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#469939 - 08/10/13 06:58 AM Today's Belize News: August 10, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Archaeologists study soil at Marco Gonzalez
The Marco Gonzalez Maya Site located on the south end of Ambergris Caye can safely be called one of the island’s hidden treasures. The 2,000 year old site is a relatively virgin site in comparison to the excavation work that has been done on other sites throughout Belize. However since 1984 Dr. Elizabeth Graham has been leading archaeological studies to the site and has been making great progress in unveiling bits and pieces of the marvels of Marco Gonzalez. Dr. Graham is once again on Ambergris Caye, this time accompanied by a team of three archaeologists from University College London (UCL), studying the soil at Marco Gonzalez. Observations done over the years have led to recognition of the notably fertile land on the grounds.

San Pedro youth participate in Steel Band Concert
Children from across San Pedro displayed their musical abilities in a steel band concert held on Friday, July 9th at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. The concert was held to show parents and friends what the children had learned in the three week music summer camp held by Maestro Carlos Perrote. The unique summer camp taught children, from ages 5-18, to play percussion instruments, Garifuna drums and the steel pan. From July 22nd to August 8th, children learned basic elements of music, writing music, music notes and much more. The camp was a huge success, as noted when the children played the in instruments in rhythm and harmony at the concert. Even a couple of parents and grandparents joined in playing with the advanced group. Of course the children were more than happy playing the various instruments. When asked how she enjoyed the camp, six year old Jenellie Eiley said, “This camp was fun, I want to do it again. I got to learn to play the drums and now I want to continue taking classes and get better at it.”

SP Fire Department gets new Station Officer
The San Pedro Fire Department has a new Sub Station Officer who takes the position of Officer in Charge. Veteran Fire Fighter Phillip Mencias officially took over the helm of the sub-office on Monday August 5th, replacing Jerome Garcia, who was transferred to Punta Gorda Town. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mencias said that he brings along 21 years of experience, having joined the Fire Department in 1982. “I grew up on San Antonio Road next to the Orange Walk Fire Station and I always wanted to be a fire fighter,” explained the born Orangwalkeño. One of the immediate observations made by Mencias is the challenges that may present itself with the narrow streets of San Pedro Town. “If any help should be needed, it will take a little longer than it would take on the mainland,” he commented. Before taking up duties on Ambergris Caye, Mencias held a similar position at the Belmopan City Fire Department.

Amigos Jungle Tours: Rappelling, Cave Tubing and Zip Lining!
Those of you that thought Amigos del Mar were merely masters of the sea, prepare yourselves for their latest addition: Jungle Tours. They can take you on just about every tour the Jewel has to offer. Among them are Cave Tubing, Zip Lining, Xunantunich Tour, The Belize Zoo, Lamanai Tour, Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Caves, Crystal Cave Tubing, and ATV Tours; they even offer a Tikal Temple Tour in neighboring Guatemala. We were lucky enough to be invited to a Caves Branch Branch Jungle tour recently and with thoughts of Zip Lining, Cliff rappelling and Cave Tubing, I was more than ecstatic to take up that offer. Like most Amigo’s tours the Jungle Adventures start pretty early. In fact, my trip was scheduled to leave at 6:30AM from the Amigos Dock. We would be making our way from San Pedro Town to Belize City via the vessel “Another Princess.” Once we arrived in Belize City, we maneuvered our way from the Caribbean Sea into the murky depths of the Belize River. Edgar Munguia, our very knowledgeable tour guide drove us along the river, briefing us on the rich mangrove ecosystem and the exotic wildlife that find a home in and along the river’s bank. Our first stop was at Manatee Watch, a tiny but conveniently located pit stop along the river’s bank where our shuttle awaited. After everyone was on board, we were ready to hit the Western highway to our destination: Caves Branch Jaguar Paw.

Ambergris Today

HGTV House Hunters International Filming in San Pedro, Belize
Needless to say AJ’s was packed with a huge crowd. The highly popular cook off fundraisers are always a huge success and with people wanting to get a chance to be on TV, it was an even more successful event. Heather took the opportunity during the regular filming of the show to highlight her work with Saga, which she has been a very instrumental volunteer, advocate and supporter of. It was definitely an great event that had people buzzing with excitement and with House Hunters International filming on the island, it will be great to catch the episode once it airs on HGTV.

Belizeans Lack Vitamin Intake says Belize National Survey
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) concluded and presented the results of the Belize National Survey on Micronutrients Biomarkers to Ministry officials and stakeholders. The major findings indicate that Belize has a very low prevalence of the lack of Vitamin A intake, while the recommended level of Folic Acid and Vitamin B12 intake is not satisfactory posing as a public health concern. The survey conducted during 2011-2012 was a national representative sample of 1,979 adults and children from across the country The objective of the survey was to assess the prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies specifically Anemia (Iron deficiency), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 among women of reproductive age 15-49 years old and children 6-59 months in Belize.

Chef Jennie Staines Raises the Bar at Elvi’s Kitchen
With her expert cooking skills and knowledge of those authentic cooking traditions that she calls ‘Eclectic Maya”, Jennie has become sort of a genius in preparing local Maya/Mestizo/Latin American food. She cooks with traditional local spices and ventures away from conventional meats to include lots of seafood such as lobster, shrimp and conch in her dishes. She cooks with what life has granted her in her home island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, and she does it well, very well. If you take a closer look while dining at Elvi’s Kitchen, you will see that there is a second menu of option. These are Chef Jennie’s newest creations, special recipes that she has taken time to perfect and share with her customers. These range from fantastic appetizers (empanadas, fritters, ceviche, bruschetta) tacos, pasta and guacamole.

Misc Belizean Sources

QRP Retirement Program in Belize
After working for 30 or 40 years of your life, it is normal to want the opportunity to be able to retire. If you are lucky, you may even be able to retire young. Either way, most people look forward to retirement, as it is often a time for relaxation. A time when all your hard work has paid off and you can enjoy the fruits of your labor in the country of your dreams. Since many folks have chosen Belize as their ideal retirement destination, the Belize Tourism Board has decided to create a retirement program that facilitates retirees. It is called the Qualified Retired Person (QRP) Program. The Qualified Retired Person Program was introduced by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in 1999. It is a retirement program that was established especially for individuals who have an expected income from a pension, an annuity or an investment and are looking to live in a warm, tropical climate such as Belize. The Qualified Retired Person Retirement Program (QRP) has many benefits. Those benefits are as follows: 1. Import your personal household effects free of duty and taxes. 2. Duty Free and Tax Exemptions when importing your Motor Vehicle, light aircraft or boat every 5 years 3. Exemption from all taxes on income and receipts 4. Spouse and Children under the age of 18 are included in the program 5. Permission to conduct business from within Belize if business activities are conducted outside the country. 6. Allows the applicant to maintain their non-residency status for purposes of banking with an international bank in Belize.

VIDEO: Rock, Paper, Scissors - Ep. 5 (San Pedro) - The Hidden Talents Episode
Oscar and Eric take you to La Isla Bonita for Episode 5 (San Pedro) of Rock, Paper, Scissors brought to you by Lighthouse Lager

VIDEO: San Pedro Youth Scuba - Shark Week Edition
Local youth experience Nurse Sharks on PADI Certification dives.

UB Orientation Pictures
The University of Belize had their orientation for the Fall 2013 semester, and they had a huge turnout.

Galen Eagles Band at Cayo Welcome Center
The Galen Eagles Band played a free concert at the Cayo Welcome Center last night. They did a fantastic set of Garifuna and Creole music. Wish them the best as they head to Suriname. "The Galen Eagles Band had a concert at the Cayo Welcome Center last night to celebrate their traveling to Suriname next week to represent Belize at the Caribbean Fiesta. It was a great show!"

NTHU Visits Buena Vista
Feelgood news of the day. The NTHU student group spent the week at Buena Vista primary school, along with some volunteers from Sacred Heart Junior College, to teach the kids about computers. They have a great slide show, with some movie clips in it.

Queen of the West Pageant
The Queen of the West pageant is on Saturday, August 31st, at the Octavia Waight Centre auditorium. They'll be presenting the contestants next Saturday, the 17th at the Princess Casino, and on the 24th at the Cayo Welcome Center.

Channel 7

Buckley Disappointed By Non-payment All Week From GOB
Tonight, finally after 3 years, there is some semblance of resolution for Steven Buckley, the man who was shot by an on-duty police officer in 2010. But, while that is the happy ending tonight, just after midday today, Buckley was experiencing hardship trying to collect on that partial payment he was promised earlier this week. 7News caught up with him at his home at midday, when he intended to go check to see if any money was in his account, and Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Steven Buckley and his attorneys trusted the words of the representatives from Government in that Meeting on Monday at the Raccoon Street Police Headquarters. FILE: August 5, 2013 Dickie Bradley - Attorney for Steven Buckley "The arrangement is that an undertaken has been given to us from lawyer to lawyer - the solicitor general has said that before this week is over - he was hoping to be able to have brought a check from the Ministry of Finance - but you know there's a procedure to get out very large sums of money out of the Ministry of Finance. Before this week is over he will make contact and there will be a substantial part payment towards the final amount that is owed to Mr. Buckley." Figuring that these difficulties his attorney described would get in the way, Buckley waited until today to check if he received that partial payment. After all, they did promise that by Friday, it would be there, and after all he and his family have been through, it is expected that he deserves a swing in luck.

Hours Later, Buckley Gets $50k; Says That’s Half Of What he Was Promised
So, Buckley contacted his attorney, who reached out to the Deputy Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke, to find out why the money had still not been delivered. He wasn't expecting to hear any good news about money coming in, but a couple hours later, his attorney Dickey Bradley, contacted him saying that 2 freshly cut checks were waiting for him. 7news was there when Buckley finally got some of that money in hand, and here's that report: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 2 hours after Buckley was disappointed with that check at his credit union account, we found him outside of the Central Bank of Belize with 2 government cheques in hand. One of the checks was for $35,000, and the other was for $15,000, both made out to his attorney, Richard "Dickey" Bradley. That's a total of $50,000, a substantial increase, given that he had no money hours ago. Bradley made arrangements to have the money transferred to Buckley's account, and then they dashed off to Saint John's Credit Union, after all, this was a Friday evening, and time was winding down.

2 Guats Detained In Chiquibul; No One Wants Reponsibility
Two weeks ago, we told you all about the Milpa situation on the Belize Guatemala border – where Guatemalans farmers are pushing into Belizeans territory with large milpas, some bigger than 60 acres. It's an alarming encroachment and Belizean authorities are doing what they can to drive back the Guatemalan campesinos and reclaim the Belizean territory. But, a new case shows how difficult it can be to actually bring anyone to justice against a wall of institutional indifference. The Friends for Conservation and Development, FCD which co-manages Chiquibul reports that yesterday morning a joint patrol of FCD Rangers, Police and BDF were in the area known as Valentin in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, and spotted eight persons harvesting pumpkin in an open field of approximately 20 acres at a location approximately 1 kilometer inside Belize. Now, it's difficult to arrest all of them due to transport logistics in that remote area, so the patrol agreed to take in the leaders of the group, two men 48 year old Melecio Recinos, and 21 year old Jaime Antonio Diaz both of El Nuevo Paraiso, Peten along with their 4 horses which were seized by the police.

Police Officer Caught With Marijuana In Santa Elena
Police Constable Darrell Swazo is assigned to the DPP's office at the Case Care Unit – where his job is basically to find witnesses. But tonight, he finds himself behind bars facing drug trafficking charges. It's a most unexpected turn after he left the DPP's office this morning on bicycle with another police officer to go looking for a witness – only to be caught five hours later in a car in Cayo with two kilos of marijuana. He and another man were in a Mitsubishi Eclipse this afternoon at 2:45 when they were stopped at a police checkpoint in Santa Elena. Police searched the car and found the four and a half pounds in the back of the car. Officer in Chareg of the Cayo District, Superintendent Ralph Moody could not provide much details except to say that Swazo has been arrested and charged for drug trafficking. DPP Cheryl Lynn Vidal told us that her office is surprised and shocked at the report because the last communication she got was that he was in Belize City looking for a witness for a Crown Counsel so it came as a huge surprise to everyone in the office that he was caught in Cayo in that situation. The DPP says she ahs spoken to the head of the prosecution branch to make sure that no one form her office is involved in the prosecution of the case.

Infant Killed After Being Crushed By A Bus Tire
Tonight, the body of an 11-month-old baby is at the KHMH morgue after the infant was crushed by a falling bus tire. Here's what happened: yesterday afternoon at around 5:30 the child was with his mother under a tree in the Buttercup area – just outside Burrell Boom. The baby boy crawled away into the yard. His father is a bus driver, so he came upon an old bus tire, started playing with it and it fell on him. Police say the mother had to be alerted by a small child who came screaming for help to get the tire off. The child was rushed to the Burrell Boom clinic and then to the KHMH. He was taken into surgery and died at2:30 this morning. While the family prepares to bury their child, police are sending the file to the DPP to see if any charges will be brought against the mother for negligence.

Mark Seawell’s Hearing Further Delayed
A month ago, 7News told you about the Mark Seawell Habeas Corpus hearing which almost got struck out at the last Supreme Court hearing. Seawell got a break from Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin who believed that it was not in his best interest to throw the matter out, given that it was not his fault that it had been meandering around the court system for months. So, today was set down for the hearing to happen, but, the Chief Justice was unable to hear the matter because there was one more problem getting in the way: The court could not find the original extradition documents which were tendered before the Chief Magistrate. CJ Benjamin was therefore forced to adjourn the matter, and 7News spoke to Seawell's attorney outside about the further delay, and the effects: Arthur Saldivar - Attorney for Mark Seawell "Basically what happened is that a bundle from the AJ's Ministry that details the documents being relied upon by the United States to substantiate the request for extradition, could not be found within the precincts of the court so the Chief Justice indicated that he would have to have the bundle reconstructed and as a result - time was given for that to occur. In terms of the habeas corpus, this is one of my second appearance for this particular matter. My client has now been remanded for 7 years - he has never been convicted of any offence, either in Belize or in the United States. He is a citizen who has been accused of committing an offence and like any other citizen in such situations, is presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, that presumption of innocence which obtains in our jurisdiction allows him the protection of our constitution, even though the process of extradition has commenced for an offence alleged in another jurisdiction. So that's basically what we're here to do - to ensure that his constitutional right is of Belize and he is given every opportunity to operate on his behalf."

Farmer Caught Growing Weed
In the last segment we told you about the police officer who has been charged with drug trafficking. While that police officer waits to be arraigned, 43 year-old farmer Owen Baptist is spending the first night of a 3 year sentence after he pleaded guilty to marijuana cultivation and drug trafficking. According to Police, acting on intelligence, they visited his farm in Isabella Bank on Wednesday, where they discovered 37 marijuana plants, and a large bag of dry marijuana. The bag weighed in at 2.7 kilos – or almost 6 pounds – and as a result, he was charged with marijuana cultivation and drug trafficking. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton, where he pleaded guilty to both charges. Magistrate Hamilton sentenced him to 3 years in prison, and a $10,000 fine for each count. If he defaults on those payments he will spend an additional 3 years in prison. The 2 prison sentences will run concurrently, so he will only spend 3 years if he is able to pay those fines.

Former NBA Star Inspires Belizean Youths
Last night we showed you former NBA and NCAA champion Derek Anderson on the first day of his visit to Belize. Anderson is the guest of the US Embassy and he's here to give motivational speeches based on his life story, captured in his book "Stamina." His target audience is youths – and particularly the ones who've had the hardest time in the toughest social conditions – because that's his story too. He found a receptive audience at the National Youth Cadet Corp in Rockville this morning. 7news was there: Jules Vasquez Reporting Today the young men at the Belize Youth Cadet Corp sat in rapt attention for 45 minutes as retired 10 year NBA veteran Derek Anderson gave them his hard won life lessons. You could hear a pin drop as he spoke which is not the standard reaction: Derek Anderson - NCAA, NBA Champion "I'm glad you guys understand what I'm saying and I see that I got your attention. You understand this, life is about choices, ever decision I made - I made based on me and there were barely anybody in any situation that I was in." William Swan - Manager - Belize Youth Cadet Core "When they were talking to them they had all the interest and to have different young men to come together like this and really focus without any mischievous act or playing while he was giving his speech - I can see that he was getting into their minds."

Bio Diversity Strategy Makes A Come-Back
In 1998, Belize got its first National biodiversity strategy and action plan, but it languished on the executives book shelves without executive sanction. Now the process is starting up again, as Belize tries to meet the requirements of the United Nations Convention on biodiversity. It's one of many conventions Belize has signed to, but it's one that we are within sight of as the chief forest officer explained today: Wilbur Sabido - Chief Forestry Officer "The strategy and action plan is really the document that will guide us in meeting our obligations to the United Nations convention to the convention on biological diversity, at the national level. As a backdrop and really why we are doing this - is because at the international level, Belize has many commitments and I think that for the convention on Biological diversity it is one of the few convention where the government and its many stakeholders have actually done quite a good job." Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "The project plays on Belize's current status and achievements with respect with biodiversity planning, management and reporting and aims to integrate Belize's obligations under the CDB and it's existing national development and mulch-sectoral planning framework."

Teaching Teachers To Be Basketball Coaches
On Monday, teachers who are doing professional development workshiop – can learn something different: how to coach basketball. Matthew Smiling explained: Matthew Smiling - Basketball Coach "From all the research that I've done and all the seminars I have learned that the international rule of the child is that each child in sports should have a certified coach, coaching him or her at whatever level. Most of the programs in other countries - they start from very young, some actually have from 0-6 as their active start and they recommend that all ages have qualified coaches, which we don't have much of in Belize. The BBF is trying to change all this by trying to give these coaching seminars and clinics so that people could be aware of coaching." The sessions is sanctioned by the ministry of education and teachers will get full credit.

Channel 5

Shot by Cop, victim gets first payment
Three years and four months ago construction worker Steven Buckley was shot twice in the face by an Inspector Dennis Lopez on April twenty-eighth 2010. Buckley, his employer and another [...]

Buckley gets cheque for 50k
That disappointing trip to the St. John’s Credit Union was taken at a little after midday. But just after two this afternoon Buckley got the news from his attorney Dickie [...]

Ex-servicemen league sale?
There is an ongoing dispute tonight within the executive council of the Belize Ex-Services League, despite a recent Supreme Court ruling in favor of the organization’s membership.  The problem is [...]

Seawell’s extradition court files are missing
Mark Seawell has been fighting an extradition request from the United States since 2007. The US claims that Seawell and his brothers Gary and Dwayne were responsible for cocaine being [...]

Cheaper Mexican flour or Belize ADM flour?
The Customs and Excise Duties Amendment Bill was one of the thirteen bills tabled at the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill essentially increases the import duty on flour [...]

Free Zone businessman says he’s innocent of narco-trafficking accusations
Samer Akil Rada’s name has surfaced in an ongoing investigation that goes back to a July nineteenth cocaine bust in El Salvador.  It involves two containers, one in which eight [...]

Former NBA Player now a motivational speaker
Former NBA player Derek Anderson is currently on a working visit to Belize during which he is sharing his life story, both as a professional athlete, as well as an [...]

Cop attached to D.P.P. Office busted with 4 pounds of weed
A Belize City police officer attached to the Director of Public Prosecution’s office was busted today with four point five pounds of weed. P.C. Suazo was headed back from Arenal [...]

Busted marijuana planter says he runs a psychiatric clinic
An Isabella self-professed psychiatric clinic caregiver was busted with over five pounds of weed scattered under his home and thirty cannabis plants at his farm in the Belize River Valley [...]

Almost didn’t go to jail, but he had a previous fine
A man who pleaded guilty to theft and possession of a pipe was spared jail time for those offences, but tonight he is still behind bars because of an old [...]

UB gives scholarships to scores of students
The University of Belize-Office of Student Affairs today presented the recipients of this year’s Student Athlete, Barton and UB Alumni scholarships. The students were selected based on academic and athletic [...]

National Women Softball Team heads to Pan Am Games
Belize has seen the departure and return of the U-sixteen football team from the Copa Nacional Gladiadores Merida and the Jaguars from the Gold Cup. Another set of athletes hopes [...]

Carnival Road Marchers will party in spite of date clash
On Thursday, you heard the private sector express concerns about the upcoming Belize Expo Marketplace which is scheduled to be held on the same day that the equally popular Carnival [...]

National Song Competition will be live on 5
The national song competition takes place this Saturday night at the Memorial Park and you can catch it live on this station. The lineup includes a return of defending champions [...]


Youths Learn To Build A Better Belize
Set on an alpine terrain and nestled between the balsam Mountain Range and the El Boquerón Volcano, the City of San Salvador welcomed some 650 youths ages 15 to 30, from Belize, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua over the past weekend. The youths took part in one of 114 similar Regional Conferences being held from July through October around the globe on all continents and many island groups. Twenty six Belizean youths, including six from the District of Corozal, attended the conference with the aim of empowering their skills so as to create a better society. Today we caught up with Sky Sawers one of the youths who attended the conference. He told us what the experience was like.

Teachers Receive Training To Become better Educators
Teachers are receiving much needed assistance in Mathematics, Language Arts, and Assessment strategies to aid them in imparting knowledge to their students through creative strategies. The program, known as the Continuous Professional Development “C. P. D” takes place annually in order for teachers to receive credits. However, this year the approach differed since teachers were given the opportunity to table the areas they would like to receive assistance in. Over one hundred and fifty teachers sat in the classrooms of San Francisco Roman Catholic School to learn new ways in which they can assist their students to excel academically. Zoila Sutherland, Facilitator, Assessment for Learning “It has been great very fruitful the teachers have been exposed to more strategies on how to access student learning in all the areas of teaching. They have been learning how to use what they already know and to implement new strategies for assessment.

Working, While Learning Civic Pride
One hundred students will be receiving much needed financial assistance here in Orange Walk Town. After a successful Fiestarama 2013, ten thousand dollars from the proceeds of the event was set aside by the Orange Walk Town Council for a student summer work program. While the amount may not be a lot, it will definitely come a long way. Students are being paid $100.00 for one week of work, but for the council, it’s not about the money, it’s about teaching students civic pride. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “Yes some of the proceeds of Fiesta Rama we normally budget about ten thousand dollars for us to be able to assist one hundred students on a two week of program and how we do is that we have fifty students coming in the first week and then another fifty students coming in the second week. All of this is just to simply to assist the young people to have a small stipend to help them to cover some of their school expense, sometimes they may need a few school books and you know so this helps alleviate some of the cost the parents have to be finding to spend for this school expenses. You will see if you look around town right now because the students are all in different areas working in San Lorenzo Housing site, were putting up street signs, we have some that are working at the Union Town Park, some working at the Sandy Field Park, some working at the Nature Park as well we try to involve the issue if civic pride so that they too become and take ownership of their town, when we get young people involved into these types of activities it gives them a sense of ownership and so that is the reason why we said that immediately after the Fiesta Rama we are going to assist these students and give them that opportunity.”

Building Of Fence Causes Uproar In O/W East
A fence built in the middle of what was thought to be a street has prompted angry confrontations, calls to the Lands and Survey Department, the Orange Walk Town Council, and a stop order. Many believe that the area you are currently viewing on your television screen is a street, but truly its not, it’s a ten foot alley joining Ciricote and May Flower Street. A barbed wire fence now demarcates the alley from a piece of land belonging to Miguel Gongora. The same land that was once thought formed part of the alley giving access to vehicles passing through the area. With the building of the fence there is limited space for vehicles to travel through the area, at least when it comes to ten wheeler trucks. This is apparently causing trouble in the neighborhood, so much so that even the Orange Walk Town Council has had to intervene. Kevin Bernard, Mayor, OWTC “We have this gentle man who approached the council, one Mr. Gongora who had a request for us to look at his scenario or his case where his property lies, what we would call a street right now, people would assume that he is wanting to build in the middle of the street, however, he had conducted his own personal survey and he had also requested that a survey be done.

Divers Search For Body Of Missing Orange Walkeno In The New River
The news that a body was in the New River near the San Estevan Bridge here in Orange Walk, spread like wild fire yesterday. When we visited the scene no one was in area. However, this morning our news room received a call informing us that the family of 32 year old Elias Ku was combing the river in search of his body. Ku left home on the 3rd of August wearing a red and black shirt, jeans pants and red tennis shoes. It was not unusual for him to stay away from home for days. But yesterday, Ku’s family became worried when they were informed that his black and red shirt and red tennis shoes was found around the riverside by Independence Park. It is believed that Ku was drinking in the area on Tuesday morning along with some friends when he fell into the river. His family was not informed about his disappearance until Tuesday night when a search for his body was immediately launched but to no avail. And the same can be said for yesterday and today.

#469940 - 08/10/13 06:58 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 10, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


Bus full of tourists slams into Park Ranger
There was an accident Wednesday morning which has resulted in life threatening injuries for a 21 year old man. The incident happened this morning at around 9:30 am when a tour bus arrived at the Nohoch Chen Park. That is located in the Cayo District behind Caves Branch. A...

Norwegian Cruise Line proposals discussed in the House
The House of Representatives convened Wednesday where bills were introduced and read for the first time. Those are the Customs and Excise Duties (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the International Financial Services Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2013, Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2013; Financial Intelligence Unit (Amendment) Bill, 2013; Customs Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2013; International...

KHMH baby deaths debated; call for Minister of Health to resign
An issue debated in the House of Representatives was that of the unfortunate deaths of some dozen newborns at the KHMH. The Pan-American Organization Health Organization launched an investigation into the matter and concluded that eight of those deaths were linked to a fairly common bacterium known as Entero-bactea...

Stephen Slusher sentenced to 5 years in prison for stealing gas tank
A 53 year old man was sentenced to five years in prison for stealing a woman’s gas tank. Stephen Slusher was accused of entering the home of Maria Manzanero without permission and stealing her $115 gas tank. The burglary occurred yesterday, Wednesday, August 7. On Thursday morning, Slusher...

Jason Young convicted for drug possession
Magistrate Clive Lino was lenient with an offender who stood before him on Thursday. 19 year old Jason Young was arraigned on a charge of weed possession. The arrest of Young came Wednesday, August 7, 2013, on Castle Street. Police on mobile patrol and stopped and searched Young after...

UB apologizes for registration errors
On Wednesday, on Facebook, someone posted the image of the invoice of a UB student which showed that the total amount charged did not match the calculated amount of the quantity multiplied by the unit price. Apparently the same held true for many other students. This raised an uproar...

Former NBA player in Belize conducting motivational talks
American Dereck Anderson, a former NBA player, is in Belize conducting motivational talks on entrepreneurship. Anderson has recently written a book called “Stamina” in which he shares some of his personal struggles and his triumphs over those hurdles in life. He focuses on the need for hard work and...

Belize Bird Rescue rehabilitates fledgling black hawk
Belize Bird Rescue was established in 2004. The purpose was for the protecting of parrots and taking in those that were held captive illegally or were abandoned and hurt. It has since expanded its protection of even more birds, and one lucky winged animal to benefit from the care...

Belizean public respond to Behaviour in the House of Representatives
It has been mentioned time and time again that the behavior of Honorable members of the Belizean National Assembly at times of House meetings are perceived by some as bordering scandalous. The verbal sparring across the aisle can sometimes contain quite colorful language, packed with insults and accusations that...

National Patriotic and Carnival Song Competition set for this weekend
The National Patriotic and Carnival Song Competition returns to the stage this weekend at Memorial Park. 18 junior and senior participants will strut their stuff for big prizes and a place in national history. Organizer and Creative Arts Development Officer for the Institute of Creative Arts, Joseph Stamp Romero,...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Official Traffic Wardens
The Caye Caulker Traffic Control Committee is pleased to present their newly appointed Traffic Wardens. They are Solomon Nicholas, Mark Jones, Angelita Marin and Ramir Villanueva. The Traffic Wardens underwent 2 weeks of training with Claudio Azueta who is the Senior Traffic Warden in San Pedro. They will begin their duties effective Monday, August 12th 2013. The Traffic Wardens will be strictly enforcing all traffic violations. The Caye Caulker Traffic Control Committee is urging all vehicle owners to update their driver’s license and vehicle licensed/permits. The Caye Caulker Traffic Control Committee’s opening hours is 8 a.m. to 12 noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. if you have any questions or concerns.

Village Council’s Schedule of Event for September


Belizeans and others who travel to Mexico for business, shopping, medical or recreational purposes, by sea or air, must now pay a federal tax of US$25. For those traveling by air, the tax is to be added to the cost of their plane ticket. Those traveling into that country by land and who stay for 7 days or more must also pay this mandatory tax, which is known as the DNI (Derecho de No Immigrantes). Marcelino Miranda, Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Embassy in Belize, told Amandala that the federal law is not new, and has been in existence for some time but is only now being enforced. The charge caught many people and frequent travelers to Chetumal by surprise. Miranda told Amandala that the USD $25 is a fee that is charged at all points of entry and departure in Mexico. Intransit travellers travelling to a third country, regardless of the time needed for their transit through Mexico, will also pay the fee. This includes those who enter Subteniente Lopez, Chetumal, by road and are travelling to Cancun to board a flight to travel to another country, as well as those arriving at Cancun and travelling to Belize. Miranda said that Belizeans and others who go into Chetumal for short periods are not charged. The DNI fee can be paid to any bank or airport in Mexico and at the points of entry between Belize and Mexico such as the Subteniente Lopez Border. Proof of payment should be issued by the receiving office.

Ch’oc wants the Sept. 19 hearing moved to an earlier date. “If we do not stop them, then the rights affirmed by the Supreme Court will have been for nothing.” The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM), along with alcaldes from communities in what is known as the “buffer zone” in Belize’s south, recently sought a court injunction against US Capital Energy, an oil company operating in the vicinity of the Sarstoon Temash National Park, the second largest national park in Belize. The injunction that was filed is aimed at blocking US Capital Energy from conducting oil exploration activities within the park. Those activities, which have already begun, are taking place on lands which the alcaldes consider to be their ancestral and communal lands, hence the reason for the injunction. Furthermore, SATIIM’s Executive Director Greg Ch’oc claims that the company has increased its activities within the park, which has caused them to seek an urgent hearing on the matter. Today, he spoke with the media after appearing on the KREM WUB morning show to provide the date for the hearing and to explain the urgency of the case, among other things. He said that they had received a notice from their attorney notifying them that the date is set for September 19.

“You are not just a domestic and a local pariah – you are an international outlaw!” “Your entire career has been a tissue… of lies.” – Barrow to Musa The National Assembly was the battleground today for a war of words waged between the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), which exchanged verbal jabs over a recent ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – one which Prime Minister Dean Barrow said, found Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca and former Prime Minister Said Musa to be “international outlaws.” Barrow tabled a peculiar resolution at a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives Wednesday—the first meeting of Parliament in five months. That motion was aimed at shining the national—and perhaps the international—spotlight on a CCJ recent ruling which deplored actions taken by Musa and Fonseca in signing a settlement deed with BCB Holdings and the Belize Bank, two entities within the so-called “Ashcroft Alliance,” which gave these two entities extraordinary tax concessions without parliamentary approval.

Espat’s motion to amend the PAC fails in the House amidst a shouting match A motion presented to the House of Representatives Wednesday by Julius Espat, the People’s United Party’s Cayo South representative, to reform the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), through an amendment to the rules which would see the private sector, unions, churches and civil society getting majority seats on the committee, “fell on the floor”, after a debate which, at times, deteriorated into a shouting match. According to the National Assembly, “the Public Accounts Committee has the duty of examining, considering and reporting on the accounts showing the appropriation of the sums granted by the National Assembly to meet the public expenditure of the country; such other accounts as may be referred to the Committee by the House or under any Law; and the report of the Auditor General on any such accounts.” Espat (Member of the People’s United Party — PUP) chairs the Public Accounts Committee. Its other members are Erwin Contreras (Member of the United Democratic Party – UDP), John Saldivar (UDP), Patrick Faber (UDP), Hon. Michael Finnegan (UDP), and Rodwell Ferguson (PUP).

The National Bank of Belize was established this April and today, the House of Representatives approved a motion for the Minister of Finance to execute the necessary documents to channel $20 million into the new financial institution, which Government asserts is intended to provide concessionary credit to public officers, teachers and other needy Belizeans. The $20 million will purchase for the Government of Belize 200,000 shares in the National Bank of Belize. A statement sheet provided to the media at a press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Finance, earlier this year, indicated that the start-up capital for the bank would come from funds on-lent from the Petro-Caribe funds. These are funds which the Government earmarks for special use, as a credit provided by Venezuela. Whenever Belize receives shipments of fuel and fuel products from that country, the monies due to Venezuela are set aside in a fund for special programs here; and the Government can repay Venezuela under a long-term payment scheme at a minimal rate of interest.

A woman has been released from police custody and will not face any charges for the attempted murder of her lesbian lover, whom she attempted to drown by holding her head down under water. The incident occurred at about 4:30 Saturday evening while the lovers were swimming in the sea in front of San Pedro Town. The victim was rescued by a man who saw what was happening and rushed into the sea to save her from certain death. She was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where she was resuscitated, treated and later released. Police said that the women were swimming in the sea in front of Cholos Resort in San Pedro Ambergris Caye when they became involved in an argument which escalated into a physical fight, during which one of the lovers held down the head of the other under the water and sat on her back to drown her. A witness who saw what was happening became concerned because the victim was being held under the water for a prolonged period. He told police that he rushed into the water and pulled the victim out the water. He then took her to the shore, where CPR was performed.

The victim said she thought Eusey was sent to pick her up from the bus stop. Sean Eusey, 26, a computer technician of #9 New Road, was charged today with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and theft. According to a police press release, a woman, 31, from Sandhill, reported that at 3:30 Friday morning, she was standing at the Pallotti roundabout waiting for a friend to pass by and pick her up. She said that she saw a white van coming toward her and heading in the direction of the Philip Goldson International Airport. When the van stopped in front of her, she got into it without a second thought, thinking it was a church van. After getting into the van, she noticed the driver to be a man in his mid-20’s and they were the only ones in the van. The van headed north and while travelling, the driver asked if it would be alright for him to stop off in Belama to drop off some money for his cousin. The woman indicated that it would not be a problem and the driver turned into Belama. After driving around in Belama for some time, the man turned into an open lot on Spt. George Arthurs Street, and exited the vehicle.

What is believed to be the charred remains of Hugo Moreno, 42, a missing taxi driver of Sittee Street, Orange Walk Town, was buried today at the Orange Walk Town Cemetery. Although police could not positively identify the body, the Moreno family is confident that the remains, which were severely burnt beyond recognition, were those of their loved one. The funeral began at about 10:00 this morning at the La Immaculada Catholic Church. A moderate-sized crowd attended, along with about 25 taxi cabs which drove in the procession that escorted the remains from the church to the cemetery. The Moreno family said that they last saw Hugo at about 11:30 Saturday night, July 27, when he left home to go to the People’s Stadium where the Fiesta Rama was taking place, to run his taxi cab. The last communication from him was at about 1:30 Sunday morning, July 28, after which he was not heard from, despite their best efforts to contact him.

Four men were busted with ganja in two separate incidents and have been charged with drug trafficking. Three were busted in Corozal, and one in Punta Gorda. In Corozal police seized 245 grams of marijuana in one incident, and 2 ½ pounds in another, while in Punta Gorda, police seized 117 grams. In Corozal, James Albert Quan, 25, of Ranchito Village, was taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 2, released on a bail of $2,000 and ordered to return to court on Wednesday, October 3. The other two men, connected to the other incident in Corozal – Orvin Breck and Paul Morgan, both of Ladyville – were taken to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 2, where they pleaded not guilty to the charges, were granted bail of $4,000 each and were ordered to return to court, also on Wednesday, October 3. Breck was unable to meet bail, and was remanded. Police said that at about 2:30 on Friday, they were patrolling on the Philip Goldson Highway in Corozal when they saw a white Toyota Camry with Belize City license plates, in which two men were travelling.

Slusher told the court “I didn’t burglarize the building; the door was wide open, so I went in.” Today, Stephen Slusher, 53, a construction worker of #9896 Jane Usher Boulevard, was sentenced to five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to burglary before Magistrate Clive Lino. According to police, Maria Manzanero reported that sometime between 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, August 6, and 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 7, her home at #3191 Central American Boulevard was burglarized and a 25-pound gas cylinder valued at $115 was stolen. After the matter was reported, police launched an investigation which resulted in the recovery of the gas cylinder in Slusher’s possession later that night, and it was later identified by Manzanero as her gas cylinder. Slusher agreed with the facts of the case, but told the court that “I didn’t burglarize the building; the door was wide open, so I went in”.

On Thursday at about 8:45 a woman was beaten and robbed in her home in Noralez Extension, Independence Village by two thieves, who got away with approximately $270 in goods and cash. Yaeanera Rodriguez, 38, was taken to the Independence Village Polyclinic, where doctors who attended to her classified the injuries she sustained as wounding. Rodriguez told police that the two men first gained entry into her house, then attacked her. She struggled with them, but one of the men beat her in the head with an object until she became unconscious. The men then ransacked her house, stealing 2 cell phones valued at $75 each; a purple watch valued at $45; a school bag worth $55 and her purse, which contained $20. When Rodriguez regained consciousness, she called police, who took her to the clinic, where she was treated and later released.

Ebony Bailey, 29, of Belize City, has been released from Corozal police custody on a bail of $3,000 by the Corozal Magistrate’s Court and ordered to return to court on Thursday, October 10, after she was found with 1,587 grams of cannabis by police in the Libertad area while she was travelling on a passenger bus heading from Corozal to Belize City at about 4:30 yesterday evening. She was taken to the Corozal Police Station, where she was charged with drug trafficking. Bailey was taken to court this afternoon, Tuesday, in Corozal, where the charge was read to her. The 1,587 grams of weed have since been deposited as “evidence” at the Corozal Police Station, to be used in the case against her. Police say that they were on an anti-drug patrol when they stopped the passenger bus and carried out a random search of Bailey, who was seated in the bus at the time. They searched a black kit bag that she was carrying and found four parcels of cannabis.

Former football star of 1970’s Belize City champions Berger 404 and Chito’s Rangers, Harrison “Ile Man” Flowers visited our sports desk this morning to send a message of hope to brothers in the street who are struggling with addiction to crack cocaine and want to get their lives back on track. Ile Man says he is doing well and feeling good since attending the Remar rehab center in Bullet Tree Village in the Cayo District. He is presently on a two-week break, to be with his mother who recently had an operation. We remarked that he looked sturdy and strong, and Ile Man said his life has definitely turned around since spending the past three months at Remar in Bullet Tree. He said there are presently at least thirty others at the Remar center. “I know I’m cured,” said Ile Man. “It’s very good for the guys that are out in the streets. “ We talked to Ile Man about some other brothers who have been battling crack addiction, and feel like there is no hope of breaking the habit. Amandala (A): “Some brothers say, ‘A di try, man; a di try; but a just kyan mek no head way.’ What would you say to them?”

Basketball Finals Friday – Jane Usher Ballerz vs Complex Unruly Ballerz. There are a whole lot of games being played in a short time in the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) U-18 Football and Basketball Summer Tournaments, and we have had some confusion with the scores, thus our reluctance to report on the games so far. Here is our best effort to record the accomplishments of the youths in these tournaments. The basketball Finals take place tomorrow, Friday, while the football Finals are scheduled for next week Friday. U-18 FOOTBALL The CYDP U-18 Summer Football Tournament 2013 kicked off on Monday, July 29, at the Hostel Field behind the Racoon Street Police Station, with Joshua Bombers clipping Survivors United, 1-nil, on a goal by Jahron Myvett. There are 7 teams in the competition: Joshua Bombers, Survivors United, Lake-I Strikers, Jane Usher FC, Hattieville United, Victoria Strikers and Heights FC. On Tuesday, Lake Independence Strikers dropped Jane Usher FC, 3-2. Calvin Reneau netted 2 for Lake-I, who also benefitted from an auto goal by Jane Usher. Both Jane Usher goals were scored by Kareem Williams.

The first leg of the home-and-away semifinals in the Atlantic Bank Female Football Tournament took place on Sunday, August 4, in Belmopan and in Ladyville, and the critical second leg will be played this weekend in Dangriga and San Ignacio, to determine which two teams will go on to the championship round. At the Ladyville football field on Sunday, visiting Dangiga Pumas came from behind twice to pull out a 2-2 draw against home standing Ladyville Jaguars. In first half, Sara Arzu (20’) gave Ladyville the 1-0 lead, but Jacklaine Arzu (26’) equalized for Griga. And in second half, Claudia Martinez (58’) put Ladyville in front again, 2-1; but once more Griga got the equalizer, this time from Shamaya Quniah Caliz (89’), for the 2-2 final score. In the other semifinal out west at the Belmopan Stadium, home-standing Triple B got some early help from visiting Gentle Touch, whose 2nd minute auto goal set the stage for an eventual 3-1 victory for Triple B. Triple B goals were by Kiana Martinez (22’) and Kaya Cattouse (31’), along with the auto goal by Gentle Touch’s Elthene Gentle (2’). The only goal for Gentle Touch came from Cynthia Salazar (44’).

— by Fidelio Montes, Jr. – Secretary, Cayo Billiards Assn. Well, folks, the annual Guinness 9-Ball Tournament continued over the weekend in Cayo with a couple of very intense matches. As it now is that time that we refer to as “crunch time,” the teams with the aspirations to represent their home turf get their game faces on and their ammunition loaded for what would be one of the biggest battles yet. Playing on Sunday, August 4, were the two top teams, namely team Dibos of Benque Viejo del Carmen and the guys that claim to have team Wicked Intentions, playing for Mom’s Backyard out of San Ignacio… Here is a walk through the very intense and nerve racking games. First up for Dibos was David Fernandez against Johnny Betancourt for a commanding victory of 5 to 1 in favor of Dibos. And folks, it seems that Dibos came out with serious fire power, as Rogelio Boteo asserts their lead with a 5 to 2 victory over Wallace “Tai San” Chu. As Elmer Cruz of Dibos tries to give his team another victory, Jimmy “Singerman” Rudon just barely edges him out for a 5 to 4 win. Now, team Wicked Intentions send out the very hopeful Juan “Maestro” Villanueva on the offense, and so he does by defeating Sholamer with a marginal 5 to 4 win. So, now the game is all tied up at 2-2. But Lionel Pinelo, Dibos’ sharpshooter, disappoints his team, as he was unable to make it in time for the match, thus giving Wicked Intentions the big W overall for a 3 to 2 series.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT – ’69 TO ‘98 Editorial
“On Wednesday the second of February I therefore decided to try to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion, and appointed Minister Assad Shoman and the Financial Secretary Doctor Carla Barnett, to take a response to the ultimatum sent by the Unions the day before. That ultimatum stated that unless government replied favorably by the following day to two specific demands of the Unions, they would cause a total shutdown of the country on Thursday and Friday of this week and hold a countrywide demonstration on Friday. The two demands were that the government roll back the new taxes and agree to implement as of April 1, 2005 the full salary increases of 5% and 8% due to the public officers and teachers.” - from Address to the Nation by Prime Minister Hon. Said Musa, February 4, 2005 The late Odinga Lumumba always insisted that the Belizean people needed to raise their level of political education. Too much of Belizean politics involves personality and popularity, whereas this young nation is faced with some decision-making which requires careful, informed study of the issues in both their short-term and long-term aspects and implications. We listened to the Rt. Hon. Said Musa being “savaged” by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and it was a little sad for us. In truth, the Rt. Hon. Musa, who was PUP Prime Minister of Belize from 1998 to 2008, did not seem to be affected that much, if at all. What Mr. Musa did in response was to point out the Hon. Barrow’s political sins, and that seemed to comfort him, Musa, during this House session when the merciless condemnation of himself and the Hon. Francis Fonseca, present Opposition PUP Leader, by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) was being featured.

When you read the material produced by the Government Information Service (GIS) here in 1965 and 1966, you can see that the PUP Government of Belize was headed in a decidedly pro-American direction. It was during this time that the Michigan Partners for the Alliance deal was formalized; Peace Corps volunteers were pouring into Belize; American oil companies were doing seismic exploration in offshore areas of Belize; and on a whole, Belize was viewed in American political and business circles as a small, “Christian democratic” country which was making a smooth transition from British colonialism to becoming a regional base for United States’ investment, influence and recreation. The classy American Jesuit, Fr. Leo Weber, was almost like a Belize Cabinet Minister, so prized was his counsel and so prominent were his Government-sanctioned initiatives, primarily in education. Weber’s relationship with Premier George Price was viewed with great skepticism, and some outright venom, by the Anglican and Methodist-laden Opposition NIP. This is how things were in 1965 and 1966. When I came home from school in June of 1968, the British-trained attorneys, Assad Shoman and Said Musa, were already traveling magistrates in Belize, and I think they had been so from 1967. 1967 was also the year when the Belize Chamber of Commerce financed the establishment of the Chamber Reporter, the precursor to today’s Reporter. The first editor of the Chamber Reporter was also British-trained, a journalist named Zelma Tucker who later became Belize’s most successful novelist – Zee Edgell. But, whereas Shoman and Musa were acquiring local reputations as left-wing, socialist thinkers, the Chamber Reporter and its editor were clearly right-wing, free market advocates.

I can recall occasions when sometime around 1 p.m. I would hear a car’s horn blowing where I resided. That car’s horn was that of the young attorney-at-law, Mr. Dean Barrow, who today is the Prime Minister of Belize. We would journey to the M.C.C. Grounds to see Queen’s Park Rangers of the Stann Creek District play against the Avengers of Cayo and San Joaquin out of the Corozal District. When you considered the standard of football that was being played at that time you would pray that this level would never end, but I was realistic in thought and accepted that all good things had to come to an end. These teams at the time played football as if they were playing music. The footballers’ movements and pattern of play seemed so well synchronized. Have you ever heard a good orchestra play? This is the kind of football I am talking about. When the Queen’s Park Rangers came to Belize City to play a match they were so exciting and so good that when I left the M.C.C. Grounds there was nothing else that could attract me other than a good sleep. I wished for no food nor drink nor romantic liaison because the Queen’s Park Rangers satisfied all my heart’s desires with their brilliance and competence. I would wake up on the following morning, a Monday, and climb out of my bed still under the influence of the ecstasy from the Queen’s Park Rangers’ performance. One can never understand what I am writing about if you were not placed in the same situation. I have always asked Prime Minister Barrow whether he thought Queen’s Park Rangers were the greatest.

(This column was first published in the Friday, January 20, 1995 issue of Amandala.) Derivatives … of wealth From the land … “By the might of truth and the grace of God, no longer shall we be hewers of wood …” 1. Institute under the aegis of U.C.B. a sister relationship with one of the universities of the Northwest U.S.A., say the University of Oregon, to bring their forestry students and staff to a campus in the Toledo District. This will be mutually beneficial, as on the one hand it will help the development of U.C.B., Toledo, and Belize, and on the other hand it will help the University of Oregon to maintain their department of Forestry, until their forests are restored having been destroyed by the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption. 2. Again in Toledo establish manufacturing facility to utilize the woods of the forest to produce finished products, such as radio/TV consoles, furniture, etc., for the export market. Let’s not import our wood as toothpicks. 3. Lobby to relocate at Central Farm and its surrounds the College of Agriculture of U.W.I. from St. Augustine, Trinidad, absorbing the College of Agriculture of Belize. As a founding member of both U.W.I. and CARICOM, and with four times the land mass of Trinidad, and only one sixth of its population, it is time for Belize to get a substantial return for its participation in the Caribbean Community.

Siri Briggs Brown, Ph.D., Director of African American Studies and chair of Social Science and Ethnic Studies at Merritt College in Oakland, California, arrived in Belize this week with a group of her students to learn more about Belize and Black Nationalist movements here. The group of 12 was particularly interested in learning more about the United Black Association for Development (UBAB), which was founded in 1969, the year UBAD also founded Amandala. Belizean Egbert Higinio, who organized the trip to Belize City and Dangriga from overseas, said that this year the class’ field work includes the study of the history of Black people in the diaspora. The students attended a presentation by Amandala titled, “History of UBAD/Black Power movement in Belize”, at the UWI School of Continuing Studies today. Professor Siri and her students were also keenly interested in current affairs and the present plight of their brothers and sisters in Belize.

Police Constable Martin Bustillos, 28, of the Corozal Police Formation, who was reported missing on Tuesday, July 23, when he failed to report for duties at the Corozal Police Station, reported for duty on Sunday, August 4, after being absent for 12 days. Bustillos was arrested and charged with 15 counts of absence from duties, and has been remanded for trial by a police court called a tribunal. The date for the trial has not yet been announced. In making the missing person report, the Corozal Police Commander, Assistant Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, had said that they did not take the unexplained absence of a police officer lightly, because in the past a policeman was reported missing, and nothing was done, and there was no alarm, and the policeman was later found dead. ASP Ramirez said that Bustillos worked normal duties on Friday, July 19, and was given days off on the weekend of July 20 to 22 — Saturday, Sunday and Monday. He was to have reported to work on Tuesday, July 23, but did not do so. The Commander said that he became concerned, because not even Bustillos’ family members had any idea where he was.

She left home without saying where she was going. A girl, 16, has been reported missing from Santa Elena Town, Cayo. Wendy Isales was last seen at home with her brothers and sisters at about 7:30 p.m. on Friday, August 2, before she left the house without saying where she was going, and since then her whereabouts have been unknown. Aura Alicia Isalez, 32, of Santa Elena, told police that about 7:00 p.m. that Friday evening, she left home for work, leaving her daughter at home with her two brothers and two sisters, ages 18, 13, 8, and 4 years. When she returned home, she was told by her children that Wendy had left the house without telling them where she was going. Wendy Isalez is described as slim built and about 5 feet tall, and she is of fair complexion. She has long, straight black hair, with round brown eyes, and has a mole on the left side of her chin.

Hard work and months of training paid off for the YWAM Under-16 football team from Belize, as they returned to Belize from Mexico with the 3rd place trophy for the Copa Nacional Gladiadores Merida 2013 tournament. The team was initially invited to take part in the regional tournament as a result of their performance in another friendly tournament that was held late last month in Merida, Mexico. They only lost one match in five days of games in that tournament and, in so doing, captured the attention of the organizers, who invited them back for the Copa Nacional Gladiadores Merida 2013. In order to make the trip, the talented footballers, led by their coach/trainer Santi Valencia, who is also the Director of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Belize, which is an international, denominational, non-profit Christian organization, sought the help of the media to garner financial sponsorship to travel back to Merida for the competition. Fortunately, they got the support and ended up doing exceptionally well once again, claiming an impressive third place after playing three games. Upon their return, Coach Valencia and the team re-visited the media to express their gratitude for the sponsorship and said that he must applaud [the] “Belize business people”, namely the team’s sponsors, because “they came aboard, they got behind the team and gave us the financial support to go, [therefore] we had a good trip and we were able to cover much of our expenses.”

The Ambassador of China (Taiwan), His Excellency David Wu, this morning presented a grant to the National September Celebrations Committee to aid in the celebration of the 32nd anniversary of Belize’s Independence and the 215th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The handing over ceremonies took place at the House of Culture, formerly the Government House, in Belize City. Diane Haylock, President of NICH, received the cheque of US$20,000 on behalf of the September Celebrations Committee. She spoke to Amandala shortly after the ceremony, and noted that for quite a number of years, and particularly since she’s been co-chair of the National September Celebrations Committee, they have received a grant from the Embassy of Taiwan in Belize to facilitate the various activities that are carried out during the month of celebration. “The embassy, in particular the ambassador, has always wanted to ensure that the resources that they share with us are used to promote cultural development and I think they understand the importance of our national September celebrations and therefore have been generous in making this contribution towards our efforts,” she said.

The gunman used a shotgun to fire at the boy, his friend and his cousin. A 13-year-old boy of Carmelita is lucky to be alive after he was shot by a man whom he knew while at the sports center in Carmelita Village, Orange Walk. The boy was taken by police to the Orange Walk Hospital, where he was treated and later released. The incident occurred about 9:00 Saturday evening. The boy told police that he was standing with his friend and a cousin at the sports complex when a man they knew approached and asked them why they were looking at him, then went on to say that he did not like them, and that he would show them who he was. The boy said that the man left the complex, but returned shortly after armed with a shotgun, and fired a blast at them, and they started to run. The boy, however, felt a burning sensation in his leg. He told police that the man then fired at them again, and that was when they ran into a yard and hid among some bushes.

— by Nathaniel Wander 6 August 2013 Dear Editor, In a recent “From the Publisher,” Evan X Hyde raised an interesting comparison between ethnic Jews and ethnic Belize Creoles. His analysis, however, without being entirely false, did not go nearly far enough. “Jews,” according to Mr. Hyde, “understood money; they used money as a tool of liberation and upliftment.” On the other hand, “the Creole people … appear to dislike money … always chasing money instead of having money work for us.” As an anthropologist and historian, and a Jew, I believe this is an oversimplification that lacks at least two vital ingredients: history and culture. First, history. It is not unfair to say that over the past thousand years or so, the Jews as a communal group (but probably not most individual Jews most of the time) have become comfortable with and knowledgeable about, not so much money as finance. This is hardly surprising as, in both medieval Moslem and medieval Christian societies, which forbade their own members from lending for profit and closed most other economic avenues (professions, land-ownership) to Jews, Jews learned to become financial agents. Moreover, as a community with a great deal of internal coherence on account of both internal structure and external persecution, ethnic Jews often used individual resources to support community survival.


DJ’s Seaside Bar & Restaurant Hosts Viewing Party for Lighthouse Lager’s Big Premiere
A few weeks ago, I attended the Lighthouse Lager Rock Paper Scissor San Pedro tournament at Fido’s. I had no idea before I arrived that it was going to be filmed and I DEFINITELY did not know that a seriously SERIOUSLY professional TV show was to be produced. Read about the experience in my previous blog post. Belikin has released good…no, GREAT stuff before. The commercial that they put out last year can bring me to tears each time I see it. I have no idea why the Belize Tourism Board has not grabbed ahold of this and promoted the crap out of it. Somehow they captured Belize perfectly. From the domino playing by Belize City’s Swing Bridge to the punta dancing at Fido’s…beer or no beer, IT IS STUNNING. If you haven’t seen it, watch here. And if you’ve been to Belize before or if you live here, grab a hankie. Last night many of the competitors re-assembled at DJ’s Seaside Restaurant to watch the final product. Check out Episode 5 of Rock Paper Scissors. It is hilarious. And crazy professionally done by Island Films. And I now have a huge crush on one of the presenters, Eric Tillett, and want to buy ALL of his books. Here’s a picture of all competitors at Fido’s in July.

Tubing on the Caves Branch River
One of the must-do outdoor adventures in Belize, for children as well as adults — besides spelunking, climbing Mayan temples, kayaking, diving off the Belize Barrier Reef, rappelling into rainforests or hiking mountains — is river or cave tubing. The most popular and ideal river for tubing, with some of the most beautiful surrounding landscape, is the Caves Branch River, in the western district of Cayo. It’s a tour you can sign up for from any of the major tourist areas in Belize such as San Pedro or Cayo. My first experience cave tubing was unlike any I’ve ever had in adventure travel. It felt like we had one giant natural amusement park all to ourselves. The trip began with a bumpy, fun ride to the mouth of the jungle, followed by a short hike to get to the river, all while carrying a rubber inner tube over the shoulder.

Best Day Ever: Turtle Inn, Belize
Wake up at Turtle Inn, the Francis Ford Coppola resort in Placencia, a sleepy Creole fishing village in the Stann Creek District of Belize, at the southernmost tip of a narrow, 26-mile peninsula. You're nowhere, and you have a busy day in the sunshine ahead of you. Sunrise: Mornings here are quiet and peaceful. Request a wake-up call just so you can use the shell phone, then walk out your seafront Balinese-style cottage (Villa One) a few steps into the Caribbean for a morning swim. Rinse off in the outdoor shower in your private garden before stopping by The Mare restaurant for warm coffee, fresh fruits, and beignets. Grab snorkeling gear and suntan lotion at the dive shop and jump aboard the resort's 46-foot boat, Miss Ellie. Coast along the smooth waters. The warm breeze is intoxicating; the sun above, a welcome orange ball. It's crystal clear for miles. Twenty one miles out, anchor at the utterly private Silk Cayes, two deserted islands on the protected Belize Barrier Reef.

Not Just a Call Center Agent…
According to Suite101 in Vancouver, Canada, call centers remain central to the success of businesses since they are the nerve of customer care “maintaining existing customers while attracting new ones.” Many do not see the importance of sitting at a desk making calls all day following scripts and fulfilling customer requests; however, maybe you should look at it in the perspective of the global industry as well as the skills you develop along the way. Essentially, call centers in Belize are examples of business process outsourcing (BPO) initiatives, where companies in other countries seek to outsource and offshore their non-core functions to gain agility, efficiency, access to new talent and markets to ultimately save on costs. This global BPO industry grew by 10% amidst the global financial crisis in 2008. Offshoring estimates totaled USD 41 billion in 2011 and are expected to grow at a 7% cumulative annual growth rate until 2013 reaching a total opportunity of USD 52 billion. (Avasant, 2013) See graph.

“Better Things to Do” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
As I mentioned in the previous edition, yesterday, after I had put Thursday’s edition of the blog to bed, I headed off to Estel’s for breakfast. Just me and my good friend the iPad! While I was waiting for breakfast (and after I had finished it too) I took care of my morning ‘tasks’. I had better things to do than just browse the Internet! First off was an email to Jesus Cervantes at TheTile and Stone Center in Belize City to find out what is the ideal grout for the Milan Super Crema tiles that we have throughout most of the First Floor and our bedroom on the Second Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Next up was an email to my three friends in the UK who are heading off to Ostend for a three day stag party to celebrate and say ‘goodbye’ to the end of Jon’s bachelor state (although given that he lives with his soon to be wife he is not strictly a bachelor) to wish them a great time. They are all middle aged but won’t act like it at all. It will be a messy three days. And had I still been living in the UK I would have been getting messy with them!

Off The Beaten Path Destinations In Belize
Many visitors to Belize stick to the usual tourist destinations because they are easier to get to, but there is a lot more to explore besides popular spots such as Lamanai, ATM Cave and the Blue Hole. With the following three off the beaten path Belize destinations, getting there really is half the adventure. If you consider yourself an intrepid traveler and can endure long, bumpy dirt road trips and a ride into the open sea, these places are well worth the effort.

International Sources

Chocolate may help keep brain healthy
Older chocoholics may have a new excuse to indulge their cravings: The dark stuff not only soothes the soul, but might also sharpen the mind. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers reported that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking skills in the elderly. The Boston-based team found that older people who initially performed poorly on a memory and reasoning test and also had reduced blood flow to their brains showed improvement after drinking two cups of cocoa every day for a month. The researchers had set out to test whether chocolate could increase blood flow to the brain during problem solving, boosting performance, after finding in earlier studies that consuming chocolate high in the antioxidant flavanol was associated with better brain and blood vessel functioning. They recruited 60 elderly subjects for the new study. Since they suspected that flavanol would improve the subjects’ thinking skills and blood flow, they randomly assigned subjects to drink either flavanol-rich or flavanol-poor hot chocolate.

Art Camp Gift From Affton Family, Kuhnert family continues Belize missionary work from home
Even though they have been back from their mission trip for a little over a year, members of the Kuhnert family of Affton continue to serve our neighbors to the south. In 2011, Andy and Julie Kuhnert took their five children to Belize for a year-long missionary trip where "a hand up, not a hand out" was their motto. "We are still working to advocate for people in Belize," Julie Kuhnert said. "We want to do work that is sustainable and we want to empower them." While in Belize, Julie Kuhnert focused on creating a week-long art camp that would allow children to express themselves. Eldest daughter Emily reads to the students at a school in a remote village in southern Belize. (click for larger version) The art camp in Belize was considered a success and this year she planned a second one from home. For this year's art camp, she enlisted the help of two local teachers in Belize and planned projects that the children could do. She had to decide which supplies could be purchased in Belize and which supplies would need to be sent down.

Regional countries to benefit from IDB cultural project
Seven Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries are to this year benefit from Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) financed Cultural Development Programme (CDP). An IDB statement said that its cultural centre has selected 45 partner institutions to finance and provide technical assistance to cultural development projects in 25 countries. The Bahamas, Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago will benefit from the CDP which aims to promote cultural development in Latin America and the Caribbean by co-financing projects and working hand-in-hand as project partner. The IDB grants were awarded to innovative projects for technical training, art, music and theatre instruction for educators, artists and musicians. “Taking into consideration the diversity of the cultural disciplines, the projects were evaluated for their viability, educational scope, effective use of resources, the application the teaching of the teachers TOT model, the ability to mobilise additional sources of financing, and long-term impact on the community,” the IDB said.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
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Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
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