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#466942 - 06/20/13 11:51 AM Today's Belize News: June 20, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Super Furia releases new song about Ambergris Caye
The Super Furia Band from the Orange Walk District have released a new song in honor of the number one island in the world according to Trip Advisor. The song is rightfully entitled, “#1 Island Ambergris Caye” by the Super Furia Band and lead singer, Roxana Alcoser. Super Furia has provided musical entertainment for Belizeans across the country for over 27 years. Lead singer Roxana Alcoser has been singing professionally for fifteen years. Alcoser contacted The San Pedro Sun to share a little more on the new single. “This song was written with sleepless nights and lots of our musical effort was put into the production of this special song, honoring an important destination in Belize,” said Alcoser.

Ambergris Today

El Pescador Lodge Hosts the Filming of "Buccaneers and Bones"
El Pescador Lodge is privileged to have hosted the filming of "Buccaneers and Bones" starring Lefty Kreh legendary angler, Tom Brokaw news anchor/author, Yvon Chouinard founder Patagonia, Bill Klyn director Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, Huey Lewis singer/performer, Will Benson film maker/fishing guide and Meredith McCord angler. This is the second time that El Pescador has had the honor of hosting “Buccaneers and Bones”; the previous time was in June of 2010. Orion Multimedia, the world's largest producer of outdoor adventure television, just spent the week with El Pescador on Ambergris Caye to film the series which will air on The Outdoor Channel in January 2014. The “Buccaneers and Bones” series features the anglers' passion for fishing and the camaraderie they share as they search for answers on how to safeguard our environment. In addition to fishing the famed salt water flats of Belize, these notables are fishing for answers, too. How can we save our last great coastal environments? It's a question that has been the heart of Bonefish and Tarpon Trust's mission since 1998, and is being pursued by some of the world's top scientists.

Misc Belizean Sources

MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA, A RENEWED RELATIONSHIP
On February 20th, 2013, the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena-Nieto attended the First Summit between Mexico and member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA), held in San Jose, Costa Rica. It was the second international tour of his presidency and which he dedicated to approach visit a region that binds us like no other: geographical closeness or proximity, history, sisterhood and culture. At that time, the Government leaders instructed the Foreign Ministers to convene to, “explore new formulas aimed at deepening and strengthening the ties between Mexico and Central America.” The foreign ministers of the Central American region, as well as Colombia, Dominican Republic and Mexico will meet on Friday, June 21st at San Cristobal de las Casas, state of Chiapas, an emblematic city of southern Mexico and meeting place with Central America. We will hold, as always, a frank political dialogue based on our solid democratic culture, sustained on common values. We will analyze ways to promote and strengthen our economic ties that last year reflected a trade exchange between our countries to a value of 10 billion US dollars and accumulated Mexican investments of a similar amount.

MTA with Lawrence Vernon
The The National Heritage Library had their 6th Meet the Author event last week. This time, they had Mr. Lawrence Vernon, who has written extensively about Belize in his books: Cultural Groups of Belize, From the Pages of our History, and A History of Political Parties in Belize: 1950-1981."

UB 2013 Graduation
Congratulations to the 471 graduates of the University of Belize! "Luis Ek, and Oliver Garay (will graduate at Punta Gorda Campus) both scored a GPA of 3.92 with a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelors of Science in Management respectively. Anna Petkau achieved the highest overall GPA score of 3.95 in Business Science, and Jonelle O'Brien scored the highest overall for Certificate/Diploma Program with a GPA of 3.89 in Diploma in Education Methodology."

Hanna Stables' Ride to Xunantunich
Hanna Stables horseback ride to Xunantunich has become one of the more popular tours around Cayo. Add a stop to Benny's Kitchen for lunch, and you have the perfect half day tour. Santiago is definitely the horse whisperer. "The ride to Xunantunich is pleasant and scenic, including the crossing of the Mopan river by a hand-churned ferry. Just a little further on are the well known Mayan ruins of Xunantunich. Also, if it’s a lucky day, you will be able to experience an up close encounter with howler monkeys. The Xunantunich ride has a duration 1 ½ hours of riding to the site and approximately 2 hours hiking of the site, and an additional 2 hours ride back. This is a half day to a full day ride depending on the request of the guest. Lunch stops can be included to a feast of local dishes in a pristine setting along the river. Please indicate in the booking form if you would like lunch included."

11th Annual BAAS
The 11th BAAS will be held at the SIRH's Bedran Hall, where it will start on July 2nd, and go through the 5th. The theme this year will be: 'Ancient Maya: Household and Social Identity in Belize.' Lectures start at 8:30am every day. For more information, including schedules, go to NICH's or the Institiute of Archaeology's pages. "The 11th instalment of the Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium (BAAS) is scheduled for July 2nd - July 5th, 2013 in San Ignacio, Belize. Registration for the conference will begin on March 4th, 2013. Participants are encouraged to pre-register and make travel plans early so that they can be guaranteed a place as well as advantageous rates on travel. Presentations of the symposium proper will be held inside the San Ignacio Resort Hotel Bedran Hall starting on Tuesday July 2nd and continue through to Friday July 5th, 2013."

Channel 7

Peter Contreras Gets 15 for Killing Mother In Law; His Ex-Wife Says It’s Not Enough
44 year-old Peter King Contreras, the man who pleaded guilty to manslaughter for strangling his mother-in-law, will spend 15 and a half years in prison. That was the sentence handed down by Justice Adolph Lucas today. In December of 2010 Contreras offered to give his mother-in-law, 50 year-old Argentina Garcia a ride to the bus stop. It was a short distance, but he and Garcia, got into an argument in which he says Garcia told him, quote, “Why would (my daughter) want a loser like you?” The insult enraged Contreras who punched Garcia twice in the face, and she tried to get out of the vehicle. Contreras then grabbed a piece of rope, which he used to restrain her. He then took the rope and strangled her to death. After that he stuffed her body in the trunk and drove around with it for hours, leaving it in the vehicle for most of the night. At around 3 a.m., Contreras was trying to find somewhere to dump the body, when he was stopped by a police patrol which discovered the dead woman inside the trunk.

FECTAB Fires At FCCA’s Platinum Club
The Florida Caribbean Cruise Association – it represents 15 cruise lines operating 100 vessels in this hemisphere and, for those reasons, is considered to be tremendously influential in the cruise tourism business – a business which brings in more than half a million visitors to Belize every year. And that’s why it is news that an FCCA subsidiary called PAMAC, the Platinum Associate Membership Advisory Council is having a cruise conference in Belize for the next few days. As the word Platinum implies, this is the super elite club of cruise executives and, in tourism circles, it’s considered a huge deal that they are in Belize. We’ll have more on the significance of the meeting shortly, but for FECTAB their presence here is a huge problem – and that’s because they say once again, Chukka Tours, the Jamaican Outfit that’s set up a tour operation in Belize is taking a place at head table – while FECTAB’s members can’t even get a foot in the door. There’s a simple reason for that: Chukka is a platinum member and FECTAB’s members aren’t – but still, FECTAB says BTB should have done something to protect local interests. That was the subject of a press conference held early this morning – where the famous FECTAB fire was on full blast:…

BTB Responds to FECTAB; Says They Should Look To The Industry’s Wellbeing
This morning after the press conference Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel Frampton responded to those bitter complaints hurled at the Tourism Board. She said there was no intentional exclusion, but the decision was made by a committee – on which BTB was only a member, as was Chukka Tours and Cruise Solutions both members of the FCCA. She said Chukka made the offer up front: Laura Esquivel Frampton - Director of Tourism "The fact is Chukka came to the table with 'this is what we want to do complimentary', this was open knowledge to everyone who sat on the committee that they were able to put int there two cents of what they were going to do. Let's also remember that the FCCA is an association, a membership based organization and so obviously the preference goes to members of the FCCA but there are other tour operators who are providing tours, there's even a submarine tour that is on the schedule for the Belize City tour." Jules Vasquez "So who had membership on that committee and why were FECTAB members not included?"

Waters In Western And Central Belize Rising
On Monday evening, Tropical Depression 2 made landfall in Southern Belize and dropped 10 inches of rain in 24 hours. We showed you the flooding it caused in the Stann Creek District. But the news tonight is that after TD 2 travelled over Guatemala and Mexico, with winds of about 30 miles per hour, it strengthened into a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. The storm is now named Barry and it is off the coast of Mexico. The projected path is for the storm to head to Veracruz, Mexico, making landfall near that port city Thursday morning.
 But while that is the situation to the north, in Belize the after effects of TD2 are still being felt. This afternoon NEMO reported rising water levels in Central and Western Belize. NEMO reports that in the west, the Macal River is 24 inches above normal and rising while the Mopan is 12 inches above and rising. In the Belize district, The Belize River is 6ft above normal and rising throughout the District. In Lemonal by the Governor Creek culvert there is 6 inches of water across the road.

The Stann Creek River Valley Is Like A Basin
But, while that is that situation right now, the reality is that the Stann Creek River Valley is flood prone. We didn’t get to explore that story fully yesterday, so tonight, Daniel Ortiz revisits the floods from TD 2 in the context of what these low-lying communities face every year during the hurricane season. Here’s his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting Communities in the Stann Creek River Valley experience flooding every year, and so, they’ve learned to live with the lingering threat. Sarawee Village is only a few miles away from Hope Creek, and as a result, it is susceptible to the negative effects of the North Stann Creek River. Yesterday, we found sections of the village under water; one on side, the flooding was minimal, just below knee height. Some of the young men of the village used their yards like swimming pools, where they simply enjoyed themselves as if it was just another rainy day. The other sections were completely cut off, passable only if the person waded through waist deep water, with a very strong current resembling that of a river. Keep in mind, though, that what you’re looking at are actual streets these people travel on normally, not some obscure river hidden away in the far corner of the village.

Murder Down 15% Through End Of May 2013
April and May 2013 had 16 fewer murders than the same period in 2012 – and now latest police crime statistics through to the end of May show that the number of murders is down compared to last year’s record pace. How much down. Well up to the end of May, there were 60 murders in 2012; while at the end of May 2013, there have been 51 murders – a decrease of 15%. Reports of major crimes such as burglary, robbery and rape are also down – while theft is about the same as last year. Carnal knowledge – on the other hand - is up more than 100% over last year’s figures. Today Police Minister John Saldivar held his monthly review with the Department’s Senior commanders where for the second consecutive month, the Northern Zone and the Orange Formation of the Police Department registered the greatest reduction in major crimes. Today the press was invited to the session at the Police Training academy in Belmopan. Police commissioner Allen Whylie discussed the crime trends:… Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "Our statistics are out, it is showing that at the end of May we had 51 recorded cases of murders compared to 60 at the same time in 2012. In terms of rape we had 12 reported up to the end of May compared to 14 in 2012. In terms of robberies we had 117 cases reported compared to 216 for the same period in 2012. In terms of burglaries we recorded 403 cases compared to 470 cases in 2012. In terms of theft we have record 394 cases compared to 393 cases in 2012.

Police Senior Command Will Investigate Cop Who Could Not Identify Hon. King
Last night, 7News told you how Minister of State, Mark King, was acquitted of all charges in relation to his outburst at the Princess Casino in February. Viewers may remember that he threw an ugly tantrum resulting in him being ejected from the Casino – and then later having a confrontation with police. Due to the lack of cooperation from the officers who made complaints against him, Magistrate Clive Lino was forced to acquit him of all charges. Well, that’s not sitting well with Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, and he told the media that members of the Professional Standards Branch have been dispatched to investigate the officer who refused to cooperate with the prosecutor. He explained why: Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "My understanding, having heard the news last night and speaking to the officer commanding is that the police officer PC Ramos went to court and withdrew the charges so he did not wish to proceed. Immediately last night I called the assistant commissioner, Mr. Leal, who is the commander of the professional standards branch and he directed that he and a team proceeded to Corozal this morning and to do an internal investigation then he'll be making recommendations to me. It is my view that that officer was a police officer when this incident occurred, he was not an ordinary citizen and he had no authority to withdraw that case or to refuse to testify. It's a matter I view very seriously and as soon as the investigation is concluded we'll be taking the appropriate action against him."

COMPOL Explains Delay In Noh Mul Investigation
Commissioner Whylie also discussed the investigation into the wrongdoing at Noh Mul. As has been very extensively reported, the main temple at the northern site was bulldozed – and the company that did it – publicly owned up to the error. So why no charges? Whylie explained that for the police it is an unusual investigation. Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "I have directed the regional commander to ensure the investigator move vigorously to complete the directives that the DPP had passed to him and he should be proceeding by Friday at the latest in that case to formally hand over to the DPP. Once she approves it and she feels satisfied that the investigation has been thorough or have the necessary grievance to lay a charge then she will direct our officers and we will comply promptly." Reporter "What has been the difference in this case because I know there have been cases where the evidence was there that it was destroyed, Mr. Grijalva took responsibility but there was no arrest - all this going to the DPP before charges are laid. Have there been consideration made on the fact that Mr. Grijalva is a political aspirant and very well connected in Orange Walk?"

Nike Sponsors Belize’s Football Uniforms
We’ve been reporting regularly on the Belize National Football Team’s performances in the friendly matches while preparing for the Gold Cup. The glimpses we’ve provided are of the only of the players in action, and from a far distance away. So today, the Football Federation of Belize decided that it was time for the Nation to meet the selection which will represent Belize in the US three weeks from now. They also unveiled the uniforms which have been provided by NIKE. Here’s how that unveiling went: Marlon Kuylen - Executive Member, FFB "We have the official Belize Jaguar's logo and as you look behind us it's on this banner here so that will be on all of our promotional items. Genesis Arts had come up with this design and they will be selling promotional items which we have in the back here, which we have, and each item that they sell - 15% of the proceeds will come to the National Team. Now we're proud to come to one of the items that we've been patiently waiting for and patiently introduced to the Belizean public. We have been in talks with Nike about sponsoring our National Team's - their headquarters is in Portland, Oregon where we will be playing USA in our first match. So when we go up there we have a meeting set with them to come fully on board to sponsor all our National Teams.

Belize Obesity Rate At 60%, Health Ministry Educates Food Providers On Nutrition
The Ministry of Health held a nutrition seminar today for popular food providers around the city. It is in conjunction with the celebration of the annual Caribbean Nutrition Day. With an obesity rate of 60 percent countrywide, the Ministry’s objective today was to educate these vendors about the basic nutrition principles of preparing a healthy meal. Robyn Daly - Nutritionist Ministry of Health "We're doing a nutrition seminar for food service providers. It is in recognition of Caribbean Nutrition day, which is celebrated June 1st. The overall objective for this training is to show and to educate the people that are preparing food for us, our food service providers. We have about 35 of them all over Belize City and we made sure we reached the very popular ones. So we have representation from Chon Saan, Li Chee, Kick Down Fence - some of our vendors that are on Coney Drive, Farmers Markey - where people access more or less everyday for lunch. We want to bring them out together and teach them about nutrition and what they need to know about our nutrition situation in Belize. They need to know how bad the situation is - looking at over 60% obesity rate in the country and looking at about 14% prominence of Diabetes, 28% of Hypertension - we need to reach out to the people that are preparing our food. We use these people every day to eat and they need to be trained in nutrition to prepare healthy meals for us."

Garifuna Collective Heads Out On Tour In support Of New Album
Andy Palacio’s backing band was known as the Garifuna Collective – and now they’re preparing to embark on their first major world tour without him. The Collective left for Minnesota today where they lead off a 25 stop, 19-city North American tour – to be followed later in the summer by a European Tour. It is in support of their first album – which will be released in Belize a month from now. Produced by Stonetree Records, the album, called “Ayo” picks up where Palacio’s “Watina” left off. But the tour is different that just a straight Garifuna affair. For a few dates, they will be teaming up on stage with Canadian folk singer Danny Michel – for a compelling musical fusion. It should make for an interesting journey and we spoke to them today at the PGIA, just before liftoff:…. Lloyd Augustine - Singer, Garifuna Collective "Everything is feeling great because we have prepared ourselves in terms of rehearsing the songs and also we are launching a new album."

Channel 5

ComPol disappointed by cops in Mark King trial
Minister of State with responsibility for gangs Mark King may be a free man since the charges of aggravated assault, threatening words and disorderly conduct were dropped after the police [...]

Still no charges for Noh Mul
Whylie also commented on the Noh Mul charges…or rather lack of charges, since nobody has been held criminally liable for the destruction of the Mayan mound in northern Belize. Our [...]

Puerto Azul: Environmentalists against another hundred million U.S. dollar development
Recently, the environmental community as well as the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization have been united in their objection to a proposed cruise [...]

Florida Caribbean Cruise Association meets, but FECTAB not invited to party
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) is once again up in arms over what it claims is unremitting preferential treatment being afforded to Chukka Tours.  The Florida [...]

B.T.B. Director explains why FCCA’s visit in Belize did not include FECTAB
According to Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel-Frampton, the tours being offered by Chukka are all free of charge since a select committee, which includes B.T.B., requested assistance from local members [...]

Crime Stats: murders down for 1st half of year
The top brass of the Belize Police Department converged at the Police Training Academy as ComPol Allen Whylie presented the latest crime statistics for 2013 up to the end of [...]

Man who killed mother-in-law sentenced for manslaughter
A man who killed his mother-in-law was today sentenced to eighteen years by Justice Adolph Lucas. Peter King Contreras was not charged for murder after he strangled Argentina Garcia in [...]

Kids build virtual cities
It’s no secret that our country began as an settlement for buccaneers. There was little planning but eventually the colony of British Honduras rose to become Belize. And if you [...]

Caribbean nutrition day also looks at the health killers
No city, virtual or otherwise would be incomplete without a proper diet for its inhabitants. Caribbean Nutrition Day is recognized every year on June first. And today, at the Biltmore [...]

F.F.B. shows off new jerseys and jaguar teammates
‘On the Road to the Gold Cup’…is Channel Five’s focus on the national ‘A’ selection football team’s journey to the July 2013 Gold Cup to be held in the United [...]

Meet Ian Andrew Mork, Belize Jaguars new head coach
Since previous head coach Leroy Sherrier returned to his home in Costa Rica, the Football Federation had found a suitable replacement. Ian Andrew Mork was formally introduced as the head [...]

LOVE FM

Tourism Director Speaks on Berthing Facility for Belize
Back in March of this year the multimillion dollar proposed cruise port venture by Stake Bank Enterprises limited was back on the table. Originally the project proposed to build a cause way to nearby islands from Belize City but the project had to be downsized. A Stake Bank consultation is being ...

Food Service Providers Take Part In Nutrition Seminar
Today the Ministry of Health hosted a Nutrition Seminar for Food Service Providers. It’s in conjunction with the Caribbean Nutrition Day which is celebrated annually on June 1st According to Nutritionist in the Ministry of Health, Robyn Daly, the topics discussed included non-com...

Belize District Has Highest Reported HIV Cases
The Ministry of Health is getting ready to launch their HIV annual report next week. The report looks at data collected showing statistics of the disease for the year of 2012. The person in charge of the HIV program for the Ministry of Health, Marvin Manzanero says that collecting the...

Businessman Gets 18 Years For Manslaughter
On June 11, forty-four year old Peter Contreras, the owner of King’s Cuisine Restaurant who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, 50 year old Argentina Aravello, pled guilty to manslaughter. Today Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced Contreras to eighteen years in prison. Since ...

Village Resident Left Critical In Hospital Following a Road Incident
A traffic accident occurred on the Gorge Price Highway this afternoon. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ “A road traffic accident on the George Price Highway in the village of Camalote has left a man in a critical condition. Love News spoke to 33-year...

FECTAB Says Something Has Gone Horribly Wrong In The Cruise Industry In Belize
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture in conjunction with FECTAB is welcoming 80 delegates for the Platinum Associates Membership Advisory Council, PAMAC, hosted by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association FCCA from June 19 to the 23rd. As part of the visit complimentary land tours will be provided...

Armed Robberies On The Rise In Northern Belize
Orange Walk Police are investigating a robbery in that municipality. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL “Orange Walk Police are investigating another armed robbery in Orange Walk Town, the fourth in less than 5 days. According to reports, on Monday at around...

Rivers On The Rise In Belize
The National Emergency Management Organization advises the public that the Macal River in the Cayo District is 24 inches above normal and riding while the Mopan River is 12 inches and rising. The Belize River is six feet above normal and rising throughout the Belize District. In Lemonal nea...

Two Belizeans Destined For Europe Via Scholarship
Two Belizeans have received top European Union Scholarship Awards under the EU’s Erasmus Mundus Program. The awardees are Leo Koop and German Lopez, both graduates of the University of Belize who will pursue Masters Degrees in Europe in September. Koop was awarded a two year stu...

LOVE TV

Tourism Sector Looks At Possibility of Berthing Facility In Belize
Back in March of this year the multimillion dollar proposed cruise port venture by Stake Bank Enterprises limited was back on the table. Originally the project proposed to build a cause way to nearby islands from Belize City but the project had to be downsized. A Stake Bank consultation is being held this evening but whatever the case may be, the Belize Tourism Board is forecasting an increase of cruise visitors for next year. And as the Platinum Associates Membership Advisory Council conference gets under way tonight in San Pedro, there is no doubt that tourism delegates will questions as to why Belize does not have a berthing facility as yet. Here is what Director of the Belize Tourism Board, Laura Esquivel-Frampton had to say about it. LAURA ESQUIVEL FRAMPTON “We are actually working right now to come up with a policy to provide the government in terms of how we move forward in looking for those kinds of investments for a berthing facility. We recognize that the Government of Belize certainly recognizes that we need a berthing facility and as you know there are many legal issues that are taking place right now having to do with contracts that were signed and projects that never happened and what not which the government on a whole is trying to deal with those things but both the BTB and the Ministry and by wider extension, the Government of Belize does recognize the importance of getting that together and ensuring that we can have a tendering port.” LOCAL REPORTER “Where will this port be because so much depend on it; will it be in Belize or will it be at Stake Bank?” LAURA ESQUIVEL FRAMPTON “Well I don’t think it is as simple as that; I think you’re bringing these up because these are proposals that have come to the government in terms of where these docking facilities will be and that is why I said that we are working very diligently to really best advise the government, if a docking facility should come in where that should be. The information that you have right now is based on where it has been proposed to us. We feel and I think the government agrees very strongly that at some point it should be the government who should be saying, ‘this is where we want it’.”

Health Ministry Gives Training To Food Providers
Today the Ministry of Health hosted a Nutrition Seminar for Food Service Providers. It’s in conjunction with the Caribbean Nutrition Day which is celebrated annually on June 1st According to Nutritionist in the Ministry of Health, Robyn Daly, the topics discussed included non-communicable disease, basic nutrition principles, food safety and food guidelines. ROBYN DALY ““We have invited people who most of the Belize population would get food from at lunch time. We have representation from most of the food vendors among popular locations in the City and we have brought all of them here today to educate them on different nutrition practices to improve healthy eating. We are looking at over 60% of the population obese, 27% having high blood pressure; 13% having diabetes, we are seeing diabetes as the leading cause of death. So, people need food, food is very important so we decided to bring them together to this location do a short training for three and a half hours, more or less, and share our information with them as a means of impacting the way that they provide food to businesses or Belizean people. Our monitoring is the Public Health Unit of the Ministry of Health; we have them here today with us and also they will be doing a presentation on food safety. They do get this training in order to get their food handlers permit but they also serve as our monitoring as well for the ministry because when we look at expiration goods on shelves, they actually go out and do that as well. They are responsible for that from the Ministry of Health and the information that they provide the general public is very informative and very helpful for us in looking at the health of our population, so they are here with us providing that. We have here with us the northern region of the Ministry of Health and there is an important reason for that; we recently hired a nutritionist that is stationed in the Orange Walk District, so we have invited that entire team to come here and observe and join us in this initiative so they can go and reproduce this exact training in Orange Walk and Corozal.

HIV/AIDS Data For Belize Shows Shift In Numbers
The Ministry of Health is getting ready to launch their HIV annual report next week. The report looks at data collected showing statistics of the disease for the year of 2012. The person in charge of the HIV program for the Ministry of Health, Marvin Manzanero says that collecting the data has taken some time since they are trying to report on more variables than what they’ve done in the previous years. He gave us a sneak peek into what the 2012 statistics look like. MARVIN MANZANERO “We have a slight increase in the total number of new infections as compared to 2011. The increase is a little bit under 10% but primarily the trend that we are noticing, particular in the last 3 years is that we are having more males being positive than females. So, the terminology that was used in the latter part of the last decade which talks about feminization of the disease can no longer be said because we are talking about more males turning out positive than females. We are obviously having less males being tested than females; so the positivity rate when you do that is significantly higher for males that is a particular trend we are noticing. When you look a total number of people dying as a result of HIV, the numbers really have not changed that much. We had about 81 deaths associated to that; we have a 1,000 plus people currently receiving treatment and we are working also to completing the data because towards 2010 we had been talking about 6,000 people living with HIV in Belize but after that data cleansing process and data quality measures that are being placed, I think our figures are closer to being anything between 3 – 4 thousand people living with HIV in the country of Belize.”

Murder Victim’s Son-In-Law Pleads Guilty For Manslaughter; Sentenced to 18 Years
On June 11, forty-four year old Peter Contreras, the owner of King’s Cuisine Restaurant who was charged with the murder of his mother-in-law, 50 year old Argentina Aravello, pled guilty to manslaughter. Today Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced Contreras to eighteen years in prison. Since Contreras has spent the last two and a half years behind bars, he will serve the next fifteen and a half years to complete his sentence. The incident occurred on December 13, 2010, in Ladyville. Contreras was represented by Attorney, Ernest L. Staine and the prosecutor was Kaysha Grant from the DPP’s office

Motorbike Rider Remains Critical Following Road Incident
A traffic accident occurred on the Gorge Price Highway this afternoon. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ “A road traffic accident on the George Price Highway in the village of Camalote has left a man in a critical condition. Love News spoke to 33-year-old truck driver, Aldo Carrillo from San Ignacio Town who says that around 3pm he was in front of the Community Centre checking a tractor on his truck.” ALDO CARRILLO “Well the guy was coming fairly slowly and at the same tome a dog just came out of the road and he hit the dog; the driver couldn’t control the motor cycle and just slid like 15 yards and he burst his head and it left him unconscious and he was taken to the hospital by a citizen who was willing to render aid.” FEM CRUZ “The person was transported to the Western Regional Hospital in an unconscious state suffering from serious head injuries; he is in a critical condition. His name was later learned to be Victor Castro of Teakettle Village in the Cayo District. “

FECTAB Executive Says The Cruise Pie Is Not Being Shared
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture in conjunction with FECTAB is welcoming 80 delegates for the Platinum Associates Membership Advisory Council, PAMAC, hosted by the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association FCCA from June 19 to the 23rd. As part of the visit complimentary land tours will be provided by CHUKKA Belize and the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, FECTAB is not happy about it. FECTAB called a press conference this morning where the executive members expressed their concerns. It’s all about exposure and according to the President of FECTAB, Tom Greenwood, says that the small local tour operators were left out over preference for CHUKKA. FECTAB EXECUTIVE MEMBERS “Today we have asked for this press conference to be held because something utterly horrible has taken place in our cruise world. Only early this week, I was made aware of the fact that the Platinum Conference of the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association schedule of events included something that put the local tour operators at risk completely. In fact, completely out of the picture as far as land based tours are concerned. We found out that all tours taking place on land here in Belize will be provided by Chukka Belize. Twelve tours established for land based activity have been handed to Chukka; they offered complementary tours, we offered complimentary tours; in any scenario, anywhere, it would be shared, it has always been shared; this is a first, this opens the door for God knows what. This is a simple thing, as far as I can remember in my 27 years as a tour guide, the BTB has always come to us, has always shared out things; we have been quite happy about that, sometimes upset because somebody gets a bigger part of the pie but it had been shared. This is a precedent, this is the first time by the BTB oblique stroke Ministry of Tourism granting all land based tours and remember, they talked about others having been invited and are doing something, Cruise Solutions in San Pedro, end of story; one sea cruise, done, end of story; all the land based tours have been approved to Chukka.”

Orange Walk Police Investigate Several Armed Robberies
Orange Walk Police are investigating a robbery in that municipality. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL “Orange Walk Police are investigating another armed robbery in Orange Walk Town, the fourth in less than 5 days. According to reports, on Monday at around 8:40, four male persons exited a cream in color car in front of Chavelo’s Vegetables Place on Bakery St. in Orange Walk Town. The men described as tall and slim were all armed; three with sawed-off shot guns and one with a short arm shot gun. They entered the vegetable shop which we understand was about to close and proceeded to rob the proprietor, Isabel Paz of an undisclosed amount of cash. The men got back in their vehicle and drove off, no one was hurt. However authorities in Orange Walk are stepping up patrols in the area and town since this latest incident is the fourth in less than 5 days in Orange Walk Town. On the 14th of June, Yummy’s Restaurant was hit; on the 15th Police had a run-in and a full-fledged chase of a robber who entered and tied the female employee of ICB Insurance on Belize Corozal Road, while the would-be robber was arrested in this case, officers are investigating yet another robbery, this time at Lucille’s Guest House on San Antonio Road in Orange Walk Town that occurred over the weekend. What seems to be a hike in armed robberies in Orange Walk Town has triggered the Police Department to increase mobile patrols in town and they are asking the public to assist with any information that can lead to an arrest. In addition, if anyone notices any suspicious individual in their neighborhood, to contact the police station at 322 -2022.”

National Emergency Organisation Issues Report of State of Rivers Following TD2
The National Emergency Management Organization advises the public that the Macal River in the Cayo District is 24 inches above normal and rising while the Mopan River is 12 inches and rising. The Belize River is six feet above normal and rising throughout the Belize District. In Lemonal near the Governor Creek culverts there is six inches of water across the road. In Crooked Tree Village the lagoon is rising and is running off into Black Creek, Spanish Creek, Black Burn, Mexico Creek and Muscle Creek into the Belize River causing it to rise. In the Stann Creek District, assessment and health teams are presently in the affected communities of Sarawee, Mullins River, Gales Point and Dangriga. All shelters are closed. The coastal Road remains closed and the temporary crossing at Mullins River is closed to vehicular traffic and is currently being repaired by the Ministry of Works. In the Toledo District there is no report of flooding. The water on the Boom Creek Road has receded and the toad is now open to vehicular traffic.

EU Awards Scholarships to Two Belizeans Under The Erasmus Mundus Program
Two Belizeans have received top European Union Scholarship Awards under the EU’s Erasmus Mundus Program. The awardees are Leo Koop and German Lopez, both graduates of the University of Belize who will pursue Masters Degrees in Europe in September. Koop was awarded a two year study at the Technische Universitat Berlin in Germany and will major in Computer Simulation for Science and Engineering while Lopez will attend Bangor University in the United Kingdom for a similar period of study in Sustainable Forest and Nature Management. The scholarships cover monthly allowances, tuition, registration costs and insurance costs. Erasmus Mundus is the EU’s only scholarship program open to graduate students and institutions around the world with three main components, all with the objective of helping individual students, tertiary institutions and organizations active in the field of higher education. For the students the main objective is to promote accessibility to Europe’s top universities, help improve their career prospects, and promote intercultural understanding. The second component looks at assisting universities implement joint programs at postgraduate level or set up inter institutional partnerships between themselves and universities in Europe and targeted third countries. In the third component, organizations active in the field of higher education who wish to develop projects aimed at enhancing the attractiveness, profile, visibility and image of European higher education institutions also qualify for funding. Koop and Lopez join several Belizeans who have benefitted from the program since 2004. Head of the Delegation of the European Union in Jamaica and Belize, Paola Amadei extended her congratulations to both students and urges students and institutions in Belize to seize opportunities offered by the program.


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#466943 - 06/20/13 11:51 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 20, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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PlusTV

Police report current crime statistics
It’s been a little over five months since Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has taken over command of the Belize Police Department. Since then, Whylie along with his management team and policy group has tried to chart the way forward for the Police Department by shuffling things up and...

Noh Mul investigation should be complete by Friday
Will anyone be charged for Noh Mul and if so when? Those are the questions that were posed to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie by the media. It’s destruction plastered Belize on international headlines and caused quite the local upset but eight weeks after it’s desecration, charges have not...

Tropical Depression 2 leaves flooding in parts of the country
Tropical Depression #2 has come and gone, though the effects of the storm are still prevalent in some areas of the country. NEMO today issued its 5th advisory detailing the intensity of flooding caused by the storm. Up until this morning, the Macal River was measured at 24 inches...

Northern Formation saw greatest crime reduction last month
At this afternoons’ press briefing, the Regional Command which saw the greatest reduction in crime for last month was awarded for their efforts. This was done along with Awards to the specific sub formation within that particular region. Minister of Police and Belmopan Area Representative, the Hon. John Saldivar...

Sex offenders to serve prison terms for incest and rape
In separate cases in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, two alleged sex offenders were adjudged guilty of the offenses of incest and rape. The first case comes from Orange Walk Town, where Isabel Mendez was convicted on Tuesday by a nine-member jury for ten counts of incest,...

Police say elderly man in critical condition following attack
Police have released an official report regarding an elderly man who was attacked and left for dead last week in Armenia Village. As we previously reported, the 63 year old was socializing at a bar in the village and while returning home, he was jumped by someone, beaten up...

Belize is the best place to retire
What’s the best place in the world to retire? Well Belize of course! Live and Invest Overseas, which is considered the world’s foremost authority on overseas retirement, has compiled its first Annual Retire Overseas Index titled: Best Places to Retire 2013, which features Belize, twice! Ambergris Caye snatched the...

Two Belizean students awarded Masters Degree scholarships
Two Belizean students will be travelling to Europe to pursue a Masters Degree of their choice. The awardees, Leo Koop and German Lopez, both graduates of the University of Belize are the recipients of the scholarships offered under the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus program. Leo Koop will be pursuing...

Blogs

What to do with rain in Belize
Sometimes you just cannot help bad weather when traveling. I have seen a few weather posts on forums recently about people wanting to know what to do with themselves when it rains. Unless you are the type that melts when wet like the wicked witch of the west, going out in the rain can be lots of fun. Just make sure you are well water proofed if you do. This morning Dick and I had a few errands to run so we checked out the back roads to see just how bad they were getting from all the rain. We saw lots of big puddles and a few peoples yards were under water. I took lots of video and will start editing it tomorrow and see what I got. After coming home I was planning to finish a #TravelTuesday post but I got sidetracked with a great rainy day project instead. AVG scanning, organizing and backing up all my pictures. With 36,716 thousand of them, it has taken me a good 9 h to load them between two 16 GB flash drives and my 300 GB Samsung external hard drive. When was the last time you backed up all your important files? This was a perfect excuse to watch TV in bed while I worked

There can be no greater need or deed than saving the earth as an Eco-Kid
Eco- kids, the same in name, different in ways, but all with the same important mission, trying to help make our world a better, cleaner and healthier place for us all. We Eco-kid work together for what we want to accomplish .Ecosystems types are not only determined by their abiotic factors. Of these soil is the most important. Along the entire cost and bordering many cays lie extensive mangrove forests. We also cannot forget the submerged habitat within the Barrier Reef, lagoon includes sea grass beds. Extinction is the complete loss of one or more species from the face of the earth. Today the principal causes of species extinction are the increase of human population grows. It invades and destroys ecosystems. Life is so intricately. Interdependent that in many cases the extinction of many more species that were dependent on them, for food, pollination or shelter.

Belize’s Rise as a Cultural Mecca
Belize just keeps developing as an artistic kind of place… Across the world from Australia to Trinidad and Tobago, word is out that the Belize International Film Festival is a prestigious event, and having your film accepted to be shown at it is a big deal. According to the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday of June 17, Trinidadian filmmaker Andre Johnson had his short film, “Sweet TnT” selected for this year’s film festival in Belize City, which runs from July 11 to 15. Here’s what Newsday had to say; “Local short film Sweet TnT written and directed by Trinidadian Andre Johnson, has been selected for the 2013 Belize International Film Festival (BIFF), a major accolade for this filmmaker and Trinidad and Tobago, since the mission of this prestigious Film Festival is to ‘highlight culturally stimulating films to the Belizean audience’.” To hail a country’s film being selected for the 2013 BIFF as “a major accolade” speaks volumes for not just the artist, but for BIFF itself, and for the high regard the film festival is held in by Belize’s neighbours and the international community. And with entries from 13 nations including the United States of America, Cuba, Ukraine, Poland, France, Australia, and Spain. The BIFF has grown into a truly international event.

Anita Mesh Re-Elected As Chair Lady In San Jose, Orange Walk - Belize
San Jose Village is a large community on the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Orange Walk district adjacent to San Pablo Village. The two villages are only separated from each other by a sleeping policeman (speed bump) and are generally considered one community. Nevertheless, the villages have different village councils. While San Pablo villagers simply endorsed the uncontested participants, the people of San Jose voted for their leaders on Sunday June 9, 2013. San Jose village has a population of nearly 4,000 and about 2,000 electors. Those numbers make San Jose an important area for the politicians of Orange Walk North. That’s why on June 9, the area representative and standard bearers for Orange Walk North were present at the village council elections taking place at the San Jose Government School. Although a significant amount of electors did not vote, 1,066 votes were polled.

5 STEPS TO SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS!!
Many business people achieve their greatest successes in unexpected areas. They begin a business and then they find that it isn’t as profitable as they had anticipated, so they change direction, using their experience and their momentum, and strike pay dirt in something else. The most important thing is to begin. To take action. To move forward one step at a time, learning and growing as you go. There is enough information available in virtually every field for you to become knowledgeable enough to achieve success, but action is necessary.

“Together Again” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
When I got up yesterday morning it was still raining. And raining quite hard. Managed to sit on the veranda with my ‘wake-up’ mug of coffee and The Times on-line for a while but then the rain started to drift in and hit me and, more importantly, my iPad so the only sensible (and,contrary to what many people might think, I am sensible) thing to do was to move inside. So I did. Once I had showered, shaved, dressed and had breakfast I set about trying to organise a replacement windscreen (windshield for non UK readers) for the one that had been stolen from our golf cart. First of I sent an email to Captain Sharks to ask how much they would charge to provide and fit a replacement. I then drove to FC Aluminium to find out what they would charge. I then went back home. When I got the response from Captain Sharks it was a close run thing but I opted for FC Aluminium so we took the ‘cart there before going to visit our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. They were very efficient, taking slightly longer to get the replacement windscreen(windshield) from the stockroom than they did to fit once they had found it. Hopefully this one – with rivets to secure it to the ‘cart’- will remain in place!

International Sources

John McAfee’s endgame: ‘To stay alive as long as possible’
He fled the Central American country of Belize to Portland, Ore., by way of Guatemala and Miami in the wake of his neighbour’s murder, with his 20-year-old girlfriend and a film crew in tow. Yet little is what it seems with John McAfee, 67, the Virginia-raised software developer, who sold his eponymous anti-virus company in the mid-’90s to pursue a life of sun, sex and adrenalin. His life changed—though not necessarily for the worse—when he became a person of interest following the November 2012 killing of American Gregory Faull in Belize. McAfee claims the government wanted to frame him for the murder, and that he orchestrated his own media feeding frenzy to prevent his detainment. His escape from the country was certainly cable news fodder, and will be part of a series of movie and book-related projects by Montreal-based Impact Future Media.

Government approves draft agreement with Belize on exchange of tax information
A draft agreement between the Ukrainian and Belizean governments on the exchange of information on tax issues was approved at a cabinet meeting on June 19, 2013. According to a report of the press service of the Income and Tax Ministry of Ukraine, referring to Minister Oleksandr Klymenko, the provisions of the agreement will allow the exchange of information at the request of authorities of the two countries, in particular, on banking information and information on the owners of companies, agents, nominal owners and authorized delegates.

John McAfee resurfaces as ranting video star, mocks McAfee software
Eccentric former software pioneer John McAfee is back in the spotlight - lashing out at the anti-virus software that bears his name in a profanity-laced video. McAfee, an American who helped create the anti-virus software industry, generated a media frenzy at the end of last year when he fled his home on a tropical island in Belize, claiming that police in the Central American nation wanted to frame him for murder. He has begun producing a series of YouTube videos, the first of which lampoons the McAfee anti-virus software company that he founded in the late 1980s and that is now owned by Intel Corp. He has not worked for the business in more than 15 years.

BAGMO Calls On Belize Govt: GMO Soy Is Biopiracy
BAGMO Calls On the Government of Belize to Recognize Illegal Smuggling and Planting of GMO Soy to Be an Act of Biopiracy Belizeans Against GMOs are responding to the disclosure that GMO soybeans are illegally growing in Belize. BAGMO views the planting of illegal, smuggled soy seed to be an act of BIOPIRACY. Belize has banned trawling in Belizean waters, burned illegally cut rosewood, and burned rejected GMO corn in 2011, efforts at regulation and protection that were applauded across the globe. It is with this same sense of urgency that we implore that a strong and swift message be sent to all those farmers who undermine the regulation of food safety and protection by smuggling contraband genetically modified seed, which has never undergone a thorough and scientifically rigorous risk assessment, the established policy of the Belize Government. BAGMO calls on the Government of Belize to provide BAHA with the authority and necessary materials to conduct random and thorough testing throughout Belize for the presence of GMO crops and to immediately eradicate all GMO plant material that is found. BAHA must be allowed to create a precedent of zero tolerance for any illegal agricultural practices that would undermine the safety of Belizean food and the environment.

Another Look At The Science Museum’s Up-Coming Maya Exhibit
We are just a couple of days away from the opening of a huge new exhibit at the Science Museum of Minnesota. It’s all about the ancient Maya, people who lived in places like southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and El Salvador centuries ago. Some 300 objects are in this exhibit. It’s the largest traveling exhibit the museum has ever built, and it’s also the most complex collection of artifacts of the Maya ever put together. The ancient items include artwork and tools, and they demonstrate the amazing skills the Maya people had long before anyone else in the world. “They are fairly well-renowned, I think, to some people for their pyramids and the cities that have been abandoned and disappeared into the jungle, so there is a certain mystique that goes along with the Maya,” said Dr. Ed Fleming, an archaeologist with the University of Minnesota.

Hendrix students study marine life in Belize
Eighteen students at Hendrix recently explored marine environment in Belize as part of biology professor Dr. Jenn Dearolf’s marine biology course. “The only way to teach a marine biology class at Hendrix in Arkansas is to have a trip to the ocean linked to the class,” said Dearolf, adding that the trip was required field research for students in the spring semester class. Belize’s barrier reef is the second largest in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, offering ample hands-on research opportunities, she added. Prior to the trip, students learned about rocky intertidal zones, estuaries, the epipelagic, the deep ocean, coral reefs and mangroves. They also learned about some of the organisms that they would see on the coral reefs of Belize and studied to which taxonomic groups the different organisms belonged, their scientific names, and distinctive features of the taxonomic groups.

Live and Invest Overseas Names the World's Top 21 Retirement Havens
The first thing to notice about this list is that it is a list not of countries but of particular places. You aren't going to retire to Panama or to Belize, not to France or to Ireland... just as you aren't going to retire to the United States. Every country in the world (even little Belize, to take a good example from our list) offers a diversity of lifestyle options, of costs of living, of climates, etc. You won't get far if you try to plan for your retirement to Panama... or any other country. Approach this that way, and you're guaranteed to be confused, frustrated, and disappointed. The second thing to consider about this list is: Why these destinations, specifically? That is, of all the places in all the world, why have we chosen to focus your attention on these 21 in particular? First, collectively, these 21 spots represent the best our world has to offer -- city, beaches, mountains... Old World and New... East and West.

Fly-Fishing in Belize
A novice heads to Turneffe Flats for a six-day lesson in Central America’s fishing mecca. I am covered head to toe in a long-sleeved shirt and pants, wearing heavy lace-up wading boots. My safari hat is fastened firmly under my chin, and a tubular bandana is pulled up to my eyes, which are covered by Polaroid lenses. It’s only 8 A.M., but it feels like 110 degrees. I might as well be deployed to Afghanistan instead of standing on a 16-foot flatboard skiff floating atop a deep-blue Caribbean lagoon, trying my first cast of the day. Instead of a rifle, I’m packing a ten-weight fly rod. I’m 30 miles off the coast of Belize, at Turneffe Flats, a haute-rustic fishing lodge perched on a coral reef offering 250 miles of beautiful protected waters and some of the best saltwater fly-fishing in the world. I’ve come on a lark after having had just one experience fly-fishing off the western tip of Nantucket and a single lesson on my front lawn in Washington, D.C. When my Nantucket fly-fishing pals—Linda Vollkommer, a college fencing coach, and Phyllis Burchell, a 79-year-old Nantucketer who holds an International Game Fish Association world record for catching a 26-pound permit fish with a fly off the Florida Keys—invited me to fish with them in Belize, I had no idea these were sacred waters. “Coming here to fly-fish after one lesson,” Turneffe Flats co-owner Craig Hayes tells me, “is like taking one golf lesson and going straight to Pebble Beach to tee off.”

Family of Six in Belize
Native South Carolinians McKinley and Natalie have lived in their hometown of Columbia their whole lives. Married for several years now and the parents of four little children, they feel it is time to branch out and explore parts of the world outside of their southern comfort zone. After a vacation in Belize they realized it would be the perfect place to move their family. The children are still young and therefore very flexible and both parents want them to experience a different culture, a change in landscape and grow up in a place where outside activity supersedes sitting in front of a television or video game station. Mom and Dad are outdoor enthusiasts as well so they also look forward to the outdoor activities available in Belize year-round. In order to finance the move, builder McKinley recently sold his construction business and plans to get into real estate sales in Belize once relocated. Looking to start off renting as they investigate the housing market, the couple's budget cannot exceed 5500 dollars and McKinley is adamant about that. Seeing as they need a house big enough for a family of six and both want to be close to amenities such as the beach, pools and tennis this might be a challenge for real estate agent Macarena. But she knows her stuff and will try her best to get this active family settled into a home and location that works for everyone. Will she succeed? Will McKinley and Natalie regret the move or embrace the tropical adventure they are so ready for? Find out when House Hunters International takes a long hike to Belize.


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