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6/11/2012 to 6/20/2012
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Today's Belize News

June 19, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid:Sunday, June 17 until Monday, June 25, 2012

Expect more showers and thunderstorms this week, especially on Thursday and Friday.

An upper level trough swinging eastwards from the Gulf of Mexico is interacting with a trough of low pressure over the NW Caribbean. This atmospheric pattern will persist until Wednesday, favoring more showers. Meanwhile, a surface low will move over Belize and Yucatan during the next 48-72 hours, generating more showers and thunderstorms over most districts this week.

Substantial influx of moisture was forced northward ahead of an upper level trough moving slowly eastward from the Gulf of Mexico and a surface trough of low pressure extending from the Bahamas to the NW Caribbean. This resulted in heavy and widespread showers and thunderstorms across Belize this weekend, generating localized floods. Satellite imagery revealed that the bulk of the rainfall was concentrated over southern districts and the coast. Rainfall total in the range of six (6) inches was accumulated at the International Airport over the weekend. Other localities in the South accumulated in excess of six inches over the weekend.

During this week we can expect the showery weather to persist. A surface low is moving slowly WNW towards Belize from just offshore NE Honduras. This low will cross Belize late Wednesday and will move over northern Yucatan and the southern Gulf of Mexico by Thursday and Friday.

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.50-1.50 inches on Sunday through Wednesday over most districts, but will increase to 1.00-2.00 inches per day on Thursday through Saturday, mostly over central and northern areas. Daily rainfall totals on Sunday through Monday will be ranging from 0.50-1.25 inches, especially over the central and NE areas of the sea and the mainland. Expect higher rainfall in the higher terrain this week.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

New Xunantunich Ferry On the Horizon
On Friday June 8th 2012, Tracy Panton, CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, signed a contract for BZ $142,130.16 with Mr. Liam Stewart of Cayo Steel Works for the construction of the new Xunantunich ferry. The new ferry will retain much of the characteristics of the iconic hand-cranked ferry which has faithfully served tourists and local visitors for over 3 decades. The ferry currently transports around 50, 000 visitors a year and up to 300 visitors a day on peak days, with the assistance of the strong arms of the Institute of Archaeology ferry captains! Funded through the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) the new ferry will have a larger capacity to assist visitor flow, incorporate improved safety measures and include motorized assistance to the traditional hand-crank operations. Cayo Steel Works Ltd. was incorporated in Belize in 2001, and has vast experience as a local supplier and manufacturer of steel engineered products. Mr. Stewart is excited to be selected for this project and has his materials ready to go, with completion and final installation of the ferry anticipated within 3 months.

Coral Reef Ed-Ventures is Back!
If you would like to learn about the coral reef, become a coral reef expert and have fun with us and your friends, come to the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures program! Sponsored by Smith College and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Advanced Program Who: Students ages 12 and above (or with prior experience). When: June 18th – June 22nd, 4 – 6 pm Where: San Pedro High School Movie Night at the Lion’s Den When: Tuesday June 19th at 7:00pm. All are welcome. Free snacks and drinks! Youth Program Who: Students ages 7 – 12 When: July 2nd – July 13th Where: The RC School There will be a graduation at the end of the programs for all students and family members to attend. Graduation will be on July 12th at the Lion’s Den. Everything is free and fun! Permission slips will be available at the library across from the RC School and at the Hol Chan Office! We look forward to seeing you there!

San Pedro High School Graduation 2012
64 students received diplomas at Saturday’s graduation ceremonies at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium, 18 of who wore green honor roll ribbons. Topping the class and presenting the Valedictory address was Emilie Adelina Gomez while Kelsie Camille Santos offered the Salutatory Address. The graduation ceremony began shortly after 5pm, with the graduates marching down the aisle to take their seat for the graduation mass and ceremony. Family and loved ones gathered to witness with pride, the graduation ritual of the students who have worked hard for four years to achieve their high school education. Masters of ceremonies for the event were fellow graduates, Glenn Rudolf Gillett and Miss Fatima Solani Graniel. The main address at the event was given by guest speaker, District Education Officer, Dr. Candy Armstrong, followed by the valedictory address by Miss Emilie Adelina Gomez and the rose ceremony by Nirsa Leilani Sanchez. Also addressing the graduates was Principal Emil R. Vasquez and the vote of thanks was given by Mr. Giovanni Ismael Kay.

Tuff E Nuff leading the pack in interoffice basketball
Tuff E Nuff Tours of San Pedro is on top of the table in the 2012 Interoffice Basketball Tournament. With nine games played so far they are clear ahead of the rest, winning eight and losing on only one occasion, earning seventeen of a possible twenty points and putting them three points clear of the competition. Their latest victory was celebrated last Sunday, June 17th, with a 63 to 49 win over Team Police, reinforcing their dominance over the tournament so far and already securing them a spot in the playoffs. The performance of the team so far is in line with player/couch Rico Black’s comments that they “have a good chance of winning the competition this year.” Next up for Tuff E Nuff is the Youth for the Future Team (YFF) who they play on Thursday, June 21st. Since they have already clinched their spot in the playoffs that game will only determine their seed in the post season and who they will be playing against once playoffs get underway.

San Pedro Police gear up for Police Week
Police Week will be celebrated in Belize from the 24th to the 30th of June under the theme “Let’s Unite and Continue to make Belize Safe.” As such, the San Pedro Police Department is gearing up for the week’s activities and has issued their official calendar of events. On Sunday June 24th, the Police Department kicks off activities with their annual ecumenical church service at Living Word Church. The service starts at 10:45AM and will be open to the entire public. Immediately after the service, police officers will then be invited to a lunch by the local pastor of the church. A similar service is being planned simultaneously countrywide. On Monday June 25th, members of the SP police department will be visiting hot spots and meeting with community members. They will be distributing flyers to encourage people to partner with the police in an effort to reduce crime. T-shirts will also be distributed to members of the community.

Ambergris Today

New Xunantunich Ferry to Serve Maya Site
On Friday June 8th 2012, Tracy Panton, CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, signed a contract for BZ $142,130.16 with Mr. Liam Stewart of Cayo Steel Works for the construction of the new Xunantunich ferry. The new ferry will retain much of the characteristics of the iconic hand-cranked ferry which has faithfully served tourists and local visitors for over three decades. The ferry currently transports around 50, 000 visitors a year and up to 300 visitors a day on peak days, with the assistance of the strong arms of the Institute of Archaeology ferry captains! Funded through the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) the new ferry will have a larger capacity to assist visitor flow, incorporate improved safety measures and include motorized assistance to the traditional hand-crank operations. Cayo Steel Works Ltd. was incorporated in Belize in 2001, and has vast experience as a local supplier and manufacturer of steel engineered products. Mr. Stewart is excited to be selected for this project and has his materials ready to go, with completion and final installation of the ferry anticipated within 3 months

San Pedro High at 40, Celebrates 36th Graduation
FORTY YEARS OF EXCELLENCE was the theme of San Pedro High School graduation exercises on Sunday, June 16, 2012. The R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium was full to capacity as 62 seniors marched the green carpet for the 36th Annual Graduation Exercises and Fortieth Anniversary. After the Mass of Thanksgiving celebrated by Rev. Father Arturo Añonuevo, Emcees Fatima Solani Graniel and Glenn Rudolf Gillett led through the proceedings by inviting honor student Kelsie Camille Santos to the podium for the salutatory address. On an interesting note Graduate Kelsie Santos did not receive one single demerit for her entire four years at SPHS. Principal Emil Vasquez and Martha Guerrero, chairlady distributed diplomas to 62 graduates and then many academic and athletic awards to students and graduates. A few teachers, as well as board members, received awards for outstanding and/or long service to the institution. Education Officer Candy Armstrong was the invited guest speaker.

The Very First Graduation, Class Rings and Prom
Before 1971 nobody had heard or participated in a graduation ceremony in San Pedro. There were no kindergartens, no high school, no Junior College, no university. Of course, there was the San Pedro R.C. School but the farewell/leaving criterion was simply to reach the age of 14. Some kids reached the age of 14 in Standard IV or V and that is when they left. Others reached Standard VI at the tender age of 12 or 13 and they were compelled to repeat that class until the legal age to leave. At the end of the school year, the teacher gave out report cards and there were no more promotions because that was the end of the formal education system in San Pedro. Girls started to do house keeping and boys went into fishing. Only a selected and fortunate one or two ever got to go to high school and they graduated from Saint John’s College in Belize City. I was one of those few fortunate kids graduating in 1967.

Flashbacks: Teacher Marthita Leslie a Pillar in Education
Can’t really tell what year they graduated from the San Pedro R.C. School but here we can appreciate Miss Lucy Trejo and Miss Marthita Leslie’s Infant one class of the only primary school on the island in early 1970’s. Young, energetic and intelligent Mrs. Leslie’s trademark has always been the infants where her principals had the confidence that she would give them the best foundation in Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (the three R’s). It worked both ways as Marthita begged her boss to allow her to remain in the infants section and parents begged her also for her to be with their young children. She must have done a great job with her students because today we find a lot of them holding important positions in the community. Indeed Marthita Leslie has been a pillar in education in San Pedro. A bit difficult to tell all their faces but if you recognize any feel free to identify them on the comment box below. The R.C. School was founded sometime perhaps in the 1920’s and still going strong today.

Secrets To Life: Love Like Water -By Chris Emmanuel
Sometimes I don’t like love, nature, source, God, what that means to you. It’s like a friend or family member who gets under your skin. You know, that boss you just have to put up with-who knows everything! You say, “Lord give me strength,” every time he/she talks. Like rainy days when you planned a sunshine event. Or your kid’s bad behaviors just before you leave the house and YOU have to drive them somewhere. Finally you get underway and to school, you threaten to leave them saying,” I’m not coming back. “Get out!” Slam!! The car door. They smile at you as you drive off. They know you are lying, and then you curse them and laugh till you cry. Sometimes it’s hard to like love. But real love has to be stronger than like. It has to withstand, quick emotions, raging outburst, outlast stormy dark thoughts to rise to the truth of what is. Real love is cultivated through time into a place that accepts another as they are. Eventually unconditionally all that is, this is to love what is. Like water, real love can wash the dirty parts of any body. Making them clean. And water won’t argue how you use it. Who can love like water?

Pic of the Week: Dancing with the Sharks and Rays
Actress and Ocean Activist Kate Walsh enjoyed snorkeling Belize's Barrier Reef and Marine Reserve sites during her visit on World Ocean’s Day. She visited Belize to work along with Oceana to help raise awareness on both of Belize’s majestic Barrier Reef and fragile marine ecosystem, as well as Oceana’s call to protect it by having offshore exploration and drilling banned from Belize’s Seas. Here are some of the great captures taken by photographer Tony Rath as Kate enjoyed the underwater wonders of Belize – at Shark Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve.

Marie Carroll & Phil Rigby Nuptials
On Saturday, June 16, 2012, two amazing people tied the knot in a surprise wedding at Casa Caracol. The beautiful ceremony took place on the beachside, accompanied by their friends and family. After the ceremony the nuptials and their guests celebrated inside Casa Caracol with delicious food by Mango's Restaurant and entertainment by Gino and Derrick Baños. Congratulations to Marie and Phil!

Misc Belizean Sources

Sailing Regattas Promise Viewers Some Colorful Spectacles During Lobsterfest
On the final weekend of Lobsterfest - June 23 and 24 - the San Pedro Sailing Club’s junior racing squad and their Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) cohorts from the mainland will compete in the first two international regattas ever held in Belize. Thirteen junior sailors from Guatemala’s ASOVELA* racing association will put BzSA’s nascent 11-month-old racing program to its toughest test yet. About fifty children all told, are expected to compete over the weekend. Come see how our skippers fare in boats sponsored by Ambergris Lakes Villas, Caribbean Villas, Catamaran Beach Bar, Palapa Bar & Grill, Palo Alto, Playa Blanca, and San Pedro The Belize-Guatemala International Friendly Regatta is on Saturday the 23rd. It will begin close offshore at Central Park at 10 am. And continue throughout the day., Since the race course for these small boats will be quite close to shore and quite short in both time and distance from spectators, The races should be very easy and exciting to watch and understand. On Sunday, June 24, the team from Liberty Children’s Home will join the others, and friendly racing will continue during the San Pedro Sailing Club Regatta. It begins at 9 AM at Caribbean Villas, Where viewers can be close to the action again and where food and beverages are available.

Great Belize Video
The Benque House of Culture posted this. The best thing about this great video, which has random shots from all over Belize, is the Belizean music in the background. Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective are in the background for the first half. Cayo is all over the video, and the first picture is in Cayo. Xunantunich is at the end.

DCM Engineers new website
DCM Engineers has a new website. Good job, Nancy Escalante and Yuribeth Sarceno. Should be uploading more websites this week to the Best of Cayo.

Cayo's Motocross Pictures
Pictures from Cayo's Motocross, which is held every few months at the Peter August race track in Santa Elena.

Xunantunich Getting New Ferry
Xunantunich is getting a new ferry! The classic hand cranked ferry, that's been in 1000's of pictures and videos, is being retired after 3 decades. "The new ferry will retain much of the characteristics of the iconic hand-cranked ferry which has faithfully served tourists and local visitors for over 3 decades. The ferry currently transports around 50, 000 visitors a year and up to 300 visitors a day on peak days, with the assistance of the strong arms of the Institute of Archaeology ferry captains! Funded through the Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) the new ferry will have a larger capacity to assist visitor flow, incorporate improved safety measures and include motorized assistance to the traditional hand-crank operations."

Scarlet Macaw Documentary Film Stills
Another great documentary is on the way from Daniel Velazquez. In this documentary film, he follows the group that monitors the Scarlet Macaws in the Chiquibul National Park. Great shots of nesting Macaws and some tapir too. Can't wait to see this one.

Black Rock Lodge
Black Rock Lodge got a good mention on the web. They have some amazing reveiws on Trip Advisor, and are ranked number 3 in hotels. Beautiful spot. "Have you heard of Black Rock Lodge? I hadn’t until I did a little research into the best hotels for budget travelers in the San Ignacio area... It’s a small, off the grid hotel in the San Ignacio area of Belize that offers locally grown food, has a hydropower system and also uses solar power electricity. How cool is that?"

Channel 7

Doctor Killed, Found Partially Nude. No Forced Entry
If you have been to the emergency room at the KHMH, there is a fair chance that you might have been treated by Dr. Ivan Garcia. But, tonight his colleagues in the E-R are in a state of shock after the Doctor they worked with for nine years was found dead in his home this morning; he had been murdered. Monica Bodden was on the scene and she has this report:.. Monica Bodden reporting Around 9:30 this morning, the body of Doctor Ivan Garcia lay dead inside his 2 story concrete home in Belama Phase 1- Police along with a team of crime investigators processed the crime scene thoroughly -in this quiet residential neighborhood. A number of doctors gathered outside Garcia's home this morning- still in shock and in disbelief - as they patiently waited for the body of their fallen colleague to be removed from inside the house.

Mass Shooting Injures 4, Kills 1; Target Says Shooters Need "Practice"
And while the murder of a doctor is making the headlines tonight - the disturbing crime pattern continued this weekend in the city. Seven persons were shot - four of them in a single incident. It happened on Neal Pen Road - which has recently flared up as a hotspot. As we found out today - the community is surrounded by violence because former neighbors and friends have now become bitter rivals at very close range. Here's the story: Jules Vasquez reporting Today police and BDF patrolled Maksall Street and Neal Pen Road - establishing a visible presence in the embattled neighborhood - and at the Living Hope Preparatory School. That's because the area is red hot: five people were shot between the school and the basketball court in less than 24 hours.

Man Survives Execution Attempt In Cayo
A man survived an execution attempt in San Ignacio Town today. Cecilio Gregorio was shot to the head at point blank range, but the bullet only grazed his head. Gregorio owns and operates Cecilio's Mechanic Shop on Third Street in San Ignacio. This morning at around 11 - two men arrived at the shop on motorcycle asking for him. One remained outside on the motorcycle while the other went inside looking for him. He found Cecilio washing his hands, and as the mechanic turned around - he was facing the shooter who reportedly had a 38 revolver pointed at him. Cecilio raised his hands and the shooter asked no questions and fired at him. He was reportedly only five feet away, but somehow he missed and grazed the left side of Cecilio's head and hit him in the shoulder. Cecilio fell backwards, and the gunman jumped on the motorcycle and they sped off. Civilians in the area pursued and saw the pair heading for a well-known unregulated border crossing close to San Jose Succotz. They are believed to have gone across the border into Guatemala - and police have very low expectations of catching them. Police are reviewing a surveillance camera from a gas station on the bullet tree road where the motorcycle driver is believed to have filled up before going on the hit. Cecilio Gregorio is in a stable condition at the KHMH.

Ex-Wife Says Machete Man Had A Torrid Temper When Drunk
Two men are in the KHMH recovering after being viciously chopped this weekend. It happened in Ladyville and 7news was at the crime scene on Saturday:.. Jules Vasquez reporting On Saturday morning, police were at the bungalow home off Perez Road in Ladyville where Antonio Cowo and Rudolfo Sanchez were chopped up. The scenes of crime team recovered the machete that 36 year old David Melendez allegedly used in the chopping. A trail of blood followed outside the house, and inside, blood was everywhere splattered and daubed over the appliances. Melendez was found sleeping in this bed, surrounded by the blood of his associates. The signs of violence - however extreme - came as no surprise to his ex wife and mother of his two children: Gladys Perez, Ex Common-Law Of Accused "Three months he and I separated because he is a violent person when he is drinking. I don't know what really happened here because he and I are not together anymore. The only thing that I can say is th

Missing Cayo Teen Found In Benque
A 13 year old girl was reported missing in San Ignacio today - but the good news tonight is that she was found about 45 minutes ago and is in the company of her fmaily. Alarms went off - because she went missing after a visit to the grocery store this morning. But, acting on information they had, her family found her this evening in Benque Viejo. In related news, reports from Cayo police are that police have detained an adult male who they believe has been driving around soliciting children and plying them for sexual favours. It's a sensational story and the Officer Commanding in Cayo, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams confirmed that they have a person in custody and have impounded his car. We'll have more on this tomorrow.

Quick Police Work Nabs Robbers In Cayo
Tonight Cayo Police have 2 men in custody, and they are held pending charges for the Last week Friday morning's robbery of a Chinese businessman in San Ignacio. One of the men accused of the robbery was recently employed at the establishment, and in fact, he quit earlier in the day. According to police, Jin Huang Mad, a 50 year-old businessman was at his establishment called Chen's Super Store when 2 men with handkerchiefs over their faces stormed in. The men robbed Mad at knifepoint of $200 in cash, a laptop computer, and assorted phone cards. Quick police response led to the detention of the 2 assailants, along with the recovery of all the stolen items - all done by 2 in the afternoon. Those men are Gian Espat of Santa Elena, who quit his job at the store the very same morning of the robbery, and 20 year old William Ralda a Guatemalan.

Doctors Speak Up For Murdered Colleague
As we reported at the top of the newscast - today the KHMH lost one of its Doctors to murder. Indeed, it is a sign that the crime epidemic is reaching all sectors of society - now entering even the professional ranks. But while noting that - we note also that Dr. Ivan Garcia was not killed as a result of the usual gunplay that causes most of Belize's murders: he was strangled to death, apparently by someone who did not use forced entry to get into his home. Nonetheless, his professional colleagues provided a dignified professional overview of his career and an emotional statement on the circumstance of Garcia's death. Here are some excerpts:.. Dr. Adrian Coye "In summary this morning we were informed of the very tragic and untimely passing of our colleague, he is Dr. Ivan Garcia Gomez. He has been working for this hospital in the accident and emergency unit for the past 9 years and has always been an excellent physician and colleague, someone to rely on. We are truly saddened by his loss. He is originally from Guatemala, he has a family. We have benefitted and shared with his wealth of experience, the Belizean population has benefitted from the gift of his talents and we are truly sorry for his untimely passing. Our sympathies to his family. We have no expectation of this, in our eyes he is an absolute professional and very caring individual and very dependable. He has really done a great service in our time. We have no problems foresee. I cannot say beyond that."

PUP Shakes Up Executive, Purges "Bricenistas"
The PUP is shaking up things on its National Executive. The new post-election configuration has a few points of note. First, it installs five deputy leaders. They are Florencio Marin Jr., Carolyn Trench Sandiford, Michael Espat, Julius Espat and Dolores Balderamos Garcia. Second, it removes Lisa Shoman as the Party's Communications Director and replaces that post with four regional communications directors. We know that Shoman - as UNIBAM's attorney - had encountered inter-party resistance for taking on that client. The regional communications director for the East - meaning the Belize city media Center - will be former leader Said Musa's son, Kareem. We note that it also purges the executive of all remaining John Briceno loyalists, including the former leader's brother Jaime Briceno, Narda Garcia and Servulo Baeza. The new executive was confirmed by the PUP's National Party Council on Saturday, June 16th.

Berne's Back With A Brand New "Dileeyu"
Berne Velasquez may be the hardest working man on the local showbiz scene. We've shown you his work in movies, documentaries and music videos - but now he's going back to what made him famous in the first place, music. He's releasing his latest album called "Dileeyu Reloaded" - which sounds a lot like his last album which was just called Dileeyu. He explained how it's the same, but different:.. Berne Velasquez "Pretty much what I am doing in Belize right now is promoting my new album "Dileeyu Reloaded." This is the CD right here. The "Dileeyu Reloaded" is what we called the revamp portion of the "Dileeyu" project; as I have moved 10,000 of the last project, instead of pressing up another 10,000 of that project; what I did was added more songs to it, remixes, hype tunes that have been playing on the radio like "Do the Dance" - the song that I performed and steal the show with at spring break 2012 in Cancun on the beach. I also put "Who da the Pa" on this new album. This is a song where we talk about Supa G, Conciego, Taprik, Lova Boy and there is something on this CD for everybody, so I hope the people would find me deserving of their support as I continue to use my music to teach, inspire, uplift, motivate and encourage."

Frustrated Citizen Cleans His Own Storm Drain
Last week we told you all about the City Council's plan for its first hundred days in office - but that didn't include cleaning all drains. And that's because even if Mayor Bradley and his round table stayed up nights working on all the clogged drains in the city - they still wouldn't even be halfway done after a hundred days! The drains have been the victims of chronic neglect and no one knows that better than Carlos Diaz. He lives right next to a huge storm drain - and when it rains, his entire neighborhood floods. It's been raining a lot lately - and despite all best efforts - he hasn't been able to get the city council to come and clean out the drain. So in a mixture of frustration and civic duty, he decided to do it himself today. He told Monica Bodden why:..

Channel 5

Guatemalan Doctor murdered
The spate of violence continues to spiral; in June so far thirteen murders have been recorded but since the beginning of the year, the loss of human life stands at seventy-one. In tonight’s newscast, there are two murders to report; seven others were shot since the weekend. The madness started on Friday night, but the [...]

K.H.M.H. doctors hold vigil for slain colleague
In light of Dr. Ivan Garcia Gomez’s murder, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital called a short press conference to brief the media on the death of their colleague. Doctor Ivan Gomez, known affectionately as Doctor Garcia, was a member of the K.H.M.H. family for nine years. The institution issued an emotionally charged statement, addressing the [...]

Shots fired into a group; one dead, several injured
In the Old Capital, a group of eight persons came under gunfire at about seven o’clock on Friday night. It all happened on the verandah of a school on Maskall Street. The group, including a sixteen year old female minor, was hanging out at the Living Hope Preparatory School when gunmen rode up and unleashed [...]

Several individuals shot during violent weekend
Four hours after the murder of Joseph Myers, shots rang out again; this time on Faber’s Road Extension. Twenty-three year old construction worker, Byron James, was walking home when a man fully dressed in black fired several shots at him, hitting him on the right side of his abdomen and right arm. The violence spread [...]

Cayo mechanic shot by Guatemalan assassins
Shortly after ten this morning a Cayo resident was shot during what appears to be an assassination attempt. Cecilio Gregorio, a mechanic, was confronted by two men who were pretending to look for a job, one of them pulled out a gun and fired two shots at him. Luckily, he survived. According to Senior Superintendent [...]

Rain on coastal areas cause damage to road
The coastal areas of the country were inundated by inclement weather. In the south of the country, the Sittee River went above normal levels, while the Kendal crossing was under water. A section of the Southern Highway, which lacked culverts, was also washed away. The highway is being repaired and the Kendal is now passable. [...]

Flooding in Ladyville and Lord’s Bank
In the Belize District, in the first week of June, days of nonstop rains caused flooding in several parts of the country including the River Valley, where farmers lost their crops and Belize Rural Central, where a Ladyville School had to cancel classes for two days. Well today, Our Lady of the Way R.C School [...]

Carnal Knowledge of 7 year old by 14 year old
In a disturbing report from Belmopan, a seven year old girl has come forward to report that she was the victim of ongoing sexual abuse in 2011. According to the little girl, it started last February when she was at a neighbor’s house watching television with her brother and a friend. The child told police [...]

Chopping in Ladyville; is a woman’s affection the cause?
There is other crime news; a chopping incident in Ladyville shortly after midnight on Saturday has left two men wounded. According to reports, thirty six year old David Melendez was drinking with two friends when he pulled a machete and chopped them; Leonel Antonio Cowo was chopped about four times to the hand and has [...]

Family of accused murderers says they’re innocent
As we reported earlier in our newscast, three persons were arrested and charged for Friday night’s shooting on Maskall road that claimed the life of Joseph Myers and left three others injured. Late this afternoon, the trio; brothers: twenty-eight year old William Vasquez and twenty-five year old Clinton Fitzgibbon Harris along with their cousin, twenty-nine [...]

Maritza Santos’ family wants murder suspect returned to Belize
It’s been almost nine months since nineteen year old Maritza Santos was murdered, allegedly during an argument with her boyfriend twenty-six year old Michael Silva in the Kontiki area of San Ignacio. Reports are that Silva hit Santos on the head with a blunt object and then attempted to end his own life by ingesting [...]

Police nabs Cayo robbery suspects
San Ignacio, in addition to being a tourist destination, appears to also be attracting criminals. Senior Superintendent Chester Williams told News Five that police and community cooperation has led to the quick detention of suspects and the recovery of items from a recent robbery of a local Cayo business.   Via Phone: Sr. Supt. Chester [...]

Public Service Day celebrated across the country
There are about thirteen thousand persons on the government payroll; beginning today and for the rest of the week, the Public Service Commission is staging Public Service Week to highlight their work. The activities kicked off this morning at the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building, where the mayor was the main speaker. News Five’s Delahnie Bain [...]

Veteran Sportscaster exciting sports update
Good evening. I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The rains over the weekend played havoc with the sporting schedule forcing cancellations and postponements in most advertised activities and in fact, only the Interoffice Basketball League demonstrated signs of life here in the metropolis. So we take you out to Big Bird’s Isle [...]


Residents of Teakettle village in the Cayo district are taking proactive measures to keep their children safe. At a meeting held late last week, a number of proposals were put forward by the villagers themselves. Gilbert Andrews organized the meeting, and he today gave Love...

A Workshop for children with special education is being held at the National Resource Center four Inclusive Education in Belize City. The one week workshop by Bridgewater State University in partnership with the Ministry of Education started today. Dr. Mary Connor is one of...

A number of persons were shot in Belize City over the weekend, one fatally. Today Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood briefed reporters on the fatal one that turned out fatal on Maskall Street off Pen Road on Friday night.

Residents of Hope Creek and Sarawee villages in the Stann Creek district are on high alert for flooding. That is because the level of the North Stann Creek River was on the rise this morning. Officials from the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO are also keepi...

On Friday June 8th, CEO of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Tracy Panton signed a one hundred and forty two thousand one hundred and thirty Belize Dollar contract for the construction of a new Xunantunich Ferry to be funded by the Sustainable Tourism Program, STP. Projec...

A doctor was discovered murdered in his home this morning. Doctor Ivan Garcia, who works with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, was found sometime around seven this morning inside his house a 2113 Guava Street in the Belama Phase two off the Northern Highway in Beliz...

Plans are well underway for this year’s the annual Belize Defence Force volunteers’ battle camp. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “BDF Volunteer Battalion, second in command, Major James Petillo, conf...

Residents of Dangriga participated in a candlelight vigil on Thursday night. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “Youth for The Future and concern citizen of Dangriga joined in the rest of the country in a candle light vigil in ...

The safety of children will be the focus of a community meeting scheduled for tonight in the village of Teakettle in the Cayo district. Residents of the village are being asked to come out and share ideas on how to keep their children safe, particularly with classes about to break for ...

FEM CRUZ, Reporter “One Two Three a four days development training course for police officers, which started on Tuesday, will conclude today Friday here in the City of Belmopan at the Police Training Academy. The purpose for this training course was to refresh the minds...

Cane Farmer’s Day is being held today in Orange Walk Town. A number of businesses have come together and set up booths at the Cane Farmers Association compound to celebrate the important day set aside to honor the men that labor in our sugar production industry. Love ...

Three days after a terrifying incident in Ladyville village, a concerned parent is calling on authorities to do something about what has been described as an attempted assault of a young boy. The father, who asked us not to release his name, told Love News that he was on his way ...

PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Activities are held in Punta Gorda in connection with Blood Donors Week. The activities are highlighting the important role of blood donors and their invaluable contributions in saving lives. Medical technician at the Punta Gorda Hospital, T...

Today the National Aids Commission is concluding a capacity building and institutional strengthening workshop with several partners in Orange Walk. Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL, Reporter “Individual member agencies, government departments, nongovernme...


Turmoil in Athletics governing body inches toward resolution
The turmoil within the governing body for athletics in Belize continues to inch towards a resolution, even as our athletes continue to burn up the track in regional competitions. The in-fighting dates back to October of last year when a group of disgruntled members of the Belize Amateur Athletics Association moved to overthrow the president, Ian Gray. But Gray would not be displaced so easily and he put up a fight. That fight ended up all the way at the confederation for North and Central America and the Caribbean. They sent down an arbitration panel in February of this year, and on Thursday of this week, the arbiter issued its verdict. Embattled president of the Belize Amateur Athletics Association Ian Gray sat down with reporters this afternoon to explain what the arbitration decision is. Gray says that under the directives of the arbitration panel, he will now seek to empanel the ad hoc committee of past presidents to oversee the way forward. Gray is confident that despite the best efforts of his detractors, the sport of Athletics must not be made to suffer just to satisfy the egos of a few people.

Convict gets appeal
An appeal by Earl Clare Jr. who was convicted of drug trafficking for about 47 pounds of cannabis and was sentenced to three years and fined $10,000.00, was allowed by Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas quashed the conviction, set aside the sentence and ordered a retrial. He said he allowed the appeal because the magistrate did not say what the standard of proof she used to arise at her decision, whether it was beyond a reasonable doubt or on a balance of probability. Clare was offered a bail of $10,000.00. Clare was convicted in the magistrate court on January 11, 2012. His sentence of three years was to run consecutively with a sentence of three years in default of payment of the fine. Clare’s common law wife was charged jointly with him but she was acquitted during the trial after the evidence showed that she was not at the apartment when the cannabis was found and she had no knowledge of it. Clare was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley at the appeal hearing and at the trial.

Duo acquitted of attempted murder
Two men, 39 year old Lance Welch and 19 year old Jermaine Matura, charged with two counts of attempted murder, were acquitted of the charges today in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. Welch and Matura were charged with the attempted murder of Glen Burgess and Keon Francis. The prosecution’s case fell apart when Burgess took the witness stand and said that he could not recall what had happened around 8 p.m. on April 6, 2009 and Francis made himself unavailable. Because the evidence was insufficient Justice Lord directed the jury of nine to return a formal verdict of not guilty. But although Welch and Matura were acquitted of the charges they were not freed. Welch is serving time for money he owes the court and Matura is remanded on a charge of murder. According to the allegation, the two men were standing on Kraal Road when shots were fired at them. They were unhurt. But two cousins, who were minors at the time, were shot in their hands. The cousins, who were innocent bystanders, testified and said that they did see who shot them. Welch and Matura were not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Thalia Megan Francis represented the prosecution.

Celebrating the cane farmers
Cane Farmers Day was celebrated today in the Northern District of Orange Walk. A host of businesses of the public and private sector came out to set up informational booths at the Cane Farmers Association Office compound in support of celebrating the men that labor our sugar production industry. Vice Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Belize Cane Farmers Association, Alfredo Ortega said this is the second year in which they are celebrating Cane Farmer’s Day. Ortega says there are currently five thousand three hundred and thirty six registered cane farmers, that is excluding the family members of the cane farmers who usually contribute to the workforce, the cane cutters and the truck drivers. Chief Executive Officer of the Cane Farmers Association Oscar Alonso says they have fared excellently during this year. During a ceremony held this morning Chairman of the Committee of Management of the Belize Cane Farmers Association, Ramon Aban addressed the public by outlining some of the achievements of the Association. He met with Love News to explain why shortages of sugar occur in the country of Belize. Guest speakers at this morning’s ceremony were former PUP leader Johnny Briceño and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Minister of Labour and local government, Senator Godwin Hulse was also present during today’s event.

Water color exhibit underway at House of Culture
The Government House art gallery has been the venue for countless displays and exhibitions. And tonight there is one more to tell you about. It is being mounted by an artist out of Belmopan, who today sat down with students in Belize City to explain and demonstrate the joys of painting. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Tevin Chan report from the House of Culture. Chaing’s exhibition which is titled: Ethereal will be open to the general public from 8 am to 4:30 pm daily until July sixth. Lucky Chiang has been painting for the last three decades. This is his second exhibition at the House of Culture.

Peaceful demonstration against crime in Cayo
A peaceful demonstration was held today in San Ignacio town. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo were there and bring you the following report.

Orange Walk man murdered in Yo Creek
A man from Yo Creek village in the Orange Walk district is dead following what appears to be a fight between friends. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett went to the village to bring you the following report.

Pharmacist accused of inapproprate behavior with minor
Police in Benque Viejo del Carmen have arrested and charged forty-seven year old pharmacist Cesar Mendez, for the crime of Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature. The charge follows a report by a twelve year old minor, who in the company of an older relative, reported to the police, of Mendez starts here) that on three occasions in April, Mendez allegedly performed sexual acts with her. The girl claims that the incidents all happened after Mendez befriended her on the ever-popular Facebook in March of this year. After he sent her the friends request and she accepted, the girl maintains that they chatted frequently and that Mendez invited her to his pharmacy. It was here at the pharmacy on Church Street in Benque Viejo Town that the girl alleges the sexual acts took place. In her report to the police, the child claims that the accused took her to a small room at the back of the business and that was where they had romantic engagements, each time going a bit further than the first. In none of her reports, however, did the child say that Mendez had sexual intercourse with her. On one of the occasions, the girl claims that Mendez made certain requests of her but she refused and went home. Love News understands that while the police have charged the pharmacy owner, they are now looking to gather the evidence against him.

Home invasions reported in Santa Elena town
While Officer Commanding the Cayo Police, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams says that crime is not on an increase in that community compared to the same period last year, overnight there were at least a couple home invasions there. Love News understands that one of the home invasions occurred here in the Bradley’s Bank area of Santa Elena Town. As the officer said, the attack is under investigation.

An appeal for an end to the bloodshed
The impact of crime is taking a toll on virtually every facet of life in Belize. One segment of the community that is particularly hit hard is the children, many of whom are victims of the spiraling crime wave themselves. Tonight, one standard five student from Grace Primary School Nazeem Segura is appealing for an end to the senseless bloodshed. Segura recently participated in a poster competition on children’s rights and won a prize for his submission.


Mayhem on Maskall Street
Wild west gun action in street in Belize City causes injury and death. On Friday (June 15), at about 7:15pm Police ...

Doctor found dead in his home, Police suspect foul play
In a string of gun violence and choppings another act of murder is now under investigation. This morning while our ...

Man dies in Maskall Street shooting
Joseph Myers one of the shooting victims succumbed to his injury while undergoing treatment. Despite attempts to ge...

School gets caught in the rivalry crossfire
Weekend shootings target two students including the fourth female to be shot within a two weeks span. The question ...

Chens Super Store robbed, three arrested
Chinese Businessman, 50year old JIN HUANG MAD, reported that on June 16 at 10:30am his business place, Chens Super ...

Teen, 13, missing after trip to store has been found
A report to our newsroom is that another young girl has gone ‘missing’ in the San Ignacio Area. 13 year old Michela...

Mechanic shot in San Ignacio
A shooting incident took place this morning in San Ignacio. Shortly after 10 am this morning mechanic Cecilio Gegor...

Man injured in Palm Dale Drive shooting
Police visited the KHMH on Saturday where they saw Paul Burgess, 21yrs suffering from gunshot wounds to the left up...

All out brawl: Cops, civilians and BDF
A series of fights broke out yesterday at a softball game in Ontario Village. According to information reaching plus news the first incident took place when police on duty at the game approached some young men from the village who were drinking and smoking. The police reportedly told the young men that such activity cannot take place at the grounds, an argument ensued and one of the men got in a fight with the police and beat him up.

14 year old accused of rape
It’s a hideous case of carnal knowledge between minors. On Friday June 15, a 7-year old female child accompanied by......

Queen of England's prestige appointments
In a News Release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor General announces that Her Majesty the ...


Rain rain go away
Welcome to Rainy Season in Belize, we have been getting more than our fare share of rain the past few days. It is unfortunate for those on vacation and those who are scheduled on the 2012 lobsterfest crawl events schedule. I texted Cowboy for a rain report will add it later if I get one, after the two weddings at Grand Caribe yesterday I am sure it is a slow moving morning up there. Update on Maureen and Tracy’s volunteer vacation: In spite of the rain Tracy has been working hard in San Mateo every day to get the first waste water garden built – hopefully this week. Maureen took the water taxi to Chetumal to look for supplies for the liner needed. After the fact they found out that pond liners are an available option on the mainland, anyone have any details on where to buy and cost?

Visiting Panama City, A Recap: Where I Stayed, What I Loved (AKA While I'll be Back REALLY Soon)
I know that you guys think I like everything...but I don't. If I don't enjoy a meal or a bar or a place, I generally just gloss over it or I don't say anything at all. No need to do that with Panama City...I LOVE this city. I really let me count the ways. First, quickly, the place I stayed in. We had 4 nights planned in Panama City and wanted more of an apartment. Originally we planned to do some cooking there (I soon realized that I LOVE the food in this town...I wanted to eat out EVERY meal). You might not always think of it but (often thought of as a site for luxury or long-term rentals) has some cheap, daily offerings. It next hurts to look... We found Casa Congrejo. $50USD a night for the three of us, a private bathroom (with a shower you could park a car in), a huge room, a TV, A/C, great Wi-Fi, a common kitchen and lounge and a fantastic area of town.

The Cost of Living in Belize 2012
According to a poll survey done by News 5, 88% (592) of the total voters (1,088) say that the cost of living in Belize has increased in the past four years -- the other 22% (77) say that the cost of living has decreased. This specific poll survey has grasped my attention because of the high number of people claiming that the cost of living has increased in Belize. Can you imagine if we interviewed the entire population of Belize? I can already picture the results by doing some ratio analysis -- the results are out of this world. The results are scary because this is just telling me that people are finding things more expensive and less affordable. I am not sure if things are going to get better in time but the numbers don't lie. I would like to ask for your feedback so I can continue studying about the cost of living in Belize. Do you think that the cost of living has increased or decreased in the last year, in Belize?

International Sources

Kate Walsh's environmental mission in Belize
American actress Kate Walsh's recent visit to Belize to raise awareness of the Belize Great Barrier Reef and coastal marine life was one more example of the environmental organisation Oceana's commitment towards assisting Belizean efforts to protect their rich marine heritage, the Lodge at Chaa Creek's environmental studies coordinator said today. Speaking from the Chaa Creek Natural History Centre, Joe Awe praised Oceana's ongoing efforts to bolster local environmentalists' efforts. "Oceana has been a very good friend to Belize over the years and with little fanfare or recognition has been working with Belizean organisations to address some of our most pressing concerns. "For example, Oceana was instrumental in helping local environmentalists have the incredibly destructive practice of trawling banned from Belizean waters, and even assisted in purchasing the remaining trawlers so that they could be repurposed.

June 18, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Coming Back - III
Breathing deeply to calm down, a trick she employed often when Michael was especially rambunctious, she closed her eyes for a few moments while she cleared her head. Upon opening them, she once more looked at him standing at the water’s edge, and said, “But yes, if you must know, you’re the father.” She wasn’t sure what burned more, the hot sun that blazed down on them, or the look of smug satisfaction on his face. What had she really seen in him? Was it really the alcohol-fueled stupor that led to this moment? She found herself questioning every rash decision made that led to this particular point in time. Again, her reasons for returning eluded her – she had been drawn back for something – but the anger she currently felt didn’t quite make those reasons obvious.

The June 17th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Three New Classrooms For Bishop Martin School
  • Caretella And Pagett Freed Of Murder Charge
  • Improved Water Services Coming Soon
  • Faith Nazerene Gets A Facelift
  • Gomez Remanded To Prison On Carnal Knowledge Charges
  • Farewell to a Belizean Child
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial:
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Animal Hospital offers free Spay and Neuter services to the community
Stray dogs on the streets of San Pedro are an ever growing concern for residents and tourists alike. With the population on a constant upswing, the San Pedro Animal Hospital (SPAH) has decided to offer their services to help curb this problem. In a letter dated, June 6, 2012 addressed to the San Pedro Town Council, Dr. Laurie Droke, DVM, at the SPAH offered, “As the owner and veterinarian of San Pedro Animal Hospital I am offering my services to the San Pedro Town Council to aid in the control of the dog population in San Pedro. The spaying and neutering of pet cats and dogs, has been shown to be the most effective method of population control in communities worldwide. I, the San Pedro Animal Hospital, and the San Pedro Animal Foundation are offering to assist the Saga Humane Society in San Pedro with their work in this area. We will provide one spay or neuter per week free of charge to any animal in need.” According to Dr. Droke, the hospital is willing to do this for a year, bringing the value amount to the donation to around $10,000.

Guest Editorial: “Mommy don’t drink”
Submitted By Golda Swift (M. Ed) “I can’t make a decision for myself, mommy, don’t drink.” This is probably the cry of every baby that is in a mother’s womb, while the mother is about to put an intoxicating substance to her mouth. Statistically proven, there is no guarantee that the intake of alcohol does not harm an unborn child. On the contrary, it has been proven that unborn babies have been affected if mothers drink during pregnancy. Yet, there are many mothers ignoring these warnings and continue drinking during their pregnancy. Also, doctors have advised if planning to become a mother, you should not drink. This situation becomes a reality when children are in danger of being born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), which has tremendous negative effects on a child’s physical, mental and emotional growth. Research has not indicated as to what percentage of drinking is safe; it is only recommended that there should be no intake of alcohol when pregnant. FAS effects the child from within the womb; causing poor growth, decreased muscular tone, heart defects, delayed development in thinking, speech, movement and social skills.

Misc Belizean Sources

Southern Highway near Placencia Junction Impassable
A flash flood caused major damage to the Southern Highway north of the Placencia Junction last night. Traffic in this area will be interrupted for an extended period of time. This means interruption of road deliveries in and out of the Peninsula and bus schedules. We will try our best to bring you updates on this matter. In the meantime, please monitor Love FM reports on the radio or on Patrick Jones’s Facebook page:

We've lived on Ambergris Caye for 20 years. This is to my memory, the wettest May-June we've ever seen. The rains keep coming. Cisterns are full-up, potholes are full-up too, but this is a time when our topography as a narrow island works in our favor. The rain runs pretty easily off to the sea without flash-floods, major erosion or other dangers. On mainland Belize there are rivers full-up, a chunk of the Southern Highway washed out, rural villages inaccessible and fields of vegetables that are flooded and destroyed. It's on it's way to being a serious situation. At present San Pedro's biggest worry is how to entertain the tourists! Thankfully lobster season just opened and Lobster Fest is in full swing, rain or shine. Eating, signing and dancing continue regardless of the weather.

Cayo Welcome Center Progressing
The Cayo Welcome Center is looking great! Downtown is getting a major facelift with this project.

Ancient Light: Images from a Mayan Crystal Cave
This photographer has done some interesting 'Light Paintings' with her pictures from Actun Tunichil Muknal. She had an exhibit based upon ATM. "This series of photos and paintings is inspired by the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave system in Belize, Central America. ATM is known for its miles of chambers believed by the Mayan to be the entry to the sacred underworld of Xibalba. In ancient times only dancing torch flame brought this pitch black world to life where fifty foot stalactites and stalagmites inspired reverence and creativity. Clay offering bowls, painted urns and full sacrificial skeletons are housed in crystalline limestone chambers to this day."

Student Groups in Bullet Tree Falls
Feelgood story of the day. A student group from University of Central Arkansas and Hendrix College was recently in Bullet Tree Falls to help with construction projects and do missionary work. One student explains how the trip changed her life for the better in this wonderful article. "When we weren't teaching or working on construction, the kids were grabbing at our hands begging us to play games with them, share jokes or just sit and talk. They had so much energy and joy that it did not matter how tired I was that day, I tried hard to be there for them. Every night after we were through with our work, the missionaries gathered in the chapel at the old monastery where we were staying and offered reflections on the day. Everyone felt that we were making an impact on the people, but more importantly, we felt the impact they were making on us. I gave Belize a piece of my heart. I think it's only natural to do that when you spend time in work and fellowship in a foreign country."

Work is continuing into the night to replace the washed out culvert along the Southern Highway in the area of the Placencia Junction and Mayan King. Estimation is that by midnight (Monday morning) the washed out area should be passable by motor vehicles.


Reality, responsibility and restraint: The three Rs for journalism in Belize
Those who know me know that Belize, land of my birth, is never far from my mind. And, because of my profession, journalism in Belize is also something I think about a lot. Since independence from Great Britain in 1981, Belize has seen it’s media offerings grow from a handful of weekly newspapers and a government-run radio station to what seems like a vast and continuously proliferating ecosystem that includes: at least half a dozen television stations that offer local news and talk shows about the same number of newspapers as ever (one now comes out twice a week) news websites blogs providing news and views There are at least six radio stations–that I know of–airing local news, and there are more than fifty radio licensees on the government books (not all operational yet). On the social media scene, Belizeans are all over Facebook and are testing the Twitter waters; many media outlets have a presence in these spaces as well. Tourism industry professionals have been particularly active in social networking and blogging, using these platforms to spread the good word about Belize as a tourism destination.

Happy Birthday Chilo!
Today we want to say a big shout out to our wonderful Chilo. 26 years ago today, Chilo was born in the beautiful fishing village of Sartenaja and that is where he is again today, as his mother is baking him a cake for his birthday – ahhhhh! Chilo has been a new arrival as he became part of our Raggamuffin crew in February of this year. Since then he has become an integral and valuable member of the team as his charm, hard work and professionalism has won the respect of the crew. If you have had the fortune to get to know Chilo you may have experienced his famous ‘belly dance’!! On hearing this many passengers immediately think he will be wining his waist something like Shakira – unfortunately it is not quite as sexy but equally as amusing!!

International Sources

VIDEO: No Doubts
Day two of San Pedro and I have already done everything I planned to do. No doubt.

June 17, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

C-Net+ members receive training in Behavioral Change for PLWHA
15 members of C-Net+, the Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV/Aids PLWHA underwent a three-day “Train the Trainer” workshop. The workshop was jointly sponsored by SISCA (Secretaria de la Integracion Social Centroamericana), SICA (Sistema de la Integracion Centroamericana, Programa Regional REDCA+ (Central American Network of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS) and funded by the World Health Organization. Hosted by Hidden Valley Inn in the Mountain Pine Ridge, the workshop took place June 8th through 10th. The main purpose of the workshop is to expand the development and strengthen technical and professional capacities of PLWHA in Central America which includes the effective participation of advocacy, social control and citizen oversight process in HIV/AIDS while influencing human development and quality of life.

Rowan Graduates!
One month before he starts his Walk Across Belize, 14-year-old Rowan Garel spends his last few minutes as an elementary school student. On Thursday June 14th, surrounded by his peers, family and friends, Rowan welcomed the audience and the faculty of Hummingbird Elementary School to the Standard 6 Graduation Ceremony, with a violin performance of Belize’s National Anthem. After receiving his Diploma from the school Director, he joined his mother, father, sister and members of BCVI for family photos. When asked about this big moment, Rowan said, “To be honest, it’s all bittersweet right now. I’m just glad that the ceremony is over because I was super nervous!” Having been in the audience, BCVI can tell you first hand that Rowan had absolutely no reason to be nervous – he performed beautifully! We hope you enjoy a peek into the HES Graduation Ceremony and The Garel Family’s special night! Don’t forget that you can make a donation to help Ro and the other blind children in BCVIs program!

Belizean Deion Spain is Southwest Airlines employee for the month of May
Deion Spain, a Belizean originally from San Pedro Town, was awarded as the May 2012 Employee of the Month for Southwest Airlines based in the USA. Spain, who works and lives in Miami, Florida, USA is a flight attendant and was selected as the employee of the month of May for his outstanding performance and dedication to his career and work. When questioned in the Provision Heartbeat 2012 second quarter magazine for cabin service provisioning employees on what customer service means to him, Spain is quoted as saying, “to go above and beyond so our customers have a reason to want to come back and fly Southwest.” Deion is the son of Mel Spain who is a well known public and political figure in San Pedro Town. In addition Deion was schooled in San Pedro having attended the San Pedro High school and decided to further his education in the USA. The San Pedro Sun joins the community in congratulating Deion Spain for his accomplishment and award.

National Aids Commission moves into San Pedro
The National Aids Commission (NAC), the only legal entity in the country tasked with the responsibility to execute the national response to HIV/AIDS, is moving into San Pedro and forming a local coordinating committee. The first of a series of coordinating meetings took place on Friday June 8th at the conference room of the San Pedro Town Council. The newly recruited members were oriented and trained on the function of NAC in Belize. The NAC branch in San Pedro will have representation of various government agencies as well as locally represented organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who are involved in the national response to HIV/AIDs. According to Executive Director for the NAC Secretariat Dr. Martin Cuellar, the NAC will be working on the island with key members of the community from different sectors that are being recruited to join the local branch of the national organization. “The local branch of the National Aids Commission will coordinate the work of all agencies and partners who are working in the fight against HIV/Aids in San Pedro,” said Cuellar. As the NAC continues with orientation and training on Ambergris Caye, a similar committee will be formed in other districts across the country. “The committee in San Pedro will be the official local coordinating body of the National Aids Commission in Belize,” said Cuellar.

Misc Belizean Sources

Time for Belize to focus on free education and job development
By Wellington C. Ramos I graduated from Sacred Heart Primary School in the late 1960s. After graduating from there, my family sent me to Austin High School. I was the first of my mother’s children to be sent to high school because she couldn’t afford to send my older sister and two brothers. They all had the academic potential to complete high school but because of lack of money they were forced to do something different. My sister moved to Belize City to seek employment and my two older brothers joined the Belize Police and Special Force. There are many people graduating from high schools in Belize that lack academic potential but their families have the money to pay for their high school tuition so they end up graduating. When these people graduate from high school, some of them look down upon those who dropped out of high school that had the academic potential but whose families did not have the money to pay their tuition fees. After one year of high school my mother could not afford the cost of sending me to high school anymore so I was forced to quit. I then went to work in Mango Creek for a couple months and from there I followed my two older brothers to Belize City. Shortly after I arrived in Belize City, I found a job at the British Forces Airport Camp where I worked for three years as a maintenance worker. In April 1973, I followed my two brothers and joined the Belize Police Force where I was employed until July 1978 before I migrated to the United States. Maybe, if I had completed my high school education, I would not have joined the police force. There are thousands of Belizean families who have to face this situation up to this day.

Come Away to Belize With Me!
An Historical Musical Essay of Belize in the 80s to Now!

Cayo's Peaceful Demonstration
Pictures from the peaceful demonstration against crime and violence. There was quite a turnout. "Residents of the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena demonstrated on Friday against crime and violence. The peaceful demonstration started from in front of the police station and went over the Hawksworth bridge into Santa Elena and ended at the Macal River Park."


2012 San Pedro Lobsterfest Kick off party
We had a blast at the El Divino restaurant annual kick off party last night. Sadly tacoboy got held up at work and could not come till later, we were texting back and forth and told him it was ok as I had 21 dates Between our table upstairs, Zac and Tanya drumming downstairs, the bar and the outside party with DJ there was no shortage of people watching. This years party was even more packed than last year and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I missed Cowboy Doug and Leisa doing the Y.M.C.A as our food was being served – yum. 3 cheers for the staff who did not get to catch a breath all night and had been running since last night with Prom being held at Banana Beach.

CARLOS BARRIOS was born into a Spanish family on El Altiplano, the highlands of Guatemala. His home was in Huehuetenango, also the dwelling place of the Maya Mam tribe. With other Maya and other indigenous tradition keepers, the Mam carry part of the old ways on Turtle Island (North America). They are keepers of time, authorities on remarkable calendars that are ancient, elegant and relevant. Mr. Barrios is a historian, an anthropologist and investigator. After studying with traditional elders for 25 years since the age of 19, he has also became a Mayan Ajq’ij, a ceremonial priest and spiritual guide, Eagle Clan. Years ago, along with his brother, Gerardo, Carlos initiated an investigation into the different Mayan calendars. He studied with many teachers. He says his brother Gerardo interviewed nearly 600 traditional Mayan elders to widen their scope of knowledge.

Happy Father’s Day to all Fathers!
Happy Fathers day to all daddy’s around the world and indeed here in Caye Caulker and Belize. Many of the crew are lucky enough to be fathers, not all though but those who are not will be permitted to join the celebration in anticipation! Although Father’s day is observed on many different days during the year, here in Belize we follow the more popular date in the Americas with it falling on the 3rd Sunday of June. Father’s Day is celebrated worldwide to recognize the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children. This day celebrates fatherhood and male parenting. Happy Fathers day to one and all!!!

2012 San Pedro Lobsterfest Kick off Party
Get your lobster on and get ready to crawl. It is San Pedro's 2012 Lobsterfest. Last night was the San Pedro Lobsterfest kick off party at El Divino Restaurant at the Banana Beach Resort. Lots of people came out to sample some of the first lobster of the season. This will be mine and Bill's very first Lobsterfest and is something we have been looking forward to. We also got to meet lots of new friends for the first time that have been following our blog that are here for Lobsterfest. It was a great kickoff party and the food was devine. El Divino's had Zac and Tanya on the drums inside with a DJ outside keeping the crowds entertained. The place was packed and people were waiting in line to get in to get their lobster dinner.

International Sources

Ambergris Caye Beaches, San Pedro, Belize
Yes, there are beaches in Belize, but not many. Ambergris Caye has a few worthy beaches, but remember, what makes a pristine diving location is the fact there isn’t much sand around. And so it is with Belize. This place is easy to get to and not far from the USA, so it’s worth a visit if you want to have a little beach time, but really want to see the creatures under the sea. Make sure you get some online reviews of dive operations before you head here. There are some good salespeople on these shores. Also, get your expectations addressed in advance so you won’t be disappointed. First, there are a few excellent beaches that line the resorts and have full facilities and are open to the public. You can generally tell when the beach is man made and closed to visitors. But these are rare in Belize. So your choice is in an around the resorts. Okay, I know what you’re going to say. Ambergris Caye is a diving destination, not a beach resort destination of sorts. Snorkeling – yes, scuba diving – for sure, fishing – you bet! All are superb. But before you reserve your ticket to San Pedro, know that there really isn’t any beach to speak of on Ambergris Caye. There is a thin strip of sand that runs the length of the island. And when we asked, locals say that even at low tide, you just won’t find a whole lot of room. Tip: Walk north or south from town along the ocean to find a secluded spot where you can sit and gaze on the vast sea. You’ll be alone. Most everyone else is out at the big blue hole, diving. Now some of the beach front hotels have created their own beaches by building retaining walls and filling them in with sand. These are at the resorts on the north half of Ambergris Caye, and at Victoria House. Swimming isn’t very good, either. For about the length of a football field, the bottom is covered with sea grass. And while it doesn’t look good, we agree with the local government that protects this environment which supports a prime part of the food chain. Beneath the sea grass is a layer of spongy roots, organic matter, and white sand. When we walked on it, it was a little unnerving (think stingray or sea urchin). It’s pretty easy to trip as you make your way out. Tip: Swimming is best off the piers and your hotel will probably have one. These normally have steps down to the water and a nice, roped off swimming area. Danger: Don’t try to snorkel out from the shore to the reef. More than one swimmer over the years has been run over by speeding boats. The traffic in the channel is fast and furious. Finally, take a listen to some local opposition to a new development called South Beach Belize. It may disturb the fragile ecosystem of the reef and mangrove rookeries.

Dive the Elements in Belize's Wild Atolls
Great story on a dive trip to Belize. "...Ah, Belize. Even without the driving rain the place seeps into your skin. Easy going, English-speaking, the country can seduce you even in a gale. Divers have it particularly good here: Countless cayes, three of the Caribbean’s four atolls, and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, second only in size to the Great. It runs along Belize’s entire 187-mile-long coast, giving you wall dives, drift dives, terraces, swim-throughs, rays, turtles and whale sharks. Here you’ll find 65 of the Caribbean’s 70 coral species and 320 of its 500 varieties of fish. Charles Darwin called it remarkable..."

June 16, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, June 15 until Monday, June 18, 2012

Here is the Weekend Outlook. It will be wet once again...

Residents in low-lying and hilly areas should exercise caution this weekend. Remain vigilant!

Low pressure system forming just offshore the coast of Belize this weekend! The models do not develop it into a tropical cyclone. Rather, the low remains diffused and weakens by Tuesday, as it drifts northeastward.

The feature of interest over the NW Caribbean and Belize this weekend through Tuesday of next week will be a deepening and lingering low pressure system over and just offshore the coast of Belize. The model does not develop the low into a tropical cyclone, but rather weakens the system by late Monday, and move it NE into the western Caribbean. This low will infuse more moisture into the area and will favour widespread outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over most areas, some heavy at times. The GFS model is concentrating a lot of the rainfall over central and northern coastal areas. So, Belize City and northern communities will get the greater part of the downpour once again. Also, the rainfall will likely get accentuated in the elevated terrain, and elevated areas of the Mountain Pine Ridge and the NE and East slopes of the Maya Mountain divide will receive substantial rainfall. The soil is already at field capacity in most watersheds of the Toledo, Stann Creek, Cayo and Belize Districts; so the runoff will be quick and communities in low lying and hilly areas can expect flash flood conditions.

Daily rainfall totals over central and northern coastal areas will range from 1.00- 1.50 inch over most districts this weekend. Higher, daily rainfall amounts of 1.50-2.00 inches are possible in the higher elevations of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts associated with localized, heavier showers and thunderstorms.

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected in the Tropical Atlantic Basin during the next 48 hours.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Oceana pleased that Belize is Nominated for International Award
The world has taken notice of the historic decision of the Government of Belize to work with Oceana and bring about a complete ban in all forms of trawling in all Belizean waters, including our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Belize is the first and only country in the entire world that, at present, has made this unprecedented move placing it in a class of its own in the region and globe and this has earned it a place as a nominee for the Future Policy Award. The Future Policy Award celebrates policies that create better living conditions for current and future generations. It is granted by the World Future Council, an international policy research organization that provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In 2012, the award is dedicated to exemplary coastal and ocean policies. This year 31 outstanding policies from 22 countries and regions are in the running for the best policy worldwide to protect oceans and coasts.

Nationality and Immigration Department celebrates 26th Anniversary
The Belize Nationality and Immigration Department is celebrating its 26th anniversary on Wednesday June 13th. As part of the celebration countrywide, the government department hosted activities that were opened to the public. The Nationality and Immigration Department was established on June 9th, 1986 under the first Minister of Nationality and Immigration Hon. Dean Barrow. The office in San Pedro, located on Coconut Drive upstairs of the Scotia Bank, displayed posters which outlined the requirements for obtaining passport, visas and procedure for becoming a citizen of Belize.

SPHS Prom 2012; “A Peacock Masquerade Ball”
Hundreds of onlookers gathered to witness what is possibly the most glamorous night on La Isla Bonita. San Pedro High School’s (SPHS) senior students held their prom on the night of Thursday June 14th. Held under the theme “A Peacock Masquerade Ball”, blue and green carpets were rolled out for the students at the Banana Beach Resort. The entrance was decorated with the peacock theme in mind, and students were able to take their photos there before heading inside to enjoy themselves. Prom King and Queen, Monica Muñoz and Charles Richards During the course of the night Prom Awards were distributed for Best Couple, Best Dressed Male, Best Dressed Female, Best Entrance, Prom Queen and Prom King. Prom Queen: Monica Munoz Prom King: Charles Richards Best Entrance: Rachel Lisby Best Dressed Male: Glenn Gillett Best Dressed Female: Yadira Torres Best Couple: Marelie Cisneros and Konrad Gonzalez

Lobster Season Opened!
The Belize Lobster Season 2012 has officially opened and already fishermen are bringing in their catch of the day. Fishermen at both the beach side of the island and at El Embarcadero (docking station) are excited since the first day yielded an excellent catch. Since 4AM this morning, fishermen went out to sea, some to check their traps and sheds, while others simply decided to search the reef for the delicious crustacean. At the beach side, the Big Daddy’s boat came in shortly before 11AM with over 120 pounds of lobster tail, all ordered out by various businesses who will no doubt offer lobster on the menu starting today. “It was a good day for us,” said one of the five fishermen on board Big Daddy’s boat who proudly stood next to their catch.

Galen U and UNC Wilmington team up for Public Archaeology Education Program
Schools on the island were visited by a team of Archaeologists and students for a series of presentations and talks as a part of a partnership between Galen University in Belize and the University of North Carolina, (UNCW) Wilmington in the USA. The partnership is a public education program geared towards young minds to enlighten and introduce them to the field of Archaeology and Anthropology and encourage them to consider those studies for their future as well as to educate them about the importance of studying our history and preserving archaeological sites for future generations. Dr. Scott Simmons of UNCW along with archaeology students Victor Cucul and Ismael Teul of Galen University served as “Ambassadors of the Past”, visiting the various schools on Ambergris Caye and talking about the history and culture of past civilizations, specifically the Maya, who were the original inhabitants of this entire region and whose impact and civilizations are still evident today. Victor and Ismael, who are both ethnic Maya themselves, provided a unique perspective into the life of Maya people and culture that once existed here in Belize and used the Marco Gonzalez site on Ambergris Caye as a present example of the Maya influence not only on the mainland but also right here on the island. They talked of the many different languages that were spoken by the Maya, 31 in fact, and about the different ethnic sub-groups that existed within Maya people. Students were fascinated to know that although both students were in fact Maya people, they too were of a different group from each other.

Guest Editorial: We need tougher laws… But not for me
An article by Brent Toombs – Concerned Citizen. In memory of Jasmine Lowe. Another young girl is dead. The country is momentarily galvanized by outrage and grief. Another vigil will be held. People are calling for protest marches. “Enough is enough!” we cry. And ultimately what will change in Belize? Absolutely nothing. I hope to God I am wrong. I really hope I am underestimating the people of my nation. I hope that one day soon we will look back at the tragic events of this week and remember Jasmine Lowe as not just another unsolved mystery, but as an angel sent to bring real change to our beleaguered country. That her death was the tipping point when society finally moved to take real concrete action and accept the burden required for change. That in the wake of this young girl’s murder, Belizeans finally decided they would become part of the process required to return our country the “tranquil haven” we love to sing about. Unfortunately, recent history has shown that once the emotions subside we will not only return to our apathetic ways, but we will actively resist any attempt to improve the situation.

Belize Voted Among World’s Best Destinations By Travel And Leisure Readers
The results are in and according to the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine, Belize ranks among the world’s best destinations in 2012. Just released to the Belize Tourism Board by the editors of the Travel and Leisure magazine, this August, Belize will be featured in three places; Travel and Leisure magazine, the official website, and in the I-pad edition of the publication. “It is always an honour to see and know that our beautiful Belize continues to be recognized world-wide for all it has to offer,” said Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. Travel and Leisure is one of the world’s most recognized magazines. Published 12 times a year, the publication has just shy of five million readers. As for the World’s Best Awards, every August since 1995, these awards have been determined by an annual reader survey which asks travellers and travel providers to rate destinations, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, river cruises, and car-rental companies.

Ambergris Today

It's Lobster Time! - Season Officially Opened
Fishermen arrived close to midday with a hefty load of lobster which were of very good size. Lobster season in Belize runs from June 15th to midnight on the 14th of February, 2013. Tourists and locals will now be able to enjoy a variety of delicious lobster dishes cooked in all restaurants or at home instead of only the select few restaurants which are provided with licenses to serve lobster throughout the year.

Belize Voted Among World’s Best Destinations By Travel And Leisure Readers
The results are in and according to the readers of Travel and Leisure magazine, Belize ranks among the world’s best destinations in 2012. Just released to the Belize Tourism Board by the editors of the Travel and Leisure magazine, this August, Belize will be featured in three places; Travel and Leisure magazine, the official website, and in the I-pad edition of the publication. “It is always an honor to see and know that our beautiful Belize continues to be recognized world-wide for all it has to offer,” said Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. Travel and Leisure is one of the world’s most recognized magazines. Published 12 times a year, the publication has just shy of five million readers. As for the World's Best Awards, every August since 1995, these awards have been determined by an annual reader survey which asks travelers and travel providers to rate destinations, hotels, airlines, cruise lines, river cruises, and car-rental companies.

Lobsters Beware!
This year I got the opportunity to experience lobster fishing first hand. I woke up at 6a.m. (way too early) and met up with my two colleges; Perlita and Delsie at Mario Graniel’s dock (Delsie’s Cool Daddy). I hopped on the boat and headed to the south of the island, where we reached the first lobster shade. I will be honest, I had no idea what I was doing out there and I confess it was my first time lobster fishing (the shame). When I was growing up I remember going to my dad’s dock and I would wait for him and my uncles to come in with massive amounts of lobsters, then they would quickly clean them and go sell them. I would never ask my dad to take me with him to get the full experience, so when I heard that lobster season was coming I was up for the challenge. Mr. Mario Graniel taught me the skillful technique in capturing the lobster and collecting them. As I snorkeled to the bottom to take a peep under the shade, I was amazed at how many lobsters were just peacefully waiting for me to test my skills on. At first it was a bit tough to hook the lobsters, but as soon as I got the hang of it, it was beware of the lobster killer. Rawr!

Misc Belizean Sources

Marco Gonzalez Maya Archaeology Exhibition
Attention Community and Businesses The San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC) in partnership with the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project will be hosting the opening of the Marco Gonzalez Maya Archaeology Exhibition. The opening night event will take place on Wednesday June 20th upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard starting at 6PM. The event is part of a three days exhibition planned by the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project. The exhibition will take place from June 20th to June 23rd upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard and will be open to the entire public from 10AM to 6PM. Entrance to the exhibition is free. Through this medium, the SPCC is humbly requesting monetary sponsorship to offset expenses for the opening night. Donation can be made to the San Pedro Cultural Committee. For further information please contact Jan Brown at 662-2725 (Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project) or Jorge Aldana 634-1171 (Vice-Chairman of SPCC). Thank you in advance for your support. Yours sincerely, The San Pedro Cultural Committee

for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer of Jasmine Lowe. Call: 911 or 0-800-922-tips Cash Reward is up to $10,000 or more depending on the quality of information.

Belize Red Cross Telethon Today
You can pledge for the Belize Red Cross tomorrow by calling 653-6811. "The Belize Red Cross Telethon is this Saturday, June 16th 2012 at James Brodie & Co Ltd, Northern Hwy, Belize City from 9:00AM until 4:00pm! Only 653-6811 is currently active to take pledges. All other numbers will be active on telethon day! Pledges can also be taken at Telethon site! Huge thanks to our sponsors Brodies, Smart Belize, DigiCell for their generous donations!"

Rotary's Breakfast with the Graduated Scholars
Rotary had a breakfast for their scholars that recently graduated. Congratulations to all of them for finishing high school with good grades. "The Rotary Club of San Ignacio sponsors 24 high school students. 6 have graduated this summer and finished school with good results. This morning the successful graduates were guests at the club´s weekly morning meeting. After four years of hard work they received many congratulations from our club members and were presented with individual plaques to commemorate their graduation. Dr. Dionne Miranda from BTL gave a motivating speech to the graduates reminding everybody that positive thinking and a vision is key in life."

Channel 7

Killing In A Small Village
The wave of killings continued yesterday evening - but this time it happened outside of the major population centers, in a small village just outside of Orange Walk. Yo Creek was the scene of a vicious machete stabbing - which, as we found out today, may have been provoked by too many drinks of extra strong rum between friends. Here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 27 year Javier Ack was stabbed in his heart with a machete here under this lime tree - their regular hangout. He had been drinking and socializing with five other friends for much of the day. They were drinking extra strong rum, known as red top - and today the evidence of their libation was still at the scene. Alejandra Cocom "I saw Amir and Javier were arguing about money." Robin Schaffer "Were they drinking?" Alejandra Cocom "Yes since the morning." But at 5:30 pm the good time ended when Ack and a friend Amir started to argue over money. But Ack was stabbed by another man who entered the fray: Alejandra Cocom "The one who did this, he was not here when I saw Amir and Javier fighting. I think he was at home." Javier Ack lay dying on the ground - blood gushing from a wound to his chest:

Runaway Girl Returns Home
Last night we told you about Claudia Zetina, the 15 year old Cayo resident whose mother reported that she had run away. Well, tonight, the good news is that she was found safe and sound in Teakettle this afternoon - and has been returned to her mother.

Daylight Shooting In City, Scares Many, Injures None
For the past three weeks, there have been explosions of violence in Belize City every weekend - resulting in multiple shootings and deaths. And today, may have witnessed previews of another turbulent weekend when shots rang out around 11:00 am in a congested area. A man was standing at a bus stop on Mahogany Street in front of St. Luke's Church when a lone gunman jumped the fence for the church and approached him. He put a gun to the man's head, and pulled the trigger twice, but the gun snapped. The would be victim then slapped the gun out of his assailant's hand and ran. The gunman picked up his weapon and and fired two shots shots, but his target received no injury.

Six For A Sawed Off
21 year-old Delon Hinds, 22 year-old Oscar Gonzalez, 19 year-old Rasheem Garnett, along with two 16 year-old minors, and a 13 year-old minor are on remand tonight after they were busted with a sawed-off shotgun yesterday. According to police, they conducted a search at a residence located at #24 Ordonez Steet, and they found 16-gauge sawed-off shot gun which was loaded with 1 cartridge. All six males were present at the time of the search, and as a result, they were charged with keeping a prohibited firearm, and keeping prohibited ammunition. They all pleaded not guilty when they were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today. Due to the nature of the offense, bail couldn't be granted. The 3 adults were remanded to the Belize Central Prison, while the 3 minors were remanded to the Wagners Youth Facility. They will be brought back to court on August 13.

Fire At Abandoned Home In City Scares Neighborhood
There was a fire in Belize City around 8:30 last night. It happened at number 49 Taylors Alley where an abandoned 2 story wooden structure was engulfed in flames. Being in an alley, where homes are clustered together it posed a major hazard. At least 4 wooden structures were adjacent to the site of the blaze. In the end though it was brought under control and only the house was completely destroyed. We found out more form the Fire Department today:.. Ben Matura, Operations Officer, BNFS "Last night we got a call approximately at 8:30. It was for number 9 Taylors' Alley. We arrived there within two to three minutes, when we arrive there was a wooden two structure completely engulf in flames. We got into operation and extinguish it. After that we found out that it was an abandoned building. It was abandoned for like 25 years. It was just sitting there and had vegetation grown all over it and it was just abandoned." "It was abandoned and from sources and neighbors we gathered that it was frequent by drugs users. The neighbors also said that there was someone that night with candle, so we believe that they left a candle on when the building caught fire."

Final Election Petition Snuffed Out
By now, you the viewers, may have had enough of those election petitions which were filed earlier this year in the Supreme Court. However, the last of the 4 was heard today, and just like the rest it, it went right out the way it came in. The PUP's Albert Standard Bearer, alleged that Herman Longsworth, the current Albert Area Representative was disqualified when he ran for the office. According to Craig, L&V Construction Management Limited, of which Longsworth is the Managing Director, was still under contract by the Ministry of Youth and Sports to build a perimeter fence for the Marion Jones Sporting Complex. When this petition was called up today, things took an anti-climactic turn because Craig's attorney, Said Musa, made an application to withdraw the petition, instead of presenting their arguments against Longsworth. Justice Michelle Arana accepted the application, and the petition was dismissed. It was a very abrupt end to the matter, so we asked Longsworth's attorney, Michael Young, to explain. Here's what he told us: Michael Young "David Craig the petitioner applied for leave to withdraw the petition against Herman Longsworth and the judge of course granted leave and awarded cost in the amount of $7,500. They mentioned in relation to this application to withdraw that the reason why they had not proceed with the petition is because it is only after we set our case completely that they knew that the contract had been completed but that is clearly not the case because at the leave stage there was this certificate which was signed by the representatives of the consultant that the contract had been completed and furthermore when you make an application to challenge the returning of and elected representative - you are supposed to have sufficient facts as a basis upon which you can make that application and they simply did not have it."

Acquitted Of Attempted Murder
Lance Welch and Jermaine Matura were acquitted of 2 counts of Attempted Murder today in the Court room of Justice Herbert Lord. It was alleged that IN April of 2009, at about 8:15 p.m., Glen Burgess and Keon Francis were on Kraal Road, when Matura and Welch ambushed both men. They each reportedly pulled out firearms and fired several shots at both men, but they missed. 3 days later, Burgess made a report against them. But yesterday in court Burgess took the stand and recanted the entire statement with all the facts that he had given to the police. Burgess forgot that he gave a written, signed statement, and he even went as far as to say that he never gave one period. Crown Counsel Francis was forced to treat Burgess as a hostile witness, but in the end, she could not get any usable evidence against the accused men.

Car Dealers Getting Bad Deal?
This morning we went to Orange Walk to follow up on a dispute between the Town Council and a loose affiliation of car dealers. The car dealers use a prime parking area to display their vehicles - have been doing so for decades. But the new Mayor says he's fixing up the park area - and now he says they have to pay. We got both sides of the story today. Jules Vasquez has the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The Car Dealers in Orange Walk's Town Center were in an uproar today - they have been for weeks because they say the town councils are trying to tax them out of a livelihood. The issue is this parking area here at the center of Orange Walk Town near the park. Car dealers have been using it for decades - and they have been doing so for free. Isidro Leal - OW Car Dealers "All of us are here for over 20 plus years - selling vehicle form the park. Nobody can throw us from here. This is our living. This is what we feed our children from." Jules Vasquez "Have you all ever paid to park out here?" Isidro Leal - OW Car Dealers "Never yet." Now, the recently elected town council wants them to pay thirty dollars a month.

Full Speed Ahead On South Street
A couple weeks ago we told you about the Belize City mayor's ambitious plans to fix Belize City's streets with concrete. Well, one of those streets is finished. South Street in downtown Belize City was completed on time and opened two days ago. Calle Al Mar, however, was to be completed today, but due to torrential rains, work has been pushed back until tomorrow, and it should be open for public use by next week Tuesday. The next streets on the roster for the concrete treatment are possibly Belize Bank Street, Ferrell's Lane, and Puma Street - which is the one between Coney Drive and the Northern Highway.

And Health For All...
This morning a health fair was held at the Matron Roberts Polyclinic to promote wellness in Belize. Representatives from The Belize Red Cross, BFLA, KHMH and other health centers in Belize were offering free testing and information at the fair. The turnout wasn't spectacular due to heavy rains, but that did not dampen the Regional Health manager's spirits as she told us more about the importance of the clinic in Belize City. Melinda Guerra, Regional Health Manager "Today we are trying to promote wellness. Wellness is a key area for the Ministry of Health and there are quite a number of illnesses throughout the country such as diabetes, hypertension and mal-nutrition. In average we have about 2,500 persons who are registered with the National Health Insurance program that we have and some are come to the clinics as free services."

Lucky With Watercolor
Today the House of Culture opened an art exhibit - at which, children were taught how to paint using watercolor by a master. Lucky Chiang has been painting for over 30 years, and over time his artwork has evolved from traditional Chinese paintings to a mixture of styles - all which revolve around his fascination with nature. Activities coordinator, Tanya Savery told us more about what is being portrayed and how the children became involved. Tanya Savery, Activities Coordinator - NICH "What we have happening here today is the opening of the lucky charm water color exhibit and we have about 39 pieces that are on display and also for sale." "I thought it would be imperative to invite some of the school children to come as well to see a different form of art - water color is very different from oil acrylic paintings. It's a lot easier and quicker to do. He is showing some of the students what he will be displaying during his summer classes that he will have here at the Government House as well." "I am just hoping that it just open your minds a little bit more so you can see thing

Casting Call At Courts
Judging by today's rains, it may not look like it, but summer is upon us, and with the long holidays come many events to keep students occupied. The Courts Summer Slam Competition is one such event that is sure to capture the attention of youths as rappers, dancers and singers compete for a $1000 cash prize. The competition will begin next month, but the coordinator is already looking for possible contestants and is holding auditions tomorrow at 10:00 at the Bliss. Joseph Stamp stopped by our studios to tell us more. Joseph Stamp, Coordinator - Courts Summer Slam Competitions "It's a competition that puts singing, dancing and raping against each other and so they get to compete for 4 weeks. We try to find out who is the most talented and the most creative. We try to get the schools involve. A lot of the prizes are geared towards helping the students."

Fathers Favored At Concert
Father's day is right around the corner, and if you want to show dad a little love, you can take him to the 4th annual Father's Day Song Competition and Concert. It has become something of a tradition, and will feature 10 Belizean artists competing for a $1000 cash prize. President of The Association for Belizean Artists First, Tony Wright, stopped by our studios to tell us about the competition and what the public can expect. Tony Wright "It's a show about dad where 10 artists will be performing original songs just for dads. we from the association for Belizean artists first - we came up with this idea that we need to show dad some love and so we ask artist to write songs about dad, something nice and we had about 15 entries and a panel of judge sat down and decided which was the best 10 from out of that 15. That's how we got to select the 10 finalist that will be performing." "We have a selection of very good songs and a lot of the artists; Kenny Gladden, Radiance Thompson and all the other artists up there are really great Belizean artists." "People need to come out on Sunday evening and have a evening of fun and entertainment and support Belizean artists at the same time."

Channel 5

Killed while drinking with friends in Orange Walk
There were two murders in Orange Walk last week and this week will end with two more bodies. In the wake of the shooting death of forty-four year old store owner, Sunil Punjabi at his establishment, Lucky Store on Tuesday night, the life of another Orange Walkeno was inexplicably extinguished. Twenty-seven year old Yo Creek [...]

Postmortem results on 2 murder victims released
While a postmortem examination is pending for the body of Javier Ack, police have issued the findings on the two murders of Keith Lewis and Sunil Punjabi on Monday and Tuesday night respectively. The first was with respect to the murder of twenty-four year old Lewis in Belize City. Lewis was reportedly pursued by at [...]

PIV member escapes 4 gunshots
Shortly before eleven this morning shots were fired on Mahogany Street but luckily no one was injured. According to eye witnesses, a small group of men were sitting under the bus stop when a man believed to be from the PIV gang got off his bike and fired about three to four shots at his [...]

Protest against violence in Cayo
The recent murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe has struck a chord with Cayo residents, who are now standing up against the general increase in criminal activity in the area. Today, a peaceful demonstration was held that started at Columbus Park in San Ignacio and headed over the bridge to Santa Elena. The supporters [...]

Cayo’s top cop says crime is down
Even though, the residents say that violence in Cayo has escalated to the point where some don’t even report crimes because they have lost faith in the police, the Officer Commanding the San Ignacio Police, says statistic show that crime is down.   Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, O.C., San Ignacio Police “The numbers will reflect [...]

Reward for capture of Jasmine Lowe’s killer
A ten thousand dollar reward is being offered for information that can lead to a conviction for the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. Several taxi drivers have been detained and released during the investigations, including Glen Velasquez, who told us today that his vehicle looks nothing like the one in the surveillance video. [...]

Fire in Taylor’s Alley
On Thursday night an old building in the Taylor’s Alley was burned down. Firefighters were quick on the scene to put out the blaze which was in the middle of other residences.   Benisford Matura, Operations Officer, Belize Fire Service “The department got a call about eight-thirty last night for number forty-nine Taylor’s Alley. We [...]

Amateur Athletic Association dissolved
Earlier this year, the Belize Amateur Athletic Association came under fire by its own members. A discord with the president and members resulted in election that was not sanctioned by the international governing body. So after a mutiny in October 2011, it appeared that the BAAA was operating with two heads. It caused chaos when [...]

Another witness contracts amnesia
In January of this year Earl Claire was sent to jail for three years and fined ten thousand dollars on a drug trafficking charge of twenty-three thousand grams of Marijuana. But Claire appealed that sentence and he was ordered a retrial today. During the appeal hearing, Attorney Dickie Bradley submitted that during the trial the [...]

Given another chance at trial for marijuana conviction
Lance Welch and Jermaine Matura were today acquitted of the 2009 Kraal Road attempted murders of Glenford Burgess and Keon Francis. The two men were acquitted of the attempt murder after the two victims refused to testify against the alleged gunmen. The charge was in connection with the shooting of Burgess and Francis who were [...]

Cayo Family center of Jerry Springer type controversy and abuse
Our newsroom received a desperate call on Thursday evening from a Santa Elena woman, who was afraid to go home because her common-law-husband was threatening to kill her. Maria Vasquez says she reported her abusive spouse, Manuel Aldana, to police and then spent hours on the roadside with her six children waiting for him to [...]

Prime Minister rolls out new appointments
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held his first full press conference in months earlier this week. On Wednesday the PM did some house cleaning and announced the appointment of new members of his administration.   Dean Barrow “Since a continued and comprehensive information flow to the media and the public is so essential, I have appointed [...]

Who pays for those pimped out ministerial rides?
Barrow also faced a question that has faced every administration since Independence in 1981. How is it that even during austere times when ministries are expected to tighten the proverbial financial belts, ministers can still be seen driving the most expensive sport utility vehicles that the world has to offer?   Dean Barrow “Let me [...]

Years of manatee research in Belize and Cuba
While the streets and highways are populated with SUV’s and pose a minimal risk for pedestrians, our coastal waters also hold dangers for one large mammal. Manatees face a distinct threat from mariners whose boats either injure or kill them in the areas that they live. That is why the Sea to Shore Alliance’s conservation [...]

Waiting for your call at the Belize Red Cross telethon
The Belize Red Cross always comes to the rescue in times of disaster and is now branching out its program to include additional services to youth and vulnerable residents. But in order to keep assisting those in need, the Red Cross needs your help. This Saturday, the organization is holding its annual telethon to fund [...]

Matron Robert’s Health Fair and Free Testing
Another organization that is doing its fair share of work is the Matron Robert’s Polyclinic Two. The healthcare facility is located in Belize City and over the years it has offered quality medical care for the public. News Five’s Andrea Polanco visited the Matron Robert’s Polyclinic and joined members of the public for a free [...]


An art exhibition by Taiwanese-Belizean painter Lucky Chiang is being mounted at the Belize City House of Culture. Thirty nine water color paintings will be on display for the next few weeks. Today, Chiang spent time demonstrating how to make water color paintings to students of various primary school from around Belize City. Tanya Savery is the activities coordinator at the Belize City House f Culture. TANYA SAVERY, Coordinator “What we have on display right now would be about 39 pieces from local artist by the name of Lucky Chiang. They are on display as part of an exhibit, he did a couple pieces a little while ago and recently did some more and approach us with the Embassy of China here in Belize and what we wanted to do is just show case a local artist that have a different approach in expressing himself. Luck Chiang n particular uses water colour which is a very unique and different way to paint. Instead of taking many hours like oil or acrylic painting, it just takes a few minutes. What I did for today for this morning was invite a couple schools, a couple classes from some schools to come and take part and as you can see he is explaining to the children how to do the painting which is also what he is going to be doing over the summer classes. What I ask the children to do personally was to take a look at the pieces and to interpret it for themselves that art is in the eye of the beholder. Just because it is labeled and called one name that doesn’t mean that that’s all that they see and so far the children have been very receptive and responsive and we’ve gotten some interesting ideas from them.”


2012 Top PSE Students For The Corozal District
A total of 6,983 candidates sat the Primary School Examinations this year. The PSE assesses achievement of curriculum content and skills in the four subject areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science. This year the overall performance was at a C level. But while that increased, the average grades did not paint a pretty picture; in fact they were pretty bad. But there are those who excelled in the examination and tonight we applaud the students from Corozal who made it on the top ten lists for the District. Coming in at 1st place at a district level and 22nd at the national level is Corozal Methodist School’s Carl Galvez who scored a total of 377 points in this year’s PSE. For this bright mind his astounding achievement comes from his hard work and hours of preparation for each subject area. Carl Galvez, Student, Corozal Methodist School “It took me countless days and nights of studying but it paid off. I studied a lot for English because it gives me some trouble but it is challenging but not hard. My parents and my teacher are the ones who pushed me constantly towards the goal that I wanted. I was surprised when I heard the results because I was expecting to do well but not first in the district.” Today we also caught up with Marcos Cowo who placed 2nd in the Corozal District with a score of 372 points. We spoke to him while he was celebrating his achievement at a football match.

Contractor Hired For Upgrading Of Two Streets In Orange Walk
Last week Mayor Kevin Bernard announced that four streets here in Orange Walk Town will be upgraded with funding from the Belize Social Investment Fund through the Belize Municipal Development Project. The goods news tonight is that a contractor has been hired to carry out the necessary work on two of the streets. With a bid of just a little over $200,000 M&R Construction Company was hired for the job. Kevin Bernard, Mayor O/W “M&R Constructions from Buttonwood Bay actually got the bid and that’s was one of the lowest bid which was like $208,000 estimate. These are the contractors that will start in the Aviles Lane and the portion of Tangerine Street. Then there are further bids that are going to continue for the remaining for the other two which is the Santa Familia Street and San Ignacio Street. So yes I think it is good news for us. Work will commence by the end of June. We are doing our part when it comes to our financial obligation to SIF and the World Bank. We expect that the contractor looks into hiring local individuals to do the manual labourers who needs job and especially in the Orange Walk East area. So I welcome the news and I think it is something good for Orange Walk. In terms of our commitment, the initial stage was $800,000 which where the council had to put an additional $824,000. But with the change to include the other streets the bid when up with $1.2 million to the project cost. So we had to inject a further amount of money. Last month we paid $2,700 and just last week we paid the other $1,100. In the middle of July and the final pay is in August. The council has made some significant contributions and that’s why we have a say in term of who should be hired.”

Panta Locke Receives Bail
On Monday July 4th 48 year old James “Panta” Locke was charged for the crime of robbery at the Corozal Magistrates Court after he was accused of walking into the Princess Hotel and Casino located at the Northern Border and robbing the cashier of $5,000. Since Locke was unable to provide officers with his correct address he was declined bail and remanded to prison until his next court date scheduled for July 11th. But Locke got lucky because yesterday his sister visited the Corozal Police Station and provided officers with his address. As a result Locke reappeared before the magistrate’s court where he was granted bail to the sum of $4,000 plus surety which he met. His next court date is scheduled for July 4th. When we first reported on the incident we were told that the money had been recovered by Corozal Police; however we have been made to understand that none of monies stolen has been recovered.

OWTC Hosts Third Mayors Association Meeting
Today the Orange Walk Town Council hosted the third Mayor’s Association Meeting held since the March 7th municipal elections. The meeting was held at Smokey Mermaid where a number of issues were discussed. President of the Mayors Association and Mayor of Belmopan Simeon Lopez, headed the meeting this morning and shared why the meeting is important for the municipal bodies. Simeon Lopez, President, Mayor’s Association “The purpose is for the mayors from all the other municipalities to meet on monthly bases to discuss best practices that affect our municipalities and get around those issues and give advice to one another. Also, to make sure, since 50% of our population are in the municipalities then our association represents a large section of the population of this country. So the main idea is to meet and present our concerns to the ministry of local government.” Other than the upcoming September Celebrations and the beneficial position that Belize has within the Caribbean and Central American Region, the Mayors also discussed the slow progress of the Belize Municipal Development Project.

Prime Minister Says Economy is Doing Remarkably Well
Yesterday the Prime Minister of Belize Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow gave Belizeans the bad news that they should expect austerity measures in the 2011/2012 budget. Government will experience a thirty million dollar fall off in tax revenue as a result of the drop in global oil prices and the declining oil production of Belize Natural Energy Limited. But despite the fact that cuts in expenditure are forthcoming and obligatory the Prime Minister boasted that Belize’s economy is doing quote unquote remarkably. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “In terms of the main stays of the economy the position can be stated quite short all things considered we are doing remarkably well, tourism continues have a great rebound and the Minister informs me that he expects as much as a ten percent growth increase this year over last year. There is also wonderful news on sugar, last week the crop ended with the most impressive numbers in recent memory. There is 15 percent earnings Increase over last crop and the bonus to the cane farmers themselves will be in the region of $30 million. Bananas are also doing very much better than could have been imagined with improved yields and a new increased pricing arrangement with the marketers. It is the same sort of story with Citrus and at least in one instance we have seen the glimmer of what we hope will be a new cooperation between the Citrus Growers Association and CBBL. In Aquaculture the Bowen Shrimp Farm is back on track with a new investment partner. I should also mention that a letter of intent has been signed by the Sovereign Investment Fund of CATAR to buy Caye Chapel and turn it into a four seasons branded resort.”

Bond Holders Not Too Happy With Restructuring Of Superbond
A few weeks ago Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Belize’s credit rating sending it deeper into junk territory as it went from C-A-A-1 to C-A. It is the second time this year that Moody’s has cut Belize’s debt rating, citing a probable restriction of government’s $547 million bond and “weak economic growth”. When the downgrade was announced Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow was in Miami with his ailing wife. Upon his arrival in Belize last week Barrow was interviewed by the media and questioned about the downgrade and the superbond. During the interview Barrow mentioned that government could amend certain terms of the bond. Following that announcement Belize’s bondholders formed a creditors committee out of concern that the country could become the next sovereign to default on its debts, according to the Financial Times. The ad hoc committee represents holders of more than $200 million of the $547 million bond due in 2029. In the release creditors indicate that while they are sympathetic to the challenges facing Belize, any proposed amendment that results in a net present value or principal loss to creditors would not, based on the committee’s current understanding of the situation in Belize, be considered acceptable or, for that matter, necessary. How the recently formed committee will impact the present negotiations of the superbond is left to be seen. But the news forthcoming doesn’t seem to be all that good.

Government Will Need To Work Under Austerity Budget
Tomorrow will mark 100 days since the Dean Barrow Administration was re-elected into office by the Belizean populace. Yesterday the Peoples United Party held a press conference where they chastised the present government of the day for having failed to come up with a comprehensive plan to move the country forward 97 days after winning the General Elections. Amidst a number of lingering questions including when will the budget be read, what it will hold and what plans the government will put in place to abate the spiraling crime rate, today the Dean Barrow Administration held their first press conference since winning the general elections. Accompanied by an entourage of high ranking officials, Prime Minister Dean Barrow informed Belizeans that Cabinet will approve the draft estimate for the budget tomorrow. The budget will then be tabled at the House of Representatives on Friday June 29th. And while you might be saying at this time “finally the budget for fiscal year 2012/2013 will be read”, that’s just about the only good news that came out of the press conference today. According to Honorable Dean Barrow, GOB will not be able to meet their expenditures if more oil is not found. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “There is no doubt that this will be a difficult budget reason number one is what is happening with global oil prices there steep drop is good news for consumers at the pump but our countries export earnings are being hammered and Government will experience a $30 million fall off in tax revenue as a result of this the far lower oil prices and also as a result of the declining BNE production. Oil is of course a finer resource and we are already beginning to see production trailing off we need to find more oil We have also started discussions with Venezuela and with Puma now Puma is the local successor to Esso here in Belize and what we are trying to do is to begin sourcing all of Belize’s imported fuel from the Bolivarian Republic. If we can bring this to a successful conclusion we can then take advantage of the Petro Caribe arrangements to trigger the hugely concessionary financing that would accompany oil purchases from Venezuela.” As it pertains to the famous restructuring of the Superbond, Barrow says it will play an important role in Governments 2012/2013 financial plan.

June 15th Marks The Closing of the Logging Season
Tomorrow Friday June 15th, will mark the closing of the logging season here in Belize. According to a press release issued out today by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department loggers are informed that harvesting of tress beyond the 15th of June will not be permitted. The closure of logging activities coincides with the arrival of the rainy season which is not conducive to logging operations. Apart from an increased risk of loss of human life, logging during the rainy season often results in damage to forest soils and to public access roads. CTV3 News understands that that the Ministry will not consider any extension of forest permits and licenses after tomorrow. The logging season is set to re-open on October 15th 2012. Also tomorrow, Belize will be represented in the 6th meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) which will be held in The Bahamas along with 16 other member states. The one day meeting is aimed at charting the course ahead for the management of the region’s fisheries, which employs an estimated 182,000 people either directly or indirectly. At Friday’s meeting, the ministers of the region will review the activities of the CRFM over the past year; determine the policies, directions and programs for sustainable development, management and conservation of fisheries resources in the region; and provide guidance on the way forward to the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and CRFM Secretariat. Matters such as illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, developments in international law, and the establishment of an aquaculture working group will also be up for discussion. Ministers will also discuss proposals for the development of a regional strategy to tackle the lionfish invasion in the Caribbean, as well as disaster risk management and climate change. Another matter of huge importance that will be tabled is the CARICOM/Spain diagnostic study to determine poverty levels in 10 CARICOM fishing communities.

Ranchito Government School Gets New Cafeteria
The Humanitarian Experience for Youths (HEFY) is a Lather Day Saints oriented, non-profit organization for teens ages 16 to 19. The organization has a humanitarian service program that caters to poverty stricken areas around the world. Each year the organization conducts expeditions to different countries and offers their labor and resources free of cost. Since Monday June 11th HEFY has been hard at work at the Ranchito Government School in the Corozal District constructing a new school cafeteria. With the school currently catering to an enrollment of 221 students in the primary division and an additional 21 students in the pre-school level, the building of a new Cafeteria could not have come at a better time. Yacenia Tun, Principal, Ranchito Government School “It is a group from the United States called Humanitarian Experience for youth and they belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints so these group of teenagers they sponsor everything they select a country and due that I am a member of that church they were able to get in touch with the president from our church and asked me if I need any assistance and I said yes. So they decided to come and see how they can help the school and since our cafeteria is not in good condition they decided to build our cafeteria and everything is funded by them and it is teenagers from 15to 17 years of age.”


Security Guard is a lotto winner
A forty-five year old Belize City security guard is the latest lotto jackpot winner. Pauline Conorquie today claimed the big prize of sixty two thousand five hundred dollars. The mother of three was prompt at the Tropical Gaming office this afternoon to pick up her winnings, and Conorquie told Love News that the numbers: 8-12-24-29 and 32 changed her life overnight. After the mandatory fifteen percent government income tax, Conorquie took home fifty three thousand one hundred and twenty five dollars. The lotto jackpot now reverts to fifty thousand dollars. And you can watch the winning numbers as they are drawn right here on Love Television at nine o’clock on Saturday night.

Government announces closure of logging season
Logging season ends tomorrow to make way for Belize’s damp rainy months. Logging season closes yearly as a way to manage logging licenses and to prevent damage to forest soils and roads. Chief Forestry Officer Wilber Sabido says that the off-season is an important way to prevent future road costs. The Forest Department says no extensions will be considered for permits and licenses after the close. However, anybody interested in logging next season is free to apply. Applications can be sent to the Forest Department in Belmopan. The deadline to apply is July 31ST and the new logging season starts back up in October.


Cab driver detained for Jasmine Lowe murder says his reputation is tarnished
As we told you earlier this week, the initial lead that police had been going on for the Jasmine Lowe investigation...

San Ignacio residents turn up the heat in the quest for justice
Resident of San Ignacio and Santa Elena along with the People's Coalition of Cayo continue with their public awaren...

Double home invasions, attempted abductions in the west
While officials in the Police department continue to say that Crime is down in the Santa Elena/ San Ignacio Area, y...

Free self-defense course for young girls in Cayo
Renée Wentz is a trainer in self-defence methods, particularly for women. For the past few years, Wentz has taught ...

Mayors' Association endorses the proposed 'Jasmine Taxi Laws'
The Belize Mayors’ Association met this week in Orange walk and one of the big topics of discussion focused on the ...

Harvest for Kids Belize gets off the ground
Farming and the Gospel – these two words perhaps are not customarily used in the same thought; however it is the mi...

Belize in major debt crisis?
The Financial Times (FT) is a news and information organization, recognized internationally for its integrity and a...

Man's close call as gun fails to go off
A Belize City man saw his life flash in front of him, twice. This morning sometime after 11am Emil Audinet was stan...

Cop charged with extortion
Belize Media is reporting a complaint of an extortion attempt by a Police Officer; 29 year-old Police Constable Nor...

Candlelight vigil in Dangriga for Jasmine Lowe
A rally and vigil was held last night in Dangriga Town. The Mayor of Dangriga joined efforts with Religious and Com...


Two brothers arraigned on rape charges
Victim says one watched while the other raped her... Today in Magistrate’s Court #1, brothers Austin, 29, and Jermaine Stevens, 23, were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, for abetment to commit rape and rape.

Cop allegedly asked wife for $400 bribe to release husband
Police tight-lipped about one of their own being charged with extortion... This evening, Police Constable Norman Bol, 29, attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit, was able to leave the court on bail after being charged with extortion.

Crime and social breakdown have put Belize “in crisis” -- BNTU
Retiring Gen Sec, George Frazer, says Belizeans “must get disciplined… live within their means”... The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) today, through a press release, expressed a need for Government, the Opposition and our social partners to come together to address the extremely serious “escalating wave of violent crimes and social breakdowns plaguing our country,” saying that we are “in crisis,” and “on the brink.”

Indian businessman executed in his store
Sunnil Punjabi, 44, an Indian businessman of Guadeloupe Street, Orange Walk Town, was shot to death in his store yesterday, Wednesday, around 8:00 p.m.... Police said that a man entered the store and fired a single shot into Punjabi’s face, hitting him in his nose, and the gunman then walked out and rode away on a bicycle.

Keith Lewis, 24, shot to death in Lake I
Just over twenty-four hours after the tenth person was shot in the city in the Lake I area during a spate of senseless shootings that occurred over the weekend, during which ten people were shot and two died, another man was shot to death in the Lake I area of the city.

Barrow’s “discipline” budget June 29
Belize “doing well” despite oil shortfall; “we need to find more oil,” but no new taxes... No cuts for national security and “pro-poor” programs; DFC write-off for homeowners, students, and Mahogany Heights... Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, yesterday, Wednesday, June 13, called his first official press conference in that capacity since being re-elected with a reduced majority in the House of Representatives on March 7, at the River Hall, Belize Biltmore Plaza.

Dangriga sports
The Dangriga Basketball Association (DBA) U-19 Tournament continued at the Why-Not Island on Saturday, June 9, with 2 games played. In game 1, Seine Bight clipped Hopkins, 47-33, behind Andrew Ortiz 17 pts 18 rebs and Ryan Michael 11 pts. For Hopkins, Raheem Augustine had 11 pts and Maximo Elijio 9 pts. In game 2, it was Foreshore Spartanz, 37-30, over New Site Vipers. Foreshore was led by Shai Peters 15 pts 11 rebs and Domingue Nicholas 7 pts; while for New Site, Mark Gamboa had 13 pts and Manricio Rosalez 12 pts.

Teófilo Stevenson: the amateur boxer who chose Cuba over a million dollars
Offered a fortune to fight Muhammad Ali, Stevenson said he’d rather keep the love of his people, which he did until the end... In the iconography of post-revolutionary Cuba, one athlete stands above many others alongside Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. When the greatest heavyweight in the history of amateur boxing, Teófilo Stevenson, died this week at the age of 60, he took with him a little of the past that probably will never be revisited.

Belize Rural Primary girls and Crooked Tree Gov’t boys are Belize District Primary Schools Softball Champions 2012
The Belize District Primary Schools Softball Finials were played today at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City with 4 male and 4 female teams participating. In the female (F) category were Holy Cross Anglican of San Pedro, Belize Rural Primary of Double Head Cabbage, and Buttonwood Bay Nazarene and Unity Presbyterian from Belize City; while the males (M) included Holy Cross Anglican of San Pedro, Crooked Tree Gov’t of Crooked Tree Village, and St. Martin De Porres and Buttonwood Bay Nazarene of Belize City. It was a straight knockout format. In game 1, (F) Buttonwood Bay Nazarene blanked Holy Cross Anglican, 7-0. Winning pitcher (WP) was D’Andra McFadzean; and losing pitcher (LP) was Carla Yenez. Game 2 saw (M) Crooked Tree Gov’t emerging 2-0 winners over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene. WP - Lawrence Banner; LP - Bryan Pavon. In game 3, it was (F) Belize Rural Primary with the 10-3 victory over Unity Presbyterian. WP - Erlean Casasola; LP - Ashanti Carr. Game 4 was another close male contest, as (M) Holy Cross Anglican edged St. Martin De Porres, 4-2. WP - Royan Mendez; LP - Derrick Menzies. It was then straight into the championship round, with the first round winners squaring off. (F) Belize Rural Primary prevailed, 11-4, over Buttonwood Bay Nazarene to claim the female championship. WP - Erlean Casasola; LP - D’Andra McFadzean. And in the male match-up, (M) Crooked Tree Gov’t gained an 8-4 victory over Holy Cross Anglican. WP - Lawrence Banner; LP - Royan Mendez. Primary Softball Nationals on Friday The National Primary School Softball Championship is scheduled for Friday, June 15, in Belize City. Representing the Belize District in the females will be Belize Rural Primary School, while the males will be represented by Crooked Tree Gov’t School.

TIDE Freshwater Cup games, results and plans
The two Senior Freshwater Cup semifinals were played on Sunday, June 10, at the Toledo Union Field. Game 1 saw Estrellas FC blasting Cattle Landing Dolphins, 4-1, with goals from Orvin Paulino (15 min) and Derick Hines (57, 71 & 89 min). Miguel Bardalez scored for the Dolphins. In game 2, Belcampo FC and Mavericks FC played to a 2-2 draw in regulation, with Aduan Usher (20 min) and Mani Galvez (98 min) scoring for Belcampo, while Kerwin Mangar (50 min) and Leslie Williams (90 min) tallied for Mavericks. The game remained tied after overtime, so it was on to the penalty kicks, where Mavericks prevailed, 3-1, over Belcampo. Of the 5 penalty kicks taken by Mavericks, Jamie Tansley, Juan Hernandez and Ray Arzu scored , while Kerwin Mangar and Mike Williams missed. Only Dario Williams made good his penalty for Belcampo, with Donaldo Cucul, Sheldon Lambey, Max Cal and Aduan Usher all failing to convert.

Ideas and Opinions
Take the seeds of two fruits of the same tree. Place one in loamy soil and the other in strong ground. The first will grow up to be a fine tree, producing much fruit of a high quality. The other, if it grows up to be a tree, will not be as productive and, its fruit will be of an inferior quality. The same with people. Separate twins at birth. Place one with a middle class family, having both parents. Put the other with a single parent mother, who has two or more children of different fathers and live in the ghetto. We know what their prospects are, so I will leave it to your imagination. Still, it must be remarked that the circumstances of our birth influence greatly how we turn out.

Editorial: Crime and politics
One party had been deprived of a stage for so long that they had 10 speakers vent as if it were a rally for the grand old party. In the end, only one question came from the emasculated press corps. The other party had one speaker; the audience was, as if they had flat-lined. This time, though, the press was engaged. They, too, had been deprived for too long.

Lauds Adele; wants follow-up article re “Don’t make my mistake”
I read with keen interest the article written by Adele Ramos entitled, “Don’t make my mistake”, published in the Sunday, June 3, 2012 issue of Amandala. I thought that it was good to focus on the prisoners for a change, since we usually read about outlaws and their deeds only when they have recently committed their crimes and when their court appointments occur.


Countrywide internet outage
We woke up to a countrywide internet outage yesterday, which I was ok with as it helped keep me on track to finishing a guest post I was working on to help promote 2012 San Pedro Lobsterfest. Then I enjoyed watching My Morning Matters in bed until we got internet again – what a treat. Maureen, Tracy and I went to trivia last night and Andy joined our team to make 4. It was Paul’s first quiz while Cindy was away and boy was it hard, our team got totally smoked and came in last place. Dinner and a movie took the prize money and Brain trust came in a very second our team was not even in the race this week. Maureen just poped me on the coconut phone saying hurricane Carlotta in the Pacific coast of Mexico just to the north of the Guatamala border is causing our dark skies. Looks like it is going to throw down rain big time any minute and makes me wish I had gone to town to get my printing done at Gecko Graphics yesterday afternoon instead of waiting till today. Hopefully it will clear up for a bit after the rain hits.

Check That One Off the Bucket LIst: The Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is a miraculous engineering feat, a modern wonder of the world and something that I've always wanted to see. (See my Central American Bucket List) Not only is it a 48 mile long connection dug in jungle and rock between two oceans but the boats going through start at sea level, rise up 54 feet and then back down through a system of three huge locks. All using gravity. And the size of these boats? It's no joke... The trip generally takes 8-10 hours. The canal was completed by the Americans (well, actually the workers were mainly from the West Indies, primarily Barbados) in 1914 and handed over to the Panamanians on December 31, 1999. Visiting is a very cool thing. The first set of locks from the Pacific side are the Miraflores Locks about 15 minutes outside of town. There is a good sized visitor center and viewing area. To enter as a non-resident, you can pay $5 USD to only access the viewing areas or $8USD to see the movie and the museum. Pay the extra. The movie is worth it. Particularly if you are interested in the new locks that are being built to accommodate even larger that can hold up to 12,000 containers or are 160 feet wide (currently the locks are 110 feet wide). These mega-locks are set to open on the 100th anniversary of the completion of the canal in 2014. When you first arrive, you won't be impressed. The building is 3 stories high and you are allowed on only two and the observation area is way too small...way too crowded. Try to get a spot along the edge...people with their cameras will be elbowing you to get in front. A large scarab beetle landed on the woman in front of me...something to photograph while I waited for the first ship of the day to enter the locks. The boats go from Pacific to Atlantic in the morning and the opposite way in the afternoon.

Royal Love Affair Between Belize and Prince Harry Blooming
Lucy Fleming, owner of the Lodge at Chaa Creek, said that recent correspondence from the British Royal Family to the Government of Belize is one more indication of the close ties enjoyed by both countries, and helps explain why Belizeans are happy to retain Queen Elizabeth as their Queen. “The Department of Foreign Affairs recently sent us aletter explaining that they received correspondence from Prince Harry earlier this month personally thanking everyone involved in hosting him, and expressing how much he enjoyed his visit to Belize,” Ms Fleming said. “At Chaa Creek we’re accustomed to hosting celebrities and VIPs, but to have someone with such a high profile and busy schedule as Prince Harry to take the time out to personally thank you is pretty exceptional. I think this helps explain why the Royal Family is so loved by so many Belizeans,” she said. Prince Harry visited Belize last March as part of his grandmother’s, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee ceremonies. While in Belize the young Prince took part in a massive “block party” organised in his honour in the national capitol of Belmopan, launched a racing canoe named after the Queen for the Belize’s La Ruta Maya River Challenge, toured the Maya archaeological site of Xunantunich and stayed at The Lodge at Chaa Creek for a rainforest experience. Ms Fleming said that while at Chaa Creek the Prince enjoyed a massage, sampled a mojito, a rum drink made famous by Ernest Hemingway and a Chaa Creek speciality, and personally complimented the kitchen on a Maya themed dinner the Prince said he particularly enjoyed. “He was a marvellous guest, very warm, down to earth and easy going,” Ms Fleming said, “He seemed genuinely interested in Belize and Maya history and culture, as well as our own personal experience and the evolution of Chaa Creek. And now, to hear that he took the time out on more than one occasion to thank us, well, I think that speaks volumes about the sort of person he is and why the royal family is still so popular with Belizeans.” Prince Harry called his visit to Belize “such a wonderfully enjoyable adventure, though brief, with memories that will last a lifetime,” and said “Thank you for such a warm and friendly welcome to such a beautiful country. I am hugely grateful for the very happy memories, and I’m very sad to leave.”

Lobster season opens today!
Not good news if you are a lobster but excellent news if you enjoy to eat lobster – the harvesting of one of Belize’s largest exports commences today on 15th June. For the past four months the Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus Argus) have felt safe from fisherman and enjoyed their ocean. Fisherman in Belize each year cease farming the lobster to respect the laws the Fisheries have in place to sustain numbers. Lobster fisherman’s catch is on the decline in Belize over the past twenty years due to over-exploitation. So tonight, if you are here on Caye Caulker or indeed Belize, your food of choice would most likely to be lobster – so, are you staying for dinner??

International Sources

Honduras Committed to Protecting Marine Treasures
Honduras, in the heart of Central America, normally makes headlines for its political upheavals and violence. But sometimes there is good news, too. It is one of only a few countries with a shark sanctuary off its coasts, and it has just created a protected area around a reef of a coral species formerly on the brink of extinction. This month Honduras is celebrating the first anniversary of the declaration of the Bi-Oceanic Shark Sanctuary that encompasses its entire exclusive economic zone, some 240,000 sq km spanning both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. A photographer dives near a great hammerhead shark. Credit: Jim Abernethy - Courtesy of the Pew Environment Group Its coastal waters are home to numerous shark species, including hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, nurse sharks, tiger sharks and even six-gill sharks, which can reach lengths of almost five metres and are found in the Caribbean waters off Roatán, one of Honduras' Bay Islands. "In the Gulf of Fonseca (on the Pacific) there are hammerhead sharks, one of the most endangered shark species due to the fact that their fins are highly sought after in Asia for making soup. There are many young hammerhead sharks in the gulf, where they are protected," biologist Stephen Box, who has studied the threats to these creatures in the Honduran sanctuary, told Tierramérica.

“Where the hell is Belize?” with Wes Allen at the Rusholme Supper Club
Wes Allen returns from a recent trip to Belize with a menu inspired by the simple but nourishing cuisine of this little known Central American country. Many people are surprised to find an English-speaking country hidden on the Caribbean coast of Central America. Despite sharing borders with Guatemala and Mexico, Belize has more cultural similarities with the Anglo-Caribbean than it does with Latin America, due to its history as Britain's only colony (British Honduras) on the Central American isthmus. Wes Allen hosts popup brunch and southern barbecue events in his backyard and has been a vendor at the Toronto Underground Market selling homemade spice blends. The menu is based on the Belizean staples of fish, coconut milk, plantain and cassava. · Garnaches - open face crispy tortillas with with refried beans, cheese, onions and hot sauce · Snapper rundown, red snapper with a coconut milk chili sauce · Fried plantain · Cole slaw · Coconut rice and beans · Carrot-habenero hot sauce · Cassava pudding with vanilla sauce “Where the hell is Belize?” is a culinary meeting event of the Rusholme Supper Club.

College students in Belize: Loving the children, loving like a child
There are few things I do in my life that make me feel like I actually make a difference, and one of those things is missionary work. On May 27-June 2, I went with the University of Central Arkansas/Hendrix College Catholic Campus Ministry and 15 other missionaries to Bullet Tree Falls, Cayo, in Belize. Among those of us in attendance were Deacon Richard Papini, campus minister, and Father James Melnick, associate pastor of St. Joseph Church in Conway and CCM chaplain. This was my third mission trip, but my first time in Belize. I had previously attended the Christ the King Honduras Mission in 2008 and 2011. I was cautious to not go into this mission expecting it to be just like the CTK mission. The Belize mission was primarily an evangelization and construction mission, which is different than the medical work that is a big part of the work in the CTK mission. At first, I was a bit wary of going on a mission that was centered on evangelization. Usually, I associate missionary work with taking care of the people's primary needs, such as medical care, education and shelter.

June 15, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Costa Maya Festival presents Miss El Salvador
The Costa Maya Festival Committee has been working hard behind the scenes, lining up entertainment and all the semantics for a proper 2012 Festival. One of the most expected events is the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant, with anticipation high as to who will take the crown each year. The beauties are being introduced one by one, and this week, we present to you the first named contestant, Miss El Salvador. Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, is a stunning 19 year old beauty vying for the prestigious title. Nathaly stands at 5’ 7, and is a statuesque 35-25-35 brunette with brown eyes and hair. While Nathaly’s first language is Spanish, she also holds her own with English. We wish the best of luck to Miss El Salvador in this year’s pageant. ¡Bienvenida Nathaly! Sponsors are still welcomed for this year’s festival. Currently, Costa Maya counts Belize Tourism Board and Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. as the Grand Sponsor for the event. Diamond sponsors include the Bowen Group of Companies, Ramon’s Village Resort, Jose Luis Zapata Photography, Designing Solutions, Ambergris Today, The San Pedro Sun, The Reef Radio and Milo’s. Those looking to sponsor can contact Mr. Gach Guerrero at

Logging Season to be Closed
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department are informing the General Public that the logging season will close on Friday, June 15th, 2012. Loggers are advised that the harvesting of trees beyond the 15th of June will not be permitted. The closure of logging activities coincides with the arrival of the rainy season which is not conducive to logging operations. Apart from an increased risk of loss of human life, logging during the rainy season often results in damage to forest soils and to public access roads. The Forest Department will assess all forest produce harvested before the 15th of June on a mutually agreed schedule with the loggers. There will be no consideration for extension of forest permits and licenses after the close of the season. The logging season will re-open on the October 15th 2012. Applications for licenses for the next logging season should be submitted by July 31st, 2012, to the Chief Forest Officer, Forest Department, Belmopan.

2012/2013 “will be a difficult budget” says Belize’s PM Barrow
The Prime Minister of Belize Rt. Hon Dean Oliver Barrow addressed the nation in his first quarterly report during his second term of office on Wednesday June 13th. The event was held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza to a packed audience which included members of his Cabinet, Chief Executive Officers and senior personnel in the different government departments. Following the address, PM Barrow entertained questions from the media. In opening, PM Barrow detailed the current health condition of his wife, Kim Simplis-Barrow who is battling cancer. He outlined that Simplis-Barrow will be seeing a heart specialist abroad who specializes in cardiovascular problems secondary to radiation and chemotherapy treatment after which she should return to Belize. Moving into government business, PM Barrow explained that in the fiscal year 2012-2013 the government will operate on a difficult budget. “There is no doubt that this will be a difficult budget. Reason number one is what is happening with global oil prices. The significant drop is good news for consumers at the pump but our country’s export earnings are being hammered and government will experience a $30 million falloff in tax revenue as a result of these far lower oil prices and also because of declining BNE’s (Belize Natural Energy) production.” PM Barrow said that discussions are ongoing with BNE for the establishment of a local oil refinery. He also said that his government will look at the possibility of tapping into the Venezuelan PetroCaribe initiative through the local oil subsidiary Puma Energy International who supplies fuel to Belize. If successful the Government of Belize (GOB) will also seek to take advantage of the concessionary financing agreement that is accompanied with the PetroCaribe initiative.

Time to enjoy the crusty crustacean: Open Lobster Season kicks off festivities
The Belize lobster season 2012/2013 will open on June 15th and will end at midnight on the 14th of February, 2013. For the past few weeks traditional local fishermen on Ambergris have been gearing up, building new and repairing lobster traps and placing lobster sheds on the waterbeds in anticipation of the new season. Fishermen look forward to the opening of the long awaited lobster season since it generates income into the local economy from the start of the season to the very end. The first big demand for the spiny lobster is during the lobster festivals planned in various parts of the country including Caye Caulker Village, Placencia and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. San Pedro is the first to kick off the lobster festivals with a week-long calendar of activities. The event kicks off on Friday June 15th at El Divino (Banana Beach Resort) featuring the opening ceremonies. According to the San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee it is a great way to launch the festival on the same day the season opens and with great food. The Lobster Fest will run through Sunday, June 24th. Each day, the event will move to a different location, each with a singular menu depending on the venue.

Rebecca Stirm stirs up drama with ‘Wild Card’ Finale
Some Mission Catwalk viewers were in for a surprise on Tuesday’s episode of the Caribbean reality series when instead of seeing Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW) presentations from the final trio, eliminated designer Rebecca Stirm, who also showed at CFW, was brought into the mix as the wild card and a contender for the winning title. Needless to say the top three, Crystal Powell, Gregory Williams and Ryan Chan were caught off guard by Rebecca’s return as well. For her part, 19 year old Belmopan Belize native, who was already preparing a collection for CFW was thankful for the second chance. “When the judges announced to me that I was being brought back as a wild card I teared up. It’s very humbling to know that I have a second shot at winning and going to London Fashion Week.”

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High School Seniors Shine at Prom 2012
The blue carpet rolled out and the crowds gathered to witness the glitz and glamour that is Prom Night in San Pedro. The graduating seniors of San Pedro High School held their Prom at Banana Beach Resort on Thursday, June 14, 2012, and partied the night away until the wee hours of the morning. Here's a look at the best dressed and those who took Prom Night by storm.

SP Foreman Attends Solid Waste Management Seminar
The San Pedro Town Council’s foreman Samuel Gonzalez travelled to San Salvador, El Salvador to attend a four-day training program on June 5, 2012. Gonzalez was part of a Belizean delegation who received training on solid waste management as part of the National Solid Waste Management Plan. “One of the concepts that I believe we can adapt here on the Island is that of implementing an educational campaign,” stated Gonzalez to Ambergris Today. “We visited San Jose Departamento de Union where a huge educational campaign was carried out by the government officials in which they went house to house explaining to the people on how to properly dispose of their garbage. They even provided garbage bags and other material for the campaign after which they target schools and children for all to learn proper solid waste disposal.”

Misc Belizean Sources

The Unfounded Guatemala Claim Over Belize
by Joaquin Magaña Sr. A very concise and effective piece on why Belize should say "no" to the ICJ... In 1838 – 1839 the United Provinces of Central America broke up giving rise to the new countries of Central America. Guatemala Claimed that Belize was administered by Spain as part of the Captaincy of Guatemala and that they had inherited this sovereignty, as a result of the breakup of the federation. They say Belize was passed to Guatemala, since Belize had been considered part of Peten or Verapaz region of Guatemala. The fact is that there is by far more convincing historical evidence, however, to strongly suggest that Belize was considered by Spain as part of Yucatan (Mexico) NOT of Guatemala; but in any case, Spain never ever occupied Belize. During the 18th century the Spanish attacked the settlement (Belize) many times, and in 1717, 1730, 1754, and 1779 forced the settlers to leave. However, the Spanish NEVER settled in Belize, and the British returned and expanded their settlement and trade. On September 10th, 1798 was the last time that the Spanish attacked. The British side won what became known as the Battle of St. George’s Caye. The Spanish retreated and NEVER again tried to control the settlement (Belize). The truth of the fact is that all attacks on the settlement came from the Captaincy of Yucatan (Mexico) NOT from Guatemala.

More than a picture
This list of old Belizean characters was originally generated with input from many folks and has been added to over the years. This list is not intended to make fun of anyone, but simply to bring back memories of some of the notorious characters of Old Belize.

Commentary: Belize, land of the free... for all?
The government of Belize, with the support of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, has acceded to the recommendation of the Organisation of American States (OAS), to proceed with a simultaneous referenda involving whether to take the matter of Guatemala’s unfounded claim on Belizean territory to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The date is set for 6th October 2013 and, given the significance of the matter, it is high time that Belizeans wake up and, as we say in our local parlance, “Sleep wid yo own eye”. Translated, it means, check the facts for yourself and make your decisions based on your own view. There are some very influential Belizean politicians, diplomats, legal scholars, representatives and political party fanatics of the current, past and aspiring variety, who are touting the “benefits” of Belize taking the matter to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). To this I say hogwash. Let me begin by stating unequivocally that, if you are a Belizean whether by birth or naturalisation or even a friend of Belize, then ask yourself, “What is the significance of 21st September 1981?” For those of us who hold our Belizean identity as true and being in-line with the elements which go hand in hand with our nation’s independence, there should be no question whatsoever as to the significance of the aforementioned date. In short, it is the day which is recognised, internationally, by virtually all nations and according to international and regional bodies (e.g. United Nations, CARICOM, SICA, ACS and, ironically, even the OAS, as Belize’s Independence Day. But let us not stop there. Under the UN Charter, Belize is accepted as a full-member, with its territory intact. Now, what does that mean? As I interpret it, Belize is acknowledged as an independent, sovereign territory, WITH ITS BORDERS INTACT. Please note I did not give mention of any sort of “Adjacency Zone”, as the OAS would like Belizeans to believe. No, we have a western border with our neighbour to the west and it is recognised by all who matter.

A history of Belize external debt

Belize Magnificent Tours #1 on Tripadvisor
Belize Magnificient Tours, known in Cayo as BZM Tours, has taken the number 1 spot for tour operators on! 31 perfect reviews and one very good review. Quite a success story. Way to go, Albert.

The Belize Botanic Gardens Promo Video
The Belize Botanic Gardens at DuPlooy's Jungle Lodge has a short video that shows some of their amazing plants. One of Cayo's magical spots is highlighted in the video. There is a little narration that doesn't get in the way of the beauty shown. "A short tour of the Belize Botanic Gardens located at duPlooy's Jungle Lodge, Belize's Premiere Nature Lodge."

PACT at Sweet 16
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust is celebrating its sweet 16! They are asking questions on their FB page through June 21st, and you could win some nice prizes if you answer the questions correctly. Congratulations to PACT, and good luck to everyone!

Fry Jacks
In this video I do a remake of Fry Jacks or Fry Cakes to include more instructions and keeping everything uniformed with our theme. Fry Jacks are a simple fried bread that can be the difference between going to be hungry of being satisfied during times of recession or famine. I can be eaten with jams and jellies, peanut butter, confectioner/powdered sugar or meats and cheeses or alone. This is a very versatile meal.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (13 June, 2012)
Mini X 50.00 Each (6 Balls) 24 ­2 ­26 ­46 ­10 ­59­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (13 Balls) 24 ­2 ­26 ­46 ­10 ­59 ­9 ­17 ­1 ­56 ­21 ­48 ­29­ Lucky Two 5.00 Each (14 Balls) 24 ­2 ­26 ­46 ­10 ­59 ­9 ­17 ­1 ­56 ­21 ­48 ­29 ­65­ Check Mark 200.00 Each (14 Balls) 24 ­2 ­26 ­46 ­10 ­59 ­9 ­17 ­1 ­56 ­21 ­48 ­29 ­65­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (20 Balls) 24 ­2 ­26 ­46 ­10 ­59 ­9 ­17 ­1 ­56 ­21 ­48 ­29 ­65 ­47 ­15 ­7 ­30 ­57 ­31­

Channel 7

Another Police Officer Accused Of Extortion
Tonight, the police department is keeping a tight lid on details in relation to an extortion attempt by 29 year-old Police Constable Norman Bol, currently attached to the Criminal Intelligence Unit. The Police Press Office has not been forthcoming, but what 7News has confirmed is that on Sunday, Roberto Matus was detained by police pending investigation. His wife, Marilyn Matus demanded that he be released from police custody, but she made no progress with that demand. That is until, according to Matus' allegation, PC Bol approached her and said that he could release Roberto Matus from custody, but she would have to pay him $400 dollars to do so. Matus said that she paid Bol the money, and she then reported him for trying to extort her in her time of desperation. Police investigated the report and they eventually charged Bol with extortion, and he was arraigned in Magistrates Court today. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, and the court prosecutor had no objections to bail.

Have You Seen Claudia Zetina?
A 15 year old Girl from Cayo is missing tonight, presumably a runaway - and police need your help to find her. Claudia Zetina left her mother's home in San Ignacio two days ago. She said she was going to vaster her aunt in Santa Elena, but then sent her mom a message saying she was going to Teakettle. Her mother Gloria Hernandez went to Belmopan police to helped her to make checks in Teakettle but the teenager was nowhere to be found. Police tell us that this is the third time for this year that she has run away. Hey physical description is as follows: she is five feet tall and has the name Miguel tattooed on both legs and the initial "G.A." tattooed on her arm. IF you know her whereabouts, you are asked to call the nearest police station of 0-800-922-TIPS.

Man Shot In Roaring Creek
A man was shot yesterday in Roaring Creek Village. Dane Felix Matute was riding a bicycle in the Another World Area where he crossed paths with Corwin Mendoza who allegedly shot him multiple times in both legs. Police are looking for Mendoza.

CWU And SSB Not Seeing Eye To Eye
Social Security payments are due on the 14th of the month - and panicked whispers went out late yesterday that there would be mighty long lines, because Social Security workers intended to stage a sick out. Well, it didn't happen - but that didn't stop Social Security Management from deploying additional staff to all major branches just in case workers didn't show up. But they did, and all went as normal - except that the gate at Belmopan Headquarters was open a little later than usual. But, according to the Christian Workers Union things will inevitably come to a head if Management does not sign off on a long-in-the-making Collective Bargaining agreement. The CWU represents the workers and today General Secretary James McFoy told us that Management responded to a threat today - but in the days to come, it might not have tome to respond:.. James McFoy - General Secretary, CWU "They heard that they should have been finish then which should have been done but the union is a responsible union that is why it did not happen, but they will not know when it will happen."

Family of Stevens Brothers: There Was No Rape
Last night, 7News told you about 23 year-old Jermaine Stevens and his 29 year-old brother, Austin, who were arraigned for rape in Magistrates Court and remanded to prison. As we reported, a Belize City woman reported to police that on March 20, 2012, at about 12:30 p.m., she went to the Stevens' Jane Usher Boulevard home to look for a friend. According to the woman, while she was there, she went to use the bathroom, and when she came out, she was confronted by both brothers. Jermaine and Austin Stevens allegedly grabbed her, and placed her on a bed where Jermaine Stevens allegedly raped her while Austin Stevens watched. Jermaine Stevens was charged with rape, while his brother Austin was charged with abetment to commit rape. But today, we caught up with the mother of the Stevens brothers, and she told us that this woman has fabricated this entire story from start to finish. Here's how she explained the situation: Voice of: Sandra Pollard, Mother of Accused Brothers "Since this thing happened going on now to 3 months, she was in there going for 2 months with my son and my niece because it was my niece who brought her in to live with her, because she say that they were chased from Faber's Road and she didn't have anywhere to stay." "So she (niece) took her in with them and then she turned around and says that they rape her. Nobody didn't rape her, she was right here. Jermaine girlfriend was right here. Jermaine is not that type of man, neither of them are, they have enough women and don't need to have to rape anyone,"

Green Tropics Faces Penalties For Canal
Green Tropics, the Spanish Investment Group that got into hot water after it cut a massive canal through a wildlife sanctuary, is now being advised on how it can right its wrong. The Company sent out a release earlier this week stating that it quote, "unreservedly apologizes to the people of Belize for the construction of the final drain section through the jaguar corridor to the Belize River." Coming after the fact, it might not count for much, but that's a lot for a multinational company to say. The company says that it was acting on bad advice from its environmental consultants who told them that since an environmental impact assessment had already been submitted - but not approved - they could start work before the rainy season. But that advice was very wrong - and the Department of the Environment today issued a release stressing that all no project should be embarked upon until and unless an environmental compliance plan is signed. And for those who don't, the law carries a serious penalty, a fine of between fifty thousand and a hundred thousand dollars. And that's what Green Tropics is now facing.

Maliq Nunez Needs Your Help
3 year old Maliq Nunez was born with a rare condition called Tracheomalacia - a condition commonly known as a "floppy windpipe." It limits his ability to breathe, forcing him to respire through a tube in his throat. His mother has had a difficult time with it, as he requires constant attention in the event that the tube becomes clogged or is accidentally taken out. It is a serious concern, and she came to our studios today with a plea for support:.. Kandy Martin, Pleading Mother "He was diagnosed with Tracheomalacia, floppy windpipe, so a couple of days after he was born they inserted a trake in him so that he could breathe good on his own. If the trake come out my child could die. The other day he took out the trake himself because he have like a belt strap around his neck and so he just took it off and he went to my mother and gave her the trake." "Panicking, I didn't know what to do and so I call for an ambulance. Whenever the weather changes he is in and out of the hospital. It's not something that I can prevent. I just try to keep him warm and comfortable. When the weather changes the trake starts to act up - it gets cloggy, no matter what you do clean it gets clog."

Kim Barrow Still Not 100% After Heart Failure
Kim Barrow continues to recover from heart failure while battling stage three breast cancer. She is in Miami and could come home in a few weeks - but her husband, the Prime Minister says, after that she could be right off to another medical center in Houston. That's where she hopes to get specialized treatment for her heart - which was badly damaged by the breast cancer medication and chemotherapy. The Prime Minister explains that a pair of Belizean doctors practicing in the US worked on the referral:.. Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Doctor Bernard Bulwer in Boston and Doctor Dorita Arzu in Houston have arranged for us to see a cutting edge specialist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the Texas Medical Complex in Houston. That doctors' expertise is in treating heart failure arising secondary to radiation and chemotherapy damage and we should be able to see him as early as next week." Kim Barrow's heart is presently functioning at 10 to 15% and Doctors say the damage to the heart is largely irreversible.

BCVI Offering Free Eye Clinics
A team of eye specialists from Great Falls Montana are in Belize conducting free eye clinics at the BCVI. Doctor David Boes - an Ophthalmologist who has been working alongside the Belize Council For The Visually Impaired for the past 4 years leads the team. They are performing free cataract surgeries at the BCVI - and we found out what they have been encountering. Dr. David Boes - Ophthalmologist "Unfortunately most patients that we have seen here have very dense cataracts which is a cloudiness of the lens of the eye. I think some of the ultraviolet and the sun really hardens some of these cataracts - makes it very dense causing really significant blurred vision or vision loss in some patients. It's kind of like many of them are in a cave - it's very dark and when we take the cataract out it lets a lot more light in and we replace the natural lens with an artificial lens to help them to see better." "Three things in mind why I chose Belize are, there are many dense cataracts here because of the ultraviolet light and there is a good facility like BCVI in order to take the cataract out - they have a good microscope and they have a good surgical team here. I've done about 35,000 cataracts surgeries in the United States and so I wanted to use my experience here with patients with very dense cataracts to see better and finally at the end of the day I wanted a view of the ocean. (smiling)"

A Lesson In Self-Defense; Just In Case
The gruesome murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe has left many Belizeans feeling that they have to do something, but no one can say just what should be done. Well, Renee Wentz hopes to equip teenagers and young adults with the skills to protect themselves with a free self-defense course in Cayo on Sunday. She stopped by our studios today to tell us more. Renee Wentz "I decided to come and do these trainings because Jasmine Lowe's murder of last week and the fact that the person who has murder has not been apprehended at this point. I want to give girls in Cayo some kind of feeling of safety and also to know if somebody approaches them what they can do." "We start out with training; just basic street safety; how do you walk on the street?, How do you observe your surroundings? A lot of times if people are cognizant of what's going on around them and they can see things happening, they can avoid actually getting into a situation, so my primary teaching is avoiding those situations." "It's actually not to fight; it's just to defend yourself in order to get away. It's not to stay there and have a long - half and hour fight, but it's to do something in order to get out of the situation and get to safety." There will be two courses on Sunday: the morning session is from 8:30 to 12:00 at the Georgeville Community Center, and the other session is from 1:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon at Meluchi's Restaurant. If you have any questions you can contact Renee Wentz at 630-5571.

Winner Of Modest Lotto Jackpot Still Happy
Pauline Conorquie is the latest winner of the Lotto Jackpot. She won a modest $62,500 lottery but she isn't complaining. She has been buying Lotto religiously - ever since it started, and every time she buys only one quick pick. Well, it has finally paid off, and Conorquie still can't believe that she will be walking away with $53,125. She told us today what the experience has been like. Pauline Conorquie, Wnner "This morning I went to work and then I ask my supervisor to check the numbers for me, she came back and she showed me the paper and she said 'you won!.' I said that I didn't win because the letter is different. She said 'yes you won.' I can't believe that, she said 'let's go to the Lotto office and check it out then.' When I came here they told me that I won." "I feel kind of nervous, I couldn't believe it, I still don't believe it until I see the cheque I guess. I have some bills to take care of, so that will help me to that." The winning numbers were 08,12,24,29,32.

The Ms. Plus Size Pageant
Hand in Hand Ministries is having a fundraiser this weekend, but it's not the usual pageant. Ms. Plus Belize showcases the talents and skills of 5 plus sized contestants as they dance, sing and act under the theme: Elegance, eloquence and excellence. It is an interesting concept, and we stopped by the rehearsal today where we found out how the idea came about and what the audience can expect. Robin Schaffer "Who came up with the idea of a Plus Size pageant?" Magnolia Vargas, Hand in Hand Ministries "Actually its Ms. Lauren, she came up with that Plus Size idea. Everybody bought into it and it sounded like a lot of fun and actually now that we are almost at the day of the pageant it all looks great and it's going to be a very good event." "Plus size women out there are sometimes pressured by society and we need to show them that being or having a plus size doesn't have anything to do with being beautiful and being elegant and also being eloquent. That's out theme for our pageant." Anna Nicholson, Pageant Contestant "It's an experience of being exposed to like my sexiness, my all kinds of stuff you know. It's like an experience to show people who I am and not body size. Ladies, it's not the size of a woman that justify who they are, it's what you have in you. Get to know a person before you judge them."

The Profile Of A Hard-Working Valedictorian
Asher Canto is the valedictorian at Edward P Yorke High School. He is what you might call a late bloomer - but that didn't stop him from excelling in High School. In tonight's I Am Belize Profile, he tells us how he achieved excellence:..

Channel 5

Bondholders don’t want to lose in restructured Superbond
Should the government prepare for a head on collision with holders of the Superbond? On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow updated the nation on the national budget to be presented on June twenty-ninth in the House and on the progress of negotiations to restructure the Superbond. He told the media in his first press conference [...]

Mahogany heights and students get DFC write-off
Despite the grim economic outlook and a huge budget deficit, at Wednesday’s press conference, the P.M. said that he intends to strike off loans for the property on the Western Highway known as Mahogany Heights, as well as some housing and student loans held with the Development Finance Corporation. The P.M. explained who would qualify [...]

B.N.T.U. says G.O.B. owes members millions
While loan holders with the DFC will be happy with the write-off, the unions are uneasy about the cutbacks anticipated in the national budget. News Five spoke today with the Belize National Teachers Union (B.N.T.U.) General Secretary, George Frazer, who says that the union has been in discussion with government for the past three and [...]

B.N.T.U. also fed up about crime
There is another worry for the B.N.T.U., which is over crime; a huge challenge for the government. Describing Belize as a country in crisis, the B.N.T.U. says teachers and students have been victims of violent crimes, including the murders of Jasmine Lowe, Daniel Matura and teacher, Marco Thompson.   George Frazer, General Secretary, B.N.T.U. “Like [...]

Another cop charged with extortion
Charges brought against another Belize City cop are tainting the police department even further. Twenty nine year old Police Constable, Norman Bol, who is attached to the C.I.U. was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court on a single charge of extortion, to which he pleaded not guilty. The charge is in connection with an allegation made [...]

2 men charged following a domestic dispute
Two men were charged today following a domestic dispute on Tuesday. First, twenty-eight year old Deshawn Dawson was charged with Aggravated Assault upon his common-law-wife Vanessa Westby for allegedly pulling a gun at her. He pleaded not guilty and was denied bail. Dawson was also told that on June twentieth, he must appear before the [...]

15 year old San Ignacio girl missing
A fifteen year old girl is reported missing in San Ignacio Town. Gloria Hernandez reported to police that her fifteen year old Claudia Zetina and her cousin, Alba Jemenez, left home en route to Santa Elena on Tuesday evening but her daughter never returned. Jemenez reported Hernandez that Claudia said she was going to Teakettle [...]

8th Amendment had it wrong?
A court ruling was delivered on Monday, which had to do with the nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited and the Eighth Amendment, which generated a huge public outcry last year. Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his government believed that once they had a supermajority in the House, they could pass any amendment to any law, [...]

Oceana Belize nominated for prestigious award
Belize became the first country in the world to completely ban bottom trawling, when a statutory instrument was signed into law in December 2010. It was a major step that has earned Belize a nomination for a Future Policy Award. Thirty-one policies from twenty-two countries are on the list of nominees for the prestigious award [...]

Pauline Conorquie wins the Lotto!
There’s a new Lotto winner and she didn’t have to go far to collect her cheque. Forty-five year old Belize City resident, Pauline Conorquie, is a Brodies employee, who found out this morning that the ticket she bought for Wednesday night’s draw, won her the sixty-two thousand, five hundred dollar jackpot. When we met Conorquie [...]

Re-registration will not occur due to Spartan budget
Re-registration of voters is an issue that surfaces in election seasons. Earlier this week, the Peoples United Party held a press conference in which they felt it is time for a re-registration exercise because some constituencies have grown significantly. The Prime Minister acknowledged on Wednesday that certain constituencies have over seven thousand electors but by [...]

Musings of local oil refinery and Venezuela fuel
ExxonMobil, the parent company of Esso Standard Oil, S.A., sold the Central American assets in Belize along with refineries in Nicaragua and El Salvador to Puma Energy Limited in 2011. The future of Puma’s operation in Belize may depend on discussions that the government is having with the government of Venezuela to procure cheaper fuel. [...]

Bananas, citrus and sugar; safe economic bet
Despite the economic downturn, the Prime Minister says that the bananas and citrus industries are both doing well, but the crown jewels in the industry would be the sale of the Belize Sugar Industries Factory to American Sugar Refineries. B.S.I. was struggling to keep operational and a successful crop season translates into additional bonus payments [...]

Literacy Without Borders terrific work in Belize
Literacy Without Borders is a Canadian Based NGO that has been working in Belize for the last year. Twenty participants received training in methods used to facilitate literacy in a number of settings that can turn out to be easy and fun. News Five’s Andrea Polanco stopped in at the last day of workshop to [...]

Canadian British High Commissioner donates utility vests to the B.D.F.
Also from Canada, the High Commissioner to Belize, Hugues R. Rousseau has announced a donation of two thousand surplus utility vests to the B.D.F. The donation is a part of Canada’s Americas’ Strategy and its commitment to support Central American countries in addressing security concerns. According to Rousseau, the B.D.F. requested assistance from the Canadian [...]

Healthy Living gives true blood for Donor Day
It’s World Blood Donor Day and all over the globe, an appeal is being made, urging healthy persons to give blood. In the following segment of Healthy Living, we have the story of a Sickle Cell patient whose survival depends on blood transfusions. It is a stark reminder that giving blood can save a life. [...]


Literacy without borders is a Canadian based non-governmental organization that does literacy development around the world. Their first country of operation is here in Belize and in partnership with the Government of Belize, they have been hosting a three day workshop in Belize C...

Residents of Santa Elena town have organized what is being described as a peaceful demonstration for Friday afternoon in the twin towns. The Bishop Martin Neighborhood Watch Committee is organizing the event to demonstrate against crime, not only in San Ignacio and San...

On Wednesday June 13 at approximately 11 a.m. members of the special patrol unit was in mobile patrol in the Another World area of Roaring Creek Village and acting upon information they visited an empty lot where a search of the lot resulted in the discovery of one nine millimeter Bere...

On Wednesday June 13 sometime around 6:15 p.m acting upon information received Police visited Progress Avenue in Roaring Creek Village where Dane Felix Matute 30 year old Belizean labourer of Another World area was seen with bleeding from gunshot wounds to his leg. Initial invest...

A Belizean living and working in the United States has published a new software to help persons interested in social work. Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty who is an assistant professor at Indiana University School of Social Work says anyone with the access to the internet can access d...

People who have outstanding loans with the Development Finance Corporation will soon get some relief in the form of a write off. The announcement was made yesterday by Prime Minister Dean Barrow during his quarterly press conference. In making the announcement, Prime Minist...

We now join our San Ignacio based Correspondent Elaine Berry, for news on recent events in that area. ELAINE BERRY, Reporter “Today Bishop O.P. Martin RC School was blessed with three new classrooms that were donated by the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trus...

Belize Cane Farmers Association has planned a celebration for tomorrow in Orange Walk Town. Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports. MANUELA AYUSO CANTUN, Reporter “The 2011- 2012 sugar cane crop is over and to celebrate the success of this crop season the Belize Su...

The Corozal Methodist School is celebrating an achievement: one of its students is the top scorer for Corozal in the 2012 Primary School Examinations. Carl Galvez earned a total score of three hundred and seventy seven and ranked twenty second overall among all the students who s...


Two injured in Vernon Street shootings
Two Belize City women were victims of separate shooting incidents last night. The first incident happened around ten twenty five last night, and sent twenty one year old Carrie Wade to the emergency room. According to police reports, Wade was socializing in front of number 9 Vernon Street when a lone gunman came from the direction of Mosul Street and fired several shots, hitting her in the right upper thigh and right leg. The second woman was shot about 90 minutes later, also on Vernon Street. She has been identified as eighteen year old Kenisha Humes. According to police reports, Humes was socializing in front of her residence at number 4542 Vernon Street, when three men on separate bicycles rode by and fired several shots, hitting her in the right knee. Police say Humes was treated at the KHMH and has since discharged herself from the medical facility. Police investigation of both shooting incidents continues.

Labourer sentenced to two years for aggravated assault
Fifty one year old Chester Smith, a labourer charged with aggravated assault of an incident nature on a six year old female child was sentenced to two years today by chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after he was found guilty of the charge. The incident occurred between June and September 2011. The child, who testified on camera, said she was in the living room of her aunt’s house when Smith touched her on her genital area. The mother of the child testified that she left her daughter with her sister, and went to work and that her daughter subsequently told her what Smith did. The child’s aunt testified that she was the babysitter and that at the time of the incident, she was in her bedroom and she left the child in the living room. She said Smith, a friend of the family, was staying at the house at the time. Smith testified and denied that he committed the offense.

PUP representatives critique government performance
At its press conference on Tuesday, the People’s United Party, in its review of the government’s performance during its first one hundred days in office, shared its views on wide and varied issues. Corozal South East’s Area Representative, Florencio Marin, Jr., said that the recent transaction in the sugar industry with American Sugar Refining is one that needs close scrutiny. Belize Rural Central’s Area Representative, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, dealt with education. Meanwhile, Stann Creek West’s Area Representative, Rodwell Ferguson, said that the voters’ list remains bloated. Orange Walk East Area Representative, Marco Tulio Mendez, said that as a medical doctor, he is frustrated with the health sector by what he calls an inefficient health scheme. As for Toledo West Area Representative, Oscar Requena, he said that infrastructural development in his area has decelerated. The PUP says that they will keep the government under close watch during their term of office and will be holding regular press conferences to update the public.

Mayor Bradley outlines plans to improve city infastructure
On Tuesday, Mayor Darrel Bradley outlined that under his Council’s plans for infrastructural development, several streets within the City will get a facelift. In addition to this, he said that the northern entrance to Belize City will see a whole new overhaul and it will entail a toll system. As far as sanitation is concerned, the Mayor said that the Council is in the process of developing a sanitation plan and it will involve each family. Traffic management, according to Bradley, is one of the areas within the Council’s 100-day plan on which they have made significant strides. And to make it effective, he says, there will be no more write-offs of traffic tickets, not even for him. And finally, if you own a nightclub, then you will have known about the Council’s strict refusal to grant extensions to night clubs. Mayor Bradley said that with the passage of time, his Council will strive to increase revenue collection and decrease expenditure. Where jobs at City Hall have become vacant, he says, the Council has tried to operate without rehiring new faces.

Prime Minister Barrow speaks to Belizeans
Ninety eight days after winning a second term in office, Prime Minister Dean Barrow today faced the nation during his quarterly press conference. The venue for the much anticipated event was the Biltmore Hotel. And Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Myles Gillett had good seats for the days’ proceedings.

Businessman shot and killed in Orange Walk
A shooting incident last night has claimed the life of an Orange Walk businessman. With a report, here is our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun.

Women take pride in Unity Outreach graduation
The Unity Outreach Ecumenical Ministry at number forty-four Gibnut street in Belize, earlier this week mounted an exhibition of Works done by trainees of the program. The center has only been operationally for a little over six months and will be graduating its first intake on the twenty ninth of June. President of the Unity Outreach Ecumenical Ministry, Erna Jones, told Love News that seventeen to nineteen women will be walking away with certificates. Jones says a substantial amount of people visited the exhibition. Love News spoke with some of the women who work to make the center function on a day to day basis. Jones says that women who want to take part in the program can start signing up for the second intake.


Wild west showdown in Roaring Creek
Gunshot rang out in Roaring Creek just after 6pm yesterday evening; our news crew rushed to a volatile scene, on Pr...

Timeless celebration for golden age fathers
HELPAGE Belmopan is the organization that takes on the responsibility of providing and creating workshops, programs...

New seat established at the Office of the Prime Minister
In case you missed it, at the press conference yesterday Prime Minister Barrow made an announcement that Ambassador...

Principals of Cayo primary schools meet
There are approximately fifty-seven primary schools in the Cayo District and each year the Cayo Association of Prin...

Another San Ignacio teen goes missing
Gloria Hernandez of San Ignacio Town reported that on June 12 her daughter 15 year old Claudia ZETINA, and her cous...

GOB and OCEANA's unprecedented move
The following is a press release by OCEANA in Belize: “The world has taken notice of the historic decision of the G...

Former security guard convicted for molesting child
51 year old Chester Smith, a former security guard, has been sentenced to two years in prison. He was found guilty ...

BNTU offers recommendation to Min. of National Security
The Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) has put out a release expressing its deep an...

Santa Elena residents organize demonstration
Residents of Santa Elena town have organized what is being described as a peaceful demonstration for Friday afterno...

Police search for escaped fugitive
A young Guatemalan man, 19 year old Wilbert Alfredo Vasquez, was caught by residents of Georgeville after he tried ...

Logging season ends tomorrow
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and the Forest Department has issued a release info...

The Guardian

What Next for BTL?
“From the commencement of the Belize Constitution (Eight Amendment) Act, 2011, the Government shall have and maintain, at all times majority ownership and control of a public utility provider.” This one portion of a sentence in section 144 of the 8th amendment to the Constitution, and the preceding section 143 which simply defined public utilities, public utility provider, government and government shareholding are the only two parts of the eighth amendment that Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall found were lawful. The entire remainder of the 8th amendment was severed and declared null and void. When interpreting legislation, a Judge can sever the good from the bad, and if the good is able to stand on its own, the law is declared good to the extent that it is in conformity with, in this instance the Constitution. Bear in mind that the Supreme Law Clause of the Constitution specifically says this at Clause 2, “This Constitution is the Supreme Law of Belize and if any other law is inconsistent with this Constitution that other law shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.” Justice Legall’s basis for holding portions of the 8th amendment null and void, is that those portions, “...are contrary to the separation of powers and the basic structure doctrine of the Constitution.”

Belize City Council: More Work Than Ever
On Tuesday June 12th,Mayor Darrell Bradley presented the Belize City Council's achievements over the past 100 days. While the presentation came three days shy of the 100 day mark, it was nonetheless impressive. Bradley began by explaining that immediately upon taking office the council came up with a 100-day plan of action, which would focus on improved governance, infrastructure and quality of life. By any measure, the council has been able to deliver on the three areas. The mayor said that the goal was to transform Belize City into a place where the residents were proud to live in and could boast about. He explained that what he was looking for was to implement what he called marks of quality - to establish things that could be clearly identified as marks of excellence. Among these marks was his goal to build streets that would last, have a clean city and men and women in the council that can boast of integrity. In the first 100 days he's well underway to delivering. In the area of governance, the council went through a transformation with the hiring of a new Director of Finance in the person of Marilyn Ordonez, and a new Chief Internal Auditor, Marilyn Garvin. Additionally, the services of external auditing firm Castillo, Sanchez & Burrell were contracted to do a full and continuous audit for the next three years of the council. An audit committee was also established with representation from both within the council as well as external representatives. Bradley said that parallel to instituting a sound financial team, the council has undertaken to hire people with the best qualifications and so far a new city engineer was also hired. That person is Camila Cardona. Added to the hiring of qualified individuals, the council has also sought to put in place mechanisms for better transparency. Included in this is the posting of the property tax roll on the council's webpage for the perusal by anybody who may be interested. Also, there have been systems put in place to continuously train the staff at CITCO.

June 29th Budget: No Tax Increase!
Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, held his first quarterly press conference since being reelected to serve in the highest office of Belize. Issues such as the upcoming budget presentation, overall status of the economy and crime fighting strategies are of outmost importance; however, the nation has been following the health of the Prime Minister’s wife closely and before he got into the issues of national importance, Prime Minister Barrow spoke to the nation simply as a husband and father. PM Barrow thanked the people of Belize for their intercessory prayers during a very difficult time for his family. He said that his wife has been released from the hospital and is being cared for by in-house doctors. When she arrives in Belize, she will continue to be monitored closely by doctors as she recuperates from heart failure and continues her battle with breast cancer. After providing that update on his wife’s condition to the country, PM Barrow summed up his thoughts on the status of the economy in one sentence. He said, “All things being considered, we are doing remarkably well.” The tourism sector continues to prosper. The Minister of Tourism, Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr., is expecting as much as a ten percent growth in tourism this year. Another bedrock of the economy is the agricultural sector. Belize just closed the books on an extremely fruitful sugar crop season. According to PM Barrow, there was a fifteen-percent increase in earnings this season. The sugar industry will also be boosted by a new strategic investor, American Sugar Refining, who plans to significantly increase production. The banana industry had improved yields and the citrus industry had an equally impressive stretch. Aquaculture is on the rebound, largely due to the fact that the Bowen shrimp farmers have found a new investment partner. There is also an investor interested in purchasing Caye Chapel and transforming it into a Four Seasons resort.

Exposed Hands
As I mentioned last week, and further detailed in BSI’s official press release, the investment by American Sugar Refinery is principally comprised of a direct capital injection of between USD $60 to $62 million in the Sugar Company, which should retire all of BSI’s debts, including the BZ $10 million owed to the Government of Belize. There will also be an additional investment of BZ $60 million aimed at increasing cane supply and milling capacity. It will furthermore make available for distribution to shareholders some BZ $6.4 million in unpaid dividends since 2006, of which BZ $5.2 million will go directly to BEH beneficiaries. I also shared with you that at an extraordinary general meeting held May 29 at the Tower Hill Factory, 99.3% of beneficiaries voted to increase the share capital of the Company and to offer these additional shares to ASR. It is expected that an agreement will be closed within a month’s time, which will trigger payment of the first tranche of 50% of the outstanding dividends to BSI’s shareholders, with the remaining two portions payable within 9 months of each other. In the field sector, several programs will be set in motion to increase cane yield per acre in the first instance, and later on to increase planting and cultivation of new cane. This will immediately profit farmers and millers alike with the subsequent increase in sugar production. Recall I said in my earlier article that the loans which BSI has with ING and FCIB were called in 2010, and BSI was given until March 31, (which was later extended to September 30, 2012) to set in place alternative financing arrangements. This deadline expires in a little over three months from today, this fourteenth day of June, 2012. If the Company doesn’t meet the banks’ request for payment, the sugar industry will certainly fail; this is our stark reality.

Citco floats a $20 Million Bond>
The Belize City Council is in the process of floating a municipal bond to finance infrastructure projects in the city including the paving of streets. At his presentation of the council's 100-day accomplishments, Mayor Darrell Bradley announced that the council is in the process of floating a 20-million-dollar bond that will be used to finance infrastructural development in the city.

New Water System and School for San Pedro Columbia Village>
A joint ceremony to mark the official inauguration of two important projects in San Pedro Columbia Village, Toledo District was held on Friday, June 8. Hon. Santiago Castillo, Minister of State with responsibility for Economic Development, officially inaugurated a new pre-school and rudimentary water system for the village of San Pedro Columbia.

Excellent Sugar Crop>
The 2012 Sugar Cane crop came to a close at 9 pm on Thursday June 7. Managing Director of BSI, Jose Montalvo, shared highlights of the crop with employees at the seventeenth AGM of BSI Employee Holdings Limited (BEH) held on Tuesday, June 12 on the Factory compound. He stated that 1,070,128.21 tons of cane was harvested producing 114,536 tons sugar. Montalvo went on to explain that this crop was an excellent one which has put back BSI on the track it once was on, with an average yearly production of 112,000 tons sugar, against the past five crops where the average was only 90,000 tons.

Crack Down on Public Drinking and other Quality of Life Crimes>
The Police Department has issued a release in which it states that with immediate effect, it will be embarking on the enforcement against Quality of Life Crimes. It is specifically targeting misdemeanor crimes including: public drinking, loitering, littering and other crimes of that nature. Also targeted will be bicycle regulations, which include bicyclists riding contrary to the flow of traffic; riding bicycles without lights and reflectors at night; double riding, riding with children, who are not properly seated; and having bells and proper brakes on bikes.

Matron Roberts Polyclinic II “promotes “Health Across the Lifecycle”>
The Matron Roberts Polyclinic II, in collaboration with the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB) and the Central Health Region, isorganizing a Health Fair and Community Walk at the Matron Roberts Polyclinic II on June 15, 2012.

No Liquor License Extensions for Night Clubs>
The scene of the most recent shooting incident that claimed two lives Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of shooting incidents outside of nightclubs in Belize City and as a result, at least 3 people have lost their lives. Being responsive to the nature of crime in Belize City, The City Council and The Police Department have teamed up to discontinue the practice of issuing liquor license extension sto these establishments.

Authorities destroys Vernon Cuthkelvin’s Chemicals
In March of this year, the Customs Department seized seven containers that they believed contained illegal products. Six of those containers belonged to a company called Belize Garden Consortium. Vernon Cuthkelvin is the operator of Belize Garden Consortium. He says that inside the containers are fertilizers, titanium dioxide and ammonium sulfate. Samples of the products inside the containers were sent abroad for testing and the results proved that the chemicals inside the containers were methylamine hydrochloride. Methylamine hydrochloride is not illegal in Belize. However, it is a precursor chemical for the manufacture of metamphetamines, which is an illegal and highly addictive drug called Crystal Meth.

Teenage Boys Murders “Drug Related” Says Police
18-year-old Charlie Espat and 17-year-old Edwardo Daniel Alamilla were reported missing to police after they were last seen on June 2. The teens are both residents of San Pedro Town but were staying in Benque Viejo Town with Alamilla’s aunt. On June 2, the two young men left Benque Viejo Town along with Charlie’s brother, Kareem Espat, in a dark green Suzuki pick-up truck with Texas License plates to Belize City where they were supposed to board a boat and head home to San Pedro. However, only Kareem did so. Charlie and Edwardo told Kareem that they were going to visit a friend on George Street. Kareem refused to go with them. After Alamilla locked the vehicle door, Kareem managed to open it and jumped out of the moving vehicle. Charlie and Edwardo continued on their way and that was the last time any family member heard from them.

BDF Soldier accused of Beating His Common-law Wife
On Monday, June 11, 35-year-old BDF Soldier, Orwin Noralez appeared in Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart to answer to charges of harm and threatening words against his common-law wife, 29-year-old Melissa Williams. Noralez pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Brothers free of Murder Charges
On Tuesday June 12, brothers 26-year-old Lynton and 22-year-old Jody Gentle were found not guilty of the murder of 25 year old Alpheus Smith, who was killed on Curassow Street in Belize City on June 16th, 2007.

Man accused of Stealing Motorcycle
Alaric Cocom, 20, appeared in Magistrate's Court on Monday, June 11th to answer to charges of theft and in the alternative a count of handling stolen goods. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read the two charges. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail in the sum of 4 thousand dollars plus one surety of the same amount. He is due back in court on August 10th.

Weekend Gang Rivalry causes Two Deaths and Eight Injuries
On Monday, June 11th, Officer Commanding Eastern Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon held a press conference in which he appraised the media of 4 shooting incidents over the previous weekend which resulted in 8 persons being injured and two of them dying.

3 More City Shootings on Tuesday in Less than 6 Hours
After a weekend that saw ten people shot in Belize City, the violence continued at the start of the new week with the murder of Keith Lewis on Rochez Street on Monday, June 11. Tuesday had its share of violent activities as well.

Man accused of Armed Robbery and Possession of Prohibited Ammunition
On Monday, June 11, 23-year-old Ian Haylock appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in Magistrate's Court where he was charged with robbery, aggravated assault and keeping prohibited ammunition. He was then remanded to prison due to the nature of the offence.

Keith Lewis Shot to Death
The lifeless body of 24-year-old Keith Lewis was found by police in a swampy lot on Roches Street shortly before 7 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12. Police observed gunshot wounds to the upper left side of the chest, the upper left side of the back, upper left leg and upper right leg. Shortly after the discovery of the body, reports circulated that another early morning murder had occurred. However, Lewis was not killed on Tuesday morning. Reports revealed that he was killed a full twelve hours earlier.

Acquittal in Attempted Murder Case
A nine-member jury initially could not decide the fate of 23-year-old Tarique Cadle, a Belize City man, who was accused of the attempted murder of 52-year-old Guyanese national, Lyndon Jeffery, which had occurred on August 23, 2009.

Changing Empty Gestures into Positive Action
When bad things happen, most of us feel compelled to do something – anything – to express our disgust or disapproval. All too often, we find that our response is little more than an empty gesture that assuages our own need to act while having no positive effect on the problem. The terrible violence of recent weekends leaves us feeling helpless and searching for simple answers, for one person or group that can be blamed.Some of us attend the funerals and send expressions of condolence or organise support activities for bereaved family members and sometimes classmates of the victims. These can be positive if the intention is to offer comfort and support to those who grieve but they are empty gestures if the intention is just to profile. Others have organised parades and candlelight vigils but in this context, they are well-meaning but empty gestures. Such activities can be effective in highlighting something that the public is unaware of or to send a message to the authorities when they seem to be reluctant to act. In the present context, the public is only too aware of the increase in crime and the authorities have shown their willingness to act. Politicians ...

Interoffice Basketball rolls on at the Bird’s Isle
The 2012 Belize Interoffice Basketball League Competition continued at the Bird’s Isle with a number of games played over the weekend. On Sunday June 10, in the first game that was on the schedule, Police won over Kolbe via the default route. The score for a default game is 20-0. In the second game, Youth for the Future defeated BTL by the score of 79-77. The top scorers for Youth for the Future were Jamir Enriquez with 25 points and 3 rebounds; Brian White with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists; and Kenroy Usher with 12 points, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds. Meanwhile, the top scorers for BTL were Kareem Thompson with 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Jason Lamb with 13 points and 4 rebounds.

Belize Rural Primary Girls and Crooked Tree Government Boys are Belize District Softball Champions
The long awaited Belize District Primary Schools Softball Championship was finally played on Tuesday June 12 at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City. The District Finals, which had to be postponed twice because of the weather, had a few showery moments during the games but were able to conclude its schedule on time. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Rural Primary School defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 11-4 to capture this year’s district title. The winning pitcher was Erlean Casasola and the losing pitcher was D’Andra McFadzean. In the first girls game played in the morning, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene won handily over Holy Cross Anglican School from San Pedro Town by the score of 7-0. The winning pitcher was D’Andra McFadzean and the losing pitcher was Carla Yenez. In game two, it was Belize Rural Primary School, the rural champions that defeated Unity Presbyterian School Belize City sub-champions by the score of 10-3 to advance to the championship game. The winning pitcher was Erlean Casasola and the losing pitcher was Ashanti Carr.

Belize City Softball Competition resumes at Rogers Stadium
The 78th Belize City Senior Female Softball competition resumed on Tuesday June 12, at Rogers Stadium after a number of games had to be postponed because of the wet conditions of the field. In the game played between Mirage Lady Rebels and Orchid Blazers, the Mirage Lady Rebels won over Orchid Blazers by the score of 16-7 in six innings. Mirage Lady Rebels scored its 16 runs on 17 hits, which included run-producing doubles by first baseman, Sherette Jones in the top of the 1st inning, and shortstop Sherette Vernon in the top of the 3rd inning. The top batter for Mirage Lady Rebels was Ashanti Anderson, who collected 3 hits in 4 official-at-bats. Mirage Lady Rebels scored 4 runs in the 1st inning, 1 in the 2nd inning, 2 in the 3rd inning, 6 in the 5th inning and 3 in the 6th inning. Meanwhile, Orchid Blazers scored 7 runs on 8 hits. Orchid Blazers scored 2 runs in the 1st inning, 2 in the 2nd inning, and 3 in the 5th inning. The top batter for Orchid Blazers was shortstop Joline Davis who collected 3 hits in 4 official-at-bats.

Hummingbird’s Rhiki Alegria and Bernice Yorke’s Jasmine Betancourt Top PSE
The first part of the PSE was sat on March 26. It includes the science and English papers. The English exam is divided into two parts. The first part consists of fifty multiple-choice questions that test the student’s knowledge of grammar and comprehension skills. Part two of the English exam is the writing section that tests the students’ composition skills. The science exam consists solely of fifty multiple-choice questions that test the student’s knowledge of General and Health Science. In the PSE, an A (80- 100%) is considered to be Excellent. 70-79% is a B score which is considered to be Competent. C (60-69%) is considered as Satisfactory while D (50-59%) is Adequate and E (49% and below) is considered to be Inadequate. In the English exam, the mean score or average was Adequate at 58.59%. The mode grade, which is the grade most prevalent, was C which is Satisfactory. The median was 61%, which means that half the students scored below that grade and half scored above. That is a significant improvement from last year when the mean was 54.9%, the mode grade was E and the median was 56%. Students performed best in the Science examination once again. The mean score for Science was 74.43% up from 64.38% last year. The mode grade was A, an improvement from C in 2011, and the median was 76%, which is ten points higher than last year.

National Primary Schools Softball Championship this Friday
The 2011-2012 National Primary Schools Softball Championship is scheduled to be played this Friday June 15th, at the Rogers Stadium. The National Championship, which was to have been played two Fridays ago and had to be postponed because of the weather conditions, will now take place. The championship is scheduled to commence at 8:45 am with the Official Opening Ceremony where it is being anticipated that the championship will be declared open by Ms. Pat Bennett, General Manager of Methodist Schools in Belize, a former member of the National Women’s Team of Belize, a former President of the Belize Softball Federation, Honorary Life Member of the Softball Federation and an International Softball Federation Hall of Fame Member. The representatives to the National Championship consists of Xaibe Roman Catholic (girls) and Ranchito Government School (boys) will represent the Corozal District, Trial Farm Government School (girls and boys) will represent the Orange Walk District, Belize Rural Primary (girls) and Crooked Tree Government School (boys) will representing the Belize District, St. Jude Roman Catholic from Camalote Village (girls) and Roaring Creek Nazarene (boys) will represent the Cayo District, Independence Primary School (girls and boys) will represent the Stann Creek District, while Forest Home Methodist (girls) and Toledo Christian Academy (boys) will represent the Toledo District.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

If You Need Beauty Treatments …
CREATIVE BEAUTY SALON is located in between Front Street and Back Street heading West from the main water taxi pier.

The Reporter

The decision by Green Tropics Limited to dig an extended trench to carry water from the Macal River to its proposed caneland fields further inland may have been unauthorized, but it is certainly not the great sin the Ministry has made it out to be. If anything, the waterway will help wildlife in general, and the jaguar in particular. Forest animals need water, and the trench will make it easier for them to get to it. The jaguar will also benefit, because it will find it easier to find prey. The argument that the trench will affect the jaguar adversely is completely specious. A man-made trench is no hurdle for this agile cat, which is also an accomplished swimmer. On the other hand the trench will bring a precious supply of water to new farmlands, and that is a good thing! We hope that the Minister of Lands, the Minister of Agriculture and the Minister of the Environment will get together on this and quickly lift the ban which has prevented Green Tropics from proceeding with its irrigation plans. Despite all the talk about encouraging development, we find the government still fragmented, with key ministries acting in isolation, without an appreciation of the holistic development picture. It is slow to move, but quick to re-act. A development such as that proposed by Green Tropics Limited, which is planning to spend some $200 million during the next twelve months and whose operation will provide up to 400 new jobs, is every poor country’s dream. The investment will help to restore the Belize sugar industry to a position of productivity and affluence, and will have the added benefit of providing renewable electrical energy through a proposed co-generation plant.

Grenade attack on Banak Street is open defiance of the law!
Evadney Jones and her son lived to tell the tale of what could have been another casualty in the city’s ongoing gang warfare, as the hand grenade that was thrown at their home at #4161 Banak Street shortly before midnight on Friday, June 8, thankfully did not explode. “It did not carry an explosive charge.and that’s why it did not explode”, explained Colonel James Requeña, an ordnance expert of the Belize Defense force who was called in to examine the missile. He explained it was a training grenade used in training exercises, identical in every respect to an explosive grenade, and colour-coded to distinguish it from the real thing. The grenade was also rusted and corroded, and had left an indentation the size of a baseball in the plycem wall.

The Infamous Ninth Amendment
By: E. Andrew Marshalleck The decision of the Honourable Mr. Justice Legal handed down on Monday of this week in the challenge to the legality of the re-nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited represents the first decision of our courts on the constitutional issues raised by the Ninth Amendment to the Belize Constitution which were very publicly and hotly debated nationally.

French photographer captures Belize’s beauty
Marie-France Grenouillet visited Belize recently and captured the country’s diverse wildlife with her camera. Take a journey through her photographer’s eye and see Belize’s jungles like you’ve never seen them before! In Marie-France’s Own Words: My impression of Belize – so small and so “generous” … I had the chance to go to Belize last February. I must say that for those who love birds, the underwater world, local authentic villages and, of course, Maya sites, don’t hesitate to visit this small country.

Why Manatees are important to Belize
With all the negatives flowing out of Belize, it’s easy to forget that we live in a country so often described as “The Jewel”. Belizeans have many things to be proud of, and our unique manatee population is one such thing. With the extinction of the Sterller’s Sea Cow, only four species of Manatee are still in existence: the Amazonian, West African, West Indian and Dugong manatee. The West Indian manatee had two sub- species, which are the Florida and the Antillian Manatee.

Hard times ahead
Try as he might, Prime Minister Hon Dean Barrow could not sugar coat the bitter pill that there are tough economic times ahead for Belize, when he held his second quarterly press conference at Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday morning, June 13. While he assured the nation that there is no way the government would raise taxes, which would stifle economic growth, he admitted the government would have to find ways to curb spending, without compromising its pro-poor programs.

CitCo scores 82% on 100-day to do list
The Belize City Council plans to launch a $20 million bond to finance the infrastructure works it has planned for the city, Mayor Darrel Bradley announced at his second press conference at City Hall on Tuesday, June 12, which also marked 100 days since the Belize City Council took office. Bradley also took the opportunity to present the Council’s report card on how much it had accomplished of its 100-day plan for a cleaner city, with better infrastructure and a better quality of life, achieved by delivering value for money. In this regard CitCo got a B or 82% on achieving the goals of its to-do-list which Bradley had presented at his first press conference at City Hall on Wednesday, April 11.

In Belize City, four young women shot in four days
Gun violence in Belize City has spiked over the last few violent weeks, and in a space of four days, three separate shooting incidents have resulted in injuries to four young ladies, in three different neighborhoods of the south side. The latest incident occurred on Tuesday, June 12, shortly after 11:00 p.m., when Kenesha Humes was shot in her right leg.

BTL second nationalization null and void, judge rules
Supreme Court Justice Oswald Legall has ruled that certain aspects of the controversial Eight Constitutional Amendment (formerly the Ninth Amendment) are null and void. On Monday, June 11, Legall issued an 80-page judgment on the two claims brought against the government of Belize by the Ashcroft Alliance over its second nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL).

Rebecca Stirm wins Wild Card challenge
Nineteen year-old Rebecca Stirm of Belmopan has returned to the Caribbean fashion reality series, Mission Catwalk as the ‘wild card’, after her surprise elimination on episode 11, when contestants were required to design a mini collection for a fashionista headed to the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Rebecca had won four of the show’s 11 challenges and placed safe in three episodes, getting a second bite at the apple on Episode 12 was “very exciting and humbling”, she says.

Toledo student wins 18th annual Coca Cola Spelling Bee
Dayne Guy, an 11-year-old Std V student of St. Benedict Roman Catholic School in the Toledo District, won the 18th annual Coca-Cola Spelling Bee hosted by Bowen & Bowen Ltd at the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout, Cayo district last Friday, June 8. It was the first time that a student from Toledo won, and Dayne took home as his prizes a brand new Dell laptop computer, with a Hewlett Packard printer, and many accessories including headphones, a 64 Gigabyte flash drive, external speakers, a multi-port USB hub and a power-supply voltage regulator – surge protector. He also won a full tuition and book scholarship to the high school of his choice, and a desktop computer and large capacity printer for his school.

The skinny on gallstones
Many Belizeans suffer from gallstones but little know what the gallbaldder does and what to do when stones have formed. Hence the following attempt to explain more on the subject. What is the gallbladder? — The gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ that is tucked under your liver It stores bile, a fluid that helps the body break down fat. What are gallstones? — Gallstones are small stones that form inside the gallbladder. They can be tiny specks or grow as big as the whole gallbladder, which can be up to 6 inches long.

Cholesterol – what exactly is it?
What is cholesterol? — Cholesterol is a substance that is found in the blood. Everyone has some. It is needed for good health. The problem is, people sometimes have too much cholesterol. Compared with people with normal cholesterol, people with high cholesterol have a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other health problems. The higher your cholesterol, the higher your risk of these problems. Are there different types of cholesterol? — Yes, there are a few different types. If you get a cholesterol test, you may hear your doctor or nurse talk about LDL, HDL and even non-HDL cholesterol.

Western Eagles & Brilliant lead cricket playoffs
The Western Eagles cricket team of Rancho Dolores and the Brilliant Cricket Club of Crooked Tree are leading the playoffs of the 2012 Smart Harrison Parks Cricket Competition. The Western Eagles have secured their berth in the finals by a second victory 79-76 against Berlan in Bermudian Landing in their playoff series on Saturday, June 9. Western Eagles bowled Berlan all out for a mere 58 runs when they hosted the first playoff match in Rancho, and in their turn at bat, the Rancho batsmen equalled and surpassed that score with five wickets in hand.

Crooked Tree boys win Belize district softball championship
The undefeated boys of Crooked Tree Government School won the championship finals of the Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition: 8-4 over the boys of Holy Cross Methodist School of San Pedro Ambergris Caye, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Tuesday, June 12. Ethan Wade scored the first run for the Crooked Tree boys in the top of the first inning, but the Holy Cross boys soon led 3-1 when Japhet Castillo, Eli Chi and Omar Gonzalo scored runs in the bottom of the first inning.


Dinner at Casa Picasso and challenging road conditions
Our friend David had a golf cart for the week so suggested he drive the three of us down to a restaurant south of town for dinner. Normally we go to eat out right in town since we (and David) live north of the bridge and have no vehicles other than bikes, so getting to restaurants south of town is not impossible but inconvenient. David picked us up at Grand Caribe last night, and away we embarked on our adventure to Casa Picasso -- and with the roads in the shape they were in, it really was an adventure! The road north of town had already been riddled with potholes, but thanks to 2.5 inches of rain on Tuesday, these potholes were now filled with water. And in some cases (cough...Reef Village...cough), deep water. We plowed through the "great lakes" as we headed southward, and as we approached the incline of the Sir Barry Bowen bridge, the golf cart stalled out. Oops! It really wasn't surprising considering that the water in a couple of the "lakes" reached almost to the floorboard. A couple of locals in a cart behind us stopped to survey the situation (yes, the cart had plenty of gas), and Barry got out and pushed the cart back off the bridge and out of the way. I jumped out of the cart to snap a couple of photos, and before long, David got the cart going again. I even jogged over the bridge to keep the weight in the cart down as he drove it over the only real "hill" in town!

Belize Red Cross Telethon
Please make note of our telethon for this Saturday, June 16th. The Belize Red Cross kindly requests your support as we prepare for the hurricane season. Regards, Belize Red Cross Society. Please note update and pictures coming soon for San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross from community meetings, vulnerability and capacity assessment for the island and first aid training at Fido’s.

Casco Viejo, Panama City: Gorgeous Old Town under Heavy Rehabilitation
Casco Viejo (or Old Town in Spanish) is just that...the old Spanish colonial section of Panama City. It was completed and settled in the later 1600s after the pirate Captain Morgan attacked and the first settlement Panama Viejo was burned to the ground. Panama Viejo had been the city center since it is mostly in ruins. Casco Viejo is an incredibly beautiful, very walkable area, it is under an INTENSE bout of construction and rejuvenation (like most of Panama City) and it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. You know you are going to see some very good stuff. There are churches, museums, some finished houses/apartment buildings and so many empty shells... Warning: I am uploading tons of pictures because well...I took a ton. And the internet speed in Panama is absolutely a delight. I feel like I am being introduced to YouTube for the first time. Pictures around Simon Bolivar Plaza (Panama was a part of Colombia until 1831 after all). The statue of Jesus on the church almost seems to tell us to "rock on".

A Walk On The Beach Ended With A Trip to the Vet
Bill usually takes our three Siberian Huskies for a walk in the afternoon when it is cooler. He starts out walking down the beach and then cuts back on Middle Street until he makes it back home. It is pretty much the same route he has walked the dogs on for months now. Everyone has dogs in Belize. The bigger the better. They are considered the best security you can have on the island. The best security to keep those types out that tend to have sticky fingers and like to remove things from your yard and home. But a walk on the beach yesterday ended up with a trip to the vet today and Barney being stitched up. I received a text from Bill that said "we have been attacked by Pit Bulls". I write back, GREAT. I call Bill on his cell phone and the phone call is dropped, so I call back again. He tells me he has all the dogs and he is walking back to the house and he should be here in a minute. I can tell he is out of breath, so I decide to go outside and wait for them not knowing what I am going to see when he gets home. While out walking the dogs on the way back home two pit bulls jumped their fence. Bill has seen these two dogs many times before and they normally just run up to the fence and bark. But yesterday they came right over the top of their fence in pure attack mode, as Bill called it. They came straight for Barney our male Siberian Husky. Both pit bulls had Barney down on his back and the pits went straight for Barney's throat. There was nothing poor Barney could do. So Bill grabbed one of the pits and he threw him down on the ground and jumped on top of the pit bull. Now mind you, this was right in the middle of the street that all of this was going on. So Bill is lying in the street on top of one of the Pit Bulls when the owner realizes what is happening and he comes out and grabs the other Pit Bull and pulls him off of Barney. Once the dogs were off of Barney, Barney took off and ran. Bill had also let go of our other two huskies, Snowy and Alina and wasn't sure where they had gone.

International Sources

$2.26 Million Funding Available for Training on Law Enforcement and Rule of Law in Central America
WASHINGTON, June 14 -- The U.S. International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affair has announced that it expects to award a cooperative agreement grant capacity building and training on rule of law, law enforcement and justice sector development in Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The estimated total program funding available was cited as $2,260,178 with a ceiling of $750,000 for each ward under this program. This funding opportunity is open to registered U.S. non-profit organization. A funding opportunity notice from the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affair states: "In these countries, INL is building the capacity of law enforcement, corrections and justice sector personnel through training, technical assistance, and mentoring, among other activities. As part of a regional platform, INL supports the travel of partner-nation personnel to attend trainings in other countries, furthering sharing of best practices. In support of this capacity-building work, and to accelerate implementation of training through travel, INL seeks to award a cooperative grant award for capacity-building training that includes a travel element." The funding opportunity number is INL-12-CA-0019-WHP-06072012 (CFDA 19.703). The application closing date is July 5.

Cooked squid inseminates woman’s “tongue, cheek and gums”
Here's a story that could put you off calamari for a while. According to a scientific paper from the Journal of Parasitology, a 63-year-old Korean woman "experienced severe pain in her oral cavity immediately after eating a portion of parboiled squid along with its internal organs." She spat out the food in her mouth, but still had a "pricking and foreign-body sensation" in her oral cavity. When she went to the hospital, they removed a dozen "small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck in the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheek, and gingiva." Yes, the dead squid's spermatophores were still active, and they'd inseminated the woman's mouth. Top image: Mike Towber/Flickr. Danna Staaf from Squid a Day, who found this bizarre story, explains further: Each spermatophore includes an ejaculatory apparatus, which can expel the sperm mass quite forcefully, and a cement body for attachment. Of course, neither of those is a needle or a knife—the sort of thing you'd expect to need for actual implantation (into either a female squid or a human mouth). I've written a bit about this mystery before. As it turns out, no one is quite sure how spermatophores implant themselves into skin. But whatever the details, it's happened to humans more than once. An earlier case study reports "sperm stings" from consumption of raw squid, but the recent Journal of Parasitology paper is the first report I've seen of spermatophore activity in a cooked squid (parboiled, to be specific). That's . . . quite impressive, actually.

Fishing Belize
Whether you’re a novice or an expert angler, Belize offers a variety of exhilarating places to fish. From Bacalar Chico in the north to Punta Icacos Lagoon in the South it’s all up to you to decide. Should luck allow, your fun tour might include bumping into a Permit, tarpon, bonefish or Snook, or you could even pull off the coveted and ultra -elusive Grand Slam! Near the Barrier Reef, spend an hour or day fishing for grouper, barracuda or snapper. If you are adventurous, troll ashore for big game fish like marlin, sail fish and kingfish. Jungle Fishing Explore the jungle first hand while journeying to a local lagoon. Hear the diverse sounds of different species of birds, or spot a coatimundi (Quash) or other wildlife. It’s all on the way to experience the adventure locals enjoy every day to catch the tarpons, tilapia and other fishes that are included in our everyday dishes. As you paddle out in a canoe, you might be lucky to see wildlife alongside the lagoon. From deer to crocodiles it’s a must see to believe for the adventurous.

Caracol's Summer Camping
The Caracol camping trips that NICH is doing this year are mentioned on the New York Times. 'Mayan Sleepovers' are how they described them, and the Summer sleepover is next Wednesday night, the 20th of June. Email them for more information at "...the sleepovers take place on solstice and equinox dates — June 20, Sept. 21 and Dec. 20 — at the site, in the country’s Cayo district. The stay begins with a pre-sunset tour led by Dr. Jaime Awe, who directed the excavation and restoration of Caracol in the 1980s... In the middle of the night, shamans wake campers with drumbeats, calling them to a Mayan fire ceremony, which lasts until dawn."

June 14, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

El Pescador Fishing Report, Week of June 3 – June 12th, 2012
Epic wind was tough to ignore. We toasted our guests this week because they have been such great sports about making the best out of “not so perfect fishing conditions.” Everyone fished in the rain and howling wind and came back to the dock smiling. I think the most common sentence I said this week, “ Let’s take a look at the weather in the morning and discuss a plan with your guide.” I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make a plan with your guide at the beginning of the day and adjust as needed. Just because someone landed a tarpon in one spot today, does not mean that spot will be good tomorrow. Things change and often. Our guides are first and second generation San Pedrano guides who have lived in and around this water all their lives. They have great pride in their work and want to make it happen for you. A successful day on the water can be so much more than a ton of fish or a big one. I know Mike learned so much from Kechu this week. And Mac told me how much he appreciated Cesar taking time in the day for a planned casting lesson practicing casting into the wind. So from a “not so perfect fishing week,” I think anglers will leave here better fly fishermen. And that confidence will keep them casting to their dreams.

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Join a Neighbourhood Watch and help fight crime
The island Neighbourhood Watch groups are gathering support and members as the residents have now declared that they will fight back against the plague of burglary that has become a daily event in all areas of the community. Have you joined your local neighbourhood watch group? If you are not sure of which group to join then please fill in the following information sheet and drop off at the San Pedro Book Shop which is located in the Vilma Linda Plaza (The Purple building) upstairs on the 2nd level. Or email it to: Your contact information will be forwarded to the relevant coordinator for your area. The first line of defense is knowing your neighbours and protecting your property. Your neighbourhood watch group will provide you with tips on how to keep yourself and property safer from criminals. Help us take a bite out of crime. Take the first step and get involved, take care of yourself and your friends and neighbours.

Tanairi Arana places 6th countrywide in 2012 PSE
San Pedro RC School made it to the top ten in the Belize National Primary School Examination PSE once again. SPRCS student, Taniari Arana placed 6th overall in the country, with a score of 382 out of 400, or 95.5 percentile. A total of 6,983 students sat the PSE this year from the registered 7135, a 2.4% increase in the number of test candidates registered over 2011. In a press release by the Ministry of Education, this year’s performance is said to have been noticeably higher than in previous years with the strengths being Science and Social Studies with average score being A (80-100%). Math appeared to have been the hardest with the average score being a D (50-59%) while the average score in the English is C (60-69%). The PSE marks the end of the students’ tenure at primary school institutions across the country and is used as a base for many schools when considering acceptance and placing of students into the secondary institutions. The PSE assesses achievement of curriculum content and skills in the four (4) areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science of the National Primary School Curriculum. The examination is criterion-referenced meaning that performance of “each individual is compared with a preset standard for acceptable achievement…The performance of other examinees is irrelevant.” In this way, the examination seeks not to rank students in comparison to other students but to report what each student has achieved for individual skills. This is expressed as a percentage score. The results of the examination are intended to be used for two main purposes:

Winners of traffic safety poster and essay competition announced
The San Pedro Transport Department on Sunday June 10th announced the winners of the traffic safety poster and essay competition at the SP Lion’s Den. The competition was held under the auspices of San Pedro Town Councilor Kenrick Bracket under the theme “The importance of Traffic Safety.” The SP Transport Department joined forces and conducted the event with the assistance of The San Pedro Sun, The Reef Radio and Ambergris Today. The poster contest was for primary school students and was divided into three different grade groups. Group one consisted of Infant I and II, group two included Standard I, II and III while group three included Standard IV, V and VI. The students designed posters that include the various traffic signs such as pedestrian crossing, stop, yield and roundabout and some explained what the traffic signs meant. The colorful and unique posters were designed by hand and were presented on standard sized Bristol/poster board. Winners for the poster competition are as follows Group One 1st Place – Javier Gongora – San Pedro Roman Catholic (SPRC) – Infant II 2nd Place – Alisha Lima – SPRCS-Infant II 3rd Place – Luis Muñoz – SPRCS-Infant II Group Two 1st Place – Gaven Zapata – Isla Bonita Elementary School-Standard III 2nd Place – Urielly Soto – SPRCS Standard- I 3rd Place – William Gonzalez – SPRCS Standard-III Group Three 1st Place – Erwin Caliz – SPRCS Standard-VI 2nd Place – Yosselin Lara – Holy Cross Anglican School Standard-V 3rd Place – Laisha Gamez – Holy Cross Anglican School Standard-V

Actress Kate Walsh joins Oceana in raising awareness on Belize’s Marine Heritage
Actress and passionate Oceana supporter Kate Walsh was in Belize this past weekend to join Oceana in its efforts to promote global awareness. Walsh arrived on Friday, June 8th, World Oceans Day, to spread awareness about the marine biodiversity in Belize, especially its most stunning ecologically important places: Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Lighthouse Reef Atoll and the Great Blue Hole. Walsh had the opportunity to enjoy the underwater world at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley on a snorkel expedition. Photographing and filming her underwater was renowned Belizean photographer Tony Rath. At a cocktail reception held at the Blue Water Grill on Saturday June 9th Walsh commented to those in attendance how amazing her experience was. While snorkeling these renowned areas the actress enjoyed an up close and personal experience with some of her most beloved underwater creatures, including her favorite, the sea turtle. In 2009, Walsh filmed a Public Service Announcemet for Oceana entitled “Getting Sea Turtles off the Hook”, raising awareness of the threats sea turtles face from destructive fishing gear. In welcoming Walsh to the island and to the event, Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero quoted an oft-uttered phrase, “We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors: we borrow it from our children.” He joined everyone in attendance in thanking Walsh for her support of Oceana’s fight to protect our precious marine system for the future generations of Belize.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Fest 2012 Presents Miss El Salvador
The Costa Maya Festival is proud to present Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz (Miss El Salvador), the 19 year old who will be vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012 along with seven other Central American beauties. Nathaly is 5 ‘ 7?, has brown eyes, brown hair and a bronzed complexion. Her first language is Spanish but knows basic English. She will join seven other contestants from around the Mundo Maya countries, including Belize, Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica, at the Miss Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant (August 3, 2012) that will take place during the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival taking place from August 2 to August 5, 2012.

Buenos Dias San Pedro
Poem by Dorian Nunez

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Schedule of Events
Pageant fever is high on Caye Caulker right now, and the Pageant committee is in full swing with their preparations for this year’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012. Five daring and vivacious young ladies are vying for the title this year and are already in training for what promises to be one of the best pageants yet. The Miss Lobster Fest pageant committee is once again looking forward in working with local national designers. Starting off the show, the ladies will be wearing dresses made by Mr. Emil Alvarez of Emil Alvarez House of Couture, followed by Mr. Gabriel Garcia’s Costume designs. The outfit designs and concepts themselves are going to be setting the stage ablaze – just as well as the girls that are going to be wearing them.

Actress Kate Walsh Visits Great Blue Hole, Raises Awareness on Belize's Sea Heritage
On Friday, June 8, 2012, Belize joined the world in observing World Oceans Day with the main focus of getting young people involved in the global effort to conserve the oceans. Oceana Belize is one of the organizations that has been very active and in the forefront of ocean conservation in the country and with this year’s theme of “Youth: the next wave for Change” it got working in inviting the youth to learn more about the conservation of the ocean. Joining Oceana Belize in their efforts for the entire weekend was American actress and Oceana supporter, Kate Walsh, currently known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on ABC’s network drama ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Private Practice’. She visited Belize during World Ocean’s Day activities to help raise awareness on both of Belize’s majestic Barrier Reef and fragile marine ecosystem, as well as Oceana’s call to protect it by having offshore exploration and drilling banned from Belize’s Seas.

SP Roman Catholic School has Top PSE Scores in San Pedro
Tanairi Arana places 6th countrywide in 2012 PSE - The Primary School Examination results are out and the students from San Pedro Town did an excellent job! The top scorers this year were Tanairi Aranda (95.5% - 382/400 points), Yasir Roberts (92% - 368/400 points) and Jerdon F. Anderson (91.75% - 3367/400 points), all three of San Pedro RC School. San Pedro RC School made it to the top ten in the Belize National Primary School Examination PSE . SPRCS student, Taniari Arana placed 6th overall in the country and she also scored a perfect 100% in Mathematics and Science.

Misc Belizean Sources

Central American Foreign Born Population in Belize, by district, 1991, with totals for 1970 and 1980

ADO bus ride: Belize City to Merida
Ever since it was introduced, I had longed for an experience of the ADO bus ride to either Cancun or Merida. For the past few months, there has been express service to those cities, two of Mexico’s more popular destinations. I would have preferred a pleasure trip but as fate would have it this one was a medical necessity. Belize has no trained rheumatologist and more than one person had raved about results received from their visit to Merida. I must say that while I am feeling a bit better than I was, I have not yet realized the miracle result that I was hoping for. Given the cost of the entire experience, I was hoping for a much more immediate relief but I remain hopeful.

Cayo Mentioned in 2 'Top' Lists
Cayo just got mentioned in a couple of 'top' lists. Joshua Berman has Cayo on his 'Top 5 places to watch it all go down' list, in honour of 2012. He says that Cayo 'also boasts the best selection of jungle lodges anywhere in Central America, including many small, off-grid eco-resorts on the upper Macal,' and mentions the Lodge at Chaa Creek, and their special tours for 2012. He then says that 'there is a large event planned for Dec. 21, 2012 at Xunantunich archaeological site, and special solstice camping permits are being issued at Caracol.' Travel Agent Central has Cayo's tree houses at number 6 of the top 10 Summer 2012 destinations. They say that Belize is 'offering caving and kayaking, snorkeling and diving, tours of ancient ruins and zipline tours, naturalist eco tours, and journeys on horseback,' most of which are also in Cayo, and specifically mentions Caves Branch.

NFOA Cayo District Highlights
The Benque House of Culture has uploaded the best pictures from the National Festival of Arts that feature Cayo performers.

Free Female Self Defense Classes
Free Female Self Defense Classes will be this Sunday, June the 17th. Renee Wentz, UB Counselor, will lead the 2 free classes in female self defense. The first will be from 8:30 until noon, in Georgeville, at the Georgeville Community Center. The second will be from 1:30pm until 5:00pm, in Cayo, under Meluchi's palapa.

8 Must Do's in Downtown San Ignacio, Cayo
There are a lot of must do's in downtown Cayo. Here's a top ten list, without our suggestions to the author of 'Walking the Hawkesworth' and 'Hitting Midas' Pool' which should both be on there. Mr. Greedy's, known for their amazing happy hour, and Meluchi's, famous for their Graveyard Lounge, are mentioned under Cayo Nightlife. Iguanas - the picture is from the Green Iguana Conservation Project - milk shakes, and sweets are also highlighted.

Triple Seven Concert pictures
Triple Seven, Musiko, and many Belizean Gospel artists played at the UB gymnasium for the Revival 2012 tour. The Generation of Fire Youth Group was there in force, and they got some great pictures.

The Making of 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai
Trailer for the documentary about the making of 2012: Kurse a di Xtabai. Spooky. The perfectly fitting music is from a local artist, Rick Calvez, who goes by 'The Nudist." Daniel Velazquez has done quite a few documentaries in Belize, so while the movie is good, the documentary will be spectacular.

Channel 7

An Execution In Orange Walk
The recent spate of killings and crime has been concentrated in the Belize and Cayo Districts, but last night Orange Walk Town witnessed a stunning murder: the execution of an Indian shop-owner. It happened in the downtown area - where a businessman was killed with ruthless precision. Monica Bodden has the story: Monica Bodden Reporting The shooting of 44 year old Sunil Punjabi happened inside his store on Guadalupe Street. He was shot once to the face- and managed to make his way to the side door of his store - where he collapsed. It was an execution style murder - no robbery was involved. The businessman seemed to have been the precise target. At the time of the incident, Punjabi was behind his counter serving the only customer inside the store- when a gunman, dressed in full black, entered. The man pushed the customer out the way and fired the one fatal head shot at Punjabi. The gunman then rode off on a bicycle. Neighbors say they heard one gunshot rang off around 7:45 last night - Voice of: Neighbor "It was about 8. It was raining hard and thundering, and we suddenly heard a sound but it was different from the thundering. We wondered what it was, but we eventually realized that it was the sound of a gun. We came downstairs and saw what happened, and we saw that Mr. Punjabi was lying down and blood was on the floor."

Two More Women Shot In City; Four Females In Four Days
And while that was Orange Walk - the violence in the city did not abate last night - as two women were shot - becoming the third and fourth females to be shot in four days. The shootings happened a few hours apart on separate ends of Vernon Street. We start with the second shooting, where 18 year-old Kenesha Humes was shot in the right leg just above the knee joint. We caught up to her this evening and she told us about how the incident unfolded. According to her, at around 11:55 p.m., 2 masked gunmen rode up and fired a barrage of gunshots at her friends who were socializing - as they usually do - in front of her house, which is located at #4542 Vernon Street. Here's how she explained it: Voice of: Kenesha Humes - Shooting Victim "2 boys were coming down the street with rags on their face, and when the pulled out the guns, that's when we ran." Daniel Ortiz "Tell me, how did you get shot?" Voice of: Kenesha Humes "I got shot when I got up and ran." Daniel Ortiz "But you don't believe that you were the intended target." Voice of: Kenesha Humes "No sir." Daniel Ortiz "Have you ever had anything like this happen to you before?" Voice of: Kenesha Humes "No" Daniel Ortiz "About what time was this?" Voice of: Kenesha Humes "After 11 o'clock." Daniel Ortiz "What were you guys doing?" Voice of: Kenesha Humes "We were just talking out there."

Police Say: We'll Catch Burglar Who Was Bangled Until We Bungled
Yesterday we told you about the Cayo Police Department's embarrassing misadventure with a burglary suspect. 19 year old Guatemalan Wilbert Alfredo Vasquez, was caught by Georgeville villagers after he tried to break into Anna Myvette's house. They gave him a proper beatdown and handed him over to police who took him to the hospital. But the officer, who was left to guard the suspect, wasn't paying any attention and Vasquez slipped away. Tonight the Melchor resident remains at large but Cayo police are confident they will catch him. They say Vasquez lives in the Belmopan area - and they have embarked on efforts to track him down. They are also asking the public to assist with information. Vasquez is 4 feet ten inches tall and weighs about 100 pounds. Anyone seeing him is asked to call 911 or 0-800-922-tips.

PM Dean Says 2012-2013 Budget Will Be Lean And Mean
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held the first Press Conference of his second term today. It comes at nearly the 100 day mark for the second term - but there's not much to celebrate. That's because Oil revenues are expected to go down sharply in the coming fiscal year - making the long delayed budget, a difficult one. He opened up with that explanation: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister Of Belize "There is no doubt that this will be a difficult budget. Reason 1 is what is happening with global oil prices. Their steep drop is good news for consumers at the pump, but our country's export earnings are being hammered, and Government will experience a $30 million fall- off in tax revenue, as a result of this, the far lower oil prices, and also as a result of declining BNE production. Oil is, of course, a finite resource, and we are already beginning to see production trailing off. We need to find more oil. So, the trick now will be to manage operationally with far less by way of Government influx. The challenge and the pre-occupation is how to reign in local expenditure without compromising our signature pro-poor programs. Let there be no doubt that we will do this, and we will do it while absolutely refusing to implement any growth stifling tax increases on the Belizean people. There is no way we're going to raise taxes. Clearly, something has to give, so we will have to curb expenditure. I am glad you're asking this question. My colleagues are here this morning, and they've heard me say this over and over again. Since tomorrow is the day in which the exercise will be done that will have to result in the expenditure curbs, they will know that the gravity and the absolutely imperative nature of doing that, is being highlighted here." The Budget will be presented on June 29th, not the 22nd as was previously projected.

A State Sponsored Write-off For Lean Times
And if that isn't enough feel-good juice, the Prime Minister also unveiled another round of loan write-off's today. This time it's the DFC. He explained how the write-off's will work: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister Of Belize "We will be going to the House to seek approval for our DFC Write-off Program. And this is a program that will offer relief to holders, both of housing loans and student loans. In the first category, loans - this is for small loan holders - in the first category, loans in an original amount of $20,000 and less will be completely forgiven, provided, that the borrowers have already paid off 20% of their loan debt. And in the second category, all student loans of $6,000 and less will also be completely forgiven, also provided that the borrowers have already reduced their loans by 20%. With respect to Mahogany Heights, Government will write off all those loans with no conditionalities. It is an effort to avoid the charge of promoting moral hazard, that we have made the other write-offs dependent on some of degree of prior loan repayment. There is a crucial difference with Mahogany Heights, though. And that difference is that you will all remember that the then-administration paid money for the land on which that housing site was located to a crony. It later turned out that this crony was not the true owner of the land, so Government did not get a proper title. The result is that in turn, the title of the home-owners at Mahogany Heights is also dubious. This administration, in fairness and in equity, cannot see asking people to continue to pay for properties, to which Government cannot now - and for the foreseeable future, guarantee undisputed ownership." The PM says the write-off won't affect Government's present cash flow because the cost is being offset against a DFC debt due to gob in the year 2018.

Belizeans Will See Fuel Savings, Not At The Pump, But in the Public Purse
And while consumers should expect some relief at the gas pump as world oil prices go down - relief may also come in a different way. That's because Esso is selling over its operation in Belize to a company called PUMA, which is a subsidiary of another multinational called Trafigura. But unlike Esso, PUMA is interested in fuel from Venezuela under the Petrocaribe agreement. That initiative has long been inactive, but now PUMA is willing to explore it along with the Government. It could be beneficial for the public purse, because while the Venezuelan gas is not cheaper than world market prices, Government gets to defer a portion of the cost on long-term, low interest credit from Venezuela. That money can then be routed towards social programmes. The Prime Minister explained: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The bulk of our country's fuel imports used to run through Esso, and they refused to deal with Venezuela. They had their own supply sources in the US. The difference now, is that PUMA, which took over the sort of wholesale supply of fuel - if you will - in this country from Esso, PUMA is prepared to source all they fuel for Belize out of Venezuela. If now all our fuel can be imported from Venezuela, then you can see how the amount that the importer pays to us, which we in turn pay to Venezuela - or that amount that we are able to retain as a long-term loan - will increase exponentially, and it is going to be borrowed money, but it will be money that we can use in terms of programs to benefit the people of this country. I can tell you that we are looking at - in terms of when last I saw the figures - we're looking at the possibility of well in excess of $100 million per year, that we would be able to obtain by way of the Petro Caribe arrangements if we can stitch the steel together."

PM Says Minister's Fancy Rides Are Co-Pay
And even in austere times for government - a good many gallons of that gas will go into government vehicles. No question, Ministers love to sport fancy rides, many of them beefy, eight cylinder gas guzzlers. So, we asked the Prime Minister, in austere times for the public purse, can such extravagance be afforded? Here's what he said: Jules Vasquez "Will there be a cap on what the poet might call, mocking symbols of wealth - these luxury SUV's, which we see ministers in?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Certainly, I will not change any vehicle. I have not known of - well, let me put it this way. Ministers that have come in; there is a cap on how much is spent for their vehicles. So anybody who gets a luxury Land Cruiser paid the difference between what Government is prepared to spend, and what it costs. And this has happened. The last administration, the Deputy Prime Minister Lexus; he paid the difference. He gets - the spending on his vehicle is a little more than for other ministers because he is the deputy. But if you want more than the Government is prepared to afford, then you must find the difference. I think that the cap is something like $70,000 duty free. So if you want anything better than that, you pay." In other news coming out of the Press conference, the Prime Minister today announced that Foreign Trade Ambassador Bert Tucker has been reassigned and will now be the Prime Minister's Press Secretary. It was also announced that Amparo Masson has been hired to act as Government's liaison with the Private Sector.

Burnin' Vernon's Containers
For months now, we've been following the story of those six containers imported by UDP friend Vernon Cuthkelvin. As we've reported, the containers were supposed to contain fertilizer - but it turns out they had something else inside: precursor chemicals that could be used for the production of the drug called Crystal Meth - how much Crystal Meth? According to US authorities: 10 Billion Dollars Worth. Cuthkelvin managed to avoid being charged for making a false declaration - by stating that they sent him the wrong chemical. Add in a few tens of thousands of dollars lost in product and shipping costs - and that, publicly, was the end of it for him. But then, the very valuable containers full of precursors remained on the customs compound. US authorities remained most interested in their destruction - and along with customs, they arranged an operation to destroy the chemicals. That process - which was conducted at a secret location - involved burying the contents of all six containers plus one more which was not claimed. That's over three thousand sacks buried in two huge holes - and then mixed with water - thereby destroying the chemicals which are al soluble. The process started yesterday when four containers were destroyed and continued today when the last three were finished off. Independent media was not invited to witness it - but we understand the process was very closely overseen by US Authorities.

City Hall Asks Residents for Help With Municipal Bond
As we told you last night - the City Council held a press conference yesterday to discuss the progress with the pledges made for its first 100 days in office. As we told you, the Council earned a B average - which isn't bad - considering that no elected body has ever held itself accountable in quote such a fashion. Tonight we look more closely at what they did and didn't do: Jules Vasquez Reporting Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "When we looked at the 100-day plan, the idea with it was to set out things which are measurable that we could tick off, and members of the public could hold us accountable." And we did that. This is the list of 100 pledges that the council made - and we went through them one by one at yesterday's Press Conference. They fully achieved 82 of the hundred, which is not bad at all, but it's not perfect: Darrell Bradley "Other aspects that you raised, I think that we could have done better on, and one of the areas that I've indicated was really the legislation, and I've begun to realize that it's very difficult to get that consensus from the public. We wanted to do the vagrancy, and I still mean to ensure that we deal with this issue, but as I spoke about that, people called and called, and said that we can't do this and that. That causes a delay." One of the toughest areas was cutting expenditure by 20%:

Cops Will Crackdown On quality Of Life Crimes
And coming on the heels of the Council's efforts is the Police Department which has announced that it is embarking on the Quality of Life Campaign - which will mean a major change of life, or lifestyle for some Belizeans. The advisory issued yesterday says that Public drinking, loitering, littering, riding up-stop, double riding and other such offenses are against the law, and after warnings, fines will be issued to all offenders. The police department is asking the cooperation of all citizens to ensure the campaign's success. The Quality of Life Campaign will be effected immediately. After things sliding so far for so long in so many directions, we'll see how it goes...

Police "Eena" Penitentiary
Police Corporal #1023 Mark Roches is spending his first night behind bars after he was convicted of theft in the courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, the officer who caught the man in the act, testified for the prosecution this evening that on November 20, at around 2:15 p.m., he was in the compound of the Raccoon Street Police Station. He said that he spotted PC Roches removing a battery from the back of a black Lifan scooter, which was parked in the compound. Yearwood continued further that PC Roches then took the battery behind the police station, and that's when he was reported. With the strength of Yearwood's testimony, Chief Magistrate Smith found Roches guilty of the charge because the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Roches will spend 9 months for this conviction.

Does Marsha Have Anger Management Issues?
A week ago, 7News told you about 32 year-old Marsha Bood, a resident of Antelope Street, who was remanded for arson after she allegedly set fire to a man's door. Well today, she was brought back to court for a stabbing incident from last year. According to police, on November 29, 2011, they visited the KHMH when they saw 24 year-old Alexia Olivera suffering from 2 stab wounds in her back. The police conducted their investigation into the matter, and as a result, they began looking for Bood, who could not be located at her Antelope Street home. Since then, she has been wanted by police, and when she was caught last week in relation to the arson, police also charged her with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and grievous for the stabbing. Because of the nature of the offense, she couldn't be offered bail, and as a result, she was remanded until July 26, when she will be brought back for her next court date.

Brothers Accused Of Rape
23 year-old Jermaine Stevens and his 29 year-old brother, Austin are at prison tonight after they were arraigned to Magistrate's Court today in connection with the alleged rape of a Belize City woman. The victim reported to police that on March 20, 2012, at about 12:30 p.m., she went to the Stevens' Jane Usher Boulevard home to look for a friend. According to the woman, while she was there, she went to use the bathroom, and when she came out, she was confronted by both brothers. Jermaine and Austin Stevens allegedly grabbed her, and placed her on a bed where Jermaine Stevens allegedly raped her while Austin Stevens watched. Jermaine Stevens was charged with rape, while his brother Austin was charged with abetment to commit rape. In court today, the prosecutor made several objections to bail, and Chief Magistrate Smith remanded them to prison until July 25.

Inside The PSE Results
Earlier this week we told you the 2012 results of Primary School Examinations. The grades have improved across-the-board, but to shed some light on whether this is a trend or what the statisticians call an outlier, we spoke to the woman who designs the exam, Yvonne Davis of the Examinations Unit. She told us that this year's record breaking PSE results are a little bit of both. Yvonne Davis - P.S.E. Examiner "This year, the overall performance is at the C level, and I think that this is almost a record for us because this is saying that most students earned a C overall on the exam. We have seen almost a steady flow of incremental increase in English and Math. And those seemed - to me - to be the more steady subjects. But in Social Studies and Science, over the years, we've had a few spikes. This year, we have a huge spike in Science at 74.4%. This is the highest that we have ever achieved in any of the subjects. This is the first year that we have had performance at the B level in any of the subjects, and this is shown in the Science scores this year. So I am pretty sure that the children were very well-prepared this year for the Science exam. That may have been one of the major contributors to the spike that we see this year. We would like to see that in all of the other subject areas as well. There is evidence of text writing still. I remember the supervisors coming to me to say they're still getting a number of text language influencing the writing. What we need to say to the teachers and the students as they prepare for the national exam, these incomplete spelling of words, this counts against them in terms of how their papers are marked. If everybody is now abbreviating all of these sight words, we wouldn't for sure whether they know to spell them correctly or to use them in the proper context. This year, we have had a few of the violent themes - not as many as we have seen in some recent years - but I know that some of these scripts were brought to me indicating violent themes. We have a number of very sad stories, students talking about their loneliness. I've seen one, but there is no - nothing stands out."

Minister Says All PSE Takers Have a High School Place Waiting
That point was doubly underscored by education Minister Patrick Faber when we got into it with him today. The hard truth is that while it was a good year, most of the seven thousand students who took this test have nothing to celebrate. They performed poorly - which is mostly the fault of a system failing at every level. We asked the Minister, why does that failing system insist on demoralizing 12, 13 and 14 year olds - by telling them that they are the ones failing? Here's what he said: Jules Vasquez "However, you will agree that for a 12, 13 or 14 year-old, it thoroughly demoralizing to fail this exam that your entire education sylabus. Why don't we just scrap the exam, stop fulling ourselves as adults, stop demoralizing and penalizing for an education that has failed them?" Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "Well because, Jules, we don't believe that this is the purpose of the exams. You're right that it demoralizing to students, but there are some serious indicators that come out with the scores of the PSE. And that helps us to make sure that we understand what what is really happening in our education system. These are test scores are serious indicators of the quality of education that is being provided in our country. We need to face that reality, and we need to do what is necessary to be done in order to improve the quality." Jules Vasquez "Sir, I do not want to be glib or argumentative, but how about for an initial measure, we pay all the administrators, your chief education officer, your CEO - not yourself, you have a mandate - but all of them the percentage of their salary that is national mean score, which is about 58%. If we did that I bet you that the grades would go up."

Kids Learn How To Use Recycled Material
And our next story is also about children - these ones are getting an education in craft making. Yesterday morning an exhibit was held at the image factory to showcase bags and books made from recyclable materials. It was part of a competition for high school students that lasted 8 months. The students had to create a 1 minute radio ad, a shopping bag from recycled materials, booklets for primary school kids, and develop a more environmentally friendly campus for their schools. Well the bags and booklets were such a success that they were put up in an exhibit. Organizer Stephanie Lupp told us more: Stephanie Lupp - Managing Director, Aldebaran Marine Research "This is our second project. The first was Clean Up Belize, with all the districts, and it was very successful. So we learned that the young people are excited to something for the country. And then, we came up with the idea to work with all the high schools together. We have participation from nearly 50 persons. It was fantastic. We visited the schools 2 times. We went all over the country and looked at how they worked, and they were good partners. When we saw the outcomes of the shopping bags and the booklets, we decided to present it to the public. Everybody has to see how talented the young people in Belize are, and what potential they have. And if you look at the shopping bags, they are so professional and you can sell them immediately. They are so professional; they are like the ones in the shops. The civic pride is open your eyes; open your mind; open yourself. I know how it is. You live your life, and if nobody tells you what's going on in world, what's going on with your lifestyle, you do not notice it. And so, with this campaign, they learned a lot about climate change, the environment, and about the country. And they really want to do something the country. They want to change. So I saw that they learned, and they want to learn more."

PM Says Gang Truce Is Working even In Face Of Gang Warfare
For the past few weeks, we've been reporting on the situation with the Gang Truce work programme. In spite of a massive outbreak of gang violence, it continues to pay gang affiliated males to work four days a week, on the understanding that once they get paid, they'll have no good reason to be causing trouble on the streets. Today we asked the Prime Minister why the programme continues, even as it appears that it is not working: Jules Vasquez "The gang truce - the program - I just heard the OCED explain to us that there is more or less full out gang warfare. So obviously the truce remains only a tissue of a fantasy. However, the program remains that people are being paid. Will this be continued, and if so, to what end?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Yes man, and you see again, this business of setting up a premise from which then all the criticisms and the emotive, colorful and very expressive language - I must commend you - from which that follows is not fair. To say that the gang truce is only now the tissue of a fantasy is a very nice sound byte, but it is absolutely inaccurate. A lot of what is happening is being caused by people who were never in the gang truce. The gang truce never pretended to encompass every last single individual who is in criminal gang activity, and that was clear from the beginning. A number of gangs weren't included in the truce, and a number of members that were included in the truce always refused to participate. Current position, there are still some gang members that are working with the truce, and that are behaving themselves. Long story short, those that prove - demonstrate - that they are prepared to work walk the straight and narrow, will continue to be employed for so long as they keep the peace, in so far as we can determine that. And the others, some of whom have always been outside the truce; some of whom have been in the truce but have now left - will simply have to be dealt with by the security forces."

Channel 5

P.M. says expect austerity measures in budget
Brace up for austerity. Speaking at a press conference this morning, the Prime Minister sounded the alarm that a gaping thirty million dollar hole is expected in the new and delayed budget that will be presented to the House on June twenty-ninth. It means that government will be spending less and that cuts and tougher [...]

Gang War in the midst of real gang truce
Crime is a number one concern throughout the country. Over a dozen people have been shot since last Friday night; most of the violence took place in the city and have been labeled by the Police Department as gang related. The gang war had an upsurge of shots on Tuesday night when at least two [...]

No foreign police commissioner for Belize
The man charged with ushering the Belize City gangs into a life of peace without bloodshed is Belmopan resident and National Security Minister John Saldivar. Prime Minister Barrow says that Saldivar has expressed his belief that a local police commissioner would be better for the job rather than a foreigner.   Dean Barrow “The fight, [...]

Compensation only for Telemedia and B.E.L.
The court ruled on Monday for a second time that the acquisition of Belize Telemedia Limited was null and void, but fell short of ordering consequential relief. So it’s possible that the government may need to reacquire the company for a third time. Attorneys for the former owners of Telemedia as well as the government [...]

Poll says crime and violence most critical matter
The country is currently battling with increasing crime and violence as well as an economic downturn. So in our last poll, we asked viewers which issue they believe is more pressing. Seventy-seven percent voted that crime and violence is the most critical matter while the remaining twenty-three percent say the economic problems are more urgent. [...]

Orange Walk Businessman murdered. A hit?
The past weekend was the bloodiest since the beginning of the year and there was no relief on Monday when another murder took place in the crime ridden City. Then on Tuesday night in Orange Walk Town, a store owner was killed as he tended to customers in his grocery shop. The family of Sunil [...]

Meth precursor being destroyed
The destruction of six containers of methylamine hydrochloride is taking place incrementally by the Customs Department in cooperation with the US. Between Tuesday and today, the containers carrying three thousand sacks of the chemicals were transported under heavy police escort along the western highway. News Five has learnt that the destruction is taking place along [...]

Women victims in City Shootings
In the Old Capital, there were three shootings in six hours and two women fell victims to the gun violence. Just before midnight eighteen year old Kenesha Humes was socializing with friends in front her residence on Vernon Street when three men on separate bicycles rode by and fired several shots hitting Humes on the [...]

After 5 years locked up, 2 men freed of murder charge
In the courts, two men who were on remand for almost five years have been freed of Murder charges. Thomas Caretella and William Padgett were accused of fatally shooting Santa Elena Taxi driver, fifty-one year old Leopold Austin Waight, on August thirty-first, 2007. But after three and a half hours of deliberation, a jury of [...]

Senior citizen busted for molesting 5 year old
A fifty-one year old man was today convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for molesting a five year old girl. Belize City resident, Chester Smith, maintained that he was innocent saying that he is being framed by the child’s mother. But despite his denial of the crime, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith believed the [...]

Brothers face rape charge
In another case of sexual abuse, two brothers were accused of raping a Belize City female. According to the alleged victim, she visited the home of Austin Stevens to meet a friend when she was attacked by twenty-nine year old Austin and his younger brother, twenty-five year old Jermaine Stevens. The woman alleges that she [...]

Territorial Referendum? Yes. Oceana Referendum? Maybe not
The Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute is subject to a simultaneous referendum on October sixth, 2013. If the people of Belize and Guatemala agree, the dispute can finally be settled at the International Court of Justice. Oceana Belize is also hoping to get a referendum on the issue of offshore drilling. But the Prime Minister indicated that [...]

City Hall move illegal vendors again
We have covered this story many times before and this certainly won’t be the last; it’s about the never ending problems between market vendors and City Hall. For two days, small vendors selling their wares on the sidewalk at West Collet Canal have been moved at the instructions of City Hall. The vendors say they [...]

Councilor says he will look at allegations against constable
The City Councilor with responsibility for Markets, Kevin Singh says that while he understands everyone is trying to survive, the vendors must abide by the rules. According to Singh, they have been at odds with the sidewalk vendors for years and even after moving them on several occasions and putting up signs barring vending in [...]

City Council to implement new system to collect outstanding taxes
On Tuesday, the Belize City Council held a press conference to update the city on their progress in the first hundred days since assuming office at City Hall. Along with the infrastructure works and sanitation plans, Mayor Darrell Bradley says the council will institute a system to collect outstanding taxes. Bradley says that things have [...]

Kate Walsh at our Blue Hole swimming in Hollywood Conservation Message
Kate Walsh, the famous Doctor Addison Montgomery on the hit series, Grey’s Anatomy, was in Belize over the past weekend. But she wasn’t here on vacation, she was here as an Oceana activist. Walsh, whose visit was to raise awareness on Belize’s Barrier Reef and the fragile ecosystem, met with local journalists for a one [...]


We now join Correspondent Harry Arzu for a report from the Stann Creek District. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The Stann Creek District Emergency Committee held an official Disaster Risk Reduction jeopardy game awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 13th for primary school students w...

The Belmopan Comprehensive College today received a monetary donation from the Lions Club of Belmopan. The cheque was handed over this morning during the school’s last assembly for this academic year. FEM CRUZ, Reporter “The Lion’s Club...

The Primary School Examination results were released earlier this week and one school in Orange Walk has reason to celebrate. Dalila Ical filed this story yesterday. DALILA CAL, Reporter “The Louisiana Government School for the fourth consecutive year has captu...

For 8 years Nicolee Ramirez has suffered from extreme headaches. Doctors told Ramirez she has cysts swelling in her brain. NICOLEE RAMIREZ “For the past eight years and change now every day I get up I am in pain. Nothing but pain all day every day an...

The Belize Cancer Center in Dangriga has been playing a critical role in the treatment of Cancer patients in our country, more specifically by providing chemotherapy. Today, the staff and patients at the Cancer Center have become the joyous recipients of a grant by the Belize Social Se...

There was another murder in Belize City on Monday evening. It happened in the Saint Martin de Porres area and claimed the life of twenty four year old Keith Lewis. It happened at around six-thirty on Monday evening on Miller Street. Residents of the area told Love New...

Two brothers, 25-year-old Linton Gentle and 23-year-old Jody Gentle, charged with the murder of Alpheus Smith Jr. were acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas directed the jury of 10 women and two men to return a formal verdict of not gui...

The March seventh General and Municipal elections are now in the history books, but the government’s and municipals’ terms in office are now approaching the 100 day mark. Keenly watching their performance is the opposition People’s United Party, who today held a...


Villager subdued alleged burglar; but he escapes from police custody
A family from Georgeville village in the Cayo district is worried for their safety following an incident this morning. Reports to the RSV Media Centre are that around nine o’clock this morning, a man broke into the home of the former chairlady of the village Anna Myvette. Myvette’s fifteen year old son was apparently asleep in his room when he heard a noise and got up to investigate. Reports are that when the teenage boy came out of his bedroom, he saw a clear complexion man coming in through a window. He yelled at the intruder who quickly ran off. Sources tell Love News that the teenage boy chased after the intruder who ran through the village. Reports are the villagers set chase and they were able to catch up with the would-be burglar near the village’s football field. The villagers reportedly administered a beating on the unidentified man, tied him up and held him until police arrive. Because of the beating that was administered to him, Love News understands that the suspect was taken to the San Ignacio hospital by the police. It is not certain what transpired but shortly after arriving at the San Ignacio hospital, the suspect somehow managed to escape police custody. Now the victim of the break in, is fearful for the safety of herself and her children, with the escape of the suspect from custody. Our attempts to get information from the police have so far been unsuccessful; but we will continue to follow up on this story.

PUP holds press conference
The March seventh General and Municipal elections are now in the history books, but the government’s and municipals’ terms in office are now approaching the 100 day mark. Keenly watching their performance is the opposition People’s United Party, who today held a news conference at its Queen Street headquarters to call them out on what the PUP says is a less than acceptable job so far. First up was PUP party leader, Francis Fonseca, who before he blasted the government, expressed solidarity with the Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, as Kim battles with breast cancer. Not missing a beat, Fonseca went straight to business, disapproving of what he says is a lack of direction and vision, 97 days into government. Fonseca went on to warn the government that the opposition will refuse to cooperate with the government if unelected party operatives continue to influence government decisions. While Fonseca appealed to Prime Minister Barrow to give public officers their salary increases, Cayo South Area Representative, Julius Espat, criticized the government for not creating economic opportunities for more Belizeans. One of the salient issues that the opposition speakers dealt with is crime and Senator Karen Bodden called on the BNTU and other bodies to break their silence on the level of crime against the Belizean society. Other speakers included Area Representatives, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Rodwell Ferguson, Florencio Marin, Mike Espat, Marco Mensez, Oscar Requena, and Senator Lisa Shoman.

Education officer assesses PSE results
Over seven thousand standard six students over the country sat the Primary School Examinations this year, which showed a two point four percent increase from last year’s numbers. One point sixty six percent of this number were private candidates and students who attend alternative schools. The much anticipated results of the PSE exam were released yesterday. The Principal Education Officer for National Exams, Yvonne Davis told Love News what these results look like. Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Dr. Carol Babb spoke on some of the tactics the Government is working on to improve performance especially in Math. She also explained some tactics that are currently been looked at to better the performances on the weaker districts. First place over all was a tie between Rhiki Alegria from Hummingbird Elementary School and Jasmine Betancourt from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning, we had a chance to speak with them and share in their excitement. Around fifty-five students with special needs were accommodated to sit the PSE exam this year and Love News spoke today with Rowan Garel, a visually impaired young man who got a score of 93 on his examination. Udumii Ejike from Solid Rock Christian School placed second place while third place went to Eric Hunter who also hails from Bernice Yorke, in fact Bernice Yorke produced a number of top scorers this year like Darren Alvarez who ranged in at number four. According to Davis, students attending private schools scored the highest followed by those attending Roman Catholic Schools and the least scores were seen in the Methodist and Seventh Day Adventist schools.

Police launch Quality of Life Campaign
The police department today announced the immediate launch of what is being called: “the Quality of Life Campaign.” In announcing the new initiative, the police press officer noted that the public is warned that offenses such as Public Drinking, loitering and littering are against the law. The police department is calling on cyclists to be aware that riding up-stop is an offense and so is the practice of carrying someone on the crossbar of a bicycle. Both persons caught in such an instance could face charges. In the initial goings, the police announcement says that warnings will be given, after which fines will be levied against all offenders. This will be an ongoing campaign and the police Department is asking for the public’s support in cooperating with the police in their effort to make the community a safer place.

Murder in the St. Martin de Porres area
There was another murder in Belize City on Monday evening. It happened in the Saint Martin de Porres area and claimed the life of twenty four year old Keith Lewis. It happened at around six-thirty on Monday evening on Miller Street. Residents of the area told Love News that they heard the shots coming from Miller Street and that after he was shot, Lewis evidently ran from there onto the adjoining Rochez Street and in a yard behind a house where he collapsed and died. His body, however, was not discovered until this morning when residents came out and saw him lying face down in the overgrown swamp. Police say that they observed gunshot wounds to Lewis’ left upper chest, left upper back, left upper leg and right upper leg. Their version of events is also slightly different from what residents told us. Lewis, police say, was standing in a yard on Roches Street when a man approached them from the direction of McKay Boulevard and opened fire. Police say they are looking for a person of interest in connection with this investigation.

Woman seeks medical help for brain ailment
For eight years Nicolee Ramirez has suffered from extreme headaches. Doctors told Ramirez she has cysts swelling in her brain. Ramirez is looking for any help the community may be able to give her. The only way she can receive proper treatment with the qualified surgeons is if she can afford to go to a hospital outside of Belize. 31-year-old Ramirez says she hopes with treatment she can finally show her children who she really is. To help Ramirez please contact her grandmother’s phone number at 207-8038 or send assistance to her home address at number 4348 Fabers Road Extension.

NEMO officials visit Toledo flooded areas
Members of NEMO-Toledo district emergency coordinating team have been visiting flooded areas in Toledo. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Brothers freed of murder charge
Two brothers, 25-year-old Linton Gentle and 23-year-old Jody Gentle, charged with the murder of Alpheus Smith Jr. were acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas directed the jury of 10 women and two men to return a formal verdict of not guilty after he upheld a no case to answer submission made by the accused attorney Hubert Elrington. There were three man witnesses for the prosecution. Two of them were Senior Superintendent of Police Chester Williams and Police Constable Obed Arzu. The third was Nathaniel Bowen. Williams and Arzu only testified that at around 7:48 a.m. on June 16, 2007 they saw the accused shooting into a vehicle at the corner of Currasow and Gibnut Streets. They could not say who the shots were directed at. Bowen, who gave the police a statement in which he said he saw Smith in the vehicle and he assisted by driving Smith to the hospital. When he took the stand this morning he said he could not recall what happened and he was deemed a hostile witness. Without Bowen’s testimony, the prosecution’s case fell apart and after the prosecution closed its case Elrington submitted that there was no evidence against his clients to show that they were responsible for Smith’s death. Smith was shot several times and he apparently got into his Grand Cherokee Jeep to seek cover. The Gentle brothers were apprehended at their home on Antelope Street by Williams and Arzu shortly after the incident. Two firearms, a nine millimeter pistol and a point 38 revolver, which the Police believe were used in the shooting of Smith, were retrieved from the Gentle brothers and were tendered as exhibits during the trial. The trial was a retrial. The jury was unable to reach a verdict at the conclusion of the first trial on July 13, 2010. Crown Counsel Christophe Rodriguez represented the prosecution at the second trial.

“Paulie” not guilty of attempted murder
After deliberating for about four hours today in the court of Justice Herbert Lord, a jury of six women and three men reached a verdict of not guilty in the trial of Tarique Cadle also known as Paulie, charged with the attempted murder of Guyanese national Lyndon Jeffrey, who was shot in his upper left arm around 10 p.m. on August 23, 2009. Jeffery, who has returned to Guyana to live, did not come to court to testify but a statement he gave to the Police in which he identified Cadle as the person who shot him, was admitted as evidence. The statement was admitted as evidence after Jeffrey’s sister testified that she took him to the airport and saw him board an airplane to Guyana and that when she spoke to him by telephone he told her he will not come back to Belize. In the statement he gave to the police Jeffrey said that while riding his bicycle on Neal pen Road he noticed two persons riding bicycles behind him. He said the chain of his bicycle was slipping and when it slipped completely he tried to run but his assailant was already near to him. He said Cadle pointed a pistol at him and told him not to say anything. He then felt a burning sensation and he fell to the ground and pretended that he was dead. Jeffrey said the shooting was as a result of an altercation during a football game in Hattieville. Special Constable Santos Carbahal testified that he was at a grocery shop on Neal Pen Road when he heard two shots. He said when he turned around he saw a man on a bicycle standing over a man on the ground. Carbahal said the gunman got on his bicycle and rode past him then the man on the ground got up and ran past him. Cadle gave a statement from the dock in which he said he was not at the scene at the time of the incident. Cadle was not represented by an attorney. Crown Counsel Trienna Young represented the prosecution.

BDF getting assistance from Canada
The Belize Defence Force is getting some assistance from the government of Canada. An online report published today says that the donation of two thousand load carrying vests to the BDF is part of Canada’s Americas’ Strategy and broader commitments to support Central American countries with their efforts to address the security situation in the region. According to the online report, the utility vests which are declared surplus by the Canadian Forces, have multiple functions and are composed of pockets for arms and additional pockets for alternative use such as small radios and First Aid kits. This donation of equipment is in response to a BDF request for Canadian Forces’ assistance with the acquisition of vests, and will support BDF operations and training. This support for Belize, says the report, is a tangible example of Canada’s implementation of its objective, under the Americas’ Strategy, to address insecurity and advance freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law through capacity building. The report also says that the Deputy Commander of the Canada Command of the Canadian Forces Major-General Richard Foster, is due to travel to Belize at an unspecified date to hand over the donated vests to senior officials of the BDF. Canada and Belize share a Commonwealth history, many values and cultural ties. Belize has been a member of the Military Training and Cooperation Program since 1983 and Canada and Belize have shared positive bilateral relations since its independence.


PM assures public on Belize's economy
This morning, PM Barrow held his quarterly press conference. The first topic addressed was that of the economy. As ...

Kim Simplis Barrow health update
PM Barrow spoke about his wife’s health. Mrs Barrow was rushed to the hospital for emergency care on May 28th with ...

Barrow administration confident in crime fighting efforts
The issue of compensation for the nationalization of Belize’s utilities was also addressed this morning. The Prime ...

Young, Clean and Green student exhibition
The Image factory has mounted a display of students’ works from the Young Clean and green competition. Through a co...

Orange Walk store owner is shot and killed
An Orange Walk store owner was shot and killed last night. 44 year old Sunil Punjabi was the owner of Lucky’s store...

No offshore referendum in the near future
There are two referendums that are currently in the pipeline of discussion. Those include the differendum on the B...

Two more women shot in Belize City
A woman was shot in Belize City last night. It happened after 10 o’clock last night. 21 year old CARRIE WADE was so...

Barrow on unlawful acquisition of Telemedia ruling
Recently, right after the double election in March, the second acquisition of BTL was argued in the Supreme Court b...

Accused robber escapes from Police custody
One man felt the wrath of disgruntled villagers when he attempted to rob a house in George Ville village. The man w...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Miss Lobster Fest pageant to be held June 29th!
With the opening of the Lobster season on June 15th, our fellow Caye Caulker people have been preparing for this year’s season as avid fishermen have been seen busy with their lobster traps so they can be out bright and early on the big day!! The Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Committee have likewise been very busy preparing for this year’s Lobster Fest as they want to make it the biggest and best Fest on the island as we progress into another year of enjoying the succulent king lobster. This year’s Miss Lobster Fest pageant will be held on Friday, June 29th, which culminates the beginning of the Fest. Please come on out and support your favorite contestant as each and everyone of them will need your kind support pageant night!! So, who will be our next Miss Lobster Fest?? Jasmine Skeen?? Sylvia Joseph?? Shania Sanchez?? Jasmine Arce or Vicky Canul???? Best wishes to all girls as they prepare to grace the stage with their presence on pageant night!! The winning Miss Lobster Fest will be on hand to deliver the Welcome Address for the Opening Ceremony on Saturday, June 30, 2012 so don’t miss it!!

The Next Miss Belize – Queen of the Jewel delegates to visit Caye Caulker this weekend!!
The Next Miss Belize – Queen of the Jewel have begun with their plans and preparations with the lovely delegates, who form a part of Class of 2012 for the grand pageant night to be held on July 7, 2012 at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. This year, however, we have the privilege of having a representative for Caye Caulker and she is no other than Jenna Angelica Bernard. Since Caye Caulker had not had a delegate to represent la Isla Carinosa, this is the perfect opportunity and it could not have come at a more opportune time. This weekend June 16-17, 2012, Caye Caulker will be graced with the presence of fine young women with different aspirations, plans for the future and who all come from different backgrounds and walks of life to enjoy the quaintness and serene life we enjoy on our little isle. They are being hosted by generous hotels, restaurants and tour agencies who have not hesitated to provide sponsorship to make this trip for the delegates happen. Let me first introduce to you the Class of 2012 for The Next Miss Belize – Queen of the Jewel:


Chicken Drop Fundraiser
Thursday starting at 6pm at Wahoo’s Lounge. With a location just south of the central park in San Pedro and right on the beach ACES FUNdraiser at this week’s CHICKEN DROP @ WAHOO’S LOUNGE – better than cash prizes to win!!!! Please come down and place your bets, this weeks prizes will be all sorts of great prizes while the money collected from your bet will help to support ACES in their efforts to keep Ambergris Caye and it’s beloved crocodiles safe and living in perfect harmony distant from each other! You CHICKEN DROP BET WILL ENTER YOU TO WIN FROM THESE GREAT DONATIONS Two Night Stay @ El Pescador ($550 USD value) Two Hour Excursion with ACES ($160 USD value) An ORIGINAL work of art by Ambergris Caye Own artist MELODY-SANCHEZ WOLFE (value- PRICELESS in all dollars!) Massage, Meal, Champagne beach treat from Kama Lounge ($140USD value) Sail Sports Belize Lesson or Hobie Rental ($90 USD value) 5 pure Maya cigars & delicious flavored rums from THE RUM, CIGAR AND COFFEE HOUSE ($100USD value) Amazing WILD MANGO’S dinner for two on the Beach ($100 USD value) Pineapple’s Restaurant dinner for two Chuck and Robbies Diving Adventure – 2 tank dive for two and many more prizes from Ak’Bol Yoga Resort, Vegas Casino at Captain Morgans, Jungle Water Adventures, San Pedro Sun, Aji Tapa Bar and Restaurant, Pedro’s Pizza, Estel’s “dine by the sea”, The Little Old Craft Shop, Palapa Bar and Grill, Cowboy Doug pool bar and grill, Marcos Gonzalez Maya Site EVEN IF YOU DON’T WILL WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO SUPPORT THESE GREAT BUSINESSES THAT SUPPORT YOUR SAFETY ON THE ISLAND!

Good-Bye Coronado Beach, Hello Panama City
Yesterday morning we left Coronado and Cesar's parents to head to Panama City for 3 days and to end my trip to Panama. We walked down to the beach to take one last swim on the black and tan sand beach. I remain fixated on the pure jet black sand. For some reason in pictures, it just looks dirty grey. Some bad weather was rolling over the mountains...time to skedaddle. On the way to Panama City, we stopped at a huge brand new shopping center. The Westland Mall. Huge, brand new and pretty empty. They did have a very impressive food court with every fast food place you can imagine (from Taco Bell to McDonalds to Carls Jr to Quiznos...sigh) and a few stores...most knock-offs of Abercrombie and Fitch. Apparently the frat boy look is popular world wide. I found this a poor name for a women's store but perhaps I'm just too sensitive. Cesar and Dani begged me to pose with the huge stuffed bear. Danni was getting mauled while Cesar was high fiving the bear. The cavernous food court...plenty of open seats.

Goodbye and Good Luck!
Today is a day that we have to say Goodbye to our dear friend and crew member Patrick! Patrick has finally got his visas approved for his move to Australia whereupon he will marry our very own Paige on 1st December. Patrick has been part of our family from the beginning of Raggamuffin time or for as long as we can remember and, over the years, he has become everybody’s trusted friend. From side man to Senior boat Captain and Tour Guide, Patrick has grown with us over the years and been instrumental in tutoring and inspiring those who have followed in his footsteps. Patrick’s move to Australia (home of Paige) is very much a permanent move as he hopes to take his knowledge and experience from the Belizean ocean to test out Aussie waters with a multitude of options – Australia, you do not know how lucky you are!! Although today we have a heavy heart and a tear in our eye, we can take with us some fond memories and thankful that for a short while we are blessed to have him with us!! We wish you good luck both Patrick and Paige on your journey and remember, we will always be sitting right here in Paradise waiting for your return!!

Chicken Drop Fundraiser for ACES Wildlife Refuge
Last week I wrote about ACES (American Crocodile Education Sanctuary), well this Thursday there will be a Chicken Drop fundraiser for ACES at Wahoo's Lounge located on the beach. Wondering what a chicken drop is? The Chicken Drop is a fun time where people will pick numbers that are on a board. The idea is to see if the chicken will poop on your numbers. If so, you win. Wahoo has a large enclosed board that is displayed on the beach with numbers from 1 to 100. You can purchase a square for $1.00BZ. The drop starts at 7:00pm so get there early to get your tickets and a good sit near the board. There is a drop every 20 minutes. Just remember if your chicken wins, you don't get the chicken but you do get to clean up the poop or pay someone out of your earnings to do it for you. So come down and place your bets, this weeks prizes are going to be great and the money raised will go to ACES who help keep Ambergris Caye and the crocodiles safe. Check out the great prizes you can win.

International Sources

The Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project Supply of Cattle Identification and Mounting Equipment
The Government of Belize (GOB) has received financing from the European Union and intends to apply part of the proceeds to payments under the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project for the Supply of Cattle Identification and Mounting Equipment. The goods to be supplied and delivered are: 1. 100,000 ear tags (flag type) 2. 80,000 Electronic Identification (buttons) with electronic chip 3. 20,000 ear tag (button type) without electronic chip; 4. 7 Stick readers for Electronic Identification Ear tag; 5. 50 Universal ear tag applicator (pliers) for cattle, The tender documents can be requested from the email address Sealed tenders must be delivered to the Office of the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project located on The National Agricultural Showgrounds, Hummingbird Highway, Belmopan, Cayo District, Belize, Central America. The deadline for submission of tenders is March 26, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Belize time. Followed by the Public Opening at 11:30 a.m. Belize Time. Tenderers or their representatives are invited to attend.

Retire in This Welcoming Caribbean Community
Residents refer to the little island of Ambergris Caye, Belize, as ”La Isla Bonita.” Beautiful it is, like the best of the Caribbean. Ambergris Caye is also one of the best places in the world to think about island retirement. This English-speaking island has an interesting past including Mayan trade post, pirate hideout, Mestizo fishing village, and Fox television’s Temptation Island. And it’s now home to one of the biggest established communities of expat retirees anywhere. Ann Kuffner and her husband are part of that community. “I feel very fortunate to be living on this quirky little island at this point in my life,” says Kuffner. “For me, the ego-gratification of being a Fortune 500 vice president just doesn’t compare with the satisfaction I experience day-to-day living now in this Caribbean paradise.” Kuffner walked away from her life in San Francisco six years ago and hasn’t looked back since. “Here on Ambergris, I have time to mingle with my neighbors. The weather is comfortable, the lifestyle relaxed and healthy, the environment is beautiful,” she says. “And yet I have the critical infrastructure and conveniences that I took for granted while living in the States.” Ambergris Caye is a unique oasis off the coast of Belize. Its biggest appeal, beyond its quintessentially Caribbean assets of azure sea, white sand, and sunny skies, is its community. Belizeans, including those on Ambergris, are generally warm and friendly, and a welcoming community of foreign retirees continues to grow here. An important underlying element of everything in Belize is a strong sense of independence. According to Belize historian Emory King, “This is a land where virtually every man came looking for freedom: Freedom to practice his religion, freedom to participate in the operation of a free government, freedom to own his land, and to make his own way.” In Belize you will find folks in search of peace, freedom, independence, and a chance to start over, including many American baby boomer retirees.

A culture excavated
The new exhibit, “An Early Maya City by the Sea — Daily Life and Ritual at Cerros, Belize,” features never-before-seen Mayan artifacts at the Florida Museum of Natural History through Oct. 7. Mayan culture developed for more than 3,000 years in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Belize. Tina Choe's goal is to connect that past to present-day Floridians. Facts ‘An Early Maya City by the Sea — Daily Life and Ritual at Cerros, Belize' What: Exhibit of never-before-seen early Mayan artifacts When: Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. through Oct. 7 Where: Florida Museum of Natural History, Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road, Gainesville Cost: Free Info: 846-2000, “We want people to find parallels between then and today's world,” says Choe, the Florida Museum of Natural History's exhibit developer. “An Early Maya City by the Sea — Daily Life and Ritual at Cerros, Belize,” the newest exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, showcases items found in Maya excavations for the very first time. It runs through Oct. 7 and is free to the public. More than 2,800 artifacts excavated in the '70s were donated to the Florida Museum by the Institute of Archaeology in Belize in 2009. Choe says Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American art at the Florida Museum, wanted to share and highlight 45 of those artifacts that people have never seen before. The items, ranging from miniscule jade beads to foot-long clay plates, are divided into six eras spanning from 350 B.C. to A.D. 1566. This is the only exhibit opening during the summer at the Florida Museum and represents the only large collection of scientifically excavated material from 350 B.C. to A.D. 300 now part of a U.S. museum collection. According to Choe, the most challenging aspect of the exhibit was translating the rooted, complex Mayan culture into a display that all visitors understand.

Concern Rises Over Belize Debt
Belize’s bondholders have formed a creditors committee out of concern that the Central American country will become the next sovereign to default on its debts. Belize’s bondholders have formed a creditors committee out of concern that the Central American country will become the next sovereign to default on its debts. The ad hoc committee, representing holders of more than $200m of the $547m bond due in 2029, said it had been formed after the government indicated it could “amend certain terms” of the bond. The bond has been trading at a subdued price for some time, as investors have widely expected a debt restructuring. Moody’s [MCO 35.31 -0.78 (-2.16%) ] this month cut Belize’s credit rating for a second time this year, down to Ca, citing a likely restructuring and the country’s weak economic growth. The bond was approved in 2007 in an effort to consolidate the country’s debt, which totals about $1bn, more than 70 per cent of Belize’s $1.4bn gross domestic product , according to the central bank.

Canada to donate equipment to Belize Defence Force
Canada will donate 2,000 surplus utility vests to the Belize Defence Force (BDF) in support of Canada's Americas' Strategy and broader commitments to support Central American countries in their efforts to address the security situation in the region. "This donation of utility vests is another example of our government's growing cooperation with American countries and Belize in particular," said Peter MacKay, Canada’s Minister of National Defence. "The donation of these vests to the Belize Defence Force supports a regional partner and better enables them in their efforts to address security challenges in their country and region." Declared surplus by the Canadian Forces, these utility vests have multiple functions and are composed of pockets for arms and additional pockets for alternative use such as small radios and first aid kits. This donation of equipment is in response to a BDF request for Canadian Forces' assistance with the acquisition of vests, and will support BDF operations and training. These 2,000 load carrying vests represent a surplus to the needs of the Canadian Forces.

June 13, 2012

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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Cesar Acosta becomes a Certified Casting Instructor by FFF
El Pescador Lodge is honored to announce that Captain Cesar Acosta has become a Certified Casting Instructor by the International Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). Cesar is a 2nd generation El Pescador Guide following in his father, Hilberto Acosta’s, footsteps. Cesar loves to fish and loves to cast. He consistently wins casting distance competitions. Cesar began his journey towards FFF casting instructor certification in December 2010 when El Pescador organized a workshop with FFF Master Instructor and Board of Governor, Gordon “Gordy” Hill. Gordy ignited a fire in all of El Pescador’s guides to further our understanding of the mechanics of casting as well as the teaching of the sport. Ali Flota commented about the clinic “All El Pescador Guides are exceptional at guiding anglers in our diverse and unique fishery.

Cayo Community comes out for Jasmine Lowe
There was an outpouring of emotions for Jasmine Lowe at the Macal River Park last Friday and at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio this past Saturday night. A sea of candle flames was evident from great distances at both events. The Galen University ‘Eagles’ played several meaningful tunes at the Macal River Park. Chairperson of the Peoples Coalition of Cayo, Albert Moore, told the gathering at the Macal River Park, “Good citizens obey laws, let us obey the laws of our land.” Moore also spoke about strategies to confront crime, such as for more community involvement, the formation of neighborhood watches. Moore pleaded for local residents to forge links with police officers dedicated to community work; such as PC Jones, PC Medina and Corporal Bradley.

Tuff E Nuff playing hard for each other and for San Pedro
The 2012 Inter-office Basketball competition is well underway and hometown players Tuff E Nuff Boys are making waves by winning their first four games despite the fact that the first game they won was also the very first game they played together as a team this year. Tuff E Nuff is the only team from San Pedro competing in the tournament for 2012 and from all indications they seem to have a very good chance of bringing home the gold. However, owner/player/coach Rico Black says that this year they face some strong competition. “It won’t be easy, but we have a good chance…” smiles Black. Unlike previous inter-office seasons, where players had to be employees of the team office, this year’s tournament has been opened up to the general public and all of the roasters have been strengthened by an influx of ex semi-pro basketball players who have joined with the office employees to play for the championship. The combination of experience and ability that these ex-semi pro ballers bring makes the teams stronger and lift the intensity of the competition to a whole new level for inter-office basketball. The San Pedro Sun sat down with player-coach Rico Black to get his impressions on this year’s teams, the competition, his outlook for the tournament and the performance of his team thus far.

“Mose” Hyde and “Chocolate” Heredia are presented Wavemaker and Ocean Hero Award from Oceana in Belize
Oceana in Belize was proud to honor two renowned Belizeans with Oceana’s Wavemaker Award and Ocean Hero Award. The awards were presented at a special event at the Bliss held on World Oceans Day, Friday June 8th. Evan Mose Hyde Jr presented with Wavemaker Award Mr. Evan “Mose” Hyde was presented with the Wavemaker Award for his open and frank discussions about marine issues—especially as the morning host for “Wake Up Belize.” His efforts have helped spread the message about the need for marine protection and conservation. He is gifted in being able to talk about these issues beyond the environment, and shows how they relate to Belize’s socio-political and socio-economic realities. And he advocates for awareness and education as means to promote conservation and environmental activism. Chocolate heredia Receives Ocean Hero Award Mr. Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia was presented with the Ocean Hero Award for lifetime service and dedication to marine education and advocacy and promoting sustainable use of Belize’s marine resources. His work as a conservationist for the sea manatee is a true example of being a leader and role model in the protection of the ocean’s precious creatures. He is also well-known for fighting to ensure the establishment of Swallow Caye Wildlife Reserve.

Triple wins for Exquisite Corpse Project screenings in Los Angeles
Director Ben Popik, of Island films here in San Pedro, is fresh off the heels of three huge accomplishments at film festivals and screenings of his film ‘The Exquisite Corpse Project’. The motion picture kicked off its Film Festival run at the Dances with Films Festival is Los Angeles, California USA and nabbed the Audience Choice Award making it one for one on its debut. Just days later the film snatched up another big win when it took Best Documentary at LA’s New Wave Festival. Ben also received Best Director at the LA New Wave Festival making it three wins in the two film festival race! Imagine that… three awards in two screenings… not bad for your first feature length film! Ben says that they are now working on doing a national tour throughout the US in the next few months as well as having the film available online for viewing. When speaking with The San Pedro Sun Ben offered his gratitude to his local fans by saying, “I’d like to thank the San Pedro community for the incredible support they’ve shown us and our movie over the past few months, and we can’t wait to show it to everyone at the Belize International Film Festival in July! We feel extremely fortunate to live in such a supportive community.” So be on the lookout for ‘The Exquisite Corpse Project’ showing at the Belize Film Festival, July 13th – 17th. Congrats to Ben Popik on the great success of his film so far. The Exquisite Corpse Awards are: Audience Choice Award – Dances With Films Best Documentary – LA New Wave Film Festival Best Director – LA New Wave Film Festival

Letter to the Editor: Pay your fine or serve your time
June 7th completes 90 days since the double election of March 7th. It also marks the deadline for disclosure by all persons elected to office on that day, including members of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. I congratulate Wally Nunez Jr., the only PUP councillor in San Pedro Town council who has submitted his disclosure within the allotted time. He has set the example and shown the electorate that he will do the right thing. The Prevention of Corruption Act 2007, Part 3 section 10 (1) states: “a person in public life shall, in accordance with this act, file with the commission, a “sworn” (section 10 (4) (in front of a Magistrate, JP, Commissioner or Registrar of the Supreme Court) declaration of assets, income and liabilities.” Section 2 (b) further states: “in the case of a person who becomes a person in public life, within three months of his becoming a person in public life, in respect of his (including spouse and children) assets, income and liabilities for the year ended on the previous 31stDecember.”

Ambergris Today

Music, Fashion and Island Talent, Wave Music Celebrates
Wave Music held a Music Festival with its first fashion show this past weekend, Saturday, June 9, 2012, with loads of entertainment which included models galore and live entertainment by talented San Pedro artists. The show was a total success as host Gerry Badillo of Wave Music combined music and fashion to showcase talented models, entertainers and island attire from the island’s leading boutiques (Divas & Dudes, Marz Boutique, Top Notch, Foreva Fancy, Moondancer and Island Gear). A dedicated group of models put on a fantastic catwalk show filled with energy, high fashion and the most recent music that is popular on the island.

Transport Department Announces Winners of Essay & Poster Competition
Students of San Pedro Town were asked to put on their thinking caps and enter the essay and poster competition which was launched by the San Pedro Transport Department. Councilor Kenrick Brackett whose portfolio includes transport, teamed up with Ambergris Today, The Reef Radio and the San Pedro Sun to launch the contest titled, “The Importance of Traffic Safety.” On Sunday, June 10, 2012, a short program was held at the San Pedro Lions Den in honor of all those who participated in the competitions, especially to honor those who won. The poster competition was specifically for primary school students and it was divided in three groups Group A – consists of Infant I and II, Group B - Standards I, II and III and Group C - Standards IV, V and VI. Students were asked to design posters including various traffic signs. Winners of the poster competition are as follows:

Candle Light Vigils Held for Jasmine Lowe
There was an outpouring of emotions for Jasmine Lowe at the Macal River Park last Friday and at the Columbus Park in San Ignacio this past Saturday night. A sea of candle flames was evident from great distances at both events. The Galen University 'Eagles' played several meaningful tunes at the Macal River Park. Chairperson of the Peoples Coalition of Cayo, Albert Moore, told the gathering at the Macal River Park, "Good citizens obey laws, let us obey the laws of our land." Moore also spoke about strategies to confront crime, such as for more community involvement, the formation of neighborhood watches. He pleaded for local residents to forge links with police officers dedicated to community work.

Flashbacks: Our Founding Fathers
Persons who worked for the Blake’s, the one-time owners of the entire Island, did get some extra help from them and were able to build their comfortable wood houses with zinc or asbestos roofing. Such is probably the case of Mr. Priciliano ‘Nano’ Gomez married to Eloisa Guerrero. Not absolutely certain but quite likely the girls are Patricia Gomez Marin and Pinita Gomez Verde. Indeed Sanpedranos have come a long way into raising their social and economic status.

Misc Belizean Sources

Planned Power Outage: Belize City - Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Belize Electricity Limited advises its customers in Belize City that the supply of electricity will be temporarily interrupted from 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 13, 2012. Areas to be affected...

Police Department Quality of Life Campaign
With immediate effect, the Police Department is embarking on the Quality of Life Campaign and the public is warned that offenses such as Public Drinking, loitering, littering etc are against the law the cooperation of cyclists is especially required and are being reminded that riding up stop is an offense as well as carrying person/s on a bicycle where both can be charged. After warnings, fines will then be levied against all offenders. This will be an ongoing campaign and the police Department is asking for the public support in cooperating with the police in our effort to make our community a safer place.

Fundraiser for ACES at Wahoo's Lounge Chicken Drop This Thursday JUNE 14TH
Please come down and place your bets, this weeks prizes will be all sorts of great prizes while the money collected from your bet will help to support ACES in their efforts to keep Ambergris Caye and it's beloved crocodiles safe and living in perfect harmony distant from each other! please see our Facebook for a flyer you can repost or print for your guests! facebook/wahoosloungebelize Your CHICKEN DROP BET WILL ENTER YOU TO WIN FROM THESE GREAT DONATIONS

Kate Walsh In Belize
Made possible by Oceana, Kate both flew over and snorkeled the Great Blue Hole. Afterwards she spoke with several media representatives, the majoring most of whom were visiting this historic site for the first time. Kate Walsh, upon learning the entire Lighthouse Reef Atoll is under an oil concession held by Princess Petroleum, expressed her strong opposition to offshore oil drilling not only in Belize, but in all places that are ecologically sensitive and important for the sustainability of marine life.

Call for Artists for Cayo Art Spectacle
The Benque House of Culture is having their Cayo Art Spectacle from the 28th of June through August 3rd. The deadline for submissions is June 25th. This is open to all Cayo artists with original art.

Spanish Lookout Partners with Mount Carmel High School
Spanish Lookout is partnering with MCHS to do some refurbishment projects. The projects will make MCHS better for students and teachers alike. Great news for the Benque high school!

Pitt Community College Students Study in Belize
Pitt Community College students, along with faculty and staff, were just in Belize, and they did a lot around Cayo. Midas has been the hotel of choice for many of the student groups coming to Cayo. They have quite a slide show of pictures online. "According to Miller, the PCC contingent stayed at Midas Resort in San Ignacio for most of the trip and took tours of the Belize Botanical Gardens, Blue Hole, the Maya Women’s Co-op in San Antonio, and the ancient Xunantunich and Cahal Pech Mayan ruins. Miller said that throughout their visit, students interacted with many of the local people, including artists and major political figures. The last few days of the trip, she said, were spent seaside in Hopkins Village. In their downtime, Miller said students tried their hand at river tubing, canoeing on the Macal River, and snorkeling in South Water Caye. But, as Miller noted, the trip wasn’t all fun and games, as the group members also traveled to San Jose Succotz Village on multiple days to carry out service learning projects."

Belizean Creole Bread
While growing up in Belize, Creole Bread was a staple part of our diet. It was made every Saturday and my grandmother's house by my Aunt Aileen. In the late 1980"s she visit us in America and showed us how to make this delicious, soft bread. The bread is not too sweet, so it can be eaten with any meat dish, cheeses or jams and jellies.

Channel 7

Another Retaliation Type Killing
The morning started out with the news that there had been another murder in the city - the third in three days - this one in the Lake Independence area - not too far from where a man had been shot in the eye on Sunday night. But the murder probably happened from last night. Residents in the area of Miller and Roches Streets report that they heard a spray of gunfire from what sounded like an automatic weapon yesterday evening just after 6:00. Police say that Keith Lewis and three other men were standing in a yard on Roches Street when a man approached from the area of Mckoy Boulevard and fired several shots at them. The area is dark at night and it seems no one knew or cared to check what happened - until this morning when his dead body was seen at the back of a swampy yard; he had been left there overnight, dead. This morning at 7:00 police processed the crime scene and took the body to the morgue. He had been riddled with gunfire, shot to the Chest, Back, and legs.

Body Found In Sea
Police need your help in identifying a body that was found in the sea this morning. The body was found around 6:00 am, in the waters near the Tourism Village. It is a Hispanic male wearing a green t-shirt and blue jeans pants. Police say that the body bears no obvious signs of physical violence. There was no identification, so police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Mayor: Close The Clubs, City Residents Should Be In Bed By Four AM
As we've been reporting, there has been a spate of shootings and murders in the city over the past few weeks. Eight persons were shot, and two killed while leaving different nightspots. Now the city council says it is going to crack down on the clubs by no longer granting extensions. The law - as it presently stands - allows nightclubs to open until 2:00 am - but they get to open until four by getting extensions. These should only be granted on special circumstances - but the practice is that they are granted with regularity - every week, actually. Well, no more. Mayor Darrell Bradley told the media today at a press conference that the long practice is coming to an abrupt end. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "Two of the shooting in the last two weeks occurred outside of nightclubs and shortly after the 4 o' clock hour when these nightclubs close. If we have been steadfast in our enforcement of the law - persons would be at less risk." "We are putting in place a policy that we would not issue any extensions for nightclubs. I said this and it is sad that I have said this and I've been criticized but at 4 o'clock in the morning persons belong in their bed." Mayor Bradley is meeting with nightclub owners later this week to discuss the new norms.

Tried Twice, Remanded For Five Years, Brothers Finally Free
Two men who have been tried twice for the same murder - and been on remand for 5 years are free tonight. The brothers, 26 year-old Jody Gentle and 22 year-old Lynton Gentle, are free tonight after they were acquitted before Justice Adolph Lucas in their second trial for the June 2007 murder of 25 year-old Alpheus "June Bird" Smith Jr. The prosecution, which was represented by Crown Counsel Christophe Rodriguez, called the police witnesses who testified in the first trial in 2010 which ended in a hung jury. These officers told the court that they were on Currasow Street when they saw both Gentle brothers with guns firing shots at a parked car. When the brothers ran away and jumped into a red Chevy tracker parked on an adjoining street, the officers followed behind and arrested them immediately, while they were still armed. What they could not testify to was that they saw who the Gentle brothers were firing at near that car, and because of this, the prosecution was depending on the testimony of the only other witness they could provide.

PUP Puts Government On Notice
We haven't heard much from the PUP since the March seventh election. But the Barrow Administration's first 100 days in office are about to come to an end - and it seems that has spurred the opposition into action. The Party held a loaded press conference this morning at its Party Headquarters and 7news was there to hear party representatives hold forth on a wide range of issues. Here's what they said:.. Jules Vasquez reporting All PUP Parliamentarians - with the notable exception of Immediate Past Leader John Briceno - gathered today at Independence Hall to give the second Dean Barrow Administration a 100 day wake-up call: Hon. Francis Fonseca - PUP Party Leader "97 days later, there is no such plan, no new course, no budget, and sense of direct. Today, we sound the alarm, and say to the UDP Government, 'Belize is in crisis The Belizean people are not happy.' It is time to get serious; it is time to get to work." An the PUP's work began with an attack on all fronts - its own shadow cabinet, speaking out on agriculture, rural development, health, education, crime and the economy:

PSE's (Almost) Perfect "Pikni"
Last night we told you about this year's PSE scores. Well, today we spoke to some of the top ten scorers who told us how they felt about the results and how they prepared for the exam. It is important to note that Bernice Yorke Institute captured a share of 1st, 3rd and 4th, and a share of the 7th place spots. This is no mean feat, and Sherry Ali, the principal of the school, said she was pleasantly surprised. Sherry Ali, Principal - Bernice Yorke "I expected them to do well and I expected students to be in the top ten, I didn't expect so many." Jasmine Betancourt, 1st PSE - Bernice Yorke "It felt great. It felt like my hard work and my studying really paid off." Robin Schaffer "Were you surprised at all?" Jasmine Betancourt "Yes at bit because I expected to do well but I didn't expected to do so well in the exam. I took evening, Saturdays and Easter classes at school and I also work along with my classmates and we help each other out. I also studied at home and got a lot of support from everyone." Rhiki Alegria, 1st PSE - Hummingbird Elementary "I found it kind of challenging, I put my mind to it and studied and I did well." Robin Schaffer "Were you all excited when you found out that you've place first?"

Gunman Who Allegedly Shot Guyanese Gets Off
2 and a half hours ago, 23-year-old Tarique "Paulie" Cadle, the man who was accused of the attempted murder of 52 year-old Guyanese national, Lyndon Jeffery, walked out of court a free man after he was acquitted before Justice Herbert Lord. The prosecution, which was represented by Crown Counsels Trienna Young and Meagan Francis, was unable to call the victim, Jeffery, to testify against Cadle because he went back to his home country. However, they were able to get Jeffery's written statement admitted into evidence. In this statement, Jeffery told police that on August 23, 2009, he was riding his bicycle home after leaving a friend's house, when 2 men began chasing him on bicycle until they caught up to him at the corner Neal's Penn and Kraal Roads. Jeffery said that Cadle, who he only identified as "Paulie", pulled out a gun and fired a shot at him, which hit him in the left upper arm. When the prosecution closed their case, Cadle, who was unrepresented, gave an unsworn statement that he wasn't even at the area at the time of this shooting. He also asked the jury not to believe the statement from Jeffery because he wasn't even in court to accuse him personally, nor to defend the statement.

Green Tropics Dug A Canal Through A Jaguar Corridor
Since last week, we've been keenly telling you about the canal trenched right through the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary near mile 25 on the Western Highway. As we've reported, the international company, Green Tropics Limited used as many as four excavators to dredge a canal through the sanctuary which measures up to 2 miles long and 35 feet wide. Yesterday, the company sent out a press release explaining the development, which the Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, told us was done without proper permission. According to Green Tropics Limited, they seek first to quote, "unreservedly apologize to the people of Belize for the recent misunderstanding in the construction of the final drain section through the jaguar corridor". End Quote The company claims that they have complied with the laws of Belize, and that they've applied for all the permits and licenses required for the development, which includes Central Bank permits for foreign investment; an environmental impact assessment from the Department of Environment, which is still pending a public hearing on July 3; and BELTRIADE permits for approximately 90 US million dollars' worth of equipment for a sugar mill and a processing facility. According to the company's release, they were under the impression that because the environmental impact assessment was already submitted in full, they could quote, "could commence to a certain degree to avoid the hurdle of the impending rainy season delaying the project for another year."

Mayor Gets a "B" For First 100 Days
As we showed you earlier the Mayor of Belize city held a press conference today. Well, it wasn't just the mayor - the entire council was there because the occasion was grand: to mark the end of its first 100 days in office and report on the progress made with its 100 resolutions for the first 100 days. Straight off, we can tell you, they didn't get all 100 pledges done - but they did get 82 - which amounts to a solid "B" performance. Some of the achievements they are most proud of has to do with acquiring equipment and fixing streets. The mayor outlined the progress made in those areas:.. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "The equipment that we procured are right outside and again when we look at the 100 day plan - the idea of it was to set out things which are measurable that we could tick off and members of the public could hold us accountably. One of the things there is that we said that we were going to purchase a roller - tick it off because the roller is right outside." "We were going to purchase a backhoe and we've done that. These are things which are simple but they are very measurable. We also indicated that we were going to carry out a 1 million dollars infrastructure program - a very short term infrastructure program and I am pleased to report also that this has been done. If you see the works which has been going on throughout this City - We are cementing the entire length of Orange Street, we are cementing a portion of South Street, we are cementing Calle del Mar Street, we are cementing Daly Street, we are cementing Thomas Vincent Ramos Street which is very bad and always gets flooded. We are cementing Ferry Lane, we are cementing Belize Bank Street, which is the street behind Belize Bank and Battlefield Park, we are cementing Puma Street, it is a street which has not been name. This is the street between the Esso on the Northern Highway and an open lot. It is a very bad street which has been use a lot."

Electrician With A Gun
26 year-old Alex Soler, an electrician from Ladyville, is at prison tonight after he was allegedly busted with a firearm. According to police, at about 12:50 a.m. on Sunday, they were on mobile patrol on the Northern Highway when they spotted Soler acting suspicious in front of the Celina's Night Club in Ladyville. Because of his behavior, the officers searched him, and they discovered a 9mm pistol in his front pants waists. The firearm was also loaded with a magazine containing 14 live rounds of 9mm ammunition. As a result, the police arrested Soler and charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was brought before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning where he was arraigned for those 2 charges. He pleaded not guilty to the offenses but because he is charged in relation to a firearm, he could not be granted bail. Senior Magistrate Frazer was forced to remand him, and he will be brought back to court on July 31.

All Kinds Of Wine
Local wine occupies a special place in the culture of Belize River Valley. That's where fruits such as cashew , blackberry, mango, craboo and other more obscure ones like governor plum flourish abundantly. Turning these fruits into wine is a long standing cultural practice, and one man has turned it into a neat little cottage industry. We caught up with Vince McKesey on the Northern Highway this weekend where he explained the ins and outs of the local wine business. Here's the story. Robin Schaffer reporting Vince McKesey sells local wine on the entrance to Sandhill on the local highway. His wines may not have a fancy cork or bear a stylish label. They may not be vintage and they aren't high priced, but they sure are tasty, and there's an art to making it. Vince McKesey - Wine Maker "Here in this village, we have fruits in abundance, and we don't have to sell rotten. We sell fresh fruits that we'd buy from people by the buckets, and I would make - well, in the process making wine, what you are actually doing is that first, you are actually making a juice. You're letting a juice ferment as it gradually turns into a wine. When you make the juice, the citrus acid in that fruit eats the sugar, and it converts to alcohol. So, as the - depending on how much citrus acid is in there - it determines how strong the product will be initially. And as you let it age, the longer it ages in wine, it gets finer and finer. It then gets a better quality. So, this wine will continue to age and ferment until it gets maybe more like a crystal-looking color like this. This sorrel is from last year, and this plum is from like during the Christmas season, so you see, it's a more cloudy color. But it will continue to age until it gets fine like this one." He's been selling wine for a number of years, and - he says - he makes a variety of flavors, but only to reflect indigenous fruits of this area.

Mayor Says Belize City Is Loveable, Not Most Hated
Last night we told you about the list that appeared on CNN-Go's website. IT placed Belize city at spot number ten on the list of most hated cities in the world. Well, to be fair that list included Los Angeles, Paris, France, and Sydney Australia. But, no matter what, the Mayor of Belize city says he doesn't like it one bit and challenges the writer to actually visit Belize. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "I think that these types of websites that do these articles are very unfair. Councilor Espejo brought to my attention the person who is the author of the site has never visited Belize, so how can you make an assessment as to the quality of life of a city if you haven't even gone there. I give no credit to that article. I can tell people that I lived in Belize City for all my life and ask somebody who lives in Belize City what their experience in Belize City has been." "I have also been told by councilor Espejo who is a member of the BTB Board of Director that BTB will extend an invitation to this woman to come to Belize - to see what Belize is really like and to speak to residence of Belize City and to get an experience for herself so that she is then able to make an accurate report and she is able to say having had firsthand knowledge of what being in Belize City is like." "I don't give any credit to anything like that if you have not come to our city." No word yet on whether the writer has accepted the invitation.

Burglar Caught By Villagers, Cops Let Him Free
Georgeville may be a quaint village on the western highway - but don't mess with their former chairlady. This morning an intruder only got halfway into her home - and for that he was viciously beaten. Monica Bodden has the story:.. Monica Bodden reporting The attempted burglary happened at this house in the village of Georgeville around 8:45 this morning. Home owner Anna Myvette had just left for work. Home alone was her 17 year old son who was in the bathroom brushing his teeth when he heard a strange noise coming from a window on the side of the house. He made his way down the corridor and saw a Hispanic man entering through his window. His body was already halfway inside the house. He hollered at the intruder who quickly exited and made his way from out of the yard - only to be pursued by neighbors who had heard the commotion. Damian Westby - Villager "About 9:30 a young man from the other side of the street call us and told us that someone just break in our house. So we follow the man and caught him by the football field and we took him to the police." Monica Bodden "What did you guys did to him?" Damian Westby - Villager "We beat him up." Monica Bodden "He was then tied up?" Damian Westby - Villager "Yes." Monica Bodden "While you guys waited for the police to come?" Damian Westby - Villager "Yes."

Elderly Man Collapses and Dies On Market Sidewalk
This morning the lifeless body of an elderly man lay dead on the sidewalk in front of the Novelo's Bus Terminal. He was later identified to us as 82 year old Alfred Camera - a resident of Hattiville. According to witnesses, Camera was making a purchase at the nearby market and was complaining about not feeling well. When he exited the market place, he fell on the sidewalk in front of the bus terminal. Many tried to assist the elderly man by calling 911 but they said it took A WHILE for the ambulance to arrive and by that time, Camera was already dead. Mario Noralez, witness "While I was coming from this direction, I saw a young lady in a pink and black pants standing with a group of people here. But I look on the ground I saw that a man was laying on the ground. The young lady told me that the old man fall but she doesn't know what happened. I pick up the old man and I check him, he was still living. I got on my phone and call 911 and they told me that the ambulance would come right now. About 15-20 minutes after the ambulance still didn't come." "Shortly after that a "jew boy" came to feel the man pulse then shortly after that the man dies. I feel like it was the negligence of the system." Monica Bodden "He was alive?" Mario Noralez, witness "He was alive at the time I call 911. From there I left to do my business." Monica Bodden "So you are saying that an ambulance didn't get on the scene on time?" Mario Noralez, witness "The ambulance didn't come any at all." Monica Bodden "How long you would say the ambulance arrived?" Mario Noralez, witness "About an hour after."

Channel 5

Another gang-related murder in Belize City
Over the weekend, ten persons were shot and two of them were mortally wounded. That figure only represents the Belize City portion of the violence while bodies were being uncovered in Orange Walk. The gang related murders and shootings continue unabated. Another gangland slaying occurred in Belize City on Monday night. Twenty-four year old Keith [...]

Family of San Pedro teens say Police lost death threat report
The bodies of two slain San Pedro teens were recovered over the weekend in Santa Marta Village, Orange Walk. No one has yet been charged in the gruesome murders. The police have deemed it a drug related incident as initial reports revealed that the boys went to visit a friend on George Street in Belize [...]

Quality of Life crimes; you may be charged effective immediately
The murder conviction rate for the country by all accounts is less than three percent. The proverbial ‘old beef’ that seems to be the cause of so much retaliation amongst gang members remains unsolved and unchecked. Employment at the Ministry of Works has been one measure that would keep some youths out of criminal activity. [...]

Police need help to identify drowning victim
Earlier today, a body was found floating in the sea near one of the docks at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City. Sometime before seven this morning, police were called out to the area where the decomposing body of an unidentified Hispanic male person was fished out of the water. How and when [...]

Meet the top P.S.E. scorers
The Primary School Examinations (P.S.E.) Preliminary Results for 2012 were released on Monday afternoon. The top scorers were distributed in all districts and attended both private and public institutions. For the third year in a row, Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning was selected by the Ministry of Education as the top learning institution. News Five [...]

Ministry says P.S.E. scores improved, but could be better
The P.S.E. is over and those students are now looking forward to attending the High School of their choice. And while they forget about those two testing days, the Ministry of Education has just begun to mull over P.S.E. 2012. While doing some statistical number crunching, it seems that of the four subject areas tested, [...]

P.U.P. calls out U.D.P. Government on 97 days in office
Earlier this morning, the Peoples United Party lashed out at the Barrow Administration’s three months in office. The ten speakers who spoke during the two hour event were: Francis Fonseca, Julius Espat, Karen Bodden, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Rodwell Ferguson, Florencio Marin, Michael Espat, Marco Tulio Mendez, Oscar Requeña and Lisa Shoman. The grand old party [...]

Belize earn high rank on Most Hated Cities in the world list
You may have heard of America’s Most Wanted captures in Belize, but there is a report that Belize is one of the most hated cities. CNN Go has released a list of the top ten most hated cities in the world. Belize comes in at number ten, with an article captioned: “Hate Belize? No, no, [...]

MS-13 has firm roots in the Capital
On the heels of that damning report of Belize City being on the top most hated cities, is another international article about organized criminal activity in our backyard. La Prensa Grafica, a newspaper in El Salvador has reported that ruthless Salvadoran gangs are moving into Belize. The article says that over the past decade, the [...]

Witness gets amnesia; accused murderers acquitted
In the local courts, two brothers were freed of a Murder charge today when the main witness recanted a statement given in 2007, following the fatal shooting of twenty-five year old Alpheus Smith. It is the second time twenty-six year old Lynton and twenty-two year old Jody Gentle have been tried for the murder; in [...]

Victim leaves country and attempted murder case falls apart
Not Guilty; that’s the verdict that was announced by a jury of six women and three men in the Attempted Murder case against twenty-three year old Tarique Cadle. Cadle was accused of the August 2009 attempt on the life of fifty-two year old Guyanese national, Lyndon Jeffery. He was facing a possible prison term of [...]

Rebecca Stirm on the Mission Catwalk
Rebecca Stirm is back in the Mission Catwalk Season Two Finale. In a dramatic double elimination last week Tuesday, Stirm was one of the contestants who failed to impress the judges with a mini collection for a fashionista headed to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. However, Stirm, who has won the most challenges on [...]

Belize Sugar Industry’s sweet season
The Factory Manager at Belize Sugar Industries Limited had announced that the 2011-2012 sugar crop closed last Thursday. It was an exceptional crop season; the production targets were exceeded and the farmers are looking forward to a handsome second payment. The quality of the sugar cane being milled also maintained high standards. But since the [...]

City Hall floats mini ‘Superbond’
The Belize City Council today held a press conference to present the achievements of the hundred day plan they had set out upon taking office in March of this year. While they haven’t achieved the hundred items on the list in the first ninety-seven days, they have achieved more than eighty percent of it. One [...]

P.U.P. prepares to support Belize/Guatemala Referendum Education Process
The settling of the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute may be years away. However, the direction in which the countries may attempt to negotiate will be known by 2013. On April twenty-seventh, delegations from Belize and Guatemala headed by their respective foreign ministers met in Washington D.C. Both delegations decided that referendums would be held in the [...]

Green Tropics apologizes for biological corridor mishap; P.U.P. offers support
There has been outrage in the conservation community following the news that Green Tropics Limited had dredged a canal through the Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary. Well, there is now word from the company and it is in the form of an apology and explanation. It says that the company, “unreservedly apologizes to the [...]


The March seventh General and Municipal elections are now in the history books, but the government’s and municipals’ terms in office are now approaching the 100 day mark. Keenly watching their performance is the opposition People’s United Party, who today held a...

Members of NEMO-Toledo district emergency coordinating team are visiting flooded areas in Toledo. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Several Rural Toledo Communities are affected by flood waters due to heavy rain falls Sunday and into...

Over seven thousand standard six students over the country sat the Primary School Examinations this year and the much anticipated results were released yesterday. The Principal Education Officer for National Exams, Yvonne Davis told Love News what these results look like. &nb...

A family from Georgeville village in the Cayo district is worried for their safety following an incident this morning. Reports to the RSV Media Centre are that around nine o’clock this morning, a man broke into the home of the former chairlady of the village Anna Myvette.&n...

The Belize Defence Force is getting some assistance from the government of Canada. An online report published today says that the donation of two thousand load carrying vests to the BDF is part of Canada’s Americas’ Strategy and broader commitments to support Central ...


Missing boy last seen in San Victor Village
In Corozal, twelve year old Alvin Choc went missing this past weekend. According to police reports, Choc, a resident of Louisville village in the Corozal district left home to go to a nearby shop Saturday morning and has not returned home. What is disturbing about the report is that police say that a young man was allegedly seen forcing Alvin Choc into a dorey in the river in San Victor Village. Alvin Choc is 4 feet tall, slim built, has a narrow face, low haircut and was last seen wearing a three-quarter pants, with a red shirt. He was bare foot. Anyone with information on this missing child is asked to please contact the nearest police station.

Missing Toledo girl found alive
Concerns are mounting over the disappearance of another teenage girl, this time in the Toledo district. The primary school girl is a student in Bella Vista village. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. Update: The RSV Media Center has just received an update from the police department regarding thirteen year old Maria Elena Hernandez who was reported missing in Bella Vista, Stann Creek since Monday. A search conducted in the TRIO Area led the police to finding Hernandez in the company of a forty nine year old man and she has been escorted to be examined by a medical officer.

Police officer hit and killed while riding bike
A police officer lost his life in a road traffic accident on Saturday night in Belmopan. Constable Ken Emmanuel was knocked down as he rode his bicycle on the Hummingbird Highway. Emmanuel was knocked down at the junction of the highway and Zultan Streets in the Las Flores Area. Emmanuel sustained injuries to the face, abdomen and a broken foot. The driver of the vehicle that knocked down the police officer has been identified as seventy one year old Belmopan resident Carlos Santos. Santos told police that he was heading towards Belmopan and upon reaching that location, the high beams of an oncoming vehicle impaired his vision causing him to knock down Emmanuel, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Western Regional hospital in Belmopan.

Two dead and eleven injured in weekend shootings
It was a weekend of bloodbath in Belize City. Crimes have always punctuated many of the weekends, but this past weekend was so littered that it sent many people to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. There were four shootings, and two of the victims did not survive when someone opened fire into a crowd at a nightspot on Newtown Barracks. It happened on Friday night and today at a police press conference, the Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, and Officer Commanding the Eastern Division Police Station, Assistant Commissioner, Elodio Aragon, opened up with that incident.

Haylock pleads ‘not guilty’ to robbery and assault charges
23-year-old Ian Haylock, a labourer of Richard Street employed by CYDP who allegedly stole a Honda taxi car, was charged with robbery and two other offences when he appeared in court today. The other offences were aggravated assault and kept prohibited ammunition. Haylock pleaded not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that the court cannot offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. She remanded him into custody until July 30. The incident occurred around 3 a.m. on Saturday, June 9. The complainant, 27-year-old taxi driver Fermin Matura, reported to the police that he was driving on Newtown barracks with two female passengers and when he reached the pedestrian crossing in front of BTL Park one of the women told him to stop. Matura said the gunman directed him to go to Coney Drive and when he arrived at Coney Drive he was told to stop. Matura said when he stopped the car two men got into it and one of the men put a chrome color firearm to his head, cranked it and told him to drive. Matura told Police that when he stopped the car he jumped out of it and ran. The police investigated and reported that their investigation led them to Mahogany Street in front of the Complex building where they saw a car fitting the description of the stolen vehicle. The police said when they approached the car they saw a man jump out of it and begin to run. They pursued the man when they apprehended him. According to Police when they searched Haylock they found 14 rounds of point 40 calibre ammunition. The police say they are searching for three other persons in connection with the incident.

Inspector Yearwood responds to grenade incident
Among the attacks over the weekend was a grenade lobbed in a residential area that of late has come under siege by gunfire. Luckily for the residents, the device was not the more dangerous kinds that Belize City streets have come to know over recent years. Inspector Yearwood says the grenade is actually used in BDF training exercises.

Remains of missing teenagers found in Orange Walk
A citizen found the decomposing bodies in Santa Marta Village. The search for two teenagers reported missing last week ended at the weekend with the discovery of their decomposing bodies in the Orange Walk district. With a report, here is our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun. Today at the police press conference, Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, provided details of that incident.

A community remembers Jasmine Lowe while police investigate
Police in San Ignacio continue to investigate the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. Over the weekend it was confirmed that the suspect who has been in detention was released because he has been able to provide strong alibis pertaining to his activities on the day it is suspected that Lowe went missing. Over the weekend, a series of candlelight vigils were held in various parts of the country in memory of the slain teen. On Saturday afternoon, family and friends as well as members of various scout troops turned out in large numbers for a memorial service for Jasmine Lowe. The memorial was held at the Shining Light Baptist Church in Georgeville, when various speakers recalled the vibrant, joyful and full of life person that Jasmine was. Special tributes were paid to the slain teenage, whose decomposing body was found on a feeder road news Cristo Rey village on Wednesday of last week. Following the church service in Georgeville, there was a motorcade of taxi operators which went along the highway ending at the Columbus Park where a candlelight vigil was held. Various speakers, including the town’s mayor John August and other community leaders delivered speeches and paid tribute to Jasmine Lowe.

BYM voices support of ‘Jasmine’s Taxi Law’
The Belize Youth Movement, a body within the opposition People’s United Party, has issued a statement on the murders of Jasmine Lowe, Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat. In its statement, BYM is calling on the government, community and the churches to come together as one to protect the nation’s children. The statement goes on to say, and we quote: “we as young members of this society are tired of living in fear of dying, and of losing loved ones to violence,” end of quote. The BYM says it is in agreement with the proposed Jasmine Taxi Law, as it will move the country a step forwards in bringing law and order to one sector of our community, while protecting commuters as well as taxi cab drivers.

Influx of trauma patients challenges emergency room personnel
Over thirty thousand patients are seen at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in the span of a year. And the emergency room there is always a busy venue especially due to the crime wave affecting our country. This weekend however, there was an overflowing amount of incidents involving shootings and stabbings and Love News wanted to know just how the KHMH emergency room is coping with all these patients at the same time. The Director of Medical Services at the KHMH, Adrian Coye said that although there is an overflow of patients, they still manage to get it under control. Coye explained just how much doctors and room they have to manage the emergency room at its lows and at its highs. Coye says that the emergency room has undergone transformation throughout the years and that there is a proposal for a phase two transformation, but in the end there is only so much space they do have.

Police announce plan to work with Belize City Council to suppress crime
While many city residents will agree that this weekend was the most littered with crime in recent years, Assistant Commissioner Aragon assures the public that the police are working to put a lid on the problem. Meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner told the media that the police, in tandem with the Belize City Council, will work together to address crimes relating to night clubs. As we understand it, the Belize City Council is planning a press conference of its own to announce its efforts to suppress crimes as they relate to nightclubs in Belize City.

Health fair planned for Belize City
In an effort to educate the public of the work they carry out throughout the year, the Matron Roberts Polyclinic on Magazine Road will be hosting a health fair on Friday June 11, 2012. The Administrator for the polyclinic, Alexi Rosado told Love News more about what you can expect. Medical Coordinator at Matron Roberts, Melissa Diaz told us the daily duties carried out by the hospital on a daily basis. Rosado says that the date of the health fair might change if bad weather conditions persist and if so it will be further announced, meanwhile the fair is still scheduled for this Friday.

UNIBAM announces support for “Jasmine’s Taxi Law”
Another community group, the Supporters of the Constitutional Challenge to Section 53 of the Laws of Belize has also expressed solidarity with the grieving family of the slain teenager. The group, under the banner of We Are One, attended the candlelight vigil at Battlefield Park in Belize City on Saturday night. Prior to the vigil, the group distributed 50 meals to some of the homeless who regularly congregate in the park. The group, in a statement issued today said, quote: “we would also like to publicly commend private citizens, as well as the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow for their efforts to push for “Jasmine’s Taxi Law”, end of quote. The group goes on to say, quote: “those of us who support the Constitutional Challenge to Section 53 pledge our unwavering support for any and all legal reforms that will result in greater protection for the children of Belize,” end of quote.

Police release details of recent shootings
Inspector Yearwood gives details of recent shootings There were many who were luckier than Dwight Panton and Kenroy Humes who were killed on Friday night and they survived the onslaught of gunfire that came their way. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, gave the details of these.

2011-2012 sugar crop season closes
The 2011 – 2012 sugar crop has ended. Our Orange Walk correspondent Arturo Cantun has the story.


Another man falls to gun violence in the old capital
Shots were fired in Belize City on Monday evening. The victim is 24 year old Keith Lewis. Police say they responded...

The opposition express its dissatisfaction with GOB
With the recent crime spree of this past weekend, public discussion has been focused on little else. This morning, ...

PUP says current education efforts are deplorable
The PUP also spoke about education this morning at their press conference, saying that GOB should do more in the ar...

BTL acquisition ruled unlawful
Litigation by definition is never a simple process. Judgements and verdicts are handed down according to the letter...

Spotlight on Blackman Eddy entrepreneurs
During the past month, Plus TV's Rise and Shine has been discussing entrepreneurship and ways to empower Belizeans ...

Sugar cane crop season reaps success, PUP still not pleased
The sugar cane crop season ended on Thursday of last week and according to reports, it was a successful season. At ...

Belize Christian Revival 2012
Belize Christian Revival held its first event over the weekend. The group of volunteers and Pastors has a vision an...

Police seek assistance in identifying male body
A body was found early this morning near the tourist village. Up to our news time, the body has still been unidenti...

PSE scores show slight increase
The Primary School Examination scores are in. This year, a total of 6,983 candidates sat the PSE. What is important...

Accused murders walk free after witness fail to testify
Two accused murderers walk free after the main witness refuses to

Police Department cracks down on petty offences
The police department says it is “tightening the belt” as it were to deal with some petty offenses. They are callin...

Pedestrian knocked down, dies
There was also another fatal traffic accident over the weekend. We had reported on the one involving a Belmopan pol...

More shooting incidents leave men hospitalized
Another person who was shot in Belize City was 20 year old Hazard Rowland. This one happened on Sunday. According t...

San Pedro Columbia Village gets new preschool
San Pedro Columbia Village in Toledo District has a new preschool and an expansion to the village’s rudimentary water system. The launch was held on Friday, JUNE 8. The preschool project entailed the construction of a 53 by 31 ft wide classroom complete with kitchenette and bathroom facilities. A supply of toys, chairs and a refrigerator were also included as part of the project. The preschool project falls in line with the Millennium Development Goal, which aims to achieve Universal Primary Education and enable children to complete a full course of primary schooling up to Standard 6. Besides the preschool, all the villagers now get a reliable supply of potable water 24 hours a day. The expansion of the San Pedro Columbia water system included all areas of the village which were not originally connected to the water system. The village is the home to over 2,000 persons. Both projects were implemented by the Social Investment Fund at a total cost of $665,460.00.


Belizeans from all walks of life unite to remember Jasmine Lowe
Jasmine touched the hearts of citizens as far south as Punta Gorda... Various organizations and personalities have condemned her death and issued statements demanding that Government address this and other recent occurrences. These organizations and personalities include Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, who from her sickbed in Miami, Florida, on Thursday sent condolences to the family and touted efforts to strengthen the response to crime.

Bodies of San Pedro teens found in OW grave
Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat disappeared on June 2; their bodies were found in a shallow grave off a feeder road near Santa Marta.... At 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 9, Orange Walk police, scenes of crime technicians, and family members of Edwardo Daniel Alamilla, 17, and Charlie Espat, 18, visited a feeder road leading to the New Land Area. This area is about 6 miles northeast of Santa Marta village in the Orange Walk District, and about 50 yards off the road on the right shoulder, where the badly decomposed bodies of both teens, missing since Saturday, June 2, were found buried in a shallow grave.

Cop dies from traffic accident in Belmopan, and housewife dies from city accident
According to police in Belmopan, Carlos Santos, 71, a retiree of Turneffe Avenue in Belmopan, has been detained pending investigation after an accident with one of their own, Constable Ken Emmanuel, 33, attached to the Belmopan police station.

Average scores up for PSE 2012; City’s Rhiki Alegria is nation’s best
Seven of the top ten national performers came from the Belize District, including the top two, Hummingbird Elementary’s Rhiki Alegria, who finished with 389 points from a possible 400, and Jasmine Betancourt from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning, who had the same score.

BSI reports on successful sugar season
As of the close of operations at 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening (the gates were swung shut at six but deliveries for those in line continued to 9:00 p.m.), there was 1,070,028 tons of sugar cane delivered to the Tower Hill factory, more than making up for last year’s shortfall and exceeding by 20,000 tons BSI’s estimate of the amount of cane available.

10 shot, 2 dead in weekend mayhem
In one incident alone, 6 people were shot... Two men died from gunshots and eight others suffered gunshot injuries during another weekend of gun violence that occurred in four different areas of the city over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, June 8 to 10, in Belize City.

Jose Rodriguez chopped to death in Mexico
A report in the Mexican newspaper Diario de Quintana Roo, dated Thursday, June 6, 2012, says that a Belizean, Jose Rodriguez, was found chopped to death in a sugarcane area called “Chichimil,” in the community of Cocoyol.

Four teenagers charged with burglary and handling stolen goods
Two of them are minors, a female and a male; the female minor has a month-old baby, the woman is pregnant, the man’s girlfriend is pregnant and the male minor’s girlfriend is pregnant...

Two San Ignacio teens missing
They reportedly went to the George Street area to visit a friend, and have not been seen since... The Espat and the Alamilla families from San Pedro are desperately trying to find their teenage sons who went missing in Belize City since Saturday, June 2. Eduardo Daniel Alamilla, 17, and Charlie Jamille Espat, also 17, both fishermen of San Pedro, arrived in Belize City from San Ignacio and repoDangriga sports – Easter Cup playoffs under wayrtedly went to the George Street area to visit a friend, and have not been seen since.

Dangriga sports – Easter Cup playoffs under way
The Stann Creek Easter Cup Top 8 “win or go home” playoffs were held on Friday night and Sunday afternoon at the Carl Ramos Stadium. In game 1 on Friday night, Southside bombed Ghans, 5-2. Freddy Flores scored 3, with “Seed” Ledland and Lennox Mejia adding 1 apiece for Southside; while Ghans’ goals came from Kevin Lino and Carlos Lino. Game 2 was a 2-2 draw between Hopkins and Rivas Strikers. Norman Nunez (is that Tilliman?) struck twice for Hopkins, while Adgar Adderley and Michael Salazar got a goal apiece for Rivas Strikers. In the penalty shootout which followed, Hopkins won, 4-2. Yesterday’s game 1 saw Umadagu U-19 blasting Hope Creek Pumas, 3-0, with goals from Brandon Cacho, Abraham Chavez and Benton Garcia. And in game 2, it was Benguche with the 2-1 win over DYFA U-19. Darwin “Cayo” Castillo and “Teeto” Flores shook the net for Benguche, while Raymond Ramos got the only goal for DYFA. The Top 4 Semifinals is set for this Friday night.

Champions will be crowned in BECOL Tournament
On Tuesday night, June 5, at the Falcon Field in San Ignacio Town, game 1 featured the first game in the best-of-three championship series in the Under 18 Division, where Benque Eagles (1-0) drew first blood, defeating S.I. Spurs (0-1) in game 1 by the score of 77-65. Benque Eagles was led by Akeem Watters, who had the game high with 24 points, while Mark Tesecum chipped in 18 points, and Najib “Hotsauce” Hernandez and Christopher Enriquez netted 13 and 10 points, respectively. In the loss, Spurs top scorers were Jamal Pollard, Shane “Blue” Nunez, Rosean Marin and Jovanni Budna, who sank 19, 18, 16 and 10 points, respectively.

Editorial: Senseless slayings
We thought last weekend was a really bloody weekend. Practically a whole family got hacked by machete. A progressive young man was stabbed to death in his sleep. Several persons were shot at; an up-and-coming DJ was shot from behind; and a man over 50 was shot down in cold blood.


Almost Wanted
Had the craziest experience yesterday afternoon, I was taking a break from work and heard a knock at the door which is a very rare thing for us. I came out to see who was there and saw 3 policemen. I was very surprised and asked them in thinking it must have been something about the recent robbery in our area. They asked who lived at our house and I told them just my boyfriend and I. I proceeded to get our passports so he could see proof of who I was and show who my boyfriend was. They asked where he was at the moment and I told them, next they said they were going to go see him and asked if they could take his passport to verify who he was. I said ok and as they walked out I was thinking I need to go get their names and number. Just as I was about to head downstairs to catch them, one of the men came back to the door and handed me his passport back and said that it was ok they did not need it. I was calling tacoboy at the time to tell him that I was not totally sure why but the police were on their way. He could not talk as someone came to inquire about a room. Little did he know the people asking about the room were really FBI and someone had tipped them off that he fit the description of someone on their most wanted list and they had come from El Salvador to track him down.

The Difference One Can Make
Hi, my name is Reign, I am ten years old and I would like to be an Eco-kid. The reasons why I would like to be an Eco-kid are because in books and magazines it says to help save the US environment, and well I want to help but I do not live in the US, so I know there is a way to help here in Belize. It might be the smallest action but every move counts. I do not need to be noticed if I pick something up, it is the action that counts. I have read the National Geographic magazine for kids and I have learnt that each small step makes a huge difference. That together we can make a difference.

A Green Dream to Reality
My name is Diani Roches and I know I want to be an Eco-kid because I love nature, love to go on adventures and love animals. The reasons why I really want to be an Eco-kid are because I want to know more about nature and to have a better education. This will be a great opportunity to experience more about history and knowledge about Chaa Creek. I love camping, telling ghost stories, riding horses, love surprises and more. I am a very smart, intelligent student at Ebenezer Methodist School. I am also a Christian who loves to go outside and explore.

The Beauty of Hidden Secrets
I want to be an Eco-Kid because, for the future, I want to see Belize as a clean and healthy country. I want to try to help restore and keep Belize’s natural beauty. Then Belize can bring in more tourists and help the Government get more money so they can fix the roads and help people in need. I dream of going to Eco-Kids camp because camping, fishing and horseback riding are some of my favourite things to do. To wake up by the Macal River would be awesome. I would love to see my favorite animal in all of Belize in its natural habitat: the Tapir, our National Animal also known as the Mountain Cow. Canoeing down a river is a fun and exciting adventure. I have done it before, and would like to do it again and again and again! It’s the best way to see Belize’s wildlife.I also want to know how to do organic farming so I can grow tomatoes, corn and other crops and even learn how to control bugs with bugs!

My Top Reasons Why I want to Be an Eco Kid
I want to be an Eco Kid because I want to make a positive difference in my beautiful country Belize. I strongly believe that it is young people like myself that will play an instrumental role in the future of Belize and the lessons that will be taught in this camp will lay down the foundation to equip me with the proper knowledge to make the changes. The three main topics of this year’s camp that caught my attention are the Ancient Maya, Land Conservation and Traditional healing. The Ancient Mayas in my point of view were one of the most advanced civilizations in Mesoamerica and as a result I want to know more about their culture, history and why they chose the year 2012 as the end of their Calendar. Having occupied Belize thousands of years ago, I believe it is important for me to know more about this enigmatic civilization and to educate the future generation of this country about the contribution that they made to Astrology and Mathematics.

Stewards of the Earth by Erick Lopez
We are stewards of our home, Earth. Planet Earth is the greatest treasure God created and we need to appreciate it as our own kingdom of happiness. As guardians of our planet, everyone of us needs to make it our goal to protect and preserve all that our Earth encompasses. The forest, it’s flora and fauna, our rivers and seas, our atmosphere all depend on us, it’s inhabitant, to let it remain for our future generations. Becoming an Eco kid will give more reasons to want to care for our environment. I consider myself one of the few teenagers who wants to take care of our environment. I find out often being challenged by many of my peers whenever I practice what I was taught to take care of our environment. That’s reason number one for wanting to be an ECO kid so as to meet kids of my age who have the same interest like I do, kids that will not make me feel that I am weird because I am doing what’s right to help keep our planet earth clean and green.

International Sources

Canada to Donate Equipment to the Belize Defence Force
Canada will donate 2,000 surplus utility vests to the Belize Defence Force (BDF) in support of Canada's Americas' Strategy and broader commitments to support Central American countries in their efforts to address the security situation in the region. "This donation of utility vests is another example of our government's growing cooperation with American countries and Belize in particular," said the Honourable Peter MacKay. "The donation of these vests to the Belize Defence Force supports a regional partner and better enables them in their efforts to address security challenges in their country and region." Declared surplus by the Canadian Forces, these utility vests have multiple functions and are composed of pockets for arms and additional pockets for alternative use such as small radios and First Aid kits. This donation of equipment is in response to a BDF request for Canadian Forces' assistance with the acquisition of vests, and will support BDF operations and training. These 2,000 load carrying vests represent a surplus to the needs of the Canadian Forces. This support for Belize is a tangible example of Canada's implementation of its objective, under the Americas' Strategy, to address insecurity and advance freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law through capacity building. "Canada will continue to work with Belize and our other Central American partners to help strengthen security institutions and increase capacity to respond to immediate security threats in our hemisphere," said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs).

Canadian Forces Donation of 2,000 Surplus Utility Vests to Belize A “Tangible Example” of Canada’s Objective to Advance Freedom, Says DND
Canada will donate 2,000 surplus utility vests to the Belize Defence Force (BDF), says DND. It characterizes the donation as beng “in support of Canada’s Americas’ Strategy and broader commitments to support Central American countries in their efforts to address the security situation in the region.” “This donation of utility vests is another example of our government’s growing cooperation with American countries and Belize in particular,” Defence Minister Peter MacKay said in a statement. “The donation of these vests to the Belize Defence Force supports a regional partner and better enables them in their efforts to address security challenges in their country and region.” Declared surplus by the Canadian Forces, these utility vests have multiple functions and are composed of pockets for arms and additional pockets for alternative use such as small radios and First Aid kits.

Top 5 places to watch the wold burn
It might be the end of the world, and what better place to be than where the doomsday theory all began. No matter what you believe will or will not happen on Dec. 21, 2012, the day Mesoamerican astronomers pegged as the end of their 5,125-year long count calendar, one thing is certain: 2012 is an auspicious year to travel to the Mayan heartland. Though there is no evidence that the Maya foretold any specific earthly event or cataclysm, it is an important cycle-ending nevertheless, and an excuse to celebrate and cleanse. It’s also a reason to explore the Maya region. The most popular dates to travel to Mundo Maya — the common term for the region that includes southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador — are the summer solstice (June 20), the autumnal equinox (Sept. 21), and, of course, the winter solstice, which the Mayans call “13 b’aktun,” or Dec. 21. There will be raucous celebrations, solemn fire ceremonies and a curious excitement at all minor and major Maya archaeological sites throughout the year. The biggest challenge is deciding where to begin. Here are the top 5 Mayan hotspots to mark whatever it is that might happen on Dec. 21, 2012. San Ignacio, Belize: The Cayo District in Western Belize has rivers, ruins and access to vast swaths of forest, including the Peten wilderness of northern Guatemala (and the Guatemalan archaeological sites of Tikal, Yaxha, and Uaxantun). The whole area revolves around the tranquil town of San Ignacio, where a small, diverse population clings to the hillside and riverbanks. The Mopan and Macal Rivers meet here to form the Belize River, which runs out to the Caribbean. Cayo also boasts the best selection of jungle lodges anywhere in Central America, including many small, off-grid eco-resorts on the upper Macal. Some of these, notably The Lodge at Chaa Creek, are offering special tours and retreats in honor of 2012. There is a large event planned for Dec. 21, 2012 at Xunantunich archaeological site, and special solstice camping permits are being issued at Caracol.

June 12, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

What’s New: Tasty Eats at Wet Willy’s
Everybody who knows San Pedro knows Wet Willy’s. Ladies Night on Wednesday has been a staple island pastime for years and has always been an island favorite. It has always been popular with both residents and vacationers alike for nightlife entertainment and socializing with friends, however, it has never really been known much for its food. That is about to change. New owners Bruce and Diane have kicked it up a notch and added a newly renovated and totally upgraded kitchen to the establishment and are now offering a full menu that is sure to be hit on the island. Now, not only can you enjoy the ever famous and popular deck and ocean views at the bar, but you’ll also be able to enjoy mouthwatering dishes along with your preferred cocktail.

Rebecca Stirm back on Mission Catwalk after surprise elimination
Last week on Mission Catwalk Season Two, crowd favorite and local Belizean fashion design star Rebecca Stirm was voted off the competition to the disbelief of her fans and most viewers on the Jamaican reality fashion show. It was a surprise to almost everyone, who couldn’t understand why, despite never being in the bottom ranks for any of the competitions during the show, and after winning more competitions than any other competitor, the sole Belizean designer who had more points accumulated that anyone else, was sent off in episode 11 of the hit television series. The turn of events left viewers shocked and bewildered as to why their favorite designer was sent home in the final competition of the season despite being firmly in the lead. Trinidadian, Ryan Chan, picked up his second win in a “task for the series’ final that was to create a mini collection for SOHO boutique dubbed ‘London 2012’ for a fashionista travelling to London for the Olympics.”

Bodies of missing San Pedro teenagers Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat found in Orange Walk
The search for two missing San Pedro teenagers ended tragically on Saturday June 9th when their decomposed bodies were found in rural Orange Walk District. Seventeen year old Edwardo Daniel Alamilla and his eighteen year old cousin, Charlie Jamille Espat, both fishermen of the San Pedrito Area in San Pedro Town were discovered partially buried 50 yards off a feeder road about six miles southeast of Santa Marta Village located on the Old Northern Highway in the Orange Walk District. The bodies were discovered by a logger in the area after he observed vultures feeding on the remains. According to the logger, the bodies were partially buried in a shallow grave, but due to rain and flooding in the area, the bodies were uncovered. During a press conference in Belize City on Monday June 11th, Police Press Officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood stated that Orange Walk Police received reports on Friday evening and responded early Saturday where they found the bodies partially buried. “Vultures in the area had already begun to interfere with the bodies, so a postmortem had to be done on the scene,” said Yearwood. “An apparent gunshot wound was seen to the back of one of the victims’ head,” he added.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Missing Teens Found Dead in Orange Walk
Two teenagers from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye had been missing for six days and on Friday, June 8, 2012, the bodies of Edwardo Daniel Alamilla and Charlie Jamille Espat were found off a feeder road in the Orange Walk District. The badly decomposed bodies were transported back to San Pedro on Saturday, June 9, 2012, around 11:00p.m. for immediate burial.

Belize’s Rebecca Stirm Returns to Mission Catwalk as Wild Card
After a shocking elimination on Mission Catwalk episode 11 where contestants were required to design a mini collection for a fashionista headed to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Belize’s own Rebecca Strim returns to the Caribbean fashion reality series as the ‘wild card’. This second shot at the win is “very exciting and humbling” says the 19 year-old Belmopan resident who won four of the show’s 11 challenges and placed safe in three episodes. “We wanted to see another collection so we had past contestants Kerin Scott (Ne Sera), Janel Jolly (Jae Jolly) and Rebecca show at CFW and ultimately we chose Rebecca as the wild card,” says Mission Catwalk host and executive producer Keneea Linton-George who along with regular panelists Novia McDonald-Whyte associate editor lifestyle and social content at the Jamaica Observer and menswear designer Carlton Brown have judged the season two presentations.

Teen Talk by Solani Graniel: Saying Goodbye after Graduation
High school was the greatest time of my life, and saying goodbye will be nothing but difficult! What I will miss the most of high school are the fun times with my friends, saying jokes, laughing, playing around when teachers weren’t there, the craziness we did in class, singing songs, dancing, just being with my friends having a good time! I will also miss the teachers although one or two can get on your nerves but I’ll miss them! I have had so many great moments in high school like going on the football trip and wining, wining Miss San Pedro High, Competing in the Food and Nutrition Competition and helping out the school in many ways I could! I can’t believe four years have gone by and it’s not a good bye; it’s just a ‘see you later SPHS’.

Pic of the Week: Coconut Palm Paradise
The coconut tree is pretty much the signature of a Caribbean destination and the offshore islands of Belize have plenty of them. Relaxing under their shade, enjoying the cool breeze and sipping on the nectar of a coconut is all you need to relax in bliss!

Old Timer or Modern Sanpedrano? #16
YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF As a child you used to play cowboys and Indians. What else can you expect if for Christmas the most popular gifts children got were play guns and bow and arrows. You grew up using the ‘fogon’ or fire hearth as well as the one-hole kerosene stove. Oh yes, long before the coming of the butane stoves and electric cooking gadgets, the fire hearth was the main cooking source in San Pedro.

First Ever Fingernail Workshop in San Pedro
On Sunday, June10, 2012 the Beauty Club gathered her students at the Isla Bonita Elementary School for a two day Nail Workshop with nail expert Jacqueline Constantino from Mexico. Many of the girls stated that the experience has been very impressive and can't wait for many more workshops in the future. It was a successful workshop and all students were awarded to be certified nail experts. Congratulations to all students for their dedication and hard work. NOW YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MODERN SANPEDRANO IF You have no idea of how a ‘fogon’ works and you dislike smoke and you like the microwaves and Flavor Wave Ultra Red Ovens and butane gas powered barbecue grills.

Misc Belizean Sources

French Wildlife Photorapher Captures Belize's Beauty
Marie-France Grenouillet visited Belize recently and captured the country’s diverse wildlife with her camera. Take a journey through her photographer’s eye and see Belize’s jungles like you’ve never seen them before! In Marie-France’s own words: My impression of Belize – so small and so “generous” … I had the chance to go to Belize last February. I must say that for those who love birds, the underwater world, local authentic villages and, of course, Maya sites, don’t hesitate to visit this small country. Among the best places I visited, I was very impressed by the Cockscomb Basin, not far from Placencia. I loved this place so much that I went 3 times! It is a wildlife sanctuary, with many trails through lush vegetation, full of birds like the “Hooded Orioles”, Woodpeckers and Raptors like “White Hawks”. Not to be missed in this park is a small pond, well hidden under the trees, but easy to find. There, sitting on the nearby branches only a few meters away, I saw a group of Boat-Billed Herons peacefully looking around without any fear or stress. It was incredible; it was the first time in my life that I was able to approach these strange birds, which normally escape at the first noise. Don’ t miss this hidden pond! Another superb place is Black Rock Lodge Trails and Grounds. It is the perfect place to see Keel-Billed Toucans, Emerald Toucanets, the beloved “Collared Aracari” and many other birds. The scenery is marvelous; it is near a ravine in which the river is running, surrounded by greenery. I would like to speak of many other places, like “La Milpa” in Orange Walk, but it would be too long. Better yet, you should go and discover Belize for yourself! I must also say a few words about Belize’s underwater world. I had no time to see the most famous islands for diving. I was only able to visit some nearby islands in front of Hopkins Village, like South Water Caye. The weather was windy with some sparse rains. However, in spite of that, the underwater landscape was extraordinarily beautiful and the water clear. The reef was not very deep; I was only snorkeling but could take pictures of the many fishes among the living corals, including a big ray in the sand. Marie-France captured many of Belize's birds as well as mammals, insects and underwater images of the Barrier Reef!..

Jaguar Pictures from Hidden Valley Inn
Hidden Valley Inn has captured - on film with their camera traps - some jaguars that have been roaming around at night. There are some nice shots in there. Mountain Pine Ridge still has jaguars all over the place.

Inspiration Telethon Promo
The Inspiration Telethon is coming soon. "Ad for upcoming Inspiration Telethon to raise funds for the Inspiration Center."

St. Ignatius 2012 Graduation
This past weekend was graduation weekend! St. Ignatius High School has some pictures up. Congratulations to all recent graduates!

Channel 7

1 Weekend; 10 Shootings; 2 Dead; Police Say Gang Related
Ten people were shot in four incidents between Friday and Sunday night in Belize City. Plus a grenade was thrown. Plus an elderly woman was killed in a traffic accident. Out district, two bodies of teenagers were found in a shallow grave, plus a police officer was killed in a traffic accident. Indeed, it was a deadly weekend. We've got all the stories, but we begin with an overview of the city violence from the police. The Officer Commanding Eastern Division Assistant Commissioner Elodio Aragon called a press conference to try and convince the public that - as much as it seems out of control - it is under control. Here's what Aragon told the media this morning: ACP Elodio Aragon - Officer Commanding Eastern Division "Over the weekend, we basically had 4 shooting incidents, of which, we had 10 persons being injured. And out of the 10, we had 2 who passed away, and 1 who is critical at this point in time. I'd like to say that out of all these incidents - these 4 shooting incidents - it is known to us that these are all gang-related. The persons who are involved - to a large extent - majority of them are either gang-affiliated, or they associate with gangs. We do have 4 individuals who are not gang-related, but because they were out there in the vicinity of these individuals, they received injuries. They were not intended targets, and in specific, I'm talking about the 2 females who were shot out there. They were talking to 2 guys who are well-known gang persons at Elements. We had 2 other guys who received injuries. They are not affiliated, but they were caught at that place."

Dummy Grenade Thrown At Woman's Home; Says House Also Been Shot
One situation the police definitely did not have in hand - was the case of a grenade thrown at a house near Bank Street. Fortunately it did not explode - but it was clearly not meant to alarm the members of the house, it was intended to kill. And we know that because the homeowner told us today that multiple attacks have been made on her home recently. Here's the story:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Police also visited a residence, the residence of Patrick Jones - a known member of the Pregnant Alley group - on Banak Street, where they found what is known as dummy grenade." Jules Vasquez reporting This is the impression left by the grenade when it was stoned at the plycem house on Cedar Street - which is off Logwood Street. Euandice Jones was inside when she heard the bang. She asked to appear off camera Voice of: Eaundice Jones - Resident of Targeted Home "About 10:30 to 11 o'clock, I heard a loud bang on the side of the house, and I knew that the sound wasn't a gun, but it wasn't an ordinary stone either. Right away, I picked up my phone, and I called the police, and immediately after that, I put down the phone. My neighbor called me and told me that she saw 2 guys on the street. She said that they fiddled with something, and they threw at my yard. I called the police about 8 times before they came, and it was on the ground for almost an hour." When the BDF came they found what's known as a dummy grenade - the type used in training:

Two Killed In Nightclub Shooting
And four hours after that grenade was thrown - there would be another violent, gang - related event - that would incite even greater public terror. A stream of shots were fired just as patrons were leaving a popular nightspot name Elements on Princess Margaret Drive at 3:00 on Saturday morning. Club-goers from Elements and other nearby nightspots scattered in all directions and when the dust cleared, 6 persons were injured: 38 year old Dwight Panton, 23 year old Kenroy Humes, 29 year old Luis Itzab, 33 year old Martin Oluwadare, 24 year old Brandon "Battry" Smith and Bruce Willacey. The injuries to Humes and Panton were most serious: Humes was shot to the face, arm and back, while Panton was shot to the chest and thing. Panton died shortly after arriving at the KHMH and Humes died 40 hours later. Police today discussed the double murder, the wild shooting event - and how they recovered what they believes is the weapon that was used:... Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "We do have a Luis Itzab that was injured, Bruce Willacey, a taxi driver, Brandon Smith, he was treated and release from the KHMH and I already referred to the two victims from this shooting incident: Dwight Panton, a 38 yr. old, he is a resident of George Street and Kenroy Humes. We know that Humes is no stranger to the law, he was recently acquitted of murder, he was jointly charged with some other men from that area in Lake Independence. We ended up impounding a taxi where this magazine with the 14 live rounds of ammunition was discovered. We recovered a firearm not too far from the scene that we believe is also in connection with magazine from the vehicle impounded."

PSE, Not Great, But Getting Better
The results for the 2012 P.S.E are in, and the grades have improved - 2012 has seen an across-the-board increase in performance compared to 2011. Now, there's still nothing to cheer about - the average grades are still depressingly bad - but the overall performance has increased. In English the average was 58.6%, up from 54.9 , yet still 45% of the students failed. In Math, the average was 54.5. up from 47.16 in 2011, but again, 45% of students also failed. Science was much better with the average being 74.4 - up from 64.38. Half of the students scored above 76% with 83% of the students earning a grade B. Social Studies was also on the up and up. This year, the overall score was a 5% better than last year. The average was 68.9, and 73% of the students passed. 6983 candidates sat the examinations this year, and 20 students came out on top. Tied for first, are RHIKI ALEGRIA from Hummingbird Elementary School and JASMINE BETANCOURT from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning with 389 points. Coming in next at 2nd place is EJIKE UDUMII from Solid Rock Christian School in Stann Creek with 387 points. 3rd with 385 points is ERIC HUNTER from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning. Darren Alvarez, also from Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning comes in 4th with 384 points. 4 Students are tied for 5th at 383 points: SERENA ANDERSON from Louisiana Government School, AMANDA MOREY from Grace Primary School, JOSHUA POTT from Hummingbird Elementary School and finally, MAMIE WILLIS from St. Andrews Anglican School.

BTL's Second Acquisition Questioned By Supreme Court
One week after the double election in March - no one was really paying attention when the second acquisition of BTL was argued in court before Justice Legall. But the pivotal case was argued over two days and a hugely consequential judgment was handed down today. We say hugely consequential because the last time the courts judged such a matter, it happened in the court of Appeals, and when they ruled the first acquisition unlawful, the Ashcroft alliance went back to BTL and took back the company - if only to hold it for a few hours before the state re-asserted control. That's why the company had to re-acquired - which gave rise to the controversial eighth amendment to the constitution. So today, lots of people were on edge - but Legall delivered an anti-climactic judgement that put it both ways: the second acquisition may have been unlawful, but Government can still hold unto the company. Confusing? It was to the sharpest attorneys in town as well, who came out of the courtroom claiming victory, but with only the government side still having control of the company. Here's what they told us:... Godfrey Smith, SC - Attorney for Employee's Trust "What we've been able to get in terms of the core, is that the acquisition order - that SI signed by the minister - 70 of 2011 - is invalid, which suggests that the acquisition is bad in law. However, the judge goes on to order - to say really - that no consequential relief is granted, and then oddly orders the parties to sit and discuss compensation starting August 1. So, the upshot is that on the one end, it seems that he is saying that the way it was done was bad, but at the same time he's saying, 'I'm not granting any consequential relief.'"

Two Females Injured In Late Night Shooting
As we told you earlier, two men died as a result of a gang related shootout on Saturday morning. But that was only one shooting in which six men were shot. Another occurred a few hours earlier on Friday night as a group of persons were hanging out in front of Wesley school on Yabra Road. The police press officer told us this one was gang related as well - even though the victims are two females. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Two females that were associating with a group of men on Yabra Road received gunshot wounds as a result of a person attacking that group and firing several shots at them." "The females were identified as Renesha Pitts, 18 yrs. old and Carla Cardinez, 20 yrs. old."

Shooting In Lake-I
And then on Sunday night there was a shooting on Lacroix Boulevard, which is behind the complex building. 20 year old Hazard Rowland was shot to the right eye at 10:15 pm. Police told us more: Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "We had another shooting incident that was reported on Sunday where Hazard Roland is saying that he was on Lacroix Boulevard waiting for a friend who was making a purchase at a store when he saw lone gunman on bicycle approached his vehicle from behind and fired a shot hitting somewhere around his right eye with the bullet exited to the top of his head. He was rushed to the KHMH where he underwent surgery." Rowland was in surgery today.

Sheldon Sosa Shot
And then in our last shooting report for the night: 23 year-old Sheldon Sosa, an unemployed resident of Belize City is a fortunate man who survived another shooting on the weekend. According to police, Sosa was walking on Iguana Street at about 3:15 a.m. on Saturday, and when he arrived at the Elston Kerr Street intersection, several shots were fired at him by an unknown gunman. He suffered injuries to the left shoulder and right arm, but he was able to get to the KHMH where he received treatment. He was admitted in a stable condition.

Cop Run Over and Killed In Capital
And the weekend's catalogue of woe goes now from shootings to deaths in traffic accidents. Tonight the Police Department is getting ready to bury one of its own after 33 year-old Ken Emmanuel, a Police Constable of #4 Corozal Street, was knocked down over the weekend. According to police, Carlos Santos, a 71 year-old retiree, reported that he was driving his red Izuzu pickup towards Belmopan and when he arrived between miles 54 and 55, a vehicle coming in the opposite direction had its high beam on. Santos said that he was temporarily blinded by the light of the high beam which caused him to hit Emmanuel, who was riding his bicycle on the same side of the road that Santos was driving. Emmanuel suffered serious head and bodily injuries, and police rushed him to the Western Regional Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment. According to police, Santos has been detained pending investigation.

62 Year Old Female Killed in Traffic Accident
A fatal traffic accident on the Northern Highway between miles 3 and 4-claimed the life of an elderly woman. According to police, around 8:25 on Saturday night, 62 year old Maria Torres had just got off a bus by the Benny's Apartment junction- and while crossing the highway she was hit by a moving Ford Ranger Pickup truck traveling from the direction of the Haulover Bridge. The vehicle was driven by 56 year old engineer James Bowman. Torres received severe body injuries and died shortly after. Today 7news caught up with the family of Torres who told us that Bowman's statement to police isn't quite the same as those who witnessed the accident. They strongly believe that he may have been in the wrong. Sarah Torres, Daughter of Deceased "She was coming to visit my sister in Belama. She came off the bus but she missed the lane, the bus stopped far from where she was supposed to come off. According to people that saw what happened she got off the bus and cross the street and there were two vehicles coming, one of them almost hit my mom, the one behind actually did." "He is telling the police that my mom was in the middle of street and he didn't see her. When I saw the body the body in the middle of the street or not even at side of the street, it was almost off the street. Her feet were almost on the grass."

Two Missing Teenaged Boys Found Dead
There's been a lot of bad news to report on this Monday night - and we've tried to kind of space it out - to reduce the trauma of all these unfortunate events. And the next one is among the most unfortunate. It's about those two missing teenagers we reported on a number of times last week. 17 year old Daniel Alamilla and 18 year old Charlie Espat Were found dead on Friday evening at the far reaches of Santa Martha Village - which is on the Old Northern Road. It is a very remote location and it appears that that pair were lured to their death in what police are calling a drug related killing. Our friends at CTV-3 in Orange Walk provided us with footage of the very morbid scene and Monica Bodden spoke to the family in San Pedro today. Here's her story:.. Monica Bodden reporting The decomposed bodies of 17 year old Daniel Alamilla and 18 year old Charlie Espat were found on Saturday morning in an area North East of Santa Martha Village in the Orange Walk district. The bodies were located about 50 feet off the old Northern Highway - semi buried in a shallow grave. Both bodies had reached a skeletal stage - A bullet hole was observed through each young man's skull and one hole to Charlie Espat's chest. A post mortem was done on the scene - and then the grieving family, bagged their loved ones remains in garbage bags and put them on a boat to San Pedro - where they were laid to rest.

KHMH Board Has A New Boss
A new chairperson of the Board of Governors of the KHMH has been appointed. Registered nurse and Former UDP hopeful in Caribbean Shores Chandra Nisbet Cansino is the new chairperson. She will now oversee case management, monitoring and evaluation as well as the purchasing of medical services. She has had 10 years of experience - nursing in both the private and public sectors- before she became Employment Injury Manager at the Social Security Board. She replaces the former Chair Mr. Gulab Sharma who - according to a release - stepped down for personal reasons.

Candle-Light Remembrances For Jasmine Lowe
ON Saturday a NUMBER OF candle light vigils were held in the memory of Jasmine Lowe and as a form of protest against the vicious crimes and murders occurring in Belize. The main ceremony in Cayo, which began at 7 o'clock was a success, and was described by one as "a sea of candle flames." Before the ceremony began, some supporters gave out 50 meals to some homeless people who regularly congregate in the Macal River Park where the vigil was held. This was to create a multifaceted effort for social justice reform. During the ceremony The Galen University 'Eagles' played meaningful songs, and the Chairperson of the Peoples Coalition of Cayo, Albert Moore, offered strategies to confront crime and urged the community to come together to quote "obey the laws of our land." And Cayo wasn't the only district protesting crime that night. The Belize Sea Scouts joined in solidarity and hosted a simultaneous vigil at the Seashore Park In Buttonwood Bay in the Belize District. They were joined by young sailors from the Belize Sailing Association along with their family, friends and sympathizers.

BDF with the Big Guns in Colombia
Last week, marked the start of the 9th annual Fuerzas Comando exercise - an 8 day military skills competition. Special operations forces from 21 countries INCLUDING BELIZE - went to Tolemaida, Colombia to test their strength and tactical abilities to determine the best in the Western Hemisphere. The exercise will not only test the tactical abilities and strengths, but will also strengthen bonds so that the participating countries can collectively deal with issues affecting the region. Columbia has won the competition 4 out 8 times, and this year Canada and Guyana are joining for the first time. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command, and the competition will end later this week.

CNN Says Belize City A Hated Place
Even after increasing crime and poverty rates, many Belizeans still cling on to their jewel of the Caribbean. Well, according to CNN-GO, tourists that come to Belize feel otherwise. In fact, Belize came in 10th on their list of the world's 10 most hated countries. And why is the general consensus less than desirable? Well to quote the website, "Crime. Drugs Dilapidation... a vibe that screams avoid-being-out-after-dark-and-wait-for-your-real-itinerary-to-begin" has the tourists running for safer - and, according to the site, more enjoyable waters. With all this bad press some may be wondering, are tourists overlooking the value of Belize, or is it time to re-evaluate our country? Coming in as the worst rated country was Tijuana Mexico.

Channel 5

San Pedro teens shot in the head and dumped in Orange Walk
Between Friday and Sunday nights: Four bodies, eight injured, including two women and a grenade is hurled at a south side house. The bloodbath over the weekend went like this. The bodies of two San Pedro missing teenagers were found on Saturday morning in the Orange Walk District, a shooting in front of a north [...]

Grenade, Shooting and Arson at former home of Patrick Jones
Six fragment grenades were detonated by the Belize Defense Force in March. The explosives made headlines when they were lobbed in residential neighborhoods but failed to detonate. And luckily, an incident that occurred at eleven-forty-five on Friday night also went without the charge that the assailant had intended. Apparently it was intended for a youth [...]

Mayhem at nightclub; 4 injured and 2 dead
The Old Capital is bloodied by spiraling murder statistics. The violence from gangs isn’t slowing down and on Friday night alone, following a fight at a bar, two men were mortally wounded. Four others were injured in the shooting spree. Members of the Supal Street Gang opened fire on the George Street Gang giving way [...]

3 more persons shot, including 2 women
Hours earlier on Friday night, two women were shot around ten-thirty while socializing with a group of men reputed to be gang affiliates in the Yarborough Area. Eighteen year old Renesha Pitts and twenty year old Carly Cardinez were with in front of Wesley College when a lone gunman came from Dickenson Street and opened [...]

Gang war results in 10 shooting victims during weekend
There was a fourth shooting incident in the murder capital. The urban warfare is gang related according to the police. On Sunday night, at around ten-thirty-five twenty year old mechanic, Hazard Rowland, received two gunshot wounds—one to the right eye and the other to the left forearm. He is in critical condition.   Elodio Aragon [...]

Supreme Court Rules against Nationalization
Since about 2003 the management of Belize Telemedia Limited has changed at least five times: from an Ashcroft Board to Prosser to a Dean Boyce board, to the Government of Belize, back to the Boyce board for a few hours and then back to the G.O.B. This morning anticipation hung in the air of Justice [...]

Is Telemedia under illegal occupation?
Attorneys for Dean Boyce and British Caribbean Bank, Godfrey Smith and Eamon Courtenay, agree that since the acquisition order is declared null, then Telemedia is under illegal occupation.   Godfrey Smith, Attorney for Dean Boyce and First Caribbean Bank “It is an eighty page judgment to begin with which we have not fully digested. We’ve [...]

2012’s Top P.S.E. student revealed
This afternoon, the 2012 Primary School Examination (P.S.E.) results were released. A total of six thousand nine hundred and eighty-three standard six students sat the P.S.E. this year. This number represents a two point four percent increase over the number of test candidates registered in 2011. The P.S.E. assesses achievement of curriculum content and skills [...]

End of an awesome Sugar Crop Season for B.S.I.
Majority shares in the sugar factory are about to be acquired by American Sugar Refinery at a time when sugar has rebounded. The sugar crop has had a good season; production targets were exceeded, the quality of sugar is sound and farmers can expect to fetch a better price. But did you know that Belize [...]

Carjacking with a loaded gun
A carjacking took place in Belize City in the wee hours of Saturday morning and the suspect is already behind bars. Twenty-seven year old Fermin Matura was along with two female friends at around three a.m. when they suddenly asked him to stop the vehicle near a pedestrian crossing on Newtown Barracks. Two men then [...]

Bail for man accused of stealing motorcycle
Meanwhile, a man who allegedly stole from a security company, escaped prison—at least for now—when he was granted bail on a charge of Theft. Twenty year old Alaric Cocom is accused of taking a Meilum brand motorcycle that was parked in front of Priority Security Company on Freetown Road. The owner, Haitian National Jean Desire, [...]

Belmopan cop and Teakettle woman die in accidents
A Belmopan police lost his life in an accident over the weekend. On Saturday evening, Police Constable Ken Emmanuel was riding towards Belmopan between miles fifty-four and fifty five near the junction of the Hummingbird Highway when he was knocked down and killed. Seventy-one year old Carlos Santos told police that he was driving towards [...]

Vigil for slain teen Jasmine Lowe
A taxi driver who was detained in connection with last week’s murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe has been released from police custody. The last time Jasmine was seen alive was when she took a cab heading to her mother’s house on Monday. The western community continues to reel over the killing of Jasmine, [...]

12 year old boy missing in Corozal
We’ve reported so far on three teenagers who went missing and have all been found dead. Well, another child recently disappeared and his families is tonight hoping for better news. Twelve year old Alvin Choc of Louisville, Corozal was sent to a shop, not far from his house on Saturday morning and has not returned. [...]

James Adderley’s weekend sports wrap up
Good evening, I’m James Adderley. Welcome to this serving of Sports Monday.   The stage was set for a monster showdown inside Bermudian Landing on Saturday where Berlan hoped to force a decisive Game III in its battle with Western Eagles to make it to the Championship series. We pick up the action with Berlan [...]


Monday, June 11 - POLICE NEWS
23-year-old Ian Haylock, a labourer of Richard Street employed by CYDP who allegedly stole a Honda taxi car, was charged with robbery and two other offences when he appeared in court today. The other offences were aggravated assault and kept prohibited ammunition. Haylock p...

The Belize Youth Movement, a body within the opposition People’s United Party has issued a statement on the murders of Jasmine Lowe, Edwardo Alamilla and Charlie Espat. In its statement, BYM is calling on the government, community and the churches to come together as one to...

51-year-old Merlene Moody Belizean reported that sometime between 11:30 a.m. on Sunday June 3 and 10:30 a.m on Saturday June 9 her home situated on Mamie Apple Street Belmopan City was burglarized. Thieves made off with a number of items including a generator, a number of electro...

It has not made it on to the daily police press release but there was a terrifying home invasion over the weekend in the Cayo district. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY, Correspondent “On Saturday June 9th at about 9:30 PM, Vilma Teck, a r...

It was a weekend of bloodbath in Belize City. Crimes have always punctuated many of the weekends, but this past weekend was so littered that it sent many people to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. At a press conference this morning, the Police Press Officer, Inspector Fi...

A primary school student in Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District, is reported missing. Paul Mahung tells us the details. PAUL MAHUNG, Correspondent “Ministry of Human Development Community Development Officer in Bella Vista Village, Albert...

The 2011 – 2012 sugar crop has ended. Our Orange Walk correspondent Arturo Cantun has the story. ARTURO CANTUN, Reporter “The 2011 – 2012 sugar cane crop season officially concluded on Thursday June 7th around 9:30 PM. For the second time Belize S...

Police in Orange Walk are investigating the discovery of the decomposing bodies of two teenagers from San Pedro. Our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso reports. MANUELA AYUSO CANTUN, Reporter “The decomposing bodies of who were later identified to be s...

A flash flood this morning in Santa Teresa Village Toledo, has left damage to property, livestock and agricultural products. Correspondent Paul Mahung Reports. “Santa Teresa Village Council Chairman, Pedro Ack told Love News that the flash flood came upon parts of the village unexpectedly at about 3 AM and quickly washed through four houses nearby the flooded village creek. Ack confirmed that the rushing flood waters, from heavy rainfall throughout the night, also washed away a number of cooking utensils and other items out the flooded homes as well as pottery and pigs and over flood agriculture crops namely rice, beans corn and other ground crops. No one reportedly was injured in the part way of the flash flood while cost of damages remain unknown so far as Santa Teresa Village Leader, Pedro Ack, says there is a need for NEMO Toledo to intervene and help with direct assistance to the affected families and village level lost due to damage to agricultural crop and live sacks in Santa Theresa located 32 miles out Punta Gorda in Rural Toledo. Reporting for Love News, Paul Mahung, Punta Gorda.”


Search continues for Jasmine Lowe’s killer
The search continues tonight for the person or persons responsible for the death of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. The Santa Elena teenager left home on Monday afternoon to go prepare for a Scouts evening and never made it back alive. Her decomposing body was found on a feeder road near Cristo Rey village on Wednesday afternoon. Police in San Ignacio, along with town residents have pooled their efforts to hunt for clues that might lead them to solve the brutal murder. The focus for investigators is an impounded taxi, with Benque Viejo licence plates. The vehicle has been in police custody for a couple of days now and investigators have been going through it with a fine tooth comb, even using newly acquired forensics equipment to see if this is indeed the vehicle in which Jasmin Lowe took her final ride. Police in San Ignacio also have one man in their custody and are continuing their investigations. Meanwhile citizens have organized two nights of candlelight vigils in connection with the murder of Jasmine Lowe. Both vigils will be held inside the Columbus park in front of the San Ignacio police station. A candlelight vigil is also planned for this weekend at the Punta Gorda Central Park. Jasmine Lowe buried: Belizeans for Justice today issued a statement on the death of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe as well as the recent murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura. The statement says, quote: “Belizeans For Justice believes that these incidents are symptomatic of this government’s inability to adequately address the spiraling increase in crime and to fulfill its obligation to provide security and a sense of safety for the citizens of Belize who are presently living in fear. We appeal to this government to urgently address this most disconcerting matter by placing more emphasis on the care and well-being of all Belizeans, especially our children,” end of quote. The statement ends by saying that Belizeans For Justice requests that citizens and all organizations unite and work together for the protection and well-being of our children who are the future leaders of our country. The organization says that it stands ready to assist in this endeavor. Kim Simplis Barrow: In related news: the Special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs. Kim Simplis barrow has also spoke out on the murder of Jasmine Lowe. In a statement issued yesterday, Mrs. Barrow notes that since 2011, in her role as Special Envoy for Women and Children, she has been advocating for the drafting of new legislations for the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, Trafficking in Persons and sexual assaults. Mrs. Barrow says she has gone as far as proposing the establishment of a new Special Victims Unit, an idea which has been embraced by the new Minister of Police, John Saldivar, and is currently in the process of being formed. Mrs. Barrow says that these things take time to put in place, if it is to be done properly. She ends her statement by calling on all parents and guardians to improve communication with their children, teach them how to protect themselves, get to know their friends and their friend’s parents. By working together, Mrs. Barrow says, we can make Belize a better and safer place for all our children.

Citizen speaheads new proposed taxi law
Residents of San Ignacio and surrounding areas are pushing for newer more stringent laws to regulate taxi operations in Belize. The push for the new regulations comes on the heels of the murder this week of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe. Mary Carriddi is the sponsor of the new proposed law, which if approved would be called the Jasmine Taxi Law. The proposed Jasmine Taxi Law has seven main points, as explained by Carriddi. The proposed Jasmine Taxi Law is currently being circulated in San Ignacio and Santa Elena and will be shared with participants of a candlelight vigil which is scheduled for tonight in San Ignacio town. According to the sponsors of the proposed law, the new initiative has the support of the Special Envoy for Women and Children.

Group charged for drug trafficking
In court news, three men and a woman were charged with drug trafficking for 22 grams of crack cocaine today in the Magistrate’s Court. They are fifty year old bartender, Ernest Brown, eighty four year old Alvin Diamond, the owner of Mike’s Club, fifty-eight year old Douglas “Rojo” Patterson, and twenty year old bartender, Kamisha Ariola. They all pleaded not guilty and were each offered and met bail of six thousand dollars. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser ordered them to return to court on August eighth. The bust occurred at around one thirty-five on Thursday afternoon at Mike’s Club at 17 Regent Street West. Police say that the discovery was made inside a plastic bag between two pigtail buckets in a room behind the bar. At the time of the search, the four defendants were behind the bar, according to the police.

House of Mercy hit by burglars
La Inmaculada House of Mercy on Church Street Orange Walk Town was broken into last night. Stolen was a quantity of food that was intended to feed needy children and families. Maria Lisa Martin coordinates the House of Mercy. Martin estimates the food stolen to be approximately $400.00. La Inmaculada House of Mercy provides daily lunches to needy families and especially children from the nearby primary school. Martin says that the burglary will hamper their program and are making an appeal for assistance. Martin says that the thief or thieves left behind a container with beans and a bucket with flour, which was used to feed the children for lunch today. So far Martin says the police is investigating the matter. For assistance you can contact La Inmaculada House of Mercy on Church Street, beside the Pallotine Sisters Convent in Orange Walk Town.

Coastal Zone Management Authority holds summit
High rise buildings are infrastructure that first world countries take pride in. But in developing countries such as Belize, they are the very types of development that conservationists discourage against because of the fragility of our eco-systems and the volumes of pollution that usually accompany these types of large scale developments. Over recent years we’ve seen more of these types of structures going up around our country. Quite a few have received criticism, either over questionable phases during their construction or for what they represent — merely fast money-making. So for the last two days, the folks involved in coastal zone management, fisheries and the environment, have been knocking heads trying to chalk up a solid blueprint that would effectively govern these types of development, particularly those along the coastal communities. Reinforcing that need this morning for stringent guidelines was Stewart Krohn, a private investor and developer himself, who spared no words in saying how he feels about the “fly by night” projects. Just as guilty as the irresponsible developers, he says, is a government that allows them to carry on. But according to Anthony Mai, who works with the Department of the Environment, there is a set of procedures in place that developers must follow, but to improve upon the vigilance, they need your help. Mai says that the department has been successful in netting fines from investors who have ignored the regulations in the past.


Known Belize City gang affiliates murdered
This weekend was an ugly one in Belize City. There were at least 8 shootings two of which resulted in murder, a mas...

UPDATE: The Jasmine Lowe murder investigation
The death of 13year old Jasmine Lowe has captured the attention of the country. Jasmine's body was found on Wednesd...

Bodies of missing men found
The decomposing bodies of two men were found late Friday evening. The bodies were discovered near Santa Martha vill...

Police Officer knocked down and killed
A police officer was knocked down and killed on Saturday night in Belmopan. The officer, identified as Ken Emmanuel...

Countrywide vigils for Jasmine Lowe brings out thousands
As we said the death of Jasmine has galvanized the country and the case is being scrutinized closely. Enormous supp...

UPDATE: Sacred Heart teacher murder investigation
It's been almost a month since the murder of 45 year old Marco Thompson who was an English teacher at Sacred Heart ...

Is the gang truce holding?
Is the gang truce holding? That’s question many are asking. Police assistant commissioner Elodio Aragon admits that...

Missing girl found in company of elderly man
On Sunday June 10th 43yr old Jose Ernesto Hernandez Lopez, of Bella Vista Village reported that on Wednesday June 6...

Rebecca Stirm returns to Mission Catwalk; two episodes remain
After taking the Caribbean fashion reality series ‘Mission Catwalk’ by storm with a record breaking four wins, Beli...

Home invasion terror in the Cayo district continues
There are reports of a scary home invasion which occurred last night in Bullet Tree Falls Village in the Cayo Distr......

Women injured in shooting incident
Two Belize City women were shot at whilst hanging out with friends. On Friday June 8, after 10:30pm CIB personnel v...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Congrats Graduates of 2012!!
Congrats are in order to Andre Alamina, who recently graduated this past Sunday, June 1o, 2012, from St. John’s College High School with his High School Diploma and with Honors, also being the Senior Student of the Year. Andre comes from the Alamina ancestry, a family which spans to now about 5 generations. Andre was also the President of the Student Body at SJCHS during his senior year. Andre is the son of Alvaro and Kay Alamina, a second of three children. I can definitely see great and grand things happening in his future!! Congrats and Best Wishes, Dre!

Mr. Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia awarded by Oceana Belize
This past weekend, World Oceans Day was celebrated in Belize City with a series of events providing public awareness in protecting Belize’s Caribbean Sea to young and old, educating them on the importance our seas and oceans form an essential part of our eco-tourism. Mr. Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia was on the list of awardees for Oceana’s award ceremony and he was the proud recipient of the Ocean Hero Award for his lifetime dedication to protecting Belize’s marine bio-diversity. The Caye Caulker Chronicles and the entire Caye Caulker community would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Chocolate on one of his many accomplishments as he continues to educate those on the protection of our manatees.

Authentic Mayan Crafts for sale…
These indigenous Mayan ladies bring their authentic crafts all the way from the Mayan villages in the Toledo District to Caye Caulker. Next time you pass one of them along the way, stop and take a look. If you do, tell them the Caye Caulker Chronicles sent you. They have many beautiful items such as tropical hammocks, pot holders, place mats, table runners, blankets, decorative wooden masks, and a host of other amazing stuff.

Shrimp Sticks, BZ$ 5 (US$ 2.50) each …
Grilled fresh while you wait.


Checking out a Bit of the Coast Line in Panama: Coronado, San Carlos and El Palmar......
Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day (for me), I relaxed on the family Lazy Boy and whiled away hours enjoying the quick internet speed of Panama (it has to be 10x that of my connection in Belize). Cesar and Danni spent much of the day cleaning their "casa para un ano" (also known as their truck) and Cesar's dad did the heavy labor...disassembling the old outdoor brick fire oven. We had a hankering for fish tacos later than evening so Danni and I headed to the beach first thing in the morning (it was really our only outing). The area fishermen all pull up in a town about 20 minutes away called San Carlos. It's a relatively small, quaint town with some government's the local county seat. San Carlos is a mix of old-school and brand new that I am starting to get used to in Panama. Across the street from a JET BLACK gold flecked beach and the area where the fishing boats pull in is a large tract of land being cleared for a new development high rise called Fontanella de Mar. According to its website it is inspired by "new urbanism"...ugh. I guess the fishermen are going to need to relocate. You can see the cleared land as Danni collects her fish heads to make a soup later that evening. Here are some pictures of the little area where the fish are weighed... And of the boats and the black, black beach... And of some black vultures waiting for scraps... Each of the 6 or 7 boats had a serious display of hooks and a good sized catch...almost all Red Snapper. Fish cost $2.25 USD per pound. It is hard to say whether we got the gringa price or not...the two of us did stand out like sore thumbs. But everyone there was quite friendly.

Taking Care of Nature
My name is Danielle Mohammed-Ali, I am a 9 year old Standard 3 student from Burrell Boom Methodist School. I have two older sisters and one little sister and we live with our parents in Burrell Boom Village. I am also a Cub Scout of 18th Belize Burrell Boom Scout Troop. I would like to be an Eco kid and be able to go to the Eco Kids Camp because this camp looks as much fun as when I went to Cub Scout Camp at Camp Oakley. Being a cub scout I get to do a lot of activities outside at our meetings. As cubs scouts we look after nature and learn to take care of it by doing garbage cleanup and planting trees around our community. We also have fun with other scouts by playing games and learning to share with them. It would be exciting for me to be able to go to this Eco Kids Camp because I know I will get to learn more about my environment, about different things we can do to take care of it. I am also looking forward to do new things that I never knew or did at Camp Oakley, like going bird watching, horseback riding and getting to explore new adventures on the nature hikes. I know I will also get to make new friends and the most exciting thing would be to travel and see a different part of my country. At the Eco Kids Camp I would love to share all my experiences being a Scout with the friends that I will make and when I get back I will share with my scout troop and my family all that I learnt and did at the Eco Kids Camp.

Belize Consumer Price Index 2012
According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, between April 2011 and April 2012, the National Consumer Price Index for Belize increased from 100.0% to 102.2% yielding a point to point inflation rate of 2.1%, down slightly from 2.2% in the previous month. This change was mainly because of the high prices in the categories of “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages” (+5.3%) and “Transport” (+5.6%) as noted in the visual above.

Raggamuffin’s baby turns 3 yesterday!
She is very much the youngest member of the Raggamuffin crew, Zahara Jones, turned three yesterday. In true girly fashion the trees around Raggamuffin were adorned in pink and purple balloons and ribbons – the mermaid pinata swung in the strong breeze of the afternoon. She invited all her little friends (and some bigger ones like Ellis, Shane & Shane, Chris and Jerry!!) and put on her fairy wings and treated her guests to chips and dip, pinata, cake and goodie bags – all washed down with much soda made for a festive afternoon for the 3 year old! As the sun began to set and the children began to yawn, the birthday took on a new twist. Zahara and her older brother Malik went home to count their sweets and the rest of the Ragga crew took the party (Raggamuffin style) to the split and eventually the I&I – needless to say heads are hurting this am. Happy Birthday sweet Zahara!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (9 June, 2012)
by Admin at 6/11/2012 Comment Filed under: mega-bingo Lucky Two 5.00 Each (5 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4­ Straight Line 100.00 Each (5 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4­ Lucky Three 25.00 Each (6 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4 ­41­ Mini X 50.00 Each (9 Balls) 46 ­29 ­23 ­66 ­4 ­41 ­43 ­20 ­53­

What Is Up With The New Belize 2012 Dollar Coin?
Hey guys! Have you seen our new one dollar coin? Do you like it? The reason I ask is because I have a lot to say about the new dollar coin and some of it is not good. My concerns are basically on the entire design of the coin -- it just goes against my liking. I have a strong appreciation on the efforts and the work that it took to create the new dollar coin but I strongly believe there are some things that could have been done better and I would like to express them here if you allow me to -- of course this review is with all due respect to the Belizean people. My intentions is not to offend no one, I just simply love to give my two cents whenever my heart urges me to.

International Sources

Five days in Belize
That kind of diversity is quite appropriate. Belize’s exotic plants and animals, caves and mountains, stunning beaches and barrier reef, and historic and cultural connections to Mayan, Caribbean and African cultures are almost overwhelming. They are certainly too much to appreciate in one visit. Travelers here should treat the place like a spicy gumbo of experiences, with a complexity best savored through multiple samplings. Our travels started in the urban center of Belize City, from where we flew to San Pedro, a beach-side community of 12,400 on Belize’s Ambergris Caye. San Pedro features footprint-perfect white sand beaches and streets so narrow that most residents and visitors get around on golf carts. I found it a distinctly charming beach town. Our base at the beachfront Xanadu Island Resort provided us with an upscale suite equipped with a granite-countered kitchen, flat-screen television and Wi-Fi. From there we took a walk past the small shops, restaurants, bars, ice cream shops and souvenir stands lining Front Street, as residents and pedestrians zipped around in golf carts and strolled by on foot. Belize’s barrier reef extends for more than two miles along San Pedro, and the beach is lined with dive shops, excursion boats, open-air bars and restaurants, and water taxi stations. Anyone looking to dive or snorkel has definitely found the right place in this town. In the evenings, the restaurants and bars form a lively, multi-colored nightlife scene. Unlike in some other communities, however, it all comes across in an orderly and attractive presentation. In fact, my primary concern was that due to time and other circumstances we drove about in a van and were unable to use our own golf carts around town. I felt positively deprived. We did manage to stop from time to time and enjoyed a drink at the over-the-water Palapa Bar and Grill. I’ve resolved to remedy that lack of a golf cart on my next visit.

Avoid the blame game: Liability relating to educational and volunteering trips
A recent High Court decision has thrown the spotlight on liability relating to educational and volunteering trips. Mark Lee examines the findings and identifies lessons for educational tour operators in Travel Trade Gazette: 'Educational and volunteering trips usually take place off the beaten trail, which leads to greater potential exposure to lapses in security. One such example is the recent High Court decision involving Adventure Life Signs Limited (ALS). This was a tragic case arising from the rape of three school pupils during a trip to Belize in summer 2005. Being prepared ALS assisted the school with the expedition planning and arranged for two experienced, ex-military staff to accompany the group. There was also a teacher in a supervisory role. A hurricane in the area of Mexico where the group was headed meant the itinerary was changed and the group diverted to Belize.

School and tour operator not vicariously liable in rape case
This decision demonstrates the court's reluctance to extend the doctrine of vicarious liability on the part of schools (and tour companies) to the conduct of third parties with which an expedition engages, and highlights the importance of the issue of control. It also affirms that for a duty to arise to prevent deliberate wrongdoing by a third party, the conduct must be considered very likely to occur. May Ahmed, BLM London XVW & YZA v Gravesend Grammar School for Girls and Adventure Life Signs The claimants, students at the first defendant school, were raped by the joint owner of a jungle resort in Belize. The resort is where they were accommodated and had been working during a trip organised with the help of the second defendant, a specialist travel company. Prior to the attack, some of the students described their assailant's behaviour as inappropriate, but did not report this to the leaders, who had been present at all times. The claimants alleged the defendants were both vicariously liable for the assailant's actions, even though he had not been an employee of either. It was alleged that the school itself was directly liable for allotting only one teacher to the expedition.

Are Salvadoran 'Maras' Infiltrating Belize?
El Salvador's "mara" gangs may be moving into Belize, according to reports, with both the MS-13 and Barrio 18 having a presence in the capital of the tiny Caribbean country. According to a report by La Prensa Grafica, El Salvador's maras have increased their presence in Belize over the last decade. The article cited police reports which say that El Salvador's two largest gangs, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, have a presence in the country's capital, Belmopan. Other police reports suggest that in the district of Cayo, where Belmopan is located, an unnamed Salvadoran gang with 400 members operates with impunity. There is a large Salvadoran community in Belize -- the Foreign Ministry estimates that around a fifth of the 315,000 or so people living in the country are Salvadoran citizens, according to the newspaper. One reason for the growth in gang activity in Belize could be the use of the free economic zone in Corozal, close to the Mexican border, for contraband smuggling. Another report by Prensa Grafica detailed the rise in smuggling of goods bought in this zone, which are illegally taken into Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico. InSight Crime Analysis The reports of increased presence of Salvadoran gangs in Belize lack detail, but could be a worrying sign for the authorities. El Salvador had one of the highest murder rates in the world last year, at 72 per 100,000, which the government blames largely on gang violence. Belize also has local gangs. A truce made between 13 gangs in Belize City last year brought a sharp reduction in violence, but now appears to be fracturing. Last year, the White House placed Belize on a watch list of countries involved in the international drug trade. The murder rate has climbed to about 40 per 100,000 people, outstripping Nicaragua, Panama and Costa Rica, which all have rates of below 25, and edging past Guatemala, which had an estimated 38 last year. The Corozal free economic zone seems to have prompted smugglers to take advantage of its cheap prices to make a profit, which could open the door for more serious organized criminal activity. There is precedent for this: Paraguay's Ciudad del Este, in the tri-border area of Brazil and Argentina, is both a cheap retail destination (due largely to the availability of smuggled and counterfeit goods) and a key hub of drug, arms and human trafficking.

Caribbean struggling with debt
A mountain of debt is hanging over Barbados and some of its Caribbean neighbours, sapping government revenues and retarding economic and social expansion. As outlined by Standard & Poor’s, Wall Street’s leading credit rating agency, the pile of debt accumulated by Barbados, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Grenada and Belize since the turn of the 21st century has skyrocketed since the turn of the 21st century. The financial situation has gotten much worse in the wake of the global financial crisis that began four years ago. Some of those nations – Jamaica, Belize and Grenada – have even restructured their debt without “reducing the principal” while pushing the burden to a higher level today than in 2001. The upshot: almost every Caribbean state, Barbados among them, has seen its credit rating downgraded by Wall Street. That depressing picture of the impact of rising debt on Caribbean island nations was painted by S&P in an analysis entitled Caribbean Debt Is On The Rise. The paper was written by Kelli Bisset, a credit analyst who told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that the debt was having a negative impact on all of the countries, including Barbados. S&P indicated that at a time of great “economic weakness”, many governments maintained their levels of public spending and in the process probably made a bad situation worse.

Belize's Rebecca Stirm returns to Mission Catwalk as Wild Card
After a shocking elimination on Mission Catwalk episode 11 where contestants were required to design a mini collection for a fashionista headed to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, Belize’s own Rebecca Strim returns to the Caribbean fashion reality series as the ‘wild card’ This second shot at the win is “very exciting and humbling” says the 19 year-old Belmopan resident who won four of the show’s 11 challenges and placed safe in three episodes. “We wanted to see another collection so we had past contestants Kerin Scott (Ne Sera), Janel Jolly (Jae Jolly) and Rebecca show at CFW 2012 and ultimately we chose Rebecca as the wild card,” says Mission Catwalk host and executive producer Keneea Linton-George who along with regular panelists Novia McDonald-Whyte associate editor lifestyle and social content at the Jamaica Observer and menswear designer Carlton Brown have judged the season two presentations. On Friday June 8, 12 looks from the Rebecca Stirm Collection were shown at Caribbean Fashion Week (CFW); the region’s premiere fashion event. Caribbean Model Search winner (2002) Jaunel McKenzie who has been featured in Vogue, Elle and Essence Magazines walked the CFW catwalk in Rebecca’s designs, as did Nell Robinson who has worked for brands such as Victoria’s Secret and Agent Provocateur. Miss Universe Jamaica 2012 contestant Caribbean Model Search winner (2008) Crystal Patterson also wore Rebecca’s pieces on the catwalk. Her CFW debut was made possible due in part to local sponsors Belize Bank and Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL). For Rebecca, her experience in Jamaica means that the hard work is paying off.

Bart Romero: Willing to do the work
Over 2,000 students can point to their year with Bart as their agriculture teacher as one where they “learned something that helped me.” Romero’s Maricopa High School (MHS) teaching position has spanned the 20 years during which Maricopa evolved from a small rural agricultural community to a predominantly suburban, bedroom community. Beginning as the agriculture instructor in 1987, he oversaw raising steers and growing crops. Students were required to be hands-on and pitched in to produce pit barbecues, tend the plants, and help with the cattle. Romero grew up in a large farming family in Belize, a “paradise on earth.” As the oldest of 13 children, Bart had a strong work ethic instilled in him by his father. In addition to working on the family farm, he also earned a teacher’s diploma and, subsequently, taught elementary school for 13 years. Although English is the national language of Belize, a large part of the population speaks Spanish. So, in 1978, he was recruited to tutor a Peace Corps Volunteer in Spanish. The Peace Corps volunteer, Barbara, was setting up dental school programs in Belize. After dating for a couple of years, Bart and Barbara married and decided to return to the United States so she could care for her parents.

World's 10 most hated cities
10. Belize City, Belize Hate Belize? No no no. I'd just prefer to be somewhere else. Few tropical outposts less than a three-hour flight from Dallas have spawned as many alluring Sunday travel section taglines as Belize -- a diving and cruise ship magnet that has been dubbed “Central America Lite,” “the other Caribbean” and “the gateway to the world’s second largest barrier reef.” With all that warm press and tourist traffic passing through, you’d expect Belize City to have kicked its nagging reputation as the sorriest port o’ call on either edge of the Caribbean. Crime. Drugs. Dilapidation. Welcoming committees of bored, desperate touts. A vibe that screams avoid-being-out-after-dark-and-wait-for-your-real-itinerary-to-begin. Belize City has it all. When your own Director of Tourism owns that Belize’s main transport hub is “consistently rated as the worst destination” among cruise passengers, something more than the city’s famous swing bridge may need adjusting. Until then, it’s full speed to the puddle jumpers and water taxis.

Belizean Vacation: Sites from the Cayo District & San Ignacio
This vacation article highlights the Cayo District - as they all should. You'll see pictures of the market, the wooden bridge, Ko Ox Hannah, and many other things. "The Cayo District of Belize is beautiful. I spent the entire time we were there feeling very relaxed and loving the scenery. From crazy San Ignacio (driving in this small yet big for the area town was something else) to the tiny villages dotted along the road to the enormous ranches and citrus groves it was all mesmerizing... Here are a few photographs of the view in the Cayo District, our favorite local eatery we discovered, the beautiful fruit at the market, and simply things that caught my eye."

June 11, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Sunday, June 10 until Monday, June 18, 2012

The showery weather will resume this week after the brief respite over weekend as pressure gradient tightened over the NW Caribbean, which lead to a brisk and drier ESE'ly airflow over Belize. The ridge will weaken during the next 36 hours and the fresh winds will gradually abate.

Moisture will increase over Belize and the NW Caribbean from the eastern Pacific on Sunday night and Monday, while a diffluent wind flow pattern will dominate the upper atmosphere ahead of an approaching trough from the west during the next 72 hours. A weak tropical wave will reach Yucatan and Belize by Friday morning. Coupled with this feature will be a surface low forming over or just offshore Belize by late Thursday and Friday. The Models resolved this low to deepen a bit before drifting ENE into the western Caribbean by late Saturday and early Sunday.

During this week we can expect conditions to become more favorable for outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms. The thunderstorm activity will increase later on Thursday and Friday, and the unsettled weather will continue across the country over the upcoming weekend through Monday of next week. Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Sunday and Monday, but will increase to 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch on Tuesday and Wednesday, mostly over central and northern areas. Daily rainfall totals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be ranging from 0.50-1.75 inches, especially over the central and NE areas of the sea and the mainland on Friday. Rainfall will then be concentrated in the South on Sunday and Monday.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Editorial: Taking back our streets
On Monday night a group of fifty some folks gathered at El Divino to discuss a growing concern in the areas where they live. A total of four neighbourhoods were represented, including Alta Mar, San Marcos, San Pablo and Escalante. The sad stories that most of these folks shared in common was falling prey to thieves, while the others who have been spared the traumatic experience fear for the worse. With stories of brazen in-broad-daylight break-ins, residents have come home to find broken windows, ransacked rooms and missing items of personal and monetary value that they most likely will never see again. Although the point of the meeting was for each area to organize their own Neighborhood Watch program, the stricken residents could not help but share their horror stories with one another. Sadly, the fact is that this small group of victims represent the majority of people here on the island. Do you know ANYONE in San Pedro who does not have a story about having a bike stolen, their golf cart stolen, their house broken into, items missing from their yard, mugged on the beach or ripped off by an embezzling employee? I challenge you to find someone who has lived here for any amount of time and doesn’t have some story to share. So is it just me or do you find this observation disturbing? How are we letting this happen to us? Is this how we want to live, behind bars on our windows and in fear of sounds that go bump in the night?

Hermit Crabs Form Sophisticated Social Networks
Carrie Bow Cay is a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea, about 14 miles off the coast of Southern Belize. The island is so small—0.77 acres—that you can walk its entire perimeter in under 10 minutes. Scientists regularly visit Carrie Bow Cay to study coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass meadows, as well as the animals that live in these unique ecosystems. When Sara Lewis and Randi Rotjan of Tufts University travel to Carrie Bow Cay, they spend most of their time underwater, examining corals. But they also wanted to make the most of their time on land, inbetween dives. So the biologists decided to study the behavior of Caribbean hermit crabs (Coenobita clypeatus), around 1,000 of which live on Carrie Bow Cay’s sandy shores.

Misc Belizean Sources

La Poderosa's Tag the Town Mural at Macal Park
La Poderosa III has been doing their Tag the Town murals, and the latest one is done.


Sunday Lottery Draw
1st prize is 0066 ; 2nd prize is 6298 and 3rd prize is 5349 Jun 10, 2012

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Arts & Crafts Boulevard…
If you walk on Front Street on the way to the Split, you will find yourself passing many interesting arts and craft street-side stands. I call the area “Arts & Crafts Boulevard.” We would like to introduce you to a few interesting ones …

We made it to the fundraiser at BC’s beach bar but unfortunately missed the food, we were still able to get raffle tickets though and most important we were there when Lori Purdy made an appearance. It was great to see her and in spite of all she has been through she was looking great. She brought her x-rays so we could all see the pins – wow. Afterwards we made it to the Diamond Jubilee party at Catamaran Beach Bar. Ruth and Graham dis a fantastic job for the party and the pibil was out of this world as were the jalapeno poppers. Since there were about 8 people’s birthdays around the same time, they had cupcakes and a lovely cake as well. Thanks to Maureen for packing her camera and sending me a few pics to post this morning.

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Pants, No Problem? A Nudist Island in Belize
I received an interesting tip from a friend about the planning stages for a nudist-eco island in Belize. Intriguing. So I became a fan of the project on Facebook for a bit more information. The page is relatively new but has some. Here is what I found... The idea right now is called Bare Island Retreat and will be more rustic, eco-lodge set up and less 5 star hotel. (When I am nude, rustic and "eco" are the last words I want to hear...bugs, dirt, splinters oh my. My friend Cesar insists that the only materials used to construct a naturist colony should be the finest marble and rabbit pelts. He may have a point...) There will be villas for sale for those who like to be sans clothing year round and there will be cabanas for rent. The island (west of Ambergris Caye) will be self sufficient with wind and solar energy and a collected water source. There will also be a "small grocery store and additional assorted shops that will offer such things as hair cuts /styling, nails salon, restaurant etc. This little island community will also offer those that choose to live there to have the opportunity to work an/or volunteer their expertise."

International Sources

Owasco students send books to Belize
Local students teamed up to support their former school principal in her mission to bring children's books to her new students in Belmopan, the capital of Belize. Mickie Cuevas-Post, who retired as Owasco Elementary School principal in month of year, went to Belize to work for the Peace Corps with her husband, Ken. She has been teaching at the Garden City Primary School, where the students — who speak English and Spanish — don't have any children's books to read. Owasco kindergarten teacher Amy Bryan kept in touch with Post and heard about the book shortage at the Belize school. "She said, 'It's terrible. There's no books here,'" Bryan said. "We all said we wanted to help. Every child should have a book to read. ... I sent out notes to the kids, said it was for Mrs. Post's library, and the books started coming in." Owasco students had donated about 2,000 books by the conclusion of the book drive, Bryan said. Volunteers packed the books last Wednesday for shipping to Belize.

New Local Book: ‘Fulfillment — It’s All About Power’
TWIN FALLS • A new novel by former Times-News city editor Michael C. Sullivan draws on his interest in Native American culture and history. “Fulfillment — It’s All About Power” is available as an ebook for Barnes & Noble’s Nook. In 2006, Sullivan drove through Mexico to learn more about ancient Mayan civilization, visiting Mayan ruins en route to Belize, where he lived in the jungle for two months near the Mayan village of San Pedro Columbia. There he discovered that the nearby ruin of the ancient city of Lubaantun was where a crystal skull was allegedly uncovered by the daughter of a British archaeologist in 1924, Sullivan wrote in an email. The artifact, known as the Mitchell-Hedges Skull, supposedly holds mystical powers. “I went there to do more research on the Mayan calendar and its predictions about the year 2012,” Sullivan wrote in the email. “I had already written and published a nonfiction book about prophecies and end-times scenarios entitled ‘In Search of a Perfect World,’ and I was hoping to come up with more information. But the local Maya are ... more concerned with day-to-day living than prophecies and the Mayan calendar. So, without coming up with new information, I decided to write a mystery/thriller novel focusing on the crystal skull.” The story centers on a couple who visit the region and find themselves caught up in a strange struggle with U.S. government agents for another crystal skull — reputed to hold the key to free energy. “I had some interesting experiences in Belize and met some fascinating characters, which I incorporated into the novel,” Sullivan wrote. “As I began writing, I saw similarities between the rise and fall of the Mayan civilization and that of the Ancestral Puebloans, or the Anasazi, of the Four Corners region. So I tied them together.” Sullivan’s novel can also be downloaded or read electronically for $5 through his website:

On Your (Last) Calendar: Mayan Sleepovers
Before the Mayan calendar ends in December, travelers to Belize can pay homage to the indigenous culture in overnight stays at the Caracol archaeological site. Organized by Belize’s National Institute of Culture and History, the sleepovers take place on solstice and equinox dates — June 20, Sept. 21 and Dec. 20 — at the site, in the country’s Cayo district. The stay begins with a pre-sunset tour led by Dr. Jaime Awe, who directed the excavation and restoration of Caracol in the 1980s. Dinner and breakfast are included in the $150 fee (, but a good night’s sleep is not. In the middle of the night, shamans wake campers with drumbeats, calling them to a Mayan fire ceremony, which lasts until dawn.

A Scientist's 20-Year Quest To Defeat Dengue Fever
This summer, my big idea is to explore the big ideas of science. Instead of just reporting science as results — the stuff that's published in scientific journals and covered as news — I want to take you inside the world of science. I hope I'll make it easier to understand how science works, and just how cool the process of discovery and innovation really is. A lot of science involves failure, but there are also the brilliant successes, successes that can lead to new inventions, new tools, new drugs — things that can change the world That got me thinking that I wanted to dive deeper into the story of an Australian scientist named Scott O'Neill. Scott had come up a clever new way for combating dengue fever. Dengue is a terrible disease. It sickens tens of millions and kills tens of thousands. There's no cure, no vaccine and pretty much no way to prevent it. It's one of those diseases transmitted by a mosquito, like malaria. About 20 years ago, a lot of scientists got excited about the idea of genetically modifying mosquitoes so they couldn't transmit these diseases. People are still pursuing this approach. But I thought genetically modifying mosquitoes would be really hard to do. Even if you were able to make these disease-blocking mosquitoes in the lab, I didn't see how you would ever get them to survive in the wild, and displace the disease-transmitting mosquitoes that were already there. There was also a societal problem with the scheme. Most people probably wouldn't be thrilled about having swarms of genetically modified mosquitoes released in their backyards.

'Eliminate Dengue' Team Has A Deep (Lab) Bench
Every profession has its symbols of success. For opera singers, it's performing at La Scala or the Met. For mountain climbers it's making it to the top of Everest. For scientists, if you get two papers published in the same issue of a prestigious journal like Nature, you're hot. So when an Australian named Scott O'Neill had two papers published in Nature last year describing his big idea for combating a disease called dengue, the world took notice. O'Neill is a medical entomologist and dean of the faculty of science at Monash University in Melbourne. "We were getting bombarded by people around the world, from different governments, wanting us to come work in their countries because people are so desperate for something to try and stop dengue," says O'Neill. Dengue is nasty. It's transmitted by a mosquito and can be a deadly disease. But even if it doesn't kill you, it knocks you out with a week or more of high fever and a pounding headache. Billions of people around the world are at risk for getting dengue if they get bitten by a mosquito carrying the dengue virus. O'Neill's big idea for stopping dengue didn't involve a vaccine or a medicine. Instead, it involved attacking the mosquito that transmits the disease. There are two parts to the idea. First, find a way to treat mosquitoes in the lab so they could no longer transmit dengue. That took him more than a decade to figure out.

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