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#472867 - 09/19/13 07:21 AM Today's Belize News: September 19, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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La Llorona:
Long Ago: It burned and stung, the stickiness making wet squelching sounds that I was sure could be heard all the way in the village. The grass hid us from sight, but its sharp green blades dug into my exposed flesh. I couldn’t move from where I lay, for he held my hands in a vice-like grip while he was over me, doing something I knew was bad. It hurt, but I didn’t make a sound. Above me I could hear the cries of birds, their evening song coming together in a chorus. I don’t know how long I had lain there while he did the bad thing to me, but knew for sure it had been a long time, for the sun had been bright when he started. That sun was now fast fading, the gloom of nighttime approaching in its wake, as if brought in by the sound of the evening birds.

The San Pedro Sun

Shooting leaves 2 injured, including an 11-year-old student
The San Pedro Police Department are investigating a shooting incident that left two persons injured, including an 11 year old male student of San Pedro Roman Catholic School. The incident happened on Coconut Drive, near the airstrip, shortly after 11:30AM on Wednesday September 18th. The shooting happened during height of traffic as the students were heading home for lunch. According to police the entire incident was caught on a surveillance camera. When speaking to The San Pedro Sun Luis Mendez, an eyewitness explained that he had just arrived on a flight and was in the process of exiting the terminal from one of the local airlines. “When I was stepping out, I saw a man pulled out a gun and pointed it at head of another man. The men then began struggling and the firearm fell to the ground. They both went for the gun and they struggled for firearm on the ground. I went to inform a traffic officer who was in the area but when I was returning, I heard a blast. I saw the man that had the guy running down an alley towards the beach,” said Mendez.

National AIDS Commission Island Committee raising awareness
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee has been hard at work educating the public and offering the opportunities to individuals to learn their HIV status. On Friday September 6th, the Island Committee teamed up with the Caye Caulker Health Committee to offer a full day of HIV services in Caye Caulker. Two teams were dispatched to the island, thanks to the generosity of the San Pedro Belize Express which provided transportation for all eight participants. At the Caye Caulker Village Center – Nurse Lezel Cayetano, Nurse Robertha Herera, Miss Kristina Romero and Miss Natalie Arceo spent the day interacting, counselling and offering free HIV rapid tests to villagers to take the test. At the end of that exercise, we had tested 33 individuals.

San Pedro Cancer Society holds Blood Drive
On Saturday September 14th the San Pedro Cancer Society (SPCS) sponsored a blood drive which was held in collaboration with the Belize Blood Bank. The drive took place at the Island Galleria from 8AM to 3PM. No appointments were needed and all were welcomed to come out and support the cause. SPCS members encouraged passersby to give a little back to the community and donate a pint of blood. Several people came out to offer their support to SPCT and donate blood. At the end of the day SPCS was able to donate over 11 units of blood to the Belize Blood Bank. The purpose of the blood drive is to keep blood in reserve for emergencies, “It isn’t for our cancer patients, it is for any San Pedro residents who has suffered an accident and needs blood,” said Miguel Perez. Blood that was collected will be screened and made available for San Pedro patients through credits in the blood bank. If any emergency arises on the island where blood is needed the blood will be released to the patient.

Marco Gonzalez Reserve Temporarily Closed Due to Flooding
Jan Brown, Director of the Marco Gonzalez Reserve located south of San Pedro Town submitted the following : "I went to Marco entrance this morning (Sept 18). What a trip! The southern road is badly flooded from Victoria House to the end. I only went to Marco at Mile 5.25. Finally took out my camera to capture some of it. I've never seen this much water on the road. Thankfully, SPTC has added some hardcore from Croc Lagoon to almost the Dump road. Thanks Kendrick and crews! Marco Gonzalez Reserve will be closed for next few days. The boardwalk is underwater for quite some way. I didn't wade into the site, but if it's this high on the walkway, I know the water level will have encroached at the site entrance, Plaza 2 will be flooded and for sure the west side pathway will be underwater. I'll investigate on Thursday."

Ambergris Today

National AIDS Commission Works in Caye Caulker and San Pedro
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee has been hard at work educating the public and offering the opportunities to individuals to learn their HIV status. On Friday September 6th, the Island Committee teamed up with the Caye Caulker Health Committee to offer a full day of HIV services in Caye Caulker. Two teams were dispatched to the island, thanks to the generosity of the San Pedro Belize Express which provided transportation for all eight participants. At the Caye Caulker Village Center – Nurse Lezel Cayetano, Nurse Robertha Herera, Miss Kristina Romero and Miss Natalie Arceo spent the day interacting, counselling and offering free HIV rapid tests to villagers to take the test. At the end of that exercise, we had tested 33 individuals.

Fulbright and University of Belize collaborate on teaching English Methods
The University of Belize in collaboration with the Fulbright Scholarship Program, United States, has developed a Sheltered Instruction Model for teaching English to students who come from a variety of language backgrounds, and for students who may not demonstrate adequate language proficiency in English. Sheltered Instruction consists of teaching strategies that focus on language and content, and is used as a teaching tool for lecturers/teachers to teach students at different levels of proficiency; in particular, for students whose first language is not English. Sheltered Instruction is being used in American schools to boost the performance of students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

Education, Entrepreneurship, & Community Service
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my utmost perspective on 3 high points that young BELIZEANS should have at heart. We all know that in an ever changing world, BELIZE needs to adapt quickly, or the country and its people will lose its grasp. Our Government understands this for sure. But they need to reinforce dynamics into its young people. These younger generations today, are fast adapting to technology, internet and cable TV, for instance. However, they need to learn to apply it usefully, and properly to accommodate Education, Entrepreneurship, & Community Service. These high points are areas which must be “worked into” the mentality of the young people in BELIZE to ensure that the future is not only promising, but feasible to growth, and development of the economy. After all, Belize is in You, Belize is in Me, but we can’t say that we live in the LAND OF THE FREE. Respectfully Yours, Kenny Jacobs Executive Director/ TV Host Teens Belize Organization/ Developing Toledo TV Show www.teensbelize.com

Misc Belizean Sources

Belizean Artist, Wilson Grinage releases his new Soca single - "Misbehavin"
An excellent collaboration between Belizean Artists, Wilson Grinage and Ernestine Carballo.

Postcards from Belize
"A video of postcards from all over Belize. Some look pretty old. The Hawkesworth is in there. There are a lot of them. Thanks to Belize Abroad for the video."

Angela Casey Receives Meritorious Service Award
Congratulations to Angela Casey for receiving the Meritorious Service Award! Thanks for all your great contributions, Mrs. Casey. "A teacher for forty-three years, Mrs. Angela Therese Casey has touched the lives of over five thousand children from Belmopan and surrounding areas. Her journey as a teacher began after receiving her Teacher’s diploma from the Belize Teachers’ College, starting her career as a teacher at the Roaring Creek Roman Catholic Primary School and thereafter various schools throughout Belize. Mrs. Casey’s legacy, however, is best credited to the Belmopan Community Preschool which she founded in 1983 and for which she was appointed Principal in 1984."

Divaz Next Door Bocawina Adventure
The Divaz Next Door are having another fun adventure, and this time it's to the Mayflower Bocawina National Park for some ziplining and waterfall rappelling. Bocawina has the longest zipline in Belize - the best too! - and the waterfall rappelling is a refreshing adrenaline rush. All ladies 18 and older that are interested need only like their fb page, and follow the super-simple directions for entering the contest. They are choosing 3 lucky winners randomly from the entrants. Email your submission in by September 23rd for a chance to go on this amazing trip.

Moving to Belize: When Philadelphia Refinement Met Rustic Living in Belize: S. Tyson Gardner: 9781492307129: Amazon.com: Books
What do you do when Belize calls to you? Do you answer the call? For S. Tyson Gardner, the answer was simple - you throw your hat over the wall and GO for it! What happens next is an adventure! You are sure to laugh, cry and glean wisdom from this book. Enjoy Tyson's unique conversational writing style that has you feel as you are there with him. “You will love this book! You will laugh out loud as S. Tyson Gardner shares his true story of his mis-adventures that will educate you on the joys, tribulations and thought provoking insight of Belize uncensored. It is said that there is something in the water of Belize that just GRABS you - this book will GRAB you right back!” Dr. Edward Paul, Honorary Consul of Belize “Expats move to Belize for many reasons. This book is a delightfully entertaining way to learn about some of the adventures and challenges when moving to Belize. Tyson's story is full of insider information from someone who made the move and learned how to adjust to a new culture along the way. Current Expats in Belize will identify with the stories in this book and soon-to-be Expats will learn from them. A must-read for anyone considering expatriation to Belize Central America.” Yvette Dalton www.ExpatBelize.com

Paan Yaad Steel Band Concert will be held in Belize City on Thursday 9-19-2013
Paan Yaad Steel Band Concert is certainly an event that will have you moving in your seat to the beats they play. This years event will be no different and will surely get you in the spirit to dance. Take a look at a previous event for Paan Yaad:

Police bust trio with uncustomed cigarettes
Three persons including two women are in police detention in San Ignacio town after they were busted with a cache of uncustomed cigarettes on Tuesday night. Police say that around 7:30 pm on Tuesday, the intercepted and searched a car without license plates in front of the Uno Gas station on the George Price Highway in San Ignacio town. Police say that when the truck of the car was opened they found a large plastic bag containing a variety of cartons of cigarettes. The occupants of the car which had the word “TAXI: written on the rear bumper were taken to the San Ignacio police station for processing. Two of the persons, the taxi driver included, are Belizeans while the third person is from Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala. An inventory of the uncustomed cigarettes shows: 50 cartons of Gem Virginia Blend; 15 cartons of Benson and Hedges; 6 cartons of Richman Royal Menthol and 1 carton of Vogue Blue cigarettes.

GSU search results in big marijuana bust
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) is reporting a big drug bust in Belize City. During a search of a house on Gibson Street on Sunday night, personnel of the GSU say they found two sacks and two separate plastic bags underneath a sheet all containing marijuana weighing over 50 pounds. The home owner and the marijuana were escorted to the Queen Street police station. The following day, on Monday, September 16 police formally arrested and charged Calbert Hubert Young, 24, with four counts of possession of controlled drugs with the intent to supply. Police say the amount of marijuana found in the bags weighed in at 17.5 kilograms in one bag; 7 kilograns in another; 451 grams in a third and 448 grams in the fourth bag.

Channel 7

Ramirez And Bailey Say SIF Told Their Bankers To Proceed After Corruption Was Known
The scandal at the Social Investment Fund is still simmering this evening as there are many loose ends in a tale of what appears to be corruption run amok in an institution that was widely perceived to be above board. Our coverage tonight begins with the two local investors who found out the hard way that "what appears to be and what is" at SIF are two very different things. Last night Emy Ramirez and Lyndon Bailey listened as Minister with responsibility for SIF, Santiago Castillo Jr said that Government had no money to refund them. That's after they gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in bridge financing to Kennard Smart's company so that he could try and finish the Dangriga Market. Today we got their reaction to that announcement, along with commentary from Ramirez's attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd:..

Why Contractor General Said Cano Had To Go
And the man in the middle of that muddy area was Executive Director Daniel Cano. At Monday's emergency meeting of the SIF Board of Directors, he was given the option to resign - and he did, packing up that very night. But, his conduct in the office remains very much in question. Centrally, Kennard Smart has accused him of accepting an eleven thousand dollar cash bribe, which we stress that Cano has denied receiving, and the contractor general says in his report, quote, "there is an absence of clear, compelling and conclusive evidence which supports or corroborates the solicitation or receipt on (CANO'S) part of any monies from K & G Construction Limited or the Contractor in person." So that remains as only an unsupported allegation, but one made by a source who proved credible in his other charges. But according to the contractor General, Cano has other failings. In his report - which 7news has obtained a part of, the Contractor General says, quote, "in his capacity as Executive Director of SIF, the manner in which he dealt with revelations of alleged bribes, extorted sums or gifts of money purportedly paid to himself and other SIF employees by the Contractor, is less than desirable." End quote. Indeed, in his complaint to the Contractor General, Smart says he reported the allegations of corruption to Cano, quote, "giving him checks and stubs for him to settle the matter with his officers; instead he called them in, showed them the evidence and used it at his discretion to control them" end quote. Smart alleges that Cano ultimately lost the stubs.

BTB Backtracks On Aurelio Martinez Track, Says It Was A Mistake
One week ago, the Belize Tourism board had the local launch of its new "Discover How to Be" promotional video. It stirred quite a controversy because the music backing the video was an Aurelio Martinez song, "Santo Negro" - and he's a Honduran. Still, though, the song was conceived in Belize, recorded in Hopkins with mostly Belizean musicians, a Belizean producer and on the premier Belizean record label, Stonetree records. But all that didn't count for local artists who complained that they were passed over and disrespected; today the BTB backtracked and caved in to those pressures. It issued a statement 90 minutes ago saying, quote, "The Belize Tourism Board wishes to express…our sincere regret for the musical track chosen for the "Discover How To Be" Belize promotional video. We are deeply saddened that our decision was the cause of such public concern as it was never our intention to disrespect or offend our own talented musicians." End quote. The statement continues, quote, "In selecting the track, we placed our emphasis on finding a culturally relevant piece of music created, recorded and produced in Belize that blended seamlessly with the timing and tempo of the video." End quote.

Did Basilio Abduct His Own Baby?
Tonight, Guatemalan Police continue to keep on file a missing persons report in which former VIP Candidate Basilio Mes is being accused of abducting his baby from her mother over in Guatemala and returning to Belize. As seen in this flier, the child's mother reported that Mes, showed up at her Guatemala City home and took the baby without her permission. The infant, 9 month old Izabella Lariza Mes Suchini, is a child which Mes shared with the woman, Mariana Suchini, who made the report against him. She told police that the child has been missing September 10, and that's when the police issued the notice on all community boards so that they can be on the look-out. She's also been reaching out to the different media houses, including our news room, requesting that the matter be broadcast to the public. But, it would seem Mes is giving a different version of events, in which he is categorically denying all claims that he abducted his daughter and brought her to Belize to hide.

Battlefield Park: The Big Reveal
The Battlefield Park is at the center of Belize City - but for decades - it was not a public space in the truest sense. And that's simply because it was over-run with homeless persons, covered in filth and smothered by stench. So, when work to renovate the park started in May, it wasn't just to fix up the place, but to reclaim it as a viable public space. And from the early reviews we'd say that goal has been surpassed. Sure, they had to close off two vital streets to do it - but, as the old saying goes, if you want breakfast, you're gonna have to break some eggs - and the Belize City mayor smashes 'em by the dozen! That meal was served up today when the new park was opened and 7news was there:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Today, the Newly renovated Battlefield Park was officially opened for public use.

Embattled KHMH CEO Gets Contract Extension
Today the KHMH invited the media to a late afternoon mixer where the hospital administration noted the institution's 18th anniversary by going over some key achievements. They also provided an update on the work that's being done at the new neo-natal intensive care unit. The event ran close to our deadline, so we'll have that full story tomorrow - but tonight we do have some news that came out of the event, and it is that Gary Longsworth is staying on as CEO. His contract expires this month and he told us the Board has given him a one year extension:.. Gary Longsworth "I should hope to be here for at least one more year, during which time I hope to get a lot of the projects well entrenched, a lot of the changes completed and then we will see where we go from there." Jules Vasquez "So then you have been given a contract extension." Gary Longsworth "Yes the offer is there." Jules Vasquez "Ok but then, this is not a reflection on you, but a member of the public might ask how would your contract be extended when you have presided over when the most regrettable event, when people say 13, I know the report says 8 - when 8 babies died in just a few days in May. Who would give you a renewal based on that?"

Mayor Says Trade Licenses Reviewable/Apologizes For Publishing Bogus Tax Arrears Declarations
In December of last year, 7News told you about the sharp increase in trade license fees for Belize City where business-owners complained that they were not being fairly assessed. Well last week, the Belize City Council published notices in the major newspapers in which they announced that assessment of business for the 2014 trade license fees is due to begin shortly. That sent out waves of concern from business owners, who are now dreading what their new assessment will be, and how much they will be required to pay. They've voiced that concern to the Belize City Council, and today, while he had the opportunity; Mayor Darrell Bradley announced that he is open to having a discussion on how the trade license assessment should actually work. Here's how he explained it: Mayor Darrell Bradley "Every year in the months of September and October we send out these notices to remind people that by December you have to pay your business trade license. I have also been in discussions with various groups including the mayors association to really discuss how the trade license regime can be changed."

Up To The End Of August, Crime Was Down
Today, the Police Department released the crime statistics for the month of August, and the numbers reflect that, nationally, all major crimes are down by 11.2%. Shooting incidents are down by 29.4%. Murder is down by 27.8%, while rape is down by 30%, but the most significant decrease comes from the number of robberies, which, according to the data, shows that this major crime is down by 43%. But while police are making progress in these areas, theft is up by 7%, and reports of carnal knowledge are up by 51%. Police also announced the winners of the Minister of National Security's monthly awards for the zone and formation which performed the best at reducing major crimes for the month of August. The winner chosen was Western Zone, which covers the area of the Cayo District, and which is under the command of Senior Superintendent Aaron Guzman. The best performing sub-formation, according to police, was the Benque-Viejo Sub-Formation, which is headed by Assistant Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson.

2014 Holidays Announced
The list of holiday's for 2014 has been released and weekend warriors might be disappointed to see that there are only five long weekends on the list - that's including Christmas and Easter. New Year's day falls on a Wednesday, while Heroes and Benefactors day March 10th will be observed on Monday, March 10th. Easter Holidays run form April 18 to the 21st, followed by Labour Day which falls on a Thursday. But holiday lovers do get a break when Sovereign's Day which falls on Saturday May 24th, is observed on Monday the 26th. The tenth falls on a Wednesday, but interestingly the 21st falls on a Sunday so Independence day will be observed on Monday September 22nd. Pan American Day will be observe don Monday October 13th - while Garifuna Settlement day falls on a Wednesday. Christmas will be on Thursday the 25th December, so like Easter, it will be a four day weekend.

Dominica PM Visits, Says Belize Plays Pivotal Role In CARICOM
As we told you last night - Dominica's Prime Minister will be the guest of honour at the 32nd Anniversary of Belize's Independence. Skerrit arrived in the country this morning and we caught him at the airport. At only 41 years old, he's serving his second term as Prime Minister - but he told us the difficulties of governance are the same whether young or old, small nation or large. Skerrit opened by explaining why' he's happy to be here:... Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica "I am here really to celebrate with the Belizean people. You have a wonderful country, wonderful people and I think you in Belize underestimate the important role you play in the wider Caricom family. Belize is a very important member of Caricom and has been instrumental in leading the way in a number of important issues within the Caricom region. For example, Belize has lead the way in the issues relating to climate change and the environment and also with the Caribbean Court of Justice. Belize is one of few countries within Caricom who has join on to the CCJ." "Belize continues to play an important role notwithstanding its geographic distance away from Caricom."

Darley Says Mass Cruise Tourism Can Still Be “Pocket”
One month ago, Hugh Darley, the Project Manager for Norwegian Cruise Line's Harvest Caye project raised eyebrows when he discussed the Garifuna, which, with his southern drawl sounded more like "Gari-foona". But he got into trouble when he spoke about re-enacting the Dugu Dance - which was a major miscue because the Dugu is a sacred and closed ceremony where the Garifuna communicate with their ancestors. That comment elicited a condemnatory statement from the National Garifuna Council, but Darley is undeterred: Norwegian has major plans for Belize, and they plan also to work with the Garifuna, so they won't let that mis-statement get in the way. Darley told us today that he met with the President of the National Garifuna Council Robert Mariano to explain what Norwegian has in mind:.. Hugh Darley, Project Director - NCL harvest Caye "We probably make the mistake by asking the audience for the name for dance. The idea was that we like to showcase entertainment. You say entertainment and culture is the same thing, there are certain things that are sacred and we understand that, but what we want to do is we want things to be authentic."

#472868 - 09/19/13 07:22 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 19, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Contractor Kenard Smart says he hasn’t been paid since May 2013 and is turning to the World Bank
The dust is yet to settle on the sandal at the Social Investment Fund which led to the resignation of Executive Director Daniel Cano and the termination of Mike Hernandez, [...]

A minor is shot in San Pedro
San Pedro police are tonight investigating a shooting incident in which two people were injured shortly before midday.  Reports are that two men were involved in an altercation in the [...]

Commuters take matters in hand over the impassable San Estevan Road
There was mayhem today in Orange Walk as commuters were unable to drive through the San Estevan road to get to their destinations. The stretch of road in the constituency [...]

Isani bests the region and wins another award
In July, the Caribbean Research Development Institute, CARDI and the Technical Center for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation, CTA, launched the third Regional Excellence in Agricultural Journalism Awards. The theme this [...]

NCL says it is getting support from the south for the mega tourism project on Harvest Caye
Six past presidents of the Belize Tourism Industry Association have jointly signed a letter opposing the Norwegian Cruise Line Project at Harvest Caye because it goes contrary to Sustainable Tourism [...]

B.T.B. says it will host a consultation in Placencia
Cruise Sub-committee Chairman Roger Espejo says that the Belize Tourism Board is actively participating in a readiness consultation in the south to field questions and concerns from stakeholders who are [...]

B.T.B. apologizes to local artists for using Aurelio Martinez’s track on promotional video
This afternoon, the Belize Tourism Board issued an apology to all Belizeans. It is a first for the B.T.B. which came under fire from artists as well as from many [...]

Port of Belize C.E.O. discusses wide range of issues including the CBA
The Port of Belize has been going through a phased out modernization program. In the past months, new equipment has been acquired, construction work continues to take place to improve [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley clarifies newly implemented bus routes
Up north, the commuters protested this morning the deplorable conditions of the San Estevan Road and by this afternoon, workmen were busy trying to fix the road. But in the [...]

Mayor Bradley addresses the issue of trade licenses
We reported on Tuesday night that the Belize Chamber of Commerce has written to the Minister of Labor, Godwin Hulse, who is also previous senator for the private sector, to [...]

Teacher charged for assaulting city council administrator
Excelsior High School teacher, Ian Mariano, was found guilty today by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith of a charge of common assault. In the court this morning, Mariano also conceded [...]

Salvadoran national escapes criminal charges, but failed to comply with visitor’s permit
A Salvadoran national, who landed in police custody after a domestic dispute in which he was accused of stabbing his wife in Belize City, managed to escape criminal charges but [...]

Police sergeant dies from stage four cancer
The Police Department is mourning the death of one of its own. Sergeant Jose Zetina, who was attached to the Corozal formation, passed away on Tuesday at his home in [...]

Historic Battlefield Park re-inaugurated after much needed sprucing up
The historic Battlefield Park, in the heart of Belize City, has gone through a major transformation. In the 1600’s, the park served as a meeting place for the labor movement, [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley says overflowing drains and flooded streets will be fixed
At the launch of the re-inauguration of the Battlefield Park, the media took the opportunity to ask the mayor about several issues affecting the citizenry of the Old Capital. Aside [...]


Father of the Nation Remembered on National Service Day
On Thursday Belize will observe National Service Day to mark the second anniversary of the passing of the late George Price. In context with that the People’s United Party has issued a press release in which it states the symbolism of the day. The party plans to pay tribute to the legacy of the late Mr. Price by carrying out community service activities throughout the country of Belize. The PUP encourages and invites all Belizeans to take part in community service initiatives to commemorate the life, work and service of Mr. Price. It will also hold a wreath-laying ceremony at nine on Thursday morning at the burial site at the Lord Ridge Cemetery.

Report Shows Drop in Major Crimes
The Crime Statistics for the month of August has been released showing a continuing reduction in major crimes. So far this year, there have been 70 reported murders compared to 93 that was committed during the same period last year. Rape, burglary and robbery are also down but the statistics show an increase in theft and carnal knowledge. There were only three murders countrywide in August of this year compared to nine murders reported last year for the same month. This afternoon, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar presented the monthly awards for the zone and formation that performed the best in reducing major crimes during that month. The Zone with the best performance in reducing major crimes in the month of August was the Cayo Region, headed by Senior Superintendent Aaron Guzman. The Formation with the best performance in August was the Benque Viejo Sub-Formation, headed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Dinsdale Thompson. As a reward for the performance by their respective zone and sub-formation the Minister handed over a cheque of one thousand dollars to Senior Superintendent Guzman and a Certificate of Recognition to Assistant Superintendent of Police Dinsdale Thompson.

Police in Northern Belize Destroys Hundreds of Drug Plants
A joint operation involving the Special Branch and the Criminal Investigation Branch of the Orange Walk Police Department was conducted in the London Camp Lagoon Area, three miles south of Santa Martha Village in that municipality. During the operation, three marijuana plantations were discovered; the first had 260 plants ranging from 2-6 feet in height; the second had 380 marijuana plants ranging from 1 – 10 feet in height and the third had 1200 marijuana plants ranging from 5-7 feet in height. The total amount of marijuana plants uprooted and destroyed amounted to 1,840. No one was arrested as there was no one in the area.

PM Says Government or His Party Should Not Be Fingered in Recent SIF Corruption
The Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund resigned and four employees were fired after allegations of wrongdoing. However a number of questions still remain. Love News spoke with Prime Minister Dean Barrow who described the incident as most unfortunate. He said it is simply a case of unwelcomed corruption on the part of the employees. The Prime Minister bristled at the view that the revelations might suggest corruption within the system allowing known UDP operatives to benefit. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “Mr. Smart was the contractor; he is not a UDP operative; he is a contractor who got contracts and who has complained now that people have extorted him. His complaints have been investigated, the Contractor General has found those complaints made out and the people have been dealt with, they have been fired. Please don’t try to make this into more than it is; what it is, is bad enough; don’t try to finger the government or the United Democratic Party; that is absolutely unacceptable.”

Investors Want SIF to Honor Letters Sent to Bank
In tonight’s newscast we reported on the Prime Minister weighing in on the scandal at the Social Investment Fund. Five employees have lost their position at SIF and two investors are out of hundreds and thousands of dollars. Lyndon Bailey and Emy Gilharry Ramirez jumped on board with the mindset of completing the project and completely unaware of what was occurring within SIF even though allegations were made to the Contractor General months before. Two investors who are caught in the middle, Emy Gilharry Ramirez and Lyndon Bailey told Love News they hope to recover their monies. Ramirez has contracted Audrey Matura Shepherd as her attorney while Bailey is making moves to get back the thousands he had invested while they request a meeting with SIF. LYNDON BAILEY “As a contractor, when somebody comes with something like that, you will jump on it; you want to help the young man get out of the situation because I wouldn’t want to find myself in a situation like that. So, a little sympathy on my part because I have seen the market come up several times in the news and I thought that if I could get that market finished for the people in Dangriga, I would feel very good.”

Worker Assists in Stealing From Boss
An 18-year-old domestic worker appeared in court today after being accused of stealing from her employer’s home. Police reports say Santos Abigail Balona was charged with handling stolen goods when she appeared in Court #1 in Belize City. Balona pled not guilty to the charge and was offered bail of $500. She is scheduled to reappear in court on November 11. The charge against Balona stems from an incident on Monday, September 16 where Balona assisted in the retention of one red I-pod and one Tommy Hilfiger wrist watch with knowledge that the items were stolen. The items have a combined value of $360. Balona’s former employer, Mary Avila reported to the police that the items were stolen from her residence in Buttonwood Bay on Sunday, September 15. The police launched an investigation and as a result they went to Balona’s house the following day and recovered the stolen items.

PM for Dominica To Be Guest of Honor for Belize’s Independence Celebrations
In the next few days Belize will celebrate the 32nd anniversary of its independence. Guest of honor will be the Prime Minister of Dominica Roosevelt Skerrit. Prime Minister Barrow said he is looking forward to the visit. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “We will be very pleased to have Prime Minister Skerrit; he is one of the youngest and brightest of CARICOM Prime Ministers; he has been extremely successful and his usefulness and energy are quite impressive. We feel honored that he has accepted the invitation to be the guest of honor at this year’s independence anniversary celebrations.” Prime Minister Skerrit will be accompanied by Minister of Trade Dr. Collin McIntyre.


Minister of Economic Development briefs the media on SIF terminations
On Monday night, we told you that four persons from within the Social Investment Fund were fired in light of alleged corruption. The firings follow an investigation conducted by the Contractor General of the Statutory Body and investigation of the current project that is the renovation of the Dangriga...

Mayor Bradley says that buses will be allowed to go down Albert Street
The public outcry has been tremendous on the Belize City Council’s new decision to ban city buses from going down town Albert Street – an announcement that was made by Councilor Alifah Elrington-Hyde. But Mayor Bradley explains that the media had it wrong. Mayor Bradley said that the council...

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Assad Shoman Discusses the Guatemala-Belize Referendum Issue with UB Students
Belize will be recognizing its 32nd year of Independence in the coming days and indisputably the country has reached significant milestones since attaining sovereignty from Great Britain in 1981. But one matter still lingering over our heads is a territorial claim lodged by neighboring Guatemala. Efforts have been made...

Home invasion in Belize City
A resident of Belize City, reported to police that on Monday shortly before 8pm while home, watching television with his common law wife, two men of dark complexion entered the house. According to the owner of the home, one of the men brandished a black handgun and he and...

Robbery at Central Farm
Central Farm was robbed this weekend. According to the reports made by the Head Carpenter For the Ministry of Agriculture in Central Farm, on Saturday, September 14th, he properly locked up and secured the carpenter section in Central Farm Village, as usual. Reports have it that on the following...

Jaslyn Aguilar Wins the Title of Little Miss Cayo
In celebration of its 21st anniversary, the Pandy Show, the oldest running show in the country, hosted its annual Little Miss Cayo Pageant, on Sunday, September 15th. A total of 21 beautiful little girls participated. Kent Pandy told us how the event went. Kent Pandy: “The pageant was mostly…we...

Lifeline Foundation donates to schools in Orange walk
On Tuesday, Lifeline Foundation, an organization managed by Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow, donated the proceeds of an annual charity benefit to six schools in the Orange Walk District. The donations range from eight to seventy thousand dollars, but were specifically tailored to each school’s...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Area of disturbed weather over Belize
Yes folks, it rains even in paradise!

Chronicles launches electronic discussion board
The Caye Caulker Chronicles has launched a new electronic discussion board. Now readers have the ability to post questions, feedback, comments, experiences, reviews on any or everything pertaining to Caye Caulker. The forum categories are Island News, Island Life, Classifieds, Properties for sale or wanted, Travel and Tourism, and Belize News. You can find the discussion board at this link: http://www.cayecaulkerchronicles.com/forums/ In order to prevent spam, you must be registered to post. We are looking for volunteer moderators for the forum. If you are interested, please email info@CayeCaulkerChronicles.com with your expression of interest. Enjoy your local forum, peeps!

Accidental purge of subscribers
Dear subscribers of the Caye Caulker Chronicles. We were attempting a purge of some spam registrations to our website and may have inadvertently deleted some valid, legitimate subscribers from our list. Our profuse apologies. Our registration portal is being used by spambots which the WP-Captcha (Are you a human?) feature doesn’t seem to be able to stop. (If anyone knows how to fix this, please let us know.) While the spam registrations are negligible, they are still a nuisance.

The September 22nd, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Corruption Rears its Ugly Head, Prime Minister Barrow Chops It Off !:
    But I tell you, any UDP government that I lead will never be engaged in corruption. As soon as it rears its ugly head, I personally will cut it off. And I will tell you, I will sharpen a special machete with blades on two sides so that every time it springs up, right so, I will chop it off. And if it means the government has to fall, then so be it. Let the consequences be damned, the people of this country deserve better and I am determined to give them better.” Those were the words of Hon. Dean Barrow, declared at a town hall meeting way back in November, 2004; and by all accounts, it’s a promise he and his government are keeping. This past week, the Board of the Social Investment Fund, with the full blessings of the Prime Minister and his Cabinet, moved swiftly to terminate top level executives at the Social Investment Fund following the Contractor General’s report on a probe conducted into a Million Dollar project to build a new Market in Dangriga Town.
  • Patriotism Alive at University of Belize!:
    Wednesday, September 18 was Annual Patriotic Day at the University of Belize. The Photograph to the right is that of the ladies who won First, Second and Third Place in the Patriotic Dress Competition. Kudos to the University of Belize. Happy Independence, Belize!
  • From the Desk of the Chairman:
    The biggest day of the season is here. The climax of it all. Independence Day, that is. There is something about this season that inspires each and every true Belizean to dig deep within ourself and find our most creative way of expressing our love and devotion to our Nation and Homeland. Like romance, Patriotism is an uplifting thing. As difficult and demanding as life might be, it picks us up, gives us wings and allows us to soar above our trials and tribulations. And, of course, it adds true meaning and purpose to our existence. Something to live for, something to strive for, something to die for.
  • Belize & Guatemala - Food & Agriculture: DPM Gaspar Vega addresses Guatemalan Livestock Fair:
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Honourable Gaspar Vega recently concluded a working visit to Petén, Guatemala as guest of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food of Guatemala. The Minister attended and addressed the First National Livestock Fair held in Petén where contacts with several private sector livestock, equipment and service providers were made. The Guatemalan Minister of Agriculture Elmer Lopez, the Governor of Petén and the Congressman for Petén were among many distinguished Guatemalan officials addressing the fair. Bilateral meetings were held between the two ministers who focused principally on cross border collaboration in particular efforts to eradicate the Mediterranean Fruit Fly.
  • Faith Lift By Zelda Hill: It’s a Time for Rejoicing, Belize !:
    Our Creator, God, has Blessed or homeland “with wealth untold” as described in our National Anthem, written by Samuel Haynes. The magnificence of the abilities of our indigenous Maya people and their will to persevere in spite of all the odds, continue to amaze humanity. Our cultural diversity reveals God’s providence in leading our forefathers to this ideal spot, a land that still abounds with the resources we need to work, to live and to raise our families. While other nations around us endure succeeding conflicts, severe calamities and major civil unrest, Belize has been spared through the labor and prayer of those who acknowledge the might of truth and the grace of God, by which we continue to exist.
  • Dominican PM To Belize for Independence:
    Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica, will be hosted by the Government of Belize as the Guest of Honor during Belize’s Independence Day festivities. Hon. Skerrit will arrive in Belize on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, accompanied by Hon. Dr. Collin McIntyre, Minister of Trade of Dominica. After arrival, Hon. Skerrit will make a courtesy call on Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow. During his stay, Prime Minister Skerrit will be a guest at all official ceremonies commemorating Belize’s 32 years of Independence.
  • “Building on Enduring Friendship”: British High Commissioner meets National Security Minister:
    The new British High Commissioner to Belize, H.E. Peter Hughes made a courtesy call on Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar last Friday September 13, 2013 in the Minister’s office at the Ministry of National Security Headquarters in the Curl Thompson Building in Belmopan. The British High Commissioner’s visit is part of his familiarization tour, having recently taken up his new position after presenting his credentials to Governor General Sir Colville Young. His Excellency Mr. Peter Hughes started his diplomatic career as Desk Officer in the British Defense Department and has since served oversees in Australia, the Caribbean, Asia and Afghanistan. Upon his appointment to Belize, Mr. Hughes was quoted as saying he hopes to build on the enduring friendship between the United Kingdom and Belize.
  • Police Liaison Officer in UK for International Leadership Program:
    Police Liaison Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Superintendent Howell Gillett is in the United Kingdom attending an International Leadership Program held at the College of Policing, Bramshill. Superintendent Gillett left the Country last Saturday, September 7, 2013 and will return in Six Weeks. The course started on Monday September 9 and will conclude on November 1, 2013. As part of the program, Superintendent Gillett will be expected to complete 50 hours of selfstudy, and he will eventually earn a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Bramshill Certificate.
  • Major Crimes Trended Downwards in August, Western Zone and Benque Sub-Formations Performed Best:
    Crime Statistics for the Month of August, 2013 show an overall continuing trend in reduction of Major Crimes committed Countrywide. The statistics were released on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. There were only 3 murders countrywide in August 2013, compared to 9 murders in August 2012. From January to August of 2013, there were a total of 70 murders, compared to a total of 97 for the same period of 2012. Minister of National Security Honorable John Saldivar this week presented his monthly awards for the zone and formation that performed the best in reducing major crimes during that month. The Zone with the best performance in reducing major crimes in the month of August was the Western Region, headed by Senior Superintendent of Police Aaron Guzman.
  • Honouring Heroes Past & Present: Tribute to Belizean Patriots - September 12, 2013:
    Each September Belizeans from every community in our nation come together to commemorate and celebrate the historical milestones that helped to shape our Belizean identity, our democratic way of life and our Belizean sovereignty. Our annual traditions thus transform September into a colourful, exciting and festive time in our country. It is always a matter of great satisfaction that in the middle of the festivities we take time out to honour Belizean men and women – past and present – whose service to their fellow Belizeans has been exemplary. Each of the honourees tonight has, in their own unique way, risen above personal interest to serve the people; to serve their communities; and to serve our nation with dedication and self-sacrifice. It is meet and right that we pay tribute to them as we enjoy our September.
  • Carnival in the Old Capital: Organizers “Do NOT Encourage Indecent Behaviour”:
    Last Saturday, September 14, 2013, the streets of the old capital, Belize City, were vibrating and glowing with the sound and color of Carnival. According to a press release from the Belize National Carnival Commission, six bands registered and competed in the Junior Band Category. First Place was taken by Pickstock Carnival Band who will receive a prize of $7,000. In Second Place was Jump Street Posse. And Third Place was taken by Sunshine Masqueraders. In the Senior Band Category, Five bands registered and competed. First Place was taken by Mother Nature’s Creation who will receive a cash prize of $10,000. In Second Place was Belizean Jewel; and in Third Place, Soca Warriors.
  • Winners in Annual September Criterium:
    First Place - Junior Category Byron Pope - Benny’s Megabytes Team First Place - Elite Category Kirah Eiley & Patricia Chavarria First and Second Place- Female Category Barney Brown,, Jose Choto & Dwight Lopez Second, First and Third in Masters Category Kirah Eiley - BECOL Team First Place - Female Category Giovanni Lovell - Belize Telemedia Team Second Place- Junior Category


Celebrate Belize’s Independence and enjoy Central American Cuisine
SAGA HUMANE SOCIETY MONTHLY COOKOFF FUNDRAISER Join Saga as they celebrate Belize’s Independence and enjoy Central American Cuisine. This Thursday, September 19 – Hosted by El Fogon Tickets go on sale at 6:00pm and serving starts at 6:30pm. Cost 15 BZD to sample all the wonderful dishes. IT’S HIP TO SNIP! The goal of Operation SNIP is to sterilize 75% of the island animals in 3-5 years. This will STABILIZE the pet population. In doing so, virtually NO PETS will be strays, wandering and breeding freely. No animals will be born that will not have Forever homes

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit to visit the jewel
Late this evening, the government announced that the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, will be arriving this Wednesday in the country. Skerrit is a guest of the government during the remaining Independence Day celebrations which include the official Independence Day ceremonies in Belmopan. Following his arrival, Skerrit will be paying a courtesy visit on the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and will also be taking time to experience the jewel’s natural beauty. Skerrit will be accompanied by Collin McIntyre, Minister of Trade of Dominica. Their visit ends on September twenty-second September. Recently, the Prime Minister was having a bumpy ride back in Dominica. In early September, following fiery public criticism, Skerrit’s government withdrew the nomination of Alix-Boyd Knights as a candidate for the presidency of Dominca. Knights is the current Speaker of the House and the criticism over her nomination was that she was biased against the opposition.

Final Working Session for Belize Medical Tourism Association

The 1st – Belize Medical Tourism Forum, to be held Thursday, September 26, 2013

“Rainy Dayz” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday up early (around 04.45 hours) as usual and straight to the veranda with the obligatory mug of black coffee and my iPad. The weather was much the same as it has been for what now seems like weeks (I might be guilty of some exaggeration here). Nothing but rainy dayz (I know days isn’t spelt this way but…). First job for me after ‘knocking out’ yesterday’s edition and catching up on the news was to send emails to the Excess International Movers (the company we are using to ship our stuff from the UK) and Belize Logistics Services Limited (the company that they are using to manage delivery once it ‘hits’ Belize). I received fairly quick responses from both companies but neither informed me of what I really want. The date of arrival in Belize City! They have now requested ‘tracking’ reports for our consolidated (in Miami) load and have promised to revert to me when they have this. Hopefully then all will be revealed. The rest of the morning/early afternoon then just seemed to fly by. Breakfast, followed by the completion and submission of a ‘Source of Funds’ form to Atlantic International Bank Limited for approval to wire money from the UK and then a light snack for lunch and it was time to head off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Avacado Black Beun Salsa
Wit maters still hangin on t'vines an' nuff o'fresh corn at my disposal, here is a salsa recipe we have enjoyet resantlee. Serve wit taco chips as un appetiz'r, as a side dish wit chicke er on top o'a bet o'greens as a lunch salad. 2 avocados, pittid an' cubet 1 14 oz./ 398 ml a'ken black beens, draind an' rinset (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 1/2 cups corn kernels (kernels frum 2 ears o'fresh cooket corn er 1-15 oz. a'ken corn, draind) 2 cups cherry maters, quarteret

International Sources

The World's 7 Best Budget Destinations
If budget is a top concern, following are 7 destinations where you should be focusing your attention. You could live in each of these places on a budget of $1,200 per month or less. (Note, coincidentally, that that's the amount of the average Social Security payment.) You could spend more, maybe much more, retired in these destinations, depending on the lifestyle you adopt and where, exactly, you choose to settle yourself. But, if you're in the market right now for a simple but comfortable retirement on a modest budget, here's where I'd suggest you shop: #1: Cayo, Belize Warm and welcoming, independent and private. Those four perhaps seemingly contradictory adjectives best describe both Belizeans and their country. Belize is also one of the safest countries in the world, despite what you may read about it. In some neighborhoods of Belize City, gang members and drug dealers do the things that gang members and drug dealers do, but those are small, contained areas. Outside Belize City, crime is nearly non-existent.

New World Oil & Gas Loss Widens On Higher Operating Costs
New World Oil and Gas PLC Thursday said its pretax losses widened significantly in its first half as an exceptional write-off and administrative costs hit the company. The oil-and-gas exploration-and-development company focused on Belize and Denmark said its pretax losses widened to USD9.5 million for the six months ended June 30 compared to USD1.4 million the previous year. The company is yet to make any revenues but experienced a one-off USD6.9 million write-off on one of its dry-wells and an increase in administrative expenses to USD1.2 million from USD485,000 after the company undertook an in-depth review of all overhead expenses, including the remuneration of directors. As a result, the company said it made an operating loss of USD9.2 million from USD1.4 million the previous year which represents the bulk of its losses. The company said that after the first-half period its shareholders approved a USD25 million investment by Niel Petroleum, together with a related conditional USD25 million debt facility.

View from the top: New World Oil & Gas interview
With New World Oil & Gas (NEW) shares trading at a low on the back of abandoned wells in Belize, chief executive William Kelleher and executive Georges Sztyk talk to Julie Fisher about the impact a major new stakeholder will have on their strategy. What has been happening with the company recently? William Kelleher: We've recently completed a transaction with Niel Petroleum [New World agreed to issue more than two billion subscription shares to Niel in August in return for up to $50 million (£31 million) in financing]. We're very excited about that because they're a very serious, competent group of people with some very, very strong connections throughout the Middle East and French-speaking Africa. It's all upside for New World Oil & Gas because there's funding available to acquire a project and [a] debt facility available to capture the upside. After the market's response to our drilling operations in Belize, to have a company come in and show this much interest in us is very encouraging. Interactive Investor user question: A number of private investors are concerned by the size of Niel Petroleum's stake and the possibility of Niel seeking to delist. Is that not something you're concerned about? WK: There's not been any talk of delisting, that's not been a consideration, that's never been on the table. I think Niel Petroleum was looking for a competent oil platform to engage in the oil business in a serious way, and that's what they've got and I think they plan to be in it for quite a while.

Ross man earns award for book about the New Orleans Sisters
What started as a plan to write an article or two about an order of sisters turned into an award-winning book for Ross Township resident Edward Brett, a professor emeritus of history at La Roche College in McCandless. Recently, he learned that his book “The New Orleans Sisters of the Holy Family: African American Missionaries to the Garifuna of Belize” was named the 2012 Bronze Award winner in the religion category by ForeWord Reviews, a magazine and book-review service focusing on books published by independent presses. In addition to showing the book “rises above others in its genre,” the award provides a new marketing opportunity for a book that no longer is “new,” said Karen Connick, head of publisher and author services for ForeWord Reviews. Brett's book had been one of 13 finalists selected from 30 entries in the religion category. The work tells the story of some special women “who struggled against racism in society and patriarchy in the church, and yet made tremendous achievements,” Brett said.

New International Flights Added to Belize by Delta Airlines and United Airlines
Delta Airlines and United Airlines are offering new non-stop services to Belize City, making Belize even more accessible for travelers departing from Los Angeles and Newark this winter. Taking advantage of the West Coast market to Belize, Delta Airlines will be offering convenient non-stop service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Belize City (BZE) on Saturdays starting December 21st, 2013. The Boeing 737-800 aircraft flying this route will have 160 seats available. Delta is the only airline offering the convenience of non-stop service between Los Angeles and Belize City. Flights depart at approximately 12am, and land in Belize City at 7am. The new route complements Delta’s existing services between Belize City and Atlanta, demonstrating the airline’s commitment to the Central American region.


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