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#489063 - 04/05/14 11:52 AM Today's Belize News: April 5, 2014
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

St John’s College hosts reading fair
St John’s College School in Belize City hosted its third annual reading fair on Friday March 28th, with newspapers as the highlight for this year’s event. Held under the theme “Newspapers matter: they connect us to the world,” the event was aimed to encourage students to look at newspapers as an alternate source for reading. Amongst the newspaper publications invited to attended was Ambergris Caye’s only print media, The San Pedro Sun. According to Angie Moody, Head of Language Arts Department at St John’s College, the idea of the reading fair was conceptualized three years ago. Moody said that over 66.6% of Caribbean Examination Council’s curriculum caters to reading, and given that the students were not reading as much, the school introduced a campaign encouraging them to read in their leisure time.

Child Stimulation Month ends with parade
On Friday March 28th, Child Stimulation Month came to a close with a parade through the streets of San Pedro Town. The preschoolers, accompanied by teachers and parents/guardians, were dressed in brightly colored school tee’s waving balloons as they made their way singing and dancing from Central Park north to the roundabout along Pescador Drive and back. Schools present included Ambergris Caye Preschool, ABC Preschool, Holy Cross Preschool, Little Angels, Brighter Tomorrow Preschool and San Pedro Preschool. Under the theme “Family and Culture” the second week of events included a trip to Lady Bug Garden Shop, storytelling day, a cultural day and family movie day.

Unsightly Garbage at new Sunset Boardwalk raises concerns
Residents neighboring the Honorable Louis “Cuz” Sylvestre Sporting Arena, commonly known as the Saca Chispas Football Field, are irate at the amount of garbage being left behind after The San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament and other events. According to residents’ complaints, which have surfaced on social media networks, the field is not cleaned after use and the mounds of garbage drift into other neighboring areas. The lack of adequate garbage cans in the area also adds to the dilemma. This past weekend in particular, the unsightly garbage was in larger volumes due to the fact that the field was used both for the football tournament and a softball tournament. According to Kenrick Bracket, Councilor in charge of Solid Waste Management, both The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and The San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC) have been made aware of this problem. According to Bracket, SPSC members in charge of the football tournament are not ensuring that the public picks up their garbage after they leave the field, nor are they providing garbage bags for people to dispose their trash in.

Take the Belize adventure eastward to the Reef!
Belize is bordered to the east by the Caribbean Sea, from Corozal down to Toledo, and these seaside areas are a haven for those seeking something different from the mountains and flats. Options include enjoying the flight of pelicans and seagulls over the howls of monkeys or cheep of the rainforest birds if only for a moment. For these sorts of delights, there are islands dotting the crystal waters of the Caribbean, offering powdery white sand, swaying coconut trees, seagrape and almond trees offering shade from the blinding sunshine, and water everywhere to wash away every ounce of stress.

Small vessel has capsizes off the coast of Ambergris Caye
The San Pedro Sun can confirm that a small vessel has capsized off the coast of Ambergris Caye shortly around midday today, Friday April 4th. Personnel from the Belize Coast Guard stationed in San Pedro Town and local tour guides were deployed to the area to assist in rescue efforts. Despite a small craft warning for choppy to rough seas, the group of three local men decided to venture into the high seas off of the Belize Barrier Reef on board a small Mexican type skiff. Somewhere near the San Pedro Main Channel, located directly in front of San Pedro Town, the vessel capsized sending all men into the sea. According to a Coast Guard official, when they arrived on the scene, the men had received assistance and the vessel had moved away from the area.

Ambergris Today

New Belizean Rum Sold Exclusively In The USA Wins Award
Belizean rums may not be world famous, but locals and visitors from all over the world who taste rums from the country fall in love with them and are always looking for ways to get their Belizean rum back home. There is exciting news as a new product of Belizean rum has entered the market, Tiburon Rum, a Belizean premium rum sold exclusively in the United States. Tiburon Rum hit the US market about a year ago and has already garnered its first award. Tiburon Rum was entered in the 14th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Competition that took place on March 20 through the 23, 2014 at the Hotel Nikko in downtown San Francisco. Thirty-nine spirits experts convened at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco where Tiburon Rum was awarded with a Bronze Medal.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal Police have been reporting a number of armed robberies and burglaries, lately
The Corozal Police is asking the neighborhood watch groups in the different areas to be more vigilant and to report any suspicious activities or persons in their areas. As Easter approaches, Superintendent Andrew Ramirez would like to advise all the business community and public at large that as we enter the Easter season, criminal elements will step up their criminal activities. Whilst the Corozal Police will commit itself to do its constitutional part, they are asking the public to do the same and together they can combat crime. Corozal Police is asking the general public to please assist in the following: 1. Report anything suspicious vehicle or person(s) especially anyone not known from to live in your area. 2. Close your business on time and do not risk opening after the prescribed hours. 3. Be vigilant at all times and take nothing for granted.

Chinese stores on the Philip Goldson Highway in Corozal targeted by armed robbers.
Naturalized Chinese/Belizean, 28 year old JIAM BON WU, businessman of Philip Goldson Highway, Corozal Town, reported that on Wednesday April 2nd, 2014April 2014 about 9:00 p.m. whilst he opened the shutter in order for his brother in law to exit his shop namely Ban's Store located at his address, two male persons one of Hispanic decent and the other of dark complexion with dark clothing and who had what appears to be warm caps covering their faces came out from the side of his shop and walked up towards him. The dark skin male person was holding what appears to be a .38 revolver hand gun in his hand pointing it at him.

Capital Factory in Corozal
Is now offering construction steel or rebar

Congratulations Jacinta!
Lots of young Belizeans are placing Belize on the map with their successes. Earlier this week, Miss Jacinta Gomez was crowned the University of South Florida's (USF) Miss International. Congratulations Jacinta! We're proud of you for - as you said -putting "[OUR] beautiful jewel on the map" and for "educating the USF community about what we have to offer as a country, as a people."

WORLD HEALTH DAY MESSAGE FROM THE PAN AMERICAN HEALTH ORGANIZATION, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION, MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
Government of Belize Press Office

MINISTRY OF HEALTH CELEBRATES WORLD HEALTH DAY
Government of Belize Press Office

Paint Up A Storm
This year's Paint Up A Storm is tonight, Saturday, April 5th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. The fun starts at 9:30am, and goes until 2:00pm. They will show the movie 'Wasteland' at 6:00pm. Go see, and make, some art.

NEMO Donates Houses
NEMO turned over the 2 houses that were made for the families that lost their houses in November's flash floods. Thanks, NEMO! SISE Town Council's pictures. Video. "Mr. Calbert Thompson and Mr. Vigilio Requena Sr. and their families were recipients of homes built by Plett’s Home Builders."

Mexico to observe Daylight Saving Time
Mexico will begin observing Daylight Saving Time on Sunday. A press release sent out by the Mexican Embassy in Belize says that starting on Sunday, April 6, clocks in Mexico will go forward by one hour. Horario de Verano means that Mexico will be one hour ahead of Belize’s local time. The observance of Daylight Saving Time will apply to most of Mexico, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida and Mexico City. Daylight Saving Time in Mexico will end on October 26.

Corozal town gets a donated garbage truck
The municipality of Corozal has received a donation of a garbage truck to help with keeping the town clean. According to Mayor Hilberto Campos, the truck has already been pressed into service. Mayor Campos says the Town Council hopes to acquire another truck like this one to compliment the work of the municipal body.

High School principals meet in Punta Gorda
The Belize Association for Principals of Secondary Schools ( BAPS) met with stakeholders in the education sector to discuss ways of improving the overall efficiency of Secondary Schools in Belize. The meeting was held at the Social Security Board Conference room i n Punta Gorda Town and had the participation of principals form all over the country. According to the president of the Association Maria Johnston, “we are here to discuss the main topics about how we can go about improving the delivery and the quality of education in the Secondary Schools, to understand what are the roles of Principals, teachers and of course the role of students. They are the key stakeholders in education. “

Belize City youth succumbs to gunshot injury
An 18 year old Belize City youth is dead, following a Thursday evening shooting incident. Anfernee Romero died early this morning while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Romero and another man, 26 year old Troy Hyde, were injured when a pair of gunmen opened fire on them at their workplace on Central American Boulevard around 4:45 pm yesterday. Police say Romero was shot to the left side of his head, while Hyde sustained multiple gunshot wounds.

Two students drown in Macal River
There are reports that two students have drowned in the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Preliminary information is that one of the bodies has been recovered so far. More information as they become available.

High school students from Corozal drown in the Macal River
Two high school students drowned this afternoon in the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena town. The deceased students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in Corozal, have been identified as 16 year old Edgar Puk and 15 year old Anahli Zepeda. The two students were part of a class trip to the Chechem Ha cave in Benque Viejo del Carmen. On the return journey to Corozal, the bus stopped in the vicinity of the Macal River Park. And that was when some of the students decided to go for a swim. Around 4 pm, tragedy struck. Puk and Zepeda were carried away by the current in the river and disappeared under the water and did not resurface.

American diplomat visits Belize, donates to library
On Thursday, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central America and the Caribbean in the Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Francisco Palmieri, began a two-day visit to Belize. After meeting with the heads of the Belize Defence Force (BDF), Brigadier General David Jones, and the National Coast Guard, Rear Admiral John Borland, his next stop was the Leo Bradley Library, headquarters of the Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS). He handed over a donation of books for the establishment of the Education USA Reference Center, to be housed at the Leo Bradley Library on Princess Margaret Drive. The books include reference guides on education, U.S. culture and law and is intended to help students going to the U.S. to develop their knowledge of our giant northern neighbour.

Mayor not backing down from Waste Control
Belize Waste Control (BWC) will continue its lawsuit against the Belize City Council despite Mayor Darrell’s Bradley’s stance, which is that by the terms of the contract the Council is allowed to be four weeks behind on payment but not more without being sued. The Mayor repeated his concerns about the high cost of sanitation and suggested that City residents are obligated to take on more of the burden. After all, he says, it’s their City too. The Council also has sizable payments owed to the other sanitation company, Belize Maintenance Limited (BML.) The case returns to court on April 15.

Mayor missed deadline to run for second term
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley has admitted he missed the Monday, March 31 deadline to file papers declaring his intent to run for a second term under the United Democratic Party (UDP). While he has earned rave reviews for his work thus far, his chances of continuing past next March depended on making that deadline. But it does not seem to bother the Mayor, who says he is more worried about keeping up his current performance and being able to report continued success to the people of Belize City. So that is that. Or is it? The Mayor says he does wish he could run again, but he was honest enough to say that before he considers a second term, he wants to fulfill the promises he made in his first. Nevertheless, he admits it is now out of his hands.

BTL employees protest pay negotiations
This afternoon in Belize City, there was an unusual protest at the Church Street office of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). Employees of the state-run telephone company are negotiating with management for a 5% raise of pay. Following negotiations last week, the Belize Communications Workers’ Union (BCWU) met with its members to present a counter offer of 3.5%. With a transition in executives taking place this week, the employees seized the opportunity to make their concerns known. At 10 this morning and again at 3 this afternoon, employees observed a one-minute protest in which they knocked their knuckles on their counter-tops, causing a short delay in tending to customers.

Air Force major deploys to support Belizean, US medical training
A U.S. Air Force major is taking advantage of an opportunity to interact with the Belizean people and learn about their culture as she's deployed in support of New Horizons 2014 in Belize, Central America. Maj. S. Kellie Williams, an international health specialist, is the New Horizons Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron deputy commander, a role that puts her at the heart of U.S. medical coordination with Belizean medical officials. New Horizons is an annual event coordinated amongst U.S. Department of Defense service members, the U.S. Embassy and the host nation government to conduct civil engineer and medical training. The training benefits U.S. forces as they are offered an opportunity to practice deployment and joint training procedures. As the deputy commander, she is responsible for relaying the EMDOS commander's intent to all U.S. medical operations at each of the New Horizon's medical readiness training exercise sites throughout the country of Belize.

Western Ballaz Hit Century Mark
The Western Ballaz proved they are the best team in the league last night! They hit the century mark, and won against the Orange Walk Running Rebels 100 - 50. Awesome job, Western Ballaz! "The Western Ballaz hosted the Orange Walk Running Rebels tonight, and they hit 100 points, winning the game 100 - 50. The Cayo over 35 team won the first game against the Belmopan over 35 team, 74 - 66. Western Ballaz are number 1!"

AKT Weekends
AKT - Art for Kids and Teens - is starting up their Saturday art weekends, starting today, April 5th. It all happens at Barn and Grill. Today is dance. "It's about to happen! Opening April 5th here at Barn and Grill"

Belize's Premier Modeling Agency, Nouveau Model Management, is holding their last casting for the year for Male and Female Models on Saturday, April 26th

Supreme Court Declares Belize’s Obligation to Protect the Maya People under UNDRIP.
The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association would like to express our gratitude to the Supreme Court for its careful consideration of the issues that were before them in the SATIIM vs. Attorney General Claim no. 394 of 2013. We are pleased that the court has reaffirmed our people's right to the land that we use every day and depend on to survive, and that our Free Prior and Informed Consent must be given for activities on these lands. We are encouraged by the words of Justice Arana where she declared: [the] Defendants [Government of Belize and US Capital Energy] would comply with their obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of the Indigenous Maya Peoples to their lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired [when issuing permits and concessions]. (Claim no. 394 0f 2013 decision pages 55 and 56)

Southern Tour - Ministry of Natural Resources & Agriculture
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture - Honorable Gaspar Vega, Minister of State - Honorable Hugo Patt, Chief Executive Officers of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and senior officers of the Lands and Agriculture Departments and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) toured the southern districts on April 1 and 2, 2014.

Video: Beautiful Belize Chillout and Lounge Mix Del Mar 2014
1hr18min. Mellow music and views of Belize by Chillout King Ibiza. LOTS from Ambergris Caye. "this week's episode of my Chillout Holidays series takes us to beautiful Belize - did you know it was the Belizeans who actually invented chewing gum? Anyway, enjoy this Lounge trip and tell a friend!"

Video: Sacred Heart Flashmob
Sacred Heart School in San Ignacio in Cayo, Belize performed 'Gotta Keep Reading' to raise awareness for literacy in Belize. This was done in cooperation with the 'Literacy Alive' project which was supported by Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Red Deer, Ab, Canada as well as the Rotary Club of San Ignacio.

Video: Cave Kayaking in Belize
Kayaking 9 caves south-east of Belmopan, Belize. We toured with Maya Guide Adventures (www.mayaguide.bz) and had an amazing day!!

Video: Snorkeling with Sharks and Turtles in Belize: Ambergris Caye Gopro HD
Filmed with GoPro Hero 3 White edition. Here are a few clips from our snorkeling adventure in Ambergris Caye Belize, staying in El Pescador Lodge. This is primarily a fly fishing destination, but we were able to go out for an afternoon of snorkeling. Nurse sharks were everywhere, as well as rays and big mutton snapper.

Video: Belize
A brief look at the Belize 2013 trip

Video: Swimming with Reef Sharks in Belize
Two Grey Reef Sharks show-up while we are snorkeling on Ambergris Kaye - Belize. Sharks became very agitated when food ran out ... we quickly climbed back on board the fishing boat.

Video: Belize In America in Hopkins Village, Belize

Video: Shark and Ray Alley - Belize Caye Caulker
Brown nurse sharks and Atlantic Stingrays

Channel 7

High School Class Trip Turns Terrible: Two 4th Formers Drown
Two teenaged high school students, a male and a female drowned today on a class trip to the Cayo District. It happened at around 4:00 pm in the Macal River near the low lying bridge in Santa Elena. The students - who are from Escuela Technica Mexico in San Roman, Corozal - had gone on a class trip to the Che-Chem Ha caves in Cayo. On the way back, the entire contingent travelling on bus stopped for a swim in the river. This, we are told, was not on the planned agenda. During the swim two students went under - reportedly pulled by the currents - and they did not re-surface. The body of the male student was retrieved shortly after, and about an hour ago, the body of the female, was found. We have their names, but will not release them until we are certain all family members have been informed of their death. We can say that they were both fourth form students he from Patchakan and she from San Joaquin.. Both bodies have been transported to the morgue. She was wearing long jeans pants when her body was found.

Alleged Contract Killer Says He Made It Up; UDP's Pawpa Mena Still Uneasy
Earlier this week we told you about the disturbing report of a death threat against UDP Standard Bearer for Dangriga, Frank "Pawpa" Mena. A Dangriga resident named Jermaine Miranda told police that no less than the clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster had contracted him to kill Mena. The charge was outlandish in the extreme since both men are prominent UDP's in the town. Well, today we learned that Miranda has withdrawn the allegation. He tells the police he made it all up. But, that doesn't make it all just go away, because there's still a great sense of disquiet since the story is not the kind that just gets pulled out of the air. Today all sides: Mena, Webster, the accuser Miranda and the Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte met with the officer commanding for the Southern formation Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano to try and clear the air. That meeting happened at 11:00 and 7News was in Dangriga when it was finished an hour and fifteen minutes later. We spoke to Peyrefitte and Mena:.. Hon. Mike Peyrefitte, House Speaker/Attorney "We cannot get away from the fact that Mr. Webster is the clerk of the National Assembly and when I heard the matter on the news and clearly it was troubling to him understandably and it was affecting his work, so I decided I had to get involve and try in some way to accompany him to visit the police station. I made a call as well to Mr. Pawpa Mena and Superintendent Mariano and we agreed we will meet here to discuss this matter along with the person who allegedly made the report against Mr. Webster. We met and the young man was present in the meeting and he stated categorically that the entire matter was mischievous, that he was trying to create some problems and when we ask him to what benefit he refused to answer."

Mayor Dragged Back To Court
On Tuesday, we told you about the latest development in the dispute between the Belize City Council and Belize Waste Control. Again, they're battling in court over arrears for garbage collection. On Tuesday, Waste Control wanted to press the case because the council owed 6 weeks in arrears. Well today, 3 days later, Mayor Darrell Bradley told the media that City Hall has paid for 4 weeks, and only owes 2 more. He told the media, after the adjournment before the Chief Justice, that he's hoping the company drops the case this time: Mayor Darrell Bradley "I was able to inform the court that we were only two weeks outside of what we owe them and they are still pursuing litigation. I had impress upon the court to consider the fact that by the terms of the contract we can be 4 weeks in areas and I want to make that very clear. It doesn't mean that we don't owe the two weeks, but there is a difference between owing a sum of money and being in breach of contract giving rise to a suit and giving the claimants in this case Waste Control the right to sue you for the arrears. This is something common in when people pay their rent - you pay your rent by the end of the month but they tell you, you can pay up until the 7th of the following month. Within that period which is a grace period you are not to be sued. What we are saying is that as long as we are within this 4 week period and at the present moment we are two weeks, we are not to be sued and the case is to be discontinued. The judge gave time for Waste Control to file a statement of facts and issues because the judge wants to be satisfied in respect to what remaining tri-able issues there are and we are to return to court on the 15th April for the judge to consider that and to consider whether or not the matter has been settled or whether or not the matter is to proceed forward."

The Burdens Of High Office Weigh Heavily On Bradley
So, as you've seen many times, Bradley has consistently told the media that the current sanitation charges are an unsustainable and unmanageable burden on the council. With many other no-win situations like that one in the sphere of municipal affairs, we wondered if the cumulative load of woe played into Bradley's decision not to enter his name as a mayoral candidate for the next election. While we had the opportunity, we asked Bradley about it, and here's how he responded: Mayor Darrell Bradley "People always ask that question and I maintain this view that I can see myself going forward in the City. Of course these things do not make it easy. The job of being mayor is very difficult, we are in litigation a lot, there is a lot of problems that I have inherited. I do think that think that we have made in-roads in terms of the parks and the infrastructure, quality of life and in terms of reduction in crime - all of those things putting the financial house of the City Council in order and I have maintained to the media and to the public that the thing that I am chiefly concerned about is being able to deliver on our manifesto promises and services. From the very beginning, because you want me to go a certain way, which I haven't given a lot of thought to. I have maintained that we are about service, we are about cleaning house at City Council, and we are about delivering on core promises. Right now we are at 107 concreted streets. The city has 8 streets going on including Buttonwood Bay's Independence Drive, Seashore Drive, the extension of Vernon Street, the extension of Dean Street, West Canal, Castle Street - we have a lot of infrastructures going on, those things are causing headaches because we are coordinating with people in terms of traffic and business and all of those things. Those are the things which keep me up at night, those are the things that I am worried about - I am not worried about an election. I am worried about performance and being able to stand in front of every member of the city and tell them that I have done right by them and I have discharge my obligations to the fullest extent possible."

Teenager Was Shot At Work, Died This Morning
Last night, we told you about the shooting at the eastern end of Central American Boulevard where 26 year-old Troy Hyde and 18 year-old Anfernee Romero both suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Well, tonight, we report that Anfernee Romero, who was shot in the head, died at around 4:20 this morning, 12 hours after he was shot. Police say that Hyde and Romero were doing their work at Locksmith Service on Central American Boulevard, where they are both employed, when 2 gunmen rode past and opened fire at both of them. Death found Romero at his workplace, which is especially tragic for his family since he had worked very hard to become gainfully employed. He graduated last year as part of the 4th intake of the Youth Apprenticeship Program, a Belize City based second-chance program for young adults. Coordinator Diane Finnegan spoke with us this afternoon, and told us that when she had learned that one of her promising past students had been shot, she took it as if Romero had been her own son. Here's how she explained it:

Squatters Beg For Some Solution
Last night, you saw the squatters who were getting in the way of the construction of Lake I Boulevard which will connect the Western Highway with Belama's Chetumal Street. The reports we were getting on the ground were that 20 houses and 100 people needed to move. Tonight, we've confirmed with the contractor that based on their official survey, only 6 of those houses will have to be moved from where they're currently located. But since yesterday, the group of people who believed that they were being forcibly removed for the development, have been trying convince the Government to basically leave them be. Things got confrontational this morning when the loads of clay ended up right at the door step of one those houses in the way, and we went back to find out what would be their fate. Daniel Ortiz reports:

BTL Workers, Desk Bangers
If you were in BTL offices this morning at 10:00 am or this afternoon at 3:00 pm, you probably witnessed a strange thing: employees spontaneously banging on their desks for one solid minute - and one minute only. It caused quite a stir at the usually very business-like offices, and President of the Communication Workers Union Emily Turner says it's simply a show of solidarity for the union as it negotiates a new collective bargaining agreement with management. Turner says the negotiations have been proceeding in good faith, and today's action was only intended to show the union's unity. Turner says the negotiations started last year, and she hopes they can be concluded by the end of this month or next month. Reports say the Union is asking for a 5% increase and management has offered 3.5%.

Police Puzzle Over Inconsistencies In Canadian's Rape/Robbery Report
On Wednesday's Newscast, we told you about the report coming from the Placencia Peninsula that a Canadian Couple was robbed, and that the woman was raped by the assailants. Well ambiguities in the report are surfacing and police are looking more closely at it. As we told you, the Canadian couple told police that 2 men held them up, raped the woman and robbed them of cash and electronics. Well, police say there are some details that they've given that aren't adding up. Other sources from Placencia tell 7News that the couple left without participating in a medical checkup as a routine part of the investigation into a case like this one.

Haylock's Bus Banned (For A Week)
Yesterday we showed you the outrageous traffic maneuver pulled off by a driver for Haylock Bus. He drove the bus diagonally across the Northern Highway at mile 1, going from Captain Eiley Street across the lane of northbound traffic, and then forced himself into the southbound lane. We called it so lawless, it seemed even laughable. But it's no laughing matter for the City's Traffic Department. Reports to 7News say the Department has recommended that Haylock's Bus Line be suspended for the period of one week from their Belama Run within the city. Haylock's also runs from Ladyville - and because the city has no authority over that run, it remains intact. It would be the second high profile suspension for Haylock's bus - which was forced to do the same in late 2012 when a young student fell out of the back of a moving bus when the door sprang open.

Belize Famous For Contraband Smokes
Jalisco, it's one of the most economically active and culturally prominent states in Mexico, but a watchdog group in that country says that it's also a hotbed of contraband cigarettes, most of which they say comes from Belize. According to the El Universal website, authorities estimate that 46% of Jalisco's cigarettes are contraband made in Vietnam, China, Paraguay and the United states, smuggled into Mexico through the Belize border. In March authorities seized 103,000 illegal cigarettes in the state - and those were said to be from Belize.

Both Drivers Served With NIP In Tourist Accident
Last night we showed you the aftermath of a scary head on collision between two vehicles, one of them with tourists as passengers. Tonight police say it was a white westbound Toyota Previa crashing into an eastbound Mazda Protégé four door car - both of them with private plates. The Previa was driven by 30 year old EDMOND CARTER from Western Paradise while the Protégé was driven by 48 year old Orlando Arnold from Maskall Village. Four persons were injured and notices of intended prosecution were issued to both drivers.

PRE Panicked Parents Buying Up Preparatory Software
Last year we told you about Game Prep, digital entrepreneur Tanya Simpson's PSE preparatory software. The game's popularity has taken off with software and an app for mobile platforms. And, with paper one of the PSE exam on Monday, sales this week have stepped up sharply. It may be a purchases driven by panicked parents coming just a little too late, but Simpson tells us she's used to the last minute spike:..

Father Fundraises for Son's Surgery
Today, a father from St, Margaret's Village took out his bar-b-que put and got staffers from his son's school to come out and help him fundraise. His son, 9 year old Kriss Salam has hydrocephalus commonly known as water in the brain, where spinal fluid accumulates in the cavities of the brain. It can be treated with the installation of a shunt to drain the fluid and the procedure can be performed locally. But it's going to cost and this father told us he's fundraising in advance: Those wanting to help can call Longino at 660-3866.

Channel 5

2 students from the Escuela Mexico drown in the Macal River
A field trip ended tragically this afternoon; two students from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in the Corozal District have drowned in the Macal River. The body of Edgar Pook was [...]

Anfernee Romero, 18, killed in Central American Boulevard shooting
­ In 2013, the number of murders fell significantly below the hundred mark but since the beginning of the year, crime figures are creeping up. According to our count, there [...]

Mytheon Solutions under scrutiny; millions in revenues?
Tonight there is much scrutiny of a company called Mytheon Solutions, registered in Belmopan in 2009. The family operated business deals in phone credit. In this case, at least, the [...]

Squatters removal imminent
On Thursday, News Five visited the plight of squatters on Holy Emmanuel Street, many of whom have been there for years. Squatters, Belizeans and immigrants, find a piece of unused [...]

Mark King promises squatters land titles
Residents of the area, all squatters, have told News Five that Area Representative Mark King conducted a survey late last year. They say that they were even given house numbers, [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley and Belize Waste Control negotiate outstanding debt
Mayor Darrell Bradley, in his dual capacity as attorney for the Belize City Council, was back in court this morning where he appeared before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in ongoing [...]

Will Darrell Bradley run for mayor again?
The deadline for entry into the upcoming U.D.P. mayoral convention expired last Friday. While it is expected that Mayor Darrell Bradley would seek another term in office, his candidacy is [...]

Environmental community supports Supreme Court decision in SATIIM/GOB lawsuit
On Thursday, Justice Michelle Arana handed down a judgment in favor of the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. Justice Arana declared that the decision of the Government of Belize to [...]

2 San Pedranos rescued after skiff capsized off the coast of Ambergris Caye
Three residents of San Pedro were successfully rescued from the sea earlier today when their small Mexican skiff capsized off the coast of Ambergris Caye. The men were in the [...]

Belize Communications Workers stage minute-long protests at B.T.L.
We’ve been reporting in the past few days on the changes in the top management of Belize Telemedia Limited. As you know by now, Anwar Barrow, the son of the [...]

Mexican Reports: Contraband cigarettes entering country through Belize
Reports that the contraband of cigarettes is big business at the Commercial Free Zone and the Western Free Zone are nothing new. But a Mexican newspaper is bringing it closer [...]

A first ever Forestry and Fisheries Expo
The annual Expo Marketplace organized by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is five months away. But on Saturday, in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable [...]

Valley of Peace farmers seek legal counsel for loss of damages to crop
On Thursday, Green Tropics’ Country Representative Beverly Burke, along with Chief Agricultural Officer Roberto Harrison and a team from the media, flew over the acreage of produce near Valley of [...]

Highlights of the 2014 Preschool Festival of Arts
The 2014 season of the annual Festival of Arts got underway last Monday, as preschoolers from districts across the Jewel performed in dance, music and drama. For the Belize District, [...]

CTV3

How To Keep Your Baby Cool During The Hot Weather
Whether you spend it inside or in the great outdoors, when it’s hot, like this time of the year, it takes some tricks to keep an infant safe and comfortable. Overdress a baby and he or she could develop an angry heat rash; expose his or her fragile body to hot conditions could lead to a painful, damaging sunburn or heatstroke, a serious affliction characterized by a high fever and rapid breathing. It is important to note that overheating has also been linked to sudden infant death syndrome, a fatal sleeping disorder. To make sure your little one stays cool and protected during the long, hot days here is some advice. If you're going to be indoors, dress your infant in loose-fitting, lightweight garments, preferably made from a natural fiber like cotton, which absorbs perspiration better than synthetic fabrics.

Standard Six Students Prepare For PSE Exams
For standard six students, the Primary School Examinations or as we call it the ‘PSE’ can be frightening to some and a welcomed challenged for others. And on Monday, students across the country will be sitting part one of the examination, those are the Science and English papers. And while many schools have been preparing their students from the very onset of the school year, we felt it imperative to highlight their academic preparations for the big day. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video journalist Jesus Melgar followed the story and filed this extensive report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Thousands of standard six students across the country will be sitting part one of the primary school examinations on Monday. The examinations serve as a grading scheme and reflect the effectiveness of the National Curriculum, and for the teachers it is an important assessment of what students have learned in 8 years. Today, we visited with several schools and got insight on the preparation process.

Couple From Progresso Village Claim Police Brutality
There have been countless reports on police brutality and abuse of power and there will be many more ahead of us and tonight we have another incident of alleged abuse of authority by police. This time around however, a couple alleges that they have been unable to find help even from the higher ups. Twenty six year old Maricruz Heredia, a resident of Progresso Village, says that their ordeal began on the morning of April first. She says the officer attached to the Progresso Police substation entered her house around five in the morning armed and furious. Maricruz Heredia “Yo estoy durmiendo cuando oí que están golpeando la puerta y se abrió y cuando yo me levante ya estaba abierto mi puerta y el entro y yo Salí con solo calzón y bracea y yo le pregunte qué, que hace acá y él me dice que adonde esta mi marido y le dije que mi marido no está porque él no queda acá y después de haya él dice que él tiene que rebuscar mi casa y le dije que él no puede registrar mi casa si el no trae un search warrant y él me dice que él no necesita un search warrant.”

LOVE FM

School Trip Turns Tragic in Western Belize
A day that started out with much excitement and anticipation of their school trip to Chen Chen Ha Caves, ended in tragedy for a group of students from La Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico in San Roman Village, Corozal District when two of their classmates drowned earlier this evening in the Macal River near the low lying bridge in San Ignacio Town. Reports are that after their visit to the caves, the students went near the low lying bridge when the incident occurred. Tonight, we can confirm to you that both bodies, a young man and a young girl have been retrieved from the waters by the authorities in that municipality. The bodies were taken to the San Ignacio morgue where a post mortem will be scheduled. Love News will continue following this story and will bring further reports to you as they are made available.


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PlusTV

U.S. State Department Donates to National Library
The Belize National Library Service and Information System (BNLSIS) yesterday received a donation from the U.S. State Department for the establishment of the Education USA Reference Center, to be housed at the Service’s headquarters at the Leo Bradley Library on Princess Margaret Drive. The books include reference guides on...

School Trip Disaster: 2 Students Drown
Fourth form students from Escuela Mexico in Corozal were on a school trip to San Ignacio today and with the heat on, some of the students went for a swim in the Macal River by the wooden bridge connecting the twin towns. However, something went wrong and two of...

Teenager Shot to the Head; Other Man Multiple Times
Last night we told you about a shooting that happened just before our news time in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. Police have released information on the incident and it was not only one man who was shot. There was a second victim as well. Police say...

Man Admits Lying About Clerk of the National Assembly Hiring him as a Hit man
On April 1 we reported a strange story coming out of Dangriga. It highlighted two prominent men from the community, both Political personalities in the UDP. They are the Clerk of the National Assembly, Eddie Webster. and Dangriga’s UDP Standard Bearer, Frank “Pawpa” Mena. According to a known criminal,...

Chinese Businesses Targeted Back to Back in Corozal
A Chinese store in Corozal was robbed at gun point on Wednesday night. The incident happened at Ban’s store on Santa Rita Road in Corozal Town. According to the proprietor, at about 9:00 p.m. while opening the shutter s of his store in order for his brother in law...

BTL Employees Protest Pay Negotiations
This afternoon in Belize City, PLUS News was witness to an unusual protest. Employees of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) are negotiating with their management for a 5% raise of pay. The state-run company has counter-offered at 3.5%. Still, with a newly reshuffled executive taking control this week, employees at...

Belize CitCo Working to Clear Waste Control Payments
Earlier this week, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was on the receiving end of scathing criticism from attorney for Belize Waste Control (BWC) Eamon Courtenay, who suggested he was “living in another world” for being unable to grasp the importance of consistent payments of the sanitation bill...

American Diplomat Reaffirms U.S. Commitment to Belize
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Francisco Palmieri is on a two-day visit to Belize to meet with his local counterparts in various sectors ranging from Government to civil society. He describes his visit thus far. H.E. Francisco Palmieri- Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the USA “I just had a...

Butane Fueled Vehicles: Are They Safe?
Taxi driver Douglas Paguada is up in arms over the confiscation of his taxi by transport department. He says that around 8:30 this morning, he was parked inside the taxi parking lot adjacent to the Belmopan bus terminal, then he was confronted by the traffic authorities who told him...

Mayor Bradley Missed Deadline to Run Again
Earlier this week Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley asked for time to formulate a response as to whether he would run for a second term. The simple fact of the matter is that, by his own admission as he told us today, he missed the Monday, March 31 deadline...

Amandala

JUSTICE ARANA REAFFIRMS MAYA LAND RIGHTS!
“No to oil drilling until our rights to land, resources, culture, identity and equality are recognized…” This was the message boldly printed on the back of white T-shirts which members of the Maya community wore when they listened to the announcement this morning by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana that she had ruled in their favor in a claim filed last year to stop drilling inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park (STNP). Eamon Courtenay, SC, attorney for the Maya, said that the company, US Capital, can only proceed with drilling until April 30, 2014, but every day that they drill or that they prepare to drill without free prior and informed consent, they are in violation of the rights of the claimants. “The courts have said, repeatedly said, and Arana has said yet again, that the indigenous people should not be forced to go to court to have those rights respected. It is the obligation and duty of the Government…,” he said. “The Government is duty-bound to pass enabling legislation, and Arana says that it is the duty of the Government to enter negotiations so that they can be compensated, as of right, despite the neo-colonialist garbage coming from the mouth of Mr. Peyrefitte,” Courtenay added.

“THEY ARE TRYING TO BURY US ALIVE!”
Lately it seems that there is hardly any infrastructural development project in Belize that isn’t faced with opposition or resentment from concerned or affected citizens who take it upon themselves to sound the alarm regarding some type of perceived injustice or the other, and today, another saga unfolded as some frantic residents of Lake Independence railed about proposed infrastructural works which, according to the residents, threaten to drive them from their residences, or as some said, “bury them alive.” Their concerns stem from the Chetumal Street Bridge Project, which is currently taking place in the extended areas of Belize City’s Lake Independence constituency where a road is being constructed to bridge the north and south sides of the city in addition to infrastructure works to create a proposed bus terminal, a full-fledged police station and a multi-purpose sports facility in that vicinity. Scores of persons reside on properties which are apparently in the way of the Chetumal Street Boulevard project. The residents are now up in arms because they are claiming that they were previously promised that their homes and properties would not be affected.

UNIBAM CHALLENGES BELIZE AT OAS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION HEARING
In addition to facing legal challenges from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to the country’s sodomy laws in the Supreme Court and its immigration laws before the Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize is now facing a human rights challenge before the Inter-American Commission on Humans Rights (IACHR) – a challenge led by United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), the same NGO which had petitioned the Supreme Court to have the law criminalizing sodomy struck off the country’s law books. The State of Belize was summoned to appear in Washington, DC, USA, before the IACHR—an instrument of the Organization of American States (OAS)—on the morning of Friday, March 28, 2014, after UNIBAM petitioned for a human rights hearing in which the NGO is demanding that the Government of Belize implement measures to protect the rights of the LGBTI community in Belize. UNIBAM is also demanding legislation to sanction persons for what it calls “hate crimes” and “hate speech” against LGBTI persons. It claims violation and discrimination in health, education and employment, and major security concerns for LGBTI persons – citing the recent January 2013 murder of Joseph Sanchez, a transgender individual who police said was killed in the process of an aggravated robbery by two men, although UNIBAM had wrongly called it a hate crime.

5 P.M. SHOOTING – 2 MEN CRITICAL IN KHMH
Gunshots rang out near the southern end of Central American Boulevard shortly after 5:00 this evening, and when the shooting was over, two men had to be rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Ward for treatment. Reports are sketchy at this time, but Amandala has learned that the two shooting victims are Alfernie Romero, 18, and Troy Hyde, 26. The two friends were socializing in a yard when two gunmen rode up on bicycles and opened fire, hitting both men multiple times. Romero was hit in his back, leg and hand. The bullet in his back is said to be lodged in an area of his spine. Hyde, street sources say, was shot twice in the head.

Isabel lights fire of activism on rough road to recovery
Even as she lies confined to a hospital bed, her neck and hip braced because of excruciating injuries she sustained in a road traffic accident a week ago, Isabel G. Bennett, a well-known lecturer in the Department of Nursing at the University of Belize and an activist in her field, has pledged to start a movement for victims of road traffic accidents and their families, who are often left out in the cold to grapple in the aftermath. She has suffered a fractured hip and three hairline fractures in her cervical spine – c3, c4 and c5. She wears a neck brace to avoid further injury—which should be avoided at all cost to avert the risk of paralysis. Bennett, a resident of Ladyville, Belize District, was returning home from Belmopan last Tuesday night when the non-stop James Bus in which she was riding was involved in a collision with a towhead truck which was transporting a tractor. Bennett said that it was after 7:00 in the night and the road was “very dark” – what she believes was one of the contributing factors to the accident.

Karen Bevans joins BTB on April 9
Karen Bevans, who recently resigned her post as Chief Operations Officer at Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) after 25 years of service—is due to assume her new post as Director of Tourism at the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) next Wednesday, April 9. Bevans was hoping to take on local and overseas consultancies after demitting office at BTL; however, the new job will mean that she will have her plate full. The new Director of Tourism told Amandala today that her focus has to be on bringing the team together and fostering an environment of teamwork. She said that although her background is telecommunications and not tourism, she is optimistic that she can bring the kind of leadership to the organization that will build camaraderie among staff, which would then pay dividends in boosting productivity within the organization. She expressed confidence that the management staff has the technical tourism expertise the organization needs to oversee the sector.

PUP and Anwar Barrow clash over BTL appointment
The Opposition People’s United Party has issued a statement calling on the board of directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)—headed by Net Vasquez—to rescind the appointment of Anwar Barrow, son of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, as head of the company’s executive committee. “While Anwar Barrow has served on the board of directors and executive committee of management, this latest appointment places him in full and direct control of the day-to-day management of BTL,” said the Opposition. It noted that the phone company is state-owned and government-controlled, and they view Anwar Barrow’s appointment as a blatant act of nepotism, and added that this is not in the best interest of BTL or the people of Belize. The Opposition said that, “If the BTL board fails to act, we call on Prime Minister Barrow to do the right thing and to ask his son, Anwar Barrow, to resign.”

Belmopan City Council Mundialito Kids
The Belmopan Football Association (BFA) held Week 4 games at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium over the weekend in the Belmopan City Council Mundialito Kids & Female Cup 2014. On Saturday, March 29, in game 1 at 1:00 p.m., (Kids) Salvapan1-Brazil clipped San Martin-Mexico2 by a 1-nil score with a goal from Rolando Galdamez (42’). In game 2, (Female) San Martin-Mexico won, 3-0, over Piccini-France, with a goal apiece from Clarisa Salgado (19’), Shian Wade (32’) and Ashly Rodriguez (53’). And in game 3, (Kids) Mountain View-Italy got the 3-1 win over Las Flores-Spain, with a goal each from Tahj Reid (37’), Jodie Reyes (40’) and Jamal Brooks (52’); while Justin Menendez (59’) got the only goal for Las Flores.

Cricket competition
The following games were played over the weekend in the Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2014. At Sandhill, Brave 11 scored 90 runs (S. Flowers had 29 runs, and A. Fermin took 2 wickets); but Bright Star reached 95 runs for the win with 4 spare wkts (Marlon Rhaburn had 36 runs, and Gilly Segura took 4 wkts). At Rancho Dolores, it was Excellence with 144 runs (Vernon Stevenson scored 38, and Marlon “Camala” Nicholas took 7 wkts) over Western Eagles, who managed only 71 (Jonathan Benjamin scored 27, and Emilio “Peng” Perez took 5 wkts). At Isabella, Isabella was all out for 106 runs (Terry Budd batted for 39, and Norman Pook took 4 wkts), but Berlan tallied 107 with 5 spare wkts for the win (Jeovany Baiza had 49, and Jerry Casasola took 3 wkts). At Carmelita, Brilliant racked up an unbeatable total of 298 runs (Brandon Lewis scored 58, and Andrew Banner took 4 wkts), as home standing Suga Boys could only manage 142 (Orvin Wade had 36 runs, and Jaime Wade took 4 wkts). At Boom, Brave Union was all out for only 41 runs (Zaghi took 2 wkts), as Sunrise easily passed that mark with their 46 runs with 7 wkts to spare (Martin Joseph had 12 runs, and Edison Parks took 5 wkts for 5 runs). At Lords Bank, it was Wicked Eleven over Cashu Medicos; and at Belmopan, Easy Does It defeated Police. (No details were received for these games.)

House of Shotokan Karate students win 15 trophies in Chet’
Seven students from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy journeyed to Chetumal, Mexico on Saturday, March 22, to compete in the National Blackbelt League (NBL) Karate Championships along with participants from Puerto Morales, Cancun, Acapulco and other Mexican states. At the end of the competition, Andre Cervantes (Yellow Belt) won 1st place in the Fighting Division and 1st place in the Kata Division; Norman Usher (White Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division; Anthony Usher (White Belt) – in his first karate tournament – won 2nd place in the Fighting Division and 3rd place in the Kata Division; Jorge Aguilar (White Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division and 2nd place in the Kata Division; Samara Vasquez (Purple Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division, 1st place in the Kata Division and 1st place in the Weapons Division; Elias Myers (Brown Belt) won 2nd place in the Fighting Division and 2nd place in the Kata Division; and Landon Cocom (Tigo Shodan Black Belt) won 3rd place in the Fighting Division, 2nd place in the Kata Division and 2nd place in the Weaponry Division.

No Limit Soldiers win
The first half of the National Elite Basketball League regular season is officially in the books, and the sedond half got underway this past Friday night, March 28, when the Belize City (Smart) No Limit Soldiers clashed with the Orange Walk Running Rebels inside the Orange Walk Multipurpose Complex. This match-up was intense and exciting from start to finish, as neither team was able to accumulate a double digit lead at any point in the game. The largest advantage for the Running Rebels was 6 points, while the biggest lead for the Soldiers was 7. It was a close game throughout the entire 40 minutes, with 14 lead changes and 18 ties. The game was tight until the very end, and with the score knotted at 74 apiece with 30 seconds on the clock in the 4th and final quarter, the No Limit Soldiers made a mental error, committing a defensive foul to send a Running Rebel to the charity stripe to shoot 2. As he stepped to the line, the silence was deafening, as every Running Rebel fan was on the edge of their seats praying that he could hit at least one to give the home side the lead with mere seconds remaining in the game. The first shot went up, it looked good as it approached the rim, but it rimmed out. And with the score still tied at 74, he released the 2nd free throw. It was all net, and as the ball exited the bottom the crowd erupted, as the Rebels were now in front 75 to 74.

Hon. John Saldivar 8-Ball
The Hon. John Saldivar 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan continued on Sunday, March 30, at Mike’s Cue Club in Belmopan, as Round 1 ended, and Round 2 got underway. Let’s look at the individual results and standings. Match 1: Las Flores downed Shattaz, 2-1. Las Flores’ Salvador Orellana hurt Jason Tsu, 3-1; and Julio Hernandez dropped Juan Gusman, 3-1. For Shattaz, it was Erwin Paredes over Victor Orellana, 3-0, by default due to work. Match 2: Twin Stars defeated Cotton Tree, 2-1. Twin Stars’ Sam Yam beat Mario Lopez, 3-1; and Moises Aguirre won Danilo Rivero, 3-1. For Cotton Tree, it was Robert Sanabria over Jose Palma, 3-2. Match 3: Special Effects blanked Barrio Fino, 3-0. Special Effects’ Edmund Guy got over Brian Mira, 3-2; Juan Maiestro got past Stanley Mira, 3-2; and Erwin Woodye won Santos Palma, 3- 1.

Police sits pretty on top
With the FFB taking over the management of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Closing Season tournament, there have been a few glitches in the communication flow. There was an error in our Week 4 report last week, where the Police United goal in their 1-0 win over Verdes at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday, March 22, was by Harrison “Cafu” Roches, not by Harrison Tasher as erroneously reported. Tasher plays for BDF. Catching up with Week 5 mid-week games on Wednesday, March 26. At the Marshalleck Stadium, FC Belize dropped home standing Verdes by the same 2-1 score as on that controversial semifinal night in January. FC Belize goals were by Leon “Chow” Cadle (30’ PK) and Francisco Briceno (52’); while Verdes’ sole tally was by Marlon “El Matador” Meza (52’ PK). Down in Punta Gorda, a late goal by Clifton West (88’) gave visiting Police United the 1-0 win over Paradise/Freedom Fighters. And in Dangriga, BDF got a goal in each half by Frederick Flores (21’) and Shane Flores (83’), respectively, to beat visiting San Ignacio United, 2-0.

EDITORIAL:
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s decision to promote his younger son, Anwar, to the top of the management of the nationalized telecommunications company is an act of defiance on his part. The original move to appoint Anwar to the BTL board was insolent enough, it being the case that there were more qualified, more experienced candidates for the lucrative board post, but this week’s elevation of the young Barrow to the BTL leadership essentially confirms what we have been trying to emphasize at this newspaper for some years now. That is, that the system of government which we have in Belize, exaggerates the power of the Prime Minister to such an extent as to make a mockery sometimes of participatory democracy. On election night two years ago, it appeared that the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) was about to blow a general election they had been expected to win easily. The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) had swept the South and done serious damage in the West earlier that day. In fact, but for sixty or seventy votes, the PUP would have won four of the six seats in the West and would have formed the 2012-2017 Government of Belize. This PUP, however, had changed Leaders twice in the four months before the March 2012 general election, and had ended up with a Leader appointed by an anonymous party cabal instead of elected in a leadership convention. This was the PUP that had the UDP shaking in its boots at 11 p.m. on general election night.

From The Publisher
“On 30 May 1969, Curacao’s capital, Willemstad, was in flames. A labor conflict that erupted into a revolt ended with the deployment of Dutch marines to restore order. Once the smoke had cleared, part of the historical city lay in ruins. The long-term consequences of this revolt were to be far-reaching.” “A few individuals, like the progressive priest Amado Romer, had warned of a possible outburst. Yet despite such warnings and recurrent demonstrations organized by the Vitó group, the revolt of 30 May came as a complete surprise to almost everyone on the island. The local government seemed to believe that a gradual improvement of the economic situation would resolve the discord, and hence tended to downplay its significance. In the Netherlands, only a few were concerned with the Caribbean parts of the kingdom at all and even those had no idea what was brewing. Even the Antillean and Dutch security forces were taken completely off their guard by the revolt.” “Thee Amigo identified the cause of the outburst as ‘the festering feeling of uncertainty (…) of the ordinary man, the – misplaced or otherwise – realization that he is no more than a ball being tossed around by the lucrative arbitrariness of impersonal powers, which keep on growing as he becomes disproportionately smaller.’”

Phillip Gallaty, 56, charged with driving motor vehicle without due care and attention
Phillip Gallaty, 56, a resident of 876 Bella Vista and the manager of Victor L. Bryant and Company Limited, pleaded not guilty to driving without due care and attention when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Thursday afternoon. But before Frazer read the charge to him, Gallaty told the court that he had not been aware that he had been involved in a traffic accident. The alleged accident reportedly occurred on Saturday, March 22, 2014 around Mile 2 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, and it involved a vehicle driven by Belize City Traffic Magistrate Stephanie Gillett, 39. Gallaty said that he first became aware that he had been involved in a traffic accident when police showed up at his office with a warrant for his arrest.

Family house destroyed in Belmopan; 9 homeless
The house of a single mother, Narcissa Dionicio, 52, of Salvapan, the mother of twelve children, was completely destroyed by fire at about 7:30 Sunday evening. Her belongings and household furnishings were destroyed. Dionicio and her children are now homeless, and she is asking the public to help her to acquire materials to rebuild a house, clothing, food, books and uniforms, and also monetary donations to buy needed items for survival. A family member told Amandala that on Sunday night, Dionicio was at home doing some work when suddenly one of her grandchildren came running to her and told her that the baby had put a lighted candle on the mattress where the grandchild sleeps, and it had caught fire. Dionicio immediately ran into the room to see what was happening and that was when she saw that the mattress was burning. She quickly tried to get water to throw on the burning mattress, but there was insufficient water.

Fires destroy properties in Ladyville and Corozal
A house and a warehouse, in Biscayne and Corozal respectively, were completely destroyed by fire on Sunday. The Corozal Fire Service reported that they responded to a call at about 5:00 a.m. Sunday reporting a fire at Johnny’s Construction, Mile 85 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway. When they arrived at the scene, the building was already engulfed in fierce flames. Fire officials believed that the fire started in the office of the company. Firemen put out the fire, but the building, made of concrete, was destroyed. Reports are that in the warehouse at the time were four vehicles in good condition, a boat and other machinery worth thousands of dollars, and they were all destroyed. After investigating, fire officials concluded that the fire started in the office, which was located in the storeroom of the building.

What we’re eating and feeding our children
I came across an article by Dr. Mercola (mercola.com) titled, “Environmental toxins linked to rise in autism,” and thought it relevant to the recent discussion about the potential dangerous effects caused by the spraying of our crops with the chemical called “glyphosate” that wreaked havoc on our farmers in Valley of Peace. Their problem is financial; the rest of us consumers have to think about our health, especially considering that there may be poor monitoring of what the Mennonite farmers are doing on their farms, whose products come to our market and then to our dinner tables. Below is an excerpt from Mercola’s article dated April 2, 2014. Fluoride and Glyphosate—Two Toxins That Need to Be Urgently Addressed When you consider how pervasive those 12 toxins are (not to mention the thousands of others, which we still know little about), it’s no wonder so many children are born with severe health problems and disabilities. Fluoride alone, which is still being added to many public water supplies around the US, can contribute to a seven-point drop in a child’s IQ score, on average!

6 survive ordeal at sea for 11 hours
Five men and a boy, 13, are alive and well after a harrowing ordeal, floating at sea for 11 hours after their boat capsized about nine miles off the shore of Dangriga Town, in the Coco Plum Caye area. The group had been travelling with Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano, Commander of the Police Southern Division, who is an avid sailor and fisherman. Mariano and the group travelled to the Coco Plum Caye area for a day of fishing on Sunday, but shortly after they weighed anchor and were travelling back home, their boat capsized after a big wave slammed it at an angle. The men held on to the overturned boat, while the 13-year-old was put on top of the boat. One of the men daringly swam back to Coco Plum Caye, a distance of about 4 miles, and alerted the resort owner of the accident, and he immediately initiated a search for the other men.

Laura Baptist Middleton recovering at the KHMH
Laura Baptist Middleton, the principal of Sadie Vernon High School, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was found lying on the floor of her office at the Sadie Vernon High School at about 2:30 this afternoon. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where she is being treated and monitored. Her condition has been declared stable. Reports to Amandala by students are that the vice principal went into the principal’s office and found her lying on the floor. An ambulance was called, which came quickly. Soldiers who were on the compound went into the office and assisted the ambulance technicians, and put Middleton on a stretcher and put her into the ambulance. She was then rushed away.

Alcoholic stupor led to death of villager
The family of Guinea Grass villager, Asael Levi Gomez, 30, is mourning his death which post-mortem results have so far indicated to have been a consequence of an alcoholic stupor. On Monday, we reported that Gomez’s partially decomposed corpse was discovered by an Infant 2 student of Guinea Grass Roman Catholic School in Orange Walk when she went to use the bathroom after 9:00 that morning. Today, police reported that when they visited the school’s compound yesterday, Gomez – a construction worker – was seen slumped over a latrine at the school, and upon a close inspection of the body, a wound was observed on the right side of his temple. Further investigations revealed that Gomez’s wife, Doricile Cruz, had been trying to persuade him to go home at about 8:00 on the morning of Saturday, March 29, because he was intoxicated at the time, but he reportedly refused to go, and that was the last time she saw him alive.

Esteemed WPS Tucker succumbs to stroke attack
A host of friends, relatives and coworkers from the Belize Police Department are at this time mourning the loss of a well-known and well-liked female police sergeant, WPS Kimari Tucker, who suffered a massive stroke while going to attend a concert in Belize City last Saturday, March 29. This past Tuesday, April 1, Sergeant Kimari Tucker unfortunately passed away at around 10:30 a.m. at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she had been admitted since Sunday, March 30. While her family grapples with the circumstances of her unexpected death, the Belize Police Department is also grieving the loss of the exemplary officer who had earned numerous awards during her extensive tenure and had a quite positive rapport with the public at large. Today, Amandala spoke with her close friend and former coworker, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, who heads the Police Department’s Eastern Division Communication Center, and he told us that he had known WPS Tucker for almost 30 years, and although she had been diagnosed with a hypertensive condition, the career officer was one of the best and most passionate individuals that has ever served the department.

Fishermen fined for off-season Nassau groupers
This afternoon, two fishermen, one from Santa Elena and one from Progresso, were ordered to pay $1,290 each after they pleaded guilty to two fisheries offences in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer Dionicio Edwards, 35, of Santa Elena, Cayo District, and Julius Chi, 29, of Progresso, Corozal District, were charged with one count each of being in possession of two Nassau groupers out of season, and one count of being in possession of 26 fish fillets without the required two inch by one inch skin patch. Three other fishermen were summoned to appear to answer the same two charges, but up to the time of the arraignment of Edwards and Chi, had not showed up at court. The incident occurred last Sunday, March 29, northwest of Crawl Caye on the Turneffe atoll, where Fisheries officers found the men with two fillet Nassau groupers and 26 fillet fish, which did not have the skin patch, which is required for identification purposes.

PM Barrow’s son, Anwar, heads executive committee of BTL
Anwar Barrow, son of Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dean Barrow, has confirmed to Amandala that he has assumed the position of chairman of the executive committee of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), effective April 1, 2014. Anwar Barrow succeeds Net Vasquez, who will continue serving as chairman of BTL’s board of directors. Barrow told us today that the executive committee is a subcommittee of the board of directors, which now has 8 members since the departure of Sir Manuel Esquivel. Meanwhile, Barrow indicated that Rafael Marin, Chief Information Systems Officer, is acting in the post recently vacated by Karen Bevans – who may shortly be assuming the post of director of the Belize Tourism Board.

Chamber says current form of OSH bill “detrimental”
Although the private sector, the trade unions and the Government all agree that there is a pressing need for the country to adopt legislation to tackle occupational safety problems which exist across the country, the private sector has joined the Government of Belize in expressing concerns that the changes required under the current draft of the Occupation Safety and Health (OSH) Bill would be too onerous on the private sector. Kay Menzies, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce of Industry (BCCI), told Amandala this morning that while the Chamber and its members absolutely support the move to enact safety legislation, the OSH Bill is detrimental in its current form and it “absolutely will not work,” because it will raise the cost of doing business. The Public Service, Labour, Trade and Industry Committee of the House, led by Albert area representative Herman Longsworth, met with the private sector at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel last night, and heard the concerns of the private sector.

Contract for Dangriga market project in new hands
The town of Dangriga, also known as the Culture Capital of Belize, has been without an official town market in excess of one year since the already delayed project for the renovation of the market was abruptly brought to a standstill last September. But now things seem to be shaping up for Dangriga residents since a new contract for the long-awaited completion of the market has been undertaken by a construction company from the Cayo District. However, the awarding of that contract has caused tension with one of the project’s former subcontractors, who told Amandala today that he intends to file court action to recover over $100,000 that he invested to complete that same project. According to a release issued yesterday by the Social Investment Fund (SIF), which is the executing agency for the project, SIF’s newly appointed executive director, William Lamb, Jr., is expected to hand over the project site to representatives of CB Construction of San Ignacio for the completion of the refurbishment and expansion of the municipal market in Dangriga today. The new contract – valued at exactly $1,228,310.95 – was signed last Monday, March 24, after SIF got the “green light” from the World Bank and the Contractor General.

Legality, illegality and loyalty (how Guatemalans violate our laws)
There is so much going on in the country it seems we are running from one crisis to another and one scandal to another which consume the mass citizenry into a frenzy. Sadly few take time to analyze in a very critical manner what is actually taking place. Because the conversation gets into partisan politics too often the discourse does not go beyond the personal attacks and the “shoot the messenger” mentality takes over, thus the issue is left as is. Illegal activity overshadowed Over the weekend there was a major shooting that impacted the entire national security of Belize and I personally was irate to know that the Guatemalan press has been “spinning” the shooting of a Guatemalan drug man into the illegal killing of an innocent farmer. Sadly the Belizean press has not even put a spin, much less told the truth of what happened… some are now getting there. Sadly our government, BDF and FCD Rangers are not talking…. They know what happened and it is a far cry from what Prensa Libre and the Guatemalan press are saying.

LETTERS: David Swatsigga writes the people
I chose to write to your newspaper because I have always noticed that your newspaper continuously publishes articles that are unbiased. Allow me to express the words of wisdom of Aristotle: “Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.” Certainly Aristotle was right to the very foundation of his assertion. It’s fundamental that for democracy to flourish the power of the electorate must prevail without any hindrance. In Belize we have a modified democratic system run by political parties who are rooted on the principle of ignorance, arrogance, self-praise, unethical, immoral, treason, just to name a few qualities. The quality of governance in our country is also muffled by the fact that our representatives are elected and put in power by the will of cash flow in our elections. The capital that puts a government in place is by the will of the wealthy and not the middle or lower class of society. Government as we call it in Belize is just a theoretical reality of the real democracy. Our system of government always clashes with the interest of the poor of this nation. Since pre and post-Independence we have been spectators of scandal on top of scandal in this nation: passports being sold, public funds being diverted, lands being sold for mediocre prices and then resold for millions, companies opening and closing in the blink of an eye, money laundering by representatives of the people, tax-cuts to special investors, containers of products being imported and levied of import duties and taxes, drug trafficking by members in government and so much more. I beg the question: Is society handcuffed from making a change?

LETTERS: Major Jones censures Lt. Col. Lovell
On March 26, 2014, the CEO of the Ministry of National Security, retired Lieutenant Colonel George Lovell, in response to questions posed by the media, did two things. Firstly he made a buffoon of himself and secondly, he reinforced public perception that there is a cover-up in relation to the Penner passport scandal. A leaked confidential memo, penned by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), indicated that ASP Valdez (the officer in charge of the Penner investigation) was stymied in the discharge of his duties “due to instructions”. When questioned about this revelation, unbelievably, George Lovell had this to say: “There was a letter that was sent back to the DPP, where ASP Valdez clarified what precisely happened. I don’t know who made it available to the press with the first correspondence, and I would like to ask whosoever did that to take that second correspondence that ASP Valdez had sent to the DPP, and for them to have the press informed and enlightened on it. I will not be that person to say that to you, but I know that it was clarified.”

LETTERS: From Cristo Rey, a call to check the mercury!
In the February 14, 2014 edition of this newspaper, there was a letter from Mrs. Candy Gonzales on the levels of mercury in fish from the Macal River. I must express my great disappointment and concern at the lack of response from GOB and BECOL to the issues raised by Mrs. Gonzales. It seems that the Government of Belize (DoE) has once again abandoned the wellbeing and livelihood of the Cayo people in favour of the monstrous multinational company –BECOL. Before the dams, the citizens of the Cayo District enjoyed healthy fish and clean water from the Macal River system. All this and more was sacrificed in the name of cheaper electricity and a huge profit for BECOL. The people of Cayo were then appeased with the mitigating measure contained in the ECP signed with BECOL, which ensured that contamination of the Macal would be monitored and the communities kept informed when it was safe to eat fish and use the water from the river until parameters returned to normal.

Man, 19, stabbed in Ladyville
A man has been released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was stabbed twice in the right side of the back by one of three men during an altercation at about 2:00 Friday morning in Ladyville at Mile 9 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Samir Sutherland, 19, of Gabourel Lane, Belize City, was rushed to the Belize Defence Force Hospital in Price Barracks, and then to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and after further treatment, he was declared to be in a stable condition. Police reported that their initial investigation revealed that Sutherland had attacked a person with a weapon, but failed in the attack. He returned to the area, however, and became involved in an altercation with a group of men, one of whom stabbed him twice in his back.

Police charge Steven Buckley for weed “roach”
Steven Buckley, his wife and son, and three of their friends were arraigned on a charge of being in possession of a pipe adapted to smoke a controlled drug when they appeared this afternoon before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, who released them on a $700 bail and adjourned their case to May 29. Buckley, however, was charged with possession of 0.4 grams of cannabis. He pleaded guilty and Stewart fined him $60, which he has to pay by May 2. If he defaults on payment, he will spend two weeks in prison. According to the police’s statement which was read in court, they (the police) visited Buckley’s George Street home around 10:00 a.m. in search of guns and ammunition, but came upon the cannabis when they searched inside Buckley’s room. Before the police’s facts of the charge were read, Buckley, who is partially paralyzed from the blast of a police shotgun he suffered in 2010, in a case of mistaken identity, demonstrated to the Magistrate the size of the cannabis which was found, by holding his thumb against his index finger, saying, “it was just wan lee roach.”

Kenroy Vanzie, 32, beat firearm and ammunition rap
Kenroy Vanzie, who was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition, walked out of Magistrate Dale Cayetano’s court free of the charges after the Magistrate upheld a no-case-to-answer submission from Vanzie’s attorney, Bryan Neal, on Wednesday. The prosecution’s case began to unravel when the firearm, a .9mm, was not admitted into evidence because of a discrepancy with the serial number on the weapon. In his submission, Neal told the court that there was no connection between his client and the firearm that police found on January 1, 2013. When police found the gun, which was loaded with 6 rounds, Vanzie was in police custody, Neal submitted. He was being investigated for a robbery, and was not released from police custody until the following day, January 2. The prosecution was also unable to prove that Vanzie had actually resided at the address where the gun was found, Neal argued. The police did not present any evidence such as a utility bill or some other document to prove that Vanzie actually lived in the yard in which the gun was found.

Man threatened victim, after jacking his fried chicken and chow mein!
A Belize City man was arraigned in the #1 Court of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on one count of theft and one count of use of threatening words and was released on a $1,000 bail plus one surety of the same amount. Sherman Rodney, 22, a construction worker employed with Cisco Construction, pleaded not guilty to the two charges. The incident occurred on Tuesday, March 25, according to a report filed by Rupert Lopez, the virtual complainant. Lopez told police that he had gone to buy fried chicken and chow mein at a Chinese fast food shop on Fabers Road. While making his way on Fabers Road with the food he had just bought, two men approached him. The men were riding bicycles and Lopez told police that he recognized Sherman Rodney, whom he has known for some time now.

Stoeger pistol found by police in Corozal
A 9mm Stoeger pistol loaded with 10 live rounds has been found and confiscated by police. Corozal police said that at about 5:20 Saturday evening, they were on an anti-drug patrol in the Santa Rita area in Corozal when they went to an open lot where they conducted random searches to find drugs, guns or ammunition. This led to the discovery of the Stoeger Couger 800F pistol with the serial number T6429-08. The pistol had an extended magazine containing 10 live rounds.


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#489065 - 04/05/14 11:53 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 5, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here

High speed police chase leads to arrest of Maroquin Drury, 22
A man who was allegedly involved in a shooting incident that was followed by a high speed police chase through some streets of Lake Independence on Friday afternoon was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on two charges before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on Monday. Maroquin Antwon Drury, 22, a tour guide and resident of 11 Santa Barbara Street, pleaded not guilty to grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm against Joshua Lewis. But the Monday morning arraignment had to be adjourned to the court’s afternoon session, to determine if Drury could be granted bail for the two indictable offenses. His attorney, Bryan Neal, attempted to secure bail for his client, since no plea was taken from him and he was not charged with attempted murder, for which remand to prison is automatic.

Retrial date set for Viola Pook
Viola Pook appeared before Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas this morning and he has set May 20 as the date for the commencement of her retrial for the murder of her common-law husband Orlando Vasquez. At the Court of Appeal session last month, the Appeal Justices ruled that the murder conviction of Viola Pook, 56, was unfair and they overturned that conviction, quashed her life sentence and ordered a new Supreme Court trial. On December 31, 2008, Vasquez, 48, Pook’s common-law husband of 23 years, was set on fire in their Rancho Dolores, Belize District home. He died a few days later from the over 70 percent burns to his body. Pook was arrested, indicted and convicted for his murder and sentenced to life in prison in July 2011. But today she told court reporters that she is happy that she is going to get a new trial.

Doctor beaten and robbed on Teachers Street
Dr. Jose Espat, of Teachers’ Street, reported to police that he was beaten and robbed at gunpoint when he pulled into his yard on a motorcycle from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The incident occurred at about 9:30 Tuesday evening. Thieves, after attacking Dr. Espat, stole his chain, valued at about $10,000, and ran through Teachers College Compound and escaped. The attack left the doctor bleeding from a wound on his head, and he had a swelling on the left side of his forehead. He was taken to the KHMH, where his fellow doctors treated him.

Judge’s driver and driver’s nephew charged for out-of-season hickatees
A policeman and a farmer pleaded not guilty to four fisheries offences when they were arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Goldburn Seguro, 53, a Special Constable who is the driver of Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel, and Hilberto Seguro, 30, a farmer and resident of Biscayne, allegedly were found in possession of hickatee and hickatee nets. Golburn was arraigned on the charges on Monday and today, Tuesday, his nephew, who was summoned to court, was arraigned on the same four charges. And like his uncle, Hilberto also pleaded not guilty to the charges. The charges include one count each of being in possession of hickatee nets; one count each of being in possession of more than three hickatees, one count each of being in possession of a female hickatee greater than 43 centimeters or 17.2 inches in length, and one count each of being in possession of female hickatees less than 38 centimeters long.

Belize City man, 55, accused of theft, released on bail
A 55-year-old Belize City man who has been accused of theft was before the court today to answer to the theft charge, for which he pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Percival Usher, a resident of #3676 Central American Boulevard, was offered bail of $500, but he was told that he would not be able to access his bail until all of his outstanding court fines are paid in full. Usher, according to court records, has some outstanding court fines dating back to 1999. Usher told the court that he has never been to prison to serve time for any of the outstanding fines, which suggested that the fines are indeed outstanding. But by afternoon, when Usher’s family went to pay the fines, it was discovered that there was a clerical error. And it was not the accused man, Percival Usher, who had owed the court fines, but his son, who has the same name.

Piece of prisoner’s ear bitten off during fight on prison bus
Perhaps the social interaction at the Belize Central Prison is more complex than the outside world of warring gangs in Belize City, from which a number of prison inmates originate. But just as there are gang turfs in the outside world, so also there are various turfs behind the walls of the prison. The dangerous difference, however, is space. Because at times, old beefs are settled when opportunity presents itself and prisoners find themselves in close proximity with rivals. What happened this Wednesday morning has happened many times before—war among prisoners within the tight space of the prison bus or in the holding cell at the Magistrate’s Court, or at the prison itself. But this morning’s war onboard a Belize City-bound prison bus escalated to a dangerous level that could have been worse, when a prisoner bit off a piece of another prisoner’s left ear.

Corwin Bennett, 23, back to court, this time on robbery charges
Less than two weeks after Corwin Bennett, 23, accused of murdering Raymond “Killa” Gentle, the reputed leader of the Kraal Road Gang, was acquitted of the murder charge and was released by the Belize City Supreme Court on March 7, he was taken back to court on robbery charges. Bennett, of Belize City, has been released on a bail of $5,000 and a surety of the same amount and was ordered to return to the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on May 27. He was also ordered to report to the Queen Street Police Station three times per week until he is returned to court. Police contend that Bennett was the mastermind behind the robbery of a couple that occurred on March 17 in Corozal Town. His alleged accomplices, Samir Vivas, Josmer Monima and Keith Bennett, all of Corozal, were taken to court, along with Bennett, on Friday, and the three men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 24.

Drama on Mahogany Street: high speed chase and shootout with police
Police say that they returned fire at persons in a maroon van that they were chasing at high speed at about 1:30 Friday afternoon in the Mahogany Street area of Lake Independence, after a reported shooting on East Collet Canal. Joshua Lewis, a taxi driver of Amara Avenue, told police that about 1:15 p.m., when he was driving on East Collet Canal, the van drove up beside his vehicle and someone fired at him: the bullet hit him in his arm, and went into his ribcage. The van then drove away at high speed. Lewis was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where doctors treated him. Police who were in the area responded to the shooting and tried to stop the van from escaping, but it sped off at high speed. Police set up a road block on Mahogany Street, but the van evaded the road block and drove in the direction of the Charles B. Hyde Administration Building, colloquially known as Complex Building, where police who were on the lookout for it fired at it in an attempt to make it stop, but the van was travelling too fast.

Burglary and stealing in Belmopan and San Pedro
A theft and a burglary have been reported in San Pedro and Ladyville, respectively. At about 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, Robert Spica, an American retiree of Las Brisas, Mile 4 1/2 South Ambergris Caye, told police that his handyman had been stealing from his money bag which he had hidden. Spica had informed police that he had sold a boat and had put the money he received in a bag and had hidden the bag, but it was found by his handyman, and between March 31 and April 1, the handyman took money, amounting to $3,000, from the bag without his permission. The handyman was detained and when questioned, he told police that he had indeed taken $3,000 from Spica’s money bag. He has since been taken into custody, pending charges of theft. Then yesterday, a resident of Santa Elena, Cayo, Carlos Chan, who is a former employee of Medina Construction Company, was taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on charges of theft and possession of stolen goods.

POLICE SEEK SON WHO BURGLARIZED FAMILY HOUSE
Police have been looking for a man who allegedly burglarized the home of his parents in Libertad, Corozal District, and stole some items from them. The incident occurred about 2:00 Friday afternoon. Israel Torres, 58, told police that he was at work and his wife and his daughter were at church at about 2:00 p.m. on Friday when his daughter-in-law, who was at home, reported that his son went into the house through the back door. Torres called his wife and instructed her to go and see what was happening at the house, but as she and her daughter were approaching the house, their son, 26, escaped out of the back door and ran.

Burglaries and break-ins in Belize City, San Pedro and Sandhill
At about 6:30 Friday evening, veteran educator and retired principal of Grace Primary School on Amara Avenue, Gloria Edwards, 78, was held up and robbed in her house in Sandhill. Edwards reported that she returned home and as she opened her door to enter the house, a man who was wearing a rag on his face and was armed with a butcher knife came up to her, held her up and grabbed her bag, which she had slung on her shoulder. Gloria Edwards told police that she struggled with him, but he cut the straps of the bag, pulled the bag away and fled. Police are investigating the shameless robbery of an elderly citizen. Then, between 1:00 and 5:00 a.m. Saturday, a thief or thieves burglarized the Olympics Gaming Center on Angel Coral Street, San Pedro Town, and got away with assorted liquors valued at $288, and a computer valued at $1,500. The thieves also stole an undetermined amount of cash.

MURDER OF AMERICAN EXPAT STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION
American national Dennis Waltz, 77, was found slaughtered in his garage located just outside Sarteneja Village in Corozal last Friday, March 28, and when Amandala sought to get an update into the investigations today, Corozal police told us that they are still trying to unravel the circumstances surrounding the mysterious murder of Waltz, as well as the disappearance of one of Waltz’s neighbors, whose sailing boat was reportedly found capsized in the area of Consejo Shores, also in Corozal. We understand that a team of investigators has been dispatched to the village and are currently gathering further evidence from the scene of the crime, on the outskirts of the coastal community. At present, the solving of Waltz’s murder is at an impasse, given that police do not currently have any suspects in custody, no known motive has yet been established, the murder weapon has not been found and they have not been able to locate his missing neighbor, who has also been tabbed as a person of interest in relation to the murder.

The Reporter

Guardian Bombers win National Men’s Softball Championships
The Guardian Bombers hammered the Oceana Strikers 9-4 to win the National Men’s Championships held at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Saturday and Sunday, March 29-30. The Bombers collected six hits off Striker pitcher Jerome Carr, who also walked nine batters. Bombers […]

Keion Robateau wins Junior Cross Country
Keion Robateau of BECOL Uprising cycling team won the 15th annual Junior Cross Country cycling classic organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize on the George Price Highway from San Jose Succotz to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports in Belize City on Sunday, March […]

PM faces criticism on Integrity Commission failure
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is facing criticism from the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) for not appointing an Integrity Commission even as the visit from OAS Commission evaluating anti-corruption compliance nears. VIP’s Public Relations Officer, Robert Lopez told The Reporter it is regrettable […]

Magistrate can apply for residency, court rules
Jamaican magistrate Narda Morgan is eligible to submit and apply to the Immigration Department for Belizean permanent residency, ruled Justice Courtney Abel in the Supreme Court on Friday. Morgan, who works in San Ignacio and first came to Belize in […] PUP file papers to challenge EBC decision on recall

PUP file papers to challenge EBC decision on recall
The fight to unseat embattled Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner took on another dimension this week as People’s United Party (PUP) aspirant Orlando “Landy” Habet and four other applicants filed a formal challenge to January’s disallowance of the recall […]

SJC promotes reading through Book Fair
Saint John’s College used last Friday to hold classes in a different format from the norm with a book fair. The event was to promote the usefulness of reading and to underscore the importance of the practice because of the sharp decline in reading […]

Man killed for lottery tickets
A 56-year-old taxi man , the father of three was shot and killed last Sunday night, apparently for his lottery winnings. According to Superintendent Alden Dawson of O.C. Precinct One, around 7:30 p.m. Hector Dean Lyons was hanging out at Mike’s Club when a […]

An investor’s guide to low carbon projects in Belize
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development held a two-day workshop this week to validate the content to be included in an investor’s guide book for low-carbon projects in Belize. Members of both the public and private sector attended the European-Union-funded workshop to review […]

Belize offshore investments in trouble?
Offshore investment in Belize is suffering as a result of the “gun to our head” financial and banking laws that GOB was recently obliged to pass, Senator Mark Lizarraga said. At last week’s Senate meeting, Lizarraga, quoting from a recently published government Gazette, explained […]

CitCo still in arrears with BWC
The court battle between Belize Waste Control and the Belize City Council over arrears owed to BWC continued Tuesday, when representatives for both parties appeared before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. CitCo is six weeks behind in payments to the company, but Mayor Darrell Bradley has […]

Man found dead in school bathroom
Classes were suspended for the students at the Guinea Grass RC School in Guinea Grass Village, Orange Walk District, around 9 a.m. Monday, after a six-year-old girl discovered the body of a male person in the bathroom. Authorities were informed and soon after the body was identified as 30-year-old Asael […]

Smoking bans cut asthma and premature births by 10%, study says
Laws banning smoking in public places have had a positive impact on child health, an international study in the magazineLancet suggests. Researchers found a 10% reduction in premature births and severe childhood asthma attacks within a year of smoke-free laws being introduced. A research team analysed 11 previous studies from […]

Nose can detect one trillion odours
The human nose can detect one trillion different odours, far more than we previously thought, say US scientists. Until now, the long-held belief was that we can sniff out about 10,000 smells. New estimates published in Science suggest the human nose outperforms the eye and the ear in terms of […]

EDITORIAL
A joint Police-Forest Guard and BDP patrol doing duty deep in the Chiquibul Forest may have broken up a drug operation on Belizean soil some 2 1/2 miles east of the Guatemalan border. In the clash following the discovery, Tomas Desdicho Ramirez of the village of San Marcos, Guatemala, was […] Show some respect! Supreme Court tells GOB and USCE!

Show some respect! Supreme Court tells GOB and USCE!
Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana, in a judgment issued Thursday morning, has ordered the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy to enter “good faith negotiations” with the Maya communities of southern Toledo before continuing to prepare to drill for petroleum in the Sarstoon Temash National […]

Business Community: OSH Bill harmful to economy
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has opined that the proposed Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Bill, as it is currently drafted, will hurt rather than help the economy. The BCCI met with the Public Service, Labour, Industry and Trade Committee on Tuesday […]

UNIBAM complains to OAS!
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, has described Belize’s attitude towards members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transvestite community at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, D.C. The group made the presentation at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission’s first thematic […]

BTIA threatens legal action over NEAC NCL approval
The Belize Tourism Industry Association has threatened to file a judicial review of National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC)’s approval of Norwegian Cruise Line’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) if a public hearing is not conducted. The BTIA wrote to Martin Alegria, chief environmental officer of […]

The Belize Times

Barrow Telecoms Limited
Prime Minister Dean Barrow seems to have accomplished what has turned out to be the real objective of the 2009 takeover of Belize Telecommunications Limited. On Tuesday April 1st, 2014 his son Anwar Barrow was appointed as the Chairman of the company’s Executive Committee. This position puts Barrow as the sole person in charge of the company’s entire daily operations. The UDP Government’s controversial and costly takeover of BTL in 2009, which the Prime Minister called nationalization, has turned out to be a covert family takeover, as the PM has found ways of injecting his family into the company like a terminal virus. First Anwar was appointed to the Board of Directors, along with his mother, Barrow’s ex-wife Lois Young-Barrow. Then in August 2013, Anwar huffed all senior Board members to enjoy a special two-seat Executive Committee appointment. This male dominated Committee made up of Nestor Vasquez and Anwar had more say than the Board.

PUP calls on Anwar Barrow’s resignation
The People’s United Party calls on the Board of Directors of Belize Telemedia Ltd. (BTL) to immediately rescind the appointment of Mr. Anwar Barrow as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Management of BTL. While Anwar Barrow has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Management, ...

BWS Dirty Water!
“That’s what you get when you put a play play newspaper boy to do an Engineers job” was one of the many angry reactions on Facebook after PUP Cayo North East Standard Bearer Orlando Habet ...

PUP Fights to keep Penner’s Recall Alive – Supreme Court considers Judicial Review on Thursday, April 10th
On Thursday April 10th, Supreme Court Judge Courtenay Abel will decide if an application for judicial review, sought by the Opposition People’s United Party, on the Election Department’s controversial and much ...

THINK ABOUT IT
BELIZE’S YOUNGEST MILLIONAIRE Let us start here. Two weeks ago Manuel Esquivel and his illustrious wife Kathy Esquivel both resigned all their positions in the UDP government. They did so days after their daughter was “dumped” from her high perch as head of the Tourism board. Her dumping took place ...

Carefaking
By G. Michael Reid The United Democratic Party has introduced a new equation into the political formula for Belize. This concept of “caretaker” is ridiculous, disrespectful and harmful to the democracy of our nation. The term “Caretaker government” is not new and is used in some Westminster systems as a temporary holdover ...

Editorial: Pennergate Reloaded
John Saldivar, Candelaria Saldivar, George Lovell, Julio Valdez, Godwin Hulse, Maria Marin, Ady Pacheco, Gordon Wade, Wilfred Elrington, Nigel Hawke, Allen Whylie, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, Edmund Castro, Darrell Bradley, Eric Chang, Elvin Penner and Dean Oliver Barrow. These are the names that have surfaced so far in relation to the biggest immigration ...

St. Joseph boys win table tennis championships
The St. Joseph’s RC primary schoolboys swept the top 4 spots at the 2014 3rd Annual DUTCH LADY primary schools table tennis tournament held at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Mercy lane this past Friday. St. ...

Females win UB Relathon
The University of Belize girls, 48 of them, won the 34th annual UB Relathon from the Market Square Belmopan to Belize City for the 3rd consecutive year on Sunday, March 30 over the boys, who started ...

SMART No Limits brakes Running Rebels 76-75
The Smart No Limits stopped Orange Walk Running Rebels 76-75 in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament, which continued at the Orange Walk multi-purpose complex on Friday ...

The Fools at El Guardian
In an article published in the Guardian Newspaper dated Sunday March 30, 2014 entitled: Prime Minister Barrow to hand over $1 billion to Hon. Oscar Requena, the UDP rag sheet attempted to make fun of the debate presentation put forward by Hon. Requena. But ...

Will any of the 20,000 Strong Stand Up?
It took just days after an expensive Government-sponsored fanfare was held to “commemorate” the women of Belize for the Barrow Administration to show how it really fights for women’s rights in our country. The UDP Government refused to call any of the 20,000 Strong who had been ...

UDP All Fool’s Day!
April 1st was a busy day in the UDP…Dean Barrow woke up and feeling the heavy strain on his back, decided to set the date for the next elections so the people of Belize could be freed from the bondage. …….. The Commissioner of Police came out from under his rock and ...

AMAZING GRACE – Justifiable Abortion
A couple weeks ago I saw a clip of a guy called a hero because he rescued some young children from the mom who was trying to drown them by driving her minivan into a river with her three kids inside! Abortion is a constant occurrence in the life of all ...

Budget Debate Presentation by Hon. Julius Espat, Area Representative of Cayo South
Mr. Speaker, ​An overview of the entire budget estimates as presented to this Honourable House by the Prime Minister raises more questions than answers. In reality Mr. Speaker the Prime Minister has put himself in a position that has finally allowed the Belizean people and the International community to lose all ...

Workaholism Is Not the Cure to Happiness
By Dr. Angela Banner-Joseph ‘I'm a bit of a workaholic. When I feel like I'm not doing something, it drives me insane’ - Ashley Greene Are you addicted to work? How many of you are workaholics? How many of you live at your job and don't know when to call it quits ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Culture & Economic Development
By Richard Harrison culture (meaning) 1. the total of the inherited ideas, beliefs, values, and knowledge, which constitute the shared bases of social action. 2. the total range of activities and ideas of a group of people with shared traditions, which are transmitted and reinforced by members of the group. Below are generalizations of ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – Exploiting the Disabled!
By anthony sylvestre In any country which is serious about development, a Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation would be regarded as critical. As the name suggests, such a ministry would have as its key objective, the development of the country’s human capital. Or put another way, such ...

Western Paradise Councillor Resigns
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia In a letter addressed to Hon. Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Mr. Amelio Cal, Hon. Patrick Faber, Mr. Michael Hutchinson and Mr. Andrew Baird, a councillor who was elected last year on the UDP ticket has tendered her resignation from the Western Paradise Village Council. Merlene Carr has resigned in ...

Killer Food Prices – Cabbage, sweet pepper, tomato, Black Beans and Red Kidney Beans prices increase by 20%
A day after Prime Minister Dean Barrow was beating his chest about his lackluster budget and talking about “a train bound for glory”, the fact checkers at the Statistical Institute of Belize released new data pointing out that there was nothing glorious about the road which ...

UDP – Unscrupulous & Deadly Party!!! – Police questions Clerk of National Assembly about hit on Pawpa Mena
Ever since the unpopular UDP fixed the Dangriga constituency standard bearer convention so Frank “Pawpa” Mena becomes the UDP Standard Bearer, there has been a lot of drama inside the UDP. ...

Dangriga Market Project Resumes
September 6th, 2013 was a dark day for the residents of Dangriga Town. That was the day when the Social Investment Fund (SIF) pulled the plug on the ill-fated Dangriga Market Project after scandal and allegations ...

Caribbean Activists slam UDP for disrespecting women
The UDP may be good at organizing pretentious “ra ra” rallies to prop up their political interest, but when it comes to substance their ugly record of disrespect and abuse is known to all, locally and ...

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – Barrow’s Nepotism
By Francis W. Fonseca Anwar Barrow’s appointment as Chairman of the Executive Committee of Management at BTL is the latest in a series of appointments of family members to positions of influence made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow since taking office in March of 2008. Let us quickly remind ourselves of some ...

UDP Kills Rice Industry
For the first time in recent history, Belize is going from a once self-sufficient rice producer to a major rice importer! The rice industry which supplied sufficient for domestic consumption and export demands has been killed by the UDP Government. The Government will now buy rice ...

Cotton Tree Village leaders challenge GOB over land distribution!
The Cotton Tree Village Council led by Chairman Oscar Otero is preparing to take the Barrow Administration to Court over the Ministry of Natural Resources’ failure to follow the law in the distribution ...

Victory with Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez Victory with Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” – Abraham Lincoln On Saturday, March 22nd, 2014, gears were officially shifted in Chan Pine Ridge Village as a very productive meeting was held to form the Chan Pine Ridge P.U.P Local Committee. The meeting was well-attended with over 75 persons who besides nominating their trusted committee member, also expressed their utmost dissatisfaction with the current inept U.D.P government that day to day continue to cast our livelihood to unprecedented levels of misery and hopelessness.

Georgie Porgie, Penner and Lies
Dear Editor, On March 26th, 2014, the CEO of the Ministry of National Security retired Lieutenant Colonel George Lovell, in response to questions posed by the media, did two things. Firstly he made a buffoon of himself and secondly, he reinforced public perception that there is a cover-up in ...

Blogs

Hopkins, Belize: A Village Tour & Travelling There
Hopkins is a small village (Pop. less than 2000) stretched between two rivers on the Caribbean Sea. South of Dangriga and north of Placencia, as with many villages in southern Belize, it has a feel all its own. Here’s a map (that I snagged from a hotel down there) so you can get some sense of the locale… Until relatively recently (the last 15-20 years), many of these areas in the Coastal South were pretty isolated. Travel between the villages was done by boat either by river or sea since roads were either non-existent or just horrible. And now that the roads have improved (ALOT), you can travel just a few miles and be in very different feeling spots. Like Hopkins is a predominantly Garifuna community.

You gotta Love April in Belize and here is why…
It’s April in Belize, and really, what more needs to be said? Perfect any time of year, there’s something just so…. April about this month that you just want to get up and actually embrace it, like a long lost relative or lover who has been away too long. The birds are on the move again now that the north is thawing out, and the local avian Belizeans, such as the keel billed toucan, the smaller but no less spectacular toucanets, the various parrots, myriad hummingbirds, our family’s’ personal favourites, the Blue Crowned Mot Mot with that amazing pendulum tail and all the other feathered friends seem happy to get their turf back from the migratory stopovers, although in nature’s bounty, there always seems to be plenty enough to go around in Belize. By the way – did you know that the mot mot’s tail doesn’t come that way naturally? They’re one of nature’s few creatures that actually change their natural appearance so dramatically to attract mates. They actually pluck it with great care and accuracy to achieve the effect. And when you see that tail doing its pendulum thing you sort of understand why…

“Love Is in the Air” away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In yesterday’s edition I got no further than the first meal (evening meal/dinner, depending upon which part of the world you come from) in Mérida during the five night holiday that Rose and I had there. So I only barely scratched the surface. First off I’ve got to (well I don’t have to but I want to and it’s my blog so I can, so there) ‘say’ what a fabulous place Mérida is. A really cosmopolitan feel about it. Great buildings to look at and admire. Clean streets, some of them cobbled (I just love the sound of vehicles driving over cobbled roads). Friendly people. A really safe environment (we’d been told that it is safe but you always have doubts. Well we do anyway). A plethora of restaurants serving virtually every imaginable type of cuisine. And at very reasonable prices! Good shopping – Sam’s Club, Walmart, Chedraui, Radio Shack, Apple. And then you’ve got the multitude of smaller retailer groups such as Parisina (Rose just loves wandering around their stores ) , what appears to be thousands upon thousands of small, independent retailers littered around the streets and arcades. Then there are the street vendors selling fruit, vegetables, shoes, ‘T’ shirts, trinkets, etc – you name it and you’ll probably find it on one of the stalls. And if you don’t feel like shopping? Well the ‘shop’ comes to you!

“Alive, alive, oh” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In Thursday’s edition I ran the exclusive that the bar and restaurant at the Hotel in Tres Cocos was re opening. Well yesterday Rose and I popped in to the bar – Molly Malone’s (Irish Bar) for it. It is after all just around three hundred feet south of where we live in Tres Cocos and it would be rude not to ‘support’ our neighbours! Before the photographs though a bit of background information. The bar, which is situated on the ground floor (road level) of the Hotel first opened on 17 March 2012 but regrettably closed around six weeks later with the rooms of the Hotel never having a paying guest. And it had remained that way until yesterday. The Mary Celeste of hotels/bars you might say. That is until Bruno Nobrega and his partner Diana rented the bar and the Hotel. Bruno and Diana came to Belize from Namibia (Bruno being born in Lisbon,Portugal) and lived on the mainland before finding their perfect business opportunity – the Hotel. The re-opening of the bar, Molly Malone’s, being phase one of the project.

WHY I DIDN’T LOVE BELIZE- A CLARIFICATION
My last post about Belize hit a nerve with some folks! I shared my opinions about a place, stated the reasons for those opinions and shared the good and the bad of my time there. People came out of the woodwork knocking me for sharing my thoughts. This is my first experience with people really being upset, so I am not sure exactly how to handle it. The last thing I want to do is make people angry, but I have opinions and I am going to share them and obviously not everyone will agree with me (nor do I want them to). I am not going to take the post down nor do I take back anything that I said. I will however clarify some of the things that I mentioned for the people who gave me some constructive criticism and for those who kindly asked for some clarification. Compared to the other 5 countries in Central America that I have traveled to over the past 2 months, Belize has been my least favorite. I saw and did things in other countries that I just liked more than the things I did in Belize. That is not to say that Belize doesn’t have tons of amazing things to offer. There are Mayan Ruins, jungles, rivers, water activities and abundant wildlife-all things that make Belize so popular a place to visit. However, I didn’t do most of those things! I only did one thing-lay on the beach-and I wish that I didn’t do just that. I visited 3 places in Belize: Ambergris Caye, Placencia and Punta Gorda. Yes-The majority of my time was spent in Ambergris Caye. It is a vacation destination where people come to relax and enjoy the gorgeous weather and beautiful ocean. Because of that, most things are catered to tourists, and I felt like I didn’t experience the true culture of Belize. I like experiencing the real people and communities of different countries, and so I wish that I traveled to other parts of the country to see that side.

International Sources

Medical mission trip to Belize in 15th year
For the 15th year, Heart and Hand Ministries of St. Joseph's Hospital in Buckhannon is traveling to Belize on a medical mission trip. To bless the hands of the 26 members who will leave Saturday on the trip, Sister Francesca Lowis hosted The Blessing of the Hands Friday in the chapel of St. Joseph's Hospital. The mission group started 15 years ago, and has traveled to Belize each year to perform medical tasks such as surgeries, clinic operations, dentistry and more. Although it is the 15th mission trip to Belize, the group has gone on 17 total mission trips, with the other two trips - to Guatemala - pre-dating the official organization's start. The Heart and Hand Ministries has a connection to Belize because Lowis and her fellow Pallottine sisters also share sisters in Belize. "Belize is close to our hearts because our sisters are there," Lowis said. Dr. Susan Long of St. Joseph's Hospital will be traveling with the group as a surgeon. She has been a member of the group since its beginning. She said the local doctors refer patients to the mission group while they are in Belize and that patrons will travel from all corners of the country for treatment. Long estimated that in the last 15 years, the mission group has served more than 20,000 people.

Biochar is 'carbon gold' for Belize's cacao farmers
A 'harmonic convergence' in the Mayan calendar set off something big for Craig Sams and his Belizean partners. First, Green & Blacks chocolate - and now an even more ambitious project to restore the world's soils using biochar and organic farming systems. In 1987 The Mayan Factor, a book by Jose Arguelles, inspired people to gather on August 17th at various 'power points' around the world to celebrate the Harmonic Convergence. This was the planetary alignment that anticipated the December 21st 2012 event that marked the end of a 5125 year b'ak'tun of the Maya Long Count calendar on the date 13.0.0.0.0 That day, I resolved to do something with chocolate Rather than gather at Glastonbury, Machu Picchu or Chaco Canyon, I went with Anthony Conforti and cameraman Malcolm Electric Warrior to southern Belize to record the Deer Dance, a 4-day dance that illustrates the past, present and future of the Maya.

Students enjoy positive experience on trip to Central America
Just getting to Belize in Central America was an adventure for seven students from Munro Academy in Sydney Mines. Because of poor weather, the group was stuck in Halifax for two days. “Getting there was pretty cool,” said 15 year old Sarah Davis of Sydney. Their destination was the Cayo Deaf Institute in Belize that has 20 students ranging in age from five to 17. The students are from Belize and neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala. “We got there on a Sunday and had a pretty relaxing day, sight-seeing and getting to know the kids,” said Gemma Whyte, 16, from Boularderie. "We really connected with the kids, with every age group,” said Angela Bartlett, 16, of Glace Bay. “We learned some signs before we left, but the kids weren’t shy at all about helping us. They were so patient, we all learned more because there were times when we were immersed in sign, there was no talking.” Whyte added that they were impressed with the Mennonite community of Spanish Lookout in Belize. "They had computer businesses, large hardware stores, some of their companies supplied a lot of the chicken for Belize, there’s dairy, vegetable and cattle operations, all in the last 50 years.”

7 World Heritage Sites in Central America
Central American countries have a lot to be proud about. The beauty in those countries can be summed up by the World Heritage Sites that grace the continent. UNESCO World Heritage Sites are places listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance. A total of 981 sites around the world have been listed since 2013. Italy is home to the greatest numbers of World Heritage Sites with 49 sites. Each of the seven countries in Central America has landed a prestigious spot in the list, some countries even having more than one World Heritage Site. Here are the top Central American gems worth visiting! Top 7 Central American gems 1. Belize – Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System

Photo of the Day: Ambergris Caye, Belize
I signed up for the 2014 A to Z blog challenge starting today and what better way to kick off the month but with a picture of my favorite spot in the world — Ambergris Caye. This island is where I am fortunate enough to call home for most of the year. I keep an apartment year round on Ambergris Caye with the original intention of only spending about four to six months max a year. Last year, I managed to be here about eight months and still travel to 32 other countries! I think I’ll be slowing down a bit this year as I try to catch my breath and catch up on work; however, I still have some new projects I’m hoping to launch later this year. Ironically, I am taking off later this month for a pretty big 22 night Mediterranean cruise, but I will be coming back to Belize for the summer to relax some.


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