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#477419 - 11/14/13 11:21 AM Today's Belize News: November 14, 2013
Marty Offline


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

Belize Forest Department continues to present on Wildlife Laws of Belize
The Belize Forest Department (BFD) held a presentation at Fido’s Courtyard conference hall on Tuesday November 5th. In attendance were the representatives of the Saga Humane Society, the American Crocodile Educational Sanctuary (ACES) and officers of the San Pedro Police Department. In an effort to continue to educate the public on wildlife conservation, Mrs. Rasheda Garcia (BFD-Protected Areas) along with Forest Officer Ms. Victoria Cawich presented on various important aspects of the Wildlife Laws of Belize that should be made priority when dealing with wildlife issues. Garcia highlighted to the officers present that they have the right to confiscate any wildlife being held without a permit and also encouraged the public to report any instances of wildlife being held illegally, as they are entitled to receive up to half of the amount fined to the culprit along with remaining anonymous. Persons found guilty of keeping unpermitted wildlife can be fined up to $500 or six months imprisonment upon first offence, if found a second time within a five year period , that offender can be fined an additional $1,000.

Congratulations SPHS Boys – 2013 National Volleyball Champions!
Having claimed victory over the male and female divisions of the Northern Regional Secondary Volleyball Tournament, the San Pedro High School (SPHS) volleyball teams travelled to Belize City to compete in The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) Volleyball Tournament. After a burning four sets against Mopan Technical High School, SPHS boys rose to the challenge and were crowned National Champions. The tournament was held at the Saint John’s College Gymnasium on Friday, November 8th and Saturday, November 9th. A total of eight teams competed in the tournament(four male and four female) all representing North, Central, West and South regions of Belize. Representing the North region for both males and females was SPHS, while the Central Region was represented by the girls of Saint Catherine’s Academy (SCA) and the boys of Saint John’s College (SJC). Representing the Western region were the Belmopan Comprehensive High School (BCHS) girls and the boys of Mopan Technical High School (MTHS). Finally, representing the South was the Stann Creek Ecumenical College (SCEC) girls and Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS) boys.

Tropic Air inaugurates service to Roatan, Honduras
Tropic Air has commenced non-stop service between Roatan (RTB) and Belize City’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE). Flights are initially 3 times weekly with a plan to increase as demand warrants. Passengers from Roatan are able to connect to and from the many multi-daily non-stop international flights that Belize City has to offer (Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Charlotte, Houston, Miami, and Atlanta among others). The Roatan flights also connect to Tropic Air’s other international services to Cancun (Mexico), Flores (Guatemala) and San Pedro Sula in addition to its 11 domestic destinations within Belize. In addition to trade and commerce, this service also opens up many new opportunities for the tourism market, with hotels in both destinations already partnering up to offer double dip vacations, further diversifiying the tourism offering of both Belize and Roatan.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade Scheduled for December 7
The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013. This traditional event heralds the holiday season and leads us into the holiday spirit with a fun event filled with twinkling lights, children's laughter, Christmas carols and a spectacular night time boat parade spanning from Wayo's Beach Bar to the north and the Caribbean Villas to the south - with amazing viewing spots everywhere in between. This year promises to be as well attended and enjoyable as each preceding year has been. We look forward to many regulars participating and invite new entrants to join the fun. There are prizes in a number of categories for decorated boats including most original and most religious and the Mayor's choice with the coveted trophy cup.

Bandage International Assists with First Aid Training in San Pedro
A crew from Bandage International was on the island conducting a two-day first aid training course in collaboration with the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch. The course was carried out on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 and Thursday, November 7, 2013 at El Divino Restaurant where a total of 28 persons from various local businesses including a few San Pedro Red Cross Volunteers were certified in First Aid. Bandage International also held training on behalf of the Belize Red Cross on Sunday, November 3, 2013 at La Loma Luz hospital in Santa Elena and Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Toledo Community College Punta Gorda. The course offered included bandaging, splinting, burns, CPR for adults, child, infant, choking, medical emergencies including heart attacks, stroke, asthma, seizures, water emergencies, and training on using AED's (Automated External Defibrillators).

San Pedro Lions Club Announces Queen Pageant
The San Pedro Lions Club will be holding a beauty pageant on Saturday, November 23, 2013, 8:00 pm at the Angel Nunez Auditorium in which four beautiful young ladies will be vying for the title of Lions Queen 2013-2014. The lovely contestants are Catlyn Benguche, Erica Bodden, Arlethe Lima, and Julissa Trejo. The young ladies will be doing an opening dance as well be modeling in sportswear, talent competition, evening wear and the question and answer session. There will be lots to eat and fun entertainment at the San Pedro Lions Queen Pageant this Saturday, November 23rd. Show your support and don’t miss out.

Misc Belizean Sources

Casa Picasso 5-course Chef's Tasting Menu
Because so many of you have asked us if you can try many of our menu items in tasting portions, Casa Picasso has created a special 5-course Chef's Tasting Menu for this Thursday, November 14th. Along with our full menu, you will have the option to dine on Chef Ben's special picks for this week and have the option to pair each course with a specifically chosen wine.

Flash flood in Western Belize
An overnight flash flood in Western Belize has caused some major damage. Reports are that water from the creek in Hillview area of Santa Elena knocked over a house. No report of human injuries but other houses are reported to have been flooded out. In Central Farm, the bridge was covered with water at one point around 3 am and when the water started to recede it was evident that major damage had been done. The bridge and the George Price Highway remains intact; but the shoulders of the highway from the bridge to the Galen University campus were washed away, leaving two and three foot deep craters. Huge amount of debris has been deposited in the area. We'll keep monitoring this situation.

Add!ction Grand Opening
Add!ction had their grand opening on Saturday. Mauricio Canelo, who does much of the handmade jewelry that they carry, was there too. If you need something nice and unique, Add!ction is for you. Their hours of operation are Monday to Thursday, from 9:00am until 6:30pm, and Friday and Saturday from 9:00am until 8:00pm.

Cooking with Flavors of Belize Episode 1
Chef Sean Kuylen demonstrated how to cook plantain tostones with avacado and shrimp on the first episode of Cooking with Flavors of Belize. The video is shot well, and Chef Kuylen makes it look easy, and delicious. Warning: You will be hungry after watching. "Belizean Cooking at its Best! The premiere of Cooking with Flavors of Belize featuring Chef Sean Kuylen. On the menu is Shrimp Tostones with Guacamole all the way from San Pedro's Red Ginger Restaurant at the Phoenix Hotel."

World Diabetes Day
The University of Belize is having their second annual Diabetes Conference, in recognition of World Diabetes Day, today at the Jaguar auditorium, starting at 8:30am. The theme is 'Diabetes: Protect Our Future.' "As part of the opening ceremony there will be the pinning of the newly elected executives members for the Belize Diabetes Association – Belmopan Branch (BDAB)... One of our goals, is to educate persons with diabetes and the general public on how to change and manage lifestyle practices so that their health would be improved. In addition to health presentations however, the conference is aimed at providing a holistic approach in serving the audience with valuable information."

Expat life in Belize; Our first storm.
When my husband and I moved to the island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, we got a boat. One day, a storm was approaching and we were very naive, and took our boat out. This is an excerpt from the first chapter of my memoir, "Freeways to Flip-Flops: A Family's year of Gutsy Living on a Tropical Island." One final image from the photography debacle of last weekend - an example of the technical nature of cave diving. This image shows Chip Petersen, owner of Belize Diving Services and the pioneer of opening up Giant Cave again, in the front - Marty O'Farrell, Belize's finest underwater videographer behind. Two Nitrox tanks lie under their left arm, and another Nitrox tank under the right. Nitrox is a mixture rich in Oxygen reducing Nitrogen uptake, allowing divers more time underwater without long decompression stops. Each tank has a regulator and pressure gauge attached, so, in fact, these explorers carry three independent breathing sources - redundancy is key to survival. A pure O2 tank waits at 20 feet for each of us on the way out - pure O2 is dangerous at depths greater than 20', but necessary to cut decompression times in half. All this is coordinated with the help of the two computers on their wrists ... one is a backup. On the helmets are 3 lights, in the hands another (Marty has 2). They also carry an assortment of tools on their body - line cutters, spools of line, markers to keep track of where we are going, writing slates, hoses, clips and bungy cords - to keep everything neat.

Thunderbolt Water Taxi back up and running
Nov 13 - On Monday the Thunderbolt Water Taxi resumed regular services from Corozal to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and return. Fares include: Children 5-8 $25.00 on way, Children 8 and up, Adults $50.00 on way or $45.00 R/T. Ferry leaves daily from the Corozal municipal dock at 7:00 a.m. and returns from San Pedro at 3:00 p.m. The ferry was completely remodeled and is now covered so getting wet is now a thing of the past!!

Corozal Drum Circle Nov. 19th
The Corozal House of Culture is dedicated in preserving and promoting Belize’s rich, diverse culture. On November 19th sounds of Garifuna drums will fill the air in Corozal Town. A drum circle will take place in front of the House of Culture beginning at 5 p.m. The circle will consist of 30 Garifuna drums supplied and orchestrated by drum maker/performer Mr. Mark Welch. Mistress of Ceremony, Ms. Audrey Martinez will engage the audience with storytelling, song, and the Garifuna language. This event is imperative in reaching out to the Corozal community, showcasing the Garifuna culture and love of music. Join in the circle with drums provided or to bring your own and be a part of the Garifuna rhythm. Mr. Welch will also be conducting a drum making workshop at 1 p.m. The cost is $100 to make your own drum. Interested persons may contact the House of Culture. Deadline for registration is November 15th.

Toledo teachers going the extra mile to help their students
A handful of teachers at the St. Peter Claver RC School in Punta Gorda town are going the extra mile to help their students who are facing challenges in reading and mathematics. Realizing that there was a problem, a couple of the teachers decided to give up a part of their weekends to come together to create teaching aids and other props for the classroom to help their students. The extra effort, which the teachers call “Make it … Take it”, see the teachers pooling their resources and ideas to create charts, reading cards, graphic organizers and other teaching aids. Lillette Palacio is one of the teachers who is going the extra mile; but on the second Saturday of the effort, she expressed frustration with the lack of support from some of her colleagues to take advantage of this unique opportunity to help their students.

Channel 7

The Bullet Tree Eight Charged For Precursors
Today the eight men caught in Bullet Tree with a container-ful of what appears to be chemical precursors went to San Ignacio court. As we’ve reported, they were caught in Bullett Tree early on Monday morning when police saw an eighteen-wheeler with a 40 foot container and a pickup – both with Corozal plates parked next to the village police station. A look inside the container turned up ten – 50 gallon drums. So far, two of the drums have been tested: one for hydrochloric acid and the other for ammonium hydroxide. So, tonight, we can confirm that Richardo Garcia, Alfonso Antonio Ovando, Emil Williams, Victor Constanza, Oscar Castillo, Alexis Arana, Patrick Smith, and David Hernandez have all been charged with customs offenses for the Ammonium Hydroxide. Garcia, Ovando and Willims have been additionally charged offenses in relation to the drum of hydrochloric acid, which has recently been added to the list of controlled drugs.

Was Hon. Castro "Snowden-ed" By USA?
UDP Representative for Belize Rural North Edmund Castro remains under attack from Alvorine Burgess – who says that between 2012 and 2013 she paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to facilitate Belizean visas for Chinese nationals. On Monday, she gave an extended interview on the Dickie Bradley Show on Channel 5. The most eyebrow raising disclosure coming out of the show was that she went to the US Embassy where she was taken into a room and an Embassy staffer played back for her conversations she’d had with Edmund Castro and another person. Burgess says that startled her so deeply that she felt pressured to immediately sign a four-page affidavit presented to her by the US Official. In that affidavit she is believed to have attested to certain dealings with Castro in the acquisition of visas. That is very heavy stuff – and not for the allegations against Castro, we’ve heard those before - but because, if Burgess really did hear such a recording, it would mean that the US Government is listening to and recording the conversations of public officials and private persons in Belize. Before Eric Snowden appeared that might have seemed far-fetched, but the former National Security Agency employee turned international whistleblower has uncovered a vast international web of US surveillance including monitoring the cell phones of European leaders. The allegation made by news outlets in Germany is that the spying on Chancellor Angela Merkel was carried out by the NSA and CIA working in the US Embassy in the heart of Berlin. So, in the current climate it’s not implausible that the same kind of thing could have happened in Belize. But today Edmund Castro seemed unfazed. We heard on WAVE Radio that he would be at his Sandhill political Clinic today so we went there and waited a few hours for him to grant us an interview. He obliged and told us that he doesn’t believed anything Alvorine Burgess says:

The Stole Big Bucks From Brodies
Over the years, Brodies, the biggest Supermarket chain in Belize – has been targeted by thieves of all kinds: armed robbers, burglars who went through the roof, and, of course, shoplifters. But this time it’s an inside job using false receipts! The Financial Controller for Brodies told police that he found records showing that bogus receipts have been used at the store. It happened between October 21st and November 11, 2013 when an estimated twenty thousand dollars was misappropriated. Two female cashiers have been detained; we can’t release their names tonight because they haven’t been charged. But they will be charged for theft and forgery as early as tomorrow. Police have also gone to the ladies’ homes and recovered assorted sheets, curtains and other miscellaneous items all bought new, supposedly with the proceeds of the embezzlement.

From Jamaica: Tomlinson Says He Had No Influence On Deputy Sol Gen Daly
Yesterday, we told you about the challenge launched by Jamaican lawyer and gay right’s Activist, Maurice Tomlinson in the Caribbean Court of Justice. He says that Belize Immigration Act currently violates his right to free movement within CARICOM. The CCJ is currently deliberating, and they will announce its decision at a later date, on whether or not they will hear his case. That decision is pending, but certain quarters here in Belize have attempted to connect him to the amendment to the rape bill, which the church has come out strongly against. The link they are trying to establish to the bill is via his ex-wife, and former Deputy Solicitor General, Michelle Daly. He gave an extended interview to our colleague, Kalilah Enriquez, of Ceen News in Jamaica this afternoon, and he addressed that accusation head-on. He said that it is pure mischief making to suggest that she was trying to embed pro-gay legislation in Belize on his behalf:

UB President Says He's Gonna Talk to PM
President of the University of Belize, Dr. Cary Fraser has written to the Prime Minister to say he is resigning and plans to leave at the end of the year. Today, Fraser sent out a mail, which doesn’t say much other than disclosing the terms of his contract. He refers to, quote, “recent rumours and reports in certain sections of the media,” and discloses that he has a 5 year contract which commenced in August of 2011. He lists the termination clauses in his contract – which are pretty standard and then goes on to say, obliquely, quote, “I have written to the Prime Minister to clarify certain issues with him and will seek a meeting with him upon his return.” He didn’t mention the Chair of the board of trustees who has announced that he is having a press conference tomorrow.

15 Years For Leaving Man Paralysed
28 year-old Marvin Cruz Reyes is spending his third night in prison after he was convicted of attempted murder before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Viewers may remember that in June of 2009, the jury of 9 could not come to a verdict that Reyes was indeed the gunman who shot 30 year-old Kareem Wright in the neck, leaving him paralyzed. Well, Wright made a second trip to the court with the aid of a BERT ambulance, which took him inside on a bed so that he could testify against Reyes once again. He told the court that on August 26, 2007, his girlfriend and he were walking on Ebony Street when Reyes ambushed them and opened fire on him. One of the bullets struck him in the neck. After the prosecution closed its case, Justice Gonzalez afforded Reyes his opportunity to make a defence, but he chose not to say anything.

Fined 20K For Failing To Declare 20K
On Monday, we told you about the American Missionary Couple who tried to get into the country without declaring $46,000 dollars. Well tonight, you meet Chinese Nationals 35 year-old Fenglan Wu, and 38 year-old Chenbo Xu, who tried to get into the country without declaring that they had $20,000 in cash on them. The married couple arrived at the PGIA on Monday with $10,000 US; they filled out the declaration form, but did not put on the form that they had the money on them. When they were searched by Customs, the officers discovered the cash and handed them over to the police who charged them with failure to declare funds over $10,000 Bze. They were arraigned yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, where their attorney Ellis Arnold submitted to the court that they weren’t breaking any laws because they were perfectly within their rights not to declare since they each claimed $5,000 US each. The FIU attorney responded stating that they chose to charge them jointly since they were a couple and because the money was found in one lump sum. Chief Magistrate Smith agreed with the FIU and upheld the charges against both accused.

PUP With Cane Farmers, Against BSI
The northern caucus of the People’s United Party announced today that it supports the Cane farmers on the issue of bagasse, and they urge the Government to intervene and ensure that the stalemate is resolved amicably. Last night, we showed you the position of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association after BSI refused to entertain their request to be paid for bagasse. As we’ve told you, bagasse is the by-product of sugar cane, which BSI then uses to generate and sell electricity – so the farmers say they shouldn’t get it for free. BSI has countered by citing the cane farmers should not enjoy anything from that arrangement since it is BSI who has made all the investments and legwork to make the arrangement possible. Well the Northern Caucus of the PUP says that BSI’s reasoning is wrong. The premise of that declaration, according to the Opposition is that, the cane farmers have invested more than 5 million dollars to make it possible by producing 300,000 tons of raw materials, which ends up at as bagasse, which BSI utilizes to generate renewable energy.

The PSE Fix?
Every year, we dejectedly report on the results of the PSE Exams. While from year to year, there are improvements, and every year there are brilliant kids who exceed all imaginable expectations, the fact is that the majority of the students who take the PSE, fail the exam. And while the students end up with the failing grade, what really failed is the system. One young entrepreneur, who thinks that she has a silver bullet solution – a fix all – is Tiffany Simpson. She’s designed a software which trains children on how best to take the exam. It’s simple enough, a question and answer format, but what’s interesting is the craft she’s put into it. What’s even more interesting is how well it works. Now, she has prepared it in an app form which can go on a mobile devices running ios or android, and she explained how it works to us today: Tiffany Simpson - President, Belizean Artwork Publishing "The game has hundreds of pass PSE and CXC type questions. These are 2 separate programs, by the way. The questions are randomized, and the sessions also includes a session revision feature. So, they can go back, and see where they made errors, and which areas they need to work on.

Guat Fugitive Facilitated in Belize?
Tonight, there’s an interesting report coming out of the Guatemalan media about the high profile disappearance and possible murder of 33-year-old Cristina Siekavizza on July 6, 2011, in Guatemala City. The preliminary findings of an investigation conducted by Guatemalan Police reveal that her husband Roberto Barreda was able to remain on the run in Mexico for over two years with the help of family and friends who fed him money through Belize. Barreda disappeared with the couple’s two children, now 9 and 6 years old after a domestic dispute with his wife – who hasn’t been seen since. Barreda was finally detained in Merida last Friday, November 8th, as he was leaving the children’s school. On November 1st, Guatemalan authorities requested his extradition. According to reports, some 25 thousand people were using social media to track down Barreda. It is believed that a year ago Barreda made multiple trips to Belize to meet his Guatemalan attorney who would then hand over money from Barreda’s family.

"Basura" Still Befouling Isla Bonita?
A month ago, 7News updated you about the island of garbage which washed up on the beaches of San Pedro on Caye Caulker. Well, it’s been a total of 2 months since that incident happened, and it is still causing the residents of San Pedro major headaches. Recent reports reaching our newsroom is that the situation has been improving, where the majority of the homeowners and resort owners work hard to clean their own beaches, and those nearby, but in areas where shoreline is unclaimed or vacant, those piles of garbage just sit there, causing an eyesore to those living on the island. We understand that there are community efforts working to try to deal with the problem, but there are large portions of beach where they have to work on, and as a result, it has been slow-moving. It continues to be a concern for those who depend heavily on tourism, since San Pedro earns a significant portion of the countries revenue in the industry. The fear is that when the high season comes around, there will still be sections of the shoreline which will not be cleaned in time, and it will negatively affect the island’s earnings.

Crime Down Again, Eastern Division Shines
We reported on two Belzie City murders yesterday, but major crime for 2012 continues to be very much down compared to 2012. Up to the end of October in 2012, we had already recorded 119 murders at the end of October, but for that same period this year there were 88 murders. Robbery is also down sharply from 413 for this period last year to 236 for the same period this year. Theft though has increase to 845 cases from 777 up to the end of October last year. Today Police minister,. John Saldivar, presented his Monthly Awards for best performance in reducing major crimes to an area that’s usually the crime hotspot, The Eastern Zone, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura. Eastern saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for October, with Precinct 2 performing the best in that area. Assistant Commissioner Segura received a Cheque of $1,000 dolalrs for the outstanding performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Superintendent Alford Grinage who commands Precinct 2.

Top Ticketing Precinct
And while precinct two got that praise today it was precinct 1. How often do you show gratitude to your neighbourhood police man or woman for the tough, long hours they put in on the job, and they sacrifices they make? Well, the Belize City Council set the example today when they presented officers of the Police Precinct 1 with appreciation certificates for their exemplary job, going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that drivers in Belize City are obeying traffic laws. 7News attended that presentation, and we spoke to the City Councilor with responsibility for traffic, about the significance: Councillor Alifa Elrington-Hyde - City Councilor with Responsibility for Traffic "This morning, the City Council handed out Certificates of Appreciation to the police officers at Precinct 1, Superintendent Dawson, and I believe it's 3 or 4 of his officers, who always assist us at the Belize City Council, when we need assistance the traffic regulations or any stops that we need to do, or anything of that nature. They have done very well. They continue to assist us in court. They give out tickets. They've improved significantly on their ticket writing, and their testimony in court. So, we decided to just say, 'Thank you' to Precinct 1, and hopefully, the other precincts will follow suit."

Medals For Masters
And while precinct two got that praise today it was precinct 1. How often do you show gratitude to your neighbourhood police man or woman for the tough, long hours they put in on the job, and they sacrifices they make? Well, the Belize City Council set the example today when they presented officers of the Police Precinct 1 with appreciation certificates for their exemplary job, going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that drivers in Belize City are obeying traffic laws. 7News attended that presentation, and we spoke to the City Councilor with responsibility for traffic, about the significance: Councillor Alifa Elrington-Hyde - City Councilor with Responsibility for Traffic "This morning, the City Council handed out Certificates of Appreciation to the police officers at Precinct 1, Superintendent Dawson, and I believe it's 3 or 4 of his officers, who always assist us at the Belize City Council, when we need assistance the traffic regulations or any stops that we need to do, or anything of that nature. They have done very well. They continue to assist us in court. They give out tickets. They've improved significantly on their ticket writing, and their testimony in court. So, we decided to just say, 'Thank you' to Precinct 1, and hopefully, the other precincts will follow suit."


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#477420 - 11/14/13 11:21 AM Re: Today's Belize News: November 14, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Guatemalan fugitive and his children caught in Mexico with Belizean passports
Tonight, there is absolutely no good news for Belize where immigration is concerned. In fact, there is much more to add to government’s woes. There are breaking reports that a [...]

More visa approvals surface
The whistleblower, Alverine Burgess, has given graphic information on the visa hustle involving the minister of state, Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro. She spoke of the process and told the [...]

8 men arraigned for containers carrying a precursor to crystal meth
The eight men who were detained in connection with ten plastic drums found in a container in Bullet Tree have all been formally arraigned. The men had been in custody [...]

Is UB President out? Analysis conducted on his 2-year performance
On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Guyanese President of the University of Belize, Doctor Carey Fraser, was contemplating resignation from that post. Nobody we spoke to on the campus would confirm [...]

2 cashiers from Brodies are suspected of forgery and theft
A pair of cashiers employed at James Brodie and Company Ltd. on the Phillip Goldson Highway remains in police custody tonight pending charges of theft and forgery.  On Tuesday, the [...]

Belize Sugar Cane Farmers get tough on B.S.I.
We have been reporting that there is unease in the sugar industry because the Belize Sugar Industries has closed the door on discussions with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association [...]

Whistleblower goes into details on visa facilitated procedure involving Minister Castro
Embattled Minister of State Edmund ‘Clear the Land’ Castro has been dodging the media since allegations of visa corruption surfaced against him. But he has found time to hire Prime [...]

Chinese couple is fined $20,000 for undeclared cash
The Chinese couple who failed to declare twenty thousand dollars in cash was back in court today, a day earlier than their scheduled hearing. The couple had on them the [...]

Marvin Cruz Reyes sentenced to 15 years for Attempted Murder
Tonight, Marvin Cruz Reyes is serving his second night of a fifteen year sentence at the Hattieville Prison after he was found guilty of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright.   [...]

Flooding in the West: Arizona Area in Teakettle affected by constant rains
On Tuesday we headed to Crooked Tree where we found parts of the village under at least four feet of water. The rains are not letting up and further downpour [...]

Sarteneja commuters forced to tread through 3 feet of flood waters
While the west of the country floods from the heavy rains, there are reports that the far north is completely inundated. Reports from the village of Sarteneja tell us that [...]

Crime stats: major crimes up in August and September, but down in October
Crime statistics for the months of August, September and October have been released by the Belize Police Department, reflecting a decline in the number of homicides over the past three [...]

Former Chief Executive Director of SIF says there should be no room for irregularities
The Dangriga Marketplace is still incomplete. The project came to a halt when allegations surfaced that the contractor, Kenard Smart, was being extorted by employees of the Social Investment Fund [...]

Reef CI received international award for promoting responsible tourism
A local marine conservation organization has been awarded internationally for its role in promoting responsible tourism.  ReefCI, founded by Polly Alford in 2003, operates in the Toledo District and is [...]

CTV3

PUP Northern Caucus In Solidarity With Cane Farmers
Tonight there is still no word if the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association will accept the Belize Sugar Industries Limited offer to meet in Belize City and resume renegotiations on the new agreement which came to a halt some weeks ago after BSI refused to discuss the possibility of payment to cane farmers for the use of Bagasse used to generate energy by BELGOGEN. While BSI is saying resume renegotiations on the new agreement and discuss the Bagasse issue at a later date, the BSCFA is saying “We need to discuss with our branch Chairmen before making a decision.” With that, the opening of the 2013/2014 crop season scheduled for November 25th is at risk. It is a sticky situation which if not resolved can affect the entire Sugar Industry and the Belizean economy on a whole. With that in mind, today the Northern Caucus of the People's United Party weighed in on the issue.

Road To Sarteneja Impassable, Villagers Can Only Access The Village On Foot
Today CTV3 News received several complaints from commuters travel to and from the Village of Sarteneja. Pictures show that a portion of the road is impassable as it is covered by flooded waters. According to residents of Sarteneja buses from Orange Walk to the village have been dropping commuters, including students, off at a point where the road is impassable due to rising flood waters. We can tell you that road is in terrible condition since our Reporter Maria Novelo and Jesus Melgar got a firsthand look at the situation as they traveled to the village today to cover the story. They; however, were unable to access the village since our vehicle was unable to make it across the deep flooded waters. We will have their experience in tomorrow’s newscast. And sticking to the topic, today we contacted District Coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in Corozal, Willard Levy, who told us that in his five years of heading NEMO, it is the first time that the road gets to such a state. To make matters worse he was not informed about the seriousness of the situation.

Suspected Killer Caught In Mexico With Belizean Passport
Reports coming out of Guatemalan tonight indicate that a Guatemalan national, suspected of killing his wife, Cristina Siekavizza, used a fake name to fraudulently obtain a Belize passport. The man, identified as Roberto Barreda de Leon reportedly arrived in Mexico in January 2012 using the fraudulent Belize passport issued in the name of forty year old Carlos Roberto Barriero Villareal. His two children reportedly also had false passports, although Mexican and Guatemalan media reports did not specify if these false passports are from Belize. Roberto Barreda de Leon was arrested in Mexico as he went to pick up his children from school on November 7th after being on the run for two years. Police used unmarked vehicles and carried out the arrest discreetly so as not to cause alarm. He was then processed and shipped to Guatemala where he faces charges for the murder of his wife, violence against women and obstruction of justice.

Major Crimes On The Decline, Carnal Knowledge Continues On The Rise
There have been 88 murders so far for the year 2013. This is according to the latest Major Crime Statistics released by the Belize Police Department which shows that there has been reduction in major crimes this year compared to 2012. In 2012 there were a total of 119 murders; so far for 2013 88 have been recorded. Here in Orange Walk 11 murders were committed in 2012. To date there has been 2 murders. In Corozal there were 11 murders last year and four this year. Rapes, robberies, burglaries and thefts have also seen a reduction here in the north as well as across the country according to the statistics. When it comes to Carnal Knowledge; however, there has been an increase across the board. A total of 43 cases were recorded in 2012 and for the year 2013, 64 cases have been reported. In Corozal, the reports went from one in 2012 to 11 in 2013. Orange Walk recorded four cases of Carnal Knowledge in 2012 and so far 8 cases have been reported to authorities. As is procedure today Minister of National Security with responsibility for Police, Hon. John Saldivar, presented his Monthly Awards for best performance in reducing major crimes during the month of October, 2013. The Eastern Zone, headed by Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, saw the greatest reduction in major crimes for the month of October, with Precinct 2 performing the best in that region. Assistant Commissioner Segura received from Hon. Saldivar a Cheque of $1,000 for the outstanding performance by his zone, and a Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Superintendent Alford Grinage who commands Precinct 2.

LOVE FM

Did International Fugitive Have Links in Belize?
Mexican and Guatemalan authorities are investigating a major case of an international fugitive with links in Belize. According to Guatemala’s Office of Public Prosecution, Roberto Eduardo Barreda de Leon was captured in Merida Mexico on Nov. 8th. Barreda was sought for the past two years for the disappearance of his wife Guatemalan Cristina Siekavizza and the couple’s two young children. It is believed that Barreda de Leon, along with his two children, fled to Mexico entering the country with false documents. There he established himself and pretended to be an entrepreneur and also changed his name and the name of his children. Preliminary investigations indicate that for the past two years Roberto Barreda de Leon received financial support, through monetary transfers, from his relatives and friends living in Belize. According to investigators documents show that he also travelled frequently to Belize where met with his father. Barreda’s capture comes at the heels of a massive investigation which included private detectives in Guatemala, mass demonstrations organized by his wife’s family and ongoing investigations by the Guatemalan police force. Barreda de Leon is thought to be the one behind his wife’s disappearance and possible murder which occurred on July 7, 2011 in Guatemala.

Belizean Deported From US For Third Time
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Belizean Kenneth Flowers was recently acquitted of murder in a Salt Lake City shooting and has been deported to Belize by federal immigration officials. 36-year-old Kenneth Flowers was escorted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement to Belize last week. An ICE press release states that he was turned over to Belizean authorities for questioning in relation to gang activities. The Salt Lake Tribune Flowers was deported after he was convicted in August of felony illegal reentry of a deported alien and possession of a firearm and ammunition by an illegal alien. He had been sentenced to two years in federal prison with credit for time served. That conviction came after police had found a gun and ammunition on Flowers when they responded to a shooting in December 2010 in which American 45-year-old Cisco Cross was killed. Flowers was acquitted in September 2012 of the murder of Cross, after he contended he shot him in self-defense. Flowers had been smoking crack when Cross came to his door. Flowers argued with Cross, and told police he fired three times when he saw him reach for a weapon. A BB gun was found unused in Cross’ waistband. Department of Homeland Security databases indicate Flowers had been removed from the United States twice previously.

Faber Says PM Would Be Irresponsible to Give Teachers A Raise at This Point
When Prime Minister Dean Barrow visited the voters of Cayo North East, he stated that Government has millions of millions in its coffers to invest in the constituency. That did not sit well with the Belize National Teachers Union after they had been requesting a raise from the Government. Well according to the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, while negotiations are still ongoing, he says that BNTU’s request for a raise is not possible at this time. HON. PATRICK FABER “The negotiations, as you recall was taken off the plates of the negotiating team and in fact the meetings have been held directly with the Prime Minister’s office. I think the Prime Minister has been very clear as it relates to his statement on monies that are available at this time that the kind of salary adjustment which is a recurring expense, every year you would have to find these millions, that’s a different thing from having additional millions from PetroCaribe to do the kind of initiatives. If the union was saying, can you give us ten million so that we can invest in giving loans to teachers, that’s a different story form saying let’s increase the salary bill of this country for years to come and we will have to pay increments and all of this.

Government Will Look At Breaking Down Financial Barriers for Students
On November 4, the Ministry of Education, Youth & Sports and the CXC National Committee of Belize sent out a press release congratulating all students who sat the 2013 CXC examinations, particularly those that displayed remarkable performance in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate, CSEC, examinations and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations, CAPE. Minister of Education, Patrick Faber said he is satisfied with Belize’s performance but acknowledges the cost which often at times is a barrier in taking the exams. HON. PATRICK FABER “I think Belize continues to do well in terms of those students who take the exams. We are very proud of course of our top performers in the CSEC exams and the CAPE exams but of course we are concerned about the number of students who are at that level who actually could qualify to take the exams and are not taking them. Of course, primary among our concerns here are the costs that are involved and the government is looking seriously at being able to pay for CXCs for students as something that people could look forward to.

Induction Lights Installed in Coney Drive Area
The Belize City Council hosted an inauguration ceremony late this afternoon commissioning 20 new energy efficient streetlights provisioned by Amko Solara of Taiwan. These lights have been installed in the vicinity of Princess Margaret Drive and Coney Drive in Belize City. Victoria Yuan, Representative of Amko Solara spoke about the benefits of utilizing smart lights in the city. AMKO SOLARA “So let me tell you why or industrial lighting is smart. We installed a smart meter chip inside each lamp which allows each lamp to be controlled from a remote location. So, the implication of that is that instead of being passive about our energy consumption we can now be proactive. We’re putting you in the driver’s seat and managing energy management. So how does that work? Each chip is inside each lamp and then with the web interface one engineer could control and manage street lights from any remote location that you have internet access. So an engineer can program the on and off schedule, dimming schedule and so forth according to traffic patterns.

PlusTV

San Pedro Land Fraud Scandal Grows Hotter
In September, 2011, the San Pedro Sun broke the story of a land scandal within the San Pedro Town Council. The matter surrounded a beachfront property situated in the Mata Grande area. Allegations were that the property was illegally acquired by a Miss Candy Bradley who was then a...

Whistleblower fears for her life
Chatter on the alleged visa hustle ring, supposedly involving Ministers of Government, seemed to have been settling in the past few days, as numerous officials came out denying having knowledge of or participating in the scheme. But merely denying these allegations will not suffice, particularly, in the circumstance of...

Cane farmers press for renegotiation of basic agreement with Belize Sugar Industries
On Monday we told you of the resolve of cane farmers in the North to press for a renegotiation of the basic agreement with Belize Sugar Industries to include bagasse as a by-product of the sugar stalk since it is now being used as bio-fuel. BSI continues to insist...

Is UB’s President on the verge of resigning?
Dr. Carey Frazer was installed as President of the University of Belize in August of 2011. He was hired on a 5 year contract, through what was perhaps the first transparent selection process for president at the institution. But after just two years, could his residency be coming to...

UB holds Biannual Community Outreach
Every year for the past 4 years, UB has held its biannual community outreach in which students, enrolled in the department of education, coordinate and prepare workshops and symposiums for teachers and students at the primary school level. Dr. Thomasine Baker, Assistant Professor at the Department of Education and...

BELTRAIDE holds closing ceremony for the Inclusive Linkage Project
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Centre for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises in Central America and Dominican Republic (CENPROMYPE) under the execution of the Ministry of Economic Development in Guatemala (MINEO) held...

FFB says it has Embarked into Youth Development
On the heels of the success of Belize’s youths at recent international tournaments, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) is committing to a youth movement that it hopes will carry us to the 2022 World Cup and beyond. President Ruperto Vicente told us more at Friday’s launch of the...

University of Belize hosts Central American Integration System meeting
The Central American Education Policy is a set of guidelines employed to provide the Central American region with a general framework of actions in the education sector. The policy is in compliance with identified regional priorities and seeks to join, into one future proposal, the international commitments of the...

Delegations from Mexican Universities visit Belize
In an effort to foster trade and education cooperation, a 22 member delegation from the Mexican university Universidad Tecnica de Camargo (UTCam), based in Camargo, Chihuahua, is visiting Belize this week. An agreement will be signed by that university’s rector, Professor Fidel Gonzalez and University of...

Faith Nazarene School receives 32 tablets from Rotary Club of Athabasca, Canada
On Monday, the Faith Nazarene School was the recipient of 32 tablets from the Rotary Club of Athabasca in Canada. It’s part of an ongoing partnership between the Rotary Club and the school. In the past few years, the organization has contributed to the school’s infrastructural and technological development....

BFF holds meeting in Independence Village
The Belize Federation of Fishers held one of its first of three regional meetings this weekend, in Independence Village. And despite the pouring rain, members from Punta Gorda, Punta Negra, Monkey River, Independence, Riversdale, Hopkins, and Stann Creek convened for the...

Mysterious picture leaves worker baffled
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words,. But one picture taken by a tortilla factory worker has become somewhat of a mystery. The photographer is adamant about the authenticity of a spooky image that made it onto a picture he took of...

Belize Celebrates World Diabetes Day
Every year, November 14th is celebrated as “World Diabetes Day” globally. The World Diabetes Day campaign is led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and its member associations. The Belize Diabetes Association is a chapter of the IDF. They have been hosting numerous events to sensitize the Belizean public...

Blogs

The Guava Limb Cafe in San Ignacio: A Chaa Creek Production
A few months ago I stayed at The Lodge at Chaa Creek for two really amazing nights. From canoeing to the crazy night hike, from divine food to a massage (or two) to remember, I really had THE BEST TIME. The huge, attentive staff is the best in Belize. Chaa Creek is an incredible labor of love built and perfected by the two owners over the last 30+ years. From a farm in the middle of nowhere to a luxury lodge that even Prince Harry (I will NEVER get over that I stood two feet away from him last year, NEVER) can enjoy…it is incredibly impressive. My visit was in August and before I headed over to the lodge I got a bit of sneak preview of the new cafe that Chaa Creek was about to open in San Ignacio town. (The lodge is about a 20 minute ride away.) My friend showed me around and it was beautiful but not quite ready.

Belizean Powder (Poda Buns) 1/4 Recipe in Toaster Oven
Another in our Dorm Room Meals. Instead of making 4 cups of buns this recipe only calls for 1 cup. It yields 6 buns. Just enough for one person or for a small family.

Central American Nearshore Summit 2013
Nicaragua inaugurated the first annual Central American Nearshore Summit (CANS) November 7, 2013 with the participation of over 160 businessmen mainly from the U.S. and the Central American region. The event was centered at promoting the entire region as an outsourcing destination due to its various competitive advantages; among them its competitive cost structure, strategic location and cultural affinity with the U.S. Among the participants are 45 prestigious outsourcing companies; among them United Health Care, UBS, Darwin Zone, Accenture, Allied Global, Atento, Sitel, and Teleperformance. The highlight of the event was the first session of business meetings held between service providers and buyers of the region. These previously scheduled meetings represent a unique opportunity for foreign and regional companies as they allow the establishment of key contacts and alliances within the outsourcing industry.

“(Just Like) Starting Over” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I feel like I am really getting back in to my routine now. Waking up before 05.00 hours regularly. Don’t have to think where my mug is. Know where the coffee is kept. Even know where the plates and dishes ( the few we have at the moment) have to go when I do the washing up ((“doing the dishes for non-UK readers (I think)). So when I got up yesterday morning at 04.45 hours it didn’t take me too long to grab the mug, put in a spoonful of coffee (I’m an instant man – no taste I suppose), take a chair (we still only have two that are easily moveable) and the iPad to the veranda and assume the seating position. It’s dark when I normally get out there and there’s not a lot that can be seen. But the sounds are there. The rustling of the leaves on the trees when there’s a breeze. The sound of the rain falling (and we’ve had a lot of that recently) and the sound of the lagoon as the mullet (well I think they are mullet) jump out of and re-enter the water. Or is it a crocodile?

Top Ten Reasons Why You Should Consider Living Or Retiring In Belize
Belize is definitely not the cheapest place to live in – a tropical paradise with so many advantages does not come as cheap as other retirement areas such as certain Latin American or Asian countries. In fact living on a North American or European lifestyle here will cost as much or more. But in general resident expats in here say they live more comfortably than back home. Retirement cheques, stocks and investment income, just appear to go further in Belize. Services that are significantly more economical in this country include medical care, cable TV, household help, insurance, farm produce, seafood, property taxes, and yes, wine, song and so on. Thia tropical paradise produces and exports high quality rum made from locally produced molasses and cane sugar. In fact sugar is so cheap it is one of the rare local products smuggled out of the country into the neighboring republics. The other side of the coin is that gasoline, electricity, telephone, mobile phone and Internet access are more expensive. But you can always setup your own satellite dish and enjoy Internet access at near U.S. prices.

International Sources

John McAfee says he will testify about murder in Belize
Computer software pioneer John McAfee has said he will testify willingly about the murder of his American neighbour in Belize last year, as he seeks to defend himself from a wrongful death lawsuit that blames him for the killing. McAfee, 68, was named by police in Belize as a person of interest in the Nov. 11, 2012, shooting of Gregory Faull, but he fled the small Central American country before he could be questioned. McAfee denies involvement in the death of Faull, an Orlando contractor and restaurant owner. But he told Reuters in a telephone interview he would not fight a subpoena for deposition in the lawsuit. "Of course not, because the deposition will be here in America. I've told the police in Belize that I will sit for questioning in any neutral country in the world ... I just will not go to Belize," McAfee said.

Anti-arbitration injunctions
The case of British Caribbean Bank Limited v. Attorney General of Belize arose out of a decision to nationalise the telecommunications industry in Belize. In 2009 the Government took over Belize Telemedia Limited (“Telemedia”) and in 2011 it passed legislation to acquire the loan and mortgage owed by Telemedia to a Turks and Caicos company – British Caribbean Bank Limited (“BCB”). In response, BCB challenged the acquisition legislation in the Belizean courts, arguing that it violated the Constitution. BCB also started foreign arbitration proceedings, relying on an investment treaty between the governments of Belize and the United Kingdom. The treaty provided for the use of foreign arbitration to settle disputes between the Government of Belize and English companies. The government obtained from a Belize judge an injunction to stop the arbitration on the basis that it was unfair for BCB to pursue both arbitration and Belizean court proceedings.

In the Caribbean, sea-level limbo could affect tourist hot spots
Harbour Island, a narrow, four-mile-long Bahamas isle 200 miles east of Miami, is among the most idyllic spots in the western hemisphere. But some of its residents might be among the most unaware when it comes to the prospect of sea-level rise and its possible threats to the local economy. One resort hotel operator in Dunmore, Harbour Island’s lone town, dismisses it altogether. “I was just down at our beachside bar,” she told WLRN-Miami Herald News. “I didn’t notice the sea level rising.” She wasn’t the only Harbourite who voiced that level of skepticism. But recent studies warn that 50 years from now or soon after, if sea-level rise projections of about three feet or more in this century are correct, almost three-fourths of Harbour Island’s beach resources could be sunk. At least seven of its major tourism properties would be lost as a result. Climate change experts say Harbour and its 2,000 inhabitants are in the crosshairs of sea-level rise in the Caribbean. (The Bahamas lie in the Atlantic Ocean, but the country is a member of the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM.)

Health of oceans 'declining fast'
The health of the world’s oceans is deteriorating even faster than had previously been thought, a report says. A review from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO), warns that the oceans are facing multiple threats. They are being heated by climate change, turned slowly less alkaline by absorbing CO2, and suffering from overfishing and pollution. The report warns that dead zones formed by fertiliser run-off are a problem. It says conditions are ripe for the sort of mass extinction event that has afflicted the oceans in the past. It says: “We have been taking the ocean for granted. It has been shielding us from the worst effects of accelerating climate change by absorbing excess CO2 from the atmosphere.

Parrot Confidential
Parrots and the bittersweet world they share with humans. Meet Lou. Abandoned in a foreclosed home, Lou is one of thousands of parrots in need of rescue. From the wilds of Costa Rica to suburban America, a loveable, quirky cast of parrots will reveal their unforgettable tales and the bittersweet world they share with humans. Their outrageous intelligence and uncanny ability to communicate in any language has made parrots one of the world’s most popular pets. But unlike dogs and cats, parrots have not been domesticated. Hardwired for the wild, their high decible squawks and complex behavior are designed for the wild. Add a lifespan of up to 70+ years with their intense need to bond, and a life in captivity doesn’t always have a happy ending. With shelters and sanctuaries struggling to meet the demand, too many birds like Lou have no place to go.

Why I Hate School But Love Education: Spoken Word
The Latest Spoken Word Video from Suli Breaks.

When Wikipedia Won't Cut It: 25 Online Sources for Reliable, Researched Facts
Although Wikipedia is a great place to find information, it's subject to incomplete citations, biased views, and inaccuracies. And when you absolutely have to have undisputable facts, that's just not good enough.

Top 10 Clever Google Search Tricks
Google is a more powerful tool than most people realize. You can get much more refined searches with Google's built-in tools, advanced operators, and third-party extensions. You can also use it for some pretty cool stuff if you know the right tricks.

Learning how to think, knowing how to Think
The most profound thought from a recent Inc. Magazine interview with Paul Graham was his response to a question about bad habits shared by YC founders: They don’t realize how independent they can be. When you’re a child, your parents...


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