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#512514 - 03/20/16 11:39 AM Today's Belize News: March 20, 2016
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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

Martz Farm Treehouses and Cabanas
I’m undoubtedly dating myself when I refer to the Laura Ingalls Wilder children’s novels (later TV series) Little House on the Prairie. The series is a recollection of childhood memories regarding a pioneer family in the 1870’s making a home in the untamed American Midwest. During our two-night stay at Martz Farm Treehouses and Cabanas located in the mountainous terrain near Benque Viejo del Carmen in the Cayo District, I couldn’t resist noticing the charming similarities. Upon our arrival we are greeted like family by owners Miriam and Jose Martinez, along with their lovely daughter and two younger brothers. This is obviously a working farm where these jungle settlers have been pioneering their rustic home for well over a decade. Miriam, who is originally from Germany, is quick to get us settled in to our rooms and we enjoy a view of the property from our second floor veranda. As I gaze around the compound I think, here we have Ma, Pa, the three kids, busy chickens in the yard, lazy dogs under the shade of massive trees and beautiful horses grazing nearby. But this picturesque setting is hardly on a prairie, especially not when there are monkeys and toucans in the trees!

Smile Dental Clinic Volunteer Program coming to an end
Only one opportunity remains for island children and adults to benefit from free dental check-ups at the San Pedro Smile Dental Center at Holy Cross Anglican School. With hopes at bettering the dental health of children, the Smile Dental Clinic sponsors a number of volunteers each year each. Since January 2016, the volunteer program has had a host of American dentists and volunteers providing this essential service to the community. The final free clinic as part of the program will be held from May 4th to the 6th, with service being provided by Dr. Hal Soloman and other volunteers. The San Pedro Smile Dental Clinic would like to extend a big thanks to the latest volunteers: Susan Kloosterboer, Dr. Adina Ness, Heidi Peterson and students from Madison College School of Health Education who were here on March 14th and 15th and Dr. Staci Blaha, Dr. Joanne Brown, Dr. John Brockman, Janet Brockman and Cizaig Sandlin who were here from March 16th – 17th.

Sailing Club fundraises for a good cause!
The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC) hosted a mega-win fundraising event at Amber Beach Bar & Grill, Caribbean Villas on Sunday, March 13tgh. Amanda Syme, coordinator and organizer for the fundraiser says that the event exceeded expectations, as many volunteers and generous donors supported the sailing club. The day was more than appropriate to have this community event, especially with warm temperatures, cool breeze and awesome tunes from DJ Debbie. The SPSC organized various fun ways to raise much needed funds. Raffle tickets were sold, as were $10 sailing trips to the reef. Parents of the youth sailors supplied items for their bake sale, there were $1 novelty disposable razors and even a coin drive. Tickets were raffled at $1 a piece which attracted many individuals to buy bulks of tickets for a chance win any of the jaw dropping prizes up for raffle!

SPHS Team Papaya Power excels at Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
Ambergris Caye was once again well represented at the annual Sagicor Visionaries Challenge where secondary students from across the country presented their scientific ideas for judging. San Pedro High School (SPHS) was one of the five schools participating, and they did an impressive job, claiming one of the top prizes in the educational event. The biennial event focuses on innovative scientific and business ideas encompassing the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The competition was held on Wednesday, March 16th at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City. Two teams represented SPHS. Team Papaya Power comprised of Jenessa Sierra, Kleyni Ramirez, Kimberly Lima, Daniel Figueroa, and Johann Marin. The team produced a Papaya Leaf Tea, which according to the team could replace coffee, and has numerous health benefits. The Papaya Leaf is believed to boosts the immune system, containing enzymes that help with digestion. Furthermore, the team believes that the tea contains substances that aid in the prevention of cancer.

Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou’s sayonara visit
Two-term President Ma Ying-jeou of Taiwan’s nationalist party, the Kou Ming Tang (KMT) first visited Belize on May 28, 2009 ; and he returned for a second visit on Wednesday and Thursday, March 16-17; before he demits office in May to his successor, Taiwan’s first woman President, Tsai Ing-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party. President Ma arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport aboard a chartered China Airlines 747, and Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington was on hand to welcome Ma to the full red carpet treatment. Ma extended the warm greetings and appreciation on behalf of the government and people of the Republic of China (Taiwan), noting that “Belize is one of the staunchest allies of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Over the years, our two countries have collaborated closely in perfect harmony in a wide array of fields, and stride forward hand in hand in international community. Belize has rendered strong support to the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its continuing campaigns for participation in international organizations.

‘The end starts with men’ – Domestic Violence Workshop held in SP
A workshop was held at the San Pedro Town Council’s Conference Room on Tuesday, March 15th in an effort to educate community leaders about masculinity, domestic violence, human trafficking and femicide from both a global and local perspective. Funded by the United Nations Populations Fund and International Migration Organization, coordinators Mrs. Louise Willis and Mr. Rudolph Orio, both retired Superintendents, organized this conference to raise awareness and offer solutions that can end crimes against women. The workshop observed the concept of masculinity and how it is portrayed in society. The idea of having “male sex roles” in cultures adds to the ‘masculine’ patterns set by society of how males should function. Many modern day stereotypes compel men to conform to a box of traits that reflect them as having to be strong, independent, bold, tough, etc. The connection between masculinity and violence is believed to be contributing to the amount of domestic violence cases reported annually. Willis described a common term relatable to males as “macho”, a shorter form of “machismo”, macho men tend to show aggressiveness and domination over women. These destructive and domineering traits may contribute to a direct source of violence. Some factors that connect to violence are dispossession, poverty, greed, nationalism and racism and often lead to domestic disputes.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Battle of Band 2016 Winners
Drumline Category: 1st Place: Mahogany Heights Dream Marching Band 2nd Place : Stella Maris Futuristic Marching Band Drum Corps Category: 1st Place: Holy Redeemer Marching Band 2nd Place: Mahogany Heights Dream Marching Band 3rd Place: Stella Maris Futuristic Marching Band Wind Instrument Category: 1st Place: Corozal Community College 2nd Place: Gwen Lizarraga High School Marching Band

BEACH PARTY AND LIVE MUSIC THIS SUNDAY MARCH 20th
AT ORCHID BAY. We will be there...will you? Live music FROM MIDAY TO SUNSET with the mighty band of the land, the Gilharry 7. FREE ADMISSION - BEACH VOLLEYBALL - PADDLE BOARDING - BBQ SPECIALS - BUCKETS OF BEER. No coolers or outside beverages permitted. Come out and Enjoy a fantastic weather.

Channel 7

Guatemalans Say Belize Will Change Referendum Law; Elrington Hedges
Last night, we gave you a few excerpts of that late evening press conference held by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, Ambassador Assad Shoman, and Belize Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado. They were there to make a joint statement on the 3 meetings held in Washington DC on Tuesday to address the confrontation between the Guatemalan Military and the BDF on the Sarstoon. But what they didn't talk much about is Belize's referendum law: it requires a 60% threshold to be valid. In other words, 60% of the voter population has to come out and participate. It's a factor because back in March of 2013, Guatemala pressed the panic button and aborted the joint ICJ Referendum, which was supposed to have been held in both countries on October 6, 2013. They were concerned that threshold in Belize would cause them to go through a tedious and expensive procedure in their country, while Belize's referendum may turn out to be invalid. That led to Belize signing the Amended Compromis in May of last year which allows for both countries to hold the Refendum on a date of their choosing, and without the requirement of it being done simultaneously in both countries.

Shoman and Elrington Differ, Publicly
In yesterday's press conference, Elrington toed the Government line when the media kept pressing him on the cause of the hostility from the Sarstoon. The Barrow Administration has consistently pointed fingers at Wil Maheia and the territorial volunteers as the cause of the increase in tensions at between both Militaries. Elrington was adamant in his rejection of any suggestion that the rules of engagement in the Sarstoon have changed, or that Guatemala's conduct has changed. Assad Shoman, the Opposition Leader's Representative in the Tuesday Bilateral Talks contradicted him only a few minutes later, right at the head table when the press asked for his input in the discussion. He made the point once again, the Sarstoon situation is different from what it was when he was Foreign Minister: Dr. Assad Shoman - Opposition Leader's Representative, Bilateral Talks: "With respect to the Sarstoon, we have no doubt that the line agreed by the British and the Guatemalans runs under the isle of the Sarstoon and along the mid channel and we have never wavered from that position. Guatemala's position that the river belongs to them; that to me is new, that is relatively new. I have looked at negotiations that were taking place long before I even began to be part of them and yes, they've always discussed the Sarstoon and what does mid channel mean because in Spanish they say something else.

Diplomatic Doublespeak Versus A History of Provocation
So, while you have to make up your minds on who you choose to believe about tensions in the Sarstoon River, you also have to decide which narrative to accept on the true picture of Belize/Guatemala relations at the borders. The current Government is pushing a message that the two countries are co-existing as friends which respect each other, but the BDF records from the soldiers stationed at the Cadenas Observation Post say otherwise. So, is that a contradiction? That's what our Daniel Ortiz examined today. Here's his report: Rowland Parks - Amandala Press: "Prior to the exursions or trips to the Sarstoon by the BTV, there was not knowledge that Guatemala had revised its claim and decided to claim the entire Sarstoon. When exactly was the Government of Belize appraised of this new development."

Two More Teenagers For Murder
Today two boys were taken to magistrate’s court and charged for the murder of 21 year old Godfrey Hemsley. They are both 15 years old, and police believe they were acting on behalf of the SSG gang to kill Hemsely who is from Rocky Road. Today, the officer commanding southside told us more: Cue Cuec…

Cop Curfew: Figuring It Out As They Go Along
And that’s why the southside curfew is coming into effect. Today, Williams held meetings with the social services agencies to figure out where they are going to put children who have been picked up after hours. He told us more this afternoon when we found him at a community rehabilitation project:… Cue Cuec…

Man stabbed Himself; Cops Not Sure of Suicide
A man allegedly stabbed himself in the throat last night in Lords Bank, Ladyville. 41 year old Oscar Ulises Castillo Gomez was hanging out at his friend’s house on Cahal Pech Street. Everything was perfectly normal throughout the day until after 6 when Gomez just picked up a knife and jammed it in his throat. It’s quite a bizarre incident and I went to Lord’s Bank to get more answers. Cue in Cue out Gomez was a Salvadoran national. He had a wife and 4 kids living in El Salvador. He had only been living in Belize for a year. As for the friend Gomez was with, the family does not believe that he had anything to do with Gomez’s death.

Cops Say Driver May Have Been "Distracted"
Accident victim Aldo Chavarria was flown out of the country today after receiving massive injuries yesterday. His wife Marie Nicole remain in a critical but stable condition at the Belize Medical Associates. As we showed you last night, the couple was ejected from their Jeep SUV when they collided into a guardrail along a western highway canal between miles 11 and 12. It happened at2:00 in the afternoon when Chavarria clipped an oncoming dumptruck and lost control of his vehicle. Both he and his wife were flung out of the top of the Jeep. Fortunately an ambulance was also in the three car crash, and the EMT who was driving used his stretcher to carry them off the shoulder of the road where they lay badly injured. Today, the officer in charge of Hattieville told the media he feels Chavarria was distracted while driving:.. Cue]cuec… We spoke to the family who told us that they don’t believe that it was Aldo’s fault. He has a fractured elbow, a broken nose, a fractured jaw, a broken ankle and two broken legs – as well as an injury to the chest.

"Winchy" Yields
On Sunday the UDP will have its national convention in Dangriga. It’s expected to go smoothly since it’s an endorsement convention, meaning no one is challenging for any of the executive posts. But the image of cohesiveness will have a huge gaping hole because there’s no First Deputy Leader! Gaspar Vega resigned from that post a week ago and we are told he might not even attend Sunday’s convention. So, that election for the all important #2 seat in the party will be held later in the year – and all expectations are that it will be hotly contested. But, not as hotly as previously expected – and that’s because second deputy Erwin Contreras will not challenge for it after all. Over the weekend his camp said that he would go for first Deputy. They may have expected a nod of support from the Prime Minister since Contreras’s ascension would be the least divisive choice, but it seems none was forthcoming. And, not wanting to enter a three-way race against Patrick Faber and John Saldivar, Contreras has stepped back. He will be endorsed as second Deputy on Sunday and continue his long service in that, the third highest post in the party executive.

Appellant Gets Attempted Murder Quashed By Court
Inmate Leonard Godoy, who is serving 18 years for attempted murder and 10 years for Robbery, received some good news today when the Court of Appeal quashed his conviction and sentence for that charge of attempted murder. That means he’ll only have to spend the 10 years for robbery. The incident he’s accused of happened on March 5, 2007 in Placencia. Godoy and 2 other men were convicted robbing 2 persons of $350 cash and 2 cellular phones. 1 of the victims were stabbed 3 times. In his appeal, he was represented by Senior Counsel Michael Young who argued that the attempted murder charge was wrong. The Court agreed, and quashed the conviction and sentence for attempted murder. ENDS…

Cruz Reyes Strikes Out At Appeals Court
In a third decision that the Court of Appeal handed down today, the conviction and sentence of attempted murder against Marvin Cruz Reyes was affirmed. He was convicted of the attempted murder of Kareem Wright and 2 women in 2007. Wright was struck in the neck, and that injury left him paralyzed. After hearing Reyes’ attorney, Bryan Neal, outline the grounds for his appeal, and the response from the DPP, the Panel of judges dismissed his case. His conviction and sentence of 15 years in prison was affirmed.

FIFA Shuts Down FFB Mutineers
We’ve reported extensively on the failed attempt by three members of the FFB executive to suspend President Ruperto Vicente. That was on February 18th, and after a visit by FIFA and CONCACAF officials last week, the official judgment came down on March 17th. In a letter sent from FIFA Headquarters in Switzerland, acting Secretary General Marcus Kattner writes that the FIFA Associations Committee discussed the attempted suspension and ruled it “invalid.” They added quote, “…the allegations with regard to the electoral process could not be substantiated,” end quote. As we told you, Vice President Sergio Chuc and Executive Members Marlon Kuylen and Cruz Gamez alleged that Vicente was “railroading” the election process to elect district committees that supported him. So, they were shot down on both counts, and can claim only the minor victory of forcing the elections to be pushed back two weeks, form April 16th to 30th. FIFA stressed that those elections need to take place as scheduled.

B. Pope Cautions Cyclists
Last night you heard elite cyclist Byron Pope talk about his test for a banned substance. Right now, he’s one of Belize’s most dominant cyclists, but he could be facing an extended suspension – and by extended, we mean as much as two years. It’s too early to know for sure right now, since Pope has not gone before a tribunal – but after the news broke last night, he’s already facing another kind of tribunal, and that’s the court of public opinion. We asked Pope how he will handle the disappointment so many feel after learning that he tested positive for a banned substance: Cue]cuec… Pope faces his tribunal next week Wednesday. And while Pope has come forward with his explanation – 7News has confirmed that there’s another cyclist who also tested positive for a banned substance right in that same New Year’s Classic Race.

Guat's Chiquibul Agro-Invasion Continues
Two Guatemalan men were caught farming illegally inside the Chiquibul Forest earlier this week. One was detained but the other escaped. FCD rangers were on patrol near an area known as Cohune Ridge in the Chiquibul on Wednesday when they found a couple of men pulling two horses saddled with loads of corn. Upon seeing the park rangers the two men made a run towards the Guatemalan side, however only one managed to escape. 57-year-old Asuncion Garcia, a Guatemalan resident of San Jose, Peten. Garcia was detained and then handed over to police in San Ignacio. Garcia and his accomplice were spotted approximately 310 meters from the Belize/Guatemala border.

Arlie’s Home!
The science students at University of Belize got a visit from a prominent Belizean American Physicist, Dr. Arlie Petters. He’s a professor at the prestigious Duke University in North Carolina, and today, he was greeted by UB President Alan Slusher. He then attended a discussion with the University’s academics on how to increase UB’s contributions to the national decision-making processes. They sought his advice and experience on the significance of targeted research in the fields of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics known as STEM. After that, he had an opportunity to meet with a portion of the student body to emphasize the importance of pursuing studies and careers in STEM.

Broaster's Easter Is About Safety
The long Easter weekend is coming up and some of you are already calling friends, looking up hotels to stay in Placencia, and Caye Caulker while for others it’s off to Chetumal and dealing with the host of things that goes into planning a family trip. But today Ladyville police told us that one crucial part of that vacationing should be safety. Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster told us about the police patrols that will be set up on the highways and what you can do to keep safe. Cue in Cue out There will be police patrols on the George Price Highway and the Phillip Goldson Highway.

The Coast Guard’s Wonder Women
You may recall the Best Warrior Competition held last year November. The event has been organized by the Belize Coast Guard for the past three years to test the endurance of Belize’s military men. But not only men stand on the frontlines as military personnel. So, this year, the Coast Guard women decided to put their might to the test. They underwent two days of back breaking challenges in what’s called the “Wonder Woman” competition. We were there today as they event wound down and the “Wonder Woman”, was chosen from among the 19 female coast guard officers who participated.

Cops Contribute To Court And Community Safety
Earlier we spoke with Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams about his curfew which is still taking shape. But, he’s not only cracking down on kids – with the help of some generous sponsors, he’s also offering them alternatives. We found Williams today on the Jane Usher basketball court where he enlisted youths form the neighborhood to refurbish the court and a five-a-side football field. Here’s how he explained the effort:… Cue Cuec.. The Berges brothers and Habet hardware are sponsoring the effort.

City Council Meets Child Friendly Benchmark
Today the Belize City council is one step closer to creating a child friendly Municipality. At a ceremony today at Battlefield Park, UNICEF acknowledged the Belize City council for its achievements: Cue in Cue out The ceremony was attended by members of UNICEF, the Belize Mayor’s Association, and the UNDP.

March is For Kids
March is early childhood development month and it is packed with activities across the country. One of those many events was held on Wednesday at the BTL Park. It was the Early Childhood Education Expo and the coordinator told us what that’s all about. Cue in Cue out Expo’s were held countrywide.

CTV3

Sedi Blames The Media For Aggression On Sarstoon
Also discussed at the press briefing that was held yesterday in Belize City was the issue of the increasing tension at the Sarstoon between Guatemalan Armed forces and the Belize Defense force with the most recent being this past Saturday when according to a release issued by GOB Guatemalan armed forces acted in a hostile and aggressive manner towards the BDF and the tensions between both militaries are at an all-time high. The issue was discussed during the meeting held in Washington between the Belize and Guatemala delegation after much insistence on behalf of Belize. Yesterday during the briefing Elrington was asked if the rhetoric from the politician’s and the military commanders in both countries is that they believe in peace, why is there aggression on the part of the Guatemalans? Here is the Minister’s condescending answer and reiteration of the Government’s position that the Belize Territorial Volunteers are causing the tension to rise.

Former Foreign Minister Gives His Stake On Aggressions At Sarstoon
Former PUP Foreign Minister, Assad Shoman was assigned by the Opposition to be a part of the team that attended the meeting in Washington to discuss matters related to the Belize-Guatemala Territorial dispute. Therefore, Shoman accompanied Minister Elrington at the head table during the press briefing that was held yesterday to discuss the outcome of the meeting. However, he disagrees that the Belize Territorial Volunteers are the cause of tension at the Sarstoon. First though, we hear Minister Elrington reading from a communication sent by the Guatemalan government blaming the BTV for their behavior. Honorable Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs: This is Guatemalan position it is worthy to note that if the positions maintained by both governments are different the good level of understanding reached by both military authorities have prevented incidents from the areas from occurring, the inconveniences that have recently taking places due to the irresponsible stand taking by Belizeans civilians who purport to resolve the territorial and maritime referendum through provocation and let me expand on that because as soon as I landed in Washington I like to read the China Times or the China newspaper and they were talking in relation to the problems they have in the South China Sea and the whole issue of provocation...”

Amandala

Chamber president does not support Guatemala boycott
Some Belizean citizens have publicly called on other Belizeans to boycott trade with Guatemala in the wake of a recent report by the Government of Belize that tensions between Belize’s and Guatemala’s military on the Sarstoon are at an all-time high and in the face of assertions by Guatemala that it will exercise sovereignty over the entire Sarstoon River—although its boundary with Belize runs along the river’s mid-channel. However, Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), does not support such a boycott. “I don’t think that we are at that point as yet. I don’t think it would be feasible for us to do that,” he told Amandala in an interview today.

Chester’s curfew!
The Southside section of the Police Department will be enforcing a new strategy tonight to help curb crime. Chester Williams, Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commanding Officer of Eastern Division, Southside Belize City, said that starting tonight, Thursday, March 17, children under 18 who are found in the streets after 9:00 p.m. without the supervision of a parent or guardian will be detained by police. Williams is not calling it a curfew. He told Amandala that he is just enforcing the law, although he could not point to a specific law, except to quote the Family & Children’s Act, of the Substantive Laws of Belize. According to Williams, these children will be detained and, referring to children who are taken into police custody tonight, he said, “their parents can pick them up tomorrow morning from the police.”

Basketballer gunned down on Yarborough court
The Hemsley family of the Yarborough area is mourning the death of Godfrey Hemsley, Jr., 39, which occurred at about 9:00 last night at the Yarborough basketball court. Hemsley, who loved basketball, had just played a game of basketball and was resting on the bleachers when his killer approached from behind and shot him. According to witnesses, Hemsley’s killer is a boy between fourteen and fifteen years of age and was so tiny in stature that he appeared to be “about 3 feet tall.” Police on patrol in the area rushed Hemsley to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but he was declared dead on arrival. Hemsley’s bereaved family said that the boy who shot Hemsley, the father of a 9-year-old daughter, was like a family-member – he was so well-known to them.

Murdered man’s body found floating in the Dykes
A mother’s worst nightmare became reality yesterday morning at about 10:30 when her son, Mario “Mariouana Grams” Trotman, 18, of Louise Bevans Street, who had been missing, was found dead, floating in the canal off the Dykes, located between Fabers Road and Jane Usher Boulevard on the city’s southside. He had been shot in the head and eye, and dumped into the canal. (The canal in the sewerage reserve is known as the Dykes, and is owned by Belize Water and Services Ltd. (BWSL).) A post-mortem conducted on the body certified that Trotman’s death was caused by a gunshot wound to the head. After the autopsy, Trotman’s body was taken last night to the Eternal Garden Cemetery at Mile 13 on the George Price Highway, where he was buried by his family and friends.

3-vehicle collision on the George Price Highway
Three vehicles were involved in a road collision at about 1:30 this afternoon at Mile 11 on the George Price Highway, Belize District. A Toyota Prado slammed into the left front portion of a dump truck and an ambulance that was travelling behind the dump truck slammed into the rear of the truck. The Prado was severely damaged. Two persons who were travelling in the Prado were thrown out and landed in the water in a creek near the road. They were seriously injured, and were assisted by rescuers and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a BERT ambulance.

It’s the Sibun, stupid!
The Belizean people at all levels of society, at home and abroad, must face facts and dedicate themselves to organizing and mobilizing bodies and resources of all kinds, all they have, to save Belize. Enough of this waiting for Government to do something different in its dealings with Guatemala or for the diplomatic course to play out. Belizeans must be proactive instead of reactive. The ideal is for the Government and the people to be one, to join forces in this struggle for national existence. It’s beyond stupid and shortsighted for the Government of Belize to think they can do this alone, that they alone are capable, or that it is their duty alone to keep the country with all its borders intact. The Prime Minister just this week called for the people to leave the Guatemala situation to the professionals. How can that be trusted in light of the PM himself, explaining Belize dropping the ball in the extradition of wanted fugitive David Nanes Schnitzer to Mexico, having admitted to being no expert (as then Foreign Minister) at the time Belize entered into the extradition treaty with Mexico? The Guatemalan claim and the attitudes and behavior coming out of that claim are the nation’s problem. The nation is the people. Every last citizen can and must take action if they want to write their own destiny.

Marques “QUES” Warrick of Lexington, Kentucky – Grandson of KREM Radio’s Tony Wright
Good evening Sports Editor: I am Therese Wright, mother of Marques “Ques” Warrick of Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Ques is the grandson of Tony “Lovable Mr. T” Wright. I am writing to see if you would feature Ques in the Sports section of the Amandala as a way of encouraging the youth in Belize that they can achieve in the classroom and on the court! Ques is 14 years old, 6-feet tall, basketball player at EJ Hayes Middle School. He was a team captain of the Panthers basketball team and helped lead the team to the District Championship. Ques is an Honor Roll Student, a W.E.B. Leader (WHERE EVERYBODY BELONGS mentoring program), a peer tutor and a member of Omega Harvest Ministries. Ques’ desire is to be a part of the basketball community in Belize and also would love to conduct camps for kids.

All Star Night, March 19
All Star Night: The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will be hosting its second annual All-Star Night on Saturday, March 19, at the UB gymnasium in Belmopan. The activities will commence at 7:00 p.m. with the Wings Stop Skills Challenge, followed by its first ever VIP Wireless Celebrity Game. At 8:30 p.m., the Aguada Hotel Three-Point Shootout will get underway, as a new champion will be crowned this year, given that Richard Troyer will not be defending his title. In the All Star game, the South will be defending its crown; and the nightcap will witness the Slam Dunk Contest, as home town baller, Jarrel “Bird” Velasquez will be defending his title on his home turf.. The night promises to be packed with great excitement and entertainment. The biggest feature of the night is the first ever live camera in a sporting arena in Belize, with replay of the best plays and shots, as they are transpiring. The NEBL will be hosting its first ever Celebrity Game, with debut from Indira Craig, Chester Williams, Jules Vasquez, Maestro, Mad Bull, Tarun Butcher, Wil Maheia, Allison “Harrier” Laing, Paul Thompson, TR Shine, Clinton “Pulu” Lightburn, Evan “Duck” Garnett, Nigel Miguel, “Yellow” Gaynair, Tarike “Soup” Campbell, Kaya Cattouse, Alfred Ayuso, Anthony Mahler, Karim Berges and other big names. You surely will not want to miss out on this great game, as the stars will be out in full force at the UB gymnasium on Saturday night.

The Miguel brothers – the greatest cycling siblings in Belize
The Cross Country Cycling Classic can trace its roots back to 1928, and since then, the race has changed in many ways. In those early days, it was a three-day event, but today, it is the greatest one-day sporting spectacle in Belize. One thing has not changed and is unlikely to change anytime soon. The performance of the Miguel brothers in Cross Country races has not been repeated by any other family, and will likely never be repeated. They are four brothers, and each of them has won the Cross Country race. The Miguel brothers dominated cycling during the late 1950’s and the 1960’s. In those days, the Cross Country race was more intensive than it is today, since the road was more rugged and difficult to traverse on bicycles. Mount Hope was much higher, and the extra climb to its peak was gruesome. The Miguel brothers won ten Cross Country races between 1956 and 1970. Johnito won the most titles with four, followed by Edward with three, Rudy with two and Arthur with one. They finished together in first and second places in two Cross Country races. In 1956, the oldest brother, Edward Miguel, won his first Cross Country race. Edward won again in 1958, and by the following year, the Miguel brothers had completely dominated the race. In 1959, Edward successfully defended his title and his brother, Arthur, was second.

Cricket Corner – A gentleman’s game; let’s keep it that way.
With the kind sponsorships of Smart and Belikin, the Harrison Parks 2016 Cricket Competition, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued over the weekend with some very good games, while others did not end so satisfyingly. I will not at this time reveal their names or what they did. I will emphasize a warning to all concerned over the weekend – PLEASE STOP THE WAY YOU ALL BEHAVE TOWARDS UMPIRES. Attacking an official in any way, that contravenes the rules and regulations, puts yourself and your team in a position to be suspended for a few games or indefinitely. Always remember that an official might have a friend or relative who may not take these actions or behavior lightly. STOP CALLING THESE UMPIRES DUNCE OR STUPID. If they were dunces, many times your actions would escalate into violence. I have been telling you all the time, respect and manners is to be given to your fellow men. Cricket is played to bring us closer together. Don’t let us lose the essence of the spirit of the game. Some of these umpires can be your parents or grandparents. PLEASE SHOW RESPECT TO THEM.

C-Ray Saturday Race Series 2016, Week 6 results
On Saturday, March 5, race number 6 of the C-Ray Saturday Races concluded the series. Initially, there were to be 10 races, but due to other races in between, we were only able to have 6 races. Although the weather wasn’t bright and sunny on Saturday morning on the Boom Road, 20 cyclists showed up (mainly those who were in contention for points) and lined up for the race. At the sound of the whistle, the race started off rather slower than usually. The pack remained intact up until the first station prize at the Fresh Pond Village, which was a gift certificate from Da Bizz BBQ, won by junior cyclist from Cabral/Marin Cycling, Anthony Marin, who out-sprinted everyone else to the line. Several breaks were formed, but none successful. At the second station prize at the prison, where a gift certificate for a bike cleaning from Ordonez Bike Shop was up for grabs, Brandon Cattouse decided that his bike needed that clean, and jumped out and claimed the prize. At this point, a four man break-away was formed, consisting of Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray, and both Mark Staine and Henry “Henno” Moreira of Smart.

Editorial: Belize and Guatemala: two different realities
A trap has been sprung on Belize. The Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs essentially told Belizeans this week that Guatemala has taken control of the Sarstoon River/Island, and that the only way Belize can regain our rights at the Sarstoon is if the International Court of Justice (ICJ) gives it to us. Ergo, go to the ICJ, or else. Fifteen years or more ago, the Guatemalans pulled a stunt on our western border which was similar in concept, except that it took place on land. The Guatemalans built a village called Santa Rosa inside Belizean territory, Belizean territory as demarcated by the 1859 Treaty between Great Britain and Guatemala, and Belizean territory as confirmed by the United Nations when Belize gained independence on September 21, 1981. Although it took many years, Belize managed to get Santa Rosa dismantled without a war breaking out. The Guatemalan peasant farmers were returned to their country of origin. Incursions of various kinds continued to take place, of course, but there was nothing of the organized scope and intent of Santa Rosa.

An angry letter to P.M. from a Mayan Belizean
Government of Belize Attn: Prime Minister Dean O Barrow: Dear Sir: Kindly note: this is not a diplomatic note. It is out of rage and as a true Belizean that I write this letter to you and for the world to know. I am a Mayan Belizean and have been living in Toledo since I was born. Obviously, you already know that my letter is an angry one. As a Belizean who has visited most of the cornerstones of this beautiful country, the same corner stones you have never visited in your life, I have all rights to say to you, Sir, that you need to step down. At this point, it is safe to say to you that you continue to lead my country, Belize, in the wrong direction. You continue to fail in protecting this nation and me. What is even more damning is that you fail and drown in your own lies. You do not live in Toledo, so you wouldn’t know. You do not visit Toledo or any of its villages so you wouldn’t know. You don’t care about Toledo so you wouldn’t know. My voice is one out of many but I can assure I can be heard. Maybe others are afraid to let you know how disappointed they are, but I am not. Keep on distracting Belizeans by giving them junk to fill their stomach and cosmetic to paint their true colors and how they feel. I am not happy and I am sure many others are not happy about your way of handling this “territorial dispute.” You continue to take the people of Toledo for granted; it has been clearly shown that you have given us up in front of our very eyes.

From Sally and Leonardo in Esperanza
Dear Editor, On Friday 11th March, we set out from Esperanza to see Stogie Kenyatta as Paul Robeson at the UB auditorium in Belmopan. When we got to the outskirts of Roaring Creek, we came upon a First World style traffic jam. Nothing was moving. We began to think there may have been an accident at the new roundabout. Patience, nothing we could do. Finally we reached Roaring Creek: it was a Police checkpoint! We proceeded on to the UB campus; by now we were rather late; maybe the place is full, when we reached the car park, very few vehicles were to be seen. When we got inside, very few people were to be seen. The show had not started and so we made our way to seats right near the front, surrounded by empty seats. We were then treated to an excellent show that deserved a far larger audience than the few. It was a show that appealed to all ages and certainly enjoyed by our four-year-old until he was excluded along with other small children. Mr Kenyatta had not seemed disturbed by his young audience. He probably appreciated that these young people are the theatre audience of tomorrow if they are encouraged now.

Expo showcases early childhood education
School vacation starts next week, and so preschools around the country are this week wrapping up activities in observance of the annually held Child Stimulation Month. The highlight of this week’s agenda was an Early Childhood Education Expo, held at the BTL Park in Belize City. Several Belize City preschools participated in the event, which began with a short ceremony which afforded students and preschool teachers a chance to showcase their talents, giving a snapshot of the kind of talent displayed on stage at the concurrent preschool festival of arts. The month kicked off on March 1 with a grand parade from Memorial Park to Constitution Park in Belize City. Various preschools have hosted cultural days and sports days. Community police, dentists and traffic safety officers have also visited students to share information with them. Fun storytelling sessions, sports events and a hug day were also integrated into the program, aimed at providing stimulation which is critical for early childhood development.

Guatemala has increased militarization at the Sarstoon
On February 27, an excursion organized by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), formed to affirm Belize’s sovereignty in the troubled waters of the Sarstoon, was stopped by 5 Guatemalan military vessels with armed soldiers and immigration officials. Whereas February’s excursion by the BTV marked a year since a boatful of Belizeans were detained by Guatemalan military and taken over to Guatemala, on allegations that they had drifted over into Guatemala, it also marks 16 years since a BDF patrol of three persons—Second Lieutenant Romaldo Herrera, Lance Corporal Lucio Arana, Private Luciano Tzub and Police Constable Macedonio Sanchez—was surrounded by 25 Guatemalan soldiers who detained them near Jalacte, Toledo, on allegations that they had illegally made their way onto Guatemalan terrain. It was after this incident, roughly 16 years ago, that the Organization of American States (OAS) was formally engaged to help resolve the territorial differendum between Belize and Guatemala. In March of 2000, the Government of Belize and the Government of Guatemala agreed to the OAS process. Since then, three agreements for confidence-building measures were signed between the parties, but the agreement only covers Belize’s western border with Guatemala and not the Sarstoon boundary. In the wake of heightened tensions, similar measures have recently been suggested for the Sarstoon.

Captured man escapes from kidnappers
An Orange Walk businessman is now with his family after he escaped from two armed kidnappers who held him up and ordered him to drive to an area in Douglas, a village on the Philip Goldson Highway, shortly after 12:15 Monday morning. While the businessman was being taken away in his pickup, he managed to kick open the driver’s door while the vehicle was moving and he jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a cane field, where the kidnappers couldn’t see him. The kidnappers, nevertheless, fired into the area, but the businessman was not hit. The businessman had his cellphone on him, and called his family, telling them what had happened, and that he was hiding in an unknown area from the kidnappers. The family then called police. Police went to the area and found the pickup, which the bandits had abandoned, and the man was found about 600 yards from the location of the vehicle.

6th form student accused of $6,000 theft from his employer
A Belize City sixth form student pleaded not guilty to one count of theft at his arraignment this morning before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza. Magistrate Mendoza released Ricardo Borja on a bail of $8,000 plus two sureties of $4,000 and adjourned his case to April 26. The allegation against Borja, a 19-year-old resident of New Road, is that on January 27, 2016, he dishonestly appropriated $6,000 from Ricky Perrera, who had employed him to collect house rent from his tenants. In court, Borja appeared without an attorney and told Magistrate Mendoza that his attorney is aware of the charge against him. Following the arraignment, Perrera told court reporters that he had employed Borja, but between December 17, 2015 and February 17, 2016, he terminated Borja because he suspected, that he had been stealing money from him.

Belizean journalists “dissed” on President Ma state visit
If you’ve noticed a wide disparity in the coverage by the Belizean media versus the Taiwanese media on the visit of Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou, the highest-ranking official outside CARICOM to have paid a visit to Belize in the recent past, that is because the Belizean media was persistently denied proper access to cover the event. If we wish to be precise, we would have to say that the Belizean media was heavily disrespected, but it was not clear who exactly was handing down the directives. One media colleague said he was told that protocols were being passed down from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Government Press Office officials escorting the Belizean press seemed just as surprised about the restrictions and a reporter from the Guardian, the ruling UDP’s newspaper, boycotted the evening photo shoot in protest when he heard that a photo was all that he would be allowed to take at the Radisson.

5,000 participate in BLACK police anti-crime march
The Police Department and other organizations, including primary school students, conducted an anti-crime march through the principal streets of the city this morning. The demonstration, called BLACK (Be Loving and Cease Killing), which aims to send a strong message from the police against crime and violence, began at about 8:00 this morning and concluded at about 1:00 in the afternoon, and had the participation of an estimated 5,000 people. The march began at the Cinderella Plaza and proceeded down Freetown Road, onto Douglas Jones Street, into North Front Street, down Albert Street into Regent Street, and over the Swing Bridge into Queen Street. It then ended at the Princess BTL Park on Newtown Barracks, where a massive anti-crime rally was held. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood said that the march was a means to build relationships with the community, and to foster a partnership in the effort to find ways of reducing crime and violence.

Prosthetic clinic planned for on Sunday
There will be a prosthetic clinic at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 20, at Helpage Belize’s gym on the grounds of the Sister Cecilia Home. The clinic is being organized through Belize Assembly for People with Diverse Abilities (BAPDA) and Dr. Rob Kistenberg and his team from Prosthetic Hope International. They will be fitting persons for prosthetics, giving amputees a new lease on life and a renewed prospect of living a normal life. Eva Middleton of BAPDA told Amandala that the organization has been in existence since 2009. She said that they hold regular meetings with their members and link these persons to services that will assist them to live a “life of dignity.” Middleton went on to say that one of the challenges that disabled persons face in Belize is that business places are not built in such a way as to accommodate them. As a result, it is difficult for disabled persons to do simple transactions like taking out a birth certificate or utilizing the services of the bank.

Dennis Gabourel loses in Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal this morning dismissed the appeal of Dennis Gabourel who was convicted in the Supreme Court on an indictment of grievous harm and was sentenced to pay a fine of $10,000 by trial judge Justice John Gonzalez. Gabourel’s attorney, Simeon Sampson, SC, had appealed the fine on the grounds that the grievous harm sustained by the victim came about as a result of an accident. Instead, the Court of Appeal affirmed the previous ruling of the Supreme Court. In his argument, Sampson argued that his client acted in self-defense, stating that Gabourel took a defensive position and the complainant fell and caused injury to herself. Sampson went on to say, “If this version was put to the jury, the jury would have been in a better position to evaluate the merits of the case.”

Waterloo and Carnival assessing feasibility of proposed Belize City cruise port
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) announced this week that Norwegian Cruise Lines intends to make its first call at its new cruise port at Harvest Caye in Southern Belize on November 15. This will become the second cruise port to be established in Belize—although champagne bottles had been broken back in April 2004, for the construction of a second port in Belize City, through a partnership between Carnival Cruise Lines and Port of Belize Limited. Today, there is still only one cruise port operating in the country. That port, located at the Fort Street Tourism Village, has been in operation for just over 15 years. Former partner in the FSTV, Michael Feinstein, was planning to build a new port at Stake Bank, off the Belize City coast, but he recently announced that he would not pursue the investment after finding out that the Government had been talking with British billionaire Michael Ashcroft, the businessman/banker who now has possession of the Port through Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited, about resurrecting the idea of a cruise facility, at Port of Belize.

The Reporter

Oceana and WWF to host “Earth Hour”
Oceana Belize, in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and Sea to Shore Alliance, is hosting a special event from 8:30- 9:30 p.m. today, Saturday entitled “Earth Hour.” The event is geared towards sharing information about climate change, its importance to Belize, as well as the rest of the world, and to highlight local and international initiatives which are focused on fighting climate changes negative effects. The organizations will host the event at the Caribbean Shores Park, also known as “Rock Park” on Princess Margaret Drive. The event will also feature a candle light vigil live entertainment and personal testimonies on initiates being done locally to join the fight against climate change.

Ladyville records first murder for 2016
Rene Chavarria, a Belizean fisherman of Ladyville village is the first person from that area to be murdered in 2016. The Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department reported that they found Chavarria lying face down in a swamp with an apparent gunshot wound to the back on the head after 9:00 p.m. on Friday night. Reports are that Chavarria was riding his bicycle heading towards his home in the Milpa Area when two gunmen approached him from behind and opened fire. Inspector Juanito Cocom of the Ladyville Police, informed that Chavarria then ran towards the Caribbean Shrimp Farm and managed to jump over a drain to the right hand side of Marage Road and fell in the bushes. The two male persons then escaped.

The Belize Times

Guatemala Takes Portion of Toledo!
Guatemala, whose unfounded claim over Belize has existed for 160 years, has ratcheted up its claim and has effectively seized a large portion of the Toledo District using military force to take control of the entire Sarstoon River and Sarstoon Island, located at the southern-most tip of Belize’s border. BDF soldiers reported to the Government that on Saturday March 12th they were stopped by Guatemala Armed Forces (GAF) “in the area of Belize’s Forward Operating Base”. Guatemala’s forces, said a Government release, “behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon”. This report coincides with the behaviour of the Guatemalan military every time the Belize Territorial Volunteers have attempted to visit the Sarstoon Island over the past two years to assert Belize’s territorial integrity. In one instance, in March 2015, the BTV members were kidnapped by Guatemala’s military and taken by force to Livingston where they were held for an overnight and released following diplomatic negotiations. Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the leader of the Belize Defence Force, Brigadier General David Jones, have claimed that they have had “cordial” relations with Guatemala’s military in the area

Why Gapi Quit!
There has been no official explanation to the sudden resignation of the UDP’s northern political don Gaspar Vega from his post of Deputy Prime Minister and First Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party. Vega’s resignation will take effect this Sunday, March 20th, when the UDP holds an endorsement convention to fill up posts in their National Executive. Conventions normally means elections, but the UDP under Dean Barrow is in a firm grip and what he says absolutely goes. The UDP, for example, has not had a leadership convention since Barrow took up the reins following former UDP leader Manuel Esquivel’s resignation in 1998. Leading up to Sunday’s convention, several persons wished to offer themselves for the positions. Mark King nominated himself on Facebook for Chairman in an attempt to kick out Alberto August. Faber, it was reported, was looking to become one of the two Deputy Leaders. There were even questions whether a new leader would take over. But Barrow indicated there shall be no challenges to any of the posts and much less to his even though he has declared that he is serving his last term in electoral politics.

Barrow’s Bogus Budget
Did you check out Barrow’s ‘Buckle-Up’ Budget in the House of Representatives last week? I swear the man is a magician trying to pull that disfigured rabbit out of the UDP hat. Silly Barrow, tricks are for kids. There’s a reason why Barrow has long been known as the Glitter Man, or as Hubert Elrington once said, all glitter and absolutely no substance. The Budget is bad, people. Just like we’ve been saying all along, Belize is in serious trouble. It’s even worse than we could have believed. Check this out. The budget is basically simple – it’s what you spend versus what you earn in revenue. A balanced budget means you’re bringing in what you spend, and that’s good. An exceptional budget would be bringing in more than you spend. But what Mr. Barrow is telling us is that in the past 2015/2016 he spent more than the country brought in…MUCH MORE – like $182M more. Can you imagine that? The deficit is a whopping 5.1% of GDP.

Couple claims negligence at Corozal Community hospital
A couple from Corozal Town has accused the medical staff of the Corozal Community Hospital of negligence with the administration of care to their 4 year old daughter. Zoila Botes and her common-law husband Josue Perez say that their child, Alexie, was taken to the hospital on Sunday March 6th after she was not feeling well, but after receiving poor care and treatment with an injection and arriving home, their child’s condition only got worse. Two hours after the child received treatment at the hospital she began suffering seizures. Her parents returned her to the hospital, only to find out that no one knew which medication was given to the child through injection. This, said the child’s step-father, is unacceptable.

Think About It
A frightened Prime Minister was at a loss for what to do as a nightmare scenario was conveyed to him through the B.D.F. Guatemala had struck again. Saturday evening 12 March 2016 Guatemalan naval and military personnel turned up in their gunboat in front of the “Mennonite” board house which the government says is our Forward Operating Base. Here is the official version from a government press release which was rushed out on Sunday. Remember the government has been caught lying in their previous press releases concerning Guatemala:- “The Guatemalan Armed Force approached the Forward Operating Base, though they never actually attempted to come on to our land, and behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that out troops should not be at the Sarstoon. The Belize Forces stood their ground and after some time the Guatemalan Armed Forces withdrew. In the intervening period the BDF commander General Jones had spoken to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales”. “Despite the ultimately peaceful end to the standoff it is clear that tension with Guatemala over the Sarstoon and Belize’s insistence on its sovereignty rights…. Is at an all time high”.


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#512515 - 03/20/16 11:39 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 20, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

A House Divided
If we are to believe what we are being told, the sleeping dog that is the Guatemalan claim, has awakened and is growling and showing its teeth. The question is though, who is kicking this dog and for what reason. A government press release, which was sent out on Sunday of all days, informed Belizeans that on Saturday last, Guatemalan troops “behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner” toward our Belize Defence Force soldiers. According to the release, “a strongly worded note of protest” was sent to the Guatemalans by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Of course, we have seen what their idea of “strongly worded” is, and to be honest, it’s usually not too impressive. More like the kind of note that a teacher might send to a parent if a child is late a time or two. The press release went on to inform that the “Prime Minister has convened a special meeting of the National Security Council for Monday March 14th, to further deal with this matter.” Ahah!!! Now this is really starting to sound like serious business. Of course, what the press release forgot to mention, was that said meeting had already been scheduled and that it had nothing to do with any incident at the Sarstoon. “What a tangled web is weaved…”

Barrow the Appeaser, Dangerous for Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has shown to be a quisling and an appeaser when it comes to Guatemala. He is also following the script crafted by his British masters. His history is on the written record. So far that record let us state the following. During none of the civil disobedience, public protests or riots was Mr. Barrow ever present or a participant. He was not against the Webster Proposals by the U.S.A mediator to give Belize to the control of Guatemala. He was not against the then infamous Heads of Agreement in March 1981 which was perhaps the worst civil unrest in Belize in relation to Guatemala. He was not against the Maritime Areas Law in 1991 which resulted in Phillip Goldson, Hubert Elrington, Derrick Aikman, Gilda Lewis, Emma Boiton, Herbert Panton and other high ranking members leaving the United Democratic Party. Mr. Goldson went on to form his own party-National Alliance For Belizean Rights NABR and vowed never to join back with the UDP whilst Dean Barrow remained in the party. Mr. Goldson died as a member of NABR and was given a State Funeral by the PUP government of Said Musa.

Grace Kennedy & Unitedville Rebels win softball competition
Defending Cayo softball champs, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and the Unitedville Rebels posted big wins when the2016 Raymond Garbutt senior female softball competition kicked off with 3 games at the Raymond Garbutt Field in Roaring Creek Village on Sunday. Winning pitcher Leandra Guy led the Grace Kennedy ladies from Roaring Creek to a 12-1 win by mercy rule over Belmopan Capital City Emeralds. Grace Kennedy’s Shadalee Ho walloped Dominga Tut’s pitching to hit a home run at the bottom of the 1st inning. Pitcher Nikita Perez led the Unitedville Rebels United to an 8-0 victory by mercy rule over Esperanza Wolverines in the second game of the afternoon. Rebels United’s Indira Ireland walloped Shareenie Soberanis’ pitching to hit the 1st home run of the season at the top of the 3rd inning.

Taye Parkinson & Amiri Hoare win SMART table tennis champs
Taye Parkinson of St. Joseph’s RC School was awarded as the most developed young table tennis player of 2015 by Belize Table Tennis Association. He showed why when he won the 18 & Under championship as well as the 12 & Under division in the SMART national junior ranking table tennis championships hosed by the BTTA at the Belize Elementary auditorium on Sunday. The 15 & Under division championship was won by Amiri Hoare.

Kaya Cattouse wins Women’s Cross Country
Team C-Ray’s Kaya Cattouse won the 27th annual Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic beating defending champ Alicia Thompson in the sprint to the finish in front the BTL Park in Belize City on Sunday. Kaya rode the 68 miles from the Coronation Park in San Ignacio to the finish line on Newtown Barracks in 4:24:15; winning the $3,000 1st prize, a round trip for 2 on Maya Island Airways, and 2 trophies. Kaya had won Cross country champ in 2012.

Spring Concert at the Bliss
Last Thursday March 10, 2016 the Northfield Mount Hermon School Orchestra and the Belize National Youth Orchestra took the stage at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts for a delightful Spring Concert of musical selections. The concert was fairly well attended, though the Bliss was not full to capacity. Mostly parents and friends of the musicians attended in support of their children in the Belize Youth Orchestra, and the visitors as well as our own Belizean orchestra members performed a diverse one and half hour program, commencing with the excellent playing of the Belizean and American National Anthems. The Northfield Mount Hermon School Orchestra hailed from the US State of Massachusetts. Their director was Steven Bathory Peeler. The ten-member chamber group of seven young women and three young men sounded like a full orchestra, although there were only eight violins, a cello and a double bass. They played a wide range of compositions, from a three-part piece by Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lully – “Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme” from the seventeenth century to the John Lennon and Paul McCartney composition “Eleanor Rigby.” Also a part of the program were selections by Brazilian, British and American composers and “March of the Toy Soldiers” from the Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. The versatility of the Northfield School Orchestra was on full display, and the audience showed their appreciation with hearty applause. The range of sound that a small string orchestra can encompass is truly amazing, and their program was very well delivered and received.

How did we lose the Sarstoon?
On Saturday, Guatemalan military forces came into Belizean waters and threatened OUR Belize Defence Force soldiers at the Forward Operation Base at the Sarstoon. Imagine that. It’s gotten to that point. Our soldiers were aggressed by armed Guatemalan soldiers. They were outmanned, outgunned and in a very bad position far from any assistance, nowhere to run. When you see a government release using the words hostile and threatening, and actually admitting that tension in the Sarstoon is at an all time high, then you get the sense of how bad it is. We’ve been trying to tell this government for the longest time that THEY lost the Sarstoon. They told us we lied. They said we were being political. They accused us of sensationalizing things, making things up. The Prime Minister is fond of beating his chest and boasting about how great Belize is at asserting its sovereignty in the Sarstoon. Well tell that to the BDF soldiers at the base on Saturday. Tell that to the Guatemalans. I’ve heard Minister Elrington say that under his term as Foreign Minister diplomatic relations are the best they have ever been. We’ve heard him say that thanks to this UDP administration we are finally making some progress in resolving the claim. But how is this progress now?

Students return from Harvard Association debate conference in Costa Rica
The Belize High School (BHS) debate team participated in their fourth HACIA debate conference held March 10 to 13, 2016. The XXII Summit of the Americas was hosted in San Jose, Costa Rica at the Hotel Real Intercontinental. HACIA, Harvard Association Cultivating Inter American Democracy, remains the oldest and largest simulation of the organization of American States in the world. Over five hundred students come from countries spanning the entire Americas. This year over 500 students of thirty three different high schools throughout 10 countries: Costa Rica, Belize, Brazil, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, United States of America, and Peru. The BHS students have been extensively preparing for several months with direction from Mr. Emmanuel Adighije and Mrs. Jamie Usher. Preparations included meetings after school and Saturdays to ensure proper research materials, writing position papers, seeking resolutions and public speaking skills. Additionally the students learnt proper parliamentary procedures of both the United Nations and the Organization of American States.

PUP Condemns Illegal Guatemalan Action in the Sarstoon
The People’s United Party strongly condemns the illegal military incursion by the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) into Belizean territorial waters on Saturday 12 March 2016. The PUP also deplores the hostile and aggressive attitude by members of the GAF towards our Belizean security forces in the vicinity of the Forward Operating Base on the shores of the Sarstoon River in Belize. This latest incident is another violation of international law by Guatemala and constitutes a grave risk to peace in the region. The PUP joins the Government and all Belizeans in calling on the Government of Guatemala to immediately cease these provocative and illegal acts, and we demand that the Government of Guatemala ensures that the GAF is instructed to stand down and to respect the long established boundary between Belize and Guatemala in the Sarstoon. The PUP applauds the firm and brave members of the Belizean security forces who resolutely defended our sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of hostile and imminent threat from the GAF.

Blogs

Affordable Coastal Living in Belize’s Corozal District
It’s hard to beat waking to the sweet trill of birdsong accompanied by a glorious view of the sun rising over the Caribbean Sea. Open windows allow the balmy sea breeze to cool the house, all year round. Most people practically live on their verandas, the other option for watching the sun’s ascent over the Bay of Corozal. Corozal Town, a sleepy little Belizean town on the Caribbean Sea, offers great-value property galore. That’s partly because this area of Belize is not a tourist haven. You need not worry about crowds here. Venture a few miles outside of the town and you’ll find expats peacefully living in their dream homes situated by the sea, or on a freshwater lagoon. These expats prefer to be outside of town, in a more private, peaceful environment. The Corozal District has over 33,000 residents, 10,000 of which live in Corozal Town. It’s estimated that up to 2,000 expats live in the region…hailing from the U.S., Canada, and Europe. They all visited Belize seeking a location where they could live an affordable coastal lifestyle in a balmy, friendly, low-key environment. Belize also made it onto many of their shortlists because English is the primary language.

Driving WAY Up North to the End of the Road Or Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs
This May will mark my 9th anniversary as a full-time resident of Belize. I can say with some certainty that I have seen nothing change the island as quickly as the paving of the road north of the bridge. Suddenly, everyone up north needs a vehicle…resorts need to not only tend to the front of their businesses (the seaside) but the back too…and businesses and FOR SALE signs are springing up everywhere. It has the feel of a freeway with the amount of advertising signs along it. (SanPedroScoop.com signs are WOEFULLY missing!) Yesterday I went for a drive up to the end of the road – it has plowed through to Sapphire Beach! And is continuing on… Here is what I saw. We’ll start with this insane sign going up right in front of Reef Village JUST over the bridge. And a bit farther up, the new Dive Bar. The sign is overwhelming…one almost needs to stop to read all the different aspects. And in case you missed something, they have another HUGE one just about half a mile up.

Marine Foundation installs underwater sculpture at Silk Caye Marine Reserve
Last year The Marine Foundation started their adventure in Belize, when invited by a group of Dangriga fishermen to create and install an underwater sculpture. We have installed a number of sculptures in Asia but this would be our first in the Caribbean. We were quickly introduced to Roberts Grove Beach Resort who became our partner sponsor and through a collaboration with Southern Environmental Association (SEA), Silk Cayes Marine Reserve was chosen as the installation location. The one ton sculpture has been waiting patiently in the Roberts Grove workshop since last May, waiting on permissions to sink and selecting the best site. Captain William led the technical journey of getting the sculpture from land into sea. A truck lifted her from her place of creation onto the boat. On Sunday, March 13th, we took The Silk Sea Goddess on her maiden voyage, strapped onto the deck of the Dorado. The weather was kind to us with only lightly choppy waves. We anchored up at South Silk Caye and joined Tamba, SEA’s park ranger and Marisha, Dive guide for some last minute fun photos with the goddess. We had prepared a good strategy over several days, however I was feeling nervous about the sink. I put on my dive equipment and prepared myself to go under, for two reason; one I could not bear the pressure of watching the goddess going over the edge of the boat. Secondly I needed to be there under the water welcoming her to her new home. I had imagines of guiding her down, although the reality was very different.

International Sourcesizz

Prescott Audubon Society Lecture series: Birds, Beaches and the Buildings of Belize
Monday, April 4, 2 p.m. at Prescott Public Library, 215 E. Goodwin St. 928-777-1500; www.prescottlibrary.info.

The Yucatan Peninsula is best appreciated on two wheels
The Yucatan Peninsula is best appreciated on two wheels, says British Independent UK reporter Graeme Green, as he mounts his bike and gets off the tourist trail. It’s a local saint’s day here in southern Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and Dzitás is getting ready for a fiesta. A band of drummers and trumpeters collects a statue of the saint from the church to parade through the village. Men are constructing a makeshift bullfighting arena on the edge of town. It’s these scenes of everyday life that many tourists miss as they hurry between the Yucatán’s famed Mayan archaeological sites and the white-sand beaches that fringe the Caribbean. “There are other places in the world for cycling with more scenic landscapes, more elevation; Yucatán’s attraction is not the road,” admits Fernando. “But when you get to the villages it’s where the magic starts happening. You see the real Mexico.” Mayan civilisation spread across Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador, roughly from AD250 to AD900, with Chichén Itzá one of its largest cities. We explore this sprawling metropolis and religious centre, from the soaring El Castillo pyramid and the Temple of Kukulcan to the Jaguar Temple and the Great Ball Court, an arena for ancient ballgames. Carvings of warriors, skulls and the Mayan feathered snake god Kukulkan are still discernible.

Caribbean lagging in shift to renewable energy
President of the Caribbean Development Bank Dr Warren Smith is lamenting the Caribbean’s slow pace in shifting towards renewable energy. Delivering a lecture on the topic ‘Regulating Utilities in Small Island Developing States – Lessons for the Caribbean’, Dr Smith said renewable energy is the most promising option for addressing the region’s current energy security challenge. But he noted that currently, the electricity generation capacity derived from renewable energy in CARICOM countries is less than 10 percent, compared to regional targets of 20 percent by 2017, and 28 percent by 2022. “The major barrier, in my view, to rapid expansion of renewable energy generation in the Caribbean, remains that of the monopoly control over generation by the incumbent integrated electric utilities in several instances.

A force of nature: Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull displayed at Camp Chesterfield
It was standing room only for a chance to see and commune with the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull at Camp Chesterfield Saturday. Around 100 people came to the spiritualist camp in Chesterfield where the skull was being displayed at Hett Art Gallery and Museum. The crystal was discovered by Anna Mitchell-Hedges, the daughter of explorer and author F.A. Mitchell-Hedges, in a collapsed temple in Lubaantun, Belize, in 1924, according to many accounts. Bill Homman took over care of the skull after Mitchell-Hedges died in 2007. The skull in “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” in which the famed explorer races against Soviet agents to find a crystal skull, is based on the Mitchell-Hedges skull. Homman said his job as the skull’s “guardian” is to travel with the skull and allow people who believe in its power to feel its energy.

Representatives From Florida In Belize For Trade Mission
A team of business persons from a number of companies in the United States arrived in Belize, Thursday, March 17 for a trade and investment meeting which opens Friday, March 18 at the Placencia Hotel & Resort. The 15- member trade and investment mission is there to discuss investment and trade opportunities with private sector and government officials. Some members of the team have been in Belize since earlier in the week having one-one-one discussions with various officials including Mr. Glenford Ysaguirre, Governor of the Central Bank of Belize. “Over the next three days the visiting mission will be brought up to date with the investment opportunities which Belize offers in a wide range of sectors including hotel development, agribusiness and financial services, among others,” says Michael Devin Young, representative of the Belize Ministry of Trade and Investment in Florida and president of the Greater Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce (GCACC).

1,000-year-old onion and garlic eye remedy kills MRSA
A 1,000-year-old treatment for eye infections could hold the key to killing antibiotic-resistant superbugs, experts have said. Scientists recreated a 9th Century Anglo-Saxon remedy using onion, garlic and part of a cow's stomach. They were "astonished" to find it almost completely wiped out methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, otherwise known as MRSA. Their findings will be presented at a national microbiology conference. The remedy was found in Bald's Leechbook - an old English manuscript containing instructions on various treatments held in the British Library.

Videos

  • Ascenthium - Born to Be Wild, St Patricks Day 2016, min. Ascenthium performing Born to Be Wild, by Steppenwolf. They rocked the Bamboo Bar St. Patrick's Day, playing for around 2 hours. Pictures here.

  • Hannah + Chase | Engagement Story, 4min. Brett and I were so honored to shoot Hannah and Chase's engagement video. They are such an incredible example of what a Christ-centered relationship should look like. We are SO happy to be a part of their lives, and we're even happier they are a part of ours. Belize is such a special place to both of them (they were both baptized there), so Chase thought it would be fitting to propose there. He flew down to surprise Hannah on the last day of her mission trip. We made her think that she was doing an interview for the mission trip video, only for Chase to come strolling down the beach with a Bible in his hand and a ring in his pocket.

  • WCU Nursing Student Group Service at Hillside, 2min. West Coast Nursing Students serving at Hillside Health Care International, Winter 2015-2016.

  • How We Ate Termites in Belize!, 4.5min. This was our adventure eating termites in Belize with Belize Yoga! Now you know how I got talked into doing so much...

  • Baby dancing Jonkunu, Belize, 2.5min. 2yr old dancing traditional Jonkunu or Wanaragua Garifuna dance in Punta Gorda Belize.

  • Butterfly Falls in Belize!, 4min. Enjoying the Butterfly Falls in Belize with Belize Yoga!

  • Belize Mission 2016 Recap, 10min. During Spring break 2016, a team from CCF in Florida travelled to Belize. There they spread the word of God through many performances and VBS for the kids of Belize. This is a glimpse at the week they spent there.

  • Jetski Belize with Music, 3min.

  • 2016 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge Day 2 2nd, 58min.

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