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3/11/2013 to 3/20/2013
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March 20, 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

Students across the country sit P.S.E.
On Monday March 18th, standard six students from across the country sat Part One of the Primary School Examination (P.S.E.).P.S.E. is an important examination since it is a determining factor for admission to many high schools across the country and students prepare for this exam through eight years of their primary school education.The main purpose of the P.S.E. is to measure the achievement levels of students who have completed their primary education in Belize.The P.S.E. consists of four study areas, Science, English, Mathematics and Social Studies. The first part of the examination consisted of Science and English papers. 197 students from both San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village registered for the exams, which were sat at The San Pedro High School (SPHS), the assigned examination center for the area. According toMiriam Pott Codd,the Education Officer for San Pedro Town, of the 197 registered students, 192 sat the exam. There were no private candidates registered this year for the area. Each primary institution from the two cayes sent candidates to sit the exams and among the 192 students that sat the exam, five were special needs candidates.

Taiwan donates two Garbage compactors to San Pedro Town
Once a small fishing village, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye has grown to be a popular tourism destination in with approximately 20 thousand inhabitants (at the peak of tourism season). With the ever growing number of people on the island, garbage disposal has become a major concern. Large resorts and many restaurants that cater to the added thousands of visitors that flock the island annually, generate large amounts of garbage that, if not properly disposed, can become hazardous to our Caribbean waters and marine life, not to mention our already fragile reef system. For these reasons The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has made solid waste management a key focus for the council. On Friday March 15th, SPTC got a major boost in their efforts to control garbage on the island. Two brand new garbage compactors were donated to the town of San Pedro by Taiwan (The Republic of China). Obtaining the compactors begun under the council of the previous mayor Elsa Paz and with continued efforts of current mayor Daniel Guerrero, the mission became a reality. For many years, Taiwan has been providing assistance to Belize, including a previous donation of a garbage compactor to the Corozal Free Zone, which has benefited that town tremendously.

Inter-Institutional Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives completed
44 participants from various law enforcement departments and agencies in Belize have received certificates after completing a two-weeks training course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, sponsored by the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The course, which ran from February 25 to March 8, 2013, covered a wide range of topics including the basics on firearms, legal framework, stock-pile management and disarmament. In her remarks at the Graduation ceremony, UNRILEC Director Melanie Regimbal stated, “Our goal over the last two weeks was not only to impart knowledge on the various firearm activities and how to conduct investigations, or how to look at classification of weapons, or crime scene management, or weapon destruction and practical disarmament measures. These are all issues that are fundamental and are the reason behind the course. But I hope that what you will have gotten out of the last ten days is really an insight as to what your other colleagues are doing to combat illicit firearms trafficking.”

Ambergris Today

The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch Elects Board of Directors
Our lovely island of San Pedro now counts with an active Belize Red Cross group. The local branch of the Belize Red Cross elected its Board of Directors on March 14, 2013, under the presence of the Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman. Taking the reigns of the Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch is Mr. Eiden Salazar who was elected as the Chairperson. His board of directors include Anthony Anderson as Vice-Chairperson, Carolyn Human - Treasurer, Phillip Ramsey - Secretary, Swuine Diego - Youth representative and Sandro Cob, Frank Panton and Cheryl Bowen as ordinary members.

25 Years Ago: Four Strange Home Remedies used in the Village Of San Pedro
Whenever we get a large wound like a gash with a sharp conch shell, or a deep cut with a sharp knife or machete, if there is severe bleeding apply direct pressure or tourniquet but that is because we have some knowledge of First Aid. Not so Years Ago in San Pedro. To stop a profuse bleeding we used to apply kerosene (some people call it gas) directly on the wound. This would start coagulating the blood and the bleeding would immediately commence to slow down. Another thing that would help in stopping a severe bleeding was coffee. Yes simply apply some granules of coffee directly on the wound and stuff some into the cut. Like good caulking preventing any leakage, this coffee serves like a caulk and stops the bleeding considerably fast. Now the injury you got earlier in the day is beginning to cause quite some pain. So what do you do? You immediately go to the doctor and an injection of some pain killer (analgesic) will have you smiling again shortly. Not so Years Ago in San Pedro. What we did was try to catch a scorpion in the debris in the yard. Fry the scorpion and smash it to a fine paste. Apply this paste like an ointment directly on the wound that is causing the pain, and in minutes the pain diminishes and vanishes. Magic? No, but it works; my dad applied it several times on my adventurous feet that loved to be meander about in the bush, the seaside, the garbage dump site, and other “child attractive places”.

Pic of the Week: Spring Break Conference Call in San Pedro, Belize
It's Spring Break in Belize and the conference call is around the pool at the Victoria House Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. It is not quite the massive Spring Break parties you will find in Cancun or South Beach, but vacationers to Belize during the Spring/Easter holidays find our laid back and tranqul paradise a bit more fun; mind you there are big parties in town for those who come to celebrate and have a different kind of fun. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye provides the best of both worlds to vacationers.

SP Lions Plan Second Annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny
With last year’s Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny a hopping success, the San Pedro Lions Club is excited to announce their second annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, March 30th at the Lions Den. The holiday event will run from 9:30AM until 12:30PM. Guests will enjoy a delicious pancake meal with sausage, fruit, fun pancake toppings and juice. Children’s activities will include coloring, bobbing for Easter eggs, face painting, jumping tent for small children and lots of fun games, There will also be Easter baskets available for parents to purchase in a variety of sizes and prices. A new activity this year is the Coco-Bunny craft, where children can decorate a painted coconut as the Easter Bunny. The activity will cost $1 per coco-bunny and of course all proceeds help the Lions with their community projects. Parents are invited to bring their camera and snap a photo of their child with the Easter Bunny. Tickets are available at the door and are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 12 and under, and toddlers under the age of two are free. Come out and enjoy the family, a bunny-good time will be had by all!

Moving Forward with Great Diet and Exercise
Q: I was wondering if you can submit a diet plan for me; something simple but effective. I workout everyday but I still manage to eat things I shouldn't. A: Last week I mentioned the importance of knowing your BMR…it is critical to have this baseline knowledge if you want to manipulate your weight effectively. I’ll use my MBR as an example to answer the question. My BMR is approximately 1,300 calories per day; I am 34 yrs old, 5’ 3” and currently weight 125 lbs. To maintain my weight, I can consume 1,300 calories per day and do no exercises. Most of us want to lose weight, therefore we need to create a caloric deficit somewhere…that’s where exercising can speed up the process! If I work out 5 times per week and burn 300 calories in each workout, that’s a total of 1,500 calories burnt per week…equals to half a pound of fat lost!

Misc Belizean Sources

Female Self Defense Classes in Cayo
Renee Wentz will be offering some more free female self defense classes today, March 20th, in Central Farm, and March 23rd, at the University of Belize. Call 630-5571 for more information. Thanks, Renee, for offering this valuable training again.

Swigs Party at the SIRH
Now that's an awesome ticket!!! The Hands for Life club is having a fund raiser on Friday, April 12th, at the Bedran Hall. Cloud 9 will be there, and there will also be a DJ competition. See you there!

Heels On Party Pictures
Danny Chung captured the spirit of the Heels On Party. Island Time Beverages sponsored the dance, and Cloud 9 was there mixing the night away.

Women's Month Ride Pictures
The Women's Month Bike Ride was a success. The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association along with the women's group and others held the event last weekend. "Community Policing and CNWA teamed up with the Women's Group for a ride in Town. After that we went on an extended ride with those that wanted to join us. A group of 7 riders plus ATV with camera person."

Rotary Inaugurates Facilities at St. Andrews
Feelgood news of the day. The Rotary Club of San Ignacio inaugurated the new bathroom facilities at St. Andrews Primary School this morning. Rotary has been instrumental in building facilities all over Cayo lately, and this is the first of 2 that will be inaugurated this week. Thursday, they'll inaugurate the new facilities at Eden SDA in Santa Elena. Thanks, Rotary, for making our children's world a better place!

Channel 7

Cold Killing On City Street - Was Working Man Randomly Targeted?
There was another broad daylight killing in Belize City today - and the victim was a working man - who was on the job. According to his family, he was randomly targeted by a gunman hunting down another man. If they are right, the randomness of the crime almost defies comprehension. 7news was on the scene today and Monica Bodden spoke with the family of the deceased. Monica Bodden Reporting The body of another young black man lay lifeless in the city streets once again today. The broad daylight murder happened just before 11:30 this morning on Caesar Ridge Road. 27 year old Ardon Belgrave - a maintenance worker for the Belize City Council was in the area working - when he was cold bloodedly gunned down in front of his co-workers. Wallace Belgrave - Father of Deceased "His cousin and I were sitting down there. He stopped in the shop and said that Belgrave was dead, but when he said it; I didn't even think about it. So I told my cousin, the guy is talking to you, so again he said, 'Belgrave is dead, then he called me one side and said that Belgrave died. I kept asking him to explain it because it was surprising to me." Belgrave was shot to the head - According to those on the scene, he was not the intended target - witnesses say that the gunman was chasing his target - but when the target got away, he turned around and opened fire on Belgrave.

Human Trafficking Suspect Still In Custody
43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia remains in Police custody tonight pending criminal charges for human trafficking. Reports say she's already been assessed for an immigration charge - which will allow the major crimes unit to hold her longer as they prepare the human trafficking charges. As we reported, Alaz Azmitia is believed to have been the handler for four minors and an 18 year old who were supposed to be trafficked to the USA on a USAIR Flight on Sunday. But, a police source picked up intelligence that led to her arrest and the interception of the 4 minors and an 18 year old. The five persons comprise two females, aged 18 and 14 and the three males -boys aged, 9, 10, and 13. They are all Salvadorean and arrived in the country last week. They stayed at an inexpensive hotel in Belize City - false Guatemalan passports affixed with bogus US Visas were prepared for them. All five are in the custody of social services for safe-keeping, while Alaz Azmitia is expected to be arraigned tomorrow.

FFB Field to Be Used For Bandfest – President Justifies Decision
This weekend, Belize's National Football Selection will play a friendly match against Trinidad and Tobago's selection, the "Soca Boys". Both teams are preparing for the Gold Cup - so it's considered an important match for each team to test its strengths. But, the game won't be played on the only FIFA approved field in the country, which is at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan; instead, it will be played in Belize City at the MCC Grounds. And the reason it won't be played in Belmopan? Well, that's because the field will be in use for the LOVE FM Bandfest. Now, that's got many observers throwing their hands up because the FFB President Ruperto Vicente aggressively campaigned and protested against concerts played at the MCC. And now he has an all-day Bandfest on Belize's only FIFA Approved football field? Sounds like a case of "do-soh no like do-soh" - and today, we asked him to explain the rationale in allowing this football pitch to be subjected to possible damage after they protested the use of the MCC Grounds for NICH's Indige-NOW and the Digicell 4G Beenie Man concerts. He told us that standards are important, but so is funding for the National Team as they get ready to send them to Gold Cup in July:

No Decision Yet On Referendum
Belize's Cabinet has still not decided on the proposal by the Guatemalan government to postpone the referendum originally scheduled for October 6, 2013. That's because Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has not yet returned from Washington DC with the formal proposal for Cabinet to consider. But, in somewhat related news, the a senior official from the British Ministry of Defence will be visiting Belize later this week. He is Dr Andrew Murrisson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy at the Defence Ministry. But don't expect a security blanket, Murrisson will be presenting vehicles to BATSUB and visit the Belize Defence Force.

He Allegedly Assaulted A 15 Year Old Girl, Indecently
Tonight, 39 year-old Marlon Mangar, a resident of mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway, is out on bail after he was taken to court for indecent assault against a 15 year-old minor. According to police, the minor alleged that on March 10, 2013, Mangar touched her inappropriately on her private parts. As a result, police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, without the presence of the media or any of his family members, and he was granted him bail of $1,500, five hundred of which he had to pay upfront. He was able to meet bail this afternoon, but he must return to court on March 15, 2013.

Bar President Courtenay Braces A-G Elrington
Last week you heard Attorney General Wilfred Elrington and Prime Minister Dean Barrow talk about the Bar Association. They both said it's unconstitutional because compulsory membership in any organization violates the freedom of association guaranteed by the constitution. So, end of story right? Well, not so fast. The bar association met last night and today President Eamon Courtenay told us that freedom of association is not always that simple: Eamon Courtenay - President, Bar Association of Belize "Since this matter has been raised, some of our members have done some research, and have already found cases where this specific matter has come up, and it has been found not to be unconstitutional. If we have persons performing legal, and they are not going to be regulated by an association, by an independent body, it is not going to be beneficial to Belize. It is not going to be beneficial to clients; it is not going to be beneficial to the Judiciary. The Bar was very disappointed in some of the things that have been said, some of the criticisms that have been leveled at the Bar. And we believe that the best way to deal with this is to seek to engage the Attorney General, seek to engage the Government on some their concerns." Jules Vasquez "One of the criticisms has leveled at the Bar - and I saw Mr. Smith write about it it as well - is that the Bar does not a). serve its members, or b). serve the public. It does not serve its members with continuing education - according to the Attorney General - and Mr. Smith, he proffered in a written piece it should offer some kind of help - some kind of website that maybe the public can access to help them through legal quagmires, land papers and that sort of thing. Is there any spirit in the Bar Asssociation to reform its ways."

Special Report From Key West, FL: What US Southcom Sees In Belize
Almost 200 years ago, the Monroe Doctrine was put forth by the United States. In simplest terms it stated that all of South, Central and North America should remain under the prevailing influence of the United States, and not the European powers that had colonized it. The term was used by American leaders as recently as 30 years ago - and while it has fallen out of vogue recently as the Superpower's attention has shifted to the Muslim world, the US remains very interested in the political and security affairs of Central and South America. And the clearest expression of that is the US Army Southern Command, known as SOUTHCOM. According to its charter, it is responsible for "providing contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation for Central America, South America and the Caribbean." Last week, Janelle Chanona and other Belizean journalists were invited to SOUTHCOM's Joint Inter-Agency Task Force South in Key west Florida. That's where the US Army tracks drugs moving north to the United States. It's a rare opportunity to see inside a tremendous military machine - and working with Jesse Mendoza from PLUS TV, Janelle put together this report on the US Army's perspective on security risks in our region:

New Police Recruits Pass Out
Yesterday, we told you about the Police Department's new Precinct system for Belize City. As we also showed you, the Commissioner of Police plans to inject the majority of recruit intake #88, which graduated today, into this new system. Since they will be very active in Belize City, we thought it fair to acquaint ourselves with them as they participated in the graduation ceremony in Belmopan this evening. Here's what the Commander of the Police Training Academy told us about his confidence in their abilities: Superintendent Linden Flowers - Commandant, Police Training Academy "Today sees the end of a process that began the 7th of July 2012, where over 850 Belizeans, young men and women, high school graduates sat the entrance exam - sat an entrance exam to the Police Department. The 130 recruits that will be passing out today started on the 11th of November after their medical and other activities took place. And when these persons came here from the 11th of a November 2012, myself and my team of officers mainly; assistant Superintendent Rosado, Inspector Jones and several sergeants and constables including members from the Human Rights Commission, we did a part of our training where, we invited attorneys to come in and address these participants on the role and functions of police, as it relates to the constitution and the human rights aspect of policing.

Tanya Carter Making "Authentic Reggae" In Jamaica
Tanya Carter has a smooth new reggae single and a slick music video, but the news is that she's hooked up with a Jamaican production outfit. A release from Kingston says she'll be working "closely with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single: Ex-boyfriend." Producer Christopher Birch is quoted as saying that he thinks she can make it in the very competitive reggae industry. They are working on a new track. Until then, you can find her video for "Ex-boyfriend" through a link at

Belizeans Are Reef People
We've got all kinds of awareness weeks in Belize, but now the protectors of our Marine environment want you to celebrate reef week. It was officially declared open last night, and OCEANA's Audrey Matura Shepherd told us why Belizeans are people of the reef: Audrey Matura-Shepherd - VP, Oceana Belize "Reef Week is connected to everything, controversial and non-controversial issues. But really, it is an opportunity for people to put any differences aside, and let's accept what the reality is. We have one of the most beautiful reefs. It serves us many purposes. It helps us earn money; it's a tourist attraction, and for fishing. That brings in money. It also protects money because everytime it shields us from hurricanes and any kind of storms, it's helping us not to have to go and build a house every minute, like the ants, who get their homes destroyed every minute. And definitely, it adds value to our lives." Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "I think that it is important that we as Belizeans continue to ensure that our children and that our populace at large understand that Belize has 80% of the Meso-American Barrier Reef Complex. The Belize Barrier Reef is the largest portion."

Trini's Soca Boys In Belize
As we told you earlier in the newscast, Belize's National Football Selection is hosting the Soca Boys of Trinidad and Tobago in an international friendly on Saturday at the MCC Grounds. The Soca Boys made it to the world cup in 2006 - and now they are going to the Gold Cup along with Belize. It's a team that is rebuilding and reloading to make another World Cup Run and we spoke with the Captain and the Coach when they arrived today: Hutson Charles - Coach, "Soca Warriors" "You know, Belize is a young improving team on the upcoming tournaments, and we expect to get a good fight from them. Seeing that they're home, we see it fit to play a game at this meet here, so as to enhance our preparation for the goal cup." Denzil Theobald - Captain, "Soca Warriors" "Every game we go to represent our country, we go to win and it's a part of preparations for the Gold Cup, which is the ideal goal we have in mind, to go there and do well. We have some players from England, we have some players from the MLS; we also have players from other parts of Europe as well, joining together with the base goal, from Trinidad and Tobago that plays in the professional league of Trinidad."

National Team Called to Workout
And while elements of the Trinidad National Team continue to arrive in Belize for the Friendly match over the next few days, today was the first day of official National Team training for the Belize Selection at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. It is also the first practice for the team without their Head Coach, Leroy Sherrier. We've seen the response from the officials about Sherrier's departure, and so today, we took the opportunity to ask the members of the team about their plan for the next few months leading up to the Gold Cup without Sherrier. Here's what they told us, about that and their preparations for Saturday's friendly match, and the Gold Cup: Dalton Eiley - Captain, Belize National Football Team "Most of our opinions on the coach leaving are one of shock and disappointment, because he took us so far and we were expecting and hoping that he would take us to the next level. It didn't work out, we have to hang -hold our head high, work together, go to the goal cup and just try to do good for him and for our country. I've mentioned this to a couple people before and like every time we get a tournament, we always get the host nation first, this is one of the biggest, I mean USA. Well, my thing is we just go out and play with the same mentality that we played in Costa Rica, just come out, keep a strong back line, and just attack when we get the break and take the opportunities as we get them. The major weakness, I think was; we had a defensive team from the midfield back to the defense line; there was no attacking mid fielder who we had. I think that's what the coaches are looking into, and to see that was one of our major weaknesses as you point it out. I think that was the main thing. We brought guys - players for that specific role, to play attacking midfield. We have a sound defensive back line and some defenses middle, just at this point we have to implement one attacking midfielder in this to deliver to Deon Mcauley and Caful Roaches on top."

Belizean Footballers Try Out For MLS
And while the players look toward the biggest tournament in Belize's History, they also turned heads for their performance in the Copa Centroamericana. And as a result, 2 players of the National Team, Deon McCauley and Woodrow West were invited to participate in try-outs for football clubs in the USA's Major League Soccer, or "MLS" as it is known. It's a major opportunity for these Belizean athletes, so today, we asked them about how those tryouts went. Here's what they told us: Woodrow West - Goalkeeper, Belize National Football Team "Yes I've been - I went out and tried out with a few teams and I came back to Belize because what I went for was just a tryout; it was not to catch any club right away, so I'll leave the door open. I have a place in New York; hopefully I get to play in New York. It depends on my games in the Gold Cup, on my performance, then I can go far, but it all depends on the Gold Cup." Deon McCauley - Forward, Belize National Football Team "I was - actually I had 2 tryouts, one whit Chicago fur and the other with Portland Timbers. It was a very good experience for me, I've learnt a lot for the experience and it was a good one."

Can You Spell Belmopan With A "Y"?
For over 50 years, the YWCA has been based mainly in Belize City, but the organization also offers services to women in rural areas. But getting to the city can be half the problem, so today the "Y" opened its new branch in theother city, Belmopan. 7News spoke to the President about the importance of this milestone for the Organization. Sheree Smiling - Craig - President, YWCA Belize "We're opening our Belmopan branch, which is a historical event for the YWCA. We have always, for 57 years, actually been in the Belize City area. Although we catered to rural women, this branch in Belmopan is just showing our support - our greater support to the rural women projects so that women from the Belmopan community and the wider Belize community can come into Belmopan and be trained in marketing, in creating new skills, and having an outlet for their produces. A lot of the rural women are encouraged through their programs with the Y to actually create new produces that they can market, so that they become self-sustained in their own lives." Daniel Ortiz "Why do you and the YWCA feel as if though it is important, was there issue of accessibility?"

Channel 5

Salvadoran national trafficking minors through Belize
  There are few convictions for human trafficking even though there is a well established network but tonight the face of human trafficking is that of a fifty two year old Salvadoran national, Hilda Alas Azmitia.  On Sunday, at nine forty-five a.m., Azmitia was escorting children at the Philip Goldson International Airport where they intended [...]

Random killing on Caesar Ridge Road
Just after eleven this morning shots rang out on Caesar Ridge Road in the Port Loyola area. Witnesses say that at least eight shots were heard and when the gunfire subsided, a Belize City youth lay lifeless on the pavement. Minutes earlier he was standing under a tree along with others, when the shooter rode [...]

Bar Association strikes back at Attorney General
Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington is taking aim at the Bar Association and it is not the first time. This time though, he is using legislation that could result in a further splintering of the Bar.  Last week, through a letter from Solicitor-General Cheryl Krusen to the Chief Justice and the Bar Association, the AG made known [...]

Bar brings down the gavel on AG’s criticisms
And while those recommendations will be forwarded to Attorney General Wilfred Elrington and Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen, President of the Bar Eamon Courtenay also dealt with the very pointed criticisms that have been heaped on the Association by Elrington. The AG has stated very clearly that he believes that the Bar Association does absolutely nothing [...]

Should there be an October 6th referendum within Guatemala?
With the debate focusing now on the referendum, our last question was if viewers thought that government was soft on Guatemala. An overwhelming ninety-two percent voted yes while the rest said no: Turning to tonight’s question: Should Belize proceed to hold a referendum on October 6, if Guatemala does not? Send your comments and responses [...]

Is the bar Association P.U.P.?
Earlier in the newscast we showed you the response from Bar Association President Eamon Courtenay to criticism that the Bar is inactive, a waste of time, and does nothing for its members or for the community. But there is also that other matter which comes up time and time again, and always from U.D.P. politicians [...]

Bar says amendment means no regulation and no oversight
And putting aside the criticisms, founded or unfounded, and removing the government perception of a politically skewed Association, Courtenay says the move just doesn’t make much sense, period. If the amendment is passed as proposed, attorneys would be able to practice free of association with any legal body, which translates to no regulation and no [...]

Bar Association worries about formation of General Legal Council
To round out his openly critical response to the Attorney-General’s very blatant and apologetic targeting of the Bar Association, Eamon Courtenay touched on a very sensitive topic, the General Legal Council. Currently that oversight body is appointed by the Bar Association, but if the amendment goes through, it will be appointed by the Attorney General. [...]

Arsonist fined instead of prison time
A Belize City man was spared jail time after being convicted on March fourteenth of arson on the house of the mother of his ex. Thirty-five year old Brian Barrella appeared on Monday evening before Justice Adolph Lucas for sentencing.  During the mitigation plea, family members and friends spoke on Barrella’s behalf asking for leniency. [...]

To kill or not to kill? Death penalty is still in the books
The death penalty is still in Belize’s constitution even though the last person to have been executed was over twenty-five years ago when Kent Bowers was hung for the murder of Robert Codd. There are eight persons on death row but only one person has served over fifty years in prison and cannot be executed [...]

On patrol with the US Southern Command
Belize is considered a main transit point for drugs that make their way to the United States by land, sea and air. In the fight against drug trafficking, the US has established a major anti-drug operation center in Florida and because of its sensitive nature; it is off limits to the public. Last year alone, [...]

Belize vs. Trinidad for football goal!
The Belize Jaguars are preparing for play against the Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago in anticipation of the Gold Cup in which Belize will be going up against the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica. Members of the visiting team began arriving today for the match which takes place this Saturday. But instead of [...]

Tanya Carter’s new song, Ex-boyfriend
Belizean singer, Tanya Carter  has opened for Etana, Luciano, Lexxus and Morgan Heritage, so it’s not unusual that she has flown to Jamaica, the home of reggae music to work with some of the best producers on the island. She has collaborated with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single, [...]


Daylight Shooting Proves Fatal
Shortly before midday today, blood tainted the street on Cesar Ridge Road not too far from its corner with Reggae Street, where a man was shot to death. Love News understands that the victim was employed under the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project and was working on the const...

Guatemalan National Detained Pending Firearm Charges
A woman from the Cayo District was detained after a search of her home resulted in the discovery of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ "On Monday, March 18 sometime around 5pm, Belmopan C.I.B personnel conducted a search at th...

United World Colleges Offer Scholarship Opportunity
The United World Colleges, UWC is offering scholarship opportunity and placement for a Belizean student for the academic term 2013 to 2015. Correspondent Paul Mahung has more in this report. PAUL MAHUNG " The United World Colleges (UWC) is offering a scholarship oppo...

Child Stimulation Month Activities Continue
The month of March has been set aside as child stimulation month and a number of activities have been going on with pre-schoolers. Today is cultural day and Love News stopped by the Anglican Diocesan Preschool which is located behind St. Mary’s Anglican School. ...

Belize Police Commissioner Presents New Plan of Action
The Police High Command, headed by newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, has presented a new plan of action to fight crime on a local level. It has come about since his taking over command of the Police Department on January ninth of this year and following a numb...

Belizean Laborer Accused of Sexual Assault on Minor
Thirty-nine year old Marlon Mangar, a laborer who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 15 year old girl, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in Court today. Mangar pled not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie smith offered him a bail $2,000.00 and st...

Convicted Murderer Loses Appeal Case
An appeal by 27 year old Darrell Grant, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, was dismissed today by Belize court of Appeal. Grant’s conviction and sentence were affirmed. Grant was convicted of the murder of Sandra Ruiz, a housewife who was bludgeoned to death ...

San Ignacio Police Seeks Escaped Convict
A prisoner escaped from custody in San Ignacio. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY "On Monday, March 18 at about 2:55pm, San Ignacio Police was in the process of cleaning the cell block where prisoners were kept, it was then that a convicted priso...


Suicide By Poison
A Corozal resident committed suicide yesterday. Reports are that at around 2:00pm yesterday 32 year old Omar Martinez, Belizean cane cutter of San Narciso Village Corozal, entered his mother’s residence and informed her that he had drunk poison. Martinez then went outside, sat on a chair and threw away a white plastic bottle as he began vomiting. The 32 year old was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where he died at 4:00pm. Police retrieved the white bottle from the area for examination and investigations continue.

Forest Dep. Officially Lodges Report Of Illegal Hunting Of Howler Monkey
The Forest Department has lodged an official complaint at the Orange Walk Police Station against four students and one male teacher of the Belize High School of Agriculture. CTV3 News understands that today representatives of the Forest Department visited the station where they handed over their investigative file to Superintendent Joseph Myvett. Based on the Forest Department’s investigation, the prosecution will now seek to have all four boys and teacher found guilty of illegal hunting after charges are levied against them. However, we understand that none of the individuals, accused of brutally attacking a black male howler monkey on March 5th, were detained today. As we have stated before, the monkey died two days after the incident while being treated at the Wild Tracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja.

Yes Or No To The ICJ? Referendum Unit Educates Teachers And Students
A Referendum Unit was formed and launched early this year with the task of educating Belizeans on the pros, cons, and risks of taking Guatemala’s long standing claim over Belize to the International Court of Justice. The referendum unit has been travelling to all parts of the country, meeting with different groups and community members. Today, the team was at Muffles High School discussing the education process for the Belize/Guatemala Referendum with teachers from various high schools and fourth form and third form students of Muffles High School. We stopped by to take a look at how the awareness campaign is going so far. Hipolito Novelo Reporting… Ask yourself this: how much do you know about the Guatemalan claim over Belize? Probably it’s only the bits of information that was thought to you in primary and high school. The referendum on whether or not to take the long standing dispute to the International Court of Justice is schedule for October 6th. The responsibility to inform Belizeans about the pros, cons, and all the risk we’ll be taking if we do take the matter to the ICJ has been tasked to the Referendum Unit which was officially launched on January 23rd 2013. Stuart Leslie, Ambassador, Referendum Unit “Since then the referendum commission which is made up from all civil society in support of the process in giving Belize an awareness of the pros, cons and the risk in presenting Belize’s case before the ICJ. One of the issues that we are picking up out there is fear when it comes to Belize and Guatemala. We try to deal it with by providing people with information. So it is an awareness campaign that is giving people the facts.”

After 47 Days Hilmer Ical Still Missing
Today makes 47 days that 15 year old Hilmer Ical has been missing. Yesterday when we spoke to Ical’s aunt, 45 year old Olympia Bull, she told us that since the boy left home on January 31st he has not been seen or heard from. The last the family heard is that Ical is in bad company hence why they are pleading for him to come home. Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, brown complexion; 5 feet in height, medium built and weighs about 85 lbs. He was last seen in Corozal Town on January 31st selling Creole bread. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Ical is asked to call 911 or the nearest police station.

Orange Walk's Rodrigo Leiva Wins Elite Race In Mexico
Yesterday we told you about Grisel Carballo, the proud Orange Walkena who represented Belize in the Diosa Maya Internacional 2013 Pageant in Merida, Yucatan and for the first time won the crown. Tonight another Orange Walk resident is making headlines in Mexico after winning a cycle race in Chetumal Quintana Roo. Belizean Elite Rodrigo Leiva won the 60 kilometers Class Elite race, while second place went to Juan Cuellar and third place went to Jairo Campos also from the Orange Walk District. Congratulations to both young cyclists.

Referendum Is Standing On Shaky Grounds
And while students of Muffles College were educated on the Belize/Guatemala Referendum, the Referendum itself is standing on shaky ground. On Saturday, a Belize delegation, headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, travelled to Washington DC to meet with Guatemala’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Fernando Carrera and OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. The main topic of discussion was to be Guatemala’s proposed change of date for the October 6th Referendum or for Belize to change its Referendum Law to provide for a simple majority to decide if Guatemala’s long standing claim will be taken to the International Court of Justice. But word tonight is that instead of taking part in Sunday’s meeting, Minister Fernando Carrera sent his Vice Minister to represent him with the excuse that he had had a family emergency. The meeting; however, proceeded without the presence Belize’s Foreign Minister since it was conducted at a Vice Ministerial Level due to Carrera’s absence. Leading the Belize delegation was CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado who late yesterday evening received Guatemala’s Official Proposal for a change in the Referendum date. The proposal, we understand, will now be presented to Cabinet for discussion after which a decision will be made. Of note is that the opposition will also be consulted in reference to Guatemala’s proposal.

Neighborhood Watch Group Forms After Too Much Burglaries
For the past three months, the village of Yo Creek has been plagued by a number of burglaries and last two weeks more than 200 residents gathered at the community centre to discuss the matter. With the assistance of Constable in Charge of Community Policing at the Orange Walk Police Department, Zenubio Coc, the villagers formed a neighborhood watch committee headed by Oscar Barrera. Barrera explained the problems villagers have been facing over the past few months. Oscar Barrera, Chairman Yo Creek Village Neighborhood Watch Group “Up to date we have approximately 15 to 20 robberies that have been committed in our community; from tractor batteries that have been stolen to pumps and herbicide and up to house break in. So we decided that nothing is being done by a competent authority and so it was time for us to stand up. We are not trying to lower our police department but this is our way of doing our part and try to avoid what is going on.” So far the group has 40 members who have organized a network of communication in order to keep a watchful eye over the community. Oscar Barrera, Chairman Yo Creek Village Neighborhood Watch Group “We patrol for the past two weeks from early in the night and almost four in the morning that that is the time span that we think these criminal activities are going on. Any person that is walking around, riding around in our village that is not from her is stopped and question. Anybody that is a suspect, it’s not that we are telling people not to come in our village but it is a precaution method. But now that the group is formed, financing is needed in order for members to carry out their various roles.

Preschool Festival of Arts
Child Stimulation month is being observed in preschools across the country this month under the theme ““Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. One major event that involves the participation of all preschools in the districts is the preschools’ Festival of Arts. Today, Orange Walk’s youngest students representing the district’s twenty four preschools took part in the Preschool Festival of Arts at the Multi Purpose Complex. From what we were able to observe preschoolers put up quiet a show. Here are some highlights of the event.

Trinidad Gets Resource Center
In this day and era, keeping up with technology is a must, that is, if you want to be at par with the changing global community. But for rural communities like Trinidad, keeping up with technology has proven to be a difficult task, until today. The village now counts with a fully operating resource centre located at the Trinidad Government School compound. Nikki’s Library is comprised of mainly 6 desktops, library books and toys courtesy of Rotaract International. The centre is also connected to the internet thanks to SMART. All these factors were made available thanks to the hard work of the Resource Centre Committee headed by Yasser Sosa. Yasser Sosa, Resource Centre Committee “With this library, we chose the location here at the school because we want the school to benefit with the library and the community and also working together with the community because here we don’t have a lab for the community. But we are working towards it because we had a library but it was not developed and now we have a well developed library. Right now I am working with one of my colleagues in installing the computer and we are trying to get the donations for the internet. Thanks for Rotaract International we get six computers, the library, one television with VCR and some toys for the kids.”


Ardon Belgrave shot dead in Belize City
Police have confirmed that there was a murder by shooting around 11:25 this morning on Caesar Ridge Road in Belize City. While not releasing a name, police say the individual was found on the street apparently already dead with a gunshot wound to the head. PLUS News has learned...

Brandon Smith captured by police and charged for attempted murder of four officers
Last night we told you about a shootout between two men and Police. In that incident, one of the culprits, 28 year Alrick Smith who was shot to the abdomen, was captured by police and taken to the KHMH in a critical condition. But the other man, 27 year...

Bar association on ICJ issue
As the date for the October 6 ICJ referendum draws closer, explanations about its importance and relevance become bigger in the minds of the public. One organization prepared to help is the Bar Association. President Eamon Courtenay said today that the Bar is preparing to open its discussions. Eamon...

Bar Association concerned about planned amendment to the Legal Profession Act
The planned amendment to the Legal Profession Act encouraging multiple legal associations has divided opinion among members of the Belize Bar in recent weeks. The organization which it most affects, the Bar Association, met on Monday night to develop its response. Approximately 50 members attended and together reached consensus,...

Changes made to Organizational Structure of the Belize Police Department
Allen Whylie has been Commissioner of police since January 9 of this year. He spent much of his first month battling to get the situation under control after spate of crime resulted in 26 murders in 12 weeks. Yesterday, Compol Whylie finally got a chance to present his plans...

130 new police officers to hit the streets
A record breaking number of police trainees graduated from the Police Training Academy this afternoon. After months of intensive physical and mental preparation, recruit squad number 88 stood proudly at their passing out ceremony. Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar addressed the graduates this afternoon. He said that...

Lloyd Alexander King’s charge is expected to be upgraded to murder
Almost two weeks ago, 28 year old Ronald Rivers was shot to the face in front of the UNO Gas Station while fixing a vehicle. After a long battle, his kidneys failed and he suffered strokes and heart attacks. He was being kept on life support for some days...

Customs Department make big contraband bust
The Customs Department made a big contraband bust over the weekend. On Saturday, over 1300 cases of Modern Silver Elephant cigarettes were confiscated in Jalacte, after BDF alerted customs of the movement of suspect cargo. It has been reported that the cigarettes were legally purchased in the Corozal Free...

US Embassy representative comments on human trafficking incident
A Salvadoran woman was detained by police in connection to a human trafficking incident that occurred over the weekend. 43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia was reportedly trafficking three boys ages nine, ten and thirteen, and two females ages fourteen and eighteen. According to reports they are...

Belize City divided into four Police Precincts
An eleven-zone plan had been established by the police Department at the end of 2012 to fight crime on the ground. That plan, which included the acquiring of one police patrol vehicle for each zone, has now given way to a plan of numbered precincts, which correspond roughly geographically...

Reef Week celebrated March 18 to 24
“Belizeans: People of the Reef” is the theme for the first ever Reef Week being celebrated from March 18 to 24. Formal launch took place last night and Minister of Fisheries Lisel Alamilla gave full government support to the initiative. Lisel Alamilla – Minister of Fisheries: I thought...

US releases annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
The United States Department of State has released its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report. The report, released earlier this month, seeks to track the War on illicit Drugs. Some 22 countries made the list, including Belize. And while we did not make the most spurned category OF Countries...

Trinidad and Tobago to play Belize’s National Football Team
Belize’s national football team is preparing for a tough outing in July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States, playing in Group C against the host nation as well as Costa Rica and Cuba. They will play Trinidad and Tobago, former World Cup finalists and eight-time Caribbean champions on...

YWCA open National Resource Center in Belmopan
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) celebrated 57 years of existence this past Sunday. A week of activities has been planned to commemorate the anniversary. One of those activities was the opening of a National Resource Center in Belmopan. The building, which was inaugurated this afternoon, is located on...

Gospel Artist Dennis G launches second album
Gospel song writer and performer Dennis G launched his second album this weekend at the Gospel Expo. The name of the album is “A Better Place.” Dennis G stopped by our studios yesterday to promote his latest work. Dennis Requena – Christian Musician: The new CD, I officially release...

Thirteen year old Kissia Martinez missing from Armenia Village
A family in Armenia Village is tonight looking for thirteen year old Kissia Martinez, who has not been seen after she left home to pick up her younger sister. Kissia’s mother told police that yesterday, shortly after 6:30pm, she sent her daughter to the Armenia Government School to pick...


“…they have not concluded that there exists any instance of missing funds.” At Friday’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, who is also the United Democratic Party area representative for Collet, rose to defend the integrity of the board of trustees of the University of Belize (UB), chaired by Imani Fairweather-Morrison, saying that they have his unwavering support. Since last year, there have been reports of possible irregularities in the university’s payroll, and a special audit is being undertaken by Castillo Sanchez and Burrell, independent auditors. The board of trustees, said Faber, is “not perfect, but they are not into fleecing and robbery as others would like you to believe.” He said that Morrison has given selflessly to the University of Belize: “For two years, she did not take the stipend given to board chairmen,” Faber said, indicating that there were others on the board who also did not take the stipend. “She donated over $10,000 cash of her personal money to UB. She did it without fanfare, because that is how she is.”

The victims are aged 13, 16 and 25. Three persons were shot in Ladyville at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, at about Mile 8 on the Philip Goldson Highway. A female student, 13, of Ladyville, who is a first form student of Wesley College, was shot in the upper right leg; a male student, 16, of Belize City, was shot in the right side of the chest and left shoulder, and Errol Andrews, 25, of Belize City, was shot in the right hip. The victims were all taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they are receiving medical treatment, The victims were waiting for a bus at the bus stop in front of Lowe’s Superstore in Ladyville to come to Belize City, when a heavily tinted car drove up and a gunman from the car fired at them, before speeding away. Police said that they carried out an area search to locate the car, but it was nowhere to be found. The motive of the attack on the three persons is not yet known.

Another city youth has been gunned down. Leon “Bun” Humes, 23, a construction worker of Jasmine Street, was shot on the sidewalk of Mahogany Street after a gunman approached and fired a shot into his face at about 11:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15, in front of a Chinese store on Mahogany Street, near its junction with Jasmine Street. The bullet reportedly exited Humes’ head. The family told Amandala that around 11:00 p.m. on Friday, Leon and others were playing boxing in front of his house on Jasmine Street when police, on patrol, approached them, broke up the game and dispersed the friends. Humes then indicated that he was going to buy food at a Chinese store at the corner of Jasmine and Mahogany Streets and headed toward the store. Shortly after, a man walked up behind him and when he turned around, the man shot him in the face and then escaped. Marie White, his mother, said that they were at home when one of his friends ran to the house and told them that Humes had been shot. She and others rushed to the area, where he was still lying on the ground. An ambulance came shortly after and took him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he fought for his life for about three hours, before dying at about 2:30 the following Saturday morning.

Guat president presses for change in Belize law and referendum date. Belize and Guatemala held an important bilateral meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, DC, USA, on Sunday, March 17—not today as an official had previously told us—but the man expected to head the Guatemalan delegation, Foreign Relations Minister Fernando Carrera Castro, did not show up at the meeting, and no final decisions were taken on proposals by Guatemala to defer the October 6, 2013, simultaneous referenda to settle the territorial differendum at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The latest development leading up to the meeting is a formal declaration by Guatemala president Otto Perez Molina that they would seek an agreement from both Belize and the OAS for a one-year delay of the referenda. President Molina reaffirmed that plan to the Guatemala media this past Saturday, March 16, the day before the OAS meeting. Official reports out of Washington say that Foreign Minister Carrera wasn’t able to attend the OAS meeting because of a personal emergency. With Carrera absent, the Washington meeting could not proceed at the ministerial level, and the second-in-command for the foreign ministries on both sides of the border proceeded to hold bilateral talks.

MILLIONS IN COCAINE SEIZURES, SAYS REPORT Seizures: • 19.1 metric tons (MT) of marijuana • 156 MT of precursor chemicals • Over 100 kilos of cocaine “Drug trafficking and drug-related violence continue to rise in 2012, threatening the security of Belizean citizens and the integrity of the country’s borders. These threats will continue if more serious measures are not taken by Belize’s government.” The 2013 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released this month by the US State Department, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law, ranks Belize among the major countries listed for narco-trafficking and money laundering. The listing follows a September 14, 2012, presidential determination issued by the White House in Washington, which stated that “…countries listed as major drug transit and/or major illicit drug producing countries is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government’s counternarcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States, but reflects the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a government has carried out the most assiduous narcotics control law enforcement measures.” Belize appeared on the list of major narco-trafficking countries along with Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

Lee was accused of touching a client’s breasts and legs... Today, after months of adjournments during the trial, Kevin Lee, a well-known acupuncturist in Belize, was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. In a report to police, a 20-year-old female told police that she had visited Lee’s clinic twice – once in March 2011 and again on April 6, 2011. But it was on her second visit that the alleged assault occurred. She said that Lee fondled her breasts and legs, and attempted to touch her vagina. In his testimony, Lee, who was represented by attorney Alifah Elrington Hyde, told the court that the woman had indeed visited his clinic on two separate occasions. However, on the date that she indicated that the incident occurred, he was busy with a lot of customers and because her injury seemed to have healed, he opted to have her get a machine massage. Lee also presented the court with two receipts, allegedly showing the dates that the woman had come to his clinic, and the payments she made based on the prices of the massages.

MAN AND GOD Editorial
When, in 1492, Columbus, representing the Spanish monarchy, discovered the New World, he set in train the long and bitter international rivalry over colonial possessions for which, after four and a half centuries, no solution has yet been found. Portugal, which had initiated the movement of international expansion, claimed the new territories on the ground that they fell within the scope of a papal bull of 1455 authorizing her to reduce to servitude all infidel people. The two powers (Spain and Portugal), to avoid controversy, sought arbitration and, as Catholics, turned to the Pope – a natural and logical step in an age when the universal claims of the Papacy were still unchallenged by individuals and governments. After carefully sifting the rival claims, the Pope issued, in 1493, a series of papal bulls which established a line of demarcation between the colonial possessions of the states: The East went to Portugal and the West went to Spain. - Dr. Eric Williams in Capitalism and Slavery, quoted by John Henrik Clarke in 1972 in his introduction to J. A. Rogers’ World’s Great Men of Color. All the children of Belize go to primary school. Half of them go to high school. A small percentage go on to tertiary level institutions. Since politics is about numbers, then the most important schools in Belize are the primary schools, because they affect the most Belizean minds. All of the primary schools in Belize are run by religions, of which the most powerful are the Roman and Anglican religions. In the primary schools, Belizean children are taught to differentiate between right and wrong, according to the teachings of the respective religions.

RAFAEL CARRERA (1814-1865) – The population of Guatemala under Carrera was about 512,000, most of whom were Indians, very slightly mixed with white. Negroes did not number over 1,000, half of whom were unmixed blacks who called themselves Caribs, and still do. As for Carrera, he is sometimes called a mulatto and sometimes a zambo, that is half-Negro, half-Indian. Enciclopedia Ilustrada says that his father was a Negro and his mother an Indian. (See “Carrera,” Vol. XI, pg. 1325.) Encyclopedia Americana, in its sketch of him, says the same. On the other hand, C. L. Jones, in his authoritative work, Guatemala, Past and Present, pg. 42 (1940), says that Carrera’s parents were listed in the parish register as mulattoes. He adds, “One of his few apologists deduces from the available records that the boy (Carrera) inherited at the most 17 and a half percent of Negro blood. The rest he estimates at 10 and a half Indian and 72 percent white.” The American diplomat Stephens, evidently thinking that it was less humiliating to deal with an Indian than with a Negro ruler, said of Carrera, “His friends, in compliment, call him a mulatto; I, for the same reason, call him an Indian, considering that the better blood of the two.” (Incidents of Travel in Central America, Vol. I, pg. 224.) The character El Supremo in C. S. Forrester’s popular novel Captain Horatio Hornblower is undoubtedly Carrera.

Dear Editor, I read with great interest, in the Amandala of Wednesday, March 6, 2013, the essay by Mr. Henry Gordon regarding the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Mr. Eamon Courtenay, and was moved to call him. I asked him about the maps [1] &[2] he mentioned under exclusive economic zones and the continental shelf of Belize and Honduras. He could recall seeing it, probably in 2003, as the results of the conference were published, but could not now locate a copy. Since then, I have called several government departments to see where a copy of this map is located, and can be seen.

Harris, 37, was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 when he was convicted In March of 2010, PC Marlon Harris was convicted of extortion by a jury of 9 after they heard evidence of his alleged participation in the matter. When he was sentenced, instead of a custodial sentence, he was ordered to pay $10,000 by the end of September of that year. According to the report to police, on November 30, 2008, Ayetekin Kelat was driving a vehicle with an expired insurance when he arrived at a checkpoint where Harris was posted at the time. Kelat was summoned to appear at court on December 1, 2008. But later on November 30, Harris arrived at Celebrity Restaurant where Kelat was the manager, and told him that he could make the matter “go away” if Kelat paid him $100. Before handing over the money, Kelat called David Henderson, the Assistant ComPol at the time, who arrived at the restaurant and was able to retrieve the money from Harris.

Amandala has confirmed that the $2.13 million lawsuit won last year by Georgia Matute on behalf of her daughter Janae Matute, 12, against former government practitioner Dr. Raju Meenavali, is being appealed again—this time at the level of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), based in Trinidad and Tobago. The allegation is that the doctor had miscalculated the age of the mother’s pregnancy, and so Janae was delivered at 36 weeks via C-section. The child was born with lung problems and developed a lifelong disability known as cerebral palsy. Her mom had told us in 2012 that although Janae goes to school, she has to personally do a lot for her: She has to be fed, clothed and bathed. As we reported last April, the Belize Court of Appeal had upheld a ruling in favor of Janae, awarding her $2.13 million in damages, a reduction in the $2.5 million that the Supreme Court had awarded back in 2010. Beyond making a case that the award in damages is excessive, Meenavali’s case before the CCJ flatly denies the allegation of medical malpractice. Godfrey Smith, SC, is the attorney for Dr. Raju. He told Amandala today that, “We are going right to the heart of the matter and saying there was no negligence on his part.” Smith said that although they were given leave to appeal in the Belize Court of Appeal, so far, the CCJ has not issued a date for the hearing.


Medical Safety Update and Kelly McGuire
Was up at 5:00am getting ready for the first aid course today. Between packing my kit, answering emails, sending out lat minute updates, doing laundry, blogging and texting Leisa my hands were full. I will be so glad to come home and fall into a nice clean bed later on, likely after a a celebration drink on the way home. It is going to be a great day. I am super excited about the sponsorship part of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety program and how well received it has been, I could not have dreamed it any better. All those days I spent walking up and down the island with my music player imagining how the story would write itself and putting it out there that the right people line up. Yesterday I made it to the bridge and back contemplating the program and what was needed before today’s course.I had to get Our New president, Eiden a Red Cross shirt and update on all the business that are pledging to make San Pedro Safe so he could have them for the morning show. The other top things on my list were – getting an answer from Lydia or Linda at Holy Cross in regards to the El Divno Sponsorhip, finding an organized office co-coordinator and dynamic first aid instructors. On my way home I saw the razor parked at Banana Beach so I stopped to visit Cowboy Doug and Leisa, we chatted for a bit over an Arnold Palmer while they finished lunch. I told her that I would give Mr Ack from the post office his lunch money as the post office approved to accept their 2 sponsorships, she gave me Josh’s and then my time was up. I was off to check in on laptop, meet up with Dick, do Caye bank, a parcel pick up at the post office and my Red Cross Errands. On my first check in I got an email from Lydia giving me the Principal Grace’s cell number to line someone up. I could not get an answer and wrote back asking if she or her husband would be willing to do training – unfortunately they were both busy.

Grand Belizean Estates, Ambergris Caye: An Afternoon at the Beach Or…What’s Really There?
For a few years, the Grand Belizean Estates was a development on Ambergris Caye that we heard tons about. A HUGE subdivision on land (though that term has been much disputed) a bit off the beaten path. Here is a picture I found on to show the location. The black dotted line shows the 9 plus mile drive up there. The thin area on the right (along the ocean side) is where almost all of us cluster. I’m not exactly sure why this is the best map that I can locate. The GBE team used to have a booth in town, at fairs and festivals, promotions in the paper and in the news…you could buy a plot of land on THIS ISLAND for a few hundred dollars a month. But now it seems like it has been radio silence. What’s going on with this massive project? (I won’t even ask the questions like “where did the money come from?” or “when are utilities coming?”…it’s just too overwhelming.) According to the website, most of the units have been sold. Maybe that is why things have been quiet? Rumors abound. I took up a trip up there with friends to check out the lovely beach on the west side of Ambergris Caye (NOT part of the subdivision) and to take a look around, It was my first trip there.

Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Training
ICT classroom training sessions, which are being held at BELTRAIDE Belmopan office, are being held through a participatory methodology and a practical approach. Training for Consultants in ICT Directed at Business and Entrepreneurial Women through the MSME Service Center in Central America and Dominican Republic, with Joaquin Magdalena Perez, ICT Advisor.

Small Business Development Centres to Open Across the Region
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in partnership with the International Trade Centre at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) announced today that the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce will complete its four-part Small Business

Caribbean Export Week
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), as part of its mandate to promote export led growth for the Caribbean region and to facilitate increased exports to regional and international markets, is pleased to launch for the first time a Caribbean Export Week. The week of activities aimed at raising the level of awareness about Caribbean Export in particular on the work being under-taken as part of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, commences with an Ecumenical Service on March 17 and has a two day Caribbean Exporters’ Colloquium in the week, where industry leaders will discuss key issues relating to exporting from the Caribbean to the international market. Speakers at the Caribbean Exporters‘ Colloquium being held at the Hilton Barbados Resort, Barbados on March 20-21, 2013 include Dr. The Honourable Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who will give a keynote address on the first day of the event. Those attending the two day event will be challenged to take an indepth look at the report of the West Indian Commission – Time for Action, followed by an analysis of the regions exports. Panelist including The Honourable Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce for Jamaica, Sir Shridath Ramphal, Former Chairman, The West Indian Commission, The Honourable Ryan Pinder, Minister of Financial Services, The Commonwealth of the Bahamas and Prof Victor Bulmer-Thomas of London University and UCL Institute of the Americas, London will discuss the issues raised in the report and assess the region’s current export performance in light of developments taking place at the global level.

Design Caribbean 2013 Goes to the Bahamas
On January 11, 2013 the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) and the Government of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas signed an agreement to hold Design Caribbean 2013 from June 20-23, 2013 at the Grand Lucayan Resort, Freeport Grand Bahama. The Hon. Michael Darville, Minister for Grand Bahama in his remarks at the signing event expressed his delight to host Design Caribbean as it “will expose local artisans and manufacturers to overseas buyers in retail, hospitality, design, music, film and fashion; thus providing them with opportunities to exhibit their talents, market and sell their products and services.” DESIGN CARIBBEAN is the rebranded evolution of the Caribbean Gift and Craft show (CGCS) aimed at taking the promotion of the creative industries, in particular the design sector in the region, to new levels of excellence. The Design Caribbean showcase provides a platform for only the best Caribbean artisans and designers to show, market and sell their products locally, regionally and internationally.

Belize faces review of Human Rights Committee
Last Friday, Belize faced its first review by the Human Rights Committee in Geneva since its accession to the Convention. We are among one hundred and sixty-seven state parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is one of the primary international human rights treaties. A total of eleven topics ranging from constitutional and legal framework to non-discrimination, were discussed. But there was no representation from Belize and the committee’s expressed disappointment for the absence which impeded dialogue on important human rights issues. The session opened with the airing of the content of an-email sent by Belize and from there it continued downhill. “The reasons they gave are purely finance, that’s what they say here. It’s just an email where they say on the fourth of March after numerous email exchanges; where also in which they were saying that they would transmit the replies to list of issues; that they were making some kind of an effort to engage with the committee to send their replies.

Angel in Ambergris Caye
Well and truly back in to the swing of things after only one night’s sleep back home here on Ambergris Caye. Up just after 5 am with my mug of coffee and on-line subscription to The Times on the veranda Rose and I spent the morning carrying out post holiday chores. Me with the ironing (we had put a wash on within an hour or so of returning home on Monday) and Rose taking care of the ‘condo clean-up’. In between the chores we had breakfast and lunch. Where does the time go when you are having fun? I then devoted a little bit of time to administrative stuff with one of the things being to ‘chase up’ the pension statement I need to provide to the Belize Tourism Board for my application to enter the “QRP” (Qualified Retirement Program). With luck I should have this by Thursday and then,hopefully, my application will be processed fairly quickly. By now we were feeling slightly ‘stir crazy’ and were really pleased that it was time to head off to see what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. On arrival at the site it was really good to be able to park the golf cart in front of the house.

International Sources

False-positive mammograms take mental toll, study finds
Women may suffer psychologically long after the scare of a false-positive mammogram, Danish researchers report. Long after learning that a troubling reading on a screening mammogram was just a false alarm, women continued suffering negative psychological effects, researchers in Denmark have reported. Six months after hearing they did not have breast cancer, women with these false positives experienced changes in "existential values" and "inner calmness" as great as for women who had cancer. They reported having more anxiety, feeling more pessimistic and having more problems with their sleep and sex lives — as well as other negative outcomes — than women who had normal mammograms. The effects moderated over time but were still apparent three years after the initial screening. The findings suggest that healthcare providers need to pay closer attention to the harmful effects of screening programs, said University of Copenhagen physician-researcher Dr. John Brodersen, lead author of a study detailing the work published Monday in the journal Annals of Family Medicine. "When I became a doctor and I took the Hippocratic Oath, I said, 'Do no harm,'" he said. "But this is harm."

Whisnant recognized by for work in Belize
Dr. Paul Whisnant received an Official Certificate of Appreciation from the U.S. Embassy in Belize in appreciation for his 15 years helping Americans in need in Belize. This work is in addition to, and separate from, his full time service, 22 years as a missionary to Belize. “I want to take this opportunity to thank you, my friends, who pray, give and volunteer to help me as I serve with International Servants in Belize,” he said.

The sultry voice from Belize meets authentic Reggae Kingston, Jamaica:- After more than two dozen performances across the world, Belizean songstress, Tanya Carter, has decided to spread her wings to Jamaica. Excited about crossing over to Reggae, she has been working closely with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records, who produced and co-wrote her newest single: Ex-boyfriend. Singing since the age of 5, Tanya takes her inspiration from Jamaican greats: Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, and Burning Spear; and discovered at an early age her passion for Reggae and Jamaica culture. The Belizean is no stranger to Jamaicans, having opened for Etana, Luciano, Lexxus and Morgan Heritage and decided to come to the home of Reggae music to get a better understanding of the culture around the genre she loves, and to work with some of the best producers in the business. With several years of performing under her belt, she is currently working on her second album, which contains Reggae, Jazz, Electro, Pop, Dancehall and R&B infusions. Her versatility knows no bounds and her passion for music has resulted in a number of accolades. The greatest of which is being named “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Belize Music Awards three years in a row (2010, 2011 and 2012). Tanya’s debut album Daydreaming was named the best album in Belize upon its release in 2011 and tunes from the album graced the airwaves in Jamaica, Los Angeles, Africa, Mexico and even climbed to number 3 on the Lithuanian music charts.

OAS-Backed Small Business Training Program in Jamaica Successfully Concludes
The Organization of American States (OAS), in partnership with Jamaica’s Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, the Caribbean Export Development Agency and the University of Texas at San Antonio announced this week the completion of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in Kingston, Jamaica. The Project, launched in 2012 in Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia, seeks to contribute to the development of institutions to support micro, small and medium-sized (MSME) enterprises in the CARICOM region and to improve the competitiveness of small companies, especially those headed by women. Jamaica’s Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Sharon Ffolkes-Abrahams; the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy, Raymond Brown; and the OAS Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, spoke at the ceremony for graduates of the Certificate Training program held on Monday, March 18.

Lord Ashcroft moans about missing the boat on tax exemption
Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire peer who made his fortune in Belize and elsewhere and who almost single-handedly kept the Conservative Party financially afloat during the lean years after Labour’s 1997 landslide, seems to be very cross that there is no escape from the House of Lords. He was put up for a peerage in 1999 by William Hague but the political honours scrutiny committee at first blocked his nomination, then laid down the condition he should make the UK his home. This was understood by others to imply that he should become a UK taxpayer, but having refused to discuss his tax arrangement for 10 years, Ashcroft finally revealed, just before the 2010 election, that he was a non-dom, paying UK tax on only part of his income. That same year the new government passed a law, which included a Section 41, which laid down that any MP or peer would in future be deemed to be a UK resident for tax purposes, regardless of where they made or kept their money. MPs who wanted to stash their cash abroad could always escape this clause by quitting Parliament, but a peer is a peer for life. So peers were given a one-off chance to resign, which a handful did.

Is it bye-bye Lord Ashcroft as the peer starts asking awkward questions?
As a businessman resident in Belize, Michael Ashcroft donated millions to the Tories, eventually being rewarded with a peerage by William Hague in 2000 and becoming a vice-chairman of the party. But the question of whether he paid tax in this country continued to embarrass Hague throughout his time as party leader and afterwards. Now Lord Ashcroft has been asking a series of written questions which suggest he would like to give up his seat in the Lords and resume his non-dom status. Since 2010 all peers are automatically registered as fully domiciled for tax purposes. When the legislation was brought in there was a three-month window for peers to quit the House for good. Four people took this up, including Lord McAlpine and Norman Foster, but Ashcroft, following the controversy and confusion over his tax affairs, decided to remain. However, there is now no escape for peers, as the Government has ruled out any small bits of Lords reform legislation that would expel peers with criminal convictions and allow others to retire.

Flexxing with TANYA CARTER
“My inspiration for music came from my father. He introduced me to Bob Marley and Dennis Brown, and I just fell in love with reggae from there on.” MOST would be surprised to know that these words were not said by a Jamaican artiste, but that of Belizean songstress Tanya Carter. She told teenAGE, for our Flexxing With that “Belize is very much in love with Jamaica, their culture and their music.” The Belize City native is currently making a splash locally with her Christopher Birch-produced single My Ex-Boyfriend. Before testing the waters in Jamaica, Carter has become a household name in her homeland, winning a plethora of awards, including the “Best Female Vocalist of the Year” Award at the Belize Music Awards for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. “My breakout song was Hero. I wrote it about my parents at a time when I wanted to quit music, because I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere. It became a real huge success to the point I was opening up for Etana, Luciano, and Morgan Heritage because of it,” said Carter. Her follow-up hit was the patriotic, I Am Belize. The song would go on to be a promotional favourite to use by the Belizean government that commissioned a songwriting contest, in which it won.

Belize: Beachfront At The Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Belize is a beautiful place to visit. The tropical waters and exquisite beaches are a compliment to the already beautiful land and greenery. In order to enjoy this destination to the fullest, you need to visit the Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa. The Jaguar Reef Lodge is a luxury retreat a mile south of Hopkins Village. The Caribbean shore provides miles of beach and surf and on the other side is the thick, jungle layout. The resort Cabanas and suites are spacious and private. Allowing all guests access to the sandy pathways that lead to all areas of the establishment. The rooms are equipped with private porches or balconies, purified water dispensers and air conditioning. The modern amenities are aplenty as WiFi, T.V. and DVD players are in all of the suites. The decor of the rooms provide for a relaxing atmosphere. Between the beachfront swimming pools, crystal clear Caribbean waters and snorkeling, windsurfing and hammock lounging, this destination is perfect for ultimate relaxation.

VIDEO: El Eden Cenote
This beautiful Cenote also know as Ponderosa is located 25km south of Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. It offers an amazing swimming/snorkel area in the middle of the dense Mexican jungle. It is a divers dream world with sensational rays of light beaming down through the water before mid day. Most of the dive is accompanied by views of the jungle above the cenote. The halocline is located around 10m and makes for an optical illusion when the fresh and salt waters mix. El Eden also offers cave diving interconnecting with some of the nearby Cenotes. All and all another one of the amazing cavern dives in the Mayan Riviera.

Central American Immigrants in the United States
Since 1990, the number of Central American immigrants in the United States has nearly tripled. This immigrant population grew faster than any other region-of-origin population from Latin America between 2000 and 2010. Central American immigrants' share of the total immigrant population in the United States has also grown steadily for the past five decades, from less than 1 percent in 1960 to almost 8 percent in 2011. Compared to other immigrant groups in the United States, Central American immigrants were less likely to enter as refugees; more likely to obtain lawful permanent residence (LPR) status through family relationships; reported having lower levels of English proficiency and education; were more likely to live in poverty; and were more likely to be of working age. About 1.5 million children under the age of 18 resided in households with at least one Central-American born parent, representing 9 percent of all children of immigrants. This article focuses on a wide range of characteristics of Central American immigrants residing in the United States, including the population's size, geographic distribution, admission categories, and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

March 19, 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 Spring 2013 issue of The TOLEDO HOWLER is online HERE

The new issue of the Toledo Howler has news and information about the Chocolate Festival of Belize in May as well as regular features by Lee Jones on birding in Toledo and Arzu Mountain Spirit who turns her attention to the health benefits of cacao.

Use our BTIA member lists to find accommodation or make meal reservations for the Chcoclate Festival weekend 24-26 May. Happy reading.

This Issue's Stories:

  • Chocolate Festival of Belize:
    Cacao is native to the Americas and the seeds, or “beans”, are used to make cocoa products and, of course, chocolate. Cacao is a major export crop in Toledo - prized for its quality and distinctive flavour - and Belize produces some notable chocolate products of its own. Every Commonwealth Day holiday weekend the Toledo District of southern Belize holds a festival to celebrate this marvellous food, and many devoted followers return each year to find out what’s new in the world of chocolate making. This will be the seventh Festival, and the first in its new guise as the Chocolate Festival of Belize. The name change from Toledo CacaoFest is a reflection of growing awareness of the exceptional quality of Belizean chocolate and designed to capture a bigger international audience. Once again the festival will be organized jointly by the Toledo Cacao Growers’ Association and the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) with support and sponsorship from the Belize Tourism Board and NICH.
  • Nim Li Punit Archaeological Site:
    Nim li Punit was the second major site to be settled in Toledo District. Like Uxbenka, it was first occupied during the Early Classic period. At present we have dated the early occupation of Nim li Punit only from the stylistic analysis of pottery. This demonstrates that the first inhabitants settled at the site sometime in the early fifth century A.D., about 400 years after Uxbenka was settled and about 150 years before Pusilha—the largest city in southern Belize by far—was founded about A.D. 570. Like Uxbenka, Nim li Punit is a small place. It is better to think of it not as a city, but as a rural manor site founded by one or more elite families. From its founding ca. AD 400-450, however, Nim li Punit did serve as a regional administrative center. Structure 8, a long platform located along the western edge of the “Plaza of the Tombs,” was built around this time and served as a popol nah or council house. Over the course of 400 years, the building was enlarged and rebuilt four times, but it always kept the same form and function. Maya council houses are not common in Belize or Guatemala, but are much more typical of sites in Yucatan. They suggest decentralized rule, where different lineages, families, or factions made joint decisions under a king with relatively weak authority.
  • Asha’s Culture Kitchen:
    The Howler recently visited Asha’s Culture Kitchen in Punta Gorda. This seaside restaurant is located on Front Street south of the market and specializes in fresh Creole seafood, vegetarian and BBQ. They are also one of Toledo BTIA’s newest members. Owner Ashton Martin opened Asha’s Culture Kitchen in July 2011. The restaurant was originally located on Middle Main Street before moving to its present seaside location. Asha’s Culture Kitchen is actually built out over the water so there is a delightful sense of being surrounded by the sea. This place arguably has the best views in PG, looking out across the Gulf of Honduras towards Guatemala and points south. The owner says the stars at night are equally impressive from the verandah. Ashton’s wife, Stacy, is in charge of marketing and decorating. Ashton, originally from Punta Negra in northern Toledo, is in charge of the mouth watering menu. He has a passion for cooking and says his main ingredient is love - although he also uses coconut, cilantro, fresh vegetables and herbs. The seafood is fresh daily so the menu changes according to availability and season but usually includes a variety of fish, wild shrimp and lobster dishes. One of the most surprising items on Asha’s menu is lionfish. Most of us know that lionfish have become a problem in the Caribbean in recent years. They were probably introduced by aquarium owners who released them into the wild and didn’t realize that the invasive lionfish reproduce at a much higher rate than the local species.
  • Dreamlight Internet Café:
    Dreamlight internet café is something of an Aladdin’s cave! Located on Main Street the modern white cement building beckons tourists and locals alike to make use of their internet facilities, but, walking through the doorway reveals a much wider array of goods and service than you might at first expect! Dreamlight was opened by Timothy Dami in May 2007, when he saw a need for additional internet facilities in town, primarily through his work as a teacher and running computer classes at the local leducation centre. One of his students was Kenrick Coleman (of Coeman’s Café fame in Big Falls village) and, having successfully completed the course and seeing his affinity with computers, he was offered a job by Mr Tim. Kenrick is one of seven local employees at Dreamlight, and between them they have over 35 years’ professional experience. We spoke to Kenrick about Dreamlight’s many and varied services.
  • The Road to the Border:
    Everyone living in the Toledo District knows the government is in the process of paving the highway to the Guatemalan border. There have been mixed feelings about this development but we at the Toledo Howler believe it will be a good thing all around. Once the road is paved, getting into PG will be faster and easier for those living in remote villages. A smooth, all-weather surface will reduce wear and tear on village buses and vehicles generally as well as reducing fuel consumption. For tourism, the new road will mean easier access to some of the most beautiful destinations in the district, such as Blue Creek and Rio Blanco National Park and falls. Travelling times to these beauty spots have already been greatly reduced. The project also includes improved signage along the road which will help visitors with their own vehicles to find their way around more easily. We are told the present phase of the project is due to be completed in April 2014—weather permitting of course! Completion of this phase will mean 20 miles of paved highway from the junction known as Dump to Treetops, the BDF’s outpost near the border. There will eventually be a formal border crossing point although we understand the exact location has not yet been confirmed.
  • Map of Front Street, Punta Gorda, Chocolate Festival Weekend 24th—26th May:
  • Bug Corner:
    The strange habits of the Sapho (heliconius sapho) So, as well as the “wettest district” (read “most lush”) the bug question often occurs when talking about Toledo. The reality is that we do have some mosquitoes (although fewer than some other areas in Belize), but also a whole host of weird and wonderful creatures. The Sapho butterfly is often seen flitting around the Toledo District. Nim Li Punit, with its plethora of favoured butterfly plants, is a great place to see butterflies on the wing. The Sapho is one of the heliconius species, and is very similar in appearance to the Cydno. Sometimes called the “Holstein” butterfly for its black and white markings it will actually appear a beautiful dark metallic blue under the right lighting conditions. The heliconius butterflies have two unique, derived ecological traits – feeding and mating behaviour!
  • Wine, Chocolate and Belikin: Where can I get my tickets?:
    Tickets available from the Toledo Tourism Information Centre on Front Street in PG, BTIA office on North Park Street in Belize City and the BTB office on Regent Street, Kakaw Chocolate in San Pedro, Goss Chocolate in Seine Bight and .the BTIA Office in Placencia. Wine, Chocolate, and Belikin – Friday 24th May (tickets BZ$50 in advance, BZ$60 at the door) Lubaantun finale - Sunday 26th May (adults BZ$10, high school students BZ$5, primary school students BZ$2) Tickets at the entrance; no advanced ticket sales
  • Southern Voices: Kamela Palma:
    Kamela Palma is a resident of Punta Gorda in Toledo. She has had a varied career, at one time having been Principal of St Peter Claver College in Punta Gorda Town and Lecturer at the Belize Teachers’ Training College, CEO in the Ministry of Human Development, then Deputy Ambassador at the Belize Mission in Guatemala City and most recently she has returned from a posting as Belize’s High Commissioner in London. Have you always lived in Toledo, Kamela? My grandfather, Guillermo Palma, came to Belize with his family from Santa Rosa de Copan in Honduras where the famous Mayan site of Copan is located just a mile across the border from Guatemala. He came to work as a manual labourer on a farm known as El Dorado close to Forest Home and the present day dolomite quarry. Though uneducated he was obviously someone with a vision, for after a few years he was able to acquire property in the area of what is now Big Falls village. He called his place, a mile square, Missouri and it is located east of the bridge downstream from the present day village. He was the first ‘local’ to plant sugar cane and to produce brown sugar for commercial purposes. Eventually all his brothers arrived to work with him. He married Angelina Pattico and their only daughter was Isabel Palma, my mother. This is the same Isabel Palma whom the new clinic in San Antonio is named after. She worked throughout the country as a Rural Health Nurse and she was posted for many years in San Antonio village to serve all the villages of Toledo West. My Father was Carlton Fairweather, a distinguished gentleman who had served the Motherland by travelling to the United Kingdom to join the World War 2 effort and who returned to serve in the Government Service of his beloved Belize.
  • Restaurant Guide: Wat’s Cookin?:
    Twisted Creole Lobster Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 7 minutes Serves 4 INGREDIENTS ¼ cup chopped cilantro ¼ cup chopped onion ¼ cup grated carrot 1 medium green pepper finely chopped 1 tbs minced garlic ¼ tsp salt ¼ tsp Complete Seasoning ½ tsp butter 1 lb lobster diced into 1” cubes
  • Golden Stream Spice Farm:
    The Howler staff had passed by the farm in Golden Stream dozens of times, idly wondering who might live there and what they were up to. About a year ago signs went up along the highway advertising the Golden Stream Spice Farm and Botanical Gardens. Then the Spice Farm became one of BTIA’s newest members and the Howler decided it was time to go and take a look. The farm belongs to Dr Thomas and Mrs Tessie Matthew who have been here in southern Belize since 1989-90 dividing their time between Washington DC, where Dr Matthew practises as an anesthesiologist. They own an area of 500 acres that includes a wellestablished citrus plantation but their true love lies in all the other things that they are growing there. They include both indigenous species like vanilla and exotics like cinnamon and nutmeg. The first species on our tour of the spice farm was cardamom, another exotic, native to the Indian subcontinent. I love using it in making curries in particular but have always bought it on trips outside Belize. Now I can find it nine miles up the road! And I was very surprised to discover it growing at the base of a plant that looked similar to a ginger. The plants grow in semishade in rows. The intention is to develop this as a commercial crop. The cardamom pods are harvested and dried between February and May.
  • 13th Annual Christmas Bird Count:
    The 13th annual Punta Gorda Christmas Bird Count was held on 5 January. We had an excellent turnout with 33 participants organized into 7 teams. We recorded 5221 birds representing 240 species. Despite the large turnout, we fell short of our yearly average of 248 species and 5958 individuals, but the results may have been affected by the weather. The day started out bright and sunny start, but it began to rain around mid-morning and did not let up until mid-afternoon. The lower-thanaverage total was also affected by our inability to get into Aguacaliente Lagoon this year. This cost us at least half a dozen species. The boardwalk is now in such disrepair that it can no longer be used. The water was also higher than it has been in several years, and much of the trail was under water. It is a pity that all the hard work that went into constructing the boardwalk has come to naught for lack of maintenance, leaving one of the country’s birdiest wildlife sanctuaries essentially inaccessible to the public. Count highlights were Crested Caracara, Aplomado Falcon, and Rufousbrowed Peppershrike, all of which were new for the count, and Common Gallinule and Olive-sided Flycatcher, which were seen for only the second time in thirteen years.
  • The Belize Bird Records Committee:
    Segueing to another aspect of birding, Belize now has a bird records committee. Formed in December 2011 and now in its second year, the Belize Bird Records Committee, or BBRC, is comprised of eight members. Chaired by Punta Gorda resident Lee Jones, the committee also has one other member from Toledo, Steven Choco, the bird guide at The Lodge at Big Falls. The BBRC maintains the official list of birds recorded in Belize. It resolves the problem of what to do with reports of birds rarely seen in Belize, including those being reported for the first time. Since birding, unlike scientific collecting, relies heavily on sight records, the seven BBRC voting members (the secretary does not vote) decide which reported species to accept as valid records and which to reject as unsupported. The BBRC still has a number of older records to vote on before it can come up with a sanctioned list of Belize birds, but it is likely to be close to 590 species. With one or two species being added each year, it will not be long before Belize reaches the 600 species milestone. The latest species new to Belize have mostly been ducks: Redhead, Gadwall, and Ruddy Duck, plus a few other odds and ends such as Hermit Thrush and Black Swift.
  • Arzu on Medicinal Plants: Theobroma Cacao:
    Theobroma Cacao - The cacao is a true botanical team player by design, and insistently dependent on the rain forest for its odd environmental requirements. It is one of the easiest rain forest dwellers to identify. Native cacao varieties are mostly found growing in association with taller shade trees like the aptly named "madre cacao" in order to protect young saplings from direct sunlight. The cacao is not among the taller trees of the rainforest, and only grows from 10 to 20m at the most. The tree’s bark and branches are covered with grayish brown mossy patches of colored lichen and fungi. Young cacao trees seldom drop their leaves. They are not deciduous and you can see large old glossy green leaves and new limp red leaves growing on the tree at the same time, and on the same stems. But after the trees are well established, they form a forest canopy of their own, and the forest floor beneath them becomes thick with a mat of fallen leaves that return nutrients to the soil. Those leaves, together with the shade from the canopy, inhibit the growth of weeds under the trees, something that we cacao farmers obviously welcome! The pollen of the cacao is another oddity, it is too thick and heavy for the wind to carry. The plant is incapable of pollinating itself, and requires the help and cooperation of other species and microscopic insects of the rain forest to produce and reproduce.
  • Restaurant Guide
  • Calendar of Events
  • Toledo District map
  • BTIA member directory
  • Transportation schedules, including new village bus schedule
  • PG Town map

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town Council reflects on first year in office
On March 7th, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) completed one year since being elected to office. Since the election of the new council, which includes six members from the United Democratic Party and one from the People’s United Party, there have been several changes in the municipality. The Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel “Danny” Guerrero took the opportunity to elaborate on the accomplishments and the shortfalls of the council under his leadership. A reflective Mayor Guerrero said that during the first year in office, a lot has been accomplished since all councilmen have been pulling their weight. “We have been working with all government institutions very closely. We have also bridged the gap in helping the education system by working along with all schools. We have been helping every school. For example, we have managed – with the help of Canary Coves – to build three new classrooms at the RC school and we are working with an anonymous donor for a similar project at the Adventist school. We are also working, again with Canary Coves, this summer at the Anglican School. We have maintained an open door policy and have been informing the people on a weekly basis what we are doing. We go on the morning shows and we have been open to the media on whatever they want to question us about. We embarked on an ambitious street upgrade project and even started working on the streets in San Mateo. We have been working with the Police and other civil groups and we will continue to do so during our term in office. We have also been working with Saga to address the concerns about stray animals, and I know there is some more work that needs to be done. We are also working to revive the cultural events on the island and San Mateo Street Work Continues (12)improve the tourism industry on the island,” said Guerrero.

Island teachers attend valuable education workshop
Being a teacher is a very important profession that requires much effort and dedication. Parents entrust their children in the hands of teachers for education that will help them become model citizens. The education, moral and values instilled in children by teachers last a lifetime. On March 12th and 13th teachers from all schools in San Pedro were invited to attend seminars on several issues that children are facing in our modern society. Instructors from The University of Mississippi in the USA traveled to Ambergris Caye to present the seminars. The workshops were held at the Holy Cross Anglican School after school hours. Topics that were discussed at the seminars varied from child neglect to suicide. The teachers were taught ways in which to identify whether a child is suffering mental, emotional or psychological abuse and neglect. Teachers were provided with useful handouts and pamphlets on how to deal with these problems that the children may be facing. It is important for teachers to learn how to detect bullying; some ways include children making fun of another child’s clothing, hygiene or social status. At many times teachers believe that these kinds of abuse and neglect stem from home, but it can also start in the school. When it comes to any form of abuse, teachers are responsible to address the problem if noted and inform the relevant authorities in order to safeguard the student.

SPHS Boys are repeat National High School Softball Champions!
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team retains championship for the second consecutive year after competing in the National Secondary School Softball Tournament over the weekend in Belize City. The games were played at the Rogers Stadium on March 15th and 16th, where the SPHS male team represented the Northern Zone alongside the female team of Belize Rural High School. SPHS won the finals against Belize Comprehensive High School (BCHS). Each of the four zones, north, central, west and south submitted a male and female team after eliminations earlier this year. In the first game played on Friday March 15th, SPHS faced Independence High School (IHS), taking the lead at the top of the second inning with a four to one score. The game was unchanged, until the fifth inning when SPHS managed to push forward five additional runs, ending the game at eight to one runs in favor of SPHS. That gave SPHS a ticket to the finals which was played late on the evening of Saturday March 16th.

VIDEO: SPHS Boys celebrate 2013 National Softball Championship
SPHS boys celebrate their win for the ATLIB softball nationals

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Town Council Starts Street Widening Campaign
The San Pedro Town Council has embarked on a street widening campaign from Costa Maya Reef Resort in the Mexico Rocks Sub-Division (North Ambergris Caye) to the South End of Ambergris Caye in the Boca Ciega Area. Ambergris Today met with Councilor Severo Guerrero whose portfolio includes Civic and Infrastructural Development, who explained to us a bit more about the project. “The project is well underway and one of the main reasons why this project is taking place is for safety reasons,” stated Councilor Guerrero. “We have to ensure the safety of our residents and visitors who use that stretch of road. By clearing up the bushes and having a wider road it ensures that no one hides in the bushes attempting an attack and of course it helps with proper vehicular flow.”

Taiwan Donates Two Garbage Compactors to San Pedro
From the moment Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors took office they have been arduously working in keeping our Isla Bonita clean and beautiful. Cleanup campaigns are constantly being held and the town has received donations of trucks which have been used as dump trucks. On Friday, March 15, 2013, the Government of Taiwan officially handed over two large garbage compactors to the town of San Pedro Town. Master of Ceremony, Mr. Angel Nuñez, welcomed all in attendance to the ceremony and after the National Anthem of both Taiwan and Belize were played, Councilor Kenrick Brackett shared the invocation prayer followed by the welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero.

Alexis Del Valle Selected New Miss Lion’s Queen
On Saturday, March 16, 2013, island residents gathered at the San Pedro Lion’s Den to witness four lovely girls, Cecibel Cortez, Lina Mazariegos, Alexis Del Valle and Linda Quintanilla, compete for the crown of Miss Lion’s Queen. The contestants entertained the crowd with their opening dance, sportswear and evening wear segments. Ambergris Today’s Gerry Badillo and Leo’s member Solanie Graniel hosted the pageant which featured many beautiful performances by the lovely contestants and the San Pedro Dance Academy. Congratulations to all the contestants and the new Miss Lion’s Queen, Alexis Del Valle for a job well done.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Ignacio United Victory
The SI United were victorious over FC Belize at home this week. Garret Bermudez scored, and that was enough to secure the win and give them 3rd place in the league. Congratulations, SI United! "The Boys put in a great performance at the Broaster, Some great pics of the game."

Cayo Welcome Center Museum Pictures
The SISE Town Council had a great Cayo Family Day. The new museum there where the artifacts discovered under Burns Avenue are on display got a lot of traffic. Looking good downtown! "The Cayo Family Day was enjoyed by all. Heineken was there, and there was music, and a dance competition."

Rotaract's Cover With Care Project
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had their Cover With Care initiative last week for World Rotaract Week. They had a clothing drive, and then donated the clothes to Mary Open Doors. Great work, Rotaract! "Cover with Care is Global Rotaract Project whereby clothing is distributed to deserving families during World Rotaract Week. This week our Club collected used clothes in good conditions and donated it to Mary Open Doors on March 17, 2013 as our closing activity for World Rotaract Week 2013."

Santa Elena Preschool Visits SIPL
Feelgood news of the day. The amazing staff at the San Ignacio Public Library are really doing a lot of storytelling for Children's Month. We applaud their efforts towards getting the future leaders of Belize, and the world, to appreciate reading and learning. They hosted the kids from the Santa Elena Community Preschool this morning. "'Molding Today's learner's into tomorrow's leaders.' Child Stimulation Month concluded today at the SIPL with Stories and activities."

Pallottine Sisters Centennial in Benque
The Pallottine Sisters passed through Benque during their centennial celebrations. In related news, the Benque House of Culture is having a new exhibit starting Wednesday, called Ecce Homo, which illustrates the passion and life of Christ. "Today the Cayo District welcomed many faithful visitors and the Pallottine sisters for their Centennial Celebrations and re-enactment of their arrival. The Centennial and arrival of four German sisters in Belize on March 17th,1913 is being celebrated under the theme 'Grateful for the Past Hopeful for the Future.' Presently there are 21 Pallottine Sisters in the country who will be paying tribute to their work with a number of activities taking place country wide. Image courtesy of Mr. Subratra Basu P.C. Volunteer/Artist & CACHE Member"

Oil in Belize Exhibit at SISE HoC
The SISE House of Culture has a new exhibit open entitled 'Oil in Belize.' It will run until the 19th of April. Pictures will be coming soon. "Now Open at our San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH). For large groups please send us a message on facebook or call us at 824-0783."

Belizean Hash Corn Beef
In my family, we only ate corn beef as a last resort. We hashed it with onions and butter, but never cabbage. It is normally served over white rice with plantains.

Channel 7

Guat Foreign Minister A No-Show, Snubs Hon. Elrington
Tonight the October 6th referendum is on thin ice - as the Guatemalans have formally proposed a change in the date - and now it's left to be seen if Belize's Cabinet will agree. This is the news coming out of two days of meetings at the OAS Headquarters in Washington DC between diplomats on both sides. But, the really big news coming from Washington is that Guatemala's Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera did not attend - he sent his Vice Minister, the equivalent of a CEO. Seasoned observers say that's a major disrespect - and it forced Belize's Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington to leave the meetings - since it is not considered appropriate for a Minister to participate in a meeting led by someone without ministerial rank. But the meetings did carry on with Belize's CEO Alexis Rosado leading the Belize delegation - and sessions which started yesterday evening reportedly continued until late this evening.

Police Bust Human Trafficking Move At Airport
Tonight, 4 minors and an 18 year old are in the care of the Department of Social Services after police - acting on intelligence from a well-connected field officer - busted a human trafficking move that was going down yesterday at the Phillip Goldosn International. Details are sketchy at this time, but 7news has learned that this woman 43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia is in police custody as she was reportedly the handler for the two females, aged 18 and 14 and the three males - just boys really, aged, 9, 10, and 13. According to reports they are all Salvadorean and arrived in the country a week earlier. They stayed at an inexpensive hotel in Belzie City - and papers were arranged for them to give them false Guatemalan passports affixed with well made but bogus US Visas. Our reports say that yesterday, the five were supposed to board a US Air flight to North Carolina - while their handler would have returned to Salvador. Police intercepted them - and all five were turned over to social services for safe-keeping, while Alaz Azmitia is detained.

First City Murder In 12 Days
Tonight, after a brief lull in homicides, the city has a murder to report, the first since March sixth. The victim is Leon "Bunn" Humes, and his death followed an all too familiar formula: he was out late on Saturday night buying food when a gunman pulled up and shot him in the head. Monica Bodden spoke to his family today: Monica Bodden Reporting 23 year old Leon Humes was gunned down here in front of Fay-Way Store on Mahogany Street. The shooting happened about 11:25 on Friday night. Humes was standing outside the store buying food - when a man wearing a mask came from the direction of Jasmine Street and opened fire in his direction. One of the shots caught Humes to the left side of the cheek and exitted through the right side of his head. Anna White - Sister of Deceased "We were at home here getting ready for a little dance that they have through the neighborhood on weekend, when a young man ran by and shouted that "Bun" got shot out there, and that we must go check him. That's how everyone ran out there to deal with him and everything." Monica Bodden "When you got out there what was it like on the scene?"

Three Shot At Ladyville Bus Stop, Including 13 Year Old Girl
And while police were processing that crime scene, they saw a heavily tinted car speeding past the corner of Poinsettia and Black Orchid Streets. Police raced after the vehicle until it plunged into a drain. 27 year-old Brandon "Battery" Smith, who is well known to police, allegedly exited the car with a handgun and started firing at the officers. The officers returned fire, and shot the driver, 28 year-old Alrick Smith - critically wounding him with a gunshot to the abdomen area. Brandon Smith ran off and escaped, leaving police behind to rush Alrick Smith to the KHMH. Police did eventually catch up with Brandon Smith and charged him with 4 counts of attempted murder, which he allegedly committed against Police Constables Abner Pasqual, Terry Reyes, Mark Tzul, and Wayne Trapp.

Monstrous Cases of Child Abuse Reported
There is a very ugly report of child abuse coming out of San Pedro town - where two boys, aged 6 and 9 are accusing their male neighbor of molesting them. According to police, they are form the San Pedrito area and they visited the station with their mother on Saturday. The 9 year old reported that on that same day, a Honduran man who lives with them had sex with him. He added that it was not the first time. The 6 year old told police that the man had touched his private parts. The 24 year old Unemployed of San Pedrito Area was immediately detained and has been charged for aggravated assault of an indecent nature. In another hideous case, a mother from Benque Viejo Town took her 5 year old daughter to police where she reported that on Saturday morning her daughter was downstairs in her bed at their house where her grandfather took off her pants and underwear and touched her private part.

Customs Makes Major Contraband Cigarette Bust At Jalacte
On Saturday, the customs Department confiscated 1300 cases of cigarettes valued at $143,000 US Dollars. It was intercepted by customs at Jalacate after the BDF observed some dodgy movements and called in customs. The strange thing is that the cigarettes were legitimately purchased in the Corozal free zone on Thursday, 14th March, and designated for export to Puerto Barrios in Guatemala. The exporter, Guatemalan Jose Antonio Rodriguez processed the customs entries and got Cusotms to escort the ciagarettes to the PG Cusotms station where they were leoaded on a boat called the Punta Palam bound for Barrios. That was all standard legitimate procedure, and should have bene the end of it. But it seems something went wrong with that plan, and the cigarettes next emerged at the Jalcate border crossing on Saturday morning. That made the cigarettes, which are "Modern" and "Elephant" brand, uncustomed goods and they were all confiscated. Customs has the cigarettes at the Queen's bond warehouse in Belize city and are seeking the boat captain and the truck driver, both Guatemalans.

Ronald Rivers Loses Battle
He was shot on March 6th and after a long struggle 28 year old Ronald Rivers passed away on Saturday morning at 9:15am at the KHMH. Rivers was shot in the face 12 days and while at first, he was showing a remarkably good response, he took a sharp turn for the worse. The 28 year old basketball player was only kept alive by a machineafter his kidneys shut down and he suffered a massive heart attack. His brother Raymond Rivers told 7news that he will be organizing a basketball Tournament in his brother's memory. Ronald Rivers was a PLAYER IN the national basketball programme...

Salvadorian Succumbs; Was Run Over by Drunk, Unlicensed Driver
Salvadorian German Ubaldo Velasquez came to Belize to buy a vehicle, but he will leave in a casket after he succumbed to his injuries early this morning. As we reported, he was knocked down in Bella Vista Village on the weekend of March 10th as he rode a bicycle and sustained serious head injury and was on life support. Well, it seems he lost his life due to a drunk driver - who also had no license and insurance. Police inform us that the motorcyle driver Mario Orellana, was charged with 4 counts: Drove motor vehicle without due care and attention, Negligent Grievous Harm - which will be upgraded to manslaughter, Drove a motor vehicle above the prescribed limit and Drove a motor vehicle without License and Insurance. He is currently out on bail and will now be re-arrested for manslaughter.

Big-Leaguer Gives Ballistics Training For Belize
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean has been active in Belize recently, assisting with equipment for firearm destruction and training for the detection of illicit weapons. It's part of their effort to reduce illicit armed trafficking and armed violence in the region and now they're offering training in Forensic Ballistics. That one day session entitled 'Overview of Forensic Ballistics for Decision-Makers and Policy-Makers' opened today and we found out more: William Godnick - Public Security Programme Coordinator, UNLIREC "They requested of the Government in the United Kingdom High Commission. They asked us to help on works in the forensic ballistics, and for that reason, we contracted one of the premier world experts in the subject matter." Phillip Boyce - Forensic Scientist "What I'm actually providing is general standard operating procedures, to give people an idea of all the procedures that they have to cover, in order that they don't miss any examination, and that they can actually cover all the evidence."

Police Take A Precinct Approach
Since Allen Whylie took command of the Police Department on January 9, 2013, he has not made any public appearances to give updates as to the changes he's been making to the command structure of the department. But as we showed you, there was a paradigm shift 6 days later in which the different police departments had to meet performance targets. It is a strategy in which the officers from different stations around the country must actively work to decrease crimes in their jurisdiction. The most effective formation commanders are recognized and awarded with cash prizes at monthly intervals. Also, there is an ongoing restructuring of the Special Branch as part of the department's initiative to try to improve information efficiency. Today, the new Commissioner broke the silence and announced a new strategy for policing in Belize City. Daniel Ortiz has that report. Daniel Ortiz Reporting Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie took command of the Police Department in January of this year. Based upon his assessment over the past few weeks, he has come to the conclusion that as the Department currently is organized, it is ineffective at performing its duties and obligations to the public.

Donde Esta Abbas?
Abbas Khan, he's a Corozal resident who vanished from Orange Walk Police 12 days ago and now police have finally circulated a photo of him. He was caught with five Indian passports which he could not account for on March third. The 38 year old was first picked up by Orange Walk Police for a commitment warrant which was issued for money he owed. Kahn was scheduled to appear before the Belize City Supreme Court for the commitment warrant on Monday March 4th. But during his detention at the Orange Walk Police Department, he was picked up by Belmopan Police who took him to Corozal and searched his residence. After the passports were found Khan was informed that he had committed the offence of unlawful possession of passports and would be charged by the Corozal Police Department after his hearing at the Belize City Supreme Court. With that, Khan was transferred to the Orange Walk Police Station where he was detained in a holding area and not a cell as is customary. And it was at around 2:15 on Monday the 11th that Khan absconded from police. Presently Khan is still on the run and could be in Mexico.

A Hattieville Home Invasion
A Hattieville family is tonight trying to recover from a frightening home invasion that happened early Sunday morning. According to Audrey Reyes, around 5:30am on Sunday morning while her entire family was still asleep, an intruder entered her home through one of her windows. The man made his way to her bedroom where she came face to face with him. The intruder pointed an object at her and demanded that she keep quiet - while he left off with her handbag. Today 7news travelled to Hattieville where Reyes gave us an account of her horrifying experience. Voice Of: Audrey Reyes - Home Invasion Victim "Well they were to go ride a race for women's month, in the group that we're in. I laid down in my bed, pull my phone and checked the time. I saw it was like after 5, a quarter pass 5 or something like that and I sat down my phone on the bed on my purse and I laid down back. So when I laid down back, a little bit after I felt something heavy over me, but I know that my child likes to come in my room and get my purse and if he wants anything out of it. he will say 'ma, I'm getting something out of your purse.'

Exporting Tourism Services?
As we've reported, Belize is in the process of hammering out a partial scope trade agreement with El Salvador and we already enjoys a robust trade agreement with Mexico. But that trade is mostly for goods….so what about services? Well, today BELTRAIDE held a meeting with the tourism sector to get them up to speed with the services that can be covered under these trade arrangements. We found out more: Yashin Dujon - Director of Foreign Trade "What we've done is we've invited the members and the representatives from the entire sector here today, to share with us in finding out what areas they wish to explore in Mexico, and what services they wish to share and actually export as a part of their sector." Abel Casteneda - Acting Chief Tourism Officer, Min Of Tourism "We decided that what we needed to do was to do a preliminary introductory workshop - training workshop for the tourism sector, to introduce them to what is a trade negotiation, what the different types of agreement that exist are, and what Belize would want to participate in."

The Best High School Softballers Are...
The National High School Softball championships were held this weekend. Regional Champions from North, Central, West and South converged at the mecca of softball, the Rogers Stadium in Belize City for a paige system playoff. In the final, for the boys San Pedro bested Belmopan Comprehensive 6-5, and for the Nazarene crushed Belize Rural 17-2. We spoke with the winners: Conrad Gonzalez - Pitcher, San Pedro High School "To me personally, it means the world, you know. People I look up to always tell me am going to face big obstacles and you guys looked at it today, a lot of obstacles and people that wants you to do bad but we overcame it., we became victorious." Reporter "What came through your mind as the pitcher? A lot of pressure was on you going into the fifth ending, and you saw the score board 3- 3." Conrad Gonzalez "Yeah well, opening the fifth ending, before they played ball, I looked back at the score and I knew I had to make it quick, no runners on base. Then we got a runner on base, but we still managed to get the 3 outs, and that's about it." Alex Roches - Shortstop, San Pedro High School "I made 2 errors in the fifth - last ending, and I told myself that I wanted to help get back my team, so I brought in my 2 runs. Then, I did that last hit to bring in my center fielder, Damon." Reporter "What does this mean for you?" Alex Roches "Well, it means partying."

Channel 5

Guatemala a ‘No Show’ at OAS meeting with Belize
A high-level Foreign Ministry delegation headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi’’ Elrington travelled to OAS headquarters in Washington DC on Saturday to meet Guatemalan counterparts and OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. While officials balked at referring to the encounter as an emergency gathering, it was held on a Sunday coming at a [...]

Guatemala sent email to OAS about absence
Because of the absence of Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera, Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington returned to his hotel room to wait for a de-briefing of the Vice-Ministerial meeting. Even though Elrington was disrespected, he said that notwithstanding the absence of his counterpart he considered the meeting to be a good one. And [...]

Will P.U.P. also lobby for YES vote in 2013 referendum?
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca was a guest on OYE this morning, just in time to be apprised of the latest developments coming out of the meeting at the OAS in Washington. At a recent press conference Fonseca had committed to putting forward an official party position by early next month after carrying out [...]

Why kill Leon Humes?
The weekend’s murder victim is Leon Humes; he was shot on Friday night when he was purchasing food in the Mahogany Street area of the city. A single bullet landed on his head and Humes died within hours during emergency surgery at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The grieving family says his life could have [...]

Shot in Ladyville
While Leon Humes was fatally shot, less than twenty-four hours later three persons in Ladyville survived a barrage of bullets that headed their way when they stood across a popular supermarket on the highway. A thirteen-year old female student from Nazarene High School, another minor and Errol Andrews were waiting for a bus when someone [...]

Smoking out clues to contraband cigarettes
In the south, the Customs Department seized a large quantity of contraband cigarettes. The bust took place on Saturday when customs personnel were alerted by the Belize Defense Force of the movement of the cargo in Jalacte. News Five was reliably informed that a business in the Corozal Free Zone sold two shipments of cigarettes [...]

Contraband sugar may have origins in Belize
While cigarettes were seized in the south, the smuggling of sugar across the border is a lucrative business.  According to an article published in Novedades Quintana Roo on Sunday, the local sugar continues to find its way across the Mexican border. The Rio Hondo has become the illegal crossing point for sugar into Quintana Roo. [...]

Structural changes and regional police commanders
Changes in the hierarchy of the police command were announced today as was the zoning of the city. The changes, the police say, will provide for better policing and give the community more accessibility to the police in their anti-crime efforts. News Five’s Jose Sanchez.   Jose Sanchez, Reporting There were several changes made to [...]

Day 1 of P.S.E. 2013
It was Day One of the Primary School Examinations and more than seven thousand five hundred students sat the exams across the country; about three hundred and eighty more than last year. The students were fairly confident of their performances in the English and Science tests. Of note is that last year, science passes averaged [...]

Belize faces review of Human Rights Committee…
Last Friday, Belize faced its first review by the Human Rights Committee in Geneva since its accession to the Convention. We are among one hundred and sixty-seven state parties to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which is one of the primary international human rights treaties. A total of eleven topics ranging from [...]

…First item reviewed: Mayan Land Rights
One of the first items for review was over Mayan land rights. On August seventh 1998, a petition was presented by the Indian Law Resource Center and the Toledo Maya Cultural Council against Belize stating that the government is responsible for violating rights under the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. The [...]

The arrival of the Pallottine nuns reenacted
One hundred years ago, on March seventeenth, 1913 four nuns made their way to Belize, and from there up the Belize River by boat to Cayo, then by horse and buggy to Benque where they settled. That was the birth of the Pallottine movement in Belize, and their achievements to this day, especially in the [...]

Honduran detained for unnatural crime
Three children of very young ages are complaining that they have been sexually abused. In San Pedro, a twenty-four year old Honduran national is detained by police following allegations by two minors of indecent crimes. A nine year old boy reported to police that on Saturday the Honduran national allegedly kissed him on the mouth [...]

Man charged for the attempted murder of 4 cops
  This morning, twenty-seven year old Brandon Smith, a resident of Port Loyola Area of Belize City was escorted in hand cuffs to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to face Attempted Murder charges. He appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read four offenses of Attempted Murder upon four police officers, namely, [...]

Matching ballistics information in criminal investigations
A one week training course on forensic violence got underway today in Belize City. Participating are forensic technicians and scientists as well as the judiciary and other specialized personnel. The course is being organized through the Ministry of National Security and is focusing on ways to curve the illicit trafficking of small arms and reducing [...]

Belizean wins Miss Diosa Maya Internacional
A Belizean is the winner of an international pageant. Miss Diosa Maya Internacional took place at the Olimpo Cultural Center, in Merida where Grisel Rosseli Carballo represented Belize. Grisel also captured the award for best costume, designed by Gabriel Garcia. On Saturday Carballo was crowned Miss Diosa Maya Internacional 2013.

Goaaal! Football highlights with James Adderley
  Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   We take you immediately to the Isidoro Beaton Stadium where on Saturday night, the defending champions, the Belmopan bandits hosted an always dangerous Placencia as week 6 rolled on in the Premier League of Belize. we’re only eight minutes in when this defensive [...]


Weekend Murder; Several Injured In Shootings
One man is dead and several injured following shooting incidents this past weekend. Reporter Marion Ali has the details. MARION ALI “The first shooting happened at around eleven last Friday night on Mahogany Street near its junction with Jasmine Street and claimed t...

Students Countrywide Take Primary School Examination - Part One
Standard six students across the country today sat the first part of the Primary School Examinations. The exam, according to Principal Education Officer who is in charge of Examinations, Dr. Ivonne Davis had no changes this year. She added that other than good scores, the P...

Medical Team From Rochester Visits Belize
A visiting medical team is on a weeklong working visit to Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU “Residents from Dangriga and by extension the people of Stann Creek District are receiving free medical health care at the Southern Regional Hosp...

Reef Week Observed In Belize
Reef Week is being observed this week and there is a host of activities line up to celebrate. OCEANA in an effort to continue awareness on the importance of our Natural Resources specifically the reef, ventured into this project by inviting other organizations and the community.&...

UNLIREC Hosts Training Course In Belize
The United Nations Regional center for Peace Disarmament and Development in Latin America UNLIREC is hosting a one week training course for stakeholders of different government agencies and private enterprises. An opening ceremony to for the course took place this morning and the...

Customs Department Confiscates Over A Thousand Cartons of Cigarettes
This weekend there were reports that a large bust of contraband cigarettes was conducted in Jalacte Village in the Toledo District. Earlier today Love News spoke with Assistant Comptroller of Customs Colin Griffith who said the matter is still under investigation. He said t...

Convicted Arsonist Escapes Prison Sentence
Thirty-five year old Brian Barela, who was convicted of arson last week, was spared a prison sentence when he was brought to court for sentencing. Instead of giving Barela a custodial sentence, Justice Adolph Lucas fined him $3,500.00 and gave him until September 30 to pay. If he defaults on paym...


Forest Department Ready To File Criminal Charges Against Students And Teacher
The case of animal cruelty upon a male adult howler monkey has caught the attention of people from all walks of life and today the latest reports indicate that the Forest Department will file charges against four students and one teacher of the Belize High School of Agriculture. Today when we spoke to Rasheeda Garcia, Wild Life Officer at the Forest Department, she told us that the investigation has been closed and all that’s left is for police to levy charges against the four students and male teacher of the high school, who, based on the departments investigation, are responsible for the death of the monkey who was badly injured on March 5th and died two days later at the Wild Tracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja. Garcia told CTV3 News that if charges are not levied today, the individuals will be charged tomorrow at the Orange Walk Police Station. If the accused are found guilty they will have to pay a fine of $1000 or spend 6 months in jail. We will follow up this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

Disturbing Case Of Unnatural Crime In San Pedro
Tonight there is a very disturbing report coming out of San Pedro Town involving two young boys who were allegedly sexually assaulted by a grown man. Reports indicate that the 6 year old and 9 year old students visited the San Pedro Police Station on March 16th around 7:00pm where the nine year old reported to police that a 24 year old man of Honduran Nationality had sexual intercourse with him. The nine year old further reported that it is not the first time the act of crime is committed against him. As for the six year old, he reported to police that the same individual touched on his private area. Both boys identified their alleged abuser who was immediately detained by police pending investigations. Police are treating the report as an act of unnatural crime.

Sweet Belizean Sugar Sold In The Black Market
For quite sometime now we have been hearing about Belize’s Sugar being sold into the black market. In fact, in 2011, it was reported that stores were rationing the amount of sugar sold to consumers since there was a scarcity of sugar, despite the fact that the Belize Sugar Industries Limited was producing more sugar that needed for local consumption. At that time, it was highly suspected that Belize’s sugar was being exported illegally across the borders of Mexico and Guatemala where the product is more expensive. From all indications, the selling of Belize’s sugar into the black market has become a lucrative business for distributors, wholesalers or retailers of the product. News coming out of Mexico is that over the weekend authorities discovered a large amount of sugar contraband from Belize along the banks of the Rio Hondo River. Mexican Producers have stated that this type of smuggling is putting a dent on their sales and is affecting the supply of sugar to the domestic market due to problems with the price that the sweetener has had in recent days.

17 Year Old Teenager Reported Missing
A 17 year old girl from the Orange Walk District has been reported missing be her mother. Rosa Maria, mother of 17 year old Lishawn Williams, reported to police that at about 9:00am on Saturday she noticed that her daughter was not in her room. Upon making checks the woman discovered that Lishawn’s clothing along with her school bag was missing. Williams was last seen wearing a brown short pants and a blue T-Shirt. She is described as being of Mestizo decent, fair complexion, has long black straight hair, dark brown eyes, weighs approximately 100lbs and is 5 feet 3 inches in height. The 17 year old also has a rose tattoo on her left shoulder. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Lishawn is asked to contact the Orange Walk Police Department at 322-2022.

Abbas Khan Still On The Run
Meet 38 year old Abbas Khan, the naturalized Belizean businessman of number #18 3rd Street Corozal Town, who absconded from Orange Walk Police after five passports for the Republic of India were discovered at is residence in Corozal by Belmopan Police. Despite the fact that the Commissioner of Police has launched and Investigation into Khan’s escape, he is yet to be found by authorities. As previously mentioned, on March 3rd 2013 Belmopan Police picked up Abbas khan from the Orange Walk Police Station where he was being held for a commitment warrant issued for money he owned. When police searched Khan’s residence they found the five passports belonging to Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh. When questioned by police, Khan stated that none of the individuals were in Belize; however, he could not give a proper account as to why the passports were in his possession. Khan was to be charged for unlawful possession of passports after appearing in court for the commitment warrant. But before that could happen, the 38 year old escaped from police custody while detained in a holding area at the Orange Walk Police Station around 2:30am on March 4th. Sources tell us that Khan was not placed in a cell since he was suffering from some type of sickness. The Police Department is yet to explain how Khan managed to escape custody.

Annual Women's Month Bike Rally
On Saturday morning the Women’s Department kicked off its yearly bike rally across the country. While organizers stressed that the rally is not a race of any kind, there were loads of prizes awarded to participants. Here in Orange Walk the ride left the roundabout by the Establo Restaurant at 6:00am and finished at the Orange Walk Central Park. Hipolito Novelo Reports. Hipolito Novelo Reporting… Despite the chilly weather, more than 60 Orange Walkenos got out of bed early on Saturday to take part in the annual Women’s Month bike rally. At 6:00 in the morning, the crowd, comprised of men women and children gathered at the round-about near El Establo Restaurant ready to ride in honour of women across the country. Cindey Rivero, Banquitas House of Culture “Every year we come and ride. So this year was no difference for us. I must say that I was a little disappointed of the amount of people that came out. I wished that we had much more support from our community. But definitely we look forward for it every year and we enjoy doing it. It’s all to support our different departments in our community.”

Belize Wins Crown In Diosa Maya Internacional Pageant 2013
Belize is one of the five Central American Countries that make up the Mundo Maya World and as such was represented in this year’s La Diosa Maya Internacional 2013 Pageant in Merida, Yucatan Mexico. Belize was represented by Orange Walk’s very own Grisel Carballo who brought back the crown and made Belizeans proud. Carballo competed against Messie Lopez representing Guatemala and Carla Vasquez representing Mexico. At the last minute representatives of El Salvador and Honduras did not take part in the competition due to unforeseen circumstances. But nevertheless, the competition went through and Carballo “wowed” the crowd and judges with her natural beauty and talent. We spoke to the ecstatic Miss Diosa Maya Internacional 2013 this afternoon who told us how proud she is of being the first Belizean to win the competition. Grisel Carballo, Diosa Maya International 2013 “It was something different. I necessarily didn’t know what to expect. The only training, like I told you previously was the Miss Orange Walk. Being in an international pageant, I had to prepare myself knowing that I am an ambassador of my country, going to represent my country. I had to be very knowledgeable, very polite, and friendly and I am overall thankful for this experience. We had several events to attend. We had interviews mostly for publicity and for us to get each other the girls first. Secondly to know about each other culture and our country as well as getting to know Merida as a whole which is, by the way, very beautiful. I really loved it. The first day we went for a dinner which was the formal or the invitation dinner. The second day we went out, visited the community, the country and Yucatan itself. That day we also went to San Felipe and Rio de Grario as well. What we did first was a choreography followed by an introduction of whom you are and who you are representing. I started my introduction with a little bit of Maya because the root of the pageant is not only to promote beauty but also intelligence. The second item on the agenda was the evening dress. My evening dress was sponsored by Mr. Dani Torres which was the same guy who did the marvelous dress that I wore for the Miss Orange Walk Pageant 2011. With our evening grown we had to do a speech and this speech was entitled for us to sell our country, represent our country, sell our culture and let all the viewers know who I am, what I represent and what Belize is. I represented it of course with a passion which such grace, such confidence. I was extremely proud being there on stage representing my culture, my heritage and Mundo Maya.”

7556 Students Sat The PSE This Year
Today hundreds of standard six students countrywide sat the first phase of the Primary School Examinations which included English and Science exams. According to Ivonne Davis, Principal Education Officer for Examinations, a total of 7,556 students, including 23 registered private candidates, were expected to sit today’s PSE exam representing a 6% increase over 2012. Yvonne Davis, Principal Education Officer for Examinations “For the Corozal District we have 858 persons sitting the exam this year, Orange Walk 946. As you are aware the English exam has two papers; a paper one which is 50 multiple choice questions and a paper 2 which is the composition paper where they are required to write-to compose two pieces, a letter and a short story which is a narrative.” This year the Ministry of Education also made accommodations for students with special needs to take the exam. Yvonne Davis - Principal Education Officer for Examinations “In the total that I have given you, overall we have 143 students who are classified as students with special needs and of this number special arrangements were made for 83 of them. They are spread across the country. In Corozal we have a total of 4 special needs candidate. Orange Walk has 42, Belize District with 45, the Cayo District with 31 and there are 13 in the Toledo District. So that is a total of 143. However special arrangements were recommended for 83 of these persons.”


Leon Humes Murdered in Belize City
There were a number of shootings over this weekend in Belize City and one person is dead as a result. 23 year old construction worker Leon Humes was gunned down on Mahogany Street on Friday night, not far from his home on Jasmine Street. He was buying food, police...

Shoot out between cops and outlaws ends in one of the culprits being shot
While police were processing the shooting scene of Leon Humes around 12:30 Saturday morning, a blue 4 door Mercury car drove up suddenly at the corner of Poinsettia and Black Orchid Street. The vehicle was immediately pursued by a marked Police vehicle and a motorcycle patrol team when the...

Police seek Abbas Ahmed Khan immigration offences
Last week we told you about a Belizean businessman who was under investigation for unlawful possession of five passports. That business man is Abbas Ahmed Khan. Police found five passports for the Republic of India in the 38 year old’s Corozal home. Khan told police that the owners of...

Police hold workshop for forensic analysts
With all the reports of crime, it is some good news to report on any progress in the fight against crime. And perhaps the most needed element to crime fighting in Belize is Forensics. The gun is the preferred weapon of choice for criminals to end the lives of...

First half of PSE held across the country
The first half of the Primary School Examination was held today. After years of preparation, students from all over the country sat the Mathematics and Science portions of the high school entrance exam. And you’d think nerves were running high today, but the students we spoke to were quite...

Pallotine Sisters celebrate 100th year of service to Belize
The Pallotine Sisters celebrate its 100th year of service to Belize. In 1912, four German sisters had plans to travel on the Titanic, but they missed the trip. They then boarded another ship which took them to America and soon after they headed to Belize. The sisters arrived in...

Medical Team offer free service in Dangriga
A medical team is currently in Dangriga offering free services to that community. Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu reports. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: A team of medical practitioners are currently providing free medical health care services for the residents of Dangriga and the rural communities of the Stann Creek...

Drive by shooting at a bus stop leaves several injured
There was a drive by shooting in Ladyville on Saturday night. When the bullet spraying seized, two teenagers and a 25 year old man were shot. The incident happened just before 8 o’clock on Saturday night at miles 8 ¼ on the Phillip Goldson Highway. That’s in Ladyville Village...

Altercation in San Ignacio leaves one man hospitalized
A squabble in San Ignacio has left one man hospitalized. On Saturday night, 22 year old Kent Rivera was at a Chinese restaurant in the San Ignacio area when he got into an altercation with another man, whom he knows. It is during that altercation that Rivera received a...

Police investigate numerous accusations of child predation
Authorities are tonight investigating numerous accusations of child predation. In the first incident, a Benque Viejo man is under investigation after he was accused of sexually assaulting his 5 year old granddaughter. The little girl alleges that on Saturday morning, while in her bed, her grandfather took off her...

Marijuana plants found in couple’s yard in Blackman Eddy
Police have arrested a man and his common law wife after marijuana plants were found in their yard. Early Saturday morning, Police conducted a search at a home in Blackman Eddy, and while nothing illegal was found inside the house, in the yard, three cannabis plants were discovered. At...

Police recover parts of a home-made firearm
A woman handed over what appeared to be parts of a home-made firearm after she claims she found the weapon while cleaning under her van. The woman told police that at the time her vehicle was parked in her opened lot yard. Also found under the van were two...


Island Drums with Tanya and Zac at Crazy Canucks
If you like live music and you enjoy the sound of island drums. you will love Tanya and Zac. Recent changes at Crazy Canucks beach bar have them playing there again this Monday evening, March 18th and if they are well received it may become a regular gig. Please come out and support them so we can have a place in town for our friends to hear the only Steel Drum music on Ambergris Caye Tanya and Zac have been playing together for about 4 years doing mostly destination weddings and special occasions. It is rare to see them perform at a bar although it happens. Tanya’s steel drum plays the high frequency melodies and Zac’s African Djembe holds the rhythm and provides the bottom end. They play a mix of popular classic rock and Caribbean songs with a few oddities thrown in for fun. Last week folks were singing along to the Beatles’ Obladi Oblada and Van Morrison’s Moondance and lots of bodies were moving to the rhythm of Shake Senora and I Just Called (to say I love you). Tanya and Zac are available for your wedding or special event and you can check them out on their website at Tanya and Zac Music or reach them by phone: Zac 604-7029 Tanya 627-7216

Kelly McGuire Sings For SAGA This Evening at Fido’s Plus Some AMAZING Donated Prizes
Ambergris Caye’s favorite, Kelly McGuire returns to San Pedro tomorrow night. AND his very first (of three shows) is a benefit for the SAGA Humane Society of San Pedro. Lucky lucky lucky us. We are going to be holding a raffle AND an auction to raise as much money as we can for SAGA. We have received so many amazing donations so far…from Black Orchid Restaurant to Feliz Bar. And, for the auction, we have some pretty cool stuff to get you in the “giving to San Pedro mood”. All Belizean made…fun…unique items. Like these two of these SUPER cute sandal/hooks donated by Graniel’s Dreamland (here’s my scoop on them.)

New Article Highlights Health Benefits of Belize Vacation
Are vacations actually good for your health? A new Huffington Post article reaffirms the health benefits of reducing stress levels by relaxing in a natural setting, and, according to manager of a popular Belizean spafeatured in the article as one of the top ten best in the world, this enjoyable therapy is in reach of most US and Canadian households. Bryony Fleming Bradley, who manages the Hilltop Spa at Belize’s Chaa Creek eco resort, said that the March 16 2013 Huffington Post article confirms that the health benefits of a tranquil vacation are now well documented. “It may seem obvious to those of us working in this field, but taking a break from the stresses of day to day life and getting back in touch with nature can have a very profound, positive effect on people’s health, both mental and physical. We’ve seen amazing changes in people after just a few days, and our repeat guests report that the benefits can last for a long while after they return home.

Getting effective online marketing
As a small or medium sized business, your online visibility is paramount to your success. You need people who are looking for what you offer to be able to find you online in order to maximise your conversions. This is why the right online marketing agency will be a great return on your investment. Make sure that you are appealing to the ways that people use the internet to show what you have to offer. These days most web traffic is directed by search engines, so you need to be a strong presence in the search results of the popular engines. The best way to achieve this is through a search engine optimisation (SEO) agency such as Optimising.

How to brainstorm effectively
Brainstorming is one of the most powerful tools or methods used to create and manifest ideas. Brainstorming is so powerful that the best inventions and ideas came about with the use of this method. Scientists use it, designers use it and even doctors sometimes use it too. The reality is that everybody brainstorms everyday without realizing it. Although brainstorming sounds like the hardest thing to do, it is as easy as preparing a cup of coffee. Now that we know know a little about brainstorming I would love to show you how to brainstorm effectively.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Cokunut Curry Gingr Squarsh Soup
2 squarsh, it doesn##Q##t mattr whut kine 1 large onion, chopped 2-3 large carrots, sliced 3 celery stalks, chopped 4 cloves uf minced garlic 1-2 tablespoons grated fresh gingr 2 tablespoon uf red curry paste er curry powdr 2 apples with t'skin on, chopped 1 tablespoon olif', er cokunut earl (I used cokunut) 8 cups chicke broth 1 14 ounce a'ken uf lite cokunut milk salt and peppr t'aste Sambal er Sriracha Chili paste optyunal

International Sources

Angler of the Year: Chris Hayes
The owner of Turneffe Flats Lodge is an environmental powerhouse in the Caribbean. On arrival for my first visit to Belize’s Turneffe Atoll, I stepped off the boat a little dazed, partially from a long day of travel from the West Coast, and partly from the six or so Belikin beers I’d consumed en route. After fishing my laptop out of the drink (a result of those aforementioned Belikins), I shamefacedly shambled toward the main lodge where I was greeted by a short, trim gringo with a soft voice and even quieter demeanor—Craig Hayes, Turneffe Flats’ proprietor. Hearing of the miscue, Hayes had already procured rice and advised that I cake my computer in it. The procedure worked, and I had my first look at how efficiently Hayes solves problems. After giving the lodge overview, Hayes informed all anglers that the lodge strongly supported catch-and-release, and that we could show our own support by adding a modestly priced conservation tag to our tab. “It’s not mandatory,” he made it clear, “but it would be great if you did.” All of us did, which was another small victory for Hayes’ quiet persistence, a perseverance that was rewarded in fall 2012 when the Belize government declared Turneffe Atoll a marine reserve, bringing special protection to 325,000 acres that the Oceanic Society has described as “the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere.” And that’s just one of the reasons why we chose Craig Hayes as Fly Rod & Reel’s 2013 Angler Of The Year.

U.S. 4th Fleet operation: Southern Partnership Station Confronts Transnational Crime
Working with three Central American counterparts to help them build capability to counter transnational criminals, participants in Southern Partnership Station 2013 are supporting U.S. Southern Command’s outreach to the region, and by extension, U.S. national security, a Southcom official told American Forces Press Service. After completing the first stop of their visit, to Belize, participants arrived last week in Guatemala, where they will remain through the month’s end, reported Navy Cmdr. Robert Skinner, maritime plans chief for Southcom’s future operations directorate. They then will continue on for bilateral engagements in Honduras before wrapping up the overall mission in late May. Throughout the U.S. 4th Fleet operation, the focus is on building partner-nation capacity to help regional nations better stand up to challenges than transcend their national borders, Skinner said. In Belize, Seabees from Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit 202 built an open-bay structure to support Belize Defense Force operations while members of Riverine Squadron 2 helped their Belizean counterparts improve skills in interdiction and security team inserts and extractions on the water. Meanwhile, agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service’s Security Training Assistance and Assessment Team Atlantic spent almost three weeks sharing law enforcement techniques with Belizean coast guard and police forces.

March 18, 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 March 17th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Police Kill Two Robbers:
    Preparations are being made for the burial of two young men who were reportedly shot by police as they fled the scene of a robbery in San Ignacio shortly after 12 noon on Tuesday, March 12, 2013. San Ignacio police reported receiving an emergency call via the 911 line of a robbery in progress at Roses Chinese Restaurant & Store located between miles 67 and 68 on the George Price Highway on the western outskirts of San Ignacio town. It is reported that a team of policemen rushed to the scene where in the area they came upon two male persons, one of whom was seen with a blue rag concealing his face while the other wore a black stocking over his face and toting a sawed-off shot gun.
  • Fully Equipped Resource Center For Arenal Village:
    A spanking new resource center will soon be constructed in the western village of Arenal, Cayo. The fully furnished 30 x 60 feet building will be constructed at a cost of $250,000. The furnishings will include computer equipment and furniture. The building will be located in a spacious new area of the village alongside a new football field. Daniel Cano, Executive Director of the Social Investment Fund, informed that the design for the new building will be completed within the next two months. He told the gathered villagers that bids for construction will be invited thereafter. The building is expected to be completed before the end of this year.
  • Cayo’s Oscar Quiroz Is The Cyclist To Watch On Holy Saturday:
    Oscar Quiroz, the junior cyclist who has recently graduated into the major leagues will be the cyclist to watch in the March 30, Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. The rising young cycling star who participated in the Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic on March 10, shocked the crowd when he captured the top prize in the junior league category by crossing the finish line one minute and forty seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Quiroz has dominated the junior league since exploding onto the scene back in March 2010 when he competed in the Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic placing 9th in this prestigious race, an excellent feat by any standards for a first time rider.
  • A New Basketball Court For St. Andrews Anglican Primary School:
    Thirteen students from Toronto District Christian High School in Canada arrived in Belize on March 5, 2013; sleeves raised and ready to work on constructing a new basketball court for St. Andrews Anglican Primary School in San Ignacio Town. Country coordinators Richard Zul and Lucille Sosa explained that works on the basketball court took a total of four days, which included preparation of the building site, laying stone ground work, and pouring of the concrete slab. During their spare time, members of the visiting team visited classrooms, entertained students, painted hopscotch on the cemented courtyard, leveled out the school grounds and prepared new garden beds.
  • D’bi.Young Anitafrika performing live at the Bliss:
    The Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) and the Winsom Foundation in collaboration with Women’s month presents for the first time in Belize, African-Jamaican- Canadian dubpoet, playwright, monodramatist and educator D’bi.Young Anitafrika. She is internationally celebrated as a visionary storyteller, a passionate humanist and a leader in the development of arts education. She will be performing one of her eight plays ‘Blood Claat’, specializing in what she terms biomyth monodrama, D’bi. writes one-person theatre plays comprised of music, poetry, dance, and drama that chronicle the stories of global peoples and our quests for self-actualization. She has recently completing her third global tour, performing and teaching, D’bi. has shared the stage with many renowned names such as legendary American poet Saul Williams, and world renowned singers Alicia Keys, Angelique Kidjo, Annie Lennox, and Sarah Maglachan.
  • Pope Francis Warns Church Could Become 'Compassionate NGO':
    Pope Francis has warned the Catholic Church would become "a compassionate NGO" without spiritual renewal. In a Sistine Chapel Mass with cardinals on his first day as Church leader, the pontiff said: "If we do not confess to Christ, what would we be? "We would end up a compassionate NGO. What would happen would be like when children make sand castles and then it all falls down." Francis is the first Latin American - and the first Jesuit - Pope. The BBC's David Willey, in Rome, says the 76-year-old has already been swift to stamp his style on the papacy. Pope Francis is regarded as a doctrinal conservative, but he is also seen as a potential force for reform of the Vatican bureaucracy, analysts say.
  • Early HIV Drugs 'Functionally Cure About One In Ten':
    Rapid treatment after HIV infection may be enough to "functionally cure" about a 10th of those diagnosed early, say researchers in France. They have been analysing 14 people who stopped therapy, but have since shown no signs of the virus resurging. It follows reports of a baby girl being effectively cured after very early treatment in the US. However, most people infected with HIV do not find out until the virus has fully infiltrated the body. The group of patients, known as the Visconti cohort, all started treatment within 10 weeks of being infected.
  • China Confirms Li Keqiang As Premier:
    China's leaders have named Li Keqiang premier, placing him at the helm of the world's second-largest economy. Mr Li, who already holds the number two spot in the Communist Party, takes over from Wen Jiabao. Mr Li was elected for a five-year term but, like his predecessor, would be expected to spend a decade in office. On Thursday, Xi Jinping was confirmed by legislators as the new president, completing the transition of power from Hu Jintao. Li Keqiang's widely-signalled elevation was confirmed by 3,000 legislators at the National People's Congress, the annual parliament session, in Beijing, by 2,940 votes of 2,949 cast.
  • Brazil Outrage Over Sao Paulo Cyclist's Lost Arm:
    A road collision in Brazil has caused outrage after police said a motorist drove off with a cyclist's severed arm attached to his vehicle. The driver, who later turned himself in, told Sao Paulo police that he had dumped the limb in a stream. The arm has not been recovered but doctors believe it could have been reattached, police told local media. The cyclist - a window-cleaner on his way to work - is said to be in a stable condition in hospital. The accident that saw the cyclist's arm torn off took place on Sunday morning on Avenida Paulista, one of Sao Paulo's busiest streets.
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The San Pedro Sun

New facility at ATM Archeological site inaugurated
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Tourism and Culture inaugurated a new facility at the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) archaeological site located on the outskirts of Teakettle Village in the Cayo District. The inauguration ceremony took place on the morning of Thursday, March 7th and was spearheaded by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) through the Belize Sustainable Tourism Project (STP). Located in heart of the Tapir Mountain Forest Reserve, the archeological site is co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society and National Institute for Culture and History (NICH). Actun Tunichil Muknal, also referred to as the Cave of the Stone Sepulchre, is approximately 45 minutes from San Ignacio Town and is considered one of the most spectacular subterranean Maya archaeological sites in the region. The caves at the archeological site is characterized by a series of chambers (some requiring swimming access) housing substantial remains of sacrificial ceremonies that includes pottery and human remains.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Ghosts
A preacher is surprised when his congregation reveals they believe in ghosts, and in fact, have seen them, touched them, even engaged in relationships with them...or did they?

Editorial: Social stigma hurts those who suffer from mental disorders
When someone is ill with a debilitating disease, let’ say cancer, do we blame them for their affliction? Do we scorn their illness and expect them to just “get over it”? No! We know they are suffering from something beyond their control and we realize that only proper medical treatment will hopefully cure them. So why is it when someone suffers mental illness such as depression, or an addiction, we feel no compassion, and blame the person for not getting their act together, claiming “they need to straighten up”. Can a person sick with an illness just cure themselves with a change in attitude? Of course no matter how severe an illness is a good attitude can only help, but it sure isn’t going to kill the deadly disease that has invaded their body.

Doctor Love: Devious Phone Calls
When a husband gets a strange call from his wife's devious 'friend' while the wife is gone - what is the best course of action?

Celebrating St. Patricks Day Island Style 2013
Who says islanders don't know how to celebrate St. Patricks Day? The green was out in full force, and what a great party it was!

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: What will happen if Belizeans vote against going to the ICJ?
If the people of Belize vote “NO” to take the Guatemalan dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), then the agreement signed between Guatemala and Belize will be fulfilled. This will also happen if the people of Guatemala vote “NO” in their referendum, which is scheduled to take place simultaneously in both countries on October 6, 2013. I have read the Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty signed between Great Britain and Guatemala in 1859 carefully and, based on that, I am fully confident that the court will rule in Belize’s favour. In this treaty the country of Guatemala accepted and acknowledged the boundaries of Belize, which exist up to this day. If the government of Guatemala did not like anything that was contained in that document then they should not have signed it. Guatemala had more than enough time to bring Great Britain to the International Court of Justice to seek redress so that they could comply with the terms of the treaty. Yet, Guatemala failed to act and has engaged in all type of propaganda and threats to frighten Belizeans to take over the entire country of Belize. I hereby encourage Belizeans to read the 1859 Treaty to reduce their fears and stop listening to gossip and rumours.

Benque Health Fair Today
The Benque Health Fair is today at the Mopan Polyclinic, between 8am and 4pm. Get free glucose and blood pressure testing.

PHOTOS: Centennial Celebration of the Pallottine Sisters in Benque Viejo
Today the Cayo District welcomed many faithful visitors and the Pallotine sisters for their Centennial Celebrations and re-enactment of their arrival. The Centennial and arrival of four German sisters in Belize on March 17th,1913 is being celebrated under the theme “Grateful for the Past Hopeful for the Future". Presently there are 21 Pallotine Sisters in the country who will be paying tribute to their work with a number of activities taking place country wide.

West Cayo Chess Tournament Pictures
The West Cayo Chess Tournament was this weekend at Hode's, which sponsored the event. It's great to see the kids embracing a game that requires skill and strategic thinking. Thanks, BNYCF and Hode's!

Belize Wins La Diosa Maya Pageant
Grisel Carballo won the La Diosa Maya International pageant. The pageant was held in Merida, Mexico. Congratulations, Grisel!

PM Barrow: ‘Superbond Two’ almost a done deal!
The restructuring of the U.S.$530 million “superbond” is almost over, and Belize—over the next ten years—will see cash-flow savings of almost $500 million, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said at Wednesday’s press conference, held at Biltmore Plaza Hotel. Barrow, flanked by members of the Debt Restructuring Team, said that they expect the bond exchange offerings—which began in mid February—to close sometime between Friday and next Monday, thereby bringing to an end the year-long process. Barrow said that as of last Friday, more than 86 percent of the bondholders accepted the new terms, which, in accordance with the bond’s collective action clause’s 75 percent threshold, effectively signals that the entire 2029 bonds will be exchanged for the new bonds due in 2038. According to a statement from GOB, “Belize’s offer required tenders to be submitted to Citibank, in its capacity as the Exchange Agent for the transaction,” by 5:00pm on Friday, March 8. Barrow also lauded the quantum of the savings that the restructuring has secured through the modified coupon (interest) rates: “In 2012 it’s $22 million, 2013 – $66 million, 2013 to 2017 – $236 million, and 2013 to 2022 -$494.” The new terms have also saved the country almost $80 million that had accumulated between last August and February this year.

Proposed Amendment to the Legal Profession Act
The Attorney General Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington has drafted a proposed law to amend the mandatory requirement for attorneys practising law in Belize to be members of the Belize Bar Association. Elrington told The Reporter on Thursday that he is proposing the amendment to make it consistent with that of other Caribbean countries. As it now stands, the provision of the Legal Profession Act to require all attorneys to be members of the Bar Association is unconstitutional, because it flies in the face of the freedom of association that the Belize Constitution guarantees. “Belize is the only country to mandate membership of its Bar Association,” Elrington revealed. Elrington explained that Belize wants to make her Legal Profession Act more consistent with the rest of the region. “This is something that should have been done a long time ago”, he added. The amendment will also expand the functions General Legal Counsel, to make it responsible for admitting attorneys into the profession. Under the present structure, a Senior Counsel drafts an affidavit and a special call to the Bar session of the Supreme Court is convened for new attorneys. Under the new law, that responsibility will now be the function of the General Legal Counsel, which presently is tasked with investigating complaints against attorneys.

Rivers on life support
Shooting victim Ronald Rivers, 28, is on life support at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. His family says it has now come down to a decision of how long to keep him on the machine that’s keeping him alive. Ronald’s brother, 34-year-old Raymond Rivers told The Reporter on Thursday his brother is in a really “critical condition”.

The best and worst for your pearly whites
By now, we all know the basic recipe for healthy pearly whites, including regular brushing and flossing, and a diet rich in teeth-healthy foods. What we might not realize is how some food choices can contribute to the wear and tear of teeth. So what makes a food bad for your smile? Matt Messina, D.D.S., consumer adviser for the American Dental Association and a dentist in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio, explains that bacteria living in the mouth burn sugars in order to live. The byproduct of this burning is acid – which dissolves tooth enamel and causes cavities.

Study claims bee venom kills HIV
A new study has shown that bee venom can kill the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have demonstrated that a toxin called melittin found in bee venom can destroy HIV by poking holes in the envelope surrounding the virus, according to a news release sent out by Washington University.

CDB funds $7.25M road safety project
Belize, which had the highest traffic fatality rate among Caribbean Development Bank member states in 2006, has received a $14.5 million CDB loan to finance a Road Safety Project, designed to decrease the number of traffic fatalities that occur in the country. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will execute the project, which was launched at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan on Thursday, March 14, 2013. In 2006, Belize recorded 68 traffic fatalities, which gives a ratio of 31.1 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. The project will address problem spots along the Western Highway to its junction with the Hummingbird Highway and around the Belmopan Ring Road with improvements to road safety. It will also encourage motorists to alter their driving habits for greater safety through education and awareness campaigns.

Creativity pays off at Kite Festival
Almost 40 kite-builders of all ages came away winners at the second annual Coca Cola Kite Festival held in conjunction with Ben the Builder on the Newtown Promenade on Sunday, March 10. Prizes were awarded in 13 categories: five junior and eight senior categories. Among the juniors, first prize was $100, second was $50 and third prize was $25. Young Shakir Gabourel won the $100 first prize for the Best Moonie kite, while Ernest Good claimed the $50 second prize and Charles Coote took home the $25 third prize. Ryan Davis also won the first prize for Best singer, while Rodwell Geban won the second prize and Clayshaun Lewis of Holy Redeemer RC School won third prize. Kenyon Plunket won the first prize for Best Starry kite, while Nelson Tablada took second prize and Stephan Diego claimed the third prize. Deneil Martinez won the first prize for the Most Creative design, while Steven Silvestre took second prize and Jermaine Garnett won third. Freddy Carrera had won a prize last year, and he returned to capture the first prize for the best “Ben the Builder” kite, while Cardinal Beaton took home the second prize.

Part IV: the 1860 letter from Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Pedro de Aycinena, explains rationale for 1859 Treaty
Parts One to Three of this Road to Referendum series have been focusing on two pivotal treaties in Belize’s case: the 1859 Anglo-Guatemala Treaty and the 1931 Exchange of Notes. The former informed the establishment of latter, which reported on the erecting of the concrete monuments at Gracias a Dios and Garbutts’ Falls—the two boundary markers that establishes Belize’s southern borders with Guatemala. Under the International Court of Justice (ICJ)’s statues, we’ve looked at the “autonomous nature of borders” as established in a boundary treaty. In Part One of this series, we explored the reasons as to why the 1859 treaty, based on its preamble and the strength of international law, is a boundary treaty and not a treaty of cession as argued by Guatemala. As was stated in previous editions, this distinction is significant, because under international law, the frontiers that parties agree to in a boundary treaty remain fixed and permanent even if there is a breach to other sections of the convention. But the preamble is not the only evidence to the purposive state of mind of the parties when the Anglo-Guatemala Treaty was ratified.

Belize Bank wins 15th annual Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge
The defending Ruta maya champions Armin Lopez, Daniel Cruz and Amado Cruz of the Belize Bank Bulldogs won the 15th annual Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge in a grueling four-day paddle over 140 miles of the Belize River, from the Hawksworth Bridge in San Ignacio to the Belcan Bridge in Belize on Monday, March 11. At the end of the third leg from Bemucian Landing to Burrell Boom, the Bulldogs had a 53-second lead over Jerry Rhaburn, Jeremy and Jermaine Sanchez in the Ziprider canoe sponsored by Cruise Solutions. The Ziprider team outsprinted the Bulldogs to win the fourth leg in 2:42:24, with Oscar Cordon, Efrain and Felix Cruz in the N.I.C.H. canoe only a second behind The Bulldogs finished three seconds behind the N.I.C.H. team for the best overall time of 18:31:21. The NICH team had a cumulative time of 18:31:24 to win second prize, while the Ziprider’s cumulative time of 18:31:10 won them third prize. Jerry Cante, Erwin Cruz and Henner Cruz in the Westrac canoe finished two minutes behind Ziprider, with a cumulative time of 18:38:32, while Roberto and Andres Cabb and Roy Cano of the BTL Cobb’s Arm team finished three minutes behind the leaders with a cumulative of time of 18:39:24 to place fifth. The BTL canoers also won the Perseverance Award.

Independence Primary girls win national softball championship
The undefeated girls of Independence Primary School, the Stann Creek district champions, won the National Primary Schools Softball Championship organized by the National Sports Council at the Rogers’ Stadium on Friday, March 8. Independence pitcher Thalia Interiano struck out six batters as she led her teammates to their fourth victory: 7-3 over the Belize district champions, the girls of Biscayne Government School.

St Jude RC Primary boys win National Softball Championship
The boys of St. Jude R.C. School of Camalote Village, in the Cayo district won the national primary schools softball championships organized by the National Sports Council at Rogers’ Stadium on Friday, March 8. Camalote’s MVP pitcher, Shemar Tablada struck out five batters as he led the St Jude’s boys to a 12-3 victory over the Stann Creek district champions, the boys of Independence Primary School in the finals. Independence’s Manito Montes struck out two batters in the top of the first, but could not stop Alrick Vasquez, Tablada, and Tyrone Matute from scoring St. Jude’s first three runs. Emil Rivers, Michael Gutierrez and Eric Tucker scored for Independence in the bottom of the first to tie the score 3-3. Vasquez and Tablada scored twice in the top of the second, as Matute, Daniel Pollard, Mikel Jones, Edwin Serano and Trevan Neal also scored.

President Obama: There Is No Debt Crisis
There has been no shortage of dire warnings about the mounting US national debt, but President Obama is now offering a different assessment: no big deal. “We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt,” President Obama said in an exclusive interview with George Stephanopoulos for “Good Morning America.” “In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.” It’s an assessment that will throw cold water on the latest attempt to achieve a so-called grand bargain to reduce the deficit. After all, a grand bargain would require excruciatingly difficult decisions for both sides – for Republicans, it would mean raising taxes, and for Democrats, cutting future spending on cherished programs like Social Security and Medicare. If there is no crisis, why would either side do it?

Doctor used silicone fingers to sign in for colleagues
A Brazilian doctor faces charges of fraud after being caught on camera using silicone fingers to sign in for work for absent colleagues, police say. Thaune Nunes Ferreira, 29, was arrested on Sunday for using prosthetic fingers to fool the biometric employee attendance device used at the hospital where she works near Sao Paulo.

New Pontiff is Pope Francis of Argentina
The new leader of the Catholic Church is the Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio who has taken the name of Pope Francis. Bergoglio, 76, is a Jesuit from Buenos Aires and is the first pope from South America. He is also the first pope to take the name of Francis.


All over the map and six degrees of separation between Belize and Montana
It has been a busy past couple of days. My here there and everywhere started Friday morning at 7:00am morning show with Eiden Salazar and Anthony Anderson to announce our new San Pedro Branch board and promote the Red Cross Belize Medical Safety program. Afterward I was collecting money for Tuesdays certified first aid course and taking pictures for Jessie from BRC. She emailed me and said that she needed pictures of San Pedro for the cover of VCA and could I send some from San Pablo, San Pedro Town, San Pedrito, San Juan and San Mateo, I threw in Boca Del Rio beach side and road as well. I struck out in town collecting as it was just two early after the morning show. Thankfully the post office let me in a few minutes early to drop off a letter inviting them to send staff for first aid training and that their spaces are paid for. Thanks to Cowboy’s Pool bar and grill and Leisa Mercer, I can now tell them when I check back on Monday that their lunches are also paid for. I nominated Mr Ack to be the first one for training, since he was at the end of season NEMO thank you party. I am looking for 2 more sponsored spots so we can get all of the post office lined up for training.

Isla Bonita Drummers & Twirlers March Down the Home Stretch To Band Fest 2013 in Belmopan
Imagine you are Ambergris Caye’s Isla Bonita Elementary School Marching band and since mid-2012, you have been trying to raise over $25,000BZD so you could participate in the prestigious Belize national Band Fest. This year, it will be held in Belmopan. You need to cover travelling expenses including a chartered boat and bus, food and accomodations and the most expensive part…uniforms for your drummers and majorettes. Basically, you need to drum and dance and twirl your little hearts out. And they have done just that. They have held multiple fundraisers, dollar drives and marched in every single parade (and that’s saying something in San Pedro.) These kids will come out and perform for $20 or $1000. They practice almost every night in Boca Del Rio – the residents of the area know every beat by heart. They are in the home stretch…they are SO close to their goal and they are SO proud and SO EXCITED. Two nights away from home!…one little girl gushed to me. She can’t wait. I mean look at this little drummer…so so cute.

International Sources

Dominican Republic and Central America need to boost logistics coordination, studies show
To cope with the larger vessels that will transit through the Panama Canal when its expansion is complete in 2015, Central American countries must dramatically improve their intermodal road and port network infrastructure, the quality of their trucking services and strengthen their institutional coordination, two studies issued by the Inter-American Development Bank show. The first study, Assessment of Port Performance and Port Connectivity Study in Belize, Central America and the Dominican Republic, evaluates port performance and the connectivity of 18 ports in Belize, Central America and the Dominican Republic. The second report, Trucking services in Belize, Central America and the Dominican Republic: performance analysis and policy recommendations, assesses the trucking industry and makes recommendations going forward. The reports were released at a seminar on logistics at the IDB’s Annual Meeting in Panama City. The IDB called for countries to establish national logistics agendas to improve policy coordination and tackle bottlenecks that hurt the region’s ability to compete in the global marketplace. Efficient logistics performance requires the public sector to act at the regional, national and local levels, under a coordinated agenda, with shared priorities and objectives, based on consistent information that aids in defining public policies and allows continuous monitoring.

Good Cookin’: Stewed Chicken (How I Learned to Eat and Cook Like a Belizean)
Just hearing the words “stew chicken with rice and beans” makes my mouth water and my stomach rumble. When the smell of sweet coconut milk and simmering garlic hits my nostrils, I have no choice but to crack open a cold Belikin beer and wait until lunch is ready. Belizean Creole food goes beyond nourishing the body – it feeds the soul, and Creole cooks always make enough to share. A plate piled high with tender golden chicken, coconut-scented rice, and red beans spiced with chiles… the national dish of Belize is served. I challenge you to find a single restaurant in Belize that doesn’t offer some version of this traditional Creole recipe. When I first arrived in Belize, I enjoyed stew chicken as much as the next traveler. I ate it politely, daintily, making sure my meat and rice never touched each other on the plate, finishing the potato salad first so the mayonnaise wouldn’t melt and pool over onto the rice, wrestling with the large piece of juicy chicken and getting my first taste of the succulent meat. Though I didn’t want to be rude, I found myself unable to finish the truck-driver-sized portions on my plate.

March 17, 2013


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

La Sonora Dinamita brings a taste of Colombia to San Pedro
Hundreds of islanders packed the R. A. Nuñez Auditorium in San Pedro Town on Saturday March 9th to enjoy the Latin music of the Colombian band La Sonora Dinamita. The show was promoted in Belize by LRS Promotions of San Pedro Town. Those in attendance had the opportunity to interact with the band members on stage and even behind the stage following the nearly three-hour show. Prepping the crowd before the appearance of La Sonora Dinamita was San Pedro’s very own Rompe Raja. From early during the night, the audience took to the dance floor to enjoy the musical performance of Sonora Dinamita-1the local band. Once La Sonora Dinamita was announced, everyone moved closer to the stage to welcome the popular South American band well known for its salsa, merengue and cumbia music.

Letter to the Editor: From JOY International
As I drove back to the place I’m staying at, I made a decision. I said, “If I have to buy new sandals today, I’m going to end my barefoot journey after 1,000 days (April 15). If I get my sandals back I’ll keep going barefoot indefinitely.” When I got back to my place I was ready to write and put this episode behind me. Lo and behold, about 9 hours later my phone rang. A woman introduced herself as Marleny, the Director of the Tourism Board of San Pedro Island. She asked if I was Dr. Jeff Brodsky. I said I was and she said she had my sandals and I could come and get them. I was so excited! I asked where her office was located and it was directly above the exact spot where my sandals were taken. When I got there she said she heard about what happened (from the street vendor). She immediately put her personal “tourism police” into action. They were the ones who found the man and got my sandals back. I was elated to say the least. When she asked me what I was doing on the island it gave me an opportunity to share about the work of JOY and the book I was writing. She asked if I was going to write anything bad about the island because of what happened. I assured her I would only be sharing it with a few friends and family and that I would most definitely write something nice in the book about completing it in San Pedro. She was ecstatic… but I was even more so, as I brought the sandals home.

$4.3 million-dollar Cayo Welcome Center inaugurated
Cayo Welcome Center-5The Cayo District now boasts a brand new Welcome Center situated in San Ignacio Town. Constructed as part of the Belize Sustainable Tourism Project (STP), the new facility was inaugurated on Thursday March 7th at a total cost of $4.3 million dollars; $3 million was through a loan while the remainder was the price tagged to the property by the local municipality. At hand to inaugurate the building were several dignitaries, including the Minister of Tourism and Culture Manuel Heredia Jr. and Mayor of the twin towns of Santa Elena and San Ignacio, John August. Cayo Welcome Center-6The Cayo Welcome Center is located in downtown, along Savannah and Burns avenues and lies in the historic Cahal Pech – once a large Maya city. According to Mayor August, the facility will support the economy of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, and even the entire district. “The Cayo Welcome Centre will not only display the ancient and rich culture of our area from time to time, but will become a place for showing the cultural products, artifacts, artistic craftsmanship and drawings of the artists of this area. Through this centre, visitors will also have a clearer understanding of our values, of our traditions and of the cultural and natural resources of the Cayo district. Furthermore this centre will become the tourist information centre that plays a significant role in providing factual information to our national, local and international tourists about security, safety and services of the various tourism sites as well as providing advice related to the development of tourism in the Cayo district now and in the future. It will play a major role in promoting the tourism sector of the entire district,” said Mayor August. The $3 million dollar contribution towards the building of the welcome center came from the Government of Belize through a larger loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) as part of the STP. Mayor August explained that the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council provided the land which has a market value of over $1.3 million. “The Cayo Welcome Center will improve the esthetic of the town. We have been doing other major works as it relates to the streets in the main downtown area. When our tourists come into our community, they will be able to feel warmly welcomed and can appreciate the cleanliness of this municipality and district,” added August.

Sunbreeze welcomes guests with a snazzy new look
For years Sunbreeze hotel and Suites have been serving weary travelers with their trademark hospitality and charm. In keeping up with the times, while maintaining said charm and welcoming air, Sunbreeze recently underwent several changes. The most noticeable change of course, is the introduction of their brand new, maize-colored staff camp shirt uniforms. It is quite the change from their signature aqua and cream shirts of yore.It was been 17 years since the Sunbreeze has seen such a significant change. “Everyone feels energized with the new upgrades and the change in uniform,” said General Manager Julia Edwards as she walked The San Pedro Sun staff to view the changes across the award- winning hotel. Along with the vibrant new uniforms, the 43 rooms also saw upgrades to best suit the need of clients. Every single room received a little TLC.

San Pedro Lions Queen 2013
Congratulations Alexis DelValle crowned San Pedro Lions Queen 2013 tonight at the Lion’s Den. Ms DelValle was sponsored by Fido’s Courtyard and The San Pedro Sun!

SPHS wins second straight national title
San Pedro High School retains their national title as nation secondary school softball champions after defeating Belmopan Comprehensive High School in a score of 3 to 5. Congratulations teams!

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: It's Loggerhead Mating Season in Belize
Each year around March many divers report seeing more male loggerheads in their search of a female loggerhead as they have done for 100s of years. Loggerhead turtles can easily be distinguished by their large head. They can weigh up to 450 pounds and their shell can be up to 3.5 feet in length Thanks for watching our short film on the Loggerhead Sea Turtle.

VIDEO: The Sharks at Half Moon Wall, Lighthouse Reef, Belize
First PADI Advanced Open Water Dive for a couple of divers. Our cast today featuring "Barry" The Barracuda, Lionfish and The Sharks at Half Moon Wall. This is dive two of a Great Blue Hole Day Trip from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize Central America. Produced by Michael Davis


President of Village Councils Respond to Allegations
President of the National Association of Village Councils Orlando Dawson has responded to allegations made by several members of the NAVCO board. In a release signed by eight members of the Board, they accuse Dawson of running a one man show. ORLANDO DAWSON “Am certainly ...

Renovation On Dangriga Town Market Faces Delay In Progress
On Thursday Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu reported that there are concerns over the pace of the renovation of the town market. He said the renovation work stopped two weeks ago and residents of the municipality have made numerous complaints to the Town Council. Vendors ...

Dangriga Police Investigate Several Burglaries
A number of burglaries have been reported in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports on those and other incidents. HARRY ARZU “Police here in Dangriga have recovered three laptops and a digital camera that was stolen from a house here in the New Site Area of this...

YWCA Celebrates 57 Years
The Young Women’s Christian Association in Belize is celebrating its 57TH anniversary next week. As a result, YWCA week will be observed commencing with breakfast after the Women’s Month Bike Rally, but it will be officially launched on Sunday. First Vice Presid...

Women's Department Plans Activities for Women's Month
The Women’s Month Annual Bike Rally is scheduled to kick off tomorrow morning at the corner of Western Avenue and the George Price Highway. According to the Acting Director of the Women’s Department, Cynthia Williams, the activity looks to bring families together and ...


Belize Delegation Heads To Washington To Discuss Guatemala's Recent Referendum Move
A Belize delegation headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington will be travelling to Washington over the weekend where they will meet with representatives of the OAS to discuss Guatemala’s recent move to postpone the October 6th Referendum to 2014 or that Belize change its referendum act to a simple majority vote. As we reported last night, the announcement was made by Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina on Wednesday stating that the postponement of the referendum or the amendment of Belize’s Referendum Law will prevent the consultation from becoming invalid. Of note is that CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, has stated that Belize intends to stand its ground for the referendum to take place on October 6th 2013. And while there is no telling what will be the outcome of that meeting, which will also see the participation of Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera, the financial support to hold the Referendum keeps rolling in. Uruguay recently announced its adherence to the Group of Friends of Guatemala-Belize to provide political, technical and financial support for the referendum in which residents of both countries will decide if the Guatemalan claim will be taken to the International Court of Justice. The South American country joins Canada, USA, Mexico, Spain and the UK as the bloc of countries interested in finding a solution to the territorial dispute between the two nations.

MJC Has Talent
On Saturday night the Orange Walk Multi Purpose Complex Building will come alive as students of Muffles Junior College expose their many talents as they take part in the annual Talent Night Show. The event is set to commence at 7:00pm and according to Victoria Urbina, Treasurer of the Student Body, its one activity that you can’t afford to miss. Victoria Urbina “You should be there. I am sure you and your family will enjoy this event. As they were mentioning this morning on Despierta Belice that this show is very important because the students are portraying their originality because they are making up their own dance steps and their own scripts of the music. There will be a variety of shows for you to enjoy with your family so you should come out and support us. We are doing it for the public and this is also for giving the students opportunity so that they can portray what they have. It gives the public and opportunity to see what MJC has to offer for them. It is for a fundraiser because every year we leave behind like a building that benefits the school and these funds will help us to raise something that we can leave behind. Entrance fee is five dollars for kids and eight dollars adults.

Super Bond Now Belize Bond 2038
Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with the Debt Superbond Renegotiation Committee held a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza to lay down the details of the now Belize Bond 2038. According to PM Barrow, Belize will see a debt relief of 494 million dollars between 2013 and 2022. With the new bond in place Belize’s debt GDP ratio is also expected to fall to 60% in 2017, that is, if the country is as successful as last year. Of note is that Belize did not make good on its coupon payment that was due on August 2012 and the coupon payment that would have become due in February. But PM Barrow says those payments were rolled up into a new bond in which Belize saved $76.4 million by way of cash payments. If Belize would have made the payments, Barrow noted that the $76.4 million would have then been added to the $84 million financial gap for the present fiscal year which would have in turn sent the country over the fiscal cliff. After successfully restructuring the US$530 million super bond and transforming it to 2039 Belize Bond, Prime Minister Barrow also announced that a Debt Management Committee is in the making. The committee, which will more than likely be headed by Ambassador Mark Espat, will be in charge of monitoring the bond to ensure that it keeps afloat. As for the cost of restructuring the bond, Barrow was not able to present the exact figure but did admit that in terms of Belizean dollars it is astronomical.

BTIA OW Denounce Attack On Howler Monkey
The story of the Male Howler Monkey who was badly beaten allegedly by four male students of the Belize High School of Agriculture is taking new heights. The monkey’s attack is described as animal cruelty and as such the case has attracted much attention. At the center of the turmoil are four students and a male teacher of BHSA who reportedly instructed the group to kill the monkey after the animal urinated and not defecated on him as was first reported. As mentioned last night by some students of the institution who witnessed the entire incident, the accused teacher has a lot to do with the act of cruelty that was carried out by the male students. From the onset, this statement has been refuted by the Principal of the High School Cecilio Pech. While all sorts of reports are coming out of the high school, the Forest Department, based on their investigations, is yet to file criminal charges against those found responsible of committing the act. And while the Forest Department prepares to make the next move, BTIA Orange Walk Chapter also expressed their outrage towards the incident. According to BTIA Orange Walk, Howler Monkeys are endangered species and are some of the charismatic wildlife species that Belize uses to market its tourism product and killing them is wrong. The organization also makes mention that animal cruelty is a very serious offence, which should not go unpunished.

ITVET OW and University Of Texas Collaborate To Create Great Business Minds
For the past three years the Orange Walk Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training, (ITVET), has been partnering with the University of Texas in a student exchange program. The Business Service Project Program, is one in which 15 students of the university interact with the students of ITVET, by teaching them more about the business sector. The project also looks at educating ITVET students on how to convert business ideas into reality. Stephanie Hinojosa-Galvan, Director, Student Life “The project consists of a collaboration between ITVET and the University of Texas in which our students come and teach some basic business skills like resume writing and personal pitches as well as help some of the students who have a business idea turn that into a business plan and then they present in front of the Belize Youth Business Trust. Hopefully they get some mentorship through that so that they can present at the national competition. This is my second time year but the students have fallen in love with Belize. We have visited many business and talk to many business owners, people in education, in politics and we have gotten a real feel about what goes on in Belize and gain a real appreciation for your country.” Hipolito Novelo, Reporter “Was the appreciation showed by the students were a part of the project?” Stephanie Hinojosa-Galvan, Director, Student Life “The students at ITVET have been really appreciative of what we have been able to do for them. I think it is really special that you can have interaction with someone close to your age that can help you and mentor you to get your resume up to a high standard.”

Arte Con Voz De Mujer In Corozal
ARTE CON VOZ DE MUJER is an exhibit showcasing the talent of many women from across the jewel. On March 8th the exhibit was opened at the Corozal House of Culture in commemoration of Women’s Month. Today reporter Elmer Cornejo stopped by the house of culture and found more about the 10 talented women featured during the exhibit. Debra Wilkes Grey- Director of Corozal House of Culture “It is a wide range, diverse range of medium. We have sculpture, text tiles, fashion, and acrylic paintings. We have the tradition Maya basket weaving. We also have natural copper jewelries which are very beautiful and organic jewelries using natural seed with material found here in Belize. As well we sort of stretch it out- we are showcasing poetry, song and music.” From photographs to the world of painting, the exhibition exposes the many talents that exist in Belize. Debra Wilkes Grey- Director of Corozal House of Culture “The fantasy costume is really interesting in the idea that the theme is an orchid theme but in the design is a mural that was painted on the dress. The whole idea bringing back this festival and the pageant which is something that used to happened here in Corozal decades ago and pretty much died of. So they are bringing it back and we are able to showcase that piece and it is very tremendous.”

Join In The Ride In Corozal For Women's Month
The annual Women’s Month bike rally is scheduled for tomorrow, nationwide. It’s an event that has had increasing support and participation over the years based on the strong message that is sent across the board and the support that is shown for gender issues. In Corozal, the bike rally is set to take off at 5:30am and if you have not signed up, there is still time to do so. Consuelo Hernandez-Women Development Officer Corozal “We have the women’s month bike rally-this is an annual event that we have and this is taking place this Saturday at 6am. Actually we have registration at 5:30, everybody must register and it is free. Let me mention that it is not a competing. We are not competing against each other. It is a normal bike rally but we do have awards.” The bike rally will move from in front of the Corozal Central Park. Here in Orange Walk the event will also kick off at 5:30am tomorrow. Participants are asked to gather at the roundabout by the Establo Restaurant.

BAC+7th Day Adventist Church=Library
The Belize Adventist Junior College is a tertiary educational institution that has been in operation since 1999. A few weeks ago the institution inaugurated their new Science Laboratory after going without one for more than a decade. But while students can now boast of a new Science Lab, they also need a library and from all indications the construction of one is already under way. The building, measuring thirty feet by ninety feet is being constructed by volunteers of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh Day Adventist Church hailing from Colorado in the USA. All volunteers paid for their trip to Belize and provided all the material and equipment needed for the construction of the library. The group of forty eight volunteers is headed by Pastor Joe Mark who elaborated on the mission. Joe Mark-Head of Volunteer Group “In this trip we have been laying down the foundation for the library. What is interesting is that we have people back in America and they know that they couldn’t make the trip but they wanted to contribute and many people have been giving donation to lay down the foundation of the library which was our goal and put up as many walls that we can in six and a half days. This is a unique trip because it was a first time that we engage the young people with the college students and they worked together. It was neat seeing the young people working together for the common goal of getting this collage ready got the young people.”

Lindy Jeffrey On Reproductive Health For Elderly Women
Around the world, including Belize, discussion of human sexuality and reproductive health and rights has often been considered too socially and politically sensitive or too personal for serious exploration or public debate. At the same time, governments implement laws and programs that have direct or unanticipated impacts on these human freedoms with little or no input from those most affected. As a result, healthy development, autonomy and personal agency in these areas have often been compromised. With the aim of strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights, and encouraging comprehensive sexuality education and evidence-based public discourse on sexuality, the Corozal Women’s Department with the assistance of Lindy Jeffrey, Executive Director of the National Council on Aging, held a Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and Rights Workshop for women from the Corozal District. During the workshop a number of topics were discussed including reproductive health and aging. Lindy Jeffrey, Executive Director of National Council on Aging “I was invited by the women’s officer for Corozal to come and do a talk about women’s health and I chose to do on reproductive health and aging. That doesn’t always mean that we are always looking for things for old people but we are very interest of the life cycle. We want all the women here to be active and healthy in their old age. So being more aware of their body and how it works was very important to us.”

BHOC Promotes Women's Talents
Today the Banquitas House of Culture hosted a special expo in honor of Women’s Month celebrated under theme “Gender Agenda Gaining Momentum”. Women from across the Orange Walk District took part in the expo by exposing the many talents they possess. Our news team dropped by the expo this afternoon and filed the following report. Hipolito Novelo Reporting… In commemoration of Women’s Month, the Banquitas House of Culture invited several women to take part in the expo thus showing off their skills and talents. Yvette Torres, Coordinator BHOC “First of all in the gallery we have painting from Nelita Sambula and Terry Lee Crawford from Carmelita Village. Also, we have some embroidery and some beading from Felicita Cantun. Out here in the different booths we have the different artisans and they all have the handy craft works. So they are out there to show their talent and for us to start to stimulate appreciation to the positive work that these women are doing.” Many items were on display this afternoon including handmade jewelleries and accessories dedicated to the Rastafarian Movement.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Coalition for Change. Leadership With A Passion. Help Us Help You.
Our Agenda for taking Caye Caulker forward. -Inclusivity: Bring all the major groups on the island to the table with us and join in our decision and execution process. This includes: Tour guide assoc., Tour operators assoc., Golf taxi assoc., Business assoc., Police department, both water taxi Companies. Both high, primary and pre-school. Develop a direct link between the council, residents and the office of the Ombudsman in Belize City. Benefits: Information becomes more available, accessible and help the residents plan their futures, investments, and know their rights. Create a welcoming center for our guests. Benefits: Eliminate the confusion happening today relative to schedules, prices and hustling issues that face our arriving guests today. Convince both water taxi’s as to the benefits of operating out of 1 location. Cost savings, island security etc, etc. Benefits: Everyone wins Acquiring a dredge: Creating our own income for our island is of utmost importance. We cannot continue to sit back and depend on Central Government for handouts. We need to get the council and our residents back the RESPECT WE DESERVE. Another stream of revenue will be to convince the powers to be that a Local Resident created the Shark and Ray Alley. Caye Caulker will insist on collecting the revenue generated from this site.

The Belize Times

Fuel Prices go sky high! – Diesel up by 60 cents
There is terrible news for commuters. With no warning or public announcement, the Government approved increases to the price of fuel at the pumps countrywide. The increases are significant. Premium gas went up by 27 cents to $12.20 per gallon. Regular gas went up by 33 cents ...

Barrow says Superbond cost is “astronomical”
On February 12th the Prime Minister disclosed that Belize will be paying $3 million to bondholders to offset the expenses they incurred during the renegotiation of the Superbond. Today, a month after, Barrow returned to the ...

PM rejects Union’s Counter Proposal! – No discussion over salaries until after Budget debates, says Barrow
Prime Minister Dean Barrow wants to pull a fast one on the Joint Unions Negotiations Team by delaying any possible meeting to discuss a counter proposal over a salary adjustment for teachers and Public Officers until ...

THE REFERENDUM COMMISSION The Government appointed a Referendum Commission. Its purpose was to prepare Belizeans for the upcoming referendum, on 6 October this year, on whether we should vote yes or no to taking Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). On the same day the commission was launched, the ...

Despots Exposed
By G. Michael Reid “But the poor person does not exist as an inescapable fact of destiny. His or her existence is not politically neutral, and it is not ethically innocent. The poor are a by-product of the system in which we live and for which we are responsible. They are ...

The surrendering body of Ronald Rivers, who was in Belize City street calculation, an established basketball star, should never be lost on us. Rivers’ star power was a quiet and skilled aura, which he carried with a relaxed confidence. To the masses of Belizeans, Rivers’ shocking demise may simply be ...

All eyes on National Softball Championship
The high school softball championships will be hosted by Wesley College at the Rogers’ Stadium on Friday and Saturday, March 15-16. The Nazarene High School boys won the high school softball championships: 17-7 ...

Marlon Castillo wins SMART/Belmopan Cycling Classic
Team Santino’s Marlon Castillo won the 34th annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday, outsprinting the defending champ, Ron Vasquez of Team Belikin Western Spirits on the 100-mile ride from Belize City to Belmopan and back. Castillo ...

Armin, Daniel and Amado Did It Again! – Belize Bank Bulldogs win Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge
Defending Ruta Maya champs Belize Bank Bulldogs: Armin Lopez, Daniel Cruz and Amado Cruz won the 15th annual Belikin Ruta Maya River Challenge in Belize City on Monday, March 11. The Bulldogs were 3rd across the finish line on Day 4, but they still had the best overall time: 18:31:21 to win the 1st prize and the Kinich Ahau trophy. The overall results are as follows: ...

Go walk your dog, Sedi!
Belize has a serious problem with Sedi with the things he says and what his words really mean. Sedi seems to have a problem with himself too in that right or wrong, he is far removed from reality and could care less what the Belizean man or woman thinks of him, even when he blunders saying things like Belize’s border is “artificial”. That statement alone stirred up so much anti-sentiment against the Foreign Minister that almost everyone wanted him gone and Barrow had to resist the pressure. ...

HEAD-U-cation Part 2
By Yasser Musa “All for Plato, screech I’m out here balling, I know y’all hear my sneaks Jesus was a carpenter, Yeezy he laid beats Hova flow the Holy Ghost, get the hell up out your seats, preach...” - Kanye West and Jay Z, No Church In The Wild, Watch The Throne TOO MUCH ...

AMAZING GRACE: La Ruta Maya and God
It has been an eventful weekend. One of the biggest races in our country has been completed. It is such a huge race that it’s cut into three pieces. There are three humans who sit in a canoe, and their main instrument is the paddle. They paddle for hours and ...

Moratorium on taxi license: sign of the times
By Richard Harrison I understand that various municipal governments have decided to enter into a moratorium on issuance of taxi licenses, under pressure from existing taxi operators, i.e. they are no longer issuing licenses to new applicants who want to operate a taxi. Taxi service in Belice is a business that allows ...

CitCo’s Denial of Service Bad for Business
By Gilroy Usher, Sr. Shortly after it was elected to office, the Belize City Council led by Darrel Bradley put a stop to the licensing of vehicles or the processing of driver’s licenses for anyone who has an outstanding bill with the council. The denial of any of the vital services ...

Guatemala’s claim to Belize
A political red herring that will never go away, the ICJ is in-appropriate. It will resolve nothing. After the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that the United States’ covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international Law, the United ...

An Imminent National Social Uprising?
Without dreams of hope and pride a man will die Though his flesh still moves his heart sleeps in the grave Without land man never dreams ‘cause he’s not free All men need a place to live with dignity. (Chuck Mangione ...

Faber gets new luxury ride
These times are the hardest for Belizeans. People are barely putting food on their tables, and the Government is refusing to give public officers and teachers a small salary raise. But it appears the Government has an open access to cash – public funds – to ...

‘Krucifying’ the Bar!
Embattled Foreign Minister and Attorney General Wilfred Sedi Elrington has deepened suspicions that the Barrow Administration’s plot to destroy the Bar Association has more to do with a personal and political vendetta than anything close to enhancing the administration of justice. Last week, the BELIZE TIMES broke ...

Questions to Ministers
Can the Minister of Health explain to Punta Gorda residents why it took the UDP Government one whole year to get the X-Ray machine operational at the hospital, while his Ministry has been wasting thousands of dollars on over-priced pharmaceuticals? Will the Minister of National Security update the country on the ...

Has Minister of Health Pablo Marin lost faith in northern public hospital?
Dear Editor, Some months ago we heard several stories via the media of mothers who went to deliver their babies at the Northern Regional Hospital and of the horrible outcomes for them and their babies. In some cases the mothers and fathers told their stories with hope that some action would ...

Belize No Longer a Democracy
Dear Editor, I listened to Minister Louis Farrakhan talk about the situation in Belize in regard to its so called “democracy”. What came to mind were his words that Belizeans should be able to participate in the process here and his questions whether Belizeans are allowed to participate. I was reminded ...

A shocking revelation was exposed today at Dean Barrow’s press conference and it had nothing to do with the costly restructuring of the Superbond. As with all other acts of corruption and misfeasance under Barrow’s stewardship, the land grab turned get-rich quick program by Gapi Vega and his friends and family was just a sideshow to the main event. A few months Gapi Vega’s demonstrated his scorn for a majority of Belizeans, when he publicly declared that he and his family were not normal and that he was supervising a full-on land bonanza, ensuring that his family and friends benefit from prime Belizean land. No apologies. No remorse. Straight like that. But just when we thought the land grab couldn’t get any worse, Dean Barrow announced today that Cabinet is endorsing handsome compensations to Gapi’s friends and relatives with tax payers’ dollars for land transactions that were wrongful from the very onset. Dominique Gomez, who is the girlfriend of Gapi Vega’s son Andre Vega, received title from her father-in-law to acres of land within a designated reserve in the Placencia lagoon. The area is home to a number of crocodile and birds. Other close associates of Gapi Vega such as Dorian Pakeman who is employed at the Government Press Office, Bertram Young and Douglas Usher also were awarded land in the same area. The land grab within this protected area infuriated residents and environmentalists along the Peninsula.

Ministry of Housing is a FRAUD!
Since the Barrow Administration got into office five years ago, it has budgeted a whopping $39,321,226 for the Ministry of Housing. In the upcoming fiscal year, GOB is budgeting $2,079,977 more for the Housing Ministry. Three core objectives of the Ministry of Housing are to: 1. To facilitate low income earners with low interest housing loans 2. To provide grants to low income earners for home repairs 3. To develop special programmes whereby Teachers, BDF, Police, Nurses and Public Officers can benefit through incentives officered for long services With a total of $41 million from 2008-2013, the Government could have constructed over 8,000 homes for needy Belizeans. But where are the houses? Where are the housing loans? Where are the housing projects? The only housing projects visible throughout the country – whether it is Cohune Walk in Belmopan, Mahogany Heights and 8 Miles on the George Price Highway, Los Lagos on the Phillip Goldson Highway, San Lorenzo Housing Site in Orange Walk Town, or Chula Vista, Joseito, or Dominguez Layout in Corozal – were all accomplished by the former PUP administration OVER EIGHT YEARS AGO. Squandering Funds So if there have been no housing projects and no housing loans available, where have all the millions allocated to the Ministry of Housing gone?


A Polish Bi-Plane Lands at Caye Caulker Air Strip
…is a sentence you don’t see often. Yesterday I spent the afternoon in Caye Caulker…a very nice change of pace from the “big city” of San Pedro. Only 20 minutes by water taxi, it is a trip I should be (and will be) making much more frequently. What is not to love about a place that greets me so colorfully and warmly? I received a tip earlier in the week that a peculiar plane was parked at the small air strip towards the south end of the island. Why not take a pleasant beach walk down there to check it out? Pretty cool…I was thinking this huge “Orange Baron” must be from World War II…

Huff Post Travel Selects Chaa Creek as One of the World’s 10 Most Relaxing Destinations For Sustainable Tourism
The Huffington Post has selected The Lodge at Chaa Creek as one of the world’s 10 most relaxing destinations for sustainable tourism. In an article entitled “Eco-Resorts: The World’s 10 Most Relaxing Destinations For Sustainable Tourism” written by Carolyn Gregoire and published today March 16th 2013 on the travel section of the Huffington Post, Carolyn writes ” the health benefits of spending time in nature are well-documented, as are the stress-relieving benefits of taking a vacation. Travelers looking to really get away from it all, and help conserve some of the world’s most pristine natural habitats, should consider de-stressing at a relaxing and secluded eco-resort”. “Good for your stress levels and for the environment, these destinations are both tranquil and invigorating, often featuring spa services and complimentary yoga classes alongside rainforest tours and water sports. And it’s a vacation you can feel good about: From a private island and reserve off the coast of Zanzibar equipped with the latest eco-technology to a sustainable lodge celebrating Pueblo culture in Taos, New Mexico, all are committed to preserving the surrounding land, benefiting native communities and employing local staff” asserts the article.

Happy St Patrick’s Day from Belize!
Once again, the staff and management of Chaa Creek wish all of our friends, Irish and those just wearing a bit of the green for today, a very Happy St Patrick’s Day. Yes, in the heady multicultural mix that is Belize, the Irish are well represented. From the early days of the Baymen and buccaneers, many of whom hailed from the Emerald Isles, to present day Belize, Celtic surnames and even the odd lilt of a brogue are common. Irish priests have always been an integral part of Belize’s religious and educational life, and the Royal Irish Rangers were stationed here for years. Today there is a thriving expat community of people from Ireland, and while Guinness is freely available throughout The Jewel, many revellers will be toasting their favourite saint with the rather excellent local Belikin stout.

International Sources

Editor's Diary: Meet Kim Barrow
When we featured a cheerful portrait of Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize alongside his chic First Lady Kim Barrow in the Island Issue, I couldn’t wait to find out more. Introduced through Travel photographer Lebawit Girma, I was regrettably informed that she was diagnoised with Breast Cancer earlier that month. We exchanged emails and after expressing how much she loved Complexd I knew instantly that I wanted to make her the next Complexd Cover woman. Suitably, the issue was themed ‘Woman of Strength’. In the days and months that followed in preparation for the next issue, Mrs. Barrow displayed the type of strength I wished to express in the issue. When I deliberated about the cover, she sent me an email saying she wanted to show women the effects of cancer by not hiding behind a wig in her cover shot. I felt honoured when I found out she made that extra effort when all her strength was being drained by this life-threatening illness. Through Kim, I have seen first-hand how the power of love and support can fight off the deadliest disease. I am so happy to be publishing these portraits below because on her face is an ever-present glow and appreciation for life that she talks about in our latest interview. Enjoy reading. Editor: Was recovery as hard as the diagnosis? Kim: I took my recovery one day at a time. I did a total of six chemotherapy sessions and a mastectomy. I was scheduled for 30 fractions of radiations, but suffered heart failure after 15. I was in the intensive care unit for a week when the doctors finally agreed to terminate radiation. After resting for almost three months, I went for a second opinion on my heart condition at MD Anderson Cancer Centre, while also seeking the advice of a Radiologist. I completed 20 additional fractions of radiation on September 19th 2012. There really is no magic that can get you through the process – it’s about believing, having faith and always being positive.

Shipwreck survivor recounts drama on high seas
Quen Cultra sailed around the world in a self-built boat in his 20s. Forty years later, the real estate manager decided to conquer the high seas once more. He and two friends set sail in August 2007 for the around-the-world journey. Two tropical storms abruptly ended their journey off the coast of southeastern Africa.

Acro Knights near goal for mission trip to Belize
The Walla Walla Valley Academy Acro Knights continue to raise funds for a mission trip to Belize all the way up to their Tuesday departure. #The acrobatic team will be stationed at Liberty Orphanage in Ladyville, where the group will help with a variety of projects and perform for schools in the area. #The trip costs more than $70,000, and the Acro Knights are just shy of their goal, according to an announcement. #Donations are tax-deductible. Checks can be sent to Walla Walla Valley Academy, payable to Acro Belize, 300 S.W. Academy Way, College Place, WA 99324. For more details, call 525-1050.

Eco-Resorts: The World's 10 Most Relaxing Destinations For Sustainable Tourism
Belize has become a mecca for geotourism, and The Lodge at Chaa Creek leads the pack as one of the country's best ecolodges. Visitors enjoy a true rainforest experience at the foot of the Maya Mountains. The resort has been named the Best Eco Resort & Hotel in the Caribbean for four years in a row by Caribbean Travel & Life. Enjoy a variety of adventure activities, explore the surrounding natural beauty, and unwind at the full-service spa. Double-occupancy rooms start at $165 per person/night.

Kid-Friendly Butterfly Farm Adults Will Enjoy In Belize
If you ever visit Belize, to Cayo District in the west, the question isn’t what are we to do since it is so far from the ocean? It’s how can we fit so many activities in a day and still enjoy the tranquil, green and vastly untouched land the Mayans and people of all cultures and color called home? After all, this is the region where award winning eco-lodge and Green Globe Certified, The Lodge at Chaa Creek in Belize sits at 365 acres of rolling hills, lush tropical trees and plants, thousands of native animals dwell and where the River Macal runs through. A ten-minute walk on a walkway will bring you to the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm. You can’t tell what is inside this caged space until you walk a little closer. Once you open the door, you see fluttering creatures going about their business for the day. Some are sitting on ant plant leaves, also known as granadillo in Spanish. Another batch feasting on cut rotting tropical fruits like watermelon. They are actually drinking the juice and sap from the fruits with its proboscis, long protruding mouth. Some are hanging on the top of the caged area.

March 16, 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

San Mateo Empowerment Project draws to a successful end
San-Mateo-Empowerment-Project-3After three full years in progress the San Mateo Empowerment Project came to an end on March 14th, 2013. The culmination of the project took place during a short ceremony at the entrance of the San Mateo Subdivision in northern San Pedro Town. The San Mateo Empowerment Project was the vision of Professor Kim Shackelford and the many students of the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), who aimed to replace London bridges (long stretches of old wood planks over swamp) with roads for the people of San Mateo. Residents, students and teachers of the area attended the ceremony to show their appreciation towards the effort made by Ole Miss students and professors who have touched the lives of the needy people of the island. “Kim Shackelford is a blessing to us. San Mateo Empowerment Project is a blessing to the residents of San Mateo and we will forever be thankful,” said Grace Williams the Principal of Holy Cross Anglican School, and a resident living in San Mateo. End of San Mateo Road Project-4“San Mateo is the eyesore of the island,” said the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero in his remarks indicating that the subdivision should have never taken place. San Mateo subdivision was built on swamp land that lacks adequate infrastructure such as roads, electricity, sewage system and most importantly, potable water. “But slowly we are turning the wheels and improving the lives of the people of this area,” continued Guerrero in his remarks. A change that Guerrero said, started with the San Mateo Empowerment Project.

“Woman at the End of the World” to feature ACES’s Cherie Chenot-Rose
Cherie-Chenot-Rose-ACESAs the world celebrates International Women’s Month, a Polish TV Production team travelled to Ambergris Caye, Belize to film a portion of their documentary series about extraordinary women throughout the world. The series, called “Woman at the End of the World”, takes viewers in a journey across the globe showcasing the life, culture and achievement of various incredible women. The series has been in production for three seasons and has become a great success in Europe, featuring exotic locations in Africa, Asia, South America and North America. Hosting the program is Martyna Wojciechowska, a Polish television presenter, journalist, traveler and writer. Wojciechowska is an exemplary woman herself, having conquered the Seven Summits in 2010. The Seven Summits is the name given to the highest mountain peaks in the seven continents of the world. Only about 200 people have climbed the Seven Summits since 2008. The Seven Summits are Mount Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, Mount Vinson and Carstensz Pyramid.

San Pedro Chapter of the Belize Red Cross elects new Executive Committee
The local chapter of the Belize Red Cross (BRC) held elections for their Board of Directors on March 14, 2013. The elections were held during a breakfast meeting held at Estel’s commencing at 10:45 am. Present at the meeting was director general of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman. SP-Red-Cross-BODElected to the board are: Chairperson – Eiden Salazar; Vice-Chairperson – Antony Anderson; Treasurer – Carolyn Kumar; Ordinary member – Cheryl Bowen; Ordinary member – Sandro Cob; Ordinary member – Frank Panton; Youth representative – Swuine Diego and Secretary – Philip Ramsey. Lily-BowmanThe committee is still in need of an office coordinator; who will initially be offered a $250 monthly stipend to open the office three times per week and coordinate BRC activities. With the establishment of the San Pedro branch, this marks seven branches around the country of Belize. Bowman spoke about the meeting and what was accomplished. “This all comes in our attempt and efforts to reactivate our Belize Red Cross branch of San Pedro. Many, many years ago we had a very active branch out here and for whatever reason it went dormant.

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Miss Costa Maya 2010 in Music Video
In 2010 the San Pedro community saw a very talented Costa Maya contestant crowned Miss Costa Maya, her name - Gabriela Asturias. On the island and in Guatemala she is known as a triple treat with her skills in pagentry, dancing and hosting of events. Three years after being Costa Maya Festival, Asturias has been very busy making headlines in her home town of Guatemala City with her television show "Que Chilero" at Azteca Guatemala and with her all female dance group "Divash" who tours the entire country performing at special events. In January 2013, Divash got the opportunity to debut in Guatamalan Artist Ale Mendoza's music video featuring well renowned Puerto Rican reggaeton duo Dyland y Lenny. Ambergris Today, San Pedro and the International Costa Maya Festival Committee extend a huge congratulations to Gabriela and Divash on their successful truimphs!

Belizeans Graduate from Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
Forty four Belizeans participants from various law enforcement departments and agencies in Belize have received certificates after completing a two-weeks training course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, sponsored by the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean (UNLIREC). The course, which ran from February 25 to March 8, 2013, covered a wide range of topics including the basics on firearms, legal framework, stock-pile management and disarmament. In her remarks at the Graduation ceremony, UNRILEC Director Melanie Regimbal stated, “Our goal over the last two weeks was not only to impart knowledge on the various firearm activities and how to conduct investigations, or how to look at classification of weapons, or crime scene management, or weapon destruction and practical disarmament measures. These are all issues that are fundamental and are the reason behind the course. But I hope that what you will have gotten out of the last ten days is really an insight as to what your other colleagues are doing to combat illicit firearms trafficking.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Starts Project to Improve Traffic Security
The Belize government starts today a traffic security plan aimed at reducing the high rate of mortal traffic accidents registered here, informed Minister of State, Santino Castillo. Authorities are alarmed, as the country has the highest rate of deaths from traffic accidents in Latin America during the last years, reaching 21.6 per 100 thousand inhabitants, he said. Deaths from those incidents are the fourth cause of mortality in the country, added Castillo. The initiative valued in several millions of dollars, aims at improving the most critical places in roads and highways, strict application of traffic laws, contribute to traffic education and to the efficient response of the Western Regional Hospital, he said. The first stage will start by repairing the capital's most important highway, works that will last at least three years, specified to a local television network, Castillo who is also Minister of Economic and Financial Development.

Abraxas at Midas Tonight
Abraxas plays tonight at Midas Resort. In Bloom will open. It's great to finally see great live music in Cayo every weekend.

SIPL Hosts Hope Preschool
The San Ignacio Public Library hosted Hope Preschool for Children's Month. Reading at a young age is a great idea. "'Valuing literacy: Fostering change and shaping minds'. Children had a blast of fun with stories and activities at the San Ignacio Public Library."

La Ruta Maya 2013 Statistics
The La Ruta Maya statistics have all been posted online. Congratulations once again to the Belize Bank Bulldogs, NICH, and Ziprider for taking first, second, and third places. Team Natius placed first in the Intramural division, and the Oceana Wavemakers placed first in the Masters division. See the rest on their Google spreadsheet online. In related news, Danny Chung's picture of the LRM will be published internationally soon. "This shot will be featured in an international magazine as a two page spread. (Will let you know when it is published.)"

Channel 7

Masseuse Who Used Spycam On Clients Goes To Jail
68 year-old Kevin Lee, the acupuncturist who made local and international news when he was arrested and deported to Belize for deviant sexual behavior is in jail tonight, after he was convicted his criminal trial today. Viewers may remember that in October of 2011, he was detained in Los Angeles when reports emerged in Belize that he secretly made hundreds of videos of his clients - men and women included - as they undressed in his clinic. But Belizean privacy laws do not encompass clandestine videotaping, so nothing could come from all those recordings. The DPP's office relied instead on a 20 year-old woman who came forward and made a report of aggravated assault of an indecent nature against him. This woman came to Magistrate's Court and testified in the trial which started last year that on April 6, 2011, she went to his clinic to get a back massage. She said that during this supposed massage; Lee fondled her, which caused her to be annoyed because he was abusing her trust. She said that she paid Lee $60 and left quickly that day, very upset by the inappropriate behavior.

No Bail, Meighan Family Remains Remanded
Tonight the entire Meighan family from Banak Street - including mother, daughter and two sons continue to be on remand at the Hattieville Prison after their Supreme Court bail application failed today. Their attorney Richard Dickie Bradley tried to secure bail, but according to the family's information the DPP's office did not sign the waiver, so it could not be processed. But on a check with the DPP, she said that no application was on her desk and as far as she knows nothing came into her office as yet. With that, the entire family remains on remand until their next court date April 17th. They can try to apply again next week Friday. As we reported, the GSU found two live and very shiny nine-millimeter rounds in their house on March 6th - and because no one wanted to own up to it, the entire family was imprisoned. The family claims a police unit planted the rounds on a previous search.

Bze Foreign Minister Says Belize May Go Ahead With It's Own Referendum
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and a delegation of senior Belizean diplomats leave Belize tomorrow for Washington DC. They are heading to an emergency Sunday night meeting with their Guatemalan counterparts and the Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza. The subject is the Guatemalan government publicly pushing the panic button on the October sixth referendum. On Wednesday, President Otto Perez Molina told the Guatemalan media that his country might want to postpone the referendum until next year. That's not the kind of thing casually said in public - and today, Belizean Foreign Minister Elrington discussed the implications of this extraordinary pronouncement by President Perez Molina: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "I was certainly surprised that he would have been talking about it in the press. We have been discussing with his foreign minister, and we thought that we would have kept it at the level where, we would make any public announcement until after we have met with the people at the OAS,. So that was a surprise to me. I get the sense that he is getting pressured in his own country, and he has to speak to his constituencies, so that they can allay any fears that they may have and I think that might be one of the reasons why he would have been moved to do that."

Elrington Issues Another Caution To Territorial Volunteers
And we also got Minister Elrington and his CEO Alexis Rosado to speak about the ongoing efforts by the Belize Territorial Volunteers. That's the Wil Maheia group that's going back to clear other parts of the border on April 6thand 7th. Wil Maheia will go to the area of Gracias a Dios in Southwestern Belize, Nancy Marin will go to the area of Garbutt Falls in Western Belize, and Orlando De la Fuente will head to Aguas Turbias in Northwestern Belize. Today, Elrington again cautioned them about the hazards of border clearing, while his CEO was more moderate: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "A part from that, those areas are covered in thick jungles. We can't go cut that with machetes; that's thick jungle. So you've been there, you've shown over and over, but I do appreciate that some people believe - genuinely believe - that it is an act of nationalism. I could understand people being nationalistic they are, but I think it's a dangerous way of showing their nationalism, dangerous for yourself, for the nation, and to that extent we advise against it."

Superbond 2.0: The High Cost Of Doing Business, Internationally
We've reported plenty of times on the savings that the Government of Belize realized by re-negotiating Superbond 2.0 -almost 500 million Belize dollars in the first 9 years. It's impressive, but to get that kind of a deal, it's also expensive - principally because Government had to hire international lawyers and financial advisors. How expensive? Well, Government has released the cost of renegotiating the Superbond - and we can see why the Prime Minister called it "astronomical". The cost incurred so far is only $1.4 million US dollars, but after the bond offering formally closes sometime next week - that's when the other costs kick in. Those total up to another $6.5 million US dollars, which is being spent on legal and financial advisors, information agents, contribution to creditor committee costs, and other services. In total, it's about $8 million US dollars. And while that's plenty, the Prime Minister told the media on Wednesday that it pales against the savings that were realized: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The cost is, in Belizean terms, astronomical, but when you look at the savings then we realized, it's a price we had to pay. In the larger scheme of things, of course, it's well worth it. On a net basis, we're way ahead of the game, so we're very pleased - we're happy with - look, the legal service came from Cleary Gottlieb Steen. I've now come to realize that the partner, who handled our reconstructing legally Lee Buchheit, is the Dean of restructurings, of sovereign restructurings internationally. Could we have gone for some quasar bush legal and paid less, yeah, but this thing was so critical that we clearly needed the best. I think we've also been well served by our financial adviser, White Oak Advisory."

Loose Lips Sink Murder Trials? Juror’s Loose Comment Causes Case To Collapse
Over 3 years ago, on August 18, 2009, the body of Alberto Travis Allen was found at the dumpsite on the George Price Highway. He had gunshot wound to the neck, his throat was cut, and an object had been rammed down his throat. Yesterday a mistrial was declared against the men accused of killing him, 24 year-old Cordel Flores and 21 year-old Warren Lewis. The trail started two weeks ago but yesterday morning it took a turn when one of the jurors reportedly commented in the presence of a police officer that both defendants had a winning case. The officer reported this to Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith who then applied to discharge the jury. Her reasoning was that this comment reflects that the jurors are pre-judging the defendants before all the evidence is presented to the court. She continued that this was a miscarriage of justice because the men are not being given a chance at a fair trial.

Work Underway On The Western
Last night we told you about the launch of the Road Safety project - and today - work on the Western Highway was underway. It's re-surfacing work on a particularly deadly stretch of road at mile 31 where many lives have been lost. Works Minister Rene Montero explained: Hon. Rene Montero - Minister of Works "We're concerned about the number of accidents that are happening in this road, and we're trying to minimize that, to insure that the public has a safe road and a well worthy road. We intend to expand this from Belmopan to the boarder - to the Benque Border. So right now, we're going to do a 3-phase project and then eventually we're going to do the whole Highway, the whole George Price Highway, from Belize City to Belmopan - to the Western Boarder. We have on the table right now, in the pipe line, to pave this Highway. To pave the Coastal Road, we're seeking funding for that, and also we're seeking funding for the Caracol Road, because that's a major tourist destination. But this Coastal Road has a lot of potential."

Facing Down Stage-4 Cancer
And while road traffic accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in the country, various cancers account for 11 of the top 50 causes of death in Belize. And while the numbers are alarming, coming face to face with a terminal cancer diagnosis is even more disturbing. Yesterday, Monica Bodden spoke to a 58-year-old woman facing stage four cancer. She also visited the cancer society that has to deal with many such cases. Here's her report: Monica Bodden Reporting And while road traffic accidents are the fourth leading cause of death in the country, various cancers account for 11 of the top 50 causes of death in Belize. And while the numbers are alarming, coming face to face with a terminal cancer diagnosis is even more disturbing. Yesterday, Monica Bodden spoke to a 58-year-old woman facing stage four cancer. She also visited the cancer society that has to deal with many such cases. Here's her report: Statistics show that over the past 10 years cancer has been one of the ten leading causes in deaths and illness in the country and that there is an increase occurring. Ivorine Bulwer - Clinical Director, Belize Cancer Society "Cancer, it's in one of the 10 leading causes of death and illness in Belize, if you look at the statistics over the past 10 years. The numbers are increasing. I think the numbers are increasing with the number of awareness. Part of the rule of the Belize Cancer Society is to educate and provide information to individuals and the public at large on cancer. And I think that over the years, with that consistency of the Society to inform and educate the public, has created some change in behavior where people are getting check. I think, also, our First Lady, Mrs. Kim Simpliss - Barrow, with her diagnosis 2 years ago, that interest has been increased. People are getting screened. The only unfortunate situation is that quite a number of persons are getting screened, but their diagnosis are often in the late stage."

Cop Conviction Upheld
Marlon Harris, the ex-police officer who was convicted of extortion in March of 2010, will have to pay the $10,000 fine ordered by the Supreme Court, because the Court of Appeal upheld his conviction and dismissed his appeal today. Harris' attorney, Said Musa presented the Judges of the Appeal Court with 6 grounds on which they were basing the appeal on. Those included an unreasonable verdict given the evidence presented in the original trial and 5 grounds of jury misdirection by the trial judge. After hearing the appeal to completion, which included having the Director of Public Prosecutions respond to those grounds, the panel of judges ruled that the appeal was dismissed and the conviction and sentence must stand. On March 23, 2010, Harris was convicted before Justice Troadio Gonzalez of extorting $100 from a private citizen on December 1, 2008, while at a police checkpoint.

Retrial For Alleged Rapist
And while Harris' appeal was dismissed, 21 year-old Isaac Chan will get a new rape trial in the next session of the Supreme Court. He was convicted and sentenced to 8 years where he allegedly assaulted a 16 year-old female minor on September 17, 2010. According to the victim, she got a lift from Chan while Honey Camp Road in Orange Walk. According to her, instead of taking her home, he took her to a separate area and raped her. He was convicted in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court on May 9, 2012, but his attorney Anthony Sylvester presented the Appeal Court with 4 grounds of jury misdirection by the trial judge.

Real Work By Restore Belize
3 weeks ago, we showed you Belizean trainers diligently at work imparting the conflict mediation training they received from the US State Department's Conflict and Stabilization Operations. It's part of Restore Belize's continued effort to provide peaceful advocacy training to members of the different organizations who must mediate in all sectors of society where disputes are expected to occur regularly. Those areas includes the Government departments involved in the second chance programs, at risk youth programs and the rehabilitation centers. It's now being adapted in the education sector, and in the rural communities. Today, Restore Belize held a small ceremony in honor of the participants who were trained by the Belizean trainers as they complete the course. We found out that these newly trained mediators are passionate about the measurable results they see with mediation and its potential. According to the Director of Restore Belize it's because the training is based on basic human reasoning and science, and is not just another talk-shop.

D'.Bi Dubs In Belize
If you're familiar with the work of Jamaican Reggae artist Mutabaruka, then you'll know what dub poetry is - basically it's spoken word usually over reggae rhythms. That's what a visiting Jamaican artist specializes in. Her name is D'bi and tomorrow night, she promises to set lyrical fire to the stage at the Bliss Center. We found out more about here today: Jules Vasquez Reporting Her name is D.Bi. She's a dub poet who has touched stages all over the world - but she's also a playwright and a storyteller Young Anitafrika - Dub Poet "I tell stories, you know." And the stories she tells are about difficult social realities, from child abuse to imperialism: Young Anitafrika "I feel like growing up in Jamaica and having growing up in a working class neighborhood, having gone to other prestigious high school in another part of Jamaica, moving to Canada, and moving around the world, what I've realize in all of these environments is that as people, we are people. So, the social issues that we're facing in Jamaica, the issues around incest, molestation, the issues around not having equal access because of how you are in society, where your position on the class line, or even if I go to Sweden and see people sleeping on the streets who has similar issues around access to resources. The issues that were drawing me in Jamaica were not just about Jamaica, and the ones that were drawing me in Canada were not just about Canada, we're talking about global realities for all human beings."

Belize Ballers Lose Games + Big Man
The men's senior national basketball team is presently in Costa Rica competing in the Central American Games. The tournament started on Sunday and so far Belize has played its first two games against Honduras and Nicaragua - both of which we lost. But there is more bad news to report. In Last night's game against Nicaragua, one of our star players got his knee blown out. Belizean American Englebert Cherrington, who is the tallest player on the team, is unable to continue playing in the games due to his injury. So what does this mean for our men's national team? We asked Charles Ellis, who is the Vice President of the Basketball Federation. Charles Ellis - Vice-President, Belize Basketball Federation "Our only big man, about 6'7 - 6'8 Inglebert Cherrington,the Belizean American we flew in from Atlanta, he got his knee blown out last night in the game against Nicaragua."

The Annual Women’s Ride
And the festivities continue in the month of March as the Women Department celebrates Women's Month. Tomorrow the department will be hosting its annual Bike Rally and is inviting Belizeans to come out and support the event. The acting Director of the Department told 7news today that the event is about promoting healthy living: Cynthia Williams - Acting Director, Women's Department "We'll be having our annual bike rally tomorrow. This has become a national event because all the bike rallies that are being organized by the Women's Department in each of the districts will be occurring tomorrow March 16th, and so we are inviting the general public to be a part of it. If you can't come to Belize City you will definitely be able to go to the major town in that district that you are living. It's really an opportunity for the department to promote healthy living, to promote unity and teamwork. It is an opportunity for people to just participate in a fun filled activity, along with your family or along with your staff. We're inviting all business to be a part of - Police is one of the organizations that really come out in full with their police officers, we are also very happy to see Collet and other organizations. We have several of the banks, who throughout the years have also invited their staff to participate in this even.

Channel 5

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington shocked that Guatemala wants to change referendum date
A special agreement signed between Belize and Guatemala specifies that the referendum on taking the territorial claim to Belize should be held on the same day, October sixth. But Guatemala is now seeking to change that and had been sending signals for some time. A bulletin straight from the office of President Otto Perez Molina, [...]

Another border line clearing by Wil Maheia and his Territorial Volunteers
Despite dire predictions and warnings by officials of government and the B.D.F., Toledo activist Wil Maheia, his Belize Territorial Volunteers and about one hundred and twenty-five Belizeans travelled near the Belize-Guatemala border without incident on March second. Emboldened by what it says was the successful symbolic gesture, the group is at it again. This time [...]

Sedi Elrington says the Bar Association is horrible
A proposal to change the Legal Profession Act is being hotly debated among legal minds.  That issue blew up earlier this week and today the Attorney General Wilfred Elrington indicated that he will be moving very soon to push through the amendment which will remove compulsory membership in the Bar Association. The move came to [...]

Restructured bond means no payment to former owners of utility companies
No press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow on any matter related to the economy would be complete without an attack on Lord Michael Ashcroft. The Prime Minister on Wednesday announced the terms of the restructured debt of the Belize bond 2038 and again Ashcroft’s name came up. According to the PM the restructured [...]

Kevin Lee guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature
  Sixty-eight year old businessman Kevin Lee, a well-known massage therapist, is tonight beginning a year-long sentence at the Belize Central Prison.  Lee, who has been embroiled in an outrageous scandal involving the unauthorized videotaping of dozens of his former clients, was found guilty and convicted of aggravated assault of an indecent nature.  In April [...]

B.T.I.A. Orange Walk Chapter condemns students’ beating of monkey to death
As we reported in our previous newscasts, residents of Orange Walk, as well as various conservation organizations, have expressed outrage over an act of extreme animal cruelty, which led to the death of a howler monkey at the hands of a group of teenagers.  The incident occurred at the Belize High School of Agriculture in [...]

$150,000 paid to DPM’s cronies involved in Placencia land grab
On Wednesday eyebrows were raised when Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed on national television that market value would be paid to four persons after land was given to them with title, and then taken away. It’s a practice which seems to have become the biggest land game in town. It goes something like this – [...]

2013 Human Development Report; where does Belize stand?
The 2013 Human Development Report was launched in Mexico City on Thursday. The study which extended to one hundred and eighty- seven countries looked at the levels of longevity, education and income. Narrowing it down to our region, the report found that by 2030 Latin America and the Caribbean will be home to one in [...]

N.T.U.C.B. lashes out at Kolbe Foundation for firing of employees
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize is lashing out at the Kolbe Foundation over a reported number of terminations and suspensions of Kolbe employees.  The N.T.U.C.B. cites the recent termination of the Casimiro brothers and is calling on Kolbe to reinstate them and to explain why specifically they were terminated. The Congress also cautions [...]

Belizean ballers injured in Costa Rica
A contingent of Belizean athletes is participating in thirteen sporting events in the Central American Games being held in San Jose, Costa Rica. So far the country has won medals in four disciplines including female softball, athletics, heptathlon and triple jump. But in basketball, the team, captained by veteran baller, Keith Acosta, has not been [...]

The Second Annual Primary School Table Tennis Tournament
In other sporting news, for the second year, students cleaned up their tennis paddles and headed to the Belize Elementary School where the Primary School Table Tennis Tournament was held today. Although the tournament is relatively new, the number of participants has grown with new entrants joining returning athletes.  Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, [...]

Preschoolers unleash their talent in the 2013 Preschool Festival of Arts
Since Tuesday, the annual pre-school Festival of Arts has been taking place here in Belize City. Over one hundred performances by students from some thirty-six preschools throughout the Belize District will, by the end of the week, take to the Bliss Stage to showcase their talents in drama, music and dance. The festival is being [...]

Career Fair held at Canaan High School
But over here on Coney Drive, high school students from Canaan have throughout this week taken time to consider their future career paths. A Career Fair was held on Thursday where the young minds heard presentations from numerous organizations providing them with valuable information on career options.   News Five’s Carla Bradley reports.   Carla Bradley, [...]


Business Establishment Gets Trade Licence Revoked By OWTC After False Pretenses
Yesterday afternoon our newsroom was flooded with calls from concerned citizens requesting information on a number of gaming machines being unloaded off a container parked in front of the D Star Victoria Hotel located on the Belize Corozal Road. Now, when we hear about gaming machines, and we are not talking about one or two, the first thing that comes to mind is (casino). With rumors going around that a casino will be opened in Orange Walk sometime in the near future, we contacted Mayor Kevin Bernard and asked him if the Town Council had issued a Trade License for the operation of a casino recently. His answer was, quote unquote “definitely not”. But what about the more than 40 gaming machines that was taken into the lower flat of the D Victoria Hotel? Well, according to the Mayor, someone is trying to defy the Town Councils decision. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “I too received that same concern and that call and what we did is that I immediately sent out my evaluation team to go and inspect the building which is located downstairs of D-Star Victory Hotel and from my records that I have, there is this one Jian Xing Cheng that had applied for a sports bar to operate on that location. Now when we heard that there was an amount of about 40 plus machines that were taken into that establishment which immediately raise alarm. So our evaluators went there and took pictures, got evidence that there are gaming machines in that quantity and from what I am looking at, these individuals never did apply to operate any gaming establishments. They applied to operate a sports bar. And so we have issued, today, a revocation of their trade license application and the chairman liquor license and myself as the secondary signature, have also issued a revocation of their liquor licenses application. And thus a stop order has also been issued for them to cease and desist from any alteration to that establishment that they are doing.”

Students Speak Out About What Really Happened To Howler Monkey
Last night we aired the video footage showing 4 male students of the Belize High School of Agriculture assaulting the black howler monkey that was found badly injured on the grounds of the Belize High School of Agriculture on March 5th. So far, except for the Principal of the high school, no one else has come forward to explain exactly what happen, that is until tonight. There have been a number of speculations, including, that a teacher of the high school ordered a group of students to kill the monkey after it defecated on him while he was sleeping in some bushes located behind the school, a report which Principal Cecilio Pech has denied. However, according to students of the high school, one of their male teachers has a lot do with what transpired on March 5th. According to the students, the male teacher instructed the group to capture the monkey after the animal urinated on him. In order to protect the identity of the students their voice has been altered.


Minister of Foreign Affairs speaks about Belize/ Guatemala Emergency meeting this weekend
Today Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington outlined the plans for the Belize delegation to attend an emergency meeting in Washington, D.C. this weekend called after Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina told the press this week that Guatemala is seeking a postponement of the October 2013 referendum on its...

NTUCB accuses Kolbe foundation of “astounding atrocities”
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize issued a press release today, warning the Kolbe Foundation to refrain from intimidating and infringing on Kolbe employees constitutional rights to organize and associate. According the press release, there have been a number of terminations and suspensions of Kolbe Foundation employees –...

Video-taping masseuse Kevin Lee sentenced to prison.
Acupuncturist and massage Therapist Kun Lin Lee, aka “Kevin Lee” was convicted of aggravated assault of an indecent nature today. A $60 dollar massage is costing the masseuse a year in prison. Today after he was found guilty, Lee stated, and we quote, “Jesus Understands me.” – end quote. ...

Minister of Foreign Affairs discourages Belize Territorial Volunteers from another border visit
The Belize Territorial Volunteers are planning another trek for the week after Easter but Government’s concerns remain the same: errors in determining where the border is to be cleared and possible exposure to Guatemalan forces among others. The Minister of Foreign Affairs says that while he understands the patriotism...

Medical Missionary Team visits Twin Towns
A group of medical practitioners were in San Ignacio and Santa Elena today to offer free medical assessment and treatment to residents in the area. Every year, the team from Florida hosts day clinics in various remote areas of the country. Renee Ester is one the medical mission team....

Police conclude empowerment programme at St. Martin’s Government School
It’s never too early to start equipping children with positive life skills, and the Police Department has partnered up with the US Embassy to do just that. Yesterday the Police Department wrapped up a six week program on gang resistance education and conflict resolution at the St. Martin’s Government...

Bar Association of Belize prepares to debate an amendment
As the Bar Association of Belize prepares to debate an amendment that some argue could imperil its very existence, attorneys have come out for and against changes to the Legal Profession Act that would allow separate associations other than the Bar. Richard “Dickie” Bradley claimed that Attorney General Wilfred...

PM confirms land returned for reserve in Placencia
Controversy erupted in Placencia over a set of land sold to persons aligned with the Barrow administration, which residents say should be set aside for a reserve. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed their return. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister: There was a complaint made to me...

JP Association to train Saturday
The national Association of Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of the Supreme Court is the association with the function of looking after those two important classes of legal officials. There are over 3,000 Justices and Commissioners in the country, most politically appointed, of which about 600 are members...

Gospel Expo at Belmopan Showground this weekend
The National Agriculture and Show Grounds is getting a quick revamping for a weekend event. No it’s not an early Agric Show, but a Gospel Expo. The fair which kicks off tomorrow morning, will see a full day of entertainment and presentations. There will also be display booths, a...

Executive director of The Word At Work, Tim Tam, is home from rehab
We have an update on Executive director of The Word At Work, Tim Tam and his wife. The Word at work is an organisation that has many projects in Belize and Tim Tam and his wife Lisa were involved in a traffic accident near San Juan, New Mexico, on...

Rozel Arana is new Deputy Mayor of Orange Walk Town
The Orange Walk Town Council has announced its new Deputy Mayor. The current council had previously vowed to select a new deputy mayor yearly and this year that person is Councilor Rozel Arana. The council has additionally made other changes which includes shifts in councilors’ portfolios.

Men accused of murder of Alberto Travis may get a retrial
It was three weeks into a murder trial being heard in the Supreme Court, when a juror’s comment brought the trial to a sudden halt. 24 year old Cordel Flores and 21 year old Warren Lewis were being tried for the 2009 murder of Alberto Allen, when an unexpected...

Two Chinese-owned businesses targeted by robbers
Two Chinese-owned businesses were targeted by robbers. The first happened on Tuesday in Belize City. Tommy Zhu reported to Police that he was with his wife inside Sunny Li when two men entered the establishment, one armed with a handgun and demanded money. The men made off with an...


85% of the 790 cases remain open or unresolved. Ombudsman Lionel Arzu, appointed this January after the office had been vacant for about a year, has his work cut out for him. Apart from having to catch up with the backlog of work at the office, he will have to appear at the meeting of the Ombudsman Report Committee, slated for Wednesday, March 13, 2013. Also present at the meeting will be former Ombudsman Cynthia Pitts, who prepared the 2009, 2010, and 2011 reports, which were tabled at the last Sitting of the House of Representatives. There has been a marked downturn in the number of complaints taken to the Office of the Ombudsman: The office processed 332 complaints in 2009, 275 cases in 2010, and 183 cases in 2011. Of those 790 cases lodged over the three-year period, 85% of the cases remain open or unresolved. Pitts told us that the bulk of the complaints she had to process alleged abuses by the police. Next in line were complaints involving lands, such as problems getting land titles or complaints that private lands had been sold off without the knowledge or consent of owners.

Paris is the capital of France, of England it is London, of Spain, Madrid, and of Italy, Rome. Capitals of all countries are cities, but the word city is not included in their names, unless the name of the country and its capital is the same. Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, Guatemala City of Guatemala and Panama City of Panama, for the obvious reasons that there would be confusion, if they were not distinguished in this way. Belize City was named the capital of our country for the same reason. If this piece is sounding like a lecture for school children, that is exactly what is intended. It is also intended as a reminder to television broadcasters and talk show hosts who have been referring to our capital over the airways as Belmopan City. I have to admit that it may have a certain ring to it which the name by itself may not have. Also it sounds more imposing. Perhaps the citizens of Belmopan may even like it better, being self-conscious of their present small population. But, Belmopan is the official name of our capital city and, we have a duty to respect that fact. There is another reason why we should treat the name of our capital with respect, even reverence. It has a unique history, beginning with the famous poem, “We Unite to Build a Nation,” written by our National Hero, George Price, when he was Premier. He had a vision of Belize becoming a great nation, when he wrote these lines, Look west, Belizean builders, see the shining mountain and the Jeweled City of Mopan, radiating Light and Love and Peace and Joy. He must already have had in mind, a capital city, built in the interior, on a high hill, away from stormy winds.

“Clearing of forest this year is more aggressive… By the end of March this could have doubled…” FCD Exec Director, Rafael Manzanero said. Executive Director of Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), Rafael Manzanero, has informed Amandala that 2 aerial flights conducted with the help of LightHawk and the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) on February 15 and March 5, 2013, indicate increasing incursions, and particularly clearings by Guatemalans for farming and settlements. Manzanero said that “…clearing of forest this year is more aggressive and we anticipate that forest fires in the Chiquibul this year will be high. In the next six months this will all be crops and it will be difficult to extract people.” The image accompanying this article shows a composite map from the two flyovers along the Belize-Guatemala border, which indicate new developments for 2013. Forty-six new clearings were reported along with nine illegal settlements—this excluding the residence of Guatemalan Rigoberto Gutierrez, who has been residing within the protected area for over two decades.

The Finals of the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) high schools softball tournament were played on Saturday at Rogers Stadium, and for the first time ever, Nazarene High School has won both the male and female championships, and will be representing the Central Zone this weekend in the Nationals to be held in Belize City. We have not yet receive the scores from the CSSSA, but it is confirmed that Nazarene’s female ace of CODICADER fame Ashley Lucas pitched the girls to victory over E.P. Yorke High; while Jerome Carr was the pitcher of record for the Nazarene boys who defeated a game SJC for the male championship. Both Nazarene female and male teams will represent the Central Zone in tomorrow’s high school Nationals at Rogers Stadium.

Week 6 clash of security forces: Police vs BDF at MCC... Already Week 5 is history, and the race is hotter than ever in the 2012-2013 Closing Season of the Premier League of Belize, as, for the first time this season, defending champion Belmopan Bandits have been knocked out of their top position in the standings. Belize Defence Force (BDF), who drew twice with 1-1 scores against the Bandits in the Opening Season, handed the Bandits their only defeat a week ago, 2-nil, in this Closing Season, and now trail the Bandits by only 1 point in the aggregate race for the coveted Champions League berth. (See standings at bottom.) No team is undefeated so far in this Closing Season, and all have made their mark in the win column. Some teams may have been affected more than others in Week 4 and Week 5 games because of the absences of their U-20 National Team players who left on Sunday, March 3, to represent Belize at the Central American Games in Costa Rica. Perhaps, most affected were F.C. Belize (John King, Avian Crawford and Khambrel Blease) and Belmopan Bandits (Denmark Casey, Jr., David Madrid and Edmund Pandy, Jr.), but they should all be back in time for hostilities this weekend.

Thanks to the sponsorship of SMART, the 32nd Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic went off without a hitch, and it was record holder from 2008 Marlon Castillo emerging victorious from a field of close to 60 cyclists on Sunday, March 10, in a race that, for the first time, started and finished in front of the SMART headquarters building at Mile 2 ½ on the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway. An exciting twist at the finish was the extra “lap” around the two roundabouts that gave fans more opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the cyclists as they neared the finish. The Open/Elite and Masters rode together to Belmopan and back; while the Juniors/Youth and Women race went to La Democracia and back. The Belmopan Classic, approximately 100 miles for the Elite race, as it comes so near to the Holy Saturday Cross Country, is traditionally viewed as a primer, a tune-up for the cyclists, and a preview for fans who are keen to assess the relative “condition” of the various contenders for the Big One. And sure enough, all the big names were there at the finish, with defending champion from 2012, Ron Vasquez, proving that last year’s showing was no accident, as he battled eventual winner Marlon Castillo to the final sprint, despite being hampered by a leg injury from a fall sustained earlier in the race.

“Despite pleas from Iran, the Shiites of Iraq did not rally to Iran. Religion was not able to overcome nationalism and state control. On the other side, the ethnic Arabs living in the areas of Iran adjacent to Iraq did not rally to the Iraqi case. Ethnic identity, like religion, proved weaker than nationalism and state police control.” - pg. 82, WAR, PEACE, AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, David W. Ziegler, Addison-Wesley Longman, 2000 “From the 1490s on, an additional factor was added to this potent mix: the experience of the Discovery and Conquest. The result was an ideology of empire that made the Discovery and Conquest not only noble and justified endeavors but also the duty of the faithful. This ideology consisted not just of abstract ideas concocted for the benefit of the crown; it was supported by official statements that came both from the papacy and the Spanish monarchy. In the wake of Columbus’s first voyage, the pope presided over a Castilian-Portuguese treaty that divided the Americas, still a largely imagined region, between the two kingdoms. Thus, in effect, Spaniards were the recipients of a divine grant of lands and peoples they had yet to find and see, let alone subdue. This permitted claims of possession to be seen as synonymous with possession itself. Through the simple acts of arrival and declaration, Spaniards placed lands ‘under the lordship’ of the Spanish crown. Everything that followed, the entire business of Conquest and colonization was the consolidation of that possession.” - pg. 68, SEVEN MYTHS OF THE SPANISH CONQUEST, Matthew Restall, Oxford University Press, 2003 It only took the Honorable Louis Farrakhan a day in Belize on his third visit to realize that an extraordinary institution existed here which he intended to acknowledge and endorse publicly. Minister Farrakhan acknowledged and endorsed Kremandala in his keynote address to the Belizean nation last Friday night at Bird’s Isle.

The leadership of Kremandala held a series of inspiring meetings with Minister Louis Farrakhan and his inner circle between Thursday and Saturday mornings last week. In 1975, I had briefly met the Minister on his first visit to Belize. I did not meet him on his second visit here in 1986. So, this was the very first time we had sat down to talk privately. Minister Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam is a religious organization, while Kremandala is a secular one. The Minister’s NOI is also a business organization, and a powerful one, while Kremandala grew out of a black activist organization which was significantly influenced by Islamic leaders between 1969 and 1972. A commonality between the NOI and Kremandala derives from a serious concern about people of African descent in this part of the world. Several months ago I referred in this column to black Americans as the financial and technological elite of the black world. During one of his speeches last week, Minister Farrakhan said that if one were to measure the gross domestic product of black America by the standards of a nation-state, black America would be the seventh or ninth largest nation in the world. As it is, of course, black America is an integral part of the United States of America, so the separate GDP measurement would only be a teaching tool. I did not hear all of the Minister’s speeches last week, but he never dove deep down into the matter of the Guatemalan claim to Belize. I have been told that the Minister did suggest, at the end of his Bird’s Isle presentation, that Belize meet Guatemala halfway, so to speak, where the matter of our southern sea is concerned. The Minister and I did not hold any in-depth discussions about the claim.

Dear Editor, While perusing the Guatemalan newspaper La Prensa Libre, I came across this article that the Guatemalan Ministry of Education is instructing schools to use – a map of that country showing the country of Belize as a part of Guatemala. If you notice, all the other countries have solid lines defining the borders, but Belize has a dotted line reinforcing the point that we are a part of Guatemala. They have included a caption stating that “the territorial dispute is pending resolution” . While we are here talking about education on this Guatemala issue, our neighbors are busy indoctrinating another generation with the concept, “Belice es nuestro”. Where is this indoctrination in our schools? Truth be told, patriotism is a function of indoctrination, and I would have to say Guatemala is way ahead of us in that department. “If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.” Sun Tzu in The Art of War.

Dear Nuri, A proposal for the GRANDEST ALLIANCE EVER. Sorry I missed meeting Minister Farrakhan in person, but I watched his three main speeches on television. He was magnificent! I am now convinced that what needs to be done is for the three great monotheistic religions to unite to combat radical secularism, radical individualism, radical subjectivism and radical sexualism. Almighty God promised Abraham that he would have children as numerous as the stars. Has not that prophecy been fulfilled? Jews, Christians and Muslims number about 4 billion. That’s more than half of the world’s population. But, we must increase our cooperation to combat the real evils of this world. The first step is for all Jews, Christians and Muslims to increase our awareness that we are all children of the same father – Almighty God or Allah, or Yahweh! There is no other God but Him! Not money! Nor race! Not religiosity! Not sex! We have allowed ourselves to hate one another because of differences in doctrines and beliefs. How curious that we have all been ignoring the very core of the teachings of Moses, Jesus and Prophet Mohamed. The greatest commandment is Love! of God and of my neighbor! Like Gandhi, we must remind ourselves daily that we are all children of God, the merciful, God, the greatest good!

Dear Editor Thank you for providing a forum for Belizeans to discuss the growing controversy over the introduction of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) into our country. Some of your readers will recall that I was very fortunate to have been an apprentice for 13 years to Don Elijio Panti, Belize’s most celebrated Maya healer. Don Elijio was recognised worldwide, made a Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II and received numerous awards, such as “Distinguished Contribution to Science” (The New York Botanical Garden) for his work. Since 1977 I have been working to preserve, use and further the knowledge of Belize’s vast cornucopia of medicinal plants as developed by the Maya over thousands of years and still used successfully throughout Belize. I only mention this to explain my rather unique perspective and why I am so opposed to the introduction of GMOs into Belize’s wonderfully rich yet fragile ecology. Don Elijio passed on to me a deep respect for how the Maya, over thousands of years, thrived using Belize’s countless species of plants for food, shelter, clothing and healing. It is a beautiful relationship that involves a profound reverence for nature and her plants, and especially with maize, or corn.

GOB says it needed at least 75 %... Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow held a press conference today, Wednesday, where he officially announced that the Government of Belize has completed the debt restructuring process. At least 75 percent of the bondholders had to accept the terms of the new bond offering in order to trigger a collective action clause. The offer has resulted in 86.17 percent of bondholders tendering their bonds due in 2029, in exchange for new bonds due in 2038, reported a pleased Prime Minister. The PM said that the fact that this happened is testament to how successful the Debt Restructuring Team had been during the restructuring process. The team was lead by Ambassador Mark Espat and the members were Minister of Labor, Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management Hon. Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Governor of Central Bank of Belize Glenford Ysaguirre, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Finance Allan Slusher, Deputy Advisor to the Ministry of Finance Yvette Alvarez, CEO for the Ministry of Economic Development Yvonne Hyde, and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Belize Christine Vellos. Superbond holders had to decide within the period from February 15, 2013, to March 8, 2013, whether they would tender old bonds for the new bonds. The 86.17 percent excludes the bondholders of Venezuela, who did not meet the deadline, but were to participate.

He is no longer breathing, and nothing more can be done for him After fighting for his life at the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for 10 days, Ronald Rivers, 28, has been given up by doctors. He will be declared dead as soon as he is disconnected from the Intensive Care Machine that is breathing for him, and that is expected to be any day now. His family says that nothing more can be done for him. His two lungs and kidneys have collapsed, half of his skull taken away to release the swelling in his brain: he suffered two massive strokes, he is suffering from pneumonia, he remains in a coma, and he is no longer breathing. The announcement was made today by his brother. His brother told Amandala that he is being kept on the machine to prepare the family for the reality of his death when he is disconnected. Doctors caution that people don’t survive such conditions, and if they do, they would not be the same and would be paralyzed. Rivers was a member of the Belize National Basketball Team, but he was shot in his face at the Uno Gas Station at the corner of Vernon Street and Youth For the Future Drive by a gunman who rode up on a bicycle at about 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 4. Rivers was repairing his vehicle at the time.

BOX: Belize law was in force before ICJ agreement, which affirms that the parties would observe their internal laws in executing the agreement, says CEO Rosado. Belize and Guatemala to meet at OAS on Monday, March 18. Belizean and Guatemalan officials are due to meet in Washington, D.C., USA, next Monday, March 18, 2013, to discuss, among other things, a recent call by Guatemala president Otto Pérez Molina to seek a one-year postponement of the simultaneous referenda on the settlement of the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum, currently programmed for Sunday, October 6, 2013. In Guatemala on Wednesday, Pérez Molina announced that his administration would formally seek the postponement because of changes Belize had made to its Referendum Act back in 2008—changes which he argues would invalidate the referenda. The June 2008 amendment to the Referendum Act means that beyond just a simple majority being necessary to decide in the referendum, a 60% voter turnout is also required on the Belize side to ensure its validity; however, Belizean officials have indicated that voter turnout has historically been higher than the set threshold. Meanwhile, Belizean officials have underscored that the change in the law was made well before the special agreement or compromis to seek the ICJ resolution was inked by both parties in December 2008. Speaking with Amandala today, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado, said the Referendum Act ought not to be an issue, since the special agreement acknowledges that both Belize and Guatemala must follow their respective laws in executing the agreement.

The brothers, 18 and 21, had just run out of a store they held up in San Ignacio Police have shot dead two thieves who had just escaped after carrying out an armed robbery of a store at about 1:00 p.m. yesterday, Tuesday, at Rose’s Chinese Store on the Benque Viejo Road in San Ignacio. When police confronted them, the thieves opened fire at police and police returned fire, killing the two of them almost immediately on the spot. Police say that they were on patrol on the Benque Road when they were alerted about an armed robbery in progress at the Rose’s Store on the same road. They immediately responded, and on their arrival saw two men who were wearing masks on their face and one of whom had a shotgun, running out of the store. Police said they shouted “stop” to the men, but the gunman instead fired a shotgun blast at them. Police immediately returned fire, hitting the men, who were taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival.

President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), Dylan Reneau, told Amandala tonight that they plan to respond urgently to reports of staff firings at the Belize Central Prison, under the management of the Kolbe Foundation. Reneau went further to say, however, that the NTUCB would also be challenging the continued privatization of the prison, as it is an important factor that appears to be impacting the crime situation in Belize. Amandala was told that on Tuesday, March 12, right after the holiday weekend, a couple who had been employed as security staff at the prison were terminated. Collive and Carol Casimiro had been working at the prison for 7 and 9 years, respectively. “We have to look keenly at the case of Mister and Misses Casimiro to see how we can try and reverse that situation,” Reneau told Amandala tonight. Whereas Casimiro told us they were fired, a prison official told us that they resigned. On the issue of the privatization, though, Reneau said, “We’ve been concerned about the privatization and its impact for some years.”


It is fricken freezing today, so cold that tacoboy had to go get the aloe vera for my home spa time or I would have chickened out of eventually getting wet. My mind is drawn back to the last warm day we had before this cold front hit, Monday and and our trip up north to X’tan Ha Waterfront Resort. Pronounced Ishtan Ha and meaning the waterfront, it is a stylish, colorful, tropical beach resort that 7.2 miles north of town. Always trust a Penland to turn things a round and give a proper style makeover from head to tow. After 6 months of being boarded up it took 25 men 5 months to repair, replace and repaint. Doug Penland took a tired worn place and gave it the tlc it needed, created a colorful tropical getaway and something special. Tom Sather an Eye Doctor from Montana and Michelle also had a big hand in executing the vision. Oliver and Della who run the resort also need a mention. They are friendly welcoming folks who are pitting their heart and soul into making X’tan Ha Resort a great place and it shows. While there we saw people eating at the restaurant, enjoying the great stretch of beach, using the paddle boat and having fun on the water trampoline. Next time I go I want to try standup paddle boarding and see if I can do it without falling over. Whether you are just popping up to the beach bar for a fun days adventure or looking for a full out Island style getaway, X’tan Ha is a must do on your North Ambergris Caye to do list.

The Cute, The Quirky and the Ugly: The Signs of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker
I am a giant GIANT fan of hand-painted, colorful signs for businesses, private houses…for just about anything. Neon? Flashing lights? Gaudy pre-printed signs? Not a fan. So as I look through thousands and thousands of my pictures from the past few years, I thought I’d post just a handful. I’ll let you categorize them as cute or bizarre. Who I am to pass judgement? Here are my faves…let me know if I missed any of yours. And just to be clear what type of sign I DON’T like…here is an example. Let’s start in Caye Caulker, an island which just oozes cuteness. Drinking is fun. Simple, appeals to all ages and straight to the point. Though take my word for it, drinking green stripe is NOT fun.

US Magazine Picks Western Belize as Retirement Choice
And now, according to the March 11, 2013 article in US News and World Report , western Belize is attracting a new demographic . “As recently as a few years ago, the numbers of foreign retirees living in Belize’s Cayo District numbered only a few dozen. Today, small but ever-expanding communities of expats and retirees seeking a back to basics lifestyle have established themselves in this pristine land of rivers, waterfalls, and rain forest. “Many people, reaching this stage of life, are reminded of what’s really important. This realization is spurring a new generation of folks looking for opportunities around the globe to embrace a self-sufficient, resilient lifestyle. In this context, Belize stands out,” the article advises. Ms Fleming said that Chaa Creek has been assisting people relocating to Belize for years now. “Over the years we’d find that people would come here on holiday or on one of our all-inclusive Belize vacation packages, fall in love with the country and people, and ask our advice on how to relocate here. We’re familiar with the Government of Belize’s retirement incentives, which are really quite generous, and can point people in the right direction as far as finding land, workers and navigating their way through the legalities and practicalities of moving here.

Hiking Trails in Belize
There are several ideal hiking spots in Belize, a few with clearly marked trails, often located within a jungle lodge’s property, at a national park, or in the surrounding jungle of a Mayan archeological site. It’s best to have a guide or a knowledgeable local with you on hikes that take you deep into the rainforest, while others, in national parks, are easily done without. Still, be careful where you wander off to, it’s a real jungle out there! Here are a few of my favorite hiking spots in Belize: Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary: A few of the best spots to hike in Belize are located in the southern Stann Creek District, approximately two hours from Belize. One of these, Cockscomb, is also the world’s first ever jaguar preserve and beyond that, one of the most biodiverse protected areas in Belize. There are waterfalls, mountains, abundant bird and wildlife, and more. There are marked trails at Cockscomb, some of which you can do on your own, and others more steep, for which I recommend a guide. Mayan sites: Most of the Maya archeological sites are located amid rainforest, and make for excellent spots to hike and spot wildlife along the way, as you explore sites. These include Lamanai, Altun Ha, and Xunantunich. Blue Hole National Park: One of my favorite parks in Belize, there are marked trails at the Blue Hole National Park, and you can either spelunk at the onsite St. Herman’s Cave or cool off in the inland “Blue Hole”–a gorgeous emerald sinkhole–after your hike. The Blue Hole National Park is located in Western Belize, off the scenic Hummingbird Highway. Billy Barquedier National Park: The waterfall entrance to the park has a separate trail and path, with a rope to hang on to, leading to a beautiful stream and small waterfall.

International Sources

PDF Publications
What a great resource. PDF editions of selected books, reports and guidelines published by the Getty Conservation Institute.

Sharks, rays win new trade protections
Five species of sharks and two types of manta rays won new safeguards Monday, as delegates to a global wildlife summit voted to limit the trade of species that have been overharvested for decades. Historically, many nations have been reluctant to protect marine species that are in high demand for health remedies and culinary delicacies, primarily in Asia. But faced with scientific evidence that these species risk becoming extinct, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) voted in Bangkok to place trade limits on shark species for the first time in nearly a decade. Sonja Fordham, president of Shark Advocates International, said she was “delighted” that countries will now have to prove that any catch of porbeagle, oceanic whitetip and three species of hammerhead sharks is sustainable and legal before allowing for export. In 2010, delegates rejected attempts to protect the five shark species, including scalloped, great and smooth hammerheads.

Texas honours Garifuna Chief Chatoyer
The state of Texas became the first US state to honour Garifuna Paramount Chief Joseph Chatoyer by proclaiming March 14 as “Chief Joseph Chatoyer Hero Day in Texas”. A petition put forth by the Greater Houston Garifuna-American Partnership, Texas House of Representatives was led by Texas House Member Dr. Alma Allen and State Senator Rodney Ellis from the Texas State Senate. “This is a historic moment for fellow Texans, Garifunas, Vincentians and the Caribbean,” said Jerry Castro-Cayetano from the Partnership. “This effort not only showcases the depth of diversity in the state, but will allow fellow Texans to learn about the different communities.” Joseph Chatoyer (died March 14, 1795) was a Garifuna (Carib) chief who led a revolt against the British colonial government of Saint Vincent in 1795. He is now considered a national hero of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, also Belize and other Carib countries he fought for during the war. Camillo Gonsalves, Permanent Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the United Nations, described him in 2011 as his country's "sole national hero". In addition, Chief Chatoyer is the highest figure among the Garifuna in the Central American Caribbean coast and the United States. During National Garifuna Settlement, Education and Awareness Month (November 12 – December 12) in 2010, the Partnership petitioned for congressional recognition for another Vincentian, William Henry Brown, who is known to be the “Father of Black Theater” for his innovation and by being the first producer of the first black theater play in America, “The Drama of King Shatoway” (1832), an eyewitness account of the rise of the Caribs against British colonization.

Bingo! Henny the Hen Just Made Her 'Mark' on No. 16
This sport is known in polite company as chicken-poop bingo. Along with its cousin, cow-chip bingo, this twist on the church-hall pastime has proved that an age-old game of chance can cause quite a stir when it is centered on an animal. At least a few decades old, the chicken antics have become a popular staple at fairs, festivals and fundraisers in small-town America, and beyond. A few countries away, as many as 500 tourists and locals crowd into a local bar in San Pedro, Belize, on Thursdays for "The World Famous Chicken Drop." Noele Sutherland-McLain, co-owner of Wahoo's Lounge, credits two expats from New Orleans with coming up with the idea 24 years ago. She said it has become quite a spectacle, with street vendors and tree-climbing contortionists setting up camp outside. The bingo itself is run by two guys wearing "Chicken Security" shirts. Those who attend such events enjoy this game of chance and nature, but the idea has irked some animal-rights groups, including the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Belize’s New Agritourism Lodge
Set within the vast rain forest between the Maya Mountains and the Caribbean Sea, Belize’s Belcampo Lodge is taking agritourism to a thrilling new level. My first night at Belcampo Lodge is punctuated by what sounds like Ozzy Osbourne being strangled in the pitch dark. The cottage is suspended in a dense canopy of hanging vines and gumbo-limbo trees, providing natural privacy, so I’ve traded my bed for a hammock on the screened porch to feel closer to this forest primeval. A breeze rattles palm fronds as a rain shower sweeps through, carrying the scent of jasmine. Nuts hit the corrugated zinc roof and roll to the ground far below. Suddenly, just before dawn, the Ozzy-like roar of a troop of howler monkeys bolts me upright—and it’s resoundingly clear that I’m bivouacking beyond my comfort zone. By first light, their screeching has faded, giving way to the soft clicks of keel-billed toucans. Soon I’m seated on the lodge’s veranda with a pair of binoculars, keeping an eye on the cotton tree where these colorful birds hop from branch to branch, until breakfast arrives: a plate of “fry jacks” (puffy tortillas), sour-orange marmalade, nutty granola sweetened with coconut, and cinnamon-bark-smoked bacon. I could linger long into the morning, watching the toucans play, but I want to see where baby chocolate bars are born. At the end of a steep driveway lined with torch ginger and flowering trumpet vine, the landscape opens up to a broad valley that the Belcampo farm team has planted with cassava and banana cover crops. Inside the nursery I meet head forager Kenny Ramos, a tall, shy man with a passion for vanilla orchids and rare varieties of cacao.

March 15, 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 March 17th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Economy on the Rise! Navigating the Ship of State through Turbulent Waters:
    One year into the second term of his tenure as Prime Minister, the Honourable Dean Barrow last week read his Government’s 2013-2014 Budget Proposal. While it was presented without much pomp and circumstance, the 5.3 % GDP rate of growth for the closing fiscal year reported in this Budget is absolutely phenomenal, particularly when considered within the context of the region and the World. Our 5.3% GDP Growth rate is measurably much higher than the overall Global growth of 3.2% for 2012, which represented further slippage from the overall Global Growth rate of 3.9% recorded the previous year, 2011. As, the Prime Minister noted in his Budget Speech, Japan slipped into recession, the Euro area’s turmoil intensified, China’s economic pace decelerated, and in the ‘great’ United States of America, the measly 2.3% growth rate they recorded in 2012 had even exceeded expectations. It is amid this broad-based sluggishness in advanced economies that our Belize Economy registered a phenomenal growth rate of 5.3%.
  • National Security Challenged But Determined! Reviewing the Progress in 2012-2013:
    over command of the Ministry of National Security one year ago, it was with the full knowledge that this is the most challenging Ministry in these times. He, nevertheless, embraced it with the same enthusiasm he has always approached every mission. One year later, in the face of mounting challenges, we review the progress made, with the complete awareness that the mission is anything but complete. In fact, it has only just begun! 1. Successive annual increases in budgetary allocations for the Ministry of National Security to step up operations, purchase equipment and vehicles, last fiscal year and the new fiscal year. 2. Minister of National Security, Honourable John Saldivar completes his countrywide tour of all Police formations formations in the Country finishing in Stann Creek District where he visited the Intermediate Southern Formation (ISF) led from Independence, the Placencia Sub-Formation which handles the Peninsula Area, and the Dangriga Formation which is the Headquarters for the entire District.
  • One Month in Charge Commander Discusses State of BDF:
    Local Press: What kind of challenges has the BDF been having since your taking over command? Brigadier General Jones: Today has marked exactly a month, because I took over the 1st, today is the 28th, the shortest month in the year. And what I have been doing so far is making checks on exactly what resources the BDF has, making checks on exactly what are the resources that we need, and looking at the structure of what the BDF currently has, and then revising, starting to revise towards creating the structure that we need. Because, with the current threats that we have, we don’t believe that we are structured the best way. So we are going to revise our structure and then look at either increasing the size of the force, or structuring it differently so that we can actually meet the threats that we are now facing. Local Press: But, in relation to budgetary confinement, sometimes the BDF officers don’t have the necessary equipment they need because of budgetary cuts. How do you address that? Brigadier General Jones: At the moment, with the budget exercise we went through, it seems that they (the Government) are NOT going to be really unkind to us this year. I think we might get even a little increase; there is always a need for more equipment. As you know the government and the country is not in the financial situation that we would like. We need to make the best of the budget that we get, and make the best of the resources that we have.
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: Whither Goeth Thou? by Delroy Cuthkelvin:
    Amid the g o o d news of the Belize Economy making its way steadily across stormy regional and international seas, our communities remain in relative social turmoil, not too clear, it seems, about where we want to go. The Prime Minister and his Government were elected to reverse economic crisis and erosion of confidence in the management of our Nation’s affairs, a macro situation that was affecting every aspect of our lives and threatening our very existence as an independent state. The 2013-2014 Natonal Budget, recording a growth rate of 5.3 percent in the closing fiscal year, projecting continued growth in the year ahead, and keeping all national and human development programs intact, without adding any new taxes, is proof positive that the Prime Minister and his Government are delivering well on that mandate. That our Economy and the overall management of our Nation’s affairs are back on track and heading in the right direction, is a given. Where the waters remain murky is on the social front. In so many ways, over so many years, we seemed have lost our way as a people, having come loose of our moorings. No amount of Government policies and programs can completely fix that.
  • Crime Rate Goes Down in the South, Minister Presents February Awards:
    On Wednesday, March 13, 2013, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar presented certificates of award to officers commanding the Intermediate Southern Formation and Toledo Formation for their performance during the month of February in reducing major crimes within their respective jurisdictions. Comparative Crime Statistics for the month of February, 2013, show that both these formations, which are part of the Southern Zone, saw a 50% reduction in major crimes, as compared to the figures for the previous month. The awards, which are now a monthly feature, consist of a certificate of appreciation to the outstanding formation and a cash reward of $1,000 to the winning zone for the month in question, funds which are used as the Officer Commanding that zone and his team determine as they continue to step up efforts to provide better safety and security in their respective jurisdiction.
  • Potable Water Coming to Indian Church and San Carlos:
    Over 105 families in the northern villages of Indian Church and San Carlos in the Orange Walk District will soon bid farewell to old water hand pumps and hand-dug wells thanks to a Social Investment Fund project, which will supply quality, potable water to both villages. The project was officially launched last Friday, March 8th at 10 am in the village of Indian Church. Both Indian Church and San Carlos Villages are poor communities with 37% of their population living below the poverty level. The villagers have been relying on wells, hand pumps and the New River Lagoon as their main sources of water for over three decades. These water sources, however, are untreated and have continuously posed health treats for waterborne diseases to the residents. The SIF project, which will be financed by the Government of Belize at approximately $996,000 from a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), will address the water needs of both villages.
  • Faith Lift By Zelda Hill : Money & Power … Handle with Wisdom!:
    Mo n e y a n d Power are two resources that most people seem to be working up insatiable appetites for more… and more… and more of these days. Their pursuit is often disguised and promoted by the label - ‘ambition’, thus provoking feelings of discontent in a person who may be apathetic towards the desire to pursue wealth and power. This desire is legitimate when motivated by a genuine concern to satisfy needs, ease suffering and improve the standard of living of self and humanity. It is when the desire for money and power are aroused by selfish and vile motives that no measure of skillful caution can limit the resulting havoc. Even when the noblest of intentions abound, a person who obtains or is entrusted with wealth and absolute power to be used at his disposal can make grave blunders and become corrupted. Ironically, the possessor also becomes a casualty when money and power are not handled with wisdom.
  • Adding Flesh to the Word A Budget Belizeans Can “Feel”:
    This is, by my recollection, the sixth Budget I have had the honour of presenting to this Honourable House. It has always been a privilege to do so. But this one is occasion for a particular sense of accomplishment. And this is so not least because it comes almost exactly one year after the United Democratic Party won its historic consecutive second term as the national Government of our beloved Belize. Now, the details of our stewardship in this first twelve months of the new Administration will be set out in the body of the speech. But it is as well to strike two high notes right at the start. We have pretty much done what the sceptics said was impossible. The Superbond— that bane of our existence, that monster of our nightmare— has been tackled and tamed. Not vanquished, mind you, but put on a leash and confined to its lair. And as a direct consequence, but also as a result of adroit stewardship and unshakeable commitment to the welfare of this nation, this Budget will see absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts.
  • Police Change Of Command:
    National Police Training Academy, Belmopan, January 9, 2013, Price Barracks, Ladyville, Friday, February 1, 2013
  • Training The Team TO Tackle The Trade, Of Illegal Firearm, Ammunition and Explosives:
    UN Sponsored Course Graduates 44 Belizean Law-Enforcers. A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege of representing Belize at a conference that was organized by the Latin American and Caribbean group of friends to look at a draft of arms trade treaty that was submitted by the president of the UN conference on the arms trade treaty, Ambassador Peter Walcott. The group of friends included representatives from Peru, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Australia Canada, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, and Jamaica, the Bahamas and Belize. It was a two day conference that I attended and during those two days, there were several proposals that were made to refine a strategic plan and some terms of reference that was to be submitted to the next UN Conference some time later in this month in New York. There was a high degree of confidence among the various participants of that group. The intervention that we had over those two days will place a strong text at the UN conference on arms trade treaty that I spoke to earlier.
  • La Ruta Maya 2013: Gateway to Experiencing the Awesome Beauty of Belize’s Untold Natural Wealth:
    It was an early start to a long holiday weekend last Friday when the 15th paddling of the La Ruta Maya River Challenge got underway under the Hawksworth Bridge in the middle of the beautiful Twin-Town of San Ignacio/ Santa Elena. While every race is primarily, or ultimately, about winning (depending on whether you’re fast-forwarding or rewinding), La Ruta Maya is perhaps one of those sports that defies all the rules of the game. While everyone certainly would like to win, the paddling of the Ruta Maya and all the holiday activity (or lazy hangout) has, in itself, become such a thrilling (and relaxing) thing for those in the canoes and on the river-bank, it hardly matters at the end of the day (or any of the four days) who arrives first or who pulls up last. But before we continue, lest we be accused of disrespecting the winners, let us acknowledge that it was the Belize Bank Bull Dogs who came in first, for the second year consecutively, thereby winning their 9th title since the event originated fifteen year ago in 1998. We are speaking here, of course, only about the Elite Class; and there are so many other categories, including one that is most candidly dubbed the Pleasure Category, won this year by the Police, whose daytime (or nighttime) job is anything but pleasure. Yes, Belize Bank won overall this year again, although this time they were not the first to cross the finish line at the Belcan Bridge in the Old Capital of Belize City. That distinction belongs to Zip Rider, who incidentally was also the first to establish a commanding lead at an important juncture (Iguana Creek Bridge), where we first saw the race (although they were later overtook that same day by Belize Bank who finished first in the first leg ending at Banana Bank) As it eventually turned out, Zip Rider, favored from the start, along with Belize Bank, to be one of the two rival teams with a clear shot at the 2013 Championship, did not even finish second overall, but third.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Dmitri Fabro & Eddy Valencia of Valencia YWAM Roaring Creek (1) Ronald Orellana & Jairo Lopez of Celtic Las Flores

The San Pedro Sun

Mito Paz new Deputy Mayor
As of Thursday March 7th The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has a new Deputy Mayor. Councilor Mito Paz has been electedas Deputy Mayor by the other council members. According to Mito Paz the decision for electing a new deputy was in order to grant another council member some insight into the experience of a deputy to the Mayor. During the SPTC’s first year of office, the major priorities were infrastructure in particular streets and proper garbage disposal to promote healthy living under the portfolio of the previous deputy Severo Guerrero Jr. Since Town Council elections in 2012, major changes have been enacted in the areas of traffic, garbage disposal and infrastructure.

The San Pedro Sun turns 22; Editor Tamara Sniffin reflects on the last nine years
On March 14, 1991 the first issue of The San Pedro Sun was printed. Founded by Bruce and Victoria Collins, the paper was created on a word processor and pages were cut and pasted together before being sent over to the mainland for printing. In 1996 the paper was purchased by Dan and Eileen Jamison who now own the popular DandE’s Frozen Custard Shop on Pescador Drive. Ron and Tamara Sniffin later purchased the paper from the Jamison’s in 2004 and according to The San Pedro Sun’s editor Tamara Sniffin, the paper has seen many changes over the years. In celebrating the 22nd birthday of The Sun this week, Sniffin took the time to reflect on the last nine years and the growth the paper has seen. “It’s hard to believe that when we first bought the paper we were still using a light-table to cut and paste the page layouts,” Sniffin recalls.

2013 Inter-Office Basketball Tournament
The Inter-Office Basketball Tournament is a competition between teams from local businesses of San Pedro and Caye Caulker, San Pedro High School (SPHS) and San Pedro Junior College (SPJC). The tournament, organized by Renison Crawford and Focion Riverol; takes place on Saturdays and Sundays at the R.A.Nuñez Auditorium showcasing the islands’ best ballers. A total of nine teams are competing for this year’s Inter-Office Basketball Championship. The tournament will see eleven games, and team’s scores will be tallied at the end of the tournament to decide the winners. The competition kicked off on Saturday March 2nd and saw a matchup of Latitudes Café vs. the Jaguars in game one and SPHS vs. SPJC in game two. It was an exciting night as many islanders made their way out to the games which started at 8PM. At the end of the first match, it was a tight 56-58 win for the Jaguars. SPJC took the second game against SPHS with a whopping 93-54 win.

Games of the World returns to San Pedro
Mike Spiller of “Games of the World” and the Physician of Phun is once again in Ambergris Caye. Spiller is a game enthusiast who travels through various countries seeking innovative and stimulating games from within the native cultures to implement in his summer camp programs in the United States of America (USA). Games of the World originated in Hawaii in 1984 when Spiller encouraged his campers to share games from their native countries. The campers that attended the summer camp were originally from the Philippines, Samoa and Hawaii. After this, Spiller’s interest in games from other countries grew and today he has traveled 42 countries in his quest for games. Spiller’s first visit to Belize was in 1993 where he met the students from the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School in San Pedro Town and presented ten books containing international games to the school. He made a follow up visit in 2003, where he brought more of his acquired games from across the globe to the students of San Pedro. It has been ten years since Spiller’s last visit to the island, and he is back visiting the various islands’ primary schools. Scheduled to be on the island until March 20th, Spiller will be teaching the students various circus tricks while exchanging knowledge about games within the children’s communities. “Some of my best memories of my travels around the world (42 countries so far) have been right there in San Pedro Town before the bridge was there and I had to wade the river to come into some schools,” said Spiller in an interview with The San Pedro Sun.

Ambergris Today

Belize Rejoices in Selection of New Pope Francis I
Belize, who boasts a Catholic majority population, joins and rejoices with millions the world over with the selection of the new pope who is now the maximum leader of the Catholic community. There are 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide and Belize counts with a 40 % Catholic population or 131,000 Roman Catholics of a population of 327,719. Belize also enjoys a Hispanic majority population. Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected the first non-European Pope in more than 1,000 years. He is from South America, making him a historic first Hispanic Cardinal to be elected as pope. Described as a conservative with "great compassion," the 76-year-old will be known as His Holiness Pope Francis I. He commands the Spanish language but of course speaks several other languages including Latin and Italian. He will be installed at the Vatican on Tuesday.

Belize To Face USA, Costa Rica and Cuba at Gold Cup
The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup schedule was announced on Wednesday, March 13, 2013, with the Belize’s National Football Team placed in the group alongside USA, Costa Rica and Cuba. Team Belize will face the Americans at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland on July 9 after which they will be traveling to Salt Lake City to take on Costa Rica on July 13 and they face Cuba on July 16 in East Hartford, Connecticut. The quarterfinals will take place at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and M&T Bank Arena in Baltimore on July 21, while the semifinals will be held at Cowboys Stadium on July 24. The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup final will be held at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 28. Here are the groups for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup: GROUP A: Mexico, Panama, Canada, Martinique GROUP B: Honduras, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, Haiti GROUP C: USA, Costa Rica, Belize, Cuba

Clean Up Campaign For San Pedrito Area
Once again the San Pedro Town Council has teamed up with UNICEF (United Nations International Children Education Fund) to conduct a cleanup campaign for another area of our beautiful island. The cleanup campaign will take place at the San Pedrito Area on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. Representative of UNICEF Dennise Robateau and Volunteer Heather Lesie were on the island to promote the cleanup campaign and invite the entire community to participate in this activity. An official opening ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 19, 2013, and the cleanup will follow immediately after the official ceremonies. Representatives of UNICEF will be on hand to do demonstrations and training on water sanitation.

Guat’s Up Today, Gerry? Guatemala
Guatemala a gorgeous city full of culture, spectacular views and talented people. I had always wanted to visit this country; 2013 was the year to do it. Here is a short story on why I wanted to go to Guatemala City. In 2010 I met a great friend by the name of Gabriela Asturias; she represented Guatemala at the International Miss Costa Maya Festival and won. In 2011 she came back to San Pedro to crown the new Miss Costa Maya and in 2012 she returned with her girl group called Divash. They entertained the crowd dancing to popular songs and showcasing their sexy dance moves. I had the honor giving Gabriela and her friends a great tour of my beautiful Isla Bonita and believe me, they fell in love.

Misc Belizean Sources

BTB's Customer Service and Museum Interpretation Training
We would like to extend an invitation to our upcoming training – Customer Service and Museum Interpretation – which will be facilitated by BTB trainer, Ms. Luz Hunter. This training was specifically organized for personnel working in the Museums, House of Cultures and Art Galleries and will incorporate key elements such as: - Customer Service Essentials - Attitude and Professionalism - Effective Communication - Handling Complaints - Teamwork - Museum Interpretation

SAGA & Kelly McGuire...Together Again
Kelly McGuire will be performing at Fido's Courtyard on March 19th to raise money for SAGA Humane Society. We are super excited. There will be an auction and a raffle with some really great prizes. Hope to see you all there dancing and enjoying some great music for a great cause.

SP Lions Host Annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny
With last years' Pancake Brunch a hopping success, the San Pedro Lions Club is excited to announce their second annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny on Saturday, March 30th at the Lions Den.

Belize ‘super bond’ saga soon at end
With the Belize debt default debacle almost behind him, Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is projecting greater economic growth prospects with a lower debt burden going forward. At a press conference on Monday, Prime Minister Barrow revealed that the restructured so-called ‘super bond’ has been 100% subscribed, and the bond offering will close either tomorrow (March 15) or next Monday Barrow projected that with some BZ $494 million less in debt servicing over the next 10 years, there was a possibility that, with the continuing level of growth recorded last year, Belize's debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio could fall to 60% by 2017. “Remember that we didn't pay the coupon payment that had become due in august. We didn't pay the coupon payment that would have become due in February, and so that, all together, these are rolled up into the new bond and we thereby saved $76.4 million by way of these cash payments foregone,” said Barrow.

St. Andrews Visits the SIPL
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library hosted the Standard 1 students of St. Andrews primary school for Children's Month. "Saint andrews Standard I Visits SIPL 13th March 2013"

Rotaract Club of San Ignacio Unveils Logo
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio has their logo ready, just in time for World Rotartact Week. In it are the Rotaract symbol, Xunantunich, and the Hawkesworth Bridge. Frankie Montero did a great job. Rotaract turned 45 this week, and the San Ignacio club is having activities throughout the week. They're going to focus on Rotaract's Cover with Care program, so they'll be doing a clothing drive this weekend. Read more about it on their page.

Cayo Welcome Center Inauguration Video
Telenova has a video out from the inauguration of the Cayo Welcome Center. Orquidea Negra has a good deal of time in the spotlight on the video. "The residents of San Ignacio & Santa Elena can now enjoy the Cayo Welcome center which has been inaugurated."

Channel 7

Guatemalans Press "Panic", Want Out Of October Referendum
October 6, 2013 - we all have it marked on our calendars as the date for the referendum on whether or not Belizeans will choose to go to the ICJ to settle our territorial dispute with Guatemala. But tonight, it looks like it may not happen - not on October the sixth, at least. And that's because the Guatemalans want to postpone it. According to a bulletin sent out yesterday from the office of the Guatemalan President, Otto Perez Molina, Guatemala proposes to change the date for the referendum. Now, this is no simple undertaking; it is a big deal, a very big deal - and it has forced an emergency meeting with the Secretary General of the OAS in Washington on Monday. That's because - according to the President, the Guatemalans don't want to unilaterally change the date, they want a joint decision. But, that's not going to be easy to get because the Belize side hasn't blinked, meaning it remains firmly committed to the process for October of this year. Half an hour ago, the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Alexis Rosado gave us his reaction:

Belize Rosewood Listed On CITES
And moving unto another matter with regional implications, last night we told you about the CITES (Site-ease) meeting in Thailand - that's The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. News from the meeting says that Siam rosewood, Brazilian rosewood, and other rosewood species native to Central America were granted protection at the meeting. But it wasn't clear if that includes Belize. Today, we had the opportunity to ask the Minister of Forestry - as she was receiving a donation of equipment. She said that Belize's Rosewood is now included under CITES regulations: Hon. Lisell Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development "Yes, it includes the rosewood found in Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. It is something that is important for the region, because what has been happening in regards to rosewood is happening in Nicaragua. It's happening in Mexico; Guatemala faced it a few years ago, and we, as you know, have been facing it in the past few years. This is an issue that is happening globally. That is why all the rose wood species; really across the world have been listed on appendix 2, because the demands especially from China for this valuable resources is contributing to high deforestation rates."

Alamilla Says Monkey Business At OW Agricultural Gives Belize Bad Image
And we also asked Minister Alamilla to comment on the recent incident with the howler monkey that was savagely beaten on the grounds of the Orange Walk Agricultural High School. As we've reported, the Monday was beaten on Monday and died on Friday after receiving major head trauma. A teacher and four students are under investigation and charges for illegal hunting could be brought by the Forestry Department by the end of this week. Minister Alamilla says that it's an incident which reflects poorly on Belize: Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry "As a country; we really have to be concerned about acts that are inhumane. There's nothing wrong with hunting, but what transpired with the monkey in Orange Walk, as has been reported so far, is really not a good reflection on our society. That wasn't hunting; that was just incredible violence against an animal that poses no threat to society. Any kind of hunting requires a permit, and any commercialization of these species for example; Hicatee or any bush mate, if you're going to be trading in it or selling it at a restaurant, you really require to apply for a permit. They cost $2000." Under Belize's laws it is illegal to hunt Howler and Spider monkeys as well as crocodiles, manatees, tapirs, jaguars, and about 15 other animals.

Hideous Complaint Of Sex Abuse
Tonight, a 38 year-old Guatemalan national is at prison, and his common-law wife is detained by police after they received an awful report of sexual abuse of the wife's 8 year-old daughter. According to police, the 8-year-old child in the presence of her aunt, reported that on March 9, she started experiencing pain in the area of her genitals. When the aunt questioned her further, the child revealed that on February 23, and on that same date, her step-father had intercourse with her. As a result, police arrested and charged step-father with 2 counts of carnal knowledge, and one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. To protect the child, we can't give you a name, or show you perpetrator's face, but he was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where no plea was taken, and bail was denied. He was remanded to prison until May 3, 2013.

Accident Victim Critical
45 year old Salvadorean German Ubaldo Velasquez remains in a critical condition tonight at the KHMH. AS we reported he was knocked down on Saturday and suffered head injuries. Velasquez was only visiting Belize to buy a vehicle. He continues to have swelling and hemorrhaging in his brain.

Micah Tillet’s Attorney Says "Not So"
On Tuesday's Newscast, we told you about 18 year-old Micah Tillett, the man who police say was caught with money believed to be the proceeds of a robbery in Ladyville, which happened last week Friday. According to police, 3 armed men robbed a delivery man and his companion in Ladyville and fled in a vehicle, which they pursued all the way to Chetumal Street in Belize City. Again, according to police, when they finally cornered the vehicle, several men fled the vehicle and escaped, but they allegedly caught Tillett inside allegedly with some of the stolen money. Tillett was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, and he was arraigned on Tuesday. Tillett has kept his silence on the matter, but yesterday, his attorney spoke to 7News and told us that he wants to clear up a few things that he says the police are reporting erroneously. Here's what he had to say: Bryan Neal - Attorney for Micah Tillett "Well first of all he is a 6th form student, and I am instructed to say that he was not found with proceeds from any crime. In fact, he was found with $13 dollars - one, three, a 10 dollar and 3 dollar coins - in his pocket; there were no - there was no robbery money in his vehicle when he was found by the police. What he has said to me is that he was on the Northern Highway testing out his vehicle from a mechanic, when he was pulled over by the police.

Bill Lindo's Lavish Land Dealings
Last night, you heard the Prime Minister speak about the sweet deal that Bill Lindo came up on - when government was recently ordered to compensate him over 800 thousand dollars for land that he had bought not too many years ago for just 44 thousand dollars. That's about 20 times the original value. It's land where the Coast Guard is now headquarters which the then PUP Government acquired from Lindo. Now, Bill Lindo has been in the news before his lavish land holdings. In 2010, the Auditor General gave him special mention for a bunch of public land transactions finalized in the run-up to the 2008 election. We spoke to him at the time and he was unapologetic. For context into this latest compensation "come-up", we revisit sections of that story: Jules Vasquez Reporting These names fill three pages. Particularly outstanding is William Lindo, known as Bill Lindo, his companies and his children.

Fisheries Gets Connected
The Fisheries Department has to patrol the waters from Bacalar Chico on Northern Ambergris Caye at the border with Mexico right down to the Sapodilla Caye Range. It's a vast area where all kinds of red lights are being run day and night. And that's why the donation of a radio communication system by the OAK Foundation should prove beneficial. Fisheries Minister Lisel Alamilla accepted: Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Fisheries "It will greatly enhance our work in enforcement. As I mentioned earlier we have a huge area - marine area, that we need to patrol and to effectively manage. So, this equipment is very valuable for the Ministry in achieving its mission of ensuring wise use of our natural resources. We manage, as you know, from Baccalar Chico as far up North to the Southern point, the Sapadilla Cayes, and so this will be used across to the different protected areas, and the different world heritage sites that income passes our marine protected areas system."

Social Security Bosses Meet In Belize
An organization named CISSCAD is having its 34th ordinary meeting in Belize. If you're wondering, CISSCAD is the membership body for all Social security Institutions in the region. Belize currently holds the rotating presidency and this country's CEO explained that it's all about sharing experiences and best practices: Richard Flowers - CEO, Belize Social Security "The theme this year is advancing social security for all through integration and calibration. Basically to break it down, what it's about is looking at best practices, what is working what isn't, and just breaking down the silos, because all we're here for is to serve our citizens." Gabriel Martinez - Secretary General, CISSCAD "For example, the issues of service to citizen, really - in countries like Canada, the US or Brazil, in small countries like Belize and El Salvador., they all pretty much face the same problem of learning about the families, about their needs, and we're al the same at the end. Health issues are the same"

Police Say Major Crimes Down, Most In South
Police have released the latest crime statistics for the first two months of 2013. They show that murder is up compared to the same period for 2012 - 21 homicides as compared to 16 for January and February 2012. Carnal knowledge reports are also up. But according to the figures, reports of all other major crime areas, rape, robbery, burglary and theft are down with robberies falling 33%. And in the new performance based appraisal system of the ministry of national security, the zone that had the best crime statistics for February has been awarded. That's the south, and Police Minister John Saldivar yesterday presented certificates of award to the officers commanding for the Intermediate Southern and Toledo Formations. According to the figures, both these formations saw a 50% reduction in major crimes.

"Z" Showing Sewing Machines
She's been absent from public life for some time but today former Mayor Zenaida Moya re-appeared, where else, but In the Mesopotamia Division! She donated 14 sewing machines to the vocation class of Maud Williams High School. Today at a small handing over ceremony, Moya congratulated the students, both male and female who are passionate about sewing, and pledged her continued support to the school. After the ceremony, she told the media how she was able to secure the donation: Zenaida Moya - Donor, Sewing Machines "This donation came about through the request of teacher Alice Williams, who teaches sewing right here at Maud Williams High School. She is a very dedicated teacher; she loves sewing and she has worked with me before, when it comes to sewing training for women. Now she asked me, she said it's for her students, which I must say are male and females, and as a matter of fact, even the shirt that the model wore, that was sewn by a male student and the clothes that were shown, male and female sewed them.

Profile... Gayla
Tonight's profile is about Gayla, an artist who found her love for drawing and painting as an escape from a sometimes difficult childhood, dominated by a hard drinking father. She tells the profile how that escape, became therapeutic later on when she contracted cancer:

Finally, Safety for The Western Highway
Today the government launched the Belize Road Safety Project - a long-term, multi-million dollar initiative which aims to cut down on traffic fatalities on the Western Highway. Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Santino Castillo spoke at the project launch and as an avid cyclist discussed the perils of the George Price Highway: Hon. Santino Castillo - Minister of State with Responsibility for Economic Development "You don't know a road until you've traveled it and to traverse it on a bicycle. Having been a sponsor in cycling for the past 34 years, and having ridden with my team all this while, and as recently as yesterday morning, I recognize the importance of that stretch of highway, the Western Highway which is the one most utilized by cyclist. I know how important it is to improve the highway, having been brushed many times by vehicles. The high death rate on our highway is a serious health concern, given the resulting lost in productivity, and increase venerability to poverty has significant social and economic repercussions. The launching of the road safety project is therefore with very good timing. The project represents the first phase of what is expected to be a long-term initiative, of the Government of Belize to improve road safety in Belize. Its overall objective is to reduce deaths and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents. The project, as you know, will focus from the Belize City round about, at the junction of Cemetery Road and Central America Boulevard, to the junction of the Humming Bird and George Price Highway in Belmopan, and along the Humming Bird highway to its junction with Constitution Drive in Belmopan and around the entire Belmopan Ring road. The road safety project commenced in January this year will run initially for 39 months. It will be financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the CDB, along with counterpart financing from GOB."

Channel 5

Guatemala wants to postpone referendum

The October referendum is in big trouble and Belize will be heading to the headquarters of the OAS in Washington this weekend to try to save it.  An announcement was made on Wednesday by Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina that Guatemala will seek to delay the referendum scheduled for October sixth. On Wednesday Perez Molina [...]

Family of basket-baller shot in face preparing for the worst

Tour guide, Ronald Rivers, who was shot once to the face by a gunman on March fourth is being kept alive through a ventilator and his family is now preparing for the worst. Rivers has undergone multiple rounds of surgery at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but his condition has deteriorated to the point that [...]

Attorney Dickie Bradley says the AG has hidden motives in attacking the Bar

Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington has announced that he will be pushing through legislation to amend the Legal Profession Act. Elrington wants to remove the requirement that attorneys will have to join the Bar Association to practice. The proposal has come as a surprise and came to light when the Solicitor General recently wrote to the Chief [...]

Government’s legal fees; millions of taxpayers’ dollars spent

On Wednesday the Prime Minister did not give a specific figure on the money spent on the restructuring of the Belize Bond 2038 but he did admit it is “astronomical.” Because the super bond as it was called, has been on the books for some time, we checked the 2013/2014 estimates to see if there [...]

Minister of Forest condemns beating of monkey to death

The investigation by the Forest Department into the beating of a black howler monkey and its subsequent death from injuries sustained has concluded. It is believed that charges will be levied against four third form students and a teacher who were involved in the incident. The fine for the offense is one thousand dollars each [...]

Minister cracking down on illegal extraction of precious wood

In January and early February it seemed that rosewood was in the news nightly, with somebody either harvesting it illegally, burning it, sneaking it out of the country or discovering it by the container-load. But since then there’s barely been a murmur about rosewood. Now is that because the smugglers have gotten craftier or because [...]

P.M. confident of IDB approval of a budget support loan

In November of 2012 there was a major blow up between GOB and the IDB after Belize’s application for policy-based loans was blocked by the US Treasury. Prime Minister Barrow was infuriated…so much so that he attacked IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno and called him a coward for bowing to the wishes of the US [...]

Escapee, Abbas Khan, ComPol launches investigation

Tonight, after almost two weeks, there is finally official police word on thirty-eight year old Abbas Khan, even if it is only to confirm what the media has been reporting. On March third, Corozal Police searched the house of businessman Khan where they found five Indian passports. When Khan was questioned he claimed that none [...]

Crime Stats: murders are up in the first two months of the year

2012 ended as the most murderous year in Belize with a hundred and forty-five murders recorded. The statistics for the first two months of this year have been released and while some crimes have decreased, the murder rate continues to paint a grim picture in particular in Belize City. In January 2012 the number of [...]

Man arraigned for the carnal knowledge of his stepdaughter

The reported cases of carnal knowledge are on an upward trend and tonight there is another case that is most alarming. The Guatemalan stepfather of an eight year old child was arraigned in court today for carnal knowledge and aggravated assault of his eight year old stepdaughter. The case is most disturbing because the mother [...]

Mistrial in murder case against 2 accused; juror prejudicial remark

It’s been three weeks since the murder trial of twenty-four year old Cordel Flores and twenty-one year old Warren Lewis began before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez for the August eighteenth 2009 murder of Alberto Travis Allen. But the case today came to a screeching halt due to a most unusual turn of events. A prejudicial [...]

Belizean athletes medal in 2013 Central American Games

Several of our athletes are in Costa Rica competing in the 2013 Central American Games. Seven countries are participating in the sporting event that occurs every four years and this time around Belize is making its mark. Last week Friday, the female softball team returned to the country as bronze medalists and the jewel continues [...]

Belize City Center to get much needed facelift

The Belize City Center served as the city’s premier sports auditorium, but it has been closed for more than two years, ever since government engineers pronounced it unsafe. Since that time the building has been left to rot as GOB searched for funding for a new facility, reported to be coming from Mexico. That financing [...]


Orange Walk Town Has New Deputy Mayor
The Orange Walk Town Council has made some changes in portfolios and announced a new Deputy Mayor. Last year at the first meeting after elections, the new town council decided that they would choose a deputy mayor for each year during their term in office. In the first year, JosueCarba...

Oak Foundation Donates Equipment to Ministry
Over eighty one thousand dollars worth of Communication equipment was donated to the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development by the Oak Foundation this morning. To receive the equipment on behalf of the Ministry was Minister Lisel Alamilla who says that the eq...

US Embassy Takes Journalists On Tour of Southern Command
On Wednesday four Belizean television journalists toured the United States Southern Command headquarters in Miami Florida. The tour was part of an invitation that the US Embassy extended to the reporters in order to better understand the operations and exercises that the US South...

Belize High School Represents Belize At Conference of Americas
A group of ten students from Belize High School left the country today to participate in an event in the Dominican Republic. Love News was at the Philip Goldson Airport and spoke with Principal Leticia Eck. ECK “Students from Belize High School are attending for the...

Belize Granted Protection on Rosewood Via Convention on International Trade In Endangered Species
At a meeting held in Bangkok Thailand this week, it was learned that the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES, granted protection to many species of Rosewood and Ebony from Southeast Asia, Madagascar and Latin America. Today Love News spoke with Minister...

NAVCO Members Blames President and Ministry for Dysfunction In Association
Members of the National Association of Village Councils fired off a release yesterday highlighting several issues. According to the members the Association has been going through a number of internal issues over the past two years and they put the blame squarely on the shoulders ...

Government Minister Comments On Cruel Capture of Howler Monkey
The subsequent death of a howler monkey after having been allegedly captured by students and a teacher at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District has sparked much controversy, not only because the species is protected in Belize but because of the inhumane cond...

Special Olympics Holds Fun Run in Belmopan
Belmopan Special Olympics will be holding its fun run tomorrow morning. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ “Every year around this time Special Olympics host a fun run for the children with special needs. Well tomorrow morning Special Olympics Belmopan B...


Minister Of Forestry Weighs In Monkey's Death
The news of the monkey’s death after being brutalized by the students, has stirred angry emotions from several individuals, governmental departments and non-governmental organizations. The Forest Department has condemned the act described as animal cruelty. Apart from them, the management of the Community Baboon Sanctuary has also expressed their frustration towards the incident. And, apart from the hundreds who have expressed their bitter sentiments via several social networks, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla weighed in on the issue today. Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "As a country; we really have to be concerned about acts that are inhumane. There's nothing wrong with hunting, but what transpired with the monkey in Orange Walk, as has been reported so far, is really not a good reflection on our society. That wasn't hunting; that was just incredible violence against an animal that poses no threat to society. Any kind of hunting requires a permit, and any commercialization of these species for example; Hicatee or any bush mate, if you're going to be trading in it or selling it at a restaurant, you really require to apply for a permit. They cost $2000." It is expected that the Forest Department will be filing charges against those found responsible for the monkey’s death, by tomorrow.

Guatemala Wants To Postpone Referendum
Tonight the October 6th Referendum to take the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ is in limbo and there is no telling if it will actually take place. News coming out of Guatemala tonight is that the country is seeking to postpone the territorial referendum since, according to President Otto Perez; this will prevent the consultation from becoming invalid due to the changes in Belize’s Referendum Laws. Although the authorities of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal continue organizing the consultative process stipulated for October 6th, the Guatemalan President has stated that the case will be exposed to the Organization of American States with the hope of obtaining the reform in the Belizean Law which was changed in 2008, or holding the referendum in 2014. Under Belize’s referendum law, sixty percent of the electorate will have to participate in the poll to give it validity and fifty one percent will have to say yes to go to the ICJ. In Guatemala, however, the referendum laws provide for a simple majority to decide if the claim will be taken to The Hague. In the month of February, the President of Guatemala requested that Belize change its referendum law to level the playing field in respect to the October 6th Referendum. At that time, Otto Perez Molina told the Associated Press that Guatemala will not spend 240 million quetzals or $40 million in a referendum to be lost due to the high voting percentage level in Belize.

Business Establishment Gets Trade Licence Revoked By OWTC After False Pretenses
Yesterday afternoon our newsroom was flooded with calls from concerned citizens requesting information on a number of gaming machines being unloaded off a container parked in front of the D Star Victoria Hotel located on the Belize Corozal Road. Now, when we hear about gaming machines, and we are not talking about one or two, the first thing that comes to mind is (casino). With rumors going around that a casino will be opened in Orange Walk sometime in the near future, we contacted Mayor Kevin Bernard and asked him if the Town Council had issued a Trade License for the operation of a casino recently. His answer was, quote unquote “definitely not”. But what about the more than 40 gaming machines that was taken into the lower flat of the D Victoria Hotel? Well, according to the Mayor, someone is trying to defy the Town Councils decision. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “I too received that same concern and that call and what we did is that I immediately sent out my evaluation team to go and inspect the building which is located downstairs of D-Star Victory Hotel and from my records that I have, there is this one Jian Xing Cheng that had applied for a sports bar to operate on that location. Now when we heard that there was an amount of about 40 plus machines that were taken into that establishment which immediately raise alarm. So our evaluators went there and took pictures, got evidence that there are gaming machines in that quantity and from what I am looking at, these individuals never did apply to operate any gaming establishments. They applied to operate a sports bar. And so we have issued, today, a revocation of their trade license application and the chairman liquor license and myself as the secondary signature, have also issued a revocation of their liquor licenses application. And thus a stop order has also been issued for them to cease and desist from any alteration to that establishment that they are doing.”

Latest Crime Statistics For 2013
Today the Belize Police Department issued out its latest statistics for the year 2013 compared to the year 2012. In an overall view, crime has reduced, according to the department. Statistics show that between January and February of this year 408 crimes were committed. That’s a reduction, compared to last year when 460 crimes were registered. But while the overall report is showing a decrease in crime, the number of murders has seen a drastic increase. For the months of January and February 2013 alone, 21 murders have been recorded, that’s five more compared to last year during the same time frame. This year there has also been more reported cases of carnal knowledge as 19 cases have been reported for the months of January and February so far. Last year 13 cases were reported. Taking a closer look at the north, statistics show that there were 14 burglaries committed in Corozal between the months of January and February while 22 were reported in Orange Walk. When it comes to Carnal Knowledge, four cases were reported in Corozal and 2 in Orange Walk. So far six robberies have been committed in Corozal and seven in Orange Walk. The count rate for the crime of theft stands at 10 and 13 respectively. Fortunately, there has not been a murder in the north so far.

Super Bond Now Belize Bond 2038
Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with the Debt Superbond Renegotiation Committee held a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza to lay down the details of the now Belize Bond 2038. According to PM Barrow, Belize will see a debt relief of 494 million dollars between 2013 and 2022. With the new bond in place Belize’s debt GDP ratio is also expected to fall to 60% in 2017, that is, if the country is as successful as last year. Of note is that Belize did not make good on its coupon payment that was due on August 2012 and the coupon payment that would have become due in February. But PM Barrow says those payments were rolled up into a new bond in which Belize saved $76.4 million by way of cash payments. If Belize would have made the payments, Barrow noted that the $76.4 million would have then been added to the $84 million financial gap for the present fiscal year which would have in turn sent the country over the fiscal cliff.

Women's Art Show
By now you may already know that the Month of March is celebrated as Women’s Month. Across the world activities are taking place in honor of women as the month is commemorated under the theme “Gender Agenda Gaining Momentum”. Here in Orange Walk the Banquitas House of Culture will be hosting a Women’s Art Show in celebration of the month. The event will be held tomorrow and will feature the many talents of over 30 women from across the district. According to the Coordinator of the Banquitas House of Culture, Yvette Torres, there will be dancing, craftworks, makeup artist and all sorts of entertainment for those who are planning to be part of the event. Yvette Torres, Coordinator BHOC “We will be having different booths and different artist will be coming in. We will have in the different disciplines whereby there will be dancing, singing, poem recitation and also we will be having women groups that will be coming to show case what they are producing. And also single women who will be doing craftworks like painting. We will be having some young makeup artist, rising stars like how we would like to call them. We will be having cultural and contemporary modern dancing. We will be having jewelry, embroider and we will also be having Miss Urbina who does flower arrangements. We will also be having persons who do pastries so it is different types of work that we are doing manually so that they will be displaying those that day. This invitation is for everyone to come and appreciate. We want to stimulate appreciation to what we can contribute positively and we want to encourage other women who are out there that they can also do their share by doing something that is very positive for them. This will also help them meet economically their homes and in those sorts of areas. It is an invitation for everyone out there.”


Minister Lisell Alamilla comments on CITES regulations
The illegal trade and export of rosewood has been a headache for the Forestry Department. After multiple busts and a public burning of several hundred board feet of confiscated rosewood, the trade seems to have quieted down. And soon it will get even tougher for those determined to engage...

33 year old man charged for raping his 8 year old stepdaughter
A man has been charged for the rape of his 8 year old stepdaughter. He is a 32-year-old Guatemalan national who has residency in Belize. Late this evening, the step-father of the child appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he...

Police crime statistics for the start of 2013
Tonight we revisit the Police crime statistics for the start of 2013. According to the stats, for the months of January and February – when compared to January and February of last year, four of the six districts saw a decrease in murders. The districts of Corozal, Orange Walk...

PM speaks of success of negotiations on the Superbond
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Hon. Dean Barrow spoke at a press conference on Wednesday concerning the success of the negotiations on the more than $500 million Superbond concluded in February. As of Friday, some 86% of bondholders had voluntarily subscribed to the new package and the others...

Minister Alamilla comments on the black howler monkey incident
Four minors, students of an Orange Walk high school, and their teacher face criminal charges of illegally hunting a black howler monkey found near their school last week. The monkey was apparently severely beaten and died of its injuries days later. Today, Minister Alamilla commented on the incident, saying...

Government contemplates new legislation to deal with public debt management
The Barrow administration is contemplating new legislation to deal with public debt management. During yesterday’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow hinted at what is to come. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister: We did speak to the IMF about wanting to do this, and their technical people have...

PM hopes to continue with PetroCaribe deal
President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez, who died last Tuesday, has been described as a friend of Belize under the government of both major political parties. One of his initiatives from which Belize has benefited the most is the PetroCaribe deal to sell oil at concessionary rates and use profits...

Prime Minister hopes to meet with Unions before Budget Debate
Another pressing issue addressed yesterday, was the asked-for salary adjustment by three powerful trade unions, the BNTU, PSU and APSSM. The unions submitted their counter-proposal for the Government last Wednesday and sought a meeting between now and next’s week’s budget debate. Yesterday, the Prime Minister’s response was “no can...

Fisheries Department receives donated communications equipment
Today the Fisheries Department received $81,335 of donated communications equipment for use along with other partners involved in communications and enforcement activities in marine protected areas. The Oak Foundation sourced the donation through Tenchtronics Communications in Belize City which also held training today in Belize City for how to...

Belize Road safety project launched
Road Traffic accident is listed as the fourth leading cause of death in the country of Belize. Belize recorded 68 road deaths in 2006 according to the World Health Organization’s Global Status report. That is approximately 31.1 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants – the highest fatality rate amongst the...

4 car pile up in the West
Four vehicles were involved in an accident today in San Ignacio. Details are not forthcoming at this time, but PlusNews understands that a pickup truck was travelling down the Buena Vista Road when its brakes apparently failed which caused the vehicle to run into a car and then into...

19 year old freed of attempted murder charge, but remains on remand for murder
A 19 year old has been freed of an attempted murder charge, but remains on remand for murder. Yesterday Ibrahim Smith was freed of charges that stemmed from a shooting incident in August of 2012 – those charges are attempted murder, deadly means of harm and wounding. The incident...

12 years old Ronaldo Pop needs surgical proceedure
Scoliosis is an abnormal curving of the spine and causes various complications for those suffering from the condition. One San Roman boy is in need of surgery due to this condition. Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu reports. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: 12 years old Ronaldo Pop is a...

Shooting victim Ronald Rivers on life support
PLUS News has learned that the condition of shooting victim Ronald Rivers has taken a turn for the worse. Rivers’ kidneys have completely failed and he is now on life support. His family, we are told, continue to deliberate over whether to remove him from that life support. Rivers...

44 participants receive certificates after course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms
44 participants have received certificates after completing a two-weeks training course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives. Thoses who attended came from various law enforcement departments and agencies in Belize. The training over the two weeks was to impart knowledge on the various firearm activities and...

Special Olympics hosts fun run in Belmopan
The Special Olympics will be hosting a fun run in Belmopan tomorrow and is inviting all residents to come out and support this healthy living initiative. PlusNews spoke to Johnny Ramirez from the Special Olympics Belmopan today. Johnny Ramirez – Special Olympics Belmopan: Tomorrow we will be having our...

YC Belize 2013 scheduled for next weekend
YC Belize 2013 is scheduled for next weekend, but the early bird discount ends tomorrow. For those wishing to pay only $35 per ticket, the deadline is tomorrow Friday March 15th. After tomorrow, the price is $50. YC Belize is in its 7th year and features big ticket international...

The Guardian

Home Free
On Friday of last week, the Government announced that it had secured 86% subscription to trade the Superbond for the reissuance of a new bond by the Government of Belize. Belize had needed a 75% subscription in order for the deal to be completed. During a press conference held on Wednesday, March 13th, the Prime Minister announced that Belize is basically 'Home Free'. Because of the dynamics of the bond offering, the remaining 14% of holders of the Superbond will now automatically be considered in the reissuance. According to financial observers, the closing of the deal, which is anticipated to be done by Friday of this week or at latest Monday of next week, Belize has been able to achieve what many nations have not been able to do in their restructuring bid. That achievement includes the renegotiation of the largest debt in the country without the assistance of IFI's, in particular the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), which had earlier on rescinded on a commitment to partially guarantee the new bond, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had also been looking at Belize's Financial maneuvering and which had been advising to wage cuts, tax increases and cuts in public expenditure.

Two Robbers shot Dead in Cayo
Police are investigating the sequence of events that took place on Tuesday, March 12th, that ended in a shootout between officers of the San Ignacio Police Station and two alleged robbers. According to official police reports, San Ignacio police responded to information about a robbery in progress at Rose’s Restaurant Store located on Benque Viejo Road in San Ignacio Town at 1:05 p.m. Upon responding to the area, they came in contact with two men; one of them was wearing a blue rag tied over his face, while the other had a black stocking over his face and was armed with a sawed off shot gun. Police ordered the men to freeze. That was when the man armed with the shotgun fired at the officers. The officers returned fire and as a result both robbers were fatally injured. The men have been identified as 21-year-old Rony Garcia of Flamingo Street and 18-year-old Jose Garcia of 5th Street in San Ignacio Town. Police have not released details on their injuries but they were pronounced dead at the San Ignacio Hospital. According to police, Ming Feng Chen, owner of the store, reported that while inside the store the two men entered and pointed the shotgun at him. They ordered him to lie down on the floor and demanded money. The gun man then approached an employee of the store and took away her cell phone. The other man went behind the counter and took an undisclosed amount of money and other items before exiting the store. Police recovered a total of $342.85 in cash in different denomination inside a black knapsack along with two packs of Benson and Hedges cigarettes, one pack of Independence cigarettes, five Milport cigarettes, twelve Phillies, one blue flip phone and one black Kyocera flip phone. All items found have been identified as property stolen from the store. The gunman was found with a 16 gauge sawed off shotgun and a blue 16-gauge cartridge in his pants pocket.

Francis I: First Pope from the Americas
It took five ballots for 115 cardinals to shock the world as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday afternoon. The Argentinean is the first Pope from outside of Europe in 1300 years and the first from the Americas. He has chosen to assume the name Francis I. In his remarks to thousands of Catholics gathered in the square of St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis said, “You know that the work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth. Thank you for the welcome." Bergoglio’s election came as a surprise to many observers since his name was never mentioned among the list of front runners. That list included Brazilian Odilo Scherer and Italy's Angelo Scola. The names of U.S. cardinals Timothy Dolan and Sean O'Malley, Canada's Marc Ouellet and Argentina's Leonardo Sandri were also mentioned among likely prospects. Though Bergoglio’s election came as a surprise to everyone outside the secret conclave, it only took five ballots for him to receive more than the required two-third majority of the 115 cardinal electors. Seven ballots have been required on average for the last nine Popes. Pope Benedict XVI went into the conclave as the clear front runner in 2005 and needed 4 ballots to be elected.

Coin Toss decided UDP Candidate in Arenal
As the United Democratic Party (UDP) continues to select only the best candidates to represent the Party in the upcoming round of village council elections, another inter-party convention was held today in the westernmost village of Arenal in the Cayo West Constituency of the Hon. Erwin Contreras.

Bar Association: A Thing of the Past
The Attorney General of Belize, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, intends to introduce a Bill at the National Assembly that will amend the Legal Profession Act in an effort to grant freedom of association to members of the legal profession in Belize. The Bill has been in the pipeline for over three years and once passed, it will cause the Bar Association of Belize to lose its monopoly on legal services in the country and allow for the establishment of a more accountable General Legal Counsel.

Belizean appointed Chairman of BSI
On March 5th, the Belize Sugar Industry Limited held its Annual General Meeting during which, for the first time a Belizean was appointed as chairman of the BSI Board. Arsenio Burgos, who has served on the board of the company, was appointed as chairman, while ESH Barbados, SRL, which is a member of the ASR group appointed Jonathan Bamberger, Ricardo Lima and Celestino Tabernilla to the board. Sir Manuel Esquivel was nominated by the Government of Belize to the Board.

Northern Villages of Indian Church and San Carlos to get Potable Water
Over 105 families in the northern villages of Indian Church and San Carlos in the Orange Walk District will soon bid farewell to old water hand pumps and hand-dug wells thanks to a Social Investment Fund project, which will supply quality, potable water to both villages.

Decrease in Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Prices
The Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Trade, Private sector Development and Consumer Protection is hereby informing the general public that effective March 9, 2013 the Government of Belize has approved a decrease in the controlled price of LPG. Accordingly the new controlled price for LPG is as follows:

The oppressive PUP Superbond has NOW been successfully renegotiated. The oppressors who created it said that it could never be renegotiated. They did all they could do to block the effort. Prime Minister Dean Barrow proved them wrong again. Another campaign promise fulfilled. The nation salutes and thanks our Prime Minister for the many long hours he expended in fulfilling this promise to all of us. ********** Please Mr. Speaker, let them stop calling us thieves, says Dullo from Rural Central and please, I beg you Mr. Speaker, let them stop blaming us for our Superbond. ********** But Mr. Speaker, what else can they be called when the nation knows them by no other name. As for their Superbond, Mr. Speaker, they are going to hear about it until they die, rightfully remarked the Honourable member for Mesopotamia. ********** A Bar-B-Q fundraising event for G. Michael Reid!!! Oh you heartless opposition users. With all your ill gotten millions you see and feel it not in your hearts to reach out and help one of your own in these times of dire need. At $6.00 a plate, how much can a B-B-Q sale net for a sick man with so much medical needs? ********** For ten long years, Reid faithfully did the biddings of the oppressors. Today, he is a man in need and the oppressors look not upon him. They NOW turn their evil backs on him while leaving the poor soul out in the cold. **********

Biography of Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson: 1923 - 2001 Occasion - National Heroes & Benefactors Day
He meant many things to many people, for many reasons for many years. He’s no other than Philip Stanley Wilberforce Goldson. The man, former Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel dubbed the Father of Belize’s democracy.

44 Participants Graduate from Inter-Institutional Training Course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives
44 participants from various law enforcement departments and agencies in Belize have received certificates after completing a two-weeks training course in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition and Explosives, sponsored by the United Nations Regional Center for Peace, Disarmament & Development in Latin America & the Caribbean (UNLIREC).

$14.4 Millon for Road Safety
The Government of Belize has received U.S. $7,248,000 as a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank for the improvement of Road Safety in Belize. The financing will be used to improve safety features at specfic areas along the George Price Hihgway to its junction with the Hummingbird Highway and around the Belmopan Ring Road. Already the broadening of the highway’s shoulders in specific areas has already commenced. It will also have components which will see education and awareness campaigns to change road user behaviors for improved safety. It will also offer support to the Police and the Transport Departments in areas of law enforcement. Capacity building for personnell from institutions invovled in road safety managment will also be supported.

San Narciso Villagers honor Their Loved Ones
On Saturday, March 9th, a group of about 50 villagers took the bold decision of cleaning the central burial ground as a sign of respect and love for their dead relatives and friends. The group was led by aspiring chairman for the upcoming village council elections, Emair ‘Buggy’ Correa along with his six councillors to be.

12 year old Pregnant, and Special Constable, charged
On Tuesday, March 12th a Special Constable appeared in Magistrate's Court in Belize City before Chief Magistarte Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with having sexual intercourse with an 11-year-old girl. 50-year-old Santos Carvajal, a resident of #33 Fairweather Street in Belize City, appeared before the Chief Magistrate, where he was charged with a single count of unlawful carnal knowledge. No plea was taken from Carvajal since the matter is an indictable offense. Through his attorney, Brian Neal, Carvajal requested bail but it was denied since bail cannot be offered on offenses such as carnal knowledge. He was then remanded to prison until April 25th, 2013. The child told police that sometime in March of last year, she visited Carvajal’s home in Belize City to learn to play chess and that’s when he had sexual intercourse with her.

Step-Father and Mother Arrested for Carnally Known 8-Year-Old
Police have detained the step-father and mother of an 8-year-old girl after the child revealed to police that her step-father had sexual intercourse with her. On Monday, March 11th, the 8-year-old student of Belize City was accompanied by her aunt when they visited the police station and made a report. The aunt told police that the child complained to her about pain in her stomach and vagina and when questioned she said her step-father has had sexual intercourse with her. The child was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where a medical examination was conducted which certified that she was carnally known. The injuries were classified as Dangerous Harm and the child had to be admitted the hospital for further attention. Police later arrested the step-father and charged him for the crime of Carnal Knowledge, while the mother was charged with Abetment to Carnal Knowledge.

Drug Plane crashes in Northern Belize
A suspected drug plane was detected in Northern Belize after it apparently crash landed near the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the Corozal District. Responding to reports, on Friday, March 8th, Corozal police along with the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) visited an area one mile south of the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry where they found a white CESSNA 200 single- engine plane with blue and gold stripes. The aircraft was labeled XB-LGX and is a 5 seater. It is suspected that it is a drug plane but no one or any drugs were found in the area.

Free of Murder Charges
On Thursday, March 7th, a jury of 12 people found 22-year-old Dwayne Evelyn not guilty of the February 17th, 2010 murder of Peter Myvett. Myvett had been shot and killed at the corner of Kut Avenue and West Street in broad daylight. The jury stepped into the deliberating room at 18 minutes to noon and by 4:16p.m. emerged with a unanimous verdict of not guilty. After hearing the verdict, Evelyn wasted no time and ran out of the court room and disappeared. Myvett met his untimely death at around 12:00 noon in broad daylight whilst at the corner of Kut Avenue and West Street as he was washing a bus. He was shot multiple times to the body. He had four gunshot injuries to the left side of the neck, right upper arm, right rib cage and right upper back.

17-year-old remanded for murder
On Friday, March 8th, a 17-year-old was escorted to the Belize City Family Court where he was read a single charge of murder for the killing of Frank Neal, 36, stevedore of Port of Belize, in Belize City. The minor, who is a resident of Cemetery Road was captured by police on Tuesday following the execution of Neal. He appeared before a magistrate at the Belize Family Court in the company of a relative where the charge of murder was read to him. Due to the nature of the offense, no plea was taken and since he is a minor he was remanded to the Wagner’s Facility located on the Compound of the Kolbe Foundation. He is due back in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on April 30th. On Tuesday evening, March 5th, 2013, Neal, who is a frequent customer of a local journey cake shop on Glynn Street, was met by a lone gunman who fired a single shot causing his fatal injury. He fell into a nearby drain and died shortly after.

Charged with Attempted Murder
On Tuesday, March 12th, 24-year-old Karl Reneau appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was charged with the shooting of 15 -year-old Robert Hower. Reneau appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with one count of use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm, two counts of aggravated assault upon Dion Tillett and Jason Alvarez and one count of wounding upon Jason Alvarez. No plea was taken and due to the nature of the offences bail was denied and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 30th. In a report to police, 15-year- old Rober Hower, a student of an Antelope Street address told police that at about 7:30p.m. on Saturday, March 9th, he was walking on Antelope Street when he was approached by a man wearing a red shirt and long brown pants. He said that the man then proceeded to stab him for no reason. There is no information about the exchange between Dion Tillett and Jason Alvarez.

Charged for Conspiracy to Commit robbery
On Tuesday, March 12th, 18-year-old student, Micah Tillett, of #6396 Croton Lane, Belize City appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery. He was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. His case was then adjourned to April 30th. In a report to police, John Penner, a businessman, told police that he was making a delivery at Mile 9 in the Ladyville area, when 3 men of dark complexion approached him and two others who were in his company. According to Penner, two of the men were armed with firearms while the third was unarmed. The men then proceeded to rob him of some cheques, cell phones and other personal items. Gerhard Penner, who was also with John Penner, was robbed of $1,780 in cash. After the robbery the three men ran and jumped into a vehicle which was parked in the area. Police, who responded to the robbery, set chase after the vehicle where they caught up with it on Chetumal Street in the Belama area. Police say three men ran out of it and managed to escape, while they found Tillett inside the vehicle. He was found sitting in the driver’s seat.

Kenneth Medwood captures Gold in Central American Games
Kenneth Medwood walked into the history books of the Central American Sports Organisation (ORDECA) when he captured his first Gold Medal in his first appearance in the Central American Games on Saturday March 9th, 2013, in the 100m Hurdles. On Sunday March 10th, Katy Sealy captured the Silver Medal in the Women’s Heptathlon. Sealy’s total points for the Heptathlon Competition were 4,398. In the men’s 4 x 100m relay, the team was in the medal hunt in the third position but was caught and ended up in the fourth place just outside of the medal ceremonies. As we go to press today, no other information has been received concerning our athletes in Costa Rica.

Marlon Castillo is the Smart Belmopan Cycling Champion
The Belize Cycling Association with sponsorship from Smart Telephone Company held its 32nd Annual Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic on Sunday March 10th, 2013. The race which started from in front of Smart Headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway travelled to the City of Belmopan around the Ring Road and then back to the Smart Headquarters for the finish in the Elite/Open category. The 100+ miles event commenced at 8:00 am and after 4:29:08 it was Marlon Castillo of Team Santino’s to cross the finish line to capture the 2nd major event in cycling after the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. The second cyclist to cross the finish line was Ron Vasquez of Belikin Western Spirit. The third cyclist to cross the finish line was Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Cycling. In the Master’s category, first place went to Quinton Hamilton of Team SMART, second place went to Scottie Weisse of Veloshine and third place went to Ernest Meighan of Team Santino’s. The female, junior and youth categories all started at the Smart Headquarters and travelled the George Price Highway to La Democracia and then back to the Smart Headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway for the finish.

Belize Defence Force New Leaders in the Premier League competition
The Premier League of Belize 2012-2013 Closing Season Competition continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Saturday, March 9th, 2013 at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, the visiting Police United defeated Verdes FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Evan Mariano in the 65th minute of play to give Police the big win. The competition then continued on Sunday, March 10th, with three more games on the schedule. In the game played at the MCC Grounds between FC Belize and the defending national champions the Belmopan Bandits, that game ended in a 0-0 draw. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the Belize Defence Force defeated FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 3-1. The Belize Defence Force was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Byrone Usher scored the 1st goal of the game in the 36th minute of play to give his team the 1-0 lead. The lead was further increased when Vallan Symms scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 69th minute of play via a penalty kick for a 2-0 lead. The offence of the Belize Defence Force struck once more when Shane Flores scored the 3rd goal of the game in the 87th minute of play for the 3-0 lead. For the visiting FC San Felipe Barcelona, it was not until the closing minutes of the game that Oscar Acevedo scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 90th minute to cut the deficit to 2 goals. At the sound of the long whistle it was a 3-1 victory for the Belize Defence Force and the lead in this year’s competition. And in the final game of the day played out at the Placencia Football Field in Placencia, the visiting San Ignacio United FC and Placencia Assassins played to a 1-1 draw. The home team Placencia Assassins scored the 1st goal of the game in the 17th minute of play to give his team an early lead 1-0 lead. The first half of the game ended 1-0 in favour of the Placencia Assassins. In the second half of the game, the visiting San Ignacio United was able to get onto the scoreboard when Carlos Vasquez scored the equalising goal for his team in the 70th minute of play. At the end of the long whistle it was indeed a 1-1 draw.

Independence Primary School Girls and St. Jude Primary School Boys are National Softball Champions
The 2012-2013 National Primary Schools Softball Championship came to an end on Friday, March 8th, 2013, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City with the National Softball Championship. In the girls’ championship game, Independence Primary School (representing the Stann Creek District) defeated Biscayne Government School (representing the Belize District) by the score of 7-3. The winning pitcher was Thalia Interiano and the losing pitcher was Ashley Robinson. In the third place game, St. Francis Xavier (representing the Cayo District) defeated Aguacate Roman Catholic School (representing the Toledo District) by the score of 23-6 to capture the Bronze Medal. The winning pitcher was Ronica Vernon and the losing pitcher was Cherissa Cucul. In game one of the semi-final round, Independence Primary School defeated Aguacate Roman Catholic School by the score of 19-0. The winning pitcher was Thalia Interiano and the losing pitcher was Cherissa Cucul. In the second game, Biscayne Government School defeated St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic School by the score of 3-0. The winning pitcher was Ashley Robinson and the losing pitcher was Ronica Vernon.

Softball picks up Bronze again in Central American Games
The National Women’s Softball Team of Belize returned home on Friday, March 8th, 2013, from the 10th Central American Games in San Jose, Costa Rica where it captured its third Bronze Medals in as many outings to the Central American Games. Team Belize went into the Page System Playoffs as the number two team and was assured of a medal. In the second semi-final game of the Page System played between Guatemala (number one seed) and Belize (number two seed) both had identical win-loss record (4-1) Guatemala blanked the Belize Team again by the score of 2-0. Unfortunately for Team Belize, it was able to load the bases on two occasions without any outs and was not able to score a run. The winning pitcher for Guatemala was Valquiria Garzo and the losing pitcher was Francine Hoare. With that loss to Guatemala, Team Belize had to play from the losers’ bracket again El Salvador who had earlier eliminated Panama. In the Final game against El Salvador, the game ended up 14-4 in favour of El Salvador.

Wesley College to host National High Schools Softball Championship
Wesley College, the perennial Secondary Schools Softball Champions (1970-1974) will be playing host to the National Secondary Schools Sports Association national softball championship on Friday and Saturday, March 15th and 16th, 2013 at Rogers Stadium the MECCA of softball in the country. The schools that have earned the rights to represent their various regions are from the North in female softball Belize Rural High School and male San Pedro High School. From the West in female Belmopan Comprehensive High School and male Belmopan Comprehensive School from the South in female Georgetown Technical High School and male Independence High School and from the Central Region in both female and male Nazarene High School. Nazarene High School girls like the host of this year’s competition were the perennial champions of high school softball (1975-1977) when the competition used to be played under the auspices of the then Belize Amateur Softball Association the forerunner to the Belize Softball Federation and over the years have produced a number of players who have played for the National Women’s Softball Team of Belize. While it’s male team in 1982 won the inaugural male competition at the high school level with a perfect 7-0 record.

Belize Bank Bulldogs Repeat as Ruta Maya Champs
Three seconds is what separated the Belize Bank “Bulldogs” from its closest competitors as the 16th Annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge concluded at the Belcan Bridge on Monday, March 11th.

Kite Festival in Belize City
Those in attendance got a chance to make their own kites The air in the Marine Parade area of Belize City was studded on Sunday, March 10th with all manner of kites. There were moon kites, box kites, star kites, large kites, small kites, and even kites which did not fit into any category. The occasion was the annual Kite Festival, which this year was sponsored by Bowen and Bowen and Benny's.

Case studies on flyingfish and large pelagic to be discussed in Dominica
The Second Joint Meeting of the CRFM/CLME Flyingfish (FF) and Large Pelagic Fisheries (LP) Case Studies Steering Committees will open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 11, 2013, at the Garraway Hotel in Roseau, Dominica. The maximum total annual landings of flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean is 4700 metric tonnes, according to information published by the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) project, one of the organizers of the event. “The flyingfish fishery of the Eastern Caribbean is a shared resource which is exploited by seven countries including Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica and France (Martinique). For these countries, there is a high social and economic dependence on the fishery,” the CLME added. Speaking of the large pelagic fishery, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), which is coordinating the Dominica workshop, noted that, “The region’s highly migratory tuna and billfish resources are exploited by countries from within the region, as well as by foreign nations. In the Insular Caribbean, the fishing of large pelagics is a major tourist and recreational activity although reporting data on this fishery is lacking.” It added that the case study aims “to develop the information base for improving understanding of selected major large pelagic fisheries, including information on the nature and importance of recreational fishing activities, and to develop recommendations for promoting EAF [Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries] management and governance in respect of large pelagic fisheries.” Honourable Dr. Kenneth Darroux, Dominica’s Minister of the Environment, Natural Resources, Physical Planning and Fisheries, his Permanent Secretary – Samuel Carrette, and Milton Haughton, Executive Director of the CRFM Secretariat, will address the gathering during the opening ceremonies.


Walking North Ambergris Caye from Costa Maya to Grand Caribe, Part Three
This walk is taking longer to blog about than it was to walk but I took SO many pictures since I have been such an infrequent visitor to these foreign climes. Part One, I barely budged traveling from Costa Maya Resort (Mile 6.5) to Portofino (Mile 6 North). Part Two took me from Portofino to Rojo to Los Encantos (Mile 4.5). Let’s get moving. I passed a very active little dive shop but I didn’t see a name a the resort. Just down the beach is Rendezvous Restaurant and Winery. The only one on the island. A bit further is Belizean Shores. And then in the lot is a turbo sized construction project teaming with workers. All of the rebar is almost like a sculpture…almost. And I would imagine this is only the beginning…the pool at the Venezia will be quite impressive. Huge. A bit of Venice right here in Belize. Next up is Coco Beach with some very impressive pools of their own. Complete with a rock formation water slide and swim up bar.

Happy Pi Day!
Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant (pi) and is observed on March 14 or 3/14 in month/day date format since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of in the decimal form. Pi (Greek letter ” ”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant – the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter – which is approximately 3.14159. Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits. There are many ways of observing Pi Day – these include eating pie, discussing the significance of the number and more recently watching Life Of Pi.

Bye Bye Beautiful Belize!
So today we announce, with bittersweet feelings, that we have just sold our condo in Ambergris Caye and moved back to the United States. Because of Paisley, we aren't going to become world travelers at this time, but we do plan to do a lot of traveling in the US and some of Canada as well. We're thinking about a motorhome. There is still so much we haven't seen in our own country, especially out west, and we want to see as much of it as we can while we're still healthy and fit enough to enjoy it. But that's not to say we won't miss many things about Ambergris Caye and indeed, the entire country of Belize.

Congratulations and a big round of applause
Congratulations goes out to Toledo, Stan Creek, Corozal and Orange Walk all have newly elected Branch Boards and San Pedro is looking forward to holding our upcoming election and becoming a vibrant active branch and a leader of the Belize Red Cross Medical Safety Program. Yesterday Red Cross Director General Lily Bowman came out to oversee the Elections of the San Pedro Branch Board and guide us through the next stages of getting our board in order and building a solid branch foundation. We are pleased to announce a strong board who are all ready to help grow the San Pedro Branch and serve the community. All positions were filled by unanimous vote. Chairperson Eiden Salazar Vice Chair Anthony Anderson Secretary Phillip Ramsey Treasurer Carolyn Kumar Ordinary Member Cheryl Bowen Ordinary Member Sandro Cob Ordinary Member Frank Pantone Youth Member Swunie Diego

Caye Caulker’s cave is possibly the largest in the world!!!
Caye Caulker could possibly be sitting on the LARGEST MARINE CAVE IN THE WORLD!!! It’s a big statement but something that the well regarded National Geographic will take their time to explore in 2014, along with the elite in the dive world, lead by James Petersen or ‘Chip’ from Belize Dive Service and his team of researchers!! Although many of us have been unwittingly sitting on this cave for most of our lives, the recent developments for the cave will prove monumental for the Caye – the increase in visibility on the dive map as experts and tourists alike will flock to see this unique natural beauty. Not forgetting the impact this will have on the earth science world (biologists, hydrologists, archaeologists etc) as this cave acts as a time capsule preserving life forms and conditions of a more ancient earth. And finally giving Caye Caulker global recognition for a truly magnificent natural marine creation as unparalleled as say Niagra Falls or the Grand Canyon!!

Top 13 Places to Visit in Cayo
Here's a top 13 list of places to visit in Cayo, courtesy of Chaa Creek. ATM, Xunantunich, Rio Frio Cave, Big Rock Falls, and many more are on there. Taking a pontoon boat on Vaca Lake is a new one. "The Vaca Lake is a man-made reservoir in the upper Macal River Valley a few miles upstream from Chaa Creek Lodge. When the lake swelled into a 6 mile long waterhole, Lazaro Martinez who grew up in the area decided it was time to invite adventurers to his childhood backyard. Join him on a hilly jungle trek to his pontoon, La Capitana for a tamed loop around the lake. The gentle drift offers a unique opportunity to spot myriad creatures including, Tapirs, Spider Monkeys, Ocelots and a plethora of Birds conveying at this biospheric junction. La Capitana docks at one of three pristine waterfalls for an exploratory hike and optional swimming. Relax at the water’s edge and enjoy your picnic lunch."

Simple Meatloaf
I love ground beef, so meatloaf is clearly one of my favorite meals. This recipe is very simple to create while still being very delicious

Belize Key Economic Statistics 2012 [INFOGRAPHIC]
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) just released an infographic on the key economic statistics of Belize for the year 2012. This neat infographic displays information on the Gross Domestic Product, External Trade, and Consumer Price Index Data for Belize on that year.

See BELTRAIDE / SBDCBelize at The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry Finance Expo 2013, this Friday and Saturday.

Tips on Creating a Logo
A logo is the visual representation of your company. It graphically imparts information to everyone who views it, subtlety informing them if your organization is creative or conservative, playful or serious. Coming up with the perfect logo for an organization is not always easy. It takes creativity and diligence to develop a design that captures the essence of your company with just a momentary glance.

The much condemned and now newly minted super-bond is now the Belize Bond 2038, a done deal with a majority of bondholders signing on and the balance will follow suit under a collective action clause. The numbers have been thrown about since last week, but today Prime Minister Dean Barrow was all smiles as he called the occasion reason for celebration. The stakeholders in the restructuring process were on hand for that celebration and freelance reporter Mike Rudon has the story from the Biltmore Plaza.

“Lone Star State of Mind” for Ambergris Caye, Belize
The body clock is nearly back in sync. Awake and up by 5.30 am this morning. Pleased that my time clock is virtually back to normal but getting up that early when you are in a hotel is not always great. What do you do at that time in the morning apart from going to breakfast? So I showered, shaved, got dressed and played around on the web until Rose was ready and then we went for breakfast together. The fare on offer wasn’t great but good enough to set us up for our tour of Downtown San Antonio so we put on some comfortable shoes, grabbed the camera and set off. We had seen parts of Downtown San Antonio yesterday but it was evening and our minds (and stomachs I suppose) were more on getting something to eat than take in the sights. Today we tried to make amends for that. There are loads of very attractive buildings and when you get away from the crowds the Riverwalk is really tranquil. The following photos provide just a snapshot of the nine mile walk that Rose and I did (OK so we took time out for some refreshment stops).

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Meyr Lemon Loaf
Preheet ove t'350 °F. Greese acoupla loaf pans (abvout 4 x 8 inches each). Creem buttr and sugar with mixr until until lite and fluffy. Add aigs, one at a time, a'beatin well aftr each addishun. Combine flour, bakin' powdr, bakin' sody and salt n' a medium sized bowl. N' a small bowl, combine buttarmilk, lemon juice and zest. With mixr on loe, add flour mixture and liquids alternatelee n' three addityuns.

Stone Crab, One Of The Most Interesting Characters Of Belize
There are persons that you meet when traveling that make your experience unforgettable, Stone Crab is one of those people of Belize. He has to be one of the most interesting characters in Caye Caulker, if not also in the entire country. Let me tell you a little about how I met him. I crossed paths with Stone Crab at The Split when he came to say hello to my friends, they knew him from previous visits to Caye Caulker; now that I look back, I don’t know how I hadn’t met him before, in my teens I had spent an entire summer on the island.

International Sources

Belize for Cruise Visitors
I’ll be honest: you will not get the full picture of just how spectacular and unique Belize is, from a cruise visit and a day’s excursion, particularly being docked in Belize City. And Belize is just too unique of a destination not to stay overnight and explore its many facets, from rainforests to seas, wildlife, and diverse cultures. Moreover, as a writer and traveler who supports responsible travel, I have to mention the fact that cruise ship tourism is damaging to the environment, and does not benefit the local communities you are visiting. That said, many are only able to visit here as part of a cruise package, and I realize there are financial limitations for many folks. So if you do visit here on cruise, and don’t have the option to vacation and overnight here for a few days, there are several tours and shore excursions to consider.

Retire in Ambergris Caye
Belize, situated on the Caribbean Sea, is located in Central America. Its mild temperatures and beautiful vistas have attracted many to this retirement haven. Although its official language is English it comprises a diverse society of many cultures and languages. Over 60% of Belize is covered by forest and its terrestrial and marine biodiversity is rich in flora and fauna. There are several thousand species of flowering plants and over 500 species of trees and birds. Belize is a leader in protecting its natural resources and biodiversity. Ambergris Caye, Belize’s largest island is approximately 25 miles long and 1 mile wide. It is a quiet island with beautiful beaches, fishing and water sports including scuba diving along the stunning Belize Barrier Reef. San Pedro is the only town on the island and there are several smaller villages and some resorts. There are some upscale areas but living here can be much cheaper than in the States. There is a growing ex-pat community in Belize and on Ambergris Caye. Reasons to retire here: Weather, Beaches, Outdoor recreation (sailing, kayaking, scuba, fishing, diving, cycling, hiking, etc.), Rainforest exploration, Historic/Archaeological sites, Nightlife, Festivals

Warriors to visit Belize for football friendly
THE TRINIDAD and Tobago football team will be visiting Belize to play their forthcoming friendly international on March 23. Both teams were originally due to square off at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on March 22 but, according to a media release from the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation (TTFF), the switch of dates and venues arose following discussions between officials of the TTFF and the Belize Football Federation in Chicago (United States) on Wednesday. “It has been communicated that the reason for the change in venue has resulted due to logistical challenges associated with travel arrangements for the Belize team.”

Renton gran's appeal for Belize charity
A Renton gran who adopted four Central American children is set to return to the place she calls her second home to help more youngsters. Shona Hodgson is flying out to Belize in June and is determined to have a suitcase full of clothes, shoes and essentials for the children there. She is appealing for footwear, particularly football boots, to help young people involved with Belize charity the Youth Support Network. Shona, who will be joined on her travels by 17-year-old daughter Siera whom she adopted from Belize in 2010, said: “The founder of the charity wrote to me and included photographs of some of the kids they are working with. “The first thing that struck me was that they didn’t have any shoes on. They have formed football teams but as well as not having strips, they don’t have football boots either. “I want to able to take some boots out there for them and I’m hoping that maybe one of the football teams out there would be willing to donate boots or strips they have outgrown. “Any footwear anyone can donate would be gratefully received.”

And Man Created Dog - a National Geographic presentation
This film explores the greatest inter-species friendship on Earth over the course of 40,000 years.

Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions
Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.” But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys and that it took time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do pre-shoot before arranging the toys), whereas in poorer countries he found it much easier to quickly interact, even if there were just two or three toys between them.

March 14, 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

Andrew Vasquez wins SP Beach Cruiser Baron Bliss Race
Andrew Vasquez is the winner of the first ever San Pedro Beach Cruiser Baron Bliss Race which took place on Monday March 11th. The race was organized by islanders Kent Gabourel and Charles Garay in an effort to start cycling activities on the island. The event was also planned around the holiday to commemorate National Heroes and Benefactors Day (formerly called Baron Bliss Day). The holiday is officially on March 9th but was observed on March 11th this year. The race started shortly after 9AM on Monday from the corner of Laguna Drive and Dolphin Street, then headed three miles north to around Grand Caribe Resort and back to the San Juan Statue roundabout in San Pedro Town. The cyclists made the same route three times before ending at the corner of Laguna Drive and Dolphin Street. Spectators lined up on Laguna Drive as the 10 cyclists took off. But it was early during the first lap of the race that a spectator ran across the road just as the cyclists returned, causing at least three cyclists to crash into each other to avoid hitting the pedestrian. Three of the riders sustained physical injuries, when they fell on the pavement, and one was forced to leave the race early due to the injuries.

Miss Tourism Belize delegates rock the show
Fashion and beauty collided on Saturday March 9th when islanders were treated to another fashion show. Miss Tourism Belize partnered with Belize Institute of Mixology and Kama Lounge to present their signature “Roadway to Malaysia” fashion show while presenting the delegates striving for the coveted title of Miss Tourism Belize. Fashion enthusiasts made their way across the bridge to Kama Lounge to witness a night of high end fashion and entertainment. With a ”Beach Chic” theme in clothing provided by San Pedro’s Foreva Fancy Boutique, the nine delegates strutted down the run way in swimwear, casual wear and the ever important and glamorous evening attire. The well attended fashion show started oround 7PM, and the party lasted through the wee hours of the morning as the night seemed endless. The nine gorgeous contestants from across the country participating in this year’s Miss Tourism Belize Pageant are Vicki Canul, Amanda Taylor, Jonelle Tillet, Ivorie Mendez, Jasmine Skeen, Wendy Neal, Olivette Ramos, Nacy Vellos and La Isla Bonita’s Adriana Haylock. Each model made her way down the run way in her stylish outfits, rocking the runway in a fancy manner. The audience enthusiastically applauded each girl as she braved the spotlight. During change breaks, fire dancer lit the night with intricate tricks and turns of spinning flames, much to the delight of those in attendance.

Eric Castellanos of C-Net+ enlightens SPRCS Students on HIV/AIDS.
Eric Castellanos, President of C-Net+ was in San Pedro on March 6th to share HIV information with the children of the San Pedro RC School. The visit was made possible through the efforts of Mr. Felix Ayuso and the San Pedro AIDS Commission. C-Net+; the Collaborative Network of Persons living with HIV was established in Belize over a year ago, under the umbrella of RedCa – the Regional Network of Persons Living with HIV. The presentation came after Standard Six teacher, Mr. Lozano contacted the San Pedro AIDS Commission to do a presentation for the students. President Ayuso felt that Castellanos would be the ideal person to do this, as he himself, has been living with HIV for over 15 years. Castellano’s presentation was a very basic one similar to HIV 101. Using a slide presentation and video, Castellanos taught the children the differences between HIV and AIDS. He touched on symptoms, ways of transmission, prevention as well as sensitized the children on the importance of reducing stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV.

Ambergris Today

Belize Road Safety Project to Minimize Accidents
The Government of Belize had received US$7,248,000 in loan financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) towards the cost of the Belize Road Safety Project. This project is timely since, according to data available from the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety (2009), Belize recorded 68 road deaths in 2006, equivalent to approximately 31.1 traffic deaths per 100,00 inhabitants – the highest fatality rate amongst the Bank’s member countries. An analysis of the data also showed that between 2004 and 2006, 70% of all collisions occurred in the Belize District, followed by the Orange Walk District with approximately 14%. Furthermore, statistics from the Ministry of Health’s National Health Information Surveillance Unit identified road traffice injuries as the fourth leading cause of death in the country, regardeless of age and sex.

Twilight Actor Peter Facinelli Vacationing in Belize
I Travel Belize and so does Twilight movie start Peter Facinelli who has been Tweeting about his vacation in southern Belize. His first Tweet after he arrived yesterday, March 12, 2013, said, “On vacation in Belize. This place is Un-belizeable.” Twilight fans all over the world, especially in Belize, will be happy to know that ‘Dr. Carlisle’ (his character in Twilight) is in love with the country and is having a great time, according to his tweets. Peter Facinelli is tweeting from the luxurious Francis Ford Coppola's Turtle Inn in the Placencia Village. Here are a couple of his Tweets about Belize.

Beaten Black Howler Monkey Succumbs to Injuries
The Forest Department continues to investigate the case of the Black Howler Monkey that was captured at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District. According to reports the monkey was badly beaten by a group of high school boys. The black howler monkey was allegedly captured and savagely beaten by four students of a school in southern Orange Walk. Even worse than that, reports suggested that a teacher instructed the students to stone the monkey and beat it with sticks since it had defecated on him while he was taking a nap in the bushes. The boys had been shooting the monkey with sling shots, beating the monkey with tree limbs and then tied the monkey’s hands and feet so that it couldn’t run away. The howler monkey which was seized by the Forest Department on March 6, 2013, was transferred to a rehabilitation facility where it received medical treatment. One of its eyes was severely damaged; it had a broken tooth and a busted lip, but fortunately no broken bones. The monkey had severe head trauma and had been experiencing seizures and had to be spoon-fed as it could not nourish itself. However, it died on Friday, March 8, 2013, from his injuries.

Enjoy La Voile Rouge in San Pedro Belize
One of the things that reels you in to La Voile Rouge is its location - bright white sandy beach, fresh Caribbean breeze and a view that forces you to kick back and relax. With large lounge areas for big parties for family or friends, it is easy to accommodate everyone in one area. If you like something more private there are smaller tables for two to four people. The beach restaurant is located just a five-minute walk from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize, at one of the island’s chic boutique hotels between the luxurious Sands Villas and Belize Yacht Club. It is one of the newest hotspots on the island where you can take advantage of the excellent location and enjoy delicious food or hang out by the bar sipping on tropical cocktails or cheering over a bucket of ice cold beers.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Road Widening Campaign 2013 (10 photos)
Road Widening Campaign from Costa Maya Reef Resort in the Mexico Rocks Sub-Division to the South End of Ambergris Caye in the Boca Ciega Area.

Green Iguanas at Cayo Family Day
The San Ignacio Resort Hotel brought out some of the iguanas from the Green Iguana Conservation Project to the Cayo Family Day at the newly inaugurated Cayo Welcome Center. "Educating everyone about the importance of Iguana Conservation."

March 3, 2013 - March 9, 2013 Fishing Report
Harold showed up with Adam’s group determined to up his game. He practiced a few things out on the casting platform, reviewed and replayed fish shots….and all that focus lead him right to his first Grand Slam with Captain Sinoe. It was really something to witness. We all talk about “intention” – this was live! Captain Emir scored because Adam left three beautiful fly boxes with him – tons of gorgeous flies! Thanks Adam for bringing a great group and the fun day permit fishing with Emir. I learn something each day I get out on the water. Everyone was really fabulous this week, but I want to put a special “thank you” out there to Bill and Bruce. These guys smiled all week and taught us to say when someone asks about the day…..”The very best.” “The very best “ to all of you for a great week.

Channel 7

Superbond 2.0 Gets Ready To Close Offering
The success story of the Superbond 2.0 has been told forwards and backwards - for the Government, it has been like an unending ecstasy. Since late December, two press conferences, and a house meeting to tribute the success of the new bond have been held. And today the Prime Minister convened what promises to be the last press conference on the Superbond - as it has been 100% subscribed, and the bond offering will close either Friday or Monday. So, today's press conference was like a long last farewell, in which the Prime Minister had to restrain himself from gushing: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Some, ladies and gentlemen, 494 million Belize dollars less in debt servicing over the next 10 years, we thinks that's historic on any reconing, and the fact that we have; with this relief, been able to avoid any kind of tax heights. The gross that relief attained in 2012, 2013 and the coming 5 and 10 year periods, you will see in 2012 it's 22 million, 2013 - 66, 2013 to 2017 - 236, 2013 to 2022 - 494. There is a possibility that, with a little bit of luck and the kind of growth last year that we saw being replicated by and large, we can actually see Belize's debt to GDP ratio full to perhaps 60% by 2017. That, of course is debt, heaven, but the fact that this kind of nirvana is even within Belize's reach, I believe is testament to how successful - precisely how successful the debt restructuring team has been. Remember that we didn't pay the coupon payment that had become due in august. We didn't pay the coupon payment that would have become due in February, and so that, all together, these are rolled up into the new bond and we thereby saved 76.4 million dollars by way of these cash payments for gone. There's a point to be made; I think our financing gap this year FS is what; 84 million. If we had not succeeded, you would have had to add that 76.4 million to the 84 million, and of course that would have meant that we would no doubt have gone over the fiscal cliff."

PM Says He's Ready To Leave Belize Bar Association
And while we had him today, we also asked the Prime Minister about he move to up-end the monopoly that the Bar Association has on legal practitioners. He's a senior consel and a long stand member of the Bar, but while conceding that he has not yet reviewed the legislation, he agrees that the mandatory membership law has to go: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I think that is as it should be. We've seen that in so many other professional organizations, it's been held unconstitutionally. There can be no exclusivity. So, I don't see any problem with that at all. The Bar can continue. If some lawyers don't want to belong to the bar and start a law society, or start another bar, I can't see that there is a difficulty. I support that." Jules Vasquez "Would you remain a member of the bar?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "It would depend. If there - when I go back into practice - God willing - if there is a sensible move to start another association, and that move would come with plans that might suggest that there could be measureable improvement over the performance of the Bar Association, I would look at it. I would keep an opened mind."

PM Says Bill Lindo Made A Killing On Coast Guard Property
The press also asked the Prime Minister about a land controversy that erupted in the Placencia area. The issue is that Government sold 15 acres inside the Placencia Lagoon to Dominique Gomez, the girlfriend of Gaspar Vega's Vega's son, and other acreages to UDP insiders connected to Vega - all this just days before last year's general election. Today the Prime Minister said that Cabinet has directed the return of the lands to the Government of Belize: Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The Minister of Lands was instructed to in fact reverse the transactions even if it required compulsory acquisition because I think at that point, title had already been awarded. I have been informed that in fact, those reversals have taken place." Jules Vasquez "And those people have been compensated?" Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The compensation has not yet been worked out." Jules Vasquez "Will they be compensated at market value or purchase price?"

Family Of Slain Robbers Say Cops Used Lethal Force Excessively
Yesterday, police killed a pair of robbers aged 18 and 22 in San Ignacio - one of them armed with a sawed off shotgun. Many are calling it a victory for law enforcement and community safety. As cold as it may sound, we can see where that argument can be made, because police say the men fired on them - and once that happens, all bets are off. But tonight, the family is saying they didn't have to kill them. That's what's called proportionality, that the use of force has to be proportional to the threat. Was it or wasn't it? Someday, a court will have to make a decision on that, but before that happens the family made an appeal to the court of public opinion. Monica Bodden has the story from San Ignacio: The broad daylight armed robbery happened here at Rose's Restaurant and Store on Benque Viejo Road. 30 year old store owner - Ming Feng Chen, was inside the store yesterday afternoon at around 12:45, when 22 year old Rony Garcia and 18 year old Jose Garcia entered the establishment - one of them had a blue rag over his face and the other had a black stocking over his face and armed with a sawed off shot gun.

Salvadorian Man Critical After Accident
Tonight, 45 year old year old Salvadorian German Ubaldo Vasquez is at the KHMH in a critical condition after he was knocked down over the weekend. Police have not provided any details, but we know that he was knocked down in the Stann Creek District as he rode a motorcycle on Sunday. Presently he has been placed into an induced coma and doctors say he is showing signs of recovery. Vasquez is visiting to Belize to purchase a vehicle.

Ronald Rivers Kept Alive By Machine
And while he is improving, Ronald Rivers has only gotten worse. 7news has confirmed with his family that the 28 year old shooting victim is only being kept alive by a machine after his kidneys shut down and he suffered a massive heart attack. His brother Raymond tells us that his brain has continued to swell and now it's just a matter of when they decide to take him off the machine. The family is still having a fund raising bar-b-que to defray what they now expect will be his funeral expenses. That event, though has been moved to Friday on Antelope street.

The Mauling Of A Monkey
A foursome of high school aged schoolboys and their teacher face a penalty of one thousand dollars or six months in prison for the illegal hunting of howler monkey - which is a protected species in Belize. As we understand it, the Forestry Department is trying to put together the charges and expect to file those before the end of the week. And while public opinion may be split - because after all boys will be boys - the video we've seen fo the assault on the monkey is truly appalling. This was capture don someone's cell phone as the young men tied up the monkey after they had already felled it with slingshots and dragged it into the compound. It shows them terrorizing the already brutalized animal with impunity. We note that the law states that hunting means quote, "to kill, take or molest by any method and includes attempting to kill, take or molest by any method any species of wildlife."

Territorial Volunteers Will go Back To Border
Wil Maheia and his territorial volunteers are going back to the southern border. Today the volunteers met in Belize City and it was agreed that the effort to clear the border would be divided in three, with overall leader Wil Maheia assuming the area between Otoxha village and Gracias a Dios Falls on the Sarstoon River, Belize Coalition for Justice President Nancy Marin is in charge of the area between Garbutt's Falls in Cayo and Otoxha, and north to the marker at Aguas Turbias will be cleared by a group led by Orange Walk's Orlando de la Fuente. This is also fraught with complications, because there is a widely acknowledged error on the map between Garbutt's Falls and the Southern Border. A date has also been set for the border clearing effort, that is April 6 - 7 at Otoxha. As the groups clear the boundary line they will be planting mahogany seedlings along the border.

Belizean Busted In Guate With Major Weed find
Guatemalan authorities have caught a Belizean with a major cache of weed. According to newspaper reports from that country, 41 year old Antony Patrick Westby, was arrested driving a vehicle with marijuana in the Petén region near San Pedro Cadenas village. The Toyota pickup had Guatemalan plates and police found 12 packages with a whopping 280 pounds of marijuana. The PNC investigates the origin and destination that had the drug seized, while Westby was made available Played on duty in the town. Authorities there say they have not determined whether he was heading to or from Belize and where the weed came from. It is widely known that a fair portion of Belize's marijuana supply comes out of Guatemala.

Police Women, Eyes On the Prize
Friday was international women's day and March is being observed as women's month. And today the police department took time out to honour its female personnel. 250 Officers, civilian staff and special constables attended an all day event at the Princess, where the "W's" got some motivational speeches, a nice lunch, and after that, a chance to kick back poolside. And while that's all fine and good, the other side of that story is that 50 years after the police department took in its first female recruit, there are only 13 females above the rank of sergeant, and in many cases police women are relegated to clerical duties and rarely see the frontline. But, today, the talk was all about changing that - and pushing for, what else? - the COMPOL's job: Yolanda Murry - First Woman Officer "Well, it is really to get our women together. This has been occurring for the past 10 years - basically 10 years by Mrs. Leslie, Mrs. Leslie and me. We originally started this 1-year seminar with women because we are scattered all over the country, and at least, we want to have 1 day of the year that we can come together as women, and we can bring matters to the forefront that we believe that we need to be addressed, and also to hear from them, not just to address them; but to hear from them and for us to fellowship with one another as women officers, working in this really male dominated field. We want to get females out more from around the desk, and even the commissioner; in his address, is seeking to do that. We can put civilians in many of the post where the women are now working. So that is our main issue today, to have our women more in the forefront so that we can encourage more educated females to join the police department also."

24 Year Old Accused of Stabbing Pair of 15 Year Old's
Tonight, 24-year-old Karl Reneau, an Electrician of #30 Iguana Street, is spending his second night in prison after he was taken to court for stabbing a man and two 15 year-old male minors over the weekend. One the young men reported that on Saturday, March 9, he was accompanied by another 15 year-old and 25 year-old Deon Tillett, and they were walking down Antelope Street Extension heading toward his house. He said that a man approached him from behind and stabbed him in the neck. And according to the next 15 year-old and Tillett, They tried to come to the aid of the young man who was stabbed in the neck, and that's when this same man inflicted injuries to them. The assailant escaped, and fortunately, all 3 males were able to get to the KHMH where they received treatment for their injuries. Police arrested and charged Reneau with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm, 2 counts of aggravated assault, and wounding. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith yesterday, and due to the nature of the offences, he was denied bail and remanded to prison until April 30, 2013, his next court date.

Appeals Court Hearing High Profile Criminal Cases
Yesterday, the first session of the Appeal Court opened, and as of today, they've already heard 1 criminal appeal completion. Viewers may remember 23 year-old Nelson Gibson, the man who was convicted of murdering 22 year-old Cotton Tree store-keeper Mirna Sanabria, as she held her 7 month-old baby. Well, his appeal was heard to completion in which his attorney, Simeon Sampson presented 3 grounds on which he wishes to convince the court to allow the appeal. Today, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-lynn Vidal was able to fully respond to those grounds of appeal, and the panel of judges has reserved judgment until a later date. Tomorrow, the Appeal Court plans to hear the appeals from police officer Marlon Harris, who was convicted of extortion, and Leroy Gomez, who was convicted of rape, who then successfully appealed his conviction, and was convicted of that charge for a second time.

Central American Rosewood Gets CITES Classification
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species known as CITES is being held in Bangkok, Thailand. And while you might wonder what that has to do with Belize - a news item from that event does spike some local interest. It says that numerous species of rosewood and ebony from Madagascar, Latin America, and Southeast Asia were granted protection earlier this week at the meeting. It says the new protections will cover Siam rosewood, Brazilian rosewood, and other rosewood species native to Central America. It's unclear at this time whether than includes Belize - but if it does, it's significant. That's because a CITES listing imposes very specific restrictions on trade in any restricted item. Rosewood - or any timber - exported from a country with a CITES requirement - will have to be accompanied by extensive documentation from authorities certifying that the timber was sustainably harvested. This would make the kind of haphazard trade that has been happening in Belize impossible. Specifically, it would make it more difficult for traders and illegal loggers to smuggle ROSEWOOD to China.

New Pope Is Argentinean Cardinal
Tonight, the catholic faith has its first Jesuit Pope. He is Argentinian Cardinal, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and he will be called Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. The announcement came early this afternoon - which is evening in Rome - when a puff of white smoke streamed form the chimney of the Sistine Chapel to the cheers Plaza. 76 year old Pope Francis is the first South American to lead the church and the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years.

Gold Cup Draw Announced: Bz Faces Tough Competition
Today, CONCACAF finally announced the draw for its 2013 Gold Cup to be held in US in July. And Team Belize will have some very tough match-ups because they have been place in Group C. This means that they must go up against USA, Cuba and Costa Rica. Viewers may remember that Belize came in 4th in the 2013 Copa Centroamericana; Costa Rica won that tournament, and defeated the Belize Selection as well. Team Belize is currently trying to get past the setback of the departure of Coach Leroy Sherrier, and according to an Executive Member of the FFB, they're trying to build confidence in the players. To deal with the tough set of games in the Gold Cup, he says that Team Belize will be playing a series of friendly matches, starting with the first against Trinidad and Tobago: Marlon Kuylen - Executive Member, Football Federation of Belize "Well firstly, the Trinidad & Tobago football selection will be coming to play against us either on the 22nd or 23rd of March - for a friendly match. We were selected to go there, but because they have a match against Peru on the 26th, they thought it best that they could come here first and then we do the second leg in Trinidad."

Nazarene High Reigns In Softball Regionals
Over last weekend, the male and female Softball teams for the Nazarene High school participated in the Regional competition weekend and made a landmark performance. It is important for the school because it is the first time they've won in both the male and the female category. In the final game, the male team went up against Saint John's College, and managed to defeat them by the mercy rule, which simply means that the officials stopped the match before its end because Nazarene was so far ahead, that they couldn't possibly catch up. The Nazarene females also defeated Edward P. Yorke by that same mercy rule. Experts in the game attribute the win to the excellent performance of the male and female pitchers, and by a big homerun play by the male team. 7News caught up with both female and male teams, and found a proud principal. Here's what they told us: Jerome Carr - Pitcher, Nazarene Softball Team "It was challenging; especially with ACC but when we reached John's, they said that they were going to beat us. We didn't say much; we just show them off on the field."

New Style Sailing Like In The Old Days
And as we told you, the Belize Sailing Association held its annual Baron Bliss Regatta on Sunday. The conditions at sea for sailing were tough, but clubs around the country still sent representatives to participate. The Secretary of the Association told us today about how the event went: Alan Usher - Secretary, Belize Sailing Association "Indeed this regatta was the 85th Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta. This year he had 22 optimist sail boats with from 3 clubs, basically the Belize City Club area, the Corozal Bay Sailing Club and the Placencia Sailing Club, who all came out with their boats and their sailors. Of the 22 boats, they dwindle down to about 7, and I used the word dwindle because the wind was very strong, even for the older people. Of the 22 only 11 decided to actually sail in the race and those 11 sailed 4 races. We're all very proud and we have some very dedicated children sailing from 5 clubs in the country, some as early as 8 - as young as 8 that are competent sailors."

Down With The King?
A few weeks ago we told you about the national trials to find Belize's best young Ballers to send to the King James Camp in Ohio. Well, Regional Tryouts were held on Sunday. It featured 30 High School players from Belize City, Orange Walk, Corozal and San Pedro. On Saturday tryouts were held in Dangriga for the the Toledo, Stann Creek and Cayo Districts. From these scores of players, a final roster will be announced shortly. One direct product of the King James Project is Kachief Thomas. His junior college team, Iowa Western Men's Basketball Team has won the district championship and made it to the NCJAA Division 1 National Tournament - which is for junior colleges. Only 24 teams will be in the single elimination tournament. A write-up from his school notes that he is the shortest player on his team's roster, but is also averaging a 3.3 GPA.

Festival Of The Arts
And as we close tonight, we do so with the Festival of the Arts. It's the pre-school Festival and it started yesterday at the Bliss Center. As is our annual tradition, we air highlites of the highly huggable and very entertaining performers. We leave you with that, goodnight.

Channel 5

Belize Bond 2038; the newly minted superbond
The much condemned and now newly minted super-bond is now the Belize Bond 2038, a done deal with a majority of bondholders signing on and the balance will follow suit under a collective action clause. The numbers have been thrown about since last week, but today Prime Minister Dean Barrow was all smiles as he [...]

Ambassador Mark Espat to deal with government’s debt management
At his press conference of the Belize Bond 2038, the PM said the terms of the restructuring of the five hundred and thirty million US dollars bond is cause for celebration and jubilation. But it also calls for glaring scrutiny of the prudent fiscal management in maintaining the sustainability of the national debt. To this [...]

Barrow supports AG’s proposed amendment to change legal profession act
Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington is taking on the Bar Association again, and this time he wants to push legislation which will remove compulsory membership of attorneys in that association. The move is seen in many circles as a way to formalize the deep divisions within the Bar and government’s way of resisting opposition through legislation. Today [...]

Placencia land titles given to DPM cronies revoked, but they will be compensated at market value
In February it made the news when it came to light that just six days before the general elections, four prime parcels of land on the Placencia Peninsula were sold to friends and relatives of the Minister of Natural Resources, at rock bottom prices. There was an outcry from environmentalists and residents of Placencia since [...]

San Ignacio family says police used excessive force in the killing of two robbers
Two San Ignacio residents were killed by the police on Tuesday afternoon. The duo, twenty-two year old Rony Garcia and eighteen year old Jose Garcia, had robbed a store and were pursued by the police when they were fatally shot. The robbery of three hundred plus dollars and various packs of cigarettes cost them their [...]

The staggering government wage bill
The budget debate for the 2013-2014 financial year which begins April first, takes place next week in the House of Representatives. When the proceedings get underway, the opposition will be presenting its official position to the estimates that were introduced to the House on March first.  But before that happens, we have been looking at [...]

Barrow says cost of the restructuring astronomical
Earlier in the newscast we told you about the Prime Minister’s celebration over the Belize Bond 2038.  But at the press conference, the media raised the matter of the cost of the restructuring, including legal fees, payment to advisors and payments to the renegotiating team. Prime Minister Dean Barrow did not come up with an [...]

Espat compares challenges of superbond: past and present
Still on the restructuring, Ambassador Mark Espat is the head of the team which worked on the debt restructuring with bondholders that resulted in the Belize Bond 2038. Espat was also an integral part of the team which, under the previous administration in 2007 negotiated what has been dubbed the super-bond. Today, he compared the [...]

Court of Appeal opened; 2 murder cases heard
  The Court of Appeal opened on Tuesday, presiding is President, Justice, Manuel Sosa. Two cases were heard on the first day of this session. Twenty-three year old Nelson Gibson, who was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, appeared before the court; his case was heard expeditiously and a ruling has been set [...]

Mother and stepfather charged in disturbing carnal knowledge case
In a most disturbing story tonight, the stepfather and mother of an eight year old girl have been detained by police for the crimes of Carnal Knowledge and Abetment. On Monday, the minor along with her aunt, visited the Belize City police station and reported the alleged heinous crimes.  The minor complained to her aunt [...]

Minister’s son charged for marijuana possession
The son of a minister was spared jail time today after he was criminally charged before the Courts. Around two-thirty this afternoon, a son of Minister Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro was escorted in cuffs to the Belize City Family Court and was read a single charge of Possession of a Control Drugs. The minor [...]

Belize Jaguars to take on powerhouses in its first appearance in CONCACAF Gold Cup
After a rather impressive outing in the recently held Copa Centroamericana at Costa Rica, the Belize Jaguars will be making its first appearance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup which is held every two years.  While our national team proudly takes its stand with the best teams from our region, Belize finds itself grouped with the [...]

New Pope elected: Jesuit Archbishop, Jorge Mario Bergoglio now Pope Francis
History was made today at the Vatican and in Latin America.  The former Archbishop of Buenos Aires,   Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the new pope of one point two billion Roman Catholics, including more than forty percent who are from Latin America. The new pope took the name Francis and he is seventy-six years [...]


Police Commanding Officers Receive Award
Minister of National Security, John Saldivar presented certificates of award to officers commanding the Intermediate Southern Formation and Toledo Formation for their performance during the month of February in reducing major crimes within their respective jurisdictions. Comparat...

Police Kills Robbers In San Ignacio
Two men are dead after they reportedly robbed a store in San Ignacio yesterday afternoon. Reports are that sometime after one o’clock yesterday afternoon the two men who wore masks and were armed, held up Roses Store on the Benque Road. The men made off with an undisc...

Teenager Walks on Attempted Murder Charge; Case File Unavailable
Nineteen year old Ibrahim Smith, charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident, was freed of that charge and two other charges when they were dismissed today by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith because the case file was not available. The other charges wer...

Attempted Murder Charge Levied Against Local Man Following The Brutal Beating of A Mechanic
Twenty-five year old Joseph Almendarez, who allegedly beat a man in his head with a cement block and a stone until he became unconscious, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Almendarez was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. ...


Video Shows Students Tying Up Howler Monkey
The case of animal cruelty against a male black Howler monkey has attracted much attention throughout the country. The adult howler monkey died last week Friday while receiving treatment at the Wildtracks rehabilitation facility in Sarteneja. The monkey was left in a terrible state after it was brutally beaten allegedly by four students of the Belize High School of Agriculture under the instructions of a male teacher of the same school. Last night we showed you photographs that were sent to the media showing three students aggressively tying up the monkey. Tonight, an actual video of the action carried out, was sent to us via email by an anonymous sender. The video shows three students holding the monkey down while a fourth student places a thin rope around the animal’s neck and binds his hands. As you can see, the monkey is not fighting back. As one of the students grabs the animal from both his legs and tail, another firmly grips his throat. The video is just over a minute long and in reality, it is cause for concern since the act of capturing an endangered wildlife is illegal. Yesterday the Forest Department, through a press release, stated their intentions to fully investigate the matter and prosecute those found responsible. News tonight is that the investigation is in its final stage and the department is preparing the necessary paper work to file criminal charges, allegedly, against four students of BHSA and one teacher who have been identified by the department. If the accused are found guilty of animal cruelty against an endangered species, the law dictates that they can pay a fine of no less than one thousand dollars or face six months in prison.

Trail Farm Government School Gets Visited By Special Helpers
After three months of waiting, yesterday the student body of Trail Farm Government School welcomed more than 22 volunteers from the 2nd Baptist Church in Houston Texas to Orange Walk. The group arrived in Belize on Sunday and immediately work began at the school. Luis Grimaldo, 2nd Baptist Church “We have two different groups really and every year we come to Belize and they always hand select a few of the kids to come and we always find the projects and stuff to do in the area and whatever we can help with.” Madelyn Peterson, 2nd Baptist Church “And this year we are painting the mural and we are painting some of the doors here and we are also writing some of the scriptures and kind of making the schools look a place for children to have fun and be a happy place. And then, when the children come out we get to play with them and kind of love on them, just like we really want to.”

Belize At CONCAF
The 2014 World Cup kicks off in Brazil next year when the 32 best teams in the world will compete for the sport's most coveted title. Will Belize be there? Well, years ago Belize would not have been part of such global covetousness. But time has passed and Belize has risen to new heights when it comes to football. As you can recall, the Belize National Football Team gave a stellar performance in the Estadio Nacional de San Jose, Costa Rica, on Tuesday January 22nd, when the played against the Nicaraguan National Football Team at the Central American Cup UNCAF. In a stunning, last minute fashion, Belize’s Jaguars took an impressive victory of 2-1 in its third game at the Central American Cup, capturing the attention of the football world and guaranteeing their participation at the CONCAF games. The Confederation of North Central America and the Caribbean, CONCAF, announced today the 2013 CONCAF Gold Cup groups and schedule. There are three groups headed by Mexico, Honduras and the United States respectively. Belize forms part of Group C together with Costa Rica, Cuba and the United States. Belize’s first game is set for July 9th at the JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Oregon against the United States. On July 13th the National Team will go up against Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. Then on July 16th the team will play against Cuba at the Rentschler Field located in Hartford, Connecticut.

Leader Of Opposition Says Guatemala Is Out Of Order
On March 8th 2013 Belize was taken by surprise when Guatemala’s Vice Minister of Education Evelyn Amado de Segura, wrote to directors of the Ministry of Education in that city instructing them that a map of Guatemala, which includes Belize as part of its territory, be circulated at all schools. In the letter sent to the directors, the Vice Minster of Education states that it is right that the territory of Belize is included in the map of the Republic of Guatemala, divided by a dotted line and a phrase: territorial dispute, insular and maritime unresolved. In her letter, Amado De Segura also states that they view with concern the fact that some media, print and television are using only a partial map of Guatemala. Belize's Ambassador to Guatemala Fred Martinez has called the move a retrogressive step and totally out of order while Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington, has stated on the record, that the move is only one ploy on the part of those who don’t want to seek peace between Belize and Guatemala. As for the Leader of the Opposition, he believes that Guatemala’s latest infringement is for one, disturbing and uncalled for.

Happy Rotaract Week
The first ever Rotaract Club in the world was formed back in 1968 in North Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. Six years after, in 1974 to be exact, the Orange Walk Rotaract Club was formed and since then, the charitable group has been working arduously to assist the community. This week Rotaractors from across the globe are celebrating World Rotaract Week with today being celebrated as World Rotaract Day. This morning we spoke to President of Rotaract Orange Walk, Nadia Urbina, who told us how the group is celebrating the week. Nadia Urbina, President Rotaract OW “To start of this very eventful week we have a number of activities plan and we started off by doing a fun literacy day at Saint Peter’s School. It was the first time we ever did this activity and it was very successful and we got very good compliment from the parents that were involved. In this activity we had especially, special needs kids involve. It was an activity- a fun literacy activity just for the special needs.”

New Pope: Francis 1st Of Argentina
On February 11th, the then Pope, Benedict the 16th, surprised the world when he announced that effective February 28th he would no longer be the leader of the 1.2 billion Catholics around world. Thirteen days after Benedicts last day as pope, a new pope was chosen in Rome today. Cardinal Jorge Ber-go-glio becomes the first Latin American and Jesuit to lead the Catholic Church taking the name of Pope Francis the first. The new Pope was elected on the second day of conclave in the Vatican City after receiving the required two-thirds majority, or at least 77 votes of the 115 cardinal electors from 48 countries. Pope Francis the First appeared on the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica just over an hour after white smoke poured from a chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel to signal the election of a new pope. Here is Cardinal Jorge Ber-go-glio’s first appearance as pope. The 76-year-old Pope is from Buenos Aires, Argentina and is the first Jesuit and the first non-European pontiff to be elected in nearly 1,300 years. Pope Francis the First is known for his concern for the poor and is expected to bring a radical change of style to the Churches leadership. This is indicated by his choice of name, St Francis of Assisi, who died in 1226 after living a life of poverty and simplicity. Pope Francis becomes the 266th pope to be elected.

Guinea Grass Health Committee Holds Heath Fair
Accidents are regrettable events that take place when one least expects it. The best way to deal with an accident is to be prepared and the best way to be prepared is by knowing first aid. While many may not realize the importance of taking a first aid course, it is highly recommend since it can safe lives. In sight of the huge positive impact that First Aid Training can have during an accident, the Guinea Grass Health Committee, formed in April of last year, in conjunction with the owner of Med Express in the U.S, organized a First Aid Training for residents of the Guinea Grass community. The training took place for one week and over the weekend participants put their new skills to use during a health fair held at the village’s Football Field. Mark Majors, Owner Med Express “We decided about, not only the health fair but also those in the communities who wanted to learn the skills of taking care of each other. So in accidents, medical emergencies, accidents around the home- there is a group of care givers, 33 students, who after a full week of training have the knowledge and skills to really make a difference in people’s life. There is no doubt about their enthusiasm and motivation. They are really, really excited about helping the community out now that they have the skills to do it. Many of the people that you see in the community are students from the class using the skills that they learnt this week.”


Prime Minister speaks about renegotiated superbond payments
We reported yesterday that the Government of Belize through the Central Bank has announced that all bondholders of the 2029 package of US dollar bonds negotiated for debt relief, whether voluntarily or otherwise, have now subscribed to the re-negotiated bond which lasts through 2038. At a press conference held...

Police Officers awarded for Crime Reduction Efforts
The Ministry of National Security today awarded officers for their performance in reducing major crimes during the month of February. The awards went to the Intermediate Southern Formation and the Toledo Formation which both saw a 50% increase in major crimes when compared with last month’s figures. The awards...

More details emerge on fatal shooting of robbers
In last night’s newscast, we told you about a robbery that took a deadly turn for two robbers. The men – 21 year old Roni Garcia and his brother, 18 year old Jose Garcia, were shot and killed yesterday afternoon, during a shoot-out with police. This is after the...


Walking North Ambergris Caye from Costa Maya to Grand Caribe, Part Two
In Part One, I told you about a failed attempt at a sea turtle rescue and only about 15 minutes of my 3 hour walk down the coast. I made it down to Portofino Resort (about 6 miles up the coast). Time to keep trekking. And it was really a gorgeous day for a walk. Warm but not too warm…breezy but not too breezy. I could not have picked one better. I passed Casa Layla…more of a pile of dirt right now. Is Layla the dog in the picture? I passed La Perla and then Xaman ‘Ek/Jambal Jerk Pit Restaurant. I planned on stopping there for a drink…I’ve been very curious about this establishment for some time…but it was closed. Next up is Mata Chica Resort…very cute individual pastel cottages with a beautiful beach. They also have a restaurant there, Mambo, that I have been meaning to try. Has anyone been?

Fry Jack in One Minute
I show in one minute, how to make Fry Jacks

Medical / Dental Tourism
"Mother Nature’s best kept secret” has been the touristic logo for Belize for a while. Well now the secret has been revealed. BELIZE is now known for its naturally beautiful and welcoming environment. People from the rest of the world are making Belize their destination for fun, relaxation and just plain “living your life”.

“What’s Going On”
First things first. No edition on Wednesday so apologies for its absence. I had been slightly off colour for the last few days. Dry, then cracked, lips. Runny nose (sorry for the vivid description). Temperature going up. Tuesday afternoon it really started to take a hold. Aching limbs. Hot then cold.I felt really quite rough. This was shortly after I had gone for a US$ 15.50 ‘cut and shampoo’ at a local Walmart. For a while I wondered if I was suffering from the Samson effect but no, ths was the real thing not an attack of Man Flu. So early to bed for me. No hitting Sixth Street. A really good night’s sleep allowed me to ‘sweat it out’ and I woke up feeling so much better and ready for the short drive (around 80 miles) to San Antonio. On arrival I took a couple of the tablets (flu and cold relief) that Rose insisted I take and had a couple of hours sleep (had I been able to get the Bayern Munich v Arsenal game on TV I would have watched that) and woke up feeling so much better and ready for a visit to San Antonio’s Riverwalk District. We caught the bus (masquerading as a trolley bus) for US$ 1.20 each to the County Court House and then walked a very short distance to the Riverwalk.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Pineepple Casserole

International Sources

The Phenomenal Story of Nikola Tesla
I was doing a bunch of research on Nikola Tesla for some projects going on and came across this wicked image set that sums up Tesla's story and the challenges that took place with Thomas Edison. Th...

Remembering Aldo Leopold, Visionary Conservationist And Writer : NPR
Leopold's A Sand County Almanac was published in 1949. Decades after his death, his work is at the cutting edge of his field — and his words inspire a new generation of environmentalists.

20 Things Every Smart Traveler Should Know
While not specifically about Belize, still good advice should you be traveling here...

Rio Frio Cave in Western Belize - A Worthwhile Stop
The Rio Frio Cave, located in the jungle of western Belize, is a beautiful and worthwhile stop along the road to the Mayan ruins of Caracol. Unusually for a cave, there is plenty of light thanks to the size of the cave's entrance. The quarter of a mile long trek is worth it to see the huge stalactites dangling and the shallow river that runs through it.

U.S. drawn with Belize, Costa Rica and Cuba in Gold Cup
The United States men's national team was drawn into Group C for the 2013 Gold Cup on Wednesday, along with Belize, Costa Rica and Cuba. The Americans will open the competition on July 9 at JELD-WEN Field against Belize, which is competing in the Gold Cup for the first time. Up next is a clash with Cuba on July 13 in Utah before closing out the group stage in Connecticut on July 16 against Costa Rica, which figures to offer the toughest test of the opening round. The quarterfinals will take place July 20-21, while Cowboys Stadium will host the two semifinals on July 24 prior to the Gold Cup final on July 28 at Chicago's Soldier Field. Read more here:

Names picked for zoo's baby jaguar
Meet B'alam and Zean, the newly named baby jaguars at Milwaukee County Zoo. One of the names for the 4-month-old cubs was chosen from over 1,300 entries in a public contest, and the other was chosen by schoolchildren in Belize. The name B'alam, the Mayan word for jaguar meaning "great and powerful king," won the public contest, while the students in Belize chose the name Zean, the last few letters of "Belizean." The Belizean schoolchildren previously co-authored a book with Milwaukee-area students called "Pat the Great Cat, A Jaguar's Journey," that tells the life story of the cubs' father. Pat is a wild-born jaguar from Belize. The new zoo residents were born Nov. 13, the first litter for parents Stella and Pat and the only jaguars born at the zoo since 1975. Visitors can see the baby jaguars from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Gold Cup groups and schedule announced
Caribbean champions, Cuba, will play Costa Rica on July 9 at the JELD-WEN Field in Portland, Oregon in their opening match of the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2013. Cuba has been drawn in Group C which also includes Belize and the United States, said CONCACAF, in announcing the groups and schedule of the prestigious event on Wednesday. The Cubans, who celebrated their first Caribbean Cup title with a 1-0 victory over Trinidad and Tobago in December, will also play the United States on July 13 at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Salt Lake City and Belize on July 16 at Rentschler Field Connecticut in remaining preliminary round games. Trinidad and Tobago have been drawn in Group B and will commence their campaign with a match against El Salvador on July 8 at the Red Bull Arena. The former Caribbean champions will also play Haiti on July 12 at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami, and Honduras on July 15 at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Pro photographer smartphone shoot-out
The built-in cameras on smartphones are getting better and better with each new phone release. Some phones' camera lenses and features are so good that they rival basic point-and-shoots, prompting users to ditch their stand-alone cameras. Paired with photo-editing apps and the ability to instantly share our work, phone cameras are often easier to use, even if that means sacrificing some of the manual settings that come with regular cameras. But what about for professional purposes? For this story, we equipped three professional photographers with three smartphones that are the camera leaders for their respective mobile operating systems: the iPhone 5 on iOS, the Nokia Lumia 920 on Windows Phone 8, and the HTC EVO 4G LTE on Android. These pro photographers took their phones on shoots, and swapped out their full DSLR setups to snap a few styled shots with these smartphones, often making use of the apps that nonprofessionals use every day.

March 13, 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

Government of Belize Caribbean Development Bank Project launch road safety project
The Government of Belize has received US$7,248,000 in loan financing from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) towards the cost of the Belize Road Safety Project. This project is timely since, according to data available from the World Health Organization’s Global Status Report on Road Safety (2009), Belize recorded 68 road deaths in 2006, equivalent to approximately 31.1 traffic deaths per 100,000 inhabitants - the highest fatality rate amongst the Bank’s member countries. An analysis of the data also showed that between 2004 and 2006, 70% of all collisions occurred in the Belize District, followed by the Orange Walk District with approximately 14%. Furthermore, statistics from the Ministry of Health’s National Health Information Surveillance Unit identified road traffic injuries as the fourth leading cause of death in the country, regardless of age and sex. This project is the first phase of what is expected to be a long-term initiative of the Government to improve road safety in Belize and aims to reduce the incidence of death and serious injuries associated with road traffic accidents through: (1) safety improvements at problem spots along the Western Highway to its junction with the Hummingbird Highway and around the Belmopan Ring Road; (2) changed road user behaviour as a result of road safety education and awareness campaigns; (3) support to the Police and Transport Departments in traffic law enforcement; (4) support to BERT and the Western Regional Hospital to enhance post-crash response; and (5) capacity building for personnel from institutions involved in road safety management.

Belize Bank Bulldogs defend title at the 15th annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge
The 15th Annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2013, sponsored by Belikin, saw 64 teams in various categories starting the four-day challenge. The competition kicked off on Friday March 8th from the foot of the Hawksworth Bridge on the Macal River between the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. By the end of the 180 mile race on Monday March 12th, The Belize Bank Bulldogs defended their title, winning the race by accumulative time, three (3) seconds ahead of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) team. The first leg of the race, consisting of approximately 46 miles, saw the paddlers winding and dodging down the Macal without losing focus and determined to make it to Banana Bank Lodge. The first team to cross the first day’s finishing line was Belize Bank’s Bulldogs, closely followed behind by BTL Cobbs Arm and Ziprider. The second day of the challenge, the longest of the four days, was vigorous and tested the paddlers’ stamina and perseverance throughout the 60 grueling miles. From Banana Bank Lodge on the Macal River to Double Head Cabbage on the Belize River, each team tried to capitalize as much on their time. That determination allowed Westrac to cross the finishing line 11 seconds ahead of Belize Bank’s Bulldog and 46 seconds ahead of Ziprider.

Case studies on flying fish and large pelagic to be discussed in Dominica
The Second Joint Meeting of the CRFM/CLME Flyingfish (FF) and Large Pelagic Fisheries (LP) Case Studies Steering Committees will open at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, March 11, 2013, at the Garraway Hotel in Roseau, Dominica. The maximum total annual landings of flyingfish in the Eastern Caribbean is 4700 metric tonnes, according to information published by the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem (CLME) project, one of the organizers of the event. “The flyingfish fishery of the Eastern Caribbean is a shared resource which is exploited by seven countries including Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, St. Lucia, Dominica and France (Martinique). For these countries, there is a high social and economic dependence on the fishery,” the CLME added.

Ambergris Today

Belize ATM Cave Upgraded with New Facilities
The Belize Tourism Board and Ministry of Culture and Tourism, along with the National Institute of Culture and History, held an inauguration ceremony for the newly built visitor’s facilities at the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave in the Cayo District on Thursday, March 7, 2013. Improvement of visitor facilities at ATM included a complete male and female restroom, shower facility changing rooms and hand washing basins, incorporating a water reservoir system and a septic and sewage maintenance system. Keynote speaker for the event was Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism and Culture, stated that The Actun Tunichil Muknal Archaeological Reserve is an extremely important destination, not only because of its popularity with foreign visitors, but also because of its preservation as a cultural icon.

Miss Tourism Belize Contestants in Island Fashion Show
The Miss Tourism Belize Pageant is coming to San Pedro on March 30, 2013, but before the selection of the new representative for Belize took place, licensed franchise holder NM Productions held a Roadway to Malaysia fashion show at Kama Lounge this past Saturday, March 9, 2013, to promote the pageant and showcase the beautiful contestants. San Pedro will be represented at the Miss Tourism Belize Pageant by Miss Adriana Haylock; the pageant will take place at the Paradise Theater on Saturday, March 30, 2013, during the Easter festivities. The nine contestants are: Miss Ivorie Mendez - Corozal, reigning Miss Corozal Miss Victoria Canul - Belmopan Miss Nancy Vellos - Cayo Miss Jonelle Tillett - Belize City Miss Amanda Taylor - Belize City Miss Wendy Neal - Belize City Miss Jazmine Skeen - Belize City Miss Olivette Ramos - Dangriga Miss Adriana Haylock - San Pedro

Teen Talk: Choose Your Social Groups Wisely
Everyone has that little group that you ‘hang out’ with either in school or just out in public. But are you in a good one or maybe you want a new group of friends? Here’s what to look out for when deciding to hang out with a different “clique”. Some people call this clique my best friends, or my gang or even my ‘bomb ballies’. 1. Have similar likes To fit in you will need to have similar likings with the group. If the group likes something you don’t like, you won’t be able to fit in well and just be the quiet one in the back. 2. Is it a good Influence? Is the group a good influence in your life? If the group is a bunch of people that does drugs and likes to steal, this isn’t the group for you. Find a group that does the right thing and find how to have fun without doing illicit things

San Pedro represented at Belize Ruta Maya Challenge
Students of St. John's Junior College took on La Ruta Maya River Challenge on March 8, 2013. On the creatively named kayak " We're Better at Studying" was participants Gian Hernandez, Victor Valdez and proud Sanpedrano; Lucio Nunez. The four day challenge was filled with much anticipation and excitment. Lucio stated, "The adrenaline rush was great, being a newbie at this challenge I really enjoyed every part of the experience and I will definitely do it again." Ranking 52 out of 64 at the challenge, St. John's Junior College team did an excellent job. Congratulation to all participants on La Ruta Maya River Challenge.

Did McAfee Create a Real Estate Sales Boom in Belize?
I just read an article online that makes mention that real estate sales in Belize increased due to all the John McAfee publicity that out country received from the antics of the former software mogul. Did all of McAfee’s antics in Belize help with real estate sales? One real estate agent from the mainland does think so. What’s for sure is that he did create a lot of publicity for the country which definitely translated to quite a bit of buzz on Belize, and especially San Pedro which was the epicenter of the murder case that had authorities searching for McAfee in need for questioning. When the news broke out that McAfee might be involved in a murder case, all the huge media outlets like CNN, ABC news, NBC news, the Associated Press, Reuters started sending reporters over to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. McAfee was the center of attention and not the reality that another American national had died on the island. McAfee painted a very negative picture of the Belizean government and the police, who he said were out to get him. Residents panicked at first with fear of a negative backlash, but then the opposite occurred.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Dolphin sighting during La Ruta Maya 2013
Caribbean Action Network caught this dolphin joinng the paddlers on the Belize River for a brief encounter during coverage of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge 2013. Camera work done by Drew Miller from CAN netowrk .

On March 8th, we reported that a Cessna plane had plunged into the Pueblo Nuevo lagoon in the Corozal District. BDF and Corozal Police have cordoned off the crash site and treating it as a crime scene. Official report is that on Friday March 8th, 2013 Corozal Police and Belize Special Assignment Group conducted a searched for an air plane that had crash landed in the Pueblo Nuevo area Corozal District. On that date at about 2:00 P.M. they found a white air plane with blue and gold stripes CESSNA brand, single engine with mark XB-LGX (5) seater with its wheels up in a lagoon. The plane was located about one mile south of the Pueblo Viejo ferry and about a mile and a half west of the New River. Nothing or no-one was found in the plane or in the area. Police investigations continue. BDF and Corozal Police have been standing guard and on high alert.

Final Results on La Ruta Maya River Challenge

New fishing technology could benefit the Caribbean region
The Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) is a relatively new technology in the region which allows fishers to capture more fish with less effort, but in order to reduce the risk of overfishing, sound monitoring and management measures must be put in place. This is why the Secretariat of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have collaborated to organize the CRFM/JICA FAD Fishery Management Workshop for OECS Countries, due to be held on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 in Dominica. The CRFM/JICA Workshop on FAD Fishery Management will build on work completed under the FAD pilot component of the CARICOM/CRFM/JICA Project: Study on Formulation of a Master Plan on the Sustainable Use of Fisheries Resources for Coastal Community Development in the Caribbean, which commenced in 2009 and was completed in 2012. The CRFM/JICA FAD Fishery Management Workshop will review and share research results and best practices in the construction, use and management of FADs as tools for sustainable development, management and conservation of large pelagic resources in the region.

VIDEO: The Hammock
At 80 years of age, Emilo Choco claims to be the last living practitioner of the ancient Maya art of hammock making in the tiny Central American nation of Belize. He reflects on his culture, and his craft, as he makes what may very well be the last hammock of his life. Winner Best Documentary 2005 Belize International Film Festival Winner Best Cultural Feature 2005 Caribbean Broadcast Union Awards In Maya Ke'tchi with English subtitles

La Ruta Maya Pictures
They have hundreds of pictures up on the La Ruta Maya fb page. From the evening before to the finish, they have them.

La Ruta Maya Cultural Night Pictures
The La Ruta Maya Cultural Night at the Cayo Welcome Center was a great success. The Galen Eagles Band really made the night a night to remember. Belikin and Traveler's Liquors were on hand with the drinks.

Mountain Cow Cave Video
Cayo's Mountain Cow Cave, located in the Blue Hole National Park, was on Overlander TV. They went with Hun Chi'ik Tours. This is a great video of one of Cayo's best caves. "We start the tour by hiking through the steamy jungle, I film my first Blue Morpho Butterfly. We then descend into the Mayan Underworld, going 150 metres down into the cave system, that has been used for ceremony since ancient times. Maya shamans and priests would enter into trance in crystal cave to conduct their ceremonies and rituals. We see huge caverns adorned with spelothems and crystalline formation, artifacts of pottery, beads, obsidian blades and human skeletal remains that have been calcified in the limestone floor. Crystal Cave is located in the Blue Hole National Park. After exploring the realms of the Under world (xibalba), we hike back to the vehicle and drive for five minutes to the Blue Hole for a refreshing swim."

Rosado's Preschool Visits SIPL
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library hosted the kids from Rosado's Preschool to get them interested in reading during Children's Month. Looks like the staff was having as much fun as the kids. "Rosado's Preschool visited the SIPL for activities and stories."

Gender Equality Seminar on Wednesday
The Cornerstone Foundation is having another seminar for Women's Month. This one will be on gender equality, and will be on Wednesday, March 13th, from 1pm to 4pm. "Work Shop # 2 Women's Month 2013! Gender Equality~ WEDNESDAY MARCH 13 2013"

Channel 7

Police Kill Two Robbers in Cayo
This afternoon in San Ignacio town there was a dramatic shootout between cops and robbers, and it left two men dead. They are 22 year old Ronnie Garcia and Jose Garcia. According to police, the men were involved in an armed robbery of Rose's Store - which is a Chinese grocery and restaurant - where they got off with a little over 380 dollars. Police responded and cordoned off the area, which is near Chuc's service station in San Ignacio town. But according to reports, it was an off duty officer who responded and shot the two men. Police say there was a shootout, and at the end of it, both of the suspects were shot in the head. Police recovered a sawed off shotgun form one of them and the other had a bag with money. They both wore masks. Police are looking for other accomplices who may have escaped in a getaway car. We'll have more on this story tomorrow.

Likely Drug Plane Discovered In Lagoon In Northern Belize
Who knows how many drug flights transit through and above Belize? We only seem to know about the ones that crash land - as one of them did sometime last week. This Cessna 200 was found near the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry in the Corozal District on Friday. It had crash landed sometime fairly recently. Authorities have confirmed that it was an illegal flight, but no illicit cargo or human remains were found on board the five - seater. Responding to reports, police found it at about 2:00 on Friday afternoon, partially submerged in the lagoon near the Pueblo Viejo Ferry. This is in the northern Corozal district. Authorities have not yet set up a plan to remove the plane.

Much Harassed Howler Monkey Dies; Students Will Be Charged
Last week we told you about the Howler Monkey that was seriously injured -allegedly by schoolboys at Orange Walk Agricultural High School. Well, it died on Friday evening at the Wildtracks Monkey Rehabilitation Facility in northern Belize. The mature male howler monkey had serious head trauma and had been experiencing seizures after a gang of buys shot it with slingshots and then beat it to within inches of its life. These photos are of its actual capture - when it was tied up. The Forest Department issued a release today saying that it will be laying charges against the offenders. It adds, quote, "such cruelty is appalling and will not be tolerated" end quote. The release adds that it is illegal to hunt or capture wildlife without a valid permit. That includes the howler and spider monkey as well as about 20 other wild animals.

AG Says Bar Association Needs To Raise The Bar
On Friday we told you about the proposed legislation from the Attorney General's Office to seriously shake things up in the legal profession. The legislation would make it so that lawyers would no longer be legally required to be part of the bar association of Belize. Many in the bar see it as a threat - because it removes their monopoly on practicing membership in the legal profession. Today Attorney General Elrington told us the Bar needs a wake-up call: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Attorney General of Belize "We are convinced that as it is presently constituted, the legal profession act is unconstitutional as it relates to the requirement that all members of the profession have to belong to the Bar Association. Under the constitution, we have freedom of association; we should not have to belong to the bar association. We should belong to the bar association if we want to. But presently, we are forced to belong to it and we're also forced to pay dues to it at the beginning of every year as a condition of our membership." Jules Vasquez "However, is this a UDP-PUP schism? So far as I know, whether it's right or wrong, the Bar is perceived as being a PUP based Bar. The Prime Minister said this in the House; that the PUP controls the Bar - whether or not that is a fact is another matter, but is that why this approach is being taken?"

Cop/Chess Teacher Accused Of Exploiting Child
Tonight, 50 year-old Special Constable Santos Carvajal, a resident of Fairweather Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly having sexual relations with a 12 year-old girl. According to police, the girl reported that sometime in the month of November, 2012; she visited his home, and he was supposed to teach her how to play chess. Upon arriving at Carvajal's residence, she sat in a chair in the hall area of the house and waited for Carvajal to start his training. That's when Carvajal allegedly made advances toward her, professing his love her, and then, he reportedly disrobed the child and had intercourse with her. As a result of this report, police arrested and charge Carvajal with carnal knowledge, and he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today. Carvajal pleaded not guilty to the charge, but due to the nature of the offence, he couldn't be granted bail. As a result, he was remanded to prison until his next court date, which is scheduled for April 25.

Shooting Victim Ronald Rivers Struggling
Ronald Rivers was shot in the face eight days ago - and while at first, he was showing a remarkably good response, now, he has taken a sharp turn for the worse. Today his brother told us he is having swelling of his brain and is barely clinging to life: Raymond Rivers - Brother of Shooting Victim "Right now, out of 100%, I would say that he is at about 15%. Right now, he is critical; he just had a surgery on his brain because he was not getting any oxygen to his brain due to the swelling on his neck. So, right now, he's in critical condition. He is on life support right now in a coma, and right now, the doctor is waiting to see if the swelling on the brain is going to go down because it was a severe stroke he had in his brain. So, that's where we're at right now with Ronald. What they did, they took off this half of the skull so that the brain can release, and the doctor says in this case, he sees that it's really - this is a severe case because he has hardly seen cases liek this. Most people don't come out of it, and if you do come out, you're a vegetable. If you do reach to the point, may 50%, you don't know some people, you can't move, and you're a total different person. My brother looks very bad right now, from what I can see. We'll never have Ronald back, the Ronald that we know." If you would like to assist Ronald Rivers you can do so at account number 5-1-6-2-1 at the Holy Redeemer Credit Union or contact his relatives at telephone numbers 6-3-3-2-9-7-3 or 6-5-0-2-6-2-3. A fundraising barbeque sale will be held on Antelope Street on Saturday March 16th.

Man Knocked Down and Killed
On Sunday afternoon just before 3, Punta Gorda police responded to a road traffic accident at Forest Home Village between miles 4 and 5 on the Southern highway. THEY saw Ponciano Cucul of Forest home Village lying dead on the right hand side of the highway. 35 year old Christine Alvarez of #93 West Street in Punta Gorda Town was driving a Kia Sorento southbound when Cucul who was riding a bicycle in the same direction swerved in front of the vehicle and she ran him over.

Farrakhan Says, "Do The Christian Thing", Give Guatemala Sea Access
Minister Louis Farrakhan wrapped up his visit to Belize on Friday night with a major address at the Bird's Isle. He spoke for over two hours on subjects ranging from food security, to regionalism, to the national anthem. But he touched the most newsworthy note, when he suggested a way forward for relations with Guatemala. He said we should do the Christian-like thing and share. Minister Louis Farrakhan - Leader of the Nation of Islam "This is Belize. This is Guatemala, and this is the water that we're arguing about. They say that half of this belongs to them. But, you got some oil and they say right out here, this water; they may be oil right out here. So we argue with each other; that's my water. No, that's my water. Look, none of it is yours. The earth is the Lord's and the fullness there of. Where would the argument be with Guatemala, if she's Christian and you're Christian, and she has no outlet to the sea and you do? What's wrong with Christian brothers saying, 'Here, take this.' But you want to take it to the courts. Well, you can do that if you wish, but all the courts are going to do is give one side a victory and the other a loser, and then what; the hatred still continues. All of that is what the enemy wants, to see you hating each other, and then he starts manipulating your dislikes so one day, you're going to war over this. It's not necessary; all of it belongs to us. I didn't say just Belize; God wants to give you the whole earth."

Alleged Red-Handed Robber To Court
On Friday, we told you about the high-speed chase by police which led to the detention of one of the men who was suspected to have been involved in a robber in Ladyville. That man is 18 year-old Micah Tillett, who told the court he is an SJC Criminal Law student of Croton Lane, and tonight he is out on bail. As we reported, John Penner, a businessman, told police that he was making a delivery at Mile 9 in the Ladyville area, when 3 dark-skinned men approached him. According to Penner, two of the men were armed with firearms, and they robbed him of several checks, cellular phones, and other personal items. Another man who was with him was robbed of $1,780 in cash, and immediately after, all 3 men jumped into a green vehicle, sped away. A team of police officers responded to the report, and set chase after the vehicle. They finally caught up to it in the Belama area on Chetumal Street.

Cycling Classic Was A Serious Showdown
The long weekend was filled with sporting events - and we were there for all the major ones. We start off with cycling: The 32nd Belmopan Cycling Classic was held on Sunday and 7News was there from the start when 60 riders lined up, to the very end when only a few made it. Daniel Ortiz has an in-depth report from the road: Daniel Ortiz Reporting At 8 a.m. sharp, 60 male riders comprising elite, under 23, and masters all gathered at the Smart corporate office to sign up for the 32ND Belmopan Classic. They then lined up and waited until the officials gave the signal, everyone poised and ready with anticipation. The defending champion, Ron Vasquez, took his place at the lead, and a few minutes later, they all moved off from the starting line. After everyone got to Western Avenue, race began Tour De France Style, with everyone rolling off leaning over their handles. Henry Moreira, peddled alone to win the first station prize, with the main peloton on his tail 15 seconds later. Jiovannie "Froggie" Leslie, was the first to make a move and launched his attack from around mile 12, a lone ranger amongst elite riders with fresh legs. .

They Ran Through A River
And we move on to the 4th and final day of the 2013 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge. It was an arduous event in which the winners had to paddle for a total of 18 and half hours over four days. 7News caught up with the winners as they crossed the finish line at the Belcan Bridge. And surprisingly, they told us that even though they are competing against each other, they work together to get to the finish. After that, it's every team for itself: Armin Lopez - 1st Place, Belize Bank Bulldogs "Well, we worked together; we stayed together even with Jerry Rayburn. I want to give thanks to Jerry Rayburn and his team mates. I told them, 'If I splash you I don't mean it.' It's just sometimes we create a wave and took us into them. We talked about it and said if we go to the tape well; may the best man win. I was just looking out so that NICH doesn't beat us by than much, because I know they want to win, and their guys are a lot powerful. Oscar, Effrain and Felix they're my cousin. Those guys are really powerful."

Kite Crazy In March
And a few hours after the finish of La Ruta Maya, our news team moved over to the 3rd Annual Bowen and Bowen Kite Festival, held in the open parking lot behind the Central Bank of Belize. It's only the third year of Bowen's sponsorship - but Kites and the ninth of March have been a tradition going back to, well….as long as there was a windswept month of March, and boys and girls with kites and the will to fly. This year, though, it was a bumper crop of kites that had both scale and style. Daniel Ortiz found out more when he visited the contest: Daniel Ortiz Reporting On Sunday afternoon, the sky above the Marine Parade was dotted with the dazzling colors and designs of Belizean kite makers. The kites were artistically created to match the different groups, some, singers, staries, moonies, box kites,and some, a crafty combination of the several different types. Some of the participants in the festival were there only to enjoy the afternoon out and simply fly a kite, but many others were there for the competition. A few of the winners took the time out to share the nuances of the craft with us:

Channel 5

Two brothers killed in a shootout with the police in the west
There is news tonight of a deadly shoot-out between police and two brothers in the west. The duo was shot dead following the robbery of Roses Store which is located on the Benque Viejo Road. The two have been identified as Jose Garcia and his younger sibling, Roni Garcia, from San Ignacio. A preliminary report [...]

Minister Sedi Elrington says compulsory membership in the Bar is unconstitutional
There is a proposal tonight for a monumental change in the Legal Profession Act. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Kenneth Benjamin, has been informed by the Solicitor General about a proposed bill which would amend the Legal Profession Act to “remove the requirement of compulsory membership by attorneys-at-law to the Bar Association of [...]

A.G. proposes to change formation of General Legal Counsel
The Attorney General is also proposing changes to the formation of the General Legal Counsel. Elrington says that contrary to reports, he is not trying to make the government take over the majority of appointments to the counsel. He says that’s not true and that the counsel posts have been circulated for years amongst only [...]

Official report released on partially submerged plane in Corozal
Last Friday we reported that a small plane had plunged into the Pueblo Nuevo Lagoon which is located on the outskirts of Corozal Town. The plane was belly-up and partially submerged in the water, but it wasn’t until today that an official release was sent to the media. Police say that the plane was found [...]

Elrington says it is nonsense to the maps that include Belize as part of Guatemala
Guatemala’s Vice-Minister of Education, Evelyn Amado de Segura, is taking the unfounded Guatemalan claim to the heart of that country, its children and youth. Segura has taken one of the offensive maps that usurps Belize into that country, and has written to directors in the education ministry to use the map as the official map [...]

Belizean busted in Petén with drugs
Still on Guatemala, a Belizean was busted with drugs in the neighboring province of Petén. According to TVN Noticia Petén, forty-one year old Patricio Antony Westby was stopped by police officers at three hundred and fifteen kilometers near San Pedro Cadenas Village in the municipality of San Luis. Inside his white Toyota pickup with license [...]

Monkey dies after being beaten by 4 third form students
A black howler monkey was allegedly savagely beaten by four third form students of the Belize High School of Agriculture in southern Orange Walk has not survived the attack. After being stabilized at a clinic in Belize City last week, the monkey was transferred to a rehabilitation facility run by the Forest Department in Corozal. [...]

Farrakhan sends message to political parties
Leader of the Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan ended a six-day visit to Belize with an appearance at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City where he spoke on a variety of relevant topics, as he did throughout his visit of the country. Politics in Belize is always an explosive topic, and Farrakhan’s sent out [...]

Special Constable remanded for carnal knowledge
  A special constable is in trouble with the law following a report by a primary school girl alleging that he had sexual intercourse with her in March 2012, when she was only eleven years and four months of age. The girl is now twelve years old and pregnant. The constable identified as fifty year [...]

Karl Reneau charged for attempted murder
  A teenager survived a stabbing over the weekend and police have nabbed a Belize City resident for the incident. The stabbing incident occurred on Saturday night on Antelope Street in Belize City. Twenty four year old Karl Reneau, an Electrician of Iguana Street, appeared in court this morning and was slapped with six criminal [...]

Special Olympic Athletes receive gear for Fun Run
On Thursday morning, hundreds of young athletes and supporters of the Special Olympics will take part in its annual Fun Run which is staged to bring awareness to the sporting event. For the past three years, Special Olympics has been collaborating with a U.S.-based organization, One World Running, which donates tennis shoes to the special [...]

Relations and production of Sugar Industry sweet
In October 2012, American Sugar Refining, ASR, acquired majority shares in the Belize Sugar Industry after a turbulent period including near bankruptcy and sustained factory/cane-farmer tension. Since then things have been quiet, until a release last week from B.S.I. stating that dividends of three million had been approved for the 2012 period. That’s big news, [...]

Butane prices go down
There is some good news for households and that is that the price of butane gas has gone down in every district. The reduced prices kicked in over the weekend and show a dollar less for the price of hundred pound cylinder. In Belize City and Corozal, it is selling for one hundred and sixteen [...]

The dust is yet to settle in the cycling community
This past weekend the Smart Belmopan Cycling Classic was held and in a few weeks cyclists will take to the road for the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country race. But these major races are still overshadowed by uncertainty which was brought to the fore over a conflict between the Belize Cycling Association and the Ministry [...]

Marion Jones Sporting Complex upgrade to be completed by end of 2013?
The Marion Jones Sporting Complex has been closed for construction since 2008, and apart from the erection of a fence around the grounds, not much seems to have been done on what was slated to be a first class athletic facility…at least from the outside. Today News Five spoke to Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth [...]

Sports Monday: The Belikin Ruta Maya Challenge Winner and other sporting activities
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The 15th edition of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Canoe Race gripped the nation for 4 days as it meandered down the Macal River to its amalgamation with the Mopan River which then formed the Belize or Old River that brought the 170 mile [...]


Belize Bank Team Wins La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
The 15th annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge ended on Monday at the foot of the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. Reporter Marion Ali reports. MARION ALI "The sprint for the finish line in the 15TH annual Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge encompa...

Welcome Centre In Cayo Inaugurated
The Cayo Welcome Center situated in San Ignacio Town, was officially inaugurated last week. During a ceremony marking the opening, the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Manuel Heredia emphasized that the Savannah area of San Ignacio, where the Welcome Center now lies, has historic...

Science Fair Held In Orange Walk
A high school from the orange Walk District has walked away with the grand prize in a science fair that was held last week. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL Friday March 8th was a victorious day for the science department students at Bishop Marti...

Decrease Reported In Butane Price
The controlled price of a hundred cylinder pound of butane has been decreased by a dollar. This is effective March 9. The new controlled price is 116 dollars in Belize City and Corozal, 117 dollars in Orange Walk, 118 dollars in San Ignacio and Belmopan, 119 dollars i...

Police News
A 16-year-old minor of a Nargusta Street address has been charged with firearm offences. Police say on Monday March 11, they were patrolling within the City Center compound when they saw a group of men fighting. Police they conducted a search on one of the youths and found ...

Motorcycle Accident Proves Fatal
A man from the Stann Creek District lost his life following a motorcycle accident. Once again here is correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU "A Honduran national and a laborer of Green Gold Banana Farm in the Stann Creek District succumbed to his injuries as a result o...

National Garifuna Councils Holds 29th Annual Convention
The National Garifuna Council recently concluded its national convention. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “The National Garifuna Council held its 29th annual convention at Hopkins Village in the Stann Creek District from Friday, March 8 to Su...

College Student Charged After Being Found Behind Steer-wheel of Getaway Car
Micah Tillett, a student of St. John’s College Junior College, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery when he appeared today in Court. Tillett pled not guilty to the charge. His attorney, Bryan Neal, secured bail for him and he was released on a $1,000.00. The incident occ...

Electrician Charged With Attempted Murder
Twenty-four year old Carl Reneau, an electrician of Iguana Street, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in Court today. Reneau was also charged with dangerous harm, use of deadly means of harm, two counts of aggravated assault and wounding. No plea was taken from him beca...

Convicted Murderer Awaits Decision From Belize Court of Appeals
Belize Court of Appeal today reserved its decision in the appeal of 23-year-old Nelson Gibson, who was convicted of the murder of Myrna Sanabria and sentenced to life imprisonment. Sanabria was shot and killed around 9 p.m. on February 27, 2008, during a robbery of her grocery shop in ...

Primary School Student Accuses Police Special Constable of Carnal Knowledge
Fifty year old Special Constable, Santos Carvajal, who was attached to Mesopotamia police sub-station, was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl, 11 years and 4 months old, when he appeared in court today. No plea was taken from him because the offence is indi...


Chan Pine Ridge Agriculture and Cultural Fair
On Sunday the Village of Chan Pine Ridge came alive as residents celebrated their annual Chan Pine Ridge Agriculture and Cultural Fair. Despite numerous obstacles, one of them being the lack of support from Government, the Village Council, under the leadership of Feliciano Torres, managed to pull through. Feliciano Torres, Chairman Chan Pine Ridge Village “Uno de los obstáculos que hemos tenido este año es que no tuvimos el apoyo del gobierno central, porque yo estaba hablando con el departamento de obras públicas para conseguir la “bushhog” para borrar los argumentos de la demostración, pero nunca dio ningún apoyo. Me dijo que viniera el otro día y así que el otro día y me dicen que no está funcionando bien. No pude conseguir. No teníamos agua en los predios, sobre todo en los baños. Fue BSI que nos dio un tanque y tuvimos que averiguar cómo el cuarto de baño podía tener agua en la feria. Fui personalmente al Sr. Ek quien está a cargo del Departamento de Agricultura de aquí en Orange Walk y le di una carta oficial pidiéndole que el departamento debe ser parte de la feria como una exposición. Sorprendentemente, este año vi que no participaron y me pregunto por qué. ¿Por qué es que después de 40 años de hacer esta feria, que siempre han ayudado, yo no sé si es la victimización o boicot. No sé.” Despite the hurdles the event proved to be a huge success thanks to the assistance of the business community and other community members. The day started off with a mini parade headed by the Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca, Orange Walk East Area Representative Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez and other P.U.P representative including the Honorable John Briceno.

Attempted Murder: The Blood Stained Machete
A man from the Corozal District is lucky to be alive tonight as he recuperates from serious injuries at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Around 11:20 on the night of Friday March 8th, Corozal Police visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they observed a male individual of Creole Decent, later identified as Mark Daniels, suffering from cut wounds across the left eye, right hand, nose and left side of the face. After speaking with Daniels police were led to the residence of 60 year old Morris Alexander Melvin, Belizean laborer of San Andres Village in the Corozal District. Upon entering Melvin’s residence, police found him lying down on his bed suffering from a cut wounds to the head and abrasions over the left eye and apparently under the influence of alcohol. Blood stains were observed on the floor and on a machete which was found on the ground. Melvin was escorted to the Corozal Community Hospital for treatment where a doctor certified his injuries as wounding. What exactly transpired between Daniels and Melvin is yet unknown as police continue there investigations. However, we have confirmed that Mark Daniels is being treated at the KHMH for a fractured skull.

Ran Over By A 10 Wheeler Truck!
And while Mark Daniels is receiving treatment at the KHMH for a fractured skull, another Corozaleno is recovering at the Northern Regional Hospital after being run over by a white 10 wheeler truck belonging to the Corozal Town Council. Thirty four year old truck driver of Corozal Town and employee of the town council, Alexis Arana, reported to police that on Friday March 8th, at about 11:45am, he was at the garbage dumpsite on Consejo Road, Corozal when he accidentally ran over Ian Hugent, who was under the truck at the time. Nugent, who is also employed by the council, complained of abdominal pain and pain to his waist area and was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital and later to the Northern Regional Hospital. Investigations continue.

Howler Monkey Dies, Forest Department Will Prosecute
Since last week we have been following the story of the adult male howler monkey that was savagely beaten, allegedly by four 3rd form students of the Belize High School of Agriculture under the direction of one of their male teachers. As previously mentioned, the monkey sustained injuries to one of its eye, nose, tooth and lip. Despite attempts to save the animals life, the male monkey passed away on Friday at about 4:30pm at the Wild Tracks Centre, a Monkey Rehabilitation Facility in Sarteneja Village, where it was receiving treatment. While there, the monkey was on drips and was highly sedated. But according to officials from the centre, the injuries inflicted on the animal were too severe for his body to cope with. Officials also told us that there were signs of strangulation and the injuries inflicted to the monkey are a clear indication of animal cruelty. Howler monkeys are endangered species and as such are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act and the Forest Act of the substantive Laws of Belize. It is illegal to hunt/capture wildlife without a valid permit and this also means that to kill, take or molest by any method is considered as illegal. So who will be held responsible for the monkey’s death? So far the four students have told the Principal of BHSA that they found the monkey already injured and as for the teacher’s involvement, well he has stated that he never instructed the students to kill the monkey after it had defecated on him as is being reported.

More On Plane Crash; Was It For Drugs?
Last week Friday we were one of the few media houses to report on a plane that crash landed in the shallow inner lagoon off the New River near the Pueblo Viejo Ferry. At the time of the report details were still sketchy and tonight not much has changed except that the Belize Police Department has issued an official report on the situation. Reports are that on Friday March 8th Corozal Police and Belize Special Assignment Group were deployed to the area in search of the small aircraft. Police found the white single engine Cessna brand airplane with blue and gold stripes, with markings of “XB-LGX” at about 2:00pm. The five seater plane was found with its two wheels in the air about one mile south of the Pueblo Viejo ferry and about a mile and a half west of the New River. Reports also suggest that authorities found nothing incriminating inside the plane or near the area for that matter. As for the pilot, passenger or passengers they were no where to be found. Since the aircraft landed in a dense and swampy area authorities have been unable to pull it out of the lagoon and tonight it remains under heavy guard. This morning CTV3 News contacted Nigel Carter of the Civil Aviation Authority who told us that the exact timing and date that the plane crash landed is not yet known. However, one eye witness accounts that early on Friday March 1st a plane was heard flying over the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry and shortly after a loud crashing noise was heard. At that same instance the aircraft’s engine was no longer heard. These Cessna brand aircraft’s are commonly used for carrying drugs and in order to accommodate the cargo the seats are usually extracted from the aircraft. But according to Carter, this was not the case with this particular plane since all the seats were in place. Police investigations continue.

Suspicious Shoot Out In Corozal
Three men from the Corozal District came under fire on Sunday afternoon as they traveled along the Estereo Road located behind the Village of Patchakan. Charles Jones, 59 year old Belizean Laborer of Ranchito Village Corozal, was driving his brown 1994 Mazda Pickup Truck heading home when he saw three male individuals, two of dark complexion and of Hispanic Decent all wearing camouflage suits and dark in color masks, standing on the side of the road in some bushes. Traveling along with Jones at the time was 41 year old Julio Cantun, Belizean laborer of Patchakan Village, and another individual who were seated behind the pan of the pickup truck. As the vehicle approached the three men, they opened fire. As a result, Cantun fell of the pan of the pickup truck sustaining abrasions to the face, arm, feet, leg and hands. Somehow Cantun managed to get back on the truck as Jones fled the scene. Luckily none of the victims sustained gunshot wounds. As for the pickup truck, it was hit once on the right side of the cab. Police investigations continue.

Marijuana Plantation Up In Smokes
And while Corozal Police were in search of the plane that crash landed near the Pueblo Viejo Ferry, they stumbled upon a marijuana plantation. According to reports, at around 2:30pm on March 11th 2013, authorities traveled about a mile inside a cane field located just off the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry where they discovered 150 marijuana plants. The plants, measuring between 3 to 6 feet in height, were all uprooted and destroyed by fire. No one was found in the area.

Up Up And Away! Super Bond Launched!
Late Friday evening Government announced that the Superbond was successfully launched. According to a release posted on the Central Bank’s website holders of eight-six point one-seven percent of the country’s U.S. Dollar Bonds due in 2029 had tendered their bonds in response to Belize’s February fifteenth, 2013 offer to exchange those instruments for new Belize U.S. Dollar Bonds due in 2038. According to the release under the new terms of the 2029 Bonds and Belize's exchange offer, holders of not less than 75 percent of the 2029 Bonds have instructed the Trustee for those instruments to tender the entirety of the 2029 Bonds in exchange for 2038 Bonds in accordance with the terms of Belize's offer. The results of the tender process that ended on Friday means that such an exchange of the entirety of the 2029 Bonds is expected to take place at a closing of the transaction later this month. With the new bonds in place Belize will receive a 10% principal haircut, amounting to a discount of $108 million dollars and debt service reductions of $236 million dollars from 2013 to 2017 and $494 million dollars from 2013 to 2022

Hon. Francis Fonseca On Tour
As mentioned at the top of the newscast, the Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca was in Orange Walk on Sunday for the opening of the annual Chan Pine Ridge Agriculture and Cultural Fair. During his visit, Fonseca also took the opportunity to tour Orange Walk East along with Area Representative Honorable Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez. Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition “We will be visiting with several of those communities and meeting with village leaders and some young people in those communities and having an opportunity for me to get to know those communities. But also get proper understanding of the challenging that people are facing in those communities and the concern that they have and what they want to see the People’s United Party doing on their behalf; how we can more effectively serve them in opposition and prepare for becoming the government.” Carmelita Perez, Reporter “What have been some of the concerns of Belizeans as you go on your tour?”

BMHS Takes It All At National Science Fair
On Friday we told you about Bishop Martin High School’s overall win at the Belize Catholic Secondary High School National Science Fair that took place at the Saint Ignatius School grounds in Santa Elena Town. Competing against 10 catholic schools, Bishop Martin defied all odds and rose to the top by winning 1st place in both the lower level and upper level divisions. The group Sugar Low, placed 1st in the upper division as they spoke about the reduction of sugar levels by using the “serosy” plant. On the other hand “I-C Vitamin C” placed 1st in the lower division as they brought to light the importance of consuming the right amount of vitamin C. Dovini Chell, Angel Navidad, Sugar Low, 1st Place Upper Level “Experiencing a national event like that is really good and it benefits us because it exposes us to the other schools. We learned from the other schools. We did not see it as a competition but also a chance that we got to go and interact with other schools around the country.”

LPG Goes Down, A Bit
On February 9th 2013 the Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Trade, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, standardized the price for a hundred pound cylinder of Liquid Petroleum Gas imported from Mexico and from Central America. With the new changes consumers saw a reduction of one dollar on the LPG imported from Mexico and an $8.00 increase on the LPG imported from Central America. Today, the Belize Bureau of Standards announced another change in the price of Liquid Petroleum Gas. But this time it is good news all across the board. Effective March 9th the price for LPG decreased by $1.00. In Orange Walk the price now stands at $117.00 and $116.00 in Corozal and Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio $118.00, Benque Viejo Del Carmen $119.00, Dangriga $120.00 and Punta Gorda $121.00.


Belize Bank Bulldogs defends its title in 2013 La Ruta Maya River Challenge
The Belize Bank Bulldogs successfully defended its title in 2013 La Ruta Maya River Challenge. The team, led by Captain Armin Lopez completed the race at an accumulative 18 hours, 31 minutes and 21 seconds. Here’s a recap of the four day challenge. On Friday, 64 teams paddled off...

Two robbers shot dead in a shootout with police
Two robbers were shot dead in a shootout with police today. At approximately 1:15 this afternoon, police responded to a robbery in progress on the Benque Viejo Road in the Cayo District. A shop was reportedly being robbed by two men wearing masks. Quick police response led to the...

Attorney General promotes legislation to create new legal associations
Attorney General Wilfred Elrington has instructed Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen to write Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, Justices of the Supreme Court and President of the Bar Association of Belize Eamon Courtenay requesting their comments on a bill to amend the Legal Profession Act to “remove the requirement of compulsory...

AG denies attempts to politicize General Legal Council
The General Legal Council which appoints Senior Counsels and manages the profession in Belize is also up for changes according to the report in the Times, but the Attorney General today appeared to deny attempting to politicize the body by having the A.G. appoint all of its members: Wilfred...

Fermin Martinez dies in Traffic Accident
A motorist lost his life after his motorbike spun out of control and ran off the road. Our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: 23 year-old Fermin Martinez, an Honduran National and a labourer of Green Grove Banana Farm in the Stan Creek...

Fatal Traffic Accident in Southern Highway
There was a fatal accident over the weekend. According to Police, this past Sunday, Ponciano Cucul of Forest Home Village was riding his bicycle on the Southern Highway, when he swerved in front of an incoming SUV. Cucul was taken to the Punta Gorda where doctors pronounced him dead...

Police say submerged plane made a crash landing
On Friday’s newscast, we told you about a CESNA plane that was found submerged in the Pueblo Nueva area of Corozal District. We told you that Police, BDF and Civil Aviation personnel were in the area conducting investigation. Well today Police issued an official report on the plane, believed...

Court of Appeal began hearing cases for its first session of 2013
This week the Court of Appeal began hearing cases for its first session of 2013. In this week seven criminal appeals, many holdovers from the last term in October will be heard. They include convicted murderers Nelson Gibson, Darrell Grant, Clarence Hemmans, Glenford Bermudez and the duo of Leslie...

Karl Reneau charged for attempted murder of 15-year-old Robert Hower
A teenager is the latest victim of one of several stabbing incidents over the weekend, but he lived to finger his attacker. 24-year-old Belize City resident, Karl Reneau was in court today where he was slapped with 6 criminal offenses. He is charged for the Saturday, March 9, attempted...

Superbond holders respond to new Belize US Dollar bonds
The Central Bank of Belize announced on Friday that some 86.17% of holders of the 2029 Belize bonds collectively known as the Superbond have tendered their bonds in response to the February 15 offer by Belize for new Belize US Dollar bonds expiring in 2038. The threshold for the...

Basketball star Ronald Rivers in critical condition after being shot
Ronald Rivers, a basketball star and Belize City native was targeted last week in the area of Vernon Street and shot in the head. He now is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. Brother Raymond Rivers gave PLUS News an update. ...

Injured Howler Monkey dies
Last week, a howler monkey was reported as severely injured after it was captured allegedly by a group of high school boys from an Orange Walk high school. The Howler Monkey, most commonly known as baboon, received severe injuries to its face. Allegations are that the boys used slingshots...

Guatemalan Schools urged to use special map
A report in leading Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre underlines the continued aggravation of Belize by Guatemala in the run-up to the October 6 referendum on settling the territorial dispute at the ICJ. According to the newspaper, a deputy in the ministry of education has written to her department heads...

Cost of Butane goes slightly down
GOB today announced a dollar decrease in a 100 lb cylinder of butane. The change came into effect this past Saturday and is as follows: In Belize City, the new price is $116.00, Belmopan and San Ignacio sees a decrease to $118.00, while Benque’s new price is $119.00. Persons...

Three men survive gun attack
Three men are fortunate to be alive tonight, after the pickup truck they were travelling in came under gunfire. On Saturday afternoon, the men were on Estereo Road heading to Patchakan Village, when they saw with three masked men dressed in camouflage gear in nearby bushes. The armed men...

Special Constable at the center of sex allegations
A 50 year old Special Constable is tonight at the center of sex allegations. A 12 year old girl told Police that in November of last year, she visited the home of a family friend she says, who was teaching her to play chess. The girl alleges that when...

Two minors caught with prohibited weapons in separate incidences.
Two minors are tonight in custody after they were caught with prohibited weapons in separate incidences. The first bust took place last week Saturday. Police caught the minor after he ran out of a crowd of people gathered on Santa Barbara Street. He was found with a 9mm pistol...

Police have taken another firearm off the streets
Police have taken another firearm off the streets of Belize City. Last week, police found a black 9mm pistol with its serial number filed off, along with a magazine containing (3) 9mm live rounds of ammunition underneath an elevated house. Since no one was in area, the weapons were...


Double Delicious Dinners
Lucky us! Last weekend we enjoyed two of our favorite San Pedro eateries on back to back nights. We enjoyed the casual beachside setting of Caliente for their half-price margarita Friday taco night special and the more upscale, urban feel of Red Ginger for artful cuisine on Saturday evening. I'll let the photos do most of the talking. After our meal and three margaritas each (!!!), we were craving ice cream, so we walked over to Mannelly's for a treat. Believe it or not, Barry had to have TWO separate servings. Yep -- he ordered two scoops, and after finishing those, went back for two more! I don't know how he does it! We get ice cream so rarely in Belize (since it would melt if we tried to bring it home on our bicycles), it's a rare treat, and we really had an appetite for it this night!

The Bowen & Bowen Kite Festival in Belize City: Good Clean Fun
Sunday was a busy day. I took the 7:30am water taxi from San Pedro to Belize City, hopped in my friend’s truck with a quick stop to buy Sunday morning boledo (lottery) tickets and headed off to Burrell Boom for the Ruta Maya canoe race. Here is yesterday’s post about it. After the boats came in, we hightailed it out of Boom back to Belize City for the Kite Festival in the park by the Belize Central Bank. The sky was aflutter with homemade kites. I love this kinda stuff. There were lots of different categories and prizes for kids and adults. From box kite to singer kite…I learned a few new kiting terms. And some…like moonie, I still have no clue about.

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Belize
Many North Americans have this misconception that Belize is a distant and forgotten land deep in the rainforests of Central America. It is, in fact, only a two hour flight from Florida or a just a few hour drive from Mexico. This tiny country with an area of 8,867 square miles is unique because it was the only British colony in the region where English is the official language and Elizabeth II is still the queen. However, its colonial history and official language are not the only things that make this country so interesting and attractive for tourists. Here are 25 things you didn’t know about Belize:

Barbara's Fried Chicken
Fry Chicken has long eluded me, but I finally learned to cook it the way my children like. The recipe is simple and most importantly the chicken is cooked.

Reducing reliance on fossil fuels and diversifying energy sources are two priority policy objectives common throughout the Caribbean. Regional economies remain increasingly vulnerable to the behavior of oil prices on international markets, as generation capacity in the electricity sector remains highly concentrated in fossil fueled plants. Rising fuel prices continue to erode the trade balance of the economies in the region, as the cost of imports remains in excess of foreign currency earnings from tourism, manufacturing and other export activities.

SBDCBelize – Basic Book Keeping Workshop
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Small Business Tip of the Day: WHEN THE CUSTOMER IS WRONG
If you’ve done everything you can to help a customer and they’re still unhappy, it may be time to cut your losses, particularly if the customer is being unreasonable or abusive

Sylvia Flores, US Embassy’s Woman of the Year
International Woman’s Day is celebrated and most countries are committing to the creation of opportunities for women and to end violence and discrimination. In Belmopan, a ceremony hosted by the US Embassy took place to pay homage to outstanding women. Ten notable females from many walks of life were nominated and one very accomplished woman was selected for her stellar work and accomplishments in public life. Duane Moody reports.

International Sources

'Loving Belize' Documentary series
Rose Robin is in Belize doing a series of documentaries called "Loving Belize." Episode 1 is posted now. "I am promoting Belize and Belizean culture and tradition and contemporary talents. I am also giving Belizean's from all walks of life a chance to speak up about what they think is going on in contemporary Belize."

Where to Eat in San Pedro
When we first got to this little island I was disheartened, we had tried a few places with not much success. The food was downright crappy. The supermarkets were expensive, the fruit and veg not fresh and it seemed there was nowhere to eat. Specially for a family who don't eat seafood. Then we read SanPedroScoop and got in touch with Rebecca for some advice. And the very first night, on her advice, we ate at DJ’s & met Joe, a Belize expat who had a great deal of knowledge on where to eat. And with his list in hand we finally started to find a few treasures on the island. But first a few tips: If you are driving around looking for food it may very well elude you. Jump out of the golf cart, walk down to the beach and all of a sudden you will see the restaurants… lots of them. Don’t be put off by the word “bar”. We, at first, hardly ate anywhere cause everything was a “bar” and with kids we did not think that would be appropriate, but most of the places are super kid-friendly and have yummy food, not just alcohol. The food takes awhile everywhere. Most food is made fresh on the spot so add in your wait time and get there early, not when you’re starving. You only need this one list for your enjoyable San Pedro, Belize getaway.

March 12, 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 March 10th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Two Villagers Beaten In Separate Incidents In Unitedville:
    Two male persons have been detained as the search continues for another two comprising a group of four young men suspected to have attacked and injured two men in separate incidents in the western village of Unitedville on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. In the first reported incident, Unitedville resident Rosa Macharro reported to the police that she was at home at around 8:30 pm on Sunday, March 3, 2013, when her husband, Miguel Macharro, arrived at home in a taxi from a trip to Guatemala City. The husband was reportedly unlocking the gate to enter the yard when he was approached by a group of four young men one of whom is said to have asked him for a dollar. He reportedly ignored the request and this was when he was allegedly attacked with sticks and a machete by the group.
  • The UDP Getting Stronger And Stronger:
    As this year’s round of village council elections draw nearer, the number of supporters seeking to contest these elections for the United Democratic Party (UDP) is growing exponentially. This new phenomenon has resulted in the Party having to conduct an unprecedented number of conventions across the country. Two recent such conventions were held over the past two consecutive weekends in the western villages of San Antonio in the Cayo Central Constituency and the other in the village of San Jose Succotz in the Cayo West Constituency. In the San Antonio convention which was held between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm on Sunday, February 24, an astonishing 601 villagers, of the 972 registered voters on the voters list for the village, flocked to the polls to cast their votes for one of two candidates seeking to contest the upcoming elections as the UDP Chairman candidate for their Village.
  • First historic National Communication System installed:
    For the first time, the Ministry of Health has established a National Communications System to network with the Public health providers across the country. Enhanced communications have already been established between Northern Regional Hospital, Southern Regional Hospital and Central Health Region since its installation last month. This system will support real-time reporting and communication from incident site directly to the Emergency Operating Center (EOC) at the headquarters in Belmopan. It will also be useful during possible electricity downtime during disasters or emergencies.
  • Third Cohort of Field Epidemiology Training Program commences:
    The Ministry of Health has commenced on the third cohort in a basic level course in Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) for participants including, Public Health Inspectors, Public Health Nurses, Laboratory Technicians and Medical officers of the Ministry and from the Belize Defence Force. Objectives of the program include building capacity for front line responders in the detection, surveillance, response, analysis and prevention associated with high priority public health problems.
  • Nutrition Unit conducts training to improve Dietary Services at Hospitals:
    In an effort to improve on Dietary Services within the regional and district hospitals across the country, the Nutrition Unit of the Ministry hosted a Dietary training session at Southern Regional Hospital Kitchen with cooks, dietary aides and dietary supervisors to improve on the quality of food preparation in hospitals. During a short theory session, participants were educated on specialized diets and the importance of nutrition care and the quality of foods served at patients. A practical session was conducted in the preparation of nine commonly used recipes. These recipes included Corn, Oatmeal, Squash and Rice Porridges, whole wheat Johnny cakes and tortillas, soy milk and preparing herbal seasonings mixture.
  • World Cancer Day 2013:
    A Cancer Symposium was held at the Bliss Center in observation of World Cancer Day celebrated globally February 4th. It was a night of facts, statistics and survivor’s stories. In the Caribbean, Central and South America, cancer remains as the second leading cause of death. Dr, Francis Morey, National Tuberculosis Coordinator, at the Minstry was among the presenters featured that night at the symposium. He mentioned that in Belize more than 10% of annual deaths are related to cancer. During the 5 year period, 2007-2011, there were a total of 857 cancer deaths and almost half of these occurred in persons less than 65 years of age.
    BELPO joins with groups from countries around the world in celebrating International Day of Action For Rivers on 14 March.The aim on this Day of Action for Rivers is to bring awareness about the importance of our rivers to our lives. BELPO’s struggle against destructive dams and the current model of water and energy management is a struggle against a social order that puts profits before people. BELPO rejects the spread of dam projects that threaten our rivers and the downstream communities; BELPO rejects the promotion of intensive mineral and oil exploitation in our watersheds. Every year BELPO joins millions across the world to celebrate victories such as river restoration, dam removal and theprohibition of the building of dams. It is a day to educate one another about the threats facing our rivers, and learn about better water and energy solutions. Above all, it is a day to unite – by acting together, we demonstrate that these issues are not merely local, but global in scope.
  • Relocation Of Gang Members:
    I am honoured to express my perspective, through your renowned newspaper, about the situation whereby the Government has decided to relocate some gang members of Belize City. As a concerned citizen of Belize, I hope to shed some light on the absurd distribution of numerous, dangerous gang members across our county. On January 8, 2013, a massacre was committed in the heart of a gang territory known as George Street. This unfortunate incident caused the citizens of Belize, especially Belize City, to become afraid assuming that the George Street Gang (GSG) would respond to this incident by terrorising civilians. As a result, the Government had a meeting with the gang members. Among all the solutions found to alleviate this situation, the one that struck me the most, was the idea of relocating gang members.
  • Hugo Chavez's Body To Stay On Display In Venezuela:
    The body of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is to be embalmed and put on display after his funeral, Vice-President Nicolas Maduro says. The decision reflects the huge crowds queuing to pay their respects in Caracas, where he is lying in state. Mr Chavez's body will be moved to a military museum after the state funeral on Friday, Mr Maduro said. Hugo Chavez, who led Venezuela for 14 years, died on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. More than two million mourners have already filed past his body at the military academy in Caracas, queuing for hours to see him lying in state.
  • Brazil's Bruno Fernandes Jailed Over Ex-lover's Murder:
    Brazilian football star Bruno Fernandes has been given a 22-year prison sentence for ordering the murder of a former girlfriend. He was also found guilty of hiding the body of Eliza Samudio and kidnapping their baby son in 2010. The ex-Flamengo goalkeeper admitted to knowing that Ms Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to dogs, but denied ordering the killing. He said two other defendants in the case carried out the murder. The murder has attracted intense media interest in Brazil where it has been compared to the OJ Simpson trial in the US. Fernandes, who was hugely popular with fans, had been tipped to play for Brazil in the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals.
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora:
    It is difficult to put on paper the beauty of watching the sun rise over the ocean while heading out to sea for a day on the water. I have seen Belize’s extensive biodiversity while snorkeling off of the cayes, including a variety of sharks and stingrays. The United States and Belize have long worked hand in hand to protect our natural heritage, especially in the sea. Sharks and manta rays are important to ocean ecosystems, and the United States is concerned about the conservation status of species that are increasingly affected by international trade. These species are all biologically vulnerable to overexploitation, as a long-lived, low productivity species. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is a valuable tool to address the threats posed by unsustainable global trade in shark and manta ray parts and products, including fins, meat, and gill plates.
  • Carlos Slim Tops Forbes Rich List For Fourth Year:
    Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has topped Forbes magazine's list of the world's richest billionaires for a fourth year. The magazine estimates that Mr Slim, whose business interests range from telecommunications to construction, is worth $73bn (£49bn). He is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on $67bn. Famed investor Warren Buffett has dropped back to fourth place, with third spot going to Amancio Ortega, the founder of the Zara fashion chain. Record profits, and a resulting surge in the share price of the holding company Inditex that he owns, has propelled Mr Ortega from fifth place, leapfrogging Mr Buffett.
  • Processed Meat 'Early Death' Link:
    Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests. It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths. The researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, said salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat may damage health. The British Heart Foundation suggested opting for leaner cuts of meat. The study followed people from 10 European countries for nearly 13 years on average. Lifestyle factors: It showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health. However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

ABC Pre-School celebrates Child Stimulation Month
With fun activities like Hug Day, Grandparents Day, Parents Day, Aerobics Day, Sports Day and more, it seems like pre-school children have a lot to look forward to throughout March. Under the theme “Molding today’s learners into tomorrow’s leaders”, the early childhood education initiative for child stimulation month sees a lot of interaction with children attending pre-school. It is a way to keep them interested, active and excited for learning. ABC Pre-school is always kind enough to share with The San Pedro Sun the various activities their students enjoy during the school day. Here are but a few photos of a visit from family for “Family Talent Day”. Now, we know Chef Amy from Wild Mango’s can turn the basic potato into tasty vittles, but did you know that The Phoenix’s Mark Maggiotto moonlights as Magic Mark? We have photos to prove his magician’s talent!

Women in Art Exhibit launches at the Bliss
In celebration of Women’s Month 2013, the Institute of Creative Arts, in conjunction with the National Institute of Culture and History, held its annual Women in Art exhibit launch at the Belisle Art Gallery inside the Bliss Institute. 20 female artists are featured in the exhibit curated by Melissa Quan-Nuñez, and on Thursday, March 7th, the display was officially launched in the presence of artists, media and art lovers. Women's Art Exhibit Launched-1An impassioned, uplifting speech by keynote speaker and artist Gayla Fuller urged women to encourage each other, to uplift each other. Her remarks were met with enthusiastic applause, and set the precedent for the mood of the evening, where encouragement and praise was the order of the night for those who submitted their pieces to be on display for the month of March. But before the launch could be complete, there was an order to the business of this launch, and next up was a model wearing a dress by one of Belize’s premier designers, the young and extremely talented Rebecca Stirm. A poetry reading by (writer) Kim Vasquez followed. She was tasked with reading “I Am” written by Christina Sallsbury.

Positively Picturesque, Peaceful Placencia
Over the last several years Placencia, located in the Stann Creek District of Belize has grown from a sparsely populated fishing community to a popular tourism destination and ex-patriot haven. Next to Ambergris Caye, it is the most visited locale in the country, and with a road trip itching to happen it was time we ventured to the mainland to check it out. With an invite to a wine and cheese tasting by our good friends Anna and Gunter who had recently moved their business to Placencia from San Pedro, and the lure of the annual Placencia Arts and Music Festival the same weekend, what more reason did we need? So after renting a car from the nice people at Crystal Auto Center we were south bound to the land of “Barefoot Perfect” beaches. Once we turned off of the Southern Highway to the peninsula we admired the miles of sandy beaches bordering a panoramic ocean view to the east and the Placencia Lagoon with vistas of the Maya Mountain Range to the west. The views were an irresistible slice of Caribbean heaven and the appeal of Placencia unfolded before us. At the very end of the 16 mile-long peninsula lays the once sleepy Placencia Village, now wide awake with thriving restaurants, bars and resorts. This area is usually what folks are referring to when they speak of the Placencia destination; where the last few miles of the peninsula is populated with beachside and lagoon side resorts before passing through the village and ending at the marina. We were surprised at how spread out things were and discovered there is a lot more to this tendril of terrain than just the end of the isle. If you travel there via road like we did,you will pass through colorfully named locations such as Maya Beach, Seine Bight Village and Rum Point.

Misc Belizean Sources

Introducing... the newest book launched by the Belize National Library Service and Information Systems. The only comprehensive written history of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist: Through the Ages.

Looking at FAD management across the OECS
he Fish Aggregating Device (FAD) is a relatively new technology in the region which allows fishers to capture more fish with less effort, but in order to reduce the risk of overfishing, sound monitoring and management measures must be put in place. This is why the Secretariat of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have collaborated to organize the CRFM/JICA FAD Fishery Management Workshop for OECS Countries, due to be held on Wednesday, 13 March 2013 in Dominica. The CRFM/JICA Workshop on FAD Fishery Management will build on work completed under the FAD pilot component of the CARICOM/CRFM/JICA Project: Study on Formulation of a Master Plan on the Sustainable Use of Fisheries Resources for Coastal Community Development in the Caribbean, which commenced in 2009 and was completed in 2012. The CRFM/JICA FAD Fishery Management Workshop will review and share research results and best practices in the construction, use and management of FADs as tools for sustainable development, management and conservation of large pelagic resources in the region. Officers in charge of FAD fisheries management in the 6 of the OECS countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines; officers of regional and international organizations/institutions involved in FAD fisheries management activities; and Okinawa Environment Club representatives of Japan are expected to participate in the upcoming meeting. The full reports are available at

SI United Tie in Placencia
The San Ignacio United ventured down to Placencia for the game this weekend. They tied, giving the SI United another point.

Galen Eagles at Cayo Welcome Center
The Galen Eagles Band played at The La Ruta Maya Cultural Night. The Cayo Welcome Center was their stage, and everyone had a great time watching, and in some cases, dancing. The link, since fb isn't working correctly - get used to that!

The Reporter

People Power Minister Farrakhan’s Message
In a previous attempt to address the issue of crime and violence and the damaging impact it has caused the “old capital” of Belize, I zeroed in on several root causes. I borrowed from media journalists, sociologists and even from the American Journal of Psychiatry, which suggested that the root cause of crime may be biological and not social. It was suggested in the journal that some people may be born with brain deficiencies which make them prone to violence. Other root causes that were submitted were poverty, joblessness and even corruption in various government administrations. In my article published in the Reporter of Sunday, May 20, 2012, I highlighted moral poverty as the culprit, as I believe it created the most damaging effect on our Belizean society. A person raised without parents or guardians with sound morals, fail to feel joy at other people’s joy, pain at others’ pain, satisfaction when one does right, or remorse when one does wrong. Criminal environments are rampant in Belize and become pernicious to the moral growth and development of children. It begs the question – how did society transform into what it is today – losing all its traditional values? Several factors contributed to the demise of what is now termed “southside Belize.” During the early 1970s the city began to expand. People were carving out their plot of land on the reclaimed mangrove swampland resulting in the now Kings Park area.

Caesar Ridge murder cold and calculated!
Eugene “Corrupt” Palacio, 38, was executed in front of his relative’s house on Caesar Ridge Road on Sunday night. Belize City Police reported that around 9:30 Sunday night Palacio was shot and killed while standing near a shop in the area. A lone gunman, coming from Gill Street, shot him in the head and chest and made good his escape.

Burrell Boom resident booked on drug trafficking and other charges
Eugene Henderson, 37, was arraigned on a charge of drug trafficking and three other offences, when he appeared in the # 4 Magistrate’s Court on Monday. Henderson was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and obstruction.

Your secrets are weighing you down
Have you ever held onto a secret? Been weighed down by a secret? Felt the burden of secrecy? They way we talk about it, you’d think a secret was a physical entity you had to carry around with you from place to place. Surprising new research finds that might not be so far from the truth.

Nazarene High boys lead softball playoffs
The boys of Nazarene High School are leading the Belize City High Schools Softball playoffs organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association, which began at the Rogers’ Stadium on Monday, March 4. Jerome Carr led the Nazarene boys to a 12-10 win over their arch rivals, the boys of Anglican Cathedral College on Monday. Only Bruce Hilton scored for Nazarene in the top of the first, and ACC led 4-1 when Dominique Gabourel, Barrington Wade, Ramsey Trumbach and Jaime Pook scored in the bottom of the first for Anglican Cathedral College.

Nazarene High girls lead softball playoffs
The undefeated girls of Nazarene High School are leading the Belize City high schools softball playoffs organized by the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association, which began at the Rogers’ Stadium on Monday, March 4. Nazarene’s alternate pitcher Elma Wade struck out three batters as she led the Nazarene girls to their eighth victory: 13-7 over the girls of Edward P. Yorke High School.

FFB national team coach jumps ship
Coach Roy Sherrier Lewis has called it quits as coach for Belize’s national men’s football “A” team. Lewis tendered his resignation letter to the Football Federation of Belize before he left Belize for good on Wednesday, March 6. FFB President Ruperto Vicente called a press conference at the Biltmore Hotel on Thursday morning to give the nation the bad news, announcing that until the FFB can hire another coach, the national team would continue preparing for the upcoming Gold Cup tournament in the United States this summer, under the direction of Assistant Coach Charles Slusher.

No new taxes, more jobs – PM Barrow promises
“Absolutely no new taxes and no spending cuts!” and more jobs, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow promised the nation as he read the 2013-2014 budget in the House of Representatives in Belmopan on Friday, March 1.

Belize sends delegation to Hugo Chavez’s funeral
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and a delegation of Belizean officials have left for Venezuela to attend the funeral service for the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, 58, who passed away Tuesday afternoon, March 5.

PUP gives Barrow failing grade
The incumbent United Democratic Party administration has failed, the Opposition, People’s United Party said Wednesday. In an early afternoon press conference at Independence Hall, PUP Leader Francis Fonseca, flanked by his thirteen other parliamentarians, lashed out at the Barrow administration, saying that under Barrow the country has become a failing state that is marked by rampart corruption, nepotism, a struggling economy, and out-of-control crime.

Border clearing effort was without incident
The Belize Territorial Volunteers set out to demarcate the western border last Saturday, but were surprised by heavily deforested areas, friendly relations with Guatemalans, and representation from the Organization of American States. Armed with 100 machetes, Will Maheia, the volunteers and other supporters made the two kilometre hike from Jalacte village to their out post called “Container Hill”, located some 300 meters form the border.

Street Art Festival III – jamming!
Belizean artists offered a smorgasbord of creativity, color and music to titillate and tantalize all the senses at the Third Annual Street Art Festival, held on Albert Street in downtown Belize City on Saturday, February 23. There were tattoo artists like Luke Usher of the Slaughterhouse Tattoo Parlor and Steve Mossiah of the Stinging Scorpio Tattoo Studio, who use the human skin as their canvas, offering prospective customers many innovative designs in tattoo art.

Guatemala’s ‘Comision de Belice’ replaced
Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carreras announced late last week that his government has dissolved the Comision de Belice, the Guatemalan Council that was charged with handling all aspects of Guatemala claim to Belize.

Baby girl with HIV cured
A baby girl in the US born with HIV appears to have been cured after very early treatment with standard drug therapy, doctors say. The Mississippi child is now two-and-a-half years old and has been off medication for about a year with no signs of infection. More testing needs to be done to see if the treatment – given within hours of birth – would work for others. If the girl stays healthy, it would be the world’s second reported ‘cure’.

Hugo Chavez dies at 58
Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela, who cast himself as a “21st century socialist” and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced this week.


Green tips and a water taxi ride north to a waterfront resort
Most commonly found in the fridge, baking soda has been a household staple for almost 200 years. It makes a simple environmentally friendly alternative to chemical cleansers and beauty products. I have been using it a long time for both house and beauty. So has blogger Carrie of Letters to my friends back home and she has got Romantic Travel Belize Lara using it too – we all believe in protecting the reef in what ever ay we can. Now onto the waterfront resort part. I am meeting Miranda at Coastal Express for 12:15pm and heading on a boat adventure north. I did this trip by cart once below is a picture – was super fun drive. You will have to wait till tomorrow to see where we ended up The Minnesota Musicians that played yesterday at Cowboy’s pool bar and grill were so good they are going to be at Banana Beach tonight at 5:00pm for a few hours – worth checking out especially since it’s Martini Monday and happy hour starts at 4:00pm.

Day 3 Of the Ruta Maya Canoe Race: A Day Trip for the Bash in Burrell Boom Belize
Yesterday was day 3 of 4 for the Ruta Maya Canoe Race held annually on Baron Bliss weekend in Belize. It’s a pretty grueling endurance test with participants paddling about 180 miles from San Ignacio Belize to Belize City with three overnight stops in between – Banana Bank, Double Head Cabbage (the greatest name ever) and Burrell Boom (a close second for greatest name ever). I decided to check it out for the very first time from the small town of Burrell Boom or just “Boom” about a half hour drive outside of Belize City. (By the way, “bram” is a new word I learned yesterday…it just means party or bash.) We arrived pretty early…around 10:30am and there was already a long line of cars waiting to get into the secured parking.

“Indian Reservation” but not in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Far, far easier to get out of the bed in the hotel we are using in Austin. This one is for normal sized people and nothing like the one we slept in when in Dallas. Fully adjusted to the clock change for Daylight Saving Time I got up at a respectable 6.15 am – bit of a lie in but not overly so. Showered, shaved (not Rose,only me),dressed and fed we headed to Georgetown to pick up where we left off yesterday. Me trying to buy a pair of Minnetonka Moccasins. We got there just after 10 am, parked in the very quaint town square just across the road from Tribal Impressions. When I came across Tribal Impressions on the ‘web I envisaged a trading post type outlet on an Indian Reservation not a small shop in a town square.

In a previous article I pointed out that in 2013 (too) many people in Belize are struggling, day in and day out, and trying to survive ever-increasing “hard times”. During these very difficult times life gets harder and harder with each passing day. Yet, as of today, I see no public action whatsoever being taken, no suggestions being made, to try to lower the extremely high unemployment rate (especially of highly educated citizens), widespread poverty, gangs openly and violently taking anything and everything they choose from hard-working Belizeans, the dozens of violent and uninvestigated murders, and increasing closures of what were once successful business establishments. It seems as if, somehow or other, we have all inexplicably “learned” to accept our current pitiful and miserable, at times even violent, situations as being our uncontrollable destiny. In other words, it seems as if by unanimous agreement throughout the land, everyone has decided that change for the better in Belize is totally beyond our control, and there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do to improve the current out-of-hand and dangerous situations in which we live today. On the contrary, though, I firmly believe that no one should ever think that change is beyond our control, or that we have no control over the outcome of our actions! In order, though, to ever change the situations in which we live everyday, we must fully believe and accept that we are not helpless! Despite the widespread and deafening apathy within which so many of us live, day in and day out, we should realize that no one is ever destined to suffer. We are not living in a Dickens novel where all living conditions are beyond our control. Each one of us can always do something to change our living situations. However, as the old proverb reminds us, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step”. For some inexplicable reason, though, it seems as if the entire nation (jewel) chooses to live helpless each day, and suffer poverty and criminal rates that continue to soar higher and higher each day. No one is taking a “first step” toward changing and improving the situation in which we currently must live. Why, though, do we continue to live in a conditioned and helpless state, give up all hope, and put forth no effort whatsoever to change? It reminds me of students who get homework assignments or individual class projects to complete by specific deadlines, yet keep putting it off and putting it off. They will find every single excuse under the sun why they cannot do the work; consequently, they fail the class for not doing the class work. Many brilliant psychologists have extensively studied and written about this classic characteristic called “learned helplessness”.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: T' Final Oatmeel Cookie
Wunderful advice that would surelee include a purrfeck oatmeel cookie shared with someone y'all luv! Oatmeel cookies have always bee mah favourite cookie and altho I have made and posted uther gf oatmeel cookie recipes thay were nevr quite good enough fer me t'stop a'trine t'week a bettr recipe vershun. Thishere Final Oatmeel Cookie will satisfy that fer me! Thishere cookie frum mixin' t'eatin has nairy uf t'undesirabull characteristics that a glute a'loose cookie a'ken have. Wile t'recipe is a fairlee large one, xtrey cookies a'ken be froze er freeze sum uf t'dough fer future ##Q##warm out uf t'ove##Q## cookies that leeve a kitchin mess-a'loose!

International Sources

A Self-Sufficient Retirement in Cayo, Belize
The little English-speaking country of Belize has long been known for its handful of Caribbean islands lying just offshore the mainland, especially Ambergris Caye of Survivor fame. However, another face of Belize is also beginning to attract attention. This country’s lush, mountainous interior, known as the Cayo District, is drawing the notice of retirees interested in a lifestyle that values self-sufficiency and independence more than Caribbean sand and seashores. Many people, reaching this stage of life, are reminded of what’s really important. This realization is spurring a new generation of folks looking for opportunities around the globe to embrace a self-sufficient, resilient lifestyle. In this context, Belize stands out. As recently as a few years ago, the numbers of foreign retirees living in Belize’s Cayo District numbered only a few dozen. Today, small but ever-expanding communities of expats and retirees seeking a back to basics lifestyle have established themselves in this pristine land of rivers, waterfalls, and rain forest. Here in the Cayo, colorful flowers and fruit-laden trees bloom year-round, and diverse species of birds are everywhere. In the Cayo you also find well-manicured productive Mennonite farmland. The region is reminiscent of the hills of Pennsylvania. If not for the palm trees, you might not know you were in Belize. The soil in the Cayo is fertile and rich, and the Mennonite farmers who work it produce most of Belize's food supply.

Central America’s Belize
In somewhat bizarre fashion, typical of the wacky existential philosophy of Yogi Berra, the great Yankee catcher, anonymity might be the key attraction of Belize. However, Belize might not be quite the same after Prince Harry used his well-documented partying skills on the first night of his Diamond Jubilee Tour of the Caribbean and Brazil. Within hours of arriving, Harry was sipping rum and dancing enthusiastically with the local women – proving to be a diplomatic hit. Located only two hours from the U.S. mainland, Belize is the only English-speaking country in Central America, so tourists can chat here with almost everyone. The more tangible assets of Belize include the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, palm-studded coral sand islands, myriad exotic birds and abundant marine wildlife. Belize has refreshing jungle rivers with lush forest canopy and, if you enjoy history, it’s the gateway to the ancient Mayan world with stone remnants scattered everywhere, including temples and an extensive cave system used for sacred ceremonies. The British arrived here in the 1700s, and they built sugar mills and colonial buildings amidst the spectacular jungle and impressive waterfalls. Temperatures vary from 21ºC to 34ºC during the year. Annual rainfall averages 1.2 metres in the north and 2.7 metres in the south during the rainy season, June-August. For snowbirds, the driest months are February-May with a median temp of 23°C, ideal for water sports such as scuba, snorkeling and fishing. The immense barrier reef runs the entire 298 km length of the country, bordered to the north by Mexico, to the south and west by Guatemala and to the east by the Caribbean Sea. The mainland is only 110 km wide. Nature is the big draw in Belize with manatees, monkeys, keel-billed toucans, rare orchids, green iguanas and blue morpho butterflies, jaguars and 570 bird species. Diving attractions are the famed Blue Hole and three coral atolls: Lighthouse Reef, Glover’s Reef and Turneffe Islands. One may visit partially excavated Maya sites such as Caracol, Xunantunich, Altun Ha and Lamanai. In the country’s vast caves, you see Mayan fire pits, artifacts and skeletons of human sacrifices. You can hike, tube or canoe, sometimes with headlamps!

Help Wanted: Seeking Young Hemingway To Cover Retired Americans In Belize
But there was time to redeem myself in this last remaining job. I would accompany a tour group to Central America and write it all up for the newsletter. On a January afternoon I landed in the capital of Belize City, which was not a city at all but a small inland slum. Another hurricane had just blown through and the public phones didn't work. British Honduras had been a libertarian/pirate paradise during its British colonial history, and the new Belizean capital was about what you would expect of a pirate town in the year 2000: brightly painted plywood shacks and half-built cinderblock shops selling bootleg copies of Windows 98, mud roads and goats standing atop rusted cars, the descendants of slaves and pirates gossiping in the streets. It was delightful, but it wasn't what brought the tour group to Belize. Our schedule called for dinner in the capital and then a short flight across the water to Ambergris Caye with its white beaches and American retirees. Dinner, in a very plain restaurant lit by rows of fluorescent lights, was where I first met my traveling companions, all retired or close to it. We had fish and rice and beans while they gave their reasons for fleeing America. It was too expensive, health care would bankrupt them all, drug gangs were taking over, Clinton was sending the good jobs to China, and these new hippies were going to riot nationwide like they'd just done at the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle. Stocks were falling and the dot-com bubble was about to pop. And all over the world, in quiet little towns, expatriate Americans were living the kind of retirement they deserved, with money for eating out and other retired people for socializing and very affordable housekeepers and prescription refills.

VIDEO: Drake University spends spring break in Belize
Every year, a group of students at Drake University's School of Education travel to Belize to volunteer with kids and teachers at an elementary school. Hear from the coordinators and a student about the memorable trip.

How to Choose Your Battles and Fight for What Actually Matters
Any moment in life can turn into a heated argument, but most shouldn't. Conversely, you may not have the energy or confidence to stand up for yourself when it matters.

March 11, 2013


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The March-April 2013 issue of The BELIZE AG REPORT is online HERE

This Issue's Stories:

  • FRUIT-FULL: SOLAR DRIED FRUITS OF BELIZE: By Jack Nightingale ‘Fruit-Full’, producing organic, high quality, solar-dried fruits, is a business project designed to bring sustainable futures to the indigenous and native populations of the Central American and Caribbean region. Located in southern Belize, Fruit-Full works with Sustainable Harvest International (Belize) and Plenty Belize, non-governmental organizations associated with agriculture, through trainings and field work. The products of Fruit-Full are the maximum health and quality tropical fruits of the region, dehydrated in solar dryers and full of nutrition. Our motto, “nothing added but the sun” holds for all fruits except mammee, cashew fruit and star fruit (carambola), which have honey added because we have found it enhances the finished product. Drying fruit is labor intensive and quality handling is the watchword. All participants, from farmers through processors and shippers, are aware of the need for quality. Drying Technology There are two known solar drying techniques: direct drying and indirect drying. The most technical aspects are with indirect drying methods. The equipment can be expensive to build and require motor driven fans to move the heated air. Direct drying is simple technology but the box design is important. Fruit-Full employs direct drying technology and has developed an industrial form of direct dryer using angle iron, plywood or cement board, table cloth plastic and insect screen for fruit support. Our design allows for local maintenance at relatively low cost which is another reason we have chosen direct drying.
  • To THE EDITOR: Thank you for the opportunity to express an opinion in your newsletter. I have had the honor and great privilege to work for decades with traditional healers of Belize to record and preserve their ancient systems of medicine. With Dr. Michael Balick of the New York Botanical Garden, we have published several books on the subject. This year, Oxford University Press will publish The Ethnobotany of Belize, a 700 page tome that represents our work with man and the land in Belize. I have just finished reading a report on the website of The Organic Consumers Association of America entitled, GMO Myths and Truths. As an organic farmer in Belize since 1976, I am concerned that the safety and integrity of our food supply is on the brink of a dangerous and major shift. Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops are promoted on the basis of a range of farreaching claims from the GM crop industry and its supporters. They say that GM crops: - Are an extension of natural breeding and do not pose different risks from naturally bred crops - Are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally bred crops - Are strictly regulated for safety
  • To THE EDITOR: While the GM issue is on the front burner here in Belize, a related issue is that of the efficacy of glyphosate as an herbicide. It comes as a package deal with glyphosate-resistant GM crops. In other words, use of glyphosate-resistant GM seed requires the farmer to also use glyphosate with the GM crop or there is no advantage to the genetic modification. Weeds resistant to it in North America, that great agricultural laboratory Belizeans can learn from, are increasing to where, according to Kent Fraser of Stratus Inc., an ag research organization ( htm), about half of America’s farmers have now found glyphosate resistant weeds on their farm in 2012, up from 34% of farmers in 2011. In the warmer southern states, the incidence is higher; it is 92% in Georgia. The article includes the following chart showing the rapid loss of effectiveness of glyphosate as an herbicide. Any serious deliberation about the introduction of glyphosateresistant genetically-modified crops in Belize should adequately - and squarely - address these facts along with the equally serious problem of its toxicity.
  • GMO TECHNOLOGY – FEAR OR FUTURE?: By Hugh O’Brien Belize Grain Growers Association “Cómo me arrepiento no haberme impuesto y haber dicho no a tanta novelería” Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, September 1st, 2012. “How do I regret not insisting and instead saying no to such a novel technology?” These are the words of Ecuadorian President, Rafael Correa, as he delivered his weekly Saturday address to the nation on September 1st, 2012. During his stunning speech, President Correa publicly apologized, saying ‘it was an error’ to have declared “Ecuador as a country free of transgenics in the Constitution”. President Correa strongly opposed what he called opposition to genetic engineering by “fundamentalists who are afraid of the truth”. Following in the footsteps of the Ecuadoran President, Mark Lynas, the environmentalist and award-winning science author, began 2013 by publicly apologized “for having spent several years ripping up GM crops” and for his role in helping to spearhead the anti-GMO movement in the 1990s. Mark Lynas was very practical as he delivered his famous speech at an Oxfam conference on January 3rd, 2013 – “You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than get hurt by GM food. In fact, the idea of being totally anti-GMO is no longer
  • Energetic Agriculture & Pests Farming Without Chemicals: When Albert Einstein’s E = mc2 burst on the world scene over eight decades ago, mankind’s knowledge of God’s universe suddenly exploded, especially after he met Frank LaMotte and Carey Reams. The trio worked out how to translate some of the secrets of God’s universe into formulas suitable for farm applications – taking apart the atom and putting it back together in farming for mankind’s sustenance. The lofty Platonic abstractions given by Einstein to Reams and LaMotte later became Dr. Carey Reams “Biological Theory of Ionization”. But for Reams’ theory to be helpful to farmers, they need instruments to measure what happens in the soil and plant. This is where Frank LaMotte, the chemist, comes in; today the LaMotte agriculture test kits and instruments (www.lamotte. com) are still the most reliable because they measure what nutrients in the soil are readily available to the roots of the plant, not just what is in the soil. Agricultural Schools of Thought Today agriculture is divided into three different schools of thought: the Organic Farming (Sir Albert Howard, and Lady Eve Balfour); Conventional Agriculture (petrochemicals/bioengineering companies and USA land-grant universities - the dominant worldview); and Energetic Agriculture (Dr. Carey Reams & Emeritus Professor Dr. William A. Albrecht).
  • ‘Apples’ of Belize Series Sugar Apple or Custard Apple: By Mary Susan Loan of Cristo Rey Village The Sugar apple is another tropical fruit that is commonly known as an apple, but the tree and fruit are not botanically members of the apple family. The Sugar apple’s botanical name is Annona squamosal. It is the most widely grown member of the over twothousand member Annonaceae family. Like most tropical fruits, different cultures have many names for this frut including, custard apple, vid anon de azocar, granadilla, saramoyo, pinyon, sakya, Buah nana. In India it is known as sita fruit, literally translated as “fruit with so many seeds the monkeys will not eat them”. Sugar apples are close cousins to the cherimoya and atemoya, which is a hybrid of the Sugar apple and the cherimoya. This delightful variety of annona tree is a semi-evergreen shrub or small tree which grows to be approximately ten to twenty feet tall, the trunk between ten and fourteen inches in diameter. The slender-to-wide dull green leaves grow to be approximately six to eight inches long. The Sugar apple tree usually flowers in May with tight buds making it a challenge for the bees to pollinate. Hand pollination with a natural fiber brush helps to increase yield. Apples generally fruit in June through early October. The twigs of the tree are known to grow in a zig-zag manner. Sugar apples produce about fifty to hundred fruits per tree in as little as two to three years, making the tree a good choice for the family ‘back yard’ garden. The tree also makes an excellent ornamental tree with its rounded canopy and long elegant branches.
  • BEYOND THE BACKYARD, PALMISTRY: By Jenny Wildman The palm: its leaf is like the spread of a hand. I thought I would talk about palms as Palm Sunday is coming up marking the beginning of the Holy week of Easter. As Jesus entered Jerusalem palms were scattered by the faithful across his path as a sign of respect. The palm has been incorporated into the services of the Christian faith where processions involve the waving of palm branches and small crosses are made from the fronds. In 1995 Columbia banned this practice as the palm species was threatened by possible extinction due to over harvesting. Indeed there has been much controversy relating to the over cutting and destruction of palms in the rainforest for the production of heart of palm and palm oil. Now also the Bay leaf is threatened as there is a much greater demand for thatch with the growth of tourist facilities aimed at using it to create ambience in design. Recently I needed to remove a 5 foot coconut tree from my driveway; so I decided to cut it and eat it. The edible part is about 2 to 3 feet of delicious white flesh which I used as fresh heart of palm salad, canned some in brine and cooked the rest with yellow ginger like cohune cabbage. None of the tree was wasted; the leaves were used for shade in the garden and the leftover parts as mulch.
  • A VISIT TO IX CHEL FARM’S ORGANIC GARDEN: By Beth Roberson & Dottie Feucht H i p p o c r a t e s ’ maxim “Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food” is evident in the garden of Drs. Rosita Arvigo and Greg Shropshire at Ix Chel Farm. They shared some of their successful organic methods and philosophy with The Belize Ag Report during a visit to their Western Cayo District farm. Two gardens of approximately 18’ x 18’ next to their home provide herbs used in their medical practice, table food for themselves and last year over 1000 salads for participants of seminars held there. “The sun is the worst thing and the best thing,” spouts Rosita, claiming that “the sun supplies 96% of the energy to transform nutrients” for plants. But if the soil isn’t protected from the sun’s direct rays its ecology will be destroyed. Great attention is given to placement in either sun or shade, with some such as chayote requiring sun for the vines but the dampness provided by partial shade at ground level. Finding that level of sun exposure favored by each plant is essential. About 6 types of lettuces are grown in partial shade, none of them head lettuces, which are problematic due to moisture accumulation in the dense heads, promoting fungus. Also avoided for the same reason is head cabbage; instead, collards, kale, bok choy and other greens flourish. One of their favorites eaten daily is amaranth, locally known as calaloo. Although recognizing the virtues of chaya, (which requires boiling to remove toxins) they find amaranth much simpler to prepare.
  • New John Deere 8285R Tractor Arrives in Spanish Lookout: By Beth Roberson & Dottie Feucht One of the larger rubber tire tractors produced by John Deere was custom ordered and imported to Belize recently by Westrac Ltd. The 8285R model (8= the series, 285 = hp, R= premium package), manufactured in Waterloo, Iowa, U.S.A. arrived via Hyde’s Shipping for the Spanish Lookout buyer. The 8R series is John Deere’s largest series of unarticulated tractors. These range between 235 and 360 horsepower, and the newly arrived intelligent tractor sits midway in that line-up with 285 horse power. The model boasts dual front and rear wheels, along with a computerized ILS front axle, and weighs over 30,000 lbs. The ability to run on Infinitely Variable Transmission (IVT), in which precise engine and ground speed are monitored and controlled, economizes fuel consumption. In North America this tractor comes with a Tier 4 engine, which burns low sulphur diesel, but since Belize does not have L.S. Diesel, the machine was custom ordered with a Tier 2 engine. Another benefit of a Tier 2 engine, instead of Tier 4, is minimizing the use of costly emission filters and sensors. Depending on the particular chore, this 8285R requires between 7 and 11 gallons of fuel per hour. The overall machine spans 10.5’ high, by 13’ wide by 20’ long and can till or plant a width of 26-34 feet, which is equivalent to approximately 12 rows of corn at the spacing of 30’’. It can till an average of 20 acres/hour. The 8R Series also features special high-intensity discharge lighting (HID), which illuminates the field a full 360 degrees for night time use. The 70 square feet of glass in the windshield and side windows make it easy to view operations from the cab. A special air conditioning system
  • Food Safety Standards for Export to the U.S.: Belize foods exports must meet the U.S. food safety standards under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law by President Obama on January 4th 2011. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approximately 48 million people in the U.S. get sick (1 in 6 Americans), 128,000 are hospitalized and 3000 die each year from food-borne disease illness. The FSMA strengthens the food safety system, enabling the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to better protect public health by giving FDA new tools and authorities to make certain imported foods meet the same safety standards as foods produced in the U.S. The following are among FDA’s key new import authorities and mandates: - Importer accountability: For the first time, importers have an explicit responsibility to verify that their foreign suppliers have adequate preventive controls in place to ensure that the food they produce is safe. (Final regulation and guidance were due 1 year following enactment.) - Third party certification: The FSMA establishes a program through which qualified third parties can certify that foreign food facilities comply with U.S. food safety standards. This certification may be used to facilitate the entry of imports. (Establishment of a system for FDA to recognize accreditation bodies is due 2 years after enactment.)
  • Market Activity at BEL-CAR: By Dottie Feucht and Beth Roberson As the leading container exporter from Belize City, Bel-Car is working hard to fill its orders for red kidney (RK) beans and black-eyed peas. The RK bean market is good this year and Bel- Car is shipping them out as fast as they are being delivered to them by the farmers, 4 – 5 shipping containers per week bound for Jamaica. The U.S. also ships RKs to Jamaica but there are three factors currently favoring Belize (1) beans from Belize are not subject to the 40% duty the importers have to pay for U.S. beans because of the CARICOM Free Trade Agreement, (2) the drought in the U.S. reduced their yield considerably and (3) the Jamaican bins are understocked. Because of farm subsidies in the U.S. their exporters can sell beans at a lower price. When Belize does not have enough beans for the Jamaican demand, the Jamaican importers can obtain a waiver for the duty on U.S. beans and fill their bins. Bel-Car is currently able to pay their supplying farmers $1.55 vs. $1 per pound as in the past. Last year Bel-Car shipped RKs to the U.S. because they did not have enough to meet their domestic market demand. Even though 10 thousand acres of RKs are under cultivation in Orange Walk and Corozal Districts, their yields this year are reduced because of the drought they had in November and December. In Cayo the season started out dry but early rains helped the crops but the heavy rains later on damaged some of the crops; so the yield in Cayo is also not a record-breaker. The soil in northern Belize is not as good for growing corn as in Cayo, where this past season’s average yield was 4,300 pounds per acre.
  • Agriculture Prices at a Glance- $$$$$: Dear Ag Readers: We have had a swinging time - things are moving. The first cattle have moved legally to Mexico.Even before that the very best 1000 & up steers were selling for 1.70 -1.80 per lb. Quality , heavy weights and a 55% - 56% dressed weight is the goal. Lesser size and quality brings lesser price.We had the driest December then a wet January and now in late February we need some rain. Corn and milo prices are sluggish; chicken and pigs are stronger. Farming is where you trade investment capital, high interest, unpredictable weather and uncertain markets to form a home run . It seldom happens; the uncertainty of it all makes a farmer get close to the soil and talk to the creator . With God all things are possible. All the best, John Carr
  • National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA) Belize: By Marjie Olson March, 2012, was the inaugural NBHA Belize Race, held at the Belize Equestrian Academy. Excellent ground was brought in to prepare the arena, Farm Tek pro timers were purchased, fees were paid to the U.S., banners, barrels and flags were ready. And the season began. We had an amazing year! Running as a professional Barrel Racing Association that is known worldwide, and following the rules and regulations, created an atmosphere of excellent sportsmanship and professionalism. With the help of Banana Bank and Running W hauling in horses most weekends, our average show hosted 24 entries in the Open and usually 18-20 in Youth. For Belize, that’s a great number of entries and they all competed for NBHA GIST champion buckles. After a competitive season of 9 races we came to the last run and it was an exciting final Open and Youth race as three buckles were on the line. Two held and we had a tie; it was a perfect way to end the first season. We were seldom rained on, seldom over heated, no arguments, no belligerent people…just good sportsmanship, great competitors and spectators and we were blessed with good weather and safety of horses and riders. I was also blessed with Vicki Coverdale and Maruja Vargas for my announcer and times keeper, respectively, as well as the other duties they did. I am looking for another volunteer as Vicki has moved to colder pastures. Seriously…we need more help and people to offer to set barrels, keep times, announce, take entries, and pay attention for judgment calls. It’s a busy day and I have to have help. SO please, volunteer.
  • Chasing Belize Coconut Industry: The benefits of coconut are so high that worldwide demand exceeds production. According to Manuel Trujillo, National Crops Coordinator, at Central Farm, current production levels in Belize do not meet the local demand in Belize for coconut products let alone the vast export market. In addition to the increasing regional demand for green coconut water, recent developments in the world market have improved prospects for other higher value coconut products such as virgin coconut oil, coconut milk and derivatives as well as growth in use of by-products from coconuts husks and shells such as rubberized coir and coconut peat. Consideration is made on the use of coconut byproducts for bio-energy where this application may be viable and sustainable. Health benefits of coconut include: - Effectively treats kidney stones and gastritis - Rehydrates the body effectively - Maintains body fluids - Maintains blood pressure - Prevents skin cancer and dry skin Like many other tropical fruits, such as bananas, coconut water is exceptionally high in potassium.
  • Understanding Organic Matter and Poor Soil Drainage: By Harold Vernon My last article in Issue 19, Belize Ag Report, spoke about high organic matter in soils and the benefits of soil organic matter. There have been many reports of soils that have high organic matter content and yet crops perform very poorly on them. The key to understanding these soils is the amount of water retention and the sustenance of an appropriate water level. So then, just what are we to do to determine the appropriateness of the soil and its capacity to be productive for the crop we will plant? It is imperative that we know our soil first before deciding what to plant. Getting to know our soil can be done by more than one method. Firstly, the native vegetation provides the first and most important clues. Physical investigation by digging a soil pit provides another. Soils all over Belize have been studied or surveyed and reports exist that provide very good information and guides as to the types and occurrences of soils. Land in British Honduras by Charles Wright is the seminal guide and should be used along with the consequential land use studies of Northern, Central and Southern Belize. Un-cleared land or neighboring un-cleared land provides the first clues. Palmetto or short fan type palms and reeds always indicate swamp land. Cutting type grasses, shrubs and prickly bushes usually have small leaves. Fibrous grasses are present on the drier portions that are prone to periodic flooding. These soils are usually highly acidic.
  • The Humble Pulse Gains Respect and Market Share: By Beth Roberson Found in 4,000 year old Egyptian pyramids, in 11,000 year old Thailand caves, and reportedly in a Swiss Stone Age village, pulses are among the oldest cultivated crops. A staple in India, China and Asia, as well as in much of Central America for centuries, this high protein nutritious legume is beginning to be appreciated in other parts of the world. Now rediscovered and researched for fashionable and healthy culinary dishes, pulses improve the declining quality of Western diets, and serve myriad innovative purposes in processed foods. The time for pulses has come – or more accurately, returned. About 60 types of beans, grouped into 11 families by Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, comprise the pulse family: (1.) dry beans (Phaseolus) - kidney bean, lima bean, Azuki Bean, Mung bean; (2.) dry broad beans - Horse bean, Broad bean and Field bean; (3.) dry peas (Piscum) - Garden pea, Protein pea; (4.) chickpeas - garbanzo Bengal gram (Cicerarietinum); (5.) dry cowpeas - black–eyed pea, blackeye bean (Vignaunguiculata); (6.) Pidgeon peas - Ahar/Toor, Congo bean, gandulels; (7.) lentils (Lens culinaris); (8.) Bambara groundnuts - earth pea; (9.) vetch - common vetch (Vicia sativa); (10.) lupins (lupines); and (11.) minor pulses, including: Lablab, Jack bean, Winged bean, Velvet bean and Yam bean. Green beans and green peas are legumes but not considered pulses; consumed green, they are classified as vegetables. Soybeans and peanuts and other oil-rich crops are likewise excluded from the pulses. In Belize our culinary pulse of choice is red kidney and for export production the black-eyed pea.
  • Belizeans Learn Beekeeping and Honey Production: “Make sure there’s no excess moisture, either from premature harvest, rainy weather, high humidity, or condensation, in your honey or it will be susceptible to fermentation,” was one emphasis of the class on beekeeping and honey production at the education center of Bridge the Gap Ministries, located near Black Man Eddy. The class was conducted by professional beekeeper and honey producer from North Dakota, Alan King, on 6 consecutive Saturdays during January and February 2013. His lectures were simultaneously translated into Spanish and Chinese for the few students who did not readily understand English. Honey, which is about 80% water when it is brought to the hive as nectar, is hygroscopic. That means it readily absorbs moisture. Anything above 18.5 percent is considered excessive and could result in the honey fermenting and spoiling. (See Rubber Boots question/answer of Belize Ag Report, Issue 17.) In Belize, extracting honey even in the driest months, usually March and April, requires careful attention to monitoring moisture. Alan stressed that the containers of extracted honey need to be capped with a tight-fitting lid. Large commercial honey producers watch their hives and test the honey that is extracted for moisture using a refractometer. As part of their natural process, bees cap the honey in the comb with wax at the right level of moisture. Extraction can begin after all the comb cells have been capped in the multiple frames of each box, called a super, that contains the bees and the frames.
  • The Effects of Corporate Funding for Agricultural Research: By Michael Brubeck The role of corporate funding of agricultural research at land grant universities, of which there are more than 100 currently in the US, is creating incentives for bias in independent university research. You hear again and again Congress and regulators clamoring for sciencebased rules, policies, and regulations. So if the rules and regulations and policies are based on science that is industry-biased, then the fallout goes beyond academic articles. It really trickles down to farmer livelihoods and consumer choice. A recent report found that nearly one quarter of research funding at land grant universities now comes from corporations, compared to less than 15 percent from the USDA. Although corporate funding of research surpassed USDA funding at these universities in the mid-1990s, the gap is now larger than ever. What’s more, a broader look at all corporate agricultural research, $7.4 billion in 2006, dwarfs the mere $5.7 billion in all public funding of agricultural research spent the same year. Influence does not end with research funding, however. In 2005, nearly one third of agricultural scientists reported consulting for private industry. Corporations endow professorships and donate money to universities in return for having buildings, labs, and wings named for them. Purdue University’s Department of Nutrition Science blatantly offers corporate affiliates “corporate visibility with students and faculty” and “commitment by faculty and administration to address [corporate] members’ needs,” in return for the $6,000 each corporate affiliate pays annually. In perhaps the most egregious cases, corporate boards and college leadership overlap. In 2009, South Dakota State’s president, for example, joined the board of directors of Monsanto, where he earns six figures each year. This appears to be a conflict of interest at face value; however let’s not jump to conclusions about the integrity of an individual without factual basis.
  • The Bias Against GMO: When we humans hold a bias concerning a certain issue, that bias can be regarded as truth by us and, we think, should become law. Another person may be of an exact opposite bias, also regarding it as truth. In other words, the owner of the bias says “There are two truths – only mine is really true and your truth is false”. One subject of bias these days concerns firearm controls – particularly in the US, but also in Belize. Simply put, a large percentage of murders happen in Belize by using knives, machetes and clubs. How can we eliminate all guns, knives, machetes and clubs? (Impossible) When the evil enemy makes me or you or my home or your home a mark, probably an equal or superior weapon gives us a chance or dissuades the evil one from coming into our presence. The evil one can get a weapon from theft, an underground store or a neighbouring country and “that’s no maybe “. We probably won’t go that route and the law makes it very difficult to keep a gun in our home or on our person. All of this adds up to Unfair – Unfair. All of this is the result of a bias that became law. When we have a bias, we search for evidence for support. We may hunt for a scientific statement that proves GMO to be harmful. (There is plenty of supporting information). Then we will ignore the implementing health and safety agencies of forty some governments where GMO producers make up to 85- 95% of the crops grown in that country. The agriculture producers in Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, United States and Canada – to name a few, mostly use GMO technology. Corn is only one of the many food products that use GMO science.
  • Stressed Vegetables: It happens to all of us: the home gardeners and the mass producers. We forget to water our leafy greens or the day is particularly hot and our veggies start to wilt just a bit. A few minutes after irrigation they return to their leafy glory. Later, at harvest time the plants appear to be physically unaffected except for a few lost leaves, no significant change in flavors. No harm done, right? Wrong. We were taught that and plenty of water and sunshine encouraged by a sprinkle or two of our favorite fertilizer is essential to plant growth; but sometimes too much sunshine and just enough water needed to keep the plant alive can cause a series of events resulting in the plant producing high levels of substances which may damage our health in the long run. Research funded by ICDF conducted on Chinese kale revealed fascinating results which could cause one to rethink the nutrition content of his or her favorite green-leafy once it has been subjected to stress—water stress. Water is especially important to plants since it helps to dissolve the essential nutrients in the soil and act as a vehicle to transfer these nutrients into and throughout the plant and then shuttle any waste out. Water also combines with the energy of sunlight and nutrients from the soil in the process of photosynthesis to make the starches, sugars and proteins. These photosynthates produced by plants provide food for the plant itself as well as humans and any other animal that consume it. Plants can survive short term periods of reduced water availability which they can quickly recuperate from but this is a delicate balance that can quickly lead to permanent wilting if it is prolonged.
  • Linking the Caribbean: Conferences/Meetings 30TH West Indies Agricultural Conference (held jointly with the Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS)and the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) -30th June–6th July, 2013 See info on call for papers and registration on: http:// Caribbean Week of Agriculture This annual event is held in a different Caribbean country every year around October/November. Agricultural Associations Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS) Caribbean Agro-Economic Society Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN) Institutions Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Inter –American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Trade Info Agri Trade
  • HURRAH for the FIRST LEGAL EXPORT of CATTLE: Belizean ranchers had grown weary waiting for the first legal export of cattle to Mexico, but it finally happened on February 25, 2013. Forty-four heavy weight steers, assembled in a certified shipping corral in Blue Creek, Orange Walk District were loaded into a waiting Mexican truck. The double deck transport was sealed by sanitary officials and began the journey to a slaughter facility in Villa Hermosa, Tabasco, Mexico. Belize cattle prices are at an all-time high.

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofers: Which is Worse?
It's the age related question, which is worse? Alzheimer's or Parkinson's?

Letter to the Editor: “Good Job Police!”
It's not often that we hear good deeds by police officers, but when they are doing a good job, it is always great to hear praise.

Doctor Love: I want the perfect woman
Reader: I want the perfect woman. Doctor: Good luck with that. (Not really, but excellent advice on listening and treating ALL women like queens Doc!)

Caribbean Sunset in Caye Caulker
I have a million pictures of sunsets, but I can’t resist photographing them. Never will I see the same glorious production twice, each one a stellar master piece to be remembered. I suppose this is why we all marvel at this end-of-the-day blessing, a parting gift from Mother Nature announcing that the day is done.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize debt exchange offer successful
The government of Belize announced on Friday that holders of 86.2 percent of the country's US Dollar Bonds due 2029 (the "2029 Bonds") had tendered their bonds in response to Belize's February 15, 2013, offer to exchange those instruments for new Belize US Dollar Bonds due 2038 (the "2038 Bonds"). Belize's offer required tenders to be submitted to Citibank, in its capacity as the exchange agent for the transaction, by 5:00 pm (New York time) on Friday. Under the terms of the 2029 Bonds and Belize's exchange offer, holders of not less than 75 percent of the 2029 Bonds have instructed the trustee for those instruments to tender the entirety of the 2029 Bonds in exchange for 2038 Bonds in accordance with the terms of Belize's offer. The results of the tender process that ended on Friday means that such an exchange of the entirety of the 2029 Bonds is expected to take place at a closing of the transaction later this month.

Southern Passage Giant Cave Jan 2013
Well this is a bit of a work in progress on the lighting. We might need to revisit the jet pack concept. But cave in this area is much more clear and ornate. — with Chip Petersen, Carrie Greene O'Farrell and Living Reef Belize at Belize Diving Services.


A twinkle gleams in your eye
The poem below was written by Angela in honer of her short time roommate Kristy Lynn who recently passed. If you are out at a beach bar today please raise your glass to Kristy Lynn, she loved walking on the beach, it gave her some small bit of peace during a very difficult time. A good place to toast her is Live Rock and Roll 2pm – 5pm at the pool bar at Grand Caribe $5bzd local rum and $4bzd 10 oz beers. See invite and guest list on Cowboy’s Pool bar and Grill facebook invite. I also heard there a kite making contest at 9:30am but could not find any info Crazy Canuck’s beach bar facebook page and Google just turned up my 2009 kite contest at Crazy Canuck’s post. Contest or not it’s still worth stopping by this morning to enjoy some beach action and raise your glass to Kristy.

Walking North Ambergris Caye from Costa Maya Resort to Grand Caribe, Part One
Costa Maya Resort is 6.5 miles north of San Pedro town so getting up there was the first part of the trip. And that requires getting on the local water taxi, the Coastal Express (located at the Amigos Del Mar dock in town). Founded by John McAfee (you may have heard of him), it now has new management after Mr. McAfee quickly departed Belize. After we dropping off all but one passenger, our boat left the Las Terrazas dock and spotted a small turtle that wasn’t moving. Baby turtle in distress? Only the very cruelest of souls could cruise on by…our captain asked both of us if we were in a huge rush and we stopped to save the turtle. But the poor guy had already passed. We threw the sucker fish back into the water and took the turtle back to Las Terrazas where the employees on the dock were going to call The Belize Turtlewatch program. Awwwww…

US – Belizean Cultural Heritage Effort Hailed
The recent signing of a memorandum of understanding between the United States and Belize is a major step forward in protecting the little Caribbean country’s cultural heritage, a spokesman for the Belize Natural History Centre at Chaa Creek said today. Brion Young said that the memorandum, announced 5 march 2013 by the US Department of State, demonstrates a commitment on the part of the two countries to end the looting of Maya temples and archaeological sites in Belize and halt the illegal trade of Maya artefacts. The MOU also covers the illegal trafficking of Belize’s African, Spanish, British and other cultural treasures. “Over the years we have lost so much of our heritage to looters, and we salute the United States in working with the Government of Belize to put a stop to this. Just as the original Declaration of Independence and other historical artefacts are important to US citizens, we value the icons of our country’s history and culture,” Mr Young said.

Belize Snapshot: Long Caye Aquarium Sea Turtle
This shot was taken while doing the third dive of my Blue Hole trip, at Long Caye Aquarium. In my opinion, this dive site is the most beautiful of all the “Blue Hole” dives since it has the boggles variety of corals, sea life, and the brightest colors. It’s a shame the underwater camera I rented wasn’t working properly, so all my pictures came out slightly tinted. But at least I was able to capture some of the underwater beauty at Lighthouse Reef, including this peaceful sea turtle who was adventurous enough to get close to us while looking for food.

Digital Nomad Location Spotlight: Ambergris Caye, Belize
San Pedro, located in Ambergris Caye, Belize, is a tropical paradise located a short flight away from the U.S. It is an excellent destination for those seeking to explore extended living abroad, but only a short distance from home. San Pedro can quickly put a spell on visitors, many of whom decide to return to make Belize their permanent home. Belize offers a great advantage to the digital nomad in that only local income is taxed, leaving you exempt from it if your business is located overseas.

Why my fear of spiders kept me from exploring Belize’s ATM Cave
I’m embarassed to admit that yes, it was in fact spiders that kept me from going into Actun Tunichil Muknal, or ATM Cave, with Justin during our time in Belize this August. Lame, I know. You see, I have an almost debilitating fear of those annoying little arachnids and I was convinced that a great place to encounter some really creepy spiders would be in a deep, dark cave. No, thank you! Unfortunately, my decision to stay back at the hotel while Justin went adventuring turned out to be one I would greatly regret as I, apparently, missed out on one of the coolest experiences in all of Belize. Justin came back to the hotel that afternoon a total adventure high, assailing the cave as one of the coolest adventures he’s ever gone on (right up there with swimming with sharks!). And that’s saying a lot coming from a chronic adventurer like himself! ATM cave is one of Belize’s most popular attractions, and it’s an easy day trip from multiple locations throughout the country, though it’s most commonly undertaken from San Ignacio. Although it’s not overly physically strenuous, it is not for those without a moderate level of physical fitness and a decent sense of adventure. Visitors will hike along a jungle path for about 45 minutes before the reach the entrance to the cave. During that hike, they will be required to cross several shallow streams.

The 2013 Central American Games In Costa Rica
The 2013 Central American Games are currently being held in San José, Costa Rica- March 3-17th. They are the largest multi-sport event ever organized in the country. Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama brought their best athletes to the games, which is taking place in San José for the first time since its inaugural edition in 1973. More than 3,000 athletes from the region will compete and vie for medals in 26 different sports. Kenneth Medwood (C) runs to win the gold medal between Costa Rica's Gerald Drummond (L) and Guatemala's Gerber Blanco in the men's 400m hurdles final. Costa Rica's Ana Porras (C) competes against Katy Sealy (R) 2nd place for Belize with a total of 4398 points, a personal best and national record for Belize, and Maria Morazan of Nicaragua in 3rd place in the 100m hurdles of the heptathlon.

“Drive” but not in Ambergris Caye, Belize
When pulling yesterday’s edition together I forgot to include a photo I took when Rose and I were at the Farmers Market in Dallas and have no real reason for including it today other than it amused us. Was this Old MacDonald away from his farm for the day? We have had a good stay at the hotel we have been at for the last six nights. Good room, fairly good choice for breakfast (and lots of it) and fairly centrally located. One thing I will not miss though is the unusually high bed. As our stay progressed I found the easiest way to get in to the bed was via a Fosbury Flop routine. Getting out of bed was just a case of putting the legs over the side and launching myself. Both proved to be very effective. Thought I had really started to get my body clock back into sync when I woke up at 5.45 am this morning that is until I found out that the clock had gone forward by an hour for the start of Daylight Saving Time so it was really 6.45 am! Cant win.

International Sources

Living With Less. A Lot Less.
I LIVE in a 420-square-foot studio. I sleep in a bed that folds down from the wall. I have six dress shirts. I have 10 shallow bowls that I use for salads and main dishes. When people come over for dinner, I pull out my extendable dining room table. I don’t have a single CD or DVD and I have 10 percent of the books I once did. I have come a long way from the life I had in the late ’90s, when, flush with cash from an Internet start-up sale, I had a giant house crammed with stuff — electronics and cars and appliances and gadgets. Somehow this stuff ended up running my life, or a lot of it; the things I consumed ended up consuming me. My circumstances are unusual (not everyone gets an Internet windfall before turning 30), but my relationship with material things isn’t. We live in a world of surfeit stuff, of big-box stores and 24-hour online shopping opportunities. Members of every socioeconomic bracket can and do deluge themselves with products.

Travel Channel Highlights Growing Trend In Belize Asserts Chaa Creek
The Travel Channel’s recent feature on the Cayo District of Western Belize highlights an emerging trend in travel to the increasingly popular Caribbean destination, according to one of the area’s most visited eco resorts. Bryony Fleming Bradley, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s assistant general manager, said the March 8 feature article, “Spotlight on Belize“, was correct in pointing out that the Cayo District is now the second most visited area in Belize. “The increasing popularity of Western Belize and the Cayo District has been a real topic of discussion lately among local tourism industry professionals, so it was very timely to see this emerging trend appear on the Travel Channel,” Ms Fleming Bradley said. “Belize is so justly famous for snorkelling and scuba diving along our Caribbean Sea coast and the Belize Barrier Reef that our many inland attractions are sometimes overlooked.

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