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3/21/2013 to 3/31/2013
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Today's Belize News

March 31, 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 San Pedro Sun

Mmmm…Hot Cross Buns
Everyone has a recipe they love. Belizeans love their hot cross buns as much as the next person, and the favorite way to eat them is slathered with happy cow cheese, dripping in butter or simply dunked in a nice mug of coffee to start the Easter weekend right. Here is a recipe to test out your baking skills!!

SPTC assesses and determines garbage tax for businesses
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has recently concluded a complete assessment of properties and businesses on the island. The assessment will help the SPTC to better ascertain and evaluate taxes and other fees including those of garbage collection. While the report on the assessment of properties is still in its final stages, garbage collection fee assessments have been completed. According to the SPTC, fees are declared annually, and billed on a monthly basis. One of the findings from the assessment, said the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero, is that some businesses were not in the system, and was not being billed for garbage disposal fee. “What we have done is that we have written to these businesses, informing them that they will now be billed and entered into our garbage collection fee system. We are finding that businesses are sprouting all over the place and we want to ensure that we have them in the SPTC garbage fee system,” said Mayor Guerrero. “It will help us have a better system and it will also ensure that we are able to meet our expenses,” he added.

Hol Chan hosts Commercial Species Management Workshop
Marine Reserves (MPAs) in Belize are used as a fishery management tool. All MPAs in Belize are zoned to include areas of no-take as well as areas of general use that are open to commercial activity. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve is no exception to this. Since the reserve designation in 1987, commercial fishers were recognized as important stakeholders, and their traditional fishing rights were recognized. The regulations governing the reserve makes provisions for these traditional rights to be exercised and as such Hol Chan has always limited the commercial fishing activity to only those few traditional users.

Congratulations San Pedro's Jhoshi Alexander Valencia
Mister Belize Jhoshi Alexander Valencia is crowned as Mister Pacifico & Caribe 2013. Mister Mexico is the 1st RU and is named Mister Pacifico Turismo 2013.

Misc Belizean Sources

Home Made Jamaican Easter Bun
Feeling for some Caribbean flavor? ½ cups brown sugar 3 teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 egg, beaten 3 cups flour 5 tablespoons ginger beer syrup (optional) ½ teaspoon mixed spice (or ¼ teaspoon each nutmeg and cinnamon) 1 cup mixed fruits (mixed peel, raisins) Diced maraschino (bottled) cherries 1/8 teaspoon salt 1 bottle Guinness or Dragon stout Approximately 2 tablespoons food browning

1. Darnell Barrow 2. Juan Pablo Magallanes 3. John Delong 4. Justin Williams 5. Gregory Lovell 6. Scottie Weiss 7. Roger Troyer 8. Leroy Cassasola 9. Brandon Morgan 10. Shane Vasquez 11. Brandon Cattouse 12. Carlos Lopez 13th: Ron Vasquez 14th: Kenroy "Smokes" Gladden 15th: Henry Morieria 16th: Luis Santizo 17th: Florencio Ramos Torres 18th: Luis Naranjo-Pulido 19th: Giovanni Choto 20th: Alejandro Padilla-Miranda

Holy Saturday In Belize-Cross Country Cycling Race
In Belize, Holy Saturday is also known for our Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic. This a 140 mile bike race starting in Belize City, traveling west to San Ignacio where the riders turn around and head back to Belize City. This year's champion is Belizean, Darnell Barrow, who finished the race in 5 hours, 46 minutes and 49 seconds, winning out 87 other cyclists from Belize, U.S.A, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica and Cuba. This year will be the 85th ride. The first race was in 1928 with Elston Kerr as the champion and Norris Wade as the sub-champion. The ride dates back to the period when Monrad Metzen picked up the idea, because people used to cover miles on their bicycles to attend the weekly game of cricket in the Belizean villages. He sowed the idea of a sporting event in the difficult regions of the Western Highway which were then poorly built, and so it all began.

Rumors Easter Egg Hunt
Rumors had their 2nd annual Easter Egg Hunt. "Our 2nd Annual Easter Egg hunt!!! March 31st at 1pm Until, with games for the kids, Swimming pool for the kids, treats, face painting, bouncy house and live entertainment!!! A Fun day for the entire family!!!!! :)"

The Way of the Cross
The Way of the Cross event was held in Benque on Good Friday. Will Moreno was there to capture it. Have a blessed Easter. "The Way of the Cross is an annual event that is a reenactment of the stations of the cross held in Benque Viejo Del Carmen on Good Friday of Easter. If you have not visited to take a look at this spectacle you surely need to plan for next year Easter. More photos will be coming early next week. © 2013 Will Moreno. All Rights Reserved"

Darnell Barrow Wins Cross Country Cycling Classic
Darnell Barrow won the 85th Cross Country Cycling Classic for Belize today! Digicell has pictures and videos on their fb page. Congratulations, Darnell!

Ecce Homo Art Exhibition Launch
The Benque House of Culture had the Ecce Homo art exhibit launch. "In Celebration of the Centennial of the Pallotine Sisters and their service to Belize, comes the project 'Ecce Homo' an art project of 5 master pieces that depict the life of Jesus. This exhibition will be permanently hosted at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish. The Project was executed by local Artists Mike Mauricio, since 1992 under the vision of Father John Mc.Hugh and the Parish Committee. It is a dream come true for the community of Benque Viejo. Exhibition runs until April 19th, 2013 at the Benque HOC. Re-replica's of the original art pieces are available for $10.00. Images courtesy of Elvis Avila for Lens of Culture"

Mr. Greedy's Celebrates 6 Years
Mr. Greedy's had their 6th anniversary last night, on Burns avenue. Happy Holy Saturday! "Come out and celebrate with us Mr. Greedy's Birthday Street Bash!! Mr. Greedy's Pizzeria is turning 6 years old !!!! HOLY SATURDAY!!!!

SISE Easter Fair Weekend
Tonight the SISE Town Council is having their annual Easter fair. Lots of fun, food, rides, and entertainment. "Come on out to the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Annual Easter Fair @ Victor Galvez Stadium We got: MJ Vibrations Band Taprik Games, Games, GAMES Ozzy the Clown Orquidea Dance Group Contests, Contests, CONTESTS Marching Bands Mechanical Rides Nu Generation Band + + More + + ~~~ Do we need to say it?? ~~~ Lots to Eat and Lots to Drink DigiCell Double UP !! Smart Double UP !! This weekend ~~ Sat n Sun ~~ March 30-31 ~~"

Learn to Make Belizean Powder Buns in 1 Minute
In this video I'll share with you in just about one minute how to make Belizean Powder Buns. This tea cake is delectable and delicious.


A Gorgeous Day Sailing on the “No Rush”
Yesterday was absolute pure weather perfection. And though I was always under the impression that boats did not go out on the water on Good Friday, I saw most dive boats out and full of visitors. Rather than bore you with words, I’ll just show you the pictures. The No Rush pulled up to pick us up at the dock. Big wide boat with tons of lounge space. There was some snorkeling for conch at the first stop. These guys are very unattractive when yanked from their shells. Always good to eat the “Belizean viagra”. It can’t hurt… Is this thing really the conch’s bits? If so, why does every one have it…are there no she-conch? I have some research to do. But either way, it makes delicious ceviche. Heather and Kevin of Feliz Bar brought along the most delicious watermelon/limey/coconut-y punch…and you can not pry the recipe out of them. The water up by Mexico Rocks is just perfect. Like a swimming pool… We stopped for lunch up at Jambel’s Restaurant at Xaman ‘Ek about 5 miles north of town. No money was being exchanged for beer yesterday…no alcohol was being served at all.

Easter Greetings from Chaa Creek
The management and staff of Chaa Creek wish all our friends, family and colleagues, here in Belize and around the world, a happy and blessed Easter holiday this year. Since the dawn of time people of every culture in every corner of the earth celebrate this time of year as one of renewal, replenishment and hope for the future, and we think that’s a great idea. Here in Belize we see the return of colourful migratory birds, the first shoots of new crops, a proliferation of blossoms on the many flowering plants and trees, and a sparkle in the eyes of lovers. It’s a great time to focus on the good things in life, count our blessings and realise that yes, the Sun reappears every day, the world keeps turning, and humankind continues to reach out, explore and come up with new ideas. No wonder hope never goes out of fashion…

Why Belize?
Why pick Belize over the thousands of other spots that you can visit? Well…I moved to San Pedro, Belize only 6 months after my first visit. Here are a few reasons why… 1. The 2nd largest barrier reef in the world runs all along our coast. Snorkeling along the reef, swimming with sting rays & nurse sharks, scuba diving the Blue Hole and reef & flats fishing are some of the most popular activities for both visitors and locals. (Here’s your view on Tropic Air while flying over Caye Caulker with the reef just off shore…not bad, right?) 2. The people. I’ve visited a bunch of countries. 40 to be exact…and I’ve never met a friendlier or more welcoming bunch. Locals want to recommend their favorite bar, restaurant, dive trip, just chat or in some cases, invite you over for lunch. This is not a vacation where you will be stuck inside an all inclusive resort with other tourists. 3. We speak your language (well…if you are one of the 6% of humans that speak English as a first language)…and some other really cool ones. Spanish, Mayan (in certain parts of the country) and, my favorite, Kriol/Creole. Based mainly in English but heavily accented with lots of cool new words and phrases, you can keep yourself busy for hours working on the basics. There are few things more amusing to Belizeans than laughing with (or at) visitors testing the language out. Here is a very cute video to get you started.

International Sources

Stunning Houseboats for Aquatic Living
Is a houseboat a house that’s a boat or a boat that’s a house? While a true houseboat is mobile, many of today’s most desirable properties are actually floating homes–dwellings on the water that are attached to a dock or otherwise permanently fixed to their locations. Most of the properties in today’s post are floating houses, although many people refer to these abodes as houseboats. Mobile or not, we think they’re pretty fabulous! In fact, the modern floating home can be quite a showpiece–contemporary in style with sleek flourishes, yet somehow cozy at the same time. It’s interesting how many of these homes are more modern than nautical when it comes to decor. And there’s nothing like watching boats glide over the water from the comfort of your couch! Let’s take a look at some of the most stunning houseboats and floating homes, noting both their construction and their amazing interiors. Time to set sail…

$100k Match For Belizean Orphans Surpassed In Under 30 Days
Dani Johnson, in partnership with King’s Ransom Foundation, has championed a charity campaign for orphans in Belize. An anonymous donor of King’s Ransom Foundation has stepped in to match donations dollar for dollar up to $100,000, gathering a total of $220,000 so far with money still pouring in. Less than a month ago, an anonymous donor of King’s Ransom Foundation offered a $100k dollar-for-dollar match to help finish the King’s Children’s Home, an orphanage, in Belize. Business and relationship expert, best-selling author and renowned speaker, Dani Johnson quickly rallied with long time charity partner Kings Ransom Foundation to support the Belizean orphans. The call went out on her Facebook and through the Dani Johnson Radio Show to her listeners, clients and fans. In under 30 days Kings Ransom Foundation has gathered $120k with money still pouring in. “I am continuously blown away by our clients and listeners for how mobilized they become when it's time to give and help those who are in need. They give me hope that there are a few good people left out there who care more about others than they do about their own selfish desires. This group of men, women, and children truly went above and beyond the call of duty by exceeding the goal and they raised $120k in 30 days. I believe God is proud of them. The children in Belize are forever grateful, and I am grateful to know people who are adding purpose and destiny to money.”

Postcard From Belize
Just because there hadn’t been many of Jack lately. I am loving learning how to shoot underwater with my fabulous new housing. The kids are loving snorkelling. It’s not all we’ve done here, but it is what we are mostly doing The Pugh’s have never had such a relaxing holiday….

UnBelizable! Where to find the best of Belize.
Belize marches to its own drumbeat. Geographically part of Central America, the former British Colony identifies more with the laid back English-and-Creole speaking Caribbean islands to the East than it does with its bordering Spanish-speaking neighbors. Culturally and ecologically diverse, Belize offers such a dizzying array of choices for visitors that the most difficult part of your trip might be deciding what to do first. To help you out, we’ve narrowed things down to four general ways to experience (pardon the pun) the UnBelizable. Plus, if you’re trying to work out where to stay, we’ve got options for different budgets. 1. Head under the sea Blessed with close to eighty miles of nearly-unbroken reef, Belize might be the best spot in the Northern Hemisphere to kick your fins beneath the waves. Belize’s Barrier Reef lets you explore fantastic coral formations while coming face-to-face (or face-to-fin) with kaleidoscopic tropical fish, colourful crustaceans and even the massive whale sharks that come to spawn in mid-spring. If you’re an advanced diver, challenge yourself with a deep dive at the Blue Hole – possibly Belize’s most popular dive spot.

March 30, 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 San Pedro Sun

Volunteer pediatricians tend to island children at the San Pedro PolyClinic II
The Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II has hosted various medical students and doctors who donate their services and time to the residents of San Pedro Town at no cost. On Thursday March 21st, a group of Pediatricians were on hand to provide checkups and specialized care for island babies and toddlers. The group consisted of four pediatric students from Eastern Virginia Medical School University (EVMS), USA, seven pediatric residents and two pediatricians. In Belize, the group has traveled to various villages in the country providing medical treatment for underprivileged children in the rural areas. In charge of organizing the group’s visit was Doctor Cecilio Eck, pediatrician at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

Ghost net removed from off the reef at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
On the morning of Thursday March 28th, the staff at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve removed a piece of a net found in an area of the marine reserve located off Ambergris Caye. The ghost net (a term used to describe drifting nets) was found some 65 feet below water near the main channel in the Pillar Coral Dive Site at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The net was spotted by a local guide attached to one of the dive shops on the island while on an expedition with some tourists the day before. The guide informed the reserve’s managing authorities of his findings. According to Kira Foreman, Marine Biologist at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, the net was easily removed from the reef, since it was not as tangled as was believed. What was unfortunate said Foreman is that a small dead reef shark, about four feet long, was found tangled in the ghost net. “It appears that the reef shark was trapped for some days and the head of the shark was missing,” explained Foreman.

Good Friday swim = turning into mermaids (?!)
Good Friday has been observed as a Holy Day of Sacrament for as far back as most Belizeans can remember. With strong roots in the Catholic faith, Good Friday is considered the day that Jesus Christ died, and that means that many consider it a day of reverence. Thus, Good Friday brings its own beliefs and rituals. One MBB staffer’s mother once explained why Good Friday was a day to do nothing. “It is the day that Jesus died. That means that on Good Friday, our savior is not available to protect us, and the Devil has free reign to cause havoc.” Naturally, said skeptical staffer decided the devil couldn’t fault her for taking a ride on her bike. Well, cue one massive tumble down unpaved, rocky hill, with an oncoming vehicle at high speed. Coincidence? Perhaps; but you can believe us when we say, she won’t be doing anything for Good Friday again! Doing nothing truly means doing nothing. For instance, there is no cooking, hence many family cooks ensured that the traditional hot cross buns were prepared in advance for eating the next day. No housework, no work, no alcohol, no partying, dancing or any of those naughty things. Traveling on Good Friday is especially considered bad luck. Many old-timers and even today’s generation believes that travel invites bad omens, and the risk of having an accident on that day is too much to chance. But the best belief – and this Lizard Tale is a doozy: did you know swimming on Good Friday could cause you to turn into a Mermaid?!

Dates for the 9th annual Eco Challenge set
Preparations for the ninth annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge are underway, and the 2013 dates have been set for May 25th and 26th. This challenge will once again take kayakers through the delicate eco system of Ambergris Caye. Organizers of the event Elito Arceo and Kira Foreman revealed that the only major change is the starting route. Due to the project taking place at the original starting location at the old football field, the race will now commence at 6AM at Central Park heading north to the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge where they will travel under the bridge and into the lagoon area of San Pedro.

Misc Belizean Sources

Re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross (pictures by Diego Grajales)


Guatemala Wants To Use Map Including Belize On Their Passports
Guatemala has launched an international tender to find a company that is willing to provide the service spreads and issuance of passports for the next 10 years. But that’s not what’s making news tonight, what is, is the fact that the front cover of the new passports will carry the map of Central America with Belize included as part of Guatemala bearing in mind the long standing territorial dispute between both countries. It has not been reveled if the Belizean territory within the map of Guatemala will be highlighted with a dotted line accompanied by the “Territorial referendum, insular and maritime pending resolution.” quotation, as is the case with the map circulated at schools in Guatemala. This will be the sixth time that the map of Guatemala is used with Belize included as another part of its territory. The first infringement occurred when Guatemala’s Ambassador to the OAS, Jose Rodrigo Vielmann de Leon, showed member states of the OAS, a video with a map of his country that included Belize as another part of its territory. That marked the second incident that occurred within the OAS; the first was in Bolivia which also came under protest. The third was when a book called “Guatemala Corazon del Mundo Maya 2012” was released by the Tourism Institute of Guatemala (INGUAT) which also included a map of Guatemala’s Mayan world placing Belize as part of it. The fourth was when Belize’s National Basketball selection travelled to Guatemala to take part in an international basketball tournament and Guatemala’s National Basketball Federation included Belize as part of Guatemala’s territory in their logo. And the fifth intrusion occurred when Guatemala’s Vice-Minister of Education, Evelyn Amado de Segura instructed directors in the Ministry of Education, that a map of Guatemala, which includes Belize as part of its territory, be circulated at all schools.

61 Year Old Busted With Weed
Another Corozal resident that also appeared today at the Orange Walk’s Magistrate Court is 61 year old Felix May, a taxi driver of Venezuela Street in Corozal Town. On March 28th 2013, May was driving his taxi car when he was stopped by police and found to be in the possession of 950.5 grams of marijuana. Police believe May was a supplier and as such was charged with drug trafficking. The taxi driver pleaded not guilty to the charge and was offered bail to the sum of $3,500 plus one surety of the same amount under two conditions, one that he submit all his travel documents to the court and two that he presents himself every Friday at the Corozal Police Station until his next court date set for May 30th 2013.

Man Charged For Allegedly Kidnapping Ivy Yang
Last night we reported on how the Belize Police Department was successful in retrieving one year old Ivy Yang from her kidnappers. The toddler was snatched from the arms of her mother, Mei Tang Chen at gunpoint on Sunday night while they were heading back home in the Santa Rita heights Area in Corozal Town. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of US$450,000 for the return of Ivy. With the assistance of a number of individuals and strategic planning, the police department managed to foil the abductors plan and baby Yang was returned safely home. While it is a high profile case that must have involved a number of individuals to carry out the kidnapping, only one man was charged today. He is 34 year old Thomas Villanueva; the man believed to have brought baby Ivy to the Village of Fire Burn here in Orange Walk and left her there with family members who had no knowledge of the abduction. Villanueva appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court today where he was charged for kidnapping. CTV3 News has exclusive footage of when the police vehicle arrived at the Orange Walk Police Station and Villanueva was pulled into the courtroom. Hipolito Novelo reports. Under heavy police guard the blue police van pulled up in front of the Orange Walk’s Magistrate Court just minutes after midday today. Inside the vehicle were several persons who have or will be charged for criminal offences. At the forefront and of most interest is the alleged kidnapper of one year old Ivy Yang, identified as 34 year old Thomas Elmer Villanueva, a resident of 11 South End Street, Corozal Town.

Terrible Motorcycle Accident Reported
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News understands that there was terrible accident on the Philip Goldson Highway sometime this afternoon involving a motorcycle and a van. Reports are that the driver of the motorcycle, allegedly an American citizen, was traveling towards Corozal Town when upon reaching the Tumbaito Area near four miles lagoon he collided into the van. The extent of injuries is unknown. We’ll have more on this story in Tuesday’s newscast.

Accused Murderers Remanded To Prison
Two other accused criminals that were remanded to the Kolbe Correctional Facility today were 35 year old Venanacio Williams and 33 year old Arturo Keme accused of the murder of 37 year old Israel Matu, a resident of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District who was found dead in a cane field located near the village of Chan Chen on Sunday afternoon. Both men from the village of Chan Chen appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court where they were charged for the crime of murder. As you can see jail does not sit too well with Keme as the footage shows that he began feeling sick while waiting inside the police vehicle for Thomas Villanueva, who was charged for the kidnapping of baby Ivy Yang, to come out of court. After the session was over, all three prisoners were transferred to the Hattieville Prison where they will spend time until the court decides their fate.

The True Meaning Of Easter
Many people all across the world focus on Easter as being a time to celebrate the Easter bunny and to hunt eggs, but the Bible teaches us that there is more to Easter than just Easter Bunnies and egg hunts. Although these events are fun, the true meaning of Easter is Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten Season which begins 40 days prior to Easter. It is a time when Christians prepare for the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ by observing a period of fasting, repentance, moderation and spiritual discipline. Lent is also a time for reflection, a time to prepare ones body to die spiritually with Christ on Good Friday, the day of his Crucifixion, so that we can rise again with him in new life on Easter Sunday. In this day and era it is easy to stray away from the true meaning of Easter. Just in case you find yourself on that cross road here is a story we aired last year that reminds us about death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Palm Sunday is a Christian moveable feast that falls on the Sunday before Easter. The feast commemorates Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem the week before his death and resurrection. The Last supper was held on the evening of preparation for the Jewish Passover. Jesus shared his final meal with his disciples and gave them final instructions and predictions of his betrayal. As his disciples laid to rest that night, Jesus prayed at Gethsemane. His arrest came next as Judas lead a detachment of Jewish soldiers to his place of prayer. After his arrest Jesus was taken to be beaten by Jewish guards in Sanhedrin where he was set to be trialed and found guilty. He was then taken to the Roman governor for additional trial who left Jesus’ faith to the Jews. After he was found guilty Jesus was taken to Golgotha where he was crucified. After Christ was crucified his body was placed in a tomb from which he rose on the third day of his death.

Fish: Easter's Staple
The Easter Weekend is upon us and the staple food for this long holiday is fish hence why the demand has skyrocketed. There is no doubt that for the Lenten Season the demand for fish increases and so do the prices especially for Good Friday. Today we hit the streets of town to find out how the fish market is doing this year. Fish is on demand right about now and all indications are that the product is selling fast. Kathleen Urbina, Neto’s Sea Food Market “Like hot bread and butter but it’s natural for this time of year. I prepare for this time like this. I have 6 freezers full of fish. We started from January before lent begin; we started to take in, take in and try to keep two or three freezers full. Because when the time comes like this then we are prepared but I hoped that could have prepared more but I just can’t meet everybody’s demand.” According to the proprietor of Neto’s See Food Market, Kathleen Urbina, when it comes to the various types of fish, the demand varies. Kathleen Urbina, Neto’s Sea Food Market “We have the river fish which consist of the “basnuk” and “crana” and we have the snapper, barracuda, makrill, and a lot more; fish fillet and shrimps.” Albert Tillet, Fish Vendor “I usually sell river fish. That is what we call fresh water products which consist of “basnuk” or big mouth river bass and we have tuba, tilapia and catfish.

Fire Department On Alert For Easter Vacation
Keeping your house secure from burglars and unwanted visitors is not the only precautionary measures that you need to take for this long Easter Holiday. In a matter of seconds an Easter Vacation can turn into tragedy if the right measures are not taken to prevent a fire while you and your family are away from home. With this in mind this morning we spoke to Orange Walk’s Fire Department Senior Officer Kenneth Mortis who advised on how to keep your home safe and prevent fires. Kenneth Mortis- Senior Officer, O/W Fire Department “We would appreciate if the vegetation around your neighborhood be kept to a minimum. The fire department- we are really busy. This is the time of the year that we are busy. We might have 3, 4 calls at a time that we cannot really respond to all of them as the call may come in. So what we like is that you exercise caution in terms of if your neighbor’s yard is a bit high then try to encourage your neighbors to cut it down a little bit. A message to the general public is that it is illegal to be burning within city limits and even town limits. If you are in a position whereby we don’t have electricity and we are using candles per say. Again we emphasize that the candle should not be left near an open without and out of reach children.” Before leaving your home you should also inform a neighbor that you will be out for the long holiday.

OWPD Step Up Patrols For Easter Break
There is no doubt that across the jewel crime has been on a rampage. The most recent ruthless acts of criminal activity here in the north saw the kidnapping of one year old Ivy Yang who was reunited with her family on Tuesday and the death of Israel Matu who was brutally beaten and left to die in a cane field located in the Village of Chan Chen. Both incidents played out in the District of Corozal and tonight there is no doubt that northenos, similar to Belizeans across the country, live in fear. So, if you are feeling worried about leaving your home unattended for this long Easter Vacation here are some safety tips from the Orange Walk Police Department. Joseph Myvette- O.C Orange Walk “Firstly we are going to step up all patrols meaning mobile, foot and bicycle patrol throughout the Easter holiday. We are aware that a number of people will be leaving their homes and we would want to encourage informing their neighbours or even informing the police that no one will be home. It will allow us an opportunity to extend our patrols in some of these areas. We will also be having a number of vehicle checkpoints where we will be targeting drunk drivers and at the same we will be discouraging speeding in our highways. We will also be having a check up at the honey camp road where it is expected that we will be able to give the general public pamphlets in relations to water safety. We want to encourage people to be very careful when swimming in the water and to ensure that children are supervise properly and are not allowed going into the water alone to swim. The police are certainly going to be out here 24/7 and like I mentioned we are going to step up our patrols. Apart from informing your immediate neighbor about your departure for your Easter vacation. Myvette also advices home owners to leave their lights on as a preventative measure against robbers.


Why You Should Consider Retiring To Belize
Belize is the quirkiest country I know. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American… and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City’s roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand. Everyone you meet speaks English (it’s the country’s official language), but this belies the stories of their origins. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are descendants of migrants from Britain, yes, but also, more so, the surrounding Central American countries. You’ve got Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land, the pirates who came later, the Mennonite farmers who began arriving on the scene in the 16th century, the British who ruled until 1981, and each other. It’s a country of freedom-seekers. The pirates came to ply their pirate trading out of view. The Mennonites came from Germany and the Netherlands so they could be Mennonites without anyone bothering them. The British came to do their banking in private. And the folks from the surrounding countries have made their way across Belize’s borders over the decades in search of safety. Today a new population of freedom-seekers is finding its way to these shores — foreign retirees and others in search of a place to start over.

Hot Cross Buns or Creole Buns the Condensed Version
In this video, I show in less than 4 minutest how to make Creole Buns or Hot Cross Buns.

International Sources

Survivors recall 17 divers lost in '01 Belize disaster
A small vial of water from the James River went with Mary Lou Hayden to Belize this year. As she emptied it into the Caribbean Sea, she read the names of 17 friends who died there 10 years ago in the deadliest accident in the history of recreational scuba diving. Hayden was almost one of them. She escaped with two other Richmonders who happened to be below deck when Hurricane Iris slammed into Belize and flipped their live-aboard dive boat upside down on Oct. 8, 2001. The rest of the group from the Richmond Dive Club was up in the main deck salon after dinner. When the Wave Dancer broke away from its dock and capsized in 12 feet of water, they were immediately immersed without life jackets. None of them escaped alive. On Saturday, the dive club will remember the lost divers at Lake Rawlings, a former quarry that's a favorite training site in Brunswick County.

Can Income Inequality Destabilize the U.S. Economy?
The U.S. economy has been engaged in a long, slow recovery since the Great Recession. But this recovery has been incredibly unequal — with the incomes of the richest 1% growing robustly, while the bottom 99% are stagnant. Uri Dadush, Kemal Dervis and their co-authors in "Inequality in America" argue that this is a recipe for macroeconomic disaster. High and rising levels of inequality may be a cause of increased macroeconomic instability. They contribute to a fraying of the political consensus, are associated with boom-bust credit cycles and may ultimately lead to a chronic weakness of economic demand. For a long time, few economists — even those concerned about inequality — thought about this topic in the context of macroeconomic policy. It wasn't always so. There was a time early in the 20th century when some believed that capitalism would be vulnerable because increases in income concentration at the top would lead to a chronic lack of sufficient aggregate demand. These concerns vanished as income distribution improved after the 1930s. Macroeconomic policy also became a more powerful tool for stabilizing economic conditions. However, as income inequality has made a spectacular and quite unexpected comeback, and the recovery from the Great Recession has been exceptionally sluggish, now these concerns are reemerging. Moreover, economists such as Raghuram Rajan have suggested a connection between high income inequality and events that triggered the Great Recession in the first place.

Wild Side: Trip to the tropics causes self-induced thermal shock
Carol and I have enjoyed winter escapes to the tropics of Central America for more than 20 years. This year we had another great time in Belize. We left early one February morning when the temperature was 10 degrees below zero. A couple two-and-a-half hour jet flights and a half-hour single-engine plane flight later, we were in humid 80 degree air under the coconut palms in southern Belize. We met our tanned friends Bill and Susan Smith of River Falls, who had been there since January. After changing into shorts and sandals, we enjoyed some cold Belikin beers on the veranda of their cabana on the beach. I could feel my freeze-dried skin soaking up the warmth and humidity. We spent the next day walking down the long beach and catching up with Belizian friends in the village. We had to be careful of the intense sun there just north of the equator to avoid burning our fair skin that had been bundled up all winter.

How do you a lure a monkey out of the Belize rain forest?
"Remember, they can touch you, but you can’t touch them” warns our guide as we duck under a barbed-wire fence in pursuit of a troop of black howler monkeys leaping from branch to branch. Truth is, I’ve been burned so many times by unfulfilled promises of wildlife sightings that the thought of touching one hadn’t even crossed my mind. But now, as Robert brandishes a bunch of leaves picked from a garden we’d crossed, I realize that I could be in for one fun afternoon. When planning my trip to Belize seeing monkeys in the jungle was high on the to-do list. So when I read about the Community Baboon Sanctuary, based in Bermudian Landing, just 45 minutes from the international airport, I knew it fit the bill.

Room Service: coastal Belize
Turtle Inn, Placencia. Martin Krediet wears sunglasses, a battered white trilby, shorts and a loose shirt that hints at a highly toned physique. His hair is long and artfully rumpled in a "just finished paddle-boarding, dude" sort of way. He is super-tanned. Beyond laid back. He is also, it's fair to say, not a typical hotel general manager. Then again, after a long, bumpy ride from the jungle-lush interior of Belize to the country's sun-blanched coast, the last person you want to meet is a chap in a stiff suit with a name badge pinned to his lapel. ("Welcome, sir, welcome. Have you received your delegate's lanyard? Jeremy will show you our subterranean conference facilities.") Frigatebirds are soaring overhead, for goodness sake. There's the scent of the ocean in your nostrils and palm trees galore. Just at this point in your life what you need more than anything else is for Martin Krediet to wander over, shake you warmly by one hand, thrust a pink drink into the other one, and then lead you to your blue-and-white striped hammock, with its view of the Caribbean Sea. Take the rest of the day off, Martin. Your work here is done.

The World’s Top 10 Islands
The largest island off the north shore of Belize, Ambergris Caye, which boasts bragging rights to being home to the second largest barrier reef after Australia, has been named the most beautiful island in the world by readers of the largest crowd-sourced travel site TripAdvisor. With a coastline protected by 306 km (190 miles) of coral reef – the largest in the Western hemisphere – Ambergris Caye has become a favorite destination for divers. The island’s star attraction? The Great Blue Hole, a perfectly circular, underwater sinkhole of limestone that measures 300 feet across (91m) and 400 feet deep (124 m) deep. The seemingly bottomless pit is home to underwater species like blacktip tiger and hammerhead sharks. Other sightings include angelfish, neon gobies, butterfly fish, and small groupers. The Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System, meanwhile, is a UN-designated World Heritage Site. If you’re not a diver, visitors can also visit the ancient Mayan ruins in a day trip, and jungle trek through the island’s lush tropical forests. Another claim to fame? The island got a starring role in the first season of US reality show “Temptation Island” in 2001. Here are the top 10 islands in TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice Award 2013:

Award-winning conservationist Lisel Alamilla appointed to Belize government
With 17 years of experience promoting conservation, sustainable development and indigenous rights, Lisel Alamilla is ideally placed to usher in a new, brighter era for Belize’s natural environment. Fauna & Flora International (FFI) welcomes the decision of Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, to appoint Lisel Alamilla as Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. “We’d like to congratulate Lisel on her appointment to the Belize government,” said Mark Rose, CEO of Fauna & Flora International. “Having worked closely with Lisel over the past decade, we have seen her demonstrate time and time again an extraordinary level of ability, passion and determination. I feel sure that she will bring this to her new role, much to the benefit of Belize’s natural world and its people.” As a result of her appointment, Lisel is stepping down from her role as Executive Director of Ya’axché Conservation Trust (FFI’s partner in Belize).

March 29, 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 March 31st, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • ICJ Referendum DOA? Belize Government Rejects Guatemala’s Proposals:
    On March 26, 2013, the Governemnt of Belize, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, issued the following self-explanatory Press Release: The Government of Belize, having had occasion to review the proposals by the Republic of Guatemala as presented in writing on 17th March, 2013 to Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, for the parties to consider postponement of the referenda for an indefinite period or for Belize to proceed on its own to hold a referendum on the agreed date, has decided to reject the Guatemalan proposals in their entirety. The Government of Belize notes that tremendous efforts over many years and through successive administrations have been spent in finding a negotiated solution that would bring to a definitive end Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize, and that the failure of these attempts is what led to the signing of the Special Agreement by Belize, Guatemala and the OAS on 8th December, 2008.
  • Big Up the Cops! Quick Response Foils Kidnapping:
    Police have foiled a kidnapping in Corozal. On Sunday Night in Corozal Town, a one-year-old child, Ivy Yang Chen, was taken at gunpoint from her mother, Mei Tang Chen. Kidnappers demanded a ransom of US $450 Thousand. But, the Police responded quickly and their prompt action freed the child form her kidnappers. Here is the story as related by the Police to the media on Wednesday, and as reported by Channel 7 News. Allen Whylie Police Commissioner: “On Sunday, to be exact, we had a very heinous unspeakable crime that was committed against a young mother. In the Corozal district sometime after 7:30 that night, she was driving on a road in Santa Rita Village area, where 2 vehicles intercepted her vehicle and stop her from moving. Several persons came out of that vehicle and took her baby away, basically kidnap her child, a 1 year old baby.”
  • Who Will It Be Now? Cross Country Classic Coming!:
    After five-years of Belizean drought, with Foreigners drinking up all the Cross Country glory, last year, 2012, young Giovanni Choto reclaimed the Garland for Belize and made all of us proud. Who will it be in 2013? That’s what everybody wants to know. On Holy Saturday, March 30, 2013 we will all find out. Belizean again, or back to the Foreigners? What will it be; and who will it be?
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: Life and Death - Cycle of Cycles:
    It’s that time of the year once again when issues of Life and Death come into sharp focus. It is, of course, the Easter Season, which is centrally about how one Man died in order that all Mankind might live. Everywhere, in every way, the cycle of Life and Death constantly plays out before us and around us. But, in this part of the World, in this peculiar Land, there is something in 2013 that tells us there is more at hand than just another turn in the regular cycle. Indeed, by all accounts, the year just ended a quarter ago marked for us the end of an entire cycle; the cycle of cycles, if you will; and the beginning of something completely new.
  • Congrats!:
    The Ministry of Health extends congratulations to Dr. Marjorie Parks on her Outstanding Women Award by the Women’s Department of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. Dr. Parks was nominated for this award by the Nurses’ Association of Belize. The award was given to her Wednesday Night, March 27, 2013 at a ceremony at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. Each year, the Women’s Department chooses six women - one from each district - for their outstanding contributions to their organization and community. The Women’s Department feels that “it is important to take note of all the honourees’ contribution and to use the ceremony to reenergize their efforts in the path that leads to women’s empowerment and respect for human rights.”
  • New Venezuelan Ambassador Presents credentials to Governor General:
    His Excellency Yoel Del Valle Perez Marcano, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Belize has presented his credentials to the Governor General of Belize, His Excellency Sir Colville Young. The Governor General extended a warm welcome to the Ambassador on behalf of the people of Belize; and both the Governor General and the Ambassador expressed hope for the continuation of their strong and cordial diplomatic relationship.
  • Prime Minister on Leave:
    The Office of the Prime Minister informs that the Hon. Dean Barrow departed the Country Wednesday, March 27, 2013 on personal leave. During the Prime Minister’s absence, Hon. Gaspar Vega, the Deputy Prime Minister, will act as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Dean Barrow expects to return to Belize on Easter Monday, April 1, 2013.
  • PUBLIC CAUTION Prime Minister on Leave Rising Cases of Hepatitis A:
    The Ministry of Health is investigating a cluster of fourteen suspected cases of Hepatitis A that have occurred over the last three weeks in the Trio Village, Stann Creek District. One such case has been confirmed by lab. Hepatitis A is a food and waterborne disease with symptoms that may include yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine, light-colored stool along with mild fever, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite among others. This self-limiting disease can also be contracted from close contact with infected individuals. T h e Ministry advises the public to take necessary precautions (as listed below) to prevent contamination and spread of the virus.
  • “Stop Trying to Scare the Belizean People!” Belmopan Member Rebuts Leader of the Opposition:
    Let me first observe that there are two traditional markers, standards or yardsticks used to judge a country’s performance, or in this case, the performance of the United Democratic Party Government, My Government. And Mr., Speaker, let me say for the record that there are some who take issue with my reference to this United Democratic Party Government, this Government of the Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow, as “My Government”. I continue to so unabashedly because, unlike those on the other side who are ashamed of the record of their government between 1998 and 2008 and ashamed of associating themselves with the Government of Said Musa, I am extremely proud of this United Democratic Party Government, and exceedingly proud of my Prime Minister, the Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow (applause).
  • Faith Lift By Zelda Hill: The Resurrection of Christ: Blind Faith or Fact?:
    Without the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, Christianity is baseless. Today, over 2 billion people worldwide claim to be Christians and thus embrace faith in the deity, virgin-birth, suffering, death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christians in Belize join yearly with Christendom to commemorate the Lenten Season and Easter, during which many commit to fasting and to giving up certain luxuries while others reflect on and celebrate the spiritual significance of Jesus’ sufferings and triumphant resurrection from the dead.
  • All in Two Days’ WorK PM Barrow Wraps Up Debate on 2013-2014 Budget:
    Mr. Speaker, let me try to deal as quickly as I can with what the main protagonists on the other side had to say. You know I was told that I should try to respond to at least each of their Deputy Leaders, but there are so many deputy leaders, that I am afraid I have to abandon the enterprise (applause)! A lot of chiefs and very few Indians over on that side! Anyway, I do want to bear well in mind, Mr. Speaker, as we conclude this marathon session, your admonition right at the start as to conduct. And I think, by and large, you have been rewarded; I feel the debate has been relatively civil. I don’t want to depart from that, but I do have to sound a warning, Mr. Speaker. It is a hollowed parliamentary tradition everywhere in the civilized world, you know, for opponents to deploy language as a weapon. This is what happens in high-quality debates; you employ words as a sword on which to impale the other side. There’s nothing quite like a well-turned phrase; a shaft that hits the mark.
  • “Busy Serving the People” (Presentation by Hon. Rene Montero during Budget Debate 2013-2014):
    Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the 2013/2014 budget. But before I continue with my presentation I must take time to publicly congratulate our Prime Minister the Hon. Dean Barrow for his stewardship in the successful renegotiation of the super bond. Once again he has proven the ‘nay-Sayers’ wrong, and has proven that only a UDP Government can successfully deliver this country through financial hardship. The past year has been a successful one for the Ministry of Works regardless of the many challenges we have been faced with and the numerous obstacles we had to overcome. Nonetheless, I am pleased to report that due to superb leadership, dedication, and hard work of the WORKS TEAM we were able to show marked improvement in the road infrastructure of this jewel. Budgetary constraints continues to be a reality not only in this country, but in all developing economies thus the reason we are ever mindful of our Prime Minister’s advice of the need to enhance the institutional capacity of ministries and encourage sustained improvement in their performance and management so that we can meet the expectations of the various stakeholders in our development efforts.
  • Congrats & Welcome : Recruit Intake #88 130 New Officers Join The Ranks of the Belize Police Department:
    Graduation Ceremonies were held on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 for 130 new officers of the Belize Police Force who make up Recruit Squad #88. During the Ceremonies, Awards were given out in various categories. Baton of Honor went to RPC 1528 Andy Rodriguez; In the Written Exam, First Place went to RPC 1450 Rodrigo Castillo, and Second Place to RPC 1528 Andy Rodriguez; the award for Most Consistent Recruit went also to RPC 1528 Andy Rodriguez. The Best Physical Condition Award was taken by RPC 1480 Daniel Jimenez; the 1st Shooting Qualification Award went to RPC 1467 David Gongora; the Commandant’s Prize was received by WRPC 1544 Lourdes Torres; and the 1st in First Aid Award went to RPC 1579 Zair Pott.
  • More Expert-Training for Crime-Fighters UN and UK Sponsor Forensic Ballistic Training:
    The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration with the British High Commission in Belize and the Ministry of National Security has conducted a one-week Training on Forensic Ballistics mainly in support of criminal investigations and the counter-proliferation of firearms and ammunition. A one day seminar entitled ‘Overview of Forensic Ballistics for Decision-Makers and Policy-Makers’ was followed by a 4 day technical course exclusively for forensic technicians, forensic scientists and other specialized personnel. These activities form part of UNLIREC´s broader technical assistance to countries of the Caribbean and Central America focused on curbing illicit small arms trafficking and reducing armed violence.
  • Police Restructures to Meet New Challenges:
    Some significant fine-tuning has been taking place within the Police Department to better equip it to meet the new challenges. On March 18, 2013, Commissioner Allen Whylie summoned the media to a Press Briefing where he outlined the changes which are intended for greater efficiency and effectiveness. “We cannot be satisfied in terms of the status quo, and the way how things have been done in the past. And whilst there will be pit falls, challenges and difficulties, rest assured that we firmly believe that the senior leadership level, that these changes are for the betterment of the department as well as the services to the nation.” The policing zones of the country have been re-constructed to ensure that important administration is carried under the direct command of senior officers. There are 4 different regions or zones; Commander of the Northern Region is Sr. Superintendent Joseph Myvette. Eastern Zone Commander is Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura. Senior Superintendent Aaron Guzman commands the Western Region. And Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano commands the Southern Region.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Belmopan City Council Kids and Youth Cups 2013 (Organized by Belmopan Football League)

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Town traffic signs get revamped
Traffic-Signs-EasterThe San Pedro Traffic Department has installed brand new reflective traffic signs across the town. Donated by an anonymous donor, the new traffic signs will help aid promote safe driving, especially with the influx of visitors arriving for the Easter vacations. The additional signs that have been placed in the main streets of San Pedro Town will compliment to the heavy inspection that will be done by the traffic wardens over the weekend. According to Councilor Kenrick Brackett, whose portfolio includes traffic and waste management, these steps have been taken to ensure safety for pedestrians and drivers alike during this busy weekend. Street markings have also been repainted so as to more clearly show the “no parking” zones.

Employee Assistance Policy survey conducted for public servants in Belize
The Ministry of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries, in an attempt to improve the performance standards and services delivery by public servants in Belize, has embarked on a number of modernization initiatives. A priority among these is the development of an Employee Assistance Policy (EAP) that will form the base for an EAP program for the Belize Public Service. Thus the services of a private consultant was retained to conduct a sample survey amongst public servants that will look at some of the challenges facing the public service and ways it can be improved through the EAP grogram. The survey was conducted in all the municipalities, with the last stop being San Pedro Town on March 27th. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, the Government Supervisor of Quality Assurance and Customer Service, Freya Parham-August explained that a sample of the public service workforce was asked to fill out the survey form.

Wildtracks receives grant from PACT
Wildtracks is a non-profit organization that aims to conserve Belize’s endangered species and educate people about the importance of sustaining these species. Their mission, “working towards the sustainable future of the natural resources for the people of Belize, through conservation, research, education and sustainable development,” is upheld with their constant successful rehabilitations of both the Antillean Manatees and two species of primates: Black Howler Monkey and Spider Monkey. One of Wildtracks’ goals is to build a primate nursery unit for the eight baby monkeys at the center. Founders of Wildtracks, Paul and Zoe Walker, estimated the cost for the nursery at $18,500 Bze. The Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) has eased Wildtracks’ burden by granting them a Support Grant of $10,000 Bze. This grant received from PACT will now allow Wildtracks to commence construction on the much needed nursery.

Ambergris Today

Crystal Water's Stay Healthy, Stay Hydrated Commercial
Crystal Water from the Crystal Bottling Company, Belize has just released a new video commercial that promotes “Stay Healthy, Stay Hydrated”. It is another great video with some familiar island faces that promotes a healthy lifestyle by drinking water. Do you recognize anybody in the commercial spot?

Government of Belize Responds to Guatemala’s Proposals
The Government of Belize, having had occasion to review the proposals by the Republic of Guatemala as presented in writing on 17th March, 2013 to Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, for the parties to consider postponement of the referenda for an indefinite period or for Belize to proceed on its own to hold a referendum on the agreed date, has decided to reject the Guatemalan proposals in their entirety.

Misc Belizean Sources

Ray Auxillou passed away last night
RAYMOND DENNIS AUXILLOU Jr., my father, was fondly known as “Captain Ray” by the local Reef community of Caye Caulker & his Sail buddies worldwide; “Raymundo the Magician” by some of his oldest & dearest friends who remember his brief early years as a traveling magician; the familiar “RAY” or “DAD” or “Grandpa” as his children & grandchildren referred to him, was 75 at the time of his death, after fighting a valiant battle he eventually lost to Cancer. Ray is one of three children of Tina & Raymond Auxillou, Sr. born on November 11, 1937 in Sheppards Bush, London, England just before World War II. He recalls his childhood, playing in bombed out ruins of brick buildings & of being buried alive twice with his mother during German air raids, eventually being dug out by rescuers alive due to small steel cages people had in their basements. In 1945, his father was a Senior Colonel with the British Army posted in Vienna, Austria and his family was allowed to join him. He lived in Austria from 1945 to 1949 which led to additional war stories prevalent of his childhood. His father Ray Sr. immigrated to Canada with the family when Ray Jr. was 12 years old & the young kid was about to start a new life.

The Mennonite History in Belize, A video documentary of life in Spanish Lookout, Belize, from 1958 to 2008.
Very interesting videos on the immigration of Mennonites into Belize and their sheer perseverance to survive the tough tropical rain forest environment. This is truly a history lesson especially for those of us who were living in Belize in the 60's and remember their first ventures into Belize City selling peanuts, honey, chickens and furniture on North Front St., decked out in their blue coveralls and white hats and they probably still dress the same way today. If you are able to watch it on a big screen TV, it will be even more inspiring.

Upgrades at Belize’s Gaia Riverlodge
Gaia Riverlodge receives quality upgrade, one of top things to do in Belize. One of the top things to do in Belize is relax at a tranquil resort. Luckily, a reputable accommodation that has undergone renovations and a name change is welcoming guests to explore its breathtaking property. The Gaia Riverlodge, overlooking the iconic Five Sisters Waterfalls, has always retained its signature outlooks and ideal location in the beautiful Pine Ridge Forest. However, guests can now indulge in luxurious upgrades as well for an even more unforgettable stay. Special features of the new riverlodge Each cabana now boasts smooth hardwood floors, stylish decor, plush linens, and dark wood furnishings that are all new to each room. Those staying at Gaia will notice the main lodge has also experienced a makeover with relaxing bar, welcoming reception area and a charming gift shop stocked with local Belizan wares. Indoor and outdoor seating in the cabanas and lodge offer panoramic vistas of the falls as well as the lush flora and fauna. Belizean cuisine is served from these vantage points too so visitors can truly immerse themselves in the exotic and rich culture of the forest region.

Please do not follow turtles too closely
I hope everyone has a safe and joyous Easter Holiday. And PLEASE allow at least 3 diver lengths between you and the turtle in front ... it is no fun rear-ending one!

Sawdust Art Project 2013
The Benque House of Culture and Via Real Sangre de Cristo are having a full day of activities for Good Friday, starting with the Sawdust Art Project. They'll end the day, at 6:00pm, with the Funeral Procession.

NES National Validation forum

Channel 7

Alleged Jose Shoman Plotters Set Free By Appeals Court
Viewers may remember the Shoman 5; they were a group of 5 men who convicted in March 2011 of attempting to rob and kill businessman Jose Shoman Jr. Well, tonight, 4 of those men are in the process of being freed and released from prison due to major developments in the Court of Appeal. They were 47 year-old Miguel Mayorga and 27 year-old Cesar Aldana, who were sentenced to 14 years in prison, and 21 year-old Jose Cordova, 21 year-old Eswin Rosalez, and 22 year-old Carlos Juarez who were sentenced to 12 years in prison on a combination of conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. A jury deliberated and found them guilty on testimonies that on December 12, 2008 two of Shoman's employees Eric Miranda and Hector Perez over-heard the five talking about a plot to kill and rob Shoman. They said Mayorga invited them to his house and told them he had some money for them and they were to leave the back gate to Shoman's premises open. Police made a pre-emptive strike, and reportedly caught Mayorga with 2 loaded pistols, and they arrested and charged the 4 men in connection with this alleged plot.

Finally, Rhett Fuller Gets A Break In His Case
Rhett Fuller is now approaching the 15th year in his campaign to resist extradition to the USA. He is wanted in that country for the first-degree murder of American Larry Miller, which occurred on March 22, 1990. Since the Belizean Courts started extradition proceedings against him in 1998, he has been in jail, out of jail, and back again while taking all legal avenues available to him from the Supreme Court, to the Appeal Court, all the way up to the Privy Council. In each hearing, his appeals were met with failures. That is up until today when he got a major break from the Court of Appeal. It's in relation to his application of judicial review of the decision by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, to refuse to deny the extradition request. In September of 2011, Elrington heard applications in a tribunal as final arbiter as to why it was unjust to allow the extradition to proceed. He denied those applications, and Fuller's attorney, Eamon Courtenay, filed an appeal which was heard in October of last year. It was an extensive hearing, in which Courtenay put forward several grounds including information from Wikileaks in which 3 US diplomatic cables documented communication between Elrington and US Embassy representatives, which show that Elrington may have introduced bias in decision. After combing through all the material in the case, the Court of Appeal handed down a judgment this morning that Fullers Appeal is allowed on 2 main grounds. Those were of bad faith from the US Government in relation to those cables, and that the Foreign Minister did not fully exercise his jurisdiction to consider whether or not the delayed extradition process was unjust and oppressive to Fuller, as he is fully entitled to under the law.

Coro Kidnapper To Court
Today in Orange Walk Magistrate's Court, Thomas Elmer Villanueva was charged for kidnapping. He was one of three persons caught near the seaside in Corozal town earlier this week with Ivy Yang, the two year old who had been kidnapped. But the other two persons, 24 year old Angelica Noh and 27 year old Freddy Gongora were not charged today. They are the ones who basically delivered the baby back to police after Thomas Villanueva had allegedly taken the child to "Firebun" village to conceal her at his aunt's house. The DPP advised police that they only have sufficient evidence at this time to charge Thomas Elmer Villanueva. Police believe that he was involved in the kidnapping, but think that he was working for a ringleader, who is still at large.

Independence Immigration Encounter Suspicious Man
Police in Independence have detained a man with bogus documents who has insignia linked to a dangerous California-based gang. He was found out by Immigration Personnel in Independence who detected that he was applying for a visitors' permit with a falsified Belize social security card, driver's license and birth certificate in the name of Roberto Payne Cordova - who is from nearby Bella Vista Village. Police were called in and they went to search his house where they found a Honduran passport in the name of Roberto Cordova of San Francisco de Cortes Honduras. He also had a Motorola radio and Base set in his house. Police observed that he wore tattoos depicting the number "18" on his chest, arm and foot. This is linked to the 18th street gang in the USA, which is also known as the M-18 gang or Mara 18 - which also has membership in Central America. He has been detained pending charges.

Guats Want Dotted Line Map With Belize on Their Passports
Three weeks ago, we told you about the map that Guatemala's Ministry of Education intends to use in its schools. It depicts Belize as part of Guatemalan territory, separated only by a dotted line. Well, now, according to the Prensa Libre newspaper, that offensive image will appear on the front of four million Guatemalan passports to be printed over the next ten years. The newspaper reports that Guatemala's Ministry of the interior is putting the contract for the passports out to tender. The technical requirements specify that the map depicted on the passport "must illustrate that there is a territorial dispute." That would be done by showing the boundary with Belize as a dotted line. Past Guatemalan passports have shown Belize as separate and distinct - like other countries in Central America.

Monica Meets the Good Friday Fish Finders
Tomorrow is Good Friday - and all who can afford to do so will eat fish. It's a major cultural practice that marries local cuisine to Christian tradition. But, there's also a commercial aspect to it; since fish prices always seem to spike at Easter time. That's the rule of the market place, applied to the fish-market - and Monica Bodden went to the fish market at Newtown Barracks to find out what's in supply and demand: Monica Bodden Reporting Whether your taste is for red snapper, black snapper, tuna, kubali, or tarpon, today, fish markets had them stacked up John Pollard - Looking for Snapper/Mackerel "Yes you cannot imagine Good Friday without fish." Joseph Contreras - Fisherman "It's the Snappers, mostly Snappers; they want Snappers." Rosendo Nunez - Fisherman "Right now it's Barrow and Snapper's they want right now, King fish, Jack but mostly Snapper right now though." John Pollard "Tradition-wise, on Good Friday everybody sit down around their table trying to eat good Snapper or good Mackerel."

A Fish Tale, Part 2
And while fish sales were brisk today - prices were driven up somewhat by scarcity. That's due in part to the cold front the veteran seamen told us about, but it's also due to the fact that there are fewer fish in the sea. That's the theme of a feature by Special Correspondent Janelle Chanona. We presented part one of her "Fish Tale" last week - and this week, we have part two, where she looks at the benefits of conserving the non-renewable fisheries resource: Janelle Chanona Reporting The fish debate is actually a bread and butter issue. Statistics for 2011 show that almost thirteen thousand Belizeans are direct beneficiaries while another thousand people are employed in the processing, marketing and service industries. Minute changes in the norm have widespread ripple effects. A microcosm of this reality made headlines in April 2012 when local fishermen filled the quota for conch six weeks early. Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development "Fortunately, they were able to see the immediate benefits of it the following conch season and in fact, some of them have been so bold as to say, maybe we need to close it even earlier because this season has been very, very productive and so that was a bold decision to make."

Passengers Benefit In The Water Taxi War
And keeping things in the water, today droves of Belizeans headed for the islands on water taxi's. It used to a be a fairly straightforward affair, but with robust competition between San Pedro Belize Express and Caye Caulker Water taxi, this year, the water taxi business is on a whole other level! There's live entertainment in the terminals, complimentary drinks for passengers, cash giveaways, double up phone offers, free computer apps, even a kiddies corner! That's how far the taxi services will go to get your business! Today Monica Bodden stopped in at the Caye Caulker Water Taxi, where passengers were enjoying the perks of cut throat competition: Georgina Mendez - Passenger "I am a visitor." Monica Bodden "Where are you visiting from?" Georgina Mendez "From Guatemala, I am from Guatemala but I like Belize. I love Belize, I love the natural things and the kindness of the people, the warmth. I'm going to San Pedro, maybe Caye Caulker too." Monica Bodden "Are you going to be staying in the Cayes for the Easter weekend?"

Family Worries About Missing 14 Year Old
And while some will retreat to the islands, one family will be at home worrying about their missing daughter. 14 year-old Casi Norales has been missing for the last 24 hours. Her family came to us this evening to get the word out to the public in their efforts to find her. Here's what they told us. Shirley Trapp - Mother of Missing Girl "So if she's out there, Casi please come home, we miss you. Your family is here, please come your little brother needs to see you, please." Daniel Ortiz "But ma'am how long has it been since she's gone now?" Shirley Trapp "She's missing from like around 8 o'clock last night on Wednesday." Daniel Ortiz "Okay, you all made a report as yet?" Shirley Trapp "Yes, we done went to the station already, we made a full report and we come to this for another report so that people out there can see and hear." Daniel Ortiz "How old is she?" Shirley Trapp "She's 14." Daniel Ortiz "Has this ever happened before?"

What Variables Will Factor Into Holy Saturday Classic?
Tonight, the nation waits in anticipation as the 2013 Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic draws ever nearer. And in this, the 85th running of the biggest race on the cycling calendar, there are constants and there are variables. The arduous road is the greatest, eternal constant. And so, the determining factors then become the variables: the field of competitors; the condition of the riders; and the stock of foreign riders. Early this morning, 7News got a chance to size up those variables by catching up with some of the riders working out for the last time before the race. Daniel Ortiz has that report: Daniel Ortiz Reporting This morning at around 5 a.m., most of the Belize City riders made a light ride to Hattieville Village and back. It's part of the last preparations for the athletes, as they try to maintain peak condition for Saturday's Race. Team Santino's did a slow ride, just to keep the riders loose. Hon. Santino Castillo - Manager, Team Santinos "Well, it's just a 30 mile ride, taking our time hour and a half, hour 45 minutes loosening the guys' lega, nothing intense. Relax them; get them ready; at this point in time, if you don't have it you can't get it again. It's just to keep the muscle loose."

Divine Mercy Church Gets Benque Style Christ Image
And while the Easter Weekend is about cross country, trips to the Cayes, Good Friday Fish and Hot Cross Buns, it's really about the most sacred Christian observance: the death and resurrection of Christ. And to honour that appropriately, the Catholics at the Church of divine Mercy on the Northern Highway have imported a fine art technique form Benque Viejo to mark the crucifixion of Christ. We found out more from Anita Zetina: Anita Zetina - Volunteer "Well basically we're preparing what we call carpets of sawdust. As you will notice, it is sawdust of different colors that they make the designs that represent the Eucharist, Christ carrying his cross and then we have a rosary on one end, and a cross on the other. A tradition that has been going on in Benque for a number of years, and now through the sponsorship of RJB Construction Limited, Mrs. Guerra who is heading the team here today, brought it from Benque to Divine Mercy Church. It's basically all sawdust and if you notice here on the cross, they used some seeds as well like beans, rice and corn. The base of it, however, is saw dust and they use different colors to make the designs that you now see." Monica Bodden "How long does it last?" Anita Zetina "Well if you keep wetting it so that it doesn't dry out, it can last very long."

Channel 5

Will Rhett Fuller be extradited to the U.S.A.?
Rhett Fuller appeared in the Court of Appeal this morning to learn his fate in his long fight against extradition. It could have been his final appearance in a Belizean Court, since his legal options have all but run out after years of fighting extradition to the United States. The issue before the Appeal Court [...]

4 of Jose Shoman’s alleged murder conspirators freed of charge
There was other very significant news coming out of the Court of Appeal today, this time for four men charged jointly for conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit robbery. The case is from way back in December of 2008, which is when authorities say five men, one Honduran national and four Guatemalan nationals, [...]

One man charged for the kidnapping of a 2 year old
One man has been charged for the kidnapping of a two year old from Santa Rita Heights, Corozal for whom the kidnappers were demanding a ransom of close to a million dollars. Thirty-two year old Thomas Villanueva, from a South End Street address in Corozal Town, was formally charged today and taken to the Orange [...]

85th Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is on
The eighty-fifth running of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is less than two days away and preparations for what is easily the biggest, single-day, sporting event are in progress.  The highly coveted garland, the second to be won by a Belizean athlete in a decade, was taken by Giovanni Choto in an impressive [...]

Belizean women, 16 recognized for contribution to society
The culmination of a month-long series of activities in commemoration of Women’s Month was held on Wednesday night with an honors ceremony in recognition of nineteen outstanding Belizean women.  The Bliss Center for the Performing Arts was the venue of the eight annual Women’s Award, where acknowledgment was bestowed upon a cohort of great women [...]

Senator Mark Lizarraga concerned about BIL, government’s private company
Belize Infrastructure Limited is government’s special purpose vehicle and everybody’s talking about it…except government, that is. While the details are few, we do know that BIL will be in charge of sixty million dollars which will be used for projects including the Belize City Center. We also know that the Chairman and Director of this [...]

Honduran 18th Street Gang member busted with false documents
A Honduran national is in immigration custody for attempting to pull a fast one using false documents. On Tuesday morning, he arrived at the Immigration Department in Independence Village to apply for a permit. He was applying under the name, Roberto Payne Cordova, but a check on his Social Security card, Belizean driver’s license and [...]

Psychiatric evaluation ordered for cab driver who escaped police
A Belize City taxi cab driver was slapped with five offenses ranging from Aggravated Assault upon a police officer to Escape from Lawful Custody. Thirty-nine year old Lincoln Miguel appeared before Hettie Mae Stewart and was read three of five counts due to his unusual behavior in court. Magistrate Stewart ordered a psychiatric evaluation but [...]

GSU cops pose as drug consumers to bust peddlers
It is not often we hear of police going undercover in order to catch suspected suppliers of drugs red handed, but on Tuesday, members of the GSU did just that. The officers posed as thugs trying to buy weed in the Mile Eight community of the George Price highway and were able to detain three [...]

Assistant Commissioner offers safety tips for Easter Holidays
Easter, Christmas and long holiday weekends have more than just a celebratory atmosphere in common. These occasions are for families and friends to go full throttle do destinations across the country. Unfortunately, holidays are also a time when enterprising thieves take advantage of unsecured homes and properties. Following Thursday’s press briefing, Assistant Commissioner of Police [...]

Electronic monitoring of major crime now a reality for precincts
The location, frequency and body count combined form important data for the police department’s major crime statistics. Those statistics are used to determine which areas would be deemed Crime Ridden Areas, gang related and in need of additional police support. The analysis has become more advanced and according to Assistant Commissioner of Police and Head [...]

Pulling out the carpets for a festive, religious occasion
Sawdust carpets are layers of colored sawdust or other materials laid on the ground mostly for religious activities. It is traditionally used for processions in Benque Viejo where many will participate this Friday to witness the creation of the sawdust tapestries. The tradition has been brought to the verandah of the Divine Mercy Church in [...]

Tanya Carter’s new music video and Jamaican excursion
In the past, Belizean singer Tanya Carter has opened for Etana, Luciano, Lexxus and Morgan Heritage.  Carter released a music video for her latest song, Ex-Boyfriend, a week ago. Carter had been in Jamaica collaborating with Christopher Birch of Birchill Records and also performing her brand of music for the past two weeks. When she [...]

Musician sings songs for the soul with Christian music
Carter is not the only singer who is blessing the ears of the public. This past weekend, many local artists took the spotlight at the Belizean Music Awards which catered to several genres. The Belizean flavor has been known to spice up reggae, RnB and Punta and Soca. Christian artist and Roaring Creek youth, Dennis [...]

Healthy Living avoids a sunburn
The Easter holidays often mean sand and sun for many Belizeans who head to the beaches. If your weekend includes a trip to the beaches or if you will be engaged in other outdoor activities, tonight we offer expert advice to help you avoid or minimize damage associated with exposure to the sun.  Dermatologist Doctor [...]


Rhett Fuller staves off extradition again
Today the Court of Appeal ordered Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General Wilfred Elrington to reconsider his September 2011 decision to extradite businessman Rhett Allen Fuller to the United States to be tried for the murder of Larry Miller in 1990, which had been upheld by the Supreme...

Four accused conspirators in Jose Shoman murder acquitted
In March of 2011 five men from Honduras, Guatemala and Belize were convicted of a plot to invade the palatial home of businessman Jose Shoman and rob and kill him and his family. They were Miguel Mayorga, Jose Ismael Cordova, Cesar Junior Aldana, Carlos Juarez and Eswin Rosales. Shoman...

Belmopan Market to be relocated
The Tuesday and Friday market is to be relocated. The Belmopan City Council has faced an exhaustive two plus years of finding a location to place the Belmopan Farmers Market. In June of last year it was agreed on by all parties that the Market would remain at its...

Police charge one man in abduction case
For the past couple days, we have been following the abduction of a two year old baby that happened on Sunday evening in Corozal. As we reported, the kidnappers were requesting close a million dollars for her safe return, but Police were able to rescue the baby in the...

Senator Godwin Hulse says Government is growing the economy
According to preliminary estimates compiled by the Statistical Institute of Belize, Belize’s economy grew by 5.3% during 2012; and according to the PM this growth is attributable to brisk activity in agriculture, agro-manufacturing, tourism, construction and telecommunications. During the budget debate and yesterday’s senate sitting the opposition questioned that...

Confiscated cigarettes returned to businessman
Last week, we reported on a big contraband bust, where 1,300 cases of Modern Silver Elephant cigarettes were confiscated in the Jalacte area of Southern Belize. The cigarettes which valued some $143,000 US Dollars, were purchased legally in the Corozal Free Zone by Guatemala businessman Jose Antonio Ramirez and...

Suspected gang member faces immigration charges
A man suspected to be a member of the notorious 18 street gang was caught trying to pull a fast one on Immigration with false documentation. We cannot reveal the name of the man, because he has not been charged as yet. However what we can tell you is...

Mother lodges complaint against hospital for misdiagnosis
A mother is lodging a complaint against the Western Regional Hospital after her 6 year old son received an awfully risky misdiagnosis. Andrea Rodriguez says that on Friday, she noticed that her son’s skin began to break out in rash and his face was becoming swollen. She initially thought...

Christians prepare to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth
Any regular church-going Christian should be able to tell you that the Easter festival celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God chosen to redeem the entire sinful world through his own sacrifice. But some may not know that Jesus’s last days on earth...

Negligent driver to pay compensation to victim’s family
A man convicted on a negligence charge in the death of a pedestrian will have to pay the victim’s family fifteen thousands in compensation. On Tuesday, Orange Walk resident 63 year old Orlando Ramirez was found guilty of Causing Death by Negligence – a charge that stems from a...


More Easter food options and one cute kid
Easter is a BIG holiday in Belize and everyone is making their Easter weekend plans. Many people from the mainland go coastal and come to Ambergris Caye for some beach time, traditionally on Easter weekend, beaches are people watching paradise, resorts are packed and golf cart rentals sold out. A few people told me yesterday they are stocking up and will be avoiding the crowds in town. I am still undecided for plans, will likely try and make it down to the beach at some point if I do not get sucked into relaxing at home which is a strong runner up Dick and I stopped by to see Glen and he told us about his plans with family doing barbecue and going around town to check out all the action. While there I snapped a few pictures of Junior he is super cute and very smart for a little guy and knows how to wrap everyone around to his way of thinking.

Taking the Bus To The Belize Zoo on ONE HOT DAY
Somehow I always find a way to make things more difficult…usually without even trying. Last Saturday, I attended the 2013 Bandfest and Trinidad & Tobago v. Belize soccer match on what I will now melodramatically refer to as “the hottest day of my life”. The next day, I later found out, was even hotter. Apparently the temperature in Belmopan last Sunday was over 100…a level I’ve never seen on Ambergris Caye (seen is the correct word…the air was visibly radiating with heat). So what do I decide to do? Take the Sunday local bus to the Belize Zoo. The local bus that stops in each village, that has no air conditioning, is jam packed and since it is Sunday, comes sporadically, leaving you waiting on the side of the road for up to an hour in the blazing heat. Here are just a few of the stops. Don’t worry…they’ll stop as much as they need to. “No standing on the bus” was announced and we all retreated. Hot and super crabby…I needed to find an alternative to get those 23 miles to the Zoo and budget travel was no longer on my mind. I headed outside, found a taxi driver and bargained him down from $60bzd to $40bzd. To the zoo! The ocelot letting me know that “ain’t nobody got time fo that”… And the gorgeous harpy eagles – the largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas. Its talons are longer than a grizzly bear’s claws. He’s been known to pick off monkeys and small pigs.

“Girls, Girls, Girls” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Received an update yesterday (after I had sent an email requesting one) from Roshel Godfrey of the Belize Tourism Board as to the status of my application to enter the QRP ( Qualified Retirement Program). She confirmed that they have everything that is required to process my application and now just require a report from Interpol to confirm that I am ‘clean’. Apparently this can take anywhere from between two to eight weeks. Better ‘hold fire’ on ordering the golf cart! Having missed my breakfast at Estel’s the previous morning because of the power outage I made up for it yesterday and managed to get a table on the deck. I know that many people much prefer a table on the beach but it is not my preferred option . Too much ‘people traffic’ and what you are eating or doing (in my case normally on the Internet) becomes another thing for them to stare at. A beach table is also not the best placement for the refill coffee runs! Home for some time on the Internet looking at faucets and showers – we now only have one week to make our selections to be certain that they are on-site to the required schedule – and it seemed like no time at all that Rose and I were ready to make the trip north to Tres Cocos to look at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize . On the way up there we saw another example of how the San Pedro Town Council makes very effective use of overhead banners to communicate relevant messages to residents and tourists alike.

Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
At the peak of the mid-morning heat, be among thousands of onlookers lining the George Price Highway in anticipation, as over one hundred cyclists battle for the coveted 2013, Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic title! On Saturday, March 30, 2013, sheer athleticism will be on display as teams battle each other for the entire 140 mile route from Belize City to San Ignacio Town and back! With a steady growth in spectators, this annual Belizean tradition was first held on April 5th, 1928, and celebrates its 85th mark this year. Cyclists are categorized into four groups, 18 Year Old , Under 23, Elite and Masters. This is an event for family and friends to come out and enjoy the finish line festivities, while indulging in the tasty food and cool beverages on sale! Route: At the break of dawn (6:00 a.m.) riders start their journey from Belize City at the Leslie’s Imports (Mile 1 ½) mark on the George Price Highway. With screams of motivation by onlookers, the riders travel west to San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, where upon reaching the Queen Elizabeth Park, they race back to Belize City. The FINISH line, at the Memorial Park, in Belize City, will be teeming with fans as officials gather for the short award ceremonies.

International Sources

The Brains of the Animal Kingdom
New research shows that we have grossly underestimated both the scope and the scale of animal intelligence. Primatologist Frans de Waal on memory-champ chimps, tool-using elephants and rats capable of empathy. Who is smarter: a person or an ape? Well, it depends on the task. Consider Ayumu, a young male chimpanzee at Kyoto University who, in a 2007 study, put human memory to shame. Trained on a touch screen, Ayumu could recall a random series of nine numbers, from 1 to 9, and tap them in the right order, even though the numbers had been displayed for just a fraction of a second and then replaced with white squares. I tried the task myself and could not keep track of more than five numbers—and I was given much more time than the brainy ape. In the study, Ayumu outperformed a group of university students by a wide margin. The next year, he took on the British memory champion Ben Pridmore and emerged the "chimpion." How do you give a chimp—or an elephant or an octopus or a horse—an IQ test? It may sound like the setup to a joke, but it is actually one of the thorniest questions facing science today. Over the past decade, researchers on animal cognition have come up with some ingenious solutions to the testing problem. Their findings have started to upend a view of humankind's unique place in the universe that dates back at least to ancient Greece.

Belize's Grammy-nominated Garifuna drumming champs head to VIU for showcase
The Lebeha Drummers from Hopkins Village, Belize, traditional Garifuna drumming champions from Central America, are coming to Vancouver Island University's Cowichan campus on Wednesday, April 3. The group has been nominated for a Grammy award in the world music category and are going to be touring Vancouver Island, including this stop in Duncan. They'll be giving a varied cultural presentation to students from VIU's anthropology and First Nations child and youth care programs but organizers are sure they'll have space for members of the public to come and listen, too. It all starts at 10: 30 a.m. with a Cowichan First Nation welcome and runs until noon. A light, traditional meal from all the different cultures will be served. According to VIU's Manjeet Uppal, the drummers are bringing some Thai guests as well so it should be an exciting multicultural showcase.

Belize Territorial Volunteers demarcate border lines
Belize has had a land dispute with Guatemala over where the Belize border is. Guatemala has traditionally claimed Belize as part of Guatemala. Now it is proposed that the matter be settled at the International Court of Justice. Guatemala and Belize are holding referendums in both countries in October to decide whether or not the matter should go to the ICJ. Many different positions are being proffered. On a recent weekend, a group of people, the Belize Territorial Volunteers, proposed going and clearing a line along the Belize side of the border. Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, who is also the attorney general, said that was a bad idea and would cause conflict with Guatemala. The president of Guatemala also objected to this action. “Those areas are covered in thick jungles. We can’t go cut that with machetes; that’s thick jungle,” said Elrington on Channel 7 News. “I do appreciate that some people believe – genuinely believe – that it is an act of nationalism. I could understand people being nationalistic, 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.”

10 great places you can visit for $50 a day
Travel doesn't have to be a savings-draining proposition. Pick the right destination and you can stretch your dollar for weeks or even months, says Matt Kepnes, author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day (Perigee Trade, $15). Best of all, you don't have to sacrifice comfort. "I don't like to spend a lot on travel, but I have no desire to sleep on floors," he says. "The main thing is to stay away from big-box hotels, find local restaurants and take public transportation." He shares with Larry Bleiberg for USA TODAY some favorite countries to visit on the cheap. While it's not the cheapest place in Central America, Belize has plenty to offer and it still can be experienced for $50 a day, Kepnes says. He suggests staying away from the popular Ambergris Caye resort area, and instead seek out Mayan ruins and less-developed beaches. "It has nice weather. It's small. It's easy to get around. It's still a good value destination."

Affordable-Living by the Beach in Placencia, Belize
The only thing Doran Yount and his wife Kim regret about their move to Belize is that they didn’t do it 30 years earlier. “We could never have afforded our beautiful home on the beach in the U.S. or on any island. But here, it’s truly affordable,” says Doran. As a native of Miami, Doran knew that he had salt in his veins. “Both my wife and I wanted to retire as close to the ocean as we could,” he says. “And sure, you’ll find ocean in Miami. But we disliked how congested the city was becoming. We wanted to take a deep breath. We were weary of the rat race. “In 2004 we’d looked at property in Belize and decided to let the euphoria settle down while we really thought it out. But then a day came when it took me two hours to go 60 miles on the Florida Turnpike and cost me $13 in tolls. That was the final straw. I had it. That was the turning point. I called Kim and told her to contact the real estate agent.” Three months later, Doran was on a plane from Miami to Belize with two chainsaws, a suitcase, and a plan. He was ready to clear the land where they would build their new tropical retreat. “I arrived first to build the cottage, which was eventually to become our guest house. Kim followed me in February 2006 with our five dogs and six cats, ready to begin our new adventure in life.” Having fallen in love with the warm climate, the friendly people, and the less expensive lifestyle in Belize, the two reflect on their old life back home: “The U.S. mentality was, ‘If you don’t have credit, you’re worthless. If you’re not in debt to everyone, you’re worthless.’ We worked harder every year and only got further behind.” “Here, you pay as you go. Millionaires and poor people live in wooden houses right next to each other,” says Doran.

Hendrix Students to Study Marine Biology in Belize
The students will be accompanied by Hendrix biology professors Dr. Jenn Dearolf and Dr. Joe Lombardi. The group visit the Belize Marine Tropical Research and Education Center on the island of Ambergris Caye; Actun Tunichil Muknal (Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre) a Mayan archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware; and explore the Mayan Ruins at Tikal, one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in northern Guatemala. Founded in 1876, Hendrix College is a national leader in engaged liberal arts and sciences education. For the fifth consecutive year, Hendrix was named one of the country's "Up and Coming" liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report.

New World Raises Funds for Denmark, Belize Drilling
New World Oil and Gas has raised the money it needs to drill two wells during the next 12 months on its Danica Jutland project in Denmark if it decides not to proceed with west testing on its Rio Bravo No.1 well in Belize, the firm reported Thursday. New World said that it has successfully placed 315 million shares in order to raise $9.5 million, the net proceeds of which it intends to use to test and appraise the Rio Bravo No.1 well subject to a successful well-logging program. To date all operations to do with the well are on schedule and under budget, the firm added, with a total depth of 8,800 feet – targeting the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation – expected to be reached by late April. However, New World also said that if the Rio Bravo No.1 well is not tested and appraised the funds will be used for the drilling of two wells targeting the Harboe and Jelling prospects at the company's Danica Jutland project in Denmark, as well as for the seismic interpretation and competent person's report costs of the project.

Three Stacks Thursdays - Things You Can Do In Belize With No Budget
Yo made it through the majority of the week and with the weekend almost here, we have some great things for you to do that will make you feel like it is here. In today's installment of Dollars & Sense, we are taking you to the island of Belize for some fun with wildlife.If you are a lover of animals, or maybe you just like monkeys, the Community Babboon Sanctuary in Belize may be a good time for you. The sanctuary is home to 1,000 black howler monkeys (known here as baboons), a large tree-dwelling species that is endangered in Belize. This is a volunteer conservation program established in 1985 to protect the monkeys, which are among one of the few viable populations of their kind in Central America.

Region's fisheries sector to gain cost savings from information and knowledge sharing
Under a Euro 30 million project funded by the European Union (EU) for projects to improve sustainable and equitable management of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, fisheries officials from CARIFORUM states are receiving training in the use of modern, cutting-edge, information and communication technology tools in their daily activities. “The enhanced use of these modern communication and information sharing tools, such as video-conferencing, social networking, tools for online collaborative document preparation and editing, can result in significant cost savings, increased productivity and outputs, as well as boost the earnings and income of fishers, and improve competitiveness and profitability within the fisheries and aquaculture sector,” said Milton Haughton, executive director, of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat, at the launch of a three-day regional training on information and knowledge sharing on sustainable fisheries management in the Caribbean. Haughton described the regional training workshop, which opened on Monday and runs through to Wednesday, as “another significant milestone in our journey to transform the fisheries and aquaculture sector, and enhance its contribution to national economic development.” He said that organizers are providing practical training which they hope will improve capacities and lead to greater integration of information and communication technology tools in all areas of the work of fisheries departments and other fisheries organisations in the region.

Belize's largest island crowned best in world by tourists
The western Caribbean nation, which boasts the second largest coral reef in the world after Australia's Great Barrier Reef, beat another Caribbean destination, St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, to top the TripAdvisor survey. Third place went to Bora Bora in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean which is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef and popular for its overwater bungalows. "Ambergris Caye boasts spectacular caves, winding waterfalls, tropical rainforest and hundreds of limestone caves," TripAdvisor spokeswoman Emma Shaw said in a statement. She said the TripAdvisor's inaugural list of the world's best islands was based on millions of reviews and ratings by international tourists on the travel website over the past year.

Belize: Life in the Underworld
“Have you ever really wondered what it looks like down under? No, not Aussie land, I mean way down under… underneath the ocean?” You can see the tiniest little creatures that you cannot even imagine exist! And the colors, oh, the colors are amazing! I love the shimmering blues and greens underneath the ocean. I am a scuba diver, and I tell you, some of the funnest times I have ever had in my life of travels is when I am under the sea or on a boat.

March 28, 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

Dates for the 9th annual Eco Challenge set
Preparations for the ninth annual Lagoon-Reef Eco-Challenge are underway, and the 2013 dates have been set for May 25th and 26th. This challenge will once again take kayakers through the delicate eco system of Ambergris Caye. Organizers of the event Elito Arceo and Kira Foreman revealed that the only major change is the starting route. Due to the project taking place at the original starting location at the old football field, the race will now commence at 6AM at Central Park heading north to the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge where they will travel under the bridge and into the lagoon area of San Pedro. From there paddlers will follow the normal annual route.On the first day, the kayakers will paddle up to Basil Jones in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve, where they will camp out for the night. On the second day, the kayakers will sprint southwards along the eastern coast of Ambergris Caye. The race will end in front of the Central Park. The routes are clearly marked so that the participants don’t get lost and the rules for the race remain the same as during past years’.

Kama Lounge Launches Wine & Cheese Bi-Weekly Event: Soirée
Presented by MIXEntertainment; Kama Lounge & Bistro Bar, located on the beachfront of Tres Cocos South, hosted the kickoff night for Soirée on Saturday, March 23, 2013. The evening boasted a mix of local residents and tourists enjoying the variety of unique wine selections that Karl H. Menzies provisioned for the evening. The wines, featuring Santa Carolina Vistana, Don David, Pedroncelli, and Seaglass, were paired with hand-selected Gouda, Brie, and Asiago cheeses, along with Focaccia and an assortment of fruits. The event will return on Saturday, April 13 at 4:00PM, and will be hosted on a bi-monthly basis on each 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. Each event will feature a new theme, with the next one slated to be called “Jetsetter”, Soirée: Jetsetter will feature wines from around the world, including from Italy, Argentina, Chile, and California. The wines for these events will be hand-selected from various wine distributors throughout Belize.

21 US teacher students receive first ever Belizean temporary teaching license
The Government of Belize (GOB), through the Ministry of Education (MoE) accomplished a historic milestone when 21 temporary teaching licenses were granted for the first time to foreign, volunteer student-teachers. The two-year temporary teaching licenses are the first of its kind ever to be granted in Belize and were bestowed during a short ceremony on Thursday March 21st at the San Pedro High School Conference Room. All recipients of the temporary licenses are senior students from the University of North Carolina, USA who are in their last semester pursuing their University Teacher’s Certification. According to the Professor and Director of the International Field Experience of the Foreign Exchange Program at the University of North Carolina, Dr. Dennis Kubasko, the 21 students come from a variety of specializations; including Early Childhood Education, Elementary (Primary) School Education, High School Education and Special Education. Kubasko explained to The San Pedro Sun that this trip marks the fifth year that the University of North Carolina is bringing student groups to Belize. This, he explained was an initiative resulting from the Sister City relationship that exists between the city of Wilmington, North Carolina and San Pedro Town.

Ambergris Today

Hol Chan Marine Reserve Holds Commercial Species Management Workshop
On Thursday, March 21, 2013, The Hol Chan Marine reserved embarked on a new endeavor by to improve the relationship between the marine reserve and those fishermen that use the area. A workshop was held with fishermen at the Fido's Court Yard to present fishers with a new project idea. The goal of the workshop was to hear from fishermen if they were interested in being organized as a group and working with Hol Chan and the Belize Fisheries Department to develop a sustainable management approach for the commercial fishery taking place inside the reserve, by adopting responsible fishing practices and implementing adequate fishery data collection in a participatory process that involves both stakeholders and marine reserve managers. The Belize Fisheries Department has been promoting a managed access approach to fishing in Southern Belize. Managed Access is where the fishery is controlled and each fisher has their designated areas to fish. The Department plans, in time, introduce it throughout the entire country. Hol Chan is unique in that the fishers in this area have been operating under this system since the establishment of the reserve; the process only needs to be formalized.

Living Healthy at Any Age, Take the Challenge
As we get older, chronic diseases creep in. It seems that only then, we realize how important our diet and physical activity is to our well being. Eating healthy and exercising is a lifelong habit we need to do our best to maintain. We may not be as agile, flexible and strong as we age but there are still activities we can do to keep our hearts healthy and increase our quality of life :) The motivational quote below has helped me; often times when it comes to eating healthier or exercising, we give up before our bodies adapt to the change we're looking for. We're a culture that wants immediate results, instant gratification. Do what's right, eat healthy, exercise frequently and in time you'll see the results :) Don't be a quitter, take the challenge!

Isla Bonita All Star Band Shines at Belize Bandfest
The Isla Bonita All Star Marching Band proudly represented San Pedro at the Governor General’s annual Marching Bandfest held in the capital city of Belmopan on Saturday, March 22, 2013. The team of some 20 drummers and 20 majorettes had been rehearsing since November of last year for this grand occasion and they showcased their talent in drumming and dancing on a four-mile parade route consisting of 14 marching bands. Marching bands from all over the country of Belize then performed an individual show at the football stadium in front of a huge crowd of fans and spectators. A very committed and energetic committee formed the steering group and ensured that the San Pedro All Star Band and majorettes had brand new instruments of snare drums and basses as well as custom-made uniforms in Chetumal which included from shoes to hats, gloves, pants, shirts, skirts, and suits which made the children and teenagers look totally bright and sharp.

No Hotels for Easter Break in San Pedro Village
The quaint and quiet fishing village of San Pedro was awakened in the 1950’s and 60’s by a rush of people coming to San Pedro to enjoy the Island and their friends and the Easter activities. Now here is the click. How could a lot of people be accommodated in San Pedro with no hotels available? This would seem like a contradiction or that I am making up a story or a lie. No, I am not. Years Ago in San Pedro the business people of Belize City would come to San Pedro and contact their friends on the Island to arrange for accommodation. A family of up to five persons would receive boarding and lodging free of cost with another family in San Pedro. Additionally this family would also bring along a few other friends who were always welcome. Many times the host family would even render their own beds to their friends of the city and towns. The hosts provided cooking facility, beds and hammocks, and fun fishing trips.

Misc Belizean Sources

Saving Little Bean
We cannot thank Keith Richard Kremlick and his family enough for their effort in saving a howler monkey found at Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS) on March 7th, 2013. Keith and his family found the monkey on a trail at CBWS covered with ants. Noticing that she was still alive and that no other monkey was in sight, they took her to the CBWS office and handed her over to the staff there. The guys at CBWS quickly reported this to the head office and from there all the arrangements were made to get her as quickly as possible to the Primate Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja.

Closing days of the Embassy of Mexico
In accordance with the Belizean official holiday calendar, the Mexican Embassy will close its offices in Belmopan and Belize City, as well as the Mexican Honorary Consulate in Corozal from March 29th to April 1st. The consular services in Belize City, including the issuing of passports and visas will be suspended during those days. The activities will resume on Tuesday, April 2nd. The Mexican Embassy makes available to Mexicans an emergency telephone number open 24/7 in case consular assistance or protection is needed:

El Encuentro Procession
Benque held their El Encuentro Procession Tuesday. "The procession of 'El Encuentro' was brought to Benque Viejo in the late 1800's by the founding parents from San Andres in Peten. In the 1980's it was revived under the pastorship of Fr. John McHugh."

2013 BTL Directory Launch
BTL has their 2013 Directory out. They have a video talking all about it. They now have coupons in the phone book, and they have a section that copied Flavors of Belize too. "2013 BTL Telephone Directory and Yellow Pages Launch."

Oil Exhibit at SISE HoC
The new exhibit is ready at the SISE House of Culture, and the theme is oil. "They have a new exhibit at the SISE HoC, and it's all about oil. What it is, where it comes from, and where it is in Belize."

Belize Facebook Population Infographic
Here's a cool infographic about the Belizean facebookers, courtesy of iBelmopan. The numbers have gone up half as many percent as the value of fb has gone down in the stock market. In related news, a few months ago, Google Plus became the social media with the second highest active users, surpassing Twitter. If nothing else, it's good to have both since you don't want to put all your eggs in one basket. "As you may notice, this year compared to last year, the number of Facebook users has increased by 23% (making a total of 81,560 real users) as shown in the infographic below. That means that 25.93% of the total population of Belize has a Facebook account. Wow! Out of the 81,560 users 49% (39,964) are males and 51% (41,596) are females. Those averages didn't change compared to last year."

World Tapir Day Only a Month Away
April 27th is World Tapir Day, and the Belize Zoo will be having a grand event to celebrate it, including the displaying of their latest tapir, which is a full sized paper mache tapir created over the span of 2 months by Katie Shea Stevens. Don't miss the festivities at the best little zoo in the world! "Katie Shea Stevens made a life size tapir out of paper mache for the Belize Zoo. Don't forget that April 27th is World Tapir Day, and the Belize Zoo will be having special activities for it. The paper mache tapir is currently on display at the zoo."

Life Sized Paper Mache Tapir for the Belize Zoo
Katie Shea Stevens made a life size tapir out of paper mache for the Belize Zoo. Don't forget that April 27th is World Tapir Day, and the Belize Zoo will be having special activities for it. The paper mache tapir is currently on display at the zoo.

Cayo's Easter Fair Weekend
Cayo's Easter Fair will be at the Victor Galvez stadium this Saturday and Sunday. The SISE Town Council has a great line up this year. There will be plenty of games, rides, food, and music, along with entertainment from Orquidea Negra, a marching band, and the Nu Generation Dance Company. Happy Easter!

Channel 7

Donald Matura Succumbs Weeks After Being Shot
Today at noon, we received the surprising news that shooting victim Wallace Donald Matura had died. The 48 Year old was shot on February 15th in front of VIP Wireless at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal along with two other people. Matura was the target and his injuries were the most serious; he was shot eight times, leaving him with injuries to the stomach, left leg and in both arms. At the time, he told the press in a statement that the shot to his stomach had perforated his bowel, and added that a bullet that got lodged in his cellphone may have spared any damage to his organs. That was the last we heard from Matura on February 19th, four days after he was shot. He had been spared and was on the mend, we believed. But it turns out that Matura had many post injury complications including infection - which led ultimately to pneumonia. He had been in and out of the hospital and was placed in an induced coma yesterday. A statement from his family today said that "after 5 and half weeks of battling for his life he succumbed after he experienced septic shock and his organs began failing.He passed away this morning, reportedly after his lungs collapsed. For many in Belize City, it is a shock particularly so close to the Cross Country - as Matura was often known to drive an official vehicle in the big races. He was immortalized in 2004 Richard Holder photo interpreting the Last Supper where Matura was pictured as the Christ figure - seen in the middle breaking bread.

Cops Explain How They Saved The Million Dollar Baby Hostage
Last night we told you the story of how police foiled a kidnapping on Corozal. A small child, one-year-old Ivy Chan was abducted from her mother, Mei Tang Chen at gunpoint on Sunday night in Corozal Town and held for a ransom of 450 thousand US dollars. It's the kind of thing that hasn't happened in Belize for over a decade - and police hope that with the strong, effective response it won't happen again anytime soon. A special press conference with all the police brass was held this morning in Belize City to outline the sensational case. Daniel Ortiz was there: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Belize "On Sunday, to be exact, we had a very heinous unspeakable crime that was committed against a young mother. In the Corozal district sometime after 7:30 that night, she was driving on a road in Santa Rita Village area, where 2 vehicles intercepted her vehicle and stop her from moving. Several persons came out of that vehicle and took her baby away, basically kidnap her child, a 1 year old baby." Superintendent Andrew Ramirez - Officer Commanding, Corozal Police "We have also confirmed that the child was taken in the Corozal district - Orange Walk district in a village during the course of Monday and then back to Corozal. We also confirmed that there was a contact number that was placed with the victim and through that number she was contacted at 11:03 p.m. where the demand for a certain amount of money was made."

Vega Says Compensation for Son's Girlfriend Not At Market Value
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega may be stronger than ever within his party after overcoming a challenge for his deputy's post a month ago. But while he's strong in the UDP, in the court of public opinion he's come under heavy scrutiny for transactions of public land being sold on the cheap to his relatives. The most recent case involved his son's girlfriend, Dominique Gomez and other UDP friends in the Vega orbit who were sold properties within the Placencia Lagoon. Turns out villagers had their eyes set on the land as a possible reserve area; they raised a fuss, and the PM ordered that the lands be re-acquired by government. Now, the Prime Minister has said the compensation should come at market value, not a refund of the acquisition price - which would mean a significant "come-up" for the friends and family. Today Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega told the media he doesn't know what the compensation value is, but he's sure it's not at market value: Reporter "Is Dominique Gomez your daughter in law?" Hon. Gaspar Vega - Minister of Natural Resources "No, no but she is the girlfriend of my son."

Finish Line For Cross Country Must Move
There was chaos in the Cycling Association for months, but things have settled down to organize the centerpiece of the cycling calendar - and a major cultural event unto itself, the annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. In its 85th running, the race is still from Belize to Cayo and back, but this year, the finish line is moving. After work on the Marion Jones Stadium forced it to move to the memorial park in 2008 - it's become a staple at the location. But the four year run is over! That's because now work is underway on the Memorial Park - and while it will finish before the never-ending Marion Jones, it won't finish in time for Holy Saturday. So the finish line has been moved to another location on Princess Margaret Drive. Race Organizer Kwame Scott explained that it will mean a slightly shorter race:. Kwame Scott - Cycling Official "There was way too much uncertainty about the route getting to Memorial Park and the working group that has been organizing races since December, we met last night, the group headed by Mr. Hilly Martinez, and we came to a conclusive decision that we would bring the finish line about three quarter miles shorter. It finishes right here near Hour Bar where there is infrastructure in that we have the use of the use of the Hour Bar yard where the podium will be and the judges can be on their stand. We can do the post-race interviews inside there and at the same time we have paved asphalt were the riders can finish on as opposed to getting from the BTL Park to the Memorial Park where we have been promised that it would be ready to a certain extent. Time is running out and we weren't seeing things happening, so we had to make a hard and fast decision, and we do think we made the best decision."

Foreign Businessman Pays Fine, Gets Back Cigs
Last week we told you about the major cigarette bust in Jalacte - where the Customs department found 1300 cases of cigarettes valued at $143,000 US Dollars. They were stuffed into a house near the border crossing - and it's clear the intent was to move them across the border. It was an unusual end for the cigarettes which Guatemalan businessman, Jose Antonio Ramirez had bought legitimately in the Free Zone and gotten the customs to escort to Customs in PG - where he was supposed to send it off to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. But something went wrong with that connection - and the cigarettes next turned up as uncustomed goods in Jalacte. Customs confiscated all of it - and transferred the over one thousand cases to its bonded warehouse in Belize. Since then, Ramirez retained the services of attorney Godfrey Smith who approached customs to offer a settlement where the cigarettes would be released and re-exported. Customs agreed and Ramirez paid a fifty thousand dollar fine to have the cigarettes released. This time, customs escorted it to the western border with Guatemala.

What Pure Poverty Looks Like
In Easter Week, or "Semana Santa" as Spanish speaking people call it - many of us choose to reflect on our blessings. And, the old saying still rings true, that no matter how bad you've got it, someone always has it worse. And, yesterday, Monica Bodden found a family who's down to almost nothing, except the will to carry on. She visited with Edith Ramirez, a mother who's struggling - quote literally - to stay afloat as she finds herself living in a swamp. Here's her family's story. Monica Bodden Reporting Monica Bodden "Tell me what you like doing at school." Wondell "Read, write, do lots of work and the teacher let us work with lots of writing that we write" Monica Bodden "What class are you in?" Wondell "Standard 1." Monica Bodden "So you enjoy going to school?"

Police Catch Alleged Killers In North
On last night's newscast, we told you about the progress police's investigation into the killing of 37 year-old Israel Matu, the resident of Patchakan Village whose body was found in a cane field off the road leading to his village. Well, tonight, 2 men from Chan Chen Village are now charged with his murder; they are 35 year-old Venancio Williams, and 33 year-old Arturo Keme. They remain in custody while awaiting an arraignment, but police formally charged them yesterday. Today at the police press conference, the officer commanding Corozal Police told the media what he observed as an investigator: Superintendent Andrew Ramirez - OC, Corozal Police "I personally had visited the scene on Sunday evening, where I saw the male individual nude. He had an injury to the left eye; an apparently bulged big, made me to believe he was hit. The investigation continues, and it shows that he was at a bar in Chan Chen village Friday night at 10:30 p.m. thereabouts. So within 10:30 p.m. to Sunday afternoon when we receive the information about a person in the cane field, that is where we are in the investigation. We had 2 persons in custody who have been charged for murder."

Belize And Guat Agree On Major Cross Border Conservation Initiatives
Both the UDP Government and the PUP Opposition have rejected Guatemala's request to move the date for the referendum on the ICJ. And while things remains muddled at the official level, on the ground everyday there are transactions where Belize and Guatemala learn to live as neighbors. Earlier this month one of those came up when Friends for conservation and development arranged a summit with with officials from Guatemala's Division for the Protection of Nature known as DIPRONA. They met with officials from Belize's Forest Department, BDF, Police Department, Immigration and FCD staff. Both sides discussed the environmental crisis faced in the Chiquibul forest. On the second day a field visit was made to Chiquibul and Caracol where they observed the illegal logging, xate trails and the farms along the western flank of the Chiquibul forest. And, reciprocating, one week later on the 21st of March, FCD personnel attended a one day event in Poptun, Peten. The workshop was called "An Environmental Security Strategy with a bi-national focus: Chiquibul- Maya Mountains and South Peten.

M and M Vindicated, But Still Not Paid
Last week we told you about the core samples being taken on the concrete pavement on Freetown Road. Contractor Roque Matus of M and M Engineering took those 12 core samples to an independent company and reports that all of them met and exceeded the four thousand PSI promised and documented in his company's scope of work. The only problem is that the mayor told us last week that they require five thousand PSI - and if they don't get that, the contractors won't get their final payment. Matus says that doesn't make sense because the council did not specify any PSI in its contracting document. He says the mayor only came up with that five thousand PSI after. In the interim the council continues to hold out on the final payment to M and M Engineering. Matus says he's out that amount plus an additional ten thousand dollars he spent to conduct the test on the core samples.

San Pedro Tops Says Trip Advisor
In January of this year, Belizean resorts dominated Trip Advisor's 2013 awards for the categories "Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America" and "Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America." Well, once again, travel destinations in Belize are getting major love from the popular travel website. It released its survey, and after all the results were tabulated, Belize's Ambergris Caye was named the top island choice by travelers who use the website to travel. It's a major recognition for Belize's premier travel destination because it was elevated above more than 100 winning islands cross Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, South Pacific and the U.S. Coming in second was St John, in the US Virgin Islands, and Third place went to Bora Bora, in French Polynesia in the Pacific Ocean.

New BTL Phone Book Bigs Up Agriculture
And while those Trip Advisor users love San Pedro's seas, breeze and coconut trees, they also love the Belizean food. It's true, tourism surveys repeatedly show that Belize's diverse cuisine and the availability of fresh food are strong selling points for our tourism product. And that's what BTL is championing in its 2013 telephone directory. The cover was unveiled today at a ceremony in San Ignacio. Chief Operations Officer Karen Bevans said agriculture is where it all begins: Karen Bevans - Chief Operating Officer, BTL "Today BTL is highlighting the fact that agricultural produce and the resulting Belizean cuisines, places us at a culturally unique status within the region and makes Belize a home away from home for many, many tourist." Hon. Gaspar Vega - Minister of Natural Resources "As you look at it, the words, fresh, vibrant, colorful, nutritious and abundant come to mind when looking at this picture. I believe it is a strong statement on our nutritious local food."

"Belizeans Love Them Some Chicken!"
And while agriculture is now immortalized with its own phone book cover shot, poultry production is also a major part of Belize fresh food profile. You might not know wit but Belize eggs and chicken are among the cheapest and most high quality in the region. Tonight, the Belize Poultry Association is holding its 17th Annual General meeting to discuss its fortunes in the past year. According to the numbers, Belizeans consume over one hundred pounds of chicken per year: Orlando Habet - Manager, Belize Poultry Association "Today on the production of the poultry, we are growing little at a time, very little because Belize consumes a lot of poultry. We had been up to 110 lbs which was per person per year chicken meat and now we're at 105 lbs of chicken meat per person per year, which sounds like it has gone down a little bit but that's just what was reported from the commercial production. Those figures does not account for the other chicks that are raised by small farmers who do not afford to get a production, so putting all of it together we're possibly a lot lower than under 10lbs per chicken meat per person per year. Eggs, we are covering over 160 eggs per person per year. That is particular important because for our people who do not have a daily means to buy other expensive proteins, eggs is one of the cheapest form of proteins, also the most complete form of proteins."

Alleged Woman On Woman Crime
Sofia Hyde, a Belize City resident, remains out on a $500 bail tonight after she was taken to Magistrate's Court on Monday for threatening words against Linda Bailey. But tonight, the victim of an aggravated assault says Hyde did more than insult, she threw acid in her face. The incident happened around 2am on Sunday in the vicinity of Tropicana. The 19 year old woman, she had just left the club and was walking when a vehicle pulled up and Sofia and 3 other females exited the ride. One of the females began assaulting the young woman when Hyde allegedly doused acid on her face. The women then left the scene. The injured woman was taken to the Queen Street police station to make a report and then rushed to the KHMH. Her injuries were classified as harm.

Channel 5

Half million dollars ransom, but kidnapped baby found
There are more details tonight about the kidnapping of a Corozal toddler who was abducted within days of celebrating her second birthday. The child is the daughter of a well-to-do Chinese couple who have investments at the Corozal Free Zone as well as in Corozal Town. The kidnappers wanted closed to a million dollars for [...]

Shooting victim Wallace Donald Matura dies
Belize City police are tonight resuming their investigation into the shooting death of forty-eight year old Wallace Donald Matura, who was the target of a pair of armed assailants on February eighteenth.  Sometime after nine o’clock that night, while Matura stood in front of VIP Wireless on Orange Street, he was shot multiple times and [...]

2 charged for Chan Chen/Patchakan murder
The naked body of Israel Matu was found on March twenty third in cane field off the Chan Chen/Patchakan road. The tell tale signs of murder included a swollen left eye and a cut wound to the right ear. According to reports, Matu was socializing at a bar in Chan Chen Village and left for [...]

Woman alleges cop raped her
A woman from Bullet Tree village in Cayo has accused two police officers of rape. The alleged incident occurred on March twenty-third after she and her partner were having a dispute and were reportedly intoxicated. Both persons were removed separately from the bar and the woman subsequently claimed she was raped by two officers. According [...]

Pakistani and Guatemalan nationals escaped police custody
During this morning’s now rare police press conference, the media took the opportunity to ask the ComPol about two recent incidents of perpetrators escaping from within the confines of police stations. Pakistani and Belizean national, Abbas Khan, was detained in Corozal on March third for having the passports of several Indian nationals in his possession. [...]

P.M. out of the country for Easter holidays
  Thousands of Belizeans have begun the annual migration to coastal communities within the country to enjoy their Easter vacation near the waterfront.  Others will await the results of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic before departing for their weekend jaunt.  Among those who have opted to travel abroad is Prime Minister Dean Barrow, [...]

Are the unions and G.O.B. at a statemate?
The Joint Unions Negotiating Team is currently making the media rounds as they prepare for a meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the government team on April fifth. They claim that after receiving government’s proposal, they consulted with their membership, and then submitted a counter-proposal. They call it negotiation one on one proposal followed [...]

Senator Shoman says P.M. closed-mouthed on BIL
The Government of Belize’s Special Purpose Vehicle, Belize Infrastructure Limited, or BIL, has been receiving a lot of attention and little of it is good. The company, a private/public mix which will be in charge of sixty million dollars for projects including the Belize City Center, is said to be a for-profit organization, with directors [...]

Senator Montejo says Belizeans are living a nightmare
Today the Senate met in Belmopan to ratify the 2013/2014 budget. It is a forum which traditionally gets little attention, and more often than not the galleries are absolutely empty, but that doesn’t seem to stop the members from airing the issues in great detail and at great length. House meetings have to a large [...]

…But U.D.P. Senators say country is now better off
The Opposition Senator Collet Montejo says we are living in a nightmare, the U.D.P. appointed senators say that we are living in a good country and yes, they are both referring to the very same country, Belize. Senator Joy Grant’s address to the senate contained words like growth and prosperity, while Senator Marconi Sosa spent [...]

$23,000 for life taken in traffic accident
After a week-long trial, an Orange Walk man was sentenced today for Causing Death by Negligence. Sixty-three year old Orlando Ramirez appeared before Justice Herbert Lord in the Orange Walk Supreme Court where he heard his fate. Ramirez was found guilty on Tuesday of causing the death of fifty-two year old Justo Tzul in a [...]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs says Guats have not backed out yet
The government is writing to Jose Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, formally rejecting two proposals by Guatemala.  Firstly, Guatemala proposed that Belize amend the Referendum Act and secondly, that Belize hold the referendum on October sixth and if there is a Yes vote, then they would follow suit. Neither [...]

Cops reach out to communities
With the Easter holidays upon us, the Police Department embarked today on a community outreach program in the City’s hot spots to keep criminals at bay. The department hopes that building relations will assist with crime prevention and ultimately lead to safer communities. Police were on the beat in two neighborhoods earlier today and News [...]


Guatemala's President Accuses Hon.Elrington Of Breeching Their Agreement
Yesterday the Government of Belize announced that they rejected Guatemala’s referendum proposals in its entirety. Those proposals were lined up by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, in the first session of the Budget Debate on March 21st. According to Elrington, Guatemala made two proposals in which they are asking Belize to amend its referendum legislation so that it would be identical to theirs in terms of requirements for a referendum to be successful. Guatemala also proposed that Belize holds its own referendum and if a yes vote to the ICJ is obtained, Guatemala will hold their referendum before the end of June 2014. Word tonight is that Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina is not pleased with the actions taken by Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Guatemala’s newspaper, La Prensa Libre, quotes the president as stating that during the meeting held in Washington on March 17th, it was agreed that Guatemala, Belize nor the Organization of American States, would divulge the contents of Guatemala’s proposals to the media until consultations were carried out and a response was obtained. According to Otto Perez Molina, by elaborating on Guatemala’s proposals at the House on Thursday, Minister Elrington breeched the agreement.

2 Men Charged For Murdering Israel Matu
Two men from the Corozal District have been arrested and charged for the murder of 37 year old Israel Matu, a resident of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District who was found in a cane field located near the village of Chan Chen on Sunday afternoon. Police believe that 35 year old Venanacio Williams and 33 year old Arturo Keme, both from the Village of Chan Chen, are responsible for Matu’s murder and as such charged them for the crime yesterday. The men were expected to appear before the Corozal Magistrates Court today but since no Magistrate was available, they were remanded to prison until a further date. Matu went missing on Friday March 22nd. Two days after, his body was found in a cane field. Police believe Matu was badly beaten with a blunt object and left in the area to die.

3 Officers On Disciplinary Charges In Relation To Abbas Khan Escape
Tonight, 38 year old Abbas Khan, the naturalized Belizean businessman of Corozal Town, who escaped from Orange Walk Police on March 4th, is still on the run. Viewers might recall that on March 3rd 2013, Belmopan Police searched Khan’s residence located on number 18 3rd Street, Corozal Town, where they found five Indian passports belonging to Tajinder Singh, Gagandeep Singh, Parminder Singh Baryar, Gurdeep Singh and Surjit Singh. How Khan managed to escape from the Orange Walk Police Station has never been revealed by authorities, that is, until today. According to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, three police officers have been placed on disciplinary charges in relation to Khan’s escape. Allen Whylie- Acting Commissioner of Police “Mr. Abbas Khan, again, investigation was done in that regards. it showed negligence in the part of three police officers. Those three officers have been placed on disciplinary charged as the regional commander can testify too. I believe that one of those officers have pleaded guilty and the two other have not pleaded guilty and those matters are before an adjudicator. So that matter has been dealt with and again Mr. Khan, we have not located him but we have been reliably informed that he is in Chetumal and the commander has spoken to his Mexican counterparts to assist us. We don’t know exactly where he is or his status but we do know that he is a Belizean. So I don’t know how long Belizeans are allowed to stay over in Chetumal without stamping.”

Belize Police Department Explains How Kidnapped Toddler Was Rescued
Tonight one year old Ivy Yang is back at home safe in the arms of her parents after she was kidnapped on Sunday night. Reports are that around 7:30pm on Sunday, thirty one year old Mei Tang Chen was traveling back to Corozal from the Corozal Free Zone where she owns a business, when upon reaching the road near ITVET, located in the area of Santa Rita Heights, two vehicles closed in on her, one from the front and one from the rear. Tonight we know that several men, armed with firearms, exited the vehicles and kidnapped baby Yang leaving behind a cell phone with the mother. Chen was informed that she would receive a call and when she did, the kidnappers demanded a ransom of U.S$450,000 for the return of the toddler. Yesterday there were a number of speculations on exactly how the kidnapping and the recovery of the toddler played out. Tonight we have the police’s version of the matter even though it is in bits and pieces as still does not clarify some of the rumors. At a press conference held today in Belize City by the hierarchy of the police department, it was reveled that various units, including ADU, Mobile Interdiction Team and the Special Patrol Unit, corroborated in the high profile investigation in order to crack the case which at the end of the day resulted in the child being reunited with her family without any ransom being paid.

Good News For Residents Of San Antonio Road
Earlier in the newscast you heard Orange Walk Town Mayor Kevin Bernard speak about the council’s latest project which consists of the paving of 13 streets within town. Tonight there is also good news for residents of San Antonio Road, who for years, have been clamoring for the road to be upgraded by the ministry of Works. There cries; however, have fallen on deaf ears and the present town council has done all it can to bring the road to driving standards and to alleviate the dust problem. News tonight is, that despite the fact that the road does not fall under the councils jurisdiction, work in the area will soon commence. Kevin Bernard, Mayor OWT “We have done a bit of road just this week because the people are crying. I mean if you drive that street now at least it is in a better condition. But the council is looking at methods and ways how we can also upgrade that street to a better standard and hopefully the Ministry of Works and the Government of Belize will look in taking part of their responsibility and address San Antonio Road.”

OWTC Set To Pave 13 Streets
One of the key factors that voters are looking at when it comes to the infrastructure of a municipality is streets. The Orange Walk Town Council is bent on getting the most dilapidated streets in town to the perfect driving standard. Mayor Kevin Bernard has revealed the council’s plan to pave 13 streets using the council’s funding. Bernard told us how the project works and how they are saving money. Hipolito Novelo reporting… The Orange Walk Town Council has launched an infrastructural development project that will see the paving of 13 streets in Orange Walk Town. Work on the streets begun last week and to date, residents are already seeing a difference. Kevin Bernard, Mayor OWT “We have looked at Barbados Street. We are working right now in Stains Alley. We are joining Cemetery and Gravel lane and we are going to be paving Baeza Alley. So those will be set, hopefully by next week Friday. Those streets are scheduled to be completed by next week Friday and immediately after, work is expected to commence on eight other streets.

OWTC Lawsuit Update
Last week we told you about the lawsuit that was filed against the Orange Walk Town Council at the Supreme Court. Failed UDP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk Central, Denny Grijalva, is taking the council to court for a large sum of money that was not paid to his business, De Mars Stone Company, by the previous town council. When the council received the claim last week, they were notified that Grijalva is demanding a full payment of $88,000 for the upgrading of Benque Viejo Street and a portion of Stadium Street. The contract is originally for $138,277.40 out of which the previous town council paid Grijalva a mere $49,634.83. Now, it is up to this present council to clear the remaining balance. Today we spoke to Mayor Bernard who gave us an update on the legal battle.


Senate meets to discuss 2013/2014 Budget
A special sitting of the Senate was held today in the Assembly Chambers. The session was to debate and ratify the Budget Bill which has already been read and approved by Parliament last week Friday; in order for it to reach the Governor General desk for final approval. Hon....

Police give latest developments in abduction case
The kidnapping and subsequent safe return of a one year old baby girl has stunned the nation. The incident took place on Sunday evening in Corozal Town and the kidnappers made a huge ransom demand – US$450,000. They even threatened to harm the baby if the matter was reported...

Wallace Donald Matura succumbed to injuries
PLUS News has learned that Wallace Donald Matura, 48, has succumbed to injuries sustained from a shooting incident on February 15, 2013.That night, Matura was assaulted by a youth whom he later said was “roughing up” a young female until he, Matura, intervened. That happened earlier in the day...

Arrests made for murder of Israel Matu
Police have issued an update on their investigations in the murder of Corozal resident Israel Matu. On Sunday Matu was found nude, with visible injuries to his body in a canefield in Chan Chen Village. A post mortem examination conducted on his body shows that he died from a...

Mother of four convicted for the tenth time
A mother of four convicted for the tenth time for drug offences, begged the court for leniency at her sentencing yesterday. In court, thirty six year old Shinette Staine who has found guilty of drug trafficking, asked the magistrate not to send her to jail because even though she...

Prime Minister Departs Country
The Office of the Prime Minister informs that the Hon. Dean Barrow has departed the country today on personal leave. During the Prime Minister’s absence, Hon. Gaspar Vega, the Deputy Prime Minister, will act as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Barrow expects to return to Belize on Easter Monday, April...

BTL unveil their 2013 Telephone Directory
BTL says au revoir to 2012 as they unveil their 2013 Telephone Directory. This morning, the Belize Telemedia Limited launched the new directory in San Ignacio Town. The book comes stacked with regular telephone listings, cellular listings and government listings. So it’s a just your ordinary phone book right?...

St. John’s Junior College produces GMO
St. John’s Junior College becomes one of the first tertiary institutions in Belize to successfully produce GMO. GMO, which stands for genetically modified organisms are organisms whose genetic material has been changed using genetic engineering techniques. Proponents of GMO call it a miracle grain that would eventually put an...

Ambergris Caye wins Trip Advisor Award
Ambergris Caye has been named the top recipient of the Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Island Awards. The acclaimed travel guide – Trip Advisor - honored the top islands around the world based entirely on travelers’ reviews. Trip Advisor describes the Belizean island as “a vacation sweet spot: just enough...

Armed robbers target Granite Enterprise in Orange Walk Town
Armed robbers targeted Granite Enterprise in Orange Walk Town. According to the owner of the store, sometime around 4:30pm, he was at his place of business when three men, one armed with a handgun, entered, demanding money. The cashier handed over $800.00. Witnesses say they then fled the area...

Family seek help in locating 15 year Janette Gonzalez
The family of a missing girl is tonight seeking your help for her safe return. The mother of 15 year Janette Gonzalez says that around 7 o’clock on Monday night, her daughter left their home in Camalote Village en route to her aunt’s house, which is also situated in...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Mineli ‘Bugs’ Young for Chairperson


11,000 workers ask for at least 5% raise in the new budget. Roughly 11,000 teachers and public servants, including police and military officers, are pressing the Barrow administration to agree to a 5% salary adjustment, as a minimum, starting in 2013, with subsequent salary raises in the years ahead, which, they maintain, is necessary to offset escalating cost of living. “They are saying that the inflation rate is not waiting until 2014…” said Marvin Blades, president of the Public Service Union. What if government maintains that it can’t afford the salary increase, we asked. “That’s one of the reasons why we are in negotiations,” he replied. “We can show you [GOB] why you can afford the salary adjustment.” The Auditor General’s report points to $400-plus million in arrears due, $108 million for lands alone, he added. “That’s the salary adjustment plus everything else you can think of,” said Blades.

Why is it that our representatives always seem to be ducking and dodging when the Guatemalan President and his agents push us around with their diplomatic antics? Isn’t it about time that we launch our own diplomatic offensive? For one, I don’t think it is the best thing for us to refer to “Guatemala said this” and “Guatemala is saying that” and “Guatemala the other.” We should be specific and say that “the Guatemalan government” or “the Guatemalan President” or “the Guatemalan Foreign Minister”. How do we know that, on this Belize issue, they are speaking correctly for the Guatemalan people? Just like we need a referendum here before going to the ICJ, likewise they need a referendum there, not only for the ICJ, but for this whole “claim” matter. The Guatemalan President and former army general Otto Perez Molina has made a big deal about Belize’s referendum law requiring 60% turnout to make the referendum valid. What, does he think a matter as critically vital as this should be determined by a small handful, say 20% or 30% of the voting population in a nation? Is that how he runs things in Guatemala? He maybe doesn’t know that a vast majority of Belizean citizens are still angry with our Foreign Minister for signing the “Compromis”, and are very uncomfortable with this decision we now face, to vote “Yes”, “No” or not to vote at all in the referendum. Belizeans generally consider this whole matter an insult to our sovereignty as a nation, and would consider any outcome other than the complete and total rejection of this unfounded Guatemalan claim to our territory to be a national disaster.

Under the theme, “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum,” Women’s Month 2013 is being celebrated internationally and here in Belize. One highlight of Women’s Month takes place the night of Wednesday, March 27, 2013 – that is, the 8th Annual Outstanding Women’s Awards, to be held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, said, in his International Women’s Day/Women’s Month Message that, “Expectations of how men and women should act in our society and what roles they should play are shaped by culture, religion, and even economic, political and social circumstances. So they are not static; they can be changed.” He also noted that “…gender equality cannot be achieved without men’s participation.”

The youth fell out of a tree and hit his head; doctors gave him a slim chance of survival. After being in a coma since February 24 in the intensive care unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, suffering with a swollen brain and a fractured skull and doctors giving him only a slim chance of survival, Graciano Briceño, 12, of Orange Walk, is showing signs of improvement. His mother, Mellissa Briceño, told reporters yesterday, Monday, that he has awakened and is moving his right hand, fingers, and is focusing on people when he is spoken to. He is still unable to talk, however. All of the tubes that were attached to him have been removed, except the feeding tube. Graciano is still unable to eat, so he is being fed through a tube that is attached to his stomach. His brain is still swollen and will take another two months to go down, said Mellissa, but at least he is smiling a lot now.

Belize “completely” rejects Guatemala proposals for referendum delay; GOB stands on Special Agreement signed in December 2008. Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced this afternoon via press release that it has rejected Guatemala’s proposals to delay the October 6, 2013 referendum which would give voters in both Belize and Guatemala the option to say whether they want the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to settle the territorial differendum between the countries. Guatemala has requested a delay, citing changes Belize made to its Referendum Act which require 60% of the voting population to participate before the results of the referendum could be declared valid. Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo told Amandala that the statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was issued after Cabinet took its position today. That position is that the Government of Belize “completely” rejects those proposals, and it stands on the Special Agreement signed in December 2008, to take the issue to the ICJ, pending voter approval. “Let’s stick to that,” Perdomo conveyed. The Guatemala Government wants Belize to change its Referendum Act so that it will be identical to theirs, meaning that a simple majority vote would validate the referendum, without the need to reach a 60% threshold of voter participation.

A one-year-old baby girl of Corozal Town was this morning returned to her family after being abducted on Sunday, March 24, 2013. Reports are that sometime around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, the mother, a Chinese businesswoman, was with her child on her way home from her business at the Corozal Free Zone. She was on the ITVET Road near Santa Rita Heights when two vehicles blocked her path, and a group of men reportedly armed with guns, jumped out the vehicles, grabbed her child, gave her instructions and a phone, and sped off. The instructions were that she was to pay a ransom of US$450,000 (almost a million dollars Belize) before the child could be returned, and she was not to go to the police or the media or the child would be killed. Our sources say that the 1-year-old was taken to a village in the Orange Walk District, and on Monday the kidnappers hired a driver to take them along with the baby back to Corozal. Sometime before midnight Monday, Police were tipped off that some men were acting suspiciously near the Corozal seaside, and that they had a child with them.

Week 7, which completes the 1st Round, was another tough one in the Premier League of Belize 2012-2013 Closing Season, with all 8 teams still mathematically in the race for the championship. (See standings at bottom.) The San Felipe Barcelona vs Police United game was postponed until April 10, but there was ample excitement in the 3 games played, two on Thursday night, March 21, and the other on Sunday, March 24. The biggest upset so far in the season occurred on Thursday night at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, where cellar dwelling Verdes FC gave a shocking 2-0 hurting on the visiting league leaders, Belize Defense Force, courtesy of two first half goals by Julio Ayala (28’ & 33’). Meanwhile, nearby at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio, defending champion Belmopan Bandits were also having a hard time, but managed to pull out a draw after trailing home squad San Ignacio United. Rosny Martinez (44’) gave San Ignacio the first half lead, but Darren Myers (81’) got the second half equalizer for the visiting Bandits to secure the 1-1 draw.

With the Junior Cross Country now over, the time is drawing near for the Big One, the 85th running of the oldest and most romantic cycling event in the western hemisphere, our very own Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. Defending Cross Country champion is Belize’s Geovanni Choto of the Belikin-Western Spirit Cycling Team. Geovanni was the first of 78 riders who started the race last year, finishing the 142.4 mile journey to San Ignacio’s Colombus Park and back to the finish at Memorial Park in 6:16:45, more than half hour behind the record of 5:40:12 set by American Ryan Baumann in 2008. Second was Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray and third Darnell Barrow of Santino’s. The most recent big race winners are David Henderson, Jr. of Santino’s in the 2013 Krem New Year’s Classic; and a couple weeks ago Marlon Castillo of Santino’s won the Belmopan Classic. Everyone is picking their favorite Belizean cyclist to take the garland on Holy Saturday. Some of the names that keep coming up include those above, as well as 2006 champion Shane Vasquez, Byron Pope, Gregory Lovell, Ron Vasquez, Richard Troyer, etc.

Belize and visiting Trinidad & Tobago played to a 0-0 draw in a CONCACAF Gold Cup warm-up match Saturday at the FFB Stadium. It was the second goalless draw between the two sides in two all-time meetings. The encounter produced no shortage of action, but neither side could find the back of the net despite the presence of veteran players with proven offensive credentials. Deon McCaulay, who tops the scoring table in 2014 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with 11 goals, played nearly the entire game for Belize. The potent attacking Trinidad duo of Kenwyne Jones and Cornell Glen were paired together up front for sixty-six minutes. Glen had two opportunities to score in the opening 20 minutes. Both efforts, however, went just wide of the mark. After 30 minutes, McCaulay dragged a shot inches wide of the left post for the host’s best chance of the game. Port Vale midfielder Chris Birchall was outstanding throughout the night for the Soca Warriors and came close four minutes before the interval.

There are two important benefits we Belizeans should want to achieve during this period of national and regional focus on the bogus Guatemalan claim. We should focus on increasing our national unity, and we should be interested in increasing our national prosperity. Let us first consider the matter of national prosperity. The Guatemalan upper classes and the American/transnational corporations which are embedded in Guatemala’s socio-economic matrix, know that the territory of Belize is a wealthy territory where natural resources and development potential are concerned. The Guatemalans and their corporate allies want to acquire as much of Belize’s territory as they can, and they want to, failing that, enter contractual arrangements which will achieve maximum economic benefits for the republic and the corporations. The situation is, presently, that the Guatemalans export more than ten times the value of products to Belize than they import from Belize. Statistics printed in Prensa Libre recently, and we assume the figures are in U.S. dollars, say that Guatemala exported more than 52 million dollars worth of products to Belize in 2012, and imported five million dollars plus of Belizean products. Belize can sustain these kinds of undesirable trade imbalances with neighbors like Guatemala and Mexico, because of our large and productive work force in the United States. It is important to recognize our diaspora work force. Big respect, Belizean diaspora.

Around August of 2003, a few months after the PUP had won a second consecutive term of office under Said Musa, a powerful faction of the ruling party infiltrated the gang which controls the Partridge Street area where Kremandala is located. As a result of that infiltration, I came under personal threats. As a Belizean citizen, my first response was to seek assistance from the police, but I soon realized that the seemingly casual attitude of the police meant that the people behind the threats also had power at the highest levels in the Police Department. This is not something which I could prove in a court of law, mind you, but when I’m in trouble I go with my gut instincts. That usually works for me. A similar episode, though less frightening, had happened to me around 1977, 1978, when I was supposed to be in an alliance with the ruling PUP. A PUP-friendly muscle man was behaving in a very hostile manner to me. When I complained to the very big man in the government, he was sympathetic to me. As time went along, however, I realized that the chances were great that he was the very person who had given the intimidator his instructions. This is how dangerous our political system can become for citizens who are outspoken but not within the mainstream of the ruling party. The politicians who control the police also have big influence in the underworld. If a mainstream politician wants to lean on you, he can recruit underworld elements, and then have the police behave as if they don’t understand what you are complaining about.

Dear Editor, We commend the Amandala for providing the opportunity to inform the public about Genetically Modified Organisms. By now, this final week of GMO AWARENESS MONTH, we have all learned a great deal — enough to know that the growing of GMOs commits the entire country to the monopolistic control of the petroleum-based chemical corporations that control Big Ag and ultimately seek to increase our dependency on products that make us sick and keep us broke. The Greed and the tremendous influence of these mega-corporations involve the pushing of their ‘products’ at us under threat of trade sanctions, should we not accept their agricultural ‘assistance’. Belize will need to avoid the immediate attraction of short-term gains and instead act with futuristic foresight for the long-term good of all, standing with the Central American and Caribbean countries who have said NO to GMOs.

The Editor Amandala March 26th, 2013 Dear Sir, It is amazing that in this age of instant communication the Guatemala Minister of Foreign Affairs, Señor Fernando Carrera, realizing that a “family emergency” which required his presence, would not have informed his Belizean counterpart or even his OAS handlers that he would not be in Washington DC on Sunday, March 17, thereby allowing the Belize delegation to abort their mission saving time, money and the resulting embarrassment to our Foreign Minister and by extension to the independent country of Belize. There is little doubt that Guatemala has suffered a diplomatic “black eye” by this insult, but that is the price they are prepared to pay for what seems to be the new tactic, that of propagandizing their unfounded claim via bogus maps and the stepping up of the indoctrination of their next generation of school children. We should take these as a tactical warning of the repeat modus operandi from the past.

Dear Editor, The dispute with Guatemala is old and is not going away anytime soon. For this dispute, our country needs to send some bright young Belizeans abroad to study international law. I have not heard anything of substance coming from the Belize Bar Association in regards to this matter. Is it because the lawyers in Belize do not care, or they do not possess the credentials to speak on this issue? I more believe it is because of the latter reason. One would think that our lawyers would want to lend their expertise on such an issue of vital importance to our people and nation. I now call on all the Belizean people, especially those who live in the United States and abroad, to conduct their own research on this matter and then put it to the public to educate them, because this is the only way Belizeans will be able to understand what has been transpiring with this Guatemalan bogus claim for centuries now.

I have written five essays on the subject of the death penalty for murder, not for any other crime; certainly not for adultery, which is not a crime in any Christian democracies. I have been an advocate of this form of punishment for that specific crime because it would save lives, especially in the present climate, where people are killed by gang members in order to establish themselves with their comrades as vicious and ruthless. All these years that I have been expressing these views, not once has any member of the clergy or the laity pointed out to me that they are contrary to the teachings of Christ. If they had, I would have given full weight to their counsel and considered revising my opinions. They have not and they cannot, because nothing I have written is contrary to the Christian faith. Now, I am made to understand that the Anglican Church is in favor of the abolition of the death penalty. My understanding is based on a article in Amandala titled Anglican Community leads the charge to abolish the death penalty. A statement to this effect was made by Canon Leroy Flowers, Pastor of St.Mary’s Parish. To support his church’s position, Canon Flowers refers to an incident in the Bible, where the woman who was caught committing adultery sought Jesus’s protection from those who were going to carry out the sentence, imposed by Mosaic Law, which was death by stoning. How can that incident support a change in church policy on the death penalty? The woman didn’t kill anyone. If she had, she would have been tried before a judge. The state of Israel had courts to determine the guilt or innocence of persons accused of committing crimes. She was not brought before a court. Those who were going to stone her were the same as a lynch mob. Many were adulterers themselves and, Christ exposed them.

The National Assembly announced on Friday that there will be a special sitting of the Senate on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, in the National Assembly Chambers in Belmopan. The main matter to be deliberated by the Senate will be the 2013/2014 National Budget, with $934 million in overall spending, approved by Parliament on Friday, following two days of debate by elected officials of the House of Representatives. The proposed budget, presented by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, assumes growth in the Gross Domestic Product of about 3% over the fiscal year, which is concluding; $934.3 million in total spending; and total revenue and grants of $871.7 million. The budget also calls for an overall deficit of $62.6 million, or about 1.9% of GDP and $64.5 million for loan amortization, leaving a financing gap of $127.1 million. Barrow said that his budget strikes two high notes: that the super-bond has been tackled and tamed; and that there will be “absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts….”

Under the theme, “The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum,” Women’s Month 2013 is being celebrated internationally and here in Belize. One highlight of Women’s Month takes place the night of Wednesday, March 27, 2013 – that is, the 8th Annual Outstanding Women’s Awards, to be held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City. Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, said, in his International Women’s Day/Women’s Month Message that, “Expectations of how men and women should act in our society and what roles they should play are shaped by culture, religion, and even economic, political and social circumstances. So they are not static; they can be changed.” He also noted that “…gender equality cannot be achieved without men’s participation.” Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow notes that, “The work towards gender equality never stops, but the progress being made becomes especially clear in the month of March, when outstanding women and girls are recognized for their achievements and for fostering the change needed in their communities.”

Computer technician, teacher and unemployed remanded after police found 8 live rounds Tonight three persons are remanded at the Hattieville Prison after police reportedly found eight 9mm live rounds of ammunition in their Belize City yard. According to a police report dated today, Monday, at around 5:00 this morning members of the Gang Suppression Unit descended on a residence at #6 Casuarina Street to conduct a search for illegal drugs and firearms. Present at the time of the search were Brian Myvette, 32, a computer technician; his wife, Daneen Myvette, 31, a teacher; and his uncle, 54-year-old Cecil Louis Gill. According to police, when they searched the house, no illegal drugs were found, but they found a black plastic bag containing the live rounds in the yard. Brian Myvette, Daneen Myvette and Gill were all represented by attorney Alifa Elrington Hyde when they pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Ministry of Health issued a press release today, Monday, informing the media of several cases of suspected Hepatitis A in Trio Village, Stann Creek. There have been 14 suspected cases of the disease reported in the village over the past three weeks and one of those cases has been confirmed to be Hepatitis A. The release stated that other cases have been recorded in the districts of Corozal, Cayo, and Toledo. Hepatitis A is a food and waterborne disease. Symptoms may include yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine, light-colored stool along with mild fever, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite. The disease is contagious through close contact with someone who is infected. The Ministry of Health advises the public to take good hygienic and sanitary measures. Prevention practices include washing hands properly using soap and clean water especially before preparing or serving food, after using the toilet and after changing diapers. Wash all vegetables, fruits and other raw food with clean water before eating it. Do not consume contaminated water or ice. Boil and treat all drinking water with chlorine. Disinfect contaminated dishes, toilets and common surfaces.

The Reporter

Our language, our Bible: the importance of the Kriol Bible
It took the Kriol Council 20 years to translate the Bible into Kriol, because of a widespread rejection of Kriol as an established language. Yvette Herrera, lead translator for the Belize Kriol Project, the literary arm of the Belize Kriol Council, said that great strides had to be made in getting Kriol recognized as an official language before they could garner the support from the religions communities in Belize.

Abducted one-year-old returned
Kidnappers, who reportedly abducted a one-year-old child Sunday night and demanded a ransom, have returned the child today, Tuesday – the deadline for the said ransom. Unconfirmed reports say that the abductors demanded US$450, 000 for the child’s return; however, the Reporter was unable to verify whether or not that amount was indeed paid.

Police found dead in New River
Orange Walk Police say they do not suspect foul play in the death of Police Constable Antonio Chan, 44, whose body was found floating in the New River on Saturday, March 23. According to a police press release, the police visited the New River at an area east of Honey Camp Street in the Village of Trial Farm, and found Chan’s body floating in the middle of the river.

Radisson Fort George celebrates 60 years in Belize
The Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina this month celebrates its 60th anniversary of providing Belizean hospitality – years which have allowed the Hotel, through training and service, to become a leader in Belize’s hospitality industry. The Fort George has come a long way since it first opened its doors in 1953. Several renovations over the years have included the addition of the Club Tower and the Villa Annex. Fort George Hotel joined the Radisson chain in 1990, and the hotel continues to improve while retaining its Colonial charm and its position as an impressive Belize City landmark. It remains the first choice for heads of state, celebrities, dignitaries, business travellers and tourists alike.

Unions and Government will discuss salary adjustment next month
The three trade unions, the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) the Association of Public Service Senior Management (APSSM) and the Public Service Union (PSU) are scheduled to meet on Friday, April 5, with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to see if the impasse over salary adjustment can be broken. Following a meeting with government on February 1, the government made certain proposals and the unions indicated that they would be taking those proposals to their membership for ratification. That was done and the unions came up with their own counterproposals. But all indications are that Prime Minister Barrow has rejected the unions’ counterproposals. President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio told the Reporter on Monday that the prime minister said he is not in agreement with some of the counter proposals that the unions submitted following their meeting on February 1. Palacio said he does not know if theunions will attend next month’s meeting.

PUP says “No” to Guatemala’s proposal to delay ICJ referendum
Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca called an emergency press briefing to register his party’s rejection of Guatemala’s diplomatic maneuver last week to delay the October 6 simultaneous referenda. Reading from a prepared statement at the PUP’s Independence Hall headquarters, Fonseca said: “On Sunday March 17, 2013 Guatemala put forward certain proposals that make clear its intention to breach its agreement with Belize to hold simultaneous referenda on October 6, 2013.” “The simultaneous referenda in Belize and Guatemala that has been set for October 6, comes under the terms of an agreement brokered by the Organization of American States for the more than a century- old territorial claim of Guatemala over portions of Belize to be adjudicated at the International Court of Justice, in the Hague, Netherlands. “The special agreement, or compromis, which was signed on December 8, 2008, by the foreign ministers of Belize and Guatemala, was hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough by the international community”. Fonseca told reporters: “The People’s United Party rejects any proposal which violates the spirit and letter of the Special Agreement signed by Belize and Guatemala in December 2008.”

Belize rejects Guatemala’s proposals
The Government of Belize has written to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, informing him that Belize has rejected Guatemala’s two proposals to delay the October 6 simultaneous referenda. Following Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, GOB stated via press release that Belize is committed to abide by the Special Agreement, signed in December 2008. Government’s rejection of the Guatemalan proposals comes less than 24 hours after the Opposition People’s United Party issued its own rejection of the proposals that was presented to the OAS last weekend, in Washington. PUP leader Hon. Francis Fonseca, speaking at an “emergency” press briefing at Independence Hall, said: “The People’s United Party rejects any proposal which violates the spirit and letter of the Special Agreement signed by Belize and Guatemala in December 2008.” Insulza had invited a delegation from Belize to a bilateral meeting with their Guatemalan counterpart, after the Guatemalans indicated that they wanted a change in the referendum date.

Child, 4, dies in locked car
Dangriga Police are investigating the “sudden death” of a 4-year-old boy, who was found unconscious inside his mother’s Toyota Camry, around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Police reported that the child, Jahrion Joseph Lightfoot, was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he died as he was being attended by a paediatrician. While the police investigation into the matter continues, it is believed that Jahrion may have accidentally trapped himself inside the car whichwas parked in the yard. It is also believed that the joint effect of the confined space and the high temperatures recorded over the weekend may have caused the child to suffocate.

Unions and Government will discuss salary adjustment next month
The three trade unions, the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) the Association of Public Service Senior Management (APSSM) and the Public Service Union (PSU) are scheduled to meet on Friday, April 5, with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to see if the impasse over salary adjustment can be broken. Following a meeting with government on February 1, the government made certain proposals and the unions indicated that they would be taking those proposals to their membership for ratification. That was done and the unions came up with their own counterproposals. But all indications are that Prime Minister Barrow has rejected the unions’ counterproposals. President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio told the Reporter on Monday that the prime minister said he is not in agreement with some of the counter proposals that the unions submitted following their meeting on February 1. Palacio said he does not know if theunions will attend next month’s meeting. “If our counter proposals are not on the agenda, we will not attend,” Palacio said. The PSU president Marvin Blades said that the unions’ counter proposals come from their membership.

The Belize Times

Houdini inside the House!
By G. Michael Reid After many years of listening to House meetings and debates, Belizeans were finally informed as to what these exercises are all about. For two days last week, different members of our government took turns telling us what it is that they do in the House. I, for ...

Taking Belizean for Stock: Behind the Budget Numbers (Part I)
While the verbose politicians will be deep in the bowels of the National Assembly presenting the single most important piece of law for the next twelve months, most average Belizeans will be more concerned about their failure to secure a room on San Pedro for Easter or what price fish ...

U.S. citizen busted with false passport
Corozal District, March 25, 2013 Belize authorities have expelled United States citizen, Daniel Rae Morris, after he was busted at the northern border attempting to enter Belize with a false passport. According to reports, Morris showed up at the Immigration desk with a passport that didn’t belong to him. The passport had ...

OW business shut down for Casino-type machines
Route 88 Limited Sports Bar, a business located on Belize-Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town, has been shut down by the local authorities after an inspection of its premises revealed more than 40 gaming machines at the business place. The business, owned by Chinese businessman Jian ...

Convicted Guat escapes Police Custody
Two Police Officers face criminal charges after they reportedly assisted a Guatemalan prisoner to escape from Police custody at the San Ignacio Police Station. 22 year old Walter Leonel Boteo Ralda ...

Who will win cross country?
In a couple of days, we will have our annual Cross Country cycling classic race. Riders from all over the country and even from other parts of the world will be in this race. It has been a bittersweet experience for Belizeans as we eagerly wait for a Belizean to ...

By Dolores Balderamos-Garcia The two day debate on the General Revenue Appropriation Bill 2013 to 2014 took place in the House of Representatives on Thursday and Friday March 21st and 22nd, 2013. The debate on the Opposition side was robust, vigorous and forceful, but then, as you all know, I am biased! I ...

HOME ECONOMICS – Belize National Budget 2013/14 – A Rapid Scan
By Richard Harrison The Belize National Budget exercise is the governments’ general guide to their forecast for the public sector and general country performance during that given year. It is sort of the governments’ BUSINESS PLAN for the upcoming year. The general thrusts of the government’s budget for 2013/14 are: (1) no “new ...

Remarks by Hon. Jose Mai on the Budget for fiscal year 2013/2014
Mr. Speaker the Belizean People want to know: a) What is the Government’s strategy to lower the more than 40% poverty rate in the country? b) What is the plan to reduce the more than 25% unemployment rate? c) Yes, this is what the University graduates and sixth formers want ...

Budget Response by Hon. John Briceño
We live in very challenging times, the days of 8% and 10% annual economic growth are gone. All over the world the number of people falling into poverty is increasing. Given this backdrop I celebrate with those on the other side the fact that the hard work and dedication of ...

GMO SEEDS – ARE THEY HERE? – This spells bad news and industrial blackmail
Contributed The visiting Israeli Ambassador to Belize recently let the cat out of the bag when he publicly announced that his government is donating “advanced seeds” to Belizean farmers. Are these “advanced seeds” Genetically Modified Organisms? As far as we know, it remains official policy not to allow the importation of GMOs ...

Traitor vs. Teacher
Aside from the fact that both these words start with the letter “t” and end in the letter “r”, there aren’t many things that Traitors and Teachers have in common. Teachers are selfless, caring, nurturing, dedicated and committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills to ...

Minors rob Councilor Roger Espejo of $50 fashion chain
Crime affects everyone, and UDP Councillor Roger Espejo just found that out in real terms when he was robbed by a group of minors. 35 year old Espejo told Police that he was hanging out on Newtown ...

Of this and that…
Fishers of money Everyone wants fish. We need a good piece of Jack or red snapper. Cross bun taste better with fish. It is this way from befo time. Fish is usually $4 a pound. Sorry if you shop at Santi expensive supermarket. You will pay lots more. Better you ...

NO to Guatemala! – PUP leader stands up for Belize
Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca was decisive on Monday evening, when he warned the Barrow Administration that if it was going to “bend backward” for Guatemala in the face of that neighbouring country’s latest stunt over the Belize-Guatemala differendum, the PUP wants no part of it. In a meeting between Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief Executive Officer Alexis Rosado and Guatemala’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs held last weekend (which was snubbed by Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Luis Fernando Carrera), Guatemala had informed that it had unilaterally decided to abandon the December 2008 commitment to hold simultaneous referendums on October 6th of this year. The emissary further informed that Guatemala is giving Belize two options. Option 1 is to amend its Referendum Act to reduce the 60% threshold needed for a referendum to be binding and Option 2 is for Belize to hold its own referendum on October 6th, and if the popular vote is for Yes, Guatemala will then hold theirs at a later date. Belize’s Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington seemed unperturbed by Guatemala’s erratic moving of the goal post and too accommodating and compromised when he uttered that ““Belize is prepared to accommodate whatever suggestion is coming from the Guatemalans.”

Espats will join UDP ranks – Beware Herman Longsworth, Lee Mark Chang!
Mark Espat is a full blown UDP. Has always been. He acts like them and thinks like them. How else can one explain his narcissism to the nth degree and serial backstabbing nature? To us it came as no surprise that Michael Finnegan has called out Espat, twice, making it known that it’s ok for him to come out of the closet and declare his UDP-ness. But what was Finnegan talking about? Espat joined their ranks the day he publicly accepted to become a UDP Ambassador. Dean Barrow pretended that Espat was doing some generous service for the people and country, until we later learnt that aside from the Ambassador post Espat had formed a company named Hall Mark and was charging the Government $20,000 a month. That’s the UDP way of self-enrichment. Espat came out of the closet long ago. He even bald his head and wears bright red colours at UDP events. Now he is in bed, politically speaking, along with the likes of Doug Singh, the former UDP Chairman and his throng of losers.

Another UDP crony collects – How many unlawful land grab cases are there, Mr. Minister??!!
Documents obtained by the BELIZE TIMES confirms that more UDP cronies are collecting thousands of dollars belonging to taxpayers as a result of unlawful land grabs carried out by the Ministry of Lands under Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. The latest UDP known to have benefitted is Rosita Aragon, the sister in law of former UDP Minister Elodio Aragon, who was paid $148,000 as “compensation” for a parcel of land which was taken away from its rightful owner and sold to her wrongfully. The document obtained by the BELIZE TIMES is a Supreme Court Order for Claim No. 188 of 2010, in which the Ministry of Natural Resources agrees to pay Rosita Aragon $148,000 to “extinguish or withhold” legal proceedings against them. The case involves parcel 1-6-1820, Block 1, Consejo Road South East Registration Section of Corozal, which was taken from its owner, and sold to Aragon, reportedly for a pittance. Similar land grabs in the area were sold to other UDP cronies for as little as $1,500. The BELIZE TIMES will provide more details on these, next week. After the Court found that the land grab was illegal and ordered the return of the land, the Ministry saved face by agreeing to “compendate” Aragon.

1 yr. old baby abducted in Corozal! – Half-a-million-dollar ransom demanded
A one year old child was returned to her parents last night during a rescue operation following a frightening abduction that took place on Sunday. Information is sketchy but the BELIZE TIMES understands that the one year old baby was taken away from her mother during a kidnapping carried out by a group of masked men on Sunday night. The mother was forced to bring the vehicle to a sudden stop when the windshield glass was suddenly shattered. The parents of the baby are well-known in Corozal. They own a business in the Commercial Free Zone. The BELIZE TIMES understands that since Sunday night, the kidnappers contacted the parents and demanded half a million dollars for the return of the child. They also warned that if the abduction was made public, it would place the child’s life at risk.

Shame the Devil – Taking Belizeans for Stock (Part II)
As we said in these pages last week, the Easter is upon us and that means sun, smiles, spirits and swimming. It may be coincidence that the budget bill and fiscal year all hide themselves behind the festive spirit of Easter but the importance of deconstructing the numbers that were thrown around in the House of Representative on March 21 and 22, cannot put on a swim suit, grab a rum and coke and hit the banks of the Belize River. As we have said, three hundred and fifty thousand Belizeans live with these figures for the full three hundred and sixty five days of the year. Belizeans are hardworking people and as such, no one will point a finger when we take off our steel toe boots and let some air between our toes. Life in Belize, after all, has become a task and a gamble just to stay alive. Our energies are evaporated, we already have to deal with UNIBAM, Off-shore drilling, GMO, nationalizations, compromis, ICJ’s, OAS’s and Guatemala’s taunting. These, mind you, are only a short list of the issues of substance that dominate intellectual conversations and honest political thought. The list of nuisance issues and transparent lies which burn at the Belizean public’s eyes are too depressing to even give any consorted denunciations. The land scandals, government antagonism, ministerial arrogance, nepotism, victimizations, the “Sedi curse” and astronomical wastage drain us. Tempted as we may be to chalk these up to the nature of the evil that is a “politician” especially when that beast gets into Government and brandishes absolute power, it is more a reflection of the lack of integrity and bankruptcy of competence, which haunts this UDP administration. This second term of the UDP will be recorded and characterized by history as a countdown to an inevitable exit in the next national elections. Desperation and the inescapable eventuality of the UDP defeat is the theme of every action of the Government. Needless to say that this is catastrophically bad for the country which euphemistically boasts “developing nation status” geo-politically, “at risk” sociologically and “frail to vulnerably dependent status” economically.

Cayo’s Zamir Guerra – wins Junior Cross Country Classic
Team Cayo High Road’s Zamir Guerra broke Byron Pope’s record by over 3 minutes, clocking 3:34:38 on his 72-mile victory ride for the 14th annual Junior Cross Country Cycling classic on Sunday. In the sprint to the finish Guerra edged out Tarique Flowers riding unattached to take home the winner’s garland of roses, a $300 cash prize from the Cycling Association, a trophy, a jersey donated by 2005 Cross Country champion Bill Elliston, a silver chain and cycling pendant from Yvonne Robinson and Xishel and a box of Trail Mix from Smart Speednet. Tarique Flowers held on to beat Team BECOL uprising’s Michael Wagner and claim the $200 2nd prize and a trophy. Wagner took home the $100 3rd third prize and a trophy.

Belize holds Soca Warriors to 0-0 – Belize improves to 128th in FIFA-ranking
FIFA has upped Belize’s ranking in the world from 132nd to 128th, after the Belize “Jaguars” held Trinidad & Tobago “Soca Warriors” to a nil-zip draw for a second time in 2 encounters. Over 3,500 fans bought filled up FFB stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, March 23rd to support the international friendly match, as the two teams prepare for the July 2013 Gold Cup to be played in the U.S.A. Despite the Soca Warrior’s starting four of their 2006 World Cup players for the first time in over three years, the visiting team was unable to execute an effective offensive play. Team captain Densill Theobald and Christopher Berchall were creating the plays at midfield and Keon Daniel tried to work the ball up the sidelines, but they had to contend with Belize’s midfielders Evan Mariano, Floyd Jones and Everald Trapp, while Dalton Eiley held down the defense with the help of Ian Gaynair, Tyrone Pandy and Trevor “Burger” Lennon.

Easy Does It belts – Alfred Dawson Cricket Club 157-65
Easy Does It won 157-65 over Alfred Dawson Cricket Club when the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket competition continued in Lemonal on Sunday. Chris Banner took 5 wickets and scored 37 runs for Easy Does It, while Thomas Dawson scored 11 runs for the visitors and Zaggi took 6 wickets. The match between Bright Star and Wicked Eleven was postponed. The second half of the competition resumes on April 6, after the Easter weekend. Other matches: Isabella Uprising vs. Brave Union – 163-71 Sunrise of Lord’s Bank vs. Police – 198 -109 Brilliant vs. Surprise – 223-30


A Trip to Lamanai: It’s Not Just Mayan Ruins
Visiting a Mayan site is at the top of many vacation lists for people visiting Belize. One of the best is a day trip from Ambergris Caye…a long day trip. But after seeing birds, monkeys, crocodiles, cool Mayan carvings. and questioning whether you can get back down the STEEP temple that you just climbed, it’s a trip that I think is well worth it. My tour company Seaduced by Belize picked me up at my dock at 7am with a full boat. A quick introduction speech from our guides and we headed across to the mainland, through a large lagoon, up the Northern River to the tiny village of Bomba. (About an hour) We stopped at one point to take a closer look at some teeny, tiny bats nestled in an old log. For a creepy flying rodent with prehistoric looking wings, kinda cute.

Ambergris Caye Wins Top Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Island Award
Belize’s Ambergris Caye is the top winner of the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Islands awards. These awards honor top islands around the world, based entirely on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from Trip Advisor travelers. In total, more than 100 winning islands were named across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, South Pacific and the U.S. “Ambergris Caye hovers in a vacation sweet spot: just enough amenities to make it exciting, but not so overdeveloped that you’re tripping over flip-flopped tourists. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites” states the article entitled “Top 10 Islands in the World” published yesterday March 26th 2013 on the Trip Advisor website.

“Running in the Family” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Got up early and recommenced my review of a contract for a friend. Nearing the home straight on this I took a breather by looking (very fortunately as it transpired) at the Ambergris Caye Forum to learn that there was a planned power outage ( for power equipment replacement ) between 9 am to 1 pm. Bang went my plan to have a final review of the contract whilst eating a late breakfast at Estel’s. Picked up on the loss of power though in good enough time for Rose ( ably (???) assisted by me) to rustle up breakfast before we lost the power. The power loss also took out the Internet so we very quickly moved to Plan B and ‘retired’ to the beach for a little bit of Kindle. The power came back earlier than scheduled at around 11.45 am but we stayed on the beach for another 30 minutes and I resumed my review of the contract until I finished it around 2.30 pm when it was time for our visit to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. When we got there both ‘mixers were in operation. Not using the mix in the same volumes as for the concrete pours but the guys are still using a hell of a lot of it.

A Short Briefing On Maya Architecture
In this video taken at Caracol by my friend Julie Schwietert Collazo, prominent Belize archaeologist Jaime Awe explains the fundamentals of Maya Architecture and what makes it distinct and impressive. He draws examples from other countries such as Canada and the US, and how architecture is used to make visual statements that demonstrate national identity, ideology and cultural symbols. I find this particular recording intriguing because Dr. Jaime Awe has a way of making complex information simple. In university I took courses such as Cultural Anthropology and Mesoamerican Civilization with him and I clearly remember how my interest peaked at each of his classes. He’s just an all around cool guy. One of those guys that all men want to be like and all women have crushes on – I’m not kidding.

International Sources

Global Internet Slows After 'Biggest Attack in History'
The internet around the world has been slowed down in what security experts are describing as the biggest cyber-attack of its kind in history. A row between a spam-fighting group and hosting firm has sparked retaliation attacks affecting the wider internet. It is having an impact on popular services like Netflix - and experts worry it could escalate to affect banking and email systems. Five national cyber-police-forces are investigating the attacks. Spamhaus, a group based in both London and Geneva, is a non-profit organisation that aims to help email providers filter out spam and other unwanted content. To do this, the group maintains a number of blocklists - a database of servers known to be being used for malicious purposes.

Tanya Carter Brings A Twist To Jamaican Music
A new album might not be on the cards right now, but Belizean singer Tanya Carter was more than excited about her recent visit to Jamaica and about recording a song with producer Christopher Birch. Carter, whose stay in the island ended recently, said she came to Jamaica to promote her Birch-produced song Ex-Boyfriend and branch out into the Jamaican market. "Being the top artiste in Belize is one thing, but when you realise that you have plateaued, you have to kick it up a notch. I had to come to where the real reggae music is," she told The Gleaner. Since being in the island, she made the rounds at several events and also recorded another song with Birch. Since releasing the song, which is called Secret (written by Duane Stephenson), she said the response has been good, with radio stations asking for it.

New World slumps on £6m share issue
New World Oil and Gas (NEW) has raised £6.3 million through the issue of 315 million shares at a price of 2p per share. The Belize and Denmark-focused company said the proceeds of the placing would be applied to test and appraise the Rio Bravo 1 well which the company is currently drilling in Belize subject to a successful well-logging programme. The well commenced drilling on 1 March, and to date all operations are on schedule and under budget. A total depth of 8,800 feet, targeting the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation, is expected to be reached by late April. Drilling results will be released once the total depth has been reached. In the event that the well is not tested and appraised, the funds will be used to drill two wells targeting the Harboe and Jelling prospects at the company's Danica Jutland Project in Denmark; for seismic interpretation and competent person's report costs at the project; and additional general working capital purposes. Interactive Investor view Investors have reacted to the placing and inevitable dilution of share capital that will occur as a result, causing shares to fall 27% on Thursday morning.

New World Oil and Gas raises proceeds for Belize well
New World Oil and Gas shares plunged Thursday as the oil and gas company said it has raised 6.3 million pounds to test and appraise the Rio Bravo 1 well in Belize, Central America. The group raised the proceeds through the issue of 315m new ordinary shares at a price of 2.0p each. The company started drilling operations at the well on March 1st and expects to reach a total depth of 8,800ft by late April as operations are on schedule and under budget. Drilling results will be then be released. In the event that the Rio Bravo 1 well is not tested and appraised, the funds will be used for drilling of two wells at the Danica Jutland project in Denmark. It would also be used for seismic interpretation and competent person's report costs at the project, and for additional general working capital purposes. Drilling is in progress in Belize at the West Gallon Jug prospect targeting an un-risked prospective resource of 113m barrels of oil.

Tough Call: Belize And Its Experience With Oil
KINGSTON, Jamaica – As prospectors are about to drill for oil in Bahamian waters, it’s worth taking a look at the recent experience of petroleum licensing in a fellow CARICOM state – Belize. #Over the past several years, the government of that little Central American nation – sandwiched between Guatemala and Mexico – secretly handed out licenses to a slew of shell companies to drill for oil throughout the country and its offshore waters, including in protected areas. #This sparked the formation of the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, which has been fighting a running battle with the government over oil licenses. The coalition includes scores of civil society groups and is supported by Oceana, an international marine conservation society. #A “people’s referendum” was organised just before the last general election (in March 2012), which resulted in an overwhelming no vote against offshore oil drilling by more than 29,000 people. The coalition also took the government to court, with a decision expected next month.

PHOTO: Serving in Belize
Staff Sgt. Jon Van Osdell, radio frequency journeyman from the 236th Combat Communications Squadron of the Louisiana Air National Guard, configures an antenna to acquire a satellite signal for secure voice and data communications for an exercise called New Horizons. New Horizons is led by U.S. Southern Command and provides medical and dental treatment, as well as constructs school structures throughout Belize. It gives U.S., Belizean and Canadian service members the opportunity to train side-by-side in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges when and where needed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jeff Mace)

Women's Adventures in Science
The Web site is a project of the National Academy of Sciences intended to showcase the accomplishments of contemporary women in science and to highlight for young people the varied and intriguing careers of some of today's most prominent scientists. The site draws from and accompanies the publication of a ten-volume series of biographies entitled Women's Adventures in Science, co-published by the Joseph Henry Press (an imprint of the National Academies Press) and Scholastic Library Publishing.

March 27, 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

Ambergris Caye is #1 according to TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® Islands Award!
My Beautiful Belize is based in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It has been the home to our parent company, The San Pedro Sun Newspaper, for the past 22 years, and as such, we feel such a sense of pride to know that our beloved island has been named the #1 island in the world, according to TripAdvisor®. Of course, we knew that ages ago! We have been promoting our island home for years as the crown jewel of Belize. We love our country – and feel it should be number 1 in the world as well – but to know that home-base – the top tourism destination in the country – has been given due recognition just adds to the pride. Yay Ambergris Caye!

Government of Belize Responds to Guatemala’s Proposals
The Government of Belize, having had occasion to review the proposals by the Republic of Guatemala as presented in writing on 17th March, 2013 to Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, for the parties to consider postponement of the referenda for an indefinite period or for Belize to proceed on its own to hold a referendum on the agreed date, has decided to reject the Guatemalan proposals in their entirety. The Government of Belize notes that tremendous efforts over many years and through successive administrations have been spent in finding a negotiated solution that would bring to a definitive end Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize, and that the failure of these attempts is what led to the signing of the Special Agreement by Belize, Guatemala and the OAS on 8th December, 2008. That Special Agreement provides for referenda to be held in Belize and in Guatemala simultaneously on the date of 6th October, 2013 and had also been jointly agreed upon by the Parties for the purpose of consulting the respective publics on whether or not the solution should be found in submitting Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice. Any changes in the Special Agreement or the agreed dates of the referenda must therefore be jointly agreed upon.

UB Females win 36th Annual Relathon
The thirty-sixth UB Annual Relathon was held on Sunday, March 24, where the females emerged victorious over the males. The males started in San Ignacio in front of the police station at 8:45 a.m, and the females started at Belmopan Market Square. The females finished the 50 miles run from the UB Belmopan Campus to Belize City at 3:46 p.m. while the males arrived 15 minutes later. This marks the 15th win for the females since the relay – marathon tradition begun at the Belize Technical College in 1978. A total of 41 females participated for the females, and 48 for the males. This victory by the females closes in the margin of wins which is at 18-15 in favor of the males.

Twenty Two (22) Persons Complete Training in Forensic Ballistics
On Friday March 22, 2013, Twenty Two (22) persons received certificates after completing a one-week Training Course in Forensic Ballistics, conducted by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration with the British High Commission in Belize and the Ministry of National Security. The areas covered by the course are mainly in support of criminal investigations and the counter-proliferation of firearms and ammunition. Keynote Speaker at the Closing/Graduation Ceremony was British High Commissioner in Belize, H.E. Pat Ashworth. Other speakers included the newly appointed Director of the National Forensic Science Service, David Henderson; and Chief Forensic Analyst, Genoveva Marin. Also present was Deputy British High Commissioner, Jackie Brown. Master of Ceremonies was Police Press Officer, Raphael Martinez.

Tropic Air launches new flight to Cancun
Tropic Air has taken another step forward by introducing an exciting new destination: Cancun, Mexico. In the past few years, Cancun has quickly evolved into a major tourism destination; as well it has become a key asset for tourists travelling to Belize. For the budget minded travellers, flying to Cancun is more reasonably priced than a direct flight to Belize, but the down side is the long commute of approximately six to seven hours between Cancun and Belize. After a 13 year hiatus from the Cancun skies, Tropic Air has once again launched a quick way to get to Mexico’s tourism mecca. As of Monday March 23rd, travellers no longer have to worry about lost travel hours since Tropic Air now has a direct flight from Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport to Cancun International Airport. Cancun is the third international destination for Tropic Air and the 14th flight route. The flight lasts approximately one hour and twenty minutes, a relief from the above mentioned six to seven hours. The flight departs from Belize at 11:30AM and returns from Cancun at 2:15 PM on a daily basis except for Saturdays. The connecting flight will ease travel time for both tourists and locals alike.

Ambergris Today

Promoting Good Health in San Pedro: Belize Medical Outreach – Pediatrician Day at Poly Clinic
Friends of Pediatrics of Belize held its Belize Medical Outreach from Sunday, March 17 to Thursday, March 21, 2013 providing free pediatric checkups in public health community centers in rural areas of Belize and La Isla Bonita. A team of eight pediatricians, one pediatric neurologist, four medical students and one leader organizer provided medical services to areas such as Crooked Tree, Trinidad Village, Guinea Grass Village, Hattieville and San Pedro. The Clinic was organized by the nongovernmental organization Friends of Pediatrics and a visiting team of physicians from the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Virginia. President of Friends of Pediatrics, Dr Cecilio Eck, says there is always a need for referral clinic especially in underserved areas, so the visit of the volunteers was most welcomed.

Black Orchid Restaurant Entices with Dessert Pairings in San Pedro
In the States desserts are customarily served with coffee or tea but in Italy desserts are served with wine or some sort of liqueur. Italians generally linger at the table after a meal, taking time to chat, nibble on something sweet and relax. Well, there is one restaurant in San Pedro, Belize that is taking that Italian custom of pairing dessert with liquor and serving to its customers. The newly opened Black Orchid Restaurant south of San Pedro Town is pairing their delicious desserts with wine and cognac. It is not a common practice in Belizean restaurants and although you can pair your dessert with an after dinner liqueur yourself, Black Orchid Restaurant is making it easier for its customers. If you may not know what liqueur to pair with certain desserts, Black Orchid gives its customers some options to explore and bring out the flavors of its fine desserts. Pair flavors like chocolate or lemon with port wine or carrots with a great cognac and you have enticing desserts rich with flavor.

Ambergris Caye Wins 2013 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands Award
Belize today, March 26, 2013, proudly recognizes Ambergris Caye as the top recipient of the TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® Islands awards. These awards honor top islands around the world, based entirely on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. In total, more than 100 winning islands were named across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, South Pacific and the U.S. “We are delighted that Ambergris Caye of Belize has been recognized as the world's top island in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands awards,” commented Honorable Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Culture. “We would like to thank all the travelers who have made this win possible, simply by sharing their love of Ambergris Caye with the TripAdvisor travel community. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to our paradise this year and beyond."

Misc Belizean Sources

Government of Belize Responds to Guatemala’s Proposals
Belmopan. March 26th, 2013. The Government of Belize, having had occasion to review the proposals by the Republic of Guatemala as presented in writing on 17th March, 2013 to Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, for the parties to consider postponement of the referenda for an indefinite period or for Belize to proceed on its own to hold a referendum on the agreed date, has decided to reject the Guatemalan proposals in their entirety. The Government of Belize notes that tremendous efforts over many years and through successive administrations have been spent in finding a negotiated solution that would bring to a definitive end Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize, and that the failure of these attempts is what led to the signing of the Special Agreement by Belize, Guatemala and the OAS on 8th December, 2008. That Special Agreement provides for referenda to be held in Belize and in Guatemala simultaneously on the date of 6th October, 2013 and had also been jointly agreed upon by the Parties for the purpose of consulting the respective publics on whether or not the solution should be found in submitting Guatemala’s claim to the International Court of Justice. Any changes in the Special Agreement or the agreed dates of the referenda must therefore be jointly agreed upon.

Cayo's Easter Fair Weekend
Cayo's Easter Fair will be at the Victor Galvez stadium this Saturday and Sunday. The SISE Town Council has a great line up this year. There will be plenty of games, rides, food, and music, along with entertainment from Orquidea Negra, a marching band, and the Nu Generation Dance Company. Happy Easter!

Procession del Silencio en Benque
Holy Monday in Benque. "The involvement of Youth & Children is the most important component to maintain & sustain the richness of tradition & culture. Holy Monday in Benque for the Procession Del Silencio

Ecce Homo Exhibit at Benque HoC
The Benque House of Culture will have the launch of the new Ecce Homo exhibit today at 7:30pm. They are celebrating the centennial of the Pallottine Sisters in Belize. "Join us for Holy Wednesday as we launch 'ECCE HOMO' Exhibition. Ecce homo is a standard component of cycles illustrating the Passion and Life of Christ through art by our local Artists & HOC Founder Mr. Mike Mauricio"

AR B's Restaurant on Burns
Cayo has a new restaurant, and it's called AR B's. They are located at the end of the walkable part of Burns avenue. They have their menu done, and within the week should have everything listed for sale. Their burritos are good, and they have good coffee too.

Palm Sunday Procession in Benque
They had their procession for Palm Sunday in Benque. "The Faithful tradition of Holy Week in Del Carmen starts with the Celebration of Palm Sunday in the community, a large procession makes way to the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.Palm Sunday Album Courtesy of Elvis Avila for 'Len's of Culture 2013 Project'"

Animals People & Care
Daniel Velazquez has the trailer out for his new documentary entitled 'Animals People and Care.' Now that's a cool trailer, and it has a funny twist to it. The focus is the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, and Dr. Isabelle Paquet Durand's efforts at getting it to what it is today. "a film about a Fragile like mother Earth awareness campaign, using creative media, to raise local and international support fund raising for animals in need, to win first prize in inspiration in action contest in order to open a wildlife care facility in Belize. this is a short 28 min. documentary made from the short awareness films along with Richard and Carol foster wildlife footage."

Belize Band Fest Pictures
More pictures from the Belize Band Fest that was held in Belmopan.

UB Relathon Won by Females
Congratulations to the UB Females for winning the 36th annual University of Belize Relathon. "The thirty-sixth UB Annual Relathon was held on Sunday, March 24, where the females emerged victorious over the males. The males started in San Ignacio in front of the police station at 8:45 a.m, and the females started at Belmopan Market Square. The females finished at 3:46 p.m. while the males arrived 15 minutes later. The best times per mile are as follows: Best female times: Tischelle Solis - 6:04 Irice Reyes - 6:21 Arlene Bennett - 6:25 Males best times. Danilio Marcilio - 5:04 Kent Welch - 5:12 Uhuru Mckoy - 5:29 A total of 41 females participated for the females, and 48 for the males. This victory by the females closes in the margin of wins which is at 18-15 in favor of the males. Congratulations to winners and all participants!"

Pepitos is a delicious snack made from pumpkin seeds or the seeds of a squash.

Channel 7

GOB Joins PUP In Rejecting Guat Proposal to Change Referendum Date
Yesterday, the Opposition came forward and rejected the Guatemalan proposal to change the date of referendum on the ICJ. Today, Cabinet met in Belmopan and took the same position. A statement sent out this afternoon says that the Government "has decided to reject the Guatemalan proposals in their entirety." The statement adds that quote, "tremendous efforts over many years and through successive administrations have been spent in finding a negotiated solution…and the failure of these attempts is what led to the signing of the Special Agreement by Belize, Guatemala and the OAS on 8th December, 2008." IT adds, "The Government of Belize is today writing to OAS Secretary General Insulza… to confirm Belize's continued commitment to abide by the Special Agreement… including the holding of simultaneous referenda as agreed on 6th October, 2013." This evening we caught Foreign Minister Elrington at his home where he said Cabinet decided unanimously: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "The official response is that we will not deviate from the special agreement which we've entered into in 2008. The Government is going to stick to that."

Corozal Cops Foil Kidnappers; Rescue "Million Dollar Baby"
Last night, Corozal police recovered an infant child that was being held for almost a million dollar ransom! We've been following this developing story since yesterday, but Police asked us to hold off on reporting it because the kidnappers allegedly told the family that if the media or police got involved, the baby would have been killed. But police did get involved, and made a dramatic rescue of the child last night. But the abduction happened 24 hours earlier. According to our information, on Sunday night the mother was driving with her one year old daughter on the ITVET Road on the outskirts of Corozal town when 2 vehicles blocked her path. Gunmen jumped out of the vehicles, and grabbed the child, while holding the mother stationary at gunpoint. They reportedly told the mother that if they pay a ransom, the child would be returned, but they also threatened to kill the baby if she reported the matter to the police or the press. Multiple reports to 7News say that the kidnappers were asking for as much as $450,000 thousand US dollars for her safe return.

OW Cop Died Of Drowning, Not Foul Play
Last night, 7News told you about 44 year-old Police Constable Antonio Chan, the officer who was found dead in the Belize New River in the Trial Farm Area of Orange Walk Town. There was some uncertainty surrounding his death, and speculation arose that it could have been foul play. But it turns out that he drowned; that's according to Dr. Mario Estradabran, who conducted a post-mortem, which revealed that he died due to asphyxia due to drowning. And while his cause of death is now certified, there is still no explanation yet of what caused him to drive his vehicle into the river - which is where he drowned.

Unions Take A Hardline in Negotiations With GOB
The unions are reloading for another round of talks with the Prime Minister. We say talks because the Prime Minister has said there's nothing to negotiate; his position is simple: if the unions can help government achieve a revenue surplus then they can get a raise out of that. But the unions have taken a different stance, they says there's plenty of room to negotiate to ensure that their membership has at least minimum pay raise that they can be assured of. That's what's contained in a set of counter proposals that have been sent back to government. Except government doesn't want to hear it; the PM has reportedly balked at those counter proposals, but still agreed to meet. And that's why the unions have been making the talk show rounds this week. We caught up with them after an appearance on KREM W-U-B this morning where they outlined their position. Luke Palacio - President, BNTU "Basically the Prime Minister has indicated to us - and we need to be very clear here, the Prime Minister, we know is an attorney. The way he writes, it is subject to interpretation, but basically he has said to us that he will not - he's not going to accept the proposal that we have for the 5% to be paid for this financial year that we are requesting in our account of proposal." Reporter "Can you give an explanation as to why?" Luke Palacio "Well basically what the Prime Minister has said in his letter is that we had agreed to several things in the presentation that he had made. Our records show that there was at no point any indication was made to the Prime Minister that we agreed to anything in his proposals.

Octogenarian Killed Himself In Corozal
An 83 year-old Retired American who was found shot dead in Corozal yesterday, seems as if he may have killed himself. Police visited Richard Stout's home at #3 Coconut Grove, Consejo Shores in the Corozal District, and they found him on the ground behind his house. Investigations so far suggest that Stout was at home alone at the time, and he allegedly shot himself with a 9mm pistol, which was found near his body. His common-law wife reported that when she got home, she found him dead with the gun and a note beside him. According to her, Stout had been suffering from pulmonary emphysema since 2006, and that he indicated to her that he would kill himself. The weapon, the body and the note were all recovered by police.

Holy Week Is Busiest Time Of Year For Water Taxi's
Every year, the 2 major water taxi operations, San Pedro Belize Express and Caye Caulker Water taxi prepare for what's called Holy Week, when a good section of the population head for the islands. It's a spike in passenger volume and revenue for the companies, and often gives way to cut-throat competition, as they slash prices and change around schedules to try to attract as many island-bound passengers as possible. Today, we spoke to the Marketing Manager for Caye Caulker Water Taxi about what the Easter Weekend means for her company. She says that they've been planning for it for 2 months. Wendy Castillo - Marketing Manager, Caye Caulker Water Taxi "Well, so far our season started great. As you know Easter is one of the times that Belizeans and tourists look forward to going to the Cayes. And so far it has been good for us but this weekend - this Easter weekend, that's when we'll get boat loads of our local Belizean passing through our terminal. So we're prepared; we're ready; we have a lot of surprises, and giveaways. The party starts at Caye Caulker Water Taxi before you reach the Caye, the party has to start here. So we are prepared for that - we have been preparing for the past 2 months. Our Belizeans have always been very supportive of us. As you all know, if you don't know and you want to put emphasis that we are the 100 - the only 100% Belizean own operating water taxi in Belize, and whenever our people pass through, not only in Easter, we always have promotions going on. For us, this is something that we emphasis as you can see, our boats - we have capacity of 120 for our biggest boat, and something that we always emphasize to our customers is that you don't have to rush. If the demand is there we will pull up another boat, and we take you. So there's no need for rush; it's based on the demand that is passing - amount of customers passing through our terminal, we have enough boat, believe you me, to accommodate the demands of our customers."

Reaching Out In Rhaburn Ridge
Last night, we told you about the US Army Southcom's New Horizon project which is building schools and providing medical care to select communities across Belize. Well, there are other US organizations on goodwill missions in Belize, and one of them is the Students for the International Mission Service, who have started their own outreach efforts in Rhaburn Ridge Village in the Belize District. One of the representatives told us about what they plan to do: Shaun Kelly Plafker - Students for the International Mission Service "We're doing a local health fair for the communities here at Rayburn Ridge and the surrounding areas. We have students from the Universities, and doctors who are putting on a health fair." Reporter "Okay, besides from a health fair, I see construction taking place. Explain what's happening." Shaun Kelly Plafker "There's another group from California that's here helping the local church build classrooms and restrooms for the church and they're building a school."

Channel 5

Government rejects Guatemala’s 2 referendum proposals
On Monday, the Opposition rejected two Guatemalan proposals and tonight there is official word from Belmopan that Cabinet has looked at the proposals and is also discarding them in their entirety. A release from the Belize Press Office this afternoon made that position clear, while reiterating the point that Belize has done everything to stick [...]

Foreign Affairs Minister questions Opposition Leader’s moral standing
And while Belize plays the waiting game and Foreign Minister Elrington is not predicting Guatemala’s next move, he is absolutely clear in his view of Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, and the People’s United Party. In a press conference Monday evening, Fonseca said Elrington was doing a disservice to Belize and should be removed. [...]

Minister tells Opposition that G.O.B. knows what it’s doing
Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca issued a statement on Monday, rejecting the proposals from Guatemala but also calling on government to ensure and maintain local and international support for Belize during this critical time in the nation’s history. Elrington said that the Opposition is preaching to the choir, since the government knows what has to be [...]

News of a kidnapping: toddler rescued from captors
A case of kidnapping has been reported in the Corozal District.  It happened since Sunday but the media did not report it in order to reduce risks in endangering the life of the child. A high profile investigation has been taking place and a number of officers have been involved providing tactical and intelligence support [...]

Do you agree that BIL will be used to hustle?
Another hot button issue is the establishment of a company called the Belize Infrastructure Limited which was recently established by the government and then by and large assumed works previously carried out by the Ministry of Works. Tonight’s question is: Do you agree that BIL, GOB’s sixty million dollar infrastructure company, will be used to [...]

Minister not interested in theatrics of Territorial Volunteers
With the rejection of the Guatemalan referendum proposals there is still one initiative that keeps popping up. Caught somewhere on the periphery of the continuing back and forth between Belize and Guatemala are the Belize Territorial Volunteers, led by activist Wil Maheia, who have stated that they will clear, as in chop to the ground, [...]

P.U.P. Toledo says no to ICJ
Both the government and opposition have now firmly rejected the Guatemalan proposals in respect of the October sixth referendum which would have determined whether the population had any desire to ultimately have the ICJ determine Belize’s boundaries. While it seemed that is the general public sentiment, we narrowed it down to the two area representatives [...]

P.U.P. Toledo concerned about Belize border security
The area representatives of the Toledo District did not hike to Santa Cruz to join the Clear the Border Project by Belize Territorial Volunteers. According to Oscar Requeña and Mike Espat, while Belizeans need to assert their nationalism there is also an issue of security involved along the Belize borders.    Mike Espat, Toledo East [...]

Forestry officer collapses and dies
  Last Sunday afternoon, personnel from the Special Patrol Unit, the Belize Defense Force and Forestry Department were on an operation at Maya Mountains Forest Reserve when a member of the team collapsed. Forty year old Gumercindo Baeza, a Forestry Officer in-charge of the Savannah Forest Station in Independence Village was walking when he fell [...]

Dramatic government cost increase for Lois Young’s New York Mission
The debate on the 2013-2014 budget lasted a full two days, closing late on Friday. There was a noticeable lessening of the venom and vitriol which has become characteristic of every House session, but there was very spirited commentary offered on the budget presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow which was passed by the House [...]

53 year old charged for fondling teen
  There is another case of abuse against a minor. A Belize City man is accused of fondling a teenager on her chest. Fifty-three year old, Dwight Flowers was arraigned this morning before Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stewart and was charged with Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature as well as for Threatening.  The incident allegedly occurred on [...]

Cops acquitted of stealing from a purse
A pair of officers, accused of stealing a handbag belonging to the wife of councilor Dean Samuels, was acquitted of the charge of theft during a police tribunal on Monday.  Police constables John Galvez and Phillip Swift appeared before a panel of their superiors at the Raccoon Street Police Headquarters where, after a lengthy trial, [...]

Price of fish for the Easter holiday goes up
It is a busy time of the year for fish vendors and at fish markets as Belizeans prepare to end the Lenten season. It is also a time when the demand for fish increases and so does the price. Fish was selling at four dollars per pound, if you had a head start today, but [...]

Rehabilitated manatee released into wild
Throughout the year, manatees are injured or killed at sea by water traffic. The rehabilitation of injured manatee falls largely on the shoulders of a conservation group that treats them to be released back into the wild. It could be a long process but it is certainly costly. The center is located up north and [...]


One Year Old Asian Baby Kidnapped For Ransom; Belize Police Rescues Baby Girl
A one year old Asian girl has been safely returned to her mother after she was kidnapped Sunday night. Police are not releasing any information on the incident because of the sensitivity of the case but Love News understands that sometime after seven o’clock on Sunday night...

Teachers Present Counter Proposals to Prime Minister for Salary Adjustments
The teachers have made their counterproposals to the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, in their ongoing negotiations for salary adjustments. But the details of those counterproposals and the Prime Minister’s response to them have remained largely undisclosed. But this morn...

Missing Teenager In Cayo District
A teenager from San Ignacio has been reported missing. Correspondent Elaine Berry spoke with a relative and filed this report. ELAINE BERRY "Rosita Chun, sister-in-law of 17 year old, Teresita Novelo also known as Tete or Mariana is appealing for her to come home.&nb...

Youths From The National Police Cadet Corp Meet In Southern Belize To Compete In Various Disciplines
Over 150 youths of the National Police Cadet Corp participated in the southern regional sports discipline held on Saturday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG " During official ceremony at the Toledo Union Field the opening address was gi...

International Governance and Risk Institute Conducts Workshop For Members of Judiciary
On Monday, judges, magistrates and people in the legal field assembled for a workshop on governance, financial crime prevention, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption. The session was conducted by the International Governance and Risk Institute, which is a global organization...

Belize's Island Ranked Top of TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Island Awards
Ambergris Caye has been ranked as the top recipient of the TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Island Awards. According to a press release from the Belize Tourism Board, the awards honors top islands around the world based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvis...

Police News
Three persons have been charged with firearm offences. Around five o’clock yesterday morning police conducted a search of thirty two year old computer technician, Brian Myvette’s home on Casaurina Street in Belize City. The search led them to the discovery of a ...

Post Mortem Results Released on Policeman's Death
A post mortem conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the body of Police Corporal Antonio Chan certified the cause of death to be asphyxia due to drowning. Chan’s body was found floating in the New River in the Trial Farm area on Sunday by a local fisherman. When police retrieved ...

Minor Reports Sexual Assault
Fifty-three tear old Dwight Flowers, a resident of Dolphin Street who allegedly committed a sexual assault on a 15 year old girl, was charged with aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Flowers was also charged with using threatening words. According to that allegation, he...

Woman Charged With Aggravated Burglary
Forty-seven year old Idolly Summerville, a resident of mile 15 on the George Price Highway, was charged with aggravated burglary when she appeared in Court. She pled not guilty to the charge. She was offered a bail of $5,000.00 and her case was adjourned until April 26. The bail ...

Mother of Four Receives Tenth Conviction In Court
Thirty-six year old Shinette Staine, a mother of four with nine convictions for drug offences, broke out in tears today when she got her tenth conviction and Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart told her that the sentence for drug trafficking can be a fine of $10,000.00 and three years impriso...

Love FM Interviews Consul for Belize In Chicago
As we reported the delegation that came to Belize with Secretary of State Jessie White left the country yesterday. Debbie Shell the consul for Belize in Chicago was a part of the delegation. She spoke to Love News about the work she continues to do. DEBBIE SCHELL I...

City of Belmopan Prepares To Launch Municipal Bond
For the past months residents of Belmopan have been calling into Estereo Amor Morning Show to complain about the condition of streets and drains in the areas of San Martin, among others. When we spoke with Mayor Simeon Lopez last week he told us that the Belmopan City Council will be a...


US Citizen Commits Suicide
A retired US citizen residing in Corozal is tonight dead and all indications are that he took away his life. Yesterday morning, just before noon, Corozal police visited #3 Coconut Grove, Consejo Shores in the Corozal District where they found the dead body of 83 year old Gordon Richard Stout lying face up behind his residence. Near Stout’s body police found a 9mm Sig Sauer pistol and a note. The content of the note has not been disclosed by police. Initial investigations have revealed that Stout was home alone when he allegedly shot himself with the 9mm pistol. Stout’s common law wife reported to Corozal police that in 2006 he was diagnosed with pulmonary emphysema and had indicated to her several times that he would commit suicide. Police recovered one 9mm pistol with one magazine containing seven 9mm live rounds and one expended shell from the scene. Stout’s body was transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where it was pronounced dead on arrival.

Hon.Jose Mai Says That Ministry Of Lands Is Institutionally Corrupted
Back in December 2010 UDP stalwart Derrick Gillette, who is also a close ally of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, received a compensation of $148,000 from the Ministry of Natural Resources after the Supreme Court ruled that parcel 1817 measuring 675.24 sq. meters was to be given back to its original owner, in this case, Silvio Correa. The parcel of land that was in question is located behind the Finca Solana Area in the Corozal District. This is how the transaction played out; back in 2007 Correa was issued a title for the land. In 2009, Derrick Gillette was issued a title for that same parcel of land by the U.D.P Administration. Correa took the matter to the Supreme Court and won the case. While Correa retained his title, Derrick Gillette received $148,000 as a form of compensation from the Ministry of Natural Resources, that’s far much more than the actual $1,500.00 that he paid to Government. But how is it that two titles were issued for the same parcel of land? Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega and his CEO Beverly Castillo; lay the blame on a computer glitch. Hon. Gaspar Vega- Minister of Natural Resources “The court was the one that decided that was the land that was intended to be issued to one Mr. Correa, but that was not so because under the rush, Mr. Correa got a title, but with the wrong parcel number in the wrong area and that is how that land was still available because in the computer under the system, it did not show that that land was issued. After it went to court, after it went to court, it was the court that decided that the original intention was for that land, but was never—I had nothing to do with it—it was never issued to Mr. Correa.”

Toddler Is Reunited With Her Family After Being Kidnapped!
Tonight a one year old baby girl of Asian decent has been reunited with her parents after she was kidnapped on Sunday night at around 7:00 in Corozal. Word of the abduction reached our news room on Sunday night but we decided not to release the story yesterday in collaboration with authorities after the kidnappers threatened the child’s parents that if they went to media or the police the toddler would be killed. Since baby Ivy Yang is now safely home, we can share details of this frightening ordeal. There are several reports as to what happened and tonight we bring them all to you. One report indicates that child was kidnapped as her parents travelled back to town from the Corozal Free Zone. Allegations are that the couple, who own a business at the zone, was travelling on the road near ITVET in Corozal when two vehicles closed in to them; one from the front and one from the rear. Reports are that two men exited one of the vehicles. Both men, armed with firearms, approached the couple and snatched the baby girl from mother, Mae Chan Cheng at gunpoint. The mother, we understand, was given a cell phone and was informed that she would receive a call demanding a ransom of US$450,000.

Autopsy Says That PC Chan Drowned
The results of the post mortem examination conducted on the body of 44 year old Police Constable 886 Antonio Chan, has put an end to rumors that he was murdered. Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradaban conducted the autopsy yesterday afternoon and today it has been established that Chan died as a result of asphyxia due to drowning. As mentioned last night, the body of Chan was found floating in the New River early Saturday morning near the Recreational and Botanical Park in the Otro Benque Area of Orange Walk Town. Chan was wearing a grey police t-shirt, police pants, and shoes. His white Isuzu pickup truck was also found submerged in the river. PC Antonio Chan served at the Orange Walk Police Department for three and a half years. As it pertains to the murder of 37 year old Israel Matu of Patchakan Village in the Corozal District, we understand that 2 persons will be charged tomorrow at the Corozal Magistrates Court. Matu was found dead in a cane field near the Village of Chan Chen on Sunday Night after he was reported missing by his family two days before. All indications are that Matu was badly beaten, robbed and left to die in the area.

Ambergris Caye Wins TripAdvisor Traveler's Choice Island Award
There is good news for Belize’s Tourism Industry tonight. Ambergris Caye has won the award for the 2013 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands, throughout the world. The award honors top islands around the world based entirely on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisors Travelers. In total, more than 100 winning islands were named across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, South Pacific and the U.S. Today the Belize Tourism Board sent out a release in which it quotes Minister of Tourism and Culture, Honorable Manuel Heredia, as saying, “We are delighted that Ambergris Caye of Belize has been recognized as the world's top island in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands awards. We would like to thank all the travellers who have made this win possible, simply by sharing their love of Ambergris Caye with the TripAdvisor travel community. We look forward to welcoming more visitors to our paradise this year and beyond,” end quote.

Team Canada Holds Workshop About Autism
Living in Belize are people who are suffering from a wide range of developmental problems and most often those problems are not addressed especially when it comes to children. But over the years, more attention has been focused on children with special needs and their everyday challenges. One organization that hopes to be of positive impact is Team Canada Healing Hands which is a non-profit organization dedicated to the provision of rehabilitative education, training and care in areas of need. This is the third year that the group travels to Belize and their main focus at this point is teaching adults how to better interact with children with autism. This morning the group was conducting a workshop at Saint Peter’s Anglican School and tonight we take a closer look at what autism is and how to detect it in your child. In Belize the word “autism” is considered a strange one and many of us don’t really know what it means. But truth be told, Autism is a complex developmental disability which presents itself during the first three years of a person’s life. Autism is the result of a neurological disorder which affects normal brain functions and the developments of ones communication and social interactions skills.

US Fugitive Expelled To Home Country After Being Caught In Belize
A US Fugitive was caught in Belize last week Wednesday. According to reports, 74 year old American National Daniel Rae Morris attempted to re-enter Belize through the Belize Corozal Border on March 21st. Morris presented a Belizean Passport to Immigration Officers who upon taking a closer look at the document discovered that the passport was issued to a Belizean with a different name. Morris was then taken to the Corozal Magistrate Court on March 22nd where he was fined $2,000. Authorities figured out that Morris was wanted in the USA and hence expelled him from the country yesterday.

PUP Has Long Record Of Development In Orange Walk Central
At the Budget Debate on Thursday last, both Ministers of the ruling party and those on the Opposition side took several jabs at each other. If we talk about the Dean Barrow Administration, then, there was a whole lot of self praise taking place on that side of the house for the restructuring of the Super Bond and the no new taxes and no overall spending cuts 2013/2014 Budget. At the same time, those on the other side of the honorable house, criticized the Government for presenting what they called and empty Budget, a budget which does not represent the reality that the Belizean people are living. Amidst the finger pointing the P.U.P also took some heat as they were blamed for bringing no progress to the Belizean people when they were in power. But, as if knowing that would be one of the low blows the U.D.P would throw at the house on Thursday, Orange Walk Central Area Representative Honorable John Briceno counteracted that statement by listing out some of the projects carried out in his constituency under the Peoples United Party. Honorable John Briceno- Orange Walk Central Area Representative “During the 10 years of a PUP government much was done for the people of Orange Walk Central. We assisted every school in Orange Walk Central with new classrooms and hundreds of students were assisted with scholarship and grants. We built the ITVET with a 10 acre campus. We helped fund two new high schools: New Hope High School and Bishop Martin School.

GOB Rejects Guatemala's Entire Proposal On Referendum
Tonight all indications are that there will be no simultaneous referendum between Belize and Guatemala as the Government of Belize, similar to the People’s United Party, has rejected Guatemala’s Referendum Proposals submitted on Sunday March 17th during a meeting held in Washington with the Organization of American States. The position was formulated after Cabinet met today and members unanimously rejected Guatemala’s proposals. Guatemala wanted Belize to agree to a postponement of the referendum or for Belize to proceed with its own referendum on October 6th. But here is the gist; based on the results of Belize’s referendum, Guatemala will decide whether or not to hold their own referenda. In a government press release, GOB notes that tremendous efforts over many years and through successive administrations have been spent in finding a negotiated solution that would bring to a definitive end Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize.


GOB says it will not postpone October referendum
The Government of Belize has rejected Guatemala’s suggestion to postpone the upcoming October referendum. In a press release issued today, GOB says that it rejects Guatemala’s proposals in their entirety. That proposal laid out by Guatemala suggests that the referendum either be postponed until a further date or that...

A toddler has been reunited her family after being kidnapped
Police in Corozal Town are presently investigating a frightening case of abduction for ransom, involving a Chinese national in the seaside town. Because the issue is sensitive we will not identify the mother by name, but we can tell you that according to our information, she was driving with...

Unions back to negotiations with PM
Trade unions the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), Public Service Union (PSU), and Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) continue to press for a salary adjustment beginning in the upcoming financial year despite Government’s reluctance. Today BNTU President Luke Palacio clarified that the unions did not agree formally...

Police investigate death of PC Antonio Chan
Yesterday we reported on the untimely death of Police Constable Antonio Chan. PC Chan was found dead in the New River early on Saturday in unusual circumstances. His boss, Senior Superintendent Joseph Myvette, gave details of the Police investigation. Joseph Myvettee – Senior Superintendent, Corozal: On Saturday Morning, sometime...

Nude body found in canefield
Israel Matu is the nation’s latest murder victim. His body was found in a canefield on Sunday afternoon showing beating injuries. Reports are that the 37 year old resident of Patchakan Village left home at 1:00 on Friday afternoon and did not return home. On Sunday after 3:00pm, he...

PUP does not support holding unilateral referendum on October 6
Yesterday we gave you the People’s United Party’s (PUP) official stance on two proposals by Guatemala that would substantially alter or possibly scuttle the October 6 simultaneous referendum on mediating the territorial dispute at the International Court of Justice. An urgent press briefing was held at the party’s headquarters...

NTUCB President hints at possible court action over fired BWS workers
Eight employees of Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) were fired in January and February as fallout from a major scandal. Actually they were told that their positions were redundant, but CEO Alvan Haynes wrote a memo to employees later claiming that the workers failed to cooperate fully with an...

Two minors additionally charged for murder of Ardon Belgrave
Last week we told you that Police were looking for persons involved in a shooting near La Croix Boulevard, for which Akeem Augustine had already been charged. Well two minors have additionally been arrested and charged in connection to the incident. Yesterday, the 16 and 17 year old males...

Two officers expected to be charged after man escapes custody
Two officers are expected to be charged, after a man convicted of firearm offences escaped from custody. Last week, Guatemalan national Walter Leonel Boteo-Raldo was being held by Cayo Police when he vanished from his cell block. The 22 year old made a swift escape when shifts were being...

Opposition Leader says Foreign Affairs Minister has done a grave disservice to the nation
Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington has been consistently under the microscope in recent months for several statements that some vocal Belizeans have found offensive and inappropriate with regard to the Guatemalan dispute. The Minister has been hardly apologetic for his stance but PUP leader Francis Fonseca says that even...

Minister of Youth tells YC youth are the future of our country
YC Belize 2013 took place this weekend at the ITVET Campus in Belize City. This year’s YC Belize was held under the theme “This Is Love” and featured both local and international performers and speakers. Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports Hon. Herman Longsworth...

US fugitive caught with invalid passport
A US fugitive was caught trying to enter Belize with an invalid passport. Last week When 70 year old American national Daniel Rae Morris was attempting to re-enter Belize at the Corozal/Mexico border on Thursday, officials noticed something was wrong with the information on his passport. Further inspection of...

Woman robbed by gunman in Belize City
A woman was robbed by a gunman in Belize City. Last night, around 9:50, a 19 year old was on East Canal Street when two men rode up beside her. She said that one of the men pointed a handgun at her and robbed her of a white I-Phone...

Three arrested following a gun bust
Three persons have been arrested following a gun bust. Brian Myvette, Cecil Louis Gill and Dannen Myvette were at their Belize City home, when police raided the house and found a plastic bag containing (8) 9mm live rounds of ammo. Following the early morning raid yesterday, all three individuals...

The Guardian

King of Hustles?
This year’s debate on the General Revenue Appropriation Bill was more of a parliamentarian retreat than an actual debate on the country’s financial future. The Opposition offered no alternative to Prime Minister Barrow’s national budget. There were more written reflections on projected economic performance than open challenges to the record of Government. Members of the gallery had to fight to stay awake through hours of extremely long reading sessions by the Opposition. It was perhaps the most boring budget debate in recent history because the PUP had nothing! Some say that is because it was the most difficult budget to debate as its focused on education, national security and job creation effectively addresses priority areas of national concern. The debate was almost concluded shortly after 4 p.m. on day one when no one stood up to speak. All the television stations had lost interest in the debate and left before 2 p.m. Julius Espat and others did not want to present with the television stations being absent. This caused Prime Minister Barrow to get up and threaten to close the debate. It was then that Fonseca instructed his representatives to present. Julius was reserved to lead off day two of the debate which led to a much anticipated presentation. Espat failed to live up to the hype. In Prime Minister Barrow’s words, “The barnyard rooster ended up as a cockerel whose attempted crowing never came out as much more than a strangulated cluck-cluck cluck-cluck.” Julius Espat’s main challenge to Government was to provide greater access to land. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources, Hon. Gaspar Vega, pointed out in his presentation that this Government has distributed more than double the amount of land leases and titles in five years than the PUP did in their ten-year administration. However, Prime Minister Barrow contextualized Julius Espat’s concern about access to land.

Corozal Community College back on Top
On Saturday, March 23rd, Mayor Simeon Lopez welcomed thousands of Belizeans to Belmopan as the capital city hosted the Belize Band Fest 2013 at the FFB Stadium. Last year in Corozal Town, the Succotz Festival Drum Corps won the Band Fest competition for the fifth time in six years. Corozal Community College finished second and most of their supporters complained of being robbed by the judges. This year,the team was on a mission to prove that they really are the best and that Succotz’s reign as the best marching band in the land came to an end at the 2010 competition in Corozal Town when they dethroned the three-peat champs. Corozal Community College took home $2,000 for winning the new category of best choreographed band sponsored by Oceana. They took home another $1,000 for winning the most popular band competition, which is a popularity contest sponsored by Digicell in which supporters vote via Digicell text for their favourite band in the competition. The Belmopan Youth Drum Corp won $1,000 for the best uniforms category. Holy Redeemer Marching Band took home $4,000 for winning the drum corp competition. Dangriga Drum Corp received $2,000 for second prize and Belmopan Youth received a trophy and medals for finishing third. The battle for the winner’s scepter is in the wind instruments category. Succotz Festival Drum Corps took home $1,000 cash along with a trophy and medals for a disappointing third place finish by the defending repeat and five time champs. Benque Viejo Marching Band finished in second place and took home $2,500 cash along with a trophy and medals. Corozal Community College was successful in its mission by taking home $6,000 cash and the winner’s scepter for winning Band Fest 2013.

Cop dies under Strange Circumstances
Orange Walk police are investigating the death of one of their own. On Saturday, March 23rd police retrieved the body of police officer, 44-year-old, Antonio Chan from the Belize New River East of Honey Camp Street in Trial Farm Village. When the body was pulled out of the water, there were two small cut wounds observed above both eyes and blood was seen coming from his mouth. Investigations so far have determined that sometime around 1:00 a.m. on Sunday, he was seen driving his vehicle and socializing in Orange Walk Town and near to Trial Farm Village. His body was found floating in the river sometime around 7:20a.m. on that same day. Police have also retrieved Chan's vehicle from the river and their investigations into the police officer's death continues.

Sentenced for Arson
On Thursday, March 14th, 35-year-old Belize City resident, Brian Barrella was found guilty of arson of his ex-mother in law’s home. On Monday, March 18th, he was fined $3,500 by Supreme Court judge, Justice Adolph Lucas., Sr. On February 16th, 2008, after being refused entry into his ex-mother-in-law’s home, he set a curtain in the home on fire. His ex-common-law wife was living in the house at the time. The house is located in the Sunset Park area, Mile 8 Western Highway. Speaking in mitigation for him on Monday were his aunt, Videlia Barrella, Theresita Abraham and Rosa Gonzalez, who all spoke well of Barrella asking the court for leniency. After hearing the pleas, Judge Lucas told Barrella that in law, when one is convicted of arson at the Supreme Court and is imposed a fine, the sentence in default cannot be more than 12 months. He then fined him $3,500 which he should pay by September 27th, 2013.

Teenager accused of Attempted Murder
On Thursday, March 21st, Akeem Augustine, 18, appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was charged with four counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder four counts of aggravated assault. Augustine, a resident of #74 La Croix Boulevard, appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Adolph Lucas. No plea was taken and bail could not be offered. He is remanded to prison until April 22nd. According to a police report, on Tuesday, March 19th, they received a report from a 16-year-old minor who informed them that at about 6:00 p.m., he and another minor, 15, and two other young men were hanging out at the corner of Police Street and La Croix Boulevard, when he and the 15-year-old decided to go and buy at a nearby shop. According to the 16-year-old, whilst on Mahogany Street on their way to the shop, they were approached by Augustine and two other men, who started to pursue them. They hurriedly made their way back to the corner of Police Street and La Croix Boulevard where the other two men were standing, and, according to the minor, upon reaching at the corner of the two streets, one of the men who was pursuing them pulled out a gun and fired several shots in their direction.

53-year-old charged with carnal Knowledge of 12-year-old girl
A 53-year-old man has been charged with carnal knowledge of his stepdaughter, 12 years of age. Miguel Angel Lopez Perseria was arrested and charged by Orange Walk for police for the crime Carnal Knowledge. At about 4:55p.m. on Friday, March 22nd, a Social Worker visited the Orange Walk Town Police Station along with a 12-year-old student and reported that on the 18th of March her step father had sexual intercourse with her. The girl reported to police that this was not the first time he had sexual intercourse but that he had started to abuse her from when she was 9 years old up to the last instance on Friday of last week.

Charged for Harboring an Illegal Immigrant
On Thursday, March 21st a Belizean resident of #339 Belama Phase 2, Francisca Flores, 50, was charged with harboring an illegal immigrant. Flores appeared unrepresented and initially pleaded guilty to the charge. After hearing the facts of the case, Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr. asked Flores why she shouldn’t be jailed for her actions. She replied that she didn’t know the minor was an illegal immigrant. She further stated that she got a call from a man who asked her if she can house the minor at her home for a few days, and she said yes without hesitating. Flores then asked the Magistrate if she could change her plea from guilty to not guilty. She told the court that she only pleaded guilty because “they” told her to do so and not waste the court’s time. The Magistrate allowed her to do so, and initially indicated to the court that he would have Flores remanded.

Rose Classic Basketball Camp opens
Day one of the seventh annual Rose Classic Basketball Camp opened with over 400 youths attending on Monday, March 25th.

Twenty Two People complete Training in Forensic Ballistics
On Friday, March 22nd, 2013, Twenty Two (22) people received certificates after completing a one-week Training Course in Forensic Ballistics, conducted by the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration with the British High Commission in Belize and the Ministry of National Security.

Belize observes World Forest Day Preparing to sell Carbon Credits
Belize has, with great fanfare, observed the International Day of Forests. The Forestry Department within the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development celebrated the United Nations-sanctioned day, International Day of Forests, near the National Police Headquarters building in Belmopan on March 21st. Many primary school-aged children were present for the event full day.

Ministry of Health Cautions Public on Rising Cases of Hepatitis A
The Ministry of Health is investigating a cluster of fourteen suspected cases of Hepatitis A that have occurred over the last three weeks in the Trio Village, Stann Creek District. One such case has been confirmed by lab.

Restore Belize hopes Conflict Mediations Decrease Violence
Sixty-two Belizeans are now trained conflict mediators, thanks to a program designed by the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) in the U.S. Department of State. The last set of individuals to complete the course included school teachers and disciplinarians. They received certificates of achievement from the United States’ Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thumalapally, on Friday, March 15th.

Zamir Guerra establishes New Record in Junior Cross Country
The 14th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic is now history and a new record was established in this process. On Sunday, March 24th, 2013, the Belize Cycling Association sponsored its annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic which saw the participation of 20 riders. The historic event started at the Succtoz Ferry and concluded at Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Prince Highway. At the end of 3:34:38 (new record) it was Zamir Guerra of Cayo High Road Cycling that was the first rider to cross the finish line and shattered the previous record, of 3:37:48 that was established by Byron Pope. The second rider to cross the finish line was Michael Wagner Jr. of BELCOL Uprising Cycling Tea. The third rider to cross was Tarique Flowers, who is unattached, the fourth was Joslyn Chavarria Jr. of BELCOL in a time of 3:46:06, and the fifth rider to cross the finish line was Giovanni Lovell of Telemedia Cycling to round off the top five finishers.

Belize District Basketball Association Meeting
The Belize District Basketball Association is calling a meeting for all firms wishing to enter teams in the annual Belize District Basketball Association Tournament. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17th, at 7:00 pm. Representatives of firms wishing to participate should contact Leon Palacio at 623-9241 or David Lacey at for further details.

Giovanni Choto to defend Cross Country Title
Giovanni Choto is the first rider to cross the line in 2012 The 85th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is scheduled for Saturday, March 30th, 2013. The race is organised by the Belize Cycling Association and is held under the regulations of the International Cycling Union. The race will start at the Old August Meat Shop, Mile 1 ½ George Price Highway, Belize City at 6:30 travel to San Ignacio Town around Columbus Park and return to finish in front of the Memorial Park on Marine Parade in Belize City for a total distance of 142.2 miles. The event is open to athletes of the Under 23, Elite and Masters Males categories. The event is also classified as a class HC event. The race is open to a minimum of (4) and maximum of 10 riders per team. Riders born 1994 and before will be allowed to participate. Registration for this event is $75.00 and $30.00 for Race Radio. The National Anti-Doping Organisation’s regulations are entirely applicable to the event. The Anti-Doping Tests (5) 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places are mandatory with two (2) Random Selections will take place at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The Technical Meeting in connection with the 85th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is scheduled for Thursday, March 28th, 2013, at the Radisson Fort George and Marina, Santa Rita Room, Fort Street Belize City. Only team managers will be allowed to attend this meeting. Verification of documents will be held from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The annual parade of cyclists will be held on Thursday, March 28th, commencing at 4:30 pm at the Court House Plaza. The route of the parade will includes the following Regent Street, Albert Street, Albert Street (West), Yarborough Road, Central American Blvd (entire length), over Belcan Bridge, Round-A-Bout, Princess Margaret Drive (entire length), Barrack Road, Marine Rarade and Memorial Park.

Belize Defence Force still in Number One Position
The Premier league of Belize Football Competition continued over the last week with games across the country. On Thursday, March 21st, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits and San Ignacio United played to a 1-1 draw. The home team San Ignacio United got on the scoreboard first when Rosny Martinez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 44th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. However, the Belmopan Bandits were able to tie the score at 1-1 when Darren Myers scored the equalizing goal in the 81st minute of play. At the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, Verdes blanked the league’s leading Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-0. The goals for Verdes were scored by Julio Ayala in the 28th and 33rd minutes of the game respectively. On Sunday, March 24th, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the home team FC Belize blanked the Placencia Assassins by the score of 1-0. Christobal Gilharry scored the only goal of the game in the 75th minute of play via the penalty kick. The competition will continue this week with games on Wednesday, March 27th, at 7:30 pm between Verdes FC and the Belmopan Bandits at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, and at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town also at 7:30 pm between the Belize Defence Force and the San Ignacio United FC.

Belize City Softball Association General Meeting set for April 2nd
The General Meeting for the Belize City Softball Association is scheduled for Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, commencing at 6:30 pm at the Softball Secretariat. All Team Managers, players and officials are asked to attend and to be on time. The main point of the agenda will be the elections of officers for the period 2013-2017.

Interoffice Softball Competition Playoff Races heats up
The 2012 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition is fast approaching the end of the regular season at Rogers Stadium. The regular season continued on Saturday, March 23rd, with two games on the schedule. IN game one, KHMH won over Kit Kt Baaba Shap via the default route. In game two, Guardian/NSC won over Baby Ruth Baaba Shap via the forfeiture route. Guardian/NSC was leading by the score of 15-2 in the 2nd inning when an injury to one of Baby Ruth’s players and as a result the game could not continue. On Friday, March 22, in game one, Belize Bank defeated Kit Kat Baaba Shap by the score of 19-5. The winning pitcher was Godsden Ferguson and the losing pitcher was Lugi Zaldivar. In game two, it was BWSL winning over Tuff “E” Nuff by the score of 18-9. The winning pitcher was Sharea Pandy and the losing pitcher was Rico Black. On Thursday, March 21st, in the first game of the evening, Guardian/NSC blasted KHMH by the score of 1-4. The winning pitcher was Joel Wade and the losing pitcher was Arlette Castillo. In game two, Tuff “E” Nuff defeated BTL by the score of 21-11. The winning pitcher was Rico Black and the losing pitcher was Emily Turner.

Bishop Martin High wins SAGICOR’s Visionaries Challenge
Students of Bishop Martin High School will travel to Barbados to compete against students from high schools in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad & Tobago in SAGICOR’s Visionaries Challenge on April 12th and 13th.

Dengue causes Standard Four Student’s Health to fail
The normal life of a ten- year-old has been interrupted. A standard four student, Ralph William Hernandez, who is a student at Santa Elena Roman Catholic Primary School in the Cayo Disrict, has become afflicted with Dengue Encephalitis.

EASTER MESSAGE - 2013 - Dr. Oliver Ottley
Scripture: “. . . if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. . . . But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (I Corinthians 15:17a, 20 (NIV). Theology: The sine qua non of the Gospel The Apostle Paul was dealing with the issue of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which some of the Corinthian Church were rejecting or questioning. The inspired Apostle was explaining that to reject the resurrection of the dead is tantamount to rejecting the resurrection of Jesus Christ without which there could be no salvation, inasmuch as the actualization of redemption through our Lord’s death at Calvary depended on the verification of His resurrection. There are many religions in the world. Some worship false gods and not the Creator of the Universe; others claim to worship the Creator but not the Saviour who died on the cross and rose again from the dead. This was the preface of the passage: “Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Rotaract Club of San Ignacio gives Again
Members of the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio fanned out in Santa Elena Town on March 24th to begin their second phase of distributing grocery packages to needy children and adults in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. Visits were made to the ‘Trapiche’, ‘Aguada’ and other areas of Santa Elena Town where a Rotaract member gladly announced Easter Greetings to the recipients. This is the second time this month that the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio has been activated to do good deeds. According to President of the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio, Astrid Salazar Silva, from the 11th to the 13th of March and in celebration of Rotaract Week, gift baskets were distributed to the elderly and single mothers of Benque Viejo Town. The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio came out of hibernation in November of last year and since then the group has conducted a Christmas toy drive and visited the elderly at the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio. The club has also donated clothes to Mary Open Doors an organization catering to women and children. The group meets once a week at Hode’s Place, a popular eatery and recreational center in San Ignacio, where they come up with the latest plans to assist the Cayo communities under the philosophy of “Service Above Self.”

People’s Coalition of Cayo Focus on Pranksters
In a meeting last week with the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC (a local body seeking for a further reduction in crime in the Cayo Area), Officer in Charge of San Ignacio Police, Ralph Moody, referred to the most recent crime statistics for San Ignacio and Santa Elena and surrounding areas. According to Moody, some 246.3 grams of cannabis was confiscated last month while in January 88.7 grams were removed from the streets. There were three attempted murders last month and a similar number for January of this year. While the number of robberies dropped from 4 to 1 during the January to February 2013 time period, cases of theft swung upward from 2 to 10. Burglaries were also problematic, increasing from 2 in January to 7 in February. Superintendent Ralph Moody reported that the number of reported crime cases for January 2013 were the lowest ever. Both burglary and theft went down during the same period last year, with 20 cases of burglary in January and 11 in February and 15 cases of theft in January and 10 in February of 2012.

The Reporter

Trinidad draw improves Belize’s FIFA rank to 128th
Belize’s ranking by the Federation of International Football Association’s FIFA has improved from 132nd to 128th in the world. The upgrade came on the heels of Belize’s scoreless draw with the “Soca Warriors” of Trinidad & Tobago in the friendly football match played at the FIFA Goal Project Stadium beside the Football Federation of Belize Institute in Belmopan last Saturday night, March 23, immediately after Bandfest. Deon Macaulay, the author of Belize’s winning goal in our 2-1 victory over Nicaragua at Copa Centroamericana in Costa Rica in January, led the Belize offensive, along with the top striker of the Premier League of Belize last season, Danny Jimenez of Police United. Jimenez had been unable to make it to Costa Rica, because he was in the Police Academy’s three-month boot camp. Jimenez was a good fit with Trevor “Burger” Lennon, the author of Belize’s “golazo” against Nicaragua at Copa Centroamericana, as Lennon, Danny and Richard “Cheety” Jimenez had been team mates at Mopan Tech in 2004.

Corozal Community College Dominates Love FM’s Bandfest
Corozal Community College Marching Band, the 2010 Bandfest winners, repeated as champions of the wind category at the Love FM Eighth Annual Bandfest at the FIFA Goal Project Stadium in Belmopan last Saturday, March 24. CCC took home the $6,000 first prize and band leader. Omar Charley received the Winners’ Sceptre for the best band from Bandfest sponsor, Governor General Sir Colville Young. The 40 musicians and 24 majorettes and dancers wowed the judges with their stunning music, their marching formation both on the streets of Belmopan and in the stadium. Their repertoire included hits by Rihanna, L.M.F.A.O. Katy Perry, and they played salsa, cumbia and soca medleys with a gusto which commended the players to the audience. Their majorettes beat the midday heat wearing blue and white satin sleeveless outfits with sequined masks patterned after the Rio de Janiero Carnival, and their acrobatic dance moves on the field also won them the $2,000 prize for Best Choreography from Oceana, presented by Oceana’s Vice president, Audrey Matura Shepherd.

NTUCB says Kolby firings unfair, Kolbe says the law was followed
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has condemned the Kolbe Foundation for alleged unfair termination of employees from the Belize Central Prison. However, the Kolbe Foundation says that the terminations were lawful. The Congress, via a press release, denounced in the strongest manner the terminations of Colive and Carol Casimiro, and demanded their reinstatement. The congress also chastised the management of the Belize Central Prison, saying that it appears to treat employees worse than the prisoners. Dylan Reneau, president of the NTUCB, said that the Kolbe Foundation did not follow due process in its terminations. He also said that the NTUCB will discuss the firings as well as several other concerns about the Belize Central Prison, with the Prime Minister at their scheduled meeting sometime in June. The Reporter spoke with CEO of the Kolbe Foundation, Earl Jones, who said that while he respects everyone’s right to pursue recourse if he/she feels he/she has been wronged, he maintains that the Kolbe Foundation operates in accordance the Laws of Belize.

BELTRAIDE launches entrepreneurial project
Small business owners and potential entrepreneurs now have an opportunity to get their businesses off the ground or advanced through BELTRAIDE’s National Entrepreneurship Development Program. The program, officially launched last Wednesday at the Radisson Fort George, is designed to promote the development of micro, small and medium enterprises MSMEs in Belize over a 24-month period. The project is valued at $874,000 and has 4 major components: building awareness and support to national policies for entrepreneurship and design of a regional strategy, providing grant funding for qualified MSMEs, establishing a network to link MSMEs in Central America and the Dominican Republic, increase value added product/services, and engaging in knowledge management and capacity building of MSMEs. Sixty percent of the budget will be used for seed capital to provide financial aid to qualified MSMEs. Over the 24 months the project is expected to create or strengthen 31 enterprises, 35 percent of which are led by women, and 62 direct employees. It is also expected to generate $124,000 in sales by new businesses.

The time to save Belize is now!
“Son, we live in a World that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. “You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punch line. “I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.” This is probably one of the most memorable quotes from the movie, A Few Good Men. For those who are not familiar with the movie, this is the final scene in which Lt. Daniel A. Kaffee, played by Tom Cruise, is questioning Col. Nathan R. Jessep, played by Jack Nicholson, regarding the death of PFC William Santiago.

Healthy Easter basket alternatives
Just looking at chocolate bunnies, caramel-filled eggs and sugary marshmallows may be enough to give you a toothache. If you want to give your family and friends a break from the cavities and calories, here are seven scrumptious non-candy snacks to include in your Easter baskets. Dried fruit Dried fruit is a versatile, healthy way to sweeten the holidays. You can mix and match dried fruits to create your own personalized packs. Dried fruits range from crisp apples or banana chips to soft and chewy dried apricots. More choices include dried mangoes, figs, cranberries and kiwis. These scrumptious snacks add a punch of vitamins and color to your basket. Pretzels Whole grain pretzels offer a healthy crunch to your Easter basket. Replacing candy with pretzels means giving the gift of fiber. While traditional pretzels and pretzel sticks are delicious snacks, you can jazz things up a bit with peanut-butter filled pretzels, yogurt pretzels or a pretzel mix. For a personal touch, try baking homemade pretzels, which you can even twist into the shape of a bunny.

Good news, chocolate Easter eggs are healthy
Just in time for Easter comes the news that will put a smile on the face of every chocoholic – chocolate is good for you after all. Researchers have found it reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer and even boosts fertility. But beware, not all chocolates are created equal. The key, apparently is a high concentration of cocoa. Cocoa beans are packed with antioxidant polyphenols which the experts believe help to reduce the risk of heart disease and may also help fight cancer. Red wine in moderation and orange juice are already known to have similar properties. Teresa McCarney, of Northern Ireland’s College of Agriculture, said: “A 50g piece of dark chocolate has the same level of antioxidants as two glasses of wine. Chocolate contains iron for healthy blood, and zinc which helps boost the immune system and even fertility levels.” There’s a good reason we crave chocolate when we’re down. Its tryptophan ups mood-lifting serotonin in the brain, says Leah Sherman, a naturopathic physician in Portland, Oregon.

Zamir Guerra wins Jr. Cross Country
Zamir Guerra of the Cayo High Road team set a new record last Sunday, March 24, of 3:34:38, shaving three minutes off the record previously set by Byron Pope in the 72 mile ride from the San Jose Succotz to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports in Belize City to win the 14th annual Junior Cross Country Cycling classic. Guerra out-sprinted Tarique Flowers, riding unattached and Michael Wagner of the BECOL Uprising team to take home the winner’s garland of roses, a $300 cash prize from the Cycling Association, a trophy, a jersey donated by 2005 Cross Country champion Bill Elliston, a silver chain and cycling pendant from Yvonne Robinson and Xishel and a box of Trail Mix form Smart Speednet. Flowers took home a $200 prize and a trophy and Wagner claimed the $100 third prize and a trophy. The rest of the top 10 finishers received medals: Joslyn Chavarria riding unattached clocked 3:46:06 as he out-sprinted Giovanni Lovell of the Telemedia Swoosh team and national junior road champion Oscar Quiros of the Xibalban team for fourth place. Lovell was fifth and Quiros – sixth.


SP Lions Plan Second Annual Pancake Brunch with the Easter Bunny
With last years’ 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. This activity will cost $1 per coco-bunny a and of course all proceeds help the Lions with their community service 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 fun, a bunny-good time will be had by all!

Easter Weekend is Hopping On Ambergris Caye – So Many Events, So Little Time
Golf carts and hotel rooms are fully booked…the water taxis will be arriving fully packed later this week and it seems like there is a new flyer for a new event out hourly. Why not put them all in one place so you can make a proper decision? Here is what I’ve found so far… Remember, all bars are closed on Good Friday but the night clubs can open at 12:15am Saturday morning. So men, start ironing your long sleeved shirts and jeans and don’t forget your jaunty black fashion fedora. Girls? Bathing suits tops, big earrings and Daisy Duke shorts folded down in front for the daytime beach parties (don’t forget to wear lots of neon this year!) and high heels and tight dresses for night. Make this an Easter weekend to remember! A little pre-party at Wet Willy’s Ladies Night. Open until 3am.

Five Reasons to Drink Coconut Water in Belize
The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or fruit which botanically is a drupe not a nut. According to Wikipedia, the spelling cocoanut is an archaic of the word and is derived from the 16th century Portuguese and Spanish “coco” meaning head or skull from the three small holes on the coconut shell that resemble human facial features. Because coconut can be found throughout the country of Belize, here are five reasons why you should be drinking coconut water now: Coconut water can help fight skin problems Coconut water contains cytokinins and lauric acid which can reduce the aging of skin cells, balance PH levels and hold the connective tissues strong and hydrated. According to researchers, simply applying coconut water onto affected skin areas can help with acne, age spots, wrinkles and eczema.

Innovative Women Entrepreneurs Competition

Caribbean Economic Growth Forecasts for 2013
GDP GROWTH FOR THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN CURRENCY UNION The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) recently published forecasts for 2013 growth. The ECCB anticipates that growth will turn positive to +1.44% this year, before strengthing to +2.21% in 2014. KEY RISKS FOR CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC GROWTH Vulnerabilities to the global economic recovery – The United States and Europe remain key source markets for Caribbean tourism and imports, as well as a destination markets for the Caribbean export products. Continued fiscal woes in these regions and weak economic activity could impact demand for consumer goods, commodities and tourism. Developments in East Asia will also gain increasing importance, as Caribbean countries continue to strengthen bonds with this region. Weather conditions – Tourism, agriculture and related downstream activities are all exposed to climate conditions in the region. Favorable conditions can provide upside to forecasts, while events such as hurricanes, tropical storms and drought can lead to a contraction in economic activity particularly in these sectors.

5th Global Forum on Innovation & Technology Entrepreneurship

“My Kind Of Guy” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
I spent much of yesterday morning reviewing a contract for a friend in England. Funnily enough it is a contract that I worked on before Rose and I left England last May and it wasn’t long before I was ‘back in the groove’. I made a good start on it and will finish it off today so that my friend has my observations for the start of his day on Thursday. I had planned my review time of the contract so that I would be able to watch the Montenegro v England 2014 World Cup Group H qualification game which kicked off at 2 pm our time. It was a bit like watching Arsenal ! Not as pretty football( yes, I am biased) but we totally dominated the first half and should have had the game ‘in the bag’ before half time. Inexplicably though we came out as a completely different team in the second half and only managed to scramble a one all draw. We can still make the finals in Brazil next year but we are making it more difficult than it should be. Needing a pick-me-up Rose and I headed off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to see what the guys were working on for our new home. When parking the golf cart we could hear the sound of two, not one, cement mixers going. Always a good sign (sound) for us. There’s something about concrete or cement. It’s tangible. You can see the finished product.

International Sources

TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® Islands awards
Ambergris Caye is the top recipient of the TripAdvisor® Travelers’ Choice® Islands awards. Ambergris Caye hovers in a vacation sweet spot: just enough amenities to make it exciting, but not so overdeveloped that you’re tripping over flip-flopped tourists. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites.

New list ranks top domestic and international islands
Islands in Florida have nabbed five of the top 10 spots in TripAdvisor's ranking of best U.S. islands. But the No. 1 rating goes to Washington's San Juan Island. San Juan Island is the only U.S. locale to appear on the website's international Travelers' Choice Awards, where it ranks No. 4. International top honors go to Ambergris Caye in Belize. TripAdvisor cites "fantastic feedback" from travelers in creating lists like this one. The rankings are based on "the quality and quantity of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island" in 2012, according to a statement. TripAdvisor's top world islands 1. Ambergris Caye, Belize 2. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 3. Bora Bora, French Polynesia 4. San Juan Island, Wash. 5. Santorini, Greece 6. Isla Mujeres, Mexico 7. Moorea, French Polynesia 8. Koh Tao, Thailand 9. Easter Island, Chile 10. Nosy Be, Madagascar

New list ranks top domestic and international islands
No shirt, no shoes, no problem: Belize's laid-back island of Ambergris Caye is the world's No. 1 island, according to a new ranking from TripAdvisor.

The Allure Of A Resilient Retirement In Back-To-Basics Belize
Belize is the quirkiest country I know. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American... and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City's roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand. Everyone you meet speaks English (it's the country's official language), but this belies the stories of their origins. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are descendants of migrants from Britain, yes, but also, more so, the surrounding Central American countries. You've got Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land, the pirates who came later, the Mennonite farmers who began arriving on the scene in the 16th century, the British who ruled until 1981, and each other.

BCB Holdings acquires own shares
As part of the regulatory process for the delisting of its ordinary shares from the Trinidad and Tobago Stock Exchange, Bermuda Stock Exchange-listed BCB Holdings Limited has bought 105,769 of its own ordinary shares at 37 pence per share on March 22. BCB Holdings provides banking and financial services in Belize and to international customers. The company’s principal subsidiaries are the Belize Bank and Belize Bank International. The company’s shares are listed in Bermuda and on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

Indian drums and music resound in distant Belize
New Delhi : The sounds of Indian drums and music resounded in Belize during a cultural festival held earlier this month to commemorate the arrival of Indians in the Central American country more than 150 years ago. Indians were taken to Belize in the mid-19th century to work on the sugarcane and banana plantations and in the logging industry. Belize, formerly known as British Honduras, is the only English-speaking country in Central America. It borders Mexico and Guatemala on two sides with the Caribbean Sea on its eastern side. Its Maya ruins, exotic wild life, unspoilt beaches and marine life and barrier reef are major tourist attractions. Belize is a multicultural society with more than half a dozen different cultures and languages being spoken by its 330,000 population. The descendents of Indian migrants assimilated in the local society through intermarriages and lost their Indian languages. Now the only signs that indicate their Indian ancestry are Indian sounding surnames, ethnic traits like long black hair and dark eyes and some Indian traditions that they have retained. Indians were taken to the Caribbean islands as indentured workers in the mid-19th and 20th centuries. Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname have large communities of people of Indian descent. Other Caribbean island nations like Jamaica, Barbados, St Vincent and the Grenadines have small Indian communities.

New Horizons opening ceremony celebrated at Ladyville school
The opening ceremony for New Horizons Belize occurred at 10 a.m. March 25, 2013, at Ladyville Technical High School. The U.S. ambassador to Belize; minister of education, youth and sports; commander of the Belize Defence Force; Task Force Mahogany commander; senior defense official for the U.S. military liaison office; service members from the Belize Defence Force and the U.S. military; and leadership and students from area schools were among those in attendance. New Horizons is an exercise led by U.S. Southern Command providing medical and dental treatment as well as constructs needed structures, such as classrooms, throughout Belize. It gives U.S., Belizean and Canadian service members the opportunity to train side-by-side in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges when and where needed. Patrick Faber, minister of education, youth and sports, discussed the importance of education in Belize.

Un-Belize-Able: Golfing in Belize
There are only 27 golf holes in Belize, a surprising dearth for a former British colony. Of the scruffy public nine on the mainland, there isn't much to note other than cold beer and tropical weather. Then there's Caye Chapel Golf Club, which is where a villain would host James Bond for a high-stakes closeout if the plot were taking that turn in Central America. Flying in on a four-seat propeller plane, you see the course isn't located on an island so much as it is the island. The layout tidily leaves space for the compound buildings, a lagoon and the runway, which hugs the ocean before finishing behind the 15th green. The decorative palm trees dotting the runway create a unique turbulence that our pilot said makes it the most difficult landing in the area. Waiting for us, a man in camouflage pants whose vest says "Security." Wearing a pink shirt, my cleanest shorts and a smile, I and my slightly better-dressed wife can't look like much of a threat. Despite our arrangements, he speaks to us as a guard, not a greeter. He's brought two gas golf carts and waits until we're following him to get on his radio.

Region's fisheries sector to gain cost savings from information and knowledge sharing
Under a Euro 30 million project funded by the European Union (EU) for projects to improve sustainable and equitable management of fisheries and aquaculture in Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, fisheries officials from CARIFORUM states are receiving training in the use of modern, cutting-edge, information and communication technology tools in their daily activities. “The enhanced use of these modern communication and information sharing tools, such as video-conferencing, social networking, tools for online collaborative document preparation and editing, can result in significant cost savings, increased productivity and outputs, as well as boost the earnings and income of fishers, and improve competitiveness and profitability within the fisheries and aquaculture sector,” said Milton Haughton, executive director, of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) Secretariat, at the launch of a three-day regional training on information and knowledge sharing on sustainable fisheries management in the Caribbean.

10 Reasons Why We Struggle With Creativity
Anyone who says “I don’t have a creative bone in my body” is seriously underestimating their skeleton. More to the point, they are drastically undervaluing their brain.

March 26, 2013


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Specials and Events

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The San Pedro Sun

Child Stimulation Month ends with closing Parade
A full month of activities as part of Child Stimulation Month concluded countrywide with separate parades in the different municipalities. In San Pedro Town, it was no exception as pre-school students, along with their parents and teachers took to the street in a lively and colorful parade. The parade started from the Central Park and made its way through the principal streets of town culminating at the Central Park. All five preschools, ABC Preschool, Little Angel Preschool, Holy Cross Anglican, San Pedro Preschool and Brighter Tomorrow were assigned a specific color. The students were dressed in their school’s colors and their balloons enthusiastically throughout the parade. With a large truck blasting music and members of the San Pedro High School Marching Band drumming away, students, parents and spectators were entertained throughout the route.

San Pedro Health Fair a success
The Dr. Otto Rodriguez PolyClinic II in conjunction with the Ministry of Health held its annual Health Fair on Saturday March 23rd at the Lion’s Den. Hundreds of residents took advantage of the many free services offered, including pap smears, breast exams, blood sugar check, blood pressure, Body Mass Index, HIV testing, and mental health services. On hand to provide information of their job and service to the San Pedro community were the San Pedro Police Department as well as the Fire Department. Dalia Alamilla, a mother of a child with Down Syndrome was also present, giving information on the condition as well as advances that individuals with Down Syndrome have made. Miss Romero from NDACC was at hand sharing the very detrimental effect of drug abuse.

Belize Bandfest 2013: Corozal Dominates!
On Saturday March 23rd, the quiet streets of Belmopan came alive with the sound of the 14 marching bands making their way to the Governor General Field for the opening of the ninth annual Belize Bandfest. Teams from every corner of Belize gathered in the capital city to compete at the FFB Stadium for the coveted titles of Best Drum Corp and Best Wind Instrument Band. While they all prepared for the show, Special Guests, Banda Marcial San Isidoro from La Ceiba, Honduras showcased their talents with extreme flair and precision raising the bar for future Belize Bandfest competitions in all categories.

The Caimito – or Star Apple
What: Caimito Come again? Kai-mee-toe Try me one more time: Fine…Star Apple, Milk Fruit, Aguay, Estrella, Pomme du lait…in Sierra Leone it’s actually referred to as breast milk fruit… Okay, okay…so what is it? It’s a fruit (duh) and it’s delicious. That’s helpful…Well, scientifically speaking, it is a tropical tree – Chrysophyllum Cainito, from the Sapotaceae family. The tree is native to Central America and the West Indies, growing quickly and up to 20 meters in height. It has tiny purplish-white flowers with an amazing sweet smell. The tree is hermaphroditic. It’s what? Hermaphroditic; that means it’s self-fertilizing. That is so cool! Right?! So it self-fertilizes, and produces these little round, purple-skinned fruits. Actually, in Belize, the majority of the fruits are green. But purple abounds as well. The skin and rind are not edible, but wow the fruit itself delicious. The texture is almost jelly-like, and it is sweet and refreshing. One warning: the skin and rind are rich in latex, so you end up with super sticky mouth. It’s really fun to glue one’s lips together while eating them; it’s all in the fun! Read more: The Caimito - or Star Apple - My Beautiful Belize Follow us: @MyBeautifulBze on Twitter | MyBeautifulBelize on Facebook

Ambergris Today

Grand Baymen Residential Community Holds Ribbon Cutting
The Grand Baymen development, located south of San Pedro Town, held a ribbon-cutting celebration on Friday, March 22, 2013 for its first residential building, Building A, home to 12 units. Grand Baymen was formed in 2007 to create an upscale residential condominium community on Ambergris Caye, Belize. The first condominium building has one and two bedroom units, 720sqft & 1070sqft respectively, and contain top of the line amenities, full kitchens, and large closets. On site already, Grand Baymen has a 3-tier, 250,000 gallon pool, two tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and a fitness club which are shared with sister resort Exotic Caye Beach located down the street.

Tropic Air Bridges Airways Between Belize and Cancun, Mexico
Tropic Air today, Monday, March 25, 2013, held a ribbon cutting ceremony for its inaugural nonstop flight to Cancun, Mexico at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, it’s 14th destination. The flight took four people over to Cancun, in what will be a one hour and twenty minute flight that shortens the travel time to the popular Mexican destination and makes important connections back to Belize. President of Tropic Air, Mr. Johnny Greif III, commented that the airline is proud to bring back the direct service to Cancun which is an airway bridge to Mexico. "It's a flight that will bring revenues to Belize with a hardworking Belizean airline, Belizean pilots and Belizean employees,” commented Mr. Greif. “The new land bridge to Mexico inaugurates shortly and we are very happy inaugurate this air bridge to Cancun, Mexico.”

Teen Talk: Music for Your Changing Moods
Music is the number one thing that every teen uses to come off planet earth for a couple of minutes and be transported into the magical world of imagination and emotions. But which music is best for the mood you are in? Everyone knows that feeling when you just put on your headphones and at that same moment someone starts talking to you. It is probably very annoying but depending on what kind of music you are listening, to will actually change the mood of your response. For example if you are listening to a nice soothing song you wouldn’t be so mad; just take out your ear buds and listen to what the person has to say. But if you were listening to a song with a very fast beat you would probably answer with a load, “What!” You might not be angry but you will give that impression.

Pic of the Week: Bride Trashes the Dress at Jaguar's Temple Club, San Pedro
Ambergris Today was able to take a picture with newly weds Jason and Bonnie Bridges as they celebrated after their beach wedding at Coco Beach Resort, in San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize. The newly weds were seen tearing up the dance floor at Jaguar's Temple Night Club with their bridal party. Bonnie was literally trashing her wedding dress amongst the visitors and locals who invaded the night club on Thursday, March 21, 2013. Ambergris Today congratulates Jason and Bonnie and wishes them a happy marriage.

San Pedro Town Council Opening Hours
On Wednesday, March 27, 2013, due to work being done by the Belize Electricity Limited, our office at the San Pedro Town Council will open at 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. On Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013, our office will be closing at 12:00 p.m. and will open on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at our regular working hours except for the Cashier which will open at 1:00 p.m. due to the beginning of our fiscal year For More information and updates visit the San Pedro Town Council Facebook Page or call 226-2198

Bon Appetit at Portofino Restaurant, Fine Dining in Ambergris Caye
Très bon et délicieux! Very good and delicious. Bring a good appetite to Portofino Restaurant because the new management has decided to take the restaurant to a new level by completely redesigning the menu as well as introducing new techniques and products that have resulted in a creative menu designed for a special night out. With an ever changing menu, Portofino Restaurant guarantees a creative flow in the kitchen and seasonal influences on the menu. You will always be wondering what is new at the restaurant and after having a fantastic dining experience you will quite surely be heading back for more. The one thing that is for sure at Portofino is that their fish is delivered and cleaned almost daily at the end of their dock; guaranteed is an every-fresh selection of fish and seafood. Of course, for the meat lovers, there is imported steak and fresh local chicken and to top it all off their pasta is home made. You can’t top freshly made pasta.

Channel 7

PUP Rejects Guatemala's ICJ Proposal; Urges Cabinet To Do Same
Tomorrow, the Cabinet will meet to consider the Guatemalan' proposal to move the date for the ICJ referendum. And while the UDP party and government has explicitly supported the ICJ referendum, the PUP has been playing coy throughout, not taking one side or the other. That is until today, when Party Leader Francis Fonseca announced that the party was rejected Guatemala's recent request to change the date of the referendum or to change Belize's referendum laws. Here's the entire statement from opposition leader Fonseca which was delivered two hours ago... Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition/PUP Party Leader "On Sunday March 17, 2013 Guatemala put forward certain proposals that make clear its intention to breach its agreement with Belize to hold simultaneous referenda on October 6, 2013. The People's United Party (PUP) rejects any proposal which violates the spirit and letter of the Special Agreement signed by Belize and Guatemala in December 2008. Neither option proposed by Guatemala is acceptable. Guatemala's latest proposals raise serious concerns about its good faith in finding a just and definitive solution of this longstanding claim. The PUP has consistently rejected this unfounded claim while always remaining supportive of any initiative that would lead to a definitive and just solution. The PUP does not support the holding of any unilateral referendum on October 6, 2013, or on any other date. We do not support the amendment of our national law to reduce our threshold participation in referenda, simply to accommodate Guatemala. The PUP calls on the Government of Belize to remain resolute in maintaining national and international support for our inalienable right to self-determination with full territorial integrity."

Murder In Belize's Northern-most Village
There is one weekend murder to report tonight - but it didn't happen in the city or any major population center; it happened in a canefield near Belize's northern-most village, Chan Chen. 37 year old Israel Matu was found dead in a cane field near the village. Daniel Ortiz found out more about the strange circumstances of his death: Daniel Ortiz Reporting The body of 37 year old Israel Matu, a resident of Pachakan Village in the Corozal District, was discovered in a cane field about a mile away from his home on Sunday morning. The state that his family discovered him in has led them to believe that he was beaten to death. Leopoldo Matu - Father of the Deceased "I found him dead without clothes, his head busted up and when I saw tht he passed, I felt something like something cold, my hair stood up and I got a little afraid. I told my wife not to go see it because he is without clothes. I took off my shirt, covered him, told my daughter to call the police." According to his father, the last time he was seen on alive was on Friday night.

OW Cop Dies Under Strange Circumstances
And while that was a murder - no one can say for sure what caused the mysterious death of a policeman in Orange Walk. All that's known for sure is that he was found dead in the new river early on Saturday morning after leaving work in his car 12 hours earlier. That same car plunged into the river with him inside. Daniel Ortiz asked the Commander of the Northern Police Region to explain the information they have at this time. Sr. Supt. Joseph Myvette - Commander, Nothern Police Region "On Saturday morning, sometime around 7:20 a.m., the police was called to an area in Trial Farm in the area of Honey Camp Street, where the body of a male person was seen floating in the water. The police then got into the water by getting a boat, this person was - the body was retrieved and it was later identified to be that of PC #886 Antonio Chan. The body was then transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where it was pronounced dead on arrival. PC Chan has been attached to the Orange Walk Police formation for the past 3 and a half years, where he has been working relief duties. At this time, as we speak, the post martin examination has been carried out in order to determine the cause of death. Upon the discovery of the body, I believe there where some abrasions over both eyes, the vehicle itself was found submerged in the water, a few yards from where the body was found."

Preschooler Suffocates In Car
A small child died a terrible death in Dangriga this weekend - he probably suffocated in a hot car. At 10:45 on Saturday, 46 year old Joan Garcia noticed that her 4 year old son, Jahrion Joseph Lightfoot, had gone missing. She started to search frantically around their address at #15 Polack Street, Dangriga Town. But she didn't find him until 12:30pm; he was in her Toyota Camry unconscious. She rushed him to the Southern Regional Hospital but he was pronounced dead on arrival. A post mortem will determine what caused the child's death. We have learned that the car had been parked in the yard - and it was locked. But on Saturday, due to the heat, his father opened it up. That's when the pre-schooler is believed to have slipped in and possibly pressed the power lock button and locked himself inside. The windows are also power windows so he couldn't lower them. No one thought to look in the car, since it is usually off limits. Jahrion was the baby of his family, and he was doted upon.

Convicted Guatemalan Escaped, Pol Said Nada
A Guatemalan convicted of firearms offences escaped from Cayo police a week ago, and police issued no public advisory. According to the Cayo Star newspaper, this man, 22 year old Walter Leonel Boteo Ralda, disappeared from the cell block last week Monday. Boteo-Ralda is serving a five year sentence for possession of a Glock pistol he stole fromAlain Langois, a retired Canadian businessman, who lives in Santa Elena Town. Ten thousand dollars in cash was also stolen. Boteo Ralda - already convicted for the firearm was to appear in San Ignacio Magistrate's Court for other charges. But he escaped when the shift changed. And while public awareness might have aided in his recapture, police said nothing - and only released details when we pressed for them today. Press Officer Raphael Martinez told us that two officers are to be placed on charges and the prisoner is still at large. Ralda is a Guatemalan so it is quite possible that he skipped across the border back to his home country.

Woman Says Police Gang Raped Her; Police Say She "Changed Her Story"
And two other police officers in Cayo are under scrutiny for the alleged gang rape of a woman from a village near San Ignacio. We cannot give details as it may lead to the identity of the woman, but we can say that she reported that two police officers attached to the Special Patrol Unit raped her on Saturday. It started when her husband called police to remove her from a village bar where she had been drinking. It wasn't a crime, so the officers left her. Later on that night, they were called to intervene in a domestic dispute between the woman and her husband. They took her in a car separate from her husband which is when they allegedly raped her. She reported that due to her inebriation she could not say where they took her, but only recalled that they both raped her. She was injured as a result. It is a very serious allegation of a monstrous breech of the public trust, and the police press officer told us quote, "a lady did make some accusations against two officers but later changed her story. O.C San Ignacio is investigating this allegation and will take action as necessary if the allegations are found to be true."

Hepatitis Outbreak In Trio
There is an outbreak of Hepatitis A in Trio Village, Stann Creek District. According to the ministry of health, a cluster of 14 suspected cases have occurred over the last three weeks. Cases have been identified in the rural communities of the Corozal, Cayo and Toledo Districts. Hepatitis A is a food and waterborne disease with symptoms that may include yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine, light-colored stool along with mild fever, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite among others. It is also self-limiting meaning it will run its course and usually resolve itself without the need for medical intervention. It is usually transmitted through the fecal-oral route and to avoid its spread persons should wash hands diligently, treat water, and disinfect contaminated dishes, toilets and common surfaces. In a public statement, the Ministry of health says is conducting house-to-house health education and environmental cleanup campaigns in all the affected areas.

New Horizons: Winning Hearts and Minds
Last week Janelle Chanona visited the Headquarters of the US Army Southern Command where she found out about their strategic interest in Belize. But it's not all just drug transshipment in submarines that Southcom is looking for; there's also the hearts and minds component where the US military builds goodwill with civil projects. And that's where New Horizons Belize comes in. The operation is staged in Belize regularly and it was officially opened at the Ladyville Technical High School today. This year, the project is focuses on providing medical and dental treatment and building classrooms throughout Belize. The US Ambassador explained: H. E. Vinai Thumalapally - US Ambassador to Belize "This exercise, allows us to work with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and the Belize Defense Force on mutually beneficial programs of New Horizons, while we continue to cement our very strong relationship. This exercise is unique. U.S air men and soldiers from active and National Guard Units will build 4 new classrooms in the Belize and Orange Walk Districts, and render medical services in different villages and towns throughout the country of Belize.

Tropic Takes Off to Cancun
It started out with a single airplane and two employees back in 1979 - but Tropic Air has grown to become the largest airline company in Belize. With over 180 daily flights to 13 destinations in Belize, Honduras and Guatemala, the air company has now added another destination to the list. But it's not just any other connection; Tropic says it can take you to Cancun, Mexico. The airline owner says it's a strategic addition as it willlessen travel time for passengers connecting with European, Asian and Caribbean flights who previously had to drive to and from Cancun or take a bus. John Greif told us more: John Greif - President, Tropic Air "We've now inaugurated our flights to Cancun Mexico, which now gives us flights with all of our neighbors. We have daily service to Honduras and San Pedro Sula, to Flores in Guatemala and Guatemala City and now to Mexico. So much like the Government of Belize is inaugurating the land bridge soon; we're inaugurating an air bridge to Mexico today. Tropic at the end of the day really is a Tourist airline, so we're hoping that tourist component will be large but there's a big business component too. For instance; our flights to Guatemala are 20 - 30% business, so we're - you just never know, you just cast a big net and see what we catch.

Belize's Jaguars Play Trinidad's Soca Warriors to A Draw
On Saturday night - over two thousand football fans crowded into the FFB stadium in Belmopan to see the international friendly between the Belize Jaguars and the Trinidad Soca Warriors. The Trinidad team had four international players and a programme that has taken it to the world cup before. But, the Belize team showed remarkable offensive resourcefulness - and played to a draw, nil - nil. It's an encouraging starts for the national team as it starts to get ready for the Gold Cup in July, but the Trini-team was still complaining about the pitch. Here's what they said after the game: Deon McCauley - Forward, Belize National Football Team "Well, I think we played a very good game, offensively today. With these guys up there with me, I think that they can do the job. The only thing that was missing today was a goal." Woodrow West - Goalkeeper, Belize National Football Team "I can proudly say that we outplayed them this time. We had more control of the ball, the only thing we did wrong was that we were hasty when we got to our grave to score, we made wrong decision by - at the last moment, or to make the right pass or to score the goal."

The Annual Rose Tournament
Easter is here again and the annual Rose Classic Basketball games for youths is underway. It is the 7th anniversary of the three week long basketball tournament which is the brainchild of Belizean American, Cleon Hyde. Opening ceremonies were held this morning - where Mayor Bradley spoke with over 400 youngsters - all with a passion for balling.

Not The English Channel, But the English Caye Channel
This weekend, a brave group of swimmers crossed the English Caye Channel. Now, it's not the English Channel but the 1.5 mile span between Goff's and English Cayes is a good distance, riddled with rough seas. 14 started but only 5 swimmers completed the whole course. 18 year old Eric Donis was first in 70 minutes, Melanie McField was second in 71 minutes, Keyren Tzib was third in 107 minutes and Denise Diaz was fourth in 108 mins.

Tanya Returns From JA, Ascendant, Schooled, Humbled
Last week we told you all about Tanya Carter and her catchy new reggae single ex-boyfriend, recorded and produced in Jamaica. She returned home today and stopped in to tell Monica Bodden what it's been like: Tanya will be working on her new video called Secret. The song was written by Jamaican reggae artist Duane Stevenson and the video will be shot in Belize next month. If you would like to check out Tanya's video for " Ex-Boyfriend", you can view it on her Facebook page.

Channel 5

Child dies in hot locked vehicle
The parents of an infant from Dangriga are grappling with his death tonight. The four-year-old child tragically perished on Saturday morning in the most unusual circumstances. In fact, it is believed that it is only the second death of this nature to have occurred in the country. Saturday’s scorching temperature led to the child’s death, [...]

P.U.P. rejects Guatemala’s proposals
A Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting the government is expected to take a position in respect of Guatemala’s latest proposal on the referendum. But the People’s United Party has jumped out in front and issued its own take. The background is that Belize and Guatemala met at OAS headquarters in Washington on March seventeenth. At that meeting [...]

P.U.P. says no position on ICJ is acting in good faith
The P.U.P. leader, Francis Fonseca also took the opportunity to criticize Guatemala for what he calls ‘scuttling’ the process, saying that Guatemala has been acting in bad faith.   Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition “Guatemala in our view is the entity responsible for trying, if you like, scuttle the process. It is clear to [...]

Fonseca asks for Elrington’s removal as Foreign Minister
And even as the People’s United Party claims that it has been acting in good faith, and Guatemala has been acting in bad faith, Fonseca also reserved some special time for an opinion on Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. He claims that Elrington has been doing a disservice to the country and should be [...]

Naked watchman was robbed and murdered?
The naked and lifeless body of a watchman was found in a cane field over the weekend.  Israel Matu left his house for work last Friday and hours later he was seen hanging out at a bar. But it was until Sunday that his body was found; his family believes that the motive for his [...]

Dead cop and vehicle retrieved from river
The police department up north has lost one of their own in what is called a case of sudden death. Around eight-thirty on Saturday morning, Orange Walk Police visited the Belize New River near Honey Camp Street in Trial Farm Village; Orange Walk District where the lifeless body of the Antonio Chan was seen floating. [...]

Unions and P.M. go back to negotiating table
With the budget now approved by the House, the issue of salary adjustment for the unions is back on the table. There is a meeting scheduled for April fifth between the Joint Union Negotiating Team and Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The PM is rejecting both the union’s counter-proposal which calls for salary adjustment in 2013, [...]

N.T.U.C.B. prepares for hard talk with Prime Minister
The union team has been busy building its case for a salary adjustment for teachers and public officers. And that means not only asserting why that it is justified, but also pointing out areas in which government can find the money to pay it. That probably won’t go over well with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, [...]

N.T.U.C.B. questions government’s private company
Aside from targeting inefficiencies in government ministries, the unions also made comments aimed at the latest government innovation, the much lauded special purpose vehicle, Belize Infrastructure Limited. N.T.U.C.B. President, Dylan Reneau, says there are a few things in the latest budget which concern them, and B.I.L. is at the top of the list.  According to [...]

New Horizons, U.S. Military construct buildings for schools
Construction of a spanking new classroom is getting off the ground; it is a welcome expansion to the Ladyville Technical High School. The project is being implemented by New Horizons as part of US Southern Command’s initiative in partnership with the government.  Aside from educational purposes, the facility will be used for medical and dental [...]

U.S. fugitive caught in Belize
An American fugitive has been caught in Belize. US national, Daniel Rae Morris, who attempted to re-enter Belize at the Corozal border with Mexico on Wednesday March twenty-first, had a Belizean passport in his possession. But something was apparently wrong with the information on the seventy year old passport. As it was later revealed the [...]

Minors and teen acted with common purpose to commit murder
Two minors have been charged for a City shooting last Tuesday for which Akeem Augustine has already been arraigned and remanded.  The suspects are believed to be involved in the shooting of a group of minors who were standing at the junction of Police Street and La Croix Boulevard.  The sixteen and seventeen year old [...]

Salvadoran national wields machete at a cop
  Also in court, a Salvadoran national pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer. Fifty-eight year old Hector Isidro Marroquin Amaya of Belmopan appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart where he pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault on a police officer. Appearing confused, he told the court that he did not commit the assault and that [...]

5 inmates brawl in cell while waiting for judge
An all-out brawl among a group of five inmates, inside a holding cell at the Magistrate’s Court in Belize City, has resulted in additional charges being levied against the feuding men.  While it has long since been speculated that the casual practice of detaining rival gang members in a singular lockup is deliberate, the melee [...]

The Sporting Highlights with James Adderley.
  Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   After a tremendous performance at the 12th Copa Centro Americana at Costa Rica that saw the National Football Team of Belize in 4th place among the 7 countries of the region, Belize looked to build on that momentum by hosting the Soca Warriors [...]


Jessie White Tumblers Depart Belize Following Love FM's Bandfest
Illinois Secretary of State, Jessie White along with the Jessie White Tumblers, left the country this morning to head back to Chicago. Love News caught up with White and the tumblers minutes before they departed from the Phillip Goldson International Airport and this is what Whit...

Concerns Arise Over Brutal Death of Manatee
A manatee recently found in Monkey River has triggered off concern about its suspected brutal death. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG "A manatee recently found in Monkey River has triggered off concern about its suspected brutal death. It was on M...

UB Relathon Held Over The Weekend
The 36th annual University of Belize relathon took place yesterday. Coordinator Darren Bovell shared the outcome with Love News. DARREN BOVELL "The males started in Cayo and the females started in Belmopan at the Market Square. The race started at 8:...

Hepatitis A Confirmed In Belize
The Ministry of Health has issued an advisory following the rising cases of Hepatitis A. A release from the Ministry says it is investigating a cluster of fourteen suspected cases that have occurred over the last three weeks in Trio Village in the Stann Creek District. One ...

Forestry Officer Dies Whilst On Duty
A Forestry Officer lost his life on Sunday. Police say a joint operation between Police, Belize Defense Force and personnel from the Forestry Department was underway in the Maya Mountain Forest reserve when 40-year-old Gumercindo Baiza, a forest officer suddenly collapsed. ...

Toddler Dies In Mom's Vehicle
A four year old boy from Dangriga lost his life on Saturday. Police reports are that 46-year-old Joan Garcia was looking for her four year old son Jahrion Jospeh Lightfoot. The search for the young boy ended some two hours later when he was discovered in an unconscious stat...


Serious Case Of Carnal Knowledge Against Stepfather
There is a very disturbing report of carnal knowledge coming out of Orange Walk Tonight involving a 12 year old minor and her stepfather. Around 4:55 yesterday evening, a 12 year old student, accompanied by a social worker, visited the Orange Walk Police Station and reported to police that at about 10:00am on the 18th of March she was at home when her 53 year old stepfather had sexual intercourse with her. What’s more disturbing is that the child has confessed that it’s not the first time she is being sexually abused by her stepfather. In fact, she told police that the first time the incident happened was when she was nine years old and from ever since; her stepfather has been having sexual intercourse with her. Based on their investigations police have arrested and charged the stepfather for the crime of carnal knowledge.

Police Officer's Body Found Floating In The River
The lifeless body of a police officer from Orange Walk was found floating in the New River in the Otro Benque Area on Saturday morning. The discovery was made at around 7:00am by one of the residents of the area who stumbled across the dead body. After police were called to the scene, they identified the body as that of one of their own, 44 year old police constable 886 Antonio Chan from Trial Farm Village. Chan’s white pickup truck was also found submerged in the river and right after that, the news of his death spread like wildfire and so did the rumors that he was murdered. Today the Belize Police Department issued an official report on Chan’s death which is being treated as a sudden death. Hipolito Novelo reporting… The body of 44 year old PC 886 Antonio Chan was found floating in this section of the New River that runs along the Recreational and Botanical Park in the Otro Benque Area. Chan’s body was found early on Saturday morning at about 7:00am by a resident of the area. According to the individual who spoke to us off camera, he was collecting firewood near the area when he observed an object floating in the river and upon making further checks he realized that it was the body of a male person wearing a grey police t-shirt, police pants, and shoes.

Hepatitis A On The Highs- Ministry Of Health Cautions
Today the Ministry of Health sent out a press release cautioning the public on rising cases of Hepatitis A. According to the release, the Ministry of Health is investigating a cluster of fourteen suspected cases of Hepatitis A that have occurred over the last three weeks in the Trio Village, Stann Creek District. One of those cases has been confirmed by laboratory results. The ministry warns that the disease is a food and waterborne disease with symptoms that may include yellowing of the eyes and skin, dark urine, light-colored stool along with mild fever, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite among others. This self-limiting disease can also be contracted from close contact with infected individuals. In order to contain the disease, personnel from the Ministry of Health are conducting house-to-house health education and environmental cleanup campaigns to treat the cases in all the affected areas. The Ministry of Health re-emphasizes the need to practice good hygiene and sanitary measures at all times. If you or someone you know suspects the presence of the disease, please visit the nearest health care facility in your community. Since the start of the year, a few cases have been identified mainly in the rural communities of the Corozal, Cayo and Toledo Districts.

PUP Soundly Rejects Guatemala's Referendum Proposals
Tonight Belizeans are awaiting a response from Cabinet to find out exactly what will happen with the October 6th Referendum which is presently navigating in turbulent waters after Guatemala’s President, Otto Perez Molina, announced that his government wanted to push the Referendum to 2014 if Belize did not change its Referendum laws, since they did not want to risk a yes vote. In a meeting held in Washington on Sunday March 17th, Guatemala presented two proposals to Belize that Cabinet will scrutinize tomorrow. For context, here is Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, detailing out the proposals during the first day of the Budget Debate at the house on Thursday. Honorable Wilfred Elrington- Minister of Foreign Affairs “At the end of the meeting we were informed that the Guatemalans were making two proposals. One, they wanted us to amend our referendum legislation so that our legislation would be identical to theirs in terms of requirements for referendum to be successful—just a simple majority vote. They said that if we did that; if we amended our legislation to confirm with theirs, they would then be prepared to agree on another date when we could hold simultaneous referendum. But they were not prepared to indicate when that date would be and they were not even prepared to give a timeline. That was one proposal. The second proposal; they were proposing that we would go ahead as planned. Have our referendum on the sixth of October and if we had a successful YES vote at that Referendum, then they would be prepared to hold their referendum at a date not later than the end of June 2014.”

Graciano Ramos Is Improving
We here at CTV3 News have been following the prognosis of 12 year old Graciano Ramos, the La Inmaculada Primary School student who suffered a terrible accident on February 24th 2013, closely. Briceno sustained a fractured skull and was in a coma. We say was, because tonight news is that Ramos will soon be back at home. This evening we spoke to Ramos’, mother, Mellissa Briceno who told us that the 12 year is out of the coma and even though he is unable to speak, there are signs of improvement. Mellissa Briceno, Mother “We can’t say that he is getting better but we can say that he is making improvements. He is moving his right hand now, fingers, and he is focusing on people now when you are talking to him. He can’t talk or he barely recognizes you but he is doing a little better. They removed all of the tubes except the feeding tube because, body functions, he does not know how to eat yet through his mouth. So they are feeding him through a tube which is connected to his stomach. Well the brain is going to take a long time for the swelling to go down. That will take a good while maybe two months more but it is going down but it is a slow, slow process. He has been smiling a lot now. He holds your hand when you ask him to. He is starting to like mimic the things that we do.”

Israel Matu Becomes Corozal's 1st Murder Victim
While Orange Walk Police mourn the death of one of their own, Corozal Police are investigating their first murder for the year 2013. Just after three yesterday afternoon a missing persons report turned into a murder case after the family of 37 year old Israel Matu, who had been missing since Friday March 22nd, found him dead in a cane field. All indications are that Matu was badly beaten by his attackers and left in the area to die. Our news team travelled further up north and filed the following report. Elmer Cornejo reporting… Minutes after three yesterday afternoon, the Matu family called 911 and informed officers that they had found 37 year old Israel Matu who had been missing since Friday March 22nd. The bad news was that Matu was found dead in this cane field located on the stretch of a back road that joins the Villages of Chan Chen and Patchakan in the Corozal District.


Body of police officer found floating in the river
How did the body of a police officer and Orange Walk resident Antonio Chan end up in the middle of Belize New River? That’s what authorities are tonight trying to figure out. 44 year old Chan mysteriously disappeared after socializing with friends on Saturday night and just a few...

4 year old dies after passing out in hot car
A 4 year old in Dangriga may have died from heat exhaustion this past Saturday. Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu has more. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: The temperature on Saturday, March 23rd, was somewhere in the 90s and that was too much heat for the residents of this municipality,...

Lady charged after stabbing incident in Camalote
A stabbing incident occurred in the Village of Camalote on Friday afternoon of last week, shortly before 2pm. The victim, Melisha Woodye, told Plus news that she was waiting at the bus stop when she was approached and attacked by her neighbour. Melisha Woodye – Stabbing victim: About 1:45...

Youth leader faces two counts of carnal knowledge
Just months after the head of the Belmopan Baptist Church was caught in an alleged affair with a minor, another leader of a prominent church in Belmopan is facing child molestation charges. Plus News understands that the youth leader of the Step of Faith Church in Belmopan is tonight...

Ministry of Health advices on viral gastroenteritis outbreak
The Ministry of Health is warning against a combination of vomiting and diarrhea known as viral gastroenteritis or the “stomach bug” that is experiencing a recent peak with as many as 800 cases reported in the past few months in Belize and Cayo Districts. It is actually average for...

PUP comments on Guatemala’s recent proposals
Today the People’s United Party issued a statement regarding Guatemala’s recent proposals regarding its agreement with Belize to hold simultaneous referenda on October 6, 2013. The party says ” The People’s United Party (PUP) rejects any proposal which violates the spirit and letter of the Special Agreement signed by...

Opposition Leader has concerns about newly formed state-owned company
In his March 1st budget speech, Prime Minister, the Hon. Dean Barrow introduced a new outfit being formed under his Government; referred to as the Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL). According to the Prime Minister,”BIL” will generate job employment and help relieve Belize’s economy. During last weeks’ budget debate, the...

18 year old on remand after fatal shooting spree
An 18 year old is tonight on remand after he allegedly went on a shooting spree which claimed the life of one person. We mentioned last week that Police believed Akeem Augustine to be the person who chased and shot after four individuals, two of whom were minors. None...

Four charged for howler monkey attack
Charges have been levied against four persons after a black howler monkey was severely beaten by a group of high school students. On March 5th, it was reported that some students from the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk district, captured the monkey, tied him up...

Basketball Camp takes over Bird’s Isle
The 7th Annual Rose Classic Basketball Camp has taken over Bird’s Isle in Belize City for the next two weeks. It is organized by Belizean-American Kleon Hyde and caters to 400 City youth, teaching the fundamentals and discipline of basketball. Opening ceremonies were held today and the camp will...

Youth Group in Belize City will feed the homeless
In one of the more solemn times of the year for Christians, Easter is an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ dying for the sins of the world. One youth group is taking that opportunity to set an example by feeding the homeless of Belize City....

14 Marching Bands Parade Through Belmopan Streets
The underdogs came out on top in the ninth annual Band Fest. The Belize Band Fest 2013 kicked off in Belmopan on Saturday, where 14 marching bands paraded through the streets of the capital city. They then made their way to the FFB Stadium where a throng of supporters...

A scoreless draw in Belize football match with T&T
Visiting football team Trinidad and Tobago came away from a scoreless draw with hosts Belize, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, in front of over 3 thousand enthusiastic Belizeans. The friendly international match, which was used as a CONCACAF Gold Cup tune up for the two...

Missing man’s body found in cane field
The body of a man was found, this time in a cane field. He has been identified as Irael Matu. His body was discovered on Sunday afternoon in Chan Chen Village. Sources say that he had been missing since Friday.

15 year old minor charged with firearm offenses
There were reported shootings in the Old capital on Friday night. Police say that around six o’clock, Friday evening, they responded to several apparent gun shots coming from the direction of the Central American Boulevard. When they got there, they saw a teenager riding off in high speed from...

53 year old man charged with carnal knowledge
A 53 year old man is accused of having sexual intercourse with his 12 year old step daughter and the girl says that it has been going on since she was 9. The girl told Police that her step father had sex with her on multiple occasions for the...

Forestry Officer dies during weekend operation in Independence Village
A Forestry Officer has died after he passed out during a weekend operation in Independence Village. Yesterday afternoon, BDF and personnel from the Forestry Department were at the Maya Mountains Forest Reserve when 40 year old Gumercindo Baiza suddenly collapsed and went unconscious. Baiza then started to bleed from...

Punta Gorda Police investigate possible arson
Punta Gorda Police are investigating a possible case of arson. The owner of a house in the Hope Ville Area told Police that he left the residence two weeks ago and went to Belize City. On Saturday night he got a call from one of his friends who informed...

The Reporter

Mandatory membership of Bar not unconstitutional, preliminary research suggests
Attorney General Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said that mandatory membership of the Bar Association is unconstitutional; but the association’s president Eamon Courtenay told the media on Tuesday that is not the case. “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,” Courtenay said. Current Bar Council Member and past president Jacqueline Marshalleck said that based on its preliminary research, the mandatory membership of other organizations has been found to be unconstitutional, but that is not the case with the Bar Association of Belize. The US Supreme Court has found that mandatory membership is not unconstitutional. And that is also the case with the European Court of Justice, Marshalleck said.

Trinidad football friendly moved to Belmopan
The friendly football match between Belize’s National Men’s Team and the “Soca Warriors” of Trinidad & Tobago, originally scheduled for the MCC grounds at 4:00 Saturday afternoon, March 23, has been moved to the FIFA Goal Project Stadium beside the Football Federation of Belize Institute in Belmopan, with a new time of 8:00 Saturday night. The first 15 members of the 27-member Trinidad delegation began arriving on Tuesday, March 19, and the FFB put them up at the Princess Hotel and Casino just across the road from the MCC, so named for the renowned Marylebone Cricket Club. But when the visitors’ coach and players actually got a look at the condition of the MCC pitch, they objected to the idea of playing there, and informed the FFB that they would not be playing any friendly match at the MCC. The FFB executive committee held an emergency meeting Wednesday night, and decided the game should be played at the FFB stadium on Saturday immediately after the Bandfest. They also advised the Love FM Bandfest organizers that they must be out of the stadium by 6:30pm.

House debates new Budget
The newly renegotiated “Superbond II” has been fully subscribed, and the Belize Debt Exchange offer has officially and legally closed. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the announcement at Thursday’s House of Representative’s debate of the General Revenue Appropriation Bill for fiscal year 2013-2014, which was originally presented to the House on Friday, March 1. “It happened yesterday [Wednesday] with the submission of all the relevant legal documentation,…consistent with the collective action clause in the original bonds, the entirety of those bonds have now been exchanged for the new 2038 bonds,” Barrow said. He added that the rating agency Standard and Poor’s has also upgraded Belize’s credit rating to B/B minus and has rated the bonds themselves at B minus, as a consequence of completed restructuring. Barrow’s “good news” aside, the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca wasted no time to malign the government’s budget, accusing the government of not properly consulting the people. Fonseca described the budget as being “divorced” from the Belizean reality. He took serious issue with the Barrow administration’s proposal for a $60 million company called the Belize Infrastructure Ltd. The newly formed and fully government-owned company, according to the Barrow budget, is to carry out infrastructural projects.

Will Councillor Elrington -Hyde resign?
The rumoured resignation of Councillor Alifah Elrington – Hyde amid controversy with a co-worker may result in a bye-election in the near future. Troubles with a female employee are said to have peaked during the official Guatemalan contingency’s visit to Belize, which ended in a verbal spat delivered on the streets of San Pedro two weeks ago. Elrington – Hyde’s displeasure with the hierarchy’s disciplinary measures is said to be behind her decision to resign. If accepted, Belize City will face a bye-election in the near future to find a replacement councillor. Attemps to confirm the rumor with Public Relations officer, Kenny Morgan, were not successful. His office had not been notified of any impending resignation. Elrington – Hyde is currently the only woman on the otherwise all-male City Council. She is responsible for Public Relations, Court matters, Special Events and Culture.

Efforts to unseat Justice Samuel Awich continue
The elevation last year of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Awich to the Belize Court of Appeal continues to face challenge from the Ashcroft Alliance. On Wednesday, a case management hearing was held in the Supreme Court of Justice Oswald Legall. Attorneys representing Dean Boyce, Michael Ashcroft and the British Caribbean Bank are proceeding with an application before the court to declare the appointment invalid. Justice Awich was appointed last April to sit on the Belize Court of Appeal, after he retired from the Supreme Court, at the retirement age of 65. But his appointment was opposed by the Belize Bar Association and the Leader of the Opposition, who urged Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow to reconsider the appointment. Last year, the Ashcroft Alliance referred a complaint to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission (JLSC) asking it to consider the removal of Justice Awich on the grounds of misbehaviour and the inability to perform his functions as a judge. Following the process for the removal of a sitting judge, the JLSC was asked to submit the matter to the Belize Advisory Council, which is the second step of a two-step process.

EU $2.75 million grant helps Mayan sites benefit villagers
The Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture and History this week launched a $4 million Belize Rural Development Project at the House of Culture in Belize City. With a view to making tourism benefit communities adjacent to archaeological sites, the European Union gave Belize a grant of $2.75 million for the project last November. On Wednesday the EU’s representative to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei, signed the grant agreement along with Belize’s Ministers of Tourism Manuel Heredia Jr. The project will seek to improve economic opportunities in tourism for people who live in villages near to the ten Mayan sites at Xunantunich, Barton Creek, Actún, Tunichil Muknal, Caves Branch, Altun Ha, Lamanai, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek. The project aims at reducing the poverty in these communities by involving the village population in the overall tourism experience. The project will improve tourism infrastructure and the services offered. New health and safety measures will be introduced and associated infrastructure will be improved.

Ardon Belgrave shot dead
Belize City police are yet to identify the gunman responsible for Tuesday morning’s cold-blooded murder of Belize City Council maintenance worker, Ardon Belgrave, 26.

City councillor Roger Espejo robbed
Belize City police charged two teenage boys with robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery on Tuesday, March 19, after Belize City Councillor Roger Espejo reported that boys had robbed him while he was socializing at Newtown Barracks around 7:00 Sunday night, March 17.

UN holds ballistic training for Belize forensic
This week, facilitators from the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) are in Belize giving ballistic training to forensic technicians, forensic scientists and other specialized personnel.

Get healthier in just 60 seconds
Most people don’t get serious about health until their doctor hands them a script for blood work instead of the lollipop. Then it’s “uh-oh time” and they try to become Dean Ornish overnight.

Quitting smoking cuts heart risk despite weight
Stopping smoking cuts the risk of heart disease even if it leads to significant weight gain, a U.S. study says. Researchers writing in the Journal of the American Medical Association say the prospect of weight gain makes some smokers reluctant to stop.

Barney Brown wins Weekend Warrior race
Barney Brown of the Scotiabank team won the “A” category while Jim Scott of the Santino’s team took the “B’ category race and Salvador Alvarado of the Zitro team won the “C” category, when the Weekend Warriors held its series of races on the Philip Goldson and George Price Highways on Sunday, March 17.

Nazarene High girls win National Softball Championship
The undefeated girls of Nazarene High School won their second national softball championship in three years when the National Secondary Schools Sports Association hosted the national tournament at the Rogers’ Stadium on Friday and Saturday, March 15-16.


Photo of the day: Majestic Maya Temple in Tikal
Tikal is one of the largest ancient Maya cities in Mesoamerica and is located in Guatemala about 50 miles northwest of its border with Belize. According to Archaeologists, the Maya began building Tikal around 600 BC and at its peak some 1500 years ago, Tikal was a wealthy metropolis and home to 100,000 Maya as well as a crucial center for religion, science and politics.

What Not To Do in Belize
Belize‘s Caribbean spirit means there aren’t too many rules or major “faux pas” you need to worry about here, it’s as laid back as it gets. Nonetheless, as one of the most pristine countries in the region, with the largest protected area and the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, there are a few things to keep in mind as a responsible traveler. The others are experiences you shouldn’t miss during your visit. 1. Do not leave the sunscreen or bug spray at home: You’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and depending on the time of year, bug spray will be essential and useful for hikes. And of course, sunscreen is always needed. Both of these are expensive to purchase in Belize.

7th Annual Belize Band Fest 2013 in Belmopan: Kids Fainting…Why I Pulled the Plug Early Plus Belize Vs. Trinidad & Tobago International Friendly Football
I’ve already posted quite a few pictures of the early morning Band Fest parade in Belmopan in Part One and Part Two. The kids were marching 2 miles to the FFB Stadium in heat that was quickly rising over 90 degrees and it had just turned 9 o’clock. This is going to be a doozy. Let’s finish off the parade! Though kids in cute band costumes? I can’t get enough. The kids marched and danced down to the stadium in the relentless sun in their full uniform. Mothers and medics furiously passed out waters, fans and juices. Some of the smaller kids needed to take breaks and ride in cars or on the shoulders of their parents. I also stopped at the Belize National football teams’ office to buy a ticket for the night game vs. Trinidad and Tobago. The team was eating lunch and I got to meet a few of the guys. Good stuff.

Caribbean Exporters’ Colloquium
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Wednesday March 20, 2013 warned that crime and difficulties surrounding regional air transportation were major stumbling blocks towards making greater progress in regional trade. Addressing the two-day colloquium hosted by the Barbados-based Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) Gonsalves said high crime levels in several countries were not only a deterrent for tourists but also a disincentive for potential investors. He said that the high rate of crime particularly in Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica continues to hinder investment opportunities as they escalate the security costs of doing business. “If you can’t work a late shift, if the business has to have extra security, if skilled people don’t want to come to work because they feel they can go somewhere else where they are safe, we are in trouble. A citizen’s security is vital – women and men have to go home after late shifts. I know it affects people at an individual level.”

Hotel in San Pedro Belize Accepts Bitcoin as Form of Payment
Pedro’s Hotel in San Pedro, Belize has started accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment in their Hotel, Bar and Pizzeria. They will become the first hotel in Central America and one of only 4 hotels in the world to accept the currency. Bitcoin, a relatively young digital currency, has seen increasing acceptance in recent months, particularly by popular online companies like Reddit and WordPress. However, brick and mortar businesses have been slow in understanding the benefits it brings to a local business. The owner of Pedro’s Peter Lawrence saw the potential benefits that Bitcoin could bring to his business. Lawrence said, “With Bitcoin we will be able to lower our transaction cost. It’s perfectly suited to our type of business where nearly all of our reservations are taken online or over the phone.” Effective March 23nd, a newly constructed Deluxe Room will be available for 1 Bitcoin per night (price subject to change). Bitcoin will also be able to be used to pay for food and drink in the bar by pre-purchasing bar credit in the hotel office.

Fishing Report: March 17, 2013 - March 23, 2013 Fishing Report
Once again it was “old home week” here at EP. It was especially wonderful for our guide, Carlos Marin, to be able to visit with a group of dedicated friends he has guided for several years. Norm W, Todd C and Dave D brought a smile that crossed Captain Carlos’s face from ear to ear. We talk about our big fish, our lost fish – and as we tell the story, it’s the people that make that story. This week was about revisiting stories and sharing friendship. A big thank you to Todd for his excellence as a group leader for Orvis. And we are going to see a few characters in the fly fishing network somehow….look out for Stef B - a young nurse practitioner that could end up in fly fishing….and Garrett I is 100% fish crazed. Love it! Thanks everyone for a really fun week.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: ***** Buns
1 1/2 cups milk 1/2 cup buttr 1 small lemon, zest and juice 1 small orange, zest and juice 4 aigs, well beete 1 cup sugar 1 teespoon salt 2 tablespoons instunt yeas 7-7 1/2 cups flour , apperximatelee Scald milk and buttr n' microwave fer about 2 minutes. Stir t'melt buttr.

International Sources

Smokers not welcome at FIFA 2014
This year’s FIFA Confederations Cup and next year’s FIFA World Cup™ will be smoke-free. FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for those two tournaments announced the news this Thursday 7 March, in what is an obvious boost for a healthy environment for the innumerable fans who will descend on Brazil for the events. “The decision to make Brazil 2013 and Brazil 2014 tobacco-free is a natural step in the history of our flagship events," said FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke. "FIFA and the LOC are proud of once again following the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) in this regard. FIFA recognises that tobacco use and exposure to second-hand smoke are harmful and supports WHO’s global efforts with a genuine interest in promoting health and security.”

Documentary series 'Loving Belize' Episode 3, in Belize City
Welcome to episode 3 of 'Loving Belize'. Featuring BCMG records and Party Belize, Belizean Backyard and the Belizean Movie 'Can't Tak it no more'. With interviews from amazing musical talents coming out of Belize City like Kevin Raeburn Thõmas, D Whisper, Mr Program and Tanya Carter and the brilliant people in the music industry helping to get this talents over seas, Lauren Young, Dale Davis, Driva 'Don't stop at all', Yankee from Wave radio and Dale Scott Soberanis Party Belize Owner and so much more... With Music by A-fifteen aka Lex Donez and Rain, Tmike aka Michaël Barthélémy, San Lluis, Kevin RaeBurn, D Whisper, The ENG ALL STARS, Prasies, Dwight Swaggerman Brown and Melo Da Mc. This episode ends with an introduction to episode 4, which will be looking into the Guatemalan claim to Belize, I follow the Mayor of Belize City Darrel Bradley, on a delegation, as he hopes to guide the two countries in the direction of peace by creating a sister-ship between Belize city and San Benito in Guatemala, a historical step forward for the two countries. I also interview COLA's Giovanni Bracket Journalist and activist, about what COLA's doing in reaction to the Guatemalan claim to Belize.

Tanya Carter Calls On Birch For Ex-Boyfriend
The sultry voice from Belize meets authentic Reggae 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.

"Pretty Meets Witty" - Chabil Mar, The Guest Exclusive Placencia Belize Resort, is Featured in a Blog Gone Viral
Natalie, the Guest Services Manager at this Placencia, Belize Resort explains. "We were so pleased to have Lillie and Colin, the "Fishonista", as Lillie refers to him in her blog, celebrate their Belize Honeymoon at Chabil Mar. Well, Lillie got to reading all about the resort in our guest services packet and she became enthralled with the funny comments made throughout it. In her words, 'Listen: Chabil Mar is gorgeous and its staff is fantastic, but what made me roll on the floor laughing was that it has the funniest welcome packet of any hotel I have encountered in my extensive world travels.' So, when Lillie returns to the US she puts up a blog about her encounter with Chabil Mar's welcome packet. What a special way for us to receive a recognition!" "Here are some of Lillie's excerpts from the Chabil Mar Resort welcome packet."

Belize, Trinidad play to scoreless draw
BELMOPAN, Belize - Belize and visiting Trinidad & Tobago played to a 0-0 draw in a CONCACAF Gold Cup warm-up match Saturday at the FFB Stadium. It was the second goalless draw between the two sides in two all-time meetings. The encounter produced no shortage of action, but neither side could find the back of the net despite the presence of veteran players with proven offensive credentials. Deon McCauley, who tops the scoring table in 2014 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with 11 goals, played nearly the entire game for Belize. The potent attacking Trinidad duo of Kenwyne Jones and Cornell Glen were paired together up front for sixty-six minutes. Glen had two opportunities to score in the opening 20 minutes. Both efforts, however, went just wide of the mark. After 30 minutes, McCauley dragged a shot inches wide of the left post for the host's best chance of the game.

March 25, 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 latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Acknowledging Fears:
Do you know the fear that comes when you’re anticipating change? It starts with an ache, somewhere in the chest, or perhaps it’s the stirring of butterflies in the stomach. Or you find yourself fighting to catch your breath so often that you start hyperventilating. Often times I wish things would happen with a bang, rather than the slow build, build, build…till its happened and I completely miss it.

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

This Week's Stories:

  • Convicted Guatemalan Man Vanishes:
    While San Ignacio police remained tight lipped, as has now become the rule rather than the exception, reliable reports reaching us indicate that a gun charged convicted Guatemalan man disappeared from the cell block in the middle of the evening hours on Monday, March 18, 2013. The embarrassing incident is being kept hush hush as no one is saying anything not even if any of the cameras in the area of the cell block captured the escape as it unfolded. Reports are that Walter Leonel Boteo Ralda, 22, Guatemalan male of a Belize Central Prison address in Hattieville where he is spending a five year sentence on a firearm possession charge, was brought from prison on the Monday morning run although he was not slated to appear in court, on other charges, until the following day, Tuesday, March 19, 2013.
  • Three Small Weed Trees In Blackman Eddy Village:
    San Ignacio police returned to their base station with three five inch marijuana plants, the product of an early Saturday morning anti-drug operations in Blackman Eddy Village on the George Price Highway. Police reports that during the early morning hours on Saturday, March 16, whilst on an anti-drug operation, they visited the Blackman Eddy Village home of Henry Gordon. Present at the time were Gordon and his common-law-wife. A detailed search of the house produced nothing of an incriminating nature. The search continued outside the house where, in the yard near an outhouse the police is said to have found a plastic vase filled with earth in the middle of which stood a 5 inch suspected marijuana plant.
  • Hon. Rene Montero Working For Cayo Central:
    Keeping true to his promise to address the needs of his constituency, Minister of Works and Transport, Hon. Rene Montero has undertaken the refurbishment of the basketball court in Santa Elena. Minister Montero informed that this latest project will entail a total transformation of this important sporting facility in Santa Elena. "The works," explained Minister "encompasses the replacement of the perimeter fence, the filling of the grounds around the court, behind and between the bleachers, the bathrooms and the vending house as well as the construction of a cement walkway linking the court to the nearby Carmen Street”
  • Medical Training For San Ignacio Hospital Staff:
    A group of forty members of staff of the San Ignacio Community Hospital today participated in a basic life support training seminar conducted by members of the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT). Dr. Misael Ramirez, medical chief of staff at the San Ignacio Community Hospital, informed that the one day basic life support training involved the participation of several departments of the hospital including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, lab technicians, drivers, dentists and dental assistants. The overall goal of the training said Dr, Ramirez, is to ensure that each member of staff can identify and assist the general public with basic life support techniques which may prove invaluable in times of emergency.
  • Bullet Tree Family Fun Day:
    The Bullet Tree Neighbourhood Committee will be having it first family fun day on March 23th 2013 at bullett tree football field. PC. Jason Jones informs that the “main purpose of this funfilled day is for the bullett tree committee to raise much needed funds and also to bring the residents of the village together and enjoy a day full of fun for the entire family”. There will be lots to eat and drink. Come and bring the whole family and support the Bullet Tree Neighborhood watch committee.
  • Thank You, Pallotine Sisters:
    With very grateful hearts and nostalgic memories, we have begun the celebrations marking the one hundred years of service by the Pallotine Sisters to the people and country of Belize. It was on June 2, 1921 that the first four Pallotines arrived in San Ignacio, known then as El Cayo. These four German nationals were Sisters Dominica, Radigundis, Sebastiana and Veronica. They had left their families, homes and country to serve us, mainly as teachers in our primary schools of San Ignacio and Santa Elena. Over the years, these four pioneers were joined and succeeded by others, including our own Belizean Pallotines. Hundreds of us – our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our aunts and uncles, our cousins and friends, our own parents and grandparents – were touched by the positive influence of these committed followers of Vincent Pallotti. And they knew so much!
  • Launch of BRDP II Project, “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites”:
    The Belize Tourism Board, along with the National Institute of Culture and History, are proud to announce the launch of a European Union s upported Action entitled, “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites.” The launch took place at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20th, 2013, at the House of Culture in Belize City. The BTB received a grant from the European Union in November 2012, for BZ$2.75m for a project with a total estimated cost of $4 million BZD. The project, scheduled to be implemented over 24 months, seeks to improve economic opportunities in rural communities and contribute to the reduction of poverty by enhancing the overall tourism experience through improvements to tourism infrastructure and the services offered. The tourism experience will be enhanced at the archaeological sites of Xunantunich, Barton Creek, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Caves Branch, Altun Ha, Lamanai, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek.
  • Rotary Convention Held In San Ignacio:
    Recently 245 Rotarians, from as far away as Canada, the U.S.A. and Panama and as close as Belize converged on San Ignacio to celebrate the 18th Rotary International Conference of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. This prestigious four day event which takes place every third year in Belize, was the foremost Rotary event of the year. This yearly Rotary International Conference has always been held in a major city of the host country i.e., in Guatemala it is always held in Guatemala City, in Honduras it alternates between Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, and in Belize—Belize City. However, this year’s District Governor, Andre Lopez, chose to break tradition and hold the Conference in his home town of San Ignacio.
  • Grandparents 'May Relay Autism Risk To Grandchildren':
    The risk of developing autism may be passed on through - and not just to - future generations, researchers say. The international study suggests older fathers are more likely to have grandchildren with autism than their younger counterparts. The mechanism is unclear but it is thought they may transmit "silent mutations" to their grandchildren. But experts have urged caution, stressing autism is the result of many different factors. The study, looking at almost 6,000 people with the condition, is published in the journal Jama Psychiatry. According to the National Autistic Society, more than one in every 100 people in the UK have the condition. Previous studies suggested older fathers may be at greater risk of having children with autism than younger dads.
  • International Red Carpet Affair Caribbean Style:
    This year's International Red Carpet Affair Caribbean Style will be an exciting one, and most anticipated event for year. It's set to one of the best!!! there is a star lineup with some of the most influential individual from Belize that has done some outstanding jobs through-out the years both in US and back home. They have served on committee's and have been supporting several organization in Belize and the United States. The event will be held at the Hollywood Park Casino on April 20th 2013. It's the 3rd annual and is sure to be on of the best event for 2013. The night will start off with a Waltz and Return of the Mac contest followed by the Life time Achievement Award presentation. Those receiving awards that night will be Prof. Drummonds, Mr. Jose Moreno, Mr. Ray Gongora, Mrs. Martha Martinez, Mr.Ellis Cayatano, Mr Fred Dixxon, Mr.Harry Shaw Sr., Pelle Ellis, Guwie Posse and Daddy Tracey.
  • Guatemala Ex-ruler Rios Montt On Trial For Genocide:
    The trial of the former military ruler of Guatemala, Efrain Rios Montt, for genocide and crimes against humanity has begun in Guatemala City. During Mr Rios Montt's 17-month rule in the 1980s, more than 1,700 indigenous people are thought to have been killed. The UN says it is the first time a former head of state has faced a national court for such crimes - rights activists say the trial is "historic". The former general denies the charges. The trial is expected to last months. Shortly before the start of the trial, the defence team of 86-year old was replaced. His new lawyers filed motions which could have delayed the proceedings, but were rejected by the court. Gen Rios Montt faces charges of crimes against humanity in connection with the killing of 1,771 indigenous Mayans during his rule in 1982-1983.
  • World Rotaract Week 2013:
    Rotaract – AWay of Life! From March 11-17, 2013, Rotaract Clubs around the world celebrated World Rotaract Week 2013 in commemoration of the first Rotaract Club that was chartered on March 13, 1968. The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio planned a week’s worth of activities in lieu of this grand event. These included the launching of the Club’s official logo, presentations on recent projects from the Rotary &Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio, a quiz night for club members and community service projects. The Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio embarked on a joint Gift (Food) Baskets Project that was carried out on Saturday, March 16, 2013 in Benque. In collaboration with the Help Age Center and Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo, the Rotary and Rotaract Clubs of San Ignacio partnered together, and went from home to home distributing the 20 food baskets to the elderly, single mothers and other deserving families. Part 2 of this project will take place in Santa Elena Town.
  • Pope Francis In Plea For Poor As Inauguration Mass Held:
    Pope Francis has inaugurated his papacy at a Mass in Rome, calling on global leaders and all the people of the world to defend the poor and the weak. Up to 200,000 people attended the Mass in St Peter's Square. His homily focused on protection - of the environment, children, the elderly and those in need, who he said were "often the last we think about". Francis was elected by a conclave of cardinals last week to take over from Benedict XVI. Benedict became the first pontiff in 600 years to abdicate last month. Citing his age, 85, he said he could no longer continue in the post.
  • The ICJ Referendum Appears To Be Dead In The Water:
    In remarks delivered Wednesday evening at the George Washington University’s Ambassador Series forum in Washington, DC, Belizean Ambassador to the U.S. and O.A.S., Nestor Mendez, made clear that the Belizean government is “frustrated” and “upset” with recent actions by the Guatemalan government. His comments and answers to questions from the audience indicate the whole ICJ referendum process is now in serious jeopardy. Furthermore, Belize clearly feels while it has acted in good faith, the Guatemalans have let them down and even disrespected them during this last week in particular. I’ve known Ambassador Mendez for several years now and the always unflappable diplomat showed clear signs of frustration and even said at one point, “I’m sorry if I seem upset but it’s not the first time our neighbors have bowed out. It’s not helpful.” This was a special night for the Ambassador as he returned to his alma mater to deliver an address at one of the George Washington University’s most distinguished forums.
  • What Will Happen If Belizeans Vote Against Going To The ICJ:
    By: Wellington C. Ramos 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 were to vote “NO” in their Referendum which is scheduled to take place simultaneously in both countries on October 6, 2013. I have read carefully the Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty signed between Great Britain and Guatemala in 1859 and based on that I am fully confident that the court will rule in favor of Belize. In this treaty 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.
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The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: I’m Clingy. Help!
Oy. This young lady finds herself very attached, turns clingy and then, there goes the relationship. What would the good doctor recommend?

Sharks and Rays – Worth more alive than dead

Wolfe’s Woofer: Ambition
A teacher asks her young students what they want to be when they grow up. Davin's answer is fabulous, but the next student's response tops it.

Misc Belizean Sources

Suffering from heavy burn season smoke
We have heavy smoke from dry season fires for a few days now. A friend turned me on to a NASA link for global view of fires. Thought some of you might find it interesting. ps: Hope we get the cooler weather and rains predicted for mid week in the coming week. I could use a good rinse!

MCHS Via Crucis
Mount Carmel High School had their Stations of the Cross parade in Benque. One week until Easter.

Miss Tourism Belize Finals
The Miss Toursim Belize finals are next Saturday on the top floor of the JNC mall. Miss Nancy Vellos is representing San Ignacio. "So tickets are going folks, so make sure you get yours asap, and great seating. We do have VIP, Reserve and regular seating, they are all great seats, only VIP comes closer to the runway,cocktails and photo shoot with the delegates, published in the Locations Magazine, Maya Heartland. Call 6284498 or 6041067 for delivery in San Ignacio and Santa Elena area!!"

Bullet Tree Falls Family Day
Bullet Tree Falls had their Family Day Saturday. There were fun and games for everyone. "The Bullet Tree Falls Neighborhood Watch Committee today sponsored a family fun day. It featured sporting activities, including football and volleball at the football field in the village."

East Cayo Qualification Tournament Pictures
The BNYCF had another chess qualification tournament, this time at the George Price Centre in Belmopan. Keep those kids thinking! They are all winners! "Tournament wasa great success thanks to all the volunteers help, and parents who cheered up for the kids and helped with puzzles!"

Belize K-9 Team Protects Xunantunich
Not only is Xunantunich getting a new visitor's center, but now they have a K-9 team there as part of their 'Paws on the Ground' initiative. A big thanks to the BTIA and BTB for building Xico his luxury kennel. The Belize K-9 team has been keeping Belize safe - taking a bite out of crime - for almost a year now. Thanks, guys! "As of March 20, 2013 we now have 'Paws on the Ground' at the Xunantunich Archaeology Site. With financial assistance from the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize Tourism Industry Association, a new kennel was constructed and a K-9 team has been deployed to assist with the security of the site. Meet 'Xico' and his partner Pvt. Erwin Escobar. Go ahead and run bandito, you'll just go to jail with bite marks!"

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Cinnamon Biscuit Roll
Thishere wuz a favert uf mine t'bake wen I wuz a yung teenage gurl. I would bake up a numbr uf these cinnamon biscuit rolls fer air lunches fer skool t'nex day. Mah siblings luved it becawz that meent thar would be a change frum t'usual bologna sandwiches. I remembr packin' mah lunch kit full uf rolls and the I would trade at skool with goodies frum mah friens lunches. And I wuz picky, I didn##Q##t trade off a roll jes fer innythang! N' t'end I ended up with a purty good varietee uf items! I##Q##m nairy shure why mah Mom allowd me t'pack jes these rolls fer a lunch..altho I reckon she enjoyed t'steries uf mah trades wen I *** trayler frum skool. And mind y'all I wasn##Q##t allowd t'bake these rolls jes anytime I lackd. Maybe it wuz on thems days wen thar wasn##Q##t much else t'pack. I##Q##m shure I used more sugar and cinnamon noe thun I would have bee allowd t'back the.


“Easy” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
After all of the excitement on Saturday for the final pour – the roof – for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize Rose and I decided we would have an easy Sunday. We had a leisurely breakfast whilst we discussed the type of cabinets we are going to have for each of the bathrooms and the powder room. And the shelving in the hall closet and the utility (laundry) room. Nothing taxing at all. Having settled on what we would like we decided that we would go to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize later but first would spend a little time lounging on the beach in front of the condo we are renting. I took my Kindle and Rose took her iPod. Perfect! After around two hours of really taking it easy we went in to have showers (it was really hot yesterday with very little by way of breeze) got dressed and drove up to Tres Cocos where, without any of the guys there, we were able to measure the exact spaces where the cabinets will go so that we could ‘sense check’ the decisions we had taken earlier in the day.

Hole in the jungle floor, Belize
Belize offers picture perfect scenery such as the photo above which is a hole in the jungle floor.

Not everyone is good at everything
Last Tuesday was a good reminder for me that not everyone is good at everything and if you want to get good at something it can sometimes take a lot of practice. Evelyn made chest compressions look so easy, but for those us who were practicing we soon got a taste of just how exerting they can be. I have to say I am happy that there were 26 people getting trained in the room that were better at doing chest compressions than I am. I am also happy that due to the increasing numbers of staff being sent for first aid training there is a good chance I will be near one of them in the event of an emergency. First Aid tip from Evelyn - Make sure we put ourselves first in first aid as we cannot be of help to someone in need if we do not act properly and with confidence, this includes tiring yourself out before help arrives on the scene. A big thanks to Fido’s Restaurant and Bar for hosting the Belize Red Cross and the following participating businesses: The Phoenix, Victoria House, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, Red Ginger Restaurant, Blue Tang Inn, Banana Beach Resort, Coco Loco’s Beach Bar, Elvi’s Kitchen, Pedro’s Hotel, Cowboy’s Pool bar, and Grand Caribe all received certified first aid training.

More Pictures From 2013 Band Fest In Belmopan And The Winners
Yesterday was a very busy day in Belmopan. It felt like the whole country came out to support the youth of Belize in the 2013 Band Fest. And it wasn’t easy. Yesterday may have been one of the hottest days of my life. Soaring to 100 degrees, these kids all deserve an extra medal for soldiering in the parade and then on the field in hot marching band uniforms. Seriously seriously impressive. I didn’t make it long. Some parade VIPs. Rene Villanueva of LoveFM on the far left, Miss Debbie from Chicago, the Mayor of Belmopan and in red, Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State and head of the Jesse White Tumblers. Here were the winners in the end. The category of Drum Corp 1. Holy Redeemer from Belize City 2. Dangriga 3. Belmopan Youth Wind Instrument Band. 1. Corozal Community College 2. Benque Viejo Marching Band 3. Succotz Festival Band Best Uniforms: Belmopan Youth and Most Popular by Phone Voting: Corozal Community College

The Ulimate Water Adventures in Belize
The barrier reef lies close to shore of Belize, creating a veritable playground for water sports. Sail, kayak or jet ski. Windsurf, kite surf or para-sail. A day’s sailing and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters is (we think) a near-perfect way to spend your day. Here are some suggestions of things to do, right off your beach… If you are based on the northern cayes, enjoy a half day of snorkeling at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, swimming amongst beautiful shoals of tropical fish, turtles, eagle rays, stingrays, moray eels and grouper. Follow this up with a dip at Shark Ray Alley, a site where local fishermen used to clean their catch, which attracted more carnivorous species such as big southern stingrays and nurse sharks. Also look out for yellowtail snapper, parrotfish, sergeant majors and french angelfish in amongst the coral. When you’ve swallowed about as much salt water as you can take, kick back on a gentle boat ride to Caye Caulker and relax in one of the sleepy waterfront restaurants or explore the local art shops.

International Sources

Soca Warriors held 0-0 by Belize
Trinidad and Tobago came away with a scoreless draw with hosts Belize in an encounter that saw both teams create but fail to put away their scoring chances at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night. The friendly international, which was used as a CONCACAF Gold Cup tune up for the two teams, would have left both sides cautiously optimistic after avoiding defeat, but saw the visitors unable to beat the Central Americans at that venue for a second time, as the teams also battled to a 0-0 draw under then coach Russell Latapy in 2010. Four of T&T's 2006 World Cup players started together for the first time in over three years, with Kenwyne Jones and Cornell Glen used up front and Christopher Birchall and captain Densill Theobald in the midfield. Keon Daniel also made a return to the starting line up and connected well with Joevin Jones on the left for T&T and caused their opponents some problems, particularly in the opening half.

Belize Visa and Residency Information
As with many other countries, Belize requires visitors to have sufficient funds to support themselves, a return ticket, and a passport. Passports must be valid up until time of departure. You can stay in Belize for up to one month without a visa. If you want to stay longer, however, you need to go to the Immigration Department in Belize City or Belmopan, or to the Senior Immigration Officer in an outlying district for a visa extension.

TWO WEEKS AGO WE WERE STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BELIZEAN JUNGLE. OUT THE WINDOW TODAY? KIND OF DEPRESSING ISN’T IT? We had the most amazing vacation and I completely fell in love with the Caribbean and Central America. Like, head over heels in love. My only complaint was that we just didn’t have enough time! Today I’m sharing a Belizean seafood recipe for #WeekdaySupper. What is #WeekdaySupper you ask? You’ve seen me participating in #SundaySupper for months now, but the Sunday team is also taking turns hosting a recipe each day.

March 24, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Red Cross conducts training in San Pedro
The Belize Red Cross San Pedro Branch conducted a Basic First Aid training exercise with the intent of putting safety first. The training took place on Tuesday March 19th at Fido’s Courtyard and had the participation of staff from several businesses, including restaurants and resorts. Upon the completion of the course, each participant was given a certificate of completion in basic first aid. Amongst the group that received certification in Basic First Aid were staff members of Victoria House, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch Group, Blue Tang Inn, Banana Beach Resort, Coco Loco’s, Pedro’s Hotel, Cowboy’s Pool Bar and Grand Caribe. In addition, the San Pedro Branch of The Belize Red Cross announced that Elvis Kitchen joined the Phoenix Resort in pledging to ensure that all their staff members are fully trained through the Medical Safety Program.

Eric Donis remains positive after participating in the Central American games
San Pedro’s Eric Donis is back in Belize after participating at the Central American Games earlier this month. The 17 year old student of San Pedro High School made his first international regional participation in Costa Rica where he became Belize’s first ever triathlete to participate in the Central American Field. The highly motivated athlete stopped by The San Pedro Sun office to tell us more about the experience he gained and his happiness at completing the competition. “To me it was an eye opener. I was the ‘baby’ (17 years) in the whole group participating. Everyone was 21 years and above and I was the only Belizean to participate in triathlon,” said Donis. According to the young athlete, the rules in Belize as it relates to triathlon are not as demanding as in the Central American Games. “In triathlon it’s not only racing because you have a lot of rules. Throughout the race there are a lot of rules and so we cannot just be jumping from one stage to the next.” Donis explained that in one instance he almost got disqualified because the zipper of the jersey was to the front and the rules specified that it should be placed at the back.

Teacher and students charged in brutal death of Black Howler Monkey
On March 5th, news surged of a brutal act against a defenseless Black Howler Monkey by students of an Orange Walk District High School. The students accused of capturing and beating the monkey are alumni from The Belize High School of Agriculture in the San Lazaro Village. Students claimed that their professor had instructed them to kill the animal since it had urinated on him while he was taking a nap in the bushes. The students allegedly stoned the animal, causing severe internal damage and dragged it back to the school’s entrance to present it as a trophy to their peers. OHowler Monkey Killedn March 6th, the Howler Monkey was rescued by the Forest Department after a concerned individual contacted them. The Howler Monkey was transported to a veterinary clinic at Belize City where the animal’s condition was stabilized. The Howler Monkey was later transported to Wild Tracks Rehabilitation Center for Manatees and Primates in the Corozal District to receive further treatment. Upon being examined, it was noticed that the animal had no broken bones but had suffered severe head trauma, as well,one of its eyes had been damaged beyond repair. The animal experienced several seizures while in the care of Wild Tracks and although much effort was put into nourishing the monkey back to health, it succumbed to its injuries two days later on March 8th.

130 New Officers Join the Ranks of the Belize Police Force
Graduation Ceremonies were held Tuesday, March 19, 2013 for 130 new officers of the Belize Police Force who make up Recruit Squad #88. New Belize Police Officers-3During the Ceremonies, awards were given out in various categories: Baton of Honor went to RPC 1528 Andy Rodriguez; Written Exam, First Place went to RPC 1450 Rodrigo Castillo and Second Place to RPC 1528 Andy Rodriguez; the award for Most Consistent Recruit went also to RPC 1528 Andy Rodriguez; the Best Physical Condition Award was taken by RPC 1480 Daniel Jimenez; the 1st Shooting Qualification Award went to RPC 1467 David Gongora; the Commandant’s Prize was received by WRPC 1544 Lourdes Torres and the 1st in First Aid Award went to RPC 1579 Zair Pott. Additionally, a number of retired Police Officers received awards of recognition. They are: Mr. Paul Wade, former Assistant Commissioner; Justo Augustine, former Superintendent; Claudio Mai, former Acting Assistant Superintendent; James Moriera, former Acting Assistant Superintendent; Moses Aranda, former Inspector; Hubert Augustine, former Sergeant; Michael Ciego, former Corporal; and Michael Muslar, former Police Constable.

Misc Belizean Sources

Corozal Community College Wins Band Fest
The Corozal Community College won the Belize Band Fest today in Belmopan. Belize Natural Energy was one of the sponsors of the event, and they were there to get some pictures of the various bands. Congratulations to all participants on a job well done!

BWRC Documentary Stills
Daniel Velazquez is making a documentary about the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic. He's been on hand to make most of their short videos dealing with specific wildlife cases. He upload some of the still shots from working on the documentary. The students obviously had a great time while doing their study abroad here in Cayo. "Belize Wildlife and referal clinic, hosted its first international wildlife medicine course, this is a part of its sustanable componant of the clinic, in between shooting video i got some stills, this is part of a 30 minute documentary about the careof wildlife and implementation of this center, film is in post production."

Rotary Provides Eden New Facilities
Feelgood news of the day. Rotary handed over the new bathroom facilities at Eden SDA Primary. Earlier this week, they inaugurated the new facilities at St. Adrews. Thanks, Rotary, for playing such an important role and making a huge difference in Cayo, and the world. "The goal of these two projects is not only to provide the kids with decent bathrooms. In each school the whole measure is embedded in the health education curriculum that teaches personal hygiene among others. The influence of the new bathrooms on absenteeism as a result of diarrheal diseases is being monitored as a part of the project.The two building projects with a joint budget of nearly $110,000 serve almost 900 kids. They follow similar projects of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio in Blackman Eddy Primary School, Sacred Heart College, Bishop Martin, Santa Familia and Sacred Heart Primary Schools."

Channel 7

VIDEO: Trinidad & Tobago vs. Belize - Football (March 23, 2013) from Great Belize Productions Ltd. on Vimeo.
Final Score 0-0


Day 2 of Budget Debate Concludes In Nation's Capital
Day two of the 2013-2014 budget debate featured a few uncommon events. The visitors’ gallery at the National Assembly was filled today with students from Sacred Heart Primary School in Dangriga. It was at the invitation of the Speaker of the House, Michael Peyrefitte,...

Earth Hour Observed Worldwide
Earth Hour is observed worldwide since 2008 after several cities and countries across the globe followed in the footsteps of over two million residents of Sydney who turned off all non-essential lights in 2007. The event is organized globally by the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF, and...

Weekend Activities Scheduled In Celebration of Women's Month
As women’s month continues to be observed around the country, the weekend will be filled with activities linked to the occasion. Acting Director of the Women’s Department gives us the highlights of this weekend for the Belize District beginning with a Women’s So...

Forensic Ballistics Training Held At Price Barracks
Earlier this week, we reported on forensic technicians, forensic scientists and other specialized personnel embarking on a four day training course on Forensic Ballistics. Today the training closed off with graduations for over twenty participants for the program which included l...

Six Persons Acquitted On Firearm Charges
Six persons charged with firearm and ammunition offences and handling stolen goods were acquitted of the charges today. They are 26 year old Lionel Sampson, 27 year old Jane Ovado, 18 year old Lodgrick Ovado, 45 year old Evelyn Ovado, 19 old Lanickle Ovado and 52 year old Cyril Ovado. ...

West Street Resident Sentenced On Ammunition Charges
Twenty-three year old Nelson Martinez, a resident of West Street, who was charged with firearm and ammunition offences, was found guilty of both charges today. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart sentenced him to five years for each offence with the stipulation that the sentences should run c...


Belmopan Band Fest 2013 Parade Pictures and The Winners
The parade through Belmopan to kick off Band Fest 2013 is still going on. It started at 8:30am and should continue for a few hours…2 miles all the way down to the football stadium. I thought I’d take a quick time-out from the heat…MAN IT IS HOT IN BELMOPAN TODAY…and share a few pictures before I head down to the competition. San Pedro’s own Isla Bonita Marching Band led the parade. Not all happy faces…word on the street is that there was very little sleep last night! Love the uniforms! The next group. Holy Redeemer from Belize City. My vote for the best dancers…Dangriga.

World Water Day 2013
Over twenty years ago the United Nations recognized March 22 as the first World Water Day. This year’s theme is water cooperation. As the following photographs show, the need for cooperation on this precious resource is great, as some enjoy plenty while others suffer drought. Collected here are images of water and its many uses as we approach the annual World Water Day.

Belize Football Team Official Jersey [PHOTO]
These are the official jerseys for the Belize National Football Team.

International Sources

Come with Made in His Image to Belize!
In 2012, I was invited to travel to Belize to speak to the children there. The opportunity truly spoke to my heart, as many of the children living in the villages of Belize are abused before turning 8 years old and more than 80% of the girls are sexually assaulted. These children grow up with a twisted view of their sexuality, God’s love, lack of self-esteem, distrust, and a host of other issues associated with abuse. It took less than a second for me to agree to travel there and speak to these children. The village of Belize did everything they could to fundraise for my plane ticket and I wanted to reach out to you so you could help me bring a male chastity speaker with me. Since so many of these children are abused I think it’s exceedingly important for a male speaker to address the boys in Belize. My friend Mike, who lives in Nashville use to be a chastity speaker with Generation Life and I have asked him to come along. Mike is also a professional guitar player, so I thought the children would enjoy his talent as well.

VIDEO: Belize Cave Tubing
Our friend Dalene Heck of Hecktic Travels shares her Cave Tubing experience in Belize with us...

March 23, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wil Flack of Tres Pescados lands a Vampire Fish (in Venezuela)
Wil Flack, local resident and owner of Tres Pescados Fly Shop in San Pedro Town, can proudly say he caught a trophy Payara. The Payara is a native fish of the Orinoco River in Venezuela and is locally known as the “vampire fish” that is because of the very prominent pair of fangs protruding from its lower jaw. This “massive” fish was caught during filming for “Way Point”, a production of Confluence Films. The trophy size fish was caught at Uraima Falls, and Flack will be featured in the film as part of the fishing adventures in Venezuela. Flack admitted that it was a tough catch. “This is not a normal fly-fishing fish, since it can strain the body when it’s time to reel it in,” but Flack won that round, and has the photos to prove it.“I’m really excited, the photos look real good. I worked with an unbelievable videographer, Denver Miller. It was a pleasure working with the whole crew. I think it is going to be a great segment, I’m excited to see the finished production,” said Flack on his experience at Venezuela.

Star athlete born to Belizean family, awarded football scholarship to Westpoint Academy
An American student born to a Belizean family was recently awarded a football scholarship to pursue his education at the prestigious United States Military Academy West Point. Arizona’s 18 year old Patrick Matthew Joseph is the son of Patrick and Ramona Joseph of San Ignacio, Cayo. The offensive line player (Offensive Tackle), while on vacation on Ambergris Caye, stopped by The San Pedro Sun office to share his excitement. The young athlete has been offered a scholarship to a high-status institution which holds a significant place in the history of the US. Dating back to the US Revolutionary War, military icons such as US founding father George Washington identified the location of the academy as, “the most important strategic position in America”, and revered graduates such as Eisenhower, MacArthur, Patton and Wainwright met the challenge of leadership in the Second World War.

Don’t Mess with San Pedrito – cleanup campaign starts
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) along with the United Nation International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) continues their cleanup efforts. A previous clean-up campaign was held in the area of San Mateo, where the SPTC and UNICEF invited all residents to participate in the campaign by picking up garbage off the streets and cleaning up their yards. The initiative in San Mateo sparked interest that generated a movement to promote sanitation and cleanliness. On Tuesday March 19th, the clean-up campaign moved to a new territory, the San Pedrito Area. Heading the movement is Councilor Kenrick Bracket,whose portfolio deals with waste management and traffic. The “Don’t mess with San Pedrito” campaign is just another chapter in the SPTC’s beautification project for the island. The event took place at the San Pedrito Park shortly after 9AM. The event started with an opening ceremony led by Master of Ceremonies, Angel Nuñez. Even though very few residents attended the ceremonies, the event still went through.

National Youth Policy launched in San Pedro Town
Belize has a population of 333, 200 according to the most recent census conducted in 2010. Of that total population 70% is considered to be at the age of 35 and below. For that reason Belize’s society is considered to be ‘young.’ And in order to drive maximum benefit from this human resource, the Government of Belize (GOB), through the Ministry of Youth and Sport compiled a document called National Youth Development Policy of Belize 2012-2022 geared toward addressing the young population of Belize. The policy was officially launched earlier this year in Belize City but a team from the Ministry of Youth and Sport has been travelling to the different municipalities conducting individual launches. On Thursday March 14th, a launching took place in San Pedro Town at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The policy was compiled by the GOB after consultation with the youth force from across the country during different forums. It outlines GOB’s commitment to supporting youth participation and giving them access to proper tools including adequate information for their own development. The policy’s commitment also gives existence to a National Youth Commission (Youth Parliament) as an autonomous youth body that will be responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the policy.

Pre-school children participate in Child Stimulation month activities
Over 265 pre-school students from five different pre-schools on Ambergris Caye are participating in various activities as part of Child Stimulation Month. The event is celebrated countrywide under the theme “Early Childhood Education – Molding today’s learners into tomorrow’s leaders.” Activities ran throughout the month of March starting with an opening parade on March 1st and culminating with a closing parade on March 22nd. Some of the events included a church service, family talent day, hug day, grandparent’s day, cultural day and even visits to various government institutions on the island just to name a few. On Tuesday March 19th, ABC Pre-school hosted Cultural Day in which all 81 students partook. The students were placed into groups and with the help of their teachers and parents, did displays of the various ethnic groups in Belize. The displays featured the studentsChild Stimulation Month-25 dressed in colorful cultural attire while showcasing food products and informational posters. A similar activity took place at Little Angel Preschool where the teachers took the opportunity to share information and highlight the various cultural groups in Belize.

Ambergris Today

Cayo Espanto Resort Listed in Top 10 Best Island Resorts by Islands Magazine
Cayo Espanto Island Resort, one of San Pedro’s top luxury and only private island resort, has been listed as one of the top Ten Best Island Resorts by Islands Magazine. The magazine’s editors chose their top reviews and created a new ‘Best List’ which includes a list of the best and most popular Family Resorts, Best Islands to Live On, Overwater Bungalows, Snorkeling, Romance, Wallpaper, Beaches, Dream Trips, Cruises and Private Islands. ISLANDS picked the world's 12 best private-island resorts as well as more than 100 such private islands all across the planet, from the surprisingly accessible to the beautifully exotic. According to the magazine, any of these private islands holds the promise of the dream escape, where you can have the luxury amenities of a resort while still feeling like the island is all yours.

Misc Belizean Sources

BCCI: Announcement - Letter to PM re 2013-2014 Budget
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reviewed the draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Fiscal Year 2013-2014. The proposed budget calls for $934 million in overall spending, $72 million more than last year, but promises that "this budget will see absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts." GOB assumes a GDP growth of 3% over the previous fiscal year with $934.3 million in total spending and total revenue and grants of $871.7 million resulting in an overall deficit of $62.6 million. We note that spending has significantly increased with no mention of the major sources for financing this spending outside of domestic borrowing, bilateral and multilateral loans, which will only serve to increase our indebtedness. The BCCI has continuously pointed out to GOB a number of areas where it is critical to cut expenditure to ensure sustainability while creating room for the economy to grow. We believe that those expenditure cuts are realistic and necessary and to that end would like to suggest/reiterate several possibilities for consideration.

Commentary: Belizean nationalists must examine oil and gas interests
By Wellington C. Ramos When the British buccaneer Peter Wallace first landed in Belize in 1638, it was in search of wood to repair his ship that wrecked off the coast of Belize. His plan was to fix his ship and proceed on his pirating in other parts of the Caribbean Sea. The discovery of logwood and mahogany changed the British plan. Perhaps, the British Crown was also looking at the geographic strategic importance of Belize as it relates to the other countries in the Caribbean, North America and South America. The British later brought in African slaves to cut the logwood and mahogany. In 1763 after several conflicts with the Spanish, Spain granted them permission to continue cutting logwood and mahogany. The British, French and Dutch were against the Treaty of Tordesillas signed by Spain and Portugal and witnessed by the Catholic Pope Alexander the V1 in 1494. This treaty gave the entire Caribbean and the Americas to Spain with the exception of the country of Brazil, which was given to Portugal.

About Belize – 7 Reasons to bank in Belize
Ever wondered about Belize and why it’s chosen by so many? Belize is being chosen by many for vacation, business and more importantly for international banking. Before we give you the reasons why Belize is chosen so often, let me tell you a little bit more about Belize. Belize is small country located on the North Eastern Coast of Central America. It is bordered on the North by Mexico, the west and south by Guatemala and the east by the Caribbean Sea. Belize has a population of 312,698 people. It has a diverse society, comprising of many rich cultures and languages. It’s a nation that is considered to be a part of Central America with strong ties to both the Caribbean and Latin America. While much emphasis has been placed on tourism and the exportation of seafood particularly lobster and shrimp, the Government of Belize has placed equal emphasis on the Offshore Financial Sector. Since its Independence in 1981, Belize has introduced some progressive legislation to attract international business and investments. This has allowed Belize to become a world – class environment for the incorporation of companies thus giving you the opportunity to conduct legitimate business internationally while ensuring your security and privacy.

Mr. Greedy's Chicken Drop
Mr. Greedy's isn't just popular because they have the best pizza in town. They are now known for their Chicken Bingo, where you can 'win a crapload of money' on Wednesday nights. There were so many people this Wednesday, they did it twice. What's the best part? Watching the winners clean up the poop. "Every Wednesday night, Mr. Greedy's does their Chicken Drop. It's fun for the entire family, and you can 'win a crapload of money.' Good food, good times, and fun."

Belize Band Fest in Belmopan Today
Who's going to win Band Fest this year? Head to Belmopan today and find out. They have a parade starting at 8am, and the competition is at the FFB stadium. Thanks to all the great sponsors for making this happen.

SIPL's Storytelling at UB
The San Ignacio Public Library, famous for their storytelling capabilities, paid a visit to the University of Belize to do their magic. What a great way to celebrate Children's Month. "Our very own Branch Librarian participated in the storytelling session held at UB."

In Bloom at Lucky 5
In Bloom is playing at Lucky 5 Saturday night. If you haven't seen them, you need to. They rocked the house last week, and the pictures are up to prove it. Some music lovers were there to spice up the night. Great live music can now be found in Cayo!

CNWA Grant Progress
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association Executive Board met with the US Embassy to talk about the grant, and how well it's been used so far. They have a great mission! 'To inspire, encourage, and empower the people of Cayo to unite to become one voice; Neighbors looking out for Neighbors; deeply committed to serving our community and our beloved country: Belize.' "CNWA Executive board had a wonderful meeting with our contacts from the US Embassy and their team from Washington. They came to see how the grant money was being handled and what it was used for. They were very impressed with CNWA and the work we do."

Channel 7

Hon J Espat Goes From House "Brat" To Most Magnanimous
Last year the highlight of the Budget Debate came from rookie representatives Julius Espat and Santi Castillo. They got into a classic verbal spar- the highlight of which was when Espat loudly proclaimed that the only standing orders he adheres to are the ones that come from his constituents. So this year, the line-up was set the same as it was last year, with Espat leading off for the PUP - and Castillo responding to him for the UDP. But, Espat threw what baseballers would call a "change-up." He was a model of parliamentary restraint - even though he was highly critical of the Barrow budget. Here are a few excerpts of his 35 minute presentation: Hon. Julius Espat - Area Representative, Cayo South "Mr. Speaker the Prime Minister has hit the nail on the head, when he compares his budget performances and this budget with the likes of a Harry Houdini. In reality Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minster is an illusionist, and his budget is but a mere illusion. How is it possible that the stats quoted in the Prime Minister's budget indicate that our economy is growing when our fathers cannot get a job, when our highly educated youths coming out of the universities cannot fine meaningful employment, when our poor mothers do not have the means to prepare a nutritious meal for their children, when our Belizean people cannot afford to clothes or send our loving children to school? We do not feel confident enough that we are willing to borrow from the banks; we are losing our homes and businesses at alarming rates. The newspapers are flooded with foreclosures. Here are examples of the publications of just this month.

Already Accused of City Shooting, Man Charged For Midday Murder, In Same Day!
Last night we told you about 18 year old Akeem Augustine, who was remanded for shooting at four young men, two of them minors. That happened on Tuesday evening - but now police are saying that on Tuesday morning, he killed a man in the street! Augustine was today brought back to court where he was arraigned for the murder of 27 year old Ardon Belgrave. He's the Belize City Council employee who was killed on Tuesday morning at 11:30. Belgrave was working for the council, when a gunman walked up and shot him multiple times in the head. Belgrave's family believes that it was a case of random targetting. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until May 28, 2013, his next court date. So at this time, police believe that Augustine went on 2 separate shooting sprees: his first on Tuesday afternoon, where he allegedly killed Belgrave, and then 7 hours later, he then allegedly targeted those 4 males at the corner of Lacroix boulevard and Police Street.

GSU Gun Bust Gets 24 Year Old 10 Years in Jail
24 year-old Nelson Martinez, a resident of Plues Street, is spending the first night of a 5 year prison sentence after he was convicted of firearm offence in Magistrate's Court today. According to the Gang Suppression Unit, at 9:40 p.m. May 26, 2012, they were on George Street conducting operations when they saw Martinez riding a bicycle at the corner of Bishop and George Streets. When the GSU officers approached him, he sped off trying to escape. Just before he was caught, Martinez reportedly pulled out an object and threw it over a fence into a yard which is near to his Plues Street address. When he was detained, the officers located the object he threw away, and discovered that it was an Austria Brand Glock 9 mm pistol, which contained 13 live rounds of ammunition. As a result, they arrested and charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Season Stomach Flu Peaked In Bze District Last Week
We all know about "the stomach bug" - that combination of vomiting and diarrhea that always seems to be going around. Well, right now that is truer than ever. Statistics from the Ministry of Health - updated as recently as yesterday show that reported cases of gastro-enteritis peaked in the Cayo and Belize districts about two weeks ago - and that there have been 800 cases reported in the past few months. That may sound like a lot but it's actually on average for this time of year when reports of gastro-enteritis usually spikes. Epidemiologist Dr. Aisha Andrewin explained: Dr. Aisha Andrewin - Epidemiologist, Ministry Of Health "What we are seeing, is what we're referring to a seasonal increasing in cases of what is locally termed as stomach flu. Basically, it's gastroenteritis, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal pains due to a virus in most cases. That's the pattern we're seeing. We say seasonal because they're different points in the year when you'd expect it, and we see these increases from time to time. In this current instance, we started seeing an upward case about the beginning of this month, and we will continue to see these patterns. This is happening globally. The main culprit nowadays is the virus called Nora Virus. In fact, in the U.K, it's called the winter vomiting bug. In the States for example, you'd get 20 million per year, and in these part of the world we're seeing more and more of these cases as we had the capacity confirm the cases.

Chamber To PM: Rein In Spending, Freeze Wages, Raise Age For Pension
The Belize Chamber of Commerce President, Kay Menzies has written a strong letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow asking him to reign in public spending which is budgeted to increase by 72 million dollars in the coming year. Pensions are going up by 5 million, and in view of that, the Chamber proposes that the pension age should be increased to 65. The chamber also points to what it calls an "exorbitant Wage Bill" of almost half a billion dollars, which comprises 56% oftotal expenditure for the coming financial year. The Chamber suggests a freeze on all hiring and inveighs against what it calls "Big Government" which it says "only further inflates the wage bill..." The Chamber also has criticism for government's special purpose vehicle, Belize Infrastructure limited, which will spearhead a 60 million dollars project to upgrade sports facilities. The Chamber President says "This newly registered company raises concerns." And, not surprisingly, the Chamber President also calls for Superbond Savings to be used for measures to actively stimulate the private sector, in the form of that which business owners most crave: tax breaks and lower duties.

City Councilor Gave Mayor Letter Of Resignation, Not Accepted
Today's Reporter newspaper had a provocative headline, asking "Will Councillor Elrington Hyde Resign?" The reference is to Alifah Hyde Elrington, a first term councilor who is the daughter of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and the law partner of Mayor Darrell Bradley. And, from what we've been able to find out, there is more than a shred of truth to the story, because though Bradley and Elrington-Hyde are partners in law, they've had their differences in the Council. But things came to a head three weeks ago when Elrington-Hyde and the Mayor's Secretary caught in an ugly war of words. It happened on San Pedro when the delegation from San Benito, Guatemala were visiting. It seems the mayor's secretary forgot the checque that was to be used to cover the lunch tab at an island restaurant and Elrington-Hyde chastised her publicly. According to our information, after that Elrington demanded that the secretary be dismissed, but from what we are told Mayor Bradley would not entertain the request. From what we are told she laid down ultimatums, and still the mayor would not budge. Things came to a head at a council meeting on Tuesday - when Elrington-Hyde put it on the agenda for a council meeting and the mayor struck it off. So Elrington-Hyde reportedly put the letter on his table - and he put it aside.

Another News Time Shooting
7news has confirmed that there was a shooting in Belize City right about when the news started. It happened on Zericote Street in the Lake Independence area. The victim was rushed to the KHMH - and reports are that his injuries are not life threatening.

Finnegan Says PUP Have "Macobi" For Mark Espat
Last night on the news, you heard Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca refer to the UDP Government's Economic Ambassador Mark Espat as the "Red Eye Boy." Today, the opposition's spree of attacks on the Espat continued - which is unusual, considering he's not in the House to defend himself. But for the second day in a row, it was open season on Espat, and another Espat was the first to open up on him: Hon. Julius Espat - Area Representative, Cayo South "For example the red eye boy, $240,000 a year, $20,000 dollars a month the same red eye boy that - or their party leader has mentioned, but I would like to take it further, the same red eye boy, the Judas, and I can say it, Mr. Speaker, because I'm an Espat, and it's a shame for us. As an Espat, I have the right to say that he is a Judas, but we took our beating. Look at the poor Prime Minister on our side, his hair is white because the man ate him a part. Watch Hon. John Briceno, his hair is getting white too, Mark Espat, well party leader, he didn't take it; he only last 3 months. But you all, you all over there, you all will suffer the consequences of the red eye boy; you all will suffer the consequences." Hon. Santino Castillo - Area Representative, Caribbean Shores "I will refer to Mark Espat who has been referred to in this House by the other members on that side 26 times. "Bwai da man bun they bad."

Finnegan is Funny-gan?
And while Finnegan seems to have taken charge of recruitments, he also provided some comic relief. He says he's over 60 but still feeling "Spritely": Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Representative, Mesopotamia "I am one of those people that says, 'What is those kind of music are those young people playing? How do those young people behave like that?' Mr. Speaker, I try to understand their music. I try to learn and dance it, and shake the shoulder; I try to be young. You will ask what kind of clothes those young people wear, Mr. Speaker. I fall in line, and I try to dress like them, I don't want to look like any old man. Furthermore Mr. Speaker, I saw an advertisement some weeks ago during the Channel 5 broadcast news or Channel 7, one of them, but this ad was an ad promoting the 4G digicell train, and this young girl who was performing on this ad, Prime Minister, shake my heart to pieces. I said, 'Who the hell is she?' Well I could tell you, Prime Minister, Elle Marie is no joke, no ease. That's a damn competent lady, and I would want to meet her, Mr. Speaker, but you and I may meet her together sir." And Santino Castillo - who owns a cycling team and Finnegan both spiced up their presentations with cross country predictions:

US Volunteers In The South
A group of US medical professionals from a group called InterVol have been volunteering the Southern Regional Hospital this week. The group comprises 40 persons, 22 of them from the medical field, including gynecologists, cardiologists, anesthesiologists, dentists and rural doctors. Cindy Gordon outlined some of the work they are doing. Cindy Gordon - InterVol, Reg'd Nurse "As far as the medical side of things, we have 2 gynecologist with us and this week while we're here in the hospital, the local gynecologists were not available. So our GYN doctors have also taken over in that area, not only seeing the patients, they're going to see them in the clinics, also covering the patients here. We've seen a lot of need for surgical intervention, such as hysterectomies, or removal of thyroids or ovarian cisst or even removing someone's ovaries because of them being sick. We also have this year for the first time, a dental team; we have the dentist and the dental assistant, and they've been doing a lot of teeth extractions. They've been doing a lot of cleanings and just basic dental care, in the villages; it's all primary dental care. So basically, it's a lot of pediatrics, a lot of children - basically we see a lot of mothers and children, because the husband are obviously off working, as we find when we go in these real communities. So, it's a mix of both, the basic basic primary care." This is InterVol's 10th year in Belize...

Channel 5

Mark and Jorge Espat come home to U.D.P.
Former P.U.P. Area representative for the Albert Division, Mark Espat has been getting a lot of accolades from the lips of Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Mark Espat led the team that successfully negotiated the five hundred and fifty million US dollar Super Bond. The praise was so intense today, that it appeared the government could [...]

Houdini Budget? Debate changes gear
After six o’clock this evening, the budget debate concluded in the House of Representatives. The budget for the new financial year starting April first, calls for nine hundred and thirty-four million dollars in spending and eight hundred and seventy one point seven million dollars in revenue and grants; a deficit of sixty-two million point two [...]

Chambers of Commerce points out irregularities to G.O.B.
While the budget debate took place in the House of Representatives, in the boardroom of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the budget was also analyzed.  The Chamber’s contributions are contained in a letter to the Prime Minister. It notes that while spending has increased by seventy-two million dollars more than last year, and there [...]

Artificial Border: Minister explains it’s no big deal
Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington is a man who has always spoken freely about his views on national affairs. He has gained much criticism for well used words at a 2009 Organization of American States Meeting in Washington. The meeting was with his then Guatemalan counterpart, Haroldo Rodas Melgar.  Specifically Elrington said, “We have to [...]

Why did Kolbe fire Mr. and Mrs. Casimiro?
The termination of a husband and wife from the Belize Central Prison over a week ago has raised concerns within the executive of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Colive and Carla Casimiro were fired by the management of the Kolbe Foundation individually, over what prison officials are citing as a lack of confidence [...]

N.T.U.C.B. to address release of couple from Kolbe
It has been reported in other parts of the media that Colive Casimiro’s release was, according to information furnished, a pre-emptive measure to stop him from protesting his wife’s dismissal.  The N.T.U.C.B., says Jones, is yet to formally address the matter with the management of the Kolbe Foundation.   Earl Jones, C.E.O., Kolbe Foundation “There [...]

U.D.P. Landy Burns questions trade license fee
The political free for all at the House in Belmopan is the big news tonight, but there’s another battle with political undertones being waged in Orange Walk Town. On one side of that northern rumble is the Town Council, which is managed by a P.U.P. administration. On the other side is U.D.P. political aspirant Orlando [...]

Teen charged with murder
A Belize City teenager has seen the courtroom one too many times this week. Eighteen year old Akeem Augustine who only just appeared in court on Thursday, for the charges of Attempted Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder and Aggravated Assault upon minors, was today slapped with charges of the murder of Ardon Belgrave and the [...]

Charged for firearm, but accused says cops lied
  Also in the courts, twenty-four year old Nelson Martinez of Belize City appeared before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stewart to answer charges of Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a Gun License. He was unrepresented and while he did not address the charge before him, he told the court that the GSU had fabricated the events. But [...]

Firearms and ammunition forensic training
A forensic training at Price Barracks in Ladyville culminated today with some twenty-two persons from various departments receiving certificates of participation. Forensic technicians, scientists as well as the judiciary and other specialized personnel took part in the four-day training which comes on the heels of the introduction of an Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) in [...]

100 years of service with the Pallottine Sisters
The Pallottine sisters are celebrating one hundred years of service in Belize. In Thursday’s newscast we showed you the re-enactment of their arrival in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. There have been one hundred and two Pallottine sisters in the one hundred years since the first four came to Belize on a mission. Today there are [...]

Belize Amateur Athletic Association inactivity affects students
Former Vice President of the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, Deon Sutherland, is tonight speaking out against what he describes as the inactivity of an interim committee chartered with moving sports forward.  Since being elected in June of last year, Sutherland charges that the executive has done very little to improve and promote the sport of [...]

March to the beating drums at Love FM’s Band Fest
Band Fest 2013 rolls into the F.F.B. football field in Belmopan early this Saturday morning prior to the game featuring Team Belize versus Trinidad. Organizers say there are even more bands this year so competition is expected to be tougher. The tried and true will be taking on the new upstarts as they all bring [...]


ITVET Orange Walk Holds Sixth Exposition
ITVET Orange Walk held its sixth expo today. Reporter Dalila Ical was there for the showcase and has the story. DALILA ICAL "The institute for technical and vocational education and training in Orange Walk is holding its sixth annual exposition and trade fair today. ...

Institute of Creative Arts Holds Workshops for Belizean Artists
The Institute of Creative Arts has scheduled several capacity building workshops for Belizean Artists. One of those will take place this weekend. Creative Arts Development Officer at ICA is Joseph Stamp Romero. JOSEPH STAMP ROMERO "We feel it is necessary to cr...


UDP Landy Burns At Odds With OWTC Over Trade License Fees
Another UDP stalwart that is presently at odds with the Orange Walk Town Council is businessman Orlando Landy Burns. Two days ago Mayor Kevin Bernard received a letter from the law firm of Hubert Elrington where it states that the proprietor of Landy’s & Sons Hardware, Orlando Burns, believes he is being victimized by the town council because of his political affiliation with the United Democratic Party. And just how did he come to that conclusion? Well, it was after the town council increased his trade license for his business located on Belize Corozal Road. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Wall Town “This is the business that he owns in Belize/Corozal Road and remember now that he has a huge investment that was done in that business and there was never an increase done to his trade and that covers not only that business but also the one in front and the lumber yard that he has as well. So, if we were to assess Mr. Burns by the law he would be paying- his annual rental value is somewhere between 79-90 thousand- take 25% of that is what he should pay, if we were to apply that. If we want to go to court, I will take the real assessment to court if that he wants. But we are saying to him: come in and pay your trade fee man. What he is afraid of and I have sent messages to him that we are going to putting stop orders to business who are not paying their trade license because we are serious about collecting the revenue. This is not about politics. This is about paying your dues that are due and so like I said for being a Rotarian he should ask himself if it is fair to all concerned. Was he paying fair taxes to the municipality? That is what he should ask himself.”

Javier Torres Needs Your Help
A family of four, including two minors from the Village of Yo Creek in the Orange Walk District, is tonight without a home. The Torres’ home burnt down on the morning of Sunday March 17th and the family is now in dire need of assistance. Javier Torres, House Burnt Down “Sunday morning we came out like around 9:30 or so going to Corozal for a confirmation. We stayed overnight at Corozal. Monday morning at around 7 o’clock we came to Orange Walk and we caught the bus to go to our house and when we arrived there we saw that the house was burnt down. Nothing stayed. All my clothes and materials things got burnt up. I don’t know who the person is, why he do it or what he do it. I think somebody burnt it down. I don’t know anybody yet. I don’t have any place to stay tonight. I am just asking persons to help me, a little materials and you know to build our house.” Anyone wishing to assist the Torres family can do so by contacting Javier at cell number 665-2126.

Crop Week 16: Magnificent
The 2012/2013 crop season is well underway and sugar production at the Belize Sugar Industries Limited continues to increase considerably when compared to last year’s crop. The 16th week of crop ended on March 19th and tonight we have the latest figures coming out of BSI. Elmer Cornejo reporting… The 16th week of the 2012/2013 Crop Season saw the milling of 43, 759 tons of cane an increase of 84,214 tons compared to last year when 600,488 tons of cane was milled. This week alone the factory received 43,759 tons of cane. The production of sugar stands as follows: 71,187 tons of the sweetener has been produced so far this is a vast increase of 10,064 tons of sugar compared to last year when 61, 123 tons was produced during the same time frame. Moving on to cane quality, cane pol stands at 13.22%. Last year it stood at 11.64% making a difference of 0.38%. In reference to juice brix, that stands at 18.58% displaying an overall increase of 0.52% compared to last year when juice brix was recorded at 16.55%. For the 16th week of crop, sugar cane is showing a juice purity of 88.70%, standing at 86.47% overall. Last year juice purity was recorded at 86.34% making a difference of 0.13% for this crop season.

Denny Grijalva Sues OWTC Because Of PAST OWTC
In 2012, when the present Orange Walk Town Council took office, they were met with a number of financial burdens acquired by the previous administration. Apart from and Over Draft Facility that was maxed out at $111,000 and, unpaid Social Security contributions for employees to the tune of almost $31,099, the council also faced a $138,277.40 contract, signed by the previous administration with De Mars Stone Company for the upgrading of Hope Street, Benque Viejo Street and a portion of Stadium Street on July 19th 2011. Out of the $138,277.40, only $49,634.83 was paid out to Grijalva by Mayor Philip De La Fuente, leaving a remaining balance of $88,642.57 to be paid by this present administration. And now, news tonight is that De Mars Stone Company Limited is demanding full payment from the Town Council and a lawsuit has been filed at the Supreme Court. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “Just earlier this week we did receive a copy of a claim served upon the Orange Walk Town Council by De Mars Stone Company. Of course we all know who the owner of that company is. The director is Denny Grijalva, on a balance that was- some agreement that was mad with him and the previous administration on some streets works that was supposedly done in Orange Walk Town, namely the Benque Viejo Street and the end of Stadium Street which links to the New Hope High School.

BCCI Not Happy With GOB's Budget
In a very diplomatic manner today the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry also expressed their dissatisfaction with the draft Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Fiscal Year 2013-2014. The proposed budget calls for $934 million in overall spending, $72 million more than last year, but promises that there will be absolutely no new taxes and no overall spending cuts. GOB assumes a GDP growth of 3% over the previous fiscal year with $934.3 million in total spending and total revenue and grants of $871.7 million resulting in an overall deficit of $62.6 million. In a letter sent to the Prime Minister on March 18th, BCCI expresses great concern for Governments significant increase in spending which will only serve to increase the country’s indebtedness. Of note is that the BCCI has continuously pointed out to GOB a number of areas where it is critical to cut expenditure to ensure sustainability while creating room for the economy to grow. According to BCCI, those expenditure cuts are realistic and necessary, and with that in mind the organization suggested several possibilities for consideration.

Earth Hour 2013
Millions of people around the world flick off their lights for Earth Hour at 8.30pm in their local times on the last Saturday of March each year. This year however, Earth Hour will be honored one week earlier, on March 23rd to avoid clashing with the change in European Summer Time thus ensuring the greatest impact of the lights off event. Earth Hour is a global World Wildlife Fund climate change initiative aiming at creating awareness of people taking responsibility towards a sustainable future by turning the lights off. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to Asia, to the Americas, have stood in darkness during previous Earth Hours. Even though Belize does not have sky scrapers, Belizeans participate in the event by joining the rest of the world in turning their lights off and lighting candles instead. Today we spoke to Conzie Carballo, Publicity Director of the Real Energetic Environmental Fellowship, REEF, who will host a vigil here in Orange Walk in celebration of Earth Hour 2013.


Orange Walk Town Council Faces Law Suits
The Orange Walk Town Council is facing a law suit from a prominent business in Orange Walk. Mayor Kevin Bernard told us today that two days ago he received a letter from the law firm of Hubert Elrington where it states that proprietor of Landy’s & Sons Hardware on Belize Corozal Rd., Orlando Burns believes he is being politically victimized after the cost of the trade license for his business came higher than he was expecting. We spoke Mayor Bernard about the matter. KEVIN BERNARD ” He believes that his trade license assessment that was sent to him is unfair and he believes that he is being politically victimized because of his political affiliation. Well I just want to make and set the record straight; we are currently undergoing an entire reassessment of all trade and properties across the municipality because we saw where there was a lot of unfair assessment done throughout the municipality and I could use an example: Mr. Burns claims to being victimized but it is not so; if we were to apply the exact rate and the exact law, Mr. Burns should be paying a huge amount of money as it relates to trade licenses. If we were to apply the twenty five percent annual rental value to his business that he owns and the ones that he runs, he should be paying a hefty sum of money to the municipality and if we were to go after him for that and maybe he would have cried even more but for example small store like Smart they were paying over three thousand eight hundred dollars a year while Mr. Burns who has a huge hardware store, a lumber yard next door and other outlets; I think he has a shop or something in the front, they were paying a little, about fifteen hundred dollars. I think it was unfair and I did not use Smart for specific reasons but they’re others. We need to ensure that taxes are applied fairly and equitably across the municipality and that’s the reason why we are doing the reassessment. What I believe Mr. Burns is afraid of is because we have sent him and informed him that if he refuses to come in and not pay his trade licenses then we will have to send a stop order to his establishment and this does not just go to Mr. Burns; this goes to anybody who owes trade licenses. A notice was even sent publicly for trade license applicants and in fact, every business owner should know that their trade license are due and payable by the end of December and so they should have applied from the 15th November which is called the return and then the Board meets and they review the applications. They are some of course that the board will say ok we will continue because they are still continue trading. But reassessments need to be done and because we did not want to seem to be pin pointing on one business, we decided to do an entire reassessment across the board. So, they are some businesses that may be getting their letter shortly as well, saying that their business may have been reassessed. In some cases they may have been some people who were assessed higher that shouldn’t and they may be getting a lesser assessment but it is something that we are doing to ensure fairness in terms of taxation in our municipality.”

Mayors’ Association Meets In Orange Walk
Mayors from across the country met today in Orange Walk for the Mayor’s Association monthly meeting. During the morning session the nine municipal representatives had a presentation from a consultant on market management, on grant funding from Canada through government agencies and were also addressed by Secretary of State for the state of Illinois Jesse White. We spoke with president of the association Mayor Simeon Lopez. MAYOR SIMEON LOPEZ “The consultant is mainly here to visit markets in the municipalities; see how they are manage and then makes some recommendations for better management. So, it is really management consultancies; only how to manage the market and get the best result out of it. The problem is there because of the fact that maybe councils can make more revenue out of the market but besides that it’s really to be able to make sure that everything is sanitary, to be able to make sure that people are satisfied with what is happening at the market. Our meeting with the Secretary of State of Illinois was really to meet us and to let us know about his program that he conducts in the State of Illinois. He has mentioned in the next month he expect to have two dialysis machines and two compactor trucks in Belize to be donated to municipalities; we don’t know who the municipalities are at this time but maybe that will be done shortly but besides that he has also mentioned of his program to help at risk youths.”

Women Engaged In Annual Women’s Summit
Women from around the country gathered for the Eighth Annual Women’s Summit hosted by the Women’s Department. According to Acting Director of the Women’s Department, Cynthia Williams, the one day event aims to engage women in discussion and information gathering on Gender, centering on this year’s women’s month theme The Gender Agenda, Gaining Momentum. CYNTHIA WILLIAMS ” Gender is often seen as a woman business everything about women but whenever we truly analyses and define what it is we can clearly see that it is both men and women because gender really affects them in different ways it has nothing to do with their sex, being a man or woman but is actually looking at who they are and how is it that they interact and the impact that issues across the society has on them; the way they may relate to each other, to their children and so this summit is really looking for that opportunity to be able to define it. We started back on the sixth annual summit where we began the discussion. During that time that really provide us with the opportunity to begin a deeper programmatic effort. Also the department and so now we feel it is important to bring it back to the table and engage persons who have gone beyond that gender divide and even gone into fields that have traditionally males of females oriented and so we will have another panel that will be looking at that experience of both men and women who are in that role. And of course looking at impact of gender on the development . We really have to understand that for woman and men to be full participants in our countries development we have to ensure that system and structures are put in place so that they can contribute what they need to and so we need to ensure that we don’t box women in and men in stereotypes because then what we are doing is simply not allowing them to freely give of what they have, to give us partners in our development and so the third panel looks at that, it looks at one of the issues that is often not discuss which is gender equality in the work place, specifically discussing sexual harassment it is an issue that we are starting to see more and more and we need to have people inform. We need people to understand that there are processes and there are systema in place and so it is an opportunity for the department as well to do that and the last presentation that will close the summit is really an overview of the implementation of the national gender based plan of action that last year got funded through the UN Trust Fund and so that in itself is really a link to how do we provide for women who live and men of course in those situations; to be able to access services to be able to then live a life free of violence and so it is a link to gender equality because we know that once gender based violence is within their life’s they would not be able to then be participants in country’s development. “

ICA Schedules Workshops For Belizean Artists
The Institute of Creative Arts has scheduled several capacity building workshops for Belizean Artists. One of those will take place this weekend. Creative Arts Development Officer at ICA is Joseph Stamp Romero. JOSEPH STAMP ROMERO “We feel it is necessary to create a special environment for artists and so we feel that these workshops will be helpful in attaining that on a professional level. One of our first workshop runs this weekend; we’re scheduling a workshop with Errollyn Wallen and she is a London composer who will be working with Belizean artists and composing songs. We know that we have the song competition coming up this year and they’re a lot of events where we are looking at the quality of songs being put out there as Belize is becoming more and more tuned into our own artists and so Errollyn will be here to offer skills and guidance and also inspiration to our Belizean artists. She is Belizean born and that puts her in a very unique position to offer great guidance and inspiration to them in a way that they can understand that you can go to the next level and be professional about what you do.

ITVET Holds 6th Exposition
ITVET Orange Walk held its sixth expo today. Reporter Dalila Ical was there for the showcase and has the story. DALILA ICAL “The institute for technical and vocational education and training in Orange Walk is holding its sixth annual exposition and trade fair today. Students in the prevocational and trade programs are show casing their works in starting classes last September. Justa Espadas acting assistant manager tells us more. JUSTA ESPASDAS We have both building and mechanical trades; so you are going to see exhibitions in building and grounds maintenance, electrical, plumbing, carpentry, welding, computer service and repairs, auto mechanics. These are the trades that we offer here so that is what you will see throughout as well the pre-vocational program which is a two year program before the guys go into the trade, so you will see stuff like math’s project science project English projects so it’s a wide array of stuff we have to show case here to the general public. We have approximately hundred and seventy students taking part today; both full time and part time. It has been very exciting; we have had good responses from employers, from people in the business community for them to come and see because this also serves as an instance where employers can scout out prospective employees as well, in the trades. The guys are here show casing what they have learnt; it’s a good time for them to come and see and say you know what maybe I need somebody who knows building or ground maintenance who knows plumbing; a perfect time for you to come and scout out. In the past years and leading up to this year we have had a very good response and we hope that in the future we continue to have the same response from the public. “


The multi-million-dollar cruise port project proposed by Michael Feinstein’s Stake Bank Enterprises Limited, which had been in abeyance due to funding issues, is back on the table. Amandala has confirmed that the company has been asked to resubmit a revised Environmental Impact Assessment. An official source told us that due to the lapse of time since the granting of environmental clearance, and because the concept of the project has substantially changed, a new EIA is required. Former Chief Environmental Officer Ismael Fabro confirmed to the company back in 2007 that environmental clearance had been granted for the project, and an environmental compliance plan was issued by the Department of the Environment on August 10 that year. However, the project, in its original design, would have cost US$25 million. Stake Bank Enterprises was hoping to partner with a major international cruise line, Royal Caribbean; however, that deal was never sealed.

“Full belly di tell empty belly keep heart…” – Opposition Leader On Friday, March 1, in the National Assembly, Prime Minister Dean Barrow read his 6th national budget speech, captioned “Achieving debt sustainability, stimulating economic expansion”, in which he boasted nearly half-a-billion dollars in savings for debt repayments, and no new taxes. The proposed budget calls for $934 million in overall spending, $72 million more than last year, despite significant savings in interest repayments on the super-bond, the exchange offer for which closed yesterday, March 20. The 2013/2014 budget, due to take effect on April 1, is being debated for two days. Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca kicked off the 2013 debate of the national budget this morning, saying that, “For the sixth budget in a row, Belizeans have been treated to a full menu of chest thumping, and whining and empty, hollow rhetoric…. It is a budget disconnected and divorced from the Belizean reality.” Fonseca said that the UDP’s budget for fiscal year 2013/2014 reflects an absolute lack of consultation with social and economic partners. “We fully recognize and appreciate that in 2013, consultation is no longer optional. It is a requirement of a democracy – it is a requirement for development,” Fonseca said.

The shooter, deprived of his prey, shot “someone” in frustration. Ardon Belgrave 27, of Freetown Road, was murdered senselessly on Caesar Ridge Road at about 11:20 a.m. yesterday, Tuesday. Reports are that Belgrave and six co-workers, who were carrying out road maintenance work in the Caesar Ridge area, were standing under an almond tree when a student who was being chased by a man ran into their midst for safety. The gunman continued chasing his victim, witnesses say, but could not catch him. The gunman then returned, reports say, and apparently, in anger, fired into the group, shooting Belgrave, who fell. While the other men escaped, the gunman approached Belgrave and shot him multiple times at close range while he was lying on the road. The shooter then ran into the surrounding areas and disappeared. Belgrave was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. Police say that Belgrave was shot in the back of the head, the forehead, the left hand, and the left buttocks. Police said that their initial investigation revealed that the shooter was a man of dark complexion, dressed in a brown shirt and short blue jeans pants. They processed the scene and retrieved seven 9mm expended cases and a slug.

Guatemala presents two proposals to Belize. “I don’t like what’s being proposed by the Guatemalans…” Belize Prime Minister says Guatemalan president Otto Perez Molina appeared in Guatemala media reports again on Tuesday, March 19, insisting on the nation’s position that the national referenda to be undertaken by Belize and Guatemala, to decide on whether the territorial differendum should be settled by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ought to be postponed to 2014. Last April, both parties agreed on Sunday, October 6, 2013, as the day for the referenda. That date is 7 months away, but Guatemala now wants to delay the vote. Until today’s meeting of the Belize House of Representatives, the Government of Belize has been tightlipped on the details of Guatemala’s proposals. However, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington finally made them public, as parliamentarians convened for day one of the 2013 budget debate. According to Elrington, Guatemala has presented two proposals. Firstly, they are asking for Belize to amend its referendum legislation, which in 2008 was changed to require that 60% of the electorate vote in a referendum in order to deem it valid.

Graciano Ramos has been hospitalized since February this year. The 12-year-old fell from a tree and fractured his skull. The injury has caused permanent damage to the frontal lobe of his brain. Graciano is still in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, because the swelling in his brain has not gone down yet. He is not talking or moving any other part of his body other than his right fingers. The family has been told that he has a 50-50 chance of recovering. On Friday, March 22, Graciano will be transferred to the Northern Regional Hospital to continue treatment. The family has been advised to take him to a hospital in Chetumal to receive therapy after the swelling, hopefully, goes down. Graciano is to return to the KHMH in two months for the doctors to replace the part of his skull that was removed to help reduce the swelling of his brain. The child’s mother, Mellissa Briceño, said it has been very difficult for her family dealing with the situation.

Amandala has confirmed from official sources that Providence Energy Limited, a Houston-based group which was granted a 25-year petroleum concession back in 2007, is planning to shoot seismic tests in southern Belize, and particularly in an offshore area that includes the Port Honduras Marine Reserve – one of the first reserves being used to test the concept of catch shares among fishers. The concession spans 531 square miles. Providence announced when the contract was signed by former Natural Resources Minister Florencio Marin back in October 2007 that, “The award consists of a mostly offshore block in the Gulf of Honduras from Punta Gorda to New Haven and another block over and southeast of Glover’s Reef off Dangriga. The agreement provides for 8 years for exploration and 25 years per discovered oil field.” The Providence contract is one of the six offshore petroleum contracts that Oceana, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) have been challenging before the Belize Supreme Court. Justice Oswell Legall, who heard the case last month, is expected to announce his judgment before he proceeds on leave in April.

It started as an Expedition in 1928 when a group of young riders decided to race to El Cayo (now San Ignacio) and back. The road at that time was a dirt road, which was in horrible condition. No one could have imagined that this event would have grown to what it is today – the greatest one-day sporting spectacle in Belize, the Annual Cross Country Cycle Race. It has now attracted cyclists from several different countries. The 1928 race started on the morning of Holy Saturday and was concluded on Easter Monday. Easter Sunday was a day of rest in El Cayo where the cyclists were greeted and honoured by residents on that day. They were also treated to an exciting cricket game. The historic event was completed in Belize City in a total of 21 hours 29 minutes on Easter Monday. It was won by Elston Kerr, who won it again in 1929. Second was Norris Wade followed by 13-year-old Bertie Cleland, Edward Osman, Maurice Patten, G. Rodriguez, Carlton Fairweather, Charles Fuller, Ricardo Meighan and Harold Neal, in that order. The stories of the 1928 race and the other early Cross Country races are numerous and include vivid descriptions of cyclists walking through mud and water with their bikes on their shoulders. The race continued in the 1930’s but there was no race in 1932 due to the 1931 hurricane, which damaged the road. Norris Wade won the Cross Country race in 1930. However, it was Donald Lightburn who dominated cycling in that decade. He won in 1931, 1935 and 1936, and was second in 1933. Robert “Sir Rob” Ferguson took the race in 1933 and 1934 and returned ten years later to take the championship in 1944. Jose Sosa was first in 1937 and 1938 and was second in 1939 behind Ben Sanchez. Hendicott Croft upset Sanchez to take the championship in 1940. James Robateau was crowned champion in 1943.

The Belize Police Department has now been restructured and reorganized to deliver more efficient services to the people. The city has been divided into four zones, called precincts, and the country has been divided into 4 zones, which are the Northern Zone, comprised of Corozal and Orange Walk Districts; the Eastern Zone, comprised of Belize District; the Western Zone, comprised of the entire Cayo District; and the Southern Zone, comprised of Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. Each zone is led by a Divisional Commander, followed by formation commanders. The Divisional Commander of the Northern Zone is Superintendent Joseph Myvette, and the Division Headquarters is at the Orange Walk Police Station. The Formation Commanders are Assistant Superintendent Andrew Ramirez of the Corozal Formation, and Supt. Myvette is the Formation Commander of Orange Walk District in the interim. The Head of Belize District Police is Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, under whom there are four Precinct Commanders, and a Rural Executive Officer, who is ASP Chris Noble. The Division office is at the Racoon Street Police Headquarters. The Divisional Commander of the Western Zone or the Cayo District Police is Supt. Aaron Guzman, and the Division Headquarters is at the Belmopan Police Headquarters.

Ten of our students from the Belize High School attended the XIX HACIA Democracy Summit of the Americas, 2013 which was held from March 13 to the 17th in the Dominican Republic—a first time for the Caribbean, as prior to this year, HACIA Summits had been concentrated in Latin America. For Belize, our school’s participation in the event was also an historic first time—not only for us, but for our nation. HACIA, the brainchild of several Harvard undergraduate students, was founded in May 1994. Recognizing the need to establish and foster institutionalized democracy throughout the region, the founders aimed to create an educational government simulation that focused on domestic and international issues in the Americas. Based on this mission, HACIA set out to address the concerns of countries within the Western Hemisphere and to encourage both staff and delegates to explore unfamiliar but pressing perspectives affecting the region. The International School of Panama was at the forefront of the HACIA movement, and was critical to the success of HACIA’s first conference, Expo ’95, which held in Panama City, Panama. Therefore, it is of little surprise that 10 schools from Panama participated in this year’s Summit. Delegations from Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama had attended the first conference, and in the 2013 XIX HACIA Summit, of the 33 schools that participated, most hailed from Latin America. As the push has been to include a diversity of viewpoints, HACIA has been reaching out to embrace delegates from other nations, and in 2009, welcomed a delegation from China. This year, to enrich the Latin American perspective, delegates included one school from the United States, one from the Dominican Republic and the other from Belize. The growth of HACIA has been marked, also, with the inclusion of complementing Spanish language committees.

Successful closure of super-bond exchange – S&P upgrades Belize AGGREGATE FACE VALUE IS US $529.9 MILLION “We expect that Belize will continue to face a heavy debt burden…” – Standard & Poor’s, Mar. 20, 2013 Belize Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, this morning announced that the Belize debt exchange offer has now “finally, legally, conclusively closed,” marking “a final successful consummation of this long-drawn-out process.” Barrow said that the closure took place on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, “with the submission of all the relevant legal documentation.” He confirmed a participation rate of 86.2% of bondholders; so, he said, consistent with the Collective Action Clause in the original bond agreement, all the bonds previously due to mature in 2029 are being exchanged for the new 2038 bonds. In a statement released via the Central Bank of Belize on Wednesday, the Belize Government announced that “Belize’s 2038 Bonds will have an aggregate face value of US $529.9 million.” White Oak Advisory LLP acted as the financial advisor, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP acted as the legal advisor, to the Government of Belize in this transaction, while Citibank N.A., London Branch, served as exchange agent.

“And who is better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, and is a doer of good, and follows the order of Abraham, the upright in faith.” Qur’an 4:125 Dear Paul, I’m so sorry you were not able to make it to the welcome reception for the Hon. Minister Farrakhan given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, or to attend any of his public lectures; however, I am happy that you got a chance to hear his unifying messages as they were broadcast on radio and television. In 1975, you were one of the highest ranking public officials to welcome the Minister to Belize, and as Mayor, to present him with the key to the city. For this, you will always be remembered for your courage. On the matter of a united front of Muslims, Christians and Jews, and Belize being a special place to initiate such an enterprise, despite our size and global insignificance, I and many other believers wholeheartedly support such an initiative. While we don’t see many practicing Jews in Belize there are other believers in the One God who should join such a union to form a united front against the forces of evil that have gained a foothold in our precious land.

Dear Sir, On October the 6th of this year, the Governments of Belize and Guatemala have both agreed to have simultaneous Referendums in their respective countries to have their citizens vote on whether to take the Belize-Guatemala Dispute to the International Court of Justice (I.C.J.) for final resolution. As our Area Representative, we would like to know whether you are in support of this action on the part of the current government as a member of the People’s United Party. Based on the reports I have seen coming from the press, it appears as if both the People’s United Party and the ruling party in government, the United Democratic Party, are in support of going to the I.C.J. and have signed on to the agreement. This issue means a lot to us as Belizeans because it involves out territory and sovereignty. In addition, Guatemala is seeking the use of our port, Commerce Bight Pier, which has been inactive for many years now and should be re-activated to provide jobs for our Dangriga people. I would appreciate if you can respond to this Email at your earliest convenient time so that I can share it with fellow Belizeans and Belizean Americans living abroad.

Dear Editor, There is nothing irrational about feeling suspicious of GM seeds. Just take a look at history. In 2003, 17,107 Indian farmers killed themselves, most by swallowing a bottle of pesticide. This same pesticide—sold to them by giant agro-business transnational corporations like Monsanto—was supposed to translate into “high-yields” and net these farmers some profit. Instead, drowning in debt, these farmers took their own lives. In fact, this tragic statistic is probably inaccurate. Women, who do most of the work on farms in India, were not counted as “farmers,” so their suicides were not classified as “farmer suicides”. Why rehearse this horribly tragic Indian tale? Some people are convinced that genetically modified seeds are the way of the future and we should all bow down before giants like Monsanto. But before bowing down before these filthy rich agribusiness giants, we should take a good look at what it is we are about to worship. We’re on the brink of welcoming a modern colonial force. They strategically monopolize seed stock, tie farm production to pesticide and herbicide use, and go all out to prevent us from labeling their products (thereby denying consumer choice).

“On January 31, 1980, El Quiché literally flamed up into the world’s consciousness when thirty-seven Mayan peasants occupied the Spanish embassy in Guatemala City to call attention to the violence being inflicted on their communities. Guatemalan security forces stormed the embassy, provoking an inferno that killed all but one of the protesters, as well as embassy staff members and others trapped inside the building. Among the dead was the father of the future Nobel Peace Prize-winner Rigoberta Menchu. That night the sole surviving Indian protester was kidnapped from his hospital bed and killed. His corpse was flung onto the campus of the University of San Carlos, the national public university, before dawn. “The massacre in the Spanish embassy precipitated an international outcry, and Spain broke off diplomatic relations with Guatemala. Not long afterward, a campaign of terror against the Catholic Church that wouldn’t abate for years was launched throughout the misty mountain towns, villages, and hamlets of El Quiché, which was populated mostly by Maya. In the departmental capital, Santa Cruz, the seat of Bishop Gerardi’s diocese, the mutilated corpses of two Church catechists were discovered hanging outside a small radio station. Convents were strafed with machine-gun fire and attacked with grenades. As the fighting against guerrillas intensified in el antiplano, the mountainous central highlands, the Army seized and occupied church buildings, parish houses, and convents, turning them into barracks and interrogation and torture centers. Statues of saints were draped in military camouflage and olive green, as if to remind parishioners to whom they really owed their obedience, at least if it was earthly salvation they sought. The Spanish priest from the village of Chajul, in the Ixil Triangle, was ambushed and murdered. In Joyabaj, Father Faustino Villanueva was assassinated at his desk.”

The circumstances under which the Guatemalan Foreign Minister did not show up in Washington for an Organization of American States (OAS) meeting Sunday with a Belize delegation led by Belize’s Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, constitute disrespect to Mr. Elrington and, by extension, disrespect to Belize. As far as we know, this is the very first time such a violation of diplomatic protocol has taken place when talks between Guatemala and Belize have been held through the years. This disrespect is, however, not surprising to the Belizean people, because we know that this is how the Guatemalan government and ruling classes feel about us Belizeans – that we are inferior to them. Nevertheless, the disrespect to Belize on the OAS stage was a mistake by the Guatemalans, because in the regional capitals and corridors of power this is how it will be viewed. In Belize, on the other hand, there has been a disconnect between Minister Elrington and the Belizean people since he made some controversial statements at the time of the signing of the compromis in December of 2009, and then refused to withdraw those statements or adequately explain them. Because of that disconnect, the Belizean people have not reacted to Sunday’s disrespect with the vitriol one would have expected. To an extent, some Belizeans appear to feel that Minister Elrington got what he was looking for.

The Amandala sports desk joins the basketball and sporting community in expressing our sincere condolences to the relatives, friends and teammates of basketballer Ronald Rivers who recently passed away, two weeks after being shot in the face while repairing his vehicle at a gas station in Belize City. Ronald was one of a group of National Basketball Team players who abruptly ended a visit to Guatemala after only one game, when it was discovered that the tournament’s logo had a map of Guatemala including Belize as a part of their territory. For Belize’s honor, sovereignty and territorial integrity, Ronald and the other national team members, despite their desire to play some tune-up matches in preparation for the Central American Games, decided to return with their dignity to the Jewel, only to have his life cut short by a gun in the hands of a misguided youth. We applaud the stand taken by our National Basketball Team members. Respect, and R.I.P., brother Ronald Rivers.

The National Secondary Schools Sports Association (NSSSA) held its high school softball Nationals on Friday and Saturday, March 15-16, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City, and it was pitchers Ashley Lucas of Nazarene girls and Konrad Gonzalez of San Pedro boys who stole the show with their outstanding performance, leading their teams to the national high school softball championship and securing MVP honors in the process. CODICADER Gold medalist Ashley Lucas was thoroughly dominant, and ably supported by her team, conceding only 2 runs total in the two games played. And young Konrad Gonzalez was a sensation with the female fans, as he struck out a tournament high 20 batters in two games played. With 4 female (F) and 4 male (M) high school teams representing the 4 country zones – North, Central, West and South, the tournament followed a simple knockout format, with Friday’s losers playing for 3rd place on Saturday, and Friday’s winners playing for the championship on Saturday. Representing the North were (F) Belize Rural High and (M) San Pedro High; Central had both (F) and (M) from Nazarene High; West was (F) Belmopan Baptist High and (M) Belmopan Comprehensive High; and South featured (F) Georgetown Technical High and (M) Independence High.

“I received word through Stephen Williams about developments with the Belize National Basketball team, competing in San José, Costa Rica. In yesterday’s game, Englebert Cherrington ‘blew out’ his left knee during the first quarter and had to receive surgery. Cherrington is recovering and is expected to be released from hospital today. Darwin Carter and Keith Acosta have also suffered injuries, and it is not certain if they will be able to play today.” Basketball official D. Lacey forwarded the above report to us last Friday, March 15, and things looked really bleak for our National Basketball Team. I had visited a workout session before they left for Costa Rica, and it was acknowledged from members of management that the team was severely handicapped by lack of any top level tournament in the country, as well as having to practice at the severely inadequate and undersized Birds Isle court. But, nevertheless, when we spoke to head coach Matthew Smiling today, he said the Belize team, despite their setbacks, made a heroic effort, and indeed, received a standing ovation after their last game against already acknowledged tournament champions Costa Rica. He said almost all the opposing players in the competition spoke with American accents (USA based), and Costa Rican fans had expected a “walk through the park” against Belize, after their team had beaten Nicaragua and Salvador by large margins.

The Belize Times

CORRUPTION on steroids
A newly-registered company purportedly owned by the Government of Belize to manage millions of tax payers’ dollars has already attracted a flock of UDP cronies like vultures preparing to sink their beaks into a fresh carcass. The company, first introduced by Prime Minister Dean Barrow during his lame Budget presentation on March 1st, is called Belize Infrastructure Limited. The purpose of the company is, as the PM claimed, to “create jobs, stimulate demand, purchase private sector material and supplies” in the construction market for and on behalf of the Government. While the issue of monopolising the sector will raise eyebrows among the private sector, the real controversy has to do with the company’s set up, which will see UDP cronies, who are already hired by the Government, benefit from the private ownership of public shares, and then more UDP politicos – including Ministers – being appointed as Directors and collecting salaries and huge perks. This deal stinks to high heaven of serial corruption! This is the mother of all scams. Endorsed by the Prime Minister and facilitated by UDP politicians and despots, the likes of UDP ambassador Mark Espat who did not forget to include his partner Paul Thompson in the ‘grabbings’. This deal is bound to test Belizeans’ tolerance for corruption which under the Barrow Administration has climbed through the roof. The BELIZE TIMES has obtained a copy of Belize Infrastructure Limited’s company documents filed into the Companies Registry on February 27th. It states that the company is “state-owned”. Yet, the shares are split between Joseph Waight, the Financial Secretary, and former UDP Secretary General Audrey Wallace, who is now the Chief Executive Officer in the Prime Minister’s Office. And then, the company has a slew of private individuals as Directors who are appointed by the Prime Minister. The Chairman is the incompetent Minister of Works, Rene Montero, followed by co-Chair, Minister of State Herman Longsworth, and Directors Joseph Waight, Audrey Wallace, Lennox Bradley, Allan Sharp and Paul Thompson. These directors will all collect monies for their “services” “from time to time”, including travelling and hotel expenses, salaries, percentage of profits or “otherwise” as the Directors themselves may determine. If your head isn’t spinning from the web of corruption, it will with the rest of shenanigans. The company documents state that its purpose is “to ...

Belize – Land of Opportunities
Belize likes to romance itself as a leader in conservation of natural resources and as an environmentally friendly nation. As proof… points to its large tracts of lands and sea that are under declared Protected Areas…with a plethora of laws that prohibit the harvesting of various species of fauna and flora. Any student of history knows that Prohibition, from time immemorial, has been proven to be the most ineffective and inefficient method for curbing human behavior and attitudes….especially when enforcement is next to impossible. Natural resources conservation and environmental protection should have a cost-benefit dimension. To increase the “PROFITS” from investments in natural resources conservation and environmental protection….one can either increase the output/production of the objects of conservation…..or decrease the costs/consumption. ALL of Belize’s conservation and environmental protection efforts have thus far been skewed on the cost side…in a failing attempt to limit, by legal prohibition, the harvesting of natural resources. The results are there for everyone to see….depleted fish, lobster, conch and shrimp stocks; depleted timber stocks, depleted game meat stocks, depleted bayleaf stocks, depletion of sapodilla posts and botan posts, etc., all valuable assets of utility in the livelihood of being BELIZEAN…..all in a country that is naturally blessed with rich water and land resources. The cost of this depletion has been most difficult on the lower income folks….because short supply has caused the prices of all these commodities to skyrocket. A single bayleaf that used to cost $0.10 in 1981 now cost $1.00 or more. A pound of fish that used to cost $1.25 in 1981 now cost $4.00 or more.

Guats abandon Oct. 6 referendum – Sedi says “Belize [is] prepared to accommodate Guatemalans”
Guatemalan officials have decided to abandon the special agreement signed with Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington in December 2008, in which the Ministers agreed to hold simultaneous referendums on the October 6th ...

Barrow’s $10M Mystery
The Budget Bill for the Fiscal Year 2013/14 has nothing in it for the Belizean people. It does have loads of goodies for UDP cronies and ghosts. The attention of the BELIZE TIMES was brought to ...

NO I.C.J. It’s official. There will be no I.C.J for Guatemala. Guatemala has been hinting and hinting, and last Sunday they made it official. Belize was requested to attend an urgent meeting on Sunday 17 March at OAS Headquarters in Washington (why is the Headquarters there and not in Mexico, Brazil or Venezuela?) Belize’s ...

Farrakhan 3rd Visit
By G. Michael Reid Belize was blessed with the third visit of Minister Louis Farrakhan this past week. Farrakhan is a very popular but also very controversial fellow. Though many folks love to sit and hear him speak, there is always something to be found in his message to make one ...

Taking Belizean for Stock: Behind the Budget Numbers (Part I)
While the verbose politicians will be deep in the bowels of the National Assembly presenting the single most important piece of law for the next twelve months, most average Belizeans will be more concerned about their failure to secure a room on San Pedro for Easter or what price fish ...

Barney Brown, Jim Scott & Salvador Alvarado win Weekend Warriors races
Team Scotia Bank’s Barney Brown, Team Santino’s Jim Scott and Team Zitro’s Salvador Alvarado won the A, B, ...

SP boys & Nazarene girls
The Nazarene High School girls remained undefeated as they clinched the high school softball championship by a 17-2 win by mercy rule against the Belize Rural High School ...

Independence girls & Camalote boys
The Independence Primary School girls won the national primary schools softball championships hosted by the National Sports Council at the home of softball Rogers’ Stadium on Friday, March 8. Independence’s ...

Brazen Daylight Shooting!
The broad daylight, open view and close proximity to a Police headquarters along Caesar Ridge Road were no deterrents to the shooting of 27 year old Ardon Belgrave, Belize’s most recent murder victim. Belgrave, an employee of the Belize City Council and resident of the same Port ...

Who do you know?
A couple years ago, I went on a trip to Chetumal with some family members. Upon arriving at the border, I was disappointed to see a line so long and thick that it looked like a huge concert was going on! I thought we had left out early enough to ...

Belize High School participates in Harvard Association forum
The Harvard Association Cultivating Inter-American Democracy welcomed the Belize High School Delegation from March 14, 2013 to March 17, 2013 for XIX Summit of the Americas in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This is the first time Belize has been represented. Leading the delegation was Debate Club President ...

The National Sex Offender Registry
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph The idea for a National Sex Offender Registry came from America with the enactment of “Megan’s Law,” which was implemented in 1996 and required states to establish sex offender registration and notification requirements. Under this law, states must release any relevant information about registered sex offenders ...

Belize – Land of Opportunities
By Richard Harrison Belize likes to romance itself as a leader in conservation of natural resources and as an environmentally friendly nation. As points to its large tracts of lands and sea that are under declared Protected Areas...with a plethora of laws that prohibit the harvesting of various species of fauna ...

Of this and that…
Blood Clothe Wow. Belize is really loose. There was a Jamaican poet. She came to Belize. The name of her show was a Jamaican cuss word. It is worse than the “f” word there. NICH slip down. Artistic freedom is one thing. Sensationalism is a tool. Artists use it. It ...

High school students get Reef Week outing
Some 40 students today got an opportunity to experience firsthand the magnificence of the Belize Barrier Reef. As part of its Reef Week activities, Oceana in Belize today took the students from Southside Belize City high school on an excursion to Caye Caulker and its nearby Marine Reserve. Led ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE: Interview with a Gunman!
By Anthony Sylvestre Jr. The first thing you noticed was the coolness in his face and his beaming smile. This perhaps explains how it is that although not even a full 25 years old, he had already fathered four children with four different women. His face contrasted his hands. They were rough, ...

Will Police’s new anti-crime strategy work?
Last week police released a flurry of crime statistics ahead of Commissioner Allen Whylie’s first media appearance since he took over the post from David Henderson in January. There were five more murders reported as of the ...

Obama cites Belize as Drug Zone
“Citizen security deteriorated countrywide in 2012… these threats will continue if more serious measures are not taken by Belize’s government” INSCR Report 2013 Belize City, March 19, 2013 U.S. President Barrack Obama has listed Belize as a major illicit drug producing, drug-transit, money laundering country for the third consecutive year. Obama’s ...

Lavender Mayor
What is going on in Belize? Someone should pinch us and tell us it is not true. Reports to the BELIZE TIMES are that Mayor Darrell Bradley is in another compromising position. This week in the Supreme ...

Dangriga Town Council Acquires New Equipment
The Dangriga Town Council Mayor Major (Ret’d) H. Gilbert Swazo has shared the good news with the BELIZE TIMES that his Council is expecting the arrival of newly-purchased equipment to carry out work in the municipality. Mayor ...

Contraband Sugar between Belize and Mexico
Mexican authorities have raised alarm over an increase in the contraband of sugar from Belize. Sugar industry officials in the neighbouring country say ...

Opposition concludes budget consultation
The Opposition PUP has done what the Barrow Administration failed to do. Met with a budget that perpetuates unrealistic needs of Belize, the PUP has led a series of consultation forums with various organisations and individuals ...

Placencia Land Grab compensation a done deal! UDP cronies paid $150,000
The UDP cronies who were given land in the protected Placencia lagoon six days before the 2012 election have already been compensated a total of $150,000 by the Ministry of Natural ...

Questions to Ministers
Can the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance say how much of the $10,000,000 spent by the Government in the fiscal year 2012/2103 for “Legal and Professional Advisory Services” was paid to the law firms: Barrow and Williams, Barrow and Co., and Young’s Law Firm? Can any of the two Ministers ...

PUP holds Referendum Education Campaign
The historic Independence Hall, the headquarters of the PUP’s movement of nationalism and the struggle for Belize’s independence ...

PM ignores call for Land Reform
Dear Mr. Prime Minister, I am writing to you to request a meeting on what I, and other Belizeans, consider an urgent need for land reform, to take place on Tuesday of next week, March 12 2013. On Tuesday of last week, a group of around 150 Belizeans, led by the Belize ...

Dangriga Mayor raises concerns over stalled Market Project
Dear Mr. Raymond, I hereby respectfully register my concern and disappointment in regards to the progress made on the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP), the Dangriga Market Renovation and Extension Project which officially started in July 2012. This project is now officially ...

2 steps forward, 5 steps backward
Dear Editor, It is great news that the Football Federation of Belize has decided to play the international friendly with Trinidad’s national team at the FFB field in Belmopan. When I heard that the MCC would have been used because the FFB field had been reserved for an entertainment event that ...


A Serious Walk Around Caye Caulker, Belize and A Killer Jam Session: Part Two
Yesterday I posted the very beginning of my walk around Caye Caulker...about conch breasts, lunch at the Happy Lobster and a new spot. Shall we continue? I have about 200 more pictures so I’ll make this as brief as I possibly can! More pictures, less blabbing. On my way down to the split (the cut in the island that separates south/town from the must less populated northern side), I passed Caye Caulker’s night club, Oceanside. They have a small burger and hot dog stand on the side. I think these guys are affiliated with Wade the Gringo’s burgers here on Ambergris Caye. Yummy burgers, fries and nuggets that taste JUST like McDonald’s…some say better. If that’s true, why doesn’t this sign say so! That should be the #1 item on this list. Just a warning.

7 Popular Marketing Techniques For Small Businesses
Hooray for Free Advertising When you build a business, the first thing you want to secure is a customer base. With a decent printer, an answering machine and an average computer, you can put together a fairly extensive advertising campaign without having to pay for space. 1. Flyers This is the carpet-bombing method of cheap advertising. You find an area that you would like to do business in and you distribute flyers to all the mailboxes within reach. Your flyer should be brief and to the point, highlighting the services you offer and providing contact information. Offering a free appraisal, coupon or discount never hurts. 2. Posters Most supermarkets, public spaces and malls offer free bulletin board space for announcements and advertisements. This is a hit or miss method, but you should try to make your poster reasonably visible and have removable tabs that the customers can present for a discount. Make each location a different color so that you can get an idea from the tabs where the most leads are being generated. If there is one area that is producing the majority of your leads, you can better target your campaign (flyers, ads in papers catering to those areas, cold calling, etc.)

“Almost There” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Enjoyed a really lazy morning yesterday on the beach in front of the condo we are renting . Time to reacquaint the skin with the sun and my eyes and brain with a book that I must have started reading at least a month ago. At 12.45 pm Rose and I went to pick up Kathi and Les, two friends that we first got to meet here on Ambergris Caye two years ago when we all on holiday. Kathi and Les are both originally from the UK but have lived in Canada for years and are here for a month long holiday and wanted to have a look at our build. So, we picked them up from their hotel and took them up to Tres Cocos and gave them a tour. After dropping them back at their hotel it was a quick turn-around for Rose and I to head back to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize for our 3 pm meeting with Daniel Camal our building contractor. We got there slightly early which gave me time to clamber up the scaffold ( I am getting quite good at it now and am starting to wonder if I missed my vocation in life!) to have a look at what the guys were doing on the roof. I should explain that if some of the photos look slightly weird it is because I never actually got on to the roof. I sat perched on the scaffold beside the roof.

UKYP Results are in
At the start of the month we brought to you the story of the UKYP election that 14-year-old Belizean Born Ramel Flores, who is in his fourth year at the Portstewart college, was running in the East Londonderry constituency. Well the results are in and here is the data for his division:

Guatemala refused to resume negotiations until Britain reduced its troop strength in Belize. It was not until 1975, after Belize’s election in late 1974 that the talks resumed. However, Guatemala’s position seemed to have hardened since they were demanding the cession of the southern quarter of Belize in return for recognizing the independence of the rest. This prompted the Belize government to embark on a radically new approach in which it would have to gain the support of the world to its independence. Therefore, the objectives of its internationalisation campaign were: 102 To gain the support of as many nations as possible for Belize’s early and secure independence with its territory intact; 103 To use this support to influence the negotiating process; 104 To secure a credible defense guarantee with troops stationed in Belize preferably with other nations joining the British, but failing that, putting more pressure on Britain to assume sole responsibility for Belize’s defense; 105 To exert pressure on Britain and the U.S.A. to fully respect Belize’s position. 106 With the support of CARICOM and the Commonwealth, Belize secured the support from the Non-Aligned Movement.

International Sources

Did we just have a 'rehearsal honeymoon?
A planned trip to Belize held extra meaning after we were engaged... The first signs of cold started to emerge in early October. The leaves of Ginkgo trees blanketed city sidewalks, and a misguided trip out of the house without a jacket drew immediate regret. Brrrr! Sam and I are self-proclaimed wusses when it comes to the cold and we were mourning the fact that another summer was undeniably over. We decided on a 10-day trip to Belize -- a country we literally plucked from one of those “50 places you must see before you die” books they have in the bargain section at Barnes and Noble. I was entranced by the promise of toucans, Mayan ruins and turquoise waters. Sam was focused on the average monthly temperature for March: 83 degrees.

Best Hotel Amenities When Traveling with Kids
With so many hotels around the world, sure, there are lots of choices to decide on. From the simplest hotel to the most luxurious and – the weirdest accommodation, travelers will never find it hard looking for a place to stay. For those who are on a tight budget, smaller hotels are suitable options. Meanwhile, 4 and 5 star hotels offer the best possible amenities to their guests. What are amenities? These are cool features offered to the hotel guests to make their stay more comfortable and enjoyable. Traveling with kids is a different kind of getaway. As compared to traveling alone, wherein you just have to take care of yourself, having kids as companion requires extra attention. Being aware of their needs and wants can make the entire travel experience – FUN. Be sure to check out the most awesome amenities for the little ones. Shuttle Service Many hotels offer shuttle ride from and to the airport. Look for accommodation that offers this type of service. Sometimes, it is more practical to ride in a shuttle than taking a cab or a train. Riding in a cab means spending extra money – and it is not usually cheap. Aside from money-saving, riding in a shuttle eliminates the hassle of transferring from one transportation to another. This could be tiring for the kids.

March 22, 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

SPTC embarks on ambitious street widening project
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has embarked on an ambitious project in which they intend to widen and properly open the main streets and all beach access points on northern Ambergris Caye. The approximately seven-mile project will be a long-term undertaking, and according to the SPTC, it will be financed through municipal taxes collected from islanders. Even as the project is moving forward, with a few residents registering their discontent, The SPTC remains steadfast that it will benefit the tourism industry on the island since resorts will have an upgraded and proper road facility. San Pedro Town Mayor Daniel Guerrero did not disclose the value of the street project but responded to questions raised in regards to residents’ discontentment in the new projected embarked by the municipality. “This project can take between a year and perhaps even more. We will not stop work until we reach Costa Maya Reef Resort on northern Ambergris Caye. The council will also be cleaning all the easement/road access to the beach. We will clear the entire width of the road that is legally a part of government,” said Guerrero. In some areas, the width assigned to roads ranges from between 25 to 35 feet. In addressing the concerns of the residents Guerrero said, “We notified the residents of the area and we even met with some of residents of the Tres Cocos Area. We went even further north telling them that they need to pull out North Ambergris Caye Street-3anything that they have outside their fences.

Kelly McGuire performs benefit concert for Saga at Fido’s
Well known country singer Kelly McGuire is back in San Pedro Town, where he performed at a benefit concert at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar. The event, which benefited Saga Human Society in San Pedro, took place on Tuesday March 19th. At the event McGuire performed some of his most popular beats including ‘Boat in Belize.’ The event drew a large crowd including many of McGuire’s music followers living on Ambergris Caye. The three hour show, which started from 6PM, included the auctioning of several gifts that were donated to Saga. According to Saga the event was fantastic and a huge success. Saga Humane Society takes the opportunity to thank everyone for their generosity and support, including Kelly McGuire, Fido’s, the volunteers and all who attended.

Ecumenical & Delille compete to clean up Dangriga beaches
Oceana thanks the administrations of Ecumenical and Delille for participating in today’s activities, and those yet to come. Here is how Oceana VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd sums it up, “We are tremendously encouraged that Dangriga youth took part in today’s competition not just because they realize that what happens onshore impacts our precious marine patrimony, but also that they saw an opportunity to help the Dangriga Town Board and residents of the municipality even as they demonstrated civic pride. They did themselves, their families and their schools proud! That is heartening.”

SP Magistrate Court sentences 2 men to 7 years in jail for burglary
Two men from San Pedro Town will spend the next seven years behind bars after they were sentenced in two separate cases before the San Pedro Town Magistrate Court on March 20th. 27 year old Marvin Antonio Mendoza was sentenced to seven years and six months after he was found guilty of a burglary case brought before him in 2012. Similarly, 38 year old Jorge Miguel Navarette was sentenced to seven years in prison after he was found guilty of an October 3, 2012 burglary which occurred in San Pedro Town. Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez, after listening to witnesses and reviewing the evidence submitted in court, found Mendoza guilty of a single charge of burglary. The case dates back to October 31, 2012 when Mendoza entered and trespassed the house of John Harvey and stole a number of items. In the second case, the charge against Navarette goes back to October 3, 2012 when he was found inside the San Pedro Town Council Barracks in the San PabloThe Police Prosecutor in the cases was done by Sergeant of Police Ludwig Castillo attached to the San Pedro Police Station. area attempting to steal.

Cayo Espanto – in the top 10 of Island Magazine’s “100 Best Private Island Resorts”
ISLANDS has picked the world’s 12 best private-island resorts, as well as more than 100 such private islands, all across the planet, from the surprisingly accessible to the beautifully exotic. Any of these private islands holds the promise of the dream escape, where you can have the luxury amenities of a resort while still feeling like the island is all yours. Making it in the top 10 of the list is Belize’s Cayo Espanto Resort, and why wouldn’t it be?! Below are a few reasons why Islands chose this secluded, ultra-private island as one of the top places to vacation in the world. This hideaway in the cayes of Belize could practically grant any wish, except for smoked fish. So when a Cayo Espanto guest requested that, the chef constructed a smoker. Same thing happened when another guest wanted a Christmas tree. The resort flew one in. After all, a private island with only six villas — including the new over-water Casa Ventanas at the end of a 150-foot private dock — does have some limitations. So the real magic is in striving for no limits. ISLANDS spoke to managers at Cayo Espanto to find out more.

Ambergris Today

Supplies Donated to Neighborhood Watch Groups
The U.S. Embassy and Crime Stoppers Belize recently made a donation of supplies to Mr. Gilbert Pitts who is the coordinator of the National Neighborhood Watch. These supplies included L.E.D. flash lights, whistles, radios, hand cuffs and writing supplies. The supplies were handed over from Mr. Pitts to Councilor Wally Nuñez who then distributed the supplies to the Boca del Rio Neighborhood Watch, which was accepted by the president, Mr. Freddy Gonzalez Jr. and the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch, which was accepted by the president, Mrs. Josie Nuñez.

Belize Tourism Board Launches Belize Rural Development Project II
The BTB received a grant from the European Union in November 2012, for BZ$2.75m for a project with a total estimated cost of $4 million BZD. The project, scheduled to be implemented over 24 months, seeks to improve economic opportunities in rural communities and contribute to the reduction of poverty by enhancing the overall tourism experience through improvements to tourism infrastructure and the services offered. The tourism experience will be enhanced at the archaeological sites of Xunantunich, Barton Creek, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Caves Branch, Altun Ha, Lamanai, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek. The main activities undertaken include the gazetting and introduction of health and safety measures, associated infrastructure improvements, and training of personnel in health and safety. In addition, the project foresees the introduction of a system to improve the quality and certify the provenance of Belizean souvenirs and other services offered to tourists.

Misc Belizean Sources

BWRC Veterinary Spring Break
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic has a new set of veterinary students visiting for some hard core learning and some fun too. The visited the Belize Zoo, Xunantunich, and visited Belize Bird Rescue so far. A study vacation sounds like a win/win situation. "BWRC is exited to welcome our first spring break group of veterinary students from UFL for an intensive 8 days of learning about wildlife in Belize, conservation, rescue and rehabilitation! As the pic shows we did not get out of class untill dark. So much to do in so little time :)"

The Chocolate Festival of Belize
The Chocolate Festival of Belize is delighted to announce that tickets for the WINE, CHOCOLATE & BELIKIN opening event on Friday 24th May are now on sale. The Festival’s signature evening offers visitors live music, fine food and wine, Belizean chocolate, and Belikin’s specially brewed Chocolate Stout. This year’s opening event will be held at Belcampo Lodge (just west of PG Town) in the plaza at their new purpose-built Agritourism facilities.


Belize's National Selection vs Trinidad & Tobago
The game between Belize's National Selection vs Trinidad & Tobago has been changed to the FFB's Goal Project Stadium in Belmopan City. The International Friendly will now be played at 8:00pm on Saturday 23/03/2013. Entrance fee $15.00.

MCHS Celebrates Open Day
Mount Carmel High School had their Open Day yesterday. "Visit Our Lady of Mount Carmel High School Open Day and view the work of our students and the committment to excellence of our staff. We are truly committed to beauty, truth, goodness and unity. Make OLMCHS your number one choice for the new school year. Welcome!"

International Students' Galen Experience
Galen has a great video out of some of their international students talking about and explaining their experiences while studying at Galen. They have a great Anthropology division, with Ms. Sherry Gibbs and Dr. Jaime Awe. Now is the time to register for the Fall 2013 semester. And remember, education does cost one money, but ignorance costs everyone so much more. "You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives." -Clay Bedford

Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant
The Mr. and Ms. SHC Pageant is today at the Bedran Hall in the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Best of luck to all contestants. "Go to the 'Mr. & Ms. SHC PAGEANT' EVENT PAGE to 'LIKE' the picture of your favorite contestant(s) so as to increase their total score as they vie for the title of Mr. & Ms. SHC. Mr & Ms. SHC Pageant, 6:00 p.m. Friday-March 22, 2013 Bedran Hall, San Ignacio Resort Hotel Tickets are availale at SHC - $10 General, $20 - VIP"

Celebrating the “9th Annual MAYA DAY”
Retrace the steps of a people whose legacy continues to transcend time and generations. Come celebrate with us, at the “9th Annual Maya Day”, during March 12 – 24, 2013, and enjoy a host of traditional activities, cultural foods, live music, Language, Maya spirituality, dances, and great people! In Belize, ancient Maya structures are easily accessible by land and boat; however events like the Annual Maya Day, under the theme “Celebrating our Identity”, provides a rare and intimate exposure to the ancient practices and beliefs of these mystical people. Daily Activities: March 12th, 2013: “Flames of our Ancestors” signals the start of these scheduled days of activities. Beginning with a Torch Run and Motorcade (starting at Nim Li Punit in Indian Creek Village to Tumul K’in Center), a spiritual ceremony, Maya games, dances and live Marimba and Harp performances. March 23rd, 2013: “Chajchaay” (Sacred Maya Ball Game) starting at 7:00 p.m., witness this Maya ball game reenactment, at Tumul K’in, and learn the history behind it! March 23rd and 24th, 2013: “Cortez Dance”is a dramatization dance, depicting the ancient Maya’s resistance to colonization. The dance last for a few hours and has 28 dancers, including: Maya females, males are colorfully dressed in masks. March 23rd and 24th, 2013: “The Traditional Greasy Pole” (Ta’kin’ Che’) is the act of climbing a tree greased with soap and grease. This is an activity to pay respects to the Maya treasured tree (Na’ba’ Che’-Tree) at Tumul Kin. March 24th, 2013: The Grand Finale “Maya Day 2013” is a fun-filled day of ALL things MAYA! Enjoy Maya: dances, art and crafts, traditional (herbal) medicine displays, exhibition booths, food, drinks and a wide variety of other activities at the Tumul K’in Center of Learning, in Blue Creek Toledo.

ICJ: Ambassador Mendez Frustrated in DC
From Washington: In remarks delivered Wednesday evening at the George Washington University’s Ambassador Series forum in Washington, DC, Belizean Ambassador to the U.S. and O.A.S., Nestor Mendez, made clear that the Belizean government is “frustrated” and “upset” with recent actions by the Guatemalan government. His comments and answers to questions from the audience indicate the whole ICJ referendum process is now in serious jeopardy. Furthermore, Belize clearly feels while it has acted in good faith, the Guatemalans have let them down and even disrespected them during this last week in particular. I’ve known Ambassador Mendez for several years now and the always unflappable diplomat showed clear signs of frustration and even said at one point, “I’m sorry if I seem upset but it’s not the first time our neighbors have bowed out. It’s not helpful.” This was a special night for the Ambassador as he returned to his alma mater to deliver an address at one of the George Washington University’s most distinguished forums. Ambassador Mendez opened with what he called a “commercial” for Belize and praised the agricultural and tourist sectors for their contributions to the Belizean economy. He noted 5.8% growth for the first three quarters of 2012 and record tourism numbers. He also mentioned new investment in the sugar industry by Domino and said that their new facilities are the most modern in Central America.

Ladyville scheduled to host New Horizons opening ceremony
The opening ceremony for New Horizons Belize is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. March 25, 2013, at Ladyville Technical High School. New Horizons gives U.S. and Belizean personnel an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges when and where needed. It is a U.S. Southern Command exercise providing medical and dental treatment as well as constructs needed structures, such as classrooms, throughout Belize. U.S. Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally, Minister of Education Patrick Faber, and the commander of the Belize Defence Force, Brig. Gen. David Jones, are expected to be in attendance. “New Horizons Belize is a testament to the solid working relationship between Belize and the U.S. I am pleased that SOUTHCOM continues to visit Belize,” said U.S. Ambassador Vinai K. Thummalapally. “These teams provide quality construction and medical care free of cost to the public and receive training as they work side-by-side with Belizean military and civilian authorities”. Approximately 500 U.S. military personnel will participate in the exercise on a rotational basis. Another 150 Belizean military personnel are scheduled to participate, including 120 civil engineers and 30 medical personnel. Volunteers from non-governmental organizations, such as Project HOPE, Latter-day Saint charities, and the Belize City chapter of the Rotary Club of Belize are also participating in New Horizons. Their contributions range from volunteering medical services to donating and distributing desks and other equipment for the school additions that are built.

In his own words, Foreign Minister explains Guatemala's 2 proposals regarding the referendum. Will Cabinet bite Guatemala's bait or will the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition join in a resounding 'no' to Guatemala?

CNWA Grant Progress
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association Executive Board met with the US Embassy to talk about the grant, and how well it's been used so far. They have a great mission! 'To inspire, encourage, and empower the people of Cayo to unite to become one voice; Neighbors looking out for Neighbors; deeply committed to serving our community and our beloved country: Belize.' "CNWA Executive board had a wonderful meeting with our contacts from the US Embassy and their team from Washington. They came to see how the grant money was being handled and what it was used for. They were very impressed with CNWA and the work we do."

Cultural Day at UB
The University of Belize had their Cultural Day yesterday, and Belize Natural Energy was there to participate and get some pictures. The had displays from the Chinese, Maya, Mennonites, Mestizo, Creole, and Garifuna, with abundant amounts of food.

Channel 7

Foreign Minister Discloses Guatemala’s "Iffy" Plans For Referendum Date
Yesterday we interviewed Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and he held back on revealing the proposals for the referendum that the Guatemalans had taken to the OAS. But today in the House of Representatives, it seems he got the green light from the Prime Minister and was given special permission to make an announcement on a matter of public interest. For most observers, it was more than interesting, it was quite surprising. Here's what the Guatemalans propose: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "We were informed that the Guatemalans were making 2 proposals. 1, they wanted us to amend our referendum legislation so that our legislation will be identical to theirs in terms of the requirements for the referendum to be successful, just a simple majority vote. They said that if we did that, if we amended our legislation to confirm with theirs, they would then be prepared to agree on another date when we could hold simultaneous referenda, but they were not prepared to indicate when that date would be. And they were not even prepared to give a timeline. That was one proposal. The second proposal was that we would go ahead as planned, have our referendum on October 6, and if we had a successful 'yes' vote at that referendum, then they would prepared to hold their referendum at a date not later than the end of June 2014."

Soca Boys Will Play On FIFA Grade Pitch, After Bandfest!
When we left you last night, the Football Federation of Belize was at a difficult crossroads: Trinidad's National Football Team refused to play on the substandard pitch at the MCC, and the only other option is the field at the FFB Stadium which is booked out for the LOVE FM Bandfest. Well, something had to give, and at an emergency meeting last night the FFB Executive agreed to play the game after the Bandfest. So, the Trinidad versus Belize friendly will be played at 8:00 pm at FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The official release announcing the change of venue was sent out at 3:00 this morning from FFB Headquarters. This plays it a little close to the end of Bandfest which usually wraps up at around 6:00, but the FFB is confident it can pull it off.

Budget Debate Begins Leader Of Opp to PM: "Sharp Tongue and Loud Mouth"
And while the game will be played on Saturday - the games began in Belmopan today - and by that we mean, the political games. That's the budget debate, a two day marathon of finger pointing, name calling, chest beating and self-congratulation, which is the centerpiece of the parliamentary calendar. As per custom, the leader of the opposition got it rolling. And while the Honorable Fonseca is not known for his oratorical style, he did show a few flourishes today. Here's a few portions of his 40 minute reply to the budget: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of Opposition "Again this year, Mr. Speaker, it is deeply regrettable that we must record the absolute failure of this UDP Government, to carry out any consultations in respect of this year's budget. This shameful failure is of course consistent with the UDP's total disregard and disrespect of the Government's social and economic partners in development. It is a budget disconnected divorced from the Belizean reality. This a budget, Mr. Speaker, in which 'full belly di tell empty bell, kip haat, bredda, kip haat, sista'. The budget continues a 5-year pattern of excuses, cruel empty rhetoric. Loud mouth, dirty mouth, and sharp tongue are all we've gotten from the UDP for 5 years. Let the record reflect that we on this side of the House join with our teachers and public officers in demanding that this Government delivers at a minimum, a 5% salary increase this fiscal year. Where are the 5,000 new jobs promised 5 years ago? Where is the reduced GST? It went in the other direction, Mr. Speaker. Where are the lower utility rates? I just told you that it went up 17% in January. These are things that they promised. Where is lower cost of living? Where are the shares in the national oil company you all promised the people? Where is the 6% annual growth? Next year, it's going to go back to 2.7%. Where is lower fuel cost, Mr. Speaker? 5 years of UDP nothing, 5 years of UDP waste, 5 years of UDP corruption, 5 years of growing unemployment, 5 years of increasing crime, 5 year of higher prices, 5 years of petty, arrogant leadership under the United Democratic Party."

Accused Of Helping A Human Trafficker
Last night, 7News told you about the arraignment of 43 year-old Salvadoran Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia, the woman who was suspected of orchestrating a human trafficking operation through the PGIA. Well today, a Belizean woman was taken to court for allegedly assisting Alaz Azmitia in her operation. As we told you, Azmitia was busted with 4 minors - 3 boys and a girl, and an 18 year-old female at the Phillip Goldson International with false Guatemalan passports and counterfeit US Visas. When the authorities were called in, the minors were interviewed about Azmitia's operation, and one of the boys revealed the identity of 50 year-old Belizean Francisca Flores, a resident of Belama Phase 2. According to the boy, an adult placed him in Flores's care while he waited for other travel arrangements. According to the boy, he stayed at her house up until March 14. As a result, the Immigration Department detained Flores, and questioned her, who admitted to them that she did indeed provide lodging for the child. She was subsequently charged with harboring a person to remain in Belize illegally, and she was arraigned today before Magistrate Adolph Lucas.

18 Year Old Accused Of Shooting Minors
Tonight, 18 year-old Akeem Augustine, a resident of La Croix Boulevard, is in jail because according to police he shot at 4 young men - two of them minors. One of them is 16 and he told police that on Tuesday evening around 6:00, he was hanging out at the corner of Police Street and La Croix Boulevard with 3 other young men. He and a 15 year old decided to go to a nearby shop, but on the way there, they ran into Augustine and 2 other men who started chasing them. The 16 year old said that, Augustine pulled out a gun and fired several shots at the entire group. Fortunately, they all escaped unhurt, and Augustine and his associates escaped while they were taking cover. Police investigated and charged Augustine with 4 counts of attempted murder, 1 count of conspiracy to commit murder, and 4 counts of aggravated assault. He was arraigned today before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, and due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded to prison until April 22, 2013, his next court date. Police say that they are looking for his 2 accomplices.

Western Drugs Up In Smoke
Yesterday, the officials at the San Ignacio Police Station sent a large quantity of drugs up in smoke in the presence of a Magistrate. It is part of the Department's ongoing plan to ensure that the illegal substances, which is already accounted for, and already dealt with by the courts, do not end up back on the streets. After all, various formations have had a history of items going missing from their evidence cache held in the Exhibit Room. The officer commanding San Ignacio Police told the media about the importance of the practice: Superintendent Ralph Moody - OC, San Pedro Police "At,this present moment we're doing drugs destruction with drugs that are found property on concluded cases of cannabis and cocaine." Reporter Why is it important to do things like this, to destroy them?"

Are Belize's Waters Overfished?
Easter is coming, so all you Good Friday fish finders are probably on the lookout for that choice snapper, kingfish or barrow. But this year, it's probably going to be even more expensive than last, and, yes, that's partly because of easter-time price gouging, but also because supply is getting scarcer, which pushes prices upwards. The inconvenient truth that many fish-lovers don't want to face is that Belize's waters - though vast and bountiful - are increasingly overfished - and those red snappers you grew up eating? Well, someday, your kids may have to choose Tilapia instead! Janelle Chanona examines this mounting problem in a special report she put together for reef week. Janelle Chanona Reporting Fishing has always figured prominently in Belizean cultures. Throughout local history, several coastal communities have directly depended on fishing as the primary source of income. Traditional commercial fishing in Belize is categorized as a 'cottage' industry: single fishermen going out in their boats. Today, fishing is one of Belize's largest employers; approximately three thousand commercially licensed fishers are trolling Belizean waters. Belizean fishers have extracted thousands of tonnes of lobster, conch and fin fish from our territorial waters. And everyone agrees, the numbers have taken a toll.

Fonseca Calls Espat: Red Eye Bwai
You might say that for the last 8 years, the PUP's relationship with Mark Espat has been complicated. He was the interim party leader who walked away from the job despite having near unanimous support from the standard bearers. And the truth is that if he had stayed on as leader, there would very likely be a PUP Government in Belmopan today. For the PUP, his epic diss of his former party still burns - and perhaps understandable that it should; it happened less than two years ago. That's why - now that he's the UDP Government's Economic Ambassador and hailed as the Superbond Saviour - the PUP always reserves a special kind of venom for him. Last year in the house, the member for Cayo South Julius Espat called him a traitor, this year, he's Francis Fonseca's "Red-Eye bwai"…here's how that came out in the house today: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of Opposition "Let's be very clear. The bond restructuring team, led by the Prime Minister's 'red eye boy', His Excellency,the Ambassador, was a disastrous failure. The team leader's initial high risk strategy of low-balling the bondholders turned out to be a near-fatal mistake.

Fonseca Says Special Purpose Vehicle Is a "Hustle Vehicle"
The Leader of the Opposition also had some choice words about Belize Infrastructure Limited, the so-called Special Purpose Vehicle that the Government has set up to execute a 60 million dollar sports infrastructure project- including a new Civic Center. It is to be chaired by the Minister of Works Rene Montero, with Minister of State in the Ministry of Sports Herman Longsworth as his co-chair. The Leader of the opposition called it a hustling vehicle: Hon. Francis Fonseca - Leader of the Opposition "I expect this to be a UDP hustle vehicle that will seek to avoid the rules and regulations of Government. Why, Mr. Speaker - and the social and economic partners we've met with asked these questions as well - why is this private company necessary to carry out the work of Government? Mr. Speaker, we have every reason to be very skeptical and cynical about the objectives of this company. As I said, for the UDP it's always about the show, the cutting of the ribbon, the shovel. The Member for Caribbean Shores, he likes to shovel."

Why don’t Belize's Track Athletes Do Better In Regional Games
Belize's best young athletes recently returned from the 2013 Central American Games in Costa Rica. They brought home 4 medals: 1 gold in the 400 meter hurdles, 1 silver in the heptathlon, and a bronze in triple jump and female softball. 3 of those 4 medals were in the track and field events, and those 3 athletes who were able to medal for team Belize were all Belizean Americans, who train in facilities outside of their home country. And one sports official who has a long tenure of service has chosen to address the public to put this recent performance into much needed context. Deon Sutherland, who is currently serving as representative for the National Secondary School Sports Association - the NSSSA - has sent a letter to all the media houses to point out that Athletics in Belize is on life-support. Though he has a vested interest in a leadership dispute in the Belize Amateur Athletic Association, Sutherland also has a valid perspective because he's one of the figures who is out in the field communicating directly with young athletes. Here's what he told us about the current state of Athletics in Belize: Deon Sutherland - Belizean Sports Enthusiast "You know, over the past months, we have had a serious decline in athletics in Belize, and that stems from a number of things. As you can recall, last year we had a problem with the past executive. In June, that executive was dissolved and a group of past president was task to head a new B.A, and they were given certain functions to do. Since then, basically we have not heard anything in terms of athletics. We recently sent athletes to the Central American Games; we got a few medals but nothing in comparison to what we usually do, Some of our standard athletes were not able to showcase their skills and abilities.

Jesse White Tumblers Throw It Down
And a group of Belize City high schoolers got to witness real athletic excellence today when they got a preview for a show of the Jesse White Tumblers. Monica Bodden was there to see them stunting: Monica Bodden Reporting Students, teachers and other onlookers were blown away this afternoon by a spectacular performance put off by 10 tumblers of the Jesse White Tumbling Team. The group of young men entertained the crowd with some mind blowing stunts in the air - and had everyone holding their breaths. In the end, they received nothing but some good ole Belizean love. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "Well this is part of the visit of the Secretary of the State, Jesse White from the state of Illinois. Of course he has stared the Jesse White foundation, and this is a foundation that has been in existence for over 50 years. He's worked with over 15,000 tumblers, who have pass through his program. And so he brought a small contingent of them, 10 of them, and what he requested of us, is that we just organize activities that engage young people so that they can see a demonstration of the tumblers."

Profile... Tyrone Chimillio
You may know Tyrone Chimillio as the host of Channel 7's Carnival for the last two years. But the dynamic young guy you see on TV, grew up tough on Sitee street in Southside Belize City. In tonight's profile he tells us how a stern mother helped lead him from the path of a boy growing up to be a delinquent to a male role model:

Channel 5

Lackluster budget debate
The 2013-2014 budget debate took place in the House this morning. The Speaker called for good behavior and by and large House members were in true form restraining from the usual mudslinging. But he would note later during the presentations that few members had actually referred to the estimates.  The Leader of the Opposition, Francis [...]

Belize contemplates whether or not to continue referendum
Before the debate on the budget started, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, gave an update on the referendum revealing a preposterous proposal by the Guatemalans which clearly shatters the referendum. Elrington reported for the first time on the essence of the visit of the Guatemalan Foreign Minister three weeks ago. Elrington confirmed [...]

Venue changed for friendly football game with Trinidad
The F.F.B. has taken a decision in respect of the weekend’s game against Trinidad’s Soca Warriors. The decision to change the venue from MCC to the F.F.B. stadium in Belmopan came after the visiting team made a number of objections on Wednesday soon after their arrival.  The Gold Cup 2013 forerunner was initially set to [...]

Barrow’s BIL; $60 Million pumped into state owned private company?
BIL is the acronym for the Belize Infrastructure Company Limited which is a recently established state owned company operating from the Ministry of Works. The company will carry out sixty million dollars of infrastructural projects; work that should be carried out by the Ministry of Works. The articles of association show that senior officials are [...]

Keep on trucking, BATSUB upgrades its fleet
A high level British official is on an official visit in respect of Britain’s defense program with Belize which has been scaled down considerably. Dr Andrew Murrisson, Parliamentary under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy, visited the BATSUB’s Headquarters but fell short of committing increased resources. News Five Isani Cayetano has the story.   [...]

Teacher and students charged for unlawful hunting
On March fifth, a black howler monkey was captured and savagely beaten allegedly at the hands of four third form students of the Belize High School of Agriculture in southern Orange Walk. But despite immediate rehabilitation, the endangered species did not survive the attack and perished exactly one week later, on March twelfth. Video circulated [...]

Teachers will get increase when it is affordable
It’s been under the radar and off the public scope lately, pushed to the backburner while issues like the super-bond restructuring, the budget presentation and the referendum dominate the spotlight. But make no mistake, the salary adjustment haggling between government and the unions is far from settled. Just for some background, on February first government [...]

3 Chinese nationals charged for immigration offences
  Three Chinese nationals were arraigned in court today for immigration offenses. The first was Zhibin Cao, who claimed to be an employee of MJ’s Bar on West Collet Canal. Cao appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr and was charged with Failure to Comply with a Visitor’s Permit. Cao had a change of heart in [...]

50 year old woman charged with Harboring an Illegal Immigration
  Following the conviction of Salvadoran national, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia for Assisting a Person to Remain in Belize and for the Use of a Falsified Passport, another woman is facing charges in respect of the same case. Fifty-year old Francisca Flores, a resident of Belize City, was today charged with Harboring an Illegal Immigrant; [...]

Akeem accused of firing shots at minor
The jewel has become the transit point for drugs and illegal arms as well as a landing strip for drug planes. In a recent article in “Por Esto” of Quintana Roo, a shipment of arms consisting of nine rifles, twenty-six magazines and seven hundred and eighty-seven thousand rounds of ammunition was seized from a criminal [...]

Destroying all that confiscated drugs
There are many cases of drug trafficking as well as numerous cases where drugs have been discovered in empty lots or abandoned properties, but where do all these drugs end up? Well, there are scheduled times, when all the drugs from closed cases or drugs that are labeled found property are destroyed. On Wednesday members [...]

Hiking it to Aguas Turbias
A group of the territorial volunteers visited the boundary marker at Aguas Turbias early this morning. The reconnaissance mission is in preparation for a large expedition planned for April thirtieth by the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The monument marks the boundary for Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. It is Belize’s northernmost boundary with Guatemala and where the [...]

100 years of sanctity with the Pallottine Sisters
The Pallottine Sisters on Sunday celebrated one hundred years of working in Belize since the arrival of four young nuns in 1913. The order is small, but its achievements are many, especially in the area of education. The sisters were German, but settled in Benque Viejo Del Carmen where they taught English to the mostly [...]

3rd Annual Belize Music Awards is going to be hype
Move over Grammy Awards…it’s time to celebrate music in Belize and there’s no better place to do that than the third annual Belize Music Awards. The event kicks off with a red carpet affair at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night, and with all the hype and talent in the lineup, [...]

Healthy Living explores the HPV vaccine
In Healthy Living tonight, we look at a very common sexually transmitted infection, HPV. The virus affects both women and men but in respect of women, it has the potential to develop into a serious health condition, cervical cancer.  Cervical cancer is preventable and is still one of the most common cancers affecting Belizean women. [...]


Women's Department Hosts Annual Summit
Women from around the country gathered for the Eighth Annual Women’s Summit hosted by the Women’s Department. According to Acting Director of the Women’s Department, Cynthia Williams, the one day event aims to engage women in discussion and information gathering...

Mayors' Association Meets In Orange Walk
Mayors from across the country met today in Orange Walk for the Mayor’s Association monthly meeting. During the morning session the nine municipal representatives had a presentation from a consultant on market management, on grant funding from Canada through government agen...

Orange Walk Town Council Faces Law Suits
The Orange Walk Town Council is facing a law suit from a prominent business in Orange Walk. Mayor Kevin Bernard told us today that two days ago he received a letter from the law firm of Hubert Elrington where it states that proprietor of Landy’s & Sons Hardware on Beliz...

Minor of Salvador Found With Fake US Visa; Belizean Woman Charged
A Belizean woman has been charged in connection with one of the Salvadoran minors who were caught attempting to board a flight to the US with a false US visa. She is fifty year old Francisca Flores, a housewife of Belama Phase Two. Flores was charged with harboring a person to remain i...

Teenager Charged With Four Counts of Attempted Murder
Eighteen year old Akeem Augustine, an unemployed of Lacroix Boulevard, was charged with four counts of attempted murder when he appeared today in Court. Augustine was also charged with conspiracy to commit murder and four counts of aggravated assault. Magistrate Adolph Lucas expl...


Woman Raped By Her EX-Common Law Husband
A woman from the Corozal District is tonight claiming that she was raped by her ex-common law husband. The 24 year old Belizean food vendor of Santa Elena Road told police that on Tuesday March 19th at about 8:30pm, she boarded a maroon taxi van at the Santa Elena Border heading to her residence. Upon entering the taxi, she noticed that her ex-common law husband, Santos Roberto Castro, was inside the van along with other passengers. The woman boarded the taxi anyway and as the vehicle reached her point of exit, she alerted the taxi driver to stop, but her ex-common law husband told him to continue driving. The taxi driver made two stops, one at Paraiso Village and the other at the bus terminal in Corozal Town where the woman attempted to exit the vehicle but was held back by Santos. The driver continued driving towards Ranchito Village and upon reaching a feeder road, Santos ordered him to stop. Santos then got out of the taxi and at that time the driver of the vehicle took out the complainant’s ice coolers and placed them on the ground. The woman claims that she asked the driver to take her home, but he refused and instead drove off leaving her with Santos. Santos then pulled the woman into some nearby bushes where he proceeded to rape her. According to the alleged victim, Santos held her hostage as they spent the entire night in the bushes. Police are now looking for Santos Roberto Castor for questioning.

Teacher And Students To Be Charged Next Week For Illegal Hunting
Since last week we have been reporting that four students including two minors and one teacher of the Belize High School of Agriculture will be charged for illegal hunting after investigations carried out be the Forest Department found them responsible of the death of a black male Howler Monkey that was found badly beaten on the grounds of the high school, on March 5th. Tonight we understand that all four students and the male teacher will be charged by the Forest Department on Wednesday March 27th and the court hearing is expected to commence the following day on Thursday March 28th at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. This is according to Yanira Pop Forest Officer In Charge of the Northern Region. Since none of the individuals have been charged as yet we are unable to reveal their names.

Students Make Point On Importance Of Water Through Creative Posters
In Honor of World Water Day the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment and Agriculture also held a poster competition for primary schools and an essay competition for high schools countrywide. Today the name of the winners of the competition were revealed during the World Water Day expo held at the Multi Purpose Complex here in Orange Walk and tonight we are proud to note that one of Orange Walks very own was awarded second place in the poster competition. Eleven year old Adrian Bernard, student of Saint Josephs Primary School won first place in the poster competition while Jennifer Chi, of Compassion Primary School, won second place. Today we spoke to both students who told us how ecstatic they are about their latest achievement. Adrian Bernard- Saint Josephs Primary School “My poster was showing animation girl, waiting for the last droplet of water coming down to earth and that was the only droplet of water in the world.”

ITVET Students Showcase Their "Job Worthy" Skills
The Orange Walk Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training celebrated their 7th annual Expo and Trade Fair at the school grounds today. The event marked an opportunity for trainees to showcase some of the work done since the beginning of the new school year back in September of last year. On display was work from both the track and trade trainees and the pre-vocational trainees. Joseth Espadas- Acting Assistant Manager, ITVET “They are focused on science, English, math, IT. We also have displays from electrical, building and grounds maintenance, masonry welding, computer service and repairs, auto mechanics, AC and refrigeration so all of the trades have their displays today. This is our 7th training cycle and the purpose of the expo is for them to showcase their skills but as well as for the community to come and see what the guys have done. it is for our business people to come and see what the return is from their input in this wonderful ITVET and for employers to come and scout our possible employees, for the parents to come and see how hard their daughter and son have worked throughout the training cycle. So it is just for everybody to come and view the wonderful work that has been done and as well as a little thank you for the community to show them that with their help we have accomplished so much.” Some of the items on display were also on sale at reasonable prices.

World Water Day Observed
World Water Day is celebrated annually on 22nd March as a means of focusing on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. An international day to celebrate freshwater was recommended at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The United Nations General Assembly responded to the recommendation by designating 22nd March 1993 as the first World Water Day. In honor of World Water Day, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Environment and Agriculture, held an expo at the Multi Purpose Complex building in Orange Walk today. There were a number of displays at the event including exhibitions from the Belize Audubon Society, Ministries of Agriculture and other bodies dealing with water. Carmelita Perez reporting… Every year a day is set aside to celebrate water. Today’s observance in Orange Walk included a fair at the Multi Purpose Complex organized by the Ministry of Natural Recourses and Agriculture. The event saw the participation of a number of stakeholders who came out with one aim, to save our water resources.

World Forest Day: Forest Is Much More Than Trees
Today is also being celebrated as World Forest Day with the aim of promoting awareness of the value of forests across the globe by providing information on the protection, production and recreation of forests. The idea for a world forestry day originated at the European Confederation of Agriculture in 1971, and was later endorsed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization. Here in Belize the illegal Rosewood extraction is only but one of the threats that the Belize’s Forest faces. Belize also joins the world in celebration of World Forest Day and here in Orange Walk the day was acknowledged with a number of activities. Yanira Pop- Forest Officer In Charge of Northern Region “Here on Orange Walk what we did is that one Monday there were a series of tree planting ceremonies in two different schools and on Tuesday we had a talk show and a radio show. Today in Belmopan they are signing some co-management agreements and they should be planting a tree for it to be very symbolic. Belize is a very small country and we have a big demographic growth therefore we have pressure in the agricultural sector and here for example up north a lot of people are going in the cane fields business. Therefore our forest is being pressured. We have a lot of deforestation or change in land use. So that is the main problem we have. As a matter of fact, one of the aims that we have, today what happened in Belmopan is that there is this project that deals with agro-forestry so we incorporated the agricultural department and handed over some equipment and some books and everything to start develop the agro-forestry sector and not only agriculture.

Guatemala's Proposals, Will Belize Accept?
And while the Budget Debate appeared to be calm, docile, and for the most part well-mannered, the issue regarding the March 6th Belize/Guatemala Referendum appears to be taking a turn for the uncertain. Information being posted on political blogospheres indicates, that the absence of Guatemala’s Foreign Minister from the OAS meeting that was held on Sunday in Washington DC, is clear indication that Guatemala has disrespected the negotiating process with Belize in regards to the Territorial Dispute. Minister of Foreign Affairs for Belize Wilfred Elrington, was left with no other recourse than to return to his room while CEO in his Ministry Alexis Rosado, met with the Vice President of the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry, which is the equivalent to a CEO. Of importance, is that Guatemala’s Foreign Minister indicated that he was unable to travel to Washington due to a family emergency. However, word is that he travelled to the Vatican City for the Inaugural Mass of Pope Francis the first. As mentioned, after the meeting in Washington, both delegations returned to their respective countries to disseminate the proceedings of the meeting with the OAS. Belize returned with two proposals made by Guatemala in reference to the change of date for the Referendum from October 6th 2013 to 2014. Today Minister Elrington outlined those proposals at the house. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs “At the end of the meeting we were informed that the Guatemalans were making two proposals. One, they wanted us to amend our referendum legislation so that our legislation would be identical to theirs in terms of requirements for referendum to be successful—just a simple majority vote.

Belize's Super Bond Saga Finally Over
Last week the Government of Belize and the Debt Restructuring team held a press conference in which it was announced that the restructuring of the Super Bond was coming to an end- a successful end that is. Well, this morning at the Budget Debate, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the Belize Super Bond saga is finally over. After much back and forth, the Super Bond is now the Belize Bonds 2038. Belize will see a debt relief of 494 million dollars between 2013 and 2022 and with the new bond, Belize’s debt GDP ratio is also expected to fall to 60% in 2017. Hon. Dean Barrow Prime Minister “Mr. Speaker I just want to inform you and this honorable house and the nation that the Belize debt exchange has now finally, legally, conclusively closed. It is over. This happened yesterday with the submission of all the relevant legal documentation. Tenders representing 86.2% of the aggregate principal amount of the eligible claims were received by, as you know, the expiration date of the offer and consistent with the collective action clause on the original bonds the entirety of those bonds have now been exchange for the 2038 bonds.”


PM does not like what Guatemala is proposing
This morning in Belmopan, the House of Representatives met in Belmopan for day one of the two day budget debate. But before the budget was addressed, a consequential topic of discussion raised was the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Hon. Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington presentation on Guatemala’s new proposals and...

Opposition Leader says budget is “Disconnected and Divorced from the Belizean reality”.
While the topic of the Guatemala issue was addressed first in the house meeting this morning, the reason for the assembly today was for the budget debate. That debate got on the way with the Leader of the Opposition who referred to the 2013/2014 budget as “Disconnected and Divorced...

Minister of National Security speaks about recent achievements
In the House today, Area representative for the City of Belmopan and Minister of National Security the Hon. John Saldivar got up to address the Leader of the Opposition. Hon. Saldivar spoke firstly about Fonseca’s comments on the Superbond and that the UDP should grant the public officers and...

Teenager on remand for alleged attempted murder of four persons
A teenager is tonight on remand after he allegedly tried to kill four persons in a chilling shooting incident. 18 Akeem Augustine has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and four counts of aggravated assault. Police say around 6 o clock on Tuesday...

COLA says Government should leave the referendum process
The organization Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has added its voice in the ongoing debate about the viability of the October, 2013 referendum process following recent revelations about Guatemala’s inability to advance its referendum process in its country. In a press release issued on Wednesday, the organization...

World Water Day highlights water preservation
World Water Day is being observed tomorrow. The theme for this year is “International Year of Water Cooperation.” But The National Integrated Water Resource Authority (NIRA), which is one of the bowels of the Ministry of Natural Resources, has incorporated a local theme. The theme “Water and Development: Past,...

Justin Welby enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury
Bishop Justin Welby has been enthroned in London as Archbishop of Canterbury. The 57-year-old was formally sworn in as head of the Church of England and spiritual leader of the 77 million-strong Anglican global communion. In his first sermon, he said: “There is every possible reason for optimism about...

High school students from Southside Belize City tour Belize Barrier Reef
High school students from Southside Belize City today took a grand tour of the Belize Barrier Reef. OCEANA Belize, as a part of the Reef Week festivities, sent about 40 high schoolers to Caye Caulker and the Marine Reserve, where the group got the opportunity to snorkel and interact...

OCEANA organizes high school cleanup competition in Dangriga
OCEANA has organized a high school cleanup competition in Dangriga. Students from the Ecumenical High School and Delille Academy faced off in a competition to see who could remove the most refuse from the waterways of the Dangriga. After a full morning of cleaning, Ecumenical High won with 108...

Emrand Henry and Sherwin Gardner here for YC Belize
YC Belize gets on the way tomorrow night in Belize city. This year YC Belize is being held under the theme “This Is Love” and features both local and international performers and speakers. The event is returning to Belize City after four years in Belmopan.. One of the coordinators...

Multicultural festival at UB Belmopan
It was a multicultural fest at the University of Belize this afternoon. The Belmopan Campus’ gymnasium was the venue for a celebration of Belize’s cultures. Students displayed the cultures that make up Belize’s melting pot in various forms including dance, song, storytelling and booth presentations. PlusNews first stopped by...

Woman accuses her ex of rape
A 24 year old woman is accusing her ex of rape. The Corozal resident reported that on Tuesday March 19th, at about 8:30 P.M. she boarded a taxi van at the Santa Elena Border heading to her residence. When she got into the van, she noticed that her ex-common...

Rifle found under bridge in Belmopan
A rifle was found underneath a bridge in the Belmopan area. The gun, a .22 Stevens brand rifle was found wrapped inside a black plastic bag and tucked beneath a cement bridge. Beside the firearm, were two plastic bags with over 400 grams of suspected cannabis. No one was...

House fire in Paraiso Village
There was a fire in Paraiso Village, Corozal District, where two houses were burned. The front house measuring 18” x 15” was occupied by 40 year old Manuel Novelo. The building and its contents were valued at $2,000.00 BCY. The second house measuring 18”x 15” was occupied by 24...

The Guardian

A Reorganized Police Department
The Police Department has undergone significant reorganization to make it more effective in controlling crime. The man at the helm and who is ultimately responsible for the transformation is Commissioner Allen Whylie. He’s been in the post since January and has been working arduously to achieve the transformation. Three months into the task, he called a press conference to give the public an idea of what the transformation looks like. Whylie explained that for better management and accountability, the country has been zoned off into 4 major areas. Those are: the Northern, Easter, Western and the Southern Regions, each having a senior officer in command and responsible. The Northern region is being commanded by Sr. Superintendent Joseph Myvette; Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura is in charge of the Eastern Region; Superintendent Aaron Guzman has the Western Region and Sr. Superintendent Robert Mariano is in charge of the Southern Region. Within each of the regions, there are sub-divisions also with senior officers in charge to decentralize authority and hold particular individuals responsible. The region of greatest concern is the Eastern Region where Belize City lies. Here is where the concentration of efforts are taking place and a new approach is being implemented. In Belize City, the concept of precincts are being introduced where four have been formed. Precinct one is located at the corner of Kut and Euphrates Avenues and is commanded by Superintendent Alden Dawson. Precinct two is located at the lower flat of Racoon Street Police Station and is commanded by Superintendent Alford Grinage. Precinct 3 is located at the Queen Street Police Station and the commander is Superintendent Gualberto Garcia. The fourth precinct is located at the Belama Police Station and is commanded by Assistant Superintendent David Chi. According to Commissioner of Police Whylie, the move is to decentralize authority and hold particular officers responsible for particular areas.

Pitbull fight: Eamon vs Godfrey!
“An association this resourceful and well-connected could have boasted a better track record of contributing to the performance and reform of the justice system. The bar could, for example, have had a legal aid website that encourages public self-help by providing free templates for things like wills, simple contracts, leases, bills of sale, deed polls, and statutory declarations. A handful of high school scholarships could have been awarded each year to deserving marginalized youth. Reforms could have been initiated so that, as an example, persons wishing to divorce each other (without ascribing blame) could do so without requiring the services of an attorney.” - Godfrey Smith, Flashpoint. “It’s quite easy to sit in your luxurious office and make these comments, but you need to come and participate. It is unfair and wrong to criticize the Association for being inactive”.- Eamon Courtenay comments on 7 News Eamon Courtenay and Godfrey Smith have become quite a pairing of attorneys for Michael Ashcroft, whenever the latter chooses to take the people and Government of Belize to court they are the first to be called on. They have become almost like pitbulls in the Belizean courts. These days, however, it appears that the lord cannot throw enough legal bones for these two to chew on and remain occupied that they have turned on one another. The disagreements between the two has now gone public and it started off when Godfrey Smith wrote that much more can be accomplished by the Bar Association and Eamon Courtenay retorted that Smith does not attend meetings and even inferred that he is living high off the hog. It should be noted that Courtenay must have thought it disrespectful for his bum bally to be throwing stones his direction since he is the president of the Bar Association.

Charged for Human Smuggling
On Wednesday, March 20th, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court where she was charged with 5 counts of assisting another person to remain in Belize by attempting to use a falsified passport and 5 counts of unlawful possession of documents. In court, she wasted no time and pleaded guilty to all offenses before Magistrate Adolph Lucas, Jr. Magistrate Lucas informed her of the penalty for the offenses where she could have been imposed a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment not exceeding 2 years. But since it was her first offense, he fined her $1,000 for assisting a person to remain in Belize with a $5.00 cost of court to be paid forthwith or in default 1 year in prison. For the other 4 counts of assisting a person to remain in Belize, she was fined $3,000 each plus the cost of court for each. For the five counts of unlawful possession of documents, she was fined $500 plus $5.00 cost of court. All told she was fined $15,550.00 in fines all to be paid forthwith. A removal order was also granted by Magistrate Lucas for her removal as soon as she either pays the fine or serves the time. According to authorities, on March 10th, 2013, 3 Salvadorans arrived in Belize via the PGIA on a Tropic Air Flight from Flores Petén; two of the three persons were reportedly with their grandmother, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia. According to authorities, she presented a notarized letter of authority to travel with the children and had reservations to stay at the Global Village Hotel in Ladyville and was granted stay in Belize.

130 New Officers Join the Ranks of the Belize Police Force
Graduation Ceremonies were held Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 for 130 new officers of the Belize Police Force who make up Recruit Squad #88.

Interacting With The Teams From Cayo South and Belmopan
The Omega Restaurant in Belmopan was the venue for a meeting and social interaction with our re-elected Deputy Leader, Hon. Gaspar Vega and new Chairman, Alberto August.

Forensic Ballistics Training in Belize
David Henderson, former Commissioner of Police, is enjoying his new job as Director of the National Forensic Science Services Department. He said, “At the Forensics Department, I am in a position to work on a lot of things I saw the need for as Commissioner of Police. I am happy with these new developments.” One of the developments he was referring to is the Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS). On Monday, March 18th, Henderson official opened a forensic ballistics training course for local law enforcement officers.

IDB and La Inmaculada Credit Union sign Agreement to promote Social Entrepreneurship
La Inmaculada Credit Union (LICU) signed an agreement in Belize City on March 8th, 2013 for a project designed to support social entrepreneurship and integration through microfinancing and capacity-building for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The specific purpose of the project is to contribute to economic diversification in the districts of Orange Walk, Corozal and Cayo and has the overarching goal of improving the standards of living of rural low-income communities in northern Belize. The project will be financed through a US$1 million contribution from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the IDB Group, and by additional counterpart contributions from LICU that will bring the total project value to over US$1.38 million.

Pallotine Sisters by the Macal River
The Pallotine Sisters celebrated their 100th anniversary in Western Belize this past Sunday. The event began as a group of sisters started their walk on the historic boat landing and departure area of the Macal River in San Ignacio Town. It was a hundred years ago that the founding Pallotine Sisters had to travel using basic modes of transportation such as the Cayo River Boat to get to the old “El Cayo Landing” with intent to provide services to the Cayo area.

World Water Day
On Friday, March 22nd, the world will be observing World Water Day under the theme, “Water Cooperation:. In Belize, the observance is being marked with a World Water Fair which will be held in Orange Walk Town on Thursday, March 21st under the theme, “Water Development, Past Present and Future”. According to World Water Day Committee members Rudolph Williams and Claudio Neal, the event will see organizations that are intricately involved with the water resource put up displays at the event.

One Year for Kevin Lee
“Jesus Understands Me” is what acupuncturist and massage therapist Kun Lin Lee, known as “Kevin Lee” had to say on Friday, March 15th after he was found guilty of aggravated assault of an indecent nature and sentenced to 1 year imprisonment in Magistrate’s Court. Lee was found guilty after a 20-yer-old woman, who went to his business place to get a back massage in April 2011, testified in the Court room of Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer that instead of getting a back massage, she was assaulted by Lee. He touched her breasts, buttocks and tried to touch her private parts as well. After paying Lee $60.00, the woman said she annoyed by Lee’s inappropriate touches. She told a friend, who laughed at her allegations, but she then took the matter to the police months later. Before handing down the sentence, Lee’s attorney, Alifah Elrington-Hyde made a submission to the court asking the court to be lenient on her client since this was his first conviction. Hyde asked the court to impose a non-custodial sentence since it was his first offense and since Lee has not been able to travel to Taiwan to see his ailing wife for more than a year.

Another Daylight Murder on Caesar Ridge
The body of 26-year-old Alton Belgrave lay on Ceasar Ridge Road with multiple gunshot wounds to the body. At least one of those gunshots struck him to the head killing him instantly. Nearby, 7 police forensic markers showed the spots where at least 7 expended shells were found. In an adjacent lot, his sister and common-law wife cried uncontrollably as the police processed the crime scene. Belgrave, who is employed by the Belize City Council’s Works Department, was in the area patching streets an had just taken a break when he was approached by a gunman who opened fire killing him on the spot. Reportedly, the gunman had been chasing a young man who had on a school uniform but was unable to catch him. In frustration, he turned his gun on Belgrave and shot him to death.

Ex-cop must pay $10,000 Extortion Fine
An ex-police officer, who was convicted in 2010 for extorting $100 from a foreigner, must pay the Supreme Court a fine of $10,000 which was imposed against him upon conviction for extortion. On Friday, March 15th, Marlon Harris, got the bad news at around 10:30 a.m., when his appeal was dismissed and his conviction and sentence affirmed by the judges of the Court of Appeal. In his appeal, the ex-cop was represented by attorney, Said Musa. Musa had argued six points in the appeal process, none of which were successful. Harris was accused of extorting $100 from Ayetekin Kelat on December 1st, 2008, at a police checkpoint. He got $100 from Kelat in exchange for no charges being pressed against him after he claimed he caught Kelat in a vehicle that was not insured.

Murder on Mahogany Street
Police are investigating the shooting death of 23-year-old construction worker, Leon Humes who was shot to the head sometime around 11:25 p.m. on Friday, March 15th. According to reports Humes had gone to Fay-Way Store, located on Mahogany Street, to buy something to eat when a masked gunman approached him from the nearby Jasmine Street and shot him to the face. The bullet entered his left cheek and exited on the right side of the head. He died at around 2:20 on Saturday morning while undergoing medical attention at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Family members are at a loss as to why Humes was killed and say they have no motive for him to have been killed. They report that he was a fun-loving person, who was known to be a ladies man but did not involve himself in problems. Police have not yet made any arrests in this murder.

Convicted of Aggravated Assault upon an 18-year-old woman
On Friday, March 15th, 30-year-old John Smith, a laborer of Raccoon Street was convicted of one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon an 18-year- old woman. Smith appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was found guilty of the charge stemming from an incident which occurred on October 5th, 2012. Smith was remanded until Wednesday, March 20th. In court, the young woman testified that she was at a christening when Smith took his two hands and caressed her breasts. Smith apparently was under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred. In his defense, Smith denied the allegations and said that on that night, at about 12:30 a.m., whilst at the christening, he stepped on the woman's toe and she began to insult him. He then turned around and pointed his finger at her and they got into an argument. Under cross examination by the prosecutor, Sgt. Egbert Castillo, Smith, when it was suggested to him that it was possible that he touched the girl, said no because at the time he had food in one hand and drinks in the other. He was caught lying as earlier he had told the court that he had pointed his finger at the woman.

Accused of assaulting 15-year-old girl
On Tuesday, March 19th, 39-year-old Marlon Mangar appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with a single count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 15-year-old girl. Mangar, a resident of Mile 2 1/2 on the George Price Highway, pleaded not guilty and was offered bail in the sum of $1,500. He was ordered to pay $500 in cash; the balance was to be a signed surety. His case was then adjourned to May 15th, 2013. On March 10th, the 15-year-old girl alleged that Mangar touched her inappropriately on her private part which led police to charge Mangar.

Pedophile molest Two Boys in San Pedro
Police on San Pedro are investigating a case where two boys were molested by a 24-year-old man. According to police reports a 9 and 6-year-old of the San Pedrito area, along with their mother, visited the police station at around 7p.m. on Saturday, March 16th. The 9-year-old reported to police that on that same day while he was at home, a man identified as a 24-year-old Honduran national who resides at the same address, kissed him on the mouth and had sex with him. He explained to police that this is not the first time he has done this. For his part, that 6-year-old reported that also on the same date, the same man touched him on his private parts. Police have since detained the man pending the outcome of their investigations.


A Serious Walk Around Caye Caulker, Belize: Part One
Recently, I took the short trip over to Caye Caulker (only 20 minutes by water taxi) and, about 5 minutes into the trip, was thinking “why don’t I do this more often?” That always happens. Caye Caulker is so pretty, so laid back, so different from San Pedro, such a nice change of pace…one day is like a mini-vacation. And it’s been a while since I did a serious “walk about”…here is what I saw. I stopped in to see if my favorite conch carver still had the shell breasts that I had spotted a few years ago. Who can pull off one of these pendants? What sort of outfit do you wear them with?These are definitely different ones…I would have remembered that…well…wonky pair. The shop is right on the main street.

Belizean Staff Retreats at The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Belizeans looking for an exotic location combined with rainforest activities, fine dining, an enchanting setting and luxurious accommodations need look no further. Chaa Creek offers the perfect staff retreat option for the discerning professional. One and two nights packages include luxury cottage accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, guided tours of the Natural History Museum, Butterfly Farm and Rainforest Medicine Trail, Canoeing on the Macal River and swimming in Chaa Creek’s new swimming pool.

BELTRAIDE Introduces Entrepreneurship Development Project
Belizeans who have skills in specified areas but don’t yet have the financial support can now tap into that kind of funding through a National Entrepreneurship Development Project. Introduced today by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, and the Centre for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises, or CENPROMYPE for short, the program will provide a budget for six million US dollars for the region, 860 thousand dollars of which is earmarked for investment in Belize. CENPROMYPE is a regional organization that promotes small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurial programs. Belize’s Executive director of BELTRAIDE, Nick Ruiz, now holds the presidency of CENPROMYPE since Belize holds the presidency of the SICA sub-committee for the development of micro, small and medium size enterprises. He says that Belizeans stand to gain much from this particular venture.

Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites
Laura Esquivel-Frampton, Director of Tourism “The project seeks to achieve the integration of rural communities into the tourism sector through improved access; that is the infrastructure, safety and standards at the archeological sites—again we are looking at the safety standards in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of the standards with which we would like to operate at these sites. This project will address key objectives of our national sustainable tourism master plan. It addresses business and product development as well as marketing awareness particularly for our artisans in the vicinity of the archeological sites. It addresses infrastructure and accessibility to key tourism attractions which is part of our mandate within the master plan.”

How Maddie got her first passport by Jake aka John Brandon
So, here are the gory details: John, Lori, Lisa and Madison (age 13 months) show up at Bradley International Airport February 28 at 4:00 a.m. for a 6:00 flight to Miami on American Airlines, connecting to Belize City. At the counter, Lori notices the AA representative was very nervous after asking me for the identification for our daughter. After much consultation, an AA supervisor came back and told us we could not board the flight because all we had for Maddie was a full-sized birth certificate and no passport. Naturally I felt like an idiot for not thinking about that beforehand, but there was nothing to be done about it. Ironically, AA had called me the day prior because the travel agent I used to book the trip had inadvertently inserted the name of Lisa, Maddie’s aunt, twice in the reservation, and left Maddie out completely. So AA called me, and kept me on the phone for about 45 minutes while they sorted that out. At no point did either the travel agent, with whom I had extensive conversations, nor AA mention that I needed a passport for our 13-month old child. So, back at the airport, American Airlines’ position was that this was my mistake, and if we wanted to fly tomorrow we had to pay $6,000.

Every Grain of Sand
Suffering from the effects of a ‘heavy’ evening at the Roadkill bar – well we had to celebrate our homecoming didn’t we – I got up a little late yesterday morning at 6.15 am. None the worse for wear though after one mug of coffee I was raring (well, OK not raring but at least ready) to tackle ironing the third wash of the week – the sheets and pillowcases. When I first started ironing these things – never attempted it prior to moving to Ambergris Caye (led a sheltered (or is it cosseted) life you might say) I really struggled with them. A bit like giving me Rubik’s Cube to solve! But after nine hard months of practice it’s a doddle. Not offering my services though! Rose and I spent a couple of hours looking at the plans for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize . We did so on a room by room,floor by floor basis making notes for all of the things that we want to discuss with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, during the meeting we are having with him at the build at 3 pm this afternoon. The agenda items range from recesses in the showers to floor finish for the roof terrace. With that out of the way we went to the San Pedro Town Council offices in Barrier Reef Drive to pick up an application form for the importation of a golf cart (this in readiness for a successful application for the Qualified Retirement Program) and two application forms (one for Rose and one for me) for Belize driving licenses (we must have these (well me at least) to be granted the right to import a golf cart.

Belize On The Cheap
If you’re used to traveling in Central America, when you enter the country of Belize you may notice that you can’t stretch your money as much as you did in countries such as Guatemala or Honduras. This is because similarly to Costa Rica, Belize is a bit on the expensive side. But don’t give up yet, by smartly planning your vacation you can still do Belize on the cheap while maximizing a great travel experience. Travel to Belize costs more than Central American counterparts because the country’s population is very small (approximately 330,000) and aside from a few local products, EVERYTHING is imported. For instance, the average price of gas is $6 USD while it’s $3.50 in the US. Just imagine the effect that has on the cost of materials. However, there’s a positive side to everything and for Belize it is the unspoiled beauty of the place. The charm of the country is its uninhabited rainforests, the simple and friendly people, and the “quiet” towns. Below are three destinations I recommend in order to enjoy a budget vacation to Belize.

International Sources

Loving Belize episode 2 - Caye Caulker, BlueHole, Hopkins, Xunantunich
Welcome to episode 2 of 'Loving Belize' a new documentary series about Belize and the amazing, diverse, beautiful, people that live there. I would like to thank Cory and Daniel for the amazing road trip they sponsored and for being beautiful fun people and a friends for life! Thank you so much Doris for being a fantastic guide and a wealth of knowledge! In episode 2 you'll see interviews with: - Sonia Rivera Mayor of San Benito Guatemala in Caye Caulker - Cory Scott Pierce, Daniel Szelenyi, Melvin Badillo at the Miramar Hotel, Little Kitchen with chef Elba Flowers who'll teach you how to make a traditional Garifuna dish and Joseph Ambros coconut oil maker. In Belize City - Jay owner of Crystal Car rentals, collector of 'Trash'. In Mahogany Heights - Doris Figueroa teacher at the 'Living Hope' Prep School in Belize City for children at risk. We also visit the sites on a crazy road trip Introducing 'The B team'. The inland Blue Hole Hopkins San Ignacio Xunantunich Mayan Site Ending with an introduction to episode 3 with a special interview with Belizean musician, singer, song writer 'Bastic' and the founder of BCMG music Label Dale Scott Soberanis and myself being interviewed by 'Yankee' AKA 'Zookeeper' on Wave Radio.

Google quietly pulls plug on Frommer’s print travel guidebooks
Google has ceased production and publication of printed guidebooks bearing the Frommer’s brand name, Skift has learned. The last two Frommer’s books to roll off the presses were guides in the all-color Day-by-Day series devoted to Napa and Sonoma and Banff and the Rockies, and went on sale in early February. The last book in the traditional complete guide series was Frommer’s Florida in late December. Starting with Frommer’s New York City With Kids, which can still be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in other bookstore inventories and was supposed to publish on February 19, the entire future list of Frommer’s titles will not see the light of day. Many of the authors attached to these 29 titles told Skift that they were informed by editors now working at Google that the books would not publish. Some authors were told that the books would merely be delayed before new contracts were signed. None of the authors contacted reported that their titles would appear in print.

Mayan and Garifuna Indigenous in Belize Demand Respect for Their Ancestral Land
Roughly the size of New Jersey, Belize is one of the smallest countries in Central America. The country is also in the epicenter of the Mayan territory. More than half of Belize’s population of 300,000 are Mayan indigenous and Afro-descendants, known as Garifunas. The Mayans and Garifunas of Belize are struggling to maintain control over their ancestral land. The government of Belize has illegally granted US Capital Energy, a Texas-based company, a license to explore and drill on the land of 38 Mayan and Garifuna communities. The license awarded by the local government – without the consultation and approval of the communities – violates two decisions of Supreme Court of Belize from 2007 and 2010, which named both the communities and government as co-managers of the area. The government’s unilateral decision to disregard the court decision opened the door for the undesired presence of US Capital Energy in the local communities and the ensuing conflict. Our colleagues at Cultural Survival have organized an e-action to support local communities, which Grassroots International supports.

VIDEO: Day Two in Belize
T&T Senior Team in Belize for friendly international. Head Coach Hutson Charles talks about the trip so far. - TTFF Media TV

Student heading to Belize for service-oriented spring break
Chelsea Bowman is excited to motivate others this spring break and contribute to a healthier environment. Bowman, a junior from Randleman, N.C., is a student co-leader on the CSLEPS spring break trip to Belize. Since June, she planned to travel with a group of fellow NC State students to focus on environmental and agricultural issues in the area near Punta Gorda. Bowman and her team will be working throughout the week with the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, or TCGA. The growers association is focused on creating a better life for its farmers through competition and ecologically-friendly practices.

Have you ever experienced Cave tubing & Zip Lining in Belize?
Have you ever experienced Cave tubing? If no, welcome to the world of cave tubing. The fascinating world of adventure sports in the kingdom of Belize. Your time starts now! The tour named as Zip Line starts with a hike through the rainforest, amidst chirping of the birds to the platform from where the cave tubing adventure begins and you enter the tunnel of the underground cave system. This adventurous sojourn will take about six hours and can be very strenuous if you have a medical condition and if you are obese, else it will be the most exciting, over the edge dramatic encounter for you. When you are at the Nohoch Chen Archaeological park, your camp base, you will start your adventure named Zip Line whereby a intricate harness system of pulleys on cables horizontally inclined cables will let you glide about 200 -700 feet between platforms in the trees at a panoramic levelled canopy. Once you are safely tucked in on a safety harness, for next one hour you will be zipped through various jungle platforms which will make you feel like naughty chimpanzee. Next on your agenda will be the cave tubing. You are well equipped and provided with tubes, safety gear and headlights gear to make your journey through the wild lush green rain forests to enter the cave. Then starts your dramatic journey and you are under expert supervision to start your cave tubing adventure which will take you in to the ancient Maya underworld- Xibalba. The environment and the aura of the crystalline formations in the cave will make your heart beats fast and you may feel creepy, and suddenly you may enter sunlight and again enter in to other cave system.

Sanctuary Belize – The Only Five-star Eco-lifestyle Development in the world
The former British colony of Belize is fast becoming a hot spot for those looking for an alternative to owning resort properties in Mexico. Sanctuary Belize is in the heart of the action. Covering 5,666 hectares in the south end of Belize — 4,047 of which is environmental reserve — this project offers land-development opportunities for those wanting to build their own dream home in the sun. “We are the only five-star eco-lifestyle development in the world,” says Calgary-based director of sales Tod Hall. “In the confines of our development, we have the river, savannah, jungle and we have barrier reef.” The property also includes a marina (now under construction), as well as other amenities such as an equestrian area and planned retail and commercial space. When finished, Sanctuary Belize will have approximately 1,800 home sites, each ranging in size from 0.10 to 4.05 hectares. Owners can access approved builders via Sanctuary Belize. Hall says some 20 per cent of buyers hail from Canada. “They relate to it not only for the financial benefit, but Belize is also part of the Commonwealth; it’s the only English-speaking country in all of Central America.”

Hidden magma layer: Scientists discover 'lubricant' for Earth's tectonic plates
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have found a layer of liquefied molten rock in Earth's mantle that may be acting as a lubricant for the sliding motions of the planet's massive tectonic plates. The discovery may carry far-reaching implications, from solving basic geological functions of the planet to a better understanding of volcanism and earthquakes. The scientists discovered the magma layer at the Middle America trench offshore Nicaragua. Using advanced seafloor electromagnetic imaging technology pioneered at Scripps, the scientists imaged a 25-kilometer- (15.5-mile-) thick layer of partially melted mantle rock below the edge of the Cocos plate where it moves underneath Central America. The new images of magma were captured during a 2010 expedition aboard the U.S. Navy-owned and Scripps-operated research vessel Melville. After deploying a vast array of seafloor instruments that recorded natural electromagnetic signals to map features of the crust and mantle, the scientists realized they found magma in a surprising place.

Voyager Solar System 'exit' debated
The latest research is published online in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL). It concerns data the spacecraft has been gathering about changes in its environment which for some time now have suggested it is about to cross over the Solar System's border - the so-called heliopause. The possibility that the Voyager-1 spacecraft may have left the Solar System is being hotly debated. Launched in September 1977, the probe was sent initially to study the outer planets, but then just kept on going. Researchers studying its data say the craft appears now to be in a realm of space beyond the influence of our Sun. But the US space agency (Nasa), which manages Voyager, says that it regards the probe as still being inside the Solar System. The mission is currently moving more than 18 billion km from Earth, or 123 times the distance between our planet and the Sun.

Planck satellite: Maps detail Universe's ancient light
A map tracing the "oldest light" in the sky has been produced by Europe's Planck Surveyor satellite. Its pattern confirms the Big Bang theory for the origin of the Universe but subtle, unexpected details will require scientists to adjust some of their ideas. A spectacular new map of the "oldest light" in the sky has just been released by the European Space Agency. Scientists say its mottled pattern is an exquisite confirmation of our Big-Bang model for the origin and evolution of the Universe. But there are features in the picture, they add, that are unexpected and will require ideas to be refined. The map was assembled from 15 months' worth of data acquired by the 600m-euro (£515m) Planck space telescope. It details what is known as the cosmic microwave background, or CMB - a faint glow of microwave radiation that pervades all of space. Its precise configuration, visible in the new Planck data, is suggestive of a cosmos that is slightly older than previously thought - one that came into existence 13.82 billion years ago. This is an increase of about 50 million years on earlier calculations. The map shows tiny deviations from the average background temperature, where blue is slightly cooler and red is slightly warmer. The cold spots are where matter was more concentrated and later collapsed under gravity to form stars and galaxies. Image: ESA/Planck Collaboration

Ohio State student bitten by shark, asked to keep quiet
One Ohio State student’s visit to Belize over spring break ended with a shark bite, but she said some people are trying to get her to stay quiet. Monika Wanis, a fourth-year in anthropology and psychology, said a shark bit her on her toe during a trip to Belize with Buck-I-Serv to give out shoes with an organization called One World Running. She’s recovering from the incident, but she said she believes officials from Buck-I-Serv are more concerned with protecting their name and reputation than they are about her well-being. “In the email that they sent me, basically the first sentence said, ‘How are you feeling, I hope you got medical care,’ and then the remainder of the email said, ‘I hope you consider posting positive things on Facebook about One World Running and Buck-I-Serv because they do not want bad publicity and press.’ I didn’t put anything negative about Buck-I-Serv or One World Running on Facebook because it’s not their fault,” Wanis said. “I just want people to realize that they’re not out to make sure that I’m safe, they’re out to make sure that their name doesn’t get a bad rep.” The bite took place on a snorkeling excursion.

Belize rich in birdlife & howling monkeys
“If you want to avoid monkey poop, don’t stand under this strangler fig,” cautions Geraldine Fermin. My daughters and I are standing in a forest clearing 90 minutes north of Belize City, gazing at a troop of eight black howler monkeys that stretch lazily in the branches of the tree directly above us. The 50 square kilometres they share with some 3,500 other monkeys is loosely known as the Community Baboon Sanctuary, an area comprising seven villages in which more than 200 villagers own land. Its name can be confusing, since baboon is the creole word for monkey. But in 1985 the area was identified as containing one of the largest populations of black howler monkeys in North Central America. Somehow, a group of concerned citizens persuaded the villagers to refrain from the slash-and-burn practices that were previously destroying the monkeys’ habitat. With this loose promise the black howler monkeys’ longevity has been safeguarded - for now, at least. The vegetarian primates stare down at us, showing little interest until Fermin, our guide, heads into the forest and returns with one of their favourite foods: the leaves of a trumpeter plant. With some encouragement an adult black howler hangs low enough from her branch to retrieve the offering, munching thoughtfully on the leaves before returning to the safety of higher branches.

100 Best Private Island Resorts
ISLANDS picked the world's 12 best private-island resorts as well as more than 100 such private islands all across the planet, from the surprisingly accessible to the beautifully exotic. Any of these private islands holds the promise of the dream escape, where you can have the luxury amenities of a resort while still feeling like the island is all yours. Explore the resorts on our Best list, and zoom in on this map to find the exact locations of all 100+ islands and how to book your trip there.

Best Private Islands: Belize's Cayo Espanto
This hideaway in the cayes of Belize could practically grant any wish, except for smoked fish. So when a Cayo Espanto guest requested that, the chef constructed a smoker. Same thing happened when another guest wanted a Christmas tree. The resort flew one in. After all, a private island with only six villas -- including the new over-water Casa Ventanas at the end of a 150-foot private dock -- does have some limitations. So the real magic is in striving for no limits. See photos. Here's further info from the managers of Cayo Espanto: Overall, what do U.S. travelers enjoy most about Cayo Espanto? Guests at Cayo Espanto truly enjoy the exceptional level of service, the personalized attention to detail & the privacy the island offers. A guest preference survey is sent to each visitor before they arrive which allows the resort to tailor all aspects of the stay from the drink that is handed to guests upon arrival to the music playing in their villa and the snacks stocked in the pantry. Cayo's chef meets with guests each morning to discuss the menu for the day and it is that customized attention that our U.S. visitors appreciate.

ATM an Unexpected Adventure Trip
Actun Tunichil Muknal listed 2nd on Joshua Berman's list of 10 Unexpected Adventure Trips in Central America, which ran today in this month's issue of Men's Fitness. Belize actually has 3 spots on the list, Ragamuffin sailing trips and 5 coutry doomsday ride being the other 2. "If you’ve never been in a cave, Aktun Tunichil Muknal is a must. In addition to swimming-wading-squeezing-crawling-hiking a half mile deep into the Maya underworld, you get to experience a unique experiment in the world of archaeology and tourism. In the ATM caves, officials have left 1000-year-old bones, pots, and other artifacts in situ, instead of hauling them off to labs and museums.

Fit Travel: 10 Unexpected Adventure Trips in Central America
From jungles to volcanoes to the ultimate surf spots, discover the surprising, less-traveled sides of our nearby neighbors to the south. If you’ve never been in a cave, Aktun Tunichil Muknal is a must. In addition to swimming-wading-squeezing-crawling-hiking a half mile deep into the Maya underworld, you get to experience a unique experiment in the world of archaeology and tourism. In the ATM caves, officials have left 1000-year-old bones, pots, and other artifacts in situ, instead of hauling them off to labs and museums. The crystal maiden herself is a full-body skeleton, covered in calcite crystals which sparkle in your headlamp’s light. ($110 day trip; $280 overnight;

March 21, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Alexis Del Valle crowned SP Lions Queen 2013
On Saturday evening, March 16th, the San Pedro Lions Club hosted their annual Lions Queen pageant, with four lovely young ladies competing for the coveted 2013 title. Alexis Del Valle, who was sponsored by Fidos and The San Pedro Sun, Lynda Quintanilla sponsored by CSG by the Sea, Cecibel Cortez sponsored by Mata Chica and Lina Mazeriegos sponsored by Elvi’s Kitchen were all charming and title-worthy contenders. Masters of Ceremony Geraldo Badillo and Solani Graniel were on stage to introduce the contestants and entertain the large crowd throughout the evening. The night kicked off with a dance presentation by the four contestants, and in between their sportswear modelling and talent competition, the audience was treated to lively, choreographed dance performances by the San Pedro Dance Academy. Prior to the evening gown segment a projected photo presentation of a trip the contestants took with Belize Diving Adventures to Caye Caulker was shown on stage, with candid photos of the girls having fun while enjoying the trip.The evening gown segment followed, and each contestant wore her elegant dress with grace and poise. Next it was time for the question and answer session, where the rivals were asked Lion related questions. It was then time for the lovely out-going Lion’s Queen 2012 Shantell Pascascio to bid her farewell and take her final walk.

High school students get Reef Week outing
Some 40 students got an opportunity to experience first hand the magnificence of the Belize Barrier Reef on Tuesday March 19th thanks to Oceana. As part of its Reef Week activities, Oceana in Belize took the students from Southside Belize City high school on an excursion to Caye Caulker and its nearby Marine Reserve. Led by qualified tour guides, the students – most for the very first time ever—got to snorkel at Coral Gardens then to interact with nurse sharks and stingrays at Caye Caulker’s famous Shark-Ray Village. Since its introduction to Belize some three years ago Oceana has sought to allow as many Belizeans as possible, especially the young, to experience for themselves the wonders of the Belize Barrier Reef. Oceana’s VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd summed up the experience, “This is the first ever nationwide Reef Week, so there is absolutely no way we could celebrate this week without providing an opportunity for some students from our less well-off Southside Belize City neighbourhoods to see for themselves and come to appreciate our awesome treasure, the Barrier Reef. It is ours to enjoy and use responsibly so that like our parents passed it on to us, this generation can pass it on to Belizeans, as well as visitors, yet unborn.”

Grisel Carballo takes the crown at La Diosa Maya Internacional in Mexico
Belizean Grisel Rosseli Carballo of Orange Walk Town is the reigning La Diosa Maya Internacional 2013-2014 after winning the regional pageant in Mexico over the weekend. Carballo joined delegates from the other four Mundo Maya member countries that participated in the annual event hosted in the Mexican state of Yucatan. Carballo also won best costume in a competition leading to the final pageant. According to the 21 year old business management student of the University of Belize, she was invited by the Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard to be the country’s representative, an invitation she gladly accepted. “The pageant is an event where all the Mundo Maya member countries are united and an ambassador is selected to represent the Maya culture for the region. These participating countries consist of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and of course our jewel – Belize. We got the opportunity to get to know each other, learn about each country and we even visited various places in Yucatan in the days leading to the main event,” outlined Carballo.

Ambergris Today

“Don’t Mess with San Pedrito” Clean Up Campaign
The San Pedro Town Council carries as slogan on this drive: "Don’t Mess with San Pedrito". UNICEF (United Nations International Children Education Fund), which has partnered very generously with the Town Council, carries its own slogan: "Fulfilling Every Child’s Right to Clean Water, Proper Sanitation and Hygiene Sanitation". On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, at the San Pedrito Park, a warm and relevant ceremony was held to kick off the cleanup campaign of the San Pedrito Area. After the National Anthem and prayer by Pastor Clive Welsh, Emcee Mr. Angel Nuñez invited to the podium Mayor Daniel Guerrero for his opening remarks. Mayor Daniel Guerrero stated that the Town Council’s goal is to have all low lying areas, such as San Mateo and San Pedrito, in a good standard of living. “We have invested thousands of dollars on the roads,” Stated Mayor Guerrero. “The Council is doing its part, now it is the responsibility of the residents to their part.”

United Nations Trains Belizeans on Forensic Ballistic Analysts
The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC) in collaboration with the British High Commission in Belize and the Ministry of National Security is conducting one week Training on Forensic Ballistics mainly in support of criminal investigations and the counter-proliferation of firearms and ammunition. A one day seminar entitled ‘Overview of Forensic Ballistics for Decision-Makers and Policy-Makers’ will be followed by a 4 day technical course exclusively for forensic technicians, forensic scientists and other specialized personnel. These activities form part of UNLIREC´s broader technical assistance to countries of the Caribbean and Central America focused on curbing illicit small arms trafficking and reducing armed violence.

Flashbacks: Easter in Belize Means the Caye!
Restaurants, boutiques, and gift shops abound on the island, so that poses no problem. The beaches are certainly full of children enjoying an island vacation, of teenagers sporting their latest beach wear, of entire families savoring sun, sea, music, dancing, and air along with their favorite drinks and food. There are no lifeguards because there is no need for them, but hey adults, just be around for your happy Easter Vacation in San Pedro, Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

2013 World Meteorological Day 23rd March
Annually on the 23rd March the meteorological community celebrates World Meteorological Day with the objective to build public awareness of the services provided by National Meteorological Services. These services involve the observation, collection, processing and dissemination of meteorological, hydrological and other related data and products. Each year the day is commemorated under the banner of a particular theme that reflects the importance and relevance of these services to mankind. This year’s theme is “Watching the weather to protect life and property.” This theme focuses attention on the crucial role the meteorological services play in strengthening safety and resilience to weather events. The 23rd March marks the coming into force of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the signing of the charter establishing the Organization which is now 191 countries strong. Over the past 50 years watching and predicting the weather has become a highly sophisticated scientific activity, in particular in protecting life and property. Improved scientific weather forecasting has saved many lives and contributed enormously to sustainable development globally and Belize is no exception. Everyone from farmer, city planner, water manager, disaster manager, tour guide, to government officials has benefited from modern weather and climate services.

Restrictions on the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages on Good Friday
The following decisions have been made regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages on Good Friday, March 29th, 2013: 1. RESTAURANTS & BARS: Regardless of the type of liquor license held, restaurants and bars will be permitted to stay open throughout Good Friday; however, they will not be permitted to sell alcoholic beverages from Thursday midnight until Friday at 6 p.m. After such time, they may resume the sale of alcoholic beverages. 2. GROCERY STORES: All grocery stores on the Peninsula that sell alcoholic beverages will be allowed to open during normal business hours; however, they will NOT be allowed to sell any alcoholic beverages. They can resume the sale of alcoholic beverages during normal opening hours on Saturday.

Pallottine Sisters Visit Mount Carmel
The Pallottine Sisters re-enacted their arrival to Benque a century ago. They paid a visit to Mount Carmel High School along the way. "Pallottine Sisters re-enact their arrival to Benque Viejo 100 years ago."

SHJC Tourism Students Visit Mama Noots
The Tourism students from Sacred Heart Junior College took a trip to the Mayflower Bocawina National Park where they got to ride the longest zipline in the country, and then went repelling down waterfalls, courtesy of Mama Noots eco lodge. A big thanks to Ervin Tzib for helping with pictures. A great time was had by all! "The Sacred Heart Junior College Tourism students traveled to Mayflower Bocawina National Park to experience the longest zip line in the country and to repel down some waterfalls."

SHJC Wins at Football Regionals
The Sacred Heart Junior College Football team won at the ATLIB regionals in Dangriga over the weekend. They'll go to finals on April 14th, which will be held at the Escuela Mexico campus. Congratulations, SHJC! "SHJC's male and female teams participated in this year's ATLIB Football tournaments. The female team did a great job at representing SHJC but were unable to secure a spot to advance to Nationals. Our male team played against Independence JC and won 2-0. Their second game was against UB's male football team. The game was a really tight one. SHJC scored a goal in the first half and UB scored 2 goals thereafter. The goal to tie the game came in from SHJC the minute before the game ended. The teams then went on to play an extra 10 minutes then to penalties. The final score for penalties was SHJC 6 - UB 5. SHJC qualified for Natioanls to be held at Escuela Mexico on April 14, 2013. We're proud of both our teams! Job well done guys!"

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
They have the trailer out for the next Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, which is the test of ultimate will that spans over 220 miles around Belize. Cayo is the setting in the trailer. The race will start in San Ignacio, and go all around the Maya Mountains, where the teams will hike, bike, rapel, and canoe to get to the finish line. You can see Xunantunich, Caracol, Rio Frio Cave, San Ignacio, Rio On Pools, Branch Mouth Park, the Hawkesworth Bridge, and many other sites. They interview Rafael Manzanero, from the Friends of Conservation and Develompment about the idea. They did a great job on the epic trailer.

Foam Party at Meluchi's
Meluchi's Foam Party was a hit! Talk about a wild time in Cayo! That foam machine really got a workout, although not as much as those dancing under it. Eclipse Sounds did a great job with the mixing. Thanks, Meluchi's, for another unforgettable night.

Rotaract Distributes Gift Baskets
Feelgood news of the day. Rotaract distributed food baskets around Benque. Great work, Rotaract! "In commemoration of World Rotaract Week, and in collaboration with the Help Age Center and Mount Carmel Primary School in Benque Viejo, and the Rotary Club of San Ignacio, we distributed food baskets to the elderly, single mothers and other deserving families in Benque Viejo. This is Part 1 of our project. Part 2 will be taking taking place in Santa Elena Town in collaboration with Rotary Club of San Ignacio. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who supported our Red Carpet Affair as we raised funds to distribute gift baskets to the deserving families. A big thank you to Grace Kennedy Belize Limited for donating 20 boxes of baking powder, and to Loida Pinelo for donating 20 bottles of Dilmah Tea for each gift basket."

Residents of Belmopan and surrounding areas will observe International Day of Forests on Thursday with a fair in the nation’s capital. The purpose of the celebration is to raise awareness of the important of forests throughout the world. The fair will take place on Thursday in front of the police headquarters in Belmopan, with opening ceremonies scheduled to start at 9 am. The fair will feature educational and information booths and the general public is being invited to come learn about “the importance of our forests and the creatures that live within it, and collect educational materials and information from many wildlife and conservation organizations throughout the country.”

Channel 7

"Soca Boys" Won’t Play On MCC Pitch
There's trouble in the football world tonight as Trinidad and Tobago's National Football Team, the Soca Boys won't play on the MCC Pitch. That's because they say the field is in bad condition and they risk injury to their team - which, as we noted last night - includes a number of international players who are on contract in Europe and the USA. The background to this is that the game will be played at the MCC because on Saturday, the only FIFA approved field in Belize at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan will be used for the LOVE FM Bandfest. That's a controversy all unto itself, but now it has avalanched into something much bigger - the threat of the cancellation of an international friendly and a major warm up match for the Belize Team in the run-up to the Gold Cup. Daniel Ortiz went to the team's first workout at the MCC today and found out from the Trinidad Football Team Captain and the Trinidad Football Federation representative what the problem is:

Alleged Human Trafficker Faces Huge Fines In Court
For the last 2 nights, we've been reporting on 43 year old Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia, the woman who is suspected to have orchestrated a human traffic operation of mostly children through the PGIA. Well today, she was finally arraigned at the Magistrate's Court. 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 which is when false Guatemalan passports affixed with bogus US Visas which were prepared for them. This afternoon, Azmitia appeared in the Belize City Magistrate's Court before Magistrate Adolph Lucas in Court #6. She was charged with 10 immigration offenses, 5 counts of assisting another person to remain in Belize by attempting to use a falsified passport, and 5 counts of unlawful possession of documents.

Hon. Elrington Says He Wasn't Slighted By Guat Counterpart
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington returned from Washington DC today after meetings with the OAS and a contingent from the Guatemalan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As has been widely reported, that meeting did not include Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera, who did not attend. That meant Elrington could not participate in the meetings with the Guatemalans, because it was below his ministerial rank. We asked Elrington if he felt slighted and we also asked him to outline the proposal from the Guatemalans, which he said is actually from the OAS: Jules Vasquez "What have you returned home with?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Minister of Foreign Affairs "We've returned basically with proposals which the Secretary General of the OAS has put to us, as raised by the Guatemalans in relation to the referendum." Jules Vasquez "Do those proposals include proposal for the postponement of the referendum?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington "I don't want to disclose that until we have had a chance to get instructions on it from the cabinet." Jules Vasquez "Are you - much has been made of the fact that your counterpart did not show up when he was expected to show and it turns up that he was in Rome and - for the new Pope. Is this an affront, are you offended by it?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington "Absolutely not, I think that people misunderstood what happened. I was not invited to Washington by the Guatemalans; I was invited to go to Washington to see the Secretary General of the Organization of the American States, Mr. Insulza, and that meeting was arranged because the Guatemalans wanted to put certain proposals to us, We indicated to them when they came here to look for me, that the right way to put it is to put it through Insulza."

Roger Ran Down His Robbers
He may be a two term City Councilor, but this weekend Roger Espejo was just another victim of street crime. Around 7 o'clock on Sunday evening, Espejo and a friend were near Rock Park when 6 men on bicycles rolled up on them. Espejo told police that one of them had his hand under his shirt and told him to quote, "run weh yu got". Espejo said he feared that the man had a gun and he remained still. The man then proceeded to snatch Espejo's fashion chain valued at fifty dollars. The group then rode off down Princess Margaret Drive. Espejo chased after them and managed to catch one of the males who had robbed him and took him to the Queen Street Police Station. Turns out he was just a minor, and police tracked down another in the group. On Tuesday 2 minors were arraigned for Robbery and Conspiracy to commit Robbery. Police are seeking another from the group as investigations continue.

Dangriga Coastline Erosion Now An Emergency
In February, we told you about the alarming rate of erosion on the coastline of Dangriga Town. Pictures taken just five months apart, showed a substantial deterioration. Well, in the two months since picture number two it has gotten even worse. The picnic table that was toppling is now in the sea, and the fence for the park is about to be undermined. What's causing it and what can be done? The Mayor today told us that it's such an emergency, he doesn't even have time to find out - he just has to take action, now: Retired Major H. Gilberto Swazo - Mayor of Dangriga Town "The erosion situation in Dangriga is very critical, and as a council we believe that it is our responsibility to arrest that situation as early as possible. The intent is for us in the first instance, to halt the erosion, and then once we halt the erosion then that will retain what we have. And once that is completed, then we go into the reclamation phase. We have directed that anyone who is demolishing, in the first instance like those brick houses, we can utilize to form the same growing that has - that I've spoken about. Those growing will certainly halt the erosion."

City Mayor Makes Demands of Contractors
And while the Dangriga Mayor is fighting against the ever advancing Caribbean Sea in an environment gone haywire, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley is trying to keep pace with an unprecedented rate of street paving. The City has paved 56 streets, but like mother always said, haste makes waste, and more than a few contractors have been forced to do re-do's. Evergreen Street behind BWSL and Southern Foreshore are monuments to rough-shod patch up jobs, but Freetown Road has been under the most scrutiny. That's among the most heavily trafficked streets of the lot that's been paved and today we saw a team taking core samples from a patch of concrete that had already been re-done. We asked the Mayor about it: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "We had required the consultant - the contractor on Freetown Road to remove 3 sections of the road. That has been done, and we're doing testing currently to make sure it meets the minimum requirement for the PSI. Of course when we did the design, that street had to be 6 inch thick and it had to be a minimum 5000 PSI. The 3 sections that we've tested, did not meet the minimum PSI requirements, so we're hoping that when we do this test again it will pass the 5000 PSI, if not then we will require them to change it again."

Sexual Health Campaign Awareness Campaign For Youth
Today, the National Committee for Families and Children and the United Nations Development Programme launched a Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health Mass Media Campaign. It's built around two themes; the first is for young girls aged 11-14, and it's called "Wait and noh Worry" and it emphasizes the need to delay sexual activity. The other them is for those 18 to 24 year olds and it's called: and "Choose and Use". It emphasizes consistent condom usage and monogamy amongst sexually active youths. Both were launched today, and we wondered, with one stressing abstinence and the other encouraging safe sex, could there be some mixed messages: Martin Cuellar - Executive Director, National AIDS Secretariat "The first campaign is targeting one particular group of - that we identify as being particular vunerable and that is young girls who are pre-sexual activity, between 11 and 13 years of age. The other group is completely separate, and that campaign is also separate. Now hat second campaign is targeting young people who are more adults, those between 18 and above. So, they are indeed 2 different messages, but they're targeting 2 different groups within the Belizean population. The way that we anticipate that they will be used will reduce the chances of any kind of confusion between the 2 messages."

Jesse White And The Thrill Of Tumbling
Earlier on in this segment, you saw us interviewing the mayors of Dangriga and Belize City. That's because we ran into them at the airport, where they were greeting Jesse White, the Secretary of State for the State of Illinois in the US - but first the past 53 years, he's also been in charge of a tumbling troupe. And that is principally why White is here - touring with ten members of his 305 person troupe. They will be the featured attraction at this weekend's bandfest in Belmopan and we found out more about the thrill of tumbling: Emmanuel McGhee - Tumbler "We have a huge crowd; everyone loves our show, everyone roaring, clapping, shouting and screaming because of how high we jump. We elevate to about 20 feet sometimes; the audience loves it. It's a thrill for them, the stuff that we do; we get higher than anything that you have ever seen."

Tanya Gets A Full Page In "The Observer"
Last night, we told you about singer Tanya Carter's hook-up with Jamaican producer Christopher Birch and releasing her first international reggae single, called "Ex-Boyfriend." Well, she's getting attention in Jamaica for it. Yesterday, the Observer newspaper in Kingston gave her a full-page spread in the entertainment section. The article features an interview with Tanya and reveals that her next single will be named Secret, written by well-liked reggae artist Duane Stephenson. It reports that she will also be trying out some dancehall tunes this summer.

Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites
The European Union is providing funding for a project that should benefit communities like Rockstone Pond and San Jose Succotz. It's called the Belize Rural Development Project 2, and it is called, "Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites." That kind of says it all, and Director of Tourism Laura Esquivel explained how they will do it. Laura Esquivel-Frampton - Director of Tourism "We need to ensure that whatever we do for tourism, we're trying to do it in a sustainable manner. And so sustainability, as we say isn't only taking care of the environment, it's also taking care of the socio-economic impacts of tourism, and ensuring the people who are adjoining these great tourism sites, also have an opportunity to benefit from the tourism product. What we're doing is ensuring that because our tour guide course, as it stands right now is very knowledge heavy, you do need to have at least a high school back ground in order to get through our tour guide course. So part of this project is to create a community tour guide course, which will seek to address those communities that are neighboring these tourism destinations. So this will build the frame work, yes, for those persons who are near the archeological sites, but this frame work can also be use for other communities as well. And that way we are actively, and legally engaging those communities in being able to showcase their products." The project is in the form of a four million dollar grant. It is being divided between different agencies and the BTB will get 2.75 million dollars. The project will focus on archaeological sites of Xunantunich, Barton Creek, the ATM Caves Branch, Altun Ha, Lamanai, Nim Li Punit, Lubaantun, and Blue Creek.

The Importance Of Reading
Today the National Library Service held its 12th annual Book Fair at the Leo Bradley Library. Hundreds of students from across the city were invited to stop in and re-discover reading. The fair tries to encourage students to read more in the age of video games and 200 channels of cable TV. 7news spoke with one of the organizers who told us about the virtues of the art of reading. Sarah Castillo - Senior Library Assistant "Today is our 12th annual books fair. We usually hold the fair to promote the library services, the effectiveness of reading and to showcase what the library has to offer." Monica Bodden "Tell me about the different activities that will be happening here." Sarah Castillo "Firstly, we're going to have our coloring competition, and then we go straight into our puppet shows. We have publishers showcasing their book; we also have the Governor General here today. He will tell us some more of his marvelous stories, and we have a number of different activities just going on all around.

Channel 5

No ICJ! Guatemala wants out of referendum
Guatemala wants out of going to the referendum on October sixth, and out of possibly taking the Belize/Guatemala dispute to the International Court of Justice. That’s the word from Minister of Foreign Affairs this afternoon as he returned from Sunday’s meeting with Guatemala at OAS headquarters in Washington. The news confirms what Guatemala had been [...]

Bar Association will participate in education process
In Tuesday’s newscast, President of the Bar Eamon Courtenay strongly defended the work and worth of that Association. And to cement his position that there is much that the Bar does in matters of national interest, Courtenay pointed out that the Association will be participating fully in the education and awareness campaign in respect of [...]

COLA says it’s time to get out of Referendum talks
The absence of the Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera at a scheduled meeting at the Organization of American States (OAS) on Sunday sent strong signals of Guatemala’s attitude toward resolving the territorial claim. It is now clear that the Guatemalans will not hold the referendum on October sixth as agreed to in the compromis signed [...]

Budget debate to begin
This Thursday, thirty one representatives in the House are expected to engage in a lively battle inside the National Assembly. The Opposition People’s United Party is expected to challenge the merits of the 2013-2014 budget which was tabled by the Prime Minister on March first, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that his budget offers [...]

International football game must be on FIFA certified field
The Soca Warriors from Trinidad are now in the jewel for a friendly game with the national football team. That game was planned for this Saturday at the MCC ground but there is possibility tonight that the schedule will change. The Soca Warriors do not find the MCC Grounds adequate and instead want to play [...]

Belize Infrastructure Limited rivals Ministry of Works
In the budget presentation in March, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of a company to carry out a package of infrastructural projects to the tune of sixty million dollars. The company is the Belize Infrastructure Limited which was set up on February, twenty-seventh and its place of business is the Ministry of Works.  News [...]

Raising the bar, Attorney General seeks common ground
There is another issue that Minister Elrington discussed today. And though he’s just back in the country and says he hasn’t been briefed on the Bar’s response to the proposed amendment to the Legal Profession Act, Minister Elrington insists that he is at all times prepared to dialogue. Four recommendations were brought out at the [...]

President of Bar vs. Foreign Minister on General Legal Council
But while the Attorney-General and the Bar Association seem inclined to dialogue, one particular section of the proposed amendment which is sure to generate some heated discussion is the matter of the General Legal Council. Currently, the council is appointed by the Association, but the amendment as it is proposed will give that power to [...]

Human trafficking and alleged Salvadoran/Guatemalan grandmothers
  The details are just unravelling regarding the Salvadoran national who was traveling with several minors, hoping that they would reach the United States using fraudulent documents. On March tenth, Irma Hilda Alas Azmitia came on a Tropic Air flight form Flores, Peten with two children,   a ten year old boy and an eight year [...]

Chinese nationals charged for GST offense
GST continues to crack down on persons who do not pay their taxes.  This morning, two business persons were arraigned in court for separate GST offenses following sting operations earlier this year. In the first case, thirty-one year old business woman, Xue Fei Cao, the owner of Number One store in Hattieville village was arraigned [...]

UNDP campaign to stop the spread of AIDS
In the region Belize is among the countries with the highest cases of AIDS. To bring the numbers down, a mass media campaign was launched today targeting youths to make positive choices in respect of their sexual reproductive health. The campaign is being organized by the National committee for families and children and the United [...]

High schoolers compete in Sagicor Visionaries Challenge
Over at the Princess today, there was a gathering of future scientists. Students from various high schools across the country competed in the Sagicor Visionaries Challenge. There was a wide range of competing projects but they all had in common innovation, science and technology.  Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, Reporting Seventeen high schools from [...]

Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites
A four million dollar project which is partly funded by the European Union was launched this morning. The project is part of the ongoing work by the Belize Tourism Board and is aimed to benefit communities located near archeological sites.  It will be implemented over a two year period at six sites around the country. [...]


Budget Debate Scheduled For Tomorrow' PM Says this Budget Is a Difficult One
The budget will be debated in the House of Representatives on Thursday and Friday of this week, and while the Opposition People’s United Party has criticized the government for not making any great strides in its first year of governance, the ruling party argues much to the contr...

YWCA Opens Resource Centre In Capital City
This week is being celebrated as Y Week and organizers have been involved in a number of activities. On Tuesday the Y opened its resource center in Belmopan. Reporter Marion Ali was there and has the story. MARION ALI "The milestone achievement for the Y came w...

BTB Holds Part Two of Rural Development Project
Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites” is the title of part two of the Belize Rural Development Project, undertaken by the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute for Culture and History and supported by the European Union. Director of ...

Orange Walk High School Wins First Annual SAGICOR Visionary Challenge
High School students converged today to display their problem solving skills and creativity at the first annual SAGICOR Visionary Challenge, which will yield the opportunity for them to travel and represent Belize abroad. Unit manager for SAGICOR, Abel Simpson told us more about ...

Annual Women's Summit Starts Tomorrow
The annual women’s summit will take place tomorrow. Cynthia Williams, Acting Women’s Director said this is one of the highly anticipated events in the month of celebration. CYNTHIA WILLIAMS " The annual Women’s Summit is really an opportunity for organiza...

National Security Minister Says Belize Will Not Be Affected Greatly By US Budget Cut
The US Southern Command has announced that due to financial constraints, the budget for patrolling the Central and South American isthmus has been cut. Love News spoke with Minister of National Security, John Saldivar to find out the impact on Belize. HON. JOHN SALDIVAR &...

Bar Owner and Worker Fined On Immigration Offences
Twenty-seven year old Yanjun Cao, the owner of MJ’s Bar, located on West Collet Canal street, was fined $1,000.00 today by Magistrate Adolph Lucas after he pled guilty to one count of employing a person not in possession of a work permit. Cao was ordered to pay forthwith. If he d...

Salvadoran Woman Fined On Immigration Offences; Deportation Pending
Fifty-three year old Salvadoran national Irma Azmitia, was fined $15, 500.00 by Magistrate Adolph Lucas after she pled guilty to 10 immigration offences, which included five counts of assisting a person to remain in Belize by attempting to use a falsified passport and five counts of un...

BELTRAIDE Introduces Entrepreneurship Development Project
Belizeans who have skills in specified areas but don’t yet have the financial support can now tap into that kind of funding through a National Entrepreneurship Development Project. Introduced today by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE, and the C...


Block Factory Gets Trade Licence Approved
Tonight we have some bad news for residents of the Lower Halls Layout Area who weeks ago lodged a complaint against the owner of a block factory located in the area, at the Corozal Town Council. CTV3 News understands that based on the advice of the Department of Environment, the Town Council went ahead and issued a Trade License to the owner of the block factory which was on hold. Yesterday Mayor Hilberto Campos told CTV3 News off camera, that officers of the Department of Environment visited the Lower Halls Layout Area and after measuring the noise level coming out of the block factory gave the green light for the Trade License to be approved. This can only mean that the department determined that the level of noise produced by the factory was not as excruciating as residents reported it to be. Viewers might recall that in a letter sent to Mayor Hilberto Campos, residents expressed concern for the level of noise emanating from the block factory. The extremely loud metallic noises and heavy vibrations at all hours of the day is cause of frustration for residents and according to them, the stone dust produced is a threat to their health especially for persons living close to the business. Of note is that after receiving several complaints from residents, the Corozal Town Council instructed the owner of the business to stop operations until an investigation was carried out and completed. From what we understand the block factory is now under full operation.

Prisoner Escapes!...Is Captured! One Still On The Run
To date 38 year old Naturalized Belizean businessman of Corozal Town Abbas Khan is still at large and police have no idea of his whereabouts. On March 4th 2013, Khan escaped from the Orange Walk Police Station where he was detained in a holding area, before police could charge him for unlawful possession of passports after five passports for the Republic of India were discovered at his residence in Corozal by Belmopan Police. While police continue to hunt down Khan, word tonight is that another prisoner escaped from police custody, this time in the Corozal District. The good news; though, is that he has been recaptured by police. Yesterday 33 year old Abel Cowo, Belizean Laborer of Xaibe Village Corozal District who was remanded for burglary, appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court for trail. While sitting on the detention bench waiting for his case to resume, Cowo ran out of the court room and made good his escape. Quick police response led to Cowo’s detention on 7th Avenue Corozal Town and immediately the 33 year old was charged for escape. After the dust settled, Cowo’s trial continued and at the end he was sentenced to five years in prison for burglary and 6 months in prison for escape.

Friends Of Pediatics Help Rural Communities With Free Medical Care
For the past two years, Friends of Pediatrics in Belize have been holding their Outreach Health Clinic benefiting hundreds of people living in rural communities. This year, the group partnered off with the Children's Hospital of King’s Daughters in Virginia, USA. So far the team has visited the communities of Hattieville and Guinea Grass and yesterday they were in Trinidad Village offering free medical treatment to children of all ages suffering from a minor cold to dental problems. In Belize, people living in rural communities have limited access to medical care specifically when it comes to paediatrics care. Friends of Pediatrics in Belize are well aware of the lack of medical treatment for children and even adults living in rural areas. In order to curb the situation, doctors of the organization, in collaboration with volunteers of Eastern Virginia Medical School offered free medical services to residents of Trinidad Village and surrounding areas yesterday. According to the President of Friends of Paediatrics in Belize, Doctor Cecilio Ek, it’s the group’s first time in Trinidad Village but not in Belize.

1 Yard, 2 Houses On Fire, 2 Families Homeless
Two separate families from the Corozal District are tonight homeless after both their homes were destroyed by fire. Around 3:00 yesterday afternoon Corozal Police visited the village of Paraiso where they observed two pimento houses engulfed in flames. Luckily, none of the occupants were inside at the time of the inferno. Both houses, measuring 18” x 15” were not insured and belonged to 69 year old Landlord of Paraiso Village Aurelio Tun. The first house, valued at $2,000 was occupied by 40 year old Manuel Novelo, Belizean Laborer of Paraiso Village while the second dwelling, valued at $2,500, was occupied by 24 year old Pedro Troches, his wife and two children. All items inside both houses were destroyed. Initial investigations by the Fire Department have revealed that the fire started from a fire heart that was left unattended. Investigations continue.

Pat The Great Cat Helps Teachers Improve
Years ago a jaguar was rescued here in Belize and taken to the Milwaukee Wisconsin Zoo in the United States. That male jaguar was named Pat and he became so popular that even a book was written about his life. That book was created with the ideas of Belizean students and students of Wisconsin. The book, named “Pat the Great Cat, has been creating a lot of buzz here in Belize and it is now being used as the main tool to enlighten teachers of the Standard 4 level on how to better educate their students. It’s a country wide initiative and today the two day workshop started at the Orange Walk District Education Office. Barbara Thummalapally, wife of U.S Ambassador to Belize Vinai Thummalapally, partnered up with Peace Corp to organize the workshop which according to Curriculum Officer at the Education Office, Lisa Carrillo, saw the participation of 27 out of the 38 primary schools that were invited to take part in the training. Barbara Thummalapally, Organizer “We are showing them how to use innovative and research based ways on how to use these books effectively so it’s not just a piece of literature but that they can bring it alive for the students by readying every single day. Some portions of the book have fantastic strategies on how to use word walls and take out words from a chapter and for math and science lesson. It has history lessons, geography lesions so there are all kinds of cross curricular applications for the story.”

BMHS Does It Again! Another National Competition In The Bag!
Bishop Martin High School is in the news again tonight after they won another national competition. It’s the Sagicor Visionary Challenge that took place in Belize City today. The competition is aimed at secondary and high school students who were encouraged to identify a challenge facing their respective schools by using science, technology, engineering and mathematics and develop effective, innovative, and sustainable solutions to the challenge identified. Bishop Martin High School is the only high school in the Orange Walk District that took up the challenge and submitted a proposal to the competition called, “Coconut for Life.” The high school’s project was selected over the 21 others submitted by schools across the country. Late this evening we spoke to Science Teacher at Bishop Martin High School, Shakira Gonzalez, who told us via phone, that the next step for the high school is competing in the regional competition to take place in Barbados. Shakira Gonzalez, Science Teacher BMHS “We won four categories. We won for the most creative project, the best presentation system- I don’t recall the other ones but it is four categories that we won. Now we are going to represent the country of Belize at Barbados. We also won science kits for the schools, computers and projectors. The students are very happy and a bit a shock so I guess when we are going to Barbados they will see that it is for real. We were very confident. We did enough research and we tried to be creative and use our creativity to solve problems using science and technology.”

Pat The Great Cat's Cub Named "Zean"
Early in March we told you about Pat the Great Cat who had two cubs. The Embassy of the United States launched a nationwide competition for standard five students to come up with a name for one of the cubs. Well, last week Wednesday, the winner of the competition was announced and his name is Jared Baeza from Grace Primary School in Belize City. A panel of judges scrutinized the 28 names that were submitted and decided that the name Zean, submitted by Baeza, was the perfect name for the baby jaguar cub. Baeza also had to submit a short paragraph of 30 words or less, explaining what the name stands for and why it was chosen. Today we spoke to Barbara Thummalapally wife of U.S Ambassador to Belize Vinai Thummalapplay, who told us how the name was chosen. Barbara Thummalapally, Pat the Great Cat “Pat the great cat and his mate Stela who now live in Milwaukee zoo had cubs last November. It was very exciting news. A few weeks ago they asked us if Belizean children could help name one of the clubs and then Milwaukee would get to name the other cub. And so we sent out this information to all the standard four classes. We got a name chosen and that was Zean. It was chosen by a little boy from Belize City but I had a panel of seven people. We had a number of interesting people on the panel. We all sat down and I was the moderator and we went through 28 names and the final choice was Zean because it is the final piece of the word Belizean and the little boy thought that that will help encompass all of Belize. So this is the name of one of the cubs in Milwaukee.”

Child Stimulation Month Ends With BANG!
Today marked the culmination of Child Stimulation Month celebrated this year under the theme “Molding Today’s Learners into Tomorrow’s Leaders”. This year all 24 pre-schools in the Orange Walk District celebrated the month by participating in activities including Cultural Day, Grandparents Day, Sports Day, Family Day and the Festival of Arts. The key aim of the month’s activities was to promote the importance of early childhood education. And from all indications the message was brought across and grasped by both students and parents. Today, as the celebrations concluded, different pre-schools held a last activity and La Inmaculada Pre-school decided to do so with a fairy tale parade through the principles streets of Orange Walk. All over the country pre-schools celebrated the end of Child Stimulation Month by holding different activities and La Inmaculada Preschool was no exception. After so many activities the school decided to end the month the same way it started, with a parade through the main streets of town, only that this time the parade was filled with fairy tale characters from the ever popular children stories.


Minister Elrington quiet on Guatemalan proposals
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington was not in much of a mood to talk when he returned from Washington today. His immediate counterpart was a no-show at the OAS headquarters due to a family emergency and much of the gathering was with OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza...

Illinois official visiting Belize with young tumblers
The Secretary of State for Illinois in the U.S.A., Jesse White, is touring Belize this week. He was welcomed today by Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley as well as the mayors of Dangriga and Punta Gorda, Gilbert Swazo and Anthony Fuentes respectively and will be making donations of...

Dangriga Town battles coastal erosion
Dangriga Town is presently battling against long-standing coastal erosion that has threatened several landmarks. The Mayor, Gilbert Swazo, says it is important that something gets done immediately so a team led by the Petters Research Institute is being commissioned to look at the problem. 1. The exact acreage lost...

Salvadorean Irma Hilda Alaz Azmitia pleads guilty to immigration charges
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 to teh US on Sunday. It was reported that they all had fake Guatemalan passports with false US Visas and were to board a...

BTB focuses on communities benefiting from tourism
The Belize Rural Development Project (BRDP), funded by the European Union, is targeting rural areas of Belize for needed improvements. Its second phase underlined by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) proposed to focus on communities benefiting from tourism, specifically those located next to archaeological sites. While there is planned...

Man accused of an indecent assault out on bail
A man accused of an indecent assault against a 15 year old is out on bail. The minor reported to Police that 39 year old Marlon Mangar, who resides near Mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway, touched her inappropriately on March 10. Mangar was subsequently...

Darrell Grant’s life sentence appeal denied
The Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of a man for a killing that sent shock waves throughout the country in 2008. 27 year old Darrell Grant was sentenced to life in 2012 for the killing of a mother of two during a home invasion. Prosecutors say that...

Health partners inform teenagers on sexual health
Various health partners are working together to inform Belize’s teenagers on the importance of sexual health. One important weapon in the fight against HIV and teenage pregnancy is the media, and there was a launch this morning for two commercials targeting specific audiences. First, here are the facts on...

Annual Book Fair held in Belize City
Reading is considered by some to be a lost art, but the Belize National Library Service and Information System are soldiers on as repository to the printed word. Today, the organization hosted its annual book fair in Belize City. Senior Library Assistant Zara Castillo told us why for them,...

Education Officer Yvonne Davis says results of PSE are important for the Ministry
Standard VI students sat the first half of the Primary School Examination in English and Science earlier this week, addressing specific skills across the school curriculum that they are expected to know at graduation. According to Principal Education Officer for Examinations in the Ministry of Education, Yvonne Davis, examined...

Emrand Henry and Sherwin Gardner here for YC Belize
YC Belize is just around the corner. This year YC Belize is being held under the theme “This Is Love” and features both local and international performers and speakers. The event is returning to Belize City and will take place on the ITVET campus. One of the coordinators Mervin...

Gospel Fest 2013 held in Belmopan
The Gospel Fest 2013 was held over the weekend in Belmopan. The event which took place at the Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds, kicked off early Saturday morning with a welcome ceremony, followed by a full day of entertainment and presentations. Christian-based ministries and organizations set up display booths...

Belize City Town Councilor Roger Espejo robbed
Belizean Businessman and Town Councilor 35yr old Roger Espejo was robbed. On Sunday March 17th, around 7:00pm, Espejo was socializing on New Town Barracks, when he was approached by a group of young men, some on bicycles. The men robbed Espejo of his chain before heading off down Princess...

Mother and daughter injured during robbery
Mother and daughter were injured during robbery in Belize city. On Sunday March 17th at around 8 pm, a 57 year old woman and her were walking on Wilson Street near the BWS station when they were approached by a male on a bicycle. The male person dropped the...

Sunday robbery in Belize City
There is also another incident of robbery to report on from Belize City which also occurred this past Sunday. A 20 year old woman of Belize City was partying at the “Thirsty Thursday” night club. At around 2:30 that morning, she was walking home on the corner of Baymen...


Kelly McGuire Packs Fido’s for An Amazing SAGA Benefit On Ambergris Caye
Kelly McGuire is back on Ambergris Caye, Belize. A native Texan whose original songs hail from the Jimmy Buffett school of rock, Kelly says it himself…when he is in San Pedro, he feels like “King of the Island” (Also a title song from his latest album). Allow me to apologize for my “I hate being in pictures” smile People flock to his concerts. And make this one doubly special? Make it a Kelly McGuire benefit concert for the SAGA Humane Society? Every seat in the house was packed to show the love, generosity and support. And this was a bit early in the evening before the bar got REALLY crowded. And the support wasn’t just from the attendees. SAGA had so many amazing donations from the town for our raffle and auction…but more details about that later.

How to Make Rum Braised Lamb Shanks
Chaa Creek’s Rum Braised Lamb Shanks with a Savory Sweet Potato Pie Serves 4 people INGREDIENTS 4 Lamb shanks* 10 cloves chopped Garlic 10 leaves diced local oregano 12 piece crushed all spice seeds 1 teaspoon crushed black pepper 1 cup dark sweet rum olive oil for sautéing 2 pieces onions 2 pieces carrots 2 pieces green pepper 10 pieces ripe tomatoes 1 piece zucchini 1 piece eggplant

You’ve Got a Friend
Up early again this morning but just after 5 am (must be slipping). Coffee, The Times and then ready to do battle with the iron on the second laundry wash. Early morning is definitely the best time of the day to get the ironing out of the way. Only two washes to go now and we are up-to-date! Then a little time catching up on my In Box where I was really pleased to find that my Pension Statement had arrived from one of my previous employers. Next job was to send a copy of this to the Belize Tourism Board for my QRP (Qualified Retirement Program) application. With our respective tasks out of the way Rose and I headed to Estel’s (haven’t been there for over two weeks) for breakfast. We deserved it! We then split up. Rose to go and buy groceries and me to Atlantic Bank to make a cash withdrawal (don’t like queuing but you avoid the three percent charge levied when you use the ATM) and pay the electricity bill. Just got home when we received a call from Peter Lawrence (Pedro’s Hotel) inviting us to lunch. When you get calls like that you know you’ve got a friend.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Homemade Caramel Sauce and …
I knoe these sauces air easilee bouite but I like t'make mah own and find t'flavour superier t' commercial brands. Isn##Q##t trayler made always bettr ? Caramel Sauce 1 cup white sugar 3 tbsp watr 6 tbsp buttr 3/4 cup whippin' creem Put sugar and watr into a small sauce pun and place on medium heat, stirrin' constantlee. T' sugar will melt, the crystallize the melt agin. Wen it melts t'sekunt time, watch it carefullee — still stirrin' until it turns a lovelee caramel colour. Be keerful nairy t'let it git too dark er it will be bittr.

March 10, 2013 - March 16, 2013 Fishing Report
As usual, it’s tough to say good bye. We had a great time this week. Marc was one of the best group leaders I have ever worked with! Thank you Marc. I was talking with Crosby and Mike before they left about what inspires me these days. We were all inspired by the young people this week. Master David has his bucket list, and at ten, he was “on point” the entire week. His father Dave follows him around – providing his son with the best of fly fishing. David doesn’t take this for granted – just making it happen. The dock kids – throwing shrimp – landing whatever, even a permit! Brothers, sons and daughters – all showed great sportsmanship this week. And then, for me, it was special to meet Simons. Simons is a guide from Spartanburg, SC. She has a great attitude and flat out loves her fly fishing. Her husband Hank told me he is her agent. We’re going to see more of Simons – the gal rocks. A very special Thank you! to Mike Lintz from True Flies. Mike shared some incredible swag with our guide team. They looked so handsome wearing their new True Flies pants! And it wasn’t just the new flats pants – add to list - visors, shorts, shirts…. Really very generous, Thank you Mike. And thanks everyone for a really fun week.

Grant Jones Photography Exhibit
The "Back in the Days" exhibit at the Corozal House of Culture was graciously donated by Grant D. Jones. An explanation of this exhibit is found on display with the exhibit. Dr. Jones says, "During 1967-1968 my wife, Mary Armistead-Jones and I spent nearly nine months in Corozal Town. During that period I carried out field research throughout the district as preparation for writing my doctoral thesis in cultural anthropology at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. The subject of my study was the impact of the sudden and rapid growth of small-farmer sugar cane production on the rural farming villages of the Corozal District. Nearly all the photographs in this exhibit were taken during this period." This explanation is found on the last two images of the gallery below. This exhibit is a valuable permanent addition to the House of Culture, thanks to Dr. Jones. Images below are of the opening of the exhibit in January, 2013.

International Sources

3 Keys to Higher Occupancy Rates on Your Website
Every effective hotel website must engage online travel shoppers in about 7 seconds or less, so the quality of your Belize hotel website really matters. Each month, over 50 million people visit TripAdvisor to consider where to take their next trip and thousands every day could be considering your Belize resort hotel. The question is: Is your website ready to engage travel shoppers and convince them to give you email permission or make their booking reservation immediately? Here are 3 important requirements that your website should address to increase your odds of winning online bookings at a higher rate: 1. Summarize your location, unique appeal and visual hook at the top of your page. If you fail to pass the 7-second test, you fail to win the attention you need to convince the online travel shopper to put your hotel on their "short list." Crystalize what your hotel resort is about and don't try to be everything to everybody.

Investment Company Urges Americans To Stash Money In Belize, ‘One Of The World’s Top Tax Havens’
Tax havens are in many ways the liger of the financial world: everyone knows they exist, but few among us have ever seen one. They exist in a realm most of us remain blissfully unaware of, accessed only by the wealthiest in society. However, fresh off their 15 minutes of fame during Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, tax havens are now being promoted more openly as investment companies try to stoke rich people’s fears and encourage them to avoid paying U.S. taxes. Exhibit A is an investment company named Buy Belize, whose website appeals to wealthy individuals who “lose sleep over the security of [their] assets & hard-earned money” using right-wing language terminology such as “death taxes,” which they incorrectly list at 55 percent (it’s actually 40 percent). The group encourages people to take their money out of the United States and store it in Belize instead, which they call “one of world’s top tax havens — a truly safe locale for your money.” Buy Belize also offers to set up shell companies — International Business Companies — to “protect investments from taxes as well as legal judgments.” Buy Belize also advertises on The Glenn Beck Program, appealing to wealthy people who are “frustrated, nervous, and worried about change” to open offshore accounts in Belize, “one of the last tax havens left in the world.”

'Rock' group builds home in Belize
A GROUP from the Rock Christian Community heads to Central America for a humanitarian project, which will include a lot of Terrace in it. The Belize Housing Project sees 18 church members and four friends from Montreal spend eight days in San Felipe, Belize to build a house for a family there. Mike Rosenau, church pastor and project overseer, said the group had lots of help from Terrace residents and businesses, who helped the group raise more than $23,000 to pay for building supplies that will be bought in Belize. “In total, all people who gave, either a very small gift or larger ,was close to 600 in the community here with a few other donations that came from friends in different parts of B.C.,” said Rosenau, adding that every penny of that money will go toward the house building project. And the people going are skilled tradesman, unskilled labourers, parents and teenagers, who will do the work for a family chosen by its village as the most in need of a house.

Small Boost to Airline Profitability - Industry Profit Margin Improves to 1.6%
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a modest improvement in its outlook for the 2013 financial performance of the global airline industry primarily based on stronger revenues. IATA now expects airlines to produce a combined net post-tax profit margin of 1.6% (up from the previously forecast 1.3%) with a net post-tax profit of $10.6 billion (up from the previously projected $8.4 billion). “Industry profits are taking a small step in the right direction. Against a backdrop of improved optimism for global economic prospects passenger demand has been strong and cargo markets are starting to grow again. The economic optimism is also pushing fuel prices higher. We are seeing a $12 billion improvement in revenue, and a $9-10 billion increase in costs—most of which is related to fuel,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Confidence in the airline industry is rising around several factors: GDP growth forecasts for 2013 have been upgraded to 2.4%, a significant improvement from the 2.1% in 2012. It appears that the bottom of the global industrial production cycle was reached in the third quarter of 2012 after which there has been six months of increasing output and improvements to business confidence. There is a structural improvement in the airline industry’s financial performance as recognized by a 7% increase in share prices since the beginning of the year, despite a 5% increase in fuel costs.

Airline Profits to Top $10 Billion on Improving Sales Outlook
Airlines will exceed last year’s earnings by about 40 percent in 2013, with net income likely to reach $10.6 billion, as sales growth outpaces higher fuel costs and improves the outlook for the industry globally. Carriers in the Asia-Pacific region are set to lead the gain with $4.2 billion in profit, followed by $3.6 billion for those in North America, the International Air Transport Association said in a statement today. Even Europe and Africa, previously expected to only break even, stand to deliver $800 million and $100 million gains, the group said. Sluggish growth and fuel costs have weighed on earnings in recent years, forcing airlines such as Air France-KLM (AF), Europe’s largest, to pursue cost cuts. Carriers have also sought closer international ties, with Etihad Airways PJSC, the third-largest Gulf carrier, investing in operators such as Air Berlin Plc (AB1), and Finnair Oyj (FIA1S) joining a trans-Atlantic joint venture involving British Airways (IAG), Iberia and American Airlines.

Comet Pan-Starrs Moonset
A time lapse video of Comet Pan-STARRS at sunset with the crescent moon setting together. Taken from Altadena, California. full-HD 1920x1080p.

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