Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
Topic Options
#490946 - 05/16/14 11:59 AM Today's Belize News: May 16, 2014
Marty Offline


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

BTIA hosts 2014 BETEX in Belize City
Over 40 travel agencies from various parts of the world attended the 2014 bi-annual Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) held from May 7th to 10th. Organized by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the event brought tourism stakeholders and international tourism and travel agencies under one roof, with the ultimate motive of luring tourists to Belize. The BETEX 2014 meetings were hosted at the newly renamed Ramada Belize City Princess. Following a day and a half of face-to-face meetings, the travel agents toured the country to experience the tourism products Belize has to offer. For Maria Elisa Muralles of Guayacan Tours in Guatemala, inquiries from Europeans visiting their country and wanting to come to Belize are also growing. “We are looking for accommodations as well as tour operators so that we can establish tour packages to Belize. Many Europeans that travel from far and go to Guatemala want to combine their stay in Central American by going to a second country. Belize has the experience most of the Europeans are looking for, and so BETEX allows us to look at the options we have before we can seal our Belizean/Guatemalan tourism package,” said Muralles.

Dangriga Warriors defeats San Pedro Tigersharks in week 13 of the NEBL
Week 13 of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) continued on Saturday May 10th and saw the San Pedro Tigersharks hitting the road to meet the Dangriga Warriors at the Stann Creek Ecumenical High School Auditorium. The southern Warriors defended their home turf and stunned the league’s leading team in what would be a Tigersharks’ upset. Having defeated the Dangriga Warriors before, the islanders went in confident that a win was guaranteed, given their respectable record of 11 wins and one loss against the home team’s record of seven wins and five losses. But, as the Warriors they are, the home team brought out all their soldiers to defend the battle ground and took the Tigersharks by surprise. At the end of the game, the Warriors were able to take down the Tigersharks ending the game 58 – 46.

Ambergris Today

Beltraide & McNab Publishing Ltd Partners for the Invest Belize Magazine
BELTRAIDE & McNab Publishing Ltd. are pleased to announce their new partnership for the Invest Belize Magazine. McNab Publishing Ltd. is known for their award winning Flavors of Belize Magazine as well as the Flavors of Belize Cookbook among other publications such as the Belize Travel Guide and the Belize Hotel Guide. The Invest Belize Magazine was officially launched in 2013 and has since released two editions of the publication. As a country with much to offer not only tourists but investors as well, this is one outlet whereby we can effectively and aggressively market Belize as a haven for investment and developments. This in turn invites foreign investment and revenue to boost the Belizean economy. It is the primary tool of BELTRAIDE and their constant efforts both in-country and internationally to promote Belize and attract relevant parties.

Matachica Resort & Spa Supports Queen's Health Outreach
Matachica Resort & Spa is proud to support Queen's Health Outreach, a student-run nonprofit from Queen's University, dedicated to promoting health around the world through needs-based peer education. Queen's Health Outreach is currently leading a project in Belize, teaching physical, mental, and sexual health education to youths at primary and secondary levels. Matachica Resort & Spa has joined the initiative as a corporate donor, to further support health education in Belize. "We are honored to join forces with Queen's Health Outreach, and grateful for this opportunity to give back to our community," says proprietor Daniel Lighter, who also owns GAÏA Riverlodge in Belize.

Castillo's Hardware Mother's Day Raffle Winners
Castillo’s Do It Best Hardware is happy to announce their Mother’s Day Raffle winners. 1st Prize Mirro Cookware Set - Segret Young 2nd Prize Presto Griddle - Aldo Marin Jr. 3rd Prize Gibson Dinnerware Set - Char Vidrine

Misc Belizean Sources

HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY and NURSES WEEK!
San Pedro Town Council

Happy Teachers Day to all the great and wonderful teachers of Corozal
The real point is to provide a time to look at and address issues pertaining to teachers in Belize. Strangely one of the most central, vital professionals to society does not receive the respect it deserves in some parts of the world, including Belize. Happy Teachers Day to all the great and wonderful teachers of Corozal. Power to the teachers in the struggle!!

Lydia Rancharan Pollard Collection on display
Window into the Past East Indian Museum's curator Lydia Rancharan Pollard will be displaying a portion of her collection at the House of Culture on Monday May 19th as part of International. It is located in front of Jal's Travel Agency on the Northern Highway, where Corozal Town meets Ranchito Village. Look for the orange and white sign. Corozal House of Culture (NICH)

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Logo Winner
The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee is pleased to announce the winner for the 2014 logo competition is entry #7 by Keron Tzul! We believe that this logo is a diverse representation of the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest, and also incorporates aspects of our beloved home, Caye Caulker. We are working closely with the artist to finalize the official draft of the Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2014 logo, and will posting that in the coming days! We will keep you updated on the latest Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2014!!

A HURTING HAND!
Political handouts in Belize – the poverty trap – and how it continues to hurt our Belizean society. At this corner of the Corozal Daily, we don’t like to write about our local politician’s dos and don’ts. However, this article is important as it reflects the true reality of political handouts and electoral pay-offs in Belize using Belizean tax dollars. In my opinion, growth in Belize is measured by how productive our individual citizens are and their economic contribution to our Belizean society. The government of Belize is the care taker and custodian of our tax dollars and as tax payers, each one of us must have a say on how these tax dollars are used and spent by the Government of Belize and by extensions it’s Ministers. Imagine if this morning while eating your breakfast and reading this article the headline read. “Young child dead Yesterday due to poverty”. Now imagine if tomorrow the article said the same thing, as well as the next day and so on. We would have a crisis on our hands large enough to draw attention and search for solutions. Unfortunately, this headline is not imaginary but instead is a true reality.

Cayo Full Moon Concert
The SISE House of Culture is having a Full Moon Concert tonight, starting at 6:00pm. It'll be at the Santa Elena basketball court this time. The New Sensation Band will be headlining the event, and In Bloom is one of the opening acts.

Belmopan Bandits Inspirational Video
The Belmopan Bandits are coming to Cayo tonight in their final game of the season. They have an inspirational video out, which chronicles the highlights of their season. The video captures the true meaning of the league. It mentions tonight 'As a Point Bandit we will face the greatest obstactle ever!!!' Well done video, Joaquin Magana. Inspirational to all. Now...Go Ballaz! The game is at SHC, and starts at 8:30pm. "Inspirational video for our team that needs to win a spot in the NEBL Tournament."

Mrs. Pearl Stuart the Trailblazer of the Week
Mrs. Pearl Stuart, born in Dangriga Town, spent her teen years in Belize City where she started her secondary education at St. Catherine’s Academy and completed it at West Philadelphia Catholic High School in the United States, placing second honors in a school of 8000 students. Mrs. Stuart graduated from Holy Family College with a major in education. Her first job was as a 4th grade (Standard II) teacher in United States elementary school – Our Lady of Victory in Philadelphia.

Mother's Day Dance at Tabu
Tabu, Cayo's newest downtown club, has been having some great late night dances. Their Mother's Day bash was wild, and they are planning Full Moon dances tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday. Tonight, it's 'Margarita Thursday,' and ladies get in free. Tomorrow is VIP Friday, and ladies that wear all white get in free.

BDF sergeant shares years of experience, marvels at joint capabilities
With less than a handful of years left until his retirement, Belize Defence Force Sgt. Gerald Bainton, Light Engineer Company engineer, is sharing his 19 years of experience with younger BDF soldiers, as well as U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine engineers supporting New Horizons Belize 2014. New Horizons is an annual training exercise that provides BDF, Canadian and U.S. service members the opportunity to train together in the fields of health care and civil engineering. The multi-national engineering team is constructing facilities at four schools and one medical facility in the country. Bainton plans on retiring in 2017, but he is using the New Horizons mission and the next few years to pass on his technical and leadership knowledge to his the soldiers who will proceed him in the BDF. With 10 of his 19 years in service in the engineer company, he has a lot to share.

Occupy Belmopan II
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez Sound the alarm The prime minister has been informed He has sixty days to conform There is too much contradiction with the gender policy and the constitution Or Independence Hill will be taken by storm All those in BDF and police uniform It is time you all join the people’s right ranks for reform When the Mexican police and the NYPD decided on reform They put down their guns and took off their uniforms Those who have been analyzing Belize’s political climate for years When you read Louis Wade’s “two foot stool…” it will bring you to tears

BCS at SHJC Marketing Expo
The Belize Cancer Society worked with SHJC students to get the word out at the SHJC Marketing Expo. "The Belize Cancer Society - San Ignacio Branch extends a sincere and hearty congratulations to the students of SHJC for all the effort they placed in promoting health and cancer education during their Expo held on April 30th 2014. Our Branch is very much looking forward to receiving all the information and material created by the students in order for us to promote it and use it in our educational campaigns. May is a month set aside for education and awareness and we look forward to showcasing this excellent material on our Face Book page on a daily basis."

2014 Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium
Coming in....46 more days!!!

Corozal’s Art in the Park
A huge Success since 2009 - A special Edition of our monthly ART IN THE PARK event will be held this Saturday May 17th at the Corozal Central Park. A special guest appearance by professional clowns Jimmy and Qudus from neighbouring Chetumal, Mexico, to promote their own talent, will be made for the children of Corozal. Art in the Park celebrates 5 years of its inception and its success has attracted the very best and most talented artists from Corozal. This is the only monthly event in the entire country that features and supports raw talent and local artists. So, this Saturday bring out the entire family and enjoy this special edition of ART IN THE PARK. Let’s continue to support Art in the Park, as one of Corozal’s hallmark. Power to the local artists of Corozal.

Channel 7

Big Win For GOB: Court of Appeal Rules BTL's Second Acquisition Lawful
The Government of Belize gets to keep the Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited. That's the decision of the Court of Appeal after deliberating for 1 year and 7 months on whether or not the Government lawfully acquired both utility companies to ensure the government and people of Belize maintain perpetual ownership. In a majority decision, Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich and President Justice Manuel Sosa allowed the appeal from the Government and set aside the Justice Oswell Legall's Supreme Court decision which said that the re-acquisition was unlawful, null and void. It's a hugely consequential win for the Government because the last time this issue was argued at Court of Appeal in June of 2011, the judges declared that the Government improperly took over control of BTL.

What If The Judgment Had Gone the Other Way?
And so, tonight, that status quo remains in effect: government retains unquestioned control of BTL and BEL - which is a long ways off from June 24, 2011. That's when the Court of Appeal ruled that the acquisition of BTL in 2009 was unconstitutional. Right after the judgment was delivered at 4:30 pm, Dean Boyce and Godfrey Smith went over to BTL's Corporate Headquarters on St. Thomas Street to take the company over, immediately. And they did, for only a few hours though, because by 9:00 pm, government took it back, using the police to enforce possession. The technicality employed to justify the enforced possession was that the Ashcroft Alliance got the judgment from the court, but they didn't get an enforcement order to carry it out. But, none of that drama happened today - because the majority Court decision affirmed government's lawful possession. But what if it had gone the other way? Would government have again sent the police to secure the utility on behalf of the state? One man who is uniquely equipped to answer that question is CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell. He also sits as a Director on the BTL Board - and this morning before the judgment came down we asked him if contingencies were in place to block the Alliance form trying another takeover - in the event that the judgment went against government.

Ebanks Remanded While The Mystery Of His Identity Unfurls
Last night, 7News broke the story of the 39 year-old Floyd Wendell Ebanks, one of Ecuador's most wanted who has been living in Belize under the assumed identity of "Christian Ebanks". Well tonight, we can confirm that he is at the Belize Central Prison after being taken to court for an unlicensed firearm. As we told you, the Gang Suppression Unit searched his house at #122 Teacher's Street yesterday afternoon at around 12:30, following an anonymous tip on the crime-stoppers hotline. After an extensive search, the officers found a chrome 9 mm pistol with an empty magazine in a black plastic bag that was hidden in the oven area of a stove in his house. He was subsequently charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. His immigration documents say that his name is Christian Ebanks, so that is the name he was arraigned under. His court book also said that he is a naturalized Belizean. Even though he pleaded not guilty, he was remanded to prison until July 21.

A Dozen Detained: Immigration Cracking Down On Ring of Fraudsters
Last night we told you about the Guatemalan couple 42 year-old Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez Marcos, and his common-law wife 46 year-old Marleny Elizabeth Castellanos who are currently remanded to prison after they confessed to mass immigration fraud. Well, credible reports tell us that the Immigration Department has closed in on an immigration scam of which Marleny Castellanos is supposedly the ring leader. We're told that on Tuesday, Castellanos was detained at the Western Border as she was trying to flee the country, after being investigated for over a month by the Immigration Department. Information to our newsroom says that Castellanos is suspected of being a chief facilitator for persons trying to illegally obtain Belizean nationality certificates. Yesterday, Immigration Officers went on a mass-round up on both Caye Caulker and San Pedro where some 11 persons were detained for illegal nationality certificates - allegedly engineered by Castellanos.

Woman-On-Woman Stabbing On San Pedro
Tonight a San Pedro woman is recovering from a punctured lung at the KHMH after she was stabbed multiple times by another woman in front of her four children. It happened on Wednesday afternoon inside Henry's Store located at the corner of Swan and Glitter Streets in San Pedro town. According to eyewitnesses, Lorena Montes was entering her store when Roxanne Canul ran up and stabbed her nine times. Today Montes's mother gave us an update on her condition. Rosa Perez - Mother of Montes "A woman came to our store with a knife and attacked my daughter, stabbed her with a knife. My daughter was full of blood. She punctured her lungs. The doctor said that the wound was 6-8 centimeters and then she put the next stab wound in her neck and when my daughter pushed away the knife, she stab her in the cheek about 4-5 stab wounds. After that others came to defend her and stop the attacker. The wound in the back is the major injury."

COLA Pleads To PM For Dirt On Penner
Like the Greek Philosopher Diogenes looking all over for an honest man, COLA is knocking on all the doors of officialdom trying to tease out evidence against Elvin Penner. The activist group has been ignored by the Police, shot down by the Auditor General, and put on pause by the DPP....so now, they are going to the boss, the Prime Minister. COLA President Geovannie Brackett wrote a letter to the PM today asking for The Auditor General's preliminary report; documents indicting Penner which the Prime Minister referred to in October, 2013; and any and all other materials and evidence against Penner which may have crossed the PM's desk. It seems like a long shot, but Brackett even follows up with a sort of threat, saying, quote, "the laws of Belize provide for the summoning of witnesses....We are hopeful that we will not have to exercise this option on the 29th of May, 2014, when the court reconvenes for disclosure of evidence to the Defendant, Elvin Penner."

Police Promotions, The Remix
Last night on the news Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie brushed off our suggestion that a recent round of promotions for senior officers had created dissension in the ranks. He said no new promotions had gone through. Well, after - and even during the news - we got major blowback on this. Enough of our police friends called and texted to say the knew of recent promotions and that the newly promoted were already wearing their insignias to denote their new rank. So, did the promotions go through or not? Today we asked CEO in the Ministry Gorge Lovell - who oversees all promotions. He explained:... Ret. Col. George Lovell - C.E.O., Ministry of National Security "There have been people who have been promoted last year for whom I know that the official documentations are slowly trickling in and so there might be some names where you might see some people who you may not have seen at a particular rank, who eventually turns up with a rank and then you say how about that person who have been promoted."

BDF Officially Off The Streets, Better, But Not "For Good"
We also asked Lovell about the BDF on the streets of Belize City. We first reported on it in February when the soldiers were supposed to be removed from street patrols at the end of that month. But it didn't happen because of a flare up in violence. And then it was re-scheduled for the end of April - but when we asked Lovell on that day, he told us that still was not the date. But, it turns out it was. For the past two weeks, there have been no BDF on the city streets - which is a first in 20 years of extended deployment. Lovell stressed today though, that you can never say never:.. Ret. Col. George Lovell - C.E.O., Ministry of National Security "The BDF who were there on a regular basis were in fact removed, so if you were to go there today there will be no BDF in the streets, but God forbid, if there is an increase in crime and violence and there is a need to be supported by the BDF they will be out there to support the police. I can also say that during those festive seasons; during the September celebrations and during the Christmas periods we will have BDF again supporting the police, so I do not want to say that the BDF days on the streets are all gone and it's all behind us."

Making A Hard Pitch For a Helicopter
And finally from Lovell tonight, he says Belize needs a helicopter for security and safety reasons. Yesterday when the US Embassy handed over 38 new vehicles, he made a kind of hard pitch for one. He appealed, perhaps in vain, to the United States war on drugs like marijuana. That war is just about over for the US, but in 2013, it was on when they used their helicopters to provide the BDF with Air Support for a massive marijuana plantation eradication effort. Here's how Lovell put it:.. Ret. Col. George Lovell - C.E.O., Ministry of National Security "What we achieved in just two days of operations using the helicopters, we were not able to match with the entire area of operations without those assets. This is certainly a must have asset for Belize if we are to continue to get concrete results. So I would like to once more publicly mention that this government is committed to any serious cost sharing arrangement that our partners are prepared to undertake in the acquisition of helicopters for Belize and hope that the seeds I am now sewing will fall on futile ground."

Belize Times Sales Tax Case Adjourned
Last night, we told you about the Sales Tax troubles that the PUP's party organ, the Belize Times newspaper, is having. It went to court today, but it still wasn't resolved. That's because Jacqueline Meighan, the prosecutor for the General Sale Tax Department, went before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today, with a court book, which named Marian Marsden as the Defendant representing the Belize Times Press. That became an issue for the actual arraignment because Marsden was not present in court. Attorney Kareem Musa, who appeared on behalf of the Belize Times Press, explained to the court that Marsden is no longer employed at the Belize Times, and that she was the former business manager up until 2008. Musa went on to explain that there are currently only 2 employees who actually work on the newspaper, Alberto Vellos, the editor, and Chris Williams, the desktop publisher. Musa also told the court that he gave Meighan the names of directors of the Belize Times Press who she could have summoned to court to represent the newspaper. Because of the difficulties, Magistrate Cayetano stood the matter down until a later date to allow the GST prosecutor to prepare a new court book. As we understand it, the GST Prosecutor intends to press 2 counts of failure to file GST returns against the Belize Times.

Department Of Human Services Steps Up
If you were rating government departments in terms of sexiness, the Coast Guard with all their fancy boats and their SEALS would probably be a 9; the MET Department maybe a 7, but only because they're always on the radio, while Immigration - with its constant controversy - that would be a definite 10! And the Department of Human Services?....naaah...that would be like a one. Don't get us wrong they do important work, but it's trench work: they don't get fancy SUV's, or fend off major controversies - they do the important, un-recognized work, holding together a society that's tearing at the seams. It's tough work acting as the safety net, the last resort for those in desperate social circumstances. But the Department has been earning kudos for its BOOST programme, which is now being upheld as a regional model, and now for the use of information and communication technology for a customized web-based case management system called "FAM Care." It's not just a system to untangle the bureaucracy, but it will also see the more prompt, accountable and efficient delivery of services. CEO Judith Alpuche explained today:..

IDB Broadband Report Rates Belize Broadband 25 out of 26.
On Monday we told you about a survey of Caribbean countries, which found that high speed internet in Belize was the most costly in the region. The top speed being offered - that's 8 megs - is also among the slowest. Well a new study by the IDB finds that of 26 countries surveyed for broadband penetration, Belize is ranked 25 out of 26, behind only Haiti. But, it's not just a matter of speed or price, the broadband penetration index as they call it, is calculated based on 37 variables obtained from various public sources and grouped around four key pillars for the development: I) Public Policy and Strategic Outlook, II) Strategic Regulation, III) Infrastructure and IV) Applications and Training. Chile ranked first.

Channel 5

Court of Appeal decides who owns B.T.L. and B.E.L.
A small crowd packed into the Court of Appeal this afternoon at two o’clock to hear the long anticipated judgment of the Court of Appeal in the cases involving the [...]

Government retains control of utility companies
The Court of Appeal also ruled interestingly on the Eighth Amendment. Respective counsels did not delve into the details of the judgment, and that is fair since neither has had [...]

Christian Ebanks is charged for firearm offenses, but is he wanted in Ecuador?
Is thirty-nine year old naturalized Belizean Christian Ebanks also Floyd Wendel Ebanks Jurado, one of Ecuador’s most wanted fugitives? That’s the million dollar question, and tonight Police say they are [...]

San Pedro woman in critical, but stable condition following stabbing incident
On Wednesday, we reported on the vicious attack on a mother of four children in San Pedro. Lorena Montes, the proprietor at Henry’s Store near the airstrip on the island, [...]

Mother says stabbing is result of longstanding dispute
According to Perez, there has been a longstanding dispute between her daughter and her alleged attacker. They were bound over the peace some time ago, but it was a misunderstanding [...]

8 persons picked up for fake documents in immigration crackdown in Caye Caulker
A Guatemalan couple is believed to be behind a scam providing fake nationality documents to Central American nationals; they were busted in an immigration crackdown and arraigned on Wednesday even [...]

A land dispute escalates in Unitedville
There is a developing land controversy in the community of Unitedville. The Government of Belize has given five acres of land in the community to Bernadette Fishcher. Those five acres [...]

A murder attempt foiled; police fires shot at gunman
A murder attempt was foiled today in south side Belize City. Sometime after ten this morning, Garrick Hemmans Senior was heading to his sister’s home on Antelope Street when he [...]

GST takes Belize Times to court
The Opposition’s mouthpiece, the Belize Times, was called to court this morning for non-payment of GST for the months of January and February 2014. The matter first came up on [...]

COLA wants the PM to hand over Auditor General’s report on immigration scandal
As we reported on Wednesday, Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie says he’s uncertain of the whereabouts of the Penner files, a bundle of documents sent to him outlining various offences [...]

Attorney says documents to be submitted by May 29th
Having exhausted all avenues to proceed with the private prosecution of Elvin Penner, Musa says that they are anticipating the prime minister’s assistance in handing over the files that are [...]

Carlos Moreno approved as US Ambassador to Belize
The United States Embassy in Belize, since the departure of Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally last year, has remained without an ambassador.  Currently, Margaret Hawthorne is at the helm of the embassy [...]

B.N.T.U. takes on the Minister of Education
What should have been a unified celebration in honor of all teachers on Friday, in Benque Viejo del Carmen, has been scaled down significantly to district level festivities commemorating National [...]

The plans for National Teachers Day
B.N.T.U.’s Executive Secretary, Keesha Young, says that despite the downgrading of activities, the day will be celebrated in grand fashion at a much smaller level.  Furthermore, it is the sentiment [...]

Joel McD’s EX-5 Workout Program
You don’t have to miss a workout again….Fitness Trainer Joel McDougall on Wednesday officially launched the Joel McD’s workout program, EX-Five, to help you stay in shape. The fitness trainer [...]

Healthy Living looks at skin cancer
May is cancer awareness month in Belize. Worldwide, awareness about skin cancer is also a priority throughout the month.   While it may not be the most prevalent, Belizeans are highly [...]

CTV3

Hung Jury On Third Retrial For Felix Brothers
After deliberating for 6 hours yesterday, brothers Emory and Maurice Felix were acquitted of the 2006 murder of 29 year old Mitchum Heredia. As we’ve reported, Heredia was gunned down just before 6:30 p.m. on April 10th 2006, as he arrived at his house on T Street. He was entering his yard in a Nissan Maxima car, when 2 armed men, ambushed and shot him 6 times at close range. The 12 member jury was listening to evidence and testimonies for nine weeks and the hearing ended in a hung jury. CTV3 News spoke with Attorney Arthur Saldivar via telephone who says this was the third trial in court. Arthur Saldivar– Attorney at Law “We have a situation here where the evidence that was presented by the prosecution side as in all cases like this comes from the police department and many times there are gaps in the evidence and I think that some of those gaps in those evidence was what lead to the strong feeling for and against the acquittal and what it resulted in people not giving ground because they didn’t sound trusted and some didn’t trust the account for police witnesses and the investigation itself which basically appears to be incomplete, the jury deliberated today the issue for six hours and there were those for the acquittal and those for the conviction and none of the groups gave ground because they had strong feelings either way.”

Giovanni Borland Clings To Life At KHMH
Police continue to investigate the chopping incident in Libertad Village that has left 34 year old Giovanni Borland in a critical condition in the hospital and his assailant, Joseph West behind bars. This morning, the social media was abuzz and it was over the allegation that Borland had succumbed to the chop wound to his head and that the case was upgraded to murder. After making checks with authorities, we verified that Borland remains alive but in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. As for Joseph West, he was arraigned at the Corozal Magistrates Court yesterday morning where he was charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Because of the nature of the offence, West was not offered bail by Magistrate Hurl Hamilton. Instead he was remanded to the Hattieville Prison until July 15th 2014 when he is scheduled to reappear in court.

Is One Of Ecuador's Most Wanted Living In Belize?
Here in Orange Walk he is known as J.R Ebanks or Christian Ebanks, the owner of Sky Wireless located on Queen Victoria Avenue. So where are we getting at? Well, simple, is Ebanks one of Ecuador's most wanted fugitive? Reports are that officers of the Gang Suppression Unit have detained an Ecuadoran man, who could possibly be a wanted man living in Belize. The individual, we understand, was caught in Belize City with a firearm inside his home. The name and documents, including immigration documents, he presented to authorities, identify him as Christian Ebanks. But posters on the internet show a fugitive from Ecuador, who looks just like Ebanks, only that in this case his name is Floyd Wendel Ebanks Jurado. He is being sought by Guayas Province Police for the murder of Ecuadoran National Alejandro Martín Teófilo Yagual. The incident reportedly took place on Puna Island. Both men look the same yet Belizean authorities are yet to determine if they are the same individual.

Celebrating Nurses Week
Yesterday we told you about Nurses week which is being observed from May 11th to the 16th all across the country. We all know the work they do goes unnoticed and unappreciated most of the time. And since they directly impact individual patient safety and health, they make up critical components in the health care sector. They care, comfort, provide a little humor to calm nerves and help save lives and so the week is designated to honor these key players in providing health care services to their communities. It’s a heavily scrutinized profession but recognizing their efforts should not be understated. So today, we decided to get a sneak peek at their daily life. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar have that story in the following report. Health care is constantly changing and evolving. Today, more than ever, nurses are stepping out of their comfort zone and becoming active contributors and innovators in the health care system. Presently, sixty four nurses make up the support staff at the Northern Regional Hospital. Vice President of the Nurses Association Richard Reid says, over the years there has been an increase of males in the profession.

Bowen and Bowen Speaks On Shortage Of Product
For the past few weeks, various business establishments around the country have been reporting challenges obtaining soft drinks and in some cases bottled water from Bowen & Bowen Limited. And as the days go by, even their flagship product, Coca Cola is rumoured to be scarce. All those shortages and supply breakdowns fuelled a storm of speculation which is culminating in the recent rumour that Belize’s biggest bottler was on the verge of collapse. And since there has been much allegations of the situation, we spoke with Public Relations Officer at Bowen, Christelle Wilson who says the availability of their soft drink products has declined due to the speed of their bottle washer mechanism. Christelle Wilson - Public relations officer, Bowen and Bowen Group of Companies Wilson – Bowen “I know that there has been a shortage on the availability of soft drink due to the slow production speed of our washer and that is the reason that why we are replacing our washer and not due to any quality issues of our products but because we want to speed up the production so we are only aware of a shortage of some soft drink.”

Teachers Day Planned In Corozal
Teachers’ day will be observed and celebrated this Friday May 16th. Traditionally, teachers are given a day off from work to celebrate together. That celebration is held in three ways and these include at a school, branch and national levels which are rotated every year. This year the national celebration was scheduled to take place in Benque Viejo del Carmen. However, given some unfortunate circumstances, the Ministry has ordered each district center to organize their own activities. Education Center Manager at the Corozal District Center Jahmore Lopez says they have been busy in that district and their celebration is looking to be a good one. Jahmore Lopez- District Manager “It would be in Benque but unfortunately due to budgetary constraints it is not going to work out and so the respective DEC’S country wide are tasked with planning a teachers day activity and we will be doing that here in Corozal, I believe we gotten overwhelming response from our school, our principals, our teachers, we have already confirmed over 450 plus teachers who will be joining us at Blue Iguana that is located somewhere in the Finca Solana Area and so we have a program planned where we will be an opening ceremony, short speeches and then we get on with the rest of the day where we will have a number of teachers engage in a number of fun filled activities.”

Ancient Mayan City Found Near The Belize Mexico Border
Reports coming of the Mexican newspapers indicate that an Ancient Mayan City approximated to be about 85 acres with at least six architectural groups was found hidden deep in the jungle about 7 miles from the Belize / Mexican Border line and about 37 miles away from the city of Chetumal. The Ancient Mayan City, believed to be more than one thousand five hundred years old, was named Noh Kah, meaning Large City while the six smaller cities within Noh Kah, have been named El Corozal El Pich, El Paredon,El Pocito, El Viente and Hop Na. All six cities are separated by a distance ranging between 0.5 and 3 miles and are made up of different groups which assisted in the survival of the entire city. With the assistance of members of the communities of San Francisco Botes and Rovirosa, specialists were able to perform a topographic survey of the Ancient Mayan City.

Figures For Week 16 2013/2014 Crop Season
May 11th 2014 marked the end of week 16 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 16 the factory milled forty eight thousand nine hundred and eighty four tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of eight hundred and thirteen thousand six hundred and thirty nine tons of cane. Last year the factory milled six hundred and sixty four thousand nineteen tons cane during the same time frame. Taking a look at sugar production, four thousand eight hundred and ninety six tons of the sweetener was produced for week 16. An overall of eighty seven thousand five hundred and thirty one tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year, the factory produced sixty eight thousand seven hundred and ten tons of sugar during the 16 weeks of crop. This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of six thousand nine hundred and ninety eight tons cane per day. Overall, for the 16 weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at seven thousand five hundred and thirty four tons cane. Last crop it was at six thousand one hundred and forty eight tons cane per day.

Classes Resume At Ranchito Government School
We have been following the progress of the improvements at the Ranchito Government School where students were sent home for one week to allow officials from the Ministries of Health and Education to make necessary assessments and arrangements to fix a rodent, insect and bat infestation. When we visited the school today, the students were back on their lessons. School principal Yesenia Tun says they still have to accommodate three classes in the Community Center but they have to ensure it’s an environment conducive to learning. Yesenia Tun- Principal “Presently classes began yesterday from pre-school to standard three, the four, five and six students we can’t relocate them and they will be relocated at the Community Centre and they can’t be relocated because bathroom facilities are not available as yet but for Monday they will have classes then and all the teacher are setting up their chairs and we had ministry personnel came in this morning and they said that they will do their best to have it ready for Monday.”

LOVE FM

Woman Remains Critical Following Stabbing on San Pedro
A resident of San Pedro Town is tonight at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition after she was stabbed multiple times. Police have classified the injuries that Lorena Montes sustained as “wounding”. Police say that Montes was stabbed by Roxanne Canul while the two women were involved in a physical altercation on the island on Wednesday afternoon. Canul has been charged with one count of grievous harm and has been granted bail. Police investigations reveal that on Wednesday, Montes was inside her establishment, Henry’s Store, when Canul allegedly barged in and stabbed Montes several times in the chest area. The incident unfolded before the eyes of Montes’ children. She was quickly transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic before being airlifted to Belize City for her to obtain treatment at the KHMH. As for Canul, police say that she is to report on Monday for her arraignment.

Belize and Ecuador Work Together to Ascertain Identity of Ebanks
He has built a network in various fields including politics, marketing and business but tonight he is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after local authorities were tipped off that he may a person of interest in the South American country of Ecuador. 39-year-old, Floyd Ebanks was visited at his home on Teachers Street yesterday by members of the Gang Suppression Unit where a search was conducted, resulting in the discovery of an illegal 9mm firearm. Ebanks was taken in by the GSU and was charged today in the Magistrate’s court on a firearm charge….but the plight for Ebanks has just begun as Love News understands that he may be the person on a wanted list from Ecuador for the murder of one of its nationals in 2011. Head of the Gang Suppression Unit, Linden Flowers explains.

Where Are The Penner Files?
Where are the Penner Files? That’s the question that the Citizen Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, is asking. The grassroots NGO has brought a private prosecution against Former Minister of State Elvin Penner. Several government departments have initiated investigations into the entire situation at the Immigration Department and several pieces of evidence have been collected. COLA is requesting that the Belize Police Department hand over the Penner files under the Freedom of Information Act for their prosecution to be successful……but no one seems to know where the files are. Yesterday, when questioned about the files, Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie stated that he has not received any request for the files from the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl Lynn Vidal. Whylie continued by saying that the files were sent to her office on a previous occasion and has certainly not been sent back to him…..it begs the question again, ‘where are the Penner files?’ That question was posed to the DPP and she responded, via email, saying, “I have referred the request for copies of the documents to the police, as they are in possession of the file in the matter. I have not yet received an official response as to their position. I re-iterate that I have no difficulty whatsoever in them being provided with a copy of what is in police possession.

US Appoints New Ambassador to Belize
The United States Senate has given its stamp of approval to have Carlos R. Moreno be the new Ambassador to Belize. Moreno received unanimous support after having been nominated by the US President Barrack Obama in July 2013. Moreno, who was up for consideration as a US Supreme Court judge, is the son of Mexican immigrants who had migrated to the United States. He served as a judge in the California Supreme Court up until 2011. Moreno is the tenth US ambassador to Belize since 1981 and will succeed VinaiThumallapally, who is the current ambassador to Belize since June 2009.

PlusTV

San Pedro Woman Stabbed in Front of her Kids
A stabbing incident in San Pedro town has left a mother of four children, hospitalized at the KHMH in Belize City in a critical but stable condition. According to reports, Belizean resident of San Pedro Town Lorena Montero was brutally stabbed sometime around 1:20 pm on Wednesday, May 14th,...

Minister Pablo Marin Inaccurate in Pharmaceutical Exam
On Monday Minister Pablo Marin spoke with some of the media houses on the issue of the controversial postponement of the Pharmaceutical examination. The exam originates from an examination Board at Ministry of Health but is conducted at the University of Belize. It is considered important because, regardless of...

Christian Ebanks Charged for Unlicensed Firearm
A naturalized Belizean who is reportedly wanted in Ecuador for murder has been picked up – and as a bonus, police recovered an unlicensed firearm at his property. 39 year old businessman Christian Ebanks appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today where he pleaded not guilty to keeping a firearm...

COLA Wants Information from PM for Penner Prosecution
Turned around by functionaries of the Government of Belize in their effort to call former Minister of State Elvin Penner to justice for his role in the Won Hong Kim scandal, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) have turned to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in their quest to...

Will International Partners Support Belize with Helicopters?
At Wednesday’s ceremony for the donation of police vehicles by the U.S. Embassy, CEO in the Ministry of National Security Col. George Lovell made an entreaty to his American partners for assistance of a different kind – helicopter support. The Americans have sent helicopters to be used in major...

New US Ambassador to Belize Soon to Arrive
The Charge d’ Affaires Margarate Hawthorne, as you saw in the last two stories is heading the US Embassy in Belmopan, but only until the new Ambassador reaches Belize. On July 9 of last year, US President Barack Obama formally nominated retired California Supreme Court judge Carlos R. Moreno...

BDF Leave Streets of Belize City, for Now
If you are a Belize City resident, you may have noticed that there are no Belize Defence Force soldiers on the streets as there have been previously, conspicuously standing next to police officers in crime-ridden areas. That has been so since April 30 of this year, putting an end...

Belmopan Cancer Society Hosts Cancer Walk
The Belize Cancer Society Belmopan Branch is hosting its annual Cancer Walk this Saturday starting at 5:15 sharp. Beverly Swasey of the Belize Cancer Society dropped by our studios to talk about the fund raising event. Beverly Swasey- Representative for Belize Cancer Society If you pay $25, you pay...


Top
#490947 - 05/16/14 12:00 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 16, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

The Guardian

PUP has no Love for Mothers
The PUP has once again shown how callous and heartless they really are when they called yet another pointless press conference on Tuesday during which they boldly declared that the mothers of Belize do not deserve to be assisted by government. The Government under the leadership of Hon. Dean Barrow took the decision to assist mothers across the length and breadth of this country to ensure that that they got some appreciation during this year’s mother’s day- absolutely nothing wrong with that! After all, it was not as if the government was giving Michael Ashcroft an 88 million dollar tax break or 20 million dollars was used to pay off a private debt. No, the money was used as social assistance to mothers in Belize. This has become the signature of this government, help people, no matter who they are- at all times! This is evident in the social assistance programs which have been instituted to assist the least fortunate among us. There is the food pantry program, the BOOST program - now being used as a regional model, the School Subsidy program, the Christmas Cheer program and now the Mothers day program. All truly instituted to raise people out of poverty.

BOOST Program Success to be duplicated in the Caribbean
Ministers and senior ranking public officials from eight Caribbean countries are in Belize on a study tour of the Conditional Cash Transfer Programme called operation ‘BOOST’. The Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation (BOOST) Programme has been dubbed by the World Bank as the best social protection programme in the hemisphere and multilateral development organizations are encouraging member states to study and adopt it. The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation is collaborating with the Organization of American States (OAS), UNICEF and UNDP to host a Horizontal Cooperation Exchange from May 13th to 15th. The Ministers with responsibility for social development from Grenada and Dominica are attending the event as well as senior officials from Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Judith Alpuche, says the program is of particular interest to these countries because of the similarities in demographics.

38 New Vehicles for Belize Police Department
Some 38 brand new vehicles valued at some 2.3 million dollars was handed over on Wednesday to the Belize Police Department by Ms. Margaret D. Hawthorne, Charge d' Affairs, from the U.S Embassy. The fully equipped vehicles were handed over at a brief ceremony at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Present for the handing over were Government Officials, members of the Diplomatic Corp as well as Formation and Precinct Commanders from around the Country. In her address, Ms. Margaret D. Hawthorne said that the Police vehicles will increase the mobility of the Police and strengthen their capacity. She reminded that in a similar donation two years ago to Belize City, there was a noticeable reduction in crime in that area. “The U.S Government will be with you as a partner,” she said. Colonel George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer within the Ministry of National Security, who deputized for the Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security (currently in Guatemala for a Drug Conference) said today that the United States works closely with those, from a strategic standpoint and pointed out that “…our bilateral cooperation has deepened over the past few years.”

Petillo tries to pull a Fast one
A couple of weeks ago, Nigel Petillo, the “champion” of Harmonyville, was seen on television begging the government, the Ministry of Natural Resources specifically, to remove persons he considered were squatters in the ‘buffer’ area of Harmonyville. The buffer is an area stretching about three miles along the George Price Highway and which consists some 60 acres of land which is crown land. Petillo succeeded in getting some of the people off and it seemed like quite the noble deed by the BGYEA guy. But we were clapping and congratulating a bit too early. As soon as the squatters were removed, in came heavy equipment that began to level everything, bulldozers and plows rolled in and the ground began to be readied for planting. A company called Sustainable Agriculture Development limited was the one doing the work. According to Petillo, the company was ‘his’ investor and they came in to cultivate corn on the buffer area. Remember he zealously removed persons who were on the buffer only to bring in ‘his’ investor. Also what needs to be remembered is that the 60 acres is crown land and Petillo has no authority to enter into any contract with anyone to do anything with the land.

Yolanda Schakron Takes Swings at Special Envoy
A couple days after the world celebrated Mothers Day, the men leading the People’s United Party instructed Yolanda Schakron to sling as much filth as she can at the Special Envoy for Women and Children. Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow’s popularity and high approval rating has been a pain in the neck of the PUP‘s executives. The wives of Prime Ministers have traditionally been left out of the political mudslinging but Mrs. Barrow is simply accomplishing too much to be ignored. From sources inside the PUP, we know that many were upset during the Briceno era for not going hard after ‘Lady Kim’. Fonseca has vouched no holds barred and Kim Barrow is now enemy number one. Not only are the party’s women leaders forbidden from attending or even publicly supporting her women empowerment initiatives, but they are also to speak ill against her and question her motives at every public forum. At a PUP press conference on Tuesday, May 13th, it was Yolanda’s number called. The woman, who launched her political career on the casket of her nephew and from the tears of mothers grieving lost sons, accused Mrs. Barrow of vanity. She voiced the concerns of the PUP women group about the money spent on the 20,000 Strong Women Empowerment Rally; accounting of funds raised internationally for the Inspiration Center and cost of the Harper’s Bazaar Interiors eleven page spread.

Guatemalans caught using dead Belizeans’ birth Papers
On Wednesday May 14, 41-year-old Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez Marcos, Guatemalan national of Quetzaltenango, Guatemalan who at the time of his arrest was working as an X-ray Technician at the KHMH and his common-law wife, 45-year-old Guatemalan housewife, Marleny Elizabeth Castellanos, a resident of Santa Elena, Petén, Guatemala appeared in Magistrate’s Court on immigration related offenses. They appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where Marcos was charged with 6 counts while Castellanos was charged with 4 counts. Both pleaded guilty to the offenses and Magistrate Cayetano remanded the couple to the Belize Central Prison until Friday, May 16, 2014 for sentencing. It was a very emotional time for Castellanos who thought that after pleading guilty, she would be imposed a fine and then be able to go home. She was surprised when she was told that she would be remanded to the Belize Central Prison for the next two days. When she exited the courtroom alone she was crying uncontrollably as she was being consoled by one of her three daughters.

Sour Grapes
Whenever I watch the evening news or read the newspapers, I generally take a keener interest when the topic is about politics; the reason being that I tend to write a lot on that subject matter. I know that sometimes my columns are considered footnotes of headlines past, but I try not to bore readers with too many repetitions of issues on which pundits have already commented on, but rather on the utterances coming from politicians. That said, I saw Hon. Boots battling it out with Channel Fox last night, and I agree completely with what he said; Fox is so blatantly biased in its reporting that people now consider this station to be more of a political arm of the PUP than a genuine news station. Same goes for COLA and its rambunctious leader: this self-interest group is acting suspicious in taking a perpetual stand on a solitary issue that really has been dealt with swiftly and appropriately by the Prime Minister. Is there a hidden agenda here somewhere, you think?

Ascend, Belize Comprehend! (ABC)
If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. - Lewis Carroll Decision making is part of our everyday life. Simple things like deciding whether or not to get out of bed (or hit the snooze button) can be tantamount to choosing a career path if we are uncertain of what we want the end result to be. Those last few minutes of sleep may make you question if getting out of bed is even worth the trouble. Undoubtedly, after weighing the options (like the need for food, water or to go to work) and the possible consequences, the decision to get out of bed becomes simplified. Choosing a career or life path requires much the same thought process. It requires thought on the end result i.e. it required direction. Not having a direction, not having a goal, not knowing where you are going, it’s all the same. You go nowhere. You can never get “there,” can never arrive anywhere, because you don’t really have a destination. Without direction, without a destination, without a goal, how do you pick a direction, choose a road, or plot a course to get “there”?

Bank Robber Shot in the Act
Alleged Bank Robber, 25 year-old Cannon Augustine Obispo, continues to receive treatment at the KHMH, after he was shot by police after he stole money from the Scotia Bank in Belmopan City on Friday, May 9, at around 10 a.m. But before, he allegedly targeted the bank, he reportedly ripped off a vendor at the Indian Store, Classic, which is right across the street. Obispo entered Classic and requested several articles of clothing, valued at a total of $210, which he asked to try out. When the vendor expected him to pay, he reportedly walked out and went to the Bank. The vendor followed him, but wasn’t suspicious because the man made for the bank, so the vendor thought he was going to withdraw money.

Charged for month-old stabbing
On Monday, May 12, 27-year-old Kareem Arnold of a Yellowtail Street address in Ladyville appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read a single charge of dangerous harm upon Parish Copious who was stabbed on April 16 of this year. In court, no plea was taken from Arnold but due to the nature of the offense, he was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 30, 2014. The stabbing incident occurred on April 16, 2014 in the Ladyville area where Parish Copious was stabbed multiple times, allegedly by men. According to a police report, on that date at about 11:00 p.m., at the corner of Pigeon and Parakeet Street, he was attacked by two men. Copious told police that he was at the intersection of the streets, socializing with his cousin when he recognized, two men, Kareem Arnold, and another who approached him. Both men were armed with knives.

No Case File- Murder Suspect released
On Wednesday May 14, 21-year-old Dion Brackett who has been on remand since January 5, 2013 for the murder of Marvin Foreman was released by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. When the matter was called up, the prosecutor in the case, Sgt. Egbert Castillo told the court that he had no case file in the matter. With that the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith struck out the matter and told Brackett he was free to go home. This is the second such case to occur before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court within a week on charges of serious offenses.

Possible wanted Ecuadorian caught in Belize
Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit have detained an Ecuadorian man believed to be a fugitive in that country. They report that they conducted a search at a house on Teacher's Street in Belize City where they found a man identifying himself as Christian Ebanks. After a search of Ebanks home, police also recovered an illegal firearm. While Ebanks will be charged for that offense, police are looking into the possibility that he is an Ecuadorian by the name of Floyd Wendel Ebanks Jurado who is wanted in the Guayas Province of Ecuador for the murder of another citizen of that country, Alejandro Martin Teofilo Yagual, which took place on Puna Island.

Another Hung Jury on Felix Brothers’ trial
The murder trial of brothers Emory and Maurice Felix concluded on Tuesday night at around 11p.m with a hung jury. The men were facing murder charges following the shooting death of Mitchum Heredia which occurred on April 10, 2006. At the conclusion of the trial, a jury of 8 women and 4 men could not reach a verdict in the case after deliberating for six hours. When they emerged a mistrial was declared. The men have now been remanded back to prison for yet another retrial. Back in 2007 the Felix brothers had been found guilty of murder and were given life sentences but a year later that conviction was overturned by the Appeal’s Court and a retrial was ordered. In the retrial the jury were deadlocked and could not reach a verdict and a retrial was ordered. That retrial started in March of this year in Belize City but it was later transferred to Corozal District because of the sensitivity of the case.

Cop convicted of theft
On Monday May 12, Police Constable, Brandon Hertular was found guilty of burglary and theft when he appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Hertular was accused of burglary and theft after a home invasion on March 4, 2012 at the home of Shirley Chicas located in Buttonwood Bay in Belize City. At the time a number of household items were reported stolen including cash, cellular phones and a pistol. At the time, Hertular was said to be in his camouflage uniform and was positively identified by the victim as one of two men that entered the home and stole the items. Due to insufficient evidence to prove the charge of burglary, the prosecutor, Mrs. Hawk only proceeded with the trial for theft against PC Hertular.

Two more Years for Denfield Lemoth
Denfield Lemoth who is serving two jail terms amounting to 12 years had two more years added to his time on Wednesday May 14. He appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was sentenced to 2 years in prison which are to run consecutive to the time he is already serving. On April 13, 2013, Errol Belisle was at a Chinese store on Raccoon Street when Lemoth walked into the store and zipped open Belisle’s backpack and removed his wallet which contained $800 in cash, his social security card, ATM Card and driver’s license.

Ladyville Police continue to investigate the execution-style murder of 27 year-old Belize City resident Vince Martinez Jr., who was murdered in a shooting where the gunman ambushed him, seizing on an opportunity. On Wednesday, May 7, just before 6 p.m., Martinez was sitting under the bus stopopposite the Puma Gas Station in the village, when a gunman came running from Mirage Road and fired a single gunshot at him. The shot struck Martinez in the right side of his head, and as soon as he saw his target go down, the gunman ran back in the direction he came, and he escaped in a vehicle that was waiting for him. Police found Martinez’s body shortly after the shooting; he died on the spot.
Ladyville Police continue to investigate the execution-style murder of 27 year-old Belize City resident Vince Martinez Jr., who was murdered in a shooting where the gunman ambushed him, seizing on an opportunity. On Wednesday, May 7, just before 6 p.m., Martinez was sitting under the bus stopopposite the Puma Gas Station in the village, when a gunman came running from Mirage Road and fired a single gunshot at him. The shot struck Martinez in the right side of his head, and as soon as he saw his target go down, the gunman ran back in the direction he came, and he escaped in a vehicle that was waiting for him. Police found Martinez’s body shortly after the shooting; he died on the spot.

One of two men Acquitted of Murder charge
On Thursday May 8, Albert Ara, who was charged for the murder of Hipolito Tiul along with Juan Rivera in 2006, managed to walk free from the charge. His attorney, Carlo Mason was successful in getting him off the charge when he made a no case submission after a voidaire which was accepted by the judge and he was acquitted of the charge. Ara and Rivera were charged for the August 23, 2006 murder of Hipolito Tiul who was attacked whilst inside his home in the Society Hall Road area of Cayo. At the time Tiul was chopped to the head and he subsequently died.

PG Mom murdered on Mother’s Day
Punta Gorda Police continue to investigate the shooting death of 28 year-old Janice Vargas, who was killed in the Indianville Area of the Town. Her death is especially cruel since it happened on Mother’s Day, in front of her child, and at her home where she worked and lived and believed to be safe. Vargas, who works as a waitress for Jamaica Bar, was turning in for the night; she was heading toward the bedroom she stayed at the back of the business place. That’s when she reportedly heard knocking on the doors of the bar, which was already closed. She didn’t open up for anyone, nevertheless, her assailant somehow managed to shoot her in the right shoulder through a window.

Armed for a Funeral
On Monday May 12, 21-year-old Wilfred Ramirez, appeared in Court #1 before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was read two firearm related offenses. Ramirez was charged with one count of kept prohibited firearm, for allegedly having in his possession, 1 black rusty sawed off shot gun with no serial number measuring 18 inches for which he had no gun license for. He was additionally charged with kept prohibited ammunition after he was found in possession of 1-12 gauge cartridge, maroon and brass in color for which he has not been granted a gun license by the commissioner of police.

Joseph West Detained for Chopping Man in Head
Police are investigating a chopping incident that occurred in Corozal on Sunday, May 11th, at about 10 p.m. 34-year-old Giovanni Borland of Western Pines Community in the Belize District was at a bar in Corozal when he got into an argument with 24-year-old Joseph West of Libertad Village. According to reports, Joseph and his brother Denmar West decided to leave the bar. While on their way to another bar, Borland followed them with a machete in his hand. Joseph managed to take the machete away. Shortly after, as Denmar was heading home from the bar, Borland attacked him with an object causing an injury to his forehead area above the right eye. Joseph saw the attack and set chase after Borland with the machete.

Successful National Agricultural and Trade Show 2014
The Honourable Gaspar Vega and the Honourable Hugo Patt wish to thank the general public for the solid support in attending the recently held National Agriculture and Trade Show. The show was a resounding success with approximately 36,000 visitors over the two and a half days. Gross revenue from the show reached a record $241,000. Profits from the show are being reinvested in the unprecedented improvements to infrastructure and support services for the show. The Ministers also wish to thank the National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee, the farmers, exhibitors and vendors that made the show possible. Special thanks to the Belize Police Department for their tremendous effort in making the show free of any serious incident. Special thanks also to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture team for going beyond the call of duty and their exceptional work in preparing for and conducting the show.

BNTU blunders National Teacher’s Day
Friday, May 16, is teacher's day and throughout the entire country the day will be used for teachers to have social gatherings and interactions with each other at various locations in the districts. It would have been a national celebration which would have taken place in Benque Viejo but plans had to be changed after the Belize National Teacher's Union was unable to fulfill its financial obligations to the event. The last time there was a national teacher's day was on in 2009, at that time the BNTU contributed $24,000 for the event to take place. The expectation was that the union would have been able to at least meet the same contribution as they did the last time but the union's executive said they were unable to do so. Instead they said that they would only be able to give $10,000 which simply is not enough for the event to take place.

Significant Fall in Butane Prices
On May 8, the price of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) fell significantly across the country. The supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection establishes prices for LPG based on mixtures of 60-40 propane to butane and 90-10 propane to butane. According to a release from the Ministry, there has been a sharp decrease in the price of propane due to warmer weather as winter months have passed and the months of summer are approaching. The LPG imported from PEMEX in Mexico has the 60-40 mixture and the price per 100 pound cylinder fell by $13 across the board. The new controlled prices to full a 100 pound cylinder are now $115 in Belize City and Corozal, $116 in Orange Walk, $117 in Belmopan and San Ignacio, $118 in Benque Viejo, $119 in Dangriga and $120 in Punta Gorda.

UDP brings Mother’s Day to Rural Central
Mrs. Beverly Castillo is not yet elected Area Representative for the Belize Rural Central constituency but she has been able to do much, much more than what the current Area Representative has done even though she has been given the resources. Mrs. Bev, as she is affectionately known, has been able to make life better for residents throughout the constituency by securing resources and mobilizing equipment to improve road conditions across the area. But it is not only about streets and drains for this UDP Standard Bearer, Mrs. Bev is also putting the personal touch that has been missing for years there. She demonstrated her ability to do so this past weekend as she traversed the entire constituency, village by village holding mother’s day programs and taking gifts to deserving mothers in the division. At every single stop that Mrs. Castillo made, she was received with welcoming smiles and embraces, and she gave them back just as readily. There was not a single village in the division which she did not visit and though it is a virtual impossibility to touch everyone in the constituency, hundreds of mothers were treated to a mothers day gift and activities.

Rasha Dawson Recognized for Strength and Perseverance
Rasha Dawson lost her right leg in a traffic accident twelve years ago when she was only six years old. Life has not been easy for the young resident of Evergreen Street living with a disability. However, she has not made her physical condition limit her potential and that is one of the many reasons she was recognized by the Belize Police Department and honoured with the Do Di Rite Ting Award for April/May 2014. Instead of being a dependent, Rasha has chosen to be a champion. She is a member of Belize Association of People living with Disabilities (BAPD) where she and her group volunteer to assist those people living with disabilities who cannot leave their homes and also raise funds to feed the less fortunate. She is also member of Motivating Youths of Belize (MYOB). MYOB helps teenagers to avoid the negatives of life and stay on the positive path. The group meets weekly and holds fundraising activities in order to give food and clothing to the less fortunate.

Labor Education Seminar Launched in Belmopan
The first in a series of ten labor education seminars was launched in Belmopan on Friday of last week at the George Price Center for Peace and Development. The seminar focused on employers and workers’ rights and responsibilities under the Belize Labor Legislation and International Labor Organization Convention, bringing together persons from both the private and public sectors. It was also an opportunity for both workers and employees to be updated on the most current developments on labor issues. In his welcoming address, His Worship the Mayor Simeon Lopez said “…employers and workers, this is the time for you to address the rights and responsibilities in the Belizean Work Force”. Dylan Reneau, President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize also spoke about the benefits of an educational seminar. He said that the holistic training on all facets of labor administration blends with local and international commitments; assisting Belizeans to maintain favorable and harmonious industrial relations.

Mrs. Pearl Stuart the Trailblazer of the Week
This week on Trailblazer Tuesdays the Special Envoy for Women and Children recognized Mrs. Pearl Stuart for her tireless work on behalf of Belizeans living in Western United States. Mrs. Pearl Stuart, born in Dangriga Town, spent her teen years in Belize City where she started her secondary education at St. Catherine’s Academy and completed it at West Philadelphia Catholic High School in the United States, placing second honors in a school of 8000 students. Mrs. Stuart graduated from Holy Family College with a major in education. Her first job was as a 4th grade (Standard II) teacher in United States elementary school – Our Lady of Victory in Philadelphia. She was the wife of the first Honorary Counsel (unpaid, part time), Paul Warren and supported his work in facilitating Los Angeles based Belizeans and visitors to Belize. This work was done out of their home. The support was provided because of the large number of Belizeans who had settled in the California area.

Orange Walk Central Held its Mother’s Day Event
On the 25th of April the Orange Walk Central UDP Committee held its meeting to plan an event to celebrate the mothers of the constituency. All were very motivated with the plan and everyone started working on their responsibilities. On the 11th of May it was felt and seen that Denny Grijalva is indeed the man for Orange Walk Central he and the UDP Orange Walk Central committee held a massive Mother’s Day Event at the People’s Stadium. There were over Six hundred mothers in attendance. The event commenced at 3:00 p.m and the evening was filled with joy and entertainment. The mothers were serenaded by Captain Roby, Christy Grijalva and many more local artist. The moms participated in several games such as musical chairs, dancing contest and other enjoyable games just to name a few. Throughout the event there were raffles for excellent prizes and gifts were issued to four of the eldest mothers in attendance with ages ranging from 80 to 86 years old. A gift was also given to the youngest mother who is 14 years old. Over a hundred gifts were issued and each mother received a precious corsage. They were also treated to snacks and refreshments.

Orange Walk East Celebrates Mother’s Day
Elodio Aragon Jr. treated hundreds of mothers in the Orange Walk East constituency to Mother’s Day programs as well as gifts to celebrate the occasion. Aragon was able to do this after he secured assistance from the business community in his constituency. The assistance was readily forthcoming because most everyone in the area sees Aragon as a young, active and dynamic representative for the area. He is at this point the Standard Bearer for the UDP and even without being elected he has been able to do so much for the division. He was able to visit all villages of the constituency and bring some form of celebration and gifts to the mothers of the various villages and areas of the division. Aragon told the Guardian that this kind of personal touch is what he will be known for where representatives not only sit in high offices but rather come down to the people and show appreciation and ensure that things are made better for them.

Investigations heighten on Hospital Administrator
Nasley Sommerville, the Administrator of the Southern Regional Hospital, located outside of Dangriga Town, has currently come under the heavy scrutiny of an inquiry by the Public Service Commission following an audit done by the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley. The preliminary findings of this audit suggested that she misappropriated $366,468.88 from the hospital’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) bank account. The Auditor General and her investigative team are currently in possession of 181 cheques used to cash some $352,000 out of the account. Based on their findings, they believe Sommerville abused her authority as administrator over a period 45 months from January 2010 to October 2013 and withdrew money from the MCH account from the Belize Bank Dangriga Branch. They suspect that she used 41 of those 181 cheques to cash out $81,316 which ended up in her Scotia bank account, number 12465 – 44685, which is where her government salary is currently being deposited. They also suspected that 5 cheques from the group were made out to herself as cash in which she managed to get her hands on $9,915 from the account.

Hon. Gaspar Vega and Wife meet the Pope
On April 24, Pope Francis was the co-celebrant in a mass at Rome’s St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish where Jose de Anchieta was canonized. St. Jose de Anchieta founded several Brazilian cities, including Sao Paulo. He was born in Spain’s Canary Islands in 1534 and studied at the Jesuit College at Coimbra in Portugal. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1550 and arrived in Brazil three years later. He built hospitals and educational institutions, with a primary focus on helping to teach and defend indigenous Brazilians, and served as the Jesuit superior in Brazil for 10 years. He died June 9, 1597. Also recognized as saints were Francois de Laval and Marie of the Incarnation.

Dangriga Warriors pulls off upset in National Elite Basketball Tournament
The 2014 National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last week with five games on the schedule. On Thursday May 8 at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan, the host team Belmopan Point Bandits defeated the visiting Belize City No Limit by the score of 71-59. The top scorers for the Belmopan Point Bandits were Adam Carswell with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal, Christian Rodriguez with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals and Stephen Williams with 11 points, 3 rebounds, and a steal. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belize City No Limit Team were Brandon Rogers with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal, Gregory Rudon with 10 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Brian White with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. On Friday at the Multi-Purpose Complex in Orange Walk Town, the visiting Corozal Heats defeated the home team Orange Walk Running Rebels by the score of 71-55.

Kaya Cattouse and Brandon Cattouse capture Pablo Marin Cycling Classic
The Annual Pablo Marin Labour Day Cycling Classic was held on Thursday May 1, 2014 in Corozal. In the Elite Category, first place went to Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Road Addikz, second place went to Nissana Arana of Predators Belize and third place went to Giovanni Choto of C-ray road Addikz. In the female category, first place went to Kaya Cattouse of Smart C-Ray, second place went to Patricia Chavarria of BECOL, and third place went to Alicia Thompson of Belize Bank. In the junior category, first place went to Zamir Guerra of Cayo High Road, second place went to Delon Gentle of BECOL Uprising and third place went to Zahir Figueroa of BELCOL Uprising.

Belmopan Bandits eyes national football title
The Closing Season for the Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup entered its championship round on Saturday May 10 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium between the defending champion the Belmopan Bandits and former champions Police United. In the first game of the series, the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits blanked the visiting Police United by the score of 3-0. The first half of the game ended in a 0-0 draw. It was not until the second half of the game that the Belmopan Bandits were able to get onto the scoreboard. The first goal of the game was scored by Jerome James in the 53rd minutes of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when James scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 60th minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The final goal of the game was scored by Denmark Casey Jr. in the 67th minute of play for the 3-0 victory.

FFB President’s Cup tournament continues
The Football Federation of Belize President’s Cup continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Saturday May 10, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, Sagitun blanked Pomona United by the score of 5-0. The goals for Sagitun were scored by Ashley Torres, Dillon Torres, Ernie White and Myron Cadle. On Sunday May 11, at the Louisiana Field in Orange Walk Town, Progresso FC defeated Belize District Stars by the score of 5-3. The goals for the Progresso FC were scored by Jaron Myvette, Hugo Castillo, Gabriel Perez and Alexander Diaz, while the goals for the Belize District Stars were scored by Brian Martinez, David MacCaulay and Dalton Cayetano.

Holy Redeemer boys and Belize Elementary girls lead in Belize City primary schools volleyball competition
The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball competition continued on Tuesday May 13, 2014 at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. In the first of five games played in the boys’ category, Trinity Methodist School defeated Wesley Upper School in two sets by the score of 25-21 and 25-21. In game two, St. Ignatius School won over St. Martin De Porres School in two sets by the score of 25-9 and 25-22. In the third boys’ game of the day, Hummingbird Elementary School defeated Queen Street Baptist School in three straight sets by the score of 25-22, 14-25 and 15-3. In game four, it was Wesley Upper School winning over All Saints’ Anglican School by the score of 25-7 and 25-17. And in the final boys’ game, it was St. John’s Primary School winning over St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 25-9 and 25-9.

Huge Mayan City Found Near Mexico and Belize Border Line!
According to Mexican Newspapers the Archaeologists from the National Institue of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) (INAH) confirmed today that there is an Ancient Mayan City aproximated to be about 84 acres and is located in the jungles around the border line of Quintana Roo and Belize. The Ancient Mayan City was named Noh Kah, meaning Large City, and is believed to have existed more than one thousand five hundred years ago. In a statement released, INAH claim that with the assistance of members of the communities of San Francisco Botes and Rovirosa, specialists were able to perform a topographic survey of the Ancient Mayan City which is covered by the forest on the bank of the Rio Hondo. Noh Kah is located about 7 miles from the Belize / Mexican Border line and about 37 miles away from the city of Chetumal. Members of the communities of San Francisco Botes and Rovirosa first discovered the Ancient Mayan City when they found a huge wall made of stone and covered in vines hanging over the side which for them was clear that it was evidence of an Ancient City that had been eaten by the jungle long ago. According to archeologists there is data showing that Noh Kan existed since the Early Period (250 – 600 AD). The institute also reported that for the past two years, specialists from the National School of Anthropology and History (Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia) (ENAH) in coordination with the National Institue of Anthropology and History (INAH) managed to collect various ceramic materials. According to archaeologist Javier Lopez Camacho who is in charge of the survey, Noh Kah belongs to a very important area of Quintana Roo, which is the bank of the Rio Hondo River located adjacent to the country of Belize where monumental sites are extended with data relevant the historical reconstruction of what is now known as Dzibanche and Kohunlich as well as others. Noh Kah may even provide knowledge about the influence of the Kaan Dynasty in Southern Quintana Roo as they have found glyphs of a serpents head similar to ones found at Mayan Sites such as El Resbalon, Dzibanche, Pol Box and even at Los Alacranes in Campeche. According to archaeologist Javier Lopez Camacho there are a total of six smaller cities located inside the huge city of Noh Kah which have been named:
According to Mexican Newspapers the Archaeologists from the National Institue of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) (INAH) confirmed today that there is an Ancient Mayan City aproximated to be about 84 acres and is located in the jungles around the border line of Quintana Roo and Belize. The Ancient Mayan City was named Noh Kah, meaning Large City, and is believed to have existed more than one thousand five hundred years ago. In a statement released, INAH claim that with the assistance of members of the communities of San Francisco Botes and Rovirosa, specialists were able to perform a topographic survey of the Ancient Mayan City which is covered by the forest on the bank of the Rio Hondo. Noh Kah is located about 7 miles from the Belize / Mexican Border line and about 37 miles away from the city of Chetumal. Members of the communities of San Francisco Botes and Rovirosa first discovered the Ancient Mayan City when they found a huge wall made of stone and covered in vines hanging over the side which for them was clear that it was evidence of an Ancient City that had been eaten by the jungle long ago. According to archeologists there is data showing that Noh Kan existed since the Early Period (250 – 600 AD).

Drugs to treat Pneumonia need to remain strong
The recent death of Josepha Aragon on May 2nd at number 51 George Price Avenue in Santa Elena Town, Cayo due to Pulmonary Tuberculosis brings to sharp focus, the importance of having a wide variety of effective antibiotics to treat the infections caused by the bacterium Mycobaterium tuberculosis. However; medical records show that the elderly Josepha Aragon was also suffering from malnutrition, which greatly compromised the ability of her immune system to counteract and stem the spread of the M. tuberculosis. (Husband of the deceased, 93 year old Valerio Aragon, who is blind, lost his Social Security benefits last year for unknown reasons and now lives in poverty conditions.) The ability for specialists to treat Pneumonia and other conditions is becoming more difficult over time. This is as a result of the evolution of resistant strains; a natural phenomenon that occurs when microorganisms replicate themselves erroneously or when resistant traits are exchanged between them. But now those tendencies towards resistance by these microorganisms are raising great concerns around the Globe.

Teenager dies in Traffic Accident
Evan Garnett Jr., the 19 year-old grandson of Amandala Newspaper Publisher Evan X Hyde, died in a terrible car crash on Saturday Morning, May 10. Garnett reportedly went socializing with his friends on Friday night, and sometime after 4 a.m., he was driving back home to his house at Los Lagos. At mile 11 on the Philip Goldson Highway, he lost control of his vehicle and veered into the opposite lane, and off to the opposite shoulder of the road. His white Honda Accord car slammed into an old bus parked on the side of the road. The impact was massive and his car’s roof was shorn off in the aftermath. Police believe that Garnett died almost instantly from the collision.

Ministry of Health Commemorates Nurses Week, May 11-16, 2014
The Ministry of Health joins the International Council of Nurses and all nurses across the country in celebration of Nurses’ Week, May 11-16, 2014 and International Nurses Day on May 12th, 2014. This year, Nurses Week is being celebrated under the theme: “Nurses: A Force for Change. A Vital Resource for Health”. Most health regions across the country have planned a weeklong series of activities including church services, trainings, social events, health awareness in schools and publicity appearances on media shows. The main activity will be the National Nurses Conference to be held this Friday, May 16th in Dangriga Town. Deputy Director of Health Services for Nursing, Matron Augustina Elijio shared remarks on the occasion with all nurses in Belize - “We are in a world of constant change, and responding to these changes is difficult if are to take only a local approach. As nurses, it is mandatory that we remain committed as the patient is the source of control in Nursing.”

Patrick Jones

Family of murdered PG woman holds demonstration, calls for justice
Family and friends of slain Punta Gorda resident Janice Vargas staged a demonstration this morning in front of the PG Magistrate’s Court. The protest was held even while police were preparing to question a man who the authorities believe could help them to solve the early Mother’s Day murder. Police issued a photograph of Kenner Trapp on Tuesday, asking the public for help in locating him as their investigation was ongoing. On Wednesday evening, Trapp turned himself in to PG police.

5 Fun Things to do in Belize this Summer 2014
From diving the great blue hole to exploring Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, one of the most sacred caves in the world, here are 5 things that will certainly immerse you in the beauty and wonder of Belize this summer. The Great Blue Hole, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (ATM Cave), Annual Placencia Lobsterfest, Kayaking in Belize

Majority decision of Court of Appeal returns BTL to GOB
The Court of Appeal today handed down its long-awaited judgment in the cases of the Attorney General and Minister of Public Utilities versus British Caribbean Bank, BTL Employees’ Trust and Fortis Energy International. In summary, the Government won all three appeals, gaining a greater hold on Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and keeping that which it retains on Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), which previously were theirs only a provision in the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution upheld at the Supreme Court level by Justice Oswell Legall which vested them in the control of the Government and people of Belize. But both sides are now looking forward to a final determination of the case before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

Senior police officers receive overdue promotions
There have been complaints from the rank and file of the Police Department that certain officers are being favored with promotions and the attendant perks. CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell made it clear that there are no such favorites of either Commissioner Allen Whylie or Minister John Saldivar, as in the case of officers above the rank of Inspector the Security Services Commission makes the decisions and the Commissioner, aided by the results of examinations and other criteria, does so for the junior ranks. But the CEO did confirm that some senior officers have in fact had their promotions to ranks they now hold confirmed and a list of recommended promotees is before the Commission.

BDF soldiers leave streets of Belize City
Belize City residents may have noticed that there are no Belize Defence Force soldiers on the streets as there have been previously, conspicuously standing next to police officers in crime-ridden areas. That has been so since April 30 of this year, putting an end to 20 years of extra domestic duty for the national army. It’s comparable to the draw-down of American and British soldiers leaving Iraq and Afghanistan except that those are international conflicts and not internal. CEO in the Ministry of National Security Retired Colonel George Lovell confirmed the shift in speaking with reporters today. He said that while the days of soldiers keeping watch in crime-ridden areas of Belize City may not be fully over, it has been decided to remove them except for special occasions like holidays, when a smaller force will be deployed in a support capacity to Police.

Public Service holds Information Day
The Ministry of the Public Service is honoring the work of public officers this week and today in Belize City at the BTL Park there was a Public Service Information Fair in which departments of all stripes and colours were showcasing their work to visitors including students. The Public Service are the functionaries of the various Ministries, responsible for carrying out the day to day activities of the Government of Belize. Activities for the week continue including awards to long-standing public officials.

Christian Ebanks charged for unlicensed firearm
A naturalized Belizean who is reportedly wanted in Ecuador for murder has been picked up – and as a bonus, police recovered an unlicensed firearm at his property. 39 year old businessman Christian Ebanks appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today where he pleaded not guilty to keeping a firearm without a gun license. Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) visited Ebanks’ residence on Teacher Street Extension in West Landivar around 12:30 p.m. and upon searching the house found a chrome 9mm handgun with black pistol grip in a plastic bag hidden inside the lower portion of a stove in the kitchen.


Top
#490948 - 05/16/14 12:01 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 16, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

The May 2014 - June 2014 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online.
Click HERE to download the PDF

This Issue's Stories:

  • Stubeef Jerky Returns To the Delight of Former Customers: Although still a young man, Stuart Doley has been making jerky for decades. Growing up in Virginia (USA), he made venison jerky from deer that he hunted. In university he continued refining his recipes and techniques making jerky in a small dehydrator for himself and friends. It is not surprising that soon after his arrival in Belize in 2010 he was at it again, turning local grassfed beef into beef jerky. Using Running W meats he tested the local market under the trade name STUBEEF JERKY. Just as his market here was taking off, Stuart detoured to Barcelona, Spain for an MBA degree. He and his Belizean fiancé returned to Cayo District early in 2013 to tie the knot and revive and expand STUBEEF JERKY. In fall of 2013 their Belize City processing facility, including equipment enabling production of up to 100 lbs. of jerky a week, opened for business. Meats destined for jerky must be lean; wild meats such as venison, known for its lack of marbling is ideal but is not sufficiently available locally. After trying several cuts of beef, testing for texture, tenderness, leanness and flavor, Stuart decided Running W’s fresh grass-fed round steak best fits his criteria. The steak is custom cut into pieces of 1/8th inch thickness across the grain and all excess fat is trimmed. Fats are not desirable in jerky, as they increase rancidity risk. Stuart’s secret blend of spices and seasonings are mixed with soy sauce, sugar, salt and sodium and placed into a vacuum tumbler. Only natural preservatives are used. 40 lbs. of the meat pieces are added to the mixture already inside the cylindrical stainless steel container. The top is sealed shut, the vacuum tube is attached and in just a few minutes the vacuum pump sucks all of the air out of the cylinder. The sealed cylinder is placed horizontally onto rollers which rotate the container on top of the machine. In 30 minutes all of the marinade is absorbed into the meat.
  • TO THE EDITOR: ORGANIC….What does that really mean? Having been involved in organic agriculture for many years, I believe that ‘organic’ is more than just agriculture; it is a commitment to a lifestyle. ‘Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food’, quoting Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, known as ‘the father of modern medicine’. Decades of research has established the definite link between illness and diet. The counter-culture of the ‘back to the land’ generation of the 1960s, turned into the organic agriculture industry of the 1970’s until our present day. But does eating only food grown without synthetic chemicals tell the whole story? Why does organic food cost more? Because it is more labor intensive. Is the extra cost worth the extra benefits? Are you in perfect health? Do you take any man made medicines? However, eating only organic food is not the entire answer to being healthful. We are subjected to chemical toxins in our bath soaps, toothpaste, shampoo, dishwashing liquids, laundry detergents, cleaning agents and cosmetics to name just a few.
  • It’s time to run the citrus industry as a business.: Ten years ago, when the Comonwealth Development Corporation handed over the citrus processing plants (Del Oro) to the Belize citrus industry, for $1, the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) was seen as a responsible conduit to handle the shares on behalf of Belizean citrus growers. Since then, the CGA has divested itself of 59% of those shares for various reasons. The rights or wrongs of these decisions can be argued from different points of view. The fact still remains that growers now own only 41% of the shares. It is time to remove totally these shares from the control of CGA and proportionally place them in individual growers names based on production. This will remove the ability of CGA to use these shares for some other scheme which will have no benefit to growers directly. Since the control of the processing has been in CGA hands, citrus production has declined dramatically to the lowest ever recorded last year, and growers delivering fruit have declined from approx. 1000 to 384 last year. Small growers production has declined from over one million boxes to less than half a million. So clearly, the ownership of the processing has not benefited growers in any way. As regards prices, we still receive less than half what USA growers receive, despite the fact that the processing factory invested four years ago in the equipment to produce consumer ready packs of fresh orange juice which sell for a much higher price and would have led to growers receiving almost double what the factory currently pays.
  • Roots and Shoots Mini Ag Fair in Consejo, Corozal: A small local garden club called Roots and Shoots is a special interest group with members from around the Corozal area. Most of our members have simple gardens, grow flowers, shrubs and fruit trees, and some have small vegetable gardens, and a few have small farms. The club meets every second Monday to discuss various topics of gardening in the tropics, listen to an invited speaker or member of the club or visit members’ gardens. Our club has had many field trips to Cayo, Toledo, Stan Creek and Orange Walk Districts visiting nurseries and farms. We’ve also attended The National Agriculture Fair in Belmopan and Sustainable Harvest International (SHI) Organic Fair in Punta Gorda. On 31 March 2014, Roots and Shoots held our very own 1st Annual Mini Ag Fair at the Consejo Shores Community Center, Corozal District, just 6 miles north of Corozal Town. It was a great success -- thanks to all the organizing and hard work of one of our leading members, Beverley Griffiths. We had a very large turnout of members and guests. We had a number of interesting presenters: John Masson, Pandora Canton and Nana Mensah with Yasmin Ramirez from SHI -- who traveled to be with us from as far away as Belize City and Punta Gorda.
  • Citrus Greening in Belize: Currently Belize has about 42,000 acres of land devoted to citrus groves. Over the last couple of years, Huang Long Bin (HLB) – yellow shoot disease or citrus greening - has caused several thousand acres of groves to be abandoned and now less than 400 citrus farmers are active. This is down from a high of about 1,000 + farmers a few years ago. According to the schoolmen, the disease is caused by a bacterium that inhabits the phloem (energy conducting tissues) of the tree and so far has affected all citrus varieties. The bacterium is transmitted by an insect pest called the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorinacitri. No data exists to show that the disease is transmitted by tools, wind, rain, or human interaction. According to the experts no cure exists for the HLB disease and only two solutions can work. The first is to cut down all infected trees and burn everything, then plant new trees from greenhouses that were freed of the Asian citrus psyllid. It is very expensive at some Bz$ 3,500 per acre. The other alternative is to wait and pray that soon the results of genetic engineering of citrus trees will produce citrus trees that are resistant to the Asian citrus psyllid. A new twist being tried by the CGA is to release “beneficial’ insects in the groves to attack and destroy the Asian citrus psyllid. This new approach is to buy time so that in the next two-three years the growers can be able to import GMO citrus trees from Florida.
  • 2014 International Year of Family Farming Lots of Positive Change for the Future: The United Nations has designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming bringing attention to the importance of family farmers, including smallholder farmers, and their role in helping to nourish the world. The celebration is also aptly timed; it is reported that nearly 900 million people go to bed hungry every night and the global population is expected to reach more than nine billion people by the year 2050. The world will need to not only increase agricultural production, but to engage in agricultural practices that are more efficient and environmentally sustainable. Smallholder farmers are in a unique position to contribute to the global food supply, but empowering smallholder and family farmers is a vital step toward improving nutrition, increasing incomes, protecting and enhancing biodiversity, enhancing soil quality, conserving water, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. Equally important as the goal of feeding the world is the necessity of growing more nutrient-dense crops. All farmers can have a direct impact on nutrition through the crops that they choose to grow and consume, as well as through postharvest and preparation methodologies they use.
  • BEYOND THE BACK YARD: By Jenny Wildman “Oh I do like to be beside the seaside”: People ask me, “What is your favourite thing that grows in your garden?” Without hesitation I say, “Asparagus” which surprises them - that it actually grows here in the tropics. I walk out most mornings and check the patch in hopes of a few delicate shoots to eat, raw and delicious. For me this is the best way and feels very healthy as it is rich in all kinds of nutritious vitamins, A, C, E, B12 and K, plus minerals and antioxidants. It is low in calories with no fat, no cholesterol, and no sodium. First off I always consider what it can do for one’s health. It is a good source of fiber, a natural diuretic, improves mental ability, contains glutathione known to break down carcinogens and therefore fights and protects against cancer and aging. There are innumerable case studies on the benefits of asparagus. People have criticized its very pungent aroma and its effect on the body yet memorably some like Dr. Urbino in Marquez’ “Love in the Time of Cholera” welcome the effects on the urine which he insisted on spraying on his beloved garden. I have only a small patch so really never get to cooking bunches from the garden. I grew this from a crown given to me from a friend who successfully grows rows and rows in Corozal District. I probably broke all the planting rules but like me, the asparagus plant originates from a maritime location and loves sand, sea and salt -which could explain why the useless sandy nature of my land is blessed with my favourite vegetable.
  • Bananas in Danger: TR4 Panama Disease: The next time you bite into a banana, take a moment to savor the delicious treat. With its sweet, consistent taste and creamy texture, it is no wonder that bananas are the world’s most popular fruit. What most do not realize as they are peeling away its golden skin to devour the scrumptious pulp is that bananas are in danger. A serious fungal disease threatens to devastate the world-wide banana industry. The culprit: Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. Cubense, which causes Fusarium wilt or Panama disease, particularly Tropical Race 4. According to ProMusa, an organization dedicated to promoting banana industry news and science, the fungus survives in the soil and “enters the plant through the roots and colonizes the xylem vessels thereby blocking the flow of water and nutrients.” Once water flow is obstructed, the plant’s leaves wilt, its base splits open, and the plant later dies. This is not the first time banana producers have had to deal with Panama disease. Initial reports of the original fungus were noted in 1874 in Southeast Asia. The disease was identified and researched as it began taking a devastating toll on the Gros Michel banana, which was the common commercially-produced banana. By the 1890s, the disease had reached Central America and proceeded to spread, wiping out plantations.
  • TAMARIND: The tamarind tree is a leguminous tree (a tree which bears pods). Tamarind fruit in pods, or hulled is available in farmers’ markets around Belize from January – April. The tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica), a member of the Fabaceae family, is an evergreen tree which has become increasingly popular in Belize and Central America. Other names for the tamarind tree include: Indian date (tamar-hindi), or tamarindo. The origin of this leguminous tree is in East Africa, particularly in the Sudan where the tree grows wild. The fruit was well-known to the ancient Egyptians, and also to the Greeks as far back the fourth-century B.C. Its origin is also traced to India where is it well-known and prolifically cultivated. Taiwan, southern Asia, Oceana, China as well as most tropical countries world-wide produce tamarinds. Marco Polo introduced tamarinds to Europe in 1298. Tamarind trees were introduced in Mexico in the sixteenth century. Mexico presently cultivates over 10,000 acres of tamarinds. If you enjoy Worcestershire sauce or Marie Sharp’s Special Sauce, you may be surprised to know one of the main ingredients is tangy, sweet and sour tamarind syrup. Tamarind trees have many uses including: culinary, medicinal, carpentry, as a metal polish, as an ornamental shade tree, animal fodder, and as mulch. Tamarind trees are showy and elegant; they produce a magnificent canopy of year-round foliage. Trees can reach up to one hundred feet tall with graceful branches spreading over forty feet across. Some trees are known to survive and produce fruit for two hundred years!
  • World Market Prices for Citrus Growers: Last year, according to figures from Citrus Products of Belize, Ltd. (CPBL), 385 growers delivered fruit to the processing facility. Orange production was 4 M cxs from a claimed 30,000 acres with an average of 130 cxs per acre. The industry has never achieved an average of 400 cxs per acre. When we delivered 7 M cxs from 40,000 acres, 8 years ago, the average was 175 cxs per acre. Some few groves had production of 400 cxs per acre. It was never an industry wide figure, as low prices prevented growers from affording the necessary inputs. Even with the same inputs our harvest figures for Valencia are different depending on rootstock. Our 18 year old Valencia are on Sour Orange rootstock; the average production is 350 cxs per acre. Fifteen years ago we were advised by the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) that trees grafted on to Sour Orange would be dead in 5 years and that we should use Swingle rootstock instead. But our 15 year old Valencia on Swingle rootstock averages only 30 cxs per acre and are dying. There is never one simple cause to the problems in agriculture. The decline in citrus production over the past 5 years is a combination of the greening disease, faulty rootstocks and, particularly, low prices to growers. For years, Belizean citrus growers have been paid prices which are much lower than world market prices for citrus juices. The citrus processors in Belize have traditionally produced citrus concentrates, which sell for much lower prices on the world market than the ready-to-drink juices produced in consumer ready packs, such as the “Tetra Pak”. These types of packs have the advantage that they can be distributed and stored without the need for refrigeration.
  • Soil Conditioners: Previous articles in the Belize Ag Report have addressed the need for soil amendments which are those things added to soils to make up a deficiency or to improve the quality of soils. They include a wide range of organic and non-organic materials with different effects. This article deals with soil conditioners or beneficially changing the soil. A soil conditioner is a type of amendment that is added mostly to improve the soil’s physical qualities and thereby enhance the chemical properties, especially the ability to retain moisture and provide food for plants. Soil conditioners improve poor soils, rebuild damaged soils, and can be used to maintain soils in peak condition. Organic soil conditioners include plant and animal wastes –compost, biochar, bone, blood and fish meal, peat, coir (coconut husk), manure, straw, vermiculite, sulfur, lime, blood meal, compost tea, hydroabsorbent polymers and sphagnum moss and even some mineral fertilizers, such as ammonium sulphate, that leave acidic residues, or calcitic and magnesic fertilizers that leave basic residues. The possibility of using other materials to assume the role of composts and clays in improving the soil gave rise to the term, soil conditioning. Soil Structure. The most common use of soil conditioners is to improve looseness while having good soil structure. Depending on compaction, soils impede root growth and decrease the ability of plants to take up nutrients and water. Soil conditioners can add more airiness and improve texture ratios to keep the soil loose as well as reduce harmful chemical effects such as too high or too low pH.
  • BEL-CAR Updates: A good market for beans should continue in 2014. Beans were still being harvested in late April, finishing approximately 2 weeks later than normal due to the excessive rains which delayed planting time. The later beans, black eyes and RKs, have slightly better yields than the earlier beans. This yield variation may be due to the dryness at the critical podding time for the earlier beans, rather than rains. Sales this season for beans appear bright, as there is a world shortage of beans. The US Dry Bean Council is advising US farmers to plant 15-20% more beans; however the reality is that the US is projected to be planting less due to a seed shortage. There have even been inquiries from the US to Belize seeking to purchase RK seeds here. Similar seed shortages are reported in Central America but not in Belize. Here, generally farmers save their own RKs for planting the following season; however they are encouraged to purchase certified seed every 4 or 5 years. Due to the lateness of this year’s crop, Belize was forced to import one container (50,000 lbs.) of RKs in December. Jamaica was also totally out of RKs to start the new year, due to shipping problems. Beans were ready but ships were too full to take our beans there. After this was remedied, the pendulum swung to create a glut of beans in Jamaica. There is a chance to over-export beans this year with the world shortage, but BEL-CAR monitors carefully to avoid a local shortage. Corn is stable at present on the Chicago market, but is expected to climb as demand in the world is rising.
  • Bird Watch – From My Perch: By Marguerite Fly Bevis Endangered Species: Although Belize boasts at least 444 species of birds, the Scarlet Macaw (Aramacaocyanoptera) is one of the most beautiful and one of the most threatened birds in the jewel. Scarlet Macaws have survived the tragic flooding of their habitat by dams built in the mid 2000’s. In 1989 there were about 200 known Scarlet Macaws in the country. Today, there may be 200 to 250 birds. They remain at threat due to the incursion of poachers who steal chicks and cut down nesting trees. Scarlet Macaws are already extirpated in most of Central America. Funding is needed for patrolling, fuel, supplies for the conservation teams working in very remote locations within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Due to monitoring and protection efforts of the Friends for Conservation (FCN), the “Scarlet Six,”a group dedicated to protecting this important species, and individuals, Sharon Matola of the Belize Zoo, Dr Isabelle Paquet-Durand of the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, Charles Britt, Kristi Drexler, Roni Martinez and many others, poaching in recent years has dropped from 90% to 30% according to a monitoring team in 2013. U.S. citizens can make tax deductible donations to the Rainforest Rescue Foundation, specifying the funds to be allocated to the Belize Scarlet Macaw project.
  • Results Of The 2014 Fourth Annual Bird-A-Thon: The Bird-a-Thon is held annually with the goal of raising $15,000. Expect to see many more lodges and individual teams participating next year in March. You can help by sponsoring one of the teams or lodges, donating per species or per eagle, or just give anything you wish. Please feel free to contact me with birding news and conservation efforts
  • BLPA Works to Address Membership Needs: Following a successful AGM the end of February, BLPA has buckled down following through on ongoing projects and expanding into new areas. At the AGM, one new director was added, Mr. Albert Moore, of Cayo District. Officers for the new board will be reported in issue 26. Prices for finished steers/bulls and prices for breeding heifers continue their upward climb. (See pg. 14 for charts showing Belize cattle prices over the past 5 yrs.) The market outlook for cattle production in Belize continues to look very bright. The Cattle Sweep: The second round of the sweep is almost completed in the Northern Districts of Orange Walk and Corozal. Work in the central zone will begin on May 17th. Restructuring: BLPA is undergoing analysis to see how best to revise itself to better serve members. Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) is assisting in that task, and sent Dr. Carlos Pomareda, an experienced livestock consultant and rancher himself, from Costa Rica to Belize.
  • Pesticides Control Board Pesticide Imports Statistics April 2014: The Pesticides Control Board over the past years has been gathering data on the importation of pesticides in Belize. Since 2006, the focus has been on having the database reflect the quantities imported expressed in kilograms of Active Ingredient (kg of A.I.). The following is a report on the pesticides imported into Belize between 2010 to 2013. Figure 1 shows the total amount of pesticide imported between 2010 to 2013. This includes the following pesticide classifications: domestic, agricultural, industrial and public health use. There was a slight increase between 2010 to 2013 from seven hundred and thirty metric tons to one thousand and ninety three metric tons of Active Ingredients.
  • HOMEMADE HEALTH FERMENTED FOOD: The frequent use of antibiotics and antibacterial soaps results in a depleted supply of “good bacteria”in our gut which we need to effectively get nutrients from our food. We hear about probiotics and buy expensive tablets to counteract the effects of taking antibiotics. A healthier approach is fermented food; it helps to restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal system while being tasty and interesting and full of nutrition. Fermentation helps pre-digest food before we consume it. Foods that are difficult to digest are more easily broken down after fermentation. In some cases micro-nutrients are synthesized during the fermentation process. For example, cabbage that has been fermented has known cancer fighting compounds. These foods are rich in enzymes which are needed to digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in our food. They help us to absorb the nutrients we’re consuming. Lacto-fermented food is easy and inexpensive to prepare; foods like sauerkraut and pickled cucumbers provide the same benefits as purchased probiotics. Fermentation is a good way to preserve foods, increase nutritional value and improve taste without spending a lot of money. There was a workshop on fermenting foods at the Caves Branch Jungle Lodge in January 2014. Instructors were expert artisan cheese makers from Vermont, Larry & Linda Faillace, who also periodically teach courses in cheese making at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge.
  • Spanish Lookout Commercial /Industrial Expo 2014: Most of the steady stream of traffic heading for Spanish Lookout on February 28 and March 1 must have been going to the Expo held there. The park and huge covered pavilion were teeming with people. Friday’s crowd numbered 4,000, many of which were students; Saturday’s crowd was 11,000, greater than the previous Expo held in 2012. People came from all over the country to view the displays and products of the 100 exhibitors, enjoy the wonderful food and fun on buggy rides, boat rides, tractor rides, ATV rides, trampolines and in the bounce house. The agricultural and commercial exhibitors were from all over the country. A big livestock exhibition was planned but ended up very limited because the dates of the Expo coincided with the country-wide Cattle Sweep program, in which cattle were being examined and certified to be free of disease. If you haven’t attended Expo before, look forward to attending the next one in 2016.
  • Honey: Nutritional Facts and Medical Uses: Honey has been consumed by humans for over 10,000 years. It is the only food from insects that we eat. Honey is derived from the nectar of flowers, which is gathered by the female, or worker bee and stored in her honey sac for transportation to the hive. While obtaining the nectar, pollen from the flower is gathered on the two hind legs of the bee. During the course of the day, a bee may make as many as 25 trips gathering nectar and pollen, but will only visit one type of flower. This phenomenon is known as flower fidelity and is nature’s way of not confusing the pollination issue. Upon her returns to the hive, she is greeted by guards who identify her as a member of the colony and allow her entrance. She then passes her partially digested nectar to another worker or deposits the nectar in an empty cell in the wax foundation. The pollen is deposited in a cell and softened with water to a paste. This pollen paste, a source of protein, is used for rearing the brood. The complex sugar (sucrose) is converted to simpler sugars (glucose and fructose) to which are added enzymes. Water, which in the beginning stage of honey is the dominate component, is evaporated by the bees fanning the honey with their wings. Less water content allows the product to better resist spoiling. Good honey contains only about 18% water or less.
  • : Local and Regional Fuel Prices
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: Find local and some international commodity prices on our Agriculture Prices at a Glance section.
  • Ag Briefs: New Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, (IICA) Country Representative to Belize, The Chocolate Festival of Belize, Russia already has GMO labeling required for all foods with greater than 0.9% GMO, and other GMO-related news.
  • Letters To THE EDITOR

Blogs

Cancun to Toronto via Newark
After a yummy breakfast of scrambled eggs with veggies, cheese and homemade chipotle sauce at the Kumar’s it was time to bust a move. We got to the airport in good time and the first thing Paul did was to hit Starbucks for iced frappe’s. Our travel route was flying from Cancun to Toronto via Newark. We got in line and check in at United and the woman at the counter noticed that we had arrived in Mexico over land, so we had to duck out of line to go over to an Immigration kiosk to get our Mexican Immigration form stamped. She told us to just pop straight back to her when that was done. We did get a few dirty looks from folks that were still waiting in line when we cut in front of them all. Flying out of Cancun instead of Belize saved us $200 usd per ticket.

25 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Belize
1. It’s the only English speaking country in Central America: Belize was occupied by the British, making it unique among its neighbors. 2. It was the center of the Mundo Maya: The Mayan once occupied Belize, as evidenced by the dozen or more protected archeological sites. Practically every buried mound you spot is a piece of history. 3. Most Belizeans are trilingual: They speak Kriol, Spanish and English. Some also speak additional languages, such as Garifuna, Mayan dialects, and German. 4. You can have a plate of coconut rice n’ beans: Proof of Caribbean culture? Coconut rice and beans is sold on every corner, alongside a tasty stew of your choice. 5. You can eat African fufu and cassava: The Garinagu people, descendants from West Africa, settled along Belize’s southern coast and brought with them their plantains and cassava. The result? Dishes like hudut–mashed plantains, also known as “fufu” in West Africa, served with a fish stew.

“SOS” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I’m now in to the forth week of my holiday here on Ambergris Caye with Rose (she’s the really nice one) and John (he shouts at me sometimes) and I must say that I’ve had a thoroughly nice time and I’m pretty well convinced that I want to come back and live here permanently when my Dad, Frank, moves to Germany for his next posting with the British Army. I think I’ve done enough to make them want me to come back. For a start when they let me sleep inside at night I immediately stopped scratching the front door. I didn’t enjoy causing damage like that but the doleful eyes just didn’t do the trick when they decided it was time for bed. They were very dogmatic about it until I ‘hit’ on the door idea. They were determined but so was I. See, doggedness does pay off! I’ve now got virtually a free rein of the place. I’m not allowed in the kitchen and Rose has put a ‘no go’ sign on the floor to remind me and I’m not allowed in their bedroom.

BRICS countries facing increasing political risk says Aon
Aon Risk Solutions, the global risk management business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), today unveiled its 2014 Political Risk Map which identifies an increased risk rating for all five emerging market BRICS countries. As a result, countries representing a large share of global output experienced a broad-based increase in political risk including political violence, government interference and sovereign non-payment risk. Brazil’s rating was downgraded; political risks have been increasing from moderate levels as economic weakness has increased the role of the government in the economy. This is of particular concern given this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Russia’s rating was downgraded largely due to recent developments with the Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. Political strains and focus on geopolitical issues have exacerbated an already weak operating environment for business and exchange transfer risks have increased following the risk of new capital controls. Russia’s economy continues to be dominated by the government, so economic policy deadlock has brought growth to a standstill and with it an increase in the risk of political violence.

How to open an Offshore Bank account in Belize
It seems that Belize is most popular for two reasons, one, the Great Blue Hole and two, Offshore Banking. At least that’s what I often get when I introduce myself to strangers in the US or Canada. Here’s how it usually goes: “Oh you’re from Belize, my friends have been there, the weather is lovely and the diving is superb – they spent a lot of time on the beach town of Ambergris and crossed the Blue Hole off their bucket list”, or “Oooh Belize, hmm, can you give me some information on how to get an offshore bank account there?” When I’m asked the latter, most people jokingly laugh concluding that only the mega rich do it and it is illegal. Newsflash, it is not illegal and it can actually be very beneficial! 10 Benefits of a Belizean Offshore Bank account Convenience. The money is easily accessible and it stays in US currency. If you vacation a lot in Belize, you will not have to pay your bank service fees from back home. Effortlessly receive payments if you work or do business in Belize. It’s an international bank account, you can bank anywhere in the world. Full access online banking and customer service via telephone. You have access to international debit and credit cards. Apply for loans and invest in a business or property. Receive high interest rates and no yearly account fees. Diversify your assets, its not good to keep all your eggs in one basket. Privacy! By this I’m not suggesting that you hide money from your government, I’m saying that it’s usually a good idea to conceal your wealth from the regular folk. Just in case someone might want to financially exploit you.

She Loved the Chairman So Much, She Tattooed His Name
In another revelation about the sordid and torrid love affair between UDP Chairman, Alberto August and the beautiful Shawn Pacheco we learn of how intense their affair was. Pacheco actually got August’s full name tattooed on her breast which she flaunted with pride. She was in love and we understand just how much whatever August said on Wave Radio about her has hurt. Earlier she shared phone records showing the number of times she was on the phone with the sleazy Chairman.

Mr. Party Chairman August in a Ménage à trois – Bit Off More Than He Could Chew!
We never gave UDP Chairman, Alberto August much credit for his acumen and he has always portrayed himself as an unsophisticate willing to stoop to whatever low to advance his party’s diabolical political agenda. August will forever live in infamy for being the head of the disbanded Security Intelligence Service (SIS) which existed primarily to listen in on the private telephone calls of political opponents. We’ve known that he’s a habitual wife beater but what didn’t know is that he also likes women…lots of women. As the saga involving his recent former love Shawn Pacheco continues to unfold, we’re getting a much more close up look at the philandering chairman. In this installation, we learn now that he’s not really the discriminating type – becoming amorous with men and/or women is no biggie for the chairman. Shawn Pacheco will give us a vivid insight.

International Sources

AccuWeather Atlantic Hurricane Season 2014 Forecast: Two US Landfalls Predicted; East Coast at Risk
Following a season with the fewest number of hurricanes since 1982, the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to follow suit as a below-normal hurricane season. With roughly 10 named tropical storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes predicted for the Atlantic Basin this season, AccuWeather.com's long-range forecasting team anticipates two storms, either tropical storms or hurricanes, to make landfall in the United States. Atlantic Hurricane Season Key Points: 1. AccuWeather.com is predicting a below-normal hurricane season. 2. Tropical development this season may be altered by the onset of El Niño in late summer or fall. 3. Areas from the central and eastern Gulf of Mexico up through the East Coast will be most vulnerable for impacts from a tropical system. The onset of El Niño, a short-term phenomenon associated with above-normal water temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, may alter weather patterns across the globe. At some point this summer, El Niño will likely increase wind shear across portions of the Atlantic basin and thus suppress the development of tropical storms this season.

An Overview Of Yet Another Atlantic 2014 Seasonal Hurricane Forecast & My Analysis & Thoughts On What May Transpire This 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season
I cannot stress this point enough – Just because there may be a low number of storms, you should not let your guard down or think that you don’t have to worry. All it takes is one storm or hurricane to ruin or devastate your property. Begin making preparations today for the Hurricane Season. Put together or restock that Hurricane supply kit. Once a storm or hurricane is on its way, it’s almost too late. In fact, I think that we will see 1 to 2 tropical storms or hurricanes make landfall this season somewhere along the US Gulf Coast, across the Bahamas or along the US Southeast Coast. As for the Caribbean, while the main impact threat may end up staying north of the Caribbean, it does not mean that a tropical storm or hurricane will not affect the Caribbean, especially the central and western Caribbean. In my opinion, I envision this season to start out quick with maybe 2 to 3 named storms during June and July. In fact, there are signals in the data that point that a weak upward motion pulse of the Madden Julian Oscillation will arrive in the eastern Pacific and western Atlantic in about 7 to 10 days from now which could last into early June. During a developing El Nino like we have now, these types of weak signals in the Madden Julian Oscillations are sometimes correlated with early season Atlantic tropical cyclone development. In fact, moderate to strong El Niño’s sometimes feature a burst of early Atlantic tropical development. This is why I think we may have 2 to 3 named storms during June and July.

Bones in Submerged Cave May Be Earliest Native American
Divers mapping the underwater caves within Mexico's Eastern Yucatan Peninsula came upon a surprising find -- a superbly preserved skeleton dating close to the time when people first entered the New World. "It was like a magnet and I remember swimming over to her remains and hovering in place about 12 inches from the skull, absolutely spellbound, for several moments," Susan Bird, a Bay Area Underwater Explorers diver, told Discovery News. Subsequent underwater testing and analysis of this oldest, most complete skeleton found in the Americas has since provided evidence that modern Native Americans are directly related to the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, according to a study published today in the journal Science.

IDB: LatAm lagging behind on broadband access
Latin America and the Caribbean have some catching up to do in the provision of broadband internet services, according to a score sheet compiled by the Inter-American Development Bank. Broadband penetration is expected to grow quickly, at a compound annual growth rate of 11.9 per cent in the five years to 2015 across the region, but for now it compares poorly to OECD countries. The IDB’s ranking based on four criteria – public policy, strategic regulation, infrastructure and applications and knowledge – gave the region’s 26 countries an average 4.37 out of a maximum 8 points, calculated from 37 separate indicators compiled by researchers. By comparison, OECD countries scored an average 6.14.

XUNANTUNICH, Stunning Archeaological site in Belize
It’s not as famous as Yucatán’s Chichen Itza. It’s not as tall as Guatemala’s Tikal. But there in western Belize, the Xunantunich Mayan ruins will make your jaw drop. And maybe your palms sweat. Pronounced shoe-NAN-to-nitch (or as some tourists mangle it, Tuna Sandwich) its name means “stone maiden.” The dominant structure, El Castillo, is notable not only for its elegant friezes of hieroglyphs depicting rulers and gods, but for the fact that visitors can still climb to the top of the 130-foot temple, if they dare. Unlike at Mexico’s Chichen Itza, which was closed to climbers in 2006 after a woman fell to her death, Xunantunich’s climb is done in bits and pieces, with plenty of flat places to stop — and even a handrail staircase for the final descent. Still, it’s not for everyone.

Belize's Toledo region: chocolate, culture and curiosities
Bolting upright with goose bumps and a racing heart is my least favorite way to wake up in the pitch black of a jungle night. Sweaty air and the otherworldly roar and rasp of what sounds like a T. rex syncs with my marauding-dinosaur nightmare. Then I remember last night's dinner talk about very big sounds made by very small critters. Oh, yeah. Howler monkeys. It's a fittingly dramatic ending to my first full day in Belize, a cultural cacophony of chocolate-making with Maya chefs, banana-beaked toucans whizzing through 50 shades of jungle green, swimming in the dark through a giant cave, blond Mennonites trotting their watermelon-filled horse-drawn carts along potholed roads. Then there was that caretaker at Lubaantun Maya ruins showing off yellowing newspaper clippings about a spooky crystal skull allegedly found amid the rubble by the daughter of an adventurous Brit named F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, one of the inspirations for the Indiana Jones character.

Noble House Hotels & Resorts Expands Portfolio Globally, Adds Belize Ocean Club & Resort to its Luxury Collection
Noble House Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. – a collection of luxury hotels and resorts – has assumed management of Belize Ocean Club & Resort, located on Maya Beach, Placencia, Belize. The property is the 18th addition to the Noble House Hotels & Resorts (NHHR) hospitality portfolio, and the first international resort to join the collection. "Partnering with Belize Ocean Club & Resort affords us the exciting opportunity not only to play in the global space, but also to create the best resort in all of Belize," said Pat Colee, Noble House Founder and Chairman of the Board. "Noble House Hotels & Resorts is excited about Belize as a destination and this distinguished property is a welcomed addition to the family." Belize Ocean Club & Resort, perched on a verdant peninsula on the tropical coastline of Maya Beach, boasts stunning views of the Caribbean Sea and Placencia Lagoon from its setting on 430 ft. of private beachfront. Each of the 1,100 sq. ft. water view suites, complete with two bedrooms and baths, also offer a dining room and full kitchen, catering to a multitude of travelers, including families. With tables under thatch palapa roofs on the beach, the resort's restaurant, Ocean Club Bar & Grill, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, including hand selected, freshly caught seafood. Located near the World's second largest barrier reef, guests experience excellent diving, tropical rainforests and ancient Maya civilization, all minutes from the resort.

Being there . . .
Once a possible candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court, Carlos Moreno gets the consolation prize of a few years spreading U.S. diplomacy in Belize. Moreno is a retired justice of the California Supreme Court, where he cast the lone vote to overturn Proposition 8, the state’s ballot initiative that overturned same-sex marriage. His name was in the mix in 2009 to succeed Justice David Souter, but President Obama wanted to, and then did, appoint a woman. Moreno is the son of Mexican immigrants. He’s headed to the only English-speaking country in Central America. The Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Belize on Wednesday afternoon.

Limes through Texas big part of Brooks Tropicals’ offerings
For 85 years, Brooks Tropicals has grown and sold tropical fruits from its South Florida headquarters. Charlie Brooks took the foray into agriculture when the real estate market was difficult in the 1920s, and the company has been on an upward swing ever since. Over the years, the grower-shipper greatly expanded its South Florida acreage and also added land in other tropical locations around the Caribbean. Today, headquartered in Homestead, FL, Brooks Tropicals LLC, farms more than 4,000 acres, and harvests more than 70 percent of what it sells. In an area called the Redlands just south of Miami, the company grows SlimCado avocados. On the Florida west coast, starfruit is the main crop. In the Central American country of Belize, Brooks grows, packs and ships Caribbean Red papayas. Twenty other tropical fruits and vegetables are imported into the North American market from 15 countries in Central and South America.

The little boy who kept his promise to jaguars
How is it possible that this book for children ages 4 to 8 is so moving that the outside world vanished as I read the first page, and by the last it had me bursting into tears? My co-producer for The Animalist, Christen Goguen, took the book next and simply cried all the way through. Don’t get the wrong idea. “A Boy and a Jaguar” is not a sad story. Not at all. It’s a transcendent, beautiful, and uplifting one—a prayer for anyone who loves animals. Through spare words (accompanied by the imaginative, soulful illustrations of Catia Chien), Alan Rabinowitz tells his life story.

Anemone eats bird, and other surprising animal meals
There’s an old saying in journalism: If a dog bites a man, that’s not news. Man bites dog: That’s news. So how about a sea anemone that chows down on a bird? Researchers have reported finding a giant green anemone chowing down on a young cormorant. The photo of the event looks something like a purple Thanksgiving turkey being attacked by a neon-green hairbrush. The picture is surprising because, as researcher Lisa Guy of the University of Washington in Seattle told Deep Sea News, it’s an “example of an apex predator being consumed by an animal that doesn’t seem to really do anything.”

Q’eqchi’ Mayan Language Revitalization through Verbal Art
When I first began my journey, it was 36 years ago. There, in the highlands of Guatemala, in the region of Alta Verapaz where Q’eqchi’ is spoken and traditional Maya ways are (still) practiced, and the mountains are alive...there, in the “land of the true peace,” (Jessup and Simpson, 1936); that is where my journey began. Francisco Choco’oj Paau, a Q’eqchi’ Maya storyteller from Cobán, then in his late fifties, would take his time to prepare to tell a story. He would say his prayers; he would burn his (copal) incense. That’s because, these weren’t just stories, they were ancient legends; legends that had been passed down from generation-to-generation; told in a precise way; told in the same way; for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Each legend held a custom, tradition, or particular insight into Maya beliefs and culture. Each legend also held a moral about Maya life. The Q’eqchi’ Maya are descendants of the ancient Maya civilization that flourished in pre-Columbian times in Mexico and Central America from 1000 B.C. – 1500 A.D. Q’eqchi’ is a Mayan language of the Eastern Mayan K’ichean (formerly spelled Quichean) branch. The formal classification is: Proto-Maya/ Eastern Mayan/ K’ichean-Mamean/ Q’eqchi’ (Campbell and Kaufman 1985). They are the predominant Maya group in the central highlands and northern lowlands of Guatemala. There is an estimated population of 400,000 in Northern Alta Verapaz, Guatemala and the southern Petén departments of Guatemala (Lewis, 2009), with a total population in all countries including Belize and El Salvador of 423,500. However, population estimates vary widely. According to a UNESCO 2002 census, the Q’eqchi’ population in Guatemala and Belize is estimated to be 716,101.

Was Naia the first American? Teenage girl's skeleton found deep in underwater Mexican cave dates from the last ice age 13,000 years ago and is oldest ever found in the Americas
One of the world’s oldest complete human skeletons has been found in a cave in Mexico - and sheds new light on who the first Americans were. Named ‘Naia’, the remains belong to a 15-16 girl who went underground to seek water 13,000 years ago during the last ice age. She plunged to her death in a large pit known as ‘Hoyo Negro’, Spanish for ‘black hole’, in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. She roamed Earth up to 13,000 years ago when the now flooded cave systems in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula were much the same, apart from the water level being much lower than it is now. Her almost complete remains, including an intact skull and preserved DNA, were lying 130 feet below sea level near a variety of extinct animals, such as an elephant like creature called a gomphothere.

Caribbean faces threat of biggest tsunami ever recorded
LONDON, England, Wednesday February 12, 2014 – The Caribbean could be at risk from a mega-tsunami that scientists warn could devastate coastlines from Florida to Brazil following a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands. The monster wave generated by part of a mountain collapsing into the sea would be the biggest ever recorded and would be an unstoppable force, travelling at speeds of up to 500mph. The massive wall of water would likely make first landfall on the West Saharan coast of Morocco, where the wave could measure as much as 330ft from trough to crest. The greatest destruction was nevertheless expected in the built-up coastal areas of the Caribbean, Florida and Brazil, according to a new forecast by Dr Simon Day of the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at University College London.

Videos

Video: Altun Ha Maya ruins of Belize impressions in HD, 2min.
A steeped in history shore excursion took us to the ruins in Belize, the Mayan ruins in Belize. A one hour drive on a shore excursion on our Carnival cruise in April 2014 by the Western Caribbean we reached as complex. There we visited the beautiful ancient Mayan temple and climbed around on ancient history. The video shows some impressions of the famous landmark.

Video: May 6th, 2014 - The Great Blue Hole, Belize, 16min.
Crazy drop-off, stalactites at 130 feet, and sharks!

Video: Belize Wedding Week, 6min.
Diving San Pedro and activities around Ambergris Caye.

Video: Where is Belize? Why go? (Travel Blog 22) Ambergris Caye, 3min.
Note: I said in Belize they speak Mayan, when I was referring to the three native Mayan languages. What most Belizeans speak is Belizean Creole In this travel blog I talk about how Belize is different from other Central American countries. Formerly known as British Honduras this place is awesome!!

Video: How To Harvest Cashew Nuts to Dry and Remove Poison in Belize, 4min.
The kids harvest Cashew fruit and Cashew nuts from the Cashew tree. They explain what they are doing with the Cashews and why. They show how to remove the seed or Cashew Nut from the fruit. After they remove the seed, they gather them together in one place. The kids will dry the Cashew seed to process later into the Cashew Nut to eat or make things with. Some of the things you can make with the Cashew is Cashew Butter, Cashew Chicken, Cashew Milk etc. The Cashew is unique in that the single seed grows externally to the fruit. Please note: The Cashew tree contains an oil closely related to Urushiol - the irritating toxin in Poison Oak and Poison Ivy. The cashew fruit will be used to make a delicious Cashew Apple Crisp or "Cashew Crumble".

Video: Bat eats crustacean, 2min.
The fishing bats of Belize (Noctilio leporinus) use echolocation to detect ripples on the water to find fish, frogs and aquatic crustaceans. A bat swoops down and drags its back claws through the water to snag its prey.

Video: Belize - BV Expedition 2-14 (PART 7), 5min.
My expedition together with the amazing Blue Ventures Team and volunteers in Belize, 14 feb - 27 mar 2014. Like, subscribe and expect every part of nature. "Based in Sarteneja and Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve our Belize expedition involves volunteers in marine conservation research and community projects as you immerse yourself in the culture and marine environment of Belize. "

Video: Turneffe Atoll Belize, 5min.

Video: Caribbean Sea Challenge - Waves in the Outrigger Canoe, 4min.
What do we do for fun around here? Well, we love the Caribbean sea so we play a lot in it. In fact, we love the ocean anywhere we are so it is just natural to want to play in the sea water in a beautiful place like Belize. We have a little polynesian style outrigger canoe, or more accurately, outrigger dory that we use here. When the water gets a bit rough, we like to take the outrigger out to play in the white water when the waves are a bit bigger. The kids just love the little dory. We have a lot of fun when the ocean gets wavy like this so we go out to play. But make no mistake about it - the Caribbean sea can get dangerous away from shore. Especially if you are beyond the reef.


Top

Links
Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!


Things to do

News
Daily News
Daily Weather

Classified Ads
BelizeNews.com
San Pedro Sun
Ambergris Today
SP Town Council
Channel 7
Channel 5
Amandala
Love FM
The Reporter
Caye Caulker
Chronicles

PLUS TV
TV Newscasts
Radio Stations

Click for our
Search thousands of Belizean-only websites

Event Guides
Event Calendar
Specials & Events
Things to Do
SanPedroScoop
iTravel Belize
Paradise Theater

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

Cayo Espanto
Click for Cayo Espanto, and have your own private island
More Links
Click for exciting and adventurous tours of Belize with Katie Valk!
December
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Who's Online
0 registered (), 42 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
18,670 Registered Members
44 Forums
64,006 Topics
462,170 Posts

Most users ever online: 1,262 @ 06/10/07 07:16 PM




AmbergrisCaye.com CayeCaulker.org HELP! Visitor Center Goods & Services San Pedro Town
BelizeSearch.com Message Board Lodging Diving Fishing Things to Do History
BelizeNews.com Maps Phonebook Belize Business Directory
BelizeCards.com SanPedroDaily.com Picture of the Day

The opinions and views expressed on this board are the subjective opinions of Ambergris Caye Message Board members
and not of the Ambergris Caye Message Board its affiliates, or its employees.