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#468638 - 07/20/13 06:17 AM Today's Belize News: July 20, 2013
Marty Offline


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

SAGA July Cook-Off a big success
It was a full house with standing room only at Wet Willy’s on Wednesday July 17th, for the monthly SAGA Humane Society cook-off. This month’s theme featured summer salads and there were tasty entrees that combined watermelon and cheese, to veggie, chicken, pasta and even bacon. A total of eight different salads were entered in this month’s cook-off. The demand for tickets to accommodate the huge turnout sold well over 65 servings. In a span of about 15 minutes all tickets were sold out as everyone hoped to feed their taste buds on a variety of summer salads. Each person that purchased a ticket also had the opportunity to vote for their choice of best entree for the evening. After all the votes were in and counted, Alexis Gonzalez captured first place with his orange chicken pasta salad. Second place was awarded to Lone Star Grill with their entrée of watermelon, feta cheese and mint salad. Third place went to the host of the evening, Wet Willy’s with their bacon, lettuce and tomato salad.

Targeted residents upset after police launch anti-loitering operation on La Isla Bonita
At least four male residents of Ambergris Caye are speaking up against The San Pedro Police Department, claiming that their constitutional rights have been violated. According to the men, they are just four of many more that have become a target by police. They are claiming that the police have detained them several times in less than a week,then released without charges,in an attempt to “frustrate” them until they leave the island.The police however,are standing their grounds stating that the operation is as a result of mounting complaints that tourists are being accosted (by the individuals) and that the beach is being used for peddling drugs.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival Announces Miss El Salvador Contestant
Lovely Fatima Yolanda Mauricio Mangandi has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss El Salvador Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Twenty-one year old Fatima Mangandi has been Miss Teenager 2007 and 2010 and Miss Tourism International 2011 and represented her country at the Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant in Xi’am China in 2011. Fatima stands 5’ 7” tall, is a communications student at La Universidad Jose Matias Delgado and has dark brown eyes and black hair. She enjoys enjoys swimming and is fluent in both English and spanish. Miss El Salvador now joins Destinee Arnold - Belize, Andrea Rojas - Costa Rica, Monica Elwing Gough – Honduras, Cleirys Velásquez - Panama, Ariadna Melendez - Nicaragua and Artemisa Martinez – Mexico. All other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the two remaining contestants will be announced shortly.

San Pedro Police Commits to Decrease Burglary on the Island
Assistant Superintendent of Police at the San Pedro Police Department, ASP Luis Castellanos admits that burglary is the most pressing issue in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, having the highest recorded incidents compared to all other major crimes on the island. This week ASP Castellanos presented June statistics from his department that show an increase in burglary on the island in the past couple of months, even compared to June 2012. There were 14 burglaries reported in the month of June 2013, 58 over all since the beginning of the year. There were 38 reported burglaries from January to June in 2012. All other major crimes reported to the department have gone down or stayed the same, including murder, rape, robbery, theft, and carnal knowledge.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize vs. Cuba Pictures
The Belize Jaguars did their best at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. They got some great pictures from Tuesday's match against Cuba. Great job, Jaguars! Get ready for next year.

CNWA Distributes Cameras
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association met Wednesday, and they distributed cameras and flashlights to all the neighborhood watches that were present. They usually meet on the middle Wednesday of each month. If you'd like to join your local neighborhood watch, they'd love to have you help keep Cayo crime free. "All registered Neighborhood Watch Committees present at our monthly meetting received a few flashlights and a camera purchased form the Grant received from the US Embassy"

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with Caribbean Export, participated in an interactive Brand Development and Packaging Workshop/Webinar on July 17th and 18th, 2013. During this event, participants of Agro-processing and Light manufacturing sectors were invited with the main purpose of establishing, developing, and strengthening their company’s understanding of Branding. This workshop/webinar will cover a broad range of topics including but not limited to:

Expression of Interest EXPO-CIBAO 2013
EXPO-CIBAO 2013, Santiago, Dominican Republic, September 10-15th, 2013 Background EXPO-CIBAO is a general trade show event with a special focus on agroindustry. This event is organized by the Santiago Chamber of Commerce and Production in the Dominican Republic, and this year it is celebrating its 26th consecutive edition. The theme for this year is “For the Integration and development of the Region”, and on this basis a week full of activities, including business conferences, seminars, exhibitions, trade in goods, cultural and educational activities has been planned. The show will take place in Santiago, Dominican Republic from September 10-15th, 2013.

Channel 7

Talk Of Rosewood Tiring Hon. Alamilla
The Rosewood amnesty was back in April – and it caused the Barrow Administration to take a major political hit because of the central involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister’s brother, German Vega. Time has passed, the uproar has subsided and the ship, both figuratively and literally, has sailed. We say literally because today we found out form the Ministry of Forestry that the Rosewood transactions have been completed and the half of the proceeds that Government was to get has already been calculated and paid. The news is that it’s only 15 thousand dollars per container of nine thousand board feet. Exasperated, the Minister explained:… The Rosewood amnesty was back in April – and it caused the Barrow Administration to take a major political hit because of the central involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister’s brother, German Vega. Time has passed, the uproar has subsided and the ship, both figuratively and literally, has sailed. We say literally because today we found out form the Ministry of Forestry that the Rosewood transactions have been completed and the half of the proceeds that Government was to get has already been calculated and paid. The news is that it’s only 15 thousand dollars per container of nine thousand board feet. Exasperated, the Minister explained.

Sewell Case Almost Gets Dashed
Since February 2007, Mark Sewell, has been on remand fighting his extradition to the US, where he is wanted for narcotics trafficking dating back to December 1994 to August 1997. The Former Chief Magistrate Margaret-Gabb McKenzie, after an in-depth look at the documents presented by the US Government, ruled on September 30, 2011 that a prima facie case was well-established against Sewell. She ordered that he be extradited to the US, but Sewell’s lead attorney, the late Elston Kaseke, filed an application for Habeas Corpus in the Supreme Court, which was the proper means to appeal the Chief Magistrate’s extradition order. The problem is that after Kaseke’s death, his cases were left unattended, one of them being Mark Sewell’s application to the Supreme Court. That was done October 2011, and almost 2 years have passed without a hearing. The matter was called up once again by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for a final adjournment because since then, none of Sewell’s 3 attorneys: Arthur Saldivar, Dickey Bradley, or Bryan Neal, seemed able to move forward with it.

“Dipped” and Then Detained
Tonight, there are 10 deportees from the US who are in the custody of the Gang Suppression Unit. They arrived at the PGIA this evening on a charter Flight which came and brought them back to Belize after making a stop in El Salvador to drop off deportees for that country. The GSU reports that 10 of these men will be charged with felony offences, and one of the men will be charged with failure to report and failure to notify police of a change of address because this is his second deportation. One of the 10 is Owen Parham, who will be charged with non-appearance at court for charges of handling stolen goods. And if the name sounds familiar it should. That’s because police issued a warrant for his arrest in Corozal and Orange Walk for burglary since December of last year. He’s been wanted ever since police lifted finger prints which matched to his in their AFIS System at the crime scenes in both of those districts. The GSU were expecting 2 more deportees this evening, but there was a last-minute change of plans, so only 10 arrived.

Alleged Banak Killer Caught
Tonight, 21 year-old University Student Jedden Burgess, a resident of Tibruce Street is at prison after he was taken to court for the murder of 21 year-old Jamal Anthony Neal. Viewers may remember that on last week Monday, Neal was out on an errand for his mother. He was returning back to his house on Banak Street just before news time when he was ambushed by 2 men on a motorcycle. One of them pulled out a gun and fired several shots at Neal, injuring him in the chest. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he died while undergoing treatment. Police since have investigating, and today, they charged Burgess with murder. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer who remanded him into custody. He will be brought back to court on September 13, his next court date.

Can Belize’s Highways Be Safer?
According to the Ministry of Health, Belize recorded a fatality rate of 19 traffic deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants last year. That was the highest fatality rate of all the member countries of the Caribbean Development Bank, and as a result the CDB is trying the help the Government of Belize to lower that number. It is a big task, and they’ve come up with an intervention strategy called the Belize Road Safety Project. It is a multi-departmental approach which has ambitious goals for the next 3 years, and for the past 2 days, the facilitators have been meeting with the different representatives for a training workshop. To examine the importance of this project, our Daniel Ortiz took a look at its context in this report. Daniel Ortiz reporting In March of this year, the Government of Belize, by way of the Minister with responsibility for Economic Development, announced the launch of the Belize Road Safety Project. It is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank, with a loan to GOB of 14.5 million dollars. [File: March 14, 2013] Hon. Santino Castillo - Minister of State with Responsibility for Economic Development "I recognize the importance of that stretch of highway, the Western Highway which is the one most utilized by cyclist. I know how important it is to improve the highway, having been brushed many times by vehicles. The high death rate on our highway is a serious health concern, given the resulting lost in productivity, and increase venerability to poverty has significant social and economic repercussions. The launching of the road safety project is therefore with very good timing. The project represents the first phase of what is expected to be a long-term initiative, of the Government of Belize to improve road safety in Belize. Its overall objective is to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents."

Hon. Alamilla Fears Anti-Gay Hate Protests Could Escalate Into Violence
Last week, Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla started a Facebook uproar when she made a strong comment against an image which came out of the Punta Gorda Constitutional March, It was an effigy of a UNIBAM figure, clearly suggesting violence. Today she explained why she had to speak out. Hon. Lisel Alamilla "We live in a democracy and people have a right to protest and to hold marches. But I think everyone has a responsibility to ensure that these marches or protests don't lead into violence. I posted something on my personal page on Facebook because I saw an effigy that was being carried in the Punta Gorda march and that was very concerning to me because it brings to question whether in fact this will result in hate crimes against the Lesbian Gay Bi-sexual Transgender community."

Chiquibul, What’s the Way Forward?
Chiquibul Forest – it’s almost half a million acres, four times the size of Barbados and it’s been on the news many times. That’s because the vast area is under sustained population pressure from Guatemala, where there are over 63 communities and over 52,700 people are bordering Chiquibul. That leads to all kinds of pressures on the protected area, and today that galaxy of problems was all brought into focus at the first Chiquibul Symposium. 7news was at the standing room only event:.. Jules Vasquez reporting It was a very full room at the Radisson today and it wasn’t just folks from the conservation community. The room was full of business people, influencers, an just regular folks with an interest in Chiquibul and it’s obviously a lot of people, it was standing room only and the amazing part is - they kept standing for more than four hours. And that’s because after years of news stories and public education - Chiquibul is in the national spotlight and now it’s time to harness that awareness into action and the galvanizing calls is as simple as water like this one that runs through the Chiquibul cave system: Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Ministry of Forestry "In fact for the people in Belize City - your water originates from the Chiquibul and it makes and meanders all the way down into Belize City. If we don't protect the Chiquibul - Belize City you are going to be in problems and maybe you'll want to move to Punta Gorda."

Brig Gen Visits BDF Camp
And while Brigadier General David Jones was at the Rosewood Symposium today, he also made time to visit the Volunteer Battalion of the Belize Defense Force who are currently holding their Annual Battle Camp. This event is being held at the Camp Belizario at Central Farm in Cayo, and it focuses on operations conducted in the BDF’s Western Tactics Area of Responsibility. These officers are receiving training on issues of internal security such as assisting the Customs Department, the Immigration Department, BAHA, NICH, and police. They are also learning how to conduct inland and border patrols, and manning the observation and conservation posts. The Guest Speaker was Minister of National Security John Saldivar

A Football Camp to Learn “Left Foot”
The National Sports Council summer camps continue around the city. Today we stopped in at the Berger Field to check out 30 football campers learning some new skills. Camp Coordinator Joel Wade spoke to us about the importance of developing the skills necessary for these up and coming athletes. Joel Wade - Camp Coordinator "We have had up to as many as 27 kids - it's open and this is our third week. One of the problems we have encountered is the weather so we'd have like four days that we had to send the kids back home because of the rain. We're trying to develop some of the basic basketball skills with the kids. Some of them are green and some of them have the skills already so we're trying to green one the skills and develop the skills of the others. One of the main focus that we're working on is what we call the weaker foot. Most football players use basically one foot - for most people it's the right foot and then they don't have the confidence to use the left foot so that is one of the main things we're trying to work on with this camp. It's the foundation - you cannot wait until an athlete is grown to try and teach him some of the basic things and skills - it's something that you need to grow into, so with this we hope to achieve that."

Started From the Bottom
And while they’re starting from the bottom, no doubt those young ballers look up to the Jaguars, Belize’s national football selection who recently returned home from the Gold Cup. They didn’t return in glory, but it’s still history. They went further than any Belize team ever has from Portland to Salt Lake City, to Hartford Connecticut, and back home – over seven thousand miles in pursuit of football excellence. That they didn’t achieve it isn’t the story – that they made it there is. Tonight, we take one last look at their historic fun trip where this national team got to see and experience what no other had before as they were treated like football royalty.

Channel 5

The Chiquibul symposium speaks of wonders and threats
And from rosewood to the symposium on the Chiquibul National Park held in Belize City by the Friends for Conservation and Development…it signifies the launch of an intensive campaign to [...]

Deportees fly home to Belize
A team of ten men returning from the United States was received at the Phillip Goldson International Airport this afternoon.  The group was not the remaining members of the Belize [...]

Parents take body home for burial
Thirty year old Elvira Ack and her husband thirty year old Lawrence Bol are both mourning the loss of their first child. Forty-eight hours after giving birth on Friday, July [...]

Why is Seawell wanted by the USA?
The habeas corpus application hearing of drug suspect Mark Seawell was adjourned for the umpteenth time this morning in the courtroom of the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. In his previous [...]

UB student taken to court for murder
The last murder in the city occurred eleven days ago when twenty-one year old Jamal Anthony Neal was gunned down on July eighth.  Today, a University of Belize student, Jedd [...]

Man charged for inappropriately touching 8 year old
Another man is on remand for an alleged indecent assault upon a minor. Edilmiro Oliver appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a single charge of aggravated [...]

Prison officers fired for breaking the rules, not for whistleblowing
The recent termination of a pair of prison officers from the Kolbe Foundation has once again brought into sharp focus security concerns at the Belize Central Prison.  While the unofficial [...]

Unsanitary environment at Kolbe
The issue of public health at the Belize Central Prison is also raising serious concerns tonight, following a recent visit by officials from the Office of the Ombudsman.  In the [...]

Minister gives opinion on gender policy
The pro-constitution anti-gender policy crusaders who have gone on countrywide tour have stated publicly that they hate the sin and not the sinner where homosexuality is concerned. But during the [...]

IMF warns about paying compensation for nationalized companies
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article four consultation with Belize and the results were released earlier this week. The IMF says the restructuring of [...]

Will there be MOU’s for mega tourism development projects?
Government has been tight lipped lately about the cruise tourism megaprojects which have gone before Cabinet for consideration. Included in that multimillion dollar package are the Stake Bank project, the [...]

E.U. donates 7 million to climate change efforts in Belize.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is stationed in Belize, and the 5C’s hosted a technical meeting of the Intra-African Caribbean Pacific Global Climate Change Alliance Programme. Experts from all [...]

Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage’s Summer Camp
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage recently unveiled its new logo. The umbrella organization and its fight to preserve the natural wonders of Belize has taken on a [...]

“Some days” A new music video on the scene
If you don’t have the feet for nature as the coalition hopes, then perhaps you have the ears for music. A young artist hopes that you will be inspired by [...]


Symposium Brings Awareness on the Chiquibul Forest Reserve in Belize
The Chiquibul National Park has been in the news countless times because its resources have come under undeterred plundering by our neighbors from across the border. Reporter Hipolito Novelo brings you this in depth report on another effort to create awareness on the illegal activity within...

Young Man Charged For Recent Murder in Belize City
21-year-old University student Jedd Burgess has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 21-year-old Jamal Anthony Neal. Neal was shot and killed on July 8 on Banak Street in Belize City. Burgess appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. No plea...

Minister of Forestry Updates Media on Rosewood Harvesting
The last we told you about Rosewood was back in May when the Ministry of Forestry released its figures for the total of rosewood accumulated during the nineteen day amnesty period which ended on April twenty sixth. Since then, the topic of rosewood has been out of the headlines, that is, until to...

Robbery, Drugs and Theft
**Belize City police have detained four persons and recovered a number of stolen items. A 56-year-old woman reported to Police that she went to the US on June 1st and upon her return she discovered that her jewelries were missing, a total value of nine thousand two hundred and ninety dollar...

Belize Jaguars Continues to Receive Recognition for Playing The Gold Cup
The Jaguars football team returned home earlier this week and the recognition for what the team managed to accomplish is still being acknowledged. The Vision Inspired by the People issued a release yesterday congratulating the team for its performance at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The VIP...

Seven Years for His 8th Conviction
Forty-five year old Winfield Mortis, who had five convictions for dishonesty, got three more today when his trial concluded and he was found guilty of burglary, damage to property and assault. Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser sentenced him to seven years for burglary, one year for damage to ...

Summer Camp Teaches Children About Oil Exploration and Water Conservation
With no shortage of summer camps, the Belize Coalition to save our Natural Heritage has teamed up with the Belize Institute for Environmental Law and Policy to hold a three-day oil and water summer camp. Education Outreach Officer at the Belize Coalition to save our Natural Heritage, Judy W...


Home invasion in Santa Elena
We call them home invasions but the legal terminology is “Aggravated burglary”. Whatever the name, it is a frightening experience for those families that have had to endure one; and a Santa Elena family just had the horrific experience last night, Thursday July 18. According to police reports, the...

UB student arrested for Belize City’s last known murder
The last murder in Belize City occurred 11 days ago when 21-year-old Jamal Anthony Neal was gunned down in the late evening of Monday, July 8, 2013. Today, almost two weeks later, police say their trigger man has been identified as 21-year-old A UB student, Jedd Burgess. Mr...

Post mortem examination result for Jose Mario Umana has been released
The post mortem examination result for Belmopan taxi man 45 year old Jose Mario Umana has been released. The examiner certified the cause of death to be Traumatic shock, due to Head Trauma with a Blunt instrument. Whoever hit Umana in the head and killed him also dumped his...

Man on remand for alleged indecent assault upon a minor
Another man is on remand for another alleged indecent assault upon a minor. He is Edelmiro Oliver, a Belize City man who appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a single charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon an 8-year-old girl. The incident...

American boy attacked by wild cat at Belize Zoo
This Morning a US news article spoke of a ten year old American boy who was attacked by a wild cat while on vacation in Belize. According to the article, the young boy, along with his parents, visited the Belize Zoo, which is where...

Counterfeit Belizean currency in Belize City
Counterfeit Belizean currency has turned up at a local grocery store. Police say they are looking for a Belize City man who went to a grocery store on Jane Usher Blvd on Wednesday night. The man paid the cashier with two fifty dollar bills bearing the same serial number...

Armed robbery in San Pedro
An armed robbery was reported on the island of Ambergris Caye. On Thursday afternoon, a 13year old student of San Pedro Town along with three of his friends, were in front of Patio’s Pier which is located on Beach-front, when they were approached by a Hispanic male person riding...

Belizean Michael Silva on INTERPOL’s wanted list
Belizean Michael Silva is on INTERPOL’s wanted list. The International Criminal Police Organization, INTERPOL, is an intergovernmental organization facilitating international police cooperation. In 2011, Silva’s girlfriend was found murdered in his home in San Ignacio, having died from a massive blow to the head. According to police, Silva was...

Constitutional March in Corozal
Tomorrow the 6th in a series of Constitutional marches will be held in Corozal town. Every other district in the country has held one where Christians and non Christians alike who are opposed to the Gender Policy 2013, have taken to marches and Rallies. Hundreds and in some districts,...

#468639 - 07/20/13 06:17 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 20, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


It recommends “protecting spending” on infrastructure, internal security, and social programs. Amid calls from the trade unions for wage adjustments for public officers, the International Monetary Fund has issued a statement following the conclusion of its annual Article IV Consultation with Belize on June 21, 2013, in which it calls on the Government of Belize to moderate wage increases and broaden the general sales tax base. Furthermore, it recommends “protecting spending in such priority areas as infrastructure, internal security, and social programs.” “[IMF Directors] stressed that raising the primary surplus to levels consistent with debt sustainability would require strong adjustment efforts, including moderating wage increases and broadening the base for the general sales tax. Over the medium term, it will be important to strengthen public financial management and implement a tax reform that promotes growth and fairness,” the report said. The IMF executive directors, said the report, congratulated Belize authorities on the strong economic performance last year, as well as the successful completion of the external debt exchange.

Amandala has received reliable information that Belize Public Health Authorities have filed a damning report declaring that the female holding cell facilities, as well as the kitchen facilities at the Belize Central Prison, run by Kolbe Foundation, are largely unsanitary for inmates. Health authorities have called on the management of the prison to undertake swift corrective action, and we understand that they have given their commitment to make improvements. Health authorities found that the kitchen and recreational facilities at the prison are grossly infested with houseflies; and even worse, flies were allowed to “pitch” on food, such as freshly baked bread, which were not properly covered at the time of the inspection that was carried out in June. Health inspectors note that houseflies can be carriers of infectious diseases such as typhoid, cholera, salmonella, tuberculosis and anthrax. It calls on prison authorities to immediately take measures such as screening, proper garbage disposal, and sealing sewage cracks in order to improve sanitation.

Allegations are that they were fired for revealing information about the attempted rape of a female officer by a senior officer. Amandala’s calls to Kolbe Chief Executive Officer Earl Jones, to ask him about two more staff terminations this week, have gone unanswered; however, we were able to confirm that the Office of the Ombudsman has been informed of the two additional firings, which come on the heels of a series of terminations reported by the Belize Central Prison Coalition. Labour Minister Godwin Hulse had commissioned Labour Commissioner Ivan Williams to investigate allegations of arbitrary and unusually high numbers of terminations at the prison; however, our newspaper has not been informed of the outcome of those investigations. Two cases were reported to our newspaper this week – and whereas terminations, generally speaking, are not illegal, the circumstances under which the July 16 terminations reportedly occurred are being questioned by the Coalition. Gaspar Camara, who was a basic grade officer employed at Kolbe since 2008, and who had worked in the records section for the past two years, told us that by letter dated July 16, 2013, and signed by CEO Earl Jones, he was terminated with immediate effect.

“I wish the Prime Minister wouldn’t be so hardheaded …” “… homosexual, gay – I am opposed to it.” “… if the people are telling him this thing is not right … I think he should look at it.” – Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright. Patrick Menzies of Belize Can to Obama: “…keep your trash in the White House!”. New US Ambassador supports LGBT agenda. Belize Census released in 2010 said that Roman Catholicism remained the single largest religion with 40% of the total population saying that they belong to that Christian denomination. “Why go into the school to teach the children that the anus is a sexual organ? Why is UNICEF financing UB $100,000 to put up a gender department?” – Lascelle Arnold This morning, the fifth in the series of demonstrations being led nationwide by Christians, but which have also garnered support from non-Christian Belizeans who are likewise opposed to the Gender Policy 2013, took to the streets of Belize City. What was most significant about this episode of the demonstrations, dubbed Constitutional Marches, is that the head of the Roman Catholic Diocese in Belize, Bishop Dorick Wright, was at the frontline of the parade, sending a message to the Barrow administration that he does not support the policy which Cabinet had approved back in March. In an exclusive interview with Amandala after the parade and rally at Memorial Park, Belize City, Bishop Wright, who heads the most populous religious denomination in Belize, told us categorically that he cannot support the new gender policy. “Anything that is homosexual, anything that is gay – I am opposed to it. Not for myself, but for the future. I am closer to the cemetery than I am to this life, and I am concerned about our children. I don’t want this sort of thing to be imposed on our children, so I cannot support this in any way,” Wright said, who, we understand, made the sacrifice to demonstrate despite battling health issues.

After being mistakenly shot in the head by police, Buckley cannot work. After being mistakenly shot in the head by police, Buckley cannot work Steven Buckley, a former construction worker who had to be hospitalized after he was shot in the head by police, told Amandala today that police have not yet given him any compensation to help pay off a $6,561 bill he told us he has received for expenses incurred while he was hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). In fact, the “final notice” Buckley received this month from Credit Masters Systems says the bill is due tomorrow, Friday, July 19. It goes on to say that failure to pay will result in a public notice and court action. Buckley said that he has gotten his second letter demanding payment. Minister of National Security John Saldivar told journalists this morning when asked what police will do to help Mr. Buckley that he will look into the matter. “The Commissioner [of Police] is currently out of the country, but as soon as he returns, I will have a sit-down with him and see how we can work out something amicable. I do believe that, if it was the case that he was mistakenly shot, that something needs to be done to work out a solution. I will sit with the Commissioner and work something out. I don’t believe that this needs to drag out much longer,” the Minister said.

Miguel Dominguez, 31, a bartender of Sea Grape Drive of San Pedro, was shot in the arm and the side of his torso and is presently receiving medical treatment at the San Pedro Polyclinic. The incident occurred about 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, in front of the football field in San Pedro. According to the man responsible for shooting Dominguez, the shooting was an act of self-defense. He said that at about 3:00 on Saturday evening he was approached by Dominguez in front of the football field as he was walking on Angel Coral Street in San Pedro. He said that Dominguez pulled out a knife and attempted to stab him, and, fearing for his life, he responded by pulling out his licensed .9mm pistol and firing a single shot at Dominguez. Police have said that charges will not be brought against Dominguez’s shooter , but as soon as Dominguez is well, he will be arrested and charged with aggravated assault..

Justice Hanomansingh ruled that excessive force was used to get oral confession. Salazar and three other men were just recently acquitted of the double murders of James Swan and Edward Gutierrez. Gabriel Salazar, 23, walked away from the Dangriga Supreme Court a free man on Monday after he was acquitted of killing Francis Johnson. The murder occurred during a robbery on September 9, 2009, in Johnson’s Store in Big Falls, Toledo, in which the store’s owner, Johnson, was shot and killed in the process. Three other persons were alleged to have committed the crime with Salazar, but all four men had fled the country in an attempt to reach Honduras. It was while there that the men allegedly attempted to commit another robbery and Salazar was shot by Honduran police who had responded to a report of the ongoing crime, while it is believed that the other three were shot and killed by Honduran police. Salazar was returned to Belize, where the charges had been brought against him. Last week, the trial began before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in Dangriga, with attorney Simeon Sampson representing Salazar.

Garcia’s defense to the court was that Herrera chopped himself while in a drunken state. Romolo Garcia, 55, a cane farmer of Hattieville, was today convicted of use of deadly means with intent to cause grievous harm after a jury returned with an eight-to-one ratio of guilty. In April of 2011, Garcia was entertaining his friend, Alberto Herrera, 64, at his home when an argument ensued, which quickly turned violent and ended with Herrera suffering chop wounds to his left forearm near his elbow, and to his right hand. The chop to his right hand severed all five of his fingers on that hand. In the trial, testimonies of two of the witnesses — Herrera and the police officer who recorded his statement, Cpl. Victor Lima, had to be read to the court after it was proven that they both were dead. Herrera died as a result of septic shock after his fingers had been severed and he was diagnosed with diabetes. The stumps which had remained after his fingers had been severed had become infected. Cpl. Lima was shot in his chest while responding to a burglary in progress in Hattieville, and died several days later.

Vultures were feeding on the body. A taxi driver of Belmopan, Jose Martin Umana, 45, who was missing since Saturday, July 13, was found by his brother-in-law, Marin Aleman, on the ground in a state of decomposition behind a cohune tree in an area between George Price Boulevard and the Western Highway at about 4:30 yesterday evening. A postmortem exam was conducted onsite to certify the cause of his death, but the autopsy was inconclusive due to the advanced state of decomposition of the body. Umana was buried immediately after the autopsy. Aleman told reporters that yesterday evening he was driving his car on the George Price Boulevard searching for Umana when some John Crows (vultures) attracted his attention. He stopped, got out of the car and went to see what was attracting the birds, and behind a cohune tree, he found his brother-in-law lying on the ground face down. He was in shorts, and had no shoes. Aleman said that on Saturday when he was told that Umana was missing, he began to search for him immediately. He was in Ontario searching for him when police found his taxi car, with its stereo missing, but Umana was nowhere to be found.

GOB must get serious about Sports/Youth Development. The Nation Builders national youth movement commends the Belize Jaguars National Football Team for their participation in the 2013 Gold Cup. The journey, although short-lived, proved that despite the struggles and tremendous challenges facing our country, we are a resilient people and have the capacity to compete with sports giants on the world stage. We commend every member of the national team – from player to staffer – for their efforts to uplift our country. We consider the Belize Jaguars Team, which was one of only five national teams that advanced from the UNCAF tournament in March, as heroes, and recommend that each member be properly recognized and respected, principally by the Government of Belize. We also call on the Government to get serious about sports development as a key area of youth development. The current policy on sports development is an oppressive, lazy and poorly thought-out strategy that needs immediate revision. We recommend meaningful investment in Sports, including adequate neighborhood parks and proper sporting facilities, assisting with the creation of community sports clubs, sponsorship of community sports events, the implementation of strategic sports programmes in primary school and high school that encourage academic and sports development instead of the current isolated tournaments that have low-impact, and the adequate sponsorship of our national sports teams.

Hoop Dreams Belize’s performance was outstanding in the U16 Copa Cancun Basketball Tournament. The team traveled to Cancun, Mexico on July 10 and returned on July 15. The U16 male category comprised of 13 teams divided into 3 divisions – A, B and C. Hoop Dreams Belize dominated the A division, winning all four games, imposing their defensive and offensive excellence throughout the entire tournament. The fans packed the stadium, appreciating the high energy and classy display of unselfish basketball performed by our young basketball ambassadors. Game 1 – Manatees 37, Hoop Dreams Belize 64 Game 2 – Hoop Dreams Belize 71, Club Roscos 21 Game 3 – Hoop Dreams Belize 74, Mapaches 38 Game 4 – Hoop Dreams Belize 62, YBOA 23 Advancing to the semi-finals and eventually to the finals was a great accomplishment, being that the teams we faced were bigger, representing structured clubs supported by huge fan bases from as far away as Mexico City and cities near the US border. 109 teams participated in the tournament.

Our Belize National “A” Team, the Jaguars, returned to Belize this morning to a warm but modest reception from fans and family members at the Philip Goldson International Airport, after losing their third Group Stage game yesterday at the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013 in the USA. It was Belize’s first time participating in the prestigious Gold Cup, which features the 12 best national teams in the North Central American and Caribbean Football Association, the regional football body known by its acronym, CONCACAF. There were many hurdles facing the team before even boarding the flight out of Belize on Friday, July 5, and the sheer demands of their travelling and playing schedule, the much higher level of opponents than they are accustomed to, the strain of the high altitude encounter in game 2 against Costa Rica, along with their eagerness to accommodate the throngs of excited Belizean fans in the U.S., all took their toll on the Jaguars, who appeared lethargic in game 3 yesterday against Cuba, falling 4-0, the last goal coming in injury time. It was a devastating loss, but one from which the team must learn many lessons for the future about playing at this level of competition. Gold Cup 2013 is history for the Belize Jaguars, who will now have the luxury of looking at the rest of the competition at home on T.V., and start planning in earnest to qualify for the next Gold Cup in 2015.

At the macro level, the leaders of Belize’s two major political parties are cynical people. That is to say, they do not really care what you think or what you have to say unless you have a lot of money or unless you can put people in the streets. The leaders of the two political parties usually represent constituencies which are considered “safe” for their respective parties. At the micro level, or the level of the individual area representatives and standard bearers, there is usually more skittishness. The area reps and standard bearers keep a very close eye on their constituencies, and they are immediately interested once any organized movement of people, no matter how small the group, begins stirring around in their divisions. After all, over the years several constituency elections in Belize have been decided by fewer than twenty votes, so any movement of people, no matter how small, can decide an individual Belizean politician’s electoral fate. If you start any kind of group in any political constituency in Belize, whether it is a sewing group or a sailing group or a sports group, you can end up deciding an individual politician’s electoral fate. The individual politician has to find out, as quickly as he can, in what political direction your group is likely to head. If you are likely to head in his opponent’s direction, the politician will seek to sabotage and intimidate your group, no matter how small, in any way he can. If you are likely to be favorable to him, then the politician will nurture you and your group. If you insist on being independent, both parties will become suspicious of you. You will then be attacked from both sides of the political spectrum.

A May 2013 paper produced by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) essentially says that the Government of Belize has been investing more money in the education system over the last ten years and getting out less where positive results are concerned. This is a research paper put together by three impressive scholars, and the work is scientifically done. The most important thing to note is that the research period basically covers five PUP years and five UDP years, so you have to throw the party politics out and look at the financial inefficiencies of Belize’s education system. For many Belizeans, especially older ones, it’s quite difficult to throw out the party politics, a big reason being because spokesmen for the two political parties are the loudest voices we hear every day, and they are not only loud: they are aggressive and they are abusive. This IDB paper is so scientific that at one point there is a mathematical formula introduced which must really be like something at the level of the complicated banking derivatives. This is big time academic stuff, and it is corroborating what domestic observers like Assad Shoman and the late Leroy Taegar have been saying for many years. Personally, I have seen the same things Shoman and Taegar were seeing, but I do not consider myself in the intellectual category of these two gentlemen. I came home to Belize in 1968 after a first degree, and what I have done over the years is try to translate some of the graduate ideas into a language which the masses of the Belizean people can understand. In the first few years of that process, I felt isolated because of the intellectual programs through which my mind had been run: in other words, it took a while to come off the university high. As all these 45 years have passed, however, I have fallen quite a bit behind where pure academics are concerned, and the result is that I am not so sure of myself in the intellectual sense.

by Thomas Charlesworth Dear Editor, After a drive through downtown Belize City I was astonished to see that our Mayor has gone ahead with his plan to block the street between the bank and Mule Park. This last Wednesday I listened in to him praising his work and his Council saying that the “Master Plan” was made public three years ago and is on the City Council web site. Well, let me say, since the streets start getting cemented was the first time that I had heard of it; second thing, how many Belizeans have a computer, let alone have Internet? On the WUB 2 cents Cam, a participant made a comment about the Master Plan: he said he doesn’t know and he doesn’t think the Mayor knows, and I tend to agree with him. The Mayor also said that all indications to him were that the temporary blockage of the street there at the Mule Park and the bank was working; apparently, his advisers don’t know squat, because that blockage has caused more of a traffic jam than ever.

by review by Alan Slusher Barbara Bulmer-Thomas and Victor Bulmer-Thomas Cubola Productions, Benque Viejo del Carmen, Belize, 2012 Paperback; 214pp; US$24.00 ISBN 978-976-8161-39-0 Barbara and Victor Bulmer-Thomas have done us an enormous service in producing a very readable, concise text that traces the modern macro-economic history of Belize from the days of the earliest settlement by the British adventurers in the 17th century through to present times, and that analyses the factors that influenced that history. It is written in a way that makes what it says easy to understand and fully accessible to practically everyone in Belize. I stress “macro-economic history” because it is not a general history, and it is not detailed; it covers political and social developments only insofar as these are directly linked, through cause or effect, to economic developments, and it covers only the broad trends and strands of Belize’s economic history. It is worth noting that a detailed history, even if limited to the economics-related aspects of Belize’s evolution, would not be easily accessible to the general reader. Perhaps in compensation, the authors have included an extensive bibliography that will facilitate exploration of all aspects of the country’s history by the interested reader. The book is published by Cubola Productions, of Benque Viejo del Carmen in Cayo. Cubola’s director, Montse Casademunt, has maintained her strong ongoing effort to bring to Belizeans the works of authors and editors (Joseph Palacio, Nigel Bolland, Jaime Awe, and Karla Heusner among them) critical to an understanding of who we are and where we have come from.

UNIBAM is listed among its 14 active members. The Women’s Issues Network of Belize (WIN-Belize)—an alliance of nationally prominent NGOs—has issued a press release saying that it has contacted its member organizations and they have “reached consensus on the full acceptance of the Revised National Gender Policy 2013,” which some opponents say is in line with a foreign agenda to eventually legalize same-sex marriages in Belize and to furthermore set up a legislative framework for special and protective rights to LGBT persons. The WIN-Belize network is made up of a range of organizations, including private sector, environmental and activist organizations. The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which has highly praised the new gender policy, is listed among its 14 active members. At least one of those organizations—the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)—has told us, though, that while YWCA officials had agreed to support the WIN-Belize position on the Gender Policy, the board of the organization has yet to say where it really stands in regard to the new policy. Sonia Linares, YWCA’s Executive Secretary, told our newspaper today that she had indicated to WIN-Belize that they would like more information and clarity on the policy in question.

by Arthur Belisle My two grandfathers were both boat builders – James Osling and Joseph Belisle. James Osling had his own dockyard. These yards used a large structure called the “ways,” and a smaller structure called the “cradle,” to haul up the boats, along with a block-and-tackle and a winch. There was a Public Works Department (PWD) boatyard at the Barracks which took care of the ferry at Haulover. In the old days there was a ferry where the Haulover Bridge is presently. We also had two dredges, one operating in the Haulover Creek and one at sea. Other dockyards along the Haulover Creek were owned and operated by Dickie Jones, Philip Rowland, John Arnold, Bill Sebastian, and Clifford Betson. Where the bus station is on West Collet Canal not far from the Pound Yard Bridge is where the slaughterhouse used to be. They used to bring cows from Honduras. There was a portion of land they used to call “grassy piece” where they kept the cows from Honduras. There was a boatyard at Fisher Waterside. There were two kinds of boats: one kind for shallow water and another kind to operate at sea. My grandfather, James Osling, and Clifford Betson were said to be the best when it came to building tunnel boats.

Is there such a thing? Yes, if you can make words mean what you want. All you have to do is listen to the Master, according to the Humpty Dumpty principle. No, if what you refer to is an absurdity. What it refers to is that gender is determinable by group sexual preference. Let’s examine the relationships of human sexual relationships. The reality is, first of all, that sex and gender are synonymous. If your sex is male, you are of the male gender and, if your sex is female, you are of the female gender. There are only three different kinds of sexual relationships, which is called copulation. The three relationships are between a male and a female, two females or two males. When a man and a woman copulate, they remain male and female of different sex and gender. When two women copulate, they remain female of the same sex and gender and, when two men copulate, they remain male of the same sex and gender. What is this Gender Diversity all about? As far as I know there are two genders, male and female, the same as sexes in the animal kingdom. Inanimate objects are said to be neuter, which means having no gender. It has been so from the beginning. The idea of Gender Diversity, which means more than two genders, seems to be an absurdity. Do we have to accept it? Yes, if according to the Humpty Dumpty principle, all that is needed is for the Master to say a thing and it becomes a reality. In this case, the Masters of the World have decided that there shall be Gender Diversity. Which world? The world under their control. But, that can’t include Belize, a sovereign, democratic country, in which the will of the people forms the basis of government. We are a democratic country but, the power of the people is in the hands of the Executive. The Rulers of the World have the power to “persuade” a government, during its term of office, to carry out policies which the people, if consulted, would reject.

The Columbia River Cooperative has announced the launch of fundraising efforts to open a Rainforest Academy in 2014 in San Pedro Columbia, Toledo – a village with an estimated population of 2,000. Lisa Kile, a Belizean-American who has lived in the village for decades, and who teaches at the Toledo Community College in Punta Gorda, told Amandala that she donated land for the new school on her premises (for a token consideration of $1.00) so that the project can be implemented. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education David Leacock confirmed to our newspaper that the group has submitted its application. Leacock said that the normal procedure is for the District Council to conduct an inspection and make a recommendation to the Chief Education Officer, Chris Aird. Leacock said that he could not yet provide any details on the status of this particular application. Gilroy Usher and Lisa White Kile, who share a son, told us more about the project: Usher, a former employee of the National 4H Club in Belmopan, said that he and Kile had an idea to set up an academy with an agricultural emphasis.

Few people in this world tried harder to make life’s road easier for me to walk, so this corner cannot allow Mr. Norris Edgar Wade (N. E. Wade, Mr. Wade, My/The Boss, Norris) to go into the hereafter without a public salutation. He was a hero in Belize Agriculture when Central Farm was under the stewardship of the first wave of university-trained local scientists – pioneers named Norris E. Wade, John E. Link, Elias Juan, Godsman Ellis, and Balmore Silva. Ah, it was the age of the Green Revolution and they were the first ones charged to lead Belizean farmers into the brand new world. Oh! what an exciting age. That story, their stories, and the stories of those who followed shortly after, are the stuff of legends. N. E. Wade was my boss on my first real job. I was about twenty or so when I went to work at Hummingbird Hershey Ltd. (HHL), an experimental cacao farm owned by Hershey’s (Hershey Foods Corporation of Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA) at about Mile 35 on the Hummingbird Highway. It was envisioned by Hershey’s that HHL would become the single largest cacao farm in the world. I was not the only young fellow hired to work in second tier management on the farm. There were colleagues of mine from the Belize School of Agriculture – Anthony Castillo, Charles Garbutt, and Gaspar Martinez – and Simon Willacey, a young junior college graduate, working there too. Norris E. Wade, the farm manager at HHL, and my uncle, James V. Hyde, were very close friends. They were both university-trained. In a country where many did not have such opportunities, I guess that gave them a special camaraderie. From the day I met Norris, he was in my corner.

SMART customers have been complaining that since last week, they have been receiving text messages which they cannot read, because they are being transmitted with junk characters, instead of legible characters; and likewise, people they have been texting have been receiving their messages in illegible form. SMART’s PR Manager Ian Courtenay told Amandala today that the problem—which was triggered by an upgrade in their SMART Message Service Center—should be cleared up by this weekend. According to Courtenay, when the system was upgraded, the problem was reported by customers using particular types of phone devices, and the problem, he said, is handset-specific. SMART has had to communicate the information to Tango, its overseas service provider. Courtenay told us that, “those [bad texts] should be cleared up by this weekend.”

Olvin Lopez, 24, and Marcelino Juarez, 18, appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court today, Tuesday, where they were both found guilty of illegal entry into Belize and deemed to be prohibited immigrants. Juarez, a Guatemalan, was a construction worker residing at a Mahogany Street address in Belize City. He pleaded guilty to the charge read against him and agreed to the facts of the charge read in court. A removal order was issued for his deportation to Guatemala at a time to be determined by the Director of Immigration. Juarez was handed over to immigration officers today from the Queen Street Police Station. The immigration officers escorted him to the Immigration office for questioning. The officers requested from Juarez his passport or any other form of travel documents, which he was unable to produce. He was therefore deemed to be a prohibited immigrant. Juarez has been in Belize since December 2010, when he entered Belize via the banks of the Mopan River in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Lopez is a Honduran who was also working in construction and resided at a Belize City address. He pleaded guilty to his charge and agreed with the facts read to him in court. Lopez was fined $1,000, plus $5 cost of court, which were to be paid forthwith, or he would serve six months in prison. A removal order was issued for him to be deported to Honduras and would take effect after he pays the fine or serves the six-month sentence.


A great Belize resource
One of the places I recommend most to people is the Ambergris Caye Belize message board. Lately it has been to people for it’s classified section, you can always score good deals there. Recently I posted AmbergrisCaye.com classifieds because I wanted to get a land-line telephone. Within 24h I had a phone call from Guest Supply House, and my number was not even listed in post, within 48h I had an email from the Kumars who have a spare cordless phone. Now that is what I call fast action A few other classifieds that are always worth checking are San Pedro Sun, Ambergris Today, and San Pedro Daily. I have been recommending all 3 lately to people who are apartment hunting from afar. Recently Dick placed a few ads in San Pedro Sun newspaper one apartment for rent and one marine gas tank for sale for sale. He got calls right away in regards to the 2 bedroom apartment he is renting. Today the two of us are heading north, I decided to bring Dick to my fishing meeting so he can meet Rudy. I figured it is time my 2 wing-men meet in person since they both love boats and fishing.

Belize International Film Festival a Cinematic and Cultural Success
The lights have gone up on the 8th annual Belize International Film Festival, bringing to a close four days of independent film industry networking and the showing of films from around the world, further cementing Belize’s reputation as something more than just a pretty face – the little country is maturing into a cultural and artistic powerhouse in the region and the world. This year’s festival kicked off on July 12 and had close to 50 entries from all over the globe, with winners spanning the globe from Canada and Holland to Australia, which took best Feature Length Narrative with Ivan Sen’s “Toomelah”. “Maroons: Africans on the Move,” won the Most Notable Belizean Film category and CEBU, from Cuba, won Best Short Film. All, in all, it’s safe to say that the BIFF was truly an international affair, and congratulations must go out to the organisers for putting together such a successful cultural coup.

Why I want to become an Eco-kid
I would like to become an Eco – kid because I have become aware that the flora and fauna are very valuable for the survival of our planet and the human race. I notice in the international news that the world resources are under constant stress. In our country, there is illegal fishing, hunting, cutting down of pristine forest. Our resources are being invaded by our neighbour, our own people are engaging in illegal activities to harm our environment and that is very sad. Since I like hiking, I think a good way to contribute in the preservation of our forest, birds and marine life is to become a Park Ranger. Being a Park Ranger will give me the opportunity to help avoid activities like what happened at Nohmul and help to stop the distraction of endangered species of birds and other animals. I will help save the green parrot, the scarlet macaw, the toucan, rose wood, mahogany tree and many more.

“At Last” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In recent weeks I have displayed a sloppiness in some editions when describing the time at which I have done something. A pm used when it should have been am. So from today abelizehomeforus will be using the twenty-four hour clock. Not much of note as far as yesterday’s day-to-day stuff is concerned to inform (bore) you of (with). I did go to FC Aluminium (managing to get caught in the heavy downpour of rain in the process) to get a new holder for the fold-down windscreen (windshield for non UK readers) of our golf cart fitted. One of the two holders for the upper section of the windscreen (windshield) had either fallen off (unlikely in my opinion) or had been ‘helped’ off. They didn’t sell them in ‘singles’ so I had to buy a pair and then had it and the remaining one riveted to the roof/body frame. While they were at it I also got them to put a rivet in to the plate that holds the lower section of the windscreen (windshield) to the frame. They are not going to ‘fall off’ now! When I got home (well to the condo that Rose and I have been renting during our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize) it was time for lunch and then after that I helped (there may be a contrary view to this) Rose prepare our dinner of salmon fish cakes.

International Sources

Gay Marriage and Other Wins for LGBT People Here Are Making Life Worse for Gays and Lesbians in Developing Countries
The last six months have seen a run of victories for LGBT people in Europe and America. This week, the British government voted to approve same-sex marriage, only just pipped to the post by the French, who celebrated their first same-sex weddings in May. The hated Defence of Marriage Act was struck down in the US by the Supreme Court last month and California's Prop 8, a similar piece of anti-gay legislation, has been dealt a deathblow. But the successes achieved in Europe and America are adding to the challenges facing LGBT people in the global South. The achievement of equal marriage, parenting and adoption rights and full legal protection can actually impede the struggles in other parts of the world where the battles for LGBT people are about the most fundamental of human rights. 76 countries continue to criminalise 'homosexual conduct', punishable with prison sentences and hard labour. In five countries the death penalty still applies Because they are losing ground in the West, our opponents are increasingly moving their resources (and their rhetoric and their hate) to more fertile grounds in developing countries. American Evangelical Churches are abandoning the fight against equality at home, in favour of supporting homophobic laws abroad. Why fight a losing battle against social liberalism in America or Europe, where you are increasingly ignored and ridiculed, when in Uganda, Belize or Nigeria you are welcomed with open arms. In this perverse way the successes of the LGBT movement in the North, and in particular in the United States, have acted to worsen conditions in the South.

Downers Grove resident treats patients in Belize
On his recent trip to volunteer in Belize, Mark Sleeper visited one hut across a swing bridge and surrounded by a trench to keep the endless rain at bay. Inside was a 15-year-old girl who had never left the hut because of cerebral palsy. “The only way I can express it is tragic,” said Sleeper, a Downers Grove resident and physical therapist. “The family either couldn’t get her out of the hut [because of the bridge], or they were embarrassed. The father believed that she was possessed by an evil spirit. He was waiting until the evil spirit left her and she could walk again.”

O.C. Boy Attacked by Ocelot on Vacation in Belize
A young boy was recovering at a local hospital on Friday after he was attacked by an Ocelot while on vacation in Central America. Ronald Altender, 10, was on vacation with his family in Belize when they stopped to visit a zoo. Ronald reached out to pet the wild cat behind a fence, and that’s when his mother said she heard screaming. “I just lightly touched the fur that was over the fence and it bit my thumb and pulled on it,” Ronald said. “I heard, ‘Mommy! Mommy! Help me!’” Holly Altender said. “The cat just pulled the arm through the fence and got ahold of his finger, and it would not release,” she said. Ronald was rushed to a hospital, and is now receiving additional treatment at Children’s Hospital Orange County. Despite the incident, he said he is not afraid of cats, and he even wants to raise money to make the zoo safer for other kids. Anyone who wants to donate to the animal sanctuary can visit: www.belizezoo.org.

The '4 Cs' Of Choosing Your Overseas Retirement Destination
If you've been thinking about retiring overseas, but haven't quite decided where you want to live, you're in luck. It's a big world and you have many wonderful options, from laidback beaches to pristine mountain environments and from bustling culture-rich cities to small, peaceful villages. Of course, there are pros and cons to all these... so let's see if we can help you narrow down your choices. We use a formula we call the "4 Cs" when we're analyzing a destination. They are: Comfort, Convenience, Cost and Culture. We want to make sure the destination ticks all those boxes. Just briefly, here's what we consider: 1. Comfort: This includes climate, terrain and safety. For us, that means no snow, a flat walk able urban area, and of course, we want it to be safe. We'd never consider any location that we don't feel is generally safe -- although no society is completely crime-free. Just as at home, you'll find rough neighborhoods in every big city. And while you'll probably never find your way to any of them, it's important to be selective about where you choose to live. 2. Convenience: For us, this means being close to an international airport, a good hospital, shopping and the entertainment amenities important to us. 3. Cost: We want the place we live to be affordable. Just makes sense. 4. Culture: You'll be moving to a foreign community so make sure you enjoy the local culture. And be sure that there are plenty of opportunities to keep yourself engaged... whether it's water sports or outdoor activities or music and theater and so on. Be sure your interests will be satisfied. And then we add a fifth "C" -- calling. This is more intuitive than anything, but does the place call to us, and is it a place we want to live? Now that we've laid the groundwork, which countries (and places within) should top your list and why? If you've rarely traveled before, you don't speak a foreign language, and you'd like to stick close to home, we'd suggest Belize or Mexico.

Feds to Spend $500K for Job Creation – in Belize
The State Department through the U.S. Mission to Belize is planning to spend $500,000 to create jobs for youth in Belize. “Marginalized youth are empowered when given a voice and opportunities. Equipping marginalized youth and their communities with economic opportunities and/or business training can help them reach their true potential as entrepreneurs and improve citizen security,” the grant announcement said. The grant proposal seeks to “confront the root causes of violence and crime” in Belize “in a creative and effective way” and “to create positive cultural and social conditions, which are the foundations of a peaceful and orderly society.” “Root causes in Belize include, but are not limited to, the lack of economic development, the lack of skills and/or tradecraft, the lack of conflict resolution skills, and/or the lack of opportunity for youth,” the grant said.

The Forbidden Island
Ever heard of North Sentinel Island? Probably not …even thought's one of the most unusual places on Earth. What makes it so odd? The people -they've been there a long time, completely cut off from the rest of the world. MAROONED Late on the night of August 2, 1981, a Hong Kong freighter navigating the choppy waters of the Bay of Bengal ran aground on a submerged coral reef. The ship, called the Primrose, was hopelessly stuck. But there was no danger of it sinking, so after radioing for assistance, the captain and crew settled in for a few days' wait until help arrived. The following morning, as it became light, the sailors saw an island a few hundred yards beyond the reef. It was uninhabited, as far as anyone could tell: There were no buildings, roads, or other signs of civilization there -just a pristine, sandy beach and behind it, dense jungle. The beach must have seemed like an ideal spot to wait for a rescue, but the captain ordered the crew to remain aboard the Primrose. It was monsoon season, and he may have concerned about lowering the men into the rough sea in tiny lifeboats. Or perhaps he'd figured out just which tiny island lay beyond the reef: It was North Sentinel -the deadliest of the 200 islands in the Andaman Island chain.

8 Tips You Should Know Before Buying Your Next Digital Camera
Regardless of what you have been told, there is no such thing as a “do-it-all” camera. If there was a “do-it-all” camera, competition in the industry would suffer, seedy patents would be made, one company would monopolize everything, prices would skyrocket, their profits would fail, and eventually, we would no longer have cameras at all. At least that’s how I see it. It would suck. With that said, this is precisely why different cameras exist, so from now on, I would recommend thinking of cameras as different tools. While all screwdrivers are tools, not all tools are screwdrivers. Make sense? We at MakeUseOf know that purchasing a camera is a big deal, so we want to help. Below are just a few things to take into consideration before dropping loads of cash on something you will be using for quite a while.


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