]

Domestic abuse ends in murder on Caye Caulker
A woman was savagely murdered on Caye Caulker on Wednesday and her husband, who is wanted for questioning by police, disappeared in the predawn hours, Caye Caulker Police reported. Around 12:15 p.m., police visited the Estella Street home of Julia Jennie Moran, 28, located in the Black Neighbourhood of Caye [...]

GOB: Oceana being reckless
The Government of Belize has said that despite Oceana’s accusation that it is disregarding a court ruling on oil contracts, it is actually trying to keep Belize from getting sued by the oil companies.

Part III: Horizon 2030, National Sustainable Development Strategy: Vision, Values, Goals, Constraints, Implementation and Evaluation
As stated last week, the Vision for Belize’s development captured in Horizon 2030 reads as follows: “Belize is a country of peace and tranquillity, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after [...]

The Minister of Health and KHMH
There are some things that are just too absurd to be ignored at times, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s suggestion that the Minister of Health cannot be held accountable to any degree for last month’s neonatal deaths at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is certainly one of those things.

Eriean Jang wins 19th annual Coca Cola Spelling Bee
Eriean Jang of Sacred Heart R.C. School in Dangriga, Stann Creek district, won the 19th annual Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee hosted by Bowen & Bowen Ltd and the Ministry of Education.The now famous spelling contest took place at the University of Belize gymnasium in Belmopan on Friday, June 7.

Belize & Mexican businessmen explore trade partnerships
Belizean business people explored possibilities of trade partnerships when they met with representatives of 14 Mexican companies at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Thursday, June 6.

Belize Waste Control may seek contempt ruling to force Mayor Bradley’s hand
Attorneys for Belize Waste Control (BWC) and Belize City Council (BCC) met in the chambers of Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana on Monday, over a court judgment for $2.3 million that the BCC has failed to pay and for which Mayor Darrell Bradley could be cited for contempt of court.

Chef says he strangled his mother-in-law; didn’t know what to do with the body?
A man who admitted to killing his mother-in-law and drove around Ladyville with her body in his vehicle pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on Tuesday, in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas.

CJ withholds judgment in Oceana vs. GOB case
Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin has reserved judgment in the case of Oceana and others vs the Government of Belize until June 20. The CJ decided to delay the judgment after the case’s conclusion on Tuesday where attorneys for Oceana and the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, Godfrey Smith [...]

No pardon for imprisoned former president in Peru
Imprisoned former Peruvian leader ,Alberto Fujimori , won’t receive a pardon because the nation’s president has determined that he does not have a terminal illness, officials said Friday.

Ecology woes spark protests in Turkey
What began in late May as a demonstration focused on the environment – opposition to a plan to build a mall in Gezi Park – has evolved into a crusade against Erdogan that’s spread around the country.

Four tips to get kids to eat their vegetables
Was it announced to all children that vegetables are pure evil, dooming health-conscious parents to resort to sneaking nutrition into their meals? Well, it’s about time vegetables became a daily expectation on child dinner plates, instead of an occasional curse. According to kids cooking.about.com, kids have to be exposed to [...]

What causes nightmares and how to stop them
Although nightmares are more commonly seen in children, at least half of adults have occasional nightmares. In fact, between 2 and 8 percent of adults frequently suffer from nightmares. What are Nightmares?

Brilliant spanks Sunrise in SMART Harrison Parks cricket playoffs
Brilliant of Crooked Tree outlasted Sunrise of Lords Bank 144-122 in the first semifinal match of the 2013 SMART Harrison ParksNational Cricket Competition in Lord’s Bank on Saturday, June 8.

Camalote, Grace Kennedy & Wolverines win in Cayo softball
Undefeated Camalote United, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the Esperanza Wolverines all enjoyed big victories when the Miley Garcia Softball Competition continued under the auspices of the Cayo Softball Association at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village last Sunday, June 9.

The Belize Times

Barrow Exposed!!! – Another get-rich “Legal Fees” scheme for Barrow Attorneys
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has schemed another round of expensive legal battles as a result of Government’s hostile takeover of the privately managed International Business Company Registry (IBC) and the International Merchant Marne Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) on Tuesday. According to the PM, even though the Government is at its worst point financially, he is prepared to fight “to death” or did he mean “to debt”. Belize International Service Limited (BISL), which held the management contracts for IBC and IMMARBE since 1993, warned on Monday that they will pursue damages to the highest level which could see the Government become liable for over US$60m as a result of the takeover. Where Belize sees distress over the reckless and irrational actions of the UDP Government, Prime Minister Barrow sees dollar signs. Barrow’s anticipated takeover of the IBC registry and IMMARBE has nothing to do with the actions of the former Musa Administration and not entirely with the international pressure over its proper regulation.

Fired SSB CEO gets job as Port Commissioner
Merlene Bailey Martinez who was removed from office as Former Chief Executive Officer in the Social Security Board, after it was exposed that she was guilty of insider trading and had ...

Mayor disobeys court order! – Rogue Mayor either pays up or goes to jail!
By the skin of his teeth, this past Monday Mayor Darrel Bradley once again avoided going to jail for not paying a Belize City Council’s debt owed to Belize Waste Control. On ...

No apologies for 13 dead babies! – PM defends Pablo Marin, says he is performing where “it matters”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is a very cold and callous man. He proved just as much on Wednesday when he conveyed that he still had confidence in Pablo Marin ...

Sweetheart Deal – GOB buys out Espat building for millions
Mark Espat is a slippery guy. He is one thing today and next he is holding a dagger behind you tomorrow. As we have been telling ...

UDP Politics as Usual…
NO Clue… In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government ...

Distractions!
In characteristic heavy-handed nature, Dean Barrow strong-armed control of the International Business Company (IBC) and International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE) Registries on Tuesday the 11th of June, 2013. The two registries were previously managed by a private company by way of a Management Services Agreement entered into with the Government ...

Horizon Academy dominates Judo competition
The Red Dragon Judo Club hosted the first ever Primary School Judo Championship at the Horizon Academy Primary School with 5 primary schools participating on June 2nd. Lightweight category 1st place – Victoria Usher (Horizon Academy) 2nd place – ...

Brilliant dazzles Sunrise 144-122 in cricket semifinals
Four-time national champs, Crooked Tree Brilliant dazzled Lords Bank Sunrise with their bowling to win the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket semifinals in Lord’s Bank on Saturday ...

Camalote defeats Shooting Stars 15-3
Camalote’s star pitcher Francine Salazar struck out 6 batters in her 15-3 inning mercy rule shutout of the Las Flores Shooting Stars, who committed 5 errors and left 2 runners ...

Mother Nature obstructs oil discovery
The Barrow Administration is running out of gas, literally. The oil fields in Spanish Lookout, discovered in 2005, are expected to be depleted by the year 2020. Already, Government’s revenue from the export of crude oil through Belize Natural Energy is falling, and with no economic ...

Contagious: art by Julian Veronin Kuo
The new show at the Image Factory may have some us spooked especially with the current situation at the KHMH. Contagious, quite unlike the tragedy at Belize’s national referral hospital, features ...

AMAZING GRACE – Jesus the Bartender?
Many times I wonder what Jesus would be doing if he was here on earth today. If he was in Belize visiting for a month, what would his daily activities be? I believe it would be a much more difficult experience for those who claim they believe in him than ...

The World is Flat: FREE Online Education Courses
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph Technology has provided us with many great learning tools. Stimulate your mind with these FREE online courses that can be taken anywhere or anytime and are available year-round. Enrol in at least one course, and challenge yourself to learn something new today. Through E-Learning you have ...

Belize’s potential in the Garment Industry
By Richard Harrison In 2000, Belize exported BZ$40 million worth of garments. Today our export of garment is ZERO. The one garment exporter closed down....they used to produce clothing with DICKIES brand. Belize has the capacity to support a robust garment industry for the domestic market....and expand outward from there. Instead of ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE: Checking yuh Change
By anthony sylvestre My friend observed the other day that the Prime Minister Dean Barrow keeps making a lot of noise and we aren’t checking our change; that the Prime Minister says a lot of stuff that doesn’t make sense to divert our attention from the real issues and gets away ...

2013 Valedictory Speech by Steven Lam of Belize High School
“At the end of the day, it has all been said before. But this is the end of our ‘day’ here at Belize High School- history has been made - WITH us and BY us. And so for us ...

2013 Valedictory Speech by Justyn Peter Craig of St. John’s College High School
As Ms Gongora has said, I am a man of very few words. Therefore, the task of preparing this valedictory speech to the Class of 2013 was far more daunting than taking the recent Spanish orals for the CSEC exams ...

Will UDP’s Denny Grijalva ever face charges?
The Orange Walk Police Department are dragging their feet with the investigation into the destruction of the archaeological site, Noh Mul, located near Nuevo San Juan village in the Orange Walk north constituency. The BELIZE TIMES has ...

Tubal Institute – The Leading Pioneer of Vocational Education
There is a no-so-well known school off the beaten path in Ladyville Village in the Belize District ...

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – YOUNG MANDELA: THE REVOLUTIONARY YEARS
By FRANCIS W. FONSECA As I write this column, television images of a frail, 94 year old Nelson Mandela are being carried throughout the world as this great man nears the end of life’s journey. If News reports of the gravity of his health situation are accurate, it may even be that ...

Belize faces sanctions for “money laundering and terrorist financing”
The February 2011 report and recommendations from the European Fisheries Control Agency on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing is not the only document being ignored by the Barrow Administration. The BELIZE TIMES has discovered that Belize ...

Prejudices still alive in Belize
Dear Editor, “I have a dream”. Fifty years ago, on August 28th, 1063, American Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr., uttered those words in his most famous speech. Using that captivating refrain, Dr. King expressed his dreams or hope that one day people would enjoy life free from racial prejudice. ...

Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear
Dear Editor, We’d like to address this issue of gay rights. As Christians, we’d like to make it known in no uncertain terms that this is NOT something we will entertain in any shape or form in our nation of Belize. Firstly, we have nothing to prove. People were not our idea, ...

BAGMO asks PM to step up fight against GMOs
Dear Prime Minister Barrow, Once again, the eyes of the world will be on Belize as it struggles with the disclosure that GMO soybeans are illegally growing in Northern Belize. I am not alone in considering this to be a serious issue, not unlike that of an EcoTerrorist, who, by the very ...

Nursing Student seeks remedy for faulty UB program
Dear Editor, I am a student nurse at the University of Belize. I would like to express my concern with respect to a practicum course NURS 3101 P, Care of the Adult Population Practicum, that was carried out at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. I decided to come forward when I saw ...

SHAME ON THE PM
Dear Editor, In 2008 when the Barrow Administration came into power I thought his administration would solve Belize’s problems and make us proud. But after listening to the PM at the press conference on Wednesday I am convinced it’s not the same PM that was elected 2008. I was very disappointed when ...


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#466671 - 06/15/13 12:39 PM Re: Today's Belize News: June 15, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

The June 16th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • PM Barrow: “Bring it On!” Restoring Honour to our National Flag!:
    The announcement first came in a brief Press Release on Monday June 10, which read, “The Ministry of Finance announces that the Management Services Agreement between the Government of Belize and Belize International Services Limited, to manage the International Business Companies Registry (IBC) and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) comes to an end, today, 10 June 2013. Accordingly, the Government of Belize will assume control of the two Registries with effect from tomorrow, 11 June 2013.” The release promised that the Prime Minister would give a full briefing on the matter on Wednesday, June 12; and he did. At his Press Conference, the Prime Minister recounted that a master agreement was first signed on June 11, 1993, only days before the June 30th snap elections called by then Prime Minister George Price; a ten year agreement wih Belize International Services Limited which managed IMMARBE and the IBC Registry with the option to renew for another ten years. When that ten years was about to expire in 2003, the Government’s legal Counsel, Mr. Gian Ghandi, advised in writing to BISL that because of a fundamental change of circumstances, they could no longer exercise the option to renew for another ten years.
  • “The More Things Change...”:
    Delroy Cuthkelvin Chairman, Editorial Board. In our edition of last week, in an article titled, “The Case of the Crawl Caye Project – a Lesson in Transparency, Thoroughness and Thoughtfulness”, we had just reiterated the stark difference between the Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the administration that preceded it, led by former Prime Minister Said Musa, with regards to their respective modus operandi in entering agreements and undertakings that have far-reaching implications for the Nation and its People. We had just recounted the fact that, in contrast to the open, cautious and methodical manner in which the Barrow Administration handled such matters, the Musa Administration was one that, besides being hasty and reckless, was characterized by serial style secrecy. As if we needed one more reminder of this, news broke this week of yet another secret agreement signed by the same two who endorsed the infamous Accommodation Agreement, Musa and his former Attorney General, Francis Fonseca. This one was for the purported ‘extension of an extension’ of a contract for a company called Belize International Services to manage the International Companies Registry (IBC) and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE).
  • Chile Donates Computers:
    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through a donation from the Embassy of Chile, presented Six (6) laptop computers to Our Lady of Guadalupe High School in Belmopan, on Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 12:00pm. The Government of Chile is donating computers to one high school in every CARICOM country as a symbol of its commitment to assisting CARICOM countries in education. The Chilean Government has always provided support to Belize through the provision of specialized training courses for officials in areas such as diplomacy, cooperation and language training, and provides scholarships for higher studies. His Excellency Renato Sepulveda Nedel, the Ambassador of Chile to Belize with residence in San Salvador was on hand to present the Laptops on behalf of the Chilean Government. Receiving them on behalf of Our Lady of Guadeloupe High School was the institution’s Principal, Mrs. Barrette Belisle.
  • Support Our National Football Selection::
    FFB Official Telethon, Saturday June 15, 2013, MCC Tennis Court, Newtown Barracks, Belize City
  • Exciting Softball in Cayo District: Ismael ‘Miley’ Garcia Competition in Progress:
    In the Cayo District, there’s an exciting Softball Competition that is in progress, and, as of this week, we’re bringing you regular updates on it. The Competition is sponsored by UDP Cayo South Caretaker, Ismael ‘Miley’ Garcia. This past weekend, Camalote United, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Esperanza Wolverines were all victorious in games played at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza, on Sunday afternoon to be exact. The first game featured Camalote’s star pitcher, Francine Salazar, who earned a 15-0 shutout victory over the Las Flores Shooting Stars in three innings, as the mercy rule was applied. She struck out 6 batters in the process. In that game, the Las Flores Shooting Stars committed 5 errors and stranded 2 runners on base.
  • Speaking Truth Even When We’d Rather Not:
    By Zelda Hill. Belizeans, in general, were once thought to have been a non-confrontational, complacent and cowardly species. That notion has been overruled as individuals and groups all over Belize are openly demanding better quality of life, good governance of our wealth, equity of access and answers from our stewards. Those who prefer to accept their plight or to not “rock the boat” may do so out of fear or hopelessness, or perhaps the matter that would cause them to break their composure has not yet raised its head. For the Church in Belize that time has arrived. Truth, which we value and honor, is under attack! We must rise to its defense even in a time when it may seem inconvenient to do so and even when we’d prefer to be silent. Those who prefer to accept their plight or to not “rock the boat” may do so out of fear or hopelessness, or perhaps the matter that would cause them to break their composure has not yet raised its head. For the Church in Belize that time has arrived and the truth, which we value and honor, is under attack. We must rise to its defense even in a time when it may seem inconvenient to do so and even when we’d prefer to be silent.
  • Elections and Boundaries Department: Results of Village Council Elections:
  • UB Graduation Coming UP:
    Students who have successfully completed their course of study at the University of Belize will receive their diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor, Certificate and Diploma levels on Saturday June 15, at the University’s Seventeenth Commencement Exercises, Central Campus, Belmopan. The ceremony will commence at 10 a.m. Of the total number of 471 graduates, 298 are females (63.3%) and 173 (36.7%) are males. The largest number of graduates are from the Faculty of Management & Social Sciences (FMSS) totalling 153, followed by the Faculty of Education and Arts (FEA) with a total of 133, the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST) with 132, and the Faculty of Nursing, Allied Health & Social Work (FNAHSW) with a total of 53.
  • Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, and Public Utilities Responds to Oceana:
    The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities notes with regret a recent press release by Oceana in which it persists in putting its spin on the judgment delivered on April 16th, 2013 by Justice Legall concerning certain oil exploration contracts awarded by the previous government. In that judgment, His Lordship made certain declarations against the Ministry but not against the oil companies. Most importantly, the Judge specifically refused to quash the oil exploration contracts. The legal consequences that follow from what the Judge ordered as well as what he refused to order are purely a legal issue. For that reason, the Ministry has obtained and has acted upon legal advice from one of the nation’s most respected attorneys at law , which states in the clearest possible terms that the effect of the Judge’s refusal to quash or terminate the contracts is to leave them fully enforceable by the oil companies. That advice emphasized that no order or judgment was made against any oil company, none of which was even a party in the court case. This point was fully made by the Ministry in its written and oral arguments to the Honourable Chief Justice on its recent application to stay the effect of Justice Legall’s judgment. Consistent with the legal advice received, the Ministry is obliged to treat the contracts as binding and enforceable against the country of Belize by the oil companies.
  • Crawl Caye Off Limits: Cruise Tourism NOT Off the Table :
    We doubt many of you caught it, but last week in our story titled, “The Case of the Crawl Caye Project - a Lesson in Transparency, Thoughtfulness and Thoroughness”, we mistakenly reproduced a photograph of Hunting Caye instead of Crawl Caye. For that we sincerely apologize, although we will hasten to point out that the error on our part did not minimize in any way the principal point of our story, which is that the current government, unlike the one that preceded it, is an administration that thoughtfully and thoroughly considers pertinent issues and concerns before entering into agreements and undertakings that have far-reaching implications for the Nation and its People, and that it invariably conducts the entire process in a transparent manner. And while we admittedly erred, we should be readily excused, we contend, for having mistakenly brought you that splendid aerial view of Hunting Caye, also in Southern Belize, which is no less precious an island than Crawl Caye. Furthermore, in following up this week on the substance of the story, we get the opportunity to print for you, not one, but two photographs of the real Crawl Caye, hoping that in so doing, we make it up to you.
  • Drill & Discipline Course Completed at National Police Training Academy:
    Graduation ceremonies were held this past Friday, June 7, for close to Twenty Police Officers who completed a two-week squad drill course conducted at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. The course was for non-commissioned officers, corporals and sergeants who are attached to the various formations and sub-formations around the country; and its purpose was to have the participating Police Officers sharpen up their drill-skills, something which keynote speaker at the Ceremony, Acting Director of Training, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams reminded them is an integral part of their discipline as members of one of the nation’s leading security forces. Williams noted that everywhere in World, disciplined forces must engage in such drills, which though they vary in specifics from country to country, have the same basic objective, mainly that of instilling discipline in the individuals who are part of a uniformed and coordinated team that operates as a single unit in executing its functions.
  • One Week to Go: UDP Extends Lead in Village Council Elections:
    This past week, the UDP again scored overwhelming victories nationwide in the Village Council Elections, which are nearing completion. In Corozal, the UDP swept all 7 seats in Libertad, Caledonia and Paraiso, and won five seats including the chairmanship, in Patchakan, leaving the PUP with only 2 councillors. In Orange Walk, Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk North Area Representative, Hon. Gaspar Vega won the last two of the villages in his constituency, San Jose and San Luis, completing a 9 out of 9 sweep over his PUP opponents. The UDP also won August Pine Ridge in Orange South. In Cayo Central, Hon. Rene Montero is also 8 out of 8 to date, with only one village to go. This past week, he took San Antonio, where the UDP slated was unchallenged.
  • Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat Bounce Back in Game 4 Against Spurs to Tie the Series:
    LeBron James was going to deliver on his Game 4 guarantee, no question about it. He’s simply too talented and too battle-tested to be held down this long. But Game 4 was more than just redemption for James. It was Dwyane Wade living up to his reputation and Chris Bosh living up to the hype. It was Miami’s celebrated Big Three, maligned after their no-show performance in Game 3, wresting back control of the NBA Finals with a collaborative effort for the ages. “It was on our shoulders, honestly,” James said. “When all of us are clicking at the same time we’re very tough to beat.”
  • Spelling Bee in Belmopan: The Champion Comes from the South:
    Following two rounds of eliminations countrywide, 12 finalists participated in the exciting grand finale of the 2013 Coca-Cola National Spelling. The competition, which began in February with the participation of 271 primary schools, culminated on June 7 at the UB Sports and Recreation Center in Belmopan. A tie for the first and second place spots emerged at the end of the first eliminating reserve list round; the contest rules then allowed for the spell-off for third place to proceed, and it was Toledo’s Hilda Saki of St. Benedict R.C. that emerged in the Fourth Round as the third place winner with the spelling of the words “fylfot” and “nappe.” She received a $1,500 educational prize from Bowen & Bowen Ltd., parent company of Coca-Cola in Belize, and a tuition and book grant for one year from the Ministry of Education.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Playoff Results for Weekend - June 1 & 2

Blogs

Battle Royal and Friday’s fun
I know am not the only one who feels like they are going through a Battle Royal inside themselves right now. For me it’s another round of trying to find some sort of balance and curb my overactive junkfoodie ways I have been working hard to keep the extra few pounds which was my junk food bonus, tone up and loose my Buddha belly by Sunday’s Lobstermainia 2013 pool party. Now that is a tall order. For fun I looked up the meaning of Battle Royal and a few of them caught my eye: Merriam Webster b : a violent struggle Thesaurus.com Definition: fierce fight Synonyms: intense battle It was not long before my mind wandered I got thinking about a Royal with Cheese from Melt at Exotic Caye Resort and why it can be so hard finding balance when it comes to food and health. Here is a good health related article on Expatify.com about pharmacies and prescriptions for expats in different parts of the world. I found it very interesting and directly applicable to living in Belize. I know many people here who use a pharmacist as a primary medical councilor. And while they do regulate some drugs and sometimes require a perscription, it is not always enforced.

Why I want to be an Eco-Kid
My name is Olivia Frisinger and I am ten years old. I am related to San Pedro and Colorado. I believe we should save animals habitats. I hope to take pictures of colorful animals. I love to go horseback riding. I love hiking to see wildlife. I live in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. Now I have been living in Colorado for the last six months. It is not the same environment in Colorado; no beaches or golf Cart, but in San Pedro not as much wildlife popping out of the forest. I want to do something fun for the summer so I wanted to go to Eco Camp. I love the tropical jungles and I want to know about the animals to save their habitats. I know that a lot of the jungle is being destroyed worldwide. I want none of the colorful animals to become extinct. The way to start helping the rainforest is to learn all about it. I want to go to your camp to start learning.

“Superstar” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Keen to get the stuff we have had in storage in the UK since we departed for Ambergris Caye over a year ago (some of it being in storage for far longer than that as we gradually cleared our previous home of possessions) I ‘fired’ off an email to Ismael Gomez the broker we are using in Belize City to ‘smooth the way in’ for our consignment. He has submitted details of our load to “BTB” (Belize Tourism Board) and we just now need permission to import the stuff without having import duty applied (this being one of the benefits of gaining admittance in to the Qualified Retirement Program (“QRP”). When we get the O.K. I can contact Excess International Movers in the UK to put our stuff on a boat but it is looking increasingly unlikely that it will arrive (the journey will take between seven to ten weeks) by the time that our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize is completed. Oh well. Best laid plans and all that! Rose and I spent time in the morning finalising the layout for shelving, drawers and hanging rails for our respective walk-in closets and then Rose laid them out more clearly, and with the exact dimensions that we want, on her computer. We now just need to review one more time to be certain that they will give each of us what we want. Then they will be ready to be handed over to Daniel Camal the building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

International Sources

Did illegal fishing trigger takeover move?
The Belize newspaper Amandala reported on the assumption of control over the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE), saying: “ ... operations which were estimated to net the Government $11 million in revenues in this year’s budget.” In an article published on Tuesday, the newspaper continued: “A statement issued by the Government of Belize today said that the Management Services Agreement under which the registries were privatised comes to an end at the close of business today. That contract, an official source tells us, involves a major financial player in Belize — British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, whose interest in the agreement links back to Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited. “Waterloo, an IBC in the British Virgin Islands, has indicated in published reports that it holds 50 percent interest in Belize International Services Limited, a joint venture company which operates the international open shipping and company registry business in Belize. The other major party of the agreement is Morgan & Morgan of Panama. “Amandala understands that the Ashcroft group and the Panamanian investor have controlled the operation of the registries since 1990. First, they were engaged under separate three year agreements: one for the IBC and the other for the shipping registry. However, in 1993, the then People’s United Party (PUP) administration issued one 10-year agreement to the parties, for both registries, with an option for a renewal for another 10 years.

Belize’s Conservation Balancing Act
In comparison to many of its neighbors in Central America and the Caribbean, Belize has pursued a very effective and comprehensive policy of conservation in order to capitalize on the growing segment of eco-tourism. However, given the stresses of economic development, Belize is facing a difficult balancing act when it comes to determining the limits of environmental and cultural conservation. Like most Caribbean countries, Belize is burdened with extremely high-energy costs—yet it was expected that this would change when Belize discovered deposits of oil in 2005. This recent discovery of oil has sparked a debate about the future of Belize’s economic development. Earlier this year, the Belizean court stopped government plans to begin contract offshore oil deposits to inexperienced companies in the Meso American Reef—the world’s second largest barrier reef and a World Heritage Site. Due to the devastation brought by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the decision to drill within such an ecologically sensitive and important zone was regarded as highly controversial within Belize. The court case resulted from the work of conservation organizations sparking a “people’s referendum” in which 96% of those who participated voted against offshore drilling.

Sun sets on Army training in Belize
The British Army Training Support Unit Belize, or BATSUB, has been announced as the latest victim of the defence cuts, although some specialist training will continue in the country. British Forces News reporter Charlotte Cross has been with British soldiers on the last large scale jungle training in Belize as the base prepares to be mothballed… Second Lieutenant Sam Westlake takes off his helmet and shakes the sweat from his hair and eyes, gratefully dumping his daysack on the ground. It weighs a good thirty pounds, and he’s spent the last five hours carrying it on his back as he and his platoon race across rough ground, assaulting enemy position after enemy position. As always with British Army exercises, the enemy is positioned uphill, forcing the infantry soldier to overcome his weary limbs and straining, burning lungs, as he pushes on to the final attack. This is the culmination of a three-week Platoon Commanders Course in the devastatingly harsh terrain of Belize. With access to nine thousand square kilometres of primary jungle and open plains, many thousands of infantry troops have undergone the tough training Belize is famous for… almost 9,000 of them in the last three years alone.


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