Recent Belize News
9/21/2012 to 9/30/2012
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Today's Belize News

September 30, 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

Nexos Magazine visits Belize
Nexos magazine’s editorial director, Ana Christina Reymundo, was in the country from September 13th – September 17th traversing both inland and offshore areas in the country. American Airlines inflight magazine, Nexos, focuses primarily on an affluent business and casual Hispanic clientele. The magazine is published 6 times a year and has an outreach of over 200,000 people. Nexos magazine introduces its readers to fun and interesting information that integrates worldwide data, as well as incorporates different aspect of the Latin American culture. The magazine covers travel, business, technology, art, lifestyle and interviews with famous Latin personalities and has won many awards.

American Crocodile Poached North of San Pedro
On Sunday, September 23rd a young Nestor Castillo, (AKA “Busta”) reported to ACES that he had spotted a dead crocodile in the north Ambergris Caye area. The following day, Castillo led the ACES team to where the dead croc was discovered very near to an area that is currently a proposed protected area for wildlife but is frequented by hunters. After retrieving the floating carcass from a roadside canal ACES was able to determine that the croc had been shot in the back of the head, most likely as it tried to flee. The head had then been chopped off with a machete. American crocodiles are a protected species and this activity is illegal in Belize. The purchasing of the skull or teeth or any parts of crocodilians is also illegal. In fact, if anyone tries to cross International boarders with any parts of an American crocodile, they will be arrested, fined, and jailed.

Two highways renamed on Independence Day in honor of National Heroes
Two of the four major highways in Belize were renamed in honor of two Belizean National Heroes. The announcement was made by the Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow during his official Independence Day speech in Belmopan City. The two highways that were renamed were the Northern Highway and the Western Highway. In his address, PM Barrow announced that such an occasion serves as a day to reflect on the legacy of both heroes. “We just a few days ago observed the one year anniversary of Mr. Price’s death. And obviously the divine providence, in which he so wholly believed, arranged things so that, even in terms of dates, our Independence Day reflections will ever hereafter be centrally linked to the remembrances of the life and work of George Cadle Price. Today, then, we celebrate him even as we celebrate Belize. And we know that from that special place in the pantheon which he occupies together with Philip Goldson, his benediction continues to envelop us. This is thus the time to make an Independence Day announcement regarding these two, who shall always remain the brightest stars in our modern historical firmament: The Government of Belize, in conjunction with the National September Celebrations Committee, is officially renaming the Western Highway the George Price Highway; and the Northern Highway the Philip SW Goldson Highway,” said PM Barrow.

National Geographic Traveler: Blue Hole Is A “Place To Celebrate”
Exciting News! Belize’s extraordinary Blue Hole has been featured in the Traveler’s issue of National Geographic magazine. The August/September 2012 issue features a story on “World Wonders, 10 Places to Celebrate.” National Geographic Traveler is the world’s most read travel magazine and uses a sense of story-telling complemented by sensational imagery. “We’re very happy to see our magnificent country being continuously covered in these world renowned magazines, especially that of the National Geographic Traveler” commented the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Frampton. The overall theme of this magazine is “Nobody Knows the World Better.” In this issue, writer George W. Stone attempts to bring recognition to “lesser known jewels of natural beauty and cultural tradition” that are sometimes overlooked and even threatened. The article mentions Jacques Cousteau’s theory on the formation of the Great Blue Hole.

Misc Belizean Sources

There are big challenges ahead, says new Executive Director of Ya’axché Conservation Trust
Christina Garcia talks to Fauna & Flora International about the emerging challenges and exciting opportunities for conservation in Belize. Last week, Fauna & Flora International staff in Cambridge had the chance to meet the new Executive Director of Ya’axché Conservation Trust (Ya’axché), Christina Garcia. With a background in natural resource management and marine biology, Christina brings to the role extensive experience of managing community-based conservation and awareness-raising activities in Belize. In this short interview, Christina shares her thoughts on the challenges ahead and her hopes for the future: What is the biggest environmental challenge in Belize today? I would say that the biggest challenge we face is raising awareness of the issues, and helping people to understand that NGOs want to protect Belize’s resources for the future. There are two aspects to this. At the national level (and particularly in the cities) we need to help people understand what the threats to Belize’s natural resources are.

Team Investigates Climate Change Impacts on Maya Civilization
Dr. Jason Polk, a faculty member in WKU’s Hoffman Environmental Research Institute, led a research expedition to Belize in August as part of an ongoing project investigating the socio-environmental dynamics of drought and climate change on the collapse of the ancient Maya civilization many centuries ago. Dr. Polk and several graduate students have been working with colleagues since 2009 from around the world, including archaeologists, environmental scientists, paleoclimatologists and geologists from London, Canada, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, the U.S EPA and the Institute of Archaeology in Belize, as part of a concerted effort to collect various data to help shed light on the much debated question of the environmental circumstances surrounding the decline of the Maya throughout Mesoamerica.

VIDEO: Diving Belize, Cypress Canyon, San Pedro
Local Dive 10 minutes from the dock.

Rotary Wine and Cheese Fundraiser
The Rotary Club of Belmopan is having their annual Wine and Cheese fundraiser at the George Price Centre. They'll be having raffles, sileny auctions, and the wine will be flowing. Proceeds will go towards the Belize Children's Project. Thanks, Rotary!

Benque Art Fiesta
The Benque House of Culture had their Full Moon concert and Art Fiesta yesterday, starting at 2:00. It was in Centennial Park, and there was live music, art, and food.

Tourists found illegally snorkeling in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve
Yesterday, Thursday, three tourists were found illegally snorkeling in the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. How can tourists ‘illegally snorkel’ you may well ask? Well, to ensure the protection of the reef and its inhabitants, Tour Guides are assigned to lead snorkeling experiences within all the reserves in Belize and there is nothing different about the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. At lunchtime yesterday 3 un-named tourists thought that it would be a clever idea, to get out of paying for a licensed snorkeling trip, to take one of the free kayaks that are available at their hostel (Bellas) and paddle themselves to the reef!! It looks as though they were so cheap that they only had one snorkel and mask between them and therefore, when they got to Shark and Ray Alley they took it in turns to see what hid beneath the surface of the ocean, whilst the other two got sunburnt on the boat! Officials (who keep an ever protective eye on our reef) saw the kayakers and set out in a motor boat to evacuate them from the reef and take them home!! We had to watch and giggle to ourselves as the tourists one by one were pulled into the motor boat and their kayak was towed home, back to Caye Caulker and most likely to face small charges of breaking the law of the Marine Reserve!!

Channel 7

BTL Yields to CCJ: No Dividend Declared
The BTL Annual General Meeting will start in about half an hour - and those who attend the meeting will see an agenda item for declaration of a dividend. But, it's not going to happen. The meeting will proceed as normal but the Executive Chairman Nestor Vasquez has advised us that following the wishes of the majority Shareholder - which is the Government of Belize, no dividend will be declared. That was the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice earlier this week - which asked that the declaration of a dividend be deferred until at least December 15th. And yesterday, Government's legal advisor Gian Ghandi wrote to the Executive Chairman advising him that quote, "GOB does not agree to the declaration of dividends at the meeting scheduled for 28thSeptember, or any other date before the 14th day of December 2012." End quote. So that's the end of it -the AGM will proceed, but no dividend will be declared - which is a major anti-climax - since the main business of an AGM is to declare a dividend, which in BTL's case amounts to 45% of the company's annual profits. It will still happen, but shareholders will have to wait for the check close to Christmas.

Young Man Critical After Being Stabbed By His Brother
Tonight, 19 year-old Esau Bainton, a resident of Perez Road in Ladyville, is in critical condition at the KHMH after his own brother, his younger brother at that, stabbed him to the chest. It happened at around 7:30 when - allegedly - the siblings were fighting over a pair of tennis shoes. 7News spoke to one Ladyville resident who was one of the first to come to the elder Bainton's rescue. He called the police telling them that a dying man was before him. Here's his account: Albert Magdeleno, offered assistance to family "It was about 7:30 on my way going to work - I pass there every day and then I heard the entire family screaming and so I dash into the yard. When I got there they said that the younger brother had stabbed the other brother in the belly."

Hulse Hits Back At Senate Meeting On Sugar Bill
Today the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Incentives Act went to the Senate. And while the bill is controversial, the real controversy that the Leader of Government Business Godwin Hulse wanted to deal with today was the harsh putdown Opposition Member Said Musa gave him on Wednesday. As Leader Of Government Business, Hulse had to lead the debate - but - following Mr. Musa's lead, he cut to the chase and went right to the ad hominem attack that had been leveled at him. Hulse dealt with the transcript of Musa's attack:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse "I begged your indulgence because the object of that was to discredit the messenger so the message could be discredited. As the good Rt. Honorable gentleman said, but we are not surprise quoting his exactly "because this minister is also a member of BSI board and therefore this minister wanted to carry a briefcase for American Refining and BSI." Mr. President if I wanted to carry a brief I would have come to this honorable house - having suggested that this is the best we can do and having made some private deal. This Senator and Minister would never betray the people of Belize that way."

Belize Makes An Impressive Showing At 3 On 3 Tourney
.0-0-16 of one percent - that's how Belize's population compares to China's 1.3 Billion people. But earlier today at the World Under 18, 3 on 3 basketball Championships in Seville, Spain that massive disparity in size didn't matter - what mattered was heart, toughness and skill, and Belize had more of it. And that's why tonight - we can proudly report - that, for the first time ever in anything - Belize has beaten China - the most populous country on earth. The game ended with a very close score of Belize 15, China 14. In the opening game, Belize's boys lost to New Zealand 21 - 10, and then beat Poland 21 - 14. That was considered an upset, but the real upset came in the third game when Belize beat China 15 - 14. In the final game of the day, our team was competitive against the undefeated Canada, ultimately losing 18 to 14, thus finishing the day 2 and 2.

Guatemalan Convicted Of Firearm Offences
Tonight, 28 year-old Guatemalan Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez, is spending the first night of a 3 year sentence after he was convicted of firearm offences in the Belmopan Magistrate's Court. Viewers may remember that he is the man who was caught on May 9th, at the Benque Viejo border with a loaded .45 Colt pistol. You may also remember that the Commissioner of Police, David Henderson was hesitant to have Moran charged. The story was that he was only trying to help a woman carry her bag across the border. Well, after 7News blew the whistle, Enriquez was eventually charged with keeping a prohibited firearm and keeping prohibited ammunition.

Municipal Bond Bill Passed By Senate
The prospectus for the Municipal Bond has not been presented yet - but the city council has started a publicity campaign to generate public support for it. And, right on time, The Belize Municipal Bond Bill went to the Senate today. But the representative of the business sector expressed reservations - which is notable since the business sector is expected to buy into the bond offering. Senator Mark Lizarraga said that he is concerned that the Council plans to use 50% of its current revenue stream to service the bond:.. Senator Mark Lizarraga "We are bit alarmed that this 9A speaks to interest and principal payable in any year in respect of its debts shall not exceed 50% of the council's recurrent revenue from the previous year. Mr. President let's think about this, is the council in a surplus situation now or does it foresee being in a surplus situation in the future where it can take 50% of its income only to service debts and still be able to provide the services, salaries, garbage collection or whatever it is that the council is supposed to do - can it do that on the remaining 50% if its allocating for the possibility for using 50% of its income just to debt service. We think that that number is too high - 50% of your income just to finance debt. Yes we want the nice streets and yes we are happy for the beautiful streets that Belize will now have, streets that will last long hopefully. But we have to be responsible, we have to act responsibly. Can the City Council say to us that with 50% of the income that we have we will be able to take care of salaries, garbage collection and the other streets that will still need maintenance and repair, drains etc. Can they tell us that? We think it's too ambitious."

Min. Hulse Speaks On Immigration Debacle
And while that happened inside the Chamber, outside we spoke to Senator Godwin Hulse - about his other role - as Minister Of Immigration. Last week the Prime Minister announced that Hulse was leading a comprehensive review of the system to tie up loopholes and eliminate corruption. That's after Lebanese-American Rafic Labboun - an alleged Hezbollah affiliate - got a Belizean passport in two days - using the identity of Wilhelm Dyck - a Mennonite newborn who died in Shipyard 26 years ago. Hulse told us that the legislation is archaic: Hon. Godwin Hulse "We are working feverishly. Even as we speak the staff is putting together some final changes which we have taken to the SolGen to redo the legislation. The legislation is archaic and so there are some gaping holes - put in a nutshell perhaps it was at the time when men were very honorable." "What we seek to do is to ensure 3 things: first, that anybody who holds a document representing them as part of this beautiful family we call Belizeans that when they come for that document they are who they say they are and they are a Belizean either by birth, decent or registration and we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that that is the case. When they step abroad and they represent themselves as a member of this family it can be genuine because for everybody who misrepresents they disenfranchise every one of us: you, myself and all the rest of us will look like some kind of fake, so we are intending of ensuring that."

Twelfth Annual Natl. Nutrition Quiz
The final for the 12th annual ADM Secondary School National Nutrition Quiz Competition was held today at the Biltmore Plaza. Seven schools competed but only one could win and that was Bishop Martin High from Orange Walk. The Quiz which is held every year to promote proper nutrition drew a large crowd today and 7news was there to capture it. Melissa Tucker, School Health Coordinator "It's a fun way for students to learn. We really want to encourage a healthy lifestyle and ways to look at our nutrition; what we eat and our physical activity. We want healthy students because like our theme says they are our future of Belize." "The competition has 3 phases, what you are seeing here is the second phase the national competition but before this we had our district competitions, all high schools in the country were invited to participate and base on the competitions we did in the districts we had first place winners - they come to the nationals."

T-R Wins 2012 Carnival Song Competition
The September Celebration Season is done and the question is which was the most popular carnival song of the year? We know last year's winner, Ernestine Carballo's "Carnival is Here" was still in heavy rotation but the winner is the artist "TR" otherwise known as Ivan Burgess. His song, "Wave the Flag" was from the National Song Competition was the most popular carnival song played at Mas Camps, on the radio stations and during carnival road march. For his tunesmith efforts, TR received $1,000.00, a trophy and a gift certificate from Ludwig studios for $200.00 worth of studio time.

PM Barrows Praises To Belizean Heroes
And as we close the news on this last Friday in September - we do so by reprising a bit of the Prime Minister's Independence day address. He discussed heroes in our midst - people whose efforts and contribution often go un-heralded - such as those firefighters - who risked life and limb to douse a superheated forty thousand gallon butane tank. Tonight, to end the celebration season on just the right note - we celebrate Belize by giving those folks their due.


Saturday Sailing Surprise
We were surprised to look over at the Grand Caribe dock today and see the unmistakable Optimist dinghies of the San Pedro Sailing Club moored on the water. Stepping further out onto our veranda, I saw another moored boat with a bright jib, and a Hobie Cat with its brightly striped, tall mainsail up on the beach. Of course I had to head out immediately with my camera to snap a few shots. Cowboy Doug saw me taking photos and came out to ask me if I would post them on his Facebook page. I wasn't sure how they would even turn out because I couldn't even see my viewfinder in the bright sun, but I got pretty lucky. He said the sailors had brought their own hot dogs to put on the grill, and some of their parents had met them there for some food and beverages. I am sure they enjoyed a dip in the Grand Caribe pool as well since the day was plenty warm. After lunch, they headed back to their home base at Caribbean Villas, I'm guessing. What a perfect day for sail they had, with moderate easterly breezes. We would have enjoyed sailing south with them on a comfortable beam reach.

A Beach Walk On Ambergris Caye...Some New Things and An Old Favorite
Yesterday morning, I headed north to walk some dogs at the SAGA Humane Society. Here are some things that I saw along the way. Royal Palms just completed a project to reclaim the beach. About 20 feet off the current shoreline, big sacks of sand have been placed. Supposedly, over time, new sand will wash over the bags and be trapped. Let's hope it works! We'll have the biggest sandiest beach in San Pedro. A pretty but menacing looking osprey was surveying the sea for something to eat. There were a few big black clouds but in general the day was GORGEOUS. The darkness just makes the blues of the ocean look brighter.

International Sources

Caribbean Growth in an International Perspective: The Role of Tourism and Size: IMF
Summary: After earlier success, growth performance in most Caribbean countries has been disappointing since the early 1990s. With slower growth, output has fallen behind that of relevant comparator countries. This paper analyzes the growth experience of the Caribbean countries from a cross country perspective. Three findings stand out. First, the slowdown in growth is explained more by a decline in productivity rather than a lack of investment. Second, tourism has been a significant contributor to higher growth (through both capital accumulation and productivity) and lower output volatility, and in many countries there is scope for further expansion of this sector. Third, the small size and the fact that most of these countries are islands have limited growth. Policies aimed at improving productivity, further development of the tourism sector, and regional integration could pay dividends in terms of higher growth in the region.

Cohune oil: new methods for a traditional resource
The ingenuity and traditional practices of colonial communities have long helped sustain their livelihoods. In Flowers Bank, a small village in the area of Belize, the art of cohune palm oil extraction once became a valuable income earner for slaves during the off-season months of the timber trade. The methods used by slaves to process cohune nuts were labor intensive, but today, modern technology is enabling their descendants to produce valuable cohune oil while preserving the local ecosystem. In August, a program developed by the Flowers Bank community and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (“CCCCC”) began mechanizing traditional oil extraction practices and incorporating renewable energy sources into production. Flowers Bank, which sits within the dense forest corridor of the Belize River Valley, is home to thousands of the Attalea cohune species of cohune palms. Harvested for centuries by the Maya, cohune nuts offer rich natural oils, for use in cooking and as fuel.

September 29, 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

Karen Waldrup shines onstage in benefit concert at Wet Willy’s
While the skies threatened a storm, the melodious voice of Karen Waldrup managed to shoo away the rain. The moon even came out and shone down on the crowd that had gathered on Wet Willy’s deck. Singing several of her original songs, as well as covers of popular songs requested by those in attendance, Karen brought the house down indeed. This writer’s favorite song was definitely “Whiskey Straight”, while others enjoyed “Save Paris for me”. There were some raffles held during (whiskey?) breaks, and even one brave 4-year old got up and took over the stage to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”. It was an incredible night of good music, great fun, a good chance to catch up with friends over a few cocktails and super delicious $5 burgers, and all while supporting a good cause: the Mama Vilma Family Home.

Taking the guesswork out of pool maintenance
With the increase in demand for in-depth knowledge of pool maintenance, Don and Julie Putman of Island Pool Supply are hosting a freePool Seminar on Saturday, September 29th. Don told The San Pedro Sun that after taking over the business two years ago, they noticed a need for just such a seminar. “There have been many people coming in and asking questions. This seminar is hopefully a great way to answer them.” As always, knowledge is power. “Being able to give pool caretakers the knowledge and know-how can give them a better understanding of the problems that may arise, and ways to treat, and even prevent them.”

Island Life: More of my favorite things…
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!

Ambergris Today

Belize Declares Turneffe Atoll a Marine Reserve!
The Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve was enacted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, by the Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The act will manage and protect the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean announced Craig Hayes, Board Chairman of Turneffe Atoll Trust and owner/operator of Turneffe Flats Resort. “This 325,000 acre Marine Reserve, the largest in Belize, will benefit Turneffe’s commercial fishermen, its tourism sector, the atoll’s environment and all Belizeans,” said Mr. Hayes. “It has been established through the hard work and dedication of several individuals and organizations including the Turneffe Atoll Trust (TAT), the Fisheries Department, Turneffe’s fishermen and several non-governmental agencies.”

"Nexos" American Airlines' In-Flight Magazine Visits Belize
Nexos magazine’s editorial director, Ana Christina Reymundo, was in the country from September 13th – September 17th traversing both inland and offshore areas in the country. American Airlines in-flight magazine, Nexos, focuses primarily on an affluent business and casual Hispanic clientele. The magazine is published six times a year and has an outreach of over 200,000 people. Nexos magazine introduces its readers to fun and interesting information that integrates worldwide data, as well as incorporates different aspect of the Latin American culture. The magazine covers travel, business, technology, art, lifestyle and interviews with famous Latin personalities and has won many awards. American Airlines in-flight magazine, Nexos visits Belize The first stop on the itinerary took her inland to tour the mystic Altun Ha Maya temple and explore the location where the legendary Jade head was found. She was taken to the Caves Branch for a fun filled afternoon of zip lining in the jungle followed by cave tubing through the beautiful cave formations. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye was the last stop on her itinerary, where she had the opportunity to enjoy some of Belize’s world class scuba diving, swimming along the barrier reef and viewing of the spectacular underwater wildlife.

Steady Increase in Belize's Tourism Expected by End of Year
The year 2012 began with a record breaking number of overnight tourist arrivals. As we continue in the third quarter, we see a steady increase in the overall arrival of overnight tourists. Airport arrivals have also seen very favorable growth and this trend is expected to continue for the remainder of the year. The BTB is delighted to share this phenomenal year in the tourism sector. The following is a detailed report of the first 8 months of this year. The year 2012 began with a record breaking number of overnight tourist arrivals. As we continue in the third quarter, we see a steady increase in the overall arrival of overnight tourists. Airport arrivals have also seen very favorable growth and this trend is expected to continue for the remainder of the year. The BTB is delighted to share this phenomenal year in the tourism sector. The following is a detailed report of the first 8 months of this year.

"Discovering Belize" Exhibit Hosted by El Salvador’s Ministry of Culture
On September 7, 2012, the Salvadoran Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of Belize in El Salvador opened the exhibition titled “Discovering Belize” dedicated to our country as it was holding its September Celebrations. The Intercultural House of El Salvador hosted the exhibition, which was done through the network of Houses of Culture, in order to bring together stakeholders in the cultural sector of sister (neighboring) nations. The director of the Network of Cultural Centers, Angel Iraheta, was the representative of the Ministry of Culture who inaugurated the Belizean exhibition. He indicated that, “Belize is our guest of honor to show us the richness of their culture," throughout the month of September in which Salvadorans and other Central American countries celebrate their independence as well.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Black students in Belize score lower in primary school examinations
In examining a document released by the Belize Ministry of Education titled “Improving Access, Quality and Governance of Education In Belize” Education Sector Strategy 2011-2016, it was revealed that the districts of Belize, Stann Creek and Toledo, where most of the blacks live in the country of Belize, scored the lowest on their Primary School Examinations (PSE) compared to the other districts where most Mestizo and Maya Belizeans live. This examination is important for students who are planning to further their education in high schools in Belize. Also, that throughout the entire country of Belize, the people who live in the urban communities scored higher than the students who live in the rural areas. The results are as follows; Belize-Urban: 56.0% Rural: 52.7%, Toledo-Urban: 54.5% Rural: 53.0%, Stann Creek-Urban: 54.1% Rural: 53.0% Orange Walk-Urban: 62.6% Rural: 56.0%, Corozal-Urban: 61.4% Rural: 56.2% and Cayo-60.6% Rural: 53.0%. The National was, Urban: 58.4% Rural: 54.1%. This is a complete reversal from many years ago where the black districts scored better or even with the other districts. The districts of Stann Creek and Toledo, where most Garifuna people live, did the worst and at one time in Belize’s history they were the teachers who went into the villages all over the country of Belize to educate their fellow Belizean brothers and sisters.

International Coastal Cleanup Today
Oceana Belize has organized for Belize to be part of the International Coastal Cleanup. In Cayo, Belmopan will be participating in the event. Meet at Maya Mopan at 7:00am to participate. "Belize will be participating in the 2012 International Coastal Clean Up. Oceana, in collaboration with the Scout Association of Belize and Ocean Conservancy will be conducting a nationwide waterway and coastal clean-up on Saturday, 29th September 2012, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Help to clean up rivers, coastline and other waterways in your area! In 2011, nearly 600,000 volunteers across the globe collected over 9 Million pounds of trash! Let’s make an even greater impact this year!"

OAS Culture of Peace
The Organization of American States had their Culture of Peace in the Adjacency Zone. Here are some great pictures from the event via the Benque House of Culture.

Tribute to Father of the Nation in Benque
The Benque House of Culture had a tribute to George Price, along with a poetry recital, and showing of the GP documentary. Congratulations to all the kids that entered and read their poetry.

Belmopan New Courts Store is now Open
Courts, one of Belize's top home appliances store, is now located in this new building around the Constitution drive in Belmopan. I absolutely love the colours of the new store, although it looks like the typical A & R store. I am ready to visit the store and see what new they have.

Channel 5

Senators discuss ASR concession
In the House of Representatives on Wednesday, both the leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca and the Fort George Area representative, Said Musa, trashed Minister Godwin Hulse for yielding to a package of tax exemptions that the government is providing to Belize Sugar Industries as part of a sale to American Sugar Refinery. Hulse, who [...]

Where is the Auditor General’s report?
The 2010-2011 government audit was discussed in the Senate. According to Senator Mark Lizarraga, the government accounts are in a mess and that’s a major cause of concern. Lizarraga said the report is damning because the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, did not provide an expert opinion and that due to substantive omissions, the accounts did [...]

Oil spill did not pose serious threat
On Thursday, an oil spill stretched on eight miles of the George Price Highway from Jaguar Paw to La Democracia. The Department of the Environment today provided further details, confirming that a vehicle transporting diesel was responsible for the spill. The highway remains covered with the fuel, and according to DOE, while the spill is [...]

Dividends not declared at Telemedia AGM
Speculation on whether or not dividends will be declared at the tonight’s annual general meeting of Belize Telemedia Limited is over. News Five has confirmed the Telemedia board will comply with a decision from the Caribbean Court of Justice, ordering that dividends cannot be paid before December fourteenth. The AGM will, however, proceed at the [...]

Pollsters believed Telemedia would have abided by injunction
Belize Telemedia Limited is having its Annual General Meeting tonight, but earlier this week a CCJ ruling put a wrench in the plans as the company was ordered not to declare or issue any dividends to shareholders. We asked viewers on Thursday night: Do you think the G.O.B. will comply with the CCJ order not [...]

Breaking News: Murder in Santa Elena
This news just in to our newsroom, the body of a man identified as Eddy Antonio Sanchez was discovered this evening at Liberty Farm in Santa Cruz, Santa Elena. According to a preliminary report Sanchez was chopped about five to six times on the head, throat, chin and on both ankles. Sanchez is believed to [...]

Youth stabs his brother in the chest because of tennis
In Ladyville, a tennis shoe led to a near fatal stabbing between two siblings. Nineteen year old Esau Bainton is fighting for his life in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was allegedly stabbed by his younger brother, who is a minor. Shortly after seven this morning, things got out of hand at the [...]

House in the way of motorist; so he drove into it
There was a freak accident on Freetown Road at one o’clock this morning when an SUV barreled into a wooden house. Official information has not been released by police and the press officer has not accepted our calls or responded to messages. But residents say the GMC Envoy was speeding on Freetown Road, into a [...]

Guatemalan convicted for keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition
In the court today, Ismael Antonio Moran Enriquez was convicted by Magistrate Linsbert Willis for keeping a prohibited firearm and ammunition. Moran is a Guatemalan national who caused a ruckus at the western border back in May when he was found in possession of a firearm, but there was hesitation by the Commissioner of Police [...]

Illegal aliens caught
The Immigration Department has three persons in their custody and is looking for two more after they were tipped off that illegal immigrants were being housed at a Baptist Church in the city. Immigration officers acted quickly after receiving the information, but only Salvadoran national, twenty-seven year old Rene Mauricio Dimas Juarez was found at [...]

He threw rum then a cement block at his victim
A bar fight that got out of hand has resulted in charges against Supal Street resident, thirty-six year old Kareem Flowers. He was taken to the Belize City Magistrates Court today and charged with Wounding upon Honduran national, Jairo Sanchez. Reports are that on Sunday both men were at Riverside Bar when Flowers threw a [...]

Orange Walk school wins a Nutrition Quiz
Seven high schools from all over the country competed in the finals of the annual National Nutrition Quiz. The students were tested on a wide range of questions on nutrition and health and at the end of the fourth round, months of preparation paid off for the team from Bishop Martin High. Victory was sweet, [...]

Travel Trade Show in Honduras for European Market
The B.T.I.A., B.T.B. and other tourism stakeholders will be off to the annual Central American Travel Market and Channel Five will be there to bring it to you live from San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The show, which will be in a business meeting style, will attract international travel agents and wholesalers from across the world. [...]

3X3 Basketballers doing well in Spain
The president of the Belize Basketball Federation, Paul Thompson, spoke to News Five last Tuesday when they were short on funds to send the Under Eighteen three by three basketball team to the World Championships being held this week. Well, the team made it to Spain and the games got underway on Thursday. By this [...]

Bloodsport in Quintana Roo; House of Shotokan exchange blows
A contingent from the House of Shotokan is back in the Jewel after a successful overnight trip across the border. The fighters took part in a Bloodsport competition that attracted mixed martial arts competitors from numerous Mexican states. Tired and bruised, their winning streak prevailed during the one day event as some team members upstaged [...]

Harmony Day at Harmonyville
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, (BGYEA) gained fame for being an underdog organization with dreams of regular Belizeans owning land. The movement had convinced the government to follow through on the organization’s plan to develop a community called Harmonyville at mile forty one on the George Price Highway. The paperwork and plans are still [...]


Scout Association and Ocean Conservancy Team Up to Collect Data on Garbage
The Scout Association of Belize is tomorrow embarking on its National Coastal and River ways cleanup. The cleanup is part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup. Ricardo Alcoser is the National Coordinator for the cleanup. RICARDO ALCOSER Nationa...

Ladyville Primary School Gets Burglarized
A primary school in Ladyville Village is reeling from the effects of a burglary in their classrooms over Wednesday night. This is the fourth time since June that the school has been targeted and Principal, Carol Young, told Love News that the nuisance has adversely affected the p...

Brother Stabbed Over Tennis Shoe
CIB police have detained a fifteen year old youth pending charges after he allegedly stabbed his older brother at around seven-fifteen this morning over a pair of tennis shoes. The incident happened in the Bainton’s family yard on Perez Road in Ladyville


Fire On Lovers Lane Consumes More $18,000 Worth In Items
Minutes after 3:00 this afternoon a warehouse located on #22 Lovers Lane here in Orange Walk Town, went up in flames. The 22 by 30 building belongs to Gabino Novelo and was used as a storeroom. Today as both the building an its contents were consumed by flames, Novelo’s son, Antonio Novelo, told us that their loss is up to $20,000. Antonio Novelo, Son “I was in front of the building while the fire was taking place and Mr. Fuentes from the police force told me about the fire so when I ran behind I notice that I could not do anything throw water or anything like that so we called the fire station who responded immediately, good job fire station, now my first step was to go on and switch off the lights so all the power from the house would be gone then the people came to try to throw some water but by then the fire department came and they out the fire. We had a lot of items like a 200 horse power unit, we had a generator, we had a big stand fan, we had a couple a/c units, we had a couple big ice coolers, a couple big speakers we use for the business and those were about some of the items that were burnt, and because all the house was engulf and everything was lost, we had a least $1600 of lumber, pine lumber, mahogany lumber, so all of that was burnt.”

The Fight For Cane Farmers Continues Outside The House Of Representatives
Yesterday the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Bill, was passed at a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives despite major opposition. The bill seeks to award American Sugar Refinery, the company that will buyout BSI, major tax exemptions including partial yearly tax exemptions of 80% from January 1st 2013 to December 31st 2013, sixty percent reduction in 2014, forty percent in 2015 and twenty percent in 2016. The bill also withholds BSI and Belcogen from paying tax on dividends for a period of five years with effect from September 1st 2012. At the same time it exempts BSI and Belcogen from paying any customs and excise duties for a period of ten years, that’s from 2012 to 2022. And to make the agreement even sweeter than it already is, the companies are being granted a 50% reduction on stamp duties and it gives BSI the unrestricted right to export raw sugar and molasses for a period of ten years with effect from September 1st 2012. The amended bill has raised many eyebrows and has created a turbulent scenario between Government and cane farmers who are said to be the ones most affected, hence why members of the opposition are steadfast against the bill. But despite their strong opposition the fact remains that the bill went through its three readings yesterday and will now go the senate for approval. So basically, it’s a done deal and while Government has practically paved the road ahead for ASR, cane farmers on the other hand are in for a bumpy ride. But all is not lost because according to Orange Walk South Area Representative Jose Abelardo Mai, the fight continues outside the House of Representatives.

Two Rented Vehicles Stolen In Orange Walk
Two vehicles were stolen from separate auto rental companies over the September celebrations here in Orange Walk. All indications are that the vehicles were stolen by the same person. The first incident was recorded on the eve of Belize’s Independence and the victim was Evencio Cal. Cal reported to police that on the 20th of September, around 9:45am, 27 year old Hector Rivas of #14 Woodpecker Street Trial Farm Village, visited his Auto Rental Shop and rented a $12,000 blue Ford Explorer with license plate number OW-C-03897. Rivas, who used his driver’s license to identify himself, was to return the vehicle at 9:45pm on the same 20th of September. Today marks 7 days that Rives rented the vehicle and it’s yet to be returned. On the 22nd of September Rivas rented another vehicle, this time from Steve Perriot. According to Perriot, Rivas rented a black Dakota Pickup with license plate number OW-C-003389 valued at $5,000 from him. Again, Rivas used his driver’s license as a form of identification. The vehicle was to be returned on the same day of its rental. Police are now looking for Rivas for questioning.

Another Slovakian Criminal Lives In Belize?
There are reports coming from the Slovak Republic which indicate that in addition to Karol Mello, an alleged mafia boss wanted in Slovakia for a series of crimes he reportedly orchestrated, including the slaughter of a mother and son, another Slovak with a criminal past has sought refuge in Belize. According to the Slovak Spectator, Viliam Misenka, who is accused by Slovak police of five murders and the theft of more than $5 million Euros, currently lives in San Pedro and is allegedly Mello’s neighbor. The report quotes an anonymous source from Belize indicating that Misenka is conducting business related to real estate and is a partner in an internet café located in San Pedro Town. The Slovak police and the local authorities are reportedly aware of his presence in Belize. Reports are that Misenka and Mello are joint suspects in two cases, the murders of Peter Congrády and of Jozef Gudab. According to the Slovak Spectator, Mello and Misenka met in Kosovo in July 2011, before they relocated to Belize. Reports suggest that the X Lounge Bar in San Pedro reportedly owned by Mello has been offered for sale on the website for $249,000. The ad allegedly states that sellers are moving and need to sell. From what we have been able to gather there are a number of Slovakians living in San Pedro all in the same Apartment building as Mello. While we were unable to verify if one of the individuals goes by the name of Viliam Mišenka, we were able to confirm that one of the men, who is into real estate, owns and internet café and lives next to Mello. Viewers might recall that on July 11th Mello was detained by Belizean authorities while living in San Pedro with his wife and son. Immediately after Mello’s arrest, Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse, ordered that Mello be extradited to Slovakia. Mello’s attorneys; however, placed an injunction preventing Mello’s expulsion. After the case was heard Mello was released from prison only to be re-arrested on charges stemming from alleged immigration offences. While those charges were later dismissed, Mello’s permanent residency remained canceled. His lawyers were later able to win his case and the Slovakian national was awarded permanent residence for a second time.

It's Time To Get Registered
Last year the Vital Statistic Unit embarked on a mission to have 100% of the Belizean population registered by 2015. The project, which is funded by the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has been completed in the Toledo, Stann Creek and Corozal Districts. Yesterday 10 teams arrived in Orange Walk to continue with their mission also intended to increase national awareness on birth registration as a fundamental right. One of the teams was in the village of San Pablo today and as we stopped by at the village’s health centre we found out more about the program. In 2011, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and the Vital Statistic Unit of Belize joined efforts to launch an important project with one specific goal: to have the entire 300,000 plus Belizean population registered by 2015. Yesterday ten teams arrived here in the Orange Walk District to carry out their goal. The teams were spread across the district with the San Pablo Health Clinic and Orange Walk Town Hall being the focal point. But registration is not the only service that is being provided as explained by Assistant Registrar Lovina Daniels.

10 Cents Per Mile Says Castro
On September 25th Cabinet gave its support to the adjustment of bus fares to ten cents per mile across the board, strictly stating that all transportation providers must comply with the new fares. Today Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport and Works Honorable Edmund Castro was in Orange Walk and we took the opportunity to speak with him about the new changes in the bus industry. “Basically what we are doing is that the Bus Association is trying to work and they are trying to comply, we will not have full compliance until we ticket some of them so what we also doing with the S.I. moving the penalty from $100 for standees to either $200 or $250 for standees so if any bus operators out there continue to break the law although we are trying to work with them and continue to break the law then at some point they would get caught. We also have a hot line number that we have that the commuter will be able to text us or call us and report any infraction that they see happening on a bus, the drinking and the driving, driving with a loud music and also with the bus passengers hanging out the bus that is a no, no, we are trying to work with them and them claims is that they are complying and are trying to comply. What we want to see is a complete reengineer of this entire public transportation system as it relates to the buses and I know if we work together, the commuter work with us because the commuters are not by themselves, the commuters are partly responsible for the overcrowding of the bus because the bus operator have a period or a slot that they can put in any amount of buses that they need to move those people safely to their destination so the commuter also need to play their part not to have allowed the bus owners to crowd them and crammed them on a bus and still charge them because cramming on a bus they are still paying the same price like the one that have a seat so you are inconvenient and the person sitting down next to you and the only one benefitting is the conductor and the driver.”

P.M Off To Washington
After a heated debate at the House of Representatives yesterday, today the Prime Minister of Belize departed to Washington D.C. The Prime Minister will be heading a Belizean delegation which will be holding discussions with High-Ranking Executive Officials at the Inter-American Development Bank and at the International Monetary Fund in Washington. During the Prime Minister’s absence, the Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister of Belize, will act as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Barrow is expected to return to the country on Tuesday, 2nd October, 2012.


Sabotage at Nohok Che’en Archaeological Reserve
The Nohok Che’en Archaeological site is back in the news again. And this time it is because of an act of sabotage that could have crippled the nation’s tourism industry. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went to Jaguar Paw today to bring you the following report.

Oil slick on the George Price Highway
The George Price Highway between La Democracia village and the Jaguar Paw cut-off was made all the more treacherous aside from rains that fell throughout the morning when an oil tanker carrying petroleum fuel experienced a dysfunction and started to leak the contents onto the highway. Thankfully there were no accidents resulting from the combination of the mixture of the oil and water on the road, and to prevent that from happening, the National Emergency Management Organization and the Department of Transport personnel were out to ensure that motorists slow down between the roughly seven-mile-stretch where oil had spilled onto the highway. The fuel, visible in puddles of water that were left after the downpour, was partially washed away by a good Samaritan near the Jaguar Paw entrance with the highway and the remainder along the stretch dissipated with the constant flow of traffic.

Agro-processing training opens in Central Farm
A two-day conference on agro-processing started today in Central Farm, Cayo District. Close to two-dozen participants from cooperative groups in the west are taking part in the forum which is being held at the conference room of the Republic of China, Taiwan’s conference room. Food Safety, General Management Practice and Bake Training techniques are the main topics which are being shared with the participants during the two-day sessions. Facilitators include BAHA’s Technical Food Safety Director Miguel Figueroa; Food Specialist with the ROC Technical Mission Dr. Carson Huan; and Food Processing Coordinator with the Ministry of Agriculture Charles Bacab. This week’s agro processing training is being jointly coordinated by the Extension Service of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Cooperatives department. Groups taking part in the training include the Women In Business from Cayo West; Osh Mul Kah Agro Processors Youth Cooperative from San Antonio; Women in Agro Processing Association from San Ignacio and the Osh Mul Kah Bakery Women’s Group from San Antonio village.

Government presents strategic energy plan
The Ministry of Energy Science and Technology and Public Utilities this morning launched their Strategic Plan at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Philip S.W. Goldson Highway. Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega gave the opening remarks followed by Minister Joy Grant who spoke on the subject of global competitiveness. Senator Grant spoke with Love News about Belize’s options for cheaper forms of locally produced energy. The Keynote Address was presented by Professor of Electrical Engineering, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Member of the Prime Minister’s Council of Science Advisors in Barbados, Dr. Cardinal Warde.

New executive for Council of Churches
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Belize Council of Churches. At its bi-annual general meeting held last week, the group chose Reverent Roosevelt Papouloute as its new president replacing Canon LeRoy Flowers. The vice president is now Bishop Philip Wright. Secretary is Karen Taylor while Reverent Christopher Chauncy is the treasurer. Ordinary members are Bishop Dorrick Wright, Major Joliker Leandre and Pastor Ernest Betson. According to a release from the Belize Council of Churches, the general assembly also adopted a new constitution. The release ends by saying that the new executive reaffirmed its commitment to the Prophetic role of the church and will seek to meaningfully engage government and civil society in advancing the welfare of the Belizean society to and for the glory of God.

Prime Minister goes to Washington for meetings
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today travels to Washington, D.C. According to an official statement from his office, Mr. Barrow is leading a delegation to scheduled meetings with high-ranking executives of the Inter American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The Prime Minister is due back in the country on Thursday of next week and during his absence of official duties, deputy prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Exhibit featuring George Price opens in Belmopan
A photo exhibition entitled George Price, reflection of a hero opened last night at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. The man behind the lens of the photographs was Richard Holder. The exhibit is cosponsored by Belize Natural Energy and representative Daniel Gutierrez said it is important to keep the legacy of Mr. Price alive. The exhibition will run for the next few months.

Art expo planned for Belmopan
The Cultural Regional Institution of Belize, CRIB, is organizing an event of diverse cultural activities that will take place tomorrow at the Belmopan Central Market. The Director of CRIB, Manuel Lizarraga and the President of CRIB Luis Perraza, visited Love Studios to tell us about the event and to call on the public to come out and be a part of it. Once again the time for the event is from 7:00 am. to 3:00 pm. For more information you can call 651-7873 or 621-2703 or send an email to According to Perraza the mayor of Belmopan is looking into the possibilities of turning the diverse cultural art activity into a monthly event.

Celebrations exhibit opens at the Museum of Belize
The Museum of Belize will be displaying a new Exhibit Entitled “Belize-Revisiting the 10th and 21st”. This afternoon Love News visited the Museum for a sneak peak at the exhibit. Shari Williams is the Communications officer for the National Institute for Culture and History. The exhibit will remain open for a couple of months and Schools are reminded to book visits in advance. Once again the doors will be open for the general public to view the exhibit on Tuesday October 2nd.

Wellness Day observed in Toledo
Toledo Wellness Day: Activities in connection with Caribbean Wellness Week continue in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.


Video highlights of UB candle vigil for student Narval Belisle
There was a memorial service and vigil for the late Norval Belisle Jr. The service was held by the University of Be

Belize celebrates Senior Citizens Week
Belize is a young nation but we do have many elderly persons within our population. This week is being celebrated a

CCJ says BTL can't distribute Dividends at AGM
The Caribbean Court of Justice presided over by the President, the Right Honourable Sir Dennis Byron, ordered the G

Controvertial platform at reserve vandalised
FECTAB President Tom Greenwood and executive members and tour operators Yhony Rosado and David Almendarez today cat

Rotary donates computers for new school project
Belizean primary school students are being treated to a visual form of learning. The Rotary Club of San Ignacio thr

P.M. Barrow to visit IMF
The Prime Minister of Belize left the country today. He is heading a Belizean delegation to meetings scheduled with

Belmopan's C.R.I.B. to host exciting Cultural events
The organization is a group of persons who through the promotion of cultural events and exposure to the different c

Con man targets car rentals
A couple of car rental businesses have been targeted by an alleged con man. Evencio Cal, of Orange Walk Town told p

Laptop stolen from parked car in Belize City
Thieves cleaned out parked vehicles in Belize City. Alexander Evans reported that between 7:45pm and 10:30pm on Tue

Guatemalans rapeing Belizean forests to the tune of Millions of Dollars
Forest Footage At that presentation today, we were info

Will Mehia speaks to PlusTV about Illegal Guatemalan logging
The Chiquibul National Park system covers thousands of acres; the Guatemalans have been reaping the benefit of Beli

Belmopan seniors celebrate Senior Citizens Week
This week is being observed as Senior Citizens’ Week. A series of activities has been planned starting with a churc

Son acquitted of murdering his father; will manslaughter stick?
A son was acquitted of the murder of his father but jurors were not certain of his fate on the alternative charge o

NICH says Controvercial Cave Platform was vandalized
The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the National Institute of Culture & History (NICH.), in a release sent out to

San Pedro man acquitted of carnal knowledge against 11 year old
32 year-old Edwin Flores was acquitted of 5 counts unlawful carnal knowledge yesterday. Flores was accused by an el

Man gets 7 years for stealing forty five dollars
43 year-old Henry "Tyson" Lauriano was sentenced to 7 years in prison after being convicted of robbery and harm. Hi

Dangriga Town Councillor's home burglarized
Burglaries are becoming prevalent in Dangriga and one of the latest victims is a Dangriga town councillor, Howard M

Artist's house catches fire
There was a fire in Belize City today. It happened sometime after 11 o’clock this morning at number 161 Curl Thomps


Police won, the sports desk apologizes
Well, well, well, what a turn of events in the Week 5 stats for the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2012-2013 Opening Tournament. In our Wednesday issue, we had reported that Police United lost this past [...]

Premier League has new office and new Secretary
The Premier League of Belize officially announces that its new Office of Administration is now located at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) complex on the Hummingbird Highway in Belmopan. The League thanks the Football Federation [...]

Fourth Belizean crowned Champion in annual BGA Belize Open
This past weekend, the sixth Belize Open was played on the beautiful course of Grand Coral in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Rodrigo Barrera, a Belizean national, was crowned champion, thus becoming the first Belizean to win on [...]

Editorial: Sugar and spice; sugar rolls the dice …
The United Democratic Party (UDP) won general elections in 2008 and 2012 by focusing on the terrible debt servicing which Belize was having to deal with because of the two terms of People’s United Party (PUP) excess between 1998 and 2008. The PUP said that what they had done was “grow the economy,” and they extolled the virtues of foreign direct investment (FDI), which was the reason why they had been so chummy with Lord Michael Ashcroft and why they had given him so many tax breaks, they argued. As the UDP continued to lament the burden of the so-called superbond, the Francis Fonseca PUP argued that the Belizean debt could readily be serviced if only the UDP would “grow the economy” at a rate of 4 percent, say. And, with Lord Ashcroft waging an anti-UDP administration campaign at home, regionally, and all over the world, the PUP chimed in with the claim that the UDP was anti-business, and that they were driving away all the much-desired, indispensable even, FDI.

From The Publisher
I have a younger brother, Michael, who was killed in Accra, Ghana, in September of 1976. He had completed the first year of a two-year course in land management in Kumasi, which is about two hundred miles from Accra. Indications are that he was bored, having nothing to do in Kumasi during the summer holidays, so he was in the capital city with friends when he was murdered. My younger brother was an adventurous guy. He was an outstanding football player and track-and-field athlete, the most successful athlete amongst my parents’ children. He was an active member of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) while employed at the Lands and Survey Department. Arrested and charged because of UBAD activities on the night of May 29, 1972, he was interdicted from his government job. Along with Norman Fairweather and Edwardo Burns, he was defended in the Supreme Court by attorney Dean Lindo, and all three were acquitted in October of 1972, whereupon he resumed employment at Lands. UBAD had become divided in early 1973, and was formally dissolved in November of 1974. Michael’s Kumasi scholarship offer had been on the table for some time. Several Belizeans had already done the course, and I encouraged him to take up the offer, which he finally did in September of 1975.

Likes Amandala editorials
It would be an understatement to say that the behavior of politicians in Belize is scandalous. Embezzlement, all manner of misuse of funds, perfidy, corruption on every level and across party lines—the list is long and tawdry—and criminal. It gives me hope for Belize as I read your increasingly hard-hitting editorials, which illustrate to me that patience for wrong-doing is wearing thin and that the incapacity of political parties to govern—despite all their benefits—is no longer something the Belizean people have to accept. When I’m asked, “What can I do about it?” my reply goes right to the heart of what you’re doing as the editor of a major newspaper. By the very act of speaking with candor, with honesty and courage, whether among our friends or from the pages in a newspaper, we contribute to the universal consciousness from which all change comes. I like what Abraham Lincoln once said : “When I do a good thing, it makes me feel good. When I do a bad thing, it makes me feel bad. That’s my religion.”

Re: “The Peninsula rises: “Noh tek wi wata!”
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Amandala newspaper for giving the concerns of the people of Placencia Peninsula a national voice. I would like, however, to address and clarify to the people of Placencia a statement that was paraphrased by Mr. Humes on the statement made by former Minister Melvin Hulse, in an article in the September 23, 2012 issue of the Amandala – The Peninsula rises: “Noh tek wi wata!” – on page 22 (continued from page 21) and paragraph 5 of that page. The statement says, “He contended that Charles Leslie, as an ex-officio member of the Placencia Water Board, which is independently appointed by Government, and as chairman of the village, never missed a meeting in respect to this issue and therefore ‘must have been aware’ of what was going on and for him to suggest otherwise is ‘being disingenuous.’” I would like to state that indeed I attended every meeting held concerning the proposed Placencia Peninsula Sewage System. The very first meeting I attended was held at the Robert’s Grove Conference Room on July 27, 2010.

Nick Pollard, Jr., comments on PUP 1956 issues
Allow me to comment on the excerpt taken from Larry Vernon’s paper on political parties in Belize. I believe the full paper was published about two years ago in Amandala. I wish to say that there was one sentence and I quote, “that Nicholas Pollard conducted a campaign of slander against leaders of the PUP.” I wish to say that the statement is completely out of context. The statement would lead readers to believe that Pollard went berserk and publicly slandered leaders of the People’s United Party. Vernon failed to inform his readers that a bitter feud exploded in July of 1956 when Goldson, Richardson and Herman Jex took a missing monies case to the GWU Executive at Liberty Hall, where they all conspired to expel Pollard. Following Pollard’s expulsion, Pollard, with Price’s support, countered with a vicious attack on all three who had been elected in the 1954 adult suffrage elections. My reason for exposing this distorted information is because Vernon is listed in Godfrey Smith’s list of acknowledgements in his book on George Price. After reading Godfrey’s chapter on the “Struggle for Leadership,” I found it somewhat obnoxious that he chose to use the words “nasty campaign” twice and “slander” in only one paragraph on page 132 to describe Pollard’s attack on his adversaries. Godfrey uses the “Richardson/Goldson Declaration” of September 27th, 1956 to elaborate on the “Struggle for Leadership”; the Declaration was to have been read that night at the Riverside Hall by the PUP Party Chairman, Lloyd Coffin, when they were stopped by the Pollard/Price faction and ousted from the building.

Ideas and Opinions – Drugs from a different viewpoint
I know that you will not make the mistake of thinking that this article will be about prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are for treatment, healing and, other specific purposes. They are not the subjects of newspaper [...]

Candlelight vigil for Kaylee Burgess on Saturday in Ladyville
Three weeks after the body of baby Kaylee Burgess, 2, was found dumped in a bucket at the home of her grandmother in the Japan area of Ladyville, despite strong evidence that she had been murdered, [...]

Liberty Hall to host “grassroots university”
Best known as the Belize headquarters of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the historic Liberty Hall on Barrack Road continued to be a place of social interaction and political organization even after the decline [...]

Will BTL defy CCJ?
Court says telecom company must wait to issue dividends; Board Chair, Net Vasquez, says company will “deal with agenda” for meeting The chairman of the Board of Directors of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), Nestor ‘Net’ Vasquez, says shareholders and the country must wait until tomorrow night, Friday, September 28, when the company meets for its Annual General Meeting at the Princess Hotel and Casino, to find out what it will do in consequence of an order issued by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Wednesday to the Government of Belize “to exercise its powers as controlling shareholders of [BTL] to adjourn the issue of the declarations of dividends” of Telemedia to a date no earlier than December 14, 2012. In a media release issued today, Thursday, the Court said it made the order “so as to preserve the status quo in relation to pending litigation before the courts of Belize which arose from legislation enacted by Belize to acquire certain property belonging to the Applicants,” which are Dean Boyce of the BTL Employees’ Trust and the British Caribbean Bank, collectively termed “the Ashcroft Alliance” (for British billionaire businessman Lord Michael Ashcroft) and represented by Senior Counsels Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith.

“Sweet and bitter” sugar bill passes House
Cañeros say concessions good for American ASR, but only “making the rich richer and the poor and enterprising cane farmers poorer!” “We were facing Armageddon” said Barrow. The House of Representatives today passed a bill which the ruling United Democratic Party argues is necessary to rescue the sugar industry from sure demise, while guaranteeing long-term prosperity for the farmers; however, the bill has been a hard sell to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, which wrote Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday objecting to concessions which they claim would give American Sugar Refining (ASR) an unfair advantage over the country’s over 6,000 cane farmers. Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow said in Parliament today, while introducing the bill, that the concessions are in support of a US$100 million investment in the Belize sugar industry by ASR—which he described as a company with the largest global footprint on that market and the biggest refiner in the world—as a part of a rescue operation of the financially beleaguered Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). Barrow made the case that the passage of the bill today—taken through all its stages in a single sitting of the House—is urgent, because BSI only has until the end of September to settle US$60 million in debt, the bulk of it with the foreign bank, ING, which last year gave the BSI a one-year extension to settle its bill or face foreclosure.

Belize loses $23 mil to illegal logging: FCD
A newly released economic and ecological valuation assessment of illegal logging inside the Chiquibul Forest, released this morning, reveals that Belize has lost an estimated BZ$23 million as a result of those activities. The details were provided at a forum held at the Belmopan Convention Hotel by Friends for Conservation and Development – an NGO which was formed in 1989. Boris Arevalo, FCD researcher and general manager of Las Cuevas Forest Station, revealed that the “zone of influence” affected by illegal logging has expanded from 18,167 hectares in 2010 to 26,642 ha in 2011 — an increase of 46.6%. It increased a further 28.3% by mid-2012, now putting the area under pressure by illegal logging at 34,189 ha at mid-2012. This represents nearly 20% of the Chiquibul, which spans 176,000 ha. FCD notes that illegal logging by Guatemalans has eclipsed the Caracol Archaeological Reserve — which has furthermore suffered from looting of over 90% of its Mayan sites on account of illegal logging forays into Belize. There has also been wildlife poaching associated with these activities. Arevalo said that the reach of illegal loggers has gone beyond the Chiquibul National Park and is now expanding into the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. FCD reports illegal logging 11.5 km (over 7 miles) into Belize, measuring from its western border with Guatemala.

City Council victimizes “Tambran”
DJ Tambran is evicted from Commercial Center after settling with City Council; Council says he can get licence “anywhere else but not at Commercial Center” After appearing in court this morning, businessman Lennox “DJ Tambran” Young visited Amandala this afternoon to confirm that he had reached a settlement agreement with the Belize City Council and received the money owed to him for damages sustained to his equipment a few years ago, less the rent fee for the stall that CitCo demanded from him. But he has also been told that he had to leave his booth effective tomorrow, Wednesday, confirming his suspicions that someone wants the space he had. Young spoke out after it became apparent to him that the Council wanted him out of Booth #7 at the Commercial Center, the home of his “Music Depot” business for which he has a 15-year lease. The roof of the space has been leaking for some time now, leading to damage to important records and equipment for his business, and a few weeks ago he lost permanent power due to a fault in the market space’s electrical layout. After receiving temporary power from the Council, it was cut, and he had gone almost a month since then without power, supposedly because he owes the Council rent.

GOB hires Barrow & Co in move to fight offshore drilling referendum
The Government is expected to file its defense this week in the case of Oceana, Audrey Marie Bradley and Tom Greenwood against the Governor-General and the Chief Elections Officer. The claimants are challenging Government’s decision to not convene a national offshore drilling referendum after Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai rejected roughly 8,000 signatures on petition — amounting to 40% of the signatures. The Government subsequently took the position that the required 10% of voters needed to mandate the poll had not signed on. It could be months before this court case gets to hearing, but inside her Chambers this morning, Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana held a case management session with attorneys from both sides, setting an agenda for the filing of affidavits and other important documents. Government, which was previously represented by counsel from the Attorney General’s Ministry, has now retained private counsel to defend its case. Naima Barrow, niece of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and counsel from the Barrow & Co law firm, is holding brief for the Government, while ex-Attorney General Godfrey Smith, SC, continues to be retained by the claimants.

GOB hires Barrow & Co in move to fight offshore drilling referendum
The Government is expected to file its defense this week in the case of Oceana, Audrey Marie Bradley and Tom Greenwood against the Governor-General and the Chief Elections Officer. The claimants are challenging Government’s decision to not convene a national offshore drilling referendum after Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai rejected roughly 8,000 signatures on petition — amounting to 40% of the signatures. The Government subsequently took the position that the required 10% of voters needed to mandate the poll had not signed on. It could be months before this court case gets to hearing, but inside her Chambers this morning, Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana held a case management session with attorneys from both sides, setting an agenda for the filing of affidavits and other important documents. Government, which was previously represented by counsel from the Attorney General’s Ministry, has now retained private counsel to defend its case. Naima Barrow, niece of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and counsel from the Barrow & Co law firm, is holding brief for the Government, while ex-Attorney General Godfrey Smith, SC, continues to be retained by the claimants.

The Reporter

Ministry of Immigration tightens loose ends
The Immigration Department is in the process of making a series of changes to enhance the sanctity of the process that one must go through to acquire a Belizean passport or other form of documentation. The crackdown comes on the heels of the recent incident at the Department’s Belize City office, where Rafic Mohammad Labbon Allaboun, an alleged Hezbollah terrorist, managed to get a Belizean passport bearing another person’s name, in less than 48 hours! Allaboun managed to obtain his passport, according to the Immigration Supervisor who approved his application, by merely showing him what looked like a Belizean Social Security identification card. As it turned out, that card was a forged document.

Illegal logging costing Belize US$14 million
Illegal logging by Guatemalan poachers in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve have cost Belize an estimated US $14 million or more, according to an Economic and Ecological Valuation Assessment done by the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), which co-manages the reserve and the Chiquibul National Park. FCD’s Boris Arrevalo and Derric Chan prepared the assessment. Arrevalo said “the problem is getting bigger and bigger every day” as he presented his report to representatives of the Forest Department, the Police Department, the Belize Defence Force, Customs and Immigration Departments, other government agencies and non-governmental conservation organization and the media at the Belmopan Convention Hotel on Wednesday, September 26.

Who Sabotaged Chukka Belize’s Tours?
The Ministry of Tourism, through the National Institute of History and Culture (N.I.C.H.), and the Belize Police Department are conducting an investigation to determine who sabotaged Chukka Belize’s rappelling tour at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve some six miles off the George Price Highway at mile 38. On Monday, September 24, tour guides checking on the site found that several of their rappel ropes and the rappel platform had been damaged and the stairs that lead to its Crystal Cave was partially destroyed by fire. The only thing that prevented the fire from destroying the whole set of stairs was a downpour that came on Sunday. Chukka personnel discovered burnt firewood on the stairs, which was what the vandals used to start the blaze.

Ladyville Police continue to question relative of Kaelee Burgess
Ladyville Police have yet to charge anyone for 2-year-old Kaelee Burgess’ murder; even though they detained two of her relatives on Tuesday, September 25. Kaelee’s aunt is in custody for the third time, but this time Kaelee’s granduncle, Gabriel Mejia, Sr. is also in custody. Both persons, police say, have been detained for questioning as they continue their investigation into child’s death, which occurred two days before her second birthday. She was found dead in a bucket of water at her home on Mirage Road in Ladyville on Wednesday, September 5. Both Kaelee’s father, Kevin Burgess, and mother, Dedra Pratt, have told the media that they suspect that their relatives know something about what led to their daughter’s death.

Yasser Safa a wanted man
Yasser Safa, brother of suspected terrorist abettor Samir Safa, is wanted in both Mexico and Belize. Safa is wanted in Mexico in connection with an immigration investigation, and he is wanted in Belize to be questioned for his involvement with the alleged terrorist operative Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, who is said to be a member of the radical Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah. Safa is being sought to confirm the legality of his presence in Mexico. When Samir was arrested earlier in September, Mexican authorities discovered that he had two sets of documentation: one purporting that he was in Mexico as a tourist, the other that he was there as an immigrant.

FIU joins the Hezbollah investigation
The Financial Investigations Unit (FIU) of the Belize Police Department has joined the investigation of how suspected Hezbollah terrorist, Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, acquired Belizean documentation.

Rape violations spike over Independence Day holidays
The number of rape incidents were reported across the country during the recent Independence Day celebrations. Police reported after September 21, that they had detained three men in their investigation of a reported rape in Teakettle Village. A woman in her late teens told Police she had a few drinks at the Raindrops Inn in the village, and left to walk to a friend’s house shortly after 12:00 a.m. September 15.

Jamie Hope, 18, remanded for attempted murder
Magistrate Dale Lino remanded Jamie Hope, 18, a receptionist and resident of San Pedro, into custody after she pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday morning, September 24. Joana Arellano, 33, a manager at Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel, told police she was with her 14-year-old daughter at the San Pedro Express Terminal in the Tourism Village of Belize City on September 17, when she was suddenly hit on her forehead with a beerbottle. Arellano said when she regained her balance, she her assailant- a slim woman of light browncomplexion.

Whooping Cough in Cayo
Six people – five children and an adult from Springfield Village, Cayo District, have developed symptoms of what health workers suspect is the highly contagious whooping cough of pertussis. The discovery on September 3, caused the Ministry of Health to spring into action immediately. Multi-disciplinary surveillance teams conducted field visits to identify suspected cases, trace contacts and collect specimens. The six patients are now fully recovered and in good health. The ministry is awaiting laboratory confirmation from specimens of body fluids, which were collected and sent to the Caribbean Epidemiology Center in Trinidad. The teams also provided on-site treatment to villagers and instructed them on how to identify whooping cough from its onset, and what preventive measures they can take. Pertussis is caused by bacteria, which triggers episodes of violent and uncontrollable coughing for about six weeks. Often the coughing makes it hard for the victim to breathe. The illness so named because its victims make a deep, “whooping” sound as they try to take a breath. The disease most commonly affects infants and young children. It is sometimes fatal, especially for infants less than a year old.

Jim Scott excels in Cozumel 70.3 triathlon
This year’s Masters’ Triathlon Champion, Jim Scott, has also been doing well in international competition, placing fifth out of a field of 70 triathletes in his age group of 50-54 yin the 70.3 half-triathlon in Cozumel on Sunday, September 23. Some 2,000 athletes competed in the triathlon. Jim completed his swim in 37.01 seconds; rode the 53.5 miles on his bike in two hours 31 minutes, the second fastest time in his group, and completed the 13.5 mile run in two hours 16 minutes 35 seconds for a total cumulative time of 5 hours 32 minutes and 14 seconds, placing him 333rd overall. The winner of his group, Gustavo Poblette had done the swim in 29 minutes 27 seconds, completed the ride in two hours 28 minutes and 59 seconds and ran for one hour 42 minutes 17 seconds for a total cumulative time of four hours 45 minutes and 11 seconds, placing 43rd overall.

Belmopan Baptist High School fires Principal Willacey
Belmopan Baptist High School Principal, Pastor Norman Willacey, who was suspended from his post after reports surfaced of his inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old student, will have to seek a new line of work. The school management has recommended his immediate dismissal and his teacher’s license be revoked. The school’s board of management announced its decision in a press release on Monday, September 24, after the Board found the allegations to be true when it met and held a hearing to consider the findings of its investigation on August 29. The Teaching Service Commission has approved the Board’s recommendation. The Commission said it would convey its decision about revoking Willacey’s teaching license at a later date.

A Fashion Tribute to our Belizean History
In this Fashion Tribute to Belizean History designer Rebecca Stirm, history student Cherisse Halsall, and photographer Monica Gallardo partner to reveal the stories of four outstanding Belizean women through fashion. As the smoke of the magnificent fireworks dissipated at midnight on the Eve of Independence many felt a swell of patriotic pride. We all celebrate and express our “Belizean Pride” in different ways. We parade. We decorate, and we dance. How did we decide to celebrate? Well, it all began when I had the privilege of viewing Stirm’s mini collection in her studio earlier this month. I found myself reflecting on the understated elegance and graceful detailing of the pieces. They evoked within me thoughts of old colonial Belize with its wooden mansion’s and red bricked cathedrals. Through conversations between myself, Stirm, and photographer Monica Gallardo, we were able to come up with a plan for photographing the mini-collection as a “Fashion Tribute to Our History.”

Hand in Hand Ministries in need of a helping hand
Hand in Hand Ministries, a non-government charitable organization that engages in helping primarily less fortunate children who are sick, is appealing for the public’s support to transition through a challenging phase. The building where for a number of years , it has operated a Resource Centre for impoverished children from the south side of Belize City who are infected with HIV/AIDS, has been deemed unsafe for use.

Police sergeant loses legs in motor cycle accident
Sergeant Mark August, #97 attached to the Punta Gorda Police, lost both his legs when he crashed his motorcycle into a utility pole near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway. on Sunday, September 23 rd.

Prime Minister on Independence Day speaks of nation-building, sovereignty, investment, determination and steady progress.
In his inspirational Independence Day message, speaking from the steps of the National Assembly Building in Belmopan, Prime Minister paid eloquent tribute to the late George Cadle Price, the Father of Belize Independence. But he also paid tribute to other less well known Belizean heroes, and made the claim that “we have marked a number of milestones that are testament to our continued progress as a nation. “We have shown that we grow and mature and shape and stamp our destiny; that we construct a wonderful, ever expanding democracy, a vital, vibrant society of both integrity and elasticity. Thus, the Belize brand is daily more distinguished and makes its mark increasingly on our region and the world.

GOB to Bus owners: we hear you; “something” needs to be done
The Belizean Bus Association (BBA) has renewed hope that it may soon obtain the subsidies they’ve been asking of government, BBA Advisor Patrick Menzies said on Thursday, September 20. Menzies reported that the BBA executive met with Hon. Edmund Castro, the Minister of State with direct responsibility for transport, on Wednesday evening, September 19. He described the almost 3-hour meeting as being “very positive.” “We want to thank the ministry because they are planning on working with us [on] the things we were requesting,” he said.

Puma versus Unopetrol
Over the coming weeks, motorists and citizens alike will notice countrywide facelifts taking place at all the service stations that many of us grew up knowing as Texaco and Esso. Those household names, which competed over the decades in the distribution of petroleum products are now being replaced by the names Unopetrol and Puma, respectively.

Fitch upgrades Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited’s ratings
Fitch Ratings has taken the following rating action on the notes issued by Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited (BSI; the issuer): –$85.7 million notes upgraded to ‘A+’ from ‘A’; Outlook Stable. The rating action follows the timely payment of the notes by Steadfast Insurance Company (Steadfast; Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.) on Sept. 20, 2012, as well as the recent upgrade of Steadfast’s Insurer Financial Strength rating to ‘AA-’, Outlook Stable in August 2012.

Belize makes partial bond coupon payment
Belize has made a partial payment on its $547m defaulted bond, earning it a temporary reprieve from mollified creditors who could otherwise have sought legal redress. The small Latin American country was due to make a $23m payment on the bond on August 20 but failed to do so, arguing that its finances were too tight. A 30-day grace period to “cure” the missed payment ran out late on Wednesday. After the grace period ran out only 25 per cent of bondholders could have voted to accelerate the repayment of the entire bond, which due to mature in 2029. In return for Belize making a partial payment, the creditors’ committee – chaired by AJ Mediratta, a partner of U.S. hedge fund Greylock – agreed not to seek “legal remedies” for a further 60 days to allow restructuring talks to continue. “We consider it a material and good faith step in the right direction,” Mr Mediratta said in a statement. “The committee is recommending that other bondholders refrain from seeking legal remedies during this period.” The committee represents a majority of the bondholders, so it will be difficult for a grouping of other creditors to still seek to declare a default and “accelerate” the payment. The tentative agreement represents a rare moment of amicability in a testy restructuring.


She would have knocked our sox off
Our date night at last night’s Benefit concert for Mama Vilma’s Family Home by Karen Waldrup was outstanding. She would have knocked our sox off, if we were wearing any. Our fall weather is just right – still warm enough to wear shorts and a tank top, cool enough to wear jeans and definitely not what I would classify as sock weather. Enough about San Pedro weather and back to the good stuff. We arrived at 6:30 so we would not miss the meet and greet, there were a lot of people there already and Karen was making her rounds and chatting with everyone, she had only been there a short time and already knew half the bar by name. Karen Waldrup is a warm and genuine person, it showed in her singing and her interaction with the audience. She did a great job of encouraging people to fill the tip jar for Mama Vilma’s by playing special requests and sang a mix of great songs all night, she even kicked it old school country with some Conway Twitty. Her voice was strong, smooth and edgy. Carbunkle Trumpet was totally on the mark when he said San Pedro was in for a treat. He had no idea how much, we were also in for a foodie treat with Wet Willy’s baked mack n cheese, real french fries and $5 burgers on sourdough bread. Of course we had to eat all that because we knew Wet Willy’s Cantina was donating 10% of the bar gross to Mama Vilma’s :) I told Leisa last night Wet Willy’s has my vote for best mac n cheese ever, I will qualify that and say in my 45 years of being a junk foodie, I have eaten my fare share. The fries are officially on my craving list, I saw them from across the room and it was love at first sight. Now that I think about it’ they claim best french fries on the island. I did not get to try a $5 burger, since it is a weekly special I know I will be doing that soon.

Karen Waldrup Puts On An Amazing Show to Raise Money In San Pedro
Karen Waldrup is an up and coming country star from Tennessee, a fantastic song writer, contestant on Bravo TV's "Platinum Star" and all around sweet heart. She originally emailed me a few months ago asking for places that she might be able to play if she came to Belize for vacation (a friend from Tennessee gave her my name). She contacted a few venues in town and after listening to just a few of her songs, Wet Willy's Cantina jumped at the chance. Dianne, one of the owners of WWs and Karen Karen and Wet Willy's decided to donate her performance to Mama Vilma House Foundation here in San Pedro, a group that has been working for 2 years to raise money to building a safe house for children and women in need. Pretty cool. Robbie Guerrero and Miss Suzanna, part of the Mama Vilma House Everyone that met Karen loved her.

Thank you Hon. Lisel Alamilla. You are proof that it pays to invest in women! I have confidence that you will work hard to help women in Belize get better opportunities in health and education, and by doing so, this will make for a better and stronger community. You have made an impact that will benefit the world. The Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve was enacted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012, by the Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The act will manage and protect the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean, announced Craig Hayes, Board Chairman of Turneffe Atoll Trust and owner/operator of Turneffe Flats Resort.

International Sources

3x3 - Five boys teams off to perfect start, Swiss and Belizeans turn heads
Belize turned quite a few heads as they beat Poland and China and came close to handing the Canadians their first loss in Group A. The rain prevented the action from taking place on the outdoor courts at the José Caballero Sports Centre on Day 1 of the FIBA 3x3 U18 World Championships, presented by Nike. However, the quality and excitement of the games played inside the Amaya Valdemoro Pavilion weren't at all affected by the weather. The Boys' Tournament saw a good number of games go down to the wire and there were some impressive buzzer-beaters to be had. Early in the day, hosts Spain edged out Brazil 13-12 on Dario Brizuela's stepback jumper.

September 28, 2012

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

Eli Lopez wanted for impersonating a medical doctor
San Pedro Police are looking for a man who pretended to be a doctor and was volunteering at the Doctor Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II. The imposter has been identified as 31 year old Eli Lopez who had a San Pedro address but is originally from Santa Familia Village in the Cayo District. Apparently Lopez has since left the island. The investigation against Lopez originated from at least two reports made to San Pedro police alleging that Lopez was impersonating a medical doctor and had treated at least two separate individuals while on the island. According to San Pedro police, Dr. Laurenzco Nicholson visited the station and told police that on July 27th, he visited the station to treat a person who had been detained. While with Dr. Nicholson, the detainee kept making reference to one “Doctor Eli Lopez,” and said that he had previously been treated by such person. The detainee was taken to the clinic along with Dr. Nicholson where they saw Lopez who the detainee identified as the doctor who had treated him. According to police, Lopez told Dr. Nicholson that he knew Dr. Javier Zuniga, who is also attached to the clinic.

New San Pedro resident donates truck to SPTC
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has received yet another vehicular donation. This just within two weeks of receiving the donation of a brand now golf cart. The new donation, a GMC U-Haul truck was donated on Wednesday September 26th by Mr. and Mrs. John Robert, of Buffalo New York, who have permanently relocated to San Pedro after Mrs. Robert retired. John spoke to The San Pedro Sun of his donation. “My wife and I came for the first time three years ago, fell in love with San Pedro. We purchased an ocean front condo with the intention to eventually retire here. I finally got my wife to retire three weeks ago, we decided to sell our home and make San Pedro our new residence. We purchased this 24ft box truck – loaded all our household possession – headed south to Fort Lauderdale Florida, shipped it to Belize City and here we are. And we have no plans of ever going back home so we have no need for a truck. So it seemed the likely thing was to leave it on the island. And I understand the town council can use it perhaps in a positive way.”

Karen Waldrup is on La Isla Bonita to perform benefit concert at Wet Willy’s
Karen Waldrup, singer/songwriter and artist based in Nashville Tennessee, USA is in San Pedro Town and is scheduled to perform at Wet Willy’s in a benefit concert for the Mama Vilma Family Home. The event is planned for Thursday September 27th and should start at 6PM with an official meet and greet, after which the show is scheduled to begin at 7PM. 27-year-old Waldrup, of Bravo Network’s Platinum Hit fame, will be using her beautiful and melodious voice to raise funds for a worthy cause while she vacations in Belize. Mrs. Shelley Huber and Karen on the dock at Wet Willy’s. Huber is a director of the Mama Vilma Family Home, which will be the beneficiaries of the concert. Waldrup touched down at the Phillip SW Goldson International Airport shortly after 3PM on Wednesday September 26 after her flight out of Texas, USA. She then flew to San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, the enthusiastic young artist said that she is looking forward to meeting many people at the benefit function and invited everyone to come by for a good time. “The people of Ambergris Caye can expect to hear some country sets, and I am hoping to fuse some of the local musicians as well. What people can expect is a good time, and the monies raised will go towards a good cause. We will have some good original music coming from Nashville, which is a song writing community. I will be performing songs that people can connect to,” said an excited Waldrup.

Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve (Cave’s Branch) Vandalized
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the National Institute of Culture & History (N.I.C.H.), that on the weekend of September 22nd – September 23rd, 2012, an act of sabotage. Damages reported are deemed substantive enough to pose a serious safety risk to users at this site. Damages to the rappel platform include the cutting of client safety lines, the rope barrier, as well as partial cuts to the metal supports of the platform and to the anchor cable. There was also evidence of fire damage to portions of the entrance stairway to the Crystal Cave.e was perpetrated at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve (commonly referred to as Cave’s Branch), one of Belize’s premier Archaeological Reserves and tourist destinations, located in the Cayo District. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. are disheartened and deeply saddened by the unfortunate course of events. We are fully cognizant of the ramifications such acts of sabotage can have on the integrity of the country’s tourism product, the quality of the visitor experience, the investment environment, and on the sector as a whole. The Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve receives the most visitors of any tourist site in the country and activities at this park represent a significant contribution to the livelihoods of hundreds of Belizeans. Additionally, being the largest revenue generator for N.I.C.H., this park supports the maintenance, management and improvement of visitor facilities for archaeological reserves throughout the country.

Ambergris Today

Attraction at Archeological Reserve Sabotaged
The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. are disheartened and deeply saddened by the unfortunate course of events. We are fully cognizant of the ramifications such acts of sabotage can have on the integrity of the country’s tourism product, the quality of the visitor experience, the investment environment, and on the sector as a whole. The Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve receives the most visitors of any tourist site in the country and activities at this park represent a significant contribution to the livelihoods of hundreds of Belizeans. Additionally, being the largest revenue generator for N.I.C.H., this park supports the maintenance, management and improvement of visitor facilities for archaeological reserves throughout the country.

Retired US Citizen Donates Truck to Town Council
The San Pedro Town Council has been on a working streak for the betterment of the island. The fixture of the roads has been one of the biggest projects that they have been working on and the beautification of the island is top priority. But as it has been mentioned before, the Town Council lacks equipment for carrying out these projects diligently and in a fast and effective manner. The Belize Ministry of Works has lent the San Pedro Town Council equipment for the road fixtures and any donation of equipment to the island is always welcomed.

iPhone 5 Working with Belize Cellular Network
The iPhone 5 carries a new Nano SIM card that is much smaller than regular SIM cards required here in Belize by BTL. To use the Macro SIM, iPhone users had to carefully cut the card for it to fit into the phone. Now that the Nano Sim is even smaller and thinner, iPhone faithfuls were worried that they could not upgrade to the new iPhone 5. But it did not take long after the launch of the new phone for users in Belize to get a hold of it and start testing. With precise cutting and sanding of the back of the Nano SIM card, the iPhone 5 has been successfully used under Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL)’s cellular service. People are now rushing to order their new iPhone and cellular vendors are expecting to have some in stock in less than two weeks.

How to Survive Independence Day Parade in San Pedro?
Every year my friends and I gather people to join us in creating our very own float. This year we teamed up with Daddy Rock Night Club and we paid tribute to the Mayas. Our costumes were creative with yellow shirts, black pants and a decorated feathered head piece (We looked like party Maya Gods). Every float is decked out with their own sound system to keep their crew pumped during the three hour parade down the streets of San Pedro Town. Many think this is a regular walk down the park, No! (But it is fun and totally worth it).

VIDEO: Gerry's Independence Day Parade Fun
If you are ever planning a trip to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize make sure to make it out on September 21st for Belize's Independence. You are definitely in for a great time with music, food and a colorful parade. This time around I will show you how fun it is being part of a crazy, fun and wild float with my friends. Mark your calendar and see you next year.

Misc Belizean Sources

Tricks and Rhetoric
Belize’s annual month-long period of celebration and merrymaking is behind us and we now move on to face the harsh realities of everyday living. Our families and friends from abroad have all returned to their greener pasture and we are now left to face these troubles and hardships alone. They have no doubt returned with a better idea of what we are facing here at home. Many were appalled at the high price of fuel, which even at the “two to one” currency exchange, far outpace the three and four US dollars per gallon prices that they are used to paying in the states. Many quickly realized that this was not the Belize that they had left behind. Apart from the socializing, festivities and parades associated with September, the occasion offers both government and opposition the opportunity to present to the people their respective views on the “state of the union”. Listening to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, one might be tempted to believe that these two men live in totally different worlds. The Leader of the Opposition, while calling for a “unity of spirit and purpose” warned against “the growing danger of intense individualism”. He was practical and sincere in pointing out the difficult challenges that awaited us after the festivities were over and done with. Belize is faced with high unemployment, high cost of living, 43% poverty rate and a crime problem that has crippled our social lifestyle. No less than four rapes were reported over the long weekend along with a number of robberies, burglaries and other serious crimes. While he struggled to remain positive, the Leader of the Opposition was forced to acknowledge that things in Belize were far from what they should or could be.

Meet Mr. Mishenka
Mr. William Mishenka, current resident of the Belize Yacht Club, is my kinda guy. He doesn't do anything half-way. It's believed he murdered his own uncle over some family business disputes. He's also believed to be involved in four other murders. One incident involved machine guns, knives and maiming of the victims. Mr. Mishenka is also believed to be involved in the largest bank robbery in Slovak history. That escapade took place on January 6th, 1996 and resulted in the theft of 5,742,547 Euros (that's 173 million USD kiddies!). Slovak media says he is paying off the authorities and their source says succinctly "the system is corrupt in Belize." One other thing worth noting -- one article I read says there may be as many as 20 other Slovaks on San Pedro. Based on the record of the two guys, I can't wait to find out the pedigree of these other folks.....most wanted....biggest bank robbery...what's the next superlative? This article has some nice videos you can watch. I think this whole Slovak "thing" has reached the stage where it's time for Belizeans to be, um, concerned...

VIDEO: Orange Walk Carnival in Belize 2012
Carnival in Orange Walk is getting bigger every year with more dancers, and more floats. The fiesta following the carnival has really grown beyond the park with food, drinks, rides and people

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (26 September 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (6 Balls) 3 ­68 ­74 ­29 ­25 ­48­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (20 Balls) 3 ­68 ­74 ­29 ­25 ­48 ­71 ­58 ­9 ­37 ­17 ­23 ­30 ­53 ­54 ­27 ­24 ­67 ­6 ­42­ T 150.00 Each (27 Balls) 3 ­68 ­74 ­29 ­25 ­48 ­71 ­58 ­9 ­37 ­17 ­23 ­30 ­53 ­54 ­27 ­24 ­67 ­6 ­42 ­32 ­62 ­12 ­49 ­44 ­39 ­36­ I 225.00 Each (36 Balls) 3 ­68 ­74 ­29 ­25 ­48 ­71 ­58 ­9 ­37 ­17 ­23 ­30 ­53 ­54 ­27 ­24 ­67 ­6 ­42 ­32 ­62 ­12 ­49 ­44 ­39 ­36 ­41 ­

The First Lady of Belize, Kim Simplis Barrow, is featured in the 40th Anniversary, October issue of Ms. Magazine! She is being hailed as "The Michelle Obama of Belize" Ms. Magazine is an award-winning US publication recognized internationally as the media expert on issues relating to women’s status, women's rights, and women's points of view. The 40th anniversary issue of Ms. will be available on newsstand everywhere by October 2. Make sure to pick one up and learn what's at stake for women, from safe abortion and birth control to economic security and workplace equality, and all about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and protection against violence. And yes, it also provides a voters' guide to key ballot initiatives and a look at the numbers of women running for the US Congress. You can buy a single copy on-line here by October 2, 2012

Photos of Orange Walk Carnival 2012 in Belize - More to Come!
You have seen the short video but you want to see the colorful photos of the Orange Walk Carnival 2012. Well take a look!

Channel 7

BTL Will Have AGM - But Will It Defy CCJ and Declare Dividend?
Plans are still on to hold BTL's Annual General Meeting tomorrow night - but the big question is, will the company declare a dividend? As we've reported, in a special sitting yesterday, the Caribbean Court of Justice ordered the Government of Belize - as the majority shareholder - to hold off on declaring a dividend until at least December 15th. The Ashcroft Alliance asked the court to prevent the company from declaring any dividends pending the determination of pending appeals. It seems straightforward enough, but, there's a wrinkle. BTL's articles of association say that the company is deemed to have declared a dividend 21 days after making the financials public. Those financials went out on September third, so there's an argument that the dividend has already been declared - and now it's just a matter of cutting the checks. BTL's small shareholders would be happy to hear that, no doubt, but the majority shareholder is the government of Belize - which has to weigh what, technically, it might be able to do versus what the court has expressly said it wishes it to do.

Perilous Highway Conditions Caused By Oil Slick
Conditions on the Western Highway were perilous this morning as there was an oil slick stretching for miles. It happened between miles 31 and 38 just before the La Democracia Junction and the Jaguar Paw cut-off. The slick seems to have been caused by a leaking oil tanker that turned down the Coastal Highway at the La Democracia cutoff. The tanker was not found - but its trace endured for hours. We spoke to one driver about the conditions:.. David Andrews, Tour Guide "My back was turn to the truck that pass by but after then pass then I start to smell the oil. I look around and that's when I saw all the oil on the road and that's when I borrowed a bucket and wash off the oil off the road. I drive on the road a lot and whenever you meet oil especially after it rains you find that the road gets slippery due to the oil on the road."

More Like Mello?
By now those who follow the news should know the Karol Mello story inside and out - but according to news reports from Slovakia, he isn't the only Slovakian fugitive on San Pedro. According to multiple Slovak news outlets, another Slovak National Viliam Mišenka lives on San Pedro - and like Mello, he is wanted for serious offences in his country of origin. Slovak newspaper reports say he is wanted for fraud - and local authorities are aware of his presence in Belize

A Doctor OF Impersonation?
The San Pedro Sun is reporting that island police are looking for a man who pretended to be a medical Doctor. The newspaper reports that the man, 31 year old Eli Lopez was volunteering at the San Pedro Poly Clinic II - where he was only supposed to take vital signs - but somehow he earned a public reputation as being a Doctor - and acted as such - allegedly treating at least two separate persons on the island. According to the Sun, San Pedro police are looking for Lopez as part of their investigation and to verify if he possesses any documentation as a medical practitioner. He is believed to have left the island.

Unusually High Tides Force Municipal Airport Closure: Climate Change To Blame
Unusually high tides have forced the closure of the Municipal Airstrip for the past two mornings. Long-time residents of the area say the tides in what's called "the hangar area" are higher than they have ever been. And for the past two mornings, with the high tide coming around eight in the morning - it has meant the closure of the airstrip which runs right alongside the sea. Yesterday it was closed from 8:00 in the morning until the early afternoon - and today it was opened at 11:00 am. That's how long it took for the tides to recede and to clean off the debris. But, with the runway closed, it's a tremendous inconvenience - and we asked the decision maker in chief about it today:.. Jules Vasquez "It's a tremendous inconvenience for travellers. It's a significant loss of earnings for the air carriers and a loss of earnings for the taxi men as well."

FECTAB Still Chafed Over Chukka
heard country manager for Chukka tours, Valerie Woods squarely accuse FECTAB of inciting the atmosphere that lead to the attempted destruction of their rappelling platform at Jaguar Paw. Today we asked the crowd called FECTAB how they feel about that characterization - here's what they had to say:.. Tom Greenwood "We didn't do it but we incited it, might as well say that we did it. It would be an act of total stupidity and illegal and criminal act on our part which would be - I can't use the right words in the media - but it's just flies in the face of all reason. We categorically deny anything with a stupid act like that." Yohnny Rosado - "We didn't want any criminals to go and burn up Chukka, we don't want anything like that because we are fighting a good cause and so we want all the right things in our way. We don't want anything illegal done to them."

GOB Wins Over Port In Court
Yesterday it was the Ashcroft Alliance which won in court with that CCJ hearing, but today the government of Belize had its turn with a Supreme Court win. It's a claim before Justice Hafiz-Bertram in which the Port of Belize Limited and the Belize Ports Limited were suing the Government of Belize. According to the claim, the then Luke Espat-Controlled Port said that the Government of Belize - which was led by the Musa Administration - entered into 6 very important contract agreements - and they claimed that certain special concessions on tax exemptions were not honored. The claimed that this situation added to the financial burden of running the company, and it eventually forced the company into receivership. As a result, they took the matter to court, seeking to have Justice Hafiz-Bertram make four declarations of breech and misrepresentation of contracts.

PM To IMF To Swing Major Loan Support
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country today for Washington DC - to lead a delegation into high level meetings with Executive Officials at the IDB and IMF. According to our information, the PM is going to lobby the IDB to give a partial guarantee to Belize's Superbond restructuring - a guarantee that is proving difficult to secure. The PM's visit is seen as the final push to try and swing the deal. The PM returns next Tuesday - and in his absence Deputy Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Putting Energy & Science @ Forefront of the Nat'l Development Discourse
We don't hear much from the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities. And that's probably because Sceince and Technology are not considered development priorities in Belize. But the ministry launched its strategic plan today - and they say that has to change. Minister Joy Grant outlined the statistics which show Belize is at the back of the pack regionally:... Hon. Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities "Belize uses fossil fuels for 65% of its energy needs. The country imported 88% of its fossil fuel needs at a cost $339 million dollars in 2011, this represents 10% of GDP and 11% of total imports. The transport sector uses most of the fossil fuels, so as a matter of urgency we must undertake a comprehensive review of the sector to address the issue of efficiencies."

Man Jailed For Theft
40 year-old Mark Neal, a resident of Sibun Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to Magistrate's Court for theft and handling stolen goods. 48 year-old Dale Pascasio reported to police that sometime between the August and early September, 2012, someone cleaned out his property on Sibun street, stealing assorted industrial equipment valued at $28,580 dollars. Police investigated the report, and they eventually recovered several of the items at a recycling company located at mile 8 on the Western Highway. The employees of the company reported to police that Neal was the one who took the items there and pawned them for cash. As a result, police arrested and charged Neal with theft and handling stolen goods.

Tonight's profile is about dermatologist Dr. Peter Craig. He is the son of Meg Craig - Belize's foremost collector - and he's also George Price's nephew. And that's probably what steered him into a life of public service in the BDF - which is where he endured one of the worst accidents imaginable - falling 35 feet from a rapel line from a helicopter - and breaking both his legs and his spine. He tells the profile how he survived it:..

Stolen Laptops, Like Lost Lives
Very regularly in the police blotter - we see reports about vehicles being broken into and laptop computers or other electronic items being stolen from inside. It's unfortunate - but usually not enough to make the news - until it starts to become a trend….which is when we try to put the public on notice that - in case you didn't know - leaving a laptop computer in a car is really not such a good idea. Alexander Evans knows all about that. Today he came to speak to us about the theft of his expensive laptop, which was stolen from his vehicle on Tuesday. He told us that he is offering a reward for the safe return of the laptop, no questions asked: Alexander Evans, Personal items stolen "It was Tuesday night, I was at Belize Elementary coaching a volleyball game between 7:45-10:30pm and when I got back to the vehicle I noticed that the passenger side window was broken. The first thing I check was my backpack to see if my laptop was there. My laptop, external hard drive belonging to the National Institute of Cultural and History and a pair of headphones were missing."

Channel 5

Eight mile oil spill on George Price Highway
Miles of the newly renamed George Price Highway were covered in oil this morning. A private truck transporting crude oil bought from B.N.E. leaked the black gold on the highway covering a stretch of eight miles. The owner of the vehicle and B.N.E. have been summoned to the Department of the Environment this Friday morning, [...]

Telemedia shareholder meeting but no dividends
It might not be as highly watched as an episode of Law and Order, but suspense is heightening in the old capital this evening over whether the Government will comply with the order of the CCJ not to deal with the matter of dividends at Friday night’s Telemedia AGM. On Wednesday night we reported that [...]

Illegal activity in Chiquibul costs millions
A latest assessment on illegal activities taking place in the Chiquibul shows that the financial losses are consistently increasing. Friends for Conservation and Development says that a large area of the Chiquibul has been penetrated and that aside from the millions of dollars lost, the ecological impact is also damaging. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports. [...]

Bi-national cooperation with Guatemala can fix Chiquibul problems
The illegal activities will not be easily deterred since Belize shares over forty kilometers of border with Guatemala and there are sixty-eight communities on the other side. But Raphael Manzanero believes it can be done through bi-national cooperation with Guatemala on an official level, since the FCD, as an NGO, is constrained. That is among [...]

Belize’s regionally high internet price
Belize is one of the least competitive economies; that was confirmed today by the Minister with responsibility for Technology, Joy Grant, at the launch of the national energy policy. As to technology, the percentage of Belizeans with access to internet Belize is at the bottom of the list, compared to other countries in the region. [...]

Will G.O.B. comply with CCJ order not to declare and distribute dividends at B.T.L. AGM?
Tonight’s question is: Do you think the GOB will comply with the CCJ order not to declare and distribute dividends at the BTL AGM on Friday? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments [...]

The economic indicators of living
In this segment we continue to focus on economic indicators for the Toledo District, one of the most economically depressed areas. We first look at basic cooking facilities. In all other five districts in the country, seventy-seven point nine percent of households have kitchens inside their houses. The Toledo District is the exception where only [...]

Belize switching gears to low carbon economy by 2013
Earlier we told you that Belize was among the least competitive countries globally. It is also highly dependent on imported fuel. This morning, the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities, Joy Grant, made a major presentation on the national energy policy that seeks to transition Belize to a low carbon economy by next [...]

FECTAB says it did not vandalize Chukka’s equipment
It is no secret that Chukka Belize and FECTAB have been at odds for some time. The latest row is over a rappelling platform built by Chukka at Caves Branch which has been vigorously criticized by FECTAB. A few days ago the platform was sabotaged, but who would want to compromise the personal safety of [...]

Chukka says it does not put tourists at risk with rappelling activity
FECTAB maintains that the platform, while built to international specifications, is dangerous and that there is more than meets the eye. As the two trash it out, the rappelling tours have been suspended temporarily. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.   Jose Sanchez, Reporting The Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize (FECTAB) had sent an [...]

P.M. on the way to IDB and IMF meetings
Earlier today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow headed to Washington for meetings with the Inter American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A release from his office did not say the purpose, but the trip is likely related to the negotiations on the re-structuring of the Superbond. Credit rating agencies have lowered Belize’s rankings to [...]

United Nations General Assembly
A top heavy Belize delegation, headed by Minister Wilfred Elrington, is in New York for the yearly United Nations General Assembly. Elrington is scheduled to make his presentation next week and that statement is still likely on the drawing board. But the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez Molina spoke on Wednesday to the UN. The [...]

B.T.B. expects tourism arrivals to continue going up
It’s been a good year so far for tourism and recent statistics show significant improvement over the first eight months of last year. While cruise tourism is lagging behind slightly, the number of overnight visitors is on a steady increase, which is expected to continue for the rest of the year due to the Maya [...]

Waste Control equipment; about $29,000 stolen
Mark Neal, of a Freetown Sibun address, appeared in court this morning to answer to charges of theft and handling stolen goods valued at almost twenty-nine thousand dollars. Dale Pascasio, Operations Manager, of Belize Waste Control alleged that between August and September ninth, 2012, Neal stole an assortment of equipment from his farm in the [...]

Thief steals security guard bicycle
A convicted burglar who is presently serving a five year prison sentence just got an additional year added to his jail term after he picked up yet another conviction; this time for theft. He is fifty year old Eric Barrow, who was allegedly bold enough to steal a beach cruiser bicycle from a Security Guard [...]

Get healthy with Healthy Living
You met Alize Reid on September thirteenth, when we reported that she was among several children who were preparing to undergo cleft palate surgery at the Southern Regional Hospital. Well, Alize is now well on her way to recovery and Healthy Living caught up with her and her mother for an update on her condition. [...]


Oil Tanker Leaks Petroleum On George Price Highway
The recently renamed George Price Highway between La Democracia community and the Jaguar Paw cut-off was made all the more treacherous aside from rains that fell throughout the morning when an oil tanker carrying petroleum fuel experienced a dysfunction and started to leak the contents...

Ministry of Energy Launches Strategic Plan
The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities this morning held its Strategic Plan Launch at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on the Northern Highway. The 2012-2017 Strategic Plan contains a summary of strategies which the ministry plans to execute...

Agro-Processing Conference Takes Place at Central Farm
A two-day conference on agro-processing started today in Central Farm, Cayo District. Close to two-dozen participants from cooperative groups in the west are taking part in the forum which is being held at the Republic of China, Taiwan’s conference room. Food ...

New Executive for Belize Council of Churches
New members have been elected to serve on the executive of the Belize Council of Churches. At its bi-annual general meeting held last week, the group chose Reverent Roosevelt Papouloute as its new president replacing Canon LeRoy Flowers. The vice president is now Bishop P...

Prime Minister Travels to Washington For Meeting With IDB and IMF
Prime Minister Dean Barrow traveled to Washington, D.C. today. According to an official statement from his office, Mr. Barrow is leading a delegation to scheduled meetings with high-ranking executives of the Inter American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund....


The reinforcement of the immigration deportment
Three weeks ago the news broke of an incident at the Immigration office in Belize City where an alleged terrorist linked to Hezbollah received a false Belizean identity in a matter of two days. Since the incident, the supervisor at the Immigration office who approved the passport for Rafic Mohammad Labbon Allaboun, has told investigators that Allaboun showed him a social security card, which turned out to be fake. Today the Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, told Love News that the Immigration officers who dealt with Allaboun have been shuffled around but remain on the job as the police investigation progresses along. He also said that the loopholes in the system will be tightened to prevent another such incident from happening. Minister Hulse said that he will make himself available to the various media houses to inform the public of the changes being made within the Immigration Department.

The Sugar Industry Bill in Belmopan
During the course of today debate on the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Incentives Bill in Belmopan, the name of Senator Godwin Hulse was mentioned several times on the floor of the House. While the debate was ongoing, Love News spoke with Minister Hulse in Belize City about the Bill, which clears the way for American Sugar Refineries to purchase controlling shares in Belize Sugar Industries Limited. Minister Hulse says that he does not foresee any problems in the future to warrant the Government and or ASR to come to the discussion table over the arrangement.

A fire in Port Loyola Division of Belize City
A man lost his house and all his belongings during a fire shortly after eleven o’clock this morning. It happened at 161 Curl Thompson Street in the Port Loyola Division. Painter, Brad Steadman told Love News that he got a call at work that informed him that his wooden house measuring roughly twenty by fifteen feet was ablaze. Steadman said he believes the fire was intentionally set. Fire officials have found that the casue of the blaze was a faulty electicl connection which did not have BEL authorization. And in addition to that, the wiring was also exposed to heat. A neighbour to Steadman told Love News that she smelled something like wire was on fire and when she looked outside to see what it was, she saw smoke coming from Steadman’s house top. Brad Steadman says he has lived in the area for almost fifteen years and is an employee at Skills Trading Centre and is asking your assistance to rebuild his house and his life. His cell number is: 662-7666.

In Belmopan held a meeting for the House of Rep.
The House of Representatives met today in Belmopan. The main item on the agenda was Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Development Bill, 2012. The Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister and taken through all its stages at today’s sitting. What the Bill does is provide for certain exemptions from taxes and duties to attract new capital investment into the sugar industry. That new investment is by American Sugar Refining, the Delaware-based company that has acquired majority shareholding in Belize Sugar Industries Limited. At the introduction of the Bill, the Prime Minister said the list of incentives is nothing out of the ordinary for an investment of the magnitude as ASR is making in the sugar industry. When it came time for the debate, members of the Opposition People’s United Party stuck to the party’s stated stance of opposing the piece of legislation saying that it gives an unfair advantage American Sugar Refining and will end up hurting the small cane farmers. While members of the ruling party’s side of the House came out in full support of the Bill. First to speak was the member for Orange Walk Central John Briceno. When he rose to contribute to the debate, the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca appealed to the government not to pass the Bill today and allow for consultation with the cane farmers on the issue. In winding up the debate, the Prime Minister began by indicating that the opposition’s call for a deferment of the passage of the Bill was not an option. That prompted PUP representatives to walk out of the Chambers of the House, leaving the Prime Minister to bring the debate to a close and a vote on the Bill. After a committee of the whole house on the Bill, it was returned to the floor without amendments and passed its third reading. The Bill now goes to the Senate for ratification. Also passed through the House today were the Belize City Council Municipal Bond Bill and the companion Belize City Council Amendment Bill, 2012.

The Guardian

Sugar Industry Saved! ASR brings 100 Million Investment to BSI
American Sugar Refineries (ASR) is expected to make payments to settle all of the debts by Belize Sugar Industry Limited and BELCOGEN to the tune of 64 million U.S. dollars by next week. Also liquidated will be a 10-million-dollar loan, which the government made to BSI back in 2010 as well as 2-year dividend payments to the BSI Holdings trust amounting to 5.4 million dollars. Additionally, ASR will invest 30 million U.S. dollars in production expansion at the plant. But before ASR makes the payments, the Government went to the National Assembly to pass the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project (Development Incentives) Bill, 2012. The Bill is an updating of the BELCOGEN Act of 2005, which gave the company certain tax concessions that run up to 2022. In the area of Business Tax, BELCOGEN currently has 2 years remaining; that will be adjusted to go up to 2016. Under the new ASR arrangement, BSI/BELCOGEN will get tax exemption of 80% in 2013; 60% in 2014; 40% in 2015 and 20% in 2016. As it relates to taxes on dividends, BELCOGEN has a 15-year tax break from 2007 up to 2022 and that has been reduced to go to the year 2018. Similarly, taxes on technical services has been cut down from the year 2022 to 2018, tax breaks on interest payments remain up to the year 2022 as it was in the original BELCOGEN Act. A 10-year exemption is also being given to the company from 2013 to 2018 on import duties and environmental tax; this is a reduction of time as the original BELCOGEN Act gave the company exemptions up to 2022. In the area of Stamp Duties, the company is being given a 50% waiver on the transaction for the sale of shares.

Ministry of Health signs New Collaboration Project with Peace Corps Belize
Nina Hernandez and Dr. Peter Allen sign agreement The Ministry of Health signed a Letter of Intent to collaborate on Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan during the celebration of Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary. The Letter of Intent outlines the creation of a new development project that will focus on rural community health and wellbeing. Mrs. Nina Hernandez, Director of Peace Corp Belize, mentioned that the focus will be on Family and Community Health needs. “…the importance of the partnership is to provide what is in the best interest of communities in Belize.” Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, signed on behalf of the Ministry of Health. In his remarks, he mentioned that this is an exciting partnership because it sets the path to make our health services even more effective. He went on to mention that “it seeks to combine good intent with good administration.” He ended his speech by congratulating the establishment of Peace Corps and its volunteers in Belize highlighting that the Ministry and the Government of Belize takes pleasure in joining in the revolution of the new Peace Corps. This 50th anniversary celebration and the renewed collaboration is a full reflection of two countries with the common goal of working together to make a positive difference in the lives of Belizeans. Dr. Allen expressed the Ministry of Health’s pleasure in further developing a strategic partnership with Peace Corps as the Ministry strive to improve access to quality health services for all Belizeans.

More Streets to be paved
The Belize City Council has spent 1.9 million dollars in the paving of 22 streets and the Sandlighter’s Promenade in the past 6 months and, now there is an invigorated push to do more. Speaking to Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, he explained that work has already commenced on the concreting of Freetown Road from where it intersects with Barrack Road up to the Flag Monument Roundabout. Bradley added that while the work has commenced on Freetown Road, so too has preparatory work commenced to pave Kelly Street, Electric Avenue, Southern Foreshore and Bahemia Street in the Belama Phase II area of Belize City. Mayor Bradley says that while the council is awaiting for financing from the Belize City Municipal Development Bond to pay for the paving of the streets, that is not stopping the Council from proceeding with the work. The Council is actually ready for the bond to be issued as a the prospectus is almost complete and the Council awaits legislation for it to proceed. That legislation was finalized on Wednesday, September 26th at the House where it went for the 2nd and 3rd readings.

Teen girl remanded to Prison
On Monday, September 24th an 18-year-old girl appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges including attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding. 18-year-old Jamie Hope, a Receptionist of Plaza Hotel on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where the charges were read to her. No plea was taken since the offences are indictable. Hope was then remanded to the Belize Central Prison until her next court appearance on November 28. Hope is being accused of stabbing Joanna Arellano to the face. The incident occurred on September 17th, 2012 at the Tourism Village on North Front Street in Belize City. Arellano, a 33-year-old city resident, reported to police that whilst in the company of her 14-year-old daughter, she was struck to her forehead by an object which caused her to fall. According to Arellano, when she looked up, she saw Hope standing over her. Fearing for her life, Arellano said she ran towards the water taxi pier and that’s where she realized that she was bleeding.

Three Years in Jail for Aggravated Assault on Girl
29-year-old Ladyville resident, Kenroy Betancourt, a Security Guard of the Ladyville area was convicted on a single count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 14-year-old girl on Tuesday, September 25th. Betancourt appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was found guilty and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. He was found guilty of entering the bedroom of the 14-year-old girl on July 10th, 2011 and whilst she was sleeping he began to fondle her. The 14-year-old girl testified in camera that on the night whilst asleep in her bedroom she was suddenly awaken by the touch of someone. That’s when she opened her eyes and saw Betancourt, her neighbor, fondling her. The girl said she began to scream alerting her brother, who came to her aid and set chase after Betancourt who managed to escape.

Justin Goff charged for Cell Phone Robbery
On Wednesday, September 26th, 24-year-old Justin Goff and 21-year-old Ronald Michael appeared in court for charges relating to the robbery of Allan Contreras. Goff was charged with one count of robbery for taking away Contreras’ cell phone valued at $250 on Monday, September 24. Police later recovered the cell phone in the possession of Michael. He was charged with one count of handling stolen goods. Both men pleaded not guilty to their charge. Goff was denied bail when the court prosecutor, Sgt. Dennis Miles, objected base on the grounds of the prevalence and seriousness of the crime and the fact that police has strong evidence against him. The prosecutor believes that if he is granted bail he may try to interfere with the victim and the prosecution witnesses. Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart remanded Goff into custody until October 10. Michael was offered bail in the sum of $4,000 plus one surety of the same amount or two sureties of $2,000 each. Magistrate, Hettie-Mae Stuart ordered him to stay away from the victim, his family and any of the prosecution’s witnesses. Michael is due back in court on October 31.

12 years Imprisonment for Henry Lauriano
On Tuesday, September 25th, 43-year-old Henry Lauriano AKA "Tyson" appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment. Lauriano was sentenced after he was found guilty of robbing his friend and stabbing him in the palm of his right hand. He appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. In court, George Griffith told the court that on December 28th, 2011, at about 11:30 p.m., he, two other friends and another man, known to him as Williams, were playing dominoes in an open lot at #48 Amara Avenue, when a man, known to him as Tyson and Henry, approached him and asked him for money. Griffith told him that he was broke; that’s when Lauriano showed him a shiny object which resembled a knife. At that point, Griffith decided to stop playing dominoes and instead he decided to go home.

Murder Struck Out! Justin Orellana charged for Manslaughter of His Stepfather
Shortly after 8:30 on Tuesday night, September 24th, a jury of 12 emerged out of the deliberating room in the murder trial against 23-year-old Justin Orillana without a conclusive verdict. Orellana had been on remand since 2007 for the murder of 38-year-old Cecil Thompson, his stepfather. Around 7 p.m. on March 27th, 2007 Orellana went to Thompson’s Vernon Street residence and an argument ensued. In a statement to police, Orellana claimed he was asking for his “things” from Thompson but did not get them. Orellana then got a knife and asked for his stuff once more. Thompson did not cooperate and that was when Orellana stabbed him numerous times. A doctor testified that Thompson was stabbed as many as 12 times. He was stabbed once to the forehead, a stab wound that fractured the skull dividing it into two. He was also stabbed to the chest, hands, face and over the body.

Rudolph “Tubba” Smith sentenced to 15 years imprisonment
On Monday, September 24th, 36-year-old Rudolph “Tubba” Smith, a resident of Hattieville, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Smith's trial concluded before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after the prosecution called five witnesses to testify against him. The main witness, was a 15 year-old girl who testified that at around 4:25 a.m. on July 23rd, 2011, she was awakened when she felt Smith on top of her. She said that he held a knife to her throat, fondled her, and demanded that she take off her pants. She refused, and that’s when one of her siblings, who was also sleeping in the same room, woke up, turned on the light, and saw “Tubba” Smith. They screamed for their mother and he ran before he could be detained. Smith testified in his defence that he was passing by the house, and saw the victim going through the window. He called an alibi witness to testify on his behalf, but she didn’t help his case because the prosecution put it to her that she was asleep at the time of the incident. After considering all the evidence, Chief Magistate Smith found him guilty of both offences and sentenced him to 15 years for the aggravated burglary, and 3 years for the indecent assault. Both sentences are to run concurrently, so he will only spend 15 years in jail. This is Smith's second offense of this nature. He still has the other case pending before the court.

Pastor and Teacher Norman Willacey dismissed by Baptist Management
The Baptist association of Belize issued a press release on Monday, September 24th in which it announced that Norman Willacey, the Principal of the Belmopan Baptist High school, has been fired. The release states that “after its investigation and deliberation, the Management found the allegations to be true and recommended Mr. Willacey’s immediate dismissal and revocation of license.” Speaking on the issue, Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber explained that the termination of Willacey was something he had been advocating for from the onset. On Wednesday, August 22nd Willacey was placed on a 15-day suspension pending the outcome of the investigation by the Baptist management. With the decision to terminate, Minister Faber explained that it is now a case where the reason for his dismissal will be a part of Willacey’s record and any school wishing to hire him in the future will be well aware of his past actions.

Independence Day Address delivered by Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow on September 21st, 2012
Your Excellency, the Governor-General, Sir Colville Young, and Lady Young; My Lord Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin; and other Justices of the Supreme Court; Hon. Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, and Mrs. Fonseca; Hon. Ministers of Government and Members of the National Assembly; Your Worship the Mayor of Belmopan, Mr. Simeon Lopez, and Mrs. Lopez; My Lords the Bishops of the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches of Belize; Superintendent of the Methodist Belize/Honduras District; President of the Evangelical Association of Churches; other members of the Clergy; Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps; Members of the Consular Corps; Special guests, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow Belizeans; and, of course, I salute my wife Kim, just back from Houston and another stage on the return journey to health.

Hundred Percent of Stann Creek Teachers trained
Hon. Patrick Faber and participants in “Education Day” On Sunday, September 23rd, the Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, attended a special showcase at the Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS). In November of 2010, the Ministry of Education collaborated with the University of Belize to launch the Banana Belt Teacher Training Program.

Ambassador Said Badi Guerra in Chile
On September 7th, 2012, Ambassador Said Badi Guerra departed for Chile to attend a course in International Relations. This course, is being sponsored by the Government of Chile. The course which is supposed to be held for a complete year, was brought down to 3 intensive months. One representative from 29 countries around the world is participating in the course.

Independence Day Ceremony
PM Hon. Dean Barrow greets Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca On Friday, September 21st, Belize celebrated its 31st anniversary of Independence. No one could have asked for more pleasant conditions to celebrate such occasion. The official ceremony was held at Independence Plaza in Belmopan City. On Friday, Belmopan saw an overcast sky with temperature in the low 80s and a constant soothing breeze. Representatives of the Diplomatic and Counselor Corps from all over the world began taking their seats just after 9:30 a.m. During this time, the Belmopan Choral Society provided entertainment with their renditions of several cultural songs. The Master of Ceremonies, Rene Villanueva, Sr., took over at 10 a.m. and announced the arrival of the Guests of Honour.

Infrastructural Upliftment for Belmopan, Corozal, and Orange Walk
Official ribbon cutting ceremony Belmopan, Monday September 24, 2012: The municipalities of Belmopan, Corozal and Orange Walk will see a further improvement of their main streets as a result of a $2.1 Million dollar street project under the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), which was launched this morning during a formal ceremony in Corozal Town.

What’s wrong at OWTC
Over the past 6 months, we've been reporting on things that are going terribly wrong at the Orange Walk Town Council and a recent publication of that municipality's financials for the month of June simply proves what we've been saying all along. The financials of the council for May and June posted in the website paint a picture of a mismanaged municipality.

Marion Jones Stadium on its way
Artist's concept of the new Marion Jones Stadium The last time The Guardian visited the Marion Jones Sporting Complex was on Wednesday, May 9th, during a shoot for “The Real Deal”. At that time, Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, explained that the project was at “stage 4 (A)” in which they were working on the actual entrance to the grand stand. On Monday, September 25th, over four months since last visiting, The Guardian and other media houses were invited by the Ministry for a tour of the facility.

Oceana Calls out the Press for Case Management
Audrey Matura baits the press to the Supreme Court The media houses swarmed out at the Supreme Court on Tuesday, September 25th after they were called out by Oceana supposedly for the beginning of a judicial review hearing initiated by Oceana. In the end, however, it was much-a-do-about-nothing as that is exactly what took place - nothing. The matter was barely in the case management stage and Oceana is already calling out the press. They really are in need of publicity to be doing that. Nonetheless, the press was out and Vice President for Oceana in Belize said that matter was in case management and attorney for the government, Naima Barrow has indicated that she will be filing preliminary objections for late filing by Oceana in the hopes of having the matter struck out.

Belize celebrates Wellness Week
KHMH employees sing, dance and eat Health centers across the country will be hosting events such as staff clinics, sporting competitions, exercise classes and dance lessons throughout this week as Belize joins the rest of CARICOM in celebrating Caribbean Wellness Week. This year, Caribbean Wellness Week is being celebrated from September 23rd to 29th.

Victoria Alvarez Playground inaugurated in Memory of Joshua Abraham
At exactly one year after the shooting death of 9-year-old Joshua Abraham, the Victoria Alvarez Park was officially reopened in memory of young Joshua on Independence Day, September 21st. The ceremony was attended by Abraham's mother, Marsha Argalles, the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, along with other members of the Belize City Council, and officials of Restore Belize. The efforts to retrofit the park had started as an initiative by Argalles to bring a play facility for young people in the neighborhood, It was not until the days leading to the 1st year anniversary that it picked up steam and was finally complete. The park is now fitted with swings and a slide. In speaking with Argalles, she said that she was happy to have been able to see her dream come to completion. She added that the area is a much needed one in the city since public spaces like this one is lacking. Along with the retrofitting the park, Argalles' initiative also saw the cleaning up of an empty lot opposite the park for children to be able to play football. Argalles said she was thankful that the project is complete and explained that it would not have been possible without support from a number of sponsors including NICH, Atlantic Bank, The National Youth Cadet Corps, Zeta and Restore Belize.

Police Sergeant loses Both Legs in Traffic Accident
Sergeant of Police Mark August, who is attached to the Punta Gorda Police Formation, is receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after being involved in a motorcycle accident. Police report that sometime around 4:30p.m. on Sunday, September 24th, they visited an area near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway where they saw Police Sergeant Mark August lying on the ground. Both his legs were missing. Investigations revealed that Sergeant August was travelling towards Punta Gorda on his motorcycle when he collided into a lamp post. He was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital and later to the KHMH where he is undergoing treatment.

Sabotage at Nohoch Che’en
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the National Institute of Culture & History (N.I.C.H.), that on the weekend of September 22nd – September 23rd, 2012, an act of sabotage was perpetrated at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve (commonly referred to as Cave’s Branch), one of Belize’s premier archaeological reserves and tourist destinations, located in the Cayo District. Damages reported are deemed substantive enough to pose a serious safety risk to users at this site. Damages to the rappel platform include the cutting of client safety lines, the rope barrier, as well as partial cuts to the metal supports of the platform, and to the anchor cable. There was also evidence of fire damage to portions of the entrance stairway to the Crystal Cave. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. are disheartened and deeply saddened by the unfortunate course of events. We are fully cognizant of the ramifications such acts of sabotage can have on the integrity of the country’s tourism product, the quality of the visitor experience, the investment environment, and on the sector as a whole. The Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve receives the most visitors of any tourist site in the country and activities at this park represent a significant contribution to the livelihoods of hundreds of Belizeans. Additionally, being the largest revenue generator for N.I.C.H., this park supports the maintenance, management and improvement of visitor facilities for archaeological reserves throughout the country. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. view this attack as criminal and maintain its zero tolerance policy against such acts at any of the sites it manages. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. informs the public that, with the support of the Ministry of National Security and the Police Department, a full and thorough investigation will immediately commence. Those who may be found responsible for this act of sabotage will be dealt with within the strictest level of the law. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture would like to give its highest assurance to all concerned that the safety of stakeholders and visitors is our most important priority. The Ministry of Tourism & Culture and N.I.C.H. look forward to continue improving visitor facilities, through strengthening of relations and in cooperation with all industry partners.

Suspected cases of Whooping Cough in Springfield
The Ministry of Health is awaiting the test results for six samples, which were sent to the Caribbean Epidemiology Center (CAREC) in Trinidad and Tobago to test for whooping cough. On Monday, September 3rd, the Ministry received reports of suspected cases of the disease in the Mennonite community of Springfield located on the Southern Highway. Since that time, multidisciplinary surveillance teams have been dispatched to identify the suspected cases, trace contacts, collect specimens and provide treatment and education on the disease. As a result of the intervention six suspected cases were detected, five of those being children; one a six-month-old child and an adult were treated and are in good health. According to the Ministry of Health's Dr. Natalia Beer, the common factor with all the cases is that they are all persons, who have not been vaccinated. This, she says, poses a greater risk for contracting the disease. She added that with the community being Mennonite, the Ministry has problems with them accepting all the vaccines. As a result of the suspected cases, there is now an enhanced surveillance for vaccine preventable diseases. Pertussis, also known as whooping cough is highly contagious and is caused by a bacteria. It causes episodes of violent and uncontrollable coughing which makes it difficult to breath. There is a deep whooping sound often heard when the patient is breathing. The disease most commonly affects children and can be fatal especially in children less than 1 year old. The infection usually lasts 6 weeks. The Ministry of Health reports that it provides a vaccine for Pertussis and is administered to children ages 2, 4 and 6 months and a later dose at age 4. Anyone who exhibits signs of whooping cough is asked to visit the nearest health center for screening and treatment.

Stann Creek Ecumenical College wins a Game in CODICADER
The Stann Creek Ecumenical College (high school) division won its first game in male football at the on-going CODICADER Games in San Salvador, El Salvador, when it defeated Nicaragua by the score of 6-3. The goal scorers for Belize were Hassan Lucas (4), Melvin Valerio and Marlon Escobar. This is the first time that any of the schools that have represented Belize at the CODICADER Games in male football have actually won a game. In the other games played so far, Belize lost to El Salvador by the score of 3-0. Belize also lost to Panama by the score of 6-1. The only goal of the game for Belize was scored by Jamal Westby. Belize also lost to Guatemala by the score of 6-2. The goal scorers for Belize were Hassan Lucas and Kyle Valerio. The team will play its last game against Costa Rica.

RG City Boys slow down the Raging Placencia Assassins
Belize Defence Force’s Ralph Flores scored team’s only goal in the 34th minute of play The Premier League of Belize 2012 Opening Tournament continued over the last week with a number of games played across the country.

Inter-District Champion of Champions Football Competition opens
The 2012 Football Federation of Belize Interdistrict Champion of Champions Competition opened on Sunday, September 23rd, with 8 games across the country. At the MCC Grounds in Belize City, Brown Bombers and Hattieville Monarchs played to a 3-3 draw. The goal scorers for the Brown Bombers were Jermaine Foster in the 38th and 64th minutes of play, and Kadeem Myers in the 87th minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal scorers for the Hattieville Monarchs were Calton Rogers in the 15th minute of play, Kenton Dyrer in the 48th minute of play and Ralph Spawn in the 85th minute of play. At the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, Guinea Grass FC blanked Calcutta FC by the score of 3-0. The goal scorers for Guinea Grass FC were Nelson Perez in the 37th and 50th minutes of play, and Ian Cima in the 89th minute of play. Out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, Benguche FC edged Southside FC by the score of 4-3. The goal scorers for Benguche were Darwin Castillo (3) and Charles Lino, while the goal scorers for Southside were Abraham Chavez, Wababa Noralez and Carlton Thomas. At the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, Santa Elena Synergy and Benque Bad Boys played to a 3-3 draw. The goal scorers for the Santa Elena Synergy were Minor Galindo, George Cocom and Marco Alaya, and the goal scorers for the Benque Bad Boys were Alvin Mendez, Brandon Wiltshire and Melvin Dawson.

Telemedia Softball Team to defend Charles Solis Title
The 5th Annual Charles Solis Memorial Tournament is scheduled for Sunday, September 30th, 2012, commencing at 9:00 am sharp at the Rogers Stadium. This year’s Charles Solis tournament will utilise a new format and will feature Telemedia (National Softball Champions of Belize), Mirage Lady Rebels (Belize City champions), Flowers Bank Easy Does It (Belize Rural champion), Camalote United (Cayo champion) and Falcons (Orange Walk champion). The Charles Solis Memorial Tournament will be declared opened by Linda Reyes, ISF Hall of Fame Member, Honorary Life Member of the Belize Softball Federation and a former National Team player under Manager Charles Solis. The championship medals and awards will be presented by Lorne Solis, son of Charles Arthur Solis. The Telemedia Softball Team is the two-time defending Charles Solis Memorial Champions.

City Interoffice Volleyball Competition rolls on
The Belize City Interoffice Volleyball Competition continued at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday September 22nd and 23rd, 2012 respectively. In the games played on Saturday, September 22nd, Belize Telemedia won over First Caribbean Investment Bank “Servivors” by the score of 25-22 and 26-24. In the junior female competition, Honeybees won over Simon Quan Black Stars in three sets by the scores of 22-25, 25-18 and 15-13. In the junior male competition, Simon Quan Dragons won over UK Royals by the score of 25-21 and 25-23. The competition then continued on Sunday, September 23rd with two more games. In the first game played, Scotiabank defeated Atlantic Bank by the scores of 25-13, 16-25 and 15-12. In the final game of the day, in the junior male competition, Croshers won over UK Hitters by the score of 18-15, 25-10 and 15-12.

The Place for Abstinence Only
There is an impressive body of research indicating that well designed and age-appropriate Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) curriculums delay sexual debut for young people by several months on average and make it safer when it does occur. There are also large numbers of studies showing that an abstinence-only approach to HFLE for adolescents is at best ineffective. Although this method has become more sophisticated than when the only education on sexuality that most children received was the whispered advice to girls not to let boys touch them, it has not been any more successful in preventing or even delaying sexual experimentation in young persons. However, many of us, uncomfortable with our own sexuality, prefer to pretend that children are essentially sexless, little Ken and Barbie figures with no genitals. This chorus of denial has organised itself to prevent, or at the very least minimise, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services for young people, including HFLE. They often work by stealth, snipping away at education and service provision to strip them of anything offensive to their beliefs. One avenue of attack is the claim that parents and/or guardians should be the only or the main source of sexuality information ...


Things I Love About Tulum, Mexico...Even If Just For One Night
There is plenty to love about Tulum, Mexico (and I have gushed about it all before)...but #1? The amazing, amazing beach. You can read about it here: Best Beach in the World. and I've visited and talked about the cool Mayan ruins before... But I didn't make it to either on this trip. I was only passing through for about 18 hours on the way home from my trip to Colombia. I'd gladly spend a night here any time (and I FAR prefer it to a night in downtown Cancun). At first glance, it might seem like just a small strip along the highway but it is so much more. Tulum town has a ton to offer and I always enjoy eating and drinking...I mean staying there. The food! Here is who I visited on this trip... This DELICIOUS Italian/European deli that makes fresh sandwiches...slices the meat while you wait. This is really one of the things I miss most for the NYC area. In San Pedro, sandwiches tend to be overpriced and skimpily stuffed, the Italian and fresh mozz I ordered at Gourmet Tulum was not.

Yellow raincoats on boats
It does not happen often but this morning was one of those days where we had a good long rain. Leisa and I sat on the veranda drinking our coffee and watching the boats going by filled with with people wearing bright yellow raincoats. We were both thankful that we were high and dry and not on a bumpy wet boat with rain spraying in our faces – been there done that on the way home from an Altun Ha tour once. I did not check the weather forecast, the sky seems to be clearing a bit and the rain has stopped for now. Leisa said her new rain gauge shows 2 inches, that includes some rain from last night as well. I did not pack my waterproof camera so no colorful raincoat boat pictures.

Royal Rat at Benny's
Jose Luis Zapata was in town for a photo shoot at Xunantunich, and he was able to stop in Succotz at Benny's Kitchen to try some gibnut. Benny's does it right! "So if you are wondering why it is called 'Royal Rat' in Belize it is because the Paca or Gibnut is scientifically classified as a rodent and when the British media learnt that Queen Elizabeth was fed Gibnut, they headlined their newspapers, 'Queen Eats Rat.' Here in Belize everyone took it lightly because we are cool like that and hence the dish was referred to as 'Royal Rat.' So remember to ask for and try our famous 'Royal Rat' if you haven’t. It is truly a Belizean delicacy"

George Price Exhibit at GPC
The George Price Exhibit by Richard Holder, entitled Reflections of a Hero, is now on display in Belmopan at the George Price Centre. Thanks go out to Belize Natural Energy for sponsoring the event. For more info, call 822-1054.

I Love Belize Contest
Amber Sunset Jungle Resort, one of Cayo's new lodges, is having their 'I Love Belize' Facebook challenge. You can win an overnight stay for 2. Just upload your favorite picture to their site, and ask people to like it. Good luck! "I love Belize Challenge! Email us your pics at and we will post them in a special album and tag you in it. You can send in as many pics as you like, the more you have, the better your chances of winning. We will choose a SINGLE picture with the most likes and that person wins an overnight's stay for two. Winner will be chosen on October 30, 2012!"

VIDEO: Belizean Butterfly Artwork by Baron Neal
Great story about Cayo native and artisan Baron Neal, who makes beautiful art from butterfly wings. Gerry Badillo interviews him in this video. Turns out, he came up with the idea while working at the butterfly farm at Chaa Creek. A true success story. Congratulations, Mr. Neal! "Making art from butterfly's that dies of natural causes is not something that would pop up firstly when thinking of Belize. Baron Neal does not let these beautiful creatures go to waste and proves that creative talent can be used in a very interesting and sustainable way."

National Geographic Showcases Mesoamerican Reef!
We have always known we are special but it is always flattering when the leader of environmental issues and photography decide to focus their latest issue on our reef!! The Mesoamerican Reef region lies within the Caribbean Sea and touches the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. It contains the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, stretching nearly 700 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula down through the Honduran Bay Islands. The greater part of this reef residing in Belizean waters. National Geographic have highlighted the features of the reef, a number of which have been photographed in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the majority of which have been taken somewhere in Belize!

International Sources

New World starts drilling in Belize
New World Oil and Gas announces that the Blue Creek #2 well targeting the B Crest prospect commenced drilling on 27 September 2012, at its Blue Creek Project, located in the productive Petén Basin in Northwest Belize. The Company's Competent Person, RPS Energy, estimates B Crest to hold a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 92.1 million barrels of oil ('MMbo') (Y1 and Y2 intervals) and a P50 un-risked Net Present Value ('NPV10') of US$2.4 billion on a 100% working interest basis. Following New World's farm-down of a 5% working interest in the Blue Creek #2 well with the drilling contractor, ThermaSource International LLC, rig #104 will drill to a target depth ('TD') of 7,000ft, targeting the mid cretaceous Yalbac 2 Formation. RPS Energy reports a Probability of Geologic Success ('POSg') of 1 in 5 and drilling results will be released once TD has been reached, which is expected to be in mid November 2012.

Belize bondholders cheer offer of partial coupon payment
Holders of Belize’s $547m 2029 "superbond" have welcomed last week’s announcement by the government that it would make partial payment of the semi-annual coupon originally due on August 20. ..

Belize PM Heads to Washington
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has left for Washington, DC for a series of high-level talks with multilateral institutions, his office said in a statement. Barrow, who departed Thursday, is leading a Belizean delegation for discussions with executive officials at the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund. His United Democratic Party government won another term in the country’s March 7 general election. It’s likely that the country’s recent partial coupon payment will be a major talking point. The payment, which was had been due Aug. 20, is part of a $547 million “superbond” maturing in 2029. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will be acting as Belize’s Prime Minister during Barrow’s absence. The Prime Minister will return to Belize Oct. 2.

Belize: home to the world's second-largest barrier reef
If you love snorkelling and scuba diving and want to combine your love of these activities with a holiday, a yacht charter around Belize is the perfect break for you. The Caribbean country is home to the second-biggest barrier reef in the world, so you can rest assured there is plenty to see when you delve beneath the waves. There's no need to worry about getting chilly while out in the Caribbean Sea either, particularly if you have little ones in tow on your sun-drenched getaway. Like the typical annual temperature, the water can be as warm as 27 degrees C, so you can spend hours splashing about without feeling a chill. The waves are also gentle as a result of the protection of the reef, and the water is crystal clear, meaning you can often see for an impressive 165 ft when scuba diving. Even when snorkelling it only takes 2 ft of water for you and your loved ones to spot small fish darting about. Should you want as much sun as possible, the Caribbean is a natural choice. However, Belize does have a rainy season, so book your holiday for between November and May to avoid getting drenched when on land! The climate and wind conditions are, of course, perfect for sailing.

September 27, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve (Cave’s Branch) Vandalized
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Tourism & Culture and the National Institute of Culture & History (N.I.C.H.), that on the weekend of September 22nd – September 23rd, 2012, an act of sabotage. Damages reported are deemed substantive enough to pose a serious safety risk to users at this site. Damages to the rappel platform include the cutting of client safety lines, the rope barrier, as well as partial cuts to the metal supports of the platform and to the anchor cable. There was also evidence of fire damage to portions of the entrance stairway to the Crystal Cave.e was perpetrated at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve (commonly referred to as Cave’s Branch), one of Belize’s premier Archaeological Reserves and tourist destinations, located in the Cayo District.

Leonardo Patt – Charged for Theft
An employee at Bowen and Bowen in San Pedro was arrested and charged for the crime of Theft. According to the San Pedro Police, the manager of the distribution center, Anthony Hunter reported that on the 18th of September 2012 personnel from internal audit of the said company visited the San Pedro office as a result of irregularities discovered in the deposits. The report further stated that an audit was carried out which revealed that a deposit which was reported to have been made, was in fact not made. The deposit in the amount of $7,740 should have been deposited into the Company’s Atlantic Bank account on Monday evening, September 17th, however the account was never credited. According to the police, Hunter reported that further irregularities were discovered. He stated that ordinarily every deposit is prepared and then verified by a second officer who would sign the deposit prior to it being deposited. This, he reported was not done. He also reported that the deposit slip was not stamped by the bank.

2nd Annual Saga Street Party Cook-off a Delicious Success!
On Wednesday evening, September 19th Saga Humane Society held their second annual street party cook-off fundraiser. Hosted by El Fogon, the street in front of the restaurant was cordoned off and festive tents and seating invited guests to eat, mix and mingle the night away. Although Saga holds a cook-off fundraiser each month, this is the only time during the year that the event is transformed into a lively street party, complete with bar, DJ music and fun raffles. The food theme for the event was “The Taste of Belize, Mexico and all of Central America”. With ten different selections submitted to the competition, meal tickets sold out fast and guests were treated to amazing Latin cuisine, sampling delicious papusas, pork pibil with rice and beans, tamales, salbutes, enchiladas, tacos, flautas and more! With full bellies they then had the arduous task of casting their votes for their top three favorite dishes, and after the ballots were counted the winning dishes were as such; winning third place for a tasty green chili cornbread bake was Lou Ann LeClaire, second place winner was Letty Hernandez for her scrumptious enchiladas and first place bragging rights went to Ruben Gonzalez for his amazing baked plantain cups with chicken served with chowder.

Kent Gabourel wins DJ’s Independence Day Cycling race
Dimas James Guerrerro aka DJ has adopted the San Pedro Triathlon team and as such has started to raise much needed funds in preparation for national competitions. One of the first events organized was an Independence Day cycling race held on Friday September 21st where San Pedro tri-athlete, Kent Gabourel dominated. According to DJ, he has seen how amazing this team is. He has taken note of their many accomplishments on a national level, representing San Pedro. And this is the reason why he decided to embark on organizing a committee to support and sponsor the team in every way needed.

Ambergris Today

Blue Hole Is a “Place To Celebrate”
Exciting News! Belize’s extraordinary Blue Hole has been featured in the Traveler’s issue of National Geographic magazine. The August/September 2012 issue features a story on “World Wonders, 10 Places to Celebrate.” National Geographic Traveler is the world’s most read travel magazine and uses a sense of story-telling complemented by sensational imagery. “We’re very happy to see our magnificent country being continuously covered in these world renowned magazines, especially that of the National Geographic Traveler” commented the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Frampton.

Tropic Air’s Pilot Program Helping Pilots Build their Turbine Time
Tropic Air – The Airline of Belize - is the largest and most experienced airline in the country of Belize. With over 180 daily scheduled flights and 13 destinations within Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, it is without a doubt that Tropic Air is the airline that most if not all Belizeans prefer. Tropic Air is surely very busy, employing over 250 workers and priding itself with the services offered to its customers. But did you know that Tropic Air Ltd. also has a Pilot Program where it allows pilots to build turbine time with their brand new range of G1000 fitted Cessna Caravans? That’s right; Tropic Air Ltd. has given, for years, qualified pilots from around the world, an opportunity to build turbine time on the Cessna Carvan 208b's under PICUS (Pilot in Command under Supervision).

Help the San Pedro Baseball Team achieve Victory
On Tuesday, October 2nd a radiothon will be held to raise traveling funds for the San Pedro Baseball Team upcoming debut at the Codicader Games in Panama. The “local boys” will be representing the Country of Belize and are humbly asking for your aid to help them achieve Gold! Be generous and donate to this team of young men who have worked hard to get where they are. Remember that healthy sports create healthy minds and healthy minds bring prosperity to our community!

Misc Belizean Sources

Climate change resilience project launched in Belize
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the government of Belize and with the support of the European Union, launched the project: “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change” on Monday at a ceremony held at the University of Belize in Belmopan. The project aims to enhance adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change in national policies and demonstrate action in support of effective governance of climate change and climate change related impacts in the water sector in Belize. The total cost of the project will be €3,170,746, with €2.9 million being provided by the European Union (EU) – Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) and €270,746 being government of Belize / UNDP co-financing; the project is scheduled to be implemented from July 2012 to November 2014.

BTB hosts TWITTER Live Chat Oct 2
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) "@BelizeVacation" will host a one hour LIVE CHAT on TWITTER, under the hash tags #TravelTuesday or #TT, entitled "Where in the World Is BELIZE". This will connect BELIZE to a large scale of online Twitter savvy travelers on October 2nd, 2012. The Chat starts 2:00 p.m., Central Standard Time (CST). We invite you to tune in and participate via your Twitter Handle by answering a few of the questions participants might have during the LIVE CHAT. The Twitter LIVE CHAT will feature fun and informative facts about Belize. With a limitation of 12 giveaways, be the first to submit a company promotional item such as: Hats, T-Shirts, bags or cups. These "prizes" will be awarded to the first Twitter travelers to answer our "About BELIZE" questions correctly. TWITTER Marketing FACT: Twitter is the second most effective Social Networking, marketing, mediums that are being utilized by organizations worldwide for engaging with target audiences and consumers. With just one "Tweet" Belize can reach millions of potential visitors who are intrigued by the wonders and possibilities of vacationing here. "Follow" @BelizeVacation, on Twitter and "Retweet" our Belize posts. Let us combine our efforts to broaden our networks and engage your Followers on the upcoming LIVE CHAT and help us in promoting BELIZE! The BTB

Cayo's Independence Day Parade pictures
Some great pictures from the Independence Day parade here in Cayo. "The Independence parade in Cayo, this year, was one to remember forever. The theme 'Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal' was beautifully displayed with tons of colors and dances by the parade presenters. From Chinese dragons to clowns, the streets were filled with people jumping up and down celebrating the 31st anniversary of Belize independence. I even saw a very old woman, perhaps 70 years old, dancing to local punta music--How awesome is that?"

Fashion Tribute to History Video
This 'Behind the Scenes' video for the Fashion Tribute to Belizean History rocks! Great music to go with the preparing and the shooting. And they give a mini-biography for Vivian Seay, Dr. Bernice Hulse, Gwendolyn Lizarraga, and Sadie Vernon, the 4 ladies they are emulating in the pictures. Wonderfully done! "Designer Rebecca Stirm, History Student Cherisse Halsall, and Photographer Monica Gallardo partner to reveal the stories of four outstanding Belizean Historical figures- through fashion."

Autumnal Equinox at Caracol
The Institute of Archaeology had another camping trip to Caracol, this time celebrating the Autumnal Equinox. The got some great pictures of everyone having a fun time. There's one more overnight planned, and that's on the 21st of December, to celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar. Contact NICH for more information. "Diplomatic Corps in Belize attend the 2012 September Equinox ceremony at Caracol."

Channel 7

CCJ Blocks BTL Dividend
Tonight an air of uncertainty hangs over BTL's Annual General Meeting which is scheduled for Friday night. That's because of a decision coming out of a special sitting of the Caribbean Court of Justice which held a videoconference hearing today. As we reported, the Ashcroft Alliance filed claims at the CCJ in an attempt to block the Government controlled Board from issuing any dividends at the AGM, which is scheduled for Friday. As we put it last week, an AGM without dividends being paid out - is like a birthday party without the cake - and that's just what the court says has to happen. Dean Boyce of the BTL Employee's Trust and the British Caribbean Bank had their claims heard this morning at 8 in the Supreme Court. Their attorneys, Godfrey Smith and Eamon Courtenay, presented their arguments as to why the CCJ should intervene and restrain the Government of Belize, being the majority shareholder, from exercising its power to lead the AGM to the declaration of dividends on Friday. The attorneys for the GOB, Denys Barrow and Magali Perdomo, responded to those arguments and after about an hour of proceedings, the CCJ ruled in the favor of the Aschroft Alliance, ordering that the declaration of dividends must be adjourned to a date no earlier than December 14, 2012.

Parliament Sharply Divided On Consessions For BSI/ASR
The House of Representatives met today to go through all three readings of the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Incentives Act. That piece of legislation has been making news this week - because critics say the legislation gives lavish concessions to American Sugar Refining - the new majority shareholders of BSI. The Government says that it's really nothing new - just a changeover from the BELCOGEN concession given to BSI by the Musa Administration in 2005. SO, the PUP did it first - and now the UDP did it second….what dies that sound like? Ripe ingredients for a war of words across the house floor, of course. And that's just what we had in a robust, respectful debate that ended in an anticlimax as the opposition walked out. But, let's not get ahead of ourselves - first to the heated words: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "It is part of a development now, which represents the rescue of the Sugar Industry in this country. You already know, because they have been out there that they're opposed. The position being taken is one of ignorance compounded by malice. It is also one of the sharest possible hypocrisies. It is no-doubt the largest all-at-once foreign direct investment in this country in a generation. It is well-known, Mr. Speaker, that in return for an investment of this magnitude, governments all over the developing world offer the sorts of concessions and exemptions that we are offering by way of this bill.

Man Gets Free After Justice Long, Long Delayed
Last night, we promised to give an update in the newscast about the verdict for 22 year-old Justin Orillana who was on trial for the stabbing murder of his stepfather, 38 year-old Cecil Thompson. Well, we couldn't deliver because the jury didn't return with their decision on Orillana's fate until just after 8:30 p.m., well after the newscast was completed. They unanimously decided that he was not guilty of murder, but when it came to automatic alternative charge of manslaughter, the jury was deadlocked and couldn't come up with a verdict either way. After 5 years on remand, he is now acquitted, but very far from being fully exonerated.

Vicious Vandalism At Jaguar Paw On Chukkas Repelling Platform
For weeks in the media you've been hearing the uproar about the rappelling platform that Chukka Tours installed at Jaguar Paw. Well sometime between Saturday and Sunday someone vandalized the rappelling platform - and form the looks of it wanted to destroy or disable the structure. According to a release from the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the platform was damaged and there was also evidence of fire damage to portions of the entrance stairway to the Crystal Cave. We spoke with Chukka's country manager Valerie Woods about the extent of the damage: Valerie Woods - Country Manager, Chukka Tours (Via Telephone) "The rappelling platform is still intact. There was clearly an attack, and an immature one at that, it appears, to take it down, or to make it unsafe. We have inspectors coming in tomorrow to do - as per our standard operating procedure - a check on the areas that they did try to do damage to. The platform structure itself is intact. There were attempts to try and make a serious safety issue to try to hack saw through some of the metal piping, but as we have continually stated, we build our structures to international standards, and we renege, obviously, from that because of these attempts.

Man Says Someone Burnt His House Down
There was a fire in Belize City around 11 this morning. It happened on Curl Thompson Street in the Port Loyola Area - where a wooden bungalow structure was flattened. According to neighbors, smoke was seen coming from the roof towards the rear end of the house. 7news spoke with the home owner this morning who told us he strongly believes that his house was set on fire. Brad Steadman - Homeowner "When I arrived on the scene, the back of the house was on fire, which has no electricity. At the front, the electricity can't connect, but BEL had already cut out my electricity 2 weeks, and I decided that this Friday, I was going to pay it because I use the light to do art work to run the compressor, spray brush, and other things like that. But, I feel that it's more like sabbotage; somebody who didn't like to see how I employed myself, did this."

Elrington Meets Guat. Counterpart in NYC
One member of the House of Representatives on the UDP side of the floor who was missing from Today's fiery House Meeting was Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. That's because he attended the 67th Regular Meeting of General Assembly of the United Nations which was held in New York. While at the UN General Assembly meeting, Minister Elrington met with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, José Miguel Insulza. Among the issues they addressed in that meeting was a discussion on the political context in the region, particularly, the issue between Belize and Guatemala over the territorial dispute. Later in the afternoon, Secretary General Insulza headed a meeting between Foreign Minister Elrington and his Guatemalan counterpart Harold Caballero.

Chiquibul Illegal Logging Very Costly
For years we've been reporting on the Guatemalan incursions into the Chiquibul Forest. First it was Xate but now its logging. Today in Belmopan the Friends for Conservation and Development, which co-manages the Park, held a forum on the illegal logging situation in the Chiquibul Forest. It provided an Economic and Ecological Valuation Assessment which made it clear that the cost both to the environment and the economy is staggering. Here's an excerpt: Boris Arrevalo - Friends For Conservation and Development "This graph is showing to us that in 2010, the illegal logging influence was just over 18,000 hectares. Then, by 2011 - which was last year - that area had increased to 26,642 hectares. That is an increase of 46.6%. Now, from last year to mid 2012, to when the research finished, we had an incrrease of 28% , giving a total area under illegal logging influence of 34,000. The amount of area being deforested in the Chiquibul Forest is more than just 393 hectares that have been deforested by illegal logging. We have the looting of our Mayan Sites. Just by may field observations, I will say that 95% of all the Mayan structures that have been found in the Chiquibul Forest have been looted already. For NICH, it's an issue. What is the value of that information that we as country are losing.

Rt. Hon. Musa Mauls Hon. Hulse
Last night on this newscast, you heard Senator Minister Godwin Hulse explain why the concessions given to American Sugar Refinery are only an extension of those the previous government gave to BECOL and BSI. One man who was watching that interview intently was former Prime Minister Said Musa. Today he attacked Senator Hulse on the House Floor - accusing him of massive, multiple conflicts of interests:... Hon. Said Musa - Fort George, PUP "I was shocked listening last night, watching the television on Channel 7, and to see a minister of this Government - well, I saw his picture, and he was uttering words to the effect that all the cane farmers need to do is get on with their business, cut the cane, and stop the foolishness - words to that effect. In other words, he was being patronizing to the 6,000 cane farmers of this country, insulting those people, simply because he wanted to a brief for American Sugar Refinery and BSI. But we are not surprised because this minister is also a member of the BSI Board. This minister is collecting a meeting - I am told - over $2,000 for every time he attends a meeting of the BSI Board. This minister of this Government today also has a contract - I am told with BSI - for the sale of sugar. Yes, well, let it be denied if it is not so; he is selling sugar across the border. How can you be a minister, and still be a member of this Board? And the reason why I am singling out this particular minister is because of the deceptive way he spoke in that interview last night on the television."

2012 Tourism Numbers Far From Apocalyptic
Last month, 7News told you about the increase in overnight tourist arrivals and the sharp decrease in cruise tourism when compared to June 2011. Well today, the BTB released their report FOR JULY AND AUGUST and those months also show increases. July saw a 7.2% increase in tourist arrivals, adding up to 1,736 more tourists, while August hosted 10.1% more tourists, totalling 1,793. Cruise arrivals were down up to June of this year, according to the BTB, the third quarter of 2012 began with an increase of 9.6% seeing 35,224 cruise tourists compared to 32,132 from 2011. BTB believes that by the end of the year, the numbers will greatly improve with the excitement of the end of the Mayan Calendar.

Channel 5

Sugar concession bill passes; Opposition says it’s not sweet
Government today introduced and passed, in one sitting of the House of Representatives, a bill that provides major tax breaks and exemptions as part of the sale of the Belize Sugar Industries to the American Sugar refinery. Copies of the bill which repeals a previous law, were only circulated on Monday afternoon. Cane Farmers who [...]

Opposition rails up with Godwin Hulse
Although the talk at the House was strictly about sugar, all was not sweet. The Opposition took a few aimed shots at Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse for his remarks about the B.S.I. sale to ASR. Hulse, who is also a farmer, was appointed to the B.S.I. Board before his ministerial appointment and has remained [...]

P.U.P. walks out before end of House Meeting
While it appeared in our first story that there were fiery exchanges between the Prime Minister and the Opposition, it was more a juxtaposition of points rather than a heated exchange. That is because when the PM was wrapping up the debate sometime after one o’clock, aiming his usual first shot at Said Musa, the [...]

B.T.L. Employees Trust gets injunction barring issuance of dividends
Dean Boyce on behalf of the B.T.L. Employees Trust and British Caribbean Bank, scored a victory against the Government, preventing Telemedia from paying dividends to shareholders at an early annual general meeting scheduled for this Friday. Boyce and the Bank applied and were granted a hearing via video conference today by the Caribbean Court of [...]

Government’s attorney says suit is an embarrassment to Supreme Court
In June of 2012, Justice Oswell Legall reaffirmed a previous ruling that the 2011 acquisition of Telemedia was null and void because the law passed attached itself to the provision in the 2009 amendment which was also declared void. So Justice Legall believed that to add new provisions unto a law that is void amounts [...]

Are charges pending for suffocation of infant?
For the third time, the aunt of baby Kaylee Burgess has been picked up by the police. Kaylee was murdered at her home in Ladyville on September fifth, two days prior to her second birthday. Since the killing, several relatives have been detained and questioned and now, aside from eighteen year old Saphira Pratt, Kaylee’s [...]

Brad Steadman, victim of fire
A Belize City resident believes his property was deliberately set on fire. Brad Steadman, a struggling artist, was not at the house, which also serves as his studio, when it went up in a blaze. By the time he got to Curl Thompson Street this morning, all his belongings had been destroyed. Steadman says he [...]

The verdict is in and it’s…
A jury of twelve deliberated well into the night on Tuesday in the trial of a man who was charged for the brutal murder of his father. At around eight-thirty p.m., the accused Hattieville resident, twenty-three year old Justin Orillana, was found not guilty of the murder of Cecil Thompson, who was stabbed to death [...]

Kenrick steals a muffler and a PVC pipe
An unemployed construction worker has been accused of stealing from the Port of Belize Limited and today, he was charged in the courtroom of Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart. Twenty-six year old Kenrick Flowers was arraigned for Theft in connection with nine hundred dollars in materials that went missing from the Port on September twenty-fourth. He appeared [...]

Peace Corps 50 years in Belize
Two years after then-Senator John F. Kennedy tasked students at a U.S University to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and giving service in developing countries, and a year after it was established in the U.S, members of the Peace Corps were deployed to Belize in 1962. While things have changed [...]

Biscayne Primary School gets a boost from the Chamber of Commerce
It’s the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s birthday, but the teachers and students of the Biscayne Primary School on the Northern Highway had reason to celebrate this morning. Through the efforts of the Chamber and Western Union, the school’s cafeteria has been converted into a more relaxed dining area that is also used as [...]

Tourism war and sabotage at Nohoch Che’en
Now for some bad news, the rappelling platform constructed by Chukka Belize at Caves Branch was recently at the center of contention with the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize. FECTAB claimed that Chukka desecrated the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve and was endangering visitors; those claims were quickly shot down by the National Institute [...]


Bus Fares Adjusted; Ministry to Distribute Rates Shortly
Today bus fares were adjusted to what their original prices were nine years ago. The adjustments in fares affect mainly people who use the western route, since bus operators who conduct runs to Belmopan had started to charge a dollar less to passengers traveling that directio...

Caves Branch Suffers Damages at the Hands of Looters
Tourism has become the bread and butter for many people at home, while foreigners come to enjoy the sea, jungle and wildlife. But while many people were celebrating our nation’s 31st Independence Day anniversary, someone or some people were busily defacing and rendering...

Several Bills Passes Through The House of Representatives
The House of Representatives met today in Belmopan. The main item on the agenda was Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project Development Bill, 2012. The Bill was introduced by the Prime Minister and taken through all its stages at today’s sitting. What the Bill does is...

University Holds Memorial Service for Student
The University of Belize will be holding a memorial service for one of its students who lost his life two weekends ago. Selwyn King is the Director of Public Information at UB. SELWYN KING Director of Public Information University of Belize “We want to exten...

Minister Hulse Speaks on Shares in Sugar Industry
While Minister Hulse was about to fix the problems that exist within the Immigration Department, he was assuring on the Bill introduced in the House of Representatives this morning that allows the American Sugar Refineries to purchase shares in the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. ...

New Policies and Processes Being Formulated for Belize Immigration Department
Three weeks ago the news broke of an incident at the Immigration office in Belize City where an alleged terrorist linked to Hezbollah received a false Belizean identity in a matter of two days. Since the incident, the supervisor at the Immigration office who approved the passport...


Chinese Store Closes After Being Robbed
During the September Celebrations another business establishment was robbed in the Corozal District. Reports are that the incident transpired around 7:00 on the 20th night and this time the victims were once again the proprietors of Lisa’s Fast Food located on 5th Avenue, Corozal Town. On the night of the robbery the owner of the establishment Weiquin Zhu was behind the counter attending to various customers when he was approached by two armed masked men. Reports are that while one of the robbers guarded the entrance of the establishment, the other individual proceeded to rob Zhu of approximately $500 in cash. Both men then made good their escape. Back in September 1st, the establishment was robbed by 4 male persons wearing masks and armed with 9mm pistols. The four assailants made good their escape with over $28,000: $10,000 in different denominations and $8,000 worth in items.

Bus Fares To Go Up Here In The North
If you’ve been keeping up with recent news then you know that on September 22nd the new prices for commuters traveling from Belize to Belmopan came into effect. According to spokesperson for the Belize Bus Association, Patrick Menzies, Southern Belize is already aligned with the new prices and now their focus is on the north. Menzies says that prices will not be increased but rather adjusted to the expenses being incurred by bus operators. In the last two decades prices have been changed in two occasions. In 1992, bus fares were increased by 9 cents per mile in the Stann Creek and the Toledo Districts, and 7cents per mile in the remainder of the country. In 2002, an Internal Policy authorized the price change to 10 cents per mile. The adjustment of prices is needed since Government is not subsidizing bus operators, according to Menzies. Patrick Menzies, Spokesperson BBA “All what is happening right now is the readjustment to fallback in the areas of the country is not yet there, in the south of the country we are already there and the goal is by hopefully next March to be right where the south is because that is the more realistic cause for travelling and the main here we also looking at ADO the Mexican owned operated bus company that operates in Belize City they are charging $0.19 cents a mile to the border and our Belizean operators in Belize City can only charge $0.10 cents a mile to the border and obviously that will not change right now but we are looking at readjustment across the board where our bus operators can be able to be competitive and can provide good service in good buses with good tires as Belizeans deserve the best.” With the assistance of the Ministry of Transport and commuters, services provided by bus operators are expected to improve as soon as prices are adjusted.

PUP Northern Caucus Speaks Out Against Proposed Bill
It all sounds like a good deal for BSI who is the largest cane producer. A deal that will put the sugar company way ahead of cane farmers when it comes to cane production. As mentioned, the bill won’t be introduced at the House of Representatives until tomorrow but it’s already causing controversy. This morning the P.U.P Northern Caucus fired off a press release which states that the bill, as it stands, will allow BSI to produce sugar cane at a much lower cost while cane farmers continue to struggle to meet the daily escalating costs. This afternoon CTV3 News spoke to Orange Walk South Area Representative Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai, who told us the northern caucus is not supportive of the bill.

Louisiana Government School Upgrades Computer Lab
The Belize Literacy Program is an educational initiative carried out by Rotary International across the country of Belize. The goal of the program is to develop the teaching skills of educator’s and also to enhance the various subjects taught at the primary school level, including language arts, math and science. The Belize Literacy Program also works hand in hand with the Ministry of Education by supplying internet access and computers to schools which participate in the program. Here in Orange Walk Louisiana Government School was one of the two educational institutions which took part in this year’s literacy program and for that they were awarded a total of 20 laptops among other items. During the first two weeks of August 2012, teachers of various primary schools from across the country participated in workshops funded by Rotary International as part of the Belize Literacy Program. All the schools whose teachers participated in the workshops were awarded with netbooks and LCD projectors including the Louisiana Government School who received 20 fully equipped netbooks with 2 LCD projectors. The donation, worth a little over $15,000, was handed over to the school yesterday by President of San Ignacio Rotary Club and Chairlady of the Belize Literacy Program, Eve Aird.

SIF Donates To Louisiana Government School
Back in 2006 the Social Investment Fund was granted a budget of a little over $200,000 to construct a four classroom building with bathroom facilities for the Louisiana Government School. After the building was constructed there was a remaining balance of $4,000 which was also put to good use. Enrique Ayuso Jr. VP, Upper Division “Now this building was done a couple years ago and after all the paper work was done and all the reports were in, they reported to us that a balance of monies were left from the project, it was a small amount of about $4000.00 but it was savings that belong to the school.” Enrique Ayuso Jr. VP, Upper Division “The saving of that building, so at that same time we were making an inventory of our existing computer lab which has some computer that are now outdated, they are about seven or eight year old desktops and especially the hard drives are not up to par for the minimum that we need to do the regular work in school so we were already looking at our systems and we were thinking of upgrading our system units, so when this opportunity came from SIF we decided to make a proposal so our lab technician Mr Romero worked hard to get a proposal of some of the basic upgrades that we need for our different computer systems.”

GOB Proposes Sweet Deal For ASR
Tomorrow there will be a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives where the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project bill will be tabled for approval. But even before the bill is presented in the House of Representatives, it is already the topic of major discussion, and that’s to put it lightly. Here is why. All indications are that American Sugar Refinery, who is set to become the new owner of the Belize Sugar Industry Limited, reached some type of accommodation agreement with government whereby they will benefit from major tax exemptions. According to the bill, BSI and Belcogen will be exempted from paying income and business tax for the period January 1st 2008 to 31st December 2012. If the payment has been made, both the income and business taxes will be retroactive, meaning that Government will return the money to BSI. But that’s not all because the bill also proposes that the company receives partial yearly tax exceptions. The bill proposes for BSI and Belcogen to receive 80% tax exemption from January 1st 2013 to December 31st 2013, sixty percent reduction in 2014, forty percent in 2015 and twenty percent in 2016. The agreement, which from all indications is sweeter than sugar, also proposes that BSI and Belcogen withhold paying tax on dividends for a period of five years with effect from September 1st 2012 and that the companies be exempted from customs and excise duties from September 2012 to 2022, that’s a period of ten years. But the bill goes even further. It also proposes the companies be granted a 50% reduction on stamp duties and it gives BSI the unrestricted right to export raw sugar and molasses for a period of ten years with effect from September 1st 2012.


A stage presentation for charity will be hosted in the Bliss
Magnolia Vargas, Hand in Hand Ministries: The weekend is still a ways off; but if you’re already making plans, you might want to pencil in visit to the Bliss for a stage presentation for charity. Love TV’s Marion Ali has a preview.

A local government training was held in Belmopan
A local government training was held yesterday in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz filed this report on Monday.

Toledo district complains on the weekend celebrations
Activities for the thirty first anniversary of Belize’s Independence have come and gone. But one community in the Toledo district is complaining that they were left high and dry this past weekend. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung heard their complaints and files the following report.

A Dangriga youth dies from cancerous tumor
Five months ago, Love News brought you the story of a Dangriga youth with a bright smile but battling a large cancerous tumor that was literally sucking the life right out of him. Joslyn Paulino was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma and he ended up with an enlarged tumor on one of his legs. The sad news tonight is that Paulino lost his three-year battle with the disease over the weekend. Paulino’s family were hoping that someone would perform a surgery to remove the deadly tumor and although the doctor held there was nothing more to do, Paulino remained firm in his faith in God right up until the end. Here is a clip of that story which was initially presented by Reporter Natalie Novelo and Videographer Brian Castillo back in April. Joslyn Paulino will be laid to rest this coming Saturday in Dangriga town following funeral services at three o’clock in the afternoon.

OCEANA Belize vs the Government of Belize
Today the case of OCEANA Belize versus the Government of Belize was more of a case management issue than a proceeding. The case before Justice Michelle Arana has to do with OCEANA Belize, which is asking the court to review a decision by the Chief Elections Officer to reject the signatures of over eight thousand people who signed a petition brought forth against offshore drilling in Belize. The history to the case is that in 2008, the government had amended the Referendum Act which gives Belizeans the right to ask for a referendum in legitimate circumstances. The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, through its member, OCEANA Belize, had attempted in December of 2011 to test the soundness of the amended Act when it called for Belizean registered voters to sign their petition asking the Government to hold a referendum on whether offshore oil drilling should be allowed. For it to have garnered the Government’s attention, it needed to have received the signatures of at least ten percent of the registered voters of Belize. It received over twenty thousand signatures, which was at least three thousand more than the seventeen thousand 140 signatures required. But around forty percent of the signatures were rejected by the Chief Elections Officer because upon scrutiny they had not met the requirements of the Elections and Boundaries Department. OCEANA did not feel that the rejections were proper on several grounds, particularly because there was no expert advice utilized in the screening process of the signatures that were rejected. OCEANA got permission from the court to start those proceedings. Today we heard from its Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd just where the case stands. The Government is expected to file its defense by this Friday.

PUP host a series of activities for birthday celebration.
In celebration of its sixty second birthday, the People’s United Party is hosting a series of activities. Today they mounted an Open House at Independence Hall on Queen Street Belize City. Secretary General of the PUP told us more about the occasion. Palacio told us about further events the PUP is looking forward to. Tomorrow’s Public Education Forum will commence at 6:30pm at Independence Hall and will be broadcast live on Love Television.

The Biscayne Primary School renovated its cafeteria
Vanessa Peyrifitte Director member, BCCI: The Biscayne Primary School in the Belize district is getting a much needed renovation of its cafeteria. The upgraded facility comes courtesy the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The renovation of the Biscayne School cafeteria is part of the Chamber’s twentieth anniversary as a Western Union country agent for Belize. According to the director of member relations at BCCI Vanessa Peyrifitte, when they visited the school they found the cafeteria in a state of disrepair. The inauguration of the newly refurbished Biscayne Primary School cafeteria will take place at ten o’clock on Wednesday morning at the school’s compound on the Phillip S.W. Goldson Highway. A few years ago, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry had adopted the school and donated a computer room with equipment for use by the students and teachers.


PM Barrow talks crime in Independence Speech
Residents of Belize have been affected by acts of violence whether directly or indirectly. Over recent years crimin..

Belmopan's George Price Boulevard now trafficable
The Garden City is a growing metropolis. And with progress comes problems. One of those pesky issues is the accessi..

More Belmopan streets to be paved shortly
The City of Belmopan is already undergoing infrastructure improvement works. These street projects will satisfy a n..

Guerra Bus gets heat for "Sugar Daddy" display
Yesterday Activist Richard Smith brought to our attention a term he views as derogatory, plastered on the back door..

Second Burglary in 3 weeks for Corozal restaurant
A Corozal business takes a second hit in less than 3 weeks. Lisa’s Restaurant situated on 5th Avenue was the target..

Corozal and Orange Walk Town streets to be upgraded
A facelift is coming to the community where you live. The Belize Municipal Development Project is the ambitious ini...

Ministry of health celebrates Wellness Week
The Ministry of Health has joined the Caribbean Community in celebrating Caribbean Wellness Week. This year Belize ..

Education Day held at Georgetown Tech
Student teachers of the Secondary and Primary Teacher Training Programmes in the Banana Belt Communities exhibited ..

Corozaleno arrested for brandishing unlicensed firearm
A man was arrested and charged for keeping an unlicensed firearm. On Wednesday the 19th Of September, at about 10:3..

Cabinet has approved new Bus fare rates
A press release was issued just this evening by the Ministry of Works and Transport regarding the increase in bus f..

Four cases of rape occur over Independence Weekend
We begin with four cases of rape, three occurring over the holiday weekend. A 19-year old female of Cayo District r..

Home invasion in Jalacte Toledo
There was a home invasion and robbery reported on Saturday. A 57 year old woman told police that on Saturday the 22..

Belize City man robbed of $400.00
A Belize City man was robbed of seven hundred dollars. According to Andrew Usher, on September 8th, at 2:00pm, he w..

Man fires shots at Police officer
There was a shooting in Belize City on Saturday morning but no one was hurt in that incident. 29 year old Police Co..

Man stabbed by his Ex's Boyfriend
A Belize City man was allegedly stabbed by his ex girlfriend’s new boyfriend. It happened on Independence day at a ..


Fall is in the air...or would that be Rainy Season returning?
It takes time to get used to the fact that Belize doesn't have the same concept of the four seasons we are used to in the United States. In North Carolina, where I grew up and spent most of my life, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter are distinct seasons and provide an easy way to refer to times of year. "Last winter we went to Florida," or "Sure has been an early spring," or "The leaves are especially pretty this fall." Here in Belize, the year is not structured exactly the same. Instead of the four seasons I'm used to, there are only two: dry season and rainy season. The latter is the longest, stretching from June through December in most cases, though this year it seemed to last through January and start up again in May, leaving but a short three-month dry season. Even during rainy season, it certainly doesn't rain all the time. It rains more at night than during the day, but storms are more frequent and can be heavy, even if short-lived. Occasionally it stays gray and rains off and on all day long, but that is rare. And it rains on occasion even during dry season, but much less frequently. This year -- this "summer" -- just when we thought rainy season was here to stay, Mother Nature's waterworks turned off. Although I don't have official rainfall statistics to quote, on Ambergris Caye July was dryer than June, August seemed dryer still (with the exception of our brief brush with Hurricane Ernesto in the early part of the month), and September was downright desert-like. Even the locals were complaining about the heat and dry weather, and passing motor vehicles kicked dusty dirt in our eyes when they passed us on the unpaved roads. It was 83 or 84F every morning by the time I got up (6:30 to 7 am). Almost every day without fail, the skies were brilliant blue, the sun was shining brightly, and it was a perfect time for visitors to enjoy a tropical island vacation. But for residents, the lack of clouds and cooling rain can get a bit stifling over time. And then it changed.

San Pedro is in for a treat
Last week at trivia I got talking with Surendra and he asked me if I was going to the big benefit concert Thursday night at Wet Willy’s. I dodged giving a direct answer and mentioned how Cheryl Bowen had sent me the info and I was going to blog it. He offered to send Karen’s Bio and said he would hook me up with tickets. I have to admit I am not a huge country fan and prefer old school like Patsy Cline and Johnny Cash. After getting Karen’s Bio from Surendra I got to thinking, does what I like? After all tickets are only $15 and Mama Vilma’s Family Home is a great cause. So I decided to rope Cowboy Doug, Leisa and tacoboy in for a date night and got us all tickets. Surendra even rode his bike hand delivered them to me at the pool bar and grill – how easy is that. While we were sitting at the picnic table chatting he said that there was a recent post on Ambergris Caye message board, Karen Waldrup to perform benefit concert and how well known Memphis Blogger Carbunkle Trumpet mentioned he had caught her show last night and she killed it! San Pedro is in for a treat! This is getting more promising by the minute.

Chaa Creek’s Maya Village Opens up a Fascinating World
How to condense thousands of years of a rich cultural heritage into a one or several day experience? Belize’s Lodge at Chaa Creek is creating a unique Maya Cultural Village to give visitors a crash course in this ancient culture while introducing them to contemporary Maya village life, according to the eco resort’s resident Mayanist, Joe Awe. “The 2012 Winter Solstice on December 21 is so important to Maya everywhere that we want to make sure it’s celebrated with the respect and energy it deserves. And his means that participants learn about the Maya culture generally, as well as the significance of the 2012 Winter Solstice. We want our guests, especially those taking advantage of the all-inclusive Belize Maya Winter Solstice Vacation packages, to get as much out of the experience as possible,” Mr Awe said. The Chaa Creek Maya Cultural Village is being constructed for Belize’s 2012 Winter Solstice celebrations, and will feature representational dwellings as well as hands-on workshops and demonstrations on various aspects of Maya culture and day-to-day-life, Mr Awe said. In addition to popular Maya cooking classes, there will be demonstrations in slate, stone and wood carving, pottery making, weaving, roof thatching and other skills thousands of years old and still practiced by today’s Maya, who make up some 12% of Belize’s population. Mr. Awe said that during cooking classes, guests will learn to make tortillas, Maya tamales and other meals from recipes developed thousands of years before the birth of Christ and still considered essential in Maya households today. The Maya were the first people to use and cultivate cacao to make chocolate, and Mr Awe said many Chaa Creek guests return home with the recipes to make xocoatl, the Maya hot chocolate beverage that introduced the world to chocolate.

My Top Eats in Belize
One of my first happy discoveries about Belize was how wonderful and varied the food is. Generally inexpensive,dining in Belize is a treat. There’s great variety, ingredients are fresh, and hygiene is never a worry. I’ve dined with gusto from excellent resort kitchens to beach shacks and the humblest of street side vendors, and never had a rumble of tummy discontent. It’s usually real food made by real folks with a certain amount of Belize’s national ingredient – pride. Any selection of the Belizean culinary arts is by nature a multicultural melange, and here are my top favourites.

International Sources

Second Slovak murder suspect reportedly resident in Belize
In addition to murder suspect Karol Mello, whose case has been closely followed in recent weeks by the Slovak media, another Slovak with a criminal past has sought refuge in the Central American state, the Nový as daily reported on Wednesday, September 26. Viliam Mišenka, who is accused by Slovak police of five murders and the theft of more than €5 million, also currently lives in Belize, allegedly as Mello's neighbour. The daily quotes an anonymous source from Belize who said that Mišenka is conducting business related to real estate and is a partner in an internet cafe. The Slovak police and the local authorities are reportedly aware of his presence in Belize. Mišenka and Mello are joint suspects in two cases, the murders of Peter ongrády and of Jozef Gudab. According to Nový as, the two fugitives met in Kosovo in July 2011, before their respective moves to Belize. On Thursday, September 27, Nový as reported that the X Lounge bar in San Pedro, Belize, which according to local media belongs to Mello, has been offered for sale on the website.

Belize, Suriname Foreign Ministers Meet With OAS in New York
Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Suriname Foreign Minister Winston Lackin met with Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza in New York Wednesday. Elrington’s discussions focused on the region’s current political context and on Belize’s territorial dispute with Guatemala. Following the discussions, Elrington met with his Guatemalan counterpart, Harold Caballeros. In his conversation with Lackin, Insulza urged Suriname’s government to make a decision on the composition, objectives and application of a proposed truth and reconciliation commission on the so-called “December” murders of the 1980s. Lackin thanked the OAS for sending a fact-finding mission related to Suriname’s request for help in setting up the commission.

Belize gets another 60 days to finalise bond payment
Belize has cleared half of the overdue interest payments to bondholders, who in turn have given the debt-ridden country another two months to clear the coupon payment. Belize last week paid US$11.7 million of a US$23-million interest bill on its superbond. In turn, the committee formed to negotiate on behalf of bondholders, Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders (CCOBB), indicated that it saw the payment as a sign of good faith and urged creditors to give Belize breathing space during the 60-day period. "The committee is recommending that other bondholders refrain from seeking legal remedies during this period," said A.J. Mediratta, of Greylock Capital Management and co-chair of the Committee. Belize was initially to make the interest payment on August 20, but got a 30-day reprieve to source funds for what was the first interest payment on the restructured 2029 superbond.

Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve Declared in Belize
The Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve was enacted on Tuesday (9/25/12) by the Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The act will manage and protect the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Caribbean announced Craig Hayes, Board Chairman of Turneffe Atoll Trust and owner/operator of Turneffe Flats Resort. “This 325,000 acre Marine Reserve, the largest in Belize, will benefit Turneffe’s commercial fishermen, its tourism sector, the atoll’s environment and all Belizeans. It has been established through the hard work and dedication of several individuals and organizations including the Turneffe Atoll Trust, the Fisheries Department, Turneffe’s fishermen and several non-governmental agencies,” he said. Establishing Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve makes it possible to sustainably manage the unique environmental, economic and social aspects of the area located some 30 miles off the country’s mainland.

September 26, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

September celebrations highlighted by schools on the island
There were several events that took place in the week leading up to the Independence Day celebration on the island. The September celebrations events included the first ever Patriotic night, the annual Social Studies contest and a first ever George Price Biography group presentation. The events were organized by various organizations and held at different venues, all leading up to Independence Day. The first ever Patriotic Night was held at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Tuesday night September 18th and was organized by the Ministry of Education. The event was filled with patriotism and had presentations such as dances, poems, folkloric songs and a bit of drama. Primary schools as well as the San Pedro High School and the San Pedro Junior College were on board for the event. The performance that captivated the attention of the general audience was the dramatization of the eve of Independence back in 1981. The re-enactment detailed the ceremony on the historic night when the Union Jack (British Flag) was lowered and the Belizean flag hoisted for the first time. Those in attendance were enthralled by the presentationgiven by the San Pedro High School.

Education Day held at Banana Belt
Student teachers of the Secondary and Primary Teacher Training Programmes in the Banana Belt Communities exhibited aspects of their training programmes at 10 am at the Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS) on Sunday September 23, 2012. At the event entitled “Education Day” some 150 student teachers showcased aspects of their work as they relate to new and unique learning initiatives that will improve the quality of early childhood and primary education for the children of the Banana Communities and by extension across the country. Visiting Belize for the exhibit was Ambassador Paola Amadei, the Head of Delegation, European Union Delegation to Jamaica, Belize, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands and Cayman Islands.

VIDEO: San Pedro Town Independence Day Parade
Many Faces, Many Dreams, one Goal -- Celebrating Belize!

Ambergris Today

A Fashion Tribute to Belizean History
As the smoke of the magnificent fireworks dissipated at midnight on the Eve of Independence, many felt a swell of patriotic pride. The entire country celebrated and expressed their “Belizean Pride” in different ways; we parade, we decorate, and we dance. But a trio of Belizeans decided to do something unique this year. Designer Rebecca Stirm, history student Cherisse Halsall, and photographer Monica Gallardo partnered to reveal the stories of four outstanding Belizean Historical figures - through fashion. “Well, it all began when I had the privilege of viewing Stirm’s mini collection in her studio earlier this month; I found myself reflecting on the understated elegance and graceful detailing of the pieces,” commented Cherisse Halsall. “They evoked within me thoughts of old colonial Belize with its wooden mansion’s and red bricked cathedrals. Through conversations between myself, Stirm, and Photographer Monica Gallardo, we were able to come up with a plan for photographing the mini-collection as a ‘Fashion Tribute to Our History’.”

Spectacular Fireworks Display Commemorating Belize's Independence
This year marked the 31st Anniversary of our beloved Belize’s Independence and throughout our great Nation celebrations were at its best since the beginning of September. On the eve of our Independence, Thursday, September 20, 2012, the festivities kicked off early with the annual block party rocking the night away on Barrier Reef Drive and Central Park. The official ceremony which led to the flag raising ceremony included several dance and musical performances by local artists that had the huge crowd rather entertained. Torch bearers followed by lovely Miss San Pedro 2012 Ms. Naiely Puc along with Deputy Mayor Severo Guerrero made their way through the crowded streets towards Central Park. Coming right behind them were the Isla Bonita Marching Band, The San Pedro Dance Academy majorettes and the Belize Coast Guard.

What is a curriculum?
By Gustavo Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant The 2012 high school year started this month. At first, it was exciting to meet new teachers and welcome back returning teachers; however, the excitement has passed. Students now must rely on their own abilities and think for themselves. By now, they have sized up each new teacher and class, and labeled each as “Great!” or “Here we go again!” By now, though, I wonder how many students know and understand what specific academic goals and knowledge is required by term end in each class subject. Those who have no idea of what those goals are will end up frustrated and over dependent on teachers. A school curriculum describes all the courses/classes that a student is required to study and master (pass) in order to graduate from that school. A course curriculum outlines and summarizes all the areas and topics in a specific subject matter, (i.e. English, Math, Accounting, Spanish, etc.) that a student is required to study and master by term/year end. Each teacher describes a course curriculum to students differently. Some teachers outline and explain to students from the first week of class all the lessons or units they will study during the term, including when to expect tests, homework, projects and class activities; some teachers provide students with preprinted handouts that summarize the course curriculum; some teachers explain in advance their grading system and how they evaluate each student; unfortunately, some teachers introduce the course curriculum to students, one lesson or Unit at a time only throughout the term/year.

Don't You Want to Parade Every Day?
Oh how I love September Celebrations in Belize, especially the Independence Day Parade in San Pedro. It is an amazing feeling how we all are out there celebrating one thing – our identity as Belizeans. It is one thing to view the parade from your home or on the street side, but nothing beats being a part of the parade and dancing for your enjoyment and that of everybody! I have been documenting the Independence Day Parade held in San Pedro on the 21st of September for quite some time now and nothing compares to being in the parade and walking through the large groups filled with vivid colors, loud carnival music and energetic people who are dancing to celebrate the freedom we have in Belize. It’s inspiring and every time I am editing the pictures and videos I want to do it all over again – parade once again!

VIDEO: Belize Independence Day Parade 2012 (Part 2)
A look at the Independence Day Parade 2012 in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize through the eyes of Ambergris Today's Editor, Dorian Nuñez, as he weaves through the party revelers and enjoys the music and dance that Belize has to offer.

Misc Belizean Sources

Candlelight Vigil at UB
The University of Belize is having a candlelight vigil forNorval Belisle, and other victims of violence, tomorrow. "The Office of Student Affairs announces that a Memorial Service/Vigil for Norval Belisle will be held on Wednesday September 26th 2012 at 6:00pm at the UB gymnasium, central campus."

Rumors Anniversary Dance
Rumors will be celebrating their one year anniversary on Saturday night. They'll be having a dance with raffles, prizes, specials on food and drinks, and live performances by Cayo artists. Don't miss it! "On September 29th, we make a comeback to serve the general public as a full-time Restaurant with upgraded services and menus... Come celebrate this important milestone with us and enjoy a fun-packed night with much to take advantage of. Thank you all for your support, we hope to offer you our ever-improving service because you deserve it."

SMART IT Seminar at Cahal Pech
Smart will be having a seminar today at Cahal Pech Resort for Cayo's teachers of Information Technology at the secondary and tertiary level. It will go from 9:00am until 11:00am. If you're a teacher of IT, stop by and find out about Smart's projects that might help your school. Thanks, Smart!

Eco Adventures Around San Ignacio
Island Expeditions has a great list of eco adventures one can do around Cayo. The SIRH's Green Iguana Conservation Project gets a great review, as do the Belize Botanic Gardens at DuPlooy's, and Chaa Creek's Natural History Museum and Butterfly Farm. David, from David's Adventure Tours, is shown preparing to explore Barton Creek Cave. "The eco adventures I recommend are going to the San Ignacio farmers’ market, exploring Maya temples and Maya caves, Mountain Pine Ridge sightseeing, taking a day trip to Chaa Creek’s butterfly farm, medicinal trail and natural history museum, exploring the Macal and Mopan river, visiting the San Ignacio Resort Green Iguana exhibit, touring DuPlooy’s Botanical Garden, and Cave Tubing or Zip-Lining at Jaguar Paw."

Belizean Custard
This custard is made instant from a powder. When I was a child I use to watch my grandmother make this custard for us to eat on rainy days. When tried to make it for the first time, I came out horrible and lumpy. That is until someone, showed me how to make it. Now this recipe is simple for me to make and with a little bit of sweetener this dessert/snack tastes divine.

No Mosquitos on Caye Caulker!
Yep, it’s true, there are no flies on us!! I have waited until the rainy season has passed sufficiently to be confident about this statement but now I am almost 100% sure that we can say that Caye Caulker is mosquito-less!! The wisdom or the reasoning behind his lack of bothersome insect varies depending on who you speak to … some feel it is because the oceans around us are less warm, thus less atmospheric activity ie hurricanes and also less mosquitos!?? I have also heard that some feel it is because tourism is down and therefore there are less tourists to bite!?? … the fact that tourism is not down should really be the argument against this reasoning!! There is a short and simple reasoning behind this phenomenon and it is our new mosquito deterrent created by our Village Council this year. Alberto Villanueva (our Chairman) in his endeavor to rid our island of these hideous creatures in ideally an environmentally sound way, approached the Ministry of Health for their advice. They had in storage a product called Abate that seemed to fit the bill but nobody seemed to want to use. Abate larvicide controls malaria and other vector-borne diseases by controlling pests before they reach maturity, preventing them from breeding and spreading disease through new generations of insects.

Blue Hole Listed Among The Top 10 Places To Celebrate
Exciting News! Belize’s extraordinary Blue Hole has been featured in the Traveler’s issue of National Geographic magazine. The August/September 2012 issue features a story on “World Wonders, 10 Places to Celebrate.” National Geographic Traveler is the world’s most read travel magazine and uses a sense of story-telling complemented by sensational imagery. “We’re very happy to see our magnificent country being continuously covered in these world renowned magazines, especially that of the National Geographic Traveler” commented the Director of Tourism, Mrs. Laura Frampton. The overall theme of this magazine is “Nobody Knows the World Better.” In this issue, writer George W. Stone attempts to bring recognition to “lesser known jewels of natural beauty and cultural tradition” that are sometimes overlooked and even threatened. The article mentions Jacques Cousteau’s theory on the formation of the Great Blue Hole. He believes that this phenomenon is due to geological shifts from over 150,000 years ago. The Blue Hole is among other worldly wonders such as the largest mud brick structure located in Mali, and “the rock garden of the gods,” the Wadi Rum Protected Area located in Southern Jordan. To learn more about this issue and the other wonders listed, please visit the National Geographic Traveler website at

Cayo 2012 Independence Parade Was Simply Magnificent [PHOTOS]
The Independence parade in Cayo, this year, was one to remember forever. The theme "Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal" was beautifully displayed with tons of colors and dances by the parade presenters. From Chinese dragons to clowns, the streets were filled with people jumping up and down celebrating the 31st anniversary of Belize independence. I even saw a very old woman, perhaps 70 years old, dancing to local punta music--How awesome is that? Honestly, I am not sure how the other parades were in the different districts but I certainly enjoyed the Cayo parade. I am looking forward to be there next year once more. Here are some of the photos that I took while I enjoyed the parade with my wife. Hope you enjoy them!

Sugar City Rum Festival
Have you ever heard about a Rum Festival in Belize? Well if you haven't, that is because there hasn't been none ever. Belize is now featuring its first Rum Festival and it promises to be huge. The BTIA's-OW Chapter and the Belize Tourism Board proudly present the 1st Annual "Sugar City Rum Festival"! We have teamed up with Cuello's Distillery, Traveller's Liquors, Bowen & Bowen Limited and the Orange Walk Town Council to bring to you a fun-filled family event on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at the People's Stadium in Orange Walk Town. Featured events for the day include lots of games, Kiddie Corner, cultural presentations, musical performances by popular bands, bartending competition, food stalls, and much more! Check out BTIA-OW Chapter's Facebook Page: for regular updates. For more information contact the BTIA-OW office at or call 651-4860.

Channel 7

Min. Hulse: ASR Concession Is NOT An Accommodation Agreement
The term accommodation agreement has become like a bad word in modern politics - and that's because of the secret accommodation agreement that the Musa Administration signed with the Ashcroft Alliance for Telemedia. Well, the Barrow Administration is making no secret of the accommodation it has worked out with American Sugar Refineries, a US company that will become the majority shareholder in BSI. But disclosing the agreement doesn't mean it's going down with a spoonful of sugar. The details have been circulated in the parliamentary papers for tomorrow's Special House Sitting. It is described in the Sugar Industry And Cogeneration Development Incentives Act of 2012. And what lavish incentives it does give - including an exemption from income and business tax retroactive to 2008, with partial exemptions continuing up to 2016. It also exempts BSI and BELCOGEN from tax on dividends for 5 years and ten years on environmental tax as well as customs and excise duties.

Jury Deliberating Fate Of Man Who Stabbed And Killed Stepfather
A jury of 12 remains locked down in deliberation to determine the fate of 23 year-old Justin Orillana, the man who was charged with the murder of his 38 year-old stepfather, Cecil Thompson. In his trial which started last week, the prosecutor, Crown Counsel Thalia Meagan Francis, called several witnesses to testify but the key witnesses were the arresting officer, and another police officer who Orillano allegedly gave an oral confession. Both officers testified that Orillana, after being detained and duly cautioned, reportedly confessed that he was at Thompson's Vernon Street home at around 7 p.m. on March 27, 2007, he stabbed Thompson. He reportedly said that he did it out of anger, and he didn't mean for Thompson to die. While he didn't admit directly in this statement to stabbing Thompson, he said that he threw away the bloody clothes when he fled to Hattieville. One of the officers testified that when he asked Orillana to clarify certain sections of his statement, he admitted to stabbing Thompson.

Driver Foiled Attempted Robbery Of Delivery Truck On Hummingbird
A Quality Poultry delivery truck got a scare on the Hummingbird Highway this afternoon when a pair of bandits attempted to hijack the truck between miles 26 and 27 just outside of Middlesex. The assailants were armed but their attempt failed, because the driver managed to escape. No one was hurt. Dangriga police responded but found no one in the area.

The Ten Cents/Mile Myth Exploded and Reloaded
10 Cents a mile - that's what bus owners say they are entitled to under the law - and that's why the bus fare for Belmopan went up to five dollars. If you do the math, it's ten cents a mile for 50 miles and that gives you five dollars. But the ministry of transport couldn't find any law or any statutory instrument that entitles them to that ten cents a mile - even though the bus owners keep referring to it. That seems to create a bit of a legal quandary - but the ministry today issued a brief press release saying that it has given its support to the adjustment of fares to make it ten cents per mile across the board. A table of rates for major routes will be distributed tomorrow. We'll wait and see what that says because while the western runs are fighting for ten cents a mile, the southern runs are charging 15 cents a mile and up!

Man Gets Off Carnal Charge
Last night the news was about a man who got 15 years for indecent assault, well tonight's news is about a man who got off multiple counts of carnal knowledge. 32 year-old Edwin Flores was acquitted of 5 counts unlawful carnal knowledge against when his trial was completed today before Justice Adolph Lucas. The prosecution, which was represented by Crown Counsel Shenieza Smith, called several witness to testify against Flores in his trial which started last week, but the main witness was the victim herself, who was 11 years-old at the time. She told the court that Flores had sexual intercourse with her 5 times between 2008 and 2009. She said that on the fifth occasion, one of her relatives arrived and got suspicious that only the two were in the house. The minor said that the relative called her mother, who took her to see a private doctor. The doctor testified for the prosecution that there were signs that the child was carnally known, but there was no evidence to tell when it actually took place. When the prosecution closed their case, Flores, who was represented by attorney Hubert Elrington, testified in his defence that he never once had sex with the minor.

"Tyson" Gets 7 Years
43 year-old Henry "Tyson" Lauriano will spend 7 years in prison because he was convicted of robbery and harm today in Magistrate's Court. In Lauriano's trial, the victim, 51 year-old George Griffith, testified for the prosecution that at around 11:30 p.m. on December 28, 2011, he was on an abandoned lot on Amara Avenue playing dominoes with 3 other friends. Griffith said that Lauriano, who he identified as "Tyson", approached him and asked him for money, and he responded that he didn't have any. That's when Lauriano pulled out a knife and demanded money, and Griffith tried to leave but Lauriano blocked his path. Griffith said that Lauriano stabbed at him with the knife, and he attempted to block it, the knife caught him on the right hand, slashing 3 tendons in his palm. When the knife caught Griffith, Lauriano then reached into his pocket, stole $45 dollars, and fled the scene. Griffith said that he sought medical treatment and reported the incident to police who arrested and charged Lauriano with robbery and grievous harm. When the prosecution closed their case, Lauriano testified and admitted that he was at the location at the time. But according to him, he didn't threaten Griffith or ask him about any money.

DJ Tambran, Vindicated! And Victimized?
A few weeks ago, you heard DJ Tambran tell us about his woes with the City Council. Well, since going public, things haven't gotten any better. The standoff with the council only worsened with Tambran still claiming compensation for damaged items - and the council claiming he owns rent and trade license fees. But, tonight the news is that the deadlock has been broken, not resolved, but broken. The Council paid of Tambran and evicted him at the same time. He told us that he feels both vindicated and victimized:.. DJ Tambran "Today is the day they settled with me. It was clear that the Mayor Darrell Bradley let everybody knows that he will settle with me for the damages but that I can't be here anymore - you got to get out." "This is totally wrong but I am happy to know that they are compensating me and the court and everything is done but Darrell Bradley and the city council - these people.... I don't know why sometimes we have to live under this type of victimization. It is not worth it, I've been here for 14 years, they are slandering me and my name and look at it now - they are paying me off, they owe me more. They are the ones that owes me and I could have taken it further but you know what I am a business man, I cut my losses and I will move on."

Water Woes Plague Electric Avenue Residents
And staying on the subject of City Hall - construction works are happening all across the city - as multiple streets are being paved simultaneously. It's Mayor Darrell Bradley's big pitch for the Municipal Bond - but the truth is, BWS just can't keep up with the rapid pace of paving. And so the utility is all over the city - refitting the network of pipes that snake under streets. One neighborhood that says it has been acutely inconvenienced is the area in and around Electric Avenue in the Lake Independence Area. Work has been ongoing for weeks - and that has meant intermittent, daily water outages. Today, two neighbors, asking to appear off camera told us how badly it has inconvenienced them: Area Resident "Two weeks now the water pressure goes from like after 8 in the morning and it doesn't come back until after 6 in the evening. I am really frustrated because I have two kids; my son always runs up and down around here and I can't even bath him. My daughter doesn't have on her shirt because there is no water to bath her. We can't even cook; when we cook we have to buy purified water and that is really expensive because we are poor people."

OCEANA Still Wants Those Referendum Signatures Reviewed
As we've reported, Oceana Belize is seeking to have Justice Oswell Legall reverse the validity of several offshore oil drilling contracts which the Ministry of Natural Resources issued in 2007. That case is at the point now where Oceana will get their day in court in exactly a month from today, but Oceana Belize also has another case against the Government of Belize in Justice Michelle Arana's court. In that case, they are seeking judicial review of the February 2012 decision from the Chief Elections Officer to void just over 40% of the signatures submitted by Oceana to trigger a referendum on offshore drilling. But, currently the referendum case is much further behind than the offshore oil contracts matter because it is just in its case management phase. Today, Justice Arana called up the case in her private chambers, all parties discussed about the earliest date that this matter can be heard.

PUP Celebrates Birthday and Rt. Hon. Price
The PUP is celebrating its 62nd. Birthday on the 29th September. The post-independence years have not been great for the once dominant nationalist party - but today they were banking on the timeless Legacy of George Price to excite some potential new recruits. The party had an open day and it invited school children from across the city. We also visited and here's what we saw:... Mirtle Palacio, Secretary General - PUP George Price. "We have decided this year to push education - to encourage our young people to read and to know about our history - to know about our leaders and today is an open house." "While the general public in invited we are concentrated on school starting from the primary school level; standard 5 and 6 as you saw earlier today and we also have some high schools at the lower level. It's an open house and in this celebration we are educating through videos and pamphlets pictures about the political history and about the leaders. This is continuing on discussing the legacy of You can't think about political history without thinking about George Price. You can't think about Independence without thinking about Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price and his leadership, so that is what we are doing today. We have students themselves looking at the written word and also looking at videos and being able to asses for themselves. It's a different period and a different era for them looking at this and reading this for themselves will educate them on what it was like before." Tomorrow, the PUP will be hosting a Public Forum called "The Legacy of George Price" with Godfrey Smith - who wrote Price's authorized biography as the main presenter. It is open to the public and will be held at Independence Hall.

Diesel Price Spikes - Thank Petrocaribe
As we've reported, the Venezuelan fuel under the resurrected Petrocaribe agreement arrived in country over two weeks ago - and the effect at the pump has just started to be felt - and let's just say, the first impression is not a good one. The pump price of Diesel went up by one dollar and one cent on Friday morning - bringing it to 11 dollars and 18 cents a gallon in the city. That's the price of the Venezuelan diesel; it reflects world pump prices which are currently trending higher - and the fact that the previous price of 10.17 per gallon had been artificially low - because PUMA Energy was competing with BNE - which had started to import Diesel. The Venezuelan diesel is reported to be of a higher grade - but - in an outcome you can file under the law of unintended consequences it's probably not what's being pumped into your tank right now. And that's because all the dealers knew the price would have to go up - after staying unchanged for months - they stocked up on diesel at the old price - to make a modest dollar a gallon killing on their inventories when prices changed on Friday. The adjusted price for the Venezuelan regular and premium has not come into effect yet - but regular - at least is also expected to increase by a few cents.

Channel 5

Robbery attempt of Quality Poultry on Hummingbird Highway
Just before one this afternoon, an armed and attempted robbery on the highway left one man injured. Two employees of Quality Poultry Products were on the Hummingbird Highway on routine deliveries when robbers attempted to jack them. But due to quick action by Peter Harder and Ronny Vega, the robbery was averted. News Five’s Duane [...]

Cane Farmers Assn. says American Sugar Refinery gets unfair advantage
Up to late this evening, cane farmers were meeting on a proposed bill that goes to the House of Representatives on Wednesday which provides for major tax exemptions and concessions in the sale of Belize Sugar Industries. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association got hold of a copy of the Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project [...]

Will cane farmers benefit from the sale of B.S.I. which is getting huge tax concessions?
Tonight’s question is: Do you think that cane farmers will benefit from the sale of B.S.I. which is getting huge tax concessions? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to

The economic indicators of living in the south
In this segment of Economic Indicators, the Great Belize Research Center, looks at specific factors relating to the southernmost district which is not only delineated by its geographical distance, but is defined by grave economic indicators. Unofficial figures put the poverty level of the country at a rate between forty to forty-nine percent. Toledo has [...]

Bad penmanship and the foiled offshore referendum
In the past few weeks, Oceana and the government have been back and forth in court in the preliminary stages of a case, challenging the validity of six oil exploration contracts. Well, they were back in court today; this time over the disqualification of over eight thousand signatures in Oceana’s campaign to trigger a referendum [...]

Flores freed of carnal knowledge charges
A San Pedro resident waited anxiously for three hours as a jury of nine deliberated on five counts of carnal knowledge upon an eleven year old girl. And at two-forty-five this afternoon, Edwin Flores received the good news that he was found not guilty on all counts. Flores was arrested after a relative found him [...]

Neighbor gained access to minor through her window
In the lower court, twenty nine year old Ladyville resident, Kenroy Betancourt, a Security Guard was convicted of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a fourteen year-old girl who knew him well. The conviction was before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, where Betancourt was sentenced to three years in prison. Betancourt entered the [...]

Sentenced to 12 years for robbing and stabbing his friend
The overwhelming evidence before the court against forty-three year old Henry Lauriano, aka “Tyson”, ended in a conviction and he was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment for robbing and stabbing his friend. The incident happened after a dominoes game when it is alleged that Lloyd George Griffith, aka “Ras Head” was robbed of forty five [...]

Teakettle man said he had nothing to do with rape
Four women reported they were raped over the celebrations weekend. Suspects have been identified in the cases and the police department has questioned them as well as potential witnesses. On Monday’s newscast the police press officer identified the people who were detained for questioning in relation to one of the incidents in Belmopan. One of [...]

Largest living reef battles coral bleaching
The Belize Barrier Reef and, by extension, Mesoamerica is under threat by coral bleaching. The event is normally triggered when warmer waters than usual enter the normal eco system and it is felt that due to higher temperatures from global warming, coral bleaching is likely to occur more regularly. If not managed, the process can [...]

Conrad Jones still missing
It has been twelve days since sixty-four year old Conrad Jones disappeared without a trace and there are still no clues on his whereabouts or what could have happened to him. Conrad’s relatives and police officers have combed the Hattieville area where he was last seen at around two-thirty on the morning of September thirteenth. [...]

P.U.P. celebrates its 62nd Anniversary
It has been a month of celebrations to mark the anniversary of Independence and over on Queen Street, the People’s United Party is also gearing up to celebrate its sixty-second birthday. It’s a huge moment because last September, the P.U.P. also suffered a major loss with the death of George Price, under whose leadership nationhood [...]


Activities for Senior Citizens Underway in Belize
Activities for Senior Citizens week are taking place around the county. One of the guests on the Love FM Morning Show today was Evan Dakers from Helpage Belize. He explains why the need for the observance of the week. EVAN DAKERS Helpage Belize “Every year...

Biscayne Primary School Gets Cafeteria Renovated
The Biscayne Primary School in the Belize district is getting a much needed renovation of its cafeteria. The upgraded facility comes courtesy the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The renovation of the Biscayne School cafeteria is part of the Chamber’s twentiet...

Police News
Thirty-six year old Rudolph Smith, a.k.a. “Tubba”, charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated assault of an indecent nature, was sentenced to 15 tears for aggravated burglary and three years for aggravated assault after he was found guilty of the charges on Monday. Chi...

Baptist School Principal Dismissed Following Sexual Misconduct
Earlier this month President of the Baptist Association Ruperto Vicente told Love News that the Board had met to discuss the fate of Principal of the Belmopan Baptist High School Norman Willacey. On Monday that decision was made public as the Board issued a release to say tha...

Midway Villagers Disappointed In Their September Celebrations
Activities for the thirty first anniversary of Belize’s Independence have come and gone. But one community in the Toledo district is complaining that they were left high and dry this past weekend. Our Toledo correspondent Paul Mahung heard their complaints and files t...

Oceana and Government of Belize Go Into Case Management Hearing
Today the case of OCEANA Belize versus the Government of Belize was more of a case management issue than a proceeding. The case before Justice Michelle Arana has to do with OCEANA Belize, which is asking the court to review a decision by the Chief Elections Officer to reject the ...


A series of rape took place over the holiday
There was a series of incidents of rape reported over the holiday weekend in the south and in the Cayo district. Police press officer Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood shared the details in the weekly press briefing.

San Ignacio’s mayor speach for Independence Day
In San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the celebration of Independence Day was also marked by official ceremonies at the Administration Building where Mayor John August along with area representatives Joseph Mahmud and Rene Montero delivered addresses to thousands of residents who turned out for the occasion.

The PUP leader speak for Independence Day celebration
For his part, the Leader of the Opposition People’s United party Francis Fonseca in his Independence Day address to the nation, urged greater national cohesion in the tradition of the father of the nation, who was widely remembered on this the thirty first Independence anniversary for Belize.

P.M. Barrow announces the renaming of two highways
Prime Minister Dean Barrow this year used his Independence Day speech to announce the renaming of the Western and Northern Highways in honor of two of the country’s national heroes. The Western Highway is now called the George Price Highway, while the road between Belize City and the northern border is now the Phillip S.W. Goldson highway. But the highway renaming announcement was not the only feature of the Prime Minister’s Independence Day address. Mr. Barrow also used the occasion to speak on issues of national importance, such as the economy m and n particular the subject of Foreign Direct Investments. The Prime Minister also addressed the issue of crime and violence, calling them the stubbornness, most protracted of the problems confronting the nation. Mr. Barrow says that while the prevailing trend is for security initiatives to realize slight improvements, then deteriorate again, the determination of his government remains steadfast to confront crime and violence head on.

A new project dealing with the Climate Change’s issue
A new project dealing with the issue of Climate Change was launched today in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz repots.

In Belize City’s BTL Park had a press by Patrick Menzies
This week we heard from the Belizean Bus Association and Minister of State in Transport, Edmund Castro speaking on the issue of bus fares and the inefficiencies in the system. The Ministry of Transport implemented new regulations and the bus companies fired back by saying that they were going to re-adjust their prices, primarily in the west, to what they were back in 2002. On Wednesday night the two sides met and there seems to be some common ground on what the situation will be. The Association’s spokesperson, Patrick Menzies, held a press briefing after four this evening at the BTL Park in Belize City and told reporters that the Ministry of Transport has agreed to allow the price adjustment, since it was something already in place ten years ago. But while prices were high on the Association’s agenda, the Ministry was more interested in the measures that need to take place to improve the quality of public travel. Menzies says that while the two sides have agreed on the new changes, it will still take a while before people can begin to appreciate the fine-tuning.

The Bliss Centre hosted a benefit dance concert
The Belize National Dance Company is hosting a Benefit Dance Concert on Saturday September 27th at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts in Belize City. The purpose of this event is to raise much needed funds to assist Assistant Artistic Director, Dancer, Choreographer and Board Member of BNDC, Rosita Baltazar, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Dancer and Board Member of BNDC, Denise Enriquez told us more about Rosita Baltazar and the upcoming Benefit Dance Concert. Everyone is invited to attend to attend the concert at 8:00 pm on Saturday. If you can’t support by attending you are encourage to donate to the Scotiabank account number 1183.

Accident on the Northern Highway of Belize city
A man was knocked down and killed on the Northern Highway on Wednesday night. It happened at mile three and a half, along the same stretch that Stephen Okeke has been lobbying City Hall to install speed bumps and better lighting, after separate traffic accidents have claimed a number of lives there. This latest incident claimed the life of Serafin Acosta. According to the police, thirty-five year old Nigel Matus was driving a white Great Wingle pick-up truck on the highway coming towards Belize City when as he reached in front of Belize Tractor Parts Limited, he knocked down Acosta. Today Love News spoke with an area resident who was outside her house and saw the incident as it unfolded. She said that the victim was crossing the highway to go talk to her father who was the watchman stationed at Tractor Parts Limited next to their home. Police say that Matus’ Wingle had damages to the hood, left front indicator and the left front bumper was torn off. Police have not indicated if Matus will be charged with any offence.

The Arana Family recieve donation from Courts
Two weeks ago the Arana family on Mahogany Street, lost their house to a fire. Since then they have been experiencing a great outpour of support from the community, friends and acquaintances and even businesses. Such is the case of Grace Kennedy and Courts, who this morning presented Mrs. Juliana Arana and her son, our very own radio announcer for Love Fm, Armin Arana, with a host of grace products, a new stove and a new refrigerator at Courts on the Northern Highway. General Manager of Grace Kennedy Alberto Young told us what his company donated this morning. Director of Marketing at Courts, Gaylene Tesecum says they had to be there for Armin and his family since he has become like part of the Courts family also. Juliana Arana says she is overjoyed with the new groceries and new household appliances. Alberto Young from Grace Kennedy thanks all those who bought the coconut milk paletas at the weekend’s expo since the profits went directly into the purchase of the stove.

UB teacher starts train from the South side of Belize City
In 2010 a number of teachers in Southern Belize began training to improve their skills in the classroom. On Sunday they will be showcasing some of what they have picked up. Selwyn King is the head of Public Information at the University of Belize. A graduation ceremony for the student teachers will take place next month.

Tourist was robbed on Tigrus Street, Belize City
A Japanese tourist was reportedly robbed on Wednesday in Belize City. The incident happened while the tourist was on Tigris Street. But if the attack on a foreigner was not bad enough, the thief then reportedly knocked the tourist, identified as Agari Shohei, rendering him unconscious. Shohei, who had to receive treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, was released this morning.

Robbery in Belmopan, Belize City
Police in Belmopan are looking for suspects following a robbery. Correspondent fem Cruz has the details.


Child molester gets 3 years for assaulting girl, 15, in her bed
Rudolph Smith, 36, aka “Tubba,” was found guilty of aggravated burglary and aggravated assault of an indecent nature against a girl, 15, in the court of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who sentenced him to 15 years for the aggravated burglary and 3 years for the aggravated assault. The Chief Magistrate said that the sentences were to run concurrently, so Smith will serve 15 years total. The incident occurred around 4:25 in the morning of July 23, 2011, at a wooden house in Hattieville, located between Miles 16 and 17 on the Western Highway.

The Old Capital marks Independence Day
The September Celebrations climaxed in Belize City beginning last night, Thursday, September 20, at the Memorial Park with a cultural extravaganza featuring local artists and performers leading up to the annual Flag Raising Ceremony and fireworks to bring in Independence Day, today, Friday. This morning, the Old Capital’s official Independence Day ceremonies took place at Memorial Park, hosted by the Belize City Council. Deputy Mayor Dion Leslie, in welcoming residents to the ceremonies, said that a nation’s independence signals an acceptance of responsibility for one’s affairs and that at ceremonies like these, there is always the call for national unity, repeated every year. Leslie implored listeners not to sever 1981 from its roots in 1798 and the Battle of St. George’s Caye: “As a united nation, let us embrace our history, and make every effort to attempt to preserve every single event in this history, which draws the lines across our national face, makes our dreams sweet, and gives us the strength, courage and wisdom to perceive our national patrimony.”

Whooping cough scare!
A small community south of Belmopan is facing a big problem, after six suspected cases of pertussis (also known as “whooping cough”) were reported earlier this month. The community of Springfield in the Cayo District, located between the nation’s capital and the village of Armenia, reported suspected cases in five children – one of whom was as young as six months old and had to be hospitalized – and one adult, to the Ministry of Health on September 3. The disease, which is highly contagious and can be fatal to babies less than a year old, is caused by a bacterium and gets its name from the ‘whooping’ sound a patient makes as he/she tries to breathe and recover from violent and uncontrollable coughing. It most commonly affects infants and young children and is characterized by severe coughing episodes, difficulty breathing that results in a “whooping noise” and vomiting when coughing.

Khalid Hyde, 18, passes
Kremandala is mourning the loss of Khalid Hyde, 18, of Brooklyn, New York – the eldest grandson of chairman Evan X Hyde and son of Cordel Hyde, former Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, who had resigned from the campaign trail earlier this year after learning that his son had been diagnosed with cancer. Speaking with Amandala from New York tonight, Khalid’s father described his son as “bighearted.” He said that Khalid – whose Arabic name means “eternal” or “immortal” – came face to face with his mortality. “He fought this disease with everything he had, even though it was ravaging him. He fought it and he was brave throughout. He didn’t flinch. He was always a warrior; he was to the end,” said Hyde. In a statement issued before this year’s general elections, Hyde, in resigning as People’s United Party standard bearer for Lake I in Belize City, said that Khalid had been diagnosed in a New York hospital on Monday, January 30, with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, Hyde told us tonight that his son had a much more aggressive type of cancer than they thought. It was a type of large B-cell type lymphoma that was spreading faster than doctors knew.

Pastor and principal Norman Willacey fired – finally
The verdict is out. Pastor Norman Willacey has been fired. He is no longer the principal of the Belmopan Baptist High School. Moreover, the National Teachers Commission will meet on a later date to decide if his teacher’s license will be revoked, rendering him unable to teach in any school within the country. The decision was announced today via a press release sent out by the Board of Management of the Belmopan Baptist High School. Allegations against Pastor Willacey are that he was conducting an affair with a female student, 16, of his school, during which time he sent her explicit sexual messages which were intercepted by the girl’s mother. In response, the school management held a meeting on August 29, to investigate the allegations against Willacey. After the investigations were concluded, the management said that they found that the allegations were true and recommended the immediate dismissal of Pastor Willacey and the revocation of his license to teach in Belize.

FFB appoints National Team Committee
Mr. Rawel Pelayo, Vice-President of the FFB, in his capacity as Chairperson of the National Team Committee, has appointed the committee members that will be serving with him to manage the National Teams. The National Teams include the Women’s A-Team & U-17 Selection and Male National A-Team, U-20 and the Futsal Selection. In a meeting held on September 11, the committee discussed the roles and responsibilities of its members, and Mr. Pelayo shared his vision for the direction of the National Teams. The committee members that will be working along with Mr. Pelayo include: Vice-Chairman – Onan Mclean Treasurer – Tony Zabaneh, Jr. Logistics (Local & International) – Dean Flowers & Wilhelm Miguel Event Coordinators (Security included) – Jesus Castillo & Marlon Tillett Medical Dept – Marlon Tillett & Antonio Zetina, both charged with the formation of a Medical Department Marketing – Richard Harrison Team Managers – Jesus Castillo Members – Victor Recinos, Ruben Cruz PR Officer – Luis Peña

Week 5 was upset weekend in Premier League football
This Premier League tournament continues to shape up to be one of the most keenly contested ever, as it is poised to enter into the 4-game out-of-zone series, beginning with Week 6 this coming weekend. Only 2 teams from each zone will make it to the semifinal playoffs, and, like a charging peloton of cyclists, where there are many lead changes, at this stage it appears too early to say who will be the front runners when they head down the home stretch at Week 14 for the coveted playoff spots. There were a number of surprises, and even upsets, over the weekend. It started on Thursday night, September 20, at the Norman Broaster Stadium, where home standing San Ignacio United posted their first victory of the tournament, a 1-nil win, over pre-season favorite Police United, on an 87th minute Police own goal by Gilbert Carrillo. On Saturday night, Verdes continued their strong showing and took over their division lead with a 3-2 victory over visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters at the Marshalleck Stadium. Verdes got goals from Humberto Requena, Jr. (24 min), Pedro Guerra (63 min) and Emmanuel Martinez (82 min), while the Freedom Fighters replied with strikes from Robert Muschamp (70 min) and Alexander Peters (87 min).

We thought former People’s United Party (PUP) Toledo area representative and former Toledo Progressive Party (TPP) Leader, Alejandro Vernon, last week made very, very interesting revelations about the financial support Rt. Hon. George Price and the PUP were receiving from Guatemalan governments in the 1950s and 1960s. These revelations were in last weekend’s issue of The Reporter. The relationship between Price/PUP and Guatemala was an explosive political issue in the 1950s and 1960s, because Belize was British Honduras, a British colony, at the time, and so political parties which were in opposition to Mr. Price and the PUP during those two decades – the National Party (NP), the Honduran Independence Party (HIP), and the National Independence Party (NIP), made a very big deal of the Guatemala matter. But, the fact of the matter is that these were precisely the two decades when Price/PUP, supposedly in “contact” with Guatemala, were most popular with the masses of the Belizean people. Mr. Vernon’s revelations are unprecedented in their precision, first, and their credibility, second, because Alejandro is so much a “fish from di river bottom.” Over the course of the last four decades, Alejandro Vernon is the Belizean politician who has been most sympathetic to the Guatemalan claim to Belize and he is the Belizean politician who appeared to be most openly accepting Guatemalan assistance. In fact, Mr. Vernon went so far as to address the United Nations in the late 1970s to oppose Belizean independence and territorial integrity.

From The Publisher
I don’t know that those of my children who run the different branches of Kremandala will appreciate what I will try to do in this column. I mean no disrespect to their respective managements, but I feel the need to return to my roots, business-wise. Incidentally, there’s a part of me which would have liked to retire this year, but, like many other people who are reaching retirement age in these tough times, I have to continue working for my daily bread. When the domestic and international economic downturn struck in 2007/2008, our focus at Kremandala was on protecting the jobs we had created in this depressed area of the city over a period of more than four decades. This was a time when, as a business, we were seeking to diversify a little. The media business in Belize is a crazy scene. The competition is excessive, with many expensive newspapers, radio and television stations established and subsidized by wealthy, foreign-based religions, the different political parties, and other special interest groups at home and abroad. In late March of 2007, Kremandala had been attacked by the forces of Lord Michael Ashcroft. That attack was legal, and it was psychological. Lord Ashcroft’s lawyers claimed that we owed him $262,000 for a $75,000 loan his bank had made to KREM Radio in 1994. The fact of the matter was that we had repaid that loan through advertisements placed in Amandala for four of the Lord’s businesses over a period of twelve years. They ended up having to withdraw that claim. Some damage lingers, nevertheless, as a few of our more malicious opponents continue to repeat that unfounded $262,000 claim.

Letters —The Battle of St. George’s Cay, 1969 in 1898
— by Rolando Cocom Sir, I can recall reading Knocking Our Own Ting about three years ago. I was captured by the opening lines: “The masters of any society, legitimate or illegitimate, have the power to shape historical accounts of events to suit their ends”. The next day I found myself purchasing a copy of X Communications (1995). The writing style captured my interest, as did the life experiences balanced with some humour. My focus, however, is to address issues which over the years came as a result of “fine tuning” the perspective of the Battle (“Tenth Perspective”, Amandala, 2007). In 1969, Evan X Hyde argued that the celebrations of the Battle came about through the efforts of “the sycophantic Creole bourgeoisie” to legitimize their “supremacy in the civil service” (1995, 1). You see, your 1969 thesis matches perfectly in the events of 1898 and deserves to be expounded upon. At the time of your writing, you were not deeply interested in all the details of the Battle. The recorded facts are not in dispute (Judd 1989). The essential question was, “When and why did the celebrations of the Battle take place? Why should we celebrate ‘slave loyalty’?” This is where the year 1898 becomes important. This is the year the Centennial Committee came into being. However, before 1898 it is important to note that as early as 1823, the Battle was being used to project the idea of the “family affair of slavery in Belize” (Defense of the settlers). This idea would continue to inform many of the “patriotic” citizens and pseudo-historians, especially in 1898, but in contemporary times as well. The pattern that emerged was that the Battle was used to harmonize the master-slave/labor relations that existed in the colony. More than that, the Centennial Committee used this celebration as a means by which they could validate their emerging Creole identity and assert their status as the Natives of the colony.

Belize marks 31, Belmopan 13
“It was on these very same steps 31 years ago that Belizeans of all races and faces gathered to witness the historic transition from a British colony to a new and independent nation with all its territory intact – not one square centimeter given away,” said Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez, in his welcome address at official ceremonies held today at Independence Plaza, Belmopan, to mark the 31st anniversary of the Independence of Belize. “With the attainment of Independence, Belmopan became our nation’s capital, but it was not until the year 2000 that we took on the mantle of being a city, complete with a city hall, mayor and councilors… We are now in our 13th year… 31 years of Independence, 13 years as a city,” Lopez added. Whereas Belmopan is the venue for the national ceremonies to mark the day, other municipalities across the country mark the day with local ceremonies as well, as they reflect on the milestone in Belizean history and take stock of the nation’s triumphs and challenges at this climax event for the annual September celebrations. This year’s celebrations were held under the theme: “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal: Celebrating Belize.”

Police sergeant loses both legs in road accident
Sergeant of Police Mark August, the administrative officer in the Toledo (Police) Formation based in Punta Gorda, is tonight stable in the recovery room at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after undergoing surgery this morning following a traffic accident. August’s legs were reported missing by his police brothers, who processed the scene, apparently lost by the impact of his crash into a lamppost near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Police report that August was traveling on his personal motorcycle on the highway, apparently headed toward Punta Gorda, at the time of the crash, which happened when he apparently lost control of the motorcycle. He was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga before being brought to Belize City today for treatment.


Way too many San Pedro Independence day parade pictures
I tried to narrow it down so I could post as few pictures as possible and I failed miserably, amen for fast loading wordpress photo galleries. Just in case you do not get enough pictures below, you can see last years parade pics taken from Tropic Air :) That was a fun time we caught the beginning of the parade while we were waiting for our flight to Belize city. Paul and I were heading to the Princess Poker room to blog ESPN coming to Belize for an interview with Bob Bounahra. I will have to dig up the photo shoot I did with Walter at the airport, he was all decked out for the parade. Overall this years annual parade for independence day was a lot of fun. It started on Belize time, seemed like a few less parade groups than past years and the after party in Central park was action packed. Music got people dancing, lots of food vendors were out, the beach and pier were packed, kids were swimming, the greased pole was getting some action and everyone was having a fantastic time.

Eight Things You Might Not have Known About Traveling to Colombia
When you hear that someone is travelling to Colombia, what do you think of first? Cocaine? Danger? Or maybe something more pleasant, more cultural...the famous writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez (author of: Love in the Time of Cholera and 100 Years of Solitude). Or maybe salsa music? Super cool wall art in Cali Or maybe you've had a friend stop off in Cartegena, Colombia on a recent cruise. (It is supposed to be BEYOND amazing but alas, I never made it there...) When I visited, I really didn't have any preconceived notions. Well...I was just a little Pablo Escobar obsessed and then Colombia stunned me. It kicked me in the proverbial nuts. It is one of the most amazing countries I've ever visited. Here is why. 1. You can drink the water. From the tap! For some reason, after living in Belize and traveling Central America, that really shocked me. And it took me more than a few days to really trust it. 2. They have the best fruit in the world. Before, I would have voted Thailand but this country wins. And Colombians love it. There are fruit vendors on every single corner of every small town making fresh juices and smoothies. Fruits you have heard of...and fruits you've never seen in your life. Lulo? Sugar cane juice (OK! not technically a fruit)? Who knows what this even is? The fresh tangerino juice...sigh...I could use one right now.

Relleno aka. Black Dinner w/ Homemade flour Tortilla
Now today's Blog is about Black Dinner or Relleno (pronounced reyeno) it's referred to by both names in Belize; and it's SUPER good and absolutely divine. So let's start. Relleno: A little background on Relleno. Relleno is a black soup made with Chicken, Onions, Tomatoes, Black Recado, Ground Beef, Ground Pork and Boiled Eggs (optional) and served with either rice or corn tortillas. Now there are a few people who are greedy like myself and will eat the soup with both rice and tortillas. It's a Spanish soup as far as I know originated in Mexico and since we're right next door it trickled down into our diverse little country. Now, this soup is especially good this time of year when Belize Celebrates several holidays, including our Independence Day on September 21st, making September one of the best months to party in Belize. The entire country celebrates and everyone is in good spirits. After a night/long weekend/week/month of celebrating and drinking trust me, this soup is the best for getting your nutrient levels back up. As we say in Belize about most of our soups "good fu put it back" meaning it's good to renourish the body. Now, I mentioned in the beginning of that paragraph that the sop contains Black Recado. What is that?

International Sources

Replacement Weather Satellite for GOES East
Like the National Football League referee situation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is utilizing the temporary replacement technique. In the case of NOAA the loss is due to an equipment failure and not the loss of critical personnel. A major weather satellite operated by the U.S. government to monitor the east coast of the U.S. and the Atlantic Ocean has gone dark due to technical issues. The failure of GOES-13 (GOES-East) satellite has left a gap for meteorologists trying to catch a view of the eastern Atlantic and has satellite coverage of the Atlantic Ocean and eastern North America spread a bit thin. Fortunately, NOAA had a backup plan in place and the outage has occurred during a somewhat quiet time in the tropical Atlantic. GOES-14 was activated and repositioned on Monday to fill part of the void left to satellite imagery in eastern North America and the Atlantic. While better than nothing, the substitute is not perfect. Images on the eastern edge of view, over the eastern Atlantic, are distorted because of the position of the temporary replacement satellite farther west.

6 amazing places to visit in Belize
From exotic animals to mysterious Mayan ruins; don’t miss these six stops on a trip to this underestimated Central American country 1. Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary Crooked Tree is a village rich in Creole culture and a reserve with abundant bird life. This is possibly one of the richest birding areas in Belize and Central America. It is recognised as a wetland of international importance and has the highest number of indigenous and migratory birds. The huge Jabiru stork (the world’s largest flying bird) is Crooked Tree’s most famous resident. Plan to stay the night and be there at dawn when the birds are most active. Explore the inland waters of Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and experience the astounding diversity of birds and wildlife for which Belize is renowned… From northern jacanas, white ibis, and wood storks to the infamous Jabiru stork! Head for the jungle during May – the best time of year for birdwatching – when the lagoon’s water level drops and the animals must stray further for their food. 2. Lamanai Magnificent Maya ruins surrounded by dense jungle; accessible by boat.

Fitch Upgrades Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited's Ratings
Fitch Ratings has taken the following rating action on the notes issued by Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited (BSI; the issuer): --$85.7 million notes upgraded to 'A+' from 'A'; Outlook Stable. The rating action follows the timely payment of the notes by Steadfast Insurance Company (Steadfast; Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.) on Sept. 20, 2012, as well as the recent upgrade of Steadfast's Insurer Financial Strength rating to 'AA-', Outlook Stable in August 2012. The rating of the notes addresses the timely payment of interest and principal on a semi-annual basis. Repayment of the notes is backed by two restructured government of Belize (GOB) sovereign obligations and benefits from two insurance policies underwritten by Steadfast. The two GOB obligations have an insurance policy which directly covers any non-payment by the GOB. Payments from the GOB on the underlying notes will pass through to the BSI trust to cover payments on the BSI notes.

September 25, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Monday-Monday, Sep. 24- Oct. 1, 2012

Indications are that the El Nino phase of ENSO could materialized or become more evident in the Eastern Pacific in September. If this occurs then we can expect further suppression of TC activity in the western Atlantic and the Caribbean during the latter part of the 2012 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season. Let's hope and pray this is the case as we move into that part of the season when TC tend to form in the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.

Let down not your guard Belize, it is not over as yet for 2012!

Have a wonderful and blessed week!


A major upper level trough in the westerlies extending North-South over eastern Canada-USA, projects southward into the southern Gulf of Mexico (see Figure 3 below). This system is supporting a cold front that has moved offshore the Atlantic coast of the USA and the NE Gulf of Mexico. This trough is now coupled with a tropical wave that moved into the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean over the weekend, and is producing widespread convection in the eastern and SW Gulf of Mexico. Shallow convection generated by this interaction is also evident over Yucatan and southern Mexico. No satellite image available for the greater Caribbean region since 9:00 pm on Sunday through Monday morning…

The upper level trough will drift eastwards over the next 36 hours and the southern portion will lose its identity by Wednesday. This feature will support localized convection over Belize through Wednesday, especially along the coast. A return to drier weather is expected later on Wednesday through the rest of the working week and the upcoming weekend.

No tropical cyclone is expected to form over or move into the Caribbean region during the next seven days. In the Atlantic, tropical storm Nadine was located near latitude 31.7 North… longitude 27.8 West. Nadine is moving toward the west-northwest near 7 mph. A turn toward the west and west-southwest are expected over the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected over the next 24 – 48 hours.

Rainfall rates over Belize will be in the range of 0.75-1.00 inch on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in the heavier showers and thunderstorms, especially along the coast and in the north. Elsewhere, rainfall daily rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.25-0.50 of-an-inch. Rainfall will diminish later on Wednesday through the weekend, with daily accumulations of only 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch in locally isolated showers or isolated thunderstorms, especially in the interior and in the hills.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

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

The San Pedro Sun

PHOTOS: Independence Day Parade 2012

Prime Minister’s Independence Day Address to the Nation

SP PUP executive asks the Mayor to “live up” to his campaign promise
The San Pedro Branch of the People’s United Party Executive has gone public and is calling on the Mayor of San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), Daniel Guerrero to “live up” to his campaign promise and commission an independent audit of the past three terms under which Mayor Elsa Paz governed. The public announcement was made via a press release issued by the SP PUP committee on Friday, September 14th which was reiterated by the only PUP elected town councilor, Wally Nuñez JR. The release makes reference to the Mayor’s response during his July 26th report on the state of the council following the first 100 days at helm of the SPTC. The release says that the “meeting by the SPTC to present their report for their first hundred days of administration raises more questions than answers.” The release makes reference to Mayor Guerrero’s campaign promise to conduct an independent audit of the previous administration but backed off after he was elected. “The Mayor answered that he did not want to go on a witch hunt as to what and who was responsible for the perceived mismanagement. That, according to him, the past was the past and that he wanted to concentrate on the future.

Ambergris Today

PHOTOS: Independence Day Parade 2012

San Pedro Delivers Fun Independence Day Parade
San Pedro Town came alive and full of energy as businesses shut down for the day during the long holiday weekend to celebrate Belize’s Independence. There were 15 groups that participated in the Independence Day Parade that was lead by Miss San Pedro 2012, Naiely Puc, who sat on a large Maya temple on top of a jungle-themed float. The Maya 2012 theme was also evident in many other floats and group costumes and the party revelers danced and celebrated through the streets of San Pedro for almost four hours. Under the theme of this year’s September Celebrations “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal, Celebrating Belize” participating groups in the parade included: San Pedro Town Council, San Pedro Roman Catholic School Marching Band, Carts Belize, St. Francis Credit Union, Island Masqueraders, A&R, Wings/Monchos, ABC Pres School, Punta Boyz, AIDS Commission, Island Academy, Marina’s Store, Belize Pais Tropical, Daddy Rock and Island Reef Ravers.

The Amazing Mesoamerican Reef
Most of this reef system borders the entire country of Belize and we will be biased to agree with the above statement by National Geographic. Belize’s beauty is enhanced by the Mesoamerican Reef which runs from Mexico down to Honduras, but Belize is lucky to have the largest continuous section of the reef just offshore. The Belize Barrier Reef is one of the largest coral reef systems in the world and Belize’s top tourist attraction. National Geographic just recently posted a series of amazing photographs taken by Brian Sherry of the Mesoamerican Reef, in which there are amazing photographic captures here in Belize. Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Since 1998 he has been a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine covering a wide range of subjects and stories.

Aerial of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye In The 60's
This is the village of San Pedro in the 1960’s. It extended from the area of the San Pedro R.C. School up north to the cemetery and it stopped right there. You do not need to imagine it; you can see it right here in this Flashback. There was no Phoenix, Blue Tang, no Wet Willies, no San Pedro High School, nothing all the way to the Boca del Rio. Across the bridge there were countless miles of coconut plantations (cocales) here and there dotted with tiny wood houses where the coconut farmers lived. It was the same on the southern side of the village.

Gecko Hitches a Ride from Cayo
Can anyone help Photographer Jose Luis Zapata identify which type of Gecko this is? He was photographing a fitness model this past weekend at Xunantunich Maya Site and it seems that the critter hitched a ride to San Pedro in his camera bag. Jose Luis caught it in his room and released it in his garden. "It quickly hid in the roots of these orchids so I could not get a closer shot. I see the other types of Geckos all the time but have never seen one like this. Anyone?"

Julissa Nuñez Celebrates her Quinceaños
One of Julissa Nuñez's birthday gifts for her Quinceaños (15th birthday) was a photo shoot to capture imagas of her coming of age. Julie celebrated her birthday on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, and shared a few pictures with Ambergris Today, which were taken by Jose Luis Zapata. Happy Birthday Julie!

Misc Belizean Sources

How I think my country Belize should deal with its foreign debt
By Wellington C. Ramos. There are about 300,000 or more Belizean Americans living in America and most of them feel the same way about Belize as I do. Our weekly contributions to our families in Belize are what keep the Belizean economy viable, as has been documented by all reputable financial agencies. Belize cannot survive without the involvement of Belizeans who live in the United States because they possess the most financial and human resources. Any Belizean who fails to accept this fact of life is living in a world of fantasy. Yet, both political parties have failed to formulate a comprehensive benefit package to involve Belizean Americans so that they can invest their financial and human resources in Belize to make it a vibrant nation in this world. The current Prime Minister Dean Barrow had the right idea when he proposed Article 7 to amend the Belizean constitution so that Belizeans with dual citizenship could be entitled to run for office, represent Belize and do everything like all other Belizean citizens without giving up their American citizenship.

VIDEO: Deep Sea Fishing Belize

VIDEO: Exploring Canyons, Dive Belize
Featuring Guest Divers with Island Divers Team, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye

VIDEO: Mayor August's Independence Day Address
Patrick Jones got some great footage from the Independence Day Celebrations. Mayor August speaks to the crowd at Columbus park in this segment.

Cultural Journey at the Adjacency Zone
The Organization of American States had a cultural day at the Adjacency Zone. A great time was had by all. The Benque House of Culture represented Cayo. "September 23, Cultural Day at the OAS/AZ, it was a hilarious event!! Guatemalan and Benque Students had a great day...And also us as invited guests..."

The municipalities of Belmopan, Corozal and Orange Walk will see a further improvement of their main streets as a result of a $2.1 Million dollar street project under the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP) which was launched this morning during a formal ceremony in Corozal Town. The street project calls for the enhancement of Nim Li Punit, Hummingbird and Raccoon Streets in the City of Belmopan; Punta Gorda and 1st Street North in Corozal Town and Santa Familia Street in Orange Walk Town. The work scope for the project includes the realignment of street side drains, provision of street concrete curbs, resurfacing of the streets with Hot Mix and or chip seal, provision of street markings for vehicular and pedestrian lanes and permanent sinage. This project will cost approximately Bz $2,183,809.65 and will be carried out by A&N Construction , a local firm.

Channel 7

Mother Of Three Knocked Down, But Was She Run Over?
Tonight a Ladyville family is grieving the loss of a mother of three after she was knocked down on Friday morning. But it's not just that she was knocked down - they believe she was deliberately run over - a murder by motor vehicle. They spoke to Monica Bodden today about what has them feeling that way:.. Monica Bodden reporting The body of 36 year old Sherlet Longsworth was seen lying here on the side of Marage road around 3:00 on Friday morning. It was spotted by a man who was driving his vehicle on the road -who then called the Ladyville police. This pile of sand indicates the exact spot where she was found lying face down in a pool of blood, bleeding from the mouth and head.

One More Killed In A Fatal Accident
And a few hours after Sherlet Longsworth was killed in that accident, there was another fatal traffic accident. This one happened on that perilous stretch of road between Belize City and the Haulover Bridge - that had just witnessed a fatality on Wednesday night. Well, by Friday morning just before dawn - there was another. 32 year old Leonard Budd was heading to Ladyville from Belize City in a Honda Accord when he lost control of his vehicle in front of Crystal Auto Rental. The vehicle overturned and barreled into an iron gate. Budd was trapped behind the steering wheel, broke his neck and died in the car. He was found trapped behind the wheel. The police press officer says that the car may have experienced a front end blowout which could have caused him to lose control of his vehicle.

Cpl. Loses Both Legs In Traffic Accident, Somehow Survives
And there's still another serious traffic accident to report - this one did not result in fatal injury - but the police officer involved did lose both his legs. Police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood told us about the injury to Sargeant Mark August in yesterday afternoon's accident on the southern highway. Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "So far all we have gathered is that he was on a motor bike and he apparently lost control where he apparently hit a lamp post causing that injury." "The impact of speed - I haven't receive whether speeding was a factor but I know that he unfortunately lost both legs." August was rushed from the Southern Regional hospital to the KHMH. Today the KHMH Press Officer told us that August is in a stable condition and in the recovery room - which follows surgery.

Speedy Synthetic Track In Place At Marion Jones
Belizeans have been waiting the better part of a decade for the construction of the new multi-purpose facility at the Marion Jones Stadium. Ground was broken in 2004, and construction started in earnest in 2008 - meaning the place has been closed for four years - and it won't be open for at least another year and some months. But the first thing to finish was the fence - and today the man who built that fence before he was elected, Minister of State with responsibility for Sports Herman Longsworth - pulled up the curtain on the synthetic track that athletes and fans have been waiting on forever, it seems. Jules Vasquez got a look:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the world class, IAAF certified 400 meters synthetic running track at the Marion Jones Stadium. It cost 2 million dollars funded by the government of Venezuela. It was installed by a US firm named Traction and certified by a British Company Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State - Sports "We choose to elevate and seep the track on piles simply because of the unstable ground that we have here and the weight of what we intended to put down."

Baptist Assoc. to Willacey: Hit The Road!
Former Principal of Belmopan Baptist High, Norman Willacey has been officially fired. A press release was sent out today by the Baptist Association of Belize, stating, quote, "after its investigation and deliberation the Management found the allegations to be true and recommended Mr. Willacey's immediate dismissal and revocation of license. It continues by saying, "the Teachers Service Commission has approved the recommendation of the Board in regards to the immediate dismissal of Norman Willacey. A decision regarding the revocation of his teaching license will be conveyed at a later date by the Teaching Service Commission", end of quote. Thus ends an embarrassing and unfortunate episode in which Willacey - as Principal, counselor and pastor admitted to, quote, "fooling around" with a 16 year old former student.

Cop Shot At On Weekend: Four In Ten Days
The past 10 days has witnessed an unprecedented number of armed attacks on police officers. PC Errol Jones was shot at on September 14th in Belmopan; then on September 17th. Corporal Daniel Flowers was shot at near his Belize City home, constable Ervin Pech was stabbed In Ladyville on September 21st and then on September 22nd constable Julian Gladden was shot at also in Belize City. Now, at least three of these officers were off duty - but it's still an alarming trend. We've already reported on the incidents with Constable Jones and Corporal Flowers - and we turn now to the two most recent attacks: constable Pech and constable Gladden. At 2:30 am on 22nd September, Gladden was driving his personal vehicle on Vernon Street when at the corner of Vernon and Mayflower Streets he saw a man standing at the corner. He reports that as he was about to pass the male person he heard a loud bang and looked back to see Kendis Flowers with his hand pointed towards the car. He says Flowers then fired another shot at him, but Gladden escaped unhurt.

Police-man Stabbed By Drunk
And another man who is charged with allegedly attacking another police officer is 31 year-old Carlo Chuc, a construction worker residing in Orange Walk. According to Police Constable Ervin Pech, he was waiting at the bus stop in Ladyville near the airport junction along with several other people on Independence Day. Pech told police that he saw Chuc coming down the road, acting drunk. Chuc started to curse, and when another man, Wilbert Jimenez, told him about it he got mad. Chuc reportedly threw food at Jimenez and they got into a fight. When Chuc punched Himenez in the face, PC Pech got involved to try to get the situation under control, but Chuc allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed Pech in the left side of the head. Ladyville Police were called in quickly and they arrested and charged Chuc with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, wounding, and common assault.

Disturbing Number Of Rapes Reported
Mercifully, there were no murders over the Independence Day weekend - but there were a disturbing number of rapes reported. Two of them were reported in the Toledo District - specifically in and around Punta Gorda Town. Both cases have similarities because both victims report that they lost consciousness. The police press officer outlined those cases:.. Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "We have a rape reported by a 14 year old female. Also in Punta Gorda where she is saying that on the 22nd September she was at the Venanca Petillo Park on Front Street in Punta Gorda in the company of Augustina Shal and 2 other male persons. She said around 1am she lost consciousness and when she arrive home she realize that she did not have on her tights or underwear and believe that she was sexually assaulted. The minor was taken to the Punta Gorda Town Hospital where a doctor certified that she was recently carnally known and we continue to investigate this."

Got Off Murder, Charged With Stabbing
27 year-old Lionel "Piggy" Neal, a man who was recently acquitted of murder in July of year, is back behind bars tonight after he allegedly stabbed another Belize City man. Gregory McCoy reported that on Independence Day, at around 10:30 a.m. he visited his ex-girlfriend, Britney Martinez, who resides at #63 West Street. An argument started between him and Martinez's current boyfriend, Lionel Neal, and that escalated to the point where Neal reportedly pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed McCoy on the upper left side of the back. McCoy was rushed to the hospital, where there is no record of him - at least not under that name. As a result of the report, Neal was arrested and charged attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and dangerous harm. He was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today, who couldn't take any plea or offer bail due to the nature of the offences. As a result, Neal was remanded to prison until October 19, his next court date.

18 Year Old Female Stones 35 Year Old Female With Pint
And the final case of attempted murder to report tonight was allegedly committed by 18 year-old Jamie Hope - a female. 33 year-old Joana Orellana, a Manager of Caye Caulker Plaza Hotel, reported that on September 17, she was at the San Pedro Belize Express water terminal in Belize City with her 14 year-old daughter. Orellana reported that she suddenly felt a blow her face and realized that it a pint bottle had struck her; it shattered on impact, and one of the jagged edges gouged her on the cheek. Orellana fell on the ground and when she looked up, she saw Jamie Hope standing over her. She said that fearing for her life, she ran near to where the boat was docked, which is when her daughter told her that the impact knocked out one of her teeth.

Man Gets 15 Years For Sex Assault Of Teenager
36 year-old Rudolph "Tubba" Smith, a resident of Hattieville, is spending the first night of a 15 year sentence after he was convicted for aggravated burglary and aggravated assault of an indecent nature when his trial concluded today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. The prosecution called five witnesses to testify against Smith, but the main witness was the 15 year-old victim herself. The girl testified that at around 4:25 a.m. on July 23, 2011, she was awakened in her bed when she felt Smith, who she knew as "Tubba", on top of her. She said that that he held a knife to her throat, fondled her, and demanded that she take off her pants. She refused, and that's when one of her siblings, who was also sleeping in the same room, woke up, turned on the light, and saw "Tubba" Smith. They screamed out for their mother, and he ran away before he could be detained. Smith testified in his defence that he was passing by the house, and he saw the victim going through the window. He called an alibi witness to testify on his behalf, but she didn't help his case because the prosecution put it to her that she was asleep at the time, and she couldn't tell if he was at home or not.

Andrew Jr. Murdered, Father Reports Armed Assault
Andrew Usher Junior was killed a week ago - and now his father Andrew senior has reported an armed robber that occurred two weeks ago. The police press officer told us more: Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "We had a robbery report. This is a report made by Andrew Usher Sr., he is saying that on the 8th September 2012` at 2pm he was sitting inside his van on Tibruce Street when he was approach and held up at gun point by a dark complexion male person known to him as Kareem Smith also known as "Flash" who demanded $500. Usher is saying that he had a struggle between himself and Smith where another male person intervene with a firearm and fearing for his life he handed over $700.00 in cash to Smith. Both men then made good their escape on Mahogany Street." Kareem Smith is being sought.

Former Education Minister's Teenaged Son Passes
Former Minister of Education and three-Term Lake I representative Cordel Hyde is grieving tonight after the loss of his 18 year old son, Khalid. As was first announced when Hyde stepped down as a candidate earlier this year, Khalid Hyde was diagnosed with cancer. KREM Radio reports that he had a rare type of tumor on the heart called Large B Cell Lymphoma. After falling seriously ill earlier in the year - and being hospitalized for 3 months Doctors believed he was making a remarkable recovery but then the tumor returned and the young man succumbed on Sunday evening in New York. The body of Khalid Hyde is expected to be brought back to Belize for the funeral following a service in New York.

The 21st, A Flashback
Even if you've seen the Belize flag go up at midnight - every time since 1981 - it should still give a small shiver - when the royal blue with red trim is put aloft against the September sky. Here's how it looked this year:... Jules Vasquez reporting After the flag raising, the cannons and the fireworks which lit up the night sky the ceremony moved to the capital in Belmopan - and the main event - Independence day addresses by both major mass party leaders. Opposition Leader Fonseca warned of serious challenges: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "But as responsible citizens and leaders we are aware that on Monday after we've shaken off the residue of month long revelry serious challenges await us as a nation. We know them only too well - 30,000 Belizeans actively seeking a job cannot find one. 148,500 Belizeans living on less than $5.50 per day for food. The scourge of violent crime threatens our social fabric. Less than 50% of our children are completing secondary schools. Oil revenues are on the decline, foreign direct investment remains elusive and the unfounded Guatemalan claim persists."

Channel 5

Pastor/Principal fired for sexual relations with student
Norman Willacey, the disgraced pastor named in a sex scandal, has been fired from the Belmopan Baptist High School with immediate effect and his teaching days are over. The Baptist Association of Belize says that, “after its investigation and deliberation, the Management found the allegations to be true and recommended Mr. Willacey’s immediate dismissal; and [...]

PM speaks to heroes during Independence Day Speech
Both Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca were effusive in remembering the Father of the Nation, George Price in their Independence Day messages. Barrow renamed the Western Highway in honor of the fallen leader while Fonseca spoke of Price’s vision and mission in the achievement of Independence. This year, [...]

Leader of the Opposition Independence Unity Speech
The prime minister was not alone in showering tribute to the late father of the nation, who died last year on September nineteenth and has been hailed as the greatest leader the country ever had. The Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, also gave reverence to first Prime Minister George Price. Fonseca also called for [...]

New owner gets big exemptions during B.S.I. buyout
We will have more on the American Sugar Refinery when a Bill called The Sugar Industry and Cogeneration Project is tabled in the House of Representatives for immediate passage later this week. But from a quick look, ASR appears to have worked out its own accommodation agreement. As you know, the company is acquiring shares [...]

Belize stays on U.S. list of narco trafficking route
Soon after an alleged Hezbollah terrorist secured Belizean documents in a matter of days, there is more bad news for Belize. The country has once again been placed on the United States’ black list of twenty-two countries that are considered a part of the transnational drug trade. The list, issued by President Barrack Obama on [...]

Dark clouds, but cops will get foreign advisor
Soon after the US black listed Belize, the Prime Minister spent some time addressing the most pressing concern of the country, and that is crime. His most poignant moment was his admittance that the successes of the anti-crime initiatives were temporary. That is one of the reasons why Belize will be getting professional help from [...]

Ladyville resident killed in accident, family believes foul play
Ladyville police are investigating the death of a woman in the early morning of Independence Day and are treating it as a hit and run accident. Thirty-six year old Sherlet Longsworth, a mother of three, lost her life sometime after three a.m. on Independence morning. Police believe she was ran over and killed, but the [...]

What caused Budd to crash?
There was a second accident that claimed the life of another Ladyville resident. Just before dawn, also on the twenty-first of September, between miles five and six on the Northern Highway, thirty-two year old Leonard Budd was found trapped behind the steering wheel of his Honda Accord car. While travelling to Ladyville, Budd lost control [...]

Cop loses both feet in Punta Gorda motorcycle accident
While Longsworth and Budd lost their lives, a police officer underwent surgery earlier today after he lost both his legs in a traffic accident down south. On Sunday Police Sergeant Mark August was traveling on the Southern Highway when he lost control of his motorcycle near Swasey Bridge in Punta Gorda and was badly injured [...]

Disturbing rapes in the south
There is disturbing news tonight that four women were allegedly raped in Belmopan and Punta Gorda. In the two incidents down south, the victims claim they were unconscious when they were sexually abused. First, a thirty-five year old Hopeville resident reported that on September twenty-first she agreed to accompany mechanic, John Matura, to check on [...]

More rapes in the Capital
Meanwhile, the alleged victims in the Capital are nineteen and twenty year old females. According to the nineteen year old, she left Rain Drops Bar in Teakettle Village at around midnight last Saturday and went to a friend’s house. Five men that she knew also went to the house and one of them followed her, [...]

Went to his ex and new boyfriend stabs him
Two men were charged with Attempted Murder today after separate stabbing incidents that occurred on Saturday. First to be arraigned was twenty-seven year old Lionel Neal, who appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano and was charged with Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm and Dangerous Harm. He is accused of stabbing Gregory McKoy on [...]

2 women and a broken bottle; charge is attempted murder
A thirty-three year old woman was allegedly struck on the face with a glass bottle by an eighteen year old and they both had different versions of what transpired when the matter landed before the court today. Joanna Orellano claims that on September seventeenth, she was with her fourteen year old daughter on North Front [...]

$30 Million Marion Jones Stadium to be finished end of 2013
The Marion Jones Sporting Complex has been under construction from the era of a P.U.P. government. But now in its second term, the U.D.P. government is hoping that it will be completed by the end of December 2013. The facility includes new bleachers, a FIFA standard field, a beach volleyball facility, and a four hundred [...]

March with the uniform parade on September 21st
Earlier in the newscast, you saw the formalities of Independence Day in Belmopan. In the city, the event took a different form and following speeches at Memorial Park, the uniform parade took place on major streets. The citizens also joined in the revelry of the occasion. News Five’s Andrea Polanco looks back at the sights [...]

Independence Sports Monday highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 5 of the PLB Season took us to Orange Walk yesterday where a struggling Juventus Ball Club played host to an unpredictable San Pedro Seadogs at the Louisiana Football Field as both teams looked to improve their lot. Suiting up for the Sugar [...]


Baptist School Board Issues Release on Principal's Sexual Misconduct
Earlier this month President of the Baptist Association Ruperto Vicente told Love News that the Board had met to discuss the fate of Principal of the Belmopan Baptist High School Norman Willacey. Today that decision was made public as the Board issued a release to say that af...

Police Report Three Separate Cases of Rape
There were a number of rapes reported over the holiday weekend. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood shared the details of the incidents at this morning’s briefing. FITZROY YEARWOOD Police Press Officer Belize Police Department “Yes we had a rape reported by a ...

Family of Dead Woman Suspects Murder
The family of a woman who was knocked down and killed early Saturday morning in Ladyville is asking anyone who knows of the incident to help them solve the mystery behind her death. That is because they believe that thirty-six year old Sherlett Longsworth was murdered. One ...

Prime Minister Addresses The Nation on Independence Day
Prime Minister Dean Barrow this year used his Independence Day speech to announce the renaming of the Western and Northern Highways in honor of two of the country’s national heroes. The Western Highway is now called the George Price Highway, while the road between Belize Ci...

Police News
Thirty-six year old Rudolph Smith, a.k.a. “Tubba”, charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated assault of an indecent nature, was sentenced to 15 tears for aggravated burglary and 3 years for aggravated assault after he was found guilty of the charges today in the # 1 M...

Police Detains Three Men Following a Report of Rape
A nineteen year old female from the Cayo District reported to police that she was raped. The incident occurred on the fifteenth of September. The female alleges that on that day after having consumed alcohol, she left a bar in Teakettle Village at around midnight, enrou...

Belize Police Sergeant Loses Legs In Traffic Incident
A police officer attached to the Punta Gorda formation lost both his legs in a road traffic accident on the Southern Highway. Police say they visited the scene of the accident near the Swasey Bridge yesterday afternoon where they saw Sergeant Mark August with both his ...

Second Package Launches for the Belize Municipal Development Project
A ceremony launched the second major street package under the Belize Municipal Development Project which is aimed at improving streets in Orange Walk, Corozal and Belmopan. Director of Public Relations for the Social Investment Fund, Mike Hernandez filled us in with the details. ...

Fatal Traffic Incident on Independence Eve
A fatal Traffic accident was reported on Friday. According to reports, Belize City police visited a scene between miles five and six on the Northern Highway where they saw thirty two year old Leonard Budd trapped behind the steering wheel of a four door Honda Accord Car. ...

Ministry of Health Investigates Cases of Pertussis in the Cayo District
The Ministry of Health has issued a press release in connection to suspected cases of Whooping Cough in the Cayo District. According to the release, the ministry was informed of suspected cases in the Community of Springfield, Cayo District on the third of September, to which the...

Belizeans Hosted In Mexican State of Guanajuato
Three bakers and five musicians are in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. For the past five years Acambaro Guanajuato has particularly selected a country to be their guest of honour and share with them a delicacy to most which is bread. This year’s invited country i...


if someone asks you …
I got sidetracked this morning and ended up on expat blog where I found a thought provoking post. As I read an answer from Emily who does Be Belize blog I decided I was going to add my own 5 reasons and blog Julien’s question along with them. To Read Emily’s answers you can visit the tread on expat blog. Here is the question….. Hi, if someone asks you the best reasons for making the choice to live and stay in Belize, what would be your top 5? Thanks in advance for participating, Julien Here are my answers in no particular order as to what made me take the plunge to live in Belize after our one 3 week vacation here almost 7 years ago. - English speaking made it easy to move/adjust here - Weather year round. In December it gets cold enough to wear my wetsuit in the pool and a polar fleece hat some nights, that is enough winter for me :) - Friendly people and great food - Nat Geo moments all the time - Life changing experience

International Sources

New World Oil and Gas hails Belize progress
New World Oil and Gas (NEW) was the most actively-bought stock by the users of Interactive Investor as it announced its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June. The firm's pre-tax loss for the period increased from $0.995 million (£0.613 million) to $1.397 million, with chairman Bill Kelleher stating that "exceptional progress" had been made towards the goal of "creating significant value for our shareholders". Operationally, the company made "significant progress" at its flagship Blue Creek project in Belize with the completion of Phases 3 and 4 of a seismic acquisition programme and a 60% improvement of geological risk, from a one in 12 to a one in five probability of geological success, with prospects now at a drill-ready status. The company is set to spud its first well in the coming weeks. Three drill-ready prospects have been identified at Blue Creek with combined P50 volumetrics of 329 million barrels of oil. Improved terms to the farm-out agreement with partner Blue Creek Exploration will see New World to earn up to a 100% working interest in the project along with a 28% reduction of drilling costs. A 5% farm-down of working interest in Blue Creek to drilling contractor ThermaSource International will reduce drilling costs by a further 25%. Looking ahead, drilling is expected to commence at Blue Creek B Crest Prospect on or before 1 October 2012, with results expected in mid-November 2012, while drilling of West Gallon Jug Crest will follow in late 2012.

Belize has bought some time with partial bond payment
Belize has paid holders of a 2029 bond US$11.7 million of the $23 million that they are owed. This has brought some measure of confidence to the international investment market as investors in Belize were thrown into confusion after Belize missed the US$23 million payment on August 20 and then failed to make any payments on the US$544 million debt issue during the 30-day grace period that expired on September 19. The uncertainty in the market was not helped by Standard & Poor’s lowered the rating on Belize’s sovereign debt to selective default and suggesting that investors were likely to recover 30 percent to 50 percent of the bonds’ face value in a restructuring. However, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, the bond gained 0.55 cent to close at 34.85 United States cents after the payment, the biggest advance since August 27.

S&P: Belize Remains in Default, Despite Partial Coupon Payment
Ratings firm Standard & Poor’s has not changed its “SD” foreign currency ratings and “D” rating on Belize’s bond due in 2029 after the country made a partial payment of $11.7 million last week. The firm still considered the country to have missed the $23 million coupon payment that was due on Aug. 20. “Although the terms of the 2029 bond include a 30-day grace period for interest payments, our ratings speak to full and timely payment,” the firm said in a statement. “They also address debt exchanges that we view as distressed. By either measure, the government remains in default, based on our criteria.” Belize is continuing to hold negotiations with the holders of the country’s $547 million bond that is due in 2029. The firm said it would publish its expectations for a post-default foreign currency rating once the likely rescheduling terms became “clearer.”

September 24, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The September 23rd, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Hillview Burglar Gets Maximum Sentence
  • Miss New York Queen of the Bay Krystal Gutierrez On Official Visit
  • Accused Drug Traffickers Jailed
  • FFB Elects Ethics Committee
  • Patriotism
  • Happy Independence Day 2012 Wishes from Many!
  • Terrorist Granted Citizenship In Foreign Lands
  • Here Is Your Open Invitation To Participate In the Cayo Art Exhibit
  • 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

Dr Love: My fiancee is changing even before the wedding – help!
Dear Doctor Love, My fiancee and I have been together for two years. Our wedding day is coming up in less than six months. I have loved this woman since the first time I met her but lately I have been worried about whether our marriage is going to work. I just really started noticing how things have changed so much for us in the last year and a half. When we first met, we were always lovey and touching and kissing. Now, she won’t even hold my hand in public. When we are together, which is most of the time in the evenings, she makes up a thousand excuses why we can’t have sex. She doesn’t even let me kiss her hardly ever anymore either. Since we moved in together I found out that she has a really bad temper and when she gets mad she stays that way for a long time. I am the one who always has to make up, even when it is her fault that we had a disagreement.

The PUP insists that SPTC commission an independent audit
The recently held meeting by the San Pedro Town Council to present their report for their first hundred days of administration raises more questions than answers. In the Questions and Answers period the following were raised.What about the campaign promise for an independent audited financial report? The Mayor answered that he did not want to go on a witch hunt as to what and who was responsible for perceived mismanagement. That, according to him, the past was past and that he wanted to concentrate on the future. Although we recognize that yes we should really worry about the future and make sure that the appalling mistakes made by the past UDP administrations that has put San Pedro in a two and a half million dollar debt according to their report, should not be repeated, we, the executive of the San Pedro P.U.P. demand on behalf of the San Pedro Tax payers, that the mayor keep his promise and commission an independent report.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Witness
A witness questioned by a lawyer explains the two distances he was from where shots were fired

Misc Belizean Sources

PACT Announces Interact and Win Contest Winners
The Protected Areas Conservation Trust announced the winners of their 'Interact & Win' contest. The contest coincided with the September Celebrations, and was held to raise awareness about PACT, and all the great projects they fund each year. Congratulations to Cayo's Asuncion Martinez for winning!

Khalid Hyde passes away
Condolences to former government minister Cordel Hyde and his family on the death of his son Khalid. To quote the Eileen Elias Freeman:"The angels are always near to those who are grieving, to whisper to them that their loved ones are safe in the hand of God."


What's In Store For The September Celebrations
The celebration of each country’s independence is the biggest celebration of the year. For us it is a significant milestone in our history as we attained our territorial, political, and economic sovereignty, not through bloodshed or uprising like others around us, but through resiliency and diplomacy. On the eve of the nation’s birthday, a ceremony will be held in front of the Orange Walk Town Hall. Customarily the night is rich with cultural presentations to welcome the 21st. This afternoon we spoke with Mayor Kevin Bernard who told us that among the highlights, we can expect one of the best fireworks show ever. “We have the Japanese JICA group that will be doing some presentations, we have the Palmar Cultural Group that will also be doing their cultural dances and we have invited the young guy Mc. Bride Pop to do a little song for us but at the same time the entertainment that will come after.” Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “And of course you have the torch runners.” Kevin Bernard, Mayor O/W “Yes, we have the entrance of the torch runners coming in, actually they left not too long ago to Belize City which they will be running and I want to thank the young faces that are there coming up wanting to participate and this September celebration should be a good one. We have the official BDF march on and all of these things and flag raising but what is more important is the fireworks display and this year is going to be an exciting fireworks display, we have planned a half an hour fireworks for today, very costly of course, but I think the people will enjoy it and of course music and entertainment by three bands, Lucio and the New Generation, New Rebels will be here and Electra Sounds will be highlighting us with their music from earlier on in the evening.”

First Caribbean Bank Inaugurated In Orange Walk
First Caribbean International Bank opened its doors here in Orange Walk and last night the bank was officially inaugurated during a special ceremony held at the Gala Lounge. First Caribbean Bank is the largest regional bank in the Caribbean with assets of over $11 million. The bank has 22 banking centers and seven offices in 18 regional markets, including Belize. With a branch here in Orange Walk the banking institution now boast of 75 branches and over half a million active accounts. The opening of First Caribbean Bank signifies new opportunities for Orange Walkenos, who, like the rest of Belizeans, are struggling to make ends meet. This same sentiment was shared last night by Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard who welcomed the management and staff of First Caribbean Bank to sugar city.

Students Show Their Patriotism For Belize
Today is the eve of Belize’s Independence and across Belize children, teachers and parents lined up the main streets of their respective towns for the annual children’s rally. Here in Orange Walk Town six schools, seven high schools, ITVET and Muffles Junior College all joined together and braved the hot sun to demonstrate their patriotism. The annual children’s parade kicked off a little after 9:00 this morning and our news team was out there and caught all the excitement and energy. In multitude, students from all the schools in Orange Walk Town lined up to parade through the principal streets of town thus demonstrating their patriotic spirits in celebration of Belize’s 31 years of Independence. Posters with this year’s theme: “Many faces, Many dreams, one Goal – Celebrating Belize,” where held high by some students while others demonstrated their love for the place they call home, by waving their Belizean flag.

GOB Makes Partial Payment On Super Bond
When Government missed their $46 million coupon payment in August they were given a 30 day grace period to make the payment before entering into default. The 30 day grace period ended yesterday with the Dean Barrow Administration still unable to meet payment on the $544 million super bond. To date their still hasn’t been any update on the negotiations presently taking place between the Debt Review Team headed by Mark Espat and creditors who hold more than $300 million of the debt. And while reports both locally and internationally are that Belize has defaulted on its super bond debt, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says otherwise. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “We certainly were, it appeared, making some progress with the bondholders. Now if things changed dramatically between then and now, I would not have had an opportunity to be briefed, but I am pretty confident that we are in decent shape as far as the negotiations are concerned.”

Belize At 31
Tonight Belizeans countrywide will be celebrating the nation’s 31st birthday. The torch run, the gun salute and the fireworks display at midnight followed by a massive parade tomorrow all form part of the annul September celebration. But for Belize to be celebrating 31 years of being an independent nation signifies more than just fun for Belizeans. Today we hit the busy streets of Orange Walk Town and found out how Orange Walkeños feel about 31 years of sovereignty. Hipolito Novelo - Reporting Kevin Bernard, Mayor O/W “Well first of all it is a very special time for all Belizeans knowing that as a young nation we are growing and we are getting to that age and there is a lot to do and I think we as Belizeans must be proud to be living here in Belize and we want to also pay tribute to the Father of the Nation Honourable George Price for fighting that struggle along with many other Belizeans to gain Independence so that we could call ourselves Belize.”

Paying Tribute To The Father Of The Nation
Yesterday marked one year that Belize’s National Hero Honorable George Cadle Price passed away and in honor of his legacy the day was celebrated as National Service Day. All across the country students, various organizations and members of the community engaged in a community service activity in honor of Mr. Price. Here in Orange Walk, street sides and drains were cleaned, garbage was picked up, Mahogany trees were planted and dirt bins were donated to schools. That was carried out during the day and last night a special activity also took place in memory of the Father of the Nation. A special committee, headed by Councilor Neri Ramirez, organized a mass and candle vigil which took place on George Price Avenue. After the mass, special tribute was given to Mr. Price as Orange Walkenos, accompanied by Honorable John Briceno, Honorable Marco Tulio Mendez, Honorable Abelardo Mai and members of the Orange Walk Town Council, placed wreaths and flowers on the George Price Monument which was recently refurbished.


There are I am surprised to say: SEVEN steel bands in the country of Belize. I believe they are in Belmopan the capital and the port of Belize City. They played for INDEPENDENCE DAY. I tuned in quite by accident on Saturday and caught a replay, of the steel bands. The first one, was the Pantempters, I believe? Either I'm getting too old, or they seemed SO YOUNG. Some of the kids in the front row, were really bouncing with the rythmm of the music they were playing. Probably not more than between 12 and 16 years old. I had to hide my face from my wife when she came in to see what I was watching on TV. My eyes were just brimming tears, ( it didn't seem manly somehow ) with joy and pride in what is happening in Belize. I know how long it takes to produce a band, having been a cornet player in one at age 16 years. The delight was in seeing them bobbing and weaving with the rythmm as they played with all their hearts. What I loved, was when one girl, who would take a quick glance at a neighboring friend and then both would break out in a GRIN of unadulterated JOY. It was so uplifting and HAPPY.

San Pedro's Independence Day Parade...AMAZING Again. Part Two.
So yesterday, I showed you my pictures of the first half of the parade. Let's continue... I ended with ABC pre-school, my very favorite entry. Next up with the AIDs Society. These guys know how to turn it out...whether it's December's Lighted Boat Parade (another killer event here in San Pedro) or September 21st. Miss Petie.... David Marin aka DJ Habo aka My Morning Show Guy. Don't take my picture! Next...Belikin and Island Academy. My second favorite group. Nita and Amy. And here comes the beer truck. Free beers! And Dixie following up... Wilhema and her daughter.

Four Ways to Find Relaxation in Belize This Winter
Belize is the only English speaking country in Central America. It is a country filled with natural beauty, miles of white sandy beaches, and mystique ancient Mayan culture and owns the second largest barrier reef in the world. Did you know that it only takes one hour 32 minutes to fly from Miami to Belize City? While it takes two hours and 11 minutes from Miami to New York City. The Belizean refer to their country, as “JEWEL” and they are proud of their diverse heritage. You can see Caribbean, European, Asian, Mayan, Latin and African cultures all over this 8,867 square miles country (which is smaller than Massachusetts). Winter in North America means dry season in Belize. It’s the best time to visit from December to March when the rainy season is over and humidity is lower. Belize’s subtropical temperatures average between 75-85 degrees. If you are planning on taking a break from the cold this winter, think no further. Belize may be just the right place to spend your time with your family away from the snow and cold days of winter. Here are 4 ways you can find your piece of paradise in Belize this winter:

I Hate Belize… Belize City To Be More Specific
Foodie and travel blogger, Ayngelina Brogan, from has been telling me how much she loves Central America but hates Belize; Belize City to be more specific. This actually doesn’t surprise me as it is pretty evident that the sentiment resonates throughout the internet. Many people who visit Belize and only see Belize City, especially Cruise Ship passengers, end up with the impression that the old capital reflects the entire country. A justified assumption or not, it makes for an interesting discussion. I’m in my mid-thirties and two and a half years ago I decided to leave my career, boyfriend, apartment and friends to take a one-way flight to Mexico. I then spent the next 14 months in Latin America, with a short side-trip to Belize. I am really interested in learning more about the Americas and in particular about the culture, especially the food.

At 8:15 on the morning of August 6, 1945, the world's first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. In an instant most of the city was in ruins; hundreds of thousands of precious lives were lost. After the bomb, people were mobilized among the ruins to demolish buildings and remove debris for fire-lanes. Many bodies were never found and returned to love ones. Today, September 21 is "Peace Day"; a day designated by the UN to advocate for peace around the world. And yet humanity remains threatened by tens of thousands of nuclear weapons. Estimates of deployed warheads from what I can gather are as follows: US-2150; Russia-2427; UK-225; France-300; China-240; India-100-240; Pakistan-90-110; Israel-80; North Korea-unknown. The missiles on this globe are enough to kill all of humanity many times; why do we need more? As of December 2010, North Korea’s plutonium stockpile was estimated to be 24-42 kg which would be sufficient to build up to eight nuclear weapons. And let’s not forget Iran. Today, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, speaking during a military parade in Tehran, threatened the complete destruction of the State of Israel as the country unveiled a domestically manufactured air defense system as part of a military parade, various Iranian news agencies reported.

International Sources

S&P: Belize in default despite partial payment
The Standard & Poor’s (S&P) ratings agency said late Friday that its selective default (SD) foreign currency rating on Belize and its ‘D’ rating on Belize’s bond due in 2029 remain unchanged following the government’s partial payment of US$11.7 million on Thursday. According to S&P: “Although the terms of the 2029 bond include a 30-day grace period for interest payments, our ratings speak to full and timely payment. They also address debt exchanges that we view as distressed. By either measure, the government remains in default, based on our criteria. Rescheduling negotiations between the government of Belize and holders of the $547 million bond due in 2029 are ongoing. Once the likely rescheduling terms become clearer, we will publish our expectations for a postdefault foreign currency rating. Of the rated sovereigns that have emerged from default during the past 15 years, postdefault ratings typically have ranged from ‘CCC’ to ‘B’.”

Belize gov't raises funds to pay 'super bond' holders
The Belize government says it has been successful in raising funds to meet a partial payment of its multi-million dollar foreign debt, referred to as the “super bond”. The announcement came in time for the country’s celebration of the 31st anniversary of its political independence. The Dean Barrow administration issued a statement on Friday indicating that it had been successful in raising the money required to make a partial payment of $11.7 million, which amounts to approximately 50 per cent of the interest payment due to bondholders. In an immediate response, a committee representing a group of bondholders said it would not go to court for an additional 60 days to allow for the conclusion of negotiations on debt restructuring.

September 23, 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

San Pedro High School is now offering evening division
Running the program is its director Paul Kelly. Kelly is a certified teacher and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology Education as well as an Associate’s Degree in Medical Laboratory Technology. He worked as a Medical Laboratory Technologist for some seven years after which he entered the teaching career. He has been teaching for 15 years, eight of which he spent as a Science teacher at the San Pedro High School. He has also served as SPHS’ head of the Science Department and Sport’s Coordinator for five years. The program will be offering Tourism Electives during the third and fourth year, preparing students that may wish to enroll in the University of Belize’s Tourism Program being offered at San Pedro Junior College. Further to this, the program hopes to offer programs such as ESL – English as a Second Language, as well as Home Economics, Culinary Arts, Learning about Wines and the History of Drinks, among others. For more information on the SPHS Evening Edition, Kelly may be reached at the San Pedro High School at telephone number: 226-2045.

Trees cut by BEL is cause for concern
The SPSun has left numerous messages for the Senior Public Relation Officer at BEL Vonnetta Burrell to respond to the concern highlighted by the island residents regarding the cutting of trees along power lines. We attempted to find out if it is a common practice by the electrical company to cut trees along power line without notifying property owners and to find out who is responsible to remove the trees once they are cut by BEL. Given the fact that on mainland Belize BEL compensates affected owners, we also wanted to find out if those affected property owners on the island would similarly be compensated as well. Despite multiple requests and messages left for Burrell, all were unanswered.

nstitute of Archeology combs excavation of old football field for artifacts and antiques
According to Batty, to determine the antiquity of a bottle several things need to be looked at which includes the mouth and neck of the bottle as well as any attachment to the bottle that is made by hand and not machine. Batty says that they are also looking for single hand blown objects that are not clean cut, such as the case of industrially produce bottles or those made with the use of a mold and are made in large quantities. They are also observing the wear and tear of the bottles known as the patina or commonly refer to as the onion skin, which is a strong indicator of the antiquity of a bottle. The team of two are conducting surface collections from the piles of dirt being excavated and hope that with the help of the senior students, who are participating as a community service, they can dig into the piles before it is being trucked to a different location. The involvement of the students, explained Batty, is part of the Institute of Archeology’s practice to get the community involved, for them to see some of the things collected from within the area. “Regrettably a lot of the larger bottles are broken because the dirt was removed with an excavator so it is expected. On the bright side, the smaller bottles are intact and we are glad for that. For now we have collected about 60 bottles some of which are antique medicine and Vicks bottles and a lot of ceramic. Some of the larger bottle, we picked up the rim or the neck and the base of it so that we can get an idea of the number of bottles that were out here,” explained Batty. So far a few Maya artifacts such as three intact grinding stones have been found. Part of the Saca Chispas area was filled with community garbage in its early stage of development and according to Batty one of the best places to search for evidence of the way people lived are in such areas. “Well one mans trash is another mans treasure and this is similar to what we do in Maya archeology. A lot of the most interesting areas to look into are the rubbish heaps. It tells you what type of bottles where being used, the amount of bottles being used, where they were imported from and so forth. If you are not looking at the garbage heap then where else would you look at to get a good chronology of the materials that are being used in a common household,” explained Batty.

Misc Belizean Sources

A Brighter Future for Young People in Belize
Upon entering the offices of Belize Family Life Association (BFLA), I immediately felt cozy. Colorful murals covered the walls and the atmosphere is attractive and informal -- the perfect setting for a program exclusively for youth. After a lunch of an amazing variety of homemade tamales, I found myself thinking that a hammock would be the perfect addition to the comfortable conference room, which had a warm breeze coming through shaded windows. This was the place where I met Arthur Usher, a long-time participant of BFLA who eventually became its Youth Officer. Like many staff at small organizations, Arthur Usher wears multiple hats. He greets the young people who come to BFLA for services and assists the Program Director with coordinating youth programs. I'd gone to BFLA to learn what young people take from participating in its Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM), and what effects it has on their lives beyond receiving sexual and reproductive health services. Young men in Belize face a significant risk of dropping out of school, and those who obtain an education dream of leaving the country. As I talked with Arthur about his experiences with BFLA, and advocating with the members of YAM, I began to realize what it must mean for a young man to have Arthur in his life. BFLA provides a safe space for young people to grow into themselves, and Arthur represents the possibility of a brighter future not only for the young person, but also for the country.

VIDEO: Diving Mosquito Canyon, San Pedro
Open water dive candidates and Lionfish Divas on the hunt.

Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic Website
The BWRC, located in Cayo, at Central Farm, has their new website up and running. There are some cool videos on the site of some of the exotic animals they've saved. They'll be having their grand opening next month, on the 19th of October. They are using the x-ray machine, which they got after winning the Heska grant earlier this year, all the time now. Thanks, BWRC! "The Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic is a non-profit organization founded in 2011 with the help of a host of partners and friends. After many years of assisting wildlife without a clinic facility and only basic medical equipment, the BWRC can now offer on-site x-ray and gas anesthesia; for both wildlife and domestics. This is a first in Belize, and world class by any measure. We’re now seeing wildlife patients on a regular basis, and we are establishing veterinary associates for our domestic referral services. Our main focus is making the clinic fully operational, and of course the clinic fundraising."


San Pedro's Independence Day Parade...AMAZING AGAIN. Part One
I love Independence Day in Belize. Love, love, LOVE it. To me, it should be the one day of the year that every hotel in town is full. Everyone pours their whole heart into it. From the parents that spent weeks glittering the school float to the kids who practice their "slow tornado" dance moves to the DJs that bought an 11th speaker to make sure the music was just-beyond-ear-drum-shattering, it rocks. Go Walter! Best DJ of the parade. And I took one billion pictures. So let me just start posting them. (Click here to play the correct music for viewing...and turn it up. LOVE THIS SONG.) I think they are self explanatory. AND luckily the weather held out...and a breeze, ever so slight, picked up during the parade. Phew...relief. It was tough going down Front Street, low hanging signs and lots of parked vehicles. The first float carrying Miss San Pedro (isn't she cute?) and leading the town council...

The Blue Hole: A photo-blog
After pouring over photos of the Blue Hole before leaving this summer, I had utterly convinced myself that I needed to see it from above. The stark contrast with the surrounding water, like an eye in the ocean, was captivating. So in the tradition of ridiculous extravagance (20 dollars for a hostel room? Seems a bit pricey... Rather more than that to charter our own plane? Sure!) we went to the airport and booked a tiny three seater plane. The flight was incredible and well worth every penny. With two hours of flight time, we not only explored the hole but also the reef and some of the smaller islands, our pilot enthusiastically pointing out interesting features and snapping shots with his own phone. As it was only us on the plane, we could choose how long to spend in each area, and the time flew by. Here are a few photos from the trip...

Caye Caulker’s Independence Day Bash!
For us Belizean’s it is the holiday of the year, the one that everybody, and I mean everybody, celebrates the birth of their independence back 31 years ago. Here in Caye Caulker the streets have been adorned with the red, white and blue of the Belizean flag for the entire month of September but it is really the 20th and 21st on the Caye that we really celebrate the month. Beautiful paraders.Miss Lobster Fest 2012 - Sylvia Josephand more color! The eve of Independence was Thursday night and all islanders, from young to old were out to watch the spectacle of the fireworks – they did not disappoint, and for tourists in the crowd they were treated to a display of international standards to see in our 21st!


PHOTOS: Independence Day in San Ignacio Town


VIDEO: Independence photos from San Pedro

International Sources

Meghalaya's Living Bridges
Awesome story of using nature to solve problems. In "The Land of Clouds" of India, Meghalaya, is the land of living bridges. People here find Ingenious natural solutions for fighting the forces of Nature.

Courts lay bare Quinn's oil empire
The millionaire guru Tony Quinn's business dealings are coming under the spotlight... The bizarre world of that international man of mystery Tony Quinn is being peeled away, layer by layer, in courts in Dublin, Denver, Colorado, USA and the Caribbean island of St Kitts & Nevis. The Dublin-born 'guru' has been dragged centre stage over a series of legal actions revolving around what could be a billion dollar oil fortune in Belize. The tanned and bearded Dubliner, Tony Quinn, one of whose followers claimed she was indoctrinated to believe he was "the reincarnation of Jesus Christ", only made one visit to the Central American country of Belize, but it turned out to be a very profitable journey. At a ceremony on October 10, 2006, two of his then "admirers", Susan Morrice and Irish woman Sheila McCaffrey, presented him with 'Class A' shares in the oil exploration firm International Natural Energy (INE), registered in the Carribean island of St Kitts & Nevis and which were later valued at more than $16m (€12.2m). Ms Morrice and Ms McCaffrey "appear" to have known each other since 2002 and, according to court documents, Ms McCaffrey was involved in oil and gas exploration in Ireland before they began putting the Belize project together.

Seafood mislabeling in Belize
This post was co-authored with Courtney Cox, a PhD student in my lab at UNC, studying fisheries management and reef resilience in Belize. Our paper on seafood mislabeling in Belize is out in Conservation Letters (here). This paper is the fist of several from our project designed to evaluate the effectiveness of Belize’s national ban on herbivorous fish harvesting as a coral reef conservation tool. Recognizing that MPAs alone were not preventing the degradation of its invaluable reef ecosystem, the Belizean government passed a new regulation in April 2009 preventing the harvesting of any species of parrotfish (Scarids) or surgeonfish (Acanthurids) nationwide: “No person shall take in the waters of Belize, or buy, sell or have in possession any grazers” (Statutory Instrument No. 49 of 2009). This is the first legislation of its kind and, if effective, has the potential to globally revolutionize coral reef management. Nearly all Belizeans claim they dislike and have never eaten a parrotfish, which given the severely overfished state of parrotfish populations, seems unlikely. The national grazer harvest ban also stipulates that fish fillet must be sold with a small intact skin patch, so that consumers can recognize the scales and coloration as parrotfish. However, we only observed this at one vendor in 2011 over the course of three years of sampling. As a result, visual censuses will likely miss the presence of illegally harvested herbivorous fish. After a series of interviews, meetings, and workshops with local fisherman, MPA managers, marine reserve police, biologists from the Belize Fisheries Department, and our partners within several NGOS, we have come to the conclusion that the only way to accurately assess the degree of compliance with the ban, was to purchase fillet in the markets, restaurants, grocery stores and fishing cooperatives (mainly for export) and determine the actual identity using molecular genetics.

September 22, 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

Belize is 31!!! Happy Independence day to all Belizeans at home and abroad!!
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. After a night of pomp and circumstance, complete with block party, good food, music and fireworks, everyone was eagerly anticipating the big Jump-Up Parade through the principal streets of San Pedro. This year’s parade was certainly full of color and energy – with gorgeous floats, costumes and happy dancers! We will let the photos speak for themselves – enjoy the gallery below!!

Di Kurse a di Xtabai – A movie review
I am not a movie critic by any means, but I do know when I love a film and when it leaves me hanging. I finally got a chance to catch a showing of the film “Di Kurse a di Xtabai” directed by Matthiew Klinck. Filmed in Creole/Kriol and featuring all first-time actors, the movie was shot in my home village of San Antonio, Cayo. San Antonio was the place where I grew up, listening to my tiny, wizened grandmother speak of the various folktales of our history. Told in Mayan, those stories always brought chills to my cousins and I, and when told right before bedtime, when all of us had to line up and go to the outhouse one last time before bed, the mere sound of the wind rustling in the trees had to mean the Tata Duende, or the Xtabai or Sisimito were lurking just waiting to snatch one of us. So, I know a little bit about the story of the Xtabai. I know that the stories I was told always involved men in some drunken form or another, stumbling down the dark roads trying to find their way home. Legend has it that they are suddenly charmed by the apparition of a beautiful woman, so beautiful she is irresistible, and men walk up to her in a trance, embracing her. And there, it gets ugly, as she folds them in her arms, and turns into a prickly tree, piercing the men’s skin, and causing great agony and high fever that can only be cured by the bush doctor.

National Service Day honors Father of the Nation George Cadle Price
Several activities were held for National Service Day. September 19, 2012 was a day set aside to commemorate the Father of the Nation, and National Hero, Right Honorable George Cadle Price. On Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro Town Council paid official visits to all preschools and secondary schools on the island, accompanied by various community workers. The People’s United Party also held activities, which included a candle walk and a church service. Early during the course of the day on September 19th, the Mayor, accompanied by most councilors, started their day by visiting Holy Cross Anglican School and eventually progressing to other schools further south. Along with Mayor Daniel Guerrero were firefighters, police officers, traffic wardens and Doctor Javier Zuniga,who was representing the Ministry of Health. At the various schools, Mayor Guerrero spoke of Father of the Nation and his contribution to Belize and the importance of respecting him. He also had the students pay respect by having a minute of silence in memory of Price. After the Mayor’s short address to the students, the community workers also spoke of the role they play in the community. The Mayor also took snacks and refreshments for the students as a token of appreciation for their good behavior during his official visit.

La Isla Bonita at night
When the sun goes down and the nightlights come on, San Pedro Town’s vibe changes… So, you’re visiting La Isla Bonita with your twin sons who recently celebrated their eighteenth birthday. You’re scheduled to do an assortment of mainland tours – a visit to the Maya ruins, experience the caves and waterfalls. You’ve also included some snorkeling and being that you and your wife are certified Scuba divers, there are plans for that as well. But you’re thinking… what can we do with the boys on the island that will be fun and exciting – things they wouldn’t be able to do back home? Well, following is The San Pedro Sun’s guide to the “San Pedro Nightlife”! In San Pedro, there is something to do every night – and the legal age to do any of them is 18. There are things you can do as a family and or as individuals.

Ambergris Today

Observing International Peace Day and Belize’s Independence
It is indeed very significant that Belize’s Independence is on International Peace Day, September 21. The United Nations Secretary General takes this opportunity to express appreciation for Belize’s peaceful development on this day and always. Attached is the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon’s message in which he states “On the International Day of Peace, the United Nations calls for a complete cessation of hostilities around the world….” and calls for everyone to observe a minute of silence at noon on the Day to honor victims and survivors of violence.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize’s “Flag Raising-Cultural Extravaganza”!
The Celebration of Belize’s Independence: Belizeans have grown accustomed to the beautiful fireworks displays, stretched across the night sky, creating the perfect backdrop for the Belizean Flag to flow effortlessly in the Caribbean breeze, above hundreds of spectators. This is the “Flag Raising Ceremony,” an annual event which takes place Nationwide on September 20th – 21st. Entertainment at this Ceremony includes a Fireworks Display, as well as Cultural and Musical performances. The Cultural Entertainment, which includes dances, encompasses Belize’s diverse cultures giving onlookers a real treat as they unite in celebration of Belize’s 31st Independence Day Anniversary. This Ceremony marks the Official Opening of Belize’s Independence Day Celebrations. Honorary guests at this year’s Belize City Flag Raising Ceremony will include: the Mayor of Belize City, the Prime Minister of Belize, the Chief Justice, and the Governor-General of Belize.

Independence Day in Belmopan
Belmopan City Online posted some great pictures from the Belmopan parade. What a great turnout! Hope everyone had a great Independence Day! "Missed the parade and festivities? No worries...we captured the prime minister's address and every float and school that participated in the parade so you can feel like you were right there."

Honoring National Heroes
The PM has announced that to honor Belize's national heroes, the Western Highway will be renamed George Price Highway. The Northern Highway will be renamed Philip Goldson Highway. Great idea! Happy Independence Day! "HONORING OUR NATIONAL HEROES: The Rt. Hon. the Prime Minister Mr. Dean has just announced the renaming of the Western and Northern Highways. The Western Highway is now the George Price Highway. The Northern Highway is not the Phillip Goldson Highway Way to go our National Heroes."


Come meet the San Pedro Sailing Junior Team
Come meet San Pedro Junior Sailing Team The San Pedro Sailing Club will be holding a yard sale this Saturday 22nd September from 8:30am at Asian Garden Day Spa (opposite Ramon’s on Coconut Drive). Lots of good “stuff” to buy. Iced coffee, desserts and a BBQ starting at “noonish”. There will be a Grand Raffle with prizes ranging from fishing trips, diving trips, sailing lessons, tattoos, booze, dinners, lunches, bar tabs, gym membership, gift certificates etc…Tickets are 3 for 5.00 or 10 for 10.00 and you do not have to be present to win. All proceeds will go to support the continued growth and success of San Pedro’s junior sailors. Pictures submitted by Andrew Milner, not sure who took them.

Cali, Colombia: Now This City's Got Some Pizazz, Part One
Driving down the lush green mountains into the dry, dusty, sugar cane packed valley, I could tell that Cali was going to be a very different from the places in Colombia that I had visited. Different in lots of ways. After seeing immaculate towns and cities through Central Colombia, Cali is...well....much dirtier.. And more crowded. And louder. And hotter. The racial mix is different, it's the first time we saw more than a smattering of black people. The clothes are tighter and smaller (and in Colombia, that is really saying something!), the heels are way higher and the term "age appropriate" doesn't exist. The city has a few older colonial buildings in decent shape, there are quite a few that are crumbling and then lots of ugly, industrial looking cement blocks. Here are some pictures that I took around town. The main plaza is filled with the super tall wax palms...

31 Years & Counting: Belizeans Celebrate their Independence
Happy 31st birthday, Belize! For Belizeans, September marks a month of holidays commemorating this young nation’s historic journey to independence. For travelers, it’s a great time to experience authentic culture in Belize among the friendly locals amid their celebrations. Belize’s diverse cultural influences, from Afro-Caribbean peoples to British pirates to modern-day descendents of the ancient Maya, come together in a national identity more eclectic than any other in Central America, and all September long this multicultural tapestry is on brilliant display. The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., kicked off the festivities this year with a speech: “September in Belize… is that understood point in time when Belizeans, both at home and abroad, along with our adopted brothers and sisters, celebrate every aspect that makes Belize so unique and wonderful. It is more than the annual celebration of the anniversary of the battle of St. George’s Caye and our Independence; it is that reflective moment when the nation takes a collective breath in gratitude for its bounty.” Heredia knows firsthand of Belize’s bounty. Born in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye in 1951, he knew the forests, mangroves, and beaches of Belize as his childhood playground, and has been a player in Belizean politics since 1969. Heredia believes tourism growth is one of the keys to a bright future for Belize, and makes a point to attract travelers to the country, or as he calls it, “our jewel.” Accordingly, the “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal” theme for the 2012 St. George’s Caye Day (September 10) and Belize Independence Day (September 21) celebrations reflects both the rich culture and vision of progress alive in Belize today.

Go Slow In Caye Caulker As You Reset Your Internal Clock To “Island Time”
From the moment you step off the plane or onto the water taxi dock, you are quickly enveloped into Caye Caulker’s charm and motto of “go slow”. Caye Caulker boasts a laid back island lifestyle where shoes are optional and the closest thing to rush hour traffic is the passing occasional golf cart. Only five miles long, Caye Caulker is a tiny island one mile west of Belize’s Barrier Reef offering easy access to a number of water activities and even excursions back to the mainland. The main modes of transportation on Caye Caulker are bicycles and golf carts. Rent a golf cart and go exploring or take a walk along the island’s sandy streets to reset your internal clock to “island time”. Caye Caulker has become extremely popular with backpackers and budget travelers looking for a tropical escape with a local vibe that won’t break the travel budget. And while there is a low-key budget vibe, Caye Caulker also has a number of properties catering to honeymooners and travelers looking for a bit more luxury.

International Sources

S&P says Belize ratings unchanged after partial coupon payment
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said its 'SD' foreign currency ratings on Belize and its 'D' rating on Belize's bond due in 2029 remain unchanged following the government's partial payment of $11.7 million on Sept. 20. The government of Belize missed an approximately $23 million coupon payment due on Aug. 20, 2012. Although the terms of the 2029 bond include a 30-day grace period for interest payments, our ratings speak to full and timely payment. They also address debt exchanges that we view as distressed. By either measure, the government remains in default, based on our criteria. Rescheduling negotiations between the government of Belize and holders of the $547 million bond due in 2029 are ongoing. Once the likely rescheduling terms become clearer, we will publish our expectations for a postdefault foreign currency rating. Of the rated sovereigns that have emerged from default during the past 15 years, postdefault ratings typically have ranged from 'CCC' to 'B'.

Belize Creditors Receive $11.6 Million Partial Payment
The Bank of New York Mellon said in a statement Friday it received $11.6 million from the Belize government in a partial payment on the country's only bond. The payment Thursday represents about half of the $23.1 million interest payment that Belize failed to pay bondholders on Aug. 20, launching a 30-day grace period during which the government could make the payment to avoid default. As the trustee, BNY distributes payments to bondholders. However, since the payment the bank received Sept. 20 wasn't the full amount due Aug. 20, "an event of default has occurred and is occurring," BNY Mellon said in the statement. Belize Financial Secretary Joseph Waight couldn't be reached for comment Friday. The bank also said the bondholders can now call for the full principal amount of the bond to be paid immediately, if holders of 25% of the bond agree.

Belize wins 60-day reprieve after partial payment
Debt-burdened Caribbean nation Belize has won a 60-day reprieve from bondholders after paying a portion of its overdue US$23m debt interest. It paid US$11.7m to creditors, earning it some breathing space and reducing the likelihood of a full-blown default, the BBC reported yesterday. Belize had been due to pay the US$23m bond interest payment, or coupon, on August 20. A 30-day grace period to “cure” the missed payment ran out late on Wednesday, September 19. After the grace period ran out only 25 per cent of bondholders could have voted to accelerate the repayment of the entire bond, which was supposed to mature in 2029, according to a Financial Times report. In return for Belize making a partial payment, the creditors’ committee—chaired by AJ Mediratta, a partner of US hedge fund Greylock Capital Management—agreed not to seek “legal remedies” for a further 60 days to allow restructuring talks to continue. Negotiations are continuing.

Obama lists several Caribbean countries as major drug transit points
In a recently issued list of nations contributing to drug production or transit, United States President Barack Obama has named several Caribbean countries as among those considered a major part in the drug trade. “I hereby identify the following countries as major drug transit and/or major illicit drug producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela,” he stated in a presidential memorandum. “A country’s presence on the majors list is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government’s counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States,” the president indicated.

September 21, 2012

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The San Pedro Sun

Visiting Ambassadors Present Credentials to Governor-General
Seven Ambassadors presented their credentials today to the Governor-General at Belize House in Belmopan. Ambassadors from Colombia, France, Nigeria, Peru, Portugal, South Korea and Turkey all coincided in being bearers of formal but warm greetings from their respective Heads of State, wishing the Governor-General and by extension the Government and People of Belize, all success and prosperity in their national and international aspirations. For his part the Governor-General, His Excellency, Sir Colville Young, thanked the Ambassadors for their good wishes and assured them that Belize welcomes them with open arms, especially at this festive season as we celebrate our 31st Anniversary of Independence. All dignitaries wished Belize prosperity and peace during this time of national celebration.

Karen Waldrup to perform benefit concert at Wet Willy’s
Wet Willy’s is hosting musician Karen Waldrup of Nashville, Tennessee U.S. for a “Meet and Greet” benefit concert for the Mama Vilma Family Home. Waldrup is one of the newest and brightest stars to come on to the Nashville music scene. From her humble beginnings hosting her own writers’ night, to releasing her second CD titled “With Love, Karen”, the singer has appeared on Bravo channel’s television show “Platinum Hit” hosted by well known artist Jewel and American Idol veteran Kara DioGuardi. Waldrup has been quite the musical success story that many can only dream about. Besides performing with big name acts such as Rodney Atkins at the 2009 “Salute toThe Troops” concert in Fort Campbell featuring Carrie Underwood and Hank Williams Jr., she has opened for major stars Sara Evans & Terri Clark. She has performed worldwide at numerous events and has performed at many other popular venues all over the country of the United States. In 2010, she shot her latest music video titled “Bayou Baby”, which is currently in worldwide video rotation on The Country Network.

October Issue of National Geographic Magazine Features the MESO-AMAZING Mesoamerican Reef
In a timely reminder of Belize’s rich natural heritage during this month of national celebrations, the Healthy Reefs Initiative has the pleasure of informing the public that the upcoming (October 2012) issue of National Geographic contains a feature article about the “Mesoamerican Reef”. Belize is prominently featured in the article through photographs taken at several of Belize marine protected areas such as Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserves among others. Displayed with high quality and “Meso-amazing” photographs by Brian Skerry, the feature article, authored by Kenneth Brower, captures the resplendent natural diversity and acknowledges the long standing connection between the people and the natural reef system that dates back to the ancient Mayan civilization. Photographer Brian Skerry writes, “Exploring the mesoamerican reef system remains one of my greatest experiences. During my time on this reef, I watched an array of stunning ocean wildlife moving between habitats, each animal and each ecosystem dependent on the other. As I lived in these environments day after day, it all began to make sense. I was far from understanding all of the mysteries of these animals and their relationships, but the overall picture was that of harmony. It was a perfectly designed machine that relied on balance. Remove or damage a piece of the machine and the whole thing suffers and falls apart. “

Roli Espat Jr. wanted in connection with San Pedrito shooting
A shooting incident in the San Pedrito area now has San Pedro police in search of the brother of the intended victim of the incident, Roli Espat Jr. According to the police the incident occurred in the early morning of Saturday, September 15th. In a statement given by the victim, Byron Espat 24 year-old fisherman of a San Pedrito address, he accounted his side of the story. He reported to police that between the hours of 4:30 and 5AM on Saturday the 15th he was on his way home when he passed by the residence of Roli Espat Sr. and saw his stepbrother Roli Espat Jr. and a second person on the veranda of their home. He claimed that upon nearing them, Roli Jr. said “I wa deal with you snitch,” while pulling out a black .9mm pistol-type fire arm and fired a shot at him. Roli Jr. missed his intended target. Byron told police that he ran away, while Roli Jr. and the other male person pursued him. He alleges that they caught up with him further down the road and it was at this point he jumped into the swamp, fleeing from his aggressor. Police were notified of the incident. In a release dated Tuesday, September 18th issued from the Police Press Officer, Fitzroy Yearwood it was stated that 12 shots were fired. According to San Pedro police, upon arrival at the area, Roli Jr. and the other person fled on a boat. Police investigations continue into this matter.

Ambergris Today

National Hero Rt. Hon. George Price Remembered
Wednesday, September 19, 2012, marked the one year anniversary of National Hero George Price's death and in honor of his memory, September 19 was added to the September Celebrations Calendar to be observed as National Service Day. Although it was not a public and bank holiday, Belizean citizens were asked to do some forms of community service project to honor the way the late Price lived his life. As part of the September Celebrations Calendar of events for La Isla Bonita, National Service Day was observed by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Councilors who were accompanied by members of the San Pedro Police Department, Fire Department, Traffic Department and Doctor Javier Zuniga of the Dr. Otto Poly Clinic, all of which visited the schools of San Pedro.

Visa Waivers For Three Countries In South America
The Belize Tourism Board is pleased to announce that visitors from Brazil, Argentina, and Chile will no longer need visas to visit our beautiful country. The Statutory Instrument waiving visa requirements for visitors from these countries to Belize was signed in August, 2012. The Ministry of Tourism and the BTB views this as a major accomplishment as both have been working tirelessly to change the previous legislation. “The visa waivers will allow for ease of entry for travellers from South America. This will encourage more visitors from these South American countries to travel to our jewel as we make travelling to Belize a more appealing and easier experience. North Americans have always travelled to Belize without visas and we are extending this courtesy to some countries in South America as well. The statutory instruments have been signed and the legislation is being gazetted,” remarked Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture. Belize is one of the world’s leading emerging destinations and reforming travel requirements to our country without compromising national security is one way in which we remain competitive in a global tourism market.

Angels Honoring National Service Day
Dorian’s Angels joined the country of Belize in honoring and remembering the late Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. Belizean citizens were asked to do some form of community service project to honor the way the late Price lived his life. The Angels wanted to give back to the children of the island and knowing that the marching band of Isla Bonita Elementary School along with members of the San Pedro Dance Company have been arduously practicing for the September Celebrations they headed out to give them some treats to keep them cool in this lovely Belizean heat.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: PADI Certification Dive at Tackle Box Canyon, San Pedro
Featuring new, Open Water Divers, Stacy and Ron

RT. Hon. George Cadle Price Gallery
PACT uploaded a bunch of pictures of George Price. From the exhibit to the tribute in Belmopan to the George Price Centre, they have some good pictures in there. Have a safe and fun Independence Eve! Here's a link to the Museum of Belize's site, where they pay homage to George Price.

Lucky Boy Shirts at the Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo has a line of Lucky Boy t shirts. They are only $24, and the proceeds all go right to providing care to Lucky Boy. Time for a trip to the zoo! "The wait is over! Lucky Boy t-shirts are now available at The Belize Zoo's gift shop for $24 BZ! Sales of these beautiful shirts go straight to the care of the Boy himself. Support Lucky Boy today!"

Independence Eve in Cayo
There's a lot going tonight in Cayo. There will be a motorcade parade at 8:00pm, and the 11:50pm flag raising, and then fireworks at midnight. Cayo's nightlife will be hopping! There will be Independence day dances at many clubs. Lucky 5, Stork Club, Meluchi's, and Club Next will all have dances tonight. The SI United play the Police tonight at Broaster stadium. Have a fun, safe, and dry Independence Eve!

UB's Patriotic Day
The Univeristy of Belize had a Patriotic Day last week to celebrate Belize's independence. They had poetry, a dress competition, and Melonie Gillett was there to sing too. "Every year during the national September festivities, students, faculty and staff eagerly wait to participate in UB’s annual Patriotic Day celebrations to demonstrate their patriotism. Guest Speaker at this year’s event was Mr. Inez Sanchez, a former Patriot and educator. 'Patriotism has been defined as an undying love for one’s country, and love of country for which one is prepared to die for if need be,' said Mr. Sanchez. 'Nurture love of country in yourself, by yourself and for yourself. That would be true patriotism.'"

National Service Day at Octavia Waight
Feelgood story of the day. The SISE HoC and Pro World teamed up to spend a day at the Octavia Waight Centre, and they had 100 Sacred Heart Primary students with them. "Along with us was Pro World who collaborated with making the day a success. We had fun activities for the kids to enjoy while learning that serving others is fun. They also learned that serving others comes from the heart and that they must take the initiative to help. At the end of the lecture on George Price's life, the motivational speech by Ms. Catherine Garnett from Pro World and activities, the kids headed to the Octavia Waight Centre to perform for the elderly. Their performance was well received and a smile was passed to them as thank from the Elderly. The kids ended their performance by saying, "We love you all, thank you for having us". Children are the foundation of the future and on National Service day they honored the life of our Hero George Cadle Price by serving others."

Channel 7

Belize Didn't Default On Superbond
When we left you last night - the conclusion was that Belize had defaulted on its Superbond debt - but tonight, it seems not. A press release coming from the Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders - which represents the owners of more than 50% of the Superbond - issued a release today saying two important things: One, that they've given a 60 day extension on the payment due date for talks to progress, and two, that the Government has made a partial payment of the interest payment that was due on August 20th. That partial payment is 23.4 million Belize dollars, half of the 46 million that was due. And the release from the Committee also shows a marked change of tone. Whereas in the past they complained about lack of information and dialogue, today's release says quote, "conversations with the GOB are progressing towards a mutually agreeable restructuring of the Bonds and both sides have identified an appropriate framework to advance negotiations." The Committee welcomes the partial payment and in exchanges co-chair AJ Mediratta offers, quote "the Committee has agreed not to seek legal remedies for a period of 60 days…The Committee is recommending that other bondholders refrain from seeking legal remedies during this period." So, no legal action and where it once complained about a lack of information, the release now says, quote, "The Committee takes note of the debt servicing challenges facing Belize."

BBA And Transport Ministry Reach Compromise
The Belize Bus Association will implement new bus fares on Saturday - principally for western runs between Belize City and Belmopan. Those will go up for four dollars regular and five dollars express, to five regular and six, express. It's a 20% increase - but the bus owners - Westline included say it is needed for an industry that is being crushed by the rising cost of fuel and supplies. Fact is, those rates were first approved in 2002 - but that spurred violent unrest across the west - and the public enemy at the time was the Novelo's. Well now it is being introduced by the Bus Association - and their spokesperson Patrick Menzies today told the media that they have the support of the Ministry - who they support right back. The only person missing from that picture is the commuter who will have to pay more.

Coye Money In Limbo
What would you do with over a million dollars? Plenty, right? Well, that's just the dilemma that the Financial Intelligence Unit is facing because a million dollars - that is in the Coye Family bank account - is in limbo, and nobody can move it until the appeal case is heard for the Coye Family money laundering conviction. If you missed it, the Coye Family also can't touch any of the money. If the Appeal Court, which has yet to decide on a date to hear the case, dismisses the money laundering appeal - and upholds the conviction - then the money is forfeited and it goes to the state. And if the conviction is over turned - well, that's a whole other story. But in the meantime, the money is frozen in the bank, and the problem is that the Coye family still faces a 4.8 million dollar civil claim, filed in 2010, in which an international company, Internet Experts S. A., is suing Melonie Coye, Michael Coye, and Money Exchange International - all of whom were convicted in the criminal trial. Internet Experts S. A. is a company from Panama, with its local outfit, InstaDollar, which claims to have been originated from Costa Rica.

Another Suspect Passport Under Investigation
The police and immigration department are investigating another case of a suspect passport being issued. The name of the passport holder is Fidel Garcia - who got his passport in two days, September 6th and 7th., 2012. It has raised suspicion because the name sounds like that of a Belizean of Hispanic descent - but the picture on the passport is of a man who appears to be of middle eastern descent. And the address on the passport is for 90 Barrack Road - which is a Lebanese business place and residence. But in this case, police have managed to find the application form and other relevant documents and are investigating to find this person - but it is believed that he may have left the country. Turning now to the other case of Immigration fraud. The Americans have said nothing about Rafic Labboun - but we do know Belize police are questioning Wilhelm Dyck's little brother - who allegedly provided information to interested parties about his deceased elder brother.

Jason Brown Charged for Threatening Officer
Well known police Corporal Darrell Tutsi Usher made a police report yesterday against Jason Brown. If you recognize Brown it's because he was featured prominently as a gang leader in a Ross Kemp documentary on gangs in Belize in 2008. Brown would later step back from that characterization, saying he was reformed. But, back to the present day: Corporal Usher says that yesterday Brown saw him at a Belize City gas station and started throwing words at him. The words were over a disagreement with some pawn business they'd had months earlier. But Usher told us that while he was not intimidated - he still went to make a police report to put it on record. He told police that Brown made a threat of death against him and dared Usher to pull out his firearm.

Fatal Accident On Northern Highway
A man was knocked down and killed last night on the northern highway - on that same stretch of road that Stepehen Okeke complained about in mid-August. It happened at mile three and a half - in an area that has seen multiple fatalities of pedestrians, cyclists and care drivers in past years. Last night, it was a pedestrian. Serafin Acosta was attempting to cross the road - when a pickup truck, headed to Belize City and driven by 35 year old Nigel Matus knocked him down. A resident of the area - who asked to appear off camera told us what she saw:.. Eyewitness "What I saw last night was when the vehicle was coming and then the man was crossing the road. The vehicle knocks down the man. I came out here and I saw the man on the road, he wasn't moving."

Conrad Jones Still Missing
It's been over a week since 64 year-old Conrad Jones, a former assistant inspector of police went missing. Jones, now a Custom Guard went missing last Thursday after he was dropped off at the Hattieville Junction around 11 that night. He was last seen at the bus stop in front of Golden Haven Home for the Elderly in Hattievillie by a watchman around 2am that morning but shortly after around 2:30, he disappeared. Numerous searches have been conducted in the Hattieville area, but there is still no sign of Jones. Tonight his family is offering a reward of five hundred dollars to any who can help with information about his where-a-bouts. His daughter told us more:.. Shilpa Jones, daughter "The search although there have been many - none of them have turned up fruitful as yet. We are still in the same place we were the first time we made the report that my father is still missing and no one knows where he is."

GSU Operates In The North
Yesterday, the Gang Suppression Unit travelled to Orange Walk and Biscayne Village, where they claim to have busted several gang figures in illicit activities. It started at around 5:30 a.m. at the San Lorenzo Housing Site in Orange Walk Town. The house belongs to 23 year-old Lyndon Heredia, and according to the GSU, he was present at the time along with 17 year-old minor, 21 year-old Michael Anthony Cambranes, and 19 year-old Jose Ochoa. The search led to the discovery of a very minor amount of cannabis, 2.6 grammes, which was found in a room which Cambranes and the 17 year-old minor were occupying. As a result, both of them were jointly arrested and charged with possession of controlled drugs. Later in the morning, Cambranes pleaded guilty and was fined $505 dollars. He was able to pay it, and the charge was withdrawn against the 17 year-old minor. Later in the day, after the search, the GSU team followed the homeowner, Heredia who was driving a red Ford Mustang on San Andres Street.

Super Furia Wins Battle Of The Bands
For music lovers up north, the Battle of the Bands has become a special September treat after 4 years on the September Celebrations Calendar. This year, it was held at the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town, and Orange Walk's Super Furia Band won first place. Members of the veteran band, which has been in existence for 26 years, spoke to us on what the win meant to them: Roxanne Alcoser, lead vocalist - Super Furia "The battle of the bands - this is the 4th time that they are doing it and this is the first time that we participated in it and it was an excellent experience because we got to practice and rehearse from before and put a lot of work into it. I am glad to say that our work and effort was definitely paid off because we came in 1st." "It was held this past Sunday and it entails 4 bands in which there was 4th place, New Generation Band who had excellent guitarists and they had keyboardist and singers as well and the 3rd place winner was the All Star Band which consisted of band members of Gilharry and also members of CCC junior college band. The 2nd place winner was Techno band which had excellent singers as well as musicians and 1st place was us which are Super Furia Band."

Meet Elle Marie
In our newsroom we know Christelle Wilson as an up and coming young attorney - but she moonlights as Elle Marie, a reggae artist and song writer with a sweet voice and a deft touch of the pen. Over the past weeks, her music has been hitting the airwaves on some of the most popular radio shows… songs like "Ah Me Wear The Ring" and "Burn". Tonight Elle Marie will be hitting the big stage with Dancehall superstar Demarco in Orange Walk Town- where she will be performing her hit songs for the first time in front of a large audience. In a sit down interview with 7news today, the talented young artist spoke about her journey from attorney to artist and what she hopes to accomplish - while keeping her day job!

Belize Times Prints Special Edition
After six weeks without a printed edition - we note that the Belize Times was back on the streets today - and in full colour. We'd say it's a special Independence edition as it is headlined, "PUP Honours Price." No one seems to know whether it will continue - but the prevailing wisdom is that it is a one-off effort - and the paper will return to a strictly electronic version in the weeks coming. Again, that's the consensus of those we spoke to, but no one seems to know for sure. Notably, one former PUP politician and representative writes in the Reporter newspaper lamenting the loss of the paper after 56 years, also makes some hair raising claims about George Price. Alejandro Vernon from Toledo writes a colourful history of the paper -explaining that quote, "it takes money to run a paper." And wehre did the PUP get the money at the start? Vernon says that the first Times printing press was donated by the Guatemalan Government.

Frankie Reneau's Grand National Anthem Rendition
It's a tradition here at 7news that every year on the twentieth September - we close with master pianist Frankie Reneau's ravishing, extravagant and extended version of the national anthem. This year is no different, as we present his 2012 performance. We hope you enjoy and that it puts you in the mood for tonight's flag raising and fireworks. We'll have that live on channel 7 and join us tomorrow for the Official Ceremonies live form Belmopan. Enjoy it all and from all of us here at Channel 7, have a great independence day weekend.

Channel 5

Belize makes good-faith partial payment on Superbond
Prime Minister Dean Barrow made some baffling statements on his arrival from the US on the superbond, but today there is some clarity. There were two releases issued this afternoon in respect of the forty-six million dollar superbond payment that bring relief going into the Independence Day celebrations. Firstly, the government has announced that today [...]

Fatal Accident on Northern Highway
A fatal accident occurred at around seven o’clock on Wednesday night on the Northern Highway in Belize City. A man was killed when he was hit by a pickup truck coming from the direction of the Haulover Bridge into Belize City and it was not until this afternoon that the victim was identified as, Serafin [...]

Hezbollah investigation continues; Belmopan City employee questioned
The police investigation into the Belizean passport, driver’s license and birth certificate, issued in late August to alleged Hezbollah associate Raffic Labboun continues. The Criminal Investigations Branch of the police has taken a statement from Kevin Jones, a supervisor at the Belmopan City Council, who issued the driver’s license to Labboun in the name of [...]

Belize and Guatemala leaders not meeting in adjacency zone
There have been recent reports in the Prensa Libre that the heads of government Belize and Guatemala are scheduled to meet in the OAS Adjacency Zone in the days ahead. Prensa Libre sources the information to Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Harold Caballeros, who purportedly made the announcement after leaving the presidential palace and the purpose was [...]

Bus Association revs up for new prices
On Tuesday, we reported that after several meetings between the Transport Board and the Belizean Bus Association, effective this Saturday, September twenty-second, commuters from Belize City to Belmopan and all stops in between will be paying higher bus fares. The hike applies to regular and express runs and charges will go up from four to [...]

Independence and George Price
Thirty-one years ago, at the stroke of midnight, the Union Jack was lowered and Belizean flag unfurled majestically as the symbol of nationhood. It was the birth of the new nation of Belize with its territory intact. The British continued to maintain a presence in Belize and Guatemala did not at the time recognize the [...]

Viva Mexico! Neighbors to finish Border Bridge
A new bridge at the Belize/Mexico border has been in works for years and in the next couple of months, it is expected to finally open. Work began on the bridge in 2007, and while Mexico finished the construction on that side of the border in 2009, Belize has not been able to uphold its [...]

GSU suppresses ammunition and drugs
The Gang Suppression Unit took its operations up north on Wednesday. At around five-thirty a.m., a search warrant was executed at the residence of twenty-three year old Lyndon Heredia in the San Lorenzo housing area in Orange Walk. Two point six grams of cannabis were found inside a room being occupied at the time by [...]

Auto rental vehicle stolen
You are being asked to be on the lookout for a 2004 Suzuki XL-7 with license plate number 39255, which was stolen from Habet’s Auto Rental in Dangriga. According to the company, the vehicle was rented on September fifteenth by Canadian national Joan Marie Pearson and her boyfriend, Sammy Juarez of Corozal. It was to [...]

Pros and Cons of disability vs. invalidity benefits
A fifty-three year old Ladyville resident, who has been out of work for over a year, is not a happy camper with the Social Security Board. According to Rodney Bowen, who worked with BATSUB until its operations in Belize ended in August 2011, he has been receiving disability benefits since 1994 when an accident caused [...]

Hip! Hip! Happy Independence Day!
Independence celebrations kick off shortly. In the Old Capital, a throng of spectators is expected to converge at the Memorial Park where entertainment begins at nine o’clock tonight and will be aired live on this station. The festivities will lead up to midnight when the annual flag raising is set to take place to be [...]

Belize Birthday Bash 2012
If you wanna bring in the Independence Day in the north, Shawn Urbina of the S.K.U Promotions says that you need to head to Sugar City. Urbina is holding a grand concert called Belize Birthday Bash, 2012 and some big names in the music industry, including Black Chiney and Demarco are in the country. The [...]

Open Your Eyes with Independence Concert
Here at this station we kicked off the celebrations when you “Open Your Eyes” this morning with William and me. The lineup of artists included the General himself, Ernestine Carballo and the Belize Dance Company just back from Europe and Nello Player. Here’s how they got us into the Independence spirit.   {Highlight of performances…}


Belizean – American author publishes new book called “Daddy’s Maybe”
Belizean-American author Pat Tucker has written another in a series of novels called “Daddy’s Maybe.” The book which is scheduled for release in the middle of November is a social commentary on the issue of family law. Tucker spoke with Love News about her latest literary work. Tucker says that while her writing is focusing on subjects that are relevant to people of color, the book is a must-read for all Belizeans. Tucker has previously authored eight novels and three anthologies. The book “Daddy’s Maybe” and others by Pat Tucker are available online via and

The remembrance of the Father of the Nation, George Cadle Price
One year ago today, the man known at the Father of the Nation, George Cadle Price died at the Belize Medical Associates Hospital in Belize City. He had been hospitalized since a fall at his home on Pickstock Street. The nation mourned the death of the national hero who was the country’s first minister, premier, first prime minister and the man who guided the country to nationhood on September 21st. 1981. Today the legacy of Mr. Price lives on and on National Service Day many Belizeans took time out to remember the fallen Hero. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.


Mex cops want Yasser Safa!
Belize Immigration has no record of Rafic Labboun Allaboun; he must have been smuggled into Belize, says official. Mexican police have put out an all-points bulletin (APB) for Lebanese-Belizean Yasser Youssef Safa, according to Belize National Security Press Officer Delroy Cuthkelvin. Safa has been wanted for questioning since last week, when Mexican authorities reportedly found his younger brother, Samer Youssef Safa, in the company of Lebanese-American Rafic Mohammad Labboun Allaboun, 44, an imam of California, who has since been deported back to the US after allegedly skipping probation. Meanwhile, Labboun is also being investigated in Belize after he allegedly acquired the birth certificate of Wilhelm Dyck and used his identity to obtain a Belizean passport and driver’s license in Dyck’s name, although Dyck, of Shipyard, Orange Walk, died as a baby at the age of 2 months back in 1976.

Customs guard, 64, disappears from Hattieville bus stop
His family says he has been missing for seven days.. Retired Inspector of Police, now a Customs guard and escort, Conrad Jones, 64, of West Street, who was travelling with a fellow Customs officer, has disappeared. Jones asked his fellow officer to drop him off at a bus stop in Hattieville after 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, to hitchhike to Belize City; he has now been missing for seven days, and his family is very worried. Jones was last seen around 2:00 a.m. Wednesday, September 12, at the bus stop in front of Golden Haven Home for the Elderly in Hattieville, by a watchman. The watchman told the family that Jones was sitting under the bus stop when he made his rounds, but around 2:30 a.m. when he returned he did not see Jones again.

He invited his killer to his bed
One man is dead and the other man is nowhere to be found after the two of them were seen sleeping together in a bed by friends of the deceased, who live in the same house. Wilmer Alexis Esquivel, 27, was found dead in his bedroom at Corner 12th Street and St. Thomas Street at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Monday, September 17, about five and a half hours after he was seen sleeping with the unknown man. Esquivel was found stabbed to death in his room and police say they have identified the man who was sleeping with him as Jose Humberto Gabarrete. His friends and fellow tenants told Amandala that Esquivel came home around 11:00 p.m. that Sunday along with a man who they had never seen before, and when they engaged him in conversation and asked him his name, he gave them different names.

Pickup driver kills man on Northern Highway
A Hispanic man who was walking on the Northern Highway in the Bally Gardens area is dead after he was knocked down by a pickup truck around 7:30 tonight. The pickup’s driver said that they were travelling from Ladyville to Belize City when a man who was on the opposite side of the road suddenly ran across the road, right into the pickup. The impact threw him a short distance away from the truck, and he died almost immediately. He reportedly had no identification on him. The pickup’s left front bumper and hood were damaged, and its left headlamp and grill were broken.

Mirage Lady Rebels are 2012 Belize City Softball Champions
The 2012 Belize City Senior Female Softball Competition concluded with game 4 of the best-of-5 championship series on Friday, September 14, at Rogers Stadium, where Mirage Lady Rebels won, 5-3, over defending champions Belize Telemedia, to [...]

2012 FFB Inter-District tournament kicks off on Sunday
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) has released the tournament schedule for its 2012 Inter-District Club Championship, which features 16 teams, 2 from each of the 7 official football districts, [...]

Football renaissance, tougher than tough in PLB Opening Season 2012-2013
There are times when football interest and excitement has peaked in Belize, for one reason or another. The appearance of the young Dunlop around 1958; the emergence of the Mighty Avengers in the mid-60’s; the Charger-Berger [...]

September 21 – what do we celebrate?
On Friday, September 21, Belize celebrates its 31st anniversary of independence from Great Britain. All our neighbours, beginning with Mexico in the north to Nicaragua and Costa Rica in the south, were ruled by Spain. Only Mexico fought Spain for its independence, but like all its neighbours, with the exception of Belize and Costa Rica, suffered through a civil war to cement that independence. We all know what are normally the main causes of civil wars – perceived injustices of one group of citizens against the other, sometimes ethnic, sometimes political, sometimes a combination of both, and there is always bloodshed, no matter who wins the war. Mexico’s war of independence from Spain lasted from 1810 to 1821, while the Caste War of Yucatán, in which the native Maya people of Yucatán fought against the population of European descent, called Yucatecos, who held political and economic control of the region, lasted from 1847 to 1901. Honduras, home to several important indigenous cultures, most notably the Maya, became independent in 1821. Much of the country had been conquered by Spain, which ruled it for about 300 years; and in the ensuing 191 years since independence, nearly 300 small internal rebellions and civil wars have occurred in the country.

From The Publisher
I suppose that when Said Musa offered in early 1977 to invest in a company which would move Amandala from ancient letter press to modern offset technology, it was a decision which was made at the highest levels of the ruling People’s United Party (PUP). While Mr. Musa bought $20,000 worth of shares in a company capitalized at $50,000, five other PUP Ministers and cronies bought $1,000 each, so that from the beginning the PUP controlled exactly 50 percent of Cream, Ltd. On my family’s side, I believe that, using a loan from Miss Jane’s Holy Redeemer Credit Union, I bought $14,200 worth of shares, my dad bought $3,000, and my aunt, Mrs. Chrystel Hyde Straughan, bought $3,000. So that, my family owned $20,200 worth of shares, while $4,800 worth of shares was unsubscribed. When the PUP leadership began to discuss candidates for the Belize City Council elections scheduled for December 1977, it was decided that I should be a PUP candidate. I had retired from electoral politics after my unsuccessful run as the UBAD Party candidate for Collet in October 1974, but the pressure came down on me from on high, while two of the PUP candidates, Leroy Taegar and Lois Young, were friends of mine and probably thought they were doing me a favor by agitating for my candidacy. I don’t really know.

Ideas and Opinions: About gangs
Two weeks ago, a young man was murdered. A gang had tried to recruit him and he had refused to join. Conclusions: 1. The gangs are actively recruiting members to increase their strength and, 2. If you live in an area where there is a gang, you are not allowed to refuse their invitation to join. I hope that the Ministry of National Security has taken note of this very interesting development. Early last week in Belmopan, the former Secretary to the Cabinet, Mr. James Murphy, Jr., was getting ready to take his daughter to school in his car. As they approached the vehicle, he saw two men sitting under a tree, nearby. They got up and came over to the car after they were inside. One of the men pushed a gun through the window on the driver’s side and ordered them to get out of the vehicle. The two men took possession of the vehicle and drove away. It was found parked in Belize City the following day. I was struck by the attitude of those two men. They seemed to be supremely confident that they would get away with what they did. It is a serious crime to point a gun at someone. It is another crime to take possession of another man’s vehicle. Yet they made no attempt to conceal their identity. Clearly, they had no fear of punishment.

Our greatest resource
What is our country’s greatest resource? Is it our Barrier Reef and our fishing and aquaculture industries; or, the citrus, sugar, and banana industries taken together, or, is it the land, including the cayes and atolls? It’s none of these. Our greatest natural resource is our children. There are some very interesting ideas about how a model society ought to be structured. The one I will discuss was presented in a book I read many years ago called Plato’s Republic. My recounting will be from memory, so, it will not be exactly as it was written by Plato. Plato said that the children were all wards of the state. They would be taken away from their parents when they reached the age of reason and put into camps where they would be cared for, trained and educated. The training would be in military discipline and the use of arms, so, that they would all be able to serve in the defence of the nation in the time of need. After their primary education, it will be determined what they are best suited for and that will be the area that their training will concentrate on to prepare them for their lifework and position in the society. Some will be tradesmen, some artisans, some be trained as officers for the army, some professionals like doctors, lawyers and engineers, some in the performing arts and the best minds will become philosophers and professors and they will be rulers of the society. Society would have a hierarchical structure and each individual will belong to a class. The class structure would not be rigid, so that, there could be movement of individuals upwards or downwards, depending on performance or qualifications. The rulers would set high moral standards for the rest of society to emulate and, since everyone’s basic needs would be satisfied, there would be little excuse for criminality.

Super-bond grace period expires – Belize discusses part-payment option
GOB urges against “legal wrangle” “…negotiations with the creditor committee advisors and non-creditor committee bondholders continue,” says Ambassador Espat Wednesday, September 19, marks the end of the 30-day grace period for Belize to make its August 2012 semiannual payment on the US$544 million super-bond, which it has been trying to renegotiate with bondholders. Belize defaulted on its August 20, 2012, payment last month, citing an inability to pay – but calling on bondholders to work with the debt negotiation team to come up with a restructured debt relief scheme. Government has said that it would not likely find the funds to pay within the grace period, which expires a month from now. “Unless something were to fall out of the sky – that doesn’t happen these days – there can’t be any material change in our circumstances over the next 30 days,” Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Barrow said at a press conference held late August.

Bus fare Belize City to Belmopan up by $1, to $5
After 20 years operating “at a loss”, transport industry asks for “ease”from Government and commuters The Independence Day weekend will see a 1-dollar increase in the fare for bus operators working the Western Zone between Belize City and Belmopan, including stops in the villages along the route, from $4.00 to $5.00. Technically speaking, however, it is not an increase. In fact, $5 was what customers should have been paying all along, because for the distance of 50 miles between Belize City and Belmopan, operators are legally mandated to charge $.10 a mile. Operators in the Belizean Bus Association (BBA) this week went public with their concerns that in order to keep up with the major increase in the cost of living since the last re-alignment of fares took place in 1992, commuters should pay the rate legally agreed upon. This afternoon, president of the Association, Thomas Shaw, was in meetings with Minister of State (Transport), Edmond Castro, who since taking over the portfolio following March’s general elections, has been on a campaign to clean up the industry in the wake of the national embarrassment that was last May and June’s imbroglio between the authorities and the Association over the distribution of runs in the Northern and Western Zones that climaxed in a fiery protest and a later court case.

FECTAB steps up pressure over rappel post at archaeological site
The Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) remains unconvinced by the assurances of Chukka Cove Caribbean Tours based in Jamaica, and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), that a metal/wood rappelling platform built approximately six weeks ago above Cave 3 at the Nohoch Che’en Archaeological Reserve in the Cayo District, is safe for Chukka customers to use and will not lead to disaster. FECTAB President Tom Greenwood and operators, Yhony Rosado of and David Almendarez of Cavetubing ‘R Us, this morning visited Amandala following an appearance on the Wake Up Belize Morning Vibes (WUB) show on KREM Radio. Rosado, who told us he has been in the cave tubing business for 12 years, says that he has had “many ideas” for improvements to tours to the area, but never followed through because of the historical and archaeological importance of Nohoch Che’en, a cave system approximately 200 million years old and sacred to the ancient Maya. But the platform, which is accessible only via a hidden walkway built directly above the entrance to Cave 3 in a rock formation containing limestone and other rocks, is, Rosado said, “destroying the Maya heritage” and according to Greenwood, is a “disaster waiting to happen.”

BTL earnings drop 22%, revenues fall 8%
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) is due to hold its Annual General Meeting next Friday, September 28, 2012, at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. The Government of Belize holds a 63% stake, the Belize Social Security Board a 20% stake, The Central Bank of Belize an 8% stake and small shareholders a 9% stake in the company, and directors and shareholders are expected to vote on dividend payments at the upcoming AGM. A substantially reduced profit could mean that Government stands to receive less in dividends than it did last year. The company has published online its directors’ report and financials for the year ended March 31, 2012, and those reports indicate that revenues, earnings and shareholder equity have declined compared to the previous year. “In this fiscal year ended March 31, 2012, net income decreased by $7.3 million or 22% to $26.5 million from $33.9 million recorded in the previous year,” BTL reports. “Earnings per share decreased to 53 cents from 68 cents per share from the previous year [also 22%].”


If you are squeamish don’t look
This morning we had quite an adventure, Cowboy Doug was cleaning up the tiles that were taken down to add a screen door to their condo and he found a big black scorpion. Our first thought was to jar it but that did not work out too well and the scorpion made a quick exit, making us jump in the process. Unfortunately the quick exit turned into work as it darted into the space between the door frame and concrete that used to be covered by tile. Not wanting to leave it in there Cowboy and Kai (sp?) started thinking of ways to get it out, stick, pliers, outdoor bug spray, filling the area with water – none of those worked. In a last effort to draw our nemesis out I hit ambushed it with some of Leisa’s skeeter spray and he came staggering out, [ girls to the rescue :) ] Cowboy was ready to get it [ boy job :) ] but only managed his to cut his tail off. Still not wanting to get caught our king size creepy crawler went for cover under the metal door plate. We sprayed each end of that, he came back out and it was bye bye Mr. Scorpion.

Popayan: Colombia's Second Most Beautiful Colonial City is a Bit Bland
According to the guide books, Popayan is an amazingly gorgeous white city and the second most beautiful colonial town in Colombia after Cartegena. That's a tall order. Though I have never been to Cartegena (YET!), Danni and Cesar (my travel mates) have been over-the-top GUSHING about the place. They LOVE it, the atmosphere, the colors, the music, the entire mood of the place. They are pretty much packing their bags and moving to Cartegena. So second best? We were expecting great things from Popayan. And to some degree it delivered... And in other aspects, it was just a bit white washed, empty feeling and well...bland.

Belize’s Birthday Proof That Multiculturalism Works
Belize’s 31st birthday is not only a celebration of this tiny Caribbean nation’s independence, but a festival of multiculturalism and living proof that racial, religious and cultural harmony does work, the owners of theLodge at Chaa Creek said today. In the run up to the nationwide celebrations about to take place in Belize under the theme of “Many faces, many dreams, but one goal; celebrating Belize”, Mick and Lucy Fleming said they wished to highlight one of Belize’s most fundamental but sometimes overlooked qualities. “When people think of Belize, it’s usually the pristine rainforests, Maya temples, sparkling Caribbean islands and the Belize Great Barrier Reef that come to mind, but one of the country’s most magnificent attributes and proudest accomplishments is the racial and cultural harmony we see every day throughout Belize,” Ms Fleming said. Ms Fleming said that as Chaa Creek was also celebrating its 31st birthday as Belize’s first rainforest eco resort, she and her husband wanted to congratulate their very multicultural staff of 135 people. “I think we all take it for granted just how large and varied the Chaa Creek family has become over the last three decades, and in this way we truly represent Belize as a whole. “My husband Mick is English, I was born in the US, our son and daughter are both Belizean born, as are our adopted children, and the roster of our 135 member staff reads like a veritable united nations, with people of Creole, Mestizo, Maya, Garifuna, Lebanese, East and West Indian, Asian, European and other cultures represented. Just walking through our beautiful gardens and grounds you’re likely to hear English, Spanish and Garifuna spoken along with the ever present lilt of Creole. “We notice that all over the world, in articles and blogs, people always comment on the warm friendly nature of Belizeans, and our guests often mention the diverse makeup of our people. I think we take it for granted, and birthdays are an important time to highlight what’s special,” she said.

Happy Birthday Ish!!
Today we have a big shout out to one of our biggest characters at Raggamuffin – Captain Ish!! Ish is a fairly new recruit in Raggamuffin terms ie he has only been with us a year but in that time he has already had a huge impact rising to Captain within the shortest time I can remember, never mind the fact that he will start leading tours come November! Island boy, accomplished fisherman and seaman he is Raggamuffin through and through and he really is still only a baby!! Ish’s huge lovable personality combined with his exceedingly professional nature makes him a hit with everybody that travels with him and for us, a man that we can very much rely on to get the job done! Ish’s birthday lands on the eve of Belize’s Independence day and therefore this means that he can guarantee that island will be partying with him tonight – we have already received our invitation to his house for his pre-fireworks party, so if you are on the island … you are given full permission to crash the party and join us!!

26 Tips and Tricks To Get The Most of This Independence Day
Don't miss the flag raising ceremony/fireworks ( September 20 @ Independence Plaza -- 11:45 PM). Don't miss the Official Independence Day Ceremony ( starts @ 10:00 AM in Independence Plaza,). Don't miss the Jump Up (Devon Beaton Park @ 1:00 PM to 12:00 AM). Come out from early to see the Citizen's parade ( anytime before 11:00 AM, around the Ring Road to Devon Beaton Park). Carry along a camera. A radio would be helpful. If you are driving, ensure that you are driving with precaution and park in areas that are safe. (Early birds get the best parking spots).

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (20 September 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 3 ­53 ­28 ­12 ­26 ­57 ­61­ Y 125.00 Each (17 Balls)

International Sources

New Permanent Representative of Belize Presents Credentials
The new Permanent Representative of Belize to the United Nations, Lois Michele Young, today presented her credentials to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Until her appointment, Ms. Young chaired the Board of Directors of the Social Security Chamber from 2008, having previously chaired the Belize Social Security Appeals Tribunal between 1989 and 2002. Self-employed in private practice as an attorney-at-law and Head of Chambers at Lois Young Barrow and Co. since 1976, Ms. Young has been a member of the Bar Association of Belize since 1976. From 1975 to 1976 she was a Public Prosecutor in the Office of Public Prosecutions, a Crown Counsel in the Ministry of the Attorney General, as well as a magistrate. Ms. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in law from King’s College, University of London. Born in Belize City on 19 January 1951, she is single.

Deeper CO2 Cuts Needed to Save Corals
Limiting climate change to two degrees C won’t save most coral reefs, according to new, state-of-the-art research. About 70 percent of corals are projected to suffer from long-term degradation by 2030 with two degrees C of warming, the first comprehensive global survey reported Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. The planet will get far hotter than two degrees C based on current commitments by countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, mainly from burning oil, gas and coal. Humanity is on course to heat up the atmosphere an average of three and even four degrees C, according to the Climate Action Tracker, an international scientific monitor. Those temperature levels are what most scientists consider “catastrophic”. Global temperatures have risen an average of about 0.8C so far and already melted much of the Arctic and generated costly extreme weather events around the planet. Keeping that global average increase below two degrees is only a matter of “political will” not technology, said Bill Hare, director of Climate Analytics, one of the partners in the Climate Action Tracker.

Belize Buys Time by Making Half of $23 Million Bond Payment
Belize agreed to make about half of a missed payment on $544 million of its debt, buying time as it negotiates with creditors. The Central American country will pay holders of a 2029 bond $11.7 million of the $23 million that they’re owed, according to statement issued today. “This suggests Belize doesn’t want to walk away from the negotiation and cares about the public relations part of it,” Joe Kogan, the head of emerging-market debt strategy at Scotia Capital Markets, said in a phone interview from New York. “It’s a step towards building goodwill. There’s some reason to expect a better outcome than Belize offered initially.” A day after Belize missed the payment on Aug. 20, Standard & Poor’s lowered its rating to selective default and said investors were likely to recover 30 percent to 50 percent of the bonds’ face value in a restructuring. A 30-day grace period for Belize expired yesterday. The bond gained 0.55 cent to 34.85 cents today, the biggest advance since Aug. 27, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Belize Makes Partial Payment on Bond
An adviser to creditors holding Belize sovereign debt said the government made a partial payment on its only bond, a day after the country defaulted, laying the groundwork for debt relief. The adviser to the creditor group, which holds more than 50% of the bonds totaling $548.3 million, didn't say how much the government paid of its $23.1 million interest payment that was due Aug. 20. BroadSpan Capital, the Miami-based adviser, said discussions were progressing "towards a mutually agreeable restructuring of the bonds and both sides have identified an appropriate framework to advance negotiations." A.J. Mediratta, co-chairman of the creditor committee, said the panel had agreed to not seek a legal remedy for the missed payment for 60 days. He also said he advised other creditors to do the same. Government officials declined to comment.

Placencia, Belize Travel Tips
Communications- Wi-Fi is available at various places around the village. While accessible the bandwidth is not as good as in the US so it may be slower and I found that streaming videos or music was not practical most of the time. I used US telephone cards to call back to the States. Cheap rate. Note: There are two phone cards widely sold, one that is for US only and one that is International. If you are only going to call the US, that is the least expensive card to us. Shopping - There are several grocery stores in town to purchase food, drink, toiletries, pharmaceuticals, etc. There are quite a few gift stores and stands throughout the village that sell hand-made purchases, local artwork and some clothing. These are locally owned small stores. Their unique offerings and quaint style will likely be an adventure in itself. Enjoy a new world! Restaurants and Bars - There are many to choose from and I had good meals at all of them, from finer dining, to Italian (yes, a very good Italian restaurant) to bar food to street vendors. Loved them all. Lobster is like chicken there when in season.

Snorkelling with sharks, rays and turtles in Belize
Arriving in Belize was like stepping onto a completely different continent. Although archaeologically and geographically similar to the countries it borders, the impact of more recent history was obvious. With much more of a Caribbean vibe, and English replacing Spanish as the predominant language spoken to visitors, the atmosphere was quite different. After a brief stop in Belize City, we hopped on a water taxi to Ambergris Caye, one of the main islands off the coast and an ideal location for indulging in lots of watery activities. I'd managed to snag a gorgeous beach bungalow for very little cost, and as we sank into the chairs on our deck and watched the sun dip below the crystal clear blue water on the first evening, I wasn't sure a week there would be enough. Once the sweltering temperatures dropped, the town came alive, Reggeton music drifting on the breeze and the smells of BBQ wafting over the sand. As we wandered along the shoreline, trying to decide which of the many seafood restaurants to pick, we spotted rays gliding through the seaweed in the gloom. I knew I was going to love Belize.

First Day of Bonefishing for Mrs. BOTB
She’s a sport. This was our honeymoon, after all. It was also her second day of fly fishing ever. That’s jumping into the deep end, pretty much. Still, I figured if it was going to happen, it stood a good chance of happening here, out of El Pescador in Belize. I would routinely say that what I wanted, out of the day on the water, was to share with her what it was that I loved, out there on the flats. It is an obscure concept if you’ve never been out there and maybe the selling of it is a bit challenging. ”Hey, let’s stand on a boat for a few hours, looking for fish that are really hard to see, in the sun without shade. Oh, and you can’t have a beer until you land a fish (OK, that’s really more my rule).” She was kitted out for success. She came walking up for breakfast like she belonged. We then left to find some bones and the Mrs. got up on deck. Cesar, our guide set about helping out with her cast. This was her second day fishing, period. It is a tough place to start. Cesar got her up and running and put in into position to catch fish. There is a lot to remember though, and it was tough for her to carry it all in her mind. There is so much we carry in muscle memory and when you have to pick it all up and have to keep it in the front of your mind, well, things are going to get dropped, and plenty of things got dropped.

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