Recent Belize News
8/1/2012 to 8/10/2012
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Today's Belize News

August 10, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Hurricane Ernesto brings mostly wind and rain to la Isla Bonita
San Pedro Ambergris Caye was spared a direct hit from Category One Hurricane Ernesto which left behind mostly wind and rain. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) first issued advisories beginning on Friday, August 3rd when Ernesto became a tropical storm, the fourth named storm to form in the Atlantic region this year. Computer modules from very early showed that Belize would be directly impacted by Ernesto. By Monday, August 6th NEMO was fully activated including the Emergency Operating Committee (EOC) in San Pedro Town. The entire country was placed under a tropical storm watch which quickly elevated to a Hurricane Watch later that day. On Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro NEMO branch was in full operation advising residents to activate their hurricane preparedness plan. Residents living in the low-lying areas were advised to make necessary arrangements for voluntary evacuation in preparation for the imminent impact of Ernesto, which was originally scheduled to make landfall over northern Belize and quite possibly over Ambergris Caye. Residents and business owners alike boarded buildings and windows, securing their properties while local tour operators and fishermen began moving their vessels to safe harbor. Over 1,000 people voluntarily evacuated the island by both air and sea.

Snorkeling Tragedy at Hol Chan ruled an accident
The death of two visitors to Belize during a snorkeling excursion on April 3rd was ruled as an accident and death by drowning. The San Pedro Sun reported on the devastating tragedy that took place in one of the country’s most famous snorkeling destinations, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) located between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. The incident which occurred around 11AM that Tuesday, claimed the lives of American national 54 year old Roger Burger and Italian national Paola Maria Falco. Both were part of a group of seven that had become separated from their group by strong currents near the channel at the HCMR. The group had earlier left Caye Caulker onboard the Cyclone vessel, belonging to Tsunami Tours based in Caye Caulker when the incident happened. Initially, four individuals went missing during the snorkeling tour in the Hol Chan area. The guide, Marcel Graniel went in search of the missing individuals and later found that two had returned to the vessel. The other two remained missing and were eventually recovered dead around 2PM. Also onboard the vessel were; Americans 54-year-old Mrs. Rebecca Burger and her 17-year-old son Zach Burger, Canadians 25-year-old Lawrence Tastet and 29-year-old Yanik Doyon and Italian 59-year-old Mr. David Florencia. Following the incident, boat captain, Marcel Graniel was detained for questioning while police investigated the matter in an attempt to determine whether anyone was at fault or liable. A post mortem was conducted on April 4th by police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradaban at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital morgue who at the conclusion certified the cause of death as “Asphyxia by Drowning”.

Belize’s Tourism Industry has seen outstanding record-breaking months during the first half of 2012
Overnight tourist arrivals keep demostrating a steady increase as the second quarter of 2012 comes to an end. Belize’s Tourism Industry has seen outstanding record-breaking months during the first half of 2012. The BTB is honored to share that the first half of the year is ending on an admirable note with an exciting 9% increase in Overnight arrivals compared to last year. The good news does not end there, as tourist arrivals and airport arrivals are expected to continue their remarkable growth. With these stimulating figures, the BTB looks forward to sharing good news for the remainder of 2012. The following is a detailed report with the first half of this year’s tourism figures: Total Overnight Tourist Arrivals An overall increase of 9% in overnight tourist arrivals was recorded during the second quarter of 2012. A total of 5,791 more tourists stayed in the country overnight during the second quarter when compared to the second quarter of 2011. January started with an arousing arrival number of 24,263 visitors to Belize. This represented a 2.9% increase over last year’s figure. February’s figure totaled an astounding 25,778 visitors, which represents a 8.1% increase over 2011’s figure. March was the month that blew us all away with its history-making total of 32,240 visitors. Never before had Belize’s overnight tourist arrival numbers exceeded 32,000 visitors in any one month!

U.S. Department of Treasury targets accused Belize-Based operatives of Chapo Guzman
On Tuesday, August 7th the U.S. Department of Treasury based in Washington, D.C. issued an unprecedented and very bold sanction via a press release against three prominent Belizean businessmen. The men, namely John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh and his alleged close business partner Daniel Moreno are singled out as being Belize’s key associates and Belize-based operatives of Joaquin “ El Chapo” Guzman Loera, who is linked to the Mexican-based Sinaloa Cartel. The statement came in shortly after 9AM after it was posted on the website of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The release states that, “The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today (August 7th) announced the designation of John Zabaneh and two members of his drug trafficking organization, who are based in Belize and are key associates of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. The action also includes the designation of five companies in Belize that are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization.” The actions by the U.S. Department of Treasury is in pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), which prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the individuals and companies pointed out in the release and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Committee extends public comments regarding marijuana decriminalization to August 31st
The Committee commissioned by the Minister of National Security to evaluate the issue of Decriminalization of Marijuana thanks those who submitted their opinions regarding a proposal to remove the current criminal penalties incurred for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) for personal use. Your responses have been respectfully evaluated and taken into consideration, including, many requests to extend the deadline. In this regards the committee has extended the period for submitting your comments to August 31, 2012. For the purpose of this discussion we invite your continued input and ask that you respond to us with your thoughts on the following:

Ambergris Today

Belize Tourism Board Presents Positive Tourism Report
Overnight tourist arrivals keep demonstrating a steady increase as the second quarter of 2012 comes to an end. Belize’s Tourism Industry has seen outstanding record-breaking months during the first half of 2012. The BTB is honored to share that the first half of the year is ending on an admirable note with an exciting 9% increase in Overnight arrivals compared to last year. The good news does not end there, as tourist arrivals and airport arrivals are expected to continue their remarkable growth. With these stimulating figures, the BTB looks forward to sharing good news for the remainder of 2012. The following is a detailed report with the first half of this year’s tourism figures:

Belize Police Force Needs to Upgrade Benefits Package
When I joined the Belize Police Force in 1973 there was no insurance for police officers who got sick, disabled or died while on duty. If they got sick they would go to the hospital and they would receive free medical care and be given sick days with a date to return to work. If their injuries were severe, the sick days would be extended continuously until they got better and then returned to work. When a police officer was permanently disabled and could not return to work, the Commissioner of Police, along with the government of Belize, would agree on a retirement monetary settlement, which was not substantial. In the event of death, the police officer received a funeral with full honors and a meager compensation to his or her next of kin and nothing for the surviving spouse or children.

Costa Maya Festival Needs You For Continued Success
At the 20th Annual Costa Maya Festival opening ceremonies this past week, committee member Milo Paz gave the entire public of San Pedro and Belize a Wake Up Call. “Costa Maya is not about us and profits for the committee,” said Milo Paz. “It is about the entire community and how it participates. We have a few main objectives which are: (1) to provide good entertainment (2) to generate good business for everyone during the slow tourism season, and (3) to be able to pay our bills at the end of the festival.” The Costa Maya Festival Committee feels satisfied that they are committed to doing its part but is concerned and in a sense disappointed that the wider community is not. The committee points out that all hotels in San Pedro registered 100% occupancy during the festival. This indicates that very good business was generated for everyone, including hotels, bars, discotheques, restaurants, gift shops, stores, boutiques, and businesses in general. However, the number of sponsors to help curb expenses for the committee in hosting artists and delegates is not coming at full potential as in the past. With lower participation in sponsorship the committee is obliged to look for slightly less costly artists for its international night. This then translates into lower enthusiasm and lower attendance to all nights of the festival. With lower participation from the audience and spectators and concert lovers, then there is lower income generated and consequently Costa Maya Festival might have to tone down its festival to a one day event or discontinue it totally.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Looking Back On Ernesto- La Perla Del Caribe
Aboard Coastal Xpress our crew heads north to La Perla to prep for Hurricane Ernesto. Here's a look at the morning of Aug.7, 2012.

A Local Guide to Belizean Culture
The Culturist has some cultural questions for the owners of Ka'ana. Cayo is highlighted, so they mantion escabeche and the roadside BBQ, and Xunantunich is mentioned, although it's NOT the tallest temple; ironically, that would be Ca'ana. Orange Gifts is mentioned as having the best artisan handicrafts. Of course, they have to talk about the end of the Mayan calendar, and the celebration at Caracol. "For a glimpse of daily life, I recommend this form of transportation: Hiking. Over 40 percent of Belize is national park, and Belizeans are brought up with a respect for the outdoors, so many of the hidden natural gems have been preserved and are located just on the far end of a short (or long) hike. Whether you’re heading to a hidden waterfall, an inland cenote, a partially excavated ruin site, one of the many caves, or just enjoying nature, it’s a great outdoor pursuit that will give you a taste of the true Belize."

Split Peas with Dumplings & Pigtails
Split peas are a good source of fiber and carbohydrate. In this video, I share my favorite meal I use to eat with my grandma. I show how to make green and yellow split peas with salt meat (pigtails) and dumplings. This dish is very comforting and spicy.

Channel 7

Chinese Grocer Killed In Ladyville
There was a murder in the Mitchell Estate area of Ladyville around five this evening. The victim is a Chinese grocer, known to his customers as by his Belizean name, "Kenny". He and his wife, called "Candy" are the owners of the grocer called E-buy Supermarket. Details are still sketchy at this time, but what we do know is that he received gunshot wounds at around 5:20 this evening, and his family rushed him to the KHMH. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries while at the hospital. Our News team is out on the story, and we'll have more details in our newscast tomorrow.

Johnny Zabaneh Says US Drug Blacklisting Is Destroying His Business
Yesterday at the Mayan King Banana Farm in the Stann Creek District, farm owner John Zabaneh was unable to pay his 200 employees. He can't because his bank, which is the Belize Bank has notified him that it can no longer handle his account. And with a payroll of over two hundred thousand dollars - Zabaneh says he cannot manage it without a bank. It's not personal, but because he's been blacklisted as a Drug Kingpin by the US Department of Treasury, no bank will do business with him. If they do, they stand to jeopardize what's known as their correspondent banking relationship with US banks that provide services for them abroad. And that's the precise effect of Tuesday's action by the US Department of Treasury. Their Office of Foreign Assets Control designated John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh, Corozal grocery store owner Daniel Moreno and their companies as "key associates of "Chapo" Guzman, and his Sinaloa drug Cartel. Once designated, U.S. citizens and companies are barred from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and companies. Today Zabaneh told us that his employees are continuing to work - despite not having been paid - but says he has to come up with a solution, and fast.

How The Coye's Became Convicts
Convictions for white collar crime are very rare in Belize - and that's why tonight, it's still quite remarkable to consider to Michael Coye and his daughter Melonie are spending their second night in jail. We expect that she is in the female section - and for Michael Coye, possibly, due to his age and family background he may end up in the Tango Five section - which is reserved for small timers, family court offenders and low risk prisoners. How did they end up there? We revisit that in a recap of yesterday's unprecedented events at the Supreme Court: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 36 year-old Melonie and 65 year-old Michael Coye are in in prison tonight, a culmination of over 3 years of work from the Financial Intelligence Unit. It is the first money laundering conviction in Belize, and for the members of the Coye family, now considered white collar criminals, and facing prison time, it their first criminal conviction The Coye family and friends' were visibly shaken as the pair were escorted by police to be taken to the prison transport for the long ride to the central prison in Hattieville. And while it is a stunning outcome, this is really about a suitcase stuffed with over a million dollars in cash that was found at the Coye's home. Where did all that cash come from?

Not Ready for The World?: Superbond 2.0 Gets Rough Reception
Last night we told you about the government's launching of what are called "Indicative Restructuring Scenarios." Basically, they are proposals for a Superbond 2.0 - with farm more agreeable terms than the present Superbond. It would save the government of Belize many, many millions of dollars - but represent significant losses for bondholders. Well, today we got a feel for what the reception on the market is like - and it's not good. A commentary from a Scotiabank International Analyst named Joe Kogan calls it, quote, the "worst restructuring terms." He says, quote, "this proposal (is) one of the worst restructurings for bondholders in recent Emerging Markets history." Kogan - who had been moderate in previous analyses of the Superbond difficulties - concludes that quote, "the government's strategy is puzzling. On one hand, they are going through the motions in consulting with bondholders and making their case for a restructuring. On the other hand, today's lowball offer will undoubtedly anger all bondholders, who would lose tremendously if they participated in such an exchange." He closes by suggesting that there is room for government and bondholders to come up with a more creative solution. As we understand it, Government's debt restructuring team anticipated this reaction - and has been engaging with bondholders.

PM Takes Personal Leave
And while the Debt Restructuring Team takes the heat, the PM will be taking some personal leave. According to an official release,Prime Minister Barrow left the country today to Miami, Florida. He returns on Monday, 13th August, 2012. During his absence, Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister.

Jaguar Skinned In Caledonia
Belize's history of protecting jaguars is one of the proudest in the world - but it's a very fragile balance and the cat remains a prized possession for hunters. That was illustrated on Sunday in Caledonia Village in the Corozal district. Today's Guardian Newspaper reported on a hunting expedition for game meat which encountered a mature male jaguar, reportedly near a cane field road on the outskirts of the village. The Guardian newspaper which first published the story today, reports that the hunters shot it in the back of the head and took it back to the village where it was skinned. The pelt is considered valuable. Today via telephone form Cayo, Jaguar expert Omar Figueroa told us the report distresses and concerns him greatly. We warn you that the images used in the story - may be unpleasant to some: Omar Figueroa - Jaguar Expert (Via Telephone) "It was very disturbing, Jules. Without a doubt, it is outrageous to say the least. As a country, Belize has done so much to advance jaguar research and conservation. In so many regards, we are the envy of the region, and to see this happening, is just very disturbing and disappointing. It appears to be a large male from the size of the head. Usually, females tend to have smaller heads. But what caught my attention is you see that it has intact canines, and there are no other signs to suggest that this cat was old cat, or was somehow injured, so, it had to be preying on livestock.

Belizean Basketball Prospect Travels
Andrew Ortiz is an 18 year old High School Basketball Players. He's won championships with Sadie Vernon High School and recently participated in the King James Summer League in Ohio. That's where scouts took notice of him as a basketball and even an American Football prospect. And why not? He's tall, strong and quick, and now he's going to pursue his athletic dreams in the US - where he's been accepted as an exchange student at a High school in Ohio. He left the country today and we found out about his big athletic adventure: Rosco Reese - Trip Organizer "Well basically, Andrew Ortiz will be going to St. Peter Chanel High School in Cleveland, Ohio. We received a one-year scholarship to finish 4th Form. Now, at that level, it's very good experience for him because in high school is the majority of recruiting is to go to a 4-year college." Andrew Ortiz - Exchange Student "I feel good, but inside, I am leaving behind my family. I am going to a good family also."

Family Needs Help With Medical Bills
The family of 19 year-old Shayna Lightfoot is pleading to the public for assistance to help pay her medical bills. Lightfoot was recently diagnosed with cancer, and her family had to take her to Merida to receive her treatment. An unknown complication arose, and now the family can't pay the bill because they only budgeted for the cancer treatment. The hospital is now refusing to let her leave until that bill is paid. Her mother asked for help to get her home in time for her 20th birthday, which is just a few days away. Era Lightfoot - Mother of Cancer Patient "We found out at the end of April that she has cancer, and so, from then we were going to Merida for treatment. But on June 21, when she went for her chemotherapy, she got sick and worse. They had to admit her to the hospital, Clinica De Merida. Now, she is okay, and she is ready to come home, but we don't have the money to pay the hospital bill. And they don't want her to come out of the hospital without paying the bill. We don't have any money, so we're asking the public - anybody - to please see how they could help us, maybe the Government - somebody who can may be call the hospital. We don't have any problem paying the bill. We just want them to give us a certain time to pay it. We can go back because she still has to go there for her chemotherapy. So, we just want them to find a way to let her come home, and let us work on paying the bill piece by piece." Anyone who would like to help can contact Era Lightfoot at telephone number, 636-1636.

More On The Murder
As we told you at the top of the newscast, there was a murder late this evening in Ladyville. It happened in the Mitchell Estate area. The Store owner of E-Buy supermarket was and shot and killed around 5 this evening. Police believe it was a robbery. Even though details are still sketchy at this time, we were told that 2 men attempted to rob the store and one of them who was armed with a handgun, fired a shot hitting the Chinese store owner in the forehead. He was rushed to the KHMH in an ambulance but died shortly after.

PROFILE: Mark Manzanaro
Tonight's I am Belize Profile is about Mark Manzanaro, and his journey to join the Belize Defence Force. Manzenaro was set to pass out of his recruitment training, but he had an unexpected, life-threatening accident at the base. He tells us about a year's worth struggles he had endure defeat his lower-body paralysis, and then move on to become a proud member of the BDF.

Remembering Benjy
The recently deceased Benjamin Nicolas is known to have been one of Belize's most creative, distinctive and prolific artists. As a tribute to his legacy and broad body of work, the Mexican Embassy along with NICH and the Atlantic Bank is holding an exhibition titled, "Story Color Life, honoring Benjamin Nicholas". The exhibit features over 25 works by the Belizean painter. It opens tonight, but we got a preview today: Marcelino Miranda - Press Officer, Mexican Embassy "The Mexican Embassy is pleased to present this exhibition, this is the first tribute that is paid to Bejamin Nicholas, and that's the reason that the Embassy of Mexico decided to put together different private collections of his works. And in conjunction with that, the Atlantic Bank and NICH is presenting this exhibition. Benjamin Nicholas is one of the most important Belizean artist. He painted for over 50 years, and he also inspired many other Belizean artists. His work is mainly on subjects of Garifuna and the Belizean culture. And that's the reason and the importance of his work; the Mexican Embassy decided that it was worth it to present this exhibition. The first one was actually in Dangriga, the town where he lived and died in April of this year, and this exhibition is now presented in Belize City. At the same time, the Mexican Embassy edited a booklet on his work and his life with the support and the assistance of the Atlantic Bank and NICH. It's being sold in this exhibition, and the funding will be for the Nicholas family." Benjamin Nicolas died on April 9th, 2012 in his hometown Dangriga. The exhibition runs until August the 15 at the Mexican Institute.

Channel 5

Don Zabaneh; Will the U.S. extradite john and Dion?
It is said that when the U.S. sneezes, the world catches a cold. Belize is tied to the United States economically through imports as well as remittances from the Belizean Diaspora in North America. Now that the U.S. Treasury Department has used the kingpin act to designate Belizean businessmen John Zabaneh, Dion Zabaneh and Daniel [...]

Man photographed with stolen M4 Carbine not killed in San Pedro
It made headlines when a joint forces operation was engaged in a shootout near the Rocky Point end of Ambergris Caye. Three men, Alexander Mazariego and Ismael Garcia of Las Flores, Belmopan and Kendale Flowers of Belize City were killed. According the police, months before the operation was carried out they had received pictures showing [...]

A tale of 3 bond models; which will work for Belize?
The next bond payment for Belize is due on August twentieth. The government had stated that it budgeted for the payment, but it hasn’t announced whether or not it would make the payment. As you are aware the bond team is currently negotiating with bondholders for new terms that would be sustainable. Tonight we take [...]

Late evening murder of shopkeeper in Ladyville
Another Chinese grocer is dead tonight following a vicious attack at his business in Ladyville.  Kenny Deng, proprietor of E-Buy Supermarket, was shot and killed during an armed robbery this evening.  Shortly after five o’clock, Deng, who was inside his store on Crab Catcher Street, was shot in the head by a gunman whom it [...]

14 year old high school student suddenly dies
While the murder of the Ladyville shop keeper was calculated, the death of a young girl in Belize City is left without answers. An Edward P. Yorke High School student died mysteriously at her home on Jude Street in Belize City. On Tuesday August seventh, thirty year old Averil Tinsley arrived home at around three [...]

More agricultural damages attributed to Hurricane Ernesto
Preliminary results have been released from an ongoing damage assessment in the Corozal District in the wake of Hurricane Ernesto, a category one storm which made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday.  While the destruction of infrastructure was minimal, accessibility to outlying areas, including Sarteneja and other coastal communities in the north, have been [...]

Study shows steady deforestation in Belize
Belize sells its tourism package as one of Mother Nature’s best kept secrets. But the country’s natural resources that have come under attack by Guatemalan peasants who look across the river to an abundance of wood and opportunity. A recent study has been conducted that shows much of Belize’s deforestation has occurred over the past [...]

A deep step in flooded streets
The Belize City Council has been giving streets within the City a facelift. It is part of an infrastructural upgrade that the council has embarked on. At least fifty percent of the streets are to be upgraded, but the residents of the Belama Phase Four area are up in arms because they say that the [...]

Record figures for overnight tourism
We reported on Wednesday night’s newscast that overnight tourist arrivals in Belize were up by an overall nine percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year. The initial release indicated that in the months from April to June, there were approximately five thousand seven hundred and ninety-one overnight [...]

But what caused decline in cruise tourism?
But there was some bad news. The figures for cruise ship arrivals were down by six percent, just about sixty thousand less visitors. Esquivel-Frampton says the shortfall is attributed to the increase in overnight stays and that plans are in place to boost the figures.   Laura Esquivel-Frampton “We’re attributing it mainly to the conversion. [...]

Hospital bill has cancer victim stuck in Mexico
Though the Jewel brings tourism dollars, occasionally Belizeans must take their paychecks across the border. The mother of a nineteen year old cancer patient is in need of assistance to bring her home from Merida. According to Era Lightfoot, her daughter Shayna, has made several trips to Merida for chemo-therapy since she was diagnosed about [...]

P.M. out of country on personal leave
The office of the Prime Minister announced today that P.M. Dean Barrow is taking a personal leave. Barrow left Belize today en route to Miami, Florida and is expected to return next Monday.  In his absence, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Patrick Faber, will be holding over as acting Prime Minister.

Healthy Living goes bone deep with dengue
Dengue Fever is endemic to Belize and cases are detected each year, particularly during the rainy season. But in 2010, the country faced a frightening outbreak of the disease, which included a few fatal cases of dengue hemorrhagic. To prevent a recurrence, the Ministry of Health has implemented preventative measures. In this week’s, Healthy Living, [...]


Data Shows Increase in Tourist Arrivals
The comparative figures for the first six months of the last three years show impressive overnight tourist arrivals for Belize. From twenty one thousand, three hundred and twenty eight arrivals in 2010, the figures for this year show that three hundred and thirty seven more visit...

Police News
A misunderstanding between an employee and a manager resulted in one man on the run and the other hospitalized. On Monday morning Police visited the Independence Polyclinic where they saw 47-year-old Aurelio Menjivar suffering from several cut wounds. Reports are that Menji...

Belize Audobon Society Reopens Protected Areas
The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) has reopened six of the nine protected areas it co-manages with the Forest Department which were closed yesterday due to the threat of Hurricane Ernesto. The Half moon Caye and Blue Hole Natural Monuments remain closed until further notice. The protecte...

Elderly Man Robbed and Beaten
An elderly man remains was injured when he was beaten and robbed early Monday morning in Independence Village. Police say they responded to reports of a robbery at a garage and on their arrival they were approached by 73-year-old watchman Rayman Frazer who was bleeding heavily fr...

Government Publishes Blueprint on Restructuring of Super Bond
The government of Belize today published its final blueprint for the restructuring of the nation’s foreign debt, commonly referred to as the super bond. The exercise started in early April and involved an assessment of the country’s external debt and preliminary discu...


Family Of Four Seeks Assistance
Hurricane Ernesto has come and gone leaving behind several flooded areas in Corozal. Luckily, the damage recorded was close to none in both Northern Districts. But for one single mother living here in Orange Walk Town, the passage of Ernesto brought great losses. Forty one year old Irma Hernandez and her four young daughters weathered out the storm in their small apartment located on Poinsettia Street. The room was flooded with water and all of the family’s belongings were damaged. With nowhere else to go and little resources to get back on her feet, Hernandez is asking for the public’s assistance. Forty one year old Guatemalan National, Irma Hernandez, has been living here in Room Number 3 for the past 6 months with her four daughters. Without a steady job, the single parent has been struggling to maintain her family with the little money she makes.

Construction Of New Evangelical Church Gets Under-way
A group of 42 missionaries from South Side Church of Chilliwack in British Colombia Canada, arrived in Orange Walk on Tuesday to render their assistance to Chapels Primary School. The school, along with the evangelical community, is currently in its first stage of construction for their new church building. On Tuesday when we visited the school we found 21 of the 42 two missionaries hard at work. For these young men and women, putting others before themselves is important: that’s what they are being thought by South Side Church in Chilliwack. The group travelled all the way from Canada to Belize at their own cost, to render their services to the evangelical community who has begun construction for their new church building. The group has been hard at work since Tuesday. Heading the team is Brock Adams who says that the team partnered off with Thirst Missions in Minneapolis U.S.A, to make the trip possible.

Decriminalizing Marijuana
The proposal made by the Government of Belize to decriminalize the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana, is a hotly debated topic that’s taking center stage. Current legislation considers marijuana possession of less than sixty grams a criminal offense punishable by a fine up to fifty thousand dollars and as many as three years in prison. But government plans to change that legislation should the proposal go through. When the proposal was announced to the public back in July, the committee that would examine the decriminalizing of marijuana possession gave the public less than a week to send in their comments and concerns.

Propane Leakage Creates Possibility Of Explosion
Minutes after 5:00 yesterday evening, the Orange Walk Fire Department, was called out to Main Street where they observed the rear portion of a red van leaking propane. For the average man it might seem like nothing serious but for those with the special expertise, well, they think otherwise. According to Kenneth Mortis, Chief Substation Officer for the Orange Walk Fire Department, the van was leaking propane. The leak was coming from a hose that runs from the rear passenger side to the gas tank. In order for the fire fighters to stop the flow of propane, a wet cloth was attached to the hose after which the van was sprayed with water. According to Mortis the gas tank contained approximately 30 gallons of the natural gas. If the leak was not stopped in time, the gas would have poured into the open space creating the possibility of an explosion.

Government Presents Three Options to Pay Superbond
In twelve days, on August 20th to be exact, the Government of Belize is scheduled to make the next superbond payment of $46 million with an interest rate of 8.5%. Will GOB be able to make the payment? That’s left to be seen, what we can tell you though, is that Government proposes to restructure the U.S$57 million superbond and yesterday the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development released a copy of their restructuring plan called the Indicative Restructuring Scenarios. According to the report Government has been holding discussions with multilateral partners focusing on refining medium-term macroeconomics projections and identifying corrective measures to counterbalance the $19.5 million shortfall in oil revenue that have already started to materialize. In the document Government outlines three options which they believe could ease off the bond payment. Option one extends the superbond payment to 2062 making it a 50 year bond with a two percent interest rate and 15 years grace period. Option 2 on the other hand, extends the bond to 2042 with no grace period. Government; however, is proposing a forty-five percent discount on the principal interest. Similar to the second proposal, the third alternative also extends the bond to 2042, has a 45 percent discount on the principal interest, but proposes a five year grace period and a three point five percent interest rate throughout the term.

Overnight Tourism Increase By Nine Percent
A report from the Belize Tourism Board shows that there was 9% increase in overnight arrivals in the first half of this year compared to last year as a total of 5,791 more tourists stayed in the country overnight. January started with an arousing arrival number of 24,263 visitors to Belize representing a 2.9% increase over last year’s figure. February’s figure totaled an astounding 25,778 visitors, representing an increase of 8.1% compared to last year. In March a total of 32,240 tourists visited the jewel for the firs time. April’s 2012 figure of 23,699 surpassed the 2011 figure of 23,585. The month of May saw a 14.6% growth while June did not disappoint with a 13.1% increase over last year’s recorded figure. The report also shows that overall there was a 13.8% increase in airport tourist arrivals through the first half of 2012. As it pertains to cruise visitors, BTB boasts of a 34.9% increase in January alone. But amidst the good news is the fact that during the first half of 2012 the cruise industry saw a 5.9% decrease in tourist arrivals compared to the figures of the same period in 2011.

Increase In Deforestation In Belize Recorded
According to, deforestation in Belize has accelerated since late 2010. The online news article reports that a new satellite-based assessment of the jewels forest, covered by CATHALAC (the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean), shows that there has been an increase in deforestation in Belize. The analysis used NASA Landsat-7 imagery to compare forest cover between early 2010 and early 2012. It concludes that Belize's forest cover fell from 62.7 percent to 61.6 percent during the period, a decline of 25,264 hectares. The annual loss of 12,632 Hectares is more than a quarter higher than the rate observed between 1980 and 2010, when deforestation averaged around 10,000 hectares per year. According to the article, a technical report detailing the analysis will be released soon. A 2010 study by the group found that most deforestation between 1980 and 2010 occurred outside protected areas, where land is being converted for agriculture and plantations.


More time to offer comments on marijuana decriminalization proposal
The discussion on the proposal to remove the criminal penalties for the possession of a small amount of Marijuana in Belize continues. [VO] And today the Committee set up by government to evaluate the feasibility of the decriminalization announced another extension of the deadline for the public to make submissions on the proposed decriminalization. The announced intention would be to remove the criminal penalties for the possession of ten grams of marijuana or less for personal use. In its announcement of the extension today, the Ministry of National Security listed a nine-point reference list of questions being considered during this evaluation period. It includes the question of just how much marijuana should be decriminalized, the penalties that should be levied upon first time offenders, the need for drug education, and whether the “decriminalization” of marijuana will increase, remain the same, or decrease the usage of marijuana both for adults and youths? The new deadline for the submission of comments and suggestions from the general public is now Friday, August thirty first. Comments are to be emailed to:

Rapist gets fifteen-year jail sentence
Twenty-six year old Leroy Gomez has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. At the end of July Gomez was found guilty of rape and robbery. Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced Gomez to 15 years for each charge however the sentences will run concurrently. The incident occurred between 5:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on August 23, 2011. The complainant, a 27 year old mother of two, testified that she was walking on Administration Drive when Gomez rode up to her on a bicycle and put something to her side that resembled a firearm. She said Gomez stole her fake diamond earrings and her cell phone then he took her to the verandah of a house at the back of a yard and raped her. Gomez testified and said that at the time of the incident he was at the house of his mother-in-law waiting for his girlfriend. His mother-in-law testified and corroborated his alibi testimony. Gomez was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Trienia Young represented the prosecution.

Father and daughter duo jailed on money laundering conviction
Last Friday a jury of seven women and two men deliberated for about two and a half hours before it found [VO] Michael Coye, Melonie Coye, Atlee Matute and Dietrich Kingston guilty of money laundering for $1.5 million. On Wednesday the four were back in court in front of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for sentencing. Melonie Coye was sentenced to three years in prison. She was additionally charged $50,000.00 which she has to pay in one year or in default she will spend an additional year behind bars. Her father Michael Coye was also sentenced to three years in prison and charged $25,000.00. Atlee Matute and Dietrich were issued fines of $25,000.00 each. They must an installment of $10,000.00 by November first and the rest in installments of $500.00. On December 31, 2008 police conducted a search at the home of Michael Coye on Johnson Street where they found the one point five million dollars. The prescribed offence for money laundering was that the four forged a number of documents for which the names of the persons were put along with their purported signatures for money that was purportedly sent to them through Money Gram Exchange, a company which Michael and Melonie were directors and shareholders. To prove its case, the prosecution called 18 witnesses. The defendants were represented by attorneys Dickie Bradley, Arthur Saldivar and Brian Neal. The Financial Intelligence Unit was represented by counsels Antionette Moore, Tricia Anderson and Patricia Arana. The trial was a retrial. The four along with three others were freed of the charge at the first trial. The three others were Michael’s wife Marleni, his son, Jude and Melonie’s husband, James Gerou. The FIU appealed the verdict of the first trial and Belize Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and ordered a retrial for four of the seven.

Brutal home invasion in St. Matthew’s Village
A St. Matthew’s Village family was terrorized during a home invasion early this morning. According to one of the victims, she was in bed along with her husband and two children when she was awakened by a loud noise. Upon making checks they saw three men who had used the cover of heavy rain to break down their door. The woman said one of the men was armed with a firearm. The men attacked her husband and beat him unconscious after which they tied her up along with her two children. The woman said one of the men then proceeded to rape her while the other two ransacked their home. The assailants made off with jewellery including two wedding bands, a pair of gold earrings and a gold ring along with three cellular phones. The men then left in her husband’s red Ford Ranger pickup truck. After the men left, the woman sought the assistance of her neighbours to get her husband to the Western Regional Hospital. He was in a semi conscious state suffering from abrasions to the right cheek, left hand, three broken teeth, six broken ribs broken and complained of pain all over his body. He remains hospitalized. His wife was treated and released. The vehicle was recovered about half a mile from the family’s home with the battery missing.

Chinese grocer shot and killed in Ladyville
Chinese businessman Kenny Deng was fatally wounded during what appears to be an attempted robbery on Thursday evening in Ladyville village, Belize district. Sketchy reports suggest that a lone gunman may have attempted to hold up E-Buy Supermarket, situated on Crab Catcher Street in the Mitchell Estate area of Ladyville when the shooting happened just after five o’clock yesterday evening. Deng was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for treatment, but died shortly after. It is not known if the gunman got away with anything from Deng or the Supermarket and the police investigation of this latest murder continues.

Belizean blacklisted by the USA says he is innocent
For the past couple of days, Love News has been reporting on the blacklisting of three Belizeans and their business holdings by the United States government for their alleged involvement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. Using its Kingpin Act, the United States Treasury is accusing John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion and businessman Daniel Moreno of being key associates of Mexico’s high profile trafficker Joaquin Guzman. When the US government agency announced that it had targeted the trio, an official statement also noted that the Obama administration had also frozen the US assets of the three men as well as those of five of their companies including a banana farm, grocery store and marina. On Wednesday, John Zabaneh, through his unnamed attorneys, issued a statement claiming that the actions of the US Treasury were unfounded, wild and unsubstantiated. In his press release, Zabaneh says that all the accusations of wrongdoings by the US Treasury Department against himself and his companies are, quote, false and defamatory, unquote. Zabaneh goes on to explain that he has no association with Chapo Guzman, that he has never met or heard of Daniel Moreno nor has he seen or spoken with his nephew Dion Zabaneh in years. The Zabaneh statement concludes by saying that the businesses blacklisted by the US Treasury Department, together employs over seven hundred and fifty workers and is responsible for the generation of over fifteen million US dollars to the Belize economy through exports annually. Zabaneh is concerned that the US treasury Department move will adversely affect his business operations in Belize; but if confident that in time, he and his companies will be fully exonerated. The companies blacklisted on Tuesday are Mayan King, Mid-South Investments, Crown Paradise Enterprises, Belize Chemicals and D’s Supermarket Company.

Benjamin Nicholas’ paintings go on display
The Mexican Embassy will be showcasing an exhibit in tribute of renowned Belizean Artist Benjamin Nicholas who passed away in April of this year. This is the final in a series of three exhibits presented firstly in Dangriga and followed at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan. Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Embassy is Marcelino Miranda. The exhibit in Belize City opens tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Institute of Mexico on Newton Barracks. The display is open to the general public and is free of cost. Schools are encouraged to organize excursions to the exhibition which will remain open until the 15th of August.

Ambulances for Belize from Chicago
The Ministry of Health has gotten a donation of two ambulances. The ambulances, which are provided through the efforts of the Chicago-based Superior Ambulance Service, were hand over to the Minister of Health Pablo Marin over the weekend during the annual Chicago Belize Day in the Park Celebration. George Heinecan was one of the persons who worked to secure the ambulances for donation to Belize. The Chicago Belize Day in the Park is part of activities organized by the Belize Educational Fund to raise funds to assist charitable organizations or individuals both in Belize and in the United States. Among the recipients of assistance since the inception of the Belize Educational Fund back in 2006 are the Guinea Grass Roman Catholic School, the Cornerstone Foundation, Salvation Army and Stella Maris Schools in Belize City.

New Commanding Officer for Placencia Police
Inspector Mark Flowers is the new commander for the Placencia Peninsula’s Police formation. Flowers was appointed last month to succeed Sergeant Norman Benguche. Because of the area’s growth and importance as a tourism destination, Commissioner of Police, David Henderson decided to upgrade the Peninsula’s top post from sergeant to inspector. Love News spoke this morning with Inspector Flowers. Earlier today Inspector Flowers presented two police officers with Police of the Month awards. He told us about the occasion. Chairman of the Placencia Village Council Charles Leslie, informed the Department of the Council’s plans to upgrade the Placencia Police Station.

NEMO declares hurricane “all clear” for Belize
The National Emergency Management Organization NEMO has issued the all clear for the entire country of Belize following the passage of Hurricane Ernesto. Even though the all clear was given NEMO says people in the North need to be cautious as they may experience some gusty winds with showers. Boats were advised to remain in harbor as sea conditions remain rough. Water taxis runs were delayed until midday. The country had been bracing for the approach of Ernesto on Tuesday. Coordinator for the Corozal District Willard levy told Love News they went into preparations early. Levy said that the response of residents should be commended. Levy said five shelters remain opened with116 in residence. These are persons whose homes are flooded. He said they should remain in the shelters for the next day or two. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has extended his congratulations to all those who were involved in preparing the citizenry for the hurricane. Hurricane Ernesto made landfall in Mahuahal, Mexico last night with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.

Audubon Society announces reopening of national parks
The Belize Audubon Society has reopened six of the nine protected areas it co-manages with the Forest Department which were closed yesterday due to the threat of Hurricane Ernesto. The Half moon Caye and Blue Hole Natural Monuments remain closed until further notice. The protected areas now opened are the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (Jaguar Reserve), Guanacaste National Park, Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and Actun Tunichil Muknal Natural Monument. Victoria Peak Natural Monument remains closed, as it is annually closed to the public from the period June 1 – November 31.

Hurricane Ernesto a no-show in Corozal
And while it is all clear now, on Tuesday morning, northern Belize appeared to be right in the pathway of the approaching storm. Our news team traveled to Corozal to wait for the storm’s arrival.

Prime Minister Barrow comments on US claims against John Zabaneh
Yesterday we reported that the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had placed sanctions against three Belizeans who they say are linked to the Sinaloa Cartel. They are John Zabaneh, Dion Zabaneh and Daniel Moreno. We asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow for his reaction to the news. The list of companies listed by the Treasury Department is Mayan King Limited, Mid-South Investments Limited, Crown Paradise Enterprises Limited, Belize Chemicals Limited and D’s Supermarket Company Limited. Prime Minister Barrow says it is too soon to speculate on the economic impact of the action. According to the release from the US Treasury Department’s action was taken following the United States of America’s Foreign Narcotics Kingpin designation Act. The OFAC says it is designating Zabaneh for the notable role that he and his organization play in narcotics trafficking in Central America, particularly Belize, as well as their role in the drug trafficking operations of Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel.

GOB announces super bond renegotiation plans
The government of Belize today published its final blueprint for the restructuring of the nation’s foreign debt, commonly referred to as the super bond. The exercise started in early April and involved an assessment of the country’s external debt and preliminary discussions with the bond holders to basically tell them that it’s not that we don’t want to repay the debt, but that the country simply cannot live up to its obligations under the terms of the US dollar bonds which mature in 2029. The government’s position, as we understand it, is that declining oil revenues and the global economic crisis are putting a real squeeze on the nation’s treasury to repay the super bond. According to a quick read of the debt restructuring plan put forward by government today, Belize is offering three options to the bond holders; but the bottom line is that any of the three scenarios being proposed would have the same impact on the bond holders. The first option being put forward by GOB is for the super bond to be swapped for a fifty year bond, meaning a maturity date in the year 2062. The bond holders will get a two percent rate of return on the coupon throughout the duration of the loan period; but with a fifteen year grace period on the repayment of the principal. The two other options for bond holders both include extension of the maturity period for the super bond, but options two and three will mean that the creditors will actually collect less on the bonds. In effect, Belize would get a huge discount on the principal loan amount of over a billion dollars. How much of a discount? Well, the Belize Bond Restructuring plan suggests a forty five percent discount, meaning that for every dollar Belize owes them, they would only collect fifty five cents. It’s a mortgage-type repayment plan and for the bond holders it is a matter of getting their money back in a hurry or over a longer period. Option two is for a stepped up interest payment beginning on day one, with one percent through to the year 2019; then increasing to two percent in 2026 and a final step up to four percent through to 2042. Option three calls for a five year grace period on the payment of the principal; with a three and a half percent rate of interest throughout the entire term of the bond; which would mature in the year 2042. As we said, all three scenarios would bring the much sought after debt relief for the government of Belize and at the same have the same impact on the bond holders. As we have reported previously, during the first round of meetings with bond holders, the debt restructuring team, headed by Ambassador Mark Espat had held talks with about ninety percent of the bond holders. And with the publication of the blueprint for the way forward, the renegotiating team is optimistic of a final resolution by the time Belize celebrates its thirty first anniversary of Independence.

Toledo resident complains about bad road conditions
A frequent traveler in rural Toledo expressed concerns about the current road conditions linking three Toledo communities. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Teenager charged in fatal road traffic accident
Police has charged 19-year-old Prandeep Kumar Saikai with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving motor vehicle alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit and driving without due care and attention. Saika, a medical student was the driver of a vehicle that overturned in a cane field between miles seventy and seventy one in Santa Clara Village on Saturday morning. The accident claimed the life of twenty one year old Jayandra Jahhar.

Manager chopped up by angry employee
A misunderstanding between an employee and a manager resulted in one man on the run and the other hospitalized. On Monday morning Police visited the Independence Polyclinic where they saw 47-year-old Aurelio Menjivar suffering from several cut wounds. Reports are that Menjivar invited Jorge Humberto Hernandez into his office to settle a previous misunderstanding. As a result Hernandez reportedly became annoyed and inflicted the injuries to Menjivar with a machete. Hernandez then escaped in one of the company’s vehicle. Menjivar was transported to the Southern regional Hospital where he was admitted in a critical but stable condition. Police say they recovered the vehicle earlier today in an area two miles inside Texmar Shrimp Farm Road off the Southern Highway inside some bushes.

Elderly man beaten and robbed
An elderly man remains was injured when he was beaten and robbed early Monday morning in Independence Village. Police say they responded to reports of a robbery at a garage and on their arrival they were approached by 73-year-old watchman Rayman Frazer who was bleeding heavily from the mouth and also had a cut wound to the left ear. Initial investigations reveal that Fraser was at the garage just after midnight when he was attacked by several persons who hit him with a blunt object and beat him causing injuries to his face and upper body. The assailants made off with his wallet containing $500.

BTS says arrival figures are up
The comparative figures for the first six months of the last three years show impressive overnight tourist arrivals for Belize. From twenty one thousand, three hundred and twenty eight arrivals in 2010, the figures for this year show that three hundred and thirty seven more visitors arrived here in 2012. It is an impressive nine percent increase over last year arrivals for the same period, and the Belize Tourism Board is positively impressed with the numbers. According to BTB figures, the thirty two thousand, two hundred and forty visitors recorded in the month of March is the first time that Belize had broken the thirty two thousand overnight visitors threshold. BTB says that overall, there was a 13.8% increase in airport tourist arrivals through the first half of 2012, which indicates very strong growth despite going into the slow season of the tourism calendar. On the cruise side, BTB reports consecutive increases in cruise arrival numbers from November 2011 to January 2012. In January 2012 Belize boasted 86,128 cruise visitors, representing a 34.9% increase. This is a total of 22,293 more visitors compared to last year at that time. Overall, there was a 13.8% increase in overall arrivals through the first half of 2012, which indicates very strong growth despite going into the slow season of the tourism calendar. In all, Belize’s tourism industry is showing remarkable signs of growth and it continues to set new records during 2012.


PlusTV follows Hurricane Ernesto to Mexico
While it is not common for us to do international reporting, tonight we have such a story for you. Plus TV's Louis ...

Massive killer bee attack kills dogs
Africanized or killer bees are no strangers to Belmopan and must be avoided at all cost. Yesterday one Belmopan res...

Sports camps for children of all ages
There are only a couple more weeks of summer vacation left and students in the Belmopan area have been taking full ...

Tropical Depression 7 forms in the Tropical Atlantic
All eyes are on a new weather system that has formed in the Tropical Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center in Mia...

Zabaneh's local assets frozen
Courtenay Coye Law firm, which has been retained by John Zabaneh, yesterday issued a release on Zabaneh’s behalf re...

Teen, 17, missing from San Marcus Village
Rosa Caal of San Marcus Village reported that on August 6 at 4:00am her daughter Glenda Caal, a 17year old high sch...

Dangriga implements anti-crime strategy
It is said by the Residents of Dangriga Town that the crime rate in Dangriga has been on the increase. Officer Comm...

15 years for robbery and rape
Leroy Gomez, who was convicted a second time for rape and robbery has booked himself 15 years at the KOLBE Foundati...

Hon. Faber holds over as PM on personal leave
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the public that the Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country today, August 9 ...

Watchman attacked, robbed of cash
On Monday August 6 just after midnight, Police responded to a report of a robbery on Big Creek Road in Independence...

The Guardian

Coye Money Laundering Case ends in Victory for FIU
Melanie Coye, Michael Coye and Athlee Matute On New Year’s Eve 2008, Financial Intelligence Unit officials, armed with warrants, collaborated with the Belize Police Department and raided the home of the Coye Family located at #12 Johnson Street. The raid yielded the FIU’s biggest bust as they found sums of cash in different denominations stashed in bags and suitcases. 62-year-old Michael Coye his wife 56-year-old Marlene, and 33-year-old daughter, Melanie Coye were arrested as a result.

“Battery” and Wilbur Gentle remanded for Discharging Firearm in Public
On Monday, August 6th, 26-year-old Brandon "Battery" Smith and 20-year-old Wilbur Gentle appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where they were charged with discharging a firearm in public. They pleaded not guilty to the charge but because the offence is alleged to have been committed with a gun, they were denied bail and were remanded to prison until September 24th.

Guilty of terrorizing the Black Rock Lodge
Guatemalan nationals, Marcos Javier Chiquin Molina, 49, and Geronimo Cortez Gonzales, 42, were found guilty on Thursday, August 2nd, for terrorizing the Black Rock Lodge.

Ricardo Blanco found naked off Feeder Road in Orange Walk
When a missing Orange Walk resident, Ricardo Blanco, 35, a construction worker, did not return home from work on Thursday, August 2nd, his family feared the worst. Their worst fear was confirmed two days later, on Saturday, August 4th, when they found him dead on a feeder road some miles out of Trial Farm Village.

Three Men charged with Drug Trafficking
On Friday, August 3rd, Edwin Vacarro, 20, a painter of a North Creek Street address; Ricky Bevans,18, a resident of Justice Street; and Albert Johnson, Jr.,19-year-old resident of Mex Avenue, appeared in court to answer to charges of drug trafficking .

PUP City Council Candidate arrested and charged
PUP candidate for the last municipal elections, Gilroy Usher, Jr., appeared in Magistrate's Court on Monday, August 6th where he was charged for two counts of aggravated assault and a count of harm. He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford, who granted him bail in the sum of $3,000. He was granted bail under the condition that he does not take a firearm or any deadly weapon to court when he goes to conduct business there. He met bail and his case was adjourned until September 24th.

Illegal Immigrant removed from Belize
Vilma Marlene Marina Rodriguez Acosta, 41, a Honduran national, who had been residing on Collet Canal for the past four months, has been expelled from the country following a court order on Friday, August 3rd for her removal.

Charged with keeping ammunition without a gun license
Dorian Sutherland, 24, appeared in Court on Friday, August 3rd to answer to charges of keeping ammunition without a gun license.

James Patrick Swan murdered in Corozal
Police are investigating the murder of 30-year-old James Patrick Swan. According to police reports, at around 7:20 p.m. on Sunday, August 5th, Swan stopped in front of Deng’s Supermarket on 7th Avenue in Corozal Town and had a conversation with 38-year-old Ajay Bajay. It was at this time that a male person of dark complexion walked from behind a fence in the area and opened fire upon Swan and Bajay. When police arrived on the scene, they saw Bajay suffering from gunshot wounds to his right hand and left foot. Swan had already been rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical officer. Swan suffered from multiple gunshot wounds to the right side of the head, chest and stomach area.

Over 400 Children at Gaspar Vega Summer Camp
Participants in the Gaspar Vega Summer Camp The 7th annual Hon. Gaspar Vega Summer Camp concluded on Friday, August 4th, in San Jose Village. The first camp was held 8 years ago for primary school aged children 5-13 years old in the Trial Farm area. Christopher Hendricks, Camp Coordinator, said that a little over fifty youths participated in the first camp and funding was low. He remembers presenting the participants with certificates made on typing sheets. Due to low financial support again, there was no camp in 2005. In 2006, Hendrics approached Hon. Gaspar Vega and shared his idea for the summer camp. Deputy Prime Minister Vega assisted financially and the camp was reborn, this time with 65 participants. The camp grew slightly the following years and in 2009, the Hon. Gaspar Vega decided to extend the camp to the entire division. There were over 300 participants that year. Now, the camp has attracted many more youths and sponsors.

Taiwan Embassy donates towards September Celebrations
His Excellency David K. Wu presents donation to Diane Haylock, NICH President The Republic of China on Taiwan has been one of the major contributors to the September Celebrations every year. This year, it was no different as on Monday, August 6th, His Excellency David K. Wu, Ambassador to Belize from the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated a check for $40,000 BZe. to the Co-Chairperson of the September Celebrations Commission, Diane C. Haylock at the House of Culture.

Prime Minister gives Thanks
The Office of the Prime Minister expresses gratitude that Belize was spared from any notable damage as a result of Hurricane Ernesto.

Medical Tourism: A Potential Money Maker in Belize
In an effort to open the platform for discussion in Belize regarding the possibility of a country-strategy and market creation for medical tourism, key stakeholders participated in a workshop led by Dr. Massimo Manzi of Costa Rica, and the Belize Trade and Investment Development (BELTRAIDE). The workshop took place on Friday, August 3rd, 2012, at the George Price Center in Belmopan.

Chicago Belize Day In The Park
Left to right: Belize’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Nestor Mendez, Hyacinth Latchman The 32nd Annual Chicago Belize Day in the Park was held on Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at the Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago, Illinois.

Cattle will be the Latest Formal Export from Belize
David Dycks Cattle Farm “This is the best thing that has ever happened!” “I never thought it would actually come true.” and “This has the potential to increase the numbers of the entire livestock sector in Belize beyond recognition." are only a few of the comments expressed by leaders of the livestock industry about the cattle sweep and formal cattle trade to Mexico.

Ashcroft Alliance ordered to settle Compensation for BTL in Belizean Courts
The Belize Court of Appeals handed down a ruling on Friday, August 3rd, in an appeal filed by the British Caribbean Bank Limited (BCBL) against the Judgment of Justice Oswell Legall delivered on December 7th, 2010 and the related order dated January 26th, 2011 made in favour of the Hon. Attorney General and the Government of Belize.

$40 million Arbitration Award for Ashcroft not valid in Belize says Court of Appeals
In December 2010, the Ashcroft Alliance had claimed a major victory against the Government of Belize when it got a judgment by Justice John Muria in the Supreme Court in Belize. The judgment basically gave the Ashcroft Alliance the right to enforce a 40-million-dollar arbitration award, which it was given by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on August 20th, 2009. That award was related to the vaunted Accommodation Agreement which saw the former PUP government make numerous concessions to the Ashcroft Alliance. The final award stood at $40,843,273.34 as well as 206,248 pounds in arbitration costs and other legal and professional costs amounting to $2,960,735.69. The award was to have incurred annual interest at a rate of 3.38%

Alamilla’s/MOE and Tuff “E” Nuff tie at Two Games Apiece
Greg Rudon scoring 9 points against Tuff “E” Nuff The 2012 Interoffice Basketball League Competition will come to an end on Friday, August 10th, at the Bird’s Isle here in Belize City when the 5th and final game in the championship series will be played between Tuff “E” Nuff and Alamilla’s/MOE. The final game in the championship series became necessary when Alamilla’s/MOE defeated Tuff “E” Nuff by the score of 69-62 on Friday, August 3rd, 2012, at Bird’s Isle. The top scorers for Alamilla’s/MOE were Brandon Rogers with 23 points and 4 rebounds; Kurt Burgess with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal; Kevin Lorenzo and Greg Rudon with 9 points each. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Keith Acosta with 22 points and 6 rebounds and Stephen “Muerte” Williams with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

Telemedia at Central American Softball Championship
The Belize Softball Federation will have representation at the Central American Senior Female Softball championship scheduled for August 9-13th, 2012 in San Jose, Costa Rica by the National Softball Champions, Telemedia. The Telemedia Softball Team is scheduled to leave the country on Thursday, August 9th and will return on Monday, August 13th, 2012. Telemedia will see action against El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the host country Costa Rica.

Champions Cup enter into Final Round
The 2012 Belize City Champions Cup entered into its championship round on Sunday, August 5th, at the MCC Grounds here in Belize City. In game one of the championship series, Belize Defence Force Football Club blasted West Lake Football Club by the score of 7-1. The goal scorers for the BDF Football Club were Harrison Tasher in the 1st minute of play; Marlon Meza with 2 goals in the 9th and 86th minutes of play; Lisbey Castillo in the 33rd minute of play; Byron Usher in the 40th minute of play; and Shane Flores in the 84th minute of play. The second game in the championship series will be played at a later date.

Vega’s Cup Tournament 2012 opens
The 2012 Vega’s Cup Tournament, which is sponsored by the Hon. Gaspar Vega Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and the Orange Walk North Representative opened on Sunday, August 5th with the Marathon Competition out in Santa Cruz Village. The Marathon competition was declared opened by the Hon. Gaspar Vega, who gave all the teams participating in the competition 2 footballs. This year’s competition will feature 16 teams including: Santa Cruz FC (defending champion), Old School FC, San Antonio Jaguars, Otro Benque, New River Dynamites, Barrio Boyz, Blackwater FC, Untouchables FC, Athletics FC, San Roman FC, San Luis FC, San Jose Pumas, San Jose Survivors, San Pable FC, San Juan FC and Douglas FC. Meanwhile, the 2012 Marathon competition was captured by Old School FC while the host village Santa Cruz FC placed second. At the end of the Marathon Competition, both teams received a team trophy; while Old School FC was given back $150.00 from its registration fee while Santa Cruz FC received $100.00 from its registration fee. The regular competition is scheduled to commence on Sunday, August 12th, at the Trial Farm Football Field. At the end of the competition, the champion will receive $3,000.00, a team trophy plus each player will receive individual trophies. The 2nd place team will receive $2,000.00, a team trophy and each player will receive individual trophies, the 3rd place team will receive $1,000.00, a team trophy and individual players’ trophies, while the 4th place team will receive $500.00 and a team trophy.

Jaguar killed and skinned in Caledonia
Residents of Caledonia pose with slaughtered jaguar and Jaguar is skinned for its hide On Sunday, August 5th, a group of hunters from the village of Caledonia in the Corozal District went out on a routine hunting expedition. While the group was looking for game meat, they ended up with quite a kill when they shot and killed a mature male jaguar.

Bye Bye Ernesto !!! Or Is It?
Sunday morning most of the weather models agreed that Tropical Storm Ernesto’s destination was somewhere between Belize City and Corozal Town. There were a few naysayers. Nevertheless, Ernesto’s flirtation with Belize is over! Or is it? Belizeans were having none of that, and like Hurricane Dean of 2007, Ernesto moved on to wreak havoc on the quiet lovely Mexican Town called Mahajual. At 9:00 a.m. August 8th, 2012, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) declared the ALL CLEAR for entire Belize. In our organization, we were aware of the likelihood of Ernesto well in advance of its announced formation and immediately commenced our planning for the eventuality. This advantage allowed us to be super ready and the implementation of our hurricane plan was smooth and almost flawless. I sure hope that most Belizeans, businesses, and organizations hurricane plans were implemented with the same or better efficiency. I had the privilege of volunteering to go back to my old office and assist in the preparation of flood forecasts for Ernesto. We got out two forecasts to NEMO. Despite the elapsed time between these forecasts and my last, I believe we did a fair enough job. The National Meteorological Services forecasts and radar images were very useful, not only to us and other Belizeans, but to our neighbours and the Miami and Atlanta-based hurricane experts as well. Did you see Weather Channel using Belize’s radar images? Congrats to the NMS and NEMO. As we all know, it rains and then it floods. The actual rainfall causes the floods. The weather advisories were saying that Ernesto would dump 4 to 8 inches of rain, and at times up to 12 inches. All the rainfall numbers are not in yet, but I think it is safe to say we did not get the rain. I was praying for the rain over the Macal River. It would have increased the reservoir level at Chalillo, interrupt traffic over the San Ignacio low-level bridge and the residents would have been upset, but BEL would have been happy. Rain over the Guatemalan portion of Mopan watershed was just enough to cause a slight rise in river levels, and it appears that there will be no floods on the Mopan. No flood on the Macal River and a ripple on the Mopan River, a very small ripple, if any, will pass through the Belize River Valley. Then after all, Ernesto passed over the Northern Districts and there is where we should see flooding. So far the rains have caused a small rise in levels on the Rio Hondo near Blue Creek, Santa Cruz, San Antonio, San Roman, and Douglas Villages. This increase is expected to continue over the next two days, but no flooding is expected. The New River as usual does not respond to small amounts of rain and is expected to rise slightly and will not flood as result of rains associated with Ernesto. Surprisingly, the much removed Monkey River responded to rain from Ernesto’s feeder bands and has increased to above its normal level for August and is expected to continue to rise to below flood levels. Most of the rivers in the south, though affected by Ernesto’s feeder bands, did not get enough rain to cause any flood events. So it looks like BYE BYE ERNESTO!

Subsidize Tertiary Education: Should it be FREE? The Case of the University of Belize (UB)
There has been much in the news, because the Government announced, through the Minister of Education, that come January 2013, certain obligations to students will be discontinued. Education is pivotal to the development of our country, but we must be mindful that if we disregard the lower levels, then the foundation will be weak and students in tertiary level institutions will be underdeveloped, where pedagogical, critical thinking and problem solving skills are concerned. The recent budget allocates some 25% of total expenditure to education, but let us not forget that the many expenses that must be incurred to ensure QUALITY education. UB is now 12 years old and since the transition from the University College of Belize, the question must be asked, “How much of its total expenditure is subsidized by government?” Is the cost so outrageous that it excludes many potential students from acquiring an Associate or Bachelor’s degree? There seems to be a level of misunderstanding by students, when it was announced that certain fees will no longer be met. There was nothing said about government no longer subsidizing costs with the $10 million grant per year, which benefits the over 4,500 students, who attend UB. This grant ensures that UB does not have to increase tuition to pay its faculty and staff, develop programmes, or spend on infrastructure development. Five years ago, the government agreed to absorb the fee increase, because it was determined that the notice period was not satisfactory for students parents to make budgetary changes. There was an agreement that government would pay the increase for a finite period of time (6 months) after which students would pick up the cost. The truth is that present students will still be subsidized, but new students will meet the fee payments themselves. We must be mindful that the government further subsidizes the cost of education through scholarships. This does not mean that the students go for free; government must pay UB for the tuition and cost for those students.

Orange Walk Town NOT impacted by Ernesto
As early as 9:00 on Tuesday night, tropical force winds were felt in Orange Walk Town. By this time, hurricane shelters across town were already occupied by a few. Earlier in the day, Orange Walkenos were making last minute preparations in the event that Hurricane Ernesto could pose any serious threats, though just a few had taken measures to and secured their houses. Stores across town closed later in the day so as to allow employees time to prepare for the effects of Hurricane Ernesto. Later in the night and unto morning, the winds picked up, but still posed no threat to human life. At the break of dawn, the sky was dark in Orange and the rain was momentarily accompanied with gusts of winds which posed no threat to human life. People living in several areas in town have since reported that there were no damages or floods in their respective areas. Of note is that during the early development of the depression, Orange Walkenos were closely monitoring the system, and were being properly informed via the local news and by updates from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The Reporter

A report published this week by the Center for Teenage Mothers, an adjunct organization of the NGO Youth Enhancement Center (YES), states that the number of teenage pregnancies in Belize jumped by 16.1 percent during the five years from 2001 to 2005, from 1,303 in 2001 to 1,513 five years later. No stats have been provided for the period 2005 to 2010, but if the growth rate of teenage pregnancies remained constant, we can say with some degree of certainty that in the decade that just ended, teenage pregnancies in Belize grew by 3.2 percent a year. This translates to 15,553 teenage pregnancies for the 10-year period 2001 to 2010, and that’s not counting abortions. The Government’s website lists the population of Belize today at approximately 320,000, and a graph showing population trends indicates that the growth rate has been sliding to a steady decline from 2.75 percent a year in 2001 to 2.06 percent a year in 2010. So while the rate of growth of the general population is declining, teenage pregnancies are rising.

Businessman Gilroy Usher Jr. arraigned on aggravated assault charges
Gilroy Usher Jr., 32, the owner of a Belize City pawn shop, and an executive member of COLA, was offered $3,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and harm against Police Constable Edgar Poot, when he appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford on Monday, August 5. He was also charged with aggravated assault against Magistrate’s Court bailiff Gabriel Casey. The incident occurred in Casey’s office at the Magistrate’s Court building around 12:25 on Friday afternoon, August .

James Swan II executed in Corozal
Corozal police are yet to establish a motive for the execution-style murder of James Swan Jr. in Corozal Town last Sunday night, August 5. Swan died almost immediately after he was shot twice in the head and three times in his chest and torso; as he stood talking to Ajay Bajay, 38, in front of Deng’s Supermarket, on Seventh Avenue. Swan was the son of the well-known James “Raindrops” Swan Sr. He lives in an area of Burrel Boom known as Fresh Pond. According to police, the hitman apparently waited in ambush for Swan, coming from behind a fence near the supermarket and firing several shots as he approached.

The people matter most !
In September 2008, the United States and several other countries suffered a serious economic body blow that practically froze the entire financial system. Dubbed as the global economic crisis, the fiscal fiasco came in like a tidal wave that drowned major financial institutions in an ocean of immense debt. It engendered a massive rate of unemployment; cost millions of pensioners their pensions; depositors and investors lost their money, which in some instances was their life savings; forced several businesses to close their doors, in many cases for good; and, to top it off, left thousands of homeowners on the streets.

U.S. blacklists John Zabaneh
Three Belizean businessmen, John Angel Zabaneh, 57, his nephew Dion Zabaneh, 38, and Corozal based businessman Daniel Gonzalo Moreno, 39, have been designated by the United States Department of Treasury for their alleged association with the powerful Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.

Court of Appeal decision trashes LCIA $40 million “Settlement Deed”
A ruling handed down on Friday, August 3, by the Belize Court of Appeal, has taken the Government of Belize off the hook to the tune of some $40 million dollars, from a ruling that BCB Holdings Limited and the Belize Bank Limited had secured from the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) with respect to a Settlement Deed signed by former Prime Minister Said Musa.

GOB’s ‘Super Bond’ options
The Government of Belize (GOB) has proposed three debt-restructuring scenarios for the so-called “super bond” and the first option, Scenario A, if accepted by bondholders, could very well push back the bond’s maturity date to 2062 from 2029 – a difference of 33 years.

Money Laundering Case
The four-year $1.5 million money-laundering trial of Michael Coye, 65, and his daughter, Melanie Coye, climaxed when Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin sentenced them to three years in prison on Wednesday, August 8.

Leroy Gomez gets 15 years for rape and robbery
Convicted rapist Leroy Gomez, 25, will spend the next 15 years of his life in prison, Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas ruled on Wednesday, August 8.

UN rapporteur defends Caleb Orozco’s human rights
Caleb Orozco has become the most recognizable face of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which is the group leading the debate for human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people; and now a Special Rapporteur of the United National High Commission for Human rights has stepped in to champion his cause. Frank La Rue and Margaret Sekaggya, special rapporteurs on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the situation of human rights defenders, have written to the government of Belize, through Belize’s ambassador to the U.N., to request information on the progress (or lack thereof) of the police investigation into the attack on Orozco, in which someone threw an empty beer bottle at Orozco’s head on George Street on February 8 this year, bruising his face and damaging his teeth.

Ernesto spares Belize! Farmers & CFZ hit.
Every cloud has a silver lining and no one in Belize wanted to question the Almighty when hurricane Ernesto skirted the northern districts of Corozal and Orange Walk to make landfall near Mahahual in the neighboring Mexican State of Quintana Roo on Tuesday night, august 7. While there was no loss of life and very little property damage, Ernesto hit Corozalenos where it hurt most, in their pockets. Hardest hit were the merchants of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, for whom the summer months are a boom time when Mexicans have summer vacations, and many excursions of shoppers come to the CFZ seeking bargains. So it was a bitter pill when they had to close up shop and allow their staff to go and secure their homes against the approaching storm. But there would be even fewer daytrippers from Mexico which was also threatened by the storm. The Zone remained closed through Wednesday, until the National Emergency Management Organization issued the all-clear, allowing for the CFZ to re-open on Thursday, August 9. While conservative estimates say CFZ lost $250,00 for each day it was closed for business; others peg that figure closer to a million dollars per day.

Honey a sweet treatment for kids’ night-time cough
Instead of reaching for a commercial medicine when your child is coughing through the night because of a common cold, Israeli researchers suggest giving honey a try. A teaspoon or two of honey before bedtime can safely relieve the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection, they report. “The cough due to a viral [upper respiratory infection] is generally a self-limited disease,” said study author Dr. Herman Avner Cohen, chairman of the Pediatric Community Ambulatory Care Clinic with Clalit Health Services in Petah-Tikva, Israel.

Living without lies will make you healthier
For good health, be sure to eat fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and speak the truth always. A Notre Dame researcher is hoping this k advice will someday take hold, based on results of a “science of honesty” study she completed that showed tangible mental and physical health benefits among those who significantly reduced their everyday lies. Half of 110 participants were told to stop telling major or minor (“white”) lies for 10 weeks, while the other half (the “control” group) was given no special instructions about lying.

Corozal Ambush wins Belikin 3×3 basketball championship
The Corozal Ambush won the right to represent Belize at the FIBA 3×3 Basketball World Tour in New York on August 18 – 19, after winning the Belikin Open Men’s 3×3 Basketball Championship Finals held under the auspices of the Belize Basketball Federation at Jamborees in Belize City on Saturday, August 4. Jason Grant posted seven points as he and Benedict ‘Big Ben’ Terry led their teammates Marcell Richards and Alton Herrera to a 15-10 victory over the Orange Walk district champions, UB Jaguars men: Farron Louriano, Winston “Air Jun” Pratt, Darren Bovell and Ryan Zuniga. The Jaguars tied the game at 10-10 with three minutes left on the clock, but ‘Big Ben’ played big D, snagging rebounds to deny the UB men any more points.

BDF drills Westlake 6-1 Champions Cup football final
The Belize Defence Force drilled Westlake 6-1 in the first game to the championship finals of the Champions’ Cup Football Competition at the MCC grounds on Sunday, August 5. Harrison Tasher and Marlon “Matador” Meza led the BDF offensive, supported by Byron Usher and Ralph Flores on the wings, and Lisbey Castillo and Richard “Cheety” Jimenez at midfield. Westlake’s defenders Jose “Shaggy” Caceres, Kishane Pech, Shannon Flowers and Stephen Baeza had no time to get settled before Tasher penetrated to embarrass goalkeeper Charlie Slusher with the BDF’s first winning goal in the very first minute of play.

Cuban literacy program has benefitted more than 6.5 million people in 28 countries
Some 6.5 million citizens in 28 nations are no longer illiterate, thanks to the Cuban literacy program known as “Yes, I Can.” The figure surpasses all statistics reported by other similar programs implemented thus far around the world.


A pleasant surprise
I was enjoying a couple of days up north at Grand Caribe this past weekend and got a pleasant surprise while walking the beach with Cowboy Doug on Friday afternoon – Coconut Leo. If you know me well you know my all time favorite drink besides iced coffee is fresh coconut water – if I could have it on tap I would. As soon as we spotted him in the tree I asked Cowboy if he had any spare gallon containers so we could support the local Belize economy. Coconut Leo charges $10 a gallon, if you see him on the beach I highly recommend picking up a gallon or two, one for now and freeze one for later. Jose jr one of the resort staff was helping Coconut Leo as he cleaned the coconut trees and making sure that no one was injured by falling coconuts. Guests at Grand Caribe Resort got a big kick out of watching Leo do his coconut tree climbing acrobatics and enjoyed tasting pure coconut water right out of the coconut. Coconut water is a source electrolytes and many nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate and a number of B vitamins. B-1 found in coconut water. Vitamin B-1 converts blood sugar into energy, which helps improve endurance and fatigue. Vitamin B-6 increases the serotonin levels in your brain, which helps regulate your mood. Read more about Natural Properties & Health Benefits of Coconut Water on one of my favorite health websites – Livestrong. Coconut tip – Freeze fresh coconut water in ice cube trays to add to your tropical drinks, as the ice melts it gives a delicious flavor to your drink instead of watering it down. Coconut water recipe – Add coconut water to your rum punch for a nice flavor. For parties I make it in a 1 gallon water container and usually throw in some pineapple juice, coconut rum, Caribbean rum and fruit squash as well. Cowboy and I added it to our white rum and cranberry for a nice change.

No Liquor Served During Hurricane Ernesto in San Pedro: Is it a Problem?
San Pedro, Belize's economy revolves around tourism. No one can deny that. I'd say that everyone who makes a living on this island does something directly or indirectly related to attracting visitors and making sure they have a good time when they are here. That often involves the consumption of a cocktail or ten. Over the last few days (I'm not sure if you heard!) we have been dealing with Category One Hurricane Ernesto. Only a few days ago, it was projected to make a direct hit to our island. We got lucky and it veered north. But a full hurricane warning (the highest level of alert) was declared and we saw plenty of heavy winds and rain. As part of the hurricane warning, NEMO (our emergency board both locally and countrywide) declared a ban on the sales of alcohol. A few have suggested that this ban is ridiculous. Are the powers that be suggesting that we will all go out and get plastered because there is storm coming? (I'll admit...I was tempted) Shouldn't tourists who have spent their hard earning money to visit be able to enjoy a Pina Colada while waiting out the storm? guess so...but... Bottom line: The ban is in place to keep everyone safe. To keep tourists and locals in their houses during this type of weather rather than out on the streets bar hopping. To let us all know that this is SERIOUS. The ban is nothing new. In fact, our neighbors in Mexico do the exact same thing. Plus, we get plenty of warning...if you know that you will want a few glasses of wine during the storm, you can go buy a bottle before the ban goes into place. And this ban isn't just enacted during hurricanes. Belize has a tradition of "dry days" for safety reasons and for respect. Election Day is alcohol free in Belize as is Good Friday until the evening mass is completed.

How to Travel With Kids
Entertainment options: The more options you have for your child to keep busy the better. This can include a DVD player and their favorite movies for the flight or coloring books that they can color. The key is to find small, compact and easy to pull out as fast as you can when a possible meltdown is on the brink. These will help entertain and keep your child busy and happy. Snacks: No one likes to travel on an empty stomach, be sure that your child has a full meal in their bellies before boarding. Pack several yummy snacks to prevent any complaints. Things like granola bars and crackers are filling and delicious without spoiling their dinner. Keep an emergency stash of their favorite candy for the worst case scenario. Security: Whether your child has a favorite stuffed animal or clings on to a blanket for comfort, don’t forget it. Children find comfort and security in these items when they are unfamiliar with something. Bring their prized possessions and allow them to carry it with them. Timing: Time your flight or car ride around their cranky times. Every parent knows when a child is not at their best, typically right before or right after nap time. Plan to board a flight at their happiest part of the day. Flights and cars are a great way to lull a child to sleep. So trying booking a flight at their bed time, typically less people fly on these flights and the chances of your child sleeping through the whole flight are greater. Make it fun: The reason why children aren’t good travelers is because they don’t understand what is going on.Flying can scare them because of the unfamiliar noises and the air pressure on their ears is uncomfortable. Your goal is to explain to them everything going on and make it a game. If you stress, they will stress. So keep it fun and positive!For a smooth flight and travel itinerary, be prepared by packing the essentials listed. Remember to make it fun and time it just right! Happy and safe travels!

After Ernesto has left …
The real damage that any Tropical Storm and or Hurricane creates is the loss in tourism. It is catastrophic and even more so in the month of August our expected ‘high season’ the time when you are suposed to be ‘banking’ money for the upcoming slow season. Ernesto only real damage, like 99% of the storms that we are affected by (both meaning even hit or at some point within the projected path) was the loss of tourists. The scaremongering that is created with the media hype and ignorance of accurate information (perpetuated on the most part by those who have no stake hold in the industry), causes future tourists that intended on coming to Caye Caulker to change their plans without any need to at all. If anyone would feel sorry for us in any way, feel sorry for that – not the life threatening winds, which were never at any point life threatening, even if the storm hit head on!!! Yesterday the island ‘un-packed’ and set back up all bars, restaurants, dive and snorkel shops – back ready for business this morning! The packing and un-packing process is time consuming. Each and every time you pack your items away to safety knowing the exercise is almost completely unecessary as you know the storm will not actually do any damage, however, the one time you do not prepare yourself, is the day that one of these storms do actually hit – namely Hurricane Keith 2000!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (08 August, 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (6 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3­ Y 125.00 Each (14 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (18 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41 ­66 ­32 ­39 ­54­ T 150.00 Each (23 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41 ­66 ­32 ­39 ­54 ­1 ­42 ­49 ­17 ­63­ Letter X 750.00 Each (24 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41 ­66 ­32 ­39 ­54 ­1 ­42 ­49 ­17 ­63 ­74­

International Sources

Belize’s bond: not so super after all
Belize’s so-called superbond has not proved to be a super investment proposition. The country has set out proposals on how it might restructure the bond, which bundled together several old debts (hence its name) and the ideas have been greeted with horror by investors. Essentially, the government wants to reduce the principal of the bond by almost half while extending the maturity by 13 years, according to one of the proposals. Interest rates on the issue, at 8.5 percent this year, could be cut to a flat 3.5 percent. Or investors could accept a 1 percent rate that steps up to 4 percent after 2019. Markets had been expecting a restructuring ever since Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in February the country could not afford to keep up debt repayments. The bond duly fell after his comments but picked up a bit in recent months after Barrow assured investors the restructuring would be amicable. Investors holding the bond are now nursing year-to-date losses of 24 percent, according to JP Morgan. There’s worse. If the government sticks to its original proposals, says Stuart Culverhouse, head of research at brokerage Exotix, the principal of the bond, currently at $544 million, could fall under $500 million. That will push it out of the main bond benchmark for emerging markets, JP Morgan’s EMBI Global, and would trigger automatic selling by funds benchmarked to the index. Culverhouse predicts that the bond, now trading at 42 cents on the dollar, will fall eventually to the low-20s. It started the year just over 60 cents.

Fishing in a sea of climate change
Research funded by Norway's government and research council is examining how fishers in Belize cope with social and environmental change. It is part of the Many Strong Voices programme which helps marginalised people help themselves to deal with climate change. Fishing communities in Belize face many climate change challenges. They depend on the sea and coral reefs for food and income. They face changing storms, higher water temperatures, and rising sea levels. As with Norwegian fishers, climate change is not the only challenge. Fuel and food prices are increasing. Tourism opens up lucrative opportunities, yet increases dependency on outside whims. Belize is heavily indebted. Consumerist lifestyles dictate increased demands on natural resources. These multiple difficulties hit home when spending time on a fishing boat, to see the fishers' day-to-day lives on the sea and to talk to them about what they face.

Deforestation accelerates in Belize
Deforestation in Belize has accelerated since late 2010, reports a new satellite-based assessment of the tiny Central American country's forest cover by CATHALAC (the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean). The analysis used NASA Landsat-7 imagery to compare forest cover between early 2010 and early 2012. It concludes that Belize's forest cover fell from 62.7 percent to 61.6 percent during the period, a decline of 25,264 hectares. The annual loss of 12,632 ha is more than a quarter higher than the rate observed between 1980 and 2010, when deforestation averaged around 10,000 ha per year. A technical report detailing the analysis will be released soon according to CATHALAC. A 2010 study by the group found that most deforestation between 1980 and 2010 occurred outside protected areas, where land is being converted for agriculture and plantations.

Tracking forest loss on the Guatemala-Belize border
The endemic border dispute between Guatemala and Belize is no longer the unique fuel that drives the two countries’ popularity.

August 9, 2012

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

Miss San Pedro contestants sashed during special ceremony
The San Pedro Events Committee of the San Pedro Town Council held a special ceremony to officially sash the four contestants of the Miss San Pedro pageant. In attendance at El Divino on the night of August 6th were contestants Naiely Odalis Puc, Darcie Zepeda, Ashley Rhaburn and Adriana Haylock, along with their parents and sponsors. Speaking at the event, Carlos Barrientos, the councilor responsible for the pageant, said that the reason for the sashing ceremony was to bring the sponsors and parents together so as to “be more involved, and feel a part of the pageant.” It is the first time that the contestants of Miss San Pedro Pageant are being sashed at a special ceremony, and Barrientos explained that it will be done annually. Naiely Odalis Puc was officially sashed as Miss Castillo’s Hardware Store, Darcie Zepeda as Miss Jaguar’s Temple Night Club, Ashley Rhaburn as Miss Victoria House and Adriana Haylock as Miss Captain Shark’s.

Belizean Folklore celebrated during SP Town Library Summer Camp
The San Pedro Town Library hosted its annual two weeks’ children’s summer camp at the library. The camp was held between the hours of 9am and 12pm, through the weeks July 16th – 20th and July 30th through August 3rd. The theme for this year’s summer camp was “Belizean Folklore Characters” and highlighted popular Belizean folklore characters such as the Tata Duende, Anansi, X’tabai and La Llorona. The first week of the camp was focused on reading, drawing, arts and crafts, and story telling based on the abovementioned characters. During the second week of the summer camp, the children were given the opportunity to showcase their talents in acting and drama. Throughout the second week, the children were taught how to produce a play, from the production phase to the actual debut. The enthusiastic students learned how to make props and create their costumes, plus makeup training with facial expressions, body language and stage positions. These tips certainly came in handy while presenting the play.

Reinas, Rock, Rhythm, Romance: Costa Maya Festival celebrates 20 years!
Three nights and one day; the International Costa Maya Festival 2012 was a full weekend of entertainment. After Thursday’s pageant saw the selection of Natalia Villanueva as Costa Maya’s beauty ambassador, the festival was in full swing on Friday and Saturday night. During the opening ceremonies on Friday, which included the traditional flag dance done by the Nu Generation Dancers, El Salvador’s Tourism Minister addressed the crowd after opening remarks by San Pedro Town mayor Daniel Guerrero. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture also spoke at the event, praising the festival organizers for continuing the hard work of putting on a successful weekend every year. Milo Paz, one of the festival directors spoke to the crowd as well, reminiscing on the 20 years of festivities, including the entertainment, sponsorship and attendance. After the formality of speeches, it was time for the party to get started! With elegant Maya costumes, the Ballet de Camara from Quintana Roo, Mexico began the night’s festivities with their elaborate and thrilling ballet performance. They were followed by the energetic and upbeat Grupo Crash from El Salvador. Depicting various styles of dance, the troupe went through quick costume changes throughout their performance, featuring classic, cultural and modern dances for all ages in attendance. To enthusiastic applause, they took their final bow and cleared the stage for pulse-pounding guitar riffs and drum beats from The Remaining. The rock band hails from Belize City, and came complete with violinist, adding a touch of pulsing rock to the evening’s activities.

Ambergris Today

Miss SP Delegates at Official Sashing Ceremony
We have chosen our Costa Maya Beauty Queen it is now time for us to choose our new beauty ambassador for La Isla Bonita, Miss San Pedro 2012. The four beautiful young ladies vying for the title of Miss San Pedro were officially announced on Wednesday, August 1, 2012. They are Naiely Puc, Darcie Zepeda, Ashley Rhaburn and Adriana Haylock. The girls were officially presented with their sponsor banner in a first ever sashing ceremony for the Miss San Pedro Pageant which took place on Monday, August 6, 2012, at El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach Resort. Present at the event was Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrrero, Councilor Carlos Barrientos, parents and sponsors for the pageant.

Belize Given All Clear of Hurricane Ernesto
Ernesto is tropical storm again, after making landfall last night on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, at 11pm EDT just north of the Belize/Mexico border as a Category 1 hurricane with 85mph winds. Belize radar shows that Ernesto's eyewall has collapsed, but the storm has remained well-organized during its passage over the Yucatan Peninsula. As residents of San Pedro expected to wake up to much better weather conditions this morning, Wednesday, August 8, 2012, they were surprised to see a very gloomy day with what seems like more rain and gustier winds as compared to yesterday and last night. Even though TS Ernesto is well inland, the storm is well organized and still bringing heavy rainfall to Mexico and the northern part of Belize. NEMO has declared an “ALL CLEAR” for the entire country of Belize as of 9:30a.m. but advises people in the Northern part of the country that they will continue to experience gusty winds.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize tourism shows steady increase
Stayover tourist arrivals in Belize demonstrated a steady increase as the second quarter of 2012 came to an end. Belize’s tourism industry has seen record-breaking months during the first half of 2012. The first half of the year ended on a high note, with a 9% increase in overnight arrivals compared to last year. Tourist arrivals and airport arrivals are expected to continue their growth. Total Overnight Tourist Arrivals An overall increase of 9% in overnight tourist arrivals was recorded during the second quarter of 2012. A total of 5,791 more tourists stayed in the country overnight during the second quarter when compared to the second quarter of 2011. January started with an arrival number of 24,263 visitors to Belize. This represented a 2.9% increase over last year’s figure. February’s figure totaled 25,778 visitors, which represents a 8.1% increase over 2011’s figure. March recorded a history-making total of 32,240 visitors, the first time Belize's overnight tourist arrival numbers exceeded 32,000 visitors in any one month. The closest runner-up to this was in March 2007, when the country hosted 31,267 visitors.

Channel 7

Johnny Zabs: Don't Know Daniel Moreno, Haven't Spoken With Dion Zabaneh
The Kingpin Act - that's what the US Department of Treasure has invoked to prohibit US citizens form doing business with Johnny Zabaneh - because they say he works for El Chapo - the boss of Mexico's Sinaloa cartel. Well, two minutes ago, through his attorney, Zabaneh sent out a release saying he's no kingpin! The release says, quote: Mr. Zabaneh and his companies categorically state that these wild and unsubstantiated accusations and any and all allegation of wrongdoing made…against him and his companies are false and highly defamatory." It adds that quote, "Mr. Zabaneh and his companies are not engaged in drug trafficking, are not operatives of and have neither had nor currently have any affiliation or association with Joaquin Guzman Loera, the Sinaloa cartel or any other narco-trafficker whatsoever." It also notes that, quote, "Mr. Zabaneh has never met nor heard of Daniel Moreno nor has he seen nor spoken with his nephew, Dion Zabaneh, for several years and does not know of his whereabouts."

NEMO Steers Clear Of Daniel Moreno
Daniel Moreno, he's the grocery store owner from Corozal who's been named by the US Treasury Department as a "close associate" of John Zabaneh and a member of his drug trafficking organization - who - the US alleges - are "key associates" of Joaquin "Chapo" Guzman Loera, and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. We called Daniel Moreno's home in Corozal twice for comment yesterday, and both times his wife Monica told us that he was out and about helping NEMO with hurricane preparedness efforts. Well, this morning bright and early, NEMO Headquarter sin Belmopan fired off a press release saying that quote, "Daniel Moreno is neither a permanent employee nor a volunteer of NEMO and has not been doing any work for NEMO in any capacity." But, his grocery store D's Supermarket company is listed by NEMO as what's referred to as a "private goods provider" who may be contacted to sell supplies to NEMO Corozal District Emergency Committee in the event of a disaster.

Coyes Going To Jail for Money Laundering!
Last week, 7News told you about the dramatic ending to the Coye Family money laundering case in the court room of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Today, the mitigation hearing was held, and the end of that 6 hour procedure, 65 year-old Michael Coye, and his daughter, Melonie, were sentenced to prison time, while the Athlee Matute and Dietrick Kingston were sentenced to pay stiff fines. But both sides of the legal lines are sticking to their position, and no one is giving any ground. Here's what we found out at that hearing: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Passions were inflamed at the mitigation hearing today where the harsh glare of the public lens was an aggravation for supporters of the Coyes. You can see clearly where one of those supporters shoves a folder in front of the camera belonging to our Amandala colleague, and she slaps his hand away. Throughout the trial, the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit was convinced that her prosecuting team would win.

Alleged Serial Rapist Gets Years Behind Bars
Leroy Gomez, the man who was convicted a second time of rape and robbery will spend 15 years in jail. Viewers will remember that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions asked the court to consider giving him a life sentence. Justice Adolph Lucas gave them until today to provide legal grounds for him to make that decision. The adjournment of that mitigation hearing was held today - and Justice Lucas rejected the Crown Counsel Trienna Young's submissions that Gomez should get life. But he did sentence Gomez to spend 15 years for the rape conviction, and an additional 15 years for the robbery conviction. Both sentences are to run concurrently, meaning that he will only spend 15 years total, which takes effect as of July 31.

Ernesto Blew Over "Like Wah Lee Breeze"
Where is Hurricane Ernesto? That's what everyone was asking last night when - get this - the National Hurricane Center seems to have gotten a little confused about the storm. Their Hurricane Hunter was having technical difficulties and they were relying on Belize radar. Nothing wrong with that, but - according to a discussion post on their official website - they seem to have mixed up the coordinates of the storm; meaning, that when they said the storm was over Banco Chinchorro at 9 pm, it was really making landfall just north of Mahahual. If you're shaking your head - we were too at 9:00 pm - as we tried to reconcile the difference between the coordinate points on the radar and the geographic location that was being discussed by the Hurricane Center. But, no matter the discrepancy Monica Bodden was on the ground in Corozal throughout - and she has this report of what was largely an unremarkable night where they ended up watching the storm because there was none to chase:

20% Of Chetumal Lost Power Due To Ernesto
According to the Governor of Quintana Roo - the storm caused minimal damage in that state. In Mahahual, strong winds toppled lamp-posts and trees - and caused a few boats to get shaken up in harbour. There were also localized power cuts and heavy rains in Tulum and Chetumal. Chetumal also has downed trees and utility poles as well as a lot of trash blown about, according to TELEVISA. Blackouts were reported in 15 to 20% of the CITY, affecting about 19,000 people. Some persons had to be evacuated form low lying communities. The governor says that conditions are favorable for the communities to recover from the damage to communities and to restore normalcy immediately. Water has been restored, government offices and school will re-open and they are working on restoring the power supply in key affected municipalities. Power should be fully restored by tomorrow afternoon.

Introducing Superbond 2.0
Is the world ready for Superbond 2.0? Well it better be because the Government of Belize launched its best offer on the Central Bank Website today. It's called the "Indicative Restructuring Scenarios" and the three page document outlines three scenarios for holders of the Superbond. First, some background: We already told you that at the end of June, that same Central Bank Website had posted an "Economic Brief" basically making the case that with falling oil revenues and looming compensation, Government can't afford to continue servicing the Superbond. Well now, a month a and a half later - these scenarios outline what the Government says it can afford - and all three scenarios represent a loss to bondholders - but major savings for taxpayers. "Scenario A" is a 50 year bond at a flat 2% coupon rate with a 15 year grace period - the original Superbond was for 22 years at much higher, stepped-up coupon rates. "Scenario B" proposes a principal haircut of 45% - and is a 30 year bond with varying interest rates and no grace period. "Scenario C" - very much like B, proposes that 45% principal haircut, with a five year grace period at 3.5% interest on a 30 year bond. Now if the only haircuts you know about are the ones you get at a barbershop - well, join the club.

Government Fends Off 40 Mil Ashcroft Alliance Arbitral Award In Appeals Court
There were three major judgments coming out of the court of appeals today - all of them having to do with ongoing legal battles between the Ashcroft Alliance and the Government of Belize. The biggest one has to do with a 40 million dollar arbitration award forBritish Caribbean HOLDINGS and THE BELIZE BANK that the Supreme Court found in 2010 could be enforced in Belize. Government appealed - and won! The appeal was allowed in a split decision from the court - meaning two judges agreed, and one disagreed. Government's case succeeded by proving that a provision called the New York Convention which allows the enforcement of international arbitration - does not apply in Belize. And why is that? Well way back in the 70's when the government adopted it - it had no authority to do so because the British were then in charge of foreign affairs and defence.

Overnight Tourism Increases, Cruise Tourism Lags
Overnight tourism arrivals continue to show strong performance. The first half of the year ended with a 9% increase in Overnight arrivals compared to the same period last year. The second quarter of the year, meaning the months from April to June show an overall increase of 9% in overnight arrivals meaning that the were 5,791 more tourist heads in beds compared to the same period last year. May was most impressive with a 14.6% increase over last year. Also in May, there was a 20% increase in airport arrivals. June was not far behind with a 13.1% increase over last year's recorded figure. But while overnight tourism is up - the bad news is that Cruise Tourism numbers are down. For the second consecutive year, fewer cruise tourists visited in March, April, May and June. How many less? A whopping 60 thousand! The BTB says that the decline is because of fewer ship arrivals in summer - but that doesn't account for the sharp falloff. Overall, the cruise sector is down six percent so far for this year.

Man Says He Was Shot By Police For No Reason
Yesterday morning - law enforcement shot a man on northern Ambergris Caye. According to the San Pedro Sun, the Belize Special Assignment Group was on an operation to clear the area of a group of, quote, "about 10 armed individuals terrorizing North Ambergris Caye residents." That led them to a group of three men who were staying at a home 9 miles north of San Pedro. The Sun reports that one of the men charged at the law enforcement group with a machete. And, in response one of the members of the patrol fired at the individual - hitting him in the leg. Steven Bowen Jr. got that shot and today he told us why it was unjustified. Bowen says he and his friends had been in the area for a few days visiting with an old man, and fishing. They were about to leave when the patrol found them. He gives us his account of what happened next: Steven Bowen Jr. - Shot by Law Enforcement (Via Telephone) "We went to get our bags. This is an open area, one house on the beach, and no bushes or anything like that. Everybody can pass and see us. I was packing my bag, and I got an instinct to bend down and pick up a fallen cup. When I did that, a big amount of gunshots were fired at me. I saw the bag tearing up, sand flying from the ground, and I heard like 100 shots. All I could do was to fall on the ground lay down flat with my 2 arms up, and beg saying that I surrender. I told them I didn't have anything. I had on a cap, and one of them told me to take it off. When I reached to take off the cap - they already stopped shooting - when I took it off, I heard another gunshot, and I felt a pinch in side. the man shot me in my left leg."

Worker Chops Boss In Big Creek
Tonight, police continue to search for Jorge Humberto Hernandez in relation to a chopping incident in Independence. The victim, Aurelio Menjivar, told police that at around 9 a.m. on Monday, he invited Hernandez to his office at the Big Creek Port to settle a dispute that they had on Saturday. According to Menjivar - who is the chief mechanic - Hernandez got annoyed, pulled at machete, and chopped him twice on his right hand, 3 times on his left hand, once to the back of his head, and once more on his right cheek. Hernandez then jumped into the company's white Mitsubishi pick-up and drove off. Today at around 11 today, investigators visited the road off the Southern Higway, which leads the TEXMAR Shrimp Farm, where they found that stolen vehicle. Hernandez is still at large and reports say he has absconded to Guatemala where he is from originally.

Channel 5

Embedded in Corozal, Journalist reports on Hurricane Ernesto
An all clear was declared this morning for the entire country. Tonight Ernesto has weakened to a tropical storm and is moving across the Bay of Campeche, Mexico. Ernesto made landfall on Tuesday night at around ten o’clock. As it hit the Yucatan coast, the winds of eighty-five miles per hour and rain of the [...]

Coye Family sentenced to 3 years for money laundering
Sentencing in a major money laundering case involving Money Exchange International Ltd. was handed down today and it is bad news for sixty-five year old Michael Coye; his daughter, Melonie and their two employees, Athlee Matute and Deitrick Kingston. The Coyes and their employees were found guilty last Friday by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and [...]

John/Dion Zabaneh assets to be frozen in U.S.
Belizean John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion and Daniel Moreno from Corozal Town have been linked to the most powerful and dangerous drug cartel in Mexico. The United States announced on Tuesday that the Treasury Department was freezing the assets of the Zabaneh’s and Moreno and prohibiting American companies from conducting business with them. Zabaneh has [...]

Mayan King and John Zabaneh deny U.S. allegations
Mayan King Limited issued its own press release this evening saying that John Zabaneh and his companies, “categorically state that these wild and unsubstantiated accusations and any and all allegation of wrongdoing made therein against him and his companies are false and highly defamatory.” It reads like this: “John Zabaneh and his companies are not [...]

Is a countrywide shutdown necessary for a category 1 hurricane?
Tonight’s question is: Is a countrywide shutdown necessary for a category one hurricane? 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

Superbond due on August 20th
The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has released what it calls the Indicative Restructuring Scenarios on the five hundred and fifty-seven million U.S. dollar super bond. The document is available on the Central Bank’s website at  A negotiating team led by Mark Espat has been meeting with multilateral partners to fine-tune macro economic [...]

People spared, but agriculture suffers from Hurricane Ernesto
A little over twelve hours after Hurricane Ernesto made landfall near Mahahual in neighboring Mexico, the all clear was given. While there was no loss to life, there were damages to industry in the north. While Ernesto was gentler than Hurricane Dean, at the commercial free zone, the cash machines are not ringing, but the [...]

Parts of Quintana Roo, Mexico damaged by Hurricane Ernesto
In Mahahual, Ernesto dumped heavy rains and knocked downed power lines and trees, causing outages in some areas as it passed through the state of Quintana Roo. Quintana Roo Governor, Roberto Angulo Borge, this morning issued the all clear after the storm had passed. Initial assessments from the Mexican officials show that there were no [...]

Tourism to Belize on the rise; by 9%
While the economic impact of Ernesto is being measured, tourism figures are looking up. That’s because the overall growth shows a thirteen point eight percent increase in overall arrivals through the first half of 2012. In the Belize Tourism Board’s second quarter report, the figures show a whopping nine percent increase in overnight arrivals in [...]

Bert Vasquez, accused killer, adjourned due to inclement weather
On July nineteenth Bert Vasquez was arraigned on charges of common assault in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. Vasquez, who appeared without the presence of his attorney Simeon Sampson, was granted disclosure on four of the thirteen charges of aggravated assault after which it was further adjourned to August eighth for disclosure of the remaining [...]

Chop now; ask questions later in Independence Village
Two men were injured following separate incidents in Independence Village on Monday. Police say that forty-seven year old Aurelio Menjivar invited Jorge Humberto Hernandez to his office at around eight-thirty on Monday morning, to settle a misunderstanding they had on Saturday. But Hernandez became enraged and pulled out a machete chopping Menjivar twice to the [...]

Medical student charged for manslaughter of classmate
A twenty-one year old medical student was killed in a traffic accident in Santa Clara, Corozal on Saturday and the driver now faces several charges. Jayandra Jahhar was one of three Indian nationals, who were travelling from Orange Walk to Corozal in an Isuzu rodeo, driven by nineteen year old Prandeep Kumar Saikai while Sagar [...]

The tooth about UNIBAM founder’s beating now a UN matter?
From our research, it appears to be the first such case on human rights; but the beating of Caleb Orozco, the president of UNIBAM, has been elevated to the United Nations. The UN Special Rapporteurs on the promotion and protection on freedom of expression and on the situation of human rights defenders have both written [...]

Celebrating life of Benjamin Nicholas in acrylic paints
The iconic Belizean artist, Benjamin Nicholas, passed away in Dangriga on April ninth. This past Monday, would have been his eighty-second birthday, and the Embassy of Mexico is honoring him with two exhibitions, showcasing his works in Dangriga and Belize City. Nicholas is described as a great proponent for the Garifuna, promoting the culture through [...]


Blanco Died Of Strangulation While James Swan Died Of Exsanguination
A post mortem examination has revealed that Orange Walk Resident, 35 year old Ricardo Elmer Blanco, died due to “manual strangulation”. As was reported on August 6th, the nude body of the 35 year old was found around 9:00 Saturday morning lying face up in some bushes along a feeder road located a few miles out of Orange Town. All indications are that Blanco was strangled with his underwear. Family members believe the crime was committed by persons he knew. Blanco was last seen drinking in front of Diamond’s Store located in the Village of Trail Farm around 1:00 Friday morning. Reports are that he got into a fight with a group of men and was badly beaten. While police have detained several individuals, no one has been charged for the murder. Orange Walk Police continue their investigations.

12 Year Old Minor Remanded To Booth Camp
Twenty three year old Randy Chan and 37 year old Sergio Tun, are tonight enjoying the comforts of the Belize Central Prison while a 12 year old minor is at booth camp. The trio is accused of burglarizing the home of 45 year old Gabriel Martinez from the Village of Louisville, between 7:00pm on July 30th and 2:00pm on August 1st. Stolen from the residence were one 9mm pistol which police was able to recover and other assorted items such as cellular phones and iPods. On Friday August 4th, both Chan and Tun along with the minor appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court. Chan and the 12 year old were charged for Burglary and handling stolen goods while Tun was charged for handling stolen goods only. All three plead not guilty to the charges levied against them. No bail was offered to them.

Corozal Police Seek Measures To Solve Recent Murders
Over the past months the District of Corozal has seen a spate of burglaries, 2 double murders and the recent murder of James Swan Jr., a Belize City resident who was gunned down on Sunday night while standing in front of Deng’s Store located in the heart of Orange Walk Town. It is suspected that the killing of 38 year old Robert Hernandez and 50 year old Kenrick Vaccaro is linked to underworld activities and in retaliation to their murders James Sawn Jr. lost his life. So far no arrests have been made for the five recent murders but Corozal Police believes they have formulated a plan that could soon land them an arrest.

Centaur Launches Karaoke Competition
On Sunday, the Gala Lounge here in Orange Walk Town, was filled with excitement, applauses and most importantly talent as the 10 participants for the “Buscando Un Estrella Infantil” Karaoke Competition took to the stage once more. As was expected, participants did not disappoint the audience much less the two judges, Javier Gutierrez and David Villanueva. Here is recap of what took place during the first round of the competition. On Sunday two of the participants will be eliminated meaning that, if you would like keep your favorite singer in the competition, then send your text message to 2588. To vote for Byron Munoz, send the number 1 to 2588, to vote for Estrella Diaz text the number 2 to 2588, to vote for Danny Pena text the number 3 to 2588, to vote for Shanika Bull text the number 4 to 2588, to vote for Mcbride Pop text the number 5 to 2588, to vote for Joselyn Eck text the number 6 to 2588, to vote for Samsung Pop text the number 7 to 2588, to vote for Ayana Rudon text the number 8 to 2588, to vote for Fernanda Ayuso text the number 9 to 2588 and to vote for Yadeli Novelo text the number 10 to 2588. All text messages are 50 cents inclusive of GST.

Hurricane Ernesto Dodges Belize But Causes Flooding In The North
It was the first Hurricane in the Atlantic Season to make landfall this year. With winds of over 85 miles per hour, Hurricane Ernesto slammed into the southern Yucatán coast, near Mahahual Mexico, late on Tuesday night as a category one hurricane. As it continued its path over land, Ernesto weakened and was downgraded to a tropical storm with winds of over 50 miles per hour. In Mexico, although no injuries were reported, Ernesto did cause thousands of tourists to evacuate from their lush hotel rooms near the coast, to safer grounds. As for Belize, it was spared once more; nevertheless, the north, especially the Corozal District, was hit by tropical storm winds and heavy rainfall. Corozal’s District Emergency Management Organization, DEMO, was prepared with their emergency disaster plan in case Ernesto changed trajectory and headed south. Luckily that didn’t happened and northern Belize only experienced a fragment of Ernesto’s strength. At 10:00 this morning, the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, declared an all clear for the entire country. In Corozal; however, Ernesto left behind several areas under water caused by its heavy rains. Here is how the scenario looked like in Corozal today after the passage of Hurricane Ernesto.

O/W Spared From The Wrath Of Ernesto
When we left you on Monday Tropical Storm Ernesto had its eye on the jewel. The storm threatened to impact Belize as a category one hurricane before it made landfall in the area of Northern Belize and Mexico on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. At one Monday afternoon, a phase two hurricane watch was put in place for the entire coast of the country. With the projected path, the brunt of Ernesto was expected to be felt in Corozal, Orange Walk and San Pedro. With that, the National Emergency Management Committee for both Northern Districts prepared for the worst and residents did not stay behind. Here is a look at how Orange Walkenos prepared for the storm. With Ernesto threatening to impact Belize as a category one hurricane packing winds anywhere between 75 to 85 miles per hour, Orange Walkenos prepared for the worst as the brunt of the storm was expected to unfold here in the north with Corozal experiencing most of the impact. Preparations began early Tuesday morning as houses were secured by proprietors. Banking establishments were under lockdown leaving only ATM’s available to withdraw cash.

NEMO O/W To Monitor River Levels
At 3:00pm came the good news, Hurricane Ernesto was moving away from Belize and heading further up north in Mexico. Residents living in the northern coast of Belize breathed a sigh of relief and the phase two hurricane watch was reduced to a tropical storm warning for the south by NEMO. Corozal and San Pedro; however, were still not out of harms way as residents were still expected to experience tropical storm force winds of about forty miles per hour or even higher. Rainfall of approximately three to five inches was expected. Here in Orange Walk residents began feeling the slight effects of Hurricane Ernesto around 2:00 in the morning. Luckily no major damages were recorded and only one of the shelters was occupied. “Everything went smooth, the shelters were open, we had a few people consisting of nine families twenty adults and twenty kids, after that this morning we went out the damage assessment team to raked the area and to do the initial assessments and so far nothing was reported damaged nor flooding, everything is fine at the villages, the rivers are normal, a few streets down by Honey Camp a little bit flooded but not much of a concern vehicles can still pass if they drive careful and we are still on flood watch, we are on alert and we will see what happens in the next few days.”


Belize gets 'All Clear' as Ernesto drifts away
At 6am this morning Hurricane Ernesto was located: 18.8N latitude and 89.8W longitude travelling at 15 mph, 97 mile...

Prime Minister comments on John Zabaneh’s designation
The news broke last night of the U.S. Department - Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announcement ...

Usher tells his version of altercation with Police Officer
On Monday night we reported on the altercation that took place between Gilroy Usher Jr. - the owner of First Stop P...

NEMO says Daniel Moreno is no associate of theirs
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has issued a release responding to a statement about Daniel M...

PM Barrow thankful Belize was spared from hurricane catastrophe
The Office of the Prime Minister has issued a release expressing gratitude that Belize was spared from any notable ...

Aftermath of Ernesto in Mexico
While the Belize was not significantly affected by what was then Hurricane Ernesto, the same cannot be said for nei...

Man, 57, reported missing, last seen in Belize District
Eva Garcia of Sandhill Village reported that on August 4 her father, 57 year old Julian Cacho, left her home. It wa...

Man attempts to resolve dispute, ends up in hospital
Police visited the Independence Polyclinic on Monday morning (AUG 6) where they saw Aurelio Menjivar, 47yrs, Manger...

Driver in fatal accident charged with DUI
Regarding the fatal traffic accident which happened on August 4, that caused the death of Jayandra Jahhar, Police f...

Grassroots Football postponed until further notice
A release from the Football Federation states that the Belize Grassroots football which was schedule for Orange Wal...

Dangriga names Police Officer of the month
The Belize Police Department, Dangriga formation, recognized its own in a special award ceremony held yesterday. Th...

Belize Audubon Society re-opens protected areas
The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) has announced the re-opening of six of the nine protected areas it co-manages with...


About 16 people showed up for the much advertised foreclosures of the Novelo brothers properties in different Western Belize areas. The auction was spread across two pages of last weekend newspaper. Must have cost the Belize Bank $2000 in advertising cost. Kevin Castillo the advertised AUCTIONEER never showed up. No tables or chairs, or anything in the Belize Bank parking lot. The TWIN TOWNS was very busy and traffic heavy and all the stores and post office were humming with business, country people and tourists. People came and went, and hung around, but we were among the last to give up, and left about 5 mins. to 11 a.m. with no auctioneer in sight. The auction was scheduled according to the newspaper for 10:30 a.m. We got there about 10:15 a.m. The country was supposed to be brushed by a tropical wave, or storm, but was destined to mostly rain in Mexico, NORTH of our country. The bank itself had closed for some strange reason. Must have been the ONLY business in San Ignacio Town that was closed. Guess Kevin Castillo owes the Belize Bank for losing it's advertising costs for an auction that failed to materialize? We called the Auction telephone number, but the lady knew nothing she said. Referred us to another number, but that one never got answered. After several tries, everybody left to tend to town business elsewhere.

Sea Spray
It is still dark outside, I can hear the wind and rain picking up. The latest tracking model shows us good by this afternoon. It already feels like we are in the clear as Ernesto was a very tame storm for us. Will be heading to what I assume will be the last Hurricane Ernesto meeting shortly and feeling very lucky I scored a ride as I am pretty sire cabs would be a slim to none option this morning with curfew still set for 10am. Here are some beach pictures I took after the NEMO meeting yesterday.

Hurricane Ernesto, before and after
We were thankful to wake up this morning with only the backside of Hurricane (now tropical storm again) Ernesto to contend with. Although Ernesto did strengthen to a category 1 hurricane before he made landfall, he did end up tracking north of us and made landfall along Mexico's Yucatan peninsula last night at around 11pm. We never even felt tropical storm force winds here on Ambergris Caye until this morning, when the south winds from his back side started roaring along with sideways torrential rain. The town gauge reports a high wind gust of 40.1 mph this morning. I am getting conflicting reports on the total rainfall but will try to get an update from Cowboy Doug's rain gauge here at Grand Caribe. As I mentioned in my pre-Ernesto post, we really didn't have much prep work to do here since our building is well-equipped for storms. Yesterday we took the screens off our windows and brought our veranda furniture inside, and that's about it. We'd stocked up with plenty of groceries the day before and have been doing plenty of cooking, so we would not go hungry. Not that that's ever a problem around here anyway! Fresh bean/veggie burritos with guacamole and a Painkiller to drink for last night's dinner Outdoor furniture inside for now As Ernesto approached the coast yesterday, we had a heavy downpour in the morning, and then the rain was only light and sporadic for the rest of the day. The wind was coming from the northwest, so we hardly felt it on the beach. The major storm impact yesterday was high waves over the reef and small waves along the beach, which we almost never see. High tide was very high, at times splashing up through the little Chico Caribe dock and higher on the beach in front of our condo than we have ever seen it. But the water never even made it up to the bottom stair on our veranda. The pictures below are from yesterday as Ernesto approached.

Hurricane Ernesto in San Pedro, Belize: The Morning After?
It actually doesn't feel like "the morning after" at of 8am, we are experiencing the heaviest winds since this storm moved so dangerously close to Ambergris Caye. (Picture from late yesterday afternoon.) The water came up high, but not dangerously so (not much higher than the picture above at Mata Rocks). And we were lucky again to be on the south side of the storm...since it moves counter clock wise, it minimizes what could be a very high ocean surge. Here are some pictures Rhonda took when she braved the weather for a morning walk. Rhonda is the host of Morning Matters here in San Pedro. The Belize Yacht Club likes to fill in their seawall with trash and palm usually collapses when lots of water comes in. The dock at Ramon's often gets lots of wave action. The sign at BC's did fall over... Here is my picture of it from yesterday... The beach is messy...but intact.

How to Make Belizean Fry Jacks
Fry jacks are a delectable and popular staple in Belize cuisine. Usually served as a breakfast item, fry jacks are deep-fried pieces of dough, often accompanied by beans, eggs and ham and are highly addictive. Before you place an order for fry jacks in a Belize restaurant, know that the Belizean Creole (Kriol) rarely uses the plural; a pile of fry jacks is still called “fry jack”. Fry jacks aren’t only served in Belize. In fact, they go by many different names all over the world — beignets in New Orleans, sopapillas in Mexico and the American southwest, or often, simply ‘fried dough’. Below are the instructions on how to make Belizean Fry Jacks:

VIDEO: Ernesto Tropic Air- Final Evac Departures
Final evac flights leaving San Pedro in prep for Ernesto

Caribbean Villas Hotel- Ernesto Views
A look at the stormy conditions Ernesto brought to the island.

International Sources

I do, I do, I do! British couple celebrate their love with 22 wedding ceremonies around the world...and have EIGHT more still to go
When asked about any problems they have encountered along the way, the couple say making repairs to Peggy has been the biggest hurdle. 'Making repairs to Peggy has been our biggest hurdle,' they said. 'We bought her in Canada and have covered over 55,000km so far. We have only had minimal problems but they have been difficult to solve with the language barriers! 'With regards to the wedding side of the journey, everyone has been so accommodating and we have had very few obstacles, only once were we turned away for a ceremony for not having commited to the same religious beliefs as the local church. 'And even then the church invited us to attend mass and dedicated that evenings prayers to us and our travels and commitments to each other.' The couple say their Peru wedding was 'the most emotional, touching and stunningly beautiful; and therefore probably their favourite, and that one of the trickiest to organise was in Belize, where they wanted to hold a ceremony in the Toledo district with help from local Mayan people, but where a week-long torrential downpour and a photographer stuck 600km away hampered proceedings. 'We were about ready to give up when the sun came out just in time for the wedding! It was a beautiful day and we learned such an important lesson about the things we take for granted!'

RSO CATHALAC develops forest cover map of Belize
UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office CATHALAC (Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean) has just developed the first version of a 2012 forest cover map of Belize. This research was carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development of the Government of Belize, Lancaster University of the UK and the Environmental Research Institute of the University of Belize. The work – now pending field validation – was developed using NASA Landsat-7 imagery, and follows on the heels of an earlier 2010 USAID- and NASA-supported study assessing changes in forest cover in Belize over the period of 1980-2010. The current study indicates that Belize's forest cover declined from 62.8% in early 2010 to approximately 61.6% in early 2012.

August 8, 2012

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

Emergency Organization Committee tour San Pedro as Hurricane Ernesto moves north
n the late afternoon of August 7th, the Chairman of the Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in San Pedro, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and the San Pedro Town Council took an official tour around the island to get a first hand overview of the island as it braces for the effects of Hurricane Ernesto. The officials toured the low-lying areas and were accompanied by the national and local media. In speaking to the press, Heredia said that, “we want to ensure that everything is in place and to ensure that islanders have taken the necessary preparations for the effects of Ernesto.” Some residents that live in flood prone areas and whose homes are more vulnerable decided to make use of the hurricane shelters that were open since 2PM. Those locations include the buildings at the San Pedro High School, New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Shalom Church, Living Word Church and the San Pedrito Evangelical Church.

Police Operation on North Ambergris Caye leaves one civilian injured
An early morning police operation on Northern Ambergris Caye led to one person being injured and two detained. The injured person has been identified as 24 year old Steven Bowen Jr. Sometime between the hours of 8AM and 9AM, August 7th a special maneuver involving members of the Belize Coast Guard, the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG ) – an arm of the Belize Defense Force, led by San Pedro Police was dispatched to northern Ambergris Caye following several reports. The team’s main goal was to disband a hostile environment in the area after San Pedro police received numerous reports and complaints of a group of about 10 armed individuals terrorizing North Ambergris Caye residents. Reports of assault with the use of a gun, armed robberies, burglaries and the sale of drugs are just a few of the many crimes that had been reported to the authorities. With the objective to follow their mission, to protect and serve the residents of Ambergris Caye, San Pedro police organized this special operation within the stretch of land located nine miles north of San Pedro town on Ambergris Caye. Somewhere nine miles north of San Pedro Town, police came across three men, one of whom charged at the law enforcement group with a machete. Fearing for their lives, one of the law enforcement officers fired at the individual. As a result Steven Bowen Jr., boat captain of San Juan area in San Pedro Town was shot once to his left side. Bowen was transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II and subsequently airlifted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City with a police escort. Bowen is in stable condition.

Reinas, Rock, Rhythm, Romance: Costa Maya Festival celebrates 20 years!
Three nights and one day; the International Costa Maya Festival 2012 was a full weekend of entertainment. After Thursday’s pageant saw the selection of Natalia Villanueva as Costa Maya’s beauty ambassador, the festival was in full swing on Friday and Saturday night. During the opening ceremonies on Friday, which included the traditional flag dance done by the Nu Generation Dancers, El Salvador’s Tourism Minister addressed the crowd after opening remarks by San Pedro Town mayor Daniel Guerrero. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture also spoke at the event, praising the festival organizers for continuing the hard work of putting on a successful weekend every year. Milo Paz, one of the festival directors spoke to the crowd as well, reminiscing on the 20 years of festivities, including the entertainment, sponsorship and attendance. After the formality of speeches, it was time for the party to get started! With elegant Maya costumes, the Ballet de Camara from Quintana Roo, Mexico began the night’s festivities with their elaborate and thrilling ballet performance. They were followed by the energetic and upbeat Grupo Crash from El Salvador. Depicting various styles of dance, the troupe went through quick costume changes throughout their performance, featuring classic, cultural and modern dances for all ages in attendance. To enthusiastic applause, they took their final bow and cleared the stage for pulse-pounding guitar riffs and drum beats from The Remaining. The rock band hails from Belize City, and came complete with violinist, adding a touch of pulsing rock to the evening’s activities.

Ambergris Today

Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Injured in Shooting Incident
Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest, Silvia Joseph, was injured in a shooting incident that occurring on the island of Caye Caulker on Saturday, August 4, 2012, after an assailant pulled out a handgun at a group and threatened them. According to police reports, at about 5:15am on Saturday, August 4, 2012, they responded to a report of a shooting incident that occurred somewhere by the Caye Caulker split. Police personnel visited the Caye Caulker Health Centre where Lincoln Allen, 29yrs, fisherman of #2 Pinks Alley, Belize City, was seen suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the left palm of the hand and to the left shoulder. Also, Justin Alamina, 23yrs, businessman of #24 Hicaco Avenue, Caye Caulker, was seen suffering with a cut wound to the forehead and Silvia Joseph, 19yrs, waitress of Lousiano Reyes Street, Caye Caulker, was suffering with a cut wound behind the left ear. They were then transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a private boat by Police personnel.

San Pedro in Storm Watch as Ernesto Approaches
The headquarters of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is hard at work and making necessary preparations for the approaching storm Ernesto. Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to become a category 1 Hurricane late this evening and the entire country, especially San Pedro, is under Hurricane Watch. Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Minister Manuel Heredia and Frank Panton of SP NEMO were on the morning show today alerting and advising island resident to be prepared and if necessary to evacuate the island on a voluntary basis. Five locations have been identified as shelters here on the island and include: San Pedro High School, New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, Shalom Church, Living Word Church and the San Pedrito Evangelical Church; all will be officially open at 2p.m. today. Voluntary evacuations will be allowed until 1:30 p.m. when the last vessel is scheduled to leave the island as the harbor will be closed at 3:00 p.m. Residents are reminded that the evacuation is on a voluntary basis hence there is NO FREE EVACUATION provided by the Government of Belize to leave the island but there is free transportation to shelters in Belmopan and Orange Walk! Most businesses have indicated opening for the most part of the morning and establishments are reminded that the sale of liquor is to stop at midday today. The waterfront gas station (Texaco Dock) will operate until 12 noon and the Lagoon Gas Station and Caribeña Fuels on Blake Street will both operate until 5p.m. this evening.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Hurricane Ernesto in San Pedro
San Pedro Prepares San Pedro preps as evacuations are underway. Ambergris Caye, Belize Belize Coast Guard Belize Coast Guard aboard " The 370 Justice" standby on alert in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye Coastal Xpress Last Run To Town Final Private Run of the Coastal Xpress From North back South to San Pedro, here's a look a the ride. U.S. Tourist Evacuation From North AmbergrisCaye Safety of our island guests.

Maybelline Seminar at SIRH
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel hosted the Maybelline Seminar. They had a huge turnout. The product can be obtained at Maria Estella's salan.

UB Fall 2012 Orientation
The University of Belize had their orientations. School will be starting back up soon. Hope everyone had a great Summer. Isn't that the Taiwanese student group presenting at the orientation?

Many Belizeans come from Indian ancestry. My husband Joe comes from this culture and he shared some of the meals he knows. Takari is and Indian meal made with chicken and curry powder with the one defining ingredient being cabbage. This a slightly hot but sweet dish that goes well with white rice.

Life on the Caye as Hurricane Ernesto approaches!
The day today is a tale of rain! Hurricane Ernesto – as it became a hurricane this morning – outer bands spread far and wide and last night we had thunderstorm that sent chills down the spine of even the toughest islander (unless you were a child and then you were more likely to be asleep through it). Since then, all it has done was rain! The storm is over 150 miles away from us, expected to hit land at about midnight tonight the eye being placed above well above the boarder of Mexico, Belize in Mahuhual. The North East quadrant of all hurricanes and this one is no different, will always be where the strongest winds are located. We are South of these winds and currently we believe will not even be experiencing Tropical Storm winds – thankfully! Ernesto has not moved much from its predicted path over the past four days and, although anything is very much possible with regard to mother nature, we are expecting little to no change (crossed fingers!!). In preparation all boats have been placed in their owners particular safe harbor – Raggamuffin’s sailboats are all tucked into a lagoon on the North side of Caye Caulker along with many of Frenchie’s boats too. This lagoon is surrounded by mangroves that will bend with the ever changing wind direction that the storm will produce and yet their roots are immovable and therefore one of the most original ways of securing a boat. This was all undertaken yesterday afternoon and so for this morning, very little hurricane preparation is required to be done.

Channel 7

Hurricane Ernesto Spares Mexico, Slams Belize
Hurricane Ernesto has spared Belize - the category one storm is expected to make landfall at Mahahual on the Southeastern Coast of Mexico - about 43 miles northeast of Chetumal in the next few hours with winds of 85 miles per hour. Only minimal impacts are expected in northern Belize as the strongest winds are concentrated north of the eye - which will make landfall on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The strongest effects are currently being felt in San Pedro where that town is presently reporting a storm surge of two feet presently So we're not at the all clear yet; not nearly. At 6:00 pm, the storm was moving west north west at 18 miles per hour and is currently 65 miles east of Chetumal with hurricane force winds extending 45miles out. According to our calculations it is 80 miles northeast of San Pedro - so they should be experiencing Tropical Storm Force winds. It is 100 miles northeast of Belize. Our news team was in Corozal today - and we'll have the story on what has been happening there a little later on.

US Treasury Dep't Accuses 3 B'zeans Of Involvement With Mexican Cartel
But the Hurricane was almost swept out of the headlines by a press release of seismic proportions. It comes out of Washington and was posted this morning at 9:00 am on the website of the US Department of Treasury. It is the first of its kind and makes bald accusations against three Belizeans - alleging that they work with a major Mexican drug cartel. The release is even accompanied by an organizational chart - and Jules Vasquez had a look at that today and fills in with some information from the press release:... The chart posted on the US Treasury Department website and sent out in a US Embassy press release describes it as the John Zabaneh Drug Trafficking Organization - Sinaloa Cartel Operatives in Belize. According to the New York Times, the Sinaloa Cartel is responsible for "as much as half of the illegal narcotics imported into the United States from Mexico each year." The chart shows Zabaneh as the boss and Dion Zabaneh and Daniel Moreno as his associates. And then it lists five companies that the Treasury Department claims "are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization."

Storm Seasoned Residents of Corozal Get Ready For Ernesto
Right now Corozal should be experiencing the first hints of Tropical Storm force winds - but the mayor told is just now its overcast, drizzling and there's only a slight breeze. Hurricane Ernesto is headed for Mahahual - northeast of Chetumal, but the closest point to that in Belize is Corozal, so as the storm approaches land, Corozal town and outlying communities continue to vigilantly monitor its progress and weigh what their next move should be - that is, if they need to make any moves as all. 7News went to Corozal to see just how seriously the residents were taking the storm. Here's what we found out: Daniel Ortiz reporting Hurricane Ernesto is currently projected to pass over Southern most areas of Mexico, but the entire district of Corozal is taking no chances. The Residents were busy securing their homes in the event that the storm makes an unexpected shift.

Ernesto Forces Tourists To Cut Vacay Short
For the outlying islands NEMO encouraged a non-mandatory evacuation of San Pedro and Caye Caulker for residents who were concerned about their safety. That didn't amount to too many folks because - storm seasoned as we all are - most people wait for the storm's last shift to make a decision. But we did catch up with a few tourists who cut their Vacations short. Here's what they told us at the water taxi terminal today:.. Tourist #1 "We just ask the lady who was managing the place we were at and we talk. We went to the police station - they had information there and they said that some type of NEMO meeting that was supposed to happen last night. Then this morning was when the whole evacuation happens. Nobody knock on our door, we already knew we were going to leave early. The lady next to us on Caye Caulker - she was nice enough to come by and told us that we should leave because the last ferry is leaving at 1 o' clock. The locals knew what was going on." Geovanni Brackett, reporter "How will this impact your vacation?" Tourist #1 "It will cut short by 2 days."

Gilroy Usher Jr. Responds To Police
Last night on the news we told you about Gilroy Usher Juniour - the owner of First Stop Pawn Shop who was charged for fighting with a police officer. He spent the weekend in police lockdown after allegedly assaulting a court bailiff, and one of the police officers stationed at the Magistrate's Court on Friday. Reports are that Usher made certain comments and pulled up his shirt to show the bailiff his licensed firearm. Police Constable Edgar Poot tried to de-escalate the situation by escorting Usher outside. According to police, Usher started to struggle with PC Poot, and he end up punching the officer in the right side of his face. Usher then reportedly reached for his firearm which fell to the ground. PC Poot, fearing for his life, struggled with Usher and prevented him from retrieving the firearm, until other officers got involved. They secured the firearm, arrested Usher, and charged him with 2 counts of aggravated assault, and 1 count of harm. That's the official story - but today Usher gave us a very different version. Here's what he had to say in defence of his actions:... Jules Vasquez "Is this true?" Gilroy Usher Jr. "Absolutely not Jules."

Hurricane Forces Supreme Court To Abort (Doomed) Hearing
Just like the businesses around the country, the Judiciary cancelled all sessions at midday. This also prematurely ended the murder trial for 41 year-old Alwyn Gabb in the court of Justice Herbert Lord. He was accused of killing 30 year old Nolan Arana on July 1, 2007. The stabbing occurred through Gladden Alley, an alley that is near to 11 Fairweather Street where the home of Arana's co-worker, Michelle Lennon, is located. Two witnesses had testified for the prosecution. Lennon, the chief witness, said that she was at home when she got a call from Arana who asked her for some food. She said when Arana came to the fence by her house, her ex-common law husband, Gabb, accused him of having an affair with her and attacked him and stabbed him multiple times in his body. The trial had been going on for about 3 weeks. Justice Lord discharged the jury of 7 men and 5 women and traversed the case until next session, set to start on September 17, because of the threat of tropical storm Ernesto and the warnings issued by NEMO. Justice Lord said that a new jury will be empanelled when the trial starts.

What 3 On 3 Means
Last night we told you who were the winners of the national three on three basketball tournament - but tonight we'll look at the competition itself. It brought together district winners from all over the country to see who would emerge as number one for the country. The competition was hard-fought and that's all because two big time international tournaments were on the line. Here's more in this report:.. Paul Thompson - President, Belize Basketball Federation "The winners as we said for the men get to go to New York for the world tour - 4 players get to go to New York and then for the U-18 we select a national team to go to Spain for September." Jules Vasquez reporting Stakes were high and it showed on the court where play was physical and fierce - as the winners form each district battled it out on the Jamborees Parking lot on an especially hot Saturday: David Craig, Marketing and Sales, Sprite "This is street ball and street ball is played on the street on any hard top anywhere in the country. We want to bring that back again where people get outside and get in the breeze and play, not necessary at night or in a gym."

Dara Rode And Won
On Friday we told you about Dara Robinson's Ride for Hunger. It went off without a hitch on Saturday where it was very well attended with a swarm of bicycles making the ride. Dara reports tonight that he raised thirteen hundred dollars in cash - and Santiago Castillo representatives gave 500 dollars' worth food items and the public gave many food packages. He says overall it was a success.

Speaking Of Storms at Mahahual In August
Tonight Mahahual and surrounding communities - including Corozal - are preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Ernesto. The Category one storm is packing winds of 85 miles per hour and will make landfall later tonight - in the next few hours. Luckily for Belize, the strongest winds are concentrated to the north of the storm - which is good for Corozal and San Pedro - those communities presently lie to the southeast of it. And thinking of storm skirting past northern Belize in august - one has to think of Hurricane Dean in 2007. That was a monster: a category five storm that - again - landed at Mahahual and flattened it, even crumpling steel girders. With winds of 175 miles per hour you'd expect that - and Corozal was at the tail end of it. Jules Vasquez and cameraman Alex Ellis spent an intense night there when Dean was making landfall - and for some context on this storm - we go back to that 2007 report:.. 1 year ago tonight, category 5 storm Hurricane Dean made landfall just north of Chetumal. It was a vicious storm, and hurricane force winds ripped through Orange Walk and Corozal. Our team was in the center of the fury and looking back at that night, here’s what it was like.

Channel 5

Hurricane Ernesto heads north of Belize
When we signed off the news on Monday, Tropical Storm Ernesto was heading in our path. But tonight, there’s a sigh of relief since Hurricane Ernesto is moving away and heading further up north into Mexico. That’s the latest from the Belize Met Service and the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO). This afternoon, the phase [...]

US Treasury names John Zabaneh a drug kingpin
A prominent figure from the south, his nephew and an associate in Corozal are being sought by the United States government. John Angel Zabaneh, Dion Christopher Zabaneh, and Daniel Gonzalo Moreno have all been identified as Sinaloa Cartel Operatives in Belize. The Sinaloa Cartel is considered by the United States Intelligence Community to be the [...]

NEMO prepared, PM offers help in case of hurricane
While that issue would have been the first story on the newscast on any other day, the country is watching Hurricane Ernesto. News Five Jose Sanchez also spoke to the PM about the possibility of a disaster and if the administration is prepared to help those who may affected. Like most citizens across the country, [...]

Corozal residents buckle up for Ernesto
In Corozal Town, where the rains are expected to be the heaviest from Ernesto, residents were taking it in good stride.  This afternoon we spoke with Willard Levy, Coordinator of the DEMO, Corozal. Willard told us that weather conditions were fairly okay; there was minimal rain. Shelters were opened in the district around two this [...]

San Pedro residents evacuate inland while others move to shelters
Close to a thousand residents and tourists evacuated the island of Ambergris Caye today, a majority of whom left San Pedro Town by noon to seek shelter on mainland Belize.  Water taxis ferried passengers from San Pedro and Caye Caulker to Belize City as Tropical Storm Ernesto, later upgraded to a category one hurricane, made [...]

Bandits busted; 1 shot in north Ambergris Caye
While residents in San Pedro were bracing for Hurricane Ernesto, there was an armed faceoff between police and three residents. Twenty-four year old Steven Bowen Jr., one of three men confronted by a team of law enforcement officers in San Pedro today, remains under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he is [...]

Police prepare for patrolling country during storm
Back to Hurricane Ernesto. Around the country, businesses closed, from the north at the Free Zone to as far as Punta Gorda.  In Belize City, some businesses did not open today while others started pulling down their shutters at midday; the downtown area was like a ghost town this afternoon. But essential services such as [...]

Old landmark, Swing Bridge, turns for mooring boats
One of the local charms of Belize City that has not been seen in operation since the last hurricane season is the Belize City Swing Bridge. The old bridge has seen its better days gone by. The bridge which has always been swung by manpower received help from a back hoe today. According to Mayor [...]

Shelters open for residents seeking safety in Belize City
While the category one hurricane has shifted up north, as a precaution, residents in the City were provided with shelter to weather the heavy rains. On the north side Pallotti High, All Saints Primary, Trinity Methodist and the UB Education Campus in West Landivar were opened. On the Southside, Saint John’s Vianney, Grace Primary, Salvation [...]

Business end of hurricane preparedness
Earlier in the day, hardware stores across the country saw an influx of customers who were seeking supplies to fortify their homes against the winds and rains that would come from Hurricane Ernesto. News Five’s Jose Sanchez spoke to vendors and customers about the type of supplies that would protect their homes and even keep [...]

3 by 3, Corozal residents take basketball to New York
In other news, basketball is a sport particularly enjoyed by many youths and adults. The Belize National Team has seen successes over the years at tournaments such as COCABA in Cancun, Mexico. But fielding an entire team is a costly and time consuming venture. But a version of the sport, called three by three, is [...]


National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #9

National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #8
National Emergency Management Organization “Preserving Life and Property” DATE: Tuesday, 07th, August 2012 TIME: 11:00 A.M. PRESS RELEASE # 8 Shelters that will be open in the Corozal District are as follows: Sarteneja RC School...

National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #7

Officials Keep Close Watch on Tropical Storm Ernesto
Officials are keeping a close eye on the progress of Tropical Storm Ernesto. Reporter Patrick Jones has the story. PATRICK JONES Senior News Reporter Love FM “The flag flying atop the staff at the Raccoon Street Police Station today signals the im...

National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #6


Hurricane Ernesto to make land fall tonight
As of 6pm this evening hurricane Ernesto location was at Location: 18.7°N 87.1°W and Moving: West at 18 mph with it...

Huracán Ernesto toca tarlla
A partir de 18:00 de esta tarde el huracán Ernesto se encontraba en la ubicación Ubicación: 18.7 ° N 87.1 ° W y en ...

Man killed out at sea
Shooting on the island of Caye Caulker almost cost a man his life. Around 5:15am on Saturday (August 4) Police resp...

Belizean businessmen blacklisted in the US
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced that US persons are p...

Hombre de negocios de Belice, la lista en Estados Unidos
El Departamento de Estados Unidos de la Oficina del Tesoro de Control de Activos Extranjeros (OFAC) ha anunciado ho...

Police seeking suspects following early morning shooting
Charles Fortune, reported that on Monday August 6 he was driving his vehicle on Currasow Street just before 1pm whe...

Belize to participate in President Danilo Medina’s inauguration ceremony
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has announced that the Special Envoy of President...

Belice para participar en la ceremonia de investidura del presidente Danilo Medina
El Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de la República de China (Taiwán) ha anunciado hoy que el Enviado Especial del ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker photos during Hurricane Ernesto
Here are a few snapshots taken today, Tuesday, August 7, as Caye Caulker awaits the crossing of Hurricane Ernesto over northern Belize:

Photo of the week: Frenchie’s Diving Services also certifies kids as young as 10
Eleven year old Blayd Vernon ready for his first dive aboard Frenchie’s Diving Services dive boat Frenchie’s Diving Services is a re-knowned Dive Shop on Caye Caulker operating for many years. They do PADI certifications to children as young as 10 years of age, as pictured above. Feel free to stop in at Frenchie’s and accompany the knowledgeable crew while you enjoy a fun snorkel or dive.


Boiton Minerals wants to mine for gold in Chiquibul
The Department of the Environment is preparing for the first ever hearing to discuss a recently submitted Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the Boiton Minerals Limited Gold Mining Project. The company reports that between 1999 and 2008, it produced 2,300 ounces of gold—valued today at between BZ$3 million and BZ$7.5 million—and three-fourth of it was produced within the last two years.

Shooting and pistol-whipping in Caye Caulker
Lincoln Allen, 29, a fisherman of #2 Pinks Alley, Belize City, was shot in the palm of his left hand and in his left shoulder; while Justin Alamina, 23 , a businessman of 24 Hicaco Avenue, Caye Caulker, suffered a cut to his forehead. Silvia Joseph, 19, a waitress of Lousiano Reyes Street, Caye Caulker, suffered a cut behind her left ear.

Who killed Ricardo Blanco, 35?
His body was found nude under some grass... Police in Orange Walk have detained six persons for questioning in connection with the death of Ricardo Elmer Blanco, 35, of Otro Benque Road, a father of four who will be laid to rest early Tuesday morning.

Guilty of laundering $1,557,789.00
Melonie and Michael Coye, Atlee Matute, Deitrick Kingston and Money Exchange International Limited, found guilty... Guilty was the verdict returned by the nine-member jury this afternoon in the trial against Michael Coye, 65; his daughter, Melonie Coye, 36; two of their previous employees Atlee Matute, 26, and Deitrick Kingston, 28; and their company, Money Exchange International Limited(MEIL), the company that operated MoneyGram.

James Swan, Jr., 30, executed in Corozal
According to police at their weekly press conference in Belize City today, they went to Deng’s Supermarket on Seventh Avenue near the center of town around 7:25 p.m. yesterday, Sunday, August 5, and found 38-year-old Ajay Bajay, an Indian national — who was hit by the same onslaught of bullets that took Swan’s life — suffering from gunshot wounds to the left hand and right foot. He was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital and treated, and his injuries were classified as wounding.

Ernesto threatens Belize!
“We are looking at a high probability of a hurricane...” – NEMO Coordinator Noreen Fairweather... NEMO to meet at 6:30 a.m. – Ernesto should be visible on Belize Doppler radar around 7:00 a.m....

Bmp Citco Over-35 5-A-Side reg. season ends, playoff starts Thursday
Two high-scoring games were played on Thursday night, August 2, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium to complete the regular season of the Belmopan City Council Over-35 5-A-Side Football Tournament. In game 1, Camalote United prevailed, 6-5, over Armenia, with goals from Rupert Castillo (3 min), Denmark Casey (24, 28 & 29 min), and Estevan Tejeda (9 & 30 min). Armenia got goals from Bernancio Garcia (11 min), Mario Serna (12 & 26 min), Abel Garcia (13 min), and Elmer Medrano (33 min). Game 2 ended in a 5-4 score, with Salvapan Taxistas victorious over Medina Lion King. Shaking the net for Taxistas were Alex Fino (5 & 19 min), Antonio Delgado (7 min), and Armando Paguada (15 & 21 min); while Lion King goals were by Juan Alas (26 & 30 min), Jose Amaya (29 min), and Landy Cal (34 min).

BDF bomb West Lake in Champions Cup Final Game 1
The difference between professional and amateur was evident yesterday at the MCC, where the Belize Defence Force team under head coach Palmiro Salas came prepared to do battle in prime time, while the collection of talented players on West Lake appeared somewhat disorganized and understaffed. BDF’s Harrison Tasher shook the West Lake net in the very first minute, and it didn’t get any better the rest of the way. It was 4-nil at half time, and we thought it ended 6-1, but some fans are saying 7, so we might have missed a BDF score. We’ll await the official game stats and give a report in our next issue.

Excellence take game 3 to become Harrison Parks National Cricket Champions 2012
Game 3 of the best-of-3 games series between Excellence of Double Head Cabbage and Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores ended before 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at the field in Bermudian Landing where hundreds of cricket fans came out to witness the final game of the championship.

Arson on Racoon?
The Wills family of Racoon Street is now homeless after their two-flat wooden house was destroyed by fire; all their household furnishings and equipment were destroyed.

Editorial: The need to steal
Late last year, the two major mass parties in Jamaica, the Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) and the People’s National Party (PNP), signed off on a plethora of campaign financing recommendations from the Electoral Commission of Jamaica (ECJ). The two main parties had even voluntarily complied with certain aspects of the recommendations prior to the general elections held in late December last year.

From The Publisher
The first thing is that many Belizeans, and especially younger ones, do not know the drama which surrounded Grandmaster’s father, a waterfront worker known as “Chicken” Young, back there in the middle 1970s. Chicken got himself thrown off the waterfront and banned by the union power structure (Desmond Vaughan and Mike Rosado), because he listened to the progressive (I won’t say “revolutionary” or “radical”) young UWI graduates, David Gibson and the late David Price, who believed that they could “clean up” the waterfront. (Apart from Gibson, all the previously mentioned antagonists are now deceased.) (Again, as I’m thinking about it now, I have to assume that Gibson and Price had some kind of contact with Assad Shoman and Said Musa, who had been appointed Senators by the PUP government returned to office in October of 1974.) Chicken became Price’s and Gibson’s disciple, and he paid the price for his folly.


Hurricane Evacuation numbers
The Evacuation numbers for Hurricane Ernesto are in - 632 have left Ambergris Caye by water taxi, 365 by Tropic Air and Maya Island Air 170. All going according to plan. Tropical storm Ernesto is officially cat 1 and tracking west north west. According to Frank, a hurricane hunter said winds increasing and speed of storm has increased. Further indications show Ernesto is turning to west. As of right now we will get hit between 5:00am -8:00am tomorrow morning, that could happen sooner though. With 65-75 mph winds. Landfall still expected by tomorrow morning. 6pm to 6am we will get the brunt of the storm and conditions will subside by Wed night and sea conditions will improve. Waves are estimated 5-6 ft outside the reef 12 ft further at open seas up to 21 ft. No one should be out there. We are also experiencing beach erosion. Water will be shut off in San Mateo by 9pm tonight until 9am tomorrow. Next NEMO meeting is at 6:00am Wednesday.

Preparation for Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ernesto in Belize: Lots of Announcements, Boards Going Up, Liquor Sales Ban and Curfew in Place
I took a walk into town this morning to see how people are preparing for Tropical Storm Ernesto. The town is are definitely breathing a tiny bit more easily...the direct hit that was projected yesterday morning has shifted. The eye of the storm is now set to hit near Mahahual, Mexico. That is still not far from us! It is definitely not a time to be sitting back and relaxing. In fact, many are boarding up now and almost all of the boats on the front side of the island have moved (either south or to the back side of the island.) The sky and sea actually look beautiful. NEMO, our emergency boards here in San Pedro and Belize, have met this morning already. Here are the announcements from the meeting. (Typing it as a giant run-on sentence.) There is no free water taxi service (that is only for Category 2+ storms)...there IS a free bus service from Belize City to Belmopan (inland)...polyclinic and pharmacies close at noon...all bars/liquor sales are to be closed at noon today...10pm curfew for tonight. The Mexican port at Chetumal is currently closed. It is not mandatory to go to work today. Keep in contact with your employer about the situation. At 2pm, the evacuation shelters on the island will open: Shalom Living Word Church and San Pedro High School. The double red flags are flying for the Hurricane Warning. I've only seen them a few times since I've lived in San Pedro. After 2 red flags, we wait for the "all clear". The next meeting's results will be aired on Reef TV and Reef Radio at 1pm Belize Time. REEF TV is currently being broadcast on the internet for all of you abroad who would like to tune in. Check it out here: The weather forecast for San Pedro: Significant increase in wind at 8pm here in San Pedro and intermittent rain throughout the day. Other announcements: Super Buys and Caye Supplies will close at noon today. The banks are closed currently or closing this morning. Curious to see how this giant sign next to BC's Bar weathers some solid winds.

The Moroton Community Committee Installs 6 Beautiful Chairs at the San Ignacio Macal River Park
The Macal River Park is situated behind the Chaa Creek Business Office in San Ignacio Town and is a relaxing and serene park to read a book, have an interesting conversation or a nice picnic with friends. This weekend the Moroton Community Outreach Committee headed by Mick Fleming, Co-founder of Chaa Creek installed 6 comfortable and cozy chairs that were built at the Chaa Creek Wood Workshop. According to Mr. Fleming, the objective of the Moroton Community Committee is to rebuild a sense of community within the Moroton area of San Ignacio.

Hurricane Ernesto Update
There is now a 10:00pm tonite until 10:00am in the morning curfew in place while the storm passes through Belize. Only officials and workers that are on duty will be allowed out at this time. No alcohol sales from noon until. The San Pedro water taxis and Tropic Air discontinued services today at noon. However, international flights into Belize have not been cancelled as of yet. Evacuation is still on a voluntary basis.

International Sources

Treasury Targets Belize-Based Operatives of Chapo Guzman
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control is declaring that NO American can do business with five companies under the control of John Zabaneh and two of his associates, Dion Zabaneh (his nephew) and Daniel Moreno. These companies include: Mayan King Ltd.; Mid-South Investments Ltd.; Crown Paradise Enterprises Ltd.; Belize Chemicals Ltd.; and D’s Supermarket Company Ltd. WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today announced the designation of John Zabaneh and two members of his drug trafficking organization, who are based in Belize and are key associates of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera, and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. The action also includes the designation of five companies in Belize that are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization. Today’s action, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and companies, and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction. “John Zabaneh’s drug trafficking activities and his organization’s ties to Colombian sources of supply and Mexican buyers make him a critical figure in the narcotics trade,” said OFAC Director Adam J. Szubin. “By designating Zabaneh, OFAC is disrupting those activities and continuing its efforts, alongside those of our law enforcement partners, to expose operatives of Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel, including their businesses.”

Ernesto becomes hurricane, aims at Yucatan
Ernesto becomes hurricane, aims at Yucatan
Tropical storm Ernesto strengthened into a hurricane on Tuesday and was expected to make landfall on the east coast of Yucatan on Tuesday night. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, at 5:00 pm EDT, the centre of Hurricane Ernesto was located about 140 miles east of Chetumal, Mexico, moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph. This general motion was expected to continue through Tuesday night, followed by a turn toward the west on Wednesday. On the forecast track, the centre will cross the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula on Tuesday night. The centre of Ernesto is forecast to move across the Yucatan peninsula late Tuesday night and early Wednesday, and emerge over the Bay of Campeche by Wednesday afternoon or evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 80 mph, with higher gusts. Ernesto is a category one hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. Some additional strengthening is possible before Ernesto reaches the Yucatan peninsula and weakening is expected as Ernesto moves over land. Hurricane force winds extend outward up to 35 miles from the centre and tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 140 miles.

Record number of regional ICT ministers attend Miami conference
Fourteen ICT government ministers, three government representatives and Perry Christie, prime minister of Bahamas joined close to 600 delegates at CANTO’s 28th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition held in Miami, Florida from 22 to 27 July 2012. The popular annual conference and trade exhibition, also known as CANTO 2012, is the Caribbean’s premier telecommunications event for industry professionals, academics and regional governments. This year, the theme was “Accelerating broadband in the Caribbean - Transforming the way we live.” CANTO 2012 was held on the heels of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Connect the Americas Summit in Panama, which took place from the 17 - 19 July. Connect the Americas is part of ITU's Connect the World Series, an ambitious initiative aimed at connecting the unconnected by the year 2015. Dr Hamadoun Touré, secretary general of the ITU paid an impromptu visit to CANTO 2012, fresh from the summit on 22 July to speak with all the ICT ministers and the CANTO board regarding the outcome of the summit. He congratulated the ministers on the level of preparation displayed by the Caribbean team and provided insightful feedback regarding how to chart the way forward for the implementations of their respective projects.

Swimming in Big Rock Falls, Belize
After visiting the Mayan ruins of Caracol on our day’s tour we stopped at the Rio Frio Cave, and then we were supposed to head to the Rio Hon Pools (a small and popular swimming hole close by). However our very knowledgeable tour guide told us it would be busy, and that there was a waterfall nearby that would be much more fun. Easy choice right? So we drove into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve (yes that right, Belize isn’t all jungles it has a pine forest too!) and pulled over near the Privassion River. The dirt trail was well-worn and easy to follow. After a 20 minute hike down the hill that got a little steep in a few places we arrived at Big Rock Falls, an amazing 150 foot high waterfall.. and there were only 2 other people in the entire area, score! After a few near butt-busting falls on the very slippery wet rocks we made our way over to the deep pools fed by the waterfall. After a sweaty tour of Mayan ruins and jungle caves the water felt amazing and we had absolute blast swimming around and exploring the area.

August 7, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Evacuation Services by Tropic Air, re: Tropical Storm Ernesto
Effective immediately Tropic Air will begin Evacuation Service. Tropic’s goal is to evacuate our customers as safely and efficiently as possible. When developing your family’s evacuation plan, please keep the following tips in mind: • Tickets are issued on a first come, first serve basis. • Please arrive at the Tropic Air offices with your luggage, two small bags per person, prepared to evacuate. • Owners of large pets that require kenneling must evacuate pets during the hurricane watch phase of the threat to San Pedro. No space will be available during the height of an emergency evacuation (Hurricane Warning). • Please remember that cargo is on a space available basis, and over-sized items will not be sent during this time. • As the weather deteriorates, we will be forced to stop flying. Tropic Air will evacuate as many people as possible. Please help us make your family’s evacuation plan safe and efficient.

NEMO San Pedro activated…voluntary evacuation is advised
The San Pedro branch of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) was officially activated at 1PM on Monday August 6th. The Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) has been in full operation as the island continues to monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Ernesto which is projected to be a Category One hurricane before making landfall. NEMO is advising residents living in the low-lying areas of Ambergris Caye to evacuate voluntarily to higher grounds. Speaking to the press after a 2PM meeting at the NEMO office in San Pedro, Deputy Chairman of the EOC for San Pedro NEMO Branch Mayor Daniel Guerrero said that the San Pedro committee is ready. “We have been meeting since early this morning. I have advised the people (residents) to put their respective plans into action and to do so early. We are advising them to buy their food and water, their flashlights and batteries and everything they need to do, they need to do it early. I want everyone to do their part and not leave it last minute for NEMO to do,” said Mayor Guerrero.

FORCE conducts survey on reef status in Ambergris Caye
The Future of Reefs in a Changing Environment (FORCE), a research project was on Ambergris Caye for the past weeks conducting research on the status of the reef. The group held a community meeting on Wednesday July 25th at 7PM at the Lion’s Den to inform the general public on the surveys being held on the island. The team of six: Dr. Johanna Forster, Dr. Rachel Turner, David Gill, Angelie Peterson, Cecilia Guerrero, and Lindolfo Chicas were on hand for the presentation and questions. Speaking of the project Dr. Forster stated; “It is an initiative that is looking at finding ways of managing Caribbean reefs. We are working in different countries in the Caribbean, speaking with people who use reefs for their livelihoods such as tourism and fishing. Our aim is finding out the changes they’ve seen with the reefs to see how the management of the reef is going and whether they think things are good, things are okay or things need to be changed. We are also looking at what the conditions are for improvement. We are really interested in finding out more about the livelihood dependency on the reef and reef management.”

Ministry Of Education conducts a one week Literacy and Arts camp
A portion of a literacy and arts camp culminated on Friday August 3rd. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Education office in San Pedro. Students from various levels from primary schools all across the island participated in the one week camp which took place at the San Pedro High School. The camp was held under the theme “Learn to Read and Read to Learn.” According to the Ministry of Education office in San Pedro, a total of about 120 students participated in this year’s camp. The students learnt various skills that will improve their reading. “Scientists believe that 60 to 70 percent of any reading materials consist of sight words. We notice that a lot of the participant had problems with sight words. With the help of the reading camp, I am sure they will improve a little more. I want to encourage parents to help their kids to improve their level or reading,” said Miriam Codd-Pott, the Belize Rural South Education Officer. The students were divided into different groups depending on the class they are attending at the primary school. At the closing ceremony, each group did a presentation for their parents and invited guests. All the students received a certificate of participation in the 2012 Summer Literacy and Arts camp. At hand to deliver the certificates was the Deputy Mayor of San Pedro, Severo Guerrero Jr. Councilor Guerrero also encouraged the students to keep on reading, because it help makes a better and more productive person.

Ambergris Today

Costa Maya Festival is King in Belize
What commenced as the San Pedro International Sea and Air Festival and now The Costa Maya International Festival, this Festival is King in Belize and soon Central American Region. This past week saw the 20th Annual Costa Maya Festival and there is lots to celebrate about its success. Despite a shaky start with no formal announcement of its opening to hype up the crowd, the presence of the beauty contestants of the Miss Costa Maya Pageant was enough to excite the crowd who immediately took sides with their favorites like Miss Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico. The night, of course, became euphoric with the sensational performances of local singer Nathalie Arceo who debut a soon-to-be-released single along with San Pedro’s guitar pro, Derrick Banos; and of 11-year old Jael August of Belize City who mesmerized the audience with her powerful yet melodious voice.

Video Pick: Ladies of Divash Shake it Up at Costa Maya Beach Bash
The four sexy ladies of DIVASH from Guatemala performed at the Costa Maya Festival Beach Bash on Sunday, August 5, 2012, and capture the attention of beachgoers with all their shakes, twists and gyrations. Central Park was full with activity as the festival concluded with the party that moved from the festival grounds to Central Park ...

Ernesto Nearing Hurricane Strength, Warnings Issued for Belize
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) and the National Meteorological Service of Belize have declared Phase II and a Tropical Storm Warning have been issued for the entire country of Belize as Tropical Storm Ernesto nears hurricane strength. The Belize Rural South NEMO headquarter has issued its first Advisory on the storm and as of 9:00 a.m. this morning the following was there report:

Belize Internet Most Expensive and Slowest in the Region
For those who have ready access to the Internet, have you ever considered what life might be like if you no longer had it? For many of us, key aspects of our private and professional lives would effectively grind to a halt, which inherently demonstrates the growing importance of Internet service within the Caribbean. A recent survey of the Caribbean shows that internet speeds in Belize are among the slowest and most expensive. First, Belize was one of only three countries still offering speeds of less than one meg; in Belize the lowest speed that you can purchase is 128k - only Dominica is lower with 64k. Also, the price for 256k in Belize - $51US monthly would buy you one Meg in Anguilla; one meg is about 300% faster than 256K.

PHOTO: Nurse Shark Whirlpool at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
A whirlpool of sorts, as nurse sharks circle in a feeding frenzy at Shark Ray Alley, located at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It's feeding time and visitors to the island enjoy the experience of feeding and swimming with these magestic and docile marine creatures. Just another great attraction in Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Extreme Freediving, Belize Barrier Reef

Atlantic Bank Art Competition
Atlantic Bank is having an art competition for primary school students, with great prizes, like a netbook and a Kindle. The theme is "My Belizean Community, Building the Future Together." The deadline for entries is August the 17th. Good luck. Visit their website for more information:

Tropical Storm Ernesto on Weather Underground
Weather Underground has some of the best predictive software for hurricanes, and they update their tracking hourly. At this point, it does look like the eye of Ernesto will pass just north of Belize. NEMO is on most radio stations, and will keep everyone updated. "People living in areas that normally flood need to move to a dry and safe building area and bring along their food and water. Stay Tuned for further advisories from NEMO and the National Meteorological Service."

Ernesto – Hurricane or Tropical Storm, we will be prepared!
For anyone that is interested in our welfare and indeed wanting to keep up-to-date with the changes in forecast and current weather, then we will be at the end of the internet (as long as communication will allow!!). As far as Ernesto goes, all storms are to be respected – mother nature can produce enormous amounts of damage if we were not to heed warnings, however, we are not expecting anything more than perhaps a strong Cat 1 (the models vacillate between strong Tropical Storm and weak Hurricane). I would imagine that by the end of the day today we will be under at least a Tropical Storm Watch/ Warning or perhaps even a Hurricane Watch/ Warning and those with boats (including Raggamuffin) will commence putting them on land most likely this afternoon and tonight. However today and indeed this morning, the weather looks beautiful … you would never imagine that a storm would be pressing down on us!! We will be undertaking tours today, ensuring that those who have taken the time to come to this fair island will at least get time in the water!! Tomorrow we would expect the weather conditions to start to change ie clouds and increase in thunderstorms. We have had a particularly dry later July and August – very little rain at all for the past two weeks, we are due for some rain at least – however, we are all crossing fingers that the wind and as importantly, the surge remains as low as possible so that the island sustains little to no damage (which is likely from the force of winds predicted!!). We are prepared and that is the key – we are used to this by now and I could almost guaranteed that by Thursday, it will be business as usual – however, in the meantime, your thoughts and small prayers for us down here would be very much welcomed!! GO AWAY ERNESTO – You are not welcome!!

Channel 7

Ernesto Eyes Belize
Today, all across the country the red flags went up - as Belize was put under Hurricane Watch. Tonight, we are under a hurricane warning, which means that two Red Flags are now flying - with Tropical Storm Ernesto packing winds of 65 miles per hour and located 415 miles East of Belize's coast or 410 miles east south east of Belize City. The 6:00 pm update from the National Hurricane Center in Miami reports that Tropical Storm Ernesto is moving west North West at 12 miles per hour - which puts it on a track to make landfall north of Belize by Wednesday. The worry is that it can strengthen to a hurricane by later tonight and continuing to strengthen throughout the day tomorrow. Now, this is just a projection, a forecast, but anything and everything can change in the life of a storm. Twenty minutes ago we spoke vie telephone with the Chief MET Office, Dennis Gonguez to find out what the latest information means for Belize:.. Dennis Gonguez, Chief MET Office "At 6pm today Tropical Storm Ernesto was near latitude 16.5 north, longitude 82.1 west. That position is about 110 miles east south east of Belize City. Tropical Storm Ernesto had maximum sustain winds of 65 miles per hour heading towards the west North West at 12 miles per hour." "Our 7 day forecast track takes Tropical Storm Ernesto up near the northern sections of our country and making landfall somewhere around midnight around 3am on Wednesday morning."

Fifth Corozal Murder Since July Fifth
There was a murder in Corozal last night - the fifth murder in that town in a month - and this one, just like the last two was a public execution. The last two we refer to are Robert Hernandez and Kenrick Vaccaro - who were gunned down on sixth Avenue. Last night, a pair of gunmen waylaid James Swan Jr. on Seventh Avenue - which is the main street in Corozal. To understand how serious that are, you'd have to know that - unlike Belize City - at night, downtown Corozal is bustling with shoppers - and most stores are open. That was the setting at 7:20 last night when a spray of bullets from a nine millimeter pistol was released at the height of the evening rush. We found out why police think James Swan Jr. was targeted:.... Jules Vasquez reporting Deng's Supermarket is on the main street in Corozal Town. It's always bustling with activity - as it was last night at 7:20 when Belize City resident James Swan Jr was execute din front of Deng's Store.

OW Man Was Found Nude, Strangled With Underwear
And there was another murder in the North this weekend. Actually it may have happened before the weekend started, but the body of 35 year old Ricardo Blanco was not found until Saturday morning. Orange Walk Town resident, Blanco was last seen on Thursday night in Trial Farm - which is just outside Orange Walk. H was drinking with three men in front of a store named Diamonds. The owner told us that at 12:30 am, he saw the three men beating Blanco. But by 1:30 am, Blanco had recovered, regrouped with the same three men who were beating him and they left. He was not seen alive again. His mother started to worry from Friday morning when she saw that he hasn't gotten home. And on Saturday, she launched a search. She told us what they found:.. Francisca "Ms. Pancha" Blanco, Mother "We went in a picado road - my son-in-law was driving and suddenly he stopped and says that he sees something black in the grass and I say where and so he reverses and we came out the car. I saw his pair of tennis right there and then his shirt - his shirt was tore in half. I saw one of his socks over there. Now I came to the conclusion that he was dead."

Gang Boss Says Police Abducted Him
On Friday night we told you about gang warfare that had erupted in Belize City - reportedly between the Ghost Town and Back-A-Town Crews. There were shots fired - at close range and in broad daylight, but reportedly no one was hurt. And then on Friday night a police surveillance vehicle was reportedly shot in ghost Town turf. We say reportedly because though that is the information that has come to us from multiple sources, the police press officer told us he knows nothing of it. It is important because it set the stage for what the boss of Ghost Town says was a police abduction - which he claims would have been an execution if his wife hadn't gotten involved. It's a tall claim, but from where he sat on Saturday night, not an exaggerated one. He reports being whisked off in an unmarked heavily tinted Land Cruiser with private plates operated by police officers known to him. We got the first part of the story from his wife, who we found outside the Ladyville police station this morning. She had been camped there for almost 24 hours straight - right through the night - to make sure that her husband wasn't whisked off again. Here's their story:.. Julia Anthony, wife of Roger Anthony "We got a knock on the door after 10pm minutes to 11. It was the police, my husband went outside to open the door - I was getting clothed. I heard the keys and after that silence. When I ran out there the GSU had practically stuff him in a Land cruiser - only his feet was out."

City Prepares For Storm
Hopefully the violence subsides as the entire country prepares for a storm that could be a hurricane by the time you wake up tomorrow. Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to strengthen into a category one hurricane tonight and make landfall on the southeastern tip of Mexico on Tuesday night, just north of Ambergris Caye with projected winds of 86 miles per hour. Again that is only a projection, and that's why The City Emergency Management Organization team says they are prepared for anything that comes. This afternoon CEMO held a press conference where they highlighted their plan of action for Belize City and also emphasized the importance of preparations. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The issue that I want to communicate is that persons need to cooperate with us. This is why we are putting in place all the plans today. When we issue the advisory that these shelters will be open and we are monitoring with NEMO to decide on an appropriate time that that will be done - if anything that will be done sometime tomorrow." "When we indicate to persons that these shelters are open they then need to take it upon themselves to move and to move quickly. when we think about hurricane and about hurricane preparedness we need everybody to participate. this is the reason we have call a press conference to advised the public exactly what we are doing and what they need to be doing. If they determine that they have to go to a shelter - make that decision very quickly and as soon as the hurricane shelter is open then they move into the hurricane shelter immediately."

Another City Shooting
And just before the council held its press conference, there was another shooting in the city. A Belize City man was shot while sitting inside his parked vehicle. It happened around 12:47 this afternoon. 24 year old Charles Fortune was reportedly inside his vehicle when a gunman, described as wearing a red t-shirt and black pants, approached his vehicle and opened fire. Fortune received injuries to the mouth, left arm pit and buttocks. After he was shot, Fortune managed to drive himself unto to Currasow Street where he then alerted someone that he was shot. He was taken out of his care and put into another which took him to the KHMH. We understand that tonight, that he is in a stable condition. So far police have not given a motive for the incident as their investigation continues.

Gilroy Usher Jr. Charged For Assaulting Cop
You may either know Gilroy Usher Jr. as the owner of First Stop Pawn Shop, or as an avid supporter of his politician father, Gilroy Sr., or as the newly-elected secretary of COLA. But tonight, Usher is in the news because he spent the weekend in police lockdown after allegedly threatening a court bailiff, assaulting him, and then assaulting one of the police officers stationed at the Magistrate's Court. The incident occurred just before 12:30, last week Friday, inside the office of the Magistrate's Court. This is the section where persons go to make payments to the court clerk, on seek out advice on the Magistracy department. Usher Jr. - who usually has business at the court in his capacity as the owner of First Stop - allegedly got into an argument with Gabriel Casey, a court bailiff. That argument quickly escalated to a physical confrontation. Reports are that Usher made certain comments and pulled up his shirt to show the bailiff his licensed firearm. It's at that point that Police Constable Edgar Poot, attached to the Prosecution Branch, saw the direction that this confrontation was taking, and he got involved to try to de-escalate the situation by escorting Usher outside.

Fatal Accident Claims Life Of Medical Student
An international medical student died over the weekend in a traffic accident near San Narciso Village on the Northern Highway. The accident occurred shortly after eight on Saturday morning and when 7News arrived at the scene, we witnessed villagers frantically trying to render medical assistance to two injured medical students while one of their classmates lay motionless in a cane field. According to the driver, nineteen year old Prandeep Saikia, he was driving his black Izuzu Rodeo towards Corozal when the vehicle suffered a blow out. Saikia lost control, ran off the road and flipped multiple times before coming to a stop in a cane field. The front seat passenger - who was not wearing a seatbelt, Jayandra Jahhar, was flung from the car as it overturned. The 21-year-old suffered fatal head and body injuries and died at the scene. The driver and the other passenger, 18 year old Sagar Sharma, suffered only minor injuries. Jahhar's body was subsequently transported to the Corozal Community Hospital for a post mortem examination. Prandeep Saikia has been charged for manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention. Police say they may also charge him for driving with an alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit - because the driver carried an odour of alcohol, but the police will have to wait for the result of a blood sample to come back.

B'zean Medwood Sputters In Semi/Bolt Brilliant For JA
400 meter hurdler Ken Medwood became the first Belizean to advance to the semifinals of any track and field event at the Olympic games. He ran his semifinal heat on Saturday at noon. It was live right here on Channel 7. So that was it for MEdwood - with his fifth place finish - but it was still history for both he and Kaina Martinez - as they both advanced in their respective races. From there, interest turned to the showdown on Sunday night in London - to see who would be the fasted man in the world in the 100 meter sprint. BOLT NEXT PARTICPATES IN THE 200METER - THE PRELIMINARY HEATS FOR WHICH WILL AIR LIVE ON CHANNEL 7 TOMORROW.

Belize's Best Three On Three Ballers Are ...
And while the world's fastest athletes gathered at the track in London - Belize's best three on three basketball players gathered at the Jamboree Parking lot for the national final of the three on three basketball tournament. Stakes were high as district champions came to the city to see who would go to New York City for the senior males and the world three on three championships in Spain for the Junior champions. In the end, Belize won in Juniours and Corozal in seniors, we spoke to the winners.... Tariq Middleton, Belize City - U-18 Champ going to Spain "As far as the tournament today it was way tougher. The teams from Belmopan, Orange Walk, Cayo and Corozal - they came with because they wanted to win." Jules Vasquez "What up with this championship game - the little part that I tape looks like you guys were having a fairly easy time with it - it was 9-2 I think." Tariq Middleton "The final score I think was 14-4 I think or 14-3." Jules Vasquez "It was fairly easy?" Tariq Middleton "I wouldn't say easy, but we work hard to get that."

Channel 5

Ernesto expected to become hurricane and reach northern Belize
Pull out your hurricane preparedness plans because a category one strength hurricane is heading this way and the entire coast is under threat. Tropical Storm Ernesto has been on the radar for about a week; it was initially expected to head north into the Gulf of Mexico but Ernesto has shifted and now has his [...]

City Emergency Management Organization ready for Ernesto
The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) also went into full gear in Belize City this afternoon. CEMO has set up its Emergency Operation Center here at Channel Five studios on Coney Drive, which will be the command center for its operations until the all clear is given. Before moving over, a press briefing was held [...]

Evacuation plans activated to move islanders
To avoid overcrowding, persons evacuating the islands are being taken to Orange Walk and Belmopan. CEMO says homeless persons across the city will be picked up and taken care of, but it is asking neighbors to inform them of any “shut-ins” who need assistance.   Darrell Bradley “All those persons who are coming into Belize [...]

NEMO Corozal prepared for the worse
In the north where the brunt of Ernesto is expected to be felt, NEMO dusted off the files and began preparations on Sunday.  This morning the Corozal District committee members met; top on the list was the opening of shelters. Willard Levy, Coordinator for the district says that while they are expecting a lot of [...]

James Swan Junior murdered in Corozal
There’s a highly sensational murder to report tonight. The son of the well known James ‘Raindrops’ Swan, was killed over the weekend. Recently, thirty year old James Swan Junior was named in the double murder of Charlie Espat and Eduardo Daniel Alamilla, who were found in a shallow grave in Santa Marta Village, Orange Walk. [...]

Body of missing Orange Walk man found
The other murder was in Orange Walk, where the naked body of a missing man was discovered early Saturday morning off a feeder road in the outskirts of the town. Thirty-five year old Ricardo Blanco, a jack of all trades, was reported missing on Thursday by his stepfather, Arculano Navado. According to Navado, Blanco left [...]

Med students’ fatal crash
Loss of life over the weekend was not only confined to criminal elements in shootouts. Three Indian nationals were involved in a Northern Highway accident that claimed the life of one man. The three men in their early twenties are all medical students studying in Belize who were heading to Corozal town on Saturday morning. [...]

Charles Fortune shot several times
Twenty-four year old Charles Fortune is tonight fortunate to have survived an early afternoon assault during which he came under fire by a gunman.  The shooting occurred on Curassow Street shortly before one o‘clock.  Fortune, who was seated inside a vehicle, was approached by a lone gunman dressed in a red shirt and black pants. [...]

Vasquez shot in the face inside vehicle
In Ladyville, another man was shot in the face. Reports have not been released by the Police Department regarding the incident, but we know that David Vasquez, who lives on Poinsettia Street was sitting inside his van which was parked in front of his residence when he was injured. An armed man came from the [...]

Aspiring politician gets caught in fight with cop
During this morning’s press conference with the police, two cases were brought up that involved altercations. One burglar could not wait for the occupants of the house to leave the premises, so he burglarized the place while they were still inside. And the other case involved an aspiring politician, Gilroy Usher Junior, who ran on [...]

Men, well known to police, shooting at a home
In the courts today, twenty-six year old Brandon “Battery” Smith, and twenty year old Wilburn “Punkey” Gentle, appeared before Magistrate Dale Lino to answer to a charge of discharging a firearm in public. Both men pleaded not guilty to the charge, but because the offense involved a firearm, they could not be offered bail at [...]

Taiwan Embassy burglarized
Taiwan announced today that its Vice President Wu Den-yih, who has been designated with the rank of special envoy, will be arriving in Belize on August eighteenth, following the inauguration of the new president of the Dominican Republic. The V.P. and a delegation will be holding bilateral talks with the government and will depart on [...]

B.N.T.U. and P.S.U. discussing salary adjustments with G.O.B.
It has been over a decade since the last salary adjustment for teachers, as well as public servants, who contend that the cost of living has increased by approximately thirty percent over the past eight years.  This, in addition to twenty-three other concerns, has been tabled for negotiations between Marion McNab, C.E.O. in the Ministry [...]

Kenneth Medwood’s hurdles at the Olympics
On Friday, Kaina Martinez gave us hope with her performance in the one hundred meter sprint at the 2012 London Olympics. She place second in the qualifying race, but did not move on after round one. The other Belizean, Kenneth Medwood, however, made it to the semi-finals in the men’s four hundred meter hurdles. He [...]

Sports Guru James Adderley’s winning sport moments
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The World will be talking for a long time about that electrifying performance from Usain Bolt of Jamaica in the 100 meters yesterday in the London Olympics. However, I’m a Belizean and I know you are too. Therefore, respect and support must be given [...]


National Emergency Management Organisation Advisory #5

Duo Arrested for Publicly Discharging Firearm
Two Belize City men have been detained pending charges of discharging a firearm in public. They are twenty six year old Brandon Smith and twenty year old Wilbert Gentle. Police say that on Friday afternoon, a mobile patrol on Sittee Street observed Smith firing several shot...

Businessman Detained for Allegedly Assaulting A Policeman
Belize City businessman, thirty two year old Gilroy Usher, Junior is in police detention pending charges as a result of a fight on Friday afternoon. According to police reports, Usher, along with police constable Edgar Poot and Court Bailiff Gabriel Casey were inside of the Baili...

Home Invasion in Belize City
A Belize City couple was robbed during a home invasion on Friday morning. According to police reports, Irma Novelo and her common-law husband Carlos Fidenso Medina were at home around six thirty on Friday morning, when a man armed with a rusty knife entered their home through the...

Northern Highway Accident Claims One Life
A traffic accident on Saturday morning on the Northern Highway in the Corozal district has left one man dead and another in police detention. The victim has been identified as twenty one year old Jayandra Jahhar, a medical student. According to police reports, around seven o&rsqu...

Belize Watches Tropical Storm Ernesto Closely
Tropical Storm Ernesto continued to follow predicted forecast track and behavior this afternoon as it cruised into the Western Caribbean Sea. At three o’clock this afternoon, the center of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located neat latitude fifteen point three degrees north and seventy e...


Ernesto forecasted to hit Belize as Category 1 hurricane
NEMO declares phase 2 and has issued a tropical storm watch. In its public advisory sent out today NEMO and the Nat...

Another person gunned down in Corozal
Shooting again in Corozal Town claims two lives; On Sunday (August 5) at 7:30pm Police responded to a report of a s...

Accident on Northern Highway claims the life of medical student
Fatal traffic accident on the Northern Hwy ends a man’s life. On Saturday (August 4) Police responded to a scene be...

Renovation of Belmopan Bus Terminal area gets underway
The bus terminal area is one of the busiest and most trafficked areas of Belmopan. That’s due mainly to the schedul...

Fight almost breaks out as tension rises among taxi operators
As we told you earlier in this newscast, works out at the Bus Terminal has commenced. And while the vast majority i...

Couple hides in bathroom as intruder ravages home
Belize City woman is robbed at knife point in her home. IRMA NOVELO of Belize City reported that about 6:30am on Fr...

Ruckus in Bailiff's office, man detained
EDGAR POOT, a Police officer attached to the Prosecution Branch in Belize City reported that about 12:25pm on Frida...

Hurricane safety tips
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is advising customers to make all preparations and take the necessary precautions ...

Organizations on stand still until "All Clear"
The Belmopan City Council has issued a release advising the General Public that, based on the threat of Tropical St...

Woman apparently drugged then raped
Tainted puro lead to sexual violation. On August 2 a 19-year woman of Mahogany Heights Village reported that on Jul...


All eyes on Belize: Tropical Storm Ernesto heading our way
Well, here it is, the first tropical system of the 2012 hurricane season to threaten Belize. Seems that Tropical Storm Ernesto, likely soon to be Hurricane Ernesto, has his sights set on either northern Belize, where we live, or southern Mexico. The track seems to change every few hours, sometimes looking better for us, sometimes worse. The more north he goes, the better, as the strongest winds and heaviest rains will be north of the eye. So, with apologies to our neighbor Mexico, we are hoping he heads up that way and not to Belize City south of where we live on the island of Ambergris Caye! Since our condo is right on the ocean, and on the first floor to boot (about 7' above sea level), we obviously have to take storms like this seriously. However, Belize's offshore reef means that the wave action here is virtually nil, and storm surge extremely tempered. I wouldn't feel comfortable owning a first-floor, ocean-front condo on the Atlantic Ocean, but it's definitely a bit different here in Belize because of the reef. Our building, right on the Caribbean Sea Waves break over the barrier reef, not on the shoreline We are also fortunate because our building ("Chico Caribe") is built for hurricanes. It's new and all-concrete, and we have hurricane-strength sliding doors facing the ocean. Even luckier, the five owners in the building all pitched in and bought a high-capacity generator for the building during construction. It comes on automatically during all power outages and runs all our appliances. So, if there is a power outage, we lose only cable TV and internet, and everything else keeps right on cranking along as if nothing happened. It's kind of eerie looking out our windows and seeing the rest of Grand Caribe dark, aside from a few emergency lights, while our building is still lit up brightly. The generator wasn't cheap, but every time the power goes out, we feel very lucky indeed. We also don't have to worry too much about our water supply as Grand Caribe's water plant, which our building shares with them, is on a back-up generator, so at least as long as the generator has fuel, we'll have water for drinking and flushing. So, our hurricane prep is not nearly as involved as others on the island without a generator, who might lose power and water for an extended period of time in a significant storm and thus need to stock up on water, flashlights, batteries, and food that doesn't require any cooking. We have been talking to some of the workers here at the resort, and tomorrow morning they plan to take all the pool furniture to a safe place. We'll be doing the same with our veranda table and chairs, and we'll take the screens off our windows as they are lightweight and might be subject to blowing around. That's about all the preparations we really plan to do so long as this storm remains a Category 1 hurricane or lower. Yes, we are getting off pretty easy.

Hurricane Ernesto
We have a NEMO meeting at 6:00am downtown which meant setting my alarm for 4:40 am – ugh. Managing to get a bit of work done and at least one iced coffee in me before I set out. I did not pre-order a cab so hoping I can find one or hitch a ride when I get to the main road. It is still pitch black out but I can hear the rain, wind and thunder picking up now. When I opened the door to let some fresh air in I noticed a new addition to our canal, a big Catamaran parked outside our neighbors house. This is a common sign for hurricane preparation and at last nights meeting they announced small craft warning after 10:00m and people should secure their boats on the lagoon side of the island. They also said people need to de-plank their docks and take every other one out, this lessons the jackhammer effect and will have save the dock from getting totally beat up by the hurricane. I am looking at Wunderground map now and it is still tracking north and alternating between Tropical Storm and Cat 1 status. Flash back to last night’s meeting was blogging it on my phone. Sitting in NEMO meeting with Rhonda My Morning Matters. The ECO team has sprung into action and have been doing shifts around the clock. Cots are being made available for them and while they were getting food, someone at Super Buy made a $200 donation towards the supplies for the EOC team. Frank Pantone has been updating us on storm, using the NOOA hurricane center tracking maps with a projector screen so we could all see it on the wall, Ernesto will continue over the next 48 h. Tropical Storm Ernesto is swirling off the north coast of Honduras. According to Frank it will bounce around in the mountains a bit and this will stop the intensification of the storm.

Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ernesto Takes Aim for Belize: Boats & Docks Readying, Laundry Drying and Radios On
Everyone on Ambergris Caye and all of Belize has his/her eyes on Tropical Storm Ernesto which, according to the most recent projections, is strengthening a bit and headed straight for us as a Category One storm. Here is a current picture. It's incredibly humid, there are some heavy clouds and the sea is flat like a pancake. Here is the most recent update from The storm is over a day away and the path, speed and strength can still change but here on the island, we are getting ready. The projections have been flip flopping between Tropical Storm and Cat. One hurricane for the past day. The first thing I noticed on my walk into the DFC area this morning was that every single radio is tuned to the local stations for updates and announcements from the emergency organization, NEMO. Certainly no panic...but just vigilant. Second thing I noticed? Everyone is trying to get their laundry done before the rain hits. I swung into Captain Shark's Boatyard on the backside of the island. They were busy preparing space for boats to move in this afternoon. Away from the waves of the ocean.

The Caribbean’s “First Tourist” Celebrated in Belize
On August 7 1498 Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean, an occasion The Lodge at Chaa Creek is celebrating with another surprise Super Tuesday Belize vacation discount deal, Marketing Administrator Larry Waight announced today. Mr Waight pointed out that August 7 also marks the halfway point of summer in the northern hemisphere, giving the popular eco resort all the more reason to celebrate. “People keep asking us when the next Super Tuesday will be held, but the whole point of the exercise is to combine the great discounts with the element of surprise, so we waited to spring it on the anniversary of the arrival of the Caribbean’s first tourist, Christopher Columbus and his party of sun seekers,” Mr Waight said. “We also realised that, according to the authoritative Wikipedia, August 7 marks the halfway point through summer, and since this is the summer of 2012 after all, it was another reason to launch our amazing Super Tuesday discounts, but this time with a twist,” he added. For the August 7 Super Tuesday Chaa Creek is offering 30 per cent discounts on all accommodation booked for the months of September and October with the proviso that, like all Super Tuesday Belize vacation deals, bookings are made between midnight Monday August 6 and Midnight Tuesday August 7 2012, Mr Waight explained.

Ernesto Our First Hurricane in Belize
Tropical Storm Ernesto will be our first experience with a hurricane since our move to Belize. So far the forecast is that it will be a category 1 hurricane when it comes ashore in Belize. A category 1 can bring winds of 74-95 mph. Everyone on the island for the most part is going about as usual. Some businesses are closing tomorrow until the storm passes. There is supposed to be some pretty gusty winds with this storm, so Bill is getting his pepper plants inside and protected from the storm.

International Sources

Ernesto likely to reach hurricane strength, hit Mexico's Yucatan
Tropical Storm Ernesto doused Honduras and Belize with rain as it churned through the western Caribbean on Tuesday and U.S. forecasters said it should strengthen into a hurricane before hitting Mexico's tourist Yucatan peninsula. Hurricane warnings were raised for the entire coast of Belize as well as the eastern flank of Yucatan, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said, warning of possible flash floods and mudslides, Ernesto had top sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (100 km per hour) on Tuesday morning and could soon cross the 74 mph (119 kph) threshold to become a hurricane. "Ernesto is forecast to become a hurricane before it reaches the Yucatan peninsula," the NHC said. It was expected to make landfall on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, with a dangerous storm surge raising water levels by as much as 2 to 4 feet. It would weaken as it moves across land, the NHC said. Hurricane warnings - meaning steps to protect life and property should be "rushed to completion" - were issued for part of Yucatan's east coast and the entire coast of Belize. Tropical storm watches and warnings were in effect for other parts of Yucatan, Honduras and the Bay Islands.

Get Cultured: A Local Guide to the Hidden Treasures of Belize
On your first day here, seeing this is a must: Ancient Mayan Cities. Seriously, you cannot come to Belize without exploring at least one, so get straight into it. In the days of the Maya, Belize used to have over 1 million inhabitants, it now has about 300,000, so the country is covered with ruins and remains, most of which are yet to be excavated. The tallest temple in the country is at Xunantanich, and it’s a great tour to hop on. Stop off on the banks of the Mopan River, and take the hand-cranked ferry across to enter the national park. A short stroll onwards and you’ll find yourself engulfed in one of the greatest civilizations that ever existed. Most people don’t know this, but to get a true taste of the local Belizean culture… walk through the local towns and villages. Whether it’s strolling around San Ignacio, where you’ll see kids swimming alongside their moms who are washing clothes right there in the local river just as they have done for generations; trying some local escabeche, tamales or roadside BBQ (a very local and tasty meal); or strolling through beach towns such as Placencia where you might see the locals fishing off the ends of the piers or enjoying a few Belikin beers on the beach. For a glimpse of daily life, I recommend this form of transportation: Hiking. Over 40 percent of Belize is national park, and Belizeans are brought up with a respect for the outdoors, so many of the hidden natural gems have been preserved and are located just on the far end of a short (or long) hike. Whether you’re heading to a hidden waterfall, an inland cenote, a partially excavated ruin site, one of the many caves, or just enjoying nature, it’s a great outdoor pursuit that will give you a taste of the true Belize.

Wild Conservation at the Belize Zoo
The Houston Zoo sent some volunteers down, and they have praise for the 'best little zoo in the world.' They have some pictures of all the great signs at the Belize zoo, too. "After flying into Belize City, our group of 22 students and 2 instructors drove some 47km west to the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center (which would serve as our main hub over the 10-day stay)... We spent a considerable amount of time there, learning about their efforts to educate Belizeans about the rich wildlife diversity that is apparent in their country. What struck me most were their signs. All exhibit signs are hand-painted with quirky, sing-song like poems that encourage native Belizeans to learn more about, and take pride in their national animals. Like, their national animal for example…the tapir. How many people really know what a tapir is (outside the Zoo world), or where our tapirs come from?"

News Exchange Magazine
The current issue of News Exchange magazine can be found at the Venus in Cayo. It's full of great articles, including quite a few photoshoots. Jose Luis Zapata has quite a few pictures in there. The movie shot in Cayo, Kurse a di Xtabai, has an article about it. Joris Hendrik's Designs can also be seen in there.

Hurricane warning issued for Belize as Ernesto approaches
At 5:00 pm EDT on Monday, the centre of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located about 135 miles northeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border and about 330 miles east of Isla Roatan, Honduras, moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph. A hurricane warning has been issued for the entire coast of Belize. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, this general motion is expected to continue for the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the centre will be passing north of the coast of Honduras on Monday night and Tuesday and be near the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula early Wednesday. Maximum sustained winds are near 65 mph, with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours and Ernesto could become a hurricane by early Tuesday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the centre. A hurricane warning is in effect for Chetumal to Punta Allen on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula; and the entire coast of Belize. A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Honduras from the Honduras/Nicaragua border westward to Punta Sal, including the Bay Islands, north of Punta Allen to Tulum on the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula

August 6, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Valid: Sunday-Monday, Aug. 5-13, 2012

Here is the Weekly Outlook and an update of TS Ernesto ploughing westwards at 20 mph with max sustained winds of 50 mph at 3:00 pm this afternoon.

Expect torrential rainfall and TS force winds with this system on Tuesday night and early Wednesday.


The feature of interest this week will be the approach and landfall of tropical cyclone Ernesto along the northern coast of Belize on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning as a minimal hurricane. The GFS model cyclonic vorticity projection has the center of Ernesto moving across the central coast of Belize early on Wednesday. Although Ernesto is entraining dry air as it moves into the western Caribbean this evening, environmental conditions will still be favorable for the system to strengthen to hurricane intensity before making landfall over the northern or central coast of Belize. A strong windshear zone is evident in the extreme NW Caribbean and SE Gulf of Mexico, while a persistent high pressure ridge to the north of the western Caribbean will keep Ernesto on a westerly to west-northwesterly track, propelling the system towards the southern Yucatan-Belize coast. Regardless of where, along the coast of Belize, Ernesto makes landfall, tropical storm force winds will affect most areas of Belize, with hurricane force winds in a narrow zone near the center. Torrential rainfall will spread across the country by Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday, with highest concentration projected over the north and central areas of the country. The instability will persist through Thursday until Saturday. So expect much rainfall this week, with a high potential of strong winds near where Ernesto makes landfall, and flooding in flood prone areas, including the Belize city area and surroundings!

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Sunday and Monday. Rainfall rates will increase on Tuesday and Wednesday continuing through Thursday. Expect the highest rainfall amounts on Tuesday night through Thursday morning, with rates of 2-3 inches per day. Locally higher daily rates of 4-5 inches are expected in the elevated areas of the Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. The northern sector of the mainland including the Belize District will also see high rainfall accumulations on Tuesday through Thursday, with totals of 2-3 inches per day. The rapid runoff will provoke localized flash floods in valley and hilly areas. Residence in flood prone zones should be prepared to move to safer areas!

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The Sunday, August 5th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Otto & Brandon Coleman On Remand For Wounding
  • Decorated BDF Captain Charged For Firearm Offences
  • Tourism Board Donates Motorcycles To Police
  • Victor Lima: Fallen In The Line Of Duty
  • Adding True Meaning To Community Policing
  • Cristo Rey Neighborhood Watch Start-Up Meeting
  • Office Etiquette for Every Employee
  • Selfish - Selfless - Self-Love
  • Two Belizean Students Win Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association Foundation Poster Competition
  • The Literacy Project is Training Across Belize
  • Calling All Artists To Register Now
  • Belmopan Men Charged With Kidnapping And Harm
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial:
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

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

The San Pedro Sun

Caye Notes: August 2nd, 2012
The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II The Doctor and Nurse that will be on call for the Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II are as follows: *Monday July 30th – Sunday Aug 5, 2012: Dr. Laurenzco Nicholson, Nurse Marisa Bastarachea *Monday Aug 6th – Sunday Aug 12, 2012: Dr. Laurenzco Nicholson, Nurse Bello For Emergencies please call: 660-2871 Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II: 226-2536 NFAT provides first response during International Costa Maya Festival 2012 The NFAT National First Aid Team and San Pedro First Aid Team have committed to providing first response to medical emergences to Ambergris Caye during Costa Maya 2012. In the event of emergency, first responders would be able to stabilize patients and transport them to our local medical facility, the Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II for further evaluation. Throughout the four days festivities, NFAT will be mobilized. During emergencies, NFAT may be reached at 630-8431, 661-8562. For more information on NFAT, they may be contacted through email

Training On Combating Trafficking In Persons Held At The Biltmore Plaza
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) held a training workshop on the Trafficking in Persons (TIPS) at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on July 12, 2012. This tourism service provider activity was geared towards providing and expanding the technical capacity building of key anti-trafficking stakeholders in Belize in support of the on-going national response. Trainers Diana Shaw, Raymond James Mossiah and Maria Vega educated thirty-seven (37) tourism stakeholders on key trafficking concepts, the impact of trafficking on tourism destinations, the code of conduct for the protection of children (, the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), the roles and responsibilities of tourism stakeholders and the referral mechanism.

BTB Donates Motorcycles To Tourism Police Unit (TPU)
The Belize Tourism Board is proud to furnish the Tourism Police Unit (TPU) this week with three brand new motorcycles; two Honda CG125 Storm motorcycles and one Suzuki ZS125 motorcycle, to be utilized for effective policing within tourism destinations. With tourist arrivals to Belize on the rise, visitor safety has taken on even greater significance. Kevin Gonzalez, Director of Destination Planning at the BTB stated that, “The donation is only a small token of appreciation for the support provided to the tourism industry by the Tourism Police Unit.” He also noted that the increased presence and visibility of TPU patrols will create an added sense of visitor security in Placencia, Corozal and Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sources

Flavor of Belize Cookbook
The beautifully done Flavors of Belize cookbook, by Tanya McNab.

New Uniforms in Calla Creek
Feelgood story of the day. 4 the World donated some football uniforms in Calla Creek. They've been doing quite a few community service projects around Cayo. Thanks, 4 the World! "4 the Kids: We gave soccer uninforms to the captains of the girls soccer team in Calla Creek"

Green Eggs and Ham at the SIPL
Green Eggs and Ham was performed at the SIPL this weekend. The kids did Dr. Seuss proud. They'll be starting a Summer drama class this week. "The San Ignacio Public Library has been putting on some shows. They are going to do a drama class starting on August 8th."


Belize At The London Olympics
Belize’s Kiana Martinez did not clock a personal record at the women’s 100m race preliminary round during the 2012 London Olympics, but her time in Heat Two was still good enough to earn the inspirational sprinter a place in the first round of track and field’s blue riband event. At around 3:45 this morning, Belize time, Martinez bolted a 100m distance to the finish line in 11.81 seconds. Martinez finished top two in her group which meant an automatic passage to the next round but in front of the packed Olympic Stadium, crammed with 80,000 spectators, Martinez was beaten to the finish line by Cameroon’s Delphine Atangana with a time of 11.71 seconds. Martinez ran again this afternoon in the quarter finals in Heat 7 but sadly the young athlete was unable to keep up with the speed of her competitors and dropped out of the race. This time she ran to the finish line in 11.89 seconds while first place, Cote D'ivoire’s, Murielle Ahoure sprinted with a time of 10.99 seconds. Kiana Martinez is 26 year old and is originally from the Stann Creek District. It’s not the first time that this young athlete has represented Belize in the international stage. In 2012, Martinez participated in the 9th Central American Games in Panama and El Salvador in track and field. In 2011, Martinez travelled to San Jose Costa Rica for the Central American Chapter where she participated in the 100m, 200m and 400m race. That year the Belizean team brought back four gold and two bronze medals. Martinez surely made us proud!

Eleven Year Old Minor Investigated For Burglary
Three persons from the Corozal District, including an 11 year old minor, are tonight behind bars pending charges of burglary. The trio is being investigated for the home burglary of 45 year old Gabriel Martinez located in the village of Louisville. According to Martinez, between 7:00pm on July 30th and 2:00pm on August 1st, his home was burglarized and stolen from were one 9mm pistol and other assorted items including cellular phones and iPods. Based on their investigations police were able to recover the 9mm pistol. We understand that the two other individuals detained are of ages 23 and 37 and are both from the village San Roman.

DPM Says He Works Harder Than Most Belizeans
Last night in an impromptu press conference held in the community of Blue Creek, the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize Honorable Gaspar Vega, fielded questions from the media about the hundreds of acres of land he awarded to his family and close allies at a low cost. While for most Belizeans the process of owning a piece of land has proven costly and time consuming and sometimes even impossible, the same cannot be said about the family of the Deputy Prime Minister who own tracts of land all over the jewel. During the interview, Vega, without any remorse whatsoever, admitted giving several parcels of land to his daughter, brother, sister in law and several other members of the Vega clan. But the DPM is not afraid of the political repercussions that his decision might have, in fact he holds no remorse for his actions. Honorable Gaspar Vega- Deputy Prime Minister “I gave my daughter two house lots and one ten acre piece of farm land, I don’t think there anything wrong with that, I myself don’t see anything wrong with that, is not like I am giving her land to sell so that she could have a party or whatever the case maybe, I think she can built a house and eventually she can have a little farm and nothing wrong with that.”

Students Graduate From Summer Program
The Sugar City Summer Program kicked off in Orange Walk on July 4th for the first time and finalized yesterday with an award ceremony for participants. The aim of the five week program was to enhance the literacy skills of the over one hundred participants including students from rural areas. With the assistance of a number of teachers, organizer of the summer program Peter Lacey, was able to accomplish his goal- prepare students for the upcoming new school year. Peter Lacey- Organizer Sugar City Summer Program “The program was to prepare students going into infant I up to standard six in reading, phonics, creative writing, math and PSE preparation. The goal of the program is to keep the children sharp from the ending of the school year up to the beginning, some of the education is roughly about eight weeks and we successfully occupied the students five of those eight weeks, so the child’s mind has been stimulated, it hasn’t shut down for those five weeks so when they go back to school they are going to be fresh and they are going to be able to tackle the daily school work of the class that they are being promoted to.” During the five week program Teacher Simone Meza was in charge of teaching students of the standard two and standard three level. According to Meza, the program brought to light some of the problems students are experiencing in reading and other subjects.

Ballet Classes At The BHOC Comes To An End
Eleven girls concluded their ballet lessons at the Banquitas House of Culture today. It is the second year that instructor Emmanuel Robinson is offering the dance lessons at the house of culture. Today, being the last day of class, the girls prepared a special presentation for their family and friends. CTV3 News was present and captured some of the highlights. For the past three weeks, these eleven bright young minds ages five to fifteen have been coming to the Banquitas House of Culture to take ballet lessons. Today, as the ballet classes came to end, participants danced their hearts during a special performance organized for family and friends. During the course of the program participants were taught the five basic steps of ballet by Emmanuel Robinson who has been instructing the class for the past two years. Emmanuel Robinson, Dance Instructor “The five basic position; first the legs turn out and arms round that is position one, position two is legs open and arms open, position three arms in and heels at the side of the feet and arms above the head, position four legs out and position five we have it in in front of both feet and both arms above.”


BNE cuts butane price
Belize Natural Energy is dropping the price of Butane Propane effective tomorrow Saturday August fourth. This afternoon Love News spoke with Marketing Manager of BNE, Daniel Gutierrez, who told us more .

Minister Alamilla back from working visit to Guatemala
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla is expected back in the country today. Minister Alamilla was on a three day visit to Guatemala City. On Thursday she attended the official launch of an endowment fund and the project, Conservation of marine resources in Central America funded by Germany. The endowment fund is for 10 million Euros which will enable the MAR Fund to achieve its mission of providing long term financial support for the conservation of the MAR eco region. The earnings will be used to advance the MAR fund’s small grants and community fisheries program and to finance the fund’s operation. The project, Conservation of marine resources in Central America is for five million Euros and will support the management of the Port Honduras Marine Reserve in Belize as well as one protected area from each of the other three countries. While in Guatemala, Minister Alamilla also met with Norwegian charge de affair, Ole Overaas to explore possible bilateral cooperation between our two countries.

Four found guilty of money laundering
A jury of 7 women and 2 men deliberated for about 2 hours and 30 minutes before it found three men and one woman guilty of money laundering for $1.5 million. They are Michael Coye, his daughter Melonie Coye and the two messengers Atlee Matute and Dietrich Kingston. The Jury’s verdict was not unanimous. It was in the proportion of 7 to 2. The trial judge, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, has deferred sentencing until Wednesday, August 8 in order to give the convicts time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The penalty for the offence is that the money will be forfeited to the Government of Belize and the maximum sentence can be a term of life imprisonment. The police found the money on December 31, 2008, when they executed a search warrant at the home of Michael Coye, located at 12 Johnson Street. The prescribed offence for money laundering was that the four forged a number of documents for which the names of the persons were put along with their purported signatures ffor that was purportedly sent to them through Money Gram Exchange, a company which Michael and Melonie were directors and shareholders. To prove its case, the prosecution called 18 witnesses. Among them some prominent citizens such as Bishop Phillip Wright, Sidney Sikaffy, Addie Castillo and Paul Rodriguez. The four accused gave statements for the dock in which they said that they were innocent. They were represented by attorneys Dickie Bradley, Arthur Saldivar and Brian Neal. The prosecution, The Financial Intelligence Unit, was represented by counsels Antonette Moore, Tricia Anderson and Patricia Arana. The trial was a retrial. The four along with three others were freed of the charge at the first trial. The three others were Michael’s wife Marleni, his son, Jude and Melonie’s husband, James Gerou. The FIU appealed the verdict of the first trial and Belize Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and ordered a retrial for four of the seven. .

A new CEO for the Belize Social Security Board
The Social Security Board has a new Chief Executive Officer. Richard Flowers’ selection to the post took effect on Monday July 30. A release from the SSB says Flowers is a certified public accountant and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. He has also worked at various top level management positions for over 16 years with the most recent being the Chief Financial Officer at Belize Water Services Limited. Chairman of the Social Security Board Doug Singh is quoted as saying that Flowers comes with a wealth of experience and accomplishments and the board is optimistic that he has much to contribute to the institution. Flowers fills the post left vacant by Merlene Bailey Martinez who resigned in February.

Kaina Martinez gives it her all in London
And while all eyes are on the tropics and the progress of Tropical Storm Ernesto, attention shifted briefly this afternoon to London, England. That is where Belize’s track athlete Kaina Martinez was making her Olympics debut. Martinez bolted to a second place finish in the women’s one hundred meters preliminaries this morning, posting a time of eleven point eight one seconds. She was bested in the preliminaries by Delphine Atangana of Cameroon. That score, qualified the twenty six year old Martinez, a native of Siene Bight village in the Stann Creek district for the first round of the one hundred meters race. In Heath Seven, just before one o’clock Belize time this afternoon, Kaina Martinez took her position in lane eight alongside the likes of Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart and Laverne Jones Ferrette of the United States Virgin Islands. Belizeans watched as the race started and ended in roughly twelve seconds, with Martinez coming in at the tail end of an eight-athlete dash. Murielle Ahourie of the Ivory Coast placed first, setting a new record in the one hundred meters of ten point nine-nine seconds. Laverne Jones-Ferrette of the US Virgin Islands placed second, posting another new record of eleven point zero seven seconds. Coming in third and qualifying to the next round was Jamaica’s Kerron Stewart with a time of eleven point zero eight seconds. Following the one hundred meters event, Kaina Martinez posted on her Facebook page saying, that she did not post a personal best, but, and we quote: “it’s the best I can do at this point but I look forward to a planned program and training year to represent and bring out the greatest in me in 2016!! To God be the glory I had made it thus far!!” End of quote. Belize’s other Olympic athlete Kenneth Medood also did well today in round one of his competition in the men’s four hundred meters hurdles. In the first heath of Round One, Medwood qualified to the next round, by posting a time of forty nine point seven-eight seconds. Medwood will now compete in the semi finals on Saturday at nineteen hundred hours Greenwich Mean Time, which is about seven o’clock Belize Time.

Tropical Storm Ernesto heading towards Belize
The tropics is buzzing tonight with a tropical storm, a potential tropical cyclone near the Cape Verde Islands and another system over the Bahamas. But for right now all eyes are on the system known as Tropical Storm Ernesto. Love Tv’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Myles Gillett went to the Belize Weather Bureau this afternoon to track the progress of Ernesto.

Reckless shooting on Sarstoon Street
There was no bloodshed today on the city streets, and while that is cause enough to celebrate, a toddler could have been killed when a bullet ripped through her home, missing the bed where she was lying down only minutes earlier. It happened on Sarstoon Street at the home of Elvira Straughn, who told Love News that it was shortly after noon today while she was preparing to make snacks for sale when someone fired the bullet through her wall.

Fire in Belize City leaves family homeless
It’s bad enough when a fire leaves a family homeless, but when it is intentionally set by someone, and worse, a relative, then it is unpardonable. But on Thursday night, that was what happened. In fact, the accused is not just a relative, but the father of a two year old who is now homeless as a result of the blaze. It happened on the upper flat of a two storey house at seven Raccoon Street at around eleven p.m. The occupant was single mother, Eshane Hines and her two young children. Hines says that she needs the help urgently because she lost all her children’s belongings were destroyed. Police are now looking for Hines’ ex boyfriend in connection with the incident. Meanwhile, there was a small fire also on Thursday night at 38 Logwood Street. (VO) In that incident, a ten by twelve wooden structure and its contents were destroyed.

Youth ambassadors visit Toledo
A group of 10 US youth ambassadors who are in Belize completed a visit to the Toledo District yesterday. Paul Mahung reports.

Cattle sweep program starts in Blue Creek village
On yesterday’s newscast, we told you about the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project which was launched at Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District which can generate millions of dollars for the country of Belize. Here is Love Tv’s Marion Ali who alongside videographer Brian Castillo bring you the second half of the story.

Attorney writes a book on the game of Cricket
He’s an accomplished attorney, a former government minister and now a published author. The latest literary work entitled ‘Cricket, Lovely Cricket’, opens with Dean Lindo penning the following: “There is a saying, very old and true: “fools rush in where angels fear to tread. This is exactly what happened when I blithely agreed to write a history of Cricket in Belize”. The book focuses on cricket in the Belize Rural communities and is Lindo’s first book. Love News met with him this morning where he told us about his inspiration. Lindo says he won’t have an official launch for his book and there isn’t a cost assigned to it either. He says the president of the Cricket Association would be visiting him shortly and he would turn over the copies to him. Lindo says he received much help from his secretary and he did all the printing in his own office. He says he hasn’t thought about venturing into writing a new book but he will put some serious thought to it.

Work continues on rehabilitation of the Memorial Park
In February of this year, a ground breaking ceremony launched the rehabilitation of the Memorial Park in Belize City under the Sustainable Tourism Program. Reporter Marion Ali and Videographer Brian Castillo visited the site to find out about the progress of the facelift. They bring you the details in the following report.

A new Reina de La Costa Maya crowned
The La Reina de La Costa Maya 2012 was crowned last night in San Pedro Town. The title of Reina de La Costa Maya 2012-2013 went to no other than Mexico’s Natalia Villanueva. First runner up was Panama’s Karen Elena Jordan who also won the Best National Costume segment. She was followed by Mareila Aparicio from Costa Rica as Second Runner up. Participants arrived in Belize on Thursday July 26th and spent some time in the Cayo District before going to Ambergris Caye. Belize secured the title of Reina de la Costa Maya in 2003 with Leilah Pandy and in 2007 with Maria Jefferey.


Traveling to the Toledo District & lovely Hickatee Cottages
After three great days at Mama Noots Eco Resort in Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the Stann Creek District of Belize, Friday morning, July 27, it was time to head even farther south to Punta Gorda (called "PG" by those in the know) in the Toledo District. This would be our first visit to this district, and we were excited to see it. From what we'd read, this is the wettest part of Belize, receiving about 160" of rain per year. As a result, it is lush and green -- a true tropical rainforest. We were lucky to catch a ride to the bus terminal in Dangriga with Shacka (sorry if I butchered that spelling!), Mama Noots' manager Liz's spouse, so we avoided a repeat of the 4+ mile hike to the road, plus any risk that the bus would not stop for us along the Southern Highway. It was a hot and sunny morning, so we were very thankful for the lift. Our bus ride was three and a half hours, and that is plenty of time to spend in an uncomfortable school bus seat in a crowded bus. We were very glad to arrive in PG, which is situated right along the Caribbean Sea, much like San Pedro. Unlike San Pedro, however, PG is not a "tourist town". This meant less traffic, which is always a good thing. We had reservations for three nights at Hickatee Cottages southwest of town, but we weren't sure exactly how to get there. As it turns out, Kate, one of the proprietors, had sent me a lovely map via email, but since I didn't have my laptop with me a couple of days earlier, I hadn't gotten it. I called and spoke to Ian, her husband, and he gave me directions over the phone. It was only a couple of miles, so even though he suggested we could catch a cab, we decided to walk it. We'd been sitting most of the day, so walking felt good, and it wasn't nearly so far as our 4.2-mile hike into Mama Noots.

A Day At Grand Caribe Resort
Yesterday I went up to Grand Caribe Resort to help out with a wedding. Just a few miles north of town and the bridge, Grand Caribe is actually quite easy and quick to travel golf cart or by boat. Heck...these days you can actually take a taxi there. The road isn't bad at all... After helping wash and set up 60 or so chairs, I took a walk around the grounds. Here's what I've got for you... The place is huge and thoroughly modern by San Pedro standards where until a few years ago building was on a much smaller scale. The view from the pool. There are actually three pools. One big one with Cowboy Doug's Bar & Grill and then two smaller, more private ones. All were getting pretty full by the time I left...a big Costa Maya weekend crowd. Though most of the development is complete, there are one or two more buildings going up on the south side. And a pretty big sea wall. You can see the Ak'Bol dock (great for yoga, swimming and cheap food & drinks) and then the Palapa Bar in the distance. Easy walking distance. And definitely my two favorite docks on the island. We have had hot relentless sun for the past week...yesterday a few clouds started to fill in and there was a very brief sprinkle. It felt great.

Belize – A Colorful and Exotic Country in Central America
The fabulously colourful and exotic Central American nation of Belize is becoming a more popular vacation destination with North Americans, Brits and Europeans as it becomes more accessible and better known. It’s a stunning Caribbean country with so much varied flora and fauna, with dramatic scenery, untouched coastline and a wealth of things to do and see – so much so that it’s as popular today with backpackers as it is with families and it is as popular with the baby boomers as it is with young couples! A truly paradise nation, Belize is seriously worth consideration if you’re after a bit of adventure tempered with a laid back lifestyle, and if you like to combine beachcombing with mountain climbing! In other words, there really is something for everyone in Belize and because the US dollar is pegged to the Belizean dollar, Americans will not find it expensive and British and European visitors will find it positively cheap! In terms of things to do in Belize – how about this for starters – you can explore the rainforest and share the experience with over 500 amazing species of wildlife. You can explore caves and Mayan ceremonial sites, you can island hop by boat, by canoe, kayak or even under your own swimming steam! You can sunbathe until sunset and then watch the sun setting over the ocean or from atop a mountain or a Maya temple. You can snorkel, learn to scuba dive and explore the stunning reefs around the country’s coast, you can fish, hike, bike, be wined and dined and just fall in love with the culture, history and vibe in Belize.

International Sources

Tropical Storm Ernesto takes aim at Central America
At 5:00 pm EDT on Sunday, the centre of Tropical Storm Ernesto was located about 220 miles south-southwest of Kingston, Jamaica, and about 305 miles east of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border, moving toward the west near 20 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, a gradual turn toward the west-northwest with a further decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 48 hours. On the forecast track, the centre of Ernesto is expected to pass to the south of the Cayman Islands on Sunday night and early Monday and move north of the northeastern coast of Honduras late Monday and Monday night. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph, with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast as Ernesto moves over the western Caribbean Sea on Monday and Tuesday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles from the centre. A tropical storm warning is in effect for Jamaica and a tropical storm watch is in effect for Grand Cayman and the coast of Honduras from the Honduras/Nicaragua border westward to Punta Castilla.

12 Reasons Belize is a Best Place for Honeymoon Travel
Belize Honeymoon, Pre-Trip Planning and Packing, Race and Travel, Romance When Colin and I got engaged, we spent months agonizing over which country to travel to for our Honeymoon. At the last minute (read: two weeks before our epic wedding) I impluse-bought us two cheap plane tickets to Belize, a country I knew very little about. It turns out, Belize was a PERFECT Honeymoon destination for us. Bop through these 12 reasons why we loved Belize, and see if you might like it, too! 1. Belize travel is easy. I’ve voyaged all over the world, including destinations that are notoriously frustrating for tourists, and I declare Belize travel a smooth joy. It’s not just that English is the official language, it’s that Belize has invested real thought and effort into its tourist industry. Signs are clear, there’s plenty of travel guidance online, and employees that we met from all levels of Belize’s tourist industry were wonderful. Which leads to the next point…

August 5, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Los Pasteles Verdes touch down on Ambergris Caye
International musical group from Peru, Los Pasteles Verdes touched down on Ambergris Caye at midday on Friday. The group of four is expected to perform at the International Costa Maya Festival on Saturday August 4th for Noche International. The group is well known in Latin America countries and rose to fame from the 70’s to the mid 90’s. Speaking to the press at the Tropic Air Terminal in San Pedro, main vocalist for Los Pasteles Verde Aldo Guibovich said, “We will perform our best songs and we hope that everyone who comes out to the Costa Maya Festival would have a good time. It will be a concert that will have you go back in time. As you know our music was a great hit in the 70’s and 80’s, so we will be reliving that experience all over again. We will also perform some of our more recent music.’

Partners of Belize offers Dermatology, Dental and General Medical services to San Pedro
A team of 11 medical professionals and teenage volunteers were on San Pedro Town providing free dermatology, dental and general medical services at the Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II as part of the Partners of Belize with team leader Dr. John Kirby. The team from Ohio, USA arrived in the country on Thursday July 26th and worked on Friday from 1PM – 5PM, Saturday 8AM to Noon, and on Monday and Tuesday from 8AM through 5PM, offering their services free of cost to the entire public of Ambergris Caye. Working in Dental, the team of six was led by Dr. Gordon Womack, children’s specialist from Dayton Ohio. His team included dental technicians; Maureen Ryan and Michelle Brooks; dental assistant Michelle Johnson; office manager Leryn Fuller and assistant office manager Nicky Thomas. By Tuesday afternoon, the team had seen over 130 patients and offered various services including cleaning, treatment, fillings and extractions among other dental services. Other specialists included Dr. Wayne Bauman, dermatologist from Cincinnati Ohio; Dr. Magda Kerschner, pain specialist doctor of anesthesiology also from Cincinnati...

Letter to the Editor: The word on the street is that government is paying gang members
The word on the street is that government is paying gang members. This is a problem within our nation. It is said that the government is paying them to “keep the peace”. Why is the government paying these people? Are they hiding something? Could it be that the gangs know something about our government representatives and are being paid to keep quiet? How much are they being paid? This raises many questions, some that cause us to doubt our government’s ability to run our country properly. This is happening while educated individuals are finding it harder than ever to survive. Why is it that the government of Belize is paying known gang members while an educated individual who has an associate’s degree is still unemployed and is left to find their own way? 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 almost a year of searching, this is a serious problem. If the government is able to pay gang members, should they not also implement a payment for educated individuals who cannot get a job after a year of looking?

2 Belizean Students Win Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) Foundation Poster Competition
Two Belizean Primary school students will be awarded this August for having won third and second place in a poster competition called the 2012 FCCA Foundation for the Caribbean Children’s Environmental Poster Competition. They are Nazeen Segura of Grace Primary School and Jordanny Williams of Belize High School. Belize admitted entries to the poster competition through the BTB and was carried under the auspices of the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA). Ana Maria Benitez, membership administrator of the FCCA shared in an e-mail, “we congratulate Nazeem Segura of Grace Primary School as the third-place winner in the junior division and Jordanny Williams of Belize High School as the second-place winner in the senior division of the 2012 FCCA Foundation Children’s Poster Competition.” She also shared the prizes that these students will be receiving by stating, “We are pleased to award Nazeem a cash scholarship of US $1,000 with Grace Primary School receiving a monetary award of US $1,000. Jordanny will be awarded US $1,500 with Belize High School receiving a monetary award of US $1,500.”

Misc Belizean Sources

General Weather/Ernesto
Beautiful full moon last night. Super weather today. See early morning photo below - photo credit goes to Elbert Greer of White Sands Dive Shop. We're watching Ernesto of course. Successive predictions have moved the storm track somewhat south, and seeing 4 of 6 computer models having an arrival in Belize does make one sit up and take notice. The good news - and it is very good indeed - is that strength is predicted to be in the low end of a Category One. That kind of storm doesn't phase most islanders any a'tall. We're blessed with a remarkable Barrier Reef that blocks waves & major surge, and with a sufficiently flat terrain that there is no fear of landslides or significant flooding.

Coca Cola Art Exhibit in Benque
The Coca Cola art exhibit is also at the Benque HoC. They also did their opening ceremony last night.

Coca Cola Art Exhibit Opening
The SISE House of Culture had the opening of the Coca Cola art exhibit last night. There are some amazing pictures there. They had a really quick introduction, followed by the exhibit, and then they served Coca Cola and some delicious panades. The Benque HoC also had their opening of the exhibit. Both exhibits run unitl August the 20th.

Chess Camp's Last Day at Hode's
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation has finished their chess camp, which was held at Hode's. They had great turnouts, and even played a little jenga for something different. "We were pleased to have, as guests, Steve Flowers, Erwin Wiils and Akeem Jenkins"

Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic Video
The Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic has a great new video out which shows and explains a little bit about what they do. They also interview the first two interns, so you get to see it through their eyes. The video shows them working on some wildlife, like parrots and iguanas, and some domestic animals. It also highlights the work they do with the Green Iguana Conservation Project. Awesome video, shot by Daniel Velazquez. Like their new FB page:

Eco Kids Summer Camp pictures
Great pictures of the Eco Kids Summer camp, taken by JCariddi Photography. He captured some magical moments, and there are some awesome black and white pictures too. The kids had the times of their lives, and it shows. Thanks go out to Chaa Creek for making such a difference in the community.


Belize in the 2012 London Olympics So Far...VERY Impressive But Is It Over?
elize first participated in the Olympic games in 1968 (as British Honduras) and has sent a team to the games ever since. (Except for 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics when they boycotted along with the USA and other countries). Belize has never won a medal...yet. For the 2012 Olympics in London, Belize is represented by a team of three athletes. Eddermys Sanchez (born in Cuba and now living in Belize City) who competed in Judo, Kaina Martinez (born in Stann Creek, Belize) competing in the 100m sprint and 24 year old Kenneth Medwood (born in LA, California, family from Maskall, Belize) in the 400m hurdles. We all saw them during the opening ceremony. Popular blogs like Divine Caroline and Nick Verreos's Fashion awarded Belize's ultra-preppy outfits some top honors. Personally? I loved them. Especially the white shoes. "Grab my croquet mallets Jeeves. Off to the country club!" Our judo competitor was unfortunately eliminated on June 29th during his first round. Amazing just to compete on the biggest stage in the world. For some reason Belize is listed as BIZ. Ms. Martinez tied for 3rd out of 33 in her preliminary round yesterday. Ummmm...AWESOME. She unfortunately did not qualify to advance during her next race. Kenneth Medwood was our flag bearer during the opening ceremony and he is also the last Belizean still competing this year. Medwood qualified in his first round and will be running in the semi-finals today! 7pm London time, Noon, Belize Time, August 4th. Hopefully on his way to the finals.

International Sources

Cruise Lines Change Course to Avoid Ernesto
Tropical Storm Ernesto is already causing trouble in the Western Caribbean with both Carnival and Disney altering itineraries to avoid the storm. Carnival is switching up the port days on Carnival Triumph, which departs Galveston today. Originally scheduled to visit Progreso on Monday and Cozumel on Tuesday, the ports have been swapped. Carnival Triumph will visit Cozumel on Monday and Progreso on Tuesday. Sunday and Wednesday remain scheduled as days at sea. Cruise Critic member Jk590 posted that Disney has announced it will move Disney Fantasy, sailing today out of Port Canaveral, from a Western Caribbean itinerary to an Eastern Caribbean itinerary. Disney had not returned a request for confirmation at press time. Ernesto is expected to reach hurricane strength by midday on Sunday, pass directly beneath Jamaica and head straight for Roatan, Honduras, Belize City, Belize and Progreso in Yucatan Mexico.

International dart tournament hosted at Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize
The Belize Dart Federation was the host during the past week of two international dart tournaments – the Americas Cup 2012 and the Caribbean Cup 2012, both held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel at Mile 3 on the Northern Highway from July 20 to 30. Male and female players from the USA, Canada, Brazil, as well as Caribbean islands, Barbados, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, and Trinidad & Tobago, and host country Belize joined in the dart throwing frenzy during the ten days of intense competition. Top finishers in the team competition for the Americas Cup 2012 were: 1st place – USA; 2nd place – Canada; with Bahamas and Trinidad & Tobago tied for 3rd and 4th place. The Women Singles winner was Marilyn Popp of the USA; while the Men Singles title was taken by Troy Hanlon of Canada. In the Caribbean Cup 2012, which culminated on Sunday evening, Florida (of the USA) competed as a Caribbean entry, as did the Brazil team, along with Belize and the Caribbean islands. Carib Cup Winners 2012 was Florida with 102 points; Runner Up was Bahamas with 81 pts; 3rd place went to Barbados with 65 pts; 4th was Brazil with 62 pts; 5th Trinidad & Tobago with 61 pts; 6th Belize with 48 pts; and 7th Cayman with 35 pts. Trophies and medals were also given for various categories, namely Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Mixed Triples, Most 180’s Men, Most 180’s Women, High Check Off Men, High Check Off Women, Low Dart Singles – Men, Low Dart Singles – Women, MVP Male and MVP Female. The MVP Male trophy went to S. Lionel of Florida, and the MVP Female was M. Ribiero of Brazil.

August 4, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Friday, Aug. 3 until Monday, Aug. 6, 2012

An unstable easterly airflow will prevail over the NW Caribbean this weekend favoring some showers and thunderstorms over northern Central America and Belize. Tropical storm Ernesto is moving westward at 21 mph over the eastern Caribbean with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

Conditions will remain unstable this weekend favouring a few showers and thunderstorms. Daytime heating will also add to the instability. Expect a mix of sunshine and cloudy spells through Monday. Daily rainfall accumulations will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch today Friday, through the weekend and Monday especially in the elevated areas of the interior. The feature of interest next week will be the movement of tropical storm Ernesto through the NW Caribbean. Ernesto is moving at a fairly fast clip of 21 mph at present, but it is forecast to slow down and strengthen as it moves further west through the central Caribbean this weekend. Hurricane models are projecting a WNW track for Ernesto as it comes farther west, with possible landfall over southern or central Yucatan by mid day on Wednesday of next week. All eyes will be on Ernesto this weekend and early next week. All interest in the central and western Caribbean should remain informed on the progress of tropical storm Ernesto.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

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

The San Pedro Sun

Miss Mexico’s Natalia Villanueva takes the Costa Maya Crown
Costa Maya’s newest beauty ambassador is Mexico’s Natalia Villanueva. At the pageant held on Thursday, August 2nd, five judges: Alyssa Carnegie, Amy Knox, Pedro Salazar Sr., Iraida Gonzalez and Dr. Jose Jones made the decision after an initial interview with the beauties, plus their stage presence in swimwear and evening gowns, and their Q & A sessions. The eight contestants came onstage and performed a dance, then in twos, shared a bit of information on the Maya before heading backstage to prepare their costumes. Spectacular confections that showcased the mastery of the artisans from each country filled the stage with splendor. Feathers, beading, props and hand-painted textiles featured beautifully. Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama’s true artistry shone in each costume.

NEMO Public Advisory
The National Emergency Management Organization hereby informs the public that Tropical Storm Ernesto was located at Latitude 12.8N and Longitude 56.6W at 3:00p.m this afternoon. Tropical Storm Ernesto is moving west at 22 Miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 50 Miles per hour. NEMO is monitoring this Tropical Storm as it slowly makes its way into the Caribbean. The Public is advised to stay tuned for further advisories from NEMO and the National Meteorological Service.

A win in Game 4 means Tuff E Nuff are the 2012 IBL Champions
As confidently predicted by coach Rico Black at the start of the 2012 Interoffice Basketball Season, Tuff E Nuff are in the finals and just one win away from being crowned IBL Champions. On Friday, August 3rd, 2012 they go up against their rivals and some former Tigersharks teammates, Alamilla’s, for the fourth of the five game series. This game could very possibly be the final game of the season, proving to the island and the people of San Pedro that Tuff E Nuff is the best basketball team in the land. With a current 2-1 lead over their opponents and the drive to take home the championship that they’ve been fighting for all season long, the players are heading in to Game 4 full of confidence. Coach Black has said that the team is working together well and playing as a unit, with no team turmoil or malevolence towards one another. They are a well-oiled machine, and the support and encouragement that they have been getting from people on the island makes them even more confident and determined that they will be performing well. “We are ready to bring home another championship for San Pedro,” says Black. “We are very confident that with the way the team has been playing, we can get it done.” Playing with the same 10-man rotation that made the comeback to win from a 1-0 deficit in the semifinals, Black believes that the team he has is the best in the league and has what it takes to make it a win in Game 4. They’ve previously faced Alamilla’s 4 times in the 2012 IBL season and sport and impressive 3-1 record over their current opponents. One more win and Tuff E Nuff would have accomplished what they had set out to do at the start of the season…bring another basketball championship back home to San Pedro, which would be the 4th basketball championship that Black and the Tuff E Nuff Team have brought home.

Miss Earth Belize 2012 – 2013 holds photo shoot in San Pedro
Belize International Pageants Ltd. presents the second ever, Miss Earth Belize. The pageant is scheduled for Saturday August 18th at the Bliss Center on August 18th, 2012 and will see five gorgeous young ladies vying for the very prestigious title. The winner of the local pageant will receive the opportunity to travel internationally to represent Belize at the Miss Earth Pageant 2012. Last year the pageant was held in the Philippines. The girls were on San Pedro over the weekend for a two day photo shoot hosted by the Sun Breeze Hotel where The San Pedro Sun caught up with some of the girls and founder.

Ambergris Today

Miss Mexico Does it Again at Costa Maya Pageant 2012
Miss Mexico, Natalia Villanueva, proved to have what it takes and proudly represented her country to bring a two peat grab of the Costa Maya Crown at this year’s Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that took place on Thursday, August 2, 2012, at the commencement of the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Belize It was another fantastic show of pageantry and display of cultural elegance as eight delegates from across Central America and Mexico battled it out for the coveted Miss Costa Maya crown. This year’s cultural costume presentation was probably one of the best in years as all the delegates presented spectacular costumes that totally awed the crowd. Among the best were that of Miss Belize, Miss Nicaragua and Miss Guatemala, but it was Miss Panama who was given the award for the best Cultural Costume. The pageant continued with the swimsuit competition in which the contestants were judged for their physical fitness and overall look in their swimwear. The evening gown and question and answer segment was where the judges separated the winners from the group. At the end of an exciting pageant filled with elegance, beauty and entertainment, Miss Costa Rica took third place, Miss Panama placed second and Miss Mexico took the crown for the second year in a row. Mexico once again claims the most wins at the Costa Maya Pageant with six titles. Guatemala is close behind with 5 title wins. Panama is the only country without the Miss Costa Maya title with just five years participating in the pageant, but it seems they are getting closer to the crown each year they participate. Belize is the only other country with more than one win with a count of two.

Rising Belizean Star, Fashion Designer Rebecca Stirm
She became widely known in the country and got some great international exposure after she participated in the Jamaican reality fashion television program Mission Catwalk. After proving very successful in most of the challenges given to her in the show, Rebecca Stirm is now becoming a household name in Belize. She did not win the reality TV competition, but Rebecca is now well on her way to what seems a very promising career in the fashion industry and making Belize very proud. In Jamaica, her clothes were viewed by thousands during the Jamaican Fashion Week and she has had the opportunity of various models wearing her designs. Rebecca has now gone from the runway to the international pageant scene as we see her clothing at two top international pageants. Just last week Miss World Belize Chantae Chanice Guy could be seen posting on Facebook a couple of dresses she wore during separate events at the Miss World pageant currently taking place in China. Chantae has worn a beautiful sundress and an elegant evening gown that has the Miss World Pageant officials keeping an eye on her.

Tropic Air Increases Flights to San Pedro Sula, Honduras
Tropic Air announced on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, that it will be increasing its non-stop service between Belize City (International) and San Pedro Sula, Honduras from three (3) to five (5) times a week effective November 4th, 2012. This is a direct result of the increasing demand and the support that our customers have given to the service (launched earlier this year). Starting November 4th, Tropic Air will serve the route on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Not only will these new frequencies allow for more options for our passengers, but it will also allow for an increase in trade and business related activities between the two countries.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Costa Maya 2012 Pageant
Video Length: 2 hours, 34 minutes

VIDEO: Lux Lifestyles Belize - Episode 2

Heartz Grassroots Coaching Session
Heartz Football Club has some pictures from the Grassroots Coaching Session at Victor Galvez stadium, where they teamed up with Adventures FC. Looks like they had a great time in the great weather.

Cayo Celebrates 50 Years of Coca Cola
Last night at 6:30 at the SISE House of Culture, and at 7:30 at the Benque House of Culture, there was be Coca Cola Art Exhibition launches. Bowen & Bowen celebrated 50 years of bottling Coca Cola in Belize. They invited many professional and novice artists to paint pictures for the event. The exhibit will run through August 20th in Cayo.

Free Female Self Defense in Benque
4 the World and the Benque House of Culture are doing another free female self defense class today. It'll be at the Benque HoC at 4:00pm. They did the first class yesterday, and there was a great turnout. The training was lead by Robbie Russell. "Karate 4 Women & Girls"

Happy Birthday Captain Malik!
Raggamuffin Junior – Malik, son of Jimmy and Charlie turned 7 yesterday and in good old Ragga fashion, we all celebrated with him! What does a spoilt 7 year old want to do on his birthday - have fun on a jetski and an inflatable ring with all of his friends!! This new and increasingly popular rental business in Caye Caulker – Reef Watersports has got all the kids on the island buzzing with the excitement of Big Bertha, the inflatable ring that is pulled behind a motor boat – too much fun!!! Yesterday Malik’s party had the added attraction of a jetski that responsible Captain Jimmy took command of, spinning the kids round the back of the island at great speed! Jerry took the responsibility for Raggadat and Big Bertha and as many as 4 kids were pulled around at a time – great fun!!

Channel 7

Biggest Money Laundering Case Ends Dramatically
It is the biggest money laundering trial in Belize's history - and today it ended dramatically. In 2008, The Financial Intelligence Unit accused the Coye Family of money laundering using their Moneygram operation. But in October of 2010, 2 years after the charges were first laid, the case ended rather abruptly when Justice Adolph Lucas directed the jury to acquit Michael and Marlene Coye; their daughter, Melonie Coye; her husband James Gerou; brother, Jude Coye; and their two employees Athlee Matute and Dietrick Kingston, all because of lack of evidence. The FIU got a retrial, and a year and 10 months later, they brought the case back before the Chief Justice, and the accused persons were forced to submit themselves for an examination of their lives a second time by the courts. This time, the FIU only charged Michael Coye; his daughter, Melonie Coye; their 2 employees, Athlee Matute and Dietrick Kingston; and the family's company, Money Exchange International Limited, a subsidiary agent, which answers to Omni Networks Limited, which was the the master agent representing MoneyGram International in Belize. According to the FIU, between the months of October 2007 and December 2008, the defendants received, possessed, or concealed 1.57 million Belize dollars knowing that it is the proceeds of the crime of fraud, and forgery. Viewers may remember that this 1.57 million dollars was found stuffed in suitcases at Michael Coye's home at #12 Johnson Street back on December 31, 2008.

Belizean Hurdler Advances To 400 M Semifinals
The Athletic section of the Olympic Games opened today and for the first time a Belizean athlete will run in the semi-finals of an Olympic track and field event. He is Kenneth Medwood - and if you're not familiar with the name, it's because he is a 24 year old Belizean American - who was born in Belize City in 1987. He has represented Belize at a number of International track and field events and he was the flag bearer for the Belize delegation at the Olympic opening ceremony. And now, he's the first Belizean runner to advance to the semifinal of any event. We'll show you his race shortly - but today's excitement started early in the morning with Kiana Martinez. She's the Seine Byte resident who participated in the women's preliminary heat for the hundred meters this morning in London.

Shooting Between Warring Gangs Cause Chaos In City
A section of the city was whipped up by exchanges of gunfire between rival gangs today. The hostilities were between rival gangs Backatown and Ghostown - who are in the same neighborhood around Vernon Street. So the firing was done at close range and in plain view - and in quick succession, which caused chaos in the streets - as police swarmed the area. But it all started when they shot up a woman's home - and she spoke to Monica Bodden:... Therese Stevens - House Owner "I went to the store to buy for my daughter and coming back home I saw the police mobile coming fast through here. I heard the vehicle but I thought it was the ambulance. When I came out of the yard I saw the police vehicle coming, so I thought that the boy come back like what he say." Monica Bodden reporting It was in front of this housing complex in the back-a-town area that a gunman opened fire … but lucky enough, no one was caught in the hail of bullets.

DPP Wants Convicted Rapist Gomez To Go To Jail For Life
The sentencing of 26 year old Leroy Gomez, who was convicted of rape and robbery on Tuesday, was today adjourned until Wednesday, August 8, because the DPP's office is seeking the maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Justice Adolph Lucas has given prosecutor Trenia Young time to do research and provide cases on which the court can rely. Young said that section 20 of the Criminal Justice Act specifies that the maximum sentence can be imposed if the convict has 3 or more convictions for offences that involved violence. Before he was convicted of rape and robbery, Gomez was convicted of robbery in 2006 and he was sentenced to 5 years. She went on to say that although the rape and robbery arose out the same incident, each conviction is for a separate offence.

Is Medical Tourism On The Menu For Belize?
Most of us might not know what Medical Tourism per se - but many of us have participated in it, even if we did so unknowingly. Have you ever been to Merida or Guatemala City for medical treatment - stayed a few days, got a hotel, ate in a few restaurants..? Well, that's medical tourism - and now BELTRAIDE has retained a consultant to discuss the prospects of making Belize into a medical tourism Mecca. They are doing it in Costa Rica - and the consultation held a meeting with stakeholders today at the George Price Center in Belmopan to discuss a country strategy for Belize. We found out more:.. Jules Vasquez "What is medical tourism?" Nicholas Ruiz, Executive Director - BELTRAIDE "It's simply foreigners coming to another country. In this case Belize to get medical treatment and there is a support system for them. It's been happening for many years - North Americas went to Europe and now they are coming to Central America, they are going to Thailand; they are going to India, Singapore that have advantages. Some of them being more affordable, they have more access to it and so on and so forth."

Fire Guts Family's Home
Tonight a Belize City family is homeless after their two storey wooden home was burnt down last night. Fire officials responded to the scene around 11:45 at number 7 Raccoon Street where the upper flat of the building was seen engulfed in flames. The fire was extinguished by fire personnel but nothing could have been saved. The home was owned by the Wills family who is tonight homeless. when 7news visited the scene today, the family told us that their home was set on fire by one of their children's bitter ex-boyfriend. They said he was there early that day making threats and even getting physical. When they called the police, they were a no show. Karen Wills, Fire victim "When I went in my room my husband was sleeping on the bed and I ask him if he didn't smell smoke or something burning. We heard the neighbor from across the street yelled out fire. We didn't even have time to come out the house. We nearly ran left our children because the house was already on fire." Monica Bodden "How many of you guys were at home?" Karen Wills, Fire victim "She, I, my son, 2 other babies and my husband."

Dara Wants You to Ride For Hunger
It's August - meaning kids are on vacation - which gives grassroots Philanthropist Joel Dara Robinson some time to restock on supplies. For the past six years, Dara has been running a feeding programme - out of his own home - and his persistence in fundraising has become the stuff of legend. This year, he's taking it to another level with an event that he calls a Ride For Hunger. He told us how you can participate in Sunday's event... Joel "Dara" Robinson "The ride starts in front of Leslie Imports. We will be out there from 6am to take registration. We are asking for a small donation of $5. If you just want to bring food items, if you have $5 and you only want to donate $1, we will accept it. If you want to come and just ride, you are welcome too." "I am dead serious about what I am doing so I try all kinds of ways. I sit down and I pray and I get these little visions and I say I will try it and put it together. This is the biggest way people are reacting to what I am talking about."

B-Ball In The Summertime
Summertime is still here and there are many camps going on around the city to keep children out of trouble. One of those camps is the annual Rose Classic Basketball tournament which was launched today. It is the brainchild of Belizean American Cleon Hyde along with the Belize City Council which gives youngsters both males and females an opportunity to play ball. Cleon Hyde "This is the 7th year of doing Rose Classic International. We started out in 2006 and so far it has grown - the amount of kids every year has increase at least maybe 50-60 kids increase per year. It has gotten to the point where it has broken up into 2 sessions. Right now this is the first session with kids ages 8-15 - it's going to end today and then next week Monday we start with the older kids which are ages 16-19 who are 3rd and 4th formers." "We just give the kids something to do - come out and have fun, play basketball, interact with other kids from around the city and learn something good about the sport."

Continuing The Internet Conversation
Earlier this week - we had an interview with Dr. Dionne Maranda, a top BTL Executive who responded to the criticism that BTL's internet is too slow and too expensive - when compared to other countries in the Caribbean. Well, the interview generated loss of buzz to our email - and cell phones. It seems that the trouble with Belize's internet is something everyone wants to give their two cents on. And that's because in the information age - while less than a fifth of Belize's population have access to the internet -see its uses and want more out of it for less money. Here's more of our discussion about that with Dr. Miranda:.. Jules Vasquez "Internet is expensive because so many few people use it. That is basically the argument." Dr. Dionne Miranda - Customer Services Manager, BTL "It's so few people use it and also the fact that our telecom license for instance - we have to offer universal access even in remote areas and so many of our services subsidized certain services and I can tell you that that is one of the reasons why it's very difficult for us to unilaterally lower rates from time to time as well." Jules Vasquez "Has it occurred to you all that perhaps the fact that the internet being cheap or whether it is expensive and the existence of large corporations are inter-related that when you have inexpensive internet it drives economic and corporate growth and when you have expensive internet its retards that growth."

Channel 5

Coye Family now found Guilty of Money Laundering
The highly publicized money laundering case involving businessman Michael Coye and his daughter Melonie, who allegedly legitimized over a million dollars in ill-gotten funds concluded this afternoon in the Supreme Court. The case started three weeks ago and ended with a guilty verdict.  The Coyes, directors of Money Exchange International Ltd., as well as employees [...]

Kaina Martinez runs proudly for Belize in Olympic Trial
For a moment this morning there was a glimmer of hope that Belize would make it big in female track and field at London 2012. Of the three athletes competing for the jewel, Kenneth Medwood will be competing in track and field semi-finals this Saturday while Eddermys Sanchez was eliminated on Sunday in judo in [...]

“Baby Daddy” bites mom, breaks pint on baby and burns house
A family was left without a roof over their heads on Thursday night. A blaze quickly swept through the two-storey building completely destroying the structure and the belongings of Karen Willis and family. Willis claims it is a case of arson that involves domestic violence and the father of her child. News Five’s Jose Sanchez [...]

Tourism Minister says land sale to Deputy P.M. Associate shady
In March just prior to the elections, we carried the story of a prime piece of property owned by Belize Water Services Limited in San Pedro that was cancelled and sold off to nineteen year old Alyssa Tun of Orange Walk Town. Tun paid two thousand five hundred dollars and thirty cents for a property [...]

Land Grab in the West by Min. Rene Montero? Deputy P.M. responds
On Thursday night you heard Minister of Natural Resources, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vegas’ also responded to why he gave his relatives, including two brothers, his daughter, a sister-in-law and a cousin, dozens of parcels of land. In case you missed it, Vega said he and his family aren’t “normal people”. He said he didn’t [...]

More shootings in Old Capital
There are two shooting incidents to report tonight. The first happened at around two o’clock this afternoon in an alley on the Canal side of Sittee Street in the Old Capital.  According to eyewitnesses, two men approached the alley and opened fire at a group of women. The women ran for their lives as the [...]

Former Governor of Mexico pleads guilty to drug trafficking
A protracted high profile case ended today when a former governor of Mexico pleaded guilty to drug trafficking. It’s a case that dates back to the 1990’s and has ties to Belize. The former governor, Mario Villanueva, was first convicted of money laundering in Mexico back in 2001; he spent six years in prison and [...]

Honduran national, seeking medical treatment in Belize, sent home
In the local courts, a Honduran woman, who claims she came to Belize for medical reasons over three months ago, is being sent back to her country because she doesn’t have her documents in order. Forty-one year old Vilma Rodriguez Acosta, who has been living on East Collet Canal, was arrested on Thursday and handed [...]

Cattle Sweep to certify disease-free beef
The exportation of cattle to Mexico through formal trade arrangements has been touted for some time, in fact as far back as 2010; the Prime Minister said it was a done deal. It has taken two years, but it appears that the initiative will come to fruition in about two months. But for the local [...]

A book for love of cricket
Dean Lindo is well known as an attorney. But in his spare time Lindo has always been an avid fan of cricket. The West Indian game is popular throughout the Caribbean and has a foot in Belize. The glory days of the sport are long gone in this country, but there is some hope by [...]

K.H.M.H. gets into the summer camp business
The annual K.H.M.H. summer camp culminated today with a ceremony held at the K.H.M.H.’s parking lot. It’s the second of its kind that targets primarily children of staff members and teaches them, not medical information on the public hospital, but rather skills in music, artwork and storytelling. At least twenty-five children attended the five-week camp; [...]

NEMO keeps an eye on Ernesto
As we go into the weekend, information coming out of the National Hurricane Center Forecast is that Tropical Storm Ernesto is expected to become a hurricane by Monday morning. T.S. Ernesto will continue moving across the Eastern and Central Caribbean Sea and is predicted to head toward the Gulf of Mexico. The forecast is showing [...]

Miss Mexico wins Costa Maya Pageant
There is a new Reina de la Costa Maya and she is Natalia Villanueva from Mexico. The weekend of festivities commenced on Thursday night with the international pageant in La Isla Bonita. Eight beauties from the seven Central American Countries and Mexico competed in national and cultural costume, swimwear, formal wear and final answer. After [...]


Pilot Project Introduced for a National Sanitary Cattle Plan
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture today introduced a pilot project. Reporter Marion Ali is in the Blue Creek community and filed this report. MARION ALI News Reporter Love FM “we’re in the Blue Creek community in the Orange Walk Distri...

Minister of National Security Comments on Urban Warfare
The urban warfare continued overnight and the result was another body in the morgue and one more youth in the emergency ward at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The latest murder victim has been identified as nineteen year old Tevin Fergusson, a resident of Flamboyant Street i...


Dead Body Found On Savannah Street
Late yesterday evening Orange Walk Police were called out to Savannah Street where the body of a male individual was found lying face up in some bushes near a concrete fence. As residents gathered in the area, police and scenes of crime personnel cordoned the entire scene searching for leads that would indicate if they had a murder on their hands. A few minutes after, family members of 42 year old Jesus Yam identified his body. According to them Yam had a drinking problem for the past eleven years and lived alone. After processing the scene and inspecting the corpse, police informed Yam’s family that foul play is not suspected in his death since there were no signs of violence or injuries on the body. When we spoke to residents of Savannah Street we were told that Yam was last seen walking in the area around 2:00pm yesterday afternoon. The deceased body was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital; however, we are told by family members that no post mortem examination will conducted on Yam’s body.

Belizean National Detained In Merida Mexico
A Belizean National living in Merida Mexico is tonight behind bars after he was arrested for robbery. Mexican newspapers describe 29 year old Rogelio Orlando Zedillo Hernandez as being a con man who was detained by authorities after he robbed a Mexican nurse of several items. Reports are that on Wednesday 25th July, 25 year old Neicy Yamile Campos Chan, invited Hernandez into her home after he approached her and told her that his sister was in the hospital and he had no where to stay. Feeling sorry for Hernandez, Chan took him home and gave him food and lodging for five days. The report states that on Sunday night Chan left home for work and upon returning the following morning, she discovered that Hernandez had left the residence taking along with him her laptop, digital camera, USB and notebook. On Tuesday morning, as Chan visited the shopping mall, she found Hernandez talking to another woman. When she questioned him about her belongings he told her that he had been assaulted. Chan immediately called the police and Hernandez was detained and placed behind bars. Investigations have reveled that Chan is not Hernandez’s first victim.

DPM Offers No Apologies For Giving Land To Family
The burning topic last week was the land grab and free for all at the Ministry of Lands. Well, today we caught up with the Minister of Lands and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and asked him about it. As we mentioned last week documents show that parcel 260 in the Colonia San Diego Phase II area of San Pedro Town was acquired by Ignacio Vega in February 2012 for a mere one thousand five hundred dollars. Here in the north, land documents show that the DPM’s brother bought one hundred and nineteen acres of land in Carmelita, for a little over eleven thousand dollars, a twenty-six point three parcel also in Carmelita for only three hundred dollars, another thirteen point five acres in the Indian Hill area for two thousand two hundred dollars, parcel number 01507 located in the Progresso Area of Corozal District for eight hundred dollars, forty three acres in San Estevan Village for which the price is not known and another twenty-five acres in Carmelita Village. Another land document showed that 10.621 acres of land was sold to the daughter of DPM, Diana Vega Rosado, for only $975. According to the land documents, she purchased parcel number 01042 located in the Mount Pleasant area for only $2,500 and parcel 01816 in the Consejo Road area of Corozal for $1,940. Documents also show that other members of the DPM’s family and friends bought several parcels of land here in the Orange Walk District, Caye Caulker, Burdon Canal Nature Reserve in the Belize District, Mount Pleasant in the Cayo District and Mountain Pine Ridge as well as other parts of the country. So…. was Vega apologetic, full of remorse or even just a little bashful? Actually he wasn’t… fact he was far from it. Vega responded by saying that he did nothing wrong since he works harder than most Belizeans.

Hon. Florencio Marin Jr. Denies Owning 100 Of Parcels Of Land
During the two day debate of the 2012/2013 Budget held in the month of July, Corozal Southeast Area Representative Honorable Florencio Marin exposed a scandalous land grab which has been taking place in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Numerous land documents proved that huge tracts of land were acquired by close family members and friends of the Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Honorable Gaspar Vega at a low cost. Names such as Ignacio Vega, the DPM’s brother and his wife Karen Vega were brought into the limelight. On Friday during a special session of the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister Honorable Dean Barrow defended his party by attacking Marin. The P.M stated that Marin owns more than 100 of acres of land including in San Jose Nuevo Palmar here in Orange Walk District. Yesterday during a press conference held by the Peoples United Party the Deputy Party Leader denied owning 100 of parcels of land and called the P.M’s accusations deceitful.

Cattle Grown In Belize Ready For Export
For quite some time, Belize has been known for its great beef and steaks which are locally grown and cut. Avenues have been sought in efforts of increasing exports of Belizean products, cattle heads being one of those. Cattle has been a lucrative and thriving industry in the country of Belize and today, the pilot project for cattle sweep, which is geared at producing export standard beef was initiated. Reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenric Simpson travelled to Blue Creek this morning and filed the following report. Since June 5th of 2009, the Belize Life Stock Producers Association (BLPA) in Blue Creek along with GOB and other stakeholders started to formulate the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project or better known as Cattle Sweep. The purpose of the project is to smooth the progress of exporting cattle into Mexico in a formal fashion. Today the project was presented to the media in Blue Creek which is where it has been launch as a pilot project. CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche says that this initiative has been in the works for many years now.

P.U.P Leader Lashes Out Against The U.D.P
And…..there you have it, the Deputy Prime Minster Of Belize stating on record that he is not a normal person. Vega out rightly admits giving several tracts of land to his close family and friends and has no remorse about it while thousands of Belizeans are crying out for a parcel of land. So, what does the Leader of the Opposition think about the land grab that’s taking place at the Ministry of Lands? Well, apart from condemning the issue; he reproached the fact that the Ministry of Lands is overcrowded by family and friends of the D.P.M who administer the department. Honorable Francis Fonseca- Leader Peoples United Party “You have family members of the Minister of Natural Resources, the deputy prime minister of this country, who are in key positions at the Ministry of Natural Resources, several key positions. And so, what is taking place, in our view, at the Ministry of Natural Resources over the past four years, four plus years, and it’s ongoing and continuing is that there’s been almost a complete decimation of the public service at the Ministry of Natural Resources, replaced by these friends and families, family members of the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Minister of Lands and the deputy prime minister and that must be of great concern to us.


Shootings in Belize City signal gang warfare retaliation
There has been a spree of shootings and murders since the weekend – that has left many grieving and others scared t...

Unconventional events could be the cause of separate house fires
A family is out of door and arson could be the cause. Just before midnight on Thursday (August 2) Police responded ...

Dissension may be building in the PUP
Today encumbent CHairman of the Belmopan Executive Committee of the People's United Party, Luis PERAZA, visited our...

International songstress Nicole Mullen tours the jewel
An international songstress visited Belize on a private tour of the jewel. Aileen Nicole Coleman-Mullen known profe...

KHMH kids summer camp culminates
KHMH holds closing ceremony for its annual camp. More than 25 children and their parents gathered in the Karl Heusn...

Kaina Martinez represents Belize at London Olympics
Kaina Martinez put forward her best foot at the Olympics Games, today Belize along with Kaina celebrated a fleeting...

Ernesto expected to form into hurricane
And for a weather update on Tropical Storm Ernesto – Well, we might be calling it Hurricane Ernesto come Monday. Th...

Step-father charged for impregnating 16 year old
A 16-year old female minor of the Toledo District in the company of her mother reported that November 22, 2011 her ...

11 year old is suspect in burglary
Gabriel Martinez, of Louisville Village reported that between 7:00pm on July 30 and 2:00pm on August 1 his house wa...

Belize participates in reputable conservation project
Senator, Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries & Sustainable Development, whose portfolio also includes C...


Leroy Gomez, guilty of rape and robbery
He walked from four previous rape charges, but justice was served today... Today in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas, Leroy Gomez, 26, was found guilty of rape and robbery after a jury of 6 women and 3 men found the evidence to be overwhelming in the case presented by attorney Treinna Young.

Mayhem continues in the city
2 shot dead; one chopped in stomach... Four people lost their lives between Monday and Tuesday, July 30 and 31, in the city. Two men were shot to death, a third man was killed in a road accident and the fourth man fell to his death at Belize Ports Ltd.

Gunman shot dead; his victim survives
He shot his victim, then he himself was shot dead... In a bizarre turn of events, a gunman, after shooting his victim, who survived, was himself shot to death by another gunman. And, the first gunman and his victim are distant cousins.

Worthless grandfather, 51, and stepfather, 41
Grandfather accused of incest with his granddaughter, 11; his son-in-law charged with carnal knowledge of the girl... Police reports are that sometime between June 2011 and June 2012, the grandfather carnally knew his granddaughter. In court today, he told Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer that he would never do such a thing, but that his granddaughter is “all over the place”.

BNTU wants 30% salary adjustment
“We cannot continue to go around in circles,” says president Luke Palacio... BNTU hopes to conclude labor negotiations with GOB by end of August... Luke Palacio, president of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), told Amandala today that inflation since their last salary adjustment in 2000-2001 has meant that the Belize dollar has lost a value of 30%, and the union will, along with 23 proposals it presented to the Government of Belize in 2008, also be seeking to address the badly needed salary adjustment for teachers.

Guats’ armed plunder of our natural resources escalates
“...villagers are afraid for their lives and property” – incursions are made further and further into Belizean territory.... YCT calls for beefed-up security... The reports of escalating armed incursions into Belizean territory continue this week, with calls from the environmental community for beefed-up border security in order to not just protect the natural resources being illegally plundered—but to furthermore secure the lives of rural residents of Belize who feel threatened by the growing problem.

Belize hosts international dart tournaments at Biltmore Hotel
The Belize Dart Federation was the host during the past week of two international dart tournaments – the Americas Cup 2012 and the Caribbean Cup 2012, both held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel at Mile 3 on the Northern Highway from July 20 to 30.

Charles “CJ” Garcia reaffirms his roots in the Jewel
Belize Basketball Federation president Paul Thompson contacted us on Tuesday and mentioned two highly sought after basketball talents that he hopes will become a part of the national team when it makes another run at the Centro Basket tournament. Both Noel Felix and Charles Garcia, Jr. paid short visits to Belize over the past week to ensure their documents are in order, to avoid any similar protests about their nationality as occurred with some of our Belizean/American players a couple years ago in Mexico.

Statistical Institute of Belize inflation figures up to June 2012 – an increase of 1.5%
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has reported inflation figures for the 12-month period leading up to June 2012, which indicate an overall increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 1.5%, from 100.4 in June 2011 to 102.0 in June 2012.

To Jasmine, in memoriam – the “Jasmine Alert” is launched
New alert system for missing children intends to prevent more heartbreak... A nation’s heart was broken – again – but the strongest backlash yet against the scourge of crime resulted. Many came out to witness the arrest and subsequent arraignment of Belize City businessman, Bert Vasquez (also known as Haylock), 28, for her murder and sixteen other unrelated charges of assault and false imprisonment based on reports of alleged attempted and successful abductions of Cayo female teenagers, some demanding the chance and opportunity to administer their own form of justice.

Pretenders, liars and cheats
This matter of “land grab” is not new. It’s been happening over and over and over again, across the various governments we have elected. No matter which government is in, it will continue. It will continue because who is going to stop it? Which political party is going to voluntarily subject themselves to a reduction of feasting at the public’s trough?

Will Ernesto become a hurricane threat to Belize?
“What we are looking for over the weekend is a more northward turn. If we don’t see that materialize, we will have to hasten preparations,” says Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez... Chief Meteorologist Dennis Gonguez told Amandala late this evening that Belizeans should monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Ernesto, which formed east of the Lesser Antilles earlier today and which could potentially become the second hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Editorial: Unsolicited advice
In hindsight, last week’s decision by Government to “hug up” the leaders of the fledgling Police Association was a smart one. It defused an escalating situation, and it left the slumbering giant of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUCB) right where governments usually prefer – asleep and disengaged, and out of the streets.

From The Publisher
In the beginning, there was no need for the slavemasters to divide us, because we were already divided. We were from many different tribes, spoke many different languages and practiced many different religions. As time went on, we became even more divided in that some of our women were taken by the white men, and so we saw the birth of brown Creoles. That must have been where the vague description and designation of so-called “Creole,” originated.

God bless Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital: grateful patient
Though I have had the misfortune of experiencing some of the more horrific and painful pathological crises in my life, it would be remiss and highly ungrateful of me if I should not write of one of the most satisfactory and very warm-felt appreciation of one of the most caring and professional cadre of medical practitioners in this country.


Off the grid at Mama Noots
As I mentioned in our first post on this trip back to Mayflower Bocawina National Park (and points south to come -- stay tuned) in Belize, we stayed at Mama Noots Eco Resort right in the park for three nights. In the first post, I shared photos of the authentic cabana we stayed in, so in this post, I wanted to share additional photos of the facilities, grounds, people, and wonderful food we were served over the three-day period. Mama Noots is entirely off the grid and generates its own electricity through solar panels. A back-up generator is also utilized when the sun isn't shining or additional electricity is needed. Here are some shots from around the property. It's absolutely gorgeous, with hummingbirds buzzing about, brightly colored butterflies flitting, and beautiful foliage and flowers everywhere. Here's the final platform for the zip-line. We enjoyed it for bird watching and checking out the view. Lots of citrus growing on the property This is a Great Kiskadee nest. It was behind our cabana, and we could watch the male and female coming and going from the nest. They had a favorite branch right outside one of our windows where they would sit and sing and call, and then fly into and out of the nest. Here's the restaurant/bar where we ate all the delicious meals. Since we were the only guests, we were usually the only ones here, but sometimes a few of the workers were eating as well. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch, which is a great option after a hike in the park or run on the zip-line. You won't go home hungry! Ms. Marci cooked us some absolutely delicious food. I don't think there's anything this sweet lady can't make!

Some Changes in San Pedro Town...
Though I am in San Pedro town at least a three or four times a week, there is always some change...something new to me. Here is what I saw this week. The RC School in town is using the summer holiday to construct a new building on its grounds. Seems like a great idea...when I visit during the school year, the classrooms are PACKED. The previous Crave Restaurant (right in the center of Front Street) is getting a new paint job. Is a new business moving in? The space is huge...must be a restaurant, right? After fits and starts and controversy around how she actually paid for all of this, the previous mayor's condo complex is so close to being finished. On Middle Street, next to Elvi's Kitchen, it is much bigger than I first assumed. A serious compound. It goes all the way thru to the Back Street and included a sort of promenade for business on the ground floor. This sign (also on Middle Street by the very popular fast food place, Cindy's Chinese) has been there for a few months. I just like it. A hospital for footwear. Perhaps these hammocks are for the recuperating shoes. Lastly, a shoe store that I have passed 1000 times. But for the past few weeks, when I ask someone where they got their cute sandals, they mentioned this store. Let's check it out. Located on back street just south of the Old Football is their building.

International Sources

Paradise Undiscovered on Ambergris Caye at the Portofino Resort, Belize
When the Belize Tourist Board suggested that I take a trip to explore the ”Central American Nirvana” once known as British Honduras, I quickly jumped at the opportunity. A trip was arranged by the tourist board to visit to the Belize Zoo, and a stay at Cave’s Branch Resort for a “bungle in the jungle.” After three days in the jungle rappelling and spelunking (cave diving), I was off to my next adventure and the reason most travelers come to Belize. A trip to Belize’s barrier reef. A trip to see Belize’s Caribbean underwater wonderland. As much as I was intoxicated by sights and sounds of the jungles of Belize and my tree house room at the Cave’s Branch Resort, it was time to head to the beach for some scuba diving. A stay at the famous Portofino Resort on Ambergris Caye. After a short flight on Tropic Air from Belize City to San Pedro, the airport and main city on Ambergris Caye. I was met by Jan Van Noord, owner of the Portofino Resort. As I have a love for the Dutch, the moment I met Jan, all 6 foot 7 of him, I knew right away that we would become good friends. Such was the case with Jan and his wife Sandra. The Dutch-Belgian couple left Europe with their two small children for a life in the tropics. I asked, “why Belize? and why Ambergris Caye?”

Belizean Runners Qualify
Kenneth Medwood has qualified for semifinals in the 400 Meter Hurdles, and Kaina Martinez has qualified for the 100 Meter race! Congratulations to both runners! The Belize Youth Support Network has been following the Belizean Olympians closely, and has news regularly on their status. You can like their page on FB:

Maria Estella's The Essence of Beauty
Yesterday at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Will Moreno was there to do the photo shoot! It sounded like there were over 100 people signed up.

August 3, 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

The San Pedro Sun

Editorial: Can’t Wait to GO to the Costa Maya Festival!
How exciting, it’s the Costa Maya time of year on La Isla! Every year we look forward to this fantastic festival of pageantry and performers! Soon our streets will be super busy with guests visiting from the mainland and abroad while our restaurants and bars enjoy a boost in business for a few days. Other businesses will prosper as well; usually there’s not a golf cart to be rented or a room to be had during the three-night extravaganza, all good for our local entrepreneurs. Inside the Saca Chispa field where the stage is set and the carnival is situated, there are local vendors who cater to the hungry guests or sell merchandise. It is an event we save up for and dress up…decked out in our best we go to the festivities excited to see familiar faces, mix and mingle. The Costa Maya Queen pageant is always a favorite, and of course the concerts beg for dancing and merriment. It’s all worth looking forward to, and this year there is something new that many of us have been wanting and waiting for…for YEARS…it’s a brand new LADIES ROOM!!!! Yeah, finally we woman-types can relieve ourselves with dignity! No more picking through soaked floors littered with tissue in our pretty new shoes, no more asking someone to hold the door for us while taking care of business and hopefully no more waiting in endless lines when nature calls! Sure the pageant will be awesome, sure the bands will be great and oh yes the food, fun and libations will be abundant, but what I am really excited about are the new bathrooms at Saca Chispa! Thank you San Pedro Town Council from the females of San Pedro!

Human poaching threatens successful 2012 turtle nesting
This year marks the fourth consecutive year that turtle monitoring is being conducted on the northern beaches of Ambergris Caye. Monitoring of the turtles is done during the turtle nesting season which runs annually from May through November. This year however, nesting started a few weeks earlier than expected and with the season at the midway point, already more nests have been found than in 2011. The monitoring of turtles is conducted jointly by the staff of the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park and Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR). Marine Biologist for HCMR Kira Foreman told reporters during a field trip on Friday July 27th that not only did the nesting season kick off early but there is also a large increase in the amount of nests found as compared to figures over the past three years. “This season seems like the best so far in terms of the amount of nests found,” said Foreman. As of July 31st, 65 turtle nests have been documented with approximately 14 nests already hatched. For 2011, a total of 43 nests were found during the entire nesting season.

Local tour guides caught fishing inside the Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Just after celebrating their 25th year of existence, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) was the target of illegal fishing. The reserve, which is one of the most popular snorkeling sites on the island – and fast becoming increasingly popular for divers – is credited to bringing much needed income into the Belize Economy; and owed to its protected status, is home to a wide variety of Marine life. According to Miguel Alamilla, Manger of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, five individuals were caught illegally spear fishing at the Reserve on Tuesday night, July 28th. After various reports of illegal fishing in the area, the team of rangers and volunteers left to the reserve around 11PM. Alamilla stated, “We had received several reports of illegal fishing happening around that time and before we got to the marine reserve we saw lights out there. Somebody was flashing lights and we knew they were inside the protected area so we proceeded to check. Since it was night we had to be very cautious.”

Legends win Local Football Tournament
After about 10 weeks of competition, the local football tournament is over and Team Legends has claimed the first place trophy. The competition was jointly sponsored by Shalom Church, the San Pedro Town Council and the Caye Caulker Water Taxi, and it saw nine teams start in the competition, leading to the final first, second and third places. The top three winners took home trophies, medals and cash prizes. Winning the opening Marathon back in June Legends started their winning streak pretty early. Legends also won the SP Belize Express football tournament earlier this year, and after weeks of playing, now has the bragging rights as champion of the Shalom, CCWT and SPTC Football Tournament. Held on Sunday July 29th at the Ambergris Stadium, the games were scheduled to start at 1:30PM. Going up for third place was supposed to be Harmouch and Nairi. However, after a 45-minute wait on Team Nairi, officials named Harmouch third place winners by default. A little after 3PM it was time for Legends and Belizean Shores to go head to head for first and second place.

Kent and Eric dominate at Fiesta Rama Duathlon
San Pedro Athletes Eric Donis and Kent Gabourel dominated at Fiesta Rama’s Duathlon in Orange Walk this past weekend. The tournament took place on July 28th and saw competitors from across the country taking part. The games were organized by the Belize National Triathlon Association and comprised of a 2.5 mile run, followed by a 5 miles biking and ending with a second 2.5 miles run. Eric Donis took first place in the Elite Open (biking on racer’s bike) while Kent “Bob” Gabourel took first place in the Beach Cruiser open. In the overall, Eric took first place with a total time of 48 minutes and 25 seconds, while Kent ranked second with a total time of 50 minutes and 13 seconds. The boys from San Pedro would like to take this opportunity to thank their sponsors Gabi Nuñez and The San Pedro Town Council for their continued contribution and support. The athletes are gearing up for the annual Lionman competition scheduled for early September as part of the September Celebrations, and they are looking for team members as well as sponsors. Persons interested in learning more about the Lionman tournament or how they can become sponsors or even a member of the San Pedro Team may do so by contacting Kent at 604-9013. The San Pedro Sun congratulates both young men in performing exceptionally and doing us proud.

Starting Tonight; The International Costa Maya Festival At La Isla Bonita!
For the 21st consecutive year, the International Costa Maya Festival will be captivating visitors that are being lured to La Isla Bonita, Ambergris Caye for four days filled with liveliness. Charming beauty queens of Mexico and Central America, along with vibrant cultural activities, music, food and drinks will intrigue audiences at this year’s San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival. The Festival will be taking place from August 2nd -5th, 2012. “The week of the festival is the most colourful and busiest week on the island. Costa Maya is a grand event that is enjoyed by all those that attend,” shared Dorian Nuñez, member of the Costa Maya Festival Committee. “If you have not been to one, maybe it is time to join your friends in San Pedro, Belize for a week of fun-filled entertainment.”

Introducing the Miss San Pedro 2012 contestants!
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) along with Miss San Pedro 2011-2012 Yakarelis Hernadez are both making final preparations for the 2012 Miss San Pedro Pageant. This year, four beautiful and talented young ladies will be vying for the coveted Miss San Pedro crown. The Miss San Pedro Pageant will take place on Saturday, September 1st at the Saca Chispas Football Field starting at 7PM under the theme “Beauty of today, reflecting the Maya splendor of yesterday.” The four young ladies vying for the Miss San Pedro title are Naiely Odalis Puc, Darcie Zepeda, Ashely Rhaburn and Adriana Haylock.

Ambergris Today

Five Arrested and Charged for Illegal Fishing at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Alamilla stated that the rangers conducted random spot check on the area at about midnight and caught five persons fishing in the area and were immediately arrested. The five caught fishing illegally in the protected area were Isaul Coba, Melvin Montesino, Guillermo Valdez, Michael Melvin Kuhn and Roan Gonzalez. “We will continue to work hard in protecting the area and we are still monitoring similar cases and those who are caught will be penalized to the full extent of the law,” stated Miguel Alamilla. The five were presented with their charges on Wednesday, August 1, 2012, and are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, August 14, 2012. They are liable to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or to both such fine and imprisonment.

Partners for Belize Render Free Clinics in San Pedro
A group of doctors and nurses from Cincinnati, Ohio, were here in beautiful San Pedro as part of mission trip to provide dental services for adults and children, dermatology, general health evaluations and treatment for prolonged and chronic pain free of charge. Clinical services were carried from Friday, July 27, 2012 to Tuesday, July 31, 2012. In speaking with John Kirby, Director/Organizer of the mission group, he stated that it was the first time the group had been to the island rendering their medical services, but have been having opening clinics in other parts of the country.

Humane Dog Eradication to Commence
The San Pedro Town Council and Saga Humane Society just announced that the first roundup of stray dogs is only days away. They are asking dog owners to please keep all pet dogs confined to their property or tethered. Please share this with your friends and neighbors as well. Also leash laws need to be observed. If a dog is captured it will be held at the Saga compound for three days. Once the pet dogs are claimed, fees will be charged for its return. You can reclaim your dog on Tuesdays from 9a.m. to 12p.m. or on Wednesdays from 1p.m. to 5p.m. The fee will be lowered if you agree to spay or neuter your pet. If unclaimed, the dog will be humanely euthanized through a process approved by the veterinarian at Saga. Please, if yu have a dog and you care about it, keep it safely fenced or tied inside your property. Use a collar and rope of at least 8 feet and give your dog shade and water. Please walk your dog on a leash and clean up after your dog in public spaces. You can make the difference, San Pedro! Let's have a clean community and happy dogs too!

Costa Maya Beauties Visit Cahal Pech Maya Site In Cayo
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival kicks off tonight, August 2, 2012, in Ambergris Caye, Belize with the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant, one of the biggest draws of the festival. To entice you even more to attend the festival here are official pictures of the eight delegates at a photo shoot that took place at the ancient Maya Temple of Cahal Pech, located in San Ignacio, Cayo District. The delegates had one session with their casual wear and one session in their bikini.

Kevin Lyttle Arrives in San Pedro
Soca Star Kevin Lyttle arrived one day before his performing night on Maya Island Air to enjoy the best of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Ambergris Today’s Gerry Badillo met up with Lyttle upon his arrivals and got the chance to interview and inform him about San Pedro, Belize. Lyttle is excited to showcase his upcoming performance on the International Costa Maya Festival; he will be performing live at the festival Friday, August 3, 2012.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Island Divers Belize-Lionfish Team Diving
Local Diving for Lionfish, Belize Barrier Reef

Island Divers Belize
A Variety of our team photos, enjoy viewing and visit us on Facebook. We're a team, we're a family...we are one! Join us on a dive! Photography by Michael Davis, Discover Belize Now.

Chic Sunglasses for Cayo
Humorus post of the day. Ka'ana has come up with a pair of chic sunglasses for Cayo. The leonard matte tortoise shell acetate sunglasses that have the name of 'Illesteva.' Cool. Funny. Has anyone worn them on Xunantunich? "On the western side of Belize, you will find the Cayo District spreading over 2,000 square miles of luscious landscape. This area shows an incredible wealth of interest and activities for tourists and is also the gateway to Guatemala and the incredible ruins of Tikal. The Mountain Pine Ridge is often named the main attraction of the area, but the Cayo District also includes many great Mayan ruins, the towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the border town of Benque Viejo and the lush valley between the scenic Mopan and Macal rivers."

Belize Bird Rescue: Stork Storkers Club
Feelgood story to start the day. The Belize Bird Rescue successfully captured and relocated the Jabiru stork that was on the runway at the Philip Goldson airport, causing problems for landing planes. It was a concentrated effort, and was met with success. Great work! "Cue the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) response team (pause for ooo’s and aaah’s) We are ready to spring into action at a moments notice, just like Spiderman. So, armed with nets, gloves, cages, crates and blankets, plus numerous representatives from Belize Forest Department, Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, ISIS, Belize Humane Society and Belize Audubon Society, we launched ourselves at Belize City."

Coco or Taro Cake
Coco as it's known in Belize, is a form of wild yams. In other parts of the world it's called Taro. In this video Joe shows us how to make one of his favorite childhood cakes or pudding from these wild yams. It was my first time making this dish and first time tasting it. I found it to be gelatinous, warm, sweet and downright delicious.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (01 August 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (6 Balls) 2 ­35 ­75 ­21 ­46 ­58­ Y 125.00 Each (18 Balls) 2 ­35 ­75 ­21 ­46 ­58 ­18 ­4 ­49 ­11 ­55 ­56 ­9 ­33 ­39 ­13 ­52 ­26­ L 175.00 Each (22 Balls) 2 ­35 ­75 ­21 ­46 ­58 ­18 ­4 ­49 ­11 ­55 ­56 ­9 ­33 ­39 ­13 ­52 ­26 50 ­12 ­3 ­23 Inside World 1000.00 Each (24 Balls) 2 ­35 ­75 ­21 ­46 ­58 ­18 ­4 ­49 ­11 ­55 ­56 ­9 ­33 ­39 ­13 ­52 ­26 50 ­12 ­3 ­23 ­10 ­30­­ Letter X 750.00 Each (25 Balls) 2 ­35 ­75 ­21 ­46 ­58 ­18 ­4 ­49 ­11 ­55 ­56 ­9 ­33 ­39 ­13 ­52 ­26 ­50 ­12 ­3 ­23 ­10 ­30 ­68

Channel 7

A Murder Story Like No Other: No Hidden Faces, No Apologies
When we left you last night, it was with the bad news that another man had been killed - the fifth in the city in four days. It happened on Linda Vista Street - which connects Lake Independence to the Western Highway. It is a murder like too many others, senseless violence among young black southside males. But our story on it is unlike any other, because it's straight up: no one hides their face, no one apologizes for the conduct of others and the intended target tells us simple and plain how he dodged death - even when it came from the hand of his own cousin. Daniel Ortiz has this report: Daniel Ortiz reporting At around 7 last night, 7News arrived on the scene to find the body of a man lying in the street. The police already had the area cordoned off, and the Scenes of Crime personnel were already at their work. They eventually brought a member of the public close by to identify him, and this woman burst out in tears of hurt and rage - the distress visible. While processing the scene, the authorities discovered a firearm, which you see the man photographing to the far right of your screen - more visible with the number 3 marker right next to it. When they finished, the body was removed and taken to the morgue, ending this terrible scene. But, we didn't find out until today that the deceased allegedly went to Linda Vista Street to try to murder 28 year-old Mark Godoy. He spoke to us from his sick bed in the KHMH, where he was recovering from gunshot injuries he received from that attack.

Will Karol Mello Have His Day In Court
Alleged International Gangster Karol Mello was back in court today for his Habeas Corpus hearing to determine if the Government of Belize had unlawfully detained Mello. The Slovak national and permanent resident of Belize is fighting an expulsion order and has been detained for 22 days, pending a resolution to his case. His attorney Godfrey Smith ultimately seeks to block an expulsion order which was issued on July 16. Today, both sides tried to convince Justice Legall on whether or not Mello should be expelled without first being given a chance to tell the court his side of the story. Here's what we found out: Daniel Ortiz reporting Just before the start of the "Habeas Corpus" hearing, the international fugitive, Karol Mello, was escorted to an adjoining room in the Supreme Court, where he was held under guard and excluded from the entire proceedings. According to Mello's attorney, Godfrey Smith, he doesn't speak a word of English, so his wife, Susanna, attended the hearing and consulted Smith on his behalf.

Hon. Gaspar Vega: No Apologies For "Giving" Land To Family
Last night on the news, you heard the PUP making the case that two UDP Ministers, Gaspar Vega and Rene Montero had given their family members lavish parcels of land easily and inexpensively. Today, we caught up with Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega in his role as Minister of Agriculture. He was in Blue Creek for a Cattle Sweep - and, thus, had the misfortune of being the first public official to stage an impromptu press conference under a cattle shed. But no matter the circumstance, he was obliging, and remarkably candid about land that he "gave" his relatives. It's a little long, but bear with us, it's worth it - here's how his exchange with Jules Vasquez went:... Jules Vasquez "You have set up what they called a friends and family program to bestow your friends and family with pieces of land. How do you respond to that?" Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources "Jules, I don't know if you have the list." Jules Vasquez "I do." Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Lands "Maybe we can work with the list." Jules Vasquez "Let's go to the list. Diana Rosado who they say is your daughter."

"Fawda" Henry Saves The Day
Armed robberies occur too regularly in Belize City, and today, one man decided to take it upon himself to get involved and stop a thief. The good citizen is no other than Phillip "Fawda" Henry, who has been featured in this newscast several times for his out-spoken behavior. Well today at around midday, he put his big talk into deeds when he stopped an armed man from getting away with robbery. Here's how he explained it: Phillip "Fawda" Henry "It happed not in front of me but I would say about 25 yards away when I saw people on the bridge was looking towards Lion King - I was sitting trying to eat my food before I ran a taxi job out there when I heard people saying that a little girl was being rob. When I heard that it was a little girl, I think about my program with safety, so I saw about 20 people running behind this guy who was running down from the bus terminal towards Amara Avenue. That's when I set chase after him. I don't know if this guy was armed but I wanted to catch this guy because he robbed a little girl. I saw the abuse from a distance - that he was abusing this little girl around her neck grabbing her clothes. He had a huge butcher knife in his hand. I thought of my safety at the same time but I went with force and it happens that I ended up winning. I citizen arrest this guy, I brought down another predator who was in the streets robbing our children of their daily lives - their cell phones and money."

Child Alleges Stepfather/Grandfather Molested Her
There is a highly disturbing case of sexual abuse to report tonight. A 51 year old grandfather, and a 41 year-old stepfather are currently in prison after they were taken to court today for allegedly sexually abusing their 11 year-old daughter. We cannot give you their names or publish their picture to protect the identity of the child. But according to the child, the abuse occurred between the months of June 2011 and June 2012. The child told police that her 51 year-old grandfather and her 41 year-old stepfather had intercourse with her regularly between those months. Police investigated the report and they charged the 51 year-old man with incest, and the 41 year-old man with carnal knowledge. Both men were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today, but no plea was taken because both charges will be treated as indictable.

Profiles Comes Back
The I Am Belize Profiles returns tonight after a 4-week break. Tonight’s profile is about is about Devon Daly, SJC High school graduate who won a full basketball scholarship to Lake Superior State University. But, Daly had to balance his love of basketball with his education in order to be allowed to continue to play. Here’s how his family’s rigid rules helped to train him to appreciate success.

Bulls In Blue Creek Ready For Export
For many years - we've heard talk of exporting cattle to a Mexican market that's hungry for as much beef as Belize can produce. But, the hold-up has always been making the cattle fit for export. And what do we mean by that? Well, Mexico has very strict standards for livestock imports - meaning that every head of cattle they import has to be certified to be disease free - which means that they have been tested and traced, basically form birth to confirm that they are contaminant free. And anyone who knows anything about Belize will know that generally, "we noh work soh." Except that in this case, we've had to learn how to. And leading the way is BAHA which has teamed up effectively with cattle exporters in the private sector to conducts a cattle sweep - an immense exercise which will document and certify every exportable head of cattle in Belize. It started this week in Blue Creek and we went to that Mennonite commune at Belize's northwestern edge to find out more:.. Jules Vasquez reporting It's called a cattle sweep and it's not a business for the squeamish or easily startled - only cowboys and cattle-dogs can stay cool. While cattle may shudder at the thought, cattle-men - gathered here in Blue Creek today get weak-kneed and woozy just thinking about the prospects:.. John Carr - Cayo Cattle Owner "This is just the most important thing that ever happened."

Channel 5

Dirty laundry list of U.D.P. family names in land grab
By now you know of the persistent reports of a crazy ‘land grab’ at the Ministry of Natural Resources involving relatives and close associates of the Deputy Prime Minister. When it came up in the House during the recent budget debate, the Prime Minister deflected the report by claiming that Corozal Southeast Representative, Florencio Marin [...]

Gaspar Vega not scared of scandal and puts faith in God
The Prime Minister did not address directly the land amassed by the Vegas, nor did he indicate if his government would reprimand the Minister or condemn his actions. While the PM has some of the land is bought from private hands, for most people the land transactions stink to high heaven, and whether by luck [...]

Viva Las Vegas! Deputy P.M. gave family prime land
When we checked out today, the price of land in San Pedro, it is verifiable that the price paid by the Vega clan is chum change in which ever area the land is situated. In fact, the most conservative estimate for crown land in underdeveloped areas would be at least four times more. This morning [...]

Victim or not? Murdered man found with weapon
There was another murder in the Old Capital; it is fifth in the past five days and believed to be in retaliation of the Sunday night murder of Stephen Flowers, an alleged gang associate. Around seven o’clock, nineteen year old Tevin Ferguson was shot at multiple times in the Lake Independence area; he died on [...]

Alleged Slovakian mobster attempts to stop expulsion
Karol Mello, an alleged Slovakian mobster, who reportedly fled to Belize in 2010 to evade trial for murder, remains in police custody tonight following his detention in San Pedro on July eleventh. His attorney, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, argues that Mello is being unlawfully detained since charges are yet to be brought against him. In [...]

Belizean “charmer” cons women in Mexico
There is a Belizean making headlines in neighboring Mexico. He is so sweet he had to be arrested for charming his way into the lives and the property of several women. According to reports, Roger Zedillo Orlando Hernandez, a twenty nine year old Belizean, told women that he came to see a sick sister in [...]

Guatemalan nationals convicted of resort robbery
Two Guatemalan nationals who have terrorized a western community were convicted today. Jeronimo Cortez Gonzalez and Marcos Javier Chiquin Molina have been sentenced to five years for two counts of robbery, aggravated assault, conspiracy to robbery, and unlawful imprisonment of several employees at a resort. The conviction stems from a 2002 incident at Black Rock [...]

A grandfather and a stepfather accused of carnal knowledge
There are disturbing allegations of sexual assault coming out of Mahogany Heights tonight where a fifty-one year old grandfather and a stepfather have been accused of carnally knowing a minor. According to the relatives of an eleven year old girl, both men were having intercourse with the child during the past year. The alleged sexual [...]

Former B.D.F. still trying to get his job back
Former Deputy Commandant Javier Castellanos remains a private citizen despite a recent decision taken by the Belize Advisory Council to have him reinstated in the Belize Defense Force. The judgment reverses the decision of the Security Services Commission in which Castellanos was wrongfully terminated from the B.D.F. in the wake of a break-in at the [...]

SMART customer wins a free trip to U.S.A.
A San Pedro resident is the winner of a free trip for two to the US or Caribbean as well as spending money. Aloya Campos got lucky in the annual Summer Getaway promotion, done by SMART in collaboration with American Airlines. Campos, who has been a SMART customer since the service was launched in San [...]

Lacey’s Literacy Sumer Camp ends with improved grammar
Peter Lacey is on a mission to improve literacy among Belize’s children and he’s doing it through an annual summer camp for primary school students. This year, over two hundred kids participated in the city and for the first time, the camp was extended to Orange Walk where over a hundred students took part. Five [...]

YWCA breaks ground for new facility
For over a year, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) has been working toward a National Resource Center to be established in Belmopan. With financial assistance from the European Union, the YWCA took a major step toward accomplishing that goal with a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, to begin the construction of the National Enterprise Development [...]

Weather system heading this way
There’s a first weather system to be heading this way for the hurricane season. According to a NEMO advisory, Tropical Storm Ernesto is moving at twenty-two miles per hour and slowly making its way into the Caribbean. While it is not posing a direct threat to Belize, NEMO says it’s monitoring the situation. There’s more [...]

Kids get Healthy Living tips at camp for diabetes
Belize Diabetes Association is establishing a registry of all children and youths afflicted with diabetes to determine how many are living with the condition. While it is not known how many youths have been affected, there are symptoms that parents and guardians can look out for including frequent urination. This week a group of more [...]


Former Government Employee Seeks Compensation Following Road Accident
A former employee of the Ministry of Health is appealing for assistance to help him meet ongoing medical bills. Phillip Dolmo was driving a government vehicle which was involved in a head on collision near the Haulover Bridge on the Northern Highway in February of 2003. Cuban doc...

YWCA Holds Ground Breaking Ceremony in Belmopan
Ground breaking ceremonies were held this morning in Belmopan for the Young Women’s Christian Association of Belize’s new National Enterprise Development Center. The facility will be located on Trinity Boulevard in the nation’s capital. The project is being unde...

Rotary Club of Belize Prepares for Weekend Play
The Rotary Club of Belize will be presenting a Jamaican play at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts tomorrow. The purpose of the play is not only to entertain, but also to raise funds to aid the Rotary in their yearly projects. Love News spoke with the secretary of the...

Garifuna Language to be Introduced to Schools in Toledo
Preparations are being made to introduce the teaching of the Garifuna language and arts and craft in two Toledo schools. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG Toledo Correspondent Love FM “Teachers and other stakeholders of the upcoming i...


Superbond under keen scrutiny
Belize’s foreign debts, collectively known as the super bond continues to maintain keen scrutiny in the international financial media outlets. A report appearing in Bloomberg Business Week today says that Belize’s dollar bonds fell by two point five percent in the month of July. It is the most, according to the report among the fifty two emerging-market countries that are tracked by an index operated by JP Morgan Chase and Company. The report notes that the yields on the super bond climbed one hundred and forty five basis points, or 1.45 percentage points to twenty-point-zero eight percent this month as the country nears its second restructuring in five years. The latest restructuring exercise is being led by Ambassador Mark Espat, who this afternoon told Love News that he expects to release Belize’s official position on the debt restructuring exercise late next week. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is on record as saying that his government is looking for more lenient payment terms on the amalgamated foreign debts as the interest rates are stepped up to a punishing eight point five percent this year.

Diabetes Association gets generous donation
The Belize Diabetes Association today received a donation of glucometers. Over two dozen of the digital testers for persons living with diabetes were handed over during a brief ceremony at the ITVETT compound in Belize City. The glocumeters were handed over by Love TV’s Patrick Jones and receiving the donation was the president of the Belize Diabetes Association Anthony Castillo. Castillo told Love News that the glucometers will be handed out on Friday to children who are attending the annual summer camp for children living with diabetes

Rotarians to take to the stage at the Bliss
The Rotary Club of Belize will be presenting a Jamaican play at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts tomorrow. The purpose of the play is not only to entertain, but also to raise funds to aid the Rotary in their yearly projects. Love News spoke with the secretary of the Rotary Club of Belize Sandra MacKay who told us more about the play. President of the Rotary Club of Belize, Maria Coye explained exactly how the Rotary will use the proceeds of the play. The play will commence tomorrow at 7:30pm. It will continue to show throughout the week on Friday and on Sunday at the same time. Tickets can be purchased at Mala’s on New Road, at the Bliss Center or from any Rotarian at fifteen dollars for regular tickets, thirty dollars reserved and fifty dollars for premium tickets.

Fire fighters fail simulated exercise
A simulated fire exercise was held this afternoon in Belize City. [VO starts here] The event was designed to test the response of the National Fire Service and the way they manage an emergency scene. Among the participants are nine lead fire fighters from around the country who are taking part in a five-week training exercise, which is part of their professional development and career enhancement initiative. This afternoon’s fire drill was conducted at the Belize Foam Factory at mile two and a half on the Western Highway. It was suppose to test the response to a fire in which employees were trapped inside the burning building. But as our news team arrived on the scene, it became clear that the exercise did not go as planned. [VO ends here] Senior officer Ted Smith was in charge of today’s fire drill. And Love TV’s Patrick Jones put it to the veteran firefighter that the exercise was a big failure. According to Smith, they will now head back to the classroom to reevaluate what went wrong and give the exercise another try early next week. Fire Chief Francis Thomas told reporters at the scene that the exercise left a lot to be desired; but he is not discouraged. The five-week lead fire fighters training exercise is being held at the National Fire Service headquarters in Belize City.

Tropical Depression 5 forms in the Atlantic
Before we leave you this evening, the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre this evening stated issuing advisories on Tropical Depression number five of the 2012 Hurricane Season. Forecast models are predicting that the Depression will strengthen into Tropical Storm Ernesto by tomorrow. As it makes a west-northwesterly track through the Eastern Caribbean, the Tropical Storm is expected to strengthen into Hurricane Ernesto by the start of next week and should be in front of Belize by Monday afternoon. Love News will continue to track the development and progress of this tropical system.

MORE FM’s Summer Slam ends
Summer activities are taking place around the country for children and young people. One of the most anticipated events, the annual Summer Slam, which is organized by our sister network More FM has ended after just over a month of keen competition featuring teams of young people. Anita Hamilton is the chief organizer of Summer Slam, 2012. The grand Prize for the red team is three thousand dollars. Second place went to the Yellow Team which walked away with a package that includes three cell phones, courtesy of Cellular World. Hamilton says that she is already looking forward to the tenth anniversary edition of Summer Slam which is anticipated to be bigger and better than the previous nine competitions.


Suspected hit man shot and killed in foiled operation
Linda Vista Street was the scene of an early evening shooting. Last night at around 6:45pm, 28 year old Mark Godoy ...

Victim of alleged hit speaks out about violent ambush
While Tevin Ferguson never made it out alive, Mark Godoy, the suspected target did. Godoy, a construction worker of...

Municipalities getting a slice of the BMDP pie
The Belize Municipal Development Project – initiated by a thirty million dollar loan from the World Bank, is aimed ...

Slavokian national Karol Mello in court for second time this week
Slovakian fugitive Karol Mello appeared before the Supreme Court this morning for an application for a writ of habe...

Chairman adds his two cents on land grab accusations
The UDPs publicizing of the “excessive” land acquisitions by PUP stalwart Florencio Marin Jr. was aired yesterday. ...

League of senior footballers on the horizon
Popular footballers Nelson Moss and Roy Cadle, of Roaring Creek, dropped by Plustv to inform us about a special exh...

Belizean and Guatemalan diplomats meet on death of Guatemalan
High level meetings between Belizean and Guatemalan diplomats were held yesterday in Washington to discuss the rece...

University of Belize celebrates 12 years in education
And another organization celebrating 12 years is the University of Belize. Graduates of the University are trained ...

Meet SSB's new CEO
Yesterday, PlusNews informed viewers that the Social Security Board had appointed a new CEO. Richard Flowers takes ...

The Guardian

Veteran BDF Soldier killed in Belize City
42-year-old Wayne Madrill has been serving his country in the Belize Defense Force band for over twenty years. The Belize City resident was walking with a friend on Cemetery Road at about fifteen minutes to three on Saturday morning, July 28th, when a gunman approached and opened fire. While his friend escaped unharmed, Madrill was not so lucky. He was struck by a bullet and fell to the ground. According to reports, when Madrill fell to the ground the gunman walked up to him, stood over him and fired another bullet to the head. Madrill died on the spot. Police investigation into this murder is ongoing. According to Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer, Madrill is not believed to have been the intended target. However, that did not stop the gunman from finishing off his deed and now, Madrill’s family as well as the community want to know why he was killed. Police detained the friend that was walking with Madrill as part of their investigation. Meanwhile, the family is getting ready to bury their loved one, who will receive military honours when he’s laid to rest on Friday.

Clive Medwood killed on His Birthday
Clive Medwood celebrated his 23rd birthday on Monday, July 30th. For most, 23-year-olds a birthday is a joyous and festive occasion in which one celebrates the prime of their youth. However, according to his sister, Medwood said that he was not feeling his birthday. He decided to go home with his family and listen to music. It was about 10:45 p.m. and as Medwood was looking through CDs in an attempt to hype himself up for the last hours of his birthday, members of his family dove to safety as gunshot sounds rang out inside the house. He had only been at home for about a half an hour before a gunman snuck up near the window, pushed a handgun through the wooden louvers and opened fired. Clive Medwood suffered from gunshot wounds to the left side of the head. He succumbed to his injuries at 7:37 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31st. Medwood was a field employee of the Belize Water Services Limited. He is known as a hard worker who bothers nobody. While family and friends try to cope with the loss, police continues to investigate.

Oscar Gonzales, 22, offered Bail of $8,000 in the Supreme Court
Oscar Gonzales, 22, who had been remanded for being in the illegal possession of a firearm and a live round of ammunition, was granted bail of $8,000, when he appeared on Thursday, July 27th, in the Supreme Court. There were no objections to bail but with the condition that he is to report on every Monday to the Queen Street Police Station. On June 14th, 2012, police searched a house on Ordonez Street. There they discovered a sawed-off shotgun and a 16 gauge cartridge. Present at the time of the search were Delon Hinds, 21, Oscar Gonzales, 22, Rasheem Garnett, 19, and three minors. Gonzales and Garnett were jointly charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and keeping ammunition without a gun license.

Policeman knocks down and kills Elderly Man
Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland has been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution after he knocked down and killed a 91-year-old man. Police report that at 9:20am on Tuesday, July 31st, Sutherland was driving a 1989 Gold Honda Accord between Miles 2 and 3 on the Northern Highway, when he accidentally knocked down 91-year-old Robert Griffith, a retiree of a 2 ½ miles Northern Highway. Griffith sustained injuries to his forehead, shoulder, right arm and left knee. He was transported to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injuries at 1:20pm whilst undergoing treatment.

Bernard Linarez granted Bail for Toledo Credit Union Robbery
Bernard Linarez, a police officer, charged in connection with the June robbery of the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union Branch, was granted bail when he appeared in the Supreme Court, on Friday, July 27th. Linarez had been arraigned in the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court for the offense of abetment to commit robbery, on June 6th, 2012. Justice Herbert Lord offered bail in the sum of $1,000 and imposed a number of conditions. Linarez is report to the Independence Police Station every Friday of the week, between the hours of 8:30 a.m., and 4:40 p.m., and he must also not interfere with the prosecution’s witnesses. On Monday, June 4th, 2012 at around 8:48 a.m., Independence police responded to a robbery in progress at the Toledo Teacher’s Credit Union Branch (TTCU),in Bella Vista Village, Stann Creek District. The manager at the Credit Union had reported that sometime between 8:30a.m., and 8:45a.m., he was inside the building along with other employees. Twenty customers were also inside the building when three armed men entered and held up the employees.

Mason Patnett granted Bail of $10,000 in Supreme Court
When Mason Patnett, 25, a resident of Ladyville, appeared in the Supreme Court, on Thursday July 27th, Justice Hubert Lord granted him bail for charges of drug trafficking, in the sum of $10,000 plus a surety of that amount or two sureties of $5,000 each. Attorney, Richard Dickie Bradley had appeared on behalf of Patnett and had submitted in the bail application hearing that Patnett was an innocent passenger, who had hitched a ride to Belize City from Cayo, when the police stopped the vehicle, searched it and found the drugs, in the wheels of the vehicle. There were no objections in Court and bail of $10,000 was granted to Patnett, who had been initially arraigned in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, on June 4th, 2012, on charges of drug trafficking. On July 1st, at around 8:10 p.m., police were manning a vehicular checkpoint, on the Western Highway, when they stopped a Jeep Cherokee with two occupants, the driver, Hugo Casteneda, 27, and Patnett. A search of the tire compartment situated at the rear of the vehicle led to the discovery of a crocus sack containing a large quantity of suspected cannabis. Both men were searched and police found a combined $2,000 on them, along with 7.26 kilos of cannabis.

Jose Mendez granted Bail
A number of bail applications were before the Court, on Thursday, July 27th. One of these included the case of Jose Méndez, who had been charged in May of this year, in relation to a small gas tank explosion in Orange Walk Town. Jose Méndez appeared in the Supreme Court at around 1:30 p.m., accompanied by his attorney, Richard Dickie Bradley for bail hearing. Bradley had made submissions on his behalf as to why he should be granted bail. Méndez had been charged for wounding and arson after he had attempted to set the house of his common-law wife on fire, in Orange walk Town. Reportedly, Méndez and his wife had gotten in an argument, where it was alleged that Méndez had hit her causing bruises in her face, eyes and hands.

Orson Andrews loses appeal for 2011 conviction
On Thursday, July 26, Orson Andrews lost his appeal against his 2011 conviction. Andrews had been convicted for keeping a firearm without a gun license. In Court, Andrews’ attorney, Anthony Sylvester, submitted that the Magistrate should have not accepted the guilty plea entered by Andrews. Sylvester also argued that there was no proof that the object found was a firearm, and that Andrews had been told by an officer to declare himself guilty under duress. In response, Prosecutor, Kaysha Grant submitted, that once a person enters a guilty plea to any offense, there is no further need for the prosecution to prove the elements of the offense. She also added that the magistrate was satisfied that the object was a firearm.

Charges of Unnatural Crime withdrawn against Somerset Missionary
Somerset Missionary, Bryan Sears, 36, accused of three counts of unnatural crime against three Sarteneja brothers in 2011, is a free man, after those charges were withdrawn in Corozal Town, on Thursday, July 27th. This was after, the teen boys and their mother wished to no longer proceed with the case. Moreover, the alleged victims said that they had never reported the incident to the police, so the prosecution had all charges withdrawn against Sears. According to police, on October 8th, 2011, at 3:40 p.m., the mother of the boys, a 49-year- old Guatemalan who resides in Corozal District, along with her three teen sons ages 16, 14 and 13, had reported that on October 1st, at around 7:00 p.m., they were at Sears’ home in Sarteneja Village. The teens had alleged that on different occasions Sears had had forcible sex with them. On October 9th, 2011, police arrested and charged Sears with three counts of committing an unnatural crime. The news of the alleged sodomy had made headlines both locally and internationally, after one of the teens had reportedly gotten drunk and had gone to a villager and close family friend to confess that he and his brothers had allegedly been sodomized by Sears. Sears was remanded to prison and later granted bail, but one villager told us, that they never saw Sears in the village after the incident. After the incident, Sears had also found himself in trouble again with the law after he was allegedly found in possession of crack cocaine in a car in Orange Walk Town. For that offense, he was also granted bail.

Criminal and Civil Suits dismissed against Two Cops
On Monday, July 30th, two police officers 46-year-old Sgt. Jose Ortiz, and 41-year-old PC Leonardo Yama, both of Belize City, appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of wounding. Back in November 2011, they were accused of beating up Gabriel Casey, a bailiff at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. The case had been set for trial for quite some time but the men's attorney, Dickie Bradley had indicated to the court from April of this year that the officers have been negotiating with the virtual complainant to try and settle the matter out of court. On Monday, both men appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer where they were told that the charge of wounding was struck out as Casey had requested no more court action in the matter. Casey, in a letter to the court, indicated that he no longer wants to proceed with the matter against the men as he has been compensated. The figure for compensation was not released but the men were told that they were freed from the charges. They were also told that the civil charges were also struck out.

Bail set at $8,000 for Special Constable accused of Discharging a Firearm in Public
On Thursday, July 26, police special constable, Michael Waight, 37, appeared in the Supreme Court represented by his attorney, Anthony Sylvester, for his first bail hearing. Waight had been denied bail in the Magistrate’s Court about a week ago for charges of discharging a firearm in public, aggravated assault, threatening words, and keeping a firearm without a gun license. Bail was offered and set at $8000. Conditions attached to the bail are that he must report to the Burrell Boom Police Station every Friday, between the hours of 8:30 a.m., and 4:00 p.m. Waight must also appear in Court on every adjournment date and he is not to interfere with the prosecution’s witnesses in the case. The accusations against Waight stem from a confrontation between him, Heron Molina and Cheryl Escobar that transpired at the Burrell Boom Village Football Field, on June 30. According to the allegations, Waight is accused of committing aggravated assaults upon Cheryl Escobar and Heron Molina.Additionally, Waight is accused of threatening to kill both Escobar and Molina.

150 Children at Citco Sports Camps
Over 150 Belize City youths are spending their summer days on a sporting court or field thanks to the Belize City Council and friends. Every year the council holds a summer sports camp and Councilor Bernard Pitts was responsible for it this year. The first year councilman has not disappointed the kids.

Fallen Novelo’s Empire
The empire that was once the Novelo's has finally collapsed in totum. The Sunday, July 29th edition of the Amandala Newspaper features a two-page spread of public auctions that are to take place on August 6th and 7th. The auctions will feature 18 properties that once belonged to the Novelo family. The family members listed include David Novelo, Antonio Novelo, Hipolito Novelo, Emil Novelo, and Belitur, which is a company also owned by the Novelos.

Police to receive Raise in Pay and Allowances
People outside the Belize Police Department were wondering why it is that Corporal Eldon Arzu, President of the Police Association, and Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo, Vice-President of the Police Association, were not supported by more police officers during their media blitz against the Commissioner of Police. It is simply because this is no time to do so. Under the United Democratic Party administration, Belizean police officers are being treated better than they have ever been and the love continues.

Summer Camp with a Purpose
Participants of the Belize City Council Summer Sports Camp Through the collaboration of the Belize City Council and other sponsors, Councilor with responsibility for After-school Programs and Health, Dr. Alain Gonzalez, has organized a summer camp for youths in Belize City. The camp has been running from July 16th and will go up until August 10th. According to Gonzalez, the camp is designed to offer youngsters instruction in computer technology, arts and health education. The children are also afforded the opportunity to interact with guest speakers from law enforcement organizations such as the Police and the Belize Defence Force.

BTB Donates Motorcycles To Tourism Police Unit (TPU)
Belize City, Belize - Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 – The Belize Tourism Board is proud to furnish the Tourism Police Unit (TPU) this week with three brand new motorcycles; two Honda CG125 Storm motorcycles and one Suzuki ZS125 motorcycle, to be utilized for effective policing within tourism destinations. With tourist arrivals to Belize on the rise, visitor safety has taken on even greater significance.

Laura Dunn Street in Collett getting upgrade
For months the residents on Laura Dunn Street in the Collett division have had to struggle as they waded through water as the street was in need of repair. It was very much a pleasant surprise to those living on the street when work crews arrived in the area and began to work to fill a large puddle that was in the middle of it. The work being done is through the area representative Hon. Patrick Faber and he promises that other streets with similar problems in his constituency will be likewise attended to.

Mayor Bradley plants Mahogany Trees with Miss Earth Delegates
The Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley planted several mahogany trees along with delegates of the Miss Earth Belize Pageant on Wednesday, August 1st. The trees were planted near the Sand Lighter's Promenade next to the Princess Hotel.

Summer Camp for Diabetes
Justin Jerez is like any ordinary 13-year-old, and just by looking at him you would think he is the picture of good health, but the reality for this teenager is that he has to be living with diabetes. Justin says that in January of this year, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes Since his diagnosis, he says, "my family treats me like the king in the house". But the condition is anything but regal; Justin is quick to admit that since the diagnosis, his life has been changed. Everyday, he has to test his blood sugar levels at least three times; he tests before every meal, after every meal and after doing exercise. He says if he is not mindful of his blood sugar level, it can dip so low to cause him to have blurry vision and eventually faint. To avoid this, he needs to keep track of his blood sugar and when it goes too low he says he needs to eat a sweet. And keeping track of the blood sugar level goes hand in hand with proper nutrition. For Justin, a meal is not one that can be consumed from anywhere and, he says that in order to manage his diabetes, he prefers to eat at home where his parents give him healthy food. While Justin has the basic idea of how to manage his diabetes, he along with over 30 other youngsters and teenagers from across the country are participating in the Belize Diabetes Association's 2nd annual Diabetes Youth Camp. According to Anthony Castillo, President of the Association, the camp is specifically tailored for children living with Type 1 diabetes. Through the camp, the children learn to take care of themselves since it will be a condition they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

Briton Cordova, 10, still critical after house collapses on him
Little Briton Cordova, 10, a student of Orange Walk Town, continues to fight for his life at the Karl Husner Memorial Hospital, after suffering from a cardiac arrest, when the wooden house he lived in, collapsed on him and another young boy. According to the family, Briton’s prognosis has not gotten any better as the boy remains critical and is on a life support machine. Briton is currently suffering from a fractured neck, punctured lung, and a swollen brain. On Thursday, July 28, Yo Creek Street became the scene of a grueling attempt to try to save the lives of two boys, who were trapped under a house that had collapsed on them. At around 9:00, on the morning of the incident, Cordova and his nephew, Jova Griffith, 7, were playing under the house with their four new-born puppies, when the structure suddenly came crashing down on top of them. Cordova’s mother was inside and felt the violent shaking that ripped the interior walls apart, along with its ceiling. She also heard the screams of one of the boys who was trapped under the house, which was built roughly about 3 to 4 feet off the ground.

Belize City Kids take Up Farming
There are several organizations in Belize that are working to protect children from exposure to the criminal world. Belize Camping Experience (B.C.E.) is one of such organizations. B.C.E. is a non-profit Belizean organization that was established in 2006. They work with schools, churches and community residents to organize summer camps. Last year, there were over 300 children in B.C.E. camps. After the camp is over there is a follow up program in which members of B.C.E. hold regular fellowship with children from the camp throughout the year. B.C.E. is preparing to host a total of 13 camps this year and is expecting to reach as much as 1,000 children. The increase in campers has caused a need for more resources and Alexander Perez of Belize Camping Experience spoke to the Guardian about the organization’s fundraising strategy. Belize Camping Experience has started a program called Harvest for Kids. The Christian organization approached two friends who are farmers from the Orange Walk District and asked them to loan the organization 10 acres of their best farm land. Christians believe that all offerings to God should be that of a person’s best. The farmers each loaned 10 acres of their land. Two weeks later, another two farmers loaned ten acres of land to the organization. Those acres are located in the Banana Bank area of the Cayo District. Therefore, B.C.E. has 40 acres of prime farm land to use for the Harvest for Kids program. In the Harvest for Kids program, B.C.E. has taken children from Belize City to visit and learn about life as a farmer. According to Perez, there are as many as 20 children from Southside Belize City who have visited the farms. Kimberly Conserve told the Guardian that she had a wonderful experience. Her favourite part of the experience was riding on the fertilizer spreader and four-wheeler. She learnt about the invention of several farm machines as well as proper techniques to plant and harvest pepper and other crops. The Harvest for Kids portion of land will be used to plant corn.

The Passing of a Hero - Police Corporal Victor Lima
The Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar; CEO Retired Colonel George Lovell; Acting Commissioner of Police, David Henderson and the members of the Belize Police Department regret the passing of Corporal #203 Victor Lima, 34, that occurred on Friday, July 27th, 2012, at 2:39am whilst undergoing treatment at the K.H.M.H. Corporal Lima enlisted in the Belize Police Department on February 2nd, 2002 and passed out from the National Training Academy on June 22nd, 2002 and was posted at Patrol Branch, Eastern (Police) Division. Victor Lima was born on October 15th, 1977 in Dolores Peten, Guatemala and was later naturalized in his infant years as a Belizean. Lima attended Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo Town. He furthered his education at the Mopan Technical High school in Benque Viejo. On November 1st, 2011, Victor Lima was promoted to the substantive rank of Corporal of police and remained posted at the Hattieville Police station as a NCO I/C of a Relief until his untimely passing. Corporal Lima was admitted to ward at the KHMH in a critical condition suffering from gunshot wounds to the left and right side of his chest sustained on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 about 10:00 pm while responding to an emergency call of an aggravated burglary at the residence of Shakira Smith in Hattieville Village, Belize District. Upon arrival at the residence, the assailant fired two shots causing the injuries. A funeral service honoring the life of Cpl. #203 Victor Lima took place on Sunday, July 29th, 2012 in his hometown Benque Viejo del Carmen. Victor Lima is survived by his mother: Ms. Martina Cano; sisters: Daria Aguilar, Cruz Aguilar, Octavia Aguilar and Maria Lima. Brothers: Edwardo Aguilar and Narciso Lima; brothers-in-law: Joel Lemus, Nathaniel Lopez and Albert Haylock. He will be sadly missed by his (19) nieces and nephews.

Stevedore fell to His Death at the Port of Belize
40-year-old Stevedore Ian Madrill fell nearly 30 feet to his death at around 3:15 a.m. on Tuesday, July 31. Madrill and Deon Pitter were on a 40 ft spreader that was being used to load a cargo ship called the MV Kappeln. According to reports, the men were on top of the spreader as it was being used to carry a 40 ft flat rack by a crane. The spreader bumped against the MV Kappeln and the flat rack loosened. That caused the men and the flat rack to fall nearly 30 ft into the cargo hole. Both men were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Ian Madrill suffered from head and body injuries and was pronounced dead at 4:40 a.m. while Deon Pitter received injuries to his right elbow and right thigh. It is believe that Pitter was able to maneuver his fall because he had a hold of the chain that connected the flat rack. The Port of Belize Limited has pledged to assist the families of both victims in any way possible. The company will implement policies to make the working environment safer for all stevedores.

Tuff “E” Nuff leads in The Finals of Interoffice Basketball
Farron Louriano scored 15 points. The 2012 Interoffice Basketball League competition is fast coming to an end at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City when game three of the finals was played on Friday, July 27th. In the third game of the series, Tuff “E” Nuff defeated Alamilla’s/MOE by the score of 57-49 to take a 2-1 game lead over Alamilla’s/MOE. The top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Farron Louriano with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal; Raul Roches with 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals; and Keith Acosta with 10 points, 3 rebounds and 4 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Alamillas/MOE were Greg Rudon with 20 points, 3 rebounds and Brandon Rogers with 17 points. The championship series continues this coming Friday August 3 at Bird’s Isle.

Eric Donis is Duathlon champion
The Belize Triathlon Association sponsored its second Duathlon Competition on Sunday, July 28th, 2012 in Orange Walk Town as part of the Annual Fiesta Rama celebrations. This event attracted 14 athletes that had to compete in a 2.5-mile ride, a 5-mile ride and then a 2.5-mile run. In the Open Male category, first place went to Eric Donis with second place going to Kenroy Gladden and third place going to Anthony Leslie. In the Beach Cruiser male category, first place went to Kent Gabourel, second place Nissan Arana and third place Alexander Alvarado. In the Open Female category, first place went to Kaya Cattouse and second place to Kerah Eiley while in the Beach Cruiser Female, first place went to Nathalie Marcia and second place went to Nelita Novelo.

Eddermys Sanchez loses Fight to Hungarian Fighter
Belize made its debut appearance in the judo competition of the 30th Summer Olympiad that is currently being held in London, England. On Sunday, July 29th, 2012, at the Excel Arena in London, Belize’s only competitor in the -66kg Judo Competition won a bye into the elimination round of 32 and was pitted against Hungarian Miklos Ungavari. Miklos Ungavari who finished with the silver medal in the -66kg wasted no time in eliminating Belizean Eddermys Sanchez in 19 seconds. The two athletics athletes will be in competition on Friday, August 3rd, 2012.

Land for Lenchito (list of Land)
Florencio Marin, Jr., List of lands as it appears at the Ministry of Natural Resources

The Reporter

P.G. cops charged with murder for beating a man to death.
Police constables Modesto Cucúl, 28, and Frederico Tush, 24, both attatched to the Punta Gorda formation, were arraigned in the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court, on Monday, July 30, on a charge of beating Michael Valerio and causing his death on Sunday, July 29. A hostile crowd of Punta Gorda citizens who stood outside the court were further upset to see the two accused walking without handcuffs from the courtroom. They expressed their rage when the police tried to stop them from photographing the two accused.

Belize Bonds—the Worst in emerging markets, says Bloomberg.
Belize’s dollar bonds are the “worst performers in emerging markets” in the month of July, a Bloomberg article, written by Eric Sabo and Adam Williams on Tuesday, said. The article attributed the bonds’ decline of 2.5%—“the most among 52 emerging-market countries tracked by JP Morgan Chase & Co’s EMBIG index”—to Belize’s widening budget deficit; but, more importantly, it pointed to the growing concerns surrounding the Government of Belize (GOB)’s move to “force holders of (US)$544 million of bonds to take losses in a restructuring.” Read More

“Shatta” killed by unknown gunman
Two separate shooting incidents in the Lake Independence area of Belize City on Wednesday, August 1, have left one man dead and another in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Tevin Ferguson, 19, an unemployed youth of Flamboyant Street, was shot several times and died where he fell on Linda Vista Street, shortly before 7:00 p.m. Read More

Land grab scandals
Corozal South East area representative Florencio Marin Jr, charged that Prime Minister Dean Barrow was “deceitful”, when Barrow, addressing the special sitting of the House last Friday, accused Marin of owning 150 parcels of land, with 128 of such lots in San Jose Palmar Village alone. Marin denied Barrow’s charges when the Opposition People’s United Party called a press conference at Independence Hall in Belize City on Wednesday, August 1st.

Minister Elrington clarifies OAS faux pas
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington explained that something was lost in translation when Secretary General Jose Insulza of the Organization of American States, speaking in Spanish, described as “lamentable” the unfortunate shooting of illegal Guatemalan logger Luis Alberto Ramirez by a Belize Defense Force soldier on July 19. Foreign Ministry CEO Alexis Rosado also said the appalling gaffe – the use of the word “reprehensible”, which was attributed to Insulza in the first OAS release – was in fact an error in translation by some junior staffer at OAS headquarters. That word “reprehensible”, coupled with another error that placed the shooting incident in the OAS Adjacency Zone, so incensed some Belizeans; that the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) demonstrated in protest outside the OAS office in Belize City, where they accused Minister Elrington of being a “traitor,” burning photographs of him and replicas of the OAS flag.

Eight natural health doctors – So readily available in Belize
Doctors are important! Whether it is a gastroenterologist who focuses on the digestive system and its disorders or a gynecologist who deals with the reproductive health of women in our society, medical doctors certainly play a vitally important role, in dealing with our health and well-being. Read More

Humans might be hard-wired to ‘Love thy neighbor’
The amount of physical space between people may influence how they react to each other in certain situations, new research suggests. British psycholo-gists from the University of Lincoln argue that people may actually be hard-wired to “love thy neighbor.” In conducting the study, the researchers analyzed the behavior of contestants in first-round episodes of the show, “The Weakest Link.”

Omar Guerrero and Mario Graniel win second place in Darts competition
Belize’s Omar Guerrero and Mario Graniel won second place in the men’s doubles Darts competition, when the Belize Darts Federation hosted the 19th Caribbean Cup Darts Tournament at the Belize Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel from Wednesday July 25,to Sunday, July 29. Guerrero and Graniel lost in the championship finals to Mark Meares and Sheldon Lionel of the Florida team.

Western Eagles outshine DHC Excellence 150-108 in cricket finals
Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores outshone Excellence Club of Double Head Cabbage 150-108 in the second match of the championship finals of the 2012 Smart Harrison Parks Cricket Competition in Double Head Cabbage on Saturday, July 28. Western Eagles batted first, and the opening batsman, Linden “Bump” Pook, proved himself the giant of the side, despite his diminutive size. He walloped six boundaries and many more singles to score 52 runs, before he was bowled out by Orson “Big Dawg” Flowers.


Tarpon: The Migration – The Fish Whisperer
In the summer time we have a migration that attracts many anglers to our fisheries. The tarpon are on their migratory route between Belize and Virginia, they pass through the Florida keys and follow the coastline of the Gulf to Belize. The peak time here in Belize is July through September when anglers can expect shots at tarpon over the one hundred pound mark. These tarpon are generally bigger than our local population, which can range in size from babies to eighty pounders. The migratory tarpon are targeted by many anglers, whether it be on the fly or with a live sardine. I love fishing for many species of fish, but tarpon are one of my favorite. They are very powerful fish with the ability to do spectacular jumps. This makes them all the harder to land, which makes it a heated battle, who will give up first!

Hiking in the jungle and a swim in a waterfall pool
Wednesday, July 25th was our first full day in Mayflower Bocawina National Park, and we spent most of it hiking. In the morning, we hiked the Bird Trail, which was an easy, mostly flat trail, but longer than we expected. Most of the birds were actually out in the open area where some un-excavated Maya ruin mounds were located, not along the jungly, dense trail, but it was a fun walk anyway. As usual, we had the trail entirely to ourselves. (Stay tuned for a separate post with bird photos coming later; we'll just show the hiking photos here to keep this post from getting too long.) Besides birds, we saw some cool flora and fauna along the way, like these interesting mushrooms, and a couple of huge owl butterflies, who seemed to be posing just for us, as Barry was able to snap a lot of shots of them. Some parts of the trail were semi-blocked where trees had fallen, so we had to do a bit of trail blazing. After lunch we attacked the Antelope Falls Trail, which we'd not been able to make it to the top of on our last attempt due to not enough time and severe fatigue. This time around, we had no time limit and were feeling fresher, and it didn't seem nearly so difficult. However, it is still some of the toughest hiking we've ever done; more like rock climbing in parts. There were many, many stairs, and many places where using a rope was required to climb up steep and sometimes slippery rocks. You can see the Antelope Trail on the map at the top of this post. Note that it says "steep in places". Uh, yes. Here are some of those places:

Ambergris Caye Weather Watch and the Island Committee
Tacoboy was checking NOOA this morning and said it looks like tropical depression 5 is heading our way. Currently it is still moving towards towards Puerto Rico, passing Jamaica Monday and Cuba on Tuesday. That is a long way off and anything is subject to change, but due to the path shown it is worth keeping an eye on. Not long after I started writing this post, I got an email Lily Bowman Director General for the Belize Red Cross. All Eyes on Tropical Depression # 5, in the email she said “Although this is still too soon to say whether Belize is in any direct danger, one never knows what will happen as it continues its path west and it is forecast to develop further even to a Hurricane Category 1 over the next few days. “ Here is a brief explanation of wind speeds in relation to storm categories. When the wind speed less than 39 MPH is considered a tropical depression. As the wind speed picks up between 39 MPH and 73 MPH it becomes a tropical storm and definitely worth keeping an eye on. Hurricane status is gained when the wind speed between 74 MPH and 110 MPH and Major Hurricane with a wind speed greater than 110 MPH

Gorgeous Days, The Set Up For Costa Maya and Tropical Storm Ernesto?
I hesitate to even feature "Tropical Storm Ernesto" since the 1. weather has been gorgeous the last few days. HOT but sparkly blue almost perfect.. 2. This storm isn't even a tropical one's just a nameless, lame depression #5 at this point. But it is projected to head in our general direction...and these storms have been known to pick up speed or change direction, so best to keep an eye on this asshole. Especially since it's not projected to be over much land soon... Grrr...I guess it can't hurt to get my hurricane preparedness kit together. Refill my 5 gallon water jug (mostly for showering if power goes out for a day or two and it gets HOT), locate my flashlights, matches and candles, charge my camera, buy a few cans of chick peas and a bottle or rum. I am lucky. I live in a very sturdy cement condo that has weathered quite a few storms over its 15+ years. Yesterday morning I was in the DFC area towards the lagoon side of the island and I watched truck after truck unloading fair rides from the barge. Think I'll stop into town to check them out. Set up by both team Belikin beer & soda guys and the Mexican carnies was in full effect.

International Sources

Olympics-Women's athletics 100m heats - results
The Republic of Congo's Lorene Bazolo won heat 3 of the Olympic women's athletics 100m heats with a time of 11.87 at the 2012 London Games on Friday at the Olympic Stadium in London. Cameroon's Delphine Atangana leads the Olympic women's athletics 100m qualifying with a time of 11.71. Belize's Kaina Martinez and Comoros' Ahamada Feta are currently equal second with a time of 11.81.

Even Deadly Snakes and Monkey Shit Couldn’t Stop Me From Excavating Maya Ruins in the Jungle
Snakes. In the ancient Maya ruins where I'm working at with archaeologists, the creatures we fear most are probably the snakes. That fact might sound like the punchline to an Indiana Jones joke, until you hear about the most dreaded serpent here in the jungles of Belize. The fer-de-lance is likely the deadliest snake in Latin America, packing an amputate-if-you're-lucky bite if it goes untreated. Its long fangs can go right through a boot, and it's aggressive - unlike many snakes that seem more afraid of us than we are of them, the fer-de-lance won't hesitate to strike. Luckily, killing snakes is what one of our local experts Mandito knows how to do. Not with the machete, although he certainly knows how to swing his. No, this summer, when Mandito saw a snake, he cut down a nearby sapling, crafted a spear from it with one or two quick hacks of his blade, and then stabbed the serpent to death. So why am I here with archaeologists daring the snakes of Belize? Why did I help excavate human remains this year from ruins, and hang from vines, roots and branches off the side of a giant stone pyramid last year? We're hunting clues to a longstanding mystery - the collapse of the ancient Maya empire.

Great Mayan Ruins by San Ignacio, Belize: Xunantunich
On the topic of Xunantunich, and Ka'ana, there are a couple of great new travel reviews about them. The honeymooners actually tried to walk to Xunantunich from Ka'ana, by the way. Yes, a cab did save them. They really enjoyed their guide, and their time in Cayo. "Let me tell you: This guide was well worth $20. He knew everything, and was professional, patient, and interesting. In addition to his knowledge, he also displayed such love and reverence for Xunantunich (despite having led the tour hundreds or even thousands of times) that it inspired us. Again and again we are impressed by the caliber of the Belizean tourist industry and its people. Our guide even explained to us about the misinterpretation that had led us to hike along the highway for miles: 'The people told you the ruins were close by because they wanted to make you feel better.'"

Our Romantic Honeymoon Jungle Resort in Belize: Ka’ana
“The Cayo district of western Belize is about adventure,” people told us as we planned our Belize Honeymoon. “The area around San Ignacio is like the Indiana Jones part of the country. In Cayo, you hike ancient Mayan ruins, swim through underground caves to see skeletons of human sacrifices, and tour an iguana sanctuary.” “Cool!” I exclaimed. “But the thing is,” these wise Belize travel advisors continued, “You want to do all that adventure during the day, but this is your Honeymoon, right? So when you go rest at night, you’ll want to be somewhere beautiful and comfortable.” “Right,” I replied. Where is good for that? “Have you heard about a resort called Ka’ana?” my travel-loving advisors would reply. “It’s near San Ignacio, and I love it! You should stay there.” Our wonderful Master Suite at Ka’ana. Oooh, love that peaked ceiling! Well, Colin and I went ahead and took the advice of these Belize travel mentors, and have spent the past three nights at Ka’ana Boutique Resort.

August 2, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Here is an update on Tropical Depression #5 which formed from the area of disturbed weather in the west central Atlantic last evening... Stay informed and BE PREPARED!

Tropical Depression #5
Atmospheric conditions will become favourable for strengthening of TD # 5 as it approaches the Windward Islands and enter the eastern Caribbean. The NHC forecast track moves the system WNW to just south of Jamaica by next Monday afternoon as a hurricane; while the GFS model 850 mb level vorticity projection (Figure 2) has the vorticity maximum center or Low slowing down and moving towards the southern or central Yucatan coast by 12:00pm on Thursday, August 9, 2012.

All interests in the eastern, central and western Caribbean should continue to monitor the progress of TD # 5 as it moves generally WNW during the next 24-48 hours.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Mid Week Weather Report

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

The San Pedro Sun

Tropic Air increasing non-stop flights to San Pedro Sula
Tropic Air announced today that it will be increasing its non-stop service between Belize City (International) and San Pedro Sula, Honduras from three (3) to five (5) times a week effective November 4, 2012. This is a direct result of the increasing demand and the support that our customers have given to the service (launched earlier this year). Starting November 4th, Tropic Air will serve the route on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Not only will these new frequencies allow for more options for our passengers, but it will also allow for an increase in trade and business related activities between the two countries. “When we inaugurated our San Pedro Sula service earlier this year, we promised the people of Belize and Honduras to add service as we saw the route grow” said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air. “Our passengers have responded and supported us, so it was a natural fit to add more service days…..we hope that soon it might even be daily .” The flight schedule for the San Pedro Sula (SAP) is as follows:

Delegates enjoy San Pedro as they gear up for the 2012 Reina del la Costa Maya Pageant
The eight beautiful delegates for this year’s Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant have been in Belize for the past week travelling and enjoying some of what our country has to offer as they rehearse and gear up for the big night on August 2nd. Miss Esthefany Maolyth Pineda Perez of Honduras, Miss Karen Elena Jordan Beitia of Panama, Miss Mariela Aparicio from Costa Rica, Miss Ivey Jellisa Alvarez Hunter of Nicaragua, Miss Alessandra Manzur Franco of Guatemala, Miss Natalia Villanueva of Mexico, Miss Nathaly Jazmin Mena Arauz of El Salvador, and Belize’s very own Miss Karen Jasmine Middleton have all been taking in the scenery and enjoying activities in various locations throughout the country and right here on La Isla Bonita, San Pedro. They’ve played with lizards at The San Ignacio Resorts’s Iguana Project, visited ancient Mayan Temples, walked along the bottom of the ocean in Ambergris Caye and dined at some of San Pedro’s best and most popular restaurants, while making new friends and new memories that are sure to last forever.

Former town council’s final report presented
On Thursday, July 26th Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel “Danny” Guerrero presented his first official public report to the resident of Ambergris Caye. The public meeting called by Mayor Guerrero, was to report to the islanders on the financial status of the council upon taking office. Members of the council also took the opportunity to highlight some of the work being done since taking office as well as to report on some of the projects they are working on. According to Mayor Guerrero, after taking office the council decided to embarked on assessing the council and report on the findings . The report on the financial affairs was conducted by council employees and was not an independent report as promised by Guerrero during a Mayoral Candidate’s debate held on January 18th. “I don’t want to get into the witch-hunting. I believe that what has happened in the past is of the past,” said Mayor Guerrero when asked if any irregularities were noted and if any action will be taken against the past town council. He elaborated by stating, “For us to really focus on working and producing for the community we don’t want to focus on the past… I don’t really want to go to the past. I know the media wants to know and that’s good. When people ask for a report and you look around at the empty chairs you want to know where the people are that were crying for a financial report. But not because they are not here we will not do one, I can guarantee the residents that under our term, we will be audited for our term in office by the Auditor General’s Office. I am not interested in what was done under the previous administration because whatever happened is gone and we cannot do anything. But to be honest with you I still applaud the ex-mayor Elsa Paz, my cousin, for a great job because she did a very, very good job for San Pedro.”

34 San Pedro kids receive PADI Open Water Certifications
34 kids between the ages of 10 and16 from the various primary and secondary schools around San Pedro received their Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Open Water Diving certification on Friday night, July 27th. The certificates came at the end of a two week summer camp offered by the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA) in conjunction with Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI) and PADI. At the graduation ceremony parents joined excited and enthusiastic students as they prepared to receive their certificates. Prior to the award ceremonies, Everett Anderson shared a delightful collage of photos, in the form of a movie – depicting the students’ journey to certification. Diving Instructors and Establishments were issued with special certificates of appreciation, followed by the issuing of the Certificates of Completion to the students. The program is a yearly program being offered. Following this, the kids are expected to remain active, volunteering with programs such as reef monitoring, reef surveys and mangrove reforestation. Special thanks go out to PADI instructors: Manuel Uribio, Roberto Gonzalez, Steve Bowen, Roberto Castillo, Rudy Duran, Jody Martinez, Felipe Ancona, Adolfo Ayuso, Everette Anderson, Enes Ramirez, Phillip “Billy” Leslie and Roberto Canul.

San Pedro Police Report: July 18 – 24, 2012

Ambergris Today

Captain's Casino Has Full House of Costa Maya Queens
Monday, June 30, 2012, Captain Morgan’s Retreat & Casino was the place to be for the Saga Humane Society annual fundraiser inside the Captain’s Casino. The lovely Costa Maya delegates helped raise funds by posing for some memorable pictures with the attendees. Sorry followers, but I’m a tad busy to write more on this cool experience with my new six beautiful friends, but the video explains it all. YOU ARE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO WATCH THE VIDEO…ENJOY!

Belize Launches Jasmine Alert Child Kidnapping Emergency Warning System
The tragic kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Jasmine Lowe hit hard the hearts of Belizeans across the country and her death initiated a movement to address the issue of kidnapping and abductions of children. On Tuesday, July 31, 2012, the Jasmine Alert system was launched in Belize that involves a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, and its aim is to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. The Jasmine Alert should instantly mobilize the entire nation to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of any abducted child 17 and under. Organizers hope that the initiative will elicit a unified nationwide response. The system is named after Jasmine Lowe of Santa Elena, who went missing and was later found dead less than two months ago.

Miss San Pedro 2012 Beauty Contestants Announced
Four beautiful young ladies have taken on the challenge to participate in this year’s Miss San Pedro Pageant; they are Naiely Puc, Darcie Zepeda, Ashley Rhaburn and Adriana Haylock. These four beautiful young ladies will take center stage on Saturday, September 1, 2012, as they vie for the coveted title of being San Pedro’s Beauty Ambassador – Miss San Pedro 2012. Ambergris Today had the opportunity to sit and chat with the excited young ladies; meet the lovely contestants of this year’s Miss San Pedro Beauty Pageant:

BTB Donates Motorcycles to Tourism Police Unit
The Belize Tourism Board is proud to furnish the Tourism Police Unit (TPU) this week with three brand new motorcycles; two Honda CG125 Storm motorcycles and one Suzuki ZS125 motorcycle, to be utilized for effective policing within tourism destinations. With tourist arrivals to Belize on the rise, visitor safety has taken on even greater significance. Kevin Gonzalez, Director of Destination Planning at the BTB stated that, “The donation is only a small token of appreciation for the support provided to the tourism industry by the Tourism Police Unit.” He also noted that the increased presence and visibility of TPU patrols will create an added sense of visitor security in Placencia, Corozal and Belize City.

Misc Belizean Sources

Donations for student
I hardly ever ask for help but when i do i always do so to help someone in real need. I young 21 year old, who is on honor roll needs to continue education. The person cannot pay to attend the second year of 6th form because the mother is battling with stage three cancer. The person comes from a single mother home and has 3 other siblings. I know that we have generous people who are in the position to help. I personally believe that as a society, should not allow the family's problem to stop this young intelligent person, not to have an education. It is my hope that you can open your heart and help in any way possible. I have a copy of the person report card, and the fees the person needs to pay at the institution. If you need further information and want to help, please call me at (501)634-1171 or (501)662-0143. If you need to get in contact directly with the person i can give you the number.

Training on combating trafficking in persons held in Belize
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) held a training workshop on trafficking in persons (TIPS) on July 12, 2012. This tourism service provider activity was geared towards providing and expanding the technical capacity building of key anti-trafficking stakeholders in Belize in support of the ongoing national response. Trainers Diana Shaw, Raymond James Mossiah and Maria Vega educated 37 tourism stakeholders on key trafficking concepts, the impact of trafficking on tourism destinations, the code of conduct for the protection of children (, the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC), the roles and responsibilities of tourism stakeholders and the referral mechanism. “We are extremely happy to partner with the BTB and BTIA for such an important workshop. We were pleased with the attendance and the fact that participants expressed their satisfaction with the material presented. They are now more aware of the issues involved with human trafficking,” noted IOM project coordinator Diana Shaw. “We hope this training builds a platform from which BTB and BTIA can continue to expand sensitization efforts and get more tourism stakeholders involved in the response. Trafficking in persons is a very serious offence that can severely tarnish the image of the destination and put the livelihoods of so many tourism stakeholders at risk.”

D!rty Jok3s Dub Steppin at Meluchi's
D!rty Jok3s, Dub Step artist, was at Meluchi's, and he really hyped it up. A full night of dancing to electronica, trance, techno, house, D & B, and Dub Step.

2013 Special Envoy Yearly Planners
Order your 2013 yearly planners now. The Special Envoy for Women & Children has teamed up with McNab Design, and are selling them for only $45, and they are for a great cause. They raised $28,000 last year, and want to double that this year. Order yours at or call at 223-1942. "The books will be 7" x 9", full colour hard cover with a thick double loop wire coil. Inside the first 1-3 pages will include a description of the Inspiration Center, the project towards which the proceeds of this journal are being donated... The remaining pages will be customized with the dates of the year and blank pages for meeting notes."

BAS Adult Photography Camp
The Belize Audubon Society had their Adult Photography Camp. They went to St. Herman's National Park to learn how to use their cameras. Looks like they had a great time, as always. "From our conference, and the Fort George Area in Belize City, we traveled to Belmopan City, and St. Herman's Blue Hole National Park, where the campers had the opportunity to hike in the jungle and caves whilst learning how to use their cameras. To summarize this camp in one word, 'fun!' Thanks to all our participants, and thanks to the kind and continuous support from Mr. Lacelle Tillett and S&L Tours. A big thank you also goes out to Neko, our caving tubing guide at St. Herman's."

Call for Cayo Artists
The San Ignacio House of Culture is calling for local Cayo artists to participate in the Cayo Art Collection. The deadline for registration is the 16th of August, and the dates of the exhibit are from August 23rd until September 6th. You can contact them at, or at 824-0783.

Channel 7

"Pitta" Says Port's Faulty Equipment to Blame For Fatality
Yesterday, we told you about the fatal accident at the Port of Belize that caused one stevedore to lose his life and left another in the KHMH. Today we spoke to Deon Ras Pitta who survived the fall into the hold of a cargo ship. He explained just what happened and how faulty equipment contributed to the fatal mishap: Jules Vasquez Reporting Deon Ras Pitta was smiling and in good spirits when we visited him at the hospital today. That is a long way from yesterday when he plummeted 30 feet into the cargo hold of a ship - and was injured by a spreader. Worst than all that, he had to watch his longtime co-worker die: Deon "Ras" Pitta - Stevedore, Survived Accident "It's sad. I feel grateful that 'Jah' had my back. I am very sad that I lost my brethren, and the only thing I can say is that the Father had my back. I could have been dead too."

Policeman Will Be Charged For Knocking Down 91 Year Old
Last night, 7News told you about 91 year old Robert Griffith who was knocked down and killed on the Northern Highway. As we reported, Griffith went to the Buca Shell Gas Station to purchase a few items. When he was walking back to his house, he was hit by a Honda Accord. The force of the impact flung Griffith onto the pavement, which caused him to suffer severe injuries to the forehead, shoulder, right arm and left knee. He died as a result of the injuries. According to police, the driver of the vehicle was Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland, and he has been served with an notice of intended prosecution. Well, the case hasn't progressed any further than that because the lead investigator hasn't filed any formal charges.

CYDP Laborer Remanded
22 year-old Gushany Wagner, a CYDP Laborer of Taylor's Alley, is spending his second night on remand after he was accused of pulling a firearm on another man. 28-year-old Clarence Slusher reported to police about 8:40 p.m. on Monday, he was socializing with his uncle through Taylor's Alley when 2 men approached them. One of the men reportedly punched Slusher on the jaw and the other pulled out a firearm, pointed it at his chest and threatened him to keep quiet. Police investigated the report and they charged Wagner with aggravated assault and wounding. He was taken before Magistrate Dale Cayetano yesterday, when he pleaded not guilty to both offences. Because assault was allegedly committed with a firearm, Wagner was ineligible for bail, and was remanded him to prison until his next court date, which is set for September 13.

PUP: UDP Ministers Have a Friend & Family Plan for Land
Last Friday's House Meeting ended with the Prime Minister doling out a blistering address, cataloguing the assorted land holdings of Florencio Marin Juniour. It was a pre-emptive strike because the PUP planned to have a press conference today to discuss the lands holdings of the friends and family of two UDP ministers. So, the PUP press conference, ledy by Marin Juniour was put in the unenviable position of starting out at a deficit - with Marin having to explain away his alleged ownership of hundreds of acres of lands - and in particular, 128 parcels of land in the village of San Jose Palmar. Here's how he countered the PM's allegations and then went on his own offensive: Jules Vasquez Reporting These are the lands that show up in the Land Department computer system when you enter the name Florencio Marin Junior. It shows over 128 pieces of land allegedly held in San Jose Palmar. But he says it's not so, and he brought the Chairman form San Jose Palmar to back him up Hon Florencio Marin - PUP Deputy Leader "I think that this is where the Prime Minister's credibility completely went down the drain because he never emphasized this just one time. He said it 3 times in his presentation that I have properties in the Nuevo San Jose Palmar. First of all, again, that is false.

Bus Conductor Accused Of Sex With 13 Year Old
19 year-old Giovanni Ramos, a bus conductor from Ladyville, is in jail tonight because he is accused of the carnal knowledge of a 13 year-old female. The minor reported to police that the incident took place on July 3, 2012 at around 7:30 p.m. Ramos who reportedly interacted with the minor regularly when she caught his bus, allegedly took her to a house on Dean Street and had intercourse with her. A doctor certified that the minor was carnally known, and as a result, police began to investigation. Today, he was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he was arraigned on a single count of carnal knowledge. Because the offence is an indictable one, no plea was taken, and Ramos was remanded to prison until October 2, his next court date.

Study: Belize Internet Among Slowest, Most Expensive In Region
A recent survey of the Caribbean shows that internet speeds in Belize are among the slowest and most expensive. First, Belize was one of only three countries still offering speeds of less than one meg; in Belize the lowest speed that you can purchase is 128k - only Dominica is lower with 64k. Second, the price for 256k in Belize - 51 US dollars monthly would buy you 1 Megs in Anguilla. 1 Meg is about 300% faster than 256K. Third, the maximum speed available in Belize is four megs - when in many other territories it is eight or nine megs. And the survey shows that in Belize, you'll pay the second most in the region, 436 US dollars for those four megs - when you can get twice that, 8 megs in the Bahamas for just 70 US dollars. The survey has been picking up a lot of traction and angry comments on FACEBOOK, and we today asked a top BTL executive why Belize is at the highest price point, for the lowest speed: Jules Vasquez "Belize's prices are among the highest, and the bandwidth is among the lowest; why is this?" Dr. Dionne Miranda - Customer Services Manager, BTL "To be honest with you, Jules, the demand for higher speeds has been really great.

Rotarys Annual Play
Annually, for the past eight years, the community of Rotarians has staged a play. Since 2004, it has become an annual fundraising event. And now it's that time of year when these Rotarians will be hitting the stage once more at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts as the cast will be performing "Children Children". Two Rotarians stopped by our station today to tell us more about the event and what the monies will be used for. Maria Coye - President, Rotary Club of Belize "This is another play that we are going to repeat because we did this play in 2005, a tremendous success, so we decided to repeat the play again because it's funny. It's going to be all comedy. It's all family oriented, so you can bring out your entire family to the play. It's going to be on the August 2, tomorrow night. Friday, August 3, and Sunday, August 5. It's going to be at the Bliss at 7:30 p.m." Sandra McKay - Secretary, Rotary Club of Belize "The name of the play is Children, Children, It was written by Joan Andre Hutchinson and Austin Cook from Jamaica, and back in 2005 or 2006, we got a hold of the script, and asked their permission to perform it. It was suggested to us to use own Rotarians in the Rotary Club to play the parts in the cast. It was a tremendous success; It was our first production.

Miss Earth, Meet Mr. Mayor And His Mahogany Trees
Belize City Mayor Darryl Bradley joined the contestants of Miss Earth Belize this afternoon in a tree planting ceremony in front of the Sandlighter's Promenade. Mayor Bradley told the media that the council supports these young ladies in promoting a healthy environment: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "Well, Miss Earth Belize Pageant really contacted the City Council, and they invited us to participate in this tree planting ceremony with the contestants, and the Miss Earth is really an international pageant that really tries to promote respect and love for the environment. The City just jumped on the opportunity to just come out to this public space and to really be with these very lovely, talented and intelligent young women to promote a respect for the environment by planting trees. We planted 20 trees in City today, and it really just adds to the public space of Belize City. The city will continue its responsibility. The trees were donated, and we will ensure that we maintain them. It's going to add a nice feel for this particular area of Belize City, which is an area that we want to develop anyway." Monica Bodden "Are you guys plant more trees around the City?" Darrell Bradley "Yes, we do actually.

Another Worrying Dispatch From South
High level meetings were held yesterday in Washington to discuss - among other things - the BDF's recent shooting death of a Guatemalan who was illegally logging in Belize. But - while one man has died - it doesn't mean that the incursions have stopped. The Colombia forest continues to be preyed upon by poachers. According to the Ya'axche Conservation Trust, the situation in the south is rapidly escalating. Ya'axche reports that recently on a joint patrol with the BDF, four soldiers accompanied four Ya'axché rangers to the border of the Bladden Nature Preserve and the Colombia River Forest Reserve - which is considered a hostile area. On the second day of the five day patrol, the patrol heard shots fired at increasingly frequent intervals as they progressed towards Baldden. A short while later Ya'axché's rangers came face to face with a Xatero, carrying a 16 gauge shotgun, who quickly escaped as he recognized the presence of BDF support. Upon reaching the camp just inside Bladden one of Ya'axché's rangers then came upon another Xatero on the perimeter of the camp; he was also carrying a 16 gauge shotgun. With that, the patrol including BDF Soldiers had to retreat and return to base. In a recent report, Ya'axche says four soldiers are not enough and there is a need for a greater deployment of manpower to patrol this region.

Late Evening Murder In City
And before we go tonight - there is bad news to report. Shots were fired on Linda Vista Road in the Lake Independence Area at around ten minutes to seven. Our team is just back from the scene and we can report that the shooting has resulted in a fatality. We do not have a name at this time - and the body is currently being processed by the scenes of crime team. We'll have more details of this murder tomorrow - it is the fifth in the city in just five days.

Channel 5

P.U.P. Press Conference on land grab and alleged corruption
From time to time we have reported on alarming land transactions at the Ministry of Natural Resources. The allegations have centered on what is considered ministerial abuse in the sale of huge acreages of prime land to family members or highly connected party supporters at rock bottom prices. Recently, we reported on a long list [...]

P.U.P. Village Chairman exonerates Corozal Southeast Area Rep.
Well this morning, the P.U.P. called a press conference on the statement made by the prime minister. The main star was village council chairman Orlando Balam who was brought in from the north to clear up the mess of land purportedly issued in San Jose Nuevo Palmar, to Florencio Marin Jr.  Balam exonerated the Corozal [...]

Marin says he’s not a land hog
But who’s telling the truth? Marin Junior, who has been at the center of the controversy, called into question the prime minister’s integrity following remarks made during the special sitting in which P.M. Barrow accused him of land grabbing.  According to Marin, he declared all of his assets before the Integrity Commission when he was [...]

Opposition Leader blasts Lands Department for alleged nepotism
Also taking the podium at Independence Hall, was Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca, who condemned the blatant nepotism which he alleges is taking place at the Ministry of Natural Resources.  Fonseca charged that the entire Lands Department is littered with family and friends of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who have been appointed to key positions [...]

Price of fuel at the pump goes up!
A huge drop of thirty dollar in butane prices took effect on July twentieth; that was good news for cooks, but tonight there’s bad news at the pumps for drivers. And the next time you head to the gas station you will feel the punch in your pockets. At midnight on Tuesday, an increase in [...]

B.D.F. soldier detained for handling stolen goods
A high ranking Belize Defense Force soldier was detained on Tuesday in Punta Gorda. The arrest went under the radar because the attention was focused on two other law enforcement officers—PCs Modesto Cucul and Federico Tush who were being arraigned in Court for murder. The B.D.F. Captain Ian Cuno of a regular battalion; was wanted [...]

Ya’axche Conservation Trust confronted by Guatemalan bandits in Forest
The pillaging of our protected national parks by Guatemalan nationals was brought to the forefront recently because of the magnitude of the damage caused by the border incursions.  On July twenty-third, the Ya’axche Conservation Trust attempted to carry out a five day patrol inside the Columbia River Forest Reserve and Bladen Nature Reserve, in southern [...]

Guatemalans panning for gold in Chiquibul without resistance
In a related story, it has now been confirmed that about three hundred Guatemalans have been illegally panning for gold which they sell way below market value.   The Friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the Chiquibul National Park, says that while they are doing their part, particularly with the joint forces unit, they believe [...]

Superbond payment on near horizon; recent report worrisome
From gold to Superbond; a coupon payment of forty-six million dollars is due on the twentieth of August and the eyes of credit agencies are on Belize to see if it will be met. Bloomberg BusinessWeek today described Belize’s notes as the worst performers in emerging markets this month since the dollar bonds fell by [...]

Bus conductor driven to prison for carnal knowledge
A nineteen year old bus conductor has been remanded to prison for allegedly having sex with a thirteen year old girl. Vista Del Mar resident, Giovanni Ramos, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning and was charged with Carnal Knowledge for an incident that reportedly occurred on July third. No plea was taken and [...]

Are firefighters ready to pass the test?
Earlier this week, a group of fire fighters were undertaking table top training to move up the ladder in fire fighting. Well today, they went out to the Western Highway to put theory to work and to test their tactical skills in case of a fire. The media was invited but alas the exercise had [...]

The Next Superstar transformed by Facebook
The Bliss Centre was teeming with talent on Tuesday night as this station’s latest entertainment show entered its second week of competition. Contestants in Group B performed in each category of dance, vocal, instrumental, and drama. They impressed the live audience when they brought their A game to the stage.  Those who did not make [...]

Rotary Fundraiser will include Caribbean Play
The Rotary Club of Belize is well known for its involvement in numerous projects that assist children and needy families; particular the Gift of Life Program. But as a charity organization, their initiatives depend heavily on fundraising efforts. One of the main events is the Rotary’s annual play, and the curtains open on Thursday night [...]

Costa Maya beauties in town for pageant shown Live on 5!
Music, Latin beauties and fashion will be everywhere inside the grounds that host the annual Costa Maya Festival.  So if you head out to La Isla Bonita on Thursday, the premiere night will showcase a beauty pageant among competing queens from the region.  The entire weekend  will be saturated with diverse cultural activities from all [...]

City Hall’s summer camp is open
Still looking for something to do for the summer? You can head on out to the Yarborough field for the next four weeks. The Belize City Council has officially launched its own annual summer camp for students. The councilor with responsibility for sports, says that this year’s camp will be a bit different, however, it [...]


Rotaract Orange Walk Raises Funds For Educational Grants
Without a doubt Fiesta Rama 2012 proved to be a huge success for the Orange Walk Town Council, the business community- especially those who took part in the business expo and various organizations who were out on the three day event selling numerous products. One organization that took the opportunity to raise funds during Fiesta Rama is the Orange Walk Rotaract Club. Today Rotaract member Ginnel Ozaeta told CTV3 News the money raised will be used for a special project. Ginnel Ozaeta, Rotaract “We do it every year for our educational grants that we have and the summer program that we have and also our bag drive, so we need to raise funds to give back to our community, we did very well and the weather I guess was in appositive side effect and it was good, it didn’t rain and also we have to give thanks to our sponsors Luis Cuello and Raul Cuello from the L&R group of liquors and also the Town Council for the booth and the liquor license and so forth. This year we were aiming for five grants and we made enough money for us to be able to have those five grants and usually we give four and this year we said and our president is pushing the fact that we need to do bigger thing this year right so apart from those five grants that Rotaract will be giving we also came out to the community to ask so that the businesses could match us one and we also got them and we thank the businesses that helped us with those five grants and this year we will giving out more grants.”

Riding More Than 12,000 Kilometres For Environmental Awareness
At the top of the newscast we told you about 26 year old Alan Hernandez who is riding all the way to Tierra de Fuego in Argentina for peace. Hernandez left Mexico City on May 8th and rode into Belize today with two other friends who are also riding to South America. But 26 year old Roberto Vivero and Roberto Cervantes are not riding all the way to South America on bicycle for world peace; they are riding for social and ecological consciousness. In other words they are promoting the negative effects that fuel has on the environment. The men left Cuernavaca Mexico about three months ago and met Hernandez in Chetumal Quintana Roo where they all agreed to ride together. Vivero and Cervantes call their project “Muchila Rodante”. Like Hernandez, Vivero and Cervantes planned their ride from last year. The duo expects to complete their journey in five months when they arrive in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Case Of Alleged Mafia Boss Adjourned Until Tomorrow
Alleged Slovakian mafia boss Karol Mello, was arrested by Belizean Authorities more than 2 weeks ago in San Pedro. Mello’s attorney, Godfrey Smith, has been trying arduously to have his client set free and so far has managed to stall his expulsion to Slovakia. On July 16th, the Minister of Immigration signed Mello’s expulsion order but Smith was able to obtain an injunction to block the extradition. Smith has since filed a habeas corpus application to the Supreme Court and yesterday that matter was heard before Justice Oswell Legall. But in court yesterday government’s attorney, Senior Crown Counsel Magali Perdomo, informed Justice Legall that she was not prepared to go forward with the application and asked for an adjournment. Based on the request a two days adjournment was granted by Justice Legall which means that Mello will be back in court tomorrow. In court Smith argued that his client has been held for 20 days without explanation as to why he was detained in the first place. Mello has been living in San Pedro since 2010 and is allegedly wanted in his home country, Slovakia, for the double murder of a woman and a child. Smith; however, went on record to say that Mello’s record in Slovakia is clean.

Children Sing Their Way To More Than $3,000 Worth In Prizes
There is a new show in town that will surely keep you glued to your television. On Sunday, during Fiesta Rama 2012, Fiesta F.M Radio launched their new karaoke competition “Buscando Una Estrella Infantil Cantando Karaoke”. The name says it all, it is a Karaoke competition organized for children between the ages of 8 and 12 years. Similar to La Voz Karaoke, the competition will consist of text voting and you the viewers, along with a panel of three judges, will decide who will be named the winner of the event. On Sunday, 9 of the 10 participants were officially introduced to the audience. As each competitor took to the stage they wowed the audience with their talent and proved that they have what it takes to be in the competition. The competition will officially kick off this coming Sunday at Gala Lounge starting at 4:00pm. In the mean while; though, if you would like your favorite participant to win the title of the most popular singer, then send your text message to 2588. To vote for Joselyn Eck, send the number 1 to 2588, to vote for Danny Pena text the number 2 to 2588, to vote for Shanika Bull text the number 3 to 2588, to vote for Samsung Pop text the number 4 to 2588, to vote for Byron Munoz text the number 5 to 2588, to vote for Mcbride Pop text the number 6 to 2588, to vote for Yadelli Novelo text the number 7 to 2588, to vote for Estrella Diaz text the number 7 to 2588 and to vote for Ayana Rudon text the number 9 to 2588. All text messages are 50 cents inclusive of GST. Remember that to vote, simply text the number of your favorite contestant to 2588, using Smart phones only. Voting ends at midnight on Friday. As mentioned the “Buscando Una Estrella Infantil Cantando Karaoke Competition” is organized by Fiesta F.M Radio. But behind all the hard work there is one main purpose- to expose the hidden talent that exists among the future leaders of the north.

Jasmine Alert Launched In Belize
The murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe sent shock waves across the country creating mix emotions among Belizeans. The death of the 13 year old student from Santa Elena Town once again proved that the children of Belize are not safe and that predators are just waiting for the right moment to make their deadly move. In effort of keeping our children safe the Jasmine Alert Program was launched yesterday in Belize City in memory of Jasmine Lowe. According to the Program Director of Jasmine Alert, Patrick Menzies, the program will see the involvement of law-enforcement agencies, business community, media, telecommunication companies and transportation agencies. Patrick Menzies- Program Director Jasmine Alert “The main idea behind the alert and the main reason for the alert is so that Belizeans on a whole can join with law enforcement and help apprehend perpetrators, but the most important part isn’t just the apprehension but to be able to rescue our children early, in many police department waiting for twenty four hours be able to start looking for missing individuals, however the new policy is that it is immediate thing and we have accepted the fact that within three hours of any abduction or kidnapping are the most critical therefore that is how the Jasmine alert works is that we are looking at the first three hours as being the most critical so we are immediately jumping on these thing and notifying the public.” The public will be notified when a child goes missing via Smart and BTL text messages and various other forms in order to ensure the safe and quick recovery of the victim.

Mexican National Defies All Odds And Rides For Peace
Peace- it’s something that most of us would like to see prevail across the world, especially here in Belize. And while some of us have lost hope, one man hasn’t. His name is 27 year old Alan Omar Hernandez from Mexico City. In hope of spreading the message of peace, Hernandez’s aim is to ride for more than 12,000 kilometers across Central America and South America. His project is called, Kilometros de Paz, or Kilometers for Peace. Hernandez left Mexico City on May 8th of this year and this afternoon he set foot in Orange Walk Town. Our news team caught up with Hernandez and asked him about his journey for world peace. Have you ever imagined what it would be like to ride more than twelve thousand kilometres across more than 10 countries, not to mention across an entire continent, on bicycle? Well, for 26 year old Mexican National, Alan Hernandez, that’s the goal he is trying to accomplish. Hernandez, a member of Rotary International, left Mexico City on May 8th of this year and this afternoon he entered Belizean territory through the Santa Elena Border and rode to Orange Walk Town where he met with Mayor Kevin Bernard. Hernandez is riding for peace and calls his project “Kilometro de Paz”.

Santa Martha Day Celebrated In Orange Walk East
Santa Martha Village, situated in Orange Walk East, has over 800 residents. The village is located in a remote area, excluded from much of the urban happenings and this weekend while most Orange Walkenos took part in the annual Fiesta Rama, residents of Santa Martha celebrated Santa Martha Day. The festivity came to a halt many years ago, but this year the Santa Martha Village Council with the assistance of Orange Walk East Area Representative Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, brought the event back to life. Over the weekend residents of Santa Martha Village witnessed the resurgence of Santa Martha Day. The celebration of Santa Martha Day disappeared many years ago due to a number of reasons, but this year residents of the village brought the event back to life thanks to the sponsorship of Orange Walk East Area Representative Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez. Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, Area Representative O/W East “Este es un actividad que no se había llevado acabo por muchos anos, no a esta cantidad o magnitud de actividades durante todo el día mas solo se hacia como una misa para ese día pero esta ves se hizo mucho mas del mas allá cuales tuvo participación de toda la familia y de todo el pueblo.”


Ground broken for YWCA project in Belmopan
Ground breaking ceremonies were held this morning in Belmopan for the Young Women’s Christian Association of Belize’s new National Enterprise Development Center. The facility will be located on Trinity Boulevard in the nation’s capital. The project is being undertaken under the Belize Rural Development Project at a cost of just over one point seven million [...]

Trees planted around Belize City
The Mayor of Belize City has been engaging over the past few weeks in finalizing the much-touted municipal bond and also in the getting the streets that are in the worst shape an upgrade. But this afternoon he squeezed in some time for the Miss Earth Belize Pageant, which leading up to this year’s stage [...]

Diabetes Association gets generous donation
The Belize Diabetes Association today received a donation of glucometers. Over two dozen of the digital testers for persons living with diabetes were handed over during a brief ceremony at the ITVETT compound in Belize City. The glocumeters were handed over by Love TV’s Patrick Jones and receiving the donation was the president of the [...]

Accusations and counter-accusations over land
Politicians have used the famous “Land hog” term to attack each other in the House of Representative. At last week’s House Sitting, Prime Minister Dean Barrow singled out a member of the opposition who he claim owns vast amounts of land in particularly the two northern districts. The PM quoted from documents that state that [...]

Former government worker seeking accident injury compensation
A former employee of the Ministry of Health is appealing for assistance to help him meet ongoing medical bills. Phillip Dolmo was driving a government vehicle which was involved in a head on collision near the Haulover Bridge on the Northern Highway in February of 2003. Cuban doctor Leidys Garcia-Lopez lost her life in the [...]


PUP leaders come forward on land grab allegations
For several weeks now the People’s United Party has been documenting and presenting alleged questionable land trans...

Injured Stevedore recounts what caused fatal accident at Port
“Ras” Pitta speaks for the first time after been injured at Port. Yesterday we reported to you that Stevedore Ian M...

Jasmine Alert launched
The Jasmine Alert is now activated and ready to save young lives. The Jasmine Alert Child Abduction/ Kidnapping War...

Karol Mello's attorney says he is unlawfully being detained
At the end of our newscast last night we shared that alleged Slovakian mafia boss, Karol Mello has been incarcerate...

YWCA breaks ground for development centre
The Young Women’s Christian Association today held a groundbreaking ceremony in Belmopan, for the YWCA National Ent...

SSB has new CEO - Richard Flowers
The Belize Social Security Board has a new CEO at its helm. He is Richard Flowers. Flowers a certified Public Accou...

Results of various polls on marijuana decriminalization
Ever since the Government of Belize’s Ministry of National Security dropped a bombshell that it had authorized a co...

Another blow to the Superbond
An article in Bloomberg business week has cited Belize’s bond notes as the worst performers in emerging markets in ...

Tropical depression forms in Atlantic Ocean
we remind you that Tropical Depression number 5 has formed in the Atlantic Ocean. At 3:00pm this afternoon TD5 was ...


Return to Mayflower Bocawina National Park
Since failing to reach the top of Antelope Falls in June due to a tight time schedule, we were determined to get back to Mayflower Bocawina National Park, near the villages of Silk Grass and Hopkins in the Stann Creek District, as soon as possible to finish the hike. We also wanted to visit the town of Punta Gorda in the Toledo District of southern Belize for the first time. So we decided to combine both goals into a week-long adventure. On our first trip to the park, which we got to via taxi from Hopkins, we'd discovered an eco-resort right within the confines of the park, Mama Noot's. We hadn't read about it in any of our resources prior to visiting the park, but once we found it, we knew it would be a much more convenient place to stay to hike the falls as well as indulge in our passion for birding. So, we booked three nights to allow plenty of time for hiking, birding, exploring, and relaxing. There is also a new zip-line onsite, but we didn't take advantage of it. It looked like fun, but would have been an additional expense, and we really preferred the hiking and birdwatching.

Belize Honduras and Costa Maya with Saga
Good evening everyone, hope you are had a great day. It was a super hot one today, did not check the temp but I can guarantee that it was a multiple rise down day. After I got enough work done, I took a nice long walk so I could shoot pictures and listen to music. 3 favorites on my to do list especially now that I have added some new tunes to my list – Led Zepplin, Van Halen, Queen, The Wanted, Rhianna and Nicki Minaj. My portable ipod shuffle speaker that I got from on eBay is still holding out great, I would be lost without it. Thanks again to golfbam0160 for selling at a great price and fast shipping to my Montana Weatherman so it could get here.

International Sources

Watchful Shrimp, Defending Their Territory
Many species of sponge are quite painful to touch. The chemicals they exude can sting or itch for days. Others can leave dozens of tiny glass needles, called spicules, that make up their skeleton embedded in your fingers. Although others in our group prefer to wear gloves while dissecting sponges, I find them too restrictive. Needless to say, my hands will likely ache for the rest of the week, full of spicules, cuts and fire worm hairs. When we finally locate a Synalpheus shrimp, we delicately grasp it with forceps and place it in an individual plastic drinking cup to avoid damaging fights with others. After each piece of sponge is visually inspected, it is dipped in freshwater for a few seconds. If a Synalpheus manages to escape visual identification, it typically snaps its major chela, or snapping claw, after being immersed in fresh water. By the end of a session, maybe hundreds of shrimp each rest in its own plastic cup, occasionally snapping. We then return the coral rubble, and all the other creatures we found inside it, to the ocean. In Caribbean Reefs, Social Shrimp Disappear
We are now fully shifted into Plan B mode. The social shrimps that we came searching for, that have dominated these reefs for at least 20 years, are gone. Scrambling to shift course, we put together a hasty plan to document the change quantitatively. Yesterday morning we began carrying out that plan, collecting 10 bags of coral rubble from the first of six reefs to be sampled and spending the afternoon in the rustic lab, sorting out our quarry. The diving is sublime — idyllic seascapes of coral boulders over brilliant white sand and turtle grass, swaying soft corals and rope sponges, mounds of finger coral in the bright shallows. Fish are plentiful, shoals of grunts and surgeonfish flowing over the reef contours, even a sea turtle foraging over the top of one reef. Back at the lab it’s a laborious process getting under the surface, into the little-known center of biodiversity within the reef structure. But we’re rewarded by a constant stream of small surprises: bizarre undulating flatworms, a rainbow-colored sea slug, a tiny octopus that flashes iridescent color changes like a hallucination. And then there is the abundance of small shrimp...

Belize Celebration Season Begins Early for 2012
Belize’s “Celebration Season” got off to an early start this year with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Hol Chan, the Caribbean nation’s first national marine park, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator Larry Waight announced today. “We usually begin what we call our celebration season in September, a big month in which we celebrate the Battle of St George’s Caye, Belize Independence Day and, closer to home, the birthday of Belize’s first eco-resort, Chaa Creek,” Mr. Waight said. “But this year the celebrations started a bit earlier with so many people joining in observing Hol Chan Marine Reserve rounding the quarter of a century mark, and, with the Maya 2012 celebrations creating more of a buzz as we near the December 21st Winter Solstice, it looks like the momentum is going to continue into the new year. You can already feel the festival spirit,” he added. Hol Chan, Maya for “little channel” located near Ambergris Caye on the World heritage-listed Belize Great Barrier Reef, is one of Belize’s most popular Caribbean attractions. Officially recognised in July 1987 and extended to incorporate Shark Ray Alley on August 31, 1999, it has since served as a model for marine conservation in the region. Independence Day is Belize’s biggest, most enthusiastically celebrated holiday, commemorating the small English speaking country’s entry as Central America’s newest sovereign nation on September 21, 1981. St George’s Caye Day on September 10 observes the battle of St George’s Caye in 1798, when predominately British settlers known as the Baymen and their slaves repelled a Spanish invasion in what is regarded as the defining moment in Belizean statehood. “September’s a huge month here, and is the traditional start of the holiday season, followed by Pan America Day October 12 and Garifuna Settlement Day on November 19. From there on in the party doesn’t stop until after the New Year, and this year we have the huge Maya Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012, which has been the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster film and countless Internet postings,” Mr. Waight said. “And now, with Hol Chan being celebrated as another example of Belize’s sustainable approach to tourism, the party is beginning earlier than usual,” he added.

New World Oil & Gas prepares for first Belize well after striking driller deal
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) is getting ready to drill its first well in Belize after it struck a deal with drilling group ThermaSource International. The AIM quoted explorer is farming out a 5 per cent stake in each of three wells to ThermaSource. In return it has agreed a cut price contract for the drilling work – which sees daily drill costs reduced by a quarter. New World says it is still in talks with oil and gas firms operating in Belize – with the aim of further reducing costs, for the mobilisation and de-mobilisation of the rig. A drill rig is being mobilised immediately and the first well is being scheduled for October.

August 1, 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

The San Pedro Sun

Pampering and Holistic Renewel at CG Esthetic
Reiki Master Pam Burton has been offering Reiki treatments at CG Esthetics and I was invited to learn more about Reiki and undergo a treatment. Warm and welcoming, Pam who has been a Reiki practitioner for several years, was eager to tell me about the powers of this Japanese technique of stress relaxation and the health benefits that come with it. Pam explained that she does not actually touch you while conducting the treatment but engages in what is called the “laying on hands,” which is based on the concept of an unseen “life force energy” that flows through us and is what causes us to be alive. According to Pam, if one’s “life force energy” is low, then we are more likely to get sick or feel stress, and if it is high, we are more capable of being happy and healthy. Pam went on to explain that Reiki is a simple, natural and safe method of spiritual healing and self-improvement that everyone can use. She mentioned that some people claim that they feel a warmth to their skin where ever she is “laying her hands” while others become very relaxed and may even fall asleep. Considering that my daily life is fueled by stress and I am constantly “on the go” I was intrigued to learn how this treatment would affect me.

Lions’ & Leos’ Roar: Lions’ Club gets donations
Tuesday and Friday nights BINGO The San Pedro Leos Club would like to invite the community to weekly Tuesday night Bingo. The games start at 7PM every week at the San Pedro Lions Club and all proceeds from the games go towards the Leos Club. The San Pedro Lions Club continues to have their weekly Friday night BBQ and Bingo starting at 7PM. $500 REWARD being offered The San Pedro Lions Club is offering a $500 cash reward for anyone with information that can lead to the successful arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the burglary of the Lions Den that occurred on Tuesday, July 17th. To share any information please call the San Pedro Police at 206-2022 or Mel Spain at 604-9595. All calls or information will remain strictly confidential. San Pedro Lions Club receive Donation One week after the burglary of the San Pedro Lions Den there has still been no arrest. However, after reading about the unfortunate incident, a US national and a frequent visitor and friend to San Pedro has decided to make a donation to the club. Bruce Kahn contacted the President of the San Pedro Lions Club Mel Spain to contribute $2,000BZ to help offset losses as a result of the burglary.

Update on Karol Mello
Crown Counsel Magali Perdomo asked for an adjournment until Thursday, August 2nd but despite strenuous objections by Mello’s attorney, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, Justice Legall granted Perdomo more time to prepare for the case. The case has been adjourned until Thursday August 2nd. Mello remains in Police custody. Mello is wanted in Slovakia on accusation of murder.

Ambergris Today

Belize One of the Best Dressed at Olympics Opening Ceremonies
“The contrasting piping on the blazer sets this jacket off. The tie, the jacket, the pants and the shoes are all a great combination.” During the opening ceremonies Belize's flag bearer was Kenneth Medwood and proudly held the national flag as he lead the contingent in the athletes parade at the Olympic Stadium July 27, 2012.

Costa Maya Pageant Beauties Enjoy Adventures in Belize
The San Pedro International Costa Maya Festival commences on Thursday, August 2, 2012, but pageant week starts a seven days ahead the festival with the arrival of the eight delegates who kick start a whirlwind of activates leading up to competition night. This year the delegates arrived on Thursday, July 26, 2012, and were whisked away to San Ignacio, Cayo, where they were hosted by the San Ignacio Resort with a welcome dinner with the proprietors, friends and Rebecca Stirm, Belize’s rising fashion designer who had two of the girls model one of her dresses.

Miss Honduras Costa Maya Celebrates Belizean Birthday
Miss Honduras turned 19 in Belize as she arrived to partake in the Costa Maya Pageant. On Friday, July 27, 2012, Miss Honduras Sthefany Maolyth Piñeda Perez was given a special treat by the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. As the group of ladies were given a tour to the Iguana Project, an initiative by the San Ignacio Resort to help protect Green Iguanas in Belize, Sthefany was covered in baby iguanas who gave her birthday kisses. She and the delegates had fun interacting with the reptiles and took many photos to take memories back home. Miss Honduras even got to release one to the wild as a birthday present by The San Ignacio Hotel.

Misc Belizean Sources

Love News has confirmed that the dismissal of the charges against Brian Sears happened in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Thursday of last week.
The case of American missionary Bryan Sears, 35, accused of sexually molesting two teenage brothers in Santaneja village in the Corozal district exploded on the national scene in October of 2011. Sears was arrested and charged with three counts of an unnatural crime and the case has been meandering through the Magistrate’s Court since. Today, word is that the case ended late last week with a whimper when the sex charges were withdrawn and Sears was discharged and allowed to walk free. Love News has confirmed that the dismissal of the charges against Brian Sears happened in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court on Thursday of last week. We have been unable so far to contact the police prosecutor to find out exactly why the charges were dismissed against Sears.

VIDEO: Discover Scuba Experience, Belize Barrier Reef
Curious to see the Belize Barrier Reef but not scuba certifed? No Problem, here's the solution.

Cayo Welcome Center pictures
The Cayo Welcome Center is close to finishing. The new bar, Bamboo Bar, is almost done too.

BNYCF at Hodes had Chess and Jenga
The Belize Natinoal Youth Chess Foundation didn't just have chess this week at Hode's, they also had Jenga.

Saturday Market Food Court
Pictures from the Saturday Market's food court in Cayo, where you can find rice & beans, tacos, pupusas, and fresh juice too.

Miss Earth Belize Contestants
There are 5 Miss Earth Belize contestants, and 2 of them are from Cayo. Idolly Saldivar, who is from Belmopan, and Katalina Jones, who is from Roaring Creek. The pageant will be on Saturday, August 18th. Good luck, ladies! "Introducing the Miss Earth Belize 2012 delegates. The Miss Earth Belize 2012 Pageant will be held on August 18, 2012 at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City, Belize at 7:30pm."

Cayo Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds
This week's Cayo Classifieds. The Finishing Touch has a new location, and the same great selection. "Cayo's most comprehensive classified ad publication with great bargains. Deadline to place ads are every Thursday @ 5pm."

Belizean Fried Callaloo
Callalo is a nutritious green leafy vegetable found primarily in the Caribbean. Someone brought Joe some seed and he planted it in our yard in California. From the harvest he reaped in July 2012, he shows us how he and his family cooks this vegetable.

Channel 7

Third and Fourth City Murders in About 72 Hours
Last night in the city there was no letup in the violence, which started on Friday night. Two men were murdered on the southside - both of them shot to death. We start with the story of 23 year old Clive Medwood, a working man at BWSL who was relaxing with his family at home around eleven last night when a bullet came through the window. As Monica Bodden found out - Clive Medwood was killed on his birthday. Here's her story:.. Aunt of Deceased "My nephew works and he is not a trouble man and things like that, I don't why or what they did it for." Monica Bodden reporting Clive Medwood celebrated his twenty third birthday on yesterday - but little did he know, it would have been his last. The shooting happened a little before 11 last night - at his home on number 9 Ebony Street. Medwood was at home with his younger siblings - sitting down in his couch - when the triggerman stood by the kitchen window from outside the house and begun firing shots through the wooden louvers. The fatal shot caught the young man to the left side of the head - and the bullet exited on the other side. His younger sister who was lying in bed at the time of the shooting - heard when the gunshot rang out. She recalled the entire incident to us - right down to the traumatic moment of holding her dying brother in her arms.

Teenager Killed, Family "Mum"
And there was another murder after that one. It happened around 12:30 am - and a teenager was killed. 18 year old Kendis Pike, a mechanic, was walking at the corner of Kraal Road and Ben Bow Street - just a couple yards away from his home, when a gunman pulled up on him and fired two shots. Pike was shot to the left side of his chest and to the left hand. His family declined to speak with us today. Police have made no arrests.

Cops Arraigned For Murder - PG Community Lashes Out
Two police constables were arraigned for murder today in Punta Gorda Town. It is an event that is probably without precedent: two lawmen charged for murder at once. And not only is it unprecedented, it is also a huge embarrassment for the Police Department - because off-duty Constables Frederico Tush and Modesto Cucul were apparently drunk when they beat Michael Valerio to death and injured two others. Daniel Ortiz and our team drove to Punta Gorda Town today to witness their arraignment today and they're just back with the story. Here's his report:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting At 2 this afternoon, the 2 Police Constables, 28 year old, Modesto Cucul and 24 year old Frederico Tush, were finally taken to the PG Magistrate's Court, after a 4 1/2 hour wait. It is unclear why it took so long for them to be arraigned, but they now face a murder charge for the brutal beating, which led the death of Michael Valerio. The incident has shocked and enraged the community of PG, which refuses to tolerate any appearance of preferential treatment, especially because the accused are law men.

Karol Mello Hearing Adjourned
Slovakian citizen and Belize Permanent Resident Karol Mello was arrested 20 days ago in San Pedro. He's been detained since then - and his local attorney Godfrey Smith has been trying to get him freed - or at least have his expulsion stalled. The Minister of Immigration signed that expulsion order on July 16th. but Smith got an injunction to block it. Since then, he's applied to the Supreme Court for a Habeas Corpus hearing, basically a hearing to demand that the state bring Mello before the court - and explain why he is imprisoned. That hearing was held today in the Justice Legall's courtroom and Jules Vasquez was there:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 20 days after he was arrested, Karol Mello appeared in the Supreme Court in shackles and with a full security cordon of the Special Patrol Unit and prison guards today. He still wore a closely cropped Mohawk - and was casually dressed. His wife Susanna Mello also appeared in court today - and along with Mello's attorney Godfrey Smith, she was allowed to have a private visit with Mello in an adjoining, empty courtroom where he was being held. Mello would not be freed today though - which is why he left the court in shackles - because the Government side asked for more time to prepare and Justice Oswell Legall gave them two days - a most vexing outcome for Smith:

Stevedore Falls To His Death
A Stevedore lost his life and another was injured this morning in a serious accident at the Port Of Belize. It happened at 3:21 am as a gang of Stevedores was loading a cargo ship called the MV Kappeln. 40 year old Ian Madrill and Deon "Ras" Pitter were on top of a 40 foot spreader - which is something like this picture we got from the internet. That was being hoisted by a crane into the cargo hold - when it came loose and they plummeted 30 feet into the hold. Madrill sustained a head injury and died while Pitter broke his hand and injured his leg - AND IS IN A STABLE CONDITION. Again, this image is something like the kind of assembly they were on - but is not a photo of the actual thing, we just got this from the internet. CEO of the Port of Belize Tux Vasquez, explained the accident in greater detail. Tux Vasquez, CEO - Port of Belize "Both Mr. Pitters and Mr. Madrill were riding actually the spreader. Its spreader that we have and it have a flat rack - a flat rack is like a flatbed that they use to transport vehicles on and they were putting on these flat racks back onto the ship. To get the flat rack on to the ship they have to hook the spreader on to it. There is 4 corners that carries a clamp and it's manually locked and that was lock and these gentlemen were on the flat rack as it were being carried from the pier to the ship. I understand that as it was being lowered into the ship it hit the side of the ship which happens I am sure sometimes. It hits the side of the ship and the flat rack became loose and the flat rack fell inside the ship. As a result I imagine the spreader started shaking and both men fell, so it was a fall I would imagine about 30 feet that they fell." "My understanding is that Mr. Madrill was in a sitting position. So really when the flat rack got loose it's like the bottom fell out for him so he fell and I understand that Mr. Pitters was holding on to the chain while it was moving. I understand one was in a sitting position and one was actually standing or even sitting or holding on to a chain. I believe what happen was that Mr. Madrill more like out of control while Mr. Pitters was in a better position if you will call managing his fall, so to speak."

91 Year Old Knocked Down/Killed
A 91 year old was knocked down and killed today on the Northern Highway. It happened within city limits at mile two and a half - which is right across from the Buca Shell Gas Station. According to reports from those in the area, Robert Griffith, had gone over to the gas station as he often does to buy a few things. He was walking back over to M and M Engineering where he lives on the compound when he was hit by a Honda Accord. Griffith was flung unto the pavement by the impact and suffered injuries to his forehead, shoulder, right arm and left knee. He died shortly after at the KHMH. Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland was driving the private vehicle - which, according to witnesses, had no plates. PC Sutherland has been served with a Notice of Intended Prosecution.

Alleged Serial Rapist Convicted
Twenty-six years old Leroy Gomes, alleged serial rapist who beat 4 rape cases, was unable to beat his 5th trial today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The incident occurred between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. on August 23, 2011. The victim, a 27 year old mother of 2, testified for the prosecution that she was walking on Administration Drive when Gomez rode up to her on bicycle and pulled out a brown and black object to his side that resembled a firearm. She said Gomez stole her fake diamond ear rings and her cell phone, and he then forced her to get onto the bar of the bicycle at gunpoint. Gomez then allegedly took her to the veranda of a house, raped her, and threatened to kill her if she told anyone. In his defence, Gomez testified and said that at the time of the incident he was at the house of his mother-in-law waiting for his girlfriend. His mother-in-law, Rita Smith, testified and corroborated his alibi testimony. The jury deliberated for about 1 hour and a half before they found Gomez guilty of rape and robbery. The jury's verdict was unanimous on both counts.

Ret'd US Attorney Complains About Local Lawyer
We always hear complaints about the justice system and the abysmal conviction rate for murder. According to the American Bar Association - which reviewed Belize's justice system, it's about 10%. But if you want a lower conviction rate, try the Bar Association Disciplinary Committee - their conviction rate is very close to zero. And a retired American Attorney is finding that out first hand after he filed a complaint against an attorney months ago and nothing has happened. He told us his story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Richard Gentry decided to retire at Reef Village in Belize in 2007. It looks like Paradise but there have been problems with the development. And to have his say in those problems he needed a land title to his unit - and that's where his problems started: Richard Gentry, claims he was defrauded by attorney "And I said I haven't paid my strata title or my transfer tax or stamp tax and I want to do that because I want to be able to take part of this meeting on the 30th and I don't want anybody to say that I don't own any units, so he said you have to talk to Arthur Saldivar our attorney in order to do that. On January 11th 2010 I went to the Reef Village office and Saldivar was there, I never met him before but I was introduce to him and I told him who I was that I owned unit G202 and I want to pay the stamp tax and whatever fee was involve. So he did some calculating and he told me that I owed $12,900.00 in stamp tax and $1,000 as fees for him and I said how can I pay that and he said that I can give him a cheque. So I wrote out a cheque for $13,900.00 the total of the two sums and I said who do I make it payable to and he said make it to Belize Law Center - that's my firm. I said fine and that's what I did."

Alleged Serial Forgers To Court
Three former employees of Shell Gas Station in Ladyville were charged with a number of counts of forgery and theft when they appeared today in Magistrate Court. 28 year old Thomas Garcia, a self-employed construction worker residing at Vista Del Mar, was charged with 5 counts of forgery and 2 counts of theft. The charges were for incidents which allegedly occurred between October and November last year and the money involved was reported to be $904 dollars. 24 year old Vincio Tuario, a resident of Lord's Bank Road was charged with 4 counts of forgery and 2 counts of theft. The forgeries and thefts occurred between October and November last year the money involved was approximately $1,297 dollars. Twenty-four year old Mario Martinez, a Salvadorian Belizean, was charged with 30 counts of forgery and 15 counts of theft. The thefts and forgeries accured between August and November of last year and they were for money amounting to over $5, 000 dollars and the forgeries were done on tax invoices.

Kids Camp for Diabetes
This week 30 juvenile diabetics will be taking part in a 5 day summer camp in the city. It is the second annual camp that the Belize Diabetes Association is hosting for these youngsters living with type one diabetes. The camp's objective is to educate children living with diabetes on how to avoid the foods and behavior that can worsen their condition. But, more than that, it's about managing the condition in the long term - which is a reality for an increasing number of children. Anthony Castillo, President - Belie Diabetes Association "Today we have over 30 children living with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes is one of those chronic conditions which at this time has no cure, so as child once you born or acquire the condition - it's a condition that will remain with you for the rest of your life. It's absolutely important for the child living with this condition to learn of this condition and learn to cope with it. As you may know diabetes is one of those conditions that has so may complications and if you are going to live with this condition for the rest of your life then its best for them to know how to treat themselves." "The camp will inform them and educate them in living with the condition. As a child earlier in your years your mom, dad, parents and relatives will assist you as you test your blood sugar levels and take you insulin. As you may know children living with type 1 diabetes are insulin dependent and at some point they may have to do it themselves. At the camp they will learn how to do their testing. They will learn how to give themselves their injections and all the do and don'ts of living with type 1 diabetes." "Type 1 diabetes at this time is still unknown how the children acquire the condition. Typically the child is born with the condition, the pancreas is not producing insulin or producing very little insulin which your body is unable to use, so in that case the insulin must be injected into the person living with the condition."

Launching The "Jasmine Alert"
In memory of Jasmine Lowe and the message her death taught all of us, today the launching of the Jasmine Alert Program was held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The program is a voluntary partnership between law-enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry, and its aim is to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child-abduction cases. One of the founders of the program told 7news that the goal of a Jasmine Alert is to instantly galvanize the entire community to assist in the search for and the safe recovery of any abducted child 17 and under. Patrick Menzies, Jamine Alert "The Jasmine Alert is an early warning alert system setup to be able to basically warned Belizeans of a kidnapping or abduction. The Jasmine Alert works this way; let's say a child is kidnap in Belmopan. Somebody see it and calls 911 - the police gets it, they know that a child was pickup, they immediately call the national coordinator who is Inspector Ms. Augustine, she decides if it meets the criteria - so she therefore immediately advises SMART, BTL and the media that there was an abduction and it's a Jasmine Alert and once she does that she actually sends the text type material that will be put out in the text for both SMART and BTL. The media starts to broadcast that across the nation so that everyone can be looking for the vehicle or the individual that performed the heinous crime."

Channel 5

2 cops arraigned for P.G. Murder
A crowd gathered this morning at the Punta Gorda court for the arraignment of two police officers.  But it was until this afternoon that the duo faced the music; they were read charges for the murder of Michael Valerio. Police constables Modesto Cucul and Federico Tush were reportedly intoxicated on Sunday when they inflicted a [...]

Why was there a delay in taking cops to court?
The delay in arraigning Cucul and Tush is not uncommon, says Officer in Charge of the Punta Gorda Police Department, Inspector Ernel Dominguez. Dominguez, who also acted as prosecutor in this case, says that only high risk detainees are handcuffed. He says that residents can be assured that due process will be followed in the [...]

Pike, 18 year old, murdered several feet from his home
In the Old Capital, there have been four murders in the past four nights. B.D.F. Corporal Wayne Madrill and Stephen Flowers were killed over the weekend and on Monday night two more residents fell victim to the uncontrollable street violence. We start with the homicide of Kendis Pike, who like B.D.F. Corporal Madrill, was gunned [...]

Murdered on his birthday in his home by window shooter
There is another family grieving the loss of a loved one. The second person to be killed on Monday night is Clive Medwood who turned twenty three on Sunday. Medwood was in the comfort of his home listening to music when a gunman fired at him through a window. His mother says he was the [...]

Will ICJ stop Guatemalan incursion into Belize?
Tonight’s question is: Will going to the ICJ stop incursions by Guatemalans into Belizean territory? 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

Stevedore killed in accident at the Port
An unfortunate accident at the Port of Belize at the crack of dawn this morning led to the death of a stevedore. Ian Madril was being lifted on a flat rack when it gave way. Madril and another stevedore, Deon Pitter, were discharging a cargo ship; the men plunged some thirty feet. Madril did not [...]

Alleged Slovakian mafia boss gets another day in Court
In the courtroom of Justice Oswell Legall, a habeas corpus application was heard this morning on behalf of Karol Mello, the alleged Slovakian mafia boss who is wanted by the Slovakian authorities. Prior to this application, attorney Godfrey Smith had obtained an order from the Supreme Court to restrain the minister of Foreign Affairs from [...]

Leroy Gomez accused many times, but now guilty of rape
Leroy Gomez gained notoriety back in September, 2008 when he was arrested for a series of rapes and attempted rapes. Gomez was quickly dubbed a serial rapist, but he has since managed to beat all those sexual assault charges; he was convicted once but successfully appealed. He was, however, accused of another rape and robbery [...]

Gas station employees face forgery charges
Former employees of the Shell Gas Station in Ladyville were in court to today to face charges of theft and forgery. The main alleged offender is twenty-four year old Martin Martinez, who was charged with a total of forty-five counts; nineteen counts of Theft and twenty-six counts of Forgery for over ten thousand dollars that [...]

Boy who was crushed under house is slowly improving
Ten year old Brithon Cordova remains in a critical condition at the K.H.M.H., but his condition is slowly improving. His mother, Norma Cordova, says that although he cannot talk he is alert. The boy has been hospitalized since Thursday after his zinc house collapsed on top of him when he and his seven year old [...]

Knocked down on highway; 91 year old passes away
An early morning accident in the city has left a senior citizen dead. Around nine-twenty this morning, Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland was driving his car between miles two and three on the Northern Highway when according to police, Sutherland accidentally knocked down ninety-one year old Robert Griffith. Griffith received injuries to the forehead, shoulder, right [...]

Belizean athlete ready for Olympic trials
The 2012 Summer Olympics continue in London where judo athlete, Eddermys Sanchez fell early in the elimination round, but team Belize is still in the games. This Friday, Kaina Martinez will be competing in the one hundred meter sprint while Kenneth Medwood will race in the four hundred meter hurdles. Martinez is Belize’s top female [...]

US Amber Alert adopted as Jasmine Alert in Belize
The spate of heinous attacks on young children, particularly the murder of Jasmine Lowe, has sparked a national movement to address the issue of the kidnappings and abductions of children. This morning, the system, Jasmine Alert, was launched. It involves the mobilization of stakeholders to get the message of a missing child into the public [...]

You’re a Superstar! Celebrity show is Live on 5!
The highly anticipated first season of Be the Next Superstar kicked off with a bang last Tuesday night with lively performances from thirteen of the twenty-six hopefuls that made it through the audition round. The interactive social network has been a plus for the viewers at home, so remember to leave your comments alongside the [...]


Police News
A stevedore is dead while another was injured. According to a release from the Port of Belize, the incident occurred sometime around three o’clock this morning while a container ship was being unloaded. The incident resulted in the death of Ian Madrill and left Deon P...

Belize and Taiwan Engage in Exchange Program
The 2012 International Youth Ambassadors’ Exchange Program between the Republic of China, Taiwan and Belize came to a close last Friday night. After having arrived in the country two weeks ago, youth ambassadors from Taiwan shared their culture and in returned also received...

Refurbishment of Memorial Park Underway
Work to upgrade the historic Memorial Park in Belize City is set to finish in time for the September celebrations. According to Project Director of the Sustainable Tourism Programme, Christy Maestre, there were some changes to the original design of the project CHR...

Another Case of Police Brutality Emerges
Another case of alleged police brutality has been reported in Southern Belize. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU Dangriga Correspondent Love FM “The Cal family from Red Bank Village in the Stann Creek District alleges that Indep...

Punta Gorda Mayor Condemns Police Brutality
Punta Gorda Mayor, Anthony Fuentes has condemned the police brutality incident leading unto the death of a Punta Gorda resident. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG Toledo Correspondent Love FM “Reacting to Sunday Night Police Brutality incident o...

San Pedro Prepares for La Costa Maya Festival
The Costa Maya Festival was born the Sea and Air Festival, a project to attract Tourists to La Isla Bonita, San Pedro. This year the festival is celebrating its twentieth Anniversary after having been the Sea and Air Festival for four years with the other sixteen years as the Cos...

Environmental Camp Begins in Punta Gorda Town
Over one hundred and thirty children began TIDE’s annual Environmental Camp yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG Toledo Correspondent Love FM “The annual camp experiences have provided many children w...

Police Constable Knocks Down Elderly Man
An elderly man was knocked down and killed this morning on the Northern Highway. It happened between miles two and three in front of Shell Gas Station at around nine a.m. Police say that Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland, who was at the wheel, reported that he was driv...

A Captain of the Belize Defense Force Detained by Police
A high ranking Belize Defense Force soldier is tonight in police detention accused of criminal activity. Because no formal charges have been laid against him, we cannot release the name of the officer, but we can confirm that he carries the rank of Captain. He was detained ...

Fuel Prices Increase
No announcement was made by government; but overnight the price per gallon of fuel increased across the country. In Belize City, the current price of a gallon of premium gasoline is now selling for twelve dollars and ten cents. Regular gasoline is selling for eleven dollars...

Police News
One man is shot then assaulted at a bar in Orange Walk Town. The shooting happened at the Palapa Bar and Grill at 39 Belize Corozal Road Orange Walk Town. According to official police reports, on Sunday around eight forty-five in the night 42 year old Elvis Hernandez, Nicaraguan of San...

Belize City Murders Investigated
Two Belize City men were gunned down this weekend. Marion Ali has the details. MARION ALI News Reporter Love FM “The murder rampage that appeared to have subside for a few weeks resurged this past weekend with two more in the old capital. Shortly after nine ...

American Missionary Acquitted on Charges of Sexual Molestation
The case of American missionary Brian Sears accused of sexually molesting two teenage brothers in Sarteneja village in the Corozal district exploded on the national scene in October of 2011. Sears was arrested and charged with three counts of an unnatural crime and the case has b...

Toledo Resident Dies Following Alleged Police Brutality
A Toledo resident is dead after he succumbed to injuries allegedly inflicted by two police officers on Sunday night. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG Love FM Correspondent Toledo District “Reports and allegations here indicat...

Three Weekend Murders Reported
The weekend did not go by without incident. There were three murders between Friday night and this morning, two in Belize City and one in the Toledo District. In the first incident on Friday night, Stephen Flowers was shot dead on Mahogany Street. At the regular Polic...

Fire Fighters Undergo Professional Development Training
A two-week professional development training for fire-fighters is underway in Belize City. It has the participation of sub office supervisors from all over the country and according to chief training officer Ervin Smith the end result of the training is not only to sharpen the sk...


U.S. National Freed Of All Charges
Thirty five year old American National Brian Sears, who was accused of sexually molesting three teenage brothers in Sarteneja Village, is tonight a free man as his case was dismissed in the Corozal Magistrate Court. Reports to CTV3 News is that the parents of the teenagers, the teenagers themselves along with their attorney appeared in court last week where they proceeded to inform the court that they no longer wanted to proceed with the case. In fact reports are that the family and the victims testified in court that they didn’t provide any such report to police in the first place and so the judge had to dismiss the case. CTV3 understands that today the case would have been submitted to the Supreme Court. On Tuesday October 11th CTV3 News broke the story of a U.S National who was accused of sodomizing three male minors from the village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District. Brian Sears was then consequently arrested and charged with three counts of committing an unnatural crime after the mother of the minors reported to police that Sears forcibly had sexual intercourse with the three boys ages 13, 14, and 16 at the time. All our attempts to contact the family as to why they withdrew the case were futile.

New Board Game Teaches Children About Natural Disaster Preparedness
On Friday June 1st the 2012 Hurricane Season was officially declared open and fortunately Belize hasn’t experienced any storm so far. But as they say prevention is better than cure and with that in mind the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) along with the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union has designed a board game for children where they can learn how to be prepare for natural disasters. The game, called Reisgolandia, forms part of the Awareness Disaster Risk Reduction Program which falls under the umbrella of NEMO. General Manager for Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union, Rafael Dominquez, explains how the game is played. Rafael Dominguez, General Manager, St Francis Xavier School “This game will be based on a number of questions and we can see that it starts from one and it will end up somewhere in the eighty, so there will be questions to this numbers and then from there, it is something like a snake and ladder, but actually it will based on questions that is being draft with all that has to do with disasters, so children will get a better understanding when it comes to disaster, when they hear of disaster they will be able to identify what is a hurricane, what is a tornado, what is an earthquake so they will be well prepared as well when it comes to a risk disaster event or something like this.”

Home Of U.S. National Burglarized
It never made it on the police sitrep but CTV3 News understands that the home of a retired U.S. National, living in the Corozal District, was burglarized in the wee hours of Sunday morning. On Sunday, at around 2:44am, Fugen Ozgur was awoken by the loud barking of her dog followed by a struggle outside the residence. Ozgur reports seeing a dark male individual, wearing a black jacket and black cap, entering her room a few minutes after the barking ceased. The burglar then walked towards one of the glass windows and signaled to someone outside. Fearing for her life, Ozgur lay still on the bed even after the burglar approached her and whispered something in her ear. At that instance Ozgur claims to have smelled the strong stench of liquor coming from the individual. Ozgur somehow managed to call her brother and informed him about the burglary that was in progress, while the intruder ransacked the residence. When police arrived at the house the burglar had already made good his escape with one digital camera. At the scene police found Ozgur’s dog lying on the porch with what appeared to be multiple chop wounds to the head and body. The animal died moments later. Police also observed that the intruder entered the residence by prying open a burglar bar and removing two louvers from a window. A steel cutter and a black cap, believed to belong to the intruder, were also found at the scene. Police have yet to make an arrest.

Rash Brothers Freed Of Murder Charge
On July 18th the murder trial of Valencio Rash and his brother Sensino Rash, accused of the April 8th 2008 murder of 18 year old Erlin Matura, began at the northern session of the Supreme Court. After two weeks of trial and more than four years behind bars, the Rash brothers walked free today after Attorney Kevin Arthurs representing Valencio Rash and Attorney Leo Bradley Jr. Representing Sensino Rash entered a “no case” submission stating that there was not enough evidence for the trail to continue. Presiding over the case was Judge Dennis Hanomansingh who upheld the submission and directed the jury of 11 men and 1 woman to return with a verdict of not guilty. Representing the DPP’s office was attorney Kaysia Grant. At around 10:30 on April 8th 2008, Stanley Matura, Timothy Sanker and a minor were in front of the San Antonio Government School, located in the Corozal District, when two men wearing rags over their faces and armed with a shotgun, rode up on separate bicycles and started shooting at the trio. Investigations revealed that Matura was the intended target and while some of the pellets grazed his head, the majority missed their mark. The assailants then took off on their bicycles and rode towards Olga Marin Drive. That’s where the night turned deadly. Riding from the opposite direction was eighteen year old Erlin Matura, Stanley’s first cousin. Erlin and one of the assailants collided into each other and as the teenager lay on the ground, the gunman shot him at close range. Erlin received injuries to the chest, arm pit and left arm. He succumbed to his injuries a day after the incident.

Ten Year Old Brithon Cordova On Life Support
On July 26th, 10 year old Brithon Cordova and his nephew 7 year old Jova Griffith were playing with a couple of puppies under their zinc house located on San Martin Street in Orange Walk Town when the building collapsed on them. While Jova Griffith sustained a broken left leg, Brithon Cordova was seriously injured and transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where he is presently on life support after he collapsed last week Thursday around 9:00am. Cordova is currently in the intensive care unit where he is being treated for a swollen brain, a fractured neck, a collapsed right lung, and injuries to his eyes, stomach and face. According to family members his prognosis is grim yet they are hopeful. It is believed that the wooden posts could no longer support the weight of the house therefore it collapsed.

Gas Prices Hit Another Increase
Four months ago, on March 4th to be exact, motorist were delighted to learn that the price of fuel had finally seen a reduction after being on the constant rise since January 1st. But tonight, we say to consumers, “hold on to your pockets because the price of fuel has augmented with premium passing the $12.00 mark”. As of midnight last night a gallon of premium gas went from $11.67 to $12.11 seeing a 44 cents increase. Regular saw a 35 cents increase and now sells for $11.15 instead of $10.80 per gallon. As for the price for a gallon of diesel, it went from $10.07 to $10.25 seeing an 18 cents increase. Kerosene is the only fuel that did not see an increase as the price remains at $8.70 per gallon. Reports are that the hike in prices is due to government’s reintroduction of the General Sales Tax on fuel. Based on our records this is the 6th time this year that fuel prices have seen an increase.

Default Concerns Make Belize Bonds Worst In Emerging Markets
Belize’s notes are the worst performers in emerging markets this month- that’s according to Bloomberg’s The financial website states that Belize’s budget deficit widens and there is growing concern that the government will force holders of $544 million bonds to take losses in a restructuring of the super bond. Belize’s dollar bonds have fallen 2.5 percent this month, the most among 52 emerging-market countries tracked by JPMorgan Chase & Co’s EMBIG index. Yields on Belize’s so- called super bond, due in 2029, climbed 145 basis points or 1.45 percent, to 20.08 percent this month as the country nears its second restructuring in five years. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who campaigned on a promise to restructure the bonds, told lawmakers in June that lowering the debt burden is “unavoidable.” The government faces an Aug. 20th payment of about $25 million and according to Barrow, Belize’s budget deficit will swell to 2.5 percent of gross domestic product next year, from 1.1 percent this year.

Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union Expands Customer Service
Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union has more than 25,000 members with branches in Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Sarteneja and their headquarters in Corozal Town. Keeping in line with their motto “Helping its members for a brighter future”, last month the credit union introduced its new service to customers as they became collecting agents for Belize Water Services Limited, Belize Electricity Limited and both Smart and BTL. Rafael Dominguez, General Manager, St Francis Xavier Credit Union “We don’t have no additional fees charged to members, actually we are based on commission so all members can enjoy coming to pay their bills without any additional fees.” Hipolito Novelo-Reporter “Other than receiving commission from offering these services, why is it that Saint Francis decided to take this one.” Rafael Dominguez, General Manager, St Francis Xavier Credit Union “Because we saw a need right, we saw a need with our member, over 25,000 members, coming towards our Credit Union giving services of loans, savings, fixed deposits and we are giving services for fertilizer for the cane farmers, so we say why is it that our member has to go to other places to pay their bills once they are at the Credit Union, so we made this agreement with what the third party of Heritage Bank, we link with them so we are now providing them the services coming to a one place and getting all the services that they might need.”


Accident claims the life of elderly man
An elderly man was knocked down and killed this morning on the Northern Highway. (VO STARTS) It happened between miles two and three in front of Shell Gas Station at around nine a.m. Police say that Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland, who was at the wheel, reported that he was driving a 1989 Gold Honda Accord when he accidentally knocked down the victim, ninety-one year old Robert Griffith. Griffith, who is a resident of the same area, suffered severe injuries to his forehead, shoulder, right arm and left knee and died shortly after one this afternoon while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. (VO ENDS) Police have since served Constable Sutherland with a Notice of Intended Prosecution as they continue to investigate.

BDF soldier in police detention
A high ranking Belize Defence Force soldier is tonight in police detention accused of criminal activity. Because not formal charges have been laid against him, we cannot release the name of the officer, but we can confirm that he carries the rank of Captain. He was detained today in Punta Gorda on the strength of a warrant we understand was issued in San Ignacio. Love News understands that the impending charge is that of handling stolen goods. The formal charge is expected to be laid against the BDF captain on Wednesday. He is currently enroute from PG to the San Ignacio police station. Love News will continue to monitor this developing story.

Man faces long prison sentence on rape conviction
Twenty-six year old Leroy Gomez, who was charged with rape and robbery, was found guilty of both charges today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury of 6 women and 3 men deliberated for about 1 hour and a half before it arrived at its verdict which was unanimous. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until August 3 in order to give Gomez time to prepare a plea for mitigation, The minimum sentence for rape is 8 years and the maximum penalty is life imprisonment. The minimum sentence for robbery on indictment is 10 years and it may extend to life imprisonment. The incident occurred between 5:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on August 23, 2011. The complainant, a 27 year old mother of 2, testified that she was walking on Administration Drive when Gomez rode up to her on a bicycle and put something to her side that resembled a firearm. She said Gomez stole her fake diamond earrings and her cell phone then he took her to the verandah of a house at the back of a yard and raped her. She said Gomez told her not to tell anyone, otherwise he will kill her. Gomez testified and said that at the time of the incident he was at the house of his mother-in-law waiting for his girlfriend. His mother-in-law testified and corroborated his alibi testimony. Gomez was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Trienia Young represented the prosecution.

Brothers freed of murder charge
After a three week trial, two brothers who were charged for a 2008 murder in the Corozal District were freed of the charge today. Valencio and Finesio Rash were charged with the murder of 18-year-old San Antonio villager Erlin Matura on April 9, 2008. A no case submission was entered by attorneys for the brothers which was upheld by Justice Denis Hanomansingh. Justice Hanomansingh directed the jury of 11 men and one woman to return a verdict of not guilty. Matura was shot and killed as a result of a dispute over a stolen bicycle. Valencio Rash was defended by attorney Leo Bradley while Finesio Rash was represented by attorney Kevin Arthurs. Crown Counsel Tashia Grant represented the prosecution.

Man murdered in his living room
Two Belize City youths were killed in the last twenty four hours and the senseless bloodshed continues to plague the old capital. The first victim, identified as twenty three year old Clive Medwood, was shot in the head on Ebony Street. Police say they responded to the scene of the shooting around ten fifty five last night, where they found Medwood inside his living room in a pool of blood. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but died early this morning while undergoing treatment. Police say that initial investigations show that around ten forty five last night, Medwood was at home following an errand, when he was mortally wounded as he sat on his couch. Police say that just before the shooting, a short dark complexion man with dreaded hair was seen tip toeing near a window on Medwood’s house. The man then reportedly pushed a handgun through the window and pulled the trigger firing several shots, which found their mark on Medwood’s body. The gunman then made good his escape. Medwood died around seven thirty seven this morning while undergoing treatment at the KHMH. The second overnight murder happened at twelve thirty this morning. The victim is eighteen year old mechanic Kendis Pike. Police say that Pike was walking at the corner of Kraal Road and Ben Bow Street when a lone gunman approached him and fired two shots, causing the fatal injuries. Pike was hit to the left side of the chest and the left hand. His body now lies at the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination. Police investigations into both incidents continue.

TIDE’s summer camp opens in Punta Gorda
Over one hundred and thirty children began TIDE’s annual Environmental Camp yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Stevedore looses his life in Port accident
A mishap at the loading section at the Port of Belize’s pier point in the wee hours of this morning has claimed the life of a stevedore and left another hospitalized. The incident happened around three o’clock this morning while the work gang was offloading a container ship. The deceased, Ian Madrill suffered severe injuries when he and his colleague, Deon Pitter fell some thirty feet to the ground. Love News’ Marion Ali spoke with the Receiver of the Port of Belize this evening, Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, who explained what happened and what the Port is doing to assist the families of the men. The Port management has extended condolences to the family of Ian Madrill and wishes Pitter a speedy recovery.

Mayor Anthony Fuentes denounces alleged police misconduct
Punta Gorda Mayor, Anthony Fuentes has condemned the police brutality incident leading unto the death of a Punta Gorda resident. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Jasmine Alert program launched
Since 1998, more than half a dozen little girls have been ruthlessly murdered and their bodies dumped in bushes. None of their murders have been solved, and the last one, that of Jasmine Lowe, has prompted her parents and a closely-knit Cayo community to press for a Jasmine Alert program. Today, almost two months to the day after murder of the thirteen year old, the program was introduced. Patrick Menzies who is one of the organizers of the program, explained how you can help protect Belize’s children after they go missing. Inspector Deanna Augustine explained what her role is as the National Coordinator of Jasmine Alert. Youth Ambassador, Alberto Vellos, said that while this is a commendable effort, more still needs to be done to protect our future leaders. The effort involves the assistance of Fultec Systems, Belize Telemedia and Smart.

Stage set for the 2012 Costa Maya Festival
The Costa Maya Festival was born the Sea and Air Festival, a project to attract Tourists to La Isla Bonita, San Pedro. This year the festival is celebrating its twentieth Anniversary after having been the Sea and Air Festival for four years with the other sixteen years as the Costa Maya Festival which carries the same objective, to attract locals and tourists alike to the island on its slow tourist season so that all businesses in the island can benefit. Milo Paz is one of the Directors of the Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro. And since the festivities take place this weekend, it’s time to start purchasing tickets. Paz tells us just where you can acquire them. Paz extended thanks to all those who volunteered of their time and efforts, especially sponsors and international contributors who are sure to add in making the festival a success.


Freak accident at the Port causes death of Stevedore
The Port of Belize is mourning the death of one of its stevedores. This morning at around 3am, an accident occurred...

Gun terror continues as man slain on his birthday
A BWSL worker was found with bullet wounds on his birthday. On Monday July 30, around 11pm CIB personnel visited #9...

The National Drug Abuse and Control Council on marijuana decriminalization
The debate on current efforts to Decriminalize marijuana in Belize is unfolding as both sides put forward their arg...

PG Officers arraigned for murder, Council condemns suspects
Police Constables Federico Tush and Modesto Cucul have been arrested and charged for the murder of Michael Valerio....

Home shot up while family on property
A Belize City home was fired upon in the middle of the night. On Sunday night, just before 11pm, a gunman fired sho...

Extradition case for Karol Mello on slow-mo
Alleged Eastern European mafia boss, 42 year old Karol Mello has been languishing in the Belize Central Prison wait...

Teen succumbs to gunshot injuries at KHMH
A Belize City youth succumbed to a gunman’s violence. CIB personnel visited the KHMH on July 31 just after midnight...

Pedestrian knocked down by cop, dies
A 91 year old man was knocked down and killed by a police officer this morning. Police Constable Tyrone Sutherland ...

Belize takes center stage at 2012 London Olympics
Belize is being represented at the 2012 London Olympics, but by only three athletes. Yesterday Belize's judo compet...

Rash brothers walk free from 2008 murder charge
Two brothers have been freed of a murder charge that dates back to 2008. This morning in a Corozal courtroom, Valen...

Man listed stable after shooting
And in another shooting incident on Sunday night, Dwayne Sutherland was shot. At around 8 o’clock that night, Suthe...

Suspected suicide in Silk Grass Village
An American national, identified as Robert Trindle, 59 has been found dead. Police do not suspect foul play in Trin...


3 shootings in city; 2 dead, 2 injured, 1 seriously
Stephen Flowers, 24, was shot to death at corner Mahogany Street and Administration Drive... In deadly gun violence over the weekend, Stephen Flowers, 24, of Administration Drive, was shot to death; and Raymond Arnold, 28, is fighting for his life in the intensive care unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, while Ryan Mejia, 22, of Jasmine Street, has been treated and released.

Opposition calls for helicopter to help patrol Bze-Guat border
Elrington explains death of Guat lumber bandit, but Belizean border residents concerned over continued armed incursions into Belizean territory... In a statement to Parliament on Friday, July 27, 2012, Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington gave a detailed account of the chain of events that led to the controversial death of Luis Alberto Martínez Alonzo, and the detention of José Antonio Sosa, 60, and Hugo Monroy Ramos, 33, inside the Columbia River Forest Reserve on Wednesday, July 18.

Toledo students receive Benjamin and Onelia Rash scholarship awards
Five Toledo students received scholarship awards in ceremonies held in Punta Gorda Town on Saturday, in memory of missing siblings from San Marcos, Toledo District, Benjamin and Onelia Rash.

Faber presents motion for US$2 mil loan for education sector reform
Education Minister Patrick Faber presented a motion for a US$2 million concessionary loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) when the House of Representatives met for a special sitting on Friday, July 27, 2012.

BDF band member murdered on Cemetery
Corporal Wayne Madrill, 42, was a good man, say his family and BDF comrades... Veteran Belize Defence Force band member and musician, Corporal Wayne Madrill, 42, of Pen Road, was walking on Cemetery Road with another man around 3:00 a.m. Sunday, July 29, when a gunman approached and opened fire on them, hitting Madrill several times and injuring him in the face and head. The man with whom he had been walking escaped unhurt.

Police charge cops for beating PG man to death
While we were unable to reach the Police Department this evening for official confirmation, a source close to the investigation has confirmed that two police constables, both attached to the Punta Gorda Police Station, and who were detained throughout the day, were charged just before six this evening with the murder of Punta Gorda resident Michael Valerio, 47, and harm to two other residents of the town after a deadly incident on Sunday evening.

U19 National Cricket Selection in Suriname for ICC Americas U19 Division 2 Championship
Leaving Belize on Friday, July 27, were 14 players who had been selected to the U19 National Cricket Team to travel to Suriname for participation in the ICC Americas U19 Division 2 Championship. The tournament runs from July 31 to August 4, and our team is expected to return to Belize on August 6.

Rancho shocks Double Head, game 3 on Saturday in ‘Landing
Saturday in the village of Double Head Cabbage was supposed to see the crowning of the 2012 Harrison Parks National Cricket champion; but someone forgot to tell the folks in the neighboring village of Rancho Dolores, whose Western Eagles squad came determined to do the unthinkable. At least, according to last week’s Crooked Tree pundit, who was supremely confident that only Brilliant of Crooked Tree could beat Excellence at home in Double Head Cabbage. Well, there is always a first time.

Two 1-nil games in Champions Cup semifinal
As anticipated, both match-ups yesterday at the MCC Grounds in the Belize City Champions Cup knockout semifinals were very close contests, ending in similar 1-0 scores.

Charges dropped against officers Leonardo Yama and Jose Ortiz
Gabriel Casey, the complainant, dropped case as he was compensated for his injuries... Leonardo Yama and Jose Ortiz, police officers, today had their charges struck out after the complainant, Gabriel Casey, an employee of Belize City’s Magistrate’s Court, withdrew the charge of wounding after an “out of court” settlement was reached.

Editorial: The family
For a couple weeks now, the Opposition PUP has been making a splash about what they call a “nepotistic land grab” at the Ministry of Natural Resources. They had reportedly obtained documentation that shows that some UDP Ministers and their families, and cronies, had gotten huge swaths of public land at rock bottom prices.

From The Publisher
“It was after the second defeat of the Republic that he retreated from Venezuela and went off to Jamaica. He somehow miraculously survived a plot to assassinate him. And it was there that he wrote his famous Letter from Jamaica, and there, too, in 1816, that he came in contact with President (Alexandre) Pétion of Haiti. Pétion began to exert an influence on Bolívar with regard to the freeing of the slaves; he helped him with arms, and Bolívar made a vow that was now absolutely consonant with his revolutionary thinking: he promised to abolish slavery. His expedition left Haiti and disembarked on Venezuelan soil, and there, on 6 July 1816, he delivered the ‘Ocumare Manifesto.’ One of its first paragraphs states: ‘That unfortunate portion of our brothers who have groaned under the hardships of slavery is now free. Nature, justice and policy call for the emancipation of the slaves; from this time forward, in Venezuela there shall be one single class of men, and all shall be citizens.’


Back to pioneer days
After living in Belize for almost 7 years, I can totally imagine what it was like in the wild west some times. We were recently sent back to the pioneer days after our washing machine broke down. I remember when we first moved here and lived in the downtown San Pedro core, in a 1 bedroom apt which did not have laundry. There were 2 laundry services in town at the time, but I do care to use the dryer for my clothes so I often ended up hand washing my stuff. Raul came to look at it Sunday and said a switch was broken and it would be later in the week that we might get a fix – ugh. I was totally not in the mood to do bucket laundry tonight, but I am attending a National AIDS Commission Induction Ceremony and Luncheon at El Divino on Thursday. Since I do not want show up looking like a tomboy as a representative for the Belize Red Cross. I decided that advance prep would be better under the circumstances, not only am I dealing with being washer-less, it has been so hot lately that one wear is all I have been giving my clothes. For fun I decided to look up a couple of posts from our pioneer days. I picked 2 from when we were still relatively new here – just over a year. My plastic bucket collection that I won at a Dia De San Pedro back in 2007 and the time Dianne and Tracy Quicksilver Messenger Service saved the day and our water supply. I had 3 buckets of laundry on the go and we were about to be cut off due to a missed placed bill due to the hullabaloo between Hurricane Dean and Hurricane Felix.

Captain Morgan's Casino Packed with Costa Maya Beauty Queens: San Pedro Scoop Predicts the Winners
Last night, the 2012 Costa Maya International Pageant Queens hit Captain Morgan's Casino and Resort for dinner, charity for our local humane society (SAGA), lots of photos and a bit of gambling. Here are (from the left) Miss Mexico, Miss Nicaragua, the reigning Miss SAGA San Pedro, Ari Trejo (as voted by me), Miss Belize and Miss Guatemala. Go Ari! Let's back up one second for some background. Since is inception in 1991, Costa Maya has been the biggest international festival in all of Belize. Now, it draws people from all over the country and Central America with a Thursday night beauty pageant (the real deal) and live music and entertainment all weekend long. It's a huge party weekend in San Pedro. All the bars are full, many of the hotels, every golf cart is rented...the beach is one big festival. For ALL of the information, check out their website...they really improved it this year. Here is the sign featuring the two international artists that will be performing. A little Caribbean reggae and a bit of Latino flair. Ok, back to me, me, me. Captain Morgan's has a free boat service up to the Casino each night leaving from the Fido's dock. We took an early boat. And hung out by the pool for a few minutes. Quite pleasant really...

Belize’s Newest Environmentalists Graduate
The future of Belize’s natural resources isin good hands after this week’s graduation of 24 “Eco Kids” from an innovative summer camp aimed at educating and empowering tomorrow’s conservationists, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s co-founder and general manager, Lucy Fleming said today. The 24 students all graduated from Chaa Creek’s Eco Kids Summer Camp, an annual eight day event aimed at instilling a sense of “wonder, understanding and responsibility” of Belize’s world famous natural resources in today’s youth, according to Ms Fleming, who designs and facilitates the programs for the camp. Officially known as the Children’s Summer Camp Scholarship Program, the camp program uses a mix of adventure, social interaction, fun and hands-on education to engage young people with their natural surroundings while teaching the importance of conservation and natural resource stewardship. Ms Fleming said the idea for the camp came from her personal experiences while she and her husband Mick watched their own children grow up in the 365 acre private rainforest reserve they call home.

Meet the 2012 Eco Kids
Camp is officially over. The eco campers got to perform one last time for the great turn out of families and friends who made it to Chaa Creek to attend the closing ceremonies. The kids have now gone back home (at least we think there aren’t any left hiding in the jungle) with many amazing memories, great new friends, positive attitudes, and a better appreciation for what it means to be an “eco kid.” I won’t forget this incredible opportunity anytime soon, and I know all the campers feel the same way I do! To finish things off, here is a look at the 24 unique and special kids who have made the 2012 Chaa Creek Eco Camp such a memorable event.

International Sources

Lord Ashcroft will have to publicly counter accusations that he made loans to corrupt Caribbean politician
The billionaire Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft will have to publicly counter accusations that he made loans to a corrupt Caribbean politician after a High Court judge today decided that he should have to reply to the allegations. The Hon Mr Justice Eady’s decision is the latest development in a “long and tortuous” legal battle between the Tory’s former deputy chairman and the former owners of The Independent. Lord Ashcroft is seeking damages in a libel action against Independent News and Media (INM), the paper’s former editor Roger Alton and reporter Stephen Foley, claiming he was libelled in two articles in November 2009. Today Mr Justice Eady decided that, as well as defending its claim on the grounds of responsible journalism in a matter of public interest, INM could also use the defences of fair comment and justification: that the story was truthful.

A piece of Chesapeake Bay history comes home
It began on Ewell, Smith Island, Maryland, in 1916 when Noah T. Evans was asked to build a boat to carry the mail, freight and passengers from Crisfield to Smith Island. He built the Island Belle which ran back and forth for 74 years. In 1920, during the oyster boom he built a 66-foot buy boat and named it the Winnie Estelle after his two daughters. In 1922 he built the Dora Estelle another buy boat and named it after his wife and youngest daughter. These buy boats were some of the original workhorses of the bay moving seafood and produce to ports in the US. The Winnie Estelle was written about in a book by Larry Chowning where he described her as one of the finest restorations of any of the Chesapeake Bay Buy boats ever built. The Winnie Estelle has over a 90-year history as she was passed from oneowner to another and in the 1970s made her way to Belize where it was used to transport lumber and eventually used for tours off the island. The Winnie Estelle has kept its original design and is in perfect condition. Only about 20 percent of the original material it was built out of remainssince she was salvaged in 1986 from a sure death where she was adrift ona reef off of Belize. Capt. Roberto Smith and two other men undertook a 5-year project to restore her utilizing Honduras heart pine, Belizean cabbage bark and other hardwoods of great strength and durability. The original keel is still sound and intact.

Belizean court postpones decision on Mello’s extradition
A court in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, has postponed judgement on the extradition of Slovak fugitive Karol Mello. The judge accepted a request by Mello’s lawyer, Godfrey Smith, to allow him to read the whole file in detail, the SITA newswire wrote. Media outlets in Belize reported that Mello, charged with organising at least two murders, entered the court wearing handcuffs. The proceeding was also attended also by his wife Zuzana. The next hearing will take place on Thursday, August 2. Belizean police arrested Mello on the Caribbean island of San Pedro on July 11 in an operation coordinated with Interpol. Though the local authorities reportedly issued a permit to expel Mello from Belize on July 16, his lawyers secured a court ruling on July 17 which halted extradition pending a judicial hearing. While Mello and his lawyer argued that Mello entered Belize legally, local media later reported that he had lied about his past and the outstanding charges against him in Slovakia.

How to Choose Where to Retire Overseas
You aren't going to live a luxury lifestyle in Belize, no matter how much money you have. There's no fine dining, great shopping, or haute-couture to be found anywhere in Belize, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, or Honduras either. It doesn’t exist. Luxe living has as much to do with opportunity as it does with income. Three places where you could enjoy the good things in life on a budget of, say, $3,000 per month or less are Paris, Kuala Lumpur, and Medellin. Assuming that you can free up enough cash to buy an apartment in Paris, living in Paris is as luxe as it gets, and can be far more affordable than you might ever imagine. A couple could have a hard time spending $3,000 per month in this city, assuming no rent. Many of the finest offerings in Paris come gratis or nearly so, and transportation is next to free. Telephone, cable, and Internet are a bargain. And, outside the tourist zones, everyday things such as haircuts and groceries can be very affordable.

Happy Birthday Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize
News today of conditions in the marine environment seems mostly something to be dreaded; a litany of decline and morbidity. Whether it be the seemingly intractable force of ocean warming; ocean basin catastrophes like the BP oil spill; the bloody farce called “scientific” whaling by the Japanese; or simply the eerie appearance of lion fish in the Atlantic Basin, the marine conservationist — the enlightened observer, for that matter — can surely be forgiven for having adopted a protective shield of cynicism regarding the future of our planet and our ability to effectively address the challenges of conservation. So, by way of relief from the weight of these troubles, it was a pleasure to hear of a birthday on July 2nd, happening in Belize, site of the greatest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. It was a birthday marking the authorization of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 25 years ago. Joining in the commemoration were Belizeans and ex-patriot friends of Belize from around the world.

Leaving the Reefs of Carrie Bow
As the days tick away, so do our last hopes of finding social shrimp. We came to Carrie Bow to collect two types of eusocial shrimp, each living in colonies with a single queen and dozens to hundreds of nonbreeding workers. Although Emmett Duffy has collected dozens of such colonies here over the past two decades, we need new specimens for advanced genetic and reproductive studies. Now it seems we will have to scrap those plans. At this point, we can safely say that eusocial shrimp are gone from Carrie Bow. Over the past few days, we’ve sampled nearly 20 reefs, each unique and surprisingly beautiful it its own way. Some are covered by mats of corals and sea fans. Others are dotted with mounds of coral. Fish are abundant on some, but not on others. We see squids, sharks, rays, turtles and eels. We sample reefs to the east, and reefs to the west. We head far south, and stay north near the station. We try deeper ones and shallower ones. Some have more live coral, some are more degraded. Yet one thing is consistent: no eusocial shrimp. Today we make one final attempt to sample along the outer fore reef before the bottom drops off and descends toward the continental shelf. Snorkeling down to the bottom is much harder here, not only because it’s deeper, but also because the current is stronger and the waves at the surface are bigger. Because swimming against the current is ineffective and we need to cover a large area, we pull Emmett on a tow line behind the boat as he searches for the corals that used to harbor the sponges containing eusocial shrimp. The corals we need are also all but gone, replaced by other species. The remaining rubble is old and overgrown with different sponges from the ones we need. After a few unsuccessful hours, we conclude that even out here, the shrimp are nowhere to be found.

French Wildlife Photographer Captures Belize’s Beauty
Marie-France Grenouillet has some great shots from her recent visit to Belize. She has some good things to say about Belize, and birding at Black Rock Lodge too. Check out her photo album. "My impression of Belize – so small and so “generous”… I must say that for those who love birds, the underwater world, local authentic villages and, of course, Maya sites, don’t hesitate to visit this small country... Another superb place is Black Rock Lodge Trails and Grounds. It is the perfect place to see Keel-Billed Toucans, Emerald Toucanets, the beloved “Collared Aracari” and many other birds. The scenery is marvelous; it is near a ravine in which the river is running, surrounded by greenery."

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