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The San Pedro Sun

Concern grows over trending Puerto Azul Development
Environmentalists are in an uproar at the Cabinet’s approval for the multi-million dollar tourism development within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Puerto Azul Belize Limited is proposing an exclusive resort, hotel, golf course, villas and spa to be built on Northern Two Caye and Sandbore Caye. The island proposed for development are a short distance from the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, both extensively protected areas for their importance in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The development is expected to consist of over 970 acres of luxury amenities for the world’s elite including shopping centers, restaurants and bars, a golf club house, spa, airstrip, marina, churches, business centers, botanical garden, health care center, not to mention accommodations for approximately 1,000 guests and 2,000 employees. Puerto Azul is expected to be the most luxurious and expensive tourism destination in Belize, offering seven star exclusivity of nature and services.

Doctor Love: Cheater
Dear Doctor Love, Here is the short version of this story. I wanted him forever and finally got him only to find out that he is a cheater. Yet I still think I want him. How can this be? I knew him from high school and loved him from a distance. He was two years […]

Police Report- Found Property
On Saturday, May 17th, Superintendent Luis Castellanos along with other San Pedro Police Officers visited an empty lot located on Sea Grape Drive in the San Telmo Area. A search was conducted on the premises and resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag hidden within a cluster of plantain trees. The plastic bag contained several parcels of suspected cannabis. A further search of the immediate area was made, which resulted in the discovery of a transparent coffee jar. Inside was a black plastic bag with suspected cocaine, a transparent plastic bag with suspected cocaine, and another plastic bag with a large piece of suspected crack cocaine.

Wolfe’s Woofer- Don’t Forget
“Sherry, your memory is getting worse all of the time,” I said. “You can’t remember where you put the key for the bodega and you’ve been looking for it for two days.” “Don’t talk to me about bad memory,” she said. “Last week you looked for your shades for two hours and found they were […]

Police Report a decrease in crime for the island
The San Pedro Police Department has released the crime statistics for the month of April 2014. The report demonstrates a steady decrease in major crime and stagnation of minor crimes such as burglary and theft for San Pedro Town, while Caye Caulker Village is seeing an exponential increase in crime. For the month of April, the island of Caye Caulker reported 14 cases of crime, a 65% increase from March’s five reported cases. Six of the cases were possession of controlled drugs, seven were petty crimes and one case was an attempted murder. The incident of attempted murder occurred on Tuesday, April 15th when 24-year-old AquilesCanche was stabbed multiple times by 31-year-old James Crawford. Caye Caulker Police have determined that the increase in crime was due to the Easter Holidays as the island saw an influx of people.

Misc Belizean Sources

Peace and Love Concert
The Cayetanos, and Panerrifix both played at the Peace and Love Concert, which was held in Belmpan. "Was quite a lovely day in Belmopan for the Love and Peace concert. Big up the Cayetano Family for putting on a great show for a very worthy cause - youth development. Big up also to Girl POWA, PCD Youths and Belmopan Active Youth Drum Corps."

Marcial Mes passes away
Former government Minister Marcial Mes perished a short while ago in a road traffic accident on the Southern Highway. According to information received, Mr. Mes who is a resident of San Marcos village, died when a vehicle he was traveling in crashed into the highway railing at the side of the road in Emeory Grove village which is a short distance away from his home village. One other person who was in the vehicle sustained injuries which do not appear to be life-threatening at this time. More information on this incident will be posted shortly.

The Reporter

Jambar rejects firing of Professor Bain
The Jamaican Bar Association (Jambar) has become the latest body to reject the firing of Professor Brendan Bain as director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network of the University of the West Indies (UWI). Late Friday Jambar called on Vice Chancellor of UWI, Professor Nigel Harris and the leadership of UWI, “if it has not done so, to give due process” to Professor Brendan Bain. Jambar also said in a statement that it is “very concerned” about the actions at UWI. “The legal profession routinely relies on expert testimony to advance the cases of our clients. As such we are very concerned that the actions of UWI against Bain could adversely impact on the freedom of expression by experts giving testimony in Jamaica,” Jambar said.

BGYEA plans rally for June
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association has planned a rally set for June 8th at the Battlefield Park to raise awareness for the issue in Harmonyville as well as other national issues. Nigel Petillo, BGYEA president told The Reporter that the decision to hold the rally was made at an emergency membership meeting on Sunday in Harmonyville. Petillo explained that the idea behind the “Plant the Corn” rally is to raise awareness about a host of issues including the ongoing immigration scandal and illegal rosewood harvesting as well as other issues. Petillo said that he hopes the rally will gain support from the unions as well as the general public and will empower people to take a stand.

Colombians vote in presidential elections
Colombians are going to the polls in the first round of a presidential election widely thought to be a referendum on whether to continue peace talks with rebels. President Juan Manuel Santos, who is seeking another four-year term, believes that negotiations with the Farc are the best way to end the country’s civil war. His main rival, Oscar Zuluaga, a former cabinet colleague, says he wants to take a tougher line. Mr Santos and Mr Zuluaga are running in a field of five candidates, but none of the other three has gained more than 10 percent in any opinion poll. In a recent poll, Colombians listed their three main concerns as unemployment, health and security.

The May 25th, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Aaron Juan Remanded On Another Sex Related Charge:
    Having been on the run for over five months, a businessman from San Ignacio Town accompanied by an attorney, today turned himself in to the police to be charged. San Ignacio police reports that around midmorning on Tuesday, May 20, Aaron Elijah Juan, 33, Belizean businessman of a Burns Avenue address in San Ignacio Town, accompanied by Belize City based attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, walked into the police station in effect turning in himself to face a carnal knowledge charge.
  • Five Guatemalans On A Drug Trafficking Charge:
    Five Guatemalans, one of which is a naturalized Belizean, were found in a car on the George Price Highway with 18 pounds of marijuana suspected to be of Guatemalan origin. San Ignacio police reports that the Guatemalans were moving the sack of weed during the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, May 20. The report indicated that at around 3:00 am, a joint operation mounted by elements of the police Anti Drug Unit (ADU), police Mobile Interdiction Unit (MIT), police K-9 Unit and Customs personnel were manning a checkpoint on the George Price Highway between the western towns of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo, at mile 68, near Rumors Resort, when a green Geo Prism car with San Ignacio/Satna Elena license plates C-01281, pulled up to the check point. The car, with five occupants including the driver, was stopped and searched. Inside the trunk of the car police came upon a white sack and when opened, it was found to contain two black plastic bags with 11 parcels of marijuana.
  • Belize City Man Guilty Of San Ignacio Theft:
    A man who told the police that the lives on Antelope Street in Belize City today pled guilty of a theft charge after he was caught by an alert off duty policemen a few minutes after snatching a lady’s sling bag. The incident occurred at around 6:00 am on Sunday May 18 when a hardworking vegetable vendor from Santa Familia village, Cayo was sitting under the Falcon Field bus stop waiting for the bus to travel on business to Belize City. The lady told the police that after sitting under the bus stop for about 15 minutes a tall male person of fair complexion, wearing a black ¾ Jeans pant, a black “Los Angeles” baseball cap and a black T-Shirt, arrived at the bus stop. She heard when the man said that he had lost his telephone. He walked to the back of the shed as if searching for something and this was when he grabbed the lady’s black sling bag she had on her lap and ran off.
  • Guatemalan Ex-President Alfonso Portillo Jailed In US:
    A court in New York has sentenced former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo to five years and 10 months in jail for taking bribes from Taiwan. Portillo, who was extradited to the United States last year, has also been ordered to pay a $2.5m fine. He pleaded guilty in March to attempting to launder the illegal money through American banks. The judge has not decided whether he will serve the remainder of his sentence in the US or Guatemala. Portillo has already spent a substantial amount of time in jail and has only another 18 months of his sentence to serve. The time in jail was "a big learning experience for me but also great pain for my family", Portillo said in court.
  • Secret Passages-An Art Show Opening At The Soul Project:
    This new exhibit features works of collage by people from all over the world visiting Belize. Collage is a very interesting medium. In collage, the artist assembles existing print material into a new format, a new picture. The artist creates a new context for the text or images selected, as they appear in the collage in relationship to one another. The seeming randomness of the selection and reassembly leaves a lot of room for subconscious free association by the artist, but also by the viewer. Collage invites us to link images together in an instantaneous impression, the first look. Our minds scan for patterns and similarities and differences, in an instant we form an idea about what we see. See Secret Passages for yourself, and let your mind expand...showing until etc date at Soul Project in San Ignacio.
  • Cholesterol:
    To understand high blood cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), it helps to learn about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods you eat. Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins (lip-o-PRO-teens). These packages are made of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside. Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol through -out your body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high- density lipoproteins (HDL). Having healthy levels of both types of lipoproteins is important.
  • What Is Commonwealth Or Sovereign’s Day?:
    Commonwealth or Sovereign’s Day, as it is known to us today, is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations an inter-governmental organization of 54 independent or sovereign states. The origin of this day came about in 1884 when Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia (then under British governance), observed the changes in the British Empire. His observation was that some of its colonies were becoming increasingly independent. He was the first to address this issue and the first to refer to the states as the “Commonwealth of Nations” while still under the British rule. His observation lead to the first consultation between Britain and its colonies to address this emerging need for independence. It was not until 1931, however, that the first 5 colonies became recognized as the “British Commonwealth of Nations”. These nations included Canada, the United Kingdom, Irish Free State, Newfoundland, and the Union of South Africa. In 1946, the ‘British’ was dropped from the name and the member states became known officially as the Commonwealth of Nations or simply The Commonwealth. Over the years, members joined, withdrew from, and even rejoined the Commonwealth; but it wasn’t until 1949 that the international organization became the modern Commonwealth we know today. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth took her place as the Head of the Commonwealth of Nations after the death of her father King George IV.
  • Closing Days Of The Embassy of Mexico:
    The Mexican Embassy’s offices in Belmopan, Belize City and Corozal will suspend activities on Monday, 26 May 2014. In case of emergency, Mexican nationals can request consular assistance or protection at the telephone number: + (501) 602- 8677. Belizeans are reminded that they do not require visa to visit Mexico. They only need to present a valid Belizean passport and fill out the immigration form called “Forma Migratoria Múltiple” (FMM). It can be obtained at any Mexican border or at any airport.
  • VA Hospital Officials Shredded Documents To Hide Existence Of Secret Waiting Lists That Killed U.S. Veterans:
    The horrific Veterans Administration scandal, in which scores of patients on a "secret list" reportedly died after spending as long as a year without treatment, has widened. CNN correspondent Jake Tapper recently grilled White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough over President Obama's usual scandal posture: indifference, holding no one accountable and calculated outrage without any real action being taken. As noted by Breitbart News, Obama is currently standing by his secretary of Veterans Affairs, former Army Gen. Eric Shinseki. This is in spite of the fact that, in 2013, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, sent the president a letter that, Tapper reported, warned "of dramatic problems at the VA, 'a perfect illustration of the management failures, deception, lack of accountability permeating VA's health care system [and] an alarming pattern of serious and significant patient care issues.'" 'But you are not. This letter was sent a year ago.'
  • Impoved Water Services:
    The Belize Water Service Limited is proud to announce the upgrading of water services to customers in the lower section of Santa Elena Town and the entire Esperanza Village. The upgraded service includes the recent replacement of the three inch water line upgraded to a ten inch main which will serve to increase water pressure to customers in the area. The project, implemented over the past three weeks, with a crew under the direction of William Stevens and Operations Supervisor, Ron Cunningham, worked long hours to install, sanitize, pressure test and energize the new 10 inch water main. The works was completed on Tuesday evening and when it was turned on, a major glitch was immediately detected resulting in customers on one side the Highway leading into Esperanza Village being left without water.
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Drastic Times Calls For Drastic Measures:
    There was a time, in the not so distant past, when gun related murders were spiraling out of control especially on the south side of the old capital, Belize City. After careful study, analysis and consultation, the government of the day, charged with the responsibility for citizens’ security, stepped up to the challenge resulting in the imposition of stiff, some might say draconian, amendments to the firearms act. Coupled with other measures, the nation began recording a decrease in gun related murders, resulting last year in the recording of a drastic reduction in, what many termed as, the senseless loss of life “on the mean streets of the city”.
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Patrick Jones

Photos from the Chocolate Festival
The annual Chocolate Festival culminated on Sunday, May 25 at the Lubaantun Archaeological site near San Pedro Columbia village. It was a beautiful end to the celebration of the cacao farmers of Toledo.

Man dies in hit and run incident in Orange Walk
A man was struck and killed by a vehicle last night in Orange Walk. The victim has been identified as Santiago Cocom. Reports say it was a hit-and-run incident as the vehicle did not stop to render assistance. Initial reports from Orange Walk say that the vehicle that hit Cocom, dragged him about 100 yards from the point of impact. Cocom reportedly died at the scene. An investigation into the incident has started and sources say Cocom may have been unde the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

The annual Cacao Festival was held this weekend in Punta Gorda town. Thousands of Belizeans and visitors attended this year’s event which, as in previous years, was split between PG itself and the Lubaantun Archaeological Site near San Pedro Columbia village. Organized by the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) in conjunction with the Toledo chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the annual Chocolate Festival, now in its seventh year running, is a celebration of the cacao farmers whose hard work and dedication is a major contributor to the local economy in the Toledo district. According to the project coordinator for the Toledo Cacao Growers Association Thomas Tillett, the Association currently has a membership of about 1,100 cacao farmers.


Photos of The Toledo Cacao Festival In Southern Belize
Cacao is native to the Americas, and the Toledo District of southern Belize is recognized for its superior cacao. These cacao beans are a significant export crop and, within country, are transformed into distinctive and high quality chocolate grown by farmer members of the Toledo Cacao. Here are some photos courtesy of the Belize Tourism Board of this year’s Cacao Festival.

International Sources

Norwegian Cruise Line to further enrich guest experience through fleet enhancement program
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it is investing more than $250 million in “Norwegian NEXT,” a program focused on bringing “new enhancements, experiences and transformations” across the fleet. The goal is to elevate the guest experience, building on the success of the line’s two newest ships: Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway. Norwegian NEXT encompasses ship revitalisations, dining enhancements, new experiences in entertainment and guest activities and expanded dining/entertainment reservation periods, along with innovations in technology, new tropical destinations and the line’s continued commitment to the environment. Through to 2015, the company has plans to revitalise a number of vessels, including Norwegian Jewel, that just re-entered service following dry dock, along with Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Spirit, which were recently refurbished.

‘Look through the eyes of another’
Delita Clements and Kayla Smith hope to bring other cultures to their classroom after a trip this summer to Guatemala and Belize — two of the most impoverished countries in the Americas. The fifth-grade teachers at West End Elementary School are two of 20 educators in the United States chosen to participate in the Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship to study “Looking Through The Eyes of Another.” It’s an outreach designated for rural areas across the country. West End Elementary near Altoona is in one of the most rural parts of Etowah County. The trip will take the teachers outside their comfort zone. “We don’t speak the language,” Smith said. “It’s two of the poorest rural areas outside our culture.”

Towards an AIDS Free Caribbean
Last week the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) wrote to the administration of the University of the West Indies (UWI) on behalf of over 30 diverse civil society groups across the region, to thank them for preserving the University’s ability to continue to be a leader in the regional response to HIV, by insisting that those who lead its HIV initiatives are accountable to its principles and are advocates of sound public health policy. In a release on Tuesday May 19, 2014, UWI made clear the reason it terminated its contractual arrangement with our colleague retired Prof. Brendan Bain to direct its Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Centre Network (CHART) : “Professor Bain has lost the confidence and support of a significant sector of the community which the CHART programme is expected to reach, including the loss of his leadership status in PANCAP, thereby undermining the ability of this programme to effectively deliver on its mandate”. The University’s communiqué further noted:

20 questions with Stan Marshall
Stan Marshall is retiring as president and CEO of Fortis Inc., with the transition to new leadership to be complete by the end of the year. Stan Marshall has overseen the rise of Fortis into a major international company. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram It will be a landmark change for the company and for Marshall, whose name has become synonymous with Fortis after 35 years of service. He has been at the helm as CEO of the company for nearly 20 years, since 1996. During his tenure, it has grown from a single utility to a powerhouse conglomerate — now reaching across Canada, into the United States and throughout the Caribbean. Fortis utilities, including Newfoundland Power, now serve more than 2.4 million customers, and Fortis employs more than 10,000 people through its power utilities and other lines of business. That business includes Fortis Properties and the management of hotels and commercial real estate across Canada, including prime real estate in downtown St. John’s. Marshall recently sat in a company building, in his corner office on the top floor of the Fortis Building on Water Street in St. John’s, for 20 Questions with The Telegram.


Video: , 1.5min.
The Department of Youth Services had a Leadership Discussion at Mount Carmel last week with the standard 6 students. The made a short video of the event. Thanks, DYS! "Blessed to have facilitated the leadership activities and discussion at Mount Carmel Primary School... On Wednesday, May 21, 2014 the Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo Del Carmen conducted a leadership discussion through interactive games at Mount Carmel Primary School with the standard six students. Thank you for the warm welcome and full participation of the students throughout the course of the day. It was great spending time with such wonderful students."

Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013, 4min.

Video: Altun Ha - Belize, 4min.
Explanation of the Mayans in Belize

Video: Kids Snorkeling the Cayes and Shark, 9min.
The kids had the chance to go out to the cayes (cayes are small islands) off the coast of Belize and do a bit of snorkeling. They had a great time and even got to see a Nurse shark up close. The Nurse shark is a harmless shark so there was no danger. The life on the barrier reef is rich, but even here, one can see the effects of damage to the reef.

Video: Belize Nurse Shark Dive, 3min.
Ambergris Caye, Belize Feeding the nurse shark a lion fish

Video: Caye Caulker, Belize, 5min.
Caye Caulker in Belize, smaller than Ambergris Caye this little gem is laid back and colorful. Restaurants hotels hostels BBQs all filled with friendly people enjoying life and the sun. the island appears to be full of cute and sometimes rustic accommodations. Diving snorkeling fishing simply lying on a beach whatever you want you can get it here might take a little longer than anywhere else though .. go slow is the local motto

Video: SCUBA diving in Belize 2013, 10min.