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#488610 - 03/26/14 06:32 AM Today's Belize News: March 26, 2014
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The San Pedro Sun

The Belize National Youth Consultation 2014 comes to San Pedro
Over the past few months, The Ministry of Education and Youth has been hosting youth consultations across Belize in an effort to not only promote but to set the foundation for the Belize National Youth Development Policy. On Friday, March 21st the countywide initiative came to San Pedro. Young leader from both San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker gathered at the San Pedro Lions Den, where they learned more about the youth policy. The event started shortly after 10:30AM with the National Anthem being sang by San Pedro’s very own choir, Heaven Voice. Clive Welsh continued with a short prayer, after which Nomar Bembridge, Manager of the Belize Youth for the Future Governance Unit, addressed the group on the importance of implementing the youth policy.

Running Rebels falls to the mighty Tigersharks in Orange Walk
The San Pedro Tigershaks basketball team picked up their fifth consecutive win in week seven of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL). On Saturday March 22nd the Tigersharks travelled to “Suga City” where they faced off the Orange Walk Running Rebels at the Orange Walk Multipurpose Sports Complex. The home team was unable to hold on to the home court advantage and in the fourth quarter of the game, fell by 13 points against the visiting team. San Pedro Town’s Michael Adams opened the scoreboard when he caught one of two foul shots awarded to him in the first five seconds of the game. But Orange Walk’s Tyron Baptist responded with a two point basket, giving the home team an early lead. The Tigershark’s veteran player Rico Black then made a stellar appearance early in the game when he caught his first shot – a three pointer, putting the game 2 to 4 in favor of the visiting boys. A few seconds after, Adams made his presence felt a second time when he caught a two pointer, adding to the lead. But the Running Rebels pressured hard and hung in the game and by the time the first quarter ended, the San Pedro Tigersharks were only leading by one point (18-17).

In the Americas, one in five people with tuberculosis is unaware of the disease
One in five people infected with tuberculosis in the Americas remains unaware of the disease, whether due to failure to access health services or because they are not properly diagnosed, according to estimates by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). In 2012, almost 220,000 cases were reported, and an estimated 19,000 people died from tuberculosis in the Americas. Furthermore, an additional 60,000 people are believed to have TB who have not yet been diagnosed or reported. This situation not only endangers their lives, it also facilitates further transmission of tuberculosis, and generates socioeconomic costs for individuals and their communities. “The diagnosis and treatment of all people affected by TB can only succeed if all health providers, community organizations, partners, and countries join forces to detect and treat these 60,000 people”, stated PAHO/WHO Director Carissa F. Etienne, referring to the “Diagnosis and Treatment for All” slogan of this year’s World TB Day commemoration. “Universal access to high-quality health services through primary health care-based health systems will help to reduce the toll of TB and to ensure that all peoples in the region of the Americas live long, productive lives”, she added.

“Deal with the Devil” wing eating competition at Lazy Croc’s a hot success!
Taking on the challenge first was local business owner, “Wade the Gringo” of Roadkill Bar. This would be the moment of truth, with six minutes on the clock and the signal to start, Wade went in on the six piece plate set out before him. In a matter of seconds Wade was through, however it was time for “the wait” that would make him the first winner if he could withstand the burn. Though uneasy and clearly very uncomfortable, a sweat drenched Wade managed not to give in and took the prize! Congratulations to Lazy Croc for a great event and to Wade the Gringo for taking on the “Deal with the Devil” and winning $1000 Grand Prize! We’d like to know what counter- offer Wade gave the devil to take this first of its kind win! All we know is that Wade will never be able to take on the challenge again-game rules!

25 Years Ago: San Pedro Islanders Loved Windy Days!
Strong breezy or windy days might cause some measures of discomfort today and for that matter they are disliked. However I can assure you that windy conditions were loved very much 25 years ago and for good reasons. The children of San Pedro especially liked those windy days because it was good business for them. The strong winds tended to blow the sand away and pile it up further down the street. At some street junctions the sand was blown off all the way to a solid hard crust. Naturally only sand was blown away; coins like nickels, dimes, quarters and half dollars or 50 cent coins remained. And here is where the children did their good business. They would try to be the first to get up on windy days and be the first to arrive at these spots to look for lost coins. As the saying goes: “The early bird catches the worm,” the children who got there early were able to collect quite a fortune considering that finding a half dollar back then would be like finding 20 dollars today. You would not like to see the fight that ensued when two kids spotted a coin simultaneously.

Ambergris Today

Eastern Division Personnel Conduct Successful Operations on Ambergris Caye
On Thursday, March 20, 2014, a team comprising of 47 personnel from Eastern Police Division, headed by Sr. Supt. Edwards Broaster descended to the island of San Pedro to conduct police operations. The team consisted of personnel from the Gang Supression Unit (GSU), including its commander Supt Linden Flowers, Special Branch, ITUnit, Anti Drug Unit, ED Quick Response Team, Belize Defense Force BDF) and Coast Guard. The team operated on the island from Thursday, March 20, 2014 to Saturday, March 22, 2014, conducting searches on premises and persons suspected to be involved in illegal activities, vehicular check points, mobile and foot patrols. A team of SB/GSU along with Coast Guard Personnel also made maritime patrols along the coast, north of San Pedro.

Letters To The Editor: Forgiveness, Justice and Peace
by Chris Emmanuel. The first day I arrived in San Pedro was the “Justice for Jeffrey – Peace Walk” ironically I counseled both Raphael and Jeffrey about anger and ego issues. No one is perfect and we all have issues. When we feel someone has wronged us it takes great strength to turn the other cheek meaning to give the opposite of what is expected – For instance, if someone gives you the gift of hate or anger to turn it into the best possible kind act – To do our best to turn away from retaliation. Truly we hope to have laws to do justice and to set an example for the young in our lives. For the last few days I did my own Walk for Peace. Ironically I had almost lost my voice being silent for most of the time. Thinking about all the harsh words I have used in San Pedro. Just with my words it struck me so hard. Also having lost two members of my family to cancer in the last year compounded my silence as I went about my day. Our lives are so precious. Both these young men had potential to do great things in life. I remember the joy on Jeffrey’s face when he had saved a man from drowning. We all need to work harder in our little San Pedro to creat and keep the paradise that is that number one island.

Misc Belizean Sources

Illegal logging activity uncovered in the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve
Community activist and leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia is reporting the discovery of an illegal logging operation in the Maya Mountain Forest Reserve. According to Maheia, he and a group including another member of the Belize Territorial Volunteers went to investigate reports that Guatemalans were engaged in the […]

SATIIM injuction application to be heard on Thursday
The application for an injunction against US Capital Energy by the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management is scheduled to be heard on Thursday in the Supreme Court. Last week SATIIM went to the Supreme Court alleging that US Capital “has been working around the clock engaging in pre-drilling activities, which […]

Preschoolers take part in Cultural Expo in Corozal town
DEVON YOUNG Reporting: Today was culture day for Preschoolers in the Corozal district. The Cultural Expo, which was held at the Central Park, was part of activities for Child Stimulation Month. It featured the children dressed in clothing relating to the Mestizo, Garinagu, Chinese, Hindu and Creole. The children also performed cultural dances depicting the […]

Deon McCaulay scores in pre-season game
Belizean football superstar Deon McCaulay has scored his first goal with his new team, the Atlanta Silverbacks. According to a story on the team’s web page, McCaulay scored the first of the team’s 3 goals late in the first half as the Silverbacks defeated the University of Birmingham-Alabama in a pre-season […]

Single engine plane crashes near Spanish Lookout
A small plane has crashed in a remote area of the Cayo district. Details are sketchy and the police department is yet to release any information, but sources say the plance crashed early this morning in an area of northern Spanish Lookout. It does not appear that anyone was hurt and […]

Four people,including two students, reported missing
Four people have been reported missing in the Cayo and Toledo districts. The Tobar family of Mafredi village, Toledo, is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a loved one. Rosa Tobar left her house in Mafredi village on Sunday afternoon around 3 pm. She did not tell her children where […]

Car and motorcycle collide on the Phillip Goldson Highway
Traffic was backed up for a brief time this morning on the Phillip Goldson Highway in Belize City because of a collision involving a car and a motorcycle. The incident happened on the highway in front of the Benny’s Apartments. The exact details of what transpired are not yet known, but […]

The Price of Beans & Corn in Belize
Corn and beans are staples in the Belizean diet…..but with the wholesale price of corn now at $30.50/100 lbs and red-kidney beans at $210/100 lbs….dinner tables across the jewel are fast seeking substitutes for these. Twenty years ago….the bulk of these commodities were produced by hundreds of small, traditional milpa farmers. The price of corn […]

Government reacts to EU fisheries ban on Belize
The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has reacted “with concern” to the news that the European Union has blacklisted Belize as a country that is not cooperating in the fight against illegal fishing. The ban on Fisheries products was announced on Monday and joining Belize on the blacklist were Cambodia […]

The Police Press Office confirms that on Monday, March 24 several students were reported missing. At 4:30p.m., Markeisha Thomas of #4 Sapodilla Street, Belmopan visited the Belmopan Police Station and reported that her 13-year-old daughter Touri Conorque, a Belizean Student did not return from school at the time she usually does. Touri Conorque is of brown complextion, has 5ft 5in in height, weighs 110lbs, slim built, has brown eyes and was last seen wearing her school uniform which is a light brown blouse and khaki brown jumper. Police are investigating. At 5:45p.m. Noemi Polanco of St. Luke Street, Belmopan City visited the Belmopan Police station and reported that at 7:00a.m. her 15-year-old daughter Ami Rosani Polanco 3rd form student of same address left en route to school and has not returned home since. Rosani Polanco is of clear complexion, 5ft in height, has short curly hair. (picture shown)

Important Invitation to all Industry Stakeholders in Corozal - The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) in collaboration with the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), is pleased to announce that Belize will be hosting the Caribbean Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Road Show this Friday March - 28th, 2014 Corozal Town commencing from 9:00 a.m. at the Corozal Community College. Stakeholders will have hardware, technological equipment and latest gadgets on display. You don't want to miss this ICT Road Show coming at your doorstep in Corozal. The ICT Road Show is a joint initiative of the MESTPU and CTU and is a part of a regional effort to foster innovative use of ICT in Caribbean countries for national and regional development. It is specifically designed to raise awareness within the public and private sectors, civil society and academia of the innovative approaches required for the effective application of ICT in government, business and social development geared at enhancing Belize’s global competitiveness.

Corozal to observe EARTH HOUR
Friends of Corozal United for Sustainability (FOCUS) in conjunction with the Corozal Town Council, other environmental groups, friends and schools proudly announce its annual event: Earth Hour to be held Saturday March 29th at 7:00 P.M. at the Corozal Central Park.

Reason to Retire in Corozal
Belize is just plain beautiful. Our "norteños' are the hardest working and friendliest people in Belize. From its Caribbean shores to its jungle interior, this nation has great natural beauty to recommend it–blue water and deserted beaches, inland retreats where jaguar and scarlet macaw still live in their natural habitats. While it’s true that Belize is not the most affordable place to buy property, this country offers economic stability, ease of living, and a cost of living that, while not dirt-cheap, is nevertheless a good value when you compare it with that of other Caribbean retreats. With its close proximity to our Mexican neighbours, Corozal offers the lowest cost of living in Belize. Easy shopping in Chetumal, MX.

St. Luke's Primary School to Receive Musical Equipment Under CAPS Project
Government of Belize Press Office

The Organization of American States in conjunction with the University of Information, Science and Technology, namely “St. Paul the Apostle” [in Ohrid, former Yugoslav Republic of macedonia] herein offer Bachelor Degree Scholarships , duration 4 years, in English. All information regarding the programs is available at www.oas.org/scholarships . The program application deadline has been established at April 30, 2014 and the scholarship application deadline at May 15, 2014.

The Mexican Authorities herein offer Bachelor Degree Scholarships in the fields of (1) Public Administration and Policy and (2) International Relations for the academic period 2014 to 2018 at the El Colegio de Mexico. The application deadline has been established at May 2, 2014.

If you think you are the candidate we are looking for please fill the form below and send it to pmucdbgobz@gmail.com by March 28, 2014 or send to the Road Safety Project Management Unit with attention to Ms. Jewel Crawford, Director, Department of Youth Services before the mentioned deadline.

Government of Belize Press Office

Rescue Swimmer Class Belize
Fire Management Consultant International and Robert's Grove Beach Resort Presenting Ocean Rescue Swimmer Class This course will cover basic water rescue skills needed for Surface Water Rescue and Surf Rescue requirements. Motorized Rescue Boat Training will also be conducted to improve boat handling skills in the surf and open water. Class will include information on the aquatic environment, a thorough explanation of the drowning process, how to perform a rescue in the open water environment, use of basic and advanced rescue equipment, medical care of injuries specific to the aquatic environment, search and rescue procedures. May 20, 21, 22 Class starts at 08:00

Revolution Artistry Makeup Class
Revolution Artistry had a Makeup Class at the SISE House of Culture. In related news, they'll be at the Cayo Welcome Center this Saturday, and have Katrina Cosmetics on sale. "San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture hosting a Revolution Artistry session."

March Out Youth Rally
The March Out Youth Rally will be at the Cayo Welcome Center this Saturday, March 29th, starting at 6:00pm. They have a nice promo video for it. David Smith, Bethany Ann, Kudzae, and Mission 3:16 will all be performing. "LISTEN UP! For those of you who would like to go the Rally but don't have a way to be there, We will be providing transportation in the form of a bus leaving the Belmopan Market square at 5PM SHARP this saturday! It will be at a cost of $3 one-way and $5 Round-trip! Doesn't get any better than that! All road's lead to cayo - there's no excuse! SEE YOU THERE!!!"

Tanya Carter Cayo Concert
Tanya Carter is going to have a concert in Benque this Saturday, March 29th, at Club Onyx. You can get tickets at Masabaduga restaurant at the Cayo Welcome Center. "Just around the corner for the first time in the west people, Belize's very own Tanya Carter performing live in Club Onyx (formerly los angeles in Benque). This the bigest event ever!! Tickets now on sale at the Masabaduga Restaurant in the welcome center or call 600-4057. Dis event wah TUN OVA!"

Natural Resource Management Symposium
The 8th annual Natural Resource Management Symposium is tomorrow, March 26th, at UB's Jaguar auditorium. This year's keynote speaker will be Jenelle Chanona. The theme is, 'multidisciplinary strategies to achieving sustainable socio-economic development in Belize through effective natural resource management.'

Da Dun Fine Art
19th Da Dun Exhibition

Power interruption 8:00am to 12:00noon on Wednesday, March 26, Stann Creek: entire Hopkins Village and Sittee Point. BEL to replace utility poles carrying high voltage lines at Sittee Point and adjust high voltage lines on Hopkins Road.

Emergency power interruption 9:00am to 12:00noon on Wednesday, March 26: the entire Northern portion of San Pedro Town from Boca del Rio onwards. BEL to conduct urgent repairs of hot spots at San Pedro Substation.

SI United Tie Freedom Fighters
The San Ignacio United tied the PG Freedom Fighters, 0-0. "Picture gallery of our home match against PG. 23-3-14"

UB's Mar/Apr Newsletter
The University of Belize has another issue of their e-magazine out. "UB Black Jaguars win in Basketball, Environmental Research Institute gets new building and other stories."

St. Luke's Primary School to Receive Musical Equipment Under CAPS Project
Government of Belize Press Office

Lifeline is hosting its annual Black and White Gala on Friday, March 28th in #Belize City
Lifeline Black and White Gala is this Friday 28th March, 2014 at the House of Culture. “Lifeline Foundation” is a philanthropic charity trust geared towards raising money to benefit children at schools and orphanages who are in dire need of assistance in the form of feeding programs, medical care, and educational materials. “Lifeline Foundation” is committed to carrying out positive and impacting projects to help improve the quality of lives of our precious Belizean children.

Video: Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington fires a broadside into the PUP center

Video: Go Pro Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013

Video: Belize GRAIN GROWERS Association
This commercial was Recorded and Produced by SHAMAX Production Packages are available to suit your budget. Packages: Category 1 -(3D, Special Effects, Actors etc.) *Category 2 -(Acting, Special effects etc.)

Video: PINE LUMBER Company - Products
This commercial was Recorded and Produced by SHAMAX Production

Video: Day One of Two Day Budget Debate 2014
8.5 minutes

Video: Day 2 of budget debate

Video: iDive Belize Turneffe Atoll Series
ALL IN A DAYS WORK- Three Dives, What You See is What You Get. NO STOCK IMAGES- All marine life images were obtained on this single day trip based from Blackbird Caye within The Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve.

Video: Belize-half moon
17minutes. Using go pro for the first time with a red lens cover,work great in about 60ft of water...... viz over 100ft

Video: Sunset Sailing Cruise E-Z Boy Tours Caye Caulker, Belize
Enjoying a Sunset/Booze Sailing Cruise tour around the island of Caye Caulker, Belize on board the 'Inri' sailboat of E-Z Boy Tours.

Video: Go Pro Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013
5 minutes

Channel 7

Mystery Plane Burnt Up West Of Spanish Lookout
Tonight police and Civil Aviation Authorities are trying to determine the origins and destination of a mystery plane that had a crash landing west of Spanish Lookout early this morning in an area known as Green Hills. Police have confirmed that the plane, believed to be a Cessna 210 single engine crash landed on an abandoned road two and a half miles from the Guatemalan border. It is believed to have attempted a landing on the dirt road, and then ran off the road. After that, the occupants are believed to have deliberately set it on fire and then fled. There are no signs that anyone was seriously hurt. But really there are no signs of anything! There are also no identifiable marks on the plane, no cargo, no id's, no nothing, because it was completely destroyed by fire - save for the tail section. Because of the fact that it was attempting to land in the pre-dawn hours, and that it was deliberately destroyed, the suspicion is that it was a drug plane, and the illicit cargo was removed.

House Speaker Scolds Representatives for Lightweight Debate
At this hour, the budget debate is deep into its second day at the House of Representatives in Belmopan. Only 13 of the 31 members spoke yesterday, and so far today, 14 more have spoken - bringing the total to 27 of 31. Elvin Penner didn't show up, and Michael Finnegan is not expected to speak, so there are two representatives left to go. So, the debate will rage into the night, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow will wind it up, probably around 7:30 or 7:45 pm. But, while this year's debate is lengthy, many observers have commented that it lacks substance, and has disintegrated to little more than unenlightened name-calling, endless self-aggrandizement, silly catch phrases and wide, elliptical digressions.

Hon. Ramirez Uses An Ugly Word On The UDP
That was this morning. But by the early afternoon, after a marathon one hour thirty-eight minute presentation from Pickstock Representative Wilfred Elrington, the PUP's Ramiro Ramirez weighed in. But when members on the UDP bench started to snipe at him under the microphone - he called one of them a "punk" - which enraged the Speaker again - here's that exchange:.. Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "You want to talk to me? Why don't you shut up, that is your puppet, why don't you shut up. I was waiting for you, but you were a coward." Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House "Member, make your presentation. Minister let him make his presentation." Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "He is a big mouth man." Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Speaker of the House "Don't say that man." Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "Let us continue."

"The Noodles Budget"? Really?
And one recurring theme in the lightweight debate of 2014, is noodles, Ramen Noodles to be exact. At a GST-free 50 cents per pack, it's poor people's food - and Belizeans consume 960 thousand single packs of Ramen per month. That prompted the Leader of The Opposition in his official response to called it a "noodles-budget". He did so yesterday with an extended commentary, the after effects of which were still being felt today:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Noodles budget; more and more Belizean families forced on to a steady diet of ramens, a steady diet of noodles and you can pick your flavor. You know on the street Mr. Speaker every flavor got a minister name, on the street everyone got a name; chicken is after the honorable member for Port Loyola. Chicken is Boots. Beef is the honorable member for Cayo Central and of course Mr. Speaker the big boss is given the privilege of having the name for Shrimp." Hon. Mark King, Lake Independence "Well Mr. Speaker I can tell him: I don't know where he grew up, but I grew up eating corn beef, I still eat sausage, sardine and damn right I eat noodles with my kids every single day."

The Stones That The Leader Refused Are King's Cornerstones
Another subject of debate was the manual labour driven infrastructure projects implemented by the UDP as a means of job creation. The Leader of the Opposition called it a "bruk-stone" job creation, which the representative of one of the poorest areas embraced:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "The UDP jobs plan Mr. Speaker is to send you to break stone on street." Hon. Mark King, Lake Independence "Well my goodness Mr. Speaker I can tell you in Lake Independence men are not playing to break stones. Mr. Speaker, when the young men and women in this country are out there breaking stones and sweating to take home a salary every week to feed their families, I encourage them to break more stones."

GOB Balks At Fisheries Ban
As we told you last night, the European Union has enacted a fisheries ban on Belize, along with Cambodia and Guinea. The Europeans say Belize is a 'non-cooperating third country' in the fight against illegal fishing. This comes after the Government nationalized Immarbe, which is the ships register, and passed a new High Seas Fishing Act. But it wasn't enough, and the Europeans enacted the ban. Well today Government issued an indignant, huffy press release basically saying, they "can't believe the Europeans did that!" The release says quote, "Belize has taken all necessary steps required by the E.U's Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing." End quote. And, so the government concludes that the EU Council is using outdated information and not taking into account of the measures adopted by Belize within the last six months - even though EU Officials visited in January. That includes a two hundred thousand US dollar contract with a South African Company to monitor Belize flagged vessels.

Man Shot In Ladyville Lay in Bush For Hours
Yesterday we told you about a shooting in Ladyville that happened right up the street from the police station. Reports are that the shooting took place at around 6:30 yesterday morning through a picado road that leads to the Japan area of the village. Corey Usher and another man were riding on bicycles when they were followed and attacked by a gunman. They tried to escape but Usher was shot multiple times - twice to the back and once to the leg. HE lay helpless for over 8 hours fighting to survive in the bushes. He was found at around 3 yesterday afternoon and was rushed to the KHMH emergency. Today his sister spoke with the media about his condition. Voice of: Sister of Corey Usher "He is doing well. He has lost a lot of blood because he got shot from 6am and they found him at 3pm. He was lying in the bushes for 9 hours, he ran far for his life. So right now he is doing okay. He is waiting for an x-ray to see of he needs to get surgery because one of the bullets supposed to graze his spine."

Police Move On "Weedists" After Shooting
And following up on that wild Sunday shootout in Ladyville….it happened on Pigeon Street, where bullets rang out and penetrated the homes of unsuspecting residents. Police immediately went on a round up operation and busted 6 men with drugs. A team of officers from Ladyville went searching in the area immediate after shooting, and they decided to visit a house nearby. According to the officers, 41 year-old John Fuller Sr, 26 year-old Errol Andrews, 27 year-old Reuben Depaz, 32 year-old Sanjay Rudon, 39 year Alfred Smith, and a 16 year-old minor were all in the house at the time. Well, it seems that the men realized that police were coming to conduct a raid, and one of them tried to throw a bag of weed into the backyard. The only problem was that in his haste, the man stoned one of the police officers in the face with the drugs. He didn't realize that the officers had surrounded the house.

He Tried To Bribe Broaster
Whenever we report on cases of bribery making its way to the court, it's always the police officers who end up in court, accused of extorting members of the public. But tonight, we report on 2 men who tried to bribe Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, but failed. They are 28 year-old Argyle Jex and 30 year-old Luis Cal, and they tried to bribe Broaster with $100. It happened this weekend where the two tour guides were detained in the Caye Caulker Police Station on suspicion of drug possession. They got tired of that, and they offered Broaster $100 if he agreed to release them. Well, Broaster refused the money and made sure to note what they had attempted to do. For their bribery attempt, they were both charged with attempting to corrupt a public officer. They were arraigned this evening before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, where they pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Commuter Gets Whiplash On Swerving Bus
If you are a daily bus commuter, our next story will come as no surprise to you. It's about a woman who was injured while travelling on a city bus this morning. Maurine Williams told us she was on a Faber Road bus heading to work around 8 this morning, when another bus tried overtaking the one she was on. The driver of her bus almost collided into a third bus that was in front of them - and so to avoid that accident, the bus driver had to swerve violently, causing the woman to almost fly through the front door of the bus. Luckily for her, that didn't happen but she had to check herself in at the KHMH after she began experiencing neck pain. After her x-ray was completed, she was informed that her neck will need to be kept in a neck brace. She is outraged at what happened and decided to bring her story to the media. Maurine Williams - Injured on a City Bus "This morning I was going to school roughly about I would say 7:45 to 8:50 something like that. On Albert Street I took the bus the Faber's Road bus, a blue bus, got on the bus and while going towards the double entrance to like Barrow Law firm area they blue Faber's Road bus was going through that route and then another white bus running Caesar Ridge route boycott. When it boycott, the blue Faber's Road bus had to go to a halt right away and when that happen I was getting up to sit in the front seat to pay because I had a $20 and I didn't want to wait for my change while the bus stop. The same time the bus went to a halt because there would have been an incident or accident. So then I was stumbling from one side to the next and the bus conductor tried to hold me back. I was left scared and then I sat back in my seat and the next two buses were already in front racing. I started to look at it and say look how easy I could have fell out of this bus and just die. The conductor and the driver look at back at me and said sorry."

Hon. King To Hon. Espat: Love Thy Neighbor
As we reported last night, PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat's home was burglarised on Sunday morning. He reported to police that the thieves stole two laptop computers, and he reported to the media that they also stole the budget debate presentation which he delivered in the House half an hour ago. In speaking with us yesterday, he adverted to the fact that the UDP's Mark King is his neighbor at the corner of Seashore Drive and Indpendence Street in the Buttonwood Bay area, inferring that the Honourable King might know something about the break-in. King told us yesterday that he knew nothing of it, and today he told the House of Representatives that even with that ugly suggestion from Espat, he still loves his neighbor, and is helping police to catch thief:... Hon. Mark King, Lake Independence "First Mr. Speaker let me go to my good friend Jules Vasquez and the member from Cayo South who so rightly pronounce on national TV. He is my good neighbor the member from Cayo South Mr. Speaker and I said no comments because I got an email from the police last night and I was about to assist them with video see if we can try to retrieve his laptop, but it always says that God says to be good to your neighbor and I try to be very nice to him today I won't steal from him the way he steals the judges house and the Prime Minister explained that many times to him.

Hon. Elrington Castigates Workers For Industrial Action
The debate on the billion dollar budget is winding up at this hour - but as we told you at the top - most of the debating has had little to do with numbers, and much to do with a whole bunch of other stuff, from noodles to George Price. Opening up today's session was Wilfred Elrington, who had the longest presentation at one hour and forty minutes. He spoke on a whole host of issues, including the state of striking workers. He discussed the 13 Bowen and Bowen employees who staged a sick out, the teacher's union who took days off for rallies, and the gang of stevedores who staged a 12 hour strike because they didn't like the food the Port of Belize had gotten for them. Elrington didn't mince words:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Pickstock "But I am sounding the warning to all our workers that you have to produce and you cannot just not come to work and say you are not going to work because you are upset. You see what the people at Bowen and Bowen has done at Bowen and Bowen; poor workers misguided by their leadership decided that they are going to stay at home to study some proposals that the management gave them. When they went back the following day there was no job. That is how the private sector works. It is only in government that you can stop work every week and still go collect your salary - it doesn't happen in the private sector and it can't continue to happen because if you are not generating you can't pay. People can only pay if you are generating."

Hon. Ramirez In A Rage
The PUP's Representative for Corozal Southwest Ramiro Ramirez didn't have a whole lot to discuss on the budget, and that's because he says his division didn't get anything. That led him to dramatically slam the budget book on the table:.. Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, Corozal Southwest "Three years from now, three budgets, on this book they talk about billions - nothing for Southwest. I came here to talk for my people. My people deserve better things that they have here."

Did Green Tropics Cause Major Losses to Farmers?
Tonight, an inter-agency group of government professionals continue to investigate a situation in Valley of Peace where 30 small farmers are accusing Green Tropics, of putting their livelihoods at risk. These vegetable farmers who supply the Cayo District claim that on Saturday, March 15, Crop Dusters from Green Tropics began spreading herbicide in the area, and some of their chemicals damaged 150 to 200 acres of vegetables belonging to the farmers. They are reporting that 80% of their crops in that area have been poisoned, and are dying from chemical burns, which they blame on Green Tropics. The Ministry of Agriculture has since gone in to assess the situation and they is estimating that the herbicides have destroyed at least 150 thousand dollars' worth of produce, and there is the concern that the chemicals will taint the rest of the crops.

Hon. Elrington Challenges Rt. Hon. Price's Record
Yesterday in his response to the budget, former Prime Minister said Musa went way back in history to say - almost in passing - that the UDP was opposed to independence. Well, what did he say that for? Today, Wilfred Elrington put on his N-I-P hat, pulled out all the relevant literature, and gave the PUP a history lesson. But when he got to the long held NIP - slash - UDP belief that George Price was trying to sell out Belize to Guatemala, that's when the current PUP leader bolted out of his seat. Here's how that went:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Pickstock "In 1957/58 when Price went to the United Kingdom to try to get monies for Belize, he had a secret meeting with the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, a man named Granados. And the proposal was that Granados would give us money and he would call Belize to enter into some associate with Belize." Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Point of order Mr. Speaker. It's an absolute disgrace for the Minister of Foreign Affairs of this country to get up in the National Assembly of Belize and try to diminish the legacy of the greatest patriot to ever serve this country George Price. You should be ashamed of yourself."

The Rum More Travelled
Since 1953, Travellers Liquors has been making rum, but since 1996, they've been entering international tournaments to increase their international profile. With an impressive list of awards all the way up to earlier this month, the company today invited the media to its headquarters to discuss them: Again, it was Travellers Classic White Rum which was awarded a gold medal at the competition held by theFiftyBest.com on March 10.

Karate Competitors
And while Travellers went out 2 weeks ago to compete, the House of Shotokan Karate Academy students went to Chetumal to compete in the Blackbelt League (NBL) Karate Championships, which was held on Saturday. These 7 students brought back a total of 15 trophies and their sensei spoke with 7News today about the accomplishment: The House of Shotokan Karate Students will now start to prepare for the upcoming Cancun World Karate Championships to be held on May 2014.

High School Girl Still Missing
The family of 15 year old high schooler Noemi Polanco needs your help in finding her. Yesterday evening, the family of St. Luke Street, Belmopan City reported that at 7:00p.m. on Monday, her 15-year-old daughter Ami Rosani Polanco 3rd form student of same address left en route to school and has not returned home since. Rosani Polanco is of clear complexion, 5ft in height, has short curly hair. Police are investigating.

#488611 - 03/26/14 06:32 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 26, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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Remnants of a suspected drug plane found in Spanish lookout
There is a report tonight that a small single engine plane has crashed in the Spanish Lookout area. Details have been slow in coming in but police confirm that the [...]

Crops destroyed in Valley of Peace by Green Tropics and farmers want compensation
Aerial sparing carried by the Spanish company, Green Tropics, has caused the destruction of about a million dollars in crop in thirty-two farms in the Valley of Peace area. As [...]

Day two of the budget debate
As we bring you the news tonight, the Budget Debate is still raging in the sacred chambers of the National Assembly in Belmopan. All members of parliament from both sides [...]

Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington fires a broadside into the P.U.P. center
In theory, the purpose of the two-day session currently in the House of Representatives is to debate the 2014 – 2015 Budget. But in fact, after twelve speakers from both [...]

Mark King responds to Julius Espat
On Sunday unknown persons entered the home of P.U.P. Area Representative for Cayo South Julius Espat, in Belize City. Espat told News Five on Monday that despite the presence of [...]

Are you better informed of the budget after two days of debate?
And our question for tonight is: After two days of debate are you better informed of the budget? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or [...]

Guatemalan truck carrying contraband goods from Western Free Zone shot at by military
News Five has received multiple reports of an incident at the Western Border several weeks ago. According to credible sources, contraband operators in two trucks coming from Benque Viejo del [...]

EU blacklists Belize from international fisheries
On Monday, the Council of the European Union formally imposed a sanction on Belize, as well as two other countries, for failure to comply with international regulations in the fight [...]

Flitches of mahogany found in Maya Mountain Forest Reserve
Last week, our friends at PGTV reported that a container of rosewood was detected near Trio Village and taken to Big Falls Port ready to be exported. While there is [...]

2 San Pedro tour guides charged for attempting to corrupt a police officer
Two San Pedro men are in trouble with the law tonight. Twenty-eight year old Arglye Jex, a tour guide of Coral Street in San Pedro and thirty-three year old Lewis Caal, [...]

6 men including a minor busted in Ladyville for drug trafficking
A group of six, comprising five adults and a sixteen year old minor, was back in court today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for drug trafficking after police found about four [...]

Errol Andrews claims they were brutalized by cops
When they were leaving the court today several of the men were bandaged and were limping or suffering from injuries they allegedly sustained at the hands of police. Before departing [...]

Shooting victim from Ladyville clings to life
Corey McKay of Ladyville remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in critical condition following a shooting on Monday morning in the Bobo Hill area of the village. McKay [...]

P.U.P. writes National Security Minister on amendment to Firearms Act
The issue did not make it in the Minister’s presentation during the budget debate, but today the People’s United Party wrote Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, for an update [...]

Who is Khalid Belisle?
As we’ve told you, most of the budget debate never touched on the budget, but there was plenty of entertainment. On the opposition side, there was a lot of ‘call [...]

2014 Preschool Festival of Arts
The 2014 preschool festival of arts opened on Monday at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Hundreds of preschoolers from Belize District are performing in dance, music and drama [...]

A traditional Mayan wedding inspires cultural tourism in the north
The Santa Rita Monument stands proudly at the northern entrance of Corozal Town. Once a thriving trading center for the Mayas, it has now been transformed and restored into a [...]


Motorcycle Ignores Indicator and Collides with Vehicle
A man received minor injuries after he was involved in a traffic accident that included a motorcycle. It happened near mile three on the Philip Goldson Highway. When we arrived on the scene we observed a silver Nissan car with damages to the front right portion and a white a burgundy motorcycle. Both drivers were heading into Belize City. The driver of the car told us off camera that when she arrived on Mile 3 she put on their signal to indicate that she would be making a left turn. However the driver of the motorcycle, who, according to eyewitnesses, was coming with great speed, did not pay attention to the signal and attempted to overtake the car. That is when the car hit the motorcycle flinging the driver some 30 feet away. Fortunately no serious injuries were recorded and police are investigating.

Government Responds to EU’s Decision to Ban Fish Imports
Over the weekend, Love News ran the story of the EU’s decision to ban its member states from importing fish from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea and to ensure that the union’s fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these countries. It comes as a surprise to many as the media has been reporting on several measures being taken by the Government to ensure this decision was not taken but the fact remains that it has been taken and today, the Government of Belize, through its Press Office issued a release stating that they have noted with concern, the decision and that they firmly believe there was absolutely no justification for this action as Belize has taken all necessary steps required by the E.U’s Directorate General of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE) to eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The release goes on to say that the EU’s decision was made based on information that is outdated and that no credit or consideration has been given to the measures that Belize has adopted over the last six months in an effort to strengthen its high seas fishing regime. In October 2013, Belize enacted a new and robust High Seas Fishing Act which came into effect on November 8, 2013. The Act was supplemented by the Sanctions Regulations and the Licensing Regulations, both of which came into force on March 12, 2014. These regulations which prescribe stringent penalties for violations of this Act would make the High Seas Fishing Act fully operational – a key demand of the EU. In addition, Belize has signed a contract with a South African Company, Capricorn Fisheries Monitoring, to provide On Sea Observer services for Belize flagged vessels, at a cost of about US$200,000 for the first year. This program takes effect from April 1, 2014. In addition to the above measures, Belize has also prepared monitoring and surveillance regulations, as well as a national plan of action, to eliminate IUU fishing.

Opposition Party Writes to Security Minister on Amendments of Gun Laws
Forty two days ago the main opposition party, the People’s United Party had submitted a letter to the Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar enclosing a list of proposed amendments to the Firearms and Crime Control and Criminal Justice Acts. The letter, dated February 12, 2014 was drafted and sent to Saldivar on the heels of the Gino Peck case which had ignited much controversy among the public, leading to the demand of the revision of the laws pertaining to firearms and bail. Well, according to a copy of a letter that we received today, the People’s United Party wrote again to Minister Saldivar requesting an update on the status of not only a response to the amendments proposed by the PUP but perhaps more importantly, on the series of public consultations and revision of the relevant laws.

Joint Operation Yields Six Arrests For Drug Trafficking
Six persons, one of them a 17 year old boy, were arraigned on a charge of drug trafficking when they appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. The adults were 27-year-old, Ruben Depaz, 32 year old Sanjay Rudon, 39 year old Alfred smith, 26 year old Errol Andrews and 41 year old John Fuller. Fuller, who was evidently in pain and Andrews, who bore bruises to his right thigh, both claimed that they were beaten by the police. When asked by Magistrate Cayetano if they knew the officers who beat them, Andrews and Fuller said that they could not see their faces because they were made to lay face down before they were beaten. Magistrate Cayetano allowed them to sit while they were being arraigned because of their injuries. They all pled not guilty to the charge. They were released on bail of $5,000 each. Their case was adjourned until May 20. The bust occurred shortly before 8 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, at a residence in Ladyville. Police from Ladyville and police from Belize City, in a joint operation, went to the residence and surrounded it. The police reported that when the occupants of the house saw them, one of them threw a black plastic bag to the back of the yard in an attempt to get it over the fence. According to the police, the bag landed on one of the officers. The police retrieved the bag and when they opened it they found that it contained cannabis. The cannabis amounted to 104.5 grams. As a result, all the occupants were arrested and charged.

Dangriga’s Area Rep Says PM Uses Pretty Words in Budget to Fool Belizeans
One of the more sober presentations came from the representative from Dangriga Ivan Ramos. He spoke of the need for representatives to set a good example for the young people. Ramos said this budget like those before has been cited as being the best budget yet. HON. IVAN RAMOS “Our economic performance – these are important indicators about the direction that the Government is prepared to take this nation. Like the other budgets introduced in 2012/2013, 2013/2014 – the Prime Minister characterized the 2014/2015 budget as the best budget ever; then, in my view, it is the best budget and I have heard that being repeated over the past two years, there should be milestones, there should be significant areas where the people can say yes, it will make a difference in the lives of the people. Mr. Speaker, we cannot say this, even after I have gone through the budget and the budget now exceeds one billion dollars to be spent in this country. This sounds pretty if you listen to the Prime Minister over and over again because he characterized it and put it in words hoping to fool the Belizean people but the facts are stubborn, Mr. Speaker, about the performance of this economy under this Government. It is simply not growing.”

Area Rep Says Nothing in Budget Is For Corozal Southwest
Area representative for Corozal South West Ramiro Ramirez used his presentation to lament the lack of work within his area. He listed requests he has made to central government seeking assistance. HON. RAMIRO RAMIREZ “The problem here with this budget, they’re talking about billions but nothing is for Corozal Southwest. I could recall, my speech on the 13th July, 2012, I asked for a police station in Libertad – nothing is done; road from Libertad to Buena Vista – nothing is done; a water reservoir for Concepcion – nothing is done; San Victor road – thanks to the cane farmers, a company measure for sugar, the road has started; it’s not done yet but thank you to the cane farmers. Again, in Louisville, I asked for a water reservoir – nothing is done; San Narciso – electricity for San Narciso and San Roman – nothing is done; a community centre for Santa Clara – nothing is done. Three years ago; three budgets – in this book they talk about billions but nothing for Southwest.”

Vital Statistics Upgrading to Digital System
Elrington said in this new budget it will see the appointment of an Ambassador to Venezuela and upcoming changes at the Vital Statistics unit which should ensure better service. HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON “It is a matter that has been causing the Government of Belize great pain as well as the public of Belize because the entire system is a system that is outmoded, Mr. Speaker; many of our systems in Belize are outmoded; we are trying to put old rind into new rind skins. Anybody who knows the Bible will tell you from the days of Moses, you know that will not work; you have to find new institutions and new mechanisms if you are in fact to satisfy the needs of the present society and so, at the Vital Statistics Unit, we are transforming the whole thing, we are digitizing the whole system and I can assure you, Mr. Speaker and I can assure my friend on the other side that within the next sixty days we will have the entire system so digitized that the people from PG won’t have to come to Belize City to get their wedding certificate or their birth certificate or death certificate. You will simply have to go to the main district/town, make your application for it and in many cases you will be able to get it either the same day or the next day because it is being digitized.”

Elrington Discredits George Price in National Assembly
The debate of the 2014/2015 budget entitled “Bettering people, building Belize – a budget for all” wrapped up a short while ago in Belmopan. The first presenter was Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington who began his intervention by responding to comments made by the area representative for Fort George Said Musa. Elrington said the comments were a misrepresentation of Belize’s history. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca rose on a point of order accusing Elrington of trying to rewrite history and diminish George Price’s legacy. HON. WILFRED ELRINGTON “There was nobody in Belize who wanted independence in the manner in which George Price was advocating for it because nobody trust him and if you think, Mr. Speaker, that I am not telling the truth, I will refer you to this book written by Godfrey P. Smith, we all know who is Godfrey P. Smith. Let me invite you, Mr. Speaker, and I have it here, to turn to page 237, it says, ‘order was restored ultimately after the dispute, after the shutdown but Price was disappointed because he had wanted the Belizean people to move forward to independence unified instead of being deeply divided on the issue. He knew that the reaction to the Heads of Agreement stemmed from the distrust that a large segment of the population held of him which was partly as a consequence of his own actions and the perception that he nursed as a secret ambition to Latinize the country.’


National Budget Debate Continued on Day Two
Day two of the budget debate was held today at the National Assembly Building. Speakers on both sides of the house continued arguments for and against the Proposed Budget for 2014/2015. We’ll take a look at some of those arguments. Hon. Wilfred Elrington- Attorney General and Area Representative for...

Government Reacts to EU’s Banning on Belizean Fish
Yesterday, we reported on the EU’s decision to blacklist Belizean fish products from being imported in its countries. The EU says that Belize, along with Cambodia and Guinea, is a ‘non-cooperating third country’ in the fight against illegal fishing. The Belizean Government has responded to the bann saying, “The Government...

Sought Alleged Murderer of Earl Baizar Hands Himself to the Police
27 yr Gabino Garnett Jr. handed himself to San Ignacio police yesterday. Garnett was being sought by police for questioning in relation to the murder of 19 year old Earl Baizar. Baizar was stabbed and killed in San Ignacio Town on March 8th 2014, sometime after midnight. According to...


Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt, 21, a student and star player on Galen University’s basketball team and a resident of the Kontiki area of San Ignacio, appeared before San Ignacio Magistrate Nardia Morgan, who arraigned him on one count of murder today, Monday, for causing the unlawful death of Kayla Burgess, 24, on Thursday, March 20. When Magistrate Morgan read the charge to him and asked him if he understood what she had just read, Garbutt, appearing perplexed, answered, “No, I don’t understand.” Morgan then explained to him what the murder charge meant and that he did not have to enter a plea, because, she explained, “this court will only hold a preliminary inquiry. You will not be tried here.” Garbutt told the magistrate that he had given a confession statement to police on Friday, because he “never had a chance to speak to an attorney.” Following the formalities of the arraignment, Morgan remanded him to the Belize Central Prison, until his next court appearance on June 24.

The Pasqual family of Dangriga is mourning the death of two of their family members who died less than 24 hours apart. Tanya, 38, died 6:30 Friday morning at the Dangriga Hospital after being ill, and her father, retired BDF soldier Warrant Officer Class 2, Henry Pasqual, 66, was knocked down and killed at about Mile 2 on the Valley Road early Saturday morning, at about 4:30, while riding his bicycle in the area of the Bowen and Bowen Distributors on his way to Pomona from Dangriga. Henry Pasqual was doing his regular early morning exercise when Courtney Campbell, 67, who was driving his vehicle from Pomona to Dangriga, lost control and slammed into him. Pasqual suffered massive head and body injuries and was declared dead on the scene. He has joined his daughter at the morgue, awaiting a post-mortem to certify the cause of death.

The former Corozal beauty contestant, Aracely Cahueque, 21, who was charged with three counts of abetment to commit murder for the gruesome October 2010 killing of Raylene Dyer, walked away from the indictments this morning after Justice Dennis Hannomansingh instructed the 9-member jury in his Belmopan Supreme Court to return formal not guilty verdicts, abruptly ending the trial, which had 16 more prosecution witnesses. Cahueque is now the fourth and final person accused of involvement in eighteen-year-old Raylene Dyer’s heinous murder to be acquitted. Her head had been cut off and her body dumped in a river, never to be found. The acquittal verdict so inflamed Raylene’s relatives that a fight between broke out outside the court between the women from her family and women from Aracely’s family. Police and others who knew the families had to intervene to restore order. Earlier this month, the three men accused of the brutal execution – Jason Anderson, Darren Banner and Brandon Budna – walked from the murder indictment due to bungled police investigative methods.

A 28-year-old man of Corozal, known only as “Daniel,” has been taken to the Corozal Magistrate Court on charges of trespassing, attempted unnatural act and aggravated assault of an indecent nature in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court. In court today, however, the family of the victim told the court that they wanted no further action against Daniel, and the Magistrate withdrew the charges against him and he walked out of court a free man. Police say that at about 7:30 Saturday night, a 14-year-old boy of Corozal was at home alone when a man known to him as “Daniel” entered the house, took off his pants and showed the boy his private parts. Daniel reportedly advanced towards the boy and told him, “You like boys, right?” The minor, according to what he told police, answered, “No”.

Opposition says “noodles budget” reflects “ugly reality”
In less than 30 minutes, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca delivered what Belmopan area representative and Minister of National Security John Saldivar said must have been the shortest reply ever to the national budget presentation made on Friday, March 7, but while Fonseca’s response may have been short on words, it was long on punches. “The budget for fiscal year 2014-2015 is what many describe as a ‘noodles budget,’” said Opposition Leader Fonseca, the People’s United Party’s representative for Freetown. Saldivar said that, to the contrary, this is “another wonderful budget for yet another wonderful year to come…” – quite a different picture from that painted by Fonseca, who said that “The Belizean people’s reality is ugly bad!” Under the government of the ruling United Democratic Party, more and more people line up at the ruling party’s area reps’ offices for handouts – help to buy groceries and pay their bills, the Opposition Leader commented.

EU fisheries sanctions against Belize begin
The European Commission (EC) announced out of Brussels, Belgium, today that it has moved to take concrete, historic action against Belize and two other countries: Cambodia and Guinea-Conakry, for alleged illegal fishing, by imposing new trade sanctions against them – this on the claim that these three countries have been “acting insufficiently against illegal fishing” on the high seas. It is the first time that such measures are being adopted at this level of the EU—an economic and political partnership between 28 European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom. “Today’s decision by the Council means that fisheries products caught by vessels flying these countries’ flags are now banned from being imported into the EU,” it said. Apart from banning EU vessels from fishing in the waters of the blacklisted countries, it also said that “Other forms of cooperation, such as joint fishing operations or fisheries agreements with these countries will no longer be possible.”

If the attorney, one-time PUP politician, and online columnist, Godfrey Smith, wished to throw bouquets at Sir Manuel Esquivel, Belize’s two-term Prime Minister, then this was Mr. Smith’s eminent right as a citizen of Belize and a player in our public affairs. And, so he did last week in his online “Flashpoint” column, which was published in the weekend issue of The Belize Times, the official newspaper of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). Mr. Smith described Sir Manuel as “the United Democratic Party’s only statesman – living or dead,” “the elder statesman of the UDP,” and referred to his government leadership as “marked by personal integrity, fiscal discipline that restored the financial health of the economy and a clear-headed attempt to drum up foreign investment.” Well, this was definitely not the broadcast political opinion of the PUP during the years when Mr. Smith was the party’s General Secretary, which was before he became the PUP’s Pickstock constituency candidate in 2002. But, such discrepancies in Godfrey’s last two decades constitute an aside.

Looking back, I can recollect that it was Mr. Wilhelm Arnold who pushed for us to become an organization in early February of 1969. In fact, he took us to his farm at Mile 26 on the Old Northern Road, and there a cultural organization called the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) was formed. Mr. Arnold was one of Belize’s most successful black capitalists, and it is for sure that he had a specific direction in which he wanted the new organization to go. But the organization soon began to be influenced by the young socialist attorneys, Assad Shoman and Said Musa, especially after Lionel Clarke left permanently for New York City and yours truly became the president. This was not at all to Mr. Arnold’s liking, so he departed the scene. By early 1973, UBAD was four years old and had become a political party, in August of 1970. UBAD had been tested and proven worthy in three separate Supreme Court trials involving its leadership, several Magistrate Court’s trials, and various demonstrations and public encounters with the forces of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). In addition, the UBAD Party had contested the December 1971 Belize City Council election as a coalition partner of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Philip Goldson’s National Independence Party (NIP). In early 1973, UBAD was still young, but UBAD was already experienced and established.

Michael Tingling, 59, a veteran boxer of Belize City who used to fight at the Big Birds Isle in the heydays of boxing, who afterwards migrated to Chicago, died on Wednesday at the St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, Illinois. Tingling was approached by a man who punched him in the chest while he was protecting his daughter, 15, from the man, who was menacing her. Tingling, who has a pacemaker in his chest, went into cardiac arrest following a physical exchange with the Caucasian man, 59-year-old Joseph Firek, who Chicago police say had an extensive criminal record. Tingling was rushed to the hospital, but he died about 45 minutes later, at about 2:45 Wednesday evening.

Road accident in Corozal sends driver to the ICU in KHMH
Jesus Chicas, 21, of San Roman, Corozal District, is presently admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he suffered head and body injuries in a road traffic accident in front of Carias Cool Spot in Concepcion, Corozal. The accident occurred at about 8:30 Friday night, between Miles 73 and 74 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Chicas was driving a pickup, from Corozal to Orange Walk when it collided with another vehicle, an Isuzu Rodeo, being driven by Zamir Herrera, which was travelling from the opposite direction. Travelling with Chicas at the time was Sebastian Martinez, who suffered a wound to his forehead.

Child, 3, “critical” at the KHMH
A recent spike in traffic incidents in rural Belize over the past few weeks has left a number of people either injured or deceased, and this past weekend, there were a few more accidents to add to that tally – including one involving a 3-year-old child who is presently in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Amandala has confirmed that Romeo Florez, Jr., 3, was knocked down by a passenger bus on Sunday, March 23, in front of the Adventist Church in the village of Scotland Half Moon, which is located between the villages of Burrell Boom and Bermudian Landing. Today, we spoke to Rural Executive Officer, ASP Chris Noble, who outlined what happened. Noble said that, based on what they’ve been informed, the child was hit by a passenger bus which was travelling toward one of the villages. ”We are looking into it and we are asking persons who were on the bus or who may have seen to come forward and report it to the Burrell Boom police, the Bermudian Landing police or the Ladyville Police Station,” said Noble.

Welder’s head crushed by 14-wheeler dump truck
Just after 4:00 Saturday afternoon, the life of a Honduran national came to a tragic end when his head was smashed by a 14-wheeler dump truck after he was knocked down while attempting to cross the pedestrian ramp near the bus stop at Mile 1 on the George Price Highway in Belize City. Amandala was on the scene shortly after it occurred, and eyewitnesses told us that the victim had fallen off his black beach cruiser bicycle at the same time that the truck was approaching the pedestrian ramp, and it was while he was in the act of getting back to his feet that he was fatally run over by the vehicle, which was loaded with sand at the time. The driver’s sideman, Gregory Longsworth, gave us his account of what transpired. He said, “I saw the man stumble and drop off his bike, and he ended up right under the front wheel [of the truck]. I then told the driver that he had knocked down somebody and then he stopped.”

Travel and tourism netted BZ$1.2 billion or 36.6% of GDP in 2013: WTTC
The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has released a report indicating that for the year 2013, travel and tourism netted Belize BZ$1.2 billion, or 36.6% of GDP, in 2013. WTTC forecasts that travel and tourism in Belize should grow by 4.5% during 2014. Statistics recently released by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) indicated that tourism arrivals grew in 2013 by 5.7% for the cruise tourism sector and by 6.1% for the overnight tourism sector. WTTC’s report said that, “The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly supported by the sector was 46,823 jobs (33.0% of total employment).”

(by “Oldtimer,” originally published in the Friday, May 13, 1983 issue of Amandala.) The eulogies paid by the People’s United Party to the late William Lloyd Coffin last week, especially the one by Minister Rogers, are a classic example of how the PUP perverts and defaces the history of Belize in general and of the PUP in particular. The truth is that in 1956 Coffin denounced PUP leader George Price and walked out of the PUP annual convention! Here are the facts. Coffin was chairman of a “rump” meeting of the PUP held at Liberty Hall on Barrack Road in June, 1956. The PUP leader, Leigh Richardson, Jr., was trying to justify his personal change of policy to favor Belize’s entry into the West Indian Federation. He was supported by PUP assistant secretary Philip Goldson, Chairman Coffin and GWU President Herman Jex, among others.

International Day of Forests observed, but Belize’s forests reportedly remain under attack
While today is being proclaimed as the International Day of Forests across the globe, there are credible reports that our lush forests in the deep south of the country are still being pillaged and our valuable rosewood stock is continuously being depleted, even after a moratorium was passed in February of 2012. According to the United Nations General Assembly, the purpose of the day is for nations to celebrate, and bring awareness to the issues relating to, the world’s forests while undertaking local, national and international efforts to organize activities involving forests and trees. At the same time, residents from the Toledo district have been complaining about an increase in activity in the cutting and shipping of rosewood out of the district over the last few days.

Some 1956 PUP history
(excerpted from a paper by Lawrence Vernon, A HISTORY OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN BELIZE, originally published in Readings in Belizean History, Second Edition, published by BELIZEAN STUDIES, St. John’s College, Box 548, Belize City, May 1987.) In City Council elections held on March 19, 1956, the PUP won an unprecedented landslide victory by getting all six candidates elected. These were: William Coffin, George Price, Jose Rivero, Tharine Rudon, Leopold Grinage and Jaime Staines. The National Party only seated two out of eight candidates, while one independent candidate was successful. When the Council met, George Price was elected Mayor; and he subsequently became the first PUP leader to read and present an address of loyalty to the Governor during the September 10 celebrations. A rift occurred in the Party, when at the annual convention on September 27, 1956, the Party Chairman, William Coffin, presented a declaration charging Nicholas Pollard with conducting a public campaign of slander against leaders of the PUP.

Food safety alert – are you buying from a certified source?
The Public Health Bureau trained and issued food handler’s permits to 2,016 persons in the Belize District, the country’s most populous district, in 2013 – an increase of 22% over the previous year, 2012; still, they believe that there are several food vendors who have not bothered to obtain the required certification before venturing into the food market. The ID card shown with the article is really a permit which food handlers obtain from the Ministry of Health, via the Bureau’s Environmental Health Unit, after going through a screening process (to determine if the applicant has diarrhea or boils in the skin, or if the applicant had visited a country where a disease of concern is prevalent) and 2 to 3 hours of training covering international food safety standards. All applicants who pay their $20 fee must then sit an exam with 20 questions (multiple choice and true and false) and if they pass with at least a 70% grade, they are issued the permit.

Verdes, Police tie for PLB lead at Week 4
The picture changes quickly in this fast moving abbreviated Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2013-14 Closing Season, and with their defeat of Verdes on Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, home standing Police United have joined Verdes FC at the top of the standings. Police have the edge in goal difference. Week 4 games of the PLB Closing Season were played over the past weekend, while Week 5 games take place on Wednesday. The PLB secretariat reported today that a second half goal from Harrison Tasher (63’) stood up to give Police United FC the 1-0 win over visiting Verdes FC at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night, March 22.

Boxing coming to Placencia
Lions Den Ladyville manager Clinton Tucker dropped by the sports desk this afternoon to inform us that plans are afoot to hold another in their series of boxing events across the country. The details are still being worked out, says Tucker, but the date they are looking at is Saturday, April 5, and the venue is the Tipsy Tuna resort on the beach side in Placencia Village. “We expect to have 5 first time boxers from Placencia making their debut,” said Tucker, “and there will be visiting boxers from the Lions Den gyms in Cayo and Ladyville, as well as hopefully from George Swaso’s gym in Stann Creek and the Leopold Smart gym in Belize City.”

Belize City primary school softball
The National Sports Council coordinated Belize City Primary School Softball Tournament commenced on Monday, February 10, at Rogers Stadium with 11 female teams and 10 male teams participating. The females (F) were divided into two groups, A and B, and likewise the males (M). And after the regular competition, the top 2 teams from each group took part in the semifinals on Thursday of last week and today, Monday, March 24. In last Thursday’ semifinals, (F) Muslim Community defeated Central Christian, 17-1; and (M) Buttonwood Bay Nazarene won, 10-6, over St. John’s Primary. And in today’s semifinals, (F) St. John Vianney edged Holy Redeemer, 4-2; and (M) Central Christian defeated Calvary Temple, 18-14. Championship games schedule:

4 City residents busted with over 6 1/2 pounds of weed
Customs were manning a checkpoint at northern border Four residents of Belize City were busted at about 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the northern border with 6 and a half pounds of compressed weed which they were [...]

Prisoner recaptured after escape attemp
Keith Bennett, 27, of Corozal, who tried to escape from out of police custody, was recaptured after police fired warning shots into the air, over his head, causing him to halt. While being taken to the [...]

Slaughterhouse Road mechanic charged with another robbery
A mechanic residing at #55 Slaughterhouse Road, who was released on bail after being charged with robbing a Chinese man last September, has been re-arrested and charged with robbery again. This time his purported victim is [...]


Pay it forward and important information and misinformation on donating blood in Belize
There is been a lot of talk about people being turned away from giving blood when they were able to in their native country. Today I will explain important information about donating blood in Belize that will help you understand the challenges the San Pedro Red Cross is facing in regards to building a healthy supply of blood for Ambergris Caye. I will also clear up some misinformation that has been brought to our attention. It is important for everyone to know, we have experienced staff on our blood drive committee and we do our research based on current procedures. We are all disheartened when people who would not even be questioned in the US or Canada have been turned away in San Pedro. We are continuing to focus on what we can do to climb this mountain and overcome our obstacles to make long lasting positive changes in the system. This is no easy task and we appreciate everyone’s help, support and feedback.

Capture that Springtime Love-Vibe
Ah, Spring… how many odes, love letters, songs and poems keep being dedicated to that time of year when all creatures great and small, turn their attention to love and life. Spring is that time of year when everything starts thawing out, the heavy clothes come off, green buds appear on the branches, more birds sing and the world just looks good again. And while it’s not so noticeable here in the tropics, it is in evidence, as the hummingbirds check out the new pollen on flowers and everything seems to wake up, as the days get longer. Even that battered old Native American warrior Sitting Bull waxed romantic: “Behold, my friends, the spring is come; the earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of their love!” The noble chief said.

“It’s All Over Now” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up around 04.45 hours on Saturday morning and out on the veranda (the western, lagoon facing one on the first floor) before 05.00 hours with my mug of black coffee and iPad. It’s still dark at that time of the morning but that suits me fine. I Ike this time of the day. Not being able to see so much ‘kicks’ the seeing and smelling and hearing senses in to ‘top gear’ mode. Well, it does for me anyway. At this time of the day I find that I can smell the foliage of the trees (not ours yet because they are too young/small but there are plenty in the adjacent lots) so much more. There are also so many so any different sounds to listen to. The sound of mullet jumping out of the lagoon and re entering it ((I’m sure that there is a proper term to describe it but it escapes me at the moment and I really cannot be bothered to engage the memory cells ( for one because I’m just plain lazy and secondly for fear that the cells will fail me)), the sounds of the leaves rustling in the breeze, the birds saying ‘good morning’ to each other. Oh, and the screeching of the raccoons. I haven’t worked out yet whether they are fighting off potential predators or if this is just how they normally ‘talk’.

Lionfish spearing, Learning to dive and beach cleans!!
A fabulous few weeks in pictures with ReefCI!!

International Sources

Belizean, US officials make final preparations for Corozal MEDRETES
Belizean government and U.S. military officials met March 24 to discuss final preparations for the upcoming New Horizons medical readiness training exercises, or MEDRETES, in the Corozal region in Belize. Belizean and military medical providers will use the MEDRETES as an opportunity to learn from one another as they provide medical care to residents out of schools in Chunox, Progresso and Libertad. "The three schools agreed to let us use their facilities to provide medical care, so we reconnected with the principals to make sure everything was ready to go," said Lt. Col. James Smith, New Horizons chief liaison officer. Belizean and U.S. medical teams will work side by side "to provide general medicine, dentistry and veterinarian care to the local population" and their pets.

From reef to plate - Belize combats the lionfish
A film by Katja Döhne. With its venomous sting and voracious appetite, the lionfish is one of the biggest threats to the world’s second-largest coral barrier reef in Belize. Now, human intervention seems the only way to fight the danger. Project goal: Combating the invasive lionfish in the Caribbean in a bid to protect the biodiversity in coral reefs Size: The Belize Barrier Reef off the coast of Belize. Stretching over an area of 960 square kilometers, it’s the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere Biological significance: The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the most diverse ecosystems of the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site, but one that’s considered to be in danger

Thai Union aims to re-flag MW Brands vessels in light of EU IUU sanctions
Thai Union Frozen Products said MW Brands will seek to reflag its Belize-flagged vessels to another country as a result of the EU sanctions on vessels flagged to Belize, Guinea and Cambodia, the company told Undercurrent News. The company’s response comes as one fisheries lawyer has denounced the sanctions for being more show than substance. Due to kick in soon, the sanctions against Guinea and Camdodia-flagged vessels are seen as having no significance for the EU or the industry, considering they will not affect any existing trade. On the other hand the sanctions against vessels flagged to Belize could impact at least three tuna vessels owned by French canner MW Brands – owned by Thai Union– and Spain’s Pevasa.

What kinds of pooches did the ancient Maya favor?
Is that the Maize God or an ancient image of Elvis? What kinds of dog breeds were common to the ancient Maya area? How did the diets of the high and mighty differ from that of the hoi polloi in the Maya city of Palenque? These are just a few of the questions to be considered when the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Mesoamericanists convenes Friday, March 28, and Saturday, March 29, at NIU. Hosted by both the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the conference will draw participants from the United States and Canada. Archaeologists, art historians and geologists will present recent research on Mesoamerica.

Consolidated Water reports drop in 2013 net income
The Cayman Island’s largest water distributor has dipped in a dry spell after recording a drop in net income last year from $9.3 million to $8.6 million. Consolidated Water develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in areas of the world where naturally occurring supplies of drinking water are scarce or nonexistent. A report from the company said the recent decrease in net income was attributable to the earnings and profit sharing derived from the company’s equity investment, which dropped $1.3 million. Total revenue for the year ending December 31, 2013, decreased 2.5 percent to around $63.8 million, compared to $65.5 million in 2012.

Garifuna-American Heritage Month proclaimed at City Hall
Earlier this month at City Hall, March 11-April 12 was proclaimed Garífuna-American Heritage Month. Members of the Garifuna Coalition and others in the community were on hand for the honors. Heritage Month acknowledges the great contributions of Garífuna-Americans to the fabric of New York City and New York State. Among the month of significant dates and scheduled events, Garifuna-American Heritage will be celebrated April 3 at Bronx County Courthouse and April 11 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, both starting at 5:30 p.m.

Mexican shrimp buyers hunt for product with EMS impact still being felt
Shrimp production in Mexico this year is expected to be in line with the very low levels of 2013, as early mortality syndrome (EMS) continues to impact farming and buyers hunt elsewhere for product. According to sources in the country, production in 2013 was down between 45,000 metric tons and 70,000t. “The semi-official figure was 55,000t but I think that is overstated, probably more like 30-35,000t,” said one source working in the Mexican sector. In 2012, production was 100,000t, before EMS hit last year. “Only 50% to 60% of the farms will stock, the outlook is for the same as 2013, at best,” he said. “In general the measures being taken to minimize EMS are just shots in the dark based on anecdotal tales of “good” results. So they really have no idea if what they are doing will actually work.”

World Expert on Big Cats Coming to Skidmore
Skidmore hosts one of the world’s leading experts on big cats on April 2. Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, labeled the “Indiana Jones of Wildlife Ecology” by Time Magazine, has spent a lifetime in the world’s last wild places hoping to preserve habitats and secure homes for some of the world’s most endangered mammals. Rabinowitz will present a talk entitled “Saving the World’s Big Cats for the Future.” Rabinowitz helped to establish the world’s first jaguar preserve in Belize. His work also led to the creation of the world’s largest tiger preserve in Myanmar’s Hukaung Valley. He has conducted research on a number of species of large cat, including clouded leopards, jaguars and tigers, along with Sumatran rhinos, raccoons and civets. He also discovered a new large mammal species and the world’s most primitive deer, the leaf deer.

The captain cut the boat’s speed as we entered the lagoon. We were coming back from a day spent slowly meandering up Monkey River in southern Belize for some birdwatching and hiking newly cut trails in the jungle. About fifteen minutes after our driver/guide had steered into the Placencia Lagoon, we were treated to the best part of the day: "Dolphins," he said. "This is where they play." Dolphins? A lagoon? Disbelieving, we looked for signs of their diaphanous bodies, spots of grey, slender dorsal fins popping through the lapping waves. After lolling in the water for 15 minutes, lapping our circular path, we're rewarded. A pod of six seemed to be following us, circling in a wide circumference around it and diving under the bottom. Bent over opposite sides of the boat, the four of us had our eyes peeled. These dolphins knew this brackish lagoon, outlined by mangroves, and knew the patterns of their environment. They knew what a slow boat meant. Before long, one sprung from the water in a majestic arch, giving us gawkers a good splash. "Whoa! We could have touched him!"

Belize’s 3 Best Beach Towns
Most expats who consider moving to Belize dream of living near the Caribbean Sea on a beach. Fortunately for them, Belize offers several beach lifestyle options. Right now, the three most popular beach areas expats settle are Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, and the Placencia Peninsula. Here’s a quick peek at each of these popular beach retreats… Ambergris Caye: The World’s #1 Island on the Caribbean Sea Ambergris Caye is the island that I’ve called home for the past six years—and I’m not the only one who has discovered its charms. For two years running Trip Advisor members have voted Ambergris Caye their favorite vacation island. But what’s it like to live fulltime in this hip, happening, tourist haven? Caye Caulker: The Ultimate Laid-Back Island Lifestyle Caye Caulker is blessed with the same gorgeous Caribbean seascape as Ambergris Caye. The two cayes are close. The water taxi between them takes only 20 minutes or so and both cayes are only a half-mile from the barrier reef. But there is a world of difference between these sibling islands, in terms of lifestyle… Placencia: An Irresistible Beach Community Placencia is a haven for beach connoisseurs. Kick off your flip flops and you can walk for miles along the wide sand beach. The peninsula is 16 miles long, with the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the Placencia lagoon to the west. The Maya mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop for the tranquil lagoon. But the peninsula is also close to all the diverse activities that the mainland offers. You’ll easily be able to reach them with a car.

25 Brilliant Prank Ideas For April Fools’ Day
April Fools' Day (April 1st) is fast approaching, so we thought we might offer a few prank ideas for the more mischievous pandas among you (and if you're not prone to mischief, now you'll have some idea about what to look out for). It's unclear exactly where the April Fool tradition originated, ...


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
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Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
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