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#478970 - 12/04/13 05:44 AM Today's Belize News: December 4, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Sea’N Belize takes to the sea
On Tuesday, November 12th a new vessel was baptized into the Belizean waters. Sea’N Belize is assumed to be the largest glass bottom boat in Belize, and after nine months of construction it finally took to the water. The construction of the boat was the vision of Roger and Linda Kurtis from Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA, who travelled to several countries in search of the perfect location to open a coffee shop. But after they fell in love with Belize on a trip to Placencia their plans changed and their dreams changed from owning a coffee shop to the construction of a glass bottom boat to provide tours for visitors. With a new business plan, the couple contacted local boat constructor, Norman Eiley and in February 2013, construction of the “Sea’N Belize” commenced.

DJ Trilla brings in birthday Island Invasion-Style
King of the Island Promotions reignited the party atmosphere in San Pedro once again with DJTrilla’s Birthday Bash “Island Invasion” style. Held inside Fido’s Court Yard on Saturday, November 30th, Belize’s premier DJs shared one stage bringing the best of club, house, dancehall, reggae and pop music. Music entertainment included FyahStatah Sounds (Selecta Ras and DJ Jaro), Evolution Sounds (DJ K-Mix and DJ Pinky), Air Invasion Sounds (DJ Trilla Man and DJ Biggz), Sovereign Sounds (DJ Hypastatic and DJ Bug Jess) and Blue Wave Sounds (DJ Julian). The crowd flooded the event gates, which was opened with a general admission of $10.00 before 1AM and $15.00 after.Several opted for VIP admission of $25.00 and took the party to the second floor of Fido’s. It was surely a spectacular night as the dance went on until the wee hours on Sunday morning. Of course the drinks were also flowing, whether it was a cold beer or a cocktail prepared by the skillful bartenders of Fido’s. There were also several giveaways and even a small dance competition which kept the crowd entertained throughout the night.

Where do you read My Beautiful Belize? Roatan, Honduras!
Lara Goldman had tons of fun relaxing and sightseeing on her mini vacation in Roatan Honduras, and of course she just couldn’t leave behind her copy of ”My Beautiful Belize.” Here she is at Coxen Cave: Here she is on a tractor:Here she is at…..oh, just check out the gallery.

Ambergris Today

Belize - Mexico Friendship Group Established by Mexican Congress
On November 28th, 2013, the Congress of Mexico formally established the Belize - Mexico Friendship Group. The group will serve as a high-level forum that complements existing diplomatic mechanisms between the two countries. Congresswoman Gabriela Medrano Galindo of Quintana Roo formally established the Group along with Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico, H.E. Oliver del Cid. In their remarks, both Congresswoman Medrano and Ambassador del Cid highlighted the historically close relationship between the two countries and welcomed the establishment of the Friendship Group as an opportunity to expand and deepen the bi-national agenda. Various Parliamentarians attended the event including other Members of the Friendship Group: Irazema Martinez Olivares, Francisco Fernandez Clamont, and Raúl Gómez Ramírez, and Members of Congress from Quintana Roo: Lizbeth Gamboa Song, Raymundo King de la Rosa, and Eduardo Quian Alcocer. The Mexican Foreign Ministry was represented at the event by Ms. Monica Gonzales and Ambassador del Cid was accompanied by First Secretary Carlos Montero.

San Pedro Observes World AIDS Day 2013
The San Pedro AIDS Commission is a very active group on Ambergris Caye, Belize with always conducting fundraisers to help and support patients living with HIV/AIDS. The San Pedro AIDS Commission held its annual World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk and Health Fair on Sunday, December 1, 2013. Members of the San Pedro AIDS Commission along with the Mayor of San Pedro, Daniel Guerrero, councilors, the San Pedro Lions Club Presidents, Rigoberto Kumul and members, Miss San Pedro Solani Graniel, Miss Lions Arlethe Lima, Miss SPHS Chelsea Muñoz, Miss Chiquitita Zillah Flota and other business individuals and supporters walked along downtown in support of World AIDS Day. An all day health fair followed immediately at the Central Park where rapid HIV confidential testing took place and the beautiful queens assisted with the fundraising dollar drive. There were lots to eat and drink including live musical presentation by San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja and DJ Tribal.

Flashbacks: Lions Club a Whole Lot of Fun!
Lions is about service to those less fortunate. It is about fund raising, yes. And Lions is about attending business meetings as well as meetings to render physical service to the community. However Lions is also about a whole lot of fun. In their meetings there is a designated Lion member called the Tail Twister who is supposed to keep the meetings alive with jokes and pranks and also making fines on members in the spirit of good humor. This flashback is all about fun during a Christmas social party. Taking part in a comedic skit are Ovidio Guerrero, tail twister, along with Gilberto “Chico” Gomez and Jose “Spanish” Pacifico. In the early days of Lions Club activities in San Pedro the Lions hosted some of the best social events ever for its membership.

Pic of the Week: Delivering Special Goods in San Pedro, Belize
"Only in Belize" said Cindy Vigna on her Facebook post of this picture that she captured on her way to downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Maybe in India, where we have seen even crazier stuff being loaded on bicycles. But residents have also seen large canoes and even couches mounted on bicycles that are being transported from one end of town to the other. At least this guy had a tricycle which made it easier to transport this large golf cart outer shell, imagine trying that on a bicycle; that would take talent.

Misc Belizean Sources

List of veterinarians
List of veterinarians registered to practice in Belize for the year 2013

Ambergris Caye Vehicle Permits
Please be advised goat before purchasing a vehicle, you must apply for a VEHICLE PERMIT with the Ambergris Caye Traffic Control Committee (ACTCC). If you have already purchased a vehicle and do not have a permit, it is NOT GUARANTEED that you will be granted a vehicle permit when applying for one.

International conference planned on the Indian Diaspora in Belize and the wider Caribbean
Following the sporadic series of conferences on the Indian Diaspora in the Caribbean since 1975, held mainly in Trinidad and Tobago, there is a plan to organise one conference every year in various parts of the region. Next year’s conference will be held in Belize from August 5 to 11, 2014 on the theme “The Indian Diaspora in Belize and the wider Caribbean.” This is the first conference of its kind to be held in this English-speaking country, and in Central America. Formally known as British Honduras, Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America. Bordered by Mexico in the north and Guatemala in the west and south, it lies at the heart of the Caribbean Basin. Belize has giant Mayan temples and the world’s second largest barrier reef. It has a mélange of over ten different cultures that are concentrated in specific areas in six districts. Unlike any other Caribbean country, Belize experienced three waves of East Indian migration, commencing in 1858. The first wave of migrants consisted of 1,000 deported ex-soldiers (and their families) who had rebelled against the British government in India’s First War of Independence/ Sepoy Rebellion. The second wave of Indians came to Belize in 1872 as ex-indentured workers from Jamaica. The third wave of Indian migrants to Belize left from Guatemala, from where they had gone to work in the coffee plantations in Cafe Mountains.

San Ignacio United Tie BDF 1-1
The SI United tied the BDF, whom they hosted at Broaster Stadium on Sunday. In fact, every match was a draw this weekend. "San Ignacio United and BDF shared the points in a 1-1 draw after holding on to a 1-nill lead for the entire match only to concede an over time goal. The team feeling confident as the they gain momentum after dominating the two leaders on their last two matches. Police United are next."

Entrepreneurship Project Awards Ceremony
Beltraide had the awards ceremony for their Entrepreneurship Project, and you can see a the Cayo is represented well. Beltraide and its bright staff worked with CENPROMYPE on this project, and they awarded $252,000 to 18 Entrepreneurs, including Joris Hendrik and Matthiew Klinck. SBDC Belize, a branch of Beltraide, just celebrated one year of greatness. Thanks, and Congratulations, Beltraide! "This event takes place in the framework of the implementation of the project 'Integral Development Program of Entrepreneurship in Central America and Dominican Republic,' which is facilitated by CENPROMYPE in coordination with BELTRAIDE. The purpose of the project was to promote and strengthen entrepreneurship in the region with the aim of establishing, developing, and strengthening MSME’s in the entire country of Belize."

YWCA provides training for women in rural Toledo district
A training program designed to assist enterprising young women from rural communities in the Toledo district is nearing completion. The training is part of a project being implemented by the Young Women’s Christian Association, the YWCA. Teresa Hinds is one of the facilitators, and she spoke with our Toledo correspondent Juan Caal. According to Hinds, the YWCA is conducting various programs that are due for completion by the end of the year, at which a graduation for the participants will be held. West Vision also spoke with one of the participants who is excited about the future, having taken part in the training project.

Maria Coc: Proud to be Maya
Meet Maria Coc. She is a 63 year old Q’eqchi lady from San Marcus village in the Toledo district. She is proudly carrying on her cultural tradition, not afraid to lay her hands in the clay to make pottery, the same way her mom taught her to do. Coc, with a smile on her face, says that many people classify the Maya people as being poor. “We are not poor,” says Coc, “the nature that we posses is rich and has enough resources for us to survive.” It is with that in mind that Maria Coc works daily to educate her children about not forgetting their culture and to teach them how to gain from it. “I am surprised to see that the modern world has forced a lot of changes on people with their modern style of living,” says Maria; noting that “in my days, we did not use stove or aluminum pots. All we had were clay pots and that is why I keep saying, there is not a day that I would forget my origin. I am proud of being a Maya. It is what I am. It is who I am.” Maria Coc invites anyone interested, to come to her village of San Marcus, Toledo, to experience the real humility of being proud of her culture. And the pots she makes are also available for sale. Maria Coc, truly one of Belize’s Very Own.

Channel 7

Placencia Police-man Charged For Murdering Tyson Rodriguez
Murder - it's not a charge we hear brought against police all that often, in fact it's only happened a handful of times in the past 20 years, but tonight 41 year-old Sergeant Julio Shal, has been charged for the murder of Tyson Rodriguez. As we told you, the 3 officers who had Rodriguez in their custody in Placencia were claiming that he died suddenly when he escaped from them. But, the post-mortem revealed that he suffocated from inhaling sand - and that he had chest trauma. The led his family to claim that the police killed him by holding his head in the sand, that is, after they brutalized him. It's a terrible abuse of authority, and tonight, Sergeant Shal, is in jail after being arraigned in Dangriga Magistrate's Court today. An eyewitness has come forward to give evidence against Shal which completely refutes his version, and corroborates the findings of the post-mortem examination. Today, family attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd spoke to the media saying that the Rodriguez family is pleased with the development, but not satisfied:

Post Mortem On Sabrina Almendarez
Today the post mortem was conducted on 12 year old Sabrina Almendarez. As we reported, the child died on Friday morning in Independence Village. Her family says that she started getting sick on Monday after getting a tetanus shot on Monday at Independence Primary School. The family says that she became ill with fever and headache and on Friday morning at 4:30, her father found her motionless in bed. She was dead and the family believes that one of the things that could have triggered it is the tetanus shot. Today, a major piece of that puzzle was filled in when Dr. Hugh Sanchez conducted a post mortem examination on the girl in Belize City. During the examination, the family's attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd addressed the media: Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for Almendarez Family "The family does not know what caused the death of their daughter. They have never said publicly or privately that they can say that it is the shot that killed her. When they were interviewed by certain health personnel, they asked to give a tracing of what happened in the days before her death. And one of the things they recalled happened was that she did receive a vaccine for tetanus. We don't know if that is the cause of death. As we speak, the postmortem is being conducted by Dr. Hugh Sanchez. The reason the family asked for Dr. Hugh Sanchez is because he is a pathologist, they want him to take specimens. He is an expert in that area and at the end of the day, all the family really wants to know is what killed their child."

112 Charges For Alleged White Collar Criminals Who Took Radisson South For 180K
On Friday, we told you about Justin Lacroix, the employee of an accounting firm who was charged with 58 forgery related counts for allegedly participating in scam that saw the embezzlement of over 180 grand from the biggest hotel in Belize, the Radisson. Well, police finally released the details today, and the 24 year old Lacroix is actually facing 84 counts: (28) for Uttering upon a forged document, (28) for Claiming upon a forged document and (28) for handling stolen goods. And tonight, the news is that another working man was also charged. He is 33 year old Brian Myvette a Lab Monitor and he is facing less of the same: (8) counts of Uttering a Forged Document, (8) counts of Claiming upon a forged document and (8) counts of Handling Stolen Goods. As we reported, they ringleader who worked as a payables clerk at the Radisson is believed to have left the country, but is being sought by police. He is alleged to have tricked Radisson's financial controls by making up fake invoices from known suppliers, and then getting cheques to pay those bogus invoices duly signed and authorized by the higher up's at Radisson. He would then give these cheques to his friends to go and cash at a teller at the bank - a teller who was also in on the scam. The friends say they got a tip for cashing the cheques while the ringleader stayed with the lion's share of the money.

August to November’s (Very) Above Average Rainfall
For weeks we've been reporting on the heavy rains and all the infrastructural and community problems it has caused. But tonight, more than just talking generally about rain, we can put a specific number to it. The Meteorology Service has shared rainfall figures for August through to November, and they are waaayyy above average. Starting with August September and October, you'll see the comparison in this graph. The 2013 rainfall is in blue and the average rainfall for those months from 1981 - to 2010 is in red. At every one of the stations, from Libertad in Corozal to the Punta Gorda Agricultural station, rainfall figures were up. The increases were greatest in Libertad - where it went up by more than 100%, IN Belmopan where it went up form an average of 26 inches to 44 inches and Middlesex, where the 30 year rainfall average is 40 inches, but this year it was 59. Punta Gorda and Baldy Beacon were the only stations where rainfall was more or less on average.

Shari Muschamp Still Holding Down Immarbe Job
Shari Muschamp was making headlines a week and a half ago, but, ever since she got taken back in to work at Immarbe, her name hasn't been in the news. But that doesn't mean that's the end of story. Her attorney Audrey Matura has been working in the background to get Mushcamp's job secured. Today she updated the media on it. Audrey Matura-Shepherd, attorney "Ms. Shari, I have her letter here that she was offered full employment effectively 11th of June. Now, it's not everything we want in the sense that her employment they are offering new employment from the 11th of June onwards. That's when the government took over the IBC Registry. We are not totally satisfied with one or two points, but it's not sufficient for us to say outright no we don't want it. I think there is room for negotiating. We've sent a letter to the director of the registry which is Mr. Gian Ghandi and we hope to get a favorable response, but at least for now we know that she has a job. Come pay day she has a salary to get. Come Christmas she has something to give to her children and we really want to thank all the Belizeans who sympathize with her. That was a really interesting situation, but we are really pleased that the news is a good one."

Belize Zoo Blazes Path For Disabled Persons
On the Belize Zoo's 30th birthday, almost a year ago, 7News told you the major upgrade they had engineered allow disabled persons access to the facility, by putting in over two thousand five hundred feet of concreted pathways. Today, on one of the days set aside to note persons around the world living with disabilities, members of the Belize Assembly for Person with Diverse Abilities went to the zoo to experience it like every other citizen. 7News was there, and Daniel Ortiz reports on the experience of BAPDA: Daniel Ortiz reporting Today, the Belize Assembly for Person with Diverse Abilities hosted their World International Day of Disabilities at the Belize Zoo. It is appropriate because the Zoo boasts to being the first nature reserve facility which accommodates persons living with disabilities. It has a pathway that provides wheelchair bound Belizeans with almost complete access to all the animals who call the zoo their home.

Coast Guard Making Major Moves On San Pedro With 1.5 M USD New Building
On Friday, the Coast Guard inaugurated a new forward operating base on San Pedro. The event was timed to coincide with the Coast Guard's eight anniversary and the passing out of another intake of recruits, its fourth. Like everything else Coast Guard, form its right handed salutes to its Seals, the event was draped in red white and blue, as are the plans for what appears to be a very bright, very resource rich future:.. Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard "This station will offer us a platform from which we can launched continuous and sustain operations in an area which remains very sensitive as its known as an area for drug trafficking and other forms of organize crime."

Life For Murder
Today, 42 year old Alwin Gabb was convicted of the July 1, 2007 murder of Nolan Arana after a 12 member jury unanimously found him guilty of the crime. He will spend life in prison for it. Five persons were called testify, including the main witness, who told the court that at 7 o'clock that night, Arana had gone to her house to get food. That was when Gabb came through the alley and told Arana that it was his fault that the main witness had been disrespected. Gabb and the main witness were in a common law relationship for four and a half years prior to the incident, but she had ended it in May. After Gabb spoke to Arana, he then started to punch him; Gabb then pulled out a knife and stabbed Arana seven times to his chest and back. Sgt. Polonio, the arresting officer, testified that Gabb turned himself into police, and gave an oral confession, claiming that he stabbed Arana in self defense. Gabb, in his dock statement, told the court that he was at his house on Dolphin Street at the time of the incident, and was nowhere around when it happened. He also denied giving the oral statement to Sgt. Polonio.

Chairman Eddie Was Robbed and Beaten By Melchor Police
Last night we told you about the three term chairman of Buena Vista village, Eddie De LA Rosa. He was detained in Melchor after a misunderstanding with Guatemalan police. We were told that they held him for a stick of weed - which De La Rosa claims was planted on him. But De La Rosa was never charged for drug possession, instead he was beaten up and robbed by Guatemalan police, and then taken to court on a bogus charge which the judge threw out. That's what De La Rosa told us last night when he got back to Belize after being detained in Melchor. De La Rosa says he was travelling with about five thousand quetzales which was money that he was going to use to buy fireworks for his village. But he says when police searched him on the bus they stole the money.

The Zoo’s Aggressive New Jaguar
The last time that the Belize Zoo that to intervene to save a Jaguar was July of last year, when they rescued the black jaguar "Lucky Boi". Well, they are currently trying to train another jaguar, this one who is known as Edgar Hill. He is the second problem jaguar that the Zoo has had to adopt from the Pine Hill area in Toledo. After a mere 12 days in captivity at the zoo, the caretakers allowed us to meet Edgar Hill. Daniel Ortiz got up close to him and has this report: Daniel Ortiz reporting Edgar Hill, the newest addition at the Belize Zoo's jaguar population, is shy and not very friendly at the moment. That's to be expected, however, because he's only been there for 12 days now. He became the 16th jaguar at the zoo after the Forestry Department handed him over. It was either captivity or euthanasia. He is a problem jaguar who had become a possible threat to humans. Sharon Matola - Founding Director, Belize "Edgar Hill was rescued on the 21st November. The behavior that you are seeing is typical behavior of a wild caught jaguar who is just settling in. It was the Forest Department that called us and told us that this cat is a problem, he was stalking villagers. He actually was accused of getting ready to attack a horse and buggy in the Mennonite community of Pine Hill. They told us that if we can't take him in to our program they will have to euthanize him. Of course we took him in. These jaguars are extremely valuable animals. They are used for education and research."

Salima’s Cancer Contribution
This afternoon Salima Barrow, daughter of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, paid the Belize Cancer Society a visit along with the members of her organization called Children helping Children. It was a special visit since the group of young girls didn't come empty handed. In October they held their second limeade stand fundraiser and today they donated their proceeds to the children suffering from the deadly disease. The cheque of two thousand, two hundred and twenty six dollars and fifty cents was handed over at the Belize Cancer Society Office on Mercy Lane.

Channel 5

Policeman charged with the murder of Tyson Rodriguez
Tyson Rodriguez was killed in Placencia on the twenty-second of November. At the onset, police issued a dubious bulletin saying that Rodriguez’s body was found floating in the water. This [...]

Police confirms that they fired deadly shot on Travis Mckay
There is also a development in the case of another resident who was killed by the cops. Last Wednesday, a Ladyville resident was shot at about four o’clock in the [...]

Family awaits result of autopsy to determine cause of death of Sabrina Almendarez
Audrey Matura-Shepherd is also representing the family of twelve year old Sabrina Almendarez. She is the young girl who died mysteriously. Her family told News Five on Monday that they [...]

Auguirre’s family still waiting on DNA results and death certificate
On September seventh, Belmopan Police were called to a nightmarish scene in the village of Teakettle. In the trunk of a taxicab which had been parked on a deserted stretch [...]

Belize excluded from 2013 Corruption Perception Index
The 2013 Corruption Perception Index is an annual measure of the apparent levels of public sector dishonesty in a hundred and seventy-seven countries and territories.  The list scores each country [...]

Muschamp rehired but at a lower salary
We reported last week that single mother of two children, Sharie Muschamp, is back at her desk at International Business Companies Registry. Muschamp was on sick leave that ran into [...]

US Embassy planned internal event to commemorate World Aids Day
World AIDS Day is celebrated on December first every year. That fell on a Sunday, so the US Embassy in Belize planned an internal event to commemorate it today. Staff [...]

Alwin Gabb convicted of murder
Dolphin Street resident, Alwin Gabb, who has been on remand for the past six years, was on trial for more than a week for murder.  Today, he learned his fate [...]

Diverse abilities children gets a special tour of the Belize Zoo
Children with diverse abilities, as they are called, got a special tour of the Belize Zoo today. Even though they cannot see or hear, they captured the sounds of nature [...]

Author of “Becka Lamb” back in the jewel for the holidays
Acclaimed Belizean novelist Zee Edgell, author of the perennial classic Beka Lamb, is back in the Jewel for the holidays.  Her Christmas vacation, however, is not all rest and relaxation.  [...]

Problem cat being held captive at the Belize Zoo
Edgar Hill, like Richard Parker in the Life of Pi, is a problem cat.  Prior to being held captive at the Belize Zoo, the jaguar roamed freely in the forest [...]

#478971 - 12/04/13 05:44 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 4, 2013 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here


Zero Tolerance For Corruption At O/W Police Department
The stories of police demanding and collecting bribes from motorists are as rampant as they are unsubstantiated. Our public opinion survey shows that one in every ten persons have claimed to have paid a bribe in the past year to access public services ranging from health and education to justice. It’s a haunting reality for any public service entity and yesterday we asked Second in Charge of the Orange Walk Police Department, Julius Cantun, to shed light on these findings as it pertains to local police officers. Here’s what he told us. “It is sad and is a pity that despite the effort of the Second in Command of the Orange Walk Police department to sensitize the public in all media houses, I personally have been to several media houses, I have personally given my personal cellular number to the media to the public that whenever we have a situation of corruption occurring they can feel free and call me any time of the day and I will personally will look into the matter, the fact that you forgot to put on your helmets is not excuse, ignorance of the law is no excuse, you can’t come and you say that you did not know that you had to put on your helmet, however the police officer have a duty to maintain, they have a duty to the public and to the community and if in any event they fail by engaging in corrupt activity then they are not just breaking the law they are also breaking their oath to the crown that they will maintain law and order and as a result we as the senior command will not be tolerant, we have zero tolerance to corruption and if this is the case as soon as we have enough evidence against any police officers they will be arrested and charge and taken before the court like any other person because nobody is above the law, uniform or no uniform one there is the evidence the high command in Orange Walk will deal with them accordingly.”

Police Officer Charge For Tyson Rodriguez Murder
A member of the Police Department has been charged with murder following an internal investigation into the suspicious death of Tyson Rodriguez. Police have formally arrested and charged forty-one year old Sergeant Julio Shal who bears badge number 2-8-7. Shal is a Belizean Police officer of Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District and has been charged with Murder. The police department indicates that the investigations are still ongoing. The arrest stems from what police has initially called “sudden death” of Rodriguez after he was detained in connection to the burglary of the home of a Canadian couple in Placencia Village. The couple was also badly beaten. The suspect, Tyson Rodriguez and a vehicle that was stolen from the couple were located in the Corozal District. Police transported both the vehicle and Rodriguez to Placencia. It was there that according to the officers on duty at the time, Rodriguez offered to take the officers to recover the stolen items.

Hurricane Season Officially Closed
The hurricane season is officially closed and with it there is some good news to report from the north. For weeks residents in the northern and southern villages in the Orange Walk District have had to face several difficulties travelling into and out of their homes due to flooded streets or yards. Today, North Regional Coordinator for the National Emergency Management Organization NEMO, Elodio Aragon says that the water has receded in the San Antonio and San Roman areas allowing the smooth flow of traffic once more.

LICU Wins Another International Award
The La Inmaculada Credit Union has won a number of local and international recognitions over the years for their outstanding growth both in membership and financially. Tonight LICU has another award to add to the already lengthy list as they have been named the proud winners of the Excellence in Microfinance transparency award in the Citi Micro Entrepreneurship Award program in the Caribbean. Here’s a look at their success. Dalila Ical – Reporting The La Inmaculada Credit Union is the proud winner of the Excellence in Microfinance transparency award in the Citi Micro entrepreneurship Award program in the Caribbean. Here’s a look at their success. Master of ceremonies “The 2013 Citi Micro entrepreneurship award of Micro finance goes to La Inmaculada Credit Union, Belize....” The La Inmaculada Credit Union was presented with the award at the second annual Citi Micro entrepreneurship Award ceremony held in Kingston Jamaica on October 31st this year. The Award Program, funded by the Citi Foundation, recognizes microfinance institutions and micro entrepreneurs to raise awareness on microfinance in the Caribbean and the role of micro entrepreneurs in the economy. Accepting the award was LICU’s General Manager, Yolanda Gomez.

O/W Police Department Upgrade Patrols For Festive Season
Business is booming leading to Christmas as gifts, decorations and groceries are bought for the biggest and most anticipated holiday season. Unfortunately, at this time of the year, there is also a marked increase in crimes such as robberies and burglaries. To balance it all out, the Police Department has followed suit and boosted the number of officers on patrol; particularly in the hub of town to ensure the safety of shoppers as well as businesses. Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Station, Inspector Julius Cantun, says the anti-crime campaign is in full force, but they also need the support of the communities to stem the occurrences of such crimes during the upcoming festive season. “We get our officers to carry out extra patrols after their normal tour of duties they have to comeback in the evening so that they can give us four hours extra depending on what day it is and our crime pattern analysis, we will determine how long will they be working, we have increased our patrols in terms of; the burglary patrols we have officers coming in after their duties they come in at night and they do burglary patrols at different times, we have our quick response team so yes there is an increase on the presence of the police in the streets and that will continue until the Christmas and further until we see it necessary that they have the presence of the police out there and so the uniform presence will be seeing especially in business areas, especially in areas that are being, where most activities are conducted within Orange Walk Town.”


Family Hopes Post Mortem Will Tell How 12-Year-Old, Sabrina Died
The Family of US Citizen 12 year old Sabrina Almendarez are coping with her mysterious death that only an autopsy can let them know why the 12 year old died. As we told you yesterday, Almendarez who was a student of Independence Primary School was found dead early Friday morning. Her father reported to Police that on Monday his daughter was given tetanus shot at school and since then became ill with fever and headache. It has been widely speculated that the shot may have caused Almendarez’s death as she could have developed allergic reactions. But that can only be sure until a post mortem is conducted. That post mortem was being conducted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital late this evening and we spoke to the family’s attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd who told us more.

Teenager Went Missing From Church
A 16 year old female has been reported missing from a children’s home. According to police, on December first, 16 year old Romelia Limas left King’s Children Home with another female en-route to attend a mass at the George Price Center. After midday that day, the young lady had returned back to the home without Limas and stated that after the church service was finished she could not locate Limas. The young girl recounted to police that Limas went to the bathroom and never returned. Up to the time of making the report Limas has still not returned to the home. Limas is of Mestizo descent, is about four feet in height, weighs about 80 pounds, and has long black hair, brown eyes with clear complexion. She was last seen wearing a blue and purple floral dress, black and purple slippers. Police investigations continue.

Mexican Congress Establishes Friendship Group with Belize
Last week the Congress of Mexico formally established the Belize – Mexico Friendship Group. The group will serve as a high-level forum that complements existing diplomatic mechanisms between the two countries. Congresswoman Gabriela Medrano Galindo of Quintana Roo, Mexico, formally established the Group along with Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico, Oliver del Cid. In their remarks, both Congresswoman Medrano and Ambassador del Cid highlighted the historically close relationship between the two countries and welcomed the establishment of the Friendship Group as an opportunity to expand and deepen the bi-national agenda. Various Parliamentarians attended the event including other Members of the Friendship Group. The Mexican Foreign Ministry was represented at the event by Monica Gonzales and Ambassador del Cid was accompanied by First Secretary Carlos Montero.

Sho Guilty of Burglarizing Traffic Manager’s Home in Belize City
Forty-eight year old Luis Romero, a.k.a. “Sho”, was sentenced to 7 years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he changed his plea from not guilty to guilty of burglary. Romero wanted to pay a fine but Chief Magistrate Smith explained to him that her hands are tied and he must go to prison because he has previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty. Romero burglarized the home of Traffic Manager, Kevan Jenkins, around 8 a.m. on January 28, 2012. He stole jewelry, fashion jewelry, a pair of high heeled shoes and $150, when asked by Chief Magistrate Smith what he did with the items, Romero said he sold them to buy food for his 6 grand children. Jenkins reported to the police that at about 9:30 a.m. he received a telephone call from one of his neighbors and when he arrived home he saw that the burglars on one of the windows of his house was pried open and 3 glass louvers were missing.

Dispute Brews Over Prime Property in Northside Belize City
In yesterday’s newscast we reported on the land dispute between Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams and the Yearwood family. Today we are reporting on another land dispute. This one centers on a plot of land near the corner of Seashore Drive and Buttonwood Bay Boulevard. The land presently houses a small gazebo and residents of the area have been investing time and money into improving the space and turning it into a public park. Love News understands that the dispute has arisen because Giovanni Blease has issued a claim that he owns the portion of land which was has been cleared and filled recently. Documents provided to us indicate that on 25th April, 2013 the Belize City Council got wind of a possible controversy with regards to the parcel of land and lodged a caution with the registrar of land. The caution prevents anyone from purchasing or taking any action with regards to the land without a hearing before the registrar of land.

Police Officer Faces Murder Charge; Family Says One Down, Two to Go
A police officer has been charged for the murder of twenty seven year old Tyson Rodriguez. Love News has confirmed that Sergeant Julio Shal has been charged for the murder of Rodriguez which occurred on Friday November 22nd. Love News has been informed that a police officer who is said to be involved in the matter is the crown witness affording him immunity. As we reported, Rodriguez’s death was determined to be “asphyxiation by bronchial aspiration of beach sand and multiple traumatisms to the chest”. This means that Rodriguez was badly beaten and suffocated on beach sand. Rodriguez had been in Placencia Police custody after he was identified as one of three suspects in the robbery and assault of a Canadian couple who live on the Placencia Peninsula. Police say that the couple’s home had been invaded, items robbed and the couple badly beaten.

US and Belize Team Up to Help Flood Victims in Western Belize
The U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance together with the Belize Red Cross are working together to assist the people affected by the recent floods in Cayo. The U.S. Office of Disaster Assistance hence donated ten thousand US dollars to the Belize Red Cross Society to assist the Redcross on their ogoing effort to efficiently render assistance to more than two hundred families who continue to be affected by the flooding. The donation will allow the Belize Red Cross Society to purchase drinking water, rain boots, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies and fuel for the transportation of relief supplies to areas affected by flash flood in San Ignacio and Santa Elena.

Int’l Day of Disability: Recreation Day at The Belize Zoo
Today countries around the world are observing International Day of Disability. The Belize Assembly for Persons with Diverse Abilities, BAPDA, are on fun filled trip to the Belize Zoo. Education officer at the Zoo Jamal Andrewin and member of BAPDA Jerome Flores told us how it is going. JAMAL ANDREWIN “We were approached by BAPDA which you know is the Belizean Association for People with Diverse Abilities. They were interested in having a day of recreation and fun and just a holiday for our members here at the zoo to help celebrate the day internationally and so we obviously accepted them with open arms. We are very honored that they chose the zoo to spend their day of recreation and they didn’t really didn’t ask for anything formal, they didn’t ask for a ceremony but we decided to do something special for them so our education team has just finished taking the group around. It’s a mixture of old and young people who have varying disabilities and so they were given a special opportunity to meet the more charismatic members of the zoo family, the Lucky Boy, the black jaguar; some of our tapirs, our toucans; they got to interact, to hand feed, to touch these animals while learning about their importance or to their significance. The zoo’s mission is always to educate as much as possible; we have the exhibit and anyone can interact with the animals under supervision and guidance but we realized well over a year ago that we’re not reaching everyone as much as we could. Our path is just a gravel path but if you’re walking here in a wheel chair or a walker or if you are bringing your children in a stroller it will be very hard to maneuver through loose gravel. So that’s where Jerome Flores who is an associate of BAPDA came in.”

Internal Audit at Radisson Uncovers Embezzlement
Two men have been arrested and charged after over 186 thousand dollars was stolen from the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina. According to Police the CEO for the Radisson reported that during the months of January to August 2013 he noticed rising costs on their monthly financial statements for their Food and Beverages Department. An internal audit was conducted which discovered that a total of sixty cheques were generated by their payable accounts department by inputting false invoices numbers of suppliers into the system. The total sum of monies stolen amounted to one hundred and eighty six thousand, five hundred and twenty six dollars and sixty five cents. Last Thursday police formally arrested and charged 24 year old Justin Lacriox, for 28 counts of uttering a forged document, 28 counts of claiming upon a forged document and 28 counts of handling stolen goods. 33-year-old Brian Myvette was charged with eight counts of uttering a forged document, eight counts of claiming upon a forged document and eight counts of handling stolen goods. Police are looking for one more suspect in this incident

Belize Notes Marked Progress in Fight Against HIV/AIDS
World Aids day was celebrated yesterday December 1. The objectives of the day were to remember those lost to this epidemic, reflect on the progress of the past year to prevent HIV infections, improve the health of people living with HIV worldwide, and address HIV stigma and discrimination. Belize joins the rest of the world in doing its part in the fight against HIV and AIDS. One organization which has been fighting this battle since 2000 is the National Aids Commission. Chairperson, Kathy Esquivel sat down with Love News this afternoon to update us on the inroads that have been made and some of the challenges. KATHY ESQUIVEL “Like many countries we are very pleased to say that we have made great end roads. The number of new cases that are being found is going down steadily; we are now at a level that we last saw around 2004 in terms of new cases and that’s not because we are not finding them because we still have the same or greater levels of testing. So, prevalence rate which means the number of people living with the disease is now under 1 percent and so that is good news. We however can’t allow that good news to make us complacent; there are still pockets of very much higher prevalence among certain parts of the population and so what we have to do now is to make sure that we can reach people who really need the information and the services.”

Retrial Ends With Guilty Verdict for Gabb
A jury of 5 women and 7 men deliberated for about two and a half hours today before it found 45 year old Alwin Gabb, guilty of the murder of Nolan Arana. Gabb was sentenced to life imprisonment by the trial judge, Justice John Gonzalez. Arana, who worked as a security guard at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, was killed on July 6, 2007. He was stabbed 7 times in his body when he went to the home of his co-worker, Michelle Lennon, to get some food. Lennon testified that as she stood on the verandah of her house to give Arana a plate of dinner, Gabb, her ex-common-law husband, stabbed Arana multiple times with a knife measuring 10 to 12 inches long. Lennon said that before Gabb stabbed Arana, Gabb told Arana that he was the person causing his wife to disrespect him. Lennon also testified that Gabb told her that he tried to tell her that he will either kill her or someone for her.

US Embassy Remembers HIV/AIDS Victims on World AIDS Day
On 1st December the world joined together in observance of World Aids Day. Today the US embassy hosted a special ceremony in memory of those who lost their lives to this epidemic and to highlight the progress being made to prevent new HIV infections. Jessica Flighter is a political officer at the US Embassy and spoke on the work being done to fight aids. JESSICA FLIGHTER “The Embassy works in partnership with local partners including PASMO, PASCA, Capacity International, Charlester University and other local partners in order to work on the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS as well as de-stigmatization efforts. The embassy has a small grants program that we advertise every year that we help build capacity and offer project opportunities to smaller nongovernmental organizations. We have had a history of great success with that and we through PEPFAR which is run out of the Central American Regional Program directly fund more than 2 million Belize dollars to fight the spread of HIV AIDS.”


Buena Vista Chairman Steps up to Clarify his Name
Last night, reports in the local media was that the Chairman of Buena Vista, Eddie De La Rosa was detained in Melchor on alleged marijuana possession. According to the story published, De La Rosa was with some friends at the Puerta Negra Bar when they were approached by Police....

Police Sergeant Charged for Brutal Murder of Detainee
A Police Sergeant has been charged in connection with the death of 27 year old Tyson Rodriguez. Julio Shal, a 41 year old Sergeant attached to the Placencia Sub-Formation, was arraigned on murder this morning at a Mango Creek court house. Sgt. Shal was one of three officers assigned to...

Ministry of Agriculture Assess the Public on the Good Use of Pesticides
The Pesticides Control Board is a statutory body, appointed by the Minister responsible for agriculture and mandated with the implementation of the provisions of the Pesticides Control Act. In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Act, on November 28th, the board hosted an event featuring...

Man wanted for Extradition to US Beats the Charges
Recently Gary Seawell loss his battle as the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith order he be extradited to the United States. Meanwhile his brother, Mark awaits his ruling. But beating the extradition process recently was Khalid El Turk and yesterday, Bangladesh national, Fakhrul Salim, who was first brought before...

Two DJs Attacked When Party is Shut Down
It appears that a group of eight men weren’t ready to call it a night and reportedly attacked two disk jockeys when the DJ’s shut down the party. The incident occurred on Sunday, at about 3:15 a.m., where the two DJ’s, were playing inside D-Spot Lounge, located in Corozal...

Belizeans Recognize Andy Palacio’s 53rd Birthday
Belizeans at home and abroad, today recognize the 53rd birthday of cultural icon, Andy Vivian Palacio, who passed away on January 19, 2008. Born and raised in Barranco Mr. Palacio became a teacher, but later dedicated himself to preserve the Garifuna music and culture. Once a Cultural Ambassador...

12 yr. young Dies Suddenly, Days after Receiving Tetanus Shot
Last night, authorities were investigating the death of a 12 year old girl who fell ill after receiving a tetanus shot, while her family is trying to come to grips with her sudden passing. Young Sabrina Almendarez, a student of Independence Village was found motionless around 4:30 am on...

World AIDS Day Physician Assures Morality as a Must to Crush Down HIV
World AIDS Day is observed on the 1st of December each year. The day is set aside as an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. In Belize, we also...

Arthur Saldivar Victorious as PUP Standard Bearer in Belize Rural North
The Belize Rural North Constituency has a new Standard Bearer, under the blue banner. Attorney Arthur Saldivar beat out two opponents, acquiring the seat. In a landslide victory, Mr. Saldivar, garnered 591, followed by Mr. Alburn Rivero with 302 and Beverly Lemoine with 27 votes. The present Area Representative for...

Former Kolbe Employee Claims Corruption Among Legal Team
As we reported on Friday evening’s news cast, four former employees- Abdul Nuñez, Herman Blease Sr., Carla Casimiro, and Ms. Carla Budna- are pushing a lawsuit for defamation against the Kolbe Foundation because of the contents of a 12-minute documentary was produced for the Belize Central Prison Coalition which...


The family of a 12-year old female student of Independence Village in the Stann Creek District is currently mourning her sudden death, which they believe could have possibly been caused by a tetanus shot that she received at school from officials of the Health Department last Monday, November 25, 2013. Police have reported that based on information received, they visited the Southern Regional Hospital Morgue, located in Dangriga, on November 29, 2013 around 12:00 p.m., where they observed the body of Sabrina Almendarez,12, a student of Granian Street in Independence. According to police, Gregory Almendarez, a teacher at Independence High School, reported that sometime around 4:00 a.m. last Friday, November 29, he went to check on his daughter, Sabrina, and found her motionless. She was then taken to the Southern Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival at 5:40 a.m.

This morning, Curl Gordon, Jr., was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment when he appeared for his sentencing and mitigation hearings before Justice Adolph Lucas. On November 21, a 9-member jury convicted Gordon of indecent assault after hearing testimony from his 7-year-old victim. She told the court that when she was at Gordon’s house on October 2, 2011, Gordon touched her inappropriately. The child’s mother also testified and told the court that she saw Gordon on top of her daughter and making jerking movements. But a doctor examined the child and certified that she had not been carnally known. No one appeared on Gordon’s behalf and in his mitigation plea, he asked the court to be mindful that this was his first conviction and that his wife is expecting a child. After hearing his plea, Justice Lucas then told Gordon that his case was a disturbing one since he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 7-year old girl.

Crime statistics released by the Belize Police Department two weeks ago indicated that the number of murders for January to October 2013 had dropped a substantial 26% from last year’s high of 119. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced a further drop in the murder count for the country of Belize, amounting now to a 32% drop over last year’s figures. More than that, Barrow announced “a fantastic reduction” in the Belize City figures, for which he praised the security. “The news continues to be good,” said Barrow, adding that Belize City, “which was most out of hand” had reported 37 murders to date, whereas last year the figure was 74. Countrywide, the figure stands at 89 versus 130 at this time last year, Barrow said.

“The quandary has been how come Mr. Rodwell Williams, Sr., ended up with the title …” – Yearwoods’ attorney The land dispute between Rodwell Williams, Jr., and the Yearwood family of Cemetery Lane—over a property measuring 16 feet by 18 feet, substantially smaller than a conventional lot size—went before Supreme Court Justice Rita Olivette today, as she deliberated over an application to issue an injunction against the Yearwoods from stopping Williams from using the property under dispute. Justice Olivette noted that underlying this entire claim is a dispute over the title to the land. The claimant thinks the land is his. The defendants are saying that Williams’ attempt to put a chattel house on the property marked the first time they became aware that someone was trying to claim what they considered to be their land. “You have to understand it was a shocker – not only that he [Williams] had title but you bring the [Belize Defence Force] and the police to enforce this title,” Audrey Matura-Shepherd, attorney for the Yearwoods, told the media, outside the hearing.

On Friday, November 29, twenty-four workers of the Crop Growing Project of BSI were terminated. The men, who are members of the Belize Workers Union, took their plight to their union, which launched an offensive on their behalf, and today, all the workers have been rehired. Information given to Amandala is that on Friday, the workers were told that they were no longer needed, and they were not to return to work on Monday. However, after negotiations between the union and BSI, the workers were all able to return to work. The workers union announced that they are now negotiating with BSI on behalf of 82 workers who are on contract with BSI to make them permanent workers, so that they can qualify to receive benefits from the company.

The standings remain the same after 8 weeks of football competition in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014, after all 3 games played resulted in identical 1-1 scores. This past weekend’s games were the Week 5 backmatches, and all were played yesterday, Sunday, December 1. The Week 7 backmatches will be played this coming weekend. Out west at the Norman Broaster Stadium, late surging San Ignacio United almost accomplished back-to-back upsets of “big teams,” as they led Belize Defence Force FC by a 1-nil score, off a 29th minute goal by Carlos Vasquez, until late in second half. It wasn’t until the 89th minute that BDF got the equalizer from Khalil Velasquez, to salvage the 1-1 draw. Down south at Toledo Union Field, goals were just as scarce, as the star studded Police United FC team is still struggling to score goals. Home standing and still league leading Paradise/Freedom Fighters struck first, with a goal from Alexander “Pleck” Peters at the 85th minute; but Police responded one minute later with a goal from Bernard Linares at the 86th minute, to secure the 1-1 draw.

Here are the results of Belize City Mayor’s Cup tournament games played over the past week. On Wednesday, November 27, Fort George Bombers dropped Ebony Lake, 5-0, with 2 goals from Clinton Gill and 1 apiece from Raymond “Bills” Marin, Tyrone “T-Bone” Muschamp and Francis Andrews. On Thursday, November 28, Kephawn beat Hattieville SC, 5-2. Dalton Cayetano scored 2, and Kenroy Martin, Kareem Flowers and Francis Lemott scored a goal each for Kephawn; while Dejean Thompson and Ralph Spain scored for Hattieville. In game 1 on Saturday, November 30, Kulture Yabra got their first win, 3-1, over Ladyville United, with 2 goals from Edward Rubio and 1 from Withfield Fisher. Erick Garcia got the goal for Ladyville. Game 2 saw Kephawn Pawn FC win by default (3-0) over Complex Admirals. With this victory, Kephawn effectively clinched the championship. In game 3, West Lake crushed Tulish, 5-0, with 2 goals from Delroy Andrews and 1 apiece from David McCaulay, Jr., Melhelm Hernandez and Nigel Franklin.

“And the Lord shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” - MATTHEW, Chapter 25, Verse 40 Christmas is a very interesting time of the year because of the contradictions involved with the season. On the one hand, the celebration is a Christian one, focused on the humble birth of the Christ Savior, emphasizing that when God the Father sent His Only-Begotten Son to redeem mankind from sin, He designed it so that His Son was born in a wretched stable in Bethlehem surrounded by animals. Jesus Christ was born in a stable because there was no room for His parents at the Bethlehem inn. On the other hand, the Christmas season has become a period of very intense business and economic activity of all kinds, while on the family level citizens are driven to clean and refurbish their homes while preparing ample food and drink for the extended holiday season. Christmas is the most frenzied time of work in the entire calendar year, and nowadays “Christmas” lasts for several weeks.

“The vital statistics of men and women in Belize during the period are almost non-existent. So I made up some of them. Fortunately, I am not a qualified historian and therefore, not bound by the rigid restrictions of the professional. I am an entertainer and a propagandist. The object of my propaganda, pure and simple, is the glorification of Belize in the hearts and minds of today’s Belizeans and future generations.” - pg. 3, INTRODUCTION, Belize 1798 – The Road To Glory, Emory King, Tropical Books, 1991 In the beginning of slavery, the European and neo-European slavemasters were not interested in doing any kind of education of their slaves. One of the reasons for this was that all the slavemasters were interested in was field and forest production by and from these slaves, and this field and forest production involved more brawn than brains. Some kind of skill training was involved, but not at a sophisticated level. Those slaves who acquired status were those who could increase the work production from their own kind, and these became known as “slavedrivers.” The second reason there was no education of slaves in the beginning, was that one of the European justifications of slavery was that Africans were just dumb brutes and were not capable of learning anything.

The Belize Coast Guard received added reinforcements today in the form of 30 new recruits. The new Coast Guard officers – known as Recruit Intake #4 – were officially inducted this morning at a graduation and inauguration ceremony that was held in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Amandala was there to witness the 3-tier event, which encompassed the acknowledgement of the Coast Guard’s 8th anniversary; the graduation of Recruit Intake #4; and the inauguration ceremony for a brand new Coast Guard forward operating base, 1 ½ miles southwest of the island – dubbed as “Station San Pedro.” The surveillance post, which is built to withstand hurricane force winds, is strategically located on a plot of land that is situated on the leeward side of the island town – at the entrance of the marina channel of ‘La Isla Bonita.’ The land – which was initially acquired from the Belize Port Authority – also accommodates a diesel generator and two full-sized fuel tanks that have the capacity to hold 5,000 gallons of diesel and gasoline to service the Coast Guard’s fleet of Boston Whaler boats which will be attached to the station; while the structure is capable of housing up to 16 Coast Guard personnel at any given time. It also includes a command center with state-of-the-art equipment and tracking devices, and a docking facility for up to two large vessels. The specified area of operation for the new base extends way beyond Ambergris Caye – as far north as Chetumal Bay, and as far south as Caye Caulker.

This morning, Deon Bruce, 28, along with his attorney Godfrey Smith, returned to court, where submissions were made by both Smith and Magali Perdomo, who represented the Attorney General’s office. Bruce is wanted by the US on charges of murder, attempted murder, aggravated battery and firearm possession for an incident which allegedly occurred on July 20, 2010. At 4:35 p.m. on July 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois, Aaron Carter and Bryan Rogers got into an argument with Bruce, after which Rogers and or Carter threw a bottle at Bruce’s blue Volvo car. After the bottle was thrown, Bruce allegedly stopped his car, went to the back of it, and pulled out a firearm. Bruce then allegedly used that firearm and fired several shots at the men, hitting both men, and injuring Carter fatally.

“Fakhrul Alam Salim must hereby be discharged and he is free to go.” That was the ruling of the Chief Magistrate Anne-Marie Smith issued in writing on Thursday, November 28, 2013, after hearing arguments from both Magalie Perdomo and Iliana Swift on behalf of the Government of Belize, and Godfrey Smith, attorney for Salim. On March 21, 2013, a warrant was issued against Salim after the United States sent a request for his extradition to face charges of conspiracy to manufacture and aid in the manufacturing of methamphetamine for importation into the US and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Smith argued that the charges pertaining to the manufacture of methamphetamine are not extraditable offenses under the Extradition Act of Belize, and they did not constitute any offenses in Belize.

While the property of Rosendo Sanchez of San Pedro Colombia, in Toledo, was being destroyed by fire, due to what he strongly believed to be arson, another thatched house was also being destroyed in San Roman, in the Corozal District, the property of Frederick Edwards, a bus driver of San Roman. Edwards told police that he was at home about 11:50 Saturday night when he began to feel heat and smoke fill the house. He went outside to see what was happening, and that was when he saw his thatched roof burning, and the house quickly became engulfed in flames. Edwards could not save anything, and reported that the estimated loss was about $13, 325 – the value of the house, and household furnishings and appliances. Police said that they have launched an investigation, but arson is not suspected.


It’s Not Just About the View at Cahal Pech Village Resort
Belize is a relatively flat country…the highest man made structure is the Mayan main temple at the Caracol site. The highest peak in Belize is called Doyle’s Delight and soars to just over 3500 feet. Much of Belize’s population lives at or around sea level – our largest city, Belize City is just a few inches above. What’s my point? Belize has many many beautiful sights…ocean views, jungle landscapes, mangroves and orchards but when it comes to majestic hilltop vistas? They are something special. And I think I found the one of the best views in Cayo, in all of Belize…from the Cahal Pech Village Resort in San Ignacio. Cahal Pech Resort is just outside San Ignacio town about a 20 minute walk UPHILL or an easy $5bzd taxi. (It is just up the road from both Sweet Ting Pastries and the popular Cayo Twist soft serve joint – if that’s not reason enough to visit.) The resorts location is great for two reasons. It is perched on a hill that overlooks the valley and the town. That equals one amazing view. (And I’ll get to the cigarette smoking pterodactyl in a bit.)

No More Poverty (and a lot more Love) in Belize
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Yes, from our “more good news about Belize” files comes this nice story about two brothers and their charity working towards the eradication of poverty in Belize. And, at the risk of sounding like the cheerleading squad for Belize’s First Lady, the indefatigable Kim Simplis Barrow, this is based on another one of her good works. Ms Simplis Barrow, who is also Belize’s special Envoy for Women and Children, came up with the idea of the Belize Inspiration Centre (http://www.belizeinspirationcenter.org), which will be set up to provide services to children with disabilities and is expected to open early 2014. Now, we all know the difficulties in getting something like this off the ground, especially given the realities of a developing country such as Belize. Enter the Omidi brothers, Julian and his doctor sibling Michael, who have a charity known as No More Poverty. The brothers have kindly agreed to contribute to the Belize Inspiration Centre to ensure it gets off the ground, and we’d like to join in letting them know how grateful Belize is, as there are precious few opportunities for children with special needs.

Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), celebrating one year.
On November 25, 2013 the Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize), celebrated its one year anniversary in a grandeur manner. In truth, Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (or MSMEs, as they are commonly known) play a fundamental role in the economic and social development through income and employment generation for a wide cross section of the Belizean population. Remarkably, SBDCBelize is the first of its type to grace the CARICOM region. On October 31st, 2012, magically and wearisomely in less than a month the organization was birthed. The Government of Belize was integral in supporting the organization alongside invaluable stakeholders such as the Organization of American States, US Misson to the OAS, University of Texas at San Antonio, the Development Finance Corporation, the University of Belize, La Immaculada Credit Union, and with the helpful assistance of Ms. Julianne Buynak PeaceCorp volunteer and Ms. Diana Hernandez, Export Development Officer at BELTRAIDE. The event further reiterated BELTRAIDE’s commitment in ensuring SBDCBelize remains the counsellor/ advisor for aspiring entrepreneurs and that their success will only intensify as they venture in the promising future.

Integral Development of Entrepreneurship in Central America and Dominica Republic
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Regional Center for Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises (CENPROMYPE), with the support of the Government of Taiwan and Colombia, presented awards to the recipients of the Integral Development Program of Entrepreneurship in Central America and Dominican Republic ,on Tuesday November 26, 2013, at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. This event takes place in the framework of the implementation of the project “Integral Development Program of Entrepreneurship in Central America and Dominican Republic”, which is facilitated by CENPROMYPE in coordination with BELTRAIDE. The purpose of the project was to promote and strengthen entrepreneurship in the region with the aim of establishing, developing, and strengthening MSME’s in the entire country of Belize.

International Sources

Standard & Poor's Ratings report card for Belize
Here is the Standard & Poor's Ratings report card for Belize and see how Belize falls in comparison to other Caribbean and Latin America countries.

CARICOM Statement on Ruling of the Constitutional Court of the DR
The following is a Press Release received yesterday from the CARICOM Secretariat in ref to the Ruling of the Constitutional Court of Dominican Republic on the nationality issue which retroactively strips tens of thousands of Dominicans, mostly of Haitian descent, of citizenship rendering them stateless and with no recourse to appeal.

Transparency International’s Belize Corruption Data
The 2013 Corruption Perception Index is an annual measure of the apparent levels of public sector dishonesty in a hundred and seventy-seven countries and territories. The list scores each country on a scale from zero to a hundred, the former being highly corrupt and the latter very clean. Not surprisingly, two-thirds of all countries scored below fifty, a grave indication that corruption is a global problem. What’s astonishing is that Belize has been excluded from this year’s index, despite the number of scandals—that is, we are told, because government has not submitted any report to the organization. The only other country that has no ranking in the index is Western Sahara. The Chair of Transparency International, Huguette Labelle, has gone on record to say, (Quote) “it is time to stop those who get away with acts of corruption. The legal loopholes and lack of political will in government facilitate both domestic and cross-border corruption, and call for our intensified efforts to combat the impunity of the corrupt.” (Unquote)

International Corruption Perceptions Index 2013

Belizean Anthropologist Speaks
Joe Awe is a Belizean activist, entrepreneur, anthropologist, mayanist, tourism lecturer at a local junior college, and also one of Belize's top tour guides. I met with him over coffee last week to talk about the future of Belize and I insisted that he needed to share his knowledge and ideas on Belize to the world. The conversation led to the birth of this interview where he shares some interesting facts and ideas on Belize's history, culture, ecotourism, economy and sustainable development. Please tell me about yourself and where you were born? How has Belize changed since your youth? I was born in San Ignacio, the first of three children. Belize inevitably has changed very much since I was a child. There are more opportunities; more educational options; more infrastructural development; a robust tourism industry; the development of oil extraction, and there is also a tremendous effort in guiding the country to be more compatible with the fast-changing times to keep us competitive and relevant in the region.

3 Places To Live The American Retirement Dream Overseas
#2: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize "Walk down the street on Ambergris Caye," a friend, Peter, who lives there says, "and you hear the music of the Boomers all around--the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin... "These folks, the Baby Boomers, who have been moving onto the island in growing numbers for years," Peter continues, "had a great time in the 1960s, listening to their music, growing their hair long, and getting stoned all the time. Then they became the most boring people on the planet. They made a lot of money by ignoring everything but hard work. "Now they're looking to reclaim their lives. They're finding their way, in retirement, in bigger and bigger numbers, to places like Ambergris Caye, Belize, where they're listening to their music again, growing their hair long again, and spending their days stoned again." Peter is joking about that last bit, but the point is that Ambergris Caye has what a lot of North American retirees are looking for right now, making it another of the most turn-key and user-friendly places in the world to retire overseas.

New deal to improve Olympic coverage in the Caribbean
Philip Guishard, Secretary-General of the Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA) today commented on the recent decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to award the regional broadcasting rights to the 2016 Rio Games - to CANOC Broadcasting Inc.(CBI). CANOC Broadcasting Inc. (CBI) is a company that has been formed by the National Olympic Committees (NOCs) and Commonwealth Games Associations (CGAs) across the Caribbean to purchase, monetise and manage the broadcast rights for the Olympic Games and other sporting properties. Mr. Guishard said, “The BOA is very pleased to be a part of this venture, which has been in the making for a number of years. With previous broadcasting arrangements, Bermudians—like residents of other countries in the region—have been often been frustrated by a lack of coverage of our athletes performing on the world stage. With the IOC having awarded regional broadcasting rights to CBI, we anticipate that much more coverage of our athletes will be available for competition in Rio and in other events of the world sports stage.”

The Worst Family Vacation We Ever Had….in Belize
Fortunately at the end of our week of kayaking, we’d booked three nights at an eco lodge in the jungle. It was a small place, hard to reach and very beautiful. Swimming in a free form pool, tubing the local river, exploring Mayan caves on the hotel’s land, feeding horses star fruit, admiring beautiful flowers and dining on excellent food – all of this – revived our spirits. And after hearing stories from the owner we gained a healthy respect for the local Fer-de-lance poisonous snake.

Best of the Week - Cayo Espanto - Belize
Belize has a lot going for them – pristine beaches; premiere scuba diving (largest coral reef in Western Hemisphere, hello!); and lush rain forests – to name a few. We’re big fans. Our favorite Belizean lure, however, is the five-star private island just off Belize’s coast. If you want to pretend you are the only person on the earth who matters, and that every one else thinks so, too - you need to book a stay at Cayo Espanto. It’s not surprising they made Islands Magazine’s top ten Best Private Islands in the World list this year (among other glowing accolades). This uber luxurious boutique resort is comprised of seven sublimely decorated wooden villas. Think Swiss Family Robinson, only a million times better. The Casa Olita Beach Villa boasts a plunge pool, private deck, alfresco showers and a walled garden. Casa Manana Beach offers a 180-degree vista of the Caribbean, private plunge pool and personal dock. Oceanfront Casa Solana Beach Villa has a private infinity pool to lounge in, a private verandah, and killer sunset views. A stay in Casa Brisa Beach Villa includes a private verandah, lagoon views, a private dock and a private plunge pool.

Swimming with dolphins at Black Bird Caye
Shot with a GoPro Hero 3

In Search of the Jaguar
In Search of the Jaguar – A National Geographic Video Alan Rabinowitz, PhD is the President and CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit conservation organization devoted to protecting the world’s 36 wild cat species. Dr Rabinowitz is one of the world’s leading big cat experts, and has been called The Indiana Jones of Wildlife Conservation by TIME Magazine. His work in Belize resulted in the world’s first jaguar sanctuary, the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary. Quick Jaguar Facts The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas. The jaguar has a compact body, a broad head and powerful jaws. Its coat is normally yellow and tan, but the color can vary from reddish brown to black. The spots on the coat are more solid and black on the head and neck and become larger rosette-shaped patterns along the side and back of the body.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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Cayo Espanto
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