Recent Belize News
9/1/2012 to 9/10/2012
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Today's Belize News

September 10, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The September 9th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Three Remanded For Jacking Chinese Store
  • BNECT Donates Household Items To San Ignacio Police
  • Gabourel Remanded For Robbery & Grevious Harm
  • Harvest For Kids: Planting Seeds Of Hope
  • The Cayo (Police) District Is Without A Commanding Officer
  • Horticulture Training Courses
  • The Goverment Must Educate Our People On The Guatemala Issue
  • The Youngest Son Takes The Rap
  • Musa Complains, Haynes Explains
  • STAR Humor
  • 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

Violation of the Supplies Control Regulation?
It has come to the attention of the Supplies Control Unit (SCU) of the Belize Bureau of Standards that some merchants and particularly some distributors of price controlled goods such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene have been prescribing to the practice of implementing control price increase adjustments prior to the effective date announced by the Government of Belize.

Wolfe’s Woofers – Pain
“Oh, quit whining, James. All you have is a little cut on your toe.” “But it hurts. You don’t know what real pain is.” “Of course I do,” the man’s wife said. “I know more about pain than you ever will.” “What is that supposed to mean?” “I’ve given birth to four of your children,” she said. “They were all by natural childbirth. Believe me when I say I know more about pain than you ever will.” “What about the time I got in the fight at the night club and the bouncer kicked me in the privates? That is as painful as giving birth.” “I doubt it.” I was sitting at a table at Estel’s with Charlie and Harry Longsworth while this conversation played out at the next table between a tourist and his wife. They left and Charlie said, “I wonder if that’s true.”

Dr. Love – Puzzled by a best friend’s opinion
Dear Doctor Love, I met an awesome guy a few weeks ago. We have had two dates and I would like for this thing to go further but at the same time, I am kind of worried. My best friend, who has been like my twin since high school, does not trust my new guy. She says that there is something about him that makes her believe he is a natural born liar. With anyone else I would just laughed something like this off, but my friend and I have been through a lot together over the years. One thing I have learned is that when it comes to people, she can read them like a book. Every time she has warned me about someone, it always turns out she is right. I don’t know how she does it but she does. Believe me, she would like to see me in a good relationship and happily married like she is but she says this is not the guy and that there is definitely something wrong with him. How does that work? How is it that she can tell there is a problem and I can’t?

Misc Belizean Sources

Gold mining in Belize
All gold mining in Belize is placer mining. Working the rivers, creeks and gravel beds and other sediments in the southern Belize Alps Maya mountain chain. Gold mining is done with a 4 inch portable dredge and a lot of people simply use the old method of a sluice box, or frying pan method. Two brothers, George and Alberto Boiton, from Santa Elena Town have been gold mining back there, since 1990. Some Canadians also, and there are reported upward of 300 illegal Guatemalan families, wives and children working the creeks in the area. Strangely enough, nobody from the port of Belize City, that has a lot of unemployment, has bothered to go there and mine gold. They cry a lot for government aid and welfare, but real work, sluicing sand and gravel with a frying pan seems not to be attractive to them. The gold runs off from the Ceibo Chico water drainage system. In the last 15 years the government has been issuing licenses to go back there and pan gold. The Boiton brothers have been reported in the media, to have taken out BZ 7.5 million dollars in the last six years. Of course, buyers on site, selling food and other supplies will only give you about half the world value of gold. The retail quotes and assessments are considerably higher. In 8 years the Boiton brothers reported, taking out 2,300 ounces of gold.

Cayo's St. George's Caye Events
There's a lot going on in Cayo tonight for the September Celebrations! Fireworks at midnight to celebrate the Battle of St. George's Caye Day! The SIRH has DJ Caesar. Lucky 5 is having DJ Diamond. Meluchi's has Mistah Geeh. Club Next has Cloud 9. Cappello's has a DJ too.

Grill Night and DJ Caesar at SIRH
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is having a dinner and dance to celebrate the Batlle of St. George's Caye day. Enjoy a delicious steak dinner, and then some great mixed music from DJ Caesar. Eat, dance, enjoy the midnight fireworks, and dance some more. Happy September Celebrations!

Parkfest in Belmopan
Tonight in Belmopan they will be having the 1st annual Parkfest to celebrate the Battle of St. George's Caye day. The September Celebrations are in full swing. There will be lots of live music. Taprick, Fireside Crew, Jag Camp Entertainment, and Crown One Sounds will all be there. Happy September!


Cyclist Dies On The Northern Highway
Unconfirmed reports reaching the R.S.V news center this morning say that a man lost his life in a traffic incident. It is alleged that the man was knocked down on the Northern Highway near mile 7. Love news understands that the victim was knocked down by a Saturn Car. ...

American National Sentenced For Molesting Minor In Belize
American national, Roland Flath was given a five year jail sentence on Thursday for sexually assaulting a fourteen year old girl in Belize. The sentence was handed down yesterday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin by U.S. district judge J.P. Stadtmuller. According to the Associated Press, b...

American Fugitive Nabbed In Belize
The San Pedro Sun newspaper is reporting that an American national who should have been in jail in the US state of Minneapolis was captured on Thursday in San Pedro town. Forty six year old Khaffak Sahib Ansari was taken into custody after a misunderstanding with a woman caused p...

Body Retrieved From Placencia Lagoon
The body of a man was retrieved from the Lagoon on the Placencia Peninsula on Thursday afternoon. The body was identified as that of 48 year old Albert Coleman from Independence village. The body was first taken to the morgue at the Southern Regional Hospital; b...

Police Investigate House Fire In The City
There was a fire this morning at number 6436 corner Mahogany and Jasmine Streets in Belize City. It is reported that police received the call alerting them about the fire around 4:30 a.m. The fire service arrived to find a bungalow concrete structure belonging to Julian Ara...

Authorities In Search of Teenager Under Waters
The Carnival Jouvert kicked off this morning at five am in front of the San Cas Plaza and proceeded on the streets of Belize City. However, the mud parade ended in a sad note for a family who is now looking for the body of their loved one, a minor, who apparently drowned in the B...


Roland Flath Gets Five Years In Prison For Having Sexual Intercourse With A Minor In Belize
On Thursday, a federal judge in Milwaukee sentenced 72 year old U.S National Roland Flath to five years in prison for having sexual relations with a minor here in Belize. If his name rings a bell that’s because back in June 2010, Flath was arrested and charged for pornography and committing an indecent crime against a minor. The charge arose after a 14 year old female from Copper Bank Village in the Corozal District, told police that Flath had been exploiting her since the age of 10. The victim told police that Flath would pay her to take pictures of her naked and in several occasions they had sexual contact. She also told Corozal Police that she continued visiting Flath’s house because her family needed the money and often at times when questioned by her mother, she would say that Flath was paying her for cleaning his house. On June 16th a search of Flath’s residence in the Village of Cooper Bank led police to the discovery of computers and devices containing pornographic material.

24 Years Of Offering Quality Education To Students
On September 4th 1988 Louisiana Government School opened its doors here in Orange Walk with an enrolment of 168 students, 7 teachers and one principal. That was 24 years ago and throughout those two decades the school has exceptionally excelled in more ways than one. Every year Louisiana Government School celebrates their birthday on the first Friday of the new academic year and today we paid them a little visit to see how the school was celebrating their 24th birthday. Enrique Ayuso Jr. VP Upper Division “This was one of the rapidly, growing areas of the entire town so from its first time the school open its doors it immediately filled it capacity, thereafter every year we have had to have expansions, expansions, so that right now in 2012 we are accommodating 1005 pupils.” Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “I think it is one of the largest for the Orange Walk District right?” Enrique Ayuso Jr. VP Upper Division “It’s quite possible yes.”

U.S National Captured In San Pedro, Belize
He came to Belize on August 18th 2012 running away from U.S. Authorities and tonight wanted U.S. National Khaffak Sahib Ansari is behind bars after he was captured by San Pedro Police. According to the San Pedro Sun, on Thursday September 6th, 46 year old Khaffak Sahib Ansari was captured in San Pedro Ambergris Caye by San Pedro Police. Ansari, who was convicted in the U.S. for fraud in May of 2012, was managing a local establishment on the island when he was detained by local authorities after a woman made a report against him. Police ran a search of Ansari’s name on their database and found that he should have been serving a jail sentence in the USA for charges of fraud. According to international reports, earlier this year a federal court in Minneapolis Minnesota USA convicted Ansari of fraud after he pleaded guilty of trafficking food stamps. At the time he was the owner of Stryker Avenue Market in the city of St. Paul. United States District Court Judge Paul Magnuson sentenced Ansari, to 41 months in prison on one count of food stamp fraud. In addition, the 46 year old was ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution. As mentioned, Ansari came into Belize on August 18th, 2012 and has been living alone on Ambergris Caye where he was in the process of buy a local business. The U.S. Embassy in Belize has been notified of Ansari’s arrest and arrangements are being made to have him flown to the U.S. sometime over the weekend where he will be handed over to counterparts in Minnesota.

CEMJC Celecbrates 5th Anniversary
Back in September 6th 2007, Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College opened its doors as a vocational and technical learning institution. To date, over 200 students from both the Orange Walk and Corozal District are enrolled in the different programs offered at the school. Today the junior college celebrated its 5th anniversary in grand fashion and CTV3 News was invited to take part in celebration. Here is how it went. Hipolito Novelo - Reporter CEMJC, Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College, was able to open its doors with the financial assistance from the Mexican Government. According to Dean, Hugo Gonzalez, today the educational institution celebrated five years of growth and development. Hugo Gonzalez Dean “I must tell you that the Junior College has come a long way, first from its inception we started with an intake of fifty students, as I mention earlier in my discourse where practically of the two hundred students mark at this point in time and our school has been going significantly and I believe that it is all due to the hard work that our teachers, our faculty and staff put together because the concept that we take with each other is that we are not a school but we are a family. But accompanying several accomplishments, were a number of obstacles which the school was able to overcome.

Special Ed's Students Learns How To Save
Today students of Saint Peters Anglican School received a double donation awarded to them by two businesses in the Orange Walk District. In the month of August, Deodoro Chan of Fabulous Barber Shop, initiated a program he called give a dollar to a needy child. The program ran through to the first week of September and after the money was counted Chan had collected a total of $150.00 which he donated to two students from Saint Peters Anglican School. “For the entire month I collected $150.00 so I donated it to the St. Peters Primary School to students, one went to a full year payment and the other one went to half year, also the two school bags comes from the Mayor of the Orange Walk Town Council he donated four of them and I also made a giveaway back to school so am raffle on the second of September, it was two hampers along with the other two school bags that the Mayor donated.” “When it comes to these kids getting this assistance, how is it that they were chosen?” Deodoro Chan- Fabulous Barber Shop “Well, the principal went through their list and it is like a mini scholarship that I mentioned before that they have to actually be passing and really needed that so they chose two students and they went through that little hassling towards that. Every kids do deserve their education and it is always good to give back in order to receive and it is very well made the point to the kids that the do need that help and I believe that all other businesses supposed to help, people do not expect anything big it is a small help and you get the blessing in return.” As for students of the Special Education Unit, they received a donation for the Belize Bank Limited. This morning Leila Orellana, Customer Service Attendant at the Belize Bank, handed each student a piggy bank in order for them to start saving at a young age.


A Slow Season ride South (part 1)
This morning we decided to point our bikes southward. We usually ride north simply because it means avoiding all the bumpy cobblestone streets in town that make me wish I had never sold my full-suspension mountain bike in the US, but it gets boring always going the same way. And going south proved to be an excellent choice. We were up early and got on the road around 7:30 am, if not a bit earlier (I always forget to look at my watch since I'm on island time!) This may be the earliest we've ever ridden through town, and it was dead. I mean, there is never this little traffic! Most businesses open as usual on Sunday, but not until 8 am or later. And September is the slowest month of the year for tourism, so some businesses are taking the month off to spruce up and to give employees some time off. We loved it. When is Middle Street ever this quiet? (By the way, I had no idea Barry was snapping all these photos during our ride, although it did cross my mind to wonder why he was staying behind me the entire time!)

Medellin, Colombia, Part One: Pablo Who?
Tell people that you are flying to Medellin, Colombia and they tend to think the worst. It's not surprising. 25 years ago, Medellin was the murder capital of the world and the center of infamous Pablo Escobar's multi-billion dollar cocaine trafficking empire. Some say he was running the city and maybe even the entire country. Now... you would never know it. Never. This is a city packed with culture, insanely friendly people, greenery, flowers and more culture. Ballet, opera, jogging and biking paths, great public transit, nightly free movies, cultural centers, pedestrian walk ways, free wi-fi everywhere, beer and fruit vendors on every corner and so much public space. Even the graffiti is beautiful to me.

International Sources

Caribbean coral reefs face collapse
Caribbean coral reefs are in danger of disappearing, depriving the world of one of its most beautiful and productive ecosystems. Caribbean coral reefs – which make up one of the world's most colourful, vivid and productive ecosystems – are on the verge of collapse, with less than 10% of the reef area showing live coral cover. With so little growth left, the reefs are in danger of utter devastation unless urgent action is taken, conservationists warned. They said the drastic loss was the result of severe environmental problems, including over-exploitation, pollution from agricultural run-off and other sources, and climate change. The decline of the reefs has been rapid: in the 1970s, more than 50% showed live coral cover, compared with 8% in the newly completed survey. The scientists who carried it out warned there was no sign of the rate of coral death slowing. Coral reefs are a particularly valuable part of the marine ecosystem because they act as nurseries for younger fish, providing food sources and protection from predators until the fish have grown large enough to fend better for themselves. They are also a source of revenue from tourism and leisure.

Belizean Dollar Weakens 4.2% Against US Dollar for the Week
The Belizean Dollar, which is officially pegged to the US Dollar at 2:1, had in fact been gradually strengthening over the course of 2012. The USDBZD cross got as high as 1.88 in recent weeks. The difficulty in maintaining the peg and the wild gyrations at the right edge of the chart are the result of this news tidbit (courtesy of the Financial Post): Belize is offering bondholders 20 cents on the dollar in a debt restructuring, worse than what Argentina gave creditors following its 2001 default, according to Bank of Nova Scotia and Citigroup Inc. What is ironic is that in the face of the debt restructuring, the currency had been strengthening. Then the recent news of the low bond offer has caused some wild fluctuations and the 4.2% drop over the past week. We unfortunately don't have a Belizean equity index we're tracking. It would be interesting to also observe how stocks are performing during this tumultuous period.

September 9, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Saga Humane Society receives new cattery
Resident cats at Saga Humane Society who are awaiting adoption can now enjoy the comfort of a brand new outdoor Cattery thanks to the kind donation of cat lover and San Pedro resident, Mark Maggiotto. With the upcoming new addition to his personal family, Mark felt forced to surrender his beloved cats. Knowing the present living conditions of the homeless cats at Saga were limited to indoor cages, Maggiotto could not see his beloved pets in such conditions so he decided to create a haven for all cats at the society. Prior to the donation, cats at the facility were confined to cages throughout the day and night, with limited freedom to move around until adoption. The new facility provides the cats with ample space to scamper around, scratch poles and to be free during the course of the day. Potential adoptive owners can socialize with the cat of choice inside the cattery where their health is showcased as they playfully jump around.

San Pedro boys win Orange Walk Volleyball Tournament!
Travelling weekly to compete in the Orange Walk Volleyball Tournament certainly paid off for the San Pedro Volleyball team this past weekend. Armando Escalon, Guillermo Rivero, Eric Santizo, and Ricky Luna formed the team representing San Pedro in the four by four league. In a game of best out of five, Team San Pedro won the first three sets and captured the coveted championship trophy. The boys faced Orange Walk Bad News II in their final, deciding match. From the beginning of the hotly contested game, played at the Complex Building in Orange Walk Town on September 1st, team San Pedro was set on bringing home the victory. From the onset of the game, the boys were impressive, taking the lead with 25-12 in the first set. Their opponents came back strong in the second set, but were unable to topple the San Pedro boys, who took the lead once more with a close score of 25-22.

“Indiana Jonesing” The Caves Of Belize
There is once again much excitement surrounding Belize. We are very pleased to report that our beautiful gem has been featured in the August issue of the Caribbean Travel + Life magazine. This magazine is a trusted source for travellers to learn about Caribbean news and get destination tips. The stories are based on first hand experiences from the writers. The magazine is published nine times a year and is the official consumer publication of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel Association. “This article will create great exposure for the country. It will attract the travellers who are adventure seekers, which is definitely a target group of ours. We welcome all opportunities to invite a variety of tourists to experience the different wonders the country has to offer,” commented Hon. Manuel Heredia.

Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal – Celebrating Belize!
Celebration time in Belize comes again in the month of September and every year brings a new and different experience. And just as it is every year, the country brings the many faces of beautiful Belize together to display our colors, culture, history, music and with one goal; to celebrate Belize. September is the month that we celebrate the glory of our ancestors the Baymen, as well as highlight the struggle towards Belize’s independence. This year, Belize celebrates 214 years since the battle at old Saint George’s Caye and it has been 31 years since Belize obtained political independence. Despite our origin, for all in Belizeans, it is always a great reason to celebrate! During the month of September, the blue, white and red colors of our flag decorate our streets, homes and town. To officially kick off the celebration, as is becoming a custom, the official opening of the Patriotic Celebration is done at St George’s Caye, where the battle to protect Belize was actually held. It is always a treat for Belizeans to visit the place where our ancestors fought and defended the settlement of British Honduras and the main town of Belize. This year, to relive the glorious moment, The Pantempers Steel Band fills the air with patriotic music, setting the tone to launch the celebration from the historic caye.

Misc Belizean Sources

Saga Humane Society Monthly Cook-off Fundraiser The Taste of Belize, Mexico and all of Central America!
Let’s Celebrate the Independence of Belize along with the other Latin American Countries on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, 6:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. by attending our 2nd Annual Street Party hosted by El Fogon! Taste the specialties of not only Belize with a traditional dish such as Escabeche, but of all our neighboring countries. Tamales, Chile Rellenos, Sopa de Carcol, Pupusa’s, Enchilada’s, Chicken Mole, Gallo Pinto, Bollos & Yuka con Chicharon are many of the foods we enjoy here, but that originate from our neighboring countries. Are one of these above your favorite Latin American dish? Make it and Enter it!! Or enter your own favorite Latino dish and challenge the others. Come share it with us and enjoy the festivities of Independence Day and support our local humane society, SAGA, an important part of the community and our island. To enter a dish, please call Katia Marin at 610-0992 or email Katia at OR Lori Purdy at 675-5185 or email Lori at to register your entry.

Projected GOB balances and the public debt ratios under the indicative restructuring scenarios
nice charts.....

AWESOME VIDEO: Carnival 2012 (September 8, 2012)
2 hours 50 minutes, Channel 5 live coverage of CARNIVAL 2012

September Celebrations in Cayo
Happy September! The SISE Town Board, and NICH, have released fliers for the events this holiday weekend. Combine that with Double Up promotions, and you have some amazing September Celebrations for the Battle of St. George's Caye Day. They are also on the Cayo Event Calendar. Have fun!


FFB president updates on the state of football in Belize
It has been five months since the new executive of the Football Federation of Belize took office. In its initial report the new executive headed by Ruperto Vicente informed that the Federation was in a pretty bad state since there was no money to talk about, no equipment, no programs in place. Today the Federation met the press and according to President Vicente they have been making a number of steps to revive the sport in Belize.


Saga Cook Off
I know there are Many Lori Purdy fans out there on the net so I decided to include her email [see below] along with the Upcoming Saga Cook off information in both Spanish and English. Saga does a great job of helping the stray and neglected animals on Ambergris Caye. I took the following beach pictures of Molly while we were hanging out at Cholo’s for a football match. It was great afternoon people watching and playing at the beach. Molly was a Saga dog and found her happily ever after with Cindy and her other Saga friend Basil the cat.

Belize Jouvert 2012 – Making the Mud!
Jouvert in Belize is celebrated at 5am on the morning of the Carnival with massive crowds following a truck hauling gigantic speaker systems pumping out Carnival Rythms and whipping the people into a dancing fever while pasting each other with specially prepared mud by Ms. Marsha Smith. People from around the world travel to Belize to partake in Jouvert. Often not mentioned is the process of making the special mud used in the Belize Jouvert, the precursor to Belize Carnival. Ms. Marsha Smith is the only woman in Belize who knows how to specially prepare the mud and has closely gaurded her secret of making the smooth, silky and colorful mud that is used in Belize's Jouvert. Today I caught up with Ms. Marsha Smith who took us through the the process of making the special mud used in Jouvert, keeping in mind some steps were ommited to gaurd her secret. Ms. Marsha Smith's sterilized mud has been used in hotels and resorts spas for massages.

International Sources

The Weatherman Is Not a Moron
These meteorologists are dealing with a small fraction of the 2.5 quintillion bytes of information that, I.B.M. estimates, we generate each day. That’s the equivalent of the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress about three times per second. Google now accesses more than 20 billion Web pages a day; the processing speed of an iPad rivals that of last generation’s most powerful supercomputers. All that information ought to help us plan our lives and profitably predict the world’s course. In 2008, Chris Anderson, the editor of Wired magazine, wrote optimistically of the era of Big Data. So voluminous were our databases and so powerful were our computers, he claimed, that there was no longer much need for theory, or even the scientific method.

Belize’s September Celebrations: A Cultural Explosion!
Travel and Escape has a great article on Belize's Carnival. They even give a top 5 list. Tonight in Cayo, there's a lot going on. Battle of the DJ's in Santa Elena, and a cultural night at Octavia Waight. Have a great weekend! "Belize’s Carnival is one of Latin America’s biggest celebrations of Caribbean heritage. From parades to keg contests, here are the top five events to see during the September Celebrations."

September 8, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wanted US national Khaffak Sahib Ansari detained in Belize
Wanted American national Khaffak Sahib Ansari was captured in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize by San Pedro Police on Thursday September 6th. 46 year old Ansari, who was convicted in the U.S. for fraud in May of 2012, was detained by local authorities after a woman made a report against him at the local police station. He was detained shortly before 6PM and is expected to be extradited to the U.S. sometime over the weekend. Ansari, said local police, was managing a local establishment on the island where a female had a misunderstanding with him and he had to be detained. According to police, after Ansari was detained, investigators decided to run a search of his name in their database and found that Ansari should have been serving a jail sentence in the USA for charges of fraud.

New school building inaugurated at SPRCS
Inauguration ceremonies took place on Thursday September 6th at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) for a new school building. The brand new building will hold three classrooms and is expected to minimize the congestion that the school faces. It will also allow for more children to have access to a primary school education. The building was officially inaugurated by the school’s benefactor and owner of Canary Coves Don Listwin, Area Representative Hon Manuel Heredia, Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero and the Manager of Roman Catholic Schools in Belize, Sister Barbara Flores. The building measures 27 feet wide by 72 feet long, and is estimated to have cost over $120,000. Financing for the building was obtained through the collective efforts of the Councilor Gaby Nuñez and the school management, who lobbied for funding from Listwin. Don Listwin, who has adopted San Pedro as his second home, spoke at the event, saying he was happy to be involved and contribute to education on the island. “If you are going to live in a community, you have to participate in the community and so my wife and I both though about what we wanted to do… We were happy to do this (building of the classroom) and we are happy to see the result.” Listwin also stated that he wants to be further involved in the community.

SPTC and Police “tighten up” in enforcing traffic and bicycle laws
But the enforcement of parking laws by the traffic officers were not the only issue that has residents, especially bicycle owners, up in arms. The San Pedro Police Department also carried out their own enforcement of the bicycle law confiscating bikes that had malfunctioning brakes, no lights, lack reflectors and bells and were on public roads. Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero had indicated earlier this year of the council’s decision to implement the license of bikes as mandated by law. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Mayor Guerrero said that the decision to confiscate bikes that are “deem unfitted” to be used on “public streets” was a decision made by the police. What has upset affected residents is the fact that no prior notification was given. According to the San Pedro police department there is no need to warn anyone on the enforcement of bicycle law. “The law is specific when it comes to bicycles that should be on the road,” said the Officer in Charge and Assistant Superintendent of the Police Viennie Robinson of the San Pedro police department. According to the police, following the unexpected “sweep” over the past weekend, most of the people got back their bicycles except for those who could not show “proof of ownership.” Residents need to brace up as the police cautioned that they will continue to enforce and ensure that bicycles are “deem fit” to be on public road.

Ambergris Today

Belizean Accused of Kidnapping after Guatemalan Arrest
His name might seem very familiar, because he has had quite a bad reputation of being in and out of trouble with the law in Belize and now 37-year-old Joseph Budna finds himself in custody of the Guatemalan authorities. News outlets in Guatemala report that Budna is in serious trouble after being arrested and accused of being the ringleader of a gang of kidnappers operating in Belize Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. The National Civil Police (PNC) captured Budna in San Benito, Petén after a gun face off after which he found himself in the hospital.

New Classrooms at R.C. School Possible Through Great Benefactors
Master of ceremonies, Mr. Angel Nuñez, then introduced what he playfully called "the goose that lays the golden eggs"; he called on to the podium one of San Pedro's newest benefactors, Mr. Don Listwin, owner of Canary Coves. This humble benefactor shared with those in attendance how he came about to live in this beautiful piece of jewelry we call home. Don and his wife Hillary are avid divers and stated that they wanted to give back to the community which is now his second home. "We will continue to invest in this community," stated Listwin. "We would like for you to consider us as benefactors of education not only for this school but for all schools on this island."

Songwriter Danny Michel Inspired by Garifuna Music of Belize
Canadian singer-songwriter Danny Michel has quite an eclectic catalogue of music to his credit. Among his eight solo albums, are albums entitled ‘Tales From the Invisible Man’, ‘Feather, Fur & Fin’ and ‘Sunset Sea’, the later which was fully inspired and recorded in Belize. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, Michel spent four months in Belize, recording a new disc with Producer Ivan Duran and the members of the Garifuna Collective. Duran is founder of Stonetree Records, an independent record label and recording studio. He has produced over 30 albums featuring the musical styles of Belize, Honduras & Guatemala. In 2007 he received the womex award alongside the late Andy Palacio for their work on the Watina album, voted by as the #1 World Music album of all time.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize "Independent " Macroeconomic Report  June 2012
The Belizean economy continued to recover in 2011, with GDP growth 2.5% from 2.9% in 2010.

Deputy Prime Minister to Attend Unveiling of Sanctuary Belize 250-Slip Marina
Belize’s Only Deep Water, Fully Protected Marina Accommodates Boats Up to 140 Feet Sanctuary Belize, the award-winning five eco-system residential, resort and marina development, is excited to announce the opening of the only deep-water marina in all of Belize on October 20, 2012. The Deputy Prime Minister of Belize will be heading up the ribbon cutting ceremony for the state of the art, full service marina. This marina is the key focal point of the real estate development. After securing the necessary environmental permits, the completion of the 250-slip marina and adjacent beach club fulfills a key developer promise made to early buyers. Surrounded by 250 villas and townhomes, restaurants, pubs, and shopping, the marina slips will accommodate boats up to 140 feet. The opening of this full-service marina will provide a much needed gateway for boat owners, residents and enthusiasts to experience Sanctuary Belize's nine-mile wildlife river reserve, 2,000 acre tropical savannah, 10,000 acre rain forest, the second largest barrier reef on the planet, and the development's own six acre private island off the gorgeous southern mainland coast of beautiful Belize.

Average Tourist or Visitor's Length Of Stay in Belize
2006 thru 2011

Tully & Holland Advises Belize Aquaculture, Ltd., in its Recapitalization
Tully & Holland, Inc. ("T&H") is pleased to announce its role as financial advisor to Belize Aquaculture, Ltd. ("BAL" or the "Company") in conjuction with an investment in and recapitalization by Thailand-based Seafresh Industry Public Co., Ltd. (CFRESH: Bankok). This joint venture will provide Belize Aquaculture additional capital for growth. Founded in 1996 by Sir Barry Bowen, “Belize Aquaculture is one of the premiere shrimp farms and integrated production facilities in the world,” according to Tim Tully, President of Tully & Holland. Using strict environmental controls, adherence to the highest standards of sustainability and traceability, Belize Aquaculture has achieved one of the highest productivity levels in the shrimp farming industry in a world-class processing plant located on 14,000 acres on Blair Atholl Estate inBelize. “This transaction is yet another example of the globalization of food markets, in this case across three continents,” according to Tully. About Belize Aquaculture, Ltd. Belize Aquaculture, Ltd.,, is one of the world's foremost Intensive Marine Shrimp Aquaculture Companies. BAL has the unique ability to ship fresh cooked, never frozen shrimp and other value added shrimp products to US markets. BAL's extensive infrastructure and state-of-the-art processing plant is characterized by the World Wildlife Fund as "likely to be the aquaculture system of the future.

Graph: Belize - Annual Nominal Fiscal Balance
Why we might need a superbond 3 or is it why we don't need a superbond 2 ?

UB Central Farm Classroom Inauguration
The University of Belize's Central Farm campus had a new classroom inaugurated this week. "The presentation was made by the Deputy Prime Minister at CFC during the inauguration of a newly constructed building that will house classrooms and a Soil and Biology laboratory. In his Keynote Address entitled: 'Agriculture: the foundation of our diversified economy,' the Deputy Prime Minister said that UB has played an important role in the development of agriculture in Belize; and in this regard, the collaboration between the ministry and UB offers a good template to positively impact development across all districts in Belize."

Literacy Day at the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library celebrated LIteracy Day. They invited all the local primary schools over for some fun reading. What a great way to celebrate the September Celebrations. "San Ignacio Library promoting books and reading! Yay!"

Belmopan Literacy Parade Pictures
This morning in Belmopan, they had the Literacy Parade for the September Celebrations. Tons of students from Belmopan's primary and secondary schools participated in the event. They even had a few literacy floats. The students made lots of great signs, one that said: "Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life." Have a great September, and encourage all kids to read.

UB's Semester Kickoff pictures
The University of Belize had their semester kickoff this week, with food, games, music, and they ended with a bonfire. The students had a great time.

Flavors of Belize Exhibit
The Flavors of Belize exhibit is currently at the Image Factory. The Flavors of Belize cookbook had their big launch over the Summer, and now the exhibit will be on display until the end of September. Here are pictures and video from the opening ealier this week, where they got to interview Tanya Mcnab, the creator, along with the curator of the Image Factory.

Story of Resistance Exhibit at Benque HoC
The Benque House of Culture opened the "Story of Resistance"exhibit yesterday, to much fanfare. They Benque HoC teamed up with the ISCR to bring the exhibit here. It'll run for the September Celebrations. There was a great turnout for the opening ceremony.

Cayo Event Calendar for September
September's Cayo Event Calendar has all the September Celebration events on it. Tonight, don't miss the Children's Talent Show downtown, and then Meluchi's Ladies Night. There will also be a Thanks Giving Service in Benque at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Have a safe and fun September!

Channel 7

Baby Kaylee Was Killed
The post mortem examination on baby Kaylee Burgess was performed this afternoon in Belize City. It found that she died of suffocation - not drowning. It is a consequential finding because the family's report was that she died after falling into a bucket with water - but the post mortem finding says that the child suffocated and the matter is under investigation. That says it was foul play - basically that the two year old was killed on the day before her birthday. Today, after the post mortem we spoke to the child's paternal grandmother and father - and they told us that they want the police to find out what really happened to the child:.... Caroline Quilter - Grandmother of Deceased "I just came from the morgue just a few minutes ago and they did the autopsy and they claim that the baby died from suffocation. Right now we are leaving everything in the hands of the police for us to know that they can take it from there. It's not drowning, they ruled out drowning. They haven't found any evidence of drowning. They found that she was suffocated, that's what the death certificate says - suffocation."

Guats: Budna Is An International Kidnapper Wanted by FBI
Belizean Joseph Budna is making major headlines in Guatemala tonight - where he is now being described as the head of an international kidnapping ring. Guatemalan Police say that the charges against him are: Kidnapping, conspiracy and illicit association with other criminals. But in the press there, he is also being accused of child molestation and trafficking in persons, but, we stress, he has not been charged for that. At 3:00 yesterday afternoon, Budna was captured by an anti-kidnapping teamin San Benito, Petén, The Guatemalan press reports that there was a confrontation with the police where Budna, described as a gang leader was injured. They say he is the leader of a criminal network dedicated to international kidnapping in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. Of note is that press reports there say Budna is also wanted by the FBI in the United States for kidnapping an American. He is being investigated for three recent kidnappings in Guatemala for which ransoms of as much as five thousand dollars were demanded. According to press reports, Budna abducted his victims in Guatemala and then moved to Honduras while the ransom was being demanded - and then let them go near their homes after it was paid. The Guatemalan press reports that he was posing as a journalist, spiritualist and doctor. He did the same in Belize - where he was also a convicted pedophile.

Man Acquitted of Indecent Assault Against 4 Year-old
In September of 2011, there was a disturbing case of sexual assault against a 4 year-old girl in Belize City, which was allegedly perpetrated by a relative. Well tonight, the news is that the man who everyone suspected as the culprit was acquitted today in Magistrate's Court of indecent assault. As we reported, the mother of child even made attempts to come out publicly because she was not satisfied that police were properly investigating this relative whose name was being called by the child. Well, if today's outcome is indication, the police couldn't prove it then, and they couldn't prove it in the trial either. We can't reveal any names or show any photographs of the man because the child's identity would be compromised, but his trial started last week Monday before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The prosecution called the child to testify in closed court, and she told the court that on September 22, 2011, the accused took her to another relative's house, forced to lie down, took off her clothes, and fondled her.

Saldivar Complains About Prisoner Health at Kolbe
65 year-old Michael Coye and his daughter, 36 year-old Melonie Coye are currently in prison serving 3 years after they were convicted in Supreme Court of laundering over 1.5 million dollars. Their lead attorney, Arthur Saldivar, indicated to the media weeks ago that he was in the process of filing an appeal of this judgement. But Michael Coye is an elderly man, and he is suffering from diabetes, a which his attorney claims has worsened. Melonie Coye also has diabetes. According to Saldivar, he recently visited his clients in prison, and says health has been seriously compromised. He wants the Kolbe Foundation to take note that these prisoners need special care, and his opinion is that they are currently not getting it. Here's how he described it: Arthur Saldivar "I had an opportunity to get to the Kolbe Foundation to visit the Coye family; Mike and Melanie Coye - after having heard of a recent episode involving the health of both individuals. Mr. Mike Coye had suffered extensive diarrhea as a result of complication arising from the food that he was eating there and the fact that he wasn't getting the kind of medical attention that he requires. He is a diabetic, but recently we also found out that he was diagnosed with hepatitis C which is a highly communicable disease. Melanie Coye herself had gone into hyperglycemic shock while at the facility as a result of not being able to access proper food and medication."

McKoy Charged For City Shooting
Tonight, 20 year-old Deandray McKoy, a Belize City resident, is on remand for allegedly trying to kill another Belize City resident. According to police, 20 year-old Alexis Ku reported that on Wednesday, at about 8 p.m., he was walking on William Street when McKoy allegedly rode up to him and shot him several times in the abdomen, the lower back and the left hand. Ku was rushed to the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries, and immediately after, police began a search for Deandray McKoy. Today, McKoy was taken to Magistrate's Court where he was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford for attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Because of the nature of the offences, McKoy couldn't be granted bail, and he was remanded to prison until October 10, his next court date.

Russell Hyde Claims Police Setup
Roaring Creek Resident Russell Hyde is in the news again tonight. This time he came to us because he got out on bail - after spending a month on remand for a kidnapping charge. 42 year old Hyde, and 25 year old Roger Banner are accused of beating and kidnapping a woman who had been drinking with them. The 25 year old woman said she had to jump out of the vehicle at the Roaring Creek speedbump. But now Hyde and Banner have gotten Supreme Court bail - and he came to our studio to say that it was all a setup from the start. He claims that while he was with the woman after she consented to get into his SUV - he alleges that the Officer Commanding in Cayo, Chester Williams inflated the allegation to force Hyde to bring in two illegal weapons - and he said he'd keep his SUV impounded until such time. Here's what he told us today:.. Russsell Hyde "They took us to San Ignacio and Chester told me that 'I told you I wanted that 12 and that 9 Beretta and I will put a charge on you so that you go straight to Hattieville prison.' One month later I got bail on the grounds that the statement given by the female that accused me could not come up with a kidnapping charge and I also have Chester Williams on tape to prove where I was wrongfully abuse. I want to play this tape and let the people know Chester Williams is doing in Cayo."

The Texaco brand has been recognized in Belize for decades - but, no more; now UNOPETROL has replaced Texaco. You may have noticed the signs going up at gas stations in your area. Our information says that UNOPETROL is refitting seven service stations countrywide. The Honduran company owns all those stations. There are three other Texaco stations, which UNOPETROL does not own; one of them has decided to go UNOPETROL, the others may or may not - but either way, they'll have to stop using the Texaco logo - which is no longer licensed for Belize. The refitting work is being done by a company called FIMCOL, which we could not find listed in the phone book. It's news because UNOPETROL created a stir when it announced to dealers - those folks who run the gas stations - that they would be introducing a new system.

2012 CSEC Grades Is a Cause For Concern
As we reported a few weeks ago, there is concern all across the Caribbean over falling grades in the C-Sec exams - what we call the CXC. Only 33 per cent of the those sitting the Mathematics exam achieved Grades I - III. This is down from 35 percent in 2011, and 41 percent in 2010. It has caused concern everywhere - except, apparently, in Belize where a press release from the Ministry of Education breezily referred to grades being down in English A, Mathematics and Principles of Accounts - but did not say down by how much or give any comparative figures. And even though we requested such figures from the Minister and Minister himself - none have been forthcoming. But in Jamaica the low grades have caused consternation and as we find out in this report from our Colleagues at CEEN TV - a task force has been appointed to find out what went wrong in Math and English:..

Jungle Ballers Win Midnight Basketball Tournament
A month ago, 7News told you about Restore Belize bringing back Midnight basketball to try to give at risk youths a productive past-time for the summer holiday. Last night, the finals were held at the ITVET Compound where the final 3 teams battled for first place. Today, 7News caught up with the winners and the organizers of the tournament. Here's what they told us about entire experience: Kashieka Broaster, Organizer - Midnight Basketball "The main idea behind the midnight basketball series was to get the youths from different neighborhoods involved during summer and while at school when they have nothing to do in the nights. We have them some out and play some basketball." Daniel Ortiz "Where exactly did you guys hold these basketball tournaments?" Kashieka Broaster "We had the tournaments in 3 different areas; first we had in Cumberbatch Field, the Samuel Haynes area and the Euphrates court beside St. John's primary school. We had them simultaneously, so each night each court was playing on the courts."

Memorial Park Is Ready For 10th Celebration
3 weeks ago, we showed you the current status of the Memorial Park, which is the annual staging ground for the September 10th Opening Ceremony. The project coordinator for the Sustainable Tourism Project assured us they current construction on the park, as part of the Fort Point Facelift project, would be finished in time for the ceremony. But, no matter what the coordinator said, members of the public still doubted that it would finish in time, and so today, the planners called us out to the park where they officially confirmed that Memorial Park is now ready for Monday's Celebration. Here's what project coordinator and the co-chair of the September Celebrations Committee told us: Christy Mastry, Sustainable Tourism Project "I can officially confirm today Friday that Monday we will be hosting the September 10th celebrations at the Memorial Park. As you can see everything is in place. The BDF had their official dress rehearsal this morning. The stage is intact; the lights were working last night. We have the planters and we have all the electrical outlets for the media to be here to tape this wonderful event."

CitCo Hosts Multicultural Fair
As a part of the tenth weekend celebrations, the Belize City Council will be hosting its 7th Annual Multi Cultural Fair at the MCC grounds. The fair will be held on the 10th of September from 11 in the morning straight through to 9 at night. Deputy Mayor, Dion Leslie stopped by our studios this morning to tell us about the event and the entertainment lineup - including Belize's Prince of Peace, Lova Boy. Dion Leslie, Deputy Mayor - Belize City "It's the 7th annual Belize City Council Multi-Cultural Fair and 10th Bram - it's the only thing that is happening on the 10th after the citizen's parade. We invite everyone out to the MCC Grounds at 11am. If the same as we've done for the past years - we will have tents with food, every food that is made in Belize. You can expect from rice and beans to barbeque to hudut, everything we will have there under the food court." "We will have entertainment under the food court by Mr. Ernesto Babb and Mr. Tony Wright. They are there every year and they put on their own performance within a performance. Of course we have games for the kids; mechanical rides, bouncy house, and trampoline - we offer everything for everyone. It's a family fun day that we try to promote.

A Teaser For 2012 Carnival
And that's 7news for tonight. Thanks for watching, I am Peta Gaye Levy. Make sure to tune into Channel 7 tomorrow morning at 11:30 tomorrow where Shari Williams and Tyrone Chimilio will lead our live coverage of Carnival 2012. To get you in the Carnival spirit, we leave you with highlights of the Carnival season so far. Goodnight - and have a great Tenth.

Channel 5

2 year old suffocated to death; who will be charged?
Death by suffocation; that is the result for the autopsy done late this afternoon by Doctor Mario Estradabran on the body of Kaylee Burgess, who would have celebrated her second birthday today. It’s a shocking revelation that has evidently ruled out any speculation that the child perished by drowning in a bucket of water on [...]

Joseph Budna: kidnapper, arms dealer, sexual abuser
We told you on Thursday night that thirty-seven year old Joseph Budna is in police custody in Guatemala. Initial reports said he was involved in gang related activity. More details are available and the story spread like fire today all over the Guatemalan media. To say that Budna is in serious trouble is a major [...]

Attorney says Calaney did not murder her baby’s daddy
Twenty-five year old Calaney Flowers has been charged for the murder of her baby’s father, Lyndon Morrison, who was knocked off his motorcycle on Freetown Road on August twenty-eighth. Morrison’s girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa was also injured in the incident and found out while she was hospitalized that she was pregnant, but lost the baby. It [...]

…and Kolbe allegedly not fit for medical treatment of detained persons
Since she was arrested and charged on August thirtieth, Calaney Flowers has been remanded at the Central Prison. That’s nothing unusual for persons charged with murder, but Flowers is a lupus patient and Saldivar says the Kolbe Foundation’s medical facility is not equipped for her treatment regimen. According to Saldivar, there must be some consideration [...]

U.S. Fugitive arrested in San Pedro bar
An American fugitive is in the custody of San Pedro Police on Thursday and is expected to be handed over to US officials over the weekend. He is forty-six year old Khaffak Sahib Ansari, who was convicted of Fraud in the U.S. in May. Ansari was reportedly managing the Boat Yard Bar in San Pedro [...]

U.S. sex offender convicted in U.S. of paying Belizean child for sexual favors
A seventy-two year old Wisconsin man, who was charged in 2010 and pleaded guilty in May of this year for sexually abusing a Belizean minor was today sentenced to five years in prison. At the end of that jail term, Roland Flath will also serve ten years of extended supervision. The charge against Flath, who [...]

Reconstruction still ongoing, but officials say Memorial Park will be ready
The celebrations kick off with the Jouvert and Carnival on Saturday, but the official ceremony that comes with all the bells and whistles, is a traditional occasion that includes members of the military, queens and politicians. That event normally occurs at the Memorial Park. But for six months, the park has been under reconstruction. News [...]

Carnival’s Flamboyant History
In the first two parts of our carnival series, we focused on the birth of the local carnival in the seventies and relived the big moment when the groups participated in the Miami Carnival. As the years went by, the costumes have become more elaborate, intricate and in some instances particularly revealing. Most observers will [...]

Jouvert is known for body mud and now body chocolate
Before the road march on Saturday afternoon, revelers will be out from five o’clock in the morning for the Jouvert. The sacred mud has been prepared and this year, NICH is introducing the Coco Devils, who will be covered in chocolate. Organizer, Karen Vernon, spoke to News Five about the new flavor of the Jouvert. [...]

Accused of molesting a 4 year old, Judge says Not Guilty
Today the thirty-four year old man who was accused of committing an indecent assault against a four year old relative walked out of court a free man, as Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found him not guilty of the charges. The alleged incident occurred last year and the frantic, outraged mother spoke to most media [...]

Medical Tourism is on the horizon
The verdict is still out on medical tourism but the reality of its full presence in Belize is inevitable. Over sixty countries worldwide have already been established as medical tourism destinations and Belize is on the road to becoming one of them. Today at the House of Culture, a workshop was held with both the [...]

First Aid taught to senior citizens
A series of training sessions concluded today at the Mercy Center as part of activities to mark World First Aid Day. Trainers from the Belize Red Cross were on hand to prepare the elderly on how to cope with emergency situations. Considered as the vulnerable population, they were taught basic first aid skills. News Five’s [...]

Belize CitCo Multicultural Fair on Monday with Lova Boy
This weekend it will be no work and all play Belizean style. The celebrations for the tenth will culminate with the annual road march on Saturday but the fun won’t end there. On Monday, which is the public and bank holiday, the Belize City Council will be staging the seventh annual multicultural fair and tenth [...]

Artist made new album because he “Hearts B.Z.E.”
A new CD is hitting the stands and it’s all Belizean. Jah from the musical group Plagga, known for the track ABC Man is here in the country to perform at the Sound Fest tonight at Bird’s Isle. The Belizean artist is also in the Jewel to promote two albums. His solo album is called [...]

Reality Youth’s Saturday ‘upliftment’ concert in Battlefield Park
Jah from the Plagga is not the only musical ensemble available for the weekend. On Saturday September eighth after the Carnival, the Battlefield Park will be filled with song and spirituality. A gospel concert with local and international artists will fill the park with spiritual vibes. Reality Youth, the organizer of the concert told News [...]

Publisher of “George Price: A Life Revealed” receives prestigious award
Ian Randle, founder and chairman of his namesake publishing company in Kingston, Jamaica, was instrumental in the printing of George Price: A Life Revealed, a biography authored by Godfrey Smith. The memoir, which was launched in December 2011, later made it onto the top ten list for the 2012 One Caribbean Media Bocas Prize for [...]


UB students walk out of classes in protest
Students of the University of Belize held a peaceful protest in Belize City on Thursday evening. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo went to the demonstration and bring you the following report.

Baby found dead; parents feuding
Ladyville Police are investigating a bizarre twist of events that started with a suspected arson on Tuesday and ended on Wednesday night with the sudden death of a toddler. Kaylee Burgess, a baby girl who would have celebrated her second birthday on Friday, was reportedly discovered in a bucket of water at the house where she lived with her mother and grandmother in the village. The circumstances into how the child died have raised suspicion by Ladyville Police, who are also investigating a fire on Tuesday that they label as “Arson” that destroyed the home where the child’s father, 32 year old Kevin Burgess, lived. Love News’ Marion Ali and Videographer, Myles Gillett, bring you the details in the following report. A post mortem examination on little Kaylee Burgess is scheduled for Friday.

Fate of disgraced Baptist pastor still pending
In Mid August reports of the Principal of Baptist High School in the Belmopan area, Norman Willacey engaging in inappropriate behavior with a former student was in the headlines. The situation drew condemnation from various sectors of the population. On August 22 the Board of the Baptist High School met and suspended Willacey pending a 15 day investigation. The time has elapsed and the Board has made its recommendation. Ruperto Vicente is the President of the Baptist Association of Belize.

Bus operator addresses tension in the industry
The Ministry of Transport has been trying to regulate the bus industry for a number of years and not meeting its expectations. There have been numerous complaints from commuters and bus operators alike. Earlier this week representatives of the Belizean Bus Owners Association were on Love FM’s Morning Show and they said there is still tension within the industry because of the amount of politics being played especially in how permits are being licensed. The Association has written to the Minister of Transport requesting a discussion with him to look at the way forward. In an interview earlier this month with Minister of Transport Edmund Castro he indicated that there are only two bus operators with permits, West Line and James Bus Line. The bus operators pointed out that the only one who has paid for his permits is Sergio Chuc, owner of West Line, this they say show that the playing field in the industry is not level. Chuc responded to the charge today. Chuc said he has gone the extra mile in trying to reach a compromise to ensure the smooth running of the industry. The representatives of the Belizean Bus Owners Association say they are still waiting for a response from the Ministry.

Burden of Illness Study launched in Belize
The Ministry of Health, with collaboration from the Pan American Health Organization and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center today launched a major study on Food Borne Disease. The “Burden of Illness Study” as it is called, is designed to determine the prevalence of acute gastroenteritis in Belize caused by food and water infections. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen told reporters that the survey will also investigate the more common viruses or bacteria transmitted via food. Dr. Allen says that in addition to knowing the prevalence of food borne diseases, which are manifested in vomiting and diarrhea, the study will also help doctors to make better diagnosis and treatment, and policy makers will be in a better position to mitigate the economic costs of food borne diseases on the country. The survey will get started on September twenty fourth and Dr. Allen says that the data collection should be completed by September of 2013. Thereafter, he estimates that the results should be available for publication by the end of next year. The manager of the Food Borne Disease Program at Caribbean Epidemiology Centre Dr. Lisa Indar told reporters that similar surveys have been conducted in other parts of the Caribbean. The launch of the Burden of Illness Study was followed by a workshop for stakeholders, including regional health managers, the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, PAHO, Public Health Inspectors and Laboratory Technicians.

Chukka defends its rappelling platform
The pressure is mounting and the calls getting louder for Chukka Belize to take down a rappelling platform that it was allowed to build near one of the cave entrances at the Nohock Che’en Caves Branch Archaeological Reserve in the Cayo district. It is a pitched battle with the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize on one side and the Chukka Belize tour company on the other. But lest it be lost in the fight, FECTAB is clear that its stance is not an anti-Chukka one. What the Belizean operators are concerned about could be summed up in three distinct; but related issues. First, there is the building of a walkway and rappelling platform near the cave’s entrance. FECTAB says the proximity of the platform endangers people down below who are entering the cave. Then there is what some members of FECTAB have described as the unfair access granted to a private company by the regulatory body, the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH, to a national reserve. And thirdly, there is the claim that the rappelling platform and the unfair access have allowed Chukka Belize to desecrate an archaeological site. Earlier this week, Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Jaguar Paw to look at the concerns raised and to talk with Chukka executives. In a press release issued following its Monday press conference, FECTAB explained that by railing out against the location of the rappelling platform the Federation is in no way trying to jeopardize the face of Belize and create any damage to the Tourism Industry because it would be counter-productive as they themselves have to depend on this resource to eat and live every day. What we want to do, says FECTAB, is to let everyone know including the Governing entities and their representatives that, quote: “we will not timidly stand aside and look on as our sacred cultural and historical archaeological reserves are threatened for the sake of but one institution,” end of quote. On Wednesday, the National Institute of Culture and History issued a statement of its own on the issue. NICH, in its release, appears to come out firmly in support of Chukka Belize, saying that it had facilitated a good faith meeting involving all parties to discuss the allegations and issues raised by FECTAB and promised to consider them and respond in a timely manner. The NICH statement says that the rappelling platform it green-lighted follows strict international standards for these types of facilities in public parks, and that it complies with the guidelines of the Original Canopy Tour in Costa Rica, and the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation. NICH says it also meets with all standards established for International Amusement Parks and Attractions in the U.S. Regarding the access and walkway into and through the Crystal Cave, NICH says that they were constructed as a response to safety and conservation concerns in this cave and that the walkway was constructed under the supervision of the Institute of Archaeology’s Conservator. The official release ends by saying that both NICH and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture are committed to the professional and sustainable management of Belize’s cultural resources and that in pursuit of that objective, it will continue to seek innovative, but responsible, ways for integrating archaeology and tourism development while ensuring that professional assessments of all sites are conducted prior to their use as tourist destinations.

Bureau of Standards cracks down on price gougers
On Tuesday of this week we reported on a complaint forwarded to the Bureau of Standards which stated that a gas station on the Northern Highway increase prices of fuel before the prices took effect and over charged a customer, who proved it with a receipt. This morning the Bureau of Standards issued a press release stating that it has come to the attention of the Supplies control Unit that some merchants and particularly some distributors of price controlled goods such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene have been prescribing to the practice of implementing control price increase adjustments prior to the effective date announced by the Government of Belize. The release goes on to inform that the act is an offence under the Supplies Control Act Subsidiary Regulation for Price Controlled Goods, carrying with it a penalty of one thousand dollars as well as a charge of two hundred dollars per day for each day an infraction is committed, and or imprisonment for a period of six months. The SCU can also seize goods with respect to preceding infractions. The bureau of Standards also appeals to consumers to request receipts, since it is proof of purchase. Asking for the receipt is the right of the consumer and it is the obligation of the merchant to supply it.

Solar energy installed at Toledo schools
Inauguration ceremonies for solar renewable energy projects at two rural schools were held yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.


Budna arrested in Guatemala
According to Guatemala’s law enforcement body, Policia Nacional Civil (PNC), agents of La Fuerza de Tarea Contra el Secuestro y Fiscales (an anti-kidnapping taskforce), captured Belizean Joseph Budna, 37, also known as “Joe,” after an exchange of fire this afternoon, following investigations which, they allege, have revealed him as the mastermind behind a regional kidnapping and extortion ring operating in Belize, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. The PNC, in an online posting made this evening, said that Budna, who was reportedly captured in “Ermita” in San Benito, Petén, had been sought in various countries because he is the presumed head of an international kidnapping ring. Guatemalan police said their investigations have linked Budna to the kidnapping and confinement of three youth in the department of Chiquimula, who were allegedly kept in captivity in neighboring Honduras.

Yadira Argueta designated 2012 Emblem of Freedom – Queen of the Bay
Miss Stann Creek, Yadira Argueta, of Thomas Vincent Ramos House, walked away with the highly coveted title of Queen of the Bay on Saturday night, September 1, at the conclusion of the 67th Queen of the Bay Pageant held on Birds Isle in Belize City. Argueta was trained by former Queen of the Bay, Reena Usher, who comes from a regal line of pageant winners, including her elder sister, Sherima, who had also won the pageant some years prior. There were a total of 11 delegates who competed this year in the introduction, talent, evening gown, and question and answer segments. The pageant is unique for its emphasis on Belizean patriotism, which is emphasized during the talent segment through music, dance and drama. However, the highlight of the night is the curtsy segment, which requires skill, focus and precision as the delegates, adorned with ballroom gowns, greet audience and the reigning queen with her humble bow.

“DJ Tambran” vs CitCo!
Owner/manager of the DJ Tambran Music Depot in booth #7 at the Commercial Center in downtown Belize City and popular disc jockey, Lennox “DJ Tambran” Young has been without electricity in his business establishment for three weeks now. He is also behind two years in rent, approximately $6,500, and he believes the top people at City Hall are circling, looking to put him out despite a 15-year lease that runs out next year. Young told us that the Council owes him far more for damaged equipment and records than he owes them for rent. Young says he will not budge, and he wants to be properly compensated for damage sustained to very important master vinyl records, CD’s and equipment subjected to pouring rain from a leaky ceiling. Young told Amandala earlier this week that his problems started about a month ago when he suffered water damage to the electricity line that runs through the nearly two-decade old building.

Arson, drowning – what next in Ladyville?
A terrible tragedy in Ladyville on Wednesday afternoon has resulted in the death of a baby girl, almost 2 years old, who was found apparently drowned in a bucket of water on the verandah of her grandmother’s house after her mother was released from police custody that same afternoon. The mother, Deidra Pratt, 23, had been held by Ladyville police in connection with the burning down of her former common-law husband’s home in the same village on Tuesday night. When Pratt, the mother of three children, was in custody, she did not know where her baby Kaylee Burgess, was, but told police that she thought that she was with her father, Kevin Burgess, 32, a mechanic of Mile 9 ¾ on the Northern Highway. Sometime late Wednesday night, however, the child was found dead at her grandmother’s home, where her mother now lives. The Burgess family is confused, however, because while Kaylee was reported missing around 6:00 p.m., they said that the child was seen with an aunt at a Chinese store around 8:00 that same night.

2012 Lionman Triathlon Champions
Some 31 determined athletes, male and female, took up the challenge to endure the grueling 1500-meter Swim, 40-kilometer Ride and 10-kilometer Run of the Lionman 2012 Triathlon, which started and [...]

Celebrating Belize by the Carib Sea – St. George’s Caye Battle Regatta 2012
Under the brilliant sunshine and by the beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, the Belize Sailing Association (BzSA) held the St. Georges Caye Battle Regatta on Sunday, September 2. Hundreds of Belizeans gathered to participate in [...]

Drama at Rogers Stadium!
Mirage Lady Rebels turn the tables on National Softball Champions, Telemedia Following the break last week for the National Tournament, the Belize City Female Softball Tournament resumed with the commencement of the best-of-5 Final series at [...]

Editorial: In Memory Of...
South Africa has 80 percent of the world’s known stocks of platinum, but that is not nearly enough, it appears, for the London-based owners of Lonmin Marikana mine, one of the largest mining concessions there. Like so many other mining companies that have historically amassed their riches using cheap southern African labor, Lonmin has produced crushing poverty for the miners, but wealth untold for its proprietors. On August 10, the 3,000 miners, who live in shacks with outdoor toilets, went on strike demanding a three-fold increase in their monthly salaries. Understand that to produce 1 ounce of platinum, miners have to break about 10 tons of raw ore underground using 50-pound handheld machines. It’s backbreaking work. What followed was a nasty face-off between police and the miners, culminating in what some are calling “the Marikana massacre.” 34 people were killed in that deadly police operation on August 16 – autopsy results show they were shot in the back. A total of 44 persons have been killed so far – including two police officers and two security guards – 78 injured, and 270 arrested. But still, today, September 6, the struggle continues…

From The Publisher
On Sunday morning, January 21, 1962, Luis Francisco Sagastume Ortiz, then a 25 year old agronomist, led a party of Guatemalans into the Ketchi village of Pueblo Viejo, three miles across the Guat border inside Belize. The invaders tore down the Union Jack, burnt it, and hoisted a Guatemalan flag in its place. From Pueblo Viejo, they went to San Antonio, calling themselves Belize Freedom Fighters, asking the villagers to join them to help “President Price” liberate Belize. Said Sagastume: “I am willing to die for your country.” Five invaders were initially captured by soldiers of the Royal Hampshire Regiment and British Honduras Police Force personnel. They were Francisco Sagastume, Jose Vicente Mejia, 62, Ricardo Tuz Choc, 24, Balbino Herrera Garcia, 36, and Justo Marroquin Cardena, 54, all dressed as civilians and in possession of arms, ammunition and large sums of money in their shoes and other places. On Friday, January 26, two more invaders – Santiago Chan, 45, and Jose Leon Ramirez, 29, were captured. They had in their possession shotguns, cartridges, and money.

Letters to the Editor

Belize and Mexico advance talks on new border crossing, new City Center, security and more…
The expansive territory of Mexico abuts Belize at the Rio Hondo. Their geographic proximity has necessitated efforts by the two neighbors to develop a bilateral agenda, which covers, among other things, headline issues such as immigration, security, and a more progressive ‘Green Energy’ agenda—significant in light of the fact that Mexico is a major power supplier to Belize. Last week, diplomatic officials from Belize and Mexico toured the new Chac-Temal international border crossing point located in Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo, Mexico, and Corozal, Belize, to review progress made at this shared border. The new crossing should be inaugurated within the next two months, according to Alexis Rosado, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who led the delegation for Belize. Leading the delegation for Mexico was Norma Pensado, Under-Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Secretariat of Foreign Affairs for Mexico.


Pet peeves
We all have things in life that tend to piss us off mildly or to a larger degree depending on what it is and how tolerant you are. After living in Belize almost 7 years my tolerance level has grown and I have been able to maintain an it is what it is attitude in some respects an not let myself get to bent out of shape over the little things. I have seen some people let them selves go nuts over over things that are totally not worth the energy. Here are a few of my current pet peeves: - Line ups. Belize bank is generally the worst for that here, although last time I went in I was pleasantly surprised and I walked right to the front of the line. - People throwing garbage on street especially when there is a garbage can close by. Once tacoboy even stopped a guy doing that by saying hey I think you dropped something. The guy looked at him like he was nuts.

A New Exit Fee When Going from San Pedro to Chetumal + My Trip To Medellin, Colombia
I'm not sure how useful the information about travelling from San Pedro, Belize to Medellin, Colombia is. Surely it's not one of the most popular routes in Central/South America. But you never know. Colombia seems to be the new place to travel. And even though I've only been here a few hours, I think I'm starting to see why. But let's start at the beginning of my trip. I've got to get out of Belize! And the cheapest tickets BY FAR to Colombia were through Cancun. I could fly for $320USD from Cancun to Ft. Lauderdale (overnight) to Medellin (on Spirit Airlines) or about $550 from Cancun to Panama City to Medellin (on Copa Airlines) but from Belize City? No ticket is less than $1000USD. So let's get moving... I took the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi from San Pedro to Chetumal, Mexico Just last week, the country of Belize has implemented a new exit fee (for non-Belizean citizens and residents) that seemed quite steep and had more than a few tourists grumbling as they paid. The new exit fees, now $30bzd plus the usual $7.50bzd port fee are often more than the price of the ticket. My dwindling pocketbook was quite pleased, I am a resident and therefore exempt. Another new sign. Note on ticket price: If you are coming from Chetumal to San Pedro (Mexico to Belize) wait as long as you can to buy your ticket. (There is no need to secure a ticket in Playa or in Tulum.) Both companies (especially San Pedro Water Jets) are hugely competitive in Mexico, at the bus terminal in particular, and you can get a deeply discounted round trip ticket. I was hearing prices as low as $40 or 50bzd round trip. I was in San Pedro so I was charged the usual...$80bzd both ways..

It's Un-Belize-able!
While Belize is certainly geographically very Central American, its long history as a British colony gives it a feel that we found more similar to some Caribbean islands than its Latin neighbors. The Creole tinged English was a familiar sound to our ears after the years we spent on St. Croix, but it would fit right in on any of the Virgin Islands, Barbados, Antigua, or Jamaica. Belize City The history of Belize, known as British Honduras from 1862 until 1964, has a lot in common with those islands. The main difference being that harvesting mahogany trees was the driving economic factor, as opposed to sugar cane.

September and it’s celebrations are upon us!!
This is the month where we in Belize and Caye Caulker celebrate two significant dates in Belize’s history – firstly 10th September – the Battle of St Georges Caye, where the Baymen fought off the Spaniards to defend their territory. And secondly 21st September is Belize’s Independence. So the month of September becomes one that we find every reason to party or even to adorn our houses, our golf carts and even ourselves in National pride – red, white and blue! Tomorrow, many (not all) will travel to the City to watch the carnival take place – this is a colorful extravaganza in notably sweltering heat!! So … as the celebrations begin … we wish to welcome in the month of September and enjoy all it has to offer us!!

International Sources

Marine biology teacher seeks grants to enhance learning
The touch tank is the first part of Clark’s grand plan to enhance her class. This summer, she was one of 13 teachers in Alabama to be awarded a $5,000 Fund for Teachers fellowship, and she was chosen as one of 100 teachers across the nation to receive a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant for innovative teaching. Fund for Teachers is a nonprofit organization that awards teachers fellowships for trips around the world that will impact their teaching. Clark used her Fund for Teachers fellowship to travel to Belize for two weeks to study how lionfish, an invasive species in that country, are affecting the island’s coral reefs. She also used the fellowship money to purchase a TV with a webcam for her classroom. Clark received the fellowship because she proposed using her experience in Belize and underwater photos of the coral reef and lionfish as teaching tools. She proposed using the TV and webcam to allow her students to conduct web conferences with lionfish scientists in Belize. She said her class has already held two web conferences with a scientist in Belize, and one with scientists in Washington about estuaries. “I want my students to receive information not just from me, but from experts in what we’re studying so that later, as the semester goes on, they will become experts as well and they can share what they’ve learned with others,” Clark said. “I’ll have them do that through having web conferences with elementary school students.”

Man Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of a Minor in Belize
A Wisconsin man was sentenced on Thursday in Milwaukee to 60 months in prison for traveling to a foreign country and engaging in and attempting to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department's Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin; John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); and Scott Bultrowicz, Director of the U.S. State Department's Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). Roland J. Flath, 72, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin by Judge J.P. Stadtmueller. In addition to his prison term, Flath was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release. Flath pleaded guilty before Judge Stadtmueller on May 19, 2012. According to court documents, Flath traveled to Belize in July 2006, and subsequently sexually molested a minor girl from that country. Flath was originally charged by a criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of Wisconsin in October 2010. He was arrested by the Guatemalan National Civil Police on Feb. 20, 2011, expelled to the United States and arrested in the United States by ICE agents and the U.S. Marshals Service. Flath was indicted on March 22, 2011, by a grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Plan Aims To Protect Fisheries And Aquaculture
More than 60 high-level delegates from 19 countries spanning the Central American and Caribbean regions concluded a milestone meeting in Belize with a comprehensive road-map for collective action in tackling their biggest obstacles in fisheries and aquaculture. #The plan was agreed between the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Organisation of Fishing and Aquaculture in Central America (OPSESCA). #According to Milton Haughton, CRFM executive director, the long-term objective of the of the partnership is “to secure a brighter and more prosperous future for our fishing communities that rely on the marine resources for their livelihoods and ensuring that the fish stocks are able, through prudent management, to make enhanced contribution to the social and economic development of our countries now and in the future.”

This Parasite Will Eat Your Eyeballs If You Wear Contacts
The parasite is called Acanthamoeba. It's a single-celled organism that typically makes its way into the human eye through water and eats the cornea. This causes an infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis that can lead to blindness if left untreated. Although anyone can develop the infection, it's most common in people who wear contact lenses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This happens when lenses are not properly cleaned (i.e rinsed with tap water) or wearing lenses while showering or swimming. Apparently the only way to kill the tiny animals is with a cocktail of powerful eye drops. But it's a "long, painful, and not completely effective treatment," says Fiona Macrae of The Daily Mail. In extreme cases, it might even require a cornea transplant. Bottom line: Don't cut corners when cleaning your contact lenses.

September 7, 2012

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

National News: Historic Regional fisheries agreement signed
In her keynote address on Tuesday morning, September 4th at the Belize Biltmore Hotel, Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Hon. Lisel Alamilla referenced the nation’s unique place in the confluence of historical heritage, geopolitics and geography and the opportunity to provide linkages between two sub-regions and even two hemispheres. The historic conference of fisheries ministers culminated with the signing of a memorandum of understanding and a declaration that according to Alamilla, celebrates the integration of the wider Caribbean and Central America. “It is a great honor and privilege to be given an opportunity to address this first high-level meeting of Ministers of Fisheries across the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and SICA (Central American Integration System) sub-regions,” Alamilla said by way of introduction. “This vast geographic area has been rightly described by fisheries resource managers and those in the scientific and academic communities as the WIDER CARIBBEAN. Now you will recall in my first statement I did refer to CRFM (Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism) /OSPESCA (Organization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of the Central American) as “our” sub-region as opposed to “THE” sub-region,” she further explained, “and the reason for this is that the colonial history and political governance structures of Belize legitimizes its place as a part of the English speaking or CARICOM Caribbean. Equally Belize’s geographic placement in the northern reaches of the Central American isthmus and its Latin culture and integration into the political and economic development initiatives of Central America places it in the unique position as a link between the two sub-regions – the CARICOM/ CRFM member states on the one hand, and the SICA/OSPESCA group of countries on the other.”

San Pedro Seadoggs at Belize Premiere League Competition
The San Pedro Seadoggs are back in the Belize Premiere League Competition and scheduled to go up against Belize Defense Force on Sunday September 9th at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, Cayo. According to coach Billy Leslie, the team played two games the past two Sundays. In the first game played on August 26th against San Felipe Barcelona, the Seadoggs won in a game of three to one. Following this, the team travelled to Belize City for a home game, played at the MCC Grounds (as the Ambergris Stadium was not fit to play national games) on Sunday September 2nd where they drew in a game of nil-nil. The purpose of the league is threefold and offers opportunities to participants to compete internationally, all depending on their performance during the tournament. From the tournament, the top four contenders will move on to represent Belize in two international football competitions: the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) and the UNCAF (Union Centroamericana de Futbol). Thirdly, throughout the tournament, scouts will be looking at individual players to choose from to form a national selection to represent Belize in the Nations Cup. These games start as early as January 2013.

Eric, Bob, Daniel and Patricia represent in 2012 Lionman Triathlon
San Pedro was represented for the second year at the Belize National Triathlon Association’s annual Lionman competition. The competition was held on Sunday morning September 2nd in Belize City. Starting as early as 6:30am, Team Sharks in the team competition and Kent “Bob” Gabourel, and Eric Donis in the individual competition were out gearing up to bring home the trophies. Team Shark made up of swimmer, Eric Donis (team swimmer and individual Lionman competitor) from San Pedro; female biker Patricia Chabarria from Cayo and runner, Daniel Gregorio of San Pedro worked tirelessly and managed to take the third place trophy in the Team category with a combined time of two hours and 22 minutes. Eric Donis, part of Team Shark also competed in the ironman tournament and notwithstanding a tire blowout, managed to take first place in the junior category with a combined time of two hours, 43 minutes and 59 seconds. San Pedro’s Kent Gabourel came in Fourth in the Elite category and sixth overall with a combined time of two hours 35 minutes and 16 seconds. The tournament saw three legs: The first leg of the race was a 1,500 meter or .93 mile swim in-front of the eastern coast of Belize City. This was followed by a 24.8 mile bike route and ended with a 6.2 mile run.

Ambergris Today

National Service Day NOT a Public Holiday
The National Celebrations Committee informs the public that September 19, 2012, which has been designated as National Service Day, is NOT a public and bank holiday. National Service Day is an initiative under the George Price Center for Peace and Development and serves only as an invitation to encourage schools, churches, organizations and Belizeans in general to engage in community service projects.

San Pedro Athletes Shine at Belize Lionman Triathlon
San Pedro has another reason to be proud of its athletes as island residents participated in the 13th Annual Lionman Triathlon Competition in Belize City which took place on Sunday, September 2, 2012. Kent Gabourel, Eric Donis and Daniel Gregorio participated in this year’s competition and proudly brought back home medals and trophies. Competitors battled it out against each other and against the scorching heat giving it their all and doing their best to finish the race. This is Kent and Eric’s second time participating in the Lionman Triathlon as a team and the first time they participated as individuals. Eric was the first to come out of the water for the 1500m swim and won first place in the Junior Division of the Triathlon and 13th in the overall competition. Kent “aka Bob” Gabourel placed 6th in the overall competition and 4th in the Elite Category. Eric Donis, Daniel Gregorio and Patricia Chavarria competed as a team for the triathlon and placed 3rd in the overall competition.

Stricter Rules Coming for Importation of Vehicles and Parking
Traffic in San Pedro is without a doubt crazy! For being such a small town the small narrow streets are heavily congested with vehicles and with this in mind, the Ambergris Caye Traffic Control Committee (ACTCC) has come up with a few regulations for the standardization of size and types of vehicles for importation to the island. Councilor Kenrick Brackett met with the media on Tuesday, September, 5, 2012, to explain about the recommended vehicle types and sizes. Traffic flow and congestion on the island is in a bad state and Brackett explained that the committee believes that by standardizing the size and type of vehicles being imported into the island the problem can be alleviated, to a certain extent.

An Unforgettable Tres Pescados Tournament 2012
The fun we had at the tournament underscores the reason for my letter – we, as a group, have an opportunity to make our fishing world a better place. We have an opportunity to Nurture Belize and leave a legacy that both our children and our children's children can enjoy. If we don't seize this opportunity, odds are nobody will. There is much good news about our beloved fishery. It's healthy, thriving and not behind the eight ball like so many other places in the world. This Bonefish, Tarpon and Permit fishery enjoys the luxury of federal protection that prohibits harvest of these three key species (although enforcement remains an issue). Belize was the first country on the planet to enact these types of protections and we have the efforts of both individuals (just like us) and governmental staffers to thank for this great accomplishment. Because the fishery is healthy, we are in a wonderful position to craft conservation management tools that are proactive and not reactive. When things get reactive it's because it’s too late. Just ask the guys in Texas and Homosassa about their Tarpon fishing, or the guys in Islamorada about their bonefish fishing. How about Boca Grande? They’re all struggling in reactive mode, with poor results so far.

Misc Belizean Sources

UB Solar Panel Handing Over Ceremony
Last week, the University of Belize had the handing over ceremony for the solar panel project. The project was funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and cost ten million dollars. "In effect, solar power technology can allow Belize to move beyond the fossil fuel conundrum and open new avenues for creating opportunities for Belizeans. For the University of Belize, we welcome an opportunity to play a role in the development of an applied science tradition within the University that will prepare our students for the future and allow our faculty to pursue careers in the field of alternative energy technology. I would like to personally thank the Japan International Cooperation Agency for the resources and the opportunity that has been offeredto strengthen the role of the University as a source of knowledge production thatcan help to propel Belize in a new direction."

Belize Audubon Society Video
You can see a lot of St. Herman's Cave, including the tubing adventure there, and the Blue Hole National Park in this professionally done video from the Green Light Project. It also highlights Cockscomb Basin. The BAS manages those, and quite a few other parks around Belize. "Since its formation in 1969 the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) has been Belize's foremost environmental organization protecting Belize's precious natural resources while educating the public about their value and sustainable use. BAS has grown from an all-volunteer organization with 55 charter members to a Society of over 1,400 members and a staff of more than 40 dedicated professionals."

Benque HoC Poetry Competition
The Benque House of Culture is having a poetry competition for standard 4 through 4th form students. They have some great prizes for the winners. Submissions are due by September 17th. For the September Celebrations, the Benque HoC has "The Story of Resistance in Belize" exhibit, and it'll be there through the month. "In honor of our Father of our Nation, Belize comes the Tribute to Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, credits to much of his rich knowledge came from reading, often described as an avid reader of all kinds of books including philosophy, literature, poetry, and religion. Reflections of the life of Rt. Honorable George Price, express yourself through this creative writing opportunity, encourage the expressive arts."

Illustrations of Maya Structure in Xunantunich
Here's a site with some cool drawings of Mayan temples from around Cayo, Belize, and La Ruta Maya. "Steve Radzi, owner of Mayavision, is a renown illustrator of Mayan archaological sites throughout Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. He is located in Coral Springs, Florida."

Guacamole Recipe
My daughter Jada was the one who developed this recipe for guacamole. It's very simple and tasty at the same time. It can be served on sandwiches or eaten as a dip. In the style of The Bare Pantry, it uses very few ingredients and is easy to make.

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (5 September, 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 6 ­1 ­71 ­39 ­11 ­49 ­19­ Y 125.00 Each (17 Balls) 6 ­1 ­71 ­39 ­11 ­49 ­19 ­23 ­13 ­3 ­29 ­31 ­25 ­70 ­62 ­67 ­22­ Letter X 750.00 Each (22 Balls) 6 ­1 ­71 ­39 ­11 ­49 ­19 ­23 ­13 ­3 ­29 ­31 ­25 ­70 ­62 ­67 ­22 ­73 ­26 ­52 ­7 ­74­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (24 Balls) 6 ­1 ­71 ­39 ­11 ­49 ­19 ­23 ­13 ­3 ­29 ­31 ­25 ­70 ­62 ­67 ­22 ­73 ­26 ­52 ­7 ­74 ­17 ­53­

Channel 7

Measuring The Cost Of Acute Gastroenteritis aka Diarrhea
You might not think about food borne illnesses or acute gastroenteritis too often - but according to health experts it exacts a costly toll annually - both in treatment and days lost to work. And if the term "food borne illness" or gastroenteritis have you scratching your head - we mean simply - that oh so unpleasant word - diarrhea. It's not dinnertime talk, but it is one of the major causes of illness and death worldwide. A recent study showed that at least 70% of diarrheal diseases are food borne. And now the ministry of health in collaboration with PAHO and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) is launching the "Burden of Illness Study" - which will try to find out what causes diarrhea in Belize. CAREC's expert on this is Dr. Lisa Indar who told us what has been found so far in other Caribbean countries. Dr. Lisa Indar "We have conducted a study so far in 8 countries and the economic impact that we have seen is far greater than what we expected, for instance, a small country like Grenada where the population was about 60,000 we found that the economic impact range in the millions. Guyana, another small country where the population was very small, the economic impact were going in 40s-50s of millions. So it's quite expensive, we sometimes do not realize the cost of gastroenteritis because it's not one of those diseases that require so much attention when its occurring - you get a bot diarrhea and you go home and you just take a day off. But the thing is that there is a cost. There is a cost of medication; there is a cost of staying home and the fact that it is a very common illness as we have been seeing. The cost is actually greater the country."

From Arson to Infanticide? Baby Drama Turned Deadly
Last night we told you about the arson at Kevin Burgess's home in Ladyville. Eyewitnesses said that his ex - girlfriend and baby's mother had torched the home - as an act of jealousy. Well tonight the story is very different - and far more serious. The child that the couple shared is dead: the infant girl - named Kaylee - reportedly drowned in a bucket last night. Police say that the circumstances are very suspicious - so much so that the mother Deidra Trapp is now detained by police - being investigated both for the arson and for possibly causing the infant's death. It is drama turned deadly - in a very disturbing case - and we spoke to all the personalities in the story including Diedra Trapp who is being investigated for torching her boyfriend's home and possibly being involved in the death of her own child. The story is complicated, and overwhelmingly tragic - but it is also gripping. Monica Bodden has a very full report on all the accusations and counter accusations - as well as the mother of the dead child and lead suspect in the arson giving a stout defence of herself.

Another Shooting Near Lacroix Blvd
The area around La Croix Boulevard in Lake Independence witnessed another shooting last night at around 8:05 pm, A young man named Alex Ku was shot near his home on Williams Street - which is two blocks from La Croix. He was reportedly shot to the midsection and when we checked at the hospital today - he was being observed in the emergency room. Police have not released any details.

Budna Again? This Time Guats Say He's a Kidnapper!
Joseph Budna has built up quite a reputation for himself in Belize - always into some drama or caught up in some near death encounter. Well tonight he seems to have parlayed his talent for finding trouble over to Guatemala - where he's in the hospital after being shot by Guatemalan police - who have named him as the leader of a kidnapping ring. Here's what we've found out about the story behind this picture where Budna is in a hospital being interviewed by a scrum of media houses. According to a Guatemalan radio station called Emisores Unidas, the National Civil Police captured 37 year old Budna in the barrio La Ermita, San Benito, Peten. He is accused of being the ringleader of a gang of kidnappers operating in Belize Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala. According to the police report, Budna was arrested after he was shot by police. Preliminary police investigations found that that quote, "the criminal group allegedly led by Budna was responsible for the kidnapping of three people, victims who had been brought to Honduras." End quote.

15 Days Later: What's the Decision On Willacey?
Principal of Belmopan Baptist High School Norman Willacey was suspended 15 days ago - while the charges against him were investigated. We've been trying to find out what the final decision is - and yesterday, a ministry spokesperson told us it is in the hands of the school management. So today we asked Ruperto Vicente - the President of the Baptist Association of Belize - and he told us it is in the hands of the Ministry. Here's his interview:.. Ruperto Vicente, President of the Baptist Association of Belize "Yesterday a decision has been made on Pastor Willacy as the principal of the school. That decision has been sent to the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education has advice that a press release no be sent until they have reviewed and made final decision on it." Jules Vasquez "You are unable at this time to disclose what the findings are?" Ruperto Vicente "I cannot disclose it because I do not have the details and that has not been sent to my office either." Reporter "You must have inkling of what's happening." Ruperto Vicente "I have information on what we've done at the Baptist Association's level. Certainly at the Baptist Association level what the investigation we did is - I must take my hat off for Pastor Willacy because he has cooperated with us and giving us all the information and he is not denying any of the allegations. He has agreed that the allegation is true and that he also own up to everything that was said and written on Facebook."

Pulu's Family Accused OF Trafficking Hashish
Tonight, family members of the well-known Clinton "Pulu" Lightburn are out on bail after the Gang Suppression Unit allegedly busted them with marijuana. According to the GSU, yesterday, they went and searched the residence of 32 year-old Tariq Lightburn, which is located at #5379 D Street in the Kings Park area. Lightburn was present at the time along with his mother, 53 year-old Laura Lightburn, and 27 year-old Shawn Hemmans. The GSU searched the entire house, and they found a ziplock bag which contained 84 grams of cannabis in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. The weed was in the form of hashish - which is a super-concentrated form of marijuana. As a result, all 3 people were charged with drug trafficking and they were arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today, where they all pleaded not guilty to the offence. They were granted bail of $5,000, which they were all able to meet. They are to appear back in court on October 25, 2012. In other related news, on Sunday, at around 1:30 p.m., a team of GSU officers conducted a search of an abandoned black GMC Pontiac Car in an unknown street in Hattieville.

Measuring The Cost Of Acute Gastroenteritis aka Diarrhea
You might not think about food borne illnesses or acute gastroenteritis too often - but according to health experts it exacts a costly toll annually - both in treatment and days lost to work. And if the term "food borne illness" or gastroenteritis have you scratching your head - we mean simply - that oh so unpleasant word - diarrhea. It's not dinnertime talk, but it is one of the major causes of illness and death worldwide. A recent study showed that at least 70% of diarrheal diseases are food borne. And now the ministry of health in collaboration with PAHO and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) is launching the "Burden of Illness Study" - which will try to find out what causes diarrhea in Belize. CAREC's expert on this is Dr. Lisa Indar who told us what has been found so far in other Caribbean countries. Dr. Lisa Indar "We have conducted a study so far in 8 countries and the economic impact that we have seen is far greater than what we expected, for instance, a small country like Grenada where the population was about 60,000 we found that the economic impact range in the millions. Guyana, another small country where the population was very small, the economic impact were going in 40s-50s of millions. So it's quite expensive, we sometimes do not realize the cost of gastroenteritis because it's not one of those diseases that require so much attention when its occurring - you get a bot diarrhea and you go home and you just take a day off. But the thing is that there is a cost. There is a cost of medication; there is a cost of staying home and the fact that it is a very common illness as we have been seeing. The cost is actually greater the country."

New FFB Exec: From Strength to Strength
The Football Federation of Belize is moving from strength to strength after a new executive was swept into power in early March. Today, six months after taking over - the executive held a press conference to report its state of affairs to the media. President Ruperto Vicente says that they took over a Federation in financial and organizational shambles:.. Ruperto Vicente, President FFB "They were no programs for the football federation of Belize. There were no committees in place and there were no tournaments that were properly organized. There was no training for anyone involve in football. There was no equipment at the football federation of Belize. Football was being administrated by two individuals. There was no football calendar and there was no public confidence in the football federation of Belize." "As we move forward with all the challenges that we face there are now programs in place. We now have the grassroots programs where we seek to train young children to play football. As I have said to you a couple months ago that we are going to be investing in young children. We will start training young children to play football. We now have in place a referees program. We now have in place a coaches program. A female program and we are working talent schools in every football district in this country. There is now in place a strong relationship with the government of Belize - we've establish that and we want to maintain that relationship with the government and that we are going to keep."

Chuc Says Westline Willing to Compromise
Earlier this week you saw the Chairman of the Belize Bus Association Thomas Shaw complaining about Westline Bus and the road service permits that company alone has been allowed to pay for. Two of those runs - the 3:30 and 4:00 pm form Benque Viejo are highly sought after: right now the BBOC runs them - but Westline has now been awarded those runs - and has paid for the road service permits to secure them. Today we spoke to Chuc - he told us that he has met with the Bus Owners Association and told them he is willing to make a compromise by swapping some of his runs for theirs. But the terms of that compromise could not be hammered out - and he says it's because the BBOC wants to cherry pick the best runs - which won't work. Here's Chuc's side of the story:.. Sergio Chuc, Westline Bus "When I got back their response from Monday they said that they will tale the first 5 coming out from Belize City which are excellent runs they want to the 7:30 and including the 6:45, so they asked for 7 runs instead of 5 that they have right now. They say that coming back out of Benque they want an half an hour slot; they want 12:30, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00 and 2:30 runs and that is what broke down the deal - I said no, you can't cherry pick this thing. The transport department proposes these runs and you apply and I apply for it and that is the situation where we stand right now."

UB City Students Want Better Campus Conditions
If you passed by University Drive this evening, you probably experienced a slight delay in the movement of traffic in the evening rush hour. That was because a small contingent from the student body of the University of Belize was staging a peaceful demonstration. 7News stopped in to see what the excitement was about, and the president of the Belize City student government told us that the Administration isn't dealing with their concerns in a timely manner. Here's how she described it: Cordelia Belizaire, President - UB Student Government Belize City "We have been having some concerns over the past couple months in which we had follow up with administration but nothing was being accomplished so they weren't really doing anything and we are already almost a month in and nothing is being accomplished." Reporter "What are some of the problems?" Cordelia Belizaire "Some of the problems that we are currently having is that the pot holes for once, when entering the campus, there are a lot of holes and this causes problems and it damage people's vehicle. In addition when you walk you can hurt your foot. When it rains the campus is filled with a lot of water and mud."

Tonight's I am Belize Profile is about Andre Lisbey who grew up on Waterlane in Belize City. Lisbey was just like many of the Belize City young men who turned to street life as a form of rebellion. Here's how he explained that a death threat made him leave the streets, and took on the responsibility of a written contract to return back to school:

Soundfest Will Be Slamming
This year's September Celebrations season is starting to pick up momentum, and tomorrow night, there will be 2 musical concert venues for the public to choose from. This afternoon, the organizers for the Soundfest event dropped in to speak to us about tomorrow night's exciting line up of Belizean artists who will perform in the show. Here's what they told us: Tony Wright "Soundfest is happening tomorrow evening on the island Birds Isle at 9 o'clock. We have a massive lineup - one of the greatest lineup of artist we have. We want everybody to come out because this is one of the baddest show that we will have. One of the things is that we feel so good this year is because we have some young artists who are coming in like Jah and these guys came all the way from LA to be a part of soundfest." "We have an entire lineup; Melonie Gillett, Berne will be there, Youth Connection Band, Lucio and the new Generation, Love Vibrations and of course Radiance Thompson, she just won the father's day song competition - we are talking about top of the line artist that we will have on soundfest."

US "Premium" Actor IS OF Belizean Descent
Have you heard the name Wole Parks? You may have because this American Actor of Belizean lineage is doing things in Hollywood. Wole Parks is the American born son of Belizean Lillette Parks - who has retired here to Belize. Lillette Parks used to teach at St. Hilda's college before she migrated to the US. That's where Wole was born and he started out as a cast member on As the World Turns, a popular soap opera. He also played role don Law and Order and then acted in the films Taking Chance with Kevin Bacon and Ghost Town with Ricky Gervais. Well now he has a leading role in the hit film "Premium Rush" where he plays one of the bike Messengers at the center of the movie's plot.

BNE Gives Cayo Cops
Yesterday in San Ignacio the BNE Trust made a donation of household appliances to Cayo Police. Now, that doesn't sound like the kind of thing that Police would need - but, they do, because the officer commanding's residence is a most un-inviting place. So to encourage the officer to stay in Cayo and live amongst the community her serves, BNE chipped in with the contribution:.. David Henderson, Commissioner of Police "Many times they have been transfer and we do not have proper housing and again welfare is key, we cannot force somebody to stay if he is not comfortable." Chester Williams, Senior Superintendent "I confronted my friend Mr. August and I told him that probably the day he just could do a project for the police and assist in furnishing the officers' quarters even though I will not be here to enjoy it but I believe that the person who should come after me should be able to live comfortable while they serve the people of Cayo District."

Channel 5

Parents detention; Sudden Death of Baby
A two year old girl was found dead in a bucket of water late on Wednesday night in the Japan area of Ladyville. The toddler was found by her grandmother while the father was in detention for damaging the family’s house and the mother had just been released by police. It is a tragic end [...]

UB students protest for change
Late this evening, a demonstration was held at the University of Belize campus on University Drive. The students are protesting the deplorable conditions of the campus and demanding better classrooms. As the protest got underway and the students gathered with placards in hand, they were informed that an agreement had been made between the administration [...]

The Budna chronicles: Joseph Budna detained in Guatemala
According to a late report in Nuestro Diario Norte, a Guatemalan newspaper a Belizean is in serious trouble in that country. He is thirty seven year old Joseph Budna, who is in police custody in San Benito, Peten. There are few details available but the reports are that there was a clash of some sort [...]

The History of Carnival in Belize Part 2
The origins of the Belizean carnival have been traced back to 1975 by Researcher Lawrence Vernon. The event is now firmly in the calendar of activities for the month of September; it didn’t get there by sheer luck, in fact there were conflicting views on where the bacchanal would best fit because it was quickly [...]

Lightburns detained for suspected cannabis
The wife and son of well known basketball player, Clinton “Pulu” Lightburn, were arrested on Wednesday on charges of Drug Trafficking. Tariq and Laura Lightburn appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today along with Shawn Hemmans to be arraigned. They all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were granted bail of five thousand dollars. The [...]

Football Federation of Belize presents state of financial affairs
Ruperto Vicente took over as president of the Football Federation of Belize five months ago. This morning he presented a report card on the state of affairs of the organization. Vicente confirms that he inherited an organization that was financially broke but says he is putting the house in order. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. [...]

Basketball Federation prepares for COCABA 16 and younger games
While the F.F.B. presented its five-month report card earlier today, the Belize Basketball Federation (B.B.F.) will be busy this weekend scouting new talent to represent the Jewel in the COCABA under-sixteen tournament being hosted by Honduras next month. The organization is inviting all athletes sixteen years and younger to audition for the national team which [...]

Restore Belize’s Midnight Games to bring neighborhoods together
Midnight Basketball started in the 1990’s. Not many social activities were taking place, so the concept was designed to keep young people socially active amongst various neighborhoods. And in this crime ridden era, when neighbors are now referred to as associates and neighborhoods called rivals, Restore Belize felt it was time to reintroduce the concept [...]

Survey says the burden of illness is Acute Gastroenteritis
A study was launched today; it is called Burden of Illness, and has to do with the safety of food for local consumption. The survey is also critical because as a tourist destination, hundreds of thousands of visitors sample the food that is cooked and served in restaurants, hotels and elsewhere. One of the most [...]

Frankie Reneau Master Classes Group of Students interested in Music
Frankie Reneau, renowned Belizean Pianist, has become a regular in the September Celebrations. Reneau, in his Masters Classes summer program, has been working with young Belizean talents to stage an annual concert. Joining Reneau will be some familiar faces from the local music scene including Tricia Gabourel and Jenny Lovell. The acclaimed composer spoke appeared [...]

Healthy Living looks at conditions associated with overloaded backpacks
Thousands of students across the country have returned to the classrooms to start the new academic school year. Aside from the spanking new uniforms, sneakers and lunchboxes, students are carrying backpacks overflowing with textbooks. While the backpacks may ease the heavy weight of books, it can also contribute to a change in the posture of [...]


Belize Bureau of Standards Carries Out Investigation On Over Priced Fuel
On Tuesday of this week we reported on a complaint forwarded to the Bureau of Standards which stated that a gas station on the Northern Highway increase prices of fuel before the prices took effect and over charged a customer, who proved it with a receipt. This morning the Bureau...

Baptist School Board Met to Discuss Principal's Sexual Misconduct with Student
In mid August reports of the Principal of Baptist High School in the Belmopan area, Norman Willacey engaging in inappropriate behavior with a former student was in the headlines. The situation drew condemnation from various sectors of the population. On August 22 the Board ...

Thursday, September 6 ---------- Relationship Gone Sour: House is Burnt Down and Toddler Is Dead - Police Suspects Foul Play
Ladyville Police are investigating a bizarre twist of events that started with a suspected arson on Tuesday night and ended on Wednesday night with the sudden death of a toddler. Kaylee Burgess, a baby girl who would have celebrated her second birthday on Friday, was reportedly d...

Security Guard Acquitted of Firearm Charges
Thirty-three year old Oscar Aguilar, a security guard at the Roman Catholic Diocese, located on North Front Street, was acquitted of charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Aguilar, a husband and father of three, was charged in connection with an incident which oc...

Teenager Escapes Detention After Being Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
Nineteen year old Said Pike, one of three persons charged with two counts of kept firearm and two counts of kept ammunition without a gun license, escaped from Court yesterday morning after Magistrate Roberto Ordonez found him and the others guilty of the charges and sentenced them to ...


Basto And Son's Plantain Chips Wins International Award
Yesterday Citi Foundation, the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance, and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) announced the winners of their 1st annual Citi Micro-entrepreneurship Awards for the Caribbean. The Awards recognizes a microfinance and micro-entrepreneur institution that has each demonstrated remarkable success in the Caribbean. Five finalists were chosen for each award and six experts on microfinance and micro-entrepreneurship in the region had the task of selecting the winners. Out of the five finalists selected for the Excellence in Micro-entrepreneurship Award, two were from the northern part of the Country, Basto & Sons Plantain Chips located in the Village of Guinea Grass and Cal’s Bakery located in the Village of Trial Farm. At the end, experts named Basto and Son’s Plantain Chips winner of the Excellence in Micro-entrepreneurship Award. Today we travelled to Guinea Grass to find out more about the family’s business which was nominated by the La Inmaculada Credit Union.

National Service Day Not A Holiday
As Belizeans across the country prepare to celebrate the 31st Anniversary of our nation’s sovereignty, it is also the first anniversary of the passing of the Father of the Nation the Right Honorable George Price. On September 19th of 2011, Mr. Price passed away from complications after suffering a fall in his house a week earlier. As Belize’s Independence is celebrated so is the life of Belize’s first Premiere. As part of the 2012 September Celebrations calendar of events, the National Celebrations Committee designated the 19th of September as “National Service Day” in honor of Right Honorable George Cadle Price. The day is an initiative of the George Price Centre for Peace and Development who is inviting everyone to take part in a day of community service. Schools, churches, businesses, NGO’s, and Belizeans are encouraged to organize and carry out projects in memory of Mr. Price and in one way or another, continue what he stood for in serving all Belizeans. Although it is a day designated for community service, we must remind you that it is not a public and bank holiday. Everyone must still report to work as per usual.

Drilling For Black Gold In Blue Creek
Oil exploration is expected to commence soon in the community of Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District. Yesterday a huge oil rig arrived at the port of Belize and was transported in 60 containers to Blue Creek where drilling is expected to commence on the 1st of October. The drilling will be conducted by Big Creek Energy which has partnered with New World Oil and Gas in order to carry out the multi-million dollar project. According to Managing Director of Blue Creek Energy, Alistair King, seismic testing has already been conducted in the area and now its time to drill approximately eight thousand feet below the ground to find the oil field. Alistair King - Blue Creek Exploration “From the last time, RSM drilled 2 wells in the neighborhood, not in our licensed area, but next door to it, and both wells had oil in them. So, we know that oil is coming from Mexico and Guatemala. It's migrating down, and that's where the Spanish Lookout oil is coming from. So, we know that it's passing under there, but we have to make sure that we find a trap, and the only way we can find where it's trapped, is to drill. This area that we in, Northwest Belize, is totally virgin area when it comes to oil exploration. There's no seismic done there before. The seismic that we have done is the first seismic to be done in that area, so - and of course - we're not too far from the Giant Mexican Fields, the Shaan Field in Guatemala, which is now being declared a 300 million barrel field, and we know that oil is migrating, as I say. So, we just want to find the trap." So far Blue Creek Exploration and New World Oil and Gas have invested U.S$6 million in the project. Reports are that drilling will take place in five areas.

Bureau Of Standards Investigates Price Gouging
The price for a gallon of gas has seen seven different increases this year taking it pass the $13 mark. With the recent increases in the price of fuel, it would only seem logical that the next step would be an increase on the price of goods further diminishing the value of the dollar even more. This morning in a press release, the Belize Bureau of Standards brought to light several allegations made to the Supplies Control Unit of increases on the prices of controlled goods before the implementation date set by the Government of Belize. Reports made to the SCU by consumers indicate, that merchants, along with several distributors of price controlled goods including gasoline, diesel and kerosene, have increased the price of their products before the implementation date, thus making a quick buck at the expense of consumers. As a result of these allegations, the Belize Bureau of Standards informs merchants and fuel station operators that increasing the price on Controlled Goods before the implementation date is an offense under the Supplies Control Act Subsidiary Regulation for Price Controlled Goods. This offense carries a penalty of $1,000 as well as a charge of $200 per day for each day the infraction is committed with the possibility of six months imprisonment. Along with these fines, merchants can also have all of their good seized.

Will Fuel Prices Decrease?
And while the Belize Bureau of Standards is addressing complaints of increases in the prices of Controlled Goods, there is another news story to report tonight in the petroleum industry. On Saturday September 8th, the Miramis Ship, which is an oil tanker, will dock in Belize with the first shipment of fuel from Venezuela’s national oil company Petroles de Venezuela, PDVSA. The arrival of the tanker is as a result of the Petrocaribe agreement made in June of 2005. The agreement allows for no middleman dealings, it’s based solely on negotiations between state owned entities and the Venezuelan national oil company. With this new shipment of fuel coming from Venezuela, one would expect that the price of fuel would significantly reduce, that is because the gallon of gas in Venezuela sells for about ten US cents. Yes, you heard right ten US cents equivalent to twenty Belize cents. Sounds good right? But don’t get too happy as yet because the price for a gallon of fuel will not change here Belize as Venezuela has to sell all Petrocaribe partners fuel at world prices so as not to undermine the price of their crude oil.

Residence Of Santa Martha Still Without Potable Water
Today makes it approximately 47 days that residents of Santa Martha in the Orange Walk District are without potable water. The situation has understandably become frustrating for villagers who say that nothing is being done to solve the problem. More than a month and a half ago pipes went dry after the village’s water pump stopped working due to mechanical problems. Orange Walk East Area Representative Honorable Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez has met with representatives of the Rural Development Office to find a solution to the problem but to date assistance is hard to come by. Today we traveled to the village to get a first hand look at how residents are coping with the situation. By hand and on bicycles that’s how residents of Santa Martha carry their buckets of water obtained from well’s and in many cases the water reservoir located approximately one mile out of the village. For the past month and half pipes have been dry due to the fact that the water pump is broken down and has not been fixed by the village’s water board or much less the Ministry of Rural Development. For the 1,200 residents of Santa Martha the situation is both frustrating and unacceptable.


Police accused of abuses in Georgeville
Abuse of police authority and abuse is never far from earshot, and today, a woman has come forth to accuse one police officer of planting a bullet at her home during a raid last Thursday at the premises. According to Aldrina Pech, it happened in Georgeville Village, Cayo, while she was out. But while she was not around to personally point any finger, she is relying heavily on her six year –old son’s word. To add to that allegation, Pech also accuses the officer of stealing money from her home. But while a complaint has been made at the Professional Standards Bureau within the Police Department and the matter is under investigation, Officer Commanding the San Ignacio Police Station, Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, told Love News that he does not buy Pech’s story. The investigation is expected to be completed into this allegation by the end of next week.

Teen convict escapes and is recaptured
Nineteen year old Said Pike, one of three persons charged with two counts of kept firearm and two counts of kept ammunition without a gun license, escaped from Court around 9:45 this morning after Magistrate Roberto Ordonez found him and the others guilty of the charges and sentenced them to four years imprisonment. The prosecutor, corporal Noel Muschamp, pursued Pike, and with the help of other police officers, captured him shortly afterwards in the building that houses the Human Services Department, located on Regent Street. Pike pleaded guilty to escape when he was taken this afternoon to Court. He begged for leniency and Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr. fined him $1,000.oo and gave him until November 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 10 months. The others convicted along with Pike for the firearm and ammunition offences were 23 year old Kareem Heusner and 34 year old Marlon Budran. On November 24, 2010, the police searched a house, located on Regent Street and found two nine millimeter pistols in the bathroom. One pistol was in one rubber boot and the other pistol was in the other boot. One pistol contained 12 rounds of ammunition and the other had seven rounds. Pike, Budran, Heusner and Clifton Flores were present in the house at the time. Flores, however, was shot and killed before he was brought to trial. A fifth person, Budran’s common-law wife, Bridget White, was also charged but the charges were dismissed fromm her because she was not at home at the time.

Security guard freed of firearm charges
Thirty-three year old Oscar Aguilar, a security guard at the Roman Catholic Diocese, located on North Front Street, was acquitted of charges of kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license today. Aguilar, a husband and father of three, was charged in connection with an incident which occurred between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on August 14, 2010. Detective Corporal Keith Clarke testified that he was in a vehicle driving on North Front Street and when he was passing by the entrance to the diocese he saw two Mestizo men and one of them had a black object resembling a firearm pointed in the air. Clarke said he reversed the vehicle and stopped in front of the men and when he searched Aguilar he found a .22 pistol and three rounds of ammunition in the right back pocket of his pants. Aguilar was charged but his companion, Camelo Choc, was released. Aguilar testified and said that Choc saw an object being thrown from a car and when he retrieved it he found that it was a pistol. Aguilar said Choc gave the pistol to him and he took out the bullets and put them in the pocket of his pants. He said he wanted to take the pistol and bullets to the police station but he could not leave his job and he was going to wait until his boss arrived. He said he was saved that trouble when he saw a vehicle coming and he recognized one of the occupants to be a police officer and so he waved the pistol in the air. Choc testified and corroborated Aguilar’s testimony. In his summing up of the case Magistrate Roberto Ordonez said the Aguilar could not have had the firearm in the air to discharge it because the bullets were in the pocket of his pants. He also said that there was doubt that the firearm that Aguilar had was the same in the information and complaint because the description was different. Aguilar was represented by attorney Dickie Bradley. The prosecutor, Sergeant Clinton “System” Magdaleno, has given notice that he is going to appeal.

Crimes of dishonesty being investigated on opposite ends of the country
Corozal police are investigating a report of misappropriation of funds. Jareth Arnold, Director of the Free Zone Fuel Distribution Limited inside the Corozal Free Zone reported to Police that between January 4 and April 25 the office supervisor who was the temporary accountant, miscalculated monies. Arnold said he made a review of the company’s finance and found that a total of 14 thousand 300 dollars was not accounted for. Police investigations continue. Two fisheries officers remain in police custody. According to Police reports on Tuesday they searched the home of a 26-year-old fisheries officer on the New Road area which resulted in the discovery of a brown back pack containing 11 thousand US dollars. Police conducted a search at a second fisheries officer’s home, nothing illegal was found but both men were taken to the Police Station. Reports are that the men were transported to Belmopan and later to Belize City.

Escaped convict seeks refuge in Human Development Office
It was not business as usual at the Human Services Department on Regent Street in Belize City. A prisoner reportedly escaped from court and fled down Regent Street. He reportedly sought refuge in the Human Services Department with the Police in hot pursuit. We understand there were about twenty people in the office at the time of the incident. One of the persons we spoke to told us she was in the office when the man who appeared hurt and was dripping blood rushed inside the building. The man then reportedly ran into the office and scaled two of the walls before locking himself in one of the offices. The woman told us she was terrified as the pursuing officers were armed and the manner in which they conducted themselves. She added to make matters worse there was an unarmed female security officer at the department and there is only one way in an out the building since the exit door is not functional. Love News attempted to speak with the Director of Human Services Ava Pennil who while she declined an on camera interview confirmed that a man entered the office this morning. Pennil said she called the Police and they responded within a few minutes and removed him. We asked Pennil if the staff had expressed concern at the situation to which she responded that they will take measures to ensure that the staff is not at risk considering the nature of the their job is dealing with people in the most dire situations. She then referred us to CEO in the Ministry Judith Alpuche.

Parents in Teakettle are disgruntled
A group of parents gathered today in front of a school in TeaKettle village in the cayo District. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story.

Rig arrives for oil exploration in northern Belize
The Clipper Concord Docked at the Port of Belize yesterday bringing with it the equipment necessary for a company to start exploring for black gold in the northern part of Belize. Reporter Natalie Novelo has the story.

BNE Charitable Trust donates to San Ignacio police
The BNE Charitable Trust today made a donation to the San Ignacio Police. Reporter Marion Ali was at the Event and brings us the details.

Farewell to Chester Williams … for now
Meanwhile, today was the last day on the job for Senior Superintendent, Chester Williams, who was placed in charge of the San Ignacio Police formation upon his summer break from legal studies in the Caribbean. His posting happened just before the murder of thirteen year old Jasmine Lowe and Williams has been the one keeping the peace in San Ignacio each time Lowe’s accused killer, Bert Vasquez, was taken to court in front of huge crowds to face charges. Aside from the Lowe murder, however, statistics for the Cayo District have plummeted over the months and today Police Commissioner, David Henderson, told reporters that diligent police work and cooperative police officers contributed to that. But Commissioner Henderson says the police will now take a national focus to curb crime. As for the Corozal District, which has seen a number of murders occur over the past few months, Commissioner Henderson said that there will soon be some changes at the Corozal Police Formation.

Super Furia Band releases new song for September Celebrations
Super Furia, a band originating from the Orange Walk has released a new song just in time for September Celebrations. This afternoon they visited Love News to tell us all about the new song which already has an accompanying video. The founder of Super Furia, Francisco Alcoser told us more about the band. Roxana Alcoser is the lead singer in the band. She says that although she was born in a musical family, she has been singing professionally for ten years. She told Love News more about the song entitled “Long Live Belize. Roxana Alcoser says she hopes everyone is receptive to the upbeat song. The CD can be purchased at any music store and you can go on youtube to check out the new music video.

Belizean cultural foods on display at the Image Factory
Flavors of Belize exhibition. The month long flavours of Belize food exhibition is underway at the Image factory in Belize City. Special Correspondent, Janelle Chanona reports.

The Guardian

Drawing Parallels
I have always shunned from making comments on the politics and policies of other nations, especially with respect to the United States, but with the more than ample television exposure on American politics during the past two weeks, I now feel quite acquainted with Romney and Obama and about the diverging political and economic platforms they represent. I can also tell you that I am very well informed as to which polls favor each candidate for the November elections. With the newly attained knowledge above, I find it easy to draw parallels between the US and Belize, and the respective challenges both countries are confronted with. You see, our own Prime Minster recently faced a national poll on his 2008-2012 administration which, although he prevailed for another five-year term, turned out to be a close election. The same is being predicted in the US by several of their TV political talks shows: their November elections will be very close. The very issues which Prime Minister Barrow was confronted with on March seven were basically the same ones President Obama is being charged with: a weak economy, staggering debt and the lack of jobs. And while the great United States has suffered a single downgrade, our economic rating by Moody’s, S&P, et al, has seen multiple slips and at this moment is at selective default. The US can support its debt over the long term but our small economy cannot sustain these huge payments too much longer, and so we need to restructure for our very survival. Another of the parallels that has emerged as to why the UDP Government is faced with this present challenge of burdensome debt and economic crisis is a scenario exactly reflected in several other economies: former governments did not exercise prudence in managing their resources and many financial ventures collapsed, which had a crippling effect on the job market. That’s the official, polished version, since mine would sound this way: many people in positions of authority, in the public and private sector, got extremely greedy and decided to dishonestly help themselves to bundles of money the fast and easy way.

School Warden Murdered Inside her Home
Police are trying to solve the murder of a 41-year-old school warden. From all accounts, Dana Augustus was a beloved woman. Friends know her as a fun loving and “straight up” person. September was one of her favourite times of the year because she always looked forward to Carnival and other festivities. On Friday, August 31st, she participated in the Carnival motorcade with the Mother Nature senior group. Late that night, she decided to get dressed and head out to party with friends. Unfortunately, she didn’t get a chance to do so. According to police report, at 12:10 a.m. while Augustus was at her home at #19 A Mayflower Street with her two daughters, someone called out her name. Shortly after, several gunshots were fired at the house. Augustus' two daughters managed to flee from harm’s way. Augustus however, was struck by a bullet to the right side of her abdomen. Police responded quickly to the incident and rushed Augustus to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. She made it to the Hospital barely alive and succumbed to her injury minutes into an operation in which doctors were hoping to stabilize her. The cause of death was certified as vascular shock due to internal bleeding from a heart injury caused by a gunshot wound. Police have not announced any arrest in this murder investigation. They believe it is related to a shooting that occurred hours before in which Lucretia Myvett was sitting on the sidewalk at the corner of Vernon and Sibun Streets along with her mother and her sister. A gunman on bicycle fired several shots in their direction from the corner of Sibun Street. Myvett was hit to the center of the upper back. Police say that though neither women are in gangs, the shootings appear to be gang related.

Reported Belize City Shootings in the Past Week
Reports of as many as six shootings over the past week have reached us here at the Guardian. However, we can only confirm what has been made official via a police report. The Belize Police Department only records an incident in which there is a virtual complainant. Therefore, aside from the murder of Dana Augustus, three shootings were reported in Belize City over the past news week. At about 5:38 p.m. on Thursday, August 30th, a 14-year-old female student was around the dining table inside her Cumberbatch Street home having supper, when a stray bullet penetrated the wooden walls of the structure and struck her in the right lower back. Police responded to the scene quickly and rushed the minor to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she was treated for her injuries and released the following day. Police have since detained three men in relation to the shooting. According to police reports, three male persons on separate bicycles were at the comer of Park Street and La Croix Boulevard. While at that location, one of them pulled out a gun and fired four shots in the direction of Kinsley Morrison and Kimberly Michael, who were in the area. The bullets missed their targets but one penetrated the minor’s house on Cumberbatch Street causing the injury to the girl. Police investigations led to the arrest and charge of a 16-year old student of Belize City for the crimes of two counts of Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, Dangerous Harm, the Use of Deadly means of Harm and Conspiracy to commit Murder. 18-year-old Adrian Alvarez of #88 Linda Vista Street was charged for the crime of Conspiracy to commit Murder and a 14-year-old male minor, student of Police Street, was charged for the crime of Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

Coast Guard retrieves Over 47 Killos of Cocaine from the Sea
The Anti Drugs Unit (ADU) of the Belize Police Department have confirmed that a package retrieved from sea in the Turneffe Atoll area by the Belize National Coast Guard contains cocaine. According to police reports, on Wednesday, August 29th, the Commander of the National Coast Guard reported that a unit was patrolling the Turneffe Atoll area when they found what appeared to be a bale of cocaine floating in the water. The unit retrieved the package and transported it to the National Headquarters in Belize City. At about 1:30 p.m., a team of ADU personnel and an officer from the National Forensic Unit visited the National Coast Guard compound. The bale was handed over to the forensic officer for testing. It contained thirty-five smaller parcels. Twenty-one of them were wrapped in red tape with the markings “PZ” on them, ten were wrapped in brown tape without any markings and four were wrapped in yellow tape without any markings. Each parcel was weighed individually and they totaled a weight of 47,480.5 grams or 104.675 pounds. According to police reports, presumptive testing was conducted on fifty percent of the bail which returned with positive results for cocaine. The drugs were then handed over to the ADU and now are in the process of being destroyed. Police have not said if anyone was in the area at the time of the discovery.

Another Murder in Corozal
22-year-old Humberto Gonzalez died on Tuesday morning after he was shot shortly after leaving a bar in Ranchito Village in the Corozal District. Police report that at around 12:10 on Tuesday morning, they found the body of Humberto Ivan Gonzalez at the Corozal Community Hospital. Gonzalez had gunshot wounds to the right side of the chest. Investigations revealed that at around 11:00 on Monday night, Martin Armstrong, a money changer of Crozal Town left the Palacio Dulce Bar in the company of Gonzalez. As he got into his red Toyota Tacoma pickup truck and left the establishment, he came under fire by two men who were waylaying him nearby. Armstrong managed to escape unhurt but Gonzalez was not as lucky. He was fatally injured and died shortly after the incident. Police are investigating the incident and are leaning towards the possibility that the shooting was drug related. There have been at least three other murders in the Corozal district in three months.

Family mobs Dangriga Police
According to police reports, four civilians were shot by Dangriga police officers on Thursday, August 30th. Three officers of the Dangriga Police Station reported that they responded to reports of an aggravated burglary in Steadfast Village at about 7:25 p.m. on Thursday. After conducting initial investigations into that incident, the officers left for the police station. On their way back they saw a black Toyota pick-up truck parked in the middle of the road near mile 15 on the Hummingbird Highway. As soon as the police vehicle approached, the truck sped off recklessly into a nearby road. Police pursued the truck until it stopped at the driver’s home.

Rosalia Roxana Navas Bijil, 10, found hanging from Tree
The startling news that a jovial ten-year-old student had been found hanging from a tree, on Thursday, August 30th, in the village of San Lazaro, Orange Walk District, spread quickly.

New Oil Exploration to start in October
On Tuesday, September 4th, a massive oil rig landed in Belize to be set up in Northwestern Belize to commence the exploration of oil in that part of the country. Principals for Blue Creek and New World Petroleum exploration companies made the announcement on Wednesday, September 5th.

Belize bridges Regional Gap in Fisheries Industry
Hon. Alfred Gray (Bahamas), Hon. Lisel Alamilla (Belize) and Hon. Danilo Rosales, (Nicaragua) Young Belizeans may not truly appreciate the significance of a recent regional meeting held at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. However, for historians and freedom fighters, Belize hosting a meeting that brings together Ministers of Governments from the Caribbean and Central America is a vision long dreamed and finally seen. The geographic location of Belize alone calls on the country to take its place as powerhouse in the region. Being the only country that is a member of CARICOM and SICA, Belize provides the opportunity for true regional integration.

Channel 5 - Are you Serious?
The government is currently in the process of renegotiating the Superbond. And even as it does, it appears that there are those at home who would rather the Belizean people be saddled with this enormous debt which we simply cannot pay. Among those who it appears would rather the people pay and pay dearly for the Superbond is Channel 5.

Seventh Meeting of The Mexico-Belize Bi-national Commission
The seventh meeting of the Mexico-Belize Bi-national Commission was held on August 30-31 in Corozal, Belize. The meeting of the Bi-national Commission, the most important forum for bilateral dialogue and cooperation, was chaired by the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Norma Pensado, and the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize, Alexis Rosado. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassadors of Mexico to Belize, Mario Velazquez, and of Belize to Mexico, Oliver del Cid. The Mexican delegation also included officials from the Ministries of Interior, Defense, Finance, Civil Service, Economy, Communications and Transportation, and Agriculture, as well as the Navy and the Attorney General's Office, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the National Water Commission and the Government of the State of Quintana Roo. During the two-day meeting, meetings were held by the political and economic, trade and financial subcommittees. There was also a meeting to assess the 7th scientific and technical cooperation program, and a second meeting on cross-border transportation. Progress was made in strengthening the already close ties between the two countries during the meeting. The border between Mexico and Belize is clearly an example of good neighborliness as well as a place of opportunity and development.

National Service Day not a Holiday
The National Celebrations Committee informs the public that September 19th, 2012, which has been designated as National Service Day, is NOT a public and bank holiday. National Service Day is an initiative under the George Price Center for Peace and Development and serves only as an invitation to encourage schools, churches, organizations and Belizeans in general to engage in community service projects.

September Celebrations kick off on St. George’s Caye
On Sunday, September 2nd, the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young, led a large group of government officials, diplomats and patriotic citizens to St. George’s Caye. 214 years prior, a group of Baymen, African slaves and free blacks resisted Spanish rule and defended their right to settle on the island. There are opposing views on the events of the 1798 Battle of Saint George’s Caye. However, whatever one's views on the Battle are, every Belizean knows that if a settlement was not established on St. George’s Caye, there would be no Belize today. That is why the National September Celebrations Commission now launches the September Celebrations every year from St. George’s Caye. St. George’s Caye is home to some 250 residents. The Chairman of the Community Council of St. George’s Caye, John Searle, Jr., and the other residents of the island were very welcoming on Sunday. They know very well the historical significance that their home represents in Belize. Searle once again commended the celebrations commission for celebrating St. George’s Caye in the right context. The settlement at St. George’s Caye was the start of our journey to nationhood and today, it is where we begin our national celebrations. In 2009, Hon. Manuel Herredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture, proclaimed St. George’s Caye a Historical Site. The island’s significance in our history has been diminished due to a seemingly organized campaign to dispute the facts of the 1798 Battle. Those who now make their way to St. George’s Caye annually to kick off the celebrations believe not only in the Battle, but the message that the Battle implies. The Battle tells that a bunch of misfits, once united, can defeat an extremely powerful foe. That is the story that they want their children to learn in school, that 214 years ago, the settlement received word that an attack was imminent. A meeting was held to decide whether to abandon or defend the settlement. The votes cast resulted in a tie and they sent for free blacks from the Flowers Bank area to cast their votes. The Flowers Bank 14 voted unanimously to fight, not flee. That is why today Belize is free.

13 Bands Ready!! Are You for Carnival 2012?
Band members will gather in several different locations over the next few days to finish costumes and assign responsibilities for Carnival 2012. For one not familiar with Carnival preparation, a visit to one of those locations may cause an instant headache. Some seem extremely chaotic and disorganized. However, any band leader you ask would say without hesitation that they are right on schedule. There is little sleep for band members in the weeks leading up to Carnival and in the days leading up to the event, there is no sleep at all. That is what band leaders and members of the thirteen (13) Carnival groups are experiencing all these nights leading up to Saturday, September 8th.

Birth Registration: Did I Count?
Marlon, a jovial 16-year-old, smiles as he picks up his birth certificate after filing in his late registration form as he will now be “somebody”. His name is his “trademark” as big and global as the soft drink that he is sipping. He feels that his identity is now in his hands and his nationality will no longer be questioned for he is a proud son of the soil, a Belizean! He is the first of six children who, today, will get their birth certificates. His mother had tried in other occasions to obtain their birth certificates but several factors had delayed the process. When Marlon found out that it was not only his siblings that were unregistered but that thousands of children were in his same situation, he decided to help out in the registration campaign to ensure that they, too, be counted.

Brighton Cordova, 10, traveled to Chetumal, Quintana Roo
On Wednesday, September 5th, Brighton Cordova, 10, traveled to Chetumal, Quintana Roo, for medical attention to help improve his present condition.

Belize Telemedia Ltd. Scholar Participates in the Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE)
Mr. Isaure Milian of Cayo District recently returned to Belize after participating in the 2012 Student Programme for Innovation in Science and Engineering (SPISE) at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies in Barbados. Mr. Milian and nine other students from Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago participated in the four-week program under the sponsorship of regional organizations, including Belize Telemedia Ltd. Organized by the Caribbean Science Foundation and spearheaded by its Interim Director, Dr. Cardinal Warde, a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of the Belize Science Advisory Council, SPISE is aimed at secondary school students who wish to pursue a career in science or engineering, and seeks to assist in broadening the economic base of the Caribbean region by encouraging and facilitating the study of science and engineering and promoting related entrepreneurship. Mr. Milian’s placement was coordinated by the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities. Program organizers selected Mr. Milian to attend the inaugural SPISE from among a number of applicants.

International Friends of Belize announces New Name
The non-profit organization International Friends of Belize proudly announces that it has changed its name to Full Basket Belize effective September 2012. The new name and identity better reflects the organization’s goals and best attributes. The name Full Basket Belize derives from the Kriol proverb, “wan, wan, okra, ful baaskit” meaning that much can be accomplished (“the basket can be filled”) when people cooperate, persevere, and work hard together. This non-profit group endeavors to “fill the basket” of Belizean communities with the help of generous donations from Belize and abroad. The organization’s mission remains the same: to help improve the education, health, and environment of Belizean communities through educational scholarships and small project grants. Thus, Full Basket Belize will continue to offer secondary school scholarships to deserving students as well as small project grants in the areas of health, education, and the environment. At present, Full Basket Belize supports the education of 13 deserving students with BZ$1000 scholarships which pay for tuition, fees, books, and uniforms for the academic year 2012-13. They also sponsor annual grants worth BZ$2000 each to three different community groups throughout Belize. Over the past seven years, the organization has provided funding to every district in Belize and will continue to do so under the new name of Full Basket Belize. Please visit their website,, for more information about this organization.

National Garifuna Council holds Special General meeting
The National Garifuna Council, Belize City Branch hereby informs the public that a Special General Membership Meeting was held on Sunday September 2nd, 2012 at St. Martins De Porres Parish Hall, Belize City. Highlights of the meeting was the election of a new executive for the term 2012-2014: Elected were: President Francisco Zuniga 1st Vice President Michael Enriquez 2nd Vice President Winder Ellington Secretary Oscar Marcello, Jr. Assistant Secretary Agnes Morris Treasurer Neomi Guzman Assistant Treasurer Norman Augustine Councilors Matthew Martinez Mary Enriquez The Miss Garifuna Queen’s Committee is also extending invitations to Young Belizean Women who are between the ages of 15 years and not older than 20 years to participate in this year’s 2012 Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant which will be held on Saturday October 27, 2012. For further information, on the Miss Garifuna Belize City Pageant, please feel free to contact Mrs. Neomi Guzman at 601-4914 or Mrs. Virgin Martinez at 607-1783.

Manatees in Peril in Ladyville
On August 15th, a large manatee was reported in a canal in Vista del Mar, described as being entangled in a net. The Belize Marine Mammal Stranding Network Response Team, led by Jamal Galves and Nicole Auil Gomez, located the animal and determined that the long white line across the manatee’s back was not a net, but a large boat engine wound.

SEPTEMBER CELEBRATIONS 2012: National Discourse
By Dr. Oliver Ottley, District Superintendent Emeritus, Church of the Nazarene Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord (Psalm 33:12a). Quo vadis, Belize? Dear Fellow Belizeans, It’s time once again to contemplate what we celebrate each September: A settlement which began in the early 1620s; A territorial victory on September 10, 1798; British colonial status in 1862; and our Independence from Britain on September 21, 1981 which settled Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity: historically politically and internationally. This was the general understanding notwithstanding any prior unfulfilled agreement between Britain and Guatemala whose own independence from Spain was not until 1821. In recent times a few have been relegating the Battle of St. George’s Caye to a myth. Many have likewise relegated the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to a myth. In each case the deniers insist that there is no proof. Refusal to accept written history, not to mention the reports of eye witnesses and “many infallible proofs,” conceivably presupposes that there is an ulterior motive. With regards to the Battle of St. George’s Caye, two pieces of definitions taken from different dictionaries should help those who may still be in a quandary: Oxford: A prolonged fight between large organized armed forces. Webster’s: Engagement, action between opposing forces.

Placencia Assassins, Belize Defence Force and Verdes are early leaders in PLB Competition
The Premier League of Belize 2012-2013 Football Competition continued over the last week of play with a total of five games being played on Saturday September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd across the country. On Saturday, September 1st, 2012, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, Verdes FC edged the Police United Team by the score of 2-1 to hand it a second straight loss in the competition. The goal scorers for Verdes FC were Leobardo Mendez, who scored the 1st goal of the game in the 37th minute of play and Rodney Torres, who scored the 2nd goal of the game in the 62nd minute of play. Meanwhile, the only goal for the Police was scored by Evan Mariano in the 52nd minute of play. At the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the visiting Placencia Assassins won its second game in as many outings when it blanked the home team Paradise/Freedom Fighters by the score of 1-0. Dalton Eiley scored the only goal of the game in the 28th minute of play to give the Placencia Assassins the big win. The competition then continued on Sunday, September 3rd, 2012, with three more games on the schedule. At the MCC Grounds here in Belize City, the host team San Pedro Seadogs and the visiting FC Belize played to a 0-0 draw. At the Louisiana Football Field, the Belmopan Bandits defeated Juventus by the score of 6-0. The goal scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were David Madrid in the 3rd and 5th minutes of play, David Trapp in the 50th minute of play and Ernest Wiltshire in the 69th, 79th and 80th minutes of play. Meanwhile out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Belize Defence Force blanked FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 3-0. The goal scorers for the Belize Defence Force were Byron Usher in the 40th minute of play, Lisbey Castillo in the 61st minute of play, and Shane Flores in the 90th minute of play. With that win, the Belize Defence Force stays amongst the front runners in this year’s competition.

Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition opens
The 2012 Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition opened on Friday, August 31st, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. This year’s competition attracted 10 teams. The teams are Belize Water Services Ltd., Central Bank, Smart, BTL, Airport, Bowen & Bowen, Belize Electricity Ltd., Port of Belize, Belize Bank and Atlantic Bank. In the first game of the season, Belize Water Services Limited defeated Central Bank by the score of 51-37. The top scorers for Belize Water Services Ltd. were Lindburg Graham with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals, and Lawrence Young with 7 points, 3 steals, 1 assist and 1 steal. For Central Bank, the top scorers were Wilfred Richards with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and Edward Baptist with 9 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. In game two, BTL won over Smart by the score 74-38. The top scorers for BTL were Devon Lozano with 16 points, and 2 steals and Jason Lamb with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal. For Smart, the top scorers were Kurt Budd with 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 1 steal and Scott Young with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. In the third and final game of the evening, Airport won handily over Bowen & Bowen by the score of 64-34. The top scorers for Airport were Vince Lamb with 16 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists and 2 steals, and Elvin Gillett with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. The competition will continue on Thursday, September 6th, 2012, with two more games on the schedule. In game one at 7:00 pm, BEL will go up against Atlantic Bank, and in the second game it will be Belize Bank against Atlantic Bank.

Mirage Lady Rebels bombed Telemedia in first game of championship series
The Finals of the 2012 Belize City Female Softball Competition started on Friday, August 31st, between the National Softball Champions of Belize Telemedia and its nemesis Mirage Lady Rebels. The championship series will utilise the best of five series. In game one, Mirage Lady Rebels bombed the pitching of Telemedia’s starter and loser Mary Flowers for 25 hits which scored a total of 17 runs. This was the highest scoring output against the Telemedia softball team in recent memory. By the time the dust had settled around home plate,Telemedia was on the short end of a 17-10 defeat. Mirage Lady Rebels batting in the top of the innings scored 2 runs in the 1st; 5 in the 2nd; 1 in the 3rd; 1 in the 4th; 4 in the 5th; 1 in the 6th and 3 in the 7th for the win. The Mirage Lady Rebels offence was keyed by run-producing doubles by third baseman Lisa Jones, left fielder Aludy Arthurs, and shortstop Sherette Vernon. Meanwhile, Telemedia batting in the bottom of the innings scored 2 in the 1st; 3 in the 2nd; 4 in the 4th; and 1 in the 5th. The winning pitcher was Lanisha Jones, who allowed 14 hits to the potent offence of the defending champions. The losing pitcher was Mary Flowers, who had relief help from Elaine Humes.

Athletics wins again in Vega Cup Tournament
The Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday, September 2nd, 2012, with four games on the schedule at the Trial Farm Football Field. In the first game played, San Antonio Jaguars blanked San Jose Survivors by the score of 3-0. The goal scorers for the San Antonio Jaguars were Gabriel Perez in the 14th minute, Gerardo Sosa in the 53rd minute of play and Wilber Teyul in the 85th minute of play. In game two, San Juan FC and Douglas Galaxy played to a 2-2 draw. The goal scorers for San Juan FC were Lorenzo Menjivar in the 23rd minute of play and Jair Blanco in the 80th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal scorers for Douglas Galaxy were Marco Correa in the 17th minute of play and Kareem Torres in the 65th minute of play. In the third game of the afternoon, San Jose Pumas shut out Blackwater F.C. by the score of 3-0. The goal scorers for San Jose Pumas were Osmin Morales in the 29th minute of play; Ervin Patt in the 55th minute of play, and Leonel Gongora in the 69th minute of play. In the final game of the evening, Athletics F.C. doubled up against United Ballers by the score of 4-2. The goal scorers for Athletics F.C. were Earl Archer in the 24th minute of play, Osmi Medina in the 63rd minute of play, Norman Trapp in the 72nd minute of play and Farid Carlos in the 79th minute of play. For the United Ballers, the goals were scored by Jason Williams in the 65th minute of play and Aaron Allen in the 90th minute of play.

Orange Walk Mayor continues Destructive Path
There seems to be no end to the destructive nature of Orange Walk Mayor as he is back to his old deeds. In May of this year, The Guardian pointed out that the Orange Walk Town Council under the leadership of Mayor Kevin Bernard took to tearing down newly constructed stalls that were to have been used to accommodate market vendors in that municipality. At the time ,the public outcry was met with further disdain when a week after zinc from the stalls were taken down they were replaced with coconut leaves. Since that time, all had quieted down despite the fact that there is still no accounting of the sheets of new zinc which were taken off the roof of the structures. Even so, the memory of the destructive mayor’s behavior is fading as the structure is now but a reminder of better days albeit that the roof of most of it is still missing. Well, no sooner had the town of Orange Walk resigned itself that it will have to live with the remains of the structure than Mayor Bernard was back at it again. Like a thief in the night, slowly he ordered work crews to once again pick at the market extension. We are not certain what has re-inspired the mayor to return to his old habits, maybe someone is in need of more zinc and the source of that has been identified as the stalls. No matter what the cause, earlier this week, work crews were back at it and now all the zinc has been removed and they have started to work on the supporting beams of the roof. Slowly but surely, the entire structures are being brought down.

Yadira Argueta is Queen of the Bay 2012
The 67th Queen of the Bay pageant was held at the Birds Isle on Saturday, September 1st. The Queen of the Bay title is the most prestigious of Belizean pageantry because it is synonymous with Belizean nationalism. According to local historians, it started back in 1946 when Guatemalan warships were seen in the harbour of Belizean waters. Public Meetings were held to discuss the threat and seek help from Great Britain. During those same meetings, the Loyal and Patriotic Order of the Bay (LPOB) was formed. Nothing developed from the Guatemalan threat but the LPOB had the desire to show Guatemala that we are different here on this settlement and we are a proud people. Therefore, the idea arose to start the Queen of the Bay Pageant. The first Queen of the Bay was Rita Lewis in 1946. There has been a Queen of the Bay Pageant every year for the last 66 years. The current Queen of the Bay is Amanda Taylor. She is as strong as the Mahogany Tree but as flexible and tough as a pine tree. She is sweet like the oranges and the sugar but as pure as the waters and she shines beauty from within. Taylor is a symbol of our freedom and she inspires patriotic love. The 67th Queen of the Bay, like all before her, must possess similar qualities to rule over the bay.

Carnival Kings and Queens set the stage for Road March
On Saturday, September 1st, residents of Belize City got into full September Celebrations gear as the Carnival King and Queen competition took place at the MCC grounds. A total of 34 kings and queens contested against one another for four hours for the right to be the overall winner. In the Junior queen competition, 5 bands submitted 8 competitors. Jump Street Posse presented Cinderella and Queen Agatha; Western Paradise presented Florecenta and Queen Aquaria; Black Pearl presented Tropical Queen; Sunshine Masqueraders presented Mayan Rain Goddess, and Pickstock Carnival Band presented Queen Fauni and Queen Florasol. At the end of the competition, Sunshine Masqueraders' Mayan Rain Goddess took home the first place. Second place went to Pickstock Carnival Band – Queen Fauna and the Third Place was captured by Western Paradise – Queen Florecenta. In the Junior King Category, there were 6 entrants by 4 bands. Jump Street Posse presented Prince Kent and Gus while Western Paradise presented King Crude and Mr. Electircity. Black Pearl, for its part, featured Prince of the Wild. Sunshine Masqueraders depicted Mayan Moon God while Pickstock Carnival band presented King Jungle-la. In that competition Jump Street Posse's King Kent took home the first place with the second place going to Jump Street Posse – King Gus; and third place to went to Sunshine Masqueraders – Mayan Moon God.

The Reporter

Boys 18, 16 and 14 yrs.charged with trying to kill teenage girl
Three boys, aged 18, 16 and 14 respectively have been arrested and charged with shooting at a teenage girl on LaCroix Boulevard in southside Belize City last Thursday evening.

GSU raid lands family in prison
Six persons were jointly charged and remanded to prison on Monday, after the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) found a handgun at their Raccoon Street Extension residence last Sunday.

Sunshine vitamin may help treat tuberculosis
Vitamin D could help the body fight infections of deadly tuberculosis, according to doctors in London. Nearly 1.5 million people are killed by the infection every year and there are concerns some cases are becoming untreatable. A study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed patients recovered more quickly when given both the vitamin and antibiotics. More tests will be needed before it could be given to patients routinely. The idea of using vitamin D to treat tuberculosis (TB) harks back to some of the earliest treatments for the lung infection. Before antibiotics were discovered, TB patients were prescribed “forced sunbathing”, known as heliotherapy, which increased vitamin D production.

Sadie Vernon boys win 2 in CODICADER basketball
The boys of Sadie Vernon Technical High School, silver medallists at the 2011 CODICADER Games in El Salvador, enjoyed consecutive wins in basketball at the XVII Central American Junior Scholastic (CODICADER) Games hosted by Guatemala at the Quetzaltenango Sports Complex from August 26 to September 8. The Sadie Vernon Tech boys won 95-81 over Honduras on Wednesday September 4-5. Bryan White played big defence snagging the rebounds to score 31pts but Belize trailed 19-20 at the end of the first quarter. The Sadie Vernon boys took over the game in the second quarter as Roderick Williams rammed home a monster dunk tand scored 18pts and Douglas Valley added 17pts ato lead 44-41 at intermission.

Roger Troyer & Shalini Zabaneh win 2012 Lionman triathlon
Cycling enthusiasts Roger Troyer and Shalini Zabaneh won elite and female categories of the 23rd Lionman Triathlon held beside Sandlighters Promenade in Belize City on Sunday morning, September 2. Troyer clocked two hours 23 minutes and 46 seconds to win the 4200 first prize as well as a weekend stay at The Lodge at Chaa Creek , three cases of Guinness Stout, two cases of soft drinks from Bowen & Bowen Ltd, and a package of Seven Seas tablets from San Cas Ltd. Troyer’s girlfriend Shalini Zabaneh was sixth overall in two hours 32 minutes and 25 seconds, good enough to win the $200 first prize in the women’s category, plus three cases of Smirn off and two cases of soft drinks from Bowen & Bowen

Mr. Ghian Gandhi, Legal Adviser to the Ministry of Finance has pointed out that there are laws which already define the status of a “spouse”, so that the new definition contained in the Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Act should not be a cause for concern.

The government and the private sector
In the late 1980’s, the collapse of the Soviet Union closed a significant chapter on a centuries old debate regarding how involved government should be. The Union, from 1920 up to its reform in 1980s, employed a central planning system in which the central authorities determined economic behaviour. The authorities had to manage an enormous amount of data, and attempted to properly analyze the data to produce truly comprehensive and integrated plans that address current and future problems. This, however, caused them to suffer from issues such as poor coordination, quantity-over-quality, shortfalls, lack of incentives and environmental degradation.

Toddler found dead; mother & father primary suspects
A seemingly straightforward case of suspected arson turned into something sinister, when a toddler was found dead in a bucket of water Wednesday night.

Bus owners say fares not fair
The Belizean Bus Association (BBA) told The Reporter Wednesday that the current fare of 8 cents per mile for the Western runs is no longer enough for bus owners to meet their operational costs, and it must be increased to at least 16 cents per mile.

Pickstock families upset over loss of standpipe. You never miss the water ‘till the well runs dry!’
Many residents from the old Long Barracks off Lovely Lane, also known as the “Pink Jungle” have been expressing indignation over the decision of Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) to cut off their free water supply by closing down the solitary standpipe which serves the block. Residents of the area took to the air waves via the morning talk shows vigorously condemning the action, causing Belize Water Services Limited to send out a press release, dated September 5.

New definition of spouse causes uproar! Fr. Noel Leslie sounds the alarm in Senate
The definition of the word “spouse” within the Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Bill has caused concern among the churches and the legal community.

Yadira Argueta wins 2012 Queen of the Bay
Yadira Argueta, Miss Stann Creek, is the Queen of the Bay designate, after winning the annual Queen of the Bay pageant, held at Bird’s Isle on Saturday night, September 1. Yadira proved herself not only beautiful and gracious, but the most eloquent and talented of the 10 other candidates vying for the title. Yadira entertained the audience with a monologue about the cultural heritage of the Stann Creek district and impressed the judges with her grace and poise in the formal evening gown segment of the pageant, in which each contestant came on stage and curtsied before the outgoing queen Amanda Taylor. Yadira also won the Miss Eloquence award as she aced the question & answer segment. Queen of the West, Marcia Moody won the talent competition with a skit, in which she portrayed a mother of seven Belizean children, each by a different father, each from a different ethnic group in Belize, and Marcia wove in a verbal tapestry of Belize’s multi-ethnic cultures, as she regaled the audience with the attributes of each of her children’s fathers.

Superfoods for Women
Ever wonder if your diet is missing something? Add our expert-approved, eat-right picks to stay lean, healthy, and strong. The Cancer Fighter Don’t let brussels sprouts’ signature scent turn you off. “The smell is a compound called allyl isothiocyanate that causes precancerous cells to self-destruct,” Jonny Bowden, PhD, author of ‘The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth’ says. “It’s entirely possible that eating them every few weeks could help greatly reduce the incidence of colon cancer.”

Mahogany Masqueraders & Mother Nature’s Creations win Carnival Queen and King
Mahogany Masqueraders’ Queen Ruby costume worn by Kimolyn Vernon and Mother naAcombo, worn by Leroy Green, won the Senior Carnival Queen and King competitions held by the Carnival Association, with support of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) at the MCC grounds on Saturday night, September 1. Queen Ruby won the $5,000 first prize from among 11 contestants from six senior bands. Soca Warriors’ Alexis Palacio as Queen Ixchel won the $3,500 second prize, while Oceana’s Soca Moca Queen Tia Dalma, portrayed by Suzette Marsden, won the $2,500 third prize.


A literary lunch break
Today I had the opportunity to meet a fellow expat and blogger who lives on Caye Caulker for lunch in San Pedro. I'm not saying her name or including any photos of her as her employer doesn't know she lives in Belize. As long as she is still able to do her job effectively, I can't imagine they'd even care, but I completely respect her desire to keep her identity private. So mum's the word from me! She'd come to town to have her hair done at one of my favorite funky, dual-identity spots on the island, the Aquarius book shop and hair salon. I've exchanged books at Aquarius several times and always enjoy going in to see what I can find. I had several books to exchange, so while my friend sat in the stylist's chair, I had time to check all the shelves for juicy murder mysteries, one of my favorite genres and one of the easiest to find wherever I go. We decided to eat at Hemingway's on Middle Street, in keeping with the bookish theme. I don't know how this restaurant got its name, because it seems a bit unlikely for a locally owned spot. But local it is, and during slow season, I know how hard it can be for businesses to keep their doors open, so I like to give my business to places less frequented by tourists. I'd never eaten here before, but our friends Debra and Bill liked it, so I was looking forward to checking it out.

St. George's Caye, Part Three: The Resort and More Pictures of the Island
This is my third and my last post about my visit to St. George's Caye on Sunday afternoon. I described the history, the sailing regatta and the dignitaries a bit. I told you about Karly, one seriously awesome 11 year old running his own aquarium on the caye. Here are the remaining pictures that I took (and liked...there were 293 in all). Not to repeat myself but this island is TINY...only 9 permanent residents.. And there is only one hotel...St. George's Caye Resort. And the pcitures on their website don't do the island justice. But that's just my opinion. This is one seriously cool place to spend the day and just wander around. Let's start with some of the vacation houses on the island. Most are proper wooden summer houses and many have both seafront and lagoon views on the slim island. Lawns and picket fences... Some in need of a little TLC. Big grassy meadows leading up to the can totally picture vacationing here as a kid. In fact, the place we used to go in New Hampshire was strangely similar... Except for the food. There was some seriously top notch BBQing and picnicking going on. Is it a Belizean thing or do BBQers world wide wipe the grill down with an onion half once it gets hot? The sailing heats provided a very pretty back drop...(okay...another difference from the NH seaside)

International Sources

New regional fisheries collaboration between CRFM-OSPESCA solidified
Over 60 high-level delegates from 19 countries spanning the Central American and Caribbean regions concluded a milestone meeting in Belize on Tuesday evening with a comprehensive roadmap for collective action in tackling their biggest obstacles in fisheries and aquaculture. According to Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director, “the long term objective of the of the partnership between the CRFM and OPSESCA is to secure a brighter and more prosperous future for our fishing communities that rely on the marine resources for their livelihoods, and ensuring that the fish stocks are able, through prudent management, to make enhanced contribution to the social and economic development of our countries now and in the future.” The event was the first joint meeting to bring together as many countries to discuss the plight of their shared marine resources and the uphill battle in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which knows no borders. One major outcome of the cross-regional meeting was the signing of the Belize Declaration on Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organisation (Spanish acronym OSPESCA) Cooperation for Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources. The CRFM and OSPESCA are the regional agents for the harmonisation of fisheries management and development efforts across 24 states. “We are delighted to partnership in ensuring that countries around the Caribbean and indeed the Central and South American region have seen the wisdom of getting together and pooling resources in order to protect what we consider to be a very important part of our countries’ very existence,” said V. Alfred Gray, chair of the CRFM's Ministerial Council, and Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government of the Bahamas.

September 6, 2012

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

SPTC to implement No wake Zone and declare no swimming area
In May of 2012, the Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero announced that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) would be installing no wake zone signs in various parts around Ambergris Caye. In addition, the council was also working on the logistics to declare the Boca del Rio area, from the bridge foot running reef-ward to the end of the channel where it meets the sea, a no swimming area. The two initiatives were in an effort to avoid major accidents where human lives could be lost. Now that it has been close to four months since the announcement was made there has yet to be signage or the enforcement of the designated “No Wake Zone” and “No Swimming” areas of concern. That’s because the signs are still being done. According to Mayor Guerrero, there has been some delay in creating the signs but he hopes that they will be ready by the end of September. Once the signs are ready, the onus to erect the signs will be on the San Pedro Tourist Guide Association (SPTGA). When the signs are erected, the SPTC, SPTGA and the Belize Coast Guard will be working to ensure that boat captains adhere to the signs.

Manatees in Peril in Ladyville
On August 15, a large manatee was reported in a canal at Vista del Mar, described as being entangled in a net. The Belize Marine Mammal Stranding Network response team, led by Jamal Galves and Nicole Auil Gomez, located the animal and determined that the long white line across the manatee’s back was not a net, but a large boat engine wound. The manatee was monitored for a week. The mammal was rescued by the team on August 24th as she appeared thin and the canal’s vegetation deemed unsuitable. Coastal Zone Management Authority & Institute staff and many volunteers, including BATSUB soldiers, successfully lifted the 10-foot female using Sea to Shore Alliance’s specialized capture boat and gear. She was examined by Dr. Jane Crawford of Animal Medical Centre who determined it had a lung infection likely caused from a possible fractured rib – a result of the boat strike.

Experts Assess Future of Renewable Energy in Central America
The Worldwatch Institute and the INCAE Business School’s Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) co-hosted two workshops on “The Way Forward for Renewable Energy in Central America” in Managua, Nicaragua and Alajuela, Costa Rica on August 30th and September 3rd. The participative dialogues promoted the exchange of ideas and experiences among a select group of experts from regional institutions, civil society organizations, energy sector companies, and government agencies. The workshops focused on the role of renewable energy technologies in broadening access to modern energy services and achieving regional development. The Central American countries of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama rely heavily on large hydropower, imported petroleum, and traditional biomass for their energy supply. This dependence on conventional energy sources has had wide-ranging and adverse social, environmental, and economic impacts, hampering sustained and sustainable development in the region. Energy needs, particularly of marginalized and low-income communities, have not been sufficiently met. Although Central American governments have embraced various policies to promote renewable energy—and recent trends in geothermal, wind, and solar energy have been encouraging—the region still faces many challenges in advancing renewables to their full potential.

Ministry of Health Launches Food Borne Disease Study
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) – Trinidad and Tobago is pleased to announce the launch of the “Burden of Illness Study” – a research study on Food Borne Diseases in Belize to be officially launched on Thursday September 6th, 2012 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, Belize City. Food Bourne infections are major causes of illness and death worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that in 2005, 1.5 million people died worldwide from diarrheal diseases attributed to food borne diseases. A separate study showed that at least 70% of the diarrheal diseases are food borne. Research has also provided evidence that these cases are not often reported.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal - Street Closure
The public is hereby informed that construction work for the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water taxi Terminal has commenced. Beginning August 27, 2012, and until further notice, the stretch of road along the lagoon side will be closed to vehicular access from the intersection with Caribena Street running south to the intersection with Pelican Street. Access will only be permitted for residents of the street and pedestrians requiring direct access to the properties and establishments in the area. Our apologies for any inconvenience and we thank you for your patience and support in our ongoing partnership to uplift and revitalize this area of San Pedro Town. Questions or concerns may be addressed to the Sustainable Tourism Program Office, 168 Newtown Barracks, Belize City (tel 223-2654) The San Pedro Town Council (tel 226-2198) or the site office, at the Old Football Field. The Sunset Board walk and Water Taxi terminal is being executed by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Belize Tourism Board under component 1, Sustainable Tourism Program.

Behind the Scenes Miss Belize Continente Americano Photo Shoot
Chantae Chanice Guy was the first Belize delegate to make it to the Top 10 of any Miss World preliminary competition when she made the Top Model Top 10. Will she also make history at Miss Continente Americano? Chantae Chanice Guy of Belmopan, Cayo will represent Belize at Miss Continente Americano in Guayaquil, Ecuador during September, 2012. As she prepares to represent Belize at her second international pageant, Chantae worked with Jose Luis Zapata Photography to build her portfolio and get some professional pictures taken for official use.

Misc Belizean Sources

"Long Live Belize" Music Video
Roxana Alcoser sings 'Long Live Belize' on the Hawkesworth Bridge. The Super Furia Band provided the music, and the Pandy Show did the video. What a way to get into the September Celebrations mood. Thanks, Pandy.

First Weekend in September pictures
This weekend is sure to be the biggest this year for Cayo. Last weekend was just the start. From Burns for the Full Moon Concert and Mr. Greedy's to Rumors for a dance, it was a great weekend. Here are some pictures from it.

"Sounds of Freedom" at UB
Today morning, the University of Belize will be having Carolyn Cooper present "Sounds of Freedom" as part of the September Celebrations. The presentation will talk about Reggae and Dancehall music in Caribbean identities. Everyone is invited to attend. "The University of Belize in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, Open Campus, Belize will host a presentation by Professor Carolyn Cooper of Jamaica entitled: “Sounds of Freedom: Reggae and Dancehall Music in Decolonization and the Formation of Caribbean Identities” on Thursday September 6 at 9:30 am at the Jaguar Auditorium, Central Campus, Belmopan. This presentation is part ofthe 2012 September Celebrations in Belize."

The Story of Resistance in Belize
Today at 9:30am, the Benque House of Culture will have the opening of the exhibition entitled "The Story of Resistance in Belize." Everyone is invited to this cultural event, done to coincide with the September Celebrations. It starts at 9:30am. "Seeking to enhance your knowledge on our Belizean History? There is much to look forward to as the "Story of Resistance of Belize" will be launched on September 6th, on the 11th Anniversary Celebration of your House of Culture. Exhibition compiled by our sister Department, The Institute of Social & Cultural Research: ISCR"

Channel 7

Petrocaribe Fuel Coming, But Don't Expect Lower Pump Prices
Tonight, this ship - an oil tanker - called the Miramis is on its way to Belize with fuel from Venezuela's national oil company PDVSA. The fuel is coming as part of the long dormant Petrocaribe agreement, which has recently been resurrected by the Barrow Administration. The tanker arrives on Saturday afternoon - and signals the beginning of a new fuel regime in Belize. But - the bad news is - don't expect it to bring lower prices at the pump. First, Venezuela has to sell all Petrocaribe partners fuel at world prices - so that it does not undermine its own international oil sales. The break is that government gets favorable terms to pay back for the fuel products - meaning it doesn't have to pay back all 100% of the cost immediately. Between 40 and 50% of the fuel bill can be paid back over 20 years at low interest rates - so that in the interim government can use the money for development programmes. And while that is still being worked out - the fuel regime has changed - while to some extent still remaining the same. Government is working with PUMA Energy to land, and store the fuel - so some elements of their price buildup will remain.

NICH Says: Chukka "No Problem Mon"
NICH and the Ministry of Culture has responded to FECTAB's fiery press conference earlier this week. As we showed you, multiple Belizean tour operators came out raging at the Jamaican owned company for a rappelling structure that the company installed near one of the routes used by cave tubing guests. Well this evening NICH issued a statement on the dispute, basically coming out squarely in defence of Chukka. The release explains that NICH met with FECTAB last week to quote, "provide clear evidence that the construction of the rappelling platform follows strict international standards for these types of facilities in public parks...It also meets with all standards established for International Amusement Parks and Attractions in the U.S." end quote. The statement concludes by saying that NICH and the Ministry Of Tourism and Culture will quote, "continue to protect and develop our cultural heritage in a responsible and sustainable manner." FECTAB has vowed to use all legal means nationally and internationally to ensure compliance with what they say is the law.

The Punk Jungle Needs Back Its Standpipe
The residents of the area known as the Pink Jungle off Pickstock street in Belize City have been in an uproar since Friday when their standpipe was disconnected. For many in this depressed area, who cannot afford to connect to the water main - the standpipe is their only means of potable water - and now that they've been without it for 120 hours, their lives have become very uncomfortable. We spoke to two residents today about the importance of the stand-pipe and the pain of its absence: Resident "Well, the current state is that some of the children don't even have water to bathe to go to school. We can't wash, cook, wash the dishes, or flush the toilet." Resident "I went to the hospital last night because I felt so bad. I can't drink my pills. I couldn't play my boledo because I was at hospital." Reporter "Since Friday you all have not had any water, how have you all survived?" Resident "We have to buy water from the people who do have water, from the neighbor. My aunt just begged the neighbor for a cup of water to drink her pills."

More Baby-Mama-Drama Leaves A Man's House Torched
Last week - it made headlines in every media outlet when a man was knocked down and killed by his baby's mother. Well tonight there's more baby-mama-drama to report on - though thankfully, it is not as serious. A woman is under investigation for setting fire to the home of her baby's father in Ladyville. Monica Bodden found out how it happened. Monica Bodden Reporting The fire happened here in Ladyville - almost in front of the Fire Station - at this small family residential community. Kevin Burgess - the owner of the wooden bungalow house was across the street at the gas station at the time. A little after 10 last night, Burgess Mother say she saw his baby mama entered the yard and went behind his house. Shortly after, another family recalled seeing her leave. That was when they notice the small wooden structure completely engulfed in flames. The fire spread rapidly destroying everything in just minutes.

Mayor Says He Wants "DJ Tambran" Gone From Commercial Center
DJ Tambran - his music store at the foot of the swing bridge is a fixture of downtown Belize City - always blasting out the most current tunes. But after 14 years at the bottom of the Commercial Center - the City Council wants him gone! There are two - and possibly three - sides to this story. But we'll start with Tambran's. He's been closed for the past few weeks - because he doesn't have electricity - and he says it's all a part of the city council's plot to get him out of there for political reasons because he ran for the PUP in the last municipal elections: Lennox DJ Tambran Young - Claims Unfair Treatment From City Hall "Jules, well, this week will make 3 weeks that I don't have any electricity. What happens is that my business has to operate with electricity because I sell CD's and DVD's. This is a music store. What happened here is that about 2 months ago, we had problems with my meter. I personally feel that I'm being sabotage because out of everybody on this building, only I don't have electricity. And the way I look at it is that the technicians for the City Council, and the electrician came over. They told me that they found a line that has been burnt, and they will replace. It told them no problem.

A Last Dash For Freedom By Guilty Man
This morning, Downtown Albert Street was up in excitement when 19 year-old Said Pike, who was just convicted of firearm offences, fled court before the sitting magistrate could hand him his sentence. It was major news back in November of 2010, when police recovered 2 loaded firearms from inside a pair of rubber boots that was in an apartment room at #56 Regent Street. The officers said that they discovered that the left boot which concealed a silver and black Sig Sauer 9mm pistol with 12 live rounds of ammunition, while the right foot concealed a black CZ 9mm pistol with 7 live rounds of ammunition. As a result, the police arrested all persons who were present, and those who were associated with the room, which included, Pike, Marlon Budran, his common-law wife Bridget White, the recently-deceased Clifton Flores, and Kareem Heusner. They were all charged with 2 counts of keeping an unlicensed firearm and 2 counts of keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Oil rig Imported To Drill In Northwestern Belize
A huge oil rig has landed in Belize - and is being transported in 60 containers to Blue Creek in Northwestern Belize where drilling is expected to start in October. It is a concession area owned by Big Creek Energy, which has partnered with New World Oil and Gas for a major, multi-million dollar drilling venture. It's particularly expensive because they have to drill about eight thousand feet down to find the oil field that they hope is there. They've already done seismic testing and now, it's drilling time. We found out more today from Alistair King, the Managing Director of Blue Creek Energy and Ernesto Vasquez of the newly formed BelizE PetrOleum Association: Ernesto Vasquez - Belize Petroleum Association "They have finally concluded that we've found an area where we think that there is oil in the ground. And after they do that, of course, they have to report to Government, and say, 'Well, we want to go to the next phase.' And the next phase is to drill the hole and look for the oil. So, that's where we are now, and arriving Belize, as we speak, is the oil rig, which is a huge - it's a huge tower - and you've seen pictures of it, I'm sure - where they are going to drill this hole into the ground."

Catholic Security Guard Gets Off Gun Charge
33 year-old Oscar Aguilar, a security guard for the Roman Catholic Diocese, was acquitted of firearms offences today in the Magistrate's Court. According to police, just before 5 a.m. on August 14, 2010, they were on patrol, and when they passed the Roman Catholic Church on North Front Street. They saw Aguilar and another man standing on the street side, and Aguilar had an object resembling a firearm, which he was waving. The officers stopped the vehicle, discovered that it was a .22 pistol, and they also found 3 live rounds of ammunition in his back pocket. They charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition. The trial started a few months ago, and in his defense, Aguilar testified that he was on duty, and was talking to his friend, Carmelo Choc. Choc reportedly told Aguilar that he heard something fall when a vehicle passed by. Choc went to see what it was, and he retrieved the firearm, and passed it to Aguilar.

Historic Fisheries Declaration From Belize
The historic joint meeting of Fisheries Associations of Central American and the Caribbean has concluded with a landmark declaration. The four page, nine-point declaration calls for integrated management and sustainable use of the living marine resources of the Caribbean sea. They have given priority to addressing management of trans-boundary species such as spiny lobster and the management of other shared fishery resources such as the Queen Conch. It is signed by the Ministers or Chiefs of Delegations from 18 countries...

When Flavour Meets Culture
Last night we told you about the exhibit launched by the folks who brought you the Flavors of Belize Cookbook. Well, now they have put together a pictorial representation of Belizean Food - and it looks good enough….to eat! Janelle Chanona went to the opening last night and she has this report: Janelle Chanona, Reporting September is all about national pride: our national heritage-national pastimes-and national dishes. Yasser Musa, Director, Image Factory Belize "Food is everything." That's why for the month of September, the Image Factory will be hosting a pictorial presentation dedicated to Belizean food. Yasser Musa - Director, Image Factory Belize "As a people who live culture, we see food as the ordinary. But what has been captured now is that it has been elevated to a kind of artistic prominence, with the photography, compositioning of the food. So, I think that this is a real breakthrough using something that we take for granted, and elevating it to a very high visual status."

Channel 5

City Hall’s eviction has it in a mix with DJ Tambran
He’s a popular disc jockey and a businessman; DJ Tambran’s name resonates in many quarters throughout the Old Capital. His small business has been located at the Commercial Center for fourteen years but now the current council has reportedly cut his lights and is threatening to throw him out. The DJ ran under the blue [...]

Natives are restless in Pickstock Jungle without water
The Jungle is an impoverished Pickstock Street community that has been without water for days. Most of the residents depend on free water from a pipe stand that was blocked on Friday by the Belize Water Services Limited. It is creating havoc for the families especially since the children are now back in school. We [...]

Diana’s Fruit Shop burnt to the ground
The owner of a small business returned to it early this morning to find it had been destroyed by fire. Some time on Tuesday night, Diana’s Fruit shop on Central American Boulevard went up in flames. Juana Sarmienta says she lost produce, appliances and the structure. She believes someone broke into it and then set [...]

Caves Branch rappelling platform is much ado about nothing
The construction of a rappelling platform atop Cave Three at Nohoch Che’en has been a hot-button issue among tourism stakeholders since it was first discovered that work was being done on the face of the adjoining hill. On Monday, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize held a press conference during which it strongly [...]

Economic Indicator: unemployment levels at record high
In economic indicators tonight, the unemployment level is at a record high; the joblessness is highest among women and youths. In households across the country there is less or no income, which means no purchasing power, and less money in circulation. To add to the woes of the unemployed, the cost of living keeps going [...]

How Carnival has evolved
It started back in 1975 Belize and has morphed into the single hottest ticket in the national September celebrations. Belize’s carnival is a fusion of culture, color and creativity in which young and old, men and women are willing participants. Its birth is traced to the tenth of September celebrations which were thought to be [...]

Pickstock group of a hundred children may not be in Carnival
Still on the carnival, the Pickstock Mas Band takes a hundred kids every year in the Carnival. But with only a few days left before the road march on September eighth, the Pickstock group has been unable to get all the sponsorship it needs. Gareth Gill, the Leader of Pickstock told News Five what they [...]

C-NET+ robbed; HIV support group a victim
Just before three this afternoon, the office of Collaborative Network of People Living with HIV in Belize (C-NET) located behind the PASMO Building on Princess Margaret Drive was the target of robbers. Two men, one armed with a gun, accosted Assistant, Rick Campos, while the other proceeded to swipe two laptops, a radio and cash [...]

Criminal tries escape artist as his new career
Three men, who were charged for unlicensed firearms and ammunition back in 2010, were convicted today and sentenced to four years in prison, but one had other plans. After being found guilty, twenty year old Said Pike escaped from the court with prosecutor, Corporal Noel Muschamp in pursuit. The chase went past Brodies, up Albert [...]

Busted before, alleged drug traffickers denied bail
While three were convicted of firearm offences, four persons, including a sixteen year old minor, were also in court today for Drug Trafficking. Twenty-year old Shaquan Almendarez, forty-seven year old Clinton Martin, thirty-eight year old Marvin Staine and the minor were arrested on Tuesday morning on Electric Avenue. Police officers on mobile patrol searched the [...]

Sounds of Freedom; Reggae and Dancehall Culture in the Caribbean
A recognized professor and lecturer of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus in Kingston Jamaica is in Belize for two distinguished lectures. Professor Carolyn Cooper is an expert in Reggae and Dancehall studies, as well as in the use of Creole/Jamaican Patois. The author of several publications, Professor Cooper will be sharing her [...]

What is the equation to transform craft for international appeal?
Professor Cooper also met with local artists and musicians in a workshop at the House of Culture. Central among the discussions are the topics of marketing and the content of Belizean music. While reggae and dancehall are popular across the world and have permeated local music scenes, Professor Cooper says that Belizeans must experiment with [...]

Men in uniform; are they drinking on the job?
We don’t have a “picture of the day” segment on the newscast but if we ever did, this photo of Immigration Officers would certainly make it as an all time favorite. The picture taken weeks ago shows four Immigration Officers in uniform sitting on the beach slugging back a few beers. the caption read, “I [...]

Earthquake hits Costa Rica
Alarms bells went off this morning when word spread that a tsunami warning was in effect for Belize and the rest of the Caribbean following a seven point six magnitude earthquake in Costa Rica. Well, it turned out to be a false alarm sent out erroneously by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and according to [...]

Service Day is a Service Day, not a Holiday
Leading up to the celebrations, and as a point of clarification, the National Celebrations Committee says that September nineteenth which has been designated as National Service Day, is NOT a public and bank holiday so cancel or postpone plans if you had intended to take the day off. National Service Day is an initiative under [...]

Super Furia is back for Independence
Popular Sugar City musical outfit the Super Furia Band, is back with new music just in time to capitalize on the September Celebrations madness. With a slew of patriotic songs already garnering frequent spins on the airwaves, the established collective has joined the fray with a new release called Long Live Belize. Lead vocalist Roxanna [...]


Dangriga Woman Raped In Her Home
A woman from Dangriga was reportedly raped while at home. The thirty-five year old domestic reported that at around two on Monday afternoon she was at her house sleeping when two men entered and covered her face with a cloth. She added that one of the assailants raped her.&...

Bureau of Standards Investigates Over Pricing of Fuel
The Bureau of Standards has received a complaint that a gas station on the Northern Highway overcharged a customer by selling gas at new increased prices before the prices took effect. Love News has learned that the customer provided a receipt which shows that the purchase was ma...

Chinese Businessman Robbed in Corozal
A business in Corozal Town was held up and robbed at gunpoint on Saturday. The proprietor of Lisa’s Store on Fifth Avenue, Weiquin Zhu, told police that he closed his business at around one that morning and went into his living quarters along with his wife and his baby daug...


Trio accused of Cayo armed robbery
Three persons were detained in connection to a robbery in the Cayo District. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports.

Corozal teen murdered
Corozal Police are investigating a shooting incident that claimed the life of a 20 year old resident of Fifth Avenue in Corozal Town. Arturo Cantun has the details . The father of the Humberto Gonzalez believes the death of his son is related to an altercation he had on Friday night with another man at a local establishment.

Renovated Town Hall in Punta Gorda
Keys to the newly refurbished Punta Gorda Town Hall and administration building were officially handed over yesterday in Punta Gorda.

Service station accused of price gouging
The Bureau of Standards has received a complaint that a gas station on the Northern Highway overcharged a customer by selling gas at new increased prices before the prices took effect. Love News has learned that the customer provided a receipt which shows that the purchase was made two Fridays ago, but instead of the price being eleven ninety five a gallon for premium gas, the gas station was already charging the new price of twelve ninety eight a gallon, which took effect the following Monday. According to a compliance officer at the Bureau, if their investigation proves the customer to be right, then the gas station committed an offense under the Supplies Control Act, Chapter 293 of the Laws of Belize, and stands liable for penalties to be handed down. The Bureau of Standards encourages the public to use its hotline number: 0800 283 5587 to report any suspicious of blatantly erroneous price or measuring scale for weighing goods. That number again is: 0800 283 5587 and can be used on weekdays from eight in the morning to five in the evening.

Galen University students to study the sugar industry
A number of University students have been taking a close look at the sugar industry. Arturo Cantun reports.

Cultural food exhibit opens in Belize City
Two months ago the cookbook entitled, “Flavours of Belize” was launched featuring major dishes of Belize. Tonight, the Image Factory Art Foundation on North Front Street in Belize City will again introduce the piece as more than just a cookbook. Publisher of the keepsake, Tanya McNab, says she wanted to offer people a deeper insight into what the cookbook truly is – that is a piece of Belize’s culture – through a cultural food exhibit. The second introduction of “Flavours of Belize” takes place at the Image Factory starting at seven tonight and will be on display throughout September.


HFLE PAGE LISTINGS and brief descriptions of issues
The issues raised from the review were categorized according to: Age Appropriateness, Cultural Relevancy, Parental...

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Comments Received regarding HFLE MANUAL
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Fire FTP
There have been many debates about technology in Belize and Belize internet. Although we have had our share of problems, overall I am ok with speed we get. This morning I had to use Fire ftp and load about 10 – 15 low res pictures to get them to a different website and it only took me 1 min download time. I can live with that and I know it would have been longer if they were high res. Dr Al sent me a world internet speed comparison one day when he was giving me the gears about how slow we have it here. I would have posted it but I cannot seem to find it, Al if you are out there please resend link so I can add it to this post. We did not even make the Which country has the world’s fastest internet? info graphic on mashable.

Actun Halal & Actun Chapat Review
Actun Chapat and Actun Halal get great reviews. This well written article has some great pictures, and you can get a good feel for Chapat. The Trek Stop in Succotz, along with its butterfly farm, gets a good mention. "We left Actun Halal behind and headed deeper into the jungle along an ancient Maya causeway toward Actun Chapat, an extensive cave or - perhaps more accurately - cave system with underground lakes, Maya artifacts, and miles yet to be discovered. It was hard to take photos because the moisture in the air obscured the formations if I used a flash; I used my small tripod and took mostly available light photos. Some of the chambers are massive but I wasn't able to document that with a camera."

Tico – the ‘Jew fish slayer’!!
Tico Raquena is now infamous for his deadly spearfishing skills with the giants of the sea – the Jew Fish and today confirmed this once again. Tico went out fishing with a number of islanders yesterday (Tuesday) and due to the wonderfully calm weather, they went out to the blue – outside the reef! As a fishing expedition in one boat, it seems obvious that not all the men on the boat can fish with rods – therefore Tico armed himself with his weapon of choice (his speargun). Goliath of the Ocean Although you can see from the pictures that this was quite a sizeable fish and very few fisherman can ever claim a catch of this size, this is not an isolated incident for Tico. Only a year ago he turned up at the Split with two Jew fish, both the same size as the one that he caught today – his partner in this escapade being his 14 year old son – Karl Raquena!!!! Although much can be said about Tico’s prowess on the speargun, a huge factor to the success of catching this fish is the teamwork necessary for those in the boat, to haul onboard this Goliath of the ocean! A big hand has to be given to Emmanuel Rodriguez (Tol) and Emilio Novelo who completed the task!! Tico yesterday made fun of his spectators and sized up his catch by holding Raggamuffin Junior – Malik against the fish – much to Malik’s terror!! The fish has already been filleted and each and every part will go to supporting a number of island families in the months of September and October where business is very much slower!! Thank you Tico and Crew!!

International Sources

Canadian Author, Beatrice Sunnunqil returns from Belize Expedition and Publishes Book of Rare Medicinal Plants
This incredible tale recounts in vivid detail how that trip to Central America turned into a harrowing existence in the remote jungles of Belize. Sunnunqil (her shamanic name, meaning "butterfly" or "sweet flower") existed for six years under mentorship of Don Marco, one of the last remaining descendants of a 2000 year-old shamanic lineage - and one of the most feared shaman in Central America. During many expeditions into the jungle, Beatrice sketched and documented more than 130 plants, many of them, until now, previously unidentified by Western science. Village Lane Press has published Beatrice Sunnunqil's second book, The Black Feather Expedition Field Notes - Rare Medicinal Plants from the Rain Forests of Belize, a compelling account taken from Sunnunqil's thorough and detailed journals compiled while on her many fascinating and often dangerous expeditions deep into the jungles of Belize.

New Regional Fisheries Collaboration between CRFM-OSPESCA Solidified
Over 60 high-level delegates from 19 countries spanning the Central American and Caribbean regions concluded a milestone meeting in Belize on Tuesday evening with a comprehensive roadmap for collective action in tackling their biggest obstacles in fisheries and aquaculture. According to Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director, “the long term objective of the of the partnership between the CRFM and OPSESCA is to secure a brighter and more prosperous future for our fishing communities that rely on the marine resources for their livelihoods, and ensuring that the fish stocks are able, through prudent management, to make enhanced contribution to the social and economic development of our countries now and in the future.” The event was the first joint meeting to bring together as many countries to discuss the plight of their shared marine resources and the uphill battle in fighting illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which knows no borders. One major outcome of the cross-regional meeting was the signing of the Belize Declaration on Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the Central America Fisheries and Aquaculture Organisation (Spanish acronym OSPESCA) Cooperation for Sustainable Development of Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources. The CRFM and OSPESCA are the regional agents for the harmonisation of fisheries management and development efforts across 24 states. “We are delighted to partnership in ensuring that countries around the Caribbean and indeed the Central and South American region have seen the wisdom of getting together and pooling resources in order to protect what we consider to be a very important part of our countries’ very existence,” said V. Alfred Gray, chair of the CRFM's Ministerial Council, and Minister of Agriculture, Marine Resources and Local Government of the Bahamas.

September 5, 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

Local artisans participate in National Cultural Policy Consultation
The National Institute for Culture and History (NIC) is hosting consultations country wide to get the community input in developing a National Cultural Policy (NCP). On Wednesday August 22nd many artisans, musicians and other interested people were engaged in such a consultation at the Sun Breeze Conference Room. Coming up with an NCP for Belize will help develop the country’s cultural heritage industry in an effort to promote Belizean culture. Speaking at the event was Director of the Institute of Social and Cultural Research, Nigel Encalada, who explained that the guiding principles for the NCP is the identification of elements which should be constituted and included in the linkages between culture and development. As such, the NCP will be the roadmap that policy makers will use to provide support for culture, arts and its expressive creativity for the next 10 years. It will also provide cultural stakeholders with a common strategic direction and rationale for current and future investment. It is also geared to challenge Belizeans to be more culturally creative in developing new industries that can better connect to mainstream society in order to promote greater productivity. The NCP should reflect all areas of culture including but not limited to food, music, dance, arts and craft, language, talent, book publication; just about anything that is a part of Belizean culture.

Medical Tourism Becoming a Reality in Belize
Belize has once again pioneered another gateway to attracting more visitors and investors to our country, which is, through the emergence of ‘Medical Tourism’. Under BELTRAIDE’s Compete Caribbean Project, component two (2) entails the identification of two priority sectors for investment. One of the identified priority sectors is Medical Tourism. There is certainly great potential for this industry to boom and create employment for Belize, whilst increasing its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). In early August 2012, a workshop on Medical Tourism was coordinated, with the objective to create awareness of the new industry and to determine the receptiveness of Belize’s stakeholders. The workshop was held at the George Price Center in the City of Belmopan and stakeholders from both the medical and tourism industries participated in the event. It was considered an information sharing session which allowed stakeholders the opportunity to voice their opinion on the idea of Medical Tourism.

Expert on Reggae and Dancehall Music to Present at UB
The University of Belize in collaboration with the University of the West Indies, Open Campus, Belize will host a presentation by Professor Carolyn Cooper of Jamaica entitled: “Sounds of Freedom: Reggae and Dancehall Music in Decolonization and the Formation of Caribbean Identities” on Thursday September 6 at 9:30 am at the Jaguar Auditorium, Central Campus, Belmopan. This presentation is part of the 2012 September Celebrations in Belize. Students, faculty, artists and the general public are invited to attend this exciting and informative presentation. Dr. Cooper is a professor of literary and cultural studies at UWI, Mona, Jamaica and is an expert in Reggae/Dancehall studies, as well as in the use of Creole/Jamaican Patois. She is the author of two influential books – Sound Clash: Jamaican Dancehall Culture at Large (2004) and Noises in the Blood: Orality, Gender and the ‘Vulgar’ Body of Jamaican Popular Culture (1993). She is the editor of the forthcoming collection of plenary lectures from the 2008 Global Reggae Conference, which she convened at Mona in her capacity as Director of the Institute of Caribbean Studies.

Ambergris Today

Residents Anger as Police Started Confiscating Bicycles
These residents are complaining that the community was not properly notified that the police were going to start conducting this type of searches on bicycle owner and did not give them enough time to prepare and properly equip their bicycles with the needed accessories. Although there are laws governing the ownership of bicycles and the proper accessories that must be installed to legally use it on the streets, most of the laws are not enforced.

“Indiana Jonesing” The Caves of Belize
There is once again much excitement surrounding Belize. We are very pleased to report that our beautiful gem has been featured in the August issue of the Caribbean Travel + Life magazine. This magazine is a trusted source for travelers to learn about Caribbean news and get destination tips. The stories are based on first hand experiences from the writers. The magazine is published nine times a year and is the official consumer publication of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel Association.

Grace Kennedy Belize's Island Back to School Giveaway
On Saturday, September 1, 2012, Grace Kennedy Belize Ltd. teamed up with the San Pedro Town Council to offer a “Back to School Give-Away” for single parents on the island. Grace Kennedy is celebrating 30 years of service to the country and this is just one way in which it is giving back to the community.

San Pedro Junior Sailing Team Brings First Place Medal from St. George’s Caye Regatta
Beginning with last September’s historic first regatta at St. George’s Caye, Team San Pedro’s young Optimist sailors have dominated the competition in that class. On Sunday, September 3, 2012, in the third annual regatta commemorating the historic 1798 naval battle that won the right of what is now Belize to establish independence and to expand upon freedom, our intrepid young skippers received a bit of a wake-up call.

Misc Belizean Sources

In tough competition, Davin Puc of San Pedro Captures the 3rd Annual Battle of St. George’s Caye Commemorative Regatta Trophy
Beginning with last September’s historic first regatta at St. George’s Caye, Team San Pedro’s young Optimist sailors have dominated the competition in that class. On Sunday, September 3, in the second annual regatta commemorating the historic 1798 naval battle that won the right of what is now Belize to establish independence and to expand upon freedom, our intrepid young skippers received a bit of a wake-up call. Yes, on this day, as has been their custom, San Pedro skippers sailed skillfully through the preliminaries to take half – 8 out of 16 – of the places in the final. Yes, that in itself is a feat for these sailors to be proud of. And yes, Davin Puc, age 14 of San Pedro High School - who placed 2nd last year - took a masterful first in his qualifying heat and won the final with conviction too, to capture the trophy and keep it in San Pedro. Congratulations to Davin Puc for a very skillfully achieved victory. What a glorious weekend for the whole Puc family; Davin’s older sister Naiely had been crowned Miss San Pedro just the night before! If you want to see a really proud mom, check out the accompanying photo.

"Captain" Jeff Kivet passes away
Very sad to report that Capt. Jeff Kivet passed away a couple of days ago. RIP, El Capitano, a very good guy indeed.

The seventh meeting of the Mexico-Belize Binational Commission was held on August 30-31 in Corozal, Belize. The meeting of the Binational Commission, the most important forum for bilateral dialogue and cooperation, was chaired by the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Norma Pensado, and the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize, Alexis Rosado. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassadors of Mexico to Belize, Mario Velazquez, and of Belize to Mexico, Oliver del Cid. The Mexican delegation also included officials from the Ministries of Interior, Defense, Finance, Civil Service, Economy, Communications and Transportation and Agriculture, as well as the Navy and the Attorney General's Office, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the National Water Commission and the government of the State of Quintana Roo. During the two-day meeting, meetings were held by the political and economic, trade and financial subcommittees. There was also a meeting to assess the 7th scientific and technical cooperation program, and a second meeting on cross-border transportation.

Mexico-Belize Bi-National Commission holds seventh meeting
The seventh meeting of the Mexico-Belize Bi-National Commission was held on August 30-31 in Corozal, Belize. The meeting of the Commission, the most important forum for bilateral dialogue and cooperation, was chaired by the Mexican Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary for Latin America and the Caribbean, Ambassador Norma Pensado, and the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Belize, Alexis Rosado. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassadors of Mexico to Belize, Mario Velazquez, and of Belize to Mexico, Oliver del Cid. The Mexican delegation also included officials from the Ministries of Interior, Defense, Finance, Civil Service, Economy, Communications and Transportation and Agriculture, as well as the Navy and the Attorney General's Office, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), the National Water Commission and the government of the State of Quintana Roo. During the two-day meeting, meetings were held by the political and economic, trade and financial subcommittees. There was also a meeting to assess the seventh scientific and technical cooperation program, and a second meeting on cross-border transportation. Progress was made in strengthening the already close ties between the two countries during the meeting. The border between Mexico and Belize is clearly an example of good neighborliness as well as a place of opportunity and development. The two delegations toured the new Chac-Temal international border crossing point located in Othon P. Blanco, Quintana Roo, Mexico and Corozal, Belize, to observe the progress made on the Mexican border, and they agreed to propose inaugurating the crossing point in the near future. Both delegations agreed to continue working hard for the welfare of their border communities and society as a whole. They applauded the start of studies on water quality and availability in the Rio Hondo Basin in 2013 and decided to create a bi-national flood early warning system for the river...

UB's Semester Kickoff Today
The University of Belize is having their Semester Kickoff tomorrow. They'll be having sports competitions, music, club presentations, cake, and a bonfire. It starts at 2:00pm, with the bonfire at 7:00.

Will Moreno is Official September Celebrations Photographer
Will Moreno is this year's official September Celebrations photographer. He has captured some amazing shots. You can find most of them on his FB page, and on the Belize Celebrations FB page too. His latest Carnival pictures are amazing. On a related note, you can find all the September Celebrations events on the Cayo Event Calendar.

"New Marketing Success for a New Country"
David Meerman Scott was recently in Belize for the Marketing Summit. The impacts of social media were a big part of the seminar. Much of the information shared, when thought about, is quite obvious, but putting it into play can be tricky. "This is the message David Meerman Scott espoused in Belize and during his speaking engagements and marketing seminars worldwide. 'Communication is evolving, technology is evolving and we must also evolve,' he told the Belize summit audience before explaining the concept of 'real time' marketing. While traditional marketing often involves carefully constructed, often costly campaigns, the real time model encourages businesses to be responsive and use up-to-the-minute engagement with their audience. 'It’s a real-time world now, and if you’re not engaged, then you’re on your way to marketplace irrelevance,' Mr Scott stressed."

Radio Vision Anniversary Parade
The Generation of Fire Youth Group had a parade celebrating the radio ministry in Belize. What a parade! "Our Youth Ministry together with the Praise and Worship Band Mission 3:16 united in Joining the Parade giving God Thanks for this Radio Ministry in Belize. It was of Great Blessing to be able to exalt the name of Jesus in San Ignacio and Santa Elena through this parade!"

Channel 7

Another Drug Related Execution In Corozal May Have Killed The Wrong Man
There is another Corozal murder to report tonight - but this one is not in the town, it happened in a village just four miles outside - and police believe that - like three others in July and August - it may also be drug related. But this time - the victim is a 20 year old - who police believe - was not the intended target. He was likely just collateral damage in a drug war that seems to be ever escalating. Daniel Ortiz found out more in when he travelled north today:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 20 year-old Humberto Gonzalez became a victim of an execution attempt last night at around 11 p.m. Gonzalez was with his friend, Martin Armstrong, and they were socializing at the Palacio Dulce Bar in Ranchito Village, a few miles outside of Corozal Town. They were trying to leave, and when both men got into Armstrong's red Toyota Tacoma truck, 2 men, who seemingly were lying in wait, ran out and started firing shots at the vehicle. Armstrong escaped injury and sped off in the vehicle, while Gonzalez was dying beside him - the Corozal Town native known as Puche had been shot in the right side of the chest.

Chinese Robbed Of Tens Of Thousands Of Dollars
And apart from that most recent murder in Corozal, there is also a major burglary to report from that town also, which netted the assailants almost $28,000 in cash and goods. According to police, Weiquin Zhu, the owner of Lisa Restaurant, which is located on 5th Avenue, reported that on Saturday at around 1:00 a.m., he closed his business place and went to sleep in the living quarters of the establishment. He left 2 of his friends in the living room area watching TV. Half hour later, he was alerted by a noise coming from one of the doors, and saw 4 men dressed in camouflage suits, who were all wearing masks and carrying firearms, storm into the house. One of the men struck him over the head with his firearm, and another ordered his wife to keep quiet or she would be killed. Zhu said that he opened a cash drawer and handed over $10,000 in cash, and that's when the men tied up his entire family, and his friends who were outside watching TV. They then ransacked the place and stole an assortment of goods and more money. When the assailants left, Zhu managed to free himself, and then his family and friends, and they called the police immediately after. They did an assessment of their loss, which was discovered to be a total of $28,825.

Belize Bus Association Not Happy With Chuc/Transport
September should be a month of sweeping change for the bus industry - with the Ministry of Transport's plan to implement industry-wide standards for all bus operators. But the Belize Bus Association - which says it represents 25 operators has rejected the package of 37 conditions for all operators. Today Chairman of the Association Thomas Shaw told us that implementation of the 37 conditions is impractical because many operators are just barely breaking even:.. Thomas Shaw "If there are certain and in reality what the operators are saying is that the people are actually paying for what they are getting. In order for the operator to meet these demands we are asking in increase in bus fares, fuel, tires, whatever, it is needed." Jules Vasquez "You all importantly are asking for representation on the transport board. That's one of the key request you all are making?" Thomas Shaw "Absolutely, why we are asking that as you know from in the past when we just started out that was one of our main goal - is to have somebody from the association to sit on the transport board because what took place in the past we can see it happening here again and if we had somebody on the transport board from the association things like this wouldn't really occur. Basically we have a situation with BBOC and Chucs and it's based on the same thing. We have so many operators in the west but only Mr. Chuc pays for his permit, nobody else."

Historic High Level Bi-Regional Fisheries Meeting Held In Belize
The 25 flags of nations from Central America and the Caribbean flew at the Biltmore today for a major regional meeting being held in Belize this week - and it is one that could only be held in Belize. Fisheries ministers, administrators and senior officials from Central America and the Caribbean are here for the first ever meeting of the CARICOM Regional Fisheries Mechanism, CRFM and the Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Central American Isthmus, OSPESCA. Just getting everyone in the same room is seen as a major accomplishment - and its historic to have them discuss trans boundary fisheries matters and chart a course for future collaborative action. Today Belize's Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla explained that it could have only happened in Belize because only this country is a member of both organizations:.. Hon. Lisel Alamilla "This is exactly where Belize is poised to say well this is how it's done in Central America and this is how they do it in the Caribbean and so because we move between both regions and we sit in both OSPESCA and we also have a seat in Caricom and we work various regions and so we can share with them this is how things are done in Central America and this is how people move shared agendas forward and then we also share them so that we can advance and support building trust between the regions."

Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sust. Dev. Cracking Down On Rogue Developers
And while the Fisheries Ministry is making history at the international level, domestically - they are also cracking down on rogue developers. Actually, it's the Ministry of Forestry, fisheries and Sustainable Development - which also includes the Department of the Environment. All combined, those departments have a lot of teeth for enforcement - and now they are combining their resources to conduct a sweep, reviewing ongoing developments for compliance with the law. Fisheries Administrator Beverly Wade told us what they have found so far:.. Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator "We have been to 2 regions actually; we've done Turneffe and we've done Salt Water Caye Marine Reserve area and what we are seeing ranges. They ranges from a group of locals deciding they are going to build their own island by filling it up with garbage on a shoal to infractions by developers who don't have permits to carry out the type of development that they have out there to somebody simply deciding that they want to do a little fill on an already privately owned holiday island." Wendel Parham, Ceo - Min. Fisheries/Forestry/Sust. Dev. "Follow up on issue have been a bit slow and this has cause things to go out of sync a little bit so the issue now is we try to take a new approach and address these issues in a rounded way."

Possession Of One Live Round? Jail!
29 year-old John Bernard Jr., a resident of Handyside Street, is on remand at prison tonight, after police caught him with a single bullet. According to police, they searched his home, which led to the discovery of 1 Aguila Brand 9mm round, which they reportedly found inside his room. They also found 4.7 grams of marijuana in his pocket. As a result, police charged him with keeping unlicensed ammunition and possession of a controlled drug. He was arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford today, where he pleaded guilty to the possession, but not guilty to the ammunition charge. He was fined $300 which he has to pay by October 4, or he will spend 3 months in default, but Magistrate Ford couldn't grant him bail due to the nature of the ammunition offence. As a result, he was remanded to prison until his next court date, which is also set for October 4. Another man who is on remand for firearm offences tonight is 23 year-old Michael Dawson. Police say that they were on mobile patrol on Sunday night, and at around 9:45 p.m., they saw Dawson standing at the corner of Ebony and Mayflower Streets acting suspiciously.

Southside Project Laid Off Shooting Victim - Day After He Was Shot!
Tonight 37 year old Isaiah Williams is still hospitalized at the KHMH with a bullet in his neck -after he was shot on Thursday night outside his mother's house on Banak Street. Yesterday afternoon, he came out of an induced coma, but his condition is still critical. And while he is fighting for his life in the hospital, his wife was handed his letter of termination from the job that he had held for two years at the Southside project. The letter stated that Williams services as a laborer with the Southside Rejuvenation Project is terminated effective at the end of the normal workday on Friday August 31. That was one day after Williams was shot up. Today in an interview with 7news, his wife Rosalie Williams told us, it is a rather frustrating situation, because her husband, who has contributed two years of payments to social security, is now left with no benefits because he was terminated while hospitalized. Rosalie Williams "Right now I could see all the trials coming and I definitely know the reason why but my husband - I went to his workplace yesterday to see if I got his Social Security forms full out because the doctor has already full them out and I took it there to have them fill it out and then I will take it to Social Security. At least I believe that he should have benefits."

Constables Get A Refresher
26 Police Constables participated in a two-week refresher course at the Police Training Academy. It concluded on Friday and the Officer Commanding at the Training school told us about the lessons learned:.. Supt. Linden Flowers, Commander Police Training Academy "We are the period of this for two weeks and the officers underwent training from within the police department as well as guess lecturers from across the spectrum of police matters relating as well as issues related to police." Reporter "What's the purpose of a training like this?" Supt. Linden Flowers, Commander Police Training Academy "The training of this nature is to better equip and to re-introduce different aspects of the police responsibilities to the officers in the field. This will assist them in communicating to the citizens who walk into the police station or to the citizens' victims who are a part of a complaint to the police as they go on their duties." "The refresher course is very beneficial for us constables. We information that we received is an upgrade as to the manner in which we perform our duties as police officers. There is strong emphasis on professionalism and the ways we give evidence in court and how we investigate crime scenes and the way we treat members of public as well."

Kings And Queens On Parade
The King and Queen of Carnival competition was held on Saturday at the MCC Grounds in Belize City. Now, the event is always hotly anticipated - because the Carnival Bands featuring the winning Kings and Queen's can go into the Road March with bragging rights and street swagger. So who gets to brag and "swag" this year? Here are the competitors:.. Monica Bodden reporting On Saturday night, the MCC ground's was packed to capacity as 25 competitors - 12 Kings and 13 Queens took to the stage to show off their elaborate costumes and energized moves. The competition was fierce as these kings and queens went out in full force to represent their carnival band. They brought nothing but their best performances to the stage. In the end there could only be 4 winners. In the junior Queen category -1st place winner went to Sunshine Masqueraders - Elisha Bernardez - portraying a Mayan Rain Goddess. And in the Junior King Category Jump Street Posse took home the 1st place prize - with Warren Smith portraying Prince Kent.

Flavours Savour The Spotlight
A few minutes ago, a new exhibition-dedicated entirely to local cuisine-was officially launched at the Image Factory. Freelance reporter Janelle Chanona got a chance to preview the presentation this afternoon and spoke with organizer Tanya McNab. Tanya McNab "We are showing a lot of our food photography. We also try to show a different spin on the natural ingredients. What you will see here is a lot of images of raw ingredients or things that are being grown in the fields and things like that. Things hopefully nobody has seen before from the cookbook." Janelle Chanona "Were you surprise by anything that you discovered from this culinary journey?" Tanya McNab "Many things - I wouldn't even know where to start on that. But definitely I was by no means nearly educated as I am now as to the different food and which one really belongs to each culture and things that I grew up in but never really ever make connections with or figure out. Coconut is one on them - coconut is what makes a dish creole - like that's why creole bread is named creole bread because it's the coconut milk and things like that."

He Calls Himself "Jah"
Belizean artist Jamal Smith - whose stage name is "Jah" is in Belize for the September celebrations to promote his latest album entitled "I Heart BZE." Smith, who now lives in Los Angeles California, began his musical career 10 years ago by fusing a wide range of genres, including bruk down, soca and punta. Now he's here for the 11th Annual Soundfest and told us what he wants to do for the Belizean audience. Jah, artist "Right now the hit song is ABC. Basically reminisce about when I was in infant 2 and I had a crush on my teacher Ms. Jones. I know that everybody who went to school had to have a little crush on at least one teacher. I did and I just wanted to do something that pretty much everybody can relate to and I also Belize version of ABC is different from American version of ABC because of the teacher, teacher don't lash me. That's makes Belizean ABC unique. I don't know if they still do that. Do they lash children now?" "I am here for sound fest on Friday at the Bird's Isle. I am here to have some fun and just enjoy the place that I love the most, Belize." Of course, he's just one artist in a star studded lineup for the sound fest which will be held at Birds Isle on Friday night.

Channel 5

Ranchito Money Changer murdered by gunmen in shadows
There have been nine murders in Corozal since the beginning of the year. The trend is a cause for concern for residents of the northern district because the total number of homicides in 2011 stood at only five. On Monday, a car washer didn’t stand a chance at survival; two armed men lay waited him [...]

NICH Archaeologist says no damage by rappelling at Caves Branch
As we reported on Monday night, the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) is saying that when Chukka Belize erected a rappelling platform at an archeological site, it defiled the site and is subsequently endangering the lives of visitors. In the tourism industry, that is a serious charge on any tour operator; one [...]

Poll shows enormous support for tax increase to pay Superbond
The Superbond restructuring continues to be hotly debated. So in our latest internet polling, we asked: Should GOB increase taxes to pay for the super bond? Over two thousand participated and surprisingly, seventy-three percent voted for the tax increase while twenty-seven percent were against it. On our blog, however, all the posts were vehemently against [...]

What the economic indicators show about the country
The Great Belize Research Center begins a series on national economic indicators that will look at health of the economy. To kick off this segment, the GBRC looked at the most recent figures on the population and the state of unemployment. The results, you will find, both surprising and instructive.   Firstly, looking at the [...]

No water in the Jungle; free water service turned off in Pickstock
A small piece of PVC pipe in what is known as the Jungle in Pickstock is causing an uproar. For twenty-eight struggling families, mostly unemployed, it makes a huge difference in their daily lives. The pipe has been disconnected and it is taking a toll on families who have been left without potable water. It [...]

Bus Association will meet with Transport Ministry over route issues
The discontent between the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (B.B.O.C.) and their rival Westline is rearing its head again. Recently, the Transport Ministry approved permits to Westline for runs that were previously held by the B.B.O.C. Thomas Shaw, the president of the Belize Bus Association, says that they have been dialoging with Westline’s owner, Sergio Chuc [...]

Suspicious behavior leads to illegal gun arrest
In the courts, twenty-three year old Michael Dawson was arraigned this morning after being busted on Sunday night with an unlicensed firearm. Police say that at around nine-forty-five that night, officers on mobile patrol in the area of Mayflower and Ebony Streets noticed Dawson behaving suspiciously. The policemen reportedly approached and informed him that he [...]

Cain and Abel? Armon Cain stabs older brother
A case of sibling rivalry that went too far landed in court today and a nineteen year old has confessed to stabbing his older brother. Jane Usher Boulevard resident, Armon Cain, was taken before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this morning to be charged for Wounding Martin Martinez. In a report to police, Martinez said they were [...]

Family of Rudy Cruz still waiting for answers about his killer
The well known Rudy Cruz was brutally stabbed on June first and three months later, police are no closer to solving the heinous murder. The highly sought after audio and lighting technician, whose skills as a DJ were gaining prominence, was found dead in his bed at his house where there were no signs of [...]

Belize hosts 1st Ministerial Meeting of CRFM-OSPESCA
In a joint declaration, Heads of State and Government of both Central American and Caribbean countries who met at the third CARICOM-SICA Summit in San Salvador, El Salvador, last August, called on Belize to host the first high-level ministerial meeting of CRFM-OSPESCA. Its aim is to strengthen collaboration to manage the shared resources of the [...]

Picturesque Flavors of Belize
In July, the Flavors of Belize cookbook was launched at the Biltmore Plaza with a grand cocktail that featured sampling from several cooking stations of cultural cuisine from the recipe book. Locally, the book has been well received and its Publisher, McNab Designs is in the process of launching it in the U.S. But while [...]

Awesome and Astounding Superstars at the Bliss
If you missed it, there was a change in schedule for Be the Next Superstar. Instead of the regular Tuesday night, the show was held on Monday night at the Bliss where bookings for September conflicted with our regular schedule. At the knockout round, three singers: Davionne Mayen, Silvian Neal Junior and Audreanna Taylor fought [...]


Mother of Six Killed Inside Her Home
A Belize City woman was murdered on Friday night. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI News Reporter Love FM “Forty one year old, Dana Augustus was shot dead inside her home shortly after midnight on Saturday at #19A Mayflower Street. Augustus...

Belize City Bookstore Robbed
Last Friday Daker’s Stationery and Books at 34 Freetown Road was reportedly held up and robbed. The cashier at the store reported that at around nine thirty that morning two youths entered and one wielding a handgun demanded money. The cashier said she opened the cash...

Shooting in Orange Walk; Belizean Killed on Mexican Soil
A shooting incident was reported on Sunday night in Orange Walk Town. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the details. ARTURO CANTUN Orange Walk Correspondent Love FM “A shooting incident was reported last night on Liberty Avenue in Orange Walk Town aroun...

Police News
Three persons have been charged in connection with an incident in which a 14 year old girl was shot. They are 18 year old Adrian Alvarez, a student in an apprenticeship program, and two minors, one of them 16 and the other 14. They were arraigned today. They were charged with con...

Western Highway Accident Leaves Two Hospitalised
A traffic accident on the Western Highway has left two people hospitalized. 55-year-old Brian Ernest Clare told Love News sometime around 11:15 this morning he was driving his gray Chevy Silverado pickup truck from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City. He was accompanied ...


8th Murder Recorded In Corozal As A Teenager Is Shot To Death
There was another murder in Corozal last night. It is the 8th murder recorded in the district for the year 2012 and this time the victim was a 20 year old laborer of 5th Avenue Corozal Town. Minutes after 11:00 last night 20 year old Humberto Ivan Gonzalez Jr. and Martin Armstrong were ambushed by two men who fired several shots at them while leaving a bar in the village of Ranchito. To date police are still trying to decipher which of the two men was the intended target. While there are several sides to the latest homicide we headed to Corozal Town and did some investigations of our own. Here is what reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenric Simpson found out. Tonight Corozal Police are once again trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together in order to solve another senseless murder this time involving a 20 year old a labourer of 5th Avenue Corozal Town. Reports are that around 11:00 last night 20 year old Humberto Ivan Gonzalez Jr. and Martin Armstrong were socializing at this bar El Palacio Dulce located near the airstrip in Ranchito Corozal.

Traffic Accident Leaves One Man Injured
An Orange Walk resident is tonight at Northern Regional Hospital recuperating from his injuries after he was knocked down by a bus. The incident happened on Otro Benque Road at around 6:30 yesterday evening. According to 60 year old Frank Mackiezie, a bus driver of Guadalupe Street, he was driving a 1984 white and green blue bird bus, belonging to Kerr company, when upon passing the Orange Walk Police Station he saw a male person, later identified as 41 year old Juan Garcia, a resident of Trial Farm Village, riding his bicycle in a “side to side” motion. Mackiezie told police he drove pass Garcia but a few seconds later heard a noise coming from behind the bus.

Chactemal Bridge Complete But Still Not Usable
The seventh meeting of the Bi-National Commission between Mexico and Belize took place last week at the Princess Casino located at the Santa Elena Border. One of the main topics of discussion was the new international bridge called "Chactemal" which upon completion will link both countries. But the bridge is not in usable conditions as yet and that’s because the roadwork on the Belizean side is yet to be completed. According to reports an average of one million three thousand Belizeans travel over to Chetumal Quintana Roo Mexico on a yearly basis while more than 250 thousand Mexicans cross into Belize on a yearly basis mostly to the Corozal Free Zone. The seventh meeting of the Bi-National Commission is an encounter considered the maximum institutional forum for dialogue and cooperation between the two countries.

Chinese Businessman Robbed At Gunpoint
While Corozal Police investigate the death of 20 year old Humberto Ivan Gonzalez Jr. they are also investigating an armed burglary that generated burglars more than $28,000 worth in cash an items. Around 1:00am on September 1st, Weiquin Zhu, Chinese businessman and proprietor of Lisa’s Restaurant located on 5th Avenue Corozal Town, closed his business and went to his living quarters along with his wife and baby daughter leaving two friends at the restaurant watching television. Thirty minutes after, Zhu was awaken by a noise coming from inside his residence and upon making checks he saw four male persons dressed in camouflage suits, wearing masks and each holding what appeared to be 9mm firearms.

Ministry Of Health To Lunch New Study
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago today announced the launch of the “Burden of Illness Study”. It is a research study on food Bourne diseases which are major causes of illness and deaths worldwide. In 2005 the World Health Organization estimated that 1.5 million people died around the world from diarrheal disease attributed to food Bourne disease, which in most cases go unreported. In 2008 the Ministry of Health established a food borne disease surveillance system which monitors patients in the public and private facilities who suffer from acute gastroenteritis. Despite the surveillance system, CAREC is reporting that data collected from across the Caribbean; including Belize, indicates an increase in the number of cases of acute gastroenteritis, a syndrome of food borne illness. This study aims to determine the prevalence of acute gastroenteritis related to food and water infection and further investigates the more common viruses or bacteria transmitted by food. The official launching of the study will take place on September 6th at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The study is estimated to conclude in August 2013.

BMHS Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago, on September 2nd 2002, Bishop Martin High School was officially inaugurated and started off their academic year with approximately 66 students. In its early years, the high school was located on Muffles Street, across from La Inmaculada Primary School. But in 2004 Bishop Martin relocated to its new campus on San Lorenzo Road. On Sunday September 2nd the educational institution celebrated ten years of providing quality education to its students. Vice Principal of the school Lorelie Torres, has been part of the staff since its early years and today she told us how Bishop Martin Celebrated its 10th anniversary. Lorelie Torres Vice Principal BHMS “Yesterday we had the mass of the Holy spirit, which is an event where we spiritually give thanks to God for all the success that he has given to us and yesterday we invited father Leo Nicasio with us and father Leo Palma who were two of our first Priest here, who were involved in our school and with them was father Amelio Chi as well, so it was a memorable time yesterday, also four awards were given; two to our past Priests who were Father Leo and Father Larry and also receiving his award was Mr. Bernardino Jr. who received it on behalf of his father and because of all his work that he has given to Bishop Martin and also to Mrs. Judith Chell as part of the parents, Mrs. Chell has been here since its inception, for almost nine years she has been actively involved in the PTA and always striving for the best of the school and working hard for our school, so they were awarded yesterday and also we had as a symbolic means we had the lighting of the candle and the blessing from the Priest on all of us.” According to Torres, the school has its own unique method when it comes to molding students to become productive citizens.

New Beat Produced To Liven Up Your September
The month of September is filled with revelry as Belizeans will celebrate 31 years of Independence this year. Many activities have been organized leading up to the 21st of September when carnival groups will hit the streets of their respective towns and celebrate their freedom. Of course, incorporated among the activities, is the music that will be put people to dance. In honor of Belize’s 31st birthday Super Furia Band, which has been in existence for the past 25 years, composed a song for the September celebrations. The song is titled Long Live Belize and according to Francisco and Roxanna Alcoser, the message behind the lyrics is one of peace. Roxanna Alcoser- Super Furia Band “The message that we are trying to portray is that you know, Belize is so loving and sweet so why this year and every year to come, why don’t we have a peaceful celebration and we come united as one Belizean it doesn’t matter where you come from if it from north, south, east or west just come as one Belizean and celebrate as one. My father he wrote the song and since like he mentioned before that it is composed of band members of the family so then my brother, puts the keyboard another puts the base talent into and even cousins as well and then I put the finishing touches, I put the bam!?”


Armed robbers hit Corozal business establishment
A business in Corozal Town was held up and robbed at gunpoint on Saturday. The proprietor of Lisa’s Store on Fifth Avenue, Weiquin Zhu, told police that he closed his business at around one that morning and went into his living quarters along with his wife and his baby daughter. He said that he left two friends inside the restaurant watching television and that about half an hour later, he heard a noise coming from the door. Zhu said that when he looked he saw four men dressed in camouflage suits, wearing masks and each holding what appeared to be guns, and demanding money. One of them allegedly hit him on the head and another threatened his wife if she screamed. Zhu then opened the cash drawer and handed over ten thousand dollars, after which the men bound their hands and feet with tape and ordered them to lie on the floor and then ransacked the place before they left. Zhu said that he managed to free himself, his wife and daughter and then went inside the restaurant where he saw his two friends also bounded. When they took a stock of the theft, they discovered that aside from the money, the robbers also went with an assortment of grocery items, and cell phones all amounting to almost twenty-nine thousand dollars.

Woman raped in Dangriga
A woman from Dangriga was reportedly raped while at home. The thirty-five year old domestic reported that at around two on Monday afternoon she was at her house sleeping when two men entered and covered her face with a cloth. She added that one of the assailants raped her. She said that she fought with her attackers and in the process, they beat her before they fled. Police are investigating the incident.

Fisheries department employees in police detention
Two employees of the Fisheries Department in Punta Gorda are detained by police pending investigations. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

Unregulated fishing a key concern for Central America and the Caribbean
Ministers of Fisheries from Central America and the Caribbean are meeting today in Belize City. The purpose of the historic first meeting of the two sub-regions at this ministerial level is to discuss the sustainable use of the resources of the Caribbean Sea. Chairman of the Ministerial Council of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism V. Alfred Gray of the Bahamas told reporters this morning that he is encouraged that the two regions have taken up the challenge to address this vital issue. According to statistics published in time for today’s meeting, the fisheries sector in the CARICOM region employs over one hundred and eighty two thousand persons either directly or indirectly. But that pales in comparison to the multi-billion dollar problem of unregulated and illegal fishing which affects both Central American and the Caribbean. Belize’s Minister of Fisheries Senator Lisel Alamilla believes the coming together of both sub regions is a positive step in the right direction so far as addressing this problem is concerned.

Gospel concert in aid of school children
September is packed with celebrations here and there and there are many ways of celebrating. According to Gospel Artist, Reality Youth, a free concert in Belize City on Saturday will be sure to celebrate God and help those who need a little hand with school supplies. The concert will take place this Saturday August 8th at Battlefield Park and it begins at 6:30 p.m sharp.

Driver injured when vehicle flips on the Western Highway
A traffic accident on the Western Highway has left two people hospitalized. 55-year-old Brian Ernest Clare told Love News sometime around 11:15 this morning he was driving his gray Chevy Silverado pickup truck from Benque Viejo del Carmen to Belize City. He was accompanied by two Belizean Americans, 62-year-old Clive Carillo, a resident of Ladyville and 67-year-old Grace Meighan, a resident of Orange Walk Town. Clare said they had gone to the border to check on their belongings that were coming in. Clare said when he reached between miles 46 and 47 he felt the steering of the vehicle come loose and he was unable to control the vehicle. He said he realized that the tie rod on the vehicle was broken. The vehicle overturned several times and ended up on the right hand side of the highway on its side. Carillo suffered a broken wrist, fractured neck and complained of pain to the shoulder. Meighan suffered a broken leg and complained of pain to the entire body. They were both taken to the Western Regional Hospital for treatment. The driver of the vehicle received bruises.

Regional fisheries experts meet in Belize
Two regional organizations are converging in Belize City for what has been deemed as a historic high level meeting. Reporter Patrick Jones and Videographer Brian Castillo headed off to the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel and bring you the details in the following report

Belizean killed in Mexico
A Belizean is alleged to have been murdered across the border in Mexico. Arturo Cantun has the details

Police briefing on weekend crime
The shooting death of Dana Augustus was not the only shooting incident that occurred at the start of September. At their regular weekly press conference, Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, shared what police had on a number of other shootings. In last Thursday’s shooting of the fourteen year old minor who was also shot while inside a house on La Croix Boulevard, police have charged a fourteen year old, a sixteen year old and an 18 year old. 18 year old Adrian Alvarez, a student in an apprenticeship program, and the two minors, were arraigned today. They were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. The 16 year old, who the police believe was the shooter, was taken to Belize Family Court and charged with two counts of attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of dangerous harm and one count of use of deadly means of harm. There was also a shooting in Orange Walk Town, as Yearwood shared. Pelayo remains in a stable condition at the Northern Regional Hospital. Meanwhile, with reference to the investigation over the allegation that members of the GSU visited Crooked Tree Village two weeks ago and assaulted some youths from that community, Yearwood said that the Professional Standards Branch has still not submitted its findings of that inquiry. Finally, with reference to the upcoming Carnival Road March this Saturday and police efforts to deter crime, Yearwood said that the police will be out in full force on Carnival Day and throughout the September celebrations. In a separate crime incident, Daker’s Stationery and Books at 34 Freetown Road was reportedly held up and robbed last Friday morning. The cashier at the store reported that at around nine thirty that morning two youths entered and one wielding a handgun demanded money. The cashier said she opened the cash register and handed over an undisclosed amount of cash and her cellular phone valued at fifteen hundred dollars. The culprits then reportedly fled. Police are looking for twenty-three year old Henry Patnett, of Rivero Street Extension. The owner of Noemi’s Grocery and Fast Food at 138 Antelope Street has also reported her business was robbed at gunpoint. The incident reportedly happened at around three on Friday afternoon when two youths entered and one of them instructed him to get on the floor and to not alert anyone. The two thieves then searched the drawers and stole 400 dollars, and two cell phones. Police are looking for Evan Andrews also known as “Turkey” of Cedar Street in connection with this incident.

Six persons brought up on firearm charges
Six persons were charged with firearm and ammunition offences when they appeared in court today. They are 26 year old Lionel Sampson, 18 year old Lodrick Ovado, 27 year old Jane Ovado, 19 year old Lanickle Ovado, 45 year old Evelyn Gibson and 52 year old Cyril Ovado. Cyril and Jane are a common-law couple and the Ovados are their children. Sampson is a friend of the family. Evelyn wanted to plead guilty to the charge but Magistrate Aretha Ford did not accept her plea because she did not say that the firearm and ammunition belonged to her. They were remanded into custody until October 8. The incident occurred around 8:05 a.m. yesterday. The police, members of the Gang Suppression Unit, reported that when they searched a house on Raccoon Street Extension, they found a chrome 9 millimetre pistol with 11 rounds of ammunition in its magazine underneath the flooring of a storeroom. Police say their investigation has revealed that the firearm was stolen during a burglary at a house in San Ignacio, which occurred on August 12. Alejandro Najaro, the owner of the house, was away in the U.S.A. at the time.

School warden gunned down inside her home
Dana Augustus killed. A school warden was shot while inside her home shortly after midnight on Saturday. Reporter Marion Ali and Videographer Myles Gillett worked the crime beat today and bring you the story.

Chukka-Belize fires back at FECTAB
And while the FECTAB press conference was complete with props and highly charged presentations, Chukka Belize went on the defensive this afternoon, striking back at assertions made by Greenwood and his colleagues. Country manager for Chukka-Belize Valerie Woods told Love TV’s Patrick Jones in a telephone interview that FECTAB is being totally irresponsible in making their claims and is simply making a mountain out of a mole hill. Woods told Love News that the construction of the rappelling platform had the blessings of NICH and was built with the highest safety considerations in mind. In a statement to the media issued this afternoon, Chukka Belize said that in keeping with their award winning tours throughout the Caribbean Chukka Belize has ensured its latest venture at Jaguar Paw meets all industry standards and minimizes environmental impact.

FECTAB takes aim at Chukka-Belize
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize has raised concerns over a recent addition by one of the country’s tour operators. Patrick Jones has the story.

Community care centre for Dangriga
A ground breaking ceremony for a Community Care Center was held this morning in Dangriga Town. Coordinator for Productive Organization for Women in Action, Michelle Irving, says they have been working with orphans and vulnerable children, not only to HIV but other family issues like poverty and neglect and this prompted them to think of setting up a care point for them. According to Irving, those who will be providing the services are fully trained in the area. Monitoring and evaluation officer at UNDP, Assad Magaña told us about the funding for the Center. Dangriga Mayor, Gilbert Swazo says that the project is a great opportunity in Dangriga and told Love News that there was much transparency in choosing the contractor for the project. Today’s groundbreaking ceremony included residents of the community and surrounding schools.

Lecture on Reggae and Dancehall culture to be held in Belize City
“Sounds of Freedom: Reggae & Dancehall Culture in the Caribbean”, is the title of a lecture which will take place tomorrow in Belize City. The lecturer is Dr. Carolyn Cooper a professor of Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of the West Indies’ Mona Campus in Jamaica. She told us more about her background. Dr. Cooper told us what the focus of tomorrow’s lecture is. We asked Dr. Cooper to share why there is still some stigma toward dancehall and why some people view it not as part of a culture . Dr. Cooper says that with that since young people are moving toward music, new technologies that exist in our modern world, can allow for it to be incorporated into the formal school system. The lecture, which is free of cost, will take place at seven p.m. at the Bliss Center for the performing Arts.

Carnival kings and queens chosen
Also on Saturday night, the carnival king and queen competition took place at the MCC Grounds. Here are the highlights of that night

New Queen of the Bay chosen
Activities in connection with the September celebrations continued this past weekend. The Queen of the Bay Pageant was staged at the Bird’s Isle. Yadira Arguetta who hails from the Stann Creek District walked off with the crown. First Runner-up was Ivoree Mendez from Corozal and second runner up was Jorlee Marin, who represented Caribbean Shores. Marin also won the title of Miss Photogenic.


Ministry of Education 'no comment' on Controversial HFLE manual
In February of this year, a Committee of ten professionals from the educational, health, social, and religious sect...

Corozal man shot to death in his vehicle
Corozal is once again dealing with a murder. It happened last night at about 11 0’clock and after the gun shots wer...

Belmopan Council to enforce Public drinking laws
Chapter 150 of the laws of Belize Revised Edition 2000 is the Intoxicating Liquor Licensing Act for the country. LI...

Belmopan Celebations schedule is released
Events leading up to Belize’s Birthday are many. On the 21st of September Belize will celebrate 31 years of Indepen...

Wil Maheia to lead another patriotic Border Flagraising
For the past ten years, the Peoples National Party has been travelling to different border points in the country to...

Fisheries rangers caught with large sums of money
And speaking of fisheries, two employees of fisheries department have been detained pending investigations. On Mond...

Belize hosts high Level Caribbean Fisheries meeting
Belize hosted the first ever high-level ministerial meeting of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) an...

Gun used in Cayo crime found in Belize City
A gun traced to a burglary in San Ignacio was found in a Belize City Home. GSU conducted a raid on the home on Raco...

Four persons invade home in Corozal
There was a home invasion and robbery reported in Corozal as well. Weiquin Zhu, the proprietor of Lisa’s restaurant...

Home invasion in Dangriga
There was another home invasion reported but this one resulted in a rape. It happened in Dangriga yesterday afterno...

Three arrested for Sunlight Restaurant robbery
Three persons were detained in connection to a robbery in the Cayo district. We reported on that robbery yesterday....


Dana is killed; she leaves 6 children!
The well-known school warden, 41, was dressing for a party when she was shot at her window Dana Sterling Augustus, 41, who lived on Mayflower Street, was getting ready to go to Lodge Hall around 12:10 Saturday morning, September 1, for a night of fun when someone in her yard called for her. Reports are that the mother of seven children (one deceased), a well-known school warden, opened the window of her elevated wooden house to see who it was and was shot in the chest, abdomen and head by a gunman who, according to reports, was one of three intruders in her yard. She died while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Dana, a single parent, lived with her daughters in the house. We are told that no man had been living in the home for over four years, and that everyone in the neighborhood knew that. Augustus’ sister told Amandala that she was in her house at the back of the yard when she heard a barrage of gunshots in her vicinity. She said that the sound of gunshots in the area was nothing strange, so she ignored them.

Police charge gunmen – 14, 16, 18 – with the shooting of girl, 14
She was shot in home around dining room table Police have arrested and charged three persons who they believe were the gunmen who endangered the lives of many people when they opened fire in the La Croix Boulevard area of the city on Thursday, August 30, 2012, which resulted in Desiree Aranda, 14, being shot in her home as she sat around their table eating with her aunt and sister. Today, Monday, Adrian Avaloy-Alvarez, 18, a resident of #82 Linda Vista Street, along with two minors, ages 16 and 14, were brought before Magistrate Aretha Ford, to answer a “conspiracy to commit murder” charge. This afternoon, the 16-year-old minor was taken over to the Family Court, where he was slapped with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault, dangerous harm and deadly means of harm, all stemming from the August 30 incident. No pleas were taken from them and they were remanded to prison until their next court appearance on October 10, 2012. Police believe that they are the youths who were behind the shooting on August 30, which resulted in Desiree Aranda, 14, a high school student, suffering from a gunshot wound in the right lower side of her back. She was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where she was treated for injury and released on Friday, August 31, 2012.

Police vs. Castellanos family in Alta Vista; bullets fly!
A routine aggravated burglary report for a patrol team from Dangriga police on Thursday night apparently led to a violent confrontation that ended in four persons being injured by gunshots and facing a multitude of charges. [...]

FIFA Development Officer Mauricio Caballero visits Belize
Mauricio Caballero, FIFA Development Officer for Central America, visited Belize on the 20 – 22 of August. During his visit Mr. Caballeros: (1) Visited and inspected the MCC Grounds and observed that the pitch is a [...]

Belize Softball Gold at 2012 CODICADER Games
Ladyville Technical High School girls beat Guatemala in softball for Gold medal at 2012 CODICADER Games Congratulations are in order for our Ladyville Technical High School girls softball team who represented Belize bravely and proudly last [...]

Telemedia repeats as National Softball Champions
After a compact schedule of games beginning Friday night, August 24, all day Saturday, and climaxing on Sunday night, Telemedia from Belize City was once again crowned National Softball Champions [...]

Editorial: A September tragedy
This past Friday, Albert Street and surrounding areas were bubbling over with activity. Residents were out in the hundreds, finalizing the last of the shopping for the start of primary school on Monday. It was also the beginning of the traditionally festive September celebrations. People were in a festive mood; it was the end of the month. Later in the evening the carnival revelers really put the old capital in the September mood, with a “teaser” through the streets of the City. Saturday night was going to be the eagerly anticipated Carnival King and Queen competition and the traditional pageantry of the Queen of the Bay. But as Friday slipped into Saturday, September 1, a few minutes after midnight, a 41-year-old Belize City woman was shot in her house, through a kitchen window, as she prepared for a night out on the town. This was the third female shot in a little over 30 hours. A 14-year-old student had been shot on Thursday night when a bullet targeted for a group on La Croix Boulevard ricocheted and hit her as she ate her supper inside her home. The second and third shootings were unlike anything we had seen before – there were no males in the vicinity of the females targeted. Police report that the second young lady was shot late Friday night while sitting with her mother and sister at the corner of Vernon and Sibun Streets.

From The Publisher
Had I known the history of the mulattos in Haiti and Jamaica, for instance, I would not have been so sanguine about making attitudinal changes in Belize through the UBAD experience. Strictly speaking, a mulatto is the child of a European man and an African woman. I suppose a child (but they were very rare indeed in the old days) who is fathered by an African man with a European woman, is also considered a mulatto. But, the term is loosely used in the modern era to refer to people who are mixed, where European and African bloodlines are concerned. So then, for the purposes of this essay, consider me a mulatto, and we’ll go from there. Before the time of UBAD, there had been a movement called the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), or Garveyism, in British Honduras, a movement which extolled the achievements of Africa and Africans and preached black pride. I have a maternal great grandmother by the name of Lillian Gibson Lindo who was a Garveyite in the early 1920s. Lillian Gibson Lindo was brown-skinned, which is to say that she was of mixed ancestry. I met Nurse Vivian Seay in 1969: she was also brown-skinned and a Garveyite. Still, the vast majority of Garveyites, it appears to me, were black in appearance. In the days of slavery and colonialism, most people who were brown were trying to “raise their color,” which is to say, become as European as they could where marriage, social circles, tastes, language, and behavior were concerned.

Letters to the Editor

Blame IMF for controversial banking bill: Gian Ghandi
Ghandi says definition of spouse harmless, since Belize law criminalizes same-sex relations The Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Bill, approved by Parliament last week, has been stirring up the church community, because, to them, the definition of the word “spouse” in the bill appears to expand the meaning to include same-sex couples. Government’s legal counsel in the Ministry of Finance, Gian Ghandi, told Amandala that the bill is linked to the debt restructuring exercise and the definition now being disputed was in the bill ever since the International Monetary Fund (IMF) drafted it about 6 months ago. Ghandi said the definition of spouse is being totally misunderstood, as it was never their intention to widen the meaning to include same-sex couples. Ghandi pointed to existing provisions in the Criminal Code (Section 53) which outlaw same-sex relations, and he said that as long as those laws are on the books, no other legal meaning could be construed for the word “spouse” in Belize, which he described as a very religious society to which the sanctioning of same-sex relations is abhorrent. Ghandi said that during all the reviews of the banking bill, and even during the house committee meetings at which public input could have been given on the bill, no one ever raised concerns about the way spouse is defined in the act.

U.S. donates equipment to Coast Guard, BDF
This afternoon at the Belize Coast Guard’s headquarters on the Western Highway, a donation was made, totaling more than 4 and a half million dollars, from the U.S. Southern Military Command (SOUTHCOM) to the Coast Guard [...]

Teachers reject marijuana decriminalization
The extended deadline for the submission of comments on the proposal to decriminalize the possession of marijuana, up to 10 grams or 10 sticks of the drug, passed on Friday, August 31, 2012, and the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), one of the bodies asked by the reviewing committee for their input, has issued a statement saying categorically that it is opposed to the idea, which, according to the BNTU, is “premature and dangerous.” The current proposal calls for Belize to decriminalize the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana, which would be subject to fines, mandatory drug education and no imprisonment. Currently, the possession of under 60 grams of marijuana is a criminal offence and punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and/or up to three years imprisonment. The BNTU, whose president is Luke Palacio, said that it held a special meeting of its Council of Management on Saturday, August 25, at which the decriminalization question did come up. The union of teachers pointed first to “the negative effect of its use on the body, especially the brain and rational behavior,” which, it said, “far outweighs its known medicinal uses.” The BNTU highlighted the need for much more education, study and research of its use and effects.


When is the last time you ….?
When is the last time you were trying to run an errand on your lunch break and hit the one hour roadblock where all the places you wanted to go were closed? Leisa and I were talking about the San Pedro town slowdown last week when we met her at Fido’s, it had just happened to her. I told her how Dick and I were planning an errand run the day before and we had planned our whole trip around that very thing. Of course we ended up on Belize time by 15 minutes or so. That idea went out the window and left us going for a nice joyride around town while we waited for BTL to open. Today I was thinking about meeting Mary1220 and DW as they arrive at Tropic Air on the 12:40. Once again I find myself having to consider where I want to go and what is the best timing to make it all fit.

11-Year Old Belizean Aquarium Manager Knocks My Socks Off On St. George's Caye
Yesterday I started to describe my Sunday funday on famous St. George's Caye. The island is such a interesting place...a gorgeous Caribbean weekend getaway for a lucky few that is somehow stuck in time. For a map of the island and some drawings, all you need to do is pick up the Belize $5 bill. We were there for a full day of sailing and speeches, BBQ and beers but I found something very cool on the north side of the island. Actually, someone really cool. His name is Karly. (And I'd actually read about him in this Dallas News article about a year ago: Boy's Aquarium an Attraction on Belize Coast). He has lived on St. George's Caye his entire life, all 11 years of it. And inside his parents' boat house, he has built an aquarium, the only aquarium in Belize, and he manages it himself. Here is the sign on the property at the entrance to their property. It indicated that they were open but I didn't see anyone around... I walked around the house. Even though it appeared closed, there were signs along the way to encourage me... A HUGE dog was sleeping on a leash and the neighbor helped me by calling upstairs. "One minute" answered a kid's voice. Hmmmm....this should be interesting...

Caye Caulker premiers Belize’s first film on Friday!!
Friday will be the night of great celebration when Paradiso’s Outdoor Cinema will present Belize’s first motion picture – Kurse a Di Xtabai! This movie was not only filmed in Belize, by an all Belizean cast and crew but it is also in Kriol!! The film is a supernatural thriller that is set to impress and along with the fact that the screening will also have the cast making an appearance, it sure is something that we should not miss!! So come on out and support Belize’s first motion picture – showings are on Friday 7th September at 6.30pm and 8.30pm and tickets can be bought in advance from Paradiso Cafe!

International Sources

Caribbean's Creepiest Adventure Tour: Belize Caves
There is once again much excitement surrounding Belize. We are very pleased to report that our beautiful gem has been featured in the August issue of the Caribbean Travel + Life magazine.... Intrepid Caribbean Travel + Life writer/photographer Jad Davenport does his best Indiana Jones in this adventure tour of the Belize caves. If you want to see skeletons, bats and the darkest corners of the Caribbean, this is the best vacation for you. Once the domain of Maya shamans, the sacred caves of Belize hold the most surprising (and haunting) sights in the country, perfect for mellow day trips or Indiana Jones adventures. Here is your guide to what lies beneath.

The government of Honduras has signed a deal with private investors for the construction of three privately run cities with their own legal and tax systems. The memorandum of agreement signed Tuesday is part of a controversial experiment meant to bring badly needed economic growth to this small Central American country. Its weak government and failing infrastructure are being overwhelmed by corruption, drug-linked crime and lingering instability from a 2009 political coup. Both sides hope to begin work on the first city in coming weeks and say the project could create 5,000 jobs over the next six months. The project is opposed by civil society groups including indigenous Garifuna people who say they don't want their land to be used for the project. The developers say the fears are unjustified.

Guatemala to Establish Military Bases on Mexican Border
The government of Guatemala will open three military bases to fight drug trafficking, as announced by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina Tuesday, days after the news about the presence of almost 200 U.S. soldiers to neutralize drug traffickers. In these new installations, located in the departments of Peten (north), San Marcos (west) and Izabal (north-east) there will be officers to counterarrest drug trafficking, smuggling and other crimes. President Perez Molina said the Executive wants to but radars and planes made in Brazil to reinforce the work of the intelligence corps. Since last week, a total of 250 Guatemalan soldiers are operating together with almost 200 US soldiers in the Pacific coast to fight drug trafficking. This is the first movement of US Marines in the region, said US Navy Sergeant Earnest Barnes. Forty-five days ago, Guatemala and the US government had signed an agreement to authorize an operation called "Martillo" (Hammer) against drug trafficking.

Belize City, of the Central American nation of Belize, emerged the most hated city and ranked 10
The website, CNNGo, introduces a list of 10 cities, which have been described as: "They're not the worst cities in the world but they are the best at bugging people. Introducing the places guaranteed to swing your mood southward." While Belize City, of the Central American nation of Belize, emerged the most hated city and ranked 10, Delhi ranked eighth for "plenty of cons" and "endless fleecing of travellers". The list rated the cities in the increasing order of 'hate quotient'. Belize City was declared the 'most hated city' for having a very high rate of crime, drug dealings and a sense of dilapidation.

Reveal Real Estate presents the 2012 Central America House Price Snapshot
How much does a 3 bed house cost in Central America? It may seem like a simple question, but in countries like Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, where official property statistics are not available, it’s hard to find reliable market comps. This leaves buyers entering the market relying only on thin slices of information for their investment decisions – a glossy brochure, an anecdote, a Google search or information given to them by vendors. It’s against this vacuum of reliable information that Reveal Real Estate and Global Property Guide have come together to prepare the 2012 Central America House Price Snapshot. The study provides an apples to apples comparison of the sales price of a typical three bed home across 12 different property hotspots in Central America. The results are generated by a special Benchmarking Group of recognized real estate experts with in-depth knowledge of their local market.

Access Financial, Belize entrepreneur top Citi awards
The Excellence in Micro-entrepreneurship Award went to Belize's Javier Basto of Basto & Sons Plantain Chips. Basto will receive a cash prize of US$3,000. Frying plantains in his backyard In 2008, the entrepreneur launched into business by frying plantains in his backyard and selling to friends and neighbours in affordable US$0.50 bags in Guinea Grass Village, Belize. With financing from La Inmaculada Credit Union for equipment and improved facilities, his business has expanded to seven employees and 5,000 bags per week; and includes cassava chips and churros distributed through grocery stores in Orange Walk Town, Corozal Town and Belize City.

Belize Gains Leverage in Default Talks as New Borrowing Not Seen
Belize’s creditors are betting the Central American country will improve its bond restructuring offer in order to maintain access to global debt markets. The government says it doesn’t need them. Belize’s $1.4 billion economy, which expanded 2 percent in 2011, can go without more borrowing on international credit markets, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in an Aug. 22 press conference. The country didn’t sell global bonds before 1998 and hasn’t returned to them since a 2007 restructuring. Barrow’s government, which missed a $23 million coupon payment on Aug. 20, is seeking to reach an accord with creditors before a mission from the International Monetary Fund comes to the country in October as part of an annual review of the economy, according to Mark Espat, who heads the country’s bond restructuring committee. Belize’s ability to survive x‘without global market access may give it an advantage in talks, said Stuart Culverhouse, chief economist at Exotix Ltd. “I am not sure at the moment the government does care that much about accessing the capital market,” Culverhouse said in an Aug. 30 phone interview from London. “I don’t know if the creditors’ leverage is that strong.” While both creditors and the Belize officials have expressed the need for “good faith” negotiations, a group representing Belize’s investors says the government hasn’t provided sufficient justification for its default and subsequent restructuring offers, which value the bonds at about 20 cents.

Central America and Caribbean Agree on Interregional Fisheries
Belmopan, Sep 4 (Prensa Latina) Central America and Caribbean countries today signed in Belize a memorandum of understanding to promote cooperation and policies coordination on sustainability of fisheries and marine ecosystems in the region. During the meeting started Monday in the capital, representatives of 25 nations approved an action plan and a strategy for collaboration among participating organizations, reported the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM). According to the statement, participants also discussed issues related to fisheries and issues related to border surveillance mechanisms to prevent illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing. They also discussed the impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems and fishing communities, as well as a coordinated approach to invasive species, including lionfish. The meeting was attended by States members or associates of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), CRFM, and the Organization of Fisheries and Aquaculture of Central America. This meeting was one of the results of the third summit between CARICOM and the Central American Integration System, held in El Salvador in August,2012.

3 Countries That Welcome Foreign Retirees
Another country that rolls out the welcome mat for foreign retirees is Belize. About a dozen years ago, the government of this country enacted legislation to allow Qualified Retired Persons (QRPs) to obtain permanent residency in this country. In many ways, this program is the most efficient route to foreign residency anywhere in the Americas. And while the QRP visa allows you full-time residency, you can enjoy the benefits of being a QRP even if you spend as little as four weeks a year in Belize. Belize’s QRP program not only offers the equivalent of a U.S. green card to foreign residents aged 45 and older, but it also grants a host of other incentives designed to encourage foreigners to come and bring their money. These incentives include a permanent exemption from all Belize taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax, and import tax on household goods (up to $15,000), automobiles, boats, even airplanes. The only requirements are that you or your spouse be 45 years of age or older, that you consider yourself to be retired, and that you show that you have at least $2,000 a month in income to support yourself in Belize (not necessary from a pension, but from any source). In practical terms, the “consider yourself to be retired” requirement means that, as a QRP, you can’t apply for a work visa. This is not to say that you couldn’t start an international, Internet, or even local Belize business as an entrepreneur. You just can’t take on traditional employee work.

US sees links between Belize and Mexican drug cartel
The United States government has targeted three men and five companies in Belize under the Kingpin Act, which means the US government can freeze their assets and ban citizens of the US from doing business with them. The US Treasury Department has designated John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh and their associate Daniel Moreno of using five Belize-based businesses to support Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel as it smuggles drugs north from Colombia. The Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced it froze the assets of the Belize residents and designated as off-limits a number of companies either owned or controlled by Moreno or John Zabaneh, including a building contractor, a resort and marina company, a pharmaceutical firm, a supermarket company, and a banana farm called Mayan King Ltd. Treasury officials say the Belizeans are associates of billionaire fugitive Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, leader of the most powerful organized crime group in Mexico and perhaps the most powerful narcotics ring in the world. “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,” Adam Szubin, director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, said in a statement.

Belize holds successful investment conference in Los Angeles
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (Beltraide) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) presented “Invest in Belize” information to a full house at the Consulate of Belize Investment Conference held on Saturday, August 25, 2012, in Los Angeles, CA. Beltraide’s deputy executive director, Lejia Melanie Gideon, joined DFC’s representatives Natalie Goff, general manager, and Norman Garcia, manager for marketing and communication, in presenting information about investing in Belize. Those in attendance listened attentively to the presentations in the general sessions, and later got an opportunity to meet with the visiting representatives in private consultations. In addition to the procedures for investing in Belize, Beltraide also covered, among others, the advantages for investing in Belize, major industries, key growth areas for investment and the retirement program for those who want to do so in Belize. Among the topics discussed by DFC were the mortgage finance and commercial lending programs, which covered the requirements for borrowing, payment mechanisms, and purchasing DFC properties. “I am surprised at the level of interest and awareness that exist for investing in Belize,” remarked Goff, as she commented on the attendants and the questions raised by the audience. The conference was organized by the Consulate of Belize Investment Task Force, in order for both government entities to present information about investing in Belize, for those who live outside its borders. Consul General Roland Yorke maintained, “That our Belizeans in the Diaspora can become just as engaged as anyone else in the economic development of Belize, once we are aware of those opportunities.” Certificates of appreciation were presented at the conclusion of the conference to the three presenters.

VIDEO: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Travel blog for San Pedro at Blog has all kinds of good info. Where to stay, where to eat, etc.

September 4, 2012

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

Naiely Puc is Miss San Pedro 2012
San Pedro has a new beauty ambassador, and she is the lovely 16-year-old Naiely Puc. The night of September 1st celebrated the “Beauty of today reflecting the Maya splendor of yesterday”, and the theme was evident throughout the night. The stage at Central Park was built to look like a Maya ruin, complete with jaguar in repose, the background reflected the starry night, and the pièce de résistance, a moveable stage piece – a great rendition of the Maya calendar, Haab’. Masters of Ceremonies were the affable Eiden Salazar Jr. and Wilema Gonzalez, and they introduced the four contestants as they came onstage accompanied by Miss San Pedro 2011-2012, Yakarelis Hernandez. Naiely Puc, Darcie Zepeda, Ashley Rhaburnand and Adriana Haylock took to the stage with their opening dance, after which they introduced themselves to the audience. After their quick performance onstage, they exited to change into their costumes. During the interim, San Pedro Dance Academy performed two dance numbers, and they were followed by Bailando Culturas of Orange Walk Town. Mad Skillz dance group performed some contemporary dance interpretations, and capping off the break with a soulful rendition of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” sung by Elina Palma. The Miss San Pedro 2012 pageant featured big and bold costumes, and in keeping with the Maya theme, each contestant came out decked in colorful and feathered pieces that reflected a Maya god or goddess. The girls each described their outfit, its relevance to the Maya culture, and their interpretation. The audience was certainly appreciative of the blues, golds, fiery oranges and bronze that filled the stage with splendor. It was a quick changing session for the girls backstage once more, while Yakarelis delighted the audience with a fun dance interpretation. She was followed by the San Pedro Dance Academy girls, Mad Skills and an extra special treat by San Pedro’s songstress Natalie Arceo. Accompanied by Josh Nuñez, requisite ‘Maya escort’, each of the four contestants sashayed in their gold swimwear. Sponsored by Mata Chica Resort, the swimsuits were modeled beautifully by the young ladies, after which they quickly went backstage to change into their final outfit for the evening, the always elegant and breathtaking evening wear.

Water samples continue to show contamination in San Mateo
The residents of the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town were privileged to receive a working visit from a group of three from the Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance (SEA). The purpose of the visit was to involve the residents, especially the young people of the community in a one week camp geared at helping them to understand the importance of taking care of the water and what can be done to clean it up. One of the main goals for the non-profit group during their visit was to conduct water samples in the community. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, group leader Mary Beth Sutton explained they conducted testing by sampling pipe water for bacteria and water that is settled in the general area. Speaking of the water test results, Sutton said that over 50 samples were taken and “It appears that most of the tap water is free of most bacteria. I do hedge a little since the test we are using is best for areas where there is a large degree of bacterial contamination. With that said, there were still several homes that had significant bacterial contamination in their tap water. I will look and see if this is a cluster of homes in a close knit area. The water in pools around the homes that was collected by many young people was universally contaminated with not only coliform bacteria but with escherichia coli and it appears that other harmful bacteria and fungi are also present.”

Crime Stoppers on an aggressive media campaign in San Pedro
Crime Stoppers has been operating in Belize for some years now but are now moving swiftly on an aggressive media campaign on Ambergris Caye. The surge in crime on the tourism dependent island is asking neighborhood watch groups, the business sector, law enforcement agencies and the media to partner and educate local residents to utilize Crime Stoppers to give tips/information about any crime while remaining anonymous. The campaign will be in the form of television, radio and newspapers, placement of banners and signs and even including visits to schools and other interested target groups. While Crime Stoppers is not taking the responsibility of the local police to investigate crime, it serves as a vehicle for tippers to give information to a total professional entity. Once Crime Stoppers collect the information from the tipper, the same information collected is then passed on to the local police, and in many cases, the information helps to solve crimes. The call to Crime Stoppers Belize at the 0-800-922-TIPS (8477) toll free line is answered by professionals, at the Crime Stoppers Miami Dade call center in USA. The system is set up in such a way that the calls are untraceable, making it impossible to know the identity of caller. The trained operators, who in many instances are detectives, at the call center will ask the caller specific questions. The information collected by the operator is then passed on to investigators in Belize so as to make arrests. The caller will also be given a fake name or a code number and will asked to make follow up calls to find out if the information led to an arrest of the offender. Once an arrest is made and the person is charged by Police in Belize, the tipper with the use of the fake name or code number will be able to collect a reward for the information given to Crime Stoppers. Through the same hotline, the tipper will be able to make arrangements for collecting their reward by selecting any of the nominated payment locations set up in Belize. The payment is also made anonymously without the need for the caller to reveal their identity and with the use of their fake name or code number.

Ambergris Today

School Again! Heading Back to the Classrooms
Children bearing their brightly colored school uniforms filled the streets this morning as they headed back to school after a beautiful summer vacation here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. It’s back to hitting the books, getting back to old school buddies and enjoying all the great activities at school. We surely did not see anybody complaining, even though it meant the end of summer vacations.

Over 100lbs of Cocaine Found on Turneffe Atoll
The bail was found to contain 35 parcels, of what 21 were wrapped in red tape with the markings “PZ” on them, 10 were wrapped in brown tape without any markings and 4 were wrapped in yellow tape without any markings. Each parcel was weighed individually and to a total weight of 47,480.5 grams or 104.675 pounds.

New Miss San Pedro Selected, Naiely Puc
Four young ladies was all it took to ignite this year’s Miss San Pedro Pageant which took place on Saturday, August 1, 2012. Naiely Puc, Darcie Zepeda, Ashley Rhaburn and Adriana Haylock took the stage by storm and put on an impressive show of pageantry at Central Park, venue for this year’s pageant. At event’s end, Miss Naiely Puc, sponsored by Castillo’s Hardware, was selected as Miss San Pedro 2012.

Buried Treasures In The Village of San Pedro
So here goes this true story of buried treasures. If in the darkness of the night you happen to see a small burning flame at some corner of your backyard that is a sign that there is a buried treasure at that spot. My father saw this flame one very dark night at the right corner of his lot right on the back street, now Pescador Drive. He marked the spot and told his dad about it. My grandfather instructed him that he would have to dig at that spot in the middle of the night when no one would see nor interrupt him.

Flashbacks: Family Fun At Sea In The Village Of San Pedro
In the golden years of the Village of San Pedro, children would go swimming practically every day. As soon as the school bell was rung for dismissal, children would run home, change into their swimming trunks, and head to their favorite swimming spot- the main pier, Tackle Box Area, Fido’s Area, Paradise Area. Some children even went swimming into their regular school clothes. However on Saturdays and Sundays, this fun activity became a family event, especially if there were young children who had not yet learned to swim. Dozens of families would line up along the beach looking for their favorite swimming area. This activity intensified when there were friends visiting from Belize City, like during the Easter vacations. This flashback dates back to the 70’s when the down trodden Bishop’s house was still standing at the corner before the property was turned over to the Lions for improvements to the property. Did you know that the good Catholic Bishop Martin rented that property to the Lions for one dollar a year for 50 years?

Pic of the Week: San Pedro is Ideal for Paddleboarding
It was probably the perfect conditions for paddleboarding, the new sports that is becoming very popular here in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The sea was super calm and clear and perfect for enjoying this sport that also doubles as a great workout. Just another way to have some fun in the sun in La Isla Bonita, San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Cornerstone Concert Pictures
Cornerstone also celebrated on Burns avenue Friday night at the Full Moon Party. They busted out some dance moves to welcome September. Thanks, Cornerstone!

Telenova Concert Pictures
Telenova had their 2nd anniversary party this weekend in Benque. They had live music, and DJ Caesar. Here are some pictures from the event.

Back to School in Benque
School is back in session. The Benque House of Culture was out to get some pictures of the kids going back to their classes. Have a great year!

Summer Full Moon Concert on Burns
The SISE House of Culture had their big Summer Full Moon Concert Friday night. There was quite a bit of live music, along with an enactment of Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham. As Dr. Seuss would say: Tons of fun for everyone! "The San Ignacio and Santa Elena House of Culture brought the Summer Full Moon Concert to Burns Ave."

2012 Belize Youth Awards
The Belize Youth Award is a prestigious national honor bestowed upon outstanding Belizean youth between the ages of 15 and 29. It awarded for demonstrating high standards of achievement and commitment within various categories: Sports, Media, Citizenship, Arts and Culture, Mentally and Physically Challenged, Youth Ministers Entrepreneurship and Academic Excellence. Youth for the Future has the new nomination deadline set for Wednesday, September 5th. The winners will be announced on the 12th. "The deadline for nominations is September 5th. Nomination forms can be picked up at any of the Youth for the Future offices country wide. The winners will be presented with their certificate and plaque in Belize City at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts on September 12th."

School opens and unveils the 2 new classrooms
Today was the beginning of the new school year for the Caye Caulker’s Roman Catholic School and all children from age 5 to 12 years old were in attendance for this very important day of the year. Everybody has a new teacher, a new classroom and maybe even some new friends added into their class from last year. For some this day was one that they eagerly awaited and for others, there were a few tears and dragging of feet to come through the school gates!! And then there are those who are attending school for the first time, these small students looking with great excitement in their eyes, a sense of achievement that they are now part of the ‘big kid’ ranks.

Channel 7

FECTAB Fires Up Again & Throws Charges At Chukka
Almost exactly two years ago - the name Chukka Tours was thrust into the headlines when Tom Greenwood, Yohnnie Rosado and their organization FECTAB lambasted the Jamaican company for exercising an unfair advantage in the local market. After weeks of sustained, intense animosity and bad mouthing - things died down - and for the past two years, Chukka has been quietly doing its business - emerging as the leading tour operator in a crowded local landscape. And their competitors have come to accept it - that, after all, is the nature of foreign investment. But now the locals have drawn another line in the sand - this time they say Chukka has gone too far with by erecting a rappelling platform at the Jaguar Paw site. FECTAB held a press conference today to explain what they call the perils of this planned attraction. Tom Greenwood led the charge:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the chunk of stone that Greenwood says he picked up at Nohoch Chen - which we know as Jaguar Paw. He told the gathering of tour guides and operators that the stone tumbled from this cliff face when Chukka was installing a platform for rappelling. Tom Greenwood "What alerted us is we got to the cave site and I heard this pneumatic drill and then when I watch the cave entrance and I looked up again - and I sat there for a while then all of a sudden - oh God!."

Chukka Says Claims Wholly Inaccurate
And so if it makes no sense - and if it puts the safety of their own guests at risk, why would Chukka do it? We tried to get the logic from Valerie Woods, the country manager for Chukka who said it would be crazy for them to put anyone's life at risk. Here are her comments:... Valerie Woods "It would be almost insane on our part to compromise our brand and compromise the business that we have with cruise and with hotels to put in place a tour that compromises the safety standards and put people at risk. We would never do such a thing." "I've heard the accusation of rocks falling I believe or boulders. The rock drill that's used is one that goes in and takes the piece of rock out - just sufficiently the size of the required width needed to put the anchoring pole for the platform. This goes into the drill - this goes into the rock and it takes the rock out and it secures the rock and therefore you unscrew it afterwards and these are pieces of rock, it secures it and so our technical personnel has to unscrew and put it in a little bucket and we carry it down. So it's boulders and rocks falling because of drilling? - it's almost an impractical, impossible thing to do using the proper equipment." Jules Vasquez "But Mr. Greenwood appeared at the press conference with a large chunk of churt." Valerie Woods "Which you saw him got the minute it fell? Of course, right?" Jules Vasquez "I don't want to think that a misrepresentation so blatant is being made." Valerie Woods "Because others haven't been made such as we do not comply to regulations. Jules, it's not even worth almost the time and energy spent. It's an inaccurate statement. So you show up at a conference with a piece of rock. I can show up this afternoon if you like with some too. Anybody can, it's an inaccurate statement."

School Warden Murdered
School started today but Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist was without its warden, Dana Augustus - and that's because she was killed on Saturday morning. Augustus is one of two women were shot in the same area on the City. Both shootings happened off Vernon Street - about half a mile apart. But the second shooting was fatal - and has the appearances of an execution. But why would anyone want to kill a 41 year old school warden and mother of seven? That's what Monica Bodden tried to find out today:.. Monica Bodden reporting 41 year old Dana Augustus was shot inside her home - here at number 19 Mayflower Street - around midnight on Friday. The mother of 7 - was inside with her 2 daughters - when she heard someone calling her name, shortly after, her home was sprayed with bullets. Some say, they heard up to 10 shots. Dana Augustus was shot 3 times. She collapsed on her kitchen floor in front of her refrigerator.

14 Year Old Male Charged For Shooting 14 Year Old Female
And while police don't have suspects for shooting those two women - they do have the men who allegedly shot a 14 year old girl on Thursday. 14 year-old Desiree Aranda, was injured by a stray bullet as she was eating dinner in her house. Well, today, the males who police believe fired the shots, were all taken to Magistrate's Court - and two of them area minors - one fo them the same age of the victim. On Saturday, police arrested and charged 18 year-old Adrian Alvarez, a 16 year-old minor, and a 14 year-old minor jointly for conspiracy to commit murder. The 16 year-old was also charged with 2 counts of attempted murder, 1 count of aggravated assault, 1 count of dangerous harm, and 1 count of use of deadly means of harm. All 3 accused were taken before Magistrate Aretha Ford where they were arraigned for the conspiracy charge. Due to the nature of the offence, Magistrate Ford could not grant them bail, and they were remanded into custody until October 10, their next court date.

GSU Charges an Entire Family
An entire family of 5 is at prison tonight, after the Gang Suppression Unit found a gun inside their home. According to the GSU, yesterday morning at 8:00 they searched a house on Raccoon Street Extension. Present at the time were residents, 26 year-old Lionel Sampson, 27 year-old Jane Ovado, 18 year-old Lodgrick Ovado, 45 year-old Evelyn Gibson, 19 year-old Lanicke Ovado, and 52 year-old Cyril Ovado. The officers searched the entire house, and they discovered a chrome and black 9 mm pistol, which was loaded with 13 live rounds of ammunition, which were found hidden underneath the flooring of a storeroom in the downstairs area of the house. As a result, the officers charged all of the occupants of the house with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

No Love Lost Between Lovelack and GSU
And while the GSU is, as always, parading its good work, they didn't say anything about a fruitless search in the Lake Independence area. Erlinda Lovelack is upset that the GSU, searched her house on Saturday and treated her family as though they were common criminals. Here's what she told us about the humiliation they faced - when she says no one in the family has any criminal history. Erlinda Lovelack, Upset about GSU search "5 o' clock Saturday morning while I was in my bed sleeping - I heard a noise, I thought it was my husband who got up to go to run, when I realize that he was beside me looking through the window to see who came in the yard and before anything we heard a noise at the door. It was the police they were saying 'get up and open the door or they will stomp it down.'" "My husband got up and opened the other door because this door they had already stomp it and the key fell out. We couldn't find the key. All of them came in the house and say that they have a search warrant because they got intelligent information that we have drugs and gun at our house." "Now my question to them is; do we look like anybody who has drugs or gun at our house. What kind of information can they get about people who don't have a police record, about people who work hard, who are putting their children though school? What do they want? Do they want us on the streets like the other people, so that they can class us? Is that what they want?" "When they came in they ask who all is in the house and I told them that I have my mother and my kids. They woke up everybody, bring them out. I didn't have on any clothes, only a towel. They didn't even bring a female officer. My husband and my son are the only males that live in this house. My son is 12 years old and I have a 17 year old daughter and a 15 year old daughter."

Mexican Newspaper Reports Belizean Bloodbath
There is a remarkable story coming out of a Quintana Roo newspaper in Mexico tonight. It says that a Belizean cane cutter was chopped to death by two other Belizeans in a community called Rovirosa on the Rio Hondo. The newspaper Diario Respuesta reports that early on Saturday morning Feliz Carrasco Jimenez was chopped to death by Hilario Chi and another men - who had all been drinking together. Carrasco managed to get away on a motorbike - the paper reports - but fell shortly after; his entire arm had been severed. The other men then reportedly dragged his motorcycle some distance away and set it on fire.

Let The Celebrations Begin
The September Celebrations were officially opened on Sunday at St. George's Caye. That was the settlement's former capital - and of course, the staging ground for the famous - some say infamous - Battle. But whatever historical view you take - September in Belize has taken on a life of its own - so much so that the good times merry-making and pageantry often eclipses the historical significance of the observance. And that's why at the official opening on Sunday - Chairman of Caye Caulker Johnny Watt - told the gathering to always remember history:.. Johnny Searle Jr., Chairman - St. George's Caye Comm. Council "Sometimes we get caught up in the festivities of the September celebrations and we don't take time to really think about the reason behind the celebrations." "Without the efforts of the Flowers Bank 14 and everyone else who decided to defend the settlement - there would likely not have been a Battle of St. George's Caye and without the Battle of St. George's Caye probably no Belize Independence Day and no reason for us to have our September celebrations that we always look forward to." Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism "Indeed it was right here on this small island that 214 years ago a group of diverse people stood their grounds and fought against overwhelming odds to defend their homeland and for the right to pursue their own unique way of life."

And The Winner Is...
And while that was the ceremonial opening, those who really follow September celebrations - will know that the September Season really begins when the Queen of the Bay is selected. That happened on Saturday when The 67th Annual Queen of the Bay was held at the Birds Isle. After more than 3 hours of competition, Yadira Argueta, the representative from Stann Creek was crowned the new queen. 2nd place was Ivory Mendez, Queen of the Bay, Corozal; 3rd was Gorlee Marin, Miss Caribbean Sea, representing Flower's House. There was one more queen selected this weekend - and that was the King and Queen of Carnival. We were at that event - and will have a full recap in tomorrow night's newscast.

A Bridge Too Far?
The Belize Mexico joint commission met last week at the Princess Casino near the Belize Mexico border. According to a Mexican newspaper, they discussed the new bridge that will connect the two countries. The Mexican newspaper reports that the bridge is ready but cannot be used because the roadwords on the Belize side are not yet finished. The new international bridge called is called "Chactemal". The Mexican paper reports that the outflow of Belizeans to Quintana Roo is an average of 1.3 million a year while about 250 000 -700 thousands Mexicans cross annually into Belize, mostly the free zone.

Channel 5

Tour companies archeological war
There is controversy brewing in the tourism industry tonight. It has to do with the construction of a rappelling platform at cave three at Caves Branch. And it’s FECTAB versus Chukka Belize Limited, the Jamaican based company with whom FECTAB was at war two years ago. At a highly charged press conference, FECTAB President Tom [...]

Mother of 6 murdered
A school warden was killed in the comfort of her own home on Friday night in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the Old Capital. It was just past midnight when forty-one year old Dana Augustus came in harm’s way. Augustus, who worked at the Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist Primary School, is the seventh [...]

Is Lucretia Myvette’s shooting related to murder of another?
Just before the murder of Dana Augustus, another woman was shot in the city. Police believe the two incidents may be related. Lucretia Myvette was shot to the back in front of her family; however, she survived the incident.   Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer “The earlier shooting on Friday, thirty-first of August, is [...]

Orange Walk resident shot while riding his bicycle
There was also gun violence up north. An Orange Walk man was shot once to the chest while he managed to dodge several other bullets as he was riding in that northern municipality. Over the weekend James Pelayo was on his bike when five men tried to ambush him. Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood has [...]

Shooting victim in induced coma
Isaiah Williams remains hospitalized at the K.H.M.H. in an induced coma. He is the thirty-five year old who was shot four times on Thursday night as he stood outside his parents’ gate on Banak Street. On Friday we spoke with Rosalie Williams, Isaiah’s wife, who told us that she believed her husband, was injured because [...]

3 persons including 2 minors charged for shooting a girl
Two minors, including a fourteen year old, are among three charged for the shooting on La Croix Boulevard in which fourteen year old Desiree Aranda was shot in the back. Last Thursday evening, the trio fired several shots at two persons, but missed and hit Aranda as she sat eating in her house. The teenager [...]

Death by machete in Mexico
Across the border, a Belizean cane cutter was hacked to death allegedly by two other Belizeans in Rovirosa, along the banks of the Río Hondo. The incident was published today in Mexico’s daily newspapers. The suspects were arrested by members of Mexico’s State Police. The brutal murder occurred when Felix Carrasco Jiménez, Hilario Chi Rogelio [...]

Family in jail for illegal ammo
At around eight o’clock on Sunday morning, the GSU detained an entire family, including a pregnant woman, on Sister Terese Sparks Street after a nine millimeter Smith and Wesson pistol with thirteen live rounds of ammunition were found in a search of Lionel Sampson’s house. Jane, Lodgrick, Evelyn, Lanicke and Cyril Ovado were all arrested [...]

Marijuana entrepreneur touches customer in bed?
Also in the court, a construction worker of Casuarina Street was charged with indecent assault and common assault after he allegedly made a brazen move on a woman in front of her boyfriend. It’s an interesting story because twenty-four year old Kareem White reportedly visited the thirty year old victim to drop off some weed [...]

GSU finds gun and makes a cocaine bust
A nine millimeter pistol was found at around eight on Sunday night on Raccoon Street. The search took place while a house party was ongoing at the residence of Micah Lee Williams, a reputed drug peddler, according to the GSU. Nothing illegal was found in the house or yard, but in a further search on [...]

Belizean students join U.S. Youth Ambassador Program
Thirteen Belizean High School students will spend the next three weeks in the US as part of a Youth Ambassador program, sponsored by the US Department of State. The exchange program, which is implemented by Partners of the Americas, started in 2002 and is open to youths from the United States, Latin America and the [...]

The next Superstar contestants
Be the Next Superstar is live at the Bliss tonight! The change is due to bookings at the Bliss for the September celebrations, but for fans who can’t wait for the excitement, Group B is energized and ready to hit the stage. When the show opens, three will face the knockout round, one will live [...]

The sequins of Carnival King & Queen winners
The MCC Grounds was ram-jammed on Saturday night for this year’s King and Queen Competition for Carnival 2012. There were more than thirty vying for the title of king and queen in both senior and junior divisions. The judge’s scorecard included points or presentation, portrayal and interviews. Hours later, a veteran took home the bragging [...]

Sports Monday’s Lionman Edition
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We begin with the PLB matchup inside the MCC Grounds yesterday as FC Belize hosted the San Pedro Seadogs in a battle to move up the standings in Zone A. In the opening minute, Jessie Smith fires off this left foot splice that glances [...]


A Family of Eighteen Attacks Police Officers
Police have release information about Thursday night’s incident in Steadfast Village during which civilians were reportedly shot by some members of the Police Department. Police say that at around seven twenty-five on that night three policemen from the Dangriga Police Form...

Woman Killed Inside Her Home
Police investigations continue into Friday night’s fatal shooting of a Belize City woman. Love News understands that the victim, Dana Augustus, was reportedly inside her house on Mayflower Street shortly after ten on Friday night when she was shot dead. Information re...


Man shot in front of his mother’s house
A man is fighting for his life in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot four times in front of his mother’s house on Banak Street in Belize City on Thursday night. Thirty-five year old Isaiah Williams was shot by two youths who rode on separate bicycles from the direction of the Central American Boulevard shortly after nine pm. Williams’ wife, Rosalie Williams, told Love News that that her husband is in an induced coma. If that were not bad enough, the shooting almost led to the family’s house being destroyed by fire. Williams was reportedly alone cooking inside the kitchen at the time and had only stepped out to take a cigarette break when he was shot, as his wife shared with us. Williams told us that she has a strong suspicion that the mastermind behind the shooting was an estranged spouse to a relative of hers. She said that her husband was trying to help her relative upon her mother’s request to move out of an abusive relationship and when Williams went to move the relative’s belongings from the house, the man threatened him. But to add to the whole incident, after Williams was shot, his family went to the hospital, leaving open the door that neighbours had just broken open to turn off the stove. That was the time that thieves chose to enter the house and steal the family’s household appliances. So far, police have no suspects for the shooting nor the theft.

Four persons shot allegedly by police
A family from Alta Vista village in the Stann Creek district is up in arms today, after the shooting of three of their loved ones, allegedly by a policeman. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. This morning, Love News spoke with the sister of three of the wounded Castellaños brothers. Lucrecia Castellaños told Love News that she believes her brothers were targeted by the police and that it is not the first time the police have used excessive force against them. Lucrecia Castellaños told Love News that since the shooting, the police have been preventing the family from seeing their hospitalized loved ones. Love News requested a comment from the Police Press Officer about last night’s shooting in Alta Vista village; but up to news time, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood has not responded to our call for information.

Teenage girl injured by gunshot in her house
Three men have been detained by police following the shooting of a teenage girl last night. The fourteen year old girl, a high school student, had just gotten home from classes on Thursday evening and was reportedly around her table eating when she was shot in the back. Police reports say the incident was the result of a shooting at the corner of Park Street and La Croix Boulevard. Police say that three men on separate bicycles were at the location around five thirty yesterday evening, when one of the men fired four shots in the direction of a couple who was in the area. Neither of the couple was injured; but the bullets penetrated the walls of the little girl’s house on Cumberbatch Street and hit her in the lower back. The fourteen year old girl was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Ten year old girl found dead
Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a ten year old girl of San Lazaro Village in the Orange Walk District. Sometime around ten o’clock yesterday morning neighbours noticed 10-year-old Rosalie Talles hanging from a rope which was tied to a tree. They rushed to child’s assistance and cut the rope from around her neck and tried to revive her but it was a futile effort. The child’s body was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival. The family is left with a number of questions since Rosalie is described as a happy and friendly child.

Telethon in aid of injured boy
A radio-thon is being organized to assist the Cordova family if Marcus Canul area Orange Walk town. Back on July 26, the family house, which rested in stumps, collapsed over two of the family’s children. The two children were trapped underneath the house until neighbors managed to get them out and transport them to the NRH for medical attention. Jorge Chuc is a neighbor and recounts what happened that terrible Thursday morning on San Martin St. Orange Walk town. The two children trapped under the house were ten year old Briton Cordova and seven year old Jouvan Griffith. Griffith managed to recuperate with time but Briton received severe head injuries and had to be put on life support. Two weeks ago doctors at the KHMH told the family there is nothing else they can do for the ten year old boy as his diagnosis is grim. He was later transferred to the NRH in Orange Walk town and now the family is raising fund to take the little boy for medical attention abroad. The family hopes to raise 20 thousand dollars. The radio-thon will starts tomorrow morning at 9 and run until 3pm. It will be aired live on Estereo Amor and local radio Universal FM. There will also be a bar-b-que sale.

Housing expo in Western Pines
If you’ve been contemplating buying a new house then tomorrow will be the day to take the opportunity to come one step closer as the Western Pines Housing Expo is being held. The community is located at mile 8 ½ on the Western Highway and is a part of the greater community called Western Paradise and immediately behind Sunset Park. Sales and Marketing Director for CP Buildings and Western Pines, Pauline Romero, filled us in on the details. The expo is free and it will take place from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Public transportation is available at the old Novelo’s Bus terminal for those who don’t have their own transportation.


Unions get their wish; negotiations begin with Ministers
The three unions – Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU), Public Service Union (PSU) and Association of Public Serv...


A Trip to St. George's Caye, Part One: Dignitaries, Sailing and San Pedro's Proudest Mom
Yesterday I joined the San Pedro Sailing Club for a trip to very historic St. George's Caye, Belize. The team was sailing in the Battle of St. George's Caye Regatta against kids from all over the country. (I spotted Consejo, the brand new Placencia team and Corozal.) I have so much to say about my day visiting Belize's first capital (and SO many pictures, I snapped an overwhelming 293) so let me give you a little preview... I met the proudest mother in San Pedro...and maybe even the whole country of Belize right now... Her daughter won the Miss San Pedro 2012 competition on Saturday night and her son took first place in yesterday's regatta. How cool is that? Go Marfa! But let's back up a bit... The team and their supporters started out early for the 45 minute boat trip to St. George's Caye. There were a few heavy clouds looming but after a few a.m. sprinkles, we had a glorious day. The caye is situated relatively close to Belize City and has been used as a vacation getaway for well-to-do Belizeans for centuries. There is one resort on the island, I'd guess about 40 private homes and no stores, restaurants or bars. The small island (just over a mile long) was the first colonial settlement in Belize, the largest colonial town in Belize in the 17th and 18th centuries and our first official capital city.

Monday Morning
For those of you who work from home you know it how easy it is to get sucked in. With no commute I pretty much walk out our bedroom door and I am at the office. Tacoboy has decided he is changing that up by taking his morning coffee on the veranda, reading and sometimes going for a swim before he hits the office [guest bedroom] I on the other hand am having a hard time keeping my brain turned off enough to do that. Especially this week as I have too much on my on my plate, 2 magazine articles for Belize News Exchange with pics due Friday and shooting pictures for Sport Diver Magazine to go with the Belize Tips I submitted. With all that rolling around in my head I decided it was important to to go slow this morning and a perfect option was get lost catching up on a few Belize blogs with my morning coffee. There are lots of good ones out there but today 4 was my time limit - Belize it or not…Bear & Em in Belize! Letters to my friends by Carrie Tripodi, Tia Chocolate by Mary Gonzalez, San Pedro Scoop by Rebecca Coutant and Taking Belize by Debra Milstead.

Fun Activities Not To Miss When Visiting Belize
Belize, as tiny as it may be, is so varied in terrain and activities that you can spend weeks there and never tire of all the fun activities there is to do! Either you are traveling alone, along friends or with family, here are seven fun activities not to miss when visiting Belize: Snorkeling, Diving, Kayaking, Biking, Golf Carts, Hiking and caving, Wildlife viewing

International Sources

Central American and Caribbean countries design plan for responsible fishing
A group of delegates from the Organization of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Sector of Central America (Ospesca) and of the Community of Caribbean States (Caricom), meeting in Belize will intend to design a plan to protect marine resources. "The purpose of the meeting, which will be held for the first time, is to create an action plan for responsible fisheries throughout the Caribbean, since Central America has already designed models for governance, but it is necessary to extend them to the entire Caribbean Sea," Ospesca director, Mario Gonzalez, told AFP. The resources of the Caribbean Sea "know no borders" and are affected by the impact of climate change, overfishing and illegal fishing, González explained. It is, therefore, necessary to "agree and implement" a plan to "ensure sustainability of marine products over time." At the meeting, the representatives from Central America will try to provide expertise to the Caribbean as to the aquaculture field, generating huge profits. The meeting will be attended by Ospesca technical commission delegates and those from the 17 countries forming part of the Regional Mechanism of Fisheries in the Caribbean (CRFM). For Tuesday the attendance of the ministers of both regions responsible for the fisheries area in their respective nations is expected, González stated. The idea is to "reach a commitment" by signing a memorandum of understanding between CRFM and Ospesca.

Belize Field Study Gives Students Hands-on Conservation Experience
Jennifer Souther wanted to learn about a different part of the world from something other than a textbook. So she applied for a passport and this summer found herself in a van with nine other Mason students, traveling the dusty roads of Belize for an experience that changed her life. “I learned more in one week than I ever thought imaginable,” says Souther, a senior majoring in integrative studies with a concentration in elementary education. This was the first time the course, NCLC 498/BIOL 440 Rainforest Conservation in Belize, was offered through the Center for Field Studies. New Century College professor Sylvia Vitazkova led the field course. Students toured the country of Belize in late May to learn about conservation, rainforests, and animal biodiversity. For Souther, the trip brought alive all her senses. “Everything looks, sounds, smells, and feels different from it does in Virginia,” she says. From hearing the Howler monkeys call at night—“like something out of a horror movie”—to adapting to the extreme heat, Souther says she will never forget her experience.
The Blue Ventures Manatee and Bird project is a great way to learn more about the diverse wildlife in Northern Belize whilst contributing to valuable research. The programme gives you the amazing ...

September 3, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Opposites, Part IV
After her punishing Saturday, Andrea fought a fever from the wounds that night in bed, every so often wincing in bed as she turned trying to find a position that wouldn’t re-open the welts, making it ooze and stick to the sheets, ripping and re-angering the wound. She finally lay on her belly, refusing to cover herself – already her sleep shirt stuck to her aching back.

She snuffled, trying hard not to cry, but the tears fell unchecked on her lumpy pillow. The rest of the day had been pretty much the same. When her father tired of hitting her, he would scream profanities at her – a completely different man from the one who swung her to sleep the night before. He told her she was stupid, useless, careless (that she agreed on), didn’t deserve to have nice things. He already took away her gold necklace, and hid her earrings.

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

Two Day Event marks 7th Meeting of the Belize-Mexico Bi-National Commission
The Governments of Belize and Mexico held the 7th Meeting of the Belize–Mexico Bi-National Commission on 30th and 31st August, 2012 at the Princess Hotel, Free Zone. During the meeting the delegations discussed advances made in a number of areas important to the bilateral agenda, including the Belize Civic Centre, the new northern border crossing, immigration, security, education, trade & investment, tourism, transportation, agriculture and others. The delegations noted that a great deal of progress has been made since the 6th Bi-National Meeting held in 2010 in Chetumal Quintana Roo. The delegations also noted that the success of this two-day meeting is a reflection of the growing strength of bilateral relations that exist between Belize and Mexico. They renewed their commitment to work together to continue engaging in efforts that will contribute to achieving social and economic development for Belizeans and Mexicans alike.

Wolfe’s Woofers – “Neighbors”
“How you like your new rooms?” Jose asked. “I like them good,” Mario said. “It’s better than when I used to live across the street next to you. The rooms is a lot bigger. You ought to get rooms over there, too.” I was eating my salbutes and garnaches at the picnic table of my favorite local restaurant with Jose and Mario sitting at the other end of the table. “I think I’m gonna stay where it’s cheap,” Jose said. “I bet your landlord asks a lot for the rent at your place.” “He sure does,” Mario told him. “He asks me for it nearly every week.”

Doctor Love – Still Evolving
Dear Doctor Love, I have had a guy friend for a long time, all the way through high school. He had a crush on me back then for a long time but he finally got over it. Over the years, we hung out and celebrated everything from our birthdays to new relationships together. I have never been attracted to him, even though he is very handsome. I think it is because we have always been such close friends. Recently, he got engaged and no one could have been any happier for him than me. Then the girl he was engaged to, suddenly disappeared with a guy she had met only the week before. She didn’t even bother to break up with him or give his ring back. She just took off to the U.S. without even calling him. My friend was heartbroken.

Bungee Trampoline Jumping comes to San Pedro!
Looking for something fun and different to do? Are you ready to add a new element of entertainment to your next party or fund raiser? Then look no further….guests will be jumping for joy once they have tried the new-to-San Pedro Toucan Bungee Trampoline! Kids of all ages who fall within the 30 – 180 pound weight restriction can bounce to heights up to 24 feet and spin around in one of the two swivel harnesses Toucan has to assure a perfect fit and safety.

A Few of my Favorite Things
by Tamara Sniffin, Editor, The San Pedro Sun. Life on La Isla Bonita is full of unique and colorful encounters that we often experience each day. Sometimes it’s the little things that can make my day, like spotting a new bloom on the hibiscus plant in my yard or marveling at the coconuts that are collecting on my tree. Other times I can be genuinely moved, like after weeks of watching a pair of osprey tend to their massive nest on my daily commute to work I notice for the first time a gray fluff-ball of a baby bird poking his head out of the nest. It’s not just the flora and fauna that can delight me but the people, places and food as well. There are some folks who I see on the street that I have been waving to for eight years and even though I know not their name I know their smile. And there are favorite swimming holes, restaurants and beachside bars that I gravitate to, each offering something that I have grown to like immensely. We all have favorite places to go, be it the best stretch of beach for a BBQ, to the restaurant that dishes up the best ceviche or the bar that has the best happy hour. So, what is the next best thing to having a favorite? Sharing it with friends! Allow me to share with you just a few of my favorite things…who knows, maybe we have something in common! Wet Willy’s Seafood Saturdays, Bougainvillea, Estel’s Dine by the Sea, Hermit Crabs, Happy Hour at Caprice Bar and Grill.

Misc Belizean Sources

Benque's September Celebrations pictures
The Benque House of Culture has some good pictures of their September Celebrations. Let the festivites begin. Happy 31st, Belize!

September Celebrations in Benque
The Benque House of Culture is doing quite a few events for the September Celebrations. They'll have their Educational Exhibition about the story of resistance in Belize on the 6th, followed by a Thanks Giving Service at Our Lady of Mount Carmel on the 7th. On the 19th, They'll have a tribute to George Price. They'll have an Art Fiesta and a Full Moon concert on the 29th. Have a safe and fun September.

Megan's Peach Cobbler

Belizean Curried Rice
In this video, I use long grained white rice to make curried rice. although this recipe is simple, it is very spicy and tasty. It uses very few ingredients, but its very colourful and goes well with any type of meat and vegetables.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Baller’s 4 Life Basketball Tournament is underway
The Caye Caulker Ballers 4 Life Basketball Tournament held its sixth week of games over the weekend and is gearing up for the playoffs. The tournament has seven teams from Belize City, San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker village in a 12-week tournament. With the sponsorship of the Belize Tourism Board and the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi, the tournament is a huge success, attracting many people for the regular Saturday night games being held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, organizer Charles Young Jr. explained that, “the tournament is geared at engaging at risk youth of both islands in some sort of sports. It is also an opportunity for me (Charles) to give back to the communities.” The teams competing are: Hot Skull, Lazy Lizard Black Neighborhood, Bun Fire and Hard Time Hustlers from Caye Caulker; ET Center/ Jolly Rogers from Belize City and Tuff E Nuff from San Pedro On Saturday, August 25th Tuff E Nuff, led by Rico Black, played Lazy Lizard and managed to win by a comfortable margin of 78 to 69 points. So far Tuff E Nuff has won three out of four games played and has two more games before the play off.


The worst bug bites in Belize (so far...)
Since arriving in Belize, we've gotten our share of insect bites: mosquitoes, sand flies, and various biting ants are fairly ubiquitous, at least when there is no wind or it's blowing from the right direction. We've been lucky enough not to be stung by any yellow jackets or hornets to date. However, on our recent trip to the mainland, we experienced a biting insect we knew nothing about. We're now properly educated! There we were, innocently walking from our cabana over to breakfast through the grass at Mama Noots Eco-Resort in Mayflower Bocawina National Park in the Stann Creek District of Belize. We hadn't bothered to put on any insect repellent for such a short walk, though of course we'd planned on slathering ourselves with it before our hike in the jungle after breakfast. All of a sudden, we noticed that we were attracting little black, gnat-like bugs, especially on our lower legs. It felt like they were biting us, though their bites didn't hurt or sting badly like a fire ant bite; it was just a passing annoyance, kind of like a no-see-um bite. After slapping at them awhile, we realized that where each one bit us, there was a small drop of blood. As we arrived at the dining room, we ran into Liz, the proprietor, with one of the zip-line workers. We asked them about the bites, and they immediately recognized that they were made by some sort of fly. I could never understand exactly what they were saying; it sounded like "bottle fly", but maybe they'd called it "blood fly"? The latter was certainly fitting! Here's how the bites looked the day I got bit. Not too bad yet. ... They are not bottle nor blood flies, nor are they (thank the gods) bot flies, the awful creatures whose larvae burrow under the skin of humans. They are sometimes referred to as bot-less flies because of this fact; but the correct name is BOTLASS Fly (Diptera: Simuliidae; blackflies, bloodsucking insects). They are a local type of blackfly and are apparently found primarily in the Silk Grass Creek area of Belize [ref:, search for botlass], which is very close to Mayflower Bocawina Park and Mama Noots. We found several mentions of them in blogs and forums solely in this area, but no mention of them elsewhere in Belize, nor have we encountered them anywhere else in the country where we have traveled fairly extensively.

Night Photography Tips
We were all set to do the last poker run of the season and hanging out with the other ‘poker players’ at Roadkill Bar waiting to be signed in when Leisa realized just how late the poker run was going to last and decided to take a pass. Since I am also an early riser and was feeling in pumpkin mode, I thought it was not a bad idea. As we were driving back up north we caught sight of the blue moon, it was even bigger and better than last night, very exciting and a good confirmation that we had made the right decision. When we got back to Grand Caribe I grabbed my camera and went snap happy at the beach. I was playing around with different all the settings and ended liking the pictures I was getting with indoor which I thought was pretty funny. Leave it to a dyslexic to be taking outdoor night time photography on the indoor setting. Anyone have any thoughts on why indoor mode worked better nighttime one? In yesterday’s night time photography post I asked if anyone had any insight on better night photography and woke up with an the following email from Joseph with a few great photo tips. I am going to try the flashlight one for sure.

Scuba Diving in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
This is a journal of my experience when getting open water certified in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The Scuba diving course allowed me to visit the Belize Barrier Reef, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. The PADI Open Water Diver course can be done in 3 days. You can arrange this with your hotel or check with any dive shop that you come across. My personal recommendation is Amigos del Mar – ask for instructor Eddie, he rocks! The first day is the academic part and it involves watching a five chapter introduction video. How long it takes will depend on an individual’s learning capacity and since I’m a fast learner, it took me three hours. Chapter 1 introduces the student to the underwater world, the dive equipment, scuba systems and preface to the Buddy System. Chapter 2 continues by elaborates on the Buddy System, adapting to the underwater world, and respiration. Chapter 3 involves dive planning, problem management and general open water skills. Chapter 4 is all about knowing the dive accessories, your necessary health, breathing air at depth and introduction to dive tables/ computers. And finally, Chapter 5 is an entire overview which finalizes with a PADI course evaluation. It’s not difficult, it just sounds like it is. ambergris caye boats The second day is always much better! After finishing off with the academic stuff, get ready for fun by experiencing your first dive.

International Sources

Two regional fisheries bodies for historic Belize meeting
wenty-five countries from two regional fisheries organizations, with the task of promoting cooperation and policy coordination in addressing trans-boundary fisheries matters, will meet in Belize for a historic, high-level ministerial meeting today and tomorrow. The joint meeting in Belize City will bring together 17 CARICOM member and associated member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), and seven members of the Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA), joined by the Dominican Republic as an associate member, said a press release from the Ministry of Forestry,…..

Belize, Mexico Hold Talks
The governments of Belize and Mexico met for a two-day summit in Belmopan this week. The seventh meeting of the Belize-Mexico Bi-National Commission, which was held at the Prince Hotel in Free Zone, included discussions on tourism, trade, immigration and the new northern border crossing between the two countries, among other issues. In a statement, Belize and Mexico said a “great deal of progress” since their previous bi-national commission in Chetumal, Quintana Roo in 2010. The two sides “renewed their commitment to work together to continue engaging in efforts that will contribute to achieving social and economic development for Belizeans and Mexicans alike,” Belize’s government said in the statement. Belize’s delegation was led by Alexis Rosado, chief executive officer in Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Leading Mexico’s delegation was Norma Pensado, Under-Secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean in Mexico’s Secretariat of Foreign Affairs. Mexico has been working to increase its cooperation with the Caribbean. At the CARICOM-Mexico Summit in Barbados in May, Mexican President Felipe Calderon said the Caribbean region was Mexico’s “third border.”

Belize Review and Pictures
Great photos from around Belize can be seen on this review. Where exactly they stayed, we're not sure, but they loved it, and it is beautiful. "The first two days we stayed in the jungle near San Ignacio in the most darling little cabin and the second part of the trip we took a water taxi to Ambergris Caye and lounged on the little island. It was a lovely trip. We spent hours laying in hammocks, and took afternoon naps during the most delirious of rainstorms. We went jungle hiking, and climbed old mayan ruins from civilizations hundreds and hundreds of years old. We saw monkeys and wandered islands, holding hands like newlyweds."

September 2, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The September 2nd, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • The Court Dismiss - The Prosecution Insist
  • Novelo Finaly Charged
  • Marcia Moody Is The New Queen Of The West
  • BWSL Records Another Successful Year
  • Galen Awards Scholarships
  • How To Be A Good Student
  • Government Upgrading More Streets Benque, San Ignacio & Punta Gorda
  • STAR Humor
  • 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

Elijah Alamilla is back in San Pedro after lifesaving open heart surgery
The San Pedro Sun is happy to report that baby Elijah James Alamilla is back on Ambergris Caye after undergoing a lifesaving surgery. Elijah was born with Down syndrome, and was diagnosed with a heart condition that required open heart surgery to save his life. The surgery was conducted at the Clinica Regional de Altas Especialidades in Merida City, Mexico on June 3rd. After more than two months in recovery Elijah is finally back at home with his family and doing well. Dalia Alamilla, Elijah’s mother, arrived in San Pedro on Thursday, August 23rd from Merida City with her son. “Elijah needed an open heart surgery that could not be performed in Belize. Being a child with Down syndrome, this made his chances of survival even lower. We were at the KHMH (Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital) and they told us that there was nothing they could do for him. When we went to the Clinica Caranza in Chetumal, Mexico they told us the same thing. [Then] like a miracle, we met a doctor [who] encouraged us to take my baby to Merida. When we reached there we met with a cardiologist and he gave us the opportunity to go to the Clinica Regional de Altas Especialidades which is a government hospital,” explained Alamilla to The San Pedro Sun shortly after touching down on Ambergris Caye. “Thanks to the help we got from the residents of San Pedro we were able get one of only three beds in the intensive care unit.”

Galen University awards ten new scholarships to deserving students
A scholarship award ceremony was held on August 29, 2012 at the main campus at Galen University in Central Farm, Cayo District. Ten new scholarships were announced at the ceremony, nine for Bachelor degrees (including one basketball scholarship) and one Master’s degree scholarship. Students were awarded these scholarships based on their high academic achievements, their outstanding community service and financial need. Galen University’s scholarship program has now grown to sixty-two students, which is about 15% of the student body, with a value of over $900,000. Galen University congratulates all students who received a scholarship for the academic years 2012-2014 and wishes them the very best in their pursuit of a world class quality education. The scholarship program at Galen is just one of the many ways that the University gives back to the Belizean community.

Sergeant Gonzalez joins the San Pedro Police Formation
« Older: Ocean Pedal Challenge watercraft found off the coast of Ambergris Caye Sergeant Gonzalez joins the San Pedro Police Formation Saturday, September 1st, 2012 Font Size: Increase | Decrease | Reset The San Pedro Police Formation now counts on the services of a new head of Crimes Investigation Branch, Sergeant Jaime Gonzalez. Sergeant Gonzalez brings with him over fourteen years of experience with the Police Force and in the CIB Unit. Previously, he served in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo and Placencia. As the head of the CIB Department in San Pedro, Gonzalez will be responsible for investigating all criminal activities here on the island. The San Pedro Sun caught up with Sergeant Gonzalez, and he shared some of his observations with us. “Like in Placencia, there appears to be lots of burglaries here on the island and basically tourists again appear to be the targeted population. They tend to leave their things unattended and that is somewhat of an indication – especially to drug users who are the main perpetrators. From my experience I can say that I have been here for [a few] days now and I can say that a lot of criminals from other places, I’ve seen them on the island. My observation is that if two burglars are put away for the week, another two come from the mainland. So it’s like if you stop two, two more come and they are coming from all over.”

Miss San Pedro 2012-2013
Congratulations to Miss Naiely Odalis Puc, our new beauty ambassador!! 16 yr old Naiely was selected as our new Miss San Pedro 2012-2013 on September 1, 2012. She will be crowned on September 10th during an official coronation ceremony. (She is pictured with our current Miss San Pedro, Yakarelis Hernandez).

Misc Belizean Sources

The Belize Wildlife Clinic’s first veterinary interns! Of Interns and Iguanas
So many exiting things happening all at the same time makes it hard to decide where to even begin... Before the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic even opened its doors, the first interns arrived in March 2012 and while I promised to focus more on animal’s stories again – as opposed to all that mostly “human” stuff – I can’t resist to also talk about our first 2 week interns: Sarah and Stacy. In 3 words: They were awesome! What connects Interns and Iguanas? Probably the first letter... and while all my students get their hands on iguanas, Sarah and Stacy saw a lot more then the average iguana patients during their internship. They knew the clinic might not yet be open and opted for the “intensive rotation internship” where they would spend the majority of their time at our conservation partners and BWCN member organizations, get some basic theory and go around seeing patients with me. And they were ready to jump in! On our way from the airport we saw the first patient – not an iguana and possibly the subject of a different blog soon – a very sweet puma. The next morning, with the official start of their internship, we received the first iguana call.

Welcome to my new mobile office…in Ambergris Caye, Belize!
For the past two weeks, I have received some interesting comments and inquiries from friends every time I checked in on Foursquare to Wayo’s Beernet here in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Especially since some of those check-ins have been at 9:00 a.m. Let me start by explaining that I have come close to fulfilling my eight-year dream of living in Belize as I am now renting a place with one of my awesome local friends. I can be down here as often as I like — right now that is only going to be part-time, but it’s a start. Views from my beach and new mobile office And, well, I’ve picked a pretty scenic mobile office that happens to be just steps from my bedroom — the picnic tables on the beach or my now favorite barstool at Wayo’s. As you might imagine by “beernet”, Wayo’s offers Internet service and, well, one of the prime spots to have a beer on the beach. I’ve been here a number of times since its opening in March 2010 and always had an amazing time, but it wasn’t until this trip that I fully realized how it is the pulse of San Pedro.

August’s photo of the month!
We just love this photo of Kevin and his lobsters on our 3 day Caye Caulker to Placencia adventure!! Christina Bornstein took the photo earlier in the summer and it just captures Kevin’s humor! Thank you Christina – your photo will now be our ‘August Photo of the Month’!!


Regional fisheries conference in Belize next week
As many as twenty five countries from two regional organizations will converge in Belize City for a historic high level meeting. The meeting will take place from Monday September third to Tuesday September fourth at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel and will feature seventeen CARICOM member and associated member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism CRFM and seven members of the Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture for the Central American Isthmus OSPESCA, joined by the Dominican Republic as an associate member, who will chart a comprehensive course for future collaborative action. Belize is the common link between CRFM and OSPESCA since it is the only country that has membership in both regional bodies and as such was chosen as the host country in a joint declaration by Heads of State and Government of both Central American and Caribbean countries who met at the third CARICOM-SICA Summit in San Salvador, El Salvador last August. The meeting is aimed at strengthening collaboration between CRFM and OSPESCA. Some of the matters to be discussed at the meeting are fisheries and aquaculture development across all twenty five states; illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; climate change impacts on marine ecosystems and fishing communities, among many others. Observers from interested regional and international Organizations such as the FAO, UWI,CLME and CNFO have been invited to attend the milestone event.

Fire destroys house in Crooked Tree village
A woman and her grandchildren are left homeless after their house was completely gutted by fire this afternoon in Crooked Tree Village. Love News spoke with the victim, Joyce Adolphus Bull, who said that she was at home alone when she realized that the house was on fire and that by that time, it was too late to save anything.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Photo of the week: BETTA No Litta! Let’s keep Caye Caulker clean!
A clean Caye Caulker is a healthy Caye Caulker, let’s keep La Isla Carinosa clean!! Photo can be seen in front of Popeye’s Hotel on the beach


Let The Cats Play! A HUGE Cattery Donated to SAGA and How You Can Help Both the Cat & Dogs
Stop in at SAGA Humane Society just south of San Pedro town and you will notice a big change. Cats playing in the fresh air... (did you know that "Torties" or brindled tortoiseshell colored cats are almost all girls just like calicos?) ...climbing (this beautiful shy girl really needs some people-friends to help her socialize a bit)... posing (for just a second, get a toy out and this cutie goes wild)... snuggling... and lolling in the shade. The SAGA cats are doing what cats do. But mostly these guys are waiting for their new families to come pick them up, take them home and love them. Speaking from lots of experience, cats are the best. Mark Maggiotto from the beautiful Phoenix Resort here in town made a really amazing donation to the clinic. Both a cat and dog lover, he noticed that the cats at the Humane Society live in some really small spaces. In their cages almost all of the time, they have no time to play and get exercise. So, he not only donated the money for the new cattery but managed the construction. Including the addition of some fine chicken wire to half the enclosure so that the kittens could frolick and not escape. Here it is. And here is Mark. And here is Mark lovin' on the cats. It's an amazing thing. Drop in and check it out when you have a chance. If you haven't been to SAGA, we are just south of town. Look for this sign.

Night Time Photography
Taking good pictures at night is something I know many of us find difficult. I decided that last nights Blue Moon was a good chance to go do some practice, so I headed out to the resort dock to see what I could come up with. I noticed that things looked a bit grainy through the viewing screen and am not sure if something was off setting wise on my Cannon powershot S5 IS or what. I should have remembered to bring my glasses as it was hard to tell if it was my eyes or the picture that was out of focus sometimes, joys of aging ha ha. Thankfully I had the flexible table top tripod that SweetJane and Bruce gifted me, it was a huge help and lots of fun to play with. Does anyone out there in cyberspace have some good night photography tips? I was using the color swap setting when I took the pictures below.

International Sources

Belize: The dark side
Belize's decision to default on its foreign debt was not so much an inability to pay. Rather, it was an unwillingness to pay. At the end of last year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed its Article IV consultation, whereby it ran a thorough debt-sustainability analysis and found that Belize had the capacity to service its external obligations. There is no doubt that the country's debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio is high. At 80 per cent of GDP, it compares well with most of the European countries. However, in 2007, the govern-ment successfully completed a bond exchange in which it extended its maturities to 2029, slashing the coupons in half with a gradual step up and providing itself with a grace period on amortisations until 2019. The result was a bloodbath for creditors and a coup for the Belizean economy. After growing just 1.3 per cent y/y in 2007, the rate of GDP growth rose to 3.6 per cent y/y in 2008. Unfortunately, the international financial crisis hit the country that same year, resulting in a sharp decline in tourist arrivals. As a result, the economy has been expanding at a more moderate pace of about 2.5 per cent y/y ever since. The Belizean economy depends on two major sectors, oil and tourism. The problem is that the country's oil industry peaked last year, producing 5,000 barrels per day, and it needs capital to develop new fields that are located offshore.

September 1, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

SPTC invests over BZ$1million in street rehabilitation
The main trafficable streets in the areas of DFC, San Pedrito, San Juan, San Pablo and San Mateo are being elevated to allow water, during the rainy weather, to run off the main road. The streets are being elevated using hard core materials that are being barged to the island from mainland Belize. Main streets in the various subdivisions that are in more deplorable condition and most trafficable are being worked on first. Once the badly dilapidated streets are identified, a layer of hardcore material is evenly spread to a height of over six inches after which a roller is used to compact the street. After being compacted, additional hardcore is placed on areas that remain uneven to bring the street to one level. Once a street is done being upgraded, the working team moves onto other streets until most if not all are fixed to a better standard. The heavy machinery and personnel used to help upgrade the streets are being provided by the Ministry of Works who has been working closely with the San Pedro Town Council. Even the often neglected San Mateo Area is getting its streets upgraded, not with the standard fill of garbage, but with actual, proper hard core material. The San Pedro Sun caught up with the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero as he inspected works in San Mateo Area while the materials were trucked in. “We have been working in all the different areas and San Mateo is not an exception for us. I do care for the children of San Mateo who go to the Anglican School, and the SPTC is ensuring that they a high and dry street before the school opens. They will no longer have the need to take off their socks and tennis shoes when it rains because the streets are being fixed” said Mayor Guerrero. He added that, “San Mateo will benefit from the street rehabilitation project and will see most of their streets fixed. After this we are looking to start the electrification project to help the people in this area [San Mateo].” The mayor cautioned however, that no new streets are being opened at this time; only existing main streets are being rehabilitated.

Vessel carrying two guests capsizes off Ambergris Caye
A vessel with two tourists sank at sea on Friday August 31st near San Pedro Town off Ambergris Caye. The “Baby Jazly” is owned by 39 year old Sherman Michael Cain of a San Pedro Town address. Luckily the tourists and the captain have been rescued and are recovered from their scare. According to San Pedro Police, shortly after 1:30PM the 25 foot vessel capsized after a big wave hit, and sank in the area of Tuffy Channel located some ¼ miles east of San Pedro Town. On board the vessel were 54 year old Nancy Kluve and her husband, 48 year old Allen Gibson, both of Orange County California, USA. Police said that the tourists as well as the captain escaped unhurt and tourists were recovered from a scare. The San Pedro Sun confirmed with police that Cain, who is a self employed Belizean Tour Operator, did not possess a valid Tour Operator’s License.

Caye Caulker Baller’s 4 Life Basketball Tournament is underway
The Caye Caulker Ballers 4 Life Basketball Tournament held its sixth week of games over the weekend and is gearing up for the playoffs. The tournament has seven teams from Belize City, San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker village in a 12-week tournament. With the sponsorship of the Belize Tourism Board and the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi, the tournament is a huge success, attracting many people for the regular Saturday night games being held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, organizer Charles Young Jr. explained that, “the tournament is geared at engaging at risk youth of both islands in some sort of sports. It is also an opportunity for me (Charles) to give back to the communities.” The teams competing are: Hot Skull, Lazy Lizard Black Neighborhood, Bun Fire and Hard Time Hustlers from Caye Caulker; ET Center/ Jolly Rogers from Belize City and Tuff E Nuff from San Pedro On Saturday, August 25th Tuff E Nuff, led by Rico Black, played Lazy Lizard and managed to win by a comfortable margin of 78 to 69 points. So far Tuff E Nuff has won three out of four games played and has two more games before the play off.

Toucan Bungee Trampoline at Pedro’s this weekend
Pedro’s Inn is the place to be this weekend! Toucan Bungee Trampoline is the first of its kind, and is being launched at Pedro’s. This mobile business is super new and exciting to the country, and those looking to try it out can swing by from Friday, August 31st to Sunday, September 2nd. But just what is this bungee-trampoline contraption? If you love bouncing on a trampoline, and looking for new ways to take the excitement of bouncing around to a whole new level, then this is the game for you! A 144-foot circumference trampoline pad is the base on which one bounces, and with the strapped on bungee (read: super elastic!) cords, you get the added bonus of jumping as high as 24 feet. Chris Skorwid, who once lived in San Pedro, has returned with his new business venture and is introducing the first bungee trampoline in Belize. This fun activity has already become a fast attraction for people in other North American countries. On Friday the bungee trampoline will be available as of 4PM. On Saturday and Sunday, it will be available as of midday.

Ambergris Today

Become a Crime Stopper and Help Your Community
Do you know that you can use the services of Belize Crime Stoppers and become an integral part of fighting crime in Belize? All you have to do is pick up the phone, make a free call to Crime Stoppers Center and anonymously give crime tips, report a crime or give identification of possible criminals within your community. Personnel from Crime Stoppers Belize stopped by San Pedro on Thursday, August 30, 2012, to share information with key neighborhood watch members and the San Pedro Police Department. Chief Operating Officer of Crime Stoppers Belize, Mrs. Chris Garcia, was accompanied to San Pedro by two important personnel involved in Crime Stoppers. Mr. Richard Masten, Executive Director of Miami Dade Crime Stoppers and Valerie Hall, former detective at Miami Dade Police Department were key to share their expertise and experience with members of neighborhood watch groups and the San Pedro Police who attended the meeting. They shared information on how Crime Stoppers works in Belize and around the world and how the Ambergris Caye community can take advantage of this service and take an active role in fighting crime.

Chantae Guy to Represent Belize at Miss Continente Americano
The LPELL Agency is pleased to announce the selection of 20-year-old Chantae Chanice Guy as Belize’s representative to the Miss Continente Americano international pageant to be held in Guayaquil, Ecuador in September 2012. Chantae recently represented Belize at the Miss World 2012 pageant in spectacular fashion by becoming the first Belizean delegate to place top ten in the Top Model preliminary challenge! In just a short time she was able to rally the support of thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad who eagerly joined her family and friends to spread the great news about our delegate. There were over a hundred delegates at the Miss World pageant and placing in the top ten for the challenge was a remarkable task. Chantae proved that Belize was up to the challenge. Chantae leaves Belize for Ecuador on September 10, 2012, and she will take part in Miss Continente Americano during the final two weeks of September. The competition seeks to integrate the cultures of the Latin American nations and to promote cultural tourism.

Aggressive Behavior In Students
by Gustavo Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Aggressive behavior by a student is unacceptable; it goes beyond the scope of schools’ normal boundaries. Examples of defiant or hostile behavior by a student include: losing temper easily, constantly arguing with teachers, deliberately engaging in activities that annoy others, blaming others, acting annoyed or chronically touchy, always acting spiteful or vindictive. However, responding to a student’s aggression with yelling...

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize to host historic high-level fisheries meeting
Belize will host a historic, high-level ministerial meeting that will see as many as 25 countries from two regional fisheries organizations -- tasked to promote cooperation and policy coordination in addressing trans-boundary fisheries matters -- convene in Belize City, from Monday, September 3 to Tuesday, September 4, 2012, as they chart a comprehensive course for future collaborative action. The joint meeting will bring together 17 CARICOM member and associated member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), and 7 members of the Organization for Fisheries and Aquaculture of the Central American Isthmus (OSPESCA), joined by the Dominican Republic as an associate member. “The similar mandates and objectives of both organizations highlight the potential benefits of sharing scientific knowledge and experiences related to research, resource management, and policy coordination in fisheries and aquaculture development,” CRFM organizers said. They added, “Strengthening collaboration between these two regional fisheries organizations would improve conservation, management and sustainable development of the shared living marine resources of the Caribbean Sea.”

Cayo Event Calendar
September's Cayo Event Calendar is up! We're calling for any events that need to be posted for the month of September. Still adding the September Celebrations schedule from NICH. Any dances, exhibits, concerts, dinners, and cultural events can be posted to the page. Thanks, and have a great September!

Interact & Win with PACT!
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust, which recently celebrated its Sweet 16th anniversary, is having a really cool contest where you can win trips all over Belize, including Billy Barquedier National Park, Laughing Bird Cayo, and Mayflower Bocawina National Park. They just posted the rules! So like their page, and start spreading the word. Good luck to everyone! "PACT is in search of our #1 FAN! Over the next 21 days leading to BELIZE's INDEPENDENCE DAY, we will be monitoring likes, comments and posts on our page! Feel free to click the "ARE YOU #1" Tab on our page to see how you are doing. PACT will use this to choose the winners. However, we will also monitor content you post, comment & share for quality and relation to our mission! PACT will announce winners on September 21, 2012!"

Soul Project Cultural Center pictures
The Soul Project Cultural Center in downtown Cayo is coming along nicely. Check out some of the art that is already set up. There will be a lot more. Daniel Velazquez and Abdela Bedran have really done a great job so far. The Soul Project is located on Buena Vista street, right next to the SI Commercial building. Opening soon!

Channel 7

Man Shot In Face, In Critical Condition
There were two shootings in the city last night - and as a result - a 14 year old is recovering from a gunshot wound to the back - and a 37 year old man is in critical condition at the KHMH. We start tonight with his story: Isiah Williams was near his home when he was shot to the face, back, neck and shoulder. The shots were intended to kill him - and that he is clinging to life tonight is a small miracle. 7news was on the scene last night and Monica Bodden found out more today:.. Rosalie Williams - Wife "He received 4 shots; one in the left side of his face, one in his neck, one in his back and one in his shoulder. The condition he is in right now - he went through surgery and the slit under his throat so that he could breathe because he was not breathing. They put a tube down his throat which he uses to breathe through." "The bullets are still in him and the doctors are looking at the one in his neck because he could be paralyzed for the rest of his life if something goes wrong with the other wing - they said that the neck has 2 wings and one of them are fractured. It's only the other one they are depending on to stay safe that it does not cripple his spine down."

Teenaged Girl Recovering After Being Hit By Stray Bullet
Last night, 7News told you about the 14 year-old girl who was shot just before news time. Tonight, we can report that she has been treated and released from the hospital, and she is currently at home resting. According to police, she was the victim of a stray bullet. Their initial investigation revealed that at around 5:38 p.m., 3 men on separate bicycles rode up at the corner of Park Street and La Croix Boulevard, where one of them pulled out a firearm. That gunman fired 4 shots in the direction of Kingsley Morrison and Kimberly Michael, who were in the area. All those bullets missed their targets, but one of them flew and penetrated the walls of the 14 year-old's home, which was located on Cumberbatch Street. That bullet struck the girl in the right lower back, as she sat with her family at the dinner table. Today, her aunt told us about what that terrible experience was like. She asked to appear off camera: Voice of: Aunt "Desiree was eating around the table and we heard the 4 gunshots and I hear she cried out and I saw her on the ground - she got shot." Daniel Ortiz "How many people were around ma'am?" Voice of: Aunt "Only me, she and her sister."

Attorney For Accused Murderer Calaney Flowers: "She Was Taunted"
The biggest news story this week has been Calaney Flowers - who is on remand at prison tonight - accused of killing her baby's father, Lyndon Morrison and injuring his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa. On the surface - it is almost the definition of the old adage, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." And while that narrative has gained some traction this week - we have not heard the other side of the story. And that is because the Flowers family has refused to speak with the press - and the accused - being a prisoner - has not been afforded the opportunity herself. But today the family's attorney Arthur Saldivar did call our newsroom to say that his client's actions have been misrepresented. He said she did not deliberately knock down anyone - it was an accident - but one triggered by stunts that Lyndon Morrisson was pulling to taunt her. Saldivar says that with Sosa on the back of the bike, Morrison was pulling up beside her car on his motorbike and then braking suddenly in front of her.

Family Says 10 Year Old's Death Accidental, Not Suicide
Did a ten year old girl in San Lazaro village commit suicide? That's what the police report says - but according to CTV-3 news in Orange Walk it's more likely an accident that caused Rosana Telles's death. She was found yesterday morning at 11:25 hanging from a nylon rope tied to an Almond tree outside her home. But, the rope was really an improvised swing - that had been hanging in a u shape from the tree for some time. Her family believes that the child was playing on it and somehow got her head twisted in it. They found her with her jaw on the rope - and she was still alive. When they took her into the house she started to vomit and then expired. A post mortem is expected to confirm whether it was accidental or incidental. That examination hasn't been performed yet.

Bookstore Robbed
Just before 10:30 a.m. today, the Dakers Bookstore, located on Freetown Road, was robbed of approximately $3,000 dollars in cash. According to the employees, 2 men came into the store, posed as customers, and quickly took advantage of the situation. They robbed the employees at gunpoint of proceeds for about 3 days' sales. Today, one of the employees spoke to us off camera, and he explained how the entire incident unfolded: Voice of: Employee "Two male persons walk into the spot; one stay at the door - the dark skin male and the red skin male came and say that they wanted an atlas of Belize. When one of the sales clerk got up to get the atlas of Belize - one of the men pull out a black 9mm firearm." "He ordered the cashier to take out all the money. The next red skin male came at the back and ask for the money. He punches me a couple times and pull out the books that was in a drawer here. He pulled out a bag of undisclosed amount of money from out of this draw here." "They advance towards the next sales clerk and order he for her phone and her money, but upon searching her, she told him that her money was for her child's school registration, so he take the money from her and threw the money at her." "He went around the counter and told the cashier to hand over her phone so that they could not call the police. They took the cashier phone and they told us to stay in a corner and shut up mouths or they will shoot all of us. After that they walk outside and gone. When they went I grab the phone and call 911 and pass it to the cashier so she could talk to the police while the sales clerk ran outside to see in which direction they went."

Teachers Say Don't Legalize It
The Belize National Teachers Union has come out against the decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana. A release from the union today says quote, "BNTU considers the idea as pre-mature and dangerous. The negative effect of its use on the body, especially the brain and rational behavior, far outweighs its known medicinal uses." It adds that quote, "government's inability to control and monitor its use and supply will lead to more health and behavioral problems for our teachers, parents, law-enforcement officers and society as a whole…" end quote. The BNTU proposes that a DRUG EDUCATION programme be introduced as early as Std. III or IV at the Primary level.

Unions Will Meet With Minister re: Collective Bargaining
The BNTU also had a voice in a release issued today by the Unions' Negotiating Team. The BNTU, the PSU and the APSSM wrote to the Prime Minister requesting to meet with those Cabinet Ministers whose portfolios cover the core interests of public sector employees. That's the ministers of Education, Public Service and Labour. And the PM has agreed, naming Education Minister Faber as head of the Ministerial team and setting Monday afternoon as the time for their first meeting. The unions want to address their 23 point proposal to move the negotiations forward to a conclusion after four years of dialogue.

BDF Has A New Strategy
Last night, we told you about the 4 million US Dollar donation that the US Government made to the US Coast Guard and the BDF. You saw most of the stuff that the Coast Guard got, but the BDF's full donation is not in yet. That includes all terrain vehicles, jet propulsion river boats and specialized tactical mobility vehicles. Commander of the BDF General Dario Tapia explained how they will be deployed to fit into a larger strategy:.. General Dario Tapia, Commander of the BDF "These equipments came for bigger strategy which eventually will come on line. When I say eventually, there are many things going on behind the scenes. There will be some additional operating base in northern Belize, so the ATVs that are here will be deployed to those operating bases." "The jet propulsion vessels will be used to do patrols. Three things that we always say for the BDF to be able to survive and be professional is its ability to move, shoot and communicate."

"Who Da Di Baby Pa?"
George James had a lot on his mind when he came to our studio in a rage today. The BML Employee just came from family court where he had proved that he was paying child support for what would colloquially be called a "Shal-I baby." Now, this is not the kind of stuff that usually makes the news, but his case is instructive - or at least he wishes it to be. The moral of his story is that even though a DNA paternity test costs nearly a thousand dollars, it is worth it! George James "I register the baby - because I had registered her I felt like she was my daughter. The DNA cost me $950. I got that money from the money that I had used to drink - I stop drink now two years since I got married and that money I save and I did a signigate - I let my wife join the signigate and then I pay her back." "Now when I show them the DNA test they told me that I can't get back all the payments that I did. You see how much $35 are here Jules. All of these are from 2009-2012 and I had to pay every week or else the police are coming for you - these people don't play." Jules Vasquez "So you are trying to get a refund?"

More Mas Camp Craziness
If you are not in a Carnival Band - it's may be difficult to understand the psychology of a mas camp. But those who are in it know that it's about doing the impossible: making ornate eye-catching costumes with very little money - and then getting everyone wearing them mentally and physically ready to dance for hours in the blazing sun of Carnival Day. Monica Bodden went back into the Mas Camps to feed off the energy last night and she has this final report. Monica Bodden reporting The carnival spirit continues throughout the city - as we made our way around town to cover the last 6 carnival mas camps. We began on the Southside of the city at the Black Pearl Camp. Kendra Buller- Black Pearl Junior Band "This year Black Pearl is representing mother nature and everything that lies within. We are basically depicting the flora/fauna, the Caribbean sea and everything that mother nature gave to us we are appreciating this year." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit about the costumes." Kendra Buller- Black Pearl Junior Band "We have 5 different sections that we are depicting. We are the blossoming flower, we have the wild flower, we have the tropical trees and we have the animals which depict the jaguar, panther, leopard and all the animals that basically live in the rainforest and are rulers of the rainforest."

Visitors Safe After Boat Sinks
Tonight, an American couple is safe on dry land after boat they hired for a private tour sank in the waters near San Pedro Town. The San Pedro Sun reports that at around 1:30 p.m., 48 year-old Allen Gibson, and his wife, 54 year-old Nancy Kluve, both residents of Orange County, California were on a private tour about a quarter mile east of San Pedro Town on the 25 foot vessel "Baby Jazly", which is owned by 39 year-old Belizean Sherman Cain. Reports are that there was an unusually large wave which slammed into the vessel and it sank in the Tuffy Channel. Fortunately, those aboard the vessel were rescued by the authorities, but according to the Sun, they were on an unsanctioned tour. The newspaper reports they confirmed with police that Cain did not possess a valid Tour Operator's License.

Channel 5

3 brothers and a friend shot by cop in Alta Vista
In the south, three brothers and a friend were injured in a stand-off with the police in Alta Vista on the Hummingbird Highway on Thursday night. It started on the road and ended in a violent confrontation at the house of the Castellanos brothers. Isidoro Castellanos is in critical condition while his two brothers and [...]

Ride by shooting of Isaiah Williams on Banak Street
Thursday evening was particularly violent; in a span of less than five hours, there were three shootings in the city and in southern Belize. There were two shootings in the Old Capital. A fourteen year old girl was shot as she ate dinner at her house on La Croix Boulevard and hours later, further away [...]

Girl, 14 years old shot in Belize’s bullet city
Fourteen year old Desiree Aranda, the high school student who was shot in the lower back by a stray bullet is now at home recuperating. On Thursday evening around five-forty five, Aranda was having dinner inside her house, when multiple shots were fired on Lacroix Boulevard; one of the shots penetrated the walls of her [...]

Church meets with Central Bank over “spouse” definition
The Domestic Banks and Financial Institution Act has sparked the ire of the churches because of the definition of the word spouse. On Thursday night, we told you that the bill had gone through all the stages in the House and was passed by the Senate on Tuesday; the final step would be for the [...]

Belize National Teachers Union rejects marijuana legalization
The Belize National Teacher’s Union has joined the discourse about the decriminalization of marijuana. It was one of the main topics at the B.N.T.U.’s Special Meeting of the Council of Management this past Saturday. No one from the office could comment on camera about their position, but a press release says, “on the proposition to [...]

Belize Sugar Industry sale close to completion
The sale of the Belize Sugar Industries (B.S.I.) to American Sugar Refining (A.S.R.) is about to materialize. In an update to that story, B.S.I. reports that meetings were held in mid-July with representatives of A.S.R. Management to advance final negotiations on key investment documents, principally the Subscription Deed (purchase agreement) and the Shareholders’ Agreement. Agreement [...]

Bacchanal…It’s Carnival time again with mass camp fever
Judging of mas camps concluded on Thursday night with a marathon of six camps in both senior and junior categories. Safiyyah moved from camp to camp to get a feel of what Carnival 2012 will look like. And what a treat it was. The colorful costumes showed off creativity while depicting the unique Belizean culture; [...]

Meet the delegates for 67th Queen of the Bay
The historic Queen of the Bay Pageant takes place this weekend at Bird’s Isle. Now, pageants of all types have sprung up over the years, but the local Queen of the bay has withstood the test of time. In the sixty-seven year history of the Queen of the Bay, organizers have worked tirelessly to retain [...]

House of Shotokan’s Karate Camp in Orange Walk
Students between the ages of five to thirteen in Orange Walk District can learn some basic Karate skills before they head off to a new school year on Monday. The free camp, which is being hosted by the House of Shotokan, will also include motivational presentations to the students as well as prizes for participation. [...]


Bank Teller Charged With Murder
Twenty-five year old Calaney Flowers, a proof teller at Atlantic Bank who allegedly knocked down her ex-boyfriend and his lover, was charged with murder and attempted murder when she appeared in court today. Flowers, who resides on Lavender Street, was also charged with dangerous harm ...

BDF Truck Overturns and Injures Several Soldiers
A number of Belize Defense Force soldiers were hurt when the truck they were traveling in overturned last night in the Cayo district. The incident happened around midnight on the Chiquibul road in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Love News spoke with the Commander of the BDF Brigadi...

Implementation Continues for the Belize Municipal Development Project
The Belize Municipal Development project which is estimated at thirty million dollars and aims to provide needed infrastructure to seven major municipalities in the country, continues to be implemented. This morning a special ceremony launched a 2.2 million dollar street project ...

Over 100 Pounds of Cocaine Found in Belize's Waters
A large amount of cocaine was found floating in Belize’s territorial waters on Wednesday morning. According to reports, the drugs weighing in at just over a hundred and four pounds, was found in multiple packets near the Turneffe Atoll and has since been turned over t...

Surviving Victim of Traffic Incident Speaks to the Press
Twenty-five year old Calaney Flowers, a proof teller at Atlantic Bank who allegedly knocked down her ex-boyfriend and his companion, was charged with murder and attempted murder when she appeared in court today. Flowers, who resides on Lavender Street, was also charged with dangerous h...


Radio Announcer Attempts To Take Her Life
News spread like wild fire this morning, a woman was found dead at the Gabriel Hoare Market in the Corozal District. But when we called Corozal Police we were informed that a woman was indeed found at the market but she was not dead. Reports are that around 9:15 last night Selene De Leon Castro, a Guatemalan Radio Announcer working at UMUZIK F.M, owned by Honorable Pablo Marin, was found sitting on chair at the market bleeding profusely from one of her wrist. Allegations are that Castro tried to take her life and police are treating the matter as an attempted suicide. We understand that a letter and a broken bottle were also found beside Castro. The woman is presently hospitalized at the Corozal Community Hospital where she is recuperating from her injury.

Did A Ten Year Old Commit Suicide?
The body of ten year old child is tonight lying at the morgue after she was found this morning hanging from a rope. The incident happened at around 10:00am in the village of San Lazaro and Orange Walk Police say that 10 year old Rosalia Talles committed suicide. The thought of a 10 year old taking away her life is perplexing and raises many questions. According to Julie Castillo, a friend of the family, the little girl seemed perfectly normal seconds before the incident happened. Here is her story of how the tragic incident played out. Voice of Julie Castillo, Friend “Ella esta todo bien y todo la quieren mucho, las dos porque son muy amorosos y se tratan bien y todo. Ella juega con sus hermanitos y con mis hijos y se ponen a gustar televisión y todo.” Voice of Julie Castillo, Friend “Yo fui corriendo, la ayude y un señor vino y corto la soga y fue que yo la cargue, la trajimos aquí en el cuarto y la acostamos y estuvieron allí para que reaccione y solo cuando ella vomito y después ya no reacciono mas y asi fue que la llevaron al hospital.”

Parents Of San Jose Village Demand Transportation For Their Children
Tonight parents of San Jose Village are furious with the Ministry of Education. On Monday the parents of Standard 4 and 5 students of San Jose Government School were notified that their children will commence the new school year at the San Pablo Community School. The reason behind the decision is one of the school building’s which is presently being refurbished and all indications are that the renovations will not finish in time for the new school year. So where is the problem? Well, according to parents, they were informed by the Ministry that transportation would be provided for the students but that decision was reversed this morning. Here is what we found out. Last year, standard 4 and 5 of San Jose Government School attended class in this building. But due to several reasons the building has become unfit over the years and with that the school’s management sought assistance for the building to be renovated.

Frog Hopper Affecting Sugar Cane Fields
The Sugar Industry is one of the pillars of the Belizean economy. Here in the north it is the main income earner of more than 6,000 cane farmers. There is no doubt that when the industry catches a cold the side effects are felt across the country and that’s exactly what’s taking place presently as an estimated 17,989 acres of sugar cane fields have been affected by an extensive froghopper infestation. So far the losses have translated to $3.3 million and further reductions in cane yields and loss in income is expected in September when a third population outbreak of frog hopper is anticipated to infest an estimated 10,927 acres of cane. Without exaggeration a further outbreak of the froghopper could wipe out the sugar industry if cane farmers do not receive the necessary assistance. But in order for you to get a firsthand look at how serious the situation is we visited several cane fields today that have been affected by the outbreak. Carmelita Perez- Reporting They might look like tiny defenseless insects but the reality is that these insects, known as the Froghopper, can cause serious damage to the Sugar Industry if not controlled in time. Presently, an estimated 17,989 acres of sugar cane fields have been infested this August alone out of which the BSCFA managed to treat 9,000 acres with the limited resources available under its current budget. However, 8,989 acres of cane field have been damaged by these tiny insects translating into an estimated loss in income of $3.3 million. The frog hopper produces hundreds of eggs on a daily basis which eventually plague other cane fields. In the area of Ramonal the damage varies. Here is a cane field that has received little damage. That’s because the right practices were implemented by its owner.

PUP Northern Caucus Calls On GOB To Assist Cane Farmers
In sight that the funds allocated for the frog hopper infestation have been depleted, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association turned to government for financing. But the response they got during a meeting held last week with the Minister of Agriculture Honorable Gaspar Vega was not favorable. Vega informed members of the BSCFA that due to its current financial constraints, the Government and his Ministry did not have any financial resources to provide in order to deal with the crisis. Nevertheless, Vega offered to present the BSFA’s request to Cabinet on Tuesday August 21st, in order to obtain some type of assistance. Despite the urgency the association has received no response from government and today the P.U.P Northern Caucus weighed in on the issue. In press release issued this morning the Northern Caucus calls on the Prime Minister and the Government of Belize to do everything possible to assist the vital industry and the people of Corozal and Orange Walk.


Helping young people to help themselves
A two week training course for young people is underway at the Yabra Community Centre in Cesar Ridge Road in Belize City. According to the Youth Program Coordinator with the Community Policing Unit Douglas Hyde, the objective of the training is to give young men and women marketable employment skills. Hyde says the twenty six young persons in the ongoing training are from all over Belize City. The Business Process Outsourcing training is a collaborative effort of the Belize Trade and Investment Promotion Service, BELTRIDE and the Yabra Community Centre. Hyde says that when the training is completed the participants will not just walk away from the classroom. The training is being facilitated by Specialty Trainer Simone Williams. She told Love News that the training is giving the participants the skills necessary to be employable upon graduation. Williams says there is the demand for more of this kind of training and he is looking forward to the next intake. Both Hyde and Williams are hopeful that enough resources will be available to proceed to another training session to accommodate the growing number of requests for assistance from young people to enter the job market.

Streets to be upgraded in Benque Viejo del Carmen
The Belize Municipal Development project which is estimated at thirty million dollars and aims to provide needed infrastructure to seven major municipalities in the country, continues to be implemented. This morning a special ceremony launched a 2.2 million dollar street project which seeks to improve the road network in Benque Viejo, San Ignacio and Santa Elena and Punta Gorda. The project calls for the enhancement of Church, Churchill and Burns Streets in Benque Viejo Town; the improvement of Eden and West Streets in San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town and Robert Pennil and Pampana Streets in Punta Gorda Town. This will encompass the realignment of street side drains, provision of street concrete curbs, resurfacing of streets with Hot Mix and or chip seal, provision of street markings for vehicular and pedestrian lanes and permanent signage. The project will be undertaken by local firm, Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited at a cost of approximately two million two hundred and nineteen thousand seven hundred and forty six dollars and ten cents. This morning’s ceremony featured the keynote address by Minister of Trade, Investment, Promotion Private Sector Development and consumer Protection and Area Representative for Cayo West, Erwin Contreras. Other speakers included Benque Viejo Town Mayor, Miguel Velasquez, San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Mayor, John August, Punta Gorda Mayor Anthony Fuentes and Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, Daniel Cano among many others. This was followed by the signing of contracts and the cutting of the ribbon to formalize the launch. In relation to the BMDP project, bids are being evaluated for major street rehabilitations for Belmopan’s Nim Li Punit, Hummingbird and Raccoon Streets; Corozal Town’s Punta Gorda and 1st North Street and Orange Walk Town’s, Santa Familia Street. That project is estimated to cost two million five hundred and eighty six thousand dollars.

BDF soldiers hurt when truck overturns
A number of Belize Defence Force Soldiers were hurt when the truck they were traveling in overturned last night in the Cayo district. The incident happened around midnight on the Chiquibul road in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. Love News spoke with the Commander of the BDF Brigadier General Dario Tapia about the incident. Brigadier General Tapia says about ten individuals were inside the truck then it overturned.

National Security CEO speaks on cocaine find
A large amount of cocaine was found floating in Belize’s territorial waters on Wednesday morning. According to reports, the drugs weighing in at just over a hundred and four pounds, was found in multiple packets near the Turneff Atoll and has since been turned over to the police. But the investigation continues as it is believed that more cocaine may be floating around in Belize’s territorial waters. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, retired Colonel George Lovell today appealed to anyone with information that could assist law enforcement authorities in their investigation to come forward. Love News understands that samples of the drugs have been secured and that the process has begun to get the necessary clearance to have the cocaine find destroyed.

Multi-million dollar donation for the BDF and Coast Guard
The US Government today made a donation to the Belize Coast Guard and Belize Defence Force. Reporter Patrick Jones has the details.

Disaster training for City Council employees
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season is just three months old but the preparedness continues. Today the City Emergency Management Organization met at the IT-Vet building on Freetown Road to discuss shelter management. Councilor Philip Willoughby told Love News that the training equips shelter managers with the know-how to handle emergency situations. Santiago Acosta is the Assistant Training Officer from the National Emergency Management Organization who conducted the session. He says those at the helm of keeping organization and calm during a disaster have to be able to control situations and make on-the-spot decisions. Training and discussions continue throughout the hurricane season at the CEMO level.

Accident victim speaks from her hospital bed
On Yesterday’s newscast we reported on the tragic death of Lyndon Morrison after a traffic incident involving the mother of his child. Sochyl Sosa who was riding with Morrison at the time sustained injuries and today she spoke with the media from her hospital bed at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Reporter Marion Ali has the story.

Vendors in Orange Walk appeal for help
Several vendors at the Orange Walk terminal are asking authorities to look into a matter affecting their livelihood. Vendors told us that a specific vendor has been granted permission to set up a food shed inside the terminal when in the first place no one is granted permission to sell within the terminal. Other vendors complained that the newly setup shed is blocking the commuters’ view of the other vendors outside of the terminal. Vendors have sought the intervention of the Orange Walk Town council, and while Mayor Kevin Bernard says it’s a matter National Transport Authority should address they are looking at how they can help. Other vendors told us they have no issue with the vendor inside the terminal compound but what has them upset is the manner in which the national transport authority issued the permission, without making the offer to them. Eduard Garneth says it’s difficult for vendors to leave one day of work to go see Minister of State Edmund Castro to address the matter and wish that instead he can come and have a meeting with all of them. We approached the vendor who declined a recorded interview but told us he feels the other vendors are upset simply because he beat them to the spot by moving inside the compound first. According to him, he was granted permission by the National Transport Authority and is paying a monthly fee of $150.00 to use the space. He says he is willing to give up the spot he had on the street side where the rest of the vendors remain and also told us he doesn’t think he is blocking the other vendors’ view.


Puma Energy responds to Fuel quality and price accusations
GAS FOOTAGE PUMA ENERGY has issued a release regarding statements made during recent media coverage. it says and we...

$2.2 Million Street Enhancement project begins in Benque Viejo
$2.2 Million dollar street project that will enhance the road network in Benque Viejo del Carmen, San Ignacio & San...

Free "Back to School" haircuts from Lions
Zone 59 Belmopan Lions is facilitating a haircut Sunday for all back to school students. The venue will be at the L...

Woman hospitalized after chopped by her brother
This past Tuesday, Elena Pineda, a woman from the Stann Creek District had been hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Me...


Belize looks at new immigration policy
Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration, Godwin Hulse, announced on KREM on Tuesday night that the Government of Belize is in the process of formulating a new immigration policy that will, among other things, address the nationalization of Guatemalans who become citizens by registration, either by marriage or by meeting the 5-year residency requirement. Earlier this year, former Immigration Minister Carlos Perdomo had said that there is provision in the law for Guatemalans to be accepted as citizens in Belize, but only if they renounce their Guatemalan nationality, and they do so by signing a declaration that is kept on file. According to Minister Hulse, there is another critical requirement that as far as he is aware, had not been properly applied to those who acquire citizenship via registration: that is, official confirmation from the Government of Guatemala that they have accepted the renunciation by the persons who want to become Belizean citizens instead.

From a bank to a cell!
Today, Calaney Flowers, 26, a proof teller at Atlantic Bank and resident of #4467 Lavender Street, was brought before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith and charged with the murder of Lyndon Morrison, 29. Flowers was also charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm, all offenses against Morrison’s girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa, 24. Attorney Richard “Dickie” Bradley represented Flowers when she appeared in court, but due to the nature of the offenses, no plea was taken from her and she was remanded to prison until her next court date on October 2, 2012. Lyndon Morrison, 29, of Jasmine Street, a dispatcher at Maya Airways, who was also the father of Flowers’ 11-month-old child, died around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, after his motorcycle was hit by a car whose driver, witnesses say, sped away, leaving Morrison and his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa, an employee of A&R, who was on the cycle with him, on the pavement injured.

Stray bullet almost kills student, 14
A girl, 14, a resident of Crown Street off Lacroix Boulevard in the Lake I area, is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after a stray bullet came through [...]

Banking bill too draconian, says private sector
The Senate met today and approved four pieces of legislation passed up to them following last Thursday’s special sitting of the House of Representatives. As was the case at last [...]

Telemedia repeats as National Softball Champions
After a compact schedule of games beginning Friday night, August 24, all day Saturday, and climaxing on Sunday night, Telemedia from Belize City was once again crowned National Softball Champions [...]

And they’re off! Premier League tournament race already hot!
Usually, the semi-pro football tournament in Belize starts with a few favorite teams that are considered guaranteed to make the playoffs, which have generally comprised a fairly large package. With [...]

The last time the unemployment rate stood this high, at over 14 percent, ‘twas in April of 1998. The UDP was in the back stretch of a most unpopular reign as government. Four months later in August of 1998 they suffered their worst defeat in 30 years. They lost 26 to 3, and came within 60 votes of losing two additional seats. According to a recent labor force survey done by the Statistical Institute of Belize, the unemployment rate stands at 14.4 percent: that’s over 21,000 persons who are looking for work and can’t find work. The survey says that in the case of the Cayo District, the unemployment rate has more than tripled in the last 5 years, from 5.7 percent in April 2007 to 18.2 percent in April of 2012, the highest rate of any district. That explains all too well why the UDP lost 2 of the 6 seats they held in the Cayo District in the general elections of March 7, and how they came within 60 votes of losing an additional two seats – which, incidentally, would have cost them the general elections. One of the seats they lost they had won by over 1,100 voters in 2008, and another that they barely won, this time by 44 votes, they had won by almost 1,300 in 2008. Our information is that the UDP fully expected to sweep all six seats in Cayo. But, as they say, stats don’t lie.

by Evan X Ismail Shabazz and I were in New York City in January of 1972 trying to get financial assistance for the UBAD Party when someone broke into somewhere and stole a large amount of dynamite in Belize City. Because I thought only the Public Works stone quarry at Rockville handled dynamite, I assumed and believed that “somewhere” to be the said quarry. But one of my friends who lives in America was doing some research at the Archives in Belmopan three or four months ago when he found some stories on UBAD in The Reporter, and had them copied for me to see. This was the first time, I swear, that I knew that the dynamite stolen in January 1972 had been stolen from the British Army Camp in Ladyville. How do you steal 400 pounds of dynamite from the British garrison in Belize? It doesn’t figure. Shabazz and I arrived home from New York about two weeks after this incident, and almost as soon as I get home I am summoned to the workshop of a UBAD sympathizer. This guy was really an NIP, but everybody who was against the PUP was supporting UBAD in 1972. He was an officer in the British Honduras Volunteer Guard, and I would say that he was probably pro-British. He was no roots man, that’s for sure. “I have the dynamite,” he said to me. “Look inside that cupboard.” I opened the door of the cupboard and saw something wrapped in a Beacon newspaper.

by Janus The Superbond The first thing to understand about the Superbond is that there is no Superbond. What we have is a number of bonds, which were issued by the past government during their first term of office and, put on the international commercial market at 11% interest, redeemable on a certain date. Interested parties bought these bonds, paying the required amounts to the Government of Belize and, we became indebted to these bond holders. When the bonds were due to be redeemed, the government could not meet its obligations and, so, rather than default, it sent a team to discuss with the bondholders a proposal for the reduction of the bond value and, the interest rate. The past government chose Mark Espat, one of its Ministers, to head the team of negotiators. They were successful. I don’t know this but, presumably, the old bonds were replaced by new ones with the agreed terms more favorable than the original. That is what is referred to as the Superbond. National newspapers There is an important role in the life of a nation that is filled by the media. This role is so important that democracies recognize its value and, seek to provide a climate in which this institution flourishes as an independent influence on national affairs. Society was once divided into four estates: The monarchy; the nobility; the church, and those engaged in providing news, information, views, opinions, etc., i.e. journalists. They were referred to as the Fourth Estate. Therefore, when you spoke of the Fourth Estate, you were referring to the newspapers and other journals. Now, it is the print and audio/visual media. I think a democracy is healthiest when the media’s influence is widely spread and, also, where it is independent of government. So that, for a country to have a government newspaper can’t be a good thing because, the expression of views and opinions would be unduly influenced by a need to serve the majority party’s interests. If there is an Opposition party newspaper, the same negatives apply. The only good thing about political party newspapers is that they provide employment for journalists, who might otherwise be engaged in performing similar duties on the staff of the independent journals.

The price of regular and premium gasoline shot up at midnight last night. Regular gas has increased by 88 cents on the gallon, from $11.07 cents to $11.95, while premium gasoline has increased by 94 cents per gallon, from $12.03 to $12.97. These are Belize City prices, and the district prices are higher due to transportation costs. The increase has no doubt pushed pump prices past $13 in Punta Gorda. The price of kerosene and diesel, for the meantime, remained unchanged. Industry sources say that the last price change took effect on July 31, 2012.

The company needs to submit a revised EIA and seek proper clearance before continuing any on-the-ground works Damage assessment for dredging that severed Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary still pendingDamage assessment for dredging that severed Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary still pending Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria has confirmed to Amandala that the Government of Belize has reached an out-of-court settlement with Green Tropics, a company owned by interests in Spain and represented by Guatemalan Antonio Zelaya, for them to pay, by the end of this week, the equivalent of the maximum allowable fine—$100,000—for proceeding with land clearings and dredging for a multi-million-dollar sugar development project in the Castille area of Cayo, notwithstanding the fact that the project didn’t have environmental clearance. Back in June, the project was the subject of major controversy, because of complaints by concerned members of the public, and especially researchers at the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) of the University of Belize, that in initiating those unauthorized works, the company had dredged a canal of approximately 2 miles long with 4 excavators on public lands, severing the Laboring Creek Jaguar Corridor Wildlife Sanctuary, which was granted protected status in late 2010.

Churches “bex bad” with GOB!
Government sneaked change to meaning of “spouse” in banking bill, already passed, to include homosexuals, etc. The church community is up in arms over what appears to some to be an attempt by the Government to sneak a definition onto Belize’s law books that could pave the way for the sanctioning of homosexual unions in Belize. Although Government officials have told us this was not really their intent, the churches began an impassioned lobby today to ask the Government to remove the controversial clause which one representative said leads down a “dangerous road.” Roman Catholic Bishop Dorick Wright led a delegation from the churches this afternoon, which met with Central Bank officials to speak with them about their concerns over the proposed Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Bill. Wright was accompanied by Maria Zabaneh of the Bishop’s Council; Eugene Crawford, president of the Evangelical Association of Belize; and Scott Stern and Louis Wade of Belize Action, which has been advocating against the decriminalization of homosexuality in Belize.

The Reporter

New gasoline prices through the Roof
Effective 12 midnight on Monday, August 27, the price of gasoline advanced to new heights – $11.95 a gallon for regular and $12.97 for premium gasoline. Diesel price remains stable at $10.17 a gallon. At the beginning of the year gasoline prices started out at $10.55 for regular and $10.90 for premium. Diesel was at $10.04.

The most effective form of democracy? The winner-takes-all system doesn’t represent everyone Can Woud
According to the Election and Boundaries Department, there are 178,054 registered voters in Belize, of which only 73 percent (130,303) actually voted on Wednesday, March 7, 2012. Post-General Election figures showed that out of that 73 percent more than 1,400 ballots were rejected and that about 2,000 votes were in favour of independent or third party candidates; therefore, it is clear that the total number of votes received by Belize’s two major parties, the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), was approximately 127,000 – which is roughly 71 percent of the total number of registered voters.

“Complex” neighbourhood hot! 20 year old man shot and killed.
City Police have detained one man in their investigation of the murder of Miraldo Alvarez, 20, unemployed, who was gunned down near the junction of McKenzie Lewis Streets around 9:45 last Friday night, August 24.

Case dismissed! over missing marijuana.
Mark Sarcasa, 36, escaped a drug trafficking charge this week when Magistrate Anne Marie Smith dismissed the case on Tuesday, August 28, on grounds that the arresting officer, Detective Constable Palacio, had failed to follow proper police procedure for the custody of the seized drug.

Why postmenopausal women should say ‘No thanks’ to dessert
Post-menopausal women hoping to control their weight may be able to help themselves out by sticking to three simple rules: lay off the meat and cheese, eat more fruits and veggies, and skip dessert and sugary drinks. A new study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, aimed to find out how eating or avoiding specific foods made a difference in short and long-term weight loss results in women who had gone through menopause.

Genes may determine how we vote
The 2000 presidential election may have hung on some hanging chads, but new evidence suggests that a handful of genes may be influencing election outcomes more than we think. Genetic studies find that nature may be playing as significant a role as nurture when it comes to political traits. Certainly, learning and environmental factors play a role too in the development of political opinions, but new gene studies indicate that people may have natural tendencies when it comes to political ideology and partisanship, voting behavior and engaging in political violence.

Belize Telemedia women win National Softball Championship
Belize Telemedia women hammered the Mirage Lady Rebels 10-3 for a five-inning mercy rule victory to repeat as National Softball Champions at Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Sunday, August 26. Telemedia collected 10 hits off Lanesha Jones’ pitching. Lydia Cacho led the attack as she and Earlene Belisle scored after Norecia Fraser hit a home run in the first inning.

Scotiabank & Atlantic Bank win in Interoffice volleyball
Atlantic Bank, Scotiabank and Belize Telemedia enjoyed victories in the Belize City Interoffice Competition organized by the Belize District Volleyball Association at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium over the weekend. The Simon Quan Black Stars got some payback in their two- set victory over the Honeybees in Junior Female Volleyball Competition on Sunday afternoon, August 26. Stars’ Nyala Tun, Nandi Woods, Mia Miles and Alexis Burns hammered hits at the net on balls set by Alexandra Smith and Lediri Betson to reach 24-23 in the first set. Honeybees’ Merissa Williams, Leila Hernandez, Jenna Peck and Moesha Shaw counterattacked furiously spiking the Stars on balls set by Rebecca Price and Maria Contreras, but the Stars’ good defense forced the Honeybees into errors and the Stars won the first set 29-27.

Belize Superbond: A fight to the debt
By Andrew Enriquez Former director and vice president of Bear Sterns & Co. Belize is currently in danger of re-defaulting on its debt after missing a US$23M interest payment due August 20, 2012 on the $544M USD bond it released on markets just 5 years ago, widely known as the “superbond.” Belize has a 30-day grace period before default is declared, but recent comments by the Finance Secretary suggest that Belize cannot afford to make the payment.

Motorists question PUMA’s diesel quality
Motorists have called in to various morning television talk shows to complain about the quality of diesel being sold at service stations in Belize of late. They claim that their vehicles’ response are not as peppy as before, and express the view that the substandard quality of the diesel is to blame.

SMART’s 3G hits out-of-the-park home run in telecom services
Smart tele-communications customers have been on a roll since the company launched its 3G network late last year.


Smart Marketing
San Pedro Books recently got me to go into their store look for a specific magazine and buy it all because they posted a picture of it on my personal facebook page. Now that’s smart marketing. The post was done Aug 14th and I had already been thinking I should check out the book store for something non related, I was looking for a copy of Harriet the Spy. So the other day while running errands in town I decided to go see if they had the book, suddenly I remembered the facebook picture and I decided to look for the O magazine with taco fiesta article and get it.

San Pedro's Art in the Park: They Need You to Attend!
The House of Culture in Belize City has always been one of the leaders in promoting (you guessed it) Belizean CULTURE in this country and abroad. Just this year, a branch with its own cultural committee has opened right here on Ambergris Caye. And though we may not be called the "Culture Capital of Belize" like Dangriga, we have a huge range of artists, musicians, crafts and well, like me of course, highly cultured residents. (An quick aside about ME: when I first came to the island, I fell in love with the art work in San Pedro. Since, at the time, I actually had a little money, I bought some paintings that are still my fave, fave, favorites. Here are a few...and keep in mind that my photography does NOT do them justice.) Orlando Garrido. Love. Linda Mikulich (who is unfortunately no longer in Belize). LOVE. And Curvin Mitchell who painted this picture for me of the small cement dock next to the Belize Yacht Club before it was taken down 4 or 5 years ago. LOVE. Okay, back to the topic. One of the first official events hosted by SPHOC is yesterday and today's "Art in the Park" showcasing vendors and local arts from around town. The weather is just gorgeous in San Pedro so if you didn't make it yesterday, GO TODAY. (The beach at Central Park).

Winding down of summer .. back to the real world!!
As we watch the island slow down of traffic – in the last week we have gone from hectic busy to dead slow – we are faced with the realities of the months to come. Firstly, back to school! Everybody is somehow affected by this huge deal – either you have children or you are related or friends children are gearing up for a new school year. The financial commitment with regard to school uniforms and books have had parents traveling to Belize City to complete their children’s book requirements, not to mention accessories! School here on Caye Caulker will commence on Monday and therefore this week and indeed weekend is precious – the final moments of a child’s freedom before the next school year commences! And, as expected, along with the summer disappearing in front of our eyes, so do the tourists … no more scantily clad Italians meandering up and down our sandy roads – so long, until next year!! Businesses each cope with the slow season as best they can – for us at Raggamuffin, we close for October. Many of the restaurants will do the same, some may close in September too. Its a time for all staff to take a break, a holiday and re-charge those well needed batteries in preparation for November – the beginning of a new season!!

International Sources

Independent Assessments of BTL and BEL
December 2010 Fair Market Value Assessment of Telemedia A Report for Belize Telemedia Limited On August 25th, 2009 the Government of Belize acquired ownership through majority shareholding of Belize Telemedia Limited (“Telemedia”). An interim board was appointed by the Government to take control of Telemedia. The board will manage and regulate the affairs of the Group until a new Board of Directors is appointed pursuant to the Company’s Articles of Association. The Government of Belize and Telemedia have commissioned NERA Economic Consulting (“NERA”) to provide a fair market value (FMV) assessment of Telemedia’s shares as of 31 August 2009 (“Valuation Date”), shortly after the Government of Belize acquired the company. Our fair market value opinion expressed in this report will be used to assess the financial settlement with the previous shareholders. The authors of this report will testify on this report, and/or to provide a rebuttal report on other opposing witness testimony. We have relied upon data and information provided to us by Telemedia, such as audited financial statements and past Business Plans of Belize Telemedia Limited and its predecessors. We conducted our FMV assessment in accordance with valuation principles generally accepted in the economic and financial literature. The remainder of this report is structured as follows: - Section 2 provides the relevant background to our assessment of Telemedia’s FMV; - Section 3 sets out our valuation methodology; - Section 4 sets out our revenue forecasts; - Section 5 sets out our cost forecasts; - Section 6 sets out our free cash flow forecasts; - Section 7 set out our forecast of Telemedia’s continuing value; - Section 8 shows our WACC calculation used in our valuation model; and - Section 9 sets out our assessment of the FMV of Telemdia’s shares. Our report qualifications and assumptions are set out in Appendix C.

Mexico, Belize Meet to Discuss Border Security
Mexican and Belize officials have begun a two day meeting to discuss ways to combat transnational organized crime, an increasing concern for Belize, a country that has seen a marked increase in foreign gang activity over recent years. On August 30, officials from Mexico and Belize met in the Commercial Free Zone between the borders of both countries to begin the seventh Mexico-Belize Binational Commission. The meeting will last two days and discuss issues such as border security and drug trafficking, among other topics. According to El Universal, transnational organized crime is one of the main agendas of the meeting, with both governments keen to review and reinforce information sharing capabilities between security agencies to better combat the flow of narcotics, precursor chemicals and arms across the border. The last Binational Commission was held in October 2010.

Mello sues Belizean government for revoking his permanent residency
Karol Mello, a Slovak fugitive who has been charged with organising at least three murders back in 2003 and 2004, has filed a lawsuit against the Belizean government for revoking his permanent residency permit, the TASR newswire reported on August 30. Mello was detained by Belizean police on July 11, as a result of a police operation organised by Interpol in cooperation with Slovak police. Although Slovak officials sought a quick extradition, since he was arrested by immigration police, legal complications kept Mello in Belize. The court released him for the first time on August 3, but as soon as he departed from jail, the police arrested again him and charged him with violating two immigration laws pertaining to the invalid Slovakian passport he used to gain permanent citizenship in Belize, and perjury, as Mello had claimed he does not face any criminal charges in his homeland. Yet, he was then freed by the Belizean court on August 20 after the judge ruled that the charges against him were weak.

Belize open for talks with creditors: central bank
Belize's central bank governor said Friday his country was ready to open negotiations with creditors, a week after failing to make a $23 million debt payment. "Belize is open to any reasonable, sustainable proposal" on restructuring its $1.1 billion of debt, Glenford Ysaguirre told AFP. But he said the country's creditor committee had yet to set a time or place for talks, a week after defaulting on a bond payment. "The authorities are still awaiting an invitation from them to discuss the indicative scenarios or any counter-offers," he said. "We expect candid, good faith negotiations anchored in the facts and circumstances surrounding the sustainability of Belize's debt." The country wants to get talks underway before missing another scheduled debt payment on September 19 and being called into default. On August 21, Standard and Poor's called Belize in "selective default" on its debt a day after the country failed to make a $23 million payment. The small central American country of 330,000, its economy heavily tourism-dependent, was not called in full default because it was already in talks with creditors to reschedule its debt.

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