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#507979 - 10/02/15 06:57 AM Today's Belize News: October 2, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The Return of the Conch!
My fellow lovers of the strombos gigas the time we all yearn for is here again! Today marks open season on our favorite mollusk, the Queen Conch. Around here conch is considered an island staple and there’s nothing us islanders love more than a good conch ceviche, or yummy crisp conch fritters. In order to give ample time for the juvenile molluscs to mature, the season annually closes from June 30th to October 1st, and boy are we glad that we give them time to put on a few extra pounds! The delicious chunky bits of tender conch in everything from conch ceviche and conch fritters to conch soup and curry conch are well worth the wait!

Letter to the Editor: Ambergris Caye does not need an International Airport
Dear Editor and to all residents of Belize, Reading the article where Dean Barrow indicates the accomplishment of “paving” a road North of San Pedro raises some questions about that project. First, what amount of money was allocated to build the “road?” In the US, the best roads are 18 inches thick, with earthwork and grading creating what is known as a crown, which creates an arc to the road surface so that it drains. The reason road are built thick is so that they actually last and stand up to use like trucks. The “road” that has been built north of San Pedro is construction more typical of a patio that would be used for foot traffic. It is about 4 inches thick. It will not last but a few years. The question becomes: What happened to all the money for the road project? If these same people are going to be in charge of building an airport “someday” you’d better hope that a new group of people are in charge of the finances. The “road” should be much thicker and more durable. When the remesh that was laid down in the concrete to strengthen is already rusting, it will very quickly create internal pressure on the concrete and actually help it to disintegrate.

Community Collaboration is needed to increase the blood supply for Ambergris Caye
Belize Red Cross San Pedro (BRCSP), in collaboration with the San Pedro Cancer Society, are working with the Belize National Blood Transfusion Service (the Belize Blood Bank) and medical professionals of Belize to improve the process for Ambergris Caye residents to receive blood in time of need. In order to achieve this a blood drive will be on Saturday, October 3rd at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II from 9AM to 7PM. Everyone is invited to come out and be a part of this worthy initiative. New health commmittie co-leader Sue Barkhouse and Office coordinator Shirlee ArnouldBy helping to ensure that blood is available whenever members of the Ambergris Caye community or visitors require medical attention, a blood donation may one day save a life. It is important for residents of Ambergris Caye to recognize that there is a blood supply allocated for all island residents and visitors. Of greater importance is for all residents to recognize the necessity of the BRCSP blood drives in San Pedro to keep a full supply of blood on hand at the Belize Blood Bank in Belize City.

US Embassy makes substantial donation to National Fire Service
The United States of America Embassy in Belize has made a substantial donation to the Belize National Fire Service. The donation was made on Thursday, September 24th at the Belize City headquarters. US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno made the donation of over $1.8 million worth of equipment to be used by the several Fire Departments to prevent disasters. According to Moreno, the donation came about in conjunction with a humanitarian assistance program with the US Military Southern Command. “The equipment donated represents a wide array of firefighting and lifesaving equipment. The way the project works is that we ask what is most needed by the fire service, and we meet those demands,” said Moreno. The donation included 200 personal protective gear kits, 80 breathing apparatus replacement cylinders, 12 heavy duty rescue saws, 14 combustible gas detectors, six vehicle stabilization kits, four transportable pumps, and 40 handheld radios specifically designed for firefighters.

Belize Sailing Association attempts to deprive two Belizean Sailors of Professional Support
After quite a struggle, the Board of the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) has agreed to send 15-year-olds Antonio Ricardez of Belize City Sailing Club (BCSC) and Blanca Velasquez of San Pedro Racers (SPR) to the 2015 International sailing Federation (ISAF) Youth World Championship Laser Regatta in Malaysia in December 2015. However, now the BzSA Board is not allowing their coaches to accompany them, thus denying vital support to the sailors. In part of an email sent on Monday, September 28th, Sharon Hardwick, Chairwoman of BzSA tells the ISAF the following, “The Belize Sailing Association have not sanctioned any Coach, reason why, we did not register one. Therefore, I feel this should clarify registration on a go forward basis. No Official Coach sanctioned and No Official Team Lead.” The consequence of the BzSA Board’s decision is clear in an ISAF email on the same date to Hardwick that says, “Only team leaders and coaches registered and endorsed by a Member National Authority, such as BzSA, may register for the event. That means that ‘club’ coaches are not allowed.” If qualified people accompany the sailors but are “Not Official” as the Chairwoman says, they’ll “not be allowed,” reduced to spectators from afar, and the two children will have no coach in a World Championship event and no chaperone with the appropriate access.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Proposed Belize Standards for High Angle Activities including Zip Lining, Rock Climbing and Canopy Tours will support Safety!
As the popularity of these high angle activity attractions continue to increase in Belize, the Bureau of Standards Technical Committee (TC) for Tourism and Related Services is currently developing standards to help ensure safety. These activities have historically been popular for tourists that come to Belize. The number of tour operators and tour guides offering one of the mentioned types of tours or a combination of these also keeps rising. This means that more tourists are exposing themselves to something considered being High Risk in Belize. We have to ensure their safety is a priority and given also that tourism is one of the biggest economic sectors for Belize and something as small as a bad accident or incident may affect the entire industry. Before waiting for some accident to happen we have to ensure that proper standards and practices are addressed.

2015 Coastal and Riverside Cleanup
Everyone is invited to participate! Contact Jorge Aldana at 634-1171 for details. Group 1: Beach from Boca del Rio to Central Park, Front street and Middle Street. Participants: Cadets/Leo’s Club/Phoenix Resort/Members of the public Coordinated – SPTC Staff...

Welcome to the "New" Party, ‎Belize‬ Progressive Party, BPP
The name of the new party is Belize Progressive Party, BPP. The party's candidates for the November 4 General Elections include, Enda Diaz for Corozal South East, Lucilo Teck for Corozal South West, Hipolito Baustista for Orange Walk South, Roy Rodriguez for Corozal Bay, Ion Butch for Pickstock, Roberto Lopez for Belize Rural South, Andrew Williams for Cayo South, Patrick Rogers for Collet, Wil Maheia for Toledo East, Charles Leslie Jr for Belmopan and Hector Palomo for Corozal North.

Independence Day Festivities 2015
A parade, a carnival, the Pre-Independence Beer Fest. The September Celebrations were once again a great time.

October 2015 The Placencia Breeze

Ocean Academy to be on Open Your Eyes/Channel 5
Tune in this Tuesday October 6th at 7:30 a.m. to Open Your Eyes/Channel 5. Form III student Mathew will represent Ocean Academy and talk about skills he has learned by participating in our Sports Tourism Programs (Kayak, Bike, Fish with Purpose). School co-founder Joni Miller will speak about the Barclay's Sport for Employability Award nomination and the Beyond Sport Conference. For our international friends, you can watch the live stream: http://edition.channel5belize.com/live-streaming

Goldson House of Governance, Democracy, and Patriotism
National Hero Philip Goldson has been posthumously honored with the creation of the Goldson House of Governance, Democracy and Patriotism. The inauguration was Monday, and it is located on Orange Street in Belmopan. Galen University was there to participate and get some great pictures of the event. "The inauguration of the Goldson House of Governance, Democracy and Patriotism took place on Monday, September 28, 2015 in Belmopan City. This House will serve as a museum dedicated to the life of a Belizean National Hero, Philip S.W. Goldson's, achievements and contributions to our nation."

"Gandhi" film
Corozal and Punta Gorda are in for a FILM treat on October 2nd. Don't miss the screening of "Gandhi" at the Corozal House of Culture at 2pm and on Channel 22, PGTV at 6 p.m.

Channel 7

Third Party Movement Coalesces Under On Umbrella, But Is Belize Ready For The BPP
The November fourth general election is less than five weeks away - and the third parties of Belize have come together under one umbrella - in the hopes of offering the electorate a legitimate alternative to what's become known as the "PUDP. " The Belize Progressive Party was launched today at the BIM Complex in Belize City - and we got to meet their 11 candidates. Jules Vasquez reports: Jules Vasquez reporting This is the Belize Progressive Party - a coalition of three independent parties We The People, VIP and PNP Charles Leslie, Chairman - BPP "We decide that it is time for the shedding our names and to start a national political party."

Bar Association Wants CCJ To Judge Eighth Amendment
The BTL and BEL acquisitions have been settled and so government doesn't have to worry about any judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice, which could overturn the ownership of those utilities. All parties in that case have told the court that they've settled and want no further legal action. But, in an unprecedented move, the Bar Association still wants to hear from the CCJ on whether the Eighth Amendment was legal. The bar met last night and passed a resolution to file an application with the Caribbean Court asking them to stay the proceedings. Their argument is that it is a matter of public interest for the validity of the controversial Eighth Amendment to the constitution to be ruled upon. The bar says the issue remains live and are asking the court to hear an important application. This is expected to draw the ire of the government which has long declared the Bar a PUP controlled organization, but the important issue is how the Caribbean Court will view the application, which we understand is being drafted.

Broad Daylight, Big Road Home Invasion In OW
There was a home invasion in Orange Walk at 8:00 this morning - and it happened right on the Belize Orange Walk road at DJ Gaby's home. Police told our colleagues at CTV-3 that two men entered the home with guns. Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett, Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police Station "Just after 8 this morning, two Hispanic male persons wearing mask and one of them had something that resemble a gun, entered the house where they stole an amount of jewelry and money totaling about $10,000. During the incident a female was injured where they tried to pull a chain from her neck, causing injuries to her. Police responded and we are still investigating the matter." So far, no arrests have been made.

Stolen Hilux Is Home, Slightly the Worse For Wear
The Ministry of Health's 2014 Toyota Hilux that was stolen 27 DAYS AGO and smuggled to Melchor is back at the dealer in Belmopan tonight. That's because it's slightly the worse for wear after the truck thieves tried to find and remove the hidden GPS tracker that disabled the ignition. We have confirmed that the Truck cannot start and there is minor damage to the steering wheel and column. The GPS tracker is not functioning - and the truck is waiting to be assessed by the insurance company. The ministry confirms that it is comprehensively insured. They are waiting for an assessment on the damages and repairs before they can decide when it will be put back to work. Trak Solutions Belize - which installed the GPS that led to the recovery of the pickup - says that it is being hired to outfit more of the Minsitry's pickups with anti theft GPS tracking devices.

Maya King's Misfortunes
In last night's newscast, we showed you a small portion of our interview with John Zabaneh, one of the leading personalities behind the biggest banana farm in Belize - that's Maya King. In that conversation, he was discussing how his mother's company has been struggling to make payroll because they have been negatively affected by the drought. Well the Maya King company along with Zabaneh have been blacklisted by the US State Department under the Kingpin Act since August 2012 by US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. The OFAC accused Zabaneh and 2 other Belizeans of working for the Sinaloa Cartel and "El Chapo" Guzman, who's been on the run since July 11, when he escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison. With that "kingpin" designation banks can't afford to do business with Zabaneh or Maya King. No bank means no overdraft facility and in a drought that means Maya King can't find the over two hundred thousand dollars it needs to pay its 1200 employees. And so, the farm managers are considering laying off 600 or more workers. Our news team traveled to South Stann Creek to find out for ourselves what's happening in this important company. Daniel Ortiz reports:

Is Johnny Zabs (Still) The Moving Hand Behind Maya King
As you saw in our story, a significant part of the problem is the fact that the commercial banks have a strict policy of staying far away from Zabaneh. For the past 3 years, however, Mayan King Banana Farms has been under new management, contracted by Zabaneh's 88 year-old mother Myrtle Sheeran. Zabaneh says that for that entire time, he's been keeping away from the company, and the only control he has is the authority that his mother has granted him as her representative. It's a complex situation in the leadership of Mayan King, and we asked them to explain it to us: John Zabaneh - Spokesperson, Mayan King Banana Farm "We are crying out to the banks to give us a break. I am sure OFAC designation did not intend. They are being overly protected of themselves. We need an account. The designation talks for itself. Read it. American citizens, American companies. If that be the case I am wearing a hat right now mark Nautica. Nautica should be in trouble. If that was the intention. That's an American company and I am wearing a used shirt, what's it says "Rider." I don't own Rider. Rider is an American company."

Coming Out From Under Kingpin Designation
So, since John Zabaneh is still important to the company, both for his 20 years of banana farming experience, and as the final decision maker appointed by his mother, Myrtle Sheeran, what is he doing about the blacklisting from the US Government? Well, he told us that he's working on trying to convince them to remove it, and he feels that he's making incremental progress: John Zabaneh - Spokesperson, Mayan King Banana Farm "The problem that I face is because the US says this, everybody believes. And I have a previous reputation. So makes it worse. I have been made a scapegoat for all the wrong doers in Belize. I have been made a folklore. Everybody believes. Even my attorneys believe this is so. I contacted US attorneys to deal with this thing, because it's in the US that this thing has to be dealt with. They want a million dollars advance and why you think? A man that is second in command to Chapo Guzman, a million dollars is small change. So they start off believing this bull and then I just said to hell with it. I don't have it and if I have it I don't have it to give away.

Port and The CWU: Getting Closer To An Infinite Horizon
A Collective Bargaining Agreement: that is what the stevedores at the Port of Belize have been rallying for over a decade. And similarly, The Christian Workers Union and the port management have been in negotiations for years to try and finalize a new CBA. But negotiations have fallen through several times and this morning Sheppard and the stevedores held a press conference at the CWU Secretariat to express their discontent about this situation: Audrey Matura-Sheppard, President, CWU "In 2012, they reached an impasse and they could not proceed, so all that is in place right now for stevedores working at the port are 2 memorandums of understanding, a framework agreement and 2 addendums to that framework agreement. What it have done is piece-meal address issues for the stevedores, but never holistically. Under proper industrial relations what any union representing workers should do is to try and have one document which is what we called the collective bargaining agreement. Under that one document what we seek to do is address some simple things as to what would be your work uniform if any, or major things as to what happens in the event that you die on the job or when you retire.

Port Plays Its Part
According to Shepard the existing documents -the 2 MOU's, the framework agreement and 2 addendums to that framework - don't address or cover all the issues brought up at the conference. When we spoke to the CEO of the Port of Belize today Arturo Tux Vasquez he admitted that they don't cover all the issues but he told us that there has been significant improvements in the negotiations so far. Arturo "Tux" Vasquez, CEO, Port of Belize "Before we talked about where we are now with the new leadership of the CWU. I think we need to go back to 2012 when I took on the receivership and we immediately started negotiations with the previous leadership of the CWU. Since 2012 and 2013, we have been negotiating a collective bargaining agreement and we have actually advance quite significantly. But that I mean that the stevedores for the last 7 years have never gotten an increase. So one of the agreements that we have done that we have implemented and paid to the stevedores is a 7 year back pay to all the stevedores, including salary increases for 2012 and 2013. Those were agreements that we made and we signed off and we paid them."

Man Critical After OW Beatdown Over Bench
A man is in critical condition at the KHMH after being beaten up in Orange Walk. It happened on Monday night at 8:00 pm, when 63 year old Carlos Griffith, known as "Paraquat" was sitting on a stool - and some men came to take it away from him. Police explained what happened next:... Griffith has multiple injuries to his head.

Bradley Estate Rejects Mark King
Last night we told you about the free land that UDP Area Representative Mark King is giving away to squatters in the Gungulung area. As you heard, Ambassador Sarkis Abu-nahra donated some acres of land to distribute among squatters on Chetumal Street and in the Foam Factory area. But, King did not only mention the ambassador, he also mentioned that he has been talking to estate land owners such as Bradley Estate. King also said that he has gotten almost all of the estates to soon come to an agreement to give back some land as a good faith. Well, the owners of Bradley estate called us after the news and said they were surprised when they heard King's interview because according to them King did not meet with them and they certainly would never agree to giving away land for free. When we spoke to King today he said he spoke with the owners over the phone but as he said in the interview nothing was finalized - ONLY the donation from Ambassador Abu-nahra. The owners of the Bradley estate told us that they are willing to meet with King on the SALE of 10 acres of their land if he is interested.

Catching Conch The Day Before The Season Opens
Tonight 8 Belize City fishermen are facing charges of possession of conch during the closed season. The bust was made around 11 last night near the Turneffe atolls- only 45 minutes before the official opening of the conch season. The men were caught with almost a thousand conch that were bagged off in sacks. That wasn't the only the only bust. Just hours before that there was another near Columbus Caye. Hampton Gamboa, the Conservation Compliance Unit Supervisor told us more: Hampton Gamboa - Conservation Compliance Unit Supervisor "What happen is they were two bust that occurred yesterday. One happen after 1pm, in the Columbus Caye area just east of Columbus Caye along the reef. Officers on a patrol from the south coming towards the city, came across two fisherman in a dorey and then they observed these guys throwing two bags overboard from each of the dorey. Upon the officers retrieving these bags, they found it to be containing unprocessed conch. Which when they brought it in to the department here amounts to 362 conchs yesterday in the afternoon.

Columbus Caye Conch Will Cost
And in the Columbus Caye case, the two fishermen, Darryl Flores and Osmar Verde, were taken to Magistrate's Court today after they were caught with 353 conch during the closed season. They were arraigned before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. They pled not guilty to the charge. They were released on bail of $3,000 and their case was adjourned until November 30.

Tonight's I am Belize profile is about Jarod Reese Tzul - a young man who suffered major head trauma after an accident when he was a child. He's not been the same since - but as he tells the profile, the experience has thought him to search out different opportunities:..

Right Idea, Wrong House
And we have a correction to a story we aired last night. It was about Lichelle Dixon's wooden house which collapsed over the weekend. But we mistakenly aired the footage of another house which recently fell. That was an error. This is Lichelle Dixon;s house on Poinsettia street which Lake I Area Representative Mark King will now help to repair. We apologize for the mix up.

Progressive Debate?
At the top of the newscast we told you about the launch of the Belize Progressive Party which wants to rise as a legitimate third party in Belize. It has only 34 days to convince voters that it is legitimate - and one fast track to doing so is by challenging the big boys of the "P-UDP". And that's what leader Patrick Rogers did today when he challenged his counterparts to a debate:.. Patrick Rogers, Party Leader - BPP "We want a debate Marisol. That is what the media should call for. Jules, you want to send that to the top office? I am ready for a debate. Seriously I am. Francis Fonseca, I am calling you out. Dean Barrow, I am calling you out. Let's discuss Belize. Let's discuss the real issues. Don't talk lie. We come with the truth."

Channel 5

Santa Familia Cousins Charged with Rape of Minor
Just before news time tonight, two cousins from Santa Familia, Cayo have been charged in connection with the rape of a thirteen year old. On Wednesday, we reported that the [...]

Bar Association Applies to CCJ for Disclosure of B.E.L./B.T.L. Settlements
The government of Belize has settled with both Fortis and the Ashcroft Group in the arbitrary nationalizations of B.E.L. and B.T.L.  But in this case that is not the end [...]

A New, Consolidated Third Party Emerges
Even as general elections looms, in fact just thirty-four more days to go, a number of small political parties have banded to form what they call a labor movement. This [...]

Belize Progressive Party, Did They Approach Usual Suspects for Membership?
While the newly formed Belize Progressive Party officially introduced itself, as well as its eleven candidates earlier today, it is still short of twenty-one nominees for the organization to contest [...]

Anthony ‘Boots’ Martinez Says “Unions Are Jacking G.O.B.!”
Since the beginning of the week, several unions including the Christian Workers Union on behalf of its Social Security Board members, the Belize Energy Workers Union, as well as the [...]

U.D.P. Ground Commander is Ready to do Battle in Port Loyola
Since the announcement of early general elections on Monday, political machineries on both sides of the political fence joined now by a new third party, are gearing up for November [...]

Stevedores to Commence CBA Negotiations with Port of Belize
A full round of negotiations between the CWU-represented stevedores and the Port of Belize Ltd. is scheduled to kick off next week after a protracted delay and hard feelings. The [...]

CWU President Anticipates Successful Outcome of Negotiations
President of the CWU Audrey Matura will head the negotiating team in discussions of a framework next week. She told News Five that the negotiations have come a long way, [...]

Where Does Insurance for Stevedores Rank Among PBL’s Priorities?
As we understand, the journey to a successful CBA starts with an expedited agreement to a framework. And compromise on a framework will hinge on various issues including insurance for [...]

Divergent Views on Validity of MOUs
The four MOUs signed by the CWU of old and the Port of Belize Limited may well turn out to be a significant obstacle on the road to CBA settlement. [...]

CBL Ceviche Proprietor and Fishermen Charged for Fisheries Offenses
Turning to the courts…four persons, a pair of fishermen, a businessman and his wife of Chetumal Street, were dragged to court on separate fisheries offenses on the eve of the [...]

Are Negotiations with FCIB Shaping Out Well for Bank Employees?
For one week, sixty employees of the First Caribbean International Bank from five branches countrywide were out sick. Those terribly ill employees are those who will be left without jobs [...]

…CWU President Says Prime Minister’s Words Are Little Comfort in Discussions
The government has passed a Vesting Act which facilitates the transfer of shares from FCIB to the Heritage Bank. There was some opposition to the passage because it was felt [...]

S.S.B. Employees Says Board is Stalling Signing of CBA
As we told you on Wednesday, S.S.B. employees are also signalling their frustration with the Board. We are told unofficially that that frustration may lead to industrial action sooner rather [...]

Boots Clarifies Use of OPEC Funds for Southside Poverty Alleviation
In his Independence Day speech, the Prime minister of Belize announced that thirty-seven million dollars will be spent for Phase Two of the South Side Poverty Alleviation Program that falls [...]

Is There a Reduction in Poverty Rate? Let’s Ask Boots
According to statistics available, poverty has increased substantially so that over forty percent of the population is living in poverty. Notwithstanding, government has been claiming that the implementation of several [...]

5-year Plan Released to Address Challenges of Older Population
In this side of the world, the population is ageing rapidly and living longer and countries are signing on to the Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older [...]

Healthy Living Interacts With Older Persons at HelpAge Belize
October first is celebrated as International Day of Older Persons. The Global 2015 theme is “Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment.” One local organization that works daily to [...]


New Political Party Emerges In Belize
A new political party has emerged in Belize. With the 2015 general elections only days away, the former third parties that include the People’s National Party, the Vision Inspired by the People and the We the People Movement in Corozal, merged to form the Belize Progressive Party. They presented themselves this morning to the media and named eleven candidates. The leader is Patrick Rodgers, Wil Maheia is the Deputy Leader, Paco Smith is Party Chairman and Charles Leslie is the Public Relations Officer.Paco Smith - BPP Chairman: “Your Belize Progressive Party is not here to replace the UDP nor the PUP our purpose is to change the game in effect no game shall be playing for this party represent a new Belize political consciousness in which governance is inclusive and not selective as it is currently in practice by the power at being. I submit that our slogan 8867 today 8867 tomorrow and 8867 forever is not only demonstrative to our commitment to ensuring Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity it is also our rallying call to all Belizeans and through friends of Belize irrespective of your whereabouts to take the proverbial lethal state and join us in this meaningful and necessary effort to save the nation of Belize now before we lose it.”

Orange Walk Police Awards Police Officer For The Month Of September
Police Constable 325 Roger Briceno was awarded and recognized this afternoon at the Orange Walk Police Station as Officer of the Month for September. The initiative which was launched on the end of July, seeks to recognize law enforcers who show exemplary conduct as they perform their duties. Today we got a chance to get reaction from the Top Cop of September… PC ROGER BRICENO – Officer of the Month “I have been working hard and I am pleased to be the officer of the month for September 2015.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Give us a glimpse on your daily life?’ PC ROGER BRICENO – Officer of the Month “Well, most of my work is her in the office and I do all the paper works here and I deal with all the reports here that my day is full with so much work here.”

Good Samaritan Purchases New Tent For Councillor Sheppard
On Monday we told you about a tent that was stolen from Councillor Ladrick ‘Mad Bull’ Shepperd after he hosted a football tournament over the weekend. Today, that tent has still not been recovered but the good news tonight is that a Good Samaritan and friend from the United States has donated the money for acquire a new tent. Shepperd stopped by our studios to share with us the good news… “It was on Monday I got a text on Facebook a friend of mine by the name of Mrs. Maria Sutherland she told me that she heard in the news about what happened with the tent and if she could have help in any way she would have done so she told me to look out and if I couldn’t recover back the tent she will buy one for me and every day we were dialoging and every day she would text me and this morning I text her and told her that we couldn’t find the tent and that it was basically gone and she sent the money for me to buy a new brand tent and that is what you see so we can continue the sporting activity that we have every Saturday and Sunday at the Technical field.”

District Education Manager Meet In Corozal To Discuss Challenges
Today District Education Managers from across the country convened in Corozal at the District Centre for their quarterly meeting. The last time the meeting was held was in the Stann Creek District in the month of March so this one was long overdue. The purpose of the meeting was for managers to exchange information specifically in the areas of accomplishments and challenges they are facing in the education sector. Jahmore Lopez Corozal District Centre Manager: “The purpose of the meeting is for us to meet as colleagues where we come together, the center managers, the education officers and we share our accomplishments what it is that we’ve done in our individual districts looking at challenges and looking at the way forward and it’s a wonderful way of networking and sharing we look at what works in a particular district and to see if we are able to adopt that or to look at the challenges that our colleagues have been experiencing in their area and then to see how we can learn from that and when we put heads together that we are able to come up with solutions to whatever challenges that are presented.”

SIB Reports A Minimal Drop In Importation
The report also shows that Belize imported fewer goods in August but also exported less during the same period. In August 2015, Belize imported a total of $154.8 million worth of goods, falling by $3.7 million or 2.3 percent when compared to the $158.5 million imported in August 2014. Imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’ decreased by $5 million, from $19.6 million in August 2015 to $14.4 million in the same month last year. This was the largest drop among the various categories for the month, and was as a result of no wheat seed purchases being recorded for August 2015. Purchases of ‘Manufactured Goods’ rose by $3.5 million, due to an increase in imports of construction supplies during the month. Goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ both recorded declines in comparison to August 2014. The report states that merchandise imports for eight months, from January to August 2015, totaled $1.3 billion, representing a 3.6 percent or $46.6 million increase over the same period last year.

WAC Questions The Treatment Of The Mayas In Belize
The World Archaeological Congress, CWA, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization whose aim is to promote interest in the past in all countries, encourage the development of regionally-based histories and foster international academic interaction. On August 30th that organization sent a letter addressed to Prime Minister Dean Barrow question the incident that occurred in the Village of Santa Cruz in the Toledo District on Saturday June 20th when Rupert Miles was tied and dragged through the village since the leaders of the community claimed that he built a house on the archaeological site of Uxbenka, and caused damage to the sacred site. According to the release and we quote “the destruction and rampant looting of Mayan sites have been happening across Belize, a country which depends heavily on the tourism brought by ancestral Maya archaeology, hence the reason the government should ensure that people are punished for causing damage to these treasures” end quote.

Farmers Receive Assistance After Loss Of More Than 25 Million Dollars
It is no secret that the Agriculture sector has suffered a loss of more than $25 million worth in production due to the drought currently affecting the country. That amount is expected to mount since the drought is expected to last until the month of November. It is also no secret that the cries of farmers for help went unheard even after the media exposed their situation. The first to bring the problem to our attention was P.U.P Orange Walk South Standard Bearer Jose Abelardo Mai. He did so in hope that farmers receive the necessary help. As we have reported before, due to the drought some farmers have relied on irrigation systems to save the little crop they have left. But that also proved to be expensive even more so since farmers were charged 12.5% GST on irrigation system even though the GST department information indicated that irrigation equipment is zero rated.

SIB Releases Figures For Consumer Price Index
The prices on goods fell by point six percent compared to 2014 reports the Statistical Institute of Belize. According to the SIB, this is due largely to decreases in fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas prices during the month which offset increases in the cost of some food items and home rentals. The report states that quote, “All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 103.3, down from 103.9 in last August. For the first eight months of this year, an inflation rate of negative 0.9 percent was recorded,” unquote. All three types of fuel saw a considerable drop in prices compared to August 2014, with premium and regular gasoline down by about 19 percent and 22 percent, respectively, while diesel prices fell sharply by 28 percent. The decline in fuel prices was the major contributing factor to a 6.3 percent decrease in the “Transport” index. There were not many changes seen in prices for “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages”.


Fisheries Officers Make Triple Bust
The conch season opened officially at midnight on October 1, 2015 … but it seems that some fishermen wanted to get their bulk of conch first and beat the rush for this well liked seafood. The only problem with that is that they were caught by officials within a twelve hour period before the season […]

There’s a new Political Party in town.
A new political party was launched today at the Belize Institute of Management in Belize City. Reporter Hipolito Novelo was there and filed this report. Paco Smith: On this day Thursday 1st October 2015 your Belize Progressive Party hence forth known as the BPP is officially unveiled. Hipolito Novelo, Love FM News: The party’s color […]

No confirmation that Kenrick Bowman is actually a registered “Sex Offender”.
Last week, alleged child predator, 42 year old Kenrick Bowman, received bail after being charged for “obtaining gratification while he engaged in activity of a sexual nature in front of a child.” He was arrested after a young boy made a serious and disturbing allegation against him. The young boy alleged that Bowman performed sexual […]

Christian Workers Union proposes CBA in 11 years for stevedores
The Christian Workers Union has begun working on the first ever Collective Bargaining Agreement in eleven years on behalf of the members who provide stevedore service for the Port of Belize Ltd. In 2007 there was an attempt to conclude a CBA, however, when the Port of Belize changed management, the CBA in progress was […]

Brother and Cousin Charged In Rape of Minor
Justice for the 13-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped by her cousin with the facilitation of her brother, is underway as Love News has learnt that police have charged two men, related to the victim. These charges stem from an incident that took place some days ago where the 13-year-old child was asleep and then […]


Home invasion in Orange Walk
The family of well known Orange Walk Businessman, Gabriel Cabreras, known also as DJ Gaby, was robbed during a home invasion while he was away on errand and his wife was getting their kids ready for school. The incident occurred some minutes before eight o’clock this morning shortly after opening t...

BNTU Belize City branch selects executive
Students in Belize City and across the district had a half day of school today as their teachers met at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall for the bi-annual general membership meeting of the Belize City branch of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU). The Union’s branches have been meeti...

CWU to meet with Port to begin CBA negotiations
The Christian Workers Union says it is ready to begin negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Port of Belize Limited on the working conditions for stevedores. It hosted a press briefing at its office today where stevedores which form part of the negotiating team spoke side by ...

Macal River fish has mercury
Earlier this week, we told you about the public advisory that the Ministry of Health issued on the mercury levels of fish in the Macal River. 12 types of fishes were caught from the Macal River of which 50% had levels of mercury above the recommended level. Of that 50%, only three (3) of those fis...

New Belize Progressive Party formed]
The Belize Progressive Party, a coming together of now former members of three third parties, the People’s National Party, the Vision Inspired by the People and the We the People Movement of Corozal alongside some independent candidates, was unveiled this morning at the Belize Institute of Manageme...

Tedx comes to Belmopan
TED x, a locally organized version of the larger international Ted Talk events, was held today at the UB Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan for the first time ever. TED Talk, a thought provoking, inspirational and motivational conference has become a global sensation. With over one thousand Ted Talk vide...

Bar to apply to join nationalization case at CCJ
There has been a major development concerning the utilities nationalization cases in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which were thought to be all but dead and buried following the back to back announcements of settlements with Fortis Energy, the BTL Employees Trust headed by Dean Boyce and the...

Elections overtake major cases in Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has postponed one case and discontinued another as a result of the announcement of general elections in November. Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman confirmed in speaking with us via telephone this morning that the case of PUP Cayo Northeast standard bearer Orlando Habet versus the Chief E...

How will BTL repay GOB for BCB loan?
And while BTL re-positions itself to take on new challenges, the company is struggling with the millstone of the British Caribbean Bank loan debt which Government acquired along with the assets of the company in 2009 and 2011. Originally BZ$45 million, a studied ignorance of the loan which the compa...

Profits slip again but BTL moving forward says Board
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) met with shareholders for the Ninth Annual General Meeting Tuesday night in Belize City. The company’s ownership has only recently been settled but as far as the company’s financial status is concerned, the bottomline is still not nice reading for sharehold...

PUP wants Election observers for general elections
The People’s United Party wants independent observers for the upcoming general elections. On Monday, September 28, the Prime Minister announced that election day would be held on the 4th of November. On that same day, the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca, sent the Prime Minister a l...

Man helps his cousin to rape his little sister
A minor was raped by her cousin in assistance of her brother. A 13-year-old Guatemalan female student of Cayo District in the presence her mother reported that on the 3rd of September while at their residence , she was approached by her twenty six year old brother who told her to have sexual relatio...

Industrial action averted ; BEWU gets raise
There was no industrial action taken today by the Belize Energy Workers Union. When we left you last night, we told you that BEL had issued a press release saying that they had reached an agreement with the Belize Energy Workers Union after a mediation meeting by the Prime Minister with parties invo...

#507980 - 10/02/15 06:58 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 2, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

BEL workers get salary increase
BEL workers will be getting their salary increase following the intervention of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The workers have been in negotiations for a salary increment from in May of this year. The negotiations came to a deadlock on Tuesday September 29 with the Belize Energy Workers union threatening industrial action. But in true leadership fashion the Prime Minister intervened and held discussions with the union after which a memorandum was signed. In essence the company will pay the employees a 1.75% increase yearly across the board retroactive to January 1, 2015 to 2017. The increase will be on employees base salary and will be separate from yearly performance appraisal increments that employees earn based on their performance. In addition to the salary increase, BEL will match contributions of employees, paying 10% of their salary into the BEL Pension Fund. It will also increase its pension matching contribution by 1% up from 6% to 10% commencing in 2015 for employees who agree to also increase their pension contributions.

UDP ready for General elections on November 4
Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed the nation on Monday September 28 and in his address he announced that the next general elections will be on November 4. In his short presentation (see Insert c) PM Barrow explained that, “I believe the time has come to ask you for a fresh mandate. The clean-up having been completed, the UDP must focus now exclusively on the positive, on forwarding opportunity and change. A New Belize must burst forth, where progress, prosperity and stability can reign untrammeled.” In subsequent interviews the Prime Minister noted that in order to achieve the change in the country, it must be done so without the distraction of having to deal with an election. Now all the 31 UDP candidates are in place and after doing unprecedented work, which is still continuing, they are ready to ask the Belizean public for the vote of confidence, the vote that will see a reborn Belize where anything is possible.

Another good year for BTL
Belize Telemedia limited held its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday September 29. At the meeting it was announced that shareholders will be receiving a 23 cent return per share. This is representative of 65% of its net profit being distributed in dividends. All told the company declared 32 million dollars in profits which is down from 35 million last year. Income this year stands at $135,440,000 also down from 136,163,000 last year. And while the company performed just slightly lower than it did last year it paid business tax to the tune of 15,375,000 also down by a million from last year’s contribution. Even with lower profits, company executives say that BTL will rebound and rebound significantly with estimates of revenue being predicted to jump over $150 million in the next financial year. Already the company is seeing those figures materialize as benefits from investments done last year as well as promotions begin to bear fruit.

Accused noodles sharing predator out on bail
Kenrick Elston Bowman, 42, the man accused of luring little boys to his home in Lake Independence and engaging in sexual activities with them in exchange for noodle soup, is out on bail of $3,000 plus two sureties of $1,500 after he was charged with a single count of engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child. Bowman appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John on Friday, September 25, and pleaded not guilty to the charge. The prosecutor, Cpl. Christopher Smith, had several objections to bail. One, that the police investigation is ongoing against the defendant; two, more charges are expected to be levied against Bowman; and three, if he is granted bail he may try to interfere with the prosecution’s potential witnesses. Cpl. Smith also objected to bail for Bowman’s own safety since the matter has received national coverage and it is believe that if given bail members of the public may want to cause harm or danger to him.

Brother forces sister to have sex with cousin in Cayo
A 13 year old Guatemalan female student of Santa Familia Village, Cayo District in the presence her mother reported that on the 3rd September 2015 about 6:00pm whilst at their residence she was approached by her brother, who told her to have sexual relation with one of her male cousins who was living at their residence. For that occasion she refused. At 1200 am on 4th September 2015 her brother woke her up and took her by her arm into the cousin’s room and handed her over to him and left. The cousin had sexual Intercourse with her against her will.

Cane farmers killed as they worked in Corozal
Two hardworking cane farmers from the north were mercilessly gunned down and killed on Friday, September 25. 42 year-old Rogelio Rancharan, a resident of Paraiso Village, Corozal, and his best friend, 58 year-old Enrique Tayun, a resident of San Andres Village, were in a cane field doing their work. Sometime around 10 a.m., the friends and co-workers were fertilizing the cane field. They were trying to get the crop ready for the next season, and that’s when someone crept out of the bushes and fired several gunshots at them. There was a third man who was working with the two victims, but he escaped unharmed. Ranchman and Tayun were not so fortunate, and they were both struck in the head by these bullets. They collapsed where they were working and died at that spot.

Chinese businessmen fined for shorting Social Security
Three Chinese businessmen were taken to court on Tuesday, September 29, to answer to a single charge each of failure to pay Social Security contributions. Shi Feng Huang, 30, owner of Kenny Shop located on Fairweather Street; Li Shi Chen, 27, owner of Lucky Star Supermarket located at the corner of Pelican Street and Central American Boulevard, Zhike Wu, 29, owner of 86 Cooking located on Central American Boulevard appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers in Belize City. The men appeared unrepresented in court and wasted no time in pleading guilty to the charge of failure to pay Social Security contributions on behalf of employees for the period of July and August 2015. For their guilty plea, Magistrate Rogers imposed non-custodial sentences when she fined them $500 each plus $5 cost of court fee. They were ordered to pay the fine by October 30, 2015 or in default, two weeks imprisonment.

10 Years for unlicensed firearm and ammunition
Raccoon Street resident Kenroy Gillett, 29, is serving the first nights of a ten year sentence after Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith convicted him on Monday, September 29, for keeping a firearm and ammunition without being granted a license by the Commissioner of Police. On November 8, 2014, police searched a home on Jane Usher Boulevard and found a 9 mm pistol and six rounds of ammunition. In the house at the time police found Kenroy Gillett, his girlfriend, mother-in-law, brother-in law and others. Gillett was also found in possession of 2 grams of weed.They were all detained and taken to the police station for the weapons. Carlos Perry, 25, Gillett’s brother-in-law, initially attempted to take the rap for the firearm and ammunition. He explained to the court in trial that he wanted to take the rap to relieve his mother of any trouble with the law. However, an officer of the Gang Suppression Unit cautioned him against doing so. The officers proceeded to charge only Gillett and released the others since they were certain the weapon belonged to him.

Rodney Harris fined $500 for a punch
Fisherman Rodney Harris, 30, must pay $500 by November 30 or spend 5 months at the Belize Central prison for being unable to control his liquor. Allegations are that on Friday, September 25, he punched Carlos Rudon, 50, in his stomach while socializing at a bar on King Street. Rudon, a resident of #12 Saint Thomas Street, reported to police that sometime around 6:30 p.m. he was socializing at a bar located at #32 King Street when Harris approached and punched him in the stomach for no reason. Sgt. Isaac Sanchez responded to the incident and Rudon pointed out Harris who was still in the area. Harris was apprehended and escorted to the Racoon Street Police Station where he was charged with common assault.

Lincoln Hemsley walks from murder of David Hernandez
Lincoln Hemsley Jr., 23, has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison the past three years for the murder of David Alberto Hernandez but he is now a free man after Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas ruled that he had no case to answer to on Tuesday, September 29. On March 11, 2012, Hernandez was shot three times to the back as he was hanging out on Racecourse Street with his friend Phillip Barrera. Hemsley was arrested after Barrera gave police a statement saying that the gunman who shot his friend was Lincoln Hemsley Jr., better known as “Rojo”. During the murder trial, Prosecutor Porsha Staine called several witnesses but her main witness, Phillip Barrera, changed his story. Barrera admitted to giving police a statement after the shooting of his friend but said he lied to the police when he told them that the shooter was “Rojo”. Staine proceeded to treat Barrera as a hostile witness but he stuck to his story saying he told the police lies and that he was high on marijuana at the time of the statement. When asked why he lied, Barrerra said because he didn’t want police to charge him with conspiracy to commit murder. Before leaving the stand, Barrera said he does not know anyone by the nickname “Rojo”, he did not know any one by the name Lincoln Hemsley Jr. and he does not know the man accused in court.

Guatemalan busted with 9 millimeter bullets
A Guatemalan construction worker is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was denied bail for keeping unlicensed ammunition. Police say they busted Santos Lopez with 9 millimeter bullets inside his pants pocket when they searched him in Los Lagos on Thursday, September 24. Lopez was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers on Friday, September 25. He was read a single charge of keeping ammunition without being granted a license by the Commissioner of Police. Lopez pleaded not guilty to the charge but due to the nature of the offense bail could not be offered. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 21, 2015.

Unlawful sexual intercourse with 13 years old
On Thursday of last week, a 13 year old female domestic from Buena Vista Village, Cayo District, in the company of her mother, reported that she had been having sexual intercourse since February 14th and up to May 23, 2015. She reported that she had met a 17 year old Guatemalan, “boyfriend” who resided in Buena Vista, and with whom she had been having sexual intercourse. The child has been examined by a doctor, who confirms that she is sexually active.

Philip Goldson’s home now a museum in his memory
Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson, one of the first generation nationalists in Belize’s History, received another distinct honor from the Government and People of Belize under the Barrow Administration. The house he called home on Orange Street, in the City of Belmopan, has been transformed into museum in recognition of his life, legacy, accomplishments, and contributions to this country. This museum in his honor is now called the Goldson House for Democracy and Patriotism, and it was officially opened on Monday, September 28, in Belmopan. The event was very well attended by family, friends, and well-wishers. The VIP guests included Governor General, Sir Colville Young; Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., the Minister of Tourism and Culture; NICH President Diane Haylock; Nigel Encalada, the Director of the Institute of Social and Cultural Research; and the ISCR Staff.

Prime Minister Barrow announces general election date
My Fellow Belizeans, When you turned to the United Democratic Party and gave us your confidence in 2008, it was for us to fix all that had gone so horribly wrong in the decade of misrule since 1998. Our country was burdened by the super bond; strait-jacketed by fiscal austerity; unable to operate a bankrupt DFC and a near insolvent social security; suffering from surging levels of poverty and neglect; and shunned by international concessionary lenders disgusted with the last Administration’s thievery of public monies. The UDP’s overwhelming priority was thus to replenish the state’s coffers; restore local and international confidence; rescue citizens desperately in need of relief; and bring back integrity to the Office of the Prime Minister whose outgoing PUP occupant had, in 2005, been presented with a certificate of corruption by Union and Civil Society leaders.

Drought placing challenges on banana farms in the south
The Guardian Newspaper has already reported on the millions that the corn farmers from Orange Walk South have lost due to this years drought. Reports have since emerged from Stann Creek South that the banana farmers have been losing money as well. The principals of Mayan King Banana Farm, Jose David Gonzalez the Manager, and John Zabaneh, a representative of Myrtle Sherran, who is the owner of the company, granted an interview to Channel 7 News. In that conversation, they discussed the difficulties that they’ve been having in the past few months. Now, in the discussion of the ownership and managers of that company, one has to be very specific. Mayan King and all its assets are owned legally by Myrtle Sherran, who is John Zabaneh’s mother. She is an 88 year-old woman who has left Zabaneh in charge of running the company, and her other assets in the family’s interest to try to make as much profit as possible, while mitigating financial losses.

Be Careful what you ask for
All of us have our list of wishes and desires, some are reasonable and others are just a product of our selfish greed. The Bible in Mathew 7:7 says: “ask and you shall receive” but we all know the request has to be within reason. Well we all heard Francis Fonseca calling for; begging and eventually demanding that the Prime Minister “call the elections now”. On the 18th November 2014 he stood up in the National assembly and in his usual asinine manner shouted for all to hear, “let’s get it on, they wahn roll? Roll the elections, call the general elections!” In the budget of 2014-15 he again shouted at the top of his voice not once, not twice or even three times, he demanded that the Prime Minister “call the elections now” five times; in his words telling Mr. Barrow “if you bad call the elections now”. Well his request was heard loud and clear and on Monday September 28, the Prime Minister announced that the date for the General Election has been set for Wednesday November 4. Unconfirmed reports are that when Francis heard the news his eyes bulged out of his head and he went into spasmodic dysphonia. He started to swallow uncontrollably as he does whilst being interviewed. No one understood what he was trying to say until someone translated what he was saying. What he reportedly said was “I’m sorry I asked for the elections to be called, we are not ready!”

What will happen with Boost and Food Pantry under the PUP
At every single opportunity they have had, the PUP, Francis Fonseca in particular has said that they will abolish the BOOST program as well as the Food Pantry Program. If we are to analyze the magnitude of that statement we would understand that what Francis Fonseca is actually proposing is to pull the support mechanism from under the feet of thousands of Belizeans. The latest statistics have it that over 8,000 persons are beneficiaries of the BOOST program countrywide. Of these there are 250 which are children affected or infected by HIV and AIDS. Similarly the Food Pantry program currently serves17,000 individuals from 3400 households in the Cayo, Belize and Toledo Districts.

Coincidence or conspiracy
Ever since the Prime Minister made the announcement that the government had made a breakthrough and settled with Fortis over the BEL shares, the PUP has been trying to steal some of the goodwill and praises the UDP had earned from the general populace. PUP it seems would lie, steal and do all sorts of underhanded things to try and get in the people’s good books. There has been a convergence of stories that has the handprint of the PUP. The first being the rat in the incubator. That rat must have been a specially trained rat, skilled in the art of climbing up smooth Plexiglas , Deactivating alarms before opening tightly closed Windows and entering said incubators , then closing the Windows from inside. And biting a newborn baby’s toe without breaking the baby’s skin.

On November 4th, 2015, VOTE UDP!!!
“We are prepared. We have been getting prepared. We ask why the sudden urgency. Just a few weeks ago the Prime Minister hinted that elections would not be until next year February or March I think he said. So the question is why? Hon.Francis Fonseca, Channel Seven News; September 28th, 2015. It was not difficult reading the frightened body language of the Leader of the Opposition, because he knows his time is up; his number has been called, he miscalculated and members within his own party must be salivating, knowing that they will get their wish for a new leader sooner rather than later. Prime Minister Barrow, you are so compassionate that you are actually providing a stimulus to the G11 of the PUP, because they have indicated that all is not well and from their vantage point, something really smells.

Things back to normal at Faith Nazarene
Things are just about back to normal at Faith Nazarene Primary School after the Parent Teacher’s Association met on Friday, September 25, and decided “that all parents with children at Faith Nazarene Primary School should be encouraged to permit those children, to return to classes”. School management and the Ministry of Education were concerned that things would go in the other direction after the Teaching Services Commission rejected a compromise that was forged between teachers and the embattled principal Policarpia Pech. Tension did appear to be escalating on Friday when teachers joined parents on the picket line during their break. However, the line was not as stout as it was in days past. There were only a dozen parents protesting. And, more parents were sending their children to school since the days and lessons missed were mounting. 249 of the 403 students were at school on Friday, more than half. The momentum of the protests was definitely fading. Therefore, it was time to go back to the chalkboard.

Mercury in Fish from the Macal River
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and the Belize Electric Company (BECOL), has finished another mercury test on the fish taken from the Macal River. The following Public Advisory is being issued to guide the general public on the amount of fish that can be eaten weekly from the Macal River to avoid ill effects due to mercury exposure. For this analysis, 12 types of fish were caught from the Macal River. Of those twelve species 50% had levels of mercury above the recommended level of 0.5 mg/kg. Of that 50%, only three (3) or 25% of those fish are normally consumed by persons living in communities around the Macal River. These fish include the Bay Snook, Baca and Botasi.

Belize and Mexico sign MOU to foster business relations
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed recently between Belize and Mexico with the aim to establish a practical framework for the development of stronger business relations between both countries. The MOU was signed on Thursday, September 10th at the Centro de Convenciones Peninsula in Cancun, Mexico on the occasion of the “Foro de Cancun 2015.” The Hon. Erwin Contreras, Minister of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection signed on behalf of Belize while Mr Francisco N. González Díaz, Director General of ProMéxico, signed on behalf of Mexico. The signing was witnessed by Quintana Roo’s Governor, Roberto Borge Angulo.

New hurricane shelter for Monkey River
The Ambassador of the European Union to Belize, Paola Amadei, travelled to the South of the country on Wednesday, September 23, for two hand-over ceremonies. In the morning she donated over $1 million worth of technical and vocational training equipment to Georgetown Technical High School and in the afternoon she handed over a rehabilitated hurricane shelter to the people of Monkey River Town. The equipment for Georgetown Technical High was made available through the resources of the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) Programme. This includes the construction of the GTHS administration building classroom and technical workshops, equipping of the computer lab with 40 desktop computers, and the provision of state of the art equipment for practical training in the areas of plumbing, masonry, welding, carpentry, electrical, automotive, sewing and agriculture including greenhouse with irrigation facilities. Approximately 600 students enrolled at GTHS and surrounding communities encompassing 21 villages will benefit from this project. This investment in the technical vocational curriculum of the Georgetown Technical High School represents EU’s continued support to Education in southern Belize. The objective of BAM is to foster social and economic development leading to the reduction of poverty, focusing on workers and their families in the banana belt. To date approximately BZ$ 8 million has been contributed to GTHS development as a result of the fruitful partnership between the Government of Belize and the European Union.

There is only one option - The UDP
“I don’t want to sound at all dismissive of the opposition, I don’t want to sound cocky; I don’t want to sound over confident. Of course in any campaign stones will be flung, allegations will be made, there will be an effort to make some issue develop legs. But I am completely satisfied that the bigger picture which is the tremendous record of achievement that is there to see when it comes to the U.D.P.” Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister. In 2008, there was a need for political revival; an awakening and for change to be heralded and therefore the people of Belize overwhelmingly voted for the UDP to form the government. On assumption to office, there were so many challenges, such as, the onset of the Global Financial Crisis, which was creating major problems for the economies of the world, especially the small developing countries. The developed nations felt it too and some of the aftershocks still resound; which meant that it trickled down to the smaller economies, which suffered much, but Belize was able to withstand the course, not without challenges, but with the steadfast Leadership of the UDP and Hon. Dean O. Barrow. Because of Prime Minister, Dean O. Barrow’s steadfast LEADERSHIP, many of the shocks were averted and so Belize’s economy remained solvent and stable.

Plastic, not real
Yasmin Shoman is now making all sort of promises to the voters of Collet division. She is now saying to the voters that the PUP will build 1200 homes in the Collet Division. My question to her is,” will these houses be part of the 10,000 houses they promised in ‘98”? Another thing she is promising is to give 800 jobs to the people of Collet division, again my question to her is,” will these be a part of the 15,00O jobs they promised in ‘98”? Another promise is that they will roll out NHI in Collet. Sorry Ms. Plastic Queen not only has NHI been rolled out in Collet but Collet has its own NHI clinic.

Public Sector Workers Trust get major bucks from BTL, again!
BTL held its Annual General Meeting again this year and with that the declaration of dividends to shareholders. One shareholder who is getting quite a handsome return on their shares this year again is the Public Sector Workers Trust. The Belize Teachers Union and the Public Service Union once again collected on behalf of the trust and their earnings amounted to 184,798.10. This amount is now added to the millions of dollars which the fund had accumulated in the past and which the Trust is in charge of.

Elections spoil PUP lawsuits
The announcement by the Prime Minister of November 4 as the date for the next elections is having other consequences for the PUP. Two of their lawsuits, from which they were hoping to get political mileage, have been postponed. The first lawsuit involves the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, suing Prime Minister Dean Barrow directly. He was pushing for the court to decide whether or not the legislation for the 13th Senator ought to be passed by House of Assembly.

St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College open on right footing in high school volleyball
The 2015-2016 Central Region Secondary Schools Volleyball Competition opened on Monday 28 September, 2015, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. This year’s competition will see the participation of six schools namely: St. Catherine Academy (defending champions), Anglican Cathedral College, Belize High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Nazarene High School and Wesley College in the female competition. Meanwhile, there are ten schools namely: Anglican Cathedral College, Belize High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, Ladyville Technical High School, Maud Williams High School, Nazarene High School, St. John’s College, Sadie Vernon Technical High School and Wesley College in the male competition.

Tokyo recommends 5 additional Sports for 2020 Olympics
Baseball and Softball were joined by youth-oriented sports such as surfing and skateboarding as Japanese organisers on Monday 28 September, 2015, recommended five additional sports with 18 events for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The other sports that were short listed include sports climbing and karate. According to the Organising Committee spokesperson Bowling, squash and wushu failed to make the cut from among eight finalists.

Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball competition to commence
The Belize City Primary Schools Volleyball Competition for school year 2015-2016 will commence on Monday 5th October 2015, at Bird’s Isle with two games on the schedule. The competition will see six teams in the girls’ competition and six teams in the boys’ competition. The schools that will compete in the girls’ competition are: Belize Elementary School, Bethel Assembly School, Wesley Upper School, Holy Redeemer School, St. John’s Primary School and St. Mary’s Primary School. Meanwhile, in the boys’ competition, the school that will compete are, Belize Elementary School, Bethel Assembly School, Wesley Upper School, Holy Redeemer School, St. John’s Primary School and St. John Vianney School.

PUP prepared for elections with bench candidates
In Belizean politics we have heard and seen strange things, but the one that we are now seeing may be the funniest we have ever heard and seen . Now the PUP seem to be in what we’ll call ‘should in case mode’. They seem to be trying to play catch up. When it comes to elections results,the PUP may be having the worst year ever for any political party, not only in Belize but also in the region. Let’s set the backdrop for what has caused them to be in this position. The PUP suffered blowout losses in the Cayo North and Dangriga/Sarawee/Hope Creek Bye-elections brought on by the resignation of two former PUP Area Representatives. They also got a blowout in the Municipal Elections that were held between those Bye-elections. Hot on the heels of those losses there came the mutiny by the G12 turned G11. The Mutineers blamed Francis Fonseca for the dwindling fortunes of the party and were asking for his head. One went as far as to suggest that Francis had laid down with dogs and had gotten up with fleas called Ralph and Said that were causing people not to want to be associated with the party.

Relief for Orange Walk South Farmers
The rainy season this year has been everything but rainy. In fact because of the lack of rain especially in northwestern Belize, a drought has affected farmers and their crops. The farmers most affected are those from Indian Creek and San Carlos, two villages in the Orange Walk South constituency. Vast fields of corn and other crops such as soy bean, rice and sugar cane, have been lost due to drought costing the farmers almost 29 million dollars. This could result in prices for certain commodities to go up due to scarcity. In response to this crisis, on Sept 25, 2015 a meeting was held in San Carlos community with approximately 100 farmers from both Indian Creek and San Carlos which are the two villages most affected by the drought. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega; CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, Orange Walk South standard bearer Guadalupe Magana Dyck, DFC personnel, and Ministry of Agriculture personnel were present.

Relief for Orange Walk South Farmers
The rainy season this year has been everything but rainy. In fact because of the lack of rain especially in northwestern Belize, a drought has affected farmers and their crops. The farmers most affected are those from Indian Creek and San Carlos, two villages in the Orange Walk South constituency. Vast fields of corn and other crops such as soy bean, rice and sugar cane, have been lost due to drought costing the farmers almost 29 million dollars. This could result in prices for certain commodities to go up due to scarcity. In response to this crisis, on Sept 25, 2015 a meeting was held in San Carlos community with approximately 100 farmers from both Indian Creek and San Carlos which are the two villages most affected by the drought. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega; CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche, Orange Walk South standard bearer Guadalupe Magana Dyck, DFC personnel, and Ministry of Agriculture personnel were present.

Road Map in Cayo Central
Area Representative for the Cayo Central Division the Hon. Rene Montero has launched his “Road Map To Victory” by continuing to work on various initiatives as well as making a personal tour of his constituency. In one of those initiatives, there was an official opening of the Cristo Rey Community Center on Thursday night of last week. Present for the opening was Chairman of the United Democratic Party Alberto August as well as the Hon. Rene Montero. So far the Hon. Rene Montero has visited six villages in the Spanish Lookout Area and Georgeville and reports an overwhelming reception from his constituents as they invited him into their homes. During his tour, the Hon. Rene Montero had much to share about the events within his Division.

San Ignacio Police officers receive recognition
Four police officers from the San Ignacio Police Formation were awarded on Friday of last week for their outstanding performance. Doing the inspection at this monthly occasion was his Worship the Mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns, Earl Trapp Junior. Corporal 1050, Maximiliano Lanza was chosen to receive his award due to his leadership skills, determination to address drug interdiction and great communication skills. Corporal 692, Jose Pinelo was awarded, due to his commitment to teach others under his command. While police officer 444, Henry Nunez was also awarded, because he is responsible and performs as a supervisor whenever his corporal would be on leave. Police officer 1203, Danny Requena, who is attached to C.I.B was also recognized by Mayor Earl Trapp for his commitment when called upon; even when on time off.

Thanks for small mercies!
We need to say thanks to the people who held Francis Fonseca's hands to the fire and are now controlling him. It seems like they have even given him a new speech writer too, because for the first time since he has been making these speeches we did not think we were walking through a cow pasture. We did not have to clean off the bottom of our shoes after his Independence Day Speech. The new Speech Writer employed only small words that even Francis had a hard time to butcher their pronunciations. Not that he did not try, because he still confuses "A" and "O". He frequently interchanges them. That is something they will have a problem in getting him to stop doing, because we now understand that such has been his practice for some forty-eight years.

Sticks and Stones, Louis Wade attacks the Anglican Bishop
It was never my intention to put ink to paper when it comes to that JAWBONE named Louis Wade of Plus TV. For some time now he has been getting away attacking people in some rather cowardly fashion. When Wade attacks POLITICIANS , UDPs included, I take it as a part of everyday politics . Those politicians are big men and women and the can defend themselves if they chose to do so. Name calling and mudslinging comes with politics. On Tuesday evening last week as I sat waiting for a bus to go home, I became involved in a conversation with a few people about several things. Two of which were things said on talk shows and posted on the garbage-box called Facebook. The one name that dominated the conversation was Louis Wade. I took out may cellphone to browse Facebook to get a clearer picture of what was being said in the conversation and low and behold it was an attack on the Rt. Rev Bishop Phillip Wright.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

New Belize Progressive Party formed
The Belize Progressive Party, a coming together of now former members of three third parties, the People’s National Party, the Vision Inspired by the People and the We the People Movement of Corozal alongside some independent candidates, was unveiled this morning at the Belize Institute of Management in […]

Opinion poll opened on 2015 General Elections
As Belize prepares for the 2015 general elections, Belize Media Group has opened an online poll allowing voters to select who they think will win in sixteen randomly drawn constituencies from around the country. That number, 16, is the smallest majority needed to form a Government. To participate […]

Christian Workers Union to meet with Port and begin CBA negotiations
The Christian Workers Union says it is ready to begin negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with Port of Belize Limited on the working conditions for stevedores. It hosted a press briefing at its office today where stevedores which form part of the negotiating team spoke side […]

OW family’s home invaded‏
A brazen daylight home invasion in Orange Walk Town has left one person injured. Two men visited the home of Gabriel “Dj Gaby” Cabrera Sr. on the Belize Corozal Road around 8am. In the home at the time of the invasion was Cabrera’s wife, Julie Cabrera, who was […]

BNTU Belize City branch selects executive
Students in Belize City and across the district had a half day of school today as their teachers met at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall for the bi-annual general membership meeting of the Belize City branch of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU). The Union’s branches have been […]

SSB workers threaten strike over CBA
With the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) and its employees coming to terms on a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) yesterday, the Prime Minister may have to work his magic again to satisfy the requests of Social Security Board’s (SSB) employees who are demanding that a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) be signed […]

Government Hilux found in Melchor
After the retrieval of a Belizean Government Toyota Hilux in Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala yesterday, police believe that a network of vehicle thieves are in Belmopan, stealing and taking vehicles across the Belize/Guatemala border. That Toyota Hilux belongs to the Ministry of Health and was stolen from the Ministry’s compound […]

CWA writes to PM concerning Santa Cruz incident
The World Archaeological Congress (CWA) is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, comprised of the only internationally elected body of practising archaeologists. CWA sent a letter addressed to Prime Minister Dean Barrow on August 30th, questioning the treatment of Mayan citizens of Belize in the Toledo District specifically. This letter focused […]

BDF soldiers complain they don’t have enough to eat
Belize Media Group (BMG) has been monitoring a shocking report coming from the Belize Defense Force’s (BDF) main base in Ladyville, Belize District, regarding the materials and sub-par food being given to soldiers for the past few days. One upset soldier reached out to us on Tuesday, September 29th, […]

TIDE Annual Fish Festival to kick off next week
It’s the that time of the year again when the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) excites us with its Annual Fish Festival weekend celebration in Punta Gorda (PG) Town. This being the 13th occurrence of this prestigious event, is scheduled for October 9th, 10th, and 11th; […]

Bar to apply to join nationalization case at CCJ
Members of the Bar Association of Belize, which met last night in Belize City, have given unanimous approval to a resolution of the association which reads, in short, as follows: “Now be it resolved… (that) The Bar Association take such steps as are necessary to make application to […]

Three men wanted in home invasion in Orange Walk
The home of Gabriel Cabrera Sr. better known as “DJ Gaby” was invaded by three men around 8am this morning in Orange Walk Town. Reports are that shortly after his wife opened their clothes shop for business, three men (both were masked) entered their home and demanded for her to […]

Few showers and thunderstorms expected for the weekend
The National Meteorological service of Belize predicts mainly fair conditions to prevail over most areas this morning. Moisture and instability increase later today and tonight. The 24 hour forecast is for sunny with cloudy spells this morning with isolated showers and thunderstorms. Skies will become cloudy with showers and thunderstorms […]

Belize: Elections Industry in Belize Bigger Than Citrus Industry in 2015
Belize is having its fourth election for 2015 on November 4. Elections has become an industry in Belize…..almost nobody works for free for the parties anymore. In the Cayo North bi-election on January 5, the PUP employed around 125 persons at average of $135 per person, while the UDP […]


Two great fundraisers and two after parties
It has been one of those times where the events are non stop back to back. I barely had time to catch my breath after the weekend crawl (4 parties in 3 days and then some) it was off to the races again with two fundraisers and two after parties (one planned and one unplanned). The first fundraiser was for Marcie Newman who is back in the states undergoing cancer treatment. I was in on the behind the scenes fb messaging o this one and from the moment Sam posed the idea countless people and business stepped up to donate. Ruth from Island Time immediately agreed to host the event, do a special menu for the evening and donate 50% of the proceeds to the cause. Next fundraiser was SAGA Humane Society at El Foogn for Belize Independence. That is always a good time one as they close the street and make a big party. While the turn out may not have been quite as big as they had hoped for ( to many people getting partied out) it was still busy and many SAGA volunteers worked very hard all night.

The Pack-a-Pound Program: Helping Belizean Schools
Chaa Creek’s guests donate school supplies to classrooms in Belize! We are very happy to report yet another successful accomplishment by Chaa Creek’s Pack-a-Pound Program. Guests wishing to join this initiative can substitute one pound of luggage, or more, for school supplies. The school supplies are then gathered together, packed off by pound and then distributed to the schools and students who need it most. Last week we made a surprise visit to Bishop Martin R.C. School in the Santiago Juan Layout area of San Ignacio, Cayo. Principal Abimael Waight, teachers and 468 students happily welcomed the pack-a-pound program team. Mr. Waight said that the school will make good use of all the materials received. Among items donated were: colouring pencils, pencils, sharpeners, erasers, sketch pads, water paint, brushes, scissors, book covers, paper folders, exercise books and crayons.

International Sourcesizz

David Cameron Grapples With Issue of Slavery Reparations in Jamaica
Slave owners compensated after abolition, but not slaves: The family connections came to light when researchers at University College London studied how influential slave-owning families were compensated after slavery was abolished. Mr. Duff was awarded 4,101 pounds (roughly £3 million, or $4.6 million, today) for the 202 slaves he forfeited in the Grange sugar estate in Jamaica....
As Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain visits Jamaica this week, he has been confronted with an old and awkward moral conundrum resonating in Europe and the United States: Should a country pay reparations for slavery? On Tuesday, Jamaica’s prime minister, Portia Simpson Miller, raised the issue of reparations with Mr. Cameron during his visit, the first by a British prime minister to the island in 14 years. Motivated by centuries-old grievances and a desire to right past injustice, 14 Caribbean countries have been cataloging the damages for which they blame the legacy of slavery, with the aim of demanding reparations and an apology from the former colonial powers of Britain, France and the Netherlands, which engaged in and profited from the slave trade. Britain transported more than three million Africans across the Atlantic.

Equator Prize 2015 Winners
The Equator Prize 2015 is an international award that recognizes outstanding local achievement in advancing sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. Following a global call for nominations, the Equator Initiative received a record-setting 1,461 nominations from 126 countries around the world. A Technical Advisory Committee comprised of international experts guided a rigorous, months-long peer-review process to select the 21 winning initiatives. In Latin America, the ‪‎Maya‬ Leaders Alliance in ‪‎Belize‬ is a winner. This coalition of Maya organizations and leaders collectively work to promote the long-term wellbeing of the Maya people and to defend collective rights to their territories. The alliance achieved a landmark legal victory in 2015, which affirmed that the 39 Q’eqchi and Mopan Maya indigenous communities of southern Belize have rights to the lands that they have historically used and occupied. This historic legal affirmation – which states that traditional land rights constitute property, equal in legitimacy to any other form of property under ‪‎Belizean‬ law – is the first indigenous peoples land rights victory in the Caribbean region.

Caribbean Nations Are Preparing For Paris Climate Talks
Negotiators and ministers with responsibility for climate change have ended their meeting in Saint Lucia determined to make their demands heard in Paris. Saint Lucia is responsible for climate change issues at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) level, and the island is bringing together climate change negotiators from the member states to cement its plan for addressing issues during negotiations in Paris in December. Chief Sustainable Development and Environment Officer, Crispin D’Auvergne says the Caribbean has a lot at stake in the upcoming deliberations, as more and more developed countries are trying to sway the outcome in their favour. “In view of how the negotiations are going right now, some countries are saying we don’t want ‘this’ in the new agreement, others are saying we want ‘that’ or we want it this way. What are we prepared to accept? What do we see as our red line? What do we see as things that must be there for us to be satisfied with the outcome?” he asked.

The United Arab Emirates and Belize Sign Bilateral Trade Agreements
Today, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Belize signed bilateral trade agreements that will serve as a catalyst for investments from the UAE and will strengthen Belize's position as a Central American and the Caribbean regional energy leader. These trade agreements will serve as a foundation to catalyze private sector investments from the UAE, as well as government-to-government investments. Belize Natural Energy Limited's (BNE) model was integral in making today's historic milestone a reality. "The signing of the UAE-Belize agreement is a critical step in fulfilling the original vision of native Belizean Mike Usher, who always believed that his country was full of abundant natural resources," said Susan Morrice, Chairman and Founder of BNE. "He also believed that through the BNE holistic business model, the economic benefits of those resources could be shared by all Belizeans and pave the way for a better Belize. Since BNE first discovered commercial oil in 2005, we have always stayed true to that original BNE model and vision. Through BNE director Josh Stewart, who resides in UAE, and the special relationship he has developed with his Emirati partner, Ali al Naqbi, BNE is now in an excellent position to continue to build out its vision."

Georgia and Belize have established diplomatic relations
The Foreign Ministers of Georgia and Belize, Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Wilfred Peter Elrington signed a joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations in New York, according to MFA of Georgia. The establishment of the diplomatic relations will promote the further development of co-operation between the two countries in different spheres. Belize is the 30th Latin American and Caribbean country, with which Georgia has established diplomatic relations. Georgia has already entered into diplomatic relations with a total of 185 states.

US probes peer’s banking operation
AS the more lurid and unproven claims in Lord Ashcroft’s self-published hatchet job on the prime minister attract widespread ridicule, more embarrassment looms for the Tory peer concerning his banking operations in shady Belize. The US Department of Justice recently issued a summons for details of so-called correspondent bank accounts run by Citibank and Bank of America on behalf of Ashcroft’s Belize Bank Ltd and its sister bank, Belize Bank International Ltd, from 2006 to 2014. Ashcroft acquired the bank in 1987, resigning as chief executive in 2010 but remaining the controlling shareholder of its holding company. This makes the evidence in the summons, based on investigations by an Internal Revenue Service official, acutely embarrassing. “US taxpayers have used the Belize entities to set up and maintain undisclosed accounts to evade their US tax obligations,” it states.

Caribbean Charter Trends for the 2015-2016 Season
Eco-consciousness – Connectivity & On Board Amenities – Future Bookings. These are a few of the hot topics All At Sea posed to nine crewed and bareboat charter companies represented throughout the Caribbean and asked them for a trends forecast. Here’s what we discovered: True sailors continue to love the monohull ride and there are a few new builds popping up in charter fleets. However, “there’s unprecedented growth in catamarans. Sailing catamarans 46-to 48-feet in length are preferred by most charter guests,” says Ian Pedersen, marketing manager for The Moorings – North America, headquartered in Clearwater, Florida. “The BVI is called the ‘Sailing Capital of the World’ for a reason. That said, we have seen exciting growth in other destinations like the Bahamas, St. Martin and Belize,” says the Moorings’ Pedersen.

British Prime Minster David Cameron's office is staying tight-lipped about a new book that claims he put a "private part of his anatomy" in a dead pig's mouth during a student initiation ritual at Oxford. The book also contains other alleged revelations, including that Cameron smoked marijuana as a student and that cocaine use to circulate at his house in London. Lord Ashcroft, a billionaire who has regularly criticised the Prime Minister, also alleges that while at university, Mr Cameron took part in an "outrageous initiation ceremony" to join a notorious dining club. Satirical responses flourished on social media under the hashtags #piggate and #hameron, the report adds. Mr Cameron has already confessed to being "desperately embarrassed" about his membership of the hard-drinking Bullingdon Club, and the latest stories of excess are similarly uncomfortable.


  • Mpact Ministries - Christmas in Belize - 2015, 3min.

  • Fra Belize til Guatemala, 8.5min.

  • Spiny lobster vs. Green moray eel., 15sec. An amazing and unique predator-prey interaction.

  • Glovers Reef Research Station, 8.5min. Middle Caye, The home of the Glovers Reef Research Station. It's one of the islands that make up the Glovers Reef Atoll.

  • Crazy birders!, 1.5min. This is for my redneck friends

  • MASSIVE WATER WAR @ University of Belize- YOU MISSED OUT!, 1min. From Balloon tossing to bucket throwing..everybody mi di war fi get wet up! Everybody had fun! This event wast spearheaded by Marcus and Melody of the Belmopan U.B. Campus

  • Dolphins at Turneffe, Belize, 15sec.

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