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#491853 - 06/04/14 11:48 AM Today's Belize News: June 4, 2014
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

CONCACAF Championship League draw lands Belize’s Belmopan Bandits against Leon and Isidro Metapan
The Belmopan Bandits of Belize have been drawn in Group Seven along with Leon of Mexico and Isidro Metapan of El Salvador for the 2014/2015 Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Championship League (CCL). The CCL is the qualifying competition on the road to the 2015 FIFA Club World Cup. The drawing took place on Wednesday May 28th at the InterContinental at Doral, Miami, USA. The 24 qualified clubs set to contest the seventh edition of the continental championship were sorted into eight groups of three. Current holder of the title Cruz Azul of Mexico, which has captured a record six CONCACAF club titles, headlines Group 6. The Mexico City-based team will meet 2013/14 semifinalist Alajuelense of Costa Rica and Chorrillo FC of Panama. After winning two straight Liga MX Championships, Leon of Mexico will make its tournament debut, squaring off against Group 7 opponents Isidro Metapan of El Salvador and first timer Belmopan Bandits of Belize.

Footprints for Peace garner Mayor Danny support who joins COP
Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel “Danny” Guerrero has joined the Citizen on Patrol (COP) program in which he has pledged to volunteer eight hours of his time weekly. His decision was made on Wednesday May 28th, during a public meeting in which the National Coordinator of the COP program, Retired Senior Superintendent of Police Rudolph Orio, was present to galvanize support for the program on the island. Orio was on the island on the invitation of the Footprints for Peace, a grassroots organization aimed at fighting crime and restoring peace in the lives of the island’s citizen. And while Footprints for Peace is working with Orio to get the COP program off the ground in San Pedro Town, they are also championing another cause. They will also be turning to the community for support to add pressure on government in an effort to improve the island’s health system. Despite pumping an estimated over 50% of all tourism dollars into government coffers, San Pedro Town is the only municipality without a hospital and without a 24-hour basic medical facility. Despite being promised by the current administration, (prior to them being elected in 2008) that promise has been unfulfilled; something that Footprints for Peace says is disappointing to say the least. “We cannot possibly continue like this and feel like everything is fine on our island. Our leaders are violating our human rights – equal opportunity to 24-hour basic health service,” indicated a Footprint for Peace spokesperson.

Police have no leads in the murder of Alfred “Cat” Kelvin
Police in San Pedro Town have no leads in the murder of a man that occurred in the wee hours of Saturday May 31st. The victim has been identified as 49 year old Alfred “Cat” Kelvin, of no fixed address in San Pedro Town. The incident occurred at the corner of Seaweed and Sandpiper Streets in the San Juan Area sometime around 2AM. Officer commanding the San Pedro Police Formation, Assistant Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos said that prior to the incident, officers on patrol in the area saw the victim walking towards Caniste Street in the San Juan Area. “About 2:05AM we received information of a single gunshot being fired in the area of San Juan. Police visited Seaweed Street in the San Juan Area where they saw the apparent lifeless body of a Creole male and established his identity to be Alfred Kelvin. The 49-year-old Belizean unemployed was suffering from a single gunshot wound to the right eye that exited the right back portion of the head,” detailed Castellanos. He said that they believe the victim was executed at close range.

Placencia Mangrove Planting Project honors Adrian Vernon
The morning of Friday, May 30th saw more than forty volunteers gathered in the Crimson Development community area of Placencia Village to participate in a mangrove planting activity organized in memory of environmentalist Adrian Vernon. Approximately four hundred seedlings were planted by members of the Vernon family, the World Wildlife Fund, the Southern Environmental Association, Oceana, the Placencia Village Council, Placencia Citizens for Sustainable Development, the Placencia Fishermen’s Cooperative, Friends of the Placencia Lagoon and the Coco Plum Resort and Residential Development. The mangroves now line the canal adjacent to the Placencia airstrip and will serve as a buffer for the residential plots of the Crimson Development community area.

Ambergris Today

Tropic Air Increases Flights To Cancun To Allow For Same Day European Connections
Tropic Air today announced that it will be adding two additional roundtrip flights between Belize International (BZE) and Cancun International (CUN) Airports starting November 1, 2014. These flights will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and will be in addition to the current daily flight. More importantly, these two new frequencies, will allow for the first time, our European visitors to connect southbound (same day) to Belize in Cancun. Passengers will be able to transit in Cancun from Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Paris, Madrid, Munich and Amsterdam and get to Belize without cumbersome overnights. The current daily flight already allows for similar connections to be made northbound without overnighting.

How can Citizens on Patrol help fight Crime
Citizens on Patrol is a voluntary program, the commissioner of police has elected to create the citizens to take an active part in crime prevention efforts within the neighborhoods where they live. Citizens will be provided with training, equipment and identification. What is Citizens on Patrol? Citizens on Patrol is a Community Policing program sponsored by the Belize Police Department. The purpose of the program is to enlist private citizens to volunteer time to actively patrol their community, to listen, watch and report and/or criminal behavior to the police. Citizens on Patrol provide greater observation of neighborhoods, both residential and business which increases police presence in the community and reduces crime. How do citizens on patrol benefit my neighborhood? Your neighborhood benefits by supporting COP volunteers who work closely with Belize Police Department in patrolling and providing security for homeowners and business through increased community involvement citizens on patrol clearly identified by the programs official shirt and cap, serves as visible presence in the community discouraging illegal behavior. In addition COP fosters a vital and important relationship between police and the community, aiding in prompt police response to potential problems. By working together, COP members and police officers make neighborhoods safer and more enjoyable places to live and work.

Flashbacks: Meet Emcee and Toastmaster Angel Nuñez
A lot of people know Angel Nunez as a high school teacher and Principal and today he is being known as T V host of the San Pedro Morning Show. But did you know that he is the emcee with the longest record in Belize to date? His passion as Master of Ceremonies began back in 1971 when he began teaching at San Pedro high and was secretary of the village council under Chairman Enrique Staines Sr. (RIP). His first job was at a Miss San Pedro Beauty pageant and then he let out lose. Nuñez has done emceeing from 1971 to 2014 (43 years) to include weddings, birthdays, Quinceaños, September Celebrations, Township Night, Township Anniversaries, Costa Maya Festivals, Dia de San Pedro, PTA meetings, political events, Christmas events, Lions socials, Lions conventions, political conventions, sporting events and trophy presentations, community demonstrations, Peace Rallies to name a few. Nuñez has emceed mostly in San Pedro Town, but has also worked in Belize City, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Corozal, Chetumal, and several cities in Virginia USA during a student exchange with Nelson County High School. His memorable moment- creating stars like Jeffery Eiley, Barrington Castillo and Alex Noralez.

25 Years Ago: A Time When School Made Napping Mandatory
School is school and you can assume that it is the same everyday and everywhere, but is it? Indeed there are marked differences of school today and Years Ago in San Pedro. Let’s take a peek. SLEEPING PERIOD: There are approximately 8 subject periods scheduled each day but have you heard of a subject called “Sleeping Period” given half an hour every day? Every day at about 1:30 in the afternoon when the bell rang, the Beginners Class teacher would announce to the infants that it was sleeping period. The children were required to lay their heads on their arms which were on the desk, close their eyes and go to sleep for half an hour. Many of the infants took their nap but some simply played under the desks. Of course the teacher supervised and was there to ensure that everyone got this required nap in the afternoon.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Audubon Society Hosts 45th Annual General Meeting
The Belize Audubon Society held its 45th Annual General Meeting on Saturday May 31st at the Radisson Fort George Hotel with members attending from across Belize to share in the achievements of the organization for the year 2013 and to elect members of the Board. Key achievements for the Belize Audubon Society in 2013 were the restructuring of the Conservation Program to increase activities in research and monitoring, strengthening partnerships with enforcement agencies (such as Belize Defence Force, Special Patrol Unit and Belize Coast Guard), fitting of two BAS protected areas with solar power systems and satellite internet access for improved communication and signing of the new co-management agreement with the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (Forest Department) for the safeguarding of 8 protected areas. At the close of the AGM, the elected Board of Directors of the Belize Audubon Society for the year 2014 - 2015 are: Earl Green, President; Mike Heusner, 1st Vice President; Carlos Matus, 2nd Vice President; Simon Reardon Smith, Treasurer; Linda Searle, 1st Secretary; Judy Lumb, 2nd Secretary; Lascelle Tillett, Director; Rudi Burgos, Director; Lisa Zayden, Director; Carlton Young, Director; Anicasio Garcia, Director; Julie Robinson, Director; and Ernest Raymond Sr., Director.

Belize Screen on the Green is back for the month of June!
Please join us on Thursday, June 12th at GG Field in Belmopan for a screening of the movie, "The Blind Side." The Blind Side is a 2009 American semi-biographical sports drama film. It was written and directed by John Lee Hancock, and based on the 2006 book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis. The storyline features Michael Oher, an offensive lineman who plays for the Tennessee Titans of the NFL. The film follows Oher from his impoverished upbringing, through his years at Wingate Christian School (a fictional representation of Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, Tennessee), his adoption by Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, to his position as one of the most highly coveted prospects in college football, then finally becoming a first-round pick in the NFL by the Baltimore Ravens.

St. Paul's Anglican School will be representing Corozal District in the National Festival of Arts in Belize City
With great honor and pride, St. Paul's Anglican School will be representing Corozal District in the National Festival of Arts in Belize City, Wednesday 4th of June, 2014. They will be performing in a Mestizo Cultural dance. Congrats to all the students, Principal Mrs. Valerie Rogers, Mrs. Nancy Nancy Robateau Aguilar and Mrs. Concepcion Tun, the class teachers, for the effort and hard work in achieving this success for our school.

Communications upgrades in Belize
The U.S. is working with GOB to make much needed communications upgrades in Belize. A CARSI-funded upgrade to the Baldy Beacon radio communications tower began May 13 that added twenty four meters to the existing tower to improve Belize Government communications capacity across the country. Additional upgrades at Baldy Beacon will include a new guard station house for the Belize Defense Force (BDF), a solar plant to provide for the electrical needs and a backhaul system to connect the site with the internet.

The Children's Art Jamboree
The Children's Art Jamboree was a HUGE success! We had so much fun! A very BIG "thank you" goes to the Houses of Cultures, Schools and Cultural Associations for their participation: National Kriol Council, Gulisi Community Primary School, Tumul K'in Center of Learning, Benque House of Culture (NICH), Benque Marimba Youth Academy, Banquitas House of Culture (NICH), San Jose (Nuevo) Palmar Community Page, Corozal House of Culture (NICH), Paraiso Gov't School, Carlos Carrillo ...and a special thank you to our ring-leader OZZY The Clown!

Walk for a Green Belize
The Department of the Environment, Belize Solid Waste Management Authority, and the Belize Audubon Society are having another Walk for a Green Belize Clean-up campaign. There will be 2 in Cayo this Saturday, with the 1st starting at 6:00am in front of the Uno station and the 2nd starting at 7:00am at the Guanacaste National Park. In related news the DoE is having an essay competition.. "Department of the Environment is hosting an Essay Competition which is open to the General Public! All you have to do is write an essay consisting of no more than 400 words and explain what the Environment means to you and what you can do to help mitigate the effects of climate change on your Environment! The competition starts today and ends on June 20, 2014 and your essay will become a newspaper article on two widely circulated newspapers! As your prize you will be rewarded with a $125 gift certificate!"

Nicole C. Mullen Concert
Nicole C. Mullen had her Crown Him concert in Belmopan this weekend. She had some musical workshops in the days leading up to it. Looks like everyone had a great time. "We had such an AMAZING time last night at the concert here in Belize! To GOD be the GLORY! The Lord held back the rain! Lots of people showed up. We worshiped, we danced, we sang, we spoke the Word and young people and adults gave their lives to the Lord! I can't stop thanking HIM! Ya'll those babies sang and danced their hearts out!!!"

Our Lady of Guadalupe Graduation
This is the time for graduations, and Our Lady of Guadalupe High School just had theirs. Congratulations, graduates! In related news, Eden High School had 81 graduates.

Rotary Scholars Awards Ceremony
Congratulations to the 6 Rotary Scholars! Rotary had an awards ceremony for their achievement. Congratulations to Rosalba Landero, for being the top student, and getting the Rafael Cal scholarship. "Oh what a night! Six High School students, recipients of the Rafael Cal Memorial scholarship fund by the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, were honored and recognized their efforts and achievement. The top student, Rosalba Landero, of this group of graduating seniors from the three High Schools in San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns received the Paulita Bedran Memorial scholarship to continue her studies at a tertiary education institution."

SHJC 2014 Graduation
Congratulations, Sacred Heart Junior College graduates! SHJC had their 14th commencement exercise on Saturday. Over 80 students graduated. The Benque Marimba Academy played many great songs at the graduation(Pomp and Circumstance practice). We wish them all the best, as the go forth, and make Belize a better place.

Western Ballaz Host No Limit in Playoff Game 3
The Western Ballaz are hosting the No Limit this Friday. If you wear your Western Ballaz shirt, or white shirt, entry is only $5. The Benque Viejo Marching Band will be playing before the game. Come cheer on the best team in the league. They'll be travelling to San Pedro for a game against the Tiger Sharks, which will be on Sunday at 1:00pm. "WIN or GO HOME!!! We brought it back home for our fans. You can't miss this game on Friday. Come early to be entertained by the 2014 National Band Fest Champion, Benque Viejo Marching Band, as they perform from 7:15 -8:00 on Friday."

Channel 7

CEO Singh Says Puerto Azul Project Needs Downscaling
The controversy continues to rage around the proposed Puerto Azul project. Even though the public and the conservation community has been assured that it's not even near to political or environmental approval, the well publicized pictures of two ranking ministers of government profiling at a Puerto Azul launch gala in Cannes, France, has sent the opposite message. And so today the media asked Mike Singh, CEO in the Ministry of Investment Promotion if some kind of agreement, either spoken or unspoken has been given to the Puerto Azul investors. He said Puerto Azul is not even close to a green light: Daniel Ortiz "What should the public make from seeing your minister in France for the Puerto Azul gala event?" Mike Singh, CEO - BELTRAIDE "I think the public has already said what they make of it. Puerto Azul is an early stage project, by no means is not at any level where any approvals have been given. I sat on the evaluation committee on the first time the project was presented and I will tell you my opinion is that some things in the project are a little bit too fantastical and as a Belizean there are some things on there that I think needs to be shaved down and my advice to them is that if you guys want to do a project in Belize I think it needs to be at a level that is acceptable to what our environment can handle, to what our culture can handle and that will give maximum benefits to Belizeans. I am not convince that the first project that I saw does that at all."

Nurses Association Reason With Ministry
2 weeks ago, we told you about the complaints from the Nurses Association of Belize. They said that Health CEO Peter Allen had made a decision to transfer 9 senior nurses, which wasn't in the best interest of the nurses, or the provision of optimal healthcare services. Today, the Association got a chance to voice their concerns in a meeting with the Minister of Health, the CEO, and other senior health officials. It took place in Belmopan, and it lasted for 2 hours. When the representatives of the association left the meeting an hour and a half ago, we got a chance to speak with the President. She told us that the Association made a good presentation to the Ministry as to why those nurses needed to remain where they are. Laura Longsworth, President - Nurses Association of Belize "We understand that it was certainly not only the responsibility of the CEO in terms of making those decisions, but it was a group of persons who sat with that and so I know we said that he was the one that made the decision but we are satisfied that we had persons who had input in that.

Yhony's Employee Charged For Assault On Vitalino Reyes Jr.
23 year old Vitalino Reyes Jr remains in a coma at the KHMH tonight - and today the man accused of beating him unconscious at the Long Island Bar was arraigned in court. He is 30 year old Leon Gentle, an employee of Yohnny Rosado and a resident of 14 Banak Street. He was charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Gentle was represented by Audrey Matura-Shepherd who told the court that her client was beaten by the police and forced to participate in an identification parade. Gentle said that the police punched him to the jaw, choked him and stomped on his chest. Gentle was released on a bail of $7,000 and his case was adjourned until July 24. Rosado told the press yesterday that his employees were close to him and 20 feet from Reyes Jr when suddenly they saw him on the ground.

KHMH Discusses The Discarded Foetus
The discarded fetus found at the KHMH was the product of improper procedure. That's what a short press release from the hospital announced today. But was it a fetus at all? The press release refers to what was found in the box as a "product of conception." Now, this may sound like a euphemism, but it's actually a medical term for the product of a miscarriage, in a pregnancy that was not viable. Now, what was that doing decomposing under a hospital bed in the Emergency Room? The KHMH has a lot to answer for in this case and a sheepish release refers to it as an "unfortunate discovery" and says, quote, "Our internal investigation revealed a clear link between a patient encounter and the product of conception, and, sadly, established that appropriate procedures were not followed." End quote. All that to say, basically, a patient experiencing a miscarriage came in, and the discharge should have been discarded, but someone wasn't doing their job and just left it there.

Belmopan Police Caught Purse Snatcher In the Act
Tonight, a 17 year-old minor is in the custody of Belmopan Police, after he was caught today in the act of committing a crime. A student was walking on the pathway between Belmopan Comprehensive High School and Social Security Board when the minor saw her texting on her phone. He took the opportunity to run by and snatch it out of her hand along with her purse, but police who were in the area managed to catch him. It caused a bit of commotion because gunshots were fired, but the Belmopan Police Commander told us that no one was hurt, and the minor was detained quite easily: Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, Belmopan Police "A student by the name of Giselle reported that somewhere between Belmopan Comprehensive School - with quick police response led to the apprehension of a male person whose name I cannot call because of his age, he is still a minor. In the interim there a few things that I would like to ask those passersby to look into and those include - we ask them to walk in large groups rather than walking alone. Do not expose valuables, like your phone or your chain, make yourself less of a target to robbers. I have ask my officers to be very robust especially when engaging these criminals."

UNIDOS, An Enterprise Opportunity For Small Businesses
UNIDO means "united" in Spanish, but it also stands for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. It's a body which specializes in forming what are known as export consortia - which is plural for consortium. In plain language, that means getting small businesses together so that they can export their products. Here's how it works: many small businesses don't have enough volume or know how to get their products exported. So UNIDOS has a system of getting many small producers together, using know how to raise their products to export grade, and then combining their volume to get those products out into the world. The programme was launched in Belize today and Trade CEO Mike Singh explained how the programme would work for small and medium enterprises:.. Mike Singh, CEO - BELTRAIDE "When you speak about a consortia which is essentially getting exporters together in a group and it works very well with small exporters that may not have the wherewithal to go after markets around, but by combining resources and building the mechanism and how these resources can be combined. That's really what the training will be about for the next two days. Today what we are talking about is how do we get people together as groups so that they can have economies scale to be able to combine their resources to access markets that they can't do on their own."

Green Tropics And Farmers Compromising
And at that UNIDOS event today, the media got a chance to talk to CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche about Green Tropics. The Spanish owned company is moving ahead with it's sugar cane factory, but it still has to settle matters with 30 Valley of Peace farmers who had their 150 to 200 acres of vegetables wiped out by the multi-national's pesticides. It would be a story of straight victimization except that the small farmers are squatting on Green Tropics Land. And that ambiguity is what had the CEO walking on eggshells today:.. Jose Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Agriculture "I know the parties are continuing negotiations. We've been told by both parties that they have some parameters - broad parameters on which they agree. They are now working on the proverbial details, but we believe that both parties are on the way to negotiating an amicable solution." Daniel Ortiz "Part of the issue, we've been informed is that while it is indeed this pesticide that damaged the crops, those farmers were supposedly squatting on Green Tropics land. As a member of government have you been such informed?"

Carlos Perrera Talks About Those Vans
11 Days ago, we told you about the internal investigation at the KHMH into the acquisition of two 2012 Ford vans. A report whose findings have been leaked to 7News shows that there were irregularities such as the certificate of registration saying that the vans are 15 seaters, when they are only 12 seaters, and that the receiving report from the HOSPITAL'S Stores Department does not match with Bill of Sales from a Florida car dealer named Matthew Currie where the vans were purchased. But Financial Controller Carlos Perrera says he had nothing to do with it. We reported that he was under scrutiny and indeed his name comes up a few times in the preliminary report that we have seen. But Perrera has lawyered up. He's gotten his attorney, Darrell Bradley to write us saying quote, "there's no investigation on my client regarding the procurement of any vans at the KHMH and my client is not under scrutiny involved in the procurement of the vans." The letter also says , quote, "at no time did my client go to Fort Lauderdale to inspect these vans prior to procurement. "

Channel 7 Will Air 2014 World Cup
This year you'll be able to watch the World Cup from Brazil without wincing every time ESPN commentators refer to the beautiful game as "soccer" or start cheerleading for team USA. That's because Channel 7 has acquired the exclusive broadcast rights for Belize for the 2014 World Cup from the regional distributor International Media Content. We'll be airing 64 of the world cup matches starting on June 12th at 1:15 pm with the opening ceremonies followed by the first game for the home team, as Brazil takes on Croatia. All games will have international commentary. But for those who like your US commentators on ESPN just fine, that will also be available. Through a sub licensing agreement, the Cable Television Operators Association will be airing those channels as usual - so both coverage options will be available.

The Festival Of the Arts
This morning students from across the country attended the launch of the 2014 National Festival of Arts. This year's opening ceremony was held on the Bird's Isle basketball court and it was followed by a big art jamboree. 7news was there to capture the moment. Kim Vasquez - Youth Development Officer "This is the official launched and children jamboree of the national festival of arts. This will kick off two weeks of activities and events on the calendar. Today is just to immerse ourselves and have fun. Its an open day, we will have primary school students coming in throughout the course of the day and we have all 6 districts present. We had a bus from each district come in and what they will be doing is sharing cultural displays and having fun with each other within the arts." "We have present right now not only schools but we have artistic organizations from the districts, but we have 6 groups here all together and we also have the national Creole council present. We have a couple individual artists as well here today."

Rowan's Going To Commonwealth Games
He's climbed Victoria Peak, dived the Blue Hole and Walked from san Ignacio to Belize City - and this year Rowan Garel will be going to Scotland. The blind 16 year old has officially been named Belize's Youth Ambassador for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from late July to early August. But before he goes, Rowan will be helping out at BCVI's annual summer camp in mid July. This year, 40 children are participating and BCVI is fundraising. You can make donations directly to their account or through their PayPal link at BCVI.org.

What Strongmen Can Do
Last night, we introduced you the Champion of the 2014 Bodybuilding and Body Fitness strongman competition, Victor Valencia. But, the unusual competition is about more than who won - it's about all the crazy stuff these strongmen had to do! Tonight, we take a closer look at the competition: Daniel Ortiz reporting Emir Perez of the Muscle Hut Fitness Club in Belmopan scored 19 pts to win the $350 third prize, won the third event, the clean and press with a 125lbs, doing 30 repetitions in 90 seconds. Emir Perez "This is my first time competing in training for like a year and a half now. It's been an amazing experience." Valencia was second with 29 repetitions, while Theo Gentle was third with 25 reps and Gallardo finished fourth with 22 reps. Valencia and Perez tied for first place in the fourth event, the dead lift, Perez lifting 455lbs, and Valencia matching him but neither was able to lift the next weight at 475lbs. In the tie breaker using a 300lbs weight; Valencia lifted 9 reps in 30 seconds; while Perez only managed 6 reps in 30 seconds. Gallardo was 3rd and Theo Gentle - 4th.

Channel 5

K.H.M.H. says decaying fetus is a “product of conception”
The discovery of a fetus under a bed is the latest scandal to hit the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. On Friday, a decomposed fetus was discovered only when an Orange [...]

C.E.O. Mike Singh doesn’t support the Puerto Azul project
The Puerto Azul luxury facility has come under sustained fire from environmentalists following the launch of the Puerto Azul Experience Party at a glitzy event held in the French Riviera [...]

Mike Singh defends the attendance of Ministers Contreras and Heredia at Puerto Azul unveiling
The media grilled Mike Singh about the participation of Contreras and Heredia at the Puerto Azul Experience Party at Cannes. So was it premature for the project to be unveiled [...]

Vitalino Reyes Junior shows signs of recovery; Leon Gentle charged for his attack
There is positive development in the condition of twenty-three year old Vitalino Reyes Junior. After four days in a coma, Reyes Junior today showed signs of recovery. According to his [...]

Was K.H.M.H. administration negligent in respect of decaying fetus?
You’ve heard from the K.H.M.H. about the “production of conception.” So tonight’s question is: Was the administration of the K.H.M.H. negligent in respect of the decaying fetus found under a [...]

The Belize Jaguars still not paid for Gold Cup games
Belizean footballers who played for the national team at the Gold Cup one year ago have still not been paid in full, as contracted by the Football Federation of Belize. [...]

Belmopan Police stops robber in his tracks
Belmopan Police believe that a minor may be responsible for a spate of recent walk-way jackings in that city. That minor was captured this morning on Oriole Street in the [...]

Lloyd Alexander King committed to stand trial for murder of Ronald Rivers
Lloyd Alexander King, accused of the cold-blooded murder of Belize City tour guide Ronald Rivers in March 2013, appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser earlier today, where a preliminary [...]

Supreme Court grants leave for substantive hearing in land case of Jose Novelo
In April, we brought you the story of Orange Walk resident Jose Novelo. Novelo had been working on fifty-four acres of land in Indian Church for more than four decades, [...]

Artists want to know where is Music Ambassador, Shyne Barrow
On Friday, a few artists and DJs held a protest in Belize City because they say they need more support from government, and specifically from the Ministry of Culture. They [...]

Update on dispute between Green Tropics and Valley of Peace farmers
The Ministry of Agriculture has confirmed that the destruction of vegetation in Valley of Peace by Green Tropics back in mid-March was as the result of the use of the [...]

Family of Escuela Mexico students prepared to proceed with legal action against the school
On April fourth, a pair of students on a class trip to the Che Chem Ha Cave in Benque Viejo perished in the Macal River, where they were freshening up [...]

The opening of the National Festival of Arts 2014
The National Festival of Arts opened this morning with a bang at Bird’s Isle with the participation of schools from across the country. The presentations were varied including cultural performances [...]

A workshop on the branding of Belizean products exported to international markets
A two-day workshop began today at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City. It focuses on branding the Belizean products that are exported to various markets around the world. Dubbed [...]

Stakeholders dialogue on how to improve the standard of products
In attendance today were various stakeholders from the private and public sectors including BELTRAIDE, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as entrepreneurs and small business owners who [...]

CTV3

MONRA Holds Consultation For Development Of Agriculture Policy
Every year, throughout the course of the year we have brought you the critical issues affecting the agriculture sector. The sector in the country is today met with many challenges but as it is one of the biggest foreign exchange earners for the country, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture has taken matters seriously. The Ministry officials are currently on a countrywide consultation with stakeholders for the development of a policy for the agriculture sector. That consultation was held today in the Orange Walk District. Our News team stopped by to find out more about the initiative. Dalila Ical – Reporting There are a number of issues that need urgent attention in the agriculture sector and this has triggered the move by government to reach out to the various stakeholders for their input on developing a policy that will guide the agriculture sector into the right places. Ricardo Thompson is the Principal Agriculture Officer. Ricardo Thompson – Principal Agriculture Officer, MONRA “Some of these issues are climate change and climate variability some of the other ones are dwindling preferential markets, our aging former population and many other issues that need to be actually articulated in our policy.”

Orange Walk NEMO Monitors Areas Prone To Flooding
Three days of almost continuous rains have brought flooding to some households in the North. This morning our assessment revealed areas prone to flooding include; Trail Farm, riverside and the surrounding village of San Jose. The rains have prompted officials at the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) to monitor the situation. According to Suleima Celiz, NEMO District Coordinator for Orange Walk, their hurricane district and town plan is ready to be activated should the flooding affect families that would need to evacuate their homes. Suleima Celiz– NEMO District Coordinator “Once I gone out this morning around Trial Farm and I saw some families that had water in their house but nothing major” Maria Novelo – reporter “Do you guys offering assistance in the event that some of them would have to evacuate?” Suleima Celiz– NEMO District Coordinator “Yes, we have families that need to evacuate and we will open a shelter so that we can put them in there.”

Upgraded Charge Of Murder For The Death Of Giovanny Borland
Tonight, 24 four year old Joseph West is expected to face an upgraded charge of Murder for the death of 34 year old Giovanni Borland, who passed away on Friday due to the severe head injuries that he sustained on the night of May 11th. As we’ve reported, West is accused of attacking Giovanni Borland after 11:00pm at ‘Mil Amores’ bar in Libertad where both men got into an argument. And while their seems to be many conflicting reports from police and the media, Borland’s uncle, Carl Borland spoke on the sequence of events that night with our colleagues at 7News! Here is that insert… Carl Borland– Uncle of Deceased On the eleventh of May, I think approximately around eleven-thirty or thereabout, he was at a bar in Libertad socializing when he had a misunderstanding with about five members of a particular family—all of them are family members—of that said village. He was chased from the bar and he retreated and ran towards the house that he was staying and upon reaching in front of that, apparently he tripped and fell on his face. When he fell on his face, he was chopped from behind, back of the head. A very large chop wound that caused piece of his head to dislocate, to come off and his brains was exposed. He was assisted by some members of the village and was rushed to the Corozal Hospital and from there to the K.H.M.H.”

Abandoned Fetus At KHMH
Tonight, there are more questions than answers on the discovery of an abandoned fetus at the observation room of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Attempts made to get comment were futile as officials remain tight lipped about the incident. According to the police, they were informed of the fetus on Saturday around 8:45 when the KHMH’s Assistant Unit Manager reported that a female patient alerted nurses of a scent coming from under the bed that she was lying on in the observation room. Upon making checks they discovered what appeared to be residue of human tissue believed to be a fetus in a small white box under the bed in an apparent state of decomposition. It’s an odd but grotesque situation for the authorities and officials of the KHMH to handle. More on this as the story develops.

More Graduates And No Jobs In The Market
It’s Graduation season….. and it’s no secret the economic climate is hardly lush with employment opportunities for college graduates. The various universities, both public and private, churn out hundreds of graduates who are unable to find job placements. According to many accounts, recent graduates are finding it increasingly difficult to secure a job, and those who do find work are often confined to low-wage positions. Stories of this nature raise troubling questions about whether a college degree still helps people find good jobs. And while there are many theories as to the factors of unemployment, graduates are completing school with a degree and a head full of knowledge, but still are not impressing the white-collar employers. Reporter Maria Novelo has the story.

KHMH Launches Interim Investigation
The public pressure placed on the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has prompted authorities at the institution to issue a statement to the media surrounding the alleged ghastly discovery of a decomposing fetus in a small white box under the bed of the Accident and Emergency room. According to the KHMH and we quote “an active investigation was immediately launched, which was extended to include the police department in accordance with the law. Our internal investigation revealed a clear link between a patient encounter and the product of conception, and sadly established that appropriate procedures were not followed. We can report however, that the patient was managed appropriately and discharged.” End quote.

LOVE FM

Taiwan Embassy Donates to Art Project for Primary School Students
The Embassy on the Republic of China presented a cheque for thirty five thousand two hundred and six dollars to the President of the National Institute for Culture and History (NICH) which is to be used for the implementation of a pilot project for primary schools. The Primary Schools Art Skills Training Project seeks to address the critical need to increase accessibility and affordability of creative arts programs for the children of Belize and to provide opportunities for an estimated fifty students with the aim of increasing their abilities to express themselves creatively through structured training program. According to Diane Haylock, the project is geared at offering training in art skills for a number of primary school students in Belize City. DIANE HAYLOCK President National Institute for Culture and History “What the program entails is to provide training to children in primary schools, initially in Belize City, for them to develop their skills; a lot of children have the talent but how do you take that talent and turn it into a real work of art. Unfortunately as I was saying before, our schools do not really provide our children with these opportunities. So as a way of filling the void we’re providing this training and since we only have one teacher we’re getting students from different schools. So I suppose it’ll probably be about 3 maybe 4 students from each of the primary schools in Belize City.”

NICH President: Strategy Needed for Musical Ambassador
Last week less than a handful of Belizean artists, staged a small protest at Battle Field Park. They are demanding that Moses Michael Levi- formally known as Jamal “SHYNE” Barrow be removed as Belize’s Musical Ambassador. The group also demanded that Diane Haylock be removed at the President of the National Institute of Culture and History. Today, Haylock responded to both demands. DIANE HAYLOCK President National Institute for Culture and History “I have absolutely nothing to say; what I would say to our artists, if they want to have a discussion with us at NICH about issues of concern, the door is open and they can come and sit with us and have a constructive dialogue. I didn’t choose to place Shyne as the Musical Ambassador and if they have that concern they will have to speak to the Ministry of Culture. My issue, my concern is that if people have issues, then you come to the table and you sit down and you dialogue.

Clarity on the Puerto Azul Proposed Development
Much concern grew among the environmental community when pictures of Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. and Minister of Investment, Erwin Contreras at the Cannes film festival. Reports were that the Ministers were there scouting investors for what is known as the Puerto Azul Project. Investors want to build a mega resort on Northern 2 Caye, of the Lighthouse Caye Area in Belizean waters. CEO in the Ministry of Trade, Mike Singh, assured that there has been no decision made on the project. MICHAEL SINGH Chief Executive Officer Ministry of Trade “Today we’re seeing an unprecedented interest in development and investment in Belizean projects at a much larger scale than we have ever seen in the past. That is not a bad thing; that is a good sign. It means that people are paying more interest in Belize and they seem to be confident in Belize’s investment climate, otherwise we would not have these size projects coming in. Now that being said, the fact that two ministers took the time to go and visit the event where the project was being unveiled does not necessarily indicate that they have signed off on it. Those two ministers support development, Minister Contreras who is the minister in our ministry who I work for, he’s pro-development and Minister Heredia is pro-tourism, this is a tourism project. The fact that they went to visit with the developers at the launch of the project is, to me, is neither an indication of a general government support nor an indication of any kind of sign off.”

Negotiations Ongoing with Green Tropics and Farmers
Last month we reported that when Guillermo Marroquin of Valley of Peace in the Cayo District and other farmers met with representatives of Green Tropics Limited two offers were made; accepting monies for crops destroyed or a piece of land belonging to the company. We spoke to Marroquin today who told us the deadline given by the company was this past Friday but farmers are not satisfied with how negotiations are going. CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Jose Alpuche, told us that both parties are trying to come to an amicable solution. JOSE ALPUCHE Chief Executive Officer Ministry of Agriculture “We are informed by both parties, as you know, a couple weeks ago when the results came out, the ministry had facilitated discussions between the two parties with the ministry in a facilitator role. Subsequent to those meetings they have decide to go on their own to attempt to negotiate a solution. We’re informed by both parties that they have the broad picture of an agreement but as usual there’s always a bit of time in working out the details and we’re told by both of them that they are now in the process of working out those details for an amicable solution to the problem.”

> Hospital Calls It ‘Products of Conception’
On Saturday, Love News reported that a fetus had been found at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after someone complained of a foul scent in the Accident and Emergency section of the medical facility. Following the publicizing of that incident, the KHMH went into defense mode today and issued a release stating that the quote “products of conception” was found in its Accident and Emergency Department on Friday and that an investigation was immediately launched which included the involvement of the police department. The investigation revealed that the appropriate procedures were not adhered to and that the hospital is committed to addressing the weaknesses identified in the incident and have the appropriate disciplinary measures carried out. As for the patient involved in the incident, the hospital says she was managed appropriately and discharged from the institution. The hospital has issued an apology to those negatively impacted by the situation.

Gentle Arraigned Following Feud Between Tour Guide Companies
Thirty year old Leon Gentle, an employee of Cave Tubing who allegedly put a man into a coma by hitting him with a bottle, was charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Gentle’s attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd said that Gentle was beaten by the police while he was in custody and he was forced to participate in an identification parade. Gentle said that a police officer punched him on his jaw while another one choked him. He said that he was also stamped on his chest by a police officer. The incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. on May 29 at Long Island Bar just off Coney Drive in Belize City.

New Board Elected for Belize Audubon Society
The 45th annual general meeting of the Belize Audubon Society was held this past Saturday at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. With members coming into the city from across the country, the meeting proved successful as they met to share the organization’s achievements for 2013 as well as to elect new members of the Board. According to a release from BAS, their key achievements included the restructuring of the Conservation Program to increase activities in research and monitoring, strengthening partnerships with enforcement agencies (such as Belize Defense Force, Special Patrol Unit and Belize Coast Guard), fitting of two BAS protected areas with solar power systems and satellite internet access for improved communication and signing of the new co-management agreement with the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Sustainable Development (Forest Department) for the safeguarding of 8 protected areas. As for the newly elected Board of Directors, Earl Green now sits as President; 1st Vice President is Mike Heusner; 2nd Vice President is Carlos Matus while the post of Treasurer is now being held by Simon Reardon-Smith; Linda Searle is the 1st Secretary with Judy Lamb as the second. Directors on the Board are Lascelle Tillett, Rudi Burgos, Lisa Zayden, Carlton Young, Anicasio Garcia, Julie Robinson and Ernest Raymond Sr. This new board will serve until June 2015.

Cane Farmers and ASR Still Deadlocked
The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, BSCFA and the American Sugar Refinery, ASR will meet sometime this week to continue negations over the payment of bagasse. This year’s crop season started 3 months late because of weather conditions and the bagasse impasse. The cane farmers want to be paid for the bagasse extracted out from the cane they deliver to the factory but ASR, which recently acquired the factory, was not about to do so, saying that bagasse has no value. We know that both parties are in a deadlock as niether is changing stance; Love News asked the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche to give us an update. JOSE ALPUCHE Chief Executive Officer Ministry of Agriculture “We were hoping that amongst themselves they can work out an amicable solution. At the outset earlier this year the prime minister had said to the parties that should they require, government would be prepared to acquire external expertise to come and assist them with the technical evaluation of the case, should it be required. That offer is an active offer and it’s still on the table. We are hoping however, that they could indeed resolve the matter amongst themselves but we stand ready to provide the assistance required.”


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Following the Lord as Your Guide and Teacher
The verse of this week is taken from Psalm 143: 10 “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”

Shooting and Robbery in Belmopan
Shortly after 10:00 am today the Belmopan quick response team was alerted to a robbery on Oriole Street in front of the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. According to police, the individual was apprehended within minutes. Reports had it that police fired a several warning shots at the individual as...

Puerto Azul Project Has No Official Government Backing as Yet
Last week, environmentalists raised alarm with regard to a proposal by Italian investors to completely transform the Northern Two Caye in the Lighthouse Reef range of cayes into an exclusive resort complete with airport runway and massive marina. These types of mega-projects are becoming increasingly a source of conflict...

CEO in the Ministry of Trade Denies NCL Involvement
The Norwegian Cruise Lines project at Harvest Caye can be forgiven for looking like a sort of political grab-tub. Only a few days ago Minister of State Mark King ruthlessly juxtaposed the Government’s need to represent all Belizeans while taking care of their political supporters. This was following a...

Ministry of Agriculture Says it Supports Harmonyville
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) has been given a torrid time by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the buffer zone lining the George Price Highway in a corn-growing project. In fact, it is under an injunction barring its trespass in the zone. But the Ministry of...

Leon Gentle Charged for Attack Against Vitalino Reyes Jr.
30 year old Leon Gentle, an employee of Cavetubing.com (Butts Up) and resident of Banak Street in Belize City, has been charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm for the attack on fellow tour guide Vitalino Reyes, Jr. , 23 year old Vitalino Reyes, Jr....

Green Tropics and Valley of Peace Farmers Working Out Solution
Two weeks ago results of tests conducted in Florida, U.S.A., on vegetable crops planted by farmers in Valley of Peace, Cayo District, said to be affected by herbicide spraying confirmed that indeed there was evidence of two herbicides, gyphsphate and metsulphuron-methyl, the latter not registered for use in Belize....

Walkway Robberies on the Increase in Belmopan
Robberies on the walkways within the City of Belmopan are not unheard of. In fact, it is growing into a serious issue. Officer Commanding Belmopan Police Station Supt. Howell Gillette told us that he is aware of the growing concern and explains how he intends to deal with the...

KHMH Apologizes for Fetus Under Hospital Bed for Three Days
Over the past year, Belize’s Flagship Medical Institution, The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, has never quite left the public spotlight. Managing… or at least trying to cover “crisis after crisis”, the Administration today issued another release, an apology. Only this time, it is on the Foetus found under the...

Seniority and Qualifications; Necessary for Promotion in the Ministry of Health?
There is still no resolution between the Pharmacy Association and the Ministry of Health over the creation of a post for a Minister’s daughter; that post being the Director of Drug Inspectorate. According to the Pharmacist Association, Danini Contreras superseded senior officials in the Ministry for a position that...

Amandala

A million GM mosquitos, with lethal infanticide genes, introduced to our region
Director of Health Services Dr. Michael Pitts indicated to us today that there has been talk in scientific circles of a push to get the Caribbean to introduce genetically modified (GM) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, in a campaign by the UK company, Oxitec, to get its GM organisms widely injected into the region as a mechanism which the company proposes to check the incidences of dengue—which the company says is the fastest-growing mosquito-borne disease which affects at least 50 million people across the world each year, with 25,000 deaths. The issue came to the fore recently with the talk of Brazil using GM mosquitoes to reduce the risk of transmission of diseases to visitors at the World Cup being hosted this month by that country. On Friday, Oxitec announced that Panama became the first country in the region to introduce the GM mosquitoes. Asked whether Belize is considering the introduction of the GM mosquitoes, we were told that no policy decision has been taken, and it has not been up for formal discussion within the Ministry of Health.

Fetus found rotting under KHMH bed
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), Belize’s premier public medical facility, is once again walking on hot coals following the confirmed discovery of an abandoned, decomposing fetus inside the hospital, in fact, under a hospital bed in the Observation Ward – an incredible, horrible incident that has the hospital’s authorities fleeing for cover. The discovery was made last Friday night, and police, in a press release dated today, Monday, June 2, said that, “Based on information received of an abandoned fetus at the KHMH, at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, May 30, police visited the KHMH and spoke with the Assistant Unit Manager, who informed them that sometime around 8:00 p.m. that Friday, a female patient alerted nurses of a [stench] coming from under the bed that she was lying on in the observation room of the hospital. “Upon making checks, hospital authorities discovered what appeared to be residues of human tissue, believed to be a fetus, in a small white box under the patient’s bed, in an apparent state of decomposition. “The apparent residue of human tissue, believed to be a fetus, was then taken to the KHMH morgue.” KHMH officials have refused to release any information to the media, other than to say that it is a police matter.

“Cat” Kelvin murdered on Seaweed Street
Alfred “Cat” Kelvin, 49, of the San Juan area of San Pedro, died after he was shot in the head by an unknown shooter while he was walking on Seaweed Street, going towards Camiste Street in the San Juan area in San Pedro at about 1:30 Saturday morning. Superintendent Luis Castellanos, Commander of San Pedro police, said that police were on patrol in the area when they were alerted by the sound of a gunshot, and when they went to an area on Seaweed Street at its intersection with Sandpiper Street (in the direction of Camiste Street), they saw the body of a dark-complexioned man lying on the ground. The man had been shot in the right eye, and he was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where he was declared dead on arrival, and later identified as Alfred “Cat” Kelvin. Kelvin’s aunt, Glenda Coleman, said that she received a text message from San Pedro at about 2:30 Saturday morning informing her that Kelvin had been shot to death. She said that right away, she became weak and began calling relatives.

Tour operators’ war leaves one “critical”
As of press time tonight, a young tour operator, Vitalino Reyes, Jr., 23, is still in a coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), reportedly after a severe beating by tour operators of a rival business sometime after 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. A routine evening outing turned ugly Reyes, Jr., who, according to a colleague, was socializing with him at a popular club situated off Coney Drive, when they were surrounded, attacked and badly beaten. According to Yoney Vega, who was with Reyes, the mob – which he claimed numbered over 10 persons – consisted of individuals whom he recognized as being members of another tour company. Vega recounted: “He [Vitalino, Jr.] said he wanted to see a friend that he had there [at the club] called Long Island, so we went there and we were there drinking, like two beers, when Yhony’s [Rosado] crowd approached – his staff, they were in full uniform, so all of them could have been distinguished. They came directly towards us and they were laughing, so I told Junior, ‘let’s go, because this doesn’t look right’. Before we moved out, he even called his dad to tell him that we were surrounded by those guys and their intention was to hurt us.”

Thunderclaps herald 2014 Hurricane Season
A wide area of disturbed weather spanning from the Pacific waters south of Mexico, to the Gulf of Mexico, which local forecasters say should continue to pour rain over Belize until Thursday, spawned thunderstorms early Sunday morning, announcing the commencement of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. The disturbance caused heavy weekend rains in the region, resulting in a mudslide which killed a family of 5 in Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Belize’s Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez, told Amandala that the area of low pressure is not expected to cause any major impact on local weather, and it is not currently forecast to lead to cyclone formation. Gonguez said that showers are expected to start in the southern part of Belize again tonight and move up to northern Belize, because the low pressure system over our region has been moving very slowly. Although the system has caused inundation along the Philip Goldson International Highway, Gonguez said that the downpours were normal for the rainy season, which spans June to November.

Manatee killed in the Haulover River
Despite the plea of the Fisheries Department and other agencies to boat operators travelling in the Haulover River to be very careful in order to avoid hitting or killing the slow-moving manatee with their boats, a total of four large manatees – members of an endangered species that is protected by law – were killed this week. The most recent discovery was made in the area of the Tourism Village, where a large manatee was found dead, where the Haulover Creek meets the sea, by the crew on a boat on Friday morning. The animal was seen with chop wounds on the back, caused by a boat propeller. Gilbert Pike, 35, a worker on the Kremandala compound, said that on his arrival in the area of the Water Taxi Terminal on Friday morning, he saw the manatee floating in the river. He immediately recovered the dead animal and secured it to the wharf near the Caye Caulker Water Taxi, opposite the Tourism Village, to prevent any possible boat collision with the carcass. The animal was buried later that same day. Jamal Galvez, program coordinator of the Belize Manatee Conservation Program, said that the death of four manatees within just a week is alarming.

Belize escapes sanctions with new anti-money laundering measures
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) issued a statement Thursday saying that while it has decided to call for counter measures against Guyana over what it deems to be inadequate progress in the passage of counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering legislation, it recognizes that significant progress has been made by Belize. The statement notes that CFATF had required Belize to implement outstanding issues within its action plan, such as customer due diligence requirements, the operational independence of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and prohibiting dealings with shell banks. “Belize has since brought into force significant mechanisms to address its AML/CFT [anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism] deficiencies. Belize and the CFATF should continue to work together to ensure that Belize’s reform process is completed, by addressing its remaining deficiencies and continue implementing its action plan,” the statement said.

Economic performance projected to improve in Belize and the Caribbean: CDB
Caribbean economies are expected to grow, on average, by around 2.3% in 2014, and Belize’s economy by 2.5% in 2014 and 2015, according to the recently released annual report of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). Last week, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) told journalists that the Belize economy had contracted by about 0.4%, but noted that the slight downturn may improve by year-end. The CDB’s preliminary estimates indicate that the region grew by an average of 1.5% in 2013, up slightly from a revised figure of 1.2% for 2012. The CDB report also noted that Jamaica’s agriculture sector took a hit due to Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and drought in 2013, and weather was also a factor in Belize, resulting in declines in citrus and banana output. Rather than lower oil prices, ongoing maintenance and reduced oil field yield, respectively, led to contractions in mining output in Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, said the report. It added that improved overall growth performances in these two economies reflected the general upturn in construction and tourism activity.

Post-mortem says Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez, 27, was chopped to death
A post-mortem conducted on the body of Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez, 27, a Guatemalan of Los Tambos, Cayo District, certified that the cause of his death was due to acute lung failure due to acute pulmonary edema due to massive brain thrombosis as a consequence of chop wounds. The autopsy was conducted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. yesterday, Thursday. Police said that on Monday, May 18, Alvarez was attacked and chopped multiple times in San Ignacio by an unknown man, and for reasons unknown. He was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was treated and later released, after which he went to stay in Los Tambos, in the Spanish Lookout area.

Indianville resident post-mortem inconclusive
A post-mortem conducted on the body Francisco Reyes, 65, of Bukut Street in the Indianville area of Punta Gorda, who was found decomposing in his house last Tuesday, could not ascertain the cause of death, due to the state of decomposition of the body. The post-mortem was conducted on site between 4:00 and 5:00 that same Tuesday afternoon, and the examination was carried out by Doctor Mario Estrada Bran, Police coroner. Reyes was buried immediately after the autopsy. Police said that Reyes was found dead in his house on Monday, after neighbors who last saw him on Friday became concerned after not seeing him over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25.

PM in Washington to meet IDB prez
According to a release from his office, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who left the country on an 8-day personal/duty leave this past Tuesday, May 27, is currently in Washington DC, where he visited the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), reportedly to discuss Belize’s relationship with the bank and other priority areas of collaboration. A release issued by the IDB today reported that Barrow met with IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno, and they spoke about the IDB’s recently approved new 4-year country strategy with Belize, which focuses on public expenditure efficiency and effectiveness, and on promoting private sector development and sustainable export-led growth by concentrating on four priority areas, namely, education, tourism, transport and trade, and tax policies. The 2014 lending program with Belize focuses primarily on road rehabilitation and education, and includes five loans supporting agriculture, citizen security, water and sanitation, solid waste and flood mitigation to the tune of 38 million US dollars.

LETED. Lopez in defence of Professor Bain
i. We do not want scientific research to be suppressed for political reasons. ii. We do not want medical experts and researchers to be bullied and silenced for political reasons. iii. We are concerned that the Vice Chancellor has used C.H.A.R.T. to put political interests over medical and public policy interests. iv. We have not lost confidence in Professor Bain and view any loss of confidence as unjustified. v. Regardless of your moral or political ideologies, the dismissal of an expert for giving an expert opinion is wrong. vi. We are concerned that this is the beginning of more bullying of medical experts, scientists and UWI lecturers who conduct research. vii. We are concerned that the VC is unable or unwilling to make independent decisions concerning C.H.A.R.T. in the broad interest of all citizen stakeholders.

Belize: earning $100 and spending $234.80
The Belize economy has been performing less than stellar from independence until now. Our economic growth has been induced by eternal borrowing. Our external debt has increased steadily since independence with no post-independence government ever having a balanced budget. From January 2010 to January 2014, Belize imported $546 million worth of goods and exported $232.5 million. Our imports exceeded our exports by 134.8 %: it is equivalent to us earning a $100 and spending $234.80. For the 1st quarter of 2014, 37.5 % of our imports were from the United States (US) with an additional 25% from Curacao and Mexico combined. For the first quarter of 2014 we have trade deficits with all our major trading partners except the European Union. Sugar is our number one export earner for the first quarter 2014. We owe $2.5 billion (budget speech 2014/15). No one in government seemed to be alarmed about our dismal economic performance. Regardless of which political party is in government little is done to address our trade deficit. If this is allowed to continue it will cause loss of jobs.

From the Publisher
The Garifuna people experienced traumatic events of a genocidal nature in St. Vincent, Balliceaux, and Roatan. They also experienced traumas in Honduras, but I don’t know of any traumas having been experienced in British Honduras/Belize by the Garinagu. For sure they experienced hard core discrimination in this country, and they have retained the memory of same. When the Garinagu began to come here in numbers in 1802, 1823, or 1832, Belize was the only black territory in Central America, and the Garinagu were known as “Black Caribs,” to differentiate them from the “Yellow Caribs” of St. Vincent. We say that Belize was a black territory because the majority of the population were African or of African descent, and the white Baymen bosses here had come to realize that they required some kind of goodwill from that majority black population in order to remain in control of the settlement. The black population of the settlement of Belize were known as “Creoles,” but there was a buffer population of browns in the settlement who were also known as “Creoles.” The browns were generally closer to the white Baymen in family, religion, and culture than were the black masses of Belize, and they were generally closer to the white Baymen than they were to the black masses. Overall, the buffer population of brown Creoles became Anglican and Methodist in religion beginning in the first half of the nineteenth century.

EDITORIAL: BGYEA comes to town
Sometime last year the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Agency (BGYEA) demonstrated in Belmopan to publicize their Harmonyville grievances. The support they received was disappointing. Now this Saturday, BGYEA comes to Belize City, the population center of the nation, to seek public support for their cause after last month’s bushwhacking by the Ministry of Natural Resources. BGYEA had cleared land along the highway to grow corn in order to finance infrastructure development in Harmonyville. The Ministry arbitrarily said no, and the Cabinet of Belize agreed, going so far as to get an injunction to stop BGYEA with the threat of incarceration and seizure of assets. The problem for BGYEA this Saturday will be similar to the one they faced when they marched in Belmopan. The eight UDP Belize City area representatives will be united in making sure none of their people support the BGYEA protest. On the Opposition PUP side, their two Belize City area representatives, which are the present PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, in Freetown, and their 1996-2008 Leader, Said Musa, in Fort George, would like the ruling UDP to be embarrassed by a successful BGYEA rally, but the PUP will not bring out its people. The rich people who own huge tracts of idle land in Belize do not wish well for BGYEA, and these rich people include some important PUP campaign financiers.

http://amandala.com.bz/news/belize-rural-softball/
Tournament games continue each Sunday in the Belize Rural Female Softball Tournament 2014. Five (5) teams are participating in this year’s competition – Lords Bank Sunrise (Lords Bank); Arrows Reloaded (Bermudian Landing); Sandhill Messengers (Sandhill); Orchid Girls (Burrell Boom); and Willows Bank United (Willows Bank). In the opener on Sunday, May 25, Orchid Girls edged Sandhill Messengers, 11-9; winning pitcher was Rebecca Nicholas, and losing pitcher was Karen Hilton. And in the nightcap, Lords Bank Sunrise dropped Arrows Reloaded, 16-4. Stacy Smith got the win, and the loss went to Ardeth McFadzean. On Sunday, June 1, the opener saw Lords Bank clipping Sandhill Messengers in a close one, 4-3. Stacy Smith picked up the win over Karen Hilton. And in the nightcap, Willows Bank won, 17-7, over Orchid Girls. Winning pitcher was Jacqueline Casasola, while the loss was charged to Therese Baptist.

National Primary School
The National Primary School Volleyball Championship takes place this Friday, June 6, at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. Opening ceremonies begin at 8:30 a.m., following which the female and male champions of the 6 districts begin their contest for the 2013-2014 national championship. Representing the 6 districts are: Stann Creek – Holy Angel’s R.C. females and Sacred Heart R.C. males; Belize – Belize Elementary females and males; Cayo – Garden City Primary females and Howard Smith Nazarene males; Orange Walk – Louisiana Gov’t females and Chan Pine Ridge Gov’t males; Toledo – Blue Creek Primary females and Aguacate R.C. males; and Corozal – Our Lady of Guadalupe females and Corozal Methodist males.

Smart
The 3rd Annual SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament continued with Week 4 games on Saturday, May 31, at the MCC Grounds. Three teams are still undefeated – Collet Strikers, City Boys and Hattieville United; last tournament’s undefeated champion Brown Bombers already has suffered 2 losses. Ten teams are in the competition, and after a single round-robin regular season, the top 4 teams go on to the knockout semifinals. In game 1 on Saturday, Ladyville clipped Third World, 2-1, with goals from Trivon Bainton and D’Jon Canelo; while Jonah Chebat scored for Third World. In game 2, Collet Strikers dropped Brown Bombers, 1-nil, on a goal by Jomel David. Next, it was Hattieville over Carlston FC, 2-0, with a goal apiece from Christian Caceres and Jaheed Baptist. London Strikers and Heights FC played to a 1-1 draw in game 4, with Eshak King shaking the net for London Strikers, while Ranalf Witty netted for Heights. And in the last game of the day, Akeem Sutherland’s lone goal stood up to give City Boys the 1-nil victory over Rising Stars.

Tigersharks clinches
Two semifinal Game 2’s were played on Friday night, May 30, one in Belize City, the other in Belmopan; and one semifinal series is over, while the other needs a Game 3 to decide who goes to the “Big Dance” in the Finals of this inaugural 2014 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament. Out west at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan, the visiting San Pedro Tigersharks made it two in a row, as they sealed the deal on the Belmopan Point Bandits, handing them their second loss with a 78-71 score. Leading the Tigersharks were Tyrone Edwards 22 pts 6 rebs, Michael Adams 15 pts 11 rebs, Jamal Kelly 14 pts, and Winston Pratt and Louis Pitterson with 7 pts 7 rebs each; while the Point Bandits were led by Erwin Robinson 13 pts, Jamal Harris 12 pts 7 rebs, Adam Carswell 11 pts 11 rebs, and Shen Li Arnold 10 pts. San Pedro had won Game 1 the previous weekend, 79-60, in San Pedro in the best-of-3 games semifinal series; so they have clinched the series, 2-0, and will take their place in the Finals, where they await the other semifinal series winner.

Fetus found rotting under KHMH bed
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), Belize’s premier public medical facility, is once again walking on hot coals following the confirmed discovery of an abandoned, decomposing fetus inside the hospital, in fact, under a hospital bed in the Observation Ward – an incredible, horrible incident that has the hospital’s authorities fleeing for cover. The discovery was made last Friday night, and police, in a press release dated today, Monday, June 2, said that, “Based on information received of an abandoned fetus at the KHMH, at 8:45 p.m. on Friday, May 30, police visited the KHMH and spoke with the Assistant Unit Manager, who informed them that sometime around 8:00 p.m. that Friday, a female patient alerted nurses of a [stench] coming from under the bed that she was lying on in the observation room of the hospital. “Upon making checks, hospital authorities discovered what appeared to be residues of human tissue, believed to be a fetus, in a small white box under the patient’s bed, in an apparent state of decomposition.

Bogus report to police almost sent Mahogany Heights man to prison
A Mahogany Heights man who was involved in a dispute with some other men was almost remanded to prison because of a false report to police that he pulled a firearm on another man. The drama unfolded in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this afternoon when she began arraigning Jerson Grinage, 21, a plumber, on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. Before Frazer could ask him to enter a plea, however, Grinage told the court that he never pulled a gun on anyone. Frazer then asked him how the police got the idea that he pulled a gun on the complainant. Grinage directed the Magistrate’s attention to another man in the courtroom, who stood up and identified himself as Yanick Smith, the complainant. Grinage told the court that he only learned about the aggravated assault charge about three hours before, when he was taken to the Queen Street Police Station after his appearance in court this morning on a single count of drug trafficking before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith.

Cave-tubing.com professes innocence in case of brutality against competitor
The management and staff of Cave-tubing.com – a local tour operator – called a press conference at the office of their attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, this afternoon, to attempt to clear their name after being accused of being involved in the savage beating of a member of a rival tour company last Thursday. Vitalino Reyes, Jr., is reportedly in a coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after being badly beaten by a group of men, allegedly from Cavetubing.com, in a bar off Coney Drive, and Yoney Vega, who told police that he was with Reyes in the bar, said that he himself was a victim of the attack. Vega claimed to police that he and Reyes were surrounded by men from Cave-tubing.com when they were about to leave the establishment, and that after being stoned with pint bottles, they were both beaten unconscious. While Vega has recovered, his friend, Reyes, Jr., is said to be in a coma at the KHMH. Today, in a press conference held by the owner of Cave-tubing.com, Yhony Rosado, he told the media that he was with 5 of his employees and 2 friends socializing at Long Island Bar, where the incident took place last Thursday, May 29, and admitted that he did see the victims, Vitalino Reyes, Jr., and Yoney Vega, at the bar counter, but “at no time did they have any exchange of glances, words or any physical contact” with Reyes and Vega.

Tour guide, 22, survives shot in the head
A 22-year-old Belize City man who was shot in the head yesterday was fortunate enough to survive the ordeal and to later relate an account of the events leading to his injury, to police. Egbert Bailey, 22, a tour guide who resides in Belize City, reported that he was at his cousin’s home with three friends at about 8:15 last night at Antelope Street Extension in Belize City, watching television when he heard a loud bang, which sounded like a gunshot, and realized that he was bleeding from the right side of the head. Bailey reportedly told police that he looked outside and saw two men whom he recognized, standing about 12 feet away from the house where they were, and further stated that four other loud bangs were also heard from the direction in which the men were standing.

Stevedore remanded on use of deadly means of harm charge
A Belize City stevedore was remanded to the Belize Central Prison on charges of use of deadly means of harm with a firearm and harm after he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning. Mark Gentle, 25, aka “Mark Vernon,” a resident of Caesar Ridge Road, entered a not guilty plea to the two charges. Gentle is charged along with another man, Kendis Faber, 21, a resident of 2 Fabers Road, who was arraigned and remanded to prison on the same charges last month. Smith denied bail to Gentle due to the nature of the offense. His attorney, Alifa Elrington-Hyde, however, made a submission to the court asking for the charge to be withdrawn from her client after she informed the court that the virtual complainant, Radman Welch, had already given the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) a retraction statement, in which he purportedly said that he does not wish to pursue any further court action in the matter. Elrington-Hyde said she has a memorandum in her possession.

Post-mortem says Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez, 27, was chopped to death
A post-mortem conducted on the body of Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez, 27, a Guatemalan of Los Tambos, Cayo District, certified that the cause of his death was due to acute lung failure due to acute pulmonary edema due to massive brain thrombosis as a consequence of chop wounds. The autopsy was conducted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. yesterday, Thursday. Police said that on Monday, May 18, Alvarez was attacked and chopped multiple times in San Ignacio by an unknown man, and for reasons unknown. He was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was treated and later released, after which he went to stay in Los Tambos, in the Spanish Lookout area.

Gun violence on La Isla Bonita
Regrettably, gun violence is on the increase in the tourist mecca of San Pedro, and between January and the end of May, four persons have lost their lives to gun violence on the island, and five persons sustained gunshot wounds from which they’re now recovering. On January 20, Michael Wallace, 24, of the San Juan area of San Pedro, was shot and killed during a robbery. The incident occurred about 10:30 that Sunday night on Sandpiper Street. There were no incidents in February, but on March 1, Steven Bowen was shot several times while he was walking in the San Mateo area, at about 7:30 Saturday night. He was shot in both legs, both elbows and in the back. At about 2:00 Thursday morning, March 6, Jeffrey Eiley was beaten and shot to death on the southern end of Barrier Reef Drive. He had been shot several times, and eleven 9mm expended shells were recovered from the scene. Police have since been looking for a man of interest. Five days after Eiley was murdered, Darrington Lauriano was walking on Sandpiper Street at about 9:00 Tuesday night, March 11, when a gunman opened fire at him. People in the area scattered for cover. Lauriano was hit in the back.

Indianville resident post-mortem inconclusive
A post-mortem conducted on the body Francisco Reyes, 65, of Bukut Street in the Indianville area of Punta Gorda, who was found decomposing in his house last Tuesday, could not ascertain the cause of death, due to the state of decomposition of the body. The post-mortem was conducted on site between 4:00 and 5:00 that same Tuesday afternoon, and the examination was carried out by Doctor Mario Estrada Bran, Police coroner. Reyes was buried immediately after the autopsy. Police said that Reyes was found dead in his house on Monday, after neighbors who last saw him on Friday became concerned after not seeing him over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25.

Police allege Biscayne man is cannabis farmer and trafficker
A Biscayne man who was arraigned on charges of drug trafficking and cultivation of a controlled drug attempted to plead guilty, but Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, before whom he appeared, entered an unequivocal not guilty plea on his behalf, because she felt that he did not understand the nature of the charges that she read to him. Police charged Dwayne Bradley, 24, a fisherman and farmer, with possession of 76.6 grams of cannabis and cultivation of 101 cannabis plants. In court, when Bradley was read the two charges and asked if he understood the charges, he replied that he understood. But when Stewart asked him to enter a plea, he mumbled “guilty.” Conviction on a drug trafficking charge carries a minimum fine of $10,000. It also carries a minimum prison sentence of three years; both the fine and prison term can be imposed on offenders. Cultivation of marijuana carries the same fine as drug trafficking.

Tour operators’ war leaves one “critical”
As of press time tonight, a young tour operator, Vitalino Reyes, Jr., 23, is still in a coma at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), reportedly after a severe beating by tour operators of a rival business sometime after 6:00 p.m. on Thursday. A routine evening outing turned ugly Reyes, Jr., who, according to a colleague, was socializing with him at a popular club situated off Coney Drive, when they were surrounded, attacked and badly beaten. According to Yoney Vega, who was with Reyes, the mob – which he claimed numbered over 10 persons – consisted of individuals whom he recognized as being members of another tour company. Vega recounted: “He [Vitalino, Jr.] said he wanted to see a friend that he had there [at the club] called Long Island, so we went there and we were there drinking, like two beers, when Yhony’s [Rosado] crowd approached – his staff, they were in full uniform, so all of them could have been distinguished. They came directly towards us and they were laughing, so I told Junior, ‘let’s go, because this doesn’t look right’. Before we moved out, he even called his dad to tell him that we were surrounded by those guys and their intention was to hurt us.”

3 robberies in Ladyville and Corozal
Two establishments — Lisa’s Restaurant on 5th Avenue and Chang Li Bar and Game Room on 4th Avenue – were robbed in Corozal, and a man walking home on Dollar Bank Road in Hattieville was robbed in a separate incident. In Corozal, two thieves got away with over $1,500 in cash and valuables from the two business places, and in Hattieville, over $225 in cash and valuables was taken from the man who was walking on the Dollar Bank Road. At about 11:30 Friday night, two masked men barged into Chang Li Bar and Game Room on 4th Avenue, Corozal Town. One of the bandits was armed with a sawed-off shotgun, which he pointed at the business owner, and the second bandit, armed with a machete, went to the cash drawer behind the counter and stole all of the money it contained, about $500. The thieves then ran out of the game room. Police have not yet found the thieves.

Supreme Court lifts injunction from Coye family’s millions, frozen in money laundering case
Melonie and Marlene Coye walked out of the Supreme Court of Justice Sonya Young with broad smiles lighting up their faces, as they edged their way past reporters without saying much, following their court victory this morning, giving them access to millions of dollars that the state had frozen during their protracted money laundering case, which began on December 31, 2008, when they were first arrested. For the Coye family, accused of money laundering by the Financial Intelligence Unit, it has been a legal roller coaster ride of ups and downs, victory and defeat, imprisonment, freedom, and death, before today’s court victory. Melonie Coye told reporters, “We just want it to be finally over.” She added, “It’s been hard, it’s been rough, it’s been a long journey and I am very sick this week with the diabetes. I am not feeling too well, but I’m hanging in there.” Almost two months ago, the Court of Appeal quashed the money laundering conviction of Melonie Coye and her late father, Michael Coye, who died less than a week after securing bail pending their money laundering conviction.

Patrick Jones

FEATURE STORY: Helping the Aged in Toledo
Meet Mr. Franklin Caliz. He and a group of friends go on daily missions to lend a helping hand to the elders of this community. And why does he do it? Caliz saus because it is “the right thing to do.” Being a member of the Toledo branch of HelpAge Belize, Calez says he wants to see elders getting better care and social inclusion. As part of the HelpAge social outreach program, Caliz and his group operate a feeding program for the elders. With many elderly left to fend for themselves on a daily basis, many of them alone at home, the efforts of Mr. Caliz and his friends are very much appreciated. “All what we are trying to do is to help change the way elders are treated,” says Caliz. He goes on to say that “not just because we are old we don’t play a role in society. We do count and we want the society to know that we are here and we want to be treated as equal.”

Tour guide charged for attack on another tour guide
Thirty year old Leon Gentle, an employee of Cavetubing.com (Butts Up) and resident of Banak Street in Belize City, has been charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm for the attack on fellow tour guide Vitalino Reyes, Jr., 23. The attack happened last Thursday at the Long Island Bar on Blue Marlin Boulevard. As we reported yesterday, around 4:15 p.m. on Thursday May 29, Reyes and colleague Yoney Vega were at the bar when a group of Cavetubing.com employees led by their boss, Yohnny Rosado, arrived. Rosado insists that the two groups kept well away from each other, but Vega alleges that Gentle approached him and Reyes as they were trying to leave and attacked both of them with pint bottles, causing injury to Vega’s right temple and severe head trauma to Reyes, who remains on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Chopping victim succumbs to injuries
Twenty four year old Joseph West is expected to face an upgraded charge of Murder for the death of 34 year old Giovanni Borland. Borland died on Friday, May 30, after being hospitalized with massive chop wounds to the head sustained on the night of May 11. West is accused of attacking Giovanni Borland sometime after 11 o’clock that night at ‘Mil Amores’ bar in Libertad where both men got into an argument. Carl Borland who is the uncle of the deceased says that Giovanni was attacked by as many as five men, all members of the same family who chased him from the bar all the way to the house where he was staying. The uncle says that when Giovanni reached in front of the house he fell down and that was when he was chopped in the head, severing a portion of his skull and exposing his brains. The Borland family is now waiting for the upgrading of the charges against Joseph West to murder, nineteen days after the incident.

Our Lady of Guadalupe High School graduates 73
Our Lady of Guadalupe High School in the Garden City of Belmopan held its 8th Commencement Exercises at the University of Belize Gymnasium on Sunday, June 1st, 2014. Seventy three enthusiastic and anxious young men and women hit the aisle to the rhythm of Pomp and Circumstances played by the Panerriffix Steel Band. After the prayer and National Anthem Jamir Estevan Alpuche, second highest ranking student, delivered the Salutatory Address and the usual Principal’s Remarks was done by Mrs. Barette Belisle. The pride and joy on the faces of the graduates was manifested in their bounce for their hard earned diplomas. Julie Deng, the first highest ranking student, jovially gave her reflection and advice to her graduating class and proud parents and supporters.

Police recover shotgun from allegedly intoxicated man
A man was detained after he was found with a shotgun while under the influence of alcohol. Police on patrol near Tower Hill around 10 pm on Saturday May 31 found a man identified as Bernabe Roberts sitting on the grass and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Police then retrieved a 12 gauge shotgun with (1) 12gauge cartridge which he had beside him. Roberts was detained but could not confirm if he was a holder of a valid gun license. Police investigations continue.

Ministry of Agriculture says it supports Harmonyville
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) has been given a rough time by the Ministry of Natural Resources of the buffer zone lining the George Price Highway in a corn-growing project. In fact, it is under an injunction barring its trespass in the zone. But the Ministry of Agriculture, which has been allied with the Ministry of Natural Resources since 2012, says it does support the agricultural aspect of the project. While noting that there are no plans at this time to meet with BGYEA, CEO in the Ministry Jose Alpuche reiterated that support in speaking with reporters today, while distinguishing activities in Harmonyville itself from those in the Buffer Zone. The case for the injunction takes place next week.

Green Tropics and Valley farmers working out solution
Two weeks ago results of tests conducted in Florida, U.S.A., on vegetable crops planted by farmers in Valley of Peace, Cayo District, confirmed that indeed there was evidence of two herbicides, gyphsphate and metsulphuron-methyl, the latter not registered for use in Belize. The President of the Valley of Peace Farmers’ Association has said that they would seek legal action against the company over the crop damage, having rejected two separate offers of monetary compensation and titled land for five acres each. Today, Ministry of Agriculture CEO Jose Alpuche told us that the two sides are sitting down to work out their differences. The two sides are working out some final details but agreed broadly on key issues.

Trade CEO denies NCL involvement
The Norwegian Cruise Lines project at Harvest Caye can be forgiven for looking like a sort of political grab-tub. Only a few days ago Minister of State Mark King ruthlessly juxtaposed the Government’s need to represent all Belizeans while taking care of their political supporters. This was following a meeting in the South with UDP supporters held to, in King’s words, “open communication barriers” with the cruise line so that UDP supporters were not left out of jobs and contracts. King himself also confirmed that he was bidding for a security contract on the island. So what of Ministry of Trade CEO Michael Singh? It is alleged that a dredging company in which he or his family has interest is seeking a contract with NCL. But Singh slammed the door firmly on that allegation today, insisting that neither he nor any family have any personal interest in the project. “Absolutely none,” he told reporters despite repeated questions.

Blogs

Orange Walk Band Filming in San Pedro
Super Furia band was just in San Pedro filming their upcoming music video called You Promise Me, with Roxana Alcocer singing. She has been the lead vocalist of the popular Orange Walk Band for fifteen years, and recently did a Red Carpet performance in California May 4th 2014. The finished product will get be debuted in on local television: Centaur Cable Network, Wave Tv, Krem TV and Belizean to Da Bone TV. For those of you not in the country, the video will also be visible through various social media networking such as Youtube and Facebook. Near the end of Sunday beach time at Caribbean Villas, Cowboy texted and asked Paul and I to come check out the Orange Walk crew in action, since they were filming at Banana Beach Resort and it was on our way home. We were just leaving and agreed that although we were both done for the day, a quick pop in was ok. Unfortunately by the time we got there they were already done, we chatted a few minutes and the film crew said they would start filming again at 9:00am. Being close to location and knowing full well these things are not always timely, I told them I would see them at 10:00am and Cowboy agreed to go for breakfast after and suggested George’s Kitchen as he had a hankering for biscuits with gravy.

Not In Your Guidebook: Earthship Lands Besides Lubaantun Maya Site in Southern Belize
Last weekend, on the very last day of the weekend long Belize Chocolate Festival, we took a shuttle bus down the mile long path to the Lubaantun Maya Site in the Toledo District of Belize. Huge trees and greenery was pretty much all we were seeing until just before the ruins - this sign. We kept going (we were on a shuttle bus) but I made note to check this out on our exit… And I am certainly glad that we circled back because what I found was…well…shocking. Or at the very least very VERY surprising and actually really beautiful. An “Earthship” made of trash and cement that almost looks like a Moorish temple or a home in Morocco or Turkey. Unique for sure. Here’s the Earthship just feet away from Lubaantun, the 1400 or so year old Maya site. The entire base is stacked tires stuffed with styrofoam and crushed cans. It’s AMAZING. Here are some pictures from 2012 and a brief article about this Earthship and its builders. They are a type of home that was “invented” in the 1970s in the US…homes that collect water, use the sun, are built of trash and recyclables and as self sufficiently as possible. I was just struck by the beauty of this building, the artistry and the sheer amount of hands’ on effort it is taking this family and a small group of workers to plan and build it.

10 Reasons to Travel Sustainably
The holidays are over, you’re stressed out and the winter blues have set in. It’s time to get away. As you start to plan your vacation, do you consider how much good your trip could do for others? Some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations are now being managed sustainably, which means that in addition to benefiting your own mental health, your next trip could also benefit the environment and local communities. Here are 10 reasons to travel sustainably: 1. Make a Difference One of the world’s largest industries, tourism employs more than 235 million people and generates 9.2 percent of the global GDP. The choices made by travelers like you can enormously impact community-run businesses, local cultures and biodiversity. Your decisions will have consequences, for better or worse, so why not choose better. 2. Conserve Natural Environments When you follow designated trails, respect local rules about interacting with nature and pay entrance fees to parks and protected sites, you help conserve the beautiful environments that you’ve traveled all that way to visit.

Belize Investment Guide
Belize is offers extraordinary investments opportunities for the wise investor. Government and business leaders have forged innovative strategies aimed at accelerating its already impressive growth rate. Where traditional crops like sugar, citrus and bananas have long been the mainstay of the economy, this small Caribbean country in Central America is looking for new opportunities where its natural resources, work force and proximity to the world’s largest trading block in North America give it a natural competitive edge. This is a Third World country with attendant challenges. In keeping with our tradition at Belize.com, we offer this investment guide along with unvarnished facts in stumbling blocks you may encounter on the ground.

International Sources

‘Mom’ medic ensures construction site safety during exercise in Central America
She gives 30 minute time-outs, ensures proper food and water intake, gives first-aid for cuts, scrapes and burns, and many people refer to her as “mom.” Senior Airman Janna Harina, an emergency medical technician deployed from the 4th Medical Operations Squadron, Seymour-Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina, is in Belize providing medical care to engineers during the U.S. Southern Command-sponsored New Horizons exercise. She is the site medic at the Sadie Vernon Technical High School addition construction site project and is part of a the New Horizons task force that is building four different school additions in Belize City, Hattieville and one hospital addition in Belmopan, Belize. Safety is her main priority. For 12-14 hours per day, she watches Airmen, Marines and Soldiers to make sure they are wearing proper individual protective equipment and also keeps an eye out for signs and symptoms of heat related injuries such as drenched clothing, blank stares and dilated pupils.

Face of Defense: Air Force Doctor Finds Ways to Give Back
Deployed in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, a multifaceted exercise providing training opportunities for Belizean and U.S. medical professionals, Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Forrest Jellison is finding ways to give back. "I've always wanted to give back in some way, because I know I'm fortunate for what I have," the urologist said. "I believe you have to give back to be able to have something worthwhile." Following a number of family members into the military, Jellison said, he considered enlisting before deciding on a career path that would take him to places he never anticipated going in uniform. He graduation from Pacific Union College in Napa Valley, California, and followed his undergraduate education with medical school at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, where he also completed his residency. Jellison then completed a urology fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was commissioned in 2001.

Where is the cheapest place to buy citizenship?
It is a cliche used from Bond to Bourne: the classic spy image of a suitcase filled with cash and multiple passports for a quick getaway. But increasingly it is not spies that are looking for a second passport, but a growing number of "economic citizens". Henley and Partners citizenship expert Christian Kalin, who helps to advise clients on the best place to spend their money, estimates that every year, several thousand people spend a collective $2bn (£1.2bn; 1.5bn euros) to add a second, or even third, passport to their collection. "I've seen more programmes fail than succeed," says Mr Kalin. "Belize passports became synonymous for illegal passports." The Belize programme was suspended in 2002.

Videos

Video: Georgia State University Belize Geosciences Exchange Presentations, 2014, 2hr14min.
Final presentations by students in the 2014 Belize Community GIS course at Georgia State University. Co-led by Dr. Timothy Hawthorne and Dr. Christy Visaggi.

Video: How To Prepare For Hurricane Season, 1.5min.
Long before a hurricane forms, there are things you can do to get ready if a storms heads your way.

Video: Dengue fever and the Aedes aegypti mosquito -- an Oxitec film, 5min.
What is Dengue Fever? Why are people and governments so worried about it? What's it got to do with mosquitoes, and how can we control it? Featuring never-before-seen footage and exclusive interviews with Haedes and Aegypta -- representatives of the notorious Dengue mosquito -- this film tackles some of the big questions about this dangerous virus, and what Oxitec can do to help.

Video: CFATF official says APNU amendments could hurt Guyana -- Debunk claims of Gov't fabricated deadlines, 18min.
A senior official of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) says the proposed amendments by the opposition group, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), to anti money and terrorism legislation could hurt Guyana.

Video: Zoom and pan of Hubble's colourful view of the Universe - YouTube, 1min.
Astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope have captured the most comprehensive picture ever assembled of the evolving Universe — and one of the most colourful. The study is called the Ultraviolet Coverage of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (UVUDF) project.

Video: Blue Hole 2014, 8min.

Video: Belize, 4min.
Highlights of our Belize journey

Video: Michele in Belize May 2014, 3min.
Belize again had lovely people and is the most affluent Central American country. British speaking and some great Caribbean beaches. It also boasts the 2nd largest coral reef after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Video: Cruising around Corozal Town, Corozal, Belize jammin' to some Reggae, 2min.
We be jammin', mon!

Video: Scuba diving belize pt 1, min.
Diving off the coast of San Pedro in Belize using Go Pro Hero 3 without red filter.

Video: Hawksbill Belize, 5min.
After diving the Blue Hole where 40 foot stalactites at 130 feet were nearly the only attraction, we dove at a cliff next to 2500 feet of Caribbean at the edge of the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Amigos del Mar dive center in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye offers a great Blue Hole dive that includes one dive to 140 feet in the Blue Hole, then two dives along the ledge where the vertical drop from 60 feet to over 2400 feet.

Video: ORU mission to Belize, 6min.
Our team went to Oasis Ministry in Unitedville, Cayo, Belize. In first week our team went to do children's ministry at local schools and also built a house for a family in need. Second week we train some local leaders at Mt. Hope Bible Church to become a better leaders in Christ. Also did some local houses painting projects. We saw amazing things God has done in our teams and the people we reached. We have grown in spiritually, physically, and mentally as a team and as a individuals.


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