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#492002 - 06/07/14 07:01 AM Today's Belize News: June 7, 2014
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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

The San Pedro Tigersharks makes it to the finals
The San Pedro Tigersharks Basketball team has made it to the finals of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL). The home team won their ticket to the finals after sweeping the Belmopan Point Bandits. The Tigersharks won 2 straight games out of 3, with the second playoff victory landed on Friday May30th at the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus Gymnasium. The winner of Friday night’s game will play the San Pedro Tigersharks in the NEBL finals. The first of the three final games is scheduled to be played on Sunday June 8th at 1PM at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Everyone is invited to come out cheer for their favorite team. Tigersharks fans are being asked to wear black T-shirts to show support to the home team.

KHMH under fire again, Decomposed fetus found under hospital bed
The country’s largest referral medical facility, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), is once again under heavy public criticism after an abandoned and decomposing fetus was found under a patient’s bed. The discovery was made around 8PM on Friday May 30th after a patient in the observation section alerted nurses of a highly offensive stench coming from under her bed. It is believed that a female patient had expelled the fetus days prior to the discovery, but no one at the KHMH had noticed the fetus under the bed. It was not until a patient admitted at the observation ward smelled something wrong, and called on the nurses to inspect under the bed, that the disturbing discovery was made. According to a police report dated June 2nd, authorities were alerted by personnel at the KHMH and upon arrival they observed ‘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.”

The Island Academy Graduates 11
11 students graduated from The Island Academy on Friday May 30th, much to the delight and pride of parents and guardians in attendance. Heartfelt speeches by each graduate were the highlight of the ceremony, and after certificates of completion were handed out, the Barry Bowen Cup recipient was recognized. The Barry Bowen Cup is awarded annually to a student whom the staff and teachers deem an excellent representative of high personal values and dedication to citizenship and education. Eric Rodriguez, youngest son of Guadalupe and Guillermo Rodriguez, proudly hoisted the cup on Friday, to the loud cheers of classmates and attendees. Congratulations to all, and we wish the graduates the best in their new venture into high school.

Tropic Air announces new flight and cargo rates
The last time Tropic Air Belize saw an increase in rates was in November 2011, but since then, the cost of doing business across the globe has increased. For that reason, the management of Tropic Air has announced that effective November 1st, there will be an increase in flight rates. In addition, on June 9th, cargo rates will also see a slight increase. The announcement was made by the airline via a press release on June 2nd. Tropic Air’s Director of Marketing Anthony Hunt explained that the new rate is reflective of the increase in doing business around the globe. He said that operational costs have increased over the past few years and as such, the new rates will help the company address inflation rates that they have been incurring. “The new prices are going up in November 1st, but we decided to put out the notice in June so that customers can be aware. The increase is reflective of the additional cost of doing business. Our company has invested in brand new airplanes, and we are constantly investing in customer satisfaction and comfort. Over the past years we have been absorbing the increases of doing business and unfortunately we are now forced to pass part of those increases on to our customers,” said Hunt.

Belize Sotheby’s unveils office on Ambergris Caye
The real estate business in Belize is officially global now that Belize Sotheby’s International Realty has been officially unveiled on Ambergris Caye. Thursday June 5, 2014 saw the official opening of only the fourth office in Central America for this prestigious luxury brand. At the helm of this new venture into top tier real estate market are Shane and Brittany McCann and their partner Curt Fisher. Members of the community were invited to the grand opening of the office located at the end of Barrier Reef Drive. A video of Belize, featuring the tagline “Belize, A Country Whose Time has Arrived”, clearly depicts how the McCann’s have interpreted the Sotheby’s brand, incorporating it into the office and the ethics that will guide their venture.

San Pedro Celebrates World No Tobacco Day
Saturday, May 31st was observed as World No Tobacco Day under the theme “Raise Tobacco Tax, Lower Death and Disease”. To celebrate the event in San Pedro Town, The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the San Pedro Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (SPADAI) held a Sports and Information Day at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena. The purpose was to raise awareness on the negative effects tobacco has on a community, and overseeing the event was Kristina Romero, NDACC representative in San Pedro. A small football competition was held to engage the children in alternative means of entertainment. “Sports are a good way to keep children busy and out of trouble. If children are kept busy then they are more likely to stay away from tobacco, alcohol and drugs,” said Romero. Trophies were awarded to the teams that placed first and second, while consolation prizes were given to all participants.

Ambergris Today

Sotheby's International Realty Brand Enters Belize
Excitement built up yesterday, June 5, 2014, as Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC announced that its luxury real estate services are now available in Belize with the opening of Belize Sotheby's International Realty, owned and operated by McCann & Fisher Ltd. The realty franchise invited members of the community to the official opening of its office in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, located at the end of Barrier Reef Drive. The firm, which is managed by Shane and Brittany McCann, serves the luxury residential real estate market throughout Belize. "Ambergris Caye is considered one of the most desirable islands in the world," said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC. "The lifestyle offered there is coveted by people everywhere. Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, ancient Mayan Ruins, waterfalls, caves and the well-known Great Blue Hole. We are proud to be able to offer our services in this beautiful and unique market."

Puerto Azul: Belizean Paradise Or Theme Park?
The conservation community of Belize hereby calls upon the Government of Belize to make an official statement on the exact status of proposed resort development project “Puerto Azul” on Northern Two Caye and Sandbore Caye, located within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. The scale and scope of this project as outlined in its May 2014 international debut to potential investors is cause for substantial alarm and raises a long list of questions that Belizeans deserve answers to: 1. The last official word on this project was in August 2013 to announce that a feasibility study was going to be conducted on Puerto Azul. What are the findings of that study? We hereby request that the study be made public. 2. Has a terms of reference for the project or the EIA been finalized? 3. The current plans for Puerto Azul include significant alternations to the natural state of the cayes. How does this plan reconcile with Belize’s tourism marketing strategy of “authenticity”?

Misc Belizean Sources

Students in Cayo receive certificates from GREAT Program
Some 64 students from the Saint Vincent Palloti Roman Catholic Primary School in Unitedville Village in Cayo received certificates this evening, marking the completion of instructions under the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program GREAT. Instructions under GREAT began at the Unitedville School in September of last year and ended in March of this year. Instructor Ciriaco Medina, who is Police Constable 1121 and member of the Community Policing Unit at the San Ignacio Police Formation, gave out the certificates this evening, telling students, “I expect good things from you guys, don’t let me down.” Jason Jones, along with Roland Augustine from the Community Policing Program at the San Ignacio Police Formation also joined in this evening to encourage students to continue being good citizens.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize, the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, headed Belize’s delegation to the 44th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Asuncion, Paraguay on June 3rd - 5th under the theme "Development with Social Inclusion". In the Declaration of Asuncion hemispheric leaders undertook, “To commit their efforts to eradicating hunger and poverty, in particular extreme poverty, combating inequity, inequality, discrimination, and social exclusion, and increasing equitable access to health services, as well as to quality and inclusive education; priority objectives which should inform actions of the inter-American system.”

Corozal Police Report
Corozal mobile patrol nabs two men for possession of controlled drugs: On June 5th Corozal Police were on mobile patrol in the village of Paraiso, when they reached a pimento house where a group of young men ran from the yard whereby the smell of a strong aroma of cannabis was coming from inside of the house. One Ricardo Santana and Moises Puck remained behind whereby Police conducted a search for drugs and firearms in their presence. A search in the yard, lead to the discovery of a transparent plastic bag inside the bathroom in an old toilet seat in the said bathroom containing a leafy substance consistent to cannabis (weed). The bag was shown to the accused, they were cautioned and escorted to the Corozal Police Station. The drugs were weighed which amounted to 26.6 grams. 19 year old Moises Puck, sales clerk of Paraiso Village and Roque Ricardo Santana maintenance worker of Paraiso Village were both arrested and charged for the offence of possession of controlled drugs.

Frankie, problem jaguar
Several years ago, The Belize Zoo received Frankie, a problem jaguar from Franks Eddy Village in Central Belize. The residents of that village chose not to kill this amazing yet potentially dangerous wildcat, and asked the Zoo to intervene instead. Frankie passed through the Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation Program with flying colours, eventually finding a new home and new name (Jutai) in Philadelphia Zoo in the USA. Frankie even got a girlfriend named Kanga, and fathered a cub three years ago. Here is LUCHA, the Belizean-American Jaguar all grown up and living in the Los Angeles Zoo. He has become a handsome, powerful and proud jaguar like his father. A big thanks to Tammy Schidmt at Philadelphia Zoo for sharing this wonderful photo with us! We are so proud of Frankie and his family! Courtesy Belize Zoo!!

National Community Policing Unit meets with heads of leading Corozal neighbourhood watch groups
Rudolph Orio, retired Superintendent of Police and Acting Commander of Belize’s Community Policing Unit along with Woman Sergeant Marleni Montejo of Corozal’s Community Policing Unit met yesterday with heads of various neighbourhood watch groups in Corozal to be able to assist in coordinating a public meeting to reactive the Citizens on Patrol Program (COP) in the Corozal District. The aim is to involve the entire community to be the ears and eyes of the Corozal Police Department to aid in suppressing crime and other delinquencies in the area. Citizens on Patrol is a voluntary program endorsed by the Commissioner of Police which involves citizens participating in the fight against crime in our community. Those who volunteer do not have arresting powers but are trained in police procedures, Belizean law and equipment handling.

Sacred Heart Parish Summer Fair
The Sacred Heart Parish is having their annual Summer Fair on Sunday, June 15th, at the Sacred Heart Auditorium. They'll have tons of fun for the kids, including face painting, a dunk tank, shows(including a concert), trampolines, and miniature golf. There will be plenty of delicious food and drinks too. It all starts at 3:00pm.

The 1st ever Healthy Active Life 5K Run will be happening this Sunday morning in Belmopan. The proceeds will go towards Marla's House of Hope. "5K run for everybody but mostly for beginners who want to have a healthy life and they see in this kind of races the best way to start with this new challenge, in Belmopan."

Chicken manure
Hundreds of pounds of good quality manure available immediately! Call Brigitte in Unitedville on 633.2444

Belize City hospital coordinates with US military for New Horizons
Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has played a crucial role in the New Horizons Belize 2014 surgical readiness training exercises, or SURGRETEs, conducted in Belize City, Belize. By providing not only the physical space to conduct surgeries, but also overseeing the patient selection process for those surgeries, KHMH staff members has helped ensure patient surgeries were prioritized for U.S. Air Force urological and gynecological surgery teams. "The [Belize] Ministry of Health had been the main engineer for us to have this kind of conversation," said Dr. Adrian Coye, KHMH director of medical services and chief of cardiothoracic surgery, about the opportunity to host New Horizons. "Talking with my different services, we came to the conclusion that these two areas were in the greater focus and where a certain need was. ... Those were the gaps that I had identified within our services. "

4th MAW instrumental to New Horizons
Scores of U.S. Marine Corps engineers traveled to Belize starting in April for New Horizons Belize 2014, a multinational exercise providing training opportunities for the host nation, as well as Canadian and U.S. military members, in the fields of civil engineering and medical care. Typically scattered throughout the U.S. with their respective units, Marines from different Marine Wing Support Squadrons came together in Belize as they constructed additions for Belizean schools. "A total of 120 Marines are scheduled to come through by the end of the exercise," said U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Patrick Robb, officer in charge of New Horizons Marine Corps engineers. "Each of the Marine Wing Support Squadrons is broken into detachments and some of them are as far apart as California and Massachusetts." The 4th Marine Aircraft Wing encompasses Marine Aircraft Groups 41 and 49. And subordinate to the MAGs are the various Marine Wing Support Squadrons with Marines currently supporting New Horizons: MWSS 471, MWSS 472 and MWSS 473.

San Pedro Blood Drive
Sponsored by Washington University of Health and Science Medical School/San Pedro Red Cross/Belize Blood Bank Time: 10am – 4pm Date: Saturday, June 7, 2014 Place: Washington University of Health & Science Medical School (Across from SAGA Humane Society and in front of Pedro’s Inn) Give Blood, if you can’t give Blood, make a donation, if you can’t give money, donate non-perishable food. Refreshments will be provided. For questions contact: antonyanderson@hotmail.com or tarahendrickson@yahoo.com *No appointment necessary

Unprecedented demonstration for right to participation called by civil organizations in Belize
An important demonstration is being called by the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA pronounced ‘Big Ᾱ’) and other organizations for Saturday at the Battlefield Park in Belize City, Belize. The rally follows the filing of an interim injunction by the government of Belize against BGYEA that threatens to imprison, fine or take away assets from members of the group if they proceed with a plan to plant corn in the buffer zone of their community, known as Harmonyville, as part of an initiative to provide for infrastructural development for the community. The rally is entitled the ‘Plant Di Corn’ rally and its stated purpose is to act as a reminder that “all Belizeans share the right and the responsibility to sow the seeds of national development”.

Toledo DAVCO Pledges Support to Government of Belize
This morning Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow met with the Executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) to discuss oil exploration in the south. The association expressed their full support for the endeavor, citing its benefits to education, health and infrastructure in the Toledo District. Furthermore, all parties agreed that moving forward, communities will be engaged in a series of consultations to inform community residents and garner support.

Dangriga: It's time to cleanup the beach!!!
In honor or World Oceans Day and National Oceans Month, The U.S. Embassy is partnering with the Dangriga Town Council, the students enrolled in the Community Policing Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T) program, and the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) Belize to bring together over 100 volunteers to clean up the beach area in Dangriga near Y-Not Island, and collect all plastic and glass materials for recycling next Monday. During the campaign both the U.S. Charge d’Affaires Margaret Hawthorne and Mayor of Dangriga Gilbert Swaso will participate and encourage the community effort.

Channel 7

Ecuador's Most Wanted A Free Man In Belize
He's listed among Ecuador's most wanted, but Floyd Wendel Ebanks is out on bail tonight after his attorney managed to secure Supreme Court bail for him today. Ebanks' attorney, Senior Counsel Ellis Arnold, applied for bail before Justice Troadio Gonzalez today, and the approval was almost automatic. Crown Counsel Leroy Banner did not object, and so Justice Gonzalez granted bail of $8,000 dollars. The conditions of the bail are that Ebanks has to surrender all travel documents, periodically report to the nearest police station, and he must not interfere with any prosecution witness. He returns to Magistrate's Court for the unlicensed firearm on July 21. Ebanks was most recently listed as Ecuador's most wanted in 2011, when he was wanted for murder in the Guayas province of Ecuador. He's been living in Belize four the past three to four years where he is a citizen. He was below the law enforcement radar until mid-May when police got tipped that he had an unlicensed firearm in his house. He was remanded for that but is now out on bail because he is not wanted for murder in Belize. Ecuador has reportedly expressed an interest in have him returned to that country, but there is no extradition treaty, and he is Belizean, so…it's complicated.

5 More Cavetubing.com Employees Charged
Five employees from Yhonny Rosado's company, Cavetubing.com are facing criminal charges tonight. Investigators have charged them for dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm on Vitalino Reyes Jr, who remains in a coma. The five join another employee, Leon Gentle who was charged on Tuesday. So, despite denials that they had anything to do with the Reyes beat down, six of Rosado's employees have now been charged for it. Outside court today, their attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd expressed her displeasure with the way things have progressed:.. Audrey Matura Shepherd, attorney "Those maintained yes they were at that bar but they never touched that person. The second thing with that however is that I really have an issue with how police dealt with this case because yesterday I sat with sergeant Milan who is responsible for this case and he had ask if my clients would do an ID parade and I explain to them no and why. These gentlemen were at the bar that night, 4 police officers arrived, did on the spot interview to determine who was by the guy and who wasn't. These guys were cleared totally.

Four Cops Charged For Shooting 19 Year Old
Tonight, 4 officers from the San Ignacio Police Station are awaiting arraignment after they were criminally charged for shooting 19 year-old Unitedville Resident, Elston Arnold. Those officers are 31 year-old Constable Jesus Marroquin, 24 year old Constable Maxwell Valerio, 33 year-old Corporal Ricky Valencia, and 29 year-old Special Constable Ernesto Budna. And while four stand charged, the man who police believe was the shooter is Constable Marroquin. The police have come down hardest on him, and he was charged separately with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding. Additionally, he was charged jointly with the other 3 officers for the charge of harm. And finally, Marroquin and Valencia were internally charged with 1 count each of a disciplinary charge. Their deputy commander, Inspector Reymundo Reyes, has been compiling the case against them, and today he spoke with us about how these charges came about: Inspector Reymundo Reyes - Deputy OC "The officers were placed on identification parade. Two of them were identified, then we had to gone through the process of doing a group ID parade. As a result of the results of the identification parade the information was sent to the office of the director of public persecution where we were given the go ahead to proceed and charge all 4 officers for the crime of harm and PC Marroquin was additionally charge for attempt murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding."

NTUCB Ups The Ante On GOB
Last night we told you about the "Rod of Correction" movement - a coalition of all the social partners, unions and pressure groups who came together yesterday to bring pressure to the Barrow administration. Their first public engagement is tomorrow when they will join the BGYEA "Plant Di Corn" Protest at the Battlefield Park in Belize City. Today, in advance of the that, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize sent out a strong statement saying the protest is, quote, "intended to sound the warning that this National Trade Union Congress cannot sit idly by and watch the executive arm of government utilize the judicial machinery to subvert a process they do not agree with." The Congress has sent out the call to all its affiliates to join in tomorrow's protest. The NTUCB also issued a statement on the Elvin Penner criminal case - the private prosecution of which is stalled because of a lack of evidence.

Employee Stole Major $$$ From Mike Feinstein Group
Tonight, Marsha Gillett, a resident of West Landivar in Belize City, is out on bail after she was taken to court for allegedly stealing from Mike Feinsten's company while she was an employee there. Gillett was arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart late this evening for 85 counts of theft, and the court had to adjourn for a short break after she burst into tears while her charges were being read to her. The allegations against her are that between April 2012 and December 2013, she was working for the Feinstein Group of Companies, and during that time, she stole over $30,000 dollars. No plea was taken because the charges will be treated as indictable offences, and she was granted bail of $9,000, which she was able to meet. She returns to court at a later date.

Guys From Gang Neighborhoods Hired To Pour Cement For New Bridge
One of the most ambitious projects currently underway in Belize City is the Chetumal Street Bridge. At 5 million dollars, it will span the Belize River between Belama Phase one and Lake Independence - and provide a major release for traffic congestion in the city. The project is well underway and is expected to be finished by the end of the year - and a big part of that is the manual labour that is being used on the project. 9 months ago, we showed you how scores of men from different city gangs were preparing the base fill for the road to the bridge by hand. Well today, 60 of them were pouring cement for the bridge. Monica Bodden stopped in:.. Monica Bodden reporting The first big cement pour took place today for the Lake I bridge which will be linking North and Southside's of Belize City.

Deon Bruce Denied At Supreme Court
Belizean Deon Bruce, who is facing extradition to the United States for murder and attempted murder was rejected by the Supreme Court today. His attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd was seeking judicial review of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith's ruling that he should be extradited, and also making what's called a Habeas Corpus application. For two days, she argued mightily before Justice Courtney Abel but in the end, all of the eight points she advanced were shot down. She discussed it with the media outside the courtroom today:.. Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney "Every point we made, we fought for them but it was ruled against us; however, that's not the end of it. I've just received instructions from my client that he wants to appeal the decision and therefore going to submit a stay of execution of the order and submit appeals and we are looking at other options, not only in terms of his case but he is looking at other principles of law that we've discussed that we need to challenge in the courts and I think that as more and more Belizeans will be sought for extradition, ...

Seasoned Swindler Back At Court
He's been well publicized as a land swindler and con man, but Corozal Resident Elroy Bastarachea continues to prey on people desperate to get a piece of land. Tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison after he was taken to court for once again receiving money for bogus land transactions. 31 year-old Grisel Botes, a resident of Libertad, reported to Corozal Police that between April 3 and June 3, she paid Elroy a total of $23,875. Botes said that she trusted that he was selling her land in San Pedro, the Belize District, and the Cayo District, because he was her friend from Patchakan Village for the past 10 years. She says that instead of getting those lands for her, he jilted her and stole the money. She found out because he told her that he would have been able to get the land papers from the Lands Department, where he claimed he was employed. She says that she's not gotten any land papers.

BDF Cracked Down On Guatemalan Invaders
"Incisive Gallop," it may sound like the name of one of those horses that's running at the Belmont Park Race Track in New York tomorrow, but it's actually the name a of a joint law enforcement operation which was conducted in the Chiquibul Forest in the last week of May. It focused on repeated areas of incursion along the border, namely, Cebada, Sapote and Valentin Camp - which is just west of the Caracol Archeological site. The BDF discovered and destroyed a total of 25 fields of illegal crops being grown by Guatemalans on Belizean territory. 15 of those fields, (approximately 29 acres) were of pumpkin, 6 fields (approximately 90 acres) of corn, 2 fields (approximately 10 acres) of beans, and 2 fields (approximately 6 acres) containing sweet potatoes, cassava, plantain, and bananas. Several recent clearings along the border were also discovered and recorded. A release from the BDF says, that there is now quote, "a substantial reduction of illicit activities in this area which over the past decade have become known to be very active."

Youngest National Spelling Bee Champion ever
Today, the top spellers at the primary school level converged at the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout for the 20th Annual National Spelling Bee. After 3 hours of competition, 3 students emerged as the best of the 12 finalists. Today's champion was Shanalene Gayap of Solid Rock Academy. She;'s only ten years old, but she knew how to spell "Beau" - as in boyfriend, and "coucal" - a kind of bird. She's the youngest winner ever and she told us how she earned her spelling mastery: Shanalene Gayap "I feel very good and I give all the credit to the good Lord." Duane Moody, Ch5 "Was it hard for you competing? Tell us about the effort you put into it to make sure that you come out on top." Shanalene Gayap "I put much effort thanks to my friends and to the school and I thank everybody for helping me and also it was kind of a challenge to make it this far and I thank the lord for everything."

GOB Turns to DAVCO For Oil Support
SATIIM is sabre-rattling about its contentious relations with US Capital Energy, but the Prime Minister if trying to shore up support among village leaders. A few weeks ago, he met with leaders from villages in the buffer communities, and today at the Cabinet room in Belmopan, he met with the Executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils to discuss oil exploration in the south. According to a government release, the association expressed its full support. The release adds that that going forward, communities will be engaged in consultations to inform community residents and garner support. Ministers Joy Grant and Lisel Alamilla also attended.

A Summer Camp For "Turntablism"
There are all kinds of summer camps on the event horizon for idle children and fed up parents, but one of them is truly a first of its kind. DJ Lindy - D wanted to give back to the community - and he figured out that the best way he could do that is by teaching what he knows best. So he set up a summer youth DJ Camp. It starts on June 23rd., but he wants to get kids enrolled, so he came to make his pitch:.. The Camp runs from June 23rd to August first and is for youths aged 12 - 19. The cost is fifty dollars and forms can be picked up at the Bliss center.

Tonight's I AM Belize Profile features Yolanda Martinez, an inspirational teacher from Ladyville Technical High School. Like quite a few of her colleagues, she was looking at another profession - in her case, it was nursing - but instead she fell in love with teaching after trying it out. Martinez tells the profile that defining moment in her career was when she started working with students from Excelsior High School:

Starting Study On Nutrition
A study released by Unicef has shown some alarming trends in child nutrition. It's called the MICS, a survey of the heights and weights of all children under the age of five years old. It found that under-weight children - indicating malnourishment were highest in the Stann Creek District. Maya Children had the highest rate of being underweight at 8%, followed closely by Garifuna Children. We'll have more on this study next week.

BES Girls Are Best
The Belize Elementary School Girls won their second National Championship in Volleyball at the Bird's Isle this evening. They managed to defeat Stann Creek's Holy Angels in 2 sets of 25 to 13, and 28 to 16. Allyanna Musa was chosen as the most valuable female player. In the male tournament, Orange Walk's Chan Pine Ridge Government School boys won the championship defeating Cayo's Howard Smith Nazarene boys. Howard Smith took the first set by winning 25 to 14. Chan Pine Ridge quickly recovered and won the final 2 sets with a score of 25 to 20 and 15 to 12. Naim Reyes was chosen as most valuable male player.

Is That A Factory?
Recently, we've gotten a lot of questions form viewers asking us about the industrial operations that's under construction on the western highway. If you've passed Ontario Village on the Western Highway recently, you might have seen it. We stopped and found out that it is a milling factory for corn and beans owned by a company called Cayo Grain. Right now, it's still in the process of assembly.

Channel 5

Supreme Court upholds Deon Bruce extradition
The legal battle for the liberty of Deon Bruce, wanted by U.S. authorities for murder and other related offences, is set for another round of challenge, following a decision by [...]

4 police officers charged in connection with the shooting of Unitedville youth
Four cops have been charged in connection with the shooting of a Unitedville youth. The officers: police constables Maxwell Valerio and Jesus Marroquin and Special Constable Ernesto Budna, as well [...]

Bruce Valencia says QRT officers have been victimized
As the officers stood inside Columbus Park in front of the police station, they, as well as their relatives, were irate about the actions taken against them. The officers together [...]

5 more employees of Yhony Rosado charged for assault on Vitalino Reyes Jr.
On Wednesday, Belize City police arrested and detained a group of tour guides employed by businessman Yhony Rosado, in connection with a violent assault which landed twenty-three-year-old Vitalino Reyes Jr. [...]

Operation Incisive Gallop; B.D.F. destroy illegal vegetable farms in Chiquibul
In April, Belize Defence Force personnel were called off operations in Belize City. The rationale was that border patrols would be beefed up to detect and counter illicit incursions. Today, [...]

DAVCO supports G.O.B. and oil exploration in the south
Oil exploration in the south remains a contentious issue, as parties for and against exploratory works within the Sarstoon Temash National Parks have strongly voiced their opinions on the matter.  [...]

Incest: 16 year old 8 months pregnant by her father
A sixteen-year-old Belizean domestic of Aguacate Village, Toledo District visited the station in the company of her sister and reported that sometime in the month of September, 2013, her father [...]

Christian Ebanks, wanted for murder in Ecuador, freed on bail
  Belizean Christian Ebanks, also known as Floyd Ebanks Jurado, was granted bail in the Supreme Court this morning before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. He had been remanded for keeping an [...]

Couple accused in immigration hustle denied bail
Marleny Elizabeth Castellanos and Alfredo Orlando Gonzalez, the alleged masterminds behind an illegal immigration hustle, were denied bail in the Supreme Court this morning. They were charged on May thirteenth, [...]

Belize City woman accused of stealing thousands of dollars from former employer
Belize City resident Marcia Marie Gillett was today slapped with eighty-five counts of theft before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. She is accused of misappropriating thousands of dollars from her former [...]

MCC Field closed for much needed upgrade
The MCC Grounds is closed, and it will remain closed for at least the next two months. Now the MCC is the only somewhat adequate football facility in the city, [...]

10 year old is the top speller in Coca Cola National Spelling Bee
Primary school students from across the country converged on the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout today where the twentieth annual Coca Cola National Spelling Bee competition was hosted.  A total [...]

Louisiana Government School in Orange Walk wins banner competition
The theme for the 2014 Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee is “Go for the Goal!” and annually a banner and poster competition is held simultaneously during the finals. 2012 winners from [...]

The winners of the High School Talent Competition of the 2014 Festival of Arts
On Thursday evening, the Bliss was the venue for an intense secondary school competition in the performing arts.  The challenge is part of the National Festival of Arts.  When it [...]


Visiting American Charged For Coral Damages
Visiting American tourists, David and Michelle Freund have found themselves in quite a predicament while vacationing in Belize. The couple have been detained in Belize for the last two weeks indefinitely. David is faced with “Civil Charges” related to a coral-damaging incident, while sailing, which occurred only two days into their vacation in Belize in May. A blog dedicated as a platform to tell their story alleges that ‘most of the damage was done by Moorings (the boat rental company) when they were improperly towing them off the coral in an aggressive manner in order to conceal their unethical practices of renting to uncertified tourists, failing to provide the renters with proper navigational information and additional safety equipment, and their failure to report the initial incident to the Belize Port Authorities.


Health and Safety Standards For Xunantunich
A ceremony highlighting the signing of health and safety standards at the Xunantunich Archaeological Site in the Cayo District took place on the grounds of the Mayan ruin on Thursday. The document outlining the health and safety standards to be adopted and implemented by the Institute of Archaeology was drafted as part of the project dubbed, Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites. According the George Thompson, the Associate Director of Parks Management, the adaptation of these health and safety regulations seeks to improve the tourism experience in Belize. GEORGE THOMPSON Associate Director Parks Management “Today marks a special day as we take one more significant step in improving the quality of service at our archaeological and tourism destinations. It brings me great pleasure to see us taking significant steps towards our mission which first and foremost is protection and preservation. It is only by ensuring that these communities feel that they are a part of what we’re doing and what we’re managing that they will ultimately have the buy-in that is necessary to move protection and preservation to another level. Today we seek not only to have exceptionally beautiful well managed archaeological parks, as is evident here at Xunantunich; it is really a beautiful environment.


Four San Ignacio Police Officers Charged with Harm
Four officers attached to the San Ignacio Police Station have been implicated after it was reported that they used unlawful means of force upon a teenager. According to reports made by 19 year old Elston Arnold, on Monday May 26th, he and a few friends were returning from a...

Deon Bruce Loses Extradition Case
This afternoon, Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel declined to issue a writ of ha-beas cor-pus and upheld the decision of Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith issued in January to extradite 28 year old Deon Bruce to Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., to face trial of charges of murder and attempted murder for a fatal...

Five Cave Tubing Workers to be Charged in Reyes Attack
At news time, five employees of Yohnny Rosado’s business, Cavetubing.com (Butts Up) have been formally charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. This is in connection with last Thursday’s brutal attack on 23 year old rival tour guide Vitalino Reyes, Jr., who continues to recover...

Meeting for Bagasse Continues in Orange Walk
A meeting was held in Orange Walk today between representatives of  the Cane Farmers and American Sugar Refinery’s BSI team. The negotiations lasted some three hours but when Alfredo Ortega, exited the meeting he declared an impasse in negotiations. Ortega told the media on hand that his team needs...

Ebanks is Granted Bail While Castellanos and Marcos Must Wait
Three weeks ago Christian Ebanks, a naturalized Belizean businessman of the West Landivar area, was picked up at home and charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Gang Suppression Unit officers searched his residence on Teacher Street on May 14 and found a chrome 9mm handgun...

Chinese Bar Owner Charged for Hiring Undocumented Workers
Zhaohang Huang, a 50 year old naturalized Belizean-Chinese businessman, pleaded guilty today to five counts of employing persons not in possession of a valid temporary workers’ permit. He was charged in the same raid that netted two other bar owners on Wednesday night, June 4. In his case, officers...

Belmopan Citco Police and Clean Walkways to Reduce Crime
High level of criminal activities, primarily theft and robberies, occur on some of the pathways that run through the main City of Belmopan. The latest of these incidents occurred on Tuesday of this week where a 17 year old minor stole a woman’s purse as she made her way...

Toledo DAVCO Pledges Support to Government of Belize
A Government Press Release issued late this evening states that this morning Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow met with the Executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) to discuss oil exploration in the south. Both Hon Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public...

Belize Attends 44TH Regular Session of the OAS
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, headed Belize’s delegation to the 44th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Asuncion, Paraguay on June 3rd thru the 5th under the theme “Development with Social Inclusion”. In the Declaration...

Joint Law Enforcement Operation Conducted in Chiquibul
The joint law enforcement operation conducted in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve between the period of May 23 to May 30th lead to the destruction of approximately 135 acres of cultivated crops. According to a press release issued by the Belize Defence Force this morning, the purpose of the operation...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Fitness expert Luna Novelo Ellis to host fitness bootcamp
FREE Bootcamp with Luna & Samantha! We will be getting our sweat on during a full body beach workout Saturday, Aug 9 and we want you to join us!! It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert – all fitness levels are welcome! ***Must sign-up by June 27th*** Date: Saturday, August 9th. Time: 9 a.m. Location: Beach at Palapa Gardens Admission: FREE! ***SIGN-UP REQUIRED TO ATTEND!!! Please sign-up with Shary Trejo at The Island Link Internet Cafe. If for any reason you are unable to go and sign-up please send me a private message and I would be happy to help you.

#492003 - 06/07/14 07:01 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 7, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here


“Plant di corn!” rally
This Saturday, June 7, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) will hold what they call a “Plant di Corn rally” from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Battlefield Park in Belize City to garner support from the wider public in their efforts to pursue a proposed agricultural project at the Harmonyville community which has recently been blockaded by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. The organization is calling for support from other local activist organizations, concerned citizens, the business community and the public at large in the face of a court injunction which was sought by the Government of Belize (GOB) late last month to prohibit the representatives of BGYEA from carrying out any agriculture-related activities in the 29-acre Harmonyville Buffer Zone that separates the community from the George Price Highway. This morning Amandala spoke with BGYEA’s president, Nigel Petillo, and he told us about the purpose of the rally and why citizens need to come out in full force.

Deejay charged for having sex with child, 14
A Belize City deejay was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this afternoon after he was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court on a single count of unlawful sexual intercourse – an offense previously known as “unlawful carnal knowledge” of a girl who is above the age of 14, but below the age of 16. After reading the charge to Elvis Sutherland, 24, who appeared unrepresented, Magistrate Dale Cayetano explained to him that his court could not grant him bail for the offense with which he is charged before a 90-day period has elapsed. He has to apply for bail to the Supreme Court through an attorney. Cayetano also explained to him that no plea would be taken from him, because his case will be heard in the Supreme Court on indictment. After those basic rules were established, Cayetano remanded Sutherland to prison until his next court date on August 6, 2014.

“Rod of Correction” formed to “lash” an uncaring administration
In what has been described as a historic moment for present-day Belize, a merger of trade unions, civil society organizations and activist groups teamed up to create a new movement known as the “Rod of Correction” (ROC) – geared towards fighting the current United Democratic Party (UDP) administration, which has been perceived by the factions as being out of touch with the Belizean people, and contemptuous of their needs. The ROC was launched today at the office of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) in Belize City, but was preceded by a solemn joint bulletin which was published last Friday, May 30, proclaiming that “Cabinet seems to have reached a new height of arrogance, or believed to have taken on supreme and demonic powers like unto demagogues.” That bulletin – which headlined “Let freedom…ring…Our democracy on edge”, highlights six major issues that are points of contention for the group, and today, NTUCB President, Dylan Reneau shared these points of contention and explained why the organizations linked to unite and form an alliance to ensure that their voices are heeded on the various hot-button national issues with high stakes for the country.

Not a fetus, but “products of conception” – KHMH
After news broke last Friday, May 29, of the ghastly discovery of an abandoned, decaying fetus which was stashed under a bed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), the hospital’s authorities, in an attempt at damage control, initially refused to answer questions from the media. When questioned on Monday, June 2, KHMH authorities would only say that the matter was in the hands of the police. Yesterday evening, however, the KHMH finally broke its silence and stated that it was extending its “sincerest apologies” to those patients and members of the general public who have been negatively impacted by the recent discovery of what they termed as not a fetus, but rather “products of conception” in their Accident and Emergency Department.

Bar vexed with Barrow over Awich!
The Bar Association of Belize called a special meeting on Monday, June 2, at which members passed a resolution which suggested that there may be “an appearance of bias” on the part of Justice of Appeal, Samuel Awich, in his ruling on the constitutional challenge to the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). Justice Awich, 67, who retired from the Supreme Court bench, was appointed on a two-year contract to sit on the Court of Appeal. His contract expired around the time that his judgments on Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited were delivered by the President of the Court, Justice Manuel Sosa. The Bar resolution said in part that “…on the said 15th May, 2014, the Court of Appeal delivered a decision in an important constitutional case relating to the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited in which the lead decision for the majority in favor of the Government was written by Justice Awich, and on the 19th May 2014, the Prime Minister wrote to the Leader of the Opposition advising that he intended to propose that Justice Awich be appointed as a Judge of the Court of Appeal until he reaches the age of retirement [75].”

Puerto Azul on Belize cayes alarms leading local and int’l NGOs
International NGOs – the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), Oceana, and Healthy Reef for Healthy People – in conjunction with the regional MarAlliance and three local NGOs: the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), The Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO), and the Belize Audubon Society, have issued a joint statement calling on the Government of Belize to make an official statement on the status of the proposed multi-million-dollar, mega-tourism project by Puerto Azul Belize Limited which the company wants to set up at the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, only 8 miles south of the majestic Belizean wonder – the Great Blue Hole. “Belize’s greatest asset is the pristine nature of its world class natural wonders. To place what can only be described as a theme park for billionaires in the middle of Lighthouse Reef, perhaps the nation’s most valuable natural asset, is nothing less than a crime committed against our future generations,” the joint statement said. The NGOs express concerns over the fact that the area slated for the mega-tourism project, directed by Italians Domenico Giannini & Fabio Nicola La Rosa, is environmentally sensitive in several ways.

This newspaper unconditionally supports BGYEA’s Saturday morning rally in Battlefield Park. A very few of you may not know what is BGYEA and what is Battlefield Park. BGYEA (Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association) is some roots Belizean citizens trying to put food crops and plants in the ground. Battlefield Park is the historic protest site for the city and nation of Belize. It took a long time for the masses of the Belizean people to realize that we were actually losing our country, similarly to how the Palestinians lost theirs after World War II. Israel serves an important purpose for the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which is the military arm of the US and the European Union (EU). Israel is a powerful military surrogate for the US and NATO which looks over the critical oil fields of the Middle East. The United States and the European Union desperately need the Middle East oil fields for their economies to survive and grow, but the American and European problem was that these Middle East oil countries were often Arab and often Islamic. Israel is an anti-Arab and anti-Islamic bully boy, a nuclear one at that, for the US and the EU. That is why the Palestinians had to lose their country. And that is why the Palestinians are now a people without a state.

Reports from Corozal are that Delmar Sutherland, a championship semipro football goalkeeper during the 1990s, is seriously ill. This is a sad state of affairs. Delmar is a fine gentleman, and in September of 1993 he helped to prevent serious violence in and around the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. In 1993 Mayflower Street was already one of the toughest streets on Southside Belize City, but football was still competing with gang life for the attention of the young boys and young men on the street. One Saturday afternoon in July of 1992, a Mayflower-based team, the Kremandala Warriors, sponsored by our business organization, won the second division football championship in Belize City. The following night, the Kremandala Raiders lost to Penta Lakers in the inaugural semi-pro basketball championship. The inaugural semi-pro basketball season in 1992 had been a big success under Commissioner Gus Perera, while the Commissioner of semi-pro football, the late Telford Vernon, had run two successful tournaments, in 1991 and 1992. Amidst the general optimism surrounding semi-pro sports at the time, Kremandala decided to purchase a semi-pro football franchise for the Kremandala Warriors. This was a business decision, but it was more a community interest decision, because several of the young Warrior players had grown up working part time at our newspaper.

Drastic dropout rates at GOB high schools trigger merger
Against the backdrop of alarming dropout and repetition rates at certain Southside government high schools in Belize City, the Ministry of Education today confirmed reports that as early as this September, it intends to implement a sweeping reform at three government high schools which it says is intended to turn back the tide that has seen hundreds of young people fall by the wayside since 2009. That reform, though, may mean that some educators will be displaced, as the plan calls for a merger of programs currently offered by Sadie Vernon High School – the most beleaguered of the three, having seen its enrollment drop by nearly half and its number of classrooms reduced to a mere 6, amid public allegations of mismanagement; Maud Williams High School, which has seen a sudden shift from a steadily growing population to a sharp 23% decline in 2013; and Excelsior High School, which saw a 34% decline in enrollment between 2009 and 2010, but whose population had more or less stabilized at about 100 over the past three years.

Milestone photographic exhibit features trailblazing women
Dance director Althea Sealy, software innovator Tiffany Simpson, businesswoman Marie Sharp, author and poet Corinth Morter-Lewis, bank manager Sandra Bedran, Belize’s “first lady of comedy” — Beverly Smith-Lopez, Belize Cancer Society founder Juliet Soberanis, the country’s first female judge — Michelle Arana, and the organizer of the first village council – Cleopatra White, are among the women who are featured in Milestone, a photographic exhibit and commemorative “newspaper” which tell the stories of some leading Belizean women who have spent their lives “making a difference” in their communities across Belize. Briheda Haylock is the talented artist who put together the exhibit which highlights these accomplished women. Twelve of the twenty-two women nominated for the photographic highlight have their pictures displayed at the House of Culture in Belize City. Haylock told us that she was contacted by the Special Envoy’s office and commissioned by them to undertake the project.

Placencia villagers plant mangroves in memory of environmentalist
Mangroves exist to protect the coastline from natural occurrences such as floods and hurricanes, but since they are usually chopped down and thrust aside to give way to expensive seashore development projects nowadays, more than forty volunteers gathered in the Crimson Development community area of Placencia last Friday, May 30 to participate in a mangrove planting activities organized in memory of an environmentalist, Adrian Vernon. Amandala understands that approximately 400 seedlings were planted by members of the Vernon family, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Southern Environmental Association (SEA), Oceana, the Placencia Village Council, the Placencia Citizens for Sustainable Development, the Placencia Fishermen’s Cooperative, Friends of the Placencia Lagoon, and the Coco Plum Resort and Residential Development.

Moratorium on “buffer,” Mr. Minister?
Slavery was abolished in British Honduras, as in other British colonies, in 1838. (The trans-Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in 1834.) 1838, … 1938. I was born in 1953. In 1973, an elderly “Able Creole” man (very dark skinned) told me that his great grandmother told him, when he was a little boy, that she used to be a slave in her very young days in Belize town. (That was before the whole country’s name was changed to “Belize.”) From logwood to mahogany, it was all about labor in the logging camps and at BEC sawmill. From “free” slave labor to cheap labor in the “free market capitalist system of parliamentary democracy.” “I owe my soul to the company store.” There are old time stories of grown men, who owed the “camissary,” and failed to show up for the start of the new season of work at the logging camp, who were physically accosted, detained, delivered a number of lashes with a whip, and taken to camp to fulfill their work obligations, for which they had signed with their “X”, since they couldn’t read or write.

We reap what we sow…BGYEA TO SOW CORN
“If we plant corn, we will reap corn; if we plant deceit we will reap enemies; if we plant abuse of power we will reap resistance; if we plant oppression, we will reap a revolution.” June 3, 2014 (Audrey Matura-Shepherd) I am the daughter of farmers. My father was a large sugar cane grower and to date my mother refuses to give up her cane field even after sugar prices plummeted. Planting is in our blood because when you plant you are bound to get a crop of what you planted. A mango seed does not bear coconut, nor does a plum seed bear apples. It is no coincidence that one of Jesus’ most famous parables is “The Parable of the Sower” (MATTHEW 13), because he planted many figurative seeds in the lives of many even to date. So planting, in both the agricultural sense and figurative sense, is important because it denotes life, hope, productivity, positivity, abundance, and makes one feel they are making something good happen. I don’t have a farm to plant but the few vegetables and garden plants I do plant make me appreciate the value of what the soil can produce when humans act in harmony with it.

Country’s energy supply will be stretched by 2016
Belize’s energy demand is growing, and within just a few years, in-country supplies will be strained if new sources of power are not added to the national grid. Last October, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities jointly launched a call for bids to supply 75 megawatts of power to the national grid over the next 10 years. At the headquarters of the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) on Wednesday morning, John Avery, the PUC’s chairman, publicly read bids submitted by 22 entities with both foreign and local interests, which want to produce power and sell to the national distributor, BEL, a government-owned utility. Avery said that most of the bids were surprisingly good proposals, although some seemed too ambitious. The prices proposed range from US9 cents to US21.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, he said.

Immigration sting operation nabs three bar owners
In making their rounds at various city recreation spots, the Immigration Department nabbed three bar owners who had employed persons without valid temporary work permits. The three accused were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court late this afternoon. Abdon Cal, 42, the owner of Island Berries Bar, located on Barracks Road, was booked with two counts of employing persons not in possession of valid temporary work permits. According to Immigration officers, Cal employed two Honduran nationals, identified as Martha Rodriguez Lopez and Amanda Amaya. Mara Mejia, 42, the owner of La Catracha Bar, located on Coney Drive, was charged with three counts of the same offense. Mejia hired Honduran nationals Doris Margarita Perez Navarro, Carla Castro and Esmin Laura Aguliar.

Accident on Mapp and Cran Streets leaves victim’s leg in bad shape
Emeth Fortune, 23, an employee of the JEC Company on Youth for the Future Drive, is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a serious condition after he was knocked off his motorcycle and the vehicle rolled over his foot in a collision that occurred at the junction of Cran and Mapp Streets at about 11:30 this morning. Fortune was travelling down Cran Street and made a left turn into Mapp Street when he was hit by an SUV, which was travelling down Mapp Street towards Freetown Road. As a result Fortune’s foot was crushed and his left femur, which was broken, was protruding out of the skin, and the dislocated ankle was dangling, among other injuries. A neighbor told Amandala that she was in her house when she heard a loud noise and looked out, and saw a man lying on the ground. His motorcycle was beside him, and a white SUV was parked nearby. She noted that his right leg was badly damaged and the bone was out of place. The ambulance came later and took him away.

Bagasse talks to continue on Friday
Since the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) / American Sugar Refining (ASR) and representatives of the local sugar cane farmers met more than 2 months ago, on March 28, to continue negotiations on a quantum payment for bagasse, there has been a lull in bagasse talks – that is, until this Friday, June 6, when both parties, along with the Sugar Industry Control Board, acting as mediator, should resume consultations. According to Alfredo Ortega, Vice Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), BSI is currently offering the cañeros 51 cents per ton of bagasse compared to the farmers’ initial request for $10 a ton; however, they (the cane farmers) believe that they should be able to get more for their bagasse, especially since experts have advised them that their price should be in the vicinity of $4 per ton, as a base. Ortega contended that all the farmers want at the end of the day is a fair payment for BSI’s use of their bagasse, and nothing more than that. In the meanwhile, the 2013/2014 sugar crop season will soon come to an end, and in fact, reports from up north are that it is being contemplated to take place at the end of this month, if not sooner, depending on the cooperation of the weather.

Accused British sex offender on trial down south
David Taylor, 42, a British national who was accused of committing an unnatural crime – having sex with an underage boy in Placencia in December of 2012 – appeared in the Independence Magistrate’s Court today; however, indications are that Taylor may soon beat the charge, since the prosecution was still not ready to provide full disclosure for the case to proceed. As a result, Taylor’s lawyer, Ellis Arnold, asked Magistrate Americia de Moya to strike out the case due to the length of time since the initial arrest and charge, and the fact that still no disclosure has been made by the prosecution. In its defense, the prosecution stated that the file is with the Director of Public Prosecution’s office, and that it was just submitted to them (the DPP’s office) a month ago.

Belizean Consulate
By way of introduction, we preview Mr. Yorke’s article with portions of an email received by our sports desk today from Belize boxing announcer Leonard Ysaguirre, who made the article available to us. Ysaguirre: As you know, James Adderley and myself have been involved in a marginal fashion in reviving boxing in Belize. An offshoot of this involvement is a relationship formed with Mr. Roland Yorke, the Belizean Consulate to Los Angeles, who himself is an avid boxing fan. He is enthused with the effort being made here in Belize and has supported by securing donations for equipment which he is shipping to Belize. I will provide a list of these equipment and a date for their consignment to Smart and Lions Den boxing gyms. More immediately, Mr. Yorke would like to have an article (attached) published which he wrote on Rudolph Bent. Bent and Ludrick Lightburn were probably Belize‘s most accomplished fighters. This article was prompted by the announcement of the demise of Jimmy Ellis, a former Muhammad Ali contender. Bent fought Ellis, Robinson and several high ranking international boxers of varying weight classes.

TIDE Junior
In the only game played on Monday, June 2, at the Toledo Union Field in the TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup, St. Peter Claver Boys dropped Seventh Day Adventist Boys, 3-1, with goals from Andres Miranda (29’), Thomas Garbutt (35’) and Andre Vernon (38’); while Joash Ramirez (20’) scored for Seventh Day Adventist Boys. The other scheduled game was a no-show for Seventh Day Adventist Girls, who lost by default to St. Peter Claver Girls. On Tuesday afternoon, June 3, two games were played at Columbia Field and one at Golden Stream Field. In game 1 at Columbia Field, San Pedro Columbia Boys blanked Forest Home Methodist Boys, 3-0, with goals from Gabriel Che (5’), Ramon Tesecum (20’) and Gilbert Chiac (29’); and in game 2, San Pedro Columbia Girls won by the same score, 3-0, over Forest Home Methodist Girls, with goals from Jocelyn Coh (13’ & 25’) and Kaisy Thimbrel (28’). In the only game at Golden Stream Field, Indian Creek Boys played to a 2-2 draw with Golden Stream Boys. Andres Rash (5’ & 35’) struck twice for Indian Creek, while Darren Cal (11’ & 32’) did the same for Golden Stream.

Dangriga sports stats
We apologize for an error in our previous report, where Joslyn Chavarria was named as the first rider to cross the finish line in the 7th Annual Benguche Day Cycling Classic which took place on Sunday, May 25. Actually, Joslyn placed fifth. The correct list of top finishers follows: 1st place went to Wilson Assencio; 2nd was Edmund Camal; 3rd Shawn Cod; 4th Rizden Flowers; and 5th Joslyn Chavarria. Once again, our apologies for the mistake. More cycling in ‘Griga The Dangriga Amateur Cycling Association will continue its monthly race next week Sunday, June 15, which will be the Fathers’ Day Cycling Classic. This race will start (and finish) from in front of Wadani Shed at 10:30 a.m. on June 15 and head all the way to Hopkins junction and back. First place receives $250.00; 2nd $150.00; 3rd $100.00; and 4th $50.00. Registration is only $5.00. For more information, riders who are also fathers can contact Moses Lopez at 625-4022 or Mr. T. at 662-3310.

It’s “Win or go home”
Last Friday night, there was not one, but two potential series-clinching game 2’s in the best-of-3 National Elite Basketball League playoff semifinals. The San Pedro Tigersharks were at the UB Gymnasium in Garden City Belmopan to take on the Belmopan Point Bandits, while the Cayo Western Ballaz were in Belize City to face the Belize City No Limit Soldiers at Bird’s Isle. The Tigersharks had a 1-0 series lead, as did the No Limit Soldiers. The No Limit Soldiers were looking to put an end to the series with a victory on Friday night, but with their season on the line, the Cayo Western Ballaz came out strong in the first half, as they led by as many as 13 points, and ended the half with a 39 to 27 advantage. But The No Limit Soldiers would not go down without a fight, as they outscored the Western Ballaz 20 to 9 in the third quarter, to bring them within a point, 48-47, before the start of the fourth and final quarter.

Cricket corner
Well, over the weekend, nature did not permit games to be played in the Harrison Parks National Cricket Competition 2014. Hoping for better weather, these are the games scheduled for this weekend: On Saturday, June 7 – Western Eagles vs Excellence at Double Head; Wicked 11 vs Brilliant at Crooked Tree; and Brave Union vs Sunrise at Lords Bank. On Sunday, June 8 – Excellence vs Excelsior at St. Paul’s Bank; Brilliant vs Brave Union at Burrel Boom; and Wicked 11 vs Uprising at Isabella Bank.

SCFA and Dangriga
The Stann Creek Football Asssociation (SCFA) and Dangriga Girls & Boys Club U-15 Tournament, sponsored by Frank “Paapa” Mena, came to an end on Sunday, June 1, after two months of football action with the future footballers of Dangriga. The first afternoon match was for 3rd place, where DYFA went up against Wagiya. DYFA won, 4-1, with 3 goals from Gregory Ovado, Jr. and 1 by Myrick Marshall, Jr.; while the goal for Wagiya was by Warren Moss, Jr. In the championship match-up for 1st and 2nd place, featuring Umadagu vs Wagierale, the regular time ended, 3-3, with 2 goals from Jefton Apolonio and 1 from Gabriel Ramos for Umadagu, and 2 goals from Garrett Bowen and 1 from Latrell Middleton for Wagierale. Wagierale won, 5-4, in the penalty shoot-out. The final game was highly contested, and both teams played their hearts out.

The Reporter

Supreme court upholds Magistrate’s decision on extradition hearing
Deon Bruce, 28, lost another round of his fight against extradition when the Supreme Court upheld a decision of Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. Smith had granted a request by American authorities’ for Bruce. Justice Courtney Abel ruled that there was no merit to the allegations of bias by Smith in conducting pre-trial matters, nor was there procedural irregularity in considering evidence alleged not to have been properly introduced. Additionally, Justice Abel did not agree with Bruce’s claim that there was abuse of process when Smith allowed crown counsels from the Office of the Solicitor General rather than the Director of Public Prosecutions office to argue the case. He said that there were no arguments on these at trial hence the Chief Magistrate could not have considered them. Evidence provided Justice Abel stated, however, that Bruce’s strongest argument, presented by his attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, is that the evidence the U.S. authorities have furnished was insufficient to allow for Bruce’s extradition. All they have provided is the evidence of the only alleged eyewitness. The evidence presented would have been admissible in Belize except for the testimony of the case detective, Abel said, and in any event, it is not the province of the sitting judge or magistrate to weigh up evidence before a trial.

Toledo teen says father impregnated her
Toledo police are looking for a man after his teenage daughter reported that he had sexual relations with her and she is now pregnant for him. The 16-year-old of Aguacate Village, Toledo, went along with her sister to the Punta Gorda Police Station where she told investigators that her pregnancy is almost full term. She accused her father of committing the crime last September.

IMF in Barbados
Barbadian officials met on Thursday with a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as part of a monitoring program on fiscal measures which aim to restructure their government’s finances. The IMF representatives have met with that country’s Chamber of Commerce, Central Bank officials and private bankers. The IMF visit follows a previous statement that the island was suffering from a weak macroeconomic performance that began since 2008 and a 0.7 percent shrink of the economy.

Guatemala’s ex-police chief gets life
Erwin Sperisen, Guatemala’s ex-police chief is serving a life sentence in a Switzerland prison for the deaths of seven prisoners in 2006. Sperisen, 43, was found guilty of being involved in extra-judicial killings that were committed during a police raid on the El Pavon prison outside Guatemala City. His trial took place in Geneva because he could not be extradited since he holds Swiss citizenship. The case was held under a law that allows Swiss nationals to be tried in their own country for crimes committed abroad.

Chop victim dies, attacker charges to be upgraded
Chopping victim Giovanni Borland died on Friday and his attacker’s charges will be upgraded to murder. Borland died last Friday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital as a result of chop wounds he received to his head in an altercation at the Mil Amores Bar in Libertad on Sunday, May 11th. Joseph West, a 24-year-old Libertad resident, was initially charged with attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm following the incident. His charges will now be upgraded following Borland’s death.

Supreme Court allows Coye family access to accounts
Skeptical of the arguments made before her, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Young declined to continue a freezing order made against Melonie and Marlene Coye and their company Money Exchange International Limited. The ruling allows the Coyes to resume access to their various bank accounts as soon as the order is made available, even as the civil matter continues. She had previously continued the order on May 5, mere hours after fellow judge Shona Griffith lifted it, pending arguments for an interim injunction asked for by Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman on behalf of Panamanian company Internet Experts S.A., also doing business as Instadollar.

Trevor Vernon ends involvement with Castro case
Facing the possible selling off of his assets, Trevor Vernon appeared to back away from continuing his pursuit of Edmond Castro over alleged violations of the law, after paying the remainder of his court costs to Senior Counsel Denys Barrow. Vernon, a resident of Burrell Boom, saw his effort struck out by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, who ruled that the case was improperly founded. The Chief Justice ordered $5,000 in costs to be paid to Barrow, and Vernon met nearly half that – $2,489.50 – in two pillowcases full of shillings which he brought to Barrow’s office on Coney Drive last Tuesday. But on the strength of a writ of execution, court bailiffs and representatives of Barrow visited Vernon the day after and marked several appliances for sale, and ordered Vernon to pay the remainder of his costs by June 2.

Test results confirm crop destruction by herbicide
Samples sent abroad for testing have confirmed that vegetables in the Valley of Peace area, Cayo, that were destroyed in March were done by Roundup, a lethal herbicide. This week Jose Alpuche, chief executive officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, told The Reporter that the Ministry and the Department of Environment are looking specifically at strengthening the guidelines as they pertain to the application of chemicals to avoid a re-occurrence of the incident. “The initial investigation [of the incident] revealed that the operators, who were contracted by Green Tropics to conduct the spraying, did not follow existing protocol as it relates to wind speeds.” Alpuche explained that aerial sprayings are prohibited when the wind velocity is above a certain limit. He added that the additional measures being looked at includes a number of relevant government agencies.

CFATF commends Belize for financial legislation
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) has commended Belize for enacting nine pieces of key legislation, six laws and three regulations to boost Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards. The statement from the CFATF, last week, stated that Belize has brought into force significant mechanisms to address its AML/CFT deficiencies. The statement also said 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.

NICH Partners with Taiwan for primary school art programme
The National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) and the Republic of China Taiwan have teamed up to launch the Primary Schools Art Skills Training (PSAST) Pilot Project. The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented a check a cheque for $35,206 to the President of NICH Diane C. Haylock on Monday. The donation, which will go towards the projects’ implementation, was handed over by First Secretary Amino Chi on behalf of H.E. David C.K. Wu, Ambassador to Belize from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Information Officer for NICH, Shari Williams, told the Reporter that the PSAST will last six months, running from July to December. After the pilot period is over, the Taiwanese government will decide whether or not the programme will continue.

Yohnny Rosado: I did nothing to Vitalino Reyes Jr
Yohnny Rosado, owner of Cavetubing.com, said that contrary to reports neither he nor any of his employees were involved in the altercation that has Vitalino Reyes Jr. in the hospital on life-support. Rosado said he was shocked to learn the following day that he was being implicated in the incident and wished to clear his name for the integrity of his business and his reputation. According to Rosado he and his employees were at the Long-Island Bar on Blue Marlin Drive on Thursday evening and did see Reyes but they never engaged in any conflict with him. Rosado said he was aware that Reyes was involved in a scuffle with some other persons at the bar but never saw Reyes unconscious. According to Rosado’s attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, their evidence shows that after the incident police arrived on the scene and later Reyes and his associate, Yoney Vega, were escorted away by the officers.

Milestone photo exhibit kicks off countrywide tour in Belize City
The Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children is paying homage to outstanding women throughout Belize with its photo exhibition entitled “Milestone.” The launch of the country-wide tour was held at the Belize City House of Culture last Friday. The exhibit showcases black and white photographs of 12 pioneering women in fields such as medicine, the arts, politics, and even technology. Additionally, the milestone newspaper was distributed at the launch, honouring another 22 women for the contributions they have made to the country and to women on a whole. The exhibit features outstanding personalities such as first female Medical Doctor, Bernice Marjorie Hulse; and Belize’s first Lady of Comedy, Beverly Smith Lopez.

Commitment to Rule of Law, an Imperative
We often hear the phrase ‘rule of law,’ but rarely discuss what it means and how it’s relevant to our collective efforts to earn our daily bread. In the dictionary and therefore at its most basic, rule of law refers to “the principle that all people and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced; the principle of government by law.” Breaking it down a little further, the World Justice Project states that “the rule of law is a system of rules and rights that enables fair and functioning societies” and goes on to define this system as “one in which the following four universal principles are upheld: •The government and its officials and agents as well as individuals and private entities are accountable under the law. •The laws are clear, publicized, stable, and just; are applied evenly; and protect fundamental rights, including the security of persons and property.

Time to move on
After a brief break it’s good to be back. Relationships that do not work always end in breakups and the time has come for the administration of the UDP to move on. This administration has lost the faith of the people and has failed the nation as a whole. In just three short weeks since I last wrote an article, there has been Rio Azul, Mark King’s inside view of how the party feels about its citizens, nurses transfers and a fetus under a bed at KHMH. Just when we think things cannot get worse, it does. I fail to see what this administration is doing to tackle the real issues that are affecting the nation such as unemployment and a growing increase in violent crime. The administration seems to be focused on mass corruption and basically filling their pockets just in case they are not in office for another term. The growing feeling from the citizenry is that the UDP have morphed into the same people they promised not to become. It’s difficult to see why they continue to cling to office, when it has become brutally clear that the people no longer want them in office. The right thing for this administration to do is to call an early election so that the people can remove them from office and a new mandate for the nation can be set.

Rod of Correction Social partners unite under new movement
A wide variety of civil society organizations have come together in a new movement to address national issues. Led by the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), and featuring such groups as the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association, the members of the new “Rod of Correction Movement” have one thing in common – a frustration with the current Government of Belize. In unity there is strength, goes the old saying, and the organizations aim to promote their various causes – land, governance, democracy, social issues, labour and many more – on a level playing field. According to President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, Dylan Reneau, the group’s first activity is drumming up support for Saturday’s “Plant Di Corn Rally” in support of BGYEA at the Battlefield Park in Belize City.

Contreras in, Anderson out! Chief pharmacist banned from pharmaceutical meeting
Chief Pharmacist Sharon Sanchez-Anderson was barred this week from a technical meeting regarding the procedures in place for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Danini Contreras, director of the Drug Inspectorate, attended the meeting, amidst the controversy of her appointment and the call of the Pharmacy Association of Belize that she be removed from the post for lack of qualification. According to Anderson’s Public Service Union representative, Ray Davis, the organizers from the Pan American Health Organization informed her, just prior to the session, that she could not attend the meeting on Wednesday. PAHO also informed Anderson that the organization is not supposed to have direct contact with her, based on directives from the Ministry of Health.

Environmentalists question Puerto Azul Project!
Seven organizations have issued a joint, seven-point statement to demand answers from the Government of Belize regarding the status of the proposed Puerto Azul project. Oceana, the Belize Audubon Society, the World Wildlife Foundation, MarAlliance, the Belize Tourism Industry Association and the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative demand a more transparent process. “There has to be a mechanism that Belizeans can participate and be consulted and have it be meaningful with these types of developments, and government policies,” Janelle Chanona, Oceana Belize vice-president, told The Reporter Thursday. The asked for clarification on whether or not the current administration has or intends to endorse this project, especially in the light of the fact that two government ministers—Investment Promotion Minister Erwin Contreras and Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia Jr—attended the project’s launch Cannes, France.

Ministry of Education: Streamlining not amalgamating high schools
The Ministry of Education clarified this week that it is “streamlining its resources” and not amalgamating Maud Williams, Excelsior and Sadie Vernon high schools. Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber, accompanied by members of the Secondary School Unit and other ranking ministry officials, explained that each school will remain its own independent entity, and both first and second form classes will remain unaltered. The changes In third and fourth forms, courses of study will be shared between the three schools, and some classes will be offered at alternate campuses. Some classes will also be offered at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and training. “The school with the best science lab will be designated to offer Sciences (Chemistry and Biology), and students from all three schools will report to the designated campus for that class,” said Brenda Armstrong, of the Secondary School Unit. “Likewise with other subjects such as Technical and Vocational, Business and Arts.”

Belize a money laundering hotspot?
Multiple International media outlets have recently named Belize as a money-laundering hotspot, but the International Business Companies registrar, Gian Gandhi, speaking to The Reporter on Thursday, said there’s no cause for concern. On Monday, an Associated Press article entitled “Foreign banks agree to reveal Americans’ hidden assets to IRS”, published by a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania paper, described Belize as one of several tax-evasion havens. “As much as $25 trillion … was stashed in 70 or more countries whose banking laws allowed individuals and corporations to mask their wealth from the Internal Revenue Service and avoid paying taxes,” the article stated. “To demonstrate how easy it is for people to stash money out of the IRS’ reach,” the article by Trib Total Media alleged that two of their reporters spent less than $1,000 to set up a shell company and bank account in Belize. The money, they say, was then “accessible through ATMs”.

#492004 - 06/07/14 07:02 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 7, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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The Belize Times

Bar Opposes Barrow – Bar & Opposition Leader Reject Barrow’s Re-Appointment of Judge
The Belize Bar Association has bucked heads with Prime Minister Dean Barrow again over the proposed re-appointment of Justice Samuel Awich to the Court of Appeal. The Bar, in a strongly-worded resolution that was crafted following an important general meeting of its members on Monday, June 2nd, has declared that Awich’s appointment “gives rise to a real likelihood of an appearance of bias”. The “appearance of bias”, according to the Bar, lies in a sequence of events leading to the Prime Minister’s notification of his decision. The Prime Minister had given notice to the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca via a letter on Thursday May 19th, four days after Awich delivered the lead decision in favour of the Government in a constitutional case regarding the Barrow Administration’s takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited. The Government had been aware that Awich’s contract was coming to an end for months. It should have been more proper to sort out any negotiations for a contract renewal way before. The Bar also noted in their resolution that they had previously opposed Awich’s appointment back in 2012, but Prime Minister went ahead with his decision.

Ecuador’s Most Wanted Linked to UDP
When the news of the arrest of Ecuador fugitive, Floyd Wendel Ebanks Jurado, went public the UDP spin masters were quick to find every possible way to paint him as a PUP. Channel 7 was on the forefront and reported that Ebanks “was very active in the 2012 general elections” for the PUP, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Ebanks was involved in the PUP Cayo West campaign until mid-2011, when PUP officials learnt of his close links with the UDP. Ebanks was immediately removed from the PUP’s campaign. The truth is that Ebanks has a very close relationship with then UDP Freetown Candidate Lee Mark Chang. A photo obtained by the BELIZE TIMES, taken at one of Lee Mark Chang’s political rallies in 2011, shows Ebanks and Chang almost cuddling. The photo had been posted on a previously existing Floyd Ebanks Jr. Facebook profile page with the caption reading “Lee Mark for Freetown”. Under the photo, a comment was posted by Lee Mark saying “Nice Pic”.

Unions/Social Partners Unleash “ROD OF CORRECTION” on Barrow administration
It’s been said before, and repeated to infinity, that Belizeans are beyond fed up with the constant disrespect, disregard and abuse of power that has swollen the ranks of this UDP administration, as maestroed by the incompetent, power-hungry marshal, Dean O. Barrow. And while there have been multiple attempts by the social partners and the Unions to fight against the excess and rein in the Barrow government’s continued lust for power, it has never quite reached a point where action has become the only outlet to bring this out-of-control Government to permanent heel. That all changed this morning with the launch of a joint Union-social partner movement known as “The Rod of Correction” Movement, during a meeting with various stakeholders at the Belize National Teachers’ Union’s (BNTU) conference room on Mercy Lane in Belize City. The media was not invited to the closed-door meeting, but BELIZE TIMES understands from a close source that President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), Dylan Reneau stated in the movement’s initial mission statement: “The movement recognizes the fight against the rampant, if not absolute abuse of power, and has been brought together, unified to fight against it….”

Singhing for More
A proposed mega resort on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll appears to have encountered a major glitch from an unsuspecting source. Mike Singh, whose name was once called up in an investigation of a major money laundering ring in El Salvador, has weighed in on the Puerto Azul project which, from all appearances, has the backing of heavyweight Ministers, Erwin “Danini’s Papa” Contreras and Manuel “barefoot and wasted” Heredia. The two were photographed rubbing elbows and partying like rockstars with Hollywood superstars John Travolta and Adrien Brody at the Cannes Film Festival in France. Like Castro, who took a page straight out of Dean Barrow’s book of nepotism and started issuing checks to his family members, these two lavish Ministers appear to be following in the footsteps of their leader’s wife, Kim Barrow, who too seems determined to make it to superstardom no matter the cost (at our expense of course).

Judiciary: Danger Ahead!
By G. Michael Reid It is not chance that rules the world. Ask the Romans, who had a continuous sequence of successes when they were guided by a certain plan, and an uninterrupted sequence of reverses when they followed another. There are general causes, moral and physical, which act in every monarchy, elevating it, maintaining it, or hurling it to the ground. All accidents are controlled by these causes. And if the chance of one battle—that is, a particular cause—has brought a state to ruin, some general cause made it necessary for that state to perish from a single battle. In a word, the main trend draws with it all particular accidents. ~ Montesquieu The period known as the age of enlightenment began sometime during the 17th century and flourished until about the end of the 18th century. This period produced great thinkers like Francis Bacon, Spinoza, John Lock, Voltaire and Isaac Newton; whose ideas drastically changed the way of the world; both spiritual and secular. It was a time when the world underwent a scientific revolution as well as a revolution in human thought. New discoveries afforded man a greater ease of industry while new perspectives challenged traditional concepts in culture and politics. There was a significant shift in the existing paradigm of relying on tradition, faith and superstition to a system based on sound reasoning. The status quo of politics also fell under the axe of reconstruction and the ideas of one man in particular, shook the existing monarchies and “ancien régime” to their very foundation. His The Spirit of the Laws (1748), discourse on government was adopted as the blueprint for many modern day governments.

Enough Is Enough!
Something is going very wrong in Belize, and most Belizeans at home and abroad can see it. The government, elected to serve, without fear or favour and with no discrimination to race, creed or colour, has failed the Belizean people miserably, and in such a short time. According to Mark King, the UDP policy is UDP first, Belizeans second and PUPs last. Imagine that! On an almost daily basis, Belizeans are left to wonder in amazement and disgust when the elected Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow will get things right. Our people are under constant assault, as safety has become an expensive luxury. While citizen’s security is under attack, so is our national security. This is the result of the Barrow Administration’s failure to define a comprehensive security policy to protect our people from internal criminal activity and our national territory from external attacks. In fact, looking at the level of disregard for our nation’s security and territorial sovereignty, and the lack of appropriate response and inaction from the Government, one would think we have no security policy. This means our security forces are left to figure things out on their own, operating in a haphazard manner.

Duck Run I wins Football Marathon
Team Duck Run I won a football marathon organized with the assistance of Orlando Habet and the PUP Cayo North East committee on Sunday May 25, 2014. Second place went to Billy White and Third Place went to Team Two of Duckrun One. Other participating teams were Duckrun Two and Westrac. PUP Standard Bearer Orlando Habet will continue to support and inspire the young people of Cayo Northeast with positive activities and opportunities.

Belize Bank Bulldogs defeats 2 opponents in softball
The undefeated Belize Bank Bulldogs posted their 2nd back to back win: 17-7 by mercy rule in the 4th inning against the Ministry of Education/Belize Water Services in the Belize City interoffice softball competition at the home of softball at the Rogers Stadium on Saturday. Other games: BEL Powersockets vs. KHMH – 33-13 BEL Powersockets vs. Guardian/National Sports Council – 14-6 Customs/Central Bank vs. Belize Telemedia – 19-18

Victor Valencia is 2014 Strongman Champ
Victor Valencia demonstrated that he is true champ material when he repeated as strongman champ in the Belize Body Building & Fitness Federation (BBBFF) 2014 strongman contest held at the Riverside Tavern on Saturday. Of the four contestants, Valencia scored the most – 32 points – in 9 events to retain the title and win the $600 1st prize. Theo Gentle, 2008/2010 champ, who had also placed 3rd in the 2011 and 2012 contests, scored 21 points to win the $400 2nd prize. Emir Perez of Muscle Hut Fitness Club in Belmopan scored 19 points to win the $350 3rd prize, while Allan Gallardo, also of Muscle Hut, was 4th with 18 points.

Celebrating Our Bright Minds – Featuring: Anglican Cathedral College, Excelsior High, Sadie Vernon High, Maud Williams High, Gwen Lizarraga High, Pallotti High and St. John’s College
Our third series on the special High School Graduation Season begins with Anglican Cathedral College, located on Albert Street in Belize City. According to Principal Ismael Requena, who spoke with the BELIZE TIMES via phone last Wednesday, May 28th, 92 out of 103 students took their march at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, June 1st at 2:00 p.m. Requena admitted the 2014 class was “the biggest graduating class” since the school commenced following the amalgamation of St. Michaels and St. Hilda’s in 1982. Leading those ranks are: Brandon Jackson (Valedictorian, with a Grade Average of 92%), Jorge L. Rodriguez (Salutatorian, with a Grade Average of 87.3%), Eluid Miller (3rd Place, delivered the Vote of Thanks), and Ajaih Hamilton (4th Place, who introduced Graduation Guest Speaker Dr. Carol Babb).

Eulogy for Hon. Marcial Mes
We gather this morning in the vibrant, majestic community of San Pedro Columbia, Toledo to celebrate and honor the life of our dear friend and colleague, Hon. Marcial Mes. On behalf of the entire People’s United Party family, I express our profound and deepest sympathies to his wife Odelia; his father Bartolo; his sons Luis, Estevan and Orlando; his daughters Rosita, Felicia, Elena and Isabella; his sisters Amelia, Donicia and Patricia; and to all the other members of the family. We love you all and we are here to support you. I first met Marcial Mes when I was only 10 years old and he was a student/teacher at the Belize Teachers College in Belize City. My own father, William Fonseca, had spent almost a decade teaching in rural Toledo in the 1960’s and it was right here in San Pedro Columbia while teaching at the Roman Catholic School that he met the Mes family and a young Marcial Mes

PUP Western Leaders – United in Purpose!
The six leaders of the People’s United Party Western Caucus: Hon. Julius Espat, Hon. Joseph Mahmud, Senator Patrick Andrews, Dra. Lesbia Guerra Cocom, Orlando Habet and former Minister Daniel Silva, gathered in Belmopan with PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the Party’s work in the Cayo District. The Western leaders committed to working in unity to bring about PUP victory in all constituencies and much needed change for the people of Cayo. The UDP have long considered the Cayo District as the safe seats of the “red hills”. That notion was shattered in the 2012 elections when Cayo South and Cayo North turned against the UDP, while in Cayo North East and Cayo Central they barely held on to victories despite massive fraudulent registration of voters and vote buying. This time, the people of Cayo will send their message loud and clear: they deserve better, with true and humble PUP leadership.

At a Special Meeting of the Bar Association of Belize held on Monday, June 2, 2014 the Bar Association expressed in very strong and clear terms its opposition to the proposed re-appointment of Mr. Justice Samuel Awich to the Belize Court of Appeal for a further period of seven years, and condemned the grant of this extension of contract just after the delivery of the judgment by the Court of Appeal in Civil Appeals No’s 18, 19 and 21 of 2012 in favor of the Government of Belize as detrimental to confidence in the administration of justice in Belize. Mr. Justice Awich was first appointed to the Court of Appeal on May 16, 2012 for a period of two years over the strong objections of both the Bar Association and the Leader of the Opposition. The “Nationalisation” appeals were heard in October of 2012 and a majority decision by Justice Awich was delivered on May 15, 2014, the very day of the expiration of his appointment. Both the Bar association and myself, as Leader of the Opposition, have objected once again to the proposed re-appointment of Justice Awich.

Town Council vehicle crashed then abandoned
A Benque Viejo Town Council vehicle, property of taxpayers, was badly damaged in a collision and left abandoned by the UDP driver and crew last week. The occupants apparently in an attempt to conceal the identity of the vehicle accident removed the license plates, but they forgot that the Council’s identification sticker remained on the vehicle. Typical airhead UDPs. What were they trying to hide? Answer: their culpability, recklessness, abuse and waste of tax payers’ money for wrecking the town’s property. Information to the BELIZE TIMES is that the vehicle was driven at the time by Town Council employee, Obed Contreras. The vehicle was outside its jurisdiction and driven at night with no authorization. Sources say Contreras and his passengers identified as Ricardo Garrido and Heraldo Rancharan were returning to Benque after a night of partying in Belmopan when they crashed into a horse that was on the road side in Roaring Creek village.

Big Break for COLA’s Prosecution! – Penner file to be tabled at House Meeting next Friday?
COLA’s private prosecution of corrupt UDP Minister Elvin Penner is about to get a big break! Government sources have confirmed to the BELIZE TIMES that the much-coveted Auditor General’s “preliminary report” into the Immigration scandal involving Penner’s criminal wrongdoing could be de-classified once it is introduced at the next House Sitting scheduled for Friday June 13, 2014. Both Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie have rejected COLA’s request for the provision of material evidence found in their investigations. In a March 28th 2014 letter, the Auditor General stated as one of her reasons for refusing to cooperate or provide disclosure that the information sought by COLA is “exempt” under the Freedom of Information Act because of a “rebuttable presumption” that it is being reviewed by Cabinet. Documents under review by Cabinet are only made public if they are tabled before a House Meeting.

UDP’s end in Cayo North East is near!
The UDP are at war with themselves in Cayo North East. With Elvin Penner pushed out by royal decree to save the UDP some major embarrassment, several opportunists have jumped into the race thinking that the people of the area are fools to give them another chance. The war is on and getting intense between three losing candidates vying for UDP Standard Bearer for Cayo Northeast. The post became vacant after Elvin “Passport” Penner turned politically radioactive for the UDP. This is after Dean Barrow discovered that Penner had cheaply signed away Belizean patrimony to a wanted fugitive who was in a Taiwan prison. The two frontrunners in this race of losers are John August and Eduardo Juan. John August’s campaign against Eduardo Juan is that Juan is a Penner lackey and supporter. A win for Juan is a win for corrupt Elvin Penner. Juan proved that much in a Channel 7 interview last Thursday in which he spoke insanely saying that Penner is “still loved” by the people. When he referred to “the people”, he probably meant folks like Kim Won Hong, to whom Penner gave away Belizean citizenship and passport illegally.

Patrick Jones

7 Awe-inspiring Photos that Prove Belize is a Beautiful Country
In 1934, Aldous Huxley wrote that if the world had any ends, British Honduras (now Belize) would certainly have to be one of them. Of course you have to agree with the late Aldous Huxley because as you will see in these 7 awe-inspiring photos, Belize […]

Workshop of preserving cultural heritage held in Corozal
The Institute of Archaeology is being proactive in taking care of the nation’s cultural heritage. With the recent destruction of the Noh Mul site in Orange Walk still fresh in everyone’s mind, the Institute of Archaeology today facilitated a workshop on preserving Belize’s cultural heritage. The workshop, which […]

Five Cavetubing workers face charges in the Reyes attack
Five employees of Yohnny Rosado’s business, Cavetubing.com, have been formally charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm in connection with last Thursday’s brutal attack on 23 year old rival tour guide Vitalino Reyes, Jr., who continues to recover from severe head trauma sustained from […]

Deon Bruce loses extradition case
Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel has declined to issue a writ of habeas corpus and upheld the decision of Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith issued in January to extradite 28 year old Deon Bruce. Bruce is wanted in Chicago, Illinois, to face trial of charges of murder and attempted […]

Christian Ebanks makes bail; Guatemalan couple kept waiting
Three weeks ago Christian Ebanks, a naturalized Belizean businessman of the West Landivar area, was picked up at home and charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Gang Suppression Unit officers searched his residence on Teacher Street on May 14 and found a chrome […]

Bar owner charged for hiring undocumented workers
Zhaohang Huang, a 50 year old naturalized Belizean-Chinese businessman, pleaded guilty today to five counts of employing persons not in possession of a valid temporary workers’ permit. He was charged in the same raid that netted two other bar owners on Wednesday night, June 4. In his case, […]

Woman charged with 85 counts of theft from her employer
Today an employee of the Feinstein Group of Companies was read 85 counts of theft. The charge against Marsha Gillett arose out of an allegation that she stole monies from the Group of companies over a 20-month period. Gillett, a resident of Queen Helmut Avenue in West Landivar, […]

Why I Love Caye Caulker Belize
Caye Caulker is definitely one of my favorite places in the world…..and I have seen many beautiful places. For me…a place must not only look beautiful….but it must have soul. Caye Caulker has soul. I saw the place transform from a fishing village to one of Belize’s premier tourist destinations…and it keeps getting better every day. The people are warm and friendly….down to earth….you can still talk with them without having to listen to yenking and fakeness…..I have made many friends and acquaintances in Caye Caulker over the years. I started going there way back when I started sixth form in Belize City. My student budget allowed me to buy cheap food…I would take my bottle to keep the drinks cost down….and party all night or take naps closer to dawn on a pier to avoid the hotel bills. It was quite safe to do so….and actually the sea is warm and inviting at that hour. I witnessed many a perfect sunrise from these experiences…

Toledo vegetable farmers learn better production techniques
Farmers in the Toledo district now have access to technical advice on how to better produce vegetables for the local market. On Thursday, close to three dozen farmers from rural Toledo attended a one-day workshop on vegetable production; which was facilitated by the Agriculture Department. Extension Officer Amir Pulido and his team, share with the farmers the different techniques on improving hybrid varieties, irrigation systems and the proper care and cultivation methods. As part of the day-long workshop, the participating farmers also got to tour the Agriculture Department’s demonstration plots in Elridgeville where they saw in practical terms, all of the theory that was explained to them during the workshop.

Toledo man wanted for allegedly impregnating his daughter
There is another disturbing story of the sexual abuse of our young girls by grown men. The latest story comes from rural Toledo district and police are classifying it as a case of incest. A 16 year old girl from the remote village of Aguacate went to police this week accompanied by her sister to report that last September, her father had sexual intercourse with her. Police say that a medical examination conducted on the minor not only certified that she was raped, but that she is 8 months and 3 weeks pregnant.


The Volcano’s of Belize
The forming of the landmass of our planet after Pangaea has been nothing short of remarkable. Plate shifting is still going on today with the evidence of earthquakes and the consistent growth of the Himalayas based on the crashing of the plates up from India. It is a very impressive phenomenon. Sixty five million years ago a meteorite struck the North Eastern coast of the Yucatan and caused catastrophic devastation to the planet. The cloud of dust that choked the sunlight from the earth immediately affected the plants, which then affected the herbivores and later, the carnivores for the most part were demolished. For what we know of the earth now, the sight of it then was not pretty. Mother earth went barren. The devastation caused volcanic reaction all over the planet. The earth experienced tsunami’s like never before and the earth opened up under the pressure. This started the movement of the plates of the earth. Landmasses started to move toward the formation of the continents. Landmasses at one time were under the sea and at other times above the tide. There is geological evidence that Belize was covered by water at least three times in its history. The evidence of that is the remains of crustaceans deposits – calcium carbonate (limestone), the soil type which according to geologists, colonises sixty five percent of Belize’s land mass.

Helping Roni Martinez protect the Scarlet Macaw
It’s not always easy to discover if something you are donating to on line is real or just a sham, but this was fairly simple. First it was part of The San Pedro Sun newspaper, second I didn’t find anything bad about them on SNOPES.com, third I asked a friend that lives down there and she suggest I contact Belize Bird Rescue Avian Rehabilitation Centre and Sanctuary, I called first, no answer so I emailed and got a fast reply from Nikki Buxton. So in less than four hours I had my answer, donated on line safely and passed the info to all my friends on Face Book. Roni does marvelous work and it’s hard and sometimes dangerous, they need these long range radios to help these beautiful birds. I’m not in Belize yet, in fact have NEVER been there, except on line and in my mind…but planning a trip there soon. So I wanted to begin to help a cause that is part of the Country I hope to call home someday. This was a perfect start! No amount is too small, it’s easy and you’ll feel really good about it! I hope someday to be able to see these beautiful birds in their natural habit and thriving instead of teetering on the brink of extinction in the Country. Go to the Scarlet Macaw Protection Belize page on Go Fund Me and help Roni there. It’s easy!

“Lay It Down” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In the previous edition I mentioned that I was diligently (OK, maybe not diligently but I am gradually ‘ticking’ them off) working my way through my current ‘to do’ list. Yesterday I felt like I was really going to start cracking it when I set off from home with my mini list. And my instincts subsequently proved to be correct. Before I left home though some more of Lloyd’s guys turned up at the gate in the back garden with some more sand to complete the land filling job.

International Sources

Invest 90L in Gulf of Mexico a Heavy Rain Threat for Mexico
A tropical disturbance in the Southern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche, Invest 90L, is nearly stationary, and is bringing a few heavy thunderstorms to the Gulf waters and Mexican shore along the Bay of Campeche. Satellite loops show that 90L is poorly organized, with a broad area of spin that is not well-defined, and only limited heavy thunderstorm activity. Radar out of Alvarado shows the storm has developed two low-level spiral bands near the coast that bear watching, though. Wind shear as diagnosed by University of Wisconsin CIMSS is a high 25 - 30 knots, which is keeping the system from developing. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Southern Gulf of Mexico are about 28°, which is about 0.5° above average. These warm waters do not extend to great depth, and the total heat energy available to intensify a potential storm is rather low. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate 90L Thursday afternoon, if necessary.

Turks Caicos and Belize Leaders in Tourism Growth in the Caribbean
Turks Caicos and Belize were tourism destinations of master growth in the Caribbean during the first quarter of 2014, said official sources here. According to the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), Turks Caicos experienced a 30 percent growth in arrivals during the first quarter, with 105 thousand 506 visitors, compared to the same period of the previous year. Belize welcomed 101 thousand 981 visitors in the first quarter this year, for an increase of 9.7 percent compared to the same periodo f 2013. The other great increase was registered by Cayman Islands, where arrivals increased by nine percent in 2014, according to CTO data. However, in the same period, Grenada had the greatest fall in the sector of this region, with a reduction of 6.6 percent in tourist arrivals, while Curazao saw a drop of 4.3 percent in the same activity.

EU concerned about challenges to small island states
The European Union is has expressed concern about challenges and threats facing the sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS). In a message to mark World Environment Day on Thursday, Head of the European Union Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Mikael Barfod, said that while most SIDS have made significant efforts in the past years, the EU wants to see development of tools for measuring the common economic, social and environmental vulnerabilities. According to Barfod, the Third International Conference on SIDS to be held in Samoa in September, "takes place at a crucial time, as several other international processes that clearly relate to SIDS vulnerabilities and resilience are ongoing. On climate change, the EU and SIDS share common objectives and should pursue existing cooperation during the upcoming negotiations.” The EU also supports the implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism that addresses loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change. “In terms of development cooperation, the EU has provided significant funding to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), located in Belize and we have just signed a financing agreement for EC$39.5 million to support Climate Change activities in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),” he said.


Video: DEVELOPING TOLEDO MAY 22, 2014, 33min.
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) on PGTV

Video: Coral Reef Restoration in the Caribbean, 3min.
Coral reefs are a Caribbean treasure threatened by climate change, overfishing and pollution. A fisherman in Belize is on a quest to restore this ecosystem with his own hands.

Video: 24th Year Serving Belize-Dr. Paul, 2min.
Dr. Steve (and 38 of our Mission Team volunteers) surprising Dr. Paul Whisnant with a cake to celebrate his 24th year serving as a full time missionary to Belize.

Video: Jack Goes To Belize-HD (720p), 12min.

Video: Holy Cross Belize 2014 Dance, 4min.
The students of Holy Cross Anglican Primary School performed this dance at the 2014 Festival of Arts - winning GOLD. We are so proud of them. Huge thanks to Kim Bartling for all the work she did coaching our students.

Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize Party with friends, 4min.
You need to make a party in Belize with all of us... You will make sure you always go back to Belize.. Thanks to Swim Skinny for this awesome song... Hope you can make the trip with us this year.

Video: Belize!!!, 9min.
Kaya Volunteering

Video: Adventure Tales Belize, 7min.
Living a boys adventure tale

Video: Amazing Solar Powered Home located at Grand Belizean Estates in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize., 3min.
Peaceful and serene Off-the-grid solar home located at the Grand Belizean Estates subdivision on the west coast of Ambergris Caye has become available for sale. Charming two bedroom one bath, elevated home has nice vaulted ceilings with mixed Belizean Hardwoods, has Santa Maria hardwood floors, fully equipped kitchen, open living and dining area and plycem exterior walls. All exterior wood has been treated. The home sits on a 60 x 75 lot appealingly landscaped with approximately 840 sq. ft. of living space! Separate facility for caretaker (as needed).


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