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6/21/2012 to 7/10/2012
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July 10, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Three dead in shootout on northern Ambergris Caye
The Police Department held a press conference today Monday July 9th to disclose details relating to a shooting incident that occurred on northern Ambergris Caye in the Bacalar Chico National Park area near Rocky Point. The shooting incident is as a result of a special operation conducted by joint armed forces along the coastline of northern Ambergris Caye. During the incident three people were shot and killed. One of the victims has been identified as 18 year old Kendal Flowers of a Yarborough Area in Belize City. The other two people remain unidentified, and are described only as Hispanics. According to Police, sometime around 6AM on Saturday, July 7th, the special armed forces were on a special operation that was launched some 17 miles north of San Pedro Town. The operation was concentrated within a ten mile range from Boca Bacalar Chico south to Rocky Point located in the Bacalar Chico National Park. “The operation was launched as a result of information gained on armed groups operating in this area acting hostile to elements of the community causing them to fear for their lives and welfare. The security forces recognizing that this was our direct responsibility launched an operation to clear the area of any forces that were indeed operating in this area, armed or unarmed, as long as they were acting hostile or conducting elicit or illegal activity,” said the Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard John Borland. According to Borland, the operation started at the Boca Bacalar Chico (Belize-Mexico Border at the tip of Ambergris Caye) and progressed on foot southwards concentrated within ten miles.

Flavours of Belize Cookbook launched
With over 120 Authentic recipes, from delectable soups and starters to main courses and desserts, Flavors Of Belize Features specialties of the Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Chinese, Caribbean, Lebanese And the British. This Incredible cookbook also captures the influences of Belize’s Rich history and culture, ingredients and cooking styles from far and wide. With Detailed recipes and beautiful photographs, your kitchen can now be home to the same delicious dishes that have made Belizean Cuisine famous around the world. “Whenever I travel, I‘m reminded just how incredible Belizean Food is,” says Tanya McNab, Publisher and the creative force behind the making of Flavors of Belize. “I wanted to offer every interested cook around the globe a complete, authoritative hardcover cookbook on the best of our delicious cuisine,” she says. Flavors of Belize Is the perfect gift for every Belizean cook, and it makes a wonderfully unique gift for friends and family living abroad who want the taste sensations of home and to experience the best of Belize At breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Ambergris Today

Three Men Dead After Armed Forces Operations Intercept Illegal Activity
Shocking news of a shootout around the northernmost isolated areas of North Ambergris Caye, near the Mexican border, were heard over the weekend as authorities came across some illegal activity taking place around the Rocky Point area. The Police Press Office has sent out this report on the incident: On Saturday, July 7, 2012, about 3:30p.m. a joint Armed Forces Operation was launched about one mile North of the Rocky Point area on Ambergris Caye, Belize, where they saw four male persons near the coastline behaving suspicious. As a result, the joint operation stormed the area where the male persons opened fire at the members of the joint operation who took cover in the nearby bushes and returned fire. The exchange of fire lasted about ten minutes after which the joint operation conducted a search of the surroundings where they found the motionless bodies of two Hispanic males. One male was described as having a low haircut, wearing a black T-Shirt, an aqua boxers, a camouflage jacket and pants, no foot wear with apparent gunshot wounds and the second male was wearing a black T-shirt, an orange boxer, a camouflage jacket and pants, a black Air brand right foot tennis shoe with two suspected gunshot wounds. The body of a dark complexioned Creole descent male was also found. He had twisted hair wearing a light blue boxer, a camouflage jacket and pants and a black pair of protege brand tennis shoes. He has since been identified as 18-year-old Kendal Flowers, of the Yarborough Area in Belize City who is known by Belize City Police and affiliated to one of the gangs in Belize City. A fourth person of Hispanic descent was seen running away from the area in the nearby bushes. A search was conducted in order to apprehend this person, but it resulted without progress. At the scene, where the three male persons were lying motionless, the joint operations team found (1) M-16 Rifle S/N 4806071, (2) M4 Carbine Rifles S/N unknown, (7) 9mm Aguila brand live rounds ammunitions, (21) .223 REM brand, (24) .223 WCC brand, (9) .223 Aguila brand and (1) .223 LC08 brand - making it a total of (115) .223 live rounds of ammunition, (4) 30 rounds capacity empty magazine, (1) 20 rounds capacity empty magazine, (21) 5.56 expended shells, (7) .223 expended shells, (2) black bullet proof vest, (2) black BUSH NELL brand binoculars, (1) camouflage jacket, (369) grams of cannabis and (1) 9 mm empty magazine were found and confiscated by the police. Commander of the Belize Coast Guard Elton Bennett reported that the M-16 Rifle with serial number 4806071 is one that went missing from the Belize Defense Force headquarters last year.

Costa Maya Festival 2012 Presents Miss Nicaragua
The International Costa Maya Festival is happy to announce Miss Nicaragua, Ivey Jellisa Alvarez Hunter, vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012. Ivey is 20 years old, 5’6?, and is fluent in English and Spanish. Let us all welcome Ivey to this year’s International Costa Maya Festival. She will join seven other contestants from around the Mundo Maya countries, including Belize, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama Rica, at the Miss Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant (August 2, 2012) that will take place during the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival taking place from August 2 to August 5, 2012.

Mel Spain Takes Lead of San Pedro Lions Club
“I believe in working hard and having fun at the same time…and I take this leadership position to promote more Lionistic action within our community,” commented Mel Spain as she was officially sworn in as the new Lion President this past Saturday, July 7, 2012, along with her new board of directors for the club. It was a historic event for the San Pedro Lions Club as this is the first time the club has elected a female president for three consecutive terms. Lion members from Belize City and neighboring Chetumal, Mexico attended the installation ceremonies. Outgoing president Marina Kay commented on all the great work the club did during her leadership and she was especially proud of bringing back the Leos Club and involving the youth into Lionism. She welcomed Mel Spain and pledged her support to her and the club.

San Pedro Junior College Graduates 20!
Saturday, July 7, 2012, the San Pedro Junior College held its graduation ceremony at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium, under the distinguished patronage of Mr. and Mrs. Alfonso Castillo. Twenty proud graduates walked down the isle as their family and guests recieved them with a standing ovation. The graduates had the previelege of receving inspiring words from guest speaker Mr. Jahmor Lopes, District Education Manager for Belize District. Ambergris Today congratulates all the graduates on their grand accomplishment.

Anita's Baby Shower
Saturday, July 7, 2012 Anita Paz celebrated her baby shower with her friends and family. The beautiful zebra decorated themed shower was full of fun and exciting games entertaining the guests. Congratulations to Anita and Manuel!

Dying Arts Of Fishermen -Heart-Shaped Fish Wire Traps #2
Besides the art of knitting gill nets, another dying art is that of the heart-shaped fish wire traps constructed along the coastline. In fact, San Pedro has gone from about 25 wire traps to about four or five at the most. For about one thousand dollars, you can build yourself a fish trap, which may yield three to four thousand dollars during one season. This all depends on the location, how hard you work your trap and of course your "good luck". First get all your building materials to erect a brand new fish trap. 1 roll chicken wire - 4 feet wide for the tail 2. I roll chicken wire - 6 feet wide for heart 3. 200 poles - about 7 & 8 feet in length 4. 2 or 3 rolls tying wire. 5. A pair of pliers

San Pedro High School Peace Corp Volunteers in the 1970's
This is a funny photo with lots of historical, fond memories. This Peace Corps volunteer in 1975 would do anything for his San Pedro High School students. He taught three subjects, coached sports, directed choir, personally built the first science lab, offered night studies, did his own laundry, decorated the church, decorated for prom, chaperoned the first prom in 1976, cooked for the musical band and he would have celebrated mass but was not authorized to do so. His name is Jerry Doetzer. This day he was detention supervisor of Chris Nuñez, Bob Krueger, Odilia Nuñez and Milly Castillo so Jerry climbed the post to indicate that he would keep a close eye on them. The site is presently the property of Alijua Building since SPHS was using a small wood building lent to the school by Mr. Apolono ‘Tuto’ Alamilla (RIP), a school benefactor. NOTE: All of today’s teachers can learn a lesson from Jerry Doetzer.

San Pedro High School Peace Corp Volunteers in the 1970's
Sunday, July 8, 2012, The San Pedro High School Baseball Team gathered at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium, where they all had the previledge to meet Mr. Chris Bonnet from International Sports Outreach. Mr. Bonnet had some very inspiring words and experiences to share with the team and also was very proud to know that they are the first ever baseball team in the country of Belize. The SPHS Baseball team was very honored to have received a huge donation of equipment from Mr. Bonnet. Mr. Marion Mejia (Coach and Manager), Mr. Paul Kelly and Mr. Derrick Jones shared some kind words and gave thanks to Mr. Bonnet for contribution to the team. The SPHS Baseball Team and coaches Marion Mejia, Paul Kelly, Derrick Jones, Mario Hernandez and Johnito Majerrez would like to extend a huge thanks to their partners Dave and Jo Nisbet, Mark Tatko (International Sports Outreach).

San Pedro's Island Cowboy
In San Pedro there are many different people from all walks of life, but some of them stand out more than others. We have our own unique characters on the island such as Paisano (deceased), Coconut Leo and now The Island Cowboy. I had the opportunity of meeting Michael Gillett, The Island Cowboy, and chatting with him about his unique bicycle that he rides around town with. The humble cowboy gave me a brief description on how he customized his bicycle with the help of some friends in San Ignacio, Cayo. This amazing Cowboy is known for his dress code and, most of all, his unique bicycle that he rides around town (trust me it is so difficult to ride the bike, it took me a while to get the hang of it). Many tourists and locals enjoy taking pictures and talking to him. Next time you are in San Pedro keep a look out for The Island Cowboy.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize To Get Four Seasons Resort
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has confirmed that an agreement will shortly be signed to bring to bring a Four Seasons Resort to Belize with Arab funding. Speaking in a radio broadcast interview today Mr. Barrow said that his government has given the go ahead for the Qatar Sovereign Fund to take over the small island of Caye Chapel off the coast of Belize City and establish Belize’s first 5 star luxury hotel. “We have given the go ahead. Negotiations are all but finalized and the details of the investment are being worked on between the Qatar Sovereign Fund and the Belize Bank Limited, who have the island on their foreclosed properties portfolio,” said Mr. Barrow. The Prime Minister added that the developers will make an investment of US $125. million and bring much needed jobs to the area.

Flying fish management plan coming for Eastern Caribbean
A management plan for the sustainable harvesting of flying fish among the islands of the eastern Caribbean has been developed. (Photo: BELMOPAN, Belize; Monday July 9, 2012 – A management plan for the sustainable harvesting of flying fish among the islands of the eastern Caribbean has been developed for implementation by the middle of next year according to the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). In a release issued to report on the eighth CRFM Scientific Meeting, which took place recently in Kingstown in the St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the regional fisheries organization revealed that it had developed this plan in collaboration with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission. The CRFM said once implemented, this management plan would “represent a landmark achievement for formal regional cooperation in the management of a shared fishery resource among countries of the Eastern Caribbean”

Cayo Christian Academy Community Outreach
The Cayo Christian Academy has some pictures from their community outreach at More Tomorrow Primary School and Octavia Waight Centre. Thanks, CCA!

Miss Belize Jewely Photoshoot
The Miss Belize delegates did a photoshoot where they showcased some of Eye Candy's high end jewelry. Looks nice! Congratulations again to Cayo's Destinee Arnold, the new Queen of the Jewel.

Summer Art Wave Classes
Benque's House of Culture is starting their Summer Art Wave classes tomorrow. They will be teaching entrepreneur skills for the craft industry, and tomorrow kicks off the Weaving and Basketry courses, which will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 5:00 through August 2nd. Call 823-2597 for more information. Thanks, NICH! "The Summer Art Wave Courses are here once more to enhance entrepreneur skills in the Craft Industry, starting soon during the month of July & August 2012"

Cayo Twist Ice Cream
Whether you want a float, sundae, shake, cone, or even a quart, Cayo Twist is the spot. They've got banana splits and Blizzards too! Their ice cream is great for diabetics too. They're open Thursdays and Fridays from 6:00 to 9:30, and Saturdays and Sundays from 5:00 to 9:30. Get your quarts to last you through the week.

Channel 7

Police/Coast Gaud/BDF Kill 3 In Firefight On Northern Ambergris
San Pedro may be Belize's tourist mecca, but some 20 miles up the coast in the vast, mostly unoccupied terrain of Northern Ambergris Caye - the bloodsport of what's called "kilo" fishing, and hunting is a deadly pursuit. That's where more than a few errant drug drops intended for southern Mexico have been known to wash up. And whenever there's cocaine floating in the water - those in the drug business or the "come-up-quick" business start circling like sharks. And it's reports of that kind of dangerous circling that got the Police, the BDF and the Coast Guard to spearhead an operation on Saturday. It ended in a spectacular showdown - a firefight between lawmen and outlaws - that left three of those outlaws dead - even though they were armed to the teeth - with assault rifles courtesy of the BDF. How did that happen? It's part of one of the most extraordinary law enforcement engagements in recent memory. Jules Vasquez has the story:..

Family Says Loved One Was Executed By Lawmen
And while law enforcement units are privately calling it a victory - the family of Kendale Flowers is bitterly angry. They say police executed their 18 year old loved one. We visited the area today and found angry resentment for police - in a place that death has visited far too often:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 18 year old Kendale Tulu Flowers lived here at the corner of Caesar Ridge and Fabers Road - in the public housing known as the Long Barracks. His two brothers, Meldrick and Peter " Jambwai"- also both lived here - and they were killed in 2007 and 2012, respectively - both victims of gang warfare and gun violence. They were the three sons of Shelmadine "Shemmy" Middleton - and all are now dead. Shelmadine

Delivery Man Shot In Face During Robbery Attempt
34 year-old Marty Goff, a Belize City deliveryman, is currently in critical condition at the KHMH after he was shot in the face by 2 men who were attempting to rob him. According to police, he was making a delivery at the YM Store, which is located on M&M Street. He exited the vehicle, and he was ambushed by 2 men who attacked and shot him in an attempt to rob him of his company's proceeds. He was rushed to the hospital, and 7News arrived on the scene shortly after. We spoke to a very upset resident, who asked to appear off-camera. She told us that she felt angry and upset for an innocent man - whom she has no relation to - and whose life was treated as trivial. Here's how she described what she saw: Resident "My son and my nephew went to the shop; they had just entered the yard. Seconds after that I heard a gunshot went off. I told my son to get down low; when I look I didn't see no one running or anything. A little after that I heard someone saying call the police. When I came outside I saw a helpless man on the street that was doing his job, who gets up every day.

Cumberbatch Convicted
28 year-old Knox Cumberbatch, a man who was charged with 3 counts of attempted murder, was convicted on all counts this afternoon before Justice Adolph Lucas. The 3 key witnesses were the men who accused Cumberbatch of the offenses. The only victim, who was shot, Uwani Nunez, testified that in July of 2007, he was hanging out his 2 friends on the Central Park basketball court when Cumberbatch and one of his friends got into an argument. According to Nunez, Cumberbatch left the court and returned with a firearm and shot him in the right hip. The prosecution called the victim's 2 friends who with him. They testified that when Cumberbatch attempted to ride away on bicycle, he had difficulty because of the beach sand. They said that they were able to wrestle with him, and detain him until police arrived to officially arrest him. Cumberbatch, who was unrepresented, gave a dock statement placing himself on the scene of the shooting that day, but he gave a completely different story.

Man Chopped, Left For Dead, Survives In Ditch After 20 Hours
A man is in critical condition at the KHMH tonight after he was viciously chopped up on Thursday night and left in a ditch to die. It happened in Benque Viejo on Thursday night. 40 year old Abner Segura a San Ignacio Resident and employee of Blancaneux resort had gone into Benque to have a few drinks with friends. They went their own way - and it is believed that sometime between 9:00 and 10:00 Segura was walking home when he was attacked. He was robbed on his cell phone, wallet, wedding ring and other jewelry - and he was also chopped across his hands and in his head. Then, he was thrown in a remote ditch near the Benque border. When he didn't get home that night - the family started searching for him in Cayo. But it wouldn't be until Friday afternoon at around five pm that a young girl happened upon him in the ditch. 20 rainy hours after being assaulted, he was still alive, but just barely; he had been bleeding all night and was in a very bad way. According to the family - his blood count was close to zero. He underwent surgery for the injury to the head which cracked his skull - and is in the intensive care unit. He is on a respirator and his prognosis is guarded.

Entire Family Remanded For Ammunition
43 year-old Romie Anthony, her son, 24 year-old Amir Anthony, and her 14 year-old daughter are all on remand tonight after they were taken to the Magistrate's Court for unlicensed ammunition. According to police, on last week Friday, July 6, they searched the Anthony residence at #7796 Lacroix Boulevard. When the officers checked the flooring of the house, they found three 16-gauge shotgun cartridges in a black plastic bag, and as a result, they charged all 3 family members with keeping unlicensed ammunition. They were taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning, where they all pleaded not guilty to the charges. Due to the nature of the offense, Senior Magistrate Frazer could not grant them bail, and as a result, Romie and Amir Anthony were remanded to prison, while the 14 year-old minor was remanded to the Youth Hostel. They are to return to Magistrate's Court on August 9.

Troubleshooting Transport: Castro Takes Bus To Bus
Everyone has their own idea of what's wrong with the bus system - and a good number of them are right - because there's so much wrong. Of course, one of the things that wrong is that many of the decision-makers in the Transport Departments don't know the first thing about busses because they don't ride them. But, the new Minister of Transport Edmund "Clear the Land" Castro decided he wanted a hands on feel. Today, 7News accompanied him as he decided to tour the current runs of the bus owners who currently have licenses. It is now the time of the renewal of those licenses. It's is part of his "Undercover Boss" attempt to get a feel for what the ordinary commuter experiences with the problems the portolio now faces.

U-19 Softballers Blast Federation
Early this year, the Softball Federation of Belize invited Belize's best under - 19 softballers to try out for the national team - which would compete later this month in regional games in Nicaragua. Over 20 young women signed up for the 18 slots - and they have been participating in weekly workouts at the Rogers Stadium. That was until Saturday morning when they were notified by their coach that the trip to the tournament had been cancelled - just like that. Well, they marched straight over to our studio to tell us that they were very disappointed and very angry. Here's what they said:.. Arneek Baptist, U-19 Tryout "Our coach read a memo saying that the federation says that they don't have the amount of money to send us - they don't have $20,000.00 to waste on us, so they will not send us outside, they will leave us in Belize because they say that we are not ready. But we work out on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday." Jules Vasquez "But all of you guys showed up for work out?" Arneek Baptist, U-19 Tryout "Some people come all the way from down south, Orange Walk and all different places they come to work out, they don't give us money for passage. Do you know the amount of money we have to pay to work out in Belize for them to tell us this this morning."

Basketball On The Blacktop
The Sprite and Belikin three on three tournament for the Belize district was played on Saturday on the blacktop at the River Tavern Parking Lot. The turnout was disappointing - and it rained, but still it was an encouraging start of a promising new type of competition - in which Belize can compete internationally. 7 news was there and we spoke with the organizer and a few of the players:.. Paul Thompson - President, Belize Basketball Federation "Today as we said we have good energy. Now everyone will know what it is we were talking about when we say 3 by 3 basketball. This is a great atmosphere; I believe this is a perfect parking lot for this. I have participated in one before in the United States and this as good as it gets anywhere in the world. So everyone knows now what type of basketball game this; 3 by 3." Cassian "Russian" Flowers, Team Yabra "The caliber of ball we used to play with back then - we still have it, in the league we got edge up in age but that still doesn't matter. People can come out and enjoy themselves and face us in a competition. We are willing to compete."

Queen Of The Jewel Named
On Saturday night, the Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize Pageant was held at Bliss Institute. 9 participants competed against each other in 6 categories. At the end, Destiny Dominique Arnold was chosen by a panel of the judges as the 2012 Queen of the Jewel. Today, 7News caught up with Miss Arnold, and she described for us what it means to be the current holder of that title. Destiny Dominique Arnold, Queen of the Jewel "I became the Queen of the Jewel through hard work and dedication. We started the process maybe 3 weeks ago and we travel around the country to various locations such as Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Cayo and we went through training courses on how to walk, how to talk, how to act and now I am here." "I am now the beauty ambassador for Belize and I will represent our country in various places of the world and hopefully I can show people the beauty I see in our country and that's going to be my job for this year."

Channel 5

Military Operation kills 3 men who had stolen B.D.F. weapon
Three persons were killed on Saturday… but before you think it was the regular gang related violence in Belize City, it was not. A joint patrol of the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard engaged in a full scale battle with armed civilians who brandished similar weapons as well as both regular caliber [...]

Belize City resident one of men killed on San Pedro
The investigation is spawning into a multi-agency effort as now the police have a clear link to the forty-two weapons that were stolen from the B.D.F.’s storehouse at Price Barracks in October 2011. For that to succeed, the identities of the two other deceased men must also be confirmed. The police have identified Kendale Flowers [...]

Robbers try to kill truck driver
And though Belize City still lost a resident to gun fire, Flower’s death will not be recorded as a murder. The streets were relatively tame over the weekend but this afternoon another resident, Marty Goff of Gill Street was gunned down. Our last check with his family revealed that he is fighting for his life. [...]

Bar fight leaves man in critical condition
Goff is not the only Belize City resident fighting for his life, another man is in critical condition at the K.H.M.H. after he was stabbed over the weekend. On Sunday evening around four, Salvadoran national, twenty-nine year old Jose Azueta, was involved in a fight on Newtown Barracks when he was stabbed to the left [...]

Cumberbatch Guilty of Attempted Murder on island
Shortly after midday today, a jury of nine persons went into the deliberating room to discuss the case of twenty-eight year old Knox Cumberbatch, who was on trial for Attempted Murder. Two hours later, they returned before Justice Adolph Lucas and announced that Cumberbatch was found guilty of trying to kill Uwani Nunez, Leroy Ramos [...]

Analyst says time to “Know Your Budget”
The 2012/2013 budget will be debated shortly. News Five has spoken to an analyst who has delved into the details of the budget book. In the series presented by the analyst called “Know Your Budget”, the expert says that there is key emphasis that Belize’s economy is export driven. This means we depend largely on [...]

Road to Jalacte experience mudslide
The road to Jalacte Village, near the southern border in the Toledo District had to be closed after a mudslide on Sunday night. The road is currently undergoing infrastructural upgrades, being done by Cisco Construction. But one of the hills in the area that were cut through as part of the works collapsed, presumably due [...]

Phone companies ready to turn off unregistered phones
Though it doesn’t really compare, a lot of people across the country may feel the digital age’s earth shifting and collapsing under their feet. The super information highway is often travelled not on a desktop computer, but on a cellular phone. Conversing, texting, emailing, and paying bills are only some of the ways in which [...]

3 persons missing: 2 girls and 1 male adult
Three persons, including two young girls are reported missing. On Friday, fourteen year old Roxanne Hernandez left her grandmother’s home in Dangriga and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Roxanne, who is from the Youth Hostel, reportedly packed a bag of clothes and left the house in the company of another girl. The minor [...]

Police capture Welcome with over 25,000 grams of weed
An early morning patrol in the Benque Viejo area netted cannabis amounting to fifty-five and a half pounds. On Sunday morning Benque Police were on mobile patrol in the Lomas Del Rodeo area when a pickup truck made a sudden stop and two men exited. One of men, who had a red sack in his [...]

Protecting girls vulnerable to predators
Trafficking in persons is considered a crime that often goes under the radar, but its presence in Belize has not been overlooked. Earlier this year, the country’s first human trafficking convictions were recorded when two Cayo women were found guilty in separate cases for recruiting teenage girls to become prostitutes. The Anti-trafficking in Persons (ATIPS) [...]

Human Trafficking in Belize; how to legislate change
At this morning’s launch, Ministry of Human Development C.E.O., Judith Alpuche, acknowledged that Belize maintained its tier two status on the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report for 2012, which means that country is making strides but there is still work to be done. The report looks at the three P’s of fighting trafficking [...]

The New Miss Belize and the candidate disqualified after a fight
On Friday we introduced you to the candidates vying to be the next Miss Belize. The pageant was held at the Bliss Auditorium in Belize City on Saturday night and the winner was Roaring Creek’s Destinee Arnold. It was a well attended pageant, but not everyone appreciated the outcome. There was a physical fight, a [...]

James Adderley’s groundbreaking sports update
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The torrential downpour over the weekend put a hurt on the sporting scene here in the Jewel. Much interest had been focused on the Harrison Parks cricket semi-finals showdown between Excellence of Double Head and Brilliant of Crooked Tree on Saturday but the rains [...]


After two and a half months without running water, resident of Cristo Rey village in the Cayo district got relief over the weekend. On Saturday evening a replacement pump was installed and the village’s water system restored. The restoration work started on Thursday a...

The Lions Club of San-Pedro has appointed a new President and they are optimistic and excited about plans going forward. Love News spoke by telephone with the new president, Mel Spain. MEL SPAIN, President of San Pedro Lions Club “Well it’s a privilege an...

We now join Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu for an event held at the Dangriga Library. HARRY ARZU, Reporter “The annual Ignacio Cacho Library Summer camp is currently underway at the Dangriga library. Librarian, Beverly Marin told Love News that the obj...

The body of a man that was recovered from the Mopan River in San Jose Succotz on Saturday Morning has been identified as that of Manuel Perez Lopez, a Mexican National who was employed by the Guatemalan Mechanical rides presently in Benque Viejo Del Carmen for their annual Benque Fiest...

Eight deserving primary school leaving students will receive high school scholarships, five south side youths of Belize City will be afforded an opportunity to become proficient small craft sailors and some 60 under-privileged youths will be hosted at a grass roots Summer Camp du...

A drug bust in Benque has led to the discovery of a large sum of Cannabis. According to Police, they attempted to stop a silver two door Nissan Pickup truck yesterday around six thirty am in the Lomas del Rodeo Area in Benque Viejo Town but the vehicle sped off. When police...

An armed Robbery was reported this morning in Punta Gorda. Our Toledo Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “The armed robbery happened at the King’s Service Station at the northern entrance of town at about 6:15 AM. Th...

The debate on the 2012-2013 fiscal budget opens on Wednesday in Belmopan. It is anticipated to be one of the more robust debates in recent times, as the House of Representatives considers a Bill where the administration of Prime Minister Dean Barrow is proposing to spend seven hu...


Hit and Run Accident OnThe Northern Highway Claims The Life of One Man
Last night the Northern Highway played witness to a hit and run accident that claimed the life of 56 year old Tower Hill resident Isabel Carballo. The horrific accident occurred around 8:30 last night between miles 50 and 51 of the Northern Highway between the junction of BSI and the Guinea Grass Road. When we arrived at the scene Carballo’s dismantled body had already been taken to the Northern Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. At the scene of the accident a member of the fire department washed Carballo’s blood from the pavement while pieces of what appeared to be the victim’s brain were still visible on the highway. Reports are that the victims head was run over several times by oncoming vehicles before a driver stopped to render aid, but it was too late, Carballo was already dead. According to the driver of the vehicle he was coming from the Tower Hill Area when he came upon the body lying in the middle of the highway and immediately called the police. Investigations have revealed that Carballo was walking on the left hand side of the highway from a north to south direction when he was hit by a vehicle travelling from an unknown direction. Police investigations continue.

Fifty Year Old Gone Missing Family Fears The Worst
Fifty year old Raphael Torres left home almost three weeks ago and since then no one has seen or heard from him. According to family members, on Saturday morning at around 6:00, Torres, who is from the Louisiana Area, left home en route to Belize City. At that time he had just been hired by an individual to be their cook on board a vessel that would be heading out to sea. Torres was to return home in two weeks time but it’s been three weeks and his family is unaware of his whereabouts. Lucy Novelo, Sister “Yo solo quería decir que si alguien lega a saber de el que por favor se comuniqué con nosotros porque mi mama esta enferma y esta llorando a su hijo y ella quiere saber. Ayer que ella supo la noticia que su hijo no fue a trabajar ella quedo muy preocupada y todos queremos saber adonde se encuentra porque no sabemos de el. Mi papa esta enfermito y también el quiere saber de su hijo. Mi hermano todos lo conocen porque el le gusta tomar y así pero mi mama dice que ella todo su pensamiento que su hijo esta trabajando. Ella dice que le fue a preguntar a la señora donde el fue y ella dijo que mi hermano lego en donde estaba la plebe y el dijo que va a regresar y dejo su bolsa de ropa. La señora dice que a el lo estaban esperando y nunca regreso y la gente lo dejaron. Eso es todo lo que sabemos de el.” If you have any information on the whereabouts of Torres you are asked to contact his family at telephone numbers 670-3035, 666-0031, or 653-8077 or the nearest police station.

Shots Fired In The Louisiana Area No One Is Injured
The peace and quite of the Louisiana Area was once again interrupted as shots rang out last night. We say again because on Wednesday night several gun shots were heard coming from Royal Palm and Humming Bird Street located in the Louisiana Area. At the scene police found 6 expended shells believed to belong to a 9mm pistol. Luckily no one was injured and to date all that is known is that a man dressed in dark clothing was seen in area on bicycle. Minutes after the shots rang out the individual was seen leaving the area with what appeared to be a gun in hand. That was on Wednesday and around 8:30 last night residents of the Louisiana Area this time those living along Liberty Avenue were shaken out of their wits as a barrage of bullets rang out into the night. According to an eye witness, the shooting involved two individuals who were riding separate bicycles. The first shooter was allegedly wearing a black shirt and he rode up from Boundary Road to Liberty Avenue while the second man who was wearing a white shirt was riding in the opposite direction. The witness claims the two men met face to face at the junction of Liberty Avenue and Boundary Road and that’s when both men drew out their guns and fired at each other.

Supply of Electricity Interupted In The Orange Walk District
We start tonight’s newscast by apologising to our daily viewers for not airing the news on Friday. As the stories were being prepared, including the budget presentation, the supply of electricity was interrupted in the entire Orange Walk District. Here at home, we were unable to continue with the preparation of the news due to faults on our backup power supply system. Those stories; however, will be aired tonight. According to the Belize Electricity Limited, at around 3:22 in the afternoon power supply was lost when a system interruption was experienced on the distribution line which provides electricity to the entire district. BEL workers identified that the supply of electricity was interrupted due to a damaged lightning arrestor within the Buena Vista Substation. Equipment within the substation was reconfigured to remove the damaged lightning arrestor from the circuit and at 7:20p.m power supply was restored to the entire Orange Walk District.

Fire Leaves Family Homeless
Tonight an entire family is homeless after a raging fire consumed their house on Saturday Night. Twenty one year old Indira Peters braved the fire in order to save her one year old daughter who was in the house sleeping. Tonight Peters and her two children are lodging at a friend’s house and the only possession they have now is the clothes on their back. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the story. Hipolito Novelo, Reporter The fire started at about 11:45pm on Saturday night inside one of the bedrooms located in the upper flat of this building located on Rio Grande Street in the Louisiana Area. The ferocious fire completely destroyed the entire upper floor made of wood. The fire then crept down to the lower flat which is made of concrete and burnt every single object that was inside. This was the home of 21 year old Indira Peters and her two children. On the night of the inferno Peters was playing dominoes on the veranda w

Barrow Presents 2012/2013 Budget
Barrow Presents 2012/2013 Budget On Friday Prime Minister Honorable Dean Barrow presented his 42 page budget speech which he titled, “Exercising Discipline While Preserving Growth”. Barrow presented a BZ$937.9 million tax free budget to Parliament citing importance on national security and education with a projected deficit of BZ$75.2 million. As the title suggests, the Barrow administration plans to develop the country in a constraining atmosphere. Hipolito Novelo, Reporting On Friday morning Prime Minister Dean Barrow managed to table the country’s 2012/2013 fiscal budget at the House of Representatives in Belmopan. The presentation of the national budget inevitably involved a mass of fact figures and details which made up the core of the Prime Ministers speech. At the beginning of his presentation Barrow out rightly claimed that despite the ongoing global financial and economic crisis the local economy is performing well.

Caribbean Regional HIV/ AIDS Testing Day Celebrated In O/W
The Caribbean Regional HIV/AIDS Testing Day 2012 was observed today in 20 countries as part of the worldwide activities to promote HIV testing. Regional Testing Day was initiated by the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS in 2008, with support from Scotia Bank in collaboration with the Pan Caribbean Partnership on HIV/AIDS (PANCAP). The HIV/AIDS epidemic has had a profound impact on the Caribbean region, the second-most affected region in the world, after Sub-Saharan Africa, and the most affected in the Americas. AIDS is a leading cause of death among 15-44 year-olds in the region. Today the 5th annual regional testing day in Orange Walk was celebrated at the Queen Elizabeth Park where the testing centre was set up and opened to the general public. Today I visited the testing site and spoke to Medical Chief of Staff from the Northern Regional Hospital, Jair Osorio who gave us a run down on all the different tests that were available today free of cost. Jair Osorio, Medical Chief of Staff NRH “What we are having here now is the Orange Walk HIV committee that came out today in collaboration with Northern Regional Hospital, Belize Family Life Association and other organizations from the community. Here we are providing HIV testing as well as other tests. It’s actually a health fair we are having. We’re doing glucose testing, blood level, blood type, blood pressure checks, and weight checks. So we are trying to provide all of that free of cost to any person that is interested.”


Shoot-out at sea, 3 dead, arsenal of weapons discovered
Three persons were shot and killed on Saturday on the open waters near the north of San Pedro. It all began when th...

Family of shoot-out victim furious with operation turnout
As we reported earlier in this newscast, one of the men killed by authorities on Saturday was Kendale Flowers. Agai...

Tournament brings out veteran and junior ballers
The Belize District leg of the Belize Basketball Federation's men's 3x3 tournaments for U18 and seniors was held th...

Recondev laying off workers
Reliable sources tell Plusnews that the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, better know as Recondev, has la...

Body of Mexican national retrieved from Mopan River
Benque police were busy this weekend as they also had to carry off the body of a man who was found floating in the ...

Man shot in the face, listed in critical condition
A man was shot in the face this afternoon in Belize City. It happened just after one o’clock at the corner of M&M S...

Man, 59, missing from Roaring Creek
A man has been missing since June 29th and his family has filed a missing persons report. 59 year old Mary Wright, ...

Missing Guatemalan found dead
A 79 year old Guatemalan farmer was found dead on Sunday. 79 year old Guatemalan Santiago, a resident of Aguacate V...

Gunmen steal vehicle from Forestry Department
We’ve all heard reports of the increase in the theft of government Hilux pickups. We have another government vehicl...

Robber caught on tape
A thief made off with five hundred dollars from a Punta Gorda service station, but not before making a quick cameo

Caye Caulker Chronicles

The AMAZING production crew…
The AMAZING production crew of the “Women of Caye Caulker” documentary appears in the photo below. The island of Caye Caulker owes a humongous debt of gratitude to these outstanding and selfless professional volunteers who are preserving the legacy of our Caye Caulker women for generations to come. If you pass them on the street, please say thanks. Words cannot express the pricelessness of this gift: the preservation of our island’s history, in oral and video form. Volunteers, we love you!

Banned in Belize
Belize is proud to have the longest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. But in 2010, the tiny country faced a huge problem — the potential loss of the reef’s UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Already under threat from coastal development, pollution and climate change, the reef’s species were being depleted by bottom-dragging fish trawlers. Local fishermen operating from small boats complained they were being prevented form making a living by what many critics call the maritime equivalent of strip mining or clear-cut logging. With miles-long nets that scrape the ocean bottom, a trawling fleet can strip the ocean bare, making no distinction between food fish and any other species of plant and animal. A report revealed that 60 per cent of the reef, which is vital habitat for fish, was in poor to critical condition – and only eight per cent was in good condition. This highly destructive form of fishing also jeopardised a major source of revenue from tourism – the country’s number one foreign exchange earner. More than 200,000 tourists visit the Caribbean country each year, mainly to dive or fish. In December 2010, Belize became one of the world’s first nations to ban trawling in its waters. Forgoing the revenues from fees and taxes provided by trawling fleets, political and business leaders decided that long-term economic prospects were better served by protecting the barrier reef and other coastal waters by making sure that fish stocks remained healthy. The ban had the support of local fishermen, who now practice a low-impact form of fish harvesting to supply markets. Resort owners also hailed the move, recognising that the ban would protect local jobs. Since the ban was enforced an environmental organisation, Oceana, has helped to purchase two idled trawlers docked in Belize, which will be re-purposed. For this segment of earthrise, Sharita Hutton travels to Belize to meet some of the people involved in campaigning for the ban, which, it is hoped, will encourage other countries to take bolder steps towards protecting their marine environments.


Growing Up in Central America: Belize Beaches & More
Jumping in on a girls night with native Panamanian and Belizean women teaches Rachel about the simple pleasures of growing up in Central America. Carol Gill begins the story of her Belizean childhood not with a placid tale of playing on her family’s beach (yes, that would be “Gill’s Beach,” a stretch of sand four miles from the heart of Belize City, awarded to her grandfather for military service back in the 1950s), but with her account of surviving Hurricane Hattie.

International Sources

Corals On Ocean Side of Reef Are Most Susceptible to Recent Warming
Marine scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have linked the decline in growth of Caribbean forereef corals -- due to recent warming -- to long-term trends in seawater temperature experienced by these corals located on the ocean-side of the reef. The research was conducted on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System in southern Belize. The results were revealed online in the July 8 issue of Nature Climate Change, a journal that publishes research on the impacts of global climate change and its implications for the economy, policy and the world at large. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is the second largest reef ecosystem in the world and the largest in the Western Hemisphere, stretching along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. In February 2009, UNC researchers Karl Castillo and Justin Ries used a large pneumatic drill to extract 13 core samples from massive starlet corals on the reef and measured the thickness of their annual growth bands in order to estimate trends in their growth rates over the last 100 years. They found a decline in skeletal growth in corals closest to the open ocean, while growth in corals from the other two reef zones -- the nearshore (located closest to the shore) and the backreef (located directly behind the reef crest) -- remained relatively unchanged. Castillo, a postdoctoral researcher in the marine sciences department in the College of Arts and Sciences who is a native of Belize, said they surmised that this decline in skeletal growth in the forereef zone was due to a recent rise in seawater temperature, but they wanted to test their hypothesis in this latest study. They gathered sea surface temperatures for the study site from 1982 to 2008 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association's (NOAA) high-resolution seawater temperature database, which were derived from satellite measurements. They compared that dataset with seawater temperatures extracted from temperature loggers Castillo had installed at the study site in 2002.

Aquarium educator named Educator of Excellence
Jennifer Metzler-Fiorino, education curator at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, was chosen to participate in the Museum of Natural Sciences Educators of Excellence Institutes. One of 46 statewide educators, and the only select from New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties, Metzler-Fiorino will travel to the Belize Tropical Ecology Institute in Belize from July 24 to Aug.1. “I look forward to learning about the diverse ecology of Belize, working with other educators and incorporating all that I experience and learn into programs and activities at the Aquarium,” Metzler-Fiorino said in a statement. She and 11 fellow educators will learn the similarities between regional North Carolina ecology and that of the tropics. Metzler-Fiorino will have the opportunity to study wildlife, the rain forest, Mayan ruins and a coral reef. The Educators of Excellence program seeks to inform and empower educators to teach students about North Carolina’s ecological connections to the rest of the world. For more about the trip to Belize, go to to see pictures, read about the happenings and ask questions. Metzler-Fiorino is among more than 400 North Carolina science educators who have taken part in the program since 1987.

July 9, 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

Valid: Monday-Monday, July 9-16, 2012

Conditions will be a bit drier over most areas this week. Some showers and thunderstorms will continue to pop up because of the residual moisture and instability in the region. Low pressures will persist over CA and southern Mexico.

The features of interest this week will be persistent low pressures across Central America and southern Mexico. A weak surface trough will move over Yucatan and Belize on Wednesday, while a Tropical Wave will move into the extreme NW Caribbean and western Cuba by Wednesday morning. These features will favor the development of more showers and thunderstorms over Belize this working week, particularly so along the coastal region.

Residual moisture and instability will favor outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms this week especially on Wednesday & Thursday as a trough of low pressure moves across the region. Showers will be locally concentrated over central coastal areas and southern Districts. Daytime heating will add to the instability, triggering afternoon thunderstorms over inland areas of the Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo districts. Expect sunnier and warmer conditions this week and over the coming weekend, interrupted at times by localized moderate showers and afternoon thunderstorms. Showers and thunderstorms will be on the increase on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch in most districts through Sunday. Expect higher rainfall rates of 0.50-1.25 inch in the hilly areas of north-western Orange Walk District, the Stann Creek and Toledo District, and NE Cayo on Wednesday and Thursday.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize’s Unique and Funny Signs
Traveling through Belize over these past two and a half months have given me countless cultural experiences, jungle adventures, and rich Maya culture knowledge. But, in addition to those, I’ve had a few lighthearted laughs and curious dumb-face looks with many of Belize’s traffic and street signs. I’ve seen countless of these unique and funny signs all around the country, and here are some of the ones I’ve been able to capture: Caye Caulker – According to “oral history”, there’s a Dachshund dog (you know, the one with the hot dog shape) in Caye Caulker that belonged to an old woman who passed away some years ago. Still to this day, the dog can be seen crossing Caye Caulker’s main street. Caye Caulker – “En cada relacion usa condon” (Use a condom in each relationship). Near the airport, there’s this one wild desolate place between the mangroves where apparently people go to “shag”. I guess the people in Caye Caulker want to implant some moral conscience with this sign, while still letting you have some fun!

2012 Placenia Lobsterfest Photography
Photos from the 2012 Placencia lobsterfest in Belize.

Carmelita Lara is Señorita Flor de la Feria
Congratulations, Carmelita Lara! She won the Flor de la Feria pageant in Benque. "The "Señorita Flor de la Feria" pageant for 2012 was held last night. All the ladies were winners but one had to be crowned as the Queen. Congrats to all! The results were: Carmelita Lara: "Srta. Flor de la Feria 2012" Loveina Pat: "Miss Popularity" (Majority of votes at the Second presentation) & "Miss Amistad" Ivania Sansores: "Miss Photogenic" (Majority of votes on"

We have our next Miss Belize! Destinee Arnold, from Cayo's Roaring Creek, has won the pageant. Congratulations, Ms. Arnold, the Queen of the Jewel!

Toucan Education Program's Belize Course
TEP has a great video out showing all the amazing things they do for their 3 week Belize course. They do a lot in Cayo, of course. They tour the Green Iguana Conservation Project. Xunantunich is on there. They show the inner workings of the Chilillo Dam too. "The Belize Course was developed and directed by Dr. Jonathan Warner, Economics Tutor at Quest University in British Columbia, Canada. The course was directed in Belize for a little over three weeks in its entirety. Students were afforded an opportunity to follow the course theme and or take on mini research projects of their own. In an effort to give students a deeper understanding of the issues facing the country; the course skillfully combined guest lectures, co-curricular, and extra curricular activities."

Kid-friendly Butterfly Farm Adults Will Enjoy In Belize
The Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm at Chaa Creek is worth a visit. Interesting fact about why they appear blue. "If you ever visit Belize, to Cayo District in the west, the question isn’t what are we to do since it is so far from the ocean? It’s how can we fit so many activities in a day and still enjoy the tranquil, green and vastly untouched land the Mayans and people of all cultures and color called home? According to research, the blue morpho butterflies are not true blue. They have overlapping scales covering their wings and the scales on the wing tops have tiny ridges that reflect blue light. The underside of their wings are brown. When they are at rest, you will see that they are brown with their wings folded up."

BNE Firefighter Team Training
Belize Natural Energy trained some firefighters! Training can be fun. Thanks again, BNE, for all the BNE Charitable Trust projects you've made happen in Cayo and Belize! "The weather outside is stormy, and it's also raining [fire]men here at BNE. Our firemen are hard at work staying trained and fit. Thank you for all your hard work to keep BNE personnel and facilities safe."

Belize Dance Company at Festival du Sud
The Belize Dance Company is in Europe, representing Belize. They're having fun at the Festival du Sud. Have a great time in Europe! "Journey with us as we share Belize's diverse cultures and rhythms in Europe!!!!"

Cayo Welcome Center in Early July
Many of the buildings are almost finished in the Cayo Welcome Center. It appears more massive now. The wooden structures are nearing completion. The new bar, Bamboo, is also nearing completion.

Ceibo Chico Conservation Post Launch pictures
Pictures from the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post launch on July 4th. It's located in the Chiquibul National Forest, in southern Cayo. The FCD was instrumental in the project. PACT provided the funding. "Chiquibul Forest, Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD)"

Queen of the Jewel Swimsuit Line at Midas
The Queen of the Jewel has a new swimsuit line, designed by RH Creations, coming out soon. They did a photoshoot in Cayo at Midas Resort. You can see the delegates model the new line on the The Next Miss Belize page. The pageant takes place tomorrow night at the Bliss. Good luck to all the delegates. "These swimsuit are the first ever swimsuits designed for Queen of the Jewel in collaboration with internationally reknowned fashion designer RH! They will be for sale soon online at our website!"

Flavors of Belize Launch Party pictures
The Flavors of Belize had their launch party, and Olivera Rusu was there to take some spectacular pictures. Looks like Tanya McNab's dream has become a smashing success. Congratulations to all involved. "The final product is just amazing. The finesse of the book, the quality of editing, the way the recipes are explained… everything is perfect! Tanya McNab is well known for her attention to details and she did this project perfect! The entire team was amazing and so much fun!" You can purchase Flavors of Belize online, or see some of the recipes at:

BNYCF Chess And Wildlife Camp
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation had their 5 day Chess and Wildlife Camp. The kids got to see the Belize Zoo, experience nature, and learn chess. What a great mix!

Cristo Rey finally gets water
After 75 days without water, residents of Cristo Rey village are finally able to turn on the taps again and get the precious liquid instead of hot air. Thanks to ALL who worked to get the pump and the guys who worked through the weekend to restore the water system.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker BTIA appoints new Board of Directors
The Caye Caulker Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) recently held a special branch meeting chaired by National President, Mr. Jim Scott, and appointed a new Board of Directors with effect from May 14, 2012, to lead the CCBTIA in the next year. The new Board Members are as follows: Stacy Badillo – Chairperson Joanna Arellano – First Vice Chairperson Javier Novelo – Second Vice Chairperson Thomas Blanco – Treasurer Maria Vega – Secretary Directors: Ernesto Marin Jr., Reuben Reyes, Alina Zaldivar and Louis Antonio Aguilar (Past Chairman) The Mission of the Caye Caulker BTIA is: To promote sustainable development through Community Ownership and Exemplary Tourism Practices


Kenrick Williams, 34, convicted of murder of schoolgirl, 16
First trial ended with split jury; office of DPP did not consider case “suitable” for death penalty... A jury of ten men and two women convicted Kenrick Williams, 34, of Libertad, Corozal District, of murder after three hours and twelve minutes in deliberation in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court before Justice Denis Hanomansingh this afternoon, Wednesday, in Corozal Town.

125 tons of sugar stolen from BSI
The sugar is valued at $125,000... Police have detained three persons pending investigation of a large-scale theft of sugar belonging to Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) that was destined for export.

Media boycott KHMH press conference
KHMH officials refused to release 94-page audit beforehand... The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) called a press conference for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 4, to discuss the findings of the June 2012 special audit conducted by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley—but most of the media houses decided to boycott the event because of the KHMH’s refusal to allow us to look at the document before the press conference.

Barrow says ICJ referendum budget is $9 million – campaign won’t start ’til 2013
The Congress of Guatemala last week announced that it had communicated with the Electoral Tribunal of that country about moving forward with holding a national referendum on the question of whether the territorial differendum between Belize and Guatemala should be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final resolution.

KHMH audit unveils financial irregularities
CEO and Director of Finance fire back... Longworth says comment on his $2,000 monthly entertainment allowance was sensationalist... The Special Audit Report of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), looking into transactions spanning April 2010 - December 2011, was concluded in June by Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and was finally released on Wednesday, June 4. The report is for an audit investigation which started in January 2012 and ended April 23, 2012.

Double murder in Corozal hotel
Were hotel owner and daughter shot to death for $250,000 allegedly in hotel safe? Belizeans Clari Fredersdorf, 32, and her daughter, Shanny Fredersdorf, 18, the owners of the Hotel Paradise Bay Villas of South End Corozal, were both shot dead by armed, masked men in their hotel, in what, presumably, was a robbery that occurred about 10:30 last night Wednesday.

Snapshots from COBY 3on3 Knockout Tournaments
A couple Saturdays ago, on June 23, the COBY Foundation, “in collaboration with FIBA 33 Youth Basketball,” sponsored its annual COBY 3 on 3 Knockout basketball tournaments at the court on Birds Isle. The schedule called for tournaments in three different age categories, all males, beginning at 8:00 a.m. with the “12yrs & Under,” followed by the “14yrs & Under,” and culminating with the “16yrs & Under” competition.

Free Judo Demonstration Show this Sunday at the Princess
The Judo Association of Belize (JAB) is extending an invitation to the public to come out this Sunday, July 8, at 5:30 p.m. at the Princess Hotel & Casino (The Majestic Room) for a JUDO DEMONSTRATION SHOW. A highly qualified Judo Instructor will be visiting Belize and will be the main participant at the Show – Mr. Neil Ohlenkamp who is a 6th degree Black Belt in Judo. The Show is for FREE.

Harlem crowned as Dangriga U-19 Basketball Champions
The Dangriga Basketball Association (DBA) held its U-19 Basketball Championships on Saturday, June 30, at the Y-Not Island. The first game was the battle for 3rd place, featuring Back-a-town and Seine Bight Sharks, and it was Seine Bight capturing 3rd place with a score of 51-41. Top scorers for Seine Bight were Dominique Guzman with 12pts 10 rebounds and Hyram Augustine 26pts 12rebs, while Back-a-town was led by Steve Flores with 15pts 6 rebs and Aaron Castillo 17pts 5rebs.

Palmiro is back in town
Former national team coach, Guatemalan born Palmiro Salas hopes to lead Belize football team again... Returning to coach football in Belize after a year’s absence, following 3-peat BPFL championships at the helm of the BDF football squad, is former national team coach Palmiro Salas. And he says he is hoping, now that a new administration is in place, to regain the post of national team coach. Palmiro, who visited Amandala this morning, thinks he is well suited to the job, because of his long experience and familiarity with Belizean football and footballers, his proven record of accomplishment with the national team, and his vision for Belize football.

GOB responds to More Tomorrow land issue
Village loses land improperly acquired by Government to Chinese developers, but some farmers will keep theirs... According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, tFrom The Publisher
I think the time has come for me to wrap up these columns having to do with my May/June travels through Guatemala, Mexico, and some south/southwestern parts of the United States. The Government was and is not prepared to defend the acquisition of 7,000 acres of land stretching from Mile 39 to 42 along the Western Highway that was transferred half-and-half to the people of More Tomorrow and Cotton Tree villages and which was originally owned by private investors.

One too careful, one too reckless
Once in a blue moon, we get a little glimpse of what may be different between the two parties. We think the Prime Minister’s budget presentation for 2012/2013 offers such a rare contrast, and so for the benefit of our readers, we indulge.

A betrayal
The history of the People’s United Party (PUP), the most successful party in the history of electoral politics in this country, is deeply rooted in the struggles of working class blacks. It is not a history that is visible to the naked eye in modern Belize, and it is not one their leaders are comfortable in discussing.

From The Publisher
I think the time has come for me to wrap up these columns having to do with my May/June travels through Guatemala, Mexico, and some south/southwestern parts of the United States. Once I left Corozal Town Friday morning, May 18, on the way to Houston, Texas, through Mexico en route to Arizona, I had not written in this newspaper until I returned to Belize two and a half weeks ago. There were people who are my friends and other Belizeans who became concerned about my welfare during those weeks when I was missing and incommunicado. I have been touched on my return by your expressions of concern, sympathy and best wishes. It was not my intention to alarm you, and I did maintain e-mail contact with a few key people in Belize and in the United States, including, of course, my family members.

Praises Hon. Finnegan, Mayor Bradley
It was a nice gesture that the member for Mesopotamia came to the rescue of those deserving students of Salvation Army who couldn’t pay their balance of school fees in order for them to receive their Primary School certificates.

We are in another stage of colonialism: we must combat helplessness and self-hatred
What else would we expect after 400 plus years of indoctrination into white supremacy and self-hatred? We have been taught that we are inferior, sub-human, stupid, untrustworthy and just generally no good. Black people hate no one more than we hate ourselves, from the Crips and Bloods in America to the Tutsis and Hutus in Rwanda. We hate almost everything about ourselves from our skin, to our hair, to our noses. “She’s big black and ugly.” “I hate that black bastard,” or in the words of rap superstar Lil Wayne: “beautiful black woman, I bet that bitch look better red” (red of course being short for “redbone,” which means light-skinned). Just watch a mother comb her daughter’s “nappy” hair and you can see the disdain in her face as she violently rips out the naps while tears roll down the child’s face. Is that not hatred? How many black men are murdered every year because they looked at another black man the wrong way? Is that not hatred?

Concurs with editorial “They would cry…”
While it doesn’t seem that there is much we can do before the kids start primary school, once they do start we have a golden opportunity to do a great deal. I call it, “SHUT OFF THE VALVE!” We are producing youthful executioners faster than they are executing one another, and while the Government’s present social interventions are a major step forward, we must also make interventions in early primary school when boys begin to experience failure and lose interest in school.

GOB paying gang members, but person with Associate Degree can’t get job
Why is it that the Government of Belize is paying known gang members while an educated individual who has an Associate Degree is still unemployed? We all know that life is not fair and things never go smoothly, but when the government is blatantly taking care of suspected criminals and leaving us educated individuals to fend for ourselves after completing our studies and still not able to get a job after a year of being out of school, this is a problem.

Are jurors really aware of their duties?
I have had the privilege of being an observer in court during a number of Supreme Court trials, and I have noticed that during the trial, some jurors tend to be lackadaisical. Some are sleeping, some are laughing at those who are sleeping, and there are also those who are there treating the jury job with the attention, respect and dedication it deserves.


Bird photos from Stann Creek District
Here are photos of many of the birds we saw on our recent trip to Hopkins. Most of these birds we saw while hiking in Bocawina Mayflower National Park or Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, but a few we sighted right near the place we stayed, Beaches and Dreams, technically in False Sittee Point, just south of Hopkins Village. We added quite a few new birds to our life lists and only wish we could have identified all the birds we saw and heard. Some we only got a fleeting glance of and not even a photo. We are fairly confident of all the identifications below, but if you disagree, please let us know in the comments section -- we are certainly not infallible! Note: New birds for our life lists are identified with an asterisk (*). American Pygmy Kingfisher * (we saw a pair hanging out by the water for a good long time -- so pretty!) Black-Faced Grosbeak*

Eating Lunch in Belmopan
I will admit, I haven't spent extensive time in our nation's capital of Belmopan. I've been there numerous times for government business, I've had a few drinks, a few meals, had crazy fun at the Belmopan Agriculture Trade Show, I've played some pool, I've purchased some cheap, fresh fruits and vegetables, I even came very close (VERY CLOSE) to shaking hands with Prince Harry. Yes, THE Prince Harry. (Wait a second, maybe I HAVE spent extensive time in this town...) And then I caught a bus and high tailed it out of Belmopan. It's a very small town. And a relatively new capital city. After the horrific hurricane, Hattie, in 1961 (and an even more horrific one in 1931) that devastated Belize City on the coast, the decision was made to move inland. Hattie packed winds of up to 190mph and destroyed up to 75% of the country's biggest city. Belmopan became Belize's capital in 1970. Here is Hurricane Hattie's path in October/November 1961. Pink means Category 5. Knock on mahogany and hope we never see this again! Eeek. Anyway...Belmopan is still a small town mainly focused on all of the government business that is done there. It tends to be busy during the week and DEAD on the weekends.

Why I’m Completely Over Dating In The Caribbean
I don’t generally write about dating while living abroad or about other such personal matters. OK, maybe I’ve poured my heart out once about the downsides of being a single 30-something traveler. But this, I couldn’t contain anymore. It’s time for a rant on the old blog. I had completely forgotten about this issue, until this weekend. Until I talked to a friend and heard of yet another island romance and heartbreak story. So I had to get this off my chest. Someone, please tell me, with all due respect: What on earth is the matter with men in the Caribbean? I say “men” because it’s not just Caribbean men in the Caribbean. It’s (most) men who live there, regardless of origin or color, regardless of expat versus local. Sure, lots of men cheat – nothing new there – and there are many more of them who don’t act on it but flirt with other women while married or committed. With the Internet offering a gazillion chat options, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Lord knows what else, single, lonely 20 or 30-something women are now accessible at the click of a mouse or the push of a key. That’s true in the United States as well as most places in the world.

International Sources

Wish I Was There Instead...San Pedro, Belize
I chats with Ian Dunt, editor of about his favourite holiday in the sun - to the small Central American country of Belize. So where would you rather be? San Pedro, Belize What’s all the fuss about? The archipelago off Belize boats turquoise waters, long sandy beaches and world-class snorkelling. The pick of the bunch is San Pedro, a long island which eventually turns into Mexico to the north. The area typifies the exotic, hybrid quality of Belize, which mixes Latino, Caribbean and British culture. Plenty of resorts pepper the beaches, with small golf buggies and hourly boats to get you into town. The town itself is a lively, bustling, dusty place, with decent nightlife, a colourful central square and some excellent restaurants.

Garifuna-American Heritage Month to be celebrated in New York
March 11 to April 12, 2013, will be celebrated as Garifuna-American Heritage Month 2013, in observance of the 216th anniversary of the exile of the Garifuna people from St Vincent and their settlement in Central America. During Garifuna-American Heritage Month, the great contributions of Garifuna-Americans to the fabric of the New York State and New York City will be celebrated, and tribute paid to the common culture and bonds of friendship that unite the United States and the Garifuna countries of origin. The Garifuna American legacy and history are inextricably linked to the United States and marked by the strength, determination and vision of such notable individuals as William Henry Brown, playwright of The Drama of King Shotaway, a play which is recognized as the first black drama of the American Theatre, and which has as its subject the 1795 Black Caribs (Garifunas) defence of the island of Saint Vincent, against colonization, led by the Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer. Furthermore, on May 18, 2001, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed the Garifuna language, dance and music as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangibles Heritage of Humanity.”

Why Belize is a Backpacker’s Paradise
Untouched beaches, Mayan ruins hiding around every corner, and amazing flora and fauna are only a few of the reasons that make Belize such an enticing place to visit. A British Commonwealth, the tiny country is the only in Central America where English is predominately spoken, and it has long been a favorite spot for Canadians, Americans, and the British alike (note that we are speaking about the Cayes; Belize City and Belmopan can well be skipped). However, aside from those looking for a luxurious stay, Belize has also always been a great destination for backpackers for the following reasons: The Airfare One of the biggest hurdles any traveler must overcome when starting their journey is the cost of airfare. Flying abroad is by no means cheap, and most people that choose to backpack throughout a country do so to save money. Fortunately, for backpackers interested in Belize, airfare is always relatively cheap, and it’s fairly easy to get a discounted or free flight if you have racked up miles on your frequent flier card or have a card with great credit card cash rewards. For exceptionally cheap flights, consider flying into Cancun, Mexico, which is on the Northern border of Belize. Because so much traffic comes through the area, travelers can usually find cheaper flights, and then bus it into Belize. The Bus System Belize’s three main highways, the Hummingbird, the Southern, and the Coastal, can get you nearly anywhere in Belize and can do so for no more than 7 USD. Bus stations are incredibly easy to navigate, and the buses themselves will take you to all major attractions. If riding on a brightly colored school bus isn’t to your liking, then there are several air conditioned Express buses that can take you where ever you need to go. However, by passing up the regular bus systems, you will be passing up on an excellent opportunity to mingle with the culture. So don’t be afraid to hop on a local bus for at least one of your site seeing adventures.

Digging for treasures at Maya tomb, ruins
A team of teenage archaeologists from Davidson Day School flew to the Central American country of Belize on June 22 to unearth artifacts at a tomb of Maya royals who ruled more than a thousand years ago.

Slow Times In Belize
“...It took me three days to finally catch up with the Belize island of Caye Caulker's motto ... You do that like a local,” whispered a voice in the distance as I walked at the speed of a turtle, almost in a trance, after spending an hour relaxing in a hammock at the end of Colinda Cabin’s dock. It took me three days to finally catch up with the Belize island of Caye Caulker‘s motto “Go Slow,” and now I am totally ok with it..."

Cave of the Crystal Maiden, Belize
Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre or the ATM (Actun Tunichil Muknal) cave is a must do if you are floating around Belize, and in particular San Igancio. Unfortunately no pictures coming for this story as camera’s are no longer allowed inside the cave but to see more click here.

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..."

July 8, 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

Valid: Friday, July 6 until Monday, July 9, 2012

An active tropical wave (TW) just west of Jamaica this morning will approach and move over Belize and Yucatan late Saturday, producing more outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms, and squally conditions. The airflow will remain moist and unstable on Monday through Wednesday as low pressures persist over northern Central America.

The features of interest over the NW Caribbean and Belize this weekend are an approaching, active tropical wave (TW), coupled with a low level easterly surge in the trade winds. The TW is tracking westwards at 15 mph and will cross Belize on Saturday evening and night. Outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms will continue today, increasing on Saturday through Sunday. The showers and thunderstorms will be intense at times, accompanied by squalls. The showers will be concentrated over the coastal zone and areas of the Belize, Stann Creek, Cayo and Toledo Districts. Showers will also affect northern districts but will be less concentrated.

Daily rainfall totals over central and northern areas will range from 0.50- 1.00 inch today Friday. Higher, daily rainfall amounts of 1.50-2.00 inches are expected on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, especially in the higher elevations of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. Soil condition over most districts is near field capacity, so the runoff in the hilly terrain will be quicker.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Presenting Miss Costa Rica for Costa Maya 2012!
With the current line-up for the International Costa Maya Festival including Los Pasteles Verdes and Kevin Lyttle, the news is only getting hotter as the highly anticipated announcement of delegates for the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant keep coming. This week we present to you the gorgeous Mariela Aparicio, and she hails from the land of Pura Vida, Costa Rica! Mariela is a lovely dark-eyed brunette model and cosmetologist who enjoys listening to music, traveling and exercising. She stands at 5’ 7” and measures 34-23-35. All eyes will be on her and the other beauties from Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama on Thursday, August 2nd. Mariela joins Miss Belize: Karen Middleton, Miss El Salvador: Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Miss Honduras: Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez and Miss Panama: Karen Elena Jordan Beitia, in the race for the title currently held by Miss Mexico, Valentina Cervera Avila.

Presenting Miss Nicaragua for Costa Maya 2012!
The list of beauty pageant delegates continues to grow, and we present to you the lovely Miss Nicaragua, Ivey Jellisa Alvarez Hunter. She is 20 years old, and stands at 5’ 8”, has dark brown eyes and hair. She is an International Relations & Diplomacy student who speaks both English and Spanish. Ivey joins other beauties from Belize: Karen Middleton, Costa Rica: Mariela Aparicio, El Salvador: Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz, Honduras: Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez, and Panama: Karen Elena Jordan Beitia. These lovely ladies will be joined by delegates from Guatemala and Mexico, on Thursday, August 2nd as they compete for the title of Reina de La Costa Maya, which is currently held by Mexico’s, Valentina Cervera Avila.

Ambergris Today

45th Annual Benque Fiesta Kicks Off This Weekend!
July is here and it is time for the “Benque Fiesta”. The community of Benque Viejo del Carmen will be celebrating its 45th Annual Benque Fiesta. The Fiesta is celebrated every year to honor the Town’s Patroness – Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The activities will kick off this Saturday, July 7th, 2012 with the “Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant and will officially open on July 13th to carry on until July 16th, 2012. This year, “The Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant will entertain attendees with the beauty, charm and talent of five of Benque’s beautiful young women. According to Oscar Nabet, coordinator of the pageant, “Last year, Ms. Alexis del Valle became the Flor de la Feria. The contenders for the crown are judged by career, cultural and evening attire.” He added, “The pageant will commence at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Cancha Marshallek in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Everyone is welcome to come and support their favorite queen.” The Benque Fiesta will officially open with an opening ceremony by the Benque Viejo Town Council at 8:00 p.m. on July 13th, 2012 and the night explodes with a massive fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. Saturday, July 14th will feature a football match; Belize VS Guatemala. The party continues through the night. Sunday, July 15th will host a “Benque Fiesta Bandfest”. There will be games and entertainment for the entire family. The festival will culminate on Monday, July 16th with a ‘People’s Day’, which will be filled with cultural presentations. The Benque Fiesta is where families and friends share in tradition and enjoy momentous moments. Join Benqueños as they celebrate their Benque Fiesta!

Flavors of Belize Launches Cookbook
Finally, all of Belize’s most delicious dishes all brought together in one beautiful hardcover cookbook; Flavors of Belize is our nation’s first cookbook of its kind. Bringing together the best of Belizean recipes from across the country, this amazing book includes signature dishes from some of the country’s most renowned chefs and family recipes passed down through the ages. The book was officially launched at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. With over 120 authentic recipes, from delectable soups and starters to main courses and desserts, Flavors of Belize features specialties of the Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Chinese, Caribbean, Lebanese and the British. This incredible cookbook also captures the influences of Belize’s rich history and culture, ingredients and cooking styles from far and wide. With detailed recipes and beautiful photographs, your kitchen can now be home to the same delicious dishes that have made Belizean cuisine famous around the world. “Whenever I travel, I’m reminded just how incredible Belizean food is,” says Tanya McNab, publisher and the creative force behind the making of Flavors of Belize. “I wanted to offer every interested cook around the globe a complete, authoritative hardcover cookbook on the best of our delicious cuisine,” she says.

Costa Maya Fest 2012 Presents Miss Costa Rica
The International Costa Maya Festival is happy to introduce, Mariela Aparicio, Miss Costa Rica, vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012 at the International Costa Maya Festival. Mariela is 25 years old, 5?7? tall and is a professional model and cosmetologist who enjoys listening to music, travelling, and exercising. Mariela is an official representative of Costa Rica in Miss Earth 2012 the 12th edition of the Miss Earth which is scheduled to be held at Coral Theater in Ninh Thuan, Vietnam in December, 2012. She will join seven other contestants from around the Mundo Maya countries, including Belize, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama Rica, at the Miss Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant (August 2, 2012) that will take place during the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival taking place from August 2 to August 5, 2012.

Open Clinic at Dr. Otto Poly Clinic
Open clinic for children's dental and adult dental, Open clinic for dermatology, Open clinic for general health evaluations, Open clinic for prolonged and chronic pain. Clinic Hours: Friday, July 27, 2012 - 1PM to 5 PM Saturday, July 28, 2012 - 8 AM to 12 noon Monday, July 30, 2012 - 8 AM to 5 PM Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 8 AM to 5 PM Dr. Womack served at Northern Regional in February and is a well known children's specialist and problem patient specialist for dentists in his area in Dayton Ohio. Dr. Wayne Bauman is a dermatologist and served at Northern Regional and the Poly Clinic 5 years ago with Dr. Peter Craig. Dr. Bauman is a dermatologist in Cincinnati Ohio. Dr. Magda Kerschner is a pain specialist doctor of anesthesiology and has performed the general medical checkups on past trips to Belize including two summers ago at the Poly Clinic in San Pedro. In Cincinnati she has a pain clinic for those with chronic pain issues.

Learn Self Defense in San Pedro!
Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Renee Wentz, willl be holding a self defense class on Saturday, July 21, 2012. Self Defense course for Women and Girls will be held at the Banyan Bay Conference Center. For More information contact: Jan Lyons - - 604-5265 Ti Southwell - - 610-3499 Beth Hart -

Picking Dane Cherries - By Chris Emmanuel
Chop wood, wash clothes, eat cherries - Zen I was up a tree in Toronto, looking down at my Mothers back yard. “Watch you don’t fall off the ladder.” You are an ass anyway, Chris, Ernie, whatever your name is.” Oh, that the voice of my inner critic. He likes to come around when things look like they might tip. He has a voice like my friend Pedro in Belize. He cusses and spits his words at you. But he loves at the same time. You just have to ignore his bad side, like the rotten part of an overripe fruit. I didn’t feel like picking cherries today. But the cherries are red ripe. The squirrels and birds are having a hay day, and my mom is nervous we won’t get any. Ha! Ha! Ha! I can almost hear the tree laughing, knowing it has so many cherries to feed the whole neighborhood. OK. The morning air smells tangy fresh and I am feeling good touching the leaves. I am glad I decided to do it now. It’s like Zen. When you get started anything after a while you just can’t help but start to see and feel something different. Like my girlfriend’s brother Dane says, “I just gotta get out on the trails Chris, then everything feels OK.”

Dying Arts Of Fishermen -Making Gill Nets #1
Fishermen of the past were skilled in many arts besides the art of catching fish and lobsters. Some people might not think of catching fish as an art, but have you tried catching fish with a hand line or reel and failed? Of course you fail many times because fish were biting but you just could not get them hooked. That is because you failed in that simple yet complicated art for a few. I think the art of dancing and cooking is a simpler art than fishing. However, today I want to touch on the art of making fishing nets, which is an art every fisherman in the past had to learn and teach it to their children too and pass it to a new generation. It's an enjoyable and productive pastime, and with some knowledge, a supply of string, and a couple of handmade tools, you can start tying your own meshwork right in your living room or back yard. I learned the art from my father who taught me to "knit" a net that is, to build a series of "meshes" to create an overall pattern.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Time for the Belize Government to Take Back All the Ports Given Away for Nothing
I have never heard of any sane government, except my country Belize, giving away its port facilities and airports to a private business or businesses in this world to operate, because they are needed to secure the nation’s national security interest and bring in huge revenues for the country and people. When the People’s United Party was in power under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Said Musa, this was done in 2002 and subsequent years after. Not only were the ports given away but the agreements that were signed are not available to the Belizean people to know the terms of these agreements, as if we are living in a Communist country. One would think that in a democratic country like Belize, agreements of this nature should have been brought to the Cabinet, the House of Representatives and the Senate for approval.

For the July, 2012 edition of Roots and Reef, Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development’s environmental newspaper, CLICK HERE

The July 2012 edition of Roots and Reef incudes articles on Belize’s new water management act, lionfish, the linkage between the Placencia Lagoon and our Barrier Reef, a guest article on preserving our trees by local student Ciara Vernon, and features on local residents including Miss Cunchie Villanueva and Omar and Therese Sierra of Omar’s Creole Grub.

Central Bank of Belize ECONOMIC BRIEF
A steeper-than-expected contraction in petroleum output and an irregular citrus blossom held GDP growth to 6.0% in the first quarter as compared to the 7.8% increase recorded in the first quarter of 2011. The outturn reflected continued buoyancy in tourism, a rebound in sugar and banana as well as an upsurge in electricity production. Banana output rose by 32.0% due to the rehabilitation of storm-damaged acreages and favorable agronomic conditions. Sugarcane deliveries and, by extension, sugar production rose by 55.4% and 40.7%, respectively, as the cogeneration plant benefitted from its first full quarter of uninterrupted operations since coming on-stream three years ago. BELCOGEN’s improved performance coupled with production increases from BECOL accounted for the 74.7% escalation in domestic output of electricity. Bolstered by an aggressive marketing campaign, the tourism sector maintained upward momentum even in the face of headwinds from a protracted recovery in the US. Stayover visitors returned to the pre-crisis levels of 2008 with a 6.2% increase during the first quarter. Hotel revenues consequently posted a solid gain of 16.3%, while cruise arrivals increased by 7.2%. The ripple effects of higher acquisition costs for petroleum and related products underpinned a 0.5% rise in quarterly CPI (November 2011 to February 2012) and resulted in a year-on-year (February 2011 to February 2012) annual inflation of 1.9%

Market Price under various assumptions for coupon and exit yield of the belize superbond

The July 8th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Esquivel Takes The Rap - Pandy Walks
  • Belize City Men Busted With Guatemalan Weed
  • A Few Chancy Men Still Around
  • The Tragic Passing of Marco Tulio Polanco
  • Will Cristo Rey Village Ever Get Water Again?
  • Truly An Inspiration - In Just Six Hours. $15,180.36 Contributed To A Worthy Cause
  • Ministry Donate Machines For Dengue Control Program
  • Ministry of Health participates in Indigenous Children Symposium
  • HECOPAB conducts workshop for Community Health Workers
  • Regional HIV Testing Day
  • Ceibo Chico Conservation Post And South Chiquibul Joint Enforcement Unit Launched
  • Opponent Demand Recount In Mexico’s Presidential Election
  • Successful Lobster Festivals 2012
  • Meet Charles The Tree Frog
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Facts Are Stubborn Things
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Longtime Placencia Resident Cleveland Berry Passes
Popular Belizean musician and beloved member of the Placencia community, Cleveland Berry succumbed to cancer today, July 6, at 1:20 p.m. at Belize Healthcare Partners Hospital in Belize City. With plenty of family members at his side, he passed away while Dave Brubeck’s “Take 5” – one of his favorite jazz tunes – played in the background. Cleveland Berry’s popular Creole calypso singles: “Hurricane Hattie”, “Krismus Bum”, and “Good Mawning Miss Lady” are national classics and often heard on the local radio station Love FM. “CK” as he was affectionately known by friends, played the flute and acoustic guitar. He occasionally played on the Placencia Peninsula with local band The Rejects and joined spontaneous jam sessions often coming unannounced.

Annual Benque Fiesta kicks off in Belize this weekend
July is here and it is time for the “Benque Fiesta”. The community of Benque Viejo del Carmen will be celebrating its 45th Annual Benque Fiesta. The Fiesta is celebrated every year to honour the Town’s Patroness – Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The activities will kick off this Saturday with the “Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant and will officially open on July 13 to carry on until July 16, 2012. This year, “The Señorita Flor de la Feria” Pageant will entertain attendees with the beauty, charm and talent of five of Benque’s beautiful young women. According to Oscar Nabet, coordinator of the pageant, “Last year, Ms Alexis del Valle became the Flor de la Feria. The contenders for the crown are judged by career, cultural and evening attire.” The Benque Fiesta will officially open with an opening ceremony by the Benque Viejo Town Council on July 13, 2012 and the night explodes with a massive fireworks display at the stroke of midnight. Saturday, July 14, will feature a football match; Belize vs Guatemala; the party continues through the night. Sunday, July 15 will host a “Benque Fiesta Bandfest”. There will be games and entertainment for the entire family. The festival will culminate on Monday, July 16, with a ‘People’s Day’, which will be filled with cultural presentations.

Channel 7

GSU Gets Gun, Police Detain Man Who Beat Murder Rap Twice
Yesterday evening at a quarter to 6:00 - multiple shots rang out in the Sarstoon Street area. Police were already posted in the general area - after random shots were fired there last Saturday morning. They moved quickly to lock off Mayflower Street and detained John Chessman - who just got off his second murder rap in May. The GSU and other police units were there in force and searched intensively in a swampy area near Mayflower Street where they found a black CZ brand 9mm pistol. The firearm was cocked and loaded with 12 live 9 mm rounds of ammunition and one inside the chamber. The magazine is an extended magazine with a capacity of 26 rounds. Police have not indicated if Chessman will be charged - but he remains detained.

CCJ Says Mayan King Must Pay (A Little Less)
About 2 and a half months ago, 7News told you about the Belizean case which was heard in Barbados before the Caribbean Court of Justice. This case involved a judgment, which was handed down by the Supreme Court of Belize. One of six former employees of the Mayan King Banana Farm alleged that in June 2001 the company terminated them because they were leading a recruitment drive for the Christian Worker's Union. They claimed union-busting, and Justice Awich agreed with them when he ruled in 2009 against Mayan King Banana Farm, which is owned by John Zabaneh. He awarded the 6 employees a total of $420,000 Well, Zabaneh appealed that decision, but the Court of Appeal dismissed that claim, and added that there was evidence of injury to feelings. However, they did reduce the award to $180,000.

Stole The Sweetness Out Of Sugar (Barge)
Last night, we told you about the developing story at the Belize Sugar Industry that approximately 125 tonnes - 275,500 pounds - of raw sugar, valued at $125,000 dollars, went missing. Well today the men, who police caught with the supposedly stolen sugar, were taken to court. 68 year-old Oscar Mena, his 35 year-old son, Alex Obrien, and 25 year-old Ernel Brooks, were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Frazer for theft and handling stolen goods. In a blockbuster allegation, Obrien told Senior Magistrate Frazer that he bought the sugar from one of the stevedores, who work on the barges, and that he didn't know it was stolen. However, he did not identify this person who he bought it from. Because the offenses are serious, no plea was taken, but Obrien begged the court to grant him bail. He said that he has 3 children in high school, and he must be able to get them several hundred dollars in school fees before the next school year starts. Due to the strength of the prosecution's objections, Senior Magistrate Frazer was forced to remand them to prison. However, she did take Obrien's plea into consideration, and she granted them an early adjournment of July 20, in which the prosecution must provide strong evidence against them.

GSU Charges Ten For Two Ounces Of Weed
The GSU arrested 10 persons after finding a total of 92 grammes -less than three ounces of marijuana at a Belize City residence yesterday. The unit searched the residence of Vic...

The Tale And the Trail Of The KHMH Credit Card
Tonight we continue looking at the KHMH Special Audit Report from April 2010 to December 2011. The matter at hand tonight is the use of the facility's credit card. It was reserved for the hospitals top two administrators, the CEO and the CFO - and the auditor found a number of irregularities. We look at them tonight:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The KHMH has a corporate credit card with a limit of twenty thousand dollars. The audit notes that only two persons, The Director of Finance, Carlos Perera, and CEO Gary Longsworth, are the only two persons authorized to make purchases with the card. These are the credit card purchases for which no receipt was seen - they take up four pages of the addendum to the audit. They show assorted credit card charges in Belize, Chetumal, Mexico and Houston, Texas - all for which the auditor says there were no receipts.

Belize Has Special Task With FORPEL
FORPEL is the Central American regional forum for heads of Parliament. We haven't heard of them in Belize before but they held a high level meeting today. Leading Belize's delegation is the Speaker of the House of Representatives Michael Peyrefitte and he explained Belize's emerging role in the group:.. Michael Peyrefitte - Speaker of the House "What we do as elected presidents is to attempt to form this group and form committees so that we can come up with ideas that hopefully will turn to policies and laws. Different countries have different responsibilities, in the last couple of months the executive secretary for FORPEL Dr. Santiago asks me if we could promote for Belize to be the chairman of the education and health committee for FORPEL." "Of course I liaise with the Hon. Patrick Faber, the Minister of Education and he jumped on the opportunity for Belize to represent for education held in FORPEL and what we are doing here for the first time ever in Belize we have a FORPEL meeting and we are trying to come up with different resolutions that Belize will strive for and represent and contribute to the parliament of Central America."

Musical Legend Cleveland Berry Passes
Tonight, we note the passing of a musical legend. 77 year old Cleveland Berry Sr. succumbed to the symptoms of cancer this afternoon at Belize Healthcare Partners in Belize City. If, by chance you don't know his name, every Belizean knows the music that he popularized, including "Good Mawning Miss Lady", "Hurricane Hattie", and "Krismus Bum" - which are considered cornerstones of the Belizean songbook. The Placencia resident known as "CK" had his heyday in the 1950s when he played with The Skylarks at the Fort George and the Bellevue Hotels in Belize City. He also hosted his own jazz radio show on Radio Belize in the 1970s called the "Jazz Hour with Cleveland Berry". And fittingly, his family reports that he passed with plenty of family members at his side, while Dave Brubeck's "Take 5" - played in the background. Berry was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005 by the Association for Belizeans Artists First at the Bliss.

The Launch Of The South Chiquibul Enforcement Unit
The war in Belize City's streets may dominate the media - but the real battle of Belize is going on every day and night in the Chiquibul National Park. The park covers 7.7% of Belize's land mass - and it is under severe stresses from Guatemalans who come across for farmland, timber, Xate, game meat, and now even gold. And that's why The Friends For Conservation and Development has built a conservation post which will house the South Chiquibul Enforcement Unit. The fact is very little is known about South Chiquibul because it is extremely remote and requires an arduous two day hike to get there. But it is now the latest hotspot in the battle the save the Chiquibul from the silent invasion. The new building at Ceibo Chico was inaugurated on Wednesday and here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the Ceibo Chico Conservation post at the southern end of the Chiquibul Forest. This map shows its location in the vicinity of the Boiton Camps where they are mining for gold. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director, Friends For Conservation and Development "The activity that is taking place here is mining of gold and Guatemalans have now gather that gold is there and so now there is a spiral of activities taking place in south Chiquibul, so we believe that there was an importance of group putting a presence there institutionally to be able to address that and the other issues occurring in south Chiquibul."

Belize Judo To Olympics
The 2012 Olympics are only 21 days away, and today the Judo Association of Belize was the first organization to announce that a Belizean Athlete will participate. Belize only won an entry into this Olympics discipline by way of a wildcard, which is given out to countries least likely to qualify for the competition, but today, the Association's President told us we have a top athlete participating. Eddermys Sanchez is presently in Guatemala receiving some final intensive training to prepare but on Sunday, he will be showcased to the Belizean public at the Princess Hotel. The Judo Association President told us at this showcase, a top-level trainer is coming to Belize to give a free demonstration: Here's what he told us about the event: Wellington Chee, President Judo Assoc. Belize "We were re-selected to represent Belize at the upcoming Olympic Games in the event of Judo, so I am taking an athlete to London to participate and compete in Judo."

Channel 5

90 undocumented K.H.M.H. credit card purchases including jewelry store
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital audit shows thousands of dollars paid to a business called Skilled Solutions LLC, which is a house in a residential area of Pembroke Pines. The preferred business was paid for items never received by the K.H.M.H. But tonight we look at the auditors findings about the corporate credit card which [...]

Friend of slain mother and daughter believes someone close is responsible
It is yet to be determined how the Prime Minister feels about the money trials of the K.H.M.H. or the undocumented trail of transactions that beleaguers the National referral hospital. But another trail of blood that the cops are following may lead to a stash of cash. The double homicide of a mother and daughter [...]

Maya King Case resolved at CCJ
While there are no charges filed against those men in local courts, inside the Trinidad courtroom of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), a judgment was handed via teleconference this morning in the case of six former employees who were unlawfully terminated from Maya King Banana Farm in June 2001. The union busting case which [...]

Sweet case of stolen sugar
It was discovered on Monday that one hundred and twenty-five tons of sugar had been stolen from different barges that docked at Drowned Caye between April first and July second. Three persons were arrested within hours of the report made by thirty-nine year old Linberth Seguro, the Chief of Security at the Belize Sugar Industries [...]

Soldier charged for aggravated burglary
A Belize Defence Force Soldier was also before the court this morning to answer to charges of Aggravated Burglary and Harm. Thirty-four year old Evan Robert Ramclam is accused of entering the home of Iguana Street resident, Anthony Leslie on Sunday. He was allegedly armed with a machete and intended to harm Leslie. Ramclam appeared [...]

Zenaida’s plans for restaurant in the sea
Recently former Mayor of Belize City, Zenaida Moya began driving piles into the Haulover creek near the Courthouse with plans to construct a restaurant. But the activity was suspended pending meetings with the building authority and central government. The Prime Minister weighed in on the future of Moya’s project and said that she needs to [...]

Youth man’s entrepreneurial bicycle plan
While the former Mayor’s battle as a businesswoman and entrepreneur is well documented, another local businessman is trying to get the word out on his endeavors. A local youth man is tired of being unemployed and he is starting a courier service called Cornie Courier Service and he hopes you would send some business his [...]

Senate discusses $2 Million DFC Housing Write-offs
As we reported earlier in the week, the Senate met for the first time since the March seventh General Elections on Tuesday to discuss three bills that have been put on the table by the House of Representatives. Among the proposed laws is a motion to write-off a little over two million dollars in non-performing [...]

P.U.P. deeply concerned about write-offs
Across the floor, People’s United Party senator Lisa Shoman, shared similar concerns, particularly on the subject of records proffered by the DFC regarding loan payments made by homeowners in Mahogany Heights.   Lisa Shoman, P.U.P. Senator “Like him I am deeply concerned and I have absolutely no doubt the Leader of Government Business must be [...]

Belize to have representation in 30th Olympic Games in London
A local athlete, who has no intention of being written off, actually wants to be written into the record books. Belize will have representation in the thirtieth Olympic Games to be held in London this year in a sport that was introduced to the country in the eighties, but has only been picking up traction [...]

Kids get the Belize Camping Experience
Summer camps are popping up on every radar across the country and another began this week in Belize City, specifically targeting the children on the south side. It’s the Belize Camping Experience and it provides a well rounded program for the kids with everything from spiritual guidance, education and counseling to fun activities, entertainment and [...]

Creative Arts to bolster talented youths
If your child is still trying to choose a camp, perhaps this one may bring out their talent. It’s the third annual Summer Arts Institute being held by the Institute of Creative Arts to bolster the arts of acting, singing, dancing and playing an instrument. The arts program began on Monday and runs through to [...]

Gospel truth for the youths says dancehall singer
In recent weeks we’ve seen a number of protests and demonstrations against the violence in the streets, particularly those targeting young children. And there is another group that will be speaking out through gospel music. Reality Youth, a dancehall Gospel artist says that he, along with other talented acts, will bring a positive message to [...]

FOPREL aims to improve grades with proper nutrition
The Forum of Presidents of Legislative Branches in Central America and the Caribbean (FOPREL) consists of eight permanent members: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic. The Central American Initiative seeks to improve education of students by fostering healthy eating habits; a topic which took center stage at a [...]

Meet the delegates for Queen of the Jewel (Miss Belize)
The Miss Belize pageant is now known as Queen of the Jewel. Freelance reporter Duane Moody caught up with the current queen and the delegates as they were preparing for Saturday’s pageant.   Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy, Delegate, Miss Belize “My name is Maryam Abdul-Qawiyy and I am representing Port Loyola Belize City. Originality; creativity. I’m bringing [...]


The appeal by 25 year old Ludin Najera , a taxi driver of San Ignacio was dismissed yesterday by the Belize court of appeal. Najera was convicted of rape and was sentenced to 11 years. The conviction and sentence were affirmed and the reason will be given in writing at a later date. ...

A non-governmental organization dedicated to assisting with first aid training and response is appealing to the general public to keep its doors open. The National First Aid Team, according to its founder and director Darwin Slusher is running low on supplies and he is turning to...

Last Wednesday the International Olympic Committee held an award ceremony at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall in Belize City. The awards were presented by Governor General of Belize Dr. Colville Young. Shelmadine Carr was awarded for her dedicated participation in Women in Spo...

Belize is currently chairing the first inter-parliamentary forum of presiding officers from Central America and the Caribbean, also referred to as FOPREL. Foprel is a regional institution based in Nicaragua whose purpose is to enhance parliaments in the region. Belize&rsquo...

Concerns were raised recently that the government of Belize was in the process of cancelling a crucial exam that students pursuing a career in pharmacy need to write. But according to officials in the Ministry of Health, those concerns can be safely put to rest, because there are...

Esso is a name that has been around for decades in Belize. But that name will soon be replaced by Puma Energy. A ceremony was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on Thursday night for the rebranding of service stations from Esso to Puma Energy. This will begin in m...

Activities to keep young people, especially school children on vacation, positively engaged continue around the country. For a report on one such activity in the south this weekend, here is our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “The ...

It’s that time of the year again for one of the biggest fairs in the country. The Benque Fiesta will be taking place next weekend but activities leading to this grand event kick off tomorrow with the Señorita Flor de La Feria pageant which is celebrating its sapphire...


FOPREL meets in Belize
FOPREL meets in Belize. Today at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel for the first time the FOPREL meeting was held in Belize...

Community keeps busy with sporting activities
Members from the Yarbra community are also rallying together in creating activities for the kids to engage in. Some..

BCE hosting discipleship camps in Belize City
Belize Camping Experience (BCE) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to restore Belize with the love of Ch..

Yarbra Community Policing Unit anchors summer program
Yarbra Community Policing Unit is also hosting its annual summer program for kids. The Community Policing Unit is p..

Belmopan teenager reported missing
A Belmopan teenage girl has been reported missing. Dorothy Choco, of Belmopan City reported that around 5:00pm on T..

Suspected sugar thieves arrested
The Belize Sugar Industry has been reconciling their inventory in an effort to account for a large stock of unproce..

Stocked container broken into
Oscar Echeverria, 31yrs Office Manager of Kendal Bridge Construction reported that on Thursday July 5, he made chec..

Foster Center seeks whereabouts of two minors
In other related cases of missing persons two minors are unaccounted for in Belize City. On Thursday (July 5) at 9:..

Mother searches for 15 year son
Oneida de Avila, a Guatemalan national of Melchor de Mencos has also reported that her son 15 years old ANIBAL AVIL..

Sury's Restaurant is target of attempted robbery
Maria Santos, 35yrs Manager for Suly’s Restaurant located at #8 Farmers Market reported that on Thursday 5th July, ...


Journey home from Hopkins - Day 5
If you read our last blog post, you'll know that I'd written a note to Angela and Tony explaining how early we needed to leave in the morning and that we wouldn't have time for breakfast but would like some coffee. I also asked them to please call us a taxi to get us to the bus stop in the village by 7 am (the only other bus is in the afternoon). And Barry planted the note in the gate to their apartment upstairs from their restaurant as they were out to eat in town when we went to bed, early. Fortunately, they did find the note. When we got up on Saturday morning and ventured out, I saw Angela, and the first thing she said was "we got your note". Relief! She also said that Tony would run us up to the bus stop, which was great. We finished our last-minute packing, enjoyed some good coffee, and I signed their guest book before we left.

Hidden Valley Inn: It's Easy Being Outdoorsy When You are Living Like This
In my post yesterday, I was patting myself on the back for getting outdoors, for being a bit rugged. (See my post about the water falls and wild life of Hidden Valley Inn.) And...well...some of you who have visited Hidden Valley called me out. Pointed out that it is very easy to hike and enjoy the outdoors when you are eating and staying in 5 star accommodations. are right. Here is a look at the gorgeous lodging and food at Hidden Valley Inn. So here is how I was really living...The rooms are large and clean. Each with a small sitting area, desk and a fire place! Good sheets, good mattress, good pillows, good products in the bathroom, good Wi-Fi. I was very happy.

Belizean Rice and Beans
Rice and beans is a simple, but nutritious dish. Although it's considered a poor man's dish when prepared plain with water and no entrée, it can be quite an exquisite meal when prepared with herbs and coconut milk as in this recipe and served with an entrée

Spicy Belizean Stuffing
In this recipe I redo my spicy bread stuffing and introduce my new stove. Stuffing is one of my all time favorite meals, but I only eat it in moderation. I make this recipe truly bare by only using bread, cilantro,onions and butter. You can certainly add other ingredients that you may desire, like nuts and raisins and some type of broth.

Beef Tamales
Belizean Tamales are usually made from chicken, but sometimes beef and pork are used. I stewed the beef Belizean style and tried to wrap them in the leaf the correct way. In this video I also show you a little bit more of my home as a way of inviting you in.

Chicken Tamales
My Aunt Jenny was the one who taught me how to make Tamales. In this video, I show you how to make the Tamales that's make all over the Yucatan. We use masa and chicken and every aspect of it is cooked. This meal is very spicy, savory and satisfying. eat this meal at many festive events.

Belizean Conch/konks Soup
Conch/Konk or Abalone is shellfish that has a very tough meat inside. It is considered a delicacy due to the fact that it has a definite harvest season. When seasoned correctly and cooked for the appropriate amount of time this meat can be quite delicious. This soup is savory and spicy and very filling.

Introducing Ragga ‘Max’ – our new guard dog!!!
I have to, with pride, introduce you to the newest member of the Raggamuffin Team – Max! Max is a 1 year old German Shepard that we are lucky enough to have adopted last week. Estice and Lisette Schraven have raised Max but unfortunately for him they have been forced to move back to Holland. They have been looking around for someone suitable and responsible enough to adopt this handsome dog and the family of Raggamuffin are the lucky ones!! Max’s role in Raggamuffin will be that of security! By the nature of his breed this fiercely protective and loyal dog will police the property and the personel of the crew as well as have a lot of fun with us too!! We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Lisette and Estice – we promise to look after your boy!!!

Fourth of July Without Fireworks
This year since we are now living in San Pedro, Belize where there is no red, white and blue celebrations and no fireworks. You can always get some good barbecue in Belize, so that is no big deal. But last night a few of us Americans here on the island decided to celebrate with Wednesday night at Roadkill Bar in San Pedro with Karaoke Joe's. There were lots of Karaoke singers and of course the evening would not be complete without a round of Lee Greenwood's song "Proud to Be an American". So we felt a little bit American last night even without all the fireworks and celebrations.

International Sources

Fitch Affirms Belize Sovereign Investments
Fitch has taken the following rating action on the notes issued by Belize Sovereign Investments III (BSI): -- $85.7 million notes affirmed at 'A'; Outlook Stable. The rating action reflects Fitch's Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating of Steadfast Insurance Company (Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.; 'A+', Outlook Positive). The affirmation of the notes also reflects the timely payment of interest on a semi-annual basis. The one-notch rating differential reflects limitations to the policy's claims-paying probability. Specifically, Fitch focused on the policy's conditionality, termination events, and claims-paying process. Fitch believes this claims-paying process is straightforward with limited conditions and limited potential for timing delays.

Do you Belize it?
Tiny Belize has caught the attention of investors lately, but for all the wrong reasons. The government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been strategizing what to do with the country's onerous $544 million Superbond. In Barrow's eyes, the Superbond's terms (such as the date of its maturity as well as its coupon payments, which are scheduled to increase to 8.5% this August) are too tough on the government, which is struggling to revitalize a sluggish economy, invest in crumbling infrastructure, and figure out a way to reduce skyrocketing rates of crime and violence. Behind closed doors in the capital city of Belmopan and during secretive meetings with the IMF and the IDB, the government is discussing its options, and it's scaring the heck out of Wall Street. As Adam Williams reports in Bloomberg today, various traders and strategists are making serious bets on Belize's decision, and yields on its bonds are some of the highest in the world:

Travel Writing Adventures in Belize
Waking up to the sounds of howler monkeys quickly reminds me that I am, in fact, in the middle of the Belizean jungle. I’m at Cotton Tree Lodge, an eco-lodge in the southernmost region of Belize in the Toledo District. Why am I here? For the chocolate. Cacao is the source of chocolate and Belize is one of the sources of cacao. Today, I’ll visit a jungle farm which supplies cacao along with a fascinating variety of plants used for food and medicine by the Mayan people living in the district. After a breakfast of freshly made tortillas, eggs from the chickens at the lodge and tropical fruits from the trees that grow around it, I’m off with my fellow chocolate lovers to visit a jungle farm owned by a man called Eladio Pop. Eladio is Mayan and has lived in this jungle his entire life. He never wears a shirt. He always carries a machete. He has one wife, 15 children, boundless energy and is truly the happiest person I have ever encountered. As we hike through his jungle farm, Eladio cuts down plants, whacks various items with his machete and opens up fruits for us to sample. If he tells us to taste it, we pop it right into our mouths—after all, he is the one with the machete! Eladio explains to us how he plants a cacao tree and his “co-farmer”—a rodent known as the agouti—plants the seeds of another shrub or tree nearby to provide the shade necessary for the cacao tree to thrive. Eladio believes nature works in harmony with us when we pay attention to the natural order of things. With our tour complete, Eladio invites us to his home. His wife, Virginia, serves a traditional Mayan meal of chicken, tortillas, pepper slaw, plantains and rice with vegetables. After lunch, Eladio’s daughter demonstrates traditional Mayan chocolate-making techniques. She prepares spicy hot chocolate for us to sample—a drink that has been consumed by the Mayan people for centuries. The drink is thought to provide energy and vitality. The ever-energetic Eladio, father of 15, drinks this every day, so there might be some truth in it. You’re probably wondering why would I travel to such a remote area of Belize to hike through jungles and learn about cacao? Well, because it’s my job. I’m not a chocolatier…and I’m definitely not a farmer. I’m a travel writer. Seeking adventures, experiencing other cultures and, in this case, making chocolate is just another day at the office for me. I never mind going to “work” because travel is my passion. Being a travel writer means I get to indulge that passion—and get paid for it, too. My travels are often free, or at least substantially discounted, and I have access to events and destinations not available to the average tourist. When an adventure concludes, I write about my experiences and collect my paychecks. For me, there really is no better job.

July 6, 2012

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Estel’s Receives TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence
It couldn’t have happened to a better place, the people have spoken and TripAdvisor has awarded. With a rating of 4.5, Estel’s Dine by the Sea has earned a place among the very best with a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. “TripAdvisor had become the world’s largest travel site by recognizing the power of traveler feedback – and today, we’re proud to recognize Estel’s Dine by the Sea for earning exceptional travel ratings over the past year,” stated the correspondence sent to the management of Estel’s.

Belize Set to Host Two World-Rated Darts Tournaments
For the first time ever Belize will be the host of two prestigious world-rated darts tournaments, the 19th Annual Caribbean Cup and the 6th World Darts Federation Americas Cup. The tournaments take place this month in Belize City from July 20 – 30, 2012. The Belize Darts Team consists of 17 players which include seven players from San Pedro - Omar Guerrero, Dimas Guerrero, Mario Graniel, Ricky Manzano, George Eiley, Pedro Lara and Melanie Paz. Other members are Jim Novelo, Wilbur Perez, Valentine Marin, Cecilia Joseph, Marie Osman, Theodore Lennan, Felicia Hulse, David Manzanero, Elvira Meighan and Lorena Guerra (from Caye Caulker, Cayo and Belize teams).

Police received vehicle from council at the end of the Police week
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) received two donations on Tuesday July 3rd. The first donation was a Mosquito fogger used for the spraying of mosquitoes that are prevalent in the rainy season. The second donation was a motorcycle that will be used in enforcing traffic laws on the island. Both donations are important for the SPTC to effectively execute their responsibilities. At 10AM on Tuesday, members of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly-Clinic II visited the SPTC office to deliver the much needed mosquito spraying machine. The machine was handed over to the Mayor of San Pedro Daniel “Danny Boy” Guerrero by the clinic’s administrator Owen Vellos. According to the Mayor Guerrero, the machine came in a timely since with the rains there is always an increase of mosquitoes on the island. The Mayor said that the mosquito fogger will be used for the northern part of the island. Also present to witness the handing over was Lisa Tillett, the San Pedro Public Health Inspector. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, SPTC Foreman Samuel Gonzalez explains that sprays to combat mosquitoes are done in cycles. The spray starts two days after the last rain and is done for three straight days. Following the first three sprays of malathion, sprays are done once every seven days. “The new machine will help make spraying easier for the council. The current one will be used for the southern portion while the new one will be used for the northern portion of the island. We will be able to conduct sprays simultaneously on both portion of the island,” said Gonzalez. Meanwhile at 11AM the same day, the Ambergris Caye Traffic Department received a much needed motorcycle bring their fleet to six. The new motorcycle was donated by Ian Richie on behalf of Captain Shark’s. At hand to receive the donation was Councilor with responsibility of the Transport Department at the SPTC, Kenrick Brackett and head of the Traffic Department Chris Nunez. “We saw the need that the traffic department hand and we decided to join in with other previous donors. With the new motorcycle the council will be better able to execute their job,” said Richie. The brand new Chinese 125 BZ Street Bike type motorcycle comes with helmet and will be used for patrols. “We are very thankful for the donation from Captain Shark’s. We can assure the public that the donation will be put to good use and will go a long way in conducting traffic patrols in an effort to improve the traffic problems affecting the island,” said councilor Brackett.

Police received vehicle from council at the end of the Police week
After a parade and a closing ceremony to culminate Police Week 2012, the Police Department in San Pedro received a much needed police truck on Saturday June 30th from the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). The vehicle was handed over by Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and at hand to receive the pickup truck was the Officer in Charge (OIC) of the Coast Executive Unite, Assistant Superintend (ASP) of Police Vienne Robinson. The handing over of the truck was done to coincide with closing activities for Police week celebrated under the theme, “Lets unite and continue to make Belize safer.” The entire formation took off at 10AM from in front of the Police Station and marched down Pescador Drive eventually on Barrier Reef Drive ending in front of the Police Station. Following the parade, the Police held a short ceremony to mark the closing of the week’s long activities.

July 5, 2012


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Mexico reports highly pathogenic Avian Influenza; Belize on National Alert
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority has placed a national poultry health alert following Mexico officially reporting a major outbreak of highly pathogenic H7N3 Avian Influenza in three commercial poultry layer farms in the central Mexican state of Jalisco. Precautionary measures are being taken and border controls along the Belize/Mexico border are being strengthened. Poultry farmers, especially those in border areas, are being asked to step up their biosecurity measures. Other countries in the region, Guatemala in particular, have also called national alerts and are strengthening their surveillance and diagnostic programmes for Avian Influenza. Poultry products are safe for human consumption. The disease rarely affects humans and requires direct contact with sick birds. In humans, the disease causes conjunctivitis and mild flu symptoms. The outbreak in Mexico started on the 13th June 2012. In total, over one million birds are believed to be susceptible across the three farms and over 200,000 have already died from the outbreak. A further 60,000 have been destroyed. The sick birds showed signs of weakness, poor alertness, difficulty in breathing, were lying on their side and had drooping wings prior to death. Control measures being applied in Mexico include: movement controls on poultry and poultry products; official sampling in commercial poultry farms, backyard poultry farms, and poultry markets; assessment of biosecurity and good livestock practices; and depopulation of affected farms

Dia de San Pedro Festivities
Dia de San Pedro’s festivities included the fourth annual karaoke contest held at the old football field, as well as dance presentations and a bright fireworks display. MC for the evening was the magnanimous Eiden Salazar Jr., who called on Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Minister of Tourism and Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr., and finally, special guest speaker of the evening, Mrs. Wilema Gonzalez. After the official opening ceremonies, it was time for the audience to be entertained by a wide variety of dances, ranging from contemporary to traditional, with a bit of modern and even a little rock and roll. As always, the San Pedro Dance Company outdid themselves with dancers as young as three through teens performing their hearts out. After the last dance, MC Eiden called the attention of those in attendance to face the lagoon side of the field, where fireworks had been prepared for blast off. As the brilliant colors shone in the dark side, everyone oohed and aahhed, enjoying the splendid display.

Belize’s Baseball Team is Panama-bound for Student Athlete Games
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team brought home a historic National Championship to the island on March 17th, 2012. Now they are preparing for a first-ever challenge for the school and for the country, as they switch gears from softball to baseball in order to represent Belize at the Student Athlete Games in Panama this coming September. The team, which comprises of students from the championship team at SPHS, as well as two St. John’s College recruits, plus a member from Independence High School, Belmopan Comprehensive High School and Belmopan Baptist, will be facing off with other National champions from other Central American countries in Panama City.

Miss Belize Contestant for Costa Maya Festival 2012
This week the International Costa Maya Festival proudly presents Miss Belize, Karen Jasmine Middleton, the 19-year-old beauty representative from the district of Corozal will be vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012 along with seven other Central American beauties. She will join seven other contestants from around the Mundo Maya countries, including Panama, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica, at the Miss Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant (August 2, 2012) that will take place during the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival taking place from August 2 to August 5, 2012.

Mosquito Fogger and Motorcycle Donated to Town Council
Island residents are constantly complaining that not enough is being done to kill these intrusive and annoying pests. The Town Council owns only one spray fogger that is supposed to cover the entire island from North to South, East to West. Noticing such problem the Ministry of Health representatives presented to the Town Council a new fogger on Tuesday, July 3, 2012. The new fogger will alleviate the Town Council’s stress of getting all of the residential areas sprayed for mosquitoes in a timely manner.

Richard Rahn in Belize: Pro-Growth Policies Halt Fiscal Ruin
The world financial and debt crisis can, at times, be better understood by looking at a small entity that is suffering from the same diseases as the major countries. The small Central American-Caribbean nation of Belize is, in many ways, a microcosm of Europe and the United States in that its debt has grown to a level where it cannot be serviced without doing great damage to the rest of its economy. Also, the courts in Belize, like those in the U.S., give too much deference to government, which is undermining civil liberties, the rule of law and property rights. All too many judges succumb to the pressures of the political branches of government. I am here in Belize to discuss with representatives of the government and business community changes in policy that should lead to higher rates of economic growth. Belize is about the size of West Virginia but has a population of just 330,000. The budget is in millions, rather than billions or trillions of dollars, so one can still get a sense about how much is being spent and on what.

Video Pick: Belize in Lifetime Talk Show Spotlight
In case you missed it, here is the full clip of Belize being featured at The Balancing Act morning show on the Lifetime Network that aired last week Friday, June 29, 2012. Special guest Laura Esquivel-Frampton from the Belize Tourism Board introduces Belize as the Caribbean getaway's treasure to viewers with colorful photos and videos which highlight both the rich array of activities waiting for visitors to enjoy as well as the country's ancient cultural heritage. This year, Belize is celebrating the Year of the Maya. Dr. Jaime Awe, archeologist, also joined the show to tell viewers about the year-long festivities planned honoring Belize's ancient civilization and Mayan heritage. Travelers can tour the Mayan sites, explore ceremonial caves and learn from the rich artifacts that carry on their living history. The Balancing Act, America's premier morning show airs weekday mornings on Lifetime Television at 7:00am (ET/PT).; the show is about women, for women and trusted by women. The spotlight on Belize will air again on Friday, July 20, 2012.

San Pedro Softball Team to Panama, can you help?

More Tomorrow villagers will keep some disputed land
On Tuesday night, we showed you the plot of land under dispute in the western village of More Tomorrow. The issue is one that dates back to 1998 when the land was acquired by government for agricultural development under the then U.D.P. administration of Manuel Esquivel. The acquisition was published in the gazette [...]

P.M. explains how crown land came into dispute
While Prime Minister Barrow says that More Tomorrow villagers will get some of the lands they claim they have been developing, both parties will be accommodated. But the burning question of how a publicly owned land ended up in the hands of a private owner is what everyone has been asking. Well, here’s how Prime [...]

Budget cuts; are they skin deep?
As have been identified per budget for fiscal year 2011/2012 versus fiscal year 2012/2013, there are some significant cuts have been done to the key high priority areas of pro poor policies and poverty reduction and social protection. Our analyst continues with another examination of the now dubbed disciplined budget. Other significant sources of revenues [...]

Boots clarifies Social Transformation budget figures
In the wake of the recent budget presentation for fiscal year 2012-2013, several experts have been weighing in on the financial outlook for the country going forward. While it has been widely described as a disciplined budget there have been increases in key areas of several government ministries, including the Ministry of Social Transformation which [...]

How would you describe this year’s budget?
And our question for tonight is: How would you describe this year’s budget? Austere, disciplined, or lacking. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to

Modern Day Pirates shoot victim at sea
The days of Blackbeard the Pirate may be gone, but the real pirates of the Caribbean made an appearance near Colson Caye on Tuesday night. The daring robbery has left one man seriously injured after he was shot with an assault rifle. Sixty year old Cornelio Verde, a fisherman of Sarteneja Village, is tonight recovering [...]

Pirates steal boat at sea
Several hours following the Colson Caye robbery, Belize Coast Guard officials were once again called out to sea where they responded to the theft of a fishing vessel which was moored in the vicinity of Long Caye. Shortly before dawn today, Nelson Andradi, the owner of a twenty-three foot fiberglass skiff, reported that his vessel [...]

Witness’ amnesia leads to murder acquittal
In the courts, two Belize City men are free tonight after they were found not guilty of the 2008 murder of Edgar Seguro on Oleander Street in the Saint Martin’s De Porres area of Belize City. The cold blooded murder occurred in front of a group of persons just after four on the afternoon of [...]

Guilty verdict for murder of Corozal teen
While there was an acquittal in that case, the accused in another murder case was convicted today. Back in March of 2004, the partially nude body of sixteen year old Corozal Community College student Elia Gonzalez was discovered near a water a tank; some twenty four hours after she was reported missing. At that time, [...]

Attempted murder or bogus charge? Family say accused is innocent
The motive and the series of events that led to the shooting of twenty-one year old Keon Johnson in the Old Capital on June twenty-eighth is still up in the air. But today, former convict, twenty-one year old Norman McKenzie—who was accused of firing the weapon that injured Johnson on the left foot—was charged in [...]

Superbond deadline of $46 Million payment on horizon
No one will be charged with attempted murder for the largest bond that weighs heavily on the government. The Superbond contains two Bear Stearns bonds, a US one hundred and twenty-five million dollar Bond and a US one hundred million dollar Bond; one from the R.B.T.T. Merchant Bank Limited for US seventy-six million dollars and [...]

$9 Million needed for Belize/Guatemala Referendum
The bond is not the only financial responsibility that waits in the horizon. The P.M. also projects a nine million dollars bill for the Belize Guatemala Referendum that is scheduled to take place on October sixth 2013. Residents in both countries will vote on whether or not the claim will be taken to the International [...]

Media houses boycott K.H.M.H. press conference
The Karl Heusner was subjected to an audit after former employee, Delroy Herrera, became a whistle blower. Documents were released that allegedly showed questionable K.H.M.H. credit card uses, allegedly improper procurement practices, payment procedures and even poor oversight of projects. Well, the K.H.M.H. promptly sent out a press release claiming that the audit showed that [...]

Sign up for three by three basketball tournament
Pick-up basketball or three by three, as common as it is an alternative to a full-court match, is arguably more competitive than its five-on-five sibling. Realizing its popularity, the Belize Basketball Federation (B.B.F.) along with Bowen and Bowen Limited have organized a tournament inviting teams of three with an opportunity to represent Belize in the [...]

Summer Camp threatened with closure
And while that activity is inspiring hoop dreams, another youth oriented activity is trying to keep its promises from being deferred. A summer camp in the St. Martin De Porres Area has been ongoing for the last thirteen years; but it could be the last one as the economic downturn is threatening to close it [...]

Lifeline Foundation gives to 2 Cancer Organizations
Two organizations dedicated to providing care and treatment for cancer received much needed financial boost today. Lifeline Foundation of Belize gifted the institutions with funds to develop comprehensive program for children with cancer. The focus, says the charitable group, is to alleviate the increasing need to provide treatment and facilities for this vulnerable group. News [...]

July 4, 2012

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

Women of Caye Caulker Documentary To Begin Filming Today!
If you happen to pass by a camera-laden group of people looking quite professional today, it’s probably the production crew of the Women of Caye Caulker documentary. The interviews begin today. Here is the line up of people who are making this Oral History project a reality: Cameraman, Mike Desabrais, is a professional videographer and editor from the United States. He is a frequent visitor to Caye Caulker and is volunteering his time to the project. Mike, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Carmen Myrtis-Garcia is an award-winning women’s studies professor (U.S.) who years ago created a course and published a textbook on the subject matter of women and goddess-based religions/spirituality of ancient history. She will help with formulating the interview questions, among other things. Brieanne Peixoto is a recent graduate with a degree in cultural anthropology. She is a visitor to our shores. Brie has brought a scanner for family historical photos, and Caye Caulker “old” photos, that the interviewees might be willing to share. Brie’s boyfriend will be diving with Frenchie’s and she has volunteered to help with this project during her stay in July. Tina Auxillou of Chan n Chill Bar and Grill is setting up the interviews for the project. She will the be the interviewer.

VIDEO: The Belikin bottling factory
Love the music....

New Police Truck Donated During Police Week
Two of San Pedro’s officers were honored on Friday, June 29, 2012, at the Medal Ceremony in Belmopan City. Assistant Superintendent of Police and Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department Vienie Robinson and Sergeant Ludgwig Castillo were awarded with the 1st Class Medal Award for serving as Police Officers for over 25 years. Highlighting the ceremony was the handing over of the new police truck which was promised to the San Pedro Police Department in a previous meeting with the mayor and councilors earlier in the year. Mayor Daniel Guerrero officially handed over the pickup truck to ASP Vienie Robinson. Police officers then enjoyed a delicious BBQ in the good company of friends.

Inspiration Telethon Surpasses $1 Million Target
The one million dollar goal set by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow for the Inspiration Telethon was surpassed as some $1,093,368.66 in pledges and donations was reported at the end of the event on Saturday. Throughout the 10-hour long telethon, persons were able to donate by credit card, text, checks, wire transfers, cash at various booths, buying promo items and by billing to their BTL and BWS post-paid accounts. The donations poured in from all across the country, keeping hotline operators and booth volunteers very busy!

San Pedro High Baseball Team Prepares for Games in Panama
The San Pedro High School baseball team is preparing arduously for a sports challenge which will be a first for the school and for Belize. The team will be representing the country at the Student Athlete Games in Panama City, Panama taking place in September. The high school team is actually a male softball team that has switched gears to baseball in order to be able to compete in the games where they will be playing against the national champions of other Central American countries. “The San Pedro High Softball team won national earlier this year; that was a great achievement for the school,” commented team trainer Marion Mejia. “It is a challenge to switch to baseball as the boys are used to a smaller field and bigger balls; but they are training very hard and working on making the switch.”

U.S. Investor tells More Tomorrow villagers to leave
Farmers in More Tomorrow Village are going head to head with a U.S. Developer, who is claiming land they say was given to them by the government. The village chairman, Michael Myvette, says that Joseph Martin arrived in Belize from Texas in late 2011, saying that he purchased five hundred acres of land. But the [...]

Avian Flu Alert in Belize; mass bird killing in Mexico
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority has placed a national poultry alert following a major outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza across the border. Since the outbreak in mid June, an estimated one million birds are believed to be susceptible across three farms in Mexico. The numbers so far show that two hundred thousand have died [...]

Scotia Capital Investment report says Belize’s budget provides little clarity
A recent strategy report prepared for Institutional Investors by Fixed Income Strategists of Scotia Capital (U.S.A.) Incorporated discussed the implications of the Superbond and the budget presentation to offer to investors. In short, the title says that the Belize budget provides little clarity. The delay in releasing the budget had coincided with the government’s reassessment [...]

Further analysis of budget cuts
Following on our first analysis of the presentation of the Prime Minister’s disciplined budget, we take another closer look at the numbers. Pro Poor policies such as social protection and poverty alleviation are one of the key priorities of the Government as stated in the Budget proposal Fiscal year 2011/2012. The four key areas are [...]

Management of secondary schools will remain intact
As has been pointed out, the education budget for the current fiscal year has constricted significantly for secondary institutions across the country. A reduction of approximately six hundred thousand dollars between three high schools have been initially reported, cuts that will see Gwen Lizarraga, Sadie Vernon and Belize High School of Agriculture financially strapped. Despite [...]

ITVET faces challenges
The Ministry of Education’s massive vocational training initiative, ITVET, is also seeing several of its programs canceled. According to Minister of Education Patrick Faber, enrollment at the institution’s various branches has been minimal forcing the school to eliminate a number of courses. A task force will soon be organized to visit each department in an [...]

P.U.P. wants voters’ re-registration exercise
The Senate convened its first meeting today following the March seventh General Elections. While the budget for the fiscal year 2012-2013, which was presented in the House of Representatives last Friday, was not discussed the hot button issue on the agenda was a bill for an act to amend the Representation of the People Act, [...]

Burglars you don’t know and the thief who works for you
Police officers in the nation’s capital conducted a search at an abandoned lot in the Maya Mopan Area on June thirtieth. They found a nine millimeter pistol along with a magazine containing ten live nine millimeter rounds. No one was in the area at the time and the items were labeled and deposited as found [...]

Accident on highway claims life of Orange Walk resident
An Orange Walk resident lost her life over the weekend. Fifty six year old Isabel Carballo lived on San Pablo Street in Orange Walk Town. However, she was walking on mile fifty on the Northern Highway when she was knocked down by a vehicle. The particulars of the vehicle are unknown as the driver never [...]

Busted with weed in his pocket
A Neal Pen Road resident is behind bars tonight after he was allegedly busted on Monday with almost three ounces of weed. Twenty-one year old Gyang Staine appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart this morning and was charged for Drug Trafficking. He pleaded not guilty and while bail was offered in the sum of five [...]

B.T.B. says more tourists spent the night
The numbers for over-night tourist arrivals in the Jewel continue to break records and have surpassed that of 2011. We don’t know if it’s because of the “Heads in Beds” campaign, but the Belize Tourism Board released its annual tourism report that shows a significant seven point four percent boost over 2011’s over-night arrivals. Notably, [...]

Health risks associated with sedimentation in Macal River
For years, the Belize Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO) has been against the operation of the Chalillo Dam in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of Cayo. Their concerns include the question of how long the dam will hold security measures and the health risks associated with the release of sedimentation into the Macal [...]

BELPO says problems could have been avoided on Macal
According to Gonzalez, the sedimentation problem could have been avoided if due process was carried our during the environmental impact assessment. She says that in his forty years of experience, Dr. Lanza saw the worst case of sedimentation in Belize when there was a severe build-up in 2009.   Via Phone: Candy Gonzalez, President, [...]

Celebrations Calendar unveiled
Carnival is two months away and the mas camps are beginning their preparation at their regular bases of operation. But there are several activities that are prominent in the month of September. Earlier today the calendar of events for was launched at the House of Culture.   Shari Williams, Communication Officer, NICH “Of course, this [...]

Gwen Liz student commended for doing the right thing
‘Do the Rait Ting’ is an annual initiative by the Belize Police Department that seeks to recognize young people for their commitment and dedication for making positive choices in life, regardless of the economic or social ills that they encounter. This year’s award program is scheduled for next week, but we caught up with the [...]

July 3, 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 July 1, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

PS the date is wrong, that we will fix soon, I promise you its the July 1 issue!

This Week's Stories:

  • Where Does One Hide A Stolen 2,500 Gallon Water Tank?
  • Benguche’s Second Drug Sentence
  • Cayo’s André Lopez Elected Rotary District Governor
  • Tropigas Burglarized - Two Men Caught On Camera
  • The Belize Rural Finance Programme Extending Rural Services To The Cayo District
  • Another Home Invasion In Santa Elena
  • “Let’s Unite And Continue To Make Belize Safer”
  • Congratulations Mitzi Cruz
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Just Simply Not Cutting It
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Message for U.S. Citizens A July 4th Voting Reminder
Happy 4th of July! U.S. citizens around the globe will soon mark the 236th anniversary of our Nation’s Independence Day with family and community gatherings, food, and fireworks. For U.S. citizens living outside the United States, the 4th of July is an opportunity for all of us, regardless of political affiliation, to celebrate our shared values as citizens of the United States of America. Have a say in our country’s future. One of our most treasured values is the right and the privilege to vote – to participate actively in our country’s democratic process. This November, U.S. citizens will elect a President, a Vice President, one-third of the Senate, and the entire House of Representatives. The U.S. Embassy Belmopan in Belize encourages all U.S. citizens to participate in this year’s elections, and stands ready to help you vote. Almost all overseas U.S. citizens can vote. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now allow adult children who have never resided in the United States to vote using their parents’ state of voting residence. Details are available on the FVAP website at ...

Where have all the frogs gone?
Join us for a free presentation, Saturday, July 7th at the Sunbreeze Hotel, 6pm Michael Starkey SAVE THE FROGS Advisory Committee chair and ecologist, will answer this question and MORE questions you may have!

Road Work At Airstrip Area Commences
Mayor Daniel Guerrero is committed to working on improving the streets of San Pedro, La Isla Bonita. He has put emphasis is maintaining our island clean and along with the help of his foramens he has been working on fixing up the streets of our island. Last month the road on North Ambergris Caye was being fixed up with hard core and sand from the foot of the bridge all the way to Grand Caribe. In the San Juan Area plastic culverts were placed for proper drainage so that the roads are not flooded during this rainy season and streets are passable. Mayor Daniel has made mention that a total of 12 barges of hard core have been bought for the repairs of the streets and work has been carried out in the San Pedrito Area and DFC Area. Main streets are being targeted so that it can be accessible especially when it rains. A specific area that is currently undergoing permanent fixture is part of the Airstrip Area. Concrete slabs will be placed along Swan Street and Lions Street (From the corner of Tropic Air up to Save on Groceries and Lion Street – Front of Maya Island Air up to the Hyperbaric Chamber).

Caye Caulker Drops “Go Slow” Motto for Lobster Fest
It’s the Belizean island that is known for the “Go Slow” motto that explains the lifestyle of the our neighboring island of Caye Caulker, but that motto is thrown out the window during their Lobster Fest celebration. The tiny island comes alive for three days as Caye Caulker offers a different kind Lobster Fest! The three-day festival was celebrated this past weekend from Friday, June 29 to July 1, 2012. Contrary to San Pedro’s Lobster Fest that is 10-days long and which mostly concentrates on celebrating the deliciousness of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster by showcasing the culinary delights from restaurants all over the island, Caye Caulke’s Lobster Fest is one huge blowout beach party!

La Alborada Highlights Dia de San Pedro Festivities
The Feast of our patron saint – Saint Peter was celebrated in grand style this year as the San Pedro Town Council and Catholic Church held traditional ceremonies in honor of our patron saint. Highlighting this year’s festivities was La Alborada which took place on Thursday, June 28, 2012, at the Friendship Park in front of the Roman Catholic Church. Celebrations kicked off with La Bajada, this ceremony took place at the Roman Catholic Church where the statue of St. Peter was brought down from atop its altar; after which a novena was held for nine consecutive nights leading to La Alborada. Traditionally, a band would march up and down the streets playing San Pedro’s Anthem, Los Aires, alerting the village that the dance, La Alborada, would soon begin. Performers would dress up in traditional Yucatecan apparel (Ternos).

La Plaza De San Pedro -The Old Football Field
Before attaining the ugly, meaningless name of ‘Saca Chispas’ given by “I Don’t Know Who”, the official name this sports field is La Plaza de San Pedro. The land was donated to the village by one of San Pedro’s benefactors, Mr. Apoloño “Tuto” Alamilla (RIP). La Plaza de San Pedro was first used exclusively for baseball for several decades until football was introduced in the 1970’s.

Wave Music Celebrates # 1!
Friday, June 29, 2012 many people headed to the hottest club in town, Jaguar's Temple Night Club to celebrate with the crew of San Pedro's music Tv Show "Wave Music" as they celebrated their first anniversay with neon colors and sunglasses. Amazing entertaiment by local DJ's Big Dzl Productions and DJ Fast along with celebrity DJ straight of the USA DJ Geraldo Hennessy Collective Member. All music lovers had an unforgettable time as they partied and danced the night away. Congratulations to the Wave Music Crew on their one year anniversary!

Late afternoon shooting in Old Capital
Earlier this morning the Police department held a press conference in which they proudly let the media know that there were no shootings since early Friday morning. But perhaps they spoke too soon. After three this afternoon a patron of the Plum Tree Restaurant was shot. According to reports, twenty-six year old Julian Foreman of [...]

Keon Johnson by known gunman
There was a shooting incident last week that didn’t make it on the police release. On June twenty eighth, twenty-one year old Keon Johnson was exiting a pickup truck on Central American Boulevard when he was shot on his left foot. According to his report, Johnson said that at nine p.m. a man he knows [...]

Woman saves her 2 infants from burning home; where were the firefighters?
Acts of valor are rare but when regular people commit to tremendous acts and put their bodies in the way of harm, they should be commended for it. This past weekend a fire gutted an uninsured building valued at forty five thousand dollars. While the building was consumed by a powerful inferno, a mother of [...]

Fire official says residents should call fire station rather than 911 for fire emergencies
As for the delayed response, Kenneth Mortis, the substation officer says it may be because the family and neighbors were calling 911, rather than calling the Orange Walk Fire Station.   Kenneth Mortis, Substation Officer, Orange Walk Fire Station “I’m not pointing any fingers and I’m not blaming anybody, but I would only want to [...]

Comparative Analysis of 2011 vs. 2012 National Budget
The national budget for 2012-2013 was tabled in the House of Representatives last Friday; it is one of fiscal discipline says the Prime Minister. It also has a deficit of seventy-five point two million dollars. That translates into two point four percent which is the difference from total revenue of eight hundred and sixty-two million, [...]

Embassy of Taiwan/China donates handheld radios to Police Department
Recently the Police Department received a fleet of vehicles outfitted with cameras and other crime fighting equipment from the United States State Department via the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI). Another Belize friendly government has made a donation to complement the recent CARSI donation. This morning the Embassy of Taiwan/China delivered some very expensive [...]

Telethon raises targeted $1 Million for Inspiration Center
The goodwill shown by the embassies in Belize and the courageous act by an Orange Walk mother to rescue her children from a burning building are only two of the recent moments that show the good nature of Belizeans. Across the country, hundreds of people gave from their hearts and made the Inspiration Telethon on [...]

Robberies and Aggravated Assaults of city residents
Though the telethon was based in the heart of Belize City, the goodwill was not shared by all over the weekend. The violence in the old capital went under the radar but there were criminal activity within its confines starting as early as Friday afternoon. According to twenty-one year old Marvin Bul, just after two [...]

Repeat burglary offended sentenced to 7 years in prison
In news from the Courts, a New Road resident has picked up his third conviction for crimes of dishonesty. Today, thirty year old Carlos Castro was sentenced to seven years imprisonment after he was found guilty of Attempted Burglary for trying to gain entry into a home in the Linda Vista Area of Belize. The [...]

Elario Elijio to be tried for manslaughter in Supreme Court
Fifty-two year old John Russell Myers met his untimely death earlier this year on February twenty-seventh. It is reported that Myers was in an altercation with thirty-three year old Elario Frank Elijio, who allegedly punched him in the face. Myers lost his balance and reportedly hit his head on a concrete wall. Days later, on [...]

2 drug busts yield almost 17 pounds of marijuana
Police have also made two drug busts in Independence and San Ignacio Town. The first was a joint operation conducted by police at the home of forty-four year old businessman, Dwayne Logan and thirty-two year old Donavel Burgess. According to police, the search led to the discovery of two black plastic bags containing twelve point [...]

P.U.C. makes final decisions on B.E.L. approved rates
The Public Utilities Commission announced a final decision regarding the Annual Review Proceeding for Belize Electricity Limited for 2012. While there will not be an increase in electricity rates, the government-owned utility company shuffled and reconfigured some expenses. On April second, B.E.L. made a submission in which changes to its list of costs, as well [...]

But new surcharges to be implemented
In its submission, B.E.L. also requested to have its customers classified based on average monthly consumption. Those using less than two thousand, five hundred kilowatt hours will now fall under the Commercial One category while those consuming more will be considered Commercial Two. New surcharges, according to Derek Davis, were not included in previous Annual [...]

House of Shotokan continues to dominate in matches in Mexico
The House of Shotokan Karate Academy continues to dominate in matchups against teams from Mexico. Over the weekend, karate students competed in both taekwondo and mixed martial arts in Chetumal. They all returned with medals and their proud teacher, Shihan Ray Kelly, spoke to News Five today about their success as well as upcoming tournaments [...]

A second Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of National Security
The daily reports from the police department traditionally comes from the press officer who is currently Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood. In addition to the Police Press Officer the ministry also employs the expertise of Public Relations Officer. Currently, the P.R. post is held by Raphael Martinez. This morning at a press conference at the Queen Street [...]

Football, Cycling and Cricket in this edition of Sports Monday
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The championships Cup Football Season continues to roll people as the Belize Defense Force hosted Maskall inside the MCC Grounds yesterday. Unfortunately, fan support continues to be minimal and maybe the organizers should try to raise the profile of the event. Nevertheless, it’s the [...]

The Original Lobster Fest
There are Lobsterfests all over Belize nowadays - but there's only one original Lobsterfest - and that's the one in Caye caulker. They started 17 years ago as a way to raise funds for their community - and give locals a chance to enjoy a delicacy that, honestly, many Belizeans have never eaten because it's too dear and too rare. And so - with due deference to Placencia, San Pedro and even Bird's Isle - we travelled this weekend - as we have so many times before - to Caye Caulker for their Lobsterfest where the sweetest meat you'll find in a shell was in abundant supply:... Jules Vasquez reporting Belizeans flocked to Caye Caulker on Saturday - a mix of locals and tourists. Neal Bradley, Founding Member - Caye Caulker Lobsterfest "We have a very good turnout up top now and I must say that out Lobsterfest which is the original Lobsterfest has a different concept from the other Lobsterfest in that we want our Belizean people to come out to Caye Caulker and be able to get lobster in different shapes and forms and at a reasonable price." A reasonable price for the king of crustaceans: Lobster.

The End Of an Era At Macy’s Restaurant?
Residents of Belize City and visitors should all be familiar with the name Macy's Restaurant. After all, it's been open for 30 years - all of it spent at the same location on Bishop Street. It's many years of service make it a landmark, but what makes it an institution is its quality: consistent, top grade Belizean cuisine flavored with soul. But, reports are that the famous Macy's may be closing down by the end of the month. We visited with the owner Mavis Pitamba, known as Ms. May today and she told us that up to last week she was dead set on doing it - due to poor business - and the fact that she can no longer open at night due to crime. But today she told us she is re-thinking it because of the outpouring of requests from faithful patrons who are begging her to reconsider. She says she may consider relocating to a location on the northside - but she hasn't decided yet. She'll make up her mind on that by mid-month.

July 2, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Sunday, July 1 until Monday, July 9, 2012

The features of interest this coming week will be the approach and passage of two tropical waves. The first will reach Belize later Tuesday and early Wednesday. The second and much more active tropical wave will show its presence late Saturday through Sunday. The approach and passage of this system will force a northward shift in the Inter tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over northern Central America and an influx of moisture from the Pacific. Also, the TW wave will traverse northern Central America ahead of a surge in the low level easterlies, which will also favor intense thunderstorm outbreaks

Conditions will become favorable for outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday as a weak tropical wave traverses the NW Caribbean and cross Belize Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Moisture and instability will be on the increase as we move into the weekend with the approach and passage of another more active tropical wave later on Saturday and Sunday morning. Coupled with this second tropical wave will be an influx on moisture from the Pacific, as the ITCZ shifts northwards over Central America and the leading edge of a surge in the easterlies over the Caribbean reach the extreme NW Caribbean region.

Daytime heating and the passage of the tropical waves will induce outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over Belize and coastal waters during most of this working, and will increase over the weekend. Model projections suggest that the bulk of the rainfall will be concentrated over the central and northern coastal regions at first, but will become more widespread later on Friday through Sunday.

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.25-1.00 inch on Sunday through Wednesday, especially over the coast and northern areas. Expect higher rainfall amounts in the hilly terrain of the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts, and NE Cayo District. Daily rainfall totals on Thursday through Monday of next week will be ranging from 0.75-2.00 inches, especially along the coast and in the Hills.

Folks in low lying areas should remain vigilant this week and be prepared to move to higher grounds if necessary particularly on Sunday and Monday of next 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

Belize government presents tax-free budget
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow Friday presented a BZ$937.9 million (US$493.3 million) tax free budget to Parliament, telling legislators that despite the ongoing global financial and economic crisis the local economy has performed well. Barrow said the draft estimates included BZ$819.4 million (US$431.08 million) in recurrent revenue, while total expenditure for the next fiscal year which started on April 1, 2012 is estimated at BZ$937.9, with a budget deficit ofBZ$75.2 million(US$39.5 million), up from BZ$69 million (US$36.2 million) last year. In his budget, titled Exercising discipline while preserving growth, Barrow said Belize had been able to maintain an average annual economic growth in excess of two per cent since 2008. We have sustained primary surpluses on the Government's accounts of over two per cent. This when G7 rich countries have averaged primary deficits of more than seven per cent, said Barrow. He said that the provisions for amortization payments increased slightly to BZ$64.6 million (US$33.9 million) which, when combined with the projected deficit of BZ$75.2 million (US$39.5 million), puts governments overall financing requirement at BZE$139.8 million (US$73.5 million). Barrow said that while there will be serious challenges on the horizon for Belize, compounded by the burdensome debt repayment commitments brought on by the countrys BZ$1.1 billion (US$526 million) superbond, which is an amalgamation of all of the countrys foreign debts, he was confident of navigating the ship of state. He said there were several factors that made it impossible for us to repay on the terms and conditions contracted by those that got us into this mess, referring to the Peoples United Party (PUP) administration of 1998-2008 under the leadership of former prime minister Said Musa. A debt-restructuring team, headed by former interim leader of the PUP Mark Espat, and including the Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, has begun meeting with Belizes bondholders to try and get a more favourable repayment terms for the superbond.

Primary School Examination (PSE) – A Closer Look
Submitted by: Golda Swift (M. Ed) Every year students countrywide prepare to sit Belize’s Primary School Examination (PSE). This exam focuses on four main subjects: Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. With high levels of energy and expectations; parents, teachers, and children anticipate the PSE and prepare throughout the up-coming months prior to the dates set. Some schools however, like Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning, have embarked on preparing their students from pre-school, so as to get them fully prepared. Most schools however, have stressed standards five and six respectively; to prepare students with the materials that will be given on this exam. It must however, be noted that the preparation for this PSE is a collaborative work of all teachers within that particular school and preparations should start from the lower levels within that institution. PSE has become of single importance as some schools wait for the results and thereby accept their students based on the grade they have made. Therefore; getting a passing grade of above 50 % is of utmost importance. Principals of some schools have placed all the responsibility of student’s performance on teachers teaching standards five and six. This needs to be assessed and redirected to all teachers having direct or indirect impact on the teaching and motivation of children within their ...

July 1, 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

Letter to the Editor: “Taxis”
Why do we have to allow behemoth vehicles called taxi cabs to invade our island? Some don’t speak English or keep their vans clean and inviting; forget about how cruddy some of them look. How about the discourtesy issue? They are passing golf carts, going way over the 15MPH speed limit, and coming close to almost crashing into a tourist or golf cart or bicycle by travelling as much as 40 to 50MPH. Ramon’s and Victoria House, two of the most impressively well-run resorts have used the large golf carts as their means of transportation for their guests, and they love it. Do we make money for this island by commercial fishing or commercial farming such as “cocals” anymore? No! We make 100% of our income from the wonderful tourists that come here that give their money over and over to us. If we don’t curtail the speed of these vans, then we should honestly and in good judgment, by a referendum, vote to oust these types of vehicles off the island and replace them with the type of transport Ramon’s and Victoria House’s use.

BTB reports another record tourism report: January – May, 2012
Belize continues to ride the wave of the record-breaking overnight tourist arrivals that awed the Belize Tourism Industry in 2011. Last year’s success spawned an outstanding momentum that has resulted in an impressive 7.4% spike over 2011’s figures for the first five months: January to May, which all points to yet another jaw-dropper for the Jewel. This impetus has also done wonders as it pertains to airport arrival numbers, which accounts for over 70% of the overnight arrivals. These landmark figures are, of course, worthy of our attention and perusal; thus, we have taken the time to elaborate on these key facts below.

On the Wild Side: Island Wildlife Reports: Hawk Fledgling Rescue and Brigitte Bardot Saves Belize’s Crocs
On Sunday night, June 24th fisherman Eric (Chino) Trackman got the catch of his life. About 10pm he snared and reeled in a 7ft crocodile on 10 pound test. Unable to remove the hook and worried for the croc’s life, he decided to secure the toothy animal. Now 1am, Trackman decided to contact someone in the morning to remove the hook. Not sure whether to take the croc to SAGA to remove the hook, his wife Jennifer recalled seeing American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) on local channel 64 and in The San Pedro Sun. About 9am on Monday I received a text: “We hav a crok in sum1 back yard in d.f.c.” Then both Vince’s and my phone started ringing about the caught croc. We immediately responded by boat and found the crocodile tied with laundry line, but with a free, snappy mouth. Once secured, the croc was taken to American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) temporary holding area where we removed the hook. The croc’s right forearm appears to be injured so he will be held for about a week to be sure that he heals properly and hasn’t sustained any other injuries. Eric the fisherman named the croc “Crocodilly”. Mitch Marqui has been observing two large birds of prey for some time now, enjoying watching them capture mice and other prey from his freshly mowed property. This week he discovered a juvenile that was severely injured with a broken wing. Mitch took the bird in, built it a temporary home, and gave it fresh water. Monday, June 25th, he trekked the bird from his home, up near Rojo Lounge to the home of ACES in Boca Del Rio. There we fed it some fresh meat and immediately notified the Belize Forest Department. On Tuesday the 26th the bird was transported to the International Airport via Tropic Air where Nikki Buxton from Belize Bird Rescue transported the injured animal to the Belize Wildlife Clinic to be examined by Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand. Saving the lives of threatened American crocodiles, the Brigitte Bardot Foundation (BBF) generously donated $8,500Euros to the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) on June 14, 2012. The funding is for a new, natural, containment habitat that will accommodate up to four large problematic crocodiles at ACES main facility in Ladyville. The BBF is “happy to help with the funding needed for the building of enclosures for rescued crocodiles, and supports ACES endeavors to save and to take care of crocodiles in Belize.” In 1986, French fashion model, actress, singer and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot sold her home and jewelry and founded the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for the welfare and protection of domestic and wild animals. Fighting and defending the rights of animals, the foundation acts to heighten awareness, inform, relieve, and save animals around the world. Today, BBF is the leading animal protection non-governmental organization in France.

Ashcroft claims affect Belize restructuring
Belize has indicated it wants to roll the disputed claims of former shareholders in its telecoms and electricity companies in with the liabilities relating to its ...

Cool Pic Of The Day: Which Celeb Is Swimming With The Fishes?
This actress took a trip to Belize with Oceana for World Oceans Day. This lucky woman got to swim with sharks, turtles and other sea creatures. So who is behind the blue Nautica/Oceana rash guard, flippers and snorkle gear? It's Kate Walsh from "Private Practice!" Although the actress has announced she's quitting the medical drama after its sixth season, it doesn't look like she has a care in the world in these photos. In fact, she's absolutely mesmormized, and who wouldn't be! World Oceans Day was on June 8 and it celebrated and honored the body of water that links us all for what it provides humans and what it represents.

Thousands of Books Donated to Schools in Belize
Five thousand and five hundred children’s books set off recently for classrooms in Belize. Children throughout the Denver Metro area collected used books at a variety of schools for anxious readers in Belize. Including this last shipment of books, the Belize Education Project has delivered over 20,000 books to classrooms in this Central American nation. The Belize Education Project began in 2007 when first grade teacher, Jean Kirshner, traveled to Belize on a medical mission with Rebecca Knight, MD. When seeing classrooms without books, Kirshner envisioned them filled with high quality children’s books. With hundreds of generous children and tireless teachers, the vision has come to fruition. This year Mammoth Heights Elementary School, Douglas County School District, Homestead Elementary, Cherry Creek School District, Patterson Elementary School, and Jefferson County School District collected over 5,000 children’s books. The Belize Education Project began supporting just one school, but the organization has expanded to support three schools in three different towns in Belize. Each of these schools not only has books in their classrooms, but they now are beginning school libraries as well.

Belize Government Presents 2012 Budget
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow today went to the House of Representatives to present his government’s budget for 2012 which at almost one billion Belize dollars ($.935 million – 2 Belize Dollars equal 1 U.S. Dollar) is the largest ever for any Belize government. The budget brought little surprises, as the P.M. had been signalling for some time that the country is facing declining oil revenues, and increasing difficulty in servicing its external debt. The Prime Minister stated that his government will be tapping into the revenues from the electricity and telephone companies it expropriated from private investors, in a bid to shore up shortfalls in the government’s income. It has also moved to strip the government-controlled Belize Tourism Board of its lucrative Hotel and Accommodations Tax. The tax will be removed but will be replaced with by Gross Sales Tax which directly flows into the government coffers.

June 30, 2012

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Belize Tourism Showing Positive Signs and Setting New Records
Belize continues to ride the wave of the record-breaking overnight tourist arrivals that awed the Belize Tourism Industry in 2011. Last year’s success spawned an outstanding momentum that has resulted in an impressive 7.4% spike over 2011’s figures for the first five months: January to May, which all points to yet another jaw-dropper for the Jewel. This impetus has also done wonders as it pertains to airport arrival numbers, which accounts for over 70% of the overnight arrivals. These landmark figures are, of course, worthy of our attention and perusal; thus, we have taken the time to elaborate on these key facts below.

Soca Star Kevin Lyttle for Costa Maya 2012
“Turn Me On” says the San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival as it confirms the participation of Caribbean Soca superstar Kevin Lyttle for Friday, August 3, 2012 at the festival that will run from August 2 to the 5, 2012. The Costa Maya Festival committee wants to please all generations of music lovers and decided to bring in two international artists for this year’s festivities. Kevin Lyttle will light up the stage on Friday while Los Pasteles Verdes have been confirmed for the following night, Saturday, June 4, 2012. Kevin Lyttle is a soca artist hailing from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who had a worldwide monster hit with the addictive soca ballad "Turn Me On", which was recorded by Lyttle and the dancehall artist Spragga Benz. His strong live performances of soca influenced by dancehall and contemporary R&B made the song a hit throughout the Caribbean. The single was released in the U.S. in 2004 and the video was added to MTV on 24 May 2004. "Turn Me On" eventually went gold in the U.S. and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100.

Belize Budget Spurs Talk of Debt Relief, Not Default
(Reuters) - The Belize prime minister said on Friday that a federal deficit leaves the government more likely to seek debt relief but he did not raise the threat of default. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that expenditures - which include an 8.5 percent interest payment on a $550 million 'super bond' - will exceed the roughly $450 million in expected government revenue. That kind of imbalance has prompted creditors to join together to try and stop the government from balking on the loan that has a $23.5 million payment due August. Moody's pushed Belize's credit rating further into junk status early this month, pointing to falling oil-related revenues and rising liabilities following the nationalization of local phone and telephone utilities.

Barrow’s slim budget and tax reforms
The delayed national budget was tabled in the House of Representatives this morning. The forty two page document delivered by the Prime Minister is themed “Exercising Discipline while Preserving Growth.” On the expenditure side, the P.M. says there will be no increase over last year which means that we will generally see a continuation of [...]

Slim budget, but U.D.P. programs to continue
The P.M. says that the budget is not austere, but to swap words it is certainly spartan. He signaled the need for everyone to tighten their belts ahead because the country does face declining oil revenues, increased interest and amortization payments for the Superbond and he referred to “exercising a heightened level of fiscal discipline [...]

Draft Estimates for 2012-2013
The P.M. says that provisions are also being made for support to alternative education, especially the community resource centers in the south side of Belize City, and, the ITVET. The National Health Insurance programme will also continue and funds have been to the upgrade of the Toledo District Highway to the Guatemalan Border. But the [...]

P.U.P. not impressed with budget
The Opposition side this term is robust with fifteen parliamentarians, some who made their maiden intervention today. While the budget will be debated on July twelfth and thirteenth, we got an early reaction from the Opposition side when we caught up with former Leader of the Opposition and current Orange Walk Central Area Representative John [...]

Small demonstration by Jasmine Lowe supporters in Capital
While the Prime Minister was presenting his first post election budget, outside the National Assembly building, a handful of demonstrators kept up the pressure against crime. Jasmine Lowe, the murdered thirteen year old girl from Santa Elena, was central to the demonstration. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.   Isani Cayetano, Reporting What should have been [...]

Hung jury; retrial necessary in murder case
A jury of twelve had a tough time deciding the fates of brothers, Emory and Maurice Felix, who were on trial for the murder of twenty-nine year old Mitchum Heredia. After four hours of deliberation, the jury first emerged shortly before five o’clock this evening, but were undecided. Justice Herbert Lord sent them back to [...]

Brian Brown gets bail for drug charges
Brian Brown is out; he was released this afternoon after Justice Adolph Lucas granted him bail at the Supreme Court. His attorney, Ellis Arnold, submitted that Brown should be granted bail because of non-compliance with an order made by Judge Lucas on June nineteenth when Arnold initially made attempts to get him bail. Judge Lucas [...]

Compensation figures for B.T.L. and B.E.L. widely vary
And now back to the budget, a large part of the public debt is still undecided as the cost of nationalizing Belize Telemedia Limited and Belize Electricity Limited has not been worked out. Now that both utility companies are government properties, Barrow says that B.T.L. is investing fifty-one million dollars in capital improvements this year, [...]

Hoop dreams to become reality in 2013; new basketball facility
There are few new initiatives in the budget. The prime minister brought back the construction of a basketball arena, which the Mexican government was initially committed to. He hopes that with support from B.T.L. and Social Security, the sporting facility will finally come to fruition.   Dean Barrow “Under Infrastructure, I must as well mention [...]

Regional HIV Testing Day
There were other activities taking place aside from the budget. Across the Caribbean, today is recognized as Regional HIV Testing Day. The initiative was started by the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS in collaboration with the Pan Caribbean Partnership on HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) in 2008. For the first time it is being implemented locally with [...]

Mayor cements his bond with Belize City
Streets in the downtown area are getting a much needed face lift. The roster includes ten streets that are heavily trafficked on both the north and south sides. The novelty is that nine will be paved with cement instead of asphalt, which City Hall says will better withstand the traffic and elements and is cheaper. [...]

2012 Carnival, Pickstock Style
Carnival is less than two months away and bands are already gearing up for this year’s fete. Pickstock Carnival Band Leader, Gareth Gill, says that this year they’re going all out and are kicking off their moves this weekend with the Miss Pickstock pageant. The show will feature six young girls, which Gills says promises [...]

A Game Change On Tourism Tax
While the budget presentation was the main business at the house today - we couldn't cover all of it in our lead story. One feature that has to be dealt with all on its own is the change in the hotel tax regime. Maybe change isn't the right word, though because the bottom line is that there won't be any more 9% hotel tax. Hotel guests will now pay the standard GST of 12.5% just like everyone else. Now this would seem to drive up the cost of accommodations, but on the flip side, it will liberate the hotel sector from the oppressive zero-rated tax regime they are currently under - where they can't claim back GST on their inputs. So, when they claim back their GST which will cut costs to hotel owners, it should even out - but, truth is, these things rarely do. The loss though is to the BTB - which is funded completely by the collection of hotel tax. The PM outlined the plan today:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "One key recommendation that the government has accepted in principle is to bring the hotel and accommodation wholly into the GST net while at the same time repealing the 9% hotel and tourist accommodation taxes."

Barrow's Discipline Budget Unveiled
As a standard practice, the budget is presented before the fiscal year starts usually in February or early March. But this year is a very marked difference - elections came in March - which pushed the budget back, and back some more - all the way until today, the last working day in June. In our 20 years of covering House meetings, it's never been presented so late. So was it worth the wait? We'll let you be the judge of that. Jules Vasquez has the overview:... Jules Vasquez reporting Many things were new in the old house today - a new speaker as well as 14 new members, 11 of them first time representatives, and three of them newly returned reps. They would have to learn quickly: The business of the day was the presentation of the national budget - reams of pages of estimates and a one hour thirty three minute, 409 page budget speech from the Prime Minister - which he made clear was about discipline not austerity:

Celebrating Saint Peter, A San Pedro tradition
June 29th is celebrated as Dia de San Pedro in honor of the Patron of the island Saint Peter (San Pedro). The fire engine siren sounded at 3AM to wake up island residents, while the church bells at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church rang at 3:30AM. By 4AM, a mass of thanksgiving started in honor of Saint Peter, considered the Saint of the fishermen. By the time the Fishermen’s Mass of thanksgiving started, the church was packed with mostly men and there was only standing room. Presiding over the mass was Roman Catholic Priest Arturo Año-Nuevo. Father Año-Nuevo explained that Saint Peter is the champion of fishermen and the 29th of June should be the most important day for the island, an island that was once a striving fishing village and adopted Saint Peter as their Patron. Following the Fishermen’s Mass, those in attendance were invited to a breakfast at the Lion’s Den for the fishermen. Everyone who attended got a special shirt, a coffee mug and a glass cup as souvenirs. Warm chocolate, coffee and fresh orange juice was served along with bread, cheese, chicken meat pies and homemade Johnny cakes. At 6AM, the statue of Saint Peter was then taken out of the church and placed on the bow of a boat for an annual boat procession, a tradition that the island has maintained for over 30 years. The procession left from the municipal dock and slowly moved northwards. The group of church goers in the leading vessel conducted a small service on the moving vessel. The fishing vessels then turned left into the Boca del Rio cut, winding through the lagoon and then eventually going into the Laguna de San Pedro. Once in the lagoon, the procession ended at the El Embarcadero Area. After a short prayer by Father Año-Nuevo, boat captains and fishermen each had their vessel blessed as a symbol of protection while at sea. Once blessed, the vessels slowly departed, making way for other vessels to be blessed.

La Alborada: a traditional start to Dia de San Pedro celebrations
The San Pedro the House of Culture and the San Pedro Cultural Committee (SPCC) outdid themselves on the night of Thursday June 28th as they brought back a popular San Pedro tradition, “La Alborada”. According to Mito Paz, Chairman of SPCC, the celebration was a big success some 60 years ago when residents from neighboring Corozal, Xcalac and Belize City would make the long journey yearly to celebrate La Alborada in anticipation of the Dia de San Pedro – the Patron Saint for the Island. The celebration commenced with a mass followed by a block party along Barrier Reef Drive in front of the Catholic Church. Chairs were set up for viewers to enjoy a night of cultural presentations leading up the midnight, when the Patron Saint was serenaded by the Mariachis and Natalie Arceo with las Mañanitas.

San Pedro joins the country in celebrating Police Week
Police Week 2012 is being celebrated in Belize under the theme “Lets Unite and continue to make Belize safer.” The Police Department has been holding activities country wide and on Ambergris Caye it is no exception. In San Pedro, activities started on Sunday June 24th with a church service and ends on Saturday June 30th with a parade through the streets of downtown followed by a closing ceremony. Police officers attached to the San Pedro Police Department attended their annual church service at the Living Word Church in full uniform. Senior officers, regular officers, special constables and tourism police attended the church service, some of whom helped to officiate the service. A special skit showcased the importance of choosing God over law-breaking behavior, and the penalties of breaking both earthly and heavenly covenants was the theme for the service. Pastor Ian Saldiver, in his sermon, explained that the bible predicted troublesome times and indicated that even in the troublesome times the law enforcement officers are not alone in the line of duty. The mass was very inspirational for the many police, who in most instances find themselves in danger while working in keeping the peace. After the service the church treated the law officers to a home cooked lunch.

Javier Castillo is the King of Kings Karaoke Champion!
After seven weeks of eliminations, 2012’s King of Kings Karaoke competition came to and end on Thursday night, June 29th with eight stellar performances by the four finalists. This year’s competition was different from previous years, as the viewers were the judges. By casting your text vote via Smart Phone to 7333, the viewers decided who the winners were. Weekly, the participant with the lowest votes was eliminated. Ten past champions signed up to work for a chance to be crowned Reef Radio’s King of Kings Karaoke Champion and take home $2,000.00. At the end of the six weeks leading up to the finals, four participants remained: Javier Castillo, Joel Andino, Carlos Montejo and Claudia Handal. Thursday night’s show started off with a performance by fallen competitor, Velma Melendez.

June 29, 2012

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Cerros Project Receives Grant
Florida Museum of Natural History researchers recently received $53,000 to enhance the museum's online database of Mayan artifacts. The two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities coincides with the museum's new temporary exhibit "An Early Maya City by the Sea: Daily Life and Ritual at Cerros, Belize," open through Oct. 7. Florida Museum curator of Latin American art and archaeology Susan Milbrath and Debra Walker, a museum courtesy assistant curator who has worked extensively in Cerros, received the grant. University of Florida anthropology graduate students Jeffrey Vadala and Lucas Martindale Johnson developed the exhibit under their direction. "Some of the artifacts being displayed are shell trumpets, jade beads, very early cooking pots that date back to 350 BC, lip-to-lip caches, masks and a huge vessel which originally contained a cache of jade heads in it," Milbrath said. "One of the interesting things about Cerros is that a lot of the deposits are caches that are specifically very ritual – in other words, they put things in a certain spot, in a certain way and people are able to recover it because the site was pristine and there wasn't a lot of looting."

Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant 2012 Presents Miss Panama
The International Costa Maya Festival takes place on August 2nd through Sunday 5th this year. One of the most anticipated events, the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant, features beauties from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama. As always, residents eagerly await the announcement of the beauties that will be participating and working hard to have the honor of wearing the crown as our Reina de la Costa Maya. This week, we present to you the lovely Miss Panama, Karen Elena Jordan Beitia. She is a 23-year-old brown-eyed brunette who stands at 5 feet, 7 inches and measures 34-24-35. She has a degree in physical therapy and is a graduate student in Pediatric NeuroRehabilitation. In her spare time she enjoys modeling, reading, shopping, cooking, travelling and playing tennis and volleyball. She joins Miss El Salvador, Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz and Miss Honduras, Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez in the race for the title currently held by Miss Mexico’s Valentina Cervera Avila. ¡Bienvenida Karen!

The Next Miss Belize films in San Pedro
The Next Belize pageant is scheduled to take place on Saturday July 7th at the Bliss Institute for Performing Arts starting at 7pm. Vying for the coveted title are nine beauties from across the country of Belize. This year, the Queen of the Jewel has teamed up with NICH, BTIA and Love FM to bring the entire journey into the homes of Belizeans countrywide in the form of a reality show. Follow the girls as they go to their various home towns and become a tourist ambassador, showcasing the various destinations that their individual home locations have to offer. Competing for the title of “The Queen of the Jewel” and the opportunity to be Belize’s Beauty Ambassador and compete internationally are: # 1- Port Loyola Belize City- Maryam Quwiyy, # 2- Punta Gorda- Charlyn Flowers, #3- Freetown Belize City- Audralee Enriquez, #4- Corozal – Christine Dominguez; #5 – Orange Walk- Negril Crawford; #6- Orange Walk Arbunie Clare; #7- Belmopan- Jasmine Baiza; #8- Caye Caulker – Jenna Bernard; #9 Dangriga – Tonya Barillas and #10- Destiny Arnold representing Roaring Creek in the Cayo District.

Costa Maya Festival says, “Turn Me On” Kevin Lyttle!
Soca artist Kevin Lyttle will be lighting up the stage on Friday, August 3, 2012 at Costa Maya. The committee members have been working arduously to line up some entertainment for all ages, and with Los Pasteles Verdes already set to headline Saturday night’s International stage, who better to bring out for Friday’s stage than Lyttle? Hailing from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Kevin Lyttle found stardom with his 2001 soca ballad titled Turn Me On, which featured dancehall artist Spragga Benz. His strong live performances of soca influenced by dancehall and contemporary R&B made the song a hit throughout the Caribbean. The single was released successfully in 2003 in the United Kingdom, followed by strong releases in Finland and Australia, and twelve other countries. When the single was released in the US in 2004, accompanied by a video on MTV, Turn Me On claimed gold status and peaked at number four on the Billboard Charts. Lyttle has performed alongside Byron Lee, Arrow, and has released two albums, including his self titled debut and “Fyah”. Fyah features contributions from Alison Hinds, Kevin Rudolf, Lexxus and more. Lyttle is currently working on a new album to be released later this year. Be sure to catch him at Costa Maya!!

Primary School Graduations 2012
Maestro Reyes School of Knowledge Saturday and Sunday June 23rd and 24th were the days of graduations for three primary schools here on the island. Proud parents, families and friends converged at the various locations to celebrate this milestone in the students’ lives. San Pedro Roman Catholic School graduated 55 students San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) said goodbye to 55 students during Saturday’s Graduation Ceremonies. Under the theme “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” the graduating class rejoiced in their many accomplishments as they proudly accepted their various awards and certificate of achievements. Holy Cross Anglican School graduates 34 HCAS held its graduation exercise on Sunday June 24th at the Paradise Theater. A theater was packed with well wishers, families and friends. Master of Ceremonies for the event was Mr. Daniel Jones. Following the parade of graduates, a prayer was offered by Mrs. Francis Wilson and the National Anthem marking the official commencement of the ceremonies.

First ever Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge held in Ambergris Caye
The first ever San Pedro Eco Pro Kayak Race was held over the weekend from Friday June 22nd to Saturday June 23rd. Taking the much coveted $10,000 prize were Jerry Rhaburn and Christopher Guydis of Team Ziprider from Belize City. The idea of the race was born after organizers of the Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge realized that they were being forced to turn away professional paddlers from kayaking in the annual Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge. Organizer, Elito Arceo stated, “We would love to see our kids continue to participate as they are doing now. The Eco-Pro provides the opportunity for them to take the challenge to the next level, which would be to bring down the professionals.” With the abundance of beauty in our environment, the committee hopes that this will provide not only another venue for local athletes to focus their talents, but as well provide the platform to showcase to international paddlers and their family and supporters a little bit of what the island has to offer, while promoting conservation of our eco systems. The Eco Pro challenge incorporates a part of the route of the Lagoon Reef Eco Challenge however it takes it a step further, taking the paddlers entirely around the island and finishing at the Central Park with the annual Lobsterfest block party.

Spartan budget to be delivered in the Capital. Will there be cuts?
This Friday, the House of Representatives will convene for the first time since the March general elections. There will be a stronger Opposition across the aisle so the budget debate is expected to be fierce. At Friday’s sitting Prime Minister Dean Barrow will table the national budget. The PM has already warned of an austerity [...]

Restructured for comfort, Hoteliers and GST
While cuts are anticipated in government expenditure, in the tourism industry the GST is expected to be introduced to replace the hotel tax. But stakeholders are not complaining. Since its introduction several years ago, hoteliers were exempted from charging GST on goods and services; instead, guests had to pay a nine percent hotel accommodation fee [...]

K.H.M.H. says audit exonerates it from allegations
The special audit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.) has been completed. A former employee became a whistleblower alleging improper procurement practices of supplies and drugs and irregular uses of the KHMH credit card and contracts to international companies. The Prime Minister ordered the audit following the allegations made by Delroy Herrera. The areas [...]

Stevedores slow work pace for union negotiation
A go-slow by stevedores of the Christian Workers Union (C.W.U.) on Tuesday was stepped up to a work stoppage on Wednesday. The stevedores complained that the negotiation process for a Collective Bargaining Agreement (C.B.A.) between the Union and the Port of Belize Limited was moving at a snail’s pace. The troubles go back to May [...]

Port of Belize Receiver surprised by protest
The Port of Belize Limited, however, says that a framework agreement was signed between the CWU and PBL on March twenty-third in respect of the negotiations of a collective bargaining agreement and that they are surprised at the actions of the stevedores and the CWU. The release says, “For the CWU to create industrial action [...]

Belize Tourism Industry Association meets on industry issues
The Belize Tourism Board reports tonight a seven point four percent increase in tourism visitors between January and May. March recorded the highest increase with a historic thirty-two thousand visitors coming to the Jewel, followed by February. With that impressive rebound, the B.T.I.A. met this morning in bi-annual general meeting. Aside from a GST to [...]

Green Tropics must rehabilitate protected biological corridor
Green Tropics, a Spanish company, became known in earlier this month when its operations were put on hold for dredging at the Labouring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary. The company has now agreed to pay an environmental fine of over one hundred thousand dollars to the Ministry of Environment for damages, but it’s not over [...]

Simplis Telethon to raise $1 Million for Children with Special Needs
A mega telethon is planned for this weekend by Kim Simpliss Barrow and Care Belize. This coming Saturday, the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts will be the venue for the Inspiration Telethon, a first of its kind fundraising effort through which the Special Envoy for Women and Children is hoping to raise a million [...]

Trial about murdered witness to another murder falls apart
Now turning to the courts, another murder trial fell apart in court today, when the prosecutor faced two hurdles she could not cross. The case relates to the murder of thirty year old Gilbert Olivera, who was gunned down near his home on Dean Street in May 2009. It is believed that Olivera was killed [...]

GSU puts away another man with an illegal loaded gun
The GSU conducted a number of operations today. At mile four on the Western Highway this morning, Francis Benitez, a Salvadoran national was arrested and charged for firearm related offences. He was travelling as a passenger in a pickup truck towards Belize City when he was searched and the GSU found a point thirty-eight special [...]

Benque Town Council and S.S.B. agree on debt payment
The Social Security Board issued a press release today responding to a news story we aired on Wednesday night. News Five had received a copy of a letter, issued to Benque Viejo businesses from the S.S.B., asking them to pay their taxes directly to the S.S.B. to cover a debt of over one hundred thousand [...]

The indomitable Michael Finnegan helps kids with graduation bill
Graduation exercises were held last week at the Salvation Army Primary School. It was a happy occasion for some, but for others, well they didn’t get their certificates because of outstanding fees to the school. This afternoon, however, all that changed because the Mesopotamia Area Rep, Michael Finnegan, came to the rescue. News Five’s Isani [...]

Police week celebrated with cool visits to Belize City Hot Spots
A number of city cops were in the hot spots in the old capital; they didn’t make any arrests, instead they were meeting the residents of these areas. As a part of the police week activities, the officers did one-hour rounds on Mahogany, George and West Streets, Lovely Lane, Victoria and Usher Streets, Neal Penn [...]

At risk youths get conflict resolution training courtesy of U.S. Embassy
While police cooled temperatures in the hot spots, a conflict resolution training was taking place at the IT-VET with the US State Department and Restore Belize. A team of instructors versed in mediation skills are conducting the workshop, which is sponsored by the US Embassy. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.   Delahnie Bain, Reporting Representatives [...]

Healthy Living cleanses the facts about Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease
The Ministry of Health says that about a hundred cases of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease have been confirmed among young children in Belize. The disease is contagious and viral but fortunately not life threatening. Healthy Living gets the details on this disease and how to prevent your child from getting it.   Marleni Cuellar, [...]

June 28, 2012

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San Pedro Lobster Fest 2012 was bigger and better!
On Friday, June 15nd the San Pedro Lobster Fest 2012 started off in grand fashion with opening ceremonies at El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Resort. The jam packed party of lobster lovers gathered to celebrate the opening of the long anticipated opening of the lobster season. With DJ music entertaining the crowd outside and the Caribbean sounds of live steel drum music inside, guests enjoyed great food and crustacean camaraderie. The festivities continued with the Grand Lobster Crawl, where lobster enthusiasts could visit participating local restaurants, bars and businesses to have their Lobster Crawl Passport stamped while enjoying daily special events. At the end of week each stamp counted as a ticket to enter a grand raffle to win a vacation package to San Pedro Lobster Fest 2013. This turned into great fun as many made it a point to fill their passport with as many stamps possible.

Guatemalans Prove Gracious in Victory in the Two International Regattas Held in San Pedro
On the last weekend of San Pedro’s 2012 Lobster Fest, treachery and abandonment by Aeolus the wind god and Poseidon, god of the sea, failed to stop the historic first international regattas in Belize from sailing to completion. Despite puny and variable and zephyrs that waned to non-existence at times, junior sailing squads from around Belize sailed against Guatemala’s superb and amiable ASOVELA contingent, comprised of 13 young skippers, 3 expert professional trainers, and some chaperones. What a day on the Central Park waterfront was had on Saturday! Throughout the day, 21 Optimist sailing dinghies and 6 Laser sloops competed off Central Park in what is called the First Belize/ Guatemala Friendly Regatta. The action of such a large flotilla of sails, gave the crowds something very colorful to watch while awaiting the frantic passage of kayakers in the long-distance endurance contest that was also underway. In truth, so good were the Guatemalan sailors that not a single Belizean skipper was able finish ahead of any one of them. Yet the Guatemalans were also so gracious and friendly with their opponents that the Belizean skippers felt pride and excitement about the experience of competing against them.

Miss Panama Contestant for Costa Maya Pageant 2012
The Costa Maya Festival presents Karen Elena Jordan Meitia, 23-year-old beauty representative from Panama who will be vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2012 along with seven other Central American beauties. Karen is the current titleholder of Miss International Panama 2012 that she won at the grand finale of the 45th edition of Miss Panama beauty pageant which is held in Panama on Friday, March 30, 2012. She is 5’ 7”, has dark brown eyes, brown hair and with a clear complexion. Her first language is Spanish. Karen has a degree in physiotherapy and is currently a graduate student in pediatric neurorehabilitation. Her hobbies include modeling, reading, tennis, volleyball, shopping, traveling and cooking.

Nine Delegates for Miss Belize Pageant, July 7
Queen of the Jewel, The Next Miss Belize introduces the Miss Belize Delegates for the Miss Belize pageant that will take place on Saturday, July 7, 2012, in Belize City at the Bliss Theatre at 8p.m. The delegates have already been touring the country, attending gala events and preparing for the big night’s event. This weekend the nine delegates were in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye where they got to enjoy some fun in the sun. For more information and ticket sales, visit the Queen of the Jewel,

Carib Lager Beer Now Available in Belize
Belize is making way to a new beer as Carib Lager has begun to hit stores and establishments around the country now that Grace Kennedy Belize Limited is the official distributor. Ambergris Today got hold of the very first batch of cold Carib Lager as it arrived on the island. Carib Lager is one of the leading lager beers in the Caribbean, originating from Trinidad and Tobago since 1950. The company classifies Carib Lager as the authentic, original, unique and defining icon of being young, modern and fashionable in Trinidad and Tobago. Carib Lager beer is a full bodied, clear and refreshing lager with 5.2% ABV is the flagship brand of Carib Brewery and the preferred brew of Trinidad and Tobago. This brand has stood the test of time and has grown from strength to strength both in the Caribbean region and internationally. Carib's vision is to become the most sought after Caribbean beer in the international market place. This will serve as a platform for achieving brand internationalization.

Nationwide Telethon Seeks to Raise $1Mil for Inspiration Center
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow and CARE-Belize are hosting a telethon on Saturday, June, 30th, 2012 in the hopes of raising $1,000,000 towards the construction of the Inspiration Center. The Inspiration Center is a rehabilitation center to be located at 1.5 mile on the Western Highway. It will offer basic medical care and various therapies to children with special needs and serve as a community center with after-school classes for children from the surrounding communities. The center is estimated to cost 3 million Belize dollars and Mrs. Barrow and CARE-Belize are looking to raise one million of that through the Inspiration Telethon. The telethon will run from 8am to 6pm from the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and will be simulcast on local TV and radio as well as streamed on the internet.

Spiny Lobster's Popularity
The spiny lobster season is officially open for the next nine months and naturally San Pedro had a blast at the Seventh Annual Lobster Festival. But did you know that way back in the 1960’s, it was the spiny lobster along with our reef, beach and people that attracted some of the first tourists to our Island? To tell the truth we did have some very huge lobsters back in those days. One pound lobster tails were common in those days as fishermen returned with their catch from Glover’s Reef and Turneffe and other cayes down southern Belize. Two pound lobster tails were also brought. They were indeed huge and if there was a lobster fest back then, they would probably have to be sold for 100 dollars each.

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Smiling Meats raided by GSU for drugs. Is ‘old beef’ the cause?
The search started after three and lasted for four long hours until Tuesday night. The Gang Suppression Unit cordoned off the area and rained down on the house and business of Winston Smiling and his son, Mathew on New Road. They meticulously combed the premises, claiming they were looking for drugs. The customers that dropped [...]

Victim fingers shooter before he died, but girlfriend claims to be alibi
The latest murder in Belize City took place on Sunday morning when twenty year old Myrick Crispin Gladden was gunned down in the Lake Independence Area. police have swiftly arrested nineteen year old Tevin Andrewin, who was formally charged late Tuesday evening for that Murder. Andrewin appeared before Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith and after [...]

S.S.B. letter to businesses about Benque Town Council Debt
In the west, the sluggish economy is not only affecting the business community but also some town councils. The Benque Viejo Town Council has received a copy of an embarrassing letter that is also being sent to businesses in the area. Apparently the Town Council, under the guidance of the previous Mayor Nick Ruiz, incurred [...]

GSU’s most wanted, Brian Brown, denied bail
Thirty-five year old Brian Brown, the reputed George Street don whose residence was raided by GSU personnel on May sixteenth, remains on lockdown at the Belize Central Prison tonight after being denied bail by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. Brown, who was initially charged in the Family Court on May twenty-third for drug possession, as well [...]

K-9 and trainers to combat crime in Belize
They say man’s best friend is his dog and recently members of the Belize Defense Force, the Police Department and the Customs Department were assigned to their best friends and work partners. Several dogs were donated to the force under the US initiative, CARSI, and both the dogs and their trainers completed intense training sessions. [...]

Facebook Education; a book written by Frank Palacio
An estimated one billion people have a facebook account, that staggering statistic probably includes you or someone you know. The utility that was launched in 2004 has become one of the most useful tools to connect and it is also used as an effective marketing instrument. This morning Frank Palacio, a writer with local roots, [...]

Machaca Summer Camp gets international coverage
Primary school children are winding down classes so it means that summer camps are springing up and this year there will be many options for kids to choose from. But In Southern Belize, there’s a camp that is getting international attention because it is hosted by the Gotz family from Utah that came to Belize [...]

Police honor the best in the ranks
An increasing number of law enforcement officers found on the wrong side of the law have caused the Police Department to come under fire from the public. But there are officers who have gone over and beyond the call of duty. Since 2008, the last set of officers were awarded, but this year as a [...]

Sunny days, particularly camps signal the beginning of summer
For the last eight years, Peter Lacey has been working with students at his annual summer programme in Belize City but this year, he is also heading north to Orange Walk. Primary school students in the two districts will get the chance to do a combination of academics and sports. Lacey says the camp will [...]

Businesses prepare for the worst at the B.T.I.A. Disaster Workshop
The Belize Tourism Industry Association is having two days of events, starting today with a Disaster Preparedness Workshop at the Radisson. Its aim is to prepare stakeholders to mitigate the effects of various disasters, including hurricanes, for which the season is now underway. The workshop featured presentations throughout the day from the Belize Tourism Board, [...]

June 27, 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

What Britain used to look like from the air
From sprawling factory complexes to newly built suburban streets - by way of some of the UK's top sporting venues and seaside resorts. More than 10,000 images from one of the earliest collections of aerial photography are being made freely available on the web. The Aerofilms Collection is being conserved and digitised by English Heritage and the Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments for Scotland and Wales. Many of the images are instantly recognisable - but the public are also being asked for their help to identify some other locations, and paint a picture of life in the UK between 1919 and 1953. Take a look at some of the photographs with Katy Whitaker from English Heritage.

Major Tourist Mishap On A Catamaran Averted
There almost was a major tourist mishap today - when a Catamaran loaded with tourists started taking on water. At 7:00 am, the 63 foot vessel named Belize Glory was heading to Bannister Caye with 120 Cruise Tourists from the Carnival Dream. But something went wrong and the vessel started taking on water in its engine room. The Captain sent out a Mayday Call at 7:15 am and both the Port Authority and the Coast Guard responded. When they arrived, they got assistance from other cruise tenders in the area to transfer the passengers and get them safely unto the island. All passengers were safely evacuated - enduring only a scare and minor inconvenience. But it's a major safety issue - and the Port Authority has dispatched a team to inspect the vessel to see what went wrong. The vessel was beached on the southside of the island - and according to the Port Authority has three feet of water in the engine room. The vessel is owned by Paradise Limited and according to our records it has been in trouble before. In 2005 it ran aground on the Barrier Reef. Now it is aground at Bannister Caye, awaiting further inspection.

CCJ Frowns On Long Remand
As we reported last night, the judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice held a press conference on Saturday in Port of Spain Trinidad. They were there to familiarize media workers with the workings of the Court - in the hope of creating greater public trust and support in the fledgling institution. One of the judges - from Curacao - did lend his opinion on the extraordinary, punitive periods of incarcerations spent by some who are on remand for murder. Hon. Mr. Justice Jacob Wit "Where I come from Curacao which also part of the Caribbean - any criminal case where an accused is in custody will have to be heard, will have to be tried within 3 months after the arrest. So when I came here and notice that people lingering in prisons for years for example before their cases tried I was shocked and I think we all agree that is something that has to be addressed very severely and we have already criticized several of the courts when they are taking too much time to deliver judgments. It is inconceivable that it takes so much time. So probably that entails a lot of things, you can't blame the judges for everything but it's also about how you deal with cases, how your procedures are etc." "And as a final court of appeal we have something to say on that. As Lord Bingham says Jerusalem will not be ushered in once the CCJ is the final court of appeal but gradually we will be able to improve that." Recently in Belize we saw a case where the accused had been on remand for five years. He was acquitted.

Police Open Up
Last night, we showed you how the police department was trying to build community pride and trust with its community clean-up effort. Well today, they continued their observance of Police Week with an open-day fair at the Queen Street Police Station. Now, the department is usually vilified - and often-times justly so - because of abuses by certain rogue officers. Today, however, we got to see a lighter side of the department as they displayed public relations to the students who attended. ASP Diana Hall - Officer Commanding Tourism Police "Today, we have an open day, and we have the different branches displaying what they do. We have invited the schools to come and partake in it." Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us a little bit about what is being displayed today?" ASP Diana Hall "We have the Anti-Drug Unit. They are displaying the equipment and giving the children pep-talks about drugs and firearms. We have the Community Policing Unit displaying the different types of drugs and firearms as well. We also have Belize Tourism Board, who works closely along with the Tourism Police Unit. We have the Communications Center. We also have Scenes of Crime. We have the Traffic Branch, and we have CIB out here." Daniel Ortiz "What has the response been in terms of turn-out?" ASP Diana Hall "This morning, we had a large turn-out, and this afternoon, some of the students are just coming in." Police week continues until Saturday, June 30.

Dead manatees in the south
Manatees are an endangered species in Belize and as such are protected by the law. However a very concerned resident of Sittie River in the Stan Creek district informed love news that the irresponsibility of boat owners this weekend led to the death of manatees in the area. The resident says at this point they are just waiting on the authorities to take action but she also wants to let the boat drivers know the damage they are causing to wildlife in the area.

The Jones’; Al and Patrick in morning shootout with police
A high speed chase through the streets of Belize City this morning has resulted in the capture of two men found in possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition. The arrests were made following a brazen shootout with authorities. At around ten a.m. police on mobile patrol in the area of Mosul Street attempted to [...]

Tourists get a scare at sea
The fear felt by the pedestrians in Belize City this morning was also equally felt by a group who faced a different danger at sea. Over a hundred tourists got quite a scare after eight this morning as the Belize Glory, a local cruise tender, started to take in water while en route to Bannister [...]

6 year old killed in fatal highway accident
While the members of that voyage were lucky, the occupants of a vehicle traveling on the highway this morning did not experience the same fate. A six year old boy is dead following a traffic accident on the Northern Highway just before nine this morning. Leron Jacobs was travelling with thirty-one year old Michelle Saldivar [...]

Villager arrested for Rape and Robbery of U.S. National
An arrest has been made regarding the robbery and rape of a US national, which occurred on Sunday morning in Dangriga. According to police, nineteen year old Placido Sho, a farmer of Maya Center Village in Stann Creek has been charged for Rape. The victim, a fifty-four year old woman reported that two men broke [...]

K-9 Dogs, police and customs department to sniff out ammunition and drugs
The police department has taken a battering from the public not only to arrest, charge and convict, but also to prevent crime. Belize City has also taken an international hit as a destination to stay away from. But despite all the bad press and morning show criticisms, the men and women who wear [...]

Should child molesters receive bail?
In the past week, over a thousand persons participated in our e-poll on the question: Do you believe that the penalty for murder convictions should be death by hanging or life in prison? The overwhelming majority, eighty-five percent, voted for hanging convicted murderers while fifteen percent said to lock them up for life. In the [...]

Chamber requests no tax increase at budget hearing
The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry says that it welcomes the Government’s assurance that there will not be any tax increases in the presentation of the upcoming budge, notwithstanding, pressures from the International Monetary Fund on the need to service the country’s debt obligation. The Chamber says that it is welcomed despite the nation’s [...]

8 million to take part in Guatemala’s ICJ Referendum
Guatemala has begun preparations to organize the referendum on the territorial dispute with Belize. The simultaneous referenda are scheduled for October sixth, 2013 when residents in both countries will vote on whether or not the claim will be taken to the International Court of Justice for a final resolution. According to a report in the [...]

Critical role of Court in CSME
The ICJ is not the only judicial system to which Belize has ties. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), since its inauguration in April 2005 is the final Court of Appeal. However, the CCJ has resolved fewer than a hundred cases from member-states within its jurisdiction. Belize, which joined the CCJ in 2010, has filed [...]

More people seeking justice at CCJ
While a number of high-ranking, seasoned attorneys have appeared before the bench in recent years, statistically senior counsels have been outnumbered by their lesser peers. There has also been a considerable increase in cases being elevated to the CCJ. In April, the case involving the illegal and discriminatory termination of six employees of Mayan King [...]

Evan Bruhier’s case of sticky fingers
The third court, the one most familiar with Belizeans, the Magistrate Court continues to see a long list of burglary and robbery related charges. The son of a policeman was before the court late Monday evening to answer to a charge for allegedly stealing from a bus conductor. The accused man is twenty-three year old [...]

With friends like these; victim robbed by his buddy
Robbery is despicable as it is, but robbing a friend is inexplicable. Another case of robbery came up before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton; it was a man accused of jacking his own friend. According to fifty-two year old Raymond Harris, on June seventeenth he was out socializing with some friends at the corner of Victoria Street [...]

Senior Counsel Courtenay in UK Hip Hop Debate
A first of its kind global debate was held in London today, the hip-hop genre of music and whether it’s an art form that gives the street a voice or if it’s simply about money, misogyny and materialism. The lineup of panelists included civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, computer scientist and composer Jaron Lanier, hip-hop [...]

New guides for CSEC and Cape students
CXC and Cape Students will now have the opportunity to use student friendly study guides in preparation for their exams. In 2009, Nelson Thornes Limited, publisher of a number of Caribbean publications, including the West Indian Reader, signed a contract with CXC to distribute Caribbean Secondary Examination Council and Cape study materials. 2012 is the [...]

Royalties for local artists? A dream coming true
And after students buy those books and continue with their education, perhaps they too will get paid for producing their own original material. The Belizean Society of Composers, Authors and Publisher (BSCAP) has been around since 2005. BSCAP is a collective management society that administers the copyright of members. There are seventy local members of [...]

F.F.B. gets FIFA instructor to train coaches
The new administration that governs the Football Federation of Belize was installed three months ago on March fifteenth. The future of football was the primary concern of both the president elect and the former president of the F.F.B. So three months later, the organization is seeing some of its commitments bear fruit. The F.F.B. brought [...]

Charlotte’s Web on Ambergris Caye? Spider weaves letters in web!
Ladies and gentlemen, it seems that Charlotte, the esteemed spider from Charlotte’s Webb has retired to San Pedro. She chose to ignore the beautiful beachfront locales, choosing instead to settle in the corner of a parked golf cart under the home of Gladys Ortiz in San Mateo. (Perhaps it was just perfect and homey, and riding out in an old golf cart was all she ever wanted from retirement?) The San Pedro Sun got a very excited call from Ortiz on Tuesday evening; she stated that they had quite the phenomenon in their home, as a spider had woven what seemed to be, a few letters of the alphabet in its web. Hoping to find the words “Some Pig”, or more appropriately, “Some Fish”, written out clearly, The San Pedro Sun raced to the home of the excited caller, and found something very interesting indeed. It seems that this particular spider, who we shall call Charlotte II, has been attending classes at Holy Cross in her spare time.

San Pedro receives three additional trained fire fighters
San Pedro recently received the services of three new trained fire fighters brings the fleet to a total of nine fire fighters and around four volunteers. At any given time there will now be two to three fire fighters at the San Pedro Fire Department to operate three shifts: 8am -4pm; 4pm – midnight and midnight – 8am. According to Ernest Dominguez, Senior Fire Fighter and Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Fire Department, the addition was certainly needed and will definitely add to the effectiveness of the Department in responding to fires on the island The three fire fighters were part of the Belize Fire Service’s first batch of graduates for the year 2012. On Friday May 25th 24 fire fighters completed an intense 15 weeks of training in Belize City to receive their credentials as official fire fighters. The San Pedro Sun caught up with Irbin Popper and Rudolph Matura, two of the fire fighters deployed to the San Pedro Branch for a little chat. Irbin Popper, 23 years old resident of Orange Walk Town has been deployed to San Pedro. He stated that his reasons for joining the Fire service were to be able to assist in protecting and saving lives and property. Irbin is married and hopes to be of much assistance to the San Pedro Community.

LobSTARS Come out to Party at LobsterFest
Elvi’s Kitchen emerged as winner for the Best Lobster Dish at this year’s San Pedro Lobster Fest and Caliente/Red Ginger/Blue Water Grill chain of restaurants claimed the Best Lobster Drink making it a two-peat win for both establishments, having claimed the same wins at last year’s event. Lobster Fest was celebrated in grand style on Saturday, June 23, 2012, with a grand block party at Central Park. All the LobSTARS came out to celebrate as the ten-day celebration of all things lobster reached its peak this weekend at the Lobster Fest Block Party. Central Park was alive with music, entertainment and most of all filled with the sweet aroma of lobster! For those who did not make it early to the festival, they had to wait in long lines to get their hands on some juicy Caribbean Spiny Lobster. But nobody was complaining because each food booth was serving some of the best lobster dishes on the island and the music and atmosphere made for a great time.

June 26, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Sunday, June 24 until Monday, July 2, 2012

Tropical storm Debby in the NE Gulf of Mexico will remain nearly stationary during the next 72 hour. It will then begin a slow NE’ly motion later on Wednesday and Thursday morning, moving across northern Florida and into the SW Atlantic by late Thursday through Friday. A trough of low pressure near the surface will extend from the center of Debby to the Yucatan peninsula and Belize through Wednesday. Meanwhile, an upper level low will drift westwards to the NW Caribbean and Belize by next Monday morning. No tropical cyclone is expected to develop or move through the Caribbean over the next seven days.

Weak pressure gradient will persist over the southern Gulf of Mexico and the NW Caribbean during most of this week, with a low pressure system remaining in the vicinity of Belize and Yucatan through Friday. Some residual moisture will continue to stream into the NW Caribbean from the Pacific this week, while an upper low vortex forms over the SW Caribbean and makes it way towards the NW Caribbean over the weekend and on Monday.

Daytime heating and instability will induce more outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over Belize and coastal waters during most of this working week and the coming weekend. However, the rainfall is not expected to be as intense and persistent as was experience last week. We will see more hours of sunshine over most districts this week.

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.50-1.00 inch on Sunday through Friday over most districts, but especially in the interior. Rainfall amounts will be higher in the hilly terrain of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. Daily rainfall totals on Saturday through Monday will be ranging from 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch, especially in the South and along the coast. Folks in low lying areas should remain vigilant!

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

Belize Hotel Association General Meeting & membership
You are cordially invited to attend the Annual General Meeting of the Belize Hotel Association being held on Tuesday, June 26th at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza at 1:30pm. The CEO of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture -- Tracy Taeger-Panton, will address the audience about plans for promoting Belize around the world. Plus, you will learn the many ways that BHA promotes and supports every BHA member to build more business and increase your profits. BHA membership is the smartest investment you can make in growing your hotel business. We are dedicated to driving demand for your rooms and keeping your hotel “top of mind” for thousands of travelers and travel professionals around the world, but especially in our largest travel market, the U.S. and Canada. Discover the excellent value you gain from being a BHA member and compare all of these benefits to your other options. We know you will agree with us that BHA membership delivers more value to Belize hotels than other advertising and membership offers.

Inspiration Telethon to raise funds for the Inspiration Center
Special Needs Children....from Spina Bifida, MS, Cerebral Palsy, and many more Birth Defects, our country has many children that will be able to benefit from the Inspiration Center. Check out the video

Are disabled citizens being left behind in San Pedro?
Are San Pedro taxi drivers discriminating against disabled people? That is the first question that comes to mind when a wheelchair dependent person visited with The San Pedro Sun to complain that he is being ignored by most taxi drivers. Edbin Caballeros, a Boca del Rio resident, has been confined to a wheelchair for almost two years now and there is one problem that has him upset; taxi drivers will not pick him up and he feels that he is being discriminated against. 33-year-old Caballeros believes that the reason taxi drivers would not pick him up is because he would require a little more time and patience due to his wheelchair. “Sometimes when I want their service they would say “I am busy” and then about ten feet away from me, the taxi would go and park,” explains Caballeros. A very somber and emotional Caballeros explained that he is not asking cab drivers for a free ride, all he wants is a service and to be treated with respect. “I am not asking them for a free ride; all I am doing is requesting a service which I am willing to pay for. If because of my wheelchair I need to pay eight dollars, and the normal people pay seven dollars, then I am willing to pay the additional dollar. All I want is for them to be considerate and picture themselves in my position. Most of them honk their horns at normal people, offering them taxi service, but not to the wheelchair man. I want them to have a little bit of dignity upon themselves and to treat me with respect and like any other person requesting a service,” said Caballeros. According to CARE Belize, the organization that assists disabled/handicapped people in Belize, San Pedro Town is not the only place where disabled people are discriminated against. CARE Belize explained however, that in 2011, the Government of Belize (GOB) signed on to the international Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which clearly outlines that all governments should ensure that disabled people’s rights are respected...

Fourth Annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament Announced
The 4th Annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament is set for August 23-25th, 2012. As in previous years, the event will be a three-day catch and release fly-fishing tournament for the grand slam species bonefish, permit and tarpon. We will have both a Pro division and an Amateur division. The team structure will be the same as last year, with all Pro Teams guided by a licensed Belize Tourism Board fly fishing guide, and all two person Amateur Teams without a guide. The Amateur division is open to all. This year will see some changes in the format of the tournament. New prizes, venues and donations will hopefully make this year the best one ever. We still have sponsorship slots available. El Pescador and Simms Fishing Products have secured the Presenting sponsorship positions leading the way for another great tournament in 2012. Many teams from last year and new teams have already signed up. The field of teams may be limited so enter early. This event is a 100% non-profit, volunteer tournament with all proceeds paid out or donated. Deadline for all entries is July 1st, 2012. For more information on sponsorship or team entries, please contact Wil Flack at 226-FISH or 629-6599 or email at

Boxing in SP features Belizean and Guatemalan boxers
On the night of Friday June 22th, a large multitude came out to enjoy a night of boxing. The Rafael Angel Nuñez came alive with eight boxing matches featuring Belizean and Guatemalan boxers. During the course of the night, there was also a special presentation by the San Pedro Karate School, whose students displayed some of their techniques to the audience. Lively spectators filled the bleachers chanting for each boxer as they were called inside the ring before the fights. After the official opening, which including the rendition of both countries’ national anthems, all eyes were on the fighters in the ring. In the international fights, Belize featured boxer such as Raymond Smith, Max Williams, Sherman Galvez and Mohamed Harmouch, while the Guatemalan team featured Jeffrey Mazoza, Juan Reyes, Nerry Vega and Mayco Tello. Other Belizeans fighters that also took part in local fights were Harold, Brinton Flowers, Orwin Franco, Cesar Lemus, Horace Cadle, Alex Neal Michael Severanes, and Kenyan Righ. The Result for the fights is as follows:

Girlfriend shot and watched 20 year old boyfriend murdered
The weekend street violence started on Friday when Edmond Panton was shot and killed on Mex Avenue shortly after four o’clock. That murder was followed by another just after midnight on Saturday. Twenty year old Myrick Gladden was shot and he succumbed within an hour at the K.H.M.H. He was with his girlfriend and a [...]

Shooting at the basketball court
Hours later, at around four-forty-five on Saturday morning, shots rang out once again on the South Side of Belize City, injuring nineteen year old Nigel Augustine. Augustine was on the Dog Pound Basketball Court along with Ellis Ortiz when two male persons wearing masks and dressed in full black approached them. Both men pulled out [...]

Teachers and students protest against crime in Benque
The anti-crime protests that started in San Ignacio last week sparked another further west and in the City. In Benque Viejo Del Carmen, the B.N.T.U. joined students from seven schools who took to the streets this morning. The message from the hundreds was that they want to live in a safer Belize. News Five’s Andrea [...]

Was another child molested in the West?
There is another allegation of sexual abuse of minors in the west. Residents in Benque Viejo are angry that an alleged child predator is free after he was detained for a day. But is he still in Belize? The residents say that the day after he was released the suspect, who is highly connected, disappeared. [...]

1st round of negotiations of Superbond with bondholders to be held next week
On the financial front, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, will be presenting the national budget to the House of Representatives this Friday. The PM says we can expect an austerity budget; there is already a thirty million dollar deficit from oil revenue shortfalls. According to a report by Reuters news agency, the government has set aside [...]

Belize City Primary Schools protest against crime
Last week residents of the twin-towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena came out in full force to protest on the eve of the arraignment of alleged predator of young girls, Bert Vasquez, who is also the suspect in the murder of Jasmine Lowe. This morning in Belize City, another demonstration was held. Three schools [...]

Bicyclists rob gas station attendant and supervisor
Just before four p.m. on Sunday two masked bandits targeted Esso Superstation on Cemetery Road near the Pound Yard Bridge. Twenty-six year old Supervisor Anorio Coc says that while inside the station, three men rode up to the gas station on separate bicycles, brandishing firearms. Two of the assailants robbed Coc of an undisclosed amount [...]

Rape and Robbery of U.S. Citizen in Dangriga
An aggravated burglary turned into a case of rape of a U.S. National in Dangriga Town. The fifty-four year old U.S. citizen reported that sometime around three Saturday morning, she was sleeping when two men wearing stockings over their heads and rags over their faces gained access into her home. One of the assailants tied [...]

Bailey won’t get bail for Attempted Murder
A Raccoon Street resident has been arrested in connection with a shooting that occurred two months ago. Forty-one year old Larry Sutherland was shot on April twenty-first and the suspected gunman is twenty year old Devon Bailey, who appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning. Bailey was charged with Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly [...]

Residents carrying illegal weapons taken to prison
Two illegal firearms were taken off the streets on Sunday and so were the men carrying them. Thirty year Kareem Bennett and twenty-seven year old Chris Reynolds were both remanded to the Belize Central Prison after being charged for separate incidents. Bennett was arraigned in the court of Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for Kept Firearm [...]

UB Professor says sex predators never caught on 1st offence
Last Wednesday, the long arms of the law caught up with twenty-eight year old Bert Vasquez, the Belize City man who faces a murder charge for Jasmine Lowe and eleven counts of common assault, one count of abduction and one count of aggravated assault on eleven minors in the west. But prior to those charges, [...]

Swift action by GSU leads to arrest of gun toting robbers
On Saturday shortly after two o’clock in the morning, a team of GSU officers were conducting an operation when they came across two men who reported that they had just been robbed on Barrack Road by two persons on bicycles. One of the victims claimed that he was hit on the face by an armed [...]

Cops clean up streets during Police Week
The Community Policing Unit has embarked on a project that entails the Broken Windows Theory which is a concept in which the upkeep of the environments may stop vandalism and crime. This morning, police took on neighborhoods in the city where violence-prone areas have been targeted for rehabilitation. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports from Euphrates [...]

Lord’s Bank resident wins September Celebrations Theme Competition
A winner has been selected in the annual Theme Competition for the September celebrations. In 2011, the competition had record participation with a hundred and sixty entries, but there’s a new record this year as one hundred and ninety-five themes were submitted. Topping them all was Lord’s Bank resident, Emogeen Young Ramclam, who is a [...]

James Adderley captivating weekend moments in Sports
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley. Welcome, this to this portion of Sports Monday. Twenty-eight of Belize’s Elite cyclists congregated at La Democracia on the Western Highway yesterday for the start of the 13th National Road Championship as presented by the Belize Cycling Association including the defending champion, Byron Pope who goes in holding the record [...]

Maestro Reyes School of Knowledge Bids Farewell
“Pomp and Circumstances” filled the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, June 23, 2012, as nine proud students of Maestro Reyes School (MRSK) triumphantly marched up the aisle to receive certificates in elementary education. This year’s graduation was extra special as it was the very last graduation for Maestro Reyes’ School of Knowledge. Kieran Nuñez gave the valedictory address which was followed by a very emotional principal’s address by Mr. Leonel Reyes. In his speech Mr. Reyes expressed his gratitude to all the community for its unending support throughout his teaching careers (24 years as teacher/principal at San Pedro RC School and 21 years as teacher/principal at MRSK).

Santiago Castillo Caravan Give-Aways in San Pedro
The SanCas Caravan was in San Pedro and Caye Caulker this past weekend giving away products and cash to unsuspecting residents. Staff members of Santiago Castillo Limited visited homes in La Isla Bonita in search for San Cas grocery items. If they found 10 or more items in their pantry or fridge, they prized residents with a free hamper full of products from the company! It’s is a way for the company to give back to customers who use their products and are loyal to the brands they carry. To the surprise of the Ambergris Today family, the San Cas Caravan stopped at Nuñez Nest residence where Mrs. Ligia Nuñez was awarded with a gift basket for having a bit over the required 10 San Cas products.

Belize's Ministry of Health Confirms Cases of Hand Foot and Mouth Disease
The Ministry of Health confirms the presence of a few clusters of a mild, self-limiting viral illness in children consistent with Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. Cases are mainly from Belize City. The Epidemiology Unit can confirm just fewer than one hundred cases of this contagious viral illness which is not be confused with Foot and Mouth Disease or Mad Cow Disease. Common symptoms include fever, sore throat and blisters that may appear on the mouth, hands, feet and sometimes on the buttocks, with complete recovery within one week. Treatment includes fever reducers, pain relievers and soothing liquids and cases can be managed at any health facility countrywide. The disease is spread through coughing, sneezing and poor hygiene. The public is reminded to practice proper hygiene, frequent hand-washing and cough etiquette to help prevent the spread of this and other communicable diseases. The Ministry will continue to monitor the disease and duly advise the public.

Old Timer Or Modern Sanpedrano? Num. 17
YOU KNOW THAT YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF On July 15, the first day of the lobster season, you went, “Wow! when you learned that one fisherman delivered only fifty pounds of lobster but yet he earned a whopping $1,000.00. YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF On the first day of the lobster season you used to be extremely excited about the fact that you were going to make a big delivery of your catch and that you would make a lot of money.YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MODERN DAY SANPEDRNO BECAUSE The first day of the season is as normal as any ordinary day. There is not much excitement because you know your catch is small.YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO IF You only knew of two ways of eating lobster and it is by boiling them and then you hash and panfry. The other way was by making a delicious soup with them- a soup called ‘chechak’ which uses the red recado seasoning and coconut milk. YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MODERN DAY SANPEDRANO IF You have learned a whole variety of ways of preparing lobster dishes. You are talking about the two old traditional ways plus curry lobster, lobster in coconut cream, baked lobsters, lobster ceviche, lobster burgers, lobster kabobs, and more.

Wet Willy’s is Back with Something Good!
Have you been to Wet Willy’s lately? It’s not the same place that you remember as the new owners are making the fun at the end of the famous dock more family oriented by day and with plenty of fun and entertainment at night. One piece of kitchen equipment that is making a world of difference at Wet Willy’s is a smoker which chef Stephen Kilshenstein is a pro at using to slowly cook meats and creating some delicious food that sets the establishment apart...

June 25, 2012

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

SURPRISE!!! Marie and Phil got married!
The invitation was subtle, no hint of any shenanigans afoot – just a party to celebrate at Casa Caracol. Never one to refuse an invitation to misbehave, The San Pedro Sun’s Mary Gonzalez headed out in beach cocktail attire, and arrived to find a great party in full swing. There was no sign of Marie, but Phil, looking dapper, certainly was making the rounds, and everyone was having a great time. Gino and company kept the music going, with impressive guitar skills and vocals to add to the atmosphere. The rain outside could pour all night long, as everyone was ensconced safe and warm indoors, enjoying their rum punch, sangria, Belikin or Pimm’s. There was a lull in the music, and everyone’s attention was called to the front where Phil was putting on a blazer, and Jim Janmohammed stood at the ready. What was happening?! Just then, at the door, stood a beautiful young lady holding a bouquet of blue and white, and behind her – could it be?! It was Marie Carroll, looking absolutely radiant, and oh-so-beautiful in a gorgeous white wedding dress.

Belizean US Air Force Captain in Body Building Spotlight
She grew up running along the sandy streets of San Pedro, spending her childhood summers in the water and growing up in an island that she called home for many years. Given the opportunity to study abroad she joined the US Air Force, has a great career as a satellite technical expertise and now boasts the title of the International Federation of Body Builders’ Bikini Pro. Sanpedrana Katherine Portillo is winning body building competitions in the United States. She is currently residing in Santa Maria, California; she holds title as captain in the US Air Force but also has major interest in bodybuilding and is working very hard in the arena of health and fitness.

Belize allocates additional funds to combat crime
The fight against crime continues to be the number one preoccupation for the government of Belize. The administration said it is determined to halt the downward spiral, and begin now to recapture lost ground. Accordingly, the Ministry of Finance has made a special transfer of $300,000 to the Ministry of National Security for the purchase of special equipment for the Belize Police Department's reconfigured strategy to combat violent crime. Cabinet's approval of the draft budget to be presented to the House next Friday ensured ample funding for national security. This included an increase for fuel and other operating expenses. In keeping with the new thrust, the prime minister has decided to move the Department of Immigration out of the Ministry of National Security. This will free the Ministry of National Security administratively and operationally to focus exclusively on its core, now singular, mandate. The Immigration Department will therefore move to the Ministry of Local Government, Labour and NEMO; and Minister of State Elvin Penner, who has special responsibility for immigration, will also move with the department to the new ministry.

Fraudulent land transactions taking place in Belize
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture has acknowledged that cases of fraudulent land transactions have been occurring in Belize. The Lands and Surveys Department said it is making concerted efforts to resolve these matters with a view to minimize the frequency of such activities. To this end, the Ministry specifically confirmed that Elroy Bastarrachea is not an employee of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, and more specifically of the Lands and Surveys Department. Neither does he work for either the deputy prime minister Gaspar Vega or the minister of state, Hugo Patt constituency offices, the ministry said. The ministry emphasised that any monies payable to the government of Belize for land transactions should be made at either of the Lands and Surveys Departments countrywide. Proof of payment in the form of a government of Belize Revenue Collector's receipt should always be demanded. The general public is advised to exercise prudence in the processing of land transactions.

Digging for treasures at Maya tomb, ruins
Student archaeologists are at a site in Belize this summer. A team of teenage archaeologists from Davidson Day School flew to the Central American country of Belize on June 22 to unearth artifacts at a tomb of Maya royals who ruled more than a thousand years ago. Leading the group of 22 students is archaeologist Mat Saunders, 34, who has dug at the Cahal Pech Maya ruins site in western Belize since 2006. Saunders teaches anthropology, world religions, history and mythology at Davidson Day, a private college preparatory school. His American Foreign Academic Research nonprofit is based at the school and raised at least $80,000 during the past year for student scholarships and preservation of the archaeological sites they discover. Saunders also brings 20 of the world’s foremost experts on Maya archaeology and culture to Davidson Day each spring to share their latest research with the public at a Maya conference. He hosts a similar conference each year in Palm Coast, Fla., where he previously taught. His trips to Belize have become so popular that Saunders added a second two-week session this summer, with some students planning to stay the entire four weeks, from June 22 to July 23.

Pique oil: the yoga guru and the Caribbean lawsuit
A very Irish drama is playing out in a distant part of the British empire, with the businessman and former yoga guru Tony Quinn at its centre. PAUL CULLEN reports from Road Town, Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands THE COURTROOM IS bedecked with Union Jacks, and the registrar starts proceedings by saying, “God save the queen,” but there is a distinctly Irish tinge to the case being heard on this tiny island by the commercial division of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court. The presiding judge, Justice Edward Bannister, has the tricky task of deciding who is right about a mass of claims and counterclaims being made by the present and former directors of International Natural Energy (INE), which struck oil in Belize with the financial help of scores of small investors from Ireland. Two of the company’s Irish founders, Sheila McCaffrey and Susan Morrice, are at loggerheads over control of a company that has earned hundreds of millions of euro in oil revenue over the past five years. And then there is Tony Quinn, the yoga guru, health-food shop owner, hypnotherapist and now INE director, who has the most to win or lose from the proceedings. Quinn was given 64,000 shares in the company in 2006 – this is not in dispute by either side – and stands to earn $23 million (€18 million) under an agreement reached with INE last August to buy them back. But Justice Bannister has stopped this transaction going ahead until the case brought by McCaffrey is dealt with.

Editorial: Contemplating Misfortune
After my house was robbed clean last week, I made the mistake of calling my insurance company. I was painfully reminded that for the thousands of dollars each year that I faithfully pay, I am only covered for hurricane, fire and OTHER natural disasters. I was told, as a policy, my insurance company rarely issues theft insurance because, and I quote, “I am sorry Mrs. Sniffin, it is not a matter of IF you will be robbed, it is a matter of WHEN. It is a CERTAINTY.” Then came the Security Companies; all but one NEW to the island as of a month ago. No less then four different companies contacted me within 48 hours of my hard luck. Sure, I know they just want to help, and I am glad they are here to now offer a service that was not needed just months ago…but I could not help but feel like a touch of salt was added to my wounds of misfortune when they circled in. Now we are busy forming Neighborhood Watches, debating which closed-circuit monitoring systems are most effective and becoming experts in jungle warfare. Now we are meeting our neighbors, learning self-defense and even applying for gun permits. Now we wish our friendly dogs were more threatening and regret the thick foliage we once planted in our yards that now offers cover for those who look to thieve us. Now we scrutinize every unfamiliar face that passes our house, judging them before offering a not-so-ready smile.

June 24, 2012

Letter to the Editor: People of San Pedro unite. Enough is enough.
by Corry McDermott Why have we let GOB rape us out of our hard earned dollars and give us only $69,000 when they receive altogether approximately $70,000,000? What have they given us in return? Bad Police Bad Roads Bad Infrastructure Bad Gangs coming over from Belize City to rob us, breaking into the legal privacy of our homes and businesses. There is a problem with the culture of San Pedro and that is: “Everything is: ‘No Problem Mon’.” For they have never liked confrontation, and have a lackadaisical attitude, saying, “Let the other guy do it.” If the police happen to catch a burglar/thief, he is let go within two days for no-one that has been broken into and robbed will testify against them. People of San Pablo especially, do what the people did further down south. They created South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch and each of the 120 members has contributed to, we don’t have any criminals down there trying to rob us.

Foreman Samuel Gonzalez Returns from Solid Waste Management Training
Solid Waste management on the island has been an exponential problem and continues to be so. With the implementation of the new Solid Waste Management Plan in which solid waste products will be transported to the Belize City for proper disposal, Foreman Samuel Gonzalez is being trained to oversee the process. Samuel travelled to El Salvador for an extensive three-day training session in Solid Waste Management. Gonzalez left the country for El Salvador on the 5th of June and returned on the 9th of June. He formed part of a larger Belize delegation who received the training as part of the national Solid Waste Management Plan. This was made possible through an initiative by the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment. According to Gonzalez, his experience was very fruitful and by comparison, he believes that the Belize Solid Waste Management Plan will work impeccably. “This is a comparison from an opened dump site and how a land-fill works. Open dumpsites are usually burned providing for less methane gasses. In the landfills, there is a base, a lining and then they start dumping the garbage. There’s a layer of garbage followed by a layer of sand and so forth. This is being done on a daily basis, so you don’t really see the garbage, only sand the landfill.”

The June 24th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • This Is The Beast Says Police
  • Who Would Want Cecilio Dead?
  • Top PSE Students
  • Chinese Store Robbed - Three Boys Charged
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial:
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

June 23, 2012

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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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Mercury in Fish from the Macal River
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Department of Environment and the Belize Electric Company (BECOL), has concluded another mercury test on the fish taken from the Macal River in May 2012. The following Public Advisory is being issued to guide the general public on the amount of fish that can be eaten weekly from the Macal River to avoid ill effects due to mercury exposure. Fish samples collected from the Macal River produced 15 types of fish. After testing, 5 or 33% had elevated mercury level above 0.5 mg/kg the same as results of the last testing in December, 2012. Of those five fish, the species of interest include those with elevated mercury levels and those frequently eaten by communities in the area. These are the Petenia splendida or Bay snook, Ictalurus furcatus or Baca and Rhamdia laticauda better known as botasi or lup. In the case of Petenia splendia or Bay Snook, the new results indicate that there has been a significant decrease in the mercury level by 0.6 mg/kg or result being just 0.1 mg/kg above the tolerance level. The amount of Bay snook that can now be eaten weekly is 1.44 ounces for persons of 175 lbs. Note that the mercury level for the bay snook although it has decreased remains above the acceptable limits and as such the public is asked to observe the recommendation.

First Ever Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge kicks off
Lobsterfest 2012 has been rocking for nearly two weeks, since June 15th, when lobster season re-opened, and on Friday, June 22, 2012, another exciting event was added to the roster of activities: the Eco-Pro Kayak Challenge. Kicking off from Central Park, twelve two-man teams jumped on their kayaks and proceeded for an arduous day of kayaking around the island. Following the route from Central Park, and under the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, through the mangroves and out to the western area of the island, where they will paddle through various cuts and lagoons, the professional paddlers started off with quick strokes and fierce determination. The San Pedro Sun followed the kayakers from take-off around 7AM, past the bridge and out on the water for the first few minutes of the race – yes, minutes! The paddlers are mostly professionals, and they are on a mission to collect a grand prize of $10,000BZ! They are expected to paddle around the entire island (see map for full route), ending at the Central Park where the final festivities for Lobsterfest will culminate with a grand Block Party. Be sure to head on out early to catch the kayakers as they head down en route to the southern tip of the island, and around the western side, back under the bridge and to the final stop: Central Park.

Marco Gonzalez Exhibition showcases at Fido’s Courtyard
The Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project is hosting a four-day exhibition upstairs of Fido’s Courtyard. The exhibition started on Wednesday June 20th and runs until Saturday June 23rd. The four-day exhibition is featuring Maya artifacts such as potteries, jewelry, tools and obsidians most of which were excavated from the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site. The exhibition is open to the entire public free from 10AM to 6PM and it gives a detail history of the 2000 year old island’s Maya site. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Project Janet Brown explained that the exhibition is part of the events for the Belize 2012 Maya Calendar of events. “We are so excited that we are opening this exhibition for the public so that they can experience some of the wonders that we have at Marco Gonzalez Site. The artifacts depicts the lifestyle of how the Maya lived on this site,” said Brown. One very interesting pieces of artifacts on display is a ring made of conch shell used as jewelry and found at Marco Gonzalez Maya site during excavation. According to renowned archeologist and Co-Director of the University of North Carolina/Wilmington Dr Scott Simons, the piece of jewelry is an unusual find. “Such piece of jewelry is fairly unusual to find on any other Maya site. It is fairly difficult to create and in my so many years as archeology I haven’t come across such piece of ancient jewelry,” explained Simons. That piece of jewelry and those tools made of conch shells is indicative, says Dr Simons, that the Maya who occupied Marco Gonzalez knew how to work the shell. “I have been to a museum recently in Merida (Mexico) where I also saw some jewelries similar to those found at Marco Gonzalez, made from shells, which could suggest that perhaps they traded some of these jewelry as well,” detailed Dr. Simons.

BEL Reports on Nationwide Power Outage
Press Release – Belize Electricity Limited - June 22, 2012 - At 7:00 p.m. last night a critical fault on the Mexican electricity grid caused power supply to be lost to the Northern Zone of Belize, which includes the Corozal District, Orange Walk District and San Pedro Town. Since Belize Cogeneration Energy Limited (Belcogen) was offline [...]

Gunman kills 2nd brother in 2 weeks
There have been no murders in the City since Monday, but to start the weekend, a shooting on Mex Avenue after four o’clock this afternoon left one man dead. Thirty-six year old Edmond Panton, also known as Sinbad, was killed when a lone, masked gunman on a bicycle opened fire on him as he [...]

Nepalese catch and released; and more suspect visas
For months, we have been reporting on the unusual number of Chinese nationals that have been arriving in Belize with questionable visas. While a few come as genuine visitors, the vast number from Guang Zhou, China get to Belize using unusual routes to make their way up north. While the traffic slowed down somewhat after [...]

Woman with undeclared US $45,000 cash in carry-on luggage
A Belizean businesswoman living in the United States was busted at the Philip Goldson International Airport with a substantive amount U.S. dollars. Jane Rose Cheung, a resident of Mississippi, arrived on an eleven o’clock flight on Thursday. She was carrying over forty-five thousand U.S. dollars in cash which she had failed to declare as is [...]

Witness tells how Felix brothers killed his friend
The murder trial of brothers, Maurice and Emory Felix continued today before Justice Herbert Lord in the Supreme Court. They are charged for the fatal shooting of twenty-nine year old Mitchum Heredia, who was ambushed and killed inside his vehicle on April tenth, 2006. Romel Palacio Junior, Heredia’s friend, testified as a witness to the [...]

Bert Haylock/Vasquez; his charges and all the girls
Another murder trial that the country is impatiently waiting on is that of Bert Vasquez also known as Bert Haylock. This past week, at least a thousand San Ignacio residents demanded action for the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe and demonstrated against the man they called a child predator. The emotionally charged situation [...]

Clusters of hand, foot and mouth disease in schools
Fever, sore throat, blisters on the mouth, hands, feet and buttocks; are the symptoms of a contagious disease that is spreading among children. It is known as the Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease and there has been an increase in cases detected recently, primarily among children in Belize City. The Ministry of Health is monitoring [...]

Mercury levels still high in Macal River fish
While the children have parents to look after their health, the same can’t be said for the fish in the Macal. The Ministry of Health, the Department of the Environment and Belize Electric Company (BECOL) have completed another round of mercury testing on fish from the Macal River. Fifteen different types of fish were tested [...]

House burns; custodian was out all night buying food
An early morning fire destroyed portions of the upper flat of a concrete house in the city. Fire officials were called out to Barrack Road where they saw the top floor of an unoccupied house engulfed in flames. The owner of the house, Yi Quiang Guan, who is out of the country, is said to [...]

What caused the countrywide blackout?
The electricity company held its annual general meeting on Wednesday. Belize Electricity Limited is reporting two million in earnings but on Thursday night the entire country was plunged into blackout. In fact there were two outages; one affected the northern districts and the second put the entire country in darkness for hours. According to a [...]

Human Trafficking Report indicates Belize needs to do more
It is estimated that as many as twenty-seven million people around the world are victims of human trafficking. That is the driving force behind the US Department of State’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which looks at the scope of what is considered modern day slavery and the actions that governments worldwide are taking to [...]

Jaguar Paw; getting there is half the challenge
The Belize Caves Branch Cave is a must visit on a tourist’s to do list. The Nohoch Che’en Reserve has attracted tourists from around the world for cave tubing and exploring; and it is there that tourists also go for zip lining. And while annually thousands travel to Caves Branch, in recent times the experience [...]

Graduation for at-risk youths
Several programs have been introduced in the Old Capital by the Ministry of Education to address the increased number of dropouts and offer opportunities to the youth. Some of those programs include the Gwen Lizarraga Evening School Program, the Excelsior High School Program among others. The Youth Apprenticeship Program and the Skills Training Center are [...]

Con-artist collecting money, but doesn’t work for Lands Department
Charlatans and confidence men have always been in existence in the country. But one such con artist has become so prominent, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture was obligated to send a press release to clear its name from the habitual frauds executed in its name. According to the government press office release [...]

Birdman spots Jabiru Stork at SJC
The country’s preeminent birdmen made a startling observation, startling at least for the birding community. While Rudy ‘Rudybird’ Burgos was registering his child at St. John’s Junior College, the avid birder spotted a Jabiru Stork on the compound. The Jabiru Stork has not been seen in Belize City. It is a prominent bird that was [...]

Fete ushers in the Season of Carnival
September is still a few months away, but the first event of the upcoming carnival season takes place this weekend. To kick things off, the Instigate Carnival Fete is taking place this Sunday. The event is held early because it is an opportunity for carnival bands to raise start-up funds for the very expensive costumes [...]

June 22, 2012

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Minister Heredia breaks ground for the construction of the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk Project
Upon completion it will see the Fisherman’s Promenade and Sunset Boardwalk, the upgrade of the Saca Chispas Football Field and the water taxi terminal and platform

New Generation Swimmers offering swimming camp to San Pedro Kids
A group of athletic and dedicated young students from San Pedro High School plan to host the first ever New Generation Swimming Youth Camp this July to offer lessons and guidelines for kids, ages 9 to 12, teaching them the basic techniques and safety rules of swimming

Hilal Nasser injured in weekend stabbing incident
A seventeen year old Mechanic of San Pedro Town has been incapacitated following a stabbing incident over the weekend. Reports are that 17 year old Hilal Nasser was attacked by a known assailant who inflicted multiple stab wounds to him on Saturday, June 16th around 3pm. According to 17 year old Hilal he was attacked on the southern end of Barrier Reef Drive while en route to Boca del Rio; “I was in front of Skybox fixing a golf cart. That’s my job. I work as a mechanic for my dad’s company. I was going to drop off some tools at Boca. I was going on my way by Holiday Hotel when I received a call, so I was parking on the side and I answered the phone. It was my brother, so I talked to him and he said he needed a cart. So this guy he was walking on the sidewalk and he was cursing all kinds of things. When I was talking on the phone, he was cursing at me. When I get out of the cart, he came close to me and stabbed me in my belly and then that’s when I grabbed him in his neck. When I put pressure to him, though my wound started to bleed more and then I loose strength so I had to let him go, this was when he punched me and then he scratched me and things.”

Mayor Daniel Guerrero speaks on crime wave in San Pedro
Over the past few months, residents of San Pedro Town have been very concerned over the increasing number of crime on the island. People have been injured in home invasions, homes have been burglarized and raided by thieves in broad daylight, and businesses have been broken into losing thousands of dollars in equipment, while tourists have been victims of muggings and theft. It has become so much of a concern that some people have opted to “close down shop, pack up and leave the country.” And amidst all the discontent amongst local residents about the crime situation, the local authorities have been mute about the situation. In a candid interview with The San Pedro Sun, the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero explained that the situation is of grave concern but already there have been progressive talks in finding solutions that will minimize the crime situation on the island. “This is the situation; the police have limited resources to work with. The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has been helping in any and all ways we can. The Police Department will be getting two more officers this week and when the next intake comes out, which will be in October, we are going to get four more officers. We are working on having a permanent military base, which will be stationed in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve area and talks are looking very good. We are looking, along with the Minister in Charge of Police (Hon. John Saldivar), in securing more transportation and communication equipment. I think that in a few more weeks we shall see a more improved police department which will help in minimizing crime,” assured Mayor Guerrero.

Lynch mob waits for Bert Vasquez to be charged for Jasmine’s Murder
A people’s movement against crime reached epic proportions in the west today. Since early this morning, a crowd began to swell in front of the San Ignacio Police Station as demonstrators waited for the arraignment of the suspect in the murder of thirteen year Jasmine Lowe. Bert Vasquez, aka Bert Haylock of Belize City was [...]

Bert Vasquez charged for murder; several minors come forward
This afternoon, Bert Vasquez was finally brought out of the police station for arraignment. The crowd descended immediately in front of the police station; the police pleaded for patience and formed a shield to secure the area. The air was thick with tension as the demonstrators chanted for justice. Vasquez was whisked away to the [...]

Close friend arrested for strangulation of K.H.M.H. doctor
There is another arrest in a high profile murder. As we reported on Tuesday night, police have a suspect in the murder of Dr. Ivan Garcia. Dwayne Davis Senior of Freetown Road has been charged for Garcia’s murder. Garcia, a Guatemalan doctor at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for [...]

Kim Simplis Barrow returns to Belize
Kim Simplis Barrow, the wife of the Prime Minister is back in Belize. She returned earlier today from Miami, Florida where she has been receiving treatment for stage-three breast cancer. Radiation therapy was recently discontinued because it was detected that Simplis Barrow had suffered heart failure and had water in her lungs. Barrow says she [...]

P.S.E.’s top students get well-deserved awards
The National P.S.E. award ceremony was held this morning at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Teachers, students and proud parents gathered to recognize the achievements of the top students in this year’s exams. Of the six thousand nine hundred and eighty-three who sat the exams back on March twenty-sixth and May seventh, twenty-five were [...]

Bad penmanship? Oceana speaks judicial review of rejected signatures
OCEANA was before the courts today in respect of signatures struck out from a petition drive for a referendum on offshore drilling. Just before the March elections, thousands of signatures were disqualified so OCEANA went to court to seek permission to have the decision by the Chief Elections Officer reviewed. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was [...]

Murder trial against Maurice and Emory Felix begins
Also in the Supreme Court, the murder trial against Belize City brothers, Maurice and Emory Felix started this morning before Justice Adolph Lucas. The brothers are accused of the April tenth, 2006 murder of T-Street mechanic, Mitchum Heredia, who was gunned down inside his vehicle as he arrived home. The prosecution alleges that Maurice and [...]

Bainsville resident charged for 10 pounds of weed
A resident of the Bainsville Area on the Western Highway has finally been arrested and charged after more than ten pounds of weed were allegedly found inside his house back on May seventh. This morning, thirty-nine year old Wallace Rubio was taken before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer to answer to a charge of Drug Trafficking. [...]

Orange Walk man found dead
An Orange Walk man was found dead in a well on Monday at a farm in Petville, Orange Walk. Police have since learnt that fifty-four year old Salvadoran watchman, Jose Osmar Rivers de Paz, was last seen alive at around eight o’clock on Sunday night. He was drinking at Picame Bar in Orange Walk town [...]

Home invasions on Jane Usher Boulevard and Northern Highway
There were two daytime home invasions reported on Tuesday and in one case, a thirteen year girl was at home alone when the assailants showed up at her house. According to the minor, who lives in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, she was watching television at a few minutes before four o’clock when she heard [...]

Missing: a step son, a nephew and a husband
There has been an increase in missing persons’ reports and today there were three on the police blotter. Fifty-seven year old Hector Sierra, a carpenter of Bradley’s Bank, Santa Elena, says his fifteen year old step-son, Dinner Nolasco, disappeared five days ago. Sierra told police that he left for work at around six a.m. last [...]

Human Rights Commission’s Poster and Song Competition Winners
Positives Vibes, the artist, this morning received a cash prize for a song that captures a message of equality. The artist penned and recorded the song that was picked among twenty other entries in a competition launched by the Human Rights Commission. Students from a Cotton Tree School took the poster competition. News Five’s Andrea [...]

Report on state of Central America
The State of the Region report on sustainable human development is a research conducted by the State of the Nation Research Center in Costa Rica. It’s a system for monitoring the state of affairs in Central America. According to the director of the research center, it promotes human development in the region and serves as...

Grants given to 25 primary school students
While the P.S.E. top scorers were recognized this morning, twenty-five primary school students were presented with educational grants from the Scotiabank, Belize City Branch this afternoon. The grants are expected to cover schools fees and books for the lucky recipients. Branch Manager, Karen Habet says the annual award also extends to students in the districts. [...]

June 21, 2012

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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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Weekly Weather Outlook: June 17 to 25, 2012
Expect more showers and thunderstorms this week, especially on Thursday and Friday

San Pedro Town Council gets two new motorcycles
The San Pedro Traffic Department now counts on two brand new Meilum 125HP motorcycles thanks to the generous donation of Mr. Corry McDermott

Police questioning suspect in relation to Jasmine Lowe
There appears to be a major break in the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe of Santa Elena, Cayo where police are preparing for the arraignment of a well-known Belize City man for her murder. The sensational arrest was made on Monday, two weeks after she was found dead near a farm in Cristo [...]

K.H.M.H. staff protest on streets for slain doctor
Another person is in detention in the ongoing investigation into the murder of the affable Dr. Ivan Garcia. Police have detained and are questioning one man known to the doctor. Garcia’s car, a Geo Prism, was recovered by the police on D Street, in the King’s Park Area on Monday night. The Guatemalan doctor was [...]

Dignity and Human Rights Campaigners join protest
Doctors, nurses and health professionals protested the murder of the doctor at midday. They were joined by members of the We Are One in Dignity and Human Rights Campaign. This afternoon, the organization issued a statement expressing indignation against “the unprosecuted crimes being perpetrated against those vulnerable to violence, such as women, children, and sexual [...]

Viewers believe more jobs losses in the year ahead
It was announced in the Prime Minister’s press conference last week that the national budget is expected to have a major deficit and cutbacks will be necessary. That was the basis for last week’s question to viewers: Do you expect more job losses in the year ahead given the grim economic outlook? Eighty-two percent of [...]

John Saldivar stripped of Immigration Portfolio
There are two announcements out of Belmopan today. First, with the murder count at seventy-one since the beginning for the year, the government announced today that it approved three hundred thousand dollars to the Ministry of National Security for the purchase of special equipment for the Police Department. According to a press release, Cabinet has [...]

2 cops re-arrested in connection with robbery of Free Zone employee
Two cops have been re-arrested in connection with the robbery a free zone employee in September of 2011. Following directives from the DPP, police formally arrested twenty-seven year old Elston Rojas and twenty-nine year old Rudolph Azueta, both police officers of Corozal Town, for the crime of ‘abetment to commit robbery.’ On September tenth of [...]

Alvarez busted for robbery; mom says he’s innocent
The police department believes it has cracked the case of an armed robbery which occurred June first. On June sixth, twenty-five year old Darrington Louriano was charged with two counts of Robbery and his co-conspirator has been identify as twenty-one year old Ryan Alvarez, a resident of Supal Street in Belize City. Alvarez, who has [...]

Attorney becomes his own client in unpaid GST case
Well-known Attorney Arthur Saldivar was before the court today, but this time he was defending himself. In the courtroom of Magistrate Hurl Hamilton, Saldivar was charged with twelve counts of Failure to File General Sales Tax for the entire year of 2011. Before the charges could be properly read to him, Saldivar rose to offer [...]

Coastguard vessel flips while making a bust on the sea
A Belize Coast Guard vessel reportedly capsized near the mouth of the Rio Hondo on Friday afternoon. According to the Mexican media, the Coast Guard personnel had intercepted a canoe with two men who were smuggling several cases of soft drinks bound for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The officers boarded the canoe, detained the two [...]

FIFA instructor Gary Strempel in Belize
The highly-respected FIFA Instructor Gary Stempel arrived in Belize today; he was received by a representative of the Executive of the Football Federation of Belize. Stempel coached the Panamanian under-twenty and under-twenty-three teams to qualify for its first ever U-twenty World Cup in 2003. He will be conducting a rigorous training session with about thirty [...]

UNCAF Secretary General discuss future of football
Also arriving in Belize today, was Mario Monterrosa, the Secretary General of the Central American Football Union (UNCAF). Monterrosa will be meeting with the F.F.B. executive committee to plan the future of his organization’s collaboration with Belize. He says the plans include upgrading football facilities, improving relations with government and increasing international participation, but the [...]

PROTO Drive for less fortunate students
Most high schools closed last week and primary schools have another week to go before the summer break. But People Reaching Out To Others (PROTO) is already working on its back to school drive. It’s the fourth year that PROTO is holding the annual initiative, which solicits school supplies for needy students. [...]

City Halls across the country get funding to fix streets
City Councils across the country have received funds to improve drainage and to pave streets. Several mayors attended a signing ceremony chaired by Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development Santiago Castillo where the contracts were awarded for the projects in the municipalities. Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez thanked the Minister on behalf of [...]

Fashion everywhere with Rebecca Stirm and Mission Catwalk
Who will rule the Catwalk? That’s what the finalists in Mission Catwalk will find out tonight. After weeks of grueling competition in mini challenges, four Caribbean designers are left standing. Belize’s Rebecca Stirm made a name of herself and put Belize on the map competing against designers from across the Caribbean for a load of [...]

June 20, 2012

Belize Coast Guard vessel sinks in Chetumal Bay; 8 rescued by SP Belize Express and Mexican authorities
On board the vessel that sank were eight people, including two Belizeans that had been arrested for smuggling contraband goods from Mexico to Belize

Government of Belize Allocates Additional Funds to Combat Crime
The Ministry of Finance has made a special transfer of 300 thousand dollars to the Ministry of National Security for the purchase of special equipment for the Belize Police Department’s reconfigured strategy to combat violent crime

Barton Creek Cave; One of the World’s 9 most beautiful and unusual cave destinations
Belize’s Barton Creek Cave has been listed as one of Nine Most beautiful and unusual cave destinations by Mother Nature Network

Police questioning suspect in relation to Jasmine Lowe
There appears to be a major break in the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe of Santa Elena, Cayo where police are preparing for the arraignment of a well-known Belize City man for her murder. The sensational arrest was made on Monday, two weeks after she was found dead near a farm in [...]

K.H.M.H. staff protest on streets for slain doctor
Another person is in detention in the ongoing investigation into the murder of the affable Dr. Ivan Garcia. Police have detained and are questioning one man known to the doctor. Garcia’s car, a Geo Prism, was recovered by the police on D Street, in the King’s Park Area on Monday night. The Guatemalan doctor was [...]

Dignity and Human Rights Campaigners join protest
Doctors, nurses and health professionals protested the murder of the doctor at midday. They were joined by members of the We Are One in Dignity and Human Rights Campaign. This afternoon, the organization issued a statement expressing indignation against “the unprosecuted crimes being perpetrated against those vulnerable to violence, such as women, children, and sexual [...]

Viewers believe more jobs losses in the year ahead
It was announced in the Prime Minister’s press conference last week that the national budget is expected to have a major deficit and cutbacks will be necessary. That was the basis for last week’s question to viewers: Do you expect more job losses in the year ahead given the grim economic outlook? Eighty-two percent of [...]

John Saldivar stripped of Immigration Portfolio
There are two announcements out of Belmopan today. First, with the murder count at seventy-one since the beginning for the year, the government announced today that it approved three hundred thousand dollars to the Ministry of National Security for the purchase of special equipment for the Police Department. According to a press release, Cabinet has [...]

2 cops re-arrested in connection with robbery of Free Zone employee
Two cops have been re-arrested in connection with the robbery a free zone employee in September of 2011. Following directives from the DPP, police formally arrested twenty-seven year old Elston Rojas and twenty-nine year old Rudolph Azueta, both police officers of Corozal Town, for the crime of ‘abetment to commit robbery.’ On September tenth of [...]

Alvarez busted for robbery; mom says he’s innocent
The police department believes it has cracked the case of an armed robbery which occurred June first. On June sixth, twenty-five year old Darrington Louriano was charged with two counts of Robbery and his co-conspirator has been identify as twenty-one year old Ryan Alvarez, a resident of Supal Street in Belize City. [...]

Attorney becomes his own client in unpaid GST case
Well-known Attorney Arthur Saldivar was before the court today, but this time he was defending himself. In the courtroom of Magistrate Hurl Hamilton, Saldivar was charged with twelve counts of Failure to File General Sales Tax for the entire year of 2011. Before the charges could be properly read to him, Saldivar rose to offer [...]

Coastguard vessel flips while making a bust on the sea
A Belize Coast Guard vessel reportedly capsized near the mouth of the Rio Hondo on Friday afternoon. According to the Mexican media, the Coast Guard personnel had intercepted a canoe with two men who were smuggling several cases of soft drinks bound for San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The officers boarded the canoe, detained the two [...]

FIFA instructor Gary Strempel in Belize
The highly-respected FIFA Instructor Gary Stempel arrived in Belize today; he was received by a representative of the Executive of the Football Federation of Belize. Stempel coached the Panamanian under-twenty and under-twenty-three teams to qualify for its first ever U-twenty World Cup in 2003. He will be conducting a rigorous training session with about thirty [...]

UNCAF Secretary General discuss future of football
Also arriving in Belize today, was Mario Monterrosa, the Secretary General of the Central American Football Union (UNCAF). Monterrosa will be meeting with the F.F.B. executive committee to plan the future of his organization’s collaboration with Belize. He says the plans include upgrading football facilities, improving relations with government and increasing international participation, but the [...]

PROTO Drive for less fortunate students
Most high schools closed last week and primary schools have another week to go before the summer break. But People Reaching Out To Others (PROTO) is already working on its back to school drive. It’s the fourth year that PROTO is holding the annual initiative, which solicits school supplies for needy students. The organization is [...]

City Halls across the country get funding to fix streets
City Councils across the country have received funds to improve drainage and to pave streets. Several mayors attended a signing ceremony chaired by Minister of State in the Ministry of Economic Development Santiago Castillo where the contracts were awarded for the projects in the municipalities. Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez thanked the Minister on behalf of [...]

Fashion everywhere with Rebecca Stirm and Mission Catwalk
Who will rule the Catwalk? That’s what the finalists in Mission Catwalk will find out tonight. After weeks of grueling competition in mini challenges, four Caribbean designers are left standing. Belize’s Rebecca Stirm made a name of herself and put Belize on the map competing against designers from across the Caribbean for a load of [...]

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