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3/1/2012 to 3/10/2012
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Today's Belize News

March 10, 2012

Valid: Friday-Monday, March 9 - 12, 2012

An easterly to east-southeasterly airflow will prevail over the NW Caribbean and Belize this weekend, on the southern periphery of a broad high pressure system over South Carolina and Alabama. This High will drift eastwards into the western Atlantic. The airflow over Belize will become a bit drier and we will see a reduction in shower activity.

A cold front entering the NW Gulf of Mexico during the next 12 hours will become quasi-stationary in that region. A Low pressure system associated with the cold front in the NW Gulf will drift NE along the frontal boundary.

Daily rainfall totals will be ranging from 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch on Friday and Saturday, but mainly over central and southern Belize. Daily rainfall accumulations will decrease on Sunday and Monday, ranging from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch especially in the elevated terrain and over southern coastal areas.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

PUP, VIP and Independent Candidates suspect Election Fraud in Belize Rural South/San Pedro Town
A meeting was held this morning, comprising of the committees and candidates of PUP, Independent Candidates and the VIP who contested the general elections for Belize Rural South and the Municipal elections in San Pedro. Concerns over blatant irregularities on election day were identified and discussed. In particular, the VIP reported that in two polling stations, their polling agents reported that ballot books did not follow in number sequence, beginning and ending numbers in some station were not reported and ballots folded in pairs were retrieved from the boxes in the counting room. The PUP and Independents reported similar findings in other polling stations and also noted others irregularities. It was agreed that a tri-partite committee would review all information submitted by the polling agents on elections day. The committees agreed to begin the process this afternoon and work through the weekend to complete a thorough investigation. A detailed report including of irregularities and recommendations will be presented in a joint press conference scheduled for next week.

Prime Minister Deam Barrow Sworn In
The Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow was today sworn in as the Prime Minister of Belize, by His Excellency, the Governor-General of Belize, Sir Colville Young. The brief ceremonies were held at Belize House in Belmopan. This is Mr. Barrow’s second consecutive term in office and the second time he has served as Prime Minister. It is expected that the other members of Prime Minister’s Cabinet, as well as other key officials, will be appointed and sworn-in next week.

Living Word and Baltimore Church bring Spiritual Enlightening to the Island
A team of nineteen volunteers from the Eastern Assembly Church of Baltimore (EACB), in Maryland, USA, along with volunteers from the Living Word Church were at the San Pedro Lions Den sharing the Ministry of God with children and residents of San Pedro. The four day Community Outreach activities were done under the theme “The Fruit of the Spirit” and took place from Monday March 5th through Thursday March 8th. Lourdes Zaldivar of Living Word Church spoke of the event. “We’re doing a Vacation Bible Study (VBS) during the daytime from 3 to 4pm with the kids and then at night we have for the adults from 7:30 to 9pm. Activities include sing-along’s, story-telling using puppets, face painting, question and answers sessions during which the kids can win little prizes, and at the end of each day’s activities, we raffle off a bicycle.”

11 year old Glenford needs your help
11-year-old Glenford Cadle Jr. was diagnosed with a rare genetic kidney malfunction which is now compromising his health. Glenford has been in and out of various hospitals in Belize City. Because the rare kidney disorder cannot be treated in Belize, the family is raising funds to have Glenford taken to a medical facility in the USA. A fundraiser is being planned for Sunday March 11th at the corner of Coconut Drive and Tarpon Street in San Pedro Town. Barbeque will be on sale for only $10 and will be served with a cold fresh juice starting at 11AM. Donations will also be accepted. Come support a worthy cause!


More About My Tuesday: Lunch, Legends and a Look Around Town
I posted a few days ago about my brush with "celebrity" at the Chicken Drop (see: Wahoo's Lounge) but my day started much earlier with a walk into town. A visitor was showing local kids, Mark and Johnny, how to search for hidden treasure on the beach. The sun was definitely coming out after a day of heavy rain. Hurricanes Bar seems to be closed on Tuesdays. And I walked past the Holiday Hotel that is undergoing a full renovation. The inside lobby is gutted. Interesting to do this during the busiest time of year...

Channel 7

New PUP Area Rep. Jose Mai Denies Report of Gun Possession in Chet
PUP Candidate Jose Mai won what many are calling a surprising victory in Orange Walk South two days ago - beating wealthy businessman Rosendo Urbina by more than 300 votes. But two days after winning the election - he got into trouble with Mexican authorities. This afternoon, we received a stream of reports saying that Mai was intercepted at the Chetumal border crossing with a firearm - which is a very serious offence in Mexico because even if the gun is licensed in Belize, once it cross the border it is considered unlicensed. It is a military checkpoint and we have confirmed with the Prime Minister that that no less than the commander of Belize's Army - General Dario Tapia called a General in Mexico and got them to release Mai on the condition that he produces proper documentation for the weapon. But Mai says, no such thing, he was driving a vehicle without license plates.

New/Old Prime Minister Sworn In
And while first time Representative Mai was heading to Chetumal, second term Prime Minister Dean Barrow was heading to Belize House in Belmopan. That's the Governor General's residence where he would be sworn in as Prime Minister for a second time. It was a small event, not attended by any great measure of fanfare - but an important one - and 7News was there:

Chief Elections Officer Explains Why There Was No Recount
TThe elections are done; the Prime Minister has been sworn in, and a new Cabinet will be named by next week Tuesday afternoon. But the PUP has still not conceded - and it says it will wait on the outcome of multiple election petitions. Informed observers agree that there's not a great chance of success for that - and that, at best, it's a measure calculated to set the tone for a militant, unyielding five years in opposition. But, many Belizeans are asking, why didn't they get the recounts in Cayo Northeast and Cayo central. Northeast was decided by 17 votes and Central by 44. That's a difference of less than a percentage point in both areas - and within the margin or rejected ballots. Today, in her first interview after the elections the Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai explained why the returning officers decided against a recount.

The Wrath Of the Aftermath
But looking at those results, it's interesting to note what statisticians would call the outliers - those who did extremely well or exceptionally poorly. For the winning UDP, Mesopotamia Representative Michael Finnegan had the best showing; he increased his margin of victory since 2008 - and garnered an impressive 81.6% of the vote. Party Leader Dean Barrow followed closely behind in Queen Square, also increasing his margin to 78%. The UDP had the biggest swing against it in Toledo West - losing 23% of the support it has in 2008 - with Juan Coy going from 60% of the vote in 2008 down to 36.6%. The PUP had its most comfortable margin of victory in Cayo South where Julius Espat got 65% of the vote. The Port Loyola Area for the UDP also bears watching where the UDP candidate Anthony Martinez experienced a 12% swing against him - going from 74% to a still very dominant 62.2%.

Election Day Craziness: Student Assaults Police Officer
9 year-old Gian McFadzean, a student from Willows Bank Village, has been accused of aggravated assault against a police officer. McFadzean, who was arraigned in Magistrate's Court today, was charged with 1 count of aggravated assault, and 1 count of harm, which he allegedly committed against Police Constable Kevin Broaster. According to police, McFadzean was at the Double Head Cabbage polling area on Election Day at around 3 p.m., where he got into an altercation with another man from the village.

More Double Head Mayhem: "Too-Tall" Stabbed
Almost an hour later, in the same vicinity of the Double Head Cabbage polling area, there was another incident; this time a resident was stabbed. Well-known Belizean basketball star Claude "Too Tall" Jones, was attacked by another young man from the village. 7News spoke to Jones today via telephone, and he told us that he was near the polling area, when he saw 2 young men in an altercation. That's when his girlfriend's nephew got involved and he tried to intervene to stop the things from escalating.

Police Shoot Man; They Say He Pulled A Knife
And from that stabbing incident, we move another which occurred late last night in Belmopan where police reported that they had to shoot a man who pulled a knife at them. According to police, at around 1 a.m. today, Police Constable Godfrey Moreira, attached to the Belmopan Police Station, reported that at around 11:45 p.m. he was buying food from a vendor in the Las Flores Area. He saw two fellow police officers trying to detain David Flores, a man wanted in connection with the attempted arson report made by Kayla Spencer, a Belmopan resident. According to police, Flores attempted to flee, PC Moreira chased behind him, and when Flores realized that he wasn't going to escape, he pulled out a knife.

Red, Red, Red In City
The election may be over - but the carryover of momentum still continues - at least in this newsroom where - we've been going through hours of footage and interviews we conducted on Election Day. Much of it aired during our election coverage - but we've pieced it together for a more complete look at the hurly burly of Election Day politics. Here's a look at some of what was happening in the city:

A Blue Bayou In the North
Earlier on we showed you what the election day energy was like in Belize city - that's the UDP stronghold where it controls eight of ten seats. But in the north - the PUP made a strong resurgence, taking five of eight seats, and three of those five are seats that the UDP formerly held. It is a strong showing - and our team detected that presence when we travelled north on Election Day. Here's what I found in a number of divisions:

"Hype" Rides Cross Country For the Kids
When it comes to (competitive) sports, the annual cross country cycling is at the top of the list as one of the most grueling, with 140 miles of unforgiving terrain. To enter Belize's premier sports competition it requires years of training and top physical and mental shape. But this year, probably for the first time in the history of the race, one Radio Disc Jockey says, he'll ride amongst the professionals, not for the glory or the crown but to raise funds for underprivileged kids. Alfrain Supal works as a DJ at WAVE Radio and he says he's got two children agencies in mind that he plans on donating all the proceeds from his effort. And today Seven News caught up with him at the Heritage Bank where he was officially opening an account for the cause.

Channel 5

Dean Barrow Swears Oath as New Prime Minister

Prime Minister Dean Barrow took the oath this morning for a second term of office. The ceremonies were brief at Belize House in Belmopan where the Governor General Sir Colville Young administered the oath. The GG, in offering congratulations, told the Prime Minister that his victory was not for the party but for Belize. The ...

Political Mischief against newly elected Area Rep., Abelardo Mai

Abelardo Mai handsomely won the Orange Walk South division for the P.U.P. on March seventh. But in less than forty-eight hours, many reports, text messages and calls went across the country with one common message that Mai was locked up in a Chetumal jail because of an illegal weapon. The rumors started when the newly ...

International Report says Belize is Transit Point for Drugs

The 2012 International Control Strategy report has been released by the US State Department. The US Department notes that the security situation is likely continue to deteriorate in Belize, which has become a major drug producing and transit country in 2011. The report notes that the country had no successful prosecutions related to large seizures ...

Effective and Amusing Election Advertisements

The elections are over. There was a relative short campaign on the ground, but the battle was fought fiercely on the television screens. Both major political parties relied on television ads to get their messages out. The duration of the newscast, particularly in the last week of the campaign frustrated some; others kept their eyes ...

Annual Canoe River Challenge begins

Hundreds of spectators turned out early this morning at the banks of the Macal River to witness the launch of the annual Ruta Maya River Challenge that has become a staple of the March ninth activities. At seven this morning, the bugle sounded; more than seventy teams paddled away to Banana Bank, the first stop ...

Wanted man shot by cop

A wanted man was shot on Thursday night while being detained by police in Belmopan. PC Godfrey Moreira reported that shortly before midnight, he was purchasing food near E&L Night Club in the Las Flores area. Not far away, he saw Police Constables Clement Usher and Tedford Augustine attempting to restrain someone. Moreira went over ...

Soldier threatened jurors; will he stay in jail?

A B.D.F. soldier who pleaded guilty to common assault of two counts of threat of death, was sentenced to six months in prison in May 2011. But thirty-eight year old Glenston Bermudez has been out on bail since then because he filed an appeal on the grounds that the sentence was too harsh for the ...

19 year old charged for hitting cop with a bottle

A police constable was injured when he intervened in a fight at a polling station on Wednesday. And now, nineteen year old Willows Bank resident, Gian McFadzean, is facing charges of Aggravated Assault and Harm upon PC Kevin Broaster. According to Broaster, who was on duty in Double Head Cabbage on Election Day, McFadzean and ...

A Month of Activities for Women

The first of March marked the start of Women’s Month. This year it is being celebrated under the theme, ‘Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures’. For the entire month, the Women’s Department is carrying out a series of activities geared towards celebrating the achievements and highlighting the need for inclusion of women. At the start of their ...

Let’s go fly a kite!

The annual kite festival dates back as far as 1975, but support for the event has dwindled over the years. It’s a Belizean tradition that Bowen and Bowen is hoping to revive through a partnership with Benny’s that was formed last year. The two companies have collaborated once again to make the kite fest more ...

Girl with facial tumor hospitalized

On Tuesday, we aired the story of twelve year old Catarina Ishim, who is fighting an enormous tumor, which was detected in October, 2010. Catarina has undergone two surgeries but the abnormal growth has resurfaced for a third time. The child and her family are from the remote village of San Pablo, Toledo and have ...

Dolores Balderamos Garcia; only elected woman representative

There is finally a woman in the House. Three women: Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Patty Arceo and Carolyn Trench Sandiford, entered the race for the general elections. All were fielded by the People’s United Party. Attorney Balderamos Garcia, edged out Michael Hutchinson, her contender in Belize Rural Central, to become the only elected woman representative. It ...


PUP Takes Back Town Hall
Yesterday both national and municipal elections were held country wide and while there was much anticipation awaiting the big news of who will form the next Central Government and who will be sent to Town Hall, Orange Walk Town was as vibrant as ever. When the polls opened at 7:00 am voters were already anxiously waiting in line to cast their votes, something not seen during the last Municipal Election. 100 yards away from the polling areas both UDP and PUP supporters stood by raising their flags in confidence. But it was too early to tell who would run the affairs of the town. Throughout the rest of the day voters came out at a steady pace at all four areas. In Orange Walk East the momentum kept building and as the hours went by both the blue team led by Kevin Bernard and the red team headed by Ivan Leiva watched as voters exercised their democratic right. When we spoke to a number of voters off camera the sentiment was that the process was way too slow. At 5:30, half an hour before the polling stations were declared closed, people were still in line waiting to cast their vote and campaigners of both the blue and the red camp scampered to grab hold of last minute voters. At exactly 6:00pm the voting areas were declared closed as police stood behind the last person in line. Here in Orange Walk the counting for the Municipal Elections took place at La Inmaculada School. Results were hard to come by but when they did all indications were that the blue team was ahead. And that is how it stayed, never once did the UDP slate take the lead.

Councillor Ladrick Sheppard Tops The Polls
As mentioned, here in Orange Walk the PUP gained all seven seats in a Town Council that was all red in 2006 and split in 2008 with three P.U.P candidates including Mayor Elect Kevin Bernard. The numbers show that for the P.U.P Team it was a clean sweep as they won the UDP slate led by Ivan Leiva by an overwhelming margin. But there was one candidate in particular on the blue team that received the highest votes. Of course after the last ballot was counted it came as no surprise when the Returning Officer announced that Ladrick Sheppard had gained the highest votes overall. This morning we caught up with Sheppard at Town Hall and asked him how he felt about topping the polls.

The United Democratic Party Returned Office To
The Prime Minister predicted that his United Democratic Party would win 20 seats in yesterday’s General Elections, but came up short in an election that saw the PUP more than double the number of seats in the National Assembly and retake the north. Yesterday’s election was one where less than 100 seats could have shifted the political balance and resulted in the UDP losing in the North and South of the country. In an election which looks like a tale of Belize City versus the rest of the Nation, the UDP was returned to office for a second term on an election that was almost won exclusively in the Belize District. In Belize City the UDP won 8 of 10 seats, and 2 of the 3 in the Belize Rural constituencies. Of the total 17 seats won by the UDP, 4 seats were won in the West and 3 in the North. For the People’s United Party, the big wins came in the north, where the PUP won 3 of 4 seats in Orange Walk and 2 of 4 in the Corozal District. In the South the PUP won all seats and won 2 seats in the West and 3 in the Belize District for a total of 14 seats.

Mayor Kevin Bernard and His Team Take Over Town Hall
As the duly elected Mayor for Orange Walk Town this morning Kevin Bernard and councilor’s Rozel Arana, Josue Carballo, Joe Urbina, Ladrick Sheppard, Ian Cal and Neri Ramirez met with employees of the council. Accompanied by a crowd of supporters, John Briceno and Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez the newly elected team made their way into Town Hall. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Elect, Orange Walk Town Council “This morning I came to meet with the current senor members of the council and I met with the town supervisor already brief things I want with some wishes that I want to address, I also met with the administrator and we are going to sit with them to see a smooth transition of the handing over, I also communicated with the former mayor who will come today and officially do the hand over and to discuss and I want to do things differently, that is why I did rushed in here, we did not come in here last night we waited to come in this morning and I did my courtesy visit this morning with the administrator, with the supervisor and the mayor and we spoke and we will be having a meeting with the workers later today and I saying I will be meeting individually with all staff because I have certain guidelines that I want to put in place.”

John Briceno Victorious Once Again In Orange Walk Central
In 2008 when John Briceno ran against Rosendo Chendo Urbina he won the Orange Walk Central seat by 310 votes. But for Briceno the 2012 General Election saw a massive increase in voters support. He garnered a total of 3042 votes while his opponent Denny Grijlava received a total of 2006 votes. In polling area number 53, San Francisco School- Briceno received 1422 votes while Grijalva received 957. In polling area 54, La Inmaculada School- Briceno got 1108 votes and Grijalva got 544 votes. And in polling area number 61, San Estevan- Briceno received 511 votes while Grijalva garnered 505 votes. This means that Briceno won in all polling areas, something which was not seen in the 2008 General Elections.

PUP Wins 14 Out Of 31 Seats
When it comes to the General Elections, here are the official results coming from the Elections and Boundaries Department.


Bees cause a buzz in Lake I
There is a buzz at the corner of Flamboyant and Mahogany Street. And those responsible for the buzz are no other than a swarm of busy bees, who have built a massive Bee hive in an abandoned building. Residents of the area are very concerned about the hazard these bees pose to their community [VO ENDS], they voiced their concerns to us. The owner of Lina Supermarket that is situated beside the building where the bees are told us that he has had to close his shop because the bees have entered it and his family has also been stung. Love News visited the owner of Pest Control and Environmental Science Consultancy, Ryan F. Swift at his privately owned office on Central American Boulevard. Love News made several calls to the departments of Public Health, and Agriculture but we could not come in contact with those responsible for the control of bees. Hopefully someone in authority will respond to the cries of residents in the area.

Mexican government congratulates Prime Minister Barrow
The Mexican government has extended its congratulations to the People and Government of Belize for the March 7 elections. A release from the Mexican Embassy says it was an exemplary election day, which will contribute to strengthening democracy in Belize and in the region as a whole. The release goes on to say the Mexican government also congratulates Prime Minister Dean Barrow on his election victory and the newly-elected legislators, and hopes that their terms in office are successful. Mexico has reiterated its desire to continue working with and deepening the bilateral relationship with the government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

Man shot by police in Belmopan in Crime
A man was shot by a policeman early this morning on the outskirts of Belmopan. Police say the victim was wanted for the attempted arson of a woman’s house in Belize City last month. A police report issued today states that Police Constable Godfrey Moreira, who is attached to the Belmopan Police, was purchasing food in front of E and L Sports Club in Las Flores Village on the Hummingbird Highway around one this morning when he observed two more policemen trying to restrain a man. Moreira reported that he realized he knew the man as a fugitive, David Flores, and that when he pursued the individual, he drew a knife and lunged at him. That was when Moreira said he drew his service weapon and shot Flores in the right leg. Flores was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is under police guard. Police say that they have recovered a black stainless steel knife as well as a point 38 Smith and Wesson revolver and one expended shell from the scene. Police also say that they were looking for Flores in connection with the attempted arson of the home of Kayla Spencer on Antelope Street on February third.

La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge underway
Hundreds of spectators flocked to the banks of the Macal River near the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio for the start of the 15th annual running of the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. 72 teams lined up for the start of the race this morning. The first leg of the race ended in Banana Bank. Crossing the finishing line in first position was the Belize Bank Bulldogs, coming in a close second was Oceana while the NICH team rounded up the top three teams. The second leg of the race will leave Banana Bank at six thirty tomorrow morning and will head to Double Head Cabbage. On Sunday the third leg will leave Double Head Cabbage and end up in Burrell Boom Village. On Monday the final leg of the race will make its way to the foot of the Belcan Bridge in Belize City.


Armed men assault and rob Northern Highway family
A family of nine was held at gunpoint for almost an hour by four assailants who gained entry into their 3-storey home, tied up the four men in the house and beat them with a machete and a gun. One of the women of the house, a 19-year-old who is nine months pregnant, begged for her safety and the safety of her unborn child during the home invasion.

UDP almost double PUP in municipal elections, 44-23
Incumbent UDP re-elected for third terms in Belize, Cayo, Corozal Districts; PUP take O/Walk, Griga, P.G. Towns; third parties and independents lose ground

Prince Harry tells Belize, “Tenk yu!”
Following his March 2-3, 2012 official visit to Belize, Prince Harry, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, sent a warm thank you note, in which he expressed his appreciation to the people of Belize.

Why did police arrest Trecia Usher, 26?
She did not live in the house and was not there when police found a prohibited gun... For Andrew Baptist, 25, supervisor at Marion Jones Sports Complex, and his girlfriend Trecia Usher, 26, Bacab Eco Park cashier, both residents of Mile 16 ½, Northern Highway, Sandhill Village, March 7 brought more than just political heat; it brought police heat as well.

Claude “Too-Tall” Jones stabbed twice while parting fight
There was no report of political violence countrywide during Belize’s double general and municipal elections day, yesterday, Wednesday, March 7, 2012. However, there was the stabbing of a very well-known and well-liked figure, Claude “Too-Tall” Jones, a Belizean basketball star.

Di skin a denh teeth!
Prime Minister-elect Dean Barrow will be sworn in at 10:00 this morning, Friday, in Belmopan, as he prepares to reconstitute a new administration with a maximum of 15 Cabinet ministers, limited by the Constitution to two-thirds of the elected representatives of the ruling party, and four appointed senators who can also act as ministers of government.

A chat with veteran footballer Gerald “Speedy” Henry – Part 6
S: Yea, so I went back, and I was there until ’82, when the post of District Officer was abolished. And so I was transferred to Belmopan; specifically, I was transferred to Establishment Department, which is now the Public Service Ministry. And they had a Training Unit within that department, and so, I filled the post as Training Officer. Then, as Training Officer, in 1985 I was identified to take up the position of Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Housing. I served from ’85 to ’87 at the Ministry of Housing…no, ’85… and then around ’86, ’86 Works and Transport were amalgamated… And so it became the Ministry of Works and Transport; and I served there until ’87. And then, ’87 I was transferred to Establishment Department; only, this time I was transferred there in the capacity as Permanent Secretary. So, I stayed there from ’87 to ’90. And then in 1990, I was sent back to the Ministry of Works. And that’s where I spent the rest of my public service career – 13 years as Permanent Secretary/C.E.O., Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of…

Byron Pope (Elite), Shalini Zabaneh (Female), Oscar Quiroz (Junior) and Kenroy Gladden (Masters) win 1st Tour Du C-Ray
The C-Ray Cycling Club held its first ever “Tour Du C-Ray” over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4, with a total of 61 cyclists registered.

Table Tennis – 2012 1st Bi-Annual RF&G National Ranking Tournament results
The Belize Table Tennis Association (BTTA) held its 2012 1st Bi-Annual RF&G National Ranking Tournament on Sunday, March 4, at the BES Auditorium with some 50 players from the A, B and C categories participating.

La Ruta Maya begins on traditional Baron Bliss Day
We haven’t been hearing much from the Harbor Regatta Committee, but the last word was that there will be the traditional Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta on Sunday, March 12, in the waters adjacent to the BTL Park at Newtown Barracks. There should be sailing boat races in various classes, with many young sailors showing their skills in the little Optimist.

Juventus leads North and Police leads South in Week 4 of Premier League
On Saturday night at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, Police United drew 0-0 with visiting San Ignacio United in a keenly contested match that saw a surprising and outstanding appearance in midfield by Over-40 veteran Ismael John Trapp Thompson for San Ignacio United. Police, minus Lennox “Criminal” Castillo who is serving a suspension, as well as sweeper Kashian Pech, had some good solo efforts from Andres Makin, Jr. and Evan Mariano, who certainly deserved a penalty, but referee Josue Rivera refused to call any in the game. Glenford Chimilio was outstanding between the sticks for Police, who are yet to give up a goal in the competition. San Ignacio, who were also without their starting sweeper Everal Trapp and lead striker Amin August, Jr., showed better team cohesion, with solid performances by Windell Trapp in the forward and Rodney Shamir Pacheco Torres in midfield.

Ideas and Opinions - National Service
Sir Winston Churchill had a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. Like when he called upon the British nation to gird up its loins for a desperate struggle against the Third Reich with these words, “I have nothing to offer you but blood, sweat and tears”. Then after the heroic members of the Royal Air Force met and overcame the mighty German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain, he gave them high praise thus: “Never before in the field of human conflict, was so much owed by so many, to so few.” What he had to say in regard to the proper attitude that combatants, who have been engaged in a great battle, should take after the fight is over, is most appropriate.

Almost ’93 …
“Opposition PUP Leader Francis Fonseca has taken a very big gamble in driving Albert’s Mark Espat and Lake Independence’s Cordel Hyde out of their constituencies. The very big gamble is that David Craig and Yolanda Schakron will win Albert and Lake I, respectively, areas which were considered sure seats for the PUP with Espat and Hyde.

From The Publisher
“We have chosen in this campaign not to seek to tell the Belizean people where to go. We have our preferences, but we have essentially deferred to the people. In 2012, the people of Belize will tell us where to go on Wednesday, March 7, and we will follow their instructions.”

International Sources

Pictures: Explore the natural beauty of Belize
The Globe's Amberly McAteer spent six days island hopping - by kayak - in Belize

OAS: Belize Party Activists Produce “Less Than Conducive” Voting Environment
The active role played by party activists during Belize’s general elections Wednesday produced a “less than conducive” voting environment, according to the Organization of American States, which fielded an electoral observation mission in the country this week. “Agents from the two major parties maintained a presence at all of the polling stations observed by the mission,” the OAS team said in its report. “The electoral propaganda observed in the vicinity of polling stations and the prevalence of t-shirts bearing candidate names and symbols could be construed as electioneering.” One OAS observer witnessed a party activist distributing money immediately outside of a polling centre to a group of people after they had voted. The OAS said it applauded the “dedication and professionalism” of the more than 3,000 polling officials administering the general and municipal elections, ensuring a “smooth process” throughout the day. The organization made a series of recommendations, including promoting female participation on the ballot, and the enactment of campaign finance regulations. “The current framework places no limits on campaign spending and does not require disclosure of campaign contributions or expenditures,” the OAS said, repeating a recommendation it made in St Lucia and Guyana after their late 2011 elections. It also called for steps to reduce the role and influence of party activists at voting centres through more uniform enforcement of the 100-yard boundary around polling stations. The OAS will release a more detailed report in the next few weeks.

Belizean Goverment Disappointed about Election Results
Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow celebrated his re-election, but admitted to be disappointed about the decrease of United Democratic Party (UDP) seats in the Parliament. ¿We won only 17 seats and I was confident that we would obtain 20, and as a political leader, I must accept a great responsibility for that,¿ said Barrow when addressing reporters about the result of the elections. The prime minister added that he will spend the weekend reshuffling his cabinet which has now to be formed by 15 members, instead of 17 as it was before. The 61-year-old lawyer was re-elected after winning by a slim three-seat margin in the Legislative Power, and will swear in for a second time before General Governor Sir Colville Young in this capital on Friday. The UDP won a majority of 17 seats in the 31-seat parliament to the Francis Fonseca-led People's United Party's 14. Barrow said in his electoral campaign that he will give priority to the renegotiation of a part of the foreign debt.

Belize PM disappointed
Despite being re-elected to the government Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow says he’s disappointed with the election victory. The United Democratic Party on Wednesday won 17 of the 31 seats following the general elections. However, Barrow said he is disappointment in himself as political leader of the incumbent party. He said he never expected to win less than 20 seats but accepts responsibility for the results. In the meantime, Barrow said he will spend the weekend planning his cabinet and will present it to the nation on Tuesday, given the party’s slender majority and constitutional limits on his ministerial choices. The UDP saw its two-thirds super majority in the 31-seat House of Representatives wither to a slender three-seat margin over the opposition People’s United Party led by Francis Fonseca. With the reduced majority, the size of the new cabinet will be reduced to a maximum of 15 ministers.

The best dessert awaits you in Belize
The food my Garifuna friends prepared, over coconut husk fires, was unlike any camp fare I had experienced before. The ocean provided an endless supply of fresh fish, conch (nearly always fried in fritters) and lobster tails. Filling the plates were salty plantain fries, johnny cakes, and the ubiquitous Belizean rice and beans, flavoured with fiery habanero. But my favourite – by far – was the sweet coconut dessert known as tableta. Pappy, slim and dreadlocked, introduced me to the treat early that winter. One afternoon, while our guests dozed in hammocks, he zipped up a tall palm (an incredible feat of athleticism itself) and knocked down three green coconuts. Husking them in a flash with a rusty machete (a skill that evades all northerners, no matter how frequently practised, and one that often leads to grievous injuries), he asked me to grate the soft white meat into a large pot.

The Placencia Marina - Belize's First Super-Yacht Marina Wins a Landmark Lawsuit and Completes Major Construction Milestone
The Placencia proudly announces construction has completed on the breakwater at The Placencia Marina, Belize's first luxury super-yacht marina. Serving as a key component of The Placencia's master-planned development, Placencia Marina is the largest fully permitted, government endorsed, full-service marina in Belize. Opening Winter 2012-13, The Placencia Marina will ultimately consist of up to 293 slips, accommodating boats from 30 feet to over 260 feet in length. Phase 1 of the 27-acre super-yacht marina will include 117 wetslips from 40 feet to 220 feet. Planned marina facilities include a refuelling station, water, sewage, crew-only recreation center and management services. Marina Village at The Placencia will include a VIP Casino, multiple restaurants, retail shops, world-class spa and boutique hotel. "Development is progressing and we anticipate a timely launch in first quarter 2013," said Brent Borland, Principal, The Placencia. "Our team is dedicated to creating a world-class marina offering an experience unlike any other in the Caribbean. We’re confident our commitment to deliver the highest level of customer service at our 90-key luxury beachfront The Placencia Hotel, our superior location, and broad set of amenities included in our Sporting Club Membership, combined with the forthcoming opening of the Placencia International Airport, puts The Placencia is a class of its own."

Wheeler lands monster marlin
It was a long fight, but well worth it. Jim Wheeler, his son Gabe, daughter in law Shannon, and friend Al Vesel, teamed to boat a whopping 500-pound, 111-inch blue marlin on Feb. 5 off the coast of San Pedro, Belize. t was a long fight, but well worth it. Jim Wheeler, his son Gabe, daughter in law Shannon, and friend Al Vesel, teamed to boat a whopping 500-pound, 111-inch blue marlin on Feb. 5 off the coast of San Pedro, Belize. The foursome fought the fish for 2 hours and 48 minutes before finally winning the fight. “All four of us reeled on it,” Jim Wheeler said. “We gaffed it once it was on the side of the boat.” As for the next day, “I was pretty sore,” he laughed. He used 40-pound test line with a 200-pound liter, in part because it is not uncommon to hook sharks in the area, although landing such a big marlin this time of year is rare, Wheeler said. They filleted off about 50 pounds in steaks back at shore, but the rest of the fish was left behind for the natives. A replica mount of the fish would cost between $1,300 and $1,400, but Wheeler is unlikely to go that route. “I don’t think I have the wall space,” he said. “It’s a pretty big fish.”

Benefit show will help couple overcome trauma
After spending a wonderful honeymoon in Belize last September, a Waynesboro couple didn’t want it to end. The warm, blue water of the Caribbean Sea fronting their beach bungalow was so inviting that they decided to take one more swim before packing. It was a decision that would have horrendous repercussions. “We were starting to swim back in after snorkeling when, all of a sudden, we heard this boat,” said Dana Shiflett Leonard. “We turned around and saw that it was coming toward us fast. “We tried yelling, screaming and waving our arms. I could tell the boat was coming full speed, because the front of it was completely planed out. I realized there was no way it was seeing us, so I thought I’d dive down as deep as I could. “But we were in shallow water, and I felt and heard the boat hit us. When I came up to the surface, I immediately started screaming for help. I looked at Rob and he was holding up his leg and yelling, ‘My leg, my leg.’ “His leg was gone, and the water was bloody. My right arm was broken so badly that the bone was sticking out, and I had a laceration on my right palm from the fingers down to my wrist.” The boat kept going. Fortunately, another boat was nearby and came to their rescue.

Both amateurs and professionals will compete in the upcoming La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. The event is an arduous, mulit-day canoe race that will take travelers along a formiddable river route as they wind their way throughout Belize. The river challenge, which will take place March 9-12, coincides with Baron Bliss Day each March and will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year. To help celebrate the milestone, the La Ruta Maya race committee has voted to allow, for the first time, live race tracking via satellite. Each team will receive a waterproof GPS device, which will transmit their location to the event's website. Users will be able to log on and track competitors by team or by division. As in years past, the 170-mile race will begin in San Ignacio on the first day, March 9, and feature three stops along the way before concluding March 12 in Belize City. Participants will compete in eight different divisions: male, female, mixed, masters, dory, intramural, pleasure craft and a Family Adventure Race. Each team will battle for station prizes, as well as cash rewards presented at the end of the race. Even though there's money at stake, the main objective for the competitors it to survive the grueling race...and have fun, and enjoy yourself!

March 9, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

SP Poly-Clinic targeted by thieves
The Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II is three computers short today after they were targeted by thieves. According to Dr. Javier Zuniga, someone broke into the clinic last night and stole three Dell desktop computers. The computers contained important information including the database of the clinic patients’ information. Dr. Zuniga explained to The San Pedro Sun that the incident occurred sometime between 7AM on Wednesday March 7th and 8AM today, March 8th. The perpetrators gained access through the bathroom window. According to Dr. Zuniga the police were notified and that the scene has been processed; they are in the process of making a formal report. It is believed that the robbers carried the items away in garbage bags.

Newly re-elected PM Dean Barrow addresses the nation
“Thank you Belize! You have renewed our mandate… the work continues.” In a press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed the nation after a 17-seat UDP victory countrywide. PM Barrow says that those UDP candidates that did not win will play “an integral part” of the running of the country’s affairs. “It was a furiously fought campaign and there was an outpouring of support throughout the country. With the heat of the battle behind us, we hope that healing of the nation can begin. The United Democratic Party government must be a government for all Belizeans,” explained PM Barrow. “Our stand for Belizeans nationalism will continue undiminished and undaunted and our pro-poor program will be expanded. We want to extend our hand to the opposition to the civil society and to the NGOs. We want to be accommodating. Work with us, we say to the entire society, but don’t test us because we will not back-out… or else it will be ‘tit for tat our butter for fish’.”

Ambergris Today

Library Receives Donation of 10 Laptops
Thanks to the generosity of Mr. George Parker and daughter Sundee, the San Pedro Town Public Library received an early Easter basket with 10 laptops, a Router and 8 CD ROMs this week. “I have always been an avid reader and I appreciate the dedication your staff and volunteers offer to the local community,” commented George Parker, who donated the laptops. “I am sure it has ignited a love for reading and learning within Ambergris Caye and San Pedro Town residents. “We talked at that time about how we could further your quest for the betterment of the library and the resources it offers the people of Ambergris Caye,” continued Mr. Parker. “It was exciting to talk about the possibility of having computers on site and offering classes for children as well as adults. The ability to access the internet through computers is now the way of the world. We feel it is important for people to have contact with this technology and to learn how to use it. Therefore, in support of the San Pedro Town Public Library, I would like to donate 10 laptop computers and a router.”

Belize Votes The UDP Back in Power
The country of Belize has been declared red once again with the United Democratic Party taking the majority of seats in the House of Representatives in the double elections that took place on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. It was not a landslide victory, but the UDP took 17 of the 31 seats needed to claim victory. This time around, the PUP was able to capture a larger seating than last elections, with 14 seats. "This has been the most exciting race," commented a voter who was anxiously awaiting the results.

Tropic Air Returns Convenient Late Evening Flights
Tropic Air announced today that it will recommence its extra seasonal late evening flights between Belize City Municipal and San Pedro on Thursday, March 15th. This means that Tropic Air has one more late flight leaving for Belize City at 6p.m. and coming back to San Pedro at 6:30p.m. The new service is a direct response to input from its valued customers, and is made possible by the additional daylight conditions (longer days) that occur March through September. “This late evening flight allows our customers to get the most out of their day in Belize City or San Pedro” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “It was immensely popular with our business passengers when we started it last year, so we brought it back as soon as we could this year. We hope to make this flight permanent, year-round, and even have additional evening flights between the two airports as soon as the Municipal Airport Upgrade project is complete. This will include lights on the airstrip”


New research shows ancient Maya women were powerful leaders
To cell phone-toting, internet-obsessed citizens of the modern world, ancient cultures may seem difficult to relate to. But a new look at Maya art and artifacts shows one of the most advanced ancient societies allowed women much more contemporary power than previously believed. “I think the popular belief is that they were restricted to the private household,” said Shankari Patel, an anthropology graduate student at the University of California-Riverside. “The popular belief would be that women stay at home, they didn’t really participate in the rituals that were very important in Maya society. The previous research I looked at left out women completely.”

Police, Rallies, Inky Fingers...Elections are a Big Deal in San Pedro
The streets around the polls at the San Pedro High School were packed with voters... And the line was LONG. I hear that some people were waiting over 2 hours to vote. The police chief told me to "move it along". Apparently you can't mill around the voting area. But outside the restricted area, all of the streets were packed with golf carts, tents and supporters. Some Lebanese Belizeans guys gathered and smoked hookahs (as one does for an election). My friend Sheryl posed with the PUP mayoral candidate and her crew. She was wearing a blue shirt after all...(Sheryl is first, Miss Conchita is #2).

From backpackers to Princes – a real rags to riches story
Prince Harry enjoyed both his stay at The Lodge at Chaa Creek and the real life rags-to-riches story about how his fellow countrymen turned an overgrown little farm on the banks of a then remote part of Belize into a 365 acre luxury eco-resort fit for, well… Mick and Lucy Fleming were around the Prince’s age when they arrived in Belize with a couple of backpacks and two hundred English pounds to their names over thirty years ago. When the Flemings realised that selling vegetables to cash-poor people who grew their own wasn’t going to get them by, they built a simple thatched roof hut using sticks from the jungle and pieces of tyres for door hinges and invited backpackers and other young adventurers to stay. The rest, as they say, is history, as Chaa Creek farm steadily grew into Belize’s first true eco resort and the surrounding rainforest evolved into a vibrant private nature reserve and wildlife sanctuary. Along the way, the Flemings developed a keen appreciation for Belize’s rich Maya history and the rainforest environment, establishing the Belize Natural History Centre and hosting archaeological researchers from universities and other institutions to investigate over 70 Chaa Creek Maya sites

Radically Sustainable Buildings in Belize
Earthship Biotecture build crew is looking for 10 apprentices to join the crew during the first hit of the Belize retrofit project that will take place March 12 - April 8. This project will touch on all phases of Earthship technology including simple survival systems. Apprentices may come for all or for part of the build. Live in paradise while you learn Earthship technologies. This retrofit project is located in the Maya village of San Pedro Columbia on the other side of the river, right next door to the ruins of Lubaantun, which is famous for the Mitchell-Hedges Crystal Skull. It is a tropical rain forest, but the dry season lasts until the end of May. The build will take place on a farm that grows coffee and fruit trees. Apprentices will have access to free camping, toilets and drinking water, and are responsible for getting their own food. Three meals a day, six days a week is being offered at $100 per week for those who are interested. No deposit is required for this particular project.

Underwater Nursery Tends Endangered Corals
Coral thrives, and is returned to hard-hit ecosystems. This same kind of project is being done in Belize.. The marine residents of hard-hit coral reefs near Puerto Rico may have noticed a sudden influx of strangers, thanks to a coral relocation and repopulation project that recently completed its most ambitious transplant to date. Over two weeks in January, teams of divers installed more than 1,200 adult staghorn corals at various reef sites off Tallaboa, along Puerto Rico's southern coastline, in an effort to revive crucial ecosystems that suffered steep declines in recent decades. The transplanted staghorn came from a local coral nursery that rose out of ecological disaster.

Counting Reef Sharks With Cameras: 'Chum Cam' Underwater Video Survey Shows That Reef Sharks Thrive in Marine Reserves
A team of scientists, led by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University, used video cameras to count Caribbean reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezi) inside and outside marine reserves on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in the Caribbean Sea. Using survey data collected from 200 baited remote underwater video (BRUV) cameras, nicknamed "chum cams," the scientists compared the relative abundance of these reef sharks in two marine reserves with those in two areas where fishing is allowed, and demonstrated that the sharks were more abundant in the reserves. The research findings appear in the paper, "Reef sharks exhibit site-fidelity and higher relative abundance in marine reserves on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef," published online March 8 in the journal PLoS ONE. The purpose of the study, conducted from 2005 through 2010, was to test the hypothesis that carcharhinid shark species, which include requiem and whaler sharks, are more abundant inside no-take marine reserves where fishing for sharks and their prey is prohibited. The authors tested the hypothesis by using BRUV surveys to determine the reef sharks' numbers, and combined these results with acoustic monitoring to measure their site fidelity (remaining within the same local area) in Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, Caye Caulker Marine Reserve, and two reefs where fishing is allowed, all located in Belize.

2012: The Mayan Word
Everyone is talking about the Mayan Prophecies of 2012. But who is listening to the Maya? This groundbreaking film brings us the voices of the Mayan people as they share their perspectives on the prophecies of their ancestors and their fight to defend Mother Earth and their culture from destruction. 2012 The Mayan Word is both a message of hope and a call to action. Featuring testimonies from contemporary Mayans throughout Mesoamerica, from spiritual guides to activists, community leaders, farmers, artists, teachers, and children, this film is an extraordinary journey into the heart of Mayan struggle and spirituality.

The Ancient Art Of Fooling Voters
OK, not about Belize, but certainly timely as Belize just finished electing a new government. Lots of this does sound familiar. "...Electoral corruption was endemic at Rome. Like voters in all democracies, the Romans were both inured to it and moved, from time to time, to clean house. The Cicero brothers were campaigning in one of Rome's years of attempted reform. Their chief opponent, a corrupt aristocrat called Lucius Sergius Catilina, had bribed on a sufficiently massive scale to spur the senate to call for tighter rules. A tribune of the plebs vetoed the plan, as was his right under Rome's separation of powers. Cicero was then able to savage Catiline with his famed rhetorical abuse. A problem became an opportunity, a process that always brings politicians pleasure..."

Misc Belizean Sources

Nominal GDP Population, GDP per capita, Consumer prices, Exchange rate BZD/US$, Goods imports, Balance of trade in goods, Current account, Foreign reserves ex gold, Budget balance

Final General Elections Results 2012
Belizean voters went to the polls March 7 to take part in the country's municipal and general elections. The general election, which was not constitutionally required to happen until February 2013, was called early by Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow in January with the declared intention of coinciding with the municipal election and thereby promoting increased electoral participation. According to the Belizean Election and Boundary Department, 178,054 voters registered to take part in the general election of which 108,753 are recorded as having cast their ballots, representing a respectable, if not spectacular, turn-out rate of approximately 61%. Although the official outcome has yet to be announced at the time of writing, preliminary results indicate that Barrow's governing United Democratic Party (UDP) won an estimated 16 out of a possible 31 seats in the House of Representatives against the opposition People's United Party's (PUP) 14 seats. One seat remains undecided. CLICK HERE for the Final Results in a spreadsheet. Preliminary Statement by the OAS Electoral Observation Mission to Belize

PHOTO: DANGER! H2S May be present!
Smells rottem, it can kill you quickly at high concentrations.

Reelected Belize Prime Minister Will Turn To Chavez For Fuel
Newly reelected Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said he will turn to Hugo Chavez for assistance in providing low cost fuel as part of his plan to reduce the cost of living in Belize. Mr. Barrow was speaking at a press conference in Belize City after narrowly escaping defeat in general elections held yesterday. His United Democratic Party won 17 seats versus 14 seats for the opposition Peoples United Party in the country’s 31 seat parliament. It had previously enjoyed a super majority of 25 seats in parliament. Mr. Barrow said that his government will continue its pro-poor agenda and that by importing fuel direct from Venezuela will, he will cut down on high priced imports from traditional fuel suppliers. He said that while the plan was not divulged in his party’s election manifesto, he would immediately open a dialogue with Venezuela to obtain fuel under the Petro Caribe plan promoted by Mr. Chavez. Currently Exxon, Shell and Texaco provide fuel imports to Belize. Mr. Barrow further promised to establish a government oil refinery within 18 months to process the country’s crude oil which is currently exported, in an effort to further reduce reliance on fuel imports. Mr. Barrow added that his government will look at producing its own bio-fuel and other fuel alternatives.

Channel 7

UDP wins Second Term, Narrowly
The UDP will form the next Government of Belize. The party has won a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives, by a margin of 17 to 14. And while that is comfortable, the race was closer than that. In fact, a difference only 61 votes total in Cayo Central and Cayo northeast gave the UDP the majority it needs to form the government. That is a razor-thin margin, but nonetheless - party loyalists - are calling it a case of "ugly win betta than pretty lose" and moving on to form the new government. There is a consequential challenge to the outcome though - as tonight the PUP is contesting the result sand not conceding defeat. We'll have more on that in a minute, but first, to the victor goes the headlines. The UDP held a press conference this afternoon - and the Prime Minister designate gave his impressions of the election outcome and a preview of the days and years ahead. Here's how that went:

PUP Does Not Concede Defeat, Says Elections Not Free And Fair
And while Dean Barrow is going to be sworn in as Prime Minister tomorrow morning - the opposition still has not conceded the election. At a press conference at the party headquarters this evneing, party leader Francis Fonseca said that the election was not free and fair: Francis Fonseca - Party Leader, PUP "I would have hoped to report to you regardless of the outcome that on March 7, Belize had free and fair elections. Regrettably, this has been the case. Across the country, there have been credible, reliable, documented reports of abuse and illegality in the conduct of our election process. Our party has assembled a team of legal advisors, who are examining the documented evidence, and reviewing the legal options available.

Karl Heusner Jr. Shot Again
Today, at around 1 p.m. 26 year-old Karl Heusner Jr. was shot while he was on Logwood Street. Residents told 7News that he was hit in the buttocks area by one bullet, and he was immediately transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. We were told that he was fixing his vehicle when a gunman surprised him from behind and shot him once. That assailant escaped leaving Heusner to seek assistance of the Budram Family.

Sent To Jail For a Flare Gun. A Flare Gun?
25 year-old Andrew Baptist, a supervisor at the Marion Jones Stadium; and his girlfriend, Tricia Usher, a 26 year-old cashier, have both been remanded to Belize Central Prison for allegedly being in possession of a prohibited firearm. The Gang Suppression Unit raided Baptist's Sandhill home and found a flare gun which is now a prohibited firearm under the Firearm Act. According to police, the GSU conducted a search on Baptist's home yesterday at around 1:30 p.m., after they received a tip that a man was flushing what appeared to be a weapon down the toilet.

Cop Charged For Burglary
This week, we have been reporting on Police Constable Brandon Hertular, who according to police, stole a firearm, and 3 cellular phones, and $1650 in cash from the family of Shirley Chicas, when they conducted search of their home. Well, today Hertular was finally arraigned today for 1 count of burglary. Hertular, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail of $6,000 which he met this morning. He is to return to court on April 23. As we reported, he allegedly confiscated the items to be taken to the exhibit room pending the outcome of some unknown robberies. When Chicas reported the suspicious incident to police, Hertular was arrested and charged.

Stabbed A Man In Neck/Remanded To Prison
25 year-old Robert Tracey, was remanded today for allegedly stabbing a man in the neck. Loren Lennan reported to police that on February 29, he was socializing in front of a game shop on Bocotora Street. Lennan said that he left the area to go urinate by a nearby fence, and that's when Tracey then crept up behind him and stabbed him in the neck with a knife. Police investigation led them to arrest and charge Tracey, and he was arraigned in front of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today.

Closing At Trial Without Jury
On Wednesday of next week, Akeem Thurton will know his fate as decided by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. He is on trial for the attempted murder of Attorney Rodwell Williams. Today, he gave his final address to Chief Justice Benjamin in relation to his defense. He was asked to speak on the evidence which the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl Taitt-Vidal, has presented to the court against him. He stood up and said, quote, "My Lord, I did not shoot no one. This is coming from my heart. I am a fisherman." End quote. Before he could go any further, CJ Benjamin reminded him that he is only to address the court on the evidence presented in the case, but he kept on in the same manner.

OAS Reports on Elections Conduct and Irregularities
Yesterday while over 70% of the country's registered voters were out casting ballots a team of 22 OAS observers from 13 countries were watching. They were present in all six districts, and visited over 85% of the country's polling areas. They presented their initial report at a press conference today and here's what they had to say about some irregularities they noted: Ambassador Frank Almaguer - Head of OAS Observer Team To Belize "During the pre-electoral period, the mission heard concerns with regards to the voter's list stemming from the extension of the registration period, and alleged irregularities in the registration of newly naturalized citizens. The campaign period was also characterized a perception of limited differentiation between the state and the governing party in terms of resources. Agents from the two major parties maintained a presence at all of the polling stations observed by the mission.

The Select 31
And so tonight, things have changed but they remain the same. As the comparative map of the country's electoral divisions shows the PUP has gained control over major portions of the country, but because it increased its hold in Belize City, the UDP still has the majority. The UDP is having a victory rally in front of its headquarters - and the PUP candidates who flat out lost are licking their wounds - while the party is preparing to challenge in the case of those who lost by narrow margins.

What Caused The UDP's Downturn?
In total there was 73% turnout at the polls which is good, as noted by the OAS and only slightly less than 2008. According to our calculations, the UDP got just about 50% of the popular vote, while the PUP got 47% - which was a swing of 6.45% against the UDP. So what explains the big swing against the UDP? That's what we asked Dean Barrow today... Jules Vasquez "Do you know what is the caused the demise your party's electoral fortunes?" Dean Barrow - Prime Minister Elect "Well, how can you call it demise? We won, didn't we? Usually, you are such a careful word smith. What's going wrong? That long night last night also scrambled your brains? Jules, there was very clearly a dramatic reduction in our numbers. There is no getting away from that. I can tell you that while I repeat that certainly over the last couple of months, during the campaign season proper, all of our candidates did all that they could have done, all that they were supposed to do, I will be perfectly honest, That is the case before the election campaign. Look at what has happened. There are those seats that we lost.

Channel 5

Belize General Election Results
All the results from the 2012 Belizean Elections

Several U.D.P. seats lost; candidates to blame

The U.D.P. lost eight of its seats and at times during the night it appeared that the P.U.P. might have won. The PM admitted it was a close call and he even considered what he would say to the media if the tide had turned. But what caused the loss in of so many U.D.P. ...

U.D.P. reelected; Cabinet members to come from senate

He hasn’t formed a new Cabinet and we will not know which of the seventeen representatives will get a portfolio. He did announce that not all of the elected members of the U.D.P. government will sit in Cabinet. Four others will be brought through the senate, which means that the new Cabinet will be fifteen ...

Barrow says he still has mandate of people

The United Democratic Party was returned to government with a significantly reduced margin. Of the twenty-five seats held by the U.D.P., it lost seven. The pendulum swept completely in the south and the opposition also gained ground in the north and west, giving it a stronger voice in parliament. We’ll look at those details later ...

Manifesto includes oil refinery

There were over a hundred campaign promises made by both the P.U.P. and the U.D.P. And now that Barrow is in for his second term, he intends to fulfill a promise that he says wasn’t on the manifesto. He wants to explore the possibility of a national oil refinery. Barrow also intends to seek write-offs ...

Opposition challenges Election in Court

The prime minister announced at a press conference that he will take the oath on Friday for his new term in government, but the People’s United Party says it’s not conceding the elections. According to P.U.P. leader, Francis Fonseca, the elections were neither free nor fair and that the electoral process was tainted with irregularities. ...

P.U.P. petitions are about results and Lake I

The P.U.P. is filing three challenges, which Fonseca says might overturn the results. Two petitions are on the razor thin results in the Cayo District and the other relates to Lake Independence where Yolanda Schakron’s nomination was rejected by registering officer, Noreen Fairweather. The director of communications cited allegations of irregularities and abuse. Lisa Shoman, ...

OAS concerned about Campaign Financing

The Electoral Observation Mission coordinated by the Organization of American States has concluded its report on the March seventh dual elections. The team of twenty-two men and women, representing thirteen OAS member states, arrived in the country last Thursday at the request of the government to scrutinize the General and Municipal Elections. Members were deployed ...

OAS says campaigners breach 100 yard line

While observers noted that there aren’t any laws governing political financing, they also took notice that the rule defining the hundred yard boundary between supporters and the polling stations was not being respected. In all instances there were dozens of campaigners gathered near the entrance to the various polling stations where they heckled their opponents ...

PM says some OAS Recommendations impractical

The comments made by the OAS Observer team were not out of the ordinary. The OAS observer mission was well received and felt the experience showed a working democracy. The PM, however, says that some of the suggestions are impractical and that elections are free and fair… but not perfect. Dean Barrow “They want to ...

Low voter turnout and districts that counted

There were highs and lows throughout Wednesday night as the results of the elections started to come in. At about one-thirty this morning, the U.D.P. reached the magical number of sixteen with a win in Corozal Bay and then went on to win one more seat. The opposition won fourteen, up from six seats it ...

Mixed slate for Belmopan City Council

The results of the municipals are a mixed bag. For the Belmopan City Council, it went down to the wire with results being announced shortly after six o’clock this morning. With a high number of split votes and three full city council slates of the VIP, U.D.P., and P.U.P., along with five mayoral hopefuls, it ...

U.D.P. to govern most town halls

The results of the Municipal Elections may have been completely dwarfed by the overwhelming emphasis placed on the wins and losses of ministerial hopefuls. Throughout the night counting clerks were busy tallying votes received by each mayoral and councilor candidate. When it was all said and done it was clear that the wave of red ...

The Final Tally of DECISION 2012

There were surprise wins and losses in Wednesday’s general elections. In the south, the People’s United Party won handsomely taking all seats in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts with the stunning defeat of Melvin Hulse and Eden Martinez. In the North, the opposition took five of eight seats, and made significant gains in the ...

Robert Tracey remanded for stabbing victim

In the courts, a former Security Guard of the Magistrate’s Court, who was stabbed in the neck on February twenty-ninth, today saw his alleged attacker remanded to prison. The accused man, twenty-five year old Robert Tracey, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer to be read two charges; Attempted Murder and Grievous Harm upon Loren Lennan. ...

Police constable charged with Burglary

On Tuesday, we reported that Police Constable Brandon Hertular was facing charges for allegedly stealing, a weapon, cash and cell phones from a house in Belize City. Well, after three nights in police custody, the twenty-five year old cop was formally arraigned today on a charge of Burglary. Hertular appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, ...


PUP plans to challenge 3 constituency election results
The elections are now history, but the coming days and weeks will be interesting as one party readies itself to govern on its claim to victory and the other rights itself for bouts of legal challenges over the results in at least three constituencies. Love News attended press conferences of both the United Democratic Party, which is already moving forward with a victory rally tonight, and the People’s United Party, which is asking the courts to intervene in at least three instances concerning three of their seats. We hear first from the newly re-elected leader of the Queen Square Division, Dean Barrow. But at its conference thereafter, the PUP said not so fast. In fact, at its press conference, the PUP Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, said they felt the elections was everything but free and fair, and for that reason, they have not conceded a loss to the UDP.

Victorious PUP candidates celebrate in Orange Walk
The People’s United Party is celebrating in Orange Walk. On Thursday morning, representatives Jose Abelardo Mai, Marco Tulio Mendez and John Briceno along with the winning PUP Town Council slate met in an informal session with municipal employees and party supporters. According to our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun, the mood was celebratory as she spoke with the Orange Walk Central representative about his party’s performance in the north. And while the PUP plans the way forward, outgoing Orange Walk mayor Philip de la Fuence has promised a smooth transition and will meet with the news Mayor Kevin Bernard on Tuesday during which he will officially hand over control of the Town Council. De la Fuente says he is grateful to have had the opportunity to serve his people for the last three years.

OAS observers give Belize election good rating; but express concerns
The Organization of American States Election Observation Mission has validated the joint polls in Belize as being free and fair. At an early afternoon press conference, the head of the Mission, Ambassador Frank Almaguer told reporters that all the polling stations opened on time at seven o’clock on Wednesday morning and that they were adequately staffed and equipped. But the Observer Mission did find some activities on Election Day that raised concerns for them. The team of observers included representatives of twenty two member countries of the Organization of American States. They were fanned out across the country to observe voting on Wednesday, and while they were aiming for complete coverage, Ambassador Almaguer said that observers were present in each district and visited over eighty five percent of the nation’s polling areas. The Observer Mission has made four main recommendations having witnessed firsthand Decision 2012 as Belizeans voted in simultaneously general and municipal elections.

PM-designate Barrow makes first public statements after close win for UDP
is traditional that the winner of a general election would make a victory speech. This time around however, it was different, as the prime minister elect, Dean Barrow, chose not to address the nation on Election night when his United Democratic Party was first past the post and won a back to back term in Belmopan. That victory speech was made this afternoon at the press conference which was held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Hotel. Before he pressed on with his plans to govern the country for the next five years, Mr. Barrow lamented that he was still disappointed in himself as leader over the elections results. Barrow, who is now serving his second stint as Prime Minister said that he intends to extend a hand of cooperation to the PUP and the wider society. And in that same vein, he assured that there would not be any victimization. And if you were wondering when he will name a new Cabinet, Mr Barrow explained that based on the seventeen seats that they garnered, by law, it would be impossible to name more than eleven of the elected representatives as Ministers of Government.


UDP wins General Elections by small margin
It was a nail biting political race yesterday in the country of Belize as most predictions, barring some questionab...

PM Dean Barrow addresses nation in press conference
The Prime Minister hosted a press conference this afternoon to address the nation. He thanked the Belizean people f...

PlusTV travels north for 2012 elections
PlusNews crew blazed a northern trail on Election Day and canvassed Corozal and Orange Walk. The day started on a h...

PlusTV's coverage of elections in Cayo West
PlusTV covered the north , south, east, and, of course, the west. Sherl O’Brein and Brett Smith headed that way an...

Belmopan Municipal Election turnout estimated at 72%
There is a new municipal government in Belmopan. And it’s a two tone municipality: red and blue. Simeon Lopez with ...

Man stabbed during robbery in Belize City
A man was stabbed early this morning in Belize City. It happened around 12 midnight while 21 year old Jiovanni Graj...

Belize joins the world in observing International Women's Day
Today is being observed as International women’s day. It is being observed under the theme “Connecting girls, inspi...

Reward being offered for recovery of stolen truck
A silver pick-up truck was stolen from in front of a residence on Sapodilla Street in Belmopan last night. John Fri......

The Guardian

CYDP employee and Orange Walk Barber charged with robbery
On Wednesday March 29th Profile Jewelry located at the Commercial Center in the heart of downtown Belize City was robbed at knife and gunpoint. The culprits managed to get away with 691 pieces of jewelry, over $500 in cash and two cellphones.

Theft charges dismissed from former cable collector
On Monday March 5th a former worker at Centaur Cable Company saw a theft charge dismissed against him in the Belize City Magistrate’s court after a submission was made by his attorney. In May 2011, 35-year-old Enrique Depaz, who once worked as a Collecting Agent with the cable company was charged with a single count of theft from his workplace but on Monday, the date set for final trial it could not start. The court prosecutor was requesting another adjournment in the matter due to the uncertainty of whether or not the summons was served to the witness in the case. However, Depaz’s attorney, Dickie Bradley submitted that on the last occasion, he noted that the benefit was given to the prosecution witnesses and another adjournment was granted to make sure that fairness is exercised to all and for the prosecutor to get her witnesses to court.

Shooting and chopping at Western Paradise community
At about 4:30p.m. on that day 33-year-old Roger Hernandez and his younger brother, allegedly attacked, 31-year-old Angel Dorado who were then shot at and then attacked by a group machete wielding individuals. As a result of the incident, Dorado sustained chop wounds to his right arm, left arm and head, behind the neck area while, one of his attackers, identified as Roger Hernandez sustained injuries to his head and left hand.

Remanded for robbing $7,000 from a doctor
After almost two years behind bars for pleading guilty to having a gun in his possession Dario Cruickshank, 26, a male babysitter of #6 Banak Street was remanded to prison after being accused of robbing a female doctor at gunpoint at her clinic on Blue Marlin Avenue. Cruickshank appeared in Magistate’s Court on Tuesday March 6th, unrepresented before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where he was read a single charge of robbery.

Human skull found in the center of O.W.
A skull appearing to be that of a human being was spotted yesterday by the Branch Manager at Courts, in a black plastic bag, on one of Orange Walk’s most trafficked streets. The infrequent and disturbing discovery was made sometime before 5:00 p.m., on Queen Victoria Avenue in front of Courts (Belize).Ltd and opposite the immigration building. The Manager said that as he entered the building at around 4:00 p.m. he had seen the plastic bag lying on the businesses’ verandah almost to the end corner. An hour later, the Manager exited and noted that the bag was still there. He became concerned, thinking that probably a customer had left his purchased merchandise; he walked to the bag and opened it slightly and quickly recognized the content to be a humanskull. The skull was not complete as the jaw was already detached. A slight odor was also released from within the bag after it was opened.

Prince Harry Soaks in the Belize Experience
As part of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, members of the Royal Family are traveling to different Commonwealth nations to share Her Majesty’s message to Commonwealth realms. His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David or “Prince Harry” is the son of the Prince of Wales and the late Princess Diana. As part of the Diamond Jubilee tour, Prince Harry embarked on a ten day trip to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas. His first stop was in Belize and the people of the jewel were happy to grant him a royal welcome.

Hicatee closed season
The General Public is hereby advised that the Fisheries Department has increased its enforcement activities to ensure compliance with management and conservation regulations for the Hicatee. A recent National Survey indicates that the population of this freshwater turtle has greatly diminished as a result of unsustainable harvest; hence the need for increased compliance. The Public is advised that any person who contravenes the Hicatee regulation commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

SSB Assumes the Presidency Pro Tempore of the Council of Social Security Institutions in Central America and Dominican Republic (CISSCAD)
The XXXIII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Social Security Institutions in Central America and Dominican Republic (CISSCAD) is was held in Belize City during March 1 to 2, 2012. The highlight of this meeting included the formal handing over of the Presidency of the CISSCAD from Lic. Marlon de Souza, Deputy Director General of the Social Security Institute of Panamá to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Social Security Board, Mrs. Leticia Vega. The tenure of the Presidency is for a period of two years from 2012 to 2013. CISSCAD member countries developed a work plan to execute the CISSCAD’s Strategic Plan 2012-2016 under the theme “Advancing social security through integration and collaboration.” Belize became a part of the CISSCAD since 2004 as an observer and became a full member in 2005. CISSCAD’s main objective is to promote projects and activities aimed at universal coverage of social security benefits in the member countries. CISSCAD member countries attending this meeting consist of Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Dominican Republic and Belize. Supporting this most important event are representatives from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America (COMISCA).

For the first time in the party’s history, the United Democratic Party has won back to back General Elections. At press time, the UDP had already won seventeen seats. The first to be declared victorious was the Mesopotamia area being called for Hon. Michael Finnegan at 8:30 p.m. His victory was followed by Hon. Patrick Faber who brought back Collet for the United Democratic Party. By 10 p.m. it was clear that Belize City was as red as it has ever been with 8 seats confirmed for the United Democratic Party. In that 8 was Herman Longsworth of the Albert Division. Longsworth became the first UDP candidate to win in Albert since the late great Phillip S.W. Goldson. While it was all good in Belize City, the same could not have been said for the rest of the country. Troubling reports began to come in from the Northern and Southern districts. It became clear that this was going to be no easy victory. The scorecards were pulled out and the race to 16 was watched more keenly. Promising reports then came in from Belize Rural South, Belize Rural North, Orange Walk North and Corozal Bay. Information was difficult to retrieve out of the Belmopan counting station and some “Verdict” callers were saying that Hon. John aldivar was in trouble. In fact they reported that the entire Cayo District appeared to be going blue. Those false reports were dismissed as victory was declared for Erwin Contreras, Rene Montero and then Elvin Penner. Those reports gave the United Democratic Party 15 seats. All eyes were turned to the Lake Independence Constituency. Information from inside the counting room was that Mark King won by a small margin in every single box and one box was outstanding. It was clear that the United Democratic Party had crossed the line and would be returned to government. Hugo Patt later claimed the 17th seat for the great United Democratic Party.

OAS Mission to Belize Pleased with electoral process in Belize
A contingent of 23 observers from 13 countries in the western hemisphere which make up the Organization of American States have been in the country from last week and the impressions they have of Belize’s elections is a positive one. The Guardian spoke to the head of the mission Frank Almaguer who explained that the role of the mission is to understand the Belizean Electoral Process. He said the contingent came at the invitation of the electoral authorities and added that the contingent has been deployed all over the country. The aim is to visit almost all voting locations in the country and follow the process until the votes are counted.

Belize attends first meeting of Council of Ministers of Health of Mesoamerica
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen attended the first meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Mesoamerica (SMSP) held last week, in Mexico City, Mexico. At its first Board Room meeting, Secretary of Health of Mexico, Solomon Chertorivski Woldenberg announced that a human development component has been formed within the project entitled the Mesoamerican Public Health System (SMPS).

Can Yasmin get any figures right?
Throughout the entire course of her appearance on the Love FM/Channel 5 collaborative broadcast, Yasmin Andrews kept on harping on figures that the voter turnout for the elections would have been low but the problem was that when the figures kept on coming in her face simply changed as if she no longer had confidence in what she was saying.

GOB absorbs fuel price increase
The Ministry of Finance wishes to advise the public that as a consequence of the continuing rise in world oil prices there will be a further sharp increase in the CIF prices of fuel products on the next shipment due to arrive in Belize on 2nd March 2012. The Government of Belize, mindful of the negative effects that this would have on the public, has taken a decision to absorb the price impact by varying import duties on this shipment only, in order to maintain fuel prices at their current level, with the exception of kerosene, which will increase by only six cents per gallon. This is a one-off action and will be reviewed when the next shipment of fuel arrives in the country. The impact of the CIF price increases, if not mitigated, would have resulted in pump prices of gasoline and diesel increasing by slightly over fifty cents per gallon and twenty seven cents per gallon respectively. The cost to Government of its intervention to save the public from the higher pump prices is estimated to be $1.5 million over the next four weeks.

Police extends lead in Premier League competition
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last weekend with six games across the country. On Sunday March 4, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the visiting Belize Defence Force and the home team FC Belize played to a 1-1 draw. The home team FC Belize got on the scoreboard first when David Ramos scored his team’s goal in the 19th minute of play. The goal was able to hold for almost the entire game. Unfortunately, for FC Belize, the visiting Belize Defence Force’s artillery found in mark when Erwin Flores scored the equalizing goal in the 79th minute of play for the draw.

31st Annual Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Cycling Classic
The 31st Annual Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Cycling Classic is organised by the Belize Cycling Association under the regulations of the International Cycling Union and Belize Cycling Association. The event is being sponsored by the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation, with co-sponsorship from Toucan Industry Limited, Atlantic Insurance Co. Ltd, and Red Bull. The 31st Annual event is scheduled for Sunday March 18, 2012. The Elite race will start at Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 in Belize City at 8:00 am travel to Belmopan around the Ring road and return to finish at Mile 2 at Leslie’s Imports. This will cover a total distance of 100 miles. The junior riders will start at Mile 2 Leslie’s Imports in Belize City at 8:00 am travel to La Democracia on the Western Highway and then return to Mile 2 at Leslie’s Imports for the finish. This will cover a total distance of 60 miles. While the female riders will also start at Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 at 8:10 am, travels also to La Democracia and then back to Leslie’s Imports for the finish.

Student-athletes to represent Belize at King James Classic
The Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council in collaboration with the Belize Basketball Federation has released the names of the 15 student-athletes that will represent Belize at the King James Basketball Classic to be held in Ohio in April of this year. The student-athletes named were: Kashief Thomas, Lincey Lopez and Andrew Ortiz from Sadie Vernon Technical High School in Belize City, Brian White from Wesley College, Kyle Middleton, Tariq Middleton, Devin Daly and Zack Usher from St. John’s College, Roger Reneau from New Hope High School in the Orange Walk District, Raluni Bernardez from Toledo Community College, Brandon Flowers from Georgetown Technical High School in the Stann Creek District, Akeem Walters from Belmopan Comprehensive School, Mike Guan from San Pedro High School, Frank Williams from Stann Creek Ecumenical High School, and Marlon Andrewin from Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio Town. The coaches are Bernie Tarr and Brads Neal.

Avengers win again in junior softball
The Belize City Junior Girls’ Softball Competition continued on Saturday March 3, 2012, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. In the first game of the double header, defending champions Avengers won its second consecutive game of the young competition when it rallied from an early 7-2 deficit to defeat Hurricanes Junior by the score of 15-7. Hurricanes Juniors batting in the top of the inning scored single runs in the 1st and 2nd innings respectively and then added 3 in the 3rd inning and 2 more in the 4th inning. It collected a total of 4 hits off the pitching of Kaylee McFadzean.

Pundit Season
Every season has its advantages and disadvantages and election season is no exception. Naturally, every advantage for one person may be a disadvantage for another. For example, the number and length of political advertisements that make watching the local news into a tedious marathon for viewers is a financial boon for hard pressed media houses. The advertisement war is but apart of the pre-election war dance that opposing parties perform to terrify their enemies and encourage their supporters. It includes rallies and songs and the promulgation of polls and predictions that are favourable to one’s own side or unfavorable to the opposition, hence, election season is also pundit season.The sudden appearance of self-proclaimed political pundits with their unsupported opinions and questionable polls and predictions spreads unease throughout thepolitical landscape but brings the craved recognition and sometimes financial rewards to the pundits and their backers. The most successful pundits are those who can portray a level of disinterest or partisan political neutrality since the views of a person who is heavily associated with a particular political party will carry less weight. This has not in the past discouraged pundits such as Myrtle Palacio but it has probably restrained a few others. ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Community Service Head to Caye Caulker for Spring Break
Instead of returning home like the majority of their peers, eleven Milton students will head to Belize to construct a new classroom for high school students at the Ocean Academy in Caye Caulker, Belize. Caye Caulker, a small limestone coral reef situated in the Caribbean Sea, is twenty miles off the coast of Belize. Originally settled in 1847 by people of mixed Mayan and Spanish descent fleeing massacres across the Yucatan Peninsula, the island has now become a popular destination for tourists, especially backpackers. The Milton students will be spending much of their time working with plaster and cement, building the add-on for the school. They will also be working directly with students, tutoring in math and reading, playing beach sports, and occasionally having lunch in their homes. This same trip to Belize was expected to take place last March, but unfortunately didn’t happen due to insufficient participation. Two years ago, students traveled to and worked in the Appalachia region. The goal of each community service trip is to apply the ideals of weekly service commitments to a new setting for an extended period of time. The Community Service Board hopes that students travelling to Belize can really engage themselves in a community, form a lasting bond, and feel as though they have made a significant impact. They aim to exchange our help and services for a larger understanding of another part of the world.

The United Democratic Party wins most seats in the General Elections 2012
With March 7th being a big and exciting day for all Belizeans at home and abroad, Caye Caulker also had their share of excitement as voters came out to exercise their civic duty in casting their ballots for their selected candidate. The polling station for voters was at the Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School, which opened for an early start. At the end of the day, the boxes from Caye Caulker were sent to San Pedro Town for the official count. Rising victorious is incumbent Area Representative, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. of the United Democratic Party with 2,479 votes while Patty Arceo of the People’s United Party received 2,026 votes, Robert “Bobby” Lopez of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) received 332 votes whilst William Mike Campbell received 24 votes. After tallying the ballots, the United Democractic Party (UDP) won 17 out of 31 seats and remains the ruling party to form the next Government of Belize for the next five years.

International Sources

Using ‘chum cams,’ scientists find protected areas benefit sharks
For years, scientists and policymakers have debated whether putting parts of the sea off-limits to fishing actually benefits such wide-roving predators as sharks. Now, thanks to some dead sardines in front of an underwater camera, they have proof. A team of scientists from the United States and Belize picked four ocean locations to survey over five years, from 2005 to 2010. In each spot they put a waterproof video camera on the seafloor in front of a small bait cage — contraptions they nicknamed “chum cams.” Then they counted how many sharks showed up on film.

Kim Simplis Barrow talks Chemotherapy, recovery and meeting Prince Harry
Short piece on the PM's wife and her meeting with the Prince. What was it like meeting Prince Harry and what did he think of Belize? Prince Harry said in an interview with Janelle Chanona that ‘He was most impressed with the people of Belize, and he was really happy to be here!’ One the night of the street party, he wore a traditional Guayabera shirt that was gifted to him when he arrived. I thought it was very classy of him. He talked with locals who came out to greet him, danced with the cultural performers, tasted the local cuisine including the local liquor and beer, and even stopped to talk to children. I was extremely pleased to have been able to accompany my husband Dean in welcoming Prince Harry to Belize. It was lovely meeting him, especially because he was so easy-going and down-to-earth, he was very engaging and interested in finding out more about Belize. I am very happy he took some time to meet with some of the children with special needs. He had lunch with several of them at the Xunantunich Mayan temple and was given a Mayan calendar by a vision impaired child, while a child with Brittle Bones presented him with our 2012 Inspiration Calendar, which features artwork from children with special needs and is produced by the Special Envoy Office. It was wonderful that he had the opportunity to learn a bit about the advocacy that we do here in Belize on behalf of children with special needs. To top it all off, he said that he wants to plan another trip to Belize!

Belize’s UDP Wins Narrow Re-election; Opposition Gains Eight Seats
Belize’s ruling United Democratic Party has won the country’s general elections with a total of 17 out of 31 seats, Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai told Caribbean Journal. The voting “went smoothly in most areas,” Tamai said, with a turnout of approximately 73.11 percent, according to official results. Several seats won by narrow margins could face legal challenges, however. The UDP’s win in the Cayo Central division came by a total of 44 votes, according to Tamai, while its victory in the Cayo North East division came by just 17 votes. No recounts were permitted by the presiding officers in those areas, however, and should the People’s United Party choose to challenge those decisions, they will have to do so in the courts. The victory means another term for Prime Minister Dean Barrow, whose party rose to power in 2008 after a 10 years of PUP leadership. Barrow made debt service on the country’s Superbond a campaign issue, and the UDP’s win could mean a renegotiation of that $546.8 million debt. The vote was a stronger showing for the PUP and its leader, Francis Fonseca, representing an increase of 8 seats compared to 2008.

Army South Soldiers brave jungle, improve Belize military medical capacity
Deep in the jungle of Belize, five U.S. Army Soldiers, accompanied by soldiers from the Belize Defense Force, moved through unfamiliar terrain with their casualty. The ability to move their casualty more than 200 yards was strenuous due to the climate and terrain. Time was a factor for their casualty, and they knew it. Sensing they were running out of time, the medics chopped their way through thick vegetation, rappelled down steep cliffs, crossed rapid rivers, and made their way through dark caves. Once they reached their objective, the unusual happened. Their patient stood up, smiled and praised them on a job well done. The Army medics were participating in a two-week, U.S. Army South-sponsored Subject Matter Expert Exchange, or SMEE, with the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard Service. The exchange required the U.S. Soldiers to step outside their comfort zones and slither through the jungle and rivers of Belize, all while staying focused on properly executing their skills.

Belize Dollar Bonds Gain, Erasing Earlier Losses on Elections
Belize’s dollar bonds gained, erasing earlier losses fueled by speculation a victory for the ruling party in parliamentary elections today could lead it to carry out a debt restructuring. Yields on the country’s $544 million of bonds due 2029 fell 13 basis points to 18.98 percent after rising 12 basis points earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Yields are up from 17.35 on Feb. 6, the day Standard & Poor’s carried out the first of two rating cuts on the Central American country that has left it at CCC-, or three levels above default. S&P said the incumbent United Democratic Party’s debt restructuring talks have turned from “rhetoric to a promise.” Yields touched a record 24.62 percent on Feb. 10. The government is deciding whether it needs to restructure the dollar bonds, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight said in a Feb. 16 telephone interview. Phone calls to his office went unanswered today.

March 8, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro remains mostly UDP
Heredia takes BRS. Danny Guerrero is Mayor, Split SPTC Council: 5 UDP & 1 PUP In the House: UDP 17, PUP 14 – Dean Oliver Barrow remains Belize’s Prime Minister After months of anticipation, voters turned out in full force on Wednesday, March 7th to decide both the General and Municipal elections. When all ballots were accounted for countrywide, the United Democratic Party managed to capture 17 seats out of a possible 31 seats in the National Assembly officially forming the new Belizean government. Two of those seats, Cayo Central (Collet Motejo – PUP vs Rene Montero – UDP) and Cayo North East (Orlando Habet – PUP vs. Elvin Penner – UDP) are reportedly to be contested in court. In San Pedro the United Democratic Party (UDP) won the Belize Rural South Constituency re-electing incumbent Jose Manuel “Junior” Heredia Jr. as the Belize Rural South (BRS) Area Representative. 4,987 electorates out of a total of 7,100 registered voters (70.23%) cast their votes in the General Elections in Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. In the San Pedro Municipal elections, Daniel Guerrero and five of his six councilors won for the UDP, and 1 PUP councilor candidate, Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez, now make up the new San Pedro Town Council. Below are vote totals....

Heredia re-elected as Belize Rural South Area Rep.
On Wednesday, March 7th United Democratic Party (UDP) incumbent Jose Manuel Heredia JR was re-elected as Belize Rural South (BRS) Area Representative. At around 1AM on March 8th the third-term victor addressed an enthusiastic crowd that had gathered at the San Pedro High School where voting Area 37 was held. In the company of UDP San Pedro Mayor Elsa Paz, Heredia gave thanks to those who have showed their support over the years and pledged to continue his service to Belize Rural South.

Thousands to go to the polls in double elections
Today March 7th, thousands of Belizeans are going to the polls to choose a new Municipal and Central government. Since 6AM this morning, the polls were open to allow for voting to start at 7AM. In San Pedro the election process started as planned. Political Organs were in high gear even before 6AM. Banners, tents, flyers and billboards from the different political parties and candidates were installed to encourage electorates to give the various camps their support. Once the polls were opened at polling station 37 at the San Pedro High School, a large number of electorates were allowed to enter to start the electoral process. By the time voting started, a long line had already formed that extended outside of the school’s compound.

Polling Station Update: 1PM
As of 1:00pm this afternoon voter turnout in the Belize Rural South General Elections has reached 1,911; which accounts for 26.92% of the total electorate. In San Pedro Town Council Municipal Elections, 1,519 voters have turned out to vote or 24.17% of the voter total

Polling Station Voter Turnout: 2PM
As of 2:00pm this afternoon voter turnout in the Belize Rural South General Elections has reached 2,645; which accounts for 37.25% of the total electorate. In San Pedro Town Council Municipal Elections 2,172 voters have turned out to vote or 34.54% of the voter total.

Polling Updates at 5:00pm
As of 5:00pm today voter turnout in the Belize Rural South General Elections has reached 4,035; which accounts for 56.83% of the total electorate. In San Pedro Town Council Municipal Elections 3,421 voters have turned out to vote or 54.4% of the voter total.

Polling Station Gates Now Closed – Final Vote being cast
At 6PM at all polling station #37, the main gates were officially closed. With tight security by the San Pedro Police, only electorates already in line are allowed to remain in the polling areas. In San Pedro, there was a last minute rush and at 6PM the lines were packed with hundreds of individuals waiting to vote. Polling Station 37 - San Pedro The last count received from returning officers in Belize Rural South were given at 5PM. At that time, in the Municipal Elections, 3421 individuals had come out to place their votes. This marks a total of 54.4% of voter’s turnout. In the General Elections, the last count received by The San Pedro Sun was at 5PM when 3,455 voters of the 6,289 voters in San Pedro had turned out to cast their votes, while in Caye Caulker a total of 580 of their 802 voters had turned out to cast their votes. This brings the total number of individuals that casted their votes in the General Elections to 4,035, a percentage of voters’ turnout is at 56.83%. Gates now closed at Polling Area 37 With the gates closed, we are awaiting a final count of the overall voters turn out which we expect to receive sometime around 9:30PM. Any information received prior to that time will be updated on our website as they become available.

Ambergris Today

Belize Votes The UDP Back in Power
The country of Belize has been declared red once again with the United Democratic Party taking the majority of seats in the House of Representatives in the double elections that took place on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. It was not a landslide victory, but the UDP took 17 of the 31 seats needed to claim victory. This time around, the PUP was able to capture a larger seating than last elections, with 14 seats. "This has been the most exciting race," commented a voter who was anxiously awaiting the results. "This election is very tight and tense, I can't even study good," commented another. In San Pedro, Manuel Heredia Jr. managed to hold his position in government with 49.7% of the votes (2,479), besting out three other candidates out of the 4987 votes that were cast in San Pedro and Caye Caulker. The voter turnout in the BRS constituency was 70.23%. Manuel Heredia managed to win all nine boxes in San Pedro while Patty Arceo took both boxes in the neighboring island of Caye caulker.


TV Crew Films at Faux Chicken Drop!
Last night, Tuesday night, was Election Day Eve. And like in many places, Election Day is a national holiday...but unlike many places, Election Day is a dry holiday in Belize. You heard me. No alcohol served or sold. So lots of people go out the night before. I went (first) to Wahoo's Lounge. I love the owners and PLUS, they promised a celebrity. A real film crew. I'm there. They were staging a fake Chicken Drop for the TV filming. (For the usual Chicken need to stop by on Thursdays.) What's up with the new chicken costume? I'm not going to lie...I'm totally digging it. So here is the full story...Ty Sawyer is filming in San Pedro. Another Shade of Blue. I'll be honest. I'd never heard of him. (And I watch TV like a 65 year old retiree.) But lots of crew and equipment? I'm there!

The Mighty, Magical Ceiba
We spend a lot of time getting excited about the wild animals we see during our Trans-Americas Journey but there have also been some pretty spectacular trees along the way including Sequoias in California and ancient Bristlecone Pines. In Central America, it’s all about the ceiba (pronounced say bah) and we fell in love with this magestic, mighty and possibly magical tree. A ceiba is usually the tallest tree in the jungle and can grow to more than 200 feet (70 meters) tall. The trunks are branchless and very straight, making them a favored tree for canoe making. A large ceiba trunk can yield a canoe large enough to hold 40 men. All of a cebia’s branches are at the very top of the tree where they radiate out like the ribs of an umbrella. The whole massive thing is held upright by wide buttresses at it’s base. The ceiba is the national tree of Guatemala where it’s actually illegal to cut one down. This explains why its so common to see one giant ceiba looming large in the middle of an otherwise cleared field full of crops or cows. The ceiba starts off its life with spikes that look a bit like shark’s teeth covering its trunk. As the tree matures, the spikes disappear.

VIDEO: A Belize Experience
USC Dornsife's Problems without Passports program offered undergraduates the chance to go to Belize, for the second year in a row, over the summer. Check out their experiences -- did that student just eat an ant?

How We Spent Seven Hours in Belize
The thought of just a seven hour window to wander around Belize was nerve wrecking and at the same time unsettling. Many questions came to mind: What if the ship leaves without us? What are we going to do if we are stuck in traffic or the van breaks down? Waking up early in the morning before 6am, we got ready to stay in line for the distribution of tender tickets for our boat ride from the cruise ship to the Belize City port. It was to be distributed on a first come first serve basis and according to the lot numbers. Those are the challenges for booking excursions from ‘the outside world’ (not with the cruise ship). Belize City had just experienced heavy downpour for days. The water was choppy and sky was grey as we sat on the first tender boat from the cruise ship to the port of Belize City.

2people1life Wedding No. 12 in Belize & Trash The Dress  Guest Blog
We started planning our wedding in Belize, wedding number 12, with the help of the Toledo Ecotourism Association (TEA), a Community-Based Ecotourism operator, we had contacted them via email and come into contact with Reyes Chun, the TEA chairman. It wasn’t until we got to Punta Gorda (PG) and got to speaking with Reyes that we really realised the extent of the work that the TEA do in PG and the surrounding villages, you can read more about TEA on 2 people1life. After an eventful few days I said “it MUST get easier to arrange this wedding”. Well, we had been lucky enough to find a photography company who’s work we loved but they were on Ambergris Island which is 200 miles and a flight away. After a little persuasion they agreed to fly to Belize city and we agreed to collect them from there. Conch Creative’s images are very different to any others we have seen so far and we instantly clicked with Collette and Maya via email and knew they would be perfect. So that’s where we were heading… the day before the wedding. 200 miles to Belize City to collect Maya at the airport on the morning of the wedding and drive the 200 miles back in time for the wedding and then the day after the wedding drive the 200 miles back to Belize to drop Maya off in time for her flight back to Ambergris! But, it was a price we were willing to pay for the great images!

Belize Fast Facts
Belize is located on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America. It shares a border on the north with the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, on the west with the Guatemalan department of Petén, and on the south with the Guatemalan department of Izabal. To the east by the Caribbean Sea and off its coast sits the second-longest barrier reef in the world. Here as some fast facts on Belize.



Here's turnout percentages in each division:

Districts listed here:, then click the Division in the District you are looking for

Here's Belize Rural South

Patty Arceo 28%
Manuel Heredia 35%
Roberto Lopez 4%


Decision 2012: Cayo North

Voting Underway in Cayo North
Voters are coming out in Cayo North to vast their ballots. Here are snapshots.

International Sources

Belize government wins 2nd term, local television reports
BELIZE CITY, March 8 (Reuters) - Belize's centrist government seemed set to serve a second term after local media reported a narrow election win for the ruling party on Thursday. If confirmed, the election victory would open the door to a renegotiation of the tiny Central American country's $550 million overseas debt. The United Democratic Party won 16 seats in the 31-seat parliament to the opposition People's United Party's 14, Channel 5 television reported. One seat was unaccounted for, according to the station's unofficial tally. The governing party's majority was reduced from the 19 seats it enjoyed in its last term. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said before the election his first act, if re-elected, would be to renegotiate the terms of Belize's so-called superbond, which makes up half the country's debt and 40 percent of gross domestic product.

Belize government's re-election to fan bond worries
* Belize centrist government narrowly re-elected-TV * Win would move country step closer to bond negotiations * Tiny Central American country among top 20 debtors Belize appeared to move closer to a potential renegotiation of its $550 million overseas debt on Thursday after local media reported the tiny Central American country's centrist government narrowly won a second term in power. The United Democratic Party won a majority of 16 seats in the 31-seat parliament to the opposition People's United Party's 14, Channel 5 television reported. One seat was undecided, according to the station's tally. Official results are not due until later on Thursday. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said before the election his first act, if re-elected, would be to win more favorable terms for Belize's so-called superbond, which makes up half the country's debt and 40 percent of gross domestic product.

March 7, 2012

Here is an update for conditions for Election Day
The rains will continue on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, concentrated especially over coastal areas of central and northern Belize. The rains will gradually die away on Thursday and Friday. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

The San Pedro Sun

Public Notices from Elections and Boundaries Department
The Elections and Boundaries Department issues the following Notices to the General Public in preparation of Election Day

Tropic Air Late Evening Flights Return
Tropic Air announced today that it will recommence its extra seasonal late evening flights between Belize City Municipal and San Pedro on Thursday, March 15th. The new service is a direct response to input from its valued customers, and is made possible by the additional daylight conditions (longer days) that occur March through September. “This late evening flight allows our customers to get the most out of their day in Belize City or San Pedro” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “It was immensely popular with our business pasengers when we started it last year, so we brought it back as soon as we could this year. We hope to make this flight permanent, year-round, and even have additional evening flights between the two airports as soon as the Municipal Airport Upgrade project is complete. This will include lights on the airstrip” The schedule for the flight is as follows:

Prince Harry sends message of Thanks for his visit to Belize
After a short but exciting trip to Belize that took him from the streets of Belmopan at the Diamond Jubilee Block Party to the top of the ancient Mayan Ruins on Xunantunich, Prince Harry to the time to write a message of thanks to the Governor General and the people of Belize. The Prince wrote this letter personally while en route to The Bahamas Message from Prince Harry: “Thank you for such a warm and friendly welcome to such a beautiful country. In only 23 hours, I feel as though I have seen so much of Belize through the thousands of people who lined the way. I am hugely grateful for the very happy memories, and I’m very sad to leave. I will pass on your good wishes to my grandmother, our Queen, on her Diamond Jubilee. Tenk yu, ['Thank you' in Kriol] Harry.”

Ambergris Today

The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch
The Belize Red Cross Society is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Their goal is to alleviate human suffering wherever it is found by mobilizing the power of humanity. And now the Belize Red Cross will have a branch here in San Pedro. On Saturday, March 3, 2012, Director General of the Belize Red Cross Lily Bowman, along with a group of members of the BRC, were in San Pedro for the first community information session and volunteer registration which took place at the Banana Beach Resort.

SPHS Softball Team is Northern Regional Champions!
San Pedro High School and the community of San Pedro have another victory to celebrate as the male softball team of the San Pedro High School made us proud by becoming the Northern Regional Softball Champions. The San Pedro High School male softball team traveled to Burrell Boom Village on Saturday, March 3, 2012, to participate in the Northern Regional Softball Tournament which was hosted by Belize Rural High School. At the end of the tournament San Pedro’s Jeffrey Cole Ray was awarded Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The San Pedro High School will represent the Northern Region at the National Tournament scheduled for March 16th and 17th in Belmopan City hosted by Belmopan Baptist High School.

Are You On the Voters’ List? Check Online!
Are you on the voters’ list for tomorrow’s double election in Belize? Not sure?? Well, you can either make checks at the Elections and Boundaries Office or online at the Elections and Boundaries website. That’s right, you can check online. Simply enter your first name, last name and date of birth and if you are on the voters’ list your information will appear, including the division you are registered in, the polling area and polling station name. Don’t wait if you are doubtful of your voting status and constituency you are registered in. Check if you can cast your vote in tomorrow’s general and municipal elections! Click Here!

Prince Harry's Personal Message to Belize
Prince Harry has sent a message to the Governor-General of Belize to thank him and those he met. The Prince penned the message personally en route to The Bahamas: (Pictured above is Prince Harry along with Rowan Garel, a blind Belizean boy who accomplished the climb of Victoria Peak - Belize's highest point at 3,000 ft)


Rainy Season Comes Early to San Pedro? hasn't but it certainly feels that way. Yesterday was chilly, drizzly and grey. Today we woke to pouring rain and temperatures in the upper 60s. This is so unlike March and seriously depressing after countless days of warm sunshine. I guess the weather can't always be perfect, right? The forecast is for scattered showers for the rest of the week...let's hope for all of the vacationers it's wrong!

Tiny Town – Belmopan, Belize
With a population of around 20,000, Belmopan is one of the smallest national capital cities in the world. Its name is a mash up of “Belize” and Mopan (the name of the area’s main river) and it’s home to Guanacaste National Park, the nation’s first and smallest national park at just 250,000 square yards. A trail winding through the park’s patch of jungle can be walked in less than 20 minutes. You can extend your visa in Belmopan and get a delicious and affordable typical meal at Caladium Restaurant which is a great place to see the amazing cultural diversity in Belize come together as Mennonites, Garufinas, Ladinos and expats from all walks of life come together for a meal. You can also get a good cup of coffee and some world class wings (and other international foods you might be craving) at Perk Up Coffee and Wine Bar, along with the requisite java house Wi-Fi.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Michael O'Farrell, Gabe & Blair Russel get scuba certified in Belize
My son, Michael and his 2 friends get certified to dive, from Eddie at Amigos Delmar in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize- Our home. Both of my kids are now divers. Life is good!!

Best Belize Map Ever
Reference: the maps page at

BOOK: Management of Eco-tourism and its Perception: A Case Study of Belize.
by Kevin Griffiths with Dr Kapil Kathuria: 'Ecotourism' plays a significant role in the economic sustainability of the Belizean economy. It is the understanding and perceptions of the tourist and tourism service providers towards 'Ecotourism' that will facilitate the continuation of the successful expansion of this market sector. This paper shows that there is a distinct lack of understanding regarding the definition of the term 'Ecotourism" and the variance in perceptions between service user and service provider. This variance and differing understanding stems from a wide range of definitions around the term 'Ecotourism' and the 'greening' of operations that would not readily fit into the ethos of 'Ecotourism' but use its messages to help promote commercial gains. This 'greenwashing' clouds the perceptions of the service user and fosters mistrust in operations that claim to offer 'Ecotourism' experiences. The consumer requires clear boundaries in terms of definition in order to make decisions as to which destination and experience to choose. This book shows the wide range of understanding of the terminology and shows that attitudes to the sector are acceptable but in need of development and enhancement to fully capitalise on the potential of this market. Messages by service providers need to encourage education and awareness of the facilities and benefits of 'Ecotourism'. This awareness promotion should be matched with a system of independent verification of published standards. Without clearly defining the ethos of 'Ecotourism' the consumer will find it harder to accept messages that are not measurable and independently verifiable. The research here has identified areas of harmonisation between service users and service providers, it has also established areas for further development in order to sustain effective management of the sectors promotion and development. This book will help you understand your market and potential clients needs.

Channel 7

To Stream the Verdict 2012 Live Click Here: mms:€.32.198.190TheVerdict2012 Tonight election fever is at a furious pitch all across the country - as the polls for a double municipal and general election open in a matter of hours. In the general election, 178,054 (one-hundred and seventy-eight thousand and fifty-four) voters are eligible to vote for 74 PUP, UDP, VIP, Belize Unity Alliance and Independent Candidates in 31 constituencies at 320 polling stations. In the municipal elections, 97,979 of those voters are eligible to vote for 170 candidates at 168 of those polling stations. The center of all the action today was the Headquarters of the elections and boundaries department where about two hundred thousand ballots were distributed to 40 returning officers - under armed guard. Those ballots will be stored overnight at secure locations for the opening of polls at 7:00 am. This evening, the Chief Elections Officer - who is at the center of a well-tuned machine right now, told us how it's going and what her only concern is:

22 OAS observers will be monitoring the elections tomorrow. The head of delegation arrived in Belize last week - and the team has been filled out with 25 staff and administrative personnel. They've toured the country - received training in the elections process and the head, Frank Almaguer today told us that so far he is impressed with how things are run: Ambassador Frank Almaguer - Head of OAS Observer Team To Belize "We are, in the first place, very impressed with the quiet approach to managing an election that we've seen here in Belize. All of the information, in terms of the mechanics, they are all in place, or are getting in place. We know that the voting places are ready to be opened tomorrow morning, as we understand it. We will have - tomorrow - 22 OAS election observers, and those observers will hopefully manage to cover 100% of the voting places in the country.

And though he's not known as the excitable type - we'd venture to say that opposition leader Francis Fonseca might have a hard time sleeping tonight. If his Party wins, Fonseca - who'll be 45 next week - would become the country's youngest Prime Minister in its history. But, there's some who argue that Fonseca might not get to realize that dream because first he has to win his own division, Freetown. Some pundits say he faces a formidable challenge from Lee Mark Chang, even after winning two elections in that division. Surely, he's a strong incumbent who even survived - if only just barely - the UDP tsunami of 2008 - but we wouldn't say he's a sure seat for the PUP - like Fort George or Orange Walk Central - where the two previous party leaders are based. Nonetheless, Fonseca told us he's sure he'll win:

There was a terrifying home invasion in a residential area on the northside of the city last night. It happened in Driftwood bay - which is a small community near the Haulover Bridge. But, three masked men went on a clear mission to the Donaire residence - and wreaked havoc when they got there. "This happened around 10:30, and everybody was sleeping. I was in my bed. Then we heard my brother start screaming. He was shouting for my boyfriend, and we got up - because we thought they were trying to steal the cars. When we got up, my boyfriend came up and pulled the machete at them. He charged with the machete after them. And they then held him and my mom at gunpoint in that corner. So by the time I saw that happened, I ran back into my room and lock myself in. During that time, it looked like they cut all wires that they could find. We had DVD players up there, the fan, the wires for the hammock that we installed for baby, and they took all of them, and they tied them on the ground."

22 year-old Guishany Wagner, and 27 year-old Alfredo Petillo have both been remanded to Belize Central Prison for allegedly robbing Profile Jewelry Store of over $150,000 dollars' worth of jewelry. According to police, at around 11:30 a.m. on February 27, Wagner, a CYDP employee residing on Estell Street in the Lake I area; and Petillo, a barber of Progress Street in Orange Walk, allegedly walked into the Profile Jewelry Store in the Commercial Center and robbed the establishment and its occupants of all available valuables. One of the men was armed with a knife and the other a firearm. They held up the salesman and robbed him of 691 pieces of gold and silver jewelry, valued at $155,503, and $130 in cash which belongs to the establishment's owner, Jacqueline Gutierrez. The men also stole a bunch of cell phones. Both men were arraigned jointly on 2 counts of robbery when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer.

26 year-old Dario Cruickshank, a baby-sitter of Banak Street, was remanded into custody for allegedly robbing a doctor at gunpoint of $7,500 worth of valuables. Doctor Inez Moguel reported that on November 17 of last year at around 4:15 p.m., a dark complexioned man held her up at gunpoint while she was trying to enter her clinic on Blue Marlin Avenue. The assailant then escorted her to the cash register, where he stole $2,000 in cash. The robber also forced her to hand over her 2 gold wedding bands, each with a sapphire and a diamond stone, valued at $2,500, and her $3,000 IPhone 4, after which, he escaped. After several months of investigation, police arrested Cruickshank and charged him with one count of robbery. He pleaded not guilty, but due to nature of the offense, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer could not grant him bail. He has been remanded until April 18.

On Thursday, Belize's first trial without jury may come to a close. The defendant, 20 year-old Akeem Thurton, who is accused of the attempted murder of Attorney Rodwell Williams, must return to court and provide Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin a valid reason why he should be acquitted of the charge against him. He gets one last chance to address the court in his defense. Last week Tuesday, 7News gave you a detailed account of Williams' testimony when he took the stand. Well today, Thurton had his chance present a case in his own defense. This afternoon, the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Taitt - Vidal, recalled Williams to the stand and asked him if the man he identified in September 2010 identification parade was the man was the accused. He responded with a confident yes, and gave a dock identification of Thurton as the man who shot him on May 31, 2010. With that, Williams stepped down, and her case was closed.

Last night, we told you the story of Police Constable Brandon Hertular who was detained by police for allegedly stealing a 9mm pistol and 3 cellular phones while conducting a search at the residence of Shirley Chicas. Well, police report today that Hertular has been formally arrested and charged with the offense of burglary. Hertular was scheduled to be arraigned in Magistrate's Court today, but a decision to close court at 2:30 p.m. prevented him from being brought before a magistrate to be read his charge - which likely means that he'll be detained through the election-day holiday. Chicas reported to police that on Sunday whilst at home with her two sons, two men came and said that they were police officers. She said that they were dressed in camouflage, and they identified themselves as police officers. After the search, the men seized the firearm, the cellphones, and $1,650 in cash; they claimed that they were going to take it to the police exhibit room pending the outcome of some unknown robberies.

You've heard all about mortgage forgiveness, well how about mortgage punishment!? That's what Sam and Diana Bonilla have been going through for the past four months. As we told you in January - the couple bought a house auction by Social Security in November. They had to take out a commercial loan to do it - and they've been making payments on that loan, but they still could not take possession of the house! And that's because the previous homeowner, who did not pay his social security loan just wouldn't leave and Social Security gave up on evicting him. That left the eviction to the Bonilla's who today reported to us - that they think they've finally gotten a break - four months after the bought the house! Today in Magistrate's Court - the magistrate gave the man occupying the house, Frank Mendez until the end of April to come out of the house. If he does not do so by then, the magistrate will sign an eviction order forcing him out. Mendez did not appear in court today.

Tonight - it's like Christmas in March for those who love politics - everyone has a guess, but no one's quite sure what tomorrow's going to be - whether it's deliverance at the polls, or always for the people. Whatever the case - the important thing s that you exercise your democratic right and go out and vote. Today our intern Robin Schaffer took to the streets to find out how strong the feeling is to take it to the polls tomorrow: Robin Schaffer "Tomorrow is Elections Day, will you go out and exercise your right to vote?"

Channel 5

Election 2012; Forgiveness or Trust?
The decision for the 2012 elections is a breath away. In less than twelve hours the polls will open for voting in these critical elections. There are seventy candidates vying for thirty-one seats in the general elections and one hundred and seventy for the municipal elections. Both major political parties released their manifestos two weeks ...

Pundits prediction for the seventh
Our broadcast of the general and municipal elections starts at six in the morning with reporters covering all thirty-one constituencies and nine municipalities. Inside our studios, to crunch the numbers and provide commentary and analysis, a team of experienced pundits will be on air from the start to finish. News Five spoke to two of ...

U.D.P. Party Chairman says organ is ready
Wednesday’s dual elections will be the culmination of weeks and in some cases months of vigorous door to door campaigning. While electioneering will not be allowed on the day the U.D.P. and the P.U.P. are tonight busy making last-minute preparations in order to mobilize their supporters to come out to vote. It is expected that ...

P.U.P. Party Chairman says machinery in high gear
In the blue corner, the P.U.P. has been persistently covering ground in all reaches of the country since the date for General Elections was set for March seventh. Despite recent poll results which indicate that the P.U.P. will be returned to office, the party isn’t taking any chances. According to Chairman Henry Charles Usher, the ...

Libelous Campaign Ad attacks Channel 5
In the heat of the campaign, a last minute political ad has been aired in other media houses alleging that this station has been instructed to provide free political advertising for the opposition People’s United Party. That’s an allegation that we dismiss as an outright lie and believe there is mischief afoot to embroil us ...

P.U.P. says it’s not financed by Ashcroft
In the last minute pitch to electors, Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca appeared this morning on Open Your Eyes. Fonseca touched on a wide range of issues and we asked him about relations with Lord Michael Ashcroft. The U.D.P., in one of its latest political ads, claims that Ashcroft has stepped in at the ...

Leader of Opposition on Nationalizations
Those legal problems Fonseca is referring to, includes the lawsuits that resulted from the takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity. So we asked for his take on the nationalizations and if elected, would he reverse them? Francis Fonseca “On nationalization, I’ve made it absolutely clear and I’m very happy to make it clear ...

What would a P.U.P. Government bring?
And with just a matter of hours before the polls open, we also asked Fonseca what Belizeans can expect going forward under his leadership, if the People’s United Party is to clinch the elections. Francis Fonseca “I think we can expect a government that is moving with a sense of urgency. I want people to ...

Independent Mayoral Candidate ready
Now, it would be safe to say that the municipal elections have been eclipsed by the general elections and independent candidates have had insignificant political advertising. Independent mayoral candidate Stephen Okeke was still working the streets of downtown Belize City at midday this afternoon where he was distributing copies of his manifesto. Okeke is a ...

U.D.P. Mayoral Candidate ready
At City Hall, it was Mayor Zenaida Moya’s last day and this afternoon mayoral hopeful Darrel Bradley told News Five that all systems are a go with his U.D.P. City Council team. After several weeks on the campaign trail Bradley says the reception from the electorate has been very warm. Darrel Bradley, Mayoral Candidate, U.D.P. ...

The Prince’s Message to Belize
Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, or Prince Harry as he is commonly known, is now in Jamaica, the third stop in his first solo tour representing the Royal family. His journey started on Friday, with a whirlwind visit to Belize for a packed itinerary. He was only here for twenty-three hours, but it ...

Dangriga Musicians play to P.U.P. tune
They say every vote counts. Well, the opposition has picked up an endorsement from a group of artists from Dangriga. Nineteen musicians from the culture capital have signed off support to the P.U.P. According to their release they “consider the P.U.P. to be best party to advance the agenda to develop the music industry.” Says ...

Holiday for schools during election
In Wednesday’s elections, many of the polling stations across the country will be school buildings. Today a joint release was issued by the Ministry of Education and the Election and Boundaries Department, reminding the public that there will be no classes on Wednesday for all schools. Schools being used as polling or counting stations were ...

Mixed Martial Arts and Taekwondo
Aside from the politics, there’s sporting events. The House of Shotokan on Princess Margaret Drive has been very active in the past few months in its relations with neighboring karate schools in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Over the weekend, a delegation from Belize was in Chetumal to participate in a Taekwondo competition. The delegation took their ...

Profile jewelry robbed of fifty grand
There were two robbery cases before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today and in both instances, the victims lost thousands of dollars in cash and valuables. The bigger heist was last Wednesday at Profile Jewelry inside the Commercial Center in downtown Belize City. The culprits got away with over one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in ...

He denies he robbed a medical clinic
The second case before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning, was in relation to a robbery which occurred at a clinic on November seventeenth, 2011. Twenty-six year old Darios Cruickshank is accused of robbing Dr. Inez Moguel at her clinic on Blue Marlin Avenue in Belize City. Dr. Moguel says that the robber met her ...

Cop busted on Burglary charges
A Belizean businesswoman reported on Monday that a licensed firearm, three cell phones as well as one thousand, six hundred and fifty dollars in cash were taken from her house by two men claiming to be police officers. It turns out that at least one of them was not just pretending to be a cop. ...

Family copes with child’s dangerous tumor
The following story will leave you and your loved ones with a heavy heart. It’s a touching situation that has affected a Mayan family that lives in the south. Twelve year old Catarina Ishim is afflicted with an abnormal tumor that has her disfigured. It is preventing her from a normal childhood and the story ...


Police Constable charged with burglary.
Police have charged one of their own with burglary. On Sunday, businesswoman, Shirley Chicas told police that he was at home when two men dressed in camouflage arrived and identified themselves as police officers. According to Chicas, the two men claimed that they were conducting an investigation for a robbery and demanded that one of her sons hand over his licensed nine millimeter pistol. apart from the weapon, which was loaded, the intruders also took three cell phones and one thousand six hundred and fifty dollars in cash. Police have since arrested and charged Police Constable Brandon Hertular with burglary.

Winning Boledo # for March 6th is 12.

Dr. Carla Barnett gets senior position with Caribbean Development Bank.
Dr. Carla Barnett has served in various capacities in the civil service in Belize and in the Caribbean. And this week it was revealed that she is again in a senior leadership position in the Caribbean. According to a statement, the Caribbean Development Bank announced the appointment of Dr. Barnett as its Vice President in charge of operations. Among her primary responsibilites is the formulation of CDB's support program for borrowing member nations as well as the organization of the Bank's portfolio of capital and technical assistance projects. Dr. Barnett brings to the job a wide range of experience. She has served previously at home as the Financial Secretary and as a Chief Executive Officer. Externally, Dr. Barnett has served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM.

Belize prepares for double elections.
On the eve of the General and Municipal elections, all systems are 'go' for the joint polls. Thirty one seats are up for grabs in the House of Representatives, while at the municipal level contenders are vying for sixty seven seats at stake. And with the polls set to open at seven in the morning, both major political parties are rallying their supporters for tomorrow's big vote. There are one hundred and seventy eight thousand and fifty four persons eligible to vote in the general elections. Polling stations will be opened at seven o'clock on Wednesday morning at designated schools and public buildings around the country to allow every Belizean, eighteen years and older to go out and cast their ballot. Love FM, Love Television and Channel 5 will once again be teaming up to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the joint elections. The joint coverage is set to start from six in the morning and continuing until all the results have been announced.

Allen Stanford found guilty of vast fraud
Allen Stanford was convicted on Tuesday of running a $7-billion Ponzi scheme, a verdict that caps a riches-to-rags trajectory for the former Texas financier and Caribbean playboy. It was a vindication for the U.S. government, which closed down Stanford’s financial empire in February 2009 but had failed for years to address signs that the business was built on air. The Stanford case was the biggest investment fraud since Bernard Madoff’s. Stanford was found guilty on 13 counts of a 14-count criminal indictment, including fraud, conspiracy and obstructing an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He was found not guilty on one count of wire fraud. The charges carry a possible prison sentence of nearly 20 years. At trial, prosecutors told how Stanford repeatedly raided the bank he owned in Antigua, Stanford International Bank, using it as his “personal ATM.” He bought a castle in Florida for one of his girlfriends and his oldest daughter lived in a million-dollar condominium in Houston. He wore custom-made suits, lived in luxury homes and on a yacht in the Caribbean and bankrolled a $20-million prize for an international cricket tournament. The government’s star witness, former Stanford aide James Davis, testified that he and Stanford faked documents and made up financial reports to calm investors and fool regulators. They funnelled millions of dollars from Stanford International Bank to a secret Swiss bank account that Stanford tapped for his personal use, Davis testified. Davis, 63, has pleaded guilty to three criminal counts. While in jail awaiting trial, Stanford was beaten by another inmate, leaving him with a brain injury and broken bones in his face. He then became addicted to an anti-anxiety medication. His lawyers argued that those events caused him to lose his memory, making him incompetent to stand trial.


Human Skull found in Orange Walk
News ran like wild fire this afternoon, human remains had been found inside a black plastic bag in front of Courts located on Queen Victoria Avenue. CTV3 News understands that around 4:00pm the Manager of Courts saw a peculiar looking black plastic bag in front of the establishment. After a while one of the employees became curious, went outside and looked in the bag. To his surprise the plastic bag contained a human skull with no bottom jaw. The manager was notified after which the Orange Walk Police Department was alerted. Police arrived at the area minutes after, processed the scene and then left with the bag and its contents. Several persons we spoke with off camera told us they did not see who left the bag in front of the establishment.

Land Scandal in Orange Walk
If there is one promise that Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the UDP have kept since coming into office more than four years ago, it is the promise to QUITAR – to take away land from Belizeans. They have made good on that promise all over the country, and certainly here in Orange Walk where land has been arbitrarily grabbed for redistribution to UDP families and friends. Tonight there is another such case to report. Back in July 2009 Gilberto Baeza received a call from Government informing him that they were interested in purchasing a portion of his 70.59 acres of land situated in the Ann Gabourel Section of Orange Walk Town. In a letter dated July 22nd 2009, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment officially informs Baeza about Governments intentions to purchase not only a portion of his land but the entire 70.59 acres. At that time Baeza informed the Ministry via phone that he was willing to sell them 60.59 acres of land because he wanted 10 acres for his children. That conversation took place in July. But to Baeza’s surprise, without and transactions ever been made, on October 16th 2009 he received a letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources informing him that his land, for which he has a title had been acquired by the Government of Belize.

Hit and Run Accident Claims the Life of One Man
There was a deadly hit and run accident in the Orange Walk District over the weekend. Around 10:00 yesterday morning police were on mobile patrol along the Santa Cruz Road when they spotted the body of a male individual lying on the right hand side of the road suffering from injuries to the right side of the face and body. The male individual was later identified as 48 year old Daniel Osgalla, a resident of Otro Benque Road. Today when we spoke to the victim’s mother, Modesta Osgalla, she told us that the last time she saw her son alive was yesterday morning when he left home for work. Osgalla was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. And while police have no clue as to who knocked down Osgalla his family is searching for answers.

Ramiro Ramirez and Florencio Marin Jr. Close Off Campaign With Huge Rally
The People’s United Party has picked up the momentum for the upcoming elections country wide over the past few weeks. And proof of that are the recent polls which indicate that the wind of change is blowing in the direction of the People’s United Party. With elections only hours away we can practically say that the race is over and all that is left is for the people to decide who will be sent to Belmopan and in some cases to Town Hall. But for the PUP the work towards elections continues until the last vote has been counted and on Sunday the party’s Standard Bearers for Corozal Southwest and Southeast once again took to the podium and addressed residents of their constituency. CTV 3’s Janine Ayuso reports.

Prince Harry Enjoys Visit To The Jewel
Prince Harry giving the speech.. “What a wonderful gathering, the Queen has spoken this year of the power of togetherness and the convening strength of family, friendship and this party says it all, Obviously I bring you the warmest greetings from the Queen of Belize whose Diamond Jubilee we’re celebrating here tonight. Her majesty has asked me to send her good wishes to you all. She remembers so fondly her visits to this beautiful realm and speaks of the warmth and welcome she received in her most recent visit in 1994. I am only sorry that she can’t make it and you are stuck with me. Looking around me tonight, I can see exactly what she means about this legendary Belizean welcome. When it became clear that I was to represent y grandmother in Belize my heart leapt—for a good reason. Because of the long association and friendship between Belize and Britain and particularly the arm forces of our two countries, I’ve heard so much about this beautiful place. Thank you very much for inviting me here this evening for celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in such vigorous Belizean style. Though I am her grandson, I know I speak for everyone when I say, your majesty you are an inspiration to us all and it therefore just remains for me to name this street; Her majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second Boulevard. Unu come, make we go party.”

Land Scandal in San Pedro
Tonight we bring you another land scandal well worth over BZE$700,000. Documents show that on December 15th 2011 parcel number 1193 located on Laguna Drive in the center of San Pedro Town, previously held by Belize Water Services Limited was transferred to 19 year old Alyssa Tun whose address is listed as San Pedro Town but from what we have found out lives in Orange Walk Town. Documents show that Tun purchased the land valued at more that $700,000 for a mere $2,500. The land we understand was a proposed site for a BWSL Office. The property we understand was cancelled from BWSL last year November and converted into a 7 year lease. But on December 15th the property was sold Alyssa Tun for $2,500. Reports are that the man who sold the land to Tun is one David Alamilla, Tun’s uncle who works for the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Gaspar Vega. Today when we visited Tun’s residence located on Juventus Street there was no one at home so we paid her mother a visit at the NRH. But all that we found out from Evangelina Alamilla is that her daughter owns a parcel of land in San Pedro. After that she refused to answer any of our questions. When we got in contact with 19 year old Alyssa Tun, she told CTV3 that she doesn’t know anything about any land and simply hung up.


PM Barrow makes appearance on Rise and Shine 24 hrs before elections
PM Barrow highlighted the issue escalating fuel prices when he was on Rise and Shine this morning. He had made a co...

Hon. Dean Barrow on superbond
As is customary around this time, political candidates visit the various talk shows as a part of their campaign. Ho...

Moses Sulph's eleventh hour demonstration
Former President of COLA Moses Sulph along with a group of supporters is on a campaign he is calling Belize Alert. ...

Christian group undertakes free hearing care in Belmopan
A free hearing care program is underway at the Step of Faith Church here in Belmopan. The program is to offer heari...

PlusTV kicking off countrywide Election Coverage 2012
Tomorrow is Elections Day and you can tune in to PlusTv ‘Belize Decides 2012’, for updates throughout the entire da...

Man shot, injured during shootout with police
Another suspected criminal was shot after a shoot out with police. On Monday of this week around 10:30pm Police vis...

Prince Harry extends thank you to Belize in letter to the G.G.
Prince Harry while on his way to the Bahamas wrote a letter to the Governor-General of Belize to thank him and thos...

Belize City police officer arrested on burglary charge
Police have arrested one of their own for burglary. Shirley Chicas, of Belize City reported that on Sunday March 4t...

Results of latest Aikman poll released
Meanwhile, the latest Aikman poll has brought out some new results regarding tomorrow’s elections. The UDP accordin...

Two men arraigned for robbing Profile Jewelry shop Two men were arraigned in court for the robbery of Profile Jewelry shop. The jewellery shop was robbed some 6 days ...


Human skull found in plastic bag in downtown Orange Walk
Just before six this evening, police recovered in a plastic bag, human remains, specifically, what appears to be a human skull, from in front of Courts Belize Limited Superstore on Queen Victoria Avenue, the name of the section of the Northern Highway that runs through the center of Orange Walk Town.

Glenn D. Godfrey sues GOB in Miami for US$10 mil: PM Barrow
Prime Minister Dean Barrow told Amandala Monday that Juan C. Basombrio, attorney of Dorsey & Whitney LLP in the US, is representing the Government of Belize in a recently filed multi-million-dollar lawsuit lodged last month against the Government by Belizean attorney and former PUP Attorney General, Glenn D. Godfrey, over agreements that the Government, under the People’s United Party administration of Said Musa, had with the defunct Godfrey company, Intelco, or International Telecommunications Limited.

Near-fatal traffic accident in Ladyville
At the peak of the rush hour this evening, a little before 6:00 p.m. in Ladyville, at the junction of the Shell Gas Station and the old Philip Goldson International Airport Road at Mile 8½ on the Northern Highway, Denfield Tillett, a motorcyclist, almost lost his life after he was flung from his bike unto the road. He fortunately sustained only scrapes and cut wounds to his body.

Belize rolls out the red carpet for Prince Harry
The balance of local political power may well change after general and municipal elections to be held in just a few days, but what will remain unchanged—at least for the time being—is that Queen Elizabeth II, whose head still appears on Belizean currency, will remain the Head of State.

Second Aikman poll sees PUP narrow gap; electorate still undecided
With less than 48 hours to go before polls open on Wednesday, voters are still undecided in a majority of divisions as to whom to send to the House of Representatives, but the United Democratic Party (UDP) are narrowly favored even though more are now inclined to vote for the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), a new poll has revealed.

“...and down the stretch they come!!”
In the last few hours before polls open on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, five political parties and associations are working hard to convince 178,054 registered electors—among them 97,979 registered to also vote in simultaneous municipal elections—to cast “x’s” in their favor, as 170 municipal candidates and 75 general election candidates try to make it down the last stretch of the mile in this year’s electoral race.

Juventus leads North and Police leads South in Week 4 of Premier League
On Saturday night at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, Police United drew 0-0 with visiting San Ignacio United in a keenly contested match that saw a surprising and outstanding appearance in midfield by Over-40 veteran Ismael John Trapp Thompson for San Ignacio United. Police, minus Lennox “Criminal” Castillo who is serving a suspension, as well as sweeper Kashian Pech, had some good solo efforts from Andres Makin, Jr. and Evan Mariano, who certainly deserved a penalty, but referee Josue Rivera refused to call any in the game. Glenford Chimilio was outstanding between the sticks for Police, who are yet to give up a goal in the competition. San Ignacio, who were also without their starting sweeper Everal Trapp and lead striker Amin August, Jr., showed better team cohesion, with solid performances by Windell Trapp in the forward and Rodney Shamir Pacheco Torres in midfield.

A chat with veteran footballer Gerald “Speedy” Henry – Part 5
S: Yea. So… just to complete the one with Rodwell. Rodwell went and he said, “Bwai,” you know… so and so da di case… and game… and I said, “Bwai, a no wahn… a no di eat good, Rod.” So he said, “Man,” he said, “But I done gaan and say..” “So, anyway,” I said, “yo done gaan and…,” I said, “alright, a gweyn out… a gweyn out go play lee bit,” you know. And so, I did go out… And afterwards… afterwards, I think they recognized the, you know… perhaps, the talent that I had. To such an extent that, every free kick dehn wahn mek I kick… because di first one weh I kick, I scored… and then, on the other occasions I would set up my partners dem, and so on… because I decided I would play… they asked me weh position a waahn play… a tell dem ah waahn play midfield…

Cash flow problems delay rice payments to Toledo farmers
Toledo rice farmers have been complaining that the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMBC) failed last week to pay the mechanized farmers the other half of their rice payment, as they had been promised, and they have not gotten any definitive word on when they will received their payments.

Ideas and Opinions - Two big promises: one Red – one Blue
We don’t know if they will or, can keep these promises. All we can do is make judgments about them. There is one thing we can decide on, based on what we know. We can decide on which of the major political parties should form the next government.

Editorial: Homestretch 2012 …
On more than one occasion, we have pointed out to you in these pages the similarities and the potential similarities between the present general election campaign and that of June 1993. At this point, we can now remark on an important difference between the two campaigns, and that difference is that the incumbent United Democratic Party (UDP) are probably conscious of the fact that their lead/advantage has been reduced. This did not appear to be the case with the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1993: at the top they were not aware of what the UDP’s free education and free land promises were doing to damage them, the PUP, on the ground.

From The Publisher
In the deep colonial days before Radio Belize, there was BHBS – the British Honduras Broadcasting Service. I guess the best thing on BHBS was the comedy team of George McKesey and Gwen Murillo, but the quiz contests among the city primary schools organized by the Education Department were also exciting radio back then in the 1950’s.

International Sources

Smithsonian Magazine's Annual Photo Contest
The editors of Smithsonian magazine have just announced the 50 finalists in their 9th annual photo contest. They've kindly allowed me to share several of the final contenders below, including some amazing images from each of the competition's five categories: Americana, The Natural World, People, Altered Images, and Travel. Be sure to visit the contest page at to see all the finalists and to vote for this year's Reader's Choice winner. [25 photos]

How to Localize Your Retire Overseas Search
On Ambergris Caye you will find clear turquoise waters lapping gently against soft white sand, palm trees rustling in the warm breeze, and fishing boats bobbing on the horizon. San Pedro town, a former fishing village, is the center of activity and home to a growing expatriate community of North Americans and Europeans. There are dozens of restaurants, shops, art galleries, and community organizations. And you could settle in here quickly and easily because the language (like everywhere in Belize) is English. The real estate market offers options at many price points for both buying and renting. You can buy a condo for as little as $100,000 or invest up to $1 million or more, and you can rent for as little as $600 to $700 per month or pay several thousand monthly. Life on Ambergris is relaxed, friendly, carefree, and sunny. Adopt this island as your home, and you will enjoy almost all the services and comforts of home. And you'd certainly never want for like-minded company. Back on the mainland, life in Belize is very different. Inland, in the Cayo District, Belize is a land of mountains, Mayan ruins, rivers, and waterfalls. This is Belize's frontier, a land where a person comes to stake a claim and make his or her own way.
Belize is gearing up for national and municipal elections Wednesday, the first in the country since 2008, in a race pitting Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s United Democratic Party against the Francis-Fonseca-led People’s United Party, which led the country from 1998 to 2008. The vote will occur in a so-called “double election” format, meaning voters will first cast ballots in the general election and then in municipal elections. The major issues in the vote are led by the economy, which was projected to have grown 2.5 percent in 2011 by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. Also on voters’ minds is the question of debt service on Belize’s $546.8 million bond locally called the “superbond.” Statements made by Barrow in February indicated that the country might be consider defaulting on the loan led US rating agency Standard & Poor’s to downgrade the country’s credit. As of January, there were a total of 178,054 registered electors in Belize’s 31 voting districts, according to data from Belize’s Elections and Boundaries Department. The vote will be monitored by an Organization of American States team headed by former US Ambassador to Honduras Frank Almaguer.

Belize Seeks to Export Cattle to Mexico
(Prensa Latina) Belize pursues the health standards required to export cattle to neighboring Mexico. According to media reports, both countries organize meetings to set the guidelines for joint cooperation in this matter. An obstacle to boost the initiative is the impossibility, so far, of the Belizean Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to eradicate four of the main diseases that affect animals. Last December, Belize created a database of its domestic livestock with technical support from the Latin American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture. The recorded information allows the identification of farms and producers, and the number of cattle and their movement in this country.

New Assessment Finds Management Efforts are Insufficient to Protect Mesoamerican Reef
The first-ever Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) countries finds that despite some positive management efforts, more needs to be done to protect the region’s coral reefs. The evaluation, entitled “2011 Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef Countries,” was carried out by the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), and nearly 40 local organizations, government agencies and companies. The results are being launched simultaneously in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

A New Push For Renewable Energy In Belize
Central America is an economically and ecologically diverse region with growing energy needs and unique vulnerabilities to climate change. Boosting investment in renewable energy is a key way that the region can protect its ecologically sensitive areas while achieving reliable access to clean energy for its population. In Central America, the top four renewable energy sources are geothermal, hydroelectricity, biomass, and wind. The relative importance of each renewable resource is different for each country depending on the geographical and geological situation. The Worldwatch Institute has recently begun work aimed at creating a favorable policy and investment environment for renewable energy in Central America.

Belize votes in election key to financial future
SAN PEDRO, Belize, March 7 (Reuters) - Belize's centrist government seeks a second term on Wednesday in elections which could seriously affect scope for borrowing in the tiny Central American nation, best known for its pristine beaches and the world's second-longest coral reef. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has turned repayments on a $550 million bond into a campaign issue and said if re-elected, his first act will be to renegotiate the terms of a bond which accounts for half the country's debt and 40 percent of its economic output. Belize, about the same size as Massachusetts and the 13th most indebted country in the world, is locked into a bruising schedule of rising interest rates which will cost the government $46 million over the next 12 months - 12 percent of revenues. Ratings agencies have already pushed the country's credit rating well into 'junk' territory and a painful debt restructuring could risk fresh downgrades and hurt Belize's ability to raise funds in capital markets in the future. Barrow has not given details of his restructuring plans, and Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said he would meet obligations by growing the $1.25 billion, tourism-dependent economy. Jobs and the economy are the top concerns for Belize's 313,000-strong population - a mix of Creoles, Spanish-speaking Mestizos, Maya Indians, African-descended Garifuna and German-speaking Mennonites - along with security and oil exploration. The United Democratic Party (UDP) goes into the election with a strong lead, controlling 25 of 31 seats in parliament, with the remaining six held by the opposition People's United Power (PUP), voted out in 2008 after 10 years in power. Informal opinion polls showed many voters undecided in the run-up to the vote, and many said they were disillusioned with both major parties, which have alternated in power since Belize's independence from Britain in 1981. For the first time, minor parties have joined forces to run under the banner of the Belize Unity Alliance and are fielding nine candidates. In San Pedro, the biggest town on Ambergris Caye off the country's northern coast, flags sported the UDP's red, white and blue colors. But there were also flyers for an independent candidate, while a convoy of golf carts cruised the island's few paved roads exhorting voters to vote for the Alliance. "I think the UDP will win but they won't win like four years ago, maybe they will have a majority but not the same (size)," said bartender Raul Delgado, 49. Offshore drilling is also a hot topic locally because the Belize Barrier Reef passes just east of the island. A recent poll organized by activists showed widespread opposition to further exploration. Belize has exported oil since 2006, although output is low at around 4,000 barrels per day. "If petroleum spreads through the sea, local people will suffer; the island lives from tourists," said Daisy Santos, 21, who manages a souvenir shop on San Pedro's main tourist strip. Barrow has promised to hold a formal referendum on offshore drilling and PUP leader Fonseca, who has been in the job for just over four months, has pledged a moratorium.

March 6, 2012

Here is an update for conditions for Election Day
The rains will continue on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, concentrated especially over coastal areas of central and northern Belize. The rains will gradually die away on Thursday and Friday. CLICK HERE FOR MORE

Valid: Monday, March 5-12, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a quasi-stationary frontal boundary over the NW Caribbean coupled with a moist, NE’ly airflow through Wednesday. Thereafter, the airflow will swing to the East and East Southeast favouring drier weather.

A cold front will move SE across the Gulf of Mexico as we move into the up- coming weekend, but the southern portion will weaken before it moves into the NW Caribbean.

The weather will be cloudy at first with showers and periods of rain, some heavy at times, especially over the hilly terrain and along the coast today, Tuesday and early Wednesday. Later on Tuesday and most of Wednesday the rains will be concentrated mostly along coastal areas and in the South. The rain will decrease later on Wednesday through Thursday. It will become generally fair on Friday through Monday, although a backing in the wind-flow on Sunday could lead to some showers developing mostly along the coast.

Daily rainfall accumulations over most districts on Monday through Wednesday of this week will range from 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch, with higher rates of 1.75-2.00 inches in the hills and southern districts. Daily rainfall totals will be decreasing after Wednesday, ranging from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Thursday though Monday, particularly along coastal areas.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Countrywide Countdown to Elections 2012
Registered voters countrywide will go to the polls on March 7th in a double election; General and Municipal. In some electoral divisions, like Belize Rural South (BRS), some electorates will go to the polls for the General Election only. Such is the case with the electorates of Caye Caulker and Caye Chapel with a total of 811 registered voters, combined. Ambergris Caye electorates, which is 6,289, will vote twice, once in the General and once in the Municipal elections. Combined, all three polling areas in BRS have 7,100 registered voters. Speaking with all the candidates during a meeting on Friday, February 24th, the General Election Returning Officer for BRS Allan Genitty indicated that he expects that the election process will be peaceful. Genitty explained that all political parties and candidates are expected to conduct themselves in a civil manner and abide by the rules agreed upon. No political booth or political banners/signs will be allowed within the 100-yard buffer area. In San Pedro, polling area 37 will be at the San Pedro High School. The 100-yard area extends around the circumference of the high school’s property. The buffer area includes the section of Spider Lily street that runs from the beach to the junction of Laguna Drive (all the section in front of the high school entrance). The 100-yard buffer area extends from the entrance of the school grounds midway down on Seagull Street.

Belize attends first meeting of Council of Ministers of Health of Mesoamerica
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen attended the first meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Mesoamerica (SMSP) held last week, in Mexico City, Mexico. At its first Board Room meeting, Secretary of Health of Mexico, Solomon Chertorivski Woldenberg announced that a human development component has been formed within the project entitled the Mesoamerican Public Health System (SMPS). This component specifically seeks to improve health conditions for greater development and social welfare in the region. It aims to address and develop successful strategies to strengthen issues of common interest in regional public health such as dengue, maternal health and child immunization. Woldenberg emphasized that the system is a strong forum in which joint solutions will be encouraged for the most pressing needs in this area in the region.

Hicatee – Closed Season
The General Public is hereby advised that the Fisheries Department has increased its enforcement activities to ensure compliance with management and conservation regulations for the Hicatee turtle. A recent national survey indicates that the population of this freshwater turtle has greatly diminished as a result of unsustainable harvest; hence the need for increased compliance. The public is advised that any person who contravenes the Hicatee regulation commits an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of two thousand dollars (BZ$2,000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both such fine and imprisonment.

GOB sells acquired BWSL land for 1% of its estimated value
Today, March 5th, the Ministry of Natural Resources issued lease number 3084/2011 for a parcel lot numbered 01193 in block 7 in the San Pedro Registration Section. The lot in question is registered at the San Pedro Town Council property tax section under the property of the Belize Sewer Authority (BWSL) and was transferred to a resident of Orange Walk Town. The San Pedro Sun received a copy of a Government of Belize issued receipt which shows that Alyssa Tun, a 19 year old of a Juventus Street address in Orange Walk Town, paid $2,530 for the property. On December 15, 2011 the lot was processed and leased-for-purchase the same day. Payment was made on January 9, 2012 as indicated on receipt LSD-OW00047364 for $2,500 and another payment as per receipt number LSD-OW00047365 of $30 for certificate fee. The land in question is located on Laguna Drive in San Pedro Town and is the proposed site for the new BWSL office. The building construction is scheduled to start this year. According to a source within the Ministry of Natural Resources, the land was taken away from BSWL for none compliance. Records at the San Pedro Town Council indicate that BWSL was exempt from paying property tax because it is considered a Government property. According to our source at the San Pedro Town Council, Tun has not visited the office to change the title into her name. According to an employee at the Ministry of Natural Resources, the document which was issued today will not be reflected in the Ministry’s computer data base at this time. It will be entered following the elections since the Ministry is currently working on the election process. According to a local real estate agent in San Pedro Town, the land is considered prime property with an estimated value of $250,000.

Ambergris Today

Tons of Seaweed Pile Up on San Pedro Beaches
So what is causing all this seaweed to wash up in masses on our beautiful shore? Recent articles have been mentioning that it all has to do with the current changing weather and temperature patterns. It is anticipated that the masses of seaweeds could increase as more tropical storms are predicted for this hurricane season. Scientists say that it is possible that climate change could be indirectly responsible for the increase of this particular weed which is currently affecting many global coastlines.

Prince Harry is One with Belize
It would be easy to picture HRH Prince Harry as a Belizean – he is very friendly, he loves the outdoors and adventure and he likes to get down at the festivities. Although HRH only had a little over 23 hours in Belize, he showed the country how much fun he is and properly represented his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II on her Royal Jubilee celebrations. Belize was Prince Harry’s first stop on his leg of the Royal Jubilee Tour. He arrived on Friday, March 2, 2012. As he made it to the capital city of Belmopan, hundreds of people cheered on, the enthusiastic ladies screamed out his name and people even made it on rooftops to get a glimpse of the young Prince. Once could feel the excitement in the air as people donned the British flag in various ways – on their sunglasses, clothing and posters. Just before departing the archeological site, Prince Harry took another Belikin Beer, but not to drink this time. He used the beer to christen a hand-made canoe that was presented to the team who is being sponsored by the British High Commission and Bowen & Bowen in the Ruta Maya Canoe Race. The Jubilee Canoe was launched off the banks of the Mopan River at the river entrance to the Xunantunich Archeological Site.

The Days Without A Town Council
Twenty NINE years ago there was no Town Board OR Town Council in San Pedro. In fact, the town board is a new baby, only in existence since 1984. In the past the affairs of the village were looked at by a Village Council. A village council had very little authority and cash flow. It could not collect property taxes; it did not collect trade license, or liquor license, or restaurant license, or any kind of taxes. If a village council wanted funds to carry out some community project, it would put on a dance or some kind of fund raising drive to carry out the project. Its job was also to report to the area representative when the main pier, the police station or the clinic needed repairs and also assisted in supervising the repairs.. A village council asked for nurses, a police officer or for streetlights whenever or wherever they were needed, and then waited impatiently for government to do it for the village. Early village council chairmen I knew of were Mr. Fido Nuñez, Mr. Abel Guerrero Sr. Alfredo Alamilla and Enrique Staines. I first entered public service in 1971 with Chairman, the late Enrique Staines Sr. I was secretary and together we got such things as the first telephone system. There was only one at the home of Mr. Staines, but it was a start. Our annual budget was about three thousand dollars, but we got the San Pedro Action Committee with such people like Norman Eiley, Genaro Nuñez, Junior Heredia, Tabito Arceo, Dimas Guerrero and I organized to carry out community projects.

"Prince Harry I Love You"
"You are Smart and Sexy, I Love You...Follow me on Twitter" These ladies travelled all the way from Cancun, Mexico to Belize for the Royal Jubilee experience. They were standing on the side of the road in the Capital City of Belmopan waiting to see Prince Harry arrive at the Diamond Jubilee Block Party; charismatic and eager to see, or better yet, meet Prince Harry. Actually the mother wanted to set up her daughter with the Prince. She explained how her father had the opportunity to see Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and now it was her daughter's chance to meet a member of the Royal Family. How fitting that it was the Prince visiting Belize. We spotted them a various spots throughout the weekend screaming amd jumping with joy for Prince Harry!


Belizeans Says NO To Offshore Drilling
On March 2nd, all voting Belizeans were asked to come out and make a choice in a people's referendum regarding offshore drilling for oil. This vote was not organized by the government, but by volunteers. I arrived early with a bunch of other volunteers. Lots were needed. Some to check voters IDs, lot of Justices of the Peace, some to direct voters to the appropriate areas...and we needed to open the polls at 6am. Here is the park at 5:30am. Everyone took their stations. Mel Paz, independent mayoral candidate spent her whole day volunteering.

Chicken Soup, Belize Style!
Yes, it appears that chicken soup is universal. This miracle soup can cure your colds (or at least make u feel better ), warm you up, or simply hit that hunger spot. In the US they use carrots, potatoes and noodles, in China they use ginger, various leafy greens, and many other cultures have their own little variations. from France, Italy, Greece, portugal, Canada, they all have their own versions, but one thing remains common...chicken and chicken broth! Now, today in Belize is a bit cloudy and the temperature has fallen and it's going to start why not chicken soup? It alwyas tastes better when its rainy or cold or when you're sick. Now on to the recipe!

The Story Can Now Be Told – Prince Harry in Belize
Hosting a member of the Royal Family is a responsibility in itself, but for the managers and staff of The Lodge at Chaa Creek one of the most important tasks was keeping Prince Harry’s visit under wraps until the royal entourage departed, Chaa Creek owner Lucy Fleming said today. “Although our staff is the most professional in Belize and accustomed to serving celebrities and dignitaries, the royal family is held in very high esteem in Belize. Everyone was excited to hear that Prince Harry would be staying at Chaa Creek, and with 135 employees, we had to impress on everyone that privacy was paramount,” Ms Fleming said. “I’m very pleased to say that the secret was well kept, and that the Prince enjoyed a relaxing time away from paparazzi and publicity,” she added. Prince Harry was visiting Belize as part of his grandmother’s, Queen Elizabeth II diamond jubilee, celebrating 60 years of occupying the throne and as Belize’s Head of State.

Prince Harry Visits Mayan Ruins In Belize
Prince Harry receives a warm welcome as he tours the Xunantunich ruins of Belize. Britain’s Prince Harry continued his Belize trip on Saturday (March 3) with a visit to the Xunantunich ruins. The Xunantunich – or Maiden of the Rock – ruins are about 80 miles (130 km) from the Belize City, the country’s capital. The ruins, which are believed to have been an important ceremonial centre, date from the Maya Classic Era, which lasted from about 200 AD to 900 AD. Tourists and local residents were on hand to watch the Prince walking among the ruins and watching the performance of a local band and dance troupe. The Prince’s visit to the ruins is part of a two-day trip of Belize to launch Diamond Jubilee celebrations commemorating the 60-year anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in February 1952. Lady Dixie Bowen lives in Belize and said the importance of the royal visit should be recognised. “I think we should continue to honour royalty and they really mean a lot to our world and he’s there doing great things, taking up his mother’s charities and doing great things for everyone. And the children up there now are the children that are special needs children and I think that’s so honourable on his part,” she said.

Price Harry visits Belize monument
The mysteries of Belize's ancient civilisation have been revealed to Prince Harry as he played the tourist and visited a national monument. The royal was taken to the long abandoned city of Xunantunich - home to the sophisticated Maya people as he continued his Diamond Jubilee tour. Harry arrived at the popular tourist attraction by car, and as he emerged from a group of trees, before him was the impressive complex of stone pyramids, palaces and temples rising out of a jungle clearing. The prince was taken on a private guided tour of the site which was home to up to 10,000 people who lived in the surrounding countryside. Archaeologists have been deciphering the history of the city and its inhabitants for decades and have focused on its central piece, the towering Castillo complex. It contained the palaces and private shrines of the rulers before it was abandoned between AD 950-1000. Harry climbed the steep stone steps of the Castillo pausing occasionally to take in the view behind him and when he reached a midway point he disappeared as the steps took him around the side of the monument. He was spotted at the summit high above the jungle canopy and stayed there for around 20 minutes before taking a different path down to ground level. The Prince came down from the top of the monument sweating and with his shirt sticking to his back as the conditions were hot and humid. Waiting for him were a group of traditional dancers who performed a "deer dance" about hunting the animal, which has symbolic significance. Harry chatted with the group's leader as they twirled around him in brightly coloured costumes that represented various characters. Aurelio Sho, who co-ordinated the dance event, said: "Everybody knows this dance, it's very popular and there's a lot of energy that comes with it." Harry then went on to watch a display that was a complete contrast - the uniformed movements of a local marching band. As chart tunes echoed around the ancient ruined city Harry watched the group - complete with cheerleaders - walk across a square with synchronised steps.

VIDEO: Local Corals and Reef Residents
Have a look at local coralc and reef residents just ten minutes from the dock with Belize Diving Adventures, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

Welcome to Armenia, Belize
Just last week I had the privilege of going to a tiny, remote village in Belize called Armenia. To avoid confusion for the geographically inclined, Armenia is named after a place in El Salvador. It was settled by El Salvadorians. The place in El Salvador was long ago settled by Armenians. All confusion is now averted. The discussion began when I met Carlos' roommate for the first time. The conversation quickly turned to food and I began complaining about how I'd like to experience a real Belizian home-cooked meal. Duck (the roommate) immediately offered up his mother's services and invited us to his village. No sooner had the words left my mouth and we were already planning our trip.

Misc Belizean Sources

Front street store for lease in San Pedro
With or without fixtures furnishings etc. $BZ 2000 per month. Email


As you make your way around the city, you might notice a group of people wielding bright colored signs with numbers and percentages in what looks to be the latest protest. In approaching the group in the downtown area and talking to their leader Moses Sulph, a member of Cola, who described himself as a regular citizen, we were told that it is not a protest, that it is actually an alert or a way to inform people about the condition of the country before they cast their votes. Moses Sulph “This thing is called Belize Alert; we want the Belizean people to be alert about the situation. Don’t get caught up by the political posturing and the political rhetoric, and the distraction of the political partisan politics, be alert of the issues, look at where we are as a country.” The group moved to different locations in the city and according to Sulph, they have been received in kind by some, and others have just told them to go home.

Dalila Ical reporting... “A new bus terminal and market extension adjacent the Barracks located in the heart of Orange Walk Town was inaugurated on Saturday morning. The project was undertaken by the Orange Walk Town Council. Incumbent Mayor Phillip de la Fuente says the terminal was a highly prioritized project for the council. Mayor Phillip De La Fuente “If I may say it is a very huge undertaking, but very necessary also for the development of the Town. We didn’t want our visitors, our commuters coming in the buses and having to dodge the potholes and the mud holes and so we decided to do this project, this has always been the number one project for the Town. We could have done it with tar but with the heavy buses running over it, it would have worn out very quick; it would have cost a lot in maintenance and so we said we would spend a little bit more and do it the right way, with concrete. It is seven inches of concrete and steel so this should be here for quite some years.”

A house was destroyed by fire on Saturday. The building, measuring sixteen feet by eighteen feet belonged to Michael Gordon. Police say the building was being occupied at the time of the incident by a homeless person. No one was injured and the cause of the fire is unknown. Police continue to investigate.

A frightening home invasion was reported in Belize City on Sunday. Businesswoman Shirley Chicas told police that she as at home yesterday when two men, dressed in camouflage arrived and identified themselves as police officers. According to Chicas, the two men claimed that they were conducting an investigation for a robbery and demanded that one of her sons hand over his licensed nine millimeter pistol. Apart from the weapon, which was loaded, the intruders also took three cell phones and one thousand, six hundred and fifty dollars in cash. Police investigations continue.

Last Friday the Ashcroft Rehabilitation Center celebrated its 18th graduation ceremony. Chairman John Woods told Love News the graduates underwent four months of intense work. John Woods – Chairman, Kolbe Foundation “Friday we graduated 70 people after a four month rehabilitation course where they learnt so much about what has gone in their lives and what to do to correct it in the future. There were 104 that signed up for it and 70 completed. It is an intense course, up to 12- 14 hours every day; the 12 step program that the Alcoholic Anonymous uses that we use for Emotions Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, new direction, life skills, how to control your emotions, and that we are in charge and that there is a God up above that loves us and will take care of us, all we have to do is reach out and ask him. It is a very exciting time and like they say they go between 12 – 14 hours in those four months, it is extremely intense and that is probably reason we had the 34 dropouts out of it. It is really hard to go through there, examine yourself and figure what you are going to do with your life but it is very exciting. Some of the graduates that have come out of there are just superb individuals and they understand so much about living life because they have made so many mistakes. I guess the biggest, exciting thing about it is that they too realize that they too can do all they can be, that today is the first day of the rest of their life and that is what Kolbe is all about, we would like to have people that go to prison come out of there as good citizen and people who want to live their life better.” Over 1,100 men have graduated from the program so far.

Belize stands to benefit from over a million dollars in grant funding under the Mesoamerica Health Project. This was announced today, following Belize’s participation in the first meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Mesoamerica. The meeting was held last week in Mexico City, and Belize was represented by the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen. According to a government press release, Belize and El Salvador became the first countries to sign a grant agreement under the Mesoamerica Project with the first installment of seven hundred and fifty thousand US dollars now available to the Ministry of Health of Belize. The goal of the Council of Ministers of Health of the Mesoamerican Public Health System, which was set up at the end of last year, is to promote the improvement of health conditions for greater development and social welfare in the region.

Maria Novelo reporting... “The San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Red Cross is being re-energized and reactivated after being dormant for almost ten years. According to Director General , Lily Bowman, the first community information session and volunteer registration took place on Saturday at the Banana Beach Resort. Nine island residents registered to become a Red Cross member and volunteers. With this reactivation Ambergris caye residents in the most vulnerable areas of the community will have an active Red Cross office in San Pedro. Bowman says that the response from the island has been encouraging and their first priority goal is to implement their disaster introduction project which will build the capacity of volunteers to become trained first responders in the event of a disaster. During the meeting, Director General, Lily Bowman her staff and volunteers provided pertinent details about the Belize Red Cross’ Constitution, Code of Conduct, and Confidentiality Agreement, programs, strategies and plans. Bowman ended by saying that long standing member Atlantida Eiley has been instrumental in the reactivation of the Red Cross in San Pedro and is pleased to announce that they have been able to secure an office space. The new office is located on the ground floor of the Island Galleria building at the corner of Tarpon Street and Coconut Drive and should be operating now. The Belize Red Cross Headquarters in located in Belize City and 7 Branches throughout the 6 administrative Districts of the country. San Pedro will now make the 8th and the newest reactivated Branch.”

As of last week we’ve been reporting in our newscast that a Belizean team will participate this year in the King James Classic to be held in Akron Ohio in the month of April. After preliminary tryouts in each District, those chosen went into a second phase of tryouts was held at the UB gymnasium where twenty-one players were selected for a last round. That last round of tryouts was held yesterday at the Belize City Center where the fifteen players to travel to the King James Classic were chosen. This morning in a press conference at Roger’s Stadium, the names of the lucky fifteen players from all over the country were released.

A man from More Tomorrow village in the Cayo district is hospitalized in Belmopan following a shooting incident. Fem Cruz reporting... “On Sunday March 4 sometime 8:30 p.m. Belmopan police visited the Western Regional Hospital where Jose Espino, 36 year old Guatemalan farmer of More Tomorrow Village was seen suffering from apparent gunshot wound to the upper part of his left arm. Initial investigations reveal that sometime around 6 p.m. that same evening Jose Espino was walking through a cannabis plantation in an area of More Tomorrow Village when he was approached by three Hispanic male persons where one of them shot him to the left arm. Espino is presently in the Western Regional Hospital in a stable condition.”

Orange Walk police are investigating an apparent fatal hit and run incident on the Santa Cruz road in Orange Walk. Sometime after 10 o’clock yesterday morning police on patrol saw a man lying on the side of the road. The man later identified as 48 year old, Daniel Osgalla of Otro Benque Road Orange Walk Town, was seen with injuries to the right side of his face and body. He was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries. So far no one has been detained for questioning and police continues to investigate this incident.

Dr. Carla Barnett has served in various capacities in the civil service in Belize and in the Caribbean. And this week it was revealed that that she is again in a senior leadership position in the Caribbean. According to a statement, the Caribbean Development Bank today announced the appointment of Dr. Barnett as its vice president in charge of operations. Among her primary responsibilities is the formulation of CDB’s support program for borrowing member nations as well as the organization of the Bank’s portfolio of capital and technical assistance projects. Dr. Barnett brings to the job a wide range of experience. She has served previously at home as the Financial Secretary and as a Chief Executive Officer. Externally Dr, Barnett has served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM.

Channel 7

Skull Turns Up In Downtown OW
This evening, a rumor raced out that a pair of human heads had been found in a plastic bag outside Courts in Orange Walk town. All sorts of crazy speculation started to surface that the ZETAS or some drug gang had struck in that northern town. Well, tonight we can tell you that the rumor is not true; a pair of human heads was not found in front of Courts. But, something similar did happen. 7news has confirmed that a human skull without a jaw was found in a plastic bag in front of Courts Orange Walk. A Courts staffer walked out of work this evening and saw the plastic bag with the skull in front of the store. It is a skull, completely stripped of living tissue. The age of the skull itself, the sex, the cause of death and other details are not known at this time.

Mass Parties Hold Pre-Election Rallies
Both major mass parties held pre-election rallies in multiple constituencies over the weekend. But the PUP's big one was in Belize City at the Pound Yard bridge. Like the UDP a few weeks ago, it was a national event - with candidates from all across the country coming to the city to participate - and bussing in their supporters. The event drew a good crowd - filling up a portion of Cemetery Road. For a national event, It wasn't quite on the par of PUP events we've seen in the party's heyday - but it was enough to pump up Party Leader Francis Fonseca. The PUP also had pre-election rallies in Independence, Benque Viejo and Sandhill. Numbers vary widely on the PUP's city event: our estimates put it at a maximum of two thousand - while the party says it had at least eight thousand people out there. And the UDP is claiming similar numbers for a pre-election rally at the barracks in Orange Walk which was held yesterday evening. The UDP held major multi-divisional rallies in Corozal and Orange Walk Towns - and report strong turnout at both events. According to reliable estimates, the crowd in Orange Walk was in the range of five thousand.

PUP Leader Fonseca: What I Would Do With Telemedia
PUP Leader Francis Fonseca attended his party's weekend pre-election rallies in the City, Benque Viejo and Independence Village. Today he told us that - with all the adversity has party has faced since October - a victory at the polls on Wednesday would be "extraordinary," but he is confident that it will happen. Fonseca shared those comments in an extended interview, which will air separate from the news tomorrow night. Tonight, we'll sample a small part of that interview in which he discusses his party's relationship with the Ashcroft Alliance. It's topical, because the Barrow Administration's war with the Alliance has become one of the defining features of his administration - and to fair extent is why general elections are being called early because the Barrow Administration needs a new mandate- after passing the eighth amendment used up much of its political capital. So what would Fonseca do with the Ashcroft alliance? And to what extent would that be determined by whether or not the Alliance is currently financing the PUP? Fonseca told us that currently the PUP is receiving no financing from Ashcroft.

Barrow Would Consider Settling With The Ashcroft Alliance
We asked Barrow if - after three and a half years of more or less sustained warfare - wouldn't he be inclined to settle the matter? Here's what he told us: Jules Vasquez "Would you be inclined to settling it - once and for all settling the dispute over Telemedia?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "2 things: the course of governance, like the course of true love, never did run smooth. You can expect to be in government - you can't expect to be governing the state of affairs of a nation given the vicissitudes of life - given the uncertainties, given the challenges that will crop up every day. If it's not in one area, it's in a next. You can't expect that it will ever be smooth sailing. Admittedly, the protracted warfare with respect to the Ashcroft Empire and the Ashcroft Alliance is unusual. I, in a next term, would be perfectly prepared. I would be perfectly capable of summoning up the will and the resources to continue this campaign, to continue the struggle for as long as is necessary as to ultimately vindicate Belizeanism. B

Guess Who's Back!? "Friend Glen"
And amidst all this back and forth about Telemedia - there's news tonight about that other phone company, the one that couldn't quite get off the ground - Intelco. A report from out the US says that a new formed Florida company called GDG Acquisitions, - GDG - presumably as in, Glenn D. Godfrey - is suing the Government of Belize for ten million US dollars. The article says that GDG Acquisitions has filed a civil suit against The Government of Belize in U. S. District Court. GDG cites an Agreement was originally entered into on December 18, 2002 and signed by Godfrey, as Chairman of Intelco, and Ralph Fonseca, as "Minister of Budget Management" for the Belize Government. GDG says Government owes it $10.3 million dollars for "failing to pay rent or return telecommunications equipment that the Government allegedly leased from Intelco in 2002-2003."

Man Killed In OW Hit and Run
A man is believed to have been knocked down and killed on Sunday morning in a hit and run accident in Orange Walk town. It happened around 11 yesterday morning, when police found 48 year old Daniel Oscaya lying dead on the side of the San Antonio Road with injuries to his head and body. So far Police cannot say how he was knocked down...

Well Known Artist's Home Burns
There was a small house fire in Belize city on Saturday afternoon. It happened at #77 Plues Street, where a small wooden structure measuring 16ft by 18ft the property of well known street-artist Michael Gordon, engulfed in flames. The house was completely destroyed, no one was injured and the cause and value are unknown. Gordon told us that he was eating when he noticed his machete was missing. He said it is a family dispute...

Police Recover .22 Rifle
Last week Tuesday, the Police found a rifle along with 11 rounds of ammunition in an abandoned house in Belize City. The police searched the building located in East Collet Canal in Belize City, and they uncovered one Mossberg .22 Rifle model #380. Along with it, they found eleven .22 rounds of ammunition. The firearm and ammunition were deposited as "Found Property".

Prince Harry's Happy Time In Belize
Prince Harry's quick tour of Belize ended in Saturday afternoon, 23 hours after it began. But, however short, the trip was memorable and probably most important, it garnered Belize headlines all over the world - most notably for the few cultural dances that the Prince got into. We look back at some of the highlites from his brief tour: Monica Bodden Reporting The prince started out his visit meeting the head of state, the head of government and the leader of the opposition. The prime minister and his wife also had a casual unofficial conversation with him in the VIP room. 01:18 Prince Harry arrived at Belize house on Saturday evening for the formal occasion of reviewing the Diamond Jubilee stamp edition - chronicling his grandmother's 60 year reign.

Police Accused of Home Invasion Style Robbery - In Uniform!
Police says it's a burglary, but if you ask us, we would call it a soft-home invasion, or one daring con-game! Shirley Chicas, a Belizean Businesswoman of Belize City reported to police that on Sunday whilst at home with her two sons- two men came to her house dressed in camouflage uniforms and identified themselves as Police Officers. The two men then told Chicas that they were investigating a robbery and demanded that one of her sons hand over his licensed Glock 9mm pistol with 15 live rounds. They also took 3 cellular phones and $1,650 dollars in cash. Both men then left the house taking all items along with them stating that the items will be placed as exhibit pending the outcome of the robbery investigations. Well, turns out it wasn't a con, and they were indeed police.

Belize's Best Young Ballers Going To King James Tourney In Ohio
15 basketball players from around the country have been chosen to represent Belize at the King James amateur Athletic Union Classic. The tournament is played in April in Ohio and its namesake is NBA Star Lebron James. It features some of the best young talent in the United States. But this time - for the first time - they'll be joined by Belize's finest. The 15 players were selected from a much larger group from around the country who participated in a rigorous tryout process in Belmopan. The Belize Basketball Federation held a press conference this morning at the Rogers Stadium to unveil the selection - and we were there:

Police And Youths: Finding Middle Ground
When police officers are patrolling the streets of Belize City, most of their first interactions with the public begins and ends with the youths they encounter. The relationship between youths and police is one that is rife with distrust and controversy, so it's very rare when these two groups actually cooperate with each other. This was exactly the type of relationship that Restore Belize and its partners tried to foster by implementing a program in Belize that has its roots in the US. It is called the Youth and Police Initiative, and it is funded by the US Embassy. The initiation of the program here in Belize was done last week by a representative of the North American Family Institute, a US Human Services Organization.

Man on cycle Knocked Down Trying To Overtake
There was an accident this evening in Ladyville. Denfield Tillett from Flowers Bank is the victim. It happened around 5:30. As we understand it, Tillett was northbound on a motorbike when he tried to overtake a bus. But when he was already overtaking he realized there was a vehicle in front of the bus and traffic was approaching from the other direction. He tried to squeeze between the vehicle in front of the bus and an oncoming pickup - but could not make it. He hit the vehicle in front of the bus and then careened into the oncoming pickup. He only received a few abrasions.

Prince Harry Impressed With Belize
Earlier on in the news - we showed you some of Prince Harry's whirlwind tour of Belize. IT has garnered major international headline - and the BTB is hoping to seize upon that by putting an interview with the Prince front and center in their marketing of the event. Interviews with Royalty are rare but our colleague Janelle Chanona - working on behalf of the BTB - got a chance to have a brief one on one with him - where he spoke about his impressions of Belize:.. Janelle Chanona "Your Highness, has Belize Lived up to your expectations?" Prince Henry of Wales "Definitely, this is my first visit. I heard a few things from my grandmother on her last visit; she said how amazing it is. It really has, completely, the scenery that this place has to offer, and the location here is absolutely fantastic. So yeah, it's outdone it's expectations as far as I'm concerned."

Channel 5

Leader of Opposition on Dickie Bradley Special
It’s a day away from the double elections. This station and Love FM are teaming up for full coverage. Reporters will be stationed at all thirty-one constituencies to bring you the latest information as electors go to the polls. There are a hundred and seventy-eight thousand registered voters for the general election and for the ...

Human remains found in Orange Walk
There is breaking news tonight from Orange Walk. Early reports are that police are processing a scene in the downtown area near the courts on Queen Victoria Avenue. It is believed that human remains have been found in a plastic bag, but information at this time is hard to come by because police are busy ...

Did somebody swipe BWSL Land?
We have reported on a number of cases of land fraud or land grab. One report coming out late this evening from San Pedro is that a parcel of prime property has changed hands for what documents show is a pittance. It involves Parcel Number 1193 previously held by the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL). ...

Single Mother gets write-off; but not home from S.S.B.
Caren Robinson had been in the first set of persons to move to Fresh Pond, a small community on the Boom Road. But she was struggling financially, and did not feel it was safe to leave her young daughter alone in an area with few people while she was working. So she decided to move ...

Barrow’s large cash deposit in US Bank
The opposition People’s United Party has been attacking the Prime Minister in ads for depositing cheques of US twenty-five thousand dollars to his account at Wachovia Bank and another for thirty-two thousand with Bank of America. The trust of the ad is that the PM has no confidence in the economy and has been making ...

International Women’s Day
This Thursday will be celebrated as International Women’s Day. There are interesting statistics that are coming out in anticipation of the one hundred and first women’s day; some of the results by London’s Independent Newspaper show that the jewel is way behind in two aspects but generally conditions for women have improved in eighty-five percent ...

Motorcycle accident in Ladyville
This evening in Ladyville, a motorcycle collided into a pickup that was heading toward Belize City. The motorcycle had just overtaken a passenger bus travelling north when the driver saw the oncoming pickup owned by Jose Alexander Daras. The cyclist attempted to avoid a head on collision with Daras and swerved toward the right hand ...

Politricks Time Again: Campaign workers fired or hired?
When elections draw near, politicians are always eager to be in front of the cameras. News Five has had its share of calls about the generosity of politicians who wish to have their small acts of goodness televised for the evening news. Those politicians are also very keen to speak about the injustices that occur ...

Moses’ Alert Protest
Moses Sulph, the former president of Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action, has been a vocal force advocating for meaningful social and political reform to improve the lives of Belizeans. Sulph has been on the forefront of numerous protests, spanning the tenure of both major political parties over the past nine years. Most recently he ...

Witnesses, including doctor, testify at Attempted Murder Trial
On February twenty-seventh, Attorney Rodwell Williams took the stand for the first time and gave an account of how he was shot on May thirty-first, 2010. Williams told the court that around seven-twenty that night, he left his office on Albert Street and was heading to his car, when two men rode up on bicycles, ...

On the Official Visit to Belize: Prince Harry now Prince of the Jewel
Prince Harry is now the Prince of the Jewel. In his twenty-three hour visit, he won the hearts of many. The Prince arrived on Friday on his first official visit as grandson of the queen. In that relatively short time, he wooed Belizeans as he mingled in the capital with the crowd that waited to ...

On official Visit to Belize: Prince Harry at Xunantunich
On Saturday morning, Prince Harry, the third in line to the British throne, headed to the Adjacency Zone near the Belize/Guatemala border. After an explanation on the work of the OAS, he was treated to a cultural presentation by both Belizean and Guatemalan primary school students. The Prince’s next stop was Xunantunich. Here’s News Five’s ...

Restore Belize and US Organizations training sessions to help youths
The Belize Police Department has had a rocky relationship with at risk youths in certain areas, particularly in the city. But that may soon change, with the help of a partnership between Restore Belize and two US organizations; Partners for Democratic Change and the North American Family Institute. Together they are implementing a program that ...

Talented Belizean youths headed to Lebron James AAU Tournament
The National Sports Council and Belize Basketball Federation earlier today announced the names of the contingent of junior basketball players who are heading to the King James Classic AAU Tournament being held by famous NBA player, Lebron James, in Ohio, USA. The ultimate prize is securing a scholarship. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports. Delahnie Bain, ...

James Adderley’s Sports Update
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and you’re most welcome to this fresh dish of Sports Monday. We head immediately to the MCC Grounds where week 4 in the Premier League of Belize brought the B.D.F. face to face with FC Belize in a zone A matchup that could provide front runner status for either ball ...


Tracking the elections online
Total Business Solution Limited late last week announced it will be using the Geographic Information Systems and Global Positioning System to provide live tracking of the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. Today, the same organization announced it will also be providing live tracking for Wednesday’s general and municipal elections. Loretta Palacio is the Managing Director of Total Business Solutions Limited. A presentation on how to use the new tracking system was given by Belizean GIS specialist, Marion Cayetano. The live tracking can be done via the internet at:

Group raises “alert” in downtown Belize City
Commuters making their way around the city this morning could not help but notice a group of people around town carrying brightly coloured signs adorned with messages in numbers. It looked like a protect; but the leader of the impromptu group Moses Sulph, told Love News that it was not. Sulph, who is a member of the group Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action, says that it is actually a way to inform people about the condition of the country before they cast their votes on Wednesday. The group braved the chilly weather and persistent drizzle to get their message out. A member of the group told Love News that he is one of those in the percentage of unemployed.

Belizean gets top CDB job
Dr. Carla Barnett has served in various capacities in the civil service in Belize and in the Caribbean. And this week it was revealed that that she is again in a senior leadership position in the Caribbean. According to a statement, the Caribbean Development Bank today announced the appointment of Dr. Barnett as its vice president in charge of operations. Among her primary responsibilities is the formulation of CDB’s support program for borrowing member nations as well as the organization of the Bank’s portfolio of capital and technical assistance projects. Dr. Barnett brings to the job a wide range of experience. She has served previously at home as the Financial Secretary and as a Chief Executive Officer. Externally Dr, Barnett has served as the Deputy Secretary General of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM.

Belize qualifies for health grant from Mesoamerica
Belize stands to benefit from over a million dollars in grant funding under the Mesoamerica Health Project. This was announced today, following Belize’s participation in the first meeting of the Council of Ministers of Health of Mesoamerica. The meeting was held last week in Mexico City, and Belize was represented by the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen. According to a government press release, Belize and El Salvador became the first countries to sign a grant agreement under the Mesoamerica Project with the first installment of seven hundred and fifty thousand US dollars now available to the Ministry of Health of Belize. The goal of the Council of Ministers of Health of the Mesoamerican Public Health System, which was set up at the end of last year, is to promote the improvement of health conditions for greater development and social welfare n the region.


Prince Harry of Wales' enchanting weekend in the jewel
Prince Harry of Wales made his grand debut in Belize and was well received by Belizeans. Prince Harry attended a pr...

Present and former Mayors of Belmopan clash on City Council's audited financials
Rise and shine featured guests this morning were Florencio Marin Jr. and Former Mayor of Belmopan Anthony Chanona. ...

Prince Harry lunches with special needs children
Prince Harry also made special time for twenty-two children with special needs along with parents and chaperones. M...

Real time tracking GPS added to La Ruta Maya river challenge
March 9 to the 12 will mark the 15th running of the La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. As usual, teams will start...

Fatal traffic accident in San Antonio
A man is dead as a result of a fatal traffic accident. On Sunday March 4th , 48 year old Daniel Oscaya was found de...

Police remind public of liquor and firearm prohibition for elections
The general public is informed that under the Belize City and Town Council Regulations Chapter 85, all persons who ...

Police release official report on First Caribbean bank robbery
Last week Thursday we reported on the bank robbery which occurred at First Caribbean bank in Belize City. Police ha...

Thieves make off with $15k in home invasion
In a previous newscast we told you about a home invasion that took place last week Saturday night in the outskirts ...

Forty plus participants attend Christian media seminar
The Belize Christian Media Fellowship (BCMF) held a media seminar this weekend. BCMF is comprised of Christian medi...

Men posing as police rob home
A local businesswoman’s home was burglarized over the weekend. Shirley Chicas, of Belize City reported that on Sund...

The Reporter

Cops kill bank robber, but three escape!
A brazen bank robbery at First Caribbean International Bank’s San Cas Plaza branch on Thursday morning, March 1st, proved fatal for one of the four fleeing robbers, whom police officers shot and killed. The Police Department briefed the media about the robbery at a press conference Thursday afternoon. They claimed they were simply returning fire when the robber was shot. The other three assailants, one of whom the police believe had also sustained a gunshot wound, escaped by swimming across the Haulouver Creek to the Gungulung area of Lake Independence, near LaCroix Boulevard.

People’s Referendum says “No”
Ninety six percent of the 29,235 voters, or more than 28,000 of those who participated in Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage’s nation-wide People’s Referendum, held on Wednesday, February 29th, have voted “no” to offshore oil exploration. BTIA President Jim Scott, and Oceana Belize vice-president Audrey Matura-Shepherd announced the results at the offices of Oceana Belize in Belize City on Thursday, March 1st. The Belize district had the largest voter turnout with 9,463 votes, of which 97% said “no” to offshore drilling.

Victim lives to confront gunman
Akeem Thurton, accused of the attempted murder of prominent attorney Rodwell Williams S.C., appeared alone and unrepresented when Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin began hearing the first criminal trial without a jury in the Belize Supreme Court on Monday, February 27. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, called Williams, who is Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s law partner, to the witness stand.

PUP CitCo candidates offer 46 solutions
The People’s United Party’s 11 candidates for the Belize City Council and Mayor presented a list of 46 basic needs and services which they say the UDP City Council is not adequately servicing, but which the PUP will provide. PUP Mayoral candidate Karen Bodden and her team presented their 46 solutions when the PUP launched its City Council campaign manifesto at a press conference at Independence Hall in Belize City on Monday, February 20.

COLA takes issue with Barrow over superbond statement and senate reform
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow’s statements on the super bond were “irresponsible,” said the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) at their press conference at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Tuesday, February 28. The United Democratic Party (UDP) released its 2012-2017 manifesto on Wednesday, February 22, and UDP party leader Barrow said: “This 8 1/2% interest rate we will not suffer. ... We won’t lie down so that anybody can take chance on us, and the bottom line is, Mr. Bond Holder, Mr. Bad Creditor, come to the table and re-negotiate with Belizeans. “You are obliged to give us a fairer deal, and the people of this country will accept no less.” COLA’s President, Geovanni Brackett said that statement is not only “irresponsible”, but could be detrimental if the perceived possibilities were to come to fruition.

Barranco will host 2012 National Garifuna Convention March 9 9th.
The seaside village of Barranco in the deep south is opening its doors in celebration of the 28th Annual Convention of National Garifuna Council which will also coincide with the launching of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the village. Barranco was also the birthpalce of Garifuna cultural icon and UNESCO cultural Ambassdor for Peace, Andy Palacio. The two day celebrations will begin from March 9. The Annual National Garifuna Council convention is the highest authority of the organization. At the convention, the Board of Directors will present their annual report which highlights the organization’s activities for the past year. Other activities include the promotion of educational discussions among the 11 branches of the NGC; to consider and adopt resolutions moved by the membership and the formulation of plans for the ensuing year. It should be noted that there will also be the election of new officers.

Westrac wins Spanish Lookout canoe race
The Westrac team of Jerry Cante, Elmer Cruz and Adrian Waight paddled their canoe into first place to win first ever Spanish Lookout Expo canoe race, completing 12 laps around the lagoon in 58 minutes and 10 seconds on Saturday, February 25. They took home a $100 first prize and a trophy, and another $100 first prize as the first male team. The race was the last dress rehearsal organized by the Belize Canoe Association in preparation for the upcoming Ruta Maya River Challenge on March 9-12. But this race was very different from the run -of- the- river races most of the paddlers were accustomed to.

Belize Telemedia wins softball marathon
Telemedia’s Blackberry softball team won an all-day softball marathon fund-raiser organized by the BTL women’s softball team at the Roger’s Stadium on Sunday, February 26, in preparation for the upcoming Central American women’s championships in Costa Rica in June. Telemedia won the final game 12-2 over Kitkat Babba Shop. Kevin Siroki scored first for Babba Shop, but Otis Clother soon tied the score at 1-1 in the bottom the first inning. Babba Shop’s pitcher Jumoke Castro scored a second run in the top of the second, and the Telemedia hitters opened up a 6-2 lead in the 3rd. when Kemani Williams, pitcher Francis Usher, shortstop Omar Gordon, catcher Nelson Tillett, and Chaka X scored five runs.

Election Day 2012 looks like it’s going to be a game-changing experience for candidates who won or lost by 50 votes or less the last time around. There are only two of these, and the candidate who appears to be the most vulnerable is the candidate for the Freetown Division. On March 2, 2008 Mr. Francis Fonseca received 1369 votes. His adversary, Mr. Michael Peyrefitte, received 1353. In a constituency of that size 16 votes are considered a slim lead. In 2008 the electoral register for Freetown numbered 3681. This year the voters in Freetown are 4,230 strong. Even so, Mr. Fonseca has his work cut out in view of the fact that he is facing a formidable opponent, Mr. Lee Mark, who has a strong, well-lubricated election machine working for him.

International Sources

Interview with Francis Fonseca, Candidate for Prime Minister of Belize
BELIZEANS HEAD TO THE POLLS Wednesday to choose their next government — deciding between Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s ruling United Democratic Party and the Opposition People’s United Party, led by Francis Fonseca, which is looking to return to power after leading Belize from 1998 to 2008. An economist and lawyer, Fonseca, who was elected as PUP leader in October, is a former Education Minister and Attorney General. In 2001, he served as Chief of Staff for former Prime Minister Said Musa. Fonseca, who is vying to be the Area Representative for the Freetown Electoral Division, would become the country’s next Prime Minister if the PUP were to win the election. To learn more about the upcoming vote, Caribbean Journal talked to Fonseca about the 2012 campaign, growing the country’s economy and dealing with the crime problem.

Waves Break Coral Embryo into Identical Twins
Ever wanted an identical twin? A clone to do your chores? If you were a coral embryo, you could just break in two and make yourself a body double, new research suggests. Coral embryos, which are complex marine animals with differentiated cell layers and tissues, are able to reorganize their bodies, even if they've broken in half, to form anew. This means that when even a gentle wave comes along and a coral embryo is damaged, it just ends up turning into two smaller, identical twins. This ability "helps to explain how coral maximize their chances of finding a suitable habitat in which to settle and survive," study researcher Andrew Heyward, of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said in a statement. "This is another example of the complexity of these incredible animals and suggests that there may be more to learn about the lives of corals."

March 5, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Editorial – “What sort of voter are you?”
This is the last editorial in The San Pedro Sun before the Municipal and General Elections are held on Wednesday, March 7th. We have heard the candidates, we have had our barstool debates, we have argued with our neighbors, challenged our friends and defended our chosen candidates with fervor, but have we asked ourselves, “What sort of voter am I?” Are you a color blind voter, simply casting all confidence to who ever the candidate is just because of the color they wear? Are you an absent minded voter, forgetting the indiscretions that certain candidates have been found guilty of? Are you a deaf voter, not hearing the false promises and empty political babble some of them may spout? Are you a mute voter, not speaking your mind when you are pressured by family and friends to vote the way they SAY you should? Are you an educated voter, taking the time to listen to each and every candidate? Are you a smart voter, using what you have learned about the candidates to make a wise choice? Are you a fearless voter, choosing your candidates based on your own decision and not on what friends and family may dictate?

The March 5th, 2012 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • BIG John! Saldivar’s Splendid Debate Performance
  • Empowering Grass Roots People
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: Noise-Makers versus Vote-Bringers
  • CARICOM YOUTH Ambassador Campaign
  • Empowering Grassroots People: 200 Leases in San Juan/Cowpen
  • A Breath of Fresh Air: WAVE Radio & TV Airs Insightful Election Show
  • Faith Lift: The Merits of Prayer to Church and State
  • PHOTOS: The Prime Minister’s Tour Continued in Dangriga, Sunday, February 26, 2012
  • PHOTOS: The Prime Minister’s Tour Continued in Ladyville, Sunday, February 26, 2012
  • Montero Delivers Again! Ground Breaking for Santa Elena Library
  • Gabriel Martinez Delivers: Libertad Village Health Center Inaugurated
  • Setting the Record Straight: Looking Beyond the Elections
  • Completing the WORKS In Stann Creek West
  • La Ruta Maya 2012: Marking the End of the Mayan Calendar


Gas prices in Belize
Everyone likes to know the price of things, in fact that is one of my pet peeves shopping here when stores do not have their stock priced. Since I often get reader emails asking about the cost of living in Belize and have been blogging that topic for a few years now, I decided to do car gas price comparison. The idea came when I was out for a joyride with Dick and Zac as we stopped to gas up the golf cart. Currently we pay $11.69 a gallon and was $60 to fill Zac’s tank. Tim said last time he filled his Polaris it was $70. I asked a couple of my regular guest contributors Michele and Sharon to see what their pricing was like. Regular gas is $11.40 at Texaco and $11.42 at Shell.

The Friendliest People I've Ever Met, Really: KenMar Bed & Breakfast in Belmopan
I live in a friendly country so this might seem like exaggeration...but it's not. This bed and breakfast is amazing. So unexpected. If you are travelling to Belmopan, Belize...the place to stay is KenMar Bed and Breakfast. I promise. I got lucky. I was travelling to Belize's capital to see Prince Harry (see: Harry: My Scoop). I called a few hotels and they were booked. But Tripadvisor recommended KenMar. And I can see why... At the bus station, I grabbed a taxi to the hotel. If you need a taxi cab in Belmopan, call Smith. 604-4181. Great rasta guy. He chauffeured me my whole trip. KenMar is right behind the biggest hotel in town, the Bullfrog. The owner, Marion checked me in. She had her hair in curlers for the prince's arrival. I rolled in like a bag of dirty laundry. Honestly...the boat...the bus? She hugged me...said "baby, you're so pretty". I knew I loved this place.

Royal Relaxation at Belize’s Chaa Creek
“Wow, this place looks so relaxing!” HRH Prince Harry exclaimed as he arrived at the Lodge at Chaa Creek, setting the tone for what he and Chaa Creek’s staff described as a very pleasant stay at Belize’s premier eco-resort, according to Chaa Creek’s owner Lucy Fleming. “After checking in and strolling through the tropical gardens to his Tree Top Suite he commented on how peaceful Chaa Creek was, and then said he was very keen to taste one of our mojitos. “In this way he wasn’t very different from many of our other guests. In fact, we were all quite taken with his very natural, easy going charm,” Ms Fleming said. Prince Harry was visiting Belize as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour in honor of his grandmother’s, Queen Elizabeth II, 60 years on the throne. He arrived at Chaa Creek on the evening of March 2nd and was welcomed with a classic Maya dinner of Kac’kick, a traditional soup made with turkey and roasted vegetables flavored with chilies and spices, a fresh salad with vegetables from Chaa Creek’s Maya Organic Farm, and fine wines. And yes, he did get to enjoy Chaa Creek’s signature Mojito, a Caribbean rum and lime drink. The next day the Prince relaxed with a one-and-a-half hour massage back in his room before enjoying a hearty English breakfast.

Maya World Photographer of the Week: Tony Rath
I met Dangriga-based photographer and videographer Tony Rath on my first trip to Belize in 2003 and we've been collaborating ever since. Most recently, Tony shot the covers of my two books, MOON BELIZE 9TH ED (hanging out of a helicopter above the jaguar temple at Lamanai), and MOON MAYA 2012 (also shot at Lamanai). As you can see in Tony's shot of the Maya deer dance above, his imagery bursts with color. It also takes him to every nook, cave, cranny, caye, and underwater crevice of Belize. He's equally adventurous and skillful exploring Belize's many cultural landscapes, including the Maya. To get a taste (and take a little trip to Belize), spend a few minutes browsing the portraits and landscapes in TRPhoto's photostream.

Sunday Traveler: Caves, cayes and coral in Belize
COCKROACH CAYE, BELIZE —We’re standing near a makeshift Robinson Crusoe shack on Turneffe Atoll, one of the tiny specks of dry land off the shore of Belize, and since it's rare to hear a tropical island-dweller praise hurricanes, Leigh and I listen up when Carlos Miller starts to explain how the periodic storms help sustain the mangrove-coral ecosystem of Cockroach Caye. While chunks of foil-wrapped chicken sizzle on a wood fire, Miller shows us the sweaty, salty leaves of a red mangrove. He explains how the hurricanes flush sand off the reef and into the trees, where the root pillars trap it to build new land, helping both parts of the related ecosystem. Bigger hurricanes can destroy mangrove stands. But over time, the cycle of storms leads to renewal and growth, not just destruction. A succession of mangrove species, fueled in part by the storms, help sustain the delicate balance between the reef and the oceanic mangrove forests, Miller explains. It’s great to get that global perspective from time to time. That’s what passports are for. With that bigger picture in mind, I wonder if some events we see as natural disasters back home — pine beetles, forest fires drought, floods — are also part of natural cycles that drives ecosystems; but it’s challenging to remove the disaster tag when your life or livelihood is at stake.


Corozal Police Siezed Two Packs Of suspected Cocaine
A drug bust took place last night around 11:00 in the Corozal District. CTV3 News understands that Corozal Police visited Maya Guest House located on 2nd Street South Corozal where they searched one of the rooms occupied by Mark Mckenzie, a Belizean fisherman of Dangriga Town. The search led police to the discovery of a black knapsack containing two parcels of suspected cocaine weighing a total of 2,153 grams, 86 packs of LG cigarette and 52 packs of Benson Elite cigarette. As a result Mckenzie was arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

Prince Harry Arrives In Belize
Royalty landed on Belizean soil this afternoon as 27 year old Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, landed in a private jet at the Phillip Goldson International Airport at 4:20. Upon the Prince’s arrival, he was greeted by The Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young and Chief of Protocol, Diane Locke. The Prince was then given the royal salute by members of the Belize Defense Force after which he was greeted by the Prime Minister of Belize Honorable Dean Barrow, Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca and British High Commissioner of Belize Patrick Ashworth. Prince Harry spent a few seconds exchanging words with Barrow, Fonseca and Ashworth and then proceeded to the VIP area of the airport where he briefly met with the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. From there, Prince Harry headed straight to Belmopan where he made his official call on the Governor General. Tomorrow Prince Harry will be travelling to the OAS Adjacency Zone and Xunantunich where he is expected to spend most of his day before heading back to the airport.

Corruption At Its Best In The Ministry Of Natural Resources
Back in August 2009 the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega arbitrarily and illegally seized three seafront parcels of land located behind the Finca Solana Area in the Corozal District from their owners and awarded them to his close friends and family members. Back then documents obtained by CTV3 News exposed a bitter fight between the previous owners of the parcels of land and the new owners who took over with the support of the Barrow Administration. Now, the owners of the three seafront parcels were never notified that their land had been taken away and given to Derek Gillett, a well known UDP financier and high level campaigner, Minister of Health Pablo Marin and Diana Vega Rosado the daughter of no other than the Minister of Lands Gaspar Vega. Of course, parcel 1816, which is the largest of the three parcels measuring 2080.505 sq. Meters, was awarded to Diana Vega Rosado while parcel 1817 measuring 675.24 sq. Meters was given to Derrick Gillett and parcel 1819 measuring 1806.924 sq. Meters was given to the Minister of Health Pablo Marin. As if that was not enough the prices that were paid for these parcels of land were preposterous. Diana Vega Rosado paid a mere $2,000, Derrick Gillett paid $1,500 and Pablo Marin paid only $2,000 for a parcel of land that cost thousands of dollars.

Corozal South West Ready For General Elections
We are just hours away from Municipal and General Elections. The day is sure to be a hectic one and the results of intensive campaigning will be seen, but most importantly the voice of the people will be heard. For the past nine years Corozal Southwest has been dominated by the United Democratic Party with Gabriel Martinez as the Area Representative. Martinez has neglected the people of Corozal Southwest, despite the fact that his government has been in mandate for the past four years. Knowing this fully well, Martinez is still seeking a re-election. But come March 7th a new dawn will emerge and with it a new leader for the Corozal Southwest Constituency. Ramiro Ramirez is the PUP’s point man for the area and today when he visited our studios we took the opportunity to speak to him about his campaign in Corozal Southwest.

Javier Alvares Receives Officer Of The Month Award
This afternoon a police officer attached to the Orange Walk Police Department was recognized by the People’s Coalition Committee for his more than 17 years of service and dedication to the people of Belize. PC #743 Javier Alvarez, who was born here in Orange Walk, has been a law enforcer since 1991. For those 17 years of hard work, today Alvarez was awarded “Police Officer of the Month” for the month of February. Today police officers stationed here in Orange Walk filled the station’s conference room to show their support for PC Javier Alvarez who was named Officer of the Month for the month of February. “He is a human being but he doesn’t complain, he doesn’t hesitate, he complies and then he perhaps the complain comes after and those are the types of police officers that we want so that we can serve our community as Mr. Ross said let us take it to 100% am certain that there are others good officers among us here and you will get your due time of recognition because this is a team work.”

Oceana Wants The Referendum Act To Be Amended
After 29,325 registered voters came out on Wednesday 29th February in support of the People’s Referendum held by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, Oceana is calling on any new Government elected by the people on March 7th to amend the Referendum Act and quote “Give the majority decision of the electorate on any referendum issue, the binding effect it should rightfully have.” End of quote. In a press release issued out today Oceana states that the recent show of people power is clear indication that the people of Belize will not be denied their participation in the governance process. And since the results of the People’s Referendum and any other referendum are not binding under law, Oceana fervently calls on any new government after March 7th, 2012 to amend the Referendum Act.

Child Stimulation Kicks Off With Fairy-tale Parade
Child Stimulation Month is celebrated every year in the month of March and this year is no exception. This year the month is being celebrated under the theme “Start Early Aim High”. Here in Orange Walk activities kicked off today with a colorful parade through the streets of town. CTV3 News’ Janine Ayuso and Cameraman Kenric Simpson joined in the parade and filed the following report. We are in the month of March and for preschoolers countrywide this means the beginning of Child Stimulation Month. A month pact with fun filled activities. Here in the Orange Walk District activities kicked off with a parade which saw preschoolers dressed in attractive fairytale and nursery rhyme outfits. Dressed in their favorite character, preschoolers danced, laughed and waved to the crowd as they made their way through the principle streets of town. Without a doubt these bright young minds, along with their teachers of course, wooed spectators with their colorful displays and costumes.

International Sources

Lord Ashcroft's bank rocked by downturn
Conservative Party donor's Caribbean operations lose $13.6m in final quarter of 2011. Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative Party donor, is fighting to stem mounting losses at his Caribbean banking business, amid an economic downturn and political turmoil in the region. The billionaire financier's stock market-listed company has disclosed that it lost $13.6m (£8.5m) in the last three months of 2011, with red ink spreading at his historic operations in Belize.

March 4, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Parents join children at SPRCS for family day
Involving parents in the education of their children is an integral part of a well rounded education. The San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) has set aside one day a month where parents are able to join children of the Infant I division in fun activities. Bonding, parenting and educational fun – what better way to spend quality time with the children than working on a project that promotes cleanliness and health?

Under the Sun & Stars – Celebrations Galore!
Happy Birthday Morgaine! Happy Birthday Kyna and Melanie! Congratulations Newlyweds!! Well-known lovebirds Helda Santos and Robert “Robbie” Pritchard of Roadkill Bar tied the knot on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at a beachside ceremony at Coral Bay Villas.

Prince Harry ends tour in Belize with a visit to Xunantunich
HRH Prince Henry of Wales ended his tour of Belize on Saturday March 3rd after visiting the western part of the country amongst other activities. Prince Harry was able to interact with hundreds of Belizeans at a street party in Belmopan on Friday night where he took the opportunity to dance traditional Belizean brukdung and Jankunu. After his lively Friday night, the energetic and enthusiastic Prince visited the Adjacency Zone set up by the Organization of American States Office between the Belize-Guatemala Boarder.

Ambergris Today

Prince Harry "Gets Down" In Belize
Prince Harry had a very Belizean welcome, which was the perfect start to his diamond jubilee tour. He arrived in Belize on Friday, March 2, very proper, serious, well-suited and elegant but eventually captured the essence of the country and changed his demeanor to a more casual and festive one. Belize threw HRH Prince Harry a welcome party that he will not forget in a long while as he celebrated with the multi-cultured people of the country, which included dancing alongside the Governor General of Belize the Garifuna Jankanoo, sipping down some delicious hibiscus punch with the Creole and taking back a shot of ceviche with the Meztizo. And he also sampled a cold Belikin beer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Prince Harry Wraps Up Belize Visit
Prince Harry concluded his one-day visit to Belize with a tour of the Xunantunich Maya temple in western Belize. The prince toured the ruins of the ancient Maya civilization and climbed to the very top of the 135 foot El Castillo from whence a panoramic view of the surrounding jungle and El Peten in Guatemala can be enjoyed. The day was hot and humid and the prince came down from the summit drenched in sweat but taking the local clime in good stead as he was entertained by Maya dancers who played the marimba and performed their traditional deer hunting dance. To top off the visit to Xunantunich, a marching band complete with cheerleaders from the nearby San Jose Succotz high school livened up the morning event.


Saturday Fundraiser
Today we rode into town for a fundraiser lunch for Uziel Meza, a baby needing medical care after being born prematurely to an employee at Belize Bank. We had bought the tickets earlier in the week while we were doing our banking and had been looking forward to some authentic Belizean rice and beans and stew chicken. So after my morning yoga at Ak'Bol, we pulled out the bikes. Fortunately, the wind had died down some from the morning's peak, when it was gusting to 39 mph(!), so we enjoyed our ride into town. This is the peak tourist season in San Pedro, so town was really hopping today!

Meeting New Friends on Leap Day
This past week we had the opportunity to meet Terese and Rick from Vancouver, Washington, who are visiting Belize on vacation. I've been corresponding with Terese for awhile after she found this blog and wrote to me. They are planning to retire before too long and are starting to investigate possible retirement places. On this trip they are visiting San Pedro and Placencia. We met them at Ambergris Brewing Company on "leap day", February 29th. I'd noted that Ambergris Brewing had posted on Facebook in the morning that if you said "leap year" when you came in, you got specials on rum drinks or beer all day long. So, our rum drinks were only $4 BZD ($2 US) apiece, a great deal. We were the only folks there on this late afternoon, but that was fine with us. We had an easy, fun conversation, answered Rick and Terese's questions, and made a few recommendations.

Red Cross Belize San Pedro Branch
Good fortune is smiling on us, many people are stepping up in support of gaining a Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch and sharing the desire to make a difference. Christina Espejo of Island Galleria has donated 6 months office space to the Belize Red Cross for the San Pedro Branch. Changes in Latitudes and Legends Burger House have both offered to place donation containers at their businesses. deSEo advertising has volunteered to enhance their facebook page and do a Belize Red Cross website. 9 people registered to volunteer, we are building a solid network of people with strong skills and connections. John from Bandage international and Bonnie from the Lions den were both in support of our new San Pedro Branch and organizations joining hands to help benefit Ambergris Caye.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Farewell Assembly for Mr. Dane Dingerson, Founder/Donor of Ocean Academy
Form IV senior students organized a heartfelt appreciation assembly for school co-founders Dane Dingerson and wife Lydie Baudry. In 2008 Dane and Lydie donated a plot of land, and the initial funds to build a three-room schoolhouse. Since 2008, they have been actively involved in the growth of Ocean Academy. Dane volunteers as a windsurfing coach, construction supervisor, group leader and all-around “handyman”. Lydie, an accountant by trade, keeps the books in order and also helps with construction projects. Form IV students sang a song, and students from each grade read poems and presented the couple with cards and speeches.

Child Stimulation Month commences on Caye Caulker 2012
Child Stimulation Month for Pre-schools is usually a countrywide month of activities held during every March each year and Caye Caulker Pre-schools also have their calendar of events for our little Belizean citizens to enjoy accompanied by their Parents. This usually is done to enhance awareness of our little young ones in their early educational life by having park days, cultural days, an art and craft day and so on. March 1st marked the beginning of Child Stimulation Month and a parade was held throughout the principals streets of Caye Caulker. This year’s theme for Child Stimulation month is: “Early Childhood Education Start Early – Aim High”

International Sources

Prince Harry Interview in Belize at Xunantunich
For the celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales has traveled to Belize. After climbing to the top of El Castillo at Xunantunich, he is beaming with great things to say about Belize.

Prince Harry gets the party started in Belize
PRINCE Harry became a rum-drinking, street-dancing, crowd-pleasing royal during his first encounter with the people of Belize. The prince had come to name a street in honour of his grandmother the Queen and to sample the country’s culture as he began his Diamond Jubilee tour in tribute to the monarch. But he left protocol behind and enthusiastically bonded with the locals during a walkabout at a “block party” staged to celebrate his grandmother’s 60-year reign. The party prince knocked back shots of rum, played the fool as he sampled local dishes, danced with women and left others screaming his name as he went on a walk-about yesterday.

Can you feel the love tonight? Prince Harry's Lion King moment as he receives hugs from dancing girls and a very warm welcome from the locals
Prince Harry's visit to one of Belize's most significant national monuments turned into something of a love-in with hugs, dancing girls and a rapturous welcome from the locals. The Prince played the tourist as he strolled around he long abandoned city of Xunantunich as he continued his Diamond Jubilee tour. And among the images of delighted locals waving welcome placards - bearing slogans including 'Come back soon, we love you' - was a moment that carried a rather familiar regal air.

Diving Ambergris Caye " Belize Diving Adventures
"Five minutes from the dock. Good Sea Turtle and coral film clips in this episode. Local Diving with Belize Diving Adventures, San Pedro Ambergris Caye

Jesus on "The Reef" Ambergris Caye, Belize
Dive site "Christ of The Abyss" Watch the left eye appears to glance at the lens as I approached. Great Dive and Good video, aome nice reef photos as well. Belize Diving Adventures, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, CA

March 3, 2012

Valid: Friday-Monday, March 2 - 5, 2012 Issued: 3:00 pm, Friday, March 2, 2012

A subsiding, dry south-easterly airflow prevails over the western Caribbean and Central America.

A cold front will enter the NW Gulf of Mexico during the next 12 hours and will continue tracking south-eastwards across the Gulf this weekend. This cold front is expected to reach the central Yucatan by Sunday afternoon and cross the country of Belize early on Monday, slowing down or stalling in the NW Caribbean by Tuesday morning. This feature will trigger outbreaks of thunderstorms over inland Belize on Sunday, and generate an increase in showers over the country on Sunday night and Monday. This activity will become concentrated over southern areas later on Monday and Tuesday.

Rainfall will little or none on Friday and Saturday, increasing later Sunday, with daily accumulations ranging from 0.50-0.75 of-an-inch, especially over inland and hilly areas by mid-day Monday. Daily rainfall totals will be 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch in over southern districts and southern coastal waters on Tuesday. Most districts, especially the coastal zone will experience showers on Wednesday of next week.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The Placencia Breeze, February 2012
A recap of February events on the Peninsula and more!

The San Pedro Sun

GOB absorbs fuel price increase
Ministry of Finance wishes to advise the public that as a consequence of the continuing rise in world oil prices there will be a further sharp increase in the CIF prices of fuel products on the next shipment due to arrive in Belize on 2nd March 2012. The Government of Belize, mindful of the negative effects that this would have on the public, has taken a decision to absorb the price impact by varying import duties on this shipment only, in order to maintain fuel prices at their current level, with the exception of kerosene, which will increase by only six cents per gallon. This is a one-off action and will be reviewed when the next shipment of fuel arrives in the country. The impact of the CIF price increases, if not mitigated, would have resulted in pump prices of gasoline and diesel increasing by slightly over fifty cents per gallon and twenty seven cents per gallon respectively. The cost to Government of its intervention to save the public from the higher pump prices is estimated to be $1.5 million over the next four weeks. In the meantime, the Government of Belize intends to urgently seek new sources of supply for imported fuel on more favorable terms, so as to provide stable prices and lasting relief to consumers.

Belizean Fashion Designer to showcase creations for Prince Harry
Joris Hendrik, a young Belizean designer, will showcase an eco-fashion show at the Xunantunich Maya site in honor of His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales’ visit. Alongside representatives of several of the world’s major media houses in tow, HRH Prince Harry will visit the archaeological site of Xunantunich to take in more than panoramic views and ancient ruins. In a special show titled “Playing with Dolls” – a puppet and puppeteer drama – female models will assume mannequin poses while Hendrix gives the royal an explanation of each outfit. They will be wearing high fashion outfits made from recycled materials like newspaper, bottle caps, plastic tarps and magnetic tape. “So many Belizean girls would like to meet Prince Harry while he’s here and my models are no exception. They are so thrilled about this opportunity. I’ve made sure they know that if the Prince asks them anything, they can break composure to respond,” said Joris, who is all too aware that Saturday’s event may well be the highlight of his career. “I was ecstatic when I found out I was getting the opportunity to meet Prince Harry and show His Highness, and indeed the world, my designs.”

Red carpet rolled out for Prince Harry’s Arrival
The Government of Belize has rolled out its red carpet to warmly receive Prince Harry, the third inline to the British throne. Prince Harry’s visit to the Central American country of Belize is part of Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee. This is the third royal visit to Belize, the last being in February of 1994. Over 100 feet of velvet red carpet has been rolled out to the door of the private jet that is transporting the 28 year old Prince. Flying at each side of the carpet is the flag of England and the on the other side is the flag of Belize. Prince Harry is expected to receive a royal salute once being greeted by the Governor General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colvin Young. The Prince will also meet with the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow and the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca.

Prince Harry arrives today in Belize!
His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, also known as Prince Harry, arrives in Belize today Friday, March 2st. Prince Harry’s visit to Belize is part of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. The Prince is expected to arrive at 4:25PM on board a private jet at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. He is will be greeted by some of Belize’s highest leaders and the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young. The visit by the adventurous Prince is his first trip to Belize and is expected to last a little less than 24 hours. Even though Prince Harry will be on an official visit, the occasion will allow the Prince to experience many of the country’s natural wonders and the extraordinary and diverse cultures of Belize. The Royal Visit has attracted the attention of international and local media houses. Considering the importance of the visit, the Government of Belize will be maintaining strict security but will still allow for Belizean interaction with the Prince during his various stop-off points. So how does the Prince feel about his visit to Belize? In speaking to the Belizean media, Prince Henry’s Press Secretary, Miguel Head indicated that “the Prince is excited.”

Prince Harry is here! Greeted with a warm Belizean welcome
After much anticipation, His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David, also known as Prince Harry, arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport. Moments after the plane landed, the Royal flag was handed over to an element of the Belize Defense Force (BDF), who hoisted the Royal Standard of Prince Henry of Wales. As tradition, once a member of the Royal Family is on an official visit, the Royal Standard is flown next to the Belizean flag. Before exiting the private jet Prince Harry was greeted onboard by Diane Lock, Chief of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lock then escorted a smiling, happy and enthusiastic Prince Harry off the plane where he was officially introduced to the Queen’s representative in Belize, Governor General Sir Colvin Young. The Prince then proceeded to an elevated platform where he was presented with the Royal Salute followed by the Queen’s Anthem and the Belize National Anthem, which was performed by the official band of the BDF.

Cohune Walk renamed in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Harry parties with the locals
Prince Harry, the happy Prince of Wales arrived at the Diamond Jubilee Block Party in Belmopan this evening where he was welcomed to the community and honoured in the renaming of Cohune Walk to the Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard. Prince Harry speaking at the renaming of Cohune Walk to Queen Elizabeth II Boulevard As Prince Harry was announced entering into the grounds, a jubilant crowd of Belizeans cheered, clapped and chanted for the Prince, some with signs saying “Welcome to Belize.” During his arrival the Our Lady of Guadalupe Panarifics played popular Belizean ‘bruk-down’ style steal band music. Just as the Prince made his way to the stage, he was welcomed with a loud round of applause. In welcoming the young Prince to the party, Mayor of Belmopan City, Simeon Lopez reminded Prince Harry about the contribution that Queen Elizabeth II made to the financing of the building of our capital city, Belmopan. He said that it is a privilege for the people of Belmopan and Belize to Honour Her Majesty on her Diamond Jubilee. When delivering greetings on behalf of Her Majesty, The Queen, the crowd applauded Prince Harry, especially when he comfortably interacted with them.

Ambergris Today

Ghost Hunters International Explore Maya Mystery in Belize
Belize has garnered lots of international coverage and attention with famous television shows and series such as Temptation Island, House Hunters, Andrew Zimmern – Bizarre Foods, Man vs. Wild and most recently one of the hottest TV shows, ABCs The Bachelor. Well this time Belize will be featured once again in an international TV show – Ghost Hunters International on the SyFy channel. The Belize episodes of Ghost Hunters International will premiere this month! First on March 7 at 8pm Belize/9pm EST, the GHI team investigates Actun Tunichil Muknal cave system. Local guides and visitors have experienced plenty of paranormal activity in the cave... is it the ghost of the Crystal Maiden? Then, on March 14 at 7PM Belize/9pm EST, GHI investigates the ancient Maya site of Cahal Pech in San Ignacio. The Ghost Hunters International team, Barry FitzGerald, Kris Williams, Joe Chin, Paul Bradford, Susan Slaughter, and Scott Tepperman, were investigating in Belize for about two weeks. Although he team members may not be able to reveal anything specific about their investigation such as location or paranormal happenings, Scott Tepperman of GHI posted the following on his facebook page: “These two cases in Belize have been absolutely awesome, but very crazy - and dangerous. You guys will love 'em!!!”

Kim Simplis-Barrow on British Magazine - ComplexD
The First Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis-Barrow was sadly diagnosed with stage three Breast Cancer on November 7, 2011; she became the first public figure in Belize to go public with her illness in such a fashion. And her brave embrace to this dreaded disease has placed Mrs. Barrow on the cover story of the British digital magazine, ComplexD. It’s the magazine’s feature on “Women of Strength Issue” and in Mrs. Barrow’s cover story the article states: “Her courage and honesty in dealing with her diagnosis is truly honorable and epitomizes the definition of a woman of strength.” Kim Simplis-Barrow was interviewed by Kered Clement and photographed by Lebawit Lily Girma (One of Belize’s former Road Warriors). The magazine feature on Kim is an 11-page one that includes the cover; all photographs were taken by Lily.

The March 1st, 2012 issue of The Northern Star is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • The Prime Minister Tour Marches on to the 7th.
  • Editorial: “We must maintain Belize Sovereign Manadate and insist that they compensate, not dictate” contributed by Sharon Pitts-Robateau
  • MESSAGE FROM THE CLERGY by Rev. Dr. Rudolph Anthony, Last Sunday after the Epiphany
  • Photos: Nomination Day in Belize City
  • Party Leader’s Message: UDPmanifesto Action Plan 2012-2017
  • The Other Side of the Coin By Norman Rodriguez: Collateral Damage
  • HEALTH AND NUTRITION: Love and Romance
  • Low Fat Apple & Cinnamon Muffins Recipe
  • Message from Prime Minister: Town Council 2012-2015
  • Orange Walk Mayorial Candidate Ivan Leiva Message
  • Pledges
  • Your Weekly Horoscope
  • Bus Routes & Schedules
    • Benque Viejo to Belize City
    • Belize City to Benque Viejo
    • Southern Zone Schedule - Belize City - Punta Gorda
    • Southern Zone Schedule - Punta Gorda - Belize City
  • Organization of American States Electoral Observation Mission arrives in Belize
  • Maya Doom Teaches Climate Lesson
  • Mexican Journalist on Drug Lords: "If they're going to kill you, they're going to kill you'


Guatemala Quick Links
Barry and I been overwhelmed by all the positive comments we've received on our blog postings on our recent sailing cruise to Guatemala. We've heard from readers in blog comments, on Facebook, on the forum (where the moderator posted each daily update), and in person. We're delighted and honored that we were able to share this incredible journey with each of you and appreciate knowing that you enjoyed our words and photos. Since Weebly makes it difficult to find older posts at times, and scrolling through posts with many photos takes awhile, I wanted to include a list of direct links to each day's postings on the trip for those who may have missed it or want to bookmark this page for later reading. I hope this is helpful -- it will even help me find each page in the future!

Belize Citizen Pedro
It’s official Pedro aka Peter Lawrence is now a Belize Citizen. To celebrate he threw a big Friday night party at his bar, Ruthie and I had lots of fun playing with our tech toys and seeing which one had faster facebook upload speed.

Prince Harry Comes to Belize: My Scoop
I'll be upfront with you from the beginning. I do not have the best pictures around. REAL media was at this event...BBC, Australia's Channel 9, the Associated Press. And they had real press passes. Ones that allowed them to get really close to the tall, slender, young prince. But I travelled from San Pedro to Belmopan to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry's first trip to Belize for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. And I got close. REAL close. So let me describe my day to you.

Belize Diving Adventures at Esmeralda
Dolphins, Eagle Rays, Grouper, Sea Turtles....another good dive here on the Belize Barrier Reef.

Caracol Photo Blog: New Photos from an Ancient Maya Site
The interior of Belize is chock-full of amazing natural wonders. I recently had the opportunity to visit one of the most impressive (and yet least-visited) Maya sites in the region: Caracol. The site flourished around the same time as Tikal in neighboring Guatemala, and there is evidence of contention between the two. Archaeologists believe Caracol toppled Tikal around A.D. 562. The Maya site at Caracol lies in the remote rainforest of Chiquibul National Park. Getting there is an adventure in itself. The dirt road winds its way up to the highland forests of the Mountain Pine Ridge before descending into the misty Chiquibul forests. The site itself occupies 177 square kilometers, and but a miniscule portion of this area has been mapped – only 5,000 of its estimated 36,000 structures have even been identified.

Sunday Brunch at Red Ginger inside The Phoenix Resort
One of the “must try” Ambergris Caye Sunday Brunch spots I keep hearing about from my friend Rebecca at is Red Ginger at The Phoenix Resort. When I was down in October I had hoped to make a visit, but like usual, ran out of time. Ironically, we were spending a couple nights at The Phoenix (including a Sunday) during my trip last month, so we planned a morning dive with my friend Robbie, giving us just enough time to hit brunch before it ended. Red Ginger has developed quite a reputation both on and off the island for its tapas, wine specials, and of course, its Sunday Brunch. The menu is simple as compared to other restaurants you might be used to back home, but the options are excellent, and there are some lunch entrees and flatbread pizzas available as well. Red Ginger’s take on Huevos Rancheros was a bit more hearty and all-inclusive. Starting with a large, thick flour tortilla, there was a generous slathering of beans, eggs over-easy (you can choose how you want the eggs cooked), chunky salsa, queso fresco (love the cheese on Ambergris Caye!), and some chopped cilantro. You can choose a side of bacon, ham, or sausage and I went for the bacon, my favorite artery clogging part of the pig.

Channel 7

Prince Harry Arrives In Belize
Grandson of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Henry of Wales, known as Prince Harry is in Belmopan at this hour. He arrived in Belize at the Phillip Goldson International Airport today at 4:30 via private jet. The Prince was greeted by the Governor General on the tarmac and then went into the VIP Lounge where he held a brief meeting with the Prime Minister. After that, he was taken to Belmopan - where he is at this hour - about to make an address. His visit is to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - and it is his first time on foreign soil representing the monarch. The centerpiece event of his visit is the Diamond Jubilee Block Party in Belmopan where he will observe a number of cultural dances and Belizean recipes and dishes. Tomorrow, he travels to the OAS Adjacency Zone at the Benque Viejo border and Xunantunich.

Barrow Says Yes To Referendum
And before he went to meet with the Prince at the airport, Prime Minister Dean Barrow sat down with 7news for an extended interview. It is an interview which will air separate from the news on Monday night - and we have also invited the Leader of the Opposition to do the same. He has accepted, and we await an opening in his schedule. So those will air next week - in extended form outside the news - but tonight, for the news, we did ask the Prime Minister about the People's referendum. As we've been telling you for the past two nights - the referendum organized by OCEANA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage was a huge success - getting more than twenty nine thousand people to vote - 96% of them voting no to offshore drilling. And when we spoke to the Prime Minister today, he was duly impressed - and agreed that indeed, a referendum must be held:

Bank Robbery Update: Police Recover 190K, Two Suspects In Custody
Police have recovered over one hundred and ninety thousand dollars that was snatched in a daring, bank robbery yesterday morning at the Firs Caribbean northside branch in Belize city. It happened at 9:00 am in one of the busiest areas of town - near the Belcan roundabout. Four bank robbers held up the bank went into the safe and walked out with two bags of money. Police responded - and ended up killing one of the robbers - while also recovering what appears to be most of the money and two handguns. Here's the latest on the police investigation:

Man Wanted For Bank Robbery Says It Wasn't Him
And as we told you in that's story two men have been detained. They are from the Darren Banks crew in the Lake Independence area. One more man who is wanted is Brandon Battery Smith. This morning, he told us that police want him for the robbery - and he knows the people who did it - but was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police saw him near the drug store - across from the Bank while the robbery was occurring so now he is a wanted man. Today he told us via cell phone that he's lying low until Monday:..

Family Of Man Killed By Police Doesn't Want To Talk
And while those men are detained, one of the alleged robbers is dead. He is Alberto Benito Assi, one of the four robbers. While trying to escape across river to get to the La Croix Boulevard, responding officers got into an exchange of gunfire with the 4 men, and in the end, police ended up shooting Assi to death. With all that placed into context, we have since attempted to get a comment from Assi's family twice about their response on what happened. Both times they refused to speak to us on the record, but a member did tell us that they are angry at the responding officers for not letting up on their attack. They told us that their information suggests that Assi was shot after he and his accomplices already abandoned their weapons; he had already been injured also. As a result of this, Assi's life in their opinion was unnecessarily taken away, since he was no further threat. We attempted to convince them to speak to us on camera, but they said that it would have no effect.

Small Businesses Step Up!
What is considered a small business in Belize and what makes them important to the economy? That's what was considered today at the launch of the Small Business Development Centers Project. It is an event sponsored by BELTRAIDE along with partners from the OAS, the DFC, the Caribbean export Development Agency and the University OF Texas. It's a major undertaking for businesses often considered to be minor - and the DFC representative explained why it's important: Natalie Goff - General Manager, DFC "This day is a big day for Belize in that one of the challenges we have faced at DFC, since resuming lending in 2009, is the complaints that we are not moving fast enough in terms of loan delivery services. One of the reasons for that is that a lot of people - especially small businesses, small entrepreneurs - walk in an idea. It's hard to fund an idea, and if there was that missing link between that idea and the business proposal. And so, with the idea of this small business development center, I think that the missing link has been - that missing link has been put into place."

Elections, Prince Harry...Who Cares? It's Women's Month
With all the buzz of the Election Season, and Prince Harry visiting, one would think that March 2012 is a month already full of activity for the Belizean public. Not quite so, says a representative the Women's Department who came to speak to us today about their calendar full of events to commemorate this year's Women's Month. Cynthia Williams, the Human Development Coordinator, spoke told us more about the month and it's special meaning under this year's theme, "Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures". Cynthia Williams - Human Development Coordinator, Women's Department "Well, this year's women's month is being celebrated under the theme 'Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. This year, we felt that it is important to ensure that we also include girls. In order for us to truly empower women, we need to begin very early on, this we felt that this year, it is more appropriate to go along with the global theme of 'Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. This year, we are looking at a variety of activities, not only from the Women's Department. In every district we have activities every day.

Man Dodges Remand When Girlfriend Fesses Up to Bogus Report
30 year-old Keyon Cleland, an employee of CYDP residing on South Street was able to walk out of Magistrate's Court a free man today. That's because the sitting magistrate withdrew an aggravated assault charge which was brought against him by his ex, who claimed in court that she made the whole thing up. It's unusual for a complainant has come to court and withdrawn saying that she made a malicious report. That was the case today in the courtroom of Magistrate Dorothy Flowers when Cleland was called up to be arraigned. The complainant who made the malicious report is 30 year-old Jacqueline Bermudez, a resident of Bocotora Street in Belize City. According to her report which she gave to police, that Cleland committed an aggravated assault with a firearm against her.

Channel 5

HRH Prince Henry of Wales arrives in Belize
Prince Harry touched down at the Philip Goldson Airport in a private aircraft a few minutes earlier than anticipated this afternoon. It is first solo trip and his first official visit to mark the Queen’s sixtieth year of reign. Other members of the royal family are similarly being deployed to countries in the Commonwealth where ...

Another Poll Result for Election
Economist and Statistician, Yasmin Andrews has been doing polls for five years and in the last election, the results of her polls proved accurate in voting patterns and results. Andrews also predicted the outcome on Wednesday’s People’s Referendum. Her survey showed a ninety-four percent saying no to oil drilling and exploration. She came extremely close; ...

Poll on media preference shows preference to Channel 5
There are no Neilson ratings in Belize to determine viewership and programming on television stations. But Yasmin Andrews, surveyed the media preference in the country in television, radio and print. Her question focused on which is the preferred newscast. Yasmin Andrews, Economist/Statistician “We also did one part of the media poll, which was looking at ...

Decision 2012; Viewers’ poll on who will win Election
It’s the countdown to Decision 2012 so the guessing game and predictions on the outcome are fast and furious. This week we asked viewers: who do you think will win the 2012 elections? The options were P.U.P., U.D.P. and others. If the results of our online poll are any indication, it’s going to be a ...

HRH Prince Harry addresses gathering in Capital City
In the capital city, the air is festive with the visit of Prince Harry. On arrival at Belize House, he viewed the First Day Cover Stamps commemorating the queen’s anniversary. On the boulevard, a street fest is taking place to showcase three prominent cultures. We go live to Belmopan where Jose Sanchez is standing by. ...

People’s Referendum an awakening of Belizean electorate
On Wednesday close to thirty thousand electors across Belize voted in the People’s Referendum. It was a resounding success for an event organized in a short period driven by the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. Of the total votes cast, ninety six percent voted against offshore oil drilling, while a mere four percent said ...

CIBC First Caribbean Bank at San Cas Plaza closed until further notice after Thursday morning heist
On Thursday morning the CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank at the San Cas Plaza was the target of a major robbery. Police are reviewing surveillance video to help determine the identity of the robbers, who were unmasked during the daring hold-up. Up to midday today, no arrests had been made. The armed robbers entered the bank ...

Intensive security measures in place for Election Day
Intensive security arrangements are being put in place for the double election next Wednesday. Police presence will be felt at polling stations and on the streets to prevent any election violence and to keep order. The police are also entrusted with securing the transfer of ballot boxes to the counting stations. At a press briefing ...

4 women charged with Wounding after brawl on Mayflower Street
There was an all out brawl on Mayflower Street on Wednesday and today the four women involved are facing criminal charges. Twenty-three year old Shari Chaplin, fifty year old Claudette Uter and a seventeen year old were all jointly charged with Wounding for allegedly attacking twenty year old Shanique Meighan. Chaplin was additionally charged with ...

Small Business Development Center project piloted in Belize
BELTRAIDE believes Belize is one step closer to establishing small business development centers across the country. And with the help of the Organization of American States (OAS) it may be possible. The OAS is including Belize in its five-country pilot project, to expand the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model to the CARICOM region. A ...

McGregor Brothers; Chino and Di Genius in concert in Cayo
And while Belize is abuzz of the English Royalty, the sons of a regional music royalty, legendary Freddie McGregor, are in Belize. If you are a dancehall fanatic, then the names Chino and Di Genius are familiar to you. With hit tunes like ‘Bounce a gal’, ‘Never Change’ and so many more, the McGregor brothers ...

Women’s Month; celebrating women in fitness style
Women’s Month kicked off on Thursday and the Women’s Department is celebrating it in fitness style for the entire month. For a second year, the department is collaborating with Body 2000 to promote healthy lifestyles in women and girls. Cynthia Williams of the Women’s Department tells us more. Cynthia Williams, Human Development Coordinator, Women’s Department ...

Prince Henry celebrates in the festivities
Prince Harry arrived this afternoon in the Jewel. He is currently in Belmopan where he is attending a street fest. Hundreds of citizens turned out to welcome the prince. We go back to Belmopan for a wrap up with Jose Sanchez. {Live broadcast from Diamond Jubilee Block Fest}


It has been around since June of 1882 and is responsible for the education of a significant percentage of the Belizean society since then. Now Wesley College needs your help to construct more classrooms for its rapidly-growing enrollment. On Saturday, the institution is having its fair and you and your family are invited in order to make it a success. Teacher, Joel Wade, says it will be an event for one and all. Joel Wade – Teacher, Wesley College “It’s our only fundraising venture. We are trying to raise funds to put the second floor of a building. You hear about fair and you think it is just the norm, for us at Wesley College it is different, like our slogan says, it is more than just a fair it is a reunion, it is an event where people come out and look forward to see their past classmates. We have food stalls, we have Spanish food, chicken nuggets, bar b que, turkey dinner, rice and beans. We have games, the usual games, tombola, video games, and bouncy house. We hope to come up with $22,000.00. That will be used for more classrooms; we are desperately in need of more classrooms.” The event runs all day on Saturday and will take place at the school’s compound on Yarborough Road. Story at

A concerned parent from San Ignacio is asking for the public’s assistance to get a much needed surgery for her son. Elaine Berry reporting... “On the twenty sixth January in front of Three Flags on the Western Highway, on the pedestrian ramp five year old Damien Flowers was heading to school when he was hit on the pedestrian ramp by a Tacoma driven by Daria Beuller. He was admitted to the Karl Heusner for two nights and was released and went to Belmopan Hospital for an emergency surgery. Damian is now admitted at the La Loma Luz Hospital after a month at home in bed. Juanita Vanegas is his mother. Juanita Vanegas “He has a lot of pain, all through this month I am suffering with him all this time. I am not getting assistance from the lady, just getting a little bit from the insurance and I need to call them when I need assistance, waiting for them to make appointment at the hospital while my son is in pain and I cannot do nothing for him. I am very worried and I need to take him out of the country for a surgery.” Juanita is asking for assistance so Damian can get his surgery in Guatemala. You can contact them at 662-4214. Story at

A stakeholder’s meeting for the Small Business Development Center Model (SBDC) is being held by The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Northern Highway. The role of the SBDC model is to promote growth and competitiveness for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises by offering training, technical assistance and help in the growth and export readiness of these. A special media briefing was held in Biltmore’s Palm Court where Executive Chairman for Beltraide, Michael Singh explained today’s meeting. Michael Singh – Executive Chairman, Beltraide “We are holding a consultation today with the main stakeholders particularly those agencies that affect small business development to present a case for adopting a model for small business development centers in Belize. It is a model., Mr. Selgado who is with the University of Texas in San Antonio, Al and I have met twice where we have looked at this model and we’ve see the need for bringing a model similar to that to Belize for us to formalize the way we deal with developing small business again recognizing that small business are an integral part of the contribution to our GDP, contribution to increasing employment. Story at

Sometime around midnight last night Corozal police visited Maya Guest House on 2nd Street North in Corozal Town where they awaited the arrival of Mark Mckenzie. The 35 year old fisherman of Dangriga Town was escorted to his room where police discovered 2 packs of suspected cocaine wrapped in obvious plastic and weighing 1085 and 1095 grams respectively. Inside the room, police also found more than 100 packs of assorted brands of cigarettes. Police initially detained Mckenzie and a Corozal man. So far Mark Mckenzie has been charged with one count of drug trafficking. Story at

Belize has assumed the rotating presidency of Council of Social Security Institutions of Central America and the Dominican Republic. The formal handing over is taking place during the group’s thirty third ordinary meeting which ends today in Belize. Panama’s Marlon de Souza who is the deputy director general of the Social Security Institute of Panama is passing on the presidency to his Belizean counterpart Leticia Vega who is the acting chief executive officer of the Belize Social Security Board. During the two years of Belize’s presidency of the regional grouping of Social Security Institutions, member countries will continue the word towards a strategic four-year plan with the general theme of: “Advancing social security through integration and collaboration.” Belize became a part of the Council of Social Security Institutions of Central America and the Dominican Republic in 2004 as an observer, and a full member the following year. The organization’s goal is to promote projects and activities aimed at universal social security benefits coverage in member countries. Story at

Rice farmers in the Toledo district are back in the news today, and again the fury of their discontent is aimed squarely at the Ministry of Agriculture. Their latest concerns revolve around the sale of equipment which the farmers say are very much needed in the Toledo district. Paul Mahung reporting… “According to officials of the Toledo Rice, Beans, Corn Producers Association the availability of needed rice production agricultural equipment from the Ministry of Agriculture to Toledo rice farmers has been a major problem and set back during recent years and especially last year. The issue now of the sale of such needed Ministry of Agriculture rice production equipment and removal from Toledo is a major concern raised by the Toledo Rice, Beans, Corn Producers Association as explained by Chairman Dennis Usher. Dennis Usher – Chairman, Toledo Rice, Beans, Corn Producers Association “The only heavy duty harrow that we have in the district is being sold for a mere $2,500.00 and I am looking at the copy right here. The excuse of Government will say that this equipment is not serviceable which is totally untrue. As a matter of fact the last person this equipment worked for was Minister Juan Coy. Now the time of preparation for land and so is at hand the farmers are getting prepared and I want the farmers to know that the equipment are presently been sold. Story at

The Government of Belize today announced that it is absorbing the full impact of the latest increase in the acquisition of price of fuel products. A statement from the Ministry of Finance says that had the government not intervened, there would have been a sharp increase in the pump prices of gasoline and diesel. The official release says that a decision was taken by government to vary the import duties on this shipment only in order to maintain fuel prices at their current level. Only kerosene will see an increase of 6 cents per gallon. Had the government intervention not taken place, consumers would have been paying an additional fifty cents per gallon of gasoline and twenty seven cents more for a gallon of diesel. The official release says that by varying the import duties on this latest shipment of fuel, government is giving up one point five million dollars in revenue over the next four weeks. It’s a one-off intervention, and the official statement says that this decision will be reviewed when the next shipment of fuel arrives in the country. In the meantime, government says it intends to urgently seek new sources of fuel imports for Belize on more favorable terms in order to provide stable prices and lasting relief to consumers. Story at

The Phillip Goldson International Airport was filled with pomp and pageantry yesterday as Britain’s Prince Harry arrived for a brief royal visit. The private jet carrying the twenty seven year old prince touched down just after four o’clock yesterday afternoon and on his arrival, the Queen’s Envoy was given the red carpet treatment. Governor General Sir Colville Young met the Prince, and after he took the royal salute, he was introduced first to the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and then to Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca. The Prince will spend just under twenty four hours on the ground in Belize at the start of a Caribbean tour as part of the diamond jubilee celebration of his grandmother’s ascension to the throne.


PUP Supporter Assaulted By UDP Fanatic In The Village Of San Joaquin
Tensions ran high this morning in the village of San Joaquin as PUP and UDP supporters came head to head over a phrase that was painted on one of the walls of the village’s clinic. San Joaquin is considered one of the strongholds of PUP Standard Bearer for Corozal Southeast Florencio Marin Jr. who is running against UDP Standard Bearer Raul Rosado. This morning when villagers woke up they noticed that someone had written “Vote PUP 7 Marin” on the wall of the clinic. Now, without even investigating who actually committed the act, one of Rosado’s supporters quickly found a culprit and without any hesitation decided to take physical action against the individual.

Dean Barrow Closed Camp 5 Oil Refinery And Now Promises To Build A Local Refinery
In six days, at 6:00am on Wednesday March 7th, the polls will open for the General and Municipal Elections. Countrywide there are 74 candidates running for General Elections in 31 constituencies and a total of 315 polling stations. As it pertains to Municipal Elections, there are a total of 170 candidates and 168 polling stations countrywide. Across the country, independent candidates and those of both major political parties’ will try to convince voters to cast their X next to their name on the ballot sheet. As Assistant Chief Elections Officer Francisco Zuniga mentioned a few days ago on CTV3 News, Belizeans, who will be voting for the double elections, as in the case of Orange Walk Residents, will vote for the General Elections first.

O/W Central Area Rep. Strong, Firm And Ready For March 7th General Elections
The first time that John Briceno ran for politics was in 1993 when he went up against Lelise Carballo, the then Area Representative for Orange Walk Central. Briceño has been the Area Representative for Orange Walk Central for four straight terms and is once again seeking re-election under the party that saw him grow as a politician, the People’s United Party. With Briceno’s win in 1993, 1998, 2003, and 2008, Orange Walk Central was properly labeled as a PUP stronghold. Even when he needed to take on other roles including Leader of the Opposition, the work for Briceno in Orange Walk Central never stopped, despite the fact that his party is in opposition. Under Briceno and the P.U.P’s mandate, Orange Walk Central saw the construction of the Multi Purpose Complex Building, the Banquitas House of Culture, the Fort Cairns Market and the list goes on. With elections right around the corner the people of Orange Walk Central are looking forward to cast their vote and once again show their support for John Briceno.

First Caribbean Bank Robbed In Broad Daylight
Tonight one of four robbers who held up a Belize City Bank in broad daylight is dead. The First Caribbean Bank located in the San Cas Plaza in Belize City was robbed around 9:00 this morning when four male individuals, armed with two 9mm pistols, walked right into the bank and proceeded to rob one of the teller’s of BZE$230,000. The robbers ran out of the bank making their way to the dock of the Belcan Bridge where a small boat was waiting for them. Police officers were able to intercepted the robbers at the south side of the Haulover Creek, where at that point, a cross fire ensued between a person inside the alleged getaway vehicle and police officers. After a barrage of bullets were fired into all directions by both parties, one of the alleged bank robbers, 20 year old Alberto Assi, was shot and killed as he was jumping into the Haulover Creek. Police officers were able to retrieve around BZE$160,000 of the stolen money which was in a nap-sack and a black plastic bag. BZE$70,000 have yet to be accounted for. After quick investigations, police approached a house in the Albert Hoy Street, in the Belama Area, where the suspected getaway vehicle was parked; a white Honda Passport which was later impounded. The other three robbers have not been detained by police.

BMHS Holds First Ever Youth Mentorship Expo
Representatives of various institutions and organizations in the North were invited to take part today in the first ever Youth Mentorship Expo organized by Bishop Martin High School. The expo, which saw the participation of both the educational and business sector, was held under the theme, Choosing Life and Education. Reporter Janine Ayuso and Cameraman Kenric Simpson visited the expo this morning and filed the following report. Janine Ayuso-Reporting Today Bishop Martin High School held its first Youth Mentorship Expo at the school’s campus. The main objective of the expo was to introduce students to various institutions and organizations that could offer them career opportunities. Participating in the today’s expo were banking, educational and governmental institutions. Each organization displayed all the necessary information for the students while some even prepared educational presentations.

Results Of the People's Referendum Show Belizeans Are Against Offshore Drilling
After having over 8000 signatures rejected and their first try to trigger a referendum on Offshore Drilling basically thrown into the garbage, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage held it’s People Referendum countrywide yesterday. The polls opened at 6:00 in the morning and closed at 8:00 in the night. After the results were counted and publicly made, it was clear that the people had spoken and for the first time, in a People’s Referendum.

Election Machinery Process Explained
In six days, at 6:00am on Wednesday March 7th, the polls will open for the General and Municipal Elections. Countrywide there are 74 candidates running for General Elections in 31 constituencies and a total of 315 polling stations. As it pertains to Municipal Elections, there are a total of 170 candidates and 168 polling stations countrywide. Across the country, independent candidates and those of both major political parties’ will try to convince voters to cast their X next to their name on the ballot sheet. As Assistant Chief Elections Officer Francisco Zuniga mentioned a few days ago on CTV3 News, Belizeans, who will be voting for the double elections, as in the case of Orange Walk Residents, will vote for the General Elections first.


Police gear up for March 7th Elections
While police hands are full preparing for Prince Harry’s visit – they are also gearing up for two major political e...

A district breakdown of the results from the Coalition's mock referendum
As we reported yesterday, the results for the People’s Referendum on offshore oil exploration & drilling were offic...

The Coalition boasts on people's referendum success
The Coalition also sent out a press release today saying the results of the People’s Referendum showed an overwhelm...

Prince Harry greeted by dignitaries at the Philip Goldson International Airport
Prince Harry is in Belize for the Diamond Jubilee. It's the Prince first overseas solo trip on behalf of his grandm...

GOB says it will absorb fuel cost increase
Belize is scheduled for a fuel cost increase but GOB says it will absorb the cost. As a consequence of the continui...

Belize Red Cross to reactivate San Pedro branch
The Belize Red Cross will be reactivating its San Pedro Branch. The first community information session and volunte...

BDF partners with the US to provide free medical care in southern Belize
The Embassy of the United States of America has announced that the U.S. Southern Command has once again partnered w...

Three found guilty of drug trafficking
Three men have been convicted on drug trafficking charges. 30 year-old Denroy Williams was convicted for traffickin...

Belize Karate Federation in Panama City for Central American tournaments
The Belize Karate Federation is in Panama City participating in the XVII (17th) Central American Karate Championshi...


“Captain Wales” to arrive 4:25 p.m. Friday
Prince Harry will depart Belize on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.... Prince Harry, a.k.a. “Captain Wales”—grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, the younger son of The Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and the third in line to the British Throne—is due to arrive in Belize at 4:25 p.m. today, Friday, March 2, 2012, via a private flight, for an official visit to mark the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen’s reign – 60 years since she ascended to the throne in February 1952.

“We noh want no offshore drilling”
96% of 28,208 registered electors who voted said “NO” to offshore drilling... True to the chants of Oceana’s campaign song, “We noh want no offshore drilling...,” a total of 28,208 registered Belize voters or 96% of electors who participated in The People’s Referendum on Wednesday, February 29, 2012, on the question: “Should there be oil exploration and drilling in offshore Belize?” said a resounding NO!, in line with the results of polls conducted by Belizean researcher Yasmine Andrews for the Coalition.

Oceana suing GOB over offshore oil contracts
The Government of Belize has issued several offshore petroleum exploration contracts to companies such as Princess Petroleum, SOL Oil, Providence Energy and Island Oil, but Oceana in Belize has gone to the Supreme Court asking for judicial review, in a claim calling on the court to declare the contracts invalid, on the basis of violations against the Petroleum Act.

Louisiana house explodes in the dead of night
Reymundo Dominguez, 46, a welder, was about to enter his house around 12:55 a.m. when the explosion hit, blowing the walls of the 20 by 22 foot cement bungalow house apart, the roof 15 feet away and household items damaged. The blast could be heard for miles around, but no one was inside at the time.

Four years later, fugitive Vilma Guzman, 31, captured
After over three years since fleeing Belize after learning of her imminent re-arrest for the 2008 Belize Bank robbery in Corozal, Vilma Guzman, 31, a naturalized Belizean, is in the custody of police after they sighted her at the Belize Western Border Station this morning.

Bank robbers grab 230 G’s: cops kill one, save 160!
At around 9:00 a.m. four men armed with 9 millimetre pistols loaded with ammunition walked into the First Caribbean International Bank at the San Cas Plaza, which extends from the north side of the BelCan Bridge up to the beginning of the Northern Highway, held up the tellers, walked to the vault and then stashed about $230,000 contained in the vault into two bags - a knapsack and a plastic bag.

Belize Karate Federation in Panama City
Today, six Belizeans participated in the Central American Officiating training and thereafter took written examinations. All six Belizeans were successful and will be permitted to do practicals tomorrow during the Championship. Belizean Judges who sat examinations are Audrey Curling-Newsham, Aaron Juan, Rito Fernandez and Edward Williams. Successful Referees are David Diego and Herman Pastor, Jr. Judging and Referee Grading Class will be awarded depending on results of practicals. Visiting Referees from the World Karate Federation are Shihan Guido, rated Top 5 Referee in the world, and Julius Parniczky of the USA. Coaches also participated in a coaching workshop which was facilitated by Shihan Oswald Mata, President of the Central American Karate Federation.

Water sports climax on Baron Bliss weekend, Harbor Regatta and the Ruta Maya
The dry season is here, and so are the fresh south-easterly winds, and it is the time of year when all outdoor sports thrive in “my old home, Belize”.

Silence from FFB Electoral Committee
On February 21, the FFB Electoral Committee sent out a press release declaring that three different slates of candidates had all been accepted for the FFB Executive elections to be held on March 15. It only named the three heads of the slates, who would be running for President of the FFB; but said that the names of the other candidates on their respective slates would be released “at a later date.” Those vying for President are Mr. Gerald Henry, Sr., Mr. Ruperto Vicente, and the incumbent, Dr. Bertie Chimilio.

A chat with veteran footballer Gerald “Speedy” Henry – Part 4
(in Kremandala yard, under the coconut tree, around 10:15 a.m. to 12:00 noon, Wednesday, January 18, 2012. Continued from previous issue of Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A legend passes
Merv was born on April 27, 1941; he, along with his siblings, came from humble beginnings and worked hard and honestly to achieve their many accomplishments. Many patrons of the now defunct Palace Theatre may remember that he and his siblings used to sell right outside the theatre’s viewing room.

Referendum on BTL?
In the fever of discussion, speculation and debate on the likely outcome of the upcoming general elections, last night on Love FM’s “Election Watch” show I heard one of the panelists, F.G., say something quite amazing and almost unbelievable.

EDITORIAL: Politicians are hypocrites …
After six decades of these exciting, but inevitably inconclusive, processes we know as national elections, the masses of the Belizean people are conscious that these processes are not really the end of the world, and that some very important institutions and realities will essentially remain the way they have always been.

International Sources

Coconut Oil Touted as Alzheimer's Remedy
Researchers say the ketones found in coconut oil have slowed the progression of Alzheimer's disease in some people and may actually prevent it. Free printable guide: Fight Alzheimer’s Disease With Coconut Oil.

Dancing Prince Harry is a crowd Belizer
PRINCE Harry became a rum drinking, street dancing, crowd pleasing royal left dripping with sweat during his first encounter with the people of Belize.

March 2, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Social Security Board Assumes the Presidency Pro Tempore of CISSCAD
The XXXIII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Social Security Institutions in Central America and Dominican Republic (CISSCAD) is being held in Belize City during March 1 to 2, 2012. The highlight of this meeting includes the formal handing over of the Presidency of the CISSCAD from Lic. Marlon de Souza, Deputy Director General of the Social Security Institute of Panamá to the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Social Security Board, Mrs. Leticia Vega. The tenure of the Presidency is for a period of two years from 2012 to 2013. CISSCAD member countries will be developing a work plan to execute the CISSCAD’s Strategic Plan 2012-2016 under the theme “Advancing social security through integration and collaboration.”

Skydiving Boogie Moves to Nicaragua
For the last seven years the February skies over San Pedro have been decorated with the colourful parachutes of the Boogie in Belize contingency. Organized by Richard Grimm of Tsunami Skydivers, the annual event was one that the residents of San Pedro, and certainly the skydiving thrill seekers looked forward to each year. Unfortunately this yearly tradition has come to an end with the Boogie now moving to a more accommodating Nicaragua. According to Richard Grimm, holding the popular event in Belize, which attracted over 200 participants from around the world each year, was anything but easy. “Hosting eight events in seven years was a struggle for me. The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) didn’t do much to help out. They would sponsor the welcoming dinner at the Blue Water Grill each year but that was pretty much the extent of their assistance,” stated Grimm.

People’s Referendum: NO to Offshore Oil Drilling!
Residents of San Pedro Town came out in numbers on Wednesday, February 29th to vote in the People’s Referendum concerning offshore oil drilling in Belize. Polling stations opened countrywide at 6AM and in San Pedro Town it was no exception. The organizers in San Pedro were out very early ensuring that when the polls were opened, the entire machinery would be up and running. A steady stream of voters was observed throughout the course of the day. Many electors were out in shirts that clearly said “No to Offshore Drilling,” indicating the sentiment of a majority of voters that turned up to participate in the referendum process. Similar to any election process, those that promoted a No-Vote to offshore exploration and oil drilling in Belize were out with flyers educating people why it should not be entertained in Belize’s pristine waters.

Ambergris Today

Maya of Belize Judge Cooking Competition on BBC America
Yes! Belize is finally getting the recognition and international attention it deserves. From the big shows like ABC’s The Bachelor to A&E’s Gene Simmons Family Values, a host of other networks are including and featuring Belize in their programs. What’s best is that they are visiting Belize and promoting our country with excellent footage. The latest exposure comes from BBC America that has just released the extended launch trailer for its new original unscripted adventure-cooking-competition series NO KITCHEN REQUIRED before the world premiere on Tuesday, April 3, 2012. From the creators of Chopped, NO KITCHEN REQUIRED follows three chefs as they are dropped into the most exotic and remote places on earth where they will work with the locals to hunt, fish and forage for ingredients to create a locally-inspired meal that will be judged by the community.

Video Pick: Gerry Debuts Music Video
Ambergris Today’s got talent! Well we always knew that we had the stuff to produce a great media house and keep you informed of what is going on in Belize, but did u know we can sing? Actually it's our very own Gerry Badillo who can belt out the good notes. A while back Gerry posted the release of his first single, 'Ya No Quiero Verte Mas' which debuted his interest and talent in music. But now Gerry shows us his skills in directing, producing and packaging his song into a music video.

Belize Votes Resounding No to Offshore Oil Drilling
The message could not be any clearer; Belizeans do not want Offshore Drilling in the country. This has been proven with the outcome of the People’s Referendum that asked the voting populace of Belize if they agreed with Offshore Drilling in the country. The voting took place on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. Results from the People’s Referendum, organized by Oceana Belize and Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, indicate that 96% (28,208) voted NO, 4% (799) voted yes for Offshore Drilling out of a total of 29,235 overall voters.


San Pedro Red Cross
The Belize Red Cross is pleased to announce the reactivation of a vibrant and well functioning San Pedro Branch. The first community information session and volunteer registration will be held this Saturday, March 3rd from 10:00am to 1:00pm on the upper floor of El Divino Restaurant, Banana Beach Resort, San Pedro Town. Members of the Belize Red Cross cordially invite all Ambergris Caye residents to attend, meet the Red Cross team and learn how Ambergris Caye can benefit from and assist the most vulnerable people of the community and the rest of Belize by having an active Red Cross office in San Pedro.

Guatemala Cruise Day 5: Return to San Pedro
As I mentioned at the end of yesterday's post, I nabbed the 4:30 am night watch shift, which meant I'd get to see the sun rise. Even though I hit the hay early and got everything ready to go the night before (binoculars, camera, windbreaker, hat, etc.), the alarm on my cell phone startled me when it rang at 4:25. It was pitch dark, and as I struggled up into the galley, I was relieved to see Ruthie just getting off her shift. She very kindly made me coffee before retreating to her cabin. Nothing had ever tasted better. I took the helm with Simon, and it was eerie not being able to see anything in front of us. To the port side, I saw a city and asked him if it was Caye Caulker or San Pedro. "Belize City", he replied. Duh...I really was sleepy. Obviously we weren't far enough along for either of the Cayes.

Getting Married in Belize! Helda and Robbie Wed PLUS A Bonus Wedding
Getting married on Ambergris Caye promises white sand, tropical flowers, warm breezes, aqua blue water, happy guests, probably a little Bob Marley ("I wanna love you, every day and every night") and yes, plenty of rum punch. Yesterday was a Leap Year, a special day to get married...but it was doubly special since Helda and Robbie, the owners of the popular Roadkill Bar GOT MARRIED on the beach. And lots of San Pedranos were in attendance. Even Pedro's Inn, Peter in a skirt. But let's back up. We pulled up to park at the hotel/resort next door to the wedding Carribean Villas...and ANOTHER wedding was happening. This hotel is a fantastic spot to be married. A very cute palapa bar and fantastic beach front location, the wedding was just getting started.

Mother Nature, I Love/Hate You - To Hopkins, Belize
Our lifestyle gives us regular opportunities that ‘normal’ society doesn’t often provide anymore – glimpses of innumerable stars in a pitch black sky; a path of light across a watery surface of glass, leading to the moon in her full glory; the coo of doves each morning as you prepare breakfast; the chirp of geckos each night; the bellow of howler monkeys as you fall asleep. But along with all the beauty is my constant, unrelenting nemesis. The one affliction and torment that at times makes Mother Nature almost unbearable. Biting ants. Mosquitoes. Sand flies (aka jejenes, noseeums). Flies. Gnats. Fruit flies. Cockroaches. Spiders. And countless other flying, creeping, crawling things. We’d been attacked in the night by biting sand flies while we camped in Ladyville, Belize. We all looked as though we had a severe case of the chicken pox, and itched like mad. A week long ‘vacation’ with friends on Ambergris Caye had cured us – (one major benefit of indoor living, reduced exposure to bugs.) We were back to norma

Gene Therapy Could Help Corals Survive Climate Change
Has great implications for Belize. A microbiologist is harnessing beneficial bacteria to help coral reefs weather pollution, overfishing and climate change...

Botanically Belize
My new little eBook is published! Botanically Belize is a garden/travel book about my adventures in Belize. I went for about 3 weeks in December/Jan. and explored almost the whole country, by way of a tiny little pickup truck and my awesome boyfriend, Matt. We went cave tubing, Mayan ruin trekking, hiking, horse back riding through the jungle, and came across tons of little adventures and friendly locals along the way. I also got to further my obsession with Cacao!

Visiting Belize with an authentic Ceviche recipe
With the availability of fresh seafood ceviche is a very popular dish. It is cool and refreshing in the hot climate and it does not require traditional cooking. Instead the fish is “cooked” by marinating in lime juice. Belizean ceviche can be made from fish, conch, and lobster, whatever is available. This ceviche may keep the cook cool by not requiring the use of a stove, but it may heat up the diner as it contains habanero peppers and Marie Sharp’s Habanero sauce (a Belizean hot sauce)...

Postcards from North Ambergris Caye
Relaxing in the hammock. Hibiscus at the neighborhood grocery store. Yoga on the dock. The Rum Punch II tied up at the Palapa Bar. Snorkeling off the dock. Egret wading at sunset. Sunset over the lagoon.

Texas drought twists migrations of many birds, some seen in Belize!
The Associated PressTexas drought twists migrations of many birds. Some ducks just kept flying south — all the way to Belize in Central America.

Eco-Fashion Show to debut during Prince Harry’s Visit to Xunantunich
Every designer dreams of the chance to showcase their creations to world. For one Belizean designer that dream is about to come through, on Saturday, March 3rd. His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales, with representatives of several of the world’s major media houses in tow, will visit the archaeological site of Xunantunich where they’ll be taking in more than panoramic views and ancient Maya temples. At the site, there will also be female models wearing high fashion outfits made from recycled materials like newspaper, bottle caps, plastic tarps and magnetic tape. The designer behind the eco-fashion show is Joris Hendrik, a twenty-year old Belizean university student who dropped his major in Architecture to pursue a career in couture. “I have always had a thing for fashion but I actually started sketching designs when I was fifteen,” Hendrik says. “And I knew I wanted to do a different type of ‘Belizean’ with my clothing.”

Channel 7

Too Big to Ignore: 30,000 Vote In People's Referendum
Well, the polls closed at 8:00 last night and results were tabulated overnight. They were presented today and - as might have been expected from yesterday's turnout - the numbers were off the charts - not only in how many voted - but in how many were opposed to offshore drilling. We went to OCEANA's office to hear the results today of an unofficial referendum - with really only one side of the issue campaigning and Today - whatever fatigue accumulated over a night of counting ballots - was overtaken by the rush of success that far surpassed expectations: Audrey Matura - Shepherd - Vice President, Oceana "We want people to that we are proud to announce that the total amount of voters who came out was 29,235. Give them a round of applause." There was no shortage of self-congratulation, but with good reason - the results validate all the Coalition has been saying. Of the 29,235 who voted countrywide - 28,208 - a resounding 96% - voted no to offshore drilling:

GOB Will Hold Down Gas Price
"A tanker is in town" - those who've been around will know that means gas prices are about to change - and with the current trade sanctions on oil-exporting Iran - that means that prices can only go up. Indeed, as we understand it, under the current formula prices are supposed to go up to twelve dollars and fifty-two cents per gallon of premium - that's almost one dollar up from the present mark of eleven dollars and sixty three cents. That would be a killer for consumers, and politicians, because elections are going to be held in a week. So, we understand that government has taken the decision to change the revenue formula and absorb the difference in cost so that the price can stay unchanged. Bottom line to you the consumer? Don't worry, the pump price of fuel won't increase - for about a month. But, after that, there's no telling what will happen, particularly if tensions around Iran remain high. World Oil prices surged higher today - to almost 110 US dollars per barrel - because of tensions over Iran.

230K Stolen/Recovered in Armed Robbery Of Bank, Alleged Robber Killed
Two hundred and thirty thousand dollars was stolen this morning just before 9:00 in an armed bank robbery at one of the most crowded areas of the city - the San Cas Plaza at the Belcan roundabout. It is the most daring armed robbery in Belize City has seen - and it left one man dead. It also terrified those living near to or alongside the Belize River between the Belcan and Haulover bridges. They heard an extended exchange of gunfire between police and the bank robbers - who tried to escape across the river. Monica Bodden found out more about what looks to have been a well-orchestrated, well-executed and ultimately, foiled bank robbery.

OAS Election Observers In Belize
Earlier on we told you about the People's referendum - which, its critics will say had no independent body overseeing it, but for the first time, Belize's General and municipal elections will be overseen by the Organization of American States. The OAS Observer Team, headed by Ambassador Frank Almaguer, arrived in Belize today and met with the Elections and Boundaries Commission this afternoon in Belize City. After signing the agreement with the Chairman of the Commission, Alberto August, Ambassador Almaguer said the role of his team is simple: Ambassador Frank Almaguer - Head of OAS Observer Team To Belize "First of all were delighted to be in Belize, and very pleased that the Elections and Boundaries Commission, the Government and the authorities invited the OAS to come and observe the General Elections for March 7th, which is the first time, Belize will have had OAS observers.

Honduran, Wanted For Murder, Being Prepared For Deportation
Last week we showed you an MS-13 gang member that was shipped out of Belize because he is wanted in El Salvador. Well, tonight authorities are preparing to ship out a Honduran who is wanted for murder. 23 year-old Jaime Caballero, a farmer of Honduran Nationality, is currently in the hands of the Criminal Investigation Branch. He is going to be processed to be deported to his home country. Immigration officials received a tip that Caballero was in Belize, and on Tuesday he was intercepted on Freetown Road. When he was asked for his travel documents, he couldn't produce any, so as a result, he was charged with failure to produce a visitor's permit.

Man Will Spend 3 Years For Nineteen Pounds Cannabis
After a 2-month trial, 30 year-old Denroy Williams has been found guilty of trafficking 19 pounds of cannabis. He will spend 3 years in prison for this his second drug trafficking conviction. He was jointly charged with his brother, 28 year-old Micka Lee Williams, and their friend, 26 year-old Shawn Whitaker, According to police, on March 2, 2010 at around 8 p.m., the Gang Supression Unit began trailing behind a vehicle reportedly belonging to Micka Lee Williams from Roaring Creek to Hattieville Village.

Profile Of A Player
Tonight's profile is about Clinton Pulu Lightburn. In terms of his basketball accomplishments - he might be the greatest of all time - but his legend only survives by word of mouth - because there's no tape of his heyday in the 70's - and no statistical records. But his legend continues to evolve - Pulu is a thinker, a teacher and a futurist. In this weeks; profile, he tells us about life beyond basketball:

After Shakeup, Social Security Still Making Appearances
Belize's Social Security Board may have gone through a senior shake-up recently, but it's putting its best foot forward to host a regional meeting. The Council of Social Security Institutions in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CISSCAD) held its 33rd ordinary meeting today in Belize. The highlight was the formal handing over of the Presidency of the CISSCAD from Panamá to Acting Chief Officer of the Belize Social Security Board, Leticia Vega. The member countries will be developing a work plan to execute the CISSCAD's Strategic Plan 2012-2016 under the theme "Advancing social security through integration and collaboration." Former President Marlon de Souza talked about some of the objectives:

Police Minister Snaps At Journalist
As we told you earlier in the news, the police today held a press conference to give the media an update on the bank robbery at First Caribbean near the Belcan Bridge. According to our records, it is the first police press conference in over a year! And that's a story in itself! But, our next story is about the dismissive behavior of Police Minister Doug Singh - who told a journalist that he would be asked to leave the press conference if he kept pushing a certain line of questioning. The reporter is Rowland Parks of the Reporter Newspaper - and he was pressing the police to give an explanation as to why deadly force was used on Albert Assi - after the weapons he had used to shoot after police had apparently been left in the getaway boat - and Assi had already been incapacitated with a gunshot to the leg. We pick up the exchange where the officer commanding Eastern Division ACP Elodio Aragon avoided answering Parks and was telling the press that more updates would be coming. Still, Parks pressed on, and that's when the police minister snapped at him.

Channel 5

Shots fired after heist of First Caribbean Bank
A major bank heist took place this morning at FirstCaribbean Bank at the Save-U Plaza. Four armed robbers in disguise eased themselves into the bank and held up the tellers. They fled with a reported two hundred and thirty thousand dollars from the banks vault in a getaway SUV. That part of the robbery appeared ...

One robber shot dead; over $200,000 stolen
The robbers got away in a silver Honda SUV that took them to the area of the roundabout near the Esso Depot where a small skiff was on standby on the banks of the river. But the cops soon caught up with the robbers, killed one and got back about one hundred and sixty thousand ...

Over 29,000 vote in Oceana’s Referendum
Close to thirty thousand registered electors voted on the issue of offshore drilling on Wednesday. By any stretch, it’s a huge turnout for a relatively short campaign that led to the mock referendum organized by the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage. After fourteen hours of voting countrywide, the final results were tabulated by three ...

Police Department Ready for Royal Visit
The highly anticipated royal visit is upon us; this Friday, Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales, fondly called Prince Harry, will be arriving in Belize. There is a media frenzy by the international press to cover the royal visit. This station will be bringing you live coverage of his arrival at the PGIA, followed ...

OAS Mission arrives in Belize to observe elections
While the prince is on his way to Belize, an Observer Mission from the Organization of American States has arrived to monitor the March seventh national elections. The three representatives were tied up in a meeting throughout the afternoon with the Elections and Boundaries Commission at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building on Mahogany Street. In ...

Dark cases of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
In other news, across the country the commission of sexual offences remains rampant. Earlier this week two instances were reported in the Cayo and Stann Creek districts. Belmopan police are investigating an allegation of unlawful carnal knowledge which was reported by a teenager on Wednesday morning. According to the fourteen year old she visited her ...

Illegal immigrant wanted for Murder in Honduras
An undocumented Honduran National was not just seeking a new life in Belize, but perhaps a new identity. Twenty-three year-old Jaime Caballero was caught in Belize on Freetown Road on February twenty-eight without travel or nationality documents. He was arraigned today in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where he was ...

Manslaughter charge for man with deadly punch
On Monday morning, shortly before ten fifty-two year old John Myers was involved in a quarrel with another man, when he hit Myers to the face causing him fall and hit his head on the concrete. Myers, who was slumped in the corner of a snack shop on Mahogany Street, later died from the injuries ...

Honda Passport theft
A Honda Passport, described as bronze in color, belonging to insurance advisor Myrna Paul was stolen on Wednesday afternoon from North Front Street. The vehicle, valued at eight thousand dollars, bears the license plate number BZ-C-40794 and was parked along the busy street between two o’clock and five o’clock in the evening. Paul reported that ...

P.N.P. says voting areas are not optimal in the South
In the south, Will Maheia, the leader of the People’s National Party and deputy leader of the Belize Unity Alliance today dispatched a letter to the Chief Elections Officer to complain that polling stations in the Toledo East Constituency are impractically located. Maheia says that if not rectified, voters in the constituency will be disenfranchised. ...

Burnt House a case of political victimization?
We reported on Wednesday night that the vehicle of P.U.P. standard bearer, Dr. Francis Smith, had been set on fire at the New Road Gas Station. It’s a case of arson that is believed to have been politically motivated, but it is not limited to Belize City. Down south in Punta Gorda, two houses were ...

Cayo North East Political Bloody Machete Match Up
In the west, the rivalry between party supporters is known to get contentious. On Sunday in the village of Los Tambos, U.D.P. supporters of the Cayo Northeast Division claim they came under attack from followers of the opposition. The incumbent area representative Elvin Penner says he does not believe his opponent was involved but thirty-nine ...

Healthy Living goes deep into ingrown hairs
They say beauty knows no pain. There are numerous ways to remove hair for women; for men it is more limited. But this simple act of grooming can come with consequences. Healthy Living finds out more about the pesky and unsightly ingrown hairs. Marleni Cuellar, Reporting When it comes to hair removal, we all have ...


A burglary has been reported in Ladyville village in the Belize district. Sheila Gentle reported to police that around eleven fifteen on Tuesday morning she was at home when she heard a noise coming from one of the bedrooms. Upon making checks Gentle says she saw a man coming into her house through one of the bedroom windows. Gentle says she attempted to run away, however, she was chased down and caught by the same intruder. Gentle says that the intruder instructed her to sit down on a chair in her living room. Thereafter, three other men reportedly entered the house and allegedly removed assorted items. The alleged burglars reportedly made good their escape in Gentle’s car, valued at twenty three thousand US dollars. Police say the reported value of the stolen items from Gentle’s house is fifty six thousand and thirty nine dollars. Police investigations continue. Story at

An armed robbery was reported in Belize City on Wednesday morning at the Profile Jewellery store situated at the Commercial Center in Belize City. According to salesman Edwin Garnett, around eleven thirty tomorrow morning, he along with co-worker Sheena Harriage were inside the store when they were accosted by two men, one of whom was armed with a handgun and the other with a knife. The two employees were ordered to lie on the floor and as they did so, the gunman proceeded to take an undisclosed amount of gold and silver jewellery from the shop, while the man with the knife searched Garnett and took one cellular phone, sixty five dollars in cash and his driver’s license. The alleged robber also searched Sheena Harriage and took away her cell phone, in addition to a DVD player. Before leaving, the alleged robbers raided the cash register of one hundred and thirty dollars in cash after which they both walked out of the store and made good their escape. Story at

A car was destroyed by fire this morning in San Ignacio. Elaine Berry reporting… “At 10:05 a.m. the Fire Department responded to a fire at 13 Blancaneaux Street in San Ignacio. On arrival they came upon a 1993 Mazda Protégé engulfed in flames. Fire officials managed to contain the flames and quickly had the fire under control. The cause of the fire was because of an electrical fault. Ernest Wilshire, a mechanic was working on the car when it caught fire. The car was extensively damaged. The cost of the damage is estimated at $2,300.00.” Story at

Police in the Toledo district have discovered and destroyed a large marijuana plantation. According to reports, an anti-drug operation was conducted between five o’clock and eight o’clock on Wednesday morning in the area of the Nim Li Punit Mayan archaeological site in Indian Creek village. During the operation, police say they found the marijuana plantation containing six thousand, two hundred and fifty four plants ranging from two to four feet in height. No one was found in the area and police say all of the marijuana plants were uprooted and destroyed. Story at

In Bella Vista village, police are investigating a report of an indecent assault upon two girls ages three and five years old. The children’s mother reported to police that on Tuesday morning around six fifteen she was awakened by her common law husband. After letting him into the house, the woman says she followed him into the bedroom where both girls were asleep and saw the man undress the girls and sexually assaulted them. The mother also reported to police that she also witnessed her common law husband indecently assaulting both girls on separate occasions in the month of January. Investigations continue. Story at

Police in Belmopan are investigating two reported cases of carnal knowledge. On Tuesday, a fourteen year old student went to the Belmopan police station, accompanied by her father, to report that on the night of January twenty fifth, a man asked her to meet him near the Brodies supermarket, which she did. The man has been identified by police as thirty two year old businessman Miguel Padilla. The girl says that Padilla took her to his apartment where they engaged in sexual activity. Padilla has since been arrested and charged for the crime on carnal knowledge. The second incident also involves a fourteen year old student. The girl told police that on Saturday night, she visited her boyfriend Carlos Carabantes at his house in the Maya Mopan area of Belmopan. During the visit, the girl claims she and her boyfriend engaged in sexual intercourse. Police continues to investigate the report. Story at

A taxi driver from the village of Arenal in the Cayo district was the victim of a shooting incident on Wednesday morning. He has been identified as twenty three year old Minor Najaro. According to police reports, a mobile patrol that was heading towards the western border, spotted Najaro’s car parked on the right hand side of the road in an area known as Puga’s Game. Police say that upon making checks, they saw blood spots on the steering wheel and outside of the car. Investigations reveled that Najaro was transporting a man from Benque Viejo del Carmen towards the border, when upon reaching Puga’s gate, the man fired a single gunshot hitting Najaro behind the right ear, with the bullet exiting the left cheek. The alleged shooting reportedly made good his escape by running towards the Mopan River. Police investigations continue. Story at

Activities in observance of Child Stimulation month have started in Dangriga. Harry Arzu reporting… “In connection with child stimulation month in this municipality, an official opening ceremony was held at the BTL Princess Royal Park. At the even preschoolers entertained the large gathering of parents and other guests with their talents of singing, poetry and other educational activities that they have learnt in the classroom. Following the ceremony the preschoolers along with their parents marched through the principal streets of Dangriga in an effort to let the public become aware of child stimulation month. Therese Ariola is the Preschool Coordinator for Stann Creek District and she told Love News that there are 32 preschools in the district. For the rest of this month preschoolers will be participating in various events and activities within their communities.” Story at

A number of activities will be taking place around the country in observance of Women’s month. The activities started today. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development coordinator at the women’s Department. Cynthia Williams – Human Development Coordinator, Women’s Department “We have activities throughout the country since we have one officer in each district. One of the first activities for us is a women’s fitness session that will begin today in partnership with Body 2000, these sessions will be held from Monday to Friday with the exception of March 7, 8, 12. It will be a variety of sessions including spinning, Latin dance workout, core strengthening and stepping, introduction to weights and flexibility, that is our very first activity and we are inviting all women to be a part of it and since the month is being celebrated under the theme “Connecting girls, inspiring futures, we are ensuring that we include girls throughout the different activities that we are organizing and many of the agencies are also doing it. On Saturday we will be having a girl to woman value session. We will be looking at what are the values that girls have today, what is the value that women have and how can we begin to understand each other so we would be able to continue in the preparation of our girls. We have realized that in order for our women to be empowered we also must begin with our girls ensuring that they have things that they need, ensuring that they have the support and role models for them to be able to be inspired for their future.” Story at

A number of activities will be taking place around the country in observance of Women’s month. The activities started today. Cynthia Williams is the Human Development coordinator at the women’s Department. Cynthia Williams – Human Development Coordinator, Women’s Department “We have activities throughout the country since we have one officer in each district. One of the first activities for us is a women’s fitness session that will begin today in partnership with Body 2000, these sessions will be held from Monday to Friday with the exception of March 7, 8, 12. It will be a variety of sessions including spinning, Latin dance workout, core strengthening and stepping, introduction to weights and flexibility, that is our very first activity and we are inviting all women to be a part of it and since the month is being celebrated under the theme “Connecting girls, inspiring futures, we are ensuring that we include girls throughout the different activities that we are organizing and many of the agencies are also doing it. On Saturday we will be having a girl to woman value session. We will be looking at what are the values that girls have today, what is the value that women have and how can we begin to understand each other so we would be able to continue in the preparation of our girls. We have realized that in order for our women to be empowered we also must begin with our girls ensuring that they have things that they need, ensuring that they have the support and role models for them to be able to be inspired for their future.” Story at

Twenty-three year old Honduran National Jaime Caballero, wanted in Honduras for murder, was picked up by Immigration Officers on Tuesday evening, February twenty –eighth, on Freetown Road. Caballero had no travel documents so he was charged with failure to produce a visitor’s permit. He pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared today in Court. He was fined one thousand dollars by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. If he defaults on payment of the fine, he will serve six months. Immigration officers have learned through Interpol that Caballero is wanted in Honduras for murder. So Immigration officers escorted Caballero to Queen Street Police Station and handed him over to the Crimes Intelligence Unit. Story at

Thirty year old Denroy Williams a.k.a. “Moo”, one of three persons charged with drug trafficking for eight point nine kilograms of cannabis, was sentenced to three years and was fined ten thousand dollars today after he was found guilty of the charge. The other two defendants, Williams’ brother Mica Ice Williams and Shawn Whittaker, were not called upon to answer the charge. Denroy Williams had one previous conviction for drug trafficking and four convictions for possession of controlled drugs. The bust occurred around eight p.m. on March second, 2010 on the Burrell Boom/Hattieville Road. Denroy Williams was in a pick-up truck that did not stop at a police check point in front of the Hattieville police station. When the police caught up with the pick-up truck, Denroy Williams was in the pan of the vehicle and a crocus sack containing the cannabis was thrown out of the vehicle. Denroy Williams gave a statement to the police in which he admitted he had knowledge of the cannabis in the vehicle. Story at

Thirty-three year old Elario Frank Elijio, a laborer of Morning Glory Street, was charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of fifty two year old John Russell Myers Jr. when he appeared today in Court. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not take a plea from Elijio because the offence is indictable. She denied him bail and remanded him into custody until March 30. The incident occurred on Monday morning, February twenty seventh on Mahogany Street near to a fast food shop. According to reports, Myers got into an argument with another man and he was punched. Myers is alleged, fell and struck his head and died on the spot. Story at

Forty eight year old Leon Smith, a resident of Foster Drive in Hattieville, was charged with three offences when he appeared today in Court. The offences were burglary, theft and escape. Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until April twenty third. Smith has a court fine for which payment is outstanding and for which he will serve four months. The theft occurred on February thirteenth at the residence of Orlando Verdes, located in Hattieville. It is alleged that Smith stole twelve coconuts from a tree in Verdes’ yard. The burglary occurred on the following day, February fourteenth. According to the allegation, Smith entered as a trespasser, the dwelling house of Verdes and stole one medium size gas tank and one hundred and thirty DVD’s, all to a total value of six hundred and twenty dollars. The escape occurred yesterday. The police reported that Smith escaped from lawful custody while he was b3eing detained at Hattieville Police Station for burglary. Smith said he ran from the police station to go to the hospital because he was suffering from chest pains from being beaten by the police. He said he was caught by the police before he reached the hospital. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer has instructed the police to take Smith to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment before he is taken to prison. Story at

Yesterday was a busy day for the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage as they held the People’s Referendum, as a way to give a voice to many who were silenced when signatures were rejected from a petition to host a national referendum. People came out by the numbers to vote and the results were released today at a press conference in the front yard of the OCEANA Belize office. Ninety six percent of the twenty nine thousand two hundred and thirty five voters came out, voted no to offshore oil drilling while the remaining four percent voted yes. Vice President for OCEANA Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd went more in detail with the results at the conference this morning. Audrey Matura Shepherd – Vice President, Oceana Belize “We had 143 spoilt ballots and 25 missing and this may sound funny but apparently people got the ballots and walked away with it, I wonder if those were the mischievous operatives. 25 ballots went missing. For the Corozal District what we had, we had a total of 3,501 voters came out and that is only in the District itself because a lot of them did vote in San Pedro or Belize City where they live or work. There we had 98% of the people of Corozal say no to offshore drilling and 1.5% said yes, that .5% may have accounted for spoilt or missing ballots. In the Stann Creek District we had a total 3,721 voters went out to cast their vote, 95% of them said no to offshore drilling, 4% said yes. In Caye Caulker we had 478 registered voters went out to cast their vote, of those 97.2% said no to offshore drilling and 1.8% said yes. Story at

The chief of the observer mission from the Organization of American States for next week’s double elections in Belize has arrived in the country. The team is being led by Ambassador Frank Almaguer and the OAS observer mission is in response to a formal invitation from the government of Belize. According to a release from the OAS, the observer mission will formally begin its work today following the signing of the electoral observation agreement between the OAS and the Elections and Boundaries Commission. Ambassador Almaguer, who is the former United States Ambassador to Honduras, says he is delighted and honored to lead this first OAS election observer mission to Belize and that one of the guiding principles of the team he heads is to help create an atmosphere of public trust and encourage citizen participation in the electoral process. He explained that as part of his mandate, Almaguer will be meeting and conducting interviews with the electoral authorities, political, governmental and international community representatives, as well as with members of the media and of civil society in Belize to gain a thorough understanding of the electoral dynamic. The OAS election observer mission team will be installed today and will observe the electoral process in the days leading up to the election as well as Election Day activities from the opening of the polls to the counting and dissemination of the results. Following Wednesday’s joint elections, the observer mission will present its findings during a press conference and then forward a report to the OAS permanent council in Washington, D.C. Story at

An early-morning robbery at First Caribbean Bank at San Cas Plaza today resulted in the shooting death of one of the alleged robbers and the recovery of a parcel containing the stolen money. It all unfolded shortly before nine this morning when two armed men walked into the bank and stole an undisclosed amount of money. They reportedly ran out of the compound and got into a boat that was docked at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. The men were reportedly about to reach their planned location to transfer into a getaway vehicle but that was where they were met by police who had been alerted, A crossfire between someone in the vehicle and the police led to the shooting death of one of the alleged robbers, nineteen year old Alberto Asi. Love News was on the scene shortly after and spoke with terrified residents on the southside of the Haulover Creek where the shooting happened. Resident 1 “The baby that was on the bed is for my neighbor, she lives closer to the river where the incident happened and so ran when the thing happened and I told her to come inside and leave her baby inside. This is craziness. It was high powered weapon they were using. It passed through one wall and came through the other.”


Separate bank heists, one suspect killed
First Caribbean bank robbery ends with one robber fatally wounded. This morning police responded to reports that th...

96% vote no to offshore drilling in mock referendum
The results are in for the People’s Referendum on offshore oil exploration & drilling. In an overwhelming show of s...

Northern Highway to be closed off for Prince Harry's motorcade
Prince Harry is arriving in Belize tomorrow March 2nd on the first leg in a whirlwind Caribbean Tour. Preparations ...

Child stimulation month kicks off
The month of March is celebrated as Child Stimulation Month. This year’s Theme, “Early Childhood Education Start Ea...

UB hosts "A Word from the Political Parties" student forum
The University of Belize through the Faculty of Education and Arts hosted a Student Forum: entitled “A Word from th...

PUP standard bearer's Mercedes Benz set on fire
On Tuesday of this week, Dr. Francis Smith vehicle, who is the PUP standard bearer for Pickstock was set on fire. A...

Taxi driver shot and left inside cab
Benque Vejio police are investigating a shooting which occurred yesterday. Police were on board a Police Mobile hea...

Mother allegedly catches common law husband molesting children
Police are also investigating a report of indecent assault upon a 3 year old and a 5 year old! A 31 yr old mother o...

COLA criticizes PM Barrow for superbond comment
Cola has issued a press release on statements made by the Prime Minister. On the 24th of February 2012, COLA facili...

CYAP launches campaign to encourage youth vote
The CARICOM Youth Ambassadors’ Program (CYAP) is represented in Belize by Dylan Williams and Kera Bowen both CARICO...

The Guardian

6,000 benefit from new Libertad Village Health Centre
On Friday, February 24, a new health center was inaugurated in Libertad Village. The Libertad Health Center will provide better health services and benefit almost 6,000 residents in four villages of the Corozal District. Hon. Gabriel Martinez was a guest speaker at the opening ceremony. He said that the new centre will serve the villages of Libertad, Concepcion, Caledonia and San Joaquin with quality health care, including general medicine, breast and cervical cancer screening, outpatient services, pre-natal, post-natal, child care and emergency services among many others.

UDP ACTION PLAN Always for the PEOPLE versus PUP-Manifesto Impossibilities, Shallow Rhetoric and Absent Leadership
The Hon. Dean O. Barrow, on the occasion of Mr. Price’s death said “there will NEVER be another PUP leader like George Price.” John Briceno, fully aware of his shortcoming, restricted intellect, and misunderstanding of what leadership is, quickly took it to heart and vacated the leadership of the PUP. The interim leader decided that ‘that bunch’ was obviously not worth leading. The situation got so bad that the literally unknown Arthur Saldivar threw in his name for leadership, as did ‘wonder boy,’ who wants to represent Cayo South. This sent the OLD PUP, NEW PUP, and the LOSS of IDENTITY into a tailspin. This was happening in public view; a party, which considers itself worthy of governing Belize, was unable to find a leader. Francis, after being coaxed, bottle-fed and promised he could emulate, threw in his name overnight and became leader, albeit with apprehension and fear knowing he did not possess the minimum characteristics to lead a mass party, much less being leader of the country. To show how void he is of leadership qualities, he evoked Mr. Price’s name, and to consolidate our observations, he made sure that Mr. Price’s picture is on the PUP manifesto cover under the caption “Deliverance for Belize.” No disrespect Francis, but you are no George Price and you cannot be saved from the grave. The man passed on his legacy, but since 1998, the leadership of the PUP has either been the most corrupt, burdened the Belizean people with debt, or enriched cronies and family members.

Voted 5 times in Oceana’s Referendum
Oceana conducted its ‘People’s Referendum’ on Wednesday February 29th where people came out to vote on the issue of offshore drilling. From our point of view, the entire exercise was filled with problems. Nonetheless it was held. So as to make the point, the Guardian kept in touch with one individual from Belize City, who travelled to Stann Creek and as an experiment, all his own, he decided to test the veracity of the referendum. His idea was to see how many times he could vote between Belize City and Stann Creek. Along the way, he documented his experiment taking pictures. By the time he was done he had voted 5 times.

Shackron’s Disqualification
At around 9 a.m. on Friday, February 17th, all parties crowded into the courtroom of Justice Oswell Legall. Attorneys Lisa Shoman and Magali Marin – Young represented the claimant Yolanda Schakron, while Attorneys Rodwell Williams and Michael Young represented Noreen Fairweather, the Returning Officer for Lake Independence, and the Attorney General. Attorney Lisa Shoman outlined her application for an injunction on the grounds that there is a threat, via a press release from the Government Press Office, that Schakron’s nomination would be blocked. Shoman informed the court that she needed an adjournment of the matter to confer with her client because it was still unsure that the Returning Officer would object to Schakron’s nomination.

Desperate PUP inciting violence
The People’s United Party is on an all-out campaign of violence. That was demonstrated on three occasions over the past weekend. In the first instance, on Saturday February 25th, PUP supporters, who lined up in front of the house of the Corozal South West PUP Standard Bearer in San Narciso Village, stoned buses as they passed in a motorcade. One of those persons, who was stoning the buses was identified to be a female teacher of Escuela Mexico. In another instance, a PUP supporter chopped three people at a rally being held by the UDP in the village of Los Tambos in the Cayo District on Sunday February 26th. During the rally, three PUP supporters rode their motorcycles in the gathering, taunting the crowd. When they were asked to desist one of them pulled out a machete and chopped three persons. One UDP supporter was chopped to the arm, another was chopped to the neck and a third received injuries to the head. The culprit has since been charged with wounding. During the entire episode one of the PUP supporters also broke the windshield of Hon. Elvin Penner’s vehicle.

Three Prunes from the PUP Manifesto
After four years of waiting, I feel cheated and disappointed. I have just gone over the PUP Manifesto and all they are offering are three things. The rest is polished rhetoric. This manifesto can be considered TIMID, which for the PUP means that they have run out of ideas. Let’s examine the offerings: All real agricultural inputs will pay 0% import duties. The effect of the above is reduced revenue to government of Belize. This initiative more than likely will not translate into lower agricultural prices since Government cannot force farmers to lower prices. What may very well happen is, because of lower production cost, farmers will look forward to even higher margins from contraband trade in rice, sugar, and corn to Guatemala and Mexico. One thing is almost certain are that a zero rated import duty on agricultural imports will definitely not translate to lower food basket prices. Threshold on personal income tax will be raised to $36,000 This is probably the best icing that will appeal to the average person. This however ,did not require much imagination. The downside to this is again a subtraction from Government revenue. That aside, it is enticing.

The Ministry of Agriculture Signs Projects for Technical Assistance
The Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, has signed four projects for technical assistance,the projects that were approved are as followS: • The BELRIV Production and Marketing of Eggs and Poultry for Domestic Market with an approved budget of USD $9,998.00. • The Agro-processing Preservation of Local Fruits and VegetableS with a budget of USD $9,998.00. • The Formulation of a Strategic Plan for the Extension Development Policy (TCP/BZE/3401) and • The Assistance to Manage Huanglongbing in Belize (TCP/BZE/3402) with an approved budget of USD $410,000.00. This project will provide support by enhancing the country’s capacity to reduce the impact of HLB on the livelihoods of citrus farmers through the development and implementation of a holistic and cost effective area-wide strategy.

New Public Library for Santa Elena Town
Hon. Rene Montero, Area Representative for Cayo Central, launched the Santa Elena Public Library project on Monday, February 27. The project will see the renovation of a two-storey structure that currently houses the library and the addition of a computer resource center. Works on the existing structure includes the repairing of roof leaks, replacement of all eaves, fascia and ceiling boards, erecting a veranda block wall railing, installation of gutters, downpipes, water breakers, installation of new windows and solid timber doors, rehabilitation of the electrical and plumbing systems, floor tiles and repainting of the entire building. The new extension includes the construction of a fully air-conditioned concrete building with an insulated galvalum roof, reinforced concrete tiled floor, reinforced masonry block walls, galvanized aluminum louvered windows, burglar bars, solid timber panel doors and a male and female bathroom. As part of the project a 6ft-chain link fence will be erected around the compound’s perimeter. The extension will have a floor area of 650 sq. ft. and will be able to accommodate 15 computers along with a study area.
On Monday, February 27, 2012, we saw the end of a painful seven day stretch in which the price of oil increased daily on the international markets. There are many factors that impact the price of oil. Experts are pointing to the Iranian nuke crisis as the reason for this recent spike. Analysts say a standoff between the Western world and Iran over its nuclear program continues to keep oil prices high. Western nations have been trying to get international inspectors into Iran’s facilities because of the fear that Iran is building a nuclear weapon. Iran continues to deny the claim and has threatened to disrupt oil supplies if action is taken against them. As a result, oil prices are at a 9 month high finishing at over US$109 per barrel last week. This has caused prices at the pump to increase across the world and as a country that imports gas, Belize is feeling the brunt of the increase. Since the price of gas has increased, the cost of getting the gas here has increased as well. It’s a double blitz that has been passed on to consumers. The government of Belize has no control over world oil prices and little control on prices at our local pumps.

Galen University’s Shameful Campaign Tactics
Numerous students of Galen University have complained to the Guardian that the school is operating as a base for the People’s United Party. The first report reached the Guardian three weeks ago when one student called to say that staff members were handing out PUP wristbands from out of the main office. There were no pictures to verify the report; thats why, the Guardian let that one slide. However, more students have come forward to express their frustration due to the campaign tactics of the faculty and staff of the institution. Scholarship students, who wish to remain anonymous, feel that they are being pressured to support the People’s United Party. One student said that she was asked to take part in the rehearsal and recording of a song. She was offended when she got the lyrics saying “We will vote for the PUP.” She decided to opt out of the project but is worried about the possibility of losing her scholarship.

Oliver del Cid is new Ambassador to Mexico
H.E. Oliver del Cid, presented his Letters of Credence to President Felipe Calderon in a ceremony at the National Palace in Mexico City, thereby formally accrediting him as Belize’s Ambassador to Mexico. The excellent relations that exist between Belize and Mexico were highlighted by Ambassador del Cid and President Calderon during their meeting and matters of mutual interest, such as bilateral cooperation projects, were also discussed. President Calderon conveyed his warm regards for the people of Belize and particularly expressed his best wishes for the speedy recovery of Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow.

New School Building for Corozal
On Wednesday, February 29, Hon. Pablo Marin launched a project for the construction of a two-storey; six-classroom school building at the Corozal Methodist School.The Corozal Methodist School is located in the heart of Corozal Town. The school opened its doors in 1859 and since then has witnessed the graduation of hundreds of students; some of whom are now prominent community members. Minister Marin said the need for the building is great because over the past six years, the school has seen a steady increase in its enrollment; this is due to the high demand for the school’s sound education based on the principles of discipline and religion. In 2009, the school’s enrollment was 492 students with 243 boys and 249 girls. In 2010, the school’s enrollment was 525 students with 249 boys and 276 girls. This reflects an increase of 33 students from 2009 to 2010.

Nazarene High School and St. John’s College leads in high school softball competition
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition for both the girls and boys is fast winding down at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. On Tuesday February 28, in the female competition, Nazarene High School continued on its winning streak when it defeated Wesley College by the score of 18-2. The winning pitcher was Elma Wade and the losing pitcher was Briana Ara. The competition continued on Monday February 27, with a single game in the male category between St. John’s College and Anglican Cathedral College, in which St. John’s edged Anglican Cathedral by the score of 4-3. The winning pitcher was Myric Marin and the losing pitcher was Cason Olivera.

Police maintains lead in Premier League Competition
The Premier League of Belize competition continued over the last week of play with six games on the schedule. On Saturday February 25, in the game played out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Juventus blanked World FC by the score of 3-0. The goals for Juventus were scored by Osmar Duran in the 23rd, 50th and 58th minutes of play to give the visiting Juventus from Orange Walk the big victory. At the Isidorio Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting Police United continued on its winning streak when it blanked the home team the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 1-0.

Junior girls’ softball competition to start shortly in Cayo District
The Cayo Softball Association announces that the 2012 Junior Girls’ competition will commence shortly in the Cayo District. Teams interested in participating in the competition for players 19 years and under are asked to contact Mrs. Jerjett Thompson, President of the Cayo Softball Association at telephone 602-5870 for further information. The junior competition will be played on Sunday mornings in the Cayo District.

Avengers in defence of Belize City Junior Softball title
The 2012 Belize City Junior Softball Competition started on Saturday February 25, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City. This year’s competition is featuring three balanced junior teams that promise a bright future for Belizean softball. In the first game of the afternoon, Blazers Junior Girls defeated Hurricane Juniors by the score of 20 to 13 in seven innings. The winning pitcher was Ashley Lucas and the losing pitcher was Melissa Williams. In game two, the defending junior champions, Avengers started its defense of its title on the right footing when it defeated Blazers Junior Girls by the score of 22-14. The winning pitcher was Kaylee McFadzean and the losing pitcher was Agnes Lucas.

Fonseca afraid to negotiate the Superbond! Why?
The Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow has minced no words and has made it extremely clear that when the UDP is elected to office for a second consecutive term on March 7th, one of the priorities will be the renegotiation of the Superbond. And the message has been sent that “we will negotiate or we will not pay.” It’s a position that only a leader that has country and people at heart can take. For four years thorough the pro-people policies by the Barrow administration, Belizeans have been benefitting and when the UDP is re-elected, the policies will continue and be expanded. But part of that expansion will be dependent on how much we will pay for the Superbond, which at this point in time is placing an economic chokehold on Belize.

PUP Trying to Inject Racism in Freetown
Anyone can check the Belize Slimes and see that almost on a weekly basis they attack the United Democratic Party’s candidate for Freetown on bogus allegations. Those charges are usually race based and distasteful. In December of 2009, Anthony Sylvester wrote about the “Ching Chong Chineyman sitting on a fence, trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents”. On November 25, 2011 they wrote, “the ‘Chon Saan Chef’ has been delivering fried chicken to voters.” That same articled continued, “a lot of the chicken being served by the chineyman is STALE. As a matter of fact, there are several reports of persons who’ve suffered food poisoning and have had to be admitted to the hospital.” On February 3, 2012 the Slimes wrote, “the ‘Ching Chong Chineyman’ is scared sh***ess of Francis Fonseca.” Some of the other comments about Lee Mark Chang and his candidacy were so outrageous that we will not restate them.

Jet Ski Accident Claims Life of Andrew Blades
33-year-old Andrew Blades, of the Blades chain of businesses, was involved in a jet skiing accident on Sunday afternoon, February 19. According to Raphael Martinez, Public Relations Officer of the Belize Police Department, Blades was involved in a collision between two jet skis. The incident is reported to have occurred near St. George’s Caye. Blades was rushed from the island to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where emergency procedures were conducted in order to pump fluid out of his stomach. On Monday, he was transferred to the Belize Healthcare Partners Limited for further testing but succumbed to his injuries. The exact cause of death has not been announced as yet. Unconfirmed reports are that Blades was not wearing a life vest at the time of the accident.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Video invitation to Easter and Lobster Fest activities in Caye Caulker
Just in case you are wondering about up-coming events on Caye Caulker, please note that there will be an Easter Fest as well as Lobster Fest in Caye Caulker in 2012. The Committees have been meeting and working hard to put together fun-filled weekends for all to enjoy. Feel free to click on the link above to view the interview from Committee Members about what they will be offering and don’t forget to”like” their Facebook page. Simply search “Caye Caulker Lobster Fest” and like their page so you can receive time to time updates on the upcoming events. They promise to make it bigger than previous years. Remember Caye Caulker was the first community to commence Lobster Fest since 1994 so come on out, the dates have already been announced!!

International Sources

OAS Electoral Observation Mission Arrives in Belize Ahead of Vote
The Organization of American States Mission that will observe Belize’s election arrived in Belize City Thursday ahead of the March 7 vote. Ambassador Frank Almaguer is leading the mission, which will be deployed for general and municipal elections. “I am delighted to and honoured to lead this first-ever OAS/ECOM to Belize,” Almaguer said. “One of the guiding principles of this OAS/EOM is to help create an atmosphere of public trust and encourage citizen participation in the electoral process.” Almaguer said he would be conducting interviews with electoral authorities, political and governmental representatives and members of the media and civil society. The mission, which was installed Thursday, will present its findings in the days after the election.

Op-Ed: Why the Economy Is the Biggest Issue in Belize’s Elections
The voters of Belize will go to the polls next week to decide which party will form the next Government of Belize. Without a doubt, most voters will make their decisions based on, among other priorities, a personal economic argument, i.e. “my life was or is better under…” Beyond that immediate and personal decision, however, general economic performance has become one of the key issues of this general election. The global recession in the Belizean context has meant slow, or almost no economic growth in the past few years, just when the country needed it most in order to meet its debt servicing requirements. Our external debt totals approximately 85 percent of GDP, and about half of that debt is commercial debt consolidated into a bond familiarly known as the Superbond, which features interest payments on a step-up schedule (6 percent currently, rising to 8.5 percent later this year) with amortization beginning in 2019.

March 1, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Belizean Tattoo artist at Cancun Tattoo Expo
A delegation of tattoo artists and assistants from Belize travelled to Cancun, Mexico on Friday February 17th to participate in Cancun’s Tattoo Expo 2012. The delegation was a collaboration of three tattoo shops; House of Pain in Corozal, Belizean Ink in Cayo and from San Pedro, Tattoo Life. Tattoo artists included; George Alamilla, aka Inkman; Karim Sosa aka Wimpas and Fabian Mansania. The team, unfortunately did not produce any tattoos that qualified for the competition itself; “We did not do any tattoos that qualified for the competition, which were the larger pieces for black and grey. We had color portraits as a competition and we had best in show. For best in show the tattoo that was being done did not finish until midnight so it couldn’t compete. Time frame wise, it was a different atmosphere to what we were used to. The booths were close to each other and we had to fit our three artists in one booth including the assistants. We were right next to these guys that were from Villahermosa who had some sick, sick, sick work. So it was kind of intimidating at the same time, to be next to a guy who has over thirty years of experience tattooing people. But other than that it was a very awesome experience. We got some awesome input and now we are being asked to host an Expo here in Belize.”

Ambergris Today

SPRCS Parent/Student Activities
There was much enthusiasm at the school compound of the San Pedro RC School on Tuesday, February 28, 2012, as parents, students and teachers gathered outside to do some arts and crafts. Principal Roxanne Kay explained to Ambergris Today what the entire project was about. “This is a new initiative we are currently working on in getting parents more involved in the school life of the students,” commented Principal Roxanne Kay. “We plan on hosting parents to come in one day of the month to do some arts and crafts with the children. Today we have started with the Infant I classes and they are doing posters and other crafts on the topic of pollution.” Principal Kay continued by stating that it is not just taking time off from the children’s schedule but the arts and crafts was part of the integrated curriculum they are currently working on. Each class picks a subject of interest to work on for example pollution which is part of Social Studies and Science class and works on the topic in class as well as gets to incorporate it in their arts and crafts project.

Is Carnival A Messy Situation?
Carnival has come and gone! Carnival is the time when streets get filled with unrecognizable faces covered with vibrant colours of paint. But more than that is the grand celebration of the comparsas around town and the community partaking in an enticing tradition. A three day spectacular that promotes fun activities that both locals and tourist can indulge in. Most of the time it seems this great, but a few peers don’t partake in this tradition because it has taken a wicked turn. Some of the people out in the streets wait for this day seeking the opportunity to confront their enemies as a way of revenge. How horrid has this peaceful event become? Not to mention the constant vandalism that occurs. Businesses constantly have to prepare in covering or repainting their advertisements during Carnival season because of the mischief performed. This celebration is more than what a few have made it. We should be more respectful and stick strictly to the fun of the game. This way we can all enjoy the diverse and exciting comparsas, as well as the body painting in a safe way. Carnival in San Pedro is so diverse and the beauty of the costumes and colours adds a wonderful aspect to it. The tradition continues and we all get so excited to be part of it.

No Fear For Water Shortage
General Manager of Consolidated Water Belize, Mr. Clifford Dillon, contacted the San Pedro Business Association to help in passing on the message of water conservation since the water supply demand for Ambergris Caye was barely being met. The manager of CWBL explained that it was essential to practice water conservation on the island until a new water production facility is placed on the island. In response to these allegations and information brought up by CWBL to the San Pedro Business Association and the public in general the Belize Water Services (BWS) sent a press release press release in regards to the water supply situation on the island. In the release BWS stated that after their recent Water Demand Review completed in January 2011, BWS requested CWBL to implement a maximum plant capacity of up to 550,000 gallons per day. However, CWBL proposed a maximum plant capacity of 420,000 gallons per day. In a press release dated, Monday, February 27, 2012, Mr. Ramjeet Jerrybandan, Vice President of Operations of Consolidated Water Co Ltd, stated, “I would like to assure the residents of San Pedro that our subsidiary company, Consolidated Water Belize Ltd (CWBL), has always exceeded its contractual water supply obligations to Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL). CWBL is committed to doing its part to ensure that BWSL has an adequate supply of potable water to meet its growing needs in San Pedro.”

To the Polls! – People’s Referendum Day!
NO! – To offshore drilling in Belize! That is the general consensus that you get when you go out to the polls at Central Park in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to cast your vote on People’s Referendum Day! The polls officially opened countrywide at 6:00 a.m. today Wednesday February 29, 2012, in the first ever people powered People’s Referendum. The polls will remain opened for fourteen hours, allowing Belizean registered voters to participate in history as they take advantage of the opportunity to vote whether they want offshore oil exploration and drilling. This is what the People’s Referendum is about! Some 48 polling stations, two of them mobile – one in Toledo and the other in the Belize District – will open from 6:00am to 8:00pm so Belizeans can record their choice on the question of dill or no drill in the nation’s seas. Here in San Pedro the people have been coming out to cast their vote, all are welcomed to do so. All Belizean registered voters are asked to come out and cast their votes; those who are not registered are being asked to sign a petition against offshore drilling. Any visitor, student or non-registered voter can sign this petition.


Guatemala Cruise Day 4: The sea was angry that day, my friends
02/29/2012 6 Comments After all the perfect weather we'd had so far on this trip, it seemed like a cruel joke to wake up early this morning to dark, threatening skies and high wind. I guess it had to happen, right? I awoke when the engines cranked up before 5 am, and I believe we pulled away from the dock at Abelle's boat yard a little before 5:30, a bit later than Simon had planned for. (I figured that late night the night before was going to have some fallout!) Surprisingly, even with the loud drone of the engine, we were so tired that we managed to doze off and on until around 6 am, I guess it was, before going out on deck and surveying what Mother Nature had in store for us on this last, long day on the water, as we made our way back from Rio Dulce to Placencia, Belize. Captain Simon was not a happy camper, as the winds had been gusting up to 30 knots (on our nose again as the winds had shifted around to the northeast), and he was concerned that conditions would deteriorate further once we got out of the calm river and into the sea.

PHOTOS: No To Offshore Drilling in Belize | The People’s Referendum
Offshore Drilling in Belize should be a no-brainer, a definite NO but unfortunately those who run our country think otherwise. Apparently negotiations to explore offshore drilling in Belize have been going on behind the scenes for quite a while now. I cannot imagine why they made the decision to entertain this but it is obvious that the country of Belize is alarmaed and voting NO to what could lead to the end of tourism in Belize. Why the end of tourism? Well, who would want to come to swim, snorkel, or dive in oil infested waters…NO ONE! We all boast proudly that we have the second largest Barrier Reef in the world but if the government allows offshore drilling in Belize then we can kiss goodbye our reef and all of its ecosystem.

Adventure in Belize: Explore the Cayo District
Many go to Belize looking for the treasures its Caribbean waters may offer. Some dream of taking a dip in the warm cerulean sea; others fantasize with resting under lush palm trees while soft waves caress their feet. And there is always the opportunity to discover the abundance of color offered by the Mesoamerican reef. There is no doubt. Belize’s waters seduce with their many charms. However, if you are looking for some daring adventures, you have to move inland. Belize’s Cayo district offers options galore for thrill seekers. The action can be found around the town of San Ignacio. Most of the area tour companies operate from here. Budget accommodations can be found downtown. Take into consideration that San Ignacio is not the prettiest town. It is small and rustic. For better accommodation options, consider the hotels outside the town center.

A Guide to the Cost of Living in Belize
People are like shoes. They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and styles. And one size never fits all. The more research I do about living, working, retiring, and doing business overseas…the more apparent it becomes that this is not a “one size fits all” idea. Everyone has different dreams, perceptions, and lifestyle requirements. Like the comment I saw from an IL reader: “I was looking to move to Belize and everyone I spoke to said you CAN NOT live there for less than 5k a month unless you live in a shack…even a modest house cost over 100k USD. So why is it posted you can live comfortably for under $2,500 per month?” Hmmm…how to respond to that, I wondered—especially not knowing this guy personally. What kind of “shoes” will fit and make him comfortable? (And hopefully he realizes that the exchange rate for the Belize dollar to the U.S. dollar is fixed 2:1. A beer priced at $4 in Belize will cost you US$2.) Cost of living predictions can be difficult to put an exact number to. For some people, my “comfortable lifestyle” may be poorhouse living. It may be over-the-top lavish to others. Now, let’s assign the values. I was in Belize recently, and I collected these average numbers (in U.S. dollars) from expats who live in Belize: Rent: $700 Electricity: $100 Gas: $25 Water: $25 Cable TV: $25 Telephone: $80 Internet: $80 Groceries: $300 Entertainment: $200 Miscellaneous: $200 TOTAL: $1,735

Trying to spark international solidarity to fight offshore oil drilling in the Belize Barrier Reef
Last year, the government of Belize sold concessions to drill for oil to 18 oil exploration companies. They parceled the entire country behind closed doors. Including protected areas and the Barrier Reef – second or third largest in the world (depending on how you define large). When the deed was done and the fact was leaked, there was a public outcry in Belize. Over 80% of Belizeans oppose offshore oil drilling. A coalition of NGOs started to initiate the referendum process laid out in Belize’s constitution to stop the drilling. Over 17,000 signatures from voters had to be collected – and they were collected. Most of them were then rejected by government. Not on the grounds that the signees were not eligible to vote. Not on the grounds that people signed twice (only a few did). The signatures were rejected and the referendum denied because government compared the signatures with signatures from a years old census. Where the signatures didn’t look alike to the government employees, they were rejected.

Cooking Guide: Fresh Herbs
Good Housekeeping's complete guide to cooking with fresh herbs, including rosemary, basil, and cilantro. You can store herbs for several days by immersing the stems in 1 inch of water in a tall glass. Cover with a plastic bag and refrigerate; replace water when cloudy. You can also freeze herbs by removing the leaves from the stems, rinsing and drying the leaves, and then placing them in a heavy-duty sealed plastic bag for up to six months. (Frozen herbs darken but retain much of their flavor.)

Channel 7

PUP Candidate Francis Smith's Car Burned; He Blames UDP Camp
Last night on the news you saw PUP Pickstock Candidate Dr. Francis Smith making the case for a Polling Area on the north-side of the city to accommodate voters in his constituency.

Taximan Shot In Benque
And moving now from politics and crime, to just crime, Benque Police have confirmed to 7news that, at around 9 this morning, there was a shooting incident on the Western highway leading to t

"People's Referendum" A Success
They call it the People's Referendum - and today OCEANA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage deployed volunteers to 50 polling stations all across the country. It is

Referendum Haters Allege Fraud
And while that would be an impressive figure - and it seems like they will get it, would it matter if a few of those votes were bogus? It seems that's just what one man set out to do t

"Inside Job" Former Bank Worker Re-captured
Today, Benque police caught Vilma Guzman, a fugitive wanted in connection with the October 18, 2008 robbery of the Corozal Belize Bank Branch, which netted the assailants approximately $11

6k Weed Plants Up In Smoke
A marijuana plantation containing 6254 plants was found three miles away from a Mayan archaeological site in the Toledo district. The plantation was uncovered by the Police Anti Drug U

Giving Hope At Living Hope
The last time we told you about the folks at Living Hope Prep School, was in June of 2011, when they were being evicted from their cramped quarters at the crumbling City Center.

Lee Mark Cries Foul In Freetown
There's only one week to go before the double election - and this is when politics overtakes every aspect of everyday life. For those in the heat of the political battle, it's the time wh

US Army Medical Readiness Training In Belize
If you've seen an air convoy of US Military helicopters flying in formation across the countryside recently, it's because the US Army is here spearheading an exercise called MEDRETE (M

British Students Who Were Raped In Belize, Sue
In August of 2005, we aired a story of two British students who alleged that they had been raped by a local tour guide, Aaron Juan at a lodge in Georgeville, just outside of San Ignacio.

Women In Art
March is celebrated as Women's Month and the Institute of Creative Arts will be celebrating with a month long - Women in Arts - Exhibit. The exhibition features over 30 female artists fr

BNE Trust Gives In Orange Walk
When the folks at St. Peter Anglican School in Orange Walk Town asked BNE for 5 Thousand dollars, to give their rundown classrooms a cosmetic touch up, they didn't expect a windfall of 100

Kim Simplis Gets Cover
When Kim Simplis Barrow announced on November 7th of last year that she had been diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer at the age of 39, she became the first public figure to go public in such a fashion. And it's that brave embrace of such a dreaded disease that has put Barrow on the cover story in today's edition of the British digital magazine, ComplexD. In the feature is the "Women of Strength Issue", the article quotes her as saying that she hopes "that by baring her soul, this will show other women that you can beat anything, with a positive attitude and a lot of faith." You can find a link to the article at

S & P Strikes Again
Three hours ago, Standard and Poor's the New York Rating agency, downgraded Belize again - this time by two notches. According to the Wall Street Journal, the downgrade pushes "Belize's credit rating two notches deeper into junk territory." Standard and Poor's points to what it calls "the increasing likelihood that (the UDP) will seek to restructure the…external debt," The S and P analysis says that, quote "Although the (UDP) is favored to win a majority in the March 7...elections, we believe the political incentives are sufficient for either the UDP or the (PUP)--to pursue...a restructuring." The release points to the fact that recently the UDP has begun to frame the restructuring as an explicit campaign pledge. Regarding the double downgrade, preceded by another three weeks ago, Prime minister Dean Barrow recently told an audience at a public meeting in Orange Walk that, quote, "I don't give a damn about the rating agencies."

Channel 5

San Pedranos vote against Offshore Drilling
The People’s Referendum on off shore drilling is being held today countrywide. From all accounts voting has been steady all day and the organizers, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, say they are satisfied with the turnout. OCEANA, which is at the frontlines, collected twenty thousand signatures last year, eight thousand were rejected, thus ...

Will Patty and Manuel be Voice of the People?
The offshore drilling question is split among political lines. Several ministers of the ruling United Democratic Party have publically stated that they want offshore drilling. On the other hand the People’s United Party has made it a manifesto issue that they don’t support offshore drilling. And though the party lines are drawn in oil, politicians’ ...

People’s Referendum Spread in Old Capital
The Coalition had intended to have the referendum on the same day of the elections. That was rejected so it pulled off today’s event in a relatively short time. In the City, thousands came out to say No to offshore drilling. Voting started at six and continues at this hour. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. ...

Standard & poor Rating for Belize plunge
At the launch of the U.D.P. manifesto last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was deliberate in saying that bond holders will have to sit around the table to renegotiate the five hundred and sixty-five million dollar Superbond. The statement has been picked up by Standard and Poor’s, which again lowered Belize credit rating this evening. ...

Who torched Politician Dr. Smith’s car?
It’s down to the last leg of campaigning before the elections on March seventh. There has been the usual mudslinging between the political parties on the airwaves and vandalism of street signs. But it appears that the political rivalry has gone too far and has become dangerous. On Tuesday night, the vehicle of the P.U.P. ...

Smith says arson was politically motivated
Smith believes that the arson was politically motivated, but says revenge is not on his agenda. He also told News Five that he will not tolerate any acts of retaliation from his supporters because he has always been against dirty politics. Dr. Francis Smith “I’m just appealing to all people, to all voters irrespective of ...

Man shot in face; was politics the motive?
There was a shooting incident near the Benque border today. Was it a random act of violence or was politics involved? The details are still sketchy but it involved a twenty-four year old man who lives in the Belize side of Arenal Village. According to sources, Minor Najaro was driving a black Toyota Corolla with ...

Pop confesses to Machete Murder
A Punta Gorda man who has been accused of a recent murder is now in police custody. At five o’clock this morning, the suspect Florencio Pop boarded a James Bus in Bladen Village and went to the Independence Police Station where he handed himself in. During an interview with police, Pop confessed to murdering forty-five ...

Homeless man dies from shooting injuries
There’s another murder. An attack on four men at the Battlefield Park earlier this month has now turned to a homicide. On the night of February seventh, two gunmen opened fire on a group of men who were changing a flat tire on a van. Twenty-year-old Gilbert Wade was shot to the right thigh, eighteen ...

Private Citizen Spooner voted in Referendum
Offshore drilling has become a passionate issue. Thousands turned out to vote in a mock referendum today. This morning, Jeremy Spooner, a known U.D.P. supporter who was also involved in the Association of Concerned Belizeans before the 2008 elections, called Wave Radio to say he had voted against offshore drilling. Spooner is also a regular ...

Minister of Police on Gang Truce Funds
A truce was signed with the gangs last year to keep the peace. At the end of 2011, there were one hundred and twenty-four murders while in 2010 were one hundred and twenty-nine, five more than last year. While gang related murder may be down, since the beginning of the year, there have been fourteen ...

Minister says credit rating not affecting country
As we told you, this evening S&P downgraded Belize’s credit standing. According to Singh, if elected the government intends to re-negotiate the terms of the Superbond to reduce the interest. He also says that the reduced credit rating doesn’t affect Belize at this time. Doug Singh “There’s a mad scramble to buy Belize bonds out there you know? I don’t know why people think that this is a tragic thing. You know how many people are rushing to buy our bonds because right now the yield—because the speculation sale price on it is lower, the yield now has gone up even higher because they will earn that percentage on the principal no matter what they purchase it for. What we’re saying is that the real yield to most of the holders now is at a high interest rate.

Dekel Bennett charged with Attempted Murder
The trial of Dekel Bennett, a security guard accused of stabbing twenty-four year old Dwayne Staine during an altercation at the Battlefield Park in June 2009, began this morning before Justice Herbert Lord. Newly appointed Crown Counsel Stevanni Duncan called several witnesses to the stand where they testified to observing Bennett inflict a stab wound ...

UK Story of Alleged Teen rapes in Belize
Two UK women are suing their school for an alleged rape that occurred during a character building trip to Belize back in 2005. The women are claiming substantial damages from the school in Kent County, England, saying that not enough was done to protect their safety. The girls were ages fifteen and sixteen when they ...

Parham Family busted by GSU
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) has not slowed down its efforts to rid the streets of drugs and ammunition. Early this morning the GSU searched the Parham residence on Curassow Street. Six structures, three concrete buildings and three shacks are built on the compound. Upon arrival the GSU sighted twenty-three year old Kenroy Parham sitting ...

Talent of the Land; Amazing Performances in KTV Latino
Tuesday night culminated in another sizzling round of KTV Latino. The talent from across the country came out to sing a variety of Latin songs while portraying the culture of the region. The judges and the audience had their favorites who did not disappoint on stage. If you missed last night’s edition of KTV Latino, ...


A donation of rescue equipment was handed over this morning to the Punta Gorda fire service. Paul Mahung reporting… “Power Rescue equipment were handed over this morning to the Punta Gorda Fire Service. The Hurse brand power rescue equipment were officially handed over to the Punta Gorda Fire Service by PG Mayor Floyd Lino. Mayor Floyd Lino “On behalf of the Government of Belize I would like to hand over this rescue operation equipment to the PG and Toledo Fire Service and on behalf of the people of Punta Gorda I would like to say how grateful we are to be able to receive such an important equipment.” Others at the brief power equipment handing over ceremony were National Fire Service Station Officer Andrew Nunez, leading fire fighter Meshack Henry, PG fire fighter Dorin Mc Pherson and others of the Punta Gorda Fire service. National Fire Service Station officer Andrew Nunez said that the power rescue equipment costing $ 30,000 was financed by the government of Belize.

CARICOM Youth Ambassadors promote the participation of young people in all areas of development. The ambassadors have now developed a campaign in alignment with general and municipal elections to encourage young people to exercise the right to vote. Dylan Williams is a CARICOM Youth Ambassador to Belize. Dylan Williams – CARICOM Youth Ambassador “We want for young people to go out and vote both for the municipal and general election just as a way to ensure and understand that it is their constitutional right to participate and it is something that if they do not they are basically giving up that right. That is why we are starting off with this campaign, it is not an end, it is a larger campaign that we want to look at after the election but this is the first point in the process of this campaign. First of all it is being developed through a TV ad campaign, we are also running it on the radio, we are doing it through printed tee shirts as well as looking at the social networking through Facebook and these different sites. We know that young people are more captured through the social networking and that is much more easier and accessible to most young people but in terms of the coverage we are using the radio and the TV media as well.

The Ministry of Agriculture has signed four project agreements to provide for technical assistance. According to an official press release, the largest projects will benefit the citrus industry where over eight hundred thousand dollars will be provided to assist with the management of the citrus greening disease. This project, according to the official release, will provide support by enhancing the country’s capacity to reduce the impact of citrus greening on the livelihoods of citrus farmers through the development and implementation of a holistic and cost effective area-wide strategy. Other projects included one in the Belize River Valley area for the production and marketing of eggs and poultry for the local market; another for the preservation of fruits and vegetables; and a strategic plan for the development of an extension services policy. The projects for technical assistance are a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Earlier this week there was a report of a chopping incident in Los Tambos village which appeared to be politically motivated. Cayo Northeast Representative, Elvin Penner, called our studios this morning and said the incident is much more serious than previously reported and he wanted to give his account of what transpired. According to Penner, the United Democratic Party was holding a peaceful meeting in Los Tambos Village, when vehicles with supporters of the People’s United Party came in their direction started throwing missiles at the UDP supporters. Penner said one of the stones even broke the windshield on his vehicle. Elvin Penner – UDP Cayo Northeast Representative “Shortly afterwards several of their supporters came back on a motorcycle with their flag, shouting and screaming and again throwing stones at our supporters. Actually two of their supporters were facey enough to get off their motorcycle, came to the center of our crowd and started waving their PUP flags. Of course they were escorted out, their flags were taken away and they were escorted out of the crowd but they didn’t stop there.

A man from Cotton tree village in the Cayo district has reported being the victim of an aggravated assault. Twenty six year old Marvin Casey reported to police that he and another man, identified as twenty seven year old Kurt Hyde were talking in the village when they were accosted by two other men. Casey sys one of the men carried what looked like a homemade shotgun which was pointed at Hyde and an attempt was made to fire the weapon. When the gun did not fire, police say the gunman then reportedly hit Casey in the left side of his head with the weapon. Police investigations continue.

Belize City police are investigating a suspected case of arson. Police say that around twelve twenty this morning, the visited the Esso Gas Station on New Road where they say a four door car belonging to Dr. Francis Smith engulfed in flames. Police say that their investigations revealed that just before midnight another vehicle, without license plates as observed parked beside the burnt car, and then drove off towards Douglas Jones Street. Dr. Francis Smith is the PUP Standard bearer for the Pickstock Division.

Its latest commercial speaks of how eight thousand people were silenced, referring to the names of people that were found to be illegitimate by the Elections and Boundaries Department on the matter of offshore drilling. But today, OCEANA in Belize is holding its own elections countrywide in a referendum on that matter. The ballot has only one question: Should there be oil exploration and drilling in Belize offshore” unquote. Since the polls opened earlier this morning, there has been a steady showing of voters, according to OCEANA’s Vice President, Audrey Matura Shepherd. Audrey Matura Shepherd – Vice President, Oceana Belize “The response is fantastic. So good that we were forced, some of the polling stations we had planned to cancel, we were forced to open them. For example we were not going to have a polling station anymore by Faber’s Road; we were reconsidering the one by Central American Boulevard and we couldn’t, we had to open them. We had to open a new one at D’s Diner just across from the KHMH and just next to the Belize Elementary School because students and teachers in that area were clamoring and they were calling in here and they were saying we want to, but we want accessibility and we come out of school late and we don’t want to be out at night late so the response has been fantastic. We were forced to send our mobile units in more places in the rural areas than we had planned to because people are saying you can’t ignore my village. So at the last hour we were out in the media begging people to come in and volunteer and fortunately, praise God a lot of people did come and volunteer.”

An explosion in Orange Walk has left one man injured and a house completely destroyed. Love News understands that sometime after midnight a loud explosion was heard in the Custard Apple Street Area of Orange Walk Town. When neighbors came out to see what had happened they found 46 year old Reymundo Dominguez suffering from burns to his body and the house destroyed. We spoke with one of the people who were first on the scene. Witness I went to the place where it happened and I saw the man come out from the inside and he had his skin peeled off and he asked me to call the ambulance. The ambulance took long to come and so a teacher took him to the hospital. He said he lit the cigarette and a candle to sleep because he does not have light inside.” Two houses away, Pablo Castillo said he heard what sounded like a bomb. Pablo Castillo – Neighbour “From here I heard the explosion. For me it did not sound like a gas explosion, it sounded like a bomb. When I arrived everything was under control, the fire engine and the police were there. Dominguez’s brother, Jose Dominguez, says the semi - concrete house with zinc roofing was recently built and his brother had only been living there for a week.


CARICOM Youth Ambassadors launch campaign
CARICOM Youth Ambassadors promote the participation of young people in all areas of development. The ambassadors have now developed a campaign in alignment with general and municipal elections to encourage young people to exercise the right to vote. Dylan Williams is a CARICOM Youth Ambassador for Belize. Williams says there is a great number of young voters out there and possibly a lot more to come in the next couple of years. The campaign is an initiative of the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors in Belize in partnership with Youth for the Future, The National Committee for Families and Children and many other organizations who are helping with the coverage and using various means to get the message out.

House explodes, man injured
An overnight explosion in Orange Walk has left one person injured. Love TV’s Manuela Ayuso Cantun has the story.

Funding secured to fight Citrus Greening
The Ministry of Agriculture has signed four project agreements to provide for technical assistance. According to an official press release, the largest projects will benefit the citrus industry where over eight hundred thousand dollars will be provided to assist with the management of the citrus greening disease. This project, according to the official release, will provide support by enhancing the country’s capacity to reduce the impact of citrus greening on the livelihoods of citrus farmers through the development and implementation of a holistic and cost effective area-wide strategy. Other projects included one in the Belize River Valley area for the production and marketing of eggs and poultry for the local market; another for the preservation of fruits and vegetables; and a strategic plan for the development of an extension services policy. The projects for technical assistance are a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Belizeans vote in People’s Referendum
One week before general and municipal elections, Belizeans today voted in a People’s Referendum. Polls remain open at this hour and the goal of the exercise is to canvass public’s opinion on whether or not there should be offshore oil drilling. The ballot has a single question, which is: Should there be oil exploration and drilling in Belize offshore? According to the vice president of OCEANA-Belize Audrey Matura Shepherd from the time the polls opened at six o’clock this morning, there was a steady stream of voters. Matura Shepherd says that OCEANA and the Coalition to Protect our Natural Heritage will deal with the matter of drilling in protected areas on another occasion. Matura-Shepherd says that the objective of this exercise is to show the government that Belizeans are against offshore drilling and that OCEANA Belize intends to keep the fight alive. For a report on voting in the People’s Referendum in the San Pedro town, here now is Love TV’s Maria Novelo. The results of the People’s Referendum will be released on Thursday during a press conference.


PlusTV hosts Belmopan constituency debate
Interested citizens and party loyalists converged on the George Price Center last night for a first of its kind: Th...

The Coalition's people referendum brings out thousands
The People's Referendum as it has been named by OCEANA and the Coalition is currently on going countrywide as we sp...

Hon. Francis Fonseca talks superbond and UNIBAM
Appearing on Rise and Shine yesterday morning, leader of the opposition, Francis Fonseca spelled out his party’s ma...

Areas in Belmopan get facelift in preparation for Prince Harry's visit
As we’ve reported, preparations are on the way in Belmopan for the arrival of Prince Henry of Wales. The Governor G...

Belmopan store robbed, owner hospitalized
There was a robbery this evening in the capital city. A little bit after 5 o’clock this evening, an ice cream and g...

Attempted robbery almost turned deadly
An attempted robbery in cotton tree village could have turned deadly. According to 26 year old Marvin Casey, a resi...

Family tied up and robbed in home invasion
Plus News understands that around 8 pm on Saturday night a burglary turned into a home invasion in Corozal Town. Re...

Political bad blood translates into aggravated assault
An aggravated assault was apparently spurred by political bad blood. 39 year old Israel Parham reported that on Sun...

Two-storey building to be erected at Corozal Methodaist School
A Corozal school held a launch for a new school building project today. The project includes construction of a six-...

Police discover marijuana plantation near archaeological site
On Wednesday, February 29th, the Police Anti Drug Unit launched an anti drug operation in a jungle terrain, some th...

International Sources

Schoolgirls raped on Belize trip should have screamed for help, says teacher
TWO schoolgirls raped on an organised trip to Central America should have screamed for help, a female teacher told a court yesterday. She said that she had been sleeping a few yards from their cabin during the adventure trip to Belize, but heard nothing of the incident. “Had the girls shouted, there would have been no problem. We were always running around, keeping an eye,” she said. She and two adult leaders had been within easy hearing distance, she added. “We are talking 15 metres apart. Noise travels incredibly well and, had anything been amiss, the leaders would have been up and running, as would I.” When Elizabeth-Anne Gumbel QC, for the girls, asked why their cabin had not been locked at night, the teacher replied: “I could not go around like a total sergeant major and lock them in. “The last thing I was going to do was prevent them from

S&P Cuts Belize By Two Notches, Citing Restructuring Risk
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services downgraded Belize's credit rating two notches deeper into junk territory, citing the increasing likelihood that government officials will seek to restructure the nation's debt this year. The latest downgrade is the second by S&P this month following a single-notch cut on Feb. 6. Belize's credit metrics have faced pressure from low economic growth, a weak investment outlook, higher crime rates and the government's limited ability to raise revenue. S&P now rates the Central American nation at triple-C-minus, which is nine rungs below investment-grade status. Its outlook is negative. Belize's United People's Party is favored to win a majority in the March 7 parliamentary elections, though S&P said both of the country's main parties have political incentives to seek to restructure the nation's debt. Talk of such a move has solidified from campaign rhetoric into a campaign pledge, the ratings firm said Wednesday, as weak economic growth prompts policy makers to seek other ways to make the budget cover current social programs. The debt in question is a $546.8 million superbond due 2029, which came out of Belize's 2007 debt exchange. S&P expects the next administration to try to restructure Belize's commercial debt before its next coupon payment is due in August, calling the move "our base-case scenario." S&P rival Moody's Investors Service earlier this month lowered its credit rating on Belize one notch, citing its concerns about the possibility of another debt restructuring. Moody's cut Belize to Caa1, which is now two steps above S&P's current rating.

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