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#492226 - 06/13/14 07:29 AM Today's Belize News: June 13, 2014
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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Mundialito Football Tournament kicks off in San Pedro
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup right around the corner, the San Pedro Sports Committee hosted one of their own with the 2014 Mundialito Football Tournament. The tournament took place on Sunday, June 8th and had children between the ages of 5 to 14 forming teams under the names of national football selections from across the world. Six teams proudly participated in the tournament, each member sporting the jersey of their favorite football nation. Participating teams included Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina and Italy. The event commenced with a short parade through town core to the Honorable Luis Sylvester Arena, after which it was time for the real fun as the first match started. The first matches of the day were between the teams in the 5 to 10 age range. Kicking off the tournament was Mexico and Brazil. Although young, these children surely knew their sport, playing like veteran footballers. In the end it was Mexico who took the win in a 1-0 point game. Up next was Spain versus Germany. Unable to score within the allotted game time, the match was forced to go into penalty shots. In was a tight game as both teams kept scoring goal after goal. But after a single miss from Germany, Spain took the match in a 7-6 game.

Mexicans dominate Belizeans in Mahahual fishing tournament
Thirty two vessels set out to fish as part of the 6th Annual International Dorado Sports Fishing Tournament in Mahahual Mexico. Held on the 7th and 8th of June, the tournament has garnered interest from fishing aficionados of Belize. After two days of intense fishing, it was the crew onboard “Irma” from Punta Allen, Quintana Roo, Mexico that took home the “2014 Dorado de Plata” title. In the wee hours of the first day, the 32 vessels set sail and amongst them were the Amigos del Mar team onboard their vessel “Another Princess” captained by Shadani Bradley, and team Elodia on board “Elodia” captained by Michael Hancock. After being all day at sea, only 15 vessels returned with a Dorado catch, including the crew on board “Irma” led by Guadalupe “Lupe” Guzman. They brought in a Dorado weighing 43.9 pounds which was enough for the Mexican team to jump in first place, ahead of the other teams. The two Belizean teams, Elodia and Amigos del Mar, were behind in sixth and seventh place having caught 30.10 pounds and 27.16 pounds respectively on day one.

Four men charged for arson

San Pedro Red Cross comes to the aid of mother and newborn
A very thankful mother and her newborn were the recipients of a much needed donation of clothing and other baby items. The donation was made on Wednesday June 11th by Laurie Norton, Coordinator of the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross through the assistance of Dr Javier Zuniga of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II. The recipients of the donation were Dinora Hargeta Enriquez and her baby girl. According to Dr. Zuniga, the mother lost her job due to pregnancy. She had also been abandoned by her partner, which added to her financial distress. Dr. Zuniga attended the mother throughout her pregnancy, and after learning of her struggles, he contacted Norton to see if the Red Cross could assist the needy mom-to-be. Norton explained to The San Pedro Sun that after she shared Enriquez’ story on the Moms of Ambergris Caye Facebook Group Page, one mother in particular was so moved by the story that she contacted Norton and offered her assistance.

Shanelle Palma and Kylie Alamilla of SPRC are among the country’s top PSE scorers
Ashton Tillett of Crooked Tree Government School in the Belize District captured 371 out of a possible 400 points and was the top student countrywide. There was a tie for second place as Andres Hung of Our Lady of Guadalupe School in the Cayo District and Kenyah Hyde of Bernice York in Belize City both captured 369 out of 400 points. With a score of 363 of a possible 400 points, Shanelle Palma received an average of 90.8%. She tied for 9th place countrywide along with Larry Palma of Holy Angels School in the Stann Creek District and Jonathan Alpuche of Holy Redeemer School in Belize City. Approximately half (51%) of the students countrywide scored a Satisfactory Level of Performance or better (grade C or better). This is up from the 47% in 2013 that scored a Satisfactory Level of Performance or better. As in 2013, the mean score is in the adequate range at 58.4 which is slightly higher than 2013 when it was 57.8. The Mode Grade of C indicates that most students (27%) scored between 60-69, a Satisfactory Level of Performance, and this is one grade higher than last year when the Mode Grade was D. The median score is 60. This is slightly higher than last year when it was 58. Congratulations to all the students of Ambergris Caye who sat the PSE and passed their exam.

Favorite Belize treats – Delicious salbutes
But for those seeking something a little different, we have items that draw from our Yucatec roots. You know our country was once populated by Mayas right? One of their staple foods was corn, and so of course corn-based meals are predominant around our little jewel. One of the best ways to eat this is in tortilla form – but of course, being the kind of inventive and daring people we are, we had to go and deep fry the corn dough. It’s not just any kind of dough – it’s the kind that has been given an almost reddish hue from a good dousing of recado (an annatto-based spice that gives meats both color and flavor, and without which ‘proper’ stewed chicken cannot be created). The fried corn dough disc is the base on which a superb Mestizo dish is created: salbutes! Topped with chicken, cabbage or lettuce, tomato and jalapeño, a few of these chased down with an ice-cold Belikin can lead to a wonderful snooze on the beach after. Prefer the tortillas without all the frying? Try some tacos. Orange Walk District in the north is famous for them, and they are not the kind of tacos you’re thinking. Nope, these are shredded stewed chicken meat in a delicious gravy that is slathered on thin corn tortillas, topped with superfine chopped cabbage (pepper optional), rolled up and sold at three for a dollar. Neri’s tacos stand is one of the most popular on the island, and this author’s favorite – especially since they take my order via phone (yes, I’m special). A $2 order can be filling, especially if washed down with a glass of cold watermelon juice or any of their varieties available that day. The tacos are a breakfast special, but in the evenings, you can get your fill of salbutes from them as well.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Red Cross Helps Single Mother with Baby Items
On Wednesday, June 11, 2014, members of the San Pedro Red Cross delivered a kind donation of baby items to a single mother and her baby at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic. A baby is always a blessing and this is exactly what Baby Enriquez is - a true blessing to her mom! Dinora Enriquez was an expecting single mother-to-be when her husband left her and is currently jobless and living with a friend. She was a high risk patient at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II so the staff and doctors managed to get donations for her to travel to the city for medical attention. The San Pedro Red Cross learnt about Dinora’s case and, wanting to help the mother and child, they put out a call for help and it was when the group Mother's of Ambergris Caye came forth with a donation.

Miss Honduras Contestant Announced for Costa Maya Festival
Miss World Honduras 2014, Maria Jose Alvarado, has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Honduras Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, August 7, 2014. At 18 years of age and standing at 5’ 8” tall, Maria Jose is currently a model and studying international relationships. She has brown eyes, light brown hair, and her hobbies include playing volleyball. Maria Jose will proudly represent her country at this year’s Costa Maya Festival as well as in the Miss World 2014 in London. Maria Jose Alvarado has been highlighted as a super model in the TV program X-0 da Dinero and models for boutiques. In 2012 she participated in the Miss Teen Honduras, where he was the first runner up. All seven other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the remaining contestants will be announced in weeks to come, prior to their arrival to San Pedro, La Isla Bonita.

Elina Palma Celebrates Quinceaños in Disney Grand Style
In Disney grand style, Elina Palma celebrated her Quinceaños (15th birthday) under the theme of Cindarella this past Saturday, June 7, 2014. She donned her Cindarella fantasy dress and was transported to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church in her carriage followed behind by her parents, family and god parents. After the mass celebration and blessing, Elina and her invited guests moved to the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium where here family put on a spectacular party in celebration of presenting Elina to society as a young lady. Congratulations Elina and Happy Birthday!

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Srta. Flor de le Feria Presentation
The Seniorita Flor de la Fiesta pageant is having its first official candidate presentation this Saturday, June 14th. See the 8 ladies vying for the crown at the Cancha Marshalleck, starting at 9:00pm. There will be a dance afterwards. Read all about the contestants on their page. "Tickets for our first dance Presentation now available! txt or call our pageant director, Oscar at 607-5923 for orders or more information!"

San Pedro power outage June 15
Belize Electricity Limited advises its customers in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye that the supply of electricity will be temporarily interrupted from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Areas to be affected: entire San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. BEL apologizes for the inconvenience caused but this scheduled power interruption is necessary for the Company to replace poles and insulators on the transmission line, replace radiators on the San Pedro Substation transformer and conduct maintenance works on several sections of the island’s power distribution system. Previous postponements of these scheduled works, were due to weather conditions, which impact the Company’s ability to carry out these works. Works scheduled for this weekend may also be subject to change depending on weather conditions.

"RETSI" a magnificent senior dog
"Retsi" a real survivor. Born December, 2004 on the mean streets of Belize City and rescued along with siblings by the Belize City Humane Society, she was found cringing at the back of a dark and dingy makeshift pen at the Central Prison. What crime had she committed? None! there was a new program allowing inmates to care for strays. It was a win/win situation but extremely frightening for a young puppy taken from her mum too soon. The lucky day arrived when she was adopted and taken to Belmopan. A frightened little thing, afraid of her own shadow. Anyone able to open their heart and home to a grand senior dog please call 602 7947. She really needs to be rehomed by the middle of June!!! I know you cant take her but may you know someone who can. Please share this posting and help "Retsie" find her fur ever home.

Central American Volleyball Championship
The Belize Volleyball Association U23 Female National Team will be participating in the Central American Championship in Costa Rica July 31 to August 10th, 2014. The team will start having tryouts and practices this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, June 17th & 18th) at BES Gym at 7 pm. Players must be born 1993 and after. The senior female national team will be participating in the senior Central American Championship in October. Interested players for that team are also to attend these practices. All interested players are to arrive at the gym before 7 pm. The coaching staff is led by Mr. Jack Reyes. The Cuban coaches will assist Mr. Reyes and the other coaches.

National Ranger Training
The Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize and PACT have some learning opportunities coming up. They have a series of classes for National Ranger Training in July. They also have a Conservation Finance class starting on the 30th of June. They also have a couple of student internships over the Summer. Check out their website for more information.

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 20
This week's issue of Buy and Sell Weekly. "Don't pawn it!... sell it fast with our Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds."

Chuck Braindead at Soul Project
The Soul Project is having Chuck Braindead tonight, playing some experimental psychedelic music. You can make art at the same time, and add to the collage exhibit that they have set up. Sounds like a great lead into the EDM Invasion at Meluchi's. Between sets, they'll have their Open Mic hight going.

Channel 7

COLA Goes Public With auditor General's Findings
Two days ago, COLA sent out a press release saying it had acquired a leaked copy of the Auditor General's report on the Citizen Kim debacle and other irregularities at the Immigration Department. The activist group which launched a private prosecution against Elvin Penner had put out a reward of five hundred dollars for any useful information. They say their source didn't even take the money - they just wanted to share the information. And it's information COLA desperately needs because it's been trying in vain to gather evidence for its private prosecution. And they say this provides a wealth of information, which indicts Penner, but doesn't meaningfully give them more evidence. Why is that? They explained at a Press conference at the Radisson this morning:.. Geovanni Brackett - President - COLA "This is actual corruption to the highest level." Jules Vasquez reporting It was a part press conference, part rally complete with placards, military type "combat" suits, politicians - and lots of voices raised in outrage: Geovanni Brackett - President - COLA "When you are dealing with something as serious as this it's not about media frenzy."

COLA Attorney Musa Fires Charges At Hon. Hulse
As you saw in that story, the report said the Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse was uncooperative. Yesterday, he told us it was because the requests for information did not come through the proper channels. Today Musa challenged those comments. For context, we reprise Hulse's remarks:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "There is a protocol in Government for communications, man. It's called memorandum. The Auditor General, when her officer reported that to her, should have written to the Director formally to request - or written to the Ministry. Now, I understand from the Director that there was no such correspondence written to her to request any documentation. I understand that from her. I can categorically say that there was none written to the Ministry, as there was no correspondence to me saying, 'We needed documents A,B and C, which we understand are in your custody, or the custody of the CEO'. There was no such correspondence. When the Auditor General did write to me, of course, I immediately responded and say, 'Oh no, we'll give you maximum cooperation, and if there is an issue with getting documentation, please forward that to the CEO, who will facilitate forthwith.' That was done." Kareem Musa, PUP Candidate "Well I want Mr. Hulse to now tell the nation because on the 21st March, 2014 the auditor general sent him the report and she sent it in a memorandum form, the very same format that he wanted to be requested. The question is since March of 2014 have you delivered up those records sir?"

PSE Results Released; Year's Best Is From A Village School
The PSE results were released today as promised - and this year, it's only an 11 page press release; usually, it's over 20! To cut right to the chase we can tell you that this year, for the first time in a while the first place finisher is from a village government school - specifically, Crooked Tree Government School. We can't tell you how rare that is: that a government school has the top finisher and that it's also a village school. So how did he do it? Today we went to crooked Tree to find out directly from __ year old Ashton Tillett:... Ashton Tillett, 1st Place - PSE 2014 "I feel totally satisfied. I feel joyful. Its hard to explain my feelings, its just good feelings." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about getting to this point. Is it something that you worked very hard for?" Ashton Tillett "Yes sir, this is something that I had studied for, I had tried hard for - this accomplishment is truly amazing."

Valley Of Peace Farmers Get Eviction Notice
On Saturday, the farmers from Valley of Peace attended BGYEA's "Plant Di Corn" Rally, and one of the spokespersons told us that they intended to defy Green Tropics by not moving off the land. Well, the multinational company is not taking that lightly, and if they farmers don't vacate soon, the company will sue them because they are squatting. On Monday, their attorney, Mikhail Argalles wrote a letter of notice to the vegetable farmers giving them notice vacate the land before July 15th at 3:00 pm. If they don't, Arguelles's instructions are to press the matter with both a criminal complaint and a civil suit. That's a very strong demand, but last week, the CEO the Ministry of Agriculture told us that both sides were negotiating to come to an amicable resolution. Well, with this letter, it suggests those negotiations have broken down. Today, we spoke with Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega about the change in direction: Daniel Ortiz "How is it that we are here at this point where the threat of lawsuit is at this point right now?"

30% Of City Streets Will Be Paved
As we told you last night, the top item on the agenda at yesterday's three hour Prime Ministerial Press conference was the announcement that Darrell Bradley will run for mayor again. And a large part of that is government's unprecedented spending commitment to City Hall. In February Government committed 10 million dollars to city infrastructure, and yesterday the Prime Minister announced how the second tranche of that would be spent:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The streets that government is now going to pay for in the city during phase two are: St. Charles Street at a cost of $202,154.00; St. Matthew Street - $218,000 plus $43,555 for sidewalks; Magazine Road at $119,175; Castle Street at $145,218; Lancaster Street at $45,334; Amara Avenue from Orange to Allenby Streets at a cost of $395,467; George Street at a cost of $450,134; West Street at a cost of $299,378 and the continuation of Princess Margaret Drive at a cost of $1,900,000."

Finally, Some Relief For Orange Walk's Road
Orange Walk is one of those towns getting an upgrade. It's been a long time coming with endless frustration along the way - but finally today, there was a ground breaking ceremony for paving of the section of the Northern Highway which runs all the way through the Town. That's 4.5 miles of badly needed repairs to the road, and it was a major political event - with all the UDP Standard Bearers attending. Their political boss, Gaspar Vega was also there and he spoke about how the project will look: Elodio Aragon, UDP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer "This ground breaking is divided into 3 phases; the first phase that of starting from the Come and Go gas station up to the stop light and from the stop light down Queen Victoria Avenue and then up to Otro Benque down to the gas station on the highway. These 3 phases is 4.5 miles, nearly 5 miles of road that will be hot mix - very expensive. Not only will the road be hot mixed but also we are looking building drains to ensure we have a proper road built here in Orange Walk Town." Denny Grijalva "Mr. Imer Hernandez is a company that is known to built good roads. I know Imer for many years and I am glad that you got the contract Imer because I know its going to be build the right way and its going to be hot mix which is something that will last not 5 years, not 10 years but many, many years."

PM Says SATIIM Not A Factor In GOB's Negotiation With Mayan Communities
For the past few weeks we've been hearing a lot from SATIIM - as that organization has taken the lead in advocating for the rights of the buffer communities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. But yesterday at his press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that SATIIM is not even on government's radar as he reinforced support for the oil company:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "We absolutely support the drilling for oil in the national park which drilling has in principle been green lighted by the courts so that hopefully oil might be found to benefit the entire Toledo District and indeed the larger country of Belize. IF the Alcaldes Association - I have met with some of the villagers. If the Toledo Alcalde Association recognize by law which appears to be a part of Ms. Coc's Maya Leaders Alliance, but if they wish to speak to me - in fact I have sent a message saying I would wish to meet with them - we are perfectly happy to sit down and talk about this thing, but don't tell me that we must engage with SATIIM when SATIIM is an NGO and can have no proper standing."

PM Says Hon. King's Candor Real But Not Right
Yesterday, the Prime Minister also commented on those now immortal remarks by Lake I Representative and Minister of State Mark King. Two weeks ago, speaking in reference to a job opportunities at Norwegian Cruise Lines, he told 7News that he would wish it to be UDP first, Belizeans second and PUP last. Now - as they say - that is how it's set up, from the days of Price to Barrow. But, still, it's not a politically prudent remark, and the PM said yesterday, it's no way to govern:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "That is not the official policy of this government. The official policy of this government is to treat Belizeans as equally as possible and to try to be a government for all - that in the details, in the operation of the system we will not reach nirvana is a given, life is real. But there is a difference between making errors in that regard and actually saying that it is a policy to discriminate. Such a policy cannot and will not be the policy of the United Democratic Party government." In that plain spoken interview, King also spoke candidly about his security firm, "Brints" - and how he hopes the company does secure a contract with Norwegian Cruise lines. The Prime Minister didn't back pedal on that one; he said King has all rights to protect and advance his business interests:

PM: Stake Bank Needs Assent Of FSTV to Proceed
Stake Bank is the other cruise terminal in development - and King probably won't be in line to get that job because developer Mike Feinstein already has his own security company. But, like NCL - work on the Stake Bank project hasn't started yet. Feinstein says he has financing in place, and both houses passed the Stake Banks Cruise Docking Facility Development Bill with bi-partisan support. So what's the delay? Well…it's complicated. The Prime Minister explained:... Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Our advice is that the agreement the last government with Fort Street Tourism Village means that they would have to agree to the designation of Stake Bank as a port in the Belize District. Stake Bank's attorneys say that's not their read of the situation, but we have to go by our advice and so we are saying to Stake Bank well either get Fort Street Tourism Village to say they have no objection or give the government of Belize an indemnity so that once we proceed to green light you, if there are any lawsuits brought against us by Fort Street and there is any liability for against the government, you Stake Bank will have to absorb it." Jules Vasquez "I thought that the parliament was supreme. I though the bill declared it a port."

PM Says Shyne Staying Put
And while that matter is staying put for the time being - so is Musical Ambassador Shyne. A tiny protest was held against him 12 days ago - and yesterday the Prime Minister said there's no reason to strip him of his title:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The goodwill musical ambassador - it's just that you know. He doesn't get paid. He doesn't get a stipend. He doesn't get an allowance. He doesn't get any assistance to take trips to promote Belizean music. The goodwill musical ambassador man - look, that man spent 8 years in jail, no doubt, but Lord man given as I said what he has done before and what I hope as a father and as a human being he can again. Man you will quarrel over calling a little title that have no practical meaning, but hopefully helps him in terms of trying to get his equilibrium back together. If you want to grudge me - I will take my lick, but I am not moved." Later on we'll have just a little more from the Press Conference when the Prime Minister talks about his defamation suit against Arthur Saldivar.

Channel 7 Is Exclusive Broadcaster for World Cup 2014
The FIFA World Cup 2014 started today in Sao Paolo, Brazil - and wherever you were in Belize, you saw it courtesy of Channel 7, the exclusive rights holder in Belize. Through a sub-licensing agreement that this station has worked out with the Cable Television Operators Association, you'll also be able to see it on cable. The World Cup 2014 on Channel 7 is sponsored by BTL and it continues tomorrow morning at 10:00 with Mexico versus Cameroon. Weekday matches are aired at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm - and you can see all of them plus daily pre game shows with international commentary right here on Channel 7.

Lopez Replaces Espat As SJC President
Earlier in the week we told you that the President of SJC Jorge Espat was stepping down. Today, his replacement was named. He is veteran teacher and former SJC headmaster, Andrew Lopez. Lopez is an SJC alumnus and a release says, quote, "For almost his entire adult life, Andrew has maintained a professional association with St. John's College, fulfilling alternating roles as administrator, member of the Faculty, and Coordinator of the Belizean Studies Resource Center..." Lopez currently teaches in the Social Sciences Department of SJC sixth Form.

Alleged Immigration Queenpin Marleny Castellanos Back To Court
The alleged arranger bogus immigration documents, 46 year old Marleny Castellanos, went back to court today on those additional charges for all those people who handed themselves into the Immigration Department, claiming she swindled them. She was arraigned for 20 counts of aiding a person to use a document that he or she is not entitled to use. She pleaded not guilty, but she wasn't eligible for bail; Magistrate Dale Cayetano remanded her to prison until until July 17. The Immigration Department also escorted Forty year old Guatemalan national Reina Ariano to court today for bogus documents. Ariano, a resident of Caye Caulker, was charged with 2 counts of using a document she is not entitled to use when she appear before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. She pled guilty to the charges and she was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 for each count forthwith.

Mayor Gets Defensive Against Press
After three and a half months of flip flopping, yesterday - Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley made the big announcement: he's coming back for a second term as mayor. But in those months of flip flopping, we interviewed him like 6 times about his decision, or, as the case may be, indecision. And, doing the political math now, he probably lost political capital for every time he said no, or I don't know. And that may have been why Bradley - who has been known to have a short fuse - showed the media his sharp tongue yesterday. It was a rare display of what you could call caged heat - but he did it on a big stage - which is what made us go back for a second look:.. Bernard Pitts, Deputy Mayor (won't run for mayor) "Like a bad nightmare with Freddy Krueger in and out of our dreams. We are now awakened and we have discussed our plan forward." Jules Vasquez reporting And the mayor himself was Kruger-esque yesterday snapping at the press defensively after three months of playing quite the political diva: Mayor Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor "This is something that I think media people do and I do appreciate and I will say this honestly and with respect to you as a journalist that in this case I think that you always ask the wrong questions."

Mayor Endorses Chang, Big Time
And we know for sure one councilor he could put on the case is councilor Eric Chang, In September of last year at the height of the Citizen Kim scandal, the mayor stripped Chang of his portfolio - after he stayed in Taiwan for months. But since then Chang has restored himself as a steady presence in the council - and one gets the sense that he may go for another run as councilor. And indeed he could, after all - while his name has been called - the Citizen Kim case has no known fingerprints on it from Eric Chang. One man who would enthusiastically vouch for him is Mayor Darrell Bradley. He did so at the press conference yesterday. Mayor Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor "The Eric Chang that I know and I have dealt with over two years and four months is a worker. Be careful when you use language like what you have used against a person who my experience has been, is a tireless public servant and a person who has been a councillor and in my view has served the city well. The person who makes the ultimate decision whether or not Eric Chang is worthy to serve the people of Belize is not Darrell Bradley, its not the Prime Minister, it will be you. The electorate in this city will make a decision."

More GREAT Graduates
After three and a half months of flip flopping, yesterday - Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley made the big announcement: he's coming back for a second term as mayor. But in those months of flip flopping, we interviewed him like 6 times about his decision, or, as the case may be, indecision. And, doing the political math now, he probably lost political capital for every time he said no, or I don't know. And that may have been why Bradley - who has been known to have a short fuse - showed the media his sharp tongue yesterday. It was a rare display of what you could call caged heat - but he did it on a big stage - which is what made us go back for a second look:.. And, yes, indeed, in August of 2012, the City Council did paint Channel 7 - as it did many other residences and businesses in the downtown area of Belize City - particularly Albert and Orange Streets. It was part of a public campaign to spruce up the city for the September celebrations - where the paint was donated. But, since it seems to give our Dear Darrell so much pleasure to brag about it…memo to Mayor: we could use a touch up - because they never did finish the back of the building.

Art To "Brainwash"
Last night, the exhibition called "Brainwash" was launched at the Bliss Center. It features the work of 13 young artists who aren't afraid to challenge conventions. Curator, Briheda Haylock told us more about the thought provoking pieces.... The exhibit is now open to the public.

PM Says He Wants His Defamation Money From Saldivar
The Supreme Court says Attorney and politician Arthur Saldivar has to pay Prime Minister Dean Barrow sixty thousand dollars for defaming him. That's the largest defamation award on record and Saldivar has said he will appeal. But, the order of the court is that Saldivar must pay up by the end of July. Now, it's tricky because sixty thousand dollars is a whole lot of dough, and for Saldivar - who likes to pay in change - well he'd need an armoured tuck to do it. The PM said yesterday, don't bother, bring cash:.. Jules Vasquez "Are you able to speak on the defamation award that you won from Arthur Saldivar?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I am not taking my money in coins and I want my money." Jules Vasquez "Sir, I know that you are defamed I would imagine on a quite regular basis."

Hon. Vega On Sugar Stalemate
Viewers may know very well that because of a breakdown of industrial relations between the cane farmers and Belize Sugar Industries, and its principal shareholder American Sugar Refining, there was a late start to the sugar crop, which both sides are trying to make up for. The cane farmers held the industry hostage by refusing to deliver their cane because BSI refused to agree to pay them for bagasse. That protest only ended after both sides agreed that they would work on a resolution for a bagasse payment before the end of this cane delivery season. Well, it's almost here, and even after months of negotiating, the cane farmers and the factory owners still cannot agree to a compromise on the bagasse issue. Following a media appearance by one of the representatives of the cane farmers, BSI released a statement saying that the cane farmers association has yet to put forward a proposal for bagasse payment that is reasonable and takes into consideration the risk and investment from the factory owners.

Channel 5

Crooked Tree student, Ashton Tillett, tops the 2014 P.S.E
The anticipated results of the Primary School Exams were released this afternoon. Seven thousand two hundred and forty five candidates sat the exams and as has been the trend in [...]

The leaked Auditor General Report – Ady Pacheco says Elvin Penner took immigration files
According to Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, the Auditor-General’s report recommends that Elvin Penner, Director of Immigration Maria Marin and others be charged criminally for their roles in [...]

Auditor General’s Report says there was lack of cooperation during investigation
The Auditor General’s report also makes pointed reference to challenges regarding the lack of cooperation during their investigation. In fact, Director of Immigration Maria Marin is named with great prominence [...]

COLA cries there’s cover up in the Penner immigration scandal
So while Minister Hulse says maximum cooperation, the Auditor-General’s team is saying they received anything but that. That’s actually par for the course where COLA is concerned. They were encouraged [...]

Green Tropics issues eviction notice to Valley of Peace farmers
There is tension tonight among the farming community of the Valley of Peace. As you know by now, the farmers lost their vegetables when the herbicide Roundup was used in [...]

G.O.B. meets with the Unions to finalize salary adjustments
The Joint Unions Negotiating Team, comprised of the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union, as well as the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, met with the Ministry [...]

PM says there will be no discussions where SATIIM is concerned
Wednesday’s press briefing, hosted by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, lasted three hours and covered much ground. One of the issues which came up is the controversy surrounding SATIIM, drilling by [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley lashes out at media to protect Eric Chang
On Wednesday, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley announced that he would be running for a second term of municipal office. He took time to laud the team he’s worked with [...]

PM says ministers’ trip to Cannes is not illegal or unethical
Who can ever forget the pictures of Minister of Investment Erwin Contreras and Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia hobnobbing with the rich and famous in Cannes? They were the guests [...]

Environmentalists want feasibility study on proposed Puerto Azul project
In the wake of the prime minister’s pronouncement on the proposed Puerto Azul development project, the coalition of environmental organizations, including Oceana, APAMO and the Belize Audubon Society, has written [...]

Although economy contracted, Barrow says he’s looking at the bigger picture
At the end of May, the Statistical Institute of Belize reported that the economy contracted in the first quarter of 2014. It wasn’t a huge contraction – just zero point [...]

Red Cross Volunteer makes international headlines for traveling the world over
Red Cross Volunteer, Torbjorn Pedersen, who also goes by the name Thor, has been making the headlines in many countries for his mission to travel the world. The thirty-five-year-old resident [...]

PM Barrow on Belize’s Music Ambassador, Shyne
The Prime Minister’s son, Shyne, is Belize’s music ambassador, and has been since April 2010. It was officially announced in a ceremony where Shyne was placed as head of the [...]

Marleny Castellanos slapped with additional immigration offenses
This morning, the alleged mastermind in an immigration scam, Marleny Castellanos, was slapped with twenty more charges for illegally aiding at least thirty persons to obtain Belizean nationality documents. Castellanos [...]

18 year old charged for Tuesday’s shooting on Victoria Street
We have reported on a rash of shootings, all gang related, in which nine persons were injured.  It all happened in Belize City between Saturday and Tuesday. As investigations continue, [...]

More primary school students complete the GREAT Program
An award ceremony was held today for two hundred and ten students who were successful in the popular GREAT program of the Police Department. It was a happy occasion for [...]

Healthy Living looks at MG, a rare autoimmune disease
This June is a special awareness month for a disease you’ve probably never heard about. It’s called Myasthenia Gravis (MG), a very rare auto-immune disease causing muscle weakness which affects [...]


COLA Gathers Additional Information On Evidence Against Elvin Penner
Names were not the only important pieces of evidence revealed by COLA today in the ongoing immigration scandal. According to the organization, there is additional information that can serve to help their case against Penner. COLA says the report indicated that in an interview with Immigration Officer Adi Pacheco, she says she engaged in certain actions because she was intimidated by Elvin Penner and feared being transferred to another department. But that’s not all, Pacheco further added that Penner retrieved important files such as documents that of the Kim Hon Wong application from the immigration office. COLA’s Attorney, Kareem Musa, believes this is theft and that Penner has tampered with a key piece of evidence that can help them in the prosecution against him. It doesn’t end there however, Pacheco said that she sent a letter with a list of the files Penner retrieved from the department and forwarded that list to Godwin Hulse, which COLA says remains in Hulse’s possession.

Orange Walk North Constituency To Elect Standard Bearer
A convention to elect a Standard Bearer in the Orange Walk North constituency for the People’s United Party will be held this coming Sunday and aspiring candidates have been churning their campaign wheels to visit with the electorate. Our news team took the time to catch up with the candidates as they pounded the streets for support. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Editor Fernandez Sanchez have the story in this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Leader of the BSI Negotiations for Baggasse, now political aspirant Alfredo Ortega, will be going up against Ramon ‘Munchie’ Cervantes and Jaime Castillo for a seat in the upcoming general elections. With only a few days left for the big day, these aspiring candidates have been putting in the ground work.

MET Holds Forum On Climate Outlook
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations and solar radiation received by Earth. Without a doubt it is an important topic and with that in mind, today the Belize National Meteorological Service, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and Environment Canada, hosted the first National Climate Outlook Forum at the ITVET conference room in Corozal Town. Reporter Victor Castillo was among the approximate 40 stakeholders from the Ministry of Agriculture, BTB and Belize Water Service who took part in the forum.

Corozal To Celebrates Global Blood Donor Day
Global Blood Donor Day, established in 2004, is observed every year on June 14th, around the world including Belize. The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their voluntary life-saving gifts of blood. The focus of this year's World Blood Donor Day campaign is "Safe blood for saving mothers". Every day, about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

COLA Get Its Hands On Auditors General Report
Disgraced Former Minister Elvin Penner was in court on May 29th after Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, brought on a private prosecution against him after government and authorities failed to start a criminal investigations into his involvement in the issuance of illegal passports to a number of individuals, one of which is the infamous Kin Won Hong. Two weeks from today, on June 26th, the case returns to court and from the looks of things, COLA may have gotten their hands on some evidence that can help in their prosecution. In a press conference held today, COLA executives and its attorney Kareem Musa, shared information leaked to them about three days ago. And COLA apparently shed some five hundred dollars for that information as it came after they announced monetary reward for any information that could help their case against Penner.

Vice Chairman Of BSCFA Hauled Into Court For Backed Up Maintenance Payment
This afternoon word spread like wildfire when BSCFA’s Vice Chairman of the Committee of Management and the lead negotiator in the bagasse issue, Alfredo Ortega, was detained at the Orange Walk Police Station. This time around, he wasn’t dealing with business matters of the BSCFA, but battling personal ones. We were made to understand that a committal warrant was issued for his arrest due to back payments on child support. Ortega visited our studious to clear his name since he felt the move was one that he called ‘political mischief” since he is contesting this Sunday’s convention for PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North. While visibly embarrassed, he says he has nothing to hide and wanted to settle any rumours the public may have heard of his detention.

Mercedez Benz Goes In Flames, Fire Department Says It's Electrical Failure
On Monday we reported on the fire incident in the village of Libertad in the Corozal District which saw a 2008 Mercedes Benz Car going up in flames. WPC Rosario Romero reported to police that around 3:30 Saturday morning she woke up only to find her vehicle, which was parked in the yard, on fire. Romero immediately opened her door and saw that the car and the electricity wire running to her house were engulfed in flames. The Corozal Fire Department managed to extinguish the fire and luckily no one was hurt. But the family believes that the vehicle was set on fire. So was it? That is what we found out today. Victor Castillo – Reporting This is what’s left of a 2008 Mercedes Benz B200 belonging to WPC Rosario Romero who is attached to the Corozal Police Department. Romero lives in the Village of Libertad and in the wee hours of Saturday morning she woke up only to find her car engulfed in flames. On an off camera interview with Romero’s common law husband, Paul Haberling, he told us he parked the vehicle in his yard around 10:00am on Friday and that’s where it remained parked. For Haberling it’s impossible for a vehicle that is parked for more than 12 hours to set itself on fire especially due to electrical problems.

Presbyterian School Celebrates Its Six Years Of Existence
Today marks six years that the New Life Primary School has been in existence and to celebrate the occasion, a small expo was held where the students showcased their work throughout the years. Principal of new Life, Ruth Ku shared with us how the school has evolved throughout the years. Ruth Ku – Principal, New Life Primary “We’re celebrating six years as a Presbyterian School, our kids have worked very hard and everything that is in the booth they have done, they have games and it is to show how we integrate learning in the classroom so everything is kids work and they have games and you play and win they will teach you, it is exposing everything they have been doing in the classroom.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “I saw the sugar industry, the endocrine system, the respiratory system and these are all in their curriculum?” Ruth Ku – Principal, New Life Primary “Everything that is in their curriculum today they are exposing from Pre-school up to standard six.”

Central Park To Be Renovated By SIF And The Town Council
At the top of the newscast we told about the upgrading of streets currently carried out by the Orange Walk Town. But the council’s work does not end there, Deputy Mayor Ian Cal also elaborated more on the proposal for the renovation of the Orange Walk Central Park which according to him is scheduled to start soon. Cal says that contractors have entered their bids for the renovation of the park and a decision has been made. Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor “A brand new park is being built, some of the structure that is there will be upgrade and it won’t be destroyed but the Park itself will be uplifted to ground levels, as you know the Park level is below street level, so it is going to be uplifted, the Gazebo and the BTIA building will be upgraded as well so you will see an entire upgrade of the Central Park and right after that you will see the upgrading of the street surrounding the Park which it will be made up of I think brick materials so it will be like a beautiful walking zone area in the Central Park, the way it works is that this is funded by the World Bank, it is a loan through the World Bank and it is channeled through the Social Investment Fund which has partnered with the municipalities to ensure that these types of project get carried through but one thing I must say is that money doesn’t come just like that, a council has to qualify, a council has to meet certain qualifications and standards to ensure that certain monies comes to the community and one is by being transparent holding public meetings and two is by paying three percent of the cost.”

Taking A Look At Suicide In Belize
Did you know that suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide? The good news though is that data shows that in Belize the suicide rate is relatively low in comparison to other countries. However, one suicide is one too many and the more we increase our knowledge of suicide, the stigma, which is a major barrier to suicide prevention will hopefully gradually disappear. For this week alone, two persons, one male and one female, have taken their lives and no one seems to know why. Rosalia Juchim, Psychiatric Nurse at the Corozal Community Hospital for the past nine years, has been working hand in hand with students and teachers in order to bring awareness about the topic. According to Juchim, in the Corozal District she has seen an increase in suicide cases. Rosalia Juchim - Psychiatric Nurse “Recent figures show that yes we have approximately 5 to 6 people attempting for this year 2014 but also for the people who completed we have children of school age and we do have a program that we try to carry on especially in schools, suicide prevention and we do the talk for teacher and session for students also but what we have not target would be like parents, they are always buys with work or not presenting themselves at school when teacher sends for them and even sometimes they do visit the schools they won’t really solve whatever issue the teacher might have mentioned for us psychiatric nurses have tried last month and early this month to have a meeting with the councilors from each high school, secondary and tertiary so that we can have some suicide prevention programs in school.”

Figures For Week 20 Of Crop Season
There are more stories ahead but first let’s take a look at the weekly crop review. Carmelita Perez - Reporter June 8th 2014 marked the end of week 20 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 20 the factory milled thirty eight thousand eight hundred and ninety six tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of nine hundred and ninety eight thousand three hundred and fifty two tons of cane. Last year the factory milled eight hundred and thirty six thousand four hundred and eighty eight tons cane during the same time frame. Taking a look at sugar production, three thousand three hundred and ninety tons of the sweetener was produced for week 20. An overall of one hundred and five thousand one hundred and thirty six tons of the product have been produced so far. Last year, the factory produced eighty eight thousand six hundred and ninety six tons of sugar during the 20 weeks of crop.

Ruthless Criminals Attack Another Chinese In Orange Walk Town
On June 9th it was Money Gram here in Orange Walk that fell victim to a broad daylight robbery and today it was a Chinese store that was raided by ruthless criminals. With that there seems to be an increase of robberies in Orange Walk Town as several businesses have been targeted in just one week. This afternoon, three masked men rushed into the Sun Luck Store located on Zericote Street and help up its shop keeper. And while no one was hurt, police are looking for several suspects in this latest daylight robbery. Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commanding, OW Police “A 23 year Chinese business woman owner or Sun Luck store located at Zericote Street, Orange Walk Town, visited the Orange Walk Police Station reported today while in her business place three masked men, two armed and one with a knife entered the store and demanded money from her she then handed to the assailant the cash box containing approximately one thousand dollars, the three masked men made good their escape on their vehicle, police continue on their investigation.” Meanwhile, police are looking into all possible leads including the angle that the perpetrators could be the same ones that targeted Money Gram on Monday.

Resident Of Otro Benque Concerned About Overgrown Lot
Crime keeps plaguing communities across the country, be it anywhere from murders to breaking and entering. One resident in an area on the Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk Town has decided to go public with one of her concerns. That problem is getting an overgrown lot adjacent her lawn cleaned. Thelma Carballo contributes the situation to the growing crime in her neighborhood and says it needs to be cleaned. Telma Carballo – Concerned Resident “Pone en peligro no solo a mi sino a todos los vecinos como ya han visto han visto varios asaltos y a mí me han asaltado dos veces y tenemos a la señora que le han asaltado también y ahora aquí enfrente que es el Money gram y en este terreno vacío y el monte alto se esconden los ladrones y allí pasan la gente que trabaja y es peligroso. Constante de noche oyes gritos, ahora hay una mata de mango allí que allí que suben a fumar mariguana, la policía pasa y pasa y como sordo mudos y si entonces hay que ponerle interés a nuestro país.” Carballo says she is afraid that the crime situation only worsens and therefore has turned to the media as a last resort in getting one problem addressed.

O/W Town Council Continues To Work On Street Infrastructure Even With Lack Of Resources
It is hardly a tired song as the concern over the deplorable state of the streets in Orange Walk Town continues to be echoed by pretty much everyone. Over the past months, the Orange Walk Town Council has been doing some work on the most affected areas but the work seems indefinite. Today, Deputy Mayor Ian Cal says the council has shifted its strategy on some of the most affected areas in Town. Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor “What the council has decided is to divert some of that attention that we were giving outside and bring it in town now, so what we plan to do now is that we are upgrading these streets and yesterday we started with Trinidad Street, which is at this point upgrade and today we are here at Liberty Avenue and today what we are doing is ripping, compacting and putting in some new material and right after that we will see the paving of Liberty Avenue and from here we are moving on to Guadalupe and Sapodilla which has been pending for some few months now and the reason we hadn’t touched those street yet is because BWS just finished working on that street and that is the way we are coordinating with BWS , they go in first and then we afterwards because we don’t want the same thing that happened before you just finished working on a street and they come back and rip it.”

#492227 - 06/13/14 07:29 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 13, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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PSE Results Are Out
Standard six students countrywide are mandated to sit the Primary School examination each year which seeks to measure how much of the curriculum content has been grasped on the primary level. While it has been noted that the results were a bit delayed this year, today, hundreds of students were given their scores for the four areas tested; namely, Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science. With those results in from the Ministry of Education, we can tell you that for 2014, the Crooked Tree Government School has come out on top with its student, Ashton Tillett scoring 371 points out of 400. 13-year-old, Ashton says he only sent out one high school application and that was to EP Yorke High School in Belize City. An overview of the results shows that in the English area, 51% of those who sat the exam performed at a satisfactory level meaning that they got anywhere above a 60% mark. According to the ministry, the scores in this subject show a slight improvement from last year. Meanwhile, in the Mathematics area, there was no marked improvement…..rather, for 2014 only 36% of the students managed to get a grade of 60% or more. In the subject of Social Studies, 58% made it above a 60% grade and in Science 77% scored above the satisfactory grade of 60%. Seven thousand two hundred and forty five students took this year’s PSE.

PM Barrow Comments on Oil Drilling in Southern Belize
Another issue Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed is the perfected order handed down by Justice Michelle Arana in relation to the drilling operations inside the SarstoonTemash National Park. In her April 3rd judgment, Justice Arana ruled that GOB obtain free, prior and informed consent from the Mayan Villagers. But the May 9th perfected judgment, says that Government should “seek” and make good faith attempt to obtain consent from the villagers. Executive Director, SATIIM, has been at the forefront of the issue. However, PM Barrow, told the media yesterday, that SATIIM has no role to play in the negotiations between, the Government of Belize and the Mayan Communities. Barrow explained why that is so.

Oil Production At Stand Still in Northern Belize
While SATIIM has and is putting a challenge for GOB to go ahead and drill oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park, GOB is also facing problems in extracting oil in the Orange Walk District. Last year it was announced that Maranco Energy Limited had struck black gold in the Orange Walk South area. The oil company found an encouraging oil show in Gallon Jug but Maranco ran into some problems after the acid they injected into the ground to destroy the mud, turned the oil into tar. Two months ago, Barrow told the media that he had sent a request to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago asking for technical assistance. However, that request has not been answered. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “Prime Minister Persaad has not responded and has not sent the mission that we asked for. There is going to be a CARICOM Summit early next month, the 1st to the 4th July and we will renew the request but ultimately it’s a matter that we rely on our resources; with a short answer to your question, nothing has happened.” The oil show was found at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in Maranco’s Concession area.

Decline in Oil Production Blamed for Drop in GDP
Last month the Statistical Institute of Belize, released Belize’s first quarter Estimates for Gross Domestic Product and the statistics for Consumer Price Index and External Trade. Statistics show that Belize’s GDP declined marginally by 0.4%. the decline was attributed to the decrease output in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. A decline was also seen in sugar, citrus, bananas and petroleum. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, spoke of the SIB report. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “Very many of the key areas are doing extremely well; tourism, construction, government spending…while agriculture is not in that happy category. The fact is that, ultimately, the responsibility for the position is principally as a consequence of the decline in oil production and that is not anything we can do about.” It is expected the Statistic Institute of Belize will release its preliminary results of April 2014 Labour Force Survey this month.

Prime Minister Explains His Non-Response to COLA
The passport scandal which broke last year resulted in Prime Minister Dean Barrow firing former Minister of State, Elvin Penner for signing, the now infamous, Won Hong Kim nationality certificate. The scandal has rocked the current UDP Administration and Elvin Penner has disappeared from the cameras, except on courts dates which is when he presents himself to put up a defense against the private prosecution brought by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA. COLA says their private prosecution has been stonewalled and they were unable to obtain needed documentary evidence to successfully prosecute Elvin Penner. Having seen this, COLA, asked the Prime Minister to intervene but did not get any response to the letter sent. However, COLA, got a big break on Tuesday as they announced that had received the Auditor General’s preliminary report in the Elvin Penner passport scandal through an anonymous source. At his press conference yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke about the issue. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “Cola wrote to me to ask for that. They’re now upset because they said I didn’t even reply. It’s as with today, I’m not going to reply to you to tell you no and provoke this exchange of correspondence because you wrote to me as a political stunt or maybe not a political stunt but to try and get mileage.


Orange Walk Complaints About Streets Soon to be Answered
On Wednesday, BTIA Orange Walk Chapter issued an open letter to the Prime Minister in which they stated their utmost displeasure with the deplorable conditions of the roads in Orange Walk. This includes primarily the Phillip Goldson Highway, which consists of Belize-Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue, and Otro Benque...

The Guardian

Another term for Mayor Bradley
Ending months of speculation and rumors, on Wednesday, June 11, Prime Minister and Leader of the United Democratic Party, Hon. Dean Barrow officially announced that Mayor Darrell Bradley will be running as the mayoral candidate for the UDP. PM Barrow explained that an understanding has been reached with councilors Bernard Pitts and Dion Leslie which allows for Mayor Darrell Bradley to go up as the UDP candidate. The two councilors had expressed interest in running as mayoral candidates in the upcoming UDP convention. They have now withdrawn their applications and Mayor Bradley will go uncontested. In addressing the press conference, Prime Minister Barrow described Mayor Bradley’s accomplishments as phenomenal and his decision to run for the UDP as a boon for the party and residents of Belize City. Also addressing the gathering was councilor Pitts who stated that he supported the mayor heart and soul. He noted that there is no one that can say that the Belize City Council has not delivered on 90% of its manifesto promises and added that the ship has been sailing sternly.

PM addresses Rod of Correction
The grouping of activist groups calling themselves the Rod of Correction were addressed by the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, at a press conference held on Wednesday, June 11. Just about every member of the grouping was taken to task by the PM. He noted that what the ROC is trying to create is an impression as if the country is being plagued by large scale crises such as what the PUP administration was being plagued by in 2005. At that time the government was cutting deals, signing illegal contracts and concealing it from the people. With all that, the principal player of the entire debacle the PM singled out as Ralph Fonseca, and even in the midst of all of the shenanigans Said Musa pledged his love for the man. Penner The UDP’s tenure is in stark contrast cited the PM. As it relates to the Penner issue, it was he who brought it forward to the people when it could have been covered up. “That is not my style!” he said. “We have accepted responsibility, and we have acted to correct the situation,” added PM Barrow. It is now up to the DPP to determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute him. NTUCB Demands He then addressed the issue of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize which he had earlier on described as disrespectful, confrontational and rude in recent press releases that it has issued. Nonetheless the PM explained that, “it takes two to quarrel. I am not going to be responding in kind.” What he did do was to go over what is causing the NTUCB’s consternation. “The prime motivation of the NTUCB is self interest,” he said. They are looking to continue negotiations with government over issues that simply cannot be addressed.

Cayo North East moves forward
While the PUP are fixated on Elvin Penner, the United Democratic Party has driven past that hurdle. On Sunday June 8, the constituents of the Cayo North East constituency successfully selected a new standard bearer to represent the UDP in the next General Elections. Polling started at 10a.m. on Sunday, June 8, and closed at 5p.m., by the time the ballots were counted current mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August, had emerged victorious. There were a total of 1,454 ballots cast. August received 975 votes, Eduardo Juan received 398 and Anthony McNab received 72 while 9 ballots were rejected. After the final tally, UDP party chairman, Alberto August made the formal announcement and swore in John August as the Standard Bearer. Shortly thereafter McNab addressed the gathering thanking those who supported him in his bid and pledging to stand alongside August to ensure a UDP victory in the next General Elections. For his part, August also thanked his supporters and pledged to continue to work arduously to improve the division. He also explained that the enemy are not those who contested the convention, rather, the enemy was the People’s United Party.

PG Town Council in shambles
Minister of Local government, Hon. Godwin Hulse, has confirmed to the Guardian Newspaper that the PG Town Board is in bad financial shape. The situation at that municipality has gone from bad to worse as the PUP mayor, Anthony Fuentes, has simply been unable to manage the affairs, the financial affairs in particular, of that municipality. "They have reached the point where we don't think they can continue to manage the finances of the town in an appropriate way," stated Hon. Hulse. Because of that inability to continue to manage the financial affairs, a financial controller will be appointed to do so. Hon. Hulse says that appointment will become effective within a week. While Hulse would not disclose how bad it is at the council, we do know that for weeks the council has been unable to meet simple financial commitments such as paying employees. Even the collection of garbage has been absent in that town. The town board is in this shape despite the fact that under the Municipal Development Project officers of the council have been trained to do proper management and that has been unsuccessful. This is the kind of thing that happens under PUP stewardship. While this is just one case that has come to the fore, similar complaints are being levied against the PUP controlled councils in Dangriga and Orange Walk. It would be a good exercise for investigations to also be carried out in these municipalities where like the PG town board have been unable to carry out every day operations.

UDP rehabilitates road leading Punta Gorda dump site
To the rescue once again, UDP councilor Fern Guttierez and UDP Standard Bearer Peter Eden Martinez have lobbied the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, to clean the access road leading to the garbage dump site and the dump site proper. The road to the site is filled with mounds of garbage all along the side of the road leading to the dump site. The problem was out of hand with the access road to the dump site being impassable due to the fact that garbage was piled five feet high in front of the access road. The smell was unbearable from any part of the surrounding area. The Punta Gorda Town Council, that owns and operates the dump site, has failed miserably. Mayor Anthony Fuentes has failed to properly dispose of garbage from the town. In Punta Gorda Town, it seems that we do not have a garbage site, just a place where they dump the garbage, which is on the side of the road. The mayor neglects his duties and responsibilities to the voters of PG Town. Thanks to Ms. Fern and Mr. Eden who have come to the rescue. The works started on June 10, 2014. One mile of road, where the garbage has been accumulating, is now being cleared. This is Phase I of the rehabilitation of the access road and Dump Site.

Ambassadors Present Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Ambassador of Switzerland H.E. Louis-Jose Touron and H.E. Patricia Vaca Narvaja, ambassador of Argentina, both presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. Both ambassadors conveyed their best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and expressed their mission to sustain and continue to develop strong relations between their respective countries and Belize.

World Blood Donors Day 2014
Belmopan. June 11th, 2014. Every year, on June 14, Belize joins the global community in celebrating World Blood Donor’s day by honoring its voluntary blood donors. The event raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. This year, the theme is “Safe Blood for Saving Mothers”. This theme is relevant for Belize since pregnancy and childbirth services have received much priority by the Ministry of Health. Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability. The goal of the global campaign is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

CEMO: “We Are Prepared for a Disaster”
The Belize City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) held a press briefing on Monday, June 9, to assure residents that the city is “prepared for a disaster”. Mayor Darrel Bradley says CEMO is more prepared than ever and “we have a plan in place to ensure the safety of all residents of the city”. Shortly after the close of last year’s hurricane season the organization looked at some of its weaknesses. Mayor Bradley says the main weakness identified was rescue workers inability to effectively care for people with special needs. That prompted the Council to sign up over a dozen staffers for sign language classes. Mayor Bradley says, “There will now be someone trained to communicate using sign language in every evacuation mission.” Another weakness is one that has been identified since the Hurricane Mitch experience in 1998; which is the inexistence of a true evacuation route. Councilor Phillip Willoughby says the Council has been talking about it for years and now there is an established evacuation route and plan. Willoughby says immediately after the Mayor issues an evacuation order traffic personnel will be out to direct the flow of motor vehicles on a particular route. These routes can be seen on huge billboards across the city. In order to prevent traffic congestion by those heavy machine vehicles, companies have been instructed to move those vehicles out of the city two days early.

Central Government takes care of PG
It is quite a pity that the UDP Central Government simply just can’t take over the affairs of the Punta Gorda town board, after all they were elected by the people. We say its a pity because that municipal body has been doing a terrible job of administering the affairs of the town. Were it not for the infusion of capital and investment by the central government, nothing would happen in PG. Nonetheless, there are things which the UDP Central Government is doing for the people of Punta Gorda. We can cite that concrete streets are currently under construction thanks to financing by the UDP government. The second phase of the concreting of West Street in the town has commenced and is funded by the UDP central government. The first phase of the project cost $352,000 the second phase will cost $500,000. More than providing better road conditions, the project is seeing the employment of hundreds of workers from the town. Along with the concreting of streets, the ministry of National Security is refurbishing the police station which was in great need of repairs. The ministry will be investing in excess of $100,000 dollars in this project and at the end of it the police station will be brought up to standard with a new roof and redesigned interior.

Corn can’t grow on Battlefield
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) managed to bring out less than 200 citizens to support their “Plant Di Corn” Rally. That was a very feeble showing given they had the support of 10 other pressure groups who’ve decided to form a coalition. With this coalition, which has some of the most powerful unionizing machinery capable of mobilizing tens of thousands, the rally didn’t even bring enough people to match the 1040 lease applicants from the Harmonyville community. BGYEA is now a part of the so called Rod of Correction, a new movement in which they are joined by the Belize National Teacher’s Union; the National Trade Union Congress of Belize; the Citizens Organized For Liberty through Action; the Belize Pharmacists Association; the Association of Public Service Senior Managers; SATIIM; the Public Service Union; the Belize Energy Workers Union;the Nurses Association, the Belize Evangelical Association of churches; and DJ Keegan Lord from Vibes Radio, who organized a failed protest against Shyne and NICH President Diane Haylock.

Courtenay tries to Muscle the Judiciary
In what can only be described as an effort to muscle his way against the Judiciary, Eamon Courtenay, President of the Bar Association is using his position in that organization in the hopes that Justice Samuel Awich not be reappointed as a Justice of the Court of Appeals. Speaking on the matter on Wednesday, Prime Minister, Dean Barrow indicated that Justice Awich’s appointment will be going ahead. He noted that he received objection to the appointment by the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca; however, Fonseca’s only reason was that the Bar association was objecting to the appointment. PM Barrow noted that in following up the Bar Association’s objection Fonseca was not living up to his constitutional duty. For context we note that Justice Awich recently ruled against Courtenay, who is the president of the Bar Association, in the nationalization of BTL and BEL. Awich ruled that the nationalization was properly done. Apparently holding a grudge, Courtenay using his position at the Bar is giving off the impression that attorneys are against the appointment. The reality of the matter is that at every meeting of the Bar association, less than 20 percent of the membership shows up and this small grouping makes decisions for the entire association.

Garbage Crisis in PG!
Residents of Punta Gorda Town have had enough of Mayor Anthony Fuentes and PUP Area Representative Mike Espat’s incompetence and ineptitude. For months now they have been unable or unwilling to properly carry out the simple taskes that they are mandated to do by the good people of Punta Gorda. Anthony Fuentes’ incompetence in managing the finances of the town has now created among other things a serious garbage crisis in the Town. He has demonstrated for all to see his inability to do simple tasks required of the town board such as cleaning drains and fixing streets for some time now, but this time he has gone too far. For weeks now, there has been no garbage collection in the town, so much so that everywhere you turn in that municipality there are heaps upon heaps of garbage. The garbage which has accumulated is not only and eye sore and a blemish to the beautiful town but also a serious and very real health hazzard to its residents. What is worse is that residents actually pay for garbage collection in that town. Calls to the town board about when the collection of garbage will be done go unanswered. Although it is no surprise to anyone that Fuentes’ ineptitude to clean up the town is apparent, what really surprises people is the fact that he is even incapable of clearing the garbage that is infront of the Municipality’s Town Hall. Imagine…he cannot even clean the garbage that he generates; can we really expect him to pick up the garbage others generate?

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 on Wednesday, June 4, 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 the evening to encourage students to continue being good citizens.

New Health and Safety Standards for Archaeological Reserves and Parks
It was just thirteen months after the Belize Bureau of Standards was contacted, but when the Health and Safety Standards were completed it has ended up as a well rounded plan to safeguard both Belizeans and tourists, who regularly visit Belize’s archaeological sites. Jose Trejo, the Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, signed the Health and Safety Standards Statutory Instrument on Thursday of last week at the Xunantunich Archaeological Site, thus activating a set of compulsory guidelines that satisfy both National and International life saving standards. Putting these standards together by getting expert inputs from both Belize and abroad was Armeid Thompson, Chairperson of the Tourism Technical Committee, and who is also Director of the Quality Assurance Department at the Belize Tourism Board. “No progress is made in isolation, but requires the collective wisdom and collaboration of dedicated teams whose sole purpose is to be catalysts for change”, said Armeid Thompson last at a brief ceremony at Xunantunich and added, “…but however time is exactly what this Project did not have…”

Ignore the Laws and Plant Corn on the Buffer
Since Nigel Petillo is so adamant about planting corn in the buffer of Harmonyville between miles 41 and 42 on the Western Highway, I have suddenly come up with the idea of doing the same on the buffer between miles 6 and 8 on the George Price highway at Western Paradise Village. I will go about this by simply looking for an investor, of whom I will require a cash deposit for them to use the stretch of land that is the buffer in front of the village. Since Petillo got an investor to come in to the Harmonyville buffer without first seeking permission from the Government of Belize, that will be my modus as well. If after the work commences on the buffer to plant corn there, the Government reacts by placing an injunction against the investor and myself, I will simply call on the Rod of Correction to come to my aid. Hopefully they will be able to gather the same 150 people to come to my rescue and to rally for my cause. If I have failed to mention it, when the investor comes to plant corn at the Western Paradise Village buffer, monetary compensation will be asked of that individual. That money, lets say, will be used to, hmmm.... ohhhh, dig drains in the village. :-)

Mexican Trade Mission To Belize
ProMéxico (the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency) and the Embassy of Mexico are organizing a trade mission on June 18th at the Embassy in Belmopan and on June 19th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The objective of the mission is to strengthen trade relations between Mexico and Belize, identifying potential buyers and suppliers of a variety of products and/or services, as well as to find investment opportunities. Products include: chilli pepper sauces, achiote marinade, ketchup, vinegars, vanilla, jam concentrates, sausages, wines, liquors, chemical products for water treatment, water pumps and environmental sanitizers, paints, waterproofing pastes, protective coatings (paint, lumber and metals), industrial solvents, demoisturizing compounds, cleaning & drain openers, stainless steel polish & cleaner, non-chlorinated degreasers, CRM Software and GPS. Services include software development technology focused on e-government and companies, development of CRM software, as well as consulting services on water treatment.

Ministry of Agriculture assists Farmers adapt to Climate Change
The Ministry of Agriculture through the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union handed over Forage Chopping Machines to 25 farmers in the Belize River Valley Area. The event took place on Tuesday June 10 at the Sandhill Community Center. The Machines will be used by farmers to prepare during climate change events. In the past cattle farmers in the River Valley Area have been affected by severe weather events including droughts and flooding. With the machines, which will form a part of a pilot project, the cattle farmers can prepare feed for their animals before they are affected by either drought or floods. According to Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Hugo Patt, "What in essence we are doing is providing food materials so that the farmers can be ready in times of drought and rains."

Belize attends 44th regular session of the general assembly of the OAS
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.” Minister Elrington, in the same vein, spoke of Belize’s efforts towards social inclusion and stated that “Development with social justice is a concept that has, for the most part, been alien to our hemisphere for upwards of five hundred years.” He said “that in Belize we appreciate that creating economic opportunities for the most vulnerable, reducing poverty, and increasing social inclusion are outcomes that will not spontaneously result from economic growth alone nor from the normal interaction of societal and interest groups.” He continued therefore that in Belize “our government has been assiduous in initiating measures to provide social safety nets with programs including conditional cash transfers, a food pantry, and a program to provide monetary support to elder citizens over the age of sixty-five.”

Toledo DAVCO Pledges Support to Government of Belize
On Friday June 6, 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. Also, present for the meeting were Minister and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities Senator Hon. Joy Grant and Dr. Colin Young; and Minister in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Senator Hon. Lisel Alamilla.

Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is Special Envoy’s Trailblazer of the Week
Trailblazer Tuesdays brings you another great Belizean woman who has contributed significantly to the country’s education system. Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is an accomplished and dedicated educator. She worked for 18 years in tertiary education as a Teacher Educator at the University of Belize and at Galen University and is now President and Principal of Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. Dr. Aird has served as Chair of the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize (ATLIB) for 3 terms, and Co-Chair of the Consortium on Belize Education Cooperation (COBEC), a group of Belizean and US universities and community colleges working for the improvement of education in Belize.

Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is Special Envoy’s Trailblazer of the Week
Trailblazer Tuesdays brings you another great Belizean woman who has contributed significantly to the country’s education system. Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is an accomplished and dedicated educator. She worked for 18 years in tertiary education as a Teacher Educator at the University of Belize and at Galen University and is now President and Principal of Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. Dr. Aird has served as Chair of the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize (ATLIB) for 3 terms, and Co-Chair of the Consortium on Belize Education Cooperation (COBEC), a group of Belizean and US universities and community colleges working for the improvement of education in Belize.

Gang violence erupts in Belize City again
kirk smith.jpg - 18.65 KbEight people ended up in the hospital over the weekend of June 7 and 8, in 3 separate shootings all believed to be gang related, and connected to a rivalry between the Ghost Town Crips and the George Street Bloods, which escalated. The first shooting took place on Saturday, June 7, at around 10 p.m. 28 year-old Sigmond Trapp and 25 year-old Anthony Scott were walking on Kut Avenue, and when they arrived at the Amara Avenue Intersection, a black Ford Escort with dark tinted windows drove past. When the vehicle got close enough, someone from inside, lowered a window and fired shots at them before driving off. Trapp was injured in the right hand and right leg, while Scott took bullets to his right hand and upper back. They were both rushed to the KHMH for treatment. The next shooting incident happened 5 hours later, in which 16 year-old Corine Cory White, a third form student at the Anglican Cathedral College was shot. White was leaving the Princess Casino with 2 other men, one of whom is her boyfriend, and is believed to have a George Street connection. They were in his car in front of the parking lot, and that’s when a gunman ran out and opened fire on the vehicle. White was struck by a bullet in her right ear which travelled down her jaw and ended up lodged in her chest. It was fortunate that the bullet didn’t penetrate her brain, and she remains at the KHMH for treatment.

Cashier is accused of stealing $5.00
A cashier who is employed at a store inside the Tourism Village is being accused of stealing $5.00 from her boss. 21-year-old, Erica Valerio, appeared before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a single charge of theft. She appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where she initially pleaded guilty to the charge of theft. Allegations are that on May 28, 2014, she stole $5.00, 2-$1.00 US currency and one $1.00 coin Belize currency from her employer, Jason Almendolia, the proprietor of Belize Yogurt located at 8th Street at the Tourism Village in Belize City. In court Valerio pleaded guilty to theft.

Confrontation in Cayo
Several persons have been injured in the Cayo District as a result of altercations. A 27 years old male from Billywhite Village, Gubercindo Pop, received several chop and stab wounds on Saturday of this past weekend and had to be taken to the San Ignacio Town Hospital for medical treatment. An investigation into the incident reveals that Gubercindo Pop was involved in a confrontation with Santos Chacon, Roberto Chacon Senior and Roberto Chacon Junior, where he attempted to defend himself and in doing so caused injuries to both Santos Chacon and Roberto Chacon. Police are yet to locate Roberto Chacon Senior and have him be escorted to the Magistrate Court.

DPP appeals acquittal of lawmen accused of landing drug plane
On Wednesday, June 11, police officers who were accused of assisting to land a drug plane in the Bladen reserved area on November 13, 2010 in the South of Belize remain without reinstatement to their jobs even after they were acquitted of criminal charges. The men linked to the million dollar drug plane were cops, Renel Grant, Lawrence Humes, Jacinto Roches, Mark Middleton, former Customs Officer, Harold Usher and Mango Creek resident, Victor Logan. They were all accused of drug trafficking of one of the largest cocaine busts in Belize. Their criminal case for the importation of drugs into Belize was called up in the Court of appeal, after their acquittal on December 4, 2012 by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The matter could not get started as attorney Simeon Sampson who represents Victor Logan asked the court for an adjournment on two reasons. Attorney for Jacinto Roches, Renal grant and Mark Middleton is Dickie Bradley who was not present due to other matters he had before another court.

Father Accused of Sexually Assaulting 8-year-old Daughter
A 41-year-old father is being accused of sexually assaulting his 8-year-old daughter. Allegations are that on May 25 while the child was in bed with one of her brothers the father came into the bed and laid between the two of them. While her brother slept on the other side, he placed his hands into her underwear and fondled her inappropriately. The child later complained of pain and was taken to be examined by a doctor. The father appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith On Tuesday, June 10, where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault. There was no objection to bail but the Chief Magistrate set conditions. He is to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Thursdays of the week until his case is concluded. He must also stay away from his daughter until the case is disposed of. Chief Magistrate Smith offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount and his next court date is set for July 31, 2014.

Ex-employee of Feinstein Group Charged with 85 counts of theft
Marcia Marie Gillett, ex-employee of the Feinstein Group of Companies, is facing 85 counts of theft after she was accused of dishonestly appropriating thousands of dollars from her ex-boss. Gillet appeared in the Magistrate Court to face the charges on Friday, June 5, where it took Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart one hour and a half to read the 85 charges. No plea was taken since the matter will be dealt with on indictment. There was no objection to bail but prosecutor Hector Rodriguez asked that the court set conditions to bail. Magistrate Stewart granted Gillett bail in the sum of $9,000 plus one surety of the same amount. She was ordered to surrender all her travelling documents to the clerk of court; she must not interfere with any of the witnesses in the case and she was also ordered to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. until the case is disposed of. Marcia Marie Gillett’s next court date is set for August 1, 2014.

Trevor Guy Charged for Attempted Robbery of Mile 8 Store
One of three men who attempted a broad daylight robbery at Mile 8 Store on the George Price Highway on June 4 has been captured by police and charged. Trevor Guy appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, June 9, and pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm. Allegations are that Guy and two others attempted to rob Delcid Store, located at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway. According to police, on June 4, three men, one armed with a firearm, visited Delcid Store at around 1:30 p.m. and held up Julio Delcid at gun point. According to the owner, when the men arrived at his store they pointed a gun at him and tried to rob him. That was when he pulled out his license firearm and fired shots at the men who fled the scene. Police quick response led to the three men who were seen hiding in the cemetery area, but police only managed to capture one as the other two managed to make good their escape. Guy appeared unrepresented in court and due to the fact that the offense was committed using a firearm bail was denied. He is remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on July 30. The other two men remain at large as police investigation continues.

Five Employees of Yhony Rosado Charged with Dangerous Harm
Five more men who are believed to have been involved in the beating of Vitalino Reyes Jr. on Thursday, May 29, at Long Island Bar have been charged with dangerous means of harm. Reyes Jr., who is the son of the owner of cavetubing.bz, was socializing with his friend Yhony Vega at Long Island Bar. Yhony Rosado, owner of cavetubing.com, was socializing with some of his workers in the same bar at the same time. It is alleged that as Reyes and his friend were leaving, some of Rosado’s employees blocked the door and attacked Reyes and his friend. The beating on Reyes was so severe that he ended up in a coma. Yhony Rosado says that neither he nor his employees touched Reyes and his friend. He says there were other people in the bar and they may have been the ones to get into the fight. On Tuesday, June 3, Leon Gentle was charged with Dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon Reyes Jr. Rosado says that Gentle was not even at the bar with him at the time of the incident. Three days after Gentle was charged, five other employees of Rosado were charged. Jimmy Cortez, John Frazer, Christopher Williams, Evan Williams and Keith Vairez were arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart on Friday, June 6, and jointly charged with dangerous harm upon Vitalino Reyes Jr. and one count of harm upon Yhony Vega. No plea was taken and there was no objection to bail which was offered at $7,000 each plus two sureties of $3,500. Their case was adjourned for July 24, 2014.

Murderer’s conviction affirmed by Court of Appeals
On Wednesday June 11, Kenrick Williams who killed a 16 year old high school girl, Elia Gonzalez, had his murder conviction affirmed by the Justices of the Court of Appeals. Williams was accused of the March 23, 2004 murder of Elia Gonzalez who was strangled to death by Williams in a bushy area in a road in Concepcion village in the Corozal district. Williams who is serving a life sentence took his case to the Appeals Court through his attorney Phillip Palacio. He argued that the trial judge failed to give adequate directions to the jury on arriving at their verdict. His arguments were not accepted and the conviction was affirmed. In the 2012 trial, a caution statement given by Williams was admitted as evidence. In the statement he told Corozal police that he waited for his secret girlfriend whose name he said was Liz, referring to the deceased, Elia Gonzalez, at the Concepcion/Libertad road, near the water tank. When he saw her coming, after exiting a bus, he threw his bicycle into a nearby bush.

Belize Elementary girls and Chan Pine Ridge boys are National Primary Schools Volleyball champions
The National Primary Schools Volleyball championship came to an end on Friday, June 6, 2014, at Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School representing the Belize District defeated Holy Angles Roman Catholic from the Stann Creek Valley by the score of 25-12 and 28-26 to capture its first National Primary Schools Volleyball Title. In the third place game, Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District eliminated Blue Creek representing the Toledo District by the score of 20-25, 25-23 and 15-10 to take the Bronze medal. In the first game in the semi-final round, Belize Elementary School defeated Louisiana Government School in two sets by the score of 25-10 and 25-5. In the second game, Holy Angels defeated Blue Creek in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-11. In the first game of the girls’ championship played earlier in the day, Belize Elementary School defeated Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 25-2and25-4. In the second game, Louisiana Government School defeated Garden City Primary from Belmopan representing the Cayo District by the score of 25-15 and 25-23. all the student-athletes that participated in the championship.

Caye Caulker Roman Catholic wins in primary schools basketball competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition continued on Tuesday, June 10, with three games at the Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ competition played, St. John Vianney defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 7-4. The top scorer for St. John Vianney was Jasmine Sanchez with 7 points. In the first of three games in the boys’ competition, Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School defeated Queen Street Baptist School by the score of 22-14. The top scorers for Caye Caulker Roman Catholic were Jaden Williams with 8 points and Harrison Cadle with 5 points. For Queen Street Baptist School, the top scorers were Glenford Gillett with 5 points and Dennis Aranda with 4 points. In game two, St. John Vianney School defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 30-28. The top scorers for St. John Vianney were Faheem Elijio with 10 points and Jerric Jones with 8 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Buttonwood Bay Nazarene were Lawrence Sanchez and Edmond Flowers with 10 points each and Mark Estell with 6 points.

Cayo Western Ballaz vs San Pedro Tigersharks for Basketball Supremacy
The National Elite Basketball League 2014 season is fast coming to an end. The League will commence its championship round on , June 15, out at the R. Angel Nunez Auditorium in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. In the first game scheduled for 1:30 pm the host team San Pedro Tigersharks will entertain the Cayo Western Ballaz. The semi-final round came to an end on Friday, June 6, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, when the home team the Cayo Western Ballaz in the third and final game of the series eliminated the Belize City based Smart No Limit Team by the score of 75-57 to advance to the championship round. The top scorer for the Cayo Western Ballaz was Farron Louriano with 34 points, 18 rebounds, and an assist. He was assisted by Richard Troyer who contributed 17 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Travis Lennan who scored 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in helping his team to the victory. For the Smart No Limit Team, the top scorers were Elsworth Itza with 8 points, 12 rebounds, and a steal, Gregory Rudon also with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal, and Matthew Young with 8 points and 5 rebounds.

FFB President’s Cup tournament continues
The FFB President’s Cup Tournament for 2014 continued over the last weekend with a number of games on the schedule. On Sunday June 8 out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting Belize District Stars and the Roaring Creek United played to a 2-2 draw. The goal scorers for the Belize District Stars were Brian Martinez who scored in the 49th minutes of play and Dalton Cayetano who scored in the 70th minute of play. For Roaring Creek United, the goals were scored by Alden Coleman in the 72nd minute of play and Limbert Coleman in the 87th minute of play. At the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town, the host team San Antonio defeated Pomona United by the score of 4-1. The goals for San Antonio were scored by Christian Perez in the 23rd minutes of play, Ian Daniels in the 55th and 87th minutes of play, and Darnell Mossiah in the 75th minute of play. The only goal of the game was scored by Jevon Arana in the 32nd minutes of play.

Football Federation calls U-20 footballers to camp
The Football Federation of Belize held tryout for U-20 males this past Saturday. One Hundred Twenty (120) players attended the tryout, and the following players have been selected to camp. They are to be at the FFB Headquarters on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm. Training will be from Thursday to Sunday June 15th. Norman Anderson Edmond Pandy Darren Myers Randy Duke Dorrell Lambey Collin Westby Eduardo Gongora Sanjay Casey Kambrel Blease Dillon Lopez Ajani Banner Naim Wilson Trevaun Rhaburn Dmitri Fabro Dorwin Logan Roji Solorzano Eredito Guillen Ardel Avila Rui West Marcus Lewis Shaheed Mai Brian Barrera Orelle Castillo Kendis Hernandez Clinton Dawson Devaun Zuniga Geon Makin Gemmi Reyes Jerry Trejo Glenford King Javier Martinez Tremaine Harris Elston Flowers Eugene Martinez Jamil Cano Jordi Polanco Jose Chimal

World Softball Day 2014
World Softball Day is being celebrated on Friday, June 13, 2014. To help boost awareness, the Belize Softball Federation encourages supporters and friends of softball to come out and show your support at the Senior Female Competition and Interoffice Game scheduled for June 13 at Rogers Stadium, the Home of Softball in Belize.

Evan Mariano goes pro…
Belize’s Evan Mariano, one of the high-level football players who represented the nation in the Copa Centroamericana and the first ever appearance in the Gold Cup, has been invited to play professional football in America. He was officially signed to the Houston Hurricanes Football Club on Thursday June 5. He joins his colleague, Deon McCauley, who was recruited to the Atlanta Silverbacks. Head coach for the Hurricanes, Brendan Keyes told the press in Houston that the Hurricanes is excited that Mariano will be able to play with them in the Texas Premier Soccer League, which began last year. Keyes said that Mariano’s recruitments was made in consideration of improvement for the Hurricanes, which will be assisted with the acquisition of 3 or 4 other “quality players”.

Belizean Rudolph Bent vs Jimmy Ellis, Sugar Ray Robinson, George Benton, and Lee George Myvett
Having read about the passing of one time Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world Jimmy Ellis, I recalled reading of Belizean Middleweight boxer Rudolph Bent, fighting Ellis. In my research I discovered that Bent not only fought Jimmy Ellis on June 7th 1962 at Freedom Hall State Fairground in Louisville, Kentucky, he also went on to fight several world ranked contenders in various divisions. For example, after fighting high ranking George Benton in April 1962, he fought Curtis Cokes a month later in Dallas, Texas. Cokes went on to hold the Welterweight Belt for many years. It was less than a month after losing to Cokes that he fought Ellis. We can all recall his fight against Gomeo Brennan in Belize in April of 1965. From Brennan to Robinson in October of 1965; you are correct in assuming world renowned Sugar Ray Robinson. It took place at Community Arena in Steubenville Ohio.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Chelsea Rodriguez is PSE High Scorer for Caye Caulker
Chelsea Rodriguez is the PSE high scorer for Caye Caulker with an average of 82.8. She is also placed first in her primary school graduating class. If you will recall, Chelsea was also a school finalist in the Coca Cola spelling bee in 2012. She was also a winner in this year’s Reef Week trivia competition held in San Pedro earlier this year. We wish Chelsea Rodriguez every success in her future endeavours. You are so you, and yet your accomplishments are so many. Congratulations!

Patrick JonesPJ

More immigration charges for Marleny Castellanos and customer
The woman accused of masterminding a ring of illegally obtained Belizean documents on Caye Caulker was back in court today, charged with 20 counts of aiding a person to use a document to which they are not entitled. 46 year old Marleny Castellanos already faces multiple counts of […]

COLA demands evidence from Government for private prosecution
Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday tried his best to downplay the significance and importance of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) receiving a leaked copy of the Preliminary Report of the Auditor General into the Immigration and Nationality Department. But irrepressibly, COLA stepped forward and proceeded to […]

PSE results are released
The results for the Primary School Examination 2014 are out and the top performer was Crooked Tree Government School’s Ashton Tillett with 371 points out of 400. Tied for second was Belize City’s Kenyah Hyde of Bernice Yorke Academy and Belmopan’s Andres Hung of Our Lady of Guadalupe […]

Kenrick Williams murder appeal dismissed
On Wednesday the Belize Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Kenrick Williams, who is serving a life term for the murder of 16 year old Elia Gonzalez in 2004 and affirmed his conviction and sentence. Gonzalez was strangled to death shortly after 3 p.m. on March 23, […]

Teenager charged in shooting incident
There was a shooting incident on Monday in Belize City and a teenager was brought to court for it today. 18 year old Shaquille Meighan of Banak Street is accused of shooting at 24 year old Maurice Middleton on Victoria Street around 3:00 Monday afternoon. Middleton was walking […]

BTIA complains about bad streets in Orange Walk
On Tuesday, the Orange Walk chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association sent out a press release expressing ‘discontentment’ and ‘frustration’ over street conditions in that minicipality. The Association says the it is a disgrace to see what our streets have become particularly the Government responsible road networks such as Philip SW Goldson Highway, Belize Corozal Road and Otro Benque and Queen Victoria Avenue. The local BTIA chapter says that as a result, commuters passing through Orange Walk town now take the bypass/roundabout on their way to Corozal/Chetumal having a negative financial impact on several businesses including supermarkets, local vegetable stalls, fruit vendors and local restaurants.

Customer service training underway in Punta Gorda town
A two-day training course in customer service started today in Punta Gorda town. Representatives of various sectors including the women’s department, the media, education department and the PG hospital are attending. Topics being covered during the training course include customer satisfaction in health care services; 10 ways to find true love with customers , acquiring knowledge and skills in customer/public relations. Chairperson of the Toledo AIDS Committee Joan Palma says that the training will “improve the knowledge and skills of committee members and service providers in dealing with people living with HIV.”


Life in a Gay!
Unfortunately, it seems that Belize or rather, some of my fellow Belizeans do not see me as apart of the economic machinery of this country and of course sees me less than human. I got on the Ladyville bus from the PUMA gas station with my two apprentices, found our seats and sat down. And the jeers and mockery begins, ”who you think da d lady?” ”Da one have bigga titty!” ”3 UNIBAM de pahn D BUS!” one of them belted and alerted! Of course, I am one who simply does not care what comes out of my my mouth and I responded with the same tone, ”and so [#%!] what?!” The bus grew quiet and serious, no one said a word. We continued our journey from where we picked up to the Belize City Pound Yard area, with the continuous taunts, and announcements of “Orozcos” on the bus. All I did was grew more and more angry and hoped to the divine that I did not react in a violent way. We got off and while the back seat hate mongers, who I might add were 4th form Ladyville Tech students, passed remarks to have us continue off the bus, so as to avoid any conflict at that point, while all the while, all I did was remained quiet after my burst of profanity on the initial start of the journey.

Making My Way Back Home from the US to Cancun to Belize: Let’s Add in a Good Night’s Sleep
Just about 2 weeks ago I made the trip up to Cancun for a flight from Cancun International Airport to Rhode Island. I flew from Cancun rather than Belize City to save $400US – tickets are generally SO much cheaper. I endured 29 hours of generally sleepless travel (so sleepless that I left my Kindle on the Cancun bus) and serious McDonald’s gorging to save a buck. Or four hundred. You can read all about it here. Really. It’s not as bad as it seems. But on the way back, I wanted a good night’s rest. It would cost me less than a new Kindle for sure and would make me a much happier camper. I found a place online and…well…here is my trip. Providence Airport to San Pedro, Belize in a few steps. Trip hours: First Day – 15 hours Second Day – 3 hours McDonald’s Calories consumed: 0 (Burger King: 1,430) Large Coffees drunk: 2 Hours of Sleep: Lots Approximate US$ saved on total trip: $400US minus (I subtracted the $99US for the Kindle ordered) Perceived pounds gained due to sharp increase in humidity from Rhode Island to Cancun: Ten, 4 in my hot dog fingers

#492228 - 06/13/14 07:30 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 13, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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What I wear to work in Belize
Life is different in the tropics right down to what people wear to work in Belize. While some have uniforms, many of us are lucky enough to get away with dressing casual. Even though you may be on an island, it’s still important to not be too casual depending on what you do. Remember not only are you representing the company you work for you are also representing yourself, and believe me people do notice. A few days after a meeting, I was once told that sometimes covering up my tattoos was a smart choice. I am glad the person told me and I respect the person that said it, so now I use my discretion in that area. Thankfully I work a lot from home and my dress code is wide open. I consider myself very lucky that most days I get to wear my bikini to work. Loving the new pink ruffled one I bought at Old Navy and wishing I had bought more suits there when we were in Canada.

“The Game of Love” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday morning out on the veranda -yes with the mug of black coffee and my iPad- my thoughts were not as they have been in recent weeks (it seems like months though) on what is the next job to do/get done. Oh no. They were focused entirely on what is the most important thing in the world for me right now. I honestly do want to get the garden clean up finished so that Rose and I (more her than me) can start deciding what we want to plant where (soil condition permitting of course). I want the dock to be finished. Of course I do. And obviously I want the sick engine on our boat brought back to full health. But for the next five weeks the most important thing in my world is the 2014 World Cup. Now I know that football (and for non UK readers you call it soccer) is not for everyone but I am from the Bill Shankly ‘school’ where football is concerned and totally ‘buy in to’ his view, and I quote:

Second Visit to Tom Owen’s Caye
Dan Stone, from the San Francisco Bay Area, received his PADI Rescue Diver certification when he came to Belize in March 2013. During his second trip to Tom Owen’s this month he brought along his GoPro camera and compiled this short montage of footage from the dives he made during his stay. Dan trained for and participated in three conservation studies this year including lobster, reef, and conch surveys.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek offers 23 thatch roofed villas tastefully decorated with local Belizean and Guatemalan furnishings. TVs are noticeably absent from all rooms but with Mayan ruins to explore and the jungle at your fingertips who would want one? My villa was spacious and airy with handwoven Guatemalan textiles gracing my bed. The thatched roof allowed for a nice breeze through the room but be aware you may end up with an occasional reptilian or insect guest. I’m a sucker for a great bathroom and this is definitely one of my favorites. French doors lead to a double vanity which barely conceals one of the largest showers I’ve ever seen, a sumptuously tiled space with a double shower and enough room for you and 10 of your closest friends. By far the best part of the bathroom for me was the secluded outdoor shower which allows you to get squeaky clean while soaking in the natural beauty of the jungle (and maybe get in a bit of birding too!).

Interview with Belmopan Mayoral Candidate Khalid Belisle

The Mishandling of Jasmine Lowe’s Investigation by: Aria Lightfoot
Today I am overwhelmed with so many emotions. I spoke to someone last night on the condition of anonymity (have not slept since then) who revealed some information about the investigation of Jasmine Lowe that causes me to believe that Belize is heading down a very dire path. I trust this source, so I am going out on a ledge with my rant. When a state can no longer protect its citizens, people will become dangerous citizens of the state. I was told that the forensic expert could not make a determination as to the cause of death just two days later. He did not extract any fluids from the child to conduct a DNA analysis. No fingernail analysis, no rape kit…nada. I really cannot believe that “Mr. Death by asphyxiation” did not make at least that determination. In fact…

International Sourcesizz

Documenting the illegal trade in exotic pets
Study of market for wild species uncovers disturbing incidents of capture, smuggling and auction His name is Stevie. An orphan who is a long way from home, he has already been through a lot. So why would Rosemary Collard spray him in the face with water? Stevie is a juvenile spider monkey living at Asociación de Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre (ARCAS), a wildlife rehabilitation centre in northern Guatemala where Collard, a graduate student in UBC’s Dept. of Geography, conducted some of the fieldwork for her doctoral degree. Part of her job at ARCAS involved spraying animals with water to sever their bonds to humans, giving them their best chance to re-enter their natural habitat. It’s a difficult task for an animal lover like Collard, but one that is necessary to reverse the damage caused by the illegal trade of exotic animals.

CARIBBEAN VIEW: Stop Cursing CARICOM as Darkness; It Is a Light Not Yet Fully Turned-on
Dr Franklin Johnston, a strategist, project manager and advisor to the Jamaica Minister of Education, wrote a column in the Jamaica Observer of May 30, 2014 in which he basically contended that the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) are the constructs of “Anglophone black people” and not in the interest of Jamaica. Rooting his contentions in anti-colonialist sentiment, he stated without evidence that CSME is a “clever fiction inspired by the Brits, aided by Cabinets, and sustained by well-paid, unaccountable regional civil servants”. He sets-up both CARICOM and CSME as hostile to the economic well-being of Jamaica. Further, he claims that “CSME zealots” all come to live in Jamaica; “we (Jamaica) are the big name brand”; “CSME disrespects us” (Jamaicans); and “we (Jamaicans) are small with a big brand and balls to match and need no union to prosper, but CSME controls us by making the arcane and distant familiar; “the phrase English-speaking Caribbean means zilch as CSME does not work”; and “Jamaica is the largest nation in CSME, so we are its backbone -- finance, market, innovation, brand value, yet we are the poorest member”. Dr Franklin is a welcome voice to the discussion of CARICOM and CSME – the exchange of views is imperative as all sections of the Caribbean Community work to improve and enhance the benefits of CARICOM for the people of all member-states. But, welcome should not be misconstrued as acceptance of the legitimacy of the arguments.


Video: Lumberjacks from Belize during WWII, 2min.
Belize Abroad and Belize (British Honduras)

Video: Hurricane Hattie Belize 1961, 1min.
Hurricane Hattie in Belize (British Honduras)

Video: 1931 Hurricane Belize (British Honduras), 9min.

Video: Belize Dive Trip 2014 - GoPro Hero3+ Black, 5min.
It was quite an amazing experience to explore some of the best Belize has to offer. After 7 days of endless scuba diving and adventures with incredible friends, it was a trip for the books. Ambergris Caye San Pedro Caye Chapel

Video: Ann Kuffner Belize, 33min.
International Living

Video: Diving, Belize, San Pedro Area, Tackle Box, Tres Cocos, 6min.

Video: Alan, 7min.
Carnival Conquest Cozumel, Belize , Roatan

Video: Belize It!, 15min.
Our 1st Scuba Diving trip in Central America. Our primary mission at hand was to swim with some Whale Sharks but we left with much unfinished business and therefore we will be back next year....

Video: BELIZE CAYO BUS, 14min.

Video: UF in Belize: Marine Ecology, 6min.
A week in Belize on the 2nd largest barrier reef studying Marine Ecology and Conservation with the University of Florida. Enjoy!

Video: Princess Margaret in Belize 1958, 1.5min.

Video: The MOVESLIKEJONNY Experience in Belize at Ian Anderson Caves Branch, 3min.
Enjoy this fun video created by Jonny Percy of his experience in Belize at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge.


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
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