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4/1/2013 to 4/10/2013
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April 10, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Sale/Export of Harvested Rosewood to be allowed by GOB
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, has determined that there is a supply of harvested rosewood available which had been harvested during the moratorium period. The Ministry has decided to carefully ascertain such a supply and to allow the sale/export of already harvested rosewood over the period 8th – 26th April, 2013 to avoid the complete loss of value. The Ministry reminds the public that the moratorium is still in effect and that it is illegal to harvest, transport, and trade in rosewood. Anyone found to be involved in the new harvesting of rosewood will be met with the full force of the law.

PUP Statement on Guatemala’s New Passport
On March 25, 2013 the People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement rejecting Guatemala’s proposals regarding the Referendum process. Further to our stated position, at today’s meeting of the Party’s National Executive it was unanimously agreed that: 1. that a PUP government will not allow any person holding a Guatemalan passport which shows Belize as a part of that country to enter Belize. The Party also urges the present UDP Government to do the same. 2. that if Guatemala should persist with changing their passports to show Belize as part of Guatemala, then Belize should boycott the meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) to be held in Guatemala later this year. 3. that Belize should seek the support of friendly countries especially CARICOM to also boycott in solidarity with Belize. The PUP reiterates that Belize must remain steadfast in rejecting Guatemala’s unfounded claim and maintaining full support nationally and internationally for our territorial integrity.

SPHS dominate at Northern Regional Track and Field
San Pedro High School (SPHS) dominated in the Northern Regional Championship in Track and Field on Friday, March 22th. For SPHS Principal Emil Vasquez, the win is a great complement to the SPHS Male team winning the National Softball Competition on March 16th. The medalists who captured first and second place medals in the various games will move on to compete in the National Track and Field Championship.All members of the SPHS track and field team trained for quite some time to prepare for the games and will continue training even more for the nationals. The team participated in runs which included five and three kilometers, 1500, 800, 200 and 100 meter runs, 4 x 400, 4 x 200 and 4 x 100 meter relay runs. They also participated in shot put, discus throw and javelin. In the jump disciplines, the athletes participated in high, triple and long jumps. Both males and females competed at the junior and senior level.

San Pedro enjoys benefit of the two garbage compactors
In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Bracket expressed his sincere gratitude for the donation made by the Taiwan Government, “these two compactors are making the job for the garbage men far more effortless. Garbage is disposed quicker than before. One more compactor would enable us to completely control our garbage problems.” As for the men driving and using the trucks, they cannot be happier. “The old truck used to get very hot and uncomfortable, this one is much better. The work is quick and less messy,” said driver Edmir Dominquez.

San Pedro and Placencia featured in The Boca Raton Observer
Two popular Belizean tourism destinations are featured in the February issue of “The Boca Raton Observer”. An award-winning lifestyle magazine from Boca Raton, Florida, USA, the magazine features everything from destination reviews to travelling advice. Focusing on two of Belize’s most popular destinations, The Observer highlighted San Pedro, Ambergris Caye and Placencia. The author of the article is Cheryl Blackerby, a writer and photographer from West Palm, Florida. Blackerby has based many of her works on tropical destinations including the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Many of her stories are frequently featured in such magazines as The New York Times, The Miami Herald and The Houston Chronicles. Blackerby also held the position of executive editor, writer and photographer for “Destination Belize” in 2010. In the article, Blackerby refers to Belize as “a tropical oasis framed by two great beach towns and linked by one dazzling barrier reef.” The article highlights the characteristics that make San Pedro and Placencia so unique and different. “While San Pedro is chardonnay and Champagne, Gucci and Rolex, Placencia is beer and rum, backpacks and disdain for keeping track of the time.” Blackerby’s article focuses on the tropical and modern amenities of the destinations.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Driver’s License Revamped
The San Pedro Driver’s License and Driver’s License Permit will have new look as of today, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. According to the San Pedro Town Council, the new licenses will be made of PVC and have a protective holographic film over them. The procedure for applying remains the same and the limit for renewal is three years only. A new feature added to the driver’s license is the insert of a "blood type". In case there is an emergency, it makes it easier for doctors, nurses and even police officers to identify the person’s blood type. First Issue - $60.00 Renewal - $60.00/year (3 years max.) Endorsement - $40.00 Duplicate/Replacement - $40.00 Learner's Permit - $40.00

Sanpedrano Gringo Features Ambergris Caye, Belize in New Book
The first Sanpedrano ‘Gringo’ to feature San Pedro in the opening of his book “Kumshaw” was Tom Kirkpatrick of Jacksonville Florida/San Pedro. However, fresh out of the printers on February 2013 is the book “Island of the Son” a Belizean Journey by Sanpedrano Gringo Stephen “Steve” Krueger, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A. and raised as a teenager in San Pedro, Belize. At the age of 14, Steve’s father, Lother Krueger, uprooted his family in the United States and moved to San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to build El Pescador Hotel. “Island of the Son” is an intense story of their complicated journey through Mexico and into Belize. Steve captures the dramatic events of his family’s adventure in building and adapting to San Pedro, as well as his personal involvement in high school life, social life, involvement as a goalie in soccer, his teenage romances, and even an episode in trying to become a local skin diver fisherman.

Children's Book “My Body is Precious” To be Launched
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation will be launching a children’s book entitled “My Body is Precious”. It is becoming increasingly important to discuss the sensitive subject of Sexual Abuse of Children. Recognizing that it is not an easy conversation to have, my office partnered with the Ministry of Human Development and with assistance from UNICEF, we were able to produce 30,000 copies of the child-friendly “good touch, bad touch” booklet to be distributed countrywide. “My Body is Precious” is part of a national public information campaign on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and follows successful symposiums hosted by my Office in August 2010 and October 2011. The book, which targets children between the ages of 6 and 10 years, will assist parents who have a hard time talking about the Sexual Abuse of Children while teaching children what to do if they are touched inappropriately. We hope that this book will ultimately contribute to the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation of children as well as an increase in perpetrators being reported and convicted.

Destination Weddings - Get Married in a Belizean Designer Original Gown
Joris Hendrik is a Belizean fashion designer from the Maya Mountains creating visionary clothing with an experimental approach to the form. He has been described as a Caribbean avant-garde high-end fashion designer based in Belize. His latest wedding gowns have just been featured on the Belizean News Exchange Magazine in a center spread. Miss Belize Destinee Arnold was chosen to model the wedding gowns against the magnificent background of Butterfly Falls in Mountain Pine Ridge area. Locations like this one are what make destination weddings in Belize so attractive and have given rise to their popularity in the country. Wedding planners and photographers are arranging wedding packages at Belize’s most exotic locations with include various Maya Archeological Sites, sandbars in the middle of the sea, private and/or secluded islands, aboard sailing boats/catamarans, caves, exotic resorts and at the base of waterfalls like this one. Butterfly Waterfall is nestled in the 7,200 acre private forest reserve of the Mountain Pine Ridge and accessible only to guests of the Hidden Valley Inn.

More Strange Home Remedies used in the Village Of San Pedro
Home remedies have existed since time immortal, since biblical times and throughout time even when there were doctors dealing with illnesses and disease. The last time we learned how to stop a severe bleeding, stop the pain of a large wound or nail puncture, and even ease a severe toothache. So what’s up for this week for our interesting home remedies?

Misc Belizean Sources

More Sawdust Art Project Pictures
You just can't see too much of the amazing Sawdust Art Project pictures. Why is this only once a year? Benque really has some great culture events happening during Holy Week.

Lucky 5 Live Music Jam
Lucky 5 was the scene again this weekend for some great live music from In Bloom, Barefoot Skinny, and the World Culture Band. What a night!

Boise State Visits Belize Zoo
Boise State University, which has 'The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw' as it's campus read for 2012 -2013, got to visit the Belize Zoo. Looks like they had a great time seeing the zoo, which, along with Sharon Matola, is a big part of the book. "Although the Zoo was closed to the public, Sharon and her staff graciously opened the zoo for our group and provided a guided tour which included many behind the scenes areas. Below are a few photos of our memorable visit to the Belize Zoo. Our Pat the Great Cat team presented Sharon their education trail materials they prepared for the community fair"

SI United in 4th Place
The San Ignacio United FC are in the top 4 of the Premier League. Still in 4th place after the loss to the Police FC this weekend. Best of luck in the last 3 games before the semi-finals. "Remember only 4 teams will advance to semi-finals. San Ignacio FC is in 4th place with only 3 games left. Go San Ignacio!!!"

UB Central Farm Employment Project
The University of Belize is launching the Institutional Partnership Component of the CARICOM Education for Employment Project this Thursday at 9:30am at the Central Farm campus. It's a huge 3 year project that supports agricultural development all over Belize, and Cayo especially. Thanks, Caricom! "The three-year $1.63M/BZ project, funded by the Canadian government through the Canadian International Development Agency ($0.88M), a consortium of Canadian Community Colleges ($0.47M) and the University of Belize ($0.28M), is part of a Canadian initiative to support regional education and agricultural development. Its primary goal is the promotion of regional economic growth through training a competitive labour force that can respond to growth opportunities in various sectors. The project is designed to strengthen the program at the University’s Central Farm Campus through the establishment of a competency based curriculum that is responsive to the needs of local industry. The UBCF program also seeks to encourage students to pursue opportunities to for self-employment."

Simple Alfredo Sauce
My daughter Jada loves to cook for her friends, so she learned how to make things simple. This Alfredo Sauce is very simple but tasty. Normally we make it with Parmesan Cheese, but it tastes way better with Dutch Cheese.

Channel 7

Rosewood Amnesty: GOB Giving Green Light To Those Who "Ran Red"
Last night PLUS TV out of Belmopan broke the news that thousands of board feet of confiscated Rosewood were on the move from the Forestry Department Compound in the Capital. Valencia’s trucking out of Orange Walk had been hired to haul the logs – where to, no one knows for sure. But late this evening, Government sent out a release saying that it has a plan for all that Rosewood – and it’s a controversial one. Forty minutes ago, the Government release was issued; it says, quote: “The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has decided to allow the sale/export of already harvested rosewood over the period 8th – 26th April, 2013 to avoid the complete loss of value.” The release does not say who will benefit from the proceeds from the sale, if it will derive to government, or to the red-light running exporters, or whether, as some sources suggest, it will be shared. According to our information, Government at one point entertained the plan to act as seller and export the Rosewood, presumably to China where it fetches top dollar. Under that plan, Government would then receive the proceeds of those sales - and this is the controversial part – then share that money in an even split with the companies it was confiscated from – companies such as Kambokin that had two twenty foot containers confiscated from a compound near the customs department in January of this year. Again, that is just a report, and the release gives no indication of what the revenue arrangement will be – in fact, it lends itself to the interpretation that the owners – form whom it was confiscated – will be doing the exporting.

Bus Driver Fights Off Ice-Pick Attack
A Belize City Bus Driver was viciously attacked with an ice-pick while doing one of his routine runs over the weekend. The incident played out in front of his passengers on Saturday evening around 5:30. According to Eldon Chiac, he stopped his bus in front of Social Security on Princess Margaret Drive to drop off some passengers – when a man identified to him as 26 year old Candelario Lemus entered his bus and attacked him with an ice pick. Chiac managed to escape from his bus while Lemus grabbed approximately $275.00 that was in a compartment inside the bus. Lemus then got on his bicycle and rode away towards Coney Drive. It didn’t end there because Chiac got into his bus and followed Lemus – while at the same time he called 911 for assistance. Candelario Lemus didn’t reach too far when police intercepted him near Heritage Bank. Today 7news caught up with the Belize City bus driver who gave us his story play by play. He asked to appear off camera for his own safety. Voice of: Eldon Chiac - Belize City Bus Driver "Well it happened on Saturday around 5:30 p.m., and as I mentioned before I stopped by the bus stop to pick up some passengers infront of Social Security. After all the passengers came in, I just saw a young man ran inside the bus, right beside me and he held me on my shoulder. He had a high stick on his right hand and then the man tried to stab me, attempted to stab me then I was trying to defend myself to prevent him from stabbing me. So, he finally stroke me with a stab but I managed to hold his hand.

Man Found Beaten and Bloody
This morning at around 8:30, a child was startled a badly beaten man lying in a bloody mess behind his yard. He told his parents who called the police. He was apparently suffering from a variety of wounds. Police rushed him to the hospital in the pan of a police pickup. Though badly beaten, he was able to walk into the emergency room with the help of police officers. Best information we could gather form the neighborhood is that that the man 31 year old Leonel Ramos of central American Boulevard had been drinking on Mahogany street and walked back to Tibruce street late last night with a male friend who lived in the area. He appears to have been robbed and beaten. Police say he didn’t have any life threatening injuries.

PUP Says Hasta La Vista to Guats With Offensive New Passport
For the past few weeks, we’ve been reporting on the new Guatemalan map which would depict Belize as a part of their territory, separated only by a single dotted line, to indicate the ongoing dispute between both countries about Belize’s territorial sovereignty. The map is scheduled to be printed in books by the Guatemalan Ministry of Education to be used in its schools, and more significantly than that is that this map will become the image on the upcoming Guatemalan passports – millions of them which are tendered to be printed. This image which shows Belize as part of Guatemalan territory has caused outrage in the Belizean public, and today, the People’s United Party issued their position on actions that the country and the Government of Belize should take to protest its use. This evening, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, one of the deputy leaders of the party, spoke to us about those actions that they propose that GOB should take. Here’s how she explained it: Hon. Dolores Balderamos-Garcia - Deputy Party Leader, PUP "In discussion with our executives, we unanimously agree that first of all, a PUP Government will of course refuse to accept a Guatemalan Passport showing Belize as a part of Guatemala. And we would not allow entry into our country to any person holding such a passport showing Belize as a part of Guatemala and we would want to urge the present UDP Government to do the same because we believe that defending our territorial integrity and our nationality is of extreme importance. We also are saying that should Guatemala persist in issuing passports showing Belize as a part of the Guatemalan map, then Belize as a principled position, should refuse to attend the meeting of the Organization of American States which is slated to take place in Guatemala this year. Because we believe that we would be lending support of a mockery of our territorial integrity. Then thirdly, as a consequence of that we would be lobbying friendly countries especially CARICOM where we get the base of the international support for Belize and of course other friendly countries not to confine ourselves to CARICOM but we would like for Belize to lobby friendly countries to stand in solidarity with us and to also boycott that meeting. Belize has always respected the process, we have always participated in the process, we have always bent over backwards to make sure that we as a country are doing our part to put unfounded claim by Guatemala behind us." As we’ve reported, season observers have said that Guatemala has stepped up its campaign to maintain a strong legal position leading up to these simultaneous ICJ referendums in both countries".

Butane Prices Inching Down
The price of Butane – or as it is properly known, LPG – is slowly going down. Government has approved a three-dollar decrease in the price of a hundred pound cylinder – that is after a one dollar decrease a month ago. So, that means that the price of a hundred pound cylinder is now $113.00 in the city, 115 in Belmopan and San Ignacio, $116.00 in Benque, 114.00 in Orange Walk, $113.00 in Corozal, $117.00 in Dangriga and $118.00 in Punta Gorda.

Too Much Violence Portrayed in Media?
Is there too much violence in the media? And is there too much blood and gore depicted on the evening news? Is there too much violence in society? And is it affecting children? In a country where the murder rate is among the top 5 in the world, and in a city with possibly the second or third highest murder rate in the world, behind only Juarez, Mexico and San Pedro Sula, those are relevant questions. So with all this violence, is the media reflecting or directing it? Indeed, that is a question which we grapple with very regularly – and that’s what a visiting Jamaican sociologist, Dr. Leith Dunn is discussing in a series of lectures and presentations in Belize. Today she had a meeting with the media – a meeting, which we should note was poorly attended. She said portrayals of violence do affect children: Dr Leith Dunn - Sociologist/Senior Lecturer/Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies UWI "We're saying that it's not that you should have censorship, but you need to avoid sensationalism. And what we have observed online and in the print is that you have images and texts for the least common denominator, the gore, the blood, and all of that, which violates basic rights, and basic principles of international standards of journalism. It says that we need to dialogue with our media owners, and our advertisers. We need to do a lot of research, and not assume that this is what the audience wants. We need to think about the impact of this on our children, the wider society and the economy."

Prisoners Caught With Weed
Inmates 24 year-old Orel Leslie and 41 year-old Floyd Anthony are facing drug trafficking charges tonight after police conducted a sweep of their prison cell and allegedly found a large quantity of drugs. According to police the bust occurred on Saturday, April 6, 2013 inside the remand section of the prison where 2 two men and another share a cell. A search was conducted in a locker inside the cell, and the officers found 3 separate packages of cannabis containing a total of 545 grams – or 1.2 pounds.

Prison Will Sue
A week ago, 7News told you about the group calling itself the Belize Central Prison Employees Correlation, who is challenging the management of the Kolbe Foundation, the private managers of the prisons. As we reported, their main grievance is that the management has reportedly been terminating too many employees without due process, and it has driven them to produce a video which highlights this and a number of other issues, which they’ve posted on Facebook. An attorney representing the Kolbe Foundation CEO, John Woods, wrote to the lead member, Herman Blease, warning him that the organization has been engaging in a defamation campaign, but this warning did not shake their resolve. Well, tonight, 7News has confirmed that the Belize Central Prison is in consultation with their attorneys and a decision is imminent as to whether or not they will take legal action against Blease and the Employees Correlation. We spoke to Prison CEO, Earl Jones, who told us that all the materials that the organization has released to the public has been handed over to their attorneys, which included that documentary, and pamphlets which the organization’s members continue to produce other pamphlets.

Compromis: A Slight Return
In the past weeks – we’ve heard lots about moving the date of simultaneous, bi-national referendum on going to the ICJ. Guatemala’s leaders are under political pressure because they say the process will cost over 50 million US dollars in their country- and the public doesn’t want to hear that. They also say that Belize’s referendum law –amended in early 2008 to enact a 60% thresh-hold is too difficult to meet. But, in 2008 – when that law already existed, the Guatemalans had no such complaint when they signed the special agreement. Tonight, for context on all this back and forth about moving the date of the referendum, we re-visit that signing which took place at the AOS Headquarters in Washington DC. Jules Vasquez was there for the historic event on Monday, December 8, 2008 and here’s his report filed the following day. Jules Vasquez Reporting, Monday started with a breakfast meeting for the Foreign Minister and the Negotiating Team, led by Ambassador Fred Martinez with PUP representative Eamon Courtenay and his UDP counterpart Dianne Haylock. After that hour long prep and review session, it was unto the OAS main building on Constitution Avenue in downtown Washington DC, within view of the imposing Washington Monument.

Channel 5

When minister’s away, the Rosewood Kings getaway
The harvesting of rosewood is illegal and there is a moratorium in place since March sixteenth, 2012, but that has not stopped the highly lucrative trade to markets in China, where there is a huge demand for the precious hardwood. On Monday afternoon, confiscated flitches of rosewood held at the Forestry compound in Belmopan were [...]

After rosewood taken from Forest Department, amnesty declared?
But while there are certainly more questions than answers, the clouds are beginning to clear away from what is actually taking place on the rosewood scene. This afternoon a release from the Forest Department, sans official letterhead, declared that an amnesty period is in effect for rosewood harvested before March fourteenth, 2013. The release states [...]

Do you believe there is official involvement in the illegal harvesting of rosewood?
And tonight’s question is: Do you believe there is official involvement in the illegal harvesting of rosewood? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to

Butane prices drop
There is some good news tonight that will affect households across the country. The price of butane is going down significantly effective this Wednesday. A release from the Supplies Control Unit says that prices are going down by three dollars when you buy a hundred pound cylinder. The lowest prices are for Belize City and [...]

Not dead, but Lionel Ramos badly beaten
Earlier today, there was information circulating of a murder on the streets of the Old Capital. And while we can say that there was no life lost to the street violence, a man was severely beaten and left for dead on the street. Lionel Ramos was found lying on a boardwalk behind a house on [...]

Unions deal dependent on Petroleum find
Last Friday, the Unions’ Joint Negotiation Team met with G.O.B. and received a counterproposal to their counterproposal, and even though word was that the unions were to have issued a release, they have remained absolutely silent. But tonight, News Five has gotten some details of government’s counterproposal. From what we can see, government is buying [...]

P.U.P. government would say no to Belize on Guatemala passport
The National Executive of the People’s United Party met this morning. It took a decision in respect of the new Guatemalan passports which are causing a firestorm among Belizeans.  As it stands, the Guatemalan government is proposing to print four million passports over the next ten years. But what is irking Belizeans is that the [...]

Charged with drug trafficking
Three Belize City men, on pretrial detention for separate charges, were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court today for joint possession of marijuana.  Twenty-four year old Orel Leslie, on remand for the murder of former Belize Defense Force soldier James Noralez, and forty-one year old Floyd Anthony, who is behind bars for drug trafficking, appeared before [...]

UWI’s media workshop on portrayal of violence
A media workshop was held at the University of the West Indies today in Belize City under the auspices of their alumni association. The association intends to become a catalyst for social awareness and to change the portrayal of violence through the media. Belize is one of the most murderous countries in the region and [...]

Sociologist says violence on the media has adverse effects on the psyche
But does the reporting of crime contribute to the increase in violence? Do the communities in which the youth of today live also influence their character and their actions? What about video games and uncensored music? Doctor Dunn says the exposure of violence on the media has an adverse effect on the psyche of our [...]

McDonalds & Subway now hiring Belizeans for Canada
Having an opinion about a topic is easy, but finding a job is one of the most difficult tasks a person can be presented with. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize September 2012 Labor Market Survey; sixteen point one percent of the population is unemployed. In other countries, there is a shortage of people [...]

Cycling elections result protested
The Belize Cycling Association is currently having elections in each district to usher in a new board. The incumbent president, Emil Moreno won the western zone on Sunday, but there is already a protest against the results of the elections. The president of the Belize Olympic Committee, Hilly Martinez, has confirmed receipt of the protest.  [...]

Burning the cane; the real ‘Farmville’ story
The sugar industry remains one of the single most important industries.  At least one hundred tons of sugar is produced annually both for export and for the local market. Last October American Sugar Refinery acquired majority shares of the Belize Sugar Industries, and by and large, the industry is improving with better quality and better [...]


Police News
Quick police response led them to the capture of an ice pick armed robber in Belize City. The victim of the robbery, Eldon Chiac, a bus driver of Belize City reported that on Saturday he was driving a yellow mini bus on Princess Margaret Drive and that around 5:30 p.m after passe...

Home of Bank Employee Burglarised
A burglary has been reported on Vasquez Avenue in Belize City. The owner, a forty year old Commercial Loans Officer told police that sometime between 3:00 p.m on Monday April 1st, and 4:00 p.m on Sunday April 7th, a number of items including electronics, perfume, liquor, jewelery...

Man On Remand Charged With Drug Trafficking Following Discovery In His Prison Cell
Twenty-four year old Orel Leslie, one of three men remanded on a charge of murder, was one of three inmates who have been charged with drug trafficking, as a result of three separate quantities of cannabis that were reportedly in the locker of their cell. The others are 41 year old Flo...

Butane Prices Decrease
The price of a hundred pound cylinder of butane has decreased by three dollars. The new price comes into effect tomorrow. In Belize City the price is $113.00, $114.00 in Orange Walk, $115.00 in Belmopan and San Ignacio, $116.00 in Benque Viejo, $117.00 in Dangriga and $118....

Upgraded Park and Beach Reclamation To Be Completed In June
Meanwhile, in a matter of two months, the BTL Park will be ready to accommodate residents with a much more aesthetically pleasing environment. Mayor Bradley says that the seawall and reclamation aspect will be completed in two weeks and the whole park should be ready in time for ...

Consruction Works To Start At Belmopan Market; Vendors Unhappy
The Belmopan City Council has announced that due to work that is soon to commence in the market area, vendors will have to be temporarily relocated. The venue selected is the show grounds in Belmopan but some of the vendors are not in agreement. Earlier today a group of the...


Government Awards 19 Days Amnesty For The Sale And Exportation of Precious Rosewood
With so many question marks, the Government of Belize decided to issue a press release late this evening announcing the sale and export of harvested Rosewood. The release does not say much and many questions are still left unanswered. It sates and we quote “The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, has determined that there is a supply of harvested Rosewood available which had been harvested during the moratorium period. The Ministry has decided to carefully ascertain such a supply and to allow the sale/export of already harvested rosewood over the period 8th – 26th April, 2013 to avoid the complete loss of the value. That’s it, plain and simple. Where the rosewood will be exported to, who the buyer is and for how much it will be sold is not mentioned in the release. Reports to CTV3 News are that at one point Government was looking at the possibility of becoming the agents of the rosewood and exporting the product to China. Now, here is the controversial part. Monies obtained from the sale would be split with the companies the precious wood was confiscated from including companies such as Kambokin that had two twenty foot containers confiscated from a compound near the customs department in January of this year. Again, this report has not been confirmed. The 19 day amnesty on rosewood exports will allow all those who have illegally extracted rosewood during the moratorium to bring out their fitches from hiding in order for them to be exported.

Family Of Eight Year Old Needs Financial Assistance
As parents we all wish for our children to be in the best of health at the same time realizing that they are exposed to various diseases which often at times are our closest neighbors. Meet 8 year old Owen Palma who was born on the 23rd of December 2004. He lives with his family at Joseyito Layout in Corozal Town. In April of 2012, he started experiencing pain on the right side of the back. A visit to the doctor confirmed what Owen’s mother feared the most, her son was suffering from kidney stones. Since the diagnosi,s the family has been battling with the sickness which often at times proves painful for little Owen. Today we spoke to Palma’s aunt, Suzanne Vasquez, who told us more about her nephew’s illness. Suzanne Vasquez-Owen Palma’s Aunt “Pues su problema de él es su riñón que tiene un ano que empezó, yo soy su tía de él, y ya tiene un ano que se quejaba de dolor de espalda y empezó a orinar sangre y entonces me hermana lo llevo en Corozal Hospital y le empezaron a dar tratamiento para el dolor y pues le calmaban el dolor y se le iba la calentura y después cuando le regresaba la calentura y el dolor lo mandaron a Orange Walk y le hicieron un ultra sonido, este que tengo, y allí vieron que tiene piedra en su riñón y después lo mandaron a Belice y lo chequearon que si está mal sus dos riñón, un pedazo estaba negro y se lo rasparon y cuando lo abrieron para quitarle la piedra corío la piedra en el otro riñón y es ese el problema el otro lado del riñón que esta la piedra porque siempre tiene dolor y le tengo que meter un tubo para que su sistema empiece a trabajar y empiece a trabajar bien.”

Orange Walkenos Head Out To Aguas Turbias
The Belize Territorial Volunteers is on the move again. Over the weekend leader of the group, Wil Maheia led an expedition to the Southern Border and tonight word is that the group will soon head out to the southern, western and northern part of the border where Belizean flags will be planted as sign of territorial ownership. The southern expedition will be led by Meheia, the western venture will be coordinated by Nancy Marin and the northern expedition will be headed by Orlando De la Fuente who will lead the willing to Aguas Turbias National Park specifically to the monument that marks the boundary for Belize, Mexico and Guatemala. It’s Belize’s northernmost border with Guatemala and De la Fuente told us what the group hopes to accomplish with the expedition. Orlando De La Fuente, Belize Territorial Volunteers “The expedition is to commemorate the 1859 boundary treaty signed on April 30th between her majesty and the Republic of Guatemala, so we are taking an expedition there to mark that event. Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “And would this be the same effort as the last expedition? Orlando De la Fuente, Belize Territorial Volunteers “It is very much in line with what Wil Mejia is doing in the south and we are doing the same here in the north. It’s going be like an hour and a half to the Mexican border where it will be the staging area and the Mennonites from Blue Creek, some of them are joining us and they will be providing tractors and trailers and a very reasonable cost which will be billed for fifteen dollars per person, we will board the bus from Blue Creek to the Mexican border and then we are going on a trial ten kilometres to the Aguas Turbias monument. The activities will start off with a prayer, we are going to sing the National Anthem and we are going to plant the Belizean flag on the Belize side and we are also taking a plaque because the monuments is represented by three countries and only two have plaques on it Belize does not have a plaque so we have ordered two plaques actually because Belize has two sides of the monument and so we are taking one for sure and we are going to install there and we will do some clearing but will not demarcate the border and we will clear a survey line just eat of the border anywhere from two to ten meters inside Belize and we will clear all along the border with Guatemala.”

Izak Chan Back In Court For Retrial After Sentenced To Eight Years For Rape
Twenty one year old Izak Chan was charged for rape on September 30th 2010. One year an eight months after, on May 31st 2012 to be exact, the 21 year old was found guilty of rape by a jury of 12 and was sentenced to eight years in prison by Judge Dennis Hanomansingh. Today Chan was back in the Supreme Court for retrial after the Courts of Appeal accepted his application to appeal the case. Chan is now being represented by Attorney Dickie Bradley while the Crown Council is being represented by counsels Shanice Lovell and Sabita Majarah. Even though Chan appeared before Justice Herbert Lord this morning, the retrial did not commence since Attorney Dickie Bradley requested that the case be adjourned to the Month of May 2013 in order for him to prepare for the case. Bradley also requested that Chan be granted bail since he was on bail for the first trial and abided by all the conditions imposed on him. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell objected to bail and after several arguments it was agreed that that the matter of whether Chan will receive bail or not will be determined on April 23rd 2013.

Movement Of Tons Of Confiscated Rosewood Raises Eyebrows
There is major and alarming news coming out of Belmopan tonight as it refers to the movement of tons and tons of confiscated Rosewood. Now, we all know that here in Belize the illegal exportation of Rosewood has become a lucrative business. Despite a moratorium set in place last year, it is believed that the attempts to smuggle the precious wood, has not seized and probably all that has changed is that the smugglers have become craftier. Yesterday alarms went off when the confiscated fitches were being moved despite the fact that Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla is out of the country and so is Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Sabido. Footage captured by Plus T.V in Belmopan shows the rosewood being uploaded on these trucks with Orange Walk License plates. Our investigations have revealed that both trucks are registered to one Wilbert A Valencia of Valencias Trucking located in the Village of San Jose Nuevo Palmar in Orange Walk. CTV3 News understands that the trucking company was hired by one Raul Cawich, a Custom Broker whose office is located at the Northern Border. Reports suggest that Wilbert Valencia was contacted by Cawich who ordered that both trucks be sent to the Forest Department in Belmopan to pick up the rosewood.

P.U.P Weighs In On The Issue Of Guatamala's New Passports
On March 28th we reported that the Guatemalan government had issued tenders for the printing of new passports. But that was not the meat of the report. What was is the fact that the map to be used on the front cover of the four million passports, to be printed over the next ten years, will include Belize as part of Guatemala. The only distinction will be a dotted line with the wording, “territory under dispute.” As mentioned before, it would not be the first time that the offensive image of Belize forming part of Guatemala would appear in official publications. Yesterday a Government representative spoke on the issue for the first time. According to C.E.O in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado, the ministry has notified the United Nations about Guatemala’s intentions. In an interview with Channel Five last night, Rosado stated and we quote “We spoke to the United Nations people and whereas they were in the process of discussing with Guatemalan officials the whole procurement procedures in order to help them, they were not aware at the time that there were any specifications. What has come to my attention is that there is a depiction of it somewhere in some of the documents. And it seems to show the Guatemalan map in bold and it has like a dotted line between Belize and Guatemala, but Belize is not included in bold as part of the whole Guatemalan territory” end of quote. Rosado went on to say that the Belizean Government is positive that the UN would never participate in something that would be offensive to one of its members, in this case Belize.

Butane Prices Reduced By $3.00
Tonight there is good news for consumers of Liquid Petroleum Gas as Government has approved a $3.00 decrease for the hundred pound cylinder. The prices are as follows. In Orange Walk $114.00, Corozal $113.00, Belize City $113.00, Belmopan and San Ignacio $115.00, Benque $116.00, Dangriga $117.00 and Punta Gorda $118.00. The new prices come into effect tomorrow.


New Rosewood amnesty
There is a new amnesty period for Rosewood harvesters, more than one year after a moratorium had been declared on the almost depleted specie. It is very interesting timing considering that PlusTV reported yesterday on the movement of confiscated flitches from the Belmopan Forestry Department compound. PlusTV received information...

Bus driver fights off attacker
A bus driver in the old capital found himself fighting for his life and money. On Saturday, around 5:30pm, bus driver Eldon Chiac, driving a yellow mini bus belonging to one of the City’s bus companies, was on a run on Princess Margaret Drive where he stopped to let...

Man badly beaten in Belize City
PLUS News today happened on a strange occurrence in Belize City – a man who was thought to be dead, is alive! But it’s not quite how that sounds. 31 year old Leonel Ramos of Central American Boulevard was out socializing on Monday night at a local Chinese shop...

All is not well with Belmopan market vendors
Market vendors are protesting the relocation of the Belmopan Farmers Market. Two weeks ago, we told you that the Belmopan City Council decided that the Tuesday and Friday market would be relocated from the Civic Center parking lot to the Agricultural and Trade Show grounds. This was after residents...

Placencia Village will soon open its pier and marina
Placencia Village will soon open its pier and marina to yachts and other sea vessels. The Village of Placencia is getting ready to make its mark in the tourism industry as one of the top destinations in Belize. Placencia can be accessed by air, land and sea; and with...

Nick Pollard Jr not in favour of ICJ
The effort to have Belize settle its territorial dispute with Guatemala at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) appears to be on life support after the Guatemalans continue to insist on postponing the October 6 referendum. But the public campaign goes on and today Nick Pollard Jr. spoke exclusively...

PUP state positions on new Guatemalan passport
The People’s United Party says it has had enough of Guatemala’s antics and is calling for severe action from the Belize Government. The Party’s National Executive met today, where among topics discussed was Guatemala’s recent proposal to include a map alluding that the country’s border with Belize’s border is...

Belize media under spotlight by visiting lecturer
The common complaint that local media, particularly television, overemphasize the blood and gore of daily murders and other incidents has galvanized efforts to regulate the content of news and other programs. Today the University of the West Indies Alumni Association Belize Chapter welcomed a lecturer, Dr. Leith Dunn, to...

Free surgery offered at Western Regional Hospital
The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with New Horizon Mission Group, is looking for at least 50 patients to participate in pre-screening clinics. The group is catering to families from Belmopan and surrounding areas of Belmopan, with financial constraints unable to finance medical conditions relating to the ear, nose...

Thatched house accidently catches fire
A wooden thatched house in Bella Vista Village went up in flames yesterday morning. But it’s seems that the cause of the fire was accidental, as an empty lot two blocks away, adjacent to the house, was being cleaned and so bushes on the property were being burned. It...


Family and friends are mourning the passing of 71-year-old Mathri Gomez, who died on Saturday, April 6, 2013. Gomez’ death has captured the attention of the community in Dangriga Town because it’s not the first time that the family has had to announce her death. It is a peculiar case — that of a woman being pronounced dead twice, but Gomez’ family said they call the first “resurrection” a miracle. Gomez was admitted into the Southern Regional Hospital last week; her medical condition was degenerating and it was decided by the family and hospital that she would be transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital on Wednesday, April 3. Gomez was to be transported by airplane to Belize City. However, upon arriving at the Dangriga airstrip, she had no pulse and the doctor pronounced her dead. She was then taken back to the Southern Regional Hospital, the family told us. One of her daughters, Vivian Gomez, who was present at the airstrip, said that the doctor had removed all machine connections from her mother’s body at the airstrip after she stopped breathing and covered her face. When they arrived at the hospital, the doctors tried once again to resuscitate Gomez, but to no avail. They then officially pronounced her dead.

Otto Perez Molina is accused of human rights atrocities while commander of troops in Salquil Grande, Nebaj, Quiche. During the first genocide trial in Guatemala’s history, in which former de facto ruler Jose Efrain Rios Montt (1982-1983) has been accused of human rights atrocities, Guatemala’s current president, Otto Perez Molina, was also named on Thursday, April 4, 2013, by Hugo Ramiro Leonardo Reyes, an ex-soldier, who alleged, via videoconference testimony, that Perez Molina had ordered soldiers to burn and loot villages, and execute indigenous tribes while he was commander of troops in Salquil Grande, Nebaj, Quiche. Reuters reported that Pérez Molina has immunity from prosecution because of his high rank in Guatemala. According to a posting on the website of the Guatemalan government, its defense minister, General Ulises Anzueto, has denied the allegations made in the hearing against Perez Molina by the protected witness in the genocide trial. The allegations, which the general said were inconsistent and unsubstantiated, are intended to impact the image of the president and the armed forces, he told Notimex.

Guatemalans have no respect for their side of the “Adjacency Zone” – much development on their side of the border in the restricted Zone, and the OAS knows this. “They are taking us for a joke,” says Wil Maheia. The Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) headed west to the Belize-Guatemala border over the weekend, in their second activity to begin the on-the-ground clearing of the border, which they contend will serve not just to show where Guatemala ends and Belize begins, but which they believe should also mitigate escalating incursions inside Belizean territory by Guatemalans who venture over to hunt, log, farm, and cut xate palm for sale on local and foreign markets. However, when the team of about 60 persons, ready with cutlasses to chop, arrived at the border, they found that the area had already been extensively developed for agriculture, with a road depicting where the border is located, so not much chopping was needed. “We couldn’t clear anything. Everything was already cleared,” BTV founder, Wil Maheia, told Amandala. Two officials of the Organization of American States (OAS) were there at the site, Maheia said. They had been asked to attend as observers.

Baroness Margaret Thatcher, the conservative peer who was prime minister when Belize got its Independence from Britain, is dead at age 87, a UK Parliament statement announced today. Official reports say that Baroness Thatcher, elected to serve as Britain’s first female prime minister in 1979, died on Monday, April 8, 2013, after suffering a stroke. She will receive a ceremonial funeral at St Paul’s Cathedral with military honors, said the British High Commission in Belize. After the service, she will be privately cremated. “All the arrangements being put in place are in line with wishes of Lady Thatcher’s family,” the Commission said. It also informed that a book of condolence will be open at the High Commission in Belmopan from Tuesday, April 9, until Friday, April 12, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

A father of three children, Jahmeel Richardson, also known as “Cash”, is fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot in his back and legs at about 1:00 on Good Friday morning, in a yard on Partridge Street Extension. His prognosis is grim. Doctors said that he may become paralyzed from his waist down. His family said that he is not moving and complains of pain. Police said that Richardson and a friend of his were relaxing in their yard when gunmen entered the yard from the rear and opened fire on them, hitting Richardson. The gunmen then ran off. Richardson’s friend rushed him to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where it was determined that his spine had been damaged.

Three persons, reported missing, have not yet been found. They are Hilmar Cal, 15, of Libertad, who went missing on Thursday, January 31; Mamerto Castillo, 87, missing since February 13; and Conrad Jones, 64, a retired inspector of police, missing since September 13, 2012. Hilmar Ical left home in Libertad to sell homemade bread in Corozal Town, and has failed to return home since, and no one seems to know where he is. Ical is described as being of Mestizo descent, with brown complexion; he is about 5 feet tall, of medium built and weighs about 85 pounds. Ical is now missing for 27 days. Marmerto Castillo, also known as “Don Mito,” of Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk, was last seen 14 days ago by his family, at about 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 13, when he left home to go for firewood in San Lazaro Village. To date, his whereabouts are unknown. Castillo was last seen wearing a light pink long-sleeved shirt and khaki long pants. The family said that Castillo has problems with his hearing, and is offering a reward of $400 for information leading to his successful recovery.

The brutal death of a Howler monkey in March this year stirred up some discontent among the Forest Department, animal lovers and citizens on a whole. On Friday, April 5, four students and a teacher, Angel Carillo, who allegedly convinced them to torture the animal, appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. The four students, all minors, and Carillo were charged for illegal hunting. They were all granted bail of $1,000 each and are to reappear in court on June 26, 2013. According to the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), hunting means “to kill, take or molest by any method and includes attempting to kill, take or molest by any method any species of wildlife.” Reports are that the accused teacher showed the monkey to some students and it was decided that the animal would be captured.

After a flurry of mid-week games in two consecutive weeks, all of a sudden Week 11 is completed in the Premier League of Belize Closing Season, and only 3 weeks remain in the regular season, which will decide the coveted spot in the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. Belmopan Bandits are the defending champions, having won the Opening Season tournament by a 3-point margin over Belize Defense Force, their nearest rival in the current Closing Season. According to the standings in the present Closing Season at Week 11, the Bandits lead BDF by 6 points, giving them an aggregate lead of 9 points with only 3 games remaining. Theoretically, Bandits can clinch the Champions League berth this weekend. Only one Saturday night game was played in Week 11, and it was Belmopan Bandits hosting their nearest rivals Belize Defense Force and putting them down, 2-1, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. Denmark Casey, Jr. (30’) gave the Bandits the first-half lead. Harrison Tasher (78’) got the equalizer for BDF, but the league’s hottest striker, Deon McCaulay (85’) broke the tie and gave the Bandits the victory with his 8th goal in the last 4 games.

If you listen to the taped discourse of the Belize Black Summit of September 2003, you will realize that ten years ago Belize City (and its Southside in particular) was already experiencing catastrophic levels of criminal violence, homicide, and incarceration amongst young black men. Ten years later, the average age of the combatants has been lowered to the extent that it is possible to say that Belize City is actually experiencing the phenomenon known internationally as “child soldiers.” We should point out that the young boys and young men who are the combatants in the Belize City gang wars grew up and live in specific neighborhoods of the old capital, and some of you readers may need to be reminded that there are young girls and young women who live in those same neighborhoods. Relatively few of those young girls and young women ever engage in actual gang combat, but they support and encourage the criminal violence of the young boys and young men in their neighborhoods, because they see that criminal violence as necessary for the defence and economic survival of their neighborhoods. In our title for this editorial, we referred to a “Southside status quo” because we wanted to underline the fact that there is a state of affairs which exists and has been in existence for some time, and this state of affairs, for whatever the reason(s), is essentially satisfactory to some powerful elements, both in the city and in the nation entire.

by Evan X Hyde. “However, even though we arrived at stage three, AMANDALA insists on printing Guatemala’s human rights defects as chronicled in the foreign press many years ago like the U.S. Congressional Record of June 1961 showing Guatemala’s agents and lobbyists of 1955 and ‘Our Latin Vietnam’ of the WASHINGTON POST of February 1968.” - Alejandro Vernon on page 26 in THE REPORTER of Sunday, March 24, 2013 “Thus it was, while visiting the northern Department of El Petén on April 16 (1958), General e Ingeniero Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes crossed over into Belize accompanied by the presidents of the Guatemalan Supreme Court and the Congress. Requesting that the sergeant on duty obtain permission from the British governor general for the party to proceed to the Belizean town of Cayo, some three miles away, he had his picture taken in front of the police barracks in Benque Viejo brandishing his ‘entry permit’ – a copy of the Guatemalan constitution. When permission to proceed further was denied, he calmly returned to the Guatemalan side of the border proclaiming, ‘Belize will be ours by right or might.’”

Police “fooling around”; they just don’t care about child’s death... Two-year-old Kaylee Burgess was found dead in a bucket of water behind her grandmother’s house in Ladyville in September 2012. Since then, her parents, Kevin Burgess and Deidra Pratt, have been fighting to find answers to exactly what had happened to their baby girl. The child’s mother, Pratt, has made it known publicly that she believes that her family members whom she left Kaylee in the care of on the day she went missing and was found dead, have information that they need to give to police. The police, for their part, have informed the media that the investigation is still ongoing, but there wasn’t much to comment on. They did say, however, that the family is not cooperating with the investigation. Today, Monday, Amandala visited Pratt, who said that she has made multiple calls and trips to the Ladyville Police Station, as well as to the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP). In response to the police remarks on the investigation, Pratt said that she doesn’t believe that the police are referring to her immediate family, because they have been more than cooperative with the police.

A hundred and sixty youth, including the gang members of the crime-ridden Kelly Street community, on the North side of the city, were engaged in various sports and educational activities over the Easter holiday – possibly a reason that there were no incidents of violence in that part of the city over that weekend. Philip “Fawda” Henry, the organizer of the event, said that they were able to create a friendly atmosphere filled with wholesome fun and competition for the young people of the area, ranging in age from 7 to 17, who did not get the opportunity to travel over the Easter holiday. The youth got the chance to choose a sport of their liking – for each of which a coach and a councilor were assigned. Henry said that everything was provided free of cost for the youth, and he wants to thank the sponsors who donated to the cause. First place winners received a $50.00 cash prize and 3 DVD’s , while second place winners were given $25 along with 3 DVDs and third place winners received $20 and two DVDs. Henry said that it was a pleasure to see the parents watch their children participate in the competitions, in the safe environment they managed to create in the Kelly Street area. The youth were divided into teams, and names with positive meanings, such as “Love”, “Peace”, “Together”, “Free from Violence”, “Family”, and “Da Fu We Children” were given to the teams.

The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announced today that it has filed an application with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), requesting a slight decrease in electricity rates. As is customary, the PUC will review the application, issue an initial decision, and then a final decision after consulting with interested parties. In January, consumers were hit with a 17% rate increase, as the approved electricity rate was increased from 41.81 cents per kilowatt hour to 48.86 cents. In a press release issued today, BEL informed that it has asked the PUC to reduce the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) by approximately 1 cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) to reflect the actual cost of power since January 2013, compared to the projected cost submitted to the PUC in December 2012. The proposed reduction would amount to a 2% savings.

The men are all from Roaring Creek... Police Constable Bertchel Ramirez was murdered in Roaring Creek Village on Thursday, April 4, 2013. Later that same day, police arrested Juvencio Herrera, 34; Gregory Martinez, 26; Elilo Herrera, 41, and Steven Garbutt, 28, all residents of Roaring Creek Village, and charged them with murder. The four men were taken to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on Friday, April 5, where they appeared before Senior Magistrate Lindsbert Willis. They have been remanded to the Hattieville Prison and will reappear in court on July 19, 2013. PC Ramirez was reported to have been visiting his girlfriend in the Another World area of Roaring Creek Village. He left the house to respond to a shooting he had heard nearby when he was attacked by the four men who opened fire at him inside his vehicle. Ramirez was shot once in his shoulder and once in the head.


Feliz Bingo
If you are looking for fun and want to help support some great causes go to Bingo at Feliz bar and Grill across the bridge Wednesday afternoon at 4:00pm. Part of the bingo proceeds go to a different charity each week. They do $5 shots with the entire profit going to the sponsored organization. In the past they have done San Pedro Sailing Club and Saga Humane Society both great organizations. This week Feliz is fundraising for the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross. The Proceeds from Wednesday will go specifically to the sponsorship division of the Belize Red Cross First Aid training program. Reminder the next first Aid Course is April 29th at Black Orchid Restaurant from 9:00am – 4:30 pm. So far Victoria House Resort, The Phoenix Resort, Elvi’s Kitchen, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch and Caribbean Villas Hotel are all sending staff. If you would like more information or to sign up staff from your business please contact or San Pedro Branch Coordinators Jan at or Shirlee at

A Shady Place…The Guatemala/Belize Border: Drinking Beers at Champon
I’d been there before. A place called Champon, a sort of no man’s land after you cross the border from Belize and before the border entry of Guatemala. Shady? Very. Interesting? Always. The reason to visit this place? Here it is… Driving out of San Ignacio town at dusk along the river towards the Guatemalan border is beyond beautiful. Entrances to resorts, a few small villages, kids splashing in the wide green river, the hand ferry to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich and about 15 minutes later, you arrive in the last Belizean town. Benque Viejo. Benque is a good sized town and as you head out, the jungled landscape has been totally cleared and is seriously illuminated with huge flood lights, chain link fence, giant warehouses, and a good amount of razor wire. Standard border I guess. Passports and ID cards are needed for immigration. Park your car on the Belize side and proceed through. This picture is horribly fuzzy but there is a new large duty free shop for non-Belizeans. No time for that. It was almost 7pm and the border closes at 9pm. I DEFINITELY do not want to spend the night in Champon. There are three bars clinging to the side of the hill as you pass through. These are not nice places…dim lighting, concrete floors, plastic lawn furniture, a bathroom that I deemed unusable (and I have a high toilet tolerance) and well…the reason people make this journey…non-Belizean beer. Coronas, Budweisers, Sol, lots of Guatemalan stuff, even contraband Pepsis. The excitement! The danger! And oh so cheap…

People’s United Party's Statement Against Guatemala's Unfounded Claim
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) of Belize today issued a statement saying that its national executive at a meeting rejected Guatemala’s use of a map on that country’s passport which shows Belize as a part of its territory. The official statement says that a future PUP government will deny entry to Belize for any person bearing a Guatemala passport with a map showing Belize as a part of Guatemala. “The Party also urges the present UDP Government to do the same”. But the People’s United Party goes further saying that if Guatemala insists on using a map on its passport showing Belize as a part of its territory “then Belize should boycott the meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) to be held in Guatemala later this year.” And lastly, the PUP says Belize should start looking to friendly nations, especially those in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to stand in solidarity with Belize against this latest affront to our national sovereignty by Guatemala.

VIDEO: Polar Pro Filters, GoPro Hero, Scuba Divng Belize
Polar Pro Filters and GoPro Hero scuba diving The Belize Barrier Reef from Trip Advisor's #1 island vacation destination in the world, Ambergris Caye.

“It’s Getting Better” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
My time on the veranda yesterday morning was very pleasant. The good, strong breeze made it very enjoyable I spent a fair bit longer reading The Times than I usually do. Lots of coverage about Margaret Thatcher who sadly passed away on Monday. She had her ‘lovers’ and her ‘haters’ and I am decidedly one of the former. Through her policies I and many of my ex-colleagues enjoyed some of our most enjoyable times working in the UK press industry. Rose and I spent the greater part of the morning ploughing on with our searches on the Internet to make selections for the fixtures and fittings for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. It has been a laborious task but we are getting there. We now only have the light fittings to choose but we have narrowed this down and just need the advice of Daniel Camal, our building contractor, to make the final choices. With the list drawn up – model number and price- and screen grabs for every item I took time out to reacquaint myself with The Litigators by John Grisham that I had started reading last week. For those of you who are fans of his but have not read this book yet it is up to his normal standards.

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant. In previous articles I pointed out that presently many of our people in Belize are struggling, day in and day out, to survive ever-increasing hard times. However, as pitiful and miserable as our current violent situations may be, positive change for the better is always within our control. We will improve on any out-of-hand or dangerous situations in which we live today once we choose to cease living in pathetic, but comfortable, conditions of “learned helplessness”. (See for definition.) It is sad that many of us choose to live under such negative conditions, and prefer to firmly insist that everything is beyond our control, and that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. However, in direct contrast, I encourage you to look closely at teachers and educators to see how they deal with the problem of learned helplessness. On a daily basis they give students (our children) the “boost” which they very often desperately need in order to bounce back from total burnout situations where/when everything may be going wrong for them, either academically, morally, or otherwise. Educators (teachers, principals and administrators, school counselors, assistants and anyone who works within a school system) are often misunderstood by students, parents, and by the community. Actually, some educators themselves often misunderstand their own purpose or disregard the reason why they chose to work in Education as a profession. There is no doubt that, despite any lofty ideals they may have, all educators need to earn a living just like everyone else. So, yes, educators work everyday for a salary. However, above and beyond earning a living, educators’ ultimate goal is to prepare young people to live productively in our society. To fulfill this goal, educators willingly take on tremendous social responsibilities which, sad to say, too often are misunderstood and not at all appreciated by many in our society, beginning with the very students whom educators try to help everyday. Consequently some educators, after repeatedly being misunderstood, become disheartened enough to work in the field of Education each day merely to earn a living, nothing else.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Cokunut Lemon Muffins
These muffins loded with cokunut and lemony goodness is jes t'rite thang t'celebrate sprin'! It is sprin' altho it shure doesn’t look er feel like it here! Fer a more decadent muffin drizzle with lemon glaze wile muffins air still warm. 1/4 cup buttr, softened 2/3 cup sugar 1 egg Zest uf 2 medium sized lemons, finelee grated 1 1/2 cups sour creem 2 cups flour 3/4 cup cokunut, flaked 1 tablespoon bakin' powdr 1/2 teespoon salt 1/2 cup xtrey cokunut fer toppin'

International Sources

Wikileaks Releases 1,200 new cables on Belize
... and 1.7 new Million cables total. This is in addition to the ones previously released.

Belize's Homophobic Laws Go Against Treaty Obligations
In mid-March 2013, the UN Human Rights Committee issued its concluding observations on Belize. The Committee, which is charged with reviewing states’ compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), issued its concluding observations on Belize. Belize acceded to the binding human rights treaty in 1996. Two years earlier, the Committee had ruled that discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation violated the treaty’s anti-discrimination provisions. It was therefore no surprise when the Committee concluded that Belize’s patent discrimination against gays (as found in the country’s anti-sodomy law, as well as the Immigration Act, which bans the entry of homosexuals) is irreconcilable with the country’s treaty obligations. AIDS-Free World is supporting a domestic challenge to the anti-sodomy law, and has also launched a case before the highest regional court, the Caribbean Court of Justice, seeking a repeal of the homophobic provisions in the Immigration Act. The Committee’s observation on these cases and Belize’s treatment of homosexuals is found below:

New World reports intital shows at Gallon Jug
Oil and gas explorer New World Oil and Gas revealed encouraging initial drilling at its first well at the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect in Belize. The junior oil outfit said it has recorded a number of hydrocarbon shows and that drilling operations had so far been in line with its geologic expectations, while also pointing to news of an oil discovery at a neighbouring project. New World acknowledged that, having reached 7,700 metres of the estimated total depth of 8,800 metres at the Rio Bravo no.1 well, the ‘commerciality’ of the initial hydrocarbon shows would only be determined once the well was drilled to total depth and testing results interpreted. Confirming that drilling operations at the well had so far been in line with the company’s geologic expectations, the company added that ongoing operations were continuing ‘without incident, on schedule and under budget’.

New World dips on Belize drilling update
Shares in New World Oil & Gas (NEW) dropped more than 6% on Wednesday after it announced updates on the drilling of its Rio Bravo #1 Well on the West Gallon Jug Crest (WGJC) prospect in Belize. The well was drilling at approximately 7,700 feet while the company estimated the total depth of the drill would be 8,800 feet. While a number of hydrocarbon shows had been recorded, New World said the commerciality of these shows could only be determined once the well was drilled to its total depth. The firm stressed ongoing operations were on schedule and under budget, while drilling operations at WGJC were in line with the company's geologic expectations. The prospect showed proved probable (P50) unrisked prospective resources of 113 million barrels of oil with a P50 net present value of $2.6 billion (£1.7 billion) on a 100% working interest basis. "Drilling at our WGJC prospect is progressing well with approximately 1,000 feet remaining until we reach total depth," commented chief executive officer William Kelleher.

New World says Rio Bravo #1 well drilling at 7,700ft
New World Oil & Gas Plc said its Rio Bravo #1 Well, on the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect in Belize, was drilling at about 7,700 feet but commerciality had yet to be determined. "Whilst a number of hydrocarbon shows have been recorded, the commerciality of these shows can only be determined once the well is drilled to total depth, open hole logs are run and interpreted, and well testing results are available," the company said. The well has a target depth of about 8,800 feet. On-going operations are continuing to proceed without incident, are on schedule and under budget. As reported in the Company's Re-Admission Document dated 3 July 2012, the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect shows P50 un-risked prospective resources of 113 million barrels of oil ('MMbo'), with a P50 Net Present Value ('NPV10') of US$2.6 billion on a 100% working interest basis.

Air pollution can stunt coral reef growth
Coral reefs are at risk from global warming, but regional aerosol emissions may also be a significant factor in how corals grow, according to a new study by scientists with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. The research linked airborne particles caused by volcanic activity and air pollution to episodes of slow coral-reef growth. The findings came as part of an effort to to better predict the effects of climate change and human disturbance on reefs. The data came from several coral cores drilled in reefs near the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal formed by the coral species Siderastrea siderea between 1880 and 1989, whereas samples from the Turneffe atoll in Belize showed growth fluctuations in the coral species Montastrea faveolata from 1905 to 1998.

Research holds revelations about an ancient society's water conservation, purification
University of Cincinnati research at the ancient Maya site of Medicinal Trail in northwestern Belize is revealing how populations in more remote areas -- the hinterland societies -- built reservoirs to conserve water and turned to nature to purify their water supply. Jeffrey Brewer, a doctoral student in the University of Cincinnati's Department of Geography, will present his findings on April 11, at the Association of American Geographers' annual meeting in Los Angeles. Brewer's research, titled "Hinterland Hydrology: Mapping the Medicinal Trail Community, Northwest Belize," continues a UC exploration of the ancient Maya civilization that has spanned decades. The site for Brewer's research, which was primarily occupied during the Classic Period (AD 250-900), functioned as a rural architectural community on the periphery of the major ancient Maya site of La Milpa. Brewer says this smaller, remote settlement lacks the monumental architecture and population density typically associated with the major Maya sites, but shows similar, smaller-scale slopes, artificial terraces and water reservoirs that would have been utilized for farming and water management.

Belize firms to benefit from Caribbean Exports
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) will be delivering a workshop on its direct assistance grant scheme on Wednesday in Belize. The workshop forms part of a wider mission of the agency to Belize as it under takes the execution of the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The direct assistance grant scheme workshop is brought to Belize in partnership with Beltraide and will be attended by Belizean firms and business support organisations (BSOs). The workshop will increase the schemes awareness with the Belizean private sector and those attending the information and training sessions will gain a greater understanding of the process for applying for grant funding. Ultimately, the workshop’s aim is to not only increase the number of applicants from Belize but also the number of successful applications of the direct assistance grant scheme.

April 9, 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

Paddleboarding- An Attempt
Kerplunk!! Splash!! Instant wipeout…those are generally not the things one wants to report on of their first attempt at a water sport. But then again, when one can hardly keep balance while sober, in flats, on steady ground, what should we expect when confronted with choppy water and something resembling a surfboard? I don’t know about you, but I have spent the majority of my 31 years of life stating the obvious: ‘Someday I am going to do X, Y, Z…’ Then another year flies by and I realize that I have not accomplished a single task I have promised myself. So when the invitation to try paddleboarding came from a woman I truly admired, Pam Killen, there was no way I would pass it up. House chores? Forget them… Lunch needed to be prepared? Fuggeddaboutit! I was determined to do something for myself. Accompanied by the big boss, who armed herself with a camera to capture my attempts (and perhaps to have something on record for when she needed a chuckle) – we drove up to the spot where I would learn.

Great video of the Holy Saturday cycling race by Astrum Helicopters
Astrum Helicopters managed to capture a unique view of the 85th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic which took place on Saturday March 30th, 2013. Organized by the Belize Cycling Association, the race attracted 87 riders included 6 from the USA, 10 Mexicans and 2 Guatemalans. Belizean Darnell Barrow is the big 2013 winner after crossing the finish line in a surprise sprint from behind. Barrow completed the 139.6-mile race in 5 hours 46 minutes and 49 seconds, ahead of 40 other riders who completed the competition.

BTL launches new directory and features Belizean agricultural crops
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) has launched their new 2013 telephone directory. The launching of the book took place on March 27th in San Ignacio Town. BTL said that over 50,000 copies of their directory were printed for distribution to its customers countrywide. The cover of the directory along with an explanation inside the directory is one of the ways that BTL helps in promoting Belize. This year, the cover features the country’s diverse cuisine and the bountiful fresh fruits and crops. The hard cover of the directory features the colorful and diverse fresh crops available at the San Ignacio Marketplace. “BTL’s 2013 telephone directory highlights food and its preparation in its simplistic form as well as that of five star quality chefs. The representation in our pages is an amalgamation of all ethnicities and highlights the diversity of textures and flavors from simple to the complex…. To appreciate the gastronomic concoctions which make up our local dishes, we take time to focus on the raw ingredients that it takes to prepare a plated meal on this year’s cover,” explains BTL in describing the cover of the directory.

Special Envoy for Women & Children to launch children’s book “My Body is Precious”
Special Envoy for Women & Children - April 8, 2013 - The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation will be launching a children’s book entitled “My Body is Precious”. It is becoming increasingly important to discuss the sensitive subject of Sexual Abuse of Children. Recognizing that it is not an easy conversation to have, the office of the Special Envoy partnered with the Ministry of Human Development and with assistance from UNICEF, they were able to produce 30,000 copies of the child-friendly “good touch, bad touch” booklet to be distributed countrywide. “My Body is Precious” is part of a national public information campaign on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and follows successful symposiums hosted by my Office in August 2010 and October 2011. The book, which targets children between the ages of 6 and 10 years, will assist parents who have a hard time talking about the Sexual Abuse of Children while teaching children what to do if they are touched inappropriately. We hope that this book will ultimately contribute to the prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation of children as well as an increase in perpetrators being reported and convicted.

Ambergris Today

Isla Bonita Elementary School Sister School Relationship
We have heard about sister city relationships as our town has made several of these! But never have we heard of sister school relationship; well Isla Bonita Elementary School will be the first to make this tie with a school from Kingston, Ontario and will greatly benefit from its relationship. Principal Addy Trejo and members of the school board met with Mrs. Judy Regis, a long time visitor and friend of the island who is the Independent Living Skills Coordinator at Independent Living Center Kingston, Ontario. She will be assisting in arranging the sister school relationship with an elementary school at Kingston, Ontario.

Children's Book “My Body is Precious” To be Launched
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation will be launching a children’s book entitled “My Body is Precious”. It is becoming increasingly important to discuss the sensitive subject of Sexual Abuse of Children. Recognizing that it is not an easy conversation to have, my office partnered with the Ministry of Human Development and with assistance from UNICEF, we were able to produce 30,000 copies of the child-friendly “good touch, bad touch” booklet to be distributed countrywide.

Pic of the Week: Romantic Wedding Destinations in Belize
Saying "I Do' in Belize cannot be any more spectacular. Here is another amazing destination wedding capture by Jose Luis Zapata, a local photographer in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, who concentrates on wedding photography. As the sun sets on Ambergris Caye, another couple celebrates in the joy of committing their lives to each other.

Misc Belizean Sources

Assad Shoman speaks/argues for the yes ICJ a booklet. This paper is about Guatemala s claim to the territory of Belize and the recent decision by the governments of both countries to submit the claim to the International Court of Justice for final binding adjudication and for delimiting their respective land and maritime borders. It gives a short history of the claim and describes efforts by Britain and Belize to resolve the dispute, Belize s attainment of independence in 1981 and subsequent attempts to end the dispute. The paper is written from the viewpoint of a Belizean, and focuses on the decision to submit the dispute to the ICJ after simultaneous referenda in both countries approve such submission, examines arguments for and against going to the ICJ and argues forcefully that it is in the best interests of both countries to have the dispute finally ended by a decision of the ICJ.

May 4th Event in Maya Centre
Explore Maya Culture! Morning Programs: Herbal Medicine Workshop—Led by Aurora Garcia Saqui, Maya Healer Traditional Mayan Cooking & Cacao Processing Demonstration Buffet Lunch: Delicious traditional Maya cuisine Afternoon Programs: Botanical Garden Tour—Led by Caroline Herrnon, Botanist at University of Belize Maya Marimba, Flute & Drumming Session—Led by Reyes Chun, Maya Musician

Volunteer group finds most of Belize-Guatemala border cleared
Last Saturday morning, a group of approximately 60 members of a group calling themselves the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) boarded buses and vehicles in Punta Gorda for the rough road journey to the village of Dolores on the southern Belize-Guatemala border. After almost three hours of travel to the border, the BTV group began a strenuous hike to the borderline. Just before reaching the border, the group was met by Organization of American States (OAS) representatives, who informed the group that they had reached the borderline and warned them not to proceed further west. A local Mayan resident in the group of BTV volunteers advised that the group had in fact not yet reached the border, so the group proceeded to push forward to the cement survey marker despite the comment from the OAS representative. Upon reaching the official survey marker it became clear to the group why the representative did not want them to proceed further west. The BTV delegation found a large palm oil plantation, with massive areas of land including the borderline already cleared. The BTV group then moved on from that position and hiked to another area north, where again they encountered a cleared border with cornfields that unquestionably crossed into Belize territory. Continuing along the border with the intention of clearing the line, the BTV group found large pasture territory after a long hike through the cornfields. “As far as we are concerned, all of that area of the borderline is already cleared. We estimate that almost 80 percent of the border between Belize and Guatemala is likely already cleared. We hope to continue the clearing, finishing before the end of the dry season,” said Wil Maheia, leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Transport Department strongly recommend that all Bicycle travelers have their bicycles properly equipped with lights, a bell, reflectors and brakes. Traffic Wardens will be carrying out inspections. These measures are to improve traffic safety, especially at night.

San Pedro bikes need light, bell, reflectors
San Pedro Traffic Department and the San Pedro Town Council advise cyclists to install lights, bells, and reflectors on their bikes. Get further information by calling 226-2198.

Photo: Former Britain Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and Father of the Nation, George Price

Believe in Graciano
12 year old Graciano Ramos received severe head injuries when he fell off a tree house where he was playing. Hello, my name is Angel active member of the Rotaract Club of Orange Walk in Belize. As part of this charitable organization, myself and another member, Stephanie Acosta, have decided to seek financial assistance for a young boy from the neighborhood. Young Graciano Ramos is only 12 years old, and has unfortunately suffered a tragic accident...a couple months ago, he was playing on a make shift tree-house in the neighborhood when he fell off and received severe head injuries which have caused his brain to become a result, a part of his skull has been removed to help alleviate the pain and discomfort of the swollen brain. He had lost mobility completely, but is slowly regaining feelings in the hands.

The Lionfish Invasion – How Did It Start?
Since 2002, the exotic lionfish has been making appearances in new places, where it had never been sighted before. The lionfish invasion, as marine biologists now call it, was first observed in waters off of North Carolina in August of that year. These Atlantic waters are not native to the beautiful yet poisonous lionfish. At first the sightings here were regarded as highly unusual, and the specimen the divers who saw it collected was the only proof that lionfish were present in the area at that time. Over the course of the next year, there were 19 other recorded lionfish sightings at eight separate dive sights along the North Carolina coast. The Lionfish had by then also been seen off of Georgia, Florida, and even Long Island in New York which was the furthest North a Lionfish had ever been seen.

New Basket Ball Court for Calla Creek School
Feelgood news of the day. Calla Creek primary school is getting a new basketball court, courtesy of 4 the World Belize. 4 the World has been very active in Calla Creek.

2013 Telephone Directory Video
BTL has a video out about the new 2013 Telephone Directory. This year, they teamed up with the Belize Tourism Board, and they came up with a new style that focuses on Belizean food and culture. Well done, BTL, well done.

Swigs Party with Cloud 9
The Swigs Party is this Friday night, April 12th, at the Bedran Hall in the SIRH. Cloud 9 will be there, along with a battle of the DJ's competition, great food, and Caribbean Cooler sample shots. The Hands for Life club is having this dance to buy school supplies and build playgrounds for Cayo primary school students.

Study Abroad in Belize with I.S.I.S.
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies has updated their website, and added upcoming semester's schedules. Their lineup of professors and lecturers is more than impressive. Call it a 'learning vacation.' "We are the Institute for Sustainable International Studies, ISIS Belize, dedicated to providing a wide variety of experiential learning, focusing on sustainability. We deliver customized learning programs utilizing the natural wonders of Belize; sharing and respecting Belize's cultural diversity, incredible bio-systems and rich heritage."

CARICOM’s official song competition; Belizean artists invited to apply
The Caribbean Community, better known as CARICOM, was birthed with the vision that standing together, the region could represent a formidable force and voice. As CARICOM prepares to mark its fortieth anniversary this year, it is launching an official competition: its first music and lyrics song competition. It is a search for an original piece to be used at official functions including the meeting of CARICOM heads of government and regional and international events. The winning song will be officially launched at the thirty-fourth regular meeting of the conference of Heads of Government to be held in July 2013 in Trinidad and Tobago. And so the National Institute of Culture and History is inviting local artists and musicians to get into those studios and make their submissions. Public Relations Officer, Shari Williams, spoke today to intern Rhiannon Richards.

“Blinded by the Light” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Didn’t feel that there was anything really interesting to publish an edition about yesterday. That statement,of course, assumes that when I do publish an edition it is of interest! A rather uneventful Sunday apart from watching Spurs drop two points with a draw against Everton. Disappointing that they only dropped the two points because at one stage it had looked like they were going to lose all three. With the game ‘out of the way’ Rose and I then turned our attention (again) to browsing the Internet. This time to narrow down our selections for door furniture (doors and kitchen cabinets), fans and lights. Making a choice on lighting has been more challenging than we had imagined it would be. One reason for this is that we hadn’t considered the lighting needs for the stairwell which, because of its design, for part of it will have a floor to ceiling height of over thirty feet. It was only when walking around the house on Saturday that the realisation of this came to us.

March 31, 2013 - April 6, 2013 Fishing Report
Mid week winds put a damper on tarpon fishing but when the winds laid down we had a great day on Saturday. The permit fishing was steady even with the windy center of the week. Special notes go to some great kids that are throwing some serious amounts of fly line – Christopher and Parker. Slightly older, but on track to be great fly fishermen were high schoolers Michael and Carter. --Ed

Channel 7

Guatemala Heads To OAS To Talk Referendum
On Wednesday, Guatemala's Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera is going to Washington to have a one-on-one meeting with OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza. According to the Prensa Libre, he's going to ask the OAS to postpone the simultaneous referendums planned for October 6th, 2013. It might appear to be a sly move to go behind Belize's back because the Barrow Government and the PUP Opposition have rejected Guatemala's proposal to change the referendum date. But that's not the interpretation taken by Belize's Foreign Ministry CEO Alexis Rosado. He told us that Guatemala is free to have its own meetings with Secretary General Insulza - and Belize's foreign minister had a similar meeting two weeks ago. But he says, any discussions on the way forward will have to be done jointly.

Clearing the Border Where The Borderline Is Not So Clear
On Saturday, the Belize Territorial Volunteers went to one of the southernmost communities in the Toledo District called Dolores on their second expedition to clear the border. It's part of the organization's patriotic - and largely symbolic effort - to provide the country with a clear delineation between Belize and Guatemala. The BTV, numbering in almost 70 persons, left PG Town from about 4:30 a.m. on Saturday and headed west. This time, there were no jungles or forests; instead, they were met with cleared land for Guatemalan plantations and farms which they strongly believe - also backed up by GPS readings - are encroaching on Belizean territory. He spoke to us about the effort via phone with us today, and he also touched on the alarming road access that Guatemala has to these border communities if they should decide on military intervention into Belize.

Man Critical After Collision With Cement Fence
A man is in critical condition after he crashed into a fence in Lord's Bank just after midnight on Friday. 45 year old Horace Williams was driving a Mazda pickup when he slammed into the fence on Cuello Street. He was knocked unconscious, while his passenger, 43 year old Enrique Pook received a cut to his head and hand. The pickup was crushed against the cement fence and Williams had to be extricated form the truck by the Fire Department. Williams and Pook were taken to the KHMH where Williams is reported in critical condition while Pook was treated and released.

Woman Knocked Down In Front Of Hospital
Just before midday today, a woman was knocked down on Princess Margaret Drive. She was attempting to cross the street to the KHMH when she was hit by a Ford Ranger pickup truck which pulled out from the KHMH entrance, against the flow of traffic into the street. When our news team arrived on the scene approximately 15 minutes after the accident, the injured woman was still lying on the street in the boiling sun as she was being interviewed by a police officer. Finally after the wait, she was picked up by a Bert Ambulance and taken across the street to the KHMH. We understand that's he was treated and released sometime this afternoon. The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Virgillo Soravia of a La Croix boulevard address.

The Other Man Shot By A GST Senior Staffer Speaks Up
Last week, we told you about Renaldo Verde, the senior staffer at the GST Department Headquarters who shot 29 year-old Allen Martinez and shattered his Pelvis on San Pedro on Easter Sunday. He remains at prison tonight hoping to get bail from the Supreme Court for a single charge of dangerous harm with a firearm. As we reported, Verde and Allen Martinez had a misunderstanding in at a hotel in San Pedro - which resulted in an altercation. Verde then pulled his licensed weapon and shot Allen in the left hip, which exited his left buttocks. Verde's attorney, Michael Peyrefitte, filed the bail application last week Friday, and it is now before the Supreme Court to be conidered on when the matter can be heard. And so, while he's hoping that the court will grant him bail in the near future, a man from his past is outraged that he's even being given an opportunity - which is his constitutional right - to be freed until his trial date. Joseph Nunez is the man who Verde shot on November 13, 2004, and even though it happened 8 years and 4 months ago, Nunez remembers it as if though it was yesterday.

Man Tried To Leave Weed With Chinese Grocer
Tonight, 29 year-old Donald Leslie Gaskin, a resident of Kraal Road is in custody, and he will remain there until he can meet bail after he was taken to court for being in possession of just under a pound of weed. According to police, at around 11:20 in the morning on Friday, April 5, they were on mobile patrol in the Faber's Road area when they saw Gaskin acting suspiciously. He had a knapsack in his possession and was seen trying to dispose of it inside a Chinese grocery store. But the shop-keeper, who noticed that he was trying to hide the bag in her shop, pushed back the bag at him. Police detained Gaskin, and in his presence, they searched the bag and found 4 parcels of cannabis, amounting to 433 grammes - or 15 ounces inside it.

88 Year Old And Common Law Spared In Fire
There was a fire in Belize City yesterday afternoon where a pair of old wooden buildings burned. The news is that the buildings were the property of and occupied by an elderly couple - and if it weren't for the kindness of neighbors, they could have perished inside. And while they survived, tonight they've lost everything. Today fire victim Shedrock McKoy told us more: Jules Vasquez Reporting Shedrock McKoy - 88 year old Fire Victim "If I never had good neighbors; I would have burnt up myself" 88 year old Shedrock Mckoy and his common law wife are lucky to be alive after their wooden home on Causarina Street caught on fire on Sunday afternoon. He had gone to buy water - for his common law, who is incapacitated: Shedrock McKoy "Well, I went out to get some water; I have to feed my lady. She is a Garifuna girl, we live together for 28 years but she can't walk. She took ill." And when he came home, water, plenty of it, was needed:

Will Baby Kaylee Burgess Ever Get Justice?
Yesterday made 7 months since the murder of baby Kaylee Burgess. The 2 year old child's body was found behind her maternal grandmother's house -face down in a bucket of water in September of 2012. At the time, the child had been left in the care of her 19 year old aunt - who told police that the 2 year old went missing from her care while she was watching the evening news. Even though it was made to seem like little Kaylee accidentally drowned herself in a bucket of water, her postmortem stated otherwise that Kaylee did not drown; instead, someone had suffocated her. Since then, police have been treating the child's death as a homicide. But it's 7 months later, and still no one has been charged. 7news travelled to Ladyville today to speak with baby Kaylee's mother who told us in the interview that she has lost all hopes in the justice system: Deidra Pratt - Mother of 2 year old Kaylee Burgess "Well, so far, what I know, it's gone cold. It's like no investigation is happening. It's already closed; nobody is doing anything. It's like they already forgot about my daughter already. Kevin and I visited the station so many times. We haven't gotten any kind of cooperation from the police officers. They will tell us to check with Noble, and when we go in to go check Noble, he's never in. You just basically get the turn around. It's hard for both of us because they are treating my daughter's death like something that didn't happen.

Placencia Investor Marco Caruso Ready For Comeback
Investor Marco Caruso is the name behind some mega projects in Placencia, but recently he's been in trouble with financial regulators in Canada - which may have something to do with why many of the projects are also mega-unfinished. The Ontario Securities Commission recently sanctioned Caruso and others in his investment group for violating securities regulations. The commission says Caruso and Canyon Acquisitions, which is Caruso's group "offered investors the opportunity to acquire..interests in condominiums, villas or boat slips in a…real estate projects in the Dominican Republic and Belize." But securities investigators found that they weren't actually buying real estate - they were buying investment contracts and which are securities under Ontario laws - and have to be reported and regulated. 307 Ontario residents bought 17.1 million Canadian dollars of the investment contracts for projects in Belize involving Caruso and his companies.

Purse Snatcher To Jail
19 year-old Devan Vasquez is at prison tonight after he was convicted in Magistrate's court of snatching a woman's purse. The victim was on Marine Parade at around 8:25 on the night of June 16, 2012. Vasquez snatched her purse which contained an IPad, an IPhone and her Samsung cell phone. She identified Vasquez to police who charged him with robbery, and in the trial, she testified to the very same thing. When he was given his opportunity to defend himself, Vasquez told the court that he wasn't involved in any robbery, and he even called a witness to testify on his behalf. This witness, however, was unable to definitively provide alibi evidence in Vasquez's favor.

ACTYL Still Active
Since December of last year, we've been reporting on ACTYL, the Canadian company who has come to Belize to recruit locals to work in Western Canada at the McDonalds fast food restaurants. Well, they've been impressed with the Belizean applicants, and they're back in Belize to recruit more workers in the Belmopan area. The president of the company spoke to us today about how interested persons can submit their applications. Here's what she told us: Linda West - President, ACTYL "Our recruitment has been going very well. We started last December and we're back down in January. Now, we're back down in April and what we're mostly recruiting this time is people into the fast food industry particularly McDonalds. So we're looking for young bring people who have finished high school and have waitressed or waitered some of their life." Daniel Ortiz "How has the response been from the Belizean public?" Linda West "The Belizean - the response has been excellent, we're back down for our third time and we really like the Belizean. They have excellent English and good work ethic. We have our first few people up in Canada and they're doing very well."

Agric Fair Showgrounds Will Be Re-Designed
Officials are making preparations for the annual Agricultural and Trade show, scheduled to be held in May 3, 4 and 5. But members of the public will be pleasantly surprised when they visit the Agricultural Show Grounds because it's getting a facelift. On Saturday, the CEO of the Ministry of Agriculture briefed the media about those upgrades and what they hope to achieve: Jose Alpuche - CEO, Ministry of Agriculture "A couple months ago we started looking at the grounds with 2 things in mind, 1 to begin building very - much more durable infrastructure and 2 develop the grounds for use for more than just the one occasion of the of the show. So we are changing the entrance of the ground, we're now putting gin a slip road for safety so that vehicles come off the highway and come into the slip road to drop off and pick up visitors to the grounds, this facility right out here. The building being constructed in the middle of the slip road a new visitor center, ticket booth and security check. BTL is sponsoring the entrance center and ticket booth. The Government od Belize doing the main stage which is this big building going up here, Bowen and Bowen is building a new rodeo gallery for the rodeo arena, one of the main attraction of the show and then the Spanish Lookout community is building a 6 unit food court just in front of the rodeo gallery"

What They Told Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher, Britain's first and only female Prime Minister, died on today at the age of 87. The Iron Lady - as she was known - left a massive historical footprint, but we came upon a historical footnote today that probably went un-noticed. This confidential State Department Briefing Paper from Washington to London - penned sometime before Belizean Independence in 1981 - discusses areas of mutual interest in the Caribbean and Central America. In it, the Americans urge Thatcher to quote, "Advise the Belizeans to seriously consider ceding some minor Cayes to Guatemala if that is what is required to reach a successful overall settlement of the dispute." It adds that the British should provide a post-Independence security guarantee in Belize. Did she ever give such advice? Well we know that the Heads of Agreement of 1981 did propose that Guatemala "shall have the use and enjoyment of the Ranguana and Sapodilla Cayes." These were rejected by the April riots in 1981. Thatcher was British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.

Mr. Program Gives A Preview
It's been a while, 4 years in fact, since Mr. Program has been featured in our newscast. He made a major splash on the local music scene for his hugely popular song, 'See I Rise', but then he started to fade into the background. Well, Mr. Program is back, and his looking for the support of the Belizean people for his new song and video called "Tek It Easy". He stopped by 7News to speak about the song, and it's intended message. Here's what he and the producer of the video told us: Aaron "Drive" Louriano - Video Producer, BCMG "The video is from a song called, 'Take it easy', and our focus on this video is to show that if you're going through some struggles out there, just take it easy, stay positive, stay - basically, it's trying to lead the youths I the right direction. Don't get caught up in the street world and the gangster world; it's more like youths need education, more love, let us pay more attention to the youths and give them love. We get some of the youths from the community and they come in they give us there full support. They say, 'We love what you're doing', to say someone from Belize is trying to bring something positive instead of all the time this negative business. Belize is a beautiful country, and I personally don't believe Belize is a negative country. I believe Belize is a positive country; we just need to get more support."

Channel 5

Is O.A.S. aware of Guatemala’s development on the border?
Earlier in the newscast we told you about this past weekend’s trip by the Belize Territorial Volunteers to the Dolores area to which the Organization of American States responded positively to an invitation to act as observers on the expedition. And representatives from the OAS were present indeed, but rather than maintaining a prudent distance [...]

Clearing the border with Belizean Territorial Volunteers
At the end of February the Belize Territorial Volunteers, led by Wil Maheia, travelled from the village of Jalacte in the deep-south to the border with the Guatemalan village of Santa Cruz. That expedition was without incident, and buoyed on that success, and on an undeniable sentiment of patriotism, the group headed back to the [...]

Guatemala makes UN aware of possible passport problems
Currently relations between Belize and Guatemala are at what could be called an impasse, with the O.A.S. somewhat in the middle. Latest word from Guatemala is that the country will ask the O.A.S. to intercede with Belize to postpone the referendum, and that is likely what’s on the agenda for a meeting scheduled this week [...]

Neighbor pulls disabled woman from burning home
There was a mid morning fire on Sunday afternoon at the corner of Mahogany and Causarina Street. The victims are both elderly persons who lived in two small wooden homes. Antonette Velasquez is unable to walk and a neighbor grabbed her out of her home. The other victim, eighty six year old Shedrock Mckoy also [...]

Football congress in the presence of CONCACAF and UNCAF
After its spectacular performances at the Copa Centro Americana, the Belize National Football Team is getting ready for participation at the July Gold Cup in the United States. Belize will be playing against the powerhouses of the United States, Cuba and Costa Rica in three US cities. But on the ground here, the Football Federation [...]

Lord’s Bank resident critical after crashing into fence
A Lord’s Bank resident is tonight in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a near fatal traffic accident in the Lord’s Bank Village in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Forty-five year old Horace Nicodemus Williams Junior is tonight being kept alive in the Intensive Care Unit at the K.H.M.H.  Around twelve-thirty [...]

Devon Vasquez remanded for robbery of purse
Twenty year-old Devon Vasquez is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison after failing to pay a fine when he was found guilty of robbing a woman of her purse.  Vasquez appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who flatly rejected his testimony, as well as that of his alibi witness, who testified that [...]

Shopkeeper refuses customer’s knapsack of week
Twenty-nine year old Donald Leslie Gaskin of Kraal Road has been charged for Drug Trafficking. Gaskin appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, this morning and was read the Drug Trafficking charge to which he pleaded not guilty. On Friday morning, police were on mobile patrol in the Faber’s Road area where they detected Gaskin acting suspiciously. [...]

Preparing for the biggest Agriculture Show ever
The planning Committee of the annual National Agriculture and Trade Show is planning to breathe new life into the annual event. According to the organizers, a number of changes will take place to make the show more interesting and productive to both the private and public sectors. So mark your calendars for the first weekend [...]

Defamation of Saldivar’s character? Minister sues Plus TV
Just about every media organization will be sued, no matter how powerful or small, or threatened with a lawsuit either for libel, defamation or so forth. So it’s a first for the Belmopan based, Plus Television’s Louis Wade and Patrick Andrews hosts of the Rise and Shine morning show, who have been critical of government [...]

Former British Prime Minister advised that surrender cayes to Guatemala to settle dispute
Former British Prime Minister, Baroness Margaret Thatcher, passed away earlier today at age eighty-seven after suffering a stroke. This morning, the current prime minister, David Cameroon, called her the greatest prime minister who not only served but saved her country.  According to her family, Thatcher has been battling several illnesses as well as dementia for [...]

The Iron lady; Margaret Thatcher passes away
Thatcher also known as the “Iron Lady” is remembered for her great contribution to Britain as well as her controversial policies and approach to different issues during her reign. Thatcher’s close friend, Lord Bell, spoke to the BBC about the “Iron Lady.”    Reporter “News came from her long time friend and colleague, Lord Bell [...]

Sports Monday Highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.     Week 11 of the PLB football season took us to the Capital City Saturday night where the Belmopan Bandits hosted the Belize Defense Force in a bid to have sole command of the top spot in the standings. In the opening minutes of [...]


University of Belize Launches Agricultural Project
The University of Belize will launch a new agricultural project estimated at over one million Belize dollars on Thursday. The name of the project is the “Institutional Partnership Component of the CARICOM Education for Employment Project." The 1.63 million dollar...

Two Men Hospitalized Following Traffic Mishap In Ladyville
Two men were hospitalized following a road traffic accident on Saturday. Police say at about 12:30 on Saturday morning they went to Cuello Street in Lord’s Bank where they saw a a grey cab and half Mazda pickup close to a white fence in the direction to the Lords Bank Road ...

Police News
Twenty-nine year old Donald Gaskin, a laborer of Kraal Road, was charged with drug trafficking for 433 grams of cannabis, about one pound, when he appeared in court today. Gaskin pled not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of $5,000.00 and his case was adjourned until May ...

Early Morning Traffic Accident Reported In Corozal Town
A traffic accident occurred a few minutes before nine this morning in Corozal town. According to reports, a white Mitsubishi vehicle owned by USA national Peter Naurmann of Consejo Corozal was being driven by Naurmann’s wife on fifth avenue Corozal Town. She drove into the right ...

Traffic Accident Reported Over The Weekend
This past Saturday April 6th a traffic accident occurred on the Tumbaito curve on the Philip Goldson Highway shortly after noon. A white KIA bearing Belize City License driven at the time by BTL technician Michael Raymond Richards of number 3059 Belama Belize City slammed into a white Mazda Van o...

Duo Arrested In Corozal For Burglary at Customs Officer Home
Police investigations into the reported burglary of the house of custom’s officer Victor Tillett has led to the arrest and charge of two men. On March 28 and 2nd of April 2013 Tillet’s house was broken into and stolen were several items and cash amounting to twenty five tho...

Britain's Former Prime Minister Dies
The former leader of Great Britain once called the “Iron Lady” has passed. Margaret Thatcher became Britain's Conservative Party leader and was elected Prime Minister of that country in 1979, the first woman to hold that position. During her three terms...

Belize Territorial Volunteers Ventures Again To Clear Border
The Belize Territorial Volunteers once again ventured into clearing the Belizean border this weekend in the Southern part of the Country. This time the BTV was more equipped since jungle clothing and footwear was donated to them by Alex Dillett. Also a representative of the...

Bar Patrons Injured During Armed Robbery In Belmopan
A man was injured during an armed robbery in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ "A shooting incident on Saturday night in the San Martin Area of the City of Belmopan has left a man in a critical condition. 38-year-old, Elisa Barella owner of Tre...

Woman Knocked Down Near Ambulance Centre; Onlookers Say Ambulance Delayed In Response
This morning traffic was interrupted on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City when a woman was knocked down across from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. We later learned that the accident itself was, thankfully, nothing serious as the woman was treated and released from t...


Confiscated Rosewood on the move from Belmopan
PlusTV received information from credible sources within the Forestry department late this afternoon that the confiscated rosewood flitches which were located at the Forestry compound in Belmopan, were being moved. This sparked our interest because we know that both the Minister of Forestry, Lisell Amaliila, and the chief forest...

Belize City retiree loses home in fire
A Belize City retiree saw his residence on Casuarina Street go up in smoke and flames late Sunday afternoon, taking everything he owned. The fire was reported around 4:00 p.m. and according to home owner Shedrock McKoy, he believes electricity problems was the cause. Shedrock McCoy – Home Owner:...

Woman was knocked down outside KHMH
This morning, a woman was knocked down outside the KHMH in Belize City. We have not gotten her name but we understand that around 11:45 a.m. she was crossing Princess Margaret Drive in the direction of the hospital when she was knocked down by a brown Ford truck driven...

Investigation into baby’s death has stalled
Last year a Ladyville family was rent apart by the death of one of their own. Kaylee Burgess was found suffocated to death in a bucket at the family home. Initially police detained a relative in connection with the baby’s death, but six months on the investigation appears to...

Football Federaton of Belize holds 6th Ordinary Congress
Football has become Belize’s sports darling after a tumultuous year that began with the ouster of an unpopular President and ended with historic results for the National Senior and Junior teams. On Saturday in Belize City, representatives of Belizean football met to review a successful year and make plans...

One man critical, one stable, following car crash
Police are investigating a traffic accident which took place early in the morning of Saturday April 7, It happened at Cuello Street, Belize City, off the Lords Bank Road around 12:30 a.m. The accident involved a grey 1 1/2 cab Mazda pickup with Belize City license plates. The vehicle’s...

IICA assists farmers in Toledo
IICA, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, provides technical cooperation to the Government of Belize in a number of ways. One such initiative is through a program on food security and improving competitiveness of farmers in the marketing of their products. Under this program, is a regional project...

Five arraigned for illegal hunting of howler monkey
After being charged for the illegal hunting of a howler monkey, five persons from the Belize High School of Agriculture in Orange Walk, were arraigned for the offense last week. A one thousand dollar bail was granted to the individuals – four of whom are students and teacher Angel...

Dry weather causes bush fires in Cayo
It may have been a difficult breathing experience for some residents of the twin towns today, as the sky was thick with smoke and dust. The dry weather has caused a few brush fires near the Macal River and fire personnel were busy in the area today getting the...

Ecumenical Service held in Independence Village
Seven churches of varying denominations from the Village of Independence gathered last night at the Center where they held a collective worship service. Plus TV was at the event and spoke with one of the organizers and a fellow village council representative, Emilio Zabaneh. Emilio Zabaneh – Inderpendance Village...

BEL requests PUC reduce electricity rate
BEL is requesting that the PUC reduce electricity rate for the period July 1st of this year to June 30 2014. This submission was made by an application to the PUC under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding. BEL is asking for an ease of 1 cent per kilowatt hour...

Hurricane season predictions released
The 2013 hurricane season is still more than a month away, but predictions have been released on how active it will be. On average for the last thirty years, there have been about 12 named tropical storms, that is, storms with peak winds of 40 miles per hour or...

Shooting in San Martin Area leaves man in critical condition
There was a shooting in the San Martin Area over the weekend. Police are still gathering information, so we have not received an official report as yet. But what we do know is that the victim, Cornelio Tio was shot a little after 11 on Saturday night. He remains...


Tech Tip – Best Android Keyboard
I decided to start Monday off with a great tech tip for those of you who have android phones. I was happy with the standard LG keyboard on my phone until it started adding a foreign language in and all of a sudden I was getting Asian characters in the mix every time I tried to text. Remembering a best android keyboard recommend from Jason Southwell, I went to Google Play store and looked up the free version of SwiftKey and downloaded it.

A House Party WAY Up North: Bocce Ball in Bacalar Chico, Ambergris Caye
The very northern end of Ambergris Caye, Belize, the area where the barrier reef actually meets the land, is a nature reserve and UNESCO world heritage site called Bacalar Chico. (You can check out my post from last summer about the area and check out a map here.) Tranquility Bay, a resort 14 miles north of town, is the last hotel going north…and the end of the line when it comes to being “on the grid”. Yesterday, I was invited to a house party/bocce ball tournament at a home a few miles more north of there. Sounds awesome. I am totally in. A private boat must be arranged for this kind of trip. The public transportation, The Coastal Express water taxi, only goes as far as Blue Reef Island Resort, or 8 miles north of town. We met our boat captain on the lagoon side of San Pedro. And headed out. It was a gorgeous day. And a few minutes later, you come out through the cut on the ocean side. We picked up a friend at Palapa Bar (about 1.5 miles up)…

International Sources

Belize Reports “Encouraging” Oil Discovery in Orange Walk District
Maranco Energy Belize Limited, which is currently searching for oil in the Orange Walk District in the country’s northeastern region, has discovered an “encouraging oil show,” according to the government. The find was made at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in Maranco’s concession area. “Further and necessary testing is ongoing to determine the commercial potential of the oil show,” the government said in a release. Officials from Belize’s Geology and Petroleum Department are on site and “closely monitoring the situation,” the government said.

Students connect Belize classrooms, gardens, communities
Twelve Cornell students practiced their “taking things in stride” skills when they traveled to Belize over spring break, as part of the Experiential Garden-Based Learning in Belize (HORT/IARD 3200) course. The students were well-prepared for their mission to lead classroom activities that integrate gardening into the curriculum, reinforce those lessons with hands-on gardening experiences, and engage the community in building and supporting school gardens. What they didn’t know was that two of the three teachers in the Barranco village school where they were scheduled to work would suddenly be called away for the beginning of the week.

Aerosols from Burning Fossil Fuels Affecting Coral Growth
Scientists found very strong evidence that aerosols from burning fossil fuels were affecting coral growth. In fact, these sooty particles can cool sea surface temperatures and limit the size of reefs.However scientists suggested that this chilling effect could stop the corals from bleaching in warmer waters. Coral reefs across the world are under pressure from a range of human impacts.This does not kill them but makes them much more likely to die. The recent discovery found that as well as the warming waters, fine particulates of different types are affecting reefs near Belize and Panama. These aerosols consist of soot from burning coal, elements from volcanic eruptions and sulphates from fossil fuels. They circulate in the atmosphere and can block solar radiation and make clouds more reflective. In their study, the scientists examined records from coral skeletons, ship observations and climate models to compare coral growth rates from 1880 to 2000. They discovered that there was a correlation between increases in atmospheric aerosols and decreases in the growth rates of coral.

FLASHBACK: This Was The Internet In 1995
Back in 1995, a public television show called "The Computer Chronicles" made an episode about an emerging technology: "The Net." We found the video after venture capitalist MG Siegler embedded it on his blog. It's pretty insane how far things have come in the last 20 years.

April 8, 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!!!
Judgmental Much?:
Every once in a while, you're confronted with injustice of some kind, and how you react to it, in my humble opinion, determines your karma. I have often written about male-female dynamics. They are certainly a world-wide issue, even though it is 2013. There is still so much happening, and will continue to happen long after you and I are gone. Standing out in my mind, is the utter hypocrisy we exercise when faced with other people's issues – foreign to us, quick to judge, yet if it were happening to us our views would be quite different.

The April 7th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Three Months Remand For Accused Drug Traffickers:
    Wednesday, April 3, 2013: Three men busted with weed in Benque Viejo, Cayo, have all been remanded to the big jail in Hattieville. Venturing into the jurisdiction of Benque Viejo police, and acting on information received, a team of policemen from the San Ignacio police detachment rushed into Benque Viejo Town today where at the entrance to George Price Boulevard, they intercepted a white Chevy Malibu car with license plates BZE C-34685 departing Benque Viejo heading eastward to San Ignacio some time around 6:30 pm. The vehicle was stopped and a thorough search of its interior produced nothing incriminating. The police however observed the single back seat passenger in possession of a blue and red bag which, when searched in his presence, was found to contain five black plastic bags tightly wrapped with transparent tape.
  • Policeman Remains In Critical Condition:
    An African American woman is currently on remand at the central prison following a traffic accident involving a motor cycle riding policeman. The police informs that at around 3:30 pm on Tuesday, April 2, police constable #1213, Andy Tun, currently attached to the police substation in San Antonio Village, Cayo, was riding the police green and black, Kawasaki brand motorcycle on Center Road in Spanish Lookout when he collided in the mid section of a blue Ford F350 pickup truck, with license plates CY-C-27525, driven by Gail Wells, who allegedly drove onto the main road directly into the pathway of the approaching motorcycling cop. It is reported that the policeman received head and body injuries and was rushed to the emergency ward at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan. He was later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City where he remains in critical condition.
  • Guatemalan Farmer Busted With Gun And Bullets:
    A Guatemalan farmer alleged to have entered Belize illegally was today stopped at a checkpoint and found in possession of a pistol and seven bullets. The incident reportedly occurred at around 8:30 am on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at a check point on the eastern outskirts of the village of San Jose Succtoz, between miles 71 and 72 on the George Price Highway. Benque Viejo police informed that a taxi cab heading towards San Ignacio, with a single male passenger on board, approached the check point and a search of the passenger resulted in the discovery of a .22 caliber pistol, brand unknown, along with seven live rounds of .25 Aguila brand ammunition.
  • Good Neighbors Prevent Burglary:
    A serial burglar, caught in the act of attempting to break into a house, has been taken off the streets thanks to the assistance of alert neighbors in Santa Elena Town, Cayo. Dorothy Garbutt, 68, Belizean retired teacher of #2 Melhado Street in Santa Elena, reported to police that on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, at about 5:00 pm while at a bus stop in Santa Elena she was alerted by relatives of the report of a man attempting to break into her house. Garbutt rushed home where she encountered the police putting the suspect in the back of the pickup truck as alert neighbors prevented from him from breaking into her house and held him until the police arrived. The suspect Eric Castillo, 39, Belizean laborer of a Santa Cruz address in Santa Elena town was transported to the police station in San Ignacio where he was arrested and formally charged for attempt burglary.
  • San Ignacio & Santa Elena Town Council Revenue And Expenditure For February 2013:
    Property Tax Fee Trade Licensing Fee Traffic License’s Fees Peddler’s Fees Liquor Licensing Fees liquor Liensing Extension Cemetery Fees Commercial Garbage Fees Banners & billboards Market Restroom Fee Rental of Market Stalls Miscellaneous Rental of Parks & Playgrounds Interest & Staff Loan Cayo Welcome Center Town Revenue
  • Octavia Waight Making Life More Comfort For The Elderly:
    Residents from San Ignacio’s Octavia Waight Center for the Elderly were today treated to the annual riverside picnic. Ophelia Pinelo, an employee of the Center informed that today’s picnic is an annual tradition of the Center which has been ongoing for over 10 years. She additionally informed that, over the years residents have been taken on visits to various parts of the Cayo District. Twenty five center residents participated in today’s field trip which included a fun day of relaxation along the banks of the Macal River. Residents were also treated snacks and lunch all provided by the center.
  • Mexico thwarts 'plot to kill' Monreal brothers:
    The authorities in Mexico say they have prevented the murder of two l eftist legislators, brothers David and Ricardo Monreal. A senior prosecutor said two armed men plotting the murder had been arrested at a hotel in Mexico City. Mariana Benitez said the authorities had seized weapons, communications equipment and a vehicle. No motive was given for the planned attack but the men had already confessed, she added.
  • Man Accused Of Harming Step-Son:
    A Santa Elena man is out on a two thousand dollar bail as he stands accused of causing grievous harm to his step-son. On Thursday, March 28, 2013, Myner Manzanero, 23, Belizean student, residing in the Bradley’s Bank area of Santa Elena Town, visited the police station in San Ignacio where he reported that at about 5:30 pm on said date, he was at home when he and his step-father, Orlando Borallos, reportedly got into a heated argument . The complainant told the police that the step-father punched him to the left side of the face, causing him to stumble out of the house. The complainant further alleged that as he regained composure the step father continued punching him in the face and in the process drawing blood.
  • Cuban Ballet Dancers Defect While On Tour In Mexico:
    Seven members of the National Ballet of Cuba defected during a performing tour of Mexico last month. A ballet spokesman confirmed the news, saying only that they had not returned at the end of the tour. The world-renowned troupe, led by legendary ballerina Alicia Alonso, has been hit by defections before. A Cuban exile website based in Miami said six of the defectors were now in the United States, while the seventh was still in Mexico. The head of Havana's National Ballet School, where some of them had studied, expressed her sadness at the news.
  • Argentina Floods 'Catastrophe' For La Plata, Buenos Aires:
    Emergency workers in Argentina continue to try to rescue residents stranded by flooding in Buenos Aires and La Plata. More than 50 people are known to have died after one of the heaviest storms recorded caused flash floods. Thousands were evacuated from their homes and dozens are still stranded on rooftops, treetops and the roofs of city buses, local media report. The government has declared three days of national mourning after what it called "an unprecedented catastrophe". "We've never seen anything like it," provincial governor Daniel Scioli said. "People were taken by surprise, and some didn't have time to escape this deadly trap," Mr Scioli said, referring to the speed with which the waters rose.
  • Male Baldness 'Indicates Heart Risk':
    Men going thin on top may be more likely to have heart problems than their friends with a full head of hair, according to researchers in Japan. Their study of nearly 37,000 people, published in the online journal BMJ Open, said balding men were 32% more likely to have coronary heart disease. However, the researchers said the risks were less than for smoking or obesity. The British Heart Foundation said men should focus on their waistline, not their hairline. A shifting hairline is a fact of life for many men. Half have thinning hair by their 50s and 80% have some hair loss by the age of 70.
  • Body's Anti-HIV 'Training Manual' Offers Vaccine Hopes:
    The body's own "training manual" for attacking HIV has been recorded by US scientists and it is hoped it can be used to design vaccines. HIV mutates in order to survive the onslaught of a patient's immune system. However, some patients develop highly effective antibodies that can neutralise huge swathes of HIV mutants. A North Carolina team analysed the arms race between body and virus, published in the journal Nature, and has shown how these antibodies are made.
  • Youths Who Murdered Mexican Activist Chavez Sentenced:
    A judge in Mexico has sentenced three youths to 15 years in prison for the 2011 murder of Mexican activist Susana Chavez. Ms Chavez was found strangled and with one hand cut off in Ciudad Juarez. She had been a key figure in the community, drawing attention to the killing of mainly poor women in the northern border town in the 1990s. She had coined the slogan "Not One More Death", which became popular at protests against the women's killings. Police found her body dumped in the city centre on 6 January 2011. A trail of blood led them to the home of Sergio Ruben Cardenas, where they found more blood and the severed hand of Ms Chavez.
  • Pact Awards Over $800,000 In Project Grants!:
    On Thursday, April 4, 2013, PACT held a Grant Award Ceremony at the Guanacaste National Park in Belmopan, during which it awarded over $800,000.00 in new project grants! PACT awarded Small and Medium-Sized Grants for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness as follows: PACT is confident that these grants will have great impacts on conservation in Belize and thanks all recipients for their hard work and commitment to their respective protected areas.
  • Four Reports Against The Police:
    Reference report of extortion made by Ms. Anna Mae Nembhard on Thursday 28th March 2013. On Thursday 4th April 2013, at 4:10 pm police constable #132 Frank McNeal was served with disciplinary charge of Act to the Prejudice of Good Order and Discipline> He was placed on interdiction with effect as of 4th April 2013. 2. Reference report made by Ms. Carol James on Tuesday 2nd April, 2013 that when she arrived home from the United States on Saturday 30th March, 2013, she discovered that some jewelries and money was missing from her house.
  • Robbery In Unitedville:
    A near midnight robbery in the village of Unitedville, Cayo, has left a bar owner with a busted forehead, and two male patrons wounded. Marisol Tobar, 35, Belizean businesswoman from Unitedville, reported to police that at around 11:30 pm on Saturday, March 30, 2013, three short male persons of dark complexion, wearing dark clothing and with their faces covered, stormed into her Hill Top Bar. One of them, armed with a handgun, reportedly pointed it her and demanded money. Fearing for her life, Tobar immediately handed over a thousand dollars to the gunmen who reportedly stole her gold chain with a diamond medal, valued at fifteen hundred dollars. The gunman then fired two shots into the bar before all three of them rushed out and disappeared into the darkness.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Sun welcomes Monique Smith to the family
The San Pedro Sun is pleased to announce that Monique Smith has been hired as our new office/advertising manager. Not only does Ms. Smith bring many skills to the position but she also likes to write, a bonus for us all! Originally from Belmopan, Monique has family here on the island and has been living on La Isla for the last several months. We welcome her to our staff of professionals and look forward to working with her.

Dr. Love: We want our son to come home
Readers, Please send your letters. They can be formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, I encountered your column while doing some research about Belize on the internet. I have a thirty-six year old son who lives there. He [...]

Misc Belizean Sources

Existence Equals Criminality
Did you know that gay men in Belize are criminals under the law, just because they exist? They can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Did you know that the immigration law in Belize actually bars entry into the country for gay people and disabled people? Many people do not know this. Of course, some say - 'well these laws aren't really enforced'. As we know, many laws in Belize aren't enforced - until they are! Gay people are your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, friends, waiters, tour guides, hotel owners, photographers, hair dressers, bank cashiers, town council representatives, next door neighbours...they are part of the Belize community but they have to hide who they are and many spend their lives in fear. This is not the loving, diverse, all welcoming Belize we know and love. Let's start to change it for the better. If you want to help with this change, you can support the upcoming Section 53 challenge, which will happen on the 7th - 10th of May in Belize City. You don't want to be someone who sat down and did nothing!

Make-Belize Films GoPro Giveaway
Make-Belize Films, which created Kurse a di Xtabai, is going to have a giveaway of a GoPro Hero 3 camera and an Ipad. Just like their page to enter. Kurse a di Xtabai can be streamed onto any computer now. "As a token of thanks to our new fans and supporters of the Belize Film Arts we're giving away a brand new iPad and GoPro Hero 3 Camera! It's easy to win, just LIKE our Make-Belize Films FaceBook page and keep sharing and spreading the word about the "Xtabai" movie now online at As soon as we hit 10,000 likes we'll draw 2 names from among all our fans, that's one draw for each prize. We're not far off... This is open to people from all countries, both prizes will be shipped from California fully insured and we'll cover the duties :) Good luck!!!"

Harlem Shake Pool Party
Haven't had a chance to make your version of the Harlem Shake yet? Here's your chance. Midas is having their Harlem Shake pool party today, starting a 3:00pm. They are advising to bring 'whatever you got.' "Be part of the Harlem Shake at Midas Resort. Bring your best costumes and your best dance moves (Prizes will be given away) Don't Miss this awesome opportunity to be on Midas Resort 30 seconds clip doing 'THE MIDAS HARLEM SHAKE' Date: April 07, 2013 Time: 3:00pm - Until"

The Belize Times

Unions threaten to walk out on PM – Salary counter proposal must be included in Friday meeting’s agenda
When Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the leaders of the Unions meet inside the Cabinet room this Friday, April 5th there will be no singing or birthday cake cutting. The tone of the meeting will be entirely different from the last one held on February 1st. In fact, there might be no meeting at all, considering that the Prime Minister is refusing to discuss a salary adjustment counter proposal while the Unions have said that if the item is not on the agenda, they will walk out. The Unions have no reason to be in a happy mood. Their suggestion to the Prime Minister that his Government considers a counter proposal which would see teachers and public officers getting a small pay increase this year was met with utter disdain. The Prime Minister responded as if he was scolding school children. In his reply letter dated March 5th 2013, he expressed disappointment and accused the Union leaders of going back on their February 1st agreement.

UB President slams GOB for lack of vision
The Guyanese President of the University of Belize, Dr. Cary Fraser, has walked the political plank by criticizing the government’s education policies for the University of Belize. In a confidential document sent to ...

Officer Down! – PC Ramirez killed in gun assault
36 year old Police Constable 380 Bertchel “Eyon” Ramirez was lured into a death trap on Tuesday night. Ramirez had left his side job, as a private security at The Mall located along the ...

Bringing home the Garland
The 85th annual running of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is history and for the second year in a row, Belizeans were sent to enjoy the rest of their Easter holidays comforted with the knowledge that the garland remains at home. Since 1971 when Mexican ...

Rich Belize, Poor Belize – What the Rich Countries teach their citizens about money – That the poor and third world countries do not!
Belize’s neo-political system is shamelessly designed for dependency because it is only where the conditions of dependency are ideal that exploitation and oppression can flourish. The truth is that this little strip of coveted swamp and reef-curtained seas is in a volatile place. This is a world of multinational sharks who ...

San Ignacio United holds down Verdes 3-2
It was win some, lose some for 4th place team, San Ignacio United, as they enjoyed a 3-2 win against Verdes at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San ...

Rigo Vellos wins 2013 Mr. Physique Competition
Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos, easily defended his 2012 title as Mr. Physique when the 13th Annual Tipsy Tuna Easter Fest got going on Sunday afternoon in Placencia. The event, which is sanctioned by the Belize Body Building ...

The Garland Stays Home! – Darnell Barrow wins 85th Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic
Team Santino’s Darnell Barrow outsprinted Team Benny’s Megabytes’ Mexican import Juan Pablo Magallanes and Team Veloshine’s John Delong of the USA to win the 85th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling classic on the George Price ...

Father of 2 yr. old slain in shooting
A young Belizean father was skilled in a violent gun ambush that occurred on Holy Monday night in Belize City. 28 year old Michael Heusner was leaving Jianvin Shop, a store located at ...

20 yr. old kidnapped & raped by 2 men – Woman says one of the men was dressed as cop
A Belize City woman is recovering from a terrifying attack during which she was kidnapped and then raped by two unknown male individuals. The 20 year old reported to the Police that she was waiting for a friend in front of a business place around three in ...

Fire guts two-storey building on Freetown Road
A neighbourhood disaster was averted on Tuesday afternoon when fire officials contained a fire that started within a two-storey wooden building on Freetown road. According ...

Belizean sports at the crossroads
This week is an important one for Belizean sport. On Holy Saturday, Darnell Barrow took advantage of a heavy pace and ideal conditions to prevail in the ...

AMAZING GRACE – Stuck at Jesus
A few years ago, movie fans became excited about a movie based on a book in C.S. Lewis’ collection called The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It was about four siblings finding refuge during a war in the old home ...

PUP stalwart passes
The People’s United Party expresses its deepest condolences to the family of a true soldier of the Party, Mrs. Adela Petillo Arzu from Belmopan. Mrs. Adela served on several PUP executives and was a member of the ...

Sarteneja stabbing fuelled by jealousy
Norma Peña, a resident of Sarteneja Village, is facing two serious criminal charges for the attack ...

New school in Placencia
PENINSULA INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY (PIA) is a new school in development north of the Airport. PIA is expected to open in September of 2013. ...

Mentoring the Next Generation
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” - John C. Crosby Our nation’s children deserve to be mentored. Through mentorship, the next generation can strengthen their self-worth and self-confidence to become tenacious and empowered young people who ...

IN MY PERSPECTIVE – Too Many Takers!
A major reason Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for President of the United Stated of America, lost the election in 2012 was because of a statement he made at a private $50,000-a-plate dinner at a hotel in Florida where he said 47% will vote for Obama because ...

Dr. Oliver Ottley writes on Belize-Guatemala affair
By Dr. Oliver Ottley, District Superintendent Emeritus, Church of the Nazarene Some of us make history; some write history; some read history; and some interpret history. Sad to say, some of us distort history. Although a macro and micro comparison, America and Belize are contemporaries of the early 1920’s. According to ...

Economy of El Cayo – Then and Now
El Cayo much different from El Cayo in the 1970’s and 80’s. The economy then was centered around small-scale, mostly milpa-farming agriculture and timber production...and the British Army....with a periphery of tourism and commerce.....dotted with a number of bustling small-manufacturing industries that dominated the country’s supply of furniture, ...

Of this and that…
The Pandy Show The Pandy Show is big in Cayo. It is done by Kent Pandy. He is a star. The show started in 1992. Pandy is the camera man. He is the reporter. He is the editor. He is the writer. He is the producer. The show is for ...

Quentin Torentino’s two part extreme action thriller titled “Kill Bill” chronicles a woman’s quest to kill a strange, elusive, mysterious and dangerous character called “Bill.” The movie viewer does not get to meet Bill for a sustained period until near the end of the second film. Bill ...

2nd Ariel Rosado Annual Bike Ride to be held April 20th
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation in partnership with Galen University, Memorial University of Canada and the Bowen and Bowen Group of Companies proudly announces the Second Ariel Rosado Annual Bike Ride. The ride starts at Galen ...

Dangriga Mayor formalises sister city relations with La Ceiba, Honduras
On Thursday April 4th, Dangriga Mayor Major (Ret’d) Gilbert Swaso will sign an agreement to formalise sister ...

PM exits Belize for Easter Weekend
While thousands of Belizeans flocked to the Cayes and coastal beaches in Belize for the Easter Weekend to enjoy time with their families and friends, Prime Minister Dean Barrow left on an expensive junket outside of Belize. Many Belizeans chose to stay in Belize over outside vacation ...

Rising concerns about BIL
Various individuals and organisations have raised concern over the start of a strange private company called Belize Infrastructure Limited that will be directed by certain Ministers to do public work. The company, according to the Prime Minister Dean Barrow, will act as a “special vehicle” which will ...

Baby Ivy’s abduction foiled in unusual manner
A second suspect, 36 year old Bernabel Pena, has been charged for his alleged involvement in a bizarre ...

Herman bex! Will he be forced to step down for Mark Espat?
United Democratic Party-whip Michael Finnegan stirred up an ants’ nest upon announcing that the UDP intends to have the Espat brothers as candidates in the next general election. According to ...

Injustice at 7th Day Adventist College?
Dear Editor, My child attended the Seventh Day Adventist College in Corozal District and was one of nine students to pass the final test to graduate in January 2013. Yet none of these young people have received their diploma. Why? Because the class consisted of 35 students of which 29 did ...

Left at the Altar…Again?
I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a real sense of deja-vu in the latest communication from the Guatemalan government regarding the longstanding territorial claim. Despite their previous bravado about being more than willing to take the issue to the International Court of Justice, it ...

Village Councillor writes Minister Gaspar Vega over land issue
Hon. Gaspar Vega Minister of Natural Resources Belmopan Dear Minister, I write to you expressing my concern with the last decision taking by your Ministry via letter from Ms. Ingrid Gillett, written on November 26, 2012, stating that my parcel of land with file reference 1107/1999 and situate on entry 14214 is ...


Happy Sunday
Sunday clears away the dust of the week and allows you tile to regroup and recharge for the coming week ahead. I Hope you are all enjoying a laid back lazy Happy Sunday. I decided to take the day off and do some shopping before we go celebrate at a 50th birthday party this afternoon. This is one of my favorite camera phone pics I took with my LG Thrive, it was taken at one at Mar de Tumbo beach which is a ...

Let’s Check in with the Major Lagoon Rejuvenation Project in San Pedro
While getting some work done at “The Office” earlier in the week, I got a good view of the lagoon side of San Pedro Town and realized that I haven’t walked back there in a while. It looked like quite a bit has been built as part of the major San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi terminal project. Okay…it’s a bit hard to see from here… Here is the area I’m talking about on a map… Original borrowed from: It just took me about 15 minutes to do that hi-tech design work (pasting those arrows on those photos)…I hope they are appreciated. Still not clear? You are right…time to take a closer look. For those who don’t know about this endeavor, it is a $5+ million project (yes, you read that right) to build a fisherman’s promenade and sunset boardwalk, a water taxi terminal and to overhaul the soccer field that has been in bad shape for years. Here is a picture of the building plans posted at the site.

“Rock and Roll” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
First of all apologies for the lateness of publishing today’s edition. Just couldn’t whip up the enthusiasm yesterday evening. But up this morning bright (well it was dark outside actually) and early and ready to ‘rock and roll’. Spent the early part of yesterday morning (the game started at 8 am here) watching Arsenal in an away game against West Bromwich Albion. Dominating the game from the start ‘we’ went in to a two goal lead and looked to be heading for an easy three points. That is until ‘we’ gave away a penalty and the offending player was sent off. With determined (and at times lucky) defending Arsenal hung on to secure the win. Just need to stay there for the remainder of the season now to secure a Champions League place next season. “Come on you Gunners”. Before bringing you up-to-date with progress on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize I need to say ‘thank you’ to two of the readers of this blog. The first ‘thank you’ goes to Robert (a fellow Brit living on Ambergris Caye) who correctly pointed out that the guys are currently rendering the walls and not plastering them. I knew I was wrong but for the life of me could not remember the correct term.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Aebleskivr (Danish Pancake Balls)
T' nex time we make 'um we will experiment with air own flour mix insteed uf usin Bisquick but fer noe here is t'Bisquick recipe. 5 aigs, separated 2 cups bisquick bakin' mix 3/4 cup milk Buttr Confectyuners Sugar (Icin' Sugar) Applesauce Fruit Syrup er Maple Syrup (optyunal) Separate yer aigs. Beat egg whites n' large bowl on high speed until stiff; set aside. Blend egg yolks, bakin' mix and milk n' mixin' bowl on loe speed. Fold egg yolk mixture into beete egg whites.

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

International Sources

LLCC group makes scientific discovery related to grasshopper
A group from Lincoln Land Community College recently discovered that a giant grasshopper of the genus Titanacris calls the Belize rainforest home. Associate Professor Dave Cox said he first noticed the grasshopper while in Belize in June. He got a picture of the 6-inch insect, but it wasn’t good enough for a positive identification. When Cox’s Belize Adventure class returned in January to the country on the northeastern coast of Central America, they saw the grasshopper again, and this time, got a lot of pictures. Cox said the grasshopper was already known to science, but the Lincoln Land group was the first to find out that its habitat includes Belize. “The exciting part is that nobody has recorded this grasshopper in Belize,” Cox said.

New Horizons engineering assistant makes a difference
Two airmen arrive at the construction site of the future Crooked Tree Primary Government School in a three-quarter ton truck, step out and unload a few tools of their trade. Staff Sgt. Joel Bradley, an engineering assistant assigned to the 823rd Red Horse Squadron, carries a tripod over his left shoulder and an auto level in his right hand as he walks toward and surveys the site he will be working at for the next 90 days Bradley, deployed from Hurlburt Field, Fla., is one of approximately 500 airmen who will be participating in a training exercise known as New Horizons. As part of the exercise, Red Horse airmen will be partnering with Belize engineers to build school structures at four different locations in Belize. “This is a great opportunity and makes you feel proud,” said Bradley. “Knowing the schools we are building will provide added opportunities for the children for years to come is what is most rewarding.”

Positive Action Pilot in Belize
As children grow and begin to forge their own identity, they tend to mirror others in their environment. Surround them with loving, enabling caregivers who teach them, encourage them to explore their world, and provide them with interaction and feedback, and they’ll grow into productive adults, capable of facing and overcoming whatever challenges life throws at them. Plunge them into a world filled with violence and maliciousness, and don’t be surprised if they grow up to become troubled, or even violent, young adults. More and more Belizean children have grown up in a violent world. 25% of boys and 30% of girls under age 17 in Belize City report having been exposed to some form of crime or violence. Most have received neither the education they need to escape a life of poverty, nor the emotional and psychological support needed to develop their self-esteem. Consequently, they lack the necessary resilience to overcome challenges, which causes many to drop out of school, join gangs, and become involved in illegal activities. Alarmed by this trend, the Government of Belize partnered with the IDB and the University of North Texas to develop an approach to help put a stop to the cycle of violence and crime that is threatening the country’s young people.

My Modernized Belizean Stewed Chicken with Rice and Beans
A while back I wrote about my goal of finding the best stewed chicken with rice in beans while visiting Belize. I didn’t just want to eat the best there; I wanted to know how to make it at home. I included some very cryptic recipe notes that I got from Tosh (our driver from Belize City to San Ignacio) in that post. This weekend was my first attempt. While I appreciated the ‘recipe’ I got from Tosh, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would come out like if I modernized it a bit. So, I used my slow cooker and rice cooker. The results were pretty darn good (even if I have to say so myself). Slow Cooker Belizean Stewed Chicken

VIDEO: Snorkeling Hol Chan Reserve Ambergris Caye Belize
Feb 2013 Windy and choppy day snorkeling in Belize Music by: Wookiefoot

How to change your Apple Store to US
If you live outside the Continental US and would like to download US only apps, here is how to set your iDevice to United States so you can get access to US ONLY Apps. Click Settings Click on iTunes and App Stores Click on your Apple ID Click View Apple ID. It should ask you for your password. Click on Country/Region. Click Change Country or Region. Click Store and select United States. And there you go, enjoy your new US only apps.

Do government film subsidies add up? Well, Yes and No...
Most people enjoy a movie. But should the government pay for a local screen industry? Since the early 1970s, the answer to that question has been “yes”. Before Phillip Adams and Barry Jones convinced John Gorton to start funding Australians to make movies, the majority of the television and essentially all of the movies consumed by Australians were made overseas. Australia has developed a significant local screen industry since, but it’s been highly dependent on government funding. While successive governments, both conservative and Labor, have trumpeted the value of federal subsidies in creating a “sustainable” local industry, in truth the whole sector is heavily reliant of both regulations, such as local content quotas for television drama, and subsidies for film production, such as the production offset. The best example of the unsustainability of Australian screen is the Film Finance Corporation, a government-owned film funding agency set up in 1988. Unlike Screen Australia and its predecessor, the Australian Film Commission, the FFC was supposedly set up along commercial lines —

April 7, 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

Easter blast on La Isla Bonita
The Easter holiday is celebrated in many different ways in San Pedro Town. From days devoted to Holy worship to extreme all-night club parties and day-long beach parties, each island resident and visitor has their own holiday agenda at heart. Regardless of how the five-day holiday is spent, there is a definite guarantee that the time spent enjoying the sun, sand, parties and fun is the absolute best. Folks gravitate to the water like moths to a flame, loaded with picnic lunches, coolers, boom boxes, lawn furniture and of course an array of water toys! While adults linger under the shade of coconut trees visiting with family and friends, children spend endless hours frolicking in the clear, cool Caribbean waters or building white-sand creations. Many hopped from one Easter event to another taking in the atmosphere, music and party vibes. Easter Sunday is traditionally a beautiful, sunny day on La Isla, and this year did not disappoint. We hope you all had a great time while you were here, and if you weren’t here then it’s time to start planning your next vacation!

Belize Fashion Week 2013
In just over a week, the island of San Pedro gears up to host one of the BIGGEST fashion events of the year. Belize Fashion Week 2013 will showcase fabulous originals on gorgeous Belizean and International beauties. Among the professional models expected are the gorgeous model Isabel Barrera and Panama’s Karen Jordan (2012 Costa Maya Pageant contestant). They will be sashaying down the runway at Fido’s Courtyard wearing the fabulous creations of such designers as Joris Hendrik and Ras Jahta. There will also be tons of jewellery and accessory partnerships, the designers of which will be announced at a date closer to the event. The Fashion Week is scheduled to commence on April 11th and will run through April 13th. The opening night of the event will start off with an opening ceremony and cocktail evening, whereby invited guests, models and designers have the opportunity to mingle. Designer seminars will be held in the mornings of the 12th and 13th, along with runway classes (both are scheduled to run simultaneously).

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Police Department (BPD) has a sworn duty to the people of Belize
The Belize Police Department (BPD) has a sworn duty to the people of Belize to enforce law and order in the community and create conditions where Belizeans can live in peace with each other and are free to live their lives in concurrence with our laws and regulations. While carrying out that duty, the Department is obligated to act in a professional and responsible manner, not allowing the power entrusted to them by the people of Belize to be misused and abused. At the same time, citizens must recognize the validity of the department’s remit and do their best to abide by the law and cooperate with the department to enforce the law.

Agric Upgrades
The Agric organizers have come up with ideas to improve the Agric fair, which is only 4 weeks away. It'll start on May 3rd, and finish on May 5th. Patrick Jones paid the fairgrounds a visit to see the improvements. They're building new facilities for this year, and are talking about having a main stage, a food court, and alcohol free zones. Great ideas! "Organizers of the National Agriculture and Trade Show today hosted media representatives to a 'walk through' to explain plans for this year's event. According to the chairman of the show Jose Alpuche, this year the Agric Show on May 3rd, 4th and 5th will see some new and improved format which will include a new main stage, a visitor's centre, brand new rodeo installations and a food court. A part of the plan is the establishment of 'no alchohol' zones, streamlining of the booths and stalls to maximize emphasis on agriculture and trade."

Commonwealth Youth Development Awards
The Commonwealth Youth Development Awards for 2013 are open for nominations. If you know any Belizean youths that deserve the award, be sure and nominate them. "Youth workers are encouraged to nominate young people, who are driving innovative projects in any number of areas, including agriculture, small enterprise, skills training, climate change/environment protection, sustainable livelihoods and poverty reduction. The Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP), promotes the awards as an attempt to raise the profile and highlight the contribution of young people who are integrally involved in the process of change and are working side by side with decision-makers for a more secure future. The awards also give international, regional and national recognition to the young men and women who are selected."


A Bit of Luxury In San Ignacio: A Look around the San Ignacio Hotel & Resort
A few days ago, I wrote about eating termites and visiting green iguanas at the conservation project at the San Ignacio Hotel in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize. But I didn’t just go for the wildlife, though I’ll admit…it was pretty good. I stayed the night at the hotel and was pretty impressed. Very nice digs. Let me show you around… The hotel is just up the hill from San Ignacio town proper, an easy walk. And the lobby is quite grand. The stairway leads up to one room, the Master suite. I’ll show you that in a second. The Queen stayed at this hotel during her only visit to Belize in 1994. That seems like a pretty good stamp of approval.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in Belize
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System is the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere. It lies 980 feet from shore and stretches for 25 miles within the country’s limits. The site identified by UNESCO is actually part of one of the largest barrier reefs in the world – the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System that extends from Cancun to Honduras. One of the most beautiful features of the Belize Barrier Reef system is the “Belize Blue Hole.” Popular for scuba diving and snorkeling, the Belize Barrier Reef is quite possibly Belize’s top tourist attraction, as well as being vital to the country’s fishing industry. There are almost 450 cays within the barrier reef, and atolls range from small sand spits to permanent islands. Three of these large atolls, Turneffe Island, Lighthouse Reef, and Glover’s Reef, have been settled by locals.

Most Impressive Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Coral reefs are mostly underwater, which in rare cases grow out of the water, structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs cover less than one per cent of the world’s oceans but support incredible biodiversity. Check out some of the unique structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals.

International Sources

Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Alongside the great Blue Hole, Hol Chan Marine Reserve is one of Belize’s top snorkeling and diving attractions, and for good reason. A part of the Belize Barrier Reef, the reserve consists of a small channel (“hol chan” in Mayan), essentially a 30-foot deep “cut” in the reef where all sorts of marine life have gathered in one area over the years. Across three square miles and three reserve zones, live beautiful live corals and an abundant variety of fish that includes angelfish, turtles, nurse sharks, hog fish, snappers and many other species. The first time I went on a snorkeling trip to Hol Chan, I felt as if I were in my very own giant aquarium, surrounded by nurse sharks, stingrays, turtles and all sorts of other creatures I had never before encountered. Snorkelers and divers flock here in large numbers every day, because of how close the marine reserve is to the shores of Ambergris Caye four miles or a mere 10-15 minute boat ride away, as well as for its marine life. It’s also easily accessible from Caye Caulker, and only about 30 minutes north. Trips to Hol Chan from San Pedro last a half-day. Be sure not to touch any marine life while snorkeling or diving, and keep a safe distance. Also, if you’re a newbie, get tips ahead of time from your tour guide on how best to position your body so you don’t end up touching and damaging the coral.

Seismic expert urges Jamaica to prepare for major earthquake
Authorities in Jamaica have been urged by an American seismic expert to start long-term efforts to prepare for another major earthquake to impact the island. The advice came from geophysics professor Eric Calais of Purdue University, who urged the country’s government and various stakeholders to understand that the threat is very real based on the area's history and active seismic activity. Professor Calais, who visited the island as part of a mission with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said most scientists agree that Jamaica will most likely be exposed to an earthquake with a magnitude of 7 or 7.5 on the Richter scale. An earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale is considered "major" and is capable of widespread destruction. Kingston was destroyed, with some 1,000 resultant deaths, in a 6.5-magnitude quake in 1907. If Jamaica were to be hit by a similar quake now, the island could suffer a $6.5 billion loss, nearly half of the island's gross domestic product, researchers with the University of the West Indies (UWI) have said.

VIDEO: Bike Ride in Caye Caulker, Belize

Game changer in alternative energy
A team of Virginia Tech researchers has discovered a way to extract large quantities of hydrogen from any plant, a breakthrough that has the potential to bring a low-cost, environmentally friendly fuel source to the world. “Our new process could help end our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Y.H. Percival Zhang, an associate professor of biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering “Hydrogen is one of the most important biofuels of the future.” Zhang and his team have succeeded in using xylose, the most abundant simple plant sugar, to produce a large quantity of hydrogen that previously was attainable only in theory. Zhang’s method can be performed using any source of biomass. The discovery is a featured editor’s choice in an online version of the chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, International Edition. This new environmentally friendly method of producing hydrogen utilizes renewable natural resources, releases almost no zero greenhouse gasses, and does not require costly or heavy metals. Previous methods to produce hydrogen are expensive and create greenhouse gases. The U.S. Department of Energy says that hydrogen fuel has the potential to dramatically reduce reliance of fossil fuels and automobile manufactures are aggressively trying to develop vehicles that run on hydrogen fuel cells. Unlike gas-powered engines that spew out pollutants, the only byproduct of hydrogen fuel is water. Zhang’s discovery opens the door to an inexpensive, renewable source of hydrogen.

April 6, 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

Annual Children’s Vacation Bible School held at the San Pedro Lions’ Den
For the third consecutive year, The Eastern Assembly of God, located in Baltimore, Maryland USA has been sending mission teams to the island town of San Pedro. The teams conduct an annual Children’s Vacation Bible School (VBS), which this year, hosted one hundred to one hundred and twenty five children. This year’s team consisted of 15 members, including Children’s Pastor Kristin Alt, Youth Pastor Jared Michael, and Young Adult Pastor Danielle Stiles. This year’s program aims at educating children in the fundamentals of the Christian Faith. The four day VBS program which commenced on Tuesday April 5th, offers a variety of fun Bible based activities including arts, crafts, skits, games, Bible lessons and worship. In addition to a fun program the team is also doing their part to help equip students for the class rooms by providing children with school supplies, and other fun treats, including bicycle giveaways for one lucky little boy and girl!

Ambergris Today

PACT Awards Over $800,000 In Project Grants!
On Thursday, April 4, 2013, PACT held a Grant Award Ceremony at the Guanacaste National Park in Belmopan, during which it awarded over $800,000.00 in new project grants! PACT awarded Small and Medium-Sized Grants for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness as follows:

Belize Telemedia Ltd Launches New Telephone Directory
Belize Telemedia Limited officially launched its new telephone directory on Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at San Ignacio Town. Highlighted on the front cover is Belize’s cultural uniqueness – agriculture. "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 tourists," stated Karen Bevans - Chief Operating Officer, BTL.

Misc Belizean Sources

Business Plan Development workshop
This workshop is designed for all entrepreneurs who wish to avoid wasting time, effort and money while establishing and operating their new venture, regardless of whether you intend to self-fund or seek outside capital to grow your business.

BEL Submits 2013-2014 Annual Tariff Review Proceeding Application to PUC
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) submitted an application on April 2, 2013, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP) for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. In the application, BEL requests that the PUC reduces the Mean Electricity Rate (MER) by approximately 1 cent per kilowatt hour (kWh) to reflect the actual Cost of Power since January 2013 compared to the projected cost submitted to the PUC in December 2012. BEL is also proposing to reduce its targeted Rate of Return from 10 per cent to 9 per cent, made possible subsequent to the recent reduction in the Company’s financing costs.

VIDEO: Belize da fu we
Super Furia Band from Orange Walk Town,Belize, singing about dem no weh get wa square Centimeter a de sweet BELIZE LAND

Commentary: Belizeans must stand together against Guatemala
The Guatemalan Foreign Minister Honorable Fernando Carrera and Belize’s Foreign Minister Honorable Wilfred Elrington were supposed to meet on March 17, 2013, in Washington DC to continue their discussions on the proposed simultaneous referendum that is scheduled to be held in both their countries on October 6 this year. Before the meeting, the Guatemalan President Otto Perez held a press conference in Guatemala City in regards to the meeting. He called on the government of Belize to change the scheduled date of the referendum and to amend Belize’s constitution to remove the 60% approval requirement for the passage of all referendums in the country. This demand was raised earlier in negotiations with Guatemala and the government of Belize made it clear to the government of Guatemala that Belize will never agree to that demand.

Twin Town Transport
Twin Town Transport is a new business in Cayo that has a small fleet of vehicles, with some great prices, specifically for educational and mission groups. Current rental options/for-hire driver available 2007 Hyundai H1 12 passenger Van 2001 Acura MDX 4wd seats 8 1999 Mitsubishi Montero Sport 4wd seats 5 1999 Ford Expedition 2wd seats 8 "Auto rental for small mission/educational teams, newly relocated and part-timers in the Cayo area. Belize 501-624-3073"

Exploring the Chiquibul Forest Reserve
Great article about staying in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve for a few nights, and the sights that were seen along the way. With the Friends of Conservation and Development, who patrol the Chiquibul, they started at Caracol, and went exploring from there. And yes, they did see illegal loggers. "As dusk descends, birds that dominated the songscape concede the night to the crepuscular choir of crickets. It takes a while to adjust to the sounds of jungle nightlife; sleep is slow in coming; only patches of starlight are visible through the forest canopy like glinting terrestrial oases. Somewhere nearby an animal - perhaps a gibnut - crashes through the understory as noisily and clumsily as a human. Even before it is light, the diminuendo of the chirping, signals the breaking of dawn. The laws of the jungle are at work. When birds emerge, insects retreat mutely into the shadows. The troik troik troik of the keel-billed toucan is uncannily froglike. But even from the distance of the canopy there is no mistaking the exaggerated bill and the retracting of its wings as it glides. The guttural growls of invisible troupes of howler monkeys echo through the trees. The hysterical, scandal-mongering piam-piam gives away our presence on the forest floor, but not before a pair of sleek-bodied scarlet macaws cruises into view."

Channel 7

Talks Between PM And Unions Lubricated By Prospect Of Oil
Teachers and Public Service Union Leaders met with the Prime Minister at his office in Belmopan today - but this time there was no lunchtime press briefing, or birthday singing for Teachers Union Senior Advisor George Frazer. And coming out of the meeting, the unions had no comment - saying they won't speak to the press at this time - and will only do so after they hold discussions with their councils of management and their memberships. So, nothing is confirmed but according to our sources neither side budged: the unions aired out their full counter-proposal, while the Government side maintained that there can be no floor on a proposed increase, nor can there be any increase given this year. The meeting - we are told - was cordial but ended with no agreement, as the unions have to go back to their memberships. But they do have something to go back with - and that is oil. As we understand it, the prospect of a potential commercial oil find factored significantly into the discussions. If there is incremental revenue from an oil find and it leads to a revenue surplus - the teachers and public officers stand to get 50% of that incremental revenue towards a raise.

For Alleged Cop Killers Charged In Capital
Today four men - three from Roaring Creek and one from Punta Gorda - were taken to Belmopan Magistrate's Court for the killing of Police Constable Bertchel Ramirez. They are 34 year old Juvencio Herrera, 26 year old Gregory Martinez, 41 year old Elilo Herrera, and 28 year old Steven Garbutt. Officer Commanding Belmopan ASP Sinquest Martinez - who called the murder an "idiot move" two days ago - told us how police had to reign in their emotions to make sure the prosecution goes smoothly: ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "P.C Ramirez went to visit a friend, and that friend had an affair with one of the suspects. And that's what we - from that angle we've start our investigation. Yes, they ambush my officer; they knew he was at that house because the suspects do not live too far from where the crime happened. So, they had seen him go in, and they know that he was there. From what I know, my police officer doesn't have any relationship with any of the suspects, my - the four suspects has been in and out of Belmopan; but 3 of the four suspects have been in and out of Belmopan Police Station, who I've known very well. They are known criminals within this area."

Group Of Chinese Were Set Free By GSU Long After Directive By COMPOL
Last night when we left you, a group of nine Chinese that arrived in the country yesterday had been detained by the GSU - after Immigration at the airport cleared them. The GSU detained them as they walked out of the Immigration Office, crowded all nine into the back of a pickup and carted them off to the Ladyville Police station to review their documents. Later the GSU transferred to them to the Queen Street Police station - which is when, we are reliably informed, the Commissioner of Police ordered that they be released since there was no reason to hold them. As we understand it, the GSU still kept them detained for five hours more - and did not release the group until 2:30 this morning.

BEL Asks For Slight Decrease In Electricity Rate
In January the PUC ordered a whopping 17% increase in average electricity rates. Well now, BEL is asking the PUC to lower the rate just a little. The power company made this application in its Annual Tariff Review Proceeding for July first, 2013 to June 30th, 2014. BEL asks the PUC to reduce the average Electricity Rate by about 1 cent per kilowatt hour - which would bring the residential rate down to about 48 cents per kilowatt hour - still a long ways off form the 41.6 cents per kilowatt hour it was at in 2012. BEL says the modest decrease is a reflection in a slightly cheaper cost of power. BEL is also reducing its Rate of Return from 10 per cent to 9 per cent, after reducing financing costs. The PUC will now make its own review and recommendation.

Carol James Gets Back Gun, Bribe Money, But Still No Jewelry
Last night we had the story of Carol James, who detailed an outrageous case of police abuse and corruption. She said that while she was out of the country police searched her home, found her licensed firearm and then proceeded to unlawfully detain her fiance for it - while also shaking him down for a five hundred dollar bribe. Well the police Professional Standards Branch has been investigating and today made some big moves: they arranged for her to get back her gun and the five hundred dollars paid as a bribe. James asked 7news to be there when the return was made: Monica Bodden Reporting Voice of: Carol James - Accusing police of Corruption "I got a call from the police station stating that they will return my gun this afternoon. So, hopefully I'll get it because yesterday, Mr. Rivero and Mrs. Mortis came here and they told me that my gun was at the lab. They assure me that they were going to the lab to bring my gun yesterday. Today is Friday, and I still haven't gotten my gun. Well, just a while ago Mrs. Mortis called me and she told me that I can come for my gun at the police station. I told her no, I'm not coming to the police station for my gun because they didn't get it from the police station. They got it from out of my house. So, she told me that she was going to bring it this afternoon, so I'll wait and see if they bring my gun."

Help For A Very Needy Family
One week ago, we told you sad story of Edith Ramirez, the mother of 3 young children who has been living in a makeshift house surrounded by swampland for the past 6 months. Since then, Human Services has intervened to tell her that she can no longer stay in that perilous location with her young children, so she's now begging accommodations with her sister. But even though the struggling single mother is still technically homeless, she is still holding on to all hopes and so far she has been receiving assistance from those who can help. One person who was touched by her story is grassroots philanthropist, Dara Robinson - who personally took groceries for Ramirez and her family yesterday evening. 7news was there to capture the moment. Dara Robinson - Grassroots Philanthropist "After I watched the news and watched your story, it was touching especially when you interviewed and I saw they kids. It made my heart felt sad that day. I wanted to react a long time on it, but I had an amount of stuff that I wanted to put together. After I received some much needed stuff, then I took things from my program, and called you because I said I don't have plywood, zink and things to really help the lady with what she really needs.

Home Invader Has Nothing To Say In Court, Gets Jail Time
22 year-old Percival Blancaneaux, is spending the first night of a 3-year sentence after he was convicted of aggravated burglary in the Supreme Court. Esmeralda Gladstonbury, a resident of Old Well Road, on the Northern Highway reported to police that on January 24, Blancaneaux and another man invaded her home at around 4 a.m. According Gladstonbury, she was at home sleeping with her husband and her son, when she heard the sounds of someone breaking in. That's when she saw the men inside her house. Both men held them hostage at knife-point, tied them up and then cleaned out their house of about 18 thousand dollars in electronics and other personal items, including her red Isuzu Rodeo which they used to get away in. That vehicle was recovered on the Burrell Boom Road. Well, Gladstonbury and her son testified to those details in the trial before Chief Magistrate Smith. When Blancaneaux was given his opportunity to provide his defence, he chose to remain silent.

From a Hospital Bed To A Jail Cell
3 weeks ago, we told you about the alleged gunfight between police and 27 year-old Brandon "Battery" Smith and 28 year-old Alrick Smith. Well, tonight, Alrick Smith, who's been in the hospital after being shot by police, has joined Brandon Smith in prison. As we reported, police officers were processing a murder scene when they say a blue car sped past the crime scene. They set chase after the vehicle until it crashed into a drain. That's when 27 year-old Brandon Smith, allegedly exited the car with a handgun and started firing at the officers. The officers returned fire, and shot the driver, Alrick Smith - critically wounding him with a gunshot to the abdomen area. Brandon Smith escaped that scene, but he was arrested later and charged with 4 counts of attempted murder against Police Constables Abner Pasqual, Terry Reyes, Mark Tzul, and Wayne Trapp.

Carrying Ammunition On Way To Jail
24 year-old Guatemalan David Lopez, will serve 10 years in prison because on his way to jail he was busted with unlicensed ammunition. Lopez, a farmer from Peten Guatemala, was convicted of a different offence in the San Ignacio Magistrate's Court, and he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for it. While being processed to enter the prison yesterday to start serving his sentence, the officers conducted the mandatory search on him and discovered 7 rounds of .25 ammunition. Due to the discovery, he charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition, and he was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He pleaded guilty to the offence saying that on his way to jail, a man gave him the bullets and ordered him to hold on to them until he came back to retrieve them.

Galen Univ Ballers In Limbo
Last night we told you about the seven members of the Galen University basketball team who were abruptly kicked off - after allegedly showing up late to a meeting to sign an academic scholarship. We say "allegedly late" because at least one of those players we spoke to said he's certain he got there five minutes early. Galen issued a statement saying they would keep their scholarships but lose their place on the team - where lateness has been an issue. Well today a meeting was convened by Galen to transfer them from athletic to academic scholarships - but it seems the new scholarships weren't ready, so nothing was signed. And now tonight there is word that the majority of those players kicked off the team will get back unto the roster after apologizing to President Luis Zabaneh. He was the one waiting for them to sign the athletic scholarships on Thursday morning. There is no official word from the School at this time.

Et Tu, Otto?
Guatemala's president Otto Perez Molina is under extreme scrutiny in his country tonight after he was implicated by name in the testimony of a witness in the trial against former dictator General Jose Efrain Rios Montt. It was the 10th hearing at the Supreme Court over crimes against indigenous persons during that country's 26 year civil war, from 1960 to 1996. The Prosecution's witness who has implicated the president is Hugo Ramiro Leonardo Reyes, a specialized military mechanic of the kaibil troop that operated in the Ixil area. According to the Prensa Libre, Reyes said quote "the military and the soldiers following orders of major Tito Arias known as Otto Perez Molina...coordinated the burning and looting of the people to later execute them," end quote. The witness added quote " the people who Arrived for execution at the camp reached injured, tortured, with their tongues cut out, and their nails ripped off among other injuries" end quote. He specified quote "they were burned under orders of Major Tito Arias".

Red Sicta To San Vicente
White corn and black beans are among the primary crops of the farmers in San Vicente and Jalacte - Toledo villages at the southwestern edge of Belize's territory. But many times, these small producers lack the technology or market place savvy to get a decent price for their produce. Now, a new project sponsored by IICA, the Inter-American Institute of Cooperation for Agriculture is hoping to use technology to improve their competitiveness and make them some money. It's called Red Sicta and the IICA Representative explained: Mohammed Ibrahim - IICA "They have regional project called RED SICTA which is looking at technological innovation for security and improving the competitiveness of farmers to market their product with some specifications on corn and beans and other products. The project has several objectives; one is to provide technologies to farmers for improving their productivity of the corn and beans. These productions have increased between 20 to 30% in some cases due to the technological innovation that farmers have been using, better management of the crop, better planting, better swing distances and better fertilizing management of the crops.

The Sweet Sound of Patriotism
Jalacte and San Vicente are also two of the villages that thread along the southern border between Belize and Guatemala. The Belize Territorial Volunteers have already cleared the border in Jalacte and tomorrow they are going to do so in San Vicente. Well, if they so choose, they can take a sound track with them for theme music because the Orange Walk based band, Super Furia, has released another single, themed around the Belize/Guatemala dispute. The band, which gained prominence recently for the song in honor of the Belize National Football Team's performance in the Copa Centroamericana, has come back with a song called, Belize Da Fi We. The lead singer spoke to us about the lyrics, which should inspire patriotism: Roxanne Alcoser - Lead Vocalist, Supa Furia "This song is entitled "Belize dah fu we" and the name says it all, I mean Belize is for Belizeans, jump high or jump low, it's ours."

Channel 5

8 Chinese nationals are released on orders of the ComPol
At around four-thirty Thursday afternoon, eight Chinese nationals, seven men and one woman arrived in Belize on a TACA flight. They proceeded through Immigration on the travel documents they held, but as they stepped out through the departure doors at the airport, they were greeted not by their compatriots who were waiting for them, but [...]

Smuggling of Chinese nationals; a lucrative and active trade in Belize
As we told you before, the smuggling of Chinese nationals into Belize is known to be a very lucrative and very active trade, where local agents act as middle-men between officials in the Immigration and other government departments and prominent Chinese businessmen who mastermind the ring. News Five was reliably informed that the route of [...]

Corruption: Businesswoman claims she robbed & her nephew extorted by police
There is another very serious complaint against a group of police officers. A Belize City businesswoman who went away for the Easter had to cut her trip short and rush back home because her house had been robbed of some twenty thousand dollars in cash and valuables. To add to her woes, her common-law-husband had [...]

4 Roaring Creek residents charged for murder of cop
A group of four, residents of Roaring Creek Village, was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Lindsbert Willis in Belmopan today on a joint charge of murder.  Thirty-four year old Juvencio Herrera, his elder brother, forty-one year old Elilo Herrera, twenty-six year old Gregory Martinez and twenty-eight year old Steven Garbutt are all accused of killing police [...]

Unions meet with Prime Minister: another counterproposal tabled
The anticipated meeting between the Joint Negotiating Team, representing the Belize National Teachers Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the Public Service Union, met with Prime Minister Barrow today in Belmopan. Today’s second round of discussions on the issue of salary adjustment started at about ten this morning and concluded around four [...]

4 students and teacher arraigned for killing howler monkey
In March 2013, public outrage was aroused when a black howler monkey was badly beaten by four third form students at the Belize High School of Agriculture in southern Orange Walk. And worse than that, they allegedly did it because a teacher told them to. The Forest Department was involved from the start and an [...]

Guatemalan president accused of executing civilians and other atrocities during civil war
Even though it will not be holding a referendum on October sixth, Guatemala is still stepping up its campaign on its claim to fifty percent of Belize.  Official publications, including passports and maps, depict Belize as part of its territory. But tonight, President Otto Perez Molina is facing plenty trouble and huge embarrassment. Perez Molina, [...]

Man in critical condition at hospital after being stabbed
There was a stabbing in the City on Thursday night. The victim is Javier Mai and he is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in critical condition. Mai, a welder, was stabbed twice on the abdomen and was found on Mosul Street after ten o’clock near the bar called Chicas Picantes. Police picked him [...]

Guatemalan farmer given 5 more years for ammunition found on his person
A Guatemalan farmer, who is serving five years at the Belize Central Prison, will have an additional five years to contemplate the error of his ways. Twenty-four year old inmate, David Lopez, was being escorted from the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court to prison when a routine search was conducted on him. Police say they found [...]

3 years in prison for aggravated burglary
A man who participated in a home invasion in January 2012 will spend three years behind bars at the Belize Central Prison after he was found guilty of aggravated burglary today. The incident occurred at the Ladyville home of Esmeralda Glastonbury, located at mile eleven and three quarter on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Glastonbury, her [...]

F.F.B.’s annual honorary congress and its new marketing development program
Three members of CONCACAF’s Marketing Development Program are here in Belize for a three-day working visit. While in Belize, the trio will be assessing and assisting in creating a marketing plan for the F.F.B. goals and strategies. But the visit is occurring simultaneously with the federation’s annual honorary congress which will be held on Saturday. [...]

CARICOM’s official song competition; Belizean artists invited to apply
The Caribbean Community, better known as CARICOM, was birthed with the vision that standing together, the region could represent a formidable force and voice. As CARICOM prepares to mark its fortieth anniversary this year, it is launching an official competition: its first music and lyrics song competition. It is a search for an original piece [...]

Gospel artist establishes a Belize chapter of her Baby Girls Club
Christian music has its own following and a growing one at that. And even if you are not a strong follower of gospel music, you may be very aware of the name Nicole C. Mullen. Mullen is internationally renowned and she is on a week-long stay in Belize, establishing a chapter of her Baby Girls [...]

B.E.L. applies for a nominal rate reduction
The Belize Electricity Limited is applying for a rate reduction in electricity rates for the period July first, 2013 to June thirtieth, 2014. The application to the Public Utilities Commission is for a reduction of approximately one cent per kilowatt hour to reflect the actual Cost of Power since January 2013. B.E.L. is also proposing [...]


Police Prepares To Bury One of Their Own;Four Men Charged With The Cop's Murder
On Tuesday night, the quiet community of Another World area in Roaring Creek Village was disrupted by the sound of gunshots. At the end Police Constable, Bertchel Ramirez who had gone to visit his girlfriend, lay dead inside his car. This morning the four suspects 28 year o...

Southern Farmers Get Assistance Through Red Sicta Project
A program highlighting the RedSicta Project in Toledo was held yesterday in San Vicente Village. Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG "The morning program began with the National Anthem by students of San Vicente RC School, invocation by Pastor Marcus Cal of the Ba...

Police Seeks Owner of Cannabis Left On Passenger Bus
Police are looking for a man following the discovery of 245 point five grams of cannabis on a passenger bus. Police say on Thursday they conducted a search at the six mile junction and under a seat they found a knapsack containing the suspected cannabis. The suspect who was...

Police Investigates Stabbing Incident
Belize City Police are investigating a stabbing incident that has left 57-year-old Javier Mai hospitalized. Police say on Wednesday they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw Mai with two apparent stab wounds to the left side of the abdomen. Initial inve...

Cayo Police Gets Second Drug Bust In One Week
For the second time this week, San Ignacio Police have made an arrest after the discovery of a large quantity of cannabis. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY "On Tuesday, April 2, San Ignacio Police intercepted a car on the George Price Boulevard in Ben...

US Students Work With Women In Orange Walk on Self Sustainability Project
A number of students from the United States are in the Orange Walk District working with women to assist them to be self sufficient. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL "The project began last year when students from Heritage University through...

Construction Works and Clinics Underway By Military Engineers and Medical Experts From The United States
New Horizons exercise is currently underway in Belize. The team is working in northern Belize as we hear in this report from Dalila Ical. DALILA ICAL Military Civil Engineers and Medical Experts from the United States are currently conducting construction work and medical...

Man Gets Three Years For Aggravated Burglary
Percival Blancaneux Jr. charged with aggravated burglary, was sentenced to three years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he was found guilty of the charge. The incident occurred around 3 a.m. on January 24, 2012, at the residence of Esmeralda Glastonbury, located i...

Second Man Charged With Attempted Murder of Police Officers
Twenty-eight year old Alrick Smith, the second person who was allegedly involved in a shooting incident with the police, walked gingerly into court today for his arraignment on four counts of attempted murder. Smith, who was shot by the police, was charged with the attempted murd...

Three Men Acquitted On Drug Trafficking Charges
Three persons were acquitted of drug trafficking today by Magistrate Adolph Lucas Jr. They are Raymond Lanza, John Fuller Sr. and his son, John Fuller Jr. Magistrate Lucas in his ruling said that there was no evidence that the defendants had any knowledge of the cannabis that was...

BEL Submits Application to the Public Utilities Commission
Belize Electricity Limited has submitted an application to the Public Utilities Commission under the Annual Tariff Review Proceeding for the period July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. BEL is asking the PUC to reduce the Mean Electricity Rate by approximately one cent per kilowatt hour to re...


Angel Carrillo And Four Students Appear in Court Regarding Howler Monkey's Death
The month of March proved to be one of scandal for the Belize High School of Agriculture after four of its male students and one of its male teachers were accused of brutally attacking a Howler Monkey on March 5th. The male monkey died three days after while receiving treatment at Wild Tracks Centre, a Monkey Rehabilitation Facility in Sarteneja Village. News tonight is that the case against the four students, two of which are said to be minors and Teacher Angel Carillo, began yesterday at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. All five individuals were charged for illegal hunting by the Forest Department and now face a legal battle. CTV3 News understands that all five accused were awarded bail to the sum of $1,000 each plus one surety each of the same amount which they met. Their case was adjourned for June 26th 2013. As previously mentioned, the monkey’s brutal attack was cause for controversy both here at home and abroad.

BR's Pharmacy Robbed At Gunpoint
A pharmacist from Orange Walk Town, his employee and one of his clients are tonight recuperating from a frightful ordeal after two men robbed B.R’s Pharmacy located on Belize Corozal Road, at gunpoint. The incident played out on Holy Thursday at around 8:00pm. According to proprietor of B.R’s Pharmacy Alejandro Lopez, he was at the back of the establishment packing some medications and upon his return to the front area, he was met face to face with one of the two robbers who was armed with a firearm. Alejandro Lopez- Proprietor B.R’s Pharmacy “I was at the back packing medications that had reached. I had told my customer to wait so that I can check his blood pressure one more time so while in the process of that, I saw my worker that was frightened. She had a frighten face. That is when I got kind of surprise. While I was coming from the front from behind the curtain I saw that this Creole descent guy had a gun in his hand and was pointing it towards me. He told me, “give me you money.” But then I also realized that the customer was already on the floor and the guy, a tall slim, East Indian looking guy, had a knife at the neck of my customer. By that time, apparently the customer told me afterwards that they took away his phone. So I proceed to go to the back of the curtain where the cash pan is by this guy following me and pointing the gun at me. Then he asked him to give him the money. I took the money and gave him the money. He asked if it was all I had and I told his yes. He asked me to give him my phone. I told him that I don’t have a phone but my phone was on the table.”

Veronica Gonzalez Died Of Exsanquinations
In other news, the post mortem conducted on the body of 39 year old Veronica Gonzalez who died minutes after she was stabbed multiple times while in the Village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District on April 31st, shows that she died as a result of exsanguinations due to internal and external bleeding as a consequence of multiple wounds. Thirty nine year old Norma Pena has been charged for Gonzalez’s murder.

Corozal Police Conducts Anti Drug Operation
The Corozal Police Department carried out an anti drug operation last night which proved fruitful. The operation was carried out at a residence located on 3rd Street North in the Skeleton Area in Corozal Town which led to the discovery of a crazy glue case containing 2.7 grams of suspected crack cocaine. The suspected drug was found in one of the bedrooms. Present at the time of the search were 42 year old Charles Anthony Whitfield and 49 year old Gilbert Alexander Jones Sr. Both Whitfield and Jones were taken to the police station and charged for drug trafficking.

Police Officers Recognized For Their Hardwork
The swearing in of 15 new Special Constables was not the only cause for celebration at the Orange Walk Police Department this afternoon. During the special ceremony, two officers of the department were recognized as Officer of the Month for the Months of February and March respectively. P.C Reynald Cacho joined the police force one month shy from his 19th birthday in the year 1985 and has been posted at stations across the country. Four years ago he was transferred to the Orange Walk Police Formation and has been a role model for his colleagues who elected him as Officer of the Month for the Month of February. P.C Reynaldo Cacho- Officer of the month for March “I feel great. This is my second award being here in Orange Walk under two different OCs, Mr. Mariano first and them Mr. Myvette.” Carmelita Perez, Reporter “To what would you say that you owe these two great achievements in your police career?” P.C Reynaldo Cacho- Officer of the month for March “Well I have been tasking for so long and at times I have been left out but then this time around I have been recognized because I take my work very seriously. I don’t play or drink at work.” Carmelita Perez, Reporter “What made you join the police task force?” P.C Reynaldo Cacho- Officer of the month for March “Well, seeing that I was- like was said in the biography- I decided to remain because I noticed that only this department can pay when you are resting night and day so that is one of the reason why.”

15 New Special Constables Sworn In
This afternoon 15 new Special Constables were sworn in at the Orange Walk Police Department during a special ceremony. With 15 new recruits, the Orange Walk Police Department now counts with 40 Special Constables who are more that ready to assist police in combating crime. Corporal Zenobio Coc- In Charge of Community Policing “One of the primary functions of the special constable is to work along with the police officers, especially conducting patrols on the weekend when they have time. One of the things is that it is voluntary so they chose to join the special constable because it is something voluntary.” Carmelita Perez, Reporter “Do they receive a stipend?” Corporal Zenobio Coc- In Charge of Community Policing “Depending, because some of them are directly employed by the Government of Belize and some of them engage in business visits. They would get a small stipend at the end of the week but most of them I would say are pretty much voluntary workers.” According to Corporal Zenobio Coc, who is in charge of Community Policing, Special Constables play an important role in the development of the community and nation for that matter.

Golden Crop Cooperative Plans To Export Sorghum
The Cooperative Officer for the Ministry of Forestry and Agriculture, Eduardo Leiva, also spoke to us today about a cooperative in the community of Shipyard that they are presently assisting after its members ran into trouble. The Golden Crop Cooperative has been operating for over a decade now and they are looking to invest about $60,000 to increase the production of sorghum for exportation which in Belize is mainly use as feed. The cooperative is looking to export the product in order to increase revenue. Eduardo Leiva, Cooperative Officer “In Shipyard we have another cooperative. They are over ten years active but at some point in time, in the last two years, they were about to collapse. We had to intervene and re-organized them and from nothing they are turning over $100,000. At this point they are looking to invest another $60,000. They have purchases three silos and they are looking to export sorghum to either Jamaica or Mexico. It was actually registered as a farmers’ cooperative but it went through some changes and so they have a semi-hardware store. They sell grocery, cement, blocks and so forth. But apart from that they have expanded and they are now selling diesel, gasoline , they want to venture into butane and now some of the farmers are into planting sorghum but because the prices of sorghum in Belize is low at this point and they have noticed that if they export they can make a little bit more. So then they decided to venture into the exportation of sorghum.” The Golden Crop Cooperative has 102 members with about $111,000 worth in shares.


Four charged for the death of PC Bretchel Ramirez
The Belmopan court was heavily guarded this morning with police personnel, as four men were brought to court to answer for the murder of Police Constable Bertchel Eyon Ramirez. Those men – 34 year old Juvencio Herrera, 26 year old Gregory Martinez, 41 year old Elilo Herrera and 28...

Union meets with PM
Belize’s major trade unions met with the Prime Minister today at the Sir Edney Cain building, to discuss several pressing issues, one of which is the salary adjustment for teachers. Well after spending some five hours inside the PM’s office, the media was eager to find out the outcome...

Benque pharmacist who solicited a minor through the internet is fined $500
Cesar Mendez, a Pharmacist in Benque, who was accused of soliciting a twelve year old through Facebook, pled guilty yesterday in Magistrate’s Court. The charges date back to June of last year, after the girl reported that Mendez invited her to his pharmacy, where they engaged in sexual acts...

BTV continue clearing border
The Belize Territorial Volunteers will travel to the border to continue clearing and demarcating Belize’s borderline from Guatemala. As we mentioned earlier this week, the group has received some jungle clothing and footwear from a Belizean living in the US, Alix Dillet. The group says that the gear came...

Khalid El-Turk continues to fight extradition
Lebanese Belizean Khalid El-Turk continues to fight extradition to the United States where he is wanted for pseudoephedrine trafficking. Yesterday, he was back in court as counsel Edwin Flowers SC and Anthony Sylvestre petitioned Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith to discharge their client from the proceedings on three grounds. Flowers...

Placencia’s Chairman says the village is not just for foreign visitors
Placencia is a small village located in the Stann Creek District of Belize with the eastern side of the Peninsula being a long expanse of white sandy beach. But besides it’s sandy beach, Placencia has a lot to offer both to local and international tourists. One can partake in...

Police hold internal investigations into recent incidents
Police have charged their own in internal investigations. Late on Thursday evening the Police Department’s Professional Standards Branch updated several ongoing investigations and announced that charges have been laid in several recent incidents. Regarding the two Belize City youths who told their story to PLUS News and other media...

US Military Medical Mission conducting free medical service
The US Military Medical Mission will be in Belize conducting free medical service. The team of US and Canadian medical professionals will provide general services such as pediatrics, dermatology, optometry, women’s health and dentistry. And they will begin their tour in Toledo in the next coming week. On Monday...

Basketball team travels to hometown of Miami Heat NBA star
The group of high school ballers who will travel to the King James Amateur Classic has been selected. Those basketball hopefuls will journey to the hometown of Miami Heat NBA star Lebron James, who by the way is hosting the event – and they will get a chance to...

Two men detained with over 100 lbs of cannabis
Police have detained two men after they were busted with over 100 lbs of weed. But the men may not have been caught if they were not pulled over for a faulty light near Georgeville. However, when they started acting suspicious, Police decided to search the car. That is...


The Police Department confirmed today that a Belizean businesswoman, Carol James, whose common-law husband, Anthony Broaster, was detained more than a week ago, has filed a complaint with the Professional Standards Branch of the department that jewelry and cash have gone missing from her home after a police search was conducted at her residence on Central American Boulevard. The police report did not indicate the value of the jewelry and the amount of cash reported missing; however, the businesswoman, visibly upset over what had transpired while she was in the US on a personal trip, has told our newspaper that it is in excess of $20,000, including a diamond bracelet, several rings and all the cash from the cash register of her boutique. James, the ex-wife of former Police Commissioner David Henderson, also told us that police took her licensed firearm, as well as her cash receipt for $5,000, which proved that she had bought the gun from Brodies. The gun license was renewed this March for her birthday, she told us. To date, said James, her gun has also not been returned. She said that she will fight because she does not want this type of abuse to happen to another Belizean, especially those who don’t have the means to defend themselves. James had cut her trip short and returned home over the weekend, when she retained Ellis Arnold, SC, to handle the case. Today’s police report was brief, only assuring that, “This matter is still under investigation.”

Dr. Zabaneh said they “failed to show up on time” for important meeting. Half of Galen University’s basketball team, Galen Eagles, including the MVP of the 2013 ATLIB tournament, have been sacked by Galen president Dr. Louis Zabaneh after they allegedly failed to show up on time for an important meeting at which their contracts with the university, which were to cover the terms of their basketball scholarship, were to be finalized. MVP Jarrell Velasquez declined comment when Amandala contacted him today. He said he was only five minutes late for the meeting. That meeting was scheduled for 11:00 this morning, and they were to attend well-dressed and accompanied by their parents. According to Zabaneh, only three team members were there when it was time for the meeting to start. One person, he said, sent a text message indicating his excuse, while another sent an e-mail. Via e-mail, Galen informed Amandala that the members of the Galen University Eagles basketball team are Dijon McNab, Jarrell Velasquez, Shelton Defour, Jason Badillo, Carlo Burns, Elvis J. Usher, Raul Roches, Jordan Young-Lamb, Nigel Galvez, Vinnie Garbutt and Emani Enriquez. Defour, Burns and Usher, the early ones, were all accompanied by a parent/guardian at the meeting, the university informed us. McNab was excused due to prior obligations, we were also told.

Godfrey was seeking US$10 million, plus interest, in telecom suit. Belizean attorney Glenn D. Godfrey, SC, has lost a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the Government of Belize, in which he asked a Florida court to award US$10 million, plus interest to his company on allegations that the Musa administration had, over a decade ago, breached a telecommunications agreement with the now defunct Intelco – International Telecommunications Limited. Godfrey, who was appointed Attorney General and Minister of Tourism and Environment in 1993, under the People’s United Party administration, had alleged breach of a Master Lease Agreement between International Telecommunications Limited (“INTELCO”) and ex-Minister of Budget Management, Ralph Fonseca back in 2002. The lawsuit was filed last year. Although the Government of Belize has managed to get that case struck out of the US court, the case may be revived here in Belize, should Godfrey choose to pursue it further. Whereas the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has dismissed Godfrey’s case, having upheld Belize’s objections to the lawsuit, “the Court ruled that Belize provided an adequate alternate forum to litigate this matter and that the Plaintiff GDG could reinstate its case in Belize.” Amandala contacted the office of Glenn Godfrey in Belize City and Godfrey’s office told us that he is out of the country and no one else was able to respond.

One of the suspects is the father of the policeman’s girlfriend’s two children, say police. A policeman was ambushed and murdered in the Another World area of Roaring Creek and his family and the Police Department are mourning his death. His family, in particular, is trying to come to grips with the cruel way in which he had been killed. Police Constable Bertchel Eyon Ramirez, 36, of Belmopan, was gunned down about 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, by four men who ambushed him and fired 12 to 15 shots into his car. Ramirez was shot in his head, chest and body, and his car was left riddled with bullet holes. The policeman’s father-in-law told Amandala that Ramirez, his girlfriend and his sister-in-law (the father-in-law’s two daughters), were sitting in his car, parked in front of his yard, at about 11:10 p.m. on Tuesday, when they heard some shots. The girls got out of the car, and Ramirez drove off to investigate the gunshots. He saw a person run down the road towards a culvert, and he drove down to the area. When he arrived by the curve near the culvert, however, three other people were waiting in ambush and they began firing at him. He tried to maneuver the car to escape, but when he turned, he drove into the drain, and the car bogged and couldn’t turn.

The Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities confirmed on Tuesday that oil has been found in Orange Walk by Maranco Energy Belize Limited, headed by Paul Marriott, a former director of Belize Natural Energy. CEO in the Ministry Dr. Colin Young told Amandala that the find was made in the Laguna Seca area, a privately owned property; however, further tests have to be done to determine whether the find is commercial. An official release from the ministry said that on March 30, 2013, Maranco discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well, in their concession area in the Orange Walk District. Two years ago, in April 2011, our newspaper had reported on a decision by the Barrow Administration to grant an oil contract to Maranco in northwestern Orange Walk, in an area that includes Gallon Jug. The contract, we understand, calls for 10% royalty, plus production sharing revenues of 15% to 40% based on production ranging from 0 – 5,000 barrels of oil a day to over 30,000 barrels a day.

Michael Anthony Heusner was gunned down on his way to a shop. Senseless gun violence in the “city without pity” has once again claimed the life of a parent, the father of a child, 2. Michael Anthony Heusner, 28, a fisherman of Courtenay Crescent, lay on the pavement on Mahogany Street after being shot multiple times, in the head and chest on Easter Monday night. His mother, Maria Heusner, was devastated when she came to the scene: she sobbed for her dead son as he lay on the street. The merciless murder occurred about 7:30 p.m. Monday, on Mahogany Street, about 50 yards from its junction with Mopan Street. Police say that Heusner was walking on Mahogany Street from Mopan Street heading towards Sarstoon Street, when two men riding on separate bicycles rode up behind him and one of them pulled out a firearm and shot Heusner multiple times. Police say that they retrieved six 40 caliber S&W expended shells from the scene.

Fuller applied for an appeal on the decision of the judicial review by Min. Wilfred Elrington. In September of 2011, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, heard applications in a tribunal as final arbiter on why it was unjust for the United States to continue its process of extraditing Rhett Fuller, 42. In his ruling last year, he refused to deny the US’s request to extradite Fuller, who is wanted for questioning in connection with the first degree murder of US national Larry Miller, which occurred in March of 1990. After the decision was made by Elrington, Fuller’s attorney, Eamon Couretnay, filed an appeal in October, 2012, to the Belize Court of Appeal. Courtenay’s arguments included information from Wikileaks that showed three diplomatic cables which documented communications between Elrington and representatives from the US embassy. In those communiqués, Courtenay established that Elrington may have introduced bias in his decision, and in their decision handed down this morning, the judges gave two main reasons why they allowed Fuller’s appeal.

The Chiquibul Forest, which includes the Chiquibul National Park, has continued to be the central focus of conservation efforts led by Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), and the FCD has been successful at getting their counterparts in Guatemala to pursue bi-national efforts to help stave off what FCD’s Executive Director Raphael Manzanero calls “a trans-boundary environmental crisis” facing the Chiquibul. FCD met with Guatemala’s Division for the Protection of Nature (DIPRONA) on March 13 and 14 along with Ricardo Avila, municipal alcalde from Melchor de Mencos. The six officers, who included the DIPRONA Head of Division from Guatemala City, met on March 13 with representatives of the Belize Forest Department, the Belize Defence Force, the Police Department, and the Immigration Department, who explained their work. Meanwhile, FCD underscored the crisis facing the Chiquibul. The next day, the visitors had a chance to see for themselves, when they went to the Chiquibul and Caracol Archaeological Reserve, to survey the evidence of illegal logging, xate trails and the farms along the western flank of the Chiquibul forest.

by Evan X Hyde. In Sri Lanka the majority group spoke Sinhalese and were part of Buddhist culture. The minority spoke one of the major Indian languages, Tamil, and were part of the Hindu culture shared by sixty million Tamils across the thirty-mile strait separating Sri Lanka from India. The groups on the island, known as Ceylon when ruled as a British colony, had a history of harmony. But after the British departure in 1947, they were pushed into conflict by the competitive pressures of democracy. Politicians could not resist appealing to ethnic identity to win votes. As is often the case, ethnic differences manifested themselves in ways that could be exploited politically. One issue involved schooling. The minority Tamils tended to perform better in schools: to satisfy the Sinhalese, Tamil access to universities was limited by quotas. - pg. 95, WAR, PEACE, AND INTERNATIONAL POLITICS, David W. Ziegler, Addison-Wesley, 2000 In our Easter issue editorial, there was a big mistake in a sentence which referred to the rise of Belize’s Mestizo/Maya as having taken place over the last “five, six centuries.” “Centuries” should, of course, have been “decades.” Inside the old capital today, the relationship between Mestizo/Maya Belizeans and African Belizeans is a very interesting and perhaps delicate one. Economically, the Mestizos have surged upwards in the business sector, and there was a certain amount of resentment at their success felt by the black masses.

At the end of April last year, the leader of the George Street gang, Shiny Tillett, was shot dead (along with a lady friend) in his vehicle at a gas station on the Northern Highway. At the time, George Street had built a reputation as the most deadly and efficient gang organization in Belize City. In fact, when Shiny Tillett was killed, the indications were strong that, under his leadership, George Street had entered an alliance with the feared Ghosttown Crips from Mayflower Street. In the early 1990s, Belize City’s gang configuration had been imported directly from Los Angeles: it was basic Crips and Bloods. Majestic Alley and Mayflower Street were Crips, and George Street led the Bloods. Later in the 1990s, a branch of the Bloods emerged in the Mahogany Street/ Complex area which called itself PIV (Peace In the Village). Today, the gang dynamic has become less monolithic, more splintered, more difficult to analyze. Belize City is the largest population center in the nation, but it is still a small place. Everybody knows everybody else, and what mainstream, “respectable” society does not wish to acknowledge, or have discussed, is the fact that there are legitimate businessmen and supposedly decent politicians and bewigged attorneys who have personal, even intimate, contact with gang leaders and personalities. In Belize City, for argument’s sake, we can say that there are two worlds living side by side – the legal, legitimate world and the criminal, violent, gang world.

What a difference a week makes! Just last week Wednesday, when our newspaper hit the streets with the Week 7 updates on the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season Tournament, defending champion Belmopan Bandits was trailing Belize Defence Force (BDF) in the standings, and Police United was still entertaining strong hopes of making it to the playoffs once more. A lot has changed in this past week, when the PLB introduced the first of two sets of mid-week encounters to try and complete the current regular season in time for the CONCACAF Champions League draw, where the Open and Closing regular seasons aggregate winner will get to represent the Jewel. There were Week 8 mid-week games last Wednesday and Thursday, March 27 & 28, then the Week 9 weekend games on Saturday and Sunday, March 30 & 31, and last night and tonight there are the Week 10 games. So that, since our last report, three sets of games have occurred. And the biggest item of note in those games is the re-entry onto the Belizean football scene of the nation’s number one striker, Deon McCaulay. Fortunately for Belmopan, and unfortunately for all other PLB teams, the rumors have materialized, and Deon has donned the Bandits uniform and unleashed his goal scoring fury upon all would be contenders.

He will be 25 years old in a few weeks on April 26, but today 24-year-old Darnell Barrow continues to celebrate a victory whose significance he is still grappling with and growing to appreciate more and more. There are races, and there are races, on the cycling calendar in Belize, the USA, and the world. But with each passing year, the mystique and the glamour of the Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic keeps growing with even greater cultural, historical and romantic allure, as one more rider gets his name added to that immortal list of Holy Saturday Cross Country Champions. In 15 years’ time, our Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic will be celebrating its own “centenary”; unbelievable. Indeed, as noted by Krem’s Eejay Hill, it is the oldest cycle race in the Western Hemisphere. That will be a huge milestone, and the race will surely be even bigger, as our population grows, as well as the world-wide fame and respect for this special historical and sporting tradition that has stood the test of time, and, like good wine, only keeps getting better.

Belizeans angry over Guat officials’ sanction of map on passport, which annexes Belize to Guatemala. Guatemala has been stepping up the use of maps that Belizean officials deem to be “provocative and retrogressive,” because they either tacitly or blatantly depict Belize as a part of that territory, with the western border between the countries represented by just a dotted line, and in more overt maps, with Belize shaded in as a part of Guatemala. The most notable cases that have arisen this year include the use of a map by a Guatemalan official at a meeting of the Organization of American States in February. Although that official claimed that the map had been inadvertently used, the increasing use of those provocative maps has led the Government of Belize to question whether the government of Guatemala is taking a more aggressive stance in staking its unfounded claim over Belize. Since the OAS meeting, Belize’s basketball stars were met with a similar affront when they traveled to Guatemala later that month for a competition and saw a sports federation logo with Belize annexed to Guatemala appearing on jerseys, as well as on memorabilia for the event. This was occurring even as that country’s Ministry of Education was urging schools to use similar maps, stating that the resolution of the territorial differendum is pending.

The Reporter

Part V: Our case in Customary International Law
Last week, the Belize government, via a Cabinet press release, said: “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 Jose Miguel Insulza for the parties [Belize and Guatemala] 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, had decided to reject the Guatemalan proposals in their entirety.” These series of events have cast serious clouds over the entire process and to some it may appear that the much-debated referendum is on life support. Nevertheless, with or without a referendum, it is still imperative that we continue to keep ourselves informed on this issue. With that said, Road to Referendum will continue to discuss Belize’s legal positions in the territorial dispute and things related to it. As was stated in the very first issue, this series is not geared towards persuading or dissuading readers: it is geared simply towards ensuring that Belizeans are informed of where exactly we stand legally in the matter.

Woman kills in Sarteneja
A Sarteneja woman, accused of stabbing to death 36-year-old Veronica Gonzalez over the Easter holiday, was charged with murder in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court and remanded to the Belize Central Prison on Wednesday. The accused, Norma Pena, 39, a domestic and resident of Moho River Street, Orange Walk Town, was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Gonzalez, a Belize City resident who had gone to Sarteneja to spend her Easter vacation, was reportedly stabbed in the neck, and stomach. She died on the way to the Corozal Community Hospital at about 3:00 a.m. The stabbing reportedly occurred around midnight on Saturday, when Gonzalez and her sister, Wendy Aragon, were attacked while they were socializing in the park. The two women had gone to use an outside bathroom across from the park at Aragon’s home, when the stabbing occurred.

Two men charged with attempting to kill two policemen
Two Belize City men, who are accused of trying to kill two police officers last Saturday, were remanded to prison on Tuesday, after they were arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Alexander Underwood, 23, a carpenter of a Reggae Street address, was charged with the attempted murder of Police Constable Raphael Abraham. Dane Enriquez, 30, a mechanic of Nurse White Street, was charged for the attempted murder of Abraham and a second officer, Police Special Constable Juan Morales. Enriquez was also charged with aggravated assault on Morales, unlawful assault with a dangerous instrument and damage to property. No plea was taken for the charges of attempted murder, because those will he heard on indictment before the Supreme Court. Enriquez, however, pleaded not guilty to the other charges.

National Stadium partially accessible
Belizean athletes may soon be allowed limited access to certain parts of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, to be renamed the National Stadium, even though the facility won’t be complete and ready until the end of the year. Minister of State with responsibility for sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth made the announcement at a consultation for a national sports policy at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Wednesday, April 3. The entire project will cost $30 million, whenever it is finally completed, and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has chipped in handsomely, contributing $2 million towards its completion. For now, Longsworth said the public may be allowed some access to those parts of the facility which have been completed. These include the football pitch, which was completely redone at a cost of $200,000. The Belize Volleyball Association will also have access to the beach volleyball facility, which also has a smaller set of concrete bleachers beside it. Athletes preparing for last months 10th Central American Games in Costa Rica, where Belize won only four medals, complained bitterly that they were not allowed to use the state of the art synthetic running track on the new 400 meter oval running track at Marion Jones.

Four men charged for special constable’s murder
Four men accused of shooting and killing 36-year-old Police Special Constable Bertchel Ramirez on Tuesday night, are scheduled to be arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Friday, Belmopan police confirmed. Police revealed today that they have apprehended four suspects, who were taken to San Ignacio for an identification parade. Ramirez, a six-year police veteran attached to Belmopan area and described by on of his superiors as a dedicated officer, was ambushed and killed near the home of his girlfriend’s father’s in an area of Roaring Creek Village known as Another World. Ramirez received gunshot wounds to his head, body and legs. Neighbours told reporters that they heard between 12 and 15 shots. When the first shots were fired, Ramirez apparently tried to manoeuvre his Toyota Camry car in a desperate attempt to escape his attackers, some of whom had taken up an ambush position behind a culvert on the intersection of the street. He, however, did not get far, because his car crashed into a drain, and remained stuck there,

Oil discovered in Orange Walk
Maranco Energy Belize Limited has struck oil at its South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in the Orange Walk District. The company made the discovery during routine exploratory drilling in their concession zone on Sunday, March 30. A Ministry of Energy press release describes the find as “encouraging”, but underscored the need for further testing to determine if the oil is in commercial quantities. Chief Executive Officer of the ministry, Dr. Colin Young, explained that Geology and Petroleum Department personnel are on site and are closely monitoring the situation. Young added that there have been previous oil discoveries in the north, but the amounts were below commercial quantities. The Ministry is expected to give a public update on the testing in two weeks. Maranco Energy Belize Limited is owned by Maranco LLC of Carlestown, Nevis, West Indies and has its headquarters at Iguana Creek in Spanish Lookout. It is an affiliate of PR Marriott Drilling Limited, a company established in 1947 by the Marriott family of the UK. The company’s production sharing agreement (PSA) was opposed in 2006 by NGO’s such as the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, because a portion of its concession runs into the Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area. The area is home to more than 100 species of orchids as well as various Belizean wild cats including jaguars and ocelots. They argued that any form of oil prospecting in the area would be detrimental to the surrounding wild life.

BTV gets OAS support for weekend border trek
The Organization of American States representative will accompany the Belize Territorial Volunteers as they clear the borderline between Dolores village and Gracias Adios this weekend, BTV leader Will Maheia said Thursday. The OAS responded to the BTV on Thursday via email, saying that they have requested Mr. Sergio Benitez, director of the Office of the General Secretary of the OAS in the Adjacency Zone, to be present at the locations where the border clearings will take place. Maheia explained that the BTV has been getting tremendous support from Belizeans in country and abroad, and the OAS’s recognition of their efforts has certainly bolstered the morale of all the volunteers. Maheia added that prior to the OAS giving their support, 100 volunteers had pledged to be a part of the border clearing efforts on Saturday. He said that the number has increased since the announcement. The BTV has received a shipment of durable camouflage clothing and heavy-duty trekking boots from Alix Dillett, a Belizean living in the United States, with the pledge of more assistance form other Belizeans abroad.

Policeman charged for rape
The police department has charged and interdicted a police officer accused of having raped a woman of Bullet Tree Village last month. Police reported Thursday that, in reference to the allegation, “police constable # 654 Eldrid Clinton Thomas has been charged with two counts of “an act to the prejudice of good order and discipline and one count of drinking intoxicating liquor while on duty. “He has been placed on immediate interdiction,” a release states. Thomas is one of the two officers assigned to the village which figured in the rape allegation. The woman, who admitted that she was intoxicated at the time, alleged that the men raped her when they were taking her home on Saturday night, March 23, after she and her common-law husband had a dispute at a local bar. The officers reportedly removed them from the establishment, and took her home separately from her husband.

The Belize Times


Miriam’s Magical first trip to Belize
In late November, I decided that it was high time I visited my good friend Henry in San Pedro, Belize. He had been there for 6 years and I still hadn’t managed to find the money or time to fly down from the freezer that they affectionately call Winterpeg (Winnipeg, Canada). I picked a great time to go because this would prove to be one of the coldest, snowiest winters that anyone could remember in a long time. I had no idea exactly where Belize was even located but a quick Google search revealed Belize just South of Mexico. Shouldn’t be too difficult. I researched two ways to get to San Pedro. The first and quickest one is to fly into Belize City on the mainland and then take a plane or ferry to San Pedro on Ambergris Caye. All the flights I checked into online involved 2 stop overs in the USA and were marathons of 17 to 22 hours or more of travel time. The other option is to fly into Cancun, Mexico. Direct flights and flights with one stop over are plentiful from Winnipeg. A direct flight is about 5 hours but by the time I booked in the last week in November for a mid-January holiday, there were no direct flights left so I settled on one stop over in Toronto and an eight hour flight for about $730 Canadian. Not bad. Not bad at all.

A Few Interesting Signs in Belize City
A few weeks ago, I posted a selection of the colorful, tropical hand painted signs of Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Here is another example at a small ice cream stand in Caye Caulker. or a grocery store in San Pedro. Yesterday while I was in Belize City briefly…for some good local food at Suly’s… (Really good beef soup with quadruple starch just like I like it. Coconut rice, potato, cassava, pasta twirls AND broken up spaghetti.)

“Something To Think About” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With the mouth feeling less sore this morning after showering, etc I headed off to Estel’s to see how the gums would stand up to some crispy bacon. Just fine is the answer. Not back to their best yet but getting there. Whilst sitting there waiting for my breakfast to arrive I fired off a couple of emails to the golf cart dealers I have been communicating with. The simple message being a request that they ‘sharpen their pencils’ (for those that have not come across this expression before it basically means ‘improve your offer’ which, in my case, means reduce the price). Found out when I got ‘home’ ( well to the condo we are renting) -when I went on to Facebook – that on the table next to me at Estel’s had been Wes and his wife. Wes is a subscriber to this blog and has posted a few comments . Small world. Or at least a small restaurant! Didn’t really do anything too much when I got back to the condo apart from starting to read The Litigators by John Grisham . A book by him that I have yet to read. Had a bite to eat for lunch and then it was time for Rose and I to head off to review progress on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. We got there at around 2.45 pm and could see that there was a lot going on.

BELIZE Fashion Week 2013
Runway Show April 12 & 13

Fool-Proof Cookie Recipe: Chocolate Chip Amish Puff Cookies
I am kine uf obsessed with chocolate chip cookies. Okay, nairy kine uf. Totallee. I have tride more chocolate chip cookie recipes thun innyone thishere side uf innywhar. As a result uf all thishere testin, I have a handful uf recipes that air all mah “faves.” Thay’re like youngns, I a'ken’t choose jes one and thay all have personalities that air unique, wunderful, and sweet!

International Sources

Belize on '10 Relaxing Solo Vacations' List
Belize made it on another top 10 list, although this list proves that the makers of top 10 lists have run out of ideas. Really, '10 Relaxing Solo Vacations For New Divorcees?' And Belize isn't in South America! Maybe the Huffington Post needs a new copy editor. At least San Ignacio got some recognition. "Like Costa Rica, Belize -- a South American travel destination that's recently become a trendy hub of sustainable tourism -- has a lot to offer the single traveler. Belize boasts the beauty and tranquility of a tropical getaway without the crowds, couples and high cost. Experience the local flavor by touring through Caye Caulker, San Pedro and San Ignacio, and make sure to schedule some R&R time at the country's stunning beaches and nature preserves. If you're feeling daring, don't miss adventure activities like climbing ancient Mayan ruins and ziplining through the rainforest."

Troubleshooting Powder Buns
In this video, I do version 1 and version 2 side by side to show any potential problems that may arise with the dough. Powder Buns are different in each Belizean household. Sometimes they are crunchy like a cookie, while at other times they are soft like a cake. Hopefully, this video will clear up any confusion you are having with which recipe to make and how sticky the dough should be before rolling them off.

Caribbean Development Bank to Support Belize Poverty-Reduction Fund
Various officials from the Caribbean Development Bank will be in Belize on Thursday, April 11th, for the launch of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF7) program.

BSC students visit Belize
During spring break, seven Bainbridge State College (BSC) students traveled abroad to Belize, Central America, accompanied by BSC faculty members Valley Rogers, Dr. Jenny Harper, and Ridge Harper. The Belize study abroad program consists of course work on campus and travel to Belize for a week of saturation in a different culture. Course objectives are met through completed work before traveling to Belize. “Students learn more than what the faculty could even plan to teach as they walk, eat, and observe in another culture,” Rogers said. Students taking course work in biology, anthropology and/or education classes complement the course work with the nine-day trip. The trip includes visiting three different districts in the country; starting in Belize City, moving north to Corozal District, and then east to Ambergris Caye. They compared previous cultures’ environmental influences on surrounding ecosystems and contrasted that to how modern-day Belizeans impact the environment. Students observed the art, architecture, archeology, and cultural evidence left behind by the historical residents of the Mayan culture while climbing three distinctly different temples in three districts of Belize. Students were graciously invited to observe in the primary and secondary schools in Corozal, Belize, as well.

The Placencia, Canyon Acquisitions, Marco Caruso and Brent Borland announce resolution of Ontario Securities Commission Matter
The Placencia, Canyon Acquisitions, and their principal owners Marco Caruso and Brent Borland are pleased to announce that they have reached a settlement with the Ontario Securities Commission. All claims and allegations, which were isolated solely to the province of Ontario have been resolved and settled in full. As the settlement reflects, the matter was merely administrative, with no suggestion or implication of fraud or intentional wrongdoing. Both Caruso and Borland are pleased to have reached this resolution after the facts demonstrated that they made no misleading statements and that The Placencia principals acted with integrity and continued commitment to the project and ultimately to their clients throughout Canada. "Now that this matter is successfully behind us and our reputation and character have been properly restored through the revelation and analysis of the facts, The Placencia development is poised for a highly successful future. Marco and I will continue to passionately drive forward on our commitment to The Placencia, our clients and the wonderful country of Belize," said Brent Borland, Principal, The Placencia. While Borland and Caruso firmly believe and continue to maintain that their products are strictly real estate transactions, reaching this settlement was the best solution for the long-term benefit of The Placencia Project, our clients, owners and prospective buyers. Because of the significant inherent value of the underlying project assets, the financial strength of The Placencia development and unwavering commitment of the principals, it was possible to reach a resolution of the matter that was a fair and balanced result for all concerned.

Laporte Spanish Club travels to Belize
From March 14-20, 13 students from the Laporte High School Spanish class, plus Mr. and Mrs. Komulainen, traveled to Belize. While there they learned a lot about the culture of Belize and got to practice their Spanish. They visited two Mayan ruins, Lamanai and Xunantunich, both of which were built in the 900s A.D. They also got to take a canopy tour via zipline in the rainforest and explore the river caves. They went to the Belize Zoo where they saw animals native to Belize, such as the jaguar, macaw, Harpy eagle, and toucans. Finally they spent a day on San Pedro Island where they snorkeled at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. They got to see sea rays, sharks, turtles, sponges and numerous other animals.

USA Passport 101: How to apply, renew or replace
The process of obtaining, renewing, or updating a passport is exactly what one would expect when working with a government agency: tedious, mind-numbing, and overly complex. While you'll find everything you need to know about the often befuddling process on the U.S. State Department website, we've made things a little simpler for you by breaking down the basics—from forms to fees to IDs—and providing helpful links to the appropriate forms and websites. Getting your first passport To get your first passport, you'll have to show up in person. Make an appointment at an acceptance facility or passport agency; search for the one closest to you here. You likely live near a facility where you can get a passport. Many post offices and even some public libraries can accept passport applications.

A galactic star gazer takes a final look before bowing out (pictures)
After nearly four years of taking extraordinary images of the universe, the European Space Agency's Herschel space observatory has only weeks left before it exhausts its supply of liquid helium coolant. When the lights go out, ESA says that Herschel will have performed over 22,000 hours of science observations, 10 percent more than originally planned, according to Leo Metcalfe, the science operations and mission manager for Herschel at ESA's European Space Astronomy Center in Madrid. To mark the sunset of one of mankind's most successful space endeavors, it's worth taking a look back at some of the more spectacular images it's sent back to Earth. In this picture, you can see this enormous star-forming cloud, known as W3. It's located roughly 6,200 light-years away in the Perseus Arm, one of the galaxies of the Milky Way. The Herschel space observatory focused on W3 for clues about how how massive stars get born.

April 5, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Visitors Greeted by Island Ambassador, Ralph the Pelican
Dear San Pedro Sun, We are supportive of your “Worlds #1 Island” status and thought we would share one of our experiences while on the island. Today Bobby took us on a fishing picnic, while fishing for Barracuda and Snapper the neighborhood pelican, Ralph, dropped in for a visit. Not only are the people friendly but so are the pelicans! Yet another surprise from the great San Pedro. Sincerely, Mara and Martie Spokane, Washington, USA

Oil found in the Orange Walk District
Maranco Energy Limited has discovered an oil deposit in the Orange Walk District. On March 30th crude oil was discovered in the Gallon Jug area and although it is unknown if the quantity of the deposit is commercial, hopes are still high. A press release issued by the Minister of Energy, Science, Technology and Public Utilities,Honorable Joy Grant, stated that “Maranco Energy Belize Limited, on March 30, 2013, discovered an encouraging show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District.” Testing has commenced in the area to determine the estimated size of the oil field. The tests that are being conducted can take up to two weeks to yield results.

Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny fundraiser a hopping success!
SP Lions Easter Pancake Breakfast 2013-2Last Saturday, March 30th the San Pedro Lions Club held their second annual Pancake Breakfast with the Easter Bunny fund raiser. Starting before the 9am time scheduled to begin, (due to the enthusiastic guests who arrived early), the Lions Den was hopping with hungry and excited children along with their families. Everyone enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pancakes, sausage, sliced oranges and juice. Of course the real treat was the topping table where pancakes could be adorned with syrup, butter, chocolate syrup, jellies, sprinkles, marshmallows or shredded cheese. Some adventurous children opted to sample all of the toppings, leaving little sight of the smothered pancake underneath! The guest of honor was the Easter Bunny, who took time out from his busy schedule to visit with the children and pose for photos. Many children were delighted to see the over-grown rabbit, while some turned shy and maybe even a tad apprehensive at the unusual sight. There were lots of fun activities to enjoy; with coloring pages and crayons set at all the tables, even the grown-ups crafted pretty pictures! Children had fun playing Pin the Tail on the Rabbit and Bobbing for Eggs while others competed in Jump Rope and the always entertaining Egg and Spoon game. Ms Melody and friend Amy decorated the children with colorful face paintings and a new activity, Coco Bunny’s had the children creatively transforming a coconut into a bunny!

Ambergris Today

Texas Tech University High School to Open in San Pedro
Parents are always looking for options for their children and we have a new educational opportunity for the 2013-2014 school year. Multiple parents have been requesting a program that will allow their child to have an education comparable to the United States. Cheryl Bowen, Tina Hayden and Tammy Peterson took on the challenge of finding such a program. As a result, a satelite classroom of TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL (TTUHS) will be opening for student attendance in San Pedro on August 23, 2013. Texas Tech University High School (TTUHS) is NOT a Belizean school. It is a non-profit satellite school for the Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD) in Lubbock, Texas, USA. All of the course requirements, books and materials are established by the TTUISD. When a child enrolls, he/she is enrolling in an accredited US high school. He/she is attending a school in the United States, located in the Texas Tech University Independent School District without ever leaving Belize. THAT is the advantage of long distance learning! Students can access an education in the United States ONLINE instead of leaving Belize and traveling to live in the US.

Exercise on the Beach or Outdoors
One of the special treats you get from living in San Pedro is walking/running on the beach! It’s quite a privilege you have that I don’t think many of you take advantage of. Exercising outdoors is associated with feeling more revitalized, more energetic, and less tense, angry or depressed, than indoor activity. Exercise: An easy cardio workout on the beach is to walk 3-5 minutes to warm up your body, then start an easy jog for another 5 minutes. Run easy as long as u can, u won’t die. If you’re up for a challenge (depending on how much you overate or drank…Dorian) you can do several short sprints from one coconut tree to the next. You can walk or jog in between the sprints to give yourself a break; 20-30 seconds sprints is a good start. After you have done about 6 repeats of those sprints, you can continue jogging or walk for a cool down. I guarantee you’ll feel so much better running outside vs. indoors on a treadmill!

Epic Mickey Surprise Appearance during San Pedro Easter Holidays
I have always wanted to go to Disney World, but my wish came true much faster than anticipated. Therefore, my blog is dedicated to San Pedro's very own Epic Mickey and his surprising travels, appearances and memorable facebook pictures that surfaced on the web this past weekend. I was chilling with my friends at a very popular hot spot called The Office, when the conversation came up about the travels of this six foot Mickey Mouse and his appearance at some friend’s porch. His first appearance and feature was on facebook (hilarious right!). I was so excited and on the lookout for Mickey, but to my surprise he was sitting under a coconut tree next to The Office. I came up with the genius idea to continue his travels and take him for a little ride around town and have him make an appearance at Holiday Hotel’s Easter Beach party.

Misc Belizean Sources

Memorial service for Jim Hanna
Service will be at 3pm tomorrow Friday at the Catholic Church & Celebration Of Life at Coco Loco Beach Bar following funeral.

"Feather Fur and Fin" OFFICIAL VIDEO by Danny Michel

Poisonwood: Tree Lovers Beware - Do Not Hug This Tree
My introduction to Poisonwood (Metopium Brownie or Metopium Toxiferum of the familyAnacardiaceae) (Chechem in Maya), was unfortunately through a friend. This unfortunate friend ran afoul of Chechem while visiting an off-grid homestead/fishing camp in a village just outside Corozal Town Belize, Central America where we live. The symptoms where horrific and it took a month for my friend to fully recover. Those familiar with Chechem have a healthy respect for this wickedly toxic tree. My unfortunate friend suffered a head-to-toe painful, itching rash and blisters extending even to bottoms of his feet. Leg-swelling followed by infected lesions, became the result of insistent, irresistible scratching. Barely able to walk, help was sought from local physicians; but none of the salves, creams, pills and more they prescribed prevailed over the poisonous Chechem. We discovered, many painful weeks too late that Nature provides.

New Horizons engineering assistant makes a difference
Two airmen arrive at the construction site of the future Crooked Tree Primary Government School in a three-quarter ton truck, step out and unload a few tools of their trade. Staff Sgt. Joel Bradley, an engineering assistant assigned to the 823rd Red Horse Squadron, carries a tripod over his left shoulder and an auto level in his right hand as he walks toward and surveys the site he will be working at for the next 90 days Bradley, deployed from Hurlburt Field, Fla., is one of approximately 500 airmen who will be participating in a training exercise known as New Horizons. As part of the exercise, Red Horse airmen will be partnering with Belize engineers to build school structures at four different locations in Belize. “This is a great opportunity and makes you feel proud,” said Bradley. “Knowing the schools we are building will provide added opportunities for the children for years to come is what is most rewarding.” Although this son of a U.S. Marine has deployed multiple times before, this is the first deployment in his six-year career as a member of Red Horse. Bradley explained how this training exercise is providing him an opportunity to grow.

New Horizons’ supplies arrive at Belize port
Nineteen containers arrived to the port of Belize April 2 on U.S. Army Vessels Runnymede and Brandy Station. The containers were filled with supplies for New Horizons, a U.S. Southern Command exercise providing medical and dental treatment as well as constructs needed structures, such as classrooms, throughout Belize. New Horizons gives U.S., Canadian and Belizean personnel an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting, in order to be prepared to meet future challenges. This is the second shipment received at the port for the exercise. Master Sgt. Wilbert Hall, logistics superintendent assigned to the 823rd RED HORSE Squadron, was responsible for coordinating the offload of the goods, accounting for the items, and arranging transportation to get them to proper locations. “It is an excellent program,” said Hall. “I enjoy helping others. It is great to help other countries and have them see a different part of what we do.”

VIDEO: Tremaine: Keeping from Idle
Belize is a country with a population just over 300,000. it also has the six highest homicide rate in the world. This story is set in one of the toughest neighborhood in Belize city. The Community Disaster Response Teams of Jane Usher Boulevard have formed the "Jane Usher Neighborhood Association (JUNA) which was officially registered in July 2012. JUNA have been actively working to improve their community and have already submitted funding proposals to local organizations. Tremaine is the vice-chairperson of the JUNA association. He was also second runner up for the Belizean Citizenship Award in September 2012, an award for youth to be recognized for outstanding work within their community. Belize Red Cross and Norwegian Red Cross continue to work in partnership to support vulnerable urban communities in Belize.

Sawdust Tapestries in Benque
One more round of pictures of the art from the Sawdust Art Project in Benque. Some great work there.

PACT Awards Over $800,000
The Protected Areass Conservation Trust had their awards ceremony today, and they awarded over $800,000 for small and medium sized projects. In Cayo, the Friends for Conservation and Development was awarded almost $140,000. Thanks, PACT! "On Thursday, April 4, 2013, PACT held a Grant Award Ceremony at the Guanacaste National Park in Belmopan, during which it awarded over $800,000.00 in new project grants! PACT awarded Small and Medium-Sized Grants for projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness as follows... Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) will work to 'Develop GIS Capability to monitor land use change' in the Chiquibul National Park. Through this project, FCD will continue to ensure efficient monitoring and enforcement execution along Chiquibul’s western border. FCD will also socialize and raise the visibility of agriculture incursions issues."

CARICOM Song Competition
It's time to show the Caribbean how amazing Belizean music can sound. How many future 'Andy Palacios' are there in Belize? Many! Caricom is having a 40th anniversary song competition, with huge cash prizes for the winners. $20,000bz for 1st place. NICH has a press release out detailing the rules. Best of luck! "Good morning Everyone. We need your help in letting all musicians know about the CARICOM 40th Anniversary song Competition. The song will be launched at the 34th regular meeting of the conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community to be held in July 2013 in Trinidad and Tobago. First place receives a cash prize of US$10,000 dollars, second US$5000 and third US$2,500. Where are our Cayo Musicians? For more information please contact us at 824-0783 or email us at"

Cayo's Easter Fair
The SISE Town Council had their annual Easter Fair. Here are some pictures from Easter Sunday.

Direct Assistance Grant Scheme Proposal Writing Workshop


Channel 7

Police Monitoring Suspect Group of 9 Chinese At Airport
Details are sketchy at this hour, but the arrival of 9 Chinese persons at the Phillip Goldson International has raised many eyebrows this evening - even among law enforcement. The group is still at the airport at this hour - and the GSU has also been dispatched to the airport, presumably to monitor since they are now part of the Special Branch. But, it's not a police matter, it is solely in the hands of the Immigration Department - who still has the nine persons in their aiport office. The group arrived on a TACA flight at about 4:30 this afternoon and their sponsor is reportedly a prominent, well-connected Chinese businessman from Belmopan. He has a number of vehicles at the airport to transport them once they are cleared. There's also a large group of Chinese there at the airport to receive them. It's what you might call a cute situation - as visas for Chinese are notoriously difficult to get legitimately. But, at this point it's too early know if there are shady dealings involved. As we said, the group of nine is still at the airport and we'll keep following it closely.

Oil Minister Speaks About Oil Find
Is there another commercial grade oil field in northern Belize? That's been all the buzz this week - but while everyone's asking the question, really no one's sure right now. Today the Minister with responsibility for Petroleum Joy Grant commented on the oil show. Speaking with the media at a private sector forum in Dangriga she said there is measured optimism: Hon. Joy Grant - Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities "Well first, we're very excited about what we found over the weekend, which was an encouraging oil show. We continue to do the tests. They're several different phases in exploratory work. They start with the sizing, and then they go to exploratory wells and then to production. So, we are at the point now where we're continuing at the end of phase 1, and hopefully within the next 4 days or so, we will know whether we'll go into the second phase which will then determine unequivocally that this is a commercial find. As you can imagine the ministry, we want to be very sure that when we say anything to the Belizean public that it's based on the facts on the ground. So our staff, they've been there 24 hours since we got the show, and we will report very quickly to the Belizean public as we get more information. But we continue to be encouraged."

Galen Univ Rinses 7 Players, All At Once For Tardiness
Galen University's basketball team, The Eagles won the ATLIB Basketball Championship in February, easily defeating the University of Belize Black Jaguars. And so, the team should have bene riding a high, but tonight 7 players are outraged after they were abruptly and collectively kicked off the team today. And it all; happened because they are accused of arriving late to an event. It wasn't any ordinary event - it was the signing of contracts to grant them athletic scholarships. All ten players were told to appear the University's Belmopan Campus in formal attire with their parents at 11:00 where they would meet President Dr. Louis Zabaneh to sign the athletic scholarship contracts. One player - who asked to remain anonymous - told us that he got there at five minutes to eleven but was told by the security that he was late and the doors were closed. After that six other players and the coach(!) showed up at 11:00 and they too were not allowed to enter. They were then informed that at the instruction of Dr. Louis Zabaneh they had been kicked off the team - which they took to mean that their athletic scholarships were also cancelled.

Targeted For Extradition, El Turk Back In Court
Khaled El Turk, the Lebanese Belizean wanted in the United States for pseudoephedrine trafficking, has made several trips to Magistrate's Court since December 19, 2012. Well today, he was taken back where his attorneys made submission on his behalf to resist his extradition to the US. Attorneys Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvester presented the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith with 3 main submissions that they would rely on to convince her to discharge El Turk from the proceedings. The first was that under the extradition treaty with the US, one of the requirements for a person to be extradited is that the offence being allegedly committed has to exist in the laws of both countries. Flowers submitted that the 2 offences that El Turk is charged with, being the importation of pseudoephedrine and conspiracy to the importation of pseudoephedrine, do not exist in the Laws of Belize. The second submission was that the documents, which the US Government has provided for the extradition process, are irregular because of the mandatory requirements was not met.

Four To Be Charged For Murder Of Slain Cop
Belmopan Police still haven't charged anyone for the murder of 36 year old Police Constable Bertchel Ramirez. As we reported, the 36 year old was ambushed and shot multiple times by four men as he sat in his car when he went to visit a friend in the Another World area of Roaring Creek Village. A dozen expended shells were found on the scene and two persons were detained initially. The news tonight is that two more persons were detained late last night, bringing the total to four. An ID parade was conducted today and charges of murder are being prepared for them at this hour. They are expected to be arraigned tomorrow.

Belmopan Cops Killed A Dog Called "Puppy"
And Belmopan police are going especially hard on this case, after all, one of their own was killed. In fact, one Roaring Creek resident says they went so hard that they killed his dog! Erwin Garbutt whose cousins were among persons of interest says police killed his dog - even thought it was on a chain: Erwin Garbutt - Dog Owner "All that I saw was the dog was tied. They opened the next fence at the back; they came in from that back. They came in from everywhere so I didn't see why they had to shoot the dog. It's not a dog that was a violent dog; it was a puppy, a little dog only because the dog is tied. Anybody it doesn't know that comes to the gate, well it will come and see who comes to the gate, and all that I'm saying is that at least they could have just - because the dog tie short from the step, it wasn't going to reach the door even if they went around to the next gate." Monica Bodden "He posed no threat to them?" Erwin Garbutt "Nothing because the gate was still locked, all I would just want is they to show me that respect and give me that courtesy when they come by my place.

Territorial Volunteers Get Some Acknowledgement From OAS
This weekend, the Belize Territorial Volunteers will go back to the Belize/Guatemala border in their efforts to make a clear and definite boundary between both countries. And their efforts will be bolstered a donation to the organization by American Alex Dillett, of jungle clothing and footwear. The members of the BTV are especially excited about it because according to them, the next few areas that they will be work to clear will be more challenging without the proper attire. The donation was handed over to the BTV yesterday, but this isn't the only good news that the organization is getting. As we showed you in our coverage of the first effort at the Jalacte Border, a representative from the Organization of American States was present, but he made himself scarce when the media attempted to approach him. The BTV wrote to the OAS to request their presence as an oversight observer to witness that their effort is meant to be a peaceful one. They have since received a response from the OAS which has pledged that a representative will be present during all their expeditions to the border for the month of April.

Talking Renewable Energy In The South
In February, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities held a private sector forum in Belize City. They're pushing an agenda of renewable energy sources - to get Belize away from a costly fossil fuel dependency. Today, the Ministry took that message south to Dangriga - where they held a similar forum at the Pelican Beach Resort. Today, the buzz word was biomass - they type of energy produced at BELCOGEN from Bagasse, for example. Dr. Kenrick Leslie pointed to regional dependency on fossil fuel and its crippling effects: Dr. Kenrick Leslie - Executive Director, CARICOM Climate Change Center "When we had the spike in the cost of petroleum, some of the countries in the Caribbean had to fork out as much as 50% of their current earnings to purchase fossil fuel. If you have to pay out 50%, nothing is left for development, and therefore it is in our interest to try and change, come with a new approach in terms of using our indigenous renewable energy. Belize, as the minister said, is blessed because we have an abundance of different types of energy. It's a question of how we mix it, and how we access it."

"Police Went Crazy Corrupt At My Crib"
Last night we told u about allegations of police abuse by 2 young men who went to spend Easter in Independence. And now tonight there is another credible allegation of outrageous abuse by police. Carol James, a business woman of Central American Boulevard alleges that corrupt police officers went into her house, found her licensed firearm and then wrongfully detained her fiance. The incident happened on Wednesday night sometime between 9 and 10. James was out of the country when the officer came to her house. Her fiancé was at home and allowed the men inside. He claims that he told the officers about James licensed 9mm firearm that was inside her drawer with all her documents. The officers still proceeded to detain him for the firearm. But that wasn't all. James fiancé alleges that the police officers told him they would release him if he paid them two thousand dollars in cash - which he refused. And so he was locked down for 7 days! Today the family gave us their story: Carol James - Claims Police Corruption "What happen is I got a call from an officer stating that my fiance was locked up and it was best for me to come because they're charging him for my gun that is licensed. So, he said if they're charging him for the gun and the gun is licensed, its best for me to come when he goes to court; I can present my license to the judge. So I flew back to Belize City on Saturday, and I was trying to get in touch with a lawyer but it was a holiday weekend. So, I couldn't get in touch with anybody until Tuesday morning.

Multiple Cops Being Investigated For Misdeeds
Police have also given a long awaited update on multiple complaints of wrongdoing leveled against police officers. First, from the report you heard last night by Adrian Daniels alleging abuse in Independence Town. Police say his statement and that of his friend have been forward to Southern Regional Commander Robert Mariano Noel Leal, Commander of Professional and Standard Branch in Belmopan City. Mariano is in Independence conducting his investigation. And, in another case of hideous abuse, specifically an alleged Rape in Bullet Tree village, police constable # 654 Eldrid Clinton Thomas has been charged with two counts of Act to the Prejudice of Good Order and Discipline and one count of Drinking Intoxicating Liquor while on duty. The alleged victim in that case withdrew her complaint.

PROFILE: Diangelo Ramos
Diangelo Ramos is the subject of tonight's I am Belize Profile. He's not famous, and has no great, news-making accomplishment - but, sometimes, just surviving requires a certain heroism and courage. That's what he showed when he was thrown out of his house when he was just in Standard Six. But with the kindness of a neighbor, he tells us how he bounced back:

"Ray Cat" Does Not Mince Words In Pummeling Cycling Critics
The 85th Cross Country Cycling Classic - was surely one of the more memorable cross country races we've seen in years. That's because a whole pack of riders rode into the city - and the field was wide open for anyone to seize the victory. Darnell Barrow did so in a decisive sprint - and in so doing, wrote his name into history for the fastest winning ride ever by a Belizean. One of the race favourites Brandon Cattouse was lost in the mix; he came in 11th, despite having one of the strongest pair of foreign riders on his team to carry him to the line. That includes Luis Pullido Naranjo - one of the powerful Mexican's who set the high paced temp of the race. But, it was not to be - and last night on Lik Road, owner of the C0-Ray team and Brandon's father, Ray Cattouse named names when he assessed blame: Ray Cattouse - Owner, C-Ray Cycling Team "I have a lot to say; a lot of people won't like to hear what I have to say but I have a lot to say. Not to try put the blame on nobody, we lost the Cross Country, Brandon rode a hell of a good race but."

PACT Cares With Cash
Protecting Belize's vast Natural Resources is a daunting task. All the different advocacy organizations around the country make the best effort that they can, but their initiatives are often handicapped by a lack of funding. Well today, the Protected Areas Conservation Trust held a small ceremony in which they announced that they will be providing $800,000 in funding to 6 different organizations based on their proposals which they submitted prior to the selection process. Here's what the Acting Director told the gathering: Natalie Rosado - Acting Executive Director, PACT "We are elated today to award $808,671.18 in 6 grants. One small and 5 medium size grants; these grants will be awarded to the Toledo Institute for the Development and Environment, Friends for Conservation and Development, Program for Belize, the Southern Environmental Association, Ya'axche Conservation Trust and the Belize Cooperative - Fisherman Cooperative Association."

Channel 5

Late arrival of Chinese nationals at the PGIA; another visa scandal?
This afternoon a number of Chinese nationals arrived on a commercial flight at the Philip Goldson airport.  The group of about eight alighted a TACA flight late this evening. Their arrival raised suspicions and their travel documents were being thoroughly scrutinized by immigration officials at the PGIA due to a well known and well established [...]

Government ecstatic about promising oil find in Orange Walk
The government is being cautious, but optimistic about what could likely be a promising oil find. The Geology and Petroleum Department, along with officials from Maranco Energy Belize Limited, are currently working around the clock assessing an oil find in the Orange Walk District to determine whether the recent discovery is of commercial quantity.  On [...]

Minister says conditions of Maranco oil agreement favorable to Belize
While the PSA was granted by the government in March 2011, details of its terms are not known.  As required by the contract, Maranco has tendered a proposal to government to hand over twenty-five percent of its current acreage.  According to Minister Grant, the conditions of the agreement are favorable to Belize.   Isani Cayetano [...]

5 Eagles’ athletes lose their spot on team for being five minutes late
They soared on wings of eagles but time brought them crashing down to earth – five minutes of time, that is. Word spread quickly today that seven of ten members of the 2013 ATLIB champion Galen Eagles basketball team lost their academic scholarships because they were five minutes late to a meeting set up at [...]

…But will not lose their scholarships
Dr. Zabaneh reiterated that the students would still be given the opportunity to obtain their degrees, though he did say that the terms of the scholarship would change to include a greater obligation on the part of the students. Zabaneh stands by the action and by the importance of the message, and in fact says [...]

4 men to be charged in connection with murder of cop in Roaring Creek
Four men have been in police detention since Tuesday and are expected to be charged this Friday for the murder of thirty-six year old police constable Bertchel Ramirez. The men are said to be from Roaring Creek Village where the heinous murder happened on Tuesday night. Ramirez was visiting his girlfriend in the Another World [...]

Discharged from the force, Javier Castellanos bares his soul
For twenty-three years, Javier Castellanos served on the Belize Defense Force. His dream was to eventually steer the force as Commandant, but just before that was to take place, his career with the B.D.F. ended abruptly. Castellanos was discharged, his reinstatement was ordered and about to be challenged by the government when they decided to [...]

O.A.S. to observe the latest ‘clearing the border’ project
When we spoke with Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers on Wednesday, he told us that he had received no response from the Organization of American States or from the B.D.F. to a formal request made for observers this weekend as they work to clear the border. Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has [...]

43rd annual B.N.T.U. Convention
The forty-third annual convention of the Belize National Teachers Union concluded today in the capital where in late January, by the thousands teachers showed their muscle in respect of a long overdue salary adjustment. The two-day event was held under the theme, “B.N.T.U., Overcoming Challenges, Embracing Opportunities in Education” and over two hundred teachers from [...]

Unions to meet with Prime Minister on Friday; is the Collective Bargaining Agreement on the agenda?
The Teachers’ Convention also discussed the hot-button issue, the collective bargaining agreement it is negotiating with the government.  This Friday, the Joint Negotiating Team consisting of representatives from B.N.T.U., the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the National Trade Union Belize Congress of Belize will meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Tensions have been [...]

Land bonanza: the latest land scandal of the Ministry of Natural Resources
The Ministry of Natural Resources has been in the spotlight quite a bit about questionable land transactions. Usually, it is about some prime piece of property given to some family member or relation or political affiliate or friend as was the recent case of four prime pieces of land in the Placencia Peninsula. The defense [...]

Will Khalid El Turk be extradited to the U.S.?
Lebanese businessman Khalid El Turk appeared once again before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this morning. His trial is to determine whether or not El Turk is to be extradited to the United States where he faces charges relating to pseudoephedrine, which is a controlled drug in the U.S.  El Turk is accused of conspiring [...]

Police investigate allegations of terrorism by Independence officers
The Police High Command is reacting swiftly to a report we aired in Wednesday’s newscast. It was an appalling story of what was not so much Police brutality but Police terrorism, and against a minor, a student from Belize City. Nineteen year old Adrian Daniels and a minor were picked up in Independence Saturday afternoon, [...]

PACT Grants: over $800,000 provided to 6 NGOs
Each year the Protected Areas Conservation Trust, PACT, awards project grants to organizations to support the conservation and promotion of environmentally sound management of Belize’s natural and cultural resources. While the organizations who receive that much coveted funding assistance may change from year to year, the goal they work toward remains the same. This year [...]

Stakeholders meet to discuss ways to reduce dependency on imported energy
While the government is hopeful that a recent oil find will boost government revenue, renewable energy remains top on its agenda. This morning, stakeholders in the industry gathered in Dangriga to discuss how alternative energy sources can translate into less dependency on imported energy. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.   Isani Cayetano, Reporting Renewable energy, [...]

Healthy Living tackles the sniffles of allergies
What do pets, flowers and mold have in common? If the first things that come to mind are an itchy, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and congestion, then that means that you are one of millions of persons worldwide that suffer from nasal allergies. If you or your loved ones suffer from allergies, then tonight’s [...]


Four Men Arrested for Policeman's Murder
Four men are expected to be charged with the murder of 36-year-old Police Officer Bertchell Ramirez. The four were reportedly taken to San Ignacio for an identification parade after which they were brought back to Belmopan. They are expected to appear in court on Friday mor...

Customs Officer Becomes Latest Victim of Burglary
Corozal Police investigate the burglary of the home of customs officer Victor Tillett of the Halls Layout Area in Corozal. Tillett’s house was broken into over the weekend. According to the 39 year old man, sometime between nine am on March 28 and 4pm April second, his house was ...

Plans Finalized For The Formation of Belize Association of Planners
Local and international planners converged in Belmopan today to finalize plans of forming the Belize Association of planners, the fourth of its kind to be formed in the Caribbean. Today the final signing of documents to register the new association which according to one of its f...

Micro Entrepreneurs Struggle As Sales Dwindle In The Tourism Zone
Tourism has proven to be one of the greatest income earners for Belize over the years. Today reporter Marion Ali and cameraman Myles Gillett tried to get a pulse of the people on the ground who depend on cruise tourism to make ends meet. MARION ALI " The 2...

Wednesday, April 3 --------- Police Murder Under Investigation
A police officer was shot and killed last night. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI Police Constable 380, Bertrell Ramirez, a 36-year-old father of three who was assigned to the Belmopan Police Station for the past six years was murdered on Tuesday night; shot...

Youths Claim Police Brutality
Two Belize City youths are claiming they were the victims of police brutality over the Easter weekend. The two young men, eighteen year old Adrian Daniels, along with a friend, a sixteen year old minor told Love News they went to Independence Village for the Easter weekend. Daniels sai...

PG Mayor Announces Opening of Internet Cafe For Students Through Donation From Belizean Living Abroad
A number of computers have been donated to the Punta Gorda Town Council. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG " The donation is timely as the computer are a necessity and will be put into helpful use for students and children who need access to such servi...

Consultation Meeting Looks At The Way Forward In Sports for Belize
A one day consultation between the Caribbean Sport Development Agency and the National Sports Council is underway in Belize City. Chairman of the National Sports Council of Belize, Allan Sharp says that among many things the consultation is geared to discuss the way forward in th...

Youth Program Coordinator Returns From Training on Intervention and Crime Prevention
The National Youth Program Coordinator for the Community Policing Unit of the Police Department Douglas Hyde is back in the country after having travelled to the United States and El Salvador for a two week training which looked closely at intervention and prevention of crime and viole...


BR's Pharmacy Robbed At Gunpoint
A pharmacist from Orange Walk Town, his employee and one of his clients are tonight recuperating from a frightful ordeal after two men robbed B.R’s Pharmacy located on Belize Corozal Road, at gunpoint. The incident played out on Holy Thursday at around 8:00pm. According to proprietor of B.R’s Pharmacy Alejandro Lopez, he was at the back of the establishment packing some medications and upon his return to the front area, he was met face to face with one of the two robbers who was armed with a firearm. Alejandro Lopez- Proprietor B.R’s Pharmacy “I was at the back packing medications that had reached. I had told my customer to wait so that I can check his blood pressure one more time so while in the process of that, I saw my worker that was frightened. She had a frighten face. That is when I got kind of surprise. While I was coming from the front from behind the curtain I saw that this Creole descent guy had a gun in his hand and was pointing it towards me. He told me, “give me you money.” But then I also realized that the customer was already on the floor and the guy, a tall slim, East Indian looking guy, had a knife at the neck of my customer. By that time, apparently the customer told me afterwards that they took away his phone. So I proceed to go to the back of the curtain where the cash pan is by this guy following me and pointing the gun at me. Then he asked him to give him the money. I took the money and gave him the money. He asked if it was all I had and I told his yes. He asked me to give him my phone. I told him that I don’t have a phone but my phone was on the table.”

Veronica Gonzalez Died Of Exsanquinations
In other news, the post mortem conducted on the body of 39 year old Veronica Gonzalez who died minutes after she was stabbed multiple times while in the Village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District on April 31st, shows that she died as a result of exsanguinations due to internal and external bleeding as a consequence of multiple wounds. Thirty nine year old Norma Pena has been charged for Gonzalez’s murder.

Angel Carrillo And Four Students Fined For Illegal Hunting
The month of March proved to be one of scandal for the Belize High School of Agriculture after four of its male students and one of its male teachers were accused of brutally attacking a Howler Monkey on March 5th. The male monkey died three days after while receiving treatment at Wild Tracks Centre, a Monkey Rehabilitation Facility in Sarteneja Village. News tonight is that the case against the four students, two of which are said to be minors and Teacher Angel Carillo, began yesterday at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. All five individuals were charged for illegal hunting by the Forest Department and now face a legal battle. CTV3 News understands that all five accused were awarded bail to the sum of $1,000 each plus one surety each of the same amount which they met. Their case was adjourned for June 26th 2013. As previously mentioned, the monkey’s brutal attack was cause for controversy both here at home and abroad.

Police Officers Recognized For Their Hardwork
The swearing in of 15 new Special Constables was not the only cause for celebration at the Orange Walk Police Department this afternoon. During the special ceremony, two officers of the department were recognized as Officer of the Month for the Months of February and March respectively. P.C Reynald Cacho joined the police force one month shy from his 19th birthday in the year 1985 and has been posted at stations across the country. Four years ago he was transferred to the Orange Walk Police Formation and has been a role model for his colleagues who elected him as Officer of the Month for the Month of February. P.C Reynaldo Cacho- Officer of the month for March “I feel great. This is my second award being here in Orange Walk under two different OCs, Mr. Mariano first and them Mr. Myvette.” Carmelita Perez, Reporter “To what would you say that you owe these two great achievements in your police career?” P.C Reynaldo Cacho- Officer of the month for March “Well I have been tasking for so long and at times I have been left out but then this time around I have been recognized because I take my work very seriously. I don’t play or drink at work.” Carmelita Perez, Reporter “What made you join the police task force?” P.C Reynaldo Cacho- Officer of the month for March “Well, seeing that I was- like was said in the biography- I decided to remain because I noticed that only this department can pay when you are resting night and day so that is one of the reason why.”

Corozal Police Conducts Anti Drug Operation
The Corozal Police Department carried out an anti drug operation last night which proved fruitful. The operation was carried out at a residence located on 3rd Street North in the Skeleton Area in Corozal Town which led to the discovery of a crazy glue case containing 2.7 grams of suspected crack cocaine. The suspected drug was found in one of the bedrooms. Present at the time of the search were 42 year old Charles Anthony Whitfield and 49 year old Gilbert Alexander Jones Sr. Both Whitfield and Jones were taken to the police station and charged for drug trafficking.


Students from Galen University kicked off the basketball team
Tonight we intended to bring you the story of some ten students from the University of Galen, who were to sign contracts renewing their athletic scholarships with the Galen Eagles Basketball team, but when our news team arrived at the Satellite Campus in Belmopan, there was a major shift...

Planning professionals meet to register Belize Association of Planners
Members of the planning profession in Belize merged efforts and knowledge today in signing on to the Articles and Memorandum of Association for the Belize Association of Planners (BAP), and registering it as a Non-Governmental Organization making Belize the fourth Caribbean country after Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad to have...

Oasis Ministry builds its 69th home for a family of ten
Pastor Ron Braaten along with his wife Linda, are the Board Directors for Oasis Ministry. The organization which is located in Unitedville, has been in Belize for the past fourteen years. Nine years ago, it started building homes for families in need across the country of Belize and yesterday,...

Female football team gets assistance from DFC
Gentle Touch is a female football team that was birthed in Esperanza village in the Cayo District. The team started small, comprising only of family members from the Gentle clan, but has since grown significantly and has earned recognition as a reputable team in the Belize football club. And...

COLA comments on murder of Police Constable in Roaring Creek
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has commented on this week’s incidents including the death of a police constable in Roaring Creek Village and alleged brutality inflicted by security forces on several young men from Belize City and Independence village over the Easter weekend. Stating that “The Department...

Police charge Norma Pena for murder of Veronica Gonzalez
Earlier this week, we told you about the stabbing murder of a woman in Sarteneja Village. 29 year Wendy Aragon was along with her sister, 39 year old Veronica Gonzalez, in the village, where they had planned to spend the Easter holiday. On Saturday, the women decided to go...

PACT holds Grant Award Ceremony
Today, PACT held a Grant Award Ceremony, where they awarded over $800,000.00 in new project grants. The grants went to projects under the themes of Protected Areas Management and Conservation, Protected Areas Promotion and Development, and Environmental Education and Awareness. PACT shared Small and Medium-Sized Grants among Belize Fishermen...

Whirlwind caused damage at weekend fair
A whirlwind caused quite some wreckage after it blew through an Easter Fair this weekend. Celebrators were attending an Easter Fair this past Sunday in Cayo, when just before noon, an early wind came spinning into the area, taking down a few posts, tents and stalls. And while no...

Armed thieves stole from pharmacy in Orange Walk Town
The last thing you’d expect when making a quick trip to the store, is to be caught in the middle of a hold up. But that’s exactly what happened on Easter Sunday, when thieves stormed into a pharmacy in Orange Walk Town. The owner of the establishment told Police...

The Guardian

MORE OIL! Maranco strikes Oil in Orange Walk
Testing is currently being conducted on an oil well dug in Gallon Jug to determine if it has potential to produce oil commercially. The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and the PUC issued a release which states that on March 30th, Maranco Energy Belize Limited “discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District.” The Well is located in the Gallon Jug area in property belonging to a company called Laguna Seca. According to the release, there needs to be testing done to determine whether or not the well has commercial potential. Personnel from the Geology and Petroleum Department have been on the site to monitor the situation. According to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Dr. Colin Young, the company has up to 18 months to do their appraisal on the well to determine its commercial viability. Maranco received its Production Sharing Agreement on May 3rd, 2011 on a 378,000-acre swath of private land in the Gallon Jug area of the Orange Walk District. Drilling at the South Canal Bank started on March 8th.

Darnell Barrow captures 85th Cross Country Cycling Classic
The Belize Cycling Association sponsored its 85th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic on Saturday March 30th, 2013. The historic and traditional ride started from in front of Leslies’ Imports on the George Price Highway at 6:00 am and then travelled the entire length of the highway to Columbus Park in San Ignacio Town where the cyclists turned and then headed back to Belize City for the conclusion on the Newtown Barracks in front of Hour Bar. The 139.6-mile event attracted 87 riders which included 6 from the USA, 10 Mexicans and 2 Guatemalans. At the end of the race, some 44 riders did not finish the course, while 41 riders cross the finish line. The record of 5:40:12 which was set by Ryan Baumann in 2009 was not broken, but this year’s race was the fastest ever rode by any cyclists that have participated in the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. In the last leg of the 139.6-mile race, some 15 riders which included Darnell Barrow of Team Santino’s Belize were heading for the finish line on the Princess Margaret Drive. In a dramatic to sprint to the finish line, Belizean Darnell Barrow was able to outsprint two foreigners to capture the 85th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic in a time of 5:46:49.

Police Constable executed in Roaring Creek
Police are investigating the murder of one of their own. The lifeless body of 36-year-old Police Constable Bertchel Ramirez was found in his blue Toyota Camry in Roaring Creek on Tuesday, April 2nd. Police reported that at about 11:20 p.m. on Tuesday night, they responded to reports of gunshots in the Another World Area of Roaring Creek Village. Upon arrival, they saw the lifeless body of Constable Ramirez in the driver’s seat of his car slouched over to the right side. An apparent gunshot wound was observed on his shoulder as well as one to the head. Ramirez was transported to the Western Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. No arrest has been announced as yet and police investigation into this murder continues.

Incentivising Solutions
Teenagers are notoriously vulnerable to negative influences that can take them on a detour from which it is difficult or impossible to return. The positive road is often the one that seems more difficult and longer even though its ultimate destination is more pleasant than the easier looking detour that leads quickly to nowhere or worse. Parents, schools and Governments are continuously trying to find ways to help young people avoid these negative influences that are now so ubiquitous. There are numerous solutions on offer from a variety of sources but sometimes our parents, schools and Governments, like the young people they are trying to assist, are lost when choosing solutions. Too often they look to the easier solutions that promise instant rewards rather than the more difficult and longer paths that get better results. In general, it is wise to be wary of any solution in this area that requires a payment of some sort, whether it is in fees to join an organisation, special materials or special speakers. Testimonials, either formal or informal, from a neutral source are an extremely important guide when evaluating different solutions. Let us review some of the not-for-profit programmes that consistently claim success to some degree to see what, if anything, they have in common.

Digicell 4G Opens Up New Avenues
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega says 4G Network will allow farmers and food producers to remain competitive and to bring down costs. With Digicell’s 4G cell sites having been activated between Belmopan to the Benque Viejo Border early last month, a similar pattern of activity is now taking place between Belmopan and Punta Gorda. Five more cell sites are now being readied for full operation between these two areas and when this takes place by mid-April of this year, it will mark a full Digicell 4G Coverage for Belize.

US Court dismisses Glenn Godfrey’s Case Against Government of Belize
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has dismissed a case brought by GDG Acquisitions LLC, a company belonging to Glenn D. Godfrey, against the Government of Belize for alleged breach of a Master Lease Agreement, purported to have been signed between a Belizean company, International Telecommunications Limited (“INTELCO”), and the then Minister of Budget Management, in 2002.

Macobi for Mark
Hon. Michael Finnegan was dead on when he told the National Assembly in Belmopan that the PUP has “Macobi” for Mark Espat. It would seem that the People’s United Party really has it bad for Mark Espat. At every public event and even in the dark corners where they lurk, they lament, complain and bemoan that Mark Espat is no longer a member of the PUP. It burns them to the core to know that if Espat had not removed himself from those low-down rotten individuals in the PUP, he could have made a difference in the last general elections for them. It is even quite likely that they would have formed the next government.

Belize gets $10.6 Million for Poverty Reduction
Various officials from the Caribbean Development Bank will be in Belize on Thursday, April 11th, for the launch of the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF7) programme. The Basic Needs Trust Fund is a program promoting poverty reduction through socio-economic initiatives and community empowerment. Its mission is “to be a community development programme that supports health, education, water and sanitation, access and economic activities through skills training, organizational development and infrastructure and services”.

No Verification of Prensa Libre’s Passport Article
Ambassador Alexis Rosado, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, “We would consider it very offensive if it is true that the Guatemalan Government intends to print such a map on its passport.” Rosado was sharing his reaction to an article in the Prensa Libre newspaper in which it said that Guatemala’s Ministry of the Interior is putting the contract for the printing of over four million passports in the next ten years up for tendering. The report says that the passports will include a map of Central America which illustrates that there is a territorial dispute with Belize. That will be illustrated by using a dotted line for the Belize-Guatemala border. News of the report has upset Belizeans both at home and abroad.

BTL launches its 2013 Telephone Directory
The Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) launched its 2013 Telephone Directory on March 27th, 2013 at the main market in San Ignacio Town. It was a fitting launch at the San Ignacio locality: for a photograph was taken there recently to eventually be shown on this year’s directory cover page.

UN Calls for Accelerated Action with 1,000 Days to Go on Millennium Development Goals
People around the world invited to join in boosting momentum for most successful global anti-poverty push in history

Violent Crime in our Neighborhood: What Matters to Central Americans Should Matter to Us
The United States has seen a dramatic decrease in violent crime over the last two decades. In 1994, more than half of all citizens reported violent crime as a major concern. Today, according to Gallup, only two percent consider it a serious problem. Sadly, in Central America – a region vital to our security and prosperity – violent crime is a pervasive concern. The region’s homicide rates are among the highest in the world, and other violent incidents are tragically commonplace. Crime routinely goes unreported or unsolved, and it impedes economic growth.

Two Men charged with Attempted Murder of Police Officers
30-year-old Dane Enriquez and 23-year-old Alexander Underwood are behind bars after they were charged for the attempted murder of Police Constable Raphael Abraham and Special Constable Juan Morales. According to a police report, PC Abraham and SC Morales were on motorcycle patrol in the Belama area on Saturday, March 29th, when at about 7 p.m., they saw a grey four-door Ford Ranger pickup truck parked in front of a church on Thomas Vincent Ramos Street in Belama Phase 4. The officers approached the vehicle and it drove off turning into Apollo Street. According to police, When Abraham and Morales rode ahead and attempted to stop the truck, the driver tried to knock down Morales who swerved off the road into the bushes. The truck then sped off but was followed by Abraham. Morales later joined the chase. After reaching a dead end in the Belama Phase 4 area, the truck came to a stop and someone from inside fired three shots at Abraham. He took cover, leaving his motorcycle on the side of the street. At this time, the Ford Ranger drove into Abraham’s motorcycle which got lodged under the front of the truck.

Tour guide charged for Operating without a Proper License
Shane Baizar, 29, a tour guide appeared in Magistrate’s court on Wednesday, April 3rd where he was charged for operating as a tour guide without first obtaining a license. Allegations are that on March 25th, 2013, whilst in the Village of Bermudian Landing, Baizar operated as a Tour guide without first obtaining a license. Baizar, who pleaded not guilty, asked the court to give an explanation in the matter. He told Magistrate Adolph Lucas that he was wrongly charged because of complaints by his competitors in the business. He said that in 2006, he was charged with the same offence but it was later withdrawn. That’s because he said that the charge was only placed against him as a malicious act by a competitor who feels threaten by him in the business. He said that his tours come to him from private people because he has a site and that he has a license to be a tour guide and that the charge only arose out of something seen on a website that does not even belong to him.

Police Officer from Cayo in Critical Condition
A Police Constable attached to the San Ignacio Police Formation is in critical condition at this time at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. The family members of P.C. Angel Tun are at his side at this time. Officer Tun was driving along the main street in Spanish Lookout, going towards Universal Hardware sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 pm on Tuesday April 2nd when the accident occurred. Tun was on his way to purchase parts for a motorcycle when a blue Ford Truck suddenly pulled out of a yard and he then collided into that vehicle. Police say that they are giving as much support as possible to Angel Tun at this critical hour. “We try to give as much support as we can, there is only so much we can do,” says a ranking Police Officer.

Delvith Retreage busted with Unlicensed 9 mm
34-year-old car dealer, Delvith Retreage appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Tuesday, April 2nd, to answer to charges of keeping unlicensed firearm and ammunition. According to police, officers responded to reports of a fight taking place at Celina’s Cool Spot in Ladyville Village at about 10:50 p.m. on Monday, April 1st. Upon arrival, they saw a man ran away and threw an object to the ground. The officers chased and apprehended the individual then took him back to the area where the object was thrown. They retrieved a 9 mm pistol containing a magazine with seven live rounds of ammunition. The man was identified as Delvith Retreage of Ladyville Village. In court, Retreage pleaded not guilty to the charges. Due to the fact that it was a firearm charge, bail was denied. Retreage will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on May 29th.

Michael Heusner gunned down on Mahogany Street
Police are investigating the murder of 28-year-old Michael Anthony Heusner of Courtenay’s Crescent in Belize City. Heusner was gunned down at about 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 1st, as he was walking on Mahogany Street. According to a police report, Heusner was walking on Mahogany Street from the direction of Mopan Street and heading towards Sarstoon Street when two males on separate bicycles rode up from behind. One of them pulled out a firearm and fired several shots at him. Heusner was struck by bullets multiple times to the head and body. He died on the scene. Six 40 caliber S&W expended shells were recovered from the scene. Police have not announced any arrest as yet.

Wallace Donald Matura succumbs to Gunshot Injuries
48-year-old Wallace Donald Matura was shot multiple times while standing at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal on Friday, February 15th. Matura’s shooting was not gang related and not the typical case of an individual’s bad deeds coming back to haunt him. Instead, this was the case of a man standing up for something noble. Matura witnessed an adult male advancing upon and disrespecting a female child. He later said, “I knew the child and her family and could not stand by idly.” Matura intervened and demanded that the man leave the girl alone. The embarrassed man went away and returned with another man. They then opened fire in Matura’s direction. He was shot a total of 8 times, receiving gunshot wounds to his abdomen, left hand, right hand and left leg. 26-year-old Carmita Chan and 32-year-old Alchea Harris also received gunshot injuries as they walked on Orange Street. Chan was shot in the left side of her buttocks and Harris was grazed on his left hip. All three individuals were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. Chan and Harris were released shortly after. Matura underwent emergency surgery and seemed poised for a full recovery. After surgery, he issued a public statement thanking Doctors Jose Moguel and Leah Rosado as well as the nurses for their tireless effort to save his life.

Twin Fishermen charged for Fishing without License
On Wednesday, April 3rd a pair of twins appeared in court after they were allegedly caught illegally fishing in the Robinson Caye area. The twins are identified as 31-year-olds Darwin Retreage, and Dwight Retreage both of #16 Queen Charlotte Street in Belize City. They appeared in Magistrate’s Court where they were charged with the offense of engaging in commercial fishing while not being holders of a valid Fisherman’s license. On Wednesday, April 3rd, they were caught in the Robinson Caye area engaging in Commercial Fishing and they did not have a valid fisherman’s license. They were additionally charged with possession of 19 undersized market clean conch. Darwin was also charged with one count of using a T-C vessel without a valid commercial boat license. Dwight was also charged alone with engaging in Commercial Fishing without being a holder of a valid Fisherman’s license. For the offenses Darwin was charged with, he pleaded guilty to all, and as a result, Magistrate Adolph Lucas fined him $400 for engaging in commercial fishing without a license. He has until May 24th, to pay the fine or in default 6 months. For using a vessel without a license he was fined another $400 which he was ordered to pay by July 5th, or in default 6 months. For possession of the conch, he was fined $300 to be paid by June 28th, or in default 6 months imprisonment.

Woman kills Another in Sarteneja
Two women were transported to the Corozal Community Hospital from Sarteneja Village on April 1st after they were stabbed by another woman. Police report that at about 12:01 on Monday morning, they were called out to a dance in Sarteneja village where they found 39-year-old Veronica Gonzalez of a Kings Park address in Belize City, suffering from stab wounds. Also found suffering from stab wounds was 29-year-old Wendy Aragon of an Antelope Street Extension address in Belize City. The women reportedly were involved in an altercation during which another woman, identified as 39-year-old Norma Pena of a Moho Street address in Orange Walk Town allegedly inflicted the stab wounds to both women. Gonzalez died while she was being transported to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk town at around 3:05 on Monday Morning while Aragon had to be admitted for treatment. Police have arrested and charged Pena with murder and attempted murder.

Sports Consultation underway with National Federations
The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State with direct responsibilities for Youth and Sports officially declared the 1st public Sports Consultation open this morning at the River Hall Room of the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel. The public consultation with the national federations (15) showed up this morning which included Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games is being chaired by Mark Mungal and Andre Collins the consultants from Caribbean Sport and Development Agency. The National Federations which are participating in the consultation process are Belize Volleyball Association, Belize Cycling Association, Belize Softball Federation, Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, Belize Table Tennis Association, Belize Boxing Federation, Belize Shooting Federation, Belize Sailing Federation, National Secondary Schools Sports Association, Belize Karate Association, Football Federation of Belize, Belize Bodybuilding Federation, Belize Triathlon Association, Belize Billards Association and members of the Board of Directors of the National Sports Council of Belize. The participants in today’s consultation are actually involved with practical applications that will help to form the Sports Policy and Strategic Plan for the period 2014-2017. The consultation will at its end of today’s activities will come up with the frame work for the Sports Policy and Strategic Plan.

Belmopan Bandits regain Lead in Premier League
The Closing Season of the Premier League of Belize Competition continued over the last week of play. On Saturday March 30th, 2013, at the MCC Grounds, FC Belize blanked Police United by the score of 2-0. The goals for FC Belize were scored by Leon Jones in the 20th minute of play and the second goal was scored by Michael Hernandez in the 75th minute of play. At the Placencia Football Field in Placencia, the visiting Belize Defence Force and the home team Placencia Assassins played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for the Belize Defence Force was scored by Byrone Usher in the 26th minute of play while the goal for the Placencia Assassins was scored by Dellon Torres in the 90th plus minutes of the game. The competition then continued on Sunday, March 31st with two more games. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, San Ignacio United FC edged Verdes FC by the score of 3-2. The San Ignacio United FC was the first to get onto the scoreboard when Seannon Defaur in the 26th minutes of play. The lead was further increased when Leonard Valdez scored the 2nd goal of the game in the 39th minute of play and the winning goal was scored by Garrel Bermudez in the 60th minute of play. The goals for Verdes FC were scored by Nahjib Guerra in the 47th minute of play and then the second goal was scored by Emanuel Martinez in the 78th minute of play.

Guardian Sports Council leads in Inter-office Softball Competition
The 2012 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition will be winding down this weekend at Rogers Stadium with the Semi-finals, Final and Grand Final of the Page System Playoffs. On Wednesday, March 27th, in the first of two games played, Guardian/Sports Council defeated Belize Bank by the score of 18-14. The Guardian/Sports Council scored 6 runs in the 1st inning, 1 in the 2nd inning, 5 in the 4th inning, 5 in the 6th inning and 1 in the 7th inning. Guardian/Sports Council scored 18 runs on 25 hits. The winning pitcher was Joel Wade and the losing pitcher was Gosden Ferguson. In the second game played, BWSL edged BTL by the score of 9-8. BWSL scored 1 run in the 1st inning, 1 in the 2nd inning, 2 in the 3rd inning, 3 in the 4th inning, 2 in the 6th inning. Meanwhile, BTL scored a run in the 1st inning, 3 in the 4th inning, 1 in the 5th inning, and 3 in the 7th inning. The winning pitcher was Shera Pandy and the losing pitcher was Bernard Pitts.

Tackle Box Buckles
San Pedro is the top Easter weekend destination in Belize. The island comes alive at night as bars and clubs offers partiholics the opportunity to party until the sun rises. One of the most popular establishments is the Tackle Box. It is famous for its party deck where individuals can party to hype music while enjoying the cool breeze blowing from the Caribbean Sea. That party deck proved to be extremely dangerous as it fell to the pressure of a massive Saturday night crowd. Over 500 people were partying at Tackle Box on Saturday night, March 30th. It is a relatively small structure and 500 is definitely beyond capacity. As the crowd drank, danced, jumped and pounded the structure with several tons of accumulated body weight, there was no real concern about the vulnerability of the wooden structure. At about 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, part of the party deck collapsed and over 40 individuals fell into the sea. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Unfortunately, those individuals lost personal items such as cell phones, jewelry, cameras, cash and more. Adding insult to injury, the management of the establishment seems unwilling to address individuals inquiring about compensation for lost property. Tackle Box was closed for the night and it is for the San Pedro Town Council to decide when it will reopen.

Mexico Daylight Saving time starts on Sunday, April 7th
The Embassy of Mexico informs that on Sunday, April 7th Mexico will begin Daylight Saving Time (Horario de Verano). On that day, clocks in Mexico will go forward one hour. That means that Mexico’s local time will run 1 hour ahead of Belize’s local time until October 27th, 2013. For example, 9:00 am in Belize local time will be in Mexico 10:00 am local time. For those traveling within Mexico, the Embassy reminds that the Mexico Daylight Saving Time applies to most of the Mexican territory, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Mexico City and Veracruz. If you are in transit through Mexico, please check your flight’s local time. For further information about the Daylight Saving Time in Mexico, please contact the Embassy of Mexico at 223-0193 or 223-0194 or write to

A Brief and Timely Word on Belize
Some of us make history; some write history; some read history; and some interpret history. Sad to say, some of us distort history. Although a macro and micro comparison, America and Belize are contemporaries of the early 1920’s, according to Byron Foster, “the date of the settlement was given as 1638.” However, it is said, purportedly, that Sir Walter Raleigh and Peter Wallace visited Belize before 1620. Whether the beginning of a relationship is the engagement or the wedding may be arguable, considering the engagement as a relationship that is prospective of the wedding. A long settlement, a territorial victory on September 10th, 1798 and British colonial status in 1862 preceded a long struggle leading to our Independence in 1981. The most regrettable consequence of British colonialism to Belize is the legacy of the long and lingering territorial dispute; the unfounded claim by Guatemala, despite our having become an independent and sovereign nation. Now the very controversial prospect of simultaneous referenda in conjunction with Guatemala to decide whether or not to send the matter to the International Court of Justice faces us as a country. Interestingly, the most recent development is that Guatemala is now requesting a postponement of the bilaterally agreed upon date for the referenda. However, should the matter go to the ICJ and the decision is for any transference of, or interference with the Belize we have known, our territorial integrity, repeatedly reaffirmed by the slogan, “not one square centimetre”, and our much loved patriotic song, “God’s Goodness Gave this Land to Me” will be history, unless God intervenes and defends us. And will He not? He has done it before! There are a few controversial aspects in the history of Belize. One of them is the veracity of the visit of Sir Walter Raleigh and Peter Wallace before 1620. Another is the frequent bone of contention regarding The Battle of St. George’s Caye. Distortions and negations of unwelcomed history by nations, even to the point of rewriting history, are not new. A classic example is in an interview by satellite in 1977 when Walter Cronkite questioned Anwar Sadat about the Israelites in Egyptian bondage. His response was, “There is no record in our history that Jews were held slaves in Egypt.” That is a most audacious national statement in the face of scriptural and oral history.

The Reporter

Guardian/ Sports Council leads Interoffice softball
The Guardian/National Sports Council continues to lead the 2013 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition with another victory 18-14 over the Belize Bank last Wednesday while the Belize Water Services outlasted Belize Telemedia 9-8 at the Rogers’ Stadium last Wednesday, March 27.

Darnell Barrow wins Cross Country
Darnell Barrow of the Santino’s team came within six minutes of setting a new record time, when he clocked 5:46:49 on his 150 mile ride from Leslie’s Imports in Belize City to San Ignacio and back to win the 85th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic organized by the Belize Cycling Association on Saturday, March 30. It was the fastest time for the Cross Country since American rider Ryan Bauman, also riding for the Santino team, set the record of 5:40:12 in 2008.


The Iguana Project at the San Ignacio Hotel And Learning to Eat Termites
Though you might not know it by just driving by, the San Ignacio Hotel Resort sits on quite a few acres of really beautiful jungle leading down to the Macal River. There are plenty of trails but you are going to want to get one of the hotel guides to lead you a 3 minute walk to the Green Iguana Project. A very cool program initiated by the hotel to educate guests, Belizeans and especially children about this native animal and how they (especially the “shes”) need to be protected in the wild. Green iguanas are purely vegetarian (unlike the more common “Wish Willys” on Ambergris Caye) and considered good eats in Belize…they are often referred to as “Bamboo Chicken”. The most prized eating is the pregnant female hunted in the spring for her meat and her eggs. I am not one to judge but seems to me that hunting pregnant animals is, as Belizeans say, “bad style”. Mature females can carry up to 80 eggs…and, well, you can see how killing them is dangerously diminishing the population. But let’s get to the tour… Here is our guide Eddie pointing out a good sized termite nest. Apparently, if you are lost in the jungle, you are going to want to eat these nasty albino ants. Wild mangos, bananas, maybe tasty berries…or a nice roasted pheasant? No. You must learn to eat termites.

“I’m Doing Fine Now” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Got up this morning with the mouth – following the dental work yesterday – feeling a lot less sore. The gums beld a little early on but I’m doing fine now. Even so I thought I would start off today’s edition going for a sympathy vote! Started the day by comparing quotes for golf carts purchased in the ‘States versus one purchased on Ambergris Caye. Providing that I gain acceptance to the Qualified Retirement Program (“QRP”) I can import a vehicle absent import tax and the saving of this levy allied to the generally cheaper purchase price in the ‘States can make this a financially attractive proposition. Obviously if we elect to take this route I will need to organise shipping but I have already got a quote for this from Manray Express, a fairly new freight forwarding agent based on Ambergris Caye. Rose and I then moved on to checking the bathroom and kitchen items that we want and then entered them in to a spreadsheet, along with screen grabs , for forwarding to Daniel Camal our building contractor. Hopefully every thing we want is available . If not it is ‘back to the drawing board’. With the administrative side of the day out of the way Rose and I were more than ready to go and see our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize so we set off and got there at just before 4 pm.

International Sources

From tarantulas in Belize to tutoring in South Africa: Not your typical spring break
Connecticut College students, faculty and staff scattered across the globe to take full advantage of the College’s two-week spring break in March. For example: Professors Manuel Lizarralde and Steve Loomis took their Tropical Biology class to Belize to take stock of the rainforest diversity. The class caught several incredible creatures, including a six-foot boa constrictor and four red belly tarantulas – one as large as a human hand. Senior Pablo Tutillo traveled to a Qatar to present a paper he wrote for his Islamic Traditions Class, while freshman Alexandra Luciani spoke about LGBTQ issues in children’s books at the 20th annual True Colors Conference at the University of Connecticut. A group of professors traveled to South Africa to learn about environmental justice issues there. The professors are part of a team developing a global environmental justice curriculum at the College with a $200,000 grant from the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation. Two students volunteered at a clinic in Haiti and eight students accompanied Residential Education and Living Director Sara Rothenberger on a community service trip to South Africa.

April 4, 2013


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Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Jhoshi Alexander wins Mr. Pacifico y el Caribe 2013
This past week, San Pedro’s dance and aerobics instructor Jhoshi Alexander had the opportunity to represent the Jewel at the Miss and Mister Pacifico y el Caribe Pageant. The pageant was held at the Tikal Futura Hotel in Guatemala City March 26th through March 30th, 2013. Among the participating 23 countries, Belize was represented for the first time when only five days prior to the event Mr. Alexander was extended an invitation to compete. The pageant offered competitors a chance to not only showcase one’s beauty and physique but also a chance to promote one’s country and culture. Jhoshi went proudly forth to represent the country that he has made his home for the past three years and is a proud resident of. He had the chance to compete in the event with the help of several sponsors, including the San Pedro Town Council, the San Pedro Aids Commission, the Victoria House and Caye Caulker Water Taxi.

Kent “Bob” Gabourel wins Easter Monday cycling race
Islander Kent Gabourel is the winner of the first ever Easter Monday Cycling Race. Organized by San Pedro cyclists, the race started shortly after 9AM before a large crowd of spectators that had gathered along the streets to witness the competition. 15 cyclists, all from San Pedro Town, competed in the event that saw them take off from the corner of Laguna Drive and Dolphin Street. Results from the race: 1st Place – Kent “Bob” Gabourel – $250 cash, a bottle of rum and $140 in station prizes along with additional items. 2nd Place – Michael Roland – $175 cash, 1 bottle of rum and a water bottle 3rd Place – Perry Stain – $85 cash, a bottle of rum and a water bottle 4th Place – Charles Garay -$50 Gift Certificate and $25 cash 5th Place – Edwin Gutierrez – Lunch for two

Illegal conch busts made by Southern Environmental Association – fines levied over $20,000
On February 26th, 2013, Southern Environmental Association (SEA) responded to reports of individuals in Placencia Village engaging in illegal fishing activities. This operation led to the discovery of two individuals in possession of NINE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN (911) undersized fillet conchs. These individuals were arrested, detained and charged for the offense committed. Both persons appeared in court on the 5th March to answer to these charges and were fined a total of $18,220.00 or one year in prison in default of payment. The following day, SEA’s Special Enforcement Unit did a routine vessel check at the Independence Village dock side which led to the discovery of one individual in possession of NINETY SEVEN (97) undersized market clean conchs. He appeared in court on March 5th to answer to charges and was fined a total of $1,945.00 or six months in prison in default of payment. With a new Executive Director Mrs. Nicole Auil Gomez, SEA works towards improving stewardship and the environmental integrity of key marine areas in southern Belize. SEA co-manages Laughing Bird National Park with the Forest Department, and Gladden Spit & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve with the Fisheries Department.

Deputy Director of GST Department arrested, charged and remanded for shooting in San Pedro Town
The Deputy Director of the General Sales Tax (GST) Department in Belize has been remanded to prison for the weekend shooting of an Ambergris Caye resident. 40 year old Reynaldo Verde of Belize City has been formally arrested, charged and remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was identified in the shooting of 29 year old Allen “Ajay” Martinez of a Tarpon Street address in San Pedro Town. According to police, Verde was detained following a shooting incident on Sunday March 31st that occurred shortly after 8PM at a social event at the Holiday Hotel located on Barrier Reef Drive. According to the Superintendent of Police, Luis Castellanos, Officer in Charge (OC) of the San Pedro Police Station, they visited the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II, where they saw Martinez with a single gunshot wound to the left hip that exited the buttocks on the left side. Initial investigations revealed that Martinez was socializing on the deck of the Holiday Hotel with some other friends when he accidentally bumped into Verde and an altercation ensured. According to police, Verde took out his licensed 9 millimeter (mm) Luger brand gun and fired a single shot towards Martinez causing his injuries.

Grand Baymen is officially open!
On Friday, March 20th, Grand Baymen, a development located on southern Ambergris Caye, celebrated the Grand Opening of its first residential building with a ribbon cutting party! The event hosted over 50 people including proud condo owners, the Grand Baymen CEO Michael Cobb, President Eddie Littlefield, Construction Manager John Morgan, Joel Nagel, builders, suppliers, and many others who made the construction and opening of this building possible. The party-goers enjoyed local cuisine from Robin’s Kitchen, listened to live music, and eagerly participated in the cutting of the ribbon. Grand Baymen is a six acre garden property located only 150 meters from the azure Caribbean waters. It provides its owners with the comfort and luxury of North American standards at affordable prices. Owners and guests can enjoy the amenities that are already in place, including a 3-tier, 250,000 gallon pool, tennis courts, Sand volleyball court, and a fitness center.

Ambergris Today

Pier Collapse During Easter Break in San Pedro Sends 51 into the Water
It was just a case of too many people on the pier that caused a section of the outside deck to collapse and sent people into the water six feet below the Tackle Box Pier in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, over the Easter weekend. The incident took party-goers by surprise as they were enjoying Tackle Box’s Easter Beach Party, on Sunday, March 31, 2013, when the floor beneath some dancers gave way. The incident occurred after midnight just when the party was at its peak, when the middle section of the outside deck collapsed, sending 51 people into the water, according to reports. There were no fatalities or serious injuries, but a reported 26 people suffered minor scratches and abrasions. Most of those who fell into the sea reported losing cell phones, cameras, clothing items and money.

Oil Discovery in Orange Walk District
Maranco Energy Belize Limited, on March 30, 2013, discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District. Further and necessary testing is ongoing to determine the commercial potential of the oil show. The Geology and Petroleum Department personnel are on site and are closely monitoring the situation.

Top 5 Reasons Ambergris Caye was Voted #1 Island in the World on TripAdvisor
The best part about our beautiful Island of Ambergris Caye being voted #1 island in the world is that it’s not a vote by a select group of judges or a panel of analysts; it is because the votes came from readers like you and me on TripAdvisor. All the people who have visited out Isla Bonita are the ones who voted and gave us this great distinction. It’s the ones who have come to enjoy the island’s natural beauty and the warmth of our islanders that have come to love Ambergris Caye, Belize, and voted for us. I can think of a million reasons (plus) as to why we are Number One, but I guess I will narrow it down to FIVE general categories: Here are Top 5 Reasons why Ambergris Caye was Voted #1 Island in the World on TripAdvisor.

Misc Belizean Sources

Medical Treatment in Punta Gorda
Free medical services are scheduled to be available in several locations throughout Punta Gorda from April 8 to 12 as part of an exercise called New Horizons. General medical services such as pediatrics, dermatology, optometry, women’s health and general dentistry will be available free to anyone needing treatment and provided by a team of U.S. and Canadian medical professionals. Medical services are available at the following times, dates and locations: 8 a.m. to 4. p.m. April 8 to 9, 2013 at St. Peter Claver R. C. School 8 a.m. to 4. p.m. April 10 to 12, 2013 at San Pedro Columbia School

Belize Volleyball Players
The Belize female volleyball has qualified to the 2nd Round of the FIVB 2014 World Championship qualification process. It will take place May 8th to 13th in Curacao (island country at the south of the Caribbean near Trinidad). This is historic for Belize Volleyball as it is not often that team sports in Belize qualify to the next round for World tournaments. We are trying to strengthen our team to send a strong team to maybe be good and lucky to qualify to the 3rd round. Volleyball is a very popular female sport in the USA and we are hoping some Belizean players may be able to help the team. We are looking for one or two tall and good players who have played at the university level in NCAA Division 1 or 2 or equivalent. Unfortunately we do not have much time before we must register the players for the tournament and purchase tickets for the trip. We would require that the player come to Belize for a couple weeks before we leave for the tournament so she can train with the team.

Today Belize's new film industry took a giant leap: our first major 100% Belizean movie "Curse of the Xtabai" is now available for online viewing from anywhere in the world. It's 80 minutes long, employed all Belizean actors and crew, filmed in San Antonio Village and the caves and jungle of the Cayo district, appearances by 35 BDF soldiers, all Belizean musical artists, in Kriol with English subtitles. Only $2.49 payable by credit card or PayPal for a 48 hour online rental. By watching you're supporting the making of future Belizean movies. Here's the link, please help spread the word and enjoy!

Sawdust Tapestries Construction Pictures
Benque really does a lot during Holy Week, and this year was no exception. On Good Friday, they had their annual Sawdust Art Project. The Benque House of Culture got some good pictures of the event, once again with some help from Elvis Avila. "Image's courtesy of Elvis Avila 'Lens of Culture 2013'"

El Santo Entierro Procession Pictures
Benque had their El Santo Entierro Procession, and Elvis Avila from Lens of Culture was there to capture the moments. "El Santo Entierro culminates 'Good Friday' observations in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, three major floats or better know 'Andas' adorn the lrge solemn procession, young women and children take 'La Virgen de Dolores' & 'San Juan' while men take the 'Santo Entierro' accompanied by the Benque Viejo, Mount Carmel & the BDF Marching Bands. The procession starts at 6:00 p.m. and ends tentativly at 9:45 p.m. Many devoted Benquenos & native visitors offer their respects and to their duly christian duties on an annual basis. Image courtesy of Elvis Avila for Lens of Culture 2013"

Swigs Party with Cloud 9
The Swigs Party with Cloud 9 is just over a week away. The Hands for Life club has released a cool flier for the dance. There will be free jello shots and 'nurse shots' most of the night, thanks to Island Time Beverages. Yes, all 3 flavors will be abundant. There will also be a battle of the DJ's. Bedran Hall at the SIRH, Friday, April 12th, starting at 9:00pm. See you there!

Cycling Classic From Above
Astrum Helicopters has a great video of the 85th Cross Country Cycling Classic...from the air! Great video, and they have 'Children' by Robert Miles as the music. Well done, Astrum! "The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, is a one-day amateur cycling race held in Belize every year during the Easter holidays. It is Belize's biggest cycling event and has begun to be recognized internationally. The estimated distance of the Classic is some 140 miles. Wide angle point of view while filming the Cross Country Cycling Classic. Filmed using a GoPro3 Black camera."

Channel 7

Special Constable Killed In Roaring Creek; It Was No Accident
A police special constable was murdered last night in Roaring Creek - and this was no accident, by all appearances his killers lay in wait for him and killed him with ruthless precision. Monica Bodden found out more about the disturbing murder of Constable 380 Bertchel Ramirez: When we arrived at the murder scene early this morning, police officers were still searching the area thoroughly with k-9 dogs. Police believe 4 men - 3 of whom are villagers of Roaring Creek were involved in the murder of Police Officer Bertchel Ramirez. So far they have detained 2 of the 4 men and are still looking for the other two. No murder weapon has yet been found. The execution of PC Ramirez happened in an area known as "Another World" in the village of Roaring Creek - just before 11 o'clock last night. The 36 year old police officer was ambushed by 4 men while driving his blue Toyota Camry. Ramirez had just left the home of his girlfriend 23 year old Suley Valencia when the incident happened just up the street. Lazaro Valencia - Father-in-law of Deceased "Last night, this is what happened; last night quarter pass 11 more or less quarter - twenty, nothing later than that and nothing earlier, my daughter and my son-in-law was parked in front of my yard right here, parked right there. My next daughter came out from her room and asked her, 'Suley, you're going or will you stay?' So, she decided to keep their company, my 2 girls along with my son-in-law and just about 250 to 300 feet from here 2 shots went off "bang, bang" that time my son-in-law vehicle turn to go down this way here."

Cops Have Suspects, Looking For Others
Police have detained 2 suspects for PC Ramirez's murder and are looking for 2 other men. 3 of the 4 suspects are confirmed to be residents of Roaring Creek Village. Police believe 2 murder weapons were used in the assassination of their officer - so far no weapon has been recovered. Assistant Superintendent of Police and officer commanding Belmopan Police Station, Sinquest Martinez - is the lead investigator in last night's homicide of one of his officers. In a briefing this morning with the media, he spoke about the latest in the investigation. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "The investigation is going pretty well at this moment; we're getting assistance from the public and we're on top of it." Reporter "Do you have any one detained?" ASP Sinquest Martinez "We have our suspects" Reporter "Suspects, can you give us what the relation the suspects are to the victim?" ASP Sinquest Martinez "There is no kind of relationship." Reporter "So they had no problems before, they didn't?" ASP Sinquest Martinez "No." Reporter "They didn't know each other?" ASP Sinquest Martinez "Well the suspects are criminals and my officer is a police officer, so there no kind of link in between those two. They don't have any problem; well no problem was reported between the suspects and my officer."

Woman Stabbed Up By Sister-In-Law, Watched Her Sister Die
Bertchel Ramirez was the 33rd murder in Belize for 2013. The 31st was a female resident of Belize City, 36 year old Veronica Gonzalez. As we reported last night, she was in Sarteneja for the Easter with her sister, Wendy Aragon. The pair were savagely attacked at a village dance by Wendy's sister in law, 39 year old Norma Pena. Norma is alleged to have stabbed up both sisters, but got Veronica fatally in the neck with a kitchen knife. The attack was likely motivated by jealousy: Veronica, who was leaving the country on Monday was freely dancing and took a dance with Norma's husband. That seemed to incense Norma Pena - who reportedly allegedly had been drinking heavily and already had issues with her sister in law. So, she lurked in the corners and when Veronica was going to the restroom escorted by her sister, she pounced and attacked them both with a knife. Today, Veronica still nursing multiple stab wounds told us what happened next:

Men Claim Cruel And Unusual Punishment From Police
Today two young men from Belize City came forward and told the media about extreme police harassment they endured at the hands of police in Independence over the Easter Weekend. Their story of cruel and unusual punishment seems to come out of some oppressive regime in a faraway country, but they say it happened right in Independence Village where they were passing the Easter until they were picked up on Saturday. Here's what 19 year old Adrian Daniels told us off camera: Voice of Adrian Daniels - Claims Police Brutality "I told the man I'm just going to go buy a soft drink; the man stabbed me 2 times with the gun by my side and kicked me on my leg and told me shut up. He said, "You don't hear to shut up, at that time I fell when he kicked me on my leg. They started telling us to take off our particulars because they will arrest us, but they never told us what they will arrest us for, a few minutes after when they took down everybody name, the man said that he will arrest us for PI. Now, we're locked down from Saturday afternoon. Monday morning when we were to get released, our 48 hours were up, and before that they took us out the morning and start to profile us.

BNTU Holds Convention, Presses PM
The Belize National Teachers' Union is holding its 43rdannual convention. The two-day event is being held in Belmopan at the UB Gymnasium and allows all ten branches of the union to come together and discuss concerns and issues affecting teachers. 7news stopped in today and spoke with the president of the BNTU - who discussed their upcoming meeting with the Prime Minister to negotiate salary adjustment. Luke Palacio - President, BNTU "The convention is held every year, usually the Wednesday and Thursday after the Easter a week and it is the highest authority of the Belize National Teachers Union, where all 10 branches of the union come together at a venue that is usually agreed upon like a year before. At that convention, we get the minutes of the previous convention. We get the reports from the president, and the national treasurer; the branch officers also give their report and the executive secretary. Those are then discussed with members; concerns, issues, questions, all of those matters are addressed. The convention also gets resolution from its members as to what are some of the things they would like the union to undertake in the ensuing year, as it relates to anything affecting the teaching profession, the education system and that sort of thing. We are usually welcomed by the Mayor of the City, and so this morning Mayor Simeon Lopez welcomed us to the City of Belmopan. Our guest speaker was the U.S ambassador to Belize, His Excellency Vinai Thumalapally and they gave some very thought provoking - spoke to some very thought provoking issues that our teacher no doubt will bear in mind for a long time to come."

Gospel Singer’s "Enter-TRAIN-ment"
If you follow the world of Gospel music, you might be familiar with the name Nicole Mullen who's known for her powerful songs of worship. She's visiting Belize right now, but she's not here to sing - she's here to start after school programmes for children. She told us more today: Nicole Mullen - Gospel Singer/Activist "We do after school programs in Nashville, Tennessee or Franklin, Tennessee, and we are making disciples. This is what we do with young kids and so we are expanding here to Belize. First of all, we do believe in Jesus Christ and we believe that if you're going to have lasting change, that is only found in Jesus and so unashamedly yes. But, on top of that it didn't just stop with the spirit; it has to in fact the soul and the body. We're also concerned about their education, their wellbeing, their dreams, and their hopes, what they actually do with their body so that's a part of it too. Let me just say this; we don't just entertain, we like to call it enter-train-ment. So, it's enter-train-ment, and at the end of the day, hopefully you've left with substance, something that you can take home and actually live out, not just something that gives you goose bumps or makes you feel like 'Ohh', but really something that you can actually do, because our faith is actually practical as well." On Friday afternoon, Nicole Mullen will have a dance training session in Belmopan.

Taking A Swing At Belize's First National Sports Policy and Strategic Plan
Months ago, we told you about the Caribbean Consultants that had been hired to develop Belize's first National Sports Policy and Strategic Plan. Well they've started their work with a consultation session today at the Belize Biltmore Best Western. It's a medium to long term sports policy that should chart the way forward - but first everyone has to get on the same page - and that's not easy when only counted 20 heads of association and federations showed up for what should have been a national consultation: Allan Sharp - Chairman, National Sports Council "Today, we're working on the Sports Act; which all of us in conversation has said that it needs to be addressed. It needs to be updated, and it needs to be this and that. Well, this is the opportunity here; the Minister has been very serious in - from day one to try and deal with this Sports Act, but the Sports Act is only part of it. We know the other challenges we have in terms of facilities, coaching, and in fact the whole culture of sports in Belize." Hon. Herman Longsworth - Minister of State/Sports "We also knew that we had to forge some kind of direction for sports in Belize. We've all been moving, but we've been moving in an "ad hoc" sort of fashion with no real direction, and so we insisted that there was the need for some kind of medium term policy that would dictate how we go.

The Jaguars Drew, While FFB Barely Broke Even
On March 23, the Belize National Football Team drew in an international friendly the Trinidad and Tobago National Team, the "Soca Warriors". It's part of the preparation for the Gold Cup, but also, the Football Federation of Belize hoped to make some money to offset the huge expense of preparing the national team. Today, they released the figures which show that, after expenses they made a rather paltry profit of $5,000 from a total revenue of $43,000. That's a small but encouraging step toward the goal of $500,000 to fund the team until July. Today we caught up with the FFB President to ask him if he'll able to meet that target, given the fact they only have 3 more months to go: Ruperto Vicente - Football Federation of Belize "We did make a profit, but it wasn't a great profit because every time you have a national team of that magnitude, it cost you more - it cost us more than what we'll need but we're glad that we're able to make a small profit as well. The intention of that game was for the Belizean public, to see their national team in action, and we charged far below the normal price for national game of that magnitude. We should have charged $30 dollars per person but instead we cut it in half and went $15 dollars per person, so it was really a treat for the public, for them - giving them an opportunity to see their national tea in action. We will have to hit a target of $ 500,000 Belize dollars to prepare our national team and to take them to the United States for Gold Cup, and certainly we will be having more games. We plan to play a game against El Salvador, we plan to play one against Guatemala, so those game will certainly propel us forward, as well we will be having a telethon in - on the 27th of April where we're going to ask Belizeans to contribute towards the development of our national team and its preparation for Gold Cup."

Cycling Election Soon!
Last night we showed you how Belizean cyclist, Darnell Barrow of Team Santinos managed to pull off an impressive win in the 2013 Cross Country Cycling Classic. His performance, while embraced by the Belizean cycling community, came as an unexpected surprise, largely because the cycling fraternity felt that the stock of local riders weren't in the best condition for this race. And a majority of that lack of preparation was due to the uncertainty at the Executive Level of the Belize Cycling Association. For the last 4 months cycling has been governed by an interim committee appointed by the Ministry of Sports, but hopefully, they will be able to hand over the responsibilities to a newly elected Association. The elections are to be held over the next 2 weeks with the use of the Federation rules, which were being disputed. It would seem that after consultation, both executives aspiring to be elected have come to a compromise with the assistance of the Ministry of Sports, and the schedule of elections has been released. Elections for all zones will take place within the next two weeks and the National Elections will be held on Wednesday April 17, at 7 p.m., at the UWI Campus.

Channel 5

Police officer killed in Roaring Creek; 3 detained
The Police Department is mourning the loss of one of their own.  Jealousy is believed to have led to the murder of the well-known police officer attached to the Belmopan Precinct.  It happened on Tuesday night in Roaring Creek when Constable Bertchel Ramirez had gone to see his girlfriend; a routine visit that was apparently [...]

Allegations: Independence police brutalize two teens including a minor
The following story may be a familiar one, and indeed there are quite a few cases of alleged police brutality or abuse of police authority brought in to our studios. We don’t air them all, for one reason or the other, but this one got our attention because the allegation is outrageous and also because [...]

Senior employee from the GST is remanded for a San Pedro shooting
Reynaldo Verde, a senior employee of the General Sales Tax Department, will spend time behind bars after he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison this morning.  Verde was charged in the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court with dangerous harm for an incident which occurred at the Holiday Hotel on Easter Sunday.  Reports are that the [...]

The Belize Central Prison Employees Coalition alleges employee abuse by Kolbe
The Belize Central Prison Employees Coalition is a group which was allegedly formed, as its slogan states, to serve the employees of the Belize Central Prison. And they claim that they need to do that because the employees are being abused by the private management of Kolbe which they say is quote, “engaging in rampant [...]

3 nabbed for drug trafficking in the West
Late Tuesday evening while police were on patrol on the Benque Viejo Road, they intercepted a vehicle travelling from Benque Viejo to San Ignacio. The vehicle was driven at the time by forty-one year old Floyd Markwell Anthony of Esperanza Village; there were two passengers, forty year old Francis Kerr and thirty-six year old Marlon [...]

Minister of Sports impressed with his achievements in sports
One man who is impressed with the direction in which sports has been heading under his watch is Minister of State Herman Longsworth. During his address at the consultations on the National Sports Sector Strategy earlier today, Longsworth acknowledged the work of the Football Federation of Belize under its current administration, as well as the [...]

An incomplete Marion Jones Stadium; access to be given to some athletes
Two weeks ago former Vice President of the Belize Amateur Athletics Association Deon Sutherland expressed concerns about the progress of the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, more specifically the accessibility of the newly built race track to young athletes.  With the upcoming CARIFTA Games drawing nearer, runners have been requesting usage of the facility to prepare [...]

Belize Territorial Volunteers receives donation to assist in border clearing
Wil Maheia and his Belize Territorial Volunteers will be travelling to the border on Saturday and Sunday and say they intend to clear several miles of it. The group intends to start in Dolores, and plan to chop right along the border markers. Today News Five spoke to Maheia who told us that they have [...]

Black gold found in Orange Walk, but drilling not done in reserve
Government says that oil has been found by Maranco Energy Belize Limited at their South Canal Bank number one exploration well in the Orange Walk District. Marranco’s concession includes more than three hundred and eighty-seven thousand acres in the Orange Walk District. Program for Belize assures the public that drilling is not taking place within [...]


Aggravated Assault and Wounding Gets Man A Year In Prison
Fifty-two year old fisherman Charles Guy, a resident of Faber’s Road, was sentenced to 1 year today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie smith, after he pled guilty to aggravate assault and wounding. He was sentenced to 6 months for each offence with the stipulation that the s...

BNTU Holds Annual Convention
The Belize National Teachers’ Union has been known for years as Belize’s strongest union – pulling off record-setting numbers of demonstrations against successive governments dating back to the 1990’s. Today the BNTU held its Annual Convention at the U...

Second Man Charged With Kidnapping of Child
Thomas Elmer Villanueva has been charged with kidnapping. Villanueva is the second person to be charged in connection with the kidnapping of a one year old child in Corozal last week. Several persons were initially detained only Villanueva and Bernabl Pena have been charged so fa...

Family Dispute Leaves Man With Several Stab Wounds
Orange Walk Police are investigating an incident in which a man was stabbed. 27-year-old Foreman Amador reported to Police that he was at home on Monday morning about 8:30 when his brother-in-law came knocking on his door. Amador said he asked him to leave the premises but ...

Policeman Critical Following Traffic Incident; Cayo Police Makes Arrests On Drug Offences
A police officer remains hospitalized following a traffic accident yesterday afternoon. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports. ELAINE BERRY "A traffic incident on Center Road in Spanish Lookout has left PC1213 Andy Tun, officer attached to the San Antonio sub-stat...

Local Artists Prepare For Upcoming Art Festival
The fourth annual Kinich Ahau Art Festival will take place on Sunday, April 14 at the Altun Ha parking lot. Dickie Hernandez is the vice president of the committee. DICKIE HERNANDEZ " To open the festival we will have a dance the Saturday night which will be the 13th...


Pena Joins Villanueva In Prison For the Abduction Of Baby Ivy
Tonight 36 year old Bernabel Pena is enjoying the confines of the Hattiville Prison after he became the second individual to be charged for the kidnapping of one year old Ivy Yang. Pena now joins 34 year old Thomas Villanueva who was charged last week Thursday in the Orange Walk Magistrate Court. Both Pena and Villanueva are alleged to be involved in the abduction of the one year old on March 25th. We understand; though, that Pena has stated that he is in no way involved in the kidnapping of the toddler. Sources tell us that when interrogated by police, Pena stated that he was offered $10,000 to keep baby Ivy in hiding, but he refused. Pena is known to be good friends with Villanueva. Police have not revealed how exactly Pena was involved in the kidnapping. As mentioned, the abduction occurred on March 25th when baby Ivy and her mother, Mei Tang Chen, were heading back home to the Santa Rita Heights in Corozal. The kidnappers snatched Ivy Yang from the hands of her mother at gun point. But a relative of Villanueva handed the toddler over to Corozal Police on Monday after she became suspicious. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of US$450,000. Pena and Villanueva are scheduled to reappear in court on April 30th. While two persons have been detained and charged for kidnapping, the investigation into the high profile case has not been closed and more persons are expected to be charged.

Stabbed By Brother In law
Tonight a man is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed multiple times with a broken pint bottle. Twenty seven year old Freeman Amador visited the Orange Walk Police Station yesterday to report that his brother-in-law physically assaulted him. Amador explained to police that on Monday at about 8:30 in the morning, while he was at his residence on #50 Boundary Road, his brother-in-law, Omar Delgado, knocked on his front door and requested to speak with his sister. Amador told police that he then asked Delgado to leave the premises; Delgado; however, refused to do so. As a result, a fight ensued between both men and during the scuffle, it is reported that Delgado threw a block at Amador’s direction hitting him on the forehead. Thereafter, Delgado picked up a pint bottle, broke it and stabbed Amador two times to the chest and once on the left area of the abdomen. Delgado then fled the scene. Police are investigating.

Burglars Get Away With $21,000
Tonight a Customer Officer is out of more than $20,000 in cash after his house located in the Halls Layout Area in Corozal was burglarized over the weekend. A thief or thieves broke into the house of 39 year old Victor Tillett between the hours of 9:00am on March 28th and 4:00pm on April 2nd. Stolen from the premises was a whopping $21,000 in cash and number of house hold items, including a laptop, television, assorted jewellery and a lawn mower. The burglar or burglars gained access to the house by prying open the back door. Up to news time no one had been detained by police.

Mexico's Daylight Saving Time
If you are a Belizean that constantly travels over the Mexican Border then pay keen attention to the following report. On Sunday April 7th, Mexico will begin Daylight Saving Time. This means that on that day, clocks in Mexico will go forward one hour. That means that Mexico’s local time will run 1 hour ahead of Belize’s local time until October 27th, 2013. For example, 9:00am in Belize local time will be in Mexico 10:00am local time. For those traveling within Mexico, you are reminded that the Mexico Daylight Saving Time applies to most of the Mexican territory, including Chetumal, Cancun, Merida, Campeche, Mexico City and Veracruz.


Police Officer gunned down in Roaring Creek
What was supposed to be a routine trip turned fatal for a Police Officer last night, after he fell into the trap of four gunmen. 36 year old PC 380, Bertchel Eyon Ramirez, assigned to the Belmopan formation, was gunned down when he went to pickup his girlfriend in...

Two men in court for attempted murder
Last night we told you about 30 year old Dane Enriquez and 23 year old Alexander Underwood who were jointly charged with one count of attempted murder upon a police officer Raphael Abraham while Enriquez was additionally charged with the attempted murder of PC Juan Morales and damage to...

Two youths allege Police harassment
The Easter weekend is normally a time for relaxation. But two City youths who sought that good time in Mango Creek found themselves rounded up by police who they allege made a sport of torturing and harassing them. 19 year old Adrian Daniels and a 15 year old minor...

Tourism Project Director updates us on Belize City renovations
This week PLUS News has received concerns from Belize City residents questioning the plans for the Fort George Tourism Zone which has undergone extensive renovation for the last eighteen months as part of the $6 million IDB-funded Sustainable Tourism Project (STP). Much of the City’s tourism activity is concentrated...

Consultation session held for National Sports Sector Strategy
The Ministry of Sports and National Sports Council today hosted a consultation session for a National Sports Sector Strategy in conjunction with non-profit consultants Caribbean Sport and Development Agency (CSDA) based in Trinidad and Tobago. Consultant Mark Munjal visited Belize last year and details the process leading up to...

Belize Central Prison Employees Correlation detail issues with management
The furor over alleged abuse of power at the KOLBE Foundation has now reached the Prime Minister’s office – or at least it will if a newly formed representative group has its way. The Belize Central Prison Employees Correlation has posted a video on the social networking site Facebook...

Belmopan City Council has new City Administrator
The Belmopan City Council has a new City Administrator. Angela Wade now replaces Miley Garcia in this municipality. Garcia was the campaign manager for Area representative Hon. John Saldivar prior to being the City Administrator but Garcia’s contract was not renewed and so he has been replaced by Hon....

BNTU Convention starts in Belmopam
The 43rd Annual Belize National Teachers Union Convention kicked off today in Belmopan. The theme for this year’s two day event is “BNTU – Overcoming Challenges, Embracing Opportunities in Education.” Official opening ceremonies were held this morning, where Mayor of Belmopan Simeon Lopez, welcomed the congregation of teachers and...

Belize Territorial Volunteers heading back to the border
The Belize Territorial Volunteers are heading back to the border. The group was formed earlier this year and pledged to clear the border area and properly demarcate it from Guatemala’s border. Since its first expedition in March, the group has garnered quite some opposition, but they have gotten some...

Sports Minister gives update on Marion Jones Sport Complex
The Marion Jones Sport Complex has been under renovation for more than 3 years now but already a synthetic track and other upgraded facilities are in place – but not being used. PLUS News asked Minister Longsworth for an update. 1 The Minister also clarified reports reaching us that...

Nicole C. Mullen here to launch programme for youth
Viewers inclined to Christian gospel music may know of Nicole C. Mullen, an award-winning songstress best known for her cover of “My Redeemer Lives.” Well she is in Belize – not only to sing, but also to give back. We caught up with her in the City today where...

Woman accuses Policeman of rape
Police are tonight investigating a rape accusation that may involve one of their own. A 20 year old woman reported to Police that sometime around 3 o’clock on Sunday morning, she was standing in front of New House, waiting for a friend, when a grey four door car, with...

Pick up crashes into Police motor cycle
There was a traffic accident yesterday afternoon in Spanish lookout. It happened on Center Road when Pick Up driven at the time by 49 year old Gail Sherman Wells crashed into a police Motor Cycle driven by P.C Andy Tun. Tun, a Police Constable attached to the San Antonio...

Man stabbed by brother-in-law
A man has been hospitalized after he was stabbed to the chest by his brother-in-law. On Monday morning, 27 year old Foreman Amador of Orange Walk Town was at home when he was awakened by a knock at his front door. Amador told cops that he saw his brother-...

Police make second arrest for child abduction
There has been a second arrest in last week’s abduction of a toddler. 36 year old Bernabel Pena was remanded for the kidnapping charge yesterday. He is expected to return to court on April 13th, along with whom police believe to be his co-conspirator. That person, 32 year old...


The Lagoon Side of Ambergris Caye: Honey, I Swear…I Was Pulling an All Nighter at “The Office”
Over the long Easter weekend, I took a trip to a brand new bar that opened on the lagoon side of Ambergris Caye called “The Office”. It’s a name used countless times in the states (my hometown in NJ certainly has a bar called the “Office”…or is it “The Library”?)…as in “No hon, really…I was at The Office all night”. Not sure if it completely works in Belize (where very few people actually work in offices) but, that aside, it’s a pretty cool bar. Set on the lagoon in a large new palapa, you can sit inside or in a nice beach area with tables, chairs and umbrellas. I love a bar that you can visit by golf cart or boat. There aren’t many…Barrel Bar (also on the lagoon is one, check out THAT sunset view) and Palapa Bar, with it’s gorgeous reef view, another. The view at The Office is pretty special too… Of the now closed Bayside Bar… And of the restaurant, The Sunset Grill and the condos that have been built right behind it. They look almost completed…definitely time for a walk over there in the very near future…

Belize – Financiamiento para la Estrategia National de Exportacion

National Export Strategy Validation Forum

Reynaldo Malik at Invest Belize Magazine Launch

“Walking on the Chinese Wall” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Had a follow up visit to The Dental Center today to see Doctor Hernandez for further work on the dental implants I am having fitted. He comes to Belize City from Guatamala City once a month. With a 10 am appointment I had time to grab a breakfast at Estel’s (the hearty ‘last’ breakfast) before catching the 8 am Caye Caulker Water Taxi that got me to Belize City by 9.40 and then a short taxi ride saw me arrive for my appointment on time. The appointment lasted just over ninety minutes during which time Doctor Hernandez fitted five implants on to the screws that he fitted when I last saw him just over four months ago. For three of the implants he had to cut my gums to expose the previously fitted screws and then apply stitches (these will be removed by Doctor Pedro Habet when I visit him next Wednesday)to close the gums around the implant. Graphic enough for you ? One thing is for sure and that is that when I left The Dental Center my mouth was feeling decidedly sore. Not so sore though that it prevented me from visiting Brodies (in Albert Street) to pick up some provisions that are either not available on Ambergris Caye or are very pricey. With the shopping done I walked to the Caye Caulker Water Taxi terminal and, after waiting for around 60 minutes, got the 1.30 pm ‘Taxi to San Pedro. The boat docked at 3.20 pm and Rose was there to meet me so that we could take the stuff that I had bought back to our rented condo (some of it needed to go in to the refrigerator). This didn’t take too long and we headed off to Tres Cocos to look at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

March 24, 2013 - March 30, 2013 Fishing Report
Although we had unusual cold and wind starting the week, the weather improved and fishing got back to normal quickly.

10 Reasons To Get Married In Belize
Destination weddings are so common nowadays that they are taking place all over the world and Belize is no different than other popular destination wedding locale. In fact, Belize may even exceed your expectations since it boasts the second largest barrier reef in the world, English is the official language, it’s considered to be the center of the Maya civilization, and it is home to many islands and private beaches than can transform your wedding dream into a beautiful real wedding experience. You can choose to have your dream wedding at any of these stunning locations and I would be more than happy to travel to any corner of our exotic country to document and capture your memories. Here are ten reasons why you should choose to get married in Belize and say I DO to the one you love in paradise!

International Sources

New World Oil and Gas PLC : Placing to raise £6.3 million
New World Oil and Gas Plc, the oil and gas operating, exploration and development company focused on Belize and Denmark, announces that it has raised gross £6.3 million through the issue of 315,000,000 new ordinary shares (the 'Placing Shares') at a price of 2 pence per share (the 'Placing'). The net proceeds of the Placing will 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 Rio Bravo #1 well commenced drilling operations on 1 March 2013, and to date all operations are on schedule and under budget. A total depth of 8,800ft, targeting the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation is expected to be reached by late April 2013. Drilling results will be released once the total depth has been reached. In the event that the Rio Bravo #1 well is not tested and appraised the funds will be used for (1) the drilling of two wells targeting the Harboe and Jelling prospects at the Company's Danica Jutland Project in Denmark ('Danica Jutland' or the 'Project') located in the highly prospective Jutland on-shore area in South West Denmark, (2) seismic interpretation and Competent Person's Report costs at the Project, and (3) for additional general working capital purposes. Belize Drilling is continuing in Belize at the West Gallon Jug prospect targeting a P50 un-risked prospective resource of 113 million barrels of oil (Y1 and Y2 intervals), as estimated by RPS Energy, totalling a P50 un-risked Net Present Value ('NPV10') of US$2.6 billion on a 100% working interest basis.

Early Start for Belize’s 2013 Summer of Love
Now in its third year, Belize’s Summer of Love (SOL) is expanding in scope with two more luxury eco resorts joining in the celebrations, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s marketing administrator Larry Waight, who announced that 2013 would also see an early start to the summertime activities. “Even though summer is still a couple of months away, we’re already planning another magic Summer of Love. The last two were such a success, and now with some very special colleagues taking part, we decided to start early and to make the most of it this year,” he said. Mr Waight explained that the Summer of Love program was conceived as a way to encourage more people to spend more time with their loved ones over the summer by taking part in a range of exciting yet affordable adventure activities. “We think that everyone can use a little more love in their lives, whether among family, couples, good friends and even individuals who want to immerse themselves in adventure and stunning natural beauty.

April 3, 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

Celebrating Easter Sunday on La Isla Bonita
The Easter holiday is celebrated in many different ways in San Pedro. From days devoted to Holy worship to extreme all-night club parties and day-long beach bashes, each island resident has their own holiday agenda at heart. Regardless of how the five-day holiday is spent, there is one day that almost everyone shares in common, and that is Easter Sunday at the beach! Folks gravitate to the water like moths to a flame, loaded with picnic lunches, coolers, boom boxes, lawn furniture and of course an array of water toys! While adults linger under the shade of coconut trees visiting with family and friends, children spend endless hours frolicking in the clear, cool Caribbean waters or building white-sand creations. Easter Sunday is traditionally a beautiful, sunny day on La Isla, and this year did not disappoint. We hope you all had a great time while you were here, and if you weren’t here then it’s time to start planning your next vacation!

Over-crowded deck collapses into the water at Tackle Box Bar
Tacklebox-webAbout 45 party-goers were scared and sustained minor injuries after a portion of the flooring of an over-the-water deck they were on collapsed into shallow water over the weekend. The incident occurred at the Tackle Box Bar and Grill in San Pedro Town sometime around 1:30AM on Easter Sunday. According to police reports, the outer deck of the establishment gave in and fell into the sea along with some 45 patrons. San Pedro police are reporting that as many as 500 people were inside the establishment socializing as part of the Easter activities on the island. It appears that due to the weight of the crowd, a large portion of the wooden floor collapsed into the sea which was about four feet in depth. The incident caused quite a scare to the party-goers and local authorities on the island were forced to close the establishment for the night.

Allen “Ajay” Martinez shot in San Pedro Town
Police on Ambergris Caye have detained one man following a shooting incident on Sunday March 31st. The victim of the shooting is 29 year old unemployed Allen “Ajay” Martinez of a Tarpon Street address in San Pedro Town. The incident occurred shortly after 8PM at an Easter function at the Holiday Hotel situated on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town. San Pedro Town Police have since detained 40-year-old Reynaldo Verde of Belize City for the shooting. According to Superintendent of Police, Luis Castellanos, Officer in Charge (OC) of the San Pedro Police Station, they visited the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II, where they saw Martinez with a single gunshot wound to the left hip that exited the buttocks on the left side. Initial investigations revealed that Martinez was socializing on the deck of the Holiday Hotel with some other friends when he accidentally bumped into Verde and an altercation ensured. According to Police, Verde took out his license 9 millimeter (mm) Luger brand gun and fired a single shot towards Martinez causing his injuries.

San Pedro Roman Catholics celebrate Easter
In San Pedro, Roman Catholics consider Easter the most holy time of the year.The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church had a schedule of events in place to celebrate the season, which is ushered in by the 40 day Lenten season starting on Ash Wednesday. It marks a time for preparation to receive Jesus Christ culminating on Palm Sunday when Jesus returns to Jerusalem.Symbolic palm leaves, which according to the Bible were used to welcome Jesus to the holy city, are revered by the Catholics. During Palm Sunday mass, palm leaves are blessed and given to the congregation who turn them into crosses as a token of their faith. Palm Sunday was followed by the Holy Thursday mass where the Catholic congregation participated in the “Washing of the Feet” ceremony which commemorated The Last Supper. In this ceremony the priest washes the participants’ feet, just like Jesus did to his apostles. After the “Washing of the Feet” mass the Holy Eucharist is transferred to the Parish Hall. A vigil is held at the Parish Hall until midnight, which is the time Judas betrayed Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane, and is the beginning of Good Friday.

Ambergris Today

Mayer Family Donates Soccer Equipment to San Pedro Children
Craig Mayer and his family have fallen in love with San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, very much so, that they hope to retire one day on the island. But before the couple comes to live in Belize, the family of five wants to help give back to the community as much as they can. While vacationing in San Pedro Craig Mayer, his wife Melissa, three daughters Riley, Sydnie and Carlee and family friend Nicole Debravender, took time to visit the San Mateo residential area and donate sports clothing, shoes and equipment to children.

Easter Break in Belize is HUGE! San Pedro Holds Party Central Status
The vibe in San Pedro was high this year with one of the biggest parties being at the Holiday Hotel where Miami’s DG Zog hosted a two-day beach bash that is still the talk of the town. Other establishments holding parties were Tackle Box, Luna Loca, Sandbar, The Villas at Banyan Bay and the two nightclubs Jaguar’s Temple and Daddy Rock. But the celebrations were spread throughout the island as there was entertainment for just about everybody. Those who liked a more tranquil time on the beach with the family chose to line up along the beach at Boca del Rio Park, Central Park and all along the coast. Others who wanted to get away from it all stayed away from town and enjoyed a more quiet time at their resorts located north and south of downtown.

Sports Aficionados of San Pedro Back in the Days
Today’s article is on people and not on events as I normally do. It is about people who formed, (some still do) an integral part of our community. I’ll comment on most of them, and you can also do in our comments, please. The photo was taken at X’calak, Mexico during one of the visits of our baseball team circa 1965.

Pic of the Week: How to Beat the Heat in San Pedro, Belize
A bucket lowers your cold Beliking Beers down to you from the second floor of Palapa Bar. All you have to do is relax. No effort at all to beat the heat in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Palapa Bar is a popular hangout on North Ambergris Caye, just a short ride from the Boca del Rio Bridge. They also offer great food and great ambience to have a great time.

ABC Pre- School Annual Presentation
San Pedro Get Ready! It’s ABC Pre-School’s Annual Extravaganza! Join the fun on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. It’s a live concert starting at 7pm with your favorite teen icons. It will be a fun filled night with lots of surpises! ABC Pre-School brings to you from Merida, Yucatan – Rocky and Cece, Monster High, Disney Characters, Michael Jackson, Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk and much more! So mark your calendars and be sure to attend this spectacular show brought to you by ABC Pre-school!

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Caye Fest
The Belize Caye Fest, Inc., is very happy to have four of the Belizean artist performing at the Caye Festival. Ernestine Carballo, Tony Wright, Jorge Ernesto Babb and Captain Roby will be traveling from Belize. Lisa Pike is traveling from Miami.

NBHA Season Started
The National Barrel Horse Association of Belize has posted pictures from their first run of the season. The runs are at the Belize Equestrian Academy on the George Price Highway. They have another run coming up on April 13th. "March 17th kicks it off! April 13th, May 19th, June 15th, no July or Aug unless we have a make up date. Sept 15th, Oct 19th, Nov 17th and Dec 14th! We will rotate Sun and Sat again."

BTL Telephone Directory Launch
BTL had their telephone directory launch in Cayo, and they were there will lots of goodies, yellow goodies, to go with the new yellow pages. "Our 2013 Telephone Directory Launch was a huge success! Thanks to our dedicated team and all those who partnered with us to make this years' publication a product we all can be proud of! Special thanks to the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena for hosting us."

Channel 7

Oil Find In Northern Belize, But Is It Commercial
Tonight, there is guarded optimism after Maranco Energy found oil this weekend in the Gallon Jug area of the Orange Walk District. Don't start celebrating yet, because at this point it is only being called quote, "an encouraging oil show." Testing has started and within two weeks we should know if it is commercial. That testing might also give some estimate of the size of the oil field. According to a brief official release, the find was made at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in Maranco's Concession area in the Orange Walk District. The person behind Maranco is Paul Marriot, a former Director with BNE. Maranco is one of two companies looking for oil in the Gallon Jug area. The other is New World Energy. If it is a commercial oil find - it would be a Godsend for the Government since production at the BNE Oil Field in Spanish Lookout is steadily going down. At its peak in 2011, GOVERNMENT'S revenue from oil was over 100 million, and it is now about half of that and diminishing steadily. 1.58 Million Barrels were exported in 2009 and 779 thousand is projected for export by the year 2015. The 11 million barrel Spanish Lookout oil field is expected to be depleted by the year 2020.

A Belizean Gets The Garland
And while we can't yet celebrate a commercial oil find, this weekend patriots and sports fans had something to cheer about as Belizean Darnell Barrow won the 85th Cross Country Cycling Classic in an exciting sprint where he bested two foreign riders. And while that was the end, we start our coverage at the beginning where Darnell Barrow was not among anyone's top ten contenders. Daniel Ortiz reports how he got from the back of the pack to the first across the line: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 86 riders lined up at the starting line for the 85 running of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. But first they dealt with the formalities. The cycling officials introduced the 2012 Cross Country Champ, Geovanni Choto, and then paid respects to Wallace Donald Matura, the recreational rider, cycling official, and avid cycling fan who passed away 3 days earlier. Included in the lineup are 8 Mexican, 4 American friends, and 2 Guatemalans. Of these foreigners, 3 are past champions, and in the field of the local riders, 4 are also past champions. And at a few minutes after 6 a.m., they move off, Geovanni Choto ahead the group in his customary lead as last year's champion.

An Easter Monday Murder
And while there was a lot to celebrate this weekend, and a lot of churching to do - regrettably, the violence didn't stop. Two people were killed while three others were shot. The only killing in the city happened last night at 7:30 where a 28 year old was murdered in an area between two warring gangs. Michael Heusner was walking on Mahogany Street towards Mopan Street when two men on separate bicycles rode up from behind and one of them opened fire. Heusner received multiple gunshot wounds to his head and body and died on the spot. Neighbors heard at least 7 shots ring out.. According to Heusner's family, he had just left his mother's house on Courtney Crescent only 5 minutes before he was murdered. His friends strongly believe that he was murdered just because he was on wrong turf. Heusner grew up in the area known as Back-A-Town and he was killed just across the canal that separates it from the other gang territory known as May Flower or Ghost Town. 7news was on the scene and today Monica Bodden spoke to a friend of the deceased who asked to appear off camera:

Woman Killed In Sarteneja
And a woman was killed in Northern Belize this weekend. Police say that sisters 36 year old Veronica Gonzalez and 29 year old Wendy Aragon went to spend the Easter in Sarteneja when they were viciously stabbed by 39 year old Norma Pena. Pena, it turns out, is Wendy Aragon's sister in law. The stabbing reportedly happened at around midnight a dance in the village in northeastern Belize. Pena allegedly stabbed Gonzalez in the throat, and also stabbed her sister in law Aragon several times. Police were called, but didn't get there until hours later and Gonzalez died on her way to the hospital at 3:00 am. Aragon was hospitalized at the Northern Regional Hospital, where she is stable. Norma Pena of Moho Street in Orange Walk is detained pending charges. The dispute is reportedly over a house. There was another vicious attack on a female in the north. This one happened in Caledonia village. At 2:00 am, a drunk Geraldo Taca arrived at the Pott family home and dragged Cruzita out. He chopped her several times. The pair had a dispute about 4 hours earlier when Crutizta was at the village park with a male friend, making Taca, with whom she;d had a relationship, jealous. Her injuries are serious and she was transferred to the KHMH for treatment. Police have detained 32 year old Geraldo Taca.

Man Shot In San Pedro By Senior Customs Officer
A man is in the KHMH with a shattered pelvis after he was shot by a senior public officer this weekend in San Pedro. It happened on Easter Sunday night around 8:30 pm at the Holiday Inn Hotel, which is in downtown San Pedro on Barrier Reef drive. Police say 29 year old Allen Ajay Martinez and 40 year old Reynaldo Verde got into a fight. Things escalated and Verde - who is second in charge at the Sales Tax Office - pulled his licensed weapon and shot Allen in the left hip. The bullet exited his buttocks and Allen had to be rushed to the City in a Coast Guard vessel. He was brought to the Princess Pier where a police truck took him to the KHMH. Allen is originally a resident of Belize City who has relocated to San Pedro. His friends say that he was playing with his son and accidentally spilled Verde's drink - and that's what started the fight. He remains hospitalized with a serious injury to his pelvis. We could not reach Verde for comment as he is detained by police. Police have not said what he will be charged with - and describe the incident on the press release only as a shooting. We'll keep following the story.

Ten-year-old Drowns On Easter Swim
A ten-year-old boy drowned over the long Easter holidays. Davin Zelaya and his family went for a swim in Gracie Rock yesterday afternoon. According to the boy's 13 year old sister, as he entered the river, he went down and never came back up. With help from some young men in the area, Zelaya's body was recovered from the water about an hour latr. With the consent of her mother, Zelaya's 13 year old sister, Monika Sulph told us what she recalled happened. Monika Sulph - Sister of Deceased "Well, all that happened is that, when we reached at the place, we just with into the water and we all went in. He was the first to go in and he went underneath the water and he didn't come up back. So I went - we went to our parents and that's all that happened. We were all very excited to go in the water because we were in the van for a long time trying to find this place, and when we reached he was excited to go in the water, so as we reached we went right in."

Why Did "Tackle Box" Collapse
A group of about 45 party goers, who were guests at the Tackle Box Bar and Grill on San Pedro, are still wondering tonight about what happened at the establishment to cause them to tumble unexpectedly into the sea. At around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, the patrons of the establishment were socializing on the deck area, which is built over the water, when parts of the wooden structure collapsed, dunking them in about 4 feet of water. According to the San Pedro Sun, Police are reporting that as much as 500 people were inside the establishment at the time that the deck collapsed. Fortunately, no one received major injuries, but the 45 victims reported that they lost a number of personal items including cellular phones, cameras, jewelry and cash. A parent of one of the victims contacted 7News to report that the police are saying that they can't do anything to recover damages.

Two Charged For Trying To Run Over Police
Tonight, 30 year-old Dane Enriquez and 23 year-old Alexander Underwood, are at prison, after they allegedly tried to run over two police officers, who were on patrol duty. The Police Press Office has not released any details on this incident, but according to Special Constable Juan Morales and Police Constable Raphael Abraham, they were on patrol in the Belama area on Saturday. That's when a grey Ford Ranger pick-up truck intentionally slammed into the police motorcycle they were on. Enriquez was reportedly the driver, while Underwood was in the passenger side. According the officers, the men tried to escape when they were detaining them, and as a result, one of the officers shot Underwood in the left foot. Police arrested and charged both men with attempted murder. Enriquez was additionally charged with aggravated assault and damage to property for the police motorcycle.

Man Accused Of Unlawful Carnal Tried To Run Away With Girl
Tonight, 18 year-old Alberto Antonia Barraza is behind bars after police allegedly caught him fleeing with a 15 year-old minor who he allegedly sexual relations with. According to police, on March 22, 2012 and December 12, 2012, Barraza allegedly had intercourse with the minor when she was only 14 years old. Police investigated this report, and when they went to detain Barraza, he allegedly try to flee the country, and had to be intercepted at the Belize Western Border in the company of the minor. He was charged with 2 counts of unlawful carnal knowledge, and he was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded to prison until May 30, 2013, his next court date.

Two days before the last general elections, a story emerged out of the United States saying that a newly formed Florida company called GDG Acquisitions, - GDG - presumably as in, Glenn D. Godfrey - was suing the Government of Belize in the United States for ten million US dollars plus interest. Well, the news today is that the law suit has been dismissed. The suit was one of those ghosts of government's past, where Godfrey was saying that a so called Master Lease Agreement an Agreement was originally entered into on December 18, 2002 and signed by Godfrey, as Chairman of Intelco, and Ralph Fonseca, as "Minister of Budget Management" for the Belize Government. GDG says Government owes it $10.3 million dollars for "failing to pay rent or return telecommunications equipment that the Government allegedly leased from Intelco in 2002-2003." Well, the Government of Belize filed a "Motion to Dismiss the Complaint" in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Car Dealer To Jail After Gun Find
34-year-old Delvith Retreage, a car dealer from Ladyville, is behind bars after he was allegedly busted over the weekend in possession of a 9 mm pistol loaded with 7 rounds of ammunition. According to police, they received information of a fight in front of Selina's Cool Spot in Ladyville, and they responded at around 10:50 p.m. According to the officers, when they arrived, they saw Retreage who ran to the gate adjacent to the establishment and threw away an object. They detained him, and retrieved the item in his presence and discovered that it was a 9 mm pistol with 7 live rounds in its magazine. As a result, he was with firearm offences, and he arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until May 29, 2013, his next court date.

Workers Group Challenges Kolbe
A group calling itself the Belize Central Prison Employees correlation is taking on the management of the Kolbe Foundation - the private managers of the Prison. Their central issue is that they claim too many employees are being fired. They have a whole lot of other issues - and made a video documentary out of it. Attorneys for John Woods have written telling them to take down the defamatory video off FACEBOOK. But they say the issues in the documentary are the same issues they have taken to the NTUCB, the Ombudsman and now to the media. The leaders of the group told us more today: Herman Blease - Belize Central Prison Employees' Correlation "Since January of this year, we had close to 30 employees being either terminated or suspended and even as I speak to you this minute, the head of the I.T section is on suspension - has just been suspended from the prison. Again this is a - this speaks to an on-going industrial relationship problem of the prison between the management and the employees. So we're saying since the first of March, we are going to create a movement that will put a stop to this continuing problem at Kolbe. So, we have gone ahead and met with the N.T.U.C.B, we've gone ahead and met with the Ombudsman, and now today, we are here because we have been threatened. The prison has gone ahead a threatened the correlation by issuing instructions through their attorney, that a documentary be removed from the - from Facebook."

Fire Claims Two-Storey Building
An area on Freetown Road was close to traffic this afternoon after a two story building caught on fire. Around 1:53 this afternoon fire fighters responded to a call on Freetown road and on arrival they found the upper wooden flat of a two storey building engulfed in flames. The team immediately got into operation and managed to completely extinguish the fire less than 45 minutes after. The 2 story concrete lower and wooden upper building was unoccupied at the time of the fire. So far fire officials have not yet determined the cause of the fire but told 7news that the fire started from the Southeastern portion of the upper flat.

Undersize Conch Caught In South
The Southern Environmental Association known as SEA is rpeorting that a month ago it busted two persons fishing undersized conch. They had 911 undersized filet conch. They were charged and fined $18,220.00 or one year in prison in default of payment. The following day, SEA went to the Independence Village dock side where they found one person with NINETY SEVEN (97) undersized market clean conchs. He was fined $1,945.00 or six months in prison in default of payment. Market clean conch must exceed 3oz, conch fillet must exceed 2.75oz, and conch shell size should be a minimum of 7 inches. It is illegal to sell or buy diced conch because this does not allow for conch size to be determined. Conch season is closed from July 1st to September 30th of every year.

How Did Darnell Do It? He Almost Didn't!
On Saturday, Darnell Barrow wrote his name into history when he won the 85thCross Country. And while he's the new champion, the truth is no one picked Darnell Barrow to win the 85th Cross Country Cycling Classic. He'd been on the rocks with his team, his bike frame is busted up, and he hadn't been having the best year training. So, the 24 year old rider from Coral Grove almost picked up and went to Cancun with his mom this Easter. But he didn't; he hung in there and made it to the starting line - even though he almost got late, arriving just two minutes before the start. Sounds kind of harum scarum to see that it preceded the ride of his life. But happenstance is how he got into cycling in the first place when he started riding on, of all things, a beach cruiser! Today he came to our studio to tell us how he went from that humble beginning to cruising across the finish line first after he rode the whole race like a shadow: Darnell Barrow - 2013 Cross Country Champion "The feeling, the feeling is still unbelievable. That is the feeling, I still have to deal with it, and I still don't believe that I finally pulled it off. It's overwhelming." Jules Vasquez "Now, you're nationally known, everyone knows who you are, and everybody wants some of your time, or just to watch them or say their name."

Channel 5

Jealousy; woman kills another in Sarteneja
We start tonight’s newscast with an unusual murder in which a Sarteneja woman allegedly took the life of another. The incident happened on Sunday night in the village and it also involved another victim. The two were stabbed multiple times and were rushed for medical treatment but one did not make it to the nearest [...]

While motive still uncertain in Belize City homicide
Violence appeared to have been contained in the City over the Easter weekend, that is, until Monday night. Michael Heusner, a fisherman, was returning to his house from a trip to a nearby grocery store when two gunmen opened fire on him.  The father of one was hit on the head; he did not stand [...]

Another man arraigned for Corozal kidnapping
  A second man has been charged in the kidnapping case up north in Corozal Town. Thirty-six year old Bernabel Pena now joins thirty-two year old Thomas Villanueva who was charged last Thursday in connection with the abduction of two year old Ivy Yang on March twenty-fifth. Several persons were initially detained and released but [...]

Black gold found in Orange Walk District
But there is some positive news to report tonight. That’s because there is official word that Maranco Energy Belize Limited, an onshore drilling company, has struck gold…black gold, that is. A release from the Ministry of Energy, this afternoon states that on March thirtieth the company “discovered an encouraging oil show at their South Canal [...]

Lawsuit against G.O.B. quashed in US Court
There is another piece of good news for the government since a ten million US dollar lawsuit against them, by businessman Glenn Godfrey, for an alleged breach of contract was dismissed earlier today by a U.S court for the Southern District of Florida.  The case was brought by GDG Acquisitions, a company related to the [...]

Offensive map to be used on new Guatemalan passports
The Government of Guatemala is including Belize as part of its territory in maps appearing in primary school text books. That decision was taken at the behest of the Ministry of Education but even prior to that the offensive map was protested at the Organization of American States when it was used to illustrate the [...]

Early afternoon fire in the City
There was an early afternoon fire in the City. It caused a stir in the neighborhood because the wooden building was located in congested area on Freetown Road. The building was unoccupied but previously housed a grocery story. The Fire Department arrived on the scene and was able to contain the fire from spreading and [...]

1 man hospitalized following shooting in San Pedro
San Pedro was the scene of much excitement this Easter weekend, and not exactly the good kind. One shooting incident Easter Sunday night has left a San Pedro resident recovering at the K.H.M.H. while the man who shot him is detained pending charges. Reports are that the incident occurred at the popular Holiday Hotel located [...]

Unexpected swim; partygoers plunged into sea as wooden deck collapses
And while that incident resulted in bloodshed, a group of about forty-five partygoers in San Pedro were treated to an unexpected swim when a wooden deck collapsed under their weight and plunged into the sea. The incident occurred at the Tackle Box Bar and Grill at around one thirty Sunday morning when reports are that [...]

Woman alleges she was raped by 2 men including a police officer
A woman was allegedly raped by two men, one of whom she describes as a police officer. A waitress from Belize City reported to Police that on Sunday, March thirty-first she was raped by two men, at least one of whom she believed to be a police officer. According to the report, the twenty year [...]

Over $1.2 Million in contraband goods seized; Belizean origin?
Contraband goods are normally brought into the country through the back doors of Guatemala or Mexico but over the weekend a large amount of contraband was seized near El Ceibo in La Libertad, Petén which is located at the Guatemala -Mexico border. What does this have to do with Belize you may ask? Well the [...]

3 persons arrested and charged for fishing undersized conch
The conch season will be closed from July first to September thirtieth, but three persons have been arrested and fined for fishing undersized conch in southern Belize. The bust was made by the Southern Environmental Association, known as SEA, which co-manages various marine areas. Two persons, who were caught with nine hundred and eleven undersized [...]

Alleged carnal knowledge offender nabbed while trying to flee across border
  A Belize City warehouse keeper, who Police caught at the Belize Western border after he allegedly tried to flee with a pregnant minor to neighboring Guatemala, was today slapped with two counts of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. He is eighteen-year-old Alberto Antonio Barraza of Belize City. This afternoon, Barraza appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie [...]

2 men charged for attempted murder of cop
  Two men will be spending their first night at the Belize Central Prison after being slapped with charges of Attempted Murder on two police officers. Thirty-year old mechanic Dane Enriquez and twenty-three year old carpenter Alexander Underwood appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and both were charged jointly with Attempted Murder on PC [...]

Senator speaks on corruption in government
Senator representing the private sector Mark Lizarraga has been a very vocal proponent for a change in the way things are done in government to allow for greater adherence to those much-used political buzzwords – transparency and accountability. In Thursday’s newscast, Lizarraga spoke about the government’s new brainchild; the special purpose vehicle called BIL, and [...]

Spectacular Highlights from the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
  Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The 85th edition of the Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic will go down as the most excitingly competitive race Belizeans have ever seen on a Holy Saturday. at the start in front of Leslie’s Imports, 87 riders are suited up for blast off [...]


Belizean Cyclist Brings Home Cross Country Garland
One of the Easter weekend’s main event took place on Holy Saturday morning. A number of Belizeans made the annual trek to mile three and a half on the George Price Highway where over eighty riders lined up at the starting point for the 85th running of the cross country cycl...

US District Court Dismisses Case Against Government of Belize
The United States District Court for the southern district of Florida has dismissed a case brought against the Government of Belize by GDG Acquisitions, a company owned by Glenn Godfrey. Godfrey had taken the Government to court alleging a breach of a master lease agreement that ...

Wives of Three Brothers Involved In Fatal Stabbing Incident
One woman is detained pending charges following a fatal stabbing incident in the Corozal District. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL "One woman is detained following the murder of another woman. The incident took place in Sarteneja Village in the ...

Reports of Murder, Rape and Theft Span The Easter Weekend
On Saturday, March 31, 2013 about 2:15 am Margarita Pott, a 45-year old Domestic of Caledonia Village in the Corozal District visited the Caledonia Police Station in the company of her daughter, Cruzita Pott bleeding from what appears to be multiple chop wounds. She reported ...

Oil Discovery In Northern Belize
On Saturday Maranco Energy Belize Limited discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District. A release from the Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities says further and necessary...

Police Investigate Easter Monday Murder
At around 7:30 on Easter Monday night, residents of Mahogany Street near its intersection with Mopan Street said they heard a flurry of gunshots. When they looked outside, a man lay on the street apparently dead. His name is Michael Heusner, a 28 year old who lived on Courtenay’...

Officials Investigate Mid Afternoon Fire
A fire disrupted the hustle and bustle of Freetown Road this afternoon. Firemen were alerted to the fire at about seven minutes to two o’clock this afternoon, and it took them about three minutes to arrive at number 42 Freetown Road where the upper flat of the building, a wooden ...

Child Drowns During Family Outing
A family outing during an Easter Monday swimming adventure turned devastating at the start of the trip when one of the children drowned. Nine year old Davin Zelaya Garnett, along with his sister, Monika Sulph, and their close friends had gone to swim at the river in Gracie Rock V...

Love News Investigates Crocodile Killing
On the heels of an arrest of a High School Principal of the Orange Walk District who was accused of killing an endangered species, a howler monkey, a disturbing picture has been forwarded to Love News. It shows the image of a woman and a man holding a dead crocodile while another...

Police News
Two men were charged with attempted murder when they appeared in court today. They are 23 year old Alexander Underwood and 30 year old Dane Enriquez. Underwood, a carpenter of Reggae Street, was charged with the attempted murder of police constable Raphael Abraham. Enriquez was charged...

Environmental Association Busts Fishermen With Illegal Conch
Over twenty thousand dollars of fines were imposed on fishermen after having been busted engaging in illegal fishing activities that include Conch. The bust was done by the Southern Environmental Association, SEA which works toward improving stewardship and environmental integrit...

Prescribed Forest Burns Conducted In Protected Areas
A series of prescribed burning have been completed in some eight thousand acres of forested areas in the Payne’s Creek National Park in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG "At this time of the year and dry season in Belize, a num...

Resident of Elderly Home Goes Missing
A resident of Sister Cecilia Home for the Elderly on Wilson Street in Belize City has been reported missing. An attendant said she reported for duty around 2:45 yesterday afternoon and around 4:00 p.m. she gathered all the residents for supper when she realized that one of them, ...

Shooting Incident Reported During A San Pedro Easter Event
A shooting incident was reported in San Pedro town on Sunday Morning. According to Police the incident occurred sometime around 8:30 p.m. at Holiday Inn Hotel on Barrier Reef Drive. Twenty nine year old San Pedro resident, Allen “Ajay” Martinez was at that locat...

American National Robbed On City Streets
Police in Belize City are investigating an incident in which a nationalized American was robbed yesterday. The fifty five year old woman told police shortly after seven o’clock last night she was walking along Calle al Mar, which is adjacent to the MCC Grounds, when she was...

Establishment In San Pedro Collapses During Easter Event
San Pedro was perhaps one of the biggest destinations to head to over the Easter break, but no one thought that while they geared up their dance moves they would be treated to an unsuspected dip in the sea. That is what happened at the Tackle Box Bar and Grill in San Pedro Town o...

Car Dealer Arrested on Firearm Charges
A car dealer has been charged with firearm offences. Police say on Monday night they received reports of a fight in front of Celina’s Cool Spot on the Philip Goldson Highway. When they arrived they saw a male person identified as 34-year-old Delvith Retreage Junior wh...

Easter Weekend Events Reported Successful in the Stann Creek District
We join correspondent Harry Arzu for a look at some of the activities that took place over the Easter weekend in Southern Belize. HARRY ARZU " Families and friends from far and near attended several Easter holiday functions in various communities in the Stann Creek Distric...


Black Gold Struck In Orange Walk
In 2011 Maranco Energy Belize Limited was awarded a Production Sharing Agreement for vacant petroleum exploration blocks in the northwestern Orange Walk District. The concession included a section of a protected area; the Rio Bravo Conservation Management Area. While cabinet issued the P.S.A., it is known that APAMO and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage both presented concerns against the awarding of the Production Sharing Agreement. Belize Natural Energy Limited and an Irish company named CARA also objected the Maranco contract. But it seems that all of that was left in the past and word tonight is that Maranco has discovered oil in Orange Walk. According to a press release from GOB, on March 30th 2013, Maranco Energy Limited discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well located in the Gallon Jug area in the Orange Walk District. We understand that further and necessary testing is ongoing to determine the commercial potential of the oil show and that the Geology and Petroleum Department personnel are on site and are closely monitoring the situation. According to GOB, they will be providing more information about the discovery as soon as more facts are gathered. Viewers might recall that in 2011 Maranco LLC, the offshore company in St. Kitts & Nevis, which owns Maranco Limited, the local branch filed a lawsuit against B.N.E.’s parent company International Natural Energy, in which director, Tony Quinn, was found in breach of his fiduciary responsibilities. Quinn was ordered to purchase Maranco’s shares in I.N.E. The value was determined by an independent evaluation

Belize City Fisherman Murdered
And while that murder played out in the Village of Sarteneja on Holy Saturday, Easter Monday also proved to be deadly as it claimed the life of a Belize City resident. At around 7:40 last night, Belize City police visited Mahogany Street, about 50 yards from the junction with Mopan Street where they observed the lifeless body of 28 year old Michael Anthony Heusner, Belizean Fisherman of number 3272 Courtney Crescent, Belize City, lying face down on the right hand side of Mahogany Street with multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Initial investigations have revealed that at about 7:25 on Monday night, Heusner was walking on Mahogany Street from the direction of Mopan Street heading towards Sarstoon Street to make a purchase at a nearby Taiwanese Store, when two male persons riding separate bicycles rode up from behind him. One of the men is said to have pulled out a firearm and riddled Heusner’s body with bullets. While that is the official police report, residents of the area claim that the man who pulled the trigger was on foot. The individual allegedly walked up to Huesner from behind and released a barrage of bullets at the victim while a second individual struck him on the back of the head. Police retrieved six 40 caliber Smith and Wesson expended shells from the scene. The victim’s body was transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where it was pronounced dead on arrival at 8:19pm and now awaits a post mortem examination.

Man Chops Woman In Jealous Rage
A woman from the village of Caledonia in the Corozal District is lucky to be alive tonight after an act of jealous rage nearly claimed her life. Reports are that on the 31st of March 2013, at around 2:00am, 45 year old Margarita Pott was at home when a highly intoxicated Geraldo Taca, with whom she had an affair with, arrived at her residence. The 32 year old man, also from the Village of Caledonia, reportedly opened the front door and pulled Pott out of her house. An argument ensued between the couple and that is when Taca pulled out a machete and chopped Pott multiple times. All indications are that the act was committed out of jealousy as reports are that on Saturday March 30th, Taca saw Pott talking to another male individual at the village’s park. Taca has been detained by police. As for Pott, she is recuperating from her injuries at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital.

Rhaburns Claim They Were Unjustly Treated By Police
Karen Rhaburn is tonight at odds with the Orange Walk Police Department and a few of its police officers. According to Rhaburn, her 19 year old son, Paul Rhaburn, was innocently detained and arrested last night for what police thought to be a stolen bicycle. Rhaburn strongly believes that her son was targeted by police and that she herself was mistreated and taken advantage of by certain police officers. Having nowhere else to turn, Rhaburn recounted her dilemma to the media and told us what exactly happened last night. Karen Rhaburn, Mother “They actually came to my house last night and took him in for his own bicycle and told him that they are going to take him because the bicycle that he had was stolen. One of the police officers even told him that it looked like a bike of his that he had that went missing. So he told him that the bike is his and if they didn’t believed him then he could take him home to me and show them the receipt because we had just purchase it on Thursday night. Then they told him that they are not interested in hearing that and we would take him in anyway. My son told them something and then one of the officers hold his firearm at him and pointed it at him and he pushed it away and told him that they can’t hold their firearm at him because he didn’t do anything. He told them that he lived around the Nature Park area and at the mention of that like everything change and they said oh, a laptop is missing from that area and that they will pick him up for that laptop. So he went with them; they handcuffed him, an innocent guy. They had no reason to handcuff him.” But when Rhaburn got to the police station to inquire about her son’s arrest, she was given a different story.

Super Furia's New Music Video: Belize Da Fi We
Here in the North Super Furia is a popular family band known for its original style. Over the years the band has left its imprint in other parts of the country as it thrives on “soka” music. Super Furia Band has released a number of songs and music videos. Recently the band added another music video to their list and today lead singer of the group, Roxanna Alcoser, stopped by our studios to share the group’s latest achievement with us. The Song is called “Belize Da Fi We” and the video was filmed at different locations in Belize. Roxanna Alcoser Super Furia “Basically the name says it all. We are just trying to send a message that Belize is ours, no matter jump high, jump low it’s ours. It took us like- it’s a lot of effort into this- it’s a four minutes song but it’s a lot of work but thankfully we have, my father is an experienced song writer and then we have my brothers and everybody chipping so that this song can be so a magnitude as it is right now. Well this song is inspired with basically the issues that surround us right now with Guatemala and Belize and we want to send a message to Guatemala that please respect our borderlines and understand that Belize is for Belizeans. This is a “soka” rhythm that we try to do it mellow so that the message can be surpassed very clearly. The video is another load of work that we had there. We shot different vies from different parts of the country, Orange Walk, Cayo Belize. We tried to get different shots because Belize is diverse.” Super Furia Band won the battle of the bands last year in September. The video can also be viewed on Facebook and on YouTube.

16 Gauge Shotgun Stolen
Before we left you on Holy Thursday we gave you a number of tips on how to keep your home safe from burglars while you were away enjoying the long Easter holiday. But we all know that when it comes to criminals, they find a way to get what they want and in the case of 86 year old Carlito Sierra, a Belizean pensioner of Orange Walk Town, that’s exactly what happened. His residence located on San Victor Street Orange Walk Town was burglarized between the 17th and the 28th of March 2013. Stolen from the premises was one Steven’s Brand 16 gauge shotgun with serial number 76297 valued at $150.00. Police are investigating

Crop Week 17th: Successful
There is no doubt that the Sugar Industry is pivotal to the Belizean economy and when it is in trouble it causes a domino effect. But the good news is that the 2012/2013 crop season is on the right track so far, that is according to our weekly review. Our weekly indicator shows that compared to last year, the factory has milled 100,000 tons of cane more as the total amount of cane milled stood at more that 700,000 up to March 26th. The 17th week of crop recently culminated and here are the latest figures coming out of BSI. Week 17th of the 2012/2013 sugar cane crop season ended on March 26th. So far for this year, the sugar factory has milled a total of 737,583 tons of cane, translating to 312 tons of cane per hour. To date, 77,267 tons of sugar has been produced. That’s 10,197 tons more compared to last year when 67,060 tons of sugar was produced during the same time frame. For this week alone, 52,881 tons of cane was milled at a ratio of 347 tons per hour, producing 6,081 tons of sugar. But besides quantity, the factory is also looking for quality. For this week, cane pol registered at 13.37% averaging to 12.11% so far for this crop season while TC/TS was recorded at 8.7%. For week 17th, juice brix stood at 18.99% averaging to 17.20% so far, while juice purity stood at 88.10% averaging at a total of 86.63% for this crop season.


Fisherman shot dead in Belize City
His family is not talking, but Police have confirmed that 28 year old Michael Anthony Heusner, a fisherman of Courtenay Crescent, was shot Monday night while walking on Mahogany Street. Police say that around 7:25 p.m. on April 1, Heusner was coming from the direction of Mopan Street heading...

10 year old drowns in Belize River
A little boy was lost to his family after apparently drowning in the Belize River at Rockville on Easter Monday. 10 year old Davin Zelaya had gone out with his family to the riverside for a fun day of swimming, but he disappeared under the water, never to be...

Belizean cyclist Darrel Barrow keeps the garland home
The 85th cross country race was held this weekend with a Belizean coming out on top. 73 Belizeans, 14 foreigners from Mexico, Guatemala and the U.S.A. – kicked off from Mile 1 ½ on the George Price Highway from 6:00 a.m. Saturday, en route to San Ignacio Town and...

Eddie Garcia knocked off his bicycle by a motorcycle
The 2013 Cross Country did not go without incident. Belizean/American cyclist, Eddie Garcia was knocked down in Georgeville. Garcia was knocked off his bicycle by a motorcycle on his way back to Belize City. Thankfully, he was not badly injured. Garcia, who is in the Marines in North Carolina,...

Guatemala plans to put new map in passports
It may have seemed that things had cooled down after a map depicting Belize as a part of Guatemala was being circulated by Guatemala in various outlets, but there may just be a greater circulation of the map, or one similar to it, in the near future. This is...

Man shot at hotel in San Pedro
One man’s Easter vacation came to a sudden halt after he was shot at a hotel in San Pedro. 29 year old resident of San Pedro Town, Allen “Ajay” Martinez, , was at the Holiday Inn on Barrier Reef Drive with friends when he got into an altercation with...

Two men in prison after alleged shootout with Police
Two men are in prison tonight, after an alleged shootout with Police. 30 year old Dane Enriquez and 23 year old Alexander Underwood were jointly charged with one count of attempted murder upon PC Raphael Abraham. Enriquez was additionally charged with the attempted murder of PC Juan Morales and...

Police investigate stabbing incident in Placencia
The festivities in Placencia over the Easter holiday attracted over five thousand visitors to the peninsula. Unfortunately, with such an abundance of people, incidences of violence often times seem inevitable. And over the weekend, a stabbing incident took place in front of the Tipsy Tuna Bar. Authorities say they...

Upgrading taking place within Placencia Police sub-formation
Some upgrading has been taking place within the Placencia Police sub-formation. Inspector Mark Flowers: It is certainly different from what it was. With the arrival of all those visitors I’m certain that it was noticed that the Police Station has been freshly painted. There’s been an expansion, and there’s...

US Courts dismiss lawsuit against GOB
The US Courts has dismissed a ten million dollar lawsuit against the Government of Belize. You may remember back in February of 2012, news broke that GDG Acquisitions LLC, a company controlled by attorney Glenn Godfrey – a former PUP Attorney General, was suing the Government for an alleged...

Illegal conch busts made in Placencia
Illegal conch busts made by Southern Environmental Association will result in fines of over $20,000. On February 26th, 2013, Southern Environmental Association (SEA) responded to reports of individuals in Placencia Village engaging in illegal fishing activities. This operation led to the discovery of two individuals in possession of 911...

Oil Discovery in Orange Walk District
There has been an oil Discovery in the Orange Walk District. According to Maranco Energy Belize Limited, on March 30, they discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District. What exactly is the commercial quantity...

More job-seekers off to Canada
The response to job openings in Canada has been overwhelming. People in Belize City and Belmopan waited for hours during the course of hiring to get a job interview to work at McDonald’s in Western Canada. The three days of recruiting in both Cities saw more than eleven-hundred (1000)...

BATSUB receives new vehicles
Although the British Government has scaled down its military operations in Belize, it is still a vital training base for British soldiers. Dr Andrew Murrisson MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for International Security Strategy at the UK Ministry of Defence, made an official visit here on the 21st...

World Autism Awareness Day observed
Today is being observed as World Autism Awareness Day. The day is dedicated to increasing knowledge and understanding about people living with autism. Autism, which is a developmental disability, impinges on normal brain functions. It usually surfaces during the first three years of a person’s life, and is a...

One woman dead and another in custody after brawl
One woman is dead and another is in custody after a brawl in Sartenaja Village. It is not clear what exactly happened sometime late Saturday night and early Sunday morning at a dance in the village – where the incident occurred, but what we do know is that just...

Chopping incident appears to be result of jealous lover’s rage
Police are investigating a chopping incident in Corozal that appears to be as a result of a jealous lover’s rage. Police say that in the early hours of Sunday morning, the victim and her mother, walked into the police station, – the wounded woman bleeding from multiple chop wounds....

Woman targeted by robber near MCC Grounds
A woman was targeted by a robber near the MCC Grounds in Belize City. Yesterday, the woman, a 55 year old nationalized American, told Police that she was walking along Calle al Mar, which is adjacent to the MCC Grounds in the Newtown Barracks Area of the city, when...

Undercover Police make three arrests in drug sting operation
Cops made three arrests after they went undercover in a drug sting operation. Last week, GSU officers posed as thugs, went to purchase weed in the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway and busted the dealers. Police say that 21 year old Shawn Mckay supplied seventy-nine grams...


Texas Tech Programs available in Belize
Parents are always looking for options for their children and we have a new educational opportunity for the 2013-2014 school year. Multiple parents have been requesting a program that will allow their child to have an education comparable to the United States. Cheryl Bowen, Tina Hayden and Tammy Peterson took on the challenge of finding such a program. As a result, a satellite classroom of TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL (TTUHS) will be opening for student attendance on August 23, 2013. Texas Tech University High School (TTUHS) is NOT a Belizean school. It is a non-profit satellite school for the Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD) in Lubbock, Texas, USA. All of the course requirements, books and materials are established by the TTUISD. When a child enrolls, he/she is enrolling in an accredited US high school. He/she is attending a school in the United States, located in the Texas Tech University Independent School District without ever leaving Belize. THAT is the advantage of Long Distance Learning! Students can access an education in the United States ONLINE instead of leaving Belize and traveling to live in the US.

Expat Living – We bought a little beach bar and we’re moving to Belize
Expat Living is a new feature that will inspire those of you who are planning a move to Belize. Venturing into unknown territory is half the fun but helps to have a good map and a realistic sense of direction in all areas A great way to prepare yourself for moving to Belize is by reading personal interviews and advice from expats living and working in Belize. Some of us could not move here fast enough after one visit, Sue and Steve are a great example of that. Their story will speak to those who know when they are meant to be somewhere and everything lines up fast to make their move and get settled in their new life. Enjoy 1. What made you choose a trip to Belize in the first place? Being scuba divers, Belize and specifically Ambergris Caye had been on our radar for many years. In fact, we knew people who were coming down to Belize and loving it when we lived in Vancouver 20 years ago. Our first time visiting was last May when we came down to check out business opportunities on the island. 2. Was it love at first sight when you got here? Pretty much. We really liked the laid back attitude we encountered and the extreme friendliness of both locals and visitors. The beauty of the Caribbean and the reef captivated us as well.

Oil Discovered In Orange Walk District- Northern Belize
The Government of Belize, through The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities announced that oil was discovered in the Orange Walk District. A press release reads: "Maranco Energy Belize Limited, on March 30, 2013, discovered an encouraging oil show at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in their concession area in the Orange Walk District. Further and necessary testing is ongoing to determine the commercial potential of the oil show. The Geology and Petroleum Department personnel are on site and are closely monitoring the situation." According to the Ministry, they will be providing more information about the discovery within a fortnight or as soon as new and additional information is gathered.

Belizean Tableta
Tableta is a wonderful, sweet coconut candy. As a child growing up in Belize, this was always such a good treat. Absolutely very few ingredients...brown sugar, grated coconut, ginger and condensed milk and 20 minutes later, you have a treat that is sure to please.

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 for their individual contributions to Belizean society. The idea behind hailing the class of nineteen, according to Acting Director of the Women’s Department Cynthia Williams, is to celebrate them as positive role models for men and women alike. Cynthia Williams, Acting Director, Women’s Department “We closed the celebration in observance of Women’s Month last night with the Eight Annual Outstanding Women’s Awards. It was held at the Bliss and it was an opportunity for the department, as well as partner agencies, both government and civil society to showcase the work and contributions of several women throughout the country. So the department, on an annual basis, selects a woman per district on their work, on their contributions.

Standard for Public Comments: Code of Practice for Organically Produced Foods
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) wishes to notify the relevant stakeholders and the general public that the standard “Code of Practice for Organically Produced Foods” is being developed by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). The draft standard “Code of Practice for Organically Produced Foods” Draft Regional COP for Organic Food – March 25 2013 is out for public comments and inputs into its technical contents. Stakeholders are asked to note, on approval of the standard by COTED, the BBS will adopt the same as a national standard. The deadline for submission of comments to the Bureau of Standards is May 22nd, 2013. The standard is also available on request from the BBS office. Comments (Comment Template: Member States comments templatee-organically produced foods – 20130325 (2)) can be mailed to the BBS Office or email at or

“All Right Now” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Apologies to regular readers for the ‘break’ in publishing but with no work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize -because of Easter – there wasn’t a lot to write about without either you or me, or all of us, finding it boring. The fact that there was no ‘action’ on the build doesn’t mean to say that Rose and I ‘shut off’ from thinking about our new home because we didn’t. It seems like we spent the vast majority of the four day Easter holiday agonising over what toilets, sinks, taps (faucets for the non-UK readers) and showers to choose. You would think that it would be relatively easy . Perhaps it should be. But that hasn’t been the case for us. We got there in the end though. With this ‘out of the way’ we can now start turning our attention to tile and granite colours. Can’t wait! Being the beginning of the month, today was ‘pay the bills day’ and this entailed a visit to Atlantic International Bank Limited in Pescador Drive. Learnt (never too old to learn) a couple of things whilst I was stuck in the very long queue. First lesson is that you should avoid going to a bank the day after a public holiday. Should have realised that the bank would be busy. Why should Belize be any different in this respect to the UK. The second lesson I learned is that if you are sixty-five years of age or older then you can go to the front of the queue. I only know this because I challenged someone who I thought was ‘queue jumping’. They soon put me right!

Corozal experienced an impressive Easter Holiday turnout this past Saturday and Sunday. Thousands of residents flocked to the Corozal Bay, Cerros Sands Beach, Sarteneja and Progresso Lagoon to enjoy beautiful weather and friendship. This is a great turn of events for Corozal and here is hoping that the stakeholders capitalize in the growing trend of local and foreign tourism in this area. Build more facilities and amenities and they will come. Way to go Corozal!

April 2, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Guatemalan high court official visits San Pedro Town
The Chief Prosecutor for Women’s Affairs in the Guatemalan Court was on Ambergris Caye and paid a courtesy call to both the Officer Commanding the San Pedro Police Department Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos and the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero. Licenciada Leonora Castillo of Guatemala City was vacationing with her family on Ambergris Caye, and said that while on the island, she took time out of her vacation schedule to make a call on Castellanos who she knows for a long time. In speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Castillo said that she was honored to have met the Mayor of San Pedro Town and members of the Council. “Both Castellanos and Mayor Guerrero received me very warmly. They instantly made me feel at home. I took the opportunity to meet with Castellanos, who has attended regional training together with me, to briefly see some of the work he does. As part of his work with the community, Castellanos was instrumental in having me meet the Mayor,” the Guatemalan Women’s Prosecutor said.

Medication with Pseudoephedrine removed from San Pedro shops
All medication containing pseudoephedrine is being removed from the shelves at local stores on Ambergris Caye. The initiative is part of a country wide action by the Ministry of Health to stop shops from selling medication with pseudoephedrine since it should only be sold by licensed pharmacists. As such, the Health Inspector on Ambergris Caye has been visiting stores confiscating medication with pseudoephedrine content. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Lisa Tillett, Health Inspector at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II, said that shops are not authorized to sell medication with the given drug content. “We have been confiscating all antibiotics and drugs containing pseudoephedrine from all the stores. These drugs should only be sold by licensed pharmacist and with a prescription. What is happening is that we have stores on the island selling these drugs and it is very dangerous for people to buy them, especially if they don’t know to use them, or it hasn’t been prescribed to them by a doctor,” said Tillett.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize on Biggest Baddest Bucketlist
Cayo's Alberto Matus has put together a video for the Biggest Baddest Bucklist. It was shot all around Cayo, and Belize. It gives a great overview of Belize for those that don't know. Definitely worth a watch. Great enthusiam, Alberto! "A total of 183 countries present in Pittsburgh, USA on October 2012 at the One Young World Summit. A UK non profit organization who gathers the brightest young people from all over the globe to debate and present reasonable solutions to global issues. There I was the first and single representative of my beloved country, Belize. Holding our flag."

World Culture Band Rocks Easter
The World Culture Band played on Easter at Lucky 5. Looks like everyone had a wild time to go with the amazing live music.

VIDEO: Howler Monkeys in San Ignacio
Cuteness of the day. Guessing that this was at Xunantunich, where they can usually be found on the left side of El Castillo. Enjoy!

Cross Country Cycling Classic Finish Line
Will Moreno was at the finish line of the 85th annual Cross Country Cycling Classic to get some great stills of the riders last sprint. Nice shots. Congratulations, Darnell Barrow!

"You have waited and here is the frame by frame action at the finish line as Darnell Barrow wins the 85th Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic."

Channel 5

VIDEO: 85th Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic
6 hr, 11 minute video....


Have you heard the buzz?
Most you have already heard the buzz by now but in case you haven’t…. Ambergris Caye was named Top Island in the Travelers Choice Awards 2013. It’s no surprise why Ambergris Caye rose to the top on the world’s 10 best Islands list on Trip Advisor. By far the most developed of the Cayes, Ambergris is still pretty laid-back with it’s friendly people, cobblestone streets, golf carts and beach-side bars. The island may have started as a small fishing village, but it grew into Belize’s prime tourist destination. The Barrier Reef is only a quarter mile from the shore and a stones throw away you will find, world famous snorkeling and dive site Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Ambergris also offers amazing reef and deep-sea fishing, sailing and Nat Geo moments all around. Of course the news is gaining international coverage, someone missed fact checking at Reuters when they put this comment in – “Ambergris Caye boasts spectacular caves, winding waterfalls, tropical rainforest and hundreds of limestone caves,” Trip Advisor spokeswoman Emma Shaw said in a statement. Funny how that came out right after the miss spelled Trip Advisor sign was put up in town [and quickly taken down] for Easter.

Why YOU Should Visit Belize in April and May
April and May can be some pretty great months to visit Belize. The Easter/Spring Break crowds have started to thin out. The peak airline prices of December, US Presidents’ Week, and Easter are starting to come down a bit. And the wetter season hasn’t started yet so the average day is dry and warm. On the mainland it can be very warm…but let me tell you some of the reasons that the trip will be well worth it. All the usual every day Belize stuff is going on…snorkeling the reef, beach barbecues, diving, sailing, spotting manatees, visiting stunning Mayan ruins, toucan watching, cave tubing and zip lining and more. Not enough? Here are some special events you can add to your itinerary in April and May. Diving and Snorkeling with Whale Sharks – The largest fish in the sea can be seen feeding on snapper spawn off the coast of Belize during the full moons in April and May. A few days before and a few days after these moons, the sharks migrate to this area to eat. It’s what they do…it’s what they live for. It can’t be easy to maintain a weight of 20 tons eating plankton and fish eggs. The 44th Annual Belmopan Agriculture and Trade Show, The Fair Grounds, Belmopan, May 3rd – 5th – Crowded? Check. Crazy crowded. Approximately 20,000 people attend this event. Hot? Check. Very very. Fun? Check. 100 checks. This event should not be missed. Food, drink, dancing, games, carnival rides, animals, plant and fruit shows, a rodeo, live music and everyone you know in Belize…I haven’t even scratched the surface. Check out my two parter on the 2012 Ag Show. (Part One and Part Two). And I’ll definitely see you there! 20th Annual Cashew Festival, Crooked Tree, Belize – First or Second Weekend of May (To be announced). The cashew isn’t just a nut…there is a huge fruit attached that is used to make jellies and wine (that tastes to me like teriyaki sauce). Aren’t the fruit gorgeous?

Lady Gaga Tweets About Belize
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known by her stage name Lady Gaga has just tweeted about Belize. The tweet was on a blog post entitled “Ambergris Caye Wins Top Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Award” which was published on our travel blog on March 27th 2013.

Assumption and presupposition regarding Belize future by: Nuri Akbar
The final major attempt at settling Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize came in the form of a document called the “Heads of Agreement” in 1981. This culminated in nation wide paralyzing strikes and national convulsion. From time immemorial a claim/threat by a militaristic and aggressive garrison state upon the territorial integrity of another nation, regardless of how small or large, would naturally serve as a unifying force among the people of the target threat. However, this was not the synergy that reverberated across the nation of Belize leading up to its independence on September 21st 1981, and it has not currently manifested itself as we are confronted in the latest ICJ plot. The British colonial rulers not only divided the people of Belize geographically, but racially, culturally, religiously and politically. This model of course, was perfected by the British and they carried out this strategy for more than five hundred years across the globe as they wage war, rape, pillage, enslaved and committed genocide upon the darker people of the earth.

International Sources

An inspiring trip to distribute shoes, host 5K in Belize
Ernesto was beaming, looking like he was going to jump right out of his wheelchair as Lafayette's Anne Klein fitted him with a new pair of running shoes a couple of days before the annual One World Run in northern Belize last month. It was day three of the weeklong Buck-I-Serv Alternative Spring Break trip, a partnership between The Ohio State University and One World Running. Klein had come along for the first time, treating her goddaughter, Maine high school senior Laura MacDonald, to the trip. "I want to expose all three of my godchildren to other cultures, to show them how fortunate and blessed we are to live where we do," said Klein, a long-time runner and now vice president of administration and sustainability at Boulder's Newton Running, which contributed shoes to the race, along with other local firms Pearl Izumi and Crocs. Klein was one of four adults on the student trip (five, if you count me). "Anne is a great example of the kind of selfless people in Boulder who don't get much attention," said Ana Weir, a full-time nurse who is the volunteer head of One World Running.

Medical student seeks public support
Bermudian medical student Aisha Basset had early exposure to the realities of living with cancer. Her beloved grandfather died from the disease when she was 11 years old. That experience left a deep interest in her to work with cancer patients and she’s now been offered a chance to work in Belize, a country with one of the highest incidences of cancer in the world. But she needs funding. “I have been offered a place at The Belize Cancer Center, the only cancer centre in Belize. It is run under the guidance of oncologist, Dr Ellsworth Grant. “I have also been offered a place at one of the regional hospitals in of Belize,” said Ms Bassett. Now in her fourth year at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, she is at the point where she has to decide between an internship at a hospital or clinic. “All students in medical school are given the responsibility to organise and fully fund a medical elective,’ said Ms Bassett. “I have chosen to go to Dangriga, Belize in Central America.” She’s been offered a place there in June but will not be able to go unless she gets funding.

April 1, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The March 31st, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Zamir Guerra Makes Us All Proud:
    Santa Elena’s 16 year old Zamir Guerra of Cayo High Road Cycling Team shattered the record to be crowned the new Junior Cross Country Cycling champion of Belize. With 19 riders participating, the 14th Annual Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic got underway at 9:00 am on Sunday March 24, from the village of San Jose Succotz on the George Price Highway for the 72 mile ride to the finish line at Leslie’s Imports, mile one just outside Belize City. Guerra completed the race in three hours, 34 minutes and 38 seconds leaving the chase group a whopping 12 minutes behind and in the process crushing the record set six years ago by Byron Pope. Although he is young in age, Guerra has been riding for the past four years competing in other youth races. This is however, his first time in the Junior Cross Country Classic.
  • Roni Banos Crowned Best Reggaeton Artist in Belize:
    Good things have been happening in Santa Elena, Cayo: The reigning Cross Country Champion comes from Santa Elena; The current Junior Cross Country Champion hails from Santa Elena and the Reggaeton Superstar also comes….. you got that right ……..from Santa Elena. The circle would have been complete if only our Dream Marching Band would have been, last Saturday, crowned Band Fest be competed if we recapture the garland in this Holy Saturday’s Cross Country Classic. Santa Elena’s Reggaeton superstar Roni Banos has been crowned the 2013 Best Reggaeton Artist at the third annual Belize Music Awards held on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at the Bliss Center for the performing arts in Belize City.
  • Two Alleged Rapists Continue In Uniform:
    The news began spreading like wild fire on Sunday morning of the Saturday night brutal raping, by two policemen, of a woman from Bullet Tree Falls Village, Cayo. Given the implications of the grave betrayal of the public trust, we moved swiftly to check into this matter and found that such a report indeed existed. There was also the simultaneous indication of the attempt to cover up the allegation at the highest local level of the police in San Ignacio. The incident began at around 4:00 pm when a first report was received at the Bullet Tree substation which is manned by elements of the Special Patrol Unit on weekly and sometimes bi-weekly rotation mostly for the purposes of anti drugs and anti contraband activities from across the border in the Peten Area of Guatemala.
  • Left at the Altar…Again?:
    Contributed by: Karla Heusner. I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a real sense of deja-vu in the latest communication from the Guatemalan government regarding the long-standing territorial claim. Despite their previous bravado about being more than willing to take the issue to the International Court of Justice, it seems they are reverting—once more—to their previous pattern of stalling, postponing, and giving every excuse they can come up with to keep from participating in the agreed-to referendum in October. Yes, my friends, we have on our hands, once more, a runaway groom… The most recent proposals from the Guatemalans shared with us by the Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, have done little to improve my confidence in Guatemala’s good faith stance. As of this writing, their latest proposals ask Belize to change our referendum law to require a simple majority vote, and then they would agree to honor the agreement to hold the referenda simultaneously. Their second proposal is that they would wait and see if our people vote “Yes,” then they would hold their referendum.
  • Ambergris Caye Wins 2013 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Islands Award:
    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. Honourable Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism and Culture, said, “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 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.”
  • Leave The Rest To God:
    Submitted By: Ernestine Patnett. This is a beautiful and touching story of love and perseverance. Well worth the read. At the prodding of my friends I am writing this story. My name is Mildred Honor and I am a former elementary school music teacher from Des Moines, Iowa, USA. I have always supplemented my income by teaching piano lessons - something I have done for over 30 years. During those years I found that children have many levels of musical ability, and even though I have never had the pleasure of having a prodigy, I have taught some very talented students.
  • Belize Rejects Guatemalan Proposals:
    The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today informed that after having reviewed 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.
  • Colombian Police Seize Cocaine Stashed In Bricks:
    Police in Colombia say they have seized half a tonne of cocaine hidden in a shipment of bricks. Officers said the drugs had a value of $1.7m (£1.1m) - and were intended for the US. The cocaine was found stashed inside the cargo in the Colombian port city of Cartagena. Police are investigating the construction firm behind the shipment, which they suspect was set up solely for the purpose of smuggling drugs. The shipment was destined for Honduras, from where police believe the cocaine would have been smuggled to the United States.
  • Mexico Uncovers Ancient Pelota Courts At Tajin Site:
    Archaeologists in Mexico say they have uncovered three ancient playing fields at a pre-Hispanic site in the eastern state of Veracruz. They found the courts, dating back some 1,000 years, at the Tajin World Heritage site by using laser scanners. They believe the fields would have been used to play pelota, a game in which players used their hips to propel a rubber ball through stone hoops. The sport was widely played by Mayan and other pre-Columbian people. Experts from the National Institute for Anthropology and History (INAH) said the use of aerial photography, remote sensors and laser scanners had made it possible to find the ancient structures, hidden by layers of soil and dense vegetation.
  • Tv Time 'Does Not Breed Badly Behaved Children':
    Spending hours watching TV or playing computer games each day does not harm young children's social development, say experts. The Medical Research Council (MRC) team who studied more than 11,000 primary school pupils says it is wrong to link bad behaviour to TV viewing. Although researchers found a small correlation between the two, they say other influences, such as parenting styles, most probably explain the link. But they still say "limit screen time". This cautionary advice is because spending lots of time in front of the TV every day might reduce how much time a child spends doing other important activities such as playing with friends and doing homework, they say.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Too young to get married?
Someone has accepted a marriage proposal. Now she's worried that she may be getting married too soon...

National News: Belize-Guatemala Referendum scheduled for October 6th in limbo
The simultaneous Belize-Guatemala Referendum scheduled for October 6th is in limbo after the Republic of Guatemala has made two proposals. These were presented to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza on March 7th and completely diverted from the Special Agreement signed by Belize, Guatemala and the OAS on December 8, 2008. Both the Government of Belize (GOB) and Belize’s main opposition party, People’s United Party (PUP), have rejected Guatemala’s proposals. The referendum came about as part of the compromise made between Guatemala and Belize, following several rounds of failed negotiations in an effort to peacefully settle Guatemala’s territorial claim over a portion of Belize. Speaking at the sitting of The House of Representative on Thursday March 21st, Belize’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington disclosed the proposal in addressing the parliament as a matter of national importance. “The first proposal is that they (Guatemala) wanted us (Belize) 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. They were not prepared to indicate when that date would be and they were not even prepared to give a timeline. 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,” said Elrington.

Letter to the Editor: Regarding the Lionfish Invasion
I wanted to share some of the recent information we have been finding regarding the lionfish invasion that is threatening to severely damage to our eco-system and sequentially our tourism and livelihood. We are hosting another lionfish tournament in May and are hoping this information will inspire the people of San Pedro and the fishing and diving community of Belize to get on board with the efforts to help eradicate this escalating crisis. Here are a list of facts that were pulled from THE REEF website. The Reef.Org is an organization of divers and marine enthusiasts committed to ocean conservation. As you can surmise by the information presented below, we need to act and act now. We are asking the community to help us continue the fight with any donations for fuel for the fisherman and divers, for prizes to motivate people to participate in the tournament, and to begin to request restaurants add lionfish to their menu, creating a regular demand for the product.

Wolfe’s Woofers: Little Pills
Now, why would a little 86-year-old need 10 Viagra pills cut up into 6 pieces each?

Misc Belizean Sources

Episode 4 of Loving Belize 'The Guatemalan Claim to Belize'
In this episode we looking at the Guatemalan Claim to Belize. The history and how it came about, and how different people in Belize are reacting to it today. I follow Darrell Bradley as he tries to encourage peace between the two countries by signing a Sister-ship agreement between Belize City and San Bentio Guatemala. With interviews from: COLA's Giovanni Bracket Journalist and activist. Darrell Bradley Mayor of Belize City. Sonia Rivera Mayor of San Benito Guatemala. With the point of view from two young Hiphop artists and students in Belize City, Saga the next Chapter and D Whizzel.

Allen Martinez shot in San Pedro
The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that an individual socializing on the beach in midtown San Pedro was confronted by a lone individual and shot. The victim fled to the Barrier Reef Drive area where he collapsed. He was transported to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II where transportation to Belize City has been arranged. The San Pedro Sun will post updates as they develop. The San Pedro Sun has confirmed that the shooting victim is Allen Martinez of Jungle Street in Belize City. Martinez is in serious condition and in the progress of being transported to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize City.

The process of dying
It is considered taboo to talk about death and dying, but after watching my father slowly pass away, I wish I had had more information about what to expect. So I will share my experience here. It is the most surreal thing I have ever experienced, as I have never before in living memory watched a person die. Some of it was shocking, some of it was unexpected, some of it I wished I had known about before so I could have done some things differently, not the least of which was making sure my father was as comfortable as possible under the circumstances. When I indicated to my father that I was on the way to Miami from Malta and would be relieving Silvia as his carerer, he responded with an email saying "change of deathbed chaperone". He already knew death was imminent. It is US that didn't know. One week or so before his death, my father was admitted to the University of Miami Hospital. This was not his of his doing, he did this to appease US, his family members who were begging him to try something ... anything... to rid himself of the disease. By this time, I am sure he was already prepared for and expecting death. But, he agreed to it still because he loved us and saw that WE were suffering.

Sawdust Art Project Pictures
The Sawdust Art Project that they had in Benque for Good Friday was fun for all. Check out some of the sawdust murals they came up with. "On Good Friday, many families and friends in Benque Viejo Town work on these colorful saw dust tapestries during the course of the day. In the Evening there is a large solemn procession called the "Santo Entierro" where 3 adorned floats make their way through the saw dust designed streets."

Belize Wins Mr. & Ms. Pacifico and Caribe
Congratulations to Jhoshi Valencia, who won while representing Belize at the Mr. and Ms. Pacifico and Caribe pageant yesterday. "Jhoshi Alexander Valencia represented Belize at the Mister & Miss Pacifico & Caribe Pageants in Peten, Guatemala on March 30, 2013 and came away with the crown - Belize's first in an international male pageant."

'School in a Box' in Calla Creek
Feelgood news of the day. 4 the World sent a student group down to Cayo for their 'School in a Box' program, where they hand out school supplies, and engage the students in art and learning activities. Thanks, 4 the World! "4 The World volunteers delivering school supplies, books and computers to schools in Belize."

Stations of the Cross in Cayo
San Ignacio also had a Stations of the Cross procession for Good Friday at Sacred Heart Church. Patrick Jones was there to cover the event. "The Sacred Heart Parish in San Ignacio town presented a most dramatic display of the Stations of the Cross. The role of Christ Jesus was played by parish priest Reverend Lorenzo Exheveria. By all accounts, it was a spectacular presentation."


Easter Weekend 2013: Ambergris Caye, Belize Likes to Party
As someone pointed out on Twitter yesterday, Easter Eve is as big as New Year’s Eve here in San Pedro. After the Good Friday alcohol ban expires at 12:15am Saturday morning, the drinking and binge partying begin. Water taxis on double duty and planes packed with revelers arrive full on Thursday and Friday, and then Saturday and Sunday are non-stop beach parties, dance contests, live music and DJs, beer promotions and all sorts of late night events. I can’t…just can’t do the Saturday night parties until 5am (my stilettos, alas, are at the cobbler’s), so I thought I’d stroll into town to check out the day time bash. Yesterday was a gorgeous day and there were plenty of people on the beaches on the way into town. Banyan Bay had some speakers and an outside bar. People hanging out on the dock at Ramon’s Village. Some visitors have asked me if it is “too crowded” at this time of year. These pictures are as crowded as it gets. The only real crowds are in the very town center… The Holiday Hotel was setting up outside stages and tents and closing in their outside deck for the night time party.

Belize is the World’s Best Diving and Snorkeling Spot
Tiny Belize’s mainland beckons with lush jungle canopy, palm-tangled Mayan ruins, and diverse wildlife. Still, this Central American jewel is best known for its snorkeling and diving sites along hundreds of cayes, atolls and a 185-mile barrier reef – second in size only to Australia’s. Abundant sea life and colorful corals fill the turquoise waters, are easily accessible and welcome divers and snorkelers of all experience levels. Dive tours generally last 2 hours or less, other tour options include live-aboard dive boats, which offer week-long trips featuring 2 to 3 daily dives. From the busy north of Belize to the sleepy south, here are our choices for the best marine meanderings.

International Sources

Jungle luxe: a recipe for agritourism done right
“Strip! Strip,” my guide encourages me. “Faster! Slower!” It sounds like pole-dancing camp, but I’m actually learning how to fly-fish. We’re standing knee-deep in azure water about nine metres off Nicolas Caye, a private island on the southern tip of Belize’s barrier reef. I’m rapidly “stripping” the line to lure the bonefish I can see in the distance. What’s most surprising is that I’m catching them. Nicolas Caye, part of the Sapodilla Caye Marine Reserve, is owned by Belcampo, the luxurious jungle resort where I’m staying. Belcampo’s general manager is Mara Jernigan, a Canadian who previously operated Fairburn Farm, the renowned culinary retreat/working water buffalo dairy farm on Vancouver Island. She has helped transform this former fishing lodge, with its 12 cottages scattered across the peak of a tall, jungle-clad hill beside the Rio Grande, into a massive eco-retreat encompassing a 1,200-hectare farm within a 4,800-hectare rain-forest preserve.

Graveyard Of Cool: Cell Phones Throughout The Years:
So, you think that iPhone in your hand is pretty cool, huh? Well, it is, but don't fool yourself, guy. One day in the not too distant future it'll look as silly as this library of once cutting edge mobile tech. So, enjoy -- for now. All captions are from the original photos, and are mostly unaltered.

Seeds of suicide
Monsanto’s talk of ‘technology’ tries to hide its real objectives of control over seed where genetic engineering is a means to control seed. “Monsanto is an agricultural company. We apply innovation and technology to help farmers around the world produce more while conserving more.” “Producing more, Conserving more, Improving farmers lives.” These are the promises Monsanto India’s website makes, alongside pictures of smiling, prosperous farmers from the state of Maharashtra. This is a desperate attempt by Monsanto and its PR machinery to delink the epidemic of farmers’ suicides in India from the company’s growing control over cotton seed supply — 95 per cent of India’s cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto. Control over seed is the first link in the food chain because seed is the source of life. When a corporation controls seed, it controls life, especially the life of farmers.

Service and sustainability on the syllabus for spring break
Imagine a class that required attendance every day of spring break—only instead of sitting at a desk studying, students are spending 10 days in Belize learning sustainability at a global level. CMGT 497 Social Responsibility in Construction Management involves not only class time and homework, but also a week-long trip to northern Belize for a cross-departmental collaborative development project. The trip this year was themed “healthy lifestyles,” a topic that isn’t widely discussed in a community that suffers from inadequate nutrition and water quality issues. The program is called a Peace Village, where multiple departments from universities go into communities and create long-term relationships. This is Boise State’s first collaborative effort in this direction. The colleges of Health Science, Engineering, Education and Honors have faculty leading this course, and the 22 students who attended the service trip represent a variety of disciplines. “It’s amazing when you have an engineering student working on developing a garden plan with a health sciences student, sitting next to an environmental sciences student. It really engages the power of the students.

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