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2/21/2013 to 2/28/2013
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February 28, 2013


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

The San Pedro Sun

Letter to the Editor: The San Pedro AIDS Commission says THANK YOU!
The San Pedro AIDS Commission wholeheartedly thanks all those who in one way or another helped make our participation in Carnaval 2013 yet another success for this group. I applaud the members who opted to dance during the three days of Carnaval and the members who donated or worked for this event. I also salute the “friends” of the AIDS Commission who joined in the festive dancing: Sara Sanchez, Shirley Eiley, Naie Duran, Alex White, Mari Magaña, Erin de Santiago, Brittney O’Daniel and Kristi Gonzalez. Great job guys! San-Pedro-AIDS-Commission-ComparsaGracias to our “Friends” for their continued support. Special thanks to Matachica Resort, Sandbar, Findley Halliday, Mrs. Elvia Staines & Ryan Edwards, Ellos Boutique, The Liquor Box, Tropic Air, Carmen & Alex Eiley, Super Buy, Juvinie Sabido, Mrs. Shelly Huber and Betty Villelda. Thanks to Bistro Mestizo for providing the tasty food following the dances and to Martin Ancona and Mauricio Aquino for their assistance.

Body of unidentified female found in water south of town
San Pedro Police have started a murder investigation following the discovery of the body of an unidentified Caucasian female. The body was found partially floating in the water near the southern part of San Pedro Town shortly around 8AM on Wednesday February 27th. According to residents in the Mar de Tumbo area of San Pedro Town, the body was taken out by nearby resort workers from a rocky beach side, after which police were called to the scene. Female Body FoundAccording to police, the female was observed wearing a black undershirt, a blue jeans short skirt and was barefoot. The female also had on a wedding band and a pair of earrings. Police have been trying to determine the identity of the female, and are speaking to residents living in the various resorts. “She doesn’t look familiar to us and she does not look like a local,” said one of the residents in the area who police asked to view the body in an attempt to identify the body.

Ambergris Today

Belizeans Unite For Land Reform Demonstration
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association [BGYEA] and its social partners participated in a National Land Reform Rally on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, at the steps of the National Assembly in Belmopan. The crowd of about 135 men and women commenced the march from the area behind the museum over to the National Assembly and then circled that building three times, all the while, chanting for "transparency and accountability" and "land for the needy, not the greedy", and singing songs of redemption. The purpose of the rally was to highlight the need for increased transparency, efficiency and accountability in the management and distribution of national lands as well as to secure commitment by the Prime Minister of Belize and the minister responsible for the distribution of land for their support for as well as direct participation in a series of public consultations through which a national land reform policy can be developed and implemented.

Traveller’s Liquors Don Omario Aged Rum Has Rich Belizean History
Since 1953, Traveller’s Liquors Ltd. has been providing Belizeans and visitors alike with a broad and unique assortment of distilled and fermented products. Founder and Patriarch of the family, Master Blender Omario Perdomo, gave the company its name because of its original success serving travelers along the main route into and out of Belize City. Today the company boasts the 15-year-old aged rum called the Don Omario Vintage Rum that many rum experts have compared to a fine bourbon or scotch whiskey. The vintage rum is obviously named after the late Omario Perdomo and there is even a Royal Visit Edition of the rum as it was served to HRH Prince Harry of England during his visit to Belize during HRH Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Anniversary. Tasting Notes Very Smooth – warming aroma - a dry, medium-weight body – earthy - the finish is long, consistent with the taste and aromas. It is described of having sublime sweetness, including brown sugar, light caramel, vanilla, nice blend of oak from fresh and older casks, roasted walnuts, the slightest essence of frangipani, banana and spice. It has 45% ABV that speeds the delivery of the aromas. The Vintage Rum is only available at the Traveller’s Liquors Heritage Center in Belize City or at their retail and distribution center in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sources

CRFM Ministerial Sub-Committee on Flyingfish calls stakeholders to action
Fisheries ministers who met on Friday, 22 February 2013, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to review urgent governance and management issues challenging the seven Caribbean countries that currently harvest the Eastern Caribbean flyingfish (scientific name: Hirundichthys affinis), are calling stakeholders across the region to action. At the ministerial meeting, convened by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and chaired by The Bahamas, the CRFM Ministerial Sub-Committee on Flyingfish issued a call to stakeholders, asking them to ensure that the necessary technical consultations and analyses are completed to ensure that the final Strategic Action Programme (SAP) report, which will be used to lobby for funding, adequately provides for the interests and needs of the people of the CARICOM/CRFM States. The ministers also called upon the countries to ensure that the consultations with stakeholders at the national level and the updating of the Draft Fisheries Management Plan for the flyingfish are completed in a timely manner, so that the final plan can be submitted to the Sub-committee for endorsement at its next sitting in May 2013 in Barbados.

New World Oil & Gas: Shore sees "significant potential"
Broker Shore Capital remains upbeat on New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) after its recent drilling setback in Belize. It said it continues to see “significant volumetric potential at Blue Creek”, its project there. The comments follow an update from the exploration junior revealing it has increased its interest in Belize to 75% from 35%. It is about to start drilling on its third well in the tiny Central American country, on the West Gallon Jug prospect. The element missing was the trap for the oil. So, what showed up on the seismic was either a late trap development (created after the migration of the oil past), or late tectonic movement, which causes traps to breach. “With live oil shows and extensive residual oil encountered at the B Crest well location, trap appears to be the key outstanding element, and West Gallon Jug is considered to be geologically independent of B Crest,” said Shore.

New World Oil & Gas increases stake in Belize project to 75%
New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) this morning confirmed that its stake in the Blue Creek project in Belize has now increased to 75% from 35%. It has earned the additional project equity following the completion of two exploration wells, as set out in the terms of the group’s farm-in agreement over the asset. And with the completion of the next well, on the West Gallon Jug prospect, the company will complete the acquisition as its stake will rise again to 100%. New World expects to start drilling this well in March. "Earning into a 75% working interest into the Blue Creek Project in Belize marks a significant milestone for the company,” said chief executive Bill Kelleher. “Although we did not make a commercial discovery at our B Crest prospect, three of four elements which make up a working hydrocarbon system, source, migration and seal have been confirmed. Trap remains the only outstanding risk and importantly each of our remaining five drillable prospects in Belize are geologically independent of each other.

Open a Beach Bar in Belize
After 25 years as a union glazier, Craig Pearlman was ready for a change. “I installed windows in commercial buildings, sometimes as high as 42 stories up,” says the 47-year-old New Jersey native. “We worked right on the window ledge of high-rises in Jersey City and Hoboken. I almost fell a couple of times. That scared the hell out of me.” Tired of the risks and weary of working for someone else, Craig dreamed of opening his own beach bar. “I was sick of jumping out of bed each day to an alarm clock and fighting the crazy traffic. And each year, when the weather began to turn in the fall, I found myself wishing for the warmth of a tropical climate,” Craig says. So when a friend suggested he look into Belize, he did exactly that. “My friend had heard it was a great place to make a fresh start, with good business opportunities and lots of raw potential.” Within months, Craig had booked a flight to check out some properties he’d researched online. After looking at several areas of the country, he fell in love with the remote, off-the-grid, jungle area surrounding tiny Monkey River Village, population 300.

VIDEO: Start of Boom to Belize, sponsored by Guinness
We hooked up a GoPro on the back of Oceana's canoe. You kinda get the sense of how intense the race and speed can be. Consider this previews for coming attractions at the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge.

20 Things About Photography Expeditions in the Tropics I Learned All Over Again
Here are 20 things I can pass on should you want to take your expensive camera gear and risk it to document one of the most wild and beautiful habitats on earth.

Strings of Love Full Moon Concert Pictures
The Benque House of Culture has some pictures from the Strings of Love concert. "The Cayo Music School, Benque Marimba Project and Violinists Trina & Arun graced us with a night of mellow and soothing instruments, for the Strings & More full moon concert. Image's courtesy of Elvisa Avila for Lens of Culture ' World Arts Outreach"

Faith Nazarene Visits the SIPL
Faith Nazarene Primary School went to hear some stories at the San Ignacio Public Library.

Rotary District 4250 Conference in Cayo
Starting Wednesday, Cayo is hosting Rotary's District 4250 Conference. They'll be at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel for much of their meetings. Welcome, Rotarians! "XVIII Rotary District 4250 started uyesterday at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel."

How to Make Virgin Coconut Oil
Last video we showed how to extract the milk from a coconut to make coconut milk . In this video, we continue the process to use the milk to make coconut oil from scratch. Although it was a long process, the taste of the oil was unmatched. This is a healthy oil that is for internal and external use.

BDF receives 8 Seabee Reconnaissance boats
USA Ambassador announces the Belize Defence Force receiving 8 Seabee reconnaissance jet propelled boats for interoperability missions in the Rio Hondo, Corozal.

Channel 7

San Ignacio Cabbie Dies In City Collision
Yesterday morning, 37 year old San Ignacio Taxi Driver George David Moro left home as he always does on Tuesday's to bring a merchant to the city. He usually returns in the evening but not last night. Moro was killed in a violent collision in front of CISCO Construction at mile 3 on the Western Highway. IT happened at 7:30 and 7news was on the scene shortly after: Jules Vasquez Reporting When we arrived on the scene the driver of one of the cars, 31 year old Mexican Diplomat Marco Antonio Lopez Leon was being taken in an ambulance But there was no ambulance for the driver of the other car, 37 year old George David Moro. He was crushed behind the wheel and died. Lascelle Arnold who lives in Belmopan was one of the first persons on the scene: Lascelle Arnold - Came Upon Accident "He was breathing when we arrived there. We opened the door, and he was still alive, breathing. Apparently, he was all the way underneath the dashboard. The seat snapped back completely." Jules Vasquez "How long was it before the taxi driver expired?" Lascelle Arnold "I would say about - when I arrived there and opened the door, he was still alive. When the ambulance came he was still alive. By the time the started to get stuff out of the ambulance, when we went back to the car, he was gone."

Wyoming Woman Dies Mysteriously On San Pedro; Pol Launch Homicide Investigation
A tourist was found dead on San Pedro this morning - and island police are treating it as a homicide investigation. The 32 year old female from the state of Wyoming in the USA was found dead at 8:00 am behind Royal Palm Villas. As police told us, she was found on a beach chair - we have video courtesy the San Pedro Sun: Cpl. Mark Young - Investigating Tourist's Death (Via Phone) "At that time, we visited that area, the female was seen lying face up on a green beach chair with foam coming from the mouth." Jules Vasquez "Were there any signs of foul play corporal?" Cpl. Mark Young "Not at this time." Jules Vasquez "I read on the San Pedro Sun as well that there were bruises around the neck of the female. Where there apparent bruises on her neck?" Cpl. Mark Young "Well, not to our knowledge."

Hon. Wilfred Warns Again
Wil Maheia and his Belize Territorial Volunteers are going to clear the border on Saturday - and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made it clear, they're on their own. That's because Belize's Foreign Minister has said they are threading on dangerous ground and face the possibility of getting arrested. Additionally, the Guatemalans have sent a diplomatic note to Belize's Ministry of Foreign Affairs warning that such an initiative will only exacerbate border tensions. Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington has already publicly warned against the initiative due to its risk of causing a border incident, but as we showed you, Maheia is unfazed and leaning on what he calls overwhelming support from the Belizean public. Today, Elrington was at another function, and 7News got a chance to ask him in person if his Ministry will accept Maheia's public invitation to accompany them to see first-hand that they don't intend to cause friction with Guatemala. Here's how he responded: Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "The Government will not accompany him. The Government is advising that it's a dangerous initiative, and certainly, the Government is not going to do anything that could jeopardize the lives of its citzens, whether they are officials or other citizens."

ASP Vidal Effects Mass Transfers At Special Branch
Six weeks ago, we reported that ASP Mark Vidal had taken over Special Branch - while also retaining control of the GSU. Well, yesterday he shook up Belize City's Special Branch as it had never been shaken before, by ordering the immediate transfer of 14 officers to the patrol branch. That's - more than a quarter of the Department's manpower, gone in a one fell swoop. Incredibly, this includes the officer commanding and his deputy. So why the massive, unprecedented purge? In a statement today, Vidal told us that quote "Some repostings were done as a first phase in restructuring and refocusing the Branch to become more efficient and effective in addressing the threats to national security." He added that, quote, "It is also part of wider a Police Department's plan in the rolling out of the four Policing precincts at Eastern Division to more effectively police the communities affected by violent crimes." And while that's the explanation he gave us - reports we've gotten say that those who were transferred weren't told anything. It's news because of the scale of the transfers and also because Special Branch Officers are rarely transferred, since they operate in a sensitive area.

Bench Warrant For Mayor Bradley?
There is a bench warrant with Mayor Darrell Bradley's name on it. The document is dated December 2012, and it could be activated depending what happens in the Supreme Court tomorrow. The warrant is part of a bundle of legal papers filed with the court in which Belize Waste Control wants the court to cite Mayor Bradley for contempt. It stems from a 2.3 million dollar arbitration award granted to Waste Control against the city council in 2009 - when Bradley was the City's attorney. Back then, as attorney, he said the city would pay the debt monthly, but it never did - not even when he became mayor. And so in 2012, Waste Control attorney Fred Lumor got the court to agree that Waste Control's constitutional rights had been violated and the money should be paid forthwith. Again, it was not, and so now Lumor wants the court to cite the mayor for contempt. If such a citation is made, then the bench warrant to commit him for not paying the monies owed will be activated. We could not reach Bradley for comment - but will tell you the outcome of tomorrow's hearing before Justice Michelle Arana.

Petillo Downcast About Demonstration Turnout
Last night we headlined the land demonstration in Belmopan. It was spearheaded by BGYEA and other groups, but for all the publicity and the public push that it got over a subject that is of extreme public interest, the crowd had to be considered disappointing. In fact, rather than making those in power uncomfortable, it may have served to comfort them - that less than 150 people were upset enough about land distribution to protest. Yesterday when we spoke to Petillo, he glossed over the poor attendance, but today he was more realistic and also downcast: Nigel Petillo - President, BGYEA (Via Phone) "Jules, I'll be honest with you, it's not surprise to me that the Belizean people didn't come out there physically. Disappointed, yes, you can say that I am disappointed, but I'll be honest - in fact let me tell you what disappoint me the most. It's the same people who you are fighting for, Jules, the same grassroots poor people who you are trying to open their eyes to make them realize that only when political parties want something from you, they will send that money, mobilize you, feed you, and give you small pocket money for the day. This just tells me that our people, once again, don't get it. Our people have missed it again. In fact, BGYEA members, it is disappointment to see that the same people who you are fighting for, the same people who call me every day and night - Nigel, I haven't gotten my papers as yet. Nigel, I went to try to pay at the Lands Department, and they didn't accept my payment. Nigel, they said that my name wasn't in the system. Nigel, when will I get a piece of land? Those are the same people who we are fighting out there for, not for any personal gain, because you don't vote for us. You all don't give us any money. You all don't pay our bills.

A Special Strategy For Youths
Very regularly in this newscast, we report on different government initiatives targeting youth development. These initiatives are designed and by experts who are - in most instances - adults, but today, the Government of Belize launched a new venture. It is innovative because the consultants and experts who designed it just happen to be the target group, the youths themselves. It is called the National Youth Development Policy, and it is a program in which the concerns of the youths are brought to a forum within the Government, who consult with them and act accordingly with funding to realize the solutions. It was launched today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, and 7News spoke to a few of the officials who will ensure that it is implemented. Sherlene Neal-Tablada - Adolescent Development Officer, UNICEF "One of the things that we really tried to advocate for is investment in young people. And so, the fact that the country has a policy that has been signed and approved by Cabinet indicates the level of seriousness the Government has about its young people and its intention to invest in young people. The policy provides that framework for us to say that we must come together, let us use these actions outlined in the policy to be able to make some right actions on behalf of young people."

Family Blames KHMH for Newborns Death
Tonight a couple is making allegations of negligence against the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital - after their 4 day old baby died while receiving treatment at the institution. Laura Budd and Clarence Tillett rushed their newborn, Clarence the third, to the emergency room around 2 on Monday morning after the child was suffering from a stomach ache and jaundice. The baby was admitted into the hospital for treatment but died later that same day. The couple strongly believe that it is the hospital to blame for the death of their first and only child and told 7news that even after requesting for more information on the cause of their baby's death, they have been denied. The father and mother narrated the events form when they were in the emergency room with their ailing child:.. Today we contacted the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital about the allegation and we were told by the Public relation's officer that the matter is under investigation and as soon as it is completed they will give a statement.

US Will Prosecute Stolen Bze Artifacts
We're all familiar with the Jade Head, or the Buena Vista Vase...these are well known treasures of antiquity. But what about all the Mayan treasures that have been looted by temple raiders or the state sanctioned plunder that happened in the colonial era? Those are gone forever - there's no inventory of all the treasured antiquities lying undiscovered at sites across Belize and no way of knowing what all was looted. And to this day, with so many archeological sites still unofficially excavated, looters and traders often make off with large quantities of priceless artifacts and sell them on the black market. To try to combat this problem, the United States has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Belize which provides US Government Organizations with the authority to bring legal action against anyone caught with artifacts from Belize. There was a small ceremony today at the House of Culture to note the importance of this MOU, and 7News attended. Here's what the officials told the media about what it means for Belize: Dr. Jaime Awe - Director, Institute of Archaeology "It's a great accomplishment for the country of Belize. Why, great, that's because the US, by signing this agreement, is declaring that they will join with us, collaborate with us to do everything in their effort to stop the importation of Belize's antiquities into the United States."

Busted With Big Bucks
55 year-old Arab businessman, Suresh Jaisinghnai dodged jail time today when he came up out of his pocket and paid a $25,000 fine after he was taken to court for failure to declare funds. According to the Financial Intelligence Unit, Customs busted Jaisinghnai as he was attempting to board a plane with $9,276 US in cash, which he did not declare. This is against the Money Laundering and Terrorism Act of Belize which makes it mandatory to declare cash over $10,000 Belizean Currency. He was just over $8,000 above that limit, and as a result, he was charged with failure to declare currency. He presented himself before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today where he pleaded guilty to the offence, and was fined $25,000, to be paid forthwith because it was his first offence.

BTB: Graffiti Is Great!
Graffiti is often seen as counter-culture and written off as vandalism - but there is an often overlooked public art aspect that redeems this much maligned street art form. And Last week Saturday at the Street Art Festival, the Belize Tourism Board held a graffiti art competition to promote interest and participation by young artists. They had to design graffiti art themed around the representation of Belizean culture, and the artists had to create their pieces within 3 hours live before an audience of streetwalkers. Today the BTB announced the 3 best pieces. We spoke to the artists about their inspiration: Kristian Carter - 1st Place, Street Art Graffiti Contest "I like the Mayans of course, so I had that basic idea for the landscape, from the bottom, and then everyone else joined in with their ideas, and pitched in what they can do. Everyone worked very hard toward it. It was a very great experience for me. I like it; I enjoyed it. It was a nice idea."

Canadians Donate Wheelchairs
A group of Rotarians are visiting from Alberta, Canada and this morning there were at the KHMH making a generous donation. The team donated one hundred and ten wheelchairs to physically challenged Belizeans from across the country. The project is the culmination of 4 years of fundraising. Terry Stacey told us more:.. Terry Stacey - Rotary "Today's donation is about a project that's taking us 4 years to do the fund raising, $25,000 Canadian currency, to bring down 110 wheelchairs to Belize. The Rotary District that we belong to in Canada has had an education project down here in Belize for about 5 years. So, when our club started to think about where we wanted to do an international project, we thought Belize would be good because our district already had a relationship with Belize. So, we did some checking, and we got the idea that wheelchairs were needed. So, that's when we decided that we were going to start fund raising for the wheelchair project. We connected up with Francis in the Belize City Rotary Club, and he's been helping us find the right places to distribute the wheelchairs." The donation is valued at 13 thousand Belize dollars. The wheelchairs are of various sizes and will be distributed only on Monday's and Tuesday's. If you are in need of a wheelchair you can contact telephone number 6-0-4-2-5-4-3.

Money for Community Police Initiatives
Today, the US Embassy to Belize, the CARSI fund, collaborated with the Police Department, Community Policing and Crime Stoppers Belize to hand over a donation of just under $200,000 in equipment. The donation is to bolster the capacity of 19 Neighborhood Watch groups across the country, and Police's Special Constable Program. They held a handing over ceremony at the Yabra Community Police Unit's headquarters this afternoon and 7News was there. Here's what the National Neighborhood Watch Coordinator told us about how this equipment will be used: Gilbert Pitts - National Neighborhood Watch Coordinator "We have applied for a CARSI grant, and we've received over $200,000, It will be coming in 3 phases. This is the first phase; right now we've selected 20 neighborhood groups from around the country, and we are issuing out today lights, whistles, 2-way radios, and handcuffs. These are the items which will be issued to the different groups today. In the second phase, we'll be issuing signs, more handcuffs, radios and other items to the different group. This all national, country-wide, from Punta Gorda to Corozal, to San Pedro. We've selected 20 groups, and we've selected the more active groups right now. With this, the other groups might see it, and become a little more active, and in the next selection, they will be a part of the donation also." Reporter "Sir, who do you prioritize? What areas get what attention first?"

How To Fight Disease On The Frontline
Today in Belmopan, training was held for the first responders to disease outbreak. The idea is to make them better at detecting and preventing high priority public health problems. Participants include Medical Officers of the Ministry of Health and from the Belize Defence Force, Public Health Inspectors, Public Health Nurses and Laboratory Technicians. Englebert Emmanuel explained this essence of epedimiology: Englebert Emmanuel - Surveilance Officer, Ministry of Health "What the training will do is to equip our public health and military people to understand disease patterns, and to identify sources of transmission, in terms of eliminating public health threats through health education, and through public health intervention, which would then reduce the incidents of disease." Captain Russel Manzanero - Physician, BDF "It is very important, I believe has been mentioned before, that the surgeons, having soldiers who are always exposed to the elements, and always being out in the fields. They always expose themselves to certain illnesses and diseases. They come in contact with the entire communities. I would say that soldiers are always involved some sort of communication, or in contact with someone, and diseases are always there. So, of course, having this important epedemiology training would help us equip and find out how to manage and prevent certain illnesses within the force." The program is administered by the Centers for Disease Control in the USA.

Channel 5

Female U.S. national strangled on La Isla Bonita?
A criminal investigation is underway in San Pedro where the body of a woman was removed from a shallow area of the sea south of the island. The woman is a US national visiting from Wyoming and up until news time, because notification was pending with her family; her name is being withheld at this [...]

Moro dies after crashing into Mexican embassy vehicle
A traffic accident on the George Price Highway, just a short distance from the police checkpoint ended fatally for a taxi driver just after seven on Tuesday night.  George David Moro was heading back west to his family when he crashed into a vehicle with diplomatic license plates. Four others were injured but Moro did [...]

Guatemalans trawling in Belize’s southern waters
Belize became the first country in the world to completely ban bottom trawling in December 2010.  A statutory instrument made it illegal to carry out trawling in Belizean waters. The initiative was the brainchild of Oceana Belize which bought the last two operational trawlers from a local fishing cooperative. But in the south of the [...]

New administration for Bar Association
  The Bar Association met in Tuesday night in Belize City; elections for a new executive committee took place. Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay was elected as the Bar’s new president to succeed Andrew Marshalleck. Courtenay will be at the helm for the next twelve months; a period to be characterized by intense public debate over [...]

Awarding the graffiti artists
Graffiti is an emerging form of art in the jewel, through which messages are scribbled or painted on public property. This past Saturday at the Street Art Festival, a number of artists competed in a graffiti contest but their work was not on buildings or sidewalks, instead their message found their way on canvas. This [...]

Ministry applauds youths for policy
Seventy percent of the population is under the age of thirty five which means Belize is a young society. Perhaps that is why youths, with the assistance of UNICEF and NGOs, have developed their own policy. It was compiled into a document called the National Youth Development Policy of Belize 2012-2022. The policy’s commitment gives [...]

No more antiquities thefts; U.S. and Belize sign MOU
The Government has signed on with the United States Government to place restrictions on the Illegal importation and exportation of archeological material particularly Mayan antiquities. Through a MOU signed today between Belize and the US, law enforcement agents from that country are authorized to restrict the antiquities from entering the US and have them returned [...]

Community groups get equipment for safe neighborhoods
The Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) has donated equipment to the Police Department, the Coastguard and the Belize Defense Force. Smaller groups are also receiving donations to help protect communities. Community watch groups and other similar organizations have received over two hundred thousand dollars worth of equipment to help them keep their neighborhoods safe. [...]

Suresh Jaisinghnai failed to declare cash before flight
  Turning to the courts, a Cayo businessman was busted at the Phillip Goldson Airport on Tuesday with an undeclared amount of cash in US currency. Suresh Jaisinghnai was taking an afternoon flight when custom officers detected the cash he was carrying: nine thousand two hundred and seventy six dollars in US currency. The Financial [...]

Gardenia villager charged with carnal knowledge
  But a mechanic of Gardenia Village is spending his first night behind bars for Carnal Knowledge. Twenty-two year old Marlon Dawson appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was charged with one count of the offense. The alleged crime occurred on the fourteenth of December 2012 but was only reported last Friday. A [...]

Tropic takes air to Cancun, Mexico
Tropic Air has announced that it will be starting flights to Cancun, Mexico just in time for the Easter break. The first flight is scheduled for March twenty-fifth on Tropic’s twelve-seater caravan. There will be six flights weekly and if you are interested in heading north, you can catch a promotional rate for tickets that [...]

Will there be changes to UK Parliament
  The jewel has been getting significant coverage in the international media for its many attributes. The spotlight in Ireland, however, is on a young Belizean. Fourteen year of Ramel Flores, is the son of well known Belizean journalist, Melvin Flores and his wife. Ramel is fourteen years old and is making a bid to [...]


Taxi Driver Loses Life In Traffic Accident
There were two fatal traffic accidents reported last night. The first incident occurred at mile three on the George price Highway and claimed the life of a taxi driver from the Cayo District. 39-year-old George David Moro lost his life after his taxi collided head on with another...

Predator Party Held At The Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo today celebrated two important milestones in its conservation effort. Junior Buddy the Jaguar is celebrating his sixth birthday and Panama the Harpy Eagle is celebrating its tenth birthday. To mark the occasion, officials of the Zoo invited primary school chi...

Winners of BTB's Graffitti Competition Announced
Belize City’s Albert Street came to life this weekend with the 2013 Street Art Festival, which exposed the works of artists in various genres. During the festival, the Belize Tourism Board launched a graffiti competition and the winners were announced today during a brief c...

Friend of Belize, Pastor Tim Tam Involved In Traffic Accident
Pastor Tim Tam from Word at Work Ministries is no stranger to the Belizean population as the well known pastor has made numerous trips to Belize to assist in various ways. Reports reaching our news center indicate that Pastor Tim Tam was gravely injured in a road traffic accident in Te...

Home Owners Surprise Thief At Their Home
Homeowners caught a man stealing from their home and subdued him until police arrived. A couple from Orange Walk Town left their house on Belize Street early this morning and had only returned around ten to retrieve a spare tire from a vehicle parked in their yard when they surprised a...

US Embassy Donates Equipment to Belize Police Department
The low conviction rate for murders in Belize is relatively one of the weakest in the region. But Crimestoppers Belize, the Police Department and the Government of the United States continue to make the crack-down on crime a living nightmare for the criminal element. Today,...

Body of American National Found In Waters
The body of an American tourist was found floating in the waters off San Pedro Ambergris Caye and police are treating her death as a possible homicide until a post-mortem can say otherwise. She is 32-year-old Kristy Lynn Sy, an American national from Wyoming, USA. According...

Traffic Accident Leaves Police Constable Dead
A fatal traffic accident last night just outside Punta Gorda has claimed the life of a police constable. The accident reportedly happened sometime shortly before 12 midnight, one mile out of Punta Gorda on the main highway passing through Hopeville and Cattle Landing at the norther...


The Zurisiday Saga: From Corozal To Belize-From Magistrate Court To Supreme Court
Since his arrest back in November of 2012 CTV3 News has been closely following the case of Zurisiday Villasenor Mendez, the 22 year old Mexican National who was charged for 1 count of keeping an unlicensed firearm, 1 count of keeping unlicensed ammunition, 1 count of keeping a prohibited firearm, 1 count of keeping prohibited ammunition, possession of control drugs, and drug trafficking, after a cache of weapons were found in 2 of the rooms at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino adjacent to the Corozal Free Zone. Since the beginning of the trial at the Corozal Magistrates Court, Villasenor’s attorneys, Dickie Bradley and Arthur Saldivar, have been claiming that their client’s constitutional rights are being violated. And yesterday the situation got more complicated for the defense since Villasenor’s case was moved to the Belize City Magistrates Court. Saldivar has stated that presiding Magistrate Nardia Morgan, who was brought in from Cayo to hear the case, informed him that her safety was in jeopardy while Corozal and a result the case was transferred to Belize City.

Woman Found Dead In Orange Walk- Excessive Drinking May Be The Cause
The lifeless body of a woman was found last night at Serenitas Bar located on Lover’s Lane here in Orange Walk Town. The female has been identified as 40 year old Senaida Medina; a resident of Crooked Tree Village. Medina’s body was found just minutes before midnight by one of the employees at the bar. According to Oscar Oswald, Medina was sleeping in one of the rooms located at the back of the establishment when he decided to call it a day. It was not until he lay beside Medina that he noticed she was already dead. Oscar Oswald, Employee “When I came in to sleep I saw her sleeping in my room. I went to try lie beside her and I didn’t know that she was- well I didn’t pay her no mind because I knew that she was asleep at about 8 o’clock. I thought that she was still sleeping so I when and I lay down beside her. I first sat on the bed but I was tired and I laid down but when I touched her hand to move it I fell it cold. I said to myself that this girl is dead. I then ran out of the room and then police came and took her and that’s it.” Hipolito Novelo, Reporter “Were there any signs of physical injuries on her body?” Oscar Oswald, Employee “No. She was physically alright. There were no bruise, no- she was just lying like a normal person.”

13 Year Old Says Brother In Law Raped Her
In last night’s newscast we told about the 16 year old girl from the Village of Sarteneja in Corozal who accused her stepfather of carnal knowledge and her mother of condoning the sexual crime. Tonight there is another disconcerting case to report and this time it has to do with the crime of rape. The incident involves a 13 year old girl from the Village of Caye Caulker who reported to police that she was raped by her brother-in-law on two separate occasions, on August 25th 2012 and January 1st 2013. The 13 year old, in the presence of her mother, informed police that the abuse took place at her sister’s house while she was babysitting her niece. Police are now investigating the matter.

Woman Found Dead In San Pedro
While Medina was found dead last night here in Orange Walk Town, the lifeless body of another woman was found in San Pedro this morning. According to reports, the body of a female Caucasian was found partially floating in the water at about 8:00 this morning near the southern part of San Pedro Town. We understand that the body was discovered by a teenager who was running along the beach. Police were called in and the deceased was taken out of the water. The woman was wearing a black undershirt and a blue jeans short skirt and was shoeless. She was also wearing a wedding band and a pair of earrings. The body was observed with bruises around the neck consistent with strangulation. Despite the fact that San Pedro Police has launched a criminal investigation they are awaiting the results of a post mortem examination to determine the exact cause of death. Based on initial examination it is believed that the person may have died between the hours of 3:00am and 7:00am. The body has been transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where a post mortem will be conducted to establish the official cause of death.

Slowly But Surely Graciano Improves Slightly
Tonight we keep following the prognosis of 12 year old Graciano Ramos, the standard three student of La Inmaculada Primary School who fell off a tree on Sunday evening and suffered a fractured skull. Our news room has been flooded with calls of concerned residents requesting information about the child’s condition but today there is little that we can report on. According to Ramos’ mother, Mellissa, her son is still in a coma on life support. But amidst all the anxiety there is some good news. Yesterday we were informed that one of Graciano’s lungs had collapsed and today when we spoke to his mother, she told us that the child’s lung is now functioning. Graciano also received a much needed blood transfusion yesterday. Doctors have indicated that on Friday the child will gradually be removed from sedatives. His reaction will be monitored closely. Of note is that today La Inmaculada School held a special rags day in order to assist the boy’s family with the mounting medical bills.

BMHS Enters Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
Last week we showed you all the science experiments that were devised by students of Bishop Martin High School. Tonight news is that the school’s Science Department has entered another science competition and this time they will be competing against high schools from across the country and the Caribbean. The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge is being sponsored by the Sagicor, Caribbean Science Foundation and the Caribbean Examination Council. The competition is aimed at secondary and high school students who are encouraged to identify a challenge facing their respective schools by using science, technology, engineering and mathematics and develop effective, innovative, and sustainable solutions to the challenge identified. Bishop Martin High School is the only high school in the Orange Walk District that took up the challenge and submitted a proposal to the competition. Shakira Gonzalez, Science Teacher “Their purpose or main objective in this competition is to make the Caribbean Region and local communities more sustainable. So they have embarked in his competition and they are asking high schools in Belize and other Caribbean countries to come up with a problem that they are facing in the school. They identify the problem that the school is facing. It could be garbage disposal or pollution and once they identify that problem they can come out with a creative and very innovative solution that will address that problem linking it to STEM- Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics.”

BGYEA & Belize Unboxed: Have You Signed The Online Petition?
Yesterday the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, BGYEA, held a demonstration on Independence Hill in Belmopan. Even though less than 200 persons were reported to have participated in the demonstration, the message was clear, the country’s present land distribution system “has got to go”. BGYEA and its supporters want the system to be reformed in a manner which will favor all Belizeans. And if the small gathering was not enough to get Government’s attention then BGYEA is taking their cause online. In a previous interview we did with founder of Belize Unboxed, Simiyyah Andrewin, she explained that persons affected by the present system can file a complaint via a text message. According to Andrewin, since February 22nd, 123 Belizeans from across the country have sent SMS to the email boxes of the Ministry of Natural Resources. There is also a web based petition in which up to date, 306 persons have signed.

One Year Since People's Referendum
Tomorrow will mark one year since Oceana launched the People’s Referendum on offshore oil exploration. On February 28th of last year, 29,280 Belizeans across the country refused to stay silent and voted for or against offshore drilling exploration. Out of that total amount 96% of Belizeans were against offshore oil exploration. In commemoration of the first anniversary, the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is asking that all those who voted in the People’s Referendum and those who are against offshore drilling, to wear green or blue tomorrow. The colors will send a message to Government that the people of Belize cannot and will not be silent. The coalition is also encouraging Belizeans to where blue or green to show their support for the continued fight to get Belize’s offshore legislated as off-limits to oil exploration. The results of the People’s Referendum showed an overwhelming support for the Coalition’s position of a ban on oil exploration and drilling in Belize’s offshore. In the north, 6,857 voted in the referendum with 98% saying no to offshore drilling.


Cayo man dies in Western Highway accident
Cayo man dies in Western Highway accident. At approximately 7:30 pm last night, police were called out to an area near mile 3 on the George Price highway where the saw 37 year old George David Moro of an 18 Street Address in San Ignacio trapped under the steering...

Tourist body found floating near San Pedro
Tourist’s body found. The body of a 32 year old American female tourist was found around 8 this morning floating in the water near the beachfront property of Royal Palm Villas located a mile and a half south of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. The person has been...

Fatal traffic accident in Punta Gorda
There was another fatal traffic accident last night; this time in Punta Gorda Town. Police visited an area in the Hope Ville area known as the Southern Art and Craft Building where a Grey Ford Expedition was seen facing the sea. According to reports, the Police pickup was heading...

Minister Elrington emphasizes prudence in border managemen
Minister Elrington emphasizes prudence in border management. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially frowned on the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ expedition to cut and clear the border between Belize and Guatemala which the Guatemalans insist may be viewed as possible incursion into their territory. Today Minister of Foreign Affairs...

National Youth Development Policy launched
National Youth Development Policy launched. Belize is quite literally a youthful country – more than 70% of its 300,000 plus population is below the age of 29. And that segment of the population is under increasing stress from economic issues, crime and violence, and a pervading sense of hopelessness...

Marlon Dawson charged for carnal knowledge
A man has been charged for having sexual intercourse with a minor, this time the girl is only 13 years old. The accused, 22 year old Marlon Dawson was arraigned in Magistrate Court yesterday for one count of carnal knowledge. Due to the nature of the offence, he was...

Elvia Dominguez may spend three years in prison for drug trafficking
A woman may spend the next three years in prison for drug trafficking. Elvia Dominguez, a 31 year old resident of Biscayne Village was convicted of the drug-related charge yesterday in the Magistrate’s Court. Dominguez was ordered to pay a mandatory fine of $10,000, two thousand of which she...

Ladyville police investigates report of Aggravated Assault
Ladyville police investigates report of Aggravated Assault. A resident of Burrell Boom reported that on Tuesday Feb 26 at about 8:05 pm, he was at a restaurant located between mile 8 and 9 Phillip Goldson Highway; along with his sister, brother, and common law wife. The man told Police...

Belmopan Police investigates chopping incident
Belmopan Police investigates chopping incident. Last night at 8:45pm, acting upon information received, Belmopan Police visited Guatemala Street where initial investigation revealed that Luis Castellanos, Belizean Labourer of Garza Street, was on his way going home, when he was attacked by four Hispanic male persons armed with machetes. Castellanos...

Belize, U.S. sign MOU on cultural heritage
Belize, U.S. sign MOU on cultural heritage. Belize has lost many historical artefacts from our Maya temples and elsewhere, often due to common thievery. Today, Belize and the United States agreed to cooperate to do something about it. The U.S. has agreed to restrict imports of antiquities belonging to...

Proceeds of a bust handed over to security forces
Proceeds of a bust late last year, now forfeited, were on Tuesday handed over by the Customs and Excise Department to their comrades in the security forces – the Belize Defence Force and Coast Guard. According to the Department’s public relations officer Gilbert Gordon, the total find valued at...

BTB recognizes young artists
BTB recognizes young artists. Last week we told you about the Street Art Festival sponsored by NICH on Albert Street. During that festival the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held a mini graffiti art competition in which local artists were invited to showcase their artistic abilities using Belize as their...

Bible in Kriol is released
You’ve heard of the Kriol Dictionary… but how about the Kriol Bible? Well for the past twenty years, an organization called the Belize Kriol Project has been translating the Holy Scripture into Kriol, and it is finally available to the public. Last week, Silvana Woods and Yvette Herrera from...

Western Regional Hospital has anti-venom medication
Last night we told you about 11 year old Monique Moro, who died after being bitten by a poisonous snake. In an interview we aired last night, it was mentioned that the Western Regional Hospital, where she was first taken did not have anti-venom to administer to her. Plus...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Belize: Time Longer Than Rope
Is this a story about Caye Caulker? The book doesn’t say, but maybe you, our readers might recognize the author. The book is available on at this link: Ever feel like taking a break from your life? Ever taken a little holiday to the Caribbean and wondered what it would be like if you just stayed, and didn't come home? Belize: Time Longer Than Rope is the story of a Sixties radical who who found herself at loose ends... and decided just to cut loose instead. After figuring out expatriate life in Belize, buying her own home and planting her gardens, she found herself in a different sort of trouble than she'd bargained for. You guessed it--love and all its complications. As the Belizeans say, 'time longer than rope'.


Belize City to Cancun and Tropic Air adds extra flights to Orangewalk
Tropic Air today announces that on Friday, February 22nd, after ten months of work, Tropic Air received a license from the Government of Mexico. Tickets for this highly anticipated flight from Belize City International Airport to Cancun, Mexico, are now available for sale. Effective March 25th, 2013, Tropic Air will launch 6 weekly flights (daily except for Saturday) between Belize City’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE) and Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, Mexico (CUN). Tickets are on sale now through March 24, 2013 at an introductory fare of $309 round trip from Belize City to Cancun for travel between March 25th, 2013 and December 15th, 2013. Fuel surcharge, taxes and other conditions may apply.

Doctor! Doctor!
With an appointment with the doctor, Doctor Miguel Allison, for the medical required as an element of the application process to be allowed entry into the Belize QRP (Qualified Retirement Program) at 9.30 am there were no mugs of coffee for me on the veranda this morning. Just a couple of glasses of water. Not the same. Not the same at all. No wonder I didn’t have my normal joie de vivre! We arrived at the doctor’s surgery on time and after about five minutes in the reception (small) area Rose was called in to see Doctor Allison. Within a minute I was in there too – he had to fill in some forms (forms follow us everywhere !). A quick blood pressure test for each of us and we were then sent to the laboratory in Barrier Reef Drive to have blood tests (to prove that neither one of us has AIDS). We got to the laboratory within minutes and following a short wait – whilst listening to the groans of someone whose veins were not prominent (not too gory for you is it?) -Rose went in to give her blood sample. I followed within minutes to give mine. We were then asked to call back in an hour to collect the results so I went for a late breakfast (yes, at Estel’s) and that much needed mug of coffee. One sip and I felt normal (well as normal as I ever can be) again. Rose, not being as ‘hooked’ on a fried breakfast as I am, went shopping. Now that is what you call a division of labour!

International Sources

Singer influenced by music of Belize
Danny Michel deflects comparisons with Paul Simon's Graceland album. "I hear that a lot," said the Kitchener-area folksinger. "But I like to think my album's even a little deeper than that." Michel's 10th album, Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me, grew out of his frequent visits to the Central American country of Belize and his friendship with many of its musicians. He will bring the new music to his Mackenzie Hall solo show, March 8, as part of the Windsor Folk Society series. "The music of Belize has been seeping into me ever since I went there on vacation 10 or 12 years ago," he said. "It's a country and people I know very well." Black Birds Are Dancing Over Me is a collaboration with Benque Players and the indigenous music of Belize's Garifuna Collective. It was recorded and produced at the Stonetree Records studio of Benque Players' Ivan Duran. It's in the creative mode of Simon's Graceland, the famous 1986 collaboration with South African and New Orleans zydeco musicians. But Michel's album is far more personal.

Inspired to Love: Championing Belize’s Children
Recently, the wife of Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Kim Simplis Barrow, came to Washington on an interesting mission. As her country’s special envoy for women and children and the first Belizean to be designated a global ambassador by Special Olympics, she headlined a gala to benefit the children of Belize. “Inspired to Love,” held Feb. 16 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, raised $35,000. Nestor Mendez, Belize’s ambassador to the United States and Organization of American States, said the first lady’s goal is to ultimately raise $1 million. “We’re on our way,” he said. Kim Simplis-Barrow, wife of the prime minister of Belize and a special envoy for women and children, center, is joined by Ambassador of Belize Nestor Mendez and his wife Elvira, president of the Organization of Women of the Americas, at “Inspired to Love,” a gala to benefit the children of Belize held at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington.

Maddie Calzi - Father/Daughter Dance 2013
In February, 2013, eighteen year-old, Maddie Calzi encouraged her father, David Calzi to travel with her on an immersion trip to Belize with Hand in Hand Ministries. The primary objective of the trip was to build Hand in Hand's 200th house in Belize. Maddie anticipated that it might be the last chance for them to to do anything like this together before she went away to college. Sharing this experience with her father was so important to her that she chose to continue with their travel plans - even though it conflicted with a long-anticipated father-daughter dance with her senior class at her high school, Sacred Heart Acadamy in Louisville, KY. This is a dance that students at Sacred Heart look forward to for four years. As it turns out, thanks to a couple of their new friends on the trip, Maddie was able to attend an alternative father-daughter dance in their house in Belize at the same time that her friends were miles away, dancing with their Dads in Louisville

February 27, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Tropic Air will inaugurate service from Belize City to Cancun on March 25th
Effective March 25th, 2013, Tropic Air will launch 6 weekly flights (daily except for Saturday) between Belize City’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE) and Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, Mexico (CUN). Tickets are on sale now through March 24, 2013 at an introductory fare of $309 round trip from Belize City to Cancun for travel between March 25th, 2013 and December 15th, 2013. Fuel surcharge, taxes and other conditions may apply.

Ambergris Today

Belizeans Trained in Combating Illicit Trafficking Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
An Inter-Institutional Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives started on Monday, February 25, 2013, at the National Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Sponsored by the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean (UNLIREC), the course is being attended by over fifty participants from agencies such as the Belize Police Force, Belize Defense Force, National Coastguard, Customs, Forensics Department, Scenes of Crime and Airport Security and Prisons. The Training Course will run for two weeks, from February 25 to March 8, 2013.

Government Issues Warning Against Clearing of Belize/Guatemala Border
Since last week, media houses in the city have been reporting about Mr. Will Maheia and his group called the Belize Territorial Volunteers who have set the date, Saturday, March 2, 2013, to begin a project called "Clearing Our Borderline." Media houses reported that a release from Maheia sent earlier last week says quote, "Over the past 30 years our borders have been neglected and as a result, several incursions have occurred into our beautiful, sovereign country. Guatemalans have come into the villages and pillaged people's farms and stolen their horses." It adds, "Our mission is simple, we exist to educate our people as to the reality of our Western border and to maintain a watchful eye, to ensure that Belize's territorial sovereignty is never called into question." It was with this in mind that the Government of Belize issued the following press release issuing a warning against the clearing of the Belize/Guatemala Border line: Belmopan, 25th February, 2013 - The Government of Belize, in discharge of its duty to ensure the safety and security of all persons in our country, hereby advises all members of the public that any attempt on their part to clear the Western Border can give rise to serious danger to themselves and we therefore strongly advise against participation in any such action.

Tropic Air Announces Service From Belize City to Cancun, Mexico
Tropic Air announced on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, that on Friday, February 22nd, after ten months of work, Tropic Air received a license from the Government of Mexico. Tickets for this highly anticipated flight from Belize International Airport to Cancun, Mexico, are now available for sale. Effective March 25th, 2013, Tropic Air will launch 6 weekly flights (daily except for Saturday) between Belize’s Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE) and Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, Mexico (CUN). Tickets are on sale now through March 24, 2013 at an introductory fare of $309USD round trip from Belize City to Cancun for travel between March 25th, 2013 and December 15th, 2013. Fuel surcharge, taxes and other conditions may apply. Cancun is Tropic's first destination in Mexico and its third international route. Last year, Tropic added Belize City to San Pedro Sula, Honduras service to complement its existing daily Belize City to Flores, Guatemala route. This is in addition to its 11 domestic destinations within Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

Help for Tio Jim Hanna
Long time San Pedro resident and family man, Jim Hanna, known to two generations of San Pedranos' as 'Tio Jim,' is suffering another bout with cancer. If the generous folks of the island can help him and his family with the cost of treatments ot would be a lifesaver. Contact Eve at 623-9962 or Jim at 622-8137 Gracias...

MFA scolds Wil Maheia
The Government of Belize, in discharge of its duty to ensure the safety and security of all persons in our country, hereby advises all members of the public that any attempt on their part to clear the Western Border can give rise to serious danger to themselves and we therefore strongly advise against participation in any such action. Proposed efforts as reported in the media may conduce to a disturbance of the peace and to unnecessary tensions between two countries, contrary to the long-standing efforts that successive Belize Governments have been working hard to secure. The danger inherent in such action can readily be seen from the details of a press conference which was called by then Prime Minister Said Musa on 26th February, 2000. Instructive excerpts of that speech are now reproduced in this release, and we quote:

Photos: Actun Tunichil Muknal Assignment
Just got done with post processing this assignment. It takes my back to my roots in adventure and travel. I did a lot of caving when I was a bit younger. ATM Cave was an absolute pleasure to photograph. I have to give a really, really, big thanks to Jamaal Crawford at PACZ Tours for providing the logistics and Jaime Awe at The Institute of Archaeology of Belize for commissioning me to photograph the cave. What a great way to start off the new year!

La Ruta Maya Cultural Night
Thursday 7th March 2013, Galen's Eagle Band Performing Live!

Tropic Air today announces that on Friday, February 22nd, after ten months of work, Tropic Air received a license from the Government of Mexico. Tickets for this highly anticipated flight from Belize City International Airport to Cancun, Mexico, are now available for sale. Effective March 25th, 2013, Tropic Air will launch 6 weekly flights (daily except for Saturday) between Belize City's Phillip Goldson International Airport (BZE) and Aeropuerto Internacional de Cancún, Mexico (CUN). Tickets are on sale now through March 24, 2013 at an introductory fare of $309 round trip from Belize City to Cancun for travel between March 25th, 2013 and December 15th, 2013. Fuel surcharge, taxes and other conditions may apply.

High Speed Vessel Swift Kicks off Southern Partnership Station in Belize
Are you wondering what are the stealthy looking highly armed, camouflaged speed boats doing in our lagoons and our Corozal Bay lately? It is the High Speed Vessel Swift Kick off Southern Partnership Station in Belize. Sailors disembarked High Speed Vessel Swift 2 here, Feb. 18, to begin Southern Partnership Station 2013, a U.S. 4th Fleet deployment designed to strengthen civil and maritime capabilities with regional partner nations in the Caribbean. The team was comprised primarily of Seabees from Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 2 and Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202. Each team will spend time working with host-nation partners to strengthen relationships and joint interoperability. CBMU 202 Seabees will build a multipurpose open bay structure, known as a seahut, and provide the materials for up to two additional buildings. RIVRON 2 Seabees will share their expertise with the Belize Defense Force and help them improve their skills in areas such as interdiction and inserts and extracts of security teams on the water.

CRFM Ministerial Sub-Committee on Flyingfish calls stakeholders to action
Fisheries ministers who met on Friday, 22 February 2013, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to review urgent governance and management issues challenging the seven Caribbean countries that currently harvest the Eastern Caribbean flyingfish (scientific name: Hirundichthys affinis), are calling stakeholders across the region to action. At the ministerial meeting, convened by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and chaired by The Bahamas, the CRFM Ministerial Sub-Committee on Flyingfish issued a call to stakeholders, asking them to ensure that the necessary technical consultations and analyses are completed to ensure that the final Strategic Action Programme (SAP) report, which will be used to lobby for funding, adequately provides for the interests and needs of the people of the CARICOM/CRFM States. The ministers also called upon the countries to ensure that the consultations with stakeholders at the national level and the updating of the Draft Fisheries Management Plan for the flyingfish are completed in a timely manner...

New World Ups Working Interest in Belize Project
New World Oil and Gas Plc announced it has formally received a 75 percent working interest in its Blue Creek Project located in the producing Petén Basin in Northwest Belize. This follows the Belize Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment formally approving the assignment of a further 40 percent working interest in the Project to New World's wholly owned subsidiary, New World Oil and Gas (Belize) Ltd ('NW Belize'). The assignment follows the drilling of two exploration wells on the Blue Creek PSA 'B-Crest' location, as detailed in the Farm-Out Agreement ('FOA') announced on 16 June 2011. Having drilled two wells to date in Belize, the Blue Creek #2 and #2A ST, under the terms of the FOA, the Company is on track to earn-into a 100 percent working interest in the Project by drilling the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect to a total depth of 8,800 feet. Drilling will commence on this third well in March 2013.

How I Fell Madly In Love With Belize
In Belize, I fell down a cliff into Tiger Creek, 20 yards from an 800-foot waterfall, ruined my new camera, nearly lost my lucky hat and endured pounding rain and roads as bumpy as political budget talks. Yet, I can't wait to go back. I've had a long and enduring love affair with Latin America. To each new country, I give my whole heart. But there have been problems. I can't understand a single word anyone says. I have tried to learn Spanish, have even mastered a few questions that, to my ear, sound pretty authentic. But the minute someone answers back, I panic and end up looking like the idiot gringo I am. In Belize, because the official language is English, I could actually converse with locals. Instead of just exchanging smiles, I could share jokes, learn about their families and move the relationship beyond my normal ceiling of "Hola! Como Estas! Muy bien. Y tu?" It was magical, leading me to wonder, "Why in the heck haven't I been to Belize before?"

Prepare Now to See the Whale Shark Migration to Belize
Travellers wishing to experience the spectacular annual whale shark migration to Belize had better begin preparing now if they want to make the most of this rare opportunity, according to the Belize Natural History Centre at Chaa Creek. The whale shark is the world’s largest fish and the third largest animal on the planet. Long known in Belize as “Sapodilla Tom” due to its penchant for staying at the Sapodilla Cayes and Gladden Spit during its annual feeding and breeding season, the whale shark has a recorded length of 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) and weighs in at more than 36 tonnes (79,000 lb). Although they are true sharks (Rhincodon typus) that have changed little over the last 60 million years, whale sharks are peaceful creatures, allowing divers to come close as they lazily strain plankton and other food during their annual stopover in Belize.

Belizeans press for land reform
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association [BGYEA] and its social partners will be holding a national land reform rally on Tuesday at the steps of the National Assembly in Belmopan. The purpose of the rally is to highlight the need for increased transparency, efficiency and accountability in the management and distribution of national lands as well as to secure a commitment by the prime minister of Belize and the minister responsible for the distribution of land for their support for, as well as direct participation in a series of public consultations through which a national land reform policy can be developed and implemented. Among the reform objectives are the implementation of measures (1) to address the various forms of corruption that are said to have been allowed to thrive across successive governments; and (2) to promote poverty alleviation through first time land ownership drives and the implementation of incentives for small scale agricultural development. Various traditional and nontraditional options for civic participation are being made available to those who wish to support the initiative.

CREOLE BUN & Creole Bread
-2 lbs flour (4 cups) -1/2-3/4 lb brown sugar (1 cup) -2 tbsp instant yeast -2 tsp sugar 3/4 cup warm water 1 cup raisins (optional) -6 tbsp butter -2 tsp vanilla -1 tsp nutmeg -1 tsp cinnamon -1-1/2 cups coconut milk Set yeast in deep bowl. Put flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Make a hole in the center. Melt butter, add milk and vanilla (warm slightly). Do not boil. Add yeast to warm milk. Add milk mixture to flour. Mix with a wooden spoon until it holds together, knead and put to rise. Knead again on a floured board. Cut into 6 pieces. Form into round balls. Flatten slightly. (Put in greased baking pan). Let rise until double in size.

VIDEO: The Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
Here is a little teaser for the upcoming 2013 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. See you on the river!

National Youth Policy of Belize Launch
The National Youth Policy of Belize Launch is today, and the Department of Youth Services in Benque has a free bus to take people to the Bliss Centre to support it. "A bus is scheduled to leave Benque Viejo from in front of the 'marshallleck Cancha' on Wednesday February 27, 2013 at 7:15am. Transportation is free...for more information contact Jimmy Leslie @ 803-3027 or 633-5050 or visit your nearest DYS office in your area if not from Benque Viejo."

Homemade Coconut Milk
Most people know about coconut milk in the can, so Joe decided to teach us how coconut milk is made. Homemade coconut milk is free of additives and preservatives. This milk can be used to make breads, and rice and beans.

HOW TO set up your device for Digicell 4G services [VIDEO]
Digicell, Belize's top cellular service provider, have just released this new video on their Facebook page on How to set up your device for Digicell 4G services. Hope it helps you. UPDATE: If you are unable to play the video above, you might be having some problems with a plugin on your computer. You can also view the video at this link:

Fashion Street
Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) invited The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in its participation at Fashion Street. The event was held downtown Belize City, on Albert & Dean Street, Saturday February 23, 2013, from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. A total of 1 booth (with dimensions 10‘x 20‘) was endowed to BELTRAIDE. Fashion Street, directed at strengthening and supporting Creative Industries, showcasing live art, fashion and a wide selection of entertainment, gave artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and artwork to a crowd.

Channel 7

BGYEA Protest Small But Fiery and Full Of Foreboding
Today, the capital city hosted its second protest in a month. The teachers were first, UB students second, the UB Faculty third, and today it was BGYEA and other groups. Their issue is land distribution; they say it favours the rich and well connected. It's a complaint that can find resonance all across Belize, as so many people feel - many of them justifiably - that they have been excluded from the land distribution process. But, while it's a common cause not that many were prepared to take the day and take it to the streets of Belmopan today. Jules Vasquez was there to see the crowd: Jules Vasquez reporting The crowd of about 135 made the procession around Ring Road with drums, music, and placards. The main message Nigel Petillo, BGYEA "Land for the needy." Crowd "Land for the needy." Nigel Petillo, BGYEA "What do we want?" Crowd "Transparency." If you couldn't make it out, the call was "Land for the needy, not the greedy." That inequity in the land distribution system was the unifying force behind this demonstration:

Clearing the Land In Blackman Eddy
And today in Blackman Eddy village they put BGYEA's message into action: villagers marked an area of land, and started clearing it immediately. It's the Harmonyville model: designate a community parcel of land, occupy it, and then force authorities to catch up. Villagers started chopping this morning and when we visited this afternoon, they were still at it. Shirley Mai White, Candidate for Village Council, Blackman Eddy "Myself born Belizean 42 years old and don't have a land." Jules Vasquez reporting And she wasn't alone; many other villagers from Blackman Eddy shared her predicament. So, this morning they came here to this area at the back of the village. Shirley Mai White "I heard and know about this land but then I came and told them; I showed two persons. They want back and tell the others. News in Belize flies faster than the media. When I look this morning there was a heap of people here." Word is that 40 lots for villagers had been set aside here for distribution, but years passed and nothing happened. And so today, a group of over a hundred villagers took matters into their own hands, they started clearing the area:

Armed Police And BDF Guard Court For Mexican Accused
This morning, the Belize City courthouse was secured by heavily armed and masked police and BDF; they were preparing for the worse because 22 year old Mexican, Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez was brought to the Belize City Court for trial. You may recall his name: police say he was caught with an arsenal of weapons, cocaine, and marijuana at the Corozal Free Zone. That happened on on, 30 of 2012, when Corozal police raided 2 rooms at the Las Vegas Hotel in the Corozal Free Zone where they found 7 guns - which included AK-47's - 12 magazines, 144 bullets, several small quantities of marijuana, cocaine, and communication equipment. Mendez was suspected to be connected to all of these items, but in the end, he was only charged for the illegal items found in the room he was in. Those charges included 1 count of keeping an unlicensed firearm, 1 count of keeping unlicensed ammunition, 1 count of keeping a prohibited firearm, 1 count of keeping prohibited ammunition, possession of control drugs, and drug trafficking. For the past 3 months, He has been standing trial in the Corozal Magistrate's Court, with the Cayo Magistrate transferred from San Ignacio just to preside over the case.

11 Year Old Dies From Snakebite
Today, the standard five class at St. Edmond Campeon Roman Catholic School in Teakettle Village had one empty seat among its 31 students. That was for 11 year old Monique Moore, who was bitten by a snake on Sunday night - and died, 24 hours later, at 7:15 last night. Today we spoke to her family about the tragic loss:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 15 year old Amelisha Reyes and her 11 year old cousin Monique Moore were walking here on Young Gial Road in Teakettle on Sunday night. The streetlight isn't working. In the dark, the two girls joked about a drunken man on a bicycle and then suddenly: Amelisha Reyes, Cousin of Deceased "We went down the road laughing and when we reach she said see the dude there and then when I turn and watch I saw her kick her foot like this and then she pull back and I told her a snake and she said yes I know it bite me. I ask her where and she showed me the two bite marks. I took her sandals and I told her to hurry up so we can tell somebody. We cross the fence and when I was going in she held my hand and watches me and tells me that she feel dizzy. I told her that we soon reach and then she let go my hands and fainted right there and she got a seizure or something."

Man Remanded For Carnal Knowledge
22 year-old Marlon Dawson, a mechanic from Gardenia Village, is in jail tonight after he was brought to court today for allegedly having sexual relations with a 13 year-old female minor. The minor, accompanied by her father, visited the Human Services on last week Friday and reported that on December 14, 2012, Dawson had intercourse with her at a house in the village. As a result, police investigated the report, and they arrested and charged Dawson with carnal knowledge. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano this afternoon, who could not offer him bail due to the nature of the offence.

Woman Sentenced For Drug Trafficking
31 year-old Elvia Dominguez, resident of Biscayne Village, is at prison tonight after she was convicted of drug trafficking today in the Magistrate's Court. In August of last year, at about 10:30 p.m., police were on mobile patrol in the Conch Shell Bay area, when they searched a taxi, with two occupants, Dominguez, and a male driver. The officers searched the taxi and the driver, but they didn't find anything illegal. However, when they searched Dominguez, they found a black bag which contained 112 grams - or 3.95 ounces - of cannabis inside her sling bag. She was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Today in court, when Dominguez was given a chance to defend herself, she denied the allegations. She told the court that that on that day, she went to the Municipal Airstrip and heading back home, she caught a taxi. She said that another man caught the taxi earlier with her but he was dropped off in the Conch Bay area, a short while before police stopped and searched them. She told the Chief Magistrate Smith that all she knew that she had in her purse was a big butcher knife, but no marijuana, and she didn't know how it got in there.

Marijuana At Fresh Pond
33 year-old Andy Alford, a Fresh Pond Villager, is at prison tonight after he was taken to Magistrate's Court for marijuana possession. Police searched his home at Fresh Pond at around 4 p.m. yesterday, and they found 113.1 - or approximately 3.99 ounces - of weed inside a van which was parked in front of his house. He was arrested and charged with drug trafficking, and he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today. Due to the fact that he has several convictions for drug offences, and he is a parolee, Chief Magistrate Smith couldn't grant him bail, and he was remanded to prison until his next court date on April 19, 2013. He must serve the rest of his sentence for the drug trafficking conviction he was out on parole for.

Customs Shares Seizure With Other Law Enforcement Units
Last year on Christmas Eve, the customs department along with the Coast Guard and the Anti-Drug Unit seized an impressive array of equipment. It has been forfeited and today it was donated to the BDF and the Belize Coast Guard. 7news was at the handing over this afternoon. Gilbert Gordon - Public Relations - Customs "What happened yesterday is that the Belize Customs Department was donating $49,000 products that were confiscated when the Customs Department along with the Belize Coast Guard and the Anti-Drug Unit intercepted a vessel on the 23rd December last year in San Pedro. The goods were then forfeited and they find was around $92,000. The Department already collected $45,000. Being that the goods were forfeited, the department is now giving the items to the Belize Defence Force as well as the Belize Coast Guard." "What we did was an official certificate handing over to the Belize Defence Force as well as the Belize Coast Guard and the value of items that was handed over to the Belize Defence Force are valued at $12,000 and the Belize Coast Guard valued at $37,000." "The items that we have that we are handing over are dicing gears. For the Belize Defence Force we are handing over 4 units of dive suits, 4 units of dive jackets, 4 units of scuba compass, 10 sets maintenance kits and units of pressure kits and regulators and pressure gauge hose."

Dangriga Coastline In Jeopardy
Is Dangriga losing its coastline to erosion? That's the question we asked after we saw two pictures TAKEN IN FORNT OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY OFFICE: the first taken in July of 2012, and the second in January of this year. The difference is alarming in just five months - and now it is threatening to undermine a few coastal properties, We asked the mayor what's the cause and what can be done to fix it:.. Major H. Gilbert Swazo (Ret'd), Mayor, Dangriga "The coastal erosion is a relevant issue. We believe that it may be as a result of one; the mining that is happening up river. We believe that may be a contributing factor. We also believe that it may be attributed to climate change and there are other issues such as growing; for example the Dangriga Town Pier was improperly constructed, such that the normal tide action is not allowing the delta - first and foremost the mining up river is presenting the usual sand budget to go to the delta, so that the sand cannot be spread as it should be. Similarly when you put grow-in and they are not properly constructed - that also present the spread of the sand that is coming from those rivers. Those things in our humble opinion contribute to the erosion that is taking place."

Finally, Belize Cattle Make It Across Border For Legal Export
Finally, Belize has successfully exported a legal truckload of cattle to Mexico. In the 90's the BEEF trade thrived between the neighboring countries, but that was before mad cow and foot and mouth disease. Since then, the Mexicans, as part of NAFTA, were forced to enact strict standards for animal health, and it took Belize more than a decade to catch up. But, finally, we have and yesterday after some ominous delays, the Mexican Cattle Truck pulled into Blue Creek, all the inspections and paper work were taken care of, the shipment was sealed by BAHA, and then sent off to the northern border crossing. When it finally made it across a collective sigh was surely heard. As the cattle-men explain, it's an opportune time to get the trade going: Albert Reimer, Cattle owner "We've been working on this for a long time. It's finally coming to past we think, if we can get them across the border and we hope that this is the opening of a new business, enterprise that we are going to follow. We need more market and I think it's going to help the beef industry a lot. This has been a learning experience for us because we now see what the quality is and that they require and also the sanitation requirements that we have to meet and we have to learn to have product that's constant. I refer to as a box of Corn Flakes, when you buy you know what you get. That's what we need to do with our animals; they have to be the same quality, size, sanitation requirement every time."

Channel 5

Belizeans protesting for land; BGYEA on the Hill
An orderly and peaceful demonstration over a huge problem took place in Belmopan this morning. It was organized by the grassroots organization called BGYEA which for years has been agitating for titles for land at Harmonyville, a community on the George Price Highway.  Frustration at not being able to get their stake in the jewel, [...]

Mexican national’s drug and ammo case moved to Supreme Court
The case against Mexican national, Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez first started last December in the Corozal Magistrate Court. Villasenor is charged for prohibited ammunition, kept firearm without a license and possession of cannabis and cocaine following a bust at the Las Vegas Casino in Corozal. The case has run into numerous legal challenges and today Villasenor [...]

Do you support NGO’s machetes clearing the border?
With the Referendum now becoming a hot button issue, our last online poll question asked viewers if they support taking the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ? An overwhelming seventy percent voted no while thirty percent said yes. Turning to tonight’s question: Do you support the Clearing of the Border project by the Belize Territorial Volunteers? [...]

Squatters clear land and face resistance
While a protest was taking place in Belmopan over unjust land distribution, not far away in Blackman Eddy, residents took the bull by the horn. They literally took over a plot of land designated years ago for village expansion and began clearing it after being given the run around by the Ministry of Natural Resources. [...]

Words of former P.M. on B.D.F. arrests along border in 2000
The Belize Territorial Volunteers will take at least one hundred machetes to clear a border line as part of a project called “Clearing the Border.” The Guatemalans are apparently against the exercise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a statement regarding the danger of the exercise.  But organizers say scouts, volunteers from several [...]

Foreign Affairs says P.U.P. and U.D.P. leaders clarified maritime area
Foreign Minister Elrington also discussed the Maritime Areas Act.  On February eleventh, Minister Elrington said, “The only place I think there is room for some surprise would have to be in the sea area or perhaps in the insular area because those are not yet defined.”  That comment triggered the wrath of former Foreign Minister [...]

Guatemala’s Comision de Belice replaced
As we have reported, the Comision de Belice which was an arm of the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry established to monitor the Guatemalan dispute was dismantled late last week. The Foreign Minister, Fernando Carreras, said it was dissolving the agency because it had failed to advice the government in a timely fashion of the change to [...]

Teen sexually molested by someone known to her
In the north, a sixteen year old minor of Sarteneja Village reported to police that her step-father has been having sex with her against her will since the age of fifteen. And the most recent encounter, she alleges, was on February fourteenth. According to the minor, the sexual encounters would take place whenever her stepfather [...]

No southern charm, couples take disputes to court
Two couples in the south are heading to the courts to settle their domestic disputes.  Forty-three year old cook, Irene Arzu, of Punta Gorda Town reported to police that on Sunday night at ten thirty, she was physically assaulted by her common-law husband, Ivan Jones. Jones, she claimed, slapped her several times on the face, [...]

She claimed the butcher knife, but not the weed in bag
  A waitress of Biscayne Village was slapped with a stiff fine for drug trafficking of one hundred and twelve grams of cannabis which is a little over three ounces.  The incident occurred on August third 2012 when the taxi Elvia Dominguez was travelling in, was stopped by police.  Nothing incriminating was found inside the [...]

Small vendors moved because of Sustainable Tourism Programme
There is another problem between street vendors and the Belize City Council. Over the weekend vendors that were previously at ground zero were moved to the Battlefield Park because of the ongoing Sustainable Tourism Programme. As you would guess the vendors are not taking the move quietly for a number of reasons. Duane Moody found [...]

Customs Department’s generous donation to B.D.F. and Coast Guard
The Customs Department this afternoon gifted a list of confiscated marine equipment to both the B.D.F. and the Coast Guard. The items were seized last Christmas Eve during an exercise that involved the three agencies. The list ranges from dive suits to scuba compasses, pressure hoses and maintenance kits. Duane Moody was present for the [...]

National Security donates 2 vehicles to police department
The B.D.F. and Coast Guard are not the only one who received generous donations. The Ministry of National Security on Monday also donated two Mahindra vehicles to the police department to assist in combating crime in the west and south. Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, handed over the vehicles to the Police Department; one [...]


Minor Alleges That Step Father Had Sex With Her In front Of Mother
There is a disturbing report of carnal knowledge coming out of the Village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District involving a 16 year old female and her stepfather. The girl visited the Corozal Police Station where she reported that since the age of 15 her stepfather has been having sexual intercourse with her against her will. According to the female, the sexual abuse would occur every two weeks when her stepfather, who is a fisherman, would come back from sea. The last time the abuse took place was on February 14th. What’s more shocking about this report; though, is that the minor has stated that each time her stepfather would have sex with her it was in the presence of her mother. Tired of the abuse, the victim decided to file a report at the police station before her stepfather returns from sea. A medical examination has concluded that the minor is carnally known. Due to the nature of the crime, and for the minor’s protection, we will not release the name of the stepfather who police are now seeking for questioning.

Robbers Caught Red Handed
Reports reaching our newsroom are that the Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal has for the third time fallen victim to the hands of robbers. On the first two occasions the parish was broken into, the burglar or burglars got away with an undisclosed amount of cash and valuable items summing to a handsome thirty seven thousand dollars. This past Sunday, two men of unknown identity wearing dark clothing entered the parish’s compound a little before 7:00pm. Luckily, the watchman who was on duty, surprised the individual’s and immediately called the police. In sight that they were caught red handed the men escaped by running towards the children’s park located in the area and disappeared into the multitude attending the House of Culture’s Anniversary Celebration. Police are investigating. Since the first break in the parish upgraded their security by placing burglar bars on all doors and windows.

Lucky To Be Alive After Serious Traffic Accident
The driver of a Mitsubishi Endeavour is lucky to be alive tonight after her vehicle crashed into a truck loaded with cane. The remains of the vehicle are proving enough of how catastrophic the accident could have been but luckily its driver merely sustained minor injuries. The accident occurred this morning around 12:45 when the driver of the Mitsubishi Endeavour lost control of the vehicle near mile 56 of the Philip Goldson Highway and collided into a loaded cane truck which was traveling from Corozal to Orange Walk. Reports are that 30 year old Chinese National Xiao Long Ghu and her two passengers Fulgencio Sabido and Ricardo Cab, both from the Village of San Pablo, were traveling to San Pablo when the accident occurred. We understand that while Ghu received scratches to her face and hand Sabido and Cab escaped unhurt. As for the vehicle, well, the footage speaks for itself, it was totally damaged. Police are investigating.

Home Owner Defends Home Against Burglars
A man from the Village of Progresso is tonight recuperating from a frightful ordeal after his home was on the verge of being burglarized. The owner of the resident, a 68 year old Belizean National of Progresso Village, reported to police that on the 23rd of February at around 9:30pm he was at home in bed when he heard a noise coming from the kitchen area. Upon making checks he noticed that the glass louvers of the kitchen window were broken and making his way inside the house was a male person of dark complexion. According to the 68 year old, he shouted at the individual and threatened to shoot him if he did not back away from the window. But that’s not the end of the story. While one intruder had been scared off, another was trying to get in the house through the back door. The second individual, also of dark complexion, was wearing a white baseball cap, white t-shirt and a white rag over his face. Luckily the 68 year old managed to activate his alarm system thus causing the assailants to make good their escape. Police have detained one person pending investigations.

Another Orange Walk Business Robbed
It seems that robbery is becoming a norm here in Orange Walk because news tonight is that another business establishment was robbed at gunpoint last night. According to police, a little after 7:30, three male individuals with shirt covering their faces, barged into Rosa Mini Mart on Santa Rita Road and proceed to rob the proprietor. Reports are that two of the men were armed with a handgun and sawed off shot gun. Fortunately no one was hurt during the robbery but we understand that the assailants escaped with an undisclosed amount of cash and a gold chain. Police investigations continue. This is the fifth arm robbery that we have reported on for the month of February alone.

Family Says The Death Of 65 Year Old Was An Accident
Last night we told you about the death of 65 year old Alejandro Itzab Sr. from the Village of Palmar in the Orange Walk District. Iztab was interned at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital for about two weeks after he suffered a head injury on February 9th between 7:30pm and 8:00pm. Itzab died at the KHMH yesterday morning at about 9:00 while under life support. Up to news time last night, details of how Itzab sustained his injury were hard to come by. Reports were that he had an argument with one of his sons during which time he was injured. As mentioned, we were unable to speak with the deceased family yesterday, but today, we went looking for answers. According to Itzab’s daughter, Yesenia Itzab, contrary to rumors, her father’s death was an accident. Yesenia Itzab, Daughter Mi padre estaba aquí en el “verandah” y la cosa es que yo no estaba aquí, pero dicen que mi padre salió a fumar su cigarro. Uno de mis hermanos estaba borracho, pero la cosa es que él se fue y mi padre se quedó solo. De repente oyeron una explosión y cuando salieron vieron a mi padre tendido en el “verandah”. Se llevaron a mi padre al hospital y de allí lo llevaron a Belice para un “cat scan”, pero él se quedó allí. Durante estos días que estaba mejorando, ya estaba hablando bien. Es entonces cuando uno de mis hermanos le preguntó qué había pasado y me dijo que había resbalado. Ahí es donde sufrió un stoke y murió.”

12 Year Old Still On Life Support, Needs Blood
Last night we brought to you the tragic story of a 12 year old boy from Orange Walk Town who fell off a tree on Sunday evening and sustained severe head injuries. In a correction to the story aired the boy’s name is Graciano Ramos and not Graciano Briceno as previously mentioned. The 12 year old standard three student of La Inmaculada Primary School is presently on life support at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. The child’s prognosis is uncertain since he sustained a fractured skull and his brain is swelling. Today when we spoke to Ramos’ mother, Melissa Mencias, she told us via phone, that her son is fighting for his life but just this morning he suffered another complication. Melissa Mencias- Mother “Well he is not doing that good. This morning he had another complication and one of his lungs collapsed. He has been losing a lot of blood so we need blood for him and his heart rate is low.”

Finally Cattle Exported To Mexico Legally
On August 2012 we showed you the herd of cattle in Blue Creek that was being prepared for legal exportation over the Mexican border. The process itself is called the Belize National Sanitary Cattle Plan Project but it is commonly known as Cattle Sweep. The initiative is a joint effort between the Government of Belize and the Belize Life Stock Producers Association in Blue Creek. The aim is to have each head of cattle tested and screened in order to meet Mexican Standards but most importantly for the animals to be ready for legal exportation. The good news tonight is that after more than 6 months of intensive work, Belize legally exported 44 heads of cattle to Mexico yesterday afternoon. Forty five heads of cattle were scheduled for export but one of the animals was left behind due to a mix up on its ear tags. The animals were shipped away to Tabasco Villahermosa where they will be slaughtered for beef.


LightHawk In Chiquibul Assists Park Protection
Cool video -- 8:46 minutes. They check for illegal gold panning and other activities near the border and in the adjacency zone.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Gifting Hands Foundation
These days many teenagers finds their entertainment in partying, hanging with friends and family, traveling and other sorts of fun but Wendy Castillo finds her entertainment in helping the less fortunate. She is a proud graduate from Saint Catherine’s Academy and is now studying Finance through an online school program. She lives on Caye Caulker and is an employee at Caye Dreams Real Estate. Gifting Hands Foundation was founded on June 1st 2012 by Wendy. Here is how she describes her foundation and how she came up with this idea to help the less fortunate. She welcomes toys, clothing and any other form of donations. To contact Wendy about her foundation and how you can contribute you can email her at Mission: En sculpture the humanitarian act of assisting the needy; through decent actions, clothed with love and care. Neglecting the wants of thy self and covering the hearts of young heroes to a brighter season. Purpose: Reaching the Homo sapiens that pose of great hidden talents, yet are restricted to a bed, wheel chair or simply the end of life- because of an unplanned illness or deficiency. Gifting Hands Foundation was generated by a seventeen year old teen who was met with life’s negative lane at an early age, seeing the actions committed at her doorstep to conclude with assets that neither could take at the end of this life; she was forced to be strong and capture the minds of those that saw her and be an upfront for her family. Perhaps, not only by herself but her mother and God above all. As she went on her daily journey to school, she saw the changes of the sunrise to a sunset; the rise of the less fortunate through the crumbs of the wealthy and insensitive human souls.


Yesterday’s boxing card at Bird’s Isle was a refreshing re-start of a long lost tradition in the old capital, boxing in the morning at the “Island” before football in the afternoon at the Barracks. The weather was fine – bright sunshine and a fresh southeaster – and though the Island was not packed, there was still a boisterous crowd of close to 300 fight fans on hand to witness an all Belizean amateur card that included female boxers for the first time. Some old timers from the past glory years of boxing in Belize grumbled a bit about the low level of skill displayed on Sunday, but, like most fans present, they also soon found themselves caught up in the energy and excitement brought by the combatants. The show began around 12:30 p.m. with solo exhibitions by female boxing sisters, teenaged Tassiyana and 9-year-old Sassani Tucker, who took turns at going through a one-round boxing routine with trainer Clinton Tucker. In the first of seven 4-round bouts, Brandon Aguilar (143 lbs) from Lions Den Cayo won a unanimous decision over Edwardo Garcia (138 lbs) of Lions Den Ladyville. Next was Rayford Smith (130 lbs) of Lions Den Ladyville gaining a split decision over Simeon Lino (140 lbs) of Leo Pol Gym. In the 3rd bout, “J.R.” of Leo Pol Gym won a unanimous decision over Brinton Flowers of Lions Den Ladyville. The 4th bout was a real crowd pleaser as the bigger boys, Orin “Breda Justice” Velasquez (170 lbs) of Lions Den Ladyville slugged it out with Anderson Petillo (174 lbs) of Leo Pol Gym, with Petillo gaining the unanimous decision. In the 5th bout, the smaller Kenyon Wright (175 lbs) of Lions Den Ladyville pulled out a unanimous decision over Richard “Chino” Peyrefitte (190 lbs) of Lions Den Cayo.

Undefeated defending champion Belmopan Bandits FC made it 3 victories in a row in Week 3 of the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2012-2013 Closing Season with their come from behind 3-2 win over sub-champions Police United FC on Saturday night at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. The victory maintained the Bandits’ grip not only on first place in the present competition, but also in the aggregate standings (of both the last and the current regular seasons) of the race toward participation in this year’s CONCACAF Champions League tournament. (See standings at bottom.) It was 1-1 at half time, after Amin August, Jr. put the visiting Police in front at the 25th minute, and Jerome “Jarro” James equalized for the Bandits at the 40th. Daniel “Danny” Jimenez gave the visitors another lead at the 50th minute, but again the Bandits equalized, this time through Jeremy Bermudez at the 75th minute, to make it 2-2. David Trapp then got the game winner for the Bandits at the 82nd for the 3-2 final score. It was another tough loss for a game Police squad, who were unfazed by the return of Bandits’ MVP goalie Woodrow West, whose net was shaken twice in his first outing this season. The 3 other PLB Week 3 games were played yesterday, Sunday.

“Guatemala’s internal war, like the other conflicts soon to follow in Central America (in El Salvador and Nicaragua especially), was usually depicted in the context of rivalry between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba, and local causes were downplayed, but in fact it was essentially a war to protect an entrenched elite. By the early 1980s, the Guatemalan Army’s highest-ranking officers had become wealthy. Almost all the death squads operating in Guatemala were linked to the Army, although their activity was regularly blamed on rogue right-wing extremists. Either you supported military dictatorship and the oligarchy or you were regarded as a leftist.” - pg. 16, THE ART OF POLITICAL MURDER, Francisco Goldman, Grove, 2007 On the Guatemala matter, there has always been a disconnect between elected PUDP governments and the masses of the Belizean people. Why has this been so? It has been so because elected governments in Belize have to accept advice and instruction, in general terms, from the Americans and the British where the Guatemala matter is concerned. The masses of the Belizean people do not feel constrained to accept any such advice and instruction, so that their opinion on the Guatemalan matter is always manifestly different from that of the government. In 1968, the opinion of the Belizean people on the Seventeen Proposals was different from the approach of the George Price PUP government. Ditto in 1981 where the Heads of Agreement were concerned. And in 2013 there is a disconnect between the Belizean people’s opinion on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the formal opinion of the Dean Barrow UDP government, which has said “yes” to the ICJ.

“(Galileo) wanted to go back to Florence, partly, it seems, because he wanted to persuade the smart, well-educated Jesuits who clustered there to accept his world picture. Sell the powerful Jesuits on the New Science, he thought, and you wouldn’t have to worry about the Inquisition or the Pope.” - pg. 106, THE NEW YORKER, February 11 & 18, 2013 For the past five and a half centuries, the Jesuits have been the political arm of the Roman Catholic Church, which is the most powerful religious institution on planet earth. World class thinkers, scholars, and educators, the Jesuits also have a record for activist courage: they are not a cloistered order of tonsured monks. The Jesuits are out here in the fray. One of the great mysteries of Belizean politics is why the Jesuits chose, sometime in 1972 as far as anyone can figure, to hedge the Church’s political bets in Belize. Prior to the formation of the Liberal Party in 1972, the Church and the George Price-led ruling People’s United Party (PUP) had enjoyed a very warm relationship which benefited both parties.

Police say that Corina Coh, 24, of Laguna Village, Toledo, was murdered on Thursday, February 21, 2013, by a 16-year-old boy. According to reports, Coh was on her way to classes at the University of Belize, Toledo Campus, when she was approached by her attacker. Coh was found around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday by a member of the Belize Defense Force who was riding his bicycle into Laguna Village. The passerby said he saw Coh lying on the ground near the bushes with multiple chops on her body. He called for help and Coh was taken to the hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries while undergoing treatment. A post-mortem conducted on Coh’s body revealed that her death was caused by exsanguinations due to external bleeding from multiple chop wounds to her upper body.

La Comisión de Belice dissolved because the body failed to inform him of 2008 change in the Belize Referendum Act “La Comisión de Belice queda disuelta…” “The Commission on Belize is dissolved…” “…both sides had assumed a positive outcome, meaning a ‘yes’ vote, in the referendum, and neither they nor the special agreement contemplated what would happen should voters disapprove of the ICJ route for resolution.” Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina took a drastic measure last Thursday, February 21, when he disbanded La Comisión de Belice, an information/advisory agency on Belize matters which has existed inside the Guatemala Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more than 25 years, after an investigation indicated that it “neglected” its duty to inform their government of the 2008 change in the Belize Referendum Act. The change in Belize’s law was no secret, as it was hotly debated in Belize’s Parliament and it was furthermore, the subject of fierce public litigation in Belizean courts.

The trend of bloody weekend violence continues – three men were shot to death and another was chopped to death between Friday and Sunday. Dead are Ernest Savery, 37, of Perez Road, Ladyville; Orin Humes, 32, of La Milpa, Ladyville; John Gideon, 32, of Biscayne; and Jose Nimencio Guido Campo of Sunset Park Village, Belize District. The deadly weekend began on Friday, February 22. Police said that about 10:00 that night, a gunman, dressed in black, rode up on a bicycle and fired at Ernest Savery, hitting him multiple times in the stomach. Savery fell to the ground and the shooter escaped into the night. Savery was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where he was declared dead on arrival. Reports are that he had just exited his yard, and was going to the home of his mother-in-law on Perez Road in Ladyville when the gunman attacked him. However, Savery, who was a prison officer at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville, has been targeted a few times for death by gunmen. On October 18, 2010, while travelling with two other prison officers in his car from the Belize Central Prison to Hattieville, on the Hattieville-Boom Road, a gunman, who was waiting in ambush, opened fire on his vehicle.

The grassroots organization will rally at the steps of the National Assembly building while Cabinet is in session Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYea) and its social partners will stage a National Land Reform Rally in Belmopan City on Tuesday, February 26, 2013, on the steps of the National Assembly Building from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Supporters attending the rally are asked to wear white T-shirts and the public is being reminded that it is not a political event. Nigel Petillo, the president of the organization, said that they are sure of a number of supporters coming from different areas of the country to participate in the demonstration. Interested persons can contact Petillo at 626-6168 or Yaya Marin Coleman at 661-8050. According to a press release issued by BGYea today, Monday, “the purpose of the rally is to highlight the need for increased transparency, efficiency and accountability in the management and distribution of national lands….” The organization wants to secure a commitment of support and direct participation by the Prime Minister and the Minister responsible for the distribution of land, in a series of public consultations through which a national land reform policy can be developed and implemented.

Belize government refuses protection to the nationalist group planning to cut border path between Belize and Guatemala – on the Belize side of the border! Wil Maheia told Amandala today that plans for the Belize Territorial Volunteers to execute the project, “Clearing Our Borderline,” at the border between Guatemala and Belize on Saturday, March 2, remain the same. The Belize Territorial Volunteers was formed, said Maheia, because “our borders have been neglected and as a result, there have been several incursions into our beautiful, sovereign country,” and their aim is “to ensure that Belize’s territorial sovereignty is never called into question.” Guatemalans, said Maheia, “have come into the villages and pillaged people’s farms and stolen their horses, and when they are caught, they claim ignorance about entering Belizean territory.” The plan, therefore, is to cut a path along the border three feet wide and in the first instance, six miles long, with “corn markers,” which are simply piles of rock, every 1,000 yards.

Today a jury of 12 persons unanimously found Japheth Bennett, 20, guilty of killing Ellis Meighan, Sr., 37. The murder occurred on September 13, 2009, at 8:30 p.m. Meighan was riding his bicycle at the corner of Banak Street and Central American Boulevard when someone came up behind him on a bicycle and shot him in the back of the head, killing him instantly. At the time of the shooting, police believed that it was retaliation for a shooting that one of Meighan’s sons was accused of committing, which had led to the younger Meighan being arrested and charged with attempted murder the week prior to Meighan being shot. No one was charged for the murder until October 26, 2009, when Bennett, who was a minor at the time, was arraigned for the brazen killing. The trial started on February 19, 2013, before Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr., with Kayshia Grant representing the Crown with assistance from Shanice Lovell, and Bennett being represented by Michael Peyrefitte.

The application process for attaining a Belizean passport has been revised and will go into effect as of Friday, March 1, 2013. A countrywide awareness campaign will be launched to inform the public of the new procedures. Six application forms have been added to the revised process, including specific forms for minors, adults, persons living abroad, and for persons applying for a passport replacement. This procedure will also apply to applications for a renewal of passports. Also, application forms will now need to be signed by various authorized personnel; this particular adjustment applies to section five of the application form, the Authentication of Application. For persons under 16 years of age, a recommender must be provided and there are two forms that must be filled out. Form 4-A must be filled out by a Justice of the Peace, minister of religion, medical practitioner, notary public, or an attorney at law. Form 4-B must be filled out by a member of the House of Representatives, chief executive officer in any ministry of the Government, a head of department, or a licensed teacher.


BGYEA holds demonstration in Belmopan
BGYEA held a demonstration in the City of Belmopan today. President of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association; Nigel Petillo led the crowd around the ring road this morning by singing his version of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song. The group of approximately 100, followed behind carrying flags of Belize,...

Stepfather sought for alleged sexual abuse
After almost a year of alleged sexual abuse by her step-father, a 16 year old speaks out. The minor, a resident of a village in the Corozal District, told police that her step-father has been having sex with her against her will since she was 15. The last time...

11 year old girl dies following snake bite
An 11 year old girl died last night as a result of a snake bite. 11 year old Monique Moro, a student of Teakettle village, was on her way to church on Sunday night when she was bitten by a snake. The little girl was along with her cousin...

Mexican transferred to Belize court
The case of 22-year-old student Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez of Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico was in a Belize City court today. Mendez is accused of a raft of charges in relation to a firearms and drugs bust by Police at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino in October of 2012,...

North Front Street vendors made to move to Battlefield Park
Nine food stall vendors previously located at the old site of the Paslow Building on North Front Street – colloquially known as “Ground Zero” – were made to move to the Battlefield Park in downtown Belize City over the weekend. One vendor we spoke to, Claudia Scott of Claudia’s...

Belmopan police investigating possible arson
Belmopan police are investigating a possible case of arson. On Saturday, a resident of the Salvapan area received a phone call from one her neighbors informing her that her house was fire. When the owner of the house arrived at her residence, her home was engulfed in flames and...

Woman Charged with Wounding Partner
A domestic quarrel turned ugly for a couple in Punta Gorda Town. But there are two sides of this story – Police say that a 43 year old woman reported that last week Sunday, around 10pm, she and her common-law husband got into a quarrel. The woman claims that...

Husband charged for Aggrivated Assault
There’s another domestic violence report, from the Toledo District. A 29 year old Guatemalan woman of a village in the district, told police that she was at home with her husband, who was under the influence of alcohol. She said that he started an argument with her and began...

Driver of garbage truck charged with manslaughter by negligence
On Friday of last week, a garbage collector lost his life when he was knocked down by the garbage truck he was working on. The accident happened in the Lake Independence area of Belize City sometime around 2:30 in the afternoon. The victim, Kenrick Sutherland was on his first...

US Camouflaged speed boats sighted in Corozal Bay
If you’ve been in the Corozal Bay area lately, you probably wondered what are those camouflaged speed boats doing in our lagoons? Well, those vessels are in Belize as part of a partnership designed to strengthen civil and maritime capabilities in the Caribbean. On February 18th, sailors from a...

Former Police Sergeant acquitted of perjury
A former Police Sergeant has been acquitted of perjury. Yesterday, Anthony Polonio was freed of the charge before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The case goes back to October of 2007, when he and another officer were accused of lying under oath during a murder trial. That trial saw the acquittal...


Full moon over the sea
Barry got some great photos last night of the full moon from our veranda. I couldn't pick just one, so I'll give you a series. It really was breathtaking.

Things I Saw Yesterday from Sands Villas to Buying a Bar Stool So Everybody Knows Your Name
Yesterday the high winds continued much to the dismay of divers...but to the delight of wind surfers. I saw quite a few ripping around in the afternoon. Since I am doing neither of those activities, the hot sunny weather seems pretty good to me. So after dropping my friend off at the airstrip, I took a few pictures. There are very few bars in town I haven't visited (not sure I should be bragging about that) but this is one of them. Directly across from the Maya Island Air, unfortunately at 10am the doors to "Free Kingdom" are dead-bolted. Wonder how they picked the name? The walk down the beach by Ramon's. Lots of people lounging on the lounge chairs. The sea is still quite cloudy but that should remedy itself over the next few days as the winds die down and switch directions.

International Sources

Mats of algae and seaweed have shrouded the once thick coral in shallow reefs off Jamaica's north coast. Warm ocean waters have bleached out the coral, and in a cascade of ecological decline, the sea urchins and plant-eating reef fish have mostly vanished, replaced by snails and worms that bore through coral skeletons. Now, off the shores of Jamaica, as well as in Caribbean islands from Bonaire to St. Croix, conservationists are planting fast-growing coral species to try and turn things around by "seeding" reefs. The strategy has doubters, with one expert joking that prayer might be as effective, but conservationists say the problem is so catastrophic that inaction is not an option. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, live coral coverage on Caribbean reefs is down to an average of just 8 percent, from 50 percent in the 1970s

Belize-born teenager calls for UKYP votes
An ambitious young Dominican College pupil is bidding to become the first non-national member from Northern Ireland in the UK Youth Parliament. 14-year-old Ramel Flores, who is in his fourth year at the Portstewart college, is running in the East Londonderry constituency. Already cutting out a future political career for himself, Ramel lists his interests as peace and conflict resolution, law and mental health among the young. He says: “My aspiration is to be part of a diverse transformation of Northern Ireland and the communication link between our transforming societies. “I was born in the small country of Belize in the heart of Central America. Northern Ireland is my home and I am prepared to be part of the machinery that will move this nation to a new era.” Ramel and his family moved to the north coast in 2005 and he is now preparing to do his GCSEs at Dominican. He says he is a fan of the Italian politician and historian Niccolò Machiavelli and lists Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, the ancient Chinese military treatise, as one of his favourite reads.

New World Oil & Gas boss: Investors "exposed to tremendous upside"
As always New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) boss Bill Kelleher leaves his best shot till last. “We continue to do what we have always done – expose our shareholders to tremendous upside,” he says wrapping up our chat. He is referring to a summary at the end of his presentation that remains the basis on which most investors bought into the stock. It reveals that New World has 40 prospects, eight of them drillable – five in Belize and three in Denmark. Combined they add up to almost 400mln barrels of oil and more than two trillion cubic feet of gas with an indicative net present value of US$6.4bln.

earthrise Series two, episode one
earthrise returns with bees in Kenya's human-elephant conflict, diving for hardwood in Belize and Haiti's eco-toilets. The Belize River has been holding precious hardwoods cut more than 200 years ago that sank to the riverbed in the process of transporting them to the market. A new project now aims to reduce deforestation by tracking them down using modern technology.

Where in the world is San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize?
It occurs to me that perhaps a lot of people do not know anything about where we currently are. That what you have heard of Belize is the mainland and a city rife with crime where no one should ever be staying. Or perhaps you have never heard of it at all? I certainly had never heard of it until our good friends the Kings told us of how they lived here. When I heard their stories I knew I had to come. Anyway we are not on the mainland of Belize we are in the (only) town of San Pedro on the largest island of Belize called Ambergris Caye, located in Central America. This town has a population of about 13,381 and it seems everyone knows everyone. The island is roughly 40 km long north to south and about 1.6 km wide (tiny, right?) There is little Spanish spoken here. Most people speak English. My guess is that is influenced a lot by the amount of expats in the community as well as US tourism. The major tourism is divers as Ambergris Caye holds the second largest barrier reef after our one in Australia. My husband tells me it's actually because it's a British colony, I can't see anything British about it... What Brit eats beans and rice? :D

A Little Good News
What with the forms coming down and forms going up went at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize yesterday I omitted to report on the meeting we had with Daniel Camal our building contractor. After much deliberation – and imagining how we would like to use every window in the house- we were able to finally (true to say that we have changed our minds quite a few times) exactly what windows windows we want. Aside from the three clerestory windows (Ground Floor self-contained apartment living room area, First Floor bedroom (Rose’s handicraft room) and the dining area on the First Floor) all windows ( of varying dimensions) will be the PGT Winguard’s SH500 (single hung) window. With this important decision taken we proceeded to run through the rest of our ‘agenda’ which ranged from using water from the well to flush the toilets (as opposed to using the rainwater collection tank), to the further mahogany wood stain shades we would like ( for kitchen cabinets, stair treads and doors) to showing Daniel the types of fences we would like for Tres Cocos and Fire Coral Street ( Daniel will now provide quotes) and the air-conditioning pipes near the clerestory windows (thanks to subscriber Steve Martin for that). At the end of the meeting we got a little good news from Daniel when he told us he is aiming to have our build in Ambergris Caye, Beliize finished by the middle of July. If this is achieved he will have brought the project in one month early.

Toucan Pictures from Lower Dover Field Station
Afternoon birdwatching and photos from Lower Dover with a Cannon point and shoot

Analysis: The need for Consensus on a National Security Policy
This essay was published in The Belize Times in 1998. At the time it reflected the attendant realities in so far as our national security. My colleague and I were addressing what we saw as a glaring indifference at that particular period in our nation’s history By: Hubert Pipersburgh and Derrick Estrada Current Assumptions Flawed: The recent cross-border incursion by terrorists is a focusing event of a very serious problem: The national security and territorial integrity of Belize may very well be at stake. The incident is but one recent example of how fluid the Belize/Guatemalan border is. The incident on that fateful Saturday morning on the Humming Bird Highway exposed the fragility of our nation’s ability to protect its citizens. Reportedly, the terrorists were well-armed professionals with advance intelligence on the methods employed by Belize’s security forces. Furthermore, they appeared very familiar with Belize’s terrain. Belizeans have always taken for granted the integrity of our borders. In the absence of any comprehensive peace agreement with Guatemala, perhaps the time has come for us to examine our overall national security policy and strategy and our nation’s ability to deal with any external threats to our sovereignty. It is time for us to abandon the carelessness and casual attitude that have characterized our national security in recent decades. To the extent that there is a current military policy in place to deal with any external aggressions, it was not evident on that fateful Saturday morning.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Rice Puddin' Deluxe
Prepare yer favert vanilla custard. Whip up a pint uf whippin' creem, slightlee sweetened and laced with vanilla. Spred a layr uf rice puddin' on dinnr plate er plattr. Top with a layr uf vanilla custard. Garnish liberallee with whupd creem. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Indulge n' rice puddin' deluxe!

Mangroves - a secret weapon in combating climate change
~Earthwatch announces five-year research programme into carbon storage of tropical mangrove ecosystems~ Mangrove forests could be a secret weapon in the fight against climate change, according to scientists from Earthwatch. Earthwatch today announces a new five-year research programme into the potential of mangrove forests to store carbon and reduce the impacts of climate change. The research, which is supported by insurance company Aviva, builds on the findings of Earthwatch scientists Dr Mark Huxham, of Edinburgh Napier University, and Dr James Kairo, who, with support from Earthwatch, have been working in Gazi Bay, in the Kwale district of Kenya, for the past four years. "Mangroves have a vital role to play in reducing the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events," Nat Spring, Earthwatch's Senior Research Director explains. "They also have huge potential to store carbon in their root systems. This research project is very significant. We aim to provide robust biological and economic data on the role of mangrove forests in carbon storage."

VIDEO: Someday is NOW!
The Mesoamerican Reef is Belize's crown jewel and a major economic engine for the country. As the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, it provides this Central American nation with thriving lobster, conch and reef fish fisheries, a strong cultural icon, and a magnet for hundreds of thousands of tourists who come each year to enjoy its outstanding diving, snorkeling and fishing opportunities. This incredible resource is in peril. Unplanned development of coastal areas -- including dredging and filling of critical mangrove forests, contamination, and overfishing -- all threaten the reef and Belizean livelihoods.

February 26, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Best Director Ang Lee researched Life of Pi in Belize
In January 2010, acclaimed filmmaker, Ang Lee was on Ambergris Caye where he and his two sons, Mason and Haan trained to become certified SCUBA divers with White Sands Dive Shop. After receiving his full certification, Lee along with White Sands’ PADI staff instructors Elbert Greer and Sam Lin, visited LOP-068 Pi Patel takes in the bioluminescent wonders of the sea.Hol Chan Marine Reserve for a night dive. The San Pedro Sun’s publisher Ron Sniffin and son Jem were invited to join them on the dive, where Lee wanted to view bioluminescent sea creatures in order to realistically portray them. Lee also wanted to get acquainted with the underwater world for the movie he was working on – Life of Pi. Three years later, on February 24th Lee took home the Best Director Academy Award (Oscar) for Life of Pi, the movie he researched in part here in Belize. This was his second award for Best Achievement in Directing; his first Oscar was in 2005 for the film Brokeback Mountain. Life of Pi was nominated for eleven Oscars, including best picture, and not only won for Best Director but won Best Cinematography, Original Score and Visual Effects as well.

Holy Cross softball team heads to District Finals
Holy-Cross-SoftballOn the morning of February 19th two schools competed against each other in the hope of advancing to the Belize District Final for the National Sports Council’s Primary School Softball Tournament . Competing were San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) and Holy Cross Anglican Primary School, both in the male division. The match took place at Ambergris Stadium where the boys from SPRCS gave a valiant effort but fell short, losing to Holy Cross Anglican Primary School in a best out of three matches. Holy Cross won the first two matches securing them the position of representing San Pedro at the Belize District Final which will be held on April 1st. The scores for match one were 9-6 and 11-2 for the second match. Officiating the games were Ruth Lamb and Barbara Cadle. The Holy Cross softball team will be traveling to Belize City to compete against the other area champions.

Carlos Perrote to direct San Pedro’s first ever Summer Music Camp
The children of San Pedro are sure to have a productive summer this year,as they will have the opportunity to learn theSteel Pan Kids vibrant art of music. For the first time ever, a music camp for children between the ages of five to eighteen will be held. This music summer camp has previously taken place annually in both Orange Walk Town and Belize City. Children learn the skill of playing a variety of instruments that include the percussion, Garifuna drums, steel pan, piano and guitar. No program of this style has previously been held here in San Pedro Town, so it is bound to be a great learning experience for the community’s children.Percussion Camp Training the children is Cuban music teacher Carlos Perrote. Perrote obtained a Master’s degree at the Supreme Institute of Art in Havana, Cuba. Perrote is well educated in the world of music, having played in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba and toured Germany, France and Italy. Since 1991, Carlos Perrote has resided in Belize, and has since produced two albums, worked as a music teacher at the National Institute of Creative Arts, and was even musical director for the late Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective. Currently, Perrote is the music director at Grace Primary Music School and the Holy Redeemer Marching Band. He has been recognized as a very talented musician in Belize and with his diversity in combining music , especially Cuban and Garifuna rhythms.

Tia Chocolate goes Rappelling and Zip Lining at Bocawina Falls
As I hung several feet up in the air, held up by what I genuinely felt were mere woven threads, I began to question my decision. Not only had I happily signed the release form, I also had begged to do this. WHY would a reasonably sane person like me ask to be strapped up and hung on a few wire cables? It couldn’t possibly be because the call of the jungle had been roaring in my head for weeks? It couldn’t possibly be because as out of shape as I am, I firmly believe I can scale mountains and positively run down a waterfall. No, I’m insane…that’s the only possible explanation. But, I must backtrack a little, and explain how I found myself in this most compromising position. I am the girl who spends anywhere between 10 to 16 hours in front of a computer, with my only form exercise of the day being my 10 minute bike ride into town, and walking one flight of stairs to the office. That is it. But, hey, I grew up in mountain town – “I da Cayo gial!” When Tropic Air’s Julie Kee emailed an invitation to try their newest tour at Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Silk Grass, Dangriga, it was all I could do to contain my excitement. Zip lining! Rappelling 100 feet down a waterfall! Piece of cake! I was going to scale that mountain and go down that waterfall, and they wouldn’t know what hit them!

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Traffic Wardens Attend Public Relations Workshop
Traffic is one of the biggest problems on the island and the San Pedro Town Council and San Pedro Traffic Department are working hard on alleviating traffic flow on our heavily congested streets. Many changes are set to come including the exclusive parking for golf carts on Barrier Reef Drive and the shifting of delivery time for large trucks that take goods, produce and products to the stores. With these and other changes to come, the traffic wardens need to know how to properly approach the island residents and how to deal with situations they are faced with on a daily basis. During the weekend, Councilor Kenrick Brackett, whose portfolio includes Traffic, made arrangements for the island’s seven traffic wardens to attend a Customer Care and Public Relations Workshop.

Jennifer Lawrence Amongst Oscar Winning Actors Who Visit Belize
Amongst those celebrities who visit Belize have been big Oscar-winning actors, including recent Academy Award winning actress Jennifer Lawrence. The 22-year-old actress won the Best Female Actress in a Leading Role last night, February 24, 2013, for her work in the film Silver Linings Playbook, beating out Zero Dark Thirty‘s - Jessica Chastain, The Impossible‘s - Naomi Watts, Beasts of the Southern Wild‘s - Quvenzhane Wallis, and Amour‘s - Emmanuelle Riva for the honor. But Jennifer Lawrence is not the only Oscar-winning actress to have visited San Pedro, Belize; others include Michael Douglas and wife Catherine Zeta Jones, Harrison Ford (Oscar Nominated) and rumors of Halle Berry and George Clooney on Ambergris Caye were plentiful. We only assume that there have been others we don’t know of as resorts on the island are very hush hush when it comes to catering to their celebrity clients, while some stay at super secluded and exclusive resorts.

Feliz Bar & Grill Donates to Holy Cross Anglican School
Feliz Bar & Grill, Heather & Kevin Smith, donated a check for $995.00 to Holy Cross Anglican School! Feliz Bar & Grill donates funds raised from Wednesday night Bingo games every month. January was a fundraiser for our little Holy Cross School and February is fundraising for SAGA Society. “How very generous of Heather, Kevin and all the patrons who came out to play Bingo and show their support. We salute you!!! Thank you for all that you do.” – Linda Carter of Holy Cross Anglican School!

When San Pedro Prepared for the Visit of the Nuns
When the motor boat arrived at the main pier, half or more of the village was at the beach to witness such poignant spectacle. The men helped carry their belongings to the Scout Room. In the night at 7 p.m. they congregated at church for a prayer session called a Novena. A Novena in the Roman Catholic Church is the recitation of prayers for nine consecutive days to achieve a specific purpose. Seeing them in meditation and prayer and song brought goose bumps to all of us. We remained silent in respect of their prayer session as we gathered around the church. Their singing, we thought, was a choir of angels. And when they came out, we gathered around them trying to give them a hug and hoping we would receive some religious relic, religious picture, pendant, or even a rosary. They knew this and were always prepared with these tokens for their little friends of San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Caye Caulker Kids doing the Harlem Shake!
YESSSSS, that's Master Blayd up front and center in the cow outfit

Belizeans press for land reform
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association [BGYEA] and its social partners will be holding a national land reform rally on Tuesday at the steps of the National Assembly in Belmopan. The purpose of the rally is to highlight the need for increased transparency, efficiency and accountability in the management and distribution of national lands as well as to secure a commitment by the prime minister of Belize and the minister responsible for the distribution of land for their support for, as well as direct participation in a series of public consultations through which a national land reform policy can be developed and implemented.

The Government of Belize, in discharge of its duty to ensure the safety and security of all persons in our country, hereby advises all members of the public that any attempt on their part to clear the Western Border can give rise to serious danger to themselves and we therefore strongly advise against participation in any such action. Proposed efforts as reported in the media may conduce to a disturbance of the peace and to unnecessary tensions between two countries, contrary to the long-standing efforts that successive Belize Governments have been working hard to secure. The danger inherent in such action can readily be seen from the details of a press conference which was called by then Prime Minister Said Musa on 26th February, 2000. Instructive excerpts of that speech are now reproduced in this release, and we quote: “We call this press conference today to provide you with the facts as we know them surrounding an incident that occurred on Thursday morning (February 24, 2000) in an area of Belizean territory near our Belizean Defence Force border posts at Treetops, south southwest of Jalacte Village in the Toledo District.

Tony Rath Photography
I spent last week with a Japanese film crew doing a documentary on Belize. I did all the underwater work for them. One site we worked at was Crawl Caye at the very southern end of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. The day was very windy, and the in water visibility was not good. Knowing I had to capture something, I worked in the shallows around Crawl Caye where the sunlight was able to penetrate and add some color other than green to the scene. I knew there would be sunrays with the cloudier water, and was fortunate to encounter a huge school of sprat - so thick it actually blocked the light at times. It is always a little tricky to shoot into the sun, as every little scratch or piece of dirt on your lens will show. I was lucky to get the school and a nice burst of sunrays in this shot. In the video, the sun rays are dancing and the school of fish is pulsating ... the film crew was ecstatic with the resulting footage.

Lonely Planet Ranks Belize as Most Family Friendly
Lonely Planet released their list of the most family friendly places, and Belize is listed first. Cayo is mentioned, of course, and the picture is Caracol. "But the interior doesn’t mean sacrificing fun in the water, with underground rivers to tube, jungle lodges on swimming holes and Mayan ruins reached by boat. If you rent a car, a tad pricey (about US$80 per day), you can connect a few dots at your own leisure. For an unforgettable stay, try the remote and family-friendly Barton Creek Outpost in the Cayo District, with a rope swing on the country’s finest swimming hole. And pull in for Garifuna drum lessons at the laid-back beach of Hopkins."

New Falcon Field Neighborhood Watch
The Falcon Field Neighborhood Watch, Cayo's newest neighborhood watch, is having thier first meeting tonight. Together, we stand! "Falcon Field - New Neighborhood Watch Committee forming! First mtg tonight! The newly forming Falcon Field neighborhood watch will have its first gathering on Monday 25th Feb at 7:30 at the Bejos home (across from Latino Mix). Please repost for those living in this neighborhood (2-4 blocks in all directions around the park). All are welcome to support us. P.C. Jones will be presenting."

Fashion Street
Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) invited The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in its participation at Fashion Street. The event was held downtown Belize City, on Albert & Dean Street, Saturday February 23, 2013, from 2:00 pm to 10:00 pm. A total of 1 booth (with dimensions 10‘x 20‘) was endowed to BELTRAIDE. Fashion Street, directed at strengthening and supporting Creative Industries, showcasing live art, fashion and a wide selection of entertainment, gave artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and artwork to a crowd. BELTRAIDE was able to establish a wide array of networking with individuals to promote its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a proactive approach to promote investment and trade development, marketing, business facilitation, and research.

Art In the Street
It’s the third year for the annual Street Art Festival and according to organizers, there will be new surprises for those art lovers. On Saturday afternoon downtown Albert Street will be lined with booths showcasing live art, fashion and a wide selection of entertainment. The festival was created to build a national forum for artists and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and artwork to a crowd. We caught up with the team at NICH who told us what families can expect tomorrow.

February 17, 2013 - February 23, 2013 Fishing Report
It just seems like I’m giving out as many gifts to our guests that return as “El Pescador Family” as I am bonefish pins! It makes us really happy when we see our friends come back. This week was filled with “family.” Thank you all for being so supportive of one another. For me, it was a special week because my niece Sarah was also here. Sarah grew up in my fly shop back in Victor, Idaho – and hasn’t fished in years. This week there we were wading the lagoon searching for bonefish. When I said, “Sarah, put it there! – the fly landed and a bonefish was on! She hadn’t lost her cast and that smile still makes me tickle inside. The level of confidence with all the anglers grew this week and I know everyone will continue to build on what they learned and continue to cast to their dreams.

Channel 7

Weekend In Belize Rural Sees Four Homicides
IT was a deadly weekend in Belize Rural where four people were killed - three of them within a short six hour period between Friday night and early Saturday morning - one in Ladyville, one in Hattieville, one in Western Pines. And then there was one more killing last night off the Boom Road. Four homicides within a small area - generally known to be peacible. But this weekend it was ultra-violent: Three were shot, and one was chopped up. Two of the shootings were clearly executions, while the other shooting and the chopping were cases of vehicles breaking down - and the drivers being killed when they walked and left their cars. It is a puzzling panorama of violence and the officer in charge of the entire area is ASP Chris Noble. He discussed the disturbing weekend with the media this morning:

Father of Four Ambushed and Executed
And we'll recap all those murders tonight - starting with the last, which was the most recent. It happened last night off the Burrell Boom Road where a 33 year old Ladyville resident was ambushed. Jules Vasquez spoke to police and his family:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 33 year old OREN HUMES was killed here - this feeder road - off the Burrell Boom Road last night. This morning police re-visited the area - in the hopes that they could find some physical evidence which could nto be seen last night. Oren Humes was ambushed in this this Jeep Cherokee riddled with bullet holes from at least two gunmen. One who shot through the back, And one who shot through an open window on the side, the bullets piercing the opposite door and smashing the opposite window there was also a bullet hole through the windshield.

Truck Breaks Down, Man Walks For Help, Gets Killed
And while Ladyville police do have persons of interest they are seeking to question for the Humes murder, clues are not so easy to come by in the case of Jose Campo. The 56 year old resident of Western Pines at mile 8 on the George Price Highway was killed when his truck broke down at mile 9. This happened at around 6:30 on Friday and he decided to hike through the bush back to his home which is about a half mile away. But he never made it. While he was walking someone chopped him up and left him to die. Around 11:30, his family started to get worried that he hadn't returned home and they launched a search party. The found his body at about midnight. Police discussed the case today: ASP Chris Noble, O/C Ladyville, Regional Executive Officer "This person was found off the highway in the area of mile 9. He does have severe injuries and did succumb on scene and body parts were almost severed with regards to it. He did go missing and was found by persons known to him. The police are dealing with it. We are just following up on what is being given to us."

Man's Car Ran Out Of Gas, Killed As He Walked Home
As we told you at the top of the newscast, there were four murders in the Belize Rural this weekend. Two were executions, and the other two victims, strangely, were both men whose vehicles had broken down on the Western Highway and they were walking home - in each case less than a half a mile. The differences are that the first one happned at around 6:00 pm - that was Jose Campo and he was apparently chopped to death. The second victim was John Gideon and he was chopped to death. At around midnight on Friday, the 32 year old Hattieville Resident's car ran out of gas, and when he decided to walk home he was shot and killed. Monica Bodden found out more about his tragic death:... Monica Bodden reporting The body of 32 year old John Gideon was found here at mile 17 on the Western Highway- less than half mile from where he lives. Around midnight on Friday, Gideon body was discovered lying face down in a pool of blood on the shoulder of the highway - His grey Mercedes Benz was parked opposite from where his body lay. He was seen suffering from 3 gunshot wounds - one to the head, face and back.

Prison Warden Savery Executed Outside His Home
On Friday night a prison warden was executed outside his home in Ladyville. It happened around 10pm as 37 year old Ernest Savery was walking out of his home on Perez Road. According to police, a man dressed in full black rode up on a bicycle and fired four shots at him. One of those shots caught him in the right side of his abdomen and he died on the spot. This is not the first time someone had made an attempt on Savery's life. In October of 2010, he narrowly escaped death after his vehicle was riddled with just before reaching the Hattieville junction. Savory was shot to the neck while 32 year old prison officer Miriam Gillett was killed. In August of 2004, Savory was one of three convicted by a jury for the murder of a 67 year old San Pedro resident. The man was beaten to death with a crowbar inside his house. After serving 7 years behind bars, Savory was set free by a Privvy council decision. His brother Eric Lewis known as Ghetto Fab was killed in 2010.

Justice For Ellis "Pepper Gacho" Meighan
Tonight, 20 year-old Japheth Bennett, the man who was accused of killing well-known Ellis Meighan Sr., is awaiting his sentencing hearing, after he was convicted of murder today before Justice Adolph Lucas Sr. Viewers may remember that Meighan, father of the well-known Tyrone and Ellis Meighan Jr., was shot to death on September 9, 2009. Crown Counsel Kayshia Grant got her main witness to testify against Bennett, but when he took the stand, he told police he didn't see who the gunman was. However, in his statement to police in 2009, he told police that at around 8:40 p.m. he was coming from playing basketball and was heading to his sister's house, he heard the shots and later saw a man lying at the corner of Banak Street and Central American Boulevard. He also told police he saw Bennett, someone who he had known for 5 months prior to the shooting, standing over Meighan's body with what appeared to be a firearm in his hand. This forced Grant to treat her witnesses as hostile, and it also forced a trial within this trial in which this recorded statement was tested. Justice Lucas ruled that the statement was admissible as evidence, and when Grant closed her case, Bennett gave a dock statement.

Cop Accused of Selective Amnesia Cleared Of Perjury Charge
After 5 years and 4 months, Former Police Sergeant Anthony Polonio is free tonight of the criminal charge of perjury after he was acquitted today before Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Polonio was caught up in one of the most sensational cases in which he was accused of refusing to cooperate with the office of the DPP, in October 2007, businessman Chayben Abou-Nahara was acquitted of shooting Shawn Copius to death. Viewers may remember in the manslaughter trial of Chayben Abou-Nahara, he was one of the 2 police officers were accused of perjury when they took the stand and told the court that they couldn't remember if they detained and process him. This forced the prosecution to concede that they didn't have Abou-Nahara on record as being the accused person. The then DPP told 7News that these men purposefully tanked the case, but in Polonio's trial which started last week Wednesday, Justice Gonzalez listened to testimony presented by the witnesses for the prosecution and he wasn't convinced that their case against him was strong enough.

The Famous Matthew Williams Tries To Get Back His Van
Last week we told you about the human trafficking cargo that was busted by Ladyville police. As we reported, they impounded the van and recovered most of the 15 persons who were inside. The owner of that van, a well-known Orange Walk resident was detained and then later released. Turns out he had rented the van - and he says he had no idea that the persons he rented it to would use it to move human traffic from west to north. Today we met him at the Ladyville police station trying to get his van back. He told us more:.. Jules Vasquez "You rented it. Did you know they were going to use it for human trafficking?" Matthew Williams "No sir, automatically no sir. I didn't have any intensions that they were going to do that. Before I even handed the key to my vehicle I explained to them that I don't want then to run nothing illegal in my van because I don't want to have any problem with the law and they still went and did stuff behind my back." Jules Vasquez "Have you spoken with these people?" Matthew Williams "Right now I am looking for them and the authorities are looking for them too because I need to get some answers from them." Marion Ali, reporter "When you were renting or lending them the vehicle, you never had a conversation with them as to what the use of the vehicle be used for?"

Guats Sabre-Rattle, Foreign Ministry Cautions, Maheia Unfazed
On Friday we told you about Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington's stern warning to Will Maheia and his Belize Territorial Volunteers about their project called "Clearing Our Borderline". Responding to a formal diplomatic note from the Guatemalans warning that it will cause friction along the border, Elrington said quote, "they could well find themselves arrested by the Guatemalans because there are no clear boundaries (along the border)." To add to that, today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent out what you might call a cautionary tale: it warns that quote, "any attempt…to clear the Western Border can give rise to serious danger…and we therefore strongly advise against participation in any such action." End quote. It also goes on to revisit an incident in February of 2000 when 3 soldiers and one police officer were arrested by 25 Guatemalan Military as they patrolled near Treetops, south southwest of Jalacte Village. Despite these warnings, though, Maheai is going right ahead. Today he stopped by our studio to tell us why:.. Will Maheia "The response has been overwhelming; I am humbled by the amount of support that we are getting throughout the country. I am proud of the Belizean people; they are the ones that motivate us to do what we do. We believe that we need to take care of this country, we need to take care of the country's border, I don't know of any country in the world beside Belize that doesn't have a mark border. I just think that it is our duty and obligation as Belizeans to ensure that our borders are secure. As part of the territorial volunteers - we've been together for a while now. The group that we are a part of has been in existence over a year now, but we've known each other for over ten years now, so we've been going into the forest for a long time just looking at Belize's resources."

Dumptruck Driver Charged
Last week, 7News told you about Kenrick "Money" Sutherland, a temporary worker on his first day of work with Belize Waste Control, who was sitting on the edge of a small garbage truck when he fell off, right beneath the back wheels of the truck. He was crushed to death. Well, the driver of that truck was 57-year-old Honduran National, Luis Beltran Garcia, and he is at prison tonight after he was taken to court this morning. He was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where he was read the four criminal charges of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, and permitting a person to travel not properly seated. Due to the fact that his immigration status in Belize is uncertain, Magistrate Cayetano remanded him to prison until March 29, 2013. According to eyewitnesses, Sutherland had just jumped unto the truck as it was moving off and never did steady himself. The driver didn't have time to react and ran over his chest without even knowing, and he had to be alerted that he had just run over someone. Sutherland was rushed to the hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A Blow-By-Blow Account Of The Boxing
Last week, we told you about the Boxing card that was held on Sunday at the Bird's Isle. It's all part of the effort to restore the sweet science to the prominence that it once held. The main event was the amateur phenom, Alex Neal, who was going up against Mohammad Harmouche, the more experienced boxer from San Pedro. 7News was there, and Daniel Ortiz has the blow-by-blow account: Daniel Ortiz reporting Yesterday, the Bird Isle was alive again with the flicker of a promise for the revival of boxing. Fans and supporters and all gathered for the full ticket of fighters coming from Lion's Den Ladyville, Lion's Den Cayo, and the Leopold Smart Gyms. Several of those up-and-coming boxers who wouldn't participate, still showed up to support their team mates. Early in the first bout, Eduard Garcia, using superior footwork, danced around Brandon Aguilar, to gain control of the match at its early stages. As the fight progressed he was just edging out Aguilar, leading in points. But it soon became a test of fitness, and Aguilar clearly had the advantage, pacing himself and then at crucial moments, he started landing big hits.

And Judo for All
And while Boxing struggles to regain its former glory, another sport is trying to makes its own story here in Belize. Viewers may remember that the Judo athlete, Cuban Belizean Eddermys Sanchez, was one of only 3 to participate in the 2012 Olympics. He was defeated within seconds because he didn't have the training and facilities that athletes from those other countries had. Well, this weekend, 7News visited with the Judo Association of Belize, where we found out that that there is a contingent of Belizean Judo athletes who will be participating in the 2013 Central American games. And the President says that like the Olympics last year, these games will be more of a venture for experience, rather than to win. He explained why: Wellington Chee "We have selected some athletes to participate. At this moment we are going to send three representative to participate in the Judo events. The students that are presently going to Costa Rica there are basivally quite inexperience because Judo Association of Belize a very new federation and we still are going through the stages of formation to trying to promote.

New Vehicle For ISF
It goes largely un-reported by the police press office, but Independence Village has seen a worrying number of armed hold-ups of small grocery stores. And that's part of the reason why the Intermediate Southern Formation is getting a new vehicle - courtesy the Ministry of National Security. It's one of two vehicles handed over today by the Ministry. At Headquarters in Belmopan, Deputy Commissioner Aragon told the Press Office how it will be used:.. Elodio Aragon, Deputy Commissioner of Police "It means a lot especially in these challenging times there is a need for mobility within the police department especially in the rural areas. The vehicles going to ISF will definitely play a role out there. The one for CIB in Belmopan will also assist our officers to be able to get out there quicker in response to calls and when carrying out investigations. Slowly we are getting in what we need whether it be when it comes to basic equipment and vehicles. I think over a period of time now we have seen now the department is slowly increasing in the amount of vehicular resources." The other vehicle went to the National Crimes Investigation Branch.

Channel 5

4 murdered; Ladyville’s Ernest Savery gunned down
The City was spared of murders over the weekend but in a span of forty-eight hours between Friday and Sunday nights, four men were murdered in separate incidents as violence shifted to the outlying communities. Two murders devastated residents of the Hattieville area and police are also investigating two others that occurred in Ladyville.  At [...]

No fuel in car, then rider shoots and kills
There was another murder on Friday night. The victim is John Gideon Junior, and employee of San Pedro Belize Express who you will recognize from a radio and television ad for the water taxi. In fact, it was the company’s shirt he was wearing that led to confirmation of his identity. The father of two [...]

Same highway, Sunset Park resident hacked to death
The lifeless body of fifty-six year old Jose Nemencio Guido Campo, a naturalized Belizean of a Sunset Park address, was discovered by his son on Saturday morning, several hours after the duo last saw each other on the George Price Highway.  According to Luis Campo, they were heading home from Cotton Tree Village around six [...]

Hattieville security guard shot multiple times
On Sunday night, the fourth murder for the weekend was recorded. Oren Humes was executed near the Burrell Boom/Hattieville junction. It was a most brutal murder in which Humes, a security officer at the CASHU Medical Clinic, was hit by a volley of bullets while he drove his vehicle. As his family grapples with Humes’ [...]

3 survive murder attempts
But there were other acts of violence aside from the murders in Ladyville and Hattieville areas. Three persons survived attempts on their lives in the City on over the weekend. On Friday afternoon, Cecil Hinds and Moises DelCid were shot in the Jane Usher Boulevard area and transported to the K.H.M.H. with varying degrees of [...]

Belize will not bow to Guatemala’s pressure
The Comision the Belice was Guatemala’s preeminent body that studied all facets of their claim to Belizean territory. The unit has now been dismantled because the Guatemalan Government was not informed in 2008 that the referendum Act was amended. According to the Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, they did not know of the amendment prior [...]

Ministry’s safety concern for machete crew…
While News Five had the attention of the Minister and C.E.O., we had to ask them about the hundred machetes that the Belize Territorial Volunteers intend to take to Punta Gorda to clear from Gracias Adios, then along the Sarstoon River and eventually the Chiquibul and Caracol.  The decision by the group, spearheaded by Punta [...]

…But group promises to chop border line
We’ll have more from those pages of history read by Elrington on Tuesday’s newscast but late this evening, Wil Maheia and one of his associates spoke to News Five about the planned action this coming weekend. Maheia says that several villages have pledged support and volunteers from a village scout association also intends to join [...]

Minister Farrakhan coming to Belize
The founder of the nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan will be visiting Belize in early march as part of a Caribbean tour.  Last January, Farrakan’s visit had to be postponed due to illness. This time around, Farrakhan is scheduled to arrive on March fourth and leave on March eleventh. During the visit, it is [...]

Judge’s safety concern in drug and ammunition case
Twenty-two year old Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez, a Mexican from Quintana Roo, was at the Las Vegas Hotel at the Corozal Free Zone when he was arrested by the police.  Inside the hotel room, officers reportedly found two firearms with ammunition, a plastic bag which contained twenty eight grams of suspected cocaine; cannabis and an assortment [...]

Cop’s perjury trial about ‘the bearded man’
  Nine days after the beginning of the trial against forty-six year old former police officer, Anthony Polonio, he was acquitted of Perjury. Polonio appeared before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez who today directed the jury of eight women and one man to find him not guilty. Polonio’s attorney, Simeon Sampson last Friday, submitted that there [...]

Killed on the job, coworker charged for manslaughter
  Fifty-seven year old Honduran national, Luis Beltran Garcia an employee of Belize Waste Control, was slapped with four criminal charges today: Manslaughter by Negligence for causing the death of Kenrick Sutherland, Causing Death by Careless Conduct, Drove Motor Vehicle without Due Care and Attention and Permit a Person to Travel Not Properly Seated. Garcia [...]

BGYEA to demonstrate against Lands Department
Members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, (BGYEA) led by Nigel Petillo, are spearheading a march on Independence Hill on Tuesday where they will protest against the Barrow Administration, particularly the Ministry of Natural Resources. The planned demonstration is set to coincide with the weekly Cabinet meeting and Petillo says the movement is gathering [...]

Cab knocks down man then flips over in Belmopan
There was an accident in the Capital on Sunday night. Sometime after eight p.m., a taxi with license plate number D-00116 crashed into a man in the Tiger Town area. Residents in the area said the cab driver was speeding when he hit the man, and though he applied the brakes, the car skidded and [...]

Family of 4 loses home in fire
A family of four lost their house and belongings over the weekend when a mid-afternoon fire gutted the building. Pamela Francis and her three children were at their house on Central American Boulevard when the fire started. While they managed to escape unhurt, the wooden structure and all its items inside were lost in the [...]

James Adderley’s weekend sports update
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 3 in the PLB brought a monster show Saturday night to Capital City where the Belmopan Bandits hosted Police United a ball club looking to re-discover its swagger after a disappointing start to the 2013 semi-pro football season. However, it’s a moment fraught [...]


Court Judge Directs Jury To A Not-Guilty Verdict For Former Police Officer
Former police Sergeant Anthony Polonio, charged with perjury, was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. Polonio was charged when he appeared at the trial of Chayben Bou-Nahra on October 24, 2007, and testified that he could not identify Bou-Nahra, who ...

Several Murders Reported In The Belize District
As we reported over the weekend, there were a number of murders since Friday night in the Belize District. Altogether, there were four, with the last being on Sunday night on the Boom/Hattieville Road. That incident claimed the life of Oren Humes. The first incident o...

Training Underway at Police Academy; Police Receives Two New Vehicles
Law enforcement officials are undergoing two week training in Belmopan. Reporter Patrick Jones has the story. PATRICK JONES “Close to fifty representatives of law enforcement agencies around the country are taking part in what’s called and inter-institutional ...

Owner of Van Carrying Illegal Immigrants Speaks to Media
Last week Wednesday Ladyville police detained well-known Orange Walk car dealer, Matthew Williams after his 15-seater Ford van bearing Orange Walk license plates was intercepted and found to be carrying 15 undocumented immigrants on the Boom/Hattieville Road, including men, women and c...

Belize City Council Relocates Vendors From Ground Zero
If you take a look around Belize City, you will notice that there is a lot of infrastructure and projects in place to beautify it. However as some may say there is a cost to beauty, and some vendors from “Ground Zero”, or the area in front of the Water Taxi Terminal o...

Young Boy Severely Injured After Falling From Tree
A regular day of play ends in tragedy for a twelve year old boy from Orange Walk Town. The boy identified as Graciano Ramos is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in critical condition after he fell from a tree while playing with his little brothers, cousins and neighbor...


Four persons murdered over the weekend including Farmer
There were four murders over the weekend, all in the suddenly hot Belize Rural area. The incidents were centred around Ladyville, Hattieville and Burrell Boom. We start first with the chopping death of a Belizean farmer. Police are investigating the death of 56yr old Jose Nemencio GUIDO CAMPO. Early...

John Gideon shot dead on the George Price Highway
On Saturday morning at 12:05am Hattieville Police received information of another body. Police visited an area near mile 17 on the George Price Highway where they saw the body of 32 years old John Gideon an employee of San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi lying face down in a...

Orin Humes ambushed and killed by a group of men
The most gruesome murder reportedly took place on Saturday night when Orin Humes was apparently ambushed by a group of men after he dropped someone off in the vicinity of the Burrell Boom Road. As you can see, the vehicle in which Humes was found was mercilessly shot up...

Ernest Savery gunned down in Ladyville
Ernest Savery gunned down in Ladyville. The fourth murder took place in Ladyville on Perez Road, a main street in the village. Resident Ernest Savery was leaving his home when a gunman in dark clothing and riding a bicycle fired four shots at him. One of the bullet hit...

BYGEA preparing for national protest
BYGEA is preparing for a national protest tomorrow. Recently, BGYEA has been in the news concerning land issues in Harmonyville, which the group claims is the fault of the Ministry of Natural Resources. BYGEA not only accuses the Ministry of delaying the processing of land documents for over a...

Owner wants back van Police caught ferrying illegal immigrants
Matthew Williams wants his vehicle back. Last week we told you about two separate busts of Central Americans being allegedly trafficked through Belize to the U.S. A white van impounded in one of those cases belongs to Orange Walk resident Matthew Williams, who was held and questioned by Police...

Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
Inter-Institutional Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives. The United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean (UNLIREC) is sponsoring an Inter-Institutional Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives for members of the Belize...

A man and a minor busted with unlicensed firearm and drugs
A man and a minor are in prison tonight after police busted them with an unlicensed firearm and drugs. Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzy reports. HARRY ARZU – Dangriga Correspondent: Independence Police have now formally charged two persons today on gun related offenses. Police were at the Georgetown Technical...

Belmopan Traffic Accident leaves pedestrian injured
A road traffic accident in the City of Belmopan last night, has left a pedestrian injured. Shortly before 8pm last night, Haquin Bonilla a taxi driver of San Martin; was heading on Hummingbird Drive in the Mountain View area; when he lost control of his white Toyota Camry at...

Judo Federation sending athletes to compete internationally
The Central American Games kickoff in March and one of the disciplines participating is the little-known sport of judo. It is a martial art that has been around for many years, but Belize’s local Judo Federation has just begun to send athletes to compete internationally. A group is scheduled...

Police Department receive two new vehicles
Another Handing over of Vehicles to the Police Department. This morning Minister of National Security the Hon. John Saldivar handed over additional vehicles to the Police Department at the Police Headquarters in Belmopan. Receiving the two Mahindra pickup trucks from the Minister was Deputy Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon....

Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns against clearing of Belize Western Border
Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns against the cleaning of Belize Western Border. Last week, we told you that “Belize Territorial Volunteers’ has plans of clearing the Border, but today the MFA sent out a press release saying and we quote “The Government of Belize, in discharge of its duty...

Gunman opens fire on Belize City home; two hurt
Three men are lucky to be alive after a gunman opened fire at a home on Jane Usher Boulevard Extension. Friday afternoon, three men were at the residence when an unmasked gunman entered the property. He approached Cecil Hinds who was outside the home and shot him four times....

Two hundred attend Energizing Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop
Over two hundred people attended Saturday’s Energizing Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop. The UB Auditorium was abuzz with folks of all ages from all over country, as business owners shared keys and tools on how to create employment opportunities. There were presentations, Q&A segments and yes even dancing. The speakers included...

Ladyville police investigate accusations of carnal knowledge
Ladyville police are investigating separate cases of carnal knowledge reported by a 13 year old, against two men. The minor told police that last December, she was walking home when a man she knows picked her up, drove her to an abandon house and had sexual intercourse with her....

The Reporter

Nicholi Rhys found not guilty of murder in second trial without jury
Nicholi Rhys, 22, the man accused of the sensational murder of Andre Trapp, the reputed leader of the South Side Gangsters (SSG), was found not guilty in the second trial without jury in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin on Friday, February 15. In acquitting Rhys, C.J. Benjamin ruled that the prosecution’s evidence was not enough to prove that he had committed the murder.

Accused burglar leaves finger prints behind and gets busted
Louis Romero was remanded into custody, after he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith on a charge of burglary, on Monday, February 18. Police arrested and charged Romero after scenes of crimes technicians matched his finger prints with those lifted from the crime scene. Romero pleaded not guilty to the charge, but the court prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that burglary is a prevalent crime and if granted bail, the accused might interfere with the police’s investigation, which is still on-going. The prosecutor also objected on the grounds that the prosecution has a strong case against the accused and that the accused man knows where the virtual complainant lives and could interfere. Besides, the prosecution submitted, none of the stolen items had been recovered. On January 28, the home of Kevan Jenkins, located on Lumber Yard Crescent, was burglarized. Jenkins, who is the Belize City Council Traffic Manager, reported the incident to police and scenes of crimes technicians were dispatched to search for finger prints evidence. A number of assorted jewelry was stolen from Jenkins home, as well as some footwear and $150 in cash. The total haul from the home amounted to $1,250.

Public Accounts Committee matters
The principles of transparency and accountability ought to transcend the divisiveness of politics in any democracy. The realization of these twin concepts should be among the list of things that are spared from the inutile nature of the bicker-style politics employed in Belize. As stated before in previous editions of this paper, there are 13 standing committees in the House, but only one such committee—the Public Accounts Committee—is chaired by the opposition party of the day.

I wondered aloud when I wrote that article a couple weeks ago. I stated near the end that what came out of that meeting would say much about the calibre of the Prime Minister and on the path of the nation in the months ahead.

Min. of Health tells how teenager died!
The sudden death, lack of an autopsy and relatively quick burial of a 17-year-old Mayan girl of Golden Stream Village, Toledo, caused many to question the girl’s cause of death, but the Ministry of Health said Thursday that there was no signs of foul play and no need for a post mortem. Milca Sho, who was reportedly mentally challenged, died on Sunday, February 17. According to the release, the health professionals reviewed the Belize Health Information System (BHIS), which confirmed that Sho suffered from a chronic disease that eventually led to her death. “On February 17th, 2013, the patient was brought into the hospital by her father … [who] reported that two days before she had ingested a very large amount of soap powder detergent.” The release added, “Along with the clinical data retrieved from the BHIS and the history provided by the father, the medical officers felt confident to issue a death certificate. So no autopsy was needed.” The release also sought to counter the rumour that the girl had suffered abuse of various forms in the home setting. “Two medical officers examined the body and found no sign of external injuries.” A check into the teenager’s medical past, dating back to March 19, 2012, showed that she was first medicated for a chronic disorder for voluntarily consuming large amounts of bath soap. Days later Sho had to be hospitalized at the Punta Gorda Town Hospital where she had to undergo a blood transfusion. Milca Sho was laid to rest on Tuesday in Golden Stream Village, Toledo.

Police stumble on human trafficking ring!
An Orange Walk man who is suspected of being involved in a human trafficking ring has been detained by Ladyville Police along with his van bearing Orange Walk license plates, on Wednesday, police reported.

Bondholders: Belize’s most-favored creditors
The newly re-negotiated terms for US$548 million “superbond” offer protection to the bondholders that, among other provisions, make them Belize’s most-favored creditors. According to Debt Review Leader Ambassador Mark Espat, the most-favored-creditor provision lets the bondholders know that “GOB will not settle, by negotiation, any other outstanding claim on better terms than it has offered holders of the super bonds.”

Bondholders accept new superbond terms
The Coordinating Committee of Belize Bondholders announced Tuesday that its members, who represents more than 60 percent of the bondholders, will accept the Government of Belize’s new “superbond” terms. The committee, via its press release, also encouraged all remaining bondholders “to consider carefully the terms of the exchange offer in making their own independent appraisal of the merits and risks of participating in the exchange offer.”

Vega defeats Faber’s challenge
The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) held its bi-annual convention in Corozal Town, on Sunday, where outgoing Party Chairman Patrick Faber challenged the sitting First Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega for his seat and lost. The 567 delegates, who represented the 31 electoral constituencies gave Vega 331 votes, while Faber, the UDP’s Collet area representative, received 233. It was an unquestionable defeat for Faber who has made political history by challenging, for the first time in UDP history, a sitting First Deputy Leader and deputy prime minister position. His challenge, however, did not receive Party Leader Dean Barrow’s endorsement. After the votes were tallied, both Barrow and Vega offered kind words. Barrow said to Faber: “Sir, you continue to distinguish yourself and if ever there was any doubt that you were the total package, that doubt had been stilled this afternoon. You have always been a lion in victory and today you are magnanimous in defeat.”

Study: improve kids’ behavior by switching to less violent TV shows
Teaching parents to switch channels from violent shows to educational TV can improve preschoolers’ behavior, even without getting them to watch less, a study found. The results were modest and faded over time, but may hold promise for finding ways to help young children avoid aggressive, violent behavior, the study authors and other doctors said.

HIV increase caused by fall in condom use A fall in the proportion of gay and bisexual men using condoms is behind the rise in HIV infections in those groups in the UK, say researchers. Wider use of anti-retroviral drugs has helped to stop a sharper rise, a study by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and a number of universities found. They found a 26% rise, from 1990-2010, in the proportion of men who have sex with men who did not use condoms.

Ecumenical Jr. College girls win ATLIB National Basketball Championship
The girls of Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College upset the girls of University of Belize 30-5 to win the basketball championship finals organized by the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize and hosted by the San Pedro Junior College at the Angel Nunez Auditorium on Sunday, February 17.

Galen Eagles win ATLIB National Basketball Championship
The Galen University Eagles won their first ever national title in any sporting event organized by the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize, as they asserted their dominance 70-44 over the men of the University of Belize to win the National ATLIB Basketball Championship finals hosted by the San Pedro Junior College at the Angel Nunez Auditorium on Sunday, February 17.

Conclave brings out cardinals’
Popular pressure is mounting in the U.S. and Italy to keep California’s Cardinal Roger Mahony away from the conclave to elect the next pope because of his role in shielding sexually abusive priests This move targets one of the most prominent of a handful of compromised cardinals scheduled to vote next month.

Nuevo Laredo’s police chief missing! Zetas are target of investigation.
The police chief of the violent Mexican border town of Nuevo Laredo has been missing for days, and state authorities are trying to find him, the Tamaulipas Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday


Winding down and getting busy San Pedro Belize
It is day 8 of our cleanse and Dennis and I have officially started winding down and adding a bit more to our diet. We actually started that yesterday by going for foodie happy hour at Aji Restaurant and enjoyed some delicious fish tacos – can’t Imagine anything Hugo cooks being bad. They wefe served 3 to a plate with fresh fruit on the side and a great deal for $10 bzd. Today’s winding down treat was some Soprasata in our backyard from Wine De Vine. The owners of the duplex where we live had invited a few people over for pool time, margaritas and tapas this aft, so we joined then when we got home from our errand run. We had to do town so Dennis could settle up with Chuck and Robbie’s dive shop. It was a super hot day, the kind where your shower lasts 5 minutes if that. Luckily we ran into Jim, Phoebe and Zeke at the Baker and hitched a ride to the turning circle. That saved us about a mile and a half walk and it was nice to catch up with the Blackburn’s, they own a condo at Grand Caribe and do Belize for 6 months at a time. After Dennis squared up at the dive shop, we chatted with Robbie for a bit and headed down the beach where we ran into Orillio. He is back in town for a few months to sell his wood carvings, his work is really nice so be sure and check it out if you are looking for souvenirs.

2012: An August Hurricane Scare to The End of the World, FINAL PART
I hear you groaning...either because you are sick of this filler recap material (how dare you!) or because it is now almost March 2013 and I'm still reminiscing about 2012. I posted: Part One from Guanaja, Honduras to A State Fair to Medellin a while ago and then Part Two The Panama Canal to Two Lobsterfests in Belize to Paddling with Whale Sharks. Those took me through part of August 2012. Here is part three and the completion of my recap. Promise. Early August gave us a relatively rare hurricane scare. The town boarded up and liquor sales were banned for one full day (oh the humanity!) and Ernesto passed by with only mild disturbance. I celebrated the first of the Belizean September holidays "The Battle of St. George's Caye Day" on St. George's Caye. And met this 11 year old kid running his own aquarium. Very impressive.

10 Amazing Snapshots of Belizean Wildlife
Although Belize is a relatively small country, it has an amazing variety of wildlife living in a wide range of habitats. Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world has described the plants and animals of Belize as the stars of the country. In this blog post, we highlight 10 amazing snapshots of Belizean wildlife: The kinkajou, (Potos flavus), also known as the “Honey Bear” or “Night Walker” in Belize, is a furry, long-tailed mammal that lives in the lowland rain forests of Southern Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. Brown basilisk are also called the Jesus lizard. They are native to Panama, Belize, northwestern Colombia and Costa Rica. In Guatemala, this species is widespread and found practically anywhere where there is a water source.

Getting the Advanced Diver Certification in Placencia
I’ve been a diver for over 11 years… well, sort of. One of the first things I got to do while in Placencia, Belize was a full day of snorkeling at the Silk Cayes. The cay, which looks like if taken from a “Wish you were here” postcard, is fully surrounded by colorful coral formations and marine life. You can spend hours snorkeling over them and not get tired of the variety of fish, corals, and sponges that lay peacefully under the sea. By the end of the day, I was all excited about my full day of snorkeling and the fact that I swam with turtles and sharks. Once back at Placencia; Patty, the owner of Splash Dive Center and the one responsible for this snorkeling tour, asked me if I was interested in doing a Discovery Scuba course. Discovery Scuba is like the trial version of the Open Water Diver certification. You can experience how it feels to dive underwater without having to go through the whole course. If you like it, then you can go ahead and get certified.

Belize, U.S. to Work Together on Schools, Medical Care
Construction equipment and materials for a joint U.S.-Belizean exercise is scheduled to begin arriving in ports in Belize in the spring for New Horizons 2013, an event that will test U.S. military members’ ability to deploy while building partnerships with host-nation medical and civil engineering experts. The exercise, overseen by U.S. Southern Command, is slated to last 90 days and include several construction projects to add new classrooms and buildings to schools. Manpower will be provided by both U.S. and Belizean military engineers. In addition, combined U.S. and Belizean medical teams will conduct multiple medical events to provide medical services to Belizeans. Preparations have been going on for months to kick off construction and medical events in the spring, according to planners. The construction equipment and materials scheduled to arrive will be received, stored and secured by the Belize Defence Force, who will also be participating in the exercise.

Boat Drinks
With no work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize there wasn’t anything obvious to feature and rather than produce an edition just for the sake of it I decided, as publisher, not ” to publish and be damned” ( OK I know it was the Duke of Wellington -and not a publisher- that made this statement). I did ponder whether I should do a ‘heres where we started and heres where we are now’ edition’. Decided against it because regular readers have seen it all before. And , its all in the archives anyway. You’ve got to have editorial standards haven’t you ( apologies if I am getting a little carried away with myself -shades of Randolph Hearst/Rupert Murdoch creeping in?). Did spend a fair amount of time yesterday preparing for the weekly meeting with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, that we deferred from last Friday (because of the preparations for the concrete pour on Saturday), until today. After that had been taken care of I spent a couple of hours driving around the island – north and south of the bridge – looking at the types of fences that people have had erected. We need to decide on two types of fence. One for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and the other for our lots in San Pablo (to hopefully keep them clear of rubbish).

Belizestagram! The Best Photos Of The Week
Here’s another weekly mashup (February 18 – 25) of the best Belize Instagram photos. All these photos are personally taken by the individuals in Belize. If you want your photos to be included, remember to tag them using the hashtag #Belize.

International Sources

New World Oil & Gas: Shore sees "significant potential"
Broker Shore Capital remains upbeat on New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) after its recent drilling setback in Belize. It said it continues to see “significant volumetric potential at Blue Creek”, its project there. The comments follow an update from the exploration junior revealing it has increased its interest in Belize to 75% from 35%. It is about to start drilling on its third well in the tiny Central American country, on the West Gallon Jug prospect. The element missing was the trap for the oil. So what showed up on the seismic was either a late trap development (created after the migration of the oil past), or late tectonic movement, which causes traps to breach. “With live oil shows and extensive residual oil encountered at the B Crest well location, trap appears to be the key outstanding element, and West Gallon Jug is considered to be geologically independent of B Crest,” said Shore. “We continue to see significant volumetric potential at Blue Creek, where drilling of the next well is on track to commence very soon and is fully funded by existing cash resources.” The broker ascribes a net asset value 25 pence a share, including the company’s assets in Denmark.

New World Oil and Gas increases working interest in Blue Creek Project
New World Oil and Gas, an oil and gas operating company focussed on Belize and Denmark, has formally received a 75 per cent working interest in its Blue Creek Project located in the producing Petén Basin in northwest Belize. This follows the Belize Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment formally approving the assignment of a further 40% working interest in the project to New World’s wholly owned subsidiary, New World Oil and Gas (Belize). The assignment follows the drilling of two exploration wells on the Blue Creek PSA ‘B-Crest’ location, as detailed in a farm-out agreement announced in June 2011. Having drilled two wells to date in Belize, the ‘Blue Creek #2 and ‘#2A ST’, under the terms of the farm-out agreement, the company reported that it was on track to earn-into a 100% working interest in the project by drilling the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect to a total depth of 8,800 ft. Drilling is expected to commence on the third well in March 2013. William Kelleher, New World Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘Earning into a 75% working interest into the Blue Creek Project in Belize marks a significant milestone for the company.

New World Oil & Gas confident of upside despite leaving first wells uncompleted
As always New World Oil & Gas boss Bill Kelleher leaves his best shot till last. 'We continue to do what we have always done – expose our shareholders to tremendous upside,' he says wrapping up our chat. He is referring to a summary at the end of his presentation that remains the basis on which most investors bought into the stock. It reveals that New World (LON:NEW) has 40 prospects, eight of them drillable – five in Belize and three in Denmark. Combined they add up to almost 400million of oil and more than two trillion cubic feet of gas with an indicative net present value of $6.4billion. 'It is what the institutions are keen on and why they invest in us – the big upside,' Kelleher adds. The meet and greet comes in the wake of the company’s first and second wells – B Crest 2 and 2A. The latter is a side-track of the original. Oil was uncovered, just not in commercial quantities. In fact New World found three of the four attributes required for a working hydrocarbon system - source, migration, and seal. The element missing was the trap for the oil. The most cogent explanation for this is tectonic movement, which broke the trap.

Romance in the Rain
The day started as the last couple had, a bit dreary and cloudy, we felt a few spots of rain as we made our way to the vehicle that would take us on our last adventure as guests of Ka’ana Belize. We had done our first activities separately – Pete explored the ATM caves and I took the lazier pursuit of floating in a tube down a river – we were excited to do this last one together and for it to be an adventure designed for pure romance. An hour drive on muddy roads and we arrived at the remote Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve. A quick (but steep) climb down a slight hill put us at the base of our destination, a small but fast moving river, fed by the loud and stunning 150-foot Big Rock Falls. We took off our shoes such that we could walk on the wet rocks with a little steadier foot, and bee-lined for the basin. While our guides set up for lunch, we headed straight for the water.

Air Force Firefighters train Central American counterparts
Firefighters from the 612th Airbase Squadron at Soto Cano Airbase, Honduras are training their Central American counterparts in an exercise called CENTAM Smoke. Staff Sergeant Brian McGovern of AFN Honduras has the story.

You’d better Belize it: Exploring the central American hotspot
Spend some time in the happy Central American country where diving with sharks and driving with chickens is all part and parcel Remember,” urges my dive master, “if you start feeling drunk, let me know right away.” It’s a request that would sound strange at the best of times, but right now, at 8am on a boat in the Caribbean with a bar nowhere to be seen, it’s downright odd. But then I remember what we’re about to do. And gulp. I’m in Belize, a tiny Central American country home to the world’s second biggest barrier reef, and I’m floating above the Great Blue Hole. The aptly-named sinkhole, labelled one of the world’s 10 best dive sites by scuba godfather Jacques Cousteau, seemingly drops into nothingness, as if the plug’s been pulled out of the ocean and we’re about to get sucked in. We’re to dive down 40m into the hole, a depth far greater than I’ve gone before. That means it will be the first time I’ve been at risk of nitrogen narcosis, a condition resulting from breathing too many pressured gases that basically makes you feel wasted. It sounds appealing enough, but at 40m under, the results can be disastrous as you’re tempted to do things like give your air to the fish, or simply keep swimming down, down, down, happy as Larry until the lights go out. And so, firmly promising to let my designated diver know if I’m hit by a sudden streaking urge, we take the plunge. Down we go, 10m, 20m, 30m. The water is unfeasibly warm and the visibility spectacular as we skirt the wall of the subterranean cave, deeper into the abyss, which continues down for 125m.

PHOTO: Engineman 1st Class Nicholas Matthews, assigned to Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 2, Detachment 2, guides a medium tactical vehicle replacement off High Speed Vessel (HSV) 2 Swift
BELIZE (Feb. 18, 2013) . Swift is deployed to the U.S. 4th Fleet area of responsibility to conduct Southern Partnership Station 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Ashley Hyatt/Released)

February 25, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

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 February 24th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Jerome Tillet Remanded For Attempt Murder:
    A Ministry of Works truck driver, charged with the attempt murder of his sister’s estranged common law husband, is currently on remand at the central prison in Hattieville. The 911 call of a chopping incident on Maxi Street in Santa Elena, Cayo, was reportedly received by San Ignacio police at 8:45 pm on Saturday, February 16, 2013. By the time the team of policemen arrived on the scene, the injured man had already been rushed, by relatives, to the Community Hospital in San Ignacio. On the scene however the police encountered and detained the suspect, Jerome Tillet, 30, Belizean driver also of a Maxi Street address in Santa Elena.
  • Is Cotton Tree Village Dispatching Criminal To Urban Communities?:
    Last week we reported on the violent attack upon San Ignacio Taxi driver, Pedro Choc who remains in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. This week we report on the arrest of the suspected attacker Alex Anthony Reid, 24, Belizean laborer residing in Cotton Tree Village around mile 44 on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. Police strongly suspects that Reid is the man who whopped the taxi driver with a piece of wood behind the head. Reid, who is no stranger to San Ignacio, was picked out in an identification parade by both the brother and son of the victim. Slapped with an attempt murder charge, the accused Alex Anthony Reid appeared in front of San Ignacio’s magistrate, Narda Morgan, where the indictable charge was read to him. Being a matter for Supreme Court hearing, no plea was entertained. Reid was remanded to the central prison in Hattieville with instructions to be brought back to court on Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
  • Allegations Of Theft From Pro World:
    Two high ranking members from PRO World Foundation are in problems with the law as they stand accused of making off with cash belonging to the Foundation. John Mundy, 27, British/American Global Project manager for PRO World, visited the police station on Thursday, February 7, 2013, where he reported that on Monday, January 28, 2013, he visited the Foundation’s office located at # 28 Benque Veijo Road in San Ignacio with intention to meet the local director, Akiesha Anderson to investigate the report of missing funds. Anderson was absent from the office and later sent Mundy a text message allegedly informing that she was resigning from the Foundation.
  • U.D.P Poised To Win A Third Term:
    Four months of rigorous campaigning climaxed today at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal on the occasion of the United Democratic Party’s National Convention 2013. While thousands of UDP supporters, from every corner of the country, converged on the convention site, the focus was on the Party’s 566 delegates from all 31 constituencies along with elected municipal officials, senators and members of the Party’s Central Executive each with one vote to cast for the candidate of their choice to fill the three contested positions of First Deputy Party Leader, Party Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Party.
  • Bradley Accused Of Trafficking In Drugs:
    A well known Santa Elena man, accused of drug trafficking, is today out on a five thousand dollar bail. Police reports that on Friday, February 15, 2013, members of the Mobile Interdiction Team (MIT), on an anti-drug operation in Santa Elena, Cayo found over one and a half pounds of weed inside a house on George Price Avenue. The team, accompanied by a senior Justice of the Peace, conducted a search at the George Price Avenue residence of Derick Bradley. The search reportedly led to the discovery of 781.1 grams of marijuana, inside seven separated black plastic bags, found inside the cavity of a cement block in an interior wall.
  • International Raid Targets Illegal Timber Trade:
    Interpol has announced that it arrested nearly 200 people in a wide-ranging international operation against illegal logging and the trafficking of timber. The three-month effort spanned 12 Central and South American countries, and $8m (£5.2m) worth of timber was seized. Interpol says the illegal logging trade could be worth up to $100bn world-wide. It has also been linked to a rise in murders and corruption, as criminal groups move into remote forest areas. Interpol said officials had checked lorries, ships and containers, as well as retailers and individuals, seizing a total of 50,000 cubic metres, or about 2,000 lorry-loads, of illicit timber. More than 100 people remain under investigation.
  • Mexico Security Forces Colluded In Disappearances:
    The pressure group Human Rights Watch says Mexico has failed to properly investigate human rights abuses committed by the security forces. The group has documented almost 250 disappearances during the term of former President Felipe Calderon. It says evidence suggests that in more than half of the cases the security forces participated either directly or indirectly in the disappearances. HRW has called on the new government to find the missing.
  • Grenada Opposition Wins Clean Sweep In General Election:
    Preliminary results of the general election on the Caribbean island of Grenada suggest a landslide win for the opposition New National Party (NNP). Election supervisors said the preliminary figures showed the NNP had won all 15 seats. The governing National Democratic Congress admitted defeat. If the results are confirmed, Keith Mitchell, who served three terms as prime minister between 1995 and 2008, will return to power. The main theme during the election was the economic crisis.
  • Deepest Undersea Vents Discovered By UK Team:
    UK scientists exploring the ocean floor in the Caribbean have discovered an "astounding" set of hydrothermal vents, the deepest anywhere in the world. Deploying a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) in the Cayman Trough, they stumbled across a previouslyunknown site nearly 5000m below the surface. Video pictures relayed live back to the research ship mounting the operation show spindly chimneys up to 10m high. They are belching out dark water - "a stunning sight", one scientist said. In the immense pressure of the sea three miles down, the ROV, known as ISIS, was gently steered around the vents, taking pictures and gathering samples.
  • Investing In The Caribbean:
    By Joseph Doway Someone asked me this week, where are investors all flocking to certain islands or regions within the Caribbean, and neglecting others. My answer was simple. Kudos to the government and the people of those countries that accept change and development. As advisors to investors and developers of hotels and resorts in the 2006 to 2009 period, we were always asked to do studies on the destinations where these developments were to take place. Consistent and transparent policies hold the key to economic development of any country or island, which then help to boost its efforts to attract foreign investment.
  • Haiti's 'Baby Doc' Duvalier Bids To Avoid Court:
    Haiti's former ruler has filed a last-minute appeal with the Supreme Court to avoid appearing in court on allegations of crimes against humanity. Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier was due to attend a hearing in the capital, Port-au Prince, on Thursday afternoon or face arrest. The ex-leader, who returned to Haiti in 2011 after 25 years in French exile, has already missed two hearings. He denies all charges, with his lawyers saying the case should be thrown out. Mr Duvalier's chief counsel, Reynold Georges, earlier told journalists that the ex-president would not attend Thursday's hearing.
  • Hugo Chavez Returns To Venezuela After Cuba Cancer Care:
    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has returned to the country after receiving treatment for cancer in Cuba. In three messages posted on Twitter, Mr Chavez, 58, thanked Cuban President and ex-leader Raul and Fidel Castro. He also thanked Venezuelans for their support and said he would continue treatment in his home country. He has been president for 14 years and was re-elected for another six-year term in October 2012, but his swearing-in was delayed because of his illness.
  • India's Hyderabad Hit By Two Explosions:
    Two explosions have killed 12 people in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, in what Prime Minister Manmohan Singh labelled as a "dastardly attack". The blasts that hit the city in Andhra Pradesh were 10 minutes apart, police said. Television images showed casualties being rushed to hospital. India's home minister said bombs had been planted on bicycles 150m (500ft) apart near a crowded fruit market. Major cities have been put on alert as police probe the cause for the blasts.
  • China Cultural Revolution Murder Trial Sparks Debate:
    The trial in China of an elderly man accused of murder during the Cultural Revolution has sparked online debate. The man, reportedly in his 80s and surnamed Qiu, is accused of killing a doctor he believed was a spy. The Cultural Revolution, launched by Mao Zedong in 1966, was an era of violence against intellectuals and other alleged bourgeois elements. Some have questioned why one man is on trial so belatedly when so few officials have been brought to account.
  • China's 'Leftover Women', Unmarried At 27:
    Over 27? Unmarried? Female? In China, you could be labelled a "leftover woman" by the state - but some professional Chinese women these days are happy being single. Huang Yuanyuan is working late at her job in a Beijing radio newsroom. She's also stressing out about the fact that the next day, she'll turn 29. "Scary. I'm one year older," she says. "I'm nervous." Why? "Because I'm still single. I have no boyfriend. I'm under big pressure to get married." Huang is a confident, personable young woman with a good salary, her own apartment, an MA from one of China's top universities, and a wealth of friends.
  • Facts Related To Death Of 17 Year Old Of Toledo District:
    The Ministry of Health would like to state the medical findings in relation to the death of a seventeen year old female of Golden Stream Village, Toledo District. The patient first visited the Big Falls Health Center on March 19th, 2012 where she was treated for a chronic abdominal condition and released. She later returned to the clinic on March 22nd, 2012 where she was diagnosed with a chronic disorder. She received a blood transfusion at that time and was hospitalized for a week at the Punta Gorda Hospital for observation before release by her doctor.
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The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: Modern Art
Modern Art isn't for everyone, as we learn when Dennis mistakes a particular installation as a sale piece.

Wildtracks receives James A. Waight Award
The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) annually presents a person or organization with the prestigious James A. Waight Award. The award is in honor of one of BAS’s founding members, James A. Waight. Recipients of this award have to have contributed either nationally or locally to the conservation and enhancement of Belize’s environment. Wildtracks is a nonprofit organization located in the Corozal District dedicated to the conservation of Manatees, Howler Monkeys and Spider Monkeys. Co-founders, Paul and Zoe Walker, originally from the United Kingdom, moved to Belize in 1987 and have since been working on the preservation of Belize’s endangered species. In 1990 they created Wildtracks for the conservation of natural life. Both Paul and Zoe saw the need to conserve the dwindling numbers of the Wildtracks-James-A-Waight-Award-3Antillean Manatee and in 1999, they established the Manatee Rehabilitation Program. Later on in 2010 the Primate Rehabilitation Centre was added to Wildtracks’ compound. So far, Paul and Zoe have successfully seen the release of three Manatees and nine Howler Monkeys back into the wild. Wildtracks together with the assistance of Belize Forest Department, has enabled the Wildlife Program to implement a zero tolerance policy on illegal trafficking of monkeys as pets in Belize.

Doctor Love: Should I change to win her?
Dr. Love is tasked with many questions, and this one is hard: the object of affection likes bad boys, then dumps them when they change. Does one posture or keep it real?

Misc Belizean Sources

February 10, 2013 - February 16, 2013 Fishing Report
Leyland M. brought a nice group from his Orvis Bellevue Store. Reggie showed up fired up casting to the bonefish in front of the lodge before he had time to unpack. We had big wind and changing wind, but each day the boats came back with incredible stories. We had a lot of beginners to the salt this week – and now these anglers have just upped their game. It’s fun to talk about steelhead that are scattered about in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest, and the difference between casting to water you believe a fish lives vs. a permit or tarpon coming mock speed to you and you need to get the cast there, and now! This fishing brings about personality changes. I’m proud of our adult learners. Keeping it fresh is about learning and challenging ourselves. Once again casting out a line brings in more than we ever expected. Thanks for a fabulous week of fun.

Strings of Love Concert Pictures
It was an amazing night of music at the Benque House of Culture Friday night. Not only did Trina Basu and Arun Ramamurthy wow the audience by playing some of their favorites, but the Cayo Music School was also there, and played some great music from Belize, and Benque. The Benque House of Culture deserves a big commendation for making this concert happen.

Thirteen German Shepard Puppies – 1 Day Old
Our dog Chaya had 13 puppies the other night, bringing our grand total to 18 guard dogs! It was quite an experience. There were 12 there when we went to bed, but surprisingly, lucky number 13 popped out sometime during the night. This is a movie of their first day in Belize at Lower Dover Field Station & Jungle Lodge in Unitedville.


Photo of the Day: Belizean Outhouse
As many times as we've ridden by this surprising sight on our bikes, we've never stopped to take a photo until today. It used to have a sheet metal structure partially enclosing it, but awhile ago, that structure disappeared. Here's a closer look. This is the only public toilet north of the bridge that we are aware of -- maybe on the whole island! Belize is not big on public restrooms.

Don’t Judge a book by it’s cover
When we were walking home from town yesterday I told Dennis I wanted to go to the last roadside fruit stand across from Banyan Bay to get some mini plums on our way home. They have become one of my favorite healthy treats while cleansing – a cheap snack at $2 a bad. When we stopped there I saw some corn on the cob that was still in the husk and looked really good since I had been I had been craving corn recently so I decided to get some. Usually I buy the package kind here that is partially husked an it has never let me down on taste. In this case looks were deceiving, after we cooked it we found out it was cow corn and not so tasty. Instead of throwing it away, we decided to blenderize when we make our squash soup.

Believe It or Not: My First Trip to Lazy Croc's BBQ, the Island Is As Busy as It Gets!
Lazy Croc's Barbecue on Ambergris Caye has been famous for a few years now. Residents and visitors to the island RAVE about the food. A mention of Lazy Croc's pulled pork sends them into a trance. And when they closed temporarily in 2012 (with no indication that they would ever re-open), more than one threatened to leave the island. It's not just Southern U.S. BBQ that is so loved in San Pedro, it's this place in's almost a cult. Believe it or not...I had never ever dined here. But with a friend visiting (which always means an eating-fest) and a lift on a golf cart, it was time to get up there. And I found out that many had the exact same idea.

International Sources

PHOTOS: At the Beach
Sand grains magnified 110-250 times reveal each grain is unique. Every grain of sand is a jewel waiting to be discovered. That's what Dr. Gary Greenberg found when he first turned his microscope on beach sand. Gemlike minerals, colorful coral fragments, and delicate microscopic shells reveal that sand comprises much more than tiny beige rocks. Author and photographer Dr. Gary Greenberg is a visual artist who creatively combines art with science. He has a Ph.D. in biomedical research from University College London and holds 17 patents for high-definition 3-D light microscopes. Dr. Greenberg lives in Haiku, Hawaii.

Deepest Undersea Vents Discovered By UK Team
UK scientists exploring the ocean floor in the Caribbean have discovered an "astounding" set of hydrothermal vents, the deepest anywhere in the world. Deploying a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) in the Cayman Trough, they stumbled across a previously-unknown site nearly 5000m below the surface. Video pictures relayed live back to the research ship mounting the operation show spindly chimneys up to 10m high. They are belching out dark water - "a stunning sight", one scientist said. In the immense pressure of the sea three miles down, the ROV, known as ISIS, was gently steered around the vents, taking pictures and gathering samples. One of the people "piloting" the ROV said seabed smokestacks remind him of "the industrial Midlands". Hydrothermal vents are among the strangest features of the deep ocean and their existence was not known until the 1970s. Since then they have been discovered at about 200 sites around the world including the Southern Ocean and the Atlantic.

VIDEO: UK scientists discover world's deepest sea vents
UK scientists exploring the ocean floor in the Caribbean have discovered an "astounding" set of hydrothermal vents, the deepest anywhere in the world. Deploying a remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) in the Cayman Trough, they stumbled across a previously-unknown site nearly 5000m below the surface. The vents blast out some of the hottest water on the planet - it is 400 degrees centigrade. And they have found some unusual wildlife living alongside.

Tagged seals help find missing piece in global climate puzzle
Researchers pinpoint fourth known source of bottom water, a crucial oceanic heat-sink.

By tracking the voyages of elephant seals off Antarctica, and with the help of satellite imaging and undersea sensors, researchers have discovered a long-elusive source for the deep-ocean streams of cold water that help to regulate the Earth's climate. Antarctic bottom water (AABW) is cold, highly saline water that forms near the shores of Antarctica. Being denser than typical seawater, it sinks to the depths and then moves north in sluggish currents that spread across the globe. Three sources of AABW were known until now. The first, in the Weddell Sea, was found in 1940; two others were found in the Ross Sea and along the Adélie Coast of East Antarctica in the 1960s and ‘70s. But for years, researchers have suggested that these were not the only ones. In particular, water samples from an area called the Weddell Gyre contain atmospheric pollutants known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), indicating that the deep water came into contact with the air far too recently to have been carried there from one of the known AABW sinks. Now, Kay Ohshima, a physical oceanographer at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan, and his colleagues have traced that water to a fourth AABW source, in the Cape Darnley polynya. Their results are published today in Nature Geoscience.

A deep sea mission of genuine exploration
From being a totally unimaginable feature of the deep ocean throughout most of human history to being shown live on global television earlier this week, hydrothermal vents have never been so well understood. Now back on dry land after broadcasting on the latest work on the research ship James Cook in the Cayman Trough, I'm still picking up messages from people amazed at getting such an extraordinary vision of the reality of the deep sea. Technology is transforming the way in which we can view our planet. The star of the show is ISIS, the remotely-operated vehicle equipped with HD cameras despatched as an emissary into the unlit depths.

5 Ways Belize is Beautiful
Belize is a beautiful country well worth exploring. It's simple, natural, and full of many kinds of friendly people who all seem to get along, despite their differences. And, beyond all of the theoretical reasons Belize is a great country, it's just simply fun with new adventures around every corner. We wanted to give our kids a break from the consumer-based culture in the States. We wanted to teach them that stuff is not as important as experience and that material objects only weigh on your soul. We could think of no other way to do this, as Americans, than to move to a country like Belize for a short time. Our desire to pare back our belongings as well as teach our children about the trap of stuff led us on this journey. We are in Belize for six months to take a break from America and the 'more is more' mentality. In Belize, progress is coming at a slower pace than we're used to in the United States. People live a simpler life, for a variety of reasons, but the end result is the same: less stuff and more soul.

PHOTOS: The Dogs Of Caye Caulker
We have spent a week in Caye Caulker, Belize and we wanted to share some photos of our adventures on the island. We have been giving some of our collars out to the local dogs and spending time hanging with the beach dogs. Here is our photo recap of week one….

Our Home Away From Home
The people who own the vacation rental property I’m staying at have 2 dogs. Coincidentally, one of them is a young Doberman Pinshcer, named Bosco! He absolutely reminds me of Logan at this age. Lanky and kinda crazy. They have their calm moments, but will quickly jump up on a whim. His older sister is Reef, and she is equally as adorable. She looks like a red lab-cross. I’ve had so much fun playing and spending time with these 2, as they greet me on my porch almost every time they hear me come outside. I’ve also been able to watch Bosco do what the Doberman is bred to do – guard and watch. There are nights, he’ll join me on the porch, and he sits and leans on my legs. Ears up, listening and watching through the fences. It’s absolutely amazing. Watching him dart through the dark night, when he thinks he hears something suspicious and quickly returning back to me on the porch. All I can think about is how much Logan would LOVE to meet Bosco and actually get a chance to ‘guard’.

February 24, 2013


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Specials and Events

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 Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II staff trained in Basic Life Support
The staff of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II has been trained and certified in Basic Life Support (BLS). The BLS-PolyClinic-Training-1training was held via a course that all 17 staff members attended on Sunday February 17th. The course was made possible with the support of the Central Health Region, the Public and Private sector of San Pedro and the professional and patient trainers of Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) consisting of Michael Pratt, Darrell Spencer and Chris Kirby.

SPTGA members re-elect Billy Leslie as president
During his previous two-year term, Leslie and his board had promised to identify funding for the acquisition of a patrol vessel that the association could use to help authorities patrol the coast of Ambergris Caye. “We are still on the final stage and we are looking in securing that vessel with the help of the Area Representative and the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC),” stated Leslie who explained that the Belize Tourism Board is in the final stages of acquiring the vessel. Fuel for patrolling will be secured through the SPTC while the SPTGA will be in charge of management and maintenance of the vessel.

Cultural Day at SPRCS showcases food, music and dance
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) hosted their annual cultural day activities on the school grounds on Friday February 22nd. Hundreds of students attended classes in various colorful cultural attires which complimented the school’s event. But the cultural attire was not all; cultural music filled the air at the different display booths. The delicious smell of traditional homemade food also brought people over to peruse educational available on the various ethnic groups found in Belize. The community, along with parents got the opportunity to view the booths and learn more about each of the cultural groups that makes up the diverse nature of the country. According to the Principal of SPRCS Roxanni Kay, the students have been preparing for the event for almost two months. “The purpose of this event is for the students to experience the different cultures and mingle with each other. By doing this – having the students experience the culture – they learn even more and it’s much better. It’s a day where everybody gets down to doing things on their own; they dressed up, brought in food and shared with the parents and teachers and even their fellow students,” explained Kay.

Black and White Culture Center – Bringing Garifuna culture to life in San Pedro
Following her presentation of the art of (ereba) cassava bread-making and a show of the outfit used to dance the Jankunu (a dance with an origin formed through mimicking the white slave masters) participants are invited to view a 30 – 45-minute presentation on the Garifuna Culture featuring the late, great, Andy Palacio. But the experience isn’t over then! Visitors are then invited to indulge in a buffet of traditional Garifuna food with a mixture of Creole cuisine! Mmmm…following a scrumptious meal – participants enjoy some Garifuna drumming and other traditional dances. This is truly a unique experience – and can only be had at Black and White Cultural Center. You can be the next one to experience this truly amazing cultural simulation by contacting Julia Martinez at 605-2895 or 625-5204.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Collect Memories Not Things: Belize
Visiting Belize on an Island Expeditions tour of Crooked Tree Village, Lamanai, Altun Ha, Belize City and Half Moon Caye on Lighthouse Reef. This short was filmed as part of a Vancouver Sun photo essay and travel story that will run on February 23, 2013.

A photo that… makes me laugh or smile
One of my favorite spots, if not my favorite, is the small island of Caye Caulker. You can read more here about why I love Caye Caulker. Anyways, the island has this chilled, “go slow” attitude towards life that is reflected in everything they do and have. And here comes my favorite sign in the island. What I find funny is that the main form of transportation in Caye Caulker are golf carts. Now, how fast can you go on a golf cart? Oh, and it’s true, there are two cemeteries and no hospital.

Making Chocolate Like The Mayas Used To
I love chocolate. I enjoy tasting it every now and then, and as I write this post I have an organic chocolate bar sitting next to my laptop. But, other than eating it, I knew nothing about chocolate nor how it’s made. Here in Belize, I had the opportunity to learn how chocolate is made from raw cacao to final product. But what’s even more interesting is that I learned how to make chocolate like the Mayas did for over a thousand years. The word cacao originated from the Maya word Ka’kau’, as well as the word chocolate from Chocol’ha and the verb chokola’j – “to drink chocolate together”.

10 Reasons Why Belize Has Become the Center Of Attention in the 21 Century [Slide Show]
If you know a little about Belize you will be able to answer the following questions with ease -- How big is Belize? Name the capital of Belize? Where exactly is Belize located? I know the answers to those questions because I was born here -- "I Mek Ya" like Maria Sharp's habanero pepper sauce. But a couple years back if you asked an outsider these same questions -- a quick "I have no clue" was their response. Ridiculous right? But it is true! That was the era when Belize was overlooked and no one was interested in it. Like people...time have changed and our country has become somewhat...VIRAL! to speak -- like that "Charlie Bit Me" video on YouTube. Suddenly, the earth has spun out of orbit and Belize is at the epicenter of it all. But how can a small third world country like Belize become so popular overnight? -- you might ask. Without babbling any further, here are the reasons why.

Bishop Martin Visits the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library had some Standard 2 students visit from Bishop Martin, to get them into reading. "Standard 2 visits for activities & stories."

Energizing Youth Entrepreneur Workshop Today
The Energizing Youth Entrepreneur Workshop is today in Belmopan at the University of Belize. It's only $10 per person, and that includes lunch. Speakers include Stephen Okeke, Shelly Usher, James Scott, and Kay Menzies. Sounds like it'll be highly motivational.


After 64 Years Of Cutting Hair Barber Calls It Quits
Back in 1949, a Mexican National by the name of Antonio Padilla made his way to Belize specifically in Orange Walk Town. After some time here, Padilla literally build up shop; a Barber Shop that is. For about 64 years Padilla has been cutting the hair of countless Orange Walkenos and after a 6 decade run Padilla sis calling it quits. Padilla recounted his up and down of his career to Reporter Hipolito Novelo and explained why after so much time he had decided to close shop. Antonio Padilla, Veteran Barber “Voy a completar 86 años en abril. Será en el día de los locos. 1 de abril. Dicen que si uno nace en ese día entonces usted podría estar loco.” This is 85 year old Antonio Padilla, the owner of Padilla’s Barber Shop here in Orange Walk Town. Padilla is originally from Chiapas Mexico but back in 1949 he migrated to Belize. A year after Padilla started his career as a barber seeking to make some extra bucks. Back in those times he says, a dollar was worth a whole lot.

23 days After: 15 Year Old Still Missing
There is also growing concern for a missing 15 year old minor from the Village of Libertad Corozal. Today makes it 23 days that 15 year old Hilmar Cal left home and has not returned. Last week, the child’s aunt, 45 year old Belizean housewife, Olympia Bull, informed police that her nephew left home on January 31st en route to Corozal Town to sell homemade bread. Since then he has nor been seen or heard from. Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, brown complexion; 5 feet in height, medium built and weighs about 85 lbs. If you have any information leading to the whereabouts of Ical you are asked to call 911 or the nearest police station.

$250K Playground Being Built In San Rita Corozal
The Corozal Rotary Club has been in existence for approximately 30 years and has brought great improvement to Corozal Town. The group has played an important role in the evolvement of the San Antonio School Snack program, Christmas party for Mary Hill School, Ride Across Belize 2010 and numerous scholarship programs just to name a few. Recently added to the group’s already long list of projects, is the restoration of the park in Santa Rita Corozal. The club is carrying out the major project in partnership with the Corozal Town Council, the business community and several International Rotary Clubs including the Rotary Club of Nisru Leduc from Alberta Canada.

87 Year Old Still Missing
Where is 87 year old Mamerto Castillo? That’s the question that family members of the octogenarian are asking tonight after he’s been missing for nine days. Castillo, better known as Don Mito, was last spotted in the Village of Chan Pine Ridge and to date his family ignores his whereabouts. As concern grows, so does the reward. Castillo’s family is now offering $400.00 for information leading to his whereabouts. Castillo left his home in the village of Yo creek around 9:30am on February 13th. Family members say the octogenarian told them he was going to gather some wood near the Village of San Lazaro. Castillo was last seen wearing a light pink long sleeve shirt and kaki long pants. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Mamerto Castillo is asked to contact the nearest police station or call 303-2047 or 629-1688. Of note is not Castillo has problems with his hearing.

Form Your Neighborhood Watch Group Now!
Belizeans, in particular those in the old Capital, have been living under the fear of losing their lives at any given point of time due to the high increase in crime. This past weekend alone the law system recorded more than ten crimes. And while Belize City is the nuclei for crimes committed on an almost daily basis, the lives of citizens living in other districts, has also been interrupted by fear. One of the most effective and oldest practices to lower crime is neighborhood watches that are formed in many communities. In Corozal alone, more than nine neighborhood watches are presently working hand in hand with the Corozal police formation to fight crime. In sight of how effective neighborhood watches are, the Belize Police Department has launched a neighborhood watch project which commenced in San Ignacio. Organizers of the project were in Corozal on Wednesday night where members of various neighborhood committees were introduced to the program by Senior Superintendent of Police Louise Willis. Louise Willis- Senior Superintendent of Police “Today’s objective was to meet with different organizations; schools and we had meeting neighborhood watch groups and parents of the cadets. We have planned tours for the other districts. We will be here next Wednesday again. Well, we are asking the neighbor to form neighborhood watch groups in all the different community. We are asking the members of the community if they have skills to come in and help the cadets in life skills. Thi si a start and we are grateful for this start in Corozal and I applauded the people for coming out tonight and I hope they come out at our next meeting.”

PUP Calls On Castro Removal Over Alleged Nepotism
Earlier this week it was reported that Major John Flowers’ term as Ports Commissioner ended quite suddenly. Reports are that Flowers and the Minister of State for Public Works and Transport, Edmund Castro, got into a heated discussion on whether or not one of Castro’s Relative should be hired at the port. We tried to get in contact with Castro but as of 5:30 this evening his phone went straight to voicemail. And while Castro did not answer our calls, the People United Party was not silent on the matter. In a strongly worded press release, the PUP decries in the strongest terms quote, “The rank political interference and high handedness displayed to the Ports Commissioner Major John Flowers as well as the continuing nepotism displayed by the UDP government” end of quote. We spoke to Deputy Leader in the PUP Dolores Balderamos on the issue as she explained more. Dolores Balderamos, Deputy Leader PUP “We are extremely concerned and we decry and we deplore the blatant nepotism and also the high handed ministerial interference with the work of a government statutory body that being the Ports Commissioner. We are very concerned that this kind of high handed behavior is continuing as if the UDP Government don’t care and they are just hell bent on doing whatever they please as if it is their personal property. For example we have said the Minister of State Castro is behaving as if the office of the Port there is his personal property or fiefdom as we put it. We have to raise our voices load and clear that the Belizean people don’t want this kind of nepotism and high handedness and we won’t tolerate it.

PUP Defends Free Speech
The People United Party was also vocal on another issue. The west most popular morning talk show, Rise and Shine, is in friction with a government minister. On this morning’s Rise and Shine show, host, Louis Wade Jr. and regular long time co-host Patrick Andrews took to the airwaves to discuss Minister of National Security John Saldivar’s grudge against the two men. Reports are that Minister Saldivar is threatening to sue both Andrews and Plus TV for the comments made of ministerial wasteful spending in Government. According to Deputy Leader of the People’s United Party, Dolores Balderamos, Minister Saldivar’s threat is an attempt to stifle public discourse and infringement of freedom of speech. Dolores Balderamos Deputy Party Leader PUP “We have freedom of speech in this country and as long as we don’t anything that isn’t true and as a matter of fact if he believes that it is not so then the law is there. But as far as we know the citizens, the media and the persons who comment have the right of free speech once they don’t say anything reckless.

Corozal House Of Culture To Celebrate 1st Birthday
The Corozal House of Culture is just a few days away from celebrating its 1st anniversary and word to CTV3 News is that the institutions first birthday will be celebrated in grand style. Sunday February 24th will mark one year that the house of culture opened its doors to the Belizean public with the objective of promoting art, history and culture in Corozal. Over the past year the house of culture has seen numerous exhibits showcasing the talent of Corozalenos and the history of their home town. With her eyes set on the future, Director of the Corozal House of Culture Debra Wilkes Grey says, while the first year of existence will now from part of history Sunday’s celebration will mark the beginning of a new chapter. Debra Wilkes Grey- Director House of Culture “It’s been an amazing year and we have had a lot of supports from private persons, organizations and the community including yourselves. CTV3 I want to thank for always being there supporting us and promoting us. Sunday starting at 3pm we will have Art in the Park for the Artist out here for purchasing and vendors of food for your taste buds. For children we will have Ozzy the Clown and jumpy house, an art corner and face painting. Ozzy the clown will come in at 4pm on stage and will perform for about an hour and a half with his style of comedy.” Cultural presentations on stage begin at 6:00pm featuring the Corozal Community College Dance Company and local artist Anika Perez. The event promises to be entertaining and educative at the same time catering for the entire family.

The Belize Times

NO DEAL! – Union members demand salary increase NOW
The membership of three Unions have given their leaders the onerous and, some would say, prickly task of going back to Prime Minister Dean Barrow to present a counter proposal to a salary adjustment proposition that was concocted with their input within the halls of the Cabinet room on Friday, February 1st. The Union’s Council of Management approved the Prime Minister’s proposition at a meeting held a day later at the Convention Hotel in Belmopan, but that was manifestly premature, because over the past few days the general membership has rejected the proposal and instructed their leaders to “wheel and come again”. The Unions had held a massive demonstration in Belmopan, demanding respect and no less than a 30% salary increase over the next three years. But in the meeting with the Prime Minister, the Union leaders walked out with a bag of air. The Prime Minister offered a salary increase of no more than 10% starting 2014 IF there is a surplus in revenue, in comparison to this year’s collection. The Union’s membership has intelligently raised the bar of expectation for any possible final salary agreement, calling for a salary increase floor of no less than 8%, improved collection of Government’s taxes, a stiffer clamp on the wastage that occurs in Belmopan, and no ceiling if it is based on the country’s revenue performance.

Human Smuggling Ring Busted?
An Orange Walk resident has been detained and held for questioning in the Police’s investigation into what is believed to be a human smuggling ring in Belize. A van ...

Joe Coye & Florencio Marin Sr. Vindicated – Chief Justice strikes down GOB witch-hunt
A four-year long witch-hunt orchestrated by the Barrow Administration came to a screeching halt today on Wednesday, ...

Vega/August win….UDP implodes – UDP Secretary General to resign, others could follow
The UDP is unquestionably at its lowest point. Even former UDP leader Manuel Esquivel and other senior members feared that this day would come. They warned in the name of the little ...

Wrong voting right?
By G. Michael Reid "If it were probable that every man would give his vote freely, and without influence of any kind, then, upon the true theory and genuine principles of liberty, every member of the community, however poor, should have a vote… But since that can hardly be expected… all ...

What SEDI DID The Honourable Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington. He is Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Some critics say he is the Minister of Israel affairs. Others say he is sounding like a spokesman for Guatemalan affairs. What Sedi did was sign a document called a compromi. He signed without getting permission from Belizeans ...

Knowing The Hour
There is a term in literature which is taken directly from the French word for “untying”, nouer, and in our primary schools, our children are taught to refer to the events immediately following the climax of a book or play as “denouement”. This literary term is in essence the euphemistic way of identifying when a situation is going downhill. In the technical sense it specifically refers to the outcome or result of a complex situation or sequence of events. It is the final outcome or unraveling of the main dramatic complications in a play, novel, or other work of literature. In drama, the term is usually applied to tragedies or to comedies with catastrophes in their plot. Denouement is usually the final scene or chapter in which any necessary, and, as yet unmade, clarifications are made. In political terms, this literary term aptly characterizes where the UDP government finds itself in 2013. There are certain realities that accompany this stage of a dying government’s life. Therefore, these are dangerous political times in Belize and all the socio-economic indicators, which could lend the Government some currency to muster hope for our people have been destroyed, misused or disengaged. ...

Belmopan Bandits leads Premier League football
The defending champions, the Belmopan Bandits are leading the Premier League of Belize football competition with their 2nd win 2-0 over San Felipe FC in Week 2 of the closing season tournament at the Isidoro Beaton ...

Galen University wins 1st ATLIB basketball champs
The Galen University Eagles won their first ever Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) basketball championship, blowing away the University of Belize Black Jaguars 70-44 in finals at the San Pedro Junior College ...

Historic Win! – Ecumenical girls are national basketball champs
The Stann Creek Ecumenical Junior College won their first ever Association of Tertiary Level Institutions of Belize (ATLIB) basketball championship, blowing away the University of Belize girls 30-5 in ...

UDP voter claims bribery
24 hours before the UDP convention for First Deputy Leader, the fight for the second highest post got really nasty. A video posted on Facebook on Saturday morning at 10:34 showed an alleged UDP Orange Walk voter claiming that he was bribed by one of the ...

Patrick Faber on chopping block?
Inside UDP sources have informed the BELIZE TIMES that the new ruling faction within the UDP is pressuring Prime Minister Dean Barrow to re-shuffle his Cabinet shortly before or after presenting the ...

AMAZING GRACE – Who Cares If I Die?
It’s easy to question the true value of a life. The way we butcher each other today there’s a tendency to think only about ourselves and everyone else can, well, ‘go to hell’! A couple months ago my dad gave me a two coconut. We were double minded about where we ...

“Every hundred feet the world changes” – The Portraits of Michael Gordon
By Yasser Musa, February 18, 2012 The official story is always the same. Around 1995 Michael Gordon was “discovered” on the corner of Prince and Albert Streets in Belize City sitting amidst dozens of pencil drawings on cardboard and recycled paper. ...

Wake Up Belizeans: The Silent Epidemic of Child Sexual Abuse is Staring Us in the Face
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph Sexual abuse is a violation of a young person’s rights. Most of our children are at risk of communicating with or meeting abusers and predators who prey upon young and often vulnerable children. Sexual abuse comes in many forms and often silences its victims. At times, ...

How to fix the economy!
Part II by Richard Harrison GENERAL STRATEGIES GOING FORWARD i. To restructure the economy to make it more competitive for ALL production of goods and services to be profitable. This means bringing the costs of as many factors of production as possible, in line with costs in competitive countries. Particular attention should ...

UDP Street Hustle?
There seems to be some kind of hustle in everything the UDP gets its hands on. The most recent scheme seems to be ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – What about Patrick?
By Anthony Sylvestre Jr. Dean Barrow giveth and he taketh away! Well, that is what Dean Barrow obviously thinks- that Belize and all its inhabitants are his to rule and lord over as his domain. And his weekend filicide (killing) of his political son, Patrick Faber, confirms this again, lest we would ...

Dangriga Town Council – undergoes Planning and Budgeting training
The Dangriga Town Council held a two-day Planning and Budgeting Retreat for the Managers of its various departments on Saturday and Sunday, 9th and 10th February, 2013, respectively, at the Sister Henrietta Delille Spiritual Life Center ...

Faber Eats Humble Pie
The little man with the big ego was humbled, if but for a few days, on Sunday in Corozal following his decisive loss to the bumbling, fumbling Gapi Vega, for UDP Deputy Leader. Belizeans had little interest in the UDP convention but there were many particularly in ...

Belmopan Area Rep threatens Plus TV’s Patrick Andrews
UDP Belmopan Area Representative and National Security Minister John Saldivar has threatened to sue Plus TV’s Rise and Shine morning co-host Patrick Andrews for certain remarks made during the February 10th, 2013 morning show. Saldivar claims that Andrews committed libel against him, and instructed a high ...

First-of-its-kind Community Care Center inaugurated in Dangriga
A well-furnished single-storey concrete building was handed over by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to the residents of Dangriga. It was received by the Mayor Major (Ret’d) H. Gilbert Swaso ...

Referendum Process Contaminated
Contributed By the time October comes around, the referendum process by which the people of Belize and Guatemala will be asked whether or not we should go to the International Court of Justice to settle Guatemala’s claim to Belize, will be so contaminated by both Belize and Guatemalan officials, that there ...

Callate tu boca!
Ever since taking office as the Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington’s mouth has been Belize’s worst enemy. His raw, unbridled ineptitude has made the Government of Belize the laughing stock of ...

12 Gunshot Victims in Bloody Weekend…crime wave continues
In a matter of two days, criminal activity spiralled out of control in the old capital ...

More BWS firings
More employees at the Government-owned Belize Water Services have been terminated as the company carries out a wild investigation into the dissemination of scandalous letters that accuse high-level officials of ...

Crippling Unemployment in Belize!
The unemployment rate in Belize is at a crippling level – the highest it has been in 14 years, according to figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. The national labour force survey (separate from the 2010 National Census which had unemployment at 24%) declared that ...

Is Belize at War? – New Statutory Instrument invoked BDF Volunteer Element
In times of war or disaster, the Defence Act give the Governor General powers to invoke a proclamation calling out for the volunteer battalion of Belize Defence Force to report for duty. Such battalion would supplement the BDF force that would be engaged in battle or ...

BGYEA’s land demonstration still on
A national demonstration has been planned for Tuesday February 26th in the City of Belmopan by the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association. The group is protesting the many problems and obstacles which Belizeans face at the Ministry of Natural Resources when attempting to obtain their constitutional right ...


Hitching rides and having fun
Being the second day that Denis has been cold turkey from cigarettes he was not feeling as agitated and up for a trip to town. Yesterday I went solo because he had his head burred in a book all day to shake the cravings. We set out on foot towards one of my favorite back roads ran into Caroline of Caroline’s cooking, she told us to hop on her cart and she would get us as far as Perla Escondita where her delicious restaurant is. We chatted about the strong winds last night and big waves on the barrier reef this morning. Right after she dropped us off along came Commodore Andy in his new lime green golf cart. He was picking up his sail from Caribbean Villas and offered us a ride the rest of the way to town – he was happy to have my portable radio on board. Again weather quickly became the topic and we chatted about the surge happening at the reef, the small craft warning in effect and that Dennis has been missing diving with Chuck and Robbie because of how stirred up the water has been.

Fabulous February!
As February draws to close we have to express a small sigh of relief as to the gorgeous weather conditions we have had and the bustling energy of the island! I wish every month was like February!! Caye Caulker truly glows at the moment as businesses are enjoying the income the high season is generating and as they each individually put it back into their businesses! A number of businesses have set up brand new front street locations giving the tourist on this island a greater (and more colorful) selection and choice for their time on the island – Black Durgeon Dive Shop is now located right beside Happy Lobster and the additional space now gives them greater visibility for what was already a fantastic product but also greater room to assit their customers. Barefoot Fisherman has brought its operation from the back to the front street beside the split – right next to the Jetski rentals. These guys are one of the few Operators which focus on the very popular activity of fishing and therefore they are sure to take off!

On the Road Again
I don’t know what it is about a concrete pour for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize but the advent of one most definitely increases my excitement levels. And this was decidedly the case this morning when I woke up much earlier than usual at 3.30 am. On finding out the time I tried very hard to return to sleep. Counted sheep. Counted the number of goal scoring chances that Arsenal have spurned in recent games. Turned to a more pleasant subject and tried to count the number of concrete blocks used for our house so far. Nothing worked. In fact I became more awake and so gave it up as a bad job and got up. After a couple of mugs of coffee on the veranda it was time for a shave and shower, on with the shorts and T shirt, grab the camera, kiss Rose goodbye, and I was on the road again to head to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Got there at 6.25 am and it was eerily quiet. No sound of voices. No sound of the concrete mixer. A quick look at the bodega to see that it was still locked and that there were none of the guys’ bikes around informed me that I was too early. Not wishing to be there when they ‘clocked in’ at 7 am I was forced to go for breakfast again at Estel’s (OK I could have just hung around but…).

Belize’s Independence a Transition From Colonialism To Neo- Colonialism
Today some 30 years or so after independence Belize’s administrative, political, judicial, and economic systems remain largely structured as it was prior to independence coupled with a decreasing will and capacity to act, but with increased powers to prevent action by anyone or other sectors. The state now has more growing power to hurt and very little and declining motives to help the citizens of Belize through direct government action. This is further complicated by a policy apparatus designed for crisis management. Instead of pro-active ,thoughtful, rational policy formulation we have policies designed primarily in response to one crisis after another. In addition, we have produce bureaucrats not trained to solve problems, but rather to answer to the mandates of powerful government ministers. This has resulted in a stop-gap, ad-hoc, wait and see approach to policy formulation and implementation. The transition from from a colonial to a neo-colonial economy in partnership with a deform political system has done naught, but confuse, exploit, and divide the working class along petty partisan lines.

International Sources

Seeking a Sister Forest in Belize
The City of Arcata is interested in exploring the potential for a Sister Forest relationship with the Toledo District of Belize and the Belize Forestry Department. Potential goals of such a relationship could include: • Sharing information in fire management and control, climate change adaptation both locales will be able to share experiences and lessons learned and promote the exchange of information and the understanding in areas of mutual interest, in order to support the conservation and management of biodiversity and natural and cultural resources. • Providing an in informational exchange in sustainable forestry and community based approaches to sustainable management of native forest types, implementing research, inventory and monitoring programs necessary to achieve success.

Simply un-Belizeable
Every day a thrilling new adventure in paradise... "Pull, pull, pull!"our guide Tup Meesupwatana yells as I attempt to wrangle in whatever I've snared on the end of the 68-kilo fishing line. The fish is putting up a fight, and winning so far. We're deep-ocean fishing, Belizean style, which means I don't have a rod to help out, just line, hook and bait as we troll along Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, about 45 km off the coast of Belize. I'm wearing biking gloves so the line doesn't cut my hands, but it doesn't help with the haul. Every time I pull up some line, it slips through my gloves and the fish starts to win the battle once again. Meesupwatana grabs at the line and helps me wrangle it closer to the powerboat. I really can't believe what I'm pulling in ... Since arriving in Belize, every day has been an adventure, whether kayaking, fishing or snorkelling along the barrier reef. Designated a World Heritage Site, the reef system runs 300 km along the coast of the Central American country, making it one of the largest in the world. Relatively undeveloped, Belize's preserved and undisturbed natural areas attract those who want to bypass tourist crowds and experience the country's history, culture and environment first hand. Thanks to Canadian-based Island Expeditions, I'm calling Glover's Reef home for five nights as part of their Glover' Reef and River of Caves tour. Since 1987, the adventure tour company has been showing travellers the best of Belize. With the private island of South Caye as home base, we've spent each day exploring with expert guides. The atoll and some of the 700 patch reefs teem with varied sea life. A snorkelling expedition takes us through the turquoise ocean, with guide Bernaldo Villafranco pointing out hundreds of tropical fish of every size and colour.

Sail Belize’s Great Barrier Reef with Raggamuffin Tours
Raggamuffin Tours – Caye Caulker’s best tour operator company has put together an amazing adventure to access the more remote and inaccessible parts of Belize’s reef that showcases some of the best snorkeling and fishing areas. The tour takes the route from Caye Caulker and finishes in Placencia (the tour is never undertaken in reverse – however there is the opportunity to travel back with the boat for those who are direction-ally challenged), remaining in the inner reef to allow for calm sailing waters. The trip is designed as an island hopping adventure for all those want to experience Belize’s uninhabited Caribbean paradise. The adventure will take place over a period of three days and passengers will spend the night on beautiful Rendezvous Caye and Tobacco Cayes whilst visiting Goffs Caye or English Caye and South Water Caye. During the day the sailboat will gently cruise through Belize’s crystal clear waters and picture postcard scenery whilst stopping to snorkel at least twice each day. Snorkeling opportunities can be maximized by those who are passionate snorkelers by additionally snorkeling around Rendezvous Caye and Tobacco Caye the afternoon they arrive and the morning before they depart. Fishing is also an additional element to the trip. Raggamuffin Tours carry with them hand lines, trawling rods, spin rods and a spear gun. For those passengers whose passion it is for fishing, this is an ideal opportunity to trawl off the boats, spin cast on the islands and to experience spear fishing! For fly fisherman, although whilst they are on the boat there is no way of accessing the flats, whilst on Rendezvous and Tobacco Caye the flats off these islands are abundant!

February 23, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

AGUSM moves to mainland; new medical university starts in San Pedro
The American Global University School of Medicine (AGSUM) is no longer on Ambergris Caye after moving to a larger facility in Ladyville Village in the Belize District. The confirmation was made by the university President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Malik Soudah. He explained that there are new and exciting plans for AGUSM and for that reason, the university needed a larger campus. Dr. Soudah also explained that with AGUSM moving to mainland Belize, a new medical university has been operating in San Pedro under the name of Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS). Both universities are operating under a consortium with two different accredited charters from the Government of Belize but under one company, namely American Academic Services. WUHS-Students-San-Pedro-2“We wanted to expand and do more things with the university. One of the things we needed was more space; space that suits a medical school,” said Soudah as he explained why AGUSM was relocated to mainland Belize. One of those exciting changes explained Soudah is that AGUSM will be slowly moving to cater to the Central American and Caribbean markets. “There are some medical students who wish to study medicine in Central America or the Caribbean so we decided to move into that area and cater to that market as well,” Soudah explained.

Zulema Ayala wins 13th Annual Spelling Bee Zone 5 Elimination
2013 Spelling Bee-1Students of the various schools from both San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village participated in the 13th Annual Coca Cola National Spelling Bee Zone 5 Elimination. The event started at 9AM on Thursday February 21st at the San Pedro Lions Den. A total of 14 students competed from 7 different schools which included Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School, Holy Cross Anglican School, Isla Bonita Elementary School, New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School, San Pedro Roman Catholic School and The Island Academy. The winners will represent Zone 5 at the District Eliminations are scheduled to take place in Belize City on April 30th. 2013 Spelling Bee-5The competition went to five rounds, and in the end, The Island Academy’s Zulema Ayala took first place, while Kaylee Kumul took second place. Shanelly Guttierez of San Pedro Roman Catholic School took third place in the sixth round of competition. In the case that the first or second place winners are unable to compete, the third place winner will act as the alternate speller in the District Elimination.

Belize Male Volleyball Team prepares for Central American Games in Costa Rica
San Pedro’s own Gustavo Morataya and Orange Walk’s Abimael Godoy are the two Belizeans representatives who will participate in the regional games that will run from March 2nd to the 9th. The two athletes were selected from a three-stop beach volleyball tour which concluded last week. Head coach for the Belize Team is Arvid Arnold. The two young men will be representing Belize for the first time and according to Oscar Arnold, the Beach Volleyball Commissioner for the Belize Volleyball Association, “the team will have a huge task in front of them, as they will be going up against some very talented and experienced teams from Central America.” In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Morataya explained that he is pleased and excited to be representing the jewel. “Beach volleyball has been happening here for quite some time. The last three years, Belize hosted the Central American Games at the Marion Jones Stadium so we have been playing it for some time now in Belize. For me, it is an honor, because it is the first time I am going abroad to represent my country to compete internationally. It’s a big step for me because I have always had the opportunity to play beach volleyball but never to represent my country,” said Morataya. He also took the opportunity to thank Cholo’s Sportsbar and Caye Caulker Water Taxi for their continued support in his endeavors.

Ambergris Today

Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change
The Project “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”, launched in September 2012 is being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the Government of Belize (GoB), and funding of the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance (EU GCCA). 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. As part of the larger project, two activities, namely the “Enhancement of National Capacities to Plan for and to Coordinate a National Response to the threats of Climate Change” and the pilot entitled “Applied Forest Management: Building Capacities for the Restoration of Watersheds Impacted by Natural Disasters” valued at over €865,000 / BZD $2.2m are being executed in partnership with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development.

San Pedro High School Enters Recycling Project in Visionary Challenge
On Monday, February 18, 2013, the San Pedro High School contacted Ambergris Today to showcase their Paper Recycling Project. The brains of the impressive project are academic students guided by their teacher Mr. Ricardo Sedacy. Together they plan on representing San Pedro High School on the Sagicor Visionary Challenge on March 20, 2013. The Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR, and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) partnered to form the first Science competition known as the Sagicor Visionary Challenge. Each high school across the country of Belize was asked to carry out a survey in their community to find a problem that’s affecting their community. Each high school team had to find a solution to the problem.

San Pedro AIDS Commission Carnaval Thank You Letter
Dear Editor: The San Pedro AIDS Commission wholeheartedly thanks all those who in one way or another helped make our participation in Carnaval 2013 yet another success for this group. I applaud the members who opted to dance during the three days of Carnaval and the members who donated or worked for this event. I also salute the “friends” of the AIDS Commission who joined in the festive dancing: Sara Sanchez, Shirley Eiley, Naie Duran, Alex White, Mari Magaña, Erin de Santiago, Brittney O’Daniel and Kristi Gonzalez. Great job guys! Gracias to our “Friends” for their continued support. Special thanks to Mata Chica Resort, Sandbar, Findley Halliday, Mrs. Elvia Staines & Ryan Edwards, Ellos Boutique, The Liquor Box, Tropic Air, Carmen & Alex Eiley, Super Buy, Juvinie Sabido, Mrs. Shelly Huber and Betty Villelda. Thanks to Bistro Mestizo for providing the tasty food following the dances and to Martin Ancona and Mauricio Aquino for their assistance.

San Pedro Lions Club Annouces Queen Pageant 2013
The San Pedro Lions Club will be holding a beauty pageant on Saturday, March 15, 2013, at the San Pedro Lions Den in which four beautiful young ladies will be vying for the title of Lions Queen. The lovely contestants are Alexis Del Valle, Lynda Quintanilla, Cecibel Cortez, and Lina Mazeriegos. This year promises to be a good show as the young ladies will be doing an opening dance as well be modeling in sportswear, talent competition, evening wear and the question and answer session. There will be lots to eat and fun entertainment at the San Pedro Lions Queen Pageant Saturday, March 16, so don’t miss out. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. entrance fee is $10.00. Come and support the local San Pedro Lions Club.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Spotted Eagle Rays at Hol Chan Canyons
Spotted Eagle Rays at Hol Chan Caynons

Energizing Youth Entrepreneur Workshop Today
The Energizing Youth Entrepreneur Workshop is today in Belmopan at the University of Belize. It's only $10 per person, and that includes lunch. Speakers include Stephen Okeke, Shelly Usher, James Scott, and Kay Menzies. Sounds like it'll be highly motivational.

The Fashion at Wedding Spectacular Featuring Rebecca Stirm
Best of luck to Rebecca Stirm and Chantae Guy, who are representing Belize in Jamaica at the Wyndham Wedding Spectacular this weekend. "So I noticed that Rebecca Stirm will be one of the designers showing at Wedding Spectacular this weekend and I remember that name causing quite a buzz from the last season of Mission Catwalk, so I decided to click on over to her facebook page to get familiar. I immediately liked what I saw! ... She seems very talented at draping, a skill that’s hard to get right. I love this burgundy dress and the styling with the teal and I love the braiding on the green dress! Couldn’t you see yourself in that for something formal? How about your bridesmaids?"

European Commission proposes to open plurilateral trade negotiations on services
The European Commission today asked the Council to give its green light for negotiations on a new international agreement on trade in services. To begin with, 21 WTO Members will be at the negotiating table, but the EU is keen to encourage others to join. The EU is also pushing for the agreement to dovetail with WTO rules so it can be later folded into the WTO system. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: “The perspective of a new broad-based trade in services agreement is excellent news – for jobs and for economic growth. I encourage all WTO members who support market opening and strong rules for trade in services to join this initiative.” The negotiations will cover all services sectors, including information and communication technology (ICT) services, logistics and transport, financial services and services for businesses. But the EU, like the other participants, is looking for the negotiations to go beyond simply further opening up markets for services. The aim is also to develop new rules on trade in services, such as those applying to government procurement of services, licensing procedures or access to communication networks.

Rebecca Stirm and Chantae Guy are representing Belize in Jamaica
“Thanks to Belize Bank, Rebecca Stirm will be heading to Kingston Jamaica, along with Belizean headline model Chantae Guy [Miss Belize World 2012], to show her “Pfuma Ye Nyika” collection on the runway this weekend at the Wyndham Wedding Spectacular!”

Channel 7

University Student And Mother Of Two Murdered in Toledo; 16 Year Old Suspect
A female university student was chopped to death in Punta Gorda yesterday afternoon and a teenaged minor I being held for the crime. At 3:30, an off duty BDF soldier saw 24 year old Corina Coh in the bushes on the outskirts of Laguna Village with multiple chop wounds. She was conscious enough to tell him her name and the identity of the person who had chopped her - she gave him the name of a 16-year-old farmer from the village. He called to the village where a car owner rushed her the 11 miles to the PG Hospital - but she succumbed to her injuries shortly after. Police have detained the 16 year old farmer - and expect to charge him for murder. The motive is not known at this time. Coh was riding a bicycle to the junction of the Southern Highway to catch a bus to go to her afternoon class at the University of Belize. She told the persons who took her to the hospital that the young man was pursuing her and wouldn't leave her alone. She was a mother of two young children and had a common law husband.

Two Men Shot In City
Two men are in the KHMH tonight recovering after they were shot while working on a house on Jane Usher Boulevard Extension this afternoon. It happened at a few minutes to two when the three men were resting under the house. That's when an unmasked shooter rode up and walked from the street with a nine millimeter pistol. He shot 39 year old Cecil Hinds and Moses Del Cid. Del Cid got the more serious injury, he was shot in the jaw, but luckily, the bullet exited through his cheek. Hinds was shot two in the arm and once in the shoulder. The third man - who was the homeowner, fled to safety in the nearby bushes. Hinds had to presence of mind to jump into the property owner's vehicle and drive Del Cid to the hospital. The vehicle was parked in the emergency room driveway when we got there. Both men are in stable condition. The 43 year old property owner, who asked us not to release his name, told us that he has no idea why anyone would want to target them. He says Del Cid is form the Cayo District and 39 year old Cecil is an older, working persons with no enemies. The property owner is also a working man - who was fixing up the home on his vacation. Police do have a suspect who has been detained.

Garbage collector Run Over And Killed By Garbage Truck
A garbage collector lost his life in Belize City around 2:30 this afternoon when he was run over by his own garbage truck. It happened on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Lake Independence area. KENRICK MONEY SUTHERLAND - who is a temporary worker on his first day of work with Belize Waste Control was sitting on the edge of a small garbage truck when he fell off, right beneath the back wheels of the truck. According to eyewitnesses, he had just jumped unto the truck as it was moving off and never did stabilize himself. The driver didn't have time to react and ran over his chest without even knowing. The driver had to be alerted that he had just run over someone. He was rushed to the hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival. We spoke to the George Lamb, the General Manager of Waste Control who didn't yet have much information:..

Sentenced To Five Years For Her Boyfriend's Bullets; Can Woman Get Free
One month ago we told you about 25 year-old Natalie Coleman, who was sent to prison for 5 years after she was convicted of illegally possessing four 12-gauge shotgun cartridges. She was charged jointly with her boyfriend, 22 year-old Randy Dominguez, but Dominguez's attorney was able to get the charge withdrawn when they presented to the court that he was not present at the time of the search. And so, Coleman stood trial alone for the ammunition discovery and in her defence, she told the court that when the police conducted the search, she was only present because she was visiting her boyfriend. Still, she was the only one there and the Magistrate gave her 5 years in prison. IT seemed unfair to a group of citizens and now they are working to get her free. Darrell Carter told us more:..

Cattle Soon to Be Exported To Mexico (Legally)
In August of last year, we told you about the cattle sweep that was being conducted. It's a massive effort to develop what's called a biological passport each exportable head of cattle in Belize. That means they are rigorously tested, screened and documented so that they can meet the standards to be legally exported into Mexico. It's a huge undertaking - but after six months, it's almost off the ground. In fact, this morning the first batch of cattle were to be exported form Blue Creek but the truck coming from Mexico never made it. Apparently, the massive cattle truck had a registration problem and Mexican Authorities would not let it pass over. So while the cattle owners in Blue Creek are ready - and even now a little impatient, the first legal exportation of cattle from Belize has had to be re-scheduled for next week. We stress the word "legal", because illegal exportation has been happening for some time.

Guatemalans Object To Maheia's Border Clearing Effort
On February fourth, we told you about Will Maheia's dramatic drive to cut the line along entire border. Here's how he explained it then:.. Wil Maheia - PNP "One of the things that we will be starting in 3 weeks' time - we have secured 100 machetes. We will begin to clear the border lines ourselves, just like when we started to place the flag it was one of us; two of us. Rufus when you went down there maybe it was 6-10 of us, now its bus loads. We will start to clear that borderline by had with machetes - one machete at a time and we will start from Gracias Adios, up the Sarstoon River and we will begin chopping and we will chop and chop until we get up to the Chiquibul and Caracol. I don't know how long it's going to take but in a couple of weeks we will start chopping along the borderline." Now the date for the event has been set. It starts on Sunday March 2nd, when Maheia's group called the Belize Territorial Volunteers will begin a project called "Clearing Our Borderline."

Accused Pedophile Taylor Meeting Adjournments
On December 20, 2012, British Belizean David Taylor, the man who is accused of outrageous acts of Pornographic exploitation of 4 boys on Placencia, was arraigned on 2 charges of aggravated assault on an indecent nature, and committing an unnatural crime for having sexual relations with a 13 year-old boy. At the end of that arraignment, he was denied bail, and so when residents of Placencia got news that he was out, they became alarmed, and all sorts of rumors started flying around. There was one rumor that he could have possibly left the country, but tonight, we can confirm that he is in the country, and more than that, he's complying with the courts. It all started when he applied to the Supreme Court and got bail, but Placencia police were not notified, in fact, they believed that he was still on remand because they registered their strong objections to his bail in the first instance that he is a flight risk. This evening, 7News contacted Inspector Mark Flowers, the Officer Commanding Placencia Police who told us that the police department responded to the community who were alarmed that Taylor was missing his adjournment dates in court, and so they started to search for him on Placencia.

Advocacy For The Aged
VOICE Belize City is an advocacy group for older persons and today they launched one of their latest projects. It's a preferential seating system for the elderly and disabled and Russell bus line has embraced the initiative. 7news caught up with the members of the group this morning as they were hanging up signs in the buses. Shaz Davison, VOICE, Member "We are an advocacy group for older persons and right now we are working on preferential seating for older persons so that when they go on board they know that they have a place to sit without having to stand up." Monica Bodden "How will that work?" Shaz Davison, VOICE, Member "Right now this is the sign here and we will do is that Mr. and Mrs. Russell will come and we are going in and start placing them up onto the bus seating in the first two rows so that people will know that these seats are for the older persons and other people of need."

Art In the Street
It's the third year for the annual Street Art Festival and according to organizers, there will be new surprises for those art lovers. On Saturday afternoon downtown Albert Street will be lined with booths showcasing live art, fashion and a wide selection of entertainment. The festival was created to build a national forum for artists and offers artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and artwork to a crowd. We caught up with the team at NICH who told us what families can expect tomorrow. Karen Vernon "The Street Art Festival 2013 takes places this Saturday on Albert Street as usual. It starts from 2pm to 10pm and it starts at the junction with Belize Bank and it goes all the way down Albert Street to where Doony's is. This year we will be featuring the vendor's booth as usual artist promoting our local artist. We have a food court on Treasury Lane; we have a kid's zone which will be very interesting this year with puppets. We have a fashion street which is new. We will be having different designers displaying what they do in clothing and jewelry and we will have a runway on that street featuring different fashion show throughout the day. We have a youth stage where youths will be featuring; they have competition and entertainment on that stage from 2-8pm. It's quite exciting. Also on the youth stage there will be a flash which is new and exciting for us this year."

The Dubious Border At Jalacte
As we told you earlier in the newscast, the Guatemalans have sent a diplomatic note urging the Belizean government to intervene and stop Will Maheia and his Belize Territorial Volunteers from commencing with their project called "Clearing Our Borderline". It starts in Jalacte which is an area we visited with Maheia in 2008. At the time there was a dispute about a warehouse which a Guatemalan businessman had placed in Belizean territory. It took months to get that removed - even though it was squarely in Belizean territory. The businessman was form Santa Cruz Guatemala which is the Guatemalan village adjoining Jalacte in Belize. Through commerce and daily life, they are like sister villages, and they have established a much used - though unregulated border crossing. When we went there, we found out how difficult it is to two the border line. Tonight we repeat only a small excerpt of that story that noted the contrasts and the similarities between Jalacte Belize and Santa Cruz Guatemala. Unlike Jalacte, it has electricity and Belizean shoppers come here for Gallo beers, and cheap products. The village - or most of it - is in Guatemalan territory - the cemetery for example is believed to be inside Belizean territory. But it's a fine, widely unknown line, and the entire village exists under the eye of the BDF treetops observation post - the sole indicator of Belize's domain in the area.

Channel 5

Guatemala dismantles Comision de Belice
The Guatemalan government dropped a major bombshell late on Thursday evening following recent statements by President Otto Perez Molina in respect of the October sixth referendum. The government has moved decisively to dissolve the main agency in charge of monitoring matters relating to the unfounded claim against Belize. While the reports spread like wildfire in [...]

100 machetes to clear border line faces resistance
There is another development in respect to the territorial claim by Guatemala. For the past few years, Punta Gorda’s activist Wil Maheia and a group called Belize Territorial Volunteers have raised the flag along the border with Guatemala. The celebratory and symbolic gesture has taken them as far as Gracias de Dios. The group feels [...]

Youth allegedly kills woman for insulting him
Punta Gorda police have recorded the first murder for this year in that municipality.  A UB student, Corina Coh, was murdered on Thursday evening about a mile from her house in the village of Laguna and a minor has been charged for her murder. Coh was found bleeding by a B.D.F. soldier who was travelling [...]

2 shot on Levy Slusher Street
After a few days of relative peace on the streets, there was a mid afternoon shooting in the city which landed two men to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Cecil Hinds, Moises Delfin and a third person were at a wooden house on Levy Slusher Street in the Jane Usher Boulevard area when a lone [...]

Land grab on Placencia Peninsula
The Placencia Lagoon, a fifteen mile body of water west of the Caribbean Sea just behind the peninsula, has, for the past fifteen years, been the subject of protection by environmentalists lobbying for government to declare it as a reserve.  The lagoon, which is connected to three important rivers in South Stann Creek, is renowned [...]

Belizean woman dies following domestic dispute in U.S.A.
Police in North Las Vegas, Nevada are on the hunt for the husband of a Belizean woman who died following a domestic dispute. The woman is forty-year old Beverly McFarlane. Police found her at her home last August and took her to the University Medical Center where her brain injuries were so severe she could [...]

Bullets found in his home, but pregnant visitor convicted
It’s not fiction but you can actual show up at a friend’s house during a police search and wind up in prison. That’s what happened to twenty five year old Natalie Coleman. The pregnant woman visited the home of her boyfriend, Randy Dominguez and police found four sixteen-gauge cartridges in the building. Both of them [...]

Several injured in accident on Stann Creek Valley Road
Sometime around four-thirty this morning, thirty-two year old Felipe Williams, a Belizean driver of Corozal Town was transporting cement on a truck with a trailer from Dangriga to Corozal. Upon reaching Mile ten on the Stann Creek Valley Road, the truck experienced transmission problems and Williams reversed from off the highway into a feeder road [...]

Cane field fire and smoke causes 3 car pile up
An accident occurred on the Philip Goldson Highway on Thursday evening at approximately six p.m. It was caused by a fire from a cane field which spread to the overgrown shrubbery on the side of the highway. The smoke became so thick that our news team in the area had to slow down. That’s when [...]

Cop and accused both claim to be the victim
  Twenty-eight year old, Mickalee Williams, a car washer of Belize City, appeared in Court before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart where he was charged with one count of aggravated assault and harm upon a police officer. But Willaims told the court that he was in fact the victim of police brutality. The alleged incident occurred on [...]

A.P.S.S.M. meeting, president Castellanos absent again
Executives from the Association of Public Service Senior Managers were scheduled to meet this morning with president Jose Castellanos in Belize City to discuss a way forward following recent consultations on the proposed salary adjustment.  Castellanos did not attend the scheduled meeting which proceeded in his absence without any decision. Castellanos had also backed out [...]

P.U.P. against Castro’s alleged fiefdom over Port Authority
The Ports Commissioner Major John Flowers called it quits at the Port Authority on Tuesday. Flowers told News Five that Minister of State Edmund Castro had him hire his daughter and then insisted that Flowers hire his son. When Flowers resisted, Castro said he would take it to cabinet to have Flowers removed. With all [...]

NICH’s third annual Street Art Festival
NICH is staging its third annual Street Art Festival.  It takes place this Saturday in the downtown area of Belize City where whatever genre of art you prefer; there is likely to be something for you. Artists from around the country will be joined by clothes and jewelry designers and others who will be showing [...]


European Union Funds Comprehensive Scholarship Scheme
There are scholarship opportunities for Belizeans who wish to read for a Masters degree or a Doctorate. The scholarships are being offered under the Caribbean, Pacific Island Mobility scheme. Lloyd Enriquez is the Development Officer at the University of Belize. LLOYD ENRIQUE...

Street Art Festival Scheduled For The Weekend
Promoting Belizean Artists and Activities at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts is what gave birth to the Street Art Festival in Belize City. The third year of the Festival will be marked this weekend as Albert Street will come alive featuring all genres of art as explained...

Interact Club From Canada Gives Santa Rita Villagers A Refurbished Park
The park in Santa Rita Village, Corozal is receiving a face lift. The project is being carried out by seventeen members of a Canadian Interact Club, a service club for youth which is an arm of Rotary International. Interact clubs receive sponsorship, support and guidance by individual ...

Police Questions Teenager For Woman's Death
A woman from the Toledo District is dead and authorities have detained a teenager for questioning. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG "From what police report confirmed, 24 year old Corina Co did not make it to her Thursday evening clas...


Civilians pledge to clean the Belize border with Guatemala
The referendum on whether or not to take Guatemala’s unfounded claim to the ICJ for final resolution is still a few months away and the land dispute between Belize and Guatemala continues to hover over us, but one group has decided to take a proactive approach and in their own way, dispel any doubt of where the border with that country lies. The Belize Territorial Volunteers, which was formed over a year ago will, with the assistance of conservation groups and interested Belizeans, clear the full length of our border with Guatemala. It is a daunting feat never before done by civilians, but according to Will Maheia, who is a member of the group, it is an exercise that is very possible if all able-bodied individuals decide to take part. The exercise will begin on the weekend of March second and third. People who want to be a part of the effort can reach Will Maheia at 610-0978 or on Facebook. For people traveling from outside the Toledo District, they need to be at the junction of the Southern Highway/San Antonio Road morning of March second. From there, they will be taken to the border point at Jalacte village to start the process. People in Punta Gorda Town and surrounding areas can board the bus at the PG Central Park.

New deputy Mayor of Belize City chosen
And while Mayor Bradley looks to complete his first years as the City’s chief executive officer, a new deputy has been chosen at City Hall. At a meeting on Tuesday of last week, councilors voted among themselves to elevate Councillor Eric Chang to the post of Deputy Mayor. Chang will take over the post of Deputy Mayor on March fifteenth, succeeding Dion Leslie. He is the first Taiwanese-Belizean to ascend to that post at the Belize City Council.

Mayor Darrel Bradley talks about infrastructure works
The Belize City Council, under the leadership of Mayor Darrel Bradley is perhaps the most progressive administration in recent times. And while there have been many complaints about the inconveniences caused by sometimes unannounced street closures to facilitate cementing, by and large most people are starting to see the big picture. That of a city transformed. One transformation that is a part of the bigger picture is happening on Newtown Barracks. And that where Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo met and spoke with Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley this morning. Mayor Bradley says he hoped to have at last sixty streets fully cemented by the time he celebrates his first year in office next month.


Young mother of two murdered
The senseless murder of a young mother of two has rocked the small village of Laguna in the Toledo District. The victim, 24 year old Corina Coh was walking to The University of Belize, where she attended school, when she was attacked and chopped several times. According to police,...

Traffic Accident leaves several injured
Tonight Police are investigating a traffic accident that left several people injured. The accident happened early this morning, on the Stann Creek Valley Road. HARRY ARZU – Dangriga Correspondent: Reports here say that they were heading to Tikal, Guatemala, when they departed just before dawn this morning from Hamanasi ...

3 persons called to the bar
This morning 3 persons were called to the bar before the Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin in the Supreme Court. They are 25-year-old Candice Westby Fisher, the daughter of Former COPOL, Gerald Westby, , 39-year-old Michelle Trapp-Zuniga, a Belize City resident and an employee at Legal Aid, along with...

25-year-old Natalie Coleman given bail as notice of appeal is filed
25-year-old Natalie Coleman, was convicted on January 3 of this year and sentenced to 5 years for possession of 4-16 gauge cartridges. But today, Coleman was given bail in the sum of $5,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Her attorney, Anthony Sylvester, took the matter of bail...

Belmopan home broken into during broad daylight
A home in the city of Belmopan was broken into during broad daylight. A resident of an Iguana street address in the Mountain View area, reported to police that sometime between 7am and 3:30pm on Tuesday, someone broke into her house and took off with a number of items....

Hubert Vaccaro charged with vehicle theft
A man was arrested for theft when he took a joyride in his friend’s car. A Belize City mechanic told police that yesterday he was along with his friend Hubert Vaccaro in his vehicle when he decided to park the car and went to purchase food. That was when...

Local artists showcase their talents
Belize’s local artists rarely get opportunities to showcase their talents. The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts has for the past three years changed that with a Street Art Festival in which it brings art and talent to the streets of Belize City. Bliss Theatre Director Karen Vernon tells...

Belize makes Trip Advisor’s Top Ten Inspiring Places List
Belize makes the list of the “10 Most Awe-Inspiring Places Around The World.” The Trip Advisor, the world’s largest online travel guide, recently released a list of the most astounding places in world, and this year, one of Belize’s national reserves cracked the top 10. The Great Blue Hole...


The piece below is a writeup in The Studio Museum in Harlem Magazine Winter/Spring 2013 edition. The original piece could be viewed with his picture at E.J. Hill, Jr., is an MFA candidate in New Genres at the University of California, Los Angeles, specializing in performance. Hill is interested in questions of identity, territory and alienation. Using durational and interventionist strategies, he advances counter-narratives in which marginalized bodies are free to inhabit spaces of their choosing—physical, emotional, social or political. Can it just be a body? Hill moved to Chicago in 2007 to study at Columbia where he initially focused on painting and drawing. After watching a collection of videos by artist Chris Burden, known for his confrontational performance style that tested the limits of the human body, Hill initiated what he refers to as his first performance: a psycho-geographical duration exercise for which he crawled, à la William Pope.L, between the town center and a so-called “bad part of town” in Evanston, a suburb on the far north side of Chicago that is home to prestigious Northwestern University. Weighted down with a backpack filled with drywall from an abandoned house, Hill intended for this—as well as a later work, This Is an Imaginary Border (2009)—to open a dialogue about the economic (and occasional racial) segregation that remains a reality in cities such as Chicago. “I had no idea I was ‘black’ until I moved to Chicago,” says Hill “I’m a first-generation American—my family is from Belize. They moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s. When I got to Chicago, my Belizean identity was taken out of conversation, unless I brought it up.”

At the risk of offending some of my compatriots, I will take issue with the statement that the Guatemalan claim is unfounded. We reject the claim because it can’t be made against Belize. Guatemala has no claim against Belize but, their claim is founded on their assertion that they are the successors of Spain, which once owned the territory that now belongs to our country. The claim does exist, and it will not go away until it is settled. Guatemala should have dropped her claim when Belize became an independent nation state. The territory originally claimed, being administered by Great Britain as a colony, is now an independent country. It has not dropped its claim. Perhaps, it cannot. That is a consideration that Belizeans might take into account when we vote. Left out of my column of last Sunday’s edition were the names of the current members of the International Court of Justice. I think it is important to have this information, which should allay our fears that they can be influenced in their judgment by other considerations besides the facts of the “claim.” They are listed below: - 1. Hisashi Owada (Japan) 2. Ronny Abraham (France) 3. Kenneth Keith (New Zealand) 4. Mohamed Bennoura (Morocco) 5. Leonid Shetnikiv (Russian Federation) 6. Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf (Somalia) 7. Antonio Augusto Cancalo Triadalc (Brazil) 8. Christopher Greenwood (Great Britain) 9. Xue Harquin (China) 10. John E. Donoghue (United States of America) 11. Jula Sebrtinde (Uganda) 12. Georgio Gaja (Italy) 13. Dalvier Ghandari (India)

Union presidents have said that they have completed their countrywide membership consultation and are preparing their counterproposal on the salary adjustment negotiations to present to the Prime Minister within the next two weeks. Belize National Teacher’s Union president Luke Palacio made it clear that the unions did not accept the government’s proposal as the final decision, but accepted it to serve as more of a basis for discussion among membership. “It is not a done deal, it was never a yes or no,” he said. “What we had said to the Prime Minister is that we accept the proposal. Our Councils of Management saw some merit in the proposal and that we would be taking that back to our membership for them to give us their recommendation and their suggestion, and then we will come back with an answer,” he went on to say. Palacio said that they don’t really have answers from the membership, but they have recommendations. “As we went around the country we did our consultation; they have given us some recommendations, some suggestions,” he said. “All of those things will be compiled and form part of the counterproposal.” Public Service Union president Marvin Blades took the opportunity to dispel rumors about the meetings not having a good attendance. The meetings did not have full attendance of membership, but Blades said that was due to the time the meetings were held.

Police say the females were a part of a “shipment” busted on Tuesday. Yesterday, seven persons were brought to court where they were deemed prohibited immigrants after police and immigration officers intercepted a white van they were travelling in on the Philip Goldson Highway. During the operation, which occurred at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, the tires of the van were shot out, allowing some of its occupants to be captured, but police believe that some of the passengers, which included women, were able to escape at that time. These women were apprehended in Los Lagos yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, by police, and they were learned to be Yessenia Guadalupe Santamaria Gonzalez, 18; Miriam Santamaria Guevara, 19; and Maribel Antonia Guevara, 24, all of Chalatenango, El Salvador. Two minors, 17, were also apprehended along with the three women, but they were handed over to the Human Development Services. It is believed that the women illegally entered the country via the Mopan River in Benque Viejo, Cayo, and, with the help of locals, were being facilitated with their journey to United States.

The group has secured 100 machetes and asks other nationalist groups to join them. Wil Maheia, Punta Gorda nationalist, activist and leader of the People’s National Party (PNP), told Amandala today that last year a group of concerned Belizeans came together and formed a group dedicated to protecting our Belizean patrimony — the “Belize Territorial Volunteers.” The group’s mission is simple: “We exist to educate our people as to the reality of our Western border and to maintain a watchful eye, to ensure that Belize’s territorial sovereignty is never called into question.” The group was formed, Maheia said, because our borders have been neglected and as a result, there have been several incursions into our beautiful, sovereign country. Recently, there have been an increasing number of incursions and as a result, some villagers have been negatively affected. Guatemalans, said Maheia, have come into the villages and pillaged people’s farms and stolen their horses. Many times when they are caught, he said, they claim ignorance about entering Belizean territory.

The Chief Justice ruled that proof of loss to GoB cannot be substantiated. Former PUP Minister Jose Coye held a press conference today, Wednesday, to announce that his case before the Supreme Court of Belize, brought by the Government of Belize, to answer to a charge of misfeasance, has been struck out. Coye and former PUP Minister Florencio Marin were accused of underselling 56 parcels of land in the Caribbean Shores area and causing the government to suffer loss. The issue dates back to just before the general elections of 2008, when Coye was the area representative for Caribbean Shores and Marin was the Minister of Natural Resources. They sold 56 parcels of undeveloped lands, which were inaccessible swamp grounds at the time, for $4,000 per parcel to a private company. In the aftermath of the 2008 elections, the new government claimed that the lots were worth far more than what they were sold for, and therefore caused a loss to the government. The lands, they contended, were in a highly coveted residential area – immediately behind Belize Healthcare Partners hospital and adjacent to University Heights. They estimated that the lots were sold at a loss of $924,000 to the government. The case was first heard in May of 2009 by then Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh, who ruled that the government could not bring such a case against a former Minister. The Government of Belize appealed, and the Belize Court of Appeals overturned CJ Conteh’s ruling.

Police screwed up — the two won acquittal, even without legal representation in court. On July 7, 2012, Mark Mitchell’s home was broken into, and police arrested and charged Lloyd Parchue, 20, and Wayne Herrera, 22, for the crime. But today, at the end of the trial, the prosecution failed to prove its case, and Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr., found the two accused not guilty of the crime. Mitchell had reported to police that he had left his home properly secured on July 7, 2012, and travelled to Chetumal. But on July 8, he received a call informing him of the burglary, and he returned the same day to make a police report. Stolen from his house were a black Playstation valued at $1,300; an Amazon brand Kindle valued at $500; a white Apple iPad valued at $2,000; an assortment of computer wires; an LG computer monitor; a black 32-inch flat screen television valued at $2,500; 3 video games; and a black Magnavox DVD/VHS player. According to police, Parchue was found in possession of the iPad, Kindle, Playstation and computer wires, while Herrera was found with the other items. Herrera was charged with handling stolen goods as well as burglary when he was arraigned, while Parchue was charged only with burglary.

In Southern Belize, Sarstoon Temash National Park holds within its 42,000 acres the most pristine rainforest in the country. Its primary forests have been attributed by National Geographic as remnants of the ancient Maya’s agroforestry systems, and today continue to be sustainably maintained by the Maya peoples of Southern Belize. The Supreme Court of Belize ruled in 2007 and again in 2010 that the Maya who have ancestrally cared for these forests shall hold the legal titles to these lands. This court ruling, along with national and international laws, mandates that indigenous peoples must give their free, prior and informed consent before any development project that may affect them. But that right has been trampled on again and again by the Texas-based oil company US Capital Energy, which received a concession from the Belize government to extract oil in Southern Belize beginning in 2001. In further flagrant violation of the Maya land rights under national law, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and recommendations by the Inter American Human Rights Commission, the government has now granted the oil company permits to move to the second phase of exploratory drilling in the park and on indigenous territories.

Alex Neal vs Mohammad Harmouch; F.C. Belize vs BDF. Boxing is finally returning to Bird’s Isle after an extended leave; and the Premier League of Belize goes into full football gear with Week 3 of an already hotly contested 2012-2013 Closing Season; and it all happens this weekend. The “Island” in Belize City will be the scene of an all-Belizean amateur boxing card beginning at 11:00 this Sunday morning, February 24, involving boxers from four local gyms – San Pedro Boxing Gym, Leo Pol Gym from Belize City, Lions Den Gym from Ladyville, and Lions Den Gym from Cayo. Promoter Clinton Tucker, manager of the Ladyville gym, says there will be a number of youth and female bouts, with two main events, one female and one male. In the female main event, Shenique Michael of Ladyville’s Lions Den Gym tangles with Pauline Reneau of Belize City’s Leo Pol Gym; and the male main event features San Pedro Gym’s Mohammad Harmouch vs Alex Neal of Ladyville’s Lions Den Gym. And after boxing, Belize City fans will shift their attention to the MCC, where the Premier League Week 3 match-up at 4:00 p.m. will see home standing F.C. Belize, who are 1-1, taking on Belize Defense Force, who sport a 2-0 record.

Coach Bernie Tarr, who is presently spearheading the “King James Project” in Belize, forwarded the following email with attached picture to us that he received yesterday from one Jim Morris. The short note says simply: “Kachief Thomas from Sadie Vernon, 2012 graduate, playing for Iowa Western Community College. They are 27-2 and ranked #5 in the country.” Before travelling to the U.S. last year through the King James Project, Kachief was the most decorated Belizean high school basketball player in recent times, winning multiple national championships and MVP honors in the Sadie Vernon High School uniform. Right on, Kachief!

Dear Editor, These past few months Belize has begun hearing again about GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture have repeatedly promised that no permits have been given for the importation of GMOs into Belize for planting. At the same time, we have been made aware of a serious push from the Belize Grain Growers Association in Belize for the importation of GM Bt corn for planting. So, while the Government of Belize is following its own Bio-safety guidelines, there is an urgent and active, funded lobbying effort, financed by the Belize Grain Growers Association, attempting to change Government’s policy. The current bipartisan policy of the Government of Belize was created under the PUP and approved by the UDP. It took several years and only after many public consultations throughout the country of Belize was it eventually finalized. The decision made at that time was the precautionary approach: if the import, use, and handling of GMO technology present uncertain risks, then the Government of Belize will choose to err on the side of caution. Contrary to what many may believe, GMOs are NOT a done deal in Belize. Government has pledged its protection with laws which require that ANY importation of GM feed, seed, or plant material MUST be preceded by a scientifically rigorous and sound risk assessment.

“The so-called extremist right is directed and approved by the army. I recall a visit to the town of Gualan in the department of Zacapa. I went in there with a team of students from the National University to establish a new youth center. A week after the group was organized, its president received a death warning from the Mano Blanca (White Hand). “I went alone to visit the head of the Mano Blanca and asked him why he was going to kill this lad. At first he denied sending the letter, but after a bit of discussion with him and his first assistant, the assistant said, ‘Well, I know he’s a Communist and so we’re going to kill him.’ ‘How do you know?’ I asked. “He said, ‘I know he’s a Communist because I heard him say he would give his life for the poor.’ “With such a definition of communism, we find many new names in the Communist ranks, including Christ’s.” - Blasé Bonpane, a priest working in Guatemala, in THE WASHINGTON POST, February 4, 1968 Some people say Christ is God, and other people say Christ was a great man, but not divine. For the purposes of this column, it really doesn’t make any difference if Christ was God or man, or both. What we know is that His life is chronicled in the New Testament by four different “evangelists” – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. In these Gospels, Christ’s actions and teachings are recounted in detail by four different men, and there are few discrepancies among the Gospels.

The Belizean people are under a great deal of pressure these days. Violent crime is at an all time high, and the police have their hands full trying to keep up with the criminals. The judiciary is very much embattled. Then, there is the matter of territorial integrity and national sovereignty. While desperate Guatemalan peasants are swarming across our borders in order to rape Belize of its gold, lumber, xate, wildlife, and other resources, the oligarchy/military which runs the Guatemalan state has laid claim to half of Belize’s land and sea, and powerful regional and international forces are calling for the claim to be treated as a legal matter in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). There are two other fronts, religious and political, on which the people of Belize are under attack. Never before has Belize been penetrated by so many different religions, and never before have these religions been so aggressive and so much a part of everyday life, through the electronic broadcast media. The preachers, most of who come in the name of Jesus Christ, claim that the Belizean people have to turn to Jesus for a solution to our problems. But, Belize is a country dominated by Christian religions from the nineteenth century, and everything is already done in the name of God. In electoral politics, a year ago the Opposition party came close to being elected to office. It would have been a surprise victory, and they apparently can’t get over what might have been. Whereas there is normally a calm after a general election campaign is over, the Opposition rhetoric has been shrill, and it appears that there are leaders amongst them who are operating on the belief that they can force another general election before the ruling party completes its five-year term.

There is this ridiculous talk among some unenlightened football fans, that this or that player is “too old” to play in the Premier League. In business, there is a thing called the “free market;” and it basically says that, if you have the “goods,” and there is a “demand” for the goods that you have, then you’re “in business.” If F.C. Belize thinks that at 40 years, Norman “Tilliman” Nunez can still help them to win a championship, then who are you to question the wisdom of F.C. It is ironic that some critics who might not even qualify to “tie the shoe las’n” of a legend like “Tilliman,” would have all kinds of negative things to say about his rumoured return to action at the MCC this weekend. According to Wikipedia, England’s greatest football legend, Sir Stanley Matthews, “.. kept fit enough to play at the top level until he was 50 years old.” And, talking about national teams, “On 15 May 1957, Matthews became the oldest player ever to represent England, when at 42 years and 104 days old he turned out for the victory over the Danes in Copenhagen.” Another living legend, “El Rey” Pele celebrated his 50th birthday in 1990 by playing 40 minutes of a game with the Brazil national team against a Rest of the World selection. Rest of the World won, 2-1.

On Saturday, February 16, 2013, the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association held its elections. The 17 member Associations were represented by 2 members each. The Elections were presided over by an Election Commission, appointed in coordination with NOC/PASO and Mr. Charles B. Hyde, Sr., President of Belize NOC/OA Fair Play Commission, which comprised of Mr. Raymond Lashley, Rt. Pharmacist; Ms. Sharon Frazer, Senior Magistrate; and Ms. Hadie Gomez, Rt. Principal. The meeting was called to order, the National Anthem was sung by Mr. Sean Saldano, and the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi was recited by all. Sir Colville Young, Governor General of Belize, was unanimously elected and appointed as Patron of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association. Elected to office are: Mr. Hilberto (Hilly) Martinez – President; Mr. Owen (Sonny) Meighan – Vice President; Mrs. Yolanda Fonseca – Secretary General; Ms. Josephine Flowers – Assistant Secretary; Mr. Giovanni Alamilla – Treasurer; Mr. Herman Pastor, Jr. – Member; Mr. Allan Sharp – Member; Mr. Arturo Vasquez – Member.

A 19-year-old student of the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus, was robbed while walking from school, and the thieves got away with his phone cell phone, valued at $375, with calling number 631- 4157, and $3.50. The thieves then punch him in the face and escaped into the surrounding area. The incident occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Monday night, February 18, at the university compound beside the Jabirou Building. The student told police that he was walking through the compound when two men rode up on a bicycle and stopped in front of him and demanded his properties. He became fearful that they were going to kill him, and he handed over what they demanded Police came, but the thieves had already escaped.


Ch-ch-changes north of the bridge
Had to snap a few shots on our way home from town today of all the work being done from the Palapa Bar north to Grand Caribe all of a sudden. It's a real beehive of activity. There's road work, construction, and lot clearing. The road between the Palapa Bar and Grand Caribe is being widened quite a bit. You can see the widening around the curve here. (Sorry it's blurry, I was riding my bike while snapping photos.) In the photo above, you can see where Barry is standing with his bike. The road north turns to the right. To the left, there is a road that used to be little more than a narrow path. Now it's a lot more than that. Here's the new view down that "path" to the left. As for why this was widened, it remains to be seen. Are they hoping to bring in large vehicles laden with construction supplies the back way? Possibly. Now, looking north up the road where it is being widened up to people's fences.

Bizarre News Story and My Big Excitement
I just read a strange Belize Mexico story this am from Ch 7 news According to Por Esto newspaper out of Quintana Roo, a couple from Belize were caught in Mexico stealing from a Walmart. The pair were busted by a security camera trying to leave the store without paying for a pair of headphones and a watch. The items totaled $598 pesos which is almost $95 Belize dollars. The pair were given a choice, either pay three times the value or go face a Mexican judge. Of course they opted to pay the triple value be set free. I don’t know about you but I have never heard of charging a shoplifter more money and letting them go, that definitely qualifies as a bizarre news story in my book. As I was on my first walk today I took a picture so you could see the stylish fence that Xanadu Resort is putting up to replace the old chain link one. I also snapped a pic of the guy cleaning the aquarium at Tropic Air. It was super hot so I stopped by there to cool down a minute and chat with Quicksilver Dianne while she was doing cell phone rental deliveries and pick ups. She said “Tropic Arrivals have been way up the past two weekends” That does not surprise me, it was super busy the whole time we were there.

Lunch at My Favorite - Wild Mango's and a Bit of Chocolate
Why does it seem like the whole Facebook world is on a dietary cleanse? All this talk of it makes me hungry. Plus, I can think of no better way to celebrate my return to San Pedro than with a lunch at my favorite splurge lunch spot, Wild Mango's. The food, the cocktails (order the caiprinha...not on the menu) and smoothies and the atmosphere make it far and away my number one lunch spot. I always recommend it. Yesterday was a gorgeous day...our view of some kids playing while their parents finished lunch. We arrived relatively late (around 2:15pm) and had our pick of tables...which is not always the case. Lunch in Belize is a pretty strict noon to 1pm affair. If you haven't been to Mango's in a while, during the last slow season, they expanded the deck for more outdoor seating (good) and put a little lounge area inside (very good).

Discovery Channel Names the Great Blue Hole of Belize a Top Amazing Site on Earth
The Discovery Channel has named the great Blue Hole of Belize as an amazing place on Earth. Formed during the last ice age, the great Blue Hole of Belize is a submarine sinkhole that is 300 meters wide and 124 meters deep. It’s made up of karst limestone formations, which, over the years, have evolved into ledges that fall away into the chasm of darkness beneath. “From the air, the Great Blue Hole of Belize resembles an otherworldly maw, intent on drinking down the surrounding Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Geologists believe that an underlying cave system collapsed under increased pressure some 10,000 years ago due to rising sea levels. The dark hole descends 412 feet, terminating in lightless depths where a lack of oxygen prevents most forms of life from thriving. Divers rarely plunge these depths, however, as most are content to explore the stalactite-rich caverns accessible from depths of some 130 feet below the surface” states the article which was written by Robert Lamb and Amanda Arnold.

Top Hiking Destinations around Belize
Apart from its popular and prestigious barrier reef, ancient Maya cities and ceremonial caves, and other numerous attractions, Belize also has an incredible and spectacular array of opportunities for hiking. Below we have compiled the top ten best hiking destinations around Belize: Shipstern Wildlife Nature Reserve: Located near Corozal, in the northeast corner of Belize, Shipstern Wildlife Nature Reserve contains 32 square miles of forest, savanna and wetlands for hikers to explore. These unspoiled habitats of well-known Belizean insects, birds and mammals consist of both hardwood forests as well as the rare Kuka Palm forest – the only dry forest of Belize. A butterfly aviary, botanical trail and natural history museum, along with magnificent trails located throughout the reserve, help tourists to become immersed in and appreciate Belize’s jungle at a new level.

Up for Breakfast
Delayed reading The Times until I got to Estel’s (Dine by the Sea to give its full name) for a late,late (especially as I was out of bed and up for breakfast by 4.30 pm) breakfast at 10.30 pm. Decadent living ! Well, at least decadent for me. Don’t think I have mentioned it before but I read The Times for a few reasons. I like the newspaper (and its sister title The Sunday Times too for that matter). The subscription is relatively inexpensive at the equivalent of approximately BZ$24 per month. And I want the owner of the newspaper- News International – to make money because in a few years time I will draw my News International pension. So am making some belated pension contributions! Anyway, back to my breakfast. At BZ$15 you get a great selection to make your choice of four items from. And for a further BZ$2.50 you get unlimited coffee ( it may not be truly unlimited but I always have to call a halt because if not they just keep refilling the mug). Having been a reader of other blogs for a while it appears that it is de rigueur to include a photo of your meal. So here it is.

International Sources

High Speed Vessel Swift Kicks off Southern Partnership Station in Belize
BIG CREEK, Belize (NNS) -- Sailors disembarked High Speed Vessel Swift 2 here, Feb. 18, to begin Southern Partnership Station 2013, a U.S. 4th Fleet deployment designed to strengthen civil and maritime capabilities with regional partner nations in the Caribbean. The team was comprised primarily of Seabees from Riverine Squadron (RIVRON) 2 and Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit (CBMU) 202. Each team will spend time working with host-nation partners to stregthen relationships and joint interoperability. CBMU 202 Seabees will build a multipurpose open bay structure, known as a seahut, and provide the materials for up to two additional buildings. RIVRON 2 Seabees will share their expertise with the Belize Defense Force and help them improve their skills in areas such as interdiction and inserts and extracts of security teams on the water. The two units have separate missions but share a common purpose; to maintain a strong relationship with the Belize Defense Force and share ideas, experience and technology. "We'll be working with the Belize Defense Force Special Boat Unit," said Riverine Squadron 2 Detachment 2 officer in charge, Navy Lt. Joe Turner. "We will train with them and share ideas and best practices. This enables us to work together better as a unit to fight criminal activities on the waterways and in the rivers." The mission for the Seabees deployed to Big Creek differs only in the areas of execution.

The magic of Belize: Tours are a great way to explore
Our guide adjusts her headwrap and looks over her shoulder at the rainforest. The hem of her powder-blue dress twists in the breeze as she waits for us in the shade. For a second, the combination of heat, heavy shadow, and bright colour make me feel like I'm staring at a Diego Rivera mural. "She'll be waiting for you over here until you're ready, nice people," Ann-Marie Avona calls out, breaking the spell. It takes a second for me to realize that our guide is talking about herself in the third-person. I could listen to her Kriol-laced accent (similar to Creole, but with English instead of French) for hours. It's Friday afternoon and aside from the staff and vendors in the parking lot, the temple site at Altun Ha is completely abandoned. When Ann-Marie catches me staring at a half-finished building beside the main gate, she fans herself slowly and jokes, "This is Belize. Nothing here gets done quickly, just eventually." Steve and I are halfway into our Maya Reef Explorer tour with Pemberton-based Island Expeditions. Earlier that day, the staff at our lodge in Crooked Tree Village (roughly an hour inland by car from Belize City) pulled some strings so we could arrive at the Altun Ha temple complex after all the other tour groups had left for the day. After we pass through the entry gate, two of the tougher American women in our tour group waste no time. Here, like many other archeological sites in Belize, you can still race to the top of the massive pyramids and look out over the Belizean rainforest and savannah.

Bahamas to chair upcoming Flyingfish ministerial meeting in Port of Spain, Trinidad
On Friday, 22 February 2013, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will convene a meeting of seven Caribbean countries currently harvesting the Eastern Caribbean flyingfish (scientific name: Hirundichthys affinis), in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, to review governance and management issues that require immediate attention. The ministers, who make up the CRFM Ministerial Sub- Committee on Flyingfish, are also expected to provide guidance to the participating States, the Caribbean Fisheries Forum and CRFM Secretariat on the way forward. According to a CRFM research report, “...the flyingfish has been recognised as the single most important small pelagic species in the southern Lesser Antilles.”

8 Trips You Must Do Once
Looking for something besides yet another trip to the beach for your next vacation? From cooking lessons in the hills of Tuscany to snorkeling the waters off Belize, these eight trips should be on everyone's list. Snorkeling in Belize With knockout beaches on Ambergris Caye, Caye Kaulker, and Placenia, plus inland jungles, 600 species of birds (think toucans and motmots), and Mayan ruins, Belize is paradise for landlubbers. But nothing beats exploring the blue sea and getting up-close-and-personal with the underwater residents on a snorkeling adventure. A visit to the five-square-mile Hol Chan Marine Reserve with a good outfitter will include all snorkeling gear and the chance to hobnob with colorful coral, angelfish, grunts, snappers, rays, nurse sharks (it's okay, they're harmless!), and maybe even a manatee from June to September.

Extreme Birding
Usually when I tell people that my husband and I are birders I often get an exchange that goes something like this: Other person: “Excuse me, did you say, birder? What’s that?” Me: “Yeah, I said birder as in birding or what most people call bird watching.” Other person: “What do you do exactly?” Me: “Well, we like to find different species of birds and it takes us to interesting places like Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico and even Panama where we’re going this Spring.” At this point some people generally drop off in their interest in hearing anything more about birding. Some will give me the raised eyebrow with a “Really?” response. Others will be eager to change the subject because they don’t’ have anything else to say because think they don’t know anyone else who is a birder. Overall, it seems as though most people think birding is just a boring hobby and so they want to get out of a boring conversation. And then I pull out this photo… Steve and I with the "men with guns" who protected us our morning at El Pilar …and I explain about our birding adventure in Belize two years ago where we were birding El Pilar and needed to hire “men with guns” (as our guide, Eric Tut put it) to accompany our group. El Pilar is on the Guatemala / Belize border and is known for its bandits. The prior year Eric had taken a group to the same area (sans men with guns) and some bandits jumped his van, made Eric pull over, tied up the birders and Eric, took their money, jewelry including wedding rings, cameras, and binoculars.

Caribbean and Diaspora News Round-up
Belize’s debt breakthrough Caribbean diaspora urged to give something back Reparations case outlined TT and Barbados at London Fashion Week Bolt, Trini news team do the Harlem Shake

February 22, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Colors abound at the Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival!
On February 16th and 17th, a parade of artists descended upon the sleepy village and splashed the walkway with their rainbow creations, ranging from hand carved woodwork, jewelry, sculptures, photographs, tailored clothing and of course lots of glorious, colorful paintings. The Placencia Sidewalk Arts Festival was a glorious sight to behold!

“Our Madonna” by Bradley Haylock wins Annual Valentine Poetry Contest
2013 Valentine Poetry Contest-5It was a gorgeous night for romance, dining and poetry at Bistro Mestizo, where The San Pedro Sun’s annual Valentine’s Poetry Reading was held. With Valentino on the microphone crooning away love songs, diners were treated to a delicious dinner whipped up with extra love by Miss Shelly and Monica. Between bites of sausage stuffed chicken breasts or herb crusted rib roast, patrons sipped on sangria, wine and other mixers as poems were read out loud throughout the night. After a mini-hiatus, The San Pedro Sun was back out in full force, conducting a reading of the various poems submitted for judging. From the short, sweet and funny, to sonnets dedicated to gorgeous San Pedranas (and no, we’re not talking just lobsters!), and the requisite romantic Spanish verses – there was something to 2013 Valentine Poetry Contest-3intrigue everyone. At the end of the night, there were more than a few suggestions on who the winners should be.

LightHawk helps with environmental flight missions in Belize
LightHawk February 2013-1For a number of years, LightHawk has been working with various organizations and individuals in the Central American nation of Belize to conduct flyover flights to assist with the protection of the country’s resources. On Saturday February 16th, two of their volunteer pilots engaged in a flyover to different parts of Belize including Ambergris Caye. Their missions were to provide a birds-eye view of forest areas that have been illegally cleared on Northern Ambergris Caye, and also to identify possible habits for American Salt Water crocodiles found in Belize. On board the flight with LightHawk was Vince Rose of the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES), Ben Popik of Island Films and Jorge Aldana, The San Pedro Sun Senior Reporter. Every year LightHawk flies their small five seater plane throughout Mesoamerica, including Belize, where they conduct several flights all geared to assist organizations who are dedicated to the protection of the world’s environment. It is an organization run solely with the help of volunteers and their resources. “None of us get paid, we do it because we enjoy the flying and feel very strongly about the mission of LightHawk. LightHawk’s mission is all about protecting the environment and the ecology,” said Stephanie Wills, a volunteer pilot with the organization. LightHawk’s main mission states that they “champion environmental protection through the unique perspective of flight.”

Ambergris Today

Central Bank Releases Economic Update and Outlook for Belize
The Central Bank of Belize just recently released an economic update and yearly outlook for the country of Belize indicating that economic activity is forecasted to expand by 2.7% in 2013, as the underlying factors that boosted activity in 2012 are expected to moderate. The projection, which is subject to sizeable downside risks such as commodity price shocks and weather-related setbacks, assumes that the gradual upturn in global growth to 3.5% continues to support the tertiary sector through the tourism channel. Below is the full report from the Central Bank of Belize: Economic activity is forecasted to expand by 2.7% in 2013, as the underlying factors that boosted activity in 2012 are expected to moderate. The projection, which is subject to sizeable downside risks such as commodity price shocks and weather-related setbacks, assumes that the gradual upturn in global growth to 3.5% (Source: IMF World Economic Outlook) continues to support the tertiary sector through the tourism channel. The primary sector is expected to return to low single digit growth owing largely to a return to normal crop cycles and a forecasted downturn in citrus output. The secondary sector is expected to eke out a small increase despite headwinds facing the petroleum and domestic electricity generation sub-sectors.

The Great Blue Hole of Belize Named Most Amazing Place on Earth
The Discovery Channel has just named Belize’s Great Blue Hole the Number One Most Amazing Place on Earth! How about that!? Well we know how beautiful a country Belize is and want to share these amazing images and video of the world famous (and now most amazing) Great Blue Hole. On its post, lists ten geological wonders that can put anything in "Avatar" (the movie) to shame. We are happy to see that Belize came in #1, no contest! The Blue Hole is undoubtedly the most amazing place on Earth; you just have to come experience it to find out for yourself and be blown away by this natural beauty.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize launches first round of negotiations for partial scope agreement with El Salvador
Belize has launched the first round of negotiations for a partial scope agreement (PSA) with El Salvador. The negotiations address a range of issues, including market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, legal and Institutional arrangements. This agreement is expected to create export opportunities for industry and contribute to overall economic growth through promoting trade, foreign direct investment, employment and revenue generation. In addition, the PSA will serve to deepen trade relations with El Salvador, allowing for greater market penetration into Central America.

Strings of Love in Benque
Tonight, the Benque House of Culture is having their Strings of Love concert, where Trina Basu and Arun Ramamurthy will be playing violin. The Cayo Music School will be there as well. Guaranteed to be a great night of music. "Learn about the Artists Trina Basu is a violinist, teacher and music therapist based in Brooklyn, NY. Born in Miami, Fl and trained in western classical music, Trina began to pursue improvisational styles of music in college, with Indian classical sitarist, Nalini Vinayak & jazz trumpeter, Longineu Parsons. Trina was awarded an Artist Fellowship from the Indo-Shastri Canadian Institute to study Carnatic Classical music with esteemed violinists. Arun Ramamurthy is an exciting violinist who is making his mark in Indian Classical and World music. Disciple of Dr. Mysore Manjunath & Sri Mysore Nagaraj, he has become one of the most sought after violinists in the US. Arun has been accompanying major artists touring from India, as well as performing solo concerts, for the past 17 years."

UB Opportunities Fair Pictures
The University of Belize had a great turnout for their Opportunities Fair.

Bol's Museum Cave
Here's a new video showing off Bol's Museum Cave, which is on Mountain Pine Ridge road. Fidencio Bol leads tours himself, and after a nature hike, he takes you into the cave, and explains the various exhibits of pottery, jewelry, tools and even some bones and skulls left by the Mayans of old. It's not a massive cave, but smaller, with emphsis on the artifacts, and Mr. Bol takes great care of it.

Trina Basu and Arun Ramamurthy at MCHS
The Trina Basu & Arun Ramamurthy violin duo are in Belize. They had an educational performance for the students of Mount Carmel High School. Check out the superb video with one of the songs they performed. Well done!

Sugar Corn/Shuga Kaan Popsicles
In Belize the Cream Style corn the can is known as sugar corn. We use it to make ice cream and popsicles from this corn. If you are a corn lover, you will find this so sweet and satisfying on a hot Summer's day.

Rebecca Stirm and Chantae Guy are representing Belize in Jamaica
“Thanks to Belize Bank, Rebecca Stirm will be heading to Kingston Jamaica, along with Belizean headline model Chantae Guy [Miss Belize World 2012], to show her “Pfuma Ye Nyika” collection on the runway this weekend at the Wyndham Wedding Spectacular!”

SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE (March 2013 Workshops)

European Commission proposes to open plurilateral trade negotiations on services
The European Commission today asked the Council to give its green light for negotiations on a new international agreement on trade in services. To begin with, 21 WTO Members will be at the negotiating table, but the EU is keen to encourage others to join. The EU is also pushing for the agreement to dovetail with WTO rules so it can be later folded into the WTO system. EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said: “The perspective of a new broad-based trade in services agreement is excellent news – for jobs and for economic growth. I encourage all WTO members who support market opening and strong rules for trade in services to join this initiative.” The negotiations will cover all services sectors, including information and communication technology (ICT) services, logistics and transport, financial services and services for businesses. But the EU, like the other participants, is looking for the negotiations to go beyond simply further opening up markets for services. The aim is also to develop new rules on trade in services, such as those applying to government procurement of services, licensing procedures or access to communication networks.

Agouti a.k.a. Gibnut Pictures from Jungle Hike at Lower Dover
Early this morning we witnessed a rather large gibnut eating seeds from the Guanacaste tree near the edge of the deciduous rain forest at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge. We were giving a tour of the Maya ruins and medicinal plant trail when this bush meat delicacy stepped across the jungle path.

I Feel Lucky
Sitting on the veranda this morning I was struck by just how lucky Rose and I are to be living on Ambergris Caye, Belize. Why so reflective? Well I suppose it might have had something to do with it being a beautiful sunny morning. A morning made cooler by a strong south-westerly breeze (well I think it was coming from that direction). Being able to sit outside in the early morning wearing just a pair of shorts (yes,I was topless!) watching people (those that are here for a holiday and those that live here) walking the beach and looking so happy to be doing so. Being transfixed by the swaying of the palms which sometimes appear to take on a human form (and no, I am not on hallucinogenic drugs). I don’t want anyone to run away with the thought that this is always an idyllic place to live. It has it’s frustrations. You cannot always get what you would like. Or when you want it. Simple things can take so much longer to complete. It may not be Shangri-La but, as far as I am concerned, the ‘pros’ far outweigh the ‘cons’ and I feel lucky to eventually have relocated here. In this contented frame of mind I turned my attention to reviewing the draft contract that my friend had asked me to have a look at.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Egg Benedict Glute A'loose
Sumthin I use t'ordr quite regularlee wen we wint out t'ett wuz Aigs Benedict – but Celiac put that on t'aboo lis. I knew t'English Muffins were a gif' t'be made with wheet, but I wuz sprized t'larn that Hollandaise sauce n' a restrunt is made frum a mix containin' wheet flour. No problem — I jes make it all glute-a'loose and I a'ken agin enjoy one uf mah favert meels – Aigs Benedict with fresh fruit on t'side. T' xtrey wurk is wurth it !

Channel 7

Are Concrete Streets Up To Optimal Standard?
As the Darrell Bradley led city council finishes up its first year in office - there's just no arguing with the record his council has put up. Yes, you can justifiably complain about the widespread inconvenience, the lack of signage and intermittent traffic chaos - but you can't argue with numbers: They cement paved 50 streets! And are working on 10 more right now! It's an unmatched record of accomplishment, but that old saying is true: sometimes haste makes waste. And looking at the slightly shady condition of one of the first streets to be paved, we asked the mayor: is the city getting value for money?: Jules Vasquez "I see at the corner of Orange Street, I see the wear which would be called a friction point I supposed at the corner of Orange Street where it meets Albert Street, I see that there is a degradation in the concrete - you can see its starting to break away. Is that something that you are looking at and how do you ensure that they used a heavy enough mix?"

Mayor Says City Might Not Need Garbage Fee
And while the city is flush with cash for the paving of streets - it's borrowed money, and they have to generate revenue to repay their bond. A large part of the revenue to service the bond is supposed to come from the much vaunted residential garbage tax - ten of twelve dollars monthly which city residents would be required to pay. But the bond has been floated, and the tax hasn't been implemented. Today the mayor told us that with the revenue his council is raking in from increased enforcement, they might not need the garbage tax - or at least not yet:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "The issue with the residential garbage fee is something that we are continuing to work on. This is something that has been in the news. We've made it public; we've talk about it at several public consultations/meetings that the City Council has. Whenever you are talking about a new tax it's something by necessity which has to be dealt with very carefully because we want to ensure that there is buy-in from the residence. What we are doing right now is that we are seeing if we can meet out full repayment commitments without it. we are trying to see if we can maneuver in such a way that we can meet our commitments without streets works without it. All indications are that this is not possible and this will be a reality in the very near future."

A Free Man After Four Years On Remand
44 year-old Edel Rios, a Guatemalan National residing in the Valley of Peace is spending his second night free after 4 years on remand for the murder of 35 year-old Pedro Arturo Romero. He was acquitted in his murder trial before Justice Denis Hanomansingh. Romero was chopped to death on December 29, 2008 sometime before 7 p.m. on road leading into the Valley of Peace. He received several chop wounds to the neck, face and shoulder which ended up being fatal. A week after his death, police arrested Rios and charged him with murder because they allegedly recorded an oral caution statement saying quote, "He wanted to kill me so I chopped him up." End quote.

Man + Minors Arraigned For Red Handed Engine Theft
On last night's newscast, 7News told you about the 3 men who were caught on the Port of Belize compound in the act of stealing a boat engine. Well tonight, they are in police custody awaiting preparations to meet bail after they were taken to the Magistrate's Court today. According to one of the security guards at the Port, he was on duty at around 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. He decided to make his regular checks on the compound when he found 19 year Robert Flowers, and 2 minors, ages 16 and 17 inside the Port of Belize's Pilot boat, "Morning Mist".

Daughter Perished, Mother Dies of Burns
The Post Mortem for 40 year old Ramona Cabrera was conducted yesterday at the KHMH. The Corozal woman was badly burnt on February 4th while trying to put out a fire at her San Narciso home. Her 3 year old daughter, Danely Cabrera, perished in the blaze and was found under her crib. Ramona Cabrera received first degree burns on her face and back and 2nd degree burns to her left and right arm and died 9am on Monday at the KHMH while receiving treatment. The postmortem conclusion stated the cause of death multiple organs failure due to dry heat burns to 31% of her Body.

Belize Athletes Face "Out Of Competition" Testing
The Central American Games are coming up in early March - and Belize is sending scores of athletes. But, for only the second time in Belize's history, they face what's called "out-of-event" testing. That means any athlete can be tested for banned substances before the Games. Usually, only those athletes who win events are tested after the race, but Belize is a signatory to UNESCO Anti-Doping convention, and the significance of that is that increasingly, athletes will have to be ready for year-round testing - even when there's no event on the immediate horizon. In the lead-up to the games, the anti-doping effort is starting out small, only five athletes will be tested, but it could be any five. We found out more from the man in charge of Belize's National Anti-doping Organization today:..

Toledo Teen's Mystery Death Explained
In last night's newscast we told you about the sudden death of a 17 year old female from Golden Stream Village in the Toledo district. Reports to our newsroom was that the teenager could have died either as the result of violence or by accidental ingestion of an unsafe substance. We were also told that the teenager was buried on Tuesday afternoon without a postmortem being conducted. Today the Ministry of Health issued a press release stating the medical findings in relation to the death of 17 year old Milka Sho. It stated and we quote, "the patient first visited the Big Falls Health Center on March 19th, 2012 where she was treated for a chronic abdominal condition and released. She later returned to the clinic on March 22nd, 2012 where she was diagnosed with a chronic disorder. She received a blood transfusion at that time and was hospitalized for a week at the Punta Gorda Hospital for observation before release by her doctor. The press release continued to say that on February 17th, which was on Sunday, Sho was brought into the hospital by her father but was declared dead on arrival. Sho's father reported that two days before she died, the teenager had ingested a very large amount of soap powder. Upon review of the Belize Health Information System it was confirmed that she suffered from a chronic disease that eventually led to her death. Additionally, two medical officers examined the body and found no sign of external injuries. The press release ended by saying that along with the clinical data retrieved from the BHIS and the history provided by the father, the medical officers felt confident to issue a death certificate and thus no autopsy was needed.

Placencia Sidewalk: From Art To Entertainment
Ten years ago, the Placencia Sidewalk Art Festival started as a small showcase for local artists. But now, it has turned into a huge event, an art and music festival built around two days of wall-to-wall, around-the-clock entertainment and an art extravaganza. Special Correspondent Janelle Chanona and Boy Genius Alex Ellis visited for the tenth anniversary. Here's what they saw:.. Jolie Pollard, Executive Director - Placencia BTIA "People come to Placencia for beautiful beaches, our amazing diverse food, our warm and friendly people and to be a part of a very close knit and friendly community. And now they're coming for art."

Major Expansion Plans For City BTL Park
The City Council is cement-paving streets at a record pace - but more than that, the Council is also spearheading a million dollar makeover for the BTL Park. Work has started with an ambitious reclamation project - and we found out more from the mayor today:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "We are doing a reclamation project for the park and essentially what that will entail is the adding of 30% of park area and that supposed to take 2 months.

Mayor Bradley May Not Run For A Second Term
And while the BTL Park makeover has commenced, and multiple streets are under construction, for the second year of his mayoral term, the mayor has much bigger plans. He told us about it today:.. Mayor Darrell Bradley "We are in negotiations right now with several persons who are doing designs for the concreting of the Northern Highway from the flag monument to the Haul Over Bridge and that would be a major improvement. That's going to be an 18 months project at a cost of approximately $10 million dollars - that's going to create significant investment in the City, significant jobs and we see that as being a massive project that we want to get off the ground within the next 2 months." Reporter "At some point you will obviously have to start campaigning for re-election. How much will a re-election campaign detract from your work of achieving your goal?"

Can You Say "Watina" In Japanese?
As Belizeans, we all know and love Garifuna music - but how many of us can sing it? Not many! And while some English speakers can bluff their way through a cancion romantica en espanol or even rough up a Ranchera, try that with Garifuna, and you'll just end up sounding lame - like la Banda Blanca butchering the Chico Ramos Classic, "Conch Soup". Indeed, for the outsider, the Garifuna language is a real challenge, but not for Fumiko Gomi. The Japanese volunteer told us how Garifuna sounds easy-Japanesey to her. Jules Vasquez reports:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This is called a shamisen - a three string Japanese guitar and we're pretty sure this is the first time such an instrument is being used to play the garifuna standard "Malate." But that's Fumiko Gomi's story - she's a Japanese volunteer in Belize - who's been here for 2 years. She teaches creative arts in Punta Gorda - her students made this map. She found out early on that music could command respect of her students:

Alex Neal Has A Future With His Fists
"Boxing, boxing at the Big Birds isle" those of us who grew up in Belize City in the 70's will be familiar with that refrain. It used to be the intro to radio advertisements about boxing when that sport was in its glory days. Those days are long gone, but the sweet science is making a quiet comeback. The boxing federation has been re-activated and this weekend, the Lion's Den Gym is putting together a major boxing card. We found out more when we visited the gym today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Alex Neal is the pride of the Lion's Den Gym in Ladyville. He's the most promising 23 year old amateur boxer in Belize right now - and on Sunday he will be the main event, going up against the older, heavier, more experience Mohammed Harmouche. But he's unfazed:

PROFILE: Bernard Henry
Tonight's profile is about a car wash man - but he's not any old car wash man, he's been doing it for 30 years and has a real business, with business cards and plans to expand. In tonight's profile he explained how he made it when all the odds were against him:

Channel 5

M.O.H. confirms death of Toledo teen due to chronic disorder
  The Ministry of Health is tonight confirming the death of a seventeen year old from the Toledo District due to a chronic disorder. We reported on Wednesday night that seventeen year old Milka Sho had died over the weekend in Golden Stream and that she was laid to rest on Tuesday. The village alcalde, [...]

Matthew Williams remains detained in connection with alleged human smuggling
Matthew Williams remains in detention at the Ladyville Police Station where he is being held in connection with an alleged human smuggling ring. On Wednesday morning, the Orange Walk resident was taken into custody because this white van, with license plate number C-O-4-4-3-1 registered in his name was intercepted in the wee hours of Tuesday [...]

Eric Chang; Belize City’s new Deputy Mayor
A new Deputy Mayor has been elected to City Hall. Councilor Eric Chang, in a recent election for Deputy Mayor of Belize City, was unanimously chosen by his peers at City Hall to succeed outgoing Deputy Mayor Deon Leslie, who has been serving in that capacity since March of last year.  Of note is that [...]

Family of Gregory Faull asks U.S. senator to assist with getting justice for his death
John McAfee has settled back in the United States, but the woes of the anti-virus founder are still not over. That’s because the family of Gregory Faull from Florida has enlisted the assistance of a U.S. senator in their pursuit for justice for Faull’s murder. McAfee is considered a person of interest in the murder, [...]

More city streets to be under repair; commuters to pay inbound toll
The Belize City streets are undergoing major repair works but that is the source of frustration to motorists who have through a maze to get their destination. As part of the Belize City Municipal Bond a number of streets have been resurfaced and, in most cases, completely rebuilt. While the total number remains on the [...]

B.T.L. Park under construction
The Mayor has his eyes on another venture in the city. A restoration project which will see the B.T.L. North Side Park expanded, remodeled and beautified is currently underway in Belize City.  While improvement of that public space was envisioned in the U.D.P. City Council manifesto, under former Mayor Zenaida Moya, four years ago, the [...]

Science Fair at Saint John’s College
The grounds of St John’s College, was buzzing with activity today as students from numerous schools dropped by for the high school’s science fair. There were a number of innovative projects for which a hypothesis was created, tested and then analyzed. After spending weeks at experimenting among their peers, friends and families, the young scientists [...]

Trio charged for trying to steal boat engine
  Last Tuesday night, three men were found in the compound of the Port of Belize near an engine that had already been removed from a boat. This morning, nineteen year old Robert Flowers, of Belize City along with two minors, ages sixteen and seventeen appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith to answer to [...]

Accused murderer freed
Forty-four year old Guatemalan national Edilio Rios, accused of the 2008 chopping death of Pedro Arturo Romero, is free of murder charges after spending almost five years in remand.  Rios, represented by attorney Ernest Staine, appeared before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Belmopan Supreme Court on Wednesday where he was found not guilty by a [...]

Generator missing from hospital compound
An investigation is ongoing into a missing generator from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The gen set is the property of Gary Longsworth; the hospital’s C.E.O. and was apparently stolen from the generator room located at the rear of the hospital. The theft wasn’t reported until last Wednesday but the item had been stored since [...]

Anti-doping testing for Belizean athletes
Five athletes picked at random will be undergoing anti-doping tests. The results will determine future participation in international games. The National Anti-Doping Organization of Belize is collecting samples from five athletes who will represent the country at the tenth annual Central American Games in San Jose, Costa Rica from March third to the seventeenth. But [...]

A new book to add to your collection
Belize has an ever increasing number or musicians and artists, but one art form that has not moved at a similar pace is writing. Zee Edgell still holds prominence as Belize’s best known author but while Edgell writes fiction, a teacher at a Belize City High School is making strides in the self-help genre. News [...]

Virus transmitted by mosquitoes threatening the health of horses and humans
A mosquito borne disease is posing a threat to the health of horses and humans. The virus that is known as V.E.E. has been detected in two districts but it has the potential to spread if preventative measures are not taken. The Belize Agricultural Health Authority is on alert. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.    [...]

Healthy Living; chicken pox and shingles
Chicken Pox is a notorious childhood disease that many children are exposed to. Although extremely uncomfortable there is usually a bit of relief; that is because it is believed that if you contract chicken pox once – then you won’t ever get it again. Well, not so! There is an illness that can be triggered [...]


Saint Johns Holds Science, Book and Art Fair
The compound at Saint John’s College is alive with a Science, Book and Art Fair. The Science Fair looks to prepare the students for the National Science Fair and today, they will be judged in the Junior division which is first and second formers and the Senior division for ...

ProWorld Belize Issues Statement On Allegations of Wrongdoings
ProWorld Belize, an organization working in the Cayo district to connect international volunteers with community development projects, has issued a statement regarding allegations of wrong doing involving former employees. Without going into specifics, the organization’s statemen...

Belize Territorial Volunteers Prepare to Clear Border With Guatemala
The territorial referendum is still a few months away and the land dispute between Belize and Guatemala continues to hover over us, but one group has decided to take a proactive approach and in their own way, dispel any doubt of where the border with that country lies. The Belize...

Guatemalan National Acquitted of Murder
After more than four years on remand for murder, 44-year-old Edilio Rios, a Guatemalan national residing in the Valley of Peace Village was set free. Rios was charged with the 2008 chopping death of 35-year-old Pedro Arturo Romero. The acquittal occurred yesterday afternoon befor...

Land Reclamation Project Underway; New Deputy Mayor for Belize City Selected
A major reclamation project has started on the coastline in Belize City to upgrade the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks. The initiative is the brainchild of the Belize City Council under the leadership of Mayor Darrel Bradley. According to Mayor Bradley, work will continue for ...

Ministry of Health Issues Press Release On Sudden Death of Teenager
The Ministry of Health has issued a press release over the circumstances into the sudden death of Milka Sho, a mentally challenged 17 year old girl from Golden Stream Village, Toledo. On Wednesday evening, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, ha...


Learn Something That Can Help You In Your Life: BMHS Science Fair
Today Bishop Martin High School held their annual science fair which saw the participation of 43 groups of students. This afternoon the community was invited to take a look at all the projects that were on display and our news team tagged along. In this venture, Reporter Hipolito Novelo found out more on how science can help us in our daily lives. Making it to today’s Science Fair was no easy task for 43 groups of students attending Bishop Martin High School. For over three months the students worked arduously hoping that their final presentation would gain them an A in Science. And by just taking a look at the booths on display today, we can safely say that all the hard work paid off. According to Science Teacher and organizer of the Science Fair Shakira Gonzalez, it took a lot of time, energy and research to come up with the different projects.

Doctor Reveals Cause Of Death Of Ramona Cabrera
Fourteen days after the tragic death of her three year old daughter Danely Cabrera, 40 year old Ramona Cabrera succumbed to her injuries at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital on Monday February 18th. A post mortem examination conducted by Doctor Mario Estradaban, has reveled that Cabrera died as a result of Massive fatty Trumbo Embolism which is usually caused by physical trauma such as fracture of long bones, soft tissue and burns. In Cabrera’s case, Trumbo embolism was caused by multiple organ failure as a result of heat burns to more than one third of her body. Cabrera received first degree burns to her face and back, and second degree burns to her left and right arm while trying to pull a burning mattress out of her house which was set on fire on February 4th. When Cabrera noticed that the inferno was out of control, she ran out of the one room zinc structure without noticing that baby Danely was still inside. Instead of following her mother’s instruction to run outside, Baby Danely hid under the metal crib where she died of exuiguination due to a high degree of smoke inhalation.

3 DMAX Pickup Trucks Hand Over To Ministry
The Project “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”, was launched back in September 2012 and is currently being implemented by the United Nations Development Program in collaboration with the Government of Belize. The project is being funded by the European Union Global Climate Change Alliance with the aim of enhancing adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change through national policies. The project will also utilize demonstrative action in support of effective governance of climate change and climate change related impacts in the water sector of Belize. This past Friday, three Isuzu DMAX Pickup Trucks, valued at a total of US84, 000 dollars were handed over to Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla on behalf of the Ministry, as part of this project. The purpose of the gift is to support the development of a strategic framework for responding to the challenges that climate change poses for sustainable and economic development and to support activities leading to watershed protection, resilience to water quality degradation, and water conservation. It is expected that these motor vehicles will enhance the ability of the project units to create greater public awareness of the effects of climate change and enable restoration activities in sensitive and flood prone forest systems proving for the effective management and recovery of damaged forest stands.

Kim Simplis Barrow Continues Her Fund raise In The States
Back in June 2012, Special Envoy for Women and Children along with CARE Belize hosted a telethon that raised one million ninety three thousand Belize dollars to erect the Inspiration Centre. The centre will mainly serve as a rehabilitation clinic to offer basic medical care and various therapies to children with special needs. At the same time it will double as a community centre with after school classes for children from the surrounding communities. To build the Inspiration Centre $3 million is needed. In order to raise more funds Kim Barrow appeared on Let’s Talk Live on the ABC-7 Network last week to promote a gala fundraiser in the US. Here is a portion of the interview with Melanie Hastings.

Open Day At BAC
While Bishop Martin High School held their annual Science Fair, the Belize Adventist College located in Calcutta Corozal, hosted their annual open day at the school grounds today. The day began with an opening ceremony that saw the participation of Zelma Godoy from the Ministry of Education who coincidentally is a graduate of the Belize Adventist College class of 1987. Celia Clarke, Principal of the High school, spoke to us about the importance of today’s event. Celia Clarke-Principal BAC “This is our 44th year since the Belize Adventist College is existence and so I want to say it might be 44 but it is close to that when it comes to our open days. What happen is that we have had one small scales at the beginning but now we have opened our doors to the public so that they can see what we have done during the school year.”

Belize Municipal Development Project Part 2
Here in Orange Walk the first phase of the Belize Municipal Development Project is almost complete. We say almost because Santa Familia Street is left to be upgraded. Work in the area is expected to commence in the next two weeks and should be completed by the end of May which will see the inception of the second phase of the BMDP. Included in the second phase of the five million dollar project, is the restoration of the Orange Walk Central Park. Kevin Bernard- Orange Walk Mayor “We have submitted the proposal after the open town meeting we had at central park and from there the consultants indentifies the area that we believe is priority. One of it is of course the upgrade of the central park and from what I have gotten the work should be commencing sometime around the end of September. We should see the central park get a good upliftment. That is not only the park but its surrounding including Arthur Street.”

Fertilizers For Cane Farmers Are On The Way
Last night we told you about the meeting held between representatives of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and owners of American Sugar Refinery, the major shareholders of BSI. ASF is looking to increase cane productivity so as to augment the amount of cane milled by the factory on a daily basis. The company is looking at a gradual increase of 5,000 tons over a period of five years taking the present figure from 7,000 to 12,000 tons per day. It is a challenge that farmers are willing to take on at the same time realizing that cane quality will be on high demand. With that in mind, the BSCFA is presently distributing fertilizers to cane farmers. The initiative forms part of the Fair Trade Agreement.


Health official comments on setting up local laboratory for viral load testing
Two months ago the Collaborative Network of People Living with HIV, known for short and CNET Plus, went public with concerns over a delay at the Ministry of Health level in getting viral load testing done in Belize for persons living with HIV/AIDS. CNET’s concern was based on the suspicion that the medication that the Ministry was distributing was not effective in fighting the disease and hence, not having the testing done to determine the effectiveness of the drugs was keeping patients at risk of dying sooner than necessary. But in a recent interview with the Director of the Ministry’s HIV Program, Doctor Marvin Manzanero, he said that while the Ministry is still in the process of getting our own lab up and working, the plan B, which is to get patients’ samples sent to Mexico for testing, has also had its share of hiccups. But getting the samples tested is not the only glitch in the process, because Manzanero says that he was alerted of this by the United Nations Development Fund, which is sponsoring the project. And as far as that important concern that CNET Plus brought up of the efficacy of the drugs that the Ministry’s hospital and health posts administers to patients, Manzanero says that the results of the first batch of samples sent last year in no way suggests that the medication is useless. In as far as Belize’s efforts go to have the tests done locally, Manzanero said that the Ministry is working on a lab up and running. That lab was projected, by the CEO in the Ministry, Dr Peter Allen, to be functional by the next month, but again, there are a few challenges in meeting that goal, according to Manzanero. Lastly, the latest HIV figures of new infections show a trend that the group that is getting infected are men who have sex with men, according to Manzanero. Meanwhile, today, February 20th was the target date for the first batch for 2013 to be sent for viral load testing. That batch, which contains samples from HIV patients from Belize City, and should undergo a series of testing, including viral load, CD 4, geno type, feno type resistance, and hepatitis B and C.


Guatemalan national acquitted of 2008 murder
A Guatemalan national has been acquitted of the 2008 murder of a Belizean man. After a jury of 12 deliberated for some 3 hours yesterday, 44 year old Guatemalan Edilio Rios was found not guilty of the stabbing death of Belizean national 35 year old Pedro Arturo Romero. What...

17 year old died after eating a bucket of soap
Yesterday Plus News received disturbing information surrounding the sudden death of a 17 year old from Golden Street Village in the Toledo District. According to PGTV, the teen, Milka Sho was found dead on Sunday Morning. Initial reports to PlusNews had indicated that Milka died from injuries received from...

Belize Territorial Volunteers are Clearing Our Borderline
“Belize Territorial Volunteers” Clearing the Border. Incursions into Belize territory haves long been a problem. Recently there have been an increasing number of incursions and as a result some villagers mainly in the south have been negatively affected. Guatemalans have come into the villages and pillaged people’s farms and...

Athletes to be tested for PED’s
Athletes to be tested for PED’s. Belize is preparing for the Central American Games to be held in March but a few athletes will spend the next few days worrying whether they could get kicked off their team for having performance-enhancing drugs in their system. PlusNews caught up with...

Major renovations in Belize City
BTL Park to be renovated. It has been talked about for years but the opening stages of a four-month renovation of BTL Park on Newtown Barracks formally commenced today. Mayor Darrell Bradley described what the project is about, how much it will cost and who will fund it. Mayor...

Mayor Darrell Bradley may not run for second term
Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley says he may not run for second term. The term of a City Council is three years and surely thoughts must be turning to the 2015 campaign. But Mayor Darrell Bradley is not at all sure whether he will run for a second term....

Construction of football field in Arenal Village still causing problems
Last week we gave you a preview to an ongoing problem in Arenal Village due to the construction of a football field. As promised, we bring you the second part to that story. The footage you are seeing is that of the football field located in Arenal Belize and...

Energizing Youth Entrepreneur Workshop at the UB Auditorium
A workshop geared toward empowering Belizeans with keys and tools on how to create employment for themselves is slated for this weekend. Last year, the Statistical Institute of Belize, in their Labour Force Survey reported that the country’s unemployment rate was at an alarming 14.4%. That’s over 21,000 persons....

Olympic Committee holds rare election
Olympic Committee holds rare election. On Saturday at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Belize’s National Olympic Committee affiliated to the International Olympic Committee, called a special meeting. It was also a historic meeting, because the torch was passed from founding member Edward...

The Guardian

Trade Opportunities with El Salvador
The Ministry of Foreign Trade is in the first round of negotiations with its counterparts from El Salvador as part of the process to ink a Partial Scope Agreement (PSA). The negotiations will address issues such as market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, legal and Institutional arrangements.

Three New Trucks for Climate Change Campaign
On Friday, February 15th, Hon. Lisel Alamilla accepted three new Isuzu DMAX pickup trucks on behalf of the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development as part of the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) project “Enhancing Belize’s Resilience to Adapt to the Effects of Climate Change”.

Conflict Mediation Workshop for School Disciplinarians
In May 2012, over a dozen representatives from various community organizations took part in a conflict resolution workshop organized by Restore Belize and the United States Embassy. The workshop was facilitated by Julie Walton of the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) in the U.S. Department of State. CSO advances the United States’ national security by breaking cycles of violent conflict and mitigating crises in priority countries such as Belize where the focus is engaging in conflict prevention, crisis response and stabilization. The participants that completed the course are now training other community workers across the country.

Belize jumps 32 spots in FIFA Ranking
The Football Federation of Belize is proud to inform Belizeans that Belize has now been ranked by FIFA at 132 of 207 National Member Associations. The 32 point jump in FIFA rankings from 164 to 132 is due to the exceptional performance by the Belize National Selection at the Copa Centro-Americana under the leadership of Coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis. We are proud of our National Selection who represented Belize well and the Federation, through its National team committee, is working harder to ensure that Belize has the best representation at the Gold Cup in July of 2013.

Land Tax Amnesty
As of February 4th, of this year and running for 6 months thereafter, the Ministry of Natural Resources is conducting a Land Tax Amnesty program. Under the program, people who have not been paying their land taxes will be forgiven interest and fees along with a 25 percent discount on moneys owed to the Lands Department.

What Petillo isn’t saying
Nigel Petillo, of BGYEA fame, has taken to the airwaves to say that he will be holding a demonstration next week. What Petillo is not telling the Belizean public is that since he began to advocate for land, the Ministry of Natural Resources has immediately responded to just about every request that he has put to the Lands Department. Even more, those requests have been attended to with undue speed. It is because of Petillo that the Lands Department has had to open on weekends to process and deliver the land leases to people who have applied.

What happened to PLUS TV?
These days you can hear those on Plus TV snapping here and there at the Government for no real reason. They behave like a viper with a broken back, can't crawl anymore so the last actions are to poison anyone who comes near. But it is an interesting analogy and one which is not too far off. The Guardian has been receiving numerous reports that the organization was on the brink of collapse; it had run nearly broke and was grasping at straws to stay afloat.

Police Minister awards Cayo District Zone and San Ignacio Formation
Officer Commanding Sr Superintendent Guzman Receives Award Cheque of $1000 from Minister Saldivar On February 13th, 2013, Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar presented awards to officers commanding the Cayo District Zone and the San Ignacio Formation for their performance during the month of January in reducing crime within their jurisdiction.

Seven Illegal Immigrants caught in Belize: They were heading to the USA
On Tuesday, February 19th, seven illegal immigrants were taken to the Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of illegal entry. Five Salvadorans, Maria Deisy Leon Tobias, 27; Jose Omar Guevara, 17; Jose Antonio Gonzalez Arevalo, 34; Uvaldo Antonio Alvarado Murillo, 22; and Jose Obdulio Escobar, 25 were caught in a white van that was parked near a checkpoint at Mile 13 near to the Burrell Boom Junction on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The other two immigrants have been identified as 33-year-old Honduran, Rigoberto Mendoza Palma, and Salvadoran, Santos Alexander Guevara Amaya, 19. Palma was caught by police on Tuesday morning at #64 Antelope Street in Belize City while Santos Amaya was caught by Immigration officers on Monday morning at the Belize City Bus Terminal as he got off a D&E bus from Benque Viejo Del Carmen. In court, the group of 7 wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge of illegal entry. They were fined $1,000 each plus a$5.00 cost of court by Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr., who ordered that they all pay the fine immediately or in default 1 year in prison.

Bert Vasquez in Court for Forcible Abduction
Bert Vasquez, who was charged in June of last year in the killing of 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe in San Ignacio, appeared in the Supreme Court in Belize City where he is to face charges of forcible abduction. The case of attempted abduction by Vasquez of a 16-year-old girl was called up before Justice Adolph Lucas where he was told that his next court date is set for March 21st, 2013. This date is also tentatively set for trial. This case was committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court by Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart on Wednesday, February 22,nd 2012. Vasquez was initially granted bail in the sum of $5,000 but he was later charged with the murder of Jasmine Lowe. Since then he has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville.

Sixth Suspect in Robbery of Chinese grocer remanded
On Friday, February 15th, the last of 6 suspects who police said they caught inside a grocery store in mid-January, after a robbery of Jian Vin Shop on Mopan Street, was charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. He is 19-year-old Jean Pascual, a resident of #8445 Cannondale Drive and a student of ITVET evening division. Pascual was released a day earlier from the KHMH after being shot in his foot. When he appeared in court on Friday, he was charged with robbery and keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. He is still recovering from his injuries and as a result, had to use a crutch as support as he was escorted into Court to appear before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer.

Acquitted of Murder of Andre Trapp
On Friday, February 15th, 22-year-old Nicoli Rhys walked out of Supreme Court in Belize City all smiles after he was acquitted of June 10th, 2010 murder of Andre Trapp. Rhys had his case heard before Chief Justice Kenneth. Benjamin, being the first man to be tried for murder in a trial by judge without jury. During the trial, DPP, Cheryl Lyn Vidal called as many as 10 witnesses to testify in the case. In a one-hour summation of the case, the Chief Justice ruled that while there were elements of murder proven by the prosecution, the final element, that of the identification of Rhys as the shooter, was not proven giving great doubt about the guilt of the accused. He noted that while there was identification of Rhys by the Crown’s witness, who put him to the murder scene seconds after Trapp had been gunned down, there was no identification parade conducted by the police. In his sum up the CJ stated that “There was a loop hole in the prosecution’s case.” He further said, “The court must be extremely cautious before accepting the visual identification by PC Alrick Arnold since the prosecution admitted that there was no identification parade conducted by the police investigating officer, Sgt. Manuel Espat.”

Pleads guilty to belonging to gang
Roger Anthony, 35, appeared in Magistrate's Court where he pleaded guilty to professing to belong to a criminal gang and one count of displaying support of a criminal gang. Anthony appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr. where in mitigation Anthony asked the court to be lenient on him and to impose a fine. Magistrate Lucas imposed two $500 fines plus two $5.00 costs of court. The first fine of $500 was ordered to be paid by April 12th, 2013 or in default 5 months imprisonment while the other $500 fine was order to be paid by June 14th, 2013 or in default another 5 months imprisonment. Roger Anthony, a resident of the Crooked Tree area in the Belize District was picked up by police over the weekend in the area known as “Ghost Town. At about 10:00 a.m., members of the GSU were on mobile patrol in the area of Vernon Street, when they stopped at the intersection of May Flower and Vernon Streets and saw Anthony and another man in the area. Both men were searched for illegal drugs and firearms; however, nothing incriminating was found on either man.

Accused of burglarizing Home of Traffic Manager
On Monday, February 18th, Luis Romero, 47, a resident of #40 Plues Street appeared in Magistate's Court to answer to charges of burglary. Romero appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Allegations are that Romero, entered the home of Belize City Traffic Manager, Kevan Jenkins which is located at #7135 Lumber Yard Crescent. The incident is said to have occurred on Monday, January 28th 2013, where over a $1,000 in items were stolen from Jenkins' home including $150.00 in cash, a pair of scandals and jewelry. In court, prosecutor, Sgt. Egbert Castillo objected to bail being granted to Romero stating that he has two convictions for crimes of dishonestie, which include theft and handling stolen goods. He also submitted that bail should not be offered to Romero because of the prevalence of the crime, the gravity of the crime, the strength of the prosecution's case especially since the Scenes of Crime technicians have lifted fingerprints at the crime scene that positively match Romero’s, the fact that there is a possibility that he may or could interfere with the witnesses and the fact that the police case is ongoing.

Two Dead, 10 survive Weekend Shootings
The weekend of Friday, February 15th, to Sunday, February 17th, was extremely violent in Belize City. The three-day span saw twelve victims of gun violence. Ten of them are lucky to be alive. The first shooting incident took place at about 3:30 p.m. on Neal Pen Road. 34-year-old Kenroy Tillett and 32-year-old Alton Roches were doing repairs on a white Ford Ranger pickup truck when a dark complexioned man rode up on bicycle and opened fire in their direction. Both men got into the vehicle in an attempt to flee but during that time Roches received a gunshot wound to the left side of the abdomen and Tillett received gunshot wounds to the left side of the neck and left hand. They were then assisted by a friend who rushed them to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. Police recovered ten 9mm expended shells from the scene but have not reported any arrest in this incident as yet.

Hilly Martinez to lead Olympic Committee for the Next Four Years
The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association held a Special General Assembly on Saturday, February 16th, 2013, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, where the seventeen (17) National Federations/Associations that belong to the local Olympic Committee were in full attendance. Each of the national federations/associations was represented by two delegates at the Special General Assembly. The Special General Assembly was held in order for the elections of officers for the Quadrennial period 2013-2017. The Quadrennial period comes to a close at the conclusion of the Summer Olympics. Before the elections of officers for the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, the Governor General of Belize Sir Colville Young was unanimously elected and appointed the Patron of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association. The Elections was presided over by an Election Commission, appointed in coordination with the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, the Pan American Sports Organisation (PASO) and Charles B. Hyde Sr, President of Belize NOC/OA Fair Play Commission, which comprised of Raymond Lashley, Retired. Pharmacist, Sharon Frazer, Senior Magistrate, and Hadie Gomez, Retired Principal.

Anti-Doping Samples to be collected before Central American Games
The National Anti-Doping Organisation of Belize will be carrying out five Anti-Doping Sample Collections from athletes that will represent Belize at the 10th Central American Games scheduled for San Jose, Costa Rica from March 3rd - 17th, 2013. The samples will be collected from athletics, football, softball, volleyball and basketball from Thursday, February 21st, 2013 to Saturday, February 23rd, 2013, between the hours of 6:00 am and 12:00 midnight. The random selection will be carried out by the Doping Control Officers of the National Anti-Doping Organisation. All athletes are reminded that they are to make themselves available for Anti-Doping Sample Collection. The Anti-Doping Samples will then be sent to the UCLA Olympic Laboratory for analysis.

Belmopan Bandits lead Premier League Football Competition
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last week with four games on the schedule. On Saturday, February 16th, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending champions and the current leaders in this year’s competition, the Belmopan Bandits blanked the visiting San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 2-0. The goals for the Belmopan Bandits were scored by David Trapp via a penalty kick in the 27th minute of play and the 2nd and final goal of the game was scored by Ian Gaynair in the 89th minute of play. Meanwhile, out at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town, the visiting San Ignacio United shut out the home team Verdes by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Leonard Valdez in the 48th minute of play. The competition then continued on Sunday February 17th, 2013, with two more games. At the MCC Grounds, the visiting FC Belize defeated Police United by the score of 1-0. The goal for FC Belize was scored by Michael Hernandez in the 30th minute of play. And in the final game of the week that was played at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, it was the Belize Defence Force winning over the visiting Placencia Assassins FC by the score of 2-1.

US Olympian Corey Hicks was in Belize
Former US Olympian in Decathlon and current Athletics Director for Track and Field at American Heritage Prep School in Plantation, Florida, Corey Hicks arrived in Belize on Friday, February 15th, 2013 and departed the country on Sunday, February 17th, 2013 after spending the weekend with track athletes at the Marion Jones Stadium. On Saturday, Hicks held a motivational talk with the athletes and coaches that were present and he also held demonstration clinics with them. He also told the athletes and coaches that the track at the Marion Jones Sports Complex is a world class track and is of the very same stock that Florence Johnson established her World Record on. Hicks, for his part, will develop a training package for Belizean athletes that will help to enhance their performance and their potentials for acceptance to American universities. Apart from the training programme, he will also develop a profile for each athlete that will help to place them in schools. Corey is expected to be back in Belize very soon.

Independence High School National Football Champions
Independence High School Female National Football Champions The 2012-2013 National Secondary Schools Sports Association National Football Championships were played on Friday, February 15th and Saturday, February 16th, 2013, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town. The schools that participated in the National Football Championships are as follows: from the North, Orange Walk Technical High School (females) and Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (males); from Central Wesley College (females) and St. John’s College (males); from the West Belmopan Comprehensive High School (females) and Mount Carmel High School (males); and from the South Independence High School (females and males). On Saturday, February 16th, in the female championship game, Independence High School defeated Orange Walk Technical High School in penalty shoot out by the score of 4-3 to capture the female title. At the end of regulation time, the score was 1-1. The goal for Independence High School in regulation time was scored by Yosselin Pacheco, while the goal for Orange Walk Technical High School was scored by Norelia Terry. In the penalty shoot out, the goals for Independence High School were scored by Sylvia Cabral, Yosselin Pacheco, Kelsey Polanco and Erica Vallecillo. Meanwhile, the goals for Orange Walk Technical High School were scored by Yanira Chan, Gisel Baizar and Elizabeth Quintana.

Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram Sworn in as New Justice of Appeal
Governor General, Sir Colvile Young and Justice Minnet Hafiz Belmopan. February 18th, 2013. Justice Minnet Hafiz-Bertram was today sworn in as a Justice of the Belize Court of Appeal by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young, at Belize House, Belmopan.

Equine Encephalomyelitis Outbreaks in Belize - VACCINATION FOR HORSES STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) strongly recommends to all horse owners throughout Belize, and especially in the Northern and Western Regions, to vaccinate their horses against Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis. BAHA has confirmation from the USDA laboratory in Iowa, USA that the Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis virus is currently circulating in Belize. Outbreaks have been detected in the Corozal and Cayo Districts. The viral disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and alternate infection of birds or rodents and mosquitoes maintain the virus in nature. Equine Encephalomyelitis viruses can also cause infection in humans. The risk of infection can be reduced in horses by vaccination and housing horses in screened barns, particularly during the hours of high mosquito activity. Repellents and fans can be helpful. Measures to prevent mosquito bites, including the use of repellents and protective clothing (that is, long pants and long-sleeved shirts) can reduce the risk of infection in humans. Additional information can be obtained from BAHA veterinary officers and the Ministry of Health.

It Seems too Good to be True
If it seems too good to be true, goes an old adage, then it probably is. Unfortunately, there are always people who want so much for things to be true that they suspend all critical thought and there are always others who are ready to take advantage of this need. There is never any shortage of snake oil or snake oil salesmen. (Snake oil originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicinal value but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. By extension, a snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself or herself a fraud. The snake oil salesman often uses accomplices in the audience who proclaim the benefits of the product on sale.) Call me a cynic but it is in this context we must examine the seemingly extravagant claims of motivational speakers. Undoubtedly, a good motivational speaker, like any successful preacher, can fire up a crowd and make its members feel good, powerful and/or motivated but whether this translates into any long term or even short term change in behavior is debatable. A good presentation by either a motivational speaker or a preacher may lead to a desire for change but there is no evidence that it leads to actual change.

New Bond floats
On Tuesday, February 19th, the Belize Coordinating Committee negotiating the restructuring of the Superbond announced that they would accept the exchange of the old bonds, which were due in 2029 for new ones which will be due in 2038. Through a press release, the committee announced that "all of its members have agreed to tender their Old Bonds in the exchange offer." The release goes on to quote the co-chair of the negotiating committee, AJ Mediratta as saying that "The Committee appreciates the GOB’s willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process.” He continued saying, “I wish to thank Prime Minister Barrow for his personal efforts and leadership in working with the Committee to facilitate this process.” Those who have now accepted the new bonds held over $338 million of the $548 million of Bonds outstanding.

Work gets off on BTL Park
Reclamation work began at the Newtown Barracks BTL Park on Wednesday, February 20th. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, a contract was signed with RJB Construction Company on Monday and by Wednesday, heavy equipment and landfill began to be mobilized at the park. The contractor says that in excess of 25,000 cubic yards of material will be placed into the sea to reclaim an area of 100 feet by 75 feet. Work on the reclamation is expected to run for 2 weeks after, which a retaining seawall will be constructed to prevent erosion. This phase of the BTL park renovation project will run for approximately two months and comes at a cost of over $700,000. It is being financed by the Belize City Council. Mayor Bradley says he anticipates that BTL will be providing some counterpart funding for the project. At the completion of the reclamation and seawall construction, work will commence to build 18 stalls for small businesses and a food court. A multipurpose bandstand to accommodate concerts as well as a 100-foot pier, which will project into the Caribbean Sea will also be constructed thereafter. The BTL Park renovation project is part of a greater move by the Belize City Council to improve on existing facilities to be utilized by residents and visitors alike.

UDP’s Unity Convention
As could have been expected, the United Democratic Party held and extremely successful National Party Convention on Sunday, February 17th at the Andres Campos Civic Center in Corozal Town. Some 8,000 party supporters gathered as the party’s national convention delegates, 567 of them came together to make important decisions for the forward movement of the UDP. During the convention, what took center stage was the election of officers which included that of the 1st Deputy Party Leader, Party Chairman, and Deputy Party Chairman. At the end of the voting the Deputy Party Leader’s position was taken by Hon. Gaspar Vega, who received 311 votes while Hon. Patrick Faber received 233. Taking the Chairman’s position was Alberto August, who secured 379 votes while Roosevelt Blades got 183 votes. Holding the position of Deputy Party Chairman is now Fern Gutierrez, who received 378 votes while Roger Espejo, who also contested the position received 180 votes. If the votes do not add up to 567 votes its because there was one delegate who did not vote while the others represent spoilt ballots.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Book Fair at Cayeboard Connection
Cayeboard Connection along with Producciones de la Hamaca is hosting a Book Fair, Saturday February 23 from 3 – 6 pm. Stop by and see all the books that have been published by this Caye Caulker publisher. Meet the authors and buy an autographed book at a discount.

Tourism Presentation at Ocean Academy
For the past 3 weeks, students of 2nd form have been learning about the Tourism Industry in Belize with Ms.Elizabeth Usher. The students were then assigned presentations, whereby they they were to host a show or mini Trade Show in order for them to be able to market and promote Belize. They had about a week and a half to prepare and present. They did an excellent job. Students projected pictures and maps of Belize while doing their presentations all geared towards marketing & promoting Belize as a Tourism Destination. Today students will continue their Tourism Unit with Careers in Tourism. Mr. Efren Perez who is the Executive Director of BTIA in Belize has been asked to come to Ocean Academy to do a presentation on Careers in Tourism. Also invited is Mrs. Noeli Kuylen, owner of Rainbow Grill & Bar, who will be speaking to the students about her business and the excellent services they provide.


I was so Surpised
A while back Zac made me the offer that I could use one of his ph strips to test what my level was but that I had to take it seriously as it is not something you can just run out to the store and buy here. By taking it seriously he said I needed to give my self a day or 2 of cleaner eating before my reading. With yesterday being day 3 of our cleanse, I decided it was a good time to test so I sent him a text and got a fast reply to come by in 1/2h. When I got there he took the book strips out of a plastic container. They have to be kept airtight so moisture will not get at them, a common effect o living in the tropics. Since you are supposed to do the urine test first thing in the morning and we missed the boat on that we both opted for saliva method where you put it on your tongue. I was so surprised that I came slightly above neutral and out more alkaline than Zac did as he is one of the healthier eaters I know on Ambergris Caye and one of my main sources for heath info besides Google. I was very pleased that I was more alkaline than I thought. Since ph balance test strips are a handy guideline for helping moderate, I deiced to order some of my own strips off ebay for $2.96 for 80 and $2 shipping to Belize from Kentucky.

DJ's Seaside Bar and Restaurant: Is It Really the Best Burger in Town?
There has been a ton of hype about the newly relocated DJ's Restaurant for the past few months. I have been instructed by what seems like countless people to try "the best burger in Belize". I do love a burger. Yesterday, my first full day back on the island, seemed like the perfect time to weigh in. Glitter always gets you points on my scorecard. Owned by partners, the newly relocated restaurant sits right on the beach overlooking Boca Del Rio Park. They have a long oval favorite kind. So you can sit and chat with the whole drinking group. Meet DJ, the chef and burger creator and original owner (I practically forced the poor guy to pose for a picture after hours and hours of cooking)...

Celebrities Drawn to Belize
As Belize becomes one of the biggest boom areas of the Caribbean, affluent visitors-and more and more celebrities-soon find themselves switching from the adventures of island-hopping to the pastime of island-shopping… at the same time provocative options on the mainland are taking off. Whether fly fishing, diving or sailing, wealthy visitors soon hear that private islands and prime properties can be purchased in Belize from original owners for a fraction of what waterfront costs back in the U.S. and elsewhere in the Caribbean. Tiger Woods, Charlize Theron, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lennox Lewis, Harrison Ford and Francis Ford Coppola have all either visited or bought property in Belize, with Tiger going non-stop fly-fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and diving, according the San Pedro Sun. Tiger is an avid diver, who has been all over the world underwater, plunged in the waters off San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker and Lighthouse reef. “These waters are incredible!” he told the Sun. “I have been diving in many places and Belize is definitely top notch. The Blue Hole is spectacular. The water was so clear everywhere we went. The diving near San Pedro was really impressive. Hol Chan is a very special place with the sharks and rays, and the people of San Pedro have done a great job taking care of it.”

Lonely Planet Picks Belize as a Top Family Friendly Destination
Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world has selected Belize as a top family friendly destination. In an article entitled “5 family-friendly destinations you might not have thought about” written by Robert Reid and published on February 20 on the Lonely Planet website, the writer describes Belize as an affordable Caribbean destination for families. “ It’s compact, cheap and nearly everyone speaks English. There’s super wildlife to see – growler monkeys and crocodiles by land, sea turtles and (harmless) nurse sharks by mask and snorkel. First-timers will enjoy nice array of cabanas, often with kitchenette, from US$50 per night at the beach/diving center of Placencia, a couple hours south of the Belize City airport. But the interior doesn’t mean sacrificing fun in the water, with underground rivers to tube, jungle lodges on swimming holes and Mayan ruins reached by boat. If you rent a car, a tad pricey (about US$80 per day), you can connect a few dots at your own leisure. For an unforgettable stay, try the remote and family-friendly Barton Creek Outpost in the Cayo District, with a rope swing on the country’s finest swimming hole. And pull in for Garifuna drum lessons at the laid-back beach of Hopkins” asserts the writer.

International Sources

Caribbean Civil Registry and Identity System (CCRIS) coming to Belize: OAS completes work in Caribbean Civil Registry & Identity System in SVG
The Organization of American States (OAS) has completed implementation of a Caribbean Civil Registry and Identity System (CCRIS) in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The implementation was done through the OAS’ Department for Effective Public Management (DEPM), with funding from the Governments of Chile, Canada, Luxembourg and Korea, CCRIS was developed under the OAS/DEPM’s Universal Civil Identity Program in the Americas (PUICA) to facilitate birth registration and to provide uniform vital statistics in the Eastern Caribbean, a release said. With equipment purchased by the OAS, CCRIS facilitated the scanning of the vital records maintained in ledgers at the Civil Registry’s Vault and their uploading to a central database. The equipment comprises one BookDrive scanner, two servers, seven computer workstations, network equipment and other computer hardware components. From September to December 2011 and June to December 2012, the project scanned a full 100 per cent of the 468 ledgers at the Civil Registry, for a total of 120,320 pages containing 614,200 birth, death, marriage, adoption and legitimization records. By Dec. 24, 2012, it had scanned and cropped 93 per cent of the scanned records and initiated data entry. The Civil Registry is now able to view the images cropped by CCRIS in their existing application, and has the ability to image, crop and process birth, death and marriage records, along with data entry, verification, editing and printing, the release said.

The 10 Most Amazing Places on Earth
From the air, the Great Blue Hole of Belize resembles an otherworldly maw, intent on drinking down the surrounding Lighthouse Reef Atoll. In reality, the 1,000-foot (305-meter) wide hole is simply a sinkhole in the ocean. Geologists believe that an underlying cave system collapsed under increased pressure some 10,000 years ago due to rising sea levels. The dark hole descends 412 feet (126 meters), terminating in lightless depths where a lack of oxygen prevents most forms of life from thriving. Divers rarely plunge these depths, however, as most are content to explore the stalactite-rich caverns accessible from depths of some 130 feet (40 meters) below the surface.

Historic CARICOM Group Meeting Opens In Haiti
The Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) begins in Port-au-Prince on Monday, the first that Haiti is hosting after more that 10 years of becoming a member. That Haiti is hosting its first meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government more than ten years after becoming a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) could be no greater indicator that it had taken its rightful place within the Community, CARICOM secretary-general, Irwin LaRocque, said. "This is certainly one occasion that the use of the word historic is most fitting. Ten and a half years after its formal accession as a member state of CARICOM, for the first time a president of Haiti is chairman of CARICOM.

Caricom maintains independence in external negotiations
The 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) will be funding all future negotiations itself, according to Guyana’s Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett. She recently informed the 65-seat National Assembly, current negotiations between Caricom and Canada for a Trade and Development Agreement are being funded by the region. Rodrigues-Birkett’s statement came in the form of a written response to a series of questions by opposition front-bencher Carl Greenidge, who was previously a senior negotiator with Caricom’s Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN). This stance comes as concerns linger that the Caribbean Forum countries might have been compromised in their negotiating abilities since the rounds of negotiations leading up to the 2008 Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between them and the European Union (EU) were in fact funded by the EU.She recently informed the 65-seat National Assembly, current negotiations between Caricom and Canada for a Trade and Development Agreement are being funded by the region.

New World Oil & Gas set to move on 'giant prospect'
New World Oil and Gas CEO, Bill Kelleher, tells Proactive Investors why he remains very excited about the firm's prospects in Belize, despite recent drilling disappointment in the country. He also explains the potential of the company's 'giant prospect' in Denmark, as well as talking about plans for a tie-up with a 'large European oil and gas company'.

Belize debt debacle nears end
Reuters is reporting that a committee representing major Belize bondholders has agreed to a debt exchange on the country's US$550 million “superbond” after almost a year of negotiations. Committee members agreed unanimously to swap their old United States dollar bonds for new bonds with a maturity date of 2038, the group said in a statement. "The Committee appreciates the (Belize government's) willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process," said AJ Mediratta, joint chair of the committee and co-president of Greylock Capital Management. Under the deal put forward by the government, creditors would write off 10 percent of the value of the bonds, far less than the 45 percent haircut Belize had proposed as one of the original restructuring options. The maturity of the bonds will be extended by nine years to 2038. The interest rate will be set initially at 5 percent for 4.5 years and stepping up to 6.788 percent for the remaining term, a reduction from the current 8.5 percent rate.

The skies are gray when we arrive in Belize—the season lingering somewhere between wet and dry, the only two seasons this country knows. It’s mid-January and a group of us—journalists from all types of publications: New York fashion blogs, outdoor adventure magazines—are here to test the latest products from Helly Hansen, Cascade Designs, Quiksilver, and, surprisingly, Microsoft. As a professional gear tester, it goes without saying that I’ve also brought a spectrum of previously received samples to test so that I can take advantage of the spring-like weather while it snows back home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Exploring Belize: 10 Must-Have Pieces of Gear
Ali Carr Troxell visits the Actun Tunichil Muknal cave, a noted Maya archeological site. Read about her trip here and then check out her list of 10 must-have pieces of gear for a perfect Belizean expedition.

February 21, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Dianela Hancock wins San Pedro Town Library Youth Writing Contest
With the dream of winning a brand new Toshiba laptop, students from Standards Four through Six got busy scribbling and typing away for the first ever San Pedro Library Youth Writing Contest. The topic “What Love Means to Me” was just in time for Valentine’s Day, and it seemed that students had a lot to write about love. In all, 55 entries were recorded, with essays coming in from The Island Academy (TIA), San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS), Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), Holy Cross Anglican School and even Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School (CCRCS). Themes ranged from family, school, community, country, Mother Earth, and even God and the Virtue of Love.With rules such as: sticking to a 150-200 word limit, ensuring the standard writing protocols were followed (beginning, middle, end), and more, judges had to sift through many wonderful writings and personal essays to choose their top three writers.

Belize Tourism Industry Association launches 2013 Destination Belize Magazine
The Belize Tourism Industry Association BTIA launched the 2013 edition of “Destination Belize” on Friday, February 15th at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina. The launching took place in the Caracol Room and commenced shortly after 10AM. Presenters at the event included: President of the BTIA, Mr. Herbert Haylock; Executive Director of BTIA Mr. Efren Perez and Publisher of Destination Belize, Mr. Demian Solano of Idea Lab Studios. The 2013 edition of Destination Belize marks the 17th edition of the travel magazine and was published for the second year by Belize’s IdeaLab Studios.Titled, “The Best of Both Worlds”, the tourism magazine was aimed to capture the best of all that Belize has to offer. “The Best of Both Worlds” cover image captures the beauty of the islands, the aqua waters that line our shores, the world’s second longest barrier reef and the sandy beaches,all contrasting with the towering waterfalls and pristine jungles of the Maya Mountains.The featured models are San Pedro’s very own Paul and Kelly German, residents and businesspeople.Their photos were taken in two places: San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and the Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo, both are locations that, according to Publisher Demian Solano, showcase how much there is to do in Belize.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Tourist Guide Association Appoints New Board
On February 5, 2013, The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association had its first meeting for the year with the main purpose to election a new committee for the next two years. The new positions in the board are as follows: President: Phillip Leslie Vice President: Gilberto Nuñez Secretary: Steven Rubio Vice Secretary: Emiliano Rivero Treasurer: Everette Anderson Vice Treasurer: Robert Gonzalez Director: Steve Bowen Director: Omar Arceo Director: Ruben Trejo This new and energetic board will represent the tour guides of San Pedro for the next two years. The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association’s plans include continue working on the educational program, have clean up campaigns and address problems and changes their members might see that need change. The San Pedro Tourist Guide Association should be receiving a new boat which will be maintained by the Association and fuel purchased by the San Pedro Town Council. The boat will be a donation by the Belize Tourism Board.

Free Spay/Neuter on World Spay Day
The San Pedro SAGA Humane Society is offering fee spay/neuter on World Spay Day, Tuesday, February 26, 2013. World Spay Day is an annual campaign of Humane Society International and The Humane Society of the United States that shines a spotlight on spay/neuter—a proven way to save the lives of companion animals, feral cats, and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in a shelter or killed on the street. Call for your appointment at 226-3266 – Saga Humane Society on Sea Star Street, San Pedro Town, Belize.

Saga Humane Society Monthly Cook Off
Saga’s Monthly Cook Off will take place on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at Average Joe’s Bar. Lots to eat and drink! Serving starts at 6:30 p.m. There will be raffles with great prizes! Live music! Fun for all the family! Prizes for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Come on out and support the SAGA Humane Society.

Estel’s Takes BBQ Ribs Seriously in San Pedro Grilling Competition
It is without a doubt that one of the coziest and most popular places to have a delicious breakfast, the best sangria, a bloody mary ‘pick-me-up” and finger-licking BBQ in town is Estel’s Dine by the Sea. This restaurant, located in the heart of town, is always alive with music and happy customers as locals and tourists rush to have a home-cooked meal. We at Ambergris Today have had the privilege to dine at Estel’s and are always glad to be back for more, and more. This week the Angels, including the boss, were at Estel’s for their 2nd Annual Grilling Competition. Barbeque ribs were the specialty and we couldn’t miss out on the fun! Grill masters for the event were Charles Worthington, James Gochenour, Rick Saager and Kevin Urbina. It was a bring-your-own-grill type of competition where the grill masters brought their “A” game to the table. As we waited for the ribs for us to devour, the Angels (Perlita and Sofie) headed out to get a few tips from the grill masters. We savored some delicious sangria and enjoyed the great music by Dennis and the Usual Suspects and Gino and the Shack Shakers.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal House of Culture's First Anniversary Celebration and Open House, Sunday February 24, 2013
Great things happening in Corozal folks. Everyone is cordially invited to the Corozal House of Culture's First Anniversary Celebration and Open House, Sunday February 24, 2013. Bring out the entire family. If you are visiting us, be our guest. This event is sure to be a fun filled day for everyone. The celebration begins at 3 P.M. with activities for the whole family; an art corner for children, jumpy house, and face painting will keep the little ones occupied. Art in the Park artisans will make great shopping for that unique item along with food vendors to tempt your taste buds and fill your belly…hmhmmhmm. Information booths from community stakeholders will be present. At 4:00 P.M. Ozzie the Clown will delight the crowd with his hilarious style of entertainment, followed by cultural presentations on stage beginning at 6:00 P.M. featuring the CCC Dance Company and local talent. All the while umuzik99.1 FM will be broadcasting live keeping the community tuned in.

Belize launches first round of negotiations for partial scope agreement with El Salvador
Belize has launched the first round of negotiations for a partial scope agreement (PSA) with El Salvador. The negotiations address a range of issues, including market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, legal and Institutional arrangements. This agreement is expected to create export opportunities for industry and contribute to overall economic growth through promoting trade, foreign direct investment, employment and revenue generation. In addition, the PSA will serve to deepen trade relations with El Salvador, allowing for greater market penetration into Central America. Chief executive officer in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Mike Singh, encouraged the private sector to take advantage of the opportunity for engagement and partnership with El Salvador in areas of investments and market access. The private sector is encouraged to liaise with the Ministry of Trade to access business opportunities arising from this agreement both for import and export purposes. The first of three rounds of negotiations conclude on Thursday with the signing of an aide memoir between the two countries.

Job Vacancy in Belize
There is a good reference to find out about job vacancies around Cayo and Belize. Can't vouch for their website, but the page, other than being on fb, looks legitimate, and seems to be on the up and up, and even though you can't post yourself, you can send them an email with the digital flier, and they'll post it. "...dedicated to helping people in Belize find the latest available jobs in the country. Feel free to send us a message with available jobs or send us your resume so we can help secure one for you!"

Jazz and More at the GPC
The George Price Centre is launching their Jazz and More exhibit tomorrow. Entrance is free. It'll be on display until March 8th. This exhibition, which includes 23 works of art, facilitates communication and mutual understanding between Belizean and Mexican artists, especially those who live and work in the South of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. "The Embassy of Mexico in Belize presents 'Jazz and More...' An exhibition by Enrique Hernandez Jazz and More Opening Night: Thursday, FEBRUARY 21 at 7.00 p.m. Exhibition on display at the Centre until March 8"

Belize Audubon Society's 2013 Conservation Award
The Belize Audubon Society presented the 2013 James A. Waight Conservation Award to Wildtracks. Congratulations, Wildtracks! The BAS has 4 managed protected areas in Cayo, ATM, Tapir Mountain Reserve, Guanacaste National Park, and the Blue Hole National Park. Wildtracks, which is fundamental in Belize's wildlife conservation and rehabilitation efforts had this to say: "We are feeling very honoured, and also humbled, by the outpouring of congratulations yesterday evening for Wildtracks, which has been awarded the James Waight Award for Conservation for 2013 - the most prestigious conservation award in Belize. Whilst lost for words when accepting the prize, I feel I missed the opportunity to acknowledge all those who make what we do possible - all those community-based conservation organizations we work with, manned by people who inspire us in the words they say and things they do. All those volunteers, both Belizean and international, who give up their time and provide their enthusiasm to keep Wildtracks activities, the NGO partners we've watched grow from strength to strength. Those who help us when help is needed - whether it is transporting bananas, manatees or monkeys, providing veterinarian assistance or fixing broken water pumps. Those children who have touched our hearts and shown that there is hope in the future generation. Those people in Government, particularly the Forest and Fisheries Departments, who, despite the national economic problems affecting their work, bend over backwards to provide assistance when needed. And to Belize, as a nation, for accepting us and providing an environment in which we can use the skills we have developed to work with others, in collaboration and partnership, towards the balance the country needs between conservation and development."

UB Opportunities Fair
The University of Belize is having their Opportunities Fair today at the Belmopan Campus. They'll have representatives from businesses all over Belize there giving presentations. Some of the embassies will be there also. If you're interested in studying abroad, or looking for a job, go check it out.

Entrepreneurship Development Workshop
SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE and Mr. Jose Herrera, Lecturer for Small Business Management at the University of Belize is presenting the Entrepreneurship Development Workshop which will be held on February 27th, 2013 on campus!!! For more information contact SBDCBelize, BELTRAIDE at Tel: 223-3195 or email us at: Hope to see you there!!!

First Round of Trade Negotiations – Belize & El Salvador, San Ignacio Hotel, Cayo Belize. 18-21 Feb., 2013

Channel 7

Major Figure From OW Detained In Connection With Human Traffic
Tonight, a well-known figure from Orange Walk is detained at the Ladyville Police Station. He's the owner of this 15 seater Ford van with Orange Walk Plates - which police pursued on the Burrell Boom Road on Monday night. The van was spotted by a patrol team which thought to pull it over because the van appeared completely weighed down - and police figured it had some kind of illicit cargo - little did they know it was human cargo. When the police pursued the driver ran the van into a yard, bumped a tree and then fled, with the 15 passengers inside scrambling to get away. Four males and one female were caught there, and then on the following day, police found five more females in an abandoned house in Los Lagos - that included two minors. The minors were crying for their father - who had accompanied them on the dangerous trip - but ran in a different direction when the police caught the van. Those minors are now in custody of the Social Services Department as human trafficking victims. Tonight, 3 of the other 5 face the threat of being imprisoned. That's because they can't pay court fines after they were arraigned in the Magistrate's Court today. They've been identified as 18 year-old Yessenia Gonzalez, 19 year-old Miriam Guevara, and 24 year-old Maribel Guevara, and two 17 year-old female minors.

UDP's Transition Tremors
Phillippa Bailey has been the secretary general of the UDP for 13 years -yet unofficial but reliable reports tonight say she is calling it quits effective the end of March. It comes very suddenly after the party's national convention on Sunday - but it was not unexpected. It is well known in party circles that Bailey did not support the Unity Slate because of the presence of Alberto August - with whom she reportedly has had difficulties. August won the Chairmanship with a decisive majority - and two days later, reports say Bailey has decided to move on. Today, August told us that he is prepared to work with anyone - but added that he believes Bailey made an error to have chosen sides in the recent convention. Nonetheless, he says if she stays on, he will work with her and if she resigns, the party will have to find someone else.

Newborn Flown Out For Life-Saving Surgery
Tonight, a newborn from Belize is in the USA receiving emergency attention after he was flown out on a private jet today. He left from the KHMH this morning, and 7News was there. Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Baby Bryan Raymond Williams Jr. is a fighter who's survived the short 22 days of his life with a birth defect where his digestive tract is not fully formed. Doctors in Belize have identified the problem, but he needs specialized help not available here. Dr. Cecelio Eck - Pediatrician "Baby Brian was born 22 days ago, and while in the nursery, being fed, the baby started to vomit. So, the resident we have on, Dr. Borland, recognized the problem; we admitted the child in our ward. And we realized that the baby didn't have an esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. We stabilized the baby. We get a child like this with this abnormality maybe once a year, and we arrange with the surgeons abroad to accept the baby. Between then and now, the baby has had several setbacks, where the baby would choke on some of the saliva. It went into the lungs, and the baby needed to go on the ventilator for a few days. We are at the point now where, with the help of Friends of Pediatrics, World Pediatric Project, and our partners in the states in Ridgmond Virginia, they've agreed to accept this baby, and do this specialized surgery abroad."

What Caused Death Of 17 Year Old In Golden Stream
There is not much known about the sudden death of a 17 year old female in Golden Stream village in the Toledo district. Reports say that the teenager could have died either as the result of violence or by accidental ingestion of an unsafe substance. The only thing known at this point is that the teenager was buried on Tuesday afternoon. According to PGTV news, in an interview they conducted with the child's stepmother, she claimed that the young woman died from eating a bucket of soap and that the child was mentally challenged. Punta Gorda police said they are still investigating the death of the teenager and should have a preliminary report by tomorrow midday. According to the Alcalde of the village, the girl was buried yesterday without a postmortem being conducted.

Joe Coye Makes His Case Against Misfeasance, Again
The case of misfeasance against former Ministers of Government Jose Coye and Florencio Marin Sr. has sent out waves in the Caribbean because it is a novel case in which the Caribbean Court of Justice handed down a benchmark judgment. The question is: Can the Attorney General Ministry bring legal action against these men for alleged inappropriate behavior while holding office? Former Chief Justice Dr. Conteh didn't believe so, but both the Court of Appeal, and the CCJ said yes, it is possible. But today, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin sent a clear message to the State that they didn't enough evidence to support the action against the former ministers based on the claim that both of them acted in joint enterprise to misappropriate the value of 56 parcels of land in the Caribbean Shores area. Last week, the attorneys for the men filed an application that all or parts of witness testimony and evidence presented by GOB's attorney be struck out. This morning, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin upheld the application by the defendants that those main testimonies be struck because of certain violations to the Evidence Act. After that, he made the decision, after consulting with each side, that the case should be thrown out based on lack of evidence.

Port Security Catches Engine Thieves In The Act
Tonight three men are detained by police after they were caught red-handed inside the Port of Belize Compound. . They are 19 year old Robert Flowers, and two minors, aged 17 and 16. Last night at around 11:00, the security guard was making his rounds when he found them cowering in a skiff named morning mist. They had a box of tools and had already hoisted off the engine. He called police who took them into custody.

Trade Talks Between Belize And El Salvador
El Salvador is looking for a trade gateway to the Caribbean - and it has turned to Belize. Preliminary talks towards this are beign held this week at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. It's the first round of negotiations for a partial scope agreement between Belize and El Salvador - and Trade CEO Mike Singh told the Press Office what makes Belize attractive: Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "Today really, is preliminary. We're sort of setting the stage for the items we will be discussing. We will start reviewing some of the list of items that will be permitted under this agreement. This agreement, we're hoping, will sort of be a little bit different because we're looking at including services as an integral part of the agreement." Carlos Moreno - Trade Police Director, El Salvador "We know that we're in a position now that we have to diversify our products, diversify our destinations for our exports in the Caribbean. It's very important to us within this plan that we're facing now; we would like to expand our products to countries like Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Cuba - in that direction. We are trying to conduct negotiation for preferential treatment for our products with these countries."

Rebecca's Whipping Up an International Storm
4 weeks ago, we told you about Rebecca Stirm, the Belizean fashion designer who's been having local and international success with her clothing line. She held her own fashion show on January 26 at the Princess Hotel, and that, along with the network of contacts she made during her appearance on Jamaica's Mission Catwalk, has earned her another opportunity to make an international appearance. Today, 7News caught up with her at the airport as she was making her last preparations to fly to Jamaica. She told us what that trip is about: Rebecca Stirm - Fashion Designer Today, Chantae and I are flying out to Kingston, Jamaica, and I'll be showcasing a new collection at the Wyndham Wedding Spectacular. It's basically a bridal expo in Kingston, where bridal designers, bridal boutiques, décor companies, and big event planners all come together, and do a huge bridal expo, and bridal shows. So, I got invited to be the headline international designer at Kingston, the big expo. And so, I'm taking Chantae Guy, and she's headlining for me on the runway as the big Belizean model. It's pretty exciting." Daniel Ortiz "How did they actually get in contact with you and get interested in your line?"

City Council Has Plans For Pedestrian Overpass
And there is a new project the Belize City Council is working on. It is the lighting of the overpass at the Belcan roundabout. Since the council has removed the pedestrian crosswalks when they cement-paved the first 100 yards of the northern highway, pedestrians are now forced to use the overpass for their own safety. But as another safety method, the council will be lighting up the overpass area for pedestrians. Here's what you can expect in a weeks' time. Kenny Morgan - Public Relations Officer, Belize City Council "The overpass situation, I must say, we have to thank Belizean citizens. They have expressed their desire to do the right thing, and I am sure that listeners and viewers have seen the heavy traffic that is now going across the overpass from morning until evening. We've very pleased to announce that we've gotten the bill of quantities for the lighting of the overpass. We've supposed to take possession of the materials no later than by tomorrow afternoon. So, I think that we should see work started out there. Our electricians are standing by. The workmen have already been prepped for it, and we should see work starting on the lighting of the overpass itself by Thursday, midday at the latest. Again, we want to commend Belizeans for abiding with the laws.

Bze Athletes to Be Tested For P-E-D's
Belizean athletes are getting ready for the tenth Central American Games in Costa Rica in two weeks' time. But tonight, they have one more thing to worry about: they have to be free of doping substances. A release from the National anti-doping Organization says it will have five anti-doping sample collections. The samples will be collected from Athletics, Football, Softball, Volleyball and Basketball. The samples will be collected between February 21st and 23rd between 6:00 am and midnight. The samples will be sent to the UCLA Olympic Laboratory for Analysis. Athletes will be randomly selected.

Newcomers to Olympic Committee
On Monday we told you about the weekend's historic elections in the Belize Olympic Association. Tonight, we can confirm that the new members of the executive are: Assistant Secretary, Josephine Flowers, Treasurer, Giovanni Alamilla, and members Herman Pastor Jr., Allan Sharp and Arturo Vasquez. The join long standing members, President Hilly Martinez, Vice President Sonny Meighan and Secretary General Yolanda Fonseca.

Channel 5

Regular soap eating kills
  There is a tragic story to report tonight. It involves the mysterious death of a seventeen-year-old from the village of Golden Stream in Toledo over the weekend and is raising numerous questions among residents of that southern community.  Milka Sho, a mentally challenged teenager, died on Sunday after allegedly ingesting soap or washing powder.  [...]

Former minister Joe Coye wins land case in court
After years of trial, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out charges against former Ministers of Government, Joe Coye and Florencio Marin. A tort of misfeasance charge fell apart today after the Chief Justice expunged evidence from witness statements. The original allegation was that Coye had some interest in CHEOP Enterprise, which is owned by businessman [...]

Coye blames prominent attorney or case against him
But after accusing four public officers of perjury, Coye continued swinging at his accusers. Coye alleged that he was the victim of trumped up charges which he felt were malicious, vindictive, filled with hate and greed.  He accused a prominent attorney for laying those charges against him.   Jose Coye, Vindicated “I think it was [...]

UCI says Moreno is legitimate president of BCA
Last week, the Minister of State, Herman Longsworth, installed an interim cycling committee following a meeting with International Cycling Union representative, Manuel Paleaz. It would have been an end to a controversy that had been dragging for months, but clearly it is not. Paleaz has reported back to the UCI about the unsuccessful meeting.  The [...]

Human smuggling ring of Salvadorans unraveling
  Police and immigration departments in the west and Belize City are further investigating what is believed to be a human smuggling ring and tonight and one Orange Walk resident is under questioning by the Ladyville police. A white van with Orange Walk license plates C-O-4-4-3-1 transporting about fifteen Salvadoran nationals was intercepted at the [...]

Brit soon returns to court for charges involving boys
  A bench warrant for British national David Taylor has been withdrawn. The warrant was issued when Taylor was due to re-appear in the Dangriga Magistrate Court last week but failed to do so. As it turned out, unknown to the Placencia police, Taylor applied and got bail from the Supreme Court on January eighteenth [...]

Tour ends in accident in Esperanza village
Just before five p.m. on Tuesday, a traffic accident occurred in the village of Esperanza. Allen Obando and Devon Harris were riding home when a van, carrying tourists and reportedly belonging to Pacz Tours, hit the two cyclists. Harris landed in the nearby bushes, but Obando was dragged some distance away before the driver realized [...]

Baby with rare disorder flown to Virginia for surgery
A private jet landed at the Phillip Goldson Airport this morning to transport Baby Brian Williams Junior to Richmond, Virginia. The infant was born in January with a rare abnormality. Because surgery is costly and is not available locally, the World Pediatric Project arranged surgery for him overseas. His parents are overjoyed at the goodwill [...]

Ports Commissioner leaves job; junior minister interference?
Former Ports Commissioner Major John Flowers, whose last day on the job as head of the Belize Port Authority was Tuesday, has opened up about his sudden departure from the post.  Flowers cites his reason for choosing not to renew a one-year contract with the Ministry of Transport as professional differences with junior minister Edmund [...]

…and minister took over financial investigation
According to Flowers, Castro then led an investigation into the financial affairs of the Belize Port Authority without his input.   Via phone: Major John Flowers, Former Ports Commissioner “They started investigating financial accounts, checking payments, way back from 2009/2010 looking to see if there are any irregularities; anything they could hold against me. That [...]

Unions to soon conclude negotiations with G.O.B.
Teachers and public officers marched to Independence Hill late last month in a show of force. They demanded respect from the government and a salary adjustment that has been on the negotiating table for years. There was a follow-up meeting with the Prime Minister in Belmopan and then the government proposal was taken to all [...]

Unions say mandate of membership to determine next move
The union leaders say they are confident but agree that it all boils down to the mandate from membership.   Dylan Reneau, President, N.T.U.C.B. “Certainly it appears as if though the wind has been knocked out of our sails because of the poor showing but there are reasons for that. I think what membership was [...]


Belize Government and Bond Holders Negotiations Successful Says International Media
There are reports in the international media that the committee representing Belize bondholders has accepted government’s new debt exchange offer. The new bonds were approved by parliament last week and propose to extend the maturity date for the US dollar bonds to 2038. Reuters ...

University Student Robbed On Campus
A nineteen year old student of the University of Belize’s Central Campus in Belmopan reported to police that last night around 8:45, he was walking and texting in the University compound by the Jabiru building, when two male persons rode by on bicycles and one of them jumped in f...

Corozal Resident Faces Charge for Possession of Controlled Drug
A man was arrested and charged for possession of a controlled drug in the Corozal District. While police were conducting patrol yesterday evening on 9th Street South in Corozal Town, their attention was drawn to a Hispanic man, identified as twenty nine year old Carlos Cantun, wh...

Home of Retiree Burglarized
A sixty two year old retiree of Santa Rita Heights in the Corozal Town, reported that his house was burglarized. He reported to police that he left his house secured on November 11, 2012, because he was sent to the Hattieville Prison. The keys to his house were left with a ...

Fire Victim Succumbs to Injuries Following The Death of Her Toddler
A woman who was injured in an early morning fire on February fourth in San Narciso Village in the Corozal District has succumbed to her injuries. 40-year-old Ramona Cabrera had been hospitalized since the fire which also claimed the life of her three year old daughter, Danely Cabrera. ...

Pallottine Missionary Mounts Exhibition in Orange Walk
The Pallottine Missionary Sisters have mounted an exhibition at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical reports… “The Exhibition features a history of their founder Saint Vincent Pallotti from his childhood to his death, and a pictorial history ...

Illegal Immigrants Caught In Belize In Transit to Mexico and the United States
Seven illegal immigrants, one of them a 27 year old woman and another a 17 year old boy, were charged with being prohibited immigrants when they appeared in Court today. The adults are Maria Tobias, 19 year old Santos Amaya, 33 year old Rigoberto Palma, 34 year old Jose Arevello, 33 ye...

Teenager Reported Missing From Belmopan
A teenager of Belmopan has been reported missing. Elda Chacon from the Salvapan area of Belmopan made a report to police yesterday afternoon and stated that her daughter, seventeen year old Marta Odilia Castellanos Chacon left her home on the morning of the 9th of February and took her...

APAMO Chairman Says UB Faculty and Staff Association Sick-Out Action Is Premature
The sick-out that teachers and some staff of the University of Belize planned for Monday was not as successful as the organizers had hoped for it to be. The teachers, led by Allison Crawford, the President of the UB Faculty and Staff Association, UBFSA, had demonstrated late last...


Orange Walk Resident Detained In Connection Of Bust Of Illegal Immigrants
Yesterday morning Ladyville Police intercepted a white van with Orange Walk License plates carrying as much as a dozen illegal immigrants and news tonight is that a man from Orange Walk Town, who was charged for two counts of unlawful possession of passports last year, has been detained pending investigations. Reliable sources indicate that Mathew Williams was detained by Orange Walk Police yesterday and handed over to Ladyville police for questioning since the white van in question is registered under his name. We are told that in his defense, Williams has stated that he rented the vehicle to a person who police are now looking for. Of note is that Williams was not in the vehicle when it was seized yesterday. Yesterday morning the van was intercepted while traveling on the Boom Road. It is believed that the immigrants entered the country through the Western Border and were on their way to the U.S. Seven of the immigrants have been arrested and charged- they are Salvadoran Nationals Maria Deisy Leon Tobias 27 years of age, 34-year-old Jose Antonio Arevalo, 22 year old Uvaldo Antonio Alvarado Murrillo, 25 year old Jose Obdulio Escobar, 33 year old Rigoberto Mendoza Palma, 19 year old Santos Alexander Guevara Amaya and a 17 year old minor.

Imer Hernandez Receives Letter To Return The 50K
And sticking to the topic of streets, one that is in dire need of a facelift is San Antonio Road. Here at CTV3 News we have made several reports on the condition of the road and even brought to you interviews with residents of the area appealing for the road to be fixed by government who is really the one in charge of upgrading the road. But their cries have fallen on deaf ears and there is just so much that the council can do. For context here is an interview we conducted with residents last year in June. “Esta calle esta hecho un desastre desde cuando lo rasparon, el Public Works lo empezaba a mojar pero en la mañana cuando da una hora dos horas ya polvazón otra ves y hay choferes que no tienen escrúpulos porque pasan como que van a buscar una herencia en Orange Walk y botan polvo porque van duro no van despacio, si hay unos que van despacio pero otros duro. Aquí había un pedazo de pavimento y no nos echaban tanto polvo pero cuando lo quebraron y lo rompieron yo dije pues van a componer la calle pero solo lo rompieron y lo dejaron así.”

Belize/Mexico Border Not Secured
According to a Mexican newspaper; there is no possibility of a secure border between Mexico and Belize. The paper quotes Jose Luis Castaneda Jimenez, the commandant of the 34th Military Zone in Mexico saying, that there is the possibility that a laboratory is operating underground in Chetumal enhancing synthetic drugs like the type that was ceased by the Mexican Navy a few days ago at the house of Carlos Cabañas Catzin AKA “El Monstruo.” Mexican authorities believe that the drugs are entering Mexico through Belize and after the 7th meeting between borders’ officials, it was agreed that the mutual trust and communication between both countries should increase in order to carry out successful anti drug operations. The drug that Jimenez says is being enhanced in underground laboratories is methamphetamine, known as meth. Just recently, on February 7th, the Mexican navy confiscated 45 kilograms of crystal meth in the house of Carlos Cabañas Catzin aka “El Monstruo” along with 7 other people including Belizeans Hugo Cassonova and Ermelindo Vasquez. All eight individuals are now facing trial for drug possession for purposes of sale.

Ten Streets To Be Paved In Orange Walk Town
March 7th will mark one year that the Orange Walk Town Council saw a change in leadership as Mayor Kevin Bernard and his team of six councilors was elected to run the affairs of the town. So far Orange Walk has seen a number of changes. But residents are clamoring for more, primarily they want better streets. Now we all know that the upgrading of streets translates to hundred of thousands of dollars spent. For the present town council upgrading the streets of town is a demand that must be met even with the little resources available. “The council has met and has made a very strong decision that this year we will focus mainly on street maintenance and street upgrades. Last Saturday’s inaugural ceremony of the mural the deputy mayor listed out the number of streets that we want to upgrade.

CARICOM Supports ICJ Referendum
The debate as to whether electorates should vote yes or no to take the Belize/Guatemala claim to the International Court of Justice is receiving mixed reviews. So far the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action COLA has made it quite clear that they are against going to the ICJ while the United Democratic Party has pledged their support to take the long standing dispute to The Hague. Tonight, a much larger group and influential body has decided that it would be best if Belize and Guatemala settle the issue in court. The leaders of the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, have expressed their full support for the referendum stating that it could end the border dispute between Guatemala and Belize. The regional leaders, who ended their 24th Inter-Sessional summit in Haiti on Tuesday, called on the international community to also support the referendum, especially in relation to meeting the costs involved in bringing this longstanding dispute for final determination. CARICOM leaders also encourage that both Belize and Guatemala remain faithful to the roadmap which both countries have agreed to in accordance with the Special Agreement signed in December 2008. But even though CARICOM encourages the issue to be settled at the ICJ, leaders reaffirm the community’s firm and unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The referendum is scheduled for October 6th.

OW Town Council Meets With Residents
recall, during their campaign, one of the council’s pledges was to carry out both town and neighborhood meetings on a regular basis thus fostering a closer relationship with residents. In last night’s meeting, Mayor Kevin Bernard spoke about the projects that have been completed and those that are yet to come. Residents of the area also took the opportunity to voice out their concerns, concerns they hope the council will address. Jose Urbina, OW Town Councilor “Some of the concerns that the residents have are, for example, the ropes that the school are currently using. One from the comments that I have personally gotten is that it is a hazard for some people riding their bicycles. They don’t see the ropes and they fall. Two that we are not teaching our children proper education on how to walk on the streets and be careful from traffic and so on. What we can do with that respect is approach the administration of the school and discuss with them on how best we can assist even though we need to continue thinking on the safety of our children. That is the main concern.

Over the weekend members of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association met with three representatives of American Sugar Refinery, the company that now owns the majority shares of Belize Sugar Industry Limited, BSI. According to Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega, the meeting was fruitful as a number of issues were laid on the table. The main point of discussion was the increase in cane productivity. Presently, 7,000 tons of cane is milled by the factory on a daily basis. But new ownership means new rules and ASR wants to increase the milling quantity to 12,000 tons per day. The question now is, can cane farmers meet the demand? “El Plan de ELLOS es aumentar la capacidad. El plan es que entre los próximos 5 años que debería incrementarse en 1,08 millones de toneladas de caña. Pero esto tiene una forma en la que se logra porque al mismo tiempo que necesitan para aumentar la capacidad de la fábrica para que se pueda moler toda la caña. Tienen la metality que la ingesta diaria debería aumentar a 2000 toneladas. Eso significa que tenemos que coordinarnos mejor en cómo vamos a hacer esa cantidad de caña alcance en la fábrica. De ella tenemos que organizar y cómo nos unimos para cumplir con ese objetivo.”


CARICOM leaders express support for ICJ referendum process
CARICOM leaders at their just concluded inter-sessional meeting have expressed strong support for the process to end Guatemala’s “unfounded” claim to Belize. In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the leaders called on the international community to also support the process to bring Guatemala’s claims to an end, especially in relation to meeting the costs involved in bringing this longstanding dispute to final determination. A simultaneous referendum will be held in Belize and Guatemala on Sunday, October 6, 2013 where citizens of both nations will decide whether or not to submit Guatemala’s unfounded claim to the International Court of Justice, ICJ for final resolution. The conference of heads of government of CARICOM affirmed their satisfaction that both Belize and Guatemala are remaining faithful to the roadmap that both countries have agreed to in accordance with the Special Agreement of December, 2008, and expressed concern at any attempts to destabilize that process and its roadmap. The section of the communiqué on the Belize-Guatemala issue ends by saying: and we quote: “the Conference reaffirmed the Community’s firm and unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.” End of quote.

Newborn goes to the USA for life-saving surgery
He’s only been in the world for three weeks, but tonight Brian Williams, Junior is facing the first big hurdle of his life. But the outpouring of support has provided an excellent opportunity the baby boy to overcome his medical condition. Today, Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo were at the international airport as the three week old embarked on a life-saving journey. The collaborative effort that paved the way for baby Brian Williams, Junior to go to the United States included the World Pediatric Project, Friends of Pediatrics, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and BERT ambulance.

Conflict resolution training underway in Belize City
A training course on conflict resolution is underway in Belize City. Love TV’s Patrick Jones reports.

Woman succumbs to injuries sutained in Orange Walk fire
A woman who was injured in an early morning fire on February fourth in San Narciso Village in the Corozal District has succumbed to her injuries. 40-year-old Ramona Cabrera had been hospitalized since the fire which also claimed the life of her three year old daughter, Danely Cabrera. In the fire Ramona suffered first degree burns to her face and back and second degree burns to her left and right arm. She was originally taken to the Corozal Hospital and later transferred to the Karl heusner memorial Hospital in Belize City. She succumbed to her injuries on Monday.

APAMO expresses support for UB Board of Trustees
The sick-out that teachers and some staff of the University of Belize planned for Monday was not as successful as the organizers had hoped for it to be. The teachers, led by Allison Crawford, the President of the UB Faculty and Staff Association, UBFSA, had demonstrated late last week on allegations that there were irregularities and signs of mismanagement that a recent audit revealed. The group also thought that it was a conflict of interest that the same Board of Trustees would investigate the findings of the audit and called on the Prime Minister to commission an independent inquiry into the findings of the audit. But soon after they voiced those concerns, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, APAMO, issued a press release stating that Crawford’s allegations are premature because the audit is not yet complete. APAMO’s Chairman, Edilberto Romero, told Love News today that his organization has every confidence in Janet Gibson, who is their voluntary representative on the UB Board of Trustees and in her integrity and ability to reveal if there is any wrongdoing detected. Romero says that when the audit has been tabled, the Board, their representative inclusive, will review it and will make known what those findings are.

Union leaders update the media on salary negotiation process
The Leaders of the unions that are in negotiations with the Government over a salary adjustment appeared on Love Morning Show today to give an update on where they stand on the government’s proposal. Following their discussion, they spoke with reporters. We hear first from George Myvette, the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, followed by the President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union, Luke Palacio, and then from Dylan Reneau, the President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. After they complete fine-tuning their recommendations, the unions will present their counter-proposals to the government in furtherance of their ongoing negotiations.

Creditor Committee say bond holders accept government’s new offer
There are reports in the international media that the committee representing Belize bondholders has accepted government’s new debt exchange offer. The new bonds were approved by parliament last week and propose to extend the maturity date for the US dollar bonds to 2038. Reuters News agency quotes a statement issued by the group as saying that committee members agreed unanimously to swap their old US dollar bonds for the new bonds. Joint chair of the committee AJ Mediratta is quoted as saying that the committee appreciates the government of Belize’s willingness to negotiate in good faith and to adhere to what was in the end a fair and transparent process. Under the deal put forward by the government, creditors would write off 10 percent of the value of the bonds, which is far less than the 45 percent haircut Belize had proposed as one of the original restructuring options. The maturity of the bonds will be extended by nine years to 2038 and the interest rate will be set initially at 5 percent for four and a half years, then stepping up to 6.788 percent for the remaining term – a reduction from the current 8.5 percent rate. The committee and another group of 20 institutional bondholders together represent 62 percent of the outstanding debt. A spokesman for the committee said it was likely the 20 institutional investors would follow the committee’s recommendation. The government of Belize had said it would only proceed with the exchange if 75 percent of bondholders signed up. The committee said participants in the exchange would receive most favored creditor status and the principal would be protected in the event of a future default.

Sol says ‘thank you’
Last weekend Sol, formerly Shell held its customer appreciation day in observance of its eighth anniversary at its main office on the Philip Goldson Highway. The highlight of the day was to award one lucky winner with five thousand, two hundred dollars worth of fuel. The general manager for Sol, Rufino Lin spoke of the promotion. The lucky winner was Elder Gutierrez, a taxi driver of Belize City. The three third place winners taking one thousand two hundred dollars worth of fuel were Steve Rowland, Hector Barrientos, and Elton Baizar. The two second place winners, Ruben Perez and Margaret Mooney took home two thousand six hundred dollars worth of fuel. Lin says that promotions will continue throughout the year.

Pallotine Sistrs mount exhibit in Orange Walk
The Pallottine Missionary Sisters have mounted an exhibition at the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town. Love TV’s Dalila Ical reports.

Women in Art exhibition coming up
Women’s month will be observed in March, and every year, the Institute of Creative Arts at NICH hosts the Women in Art Exhibit. Program Officer at ICA, Kim Vasquez says there is still time for submissions since the deadline has been extended. She told us more about the exhibit. For more information or to submit a piece you can call any ICA office or House of Culture countrywide or contact Karen Vernon at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts.

Village food fair held in Toledo
A school garden project and a village food fair, was held last Friday in San Benito Poite in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Armenia village facing water problems
A village in the Cayo District is pleading to authorities to help restore the water system, so that they can be supplied with healthy water once again. Correspondent Fem Cruz went to find out more and has the details in this report.

Family of murdered US national seeks justice
The story has been out of the headlines; but the mystery of the murder of American businessman Greg Faul remains. And his family is insisting on finding out exactly what happened to their loved one. Love News monitored this report on the Faul family search for justice from a US television news station.

Corozal man says thieves cleaned him out
A sixty two year old retiree of Santa Rita Heights in the Corozal Town, reported that his house was burglarized. He reported to police that he left his house secured on November 11, 2012, because he was sent to the Hattieville Prison. The keys to his house were left with a neighbor on the same day and he left his two bank cards with a woman in Calcutta Village and asked her to get the key from his neighbor so she could stay in the house and take care of it. About two weeks after he received a call the neighbor who told him that he had taken items from his house including his pickup truck. The man asked his neighbor to return the items but wasn’t sure if it was done. On November 30, he received a phone call from the female caretaker informing him that four male persons were removing furniture from the house. They were approached by the woman who inquired as to who gave them permission to remove the items and they told her the neighbor told them to do so. On January 15 of this year, the homeowner returned and after making checks, he noticed that a quantity of items which include electronics, household items, jewelery, tools and other items amounting to a total of two hundred and sixty two thousand five hundred and fifty dollars were missing. Police are investigating. A nineteen year old student of the University of Belize’s Central Campus in Belmopan reported to police that around 8:45 last night, he was walking and texting in the University compound by the Jabiru building, when two men on a bicycle accosted him. One of the men reportedly ordered the teenager to hand over his over his belongings. The student refused and he said he was threatened and then hit to the left side of his face. The blow caused the student to fall to the ground and injure his left hand. Fearing for his life, the teen handed over his cell phone and three dollars and fifty cents in cash. After the attack, the perpetrators rode off in the direction of the San Martin area. The victim says he recognized one of the men and is requesting court action.

Illegal immigrants arraigned in Magistrate’s Court
Seven illegal immigrants, one of them a 27 year old woman and another a 17 year old boy, were charged with being prohibited immigrants when they appeared in Court today. The adults are Maria Tobias, 19 year old Santos Amaya, 33 year old Rigoberto Palma, 34 year old Jose Arevello, 33 year old Ovaldo Murillo and 25 year old Jose Escobar. They pled guilty to the charge and they were each fined $1,000.00 and they were ordered to pay forthwith, in default six months imprisonment. A removal order was granted for them to be deported to their country of origin. Five of them, among them Tobias and the minor, were caught early this morning at a police check point at mile 13 on Phillip Goldson Highway. The police intercepted a white van and when they looked inside they could not find the driver but they found the five illegal immigrants. They later learned that the driver had escaped by running though the bushes. The five immigrants told immigration officers that they were heading north to go to the U.S through Mexico. Palma, a Honduran national, was picked by the police at his home at 64 Antelope Street early this morning when the police responded to a report. Amaya, a Salvadoran national, was picked up by immigration officers yesterday as he got off a bus from Benque at Novelo’s Bus Terminal. Amaya told immigration officers that he was going to the U.S.

New public schools manager appointed
There’s a new general manager of government primary schools. He is Marvin Kellyman of Libertad Village, Corozal. Kellyman assumed his new position on Monday and today Love News asked him what are the priority areas that he will look at in the government and grant-aided school. As the General Manager, Kellyman will also be tasked to submit a budget to the government for the government schools. Kellyman holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education Administration from the University of Belize and a Master’s Degree from Bridgewater University. He started his teaching career 23 years ago and has served as principal at a number of primary schools over that period.

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Belize City
Fifty days ago Belizeans ushered in the New Year, 2013. This past weekend the Chinese New Year or the year of the snake celebrations kicked off with a series of events. Love TV’s Ava Diaz Sosa and video journalist Mathew Villanueva attended one of the functions and bring you this report.

Belize and El Salvador pursue partial scope trade agreement
The first round of negotiations for a Partial Scope Trade Agreement between Belize and El Salvador was launched in the Cayo District today. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Trade, Mike Singh, what happened today is preliminary. Singh says that he hopes that the prospective partial scope agreement will bring mutual benefits to producers and exporters. The Policy Director of the Ministry of Economy of El Salvador Carlos Moreno says they see Belize as an executive partner. The signing of a proposed agreement between the two countries, will take place on Thursday when the first three rounds of negotiations are scheduled to come to an end.


Belize – How to fix the economy
Belize is 31 years into Political Independence. It finds itself in a position where unemployment is over 18%, with an even higher unemployment among the young population….poverty is over 40%, as more and more the middle-class is being wiped out….GDP growth is below the Latin American average of...

Chief Justice strikes out long-running tort of misfeasance case
This morning, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the long-running tort of misfeasance case filed by the Government against former PUP Ministers Jose Coye and Florencio Marin, Sr. The two men were accused of “deliberate and dishonest abuse of office or the purported exercise of official power otherwise than...

Authorities have broken up two alleged human trafficking rings
Authorities have broken up two alleged human trafficking rings, one in the Georgeville and the other in the Burrell Boom. We’ll tell you first about the one in Georgeville – sometime around 9:30 on Monday night, Police and immigration officers set chase on a white van suspected to be...

Baby airlifted to U.S.A. for special surgery
Bryan Williams Jr is only 22 days old, but already he is facing life threatening challenges. He was born with a condition called oesophageal atresia – basically, the oesophagus, or the tube which carries food to the stomach for digestion, is malformed. World Paediatric Project and the Karl Heusner...

Belize negotiating PSA with El Salvador
Belize Launched the First Round of Negotiations for a Partial Scope Agreement with El Salvador yesterday. The PSA addresses a range of issues including market access for agricultural goods and products, investments, cooperation, legal and Institutional arrangements. Mike Singh, is the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Trade, Investment, Private...

Fashion Designer Rebecca Stirm headlines Wedding Spectacular in Jamaica
Fashion Designer Rebecca Stirm, left Belize this morning to participate in a 3 day Wedding Spectacular starting Friday Feb the 22 to the 24 to be held in Jamaica. Stirm has been proudly representing the country in the fashion world for several months now and this morning she left...

Complaints from around country pour in to Rise & Shine regarding Land
BYGEA says it continues to have major problems with the Ministry of Natural Resources. The grassroot organization responsible for the Harmonyville settlement says the delay of the processing of land documents of over a thousand plots has been frustrating to say the least. BYGEA also claims that the Ministry...

17 year old mother and two year old child missing
Belmopan Police are investigating the disappearance of a 17 year old mother along with her two year old child. Elda Chacon told police that her daughter 17yr old Marta Odilia Castellanos Chacon left her home on Saturday the 9th of February in the morning along with her daughter 2yr...

BDF vehicle in Road Traffic Accident
Around 4 pm Tuesday evening, there was a traffic accident on the Philip Goldson highway outside of Ladyville, involving a military vehicle belonging to the army. The soldiers were en route to Belize City when the driver, identified as Sergeant Major Michael Belgrave, tried to overtake a vehicle going...

Road improvement in Belize City progressing well
North Front Street is one of the chief commercial areas of Belize City and one of its longest streets, stretching from the Tourism Village at one end and on to Mapp Street next to Bowen and Bowen’s distribution Centre. Works have been ongoing in the area stretching from Memorial...

Three teenagers detained for theft
Belize City Police have detained three persons from Belize City pending the outcome of an attempted theft report. Acting upon information received on Tuesday Feb 19th at about 11:05pm, Police visited Port of Belize located on Caesar Ridge Road, Belize City where a 41 year old Security Guard had...

Two men charged with stealing corn
Two residents of Camalote and one of Roaring Creek Village have been arrested and charged for stealing corn. The Manager of Reimer’s Feed Mill visited the Belmopan Police station on Monday Feb 18th and stated that on the same day at about 10:30am he visited his corn field located...


Daylight sighting of Yellow-Crowned Night Heron
Occasionally we have seen a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron hanging around Grand Caribe at dusk. And sometimes Paisley flushes one out of the grass during her night-time walk that I don't even see until it flaps off, startled. But recently Barry saw one down the beach, hunting in the shallows, in the light of day. He rushed back in for his camera, hustled back down the beach, and the heron was still there. He managed to get some really nice shots, which had proved impossible at dusk. I love this hunting sequence.

Akaline Balance
Acid Dennis and I decided to do a cleanse before his heads to Mexico, we planned it out and figured we could go up to 9 days. My main goal was to eat more alkalizing foods and steer clear of acidic foods. Dennis was a healthier eater to begin with but was up for that challenge, his main goal was to use the cleanse to stop smoking and get back on track from all the unhealthy foods he was eating while here in Belize. To prepare for our cleanse we did a lot of research, here is a good alkaline food list that we found – one of many. As we got looking various foods up, there were some that made it on both lists depending on which site we looked at, quinoa was one of those. I based my decision for keeping this one on the list based on information I found on the Sustainability and Raw foods blog. They say quinoa is a relative of amaranth, that it is technically not a true grain and is classified as an alkaline-forming food. It’s also extremely rich in nutrients – B vitamins, iron, phosphorous, and vitamin E. It has more calcium than milk and is a good source of protein. Of course as we lead up to our cleanse last week, we totally enjoyed ourselves and consumed all kinds of naughty foods as we counted down the days till we gave it all up. On the list was drinks, burgers and fries from El Divino a few times, homemade chocolate cookies, deep fried calamari at Aji restaurant and breakfast on the beach at Estel’s Dine by the Sea. Charles even tried to persuade us to start our cleanse today instead of Monday as they were doing a special barbecue contest yesterday at Estel’s. As temped as I was I knew that delaying the process would not help me any.

Arriving in Cancun and the Official Attire for Spring Break 2013
I was under the impression that proper Spring Break...MTV style, Jersey Shore fist pumping, 19 year old spring chugging through funnels spring break wasn't until March. Ugh...I was wrong. But let's back up just a wee bit...I needed to make my way back to San Pedro and, as usual, the cheapest way by far (over $400usd cheaper) was through Cancun. United Airlines had a good article in their inflight magazine exploring the more "off the beaten path" San Pedro or Caye Caulker, they focused on Robert's Grove in Placencia and the mainland. Mostly I think they were trying to say "Welcome back Rebecca". We landed in Cancun Airport PACKED with people on Presidents' Day break and headed over to the hotel. The line just for customs was hundreds and hundreds of people. They charge something ridiculous for taxi service ($60USD) so we took the still overpriced shuttle service ($16USD per person). Two nights at the Krystal Hotels (cheapest on the beach at $129US per night) and in the heart of Cancun night club madness. Somehow I got a picture of an almost empty and vomit free lobby.

The Top Most Endangered Species in Belize
Belize has one of the world’s most rich and diverse flora and fauna and offers a broad range of habitats for amazing wildlife living from open savannas to mountainous regions. The country has approximately 145 species of mammals, 139 species of reptiles and amphibians including 56 plus species of snakes, over 4000 species of flowering plant including some 700 trees and 250 species of orchids. Belize is also a birder’s paradise, with over 500 species of rare and exotic birds thriving in its many distinct habitats. However in the past few years there have been some species that are becoming endangered due to pollution, deforestation, and over hunting. In this blog post, we highlight six species that are engendered in Belize:

That’s What Friends Are For
Out on the veranda early (was going to ‘say’ bright but it was still dark when I went out there) this morning and got my early ‘fix’ of news from The Times. Steered well clear of the sports pages though because I wanted no reminders of how soundly Arsenal were beaten yesterday. Focused instead on the news, business and register (previously known as obituaries). With that done I switched to my In Box and went through my emails. Most of them were from hotel groups and Expat message forums. There were a couple of more welcome ones though. One from my sister (hi Chris – I know that she reads this blog) and one from an ex work colleague in England who had sent me a draft contract that he asked me to review. Knowing that I needed to concentrate on the task (he would like feedback by Friday) I decided to start the process (iPad in hand) with breakfast at Estel’s. Got there to find that inexplicably (well for me anyway) they were closed (momentarily I wondered if it was Tuesday). Disappointingly I trudged (I love that word) along the beach but perked up when I saw there were tables free at Lily’s Treasure Chest Restaurant . Started the review of the contract whilst waiting for my order and continued with it whilst eating (not good manners I know). Made a good start on the read through and will get up extra special early tomorrow to finish the job. That’s what friends are for! When I got back after breakfast Rose and I went to Hummingbird Furnishings in Coconut Drive to start forming some thoughts as to how we will furnish our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize when it is finished.

WANTED – David Taylor
David Taylor, charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and the possession of pornographic material is a wanted man after failing to appear in the Magistrate’s Court in Dangriga last week. Taylor was granted Supreme Court bail after the Placencia Police had objected strongly to bail because he was deemed a flight risk. Police in Placencia are not happy about the turn of events, and that’s putting it mildly, and are asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of Mr. Taylor to call Crime Stoppers or the Placencia Police at telephone numbers; 503-3142 or 632-5341.

International Sources

Regional leader support moves to end Guatemala’s claim to Belize
Caribbean Community(CARICOM) leaders are expressing their “full support” for the referendum that could lead to an end to the border dispute between Guatemala and Belize. The regional leaders who ended their 24th Inter-Sessional summit here on Tuesday night., said they had received an update on arrangement being made by the two countries to hold a simultaneous referenda on October 6 this year. The two countries have already launched a public awareness campaign, in respect of the decision on whether to submit Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a final and binding settlement. “The Conference expressed its full support for the process to bring Guatemala’s claims to an end and called on the international community to also do so, especially in relation to meeting the costs involved in bringing this longstanding dispute for final determination,” the leaders said in a communiqué. “The Conference is encouraged that both Belize and Guatemala are remaining faithful to the roadmap that both countries have agreed to in accordance with the Special Agreement of December 2008, and expressed its concern at any attempts to destabilize that process and its roadmap,” the leaders said, adding that they had “reaffirmed the Community’s firm and unequivocal support for Belize’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

From venturing deep into the creature-filled jungle to diving into the skeleton infested caves in this small, Central-American country, students in the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management will be truly embarking on an adventure by traveling to Belize. Carolin Lusby, CSHTM professor, will be conducting this trip during spring break this year from March 8 to March 17. The trip is designed for both undergraduate and graduate students in the CSHTM, however, it welcomes any student interested in going. Nine students will be going on the trip this year. The course offered for this trip is HFT 3993 Adventure Tourism at an undergraduate level or HFT 5957 Abroad Research Program at graduate level depending on the student. “Every trip is a little different depending on what we’re teaching, what we’re talking about, but the standard itinerary stays approximately the same,” said Lusby. During the trip this year, Lusby said students will be participating in numerous activities including very heavy community service, working in the schools with the kids, Myan cooking and farming, exploring Myan archaeology and temples, canoeing, rain forest medicine, coral reef ecology, snorkeling, kayaking and exploring caves.

Belize PM announces new plans for tackling debt
Dean Barrow as he piloted Government of Belize External Debt Restructuring Motion through the House of Representatives. According to the details within the bill, the Belize government proposes to extend maturities and cut the coupon on the country’s US$544 million of defaulted debt as part of the country’s second debt restructuring since 2007. Prime Barrow announced plans to extend the maturity on the defaulted bonds to 2038 from 2029 and lower the current coupon to five per cent from 8.5 per cent. Barrow, speaking to the lower house in Belmopan, said the agreement would provide the country US$247 million in relief over the next ten years.

Venues announced for 2013 Gold Cup, Mexico to start at the Rose Bowl
Mexico will begin its quest for a third consecutive Gold Cup close to home. El Tri will begin its defense of the CONCACAF region's premier international competition at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. In a press conference on Wednesday, CONCACAF announced that the July 7 event would be a doubleheader, with another match taking place as well. Twelve teams - Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago and the United States - will contest the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Mexico, the six-time winner and double reigning champion, will attempt to secure its second-ever three-in-a-row set of tournament victories.

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