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#496697 - 10/11/14 06:47 AM Today's Belize News: October 11, 2014
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Work commences on second police barrack complex
$50,000 that was given by the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday, August 13th for the repairs of the two building is being used to cover initial expenses for the foundation and frame of the structure. Even though an estimate has not been given for the complete construction of the building, Nuñez has explained that the project will require more funds. “Right now we are not sure how much it will cost to complete this building. We already have a couple persons helping us out with donations,” said Nuñez. The foundation of the building is scheduled to be laid on Friday, October 10th. The San Pedro Police Department would like to take the opportunity to thank Castillo’s Hardware, San Pedro Town Council, Daniel Guerrero and family, Honorable Manuel Heredia, Gaby’s Construction, Government of Belize and the Ministry of National Security for their generous donations towards this project. Anyone wanting to make additional donations can contact Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nunez at 605-0976 or Inspector Henry Jemmott at 600-6523.

Pandemonium – All Ova the World
30-year-old Belizean songstress, Melonie Gillett has released her latest single titled “Pandemonium- All Ova the World”. Since its release on September 12, 2014, the single has quickly gained popularity and is ranked sixth on KREM Radio’s top ten videos. Its upbeat rhythm makes for a perfect party song to dance along to. With dynamic visuals, this is a must watch video!

Students earn high scores on Saga Humane Education test
Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) students were all ears on Monday as they learned what it means to be humane during a fun filled presentation from the Saga Humane Society Humane Education team lead by Sandie Betz-Eisenberg and Cynthia Kyles. When asked what does every cat and dog need every day, student’s hands shot to the sky, and different answers were shouted in excitement. Miss Viani’s class decided it was “food, water, medicine and a good home” that all animals need every day. And some shouted the perfect answer – love. The students learned about the importance of being a good dog and cat owner, what Saga Humane Society does, and what to do if they see an animal that is sick or being abused. “Call Saga”, they yelled. “It is heartwarming to know that so many of the students already know what Saga is and where we are located”, said Kathy Marin, Saga Director of Animal Well-Being. “Humane education and learning to be kind is the key to being a good pet owner and a great neighbor. It is our mission to promote kindness and prevent cruelty, and sharing our program with the kids is the first step toward making that happen”.

Superintendent Joachim Sabal takes over the Coastal Executive Unit
As of Thursday October 2nd, the Coastal Executive Unit (CEU) has a new Officer in Charge (OC). Superintendent Joachim Sabal has assumed the responsibilities of the previous OC Luis Castellanos, who is on training leave. Formerly the Commander of the administrative department of the Belize Police Headquarters in Belmopan, OC Sabal comes to San Pedro offering 32 years of experience. He is no stranger to San Pedro, as he was previously in charge of this formation in 2005. Originally from the Toledo District, OC Sabal joined the police department in 1982. He is a veteran police officer, having held positions in almost all police branches, and in 2009 was promoted to Superintendent. The opportunities to work in several of the police branches has given OC Sabal vast knowledge on policing and maintaining law and order. “I have worked as the officer in charge of both the Internal Affairs Unit and Special Unit. I have also been the commanding officer of the prosecution branch. I hope that in my time in office here, I can use my skills to improve the San Pedro Police Department as well, and even pass down these skills to upcoming officers,” said Sabal. He has also worked at the Criminal Investigation Branch in Belmopan.

Channel 7

Victim of Gun Law Sues State Over Wrongful Imprisonment
For the past 2 days, we've told you all about the new gun laws as they were being debated by the Senate. The Opposition has criticized the law saying it doesn't lessen the harsh pre trial penalties for accused persons. One case that amply illustrates the arbitrary and punitive nature of the gun law in its former incarnation dates back to April of 2012, and it's back in the news now because one man who was sent to jail is suing the Government of Belize for wrongful arrest. Viewers may remember the case of Kent Lynch; his mother, Yvette Lynch; his brother, Errol Lynch, and their friends, Woodrow Reyes Jr., the well-known Leroy Gomez, and Virginie Alvarez. They were arraigned on April 18, 2012 on 2 counts of keeping unlicensed firearm, 1 count of keeping unlicensed ammunition, 2 counts of handling stolen goods.

Opposition Challenges Petrocaribe Spending
An important loan motion was crowded out of the news at the last house meeting two weeks ago. It's a motion for the Alba Petrocaribe Energy Loan Motion 2014 - for 114 million US dollars. This no regular loan, though, it's the Petrocaribe money - funds which are advanced to Belize every time the Government of Venezuela sells Belize fuel on a concessionary credit basis. And it's important to us AT 7NEWS because we're the ones who first challenged Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, saying that it should be taken to the House because it is a loan. That was on August 29th and here's how THE exchange went: Jules Vasquez "At what point do you take it to the national assembly as it required I believe because it's a loan right and the finance act requires that you take loans to the national assembly?" Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That's how you see it and that's how you would treat it."

Relief For Maskall
And while those 8 families from Maskall received help from NEMO, Dawn Phillips, the Port Loyola resident whose house fell to pieces on Thursday morning, is still down and out, hoping that you can help her. As we told you, the heavy thunderstorm on Wednesday night beat down on her house, and when she woke up it completely crumbled. This evening, she told us that she's been going around trying to get assistance to get back on her feet, but it has been a very tedious process: Dawn Philips, Port Loyola resident "Nothing change as yet, I am still waiting for help. I need help from the minister and whosoever. I haven't seen Boots since, but then I saw Mr. Usher pass through this morning and told me that he will come and see me this evening.

Dawn Philips Struggling Still
And while those 8 families from Maskall received help from NEMO, Dawn Phillips, the Port Loyola resident whose house fell to pieces on Thursday morning, is still down and out, hoping that you can help her. As we told you, the heavy thunderstorm on Wednesday night beat down on her house, and when she woke up it completely crumbled. This evening, she told us that she's been going around trying to get assistance to get back on her feet, but it has been a very tedious process: Dawn Philips, Port Loyola resident "Nothing change as yet, I am still waiting for help. I need help from the minister and whosoever. I haven't seen Boots since, but then I saw Mr. Usher pass through this morning and told me that he will come and see me this evening. This morning I went at the Red Cross and the lady told me that Monday is a holiday, so she will assist me on Tuesday and she will give me some clothes because only clothes she can give me and then she recommended me to the Human Department and so I went over there and they told me that they will give me a call either Wednesday or Thursday."

Supreme Court Bail For Robbery
Kareem "Robbery" Lopez was one of the first persons to be sent to jail under the newly enforced gang laws - but tonight, against the strenuous objections of the DPP's office, he's out on bail. The 27-year-old George Street associate was accused of causing public terror on Carnival day during the j'ouvert when he allegedly fired a gun on Douglas Jones Street. He was remanded for it on September 22nd. But 18 days later, Lopez lawyered up and secured bail of eight thousand dollars. His attorney Kathleen Lewis argued that the main witness saw Lopez in the front seat of the car, but said that shots were fired through the rear window - suggesting that the shooter was not Lopez. Crown Counsel Portia Staine representing the DPP's office argued to the contrary that the case against Lopez is very strong and that a prima facie case has been established against him.

Police Catch Thief Right After Robbery
And while Robbery is out on bail, a 29 year-old Kevin Lewis is at prison tonight after was caught by police immediately after robbing a woman. The complainant, 29 year-old Kimana Thompson, reported to police that at around 3:30 yesterday evening, she was on Cemetery Road when she was approached by a man who pointed a gun in her face and demanded that she hand over all her belongings. She did, and as soon has he fled the scene, a police mobile passed by and set chase. Lewis was detained, and Thompson identified him as the man who robbed her; police then charged him with attempted robbery. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty. Due to the nature of the offence, he was remanded into custody until November 7.

Agripina's Killer Charged
Tonight, a family from Cristo Rey, Corozal is preparing to bury their loved one, 63 year-old Anita Che, after finding her decomposing body in a cane field just off the Cristo Rey/Yo Chen Road. The senior citizen had not been seen 10 days after she told her family on last week Tuesday that she was going to the Corozal Community Hospital and then to Belmopan. Police from Corozal began searching for her, and based on information, they went to a cane field located near to the Intelco Tower, some 200 yards off the main road. Her body was in an advanced state of decomposition, and a post-mortem found that she died from heart problems. At this time, police don't suspect foul-play and there were no physical signs of violence. In Toledo however, the case of 61 year-old Agripina Coc, who was the victim of a savage rape and murder in San Pedro Colombia, has progressed finally. The main suspect, 24 year-old Miguel Choco, has finally been formally arrested and charged with murder.

Tourism Figures Improving
The Belize Tourism Board has managed to compile the number of tourist arrivals for this year's third quarter, and according to the BTB, the numbers are up, when compared to last year. Airport Arrivals for the last 3 months up to September 2014 totaled at 7,692, 76 more than last year. For the total 9 months, there have been 45,862 tourists who have arrived at the PGIA, 1,729 more than last year, or an increase of 3.9%. Overnight arrives are also up by 5,248, or an increase of 8.8%, so are cruise passenger arrivals, which increased by 73,409, or 77%. Today, BTB's Market Director told the media that it is a welcomed boost especially since the third quarter is part of the low season in Tourism:

Sibun Site Visit By GOB Officials Suggestive, But Inconclusive
On Monday we told you about the disturbing discoloration of the Sibun River where it passes through Gracie Rock. Those villagers depend on the river for their livelihoods so its sickly state was a matter of much concern. Well, our story triggered a site visit from the Department of the Environment, the Forest Department and the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. They went there on Wednesday October 9th - one week after our first visit - but, the bad news is they didn't find much. The report, which was sent to us by the CEO in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development - shows that by the time the team reached the river had cleared up. The report includes pictures, which show that they visited five different locations along the Sibun River from Frank's Eddie Area up to Freetown Sibun area. Nowhere along the river did they find any visible signs of sedimentation.

Settling The Silk Grass Situation
On September 5th there was a House meeting where the Firearms Amendment Bill and the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Bill were introduced. But while formal discussion and debate was taking place inside the House on those bills, a more "on the ground" land issue was being voiced on the steps of the National Assembly. You may remember the Silk Grass and Santa Cruz residents who claimed that they are being swindled out of their land. Well, their concerns were finally when a team from the Lands and Survey department visited Trio and Silk Grass Villages in Stann Creek earlier this week. 137 new lease applications were issued for first time land owners in Trio Village while 57 were processed for first timers in Silk Grass Village. However, at the house meeting two weeks ago, Gaspar Vega said that Silk Grass residents were well aware that they could not have gotten leases due to the disruption or break down in the leasing system under the PUP government.

Speaking of Schizophrenia
Burdened by decades of stigma, mental illness has become a kind of taboo subject- discussed only in whispers. But, mental health advocates are trying to get it into the mainstream - after all, though we might not know it, we are surrounded daily by the pathology of mental illness - from the inexplicably violent acts and brutal behavior we always report on - right down to the irrational behavior of public officials. And the local organizer's of World Mental Health Day want to broaden the discussion about mental health - and they started that today at a ceremony. Courtney Weatherburne found out more:.. Dr. Wesley Quimbo, Psychiatrist, Mental Health Program "The Schizophrenia is a disorder that is characterized by hallucination, disorganized behavior, delusions and one the patient have this hallucination they hear voices and sometimes you see them mumbling to themselves because they react into the hallucination." Courtney Weatherburne reporting Schizophrenia is the focus of this year's world mental health day - observed today at the Welcome Resource Center. And while Schizophrenia is not a word we hear often when we talk about mental illness in Belize, it is does affect a small percentage of the population and it.

Caracol Re-opening
Earlier on, we told you about the increase in tourist arrivals. But, what about the coming high season and the after effect of the Caracol killing of Special Constable Danny Conorquie? Tour guides have told us that there have been mass cancelations of tours. Today, when we asked the BTB Marketing Director about it, she told us that they're taking tracking it closely: Alyssa Carnegie, Marketing Director - BTB "There is a lot of bookings that have already happened, so obviously we are trying to make sure that those tourists or visitors are reassured. I think we can all agree that what did happen at Caracol was unprecedented, it's not the normal and the news circulating is while it's still local, yes there is some traction that it's building internationally. But for the most part and at least from the feedback we received from the tourists who were actually there, they understand that it's an isolated event, that is does speak to something that's a lot larger than what could be kind of controlled within the tourism ambit.

Community Cops Care
For the past couple weeks we have been reporting on myriad complaints of police brutality. But this news item sheds a different light on the police department. The Community Policing Unit has made a 6,000 dollar donation to the Special Olympic Committee to assist with upcoming events to be held abroad. Member of the Board of Directors, Alan Auil comments on the impact this donation will have on the sporting activities of the committee. Sgt. Elroy Carcamo, Head of Community Policing - E.D. "If you notice over the past two years the police department along with other law enforcement agencies have been teaming up to assist our special needs youths who are participating in sports and are expected to participate in the Special Olympics nationals in Los Angeles, California in 2015. What we are trying to is that we are trying to fundraise in order to get these youths to that location. We know that it is costly, but we also work closely with special Olympic Belize to ensure that we can sell the program and work to see that we get the funding for them. This also marks the beginning of fundraising events for this year, so that we are expecting to start fundraising again until December where we will have the national games for Belize in Belmopan where the torch will be taken. I know that from Belize to Belmopan is a short work, so our team will come up with a route, maybe we take the torch down to Corozal or start from Corozal and bring it down to Belmopan this year."

Profile of An Artist and Teacher
If you've ever been to the festival of the arts or watched the carnival road march - then you should know Leroy Green, that stalwart of the Mother Nature's Creation Band. And he's also a poet. Indeed, Green is a man of the arts - and a true teacher. But he was also a sort of child prodigy but one that grew up without validation from his parents - and turned to poetry to express his emotions. He turned that - and a few early heartbreaks and foiled seductions into a passion for teaching art. He tells the profile more:..

Doctor Adrian is New KHMH Boss
Doctor Adrian Coye will be the new CEO of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. 7News confirmed just a short while ago that he was selected in a very close vote at a meeting of the KHMH board yesterday. Coye was going up against Dr. Lisa Johnson, who had also applied for the post. The two surgeons had applied and been shortlisted - and we are told both had passionate support from the board members. But in the end Coye won out and Johnson has been offered the post as Director of Medical Services - Coye's old job - she hasn't yet indicated if she will accept. Coye is expected to take up the post shortly. He started working as Director of Medical Services in 2012.

Channel 5

Guatemalans send Protest Note to Belize in respect of demonstration held at Guatemalan Embassy
A delegation headed by Foreign Ministry C.E.O. Alexis Rosado is currently in Guatemala meeting with Guatemalan authorities. Rosado is accompanied by Opposition Senator Lisa Shoman and representatives from the Belize [...]

Caracol Archaeological Site Remains Closed
The Caracol Archaeological Site remains closed indefinitely in the wake of the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie two weeks ago.  While efforts are currently being taken by the Ministry [...]

Sugar Cane Impasse Stands
On Thursday the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met with representative of Belize Sugar Industry/American Sugar Refinery to finalize the new sugar-cane purchase agreement. That agreement has been delayed because [...]

Farmers Will Not Delay Start of Crop
B.S.I. has stated that because the farmers are fixated on bagasse, an agreement seems unlikely. The 2014-2015 sugar cane crop season is set to start in the next six to [...]

Major Challenges Firearm Act in Court
In April 2012, a family of seven, including Allison Major, was charged for firearm offences, following the discovery of a pair of shotguns at their residence on Peter Seco Street.  [...]

BTB Says Tourism Arrivals Up
Many Belizeans are heading across the border this extended holiday weekend, but the number of visitors to the jewel is on an upward trend. The Belize Tourism Board called a [...]

Chamber Wants Belizeans Out of the Zone during the Christmas Season
While tourism numbers are high the private sector is calling on the government to reduce local visitors to the Commercial Free-zone. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has written [...]

George Street Figure Granted Bail for Discharging Firearm
George Street associate, Kareem Lopez, who allegedly discharged a firearm Causing Public Terror on Douglas Jones Street following the Jouvert was granted Supreme Court bail in the sum of eight [...]

Muslim Woman Has Her Day In Court
On Tuesday News Five aired an interview with a Muslim woman who related a disturbing story to us. She is a victim of domestic abuse, and had applied to the [...]

Bar Manager Fined for Illegal ‘Waitresses’
The Business Manager for MJ’s Bar, a well known and local spot in the city, located on West Collet Canal, was today before the court to answer to two counts [...]

Football Star Messi Accused of Tax Fraud…with Belizean Connections
We have been reporting on a Belize billion dollar tax fraud scheme which was busted in September at the office of Titans Securities LLC here on Coney Drive. Five persons [...]

Segura Appears in Court on Thursday
Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, on interdiction for the manslaughter of Yolanda Valencia, was arraigned on a string of traffic-related offences, including driving with alcohol concentration above prescribed limit, [...]

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Up This Year
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is on the rise in Belize in 2014.  Earlier this week, the Ministry of Health held a press conference during which Chief Operations Officer of the Vector [...]

World Mental Health Day Celebrated in Belize
World Mental Health Day is being celebrated under the theme – Living with Schizophrenia. Today health stakeholders from all over the country gathered in their respective areas to speak on [...]

Was Felicia Chen Schizophrenic?
So with all that said, are you still having doubts about the reality, and real trauma of schizophrenia? Well, this might bring it home to you. Do you remember the [...]

Law Enforcement Officers Donate to Special Olympics
The Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have for years participated in fund-raising to assist children with intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics. Those fund-raising initiatives culminate in a [...]

Olympians Gearing Up for World Games 2015
There are two hundred and thirty-seven registered athletes who participate in events under the aegis of the Special Olympics, and the committee is always looking to increase that number. That [...]


GOB To Pay CXC For Students
Government will pay for students’ CXC examinations under the Secondary School Finance Reform program. The reform is being rolled out in different phases and in their latest program, the Ministry of Education has partnered with the Ministry of Human Development in conducting the selection process. Research and Planner at the Ministry of Education, Bernaldino Pech explains. Bernaldino Pech – Research/Planner “We’re using a data base and a registry system which they are responsible for which seeks to identify and categorize people based on the level of economic assistance that they may need. Now over the course of March and May of this year we visited high schools and attempted to interview students who were in forms one to three along with standard six students across the country and the purpose of that was to target students who potentially will be in high school now. So there are different levels of assistance the ministry wants to facilitate parents with and the first one is assistance with payment of the CXC’s. An announcement was made earlier this week that the Ministry of Education will assist all students who fall within the required categories with sitting six CXC subjects which monetary wise is between $270 to $350 more or less depending on which subject they opt to sit.”

School Managers Meet To Discuss Education
Managers from the six district Education Centers in the country convened in Orange Walk for a meeting. The event is held on a quarterly basis. Senior members of the staff were also at the meeting in which they seek to discuss a number of issues that affect the education system in the country. Education Center Manager for the Orange Walk District, Carla Alvarez elaborated on their focus for this meeting. Carla Alvarez – District Education Manager “We have with us today the person in charge of the inspectorate who goes around doing the full supervision in certain schools; we also have the person in charge of the teaching service commission Mrs. Sosa and she will be giving us a presentation and discussion segment. This is to give us update on new developments and it also gives us managers and opportunity to discuss some of the issues that we have because in some cases some issues might be the same but in other cases it might just be particular to a certain district.

Students Affected By Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute
The tension brought about by the border situation with Guatemala is growing and fast. There has been death experienced in both countries but the latest incident has sent shock waves across Belize. While many organizations and the public at large clamor for government to take the lead in resolving this situation, it appears that even children are being dragged into the matter. According to the Belize National Teachers’ Union branch in Benque Viejo del Carmen in Cayo, there is a growing problem between Belizean children and Guatemalan children who attend the school there. Apparently, children who live in communities near the border, travel into Belize to attend the school but are now being rejected by Belizean children in the same institution.

Trust Committee To Conduct Consultations Country Wide
In July we reported that increments for public officers that were frozen in 1995 were released to the trustees of the Public Sector Workers’ Trust which was established to hold funds in trust for all public officers and teachers whose annual increments were frozen from the 1st of April 1995 to the 31st of March 1997. The Accountant General transferred the balance of $3.06 million held in a Government Savings Account to the Trust. In addition to this, $2 million unions received as BTL dividends since 2008 were transferred to the Trust. It was good news but it appears that there are some things that remain unclear for many of those who were affected in 1995 to 1997. In an effort to clear all confusion and doubts, the Trust Committee is conducting a consultation across the country. President of the Orange Walk BNTU Branch, Otilio Munoz, tells us more.

GOB To Pay CXC For Students
Government will pay for students’ CXC examinations under the Secondary School Finance Reform program. The reform is being rolled out in different phases and in their latest program, the Ministry of Education has partnered with the Ministry of Human Development in conducting the selection process. Research and Planner at the Ministry of Education, Bernaldino Pech explains. “We’re using a data base and a registry system which they are responsible for which seeks to identify and categorize people based on the level of economic assistance that they may need. Now over the course of March and May of this year we visited high schools and attempted to interview students who were in forms one to three along with standard six students across the country and the purpose of that was to target students who potentially will be in high school now. So there are different levels of assistance the ministry wants to facilitate parents with and the first one is assistance with payment of the CXC’s. An announcement was made earlier this week that the Ministry of Education will assist all students who fall within the required categories with sitting six CXC subjects which monetary wise is between $270 to $350 more or less depending on which subject they opt to sit.”

BNTU Demands GOB Take Action In Belize/Guatemala Dispute
The concern on how the shooting death of a tourism officer in the Caracol Archaeological site will eventually end; continues to linger across the country, at the same time it has also caused tensions to grow at the Belize/Guatemala Border. Many groups have voiced their stand on the matter and now Belize’s teachers are asking the government to act swiftly and accordingly. The Belize Teachers’ Union is asking its membership to wear a green t-shirt every Friday in October as a form of protest to the border situation and in efforts of sending a message to Government. “We are sending a message to the Government of Belize, to our ministers that they need to take action with what is happening with this confrontation with Guatemala. First we had the death of the constable from there we were not satisfied as to how things were handled by the Government and then things escalated because we had another incident on Friday.

Alex Tillett Charged With Robbery And Handling Stolen Goods
Yesterday after being on the run for 20 days, 27 year old Alex Tillett, known as “lexus” turned himself to authorities at the Orange Walk Police Station. And one day after Tillett, we understand, has been arrested and charged for three counts of robbery and one count of handling stolen goods. It is expected that Tillett will appear at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court tomorrow where those charges will be read to him by a magistrate. As previously mentioned, Tillett is believed to be one of two men who robbed Darvis Store at gunpoint on September 11th. He is also being connected to the September 19th broad daylight robbery of Hung Yun Store located on the Phillip Goldson Highway. That robbery proved fatal for Tillett’s alleged accomplice Leslie Logan Jr. who was shot by the proprietor of the store. Tillett was also wanted for two other counts of robbery.

Woman Found Dead In Middle Of Cane Field Died Of Heart Attack
Corozal Police have determined that the woman who was found dead yesterday in the middle of cane field located in the Village of Cristo Rey, was not murdered instead she died of a heart attack. The badly decomposed body of 63 year old Anita Che, was discovered yesterday around 3:00m by villagers who went searching for her. Reporter Victor Castillo has more details to the story. The last time 63 year old Anita Che spoke with her son Manual Hernandez was last week Tuesday when she told him that she was going to the doctor and there after travel to Belmopan to visit family members. Up until yesterday Hernandez thought his mother was in Belmopan but all that changed when he received a telephone call from his relatives in that municipality.

Construction At Hunting Caye Is Halted
Following the announcement in the House of Representatives of a Forwarding Operating Base being constructed in Hunting Caye, the topic has raised much concern and scrutiny from the public at large since it was revealed that the construction is one being carried out by a Guatemalan company, BINARQ. And while the topic is one making the headlines after the wake of the death of Special Constable, Danny Conorquie, it is prompting many organizations, activists and advocates defending their turf, in the on-going Belize-Guatemala dispute. Today, several Belizeans held a protest in front of the US Embassy in Belmopan to voice concerns of border safety and security among other issues. That action prompted the US Embassy to reply but they did so via press release on the FOB at Hunting Caye issue. The release states ‘The US SOUTHERN COMMAND is funding the Forward Operating Base (FOB) at Hunting Caye and other projects for the Belize Coast Guard through its Counterdrug Program in direct support of the Belize Coast Guard's 2020 strategy. The bidding process for these infrastructure projects is transparent and open to a pool of international contractors under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Central America “Multiple Award Task Order Contracts” (MATOCS). The Army Corps of Engineers grants the contract to the company assessed to provide the best product at the most reasonable cost as is the custom with contract bidding. As such, source selection is based on ‘best value’ which includes analysis of cost, record of performance, and technical qualifications,” end quote.

#496698 - 10/11/14 06:47 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 11, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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Tourists’ Interest In Belize Heightens, Says Stastistics
The Belize Tourism Board is reporting an increase in tourist arrivals for the third quarter of 2014. Statistics released by the BTB today points out that airport arrival for the third quarter increased by three point nine percent compared to last year. The month of July saw the most tourist arrival via the PGIA when compared to July 2013. Overnight arrivals for the third quarter have seen an increase of eight point eight percent over 2013. As it relates to cruise arrivals statistics show that from July through to September, a seventy seven point nine percent increase was recorded. Director of Marketing & Industry Relations for BTB, Alyssa Carnegie, says that with increases over forty percent for each month this quarter, it marks one of the best years for cruise visitor arrivals in Belize’s tourism history. ALYSSA CARNEGIE “We’re really excited to announce that arrivals for both overnight and cruise are doing really well; not only for this month but for this quarter, we’ve been up, I believe it is 12.1 percent this September over last September and I think we’ve done for Cruise 90.1 percent increase this September over last September. So, that’s a tremendous indication to us of how well the country is doing, how interested people are. For Cruise it’s really great because we normally, see we have a schedule of calls that are made every year so while the calls haven’t increased what we are seeing is that more and more people are getting off the ship; that’s a really good sign that they’re interested to experience Belize and that they’re engaging and interacting and liking that experience.

World Mental Health Day Recognized in Belize
October 10 each year, countries around the globe, including Belize, recognize the day as World Mental Health Day. A ceremony was held today to bring together stakeholders with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health. The event was held under the theme, ‘Living with Schizophrenia’. Love News spoke with Nurse Eleanor Bennett, the Nursing Administrator for the National Mental Health Program. NURSE ELEANOR BENNETT “For Belize and many other countries all over the world, it signifies a day where we should stop and think about our mental health and about mental illness but more importantly about our mental health. We go on everyday not realizing how important having good mental health is and we hope to get from days like this for people to at least stop for a minute and think, ‘Is my mental health okay?’

High School Attendance in Southern Belize Dismal
School officials in the Stann Creek District have raised concerns about the low enrolment at some of the educational institutions in the District. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story. HARRY ARZU “There are six secondary learning institutions in the Stann Creek District and there are reports that a large number of young people who’ve graduated from the various primary schools recently is not attending any of these institutions and are not participating in any other constructive alternative program that can advance their personal development…..but what are some of the reasons for this state of affairs in this municipality and by extension, the district? Furthermore there are a number of high school dropouts, while some of these high schools have a very low student population, for example, the Agriculture Natural Research Institute has a student population of less than 100 and the authorities there say that they are in dire need of more students. Likewise ITVET Stann Creek has a small population of less than 100 students while Delille Academy has a decrease in their student population hence the reason for their urgent campaign to attract more students to their school since they have a little over 300. Dina Villafranco is the principal of Delille Academy.”

Honduran Waitresses Employed Illegally; Employer Charged
Thirty-five year old Ray Herrera, a Belizean who is the manager of MJ’s Bar, located on West Collet Canal Street, was fined four thousand dollars today by Magistrate Herbert Panton after he pled guilty to two counts of employing a person not in possession of a valid temporary employment permit. Herrera was fined two thousand dollars for each count. He paid half of the money forthwith. Yesterday two immigration officers, who were on routine patrol, went to MJ’s and upon their arrival they saw two women working there as waitresses. When they asked the women for identification the women gave them their Honduran passports but were not in possession of valid work permits. As a result, the officers detained Herrera and charged him.

Quick Police Response Nabs Armed Robber
A 29-year-old man who allegedly held up a 29 year old woman with a gun and tried to steal her belongings, was charged with attempted robbery when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. He is Kevin Lewis, a laborer of an Aloe Vera Street address. Lewis pled not guilty to the charge. He was told by Senior Magistrate Fraser that it was an offence for which she cannot offer him bail. He was remanded into custody until November 7. The incident occurred around 3:30 p.m. yesterday. The complainant reported to the police that she was at an address on Cemetery Road when she was approached by a man who pointed a gun at her and demanded that she give him all her belongings; luckily for her, before she could accede to the demand, the police, who were in the area, arrived and apprehended the culprit.

Relief Supplies Delivered to Maskall Following Freak Storm
This past week brought some heavy showers and strong winds to the country as a tropical wave passed through on Wednesday night. While some of the natural elements were bearable for most parts of the country, the villagers in Maskall in the Belize District were taken aback following extremely strong winds and torrential rains. The winds were so strong that several homes received extensive damages as roofs were ripped off their structures and household furniture and appliances were damaged with the rains. On Thursday morning, the Area Representative for the Belize Rural North, Edmond Castro along with official from the National Emergency Management Organization was in the rural area doing an assessment of the seven homes that fell prey to the winds and rain. Love News was there and we had managed to get first-hand account from the residents of what transpired on Wednesday night.

Prime Minister Travels for Meeting With IADB
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country on Thursday. The Prime Minister will be meeting with representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington. He is expected to return home next Tuesday. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is acting as Prime Minister during his absence.


Construction of Coast Guard Facility at Hunting Caye has ceased
The killing of Special Constable Danny Conorquie has sparked outrage especially since he died at the hands of Guatemalan Nationals...

BDF Uniforms Made In Guatemala!
The image you are seeing now is a picture of a typical BDF camouflage uniform. It portrays a digital pixelated design first introduced by the Canadian forces in the late 1990’s. Since then a number of countries and Special Forces have adopted the same design concept and made many variations to it...

World Mental Health Day is observed
Schizophrenia is an illness that is largely misunderstood and can lead to ostracization from the community and even family. Feelings of paranoia, isolation, repeated mannerisms and actions, depressive and occasionally suicidal thoughts are among the symptoms...

Kevin Lewis Charged With Robbery
Police have quickly apprehended the man they suspect robbed 29 year old Kimana Thompson on Cemetery Road, Belize City, on Thursday afternoon. 29 year old Kevin Lewis, a labourer of Aloe Vera Street in Belize City, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted robbery before Senior Magistrate Sharon F...

Night Club Owner Convicted Of Immigration Charges
Manager of MJ’s Night Club, 35 year old Ray Herrera, must pay fines of $4,000, after pleading guilty to two counts of employing persons not in possession of a temporary employment permit. Immigration officers on routine patrol in the area of West Collet Canal Street, Belize City, where the club is l...

Outstanding Growth Reported In Tourism
The third quarter of 2014 has registered increases in tourist arrivals across the board. According to reports from the BTB, there has been outstanding growth in arrivals for both overnight and cruise ship tourism. Overall for the first nine months of this year, overnight arrivals are up by 11 %; air...

National Convention on Initiative For Justice And Reparations held in Belmopan
On Friday the Belize Commission: Initiative for Justice and Reparation held a National Convention, at the UB Campus, in Belmopan, to engage the four major groups that were affected, in different ways, by the colonial rule of the United kingdom...

Law Enforcement Agencies Join Forces To Support Special Olympics
Ahead of December’s National Special Olympics Games in Belmopan, the organization dedicated to raising awareness of persons with intellectual disabilities through sports accepted a donation from a group of law enforcement organizations ,which worked together to raise funds through the annual torch r...

Prime Minister and Inter-American Development Bank representatives meet in Washington
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country on Thursday. He left to meet with Representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, USA, and is expected to be back on Tuesday next week. In the wake of his absence the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is the acting Prime Minister.


US halts Guat construction at Hunting Caye
In a press release which was sent from the office of the Ministry of National Security late this evening, the Government of Belize (GOB) has announced that “the United States Army Corp of Engineers, the US agency responsible for the construction of the Hunting Caye Forward Operating Base, has issued a letter to the Guatemalan company BINARQ, which has had the effect of causing all construction at the Base to cease,” an action that came about, it said, “after consultations between the Ministry of National Security, the Belize Coast Guard and the United States agencies in Belize”, and which will remain in effect “until a satisfactory policy decision can be arrived at among all parties that takes into consideration the sensitivities expressed by sections of the Belizean population.” In the statement, the Ministry claimed that BINARQ, the Guatemalan company in question, was contracted to build the Hunting Caye base in 2011, months before the current Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, assumed the portfolio, and that “Saldivar was briefed on the ongoing Hunting Caye and San Pedro projects shortly after being appointed as the Minister of National Security in the second term of the United Democratic Party government”, which means, the statement said, that “there was no obligation or requirement on the part of the new Minister to report the details of these contracts to Cabinet,” given that the projects were approved prior to the current administration’s second term in office.

Ebola death in the US; Belize rushes to get ready
The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States has ended in the death of a Liberian, Thomas Eric Duncan, who reportedly contracted the virus in his home country before traveling back to the United States. When Duncan first sought medical attention in the US, he was sent home with antibiotics, but he was later admitted for treatment and quarantined in Dallas, Texas, after his situation worsened. There is no indication yet if Duncan had passed on the virus to others with whom he had made contact while he was manifesting symptoms of Ebola Viral Disease (EVD). The US Center for Disease Control says that there are 8,033 Ebola cases, mostly in Africa: 4,461 laboratory-confirmed cases and 3,865 deaths, with 2,210 of those deaths reported out of Liberia. So far, 20 cases and 8 deaths have been reported out of Nigeria, where localized transmission has occurred.

Editorial: The colossus and the compromised
A week has passed since Mose Hyde broke the news on his KREM Radio/TV WUB morning show that the United States had hired Guatemalan contractors using exclusively Guatemalan workers to construct a base for the Belize Coast Guard at Hunting Caye. For you Americans, listen here, the outrageous arrogance in the choice of contractors has to do with the fact that Belize is a sovereign nation-state which is embroiled in a territorial dispute with the Guatemalan republic which is home for the Hunting Caye contractors/workers. (This dispute is inherited by Belize from our former colonial masters, Great Britain, who granted Belize independence in 1981.) So far, the United States, the colossus of the Western Hemisphere, and indeed of the world, has gotten away with ignoring the righteous indignation of the Belizean people, an indignation which has been confined to Belizeans in Belize. Construction has proceeded on Hunting Caye, and there has been no indication by the United States Embassy in Belmopan that they have heard the Belizean voices of protest.

Professor Beckles addresses the Congressional Black Caucus
My host, the extraordinary, John Conyers, Congressman without comparison, other distinguished members of the Congress of the United States of America, members of government, both State and Federal, Excellences of the diplomatic corps, Dr. Julius Garvey, ladies and gentlemen. I am privileged to be here this afternoon standing in solidarity with this most important organisation, the Congressional Black Caucus of the United States of America. I am honoured to be able to pay respect to all its members in recognition of your historic achievements, contemporary advocacy, and evolving agenda in respect of reparatory justice for all. It is humbling to be in the company of Congressman Conyers, who for the last 40 years has championed the reparatory justice movement in the Congress of this country, and in the world beyond.

Philip Willoughby Cup Five-A-Side commences at Yabra
The Yabra Football Field was the scene of football action on Sunday, October 5, as the first 4 games were played in the Philip Willoughby Cup Five-A-Side Football Tournament. There are reportedly 10 teams (8 players per team roster) in the competition – Survivors, Rangers, Heights, Tulish, Silent Assassin, Livity Lane, Eiley FC, Honduras, Kulture and Caribbean Shipping. Tournament coordinators Jerome “Peeloff” Meheia and Gazden Ferguson said yesterday that the tournament, which is for non-semipro players, will emphasize strict discipline, and they have compiled a list of rules and regulations that participating teams, officials and players “shall automatically undertake to.” Penalties include fines, suspension from games, or expulsion from the tournament.

Talking football – Part 3
A 1962 Souvenir Programme for the visit to Belize of cricket and football teams representing St. George’s College Old Boys of Kingston, Jamaica, chronicles the list of football champions in Belize going back to the first competition on record, held in 1919-20. The souvenir booklet was “issued by the Belize Cricket Association” and, judging from the names of Belizean players listed, one would have to assume that the selection to represent Belize was taken from players active in Belize City, the population, administrative and commercial center of the country at that time. Nevertheless, the sporting exchange was obviously considered an international contest by the Belize Association, as the souvenir booklet featured messages by a number of the colony’s dignitaries, starting with then Governor, Sir Peter Stallard; and including First Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. George Cadle Price; Belize Cricket Association President and Minister of Public Works, Power and Communications, Hon. A. E. Cattouse; Minister of Local Government, Social Welfare and Cooperatives, Hon. Louis Sylvestre; Minister of Natural Resources, Commerce and Industry, Hon. A. A. Hunter; Minister of Education, Health, Housing, Information and Broadcasting, Hon. J. W. Macmillan; Minister of Labour, Prisons and Cinemas, Hon. C. L. B. Rogers; the representative of The West Indies Extra-Mural Department British Honduras, Mr. Vernon Leslie; Chairman Secondary Schools Competition, Rev. C. W. Cousins; Secretary, Belize Cricket Association, D. R. Gill; President of The Rural Cricket Association, Fred O. Moody; President The British Honduras Football Association, Russel S. Grant; and Secretary The British Honduras Football Association, P. S. Hall.

KREM Radio rolls out novel initiative for its 25th anniversary
KREM Radio, which has earned the bragging rights as Belize’s first privately owned radio station, has engaged in a wide range of community-based initiatives since its inception in 1989, and this year, for its 25th anniversary, the proprietors are planning an unprecedented initiative which will enable 25 first-time landowners to claim a fraction of the Jewel for themselves. The popular roots radio station will celebrate a milestone achievement on November 17 of this year, which will mark 25 years of its existence on the airwaves across the length and breadth of the country, and as a show of gratitude to its faithful listeners and fans, the station has an ongoing promotion known as “KREM’s Big Shilling Giveaways,” in which listeners are allowed to call in to the station at intervals during the morning and afternoon programs, and get a chance to win hundreds of dollars in gifts and prizes every week. Today however, KREM Radio’s Evan “Mose” Hyde informed us that the administrators have made the effort to take the initiative a step further through a second phase of their anniversary promotion, which will be effective tomorrow, Friday, October 3.

Bill which Opposition says will dismantle the Bar sparks fiery House debate
Ne bated Firearms legislation at Thursday’s House Sitting, and triggered a spirited debate on the changes which the Opposition People’s United Party contends have been engineered to “break up” the Bar Association of Belize, the organization to which all lawyers must currently pay subscription fees before they can practice law in Belize. “Speaking for myself, I do not want to belong to your Bar Association. How can that be democratic? You are coercing me. You can’t force me, man, I don’t want to be forced,” said Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in Parliament Thursday, maintaining his stance on the bill. Barrow said that by means of the amendment, the requirement for lawyers to join the Bar and pay fees to it, will be removed, as it is not only unconstitutional but morally wrong to mandate lawyers to pay fees to the Bar Association.

Churches and GOB break impasse over Revised Gender Policy
Officials of the church community in Belize met Friday, October 3, with a delegation led by Prime Minister Dean Barrow in Belize City in an attempt to resolve their differences over the Revised Gender Policy (2013), which sparked national street protests by religious groups opposed to provisions in the policy which they contended were clearly engineered to pave the way for a foreign-backed agenda to establish mainstream rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) community here in Belize. During Friday’s meeting, the parties struck an accord on how gender would be defined. In the 2013 policy, gender is fluidly defined as: “The social constructed roles allocated respectively to women and men in particular societies and in particular historical and cultural contexts. Such roles, and the differences between them, are conditioned by a variety of political, economic, ideological and cultural factors and are characterized in most societies by unequal power relations.”

Nearly 700 cases of dengue nationally
Roughly 700 cases of dengue have been documented in Belize since the year began, and while this figure is substantially lower than the amount of cases documented in the 2010 outbreak in Belize, the data include an unusually high percentage of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases, according to the Ministry of Health. As we reported to you last week, 77 cases of DHF had been documented in the City between January and September 2014, and 82% of dengue cases reported for the district had actually been reported out of Belize City and primarily out of three hot spots on the Southside.

Test of DCP Segura’s blood confirms high level of alcohol
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Miguel Segura, who has been charged with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, driving with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit, negligent grievous harm and failing to alter direction to give way, was brought back to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court today, where his trial was adjourned until November 10, when he is to be returned to court. Segura was released on bail of $6,000. Police have stated that a blood alcohol level test confirmed that Deputy Commissioner Segura had more than the legal limit of alcohol in him at the time he was involved in a road traffic accident in which a Succotz woman was killed on the spot and her driver seriously injured. The test was conducted at the National Forensic Services in Ladyville on blood samples taken from DCP Segura on Saturday, August 16, and confirmed that the alcohol content in his blood was above the legal limit, which is 70/100.

Christmas comes early for some San Pedranos!
A security officer from the DFC area of San Pedro Town was stabbed during a daring afternoon jacking by a pair of robbers while en route to making a bank deposit at around 1:30 p.m. yesterday in downtown San Pedro. The robbery occurred at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Caribeña Street when Cleofosio Robert Assi, 28, a security officer who is employed at Milo’s Center in San Pedro, was reportedly accosted by two armed culprits, one of whom stabbed him in the right shoulder, while the other wrested a deposit bag with what police have now confirmed to be more than BZ$39,000, after which they both fled toward the beach on foot. Assi told police that he had been transporting the deposit bag with the money – which were the proceeds of Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) payments from a Western Union office located inside Milo’s Center, which also operates as a collection agency for BEL and other companies – inside a backpack, but upon reaching in front of a store near the bank, he suddenly felt someone grab the backpack, after which a struggle ensued between him and two thieves, one of whom stabbed him.

COLA’s private prosecutor files grounds of appeal against Penner’s acquittal
On Thursday, July 24, the Hon. Elvin Penner, area representative for Cayo North East, walked out of the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, having been freed of the two criminal charges that Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) had filed against him. Penner hugged his wife and walked to his vehicle and disappeared from the public’s radar. It has been almost 70 days since Penner last snubbed reporters by maintaining the stony silence he has had in the face of public probing into his involvement in the granting of a Belizean passport to the imprisoned South Korean convict Won Hong Kim, in violation of policies and procedures which should govern the granting of citizenship. And even now, a year after the scandal broke, there has not been a word from government sources about Kim’s passport that was supposed to have been returned to the country. According to the Commissioner of Police, the police are still investigating the scandal.

Letters: Remembering Recommendation #29 of 2000
I draw your attention to Recommendation # 29 of the Political Reform Commission Report 2000. For the record, I hereby associate myself unequivocally and unconditionally with the bold editorials of the Amandala of October 3rd and 7th 2014, captioned “Respect Our Army; Equip our Army” and “Belize’s Survival Option” respectively, both pointing to the need for Belize to become militarized, and for us to truly take charge of our own destiny and survival. 14 years ago, and as a member of the Political Reform Commission in 1999-2000, I recommended that there be a constitutional amendment to provide for mandatory military service for every Belizean. The records will show this was rejected as Recommendation # 29 of the Report.

Letters: Neri O. Briceño writes President of Guatemala
General Otto Fernando Perez Molina President of the Republic of Guatemala Office of the President Guatemala City Guatemala SUBJECT: The Belizean Resolve Dear Mr. President: I write to you as we all were born before humankind bestowed upon us medals, honors, positions and titles; just an ordinary man. Belize for us is as Guatemala is to you, our home, our land, our country and our nation. The idea of dividing our nation in any form is as repelling as the 36 years civil war which threatened to destabilize your nation just a few years ago. As a military man you took up the ultimate challenge to put your own life at risk to preserve what you felt was right and just; for that I give you respect. Similarly for those of us on the opposite side of the Sarstoon all we can simply promise to do is just the same. As a former military man I am certain that you more than anyone else understands the notion of love of country.

The Reporter

$86,000 disappears in free-for-all frenzy Manhunt on for daylight robbers
Money was plentiful last Monday afternoon on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye – 5’s and 10’s, 20’s and 50’s, but only for a few minutes as people scooped up the bills and hurried off. Some $38,000 in cash disappeared in a flash following a brazen armed robbery and citizens’ arrest turned free-for-all frenzy. It all began around one on Monday afternoon when two brazen robbers attacked security guard Cleofosio Assi as he made his way towards Barclays Bank on Barrier Reef Drive. Assi intended to make a deposit on behalf of his employer, Milo Paz of the Paz Collection Agency. One of the robbers stabbed Assi in the right upper shoulder while his accomplice grabbed the knapsack with the money Assi was carrying and fled.

Special Envoy Mrs. Kim Barrow raises $300,000 for Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
Belize’s indefatigable Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, through her fundraising efforts, has raised some $300,000 for the Belize Children’s Trust. The Special Envoy raised the funds through the 2nd Annual Fundraising Gala Dinner in aid of the Belize Children’s Trust, held at the Old Town Manor in Bristol, United Kingdom. The money raised from the event will go towards completing the specialized Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. A release issued by her office this week reaffirms the commitment of the Special Envoy to completion of the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit to ease the mental, physical and financial burdens families in Belize bear in having to take their children abroad for special intensive care treatment.

Belize and Mexico sign agreements to improve bilateral relations
Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington and his Mexican counterpart, Jose Antonio Meade last Friday led the 8th Meeting of the Belize-Mexico Bi-National Commission during which the Foreign Ministers reviewed the Bilater signed three new bilateral agreements. The first was a Memorandum of Understanding in tourism […]

City Council and Chamber will partner for equitable tax solutions
The Belize City Council and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry have reached an understanding to introduce a new format for calculating annual trade license fees, which are more rational and less arbitrary. The Belize City Council has also agreed to a moratorium […]

Guests gather for an exhibition of Student art, sponsored by Taiwan
Belize and Taiwan have been working on a cultural programme where Belizean students participate in a summer school to develop and hone their art skills in a project called Primary Schools Art Skills Training Pilot Project. . Last week there was an exhibition at […]

Underground canal network will drain northside area including Cinderella Plaza
A new underground canal, like the one on Princess Margaret Drive, is to be dug to drain low-lying areas of Cinderella Plaza and Baymen Avenue. Ground-breaking work began this week on a Flood Mitigation Programme under the supervision of the Ministry of Works. Rolando […]

Former teacher stabs estranged wife then hangs himself
A former teacher of Seine Bight Village has committed suicide by hanging himself after stabbing Nicole Swazo, 34, his estranged common-law wife and leaving her for dead. Officials arriving at the scene pronounced Byron Castillo, 33, dead shortly after noon on Saturday, October 4. They […]

Food Vendor from Barrack Road Shot dead during black-out
Belize City food vendor, 27 year old Gerald Palmer of # 20 Barrack Road was shot and killed at the corner of Card’s Alleys near his home last Thursday night. The shooting occurred during a blackout and no one seems to know who did […]

Macheteman attack in Teakettle! Victim loses his left wrist.
A village man who used a machete to chop off the left wrist of Aldo Moro, 24, in Teakettle Village is now in the Hattieville jail, charged with attempted murder. Moro was heading for his car after making a few purchases at the J […]

Ebola Watch
Ebola, the highly contageous epidemic sweeping through West Africa, has produced its first casualty in the United States. Its presence also in Spain has caused consternation because a nurse’s assistant in Madrid who has been taking all the sterilization precautions, has come down with the disease. Thomas Eric Duncan, the […]

Belizeans, normally docile and easy-going, became enraged this week on learning that a Guatemalan company BINARQ has been given the contract to build a forward naval base at Hunting Caye in southern Belize. The news came on the heels of the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorque at the hands […]

Cease Operations! Hunting Caye construction stopped due to public outcry
The United States government has told the Guatemalan company building the military outpost on Hunting Caye to cease all operations. On Thursday the Ministry of National Security announced that Army Corp. of Engineers, the US agency responsible for the construction of the Hunting Caye operation […]

Deadlock continues at BSI
The impasse between the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association, and the American Sugar Refineries (ASR)-owned Belize Sugar Industries, continues this week as the parties failed to finalize a commercial purchasing agreement. Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega, said that he is “disappointed”at the result of […]

KHMH audit complete Another more in-depth report warranted for Central Health Region
The audit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital has been completed and the results of that audit will be submitted to the Chairman of the KHMH Board of Directors on Friday, Auditor General Dorothy Bradley disclosed this week. Bradley said it wasn’t a comprehensive […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Belizeans: Chiquibul Needs Your Help
On Saturday October 18th, the NGO Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) will be holding a telethon from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm at the Memorial Park in Belize City. The purpose of the telethon is to raise the complement of park rangers to 24. At an estimated cost of $24,000 for salaries, equipment, training and insurance for one of the toughest jobs in Belize, the NGO needs nearly $600,000 for the program.


New Hostel Opening Soon – Name Needed! I’m Thinking Doughnut Inn and Here’s Why…
Since I first arrived on Ambergris Caye about 8 years ago, there has been a bit of a building boom. The main streets have been paved and resorts, particularly on the north end of the caye, have sprung up like sunset mosquitos in September. Much of the building has been aimed towards the higher-end customers. And…get this. San Pedro, the largest tourist destination in Belize, has only one hostel. ONE HOSTEL! With cheaper rooms, some dormitory style, for backpackers, students and budget travelers. Caye Caulker has been the spot for these guys – for the most part, they never set foot on Ambergris Caye. But in just the past few months, TWO hostels (both with prime locations) have been slated to open on AC. Hopefully we will attract a whole new type of traveler. Because based on what I’ve seen, what I’ve read and what I have blogged about (please refer to my Finn Kardashian episodes below), these globetrotters travel on a budget but they secretly have wads of cash.

“Another One Bites the Dust” in San Pedro,Ambergris Caye,Belize.
It’s been a while since the last edition. I just didn’t know what to write about. I mean it shouldn’t be too difficult should it? It’s not like I compose (allow me this rather grandiose description – I know it’s not the case but egos need massaging occasionally. Yes, even mine!) literary works of art. I’d like to describe myself more as a raconteur. I’d like to but … Now I know I could have taken a walk along the beach or around the ‘Town and taken a few snaps, wrapped some words either side of them and voilà. Job done. Edition produced. For sure I like to include photos of the beautiful sights around Ambergris Caye. And no matter how often I see them they still remain beautiful. I also like to let you know about changes that take place on the island. You know, what new bars and restaurants are opening or have just opened. What’s the condition of the roads. What the weather is like (especially if it’s raining and my water tank is filling up!).

International Sourcesizz

Teacher- and parent-led trip heads to Belize
Situated on the northeastern coast of Central America and bordered by Guatemala and Mexico, Belize is the destination for a teacher/parent-led student expedition slated for spring break in 2016. #It is the only country in Central America that has English as its official language. Pioneer Middle School Explorer teacher Dan Calzaretta and parent volunteer Kathryn Southwick Hess are planning the trip.

UT Tyler hosting Mayan culture trip
The University of Texas at Tyler, in collaboration with the Maya Research Program, will offer a public Friends of UT Tyler tour that explores the ancient and modern Mayan culture, Dr. Teresa Kennedy, UT Tyler Office of International Programs executive director, announced. Led by Dr. Thomas Guderjan, UT Tyler associate professor of anthropology, the “Maya Highlands New Year’s Eve Tour” will feature certain parts of Mexico and Guatemala. Cost is $3,600 per person and includes ground transportation, room and board and most meals. There is a $500 non-refundable deposit. “During this 13-day journey, we will explore ancient Mayan sites in the spectacular highlands of Mexico and Guatemala,” said Guderjan, who also serves as the Maya Research Program president and oversees the Blue Creek Archaeological Project in Belize. “We will also visit the World Heritage site of Palenque and remote Tonina, explore the colonial cities of San Cristobal and Antigua and meet traditional Maya people who live our contemporary world.”

Choco-lypse And The Looming Chocolate Revolution
Enjoy that chocolate this Halloween because in the next five years, we could be facing a major shortage. Cocoa farmers, who grow all of the cocoa beans for the world's chocolate, aren't paid fairly and are ditching the crop. Global cocoa production has actually declined since 2011. Here are the three most important things chocolate lovers need to know about why their favorite sweet is in peril: Smallholder cocoa farmers are underpaid and impoverished: Ninety percent of the world's cocoa is produced by five million smallholder farmers in West Africa, Latin America, and Asia. These farmers are getting minimal pay, with the majority of cocoa farmers globally living on less than $2 per day. Farmer poverty is widespread, while big manufacturers are capturing the vast majority of profits from the nearly $100 billion global chocolate industry.

Not All Coral Are 'Losers' With Climate Change
A team of researchers are now saying that despite the dangers of climate change across the globe, not every species of coral is doomed. A new study details how some coral species are actually moving into new territory as their vulnerable cousins continue to decline with rising ocean temperatures. The study was recently published in the journal PLOS ONE and details how a team of 20 scientists from universities in California, Hawaii, and New Hampshire set out to asses who would be the "winners and losers" among coral populations as climate change and human stressors press in. To determined this, the researchers analyzed contemporary and fossil coral reef ecosystem data sets from two Caribbean locations in the US Virgin Islands and Belize, and from five Indo-Pacific locations in Moorea, Taiwan, Hawaii, Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Kenya.

Caribbean nations: UN and specialized agencies must prevent Ebola spread
Act now and avert a global public health emergency. That, in essence, was the urgent demand of Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Guyana, Barbados and their Caribbean neighbors and the plea was made at the United Nations in New York at a time when the U.S. was seeking to tame rising domestic worries about the potential spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic to America's shores. Essentially, what the island-nations and coastal states that belong to Caricom are asking is that the UN's specialized agencies and rich states ramp up their aid to the African states which are now bearing the full brunt of the deadly Ebola virus disease. The Caribbean also fears that the outbreak of the highly contagious disease would jump from Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone and spread to the rest of Africa and to developing nations in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Pacific and the Middle East. Thousands of victims have already died from Ebola in four African states. "The specter of the deadly Ebola disease and the scourge of HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases have the potential to significantly impact our people and threaten the gains made so far by Small Island developing states," warned Senator Arnold Nicholson, Jamaica's Foreign Minister in an address to the General Assembly.

Fears over Venezuela’s Petrocaribe grow in Caribbean and Central America
Highly indebted countries in the Caribbean and Central America could be facing a potentially devastating setback to their already vulnerable economies if Venezuela decides to end its supply of subsidised oil to the region. Venezuela’s government has claimed that its PetroCaribe programme will stay in place, but doubts have been increasing recently over the credibility of that claim. PetroCaribe was designed to allow members to take advantage of a deferred payment system, technically paying full price for oil but receiving credit for up to 50% of the market prices. The deferred amount is payable up to 25 years with an interest rate of 1%-2%. The programme includes 17 countries, with El Salvador joining in June. Of the participating nations, 13 are receiving oil shipments. Two of the three countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with the highest debt to GDP ratios, Belize and Jamaica, participate in PetroCaribe. El Salvador has the fifth highest debt to GDP ratio in the region, according to the World Bank.


Video: Shock Top - Discover Unfiltered Belize, 1.5min.
Last weekend COED was invited by Shock Top to an epic weekend in Belize which included an ATV tour of the jungle, zip-lining through the rainforest and Cave Tubing through a mile-long cave. To top it off the Discover Unfiltered main event was held in a Mayan ruin.

Video: ChiquibulTelethonFinal, 1min.

Video: Missions Today TV: "Belize", 27min.
Watch an incredible team effort to build a classroom, dozens of eager kids at our children's outreach and people accepting Jesus as their Savior.

Video: Belize, 6min.
This video is about Belize.

Video: Chaleanor Hotel in Dangriga Town, Belize, 2min.
Chad and Eleanor Usher combined their first two names to create the name Chaleanor. They started as a guest house for visiting students, but eventually it transformed into a hotel in 1994 and since expanded to 18 rooms. Chad is a visionary person and is always improving the property in whatever way he can, to give the guests a more comfortable stay. His cooperative spirit of happiness easily radiates to those around him.

Video: GoPro: Belize - Guatemala 2014, 4min.

Video: Belize Fashion Week 2014, 1min.
Belize Fashion Week 2014 November 20-23 2014 San Pedro - Belize


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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!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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