March 30, 2015


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The San Pedro Sun

Letter to the Editor: Sunshine Scholarship Foundation
The Sunshine Scholarship had their second annual fundraiser at Corona Del Mar on Saturday February 28th. The total raised was $5.921. This was made possible by the following who generously donated. Caye Management, Tres Pescados Fly Fishing, Crazee Eddie, Corona Del Mar, Marvin Vernon, Sandy Point Resorts, Kelly McGuire, Carlos and Ernies, Road Kill, Kurt Jason Cruz, Caye Coffee, Caramba, Miss Rose, The Baker, Liquor Box, Richard Lowe, Estelle’s and all the individual donors We would also like to thank the musicians who donated and gave freely of their time;Daryl, Gary, T.P.,Willie, Brent and Karen Brodie for her wonderful photographs.

Wolfe’s Woofer: Breakfast In Mexico
“What’s the story on the tourist business in Xcalak?” Mike asked me. “I really don’t know,” I told him. “I haven’t been in Mexico for ten years. Why?” “I bought some property up there about eight years ago.” “Why would you do that?” “The Mexican government was building the coastal highway to Mahajual. They planned to extend the highway down to Xcalak and the realtor said business would be booming.” “I know they get cruise ships in Mahajual,” I said. “A lot of cruise ships come in there but I don’t think Xaclak gets any of that business.”

Police Report
20-year-old Guatemalan National, Marvin Leonel Shoy Sagui was arrested and charged by the San Pedro Police for theft on Thursday, March 19th. Further checks with The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) revealed that Sagui is wanted in Guatemala for the crime of murder. After facing charges in Belize, Sagui will be handed over the Guatemalan authorities.

Doctor Love: Seasonal Jobs and Public Bathrooms
Dear Doctor Love, I am a person that worries about everything. Every month my family has scarcely the money to pay bills. Even then, there are some bills, like for personal loans, that do not get paid. We started building a bedroom for our two girls and we ran out of money halfway through. They are of an age when they need their own room. My husband’s job is good but mine will run out when the tourist season is finished. We need that money and I don’t know when I will get another job. I worry about these things all of the time and now my doctor says I have high blood pressure. Sometimes I feel like I am going to have a nervous breakdown. Please help. /s/ Too Tense

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Western Ballaz Defeat Hurricanes
Congratulations, Western Ballaz, for beating the Hurricanes on their home turf. They remain undefeated with an 8 - 0 record. Best in the league. The best quote: 'We dealt with the flooding and all d debris, we cleared our path and reached our goal. D category 5 Hurricane is now just a tropical depression! Western Ballaz all d way!'

Galen Eagles Band Visit Cayo Schools
The Galen Eagles Band celebrated Children's Month by visiting St. Hilda's and St. Barnabas primary schools. They sang some songs and shared some stories with the students. Looks like the students had a great time. Thanks, Galen Eagles Band! "The Galen Eagles Band delivered an early Easter treat to neighboring primary schools St. Hilda's Anglican Primary School in Georgeville village and St. Barnabas' Primary School in Central Farm village. The band members engaged in a day of sharing words of wisdom with the children accompanied by a session of live music and dancing. Gooooooooooo Eagles!"


Man Loses Control of Vehicle, He Escapes Serious Injuries
One man escaped serious injuries after he lost control of a red Ford cane truck he was driving and overturned. The incident occurred around four this afternoon about two miles on the bypass before reaching the entrance to the Tower Hill Factory. The individual identified so far as Roberto Huchim from San Jose Village was driving towards the factory when he apparently lost control of the vehicle that was packed with sugar cane. Huchim overturned and sustained injuries but police have not been able to verify the extent of these injuries. A motorist traveling on the bypass stopped and rendered aid taking Huchim to the Northern Regional Hospital. We understand that he has been released. The incident caused traffic flow to stand still for several minutes in both directions as truck drivers came to render aid and remove the truck from the road.

15 Year Old Girl Goes Missing, Family Implores For Her Return
Police and family members continue their search for a fifteen year old girl who has been missing for over one week. Family members say that fifteen year old Marisol Patt was last seen two Sundays back when she left her house around midday. She has not returned and the family is concerned for her safety. The mother of the teen, Fernanda Copo says that she believes her daughter has ran away with someone they know. They have informed police of the situation. Marisol Patt is described as being five feet five inches in height, has brown hair, brown eyes and weights about one hundred and forty pounds. Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Patt is asked to call 627-9605 or the nearest police station.

More Drugs Destroyed In O/W
Yesterday Orange Walk Police were able to confiscate101 marijuana plants after an operation led them to the Cacabish area in the San Felipe/Indian Church road. There police discovered the 101 marijuana plants measuring about 8 inches in height. Present at the time was 58-year-old Eusebio Magana of San Felipe Village. The plants were uprooted and destroyed and Magana was arrested and charged with Cultivation of Cannabis.

Second Day Of Debate Gets Fiery
Yesterday we brought to you part one of two of the national budget debate. And as we bring you the news tonight, the Budget Debate raged on in the sacred chambers of the National Assembly in Belmopan up until late this evening. All members of parliament from both sides of the House were given the opportunity to speak on the draft estimates for the year 2015 – 2016. It’s an important event because it is the only time that all parliamentarians will have any valid input on the allocations of money in every sector of the country. But most parliamentarians seemed to have little time for or interest in the actual budget, and on both days of debate, it was more about personalities, insults and some very long-winded monologues. Here is a collage of today’s presentations from both sides of the chambers.

BTIA Elects New Chapter In Corozal
Under the helms of Orange Walk’s very own Osmany Salas the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Corozal Chapter held its first meeting On Tuesday March 24th. The meeting was held at the Corozal ITVET with the aim of revitalizing the group and to update its current members and new members on the overview of the BTIA National Plans for all existing Destination Chapters. According to BTIA, the efforts of the organization has not only been focused in promoting the vibrant tourism product, but also, in strengthening and assisting each destination by creating pathways for development which will enhance the sustainable growth of the Tourism industry. During Tuesday’s meeting elections for the new Corozal Chapter were also held. The new BTIA Corozal Chapter board comprises of seven members- Chairman, Guadalupe Rosado, 1st Vice Chair Jennifer Bellerjeau, 2nd Vice Chair Ismael Sorto, Secretary Dimas Sansorez, Assistant Secretary Rosita May, Treasurer Dahlia Castillo, Assistant Treasurer Maria Alcoser and Director Mark Leonard.

The Reporter

Police say thieves got away with $20,000 in cash and valuables
Police have released the details of Thursday’s home invasion at the Budhrani’s reaidence at 63 Albert Street in Belize City and say that the thieves eacaped with about $20,000 in cash and valuables. The men, dressed as BTL employees, went through the gate to the residence and called.out. When Vilma Rauda, 46, came to answer, one of the robbers said they were there to check the phone. Rauda, who has been on the job for only three months, let the men in and they bound her with duct tape and searched the house. The men forced open a safe and a locker and stole $7,000 US , silver coins worth $3,000 and a nine millimeter pistol.

Belize ties 1-1 with Cayman
Belize tied with The Cauman Islands in the second of a two-game the World Cup qualifier. Both teams scored a goal each. Belize’s goal came in the 26th minute of the first half by Elroy Kuylen. Cayman’s goal was scored at.the fifth minute in the same first half.

San Pedro police bust duo accused of shoplifting
San Pedro police have busted a pair of women who shoplifted from three businesses in that town in one day and hid the loot under their clothes. The two, Nioka Smith, 29 and Shasha Bowen, 27, both of Belize City, are jointly charged with six counts of theft after police nabbed them the following day in possession of items they had stolen from their third target on Thursday. The two went first to the K-Mart store where they stole a bottle of Absolut Vodka worth $100. The store manager said he decided to check his security camera after the two left acting suspiciously. The camera revealed that one of the women hid the bottle of liqour under her skirt. Next the pair went to Laguna Drive where they stole more liquor worth $275 from a store around 2 p.m. $275.20. The third incident occurred at Love Belize Store on Barrier Drive around 3 p.m. where the two women stole a pair of girl’s Denim shorts set and three pairs of girls slippers worth around $50.00.

Police officers and civilians march for peace
About 1,000 persons, including police officers from precincts across Belize City and representatives from the private and public sector, the Belize City Council and primary and high schools took to the streets on Friday to participate in the BLACK March – Be Loving and Cease Killing. The six-mile parade started off at the Yorborough Green and went through principal streets and communities that have seen the most bloodshed occur. The event is the brainchild of Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, who decided to create an event such as this after hearing the personal sentiments of policemen who are dispatched to violent situations.

House discusses rice
Rice was one of the topics which the House discussed on Friday in Belmopan. The PUP’s Orange Walk South Area Representative, Abelardo Mai, who was the general manager at the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation which ensures the availability of basic food commodities, did not support the notion of having imported rice on our shelves. “If we allow rice to be imported, thousands may lose their jobs. Hundreds of families will be left out in the cold and investments in the millions will be lost. I cannot imagine the social and economic disaster. We cannot allow rice to be imported from Guyana. No sensible government, PUP or UDP, or no P at all, should allow the importation of rice from Guyana or from any other country that subsidies its production. At this time, we have rice to last us for three years. How in the world can the Belizean farmer compete with Guyana producers, when the latter have the full backing of their government?”

The Belize Times

PetroCaribe: UDP Piggy Bank!!
A dangerous and retrograde legislation introduced by the Barrow Administration at today’s sitting of the House of Representatives seeks to turn the hundreds of millions of dollars loaned to the country for poverty alleviation through the ALBA Petro-Caribe initiative, into the United Democratic Party’s very own piggy bank. The controversial legislation entitled Petrocaribe Loans Act (2015) seeks to make the borrowing of BZE$228,614,712 between September 2012 and August 2014, and the borrowing of future amounts under the Petrocaribe programme, absolutely exempt from parliamentary oversight. The borrowing of amounts over $10 million is required by law, the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act (2005), to obtain the approval of the House of Representatives. Late last year, three years after the Barrow Administration had already borrowed over $200 million, the Prime Minister was taken by surprise when the Opposition PUP, led by Hon. Julius Espat, brought feverish heat on him for not taking any of the loans before the House as required by law.

PM Admits Price Gouging – Marketing Board Cheats Belizean consumers
Belize was once hailed as the prospective breadbasket of the region, but that dream has been killed by greed and poor management which has led the country to food insecurity. The country imports onions from Holland, potatoes and other vegetables from Guatemala and Mexico, and soon it will start importing rice from Guyana in South America. A very wealthy businessman, who is a close friend and reported financial donor of several UDP Ministers, Jack Chawla aka Jack Charles, has announced that he intends to import rice from Guyana for domestic supply. Charles claims that he could sell Guyanese rice at a retail price of $0.69 per pound, while the existing rice is priced at $1.20 per pound.

“Borrow & Spend Budget” – PUP Leader Francis Fonseca Blasts 2015-2016 Budget
Day 1 of the two-day debate of the 2015-2016 Draft Estimates began today and the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca kicked off the discussion on a high pitch as he blasted the Barrow Administration for presenting a budget that “lacked substance” and which has no “new development and no long term job creation plan”. Hon. Fonseca added that the country continues to see very little investment, placing the entire country “dependent on the largesse of the Government”, which means that the Government has had to rely heavily on its tax base and on loans, in this case Petro Caribe loans. “…borrowing money and pouring concrete is all well and good, but what our people and their future. What are the plans for the development of our beautiful Belize? Our rising debt places us in the top 20 worst countries in debt-GDP ratio, at almost 80%,” said the Hon. Fonseca.

No one charged for OW double murder
“His death was so cruel. They killed him like worse than a criminal. I don’t know what else to say I just want justice for my little brother,” were the words shared by the grieving sister of 16 year old Oscar Daniel Vasquez, one of the teenage victims of a double murder which occurred on Saturday night, March 21, 2015. Valdez and his neighbour, 17 year old Michael Usher, were socializing in front of Valdez’ home on Palmar Boundary Road when around 9:00pm a vehicle drove up along the street in front of the residence, and someone let loose a barrage of gunshots at them. Usher and Valdez were both injured in the attack. They were rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital, but passed away during the emergency treatment.

Damn Statistics
Belize Court of Appeal on Friday 20th March 2015. Seated at the Bench, their Lordships, Judges Morrison, Blackman and Awich. Seated at the Bar, Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn Vidal, assisted by Crown Counsel Sabita Maharaj. Attorneys for the Appellant Norma Anderson, assisted by Bryan Neal. In the Prisoner’s Dock, Akeem Thurton, the Appellant who was convicted of Attempted Murder of a wealthy Belizean lawyer, who is also the law partner of the Prime Minister of Belize. In attendance as observers are Amandala Journalist Rowland Parks, BELIZE TIMES Editor Alberto Vellos and several freelance reporters. There is standing room only as many young attorneys are present to hear legal submissions. The major television stations are camped outside with their cameras.

Think About It
By the time this article gets published, our parliamentarians will be deep into their debate over this year’s budget. I use the word “debate” sparingly because no doubt, it will be anything but intelligent exchanges that will be crossing the floor of the National Assembly this Thursday and Friday in Belmopan. Prime Minister Dean Barrow will no doubt be tossing a healthy serving of “red meat rhetoric” meant more to appease the appetite of his hungry wolves than to provide any clarity to the figures in his budget. Instead of discussing his fiscal deficits and shortfalls, Mr. Barrow will be attempting to keep the focus squarely on the perceived entanglements of the Opposition. One would hope that the Speaker, as he regularly does with members of the Opposition, will advise the Prime Minister and his pack of yes men to stick to the exercise at hand. The challenge for the Opposition is keep their eyes on the ball and to not allow Dean Barrow to distract them and force them into unnecessary defense mode. We the general public, must listen keenly to the important factors in the discussions and not be continually dazzled by Mr. Barrow’s rhetoric and theatrics.

UDP – A Sunken Ship
For the period 1998-2008 there was a massive influx of foreign dollars that entered the Belizean economy via Foreign Direct Investments (FDI). Investor confidence in Belize was high. Countries were booming and Belize prospered for those ten years. A report by the Caribbean Media Corporation news agency of March 18 2006 stated, “The Belize government Friday March 17 presented a 1.2bn-BZE (Belizean dollar) tax-free budget to parliament on the basis that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would grow in real terms by 3 percent in 2006”. The state of Belize’s economy in those times, marked in history, is important and noteworthy for comparison and analysis by fledgling economists and researching students today. This was under a People’s United Party (PUP) administration and also before any oil profits entered the government’s coffers. While oil in commercial quantities was discovered under the PUP Government in 2005, it was until about 2007/2008 that it began impacting Government’s revenues. This is because the infrastructure for extraction took some time to put in place. Despite all the Prime Minister’s recent chest beating about his “billion dollar” budget, the PUP’s 2006/2007 budget was far more prosperous and equitable. Barrow’s budget for 2014/2015 gives the perception that the UDP Government has the country booming, but Belizeans know the real picture. In fact, the statistics on poverty and unemployment tell a different story. The UDP’s budget is actually stuffed with millions of dollars in projected revenue from the oil sector. Without those oil revenues, the 2014/2015 budget would shrink down drastically, with figures that pale to compare to the period when the PUP had the economy working.

Ladyville Tech girls are softball champs
The Ladyville Technical High School girls won the 2015 national high school softball championships hosted by Georgetown Technical High School at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village over the weekend. The Ladyville girls won 10-4 against the Belize Comprehensive girls, as MVP pitcher Elma Wade struck out 7 batters, walked 2 and gave up 5 hits from which the Compre girls scored only 4 runs as they left 4 runners on base. Compre’s pitcher Renisha Richards allowed only 3 hits and struck out 10 batters, walked 8, and her 9 wild pitches allowed Elma Wade, Dejeanne Noralez, Jalecia Jones and Ashley Robinson to score 2 runs apiece, while Jay Gideon and Christy Robinson each came home once.

UB girls win 3rd ATLIB football championship
The University of Belize defeated the Southern Zone 2nd place team, the Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College girls 3-0, to win their 3rd Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) national football championship. MVP Emmerlyn Nunez scored the 1st goal when she recovered a rebound off the Ecumenical goalie, after Daniela Vargas shot at goal from a set piece. The UB girls won another free kick, and this time Daniella Vargas threaded the ball right through the goalie’s legs for a 2nd goal: 2-0. The UB defenders Esther Cal, Alberta Garcia, Tricia Coye and Kendra “Peaches” Goff held off the Ecumenical girls’ attacks, while Emmerlynn Nunez blasted in a 3rd goal for the 3-0 win.

No Deon – No Goals! – Jaguars & Cayman draw, Re-Match on Sunday
The Belize Jaguars’ blank scoreboard after 90 minutes of peppering the Cayman Islands’ goal with shots had Belizean fans booing the players on their way to the locker room after failing to come up with a win in Game 1 of the World Cup 2018 Russia elimination qualifiers at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Wednesday night. They clearly felt the Jaguars had squandered an opportunity. Harrison “Kafu” Roches had thrilled the fans when his mid-air flying kick found the back of the net in the 66th minute, but referee David Moller Reyna ruled it was offside. Man of the Match goalie Ramon Sealy had put his body on the line to stop Elroy Smith’s attempt to convert a penalty in the 5th minute, and even Smith’s second try on the rebound. Sealy had also come out of his goal to meet every attack when the Jaguars escaped the Caymans’ defenders.

Regular gas prices increase by $1.15 – Ministry of Finance admits price hike is due to “invoicing error”
There is more proof that Belizeans are “getting the bukut” courtesy the incompetent Government. On Tuesday night this week the price of Regular gas shot up from $7.74 per gallon to $8.88, an increase of $1.15. Consumers were surprised that the increase took effect without notice to them and without any sort of reasoning. In fact, consumers understand that the prices are connected to the international market prices and they have remained alert by monitoring those prices which continue at their lowest points. But the very puzzling part is that the price was increased even though there was no new shipment of fuel into the country. In fact, while the increase took effect on Tuesday at midnight, the fuel tanker is not scheduled to arrive until the end of the week.

Gapi Out! Longsworth turned Lame Duck!
The news that on Wednesday morning the UDP Leader Dean Barrow was himself naming a candidate for the Albert Division and that it wasn’t Herman Longsworth or Phillip Willoughby but his handpicked Mark Espat protégé, Tracey Taegar Panton, came as a shocker to most Belizeans To Albert Division voters, it was downright disrespectful. One must understand that moves like these made by Dean Barrow are his way of dealing with fires in his camp. Inside the UDP, it is strongly believed that Barrow will not be able to take the UDP into a third term. His medical condition is a strong factor. But moreseo, the health of the UDP is in a bad state – too much corruption and hustling is taking place and they know where that ship eventually goes. The only thing holding them together is the Petrocaribe money rolling through their Ministries and for some of them; even through their pockets.

Down Memory Lane
The decade of the nineteen seventies is an era to remember. That was the time when bell bottom jeans and dashiki shirts were fashionable; when Afro hairstyle and platform shoes were in vogue. Yes those were the good old days when disco music reigned supreme and the popular dance was the hustle. Soul music too was very much in demand and soul singers like Marvin Gaye and Percy Sledge were constantly heard singing their hit songs on the radio and in the dance halls. Dancers would go searching for a partner when the DJ puts on, “Let’s Get It On” or “When a Man Loves a Woman”. Back then it was the Godfather of soul, James Brown, who brought out hit songs after hit songs like “Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud”, “Prisoner of Love” and “Cold Sweat”. The favorite night spots were “Johnny’s Club”, “Bismar”, “Melting Pot” and “The Tavern”. In those days “christenings” were much more regular because things were much cheaper and people could afford to spend money on parties.

Another attack on the Cervantes family?
The Police’s investigation into the chilling murder of Don Ramon Cervantes which occurred last year appears to have gone very cold. There are no updates from Police officials and a recording which implicates the Deputy Prime Minister is not being treated with any seriousness by the authorities. This week the BELIZE TIMES received a report of another attack on the Cervantes family, allegedly at the hands of an individual closely connected to the Deputy Prime Minister’s political circle. The individual, who has asked to remain unidentified, has reported to us that on the night of Wednesday, March 11, while driving on the Phillip Goldson highway from Belize City to Orange Walk, he was almost ran off the road by a vehicle which he believes was the Government vehicle assigned to the Deputy Prime Minister.

UDP Corozal Town Council raises taxes right after elections!
The UDP Corozal Town Council has hiked trade license fees for businesses in Corozal Town with no notice and for no apparent reason. One business place located in the Altamira area of the town has shared documents proving that the Town Council increased the amount charged for trade license arbitrarily and illegally. The documents are two different tax assessment notices. The first one (Identified as Document 1 in photo), which is not dated but carries the Corozal Town Council’s official stamp, declared that the trade license was assessed on January 19th 2015 and the fee was $450. But several days after the municipal elections the same business received another notice (Identified as Document 2 in photo), dated March 12th, which now declared that a tax assessment was carried out on January 1st 2015 and which placed the fee at $900!!

BYM Review of 2015/16 Budget
‘The best way to predict your future is to create it’. Youths must become the motor and driving force of a much needed revamped, vibrant and modern economy. Current statistics & key indicators: *Every year over 4,000 young people graduate from high school and tertiary level institutions >> 24,000 job seekers in the past 6 years Unemployment state April 2012 (SIB) 14.4% national unemployment rate (female 22.3%; male 9.2%) Young people (14 to 24 years) = 25.3%

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – St. Patrick’s and First Holy Communion
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia This week I would like to report on two church events which took place within a week of each other – these being the Feast Day Mass at Saint Patrick’s RC Church in Lord’s Bank and the First Holy Communion Mass for children of Our Lady of the Way School and Church in Ladyville. Last week Sunday, March 15th Father Noel Leslie celebrated Mass for the feast of St. Patrick’s Day. Our Catholic Church in Lord’s Bank is named for St. Patrick, and so it was our special day. St. Patrick’s in Lord’s Bank is a tiny and welcoming Catholic Church. The congregation is expectedly small, but I have found that Fr. Leslie just loves saying Mass there on third Sundays. The Mass is at 8:30 am, so at that time of the day it is still fairly cool. In bright pink vestments Father said Mass and preached a lovely sermon, which had three main themes. First, the love of God is universal. Catholic means universal, and the love of our Father is one of universality and full inclusion. Secondly, there is individuality in the love of God our Father for everyone, excluding no one. The example used was that of the Good Shepherd, who left his ninety-nine sheep in order to go out and save the one sheep who had strayed; so God loves each and every one of us. Thirdly, God’s love has redemptive power in the lives of all and for all children of God. We must therefore believe in our Lord and Savior and trust in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Say it ain’t so Mr. Speaker!
Is Speaker of the House Michael Peyrefitte a gang member or does he support gangs? Peyrefitte has yet to publicly comment on the publication of a photo of him flashing gang signs next to notorious “Gaza” leader and music artist Vybz Kartel. The photo appeared in last week’s edition of the BELIZE TIMES. In it Peyrefitte is seen with his right hand out and his fingers crossed to depict a “W”, which in the gang world is how the deadly “West side CRIPS” distinguish themselves. In Jamaica, there is no CRIPS, but there is the new “GAZA” gang.

No to Petro Barrow!
Dear Editor, Belizeans must think critically in these hours. Does the Petro Caribe slush fund undermine democracy in Belize? The answer is YES as it is being used and spent by the Barrow regime as a political slush fund at their whim and fancy without any House approval as required by the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act and without any form of check and balance. This slush funds allows the Government to provide under the table kickbacks to its Ministers. No amount of financing flowing to any other political party can match the Petro Caribe slush fund. The Barrow Government is now awashed with monies and they want to spend it however they feel like. But they have a political plan for this money – to push their agenda with gimmicks and selected projects in which their cronies are allowed to shave off personal profits for themselves.

Ladyville residents reject toll
Dear Editor, I read in last week’s BELIZE TIMES newspaper that the Belize City Council intends to construct a toll somewhere on the Phillip Goldson highway and charge commuters entering Belize. We Ladyville residents reject the proposal and I am calling on my neighbors and community members to launch a vigorous campaign against this. There are hundreds of commuters who travel to Belize City from Ladyville daily. I imagine the same can be said from neighboring Lords Bank and northern communities leading to Orange Walk and Corozal. I chose to live in Ladyville to get away from the violent crime in the city but I travel to work daily. Fuel is once more climbing to its usual high price. The idea of a toll is not economically feasible for us.

Belize Enters Bitter Dictatorship
Dear Editor, We Belizeans will regret March 26th 2015 for the rest of our lives as the UDP and Dean Barrow has become a total dictatorship! A Bill proposed and passed on Thursday gives complete Dictatorial Power over loans made by GOB. This is the essence of what will be signed today: (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Finance and Audit (Reform) Act, 2005, or any other law to the contrary, it shall be lawful for the Government of Belize to borrow money from ALBA Petro Caribe (Belize Energy) Limited in any amounts without the prior authorization of the National Assembly and to enter into a loan agreement with APBEL for the said purpose. (3) No limitations shall apply to the use of the money borrowed from APBEL and it may be used to finance capital projects as well as to provide social and community assistance to the poor and the socially marginalized, and any other legitimate purpose as the Government may consider fit.


10 Reasons Why You Absolutely Must Attend November’s Reset Retreat in Belize!
You’re mulling the upcoming Reset Retreat scheduled for November 2015, but you worry that your family can’t live without you. Neither can your boss–and for goodness sake, you really don’t deserve to spend that money on yourself when the washer needs replacing. Wake up and smell the enlightenment! When you’re good and kind to yourself, you’re a better mom, friend, wife and partner. Here’s why: 1. You’ll tone your body and mind by undertaking a fun/serious mix of activities that are guaranteed to leave you feeling at peace with yourself by the end of your four days at Ambergris. 2. You’ll hang with like-minded women. Not every woman is honest enough to get in touch with her feelings, insecurities and fears, but every woman you encounter at the retreat will inspire you with her grace and courage.

Amendment 7 of Belize’s Constitution clarifies the rights of Belizeans who hold dual citizenship. For sometime now there have been appeals for its review in order to confer full citizenship rights to Belizean-born citizens who possess dual nationality. In other words, if reviewed, this group of Belizeans would be able to participate fully in Belize’s political process by voting, standing in elections, and holding political office. They cannot do this, as of today, unless they renounce their other citizenship. Belize’s population is approximately one third of a million people, and it is known that more than one half of this figure live and work abroad. It is called Diasporan Belize. Most Diasporan Belizeans have dual nationality, and they, more than any other group, want the 7th Amendment to be revisited. In fact, it was in response to the demands of Diasporan Americans, that the U.S. many years ago allowed this category of its citizens the right to participate in American politics, even while abroad. There are three reasons why the 7th Amendment to Belize’s Constitution may not be revised by the Barrow administration, or that of the P.U.P. when it returns to power. First, the financial cost will be high, and Belize has no money. Second, the pressure on Belize’s human and institutional capacities to allow for voting outside of the country will be enormous; and these are severely limited. Third, and most significant, the political will is largely absent.

My path diverted….by: Aria Lightfoot
During the years of 1999-2001,I worked at the Prosecution department as a Civilian Prosecutor (most attorneys in the United States listen in noticeable disbelief when I tell them what I did). At that time, the department of Public Prosecution was under the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) but closely merged with the Police Department. I was one of five civilian prosecutors hired to create a separation, so that the police who arrested were not prosecuting their own matters. We were public servants that reported to the office of the DPP but worked in the same office with the police department. For those who don’t understand yet- In Belize, the police officers arrest and prosecute their own cases at the magistrate (lower court) level. Most of the magistrates and the police back then did not have formal legal training. I grew up in Belmopan during the years of 1974 thru 1993. Belmopan for the most part was a public servants’ community co-existing with a Central American immigrant community. Both my parents were high-level public servants in Police and Immigration. They were very private and highly professional individuals. My mom and dad, like most public servants in their era, did not openly discuss politics. It was one of those constitutional rules about being a public servant that they followed and took seriously. I was privy however to their times of frustration when they shared their experiences with each other and their limitations as public servants. I have heard them express frustration with some of their political leaders who blatantly disregard the law. At the time it was an abstract concept for me.

Happiness = Birdwatching In Belize
What if we told you that there are people who travel to particular parts of the world just to see ONE BIRD! Yes, ornithology is that serious! People have lists to fill – life lists and there are no trophies more important than to fill these lists. At Nine, we know! We also know the people who have developed the ethics and the knowledge of places and birds. We know the many who are driving their energies into falling totally in love with bird watching – those who wake up at 4 or 5 in the mornings to make certain they get first light in the many places where the birds will stir. When one gets a chance to go with a birder to the many places birds nest or where they are found in abundance, or even more impressively, where one single bird or where one single mating pair can be seen, it is amazing the little tips one can learn.

The V Bar Opens Beachfront at the Venezia Del Caribe Construction Site
Yesterday was the opening of a new bar on the beachfront just north of Coco Beach Resort – at about 3 mile north, Ambergris Caye. The V Bar at the building site for Venezia Del Caribe – perhaps one of the most ambitious projects to ever be built on Ambergris Caye. Slated to be occupied in about 18 months, they resort-to-be has opened a huge oceanfront bar that can be accessed most easily from the entrance to Coco Beach. Yesterday was the Opening Party… And I gasped loudly as soon as I hopped out of the cart. A gorgeous massive rainbow stretched over the resort. A good sign I think…. We walked over to the bar. The first phase of the resort should be ready in 12-18 months for occupancy. All around – a temporary wall, I think – photos of Venice and Belize. The website says: We wondered what it would be like to build a development inspired by the charm of Venice combined with the gorgeous turquoise waters of the Caribbean sea. The result? The best of both worlds in one location. Que Bella!

International Sourcesizz

Soldiers learn the laws of the jungle in tough Belize exercise
Infantrymen are putting all of their soldiering skills to the test as they learn to fight and survive in one of the world’s most hostile environments. Around 120 troops of the 2nd Battalion Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (2PWRR) have been sent to Belize on a tough jungle training mission. A Company, which includes soldiers from the Portsmouth area, has been thrown into the climate of Central America to learn how to do battle and keep themselves alive in the impenetrable vegetation. From finding food and water in the wilderness to creating fire and fighting through the trees, the unit is being put through its paces to drill each soldier in jungle warfare. The troops are spending each day fighting against intense heat, biting insects and relentless tactical studies – but they say the training will leave them prepared for anything.

Message in a Belizean bottle: think global, act local and step up plastics recycling
Who left their trash behind on this remote Caribbean island? Then I realized. It wasn’t left. It arrived. An endless flotilla of refuse heedlessly sent from afar. It’s heartbreaking. The image of a lone bottle washing up on a remote tropical island is the clichéd stuff of literature, movies and New Yorker cartoons. But what about the image of thousands of bottles, millions even, washing up on shores as near as the Outer Banks, or as far away as the Caribbean island where I spent a week in early March with a coral ecology class from Wake Forest University? Each of those bottles carries a message, and it’s this: our actions here have an impact there. We produce and consume far too many disposable, single-use plastic containers. And we don’t safely dispose of, or recycle, nearly enough of them. Long Caye is tiny, just 2.5 miles long and barely a mile wide. Its 683 acres are covered mostly in mangroves and coconut palms. The eco-village that Edwards imagined never materialized. But his heirs built and opened the 24-room Itza Lodge, a kind of eco-resort and biological station for university study, a few years ago. Rainwater is captured for drinking, cooking and showers. Solar panels provide much of the power. Crocodile and iguanas far outnumber the people who live there year round.

Why this mysterious Mayan cave full of children’s bones may be evidence of ancient human trafficking
It began with screams of terror in the middle of the night. By the time rescuers traced the wailing to its origin, they found themselves at the jagged mouth of an ancient cave deep in the Belizean countryside. Sixty feet below, down a sheer rockface, an injured looter lay crumpled on the limestone floor. Surrounding him, rescuers would discover after descending by rope, were thousands upon thousands of human bones. The looter would be eventually pulled to safety and taken to a local hospital on that fateful night in 2006, but his misfortune would result in a discovery that may fundamentally rewrite historians’ understanding of Mayan culture. “What we found was a huge collection of human skeleton material, around 9,000 bones,” James Brady, a professor of anthropology at California State University at Los Angeles who has spent decades studying Mayan cave sites, told The Washington Post. “It’s probably the largest collection that has ever been found in a Mayan cave.”

Tips for enduring a long flight with small children
Book the bulkhead if possible and be sure to pack enough toys to keep the kids occupied. My love of traveling developed long before I had children and I prided myself in my ability to fall asleep the moment the plane took off and wake up precisely at mealtime. I also had perfected the process of packing. No matter if the destination was diving in Belize or touring Italy, I could squeeze everything I needed into a carry-on. But traveling with kids requires a whole other set of skills — ones that I have learned through (sometimes unfortunate) trial and error, and share here in hopes that it will help my fellow stressed-out parents. I have flown with my oldest son, now 2 1/2, since he was months old, but a recent move overseas took the challenge to a whole new level. In the course of three months, my husband and I traveled with a toddler and infant from Washington to Indonesia, from Indonesia to California, from California to Texas, from Texas to California, and then back to Indonesia. And here is, in part, how we survived:

Bright spots in a region blighted by graft
Five years ago, Petrobras raised $70bn in the biggest ever equity offering; rich pickings given the easy credit and soaring commodity prices then enjoyed by Brazil and its fellow Bric nations. Now the state-controlled oil company is at the centre of the country’s biggest ever corruption scandal. Latin America, it seems, is engulfed in news about graft. The same pattern was seen in the west after the global financial crisis. It is only in the inevitable bust that scandals really emerge. This is not the fault of some inherent Latin trait: Belize and Jamaica, with their more Anglo-Saxon traditions, have the third and sixth-highest homicide rates. Rather it is the result of non-cultural factors, including transnational criminal gangs (imagine the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the tropics without the fundamentalism), in­equality and, worst, weak institutions — especially the police and the judiciary.

Making Caribbean Business Better
In this article, I examine the status of Greater Caribbean States in “Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency”, particularly with regard to the respective performance indicators, and suggest a way forward. The states considered and their overall ranks are as follows: The Greater Caribbean region is ranked 99, out of the 189 nations examined in “Doing Business 2015”. It should therefore be noted that 7 out of the 12 Latin American states are below this rank; as well as 6 out of the 13 Caribbean Island states. The overall ranks are determined from evaluation across 10 performance indicators, representing the 4 stages of the business cycle: namely, start-up, operation, expansion and insolvency. Figure 1 maps the performance of the Greater Caribbean region with regard to each of these indicators.


  • Bike Ride Through the Americas Presently in Belize, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 Day3 The Great Blue Hole Trip, 5min.

  • Belize 2015 Day3 Dive3 Aquarium, 2.5min.

  • Belize 2015 Day4 Dive1 Pinnacle, 5min.

  • Belize 2015 Day5 Dive1 Coco Point, 2min.

  • Belize 2015 Best of Blackbird Caye Trip, 16min. The whole enchilada video, I tried to only keep the best clips from each dive. We had a great trip, our fellow divers were fun to hang out with, and the staff at Blackbird Caye took great care of us.

  • Belize Mexico Pillars, 2min. Action Divers through Portofino Resort, San Pedro Belize. Fantastic dive with great visibility with special thanks to Roberto and Blinky from Action Divers and my fellow divers Allen and Samantha.

  • You Better Belize It!, 3min. This video is a compilation of photos and videos from the Natural History of Neotropics Study Abroad trip through UW-Stout.

  • CAYMAN ISLANDS 1-1 BELIZE 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - All Goals, 2min.

  • belize zoo, 6min. Our trip to Belize zoo.

  • Cayman Islands - Belize - 1:1 (29.03.2015), min. FIFA World Cup 2018 - CONCACAF - Qualification First round, second match Total score: 1-1. Belize win on away goal.