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#500298 - 01/24/15 10:57 AM Today's Belize News: January 24, 2015
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The San Pedro Sun

FooFoo Friday: Margaritas Please!
One of our favorite places is Caprice Bar at the Holiday Hotel. In fact, everything Holiday Hotel related makes us feel right at home! From the happy ladies at Celi’s Deli who prep our morning breakfasts, to the quick and delicious quesadillas or chaya dip from the restaurant, to the fabulous happy hours at Caprice Bar. Really, what else can we ask for?! But all this is to tell you one of our favorite things about Caprice: HAPPY HOUR! From 3PM to 6PM, we can get 2 for 1 margaritas! At $6BZ a piece, you know we’d be all over that. (You should have seen us during the great lime shortage of 2014 – what a sad bunch!) We’re so happy to say it’s back, and even more refreshing!!

Workshop and equipment worth over $100,000 goes up in smoke
Over $100,000 worth of belongings went up in smoke in a fire that occurred in the wee hours on Wednesday January 21st. Sometime around 2:20AM, Fire personnel responded to a report made by San Pedro Police and visited the Grand Colony Resort south of San Pedro Town where a fire was observed. According to the San Pedro Fire Department, they quickly visited the area and observed a wooden and plywood structure fully engulfed in flames. The structure is a workstation belonging to Grand Colony Resort which is in receivership under the Belize Bank Limited. Because of the materials within, the fire took some time to be brought under control.

The Belize Coalition calls on Government to Save our Natural Heritage
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage calls on the Government of Belize to take immediate action to ban oil exploration in the offshore to help in removing the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the World Heritage List of Sites in Danger and prevent the potential delisting of the Barrier Reef as a World Heritage Site. Critical actions include no issuing of new oil concessions within the offshore; no giving any extensions to the three companies presently holding offshore oil leases and allowing the relinquishment process to take effect as the Petroleum Act stipulates; and subscribing into law the offshore as a restricted area for oil concessions.

Debris and Yard Garbage Pick-up Schedule
The San Pedro Town Council hereby announces it’s new and updated Garbage pick up schedule starting as of Monday, January 26th. We appreciate the patience of the general public, we do ask everyone to please separate you household garbage from the yard debris. It is of utmost importance that you bag your garbage hence making it easier for the workers to handle and it is a more effective way to get your garbage picked up in a timely manner.

Mo’ Mojo Zydeco Band Travels as American Music Abroad to Belize
The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce the visit of the music group Mo’ Mojo Zydeco Band as an American Music Abroad program to Belize from January 22 – 29, 2015. The American Music Abroad program is designed to communicate America’s rich musical contributions to the global music scene as it fosters cross-cultural communication and people-to-people connection to global audiences. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has partnered with American Voices to engage with people across the world through American Music Abroad (AMA) exchanges. These exchanges help promote a positive image of the U.S. through arts and music and give overseas audiences the chance to directly interact with American artists. AMA bands represent a wide variety of American musical genres and will reach more than 40 countries around the world in 2014.

Consultation to be carried out to determine the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger
The Belize Fisheries Department through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development hereby informs the general public that the World Heritage Centre (WHC) in collaboration with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is on a mission to Belize during the week of January 19-23, 2015. The objective of the mission is to provide technical assistance for the design of a Desired State of Conservation for the removal of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System from the List of World Heritage in Danger. During their visit, the team will be consulting with various government agencies and stakeholders to discuss three main items:

Manuel Heredia confirms that Ambergris Stadium is not for sale
Heredia explained that land that is being finalized for sale was land sold under the previous PUP administration. He said that those lands are located adjacent to the football field, including a parcel that was set aside for a track and field area. “I want to remind Noralez that the land adjacent to the football stadium that should have been part of the facility was sold by his party. It was the PUP that sold it and I can give you the names of those PUP’s that the land was sold to. The PUP even sold the parcel of land next to the field that was set aside for track and field. Part of that land was sold to Maria McNabb and she, as I understand, is reselling it, and that is where Noralez is being misleading.”

Ambergris Today

Coffee Lovers on the Rise in San Pedro – Tropic Al’s Fills the Gap
Lately I have noticed that more locals are paying attention to the coffee that they are drinking. With the recent craze in specialty coffee drinks, islanders are demanding more flavorful coffee and all the sweetness of the lattes, cappuccinos, frappucchinos and iced coffees. But in a tropical island with no Starbucks, Tropic Al’s at Ramon’s Village, is filling the gap and perking up San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The one thing I love the most about Tropic Al’s is that they decided to brew local coffee beans from island roasters Caye Coffee Roasting Co. Ltd. They are not importing any Starbucks flavors or using pre-packaged coffee; it’s all fresh coffee that is very rich, flavorful and delicious. Three staff members are trained baristas after a professional instructor from the Seattle Barista Academy was brought down to train them. They even took a tour of the Caye Coffee operations to learn more about the coffee they serve. Tropic Al’s baristas Alexis, Ron and Karim are some of the friendliest servers around; they are quick, witty and very attentive.

Belize’s New Metrology Lab to Raise Standards of Belizean Products
A new state of the art laboratory testing facility is to be constructed at the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS). Ground was broken for the building today which in turn is expected to be completed by early 2016. The building is being constructed under the Belize Rural Development Project which is being funded by the European Union along with counterpart funding from the Government of Belize. The lab will be constructed at a cost of BZ$ 2.3 million and its main use will be Metrology testing, that is, ensuring that products manufactured or produced in Belize meets the international standards of weights and measurements. The building will host seven (7) laboratory areas, offices, conference/training rooms, bathrooms, utility rooms, storage rooms and external areas. The BRDP support to BBS also includes the supply and training in the use of key metrology equipment including: mass comparators and balances, weights and related mass laboratory equipment, pressure, temperature, dimensional and volume metrology equipment. All of which has already been handed over.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Trash pickup delay in San Pedro
Good day everyone, Our garbage compactors were unable to come out in the morning for the daily pick-up of household waste due to mechanical problems; however, they will be collecting household waste in TOWN CORE up until this afternoon. To carry on quickly, we will be closing off sections of the street where the garbage compactor will be passing through. We kindly ask all drivers and pedestrians for their cooperation and understanding during this time.

Power cable on Belize River being replaced
BEL advises the public and mariners that the Company is in the process of replacing the submarine power cable which crosses the Belize River between Mapp Street and BEL’s Belize City Substation located on Magazine Road. The Coast Guard is on patrol to ensure the safety of mariners, who are asked to be cautious when navigating the area. Works are scheduled to be completed by Monday, January 26.

Defence witness criticises Bain's evidence in Belize case
A defence witness on Friday criticised the expert evidence given by Professor Brendan Bain in Belize, saying that it had shortcomings. Professor Rose-Marie Antoine, dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus, testified under questioning from Justice Lennox Campbell that Bain's evidence gives the impression that anal sex in and of itself poses a public health risk. She said what causes the public health risk is when men who have sex with men go "underground" and not seek treatment because of discrimination. She said the issue wasn't whether men who have sex with men pose a risk, but that it was a side issue.

Felipe Santiago Ricalde
One of the seventeen outstanding Belizeans featured in the Belize's Heroes and Benefactors Exhibit is Corozal's own Felipe Santiago Ricalde. A social activist, Mr. Ricalde was elected as Corozal's first mayor in 1955. Visit the House of Culture and learn more about our country's past and present visionaries.

Power interruption 8:00am to 3:00pm Saturday, January 24, Belize City
Entire Belama Phase 4 and Superintendent Arthurs Street. Two thirty-minute power interruptions from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. will also affect the portion of Belama Phase 2 between Biltmore and Benny’s Apartments and entire Belama Phase 3. BEL to facilitate works to be conducted under the Ministry of Works’ Flood Mitigation Project.

Permanent Residency application
Question: Friends went through the police interview component of the Permanent Residency application yesterday. At the end of the interview, they (the police) were insistent they had to come and inspect their house. Friends put them off as they had never heard of this before. Is this now the norm? That there is an inspection of ones home as part of the Permanent Residency application. I have never heard of this before...hasn't happened for anyone else that I know that applied for, and received, Permanent Residency. It has always been the norm. Most times the police don't even come through the front gate.

Channel 7

BDF Insiders Stole 2.6k Ammo From Military?
Tonight, concerns for public safety continue to mount because for the 4th. time in 11 years, dangerous military munitions have been stolen from a location under the protection and control of the Belize Defense Force. This time around 2,680 rounds of ammunition used in military assault rifles were stolen, and it is believed that this entire weapons cache may be on the streets tonight. And it gets worse: the BDF high command suspects that it was an inside job, that still unknown officers sworn to protect civilian safety did the opposition: they breached the military compound in Lords Bank and stole the ammunition to sell to criminals. The BDF officials made the discovery this morning, and shortly after, the Chief of Staff briefed us about what they know so far:

Jury Acquits Flores; Deadlocked On Lewis
When we left you last night, a jury of 12 was deliberating the fate of 23 year-old Warren Lewis and 26 year-old Cordel Flores, who were on trial for the August 2009 murder of 22 year-old Alberto Allen. This was the men's second trial because in 2013, an allegation emerged that a juror acted inappropriately in their March 2013 trial. The juror reportedly passed an improper comment that the men had a winning case even before all the evidence was presented. It was ruled at that time that the jury panel may have been pre-judging the case before hearing all the facts.

CWU Vs SSB: The Quarrel Over Increments
Usually Social Security's 300 employees get paid on the 26th of the month - which will be on Monday. But, that payday may be pushed back by a few days this month - and the pay cheques may be a little lighter than they were before. That's because today Social Security's accounting Department recalled the pay disbursements, which were already headed for their employee's accounts. Those pay cheques had originally been made out to include what's called a "transitional increment". That's money, which was agreed to, in the last collective bargaining agreement. It was to be linked to a "performance management system" which, as it turns out, was not brought on line.

UNESCO Weighs In On Petroleum Concessions
Today at the Fisheries Department in Belize City, representatives from the UNESCO World Heritage Center met with government agencies and NGO's such as OCEANA and The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage. The meeting is the background to what we have been reporting all this week: on the NGO's discontent about the Draft Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines and the possible threats it poses to the Barrier Reef System - which has already been inscribed on a World Heritage Endangered Site List. Well, the delegates from the World Heritage Center are here to try and remove Belize from that list. Head of the Marine Program from the World Heritage Center Dr. Fanny Douvere discussed how they along with the government and stakeholders can accomplish this goal.

GOB Says UNESCO Sites Aren't Under Oil Concessions
And to try and quell some of the anger that has come from the NGO Community after that widely condemned draft guidelines package was released - the Ministry of Petroleum sent out its second release for the week. The last one was still picking fights with the NGO's - but today's release was cellar and almost contrite. It says, quote, "the Government of Belize continues to maintain a moratorium on the issuance of any new offshore petroleum exploration concessions." It adds that quote, "none of World Heritage Site properties are currently under any oil concessions." It continues to say that in 2013, the Ministry successfully negotiated with Princess Petroleum to relinquish 25% of their concession block to ensure that, quote, "the Blue Hole and other areas of Lighthouse Reef Atoll are no longer part of their active concession."

Well-known Tattoo Artist Charged With Unlawful Sex
Tonight, well-known tattoo artist, Estevan Mossiah, who has his shop on Barrack Road, is at prison after being accused of having sex with a 15 year-old minor twice about 2 weeks ago. The girl reported to police that on Tuesday, January 6, and on Friday, January 9, Mossiah, who she knows as "Steve Mossiah", had intercourse with her. After police investigated her report, they arrested the 45 year-old tattoo artist and charged him with 2 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Tablets To Do Data Collection?
These days, it's hard to go into any meeting where everyone isn't meddling with some kind of electronic device, whether smartphone or tablet. But at a meeting today tablets were required and encouraged. That's because it's part of the IDB Salud Mesoamerica programme funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Carlos Slim Foundation. We found out what the android tablets will be used for. The training started on Monday and ended today.

Accused Heroine Traffickers Get Bail
The 4 men who were busted 2 weeks ago in Corozal with 40 pounds of heroin worth several million dollars, are out of jail tonight after they were granted bail in the Supreme Court today. You may remember 32 year old Jose Antonio Lara, 30 year old Lenon Tillett, 42 year old Gerardo Allen and 35 year old Heirder Perez who Anti-Drug Unit police searched by accident because they were looking for a stolen car. Well, their attorney took the bail application before Justice Troadio Gonzalez today and he successfully convinced the judge that they deserve to be free while awaiting their trial. Justice Gonzalez agreed and granted them bail of $50,000 each on the condition that they surrender all travel documents and report to police station in the districts where they live.

An Environmental Trip To Blackbird Caye
Today 16 students from Restore Belize's I am Belize Scholarship Program went on a 5 day all expense paid trip to Black Bird Caye. These students, who were chosen based on their academic performance, will get a crash course in marine ecology. They'll be conducting scientific experiments and collecting data on marine life and of course enjoying the jewel's sunshine and waters - all with the goal of bringing these students closer to their environment. We spoke with the eager group this afternoon. Courtney Weatherburne reporting These parents won't be seeing their sons and daughters for 5 days and came to the Princess Marina to see them off. That is because these students will be spending that time on Blackbird Caye on a marine ecology field trip.

DOE Warns Public Not To Alter Waterways, Or Else...
The Department of the Environment has sent out a warning about unauthorized obstruction and diversion of bodies of water. It's usually the result of an increased demand for fresh water supply, especially for agriculture and tourism. The Department of the Environment says that in recent months it has received multiple complaints from the public about unauthorized diversions. So, the DOE's public notice is to remind everyone that any person who proposes to carry out a project, including waterworks such as diversion of water courses, modification of stream flows, alteration of riverbanks, and alteration of ground water, must first apply to the Department of the Environment for Environmental Clearance. Failure to obtain Environmental Clearance from the Department for such activities is an offence and carries a fine of five to twenty five thousand dollars.

FCD'S Manzanero Goes To Taiwan Looking For Help In Conservation
Rafael Manzanero and the Friends for Conservation have become household names while doing their work to raise awareness about the Chiquibul National Park - and the many pressures it faces. Well, Manzanero is going to Taiwan, hoping to attract support from NGO's over there to assist the FCD in trying to protect the Chiquibul's endangered scarlet macaw population. He was in Belize City today to work on his Taiwanese Visa, and the media caught up with him: Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, FCD "The idea is really to present more about our work and we are also trying to do the protection of the Scarlet Macaws and I would want to present that and see if there would be any NGOs over there that might be interested in supporting the protection of the Macaws here in Belize."

Channel 5

US Military Ammo Stolen from B.D.F.
Ladyville Police and the Belize Defence Force are investigating a robbery of thousands of rounds of military ammunition. That’s right, military ammunition stolen from a guarded B.D.F. facility on the [...]

Murder Trial Ends in Acquittal and Hung Jury
Shortly before nine on Thursday night after deliberating for over four hours, the second murder trial of Cordel Flores and Warren Lewis ended in an acquittal and hung jury. In [...]

Bail Granted for Men Busted With Heroin
Justice Troadio Gonzalez also presided at a bail hearing this morning. After eight days on remand at the Belize Central Prison for a bust of forty pounds of heroin, four [...]

Popular Tattooist Charged for Carnal Knowledge
In the magistrate’s court today, popular Tattoo Artist Esteban ‘Steve’ Mossiah, proprietor of Stinging Scorpio’s Tattoo, was remanded to Belize Central Prison after he arrested and charged with two counts [...]

Still No Charges in Daly Murder
Belmopan Police are still actively investigating the murder of twenty-four year old Emerson Daly Junior.  Tonight, one of the men, who were detained and being questioned, remains in custody. Police [...]

UNESCO Experts in Belize
Since Monday, a team of experts from the UNESCO World Heritage Center has been in Belize on a technical mission. For five years, since June 2009, the Belize Barrier Reef [...]

Will Belize Be Removed From UNESCO Danger List?
But has the government put in place measures to maintain the integrity of the ecosystem? According to Doctor Fanny Douvere, there has been some improvement, but there are three to [...]

FCD Exec Says Chiquibul is Quiet
It’s been some time since we’ve received an update on movements, local and illegal, within the Chiquibul. Late last year we talked about nothing but that after Special Constable Danny [...]

Manzanero Seeks Assistance in Scarlet Macaw Conservation
Like we said, Manzanero is a tireless advocate, and one of his passions is the protection of scarlet macaws, the majestic birds whose population in Belize remains at risk. In [...]

American Fugitive Handed Over to US
  A wanted American national who was nabbed in Dangriga last Friday was handed over to U.S authorities this morning. Fifty-four year old Robert Andrew Ragin, who was wanted by [...]

SCA Holds Science Fair
The innovative minds of students at Saint Catherine Academy were in full display today. Over seven hundred students from high schools and primary schools from across the city gathered at [...]

Baby Mia Needs Your Help
The family of a fourteen month old infant is seeking help from the public to cover costs for much needed medical attention that the baby girl needs. Mia was diagnosed [...]

Organization Assists Kids Living with Cancer
Working to assist the family is the organization, A Thousand Smiles For Cleyon – Every Child Deserves a Miracle which was founded by Michelle Rudon. Rudon and several other professionals [...]

Ras Indio has Visions of Life
Reggae artist, Ras Indio, is back in the news tonight. And that’s because he has launched a new DVD called ‘Visions of Life.’ The artist, who has established himself internationally, [...]

PlusTV

Days of Healing returns to Dean Street
We have been regularly reporting on the activities of the Days of Healing Initiative, which promotes clean family activity in crime-affected areas. The initiative started in the wake of the gruesome quadruple murder of four Belize City men in an apartment on Dean Street between Plues and George Streets, Belize City, a crime that has yet to be solved. Community residents and activists led by Perry “Stickz” Smith are organizing a third annual Day of Healing event, which is officially the twenty-first monthly event under the program. We spoke to Smith on Friday, about activities which will kick off in the morning of Saturday, January 24.

OCEANA says No to Petroleum Zones and Guidelines for Exploration Draft
The feasibility of offshore exploration in Belize is a widely debated topic that has given rise to many environmental and conservation groups actively opposing offshore drilling...

No clear motive in Emerson Daly murder
The body of 24 year old Emerson Daly, Belizean party decorator, was discovered on Wednesday at around 8:30 am, in an area behind Banana Bank, in the Cayo District. Emerson Daly reportedly went missing on Sunday night, when he borrowed his uncle’s car and left his home in Roaring Creek Village en rou...

8 Police officers receive awards
Reports of rogue police officers often find their way to our desk, but even though those are the reports that make headlines nationally, it is not representative of all police officers. There are good police officers worthy of being celebrated. That was the idea on Thursday, as high officials within...

Roads in the South in need of attention
Independence Village, also known as Mango Creek, is one of the largest villages in the country.
According to Emilio Zabaneh, secretary of Independence village council, many of the streets in the village have been in disrepair for a long time, and the portion of the start of the Southern Highway is a...


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#500299 - 01/24/15 10:58 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 24, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Amandala

US fugitive arrested in Hopkins
United States fugitive Robert Andrew Ragin, 54, who is wanted by the US Justice Department to answer charges on 12 counts of promoting sexual performance by child minors, was arrested in Belize for immigration offenses. The US Justice Department has issued a warrant for his arrest. Ragin reportedly lived in Hopkins for about six months. However, his freedom came to a crashing end when at about 3:30 on Friday afternoon, US Marshals, who had tracked him down to Hopkins, together with Dangriga police, travelled to the village and arrested him.

Hospital negligence caused mother’s death after childbirth?
Belize’s maternal health system has taken another direct hit – the second in just a week – with the death on Sunday of a young mother shortly after childbirth, due to what appears to be gross medical negligence. Norma Noemi Marroquin, 25, a housewife of Billy White, Cayo District, the mother of a 3-week old baby, tragically died on Sunday, January 18, due to complications after a portion of the placenta was allegedly left inside her body after giving birth at the Spanish Lookout Village Clinic on Monday, January 5. Marroquin died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital at about 9:55 Sunday night. Her common-law husband, Arson Moh, 24, also of Billy White, has since filed a complaint with the police and has urged the medical authorities to launch an investigation into the negligence that caused the death of his wife.

Missing Roaring Creek man shot in the face, thrown in river
The search for Emerson Daly, 24, a well-known resident of Roaring Creek, came to an end at about 8:30 this morning when his decomposing body was found in the Belize River, in the Never Delay area in the Cayo District. He was found floating face-down. Daly had been stabbed multiple times, shot in the face and thrown into the river. He was found on the third day after he reportedly went missing, on Sunday. At about 7:00 this morning, five of his cousins and friends got into a boat and began to search for him on the Belize River in the area of Roaring Creek, along the edge of the river, when at about 8:30 they found his body, down the river, about two miles from Roaring Creek, in the Never Delay area.

Murder trial ends in acquittal and hung jury
The second trial of two men who had been indicted for a gruesome murder in 2009 ended tonight in the Supreme Court of Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez, when a jury of nine women and three men returned to the courtroom to announce their verdict. After deliberating for over five hours, the jury reached a unanimous verdict in respect of the first accused, Cordel Flores, 26, for an acquittal, but all 12 jurors were unable to agree on a verdict for the second accused, Warren Lewis, 23. Eleven of the jurors found Lewis guilty, but one did not agree, resulting in a hung jury.

Brothers remanded for savage murder of BDF volunteer
The two brothers being escorted from the police holding cell at the Magistrate’s Court made no attempt to hide their faces from court reporters’ cameras, as police ushered them into the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. “Listen to the charge,” Smith told Orlando Staine, 38, and his older brother, Phil Staine, 41. In less than one minute, Smith had read a charge of murder to the brothers, who indicated that they understood the charge. Police had charged the Staine brothers with the Saturday, January 17, murder of Denver Villafranco, 23.

FIFA President congratulates Belmopan Bandits
Today, the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) forwarded to our sports desk a letter dated January 20, 2015, from FIFA President Joseph “Sepp” Blatter in Zurich, Switzerland. The letter is addressed to FFB President Ruperto Vicente, and in it the FIFA President conveyed his “Congratulatory message to Belmopan Bandits,” the recently crowned 3-peat Premier League of Belize football champions. We reproduce the text of the letter below:

Bandits, 4-0, over Police for third straight PLB championship
It was a monster crowd at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night, January 17, to witness the decisive game 2 of the finals series between two-time defending champions Belmopan Bandits and sub-champions Police United for the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2014-2015 Opening Season Championship. And it was a 3-peat celebration afterwards for the Bandits, who came away with a big 4-nil victory and the championship, their third consecutive and fourth title in the last 5 PLB tournaments. For Police, it was their fourth second place finish in the last 6 tournaments, with one championship to go along with it. Following a relatively dry and sunny day on Saturday, the playing surface was in very good condition for football, and fans were treated to some exciting play from both teams. Unlike in game 1, where the slippery and heavy clay pitch benefited the more physical game of Police, game 2 favored the team with more “touches;” and, despite a competitive first half, the midfield balance of power turned perceptibly and devastatingly against Police early in second half, after the Bandits inserted their diminutive football wizard, 18-year-old Jordy Polanco, to team up with a similarly small but exceptionally talented Denmark Casey, Jr. in midfield.

Editorial: Special lady
Prime Minister and United Democratic Party (UDP) Leader, Hon. Dean Barrow, was in front of the television cameras beaming from the day before he introduced Dr. Carla Barnett as his party’s new candidate in the Freetown constituency. The day before was Tuesday, January 20, when Mr. Barrow was trying to build the hype for the UDP’s Wednesday morning press conference and at the same time distract Belize City and the nation from all the negativity surrounding the concluding circumstances of the BSI/ASR “agreement” with Belizean cane farmers. These negative concluding circumstances included emergency changes in Belize’s sugar industry legislation, introduced in the House by the UDP on Monday, passed in one sitting by the House, and ratified by the Senate on Tuesday. The proceedings in the House on Monday, and in the Senate on Tuesday, following the general assembly submission of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) to the controversial ASR agreement on Sunday in San Roman, followed weeks of national discourse which largely accused the Barrow administration of taking sides with the foreign multinational against the hard-pressed cane farmers of Belize.

Gender Policy, Belize Constitution irreconcilable: Paul
Editor Sir, I refer to your page 1 article of 23rd November – “U.S. Ambassadors …” I have already shown in previously published articles that the Gender Policy and the Belize Constitution cannot be reconciled. Let us again go through this matter. Look at the Preamble of our Constitution wherein is clearly expressed the foundational principles of our society. Article (a) affirms “that the Nation of Belize shall be founded upon principles which acknowledge the supremacy of God….” How, then, shall we accept a vision of life which, in effect, is requiring that the individual and his choice is supreme in all matters, public and private? In other words, to accept the gender policy would require that in fact we affirm the supremacy, not of God, but of the Ego. Will this not be a declaration that we have become a god-less society?

Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) steps up effort to combat cervical cancer
The Belize Family Life Association (BFLA) has stepped up the effort to eradicate cervical cancer, by promoting early detection of the disease. Cervical cancer is said to be a leading cause of death in women. Dr. Jahan Varello told Amandala that women in Belize should not be dying of cervical cancer, since they now have an effective method of screening women for cervical cancer that has eliminated the need for the troublesome, and oftentimes uncomfortable, Pap smear. They instead use a process called VIA, which involves washing the cervix with vinegar and observing it with a bright white light. In explaining the VIA and the VIA treatment, Dr. Varello explained that a healthy cervix is pink in color, and when washed with vinegar, it remains pink. This indicates that the person being tested is free from cervical cancer. There is no need for a follow-up visit in such instances.

2014 was one of Belize’s hottest years on record
The year 2014 was globally the hottest year on record for the past 135 years, with December being the warmest on record, according to data recently published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). While Belize did not record its hottest year last year, records reviewed by Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez indicate that 2014 was one of Belize’s hottest years on record. “It was found that with an average temperature of 26.8ºC / 80.2ºF, last year was the 14th warmest year on record. It was tied with the years 1983, 1992, 2006 and 2012. The warmest year was 1997 when temperatures averaged 27.3 ºC/ 81.1 ºF at the PGIA,” said Gonguez. He noted that so far for the 21st century, 11 of the past 15 years have been the warmest on record.

Belize has “signal honor” of hosting CCJ president, Sir Dennis Byron
Sir Dennis Byron, president of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – the regional court where disputes arising from the breaches in the CARICOM integration treaty can be ventilated, and the court which has for the past five years been Belize’s final appellate court – arrived in Belize this Thursday on a working visit as guest of honor for the 2015 law conference hosted by the Bar Association of Belize. Eamon Courtenay, President of the Belize Bar Association, said that Byron’s visit to Belize is “a signal honor.” Justice Byron was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 and he became a member of London’s Privy Council in 2004. He was sworn in as the second president of the CCJ in September 2011 in his home country, St. Kitts. During his visit, Byron paid courtesy calls on the President of the Court of Appeal, Sir Manuel Sosa, as well as Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. He also paid courtesy calls on Governor General Sir Colville Young, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca.

Belize plans to adopt regional VOTECH certification scheme
David Leacock, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, has pointed out that some of Belize’s professionals who are trained in vocational and technical (VOTECH) fields earn as much as double what is earned by other professionals with a similar level of training, but more than that, he explained that VOTECH options allow Belizeans to “shoa wi self, see wi self, bee wi self!,” as KREM TV’s slogan says. The problem is, though, that Belize lacks the structural framework to allow practitioners, and even their trainers, to get the kind of certification they need to flourish. However, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has embarked on a comprehensive strategy that Leacock said would fill the gaps that exist at so many levels but which will, moreover, ensure that Belizeans who receive VOTECH training here can compete with any other trained persons across CARICOM, because of the regionally recognized qualifications and certifications that will eventually be available to them.

Omar Figueroa takes oath of allegiance in Parliament
Just after the opening of today’s Special Sitting of the House of Representatives, at about 10:20 a.m., Cayo North area representative Dr. Omar Figueroa, the United Democratic Party member who is the latest addition to Parliament, was administered the oath of allegiance, allowing him to participate in the first House meeting for the year 2015. Last week, Figueroa, who won the January 5, 2015 by-election in Cayo North, was installed as Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister, and he was formally sworn in by Governor-General Sir Colville Young. Today, House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte told Figueroa that since he was the only person being admitted to Parliament on that particular occasion, he would be afforded the rare opportunity to speak at his swearing-in.

Quality-of-life crime enforcement: Police’s discretion and commonsense needed
In mid-July 2014, the Belize Police Department began enforcing the so-called “quality-of-life” crimes program in Belize City. By September, the police high command boasted to the media that about 800 arrests for these so called quality-of-life crimes were made, that it linked to its operation called “Not in My City.” The question that no one asked at the time was, at what cost to the society? The reports, however, of police excesses and outright abuse of citizens’ basic and constitutional rights in the enforcements of these petty minor offences, have now gotten a lot of attention in the media.

A new era for sugar –amendments take effect
Amendments to the Sugar Industry Act, approved by the House of Representatives on Monday and the Senate on Tuesday, were signed into law by Governor General Sir Colville Young and published in the Government Gazette today, Wednesday, January 21, 2015. However, the law takes effect retroactively on Wednesday, January 14, the day before officials of two new cane farmer associations penned their signatures to new commercial agreements with the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). It was the first time that BSI signed commercial agreements of this nature with an entity other than the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA), and the new associations, founded by breakaway factions of cañeros, had not been recognized in law before the recent changes were made by Parliament.

Ruckus over petroleum zonation scheme that includes Blue Hole in drilling zone
Belize has in place an informal moratorium on offshore drilling for petroleum, but some environmental groups in Belize insist that the country should never venture into such risky explorations, particularly in light of the fact that Belize’s Barrier Reef and its associated wonders – including the Great Blue Hole – could be threatened in the event of an unthinkable oil disaster. A petition led by the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage for a national referendum on offshore drilling was blocked when the petition was denied on the claim that 8,000 signatures had to be rejected, primarily because of mismatches. However, the Coalition held its own referendum, observed by Justices of the Peace, in which 96% of the nearly 30,000 who cast ballots said ‘no’ to offshore drilling. The Government of Belize, though, is of the view that “an effective balance” can be struck between oil development and the environment, in a manner that will ensure that the livelihoods of other stakeholder groups from the fishing and tourism industries will be maintained.

After almost 5 years, Steven Buckley is still seeking justice
Steven Buckley, 43, the man who took the blast of a police pump action shotgun in his face and beat the odds when he survived on a life support machine at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Intensive Care Unit, appeared in the Supreme Court this morning, but the civil case that he had filed against the Government has been adjourned once more. Now, after almost 5 years, Steven Buckley, who has been paralyzed as a consequence of being shot by a high ranking on-duty police officer, is frustrated with the criminal justice system. On the night of Wednesday, April 28, 2010, Steven Buckley, a construction worker, was in the pickup truck of his employer, Marlon Myers, when he was shot by a police officer.

Dr. Carla Barnett to challenge Francis Fonseca in Freetown
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, leader of the United Democratic Party, taunted Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca in the House of Representatives on Monday, talking about Fonseca’s “political death foretold” and claiming that Monday would have been Fonseca’s last appearance in the National Assembly as Leader of the Opposition and today, Barrow presented a political newcomer – a woman with a stellar professional reputation on both local and regional fronts – as the UDP’s preferred candidate in Freetown to depose Fonseca in the next general elections. That political hopeful is Dr. Carla Barnett, who was last year installed as chair of the Belize Tourism Board for the period 2014 to 2016. Barnett previously served from March 2012 to May 2014 as the vice president of operations at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) in Barbados. Her BTB appointment in Belize was announced before her resignation from the CDB, suggesting that she resigned from that post to serve on the BTB board.

The Reporter

SCA holds fourth science fair
Students of Saint Catherine Academy (SCA) took part in a science fair on Friday at the school’s campus in Belize City. Fifty-four projects, which were developed over the past four months made it to the finals that were on display. Overall, 120 projects entered the competition. Head of SCA’s Science Department, Ingrid Acosta, told the Reporter that the school introduced the event to the students four years ago to prepare them for the National Science Fair and encourage them to apply what they’ve learnt, through research and at school. Acosta said the event promotes scientific inquiry and encourages the students to look at everyday events and interpret the science behind them. It also earned them grades as groups to boost their overall performance at school.

US representative meets with Cuban dissidents in Havana
The highest US official to visit Cuba in more than 30 years has met leading Cuban dissidents in Havana. Roberta Jacobson, the state department’s top Latin American official, held the meeting after two days of historic US-Cuba talks. One dissident called the meeting “a very human coming-together”, but not all who were invited attended. Many Cuban opposition leaders are sceptical about the rapprochement. They fear the US will turn a blind eye to allegations of human rights abuses in Cuba. On Thursday, officials from the US and Cuba said the talks about establishing diplomatic relations had ended “positively”. The US did not provide an official list of those who met Ms Jacobson at the mansion of the head of the US Interests Section in Havana.

Army volunteer ambushed and murdered
Denver Villafranco, 24, a BDF volunteer soldier was attacked and stabbed to death in Belize City last Saturday night, and police have charged two brothers for the murder. Villafranco was walking on Complex Avenue shortly after 7 p.m. when three men attacked him as […]

UB student and dad-to-be killed in tragic car accident
Eric Vellos, a 24 year old part-time student of the University of Belize, was killed shortly after midnight last Saturday while driving home to Corozal Town. Vellos, who was planning to get married at the end of January, was flung from his Nissan Altima […]

Roaring CreeK Youth shot and dumped!
The body of Emerson Daly, 24, missing since Sunday night, was found on January 21, at 8:35am, in the Belize River about a mile and a half away from his home in Roaring Creek. He had an open wound to the face, believed to have been inflicted with a knife. […]

CWU appoints Labour Relations officer
The Christian Workers Union (CWU) on Wednesday announced the addition of former Kolbe Foundation CEO, Earl Jones as its newly appointed Labour Relations officer. CWU President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd welcomed Jones to the CWU as a part of its negotiation team during a union progress […]

Confident prime minister predicts clean sweep at municipal elections…and a new PUP leader!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, during Monday’s special Sitting of the House, predicted that at the next House Sitting in March, following municipal elections in February, the opposition would have a new party leader. Barrow made the prediction that his United Democratic Party (UDP) would […]

Donation improves KHMH surgical capabilities
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital can now perform surgeries in some instances and not require blood transfusion through a donation of two Intraoperative Blood Salvage (cell saver) machines. The machines were gifted last Friday to the Belize Spine Program from the international organization, Spine Overseas. […]

Mayor Bradley: Contractors must repair faulty streets at their own expense
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley has said that he is aware that certain streets that have been concreted over the past two years are already in a state of degradation. He said he would meet with the responsible contractors to ensure Belize City gets […]

City police arrest brothers for murder of BDF soldier
Brothers, Philip Staine, 42, and Orlando Staine, 38, are on remand at the Hattieville Prison after police charged them with Saturday night’s stabbing murder of BDF volunteer, Denver Villafranco. Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith denied the pair bail and remanded them until February 25. […]

Police note 56 % increase in cases of unlawful carnal knowledge
Cases of unlawful carnal knowledge have been on the rise for the past four years according to the latest crimes statistics issued by the Belize Police Department. In 2011, the police reported incidents of carnal knowledge stood at 50. At the end of 2014, the […]

Cane farmers and BNTU hold protest outside National Assembly Building
A group of cane farmers and stevedores, led by attorney, Audrey-Matura Shepherd and representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) staged a small but spirited protest on the steps of the National Assembly on Monday in opposition to the government’s amendments of […]

SATIIM to GOB: “What’s the rush?”
The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) is calling for the Government of Belize to properly refine its oil exploration policy before taking any other action. SATIIM issued a release this week, responding to GOB’s request for feedback on the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones […]

Say good-bye to premium gasoline for a while
Venezuela has sent its last shipment of premium gasoline to Belize under the PetroCaribe agreement for the foreseeable future, said John Mencias, deputy chairman of Alba-Petro Caribe Belize Energy Limited (APBEL). According to Mencias, that shipment of fuel has already left Venezuela and is […]

Editorial
Last week at the opening session of the Supreme Court His Lordship Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin announced some welcome news about criminal justice reform. He announced a number of reform measures including new criminal procedure rules, new guidelines for police officers relating to their treatment of detained persons, protection of […]

BSI gates finally open!
The impasse between the farmers and the factory in northern Belize ended unofficially on Monday when the BSCFA signed with ASR/BSI to deliver cane for the 2015 crop season. That signalled the end of a crippling impasse which has caused an unprecedented delay of the crop. But it became official […]

UDP announces Top Gun for Freetown
The United Democratic Party (UDP) was manifestly jubilant in announcing this week that Dr. Carla Barnett, former Vice President of the Caribbean Development Bank, had agreed to become the party’s standard bearer for the Freetown Division. She will be competing head on with Francis […]

Butane prices drop for New Year
The Belize Bureau of Standards Supplies Control Unit has announced that as of January 17th, liquid petroleum gas (LPG) or butane will sell for under a dollar a pound. The new price per 100-pound cylinder of LPG imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western […]

New trial for man charged with 2009 murder! Acquittal for his co-defendant, Cordel Flores
One of the longest murder trials on record, carried over from the October 2014 session, ended Thursday night in the Supreme Court with a hung jury in the case of one accused person and acquittal for the other. Cordel Flores, charged with the murder […]

The Belize Times

Patrick JonesPJ

Days of Healing initiative continues
We have been regularly reporting on the activities of the Days of Healing Initiative which promotes clean family activity in crime-affected areas. The initiative started in the wake of the gruesome quadruple murder of four Belize City men in an apartment on Dean Street between Plues and George […]

Ras Indio releases music DVD
Music video has become an integral part of the success in the music industry despite being a relatively recent addition to the Belizean music scene. One of Belize’s music pioneers, reggae artist Ras Indio, is breaking new ground with an all-music video DVD titled Visions of Life. The […]

Basket weaving competition continues
Part two of a basket weaving competition is underway in Toledo. The competition is being hosted by the Building People Movement Organization which today issued a call to all local artisans of Toledo to enter the Basket Weaving Competition. Dorla Bowman is the coordinator of the competition and […]

Suspects in heroin bust get Supreme Court bail
The four men busted with over 19 kilograms or 40 pounds of heroin in separate packages on January 12 are out on bail of $50,000 each. 32 year old Jose Antonio Lara of San Pedro Town; 30 year old Lenon Tillett of Belize City and Corozal; 42 year […]

Parents want Principal removed from San Ignacio school
Parents of children attending the Arms of Love Primary School in San Ignacio town today held a protest on the school compound. The full fury of their anger is aimed squarely at the Principal, who they are trying to get removed. The list of grievances against the veteran educator is […]

Jury acquits one of two men of murder indictment
A jury of his peers has acquitted Cordel Flores, 26, of the 2009 murder of eighteen year old Alberto Allen. The trial ended late last night when the jury of 9 women and 3 men returned to the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez with the verdict following five hours of deliberations.

Belize City man accused of “unlawful sexual intercourse”
A Belize City tatoo artist has been arrested and charges for the crime of “Unlawful Sexual Intercourse.” Esteban Mossiah, 45, was booked on two counts of the charges based upon a report made by a 15 year old girl that the man had sexual intercourse with her on the 6th of January and again on the 9th of January.

Blogs

A Gorgeous Day To Head North on Ambergris Caye
I met Ruben and his partner at the Wet Willy’s Dock, stopping along the way for bait sardines… We stopped to pick up two friends and then headed north. I wonder if I will ever stop being amazed by this view. The water up by Xtan Ha Resort and Mexico Rock dive/snorkel site. About 7 miles north of San Pedro town. We cruised all the way up to Mile 13 – just before the Bacalar Chico Marine reserve and then Rocky Point – the only spot in the world where a coral reef meets land.

Belize Recipes: Stew Chicken with Rice & Beans
This Belizean combination is without a doubt the most abundant meal in Belize. From north to south, east to west and out on the cayes, you won’t go anywhere without coming across a plate of Stew Chicken with rice and beans. With our easy to make recipe you can enjoy some Belizean flavour in the comfort of your home.

10 OFF-THE-BEATEN-PATH SPOTS IN BELIZE
One of the most underrated gems of central America, Belize rarely gets the attention it deserves. Many of the most memorable destinations in this Vermont-sized oasis aren’t well-known to outsiders. Here are ten off-the-beaten-path attractions in Belize that are sure to make an impression. Rio Frio Cave, Caracol, 1000 Foot Falls, Placencia Village, Che Chem Ha Cave, Sarteneja Village, Turneffe Atolls, South Water Caye, Waterfoot Caye, Dangriga, Treasures Abound Just Under the Surface.

International Sourcesizz

British Have Invaded 193 Countries: Let's Make 26 January ( Australia Day, Invasion Day) British Invasion Day
In the last 2 millennia the British have invaded 193 out of 203 present-day countries (195 UN-recognized nations and 8 non-UN-recognized self-governing countries) as compared to the French 80, the US 70 and Apartheid Israel 12. However the British invasion of Australia on 26 January 1788 ultimately destroyed as many as 600 unique Indigenous Australian tribes and a comparable number of languages and dialects (it is estimated that in 1788 there were 300 distinct Aboriginal language groups and 750 dialects of which only 150 survive) [1, 2], this making the Australian Aboriginal Genocide qualitatively the worst genocide in human history. Australia 's quantitatively worst genocide was the WW2 Bengali Holocaust in which the British with Australian complicity deliberately starved 6-7 million Indians to death for strategic reasons ( Australia withholding food from its huge wartime grain stocks) [3, 4].

Avian influenza in Belize
Low pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 was diagnosed at a poultry farm in Cayo, Belize (Central America). The flock, broiler breeders: 22 weeks, 38 weeks and 39 weeks. All breeder flocks are routinely sampled for avian influenza under the Belize Poultry Improvement Plan Avian Influenza Programme. Hence affected flocks were detected under routine monitoring as there are no clinical signs associated with the event. Spanish Lookout (Cayo) is a major poultry production area in Belize and has 14 breeder flocks with a total of 63,800 birds and an unknown number of layer flocks and broilers.

Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communities
Coral reefs are the most diverse and complex communities in the marine environment. Hermatypic corals play a key role in forming the structure of coral reefs and providing substrate and shelter for a wide variety of organisms. Acute damage to corals may result in a collapse of the complex community of organisms, which live in close association with the corals. Concern for damaging effects of oil pollution on coral-reef communities is currently growing. For example, even before any incidents occurred in the Great Barrier Reef, oil-exploration permits were suspended and two Royal Commissions of inquiry into the effects of oil drilling on these reefs were convened. This paper reviews our present knowledge on oil- pollution effects on coral reefs.

Videos


Chukka Crocodile Encounter and Shrimp Farm Tour Belize, 3min. It’s an unlikely combination, a shrimp farm and a crocodile sanctuary, but Chukka Belize makes it happen in one exciting and educational tour. It’s the latest package that the tour company has come up with to bring you more of the Belizean experience. Chukka’s Crocodile Encounter and Shrimp Farm package is both thrilling and delectable. * Experience tossing a cast net to catch your own shrimp and even have them cooked up for you! * Watch endangered crocodiles in their natural secure habitats while you learn about these magnificent reptiles and crocodile conservation. * Climb a bird tower, enjoy the view and try to identify as many species of birds that you can count. On The Far Side - Central America (Trailer), 1min. Belize - Guatemala - Nicaragua
From Belize to Britain Taster Tape, 3min.
America Central 2012-2013, 10min. "Si vous pensez que l'aventure est dangereuse, je vous propose d'essayer la routine... Elle est mortelle." Paulo Coelho
Sunrise in Hopkins (Belize), 3.5min. Bringing in the new day and celebrating Awesome Weather.
Coconut lecture - Belize - South Water Cay, 2min.
Coconut practice - Belize - South Water Cay, 3.5min.
Tender Boat to Belize City, Belize from Cruise Ship, 4min. Sit back and enjoy the boat ride to Belize.
Belize, in a bus to Orange Walk, 1.5min. Net aangekomen in Belize stappen we in de bus naar Orange Walk. Het is gezellig in de bus met mooie reggae muziek, harde wind en vele hobbels op de weg Wij hebben ontzettend veel plezier tijdens onze wereldreis, dus check ook onze andere Vlogs over reistips, reiservaringen, hostels, chocolade, coffee en nog veel meer!
Cayo Adventure Tours - Sweet Belize (Official Video), 3min.
STUDENTS AND FACULTY OF ESCUELA SECUNDARIA MEXICO CELEBRATE 32 YEARS OF EXISTENCE, 4min.
THE SOUTH AS THE SAN LAZARO TO AUGUST PINE RIDGE ROAD IS INAGURATED, 5min.
Air Belize Skydiving, 1min. Air Belize Skydiving Center’s owners have been operating safe and successful skydiving centers for 20 years in the United States as Sky’s The Limit Skydiving Center. Now we are pleased to bring our skydiving expertise to the beautiful country of Belize. Skydive today in Placencia, Belize and experience the thrill of a lifetime!
Will Belize Be Removed From UNESCO Danger List?, 2.5min.
Belize Trip 2015 Part 2, 4min. Most of the fun stuff like the zoo & beach trips that we did while in Belize woohoo & sorry the quality is terrible lol
Royal Caribbean Resort, San Pedro, Belize, 2.5min.
Silly Money in Hopkins, Belize, 11min. I get out for a walk along the beach after checking in. Lots of foreigner silly money pouring into the area...
Skydive into the Blue Hole ,Belize .Amazing Moment Must Watch, 8.5min.
Flying over Belize bluehole, 1min.

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