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4/11/2013 to 4/20/2013
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April 20, 2013


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

The San Pedro Sun

SP Darts Team wins first ever Big Creek Group Darts Classic
The San Pedro Jaguars Darts Team is the winner of the first ever Big Creek Group Darts Classic. The event, which the organizers hope to make an annual once, took place at the Belize City Lions Den on Saturday April 13th and Sunday April 14th. Sponsored by the Stann Creek based Big Creek Group of Companies and the competition attracted teams from all over the country who competed in six different categories. The host team was the Jolly Rogers Reloaded Darts Team of Belize City. The host team "Jolly Rogers Reloaded". The event kicked off with a short ceremony and had the presence of the Minister of State in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Honorable Herman Longsworth. In his remarks, Longsworth applauded the organizers and sponsors and pledged his support in improving and promoting darts in Belize.

ACCSD responds to West Side Marina dredging
ACCSD is very concerned about the dredging taking place on the west side of the marina. We are concerned that the laws of the country are apparently not being followed. There was no EIA for this development when it is clearly stated that any dredging that exceeds 50,000 cubic yards should require an EIA. We are concerned that proper protocol does not seem to have actually taken place in this instance. This area is a major fishing spot for the fly fishermen who visit this area on a daily basis. We cannot stress how very important it is to protect these areas as they are where all the fishes are born. The mangroves around this island are very important, they are our natural barriers against storms; provide a home for all the fishes that eventually make it to the reef which is our most precious natural asset.

Belize Zone with Lowest Levels of Major Crimes in March awarded
On April 17, 2013, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar presented a Certificate of Award and a cheque of $1,000 to Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano who heads the Southern Zone and is also the Officer Commanding the Dangriga Formation which forms part of the Southern Zone. The cheque of $1,000 is for the best performance by the Southern Zone, and the Certificate of Award is for the best performance by the Dangriga Formation in the Month of March. This is the second consecutive month that the Southern Zone has had the lowest level of major crimes in the Country.

An exciting night find: it’s a Sea Walnut!
Imagine walking down the beach barefoot, enjoying the sounds of the waves as they lap at the shore. The stretch of sand going ever forward, the soft squelchy feel of that … eeeewwwww…what is that!! What on earth have you stepped on? *shudder* It’s time to turn on the phone light…look down with trepidation and search…nothing! Short of a true-to-life Stephen King novel, there cannot be disappearing squelchy things on the beach. One must investigate. Look closer – get down on all fours and peek, if one dares that is. Well, we did, and imagine our surprise at what we found! So transparent was this squelchy, squishy jellyfish, which was in obvious distress as it had washed out on shore and gasping for breath, it was hard to locate in the dark of night. Overhead, true to scary story form, lightning started flashing, and thunder pealed and clapped loudly. The temperature had increased in the still, windless evening – rain would pour shortly.

Ambergris Today

Founder of Caribbean Fashion Week Visits Belize
Kinglsey Cooper, the chairman and CEO of Pulse Model Agency was visiting Belize from April 13th to April 18th, 2013 accompanied by his partner and wife, Ms. Romae Gordon who is also the fashion director of Pulse Model Agency. Pulse Model Agency is credited with launching the careers of several internationally known models, including Jamaican- born models Jaunel McKenzie and Carla Campbell, over the past thirty-three years, and its Caribbean Fashion Week has been regarded as the leading fashion event in the Caribbean since its inception in 2001. This event has been a major catalyst for the development of the Caribbean fashion industry, and brings together the best designers and stylists from the region and designers from all over the world. Mr. Cooper’s work has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award at Caribbean Fashion Rocks!, New York’s signature event for Caribbean fashion and models.

Miss Guatemala Turismo 2012 Visits San Pedro
Ambergris Today had the opportunity to spend some time with the beautiful Cintya Contreras, Miss Guatemala Turismo 2012 this week as she visited San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, on a personal trip to get to know our Isla Bonita. Having made friendship with Ambergris Today’s Editor, Dorian Nuñez, through facebook, Cintya met up with him to solidify their friendship in person. Cintya was crowned Miss Guatemala Turismo in 2012 and has seven years experience in modeling in fashion shows, advertising and commercials. She has modeled for Guatemalan brands and international brands that include Zara, Menetton, MNG, Sebastian Professional, Tigi, Alfaparf and Avon. Cintya has studied theatrical and movie acting and has also worked in television in her home town of Peten, Guatemala. She is currently a student working for her degree in Communication; she is a very talented and hard-working woman.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Scuba Divng Belize

A Bird's Eye View
Aerial photographs from Southern Belize by Benedict Kim.

OFFICIAL Dates Announced for Next Placencia Yamaha Saltwater Fishing Tournament!
September 21 & 22, 2013 are the official dates sanctioned by the Placencia BTIA. Mark your calendars!

Africanized Killer Bees
Steps to take if you see or are attacked by Africanized bees. There is no need to panic. There are a lot of bee colonies out there. While Africanized honey bees are very defensive and easily provoked, they are generally not a threat to humans provided they are not riled. However, if you are attacked by Africanized honey bees, you can take the following steps to get away from them and protect yourself and others. STEPS 1. Be aware of the triggers that encourage Africanized honey bees to attack, so that you can avoid provoking an attack. Some of the things that can encourage attacking by Africanized honey bees include hive disturbance, causing the bees to think that the hive is under threat, and a range of sensory threats such as loud noise, strong odor or artificial fragrance, shiny objects (including jewelry) and dark clothes. If you do spot a hive of stray bees in your yard, farm, or when out for a walk, take care and consider the following precautions:

Caye Caulker in Black & White photo book
by Lee Vanderwalker

The Beautiful Scarlet Macaw
"...For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive..."

Evidence Room Handing Over Ceremony
The new evidence room for the police was handed over by the People's Coalition of Cayo, and the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association was there to get pictures of the event. "CNWA was present at the PCC handing over ceremony of the new evidence room that shall provide additional space inside the main building of the Police station and also provide better evidence to court with less tampering."

BHS Open House
The Belmopan Humane Society is having an open house today. Go and learn about what the BHS has done, and is currently doing. Maybe pick up a new dog while you're there. There will be food and drinks, along with a free health clinic for cats and dogs.

Earth Day Fun at UB
The University of Belize had their Earth Day Thursday, and it was a huge success, with a great showing of kids, students, and NGO's.

The National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS), the largest and brightest agriculture and trade show in Belize. Since its establishment in 1970 the show has grown by leaps and bounds. The 2011 fair have been expanded to be an international show as several countries of Central America have been invited to participate. The National Agriculture & Trade Show is Belize’s leading agricultural show which is organized by the National Agriculture & Trade Show Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture & Fisheries. The Ministry of Agriculture has committed to make this year’s show focus more on the agriculture and agro-industry sectors. Zoning of the grounds will be implemented this year to have better control of the number and distribution of bars. The dates for this year’s Show are from the 3 – 5 May, 2013. Held in the Nation’s Capital the show is well attended as it attracted over 32,000 show goers over three days. The main objective of the show is to educating the public on the importance of agriculture and its contribution to the Belizean economy and food security. Since its establishment in 1970 the show has grown by leaps and bounds.

Channel 7

Child Suffocates In Massive Rice Bin In Blue Creek
There are two deaths to report in northern Belize tonight – one child who died by accident, and one man who was killed. We start with the tragic death of seven-year-old Jacob Dueck who was killed at a rice processing plant in Blue Creek yesterday evening. The owner of the grain facility Peter Remphel confirms that three children were playing in what is known as the dump bin – which holds 30 tonnes of rice. Yesterday, the bin had half that, 15 tonnes, which is still a lot. They were playing but no one knew they were in there – and the workers turned on the “augur” – which is like a giant corkscrew that feeds rice down into a cleaning machine. That’s when the three boys – all relatives of the workers and owners – started to be pulled down into the tones of rice like quicksand. At 5:45 Jacob Dueck was pulled under, and resurfaced briefly screaming for help. All the workers tried to get him out but he was buried beneath tonnes of Rice as the augur had pulled everything down. It took them 45 minutes to find him at 6:30 but by the time they did he was already dead. It is believed that he suffocated.

Midday Murder In A Northern Town
And staying in the north, there was a murder at noon today in Libertad Village. 43 year old Sisto Victor Osorio, a mechanic known as Dalla Coin was found lying face down on the pavement at noon today, apparently dead. He was walking along the main road when an individual indentified as Marciano Moh approached him from behind and struck him with a blunt object on the head. No one knows what prompted the attack, but alcohol may have been involved. The main suspect is reported to be on the run.

Triple Traffic Fatality On Western Hwy
When we left you last night, it was with the news that there had been a major traffic accident at mile six on the Western Highway. It turned out to be a triple fatality – three Hattieville men dead and another injured. Monica Bodden spoke to the families of the deceased today. Monica Bodden reporting Our news team arrived on the scene just after 7:00 last night - about 25 minutes after the accident happened. The two vehicles - a grey Suzuki car and this red pickup truck were mangled into each other in the eastbound lane of the highway. Two bodies were inside the red pickup truck and one on the left shoulder of the highway. Both vehicles were extensively damaged - almost beyond recognition.

Shot By Cops With An AR-15, Burglar Dies
Last night, we told you about 21 year-old Ryan Lozano who was shot by Ladyville police when he was caught in the act of committing a burglary at a home in Los Lagos. Pictures provided of the home show that it had been properly ransacked. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition yesterday, but sometime around 8 this morning, he succumbed to massive internal injury. As we reported, police responded to the report of a burglary in progress in Los Lagos at around 12:00 noon yesterday. When they arrived, they reportedly saw 27 year-old Lenny Benguche hiding behind the house and Lozano was walking out. Police say that they cautioned him, but according to them, he advanced in a threatening manner whilst armed with a knife and a crowbar. So, they shot him in the midsection.

Wanted Man Turns Himself In
Two days ago, Marvin Neal was Cayo’s most wanted – but tonight we can report that he has voluntarily turned himself into San Ignacio Police. He did so at 11:30 this morning. According to a release from San Ignacio police, he has, quote, “pledged his full corporation with the Police in the Valencia Murder, the Rumours Robbery, the November 2012 robbery in Mango creek and other crimes within the country of Belize.” End quote. His alleged partner in crime, Jarod Arthors Lamb aka Steel Bob is still on the run and is a wanted man. As we reported, the duo are accused of a brutal home invasion, assault and armed robbery at Rumours resort earlier this week. Police recovered all the stolen items.

Bar Assoc Gets Major Court Victory
Tonight, the Government of Belize is smarting from a major judgment against them coming out of the courtroom of Justice Oswell Legall. It’s in relation to challenge launched by the Bar Association about the amendment to the Belize Constitution in 2008. In these amendments, the Government gave itself direct control over the length of time that they can allot when appointing sitting judge on the Court of Appeal. The Bar saw this as the government having the ability to directly influence the decisions of these judges because they didn’t have security of tenure. According to them, a reasonably informed observer can draw the conclusion that the judges being appointed under these amendments experience undue pressure because they appreciate that the government can make the decision on whether or not to extend their contracts after their short period of tenure is up. According to the Bar, the judges are then unable to make a fair and impartial judgment in relation to litigation concerning the government because the constant threat of termination hangs over their heads.

US Radar Is Mobile, Tactical
What’s up with the US Army installed Radar near Chan Chen Village in the Orange Walk District? We mentioned it last night, and since then we’ve learned it is – according to the internet - a “TPS-75 a mobile, tactical radar system capable of providing radar azimuth, range, height, and Identification Friend or Foe information for a 240-nautical-mile area.” The description adds that the radar system is capable of providing long-range radar data to support operations and control of tactical aircraft. It can be assembled and disassembled in 90 minutes. According to our information it was put up in the area about two months ago by the US Army Southcom when they came to do the New Horizons Project in Belize.

City Garbage Tax Will Be $13.00
Last night the Belize City Council and the Solid Waste Management Authority held a meeting at the YWCA where they disclosed details of the garbage tax city residents will have to pay starting in the second half of 2013. The standard fee for residential users will be $13.00 dollars per household per month – which, we should note is $3.00 dollars more than the proposed residential garbage fee. Of that, City hall will get seven dollars monthly and the Solid Waste Management will get five dollars, with the rest going into a service charge. For low income homes, there will be a social rate of $3.00 per household per month.

Senator Makin’ Bacon News
The Customs Department has confirmed that it has a few thousand pounds of bacon waiting to be returned to sender – because it was imported without a BAHA permit. It’s news because the importer is the owner of Southside Meat Shop, who also happens to be the Senator for the business sector Mark Lizarraga. Sources from BAHA tells us that Lizarraga imported an assortment of meats with proper permits – but also imported as much as six thousand pounds of processed bacon, for which he had no permit. We are told it is an item with restrictions. So the bacon can’t be cleared, and we are told he will either have to pay for it to be destroyed or return it to sender. We tried to reach Senator Lizarraga for comment at his business but at newstime he had not returned our calls.

More Condemnation For Rosewood Trade
Two more significant groups have come out against Government’s decision to share Rosewood revenues. The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, known as SATIIM today called on the Prime Minister to immediately rescind the Rosewood Amnesty. That Organization says that the Amnesty has only served to trigger flurries of illegal Rosewood cutting in Toledo. They have provided photos of to prove that rosewood flitches are being cut in numerous areas in Toledo. They add that these newly cut rosewood flitches will be sold; in fact some have already been sold. They conclude bys aying that the amnesty is only serving to perpetuate a vicious cycle of the destruction of precious resources for short-term gain. Also speaking out is APAMO, the Association of Protected Area Management Organizations which quote, “registers its objection to and disappointment with the…amnesty. “

Mixed Martial In Belize
Since the beginning of the year, 7News has closely been following the revival of boxing, but this weekend, the House of Shotokan, seeks to launch mixed martial arts here in Belize. This weekend they will hold the first tournament of its kind for the sport, and instead of us trying explain it to you, we got the experts themselves do so. Here’s what the Belizean big ticket fighter, and his trainer told us about what MMA is, and what the Belizeans audience can expect Jameel "Ice Man" Smith - MMA Fighter, House of Shotokan "MMA is Mixed Martial arts. It's basically a mixture of all the Martial Arts. We're mixing the junior, wrestling, boxing, kick boxing - we mix it together and we throw in a couple rules to make sure that it's not - no holds bars of course. We mix it together and the best man wins." Daniel Ortiz "So tell us about what is expected of an athlete of MMA and what type of discipline does it take at peak conditioning?"

Team Off To King James
Since February, the Belize Basketball Association has been holding tryouts and practices with an under 18 team in order to prepare them for the King James Tournament to be held in Ohio. It’s been a long 3 months for the athletes as they wait in anticipation to participate in the tournament, today, they finally left the country. 7News was there to see them off, and we got a chance to speak with a few of the athletes and their coaches. Here’s what they told us about their expectations for their performance while in Ohio. Bernie Tarr – Coach, U-18 King James Team "Yes we are all set, we rapped things up yesterday about noon so I was able to smile, relax a bit after that and we are very excited to go look forward to keep that one goal. Our goal is to get one individual a scholarship. We were fortunate to get four last year so we will see what happens this year." Steven Williams - Assistance Coach, U-18 King James "It's just for them to keep that mindset and focus because from seeing the guys in workout for the past couple weeks and so forth; they are ready, so it's just to go out there and put whatever they did in workout into action."

Getting The Jump On Father’s Day
Father’s Day is 2 months away, but the President of The Association for Belizean Artists First, Tony Wright, is already making his rounds to promote his 5th annual Fathers’ Day Song Competition and Concert. And this one is unique because the organization is accepting entries from only high school students. That’s a major departure from prospective contestants, and so, Tony Wright, the competition’s organizer stopped by 7News a few weeks early to get the message out to the public. Here’s what he told us about his collaboration this year with the Ministry of Education and Youth. Tony Wright - Organizer, Father's Day Song Competition "It's the fifth year we are doing Father's day song competition and concert. The difference about this year is that, for the last four years it was open for all musicians or artists to write a song. Last year when we did it we had some people from the Ministry of education and youths and they were all excited about it and they contacted us.

Vansh’s Birthday Celebration Wraps Up
Vansh Charles celebrated his 6th birthday today – along with about 187 other Belizean children between one and 12 years old. As we’ve been reporting, he’s been having an open giveaway to all those kids all this week. Here are a few of the April 19th recipients. Mikey "Mikey" Reporter "How old are you? Mikey "Six" Reporter "Six years old and are you happy you got a gift? Mikey "aha" Reporter "How do yo u feel getting your gitf?" Denisha - 10 Years old "Wonderful"

Channel 5

Three Hattieville residents perish in a traffic accident
As many as three persons were killed on Thursday night when a small car and a pickup truck collided on the George Price Highway. The stretch of road just before mile eight where the accident happened was desolate, but became a bloody scene and traffic came to a halt.   Two victims were trapped inside the [...]

Man dies within hours of being shot by police in Los Lagos
The mother of twenty-one year old Ryan Lozano says her son was executed at the hands of the police. Lozano succumbed to injuries he received on Thursday afternoon after being shot multiple times by a police officer in the Los Lagos Community.  Shortly after midday, Ladyville police responded to a burglary in progress where they [...]

Murder in Libertad
A man was murdered in the north of the country this afternoon.  Several accounts say that the man who was killed is known as Victor Chi, who also uses the surname Osorio.  According to one of the victim’s friends, Chi was a mechanic by trade and he was well liked in his neighborhood. But it [...]

Court agrees with Bar and calls for security of tenure for judges
The Bar Association of Belize has won a landmark case against the government of Belize with wide ranging implications for judges of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal as well as the public at large. Today, Justice Oswell Legall ruled to overthrow government’s sixth amendment to the Constitution which effectively allowed the executive [...]

Amended Legal Act; will it be passed?
In early March, Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington launched what was considered in some quarters as a direct attack on the Bar Association. He proposed an amendment to the Legal Act which would mean that attorneys would not be required to join the Association in order to practice in Belize. Elrington used as his justification an assertion [...]

Massive dredging on la Isla Bonita; Deputy Mayor says no EIA has been done
There are more details tonight on dredging activities taking place in San Pedro and it appears that it is a case of putting the cart before the horse. As we reported, investor Darrin Sherry was granted a license to dredge even before the San Pedro Town Council could see a development plan. But even more [...]

Sanchez brothers freed of murder charges
Earlier this week in the Belmopan court, two brothers were freed of murder charges. Herson and Jose Sanchez were on trial for the murder of Belmopan businesswoman Rosa Cornejo which happened exactly four years ago. There were signs that Cornejo had been abducted  from her house in the Salvapan area on the night of April [...]

IMF concludes yearly review of Belize’s economy; how did Belize fair off?
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded its yearly review of Belize’s economy on April eighteenth, 2013.  This exercise began in November, 2012 and is carried out with guidance from IMF’s Article Four. Three major recommendations are covered by the Mission: output growth, debt and debt management, and measures to strengthen Belize’s external position. First, on [...]

City refuses to renew driver’s licenses if you owe the council
Streets in Belize City are being upgraded courtesy of the municipal bond that was successfully launched by the Belize City Council. But how will the council pay that debt?  Well, by encouraging residents to pay their taxes and fees. The revenue stream for City Hall will also benefit from the implementation of a garbage collection [...]

Revisiting the court ruling on oil contracts
OCEANA Belize spends as much time in the courtroom as it does on the ocean and two legal battles took place in court just this week.  The most recent included a roadblock to Oceana’s referendum case that Vice President for Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd vows to continue possibly in the Appeals Court. But earlier in [...]

ITVET holds annual open day and fight night
The Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Belize City today hosted its annual open day. It’s an event designed to showcase the talents and achievements of the students enrolled at the institution, and also serves to sell the school and its programs to the many students who attend the open day each [...]

Mexicans come to Belize for mixed martial arts competition
Belize’s history with full contact sports has been limited to rare amateur boxing. The crowds that attend thirst for and appreciate the fervor of the fighters who probably, once a year, get to spar in a ring. But mixed martial arts is a sport that is almost unheard of except for when the House of [...]


Murder in Libertad Village
There is news coming out of Corozal that a 43 year man was killed. Details are still sketchy at this time but preliminary reports are that Victor Osorio Chi, a resident of Libertad Village, died today after he was hit to the head with an object. Reports are that...

Deadly collision claims three lives
Three men, residents of Hattieville, died late Thursday evening after a violent collision with another vehicle on the George Price (Western Highway). According to police, around 6:45 p.m. Hattieville police found a gray Suzuki car and red Chevrolet pickup truck on the right hand side of the highway as...

Night accident on the Hummingbird Highway
There was yet another accident last night. It happened on the Hummingbird Highway just about two miles outside of Belmopan near to the garbage dump. Apparently, a Green Nissan truck heading towards Belmopan, followed by a white Chevy Silverado with a trailer on it were just about to hit...

Belizeans need to change their culture on disposal of garbage
A consultation for the Solid Waste Management Authority on its project to link the Western Corridor from Benque Viejo to the cayes to a single regional landfill located at Mile 24 on the Western Highway was held today. Previously each community had its own dump-site for all sorts of...

Attorney says Rosewood sale is a conflict of interest
The Rosewood Amnesty decision taken by Cabinet has not been met with much acceptance by many sectors of the society. The fact that one of the major exporters of the coveted Rosewood is the brother of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega has also been met with cries of “Nepotism”...

UB holds Community Outreach Symposium
Yesterday the University of Belize was the venue for a Community Outreach Symposium organized by the Faculty of Education and Arts. The bi-annual event is aimed at enriching participants with an understanding and strategies to overcome barriers that negatively impact teaching and learning. The symposium was held under the...

CDEMA holds Technical Advisory Committee meeting in Belize City
The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) closed its meeting of its Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) held in Belize City. At a press briefing held after the conclusion of the meeting, executive director Ronald Jackson outlined the key points of the 5 year strategic direction plan approved at the...

Medical School in Grenada seeks to expand
In this latest installment of our series on international medical schools, we give you an example of what such an institution can do for its local government. St. George’s University, the Caribbean’s first private medical school, was established in Grenada in 1976 by an act of its parliament and...

Vice-President of OCEANA comments on cancelled oil concessions
Earlier this week, Oceana, COLA, and Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage, won a ruling in the supreme court. Justice Oswell Legall ruled that oil concessions granted from 2005 and 2007 to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Co Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy...

One Home Invasion suspect turns himself in, another at large
Marvin Neal, the Santa Elena resident, wanted for questioning in relation to a recent home invasion, turned himself into Police today. On Wednesday of this week, a wanted bulletin was issued for the twenty year old’s detention, after it was believed that he and another man assaulted and robbed...

Recycling company exhibits at Earth Day Fair
Recycling is one of the best ways you can contribute to a sustainable future, as it has both local and global benefits. Locally, it saves our limited disposal capacity by reducing how much garbage must be buried in our landfill. While globally, recycling reduces pollution and conserves both energy...

PCC donates Exhibits Room to Twin Towns’ Police
The Peoples Coalition of Cayo (PCC) has been working closely with the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Police formation over recent years. Another gesture taken by the PCC which affirms its commitment to the community and Police was the handing over of a forty foot container. For many months...

Battlefield Park refurbishment begins Monday
Perhaps it is a sign of how hard the Belize City Council has worked in its first year in office that on Thursday night, holding its first public meeting of 2013 at the YWCA meeting hall on St. Thomas Street, very few City residents attended and even fewer questions...

Youth Basketball Team leaves for the US
The group of young Belizean basketball players selected to play in the King James Classic, left the country for Cleveland, Ohio today. The team is set to play against US teams of their peer group, where they will have a shot at getting scouted by top colleges. Between the...

“Do the Right Thing Pedestrian Crossing” safety program set for Fort George
The “Do the Right Thing Pedestrian Crossing” safety program has been all over Belize in the last few years teaching our youngest citizens the importance of traffic safety. It has evolved into a sort of do-everything community initiative under the watch of former Belize City Council employee Philip “Fawda”...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Was the sharing of the land fairly done?
Since the lands were shared with the people of Caye Caulker or so we are made to believe, there have been quite a few rumors circling around that a number of people who were recommended were not qualified or better yet, not even residents of the island. It was also rumored that to be qualified for a piece of lot you are to be a resident of the island for at least 5 to 10 years. One thing is for sure that you are not suppose to own any land but there have been a few people who already own a piece of property, was still put on the list and still got their piece of the pie as well as non residents of the island. Will the residents of the island ever be granted the wish to see the list of who all were lucky to get and if it is not confidential why hide it?? A list of names which seems to be the preliminary list has been obtained and these are just some of the names from the 150 or so recommended names. Please note these are not the final list of the people who got property.


A tragic accident involving two vehicles occurred tonight, Thursday, at approximately Mile 7 on the George Price Highway, claiming the lives of three persons, Godwin Flowers, Mark McKoy, Jr., and Luis Jones, according to preliminary reports. The three men died at the scene of the incident. All three were traveling in a red Chevrolet pickup truck which was said to have been traveling away from Belize City. Jones was the driver of the vehicle, while Flowers and McKoy were traveling in the pan of the vehicle. One other passenger in the Chevrolet, Philip Latchman, sustained injuries to the upper body. The other victim, Marlon Martinez, was driving a black Suzuki four-door sedan. Martinez survived, sustaining injuries to the lower body. He was reportedly traveling to Belize City from Hattieville Village.

“Allowing oil exploration before any assessment of its effects on the environment is not only irresponsible, but reckless, especially in a situation where Belize may not be fully capable of handling effectively an oil spill.” – Justice Oswell Legall The court made two major findings: (1) no environmental assessment was carried out before the agreements were awarded, violating the EPA, and (2) contracts were given to companies that were unqualified and did not demonstrate a proven ability to contribute the necessary funds, assets, machinery equipment, tools and technical expertise necessary for the effective performance of the terms and conditions of the agreements, contrary to the Petroleum Act. “…prior to entering into agreements for oil exploration and seismic testing, an assessment of their effects on the environment is required” Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall issued a landmark ruling on Tuesday morning, when he quashed six offshore contracts as “unlawful, null and void,” because Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) were not conducted before the Government of Belize gave concessions to the companies, mostly owned by foreign interests. Furthermore, the court ruled that the companies to which the contracts had been granted were unqualified. The court went further to grant an injunction, barring the government from acting on the PSAs which Legall has quashed. Former Minister of Natural Resources, Johnny Briceño, who approved the earliest of the six contracts to Island Oil Belize in 2004, admitted to Amandala today that the strict interpretation of the law, as he understands it, is that an EIA is required before the concession is granted. He said he knew Government was going to lose the suit filed by Oceana.

A masked gunman shot the brothers in their Roaring Creek meat shop. Six children are now fatherless after their father, businessman Randolph Hyde, 46, of Roaring Creek, died after being shot multiple times in the family store, Hyde’s Tender Meats and Groceries in Roaring Creek, at about 7:30 Tuesday night, April 16. Along with Randolph Hyde in the store at the time was his brother, Mark Hyde, 36, who was shot in his shoulder and back. He was taken to the Belmopan Hospital in a critical condition, and has since been stabilized and is recovering in ward. Randolph has been taken to the morgue, where he will undergo a post-mortem to certify the cause of his death. Less than a year ago, on May 11, 2012, the third son of the family, James Hyde, 26, was shot to death by three gunmen while he was socializing in a yard in Dangriga. Witnesses told police that a car pulled up in front of the yard, then three gunmen got out of the car and shot James, hitting him multiple times.

The successful restructuring of the US$547 million super-bond by the Government of Belize has triggered Moody’s Investors Service to upgrade Belize’s government bond rating from Ca to Caa2, adding that the rating outlook is stable. “The upgrade balances an improvement in the government’s liquidity position following a pre-emptive restructuring of its external commercial debt, against a debt overhang that was not cured by the default and continues to impair Belize’s credit solvency,” the agency said. Moody’s added that, “The distressed debt exchange concluded Belize’s second default since 2006.” It cautions that, “While the restructuring should provide temporary liquidity relief, we see it as insufficient in addressing Belize’s debt overhang.” Last month, Standard & Poor’s, another international ratings agency, announced right after the new bond offer closed that, “We are raising our long- and short-term foreign and local currency issuer credit ratings on Belize to ‘B-/B’.”

What we have with Guatemala is a difference of opinion over whether or not the territory which forms the nation state of Belize belongs to us or to them. It does not make sense for a country to claim the land which constitutes another country. We have been negotiating directly with Guatemala to settle her claim since Independence. Recently, the OAS has had to take a hand in the negotiation, in order to ease tensions not of our making. They have got the two parties to agree that what we have between us is a differendum and, to declare an adjacency zone on both sides of the boundary line agreed upon by Guatemala and Great Britain (our former colonial masters) in the 1859 Treaty. The adjacency zone is like a kind of “no man’s land,” which neither nation should occupy. The negotiations between Belize and Guatemala have reached the point where both our governments have agreed to submit the differendum, in the form of the Compromis, for adjudication by the International Court of Justice. This piece is not about the ICJ, it is about leadership. In democratic countries, which our country is, leaders are empowered to make decisions in Affairs of State and take action in the name of the people. I think that the fact that we are uncertain about the outcome of the referendum is a failure by our leadership to lead.

Popper allegedly drugged, then sodomized a Burrell Boom resident. Today, David Popper, 70, was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer and charged with three offenses after a doctor discovered that a Burrell Boom male resident, 23, had been the victim of sodomy. According to police, at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, they visited the home of the Boom resident after Popper made a report that he had assaulted him. But when police arrived at the house, they found a disoriented person, who told them that he had visited Popper’s residence and was offered a drink, which he accepted. He continued that after he started consuming the drink, he started to feel dizzy and lost consciousness. He regained consciousness for only a few moments, and saw Popper standing beside him, but passed out again

“The expedition is definitely on…” says Orlando de la Fuente. “We will raise the Belize flag on the Belize side of the monument. We will plant 3 mahogany trees as a symbol of friendship…” A group of individuals organized by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) plan to make a historic visit to the border marker at Aguas Turbias in Orange Walk, northern Belize, to install a metal plaque where they say the name “Belize” has only been penciled in to identify the country. The group is hoping to make a statement to mark the 154th anniversary of the signing of the 1859 Boundary Treaty by Britain and Guatemala, describing the border between Belize and Guatemala. Among the latest documents making reference to the dividing line between the countries is a set of Confidence Building Measures signed in 2005, in which “the adjacency line,” which Belize knows as the borderline, is described as “a line running generally in a south-to-north direction from the reference marker at Gracias a Dios in the south to the reference marker at Garbutt’s Falls and from there to the reference marker at Aguas Turbias in the north.” Orlando de la Fuente is organizing this weekend’s expedition. He had a Belize plaque made for the Aquas Turbias marker, and vowed, “This plaque will be installed on the monument.”

“No one caught in the act as yet …it’s difficult to penalize anyone for illegally harvesting rosewood because the material is not submitted to the Government directly from the seller.” After Cabinet instructed that all the confiscated rosewood flitches be released for sale to exporters, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development declared amnesty on rosewood from April 9 to the 26th, 2013. The Ministry issued a press release on Wednesday, April 17, stating that Cabinet has agreed that no new illegally cut rosewood will be allowed to be exported under the Rosewood Amnesty Program. The Ministry said that the amnesty was granted in order for persons who are in possession of harvested rosewood to submit their material to the Government. Well, it seems that some unscrupulous persons have been taking advantage of the amnesty period. Reports are that several persons have been cutting down more rosewood trees. The Ministry included in the press release that the Forest Department field staff can differentiate between freshly cut and old rosewood stock. Minister Lisel Alamilla has said before that any newly cut rosewood that is found or submitted would be confiscated by the Government and no compensation would be given for such timber.

In separate incidents, the two of them preyed on their 13-year, 12-year and 10-year relatives, onesince she was 4 years old. A man from Cayo has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on charges of 2 counts of carnal knowledge and aggravated assault upon his 13-year-old niece and 2 counts of aggravated assault against his 10-year-old niece. The young victims of the assault—who are sisters—went to the San Ignacio police, accompanied by their mother, and reported that their uncle has been molesting them. The 13-year-old reported that her uncle raped her on two different occasions, while the 10-year-old told police that her uncle fondled her private parts on several occasions, the last being in February of this year. Police took the 13-year-old to the San Ignacio Hospital, where doctors examined her and found that she had been carnally known. Police immediately arrested the uncle, 38, and charged him with the sexual offences. He was taken to court on Friday, April 12. He pleaded not guilty to the offenses, but bail was not offered to him and he was remanded into custody until June 20.

by Annie Seashore-Heredia Dear Editor, Hello from Caye Caulker. Thank you so much for your wonderful article on my husband, Chocolate Heredia. I would like to make an important correction. His death was not related to the prostate cancer. He actually died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm. I was proud to help him keep the cancer at bay for over 10 years. He died with it, and not from it. He was the love of my life and my best friend. I’ll miss him so much! Please note: there will be a Celebration of Chocolate’s Life on Saturday, April 20th, from 1-3 p.m. Everyone is invited. Please come out and join us! Thanks again for a great article! Regards, Annie Seashore-Heredia

— 19 April 2013 — by Leon Sesare Harrison Dear Editor, There are very few times that I feel the impulse to publicly express my views. Late yesterday, I learned of the Boston Marathon bombing in the United States. The irony I felt, in that moment, was indescribable. I was deeply ashamed of the perpetrators that would engage in disgraceful acts of violence and terror. Those few people that know me best, know that shame is not a word that would best describe me. But yesterday, I felt an irrational impulse to walk the streets of Belize City, covered in “sack and ash.” Violence and terror was abhorred by the Mahatma Gandhi. This is not the Ghandhian way! In a time of war, with the world at the brink of nuclear destruction, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi gave the world a way out of madness. Gandhi professed that violence in the mind (by our thoughts) would lead to violence of the word (slander, insults, and hate), which would inevitably lead to the exchange of fists and bullets and bombs. “An eye for and eye, leaves the whole world blind!”

I noted the reported recent arrangements between GOB and the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) regarding the future development of Crawl Caye. Given NCL is majority owned by Apollo Global Management LLC, I wondered if the latter had conducted an in-depth risk assessment of the location before entering into discussions with GOB officials? During and after Hurricane Keith in 2000, the Mauger Caye and adjacent Crawl Cay suffered substantial weather damage. Mauger Caye was near flattened, with the majority of the sand area of the north side being transported to the south by the severe elements leaving the roots of the palms completely exposed. The light keepers only survived because they were able to take shelter in a concrete bunker near the lighthouse accommodation, which itself completely disappeared as a result of Keith’s fury. Crawl Caye fared little better, and it has taken 13 years for both to recover

by Paul Rodriguez Dear Editor, At a conference of Caribbean Ombudsman held in 2004, during a discussion on rights I asked the person sitting next to me, an eminent UWI professor: when are we going to discuss duties and responsibilities? The professor answered: let others do that. This response made me realize that there may have been even before then, an international agenda to remove human rights out of the context of Natural Law and away from the idea of justice. Justice, as you know, is that quality of thinking and acting by which everyone is given his due. It applies to every encounter between humans. There are no exceptions, except when a person wronged or violated chooses to exercise mercy, compassion, or love. In these instances the civilization of man becomes more pointed to a more exalted state of being. But, for the sake of order, the demands and requirements of justice should be observed and obeyed, as a general rule. When I wrote the “Foreword” of the Ombudsman Annual Report for 2003-2004, I made this comment: “Rights considered as set apart and in contradiction to the common good and the public interest will continue to contribute to the development of a culture of egoism. On the other hand, the human person must stand delicately poised between what the proper maturing of his own selfhood requires and what the community requires of him to help others achieve the fulfillment of their selfhood. Wherever any successful attempt is made to exaggerate either of these poles, i.e. self or society, it results in aberrations that dehumanize the human person.”

by Hakeem Bush Dear Editor, I’m not a big fan of Mayor Bradley but I must tip my hat to him for the wonderful work he’s doing with the infrastructure in the City, especially the streets. But mostly I must congratulate him on inviting the area representative for the Freetown Division to the opening of the Chetumal Boulevard. Although they’re on different sides of the political fence, the Mayor made it known he is the area representative for the division and he has all right to be part of the festivities. Oh how I wish the government would start to use that kind of mentality when there is any major development in a constituency. They need to invite the area rep no matter what party color they are. They are the duly elected representatives: the people put them there. Let us stop this nonsense about giving the so-called caretakers the limelight – they are not the elected representatives. Recently I noticed a Minister of Government boasting about a road being paved in Hopkins. Isn’t Hon. Rodwell Ferguson the area rep? I didn’t see him giving a speech or even sitting at the head table with the other dignitaries, but yet they featured some caretaker and a former representative. That’s totally wrong. Hon. Rodwell Ferguson is the area rep; the people elected him; he should have been in the forefront.

Looking back, I wish that I had paid closer attention to the history of the Harmonettes. At the same time, I want to go on record to say that the University of Belize (UB) or the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) simply have to find a way to finance the writing of Gerald Rhaburn’s biography. Rhaburn is a walking encyclopedia of Belize’s musical history, and when you talk about musical history in Belize, you are also talking about Belize’s sociology and politics. If UB and NICH don’t understand that this is so, then we have a real problem in Belize. At the very end of Regent Street West, where it is linked with the eastern beginning of Vernon Street, there is a small street called Turton’s Alley or Turton’s Lane, whatever. Bert Nicholas, a saxophonist who was in the full-time employ of the Santiago Castillo company at their headquarters corner New Road and Hyde’s Lane, lived on Turton’s Lane with his wife and children, and there is where he began the musical combo which would become the Harmonettes. The core musicians were Mr. Godfrey MacGregor and Bucko Cadle on guitars, and one Steeno on drums. The vocalist was Anthony “Cheapy” Richards. There was a tall trumpeter whose name was Daniel Bennett, but I’m not sure. Later on, the group added Anthony “Soupa” Jones as another vocalist, and one of Mr. MacGregor’s talented sons, Melvan (Majeli), began playing saxophone. “Soupa” Jones has seemingly vanished into history. When the Harmonettes were disbanded, Melvan would become a key member of Dickie Straughan’s Bamiki Bandula, along with another one of Mr. MacGregor’s sons on keyboards.

In the beginning of this newspaper in August of 1969, as the organ of a black-conscious organization, a certain amount of our energy was similar to COLA’s – we young people in the capital city were dissatisfied with the tame and submissive attitude of Belize’s PUP government where the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory was concerned. It may be said that history, after a fashion, is repeating itself: Belize’s young people, 44 years later, are dissatisfied with the tame and submissive attitude of Belize’s UDP government where the Guatemalan claim to Belizean territory is concerned. When Mr. Price’s PUP government surged forward to political independence in September of 1981, despite the fact that Belize was under martial law, the Belizean people were divided, and the British were refusing to give us a defence guarantee, this represented a gamble on the PUP government’s part. This newspaper had rejected the Heads of Agreement in March of 1981. But we, who had supported the PUP all-out in the pivotal 1979 general elections, had begun to withdraw from our PUP alliance after October of 1980, when it became clear that Belize would become independent because of a decision by the Jimmy Carter administration in Washington. At Amandala, we had reason to believe that once they achieved independence, PUP leaders would seek to crush this newspaper, because it had become too powerful.

by Erwin Woodye, Jr. - General Secretary of BBSF The first ever Ben Bounahra 9-Ball Tournament, that was sponsored by Mirab and Company through the Belize Billiards Sports Federation (BBSF), was held on Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, at Elements Bar in Belize City. It was a tremendous success, as twelve teams from across the country participated, namely: MJ’s Challengers and Sea Side Heights from Toledo; Dolphins and Shattaz from Belmopan; Eagles from Cayo; Elements, Extra Gold and La Cabana from Belize City; Dem Boyz, Tijuana and JR’s from Orange Walk; and Cerros Sand from Corozal. Here’s more: There was no electricity available by BEL at the start of the tournament due to upgrades in the area at Elements Bar, but the owner of Elements Bar acquired a backup generator that allowed the tournament to start, though a little later than expected. There was the brief opening ceremony, whereby Mr. Mike Bounahra of Mirab and Company opened the tournament with the first shot, easily pocketing the 9-ball. Then, it was show-time. It was a race to 4, double-elimination format, and certainly teams had to show-up their skills to stay alive. By the end of the first day, a number of teams were eliminated, then it got more interesting and exciting on the second day.

The Belize City Primary School Basketball Tournament 2012-2013 tipped off at Bird’s Isle on Monday of this week with 16 male (M) teams and 7 female (F) teams participating. The boys’ teams will compete in 4 Divisions – A, B, C and D; while the girls are divided into 2 Divisions – A and B. Game results for Monday, April 15, were: (F) Belize Elementary 9:0 Muslim Community; (M) Belize Elementary won by default over Queen Square Anglican; (F) St. Martin De Porres 13:6 Buttonwood Bay Nazarene; (M) St. John Vianney 16:4 Buttonwood Bay Nazarene; and (M) Unity Presbyterian won by default over St. Ignatius. On Tuesday, April 16: (F) Holy Redeemer 14:0 St. John Vianney; (M) Wesley Upper 14:10 St. Mary’s; (M) St. Luke Methodist 24:20 New Horizon Academy; and (M) Ephesus SDA 41:12 Hummingbird Elementary. On Wednesday, April 17: (F) St. Martin De Porres 16:4 Queen Square; (M) St. John Vianney 32:1 Queen Square; (M) St. Martin De Porres 17:14 Holy Redeemer; and (M) Wesley Upper 17:12 New Horizon Academy. And today, Thursday, April 18: (F) Holy Redeemer won over Muslim Community by default; (M) St. Luke Methodist 24:9 St. Mary’s; (M) Trinity Methodist 20:8 Queen Street Baptist; and (M) St. Martin De Porres 23:5 Unity Presbyterian.


Driving to Tikal or are we?
Phil and Marie were waiting for us at Municipal airport and so was our ride to Budget car rental, it was a short ride 10 min or less, very close to Benny’s Hardware. We ended up with a big @ss Ranger truck and a white Jmny, cost was $135 usd per vehicle for a 24h rental. The staff there were all very nice and helpful. Of course our first stop was Broadies supermarket, as if we did not have enough food already. We all got excited at the deli counter, samosas and conch fritters were 2 popular items among our crew. Unfortunately the conch fritters were on the greasy side Tacoboy was still clueless as to where we were going. It was not the nicest thing to do but I decided to completely throw him off track, after learning that Pedro had been acting like an spoiled 5 year old who can’t keep a secret and spilled the beans to Paul about where his party was. I told him that what Pedro said was Andy’s cover up when he kept asking where the party was, started name dropping Tikal and was in total agreement when Tacoboy said that is why we did not buy beer at Broadies because we will soon be drinking Guatemalan Beer. My travel trivia question to you is: Based on what I wrote above, how could Tacoboy have figured out that we were not driving to Tikal? See answer below.

Belizean Folklore: The Legends of Belize
The Belizean culture is unlike anything else on Earth. It’s a unique blending of many different influences, ranging from the Spanish Mestizos, to the German Mennonites, and the Ancient Maya. Today, aspects of these people live on in the nation of Belize and its folktales. Here are some of the land’s most compelling legends: The Scary Sisimito, Beware the Tata Duende, Xtabai, the Ultimate Seductress

Chaa Creek Spa One of the World’s Top Ten
The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Hilltop Spa has been selected as one of the world’s top ten spa values by the internationally respected Gayot’s Guide, according to spa manager Bryony Fleming Bradley, who said the recognition is a first for a Belizean rainforest spa. “Many people don’t realise that we offer a professional spa with a range of massages and therapeutic treatments,” Ms Fleming Bradley said, “So to be featured by such a highly regarded authority as Gayot’s is very satisfying.” Gayot’s “Guide to the good life,” which provides reviews on restaurants, hotels, travel, fine dining, wine and other topics, was launched by renowned French restaurant critic André Gayot in 1969 and is respected worldwide as an alternative to the Michelin guide. Gayot, who is credited with starting the term, Nouvelle Cuisine, has reviewed over 20,000 restaurants, hotels, and spas worldwide. The April 2013 online edition of the guide carries a feature, “Top Ten Value Spas” with the heading; “Get the best massage for your money at one of GAYOT’s Top 10 Value Spas! Found in dramatic locations around the world from South Asia to the Adriatic Sea, these idyllic escapes provide a posh spa experience at a price that will put your mind at rest.”

“I’m Down” in Ambergris Caye
Spent a bit of time yesterday morning researching a door lock that we had been told about . It’s the Millennium Ultimate Lock. This is the lock that we will be using on all external doors on the Ground Floor and the First Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.. Then spent a couple of hours on the PC trying out different tile combinations (the website I used allows you to see what the effect would be) for my bathroom. I have found what I want but now need to find out if they have them in stock. Fingers crossed. If not, it is back to the drawing board! With that out of the way I then arranged the wire transfer for the fifty percent deposit for the golf cart that we have ordered from Captain Sharks. Using FC Exchange (the foreign currency exchange ‘house’ we have been using to convert sterling to US dollars) this only took a few minutes. Time out for lunch and then we headed to Tres Cocos to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to review progress. Walking from the golf cart there didn’t appear to be a lot of guys around. Alfredo out front clearing rubbish and one guy working in the living/kitchen room area of the Ground Floor self-contained apartment. He was creating the recesses that the windows will fit in to.

Belikin Commercial Focuses on the Hard Working Belizean People
Belikin Beer, the beer of Belize. Check out our latest commercial from our series. We focus on the hard working Belizeans and the different industries Belize has to offer in this one. At the end of the day, we all just want an ice cold Belikin Beer.

History's Persevering Reminder to all Belizeans
This cannon seen here was in battle at some point in the fight for the country of what is now Belize during the Battle of Saint George's Caye. Today it is mounted permanently on the island of Saint George's Caye as a reminder of the sacrifices others made to fight for what we have now as Belize.

International Sources

Great Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef from space
Surrounded by darker, deeper ocean waters, coral atolls often glow in vibrant hues of turquoise, teal, peacock blue, or aquamarine. Belize’s Lighthouse Reef Atoll fits this description, with its shallow waters covering light-colored coral: the combination of water and pale corals creates varying shades of blue-green. Within this small sea of light colors, however, lies a giant circle of deep blue. Roughly 300 meters (1,000 feet) across and 125 meters (400 feet) deep, the feature is known as the Great Blue Hole. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured this image of the Great Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef in the Caribbean Sea on March 24, 2009. The Great Blue Hole appears at the center of the image, surrounded by a ring of lighter color caused by elevated coral. In fact, parts of the ring surrounding this feature actually crest the water surface at low tide, but a layer of shallow water covers most of Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Boats leave tiny white tracks on the nearby water surface, and two boats appear to travel away from the Hole in this image. East of the boats, a broad band of aquamarine indicates an area of especially shallow water along the reef’s margin. Along its easternmost edge, the reef crests the ocean surface, where breaking waves from the Caribbean Sea form a jagged line of white.

The Fishin' Magician: Go Fish Belize
I just got back from a week in Belize, fishing for bonefish, permit and tarpon. My wife Eileen and took a group of eight along with us, and we all had a ball. We fished for four days with guides from Go Fish Belize and everyone caught bonefish. Some of us caught permit, and tarpon eluded us on this trip. One day the gals went snorkeling and then had a shore lunch prepared by one of the people from Go Fish Belize. This was a nice break from the fishing and the sun for them and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

Machado Ventura Meets with Deputy Prime Minister of Belize
Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, Vice-president of the Cuban councils of State and Ministers, met on Thursday morning with Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture of Belize, who is on a visit to Cuba. During the cordial meeting, the two authorities expressed their satisfaction for the good state of bilateral relations and reiterated their willingness to continue strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation existing between the two countries, mainly in the health sector. Likewise, they spoke about the processes of integration of the region, particularly of the CELAC and the CARICOM and on the next Summit of the ACS. Accompanying the distinguished visitor were Pablo Saul Marin, Minister of Health of Belize, and Efrain Ravey Novelo, Charge d’Affaires of that diplomatic mission to Cuba, as well as Cuban Deputy Health Minister Marcia Cobas.

I want to go to Belize but I'm gay.
So Belize has some pretty backwards laws regarding gays and who can and cannot enter their country. Is this something that we should *actually* to worry about? Or, what are some alternate travel...

Pupils to work in Belize rainforest
Caithness pupils are to work with the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh as part of efforts to conserve plants and habitats in Belize. The teenagers from Wick High School will spend four weeks in the Central American country this summer. The trip will involve staying at Las Cuevas in the Chiquibul rainforest. More than 3,700 plants have been recorded in Belize and hundreds of other species are thought to remain undiscovered. The country's forests also provide habitat for big cats such as ocelot and jaguar.

Belize Resort Picks Top 5 Placencia Scuba Diving Sites
Belize Resort, Chabil Mar, Partners with Award Winning Dive Centers and Picks Top 5 Placencia Scuba Diving Sites to Create Luxury Dive Vacation Packages and Services Top 5 Scuba Diving Sites of Placencia, Belize selected by premier Placencia dive...

April 19, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Lisel Alamilla to receive University of Idaho International Alumni Achievement Award
The Senator, Honorable Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development for Belize, has been honored by the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources (CNR), as the winner of its, “2013 International Alumni Achievement Award”. She will be presented with the award at a banquet honoring outstanding CNR alumni and students in Moscow, Idaho, on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Minister Alamilla was nominated for this award due to her outstanding achievements, including her appointment as a minister in Belize’s Cabinet, her selection as winner of the 2012 Whitley Award for Nature and her selection as winner of the 2010 Marsh Award for Conservation Leadership. Each year the CNR Leadership Team convenes to nominate six distinguish college alumni for awards. The International Alumni Achievement Award is given to an alumnus who has a career is some aspect of natural resources, whose career exemplifies a record of distinction and international service in natural resources, and who is recognized as having made a difference in natural resource management in their country.

Dredging – mangrove clearance taking place north of marina channel
The San Pedro Sun can confirm that dredging is taking place in an area north of the San Pedro Marina Channel (located south-west of Ambergris Caye). The person to whom the dredging permit has been issued to is Darrin Sherry for Royal Belizean Land Co. S.A. The San Pedro Sun can also confirm that the recommendation was granted by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and signed by Mayor Daniel Guerrero on April 2, 2013. Documents obtained by The San Pedro Sun shows that the owner of Lot Number 5481 and 5482 in the San Pedro Registration Section intends to dredge a total of 76, 917 cubic yards of sand, silt and mud. However the person has divided the dredging into three phases; the first will see 16,851 cubic yards of material dredged, the second 11,666 cubic yards and the third 48,400 cubic yards. It is interesting to note that the law requires an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for any dredging exceeding 50,000 cubic yards of material. On March 8, 2013, the Government of Belize, through the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment approved a mining (dredging) permit which expires on December 31, 2013. The permit was granted a month before Sherry received the recommendation from the SPTC. The permit (for extraction) indicates that not more than 16,000 cubic yards of material shall be extracted from burrow sites around the properties in question.

Three more officers join the San Pedro Police Department
The San Pedro Police Formation has been slowly growing and with the recent six new officers, the formation counts with 39 policemen. They are tasked in ensuring the protection of life and property on the island of Ambergris Caye. Last week we presented you with two of the six new officers and in this issue, The San Pedro Sun introduces three more police constables. Woman Police Constable (WPC) number 1554 Arilee Young is originally from San Ignacio Cayo. She has recently graduated from the Belize Police Academy and her first placement is at the San Pedro Police Formation. Just as WPC Young, Police Constable (PC) number 1459 Norman Coye Jr is also a recent graduate of the Belize Police Academy and his first assignment was to Ambergris Caye. PC Coye Jr is from Cotton Tree Village in the Cayo District. PC number 1443 Hector Blanco is also new to the police force and he too is a new graduate from the Belize Police Academy. He is originally from Orange Walk Town.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Darts Team Wins Big Creek Dart Classic
The Jolly Roger Reloaded Darts Team, organizer and host of the first BIG CREEK GROUP ANNUAL DARTS CLASSIC, takes great pleasure in formally thanking Mr. Anuar Flores, Buisness Leader, and his Board of Directors of the Big Creek Group Of Companies for their sponsorship of our dart tournament held on April 13th & 14th, 2013. We also applaud the company for the commitment to venture into curving of the youths into the sport of darts in the country of Belize. This show of sportsmanship through its participation, endorses the company’s mission statement of “A Company In Touch With Tomorrow”. The Big Creek Darts Classic was a huge success with a brilliant display of camaraderie and unity to foster a new generation of dartists in Belize. The host team through this medium would like to also thank Fr. Timothy Thompson (SJC), the Minister of Sports, Hon. Herman Longsworth, “Open Your Eyes” Management, Staff and anchors, for such a quick response to readily endorse such encouragement to inspire the young people and to revive the consciousness to pass on the skill of yesteryear before it is buried with us, and The Belize City Lion’s Club, for the use of the “Lester Young Lion’s Hall” for the venue.

Unknown Graffiti Artist Spreads Flower Power Around San Pedro
The message might be that of Peace, Love or Happiness, but the images of flowers that have been plastered around the island by an unknown graffiti artist surely bring a smile to your face when you see it. Or maybe it is a puzzled face that people make when they see these random images of flowers (of different sizes and colors) that have been pasted in random areas of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. There is a large colorful one on a utility post by The Island Academy, a large black one on the concrete fence of the San Pedro Roman Catholic School and tiny ones all around. You have to have a keen eye to actually catch a few. I got out to conduct some investigating this morning, but there were no clues as to who posted these flowers around town. There seem to be no witnesses around as it seems that they were posted in the middle of the night. Clever!

Public Consultation For San Pedro’s Solid Waste Management Project
Keeping La Isla Bonita clean is something that the San Pedro Town Council has been arduously working on. There has been a massive cleanup campaign taken into effect to target specific areas of the island in different time periods so as to effectively cover the entire island and educated the people and maintain the island as clean as possible. The collection of garbage has always been the responsibility of the Town Council and the disposal of the garbage has been in the southern side of the island in the dumpsite where all solid waste is disposed and burnt. But the disposal of the island’s garbage will change once the Solid Waste Management Project comes into effect. The Government of Belize has proposed to implement a project to improve solid waste management practices in four municipalities of the Western Corridor of Belize (San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio/Santa Elena) that will support the goals of environmental protection, natural resource conservation, and protection of public health, safety and welfare.

Responsibility To Whom And For What?
In my articles I try to point out and describe to readers, both inside and outside of Belize, the many responsibilities as well as the essential needs of educators, students, parents, and the community/country at large. The bottom line and ultimate goal of each article presented in this column and on is to encourage each individual, not only students but the entire country, to keep improving and growing productively in the new 21st Century. My recent observations and striking descriptions (with apologies to no one) of “learned helplessness” throughout Belize have elicited quite numerous and varied individual responses throughout social media such as Facebook, Blogs, and emails. I respect and will honor each individual’s request for privacy. Nonetheless, it was very encouraging to see that, despite the scant or few comments usually posted under each new article, so many of you readers “do care” about how our Education Systems in Belize work, and whether or not they serve the nation productively. Most encouraging of all was to see how many of you, according to the many emails you sent me, are genuinely interested in improving our Education systems in Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

Barry Bowen Bridge closed on May 15
to all vehicular traffic for one or two weeks.

New Horizons provides veterinary care to animals of Belize
U.S. veterinary professionals provided treatment to various types of animals April 17 in Orange Walk, Belize, as part of a training exercise called New Horizons. The veterinary team treated approximately 340 dogs, seven horses and one cat. Elisa Castellanos, Orange Walk resident and owner of Napoleon, a 10-year-old Labrador and pit bull dog, was excited the clinic provided free veterinary care for dogs in the town. “I love this effort because it is very much missing here in Orange Walk,” she said. “When I heard about it, I told everybody.” Castellanos wants as many dogs as possible to be vaccinated at the clinic. “My neighbors have never given their dogs vaccinations,” she said. “I have some random dogs in my neighborhood, but I will make the trips back and forth.” Castellanos also said she believes this clinic will make a big difference in the community. “A lot of it is people are not educated what to do for their dogs and the responsibilities of it,” she said. “We each have a responsibility to do something. We just have to do what we can in our community.”

IMF concludes consultation mission to Belize
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Gerardo Peraza, visited Belize from April 8-18, to conduct its yearly review of the country’s economy in the context of the IMF’s Article IV consultation, which began in November last year. Peraza released the following statement in Belmopan at the conclusion of the meetings on Thursday: “This year’s Article IV consultation mission took place after the completion of an external public debt exchange. The mission welcomes the collaborative dialogue between the government of Belize and the Creditors Committee to achieve a consensual debt restructuring. “In 2012, economic activity accelerated thanks to a strong rebound in agriculture and services, despite a sharp decline in crude oil production. Output growth is estimated at 5.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), led by a recovery from the 2011 effects of weather-related damages to commodity exports. Inflation averaged 1.4 percent in 2012, as commodity price pressures abated. The external current account deficit widened to about 1.7 percent of GDP, up from 1.1 percent of GDP in 2011, due to a steep drop in crude oil exports and higher imports of fuel and electricity. The fiscal primary surplus for FY2012/13 is expected to decline to 1.3 percent of GDP from 2.3 percent of GDP in FY2011/12. After two years of decline, credit to the private sector recovered in 2012. For 2013, output growth is expected to moderate to about 2.5 percent as the main export crops stabilize and crude oil production continues to contract.

Belize to develop its first credit reporting system to increase access to finance
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping Belize establish its first credit reporting system, which will allow financial institutions to share credit information and better manage lending risks, thereby expanding access to finance for individual borrowers and small businesses. With support from the Canadian International Development Agency, IFC and the Central Bank of Belize are co-hosting the third Caribbean Credit Reporting Conference today in Belize City. The conference will bring together representatives from financial institutions, credit unions, utilities, insurance companies and central banks in the region to build awareness and deepen knowledge of credit reporting systems. IFC organized previous conferences in St Kitts and Nevis and Jamaica in 2012. “A credit reporting system is key to the development of a sound economy,” said Marilyn Gardiner-Usher, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Belize. “It helps to reduce risks for financial institutions and often leads to lower interest rates, making loans more affordable and more widely available. That’s a win-win for Belize.”

Heartz FC Family Day
The Heartz Football Club has uploaded some football pictures from their 'Family Day' this last weekend. "HeartzFC Family Day with Adventures FC"

PACT at UB Earth Day
The University of Belize had their Earth Day today, and the Protected Areas Conservation Trust was there to take some pictures of the event. Lots of people showed up for the food, fun, and games. "PACT attended the University of Belize's Earth Day Celebrations 2013. We helped to judge the Trash-On Show Competition! Kudos to all participants, especially the winners: Kuxlin Ha Primary School - 1st Place St. Martin's Primary School - 2nd Place United Evergreen Primary School - 3rd Place"

'My Body is Precious' Tours Cayo
The play 'My Body is Precious' is on tour around Belize, and it is coming to Cayo tomorrow. The Special Envoy for Women and Children is promoting the new book with the same name to combat the sexual exploitation of children. The play will be in Belmopan, at the UB Auditorium at 10am, and then in Benque, at the Marshalleck Stadium, at 2pm.

Black Hole Drop
One of Caves Branch's most amazing tours is their famous Black Hole Drop, where you rappel into a 300 foot deep cenote. If you crave adventure in Cayo, this is for you. Some of the best Cayo jungle lodges, including Crystal Paradise, Mariposa, and Parrot Nest, got to experience it so they could better answer their guest's questions about the unique adventure. "Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge offers one of the most extreme rappelling adventures in Belize with their Black Hole Drop. It's around an hour hike to a huge cenote that you rappell 300 feet into. You then have a delicious lunch, and explore the cenote. There are caves in it too."

Succotz Festival Weekend
The Succotz Fiesta is this weekend, and they are having the opening ceremony tomorrow with the Super Furia Band. Saturday and Sunday is when the fiesta really takes off. They'll be having a bicycle race, and fun in the Mopan. There will be live music, food, and games for the entire family. Feliz Fiesta!

Belizean Cold Cake Version 2
This is the 2nd version of Cold Cake. In this version, I eliminated the jello and added sugar and butter to the Nestle's Cream. I think added the sugar made all the difference for this dish for me. It wasn't too sweet and the cookies are a delight in each bite.

Channel 7

Police Get Aviation Fuel, No Luck In Finding Plane
Tonight, nine drums or 450 gallons of aviation fuel are sitting at the Ladyville police station – the product of an all-day search by Ladyville police and the Belize Special assignment group yesterday. At 10:00 in the morning, they received information that a plane was circling in the area West of Crooked Tree. A team of two dozen BDF soldiers and police were dispatched to scour the vast area between Crooked Tree and Shipyard. 7news got information as well, but our quest only took us to the Lagoon at behind Crooked Tree, as the terrain was treacherous beyond that. But police persisted, and at 2:30 pm, between an area known as Backlanding and Shipyard they encountered an abandoned runway – one that had been destroyed by BDF explosives months ago. But about 100 yards from the runway they found 9 full drums of aviation fuel. The drums were covered with palms and Bay leaves – likely for concealment and protection against the sun. There were also 16 empty clear plastic fuel containers beside them, likely used for refueling vehicles and ATV’s.

Ladyville Police Catch Burglars In Act, Shoot One; HeÂ’s Critical
Ladyville Police shot a man they allegedly caught committing a burglary this afternoon. 21 year old Ryan Lozano is in a critical condition at the KHMH – after police shot him in the midsection. Ladyville Police shot a man they allegedly caught committing a burglary this afternoon. 21 year old Ryan Lozano is tonight at the KHMH in a critical condition – after he was shot by police. Police say that at 12:20 this afternoon, the responded to the report of a burglary in progress in Los Lagos. When they got there, they saw 27 year old Ladyville resident Lenny Benguche hiding behind the house while Lozano was walking out. Police say he had a crowbar and a knife and they cautioned him – but he continued to advance in, quote, “a threatening manner.” Police then opened fire, hitting him in the midsection. But this evening 7news travelled to Ladyville to where the shooting happened. Neighbors confirmed that they heard 4 gunshots ring out – and when it did, they say the two men were already lying face down on the ground. They said they saw neither a crowbar nor any knife. Lozano’s mother was told by doctors that her son was shot twice- once to the back and once to his side. Tonight Lozano is on life support at the KHMH still hanging on to life and his mother Cynthia Usher, has still not been contacted by police. She said she has had troubles with her son.

IMF Urges GOB To Reign In Wage Bill
The IMF today concluded its Article IV consultation with Belize – and they say government has to watch its wage bill. A press release issued this afternoon reports that discussions with the government focused on how to take advantage of the breathing room provided by the Superbond renegotiation. The IMF recommends what it calls “robust fiscal consolidation,” among other measures. They emphasize quote, “(placing) debt and financing needs on a faster downward trajectory,” and continue to say that quote, “the focus of fiscal policy should be on spending restraint—especially moderating wage pressures—and reversing the erosion of the tax revenue base.” The release also points to “a high…level of nonperforming loans” – in the commercial banks and urges government to “(tackle) major impediments to doing business in order to better attract investment, expand exports, and bolster external sustainability.” The more complete staff report will be issued in June.

Another Bee Attack In North
There was another killer bee attack in the Orange Walk District today. 72 year old Wilhelm Nuefeld, a Mennonite of Camp 18 in Shipyard was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital after bees swarmed him while he was working behind his house. KREM News reports that he was attempting to transfer swine from one stall to another and was not aware of a hive of bees in the stall. Fortunately he was treated and released. His horse was also attacked but survived as well. There’s also news about the other tragic case which occurred in Little Belize. As we reported 4 year old Enrique Thiessen was killed by a swarm of bees while his five year old brother, Pedro was critically injured. Well, Pedro has been showing signs of improvement, and was released from the Northern Medical Plaza today to attend his little brother’s funeral. But when that’s done, he’ll have to go right back to the hospital. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez reports that his liver is still swollen and he has to be kept for two more days of observation.

Sidewalk Demolition Raises Concerns
In March of last year, the Sustainable Tourism Project started works for the Belize City Fort Point Pedestrian Walk. The 5.47 million dollar project promised to deliver a refurbished North Front Street from the bridge-foot to the Memorial Park. It’s been a long 14 months since the ground breaking ceremony launching the development and so, residents of the city have been forced to deal extensively with the limited road access while the contractors do their work. The works are now approaching the foot of the Swing Bridge, and so today we caught up with the Project Director for an update on when they will be completely finished. We also asked about the demolition of the newly built sidewalk in front of the Image Factory. The director told us that it is due to a drainage issue that they had to fix. She also discussed the challenges which have delayed the completion of the works. Christy Mastry - Sustainable Tourism Project "Well North Front street right now is about maybe another three or four weeks away from completion. The entire project was scheduled to be totally completed by the end of April. North Front St. had some unique challenges that many of the other roads didn't have or not in as much dire need of attention as North Front St. did. It was the variation of the entrances of all of the buildings to the actual sidewalk and then the relationship to the sidewalk to the road bed itself. So because of that it definitely posed a drainage challenge to the contractor.

OCEANA: Win Some, Lose Some
On Tuesday Oceana Belize had a major victory in court when they up-ended 6 offshore oil drilling contracts. Well, their next challenge in the Supreme Court hasn’t been enjoying as much success as that one. That’s because since the Chief Elections Officer disqualified 8,047 of their signatures to trigger a referendum on off-shore oil drilling in 2012, the GOB attorneys have been ensuring that the court doesn’t reverse it. Today, once again, GOB, successfully managed to convince Justice Michelle Arana to dismiss an application from Oceana for leave to appeal concerning her ruling to strike the challenge out on a technicality of tardiness in December of 2012. We spoke to both sides outside of court, including Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who is undeterred by this dismissal. She says that these setbacks will not discourage her from trying to get the Court of Appeal to hear the matter. Denys Barrow - Attorney for GOB "The Oceana people had applied for leave to appeal against the earlier decision of Justice Arana, striking out their claim, which have been filed out of time. We took the objection on this application today that again, they have made a misstep and they applied for leave to appeal when they had a clear right to appeal without making any application for leave. Therefore the application for leave was a mistake. It was meaningless and as the judge said she has no authority to give leave. If they wanted to appeal they ought to have filed a notice of appeal. So they have no appeal"

Murder Way Up in 2013
Crime Statistics show that – for the first quarter of 2013, the murder rate is way up. Comparing the period of January to March 2012 with the same period in 2013, 30 murders were recorded in 2013, as compared to 23 for the same period in 2012. Looking at it on a district-by-district basis, Belize City showed an alarming increase, from 11 murders between January and March 2012, compared to 26 murders for the same period in 2013. All other districts except Toledo were down in the number of murders reported. According to the numbers, cases of Robbery, burglary and theft were all down.

Jamaican Police Minister Cries For Crime
And while those murder figures are enough to make anyone hang their head in weary resignation, in Jamaica, the staggering crime statistics almost brought the Police Minister Peter Bunting to tears. In a speech that has triggered angry responses from Jamaicans, on Saturday Bunting said only divine intervention can solve his country’s problems – we have this report from CEEN News:.. Tamika Tomas Reporting "It was an emotional security Minister Peter Bunting who lamented the situation of the country's crime problem. After fifteen months on the job, the Minister says he is frustrated over what he described as little results despite the best efforts of the security forces. Speaking at the anual cry and thanksgiving service for the security forces, as the Northern Caribbean university over the weekend, the Minister noted that he was in a dark time in his career as Minister and only divine intervention would solve the crime misery." Peter Bunting, Minister of National Security, Jamaica "After fifteen months I am convinced that the best efforts of the security forces by itself, will not solve the crime problem in Jamaica but it is going to take divine intervention; touching the hearts of a wide cross section of the society"

UB Researchers Touching On Important Topics
Research: it’s the duty of every university to promote it – and for the third year, UB’s Faculty of Management and Social Sciences held their Annual Student Research Conference. The idea is to get out the research work students have been doing in a specific subject area Dr. Jean Briceno-Perriot - University of Belize "The research are in areas of Accounting, Tourism, Management and some social Science. It's very intense and they have to work very hard and at times it is stressful for them. They get it done and as you can see from the response of them being here it's kind of a goal for them now. We want our study to be presented." Shenira Hoare - Student Researcher "Well my research was mainly to focus on the factors that are contributing to a GPA change in students, specifically Accounting students that are doing their Bachelors Degree after they have relocated to Belize City. My findings were that specifically because it was such a small group, there were minimal changes in their GPA. So for the minority that changed didn't feel like their parents' expectations were a push for them to do their best. They didn't have the family support. They did not feel like they had good relationships with those they lived with. So for the minority that did change those were the factors that affected them the most and caused them to shift from having a higher GPA to a lower GPA."

Central Banks Setting Up Credit Bureaus
And while UB’s students are researching business, the central bank was kinda sorta doing something similar. They’ve teamed up with the International Finance Corporation to set up a Belize’s first credit reporting system. Today, they held a press conference and the Deputy governor of the central Bank explained the importance of credit bureaus. Here’s how it goes. Marilyn Gardiner Usher – Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Belize "A credit reporting system is key to development of a sound economy. It helps to reduce risks to financial institutions and often leads to lower interest rates making loans more affordable and more widely available. We expect the data to come financial and non-financial providers like the utilities and the insurance companies. So that this can actually have the impact of bringing individual, small and medium enterprises who don't normally hold accounts and have a relationship with the bank, to have access to their reputation and collateral to the formal financial system."

Triple Fatality Reported
There was a terrible accident at mile six on the Western highway just a short while ago. At about 6:50 pm, a maroon Chevy extended cab pickup and a black car collided head on. First images from the scene show sent by our team show massive frontal damage to both vehicles. Our team reports that at least two persons have been extracted dead from the pickup – and bystanders say one more person is dead inside. Another was taken out alive and rushed away via ambulance. We’ll have more on this before the end of the news.

Tonight’s I am Belize profile of Mona Lisa Mangar.

Making The Most OF Disaster Preparedness
This afternoon at the Radisson, Godwin Hulse the Minister in Charge of Emergency Management briefed the media about the highlights coming out of the Regional Disaster Preparedness technical advisory committee meeting organized by Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency - CDERA. Hon. Godwin Hulse – Minister of National Emergency Management "Some of the highlights coming out of today's meeting were, still ongoing as you know, but there's the strategic direction was endorsed. That is where we are going from 2013 to 2018 and so there was a tremendous amount of discussion there that was endorsed and so that now goes up to council. The country's support program was examined and supported. A country support program means for example; What will Belize get? What the other agencies will get? That was also was discussed and then of course the operational planning enhancement. How we are going to move in all of these changes that are happening? We looked at communications systems and that sort of thing; the world is a changing place. You know, couple years ago we sent a mail and we would hope you got it and then from there we sent you a 'telex' and the we started sending you a fax and then we got cellphone and now we have facetime. So we are going up. So communication is changing and how we interact and communicate with each other. In between all of that, a myriad of smaller issues so fundamentally that is where are and what we have been doing so far."

A Fiesta With A Tradition
The SAN JOSE Succotz Fiesta has become a major annual event for the WESTERN village and it is scheduled for April 18, 19 and 21. But oftentimes, these events become established for a particular symbolic reason, which is lost on the younger generation who look forward to it only for the fun and excitement involved. The spokesperson for the Fiesta gave 7News a brief history about the importance of the event. Wilson Patt - Spokesperson, Benque Succotz Fiesta "Usually for the 'fiesta" we try to promote our own traditional dances and folklore and also the traditional dishes. That is the main focus of the fair. It was done yearly from the 1920’s it was done more as a religious but traditional event. Now its being done like a fundraising drive. We have moved away from the Catholic since the St. Joseph day, the patron Saint is 19th of March and it falls within lent so we have decided to move away from lent and move it into a more traditional way and there isn't a religion that can do any harm."

Vansh Giveaway Day 4
Today, the Vansh Charles Birthday giveaway continued here at Channel 7 on Albert street. As we’ve told you, all this week, Monday to Friday all children 12 and under who are born on April 19th, between the years 2001 and 2012 can come to Channel 7 to pick up their gift bag and a gift certificate. We spoke to a few of the recipients who’ve come form all over the country. And we spoke to one mother who is just happy to have her April 19th birthday after he was switched at birth in a hospital mix-up Daniel Ortiz "Now that he's celebrating his birthday. What's it like?" Sofia Fuller - Mother of 2 Year Old Kent Moses "Well, i'm very happy and greatful everyday that I have my son." Mother of Shernelle Anderson "I feel great about this. It's a wonderful thing to do for kids that are born on April 19th." Sherl Lewis "Hi" Daniel Ortiz "How do you feel about receiving your gift today?" Alliyah Salam "Happy." Daniel Ortiz "You're happy. What school do you go to?"

Channel 5

Brutal accident on highway kills three
There is breaking news of a fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway that happened just before seven this evening. Three persons are now dead and two survived when there was a collision between a small car and a pickup truck. The persons who perished were in the pickup truck and are believed to [...]

Terrible dredging on the north end of Ambergris Caye
On Tuesday, OCEANA won a major legal victory when six oil contracts were declared null and void by the Supreme Court. Tonight, there is a developing story from San Pedro that is stirring unease on the island. It is reported that north of San Pedro’s Marine Channel, seventy-six point nine cubic yards are being dredged [...]

Aviation fuel found near Crooked Tree; reports of plane attempting to land confirmed
On Wednesday, reports circulated that a plane had been heard circling somewhere behind Crooked Tree, but we could get no official confirmation and our investigations came up empty-handed. But today, there is official word from the Belize Police Department, of a significant find of what is believed to be aviation fuel. Following the reports of [...]

Union salary increase dependent on Maranco Oil
Since the announcement of an encouraging oil show in the northwest block, an area in the Orange Walk District spanning nine hundred and fifty-two square miles, the Ministry of Energy & Science has remained relatively quiet about the results of an assessment to determine whether the find is in commercial quantity.  On March thirtieth, prospecting [...]

APAMO strongly disagrees with rosewood amnesty
The sale of confiscated rosewood announced by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development on Monday has been drawing huge public outcry. This afternoon, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization added its considerable weight to the public condemnation surrounding the recent decision by government regarding the amnesty, sale and exportation of rosewood. In [...]

Bad bus business resolved in the capital
Public transportation is flowing tonight following a meeting in Belmopan.  As it stands, the wrinkles have been ironed out between two competing companies over the Belmopan-Belize City run. Both have agreed to a formula making way for one of the companies to service the five o’clock run which transports most public officers from the Capital [...]

Violet Jones believes found bones are from lost son
On January nineteenth, 2011 distraught mother Violet Jones visited our studio to plead with the public for information on the whereabouts of her son, Matthew Gonzalez. Matthew lived in San Pedro, and had not been seen since January seventh, when reports are he went fishing. No information ever surfaced, and Violet Jones never found any [...]

Second bee sting victim is suffering liver damage
A five year old boy remains hospitalized at the Northern Medico Plaza in Orange Walk following an attack by killer bees. On Monday, Pedro Thiessen and his four year old sibling, Enrique were playing behind their house in the Little Belize Community in southern Corozal when they were stung repeatedly by the swarm of killer [...]

OCEANA loses on technicality on referendum, but fight not over
Oceana has had a good week in the court. Justice Oswell Legall ruled that several offshore contracts were null and void. It was a celebration that came with a terse reply from the Government that it would appeal the decision. Today, Oceana Belize returned to the Courthouse. This time they appeared inside the courtroom of [...]

Minister says it’s impractical to refuse entry to Guatemalan citizens
When he spoke to us today, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse also expanded on the plan to require new entry permits, at an additional cost, from all persons entering Belize with the newly proposed Guatemalan passport. The printing of the passports have been put to tender, but Guatemala is proposing that will retain a map [...]

John Baptist, accused of abusing minor, fails to appear in court
The trial of a Belize City man for sexually abusing a young girl had to be put on hold because the accused failed to return to court. John Baptist’s trial got underway last week in the Supreme Court and continued throughout the week, but earlier this week Baptist was a no show. He is accused [...]

13 packages of weed found in car
San Ignacio Police has recorded an impressive bust of cannabis. It happened on Wednesday at around twelve-thirty p.m. when a mobile patrol on the George Price Highway intercepted a green Toyota car with two men inside in front of Three Flags Superstore. A cursory search of the vehicle turned up nothing, but because of the [...]

Belize to implement a Credit Report System
Belize is establishing its first credit report system that when completed, financial institutions will be able to share credit information and improve on lending risks. The Central Bank is with support of the Canadian International Development Agency. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.   Jose Sanchez, Reporting The International Finance Corporation is assisting Belize to develop [...]

200 students graduate from Gang Resistance Education
Today more than two hundred students from the Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School, the Queen Street Baptist School and the Saint Luke Methodist Primary School graduated from a new program in their schools called Gang Resistance Education and Training, or GREAT for short. The program was introduced to Belize in 2009 by the US Embassy [...]

Regional facilitators gather for disaster management conference
The Technical Advisory Committee of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency today concluded a two-day session. The Committee includes representation of National Disaster Coordinators from the eighteen member states, as well as other participating regional bodies. The goal of the session was to come up with a cohesive, effective and forward thinking regional strategic plan [...]

Healthy Living examines the complications of the gall bladder
Many persons have gall stones and would not know about it until the pain begins to strike.  The stones form in the gall bladder from cholesterol, bile, salts and calcium. While galls stones affect all age groups, its formation increases with age, especially among women. In this week’s Healthy Living, we look at the complications [...]


GREAT Program Graduates Hundreds of Primary School Students on Gang Resistance Training
This morning over two hundred students from Queen Street Baptist Primary School, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School and Saint Luke Methodist Primary School graduated from the Gang Resistance Education and Training, GREAT, Program. The graduation ceremony was held at the Nazarene Ch...

Second Recognition Within A Month For Police Southern Zone
For the second consecutive month the Southern zone has been recognized for recording the lowest level of major crimes in the country. On Wednesday Minister of National Security John Saldivar made the presentation. A certificate for the best performance was presented to the ...

Two Ladyville Residents Caught Red Handed; Police Shoots One and Apprehended Both
A man was shot by a police officer earlier today. Preliminary reports are that about 12:20 this afternoon, police responded to a burglary in progress in the Los Lagos area. Upon arrival, police apprehended 27 year old Lenny Benguche who was hiding behind the house. Police say after...

Cancer Support Group Prepares For Annual Awareness Walk In Orange Walk
The Orange Walk Cancer support group will be holding its fifth cancer awareness walk this Saturday, April 20. The walk is both to create awareness of the illness and the fifth anniversary of the support group. President, Badrah Coleman tells us more. BADRAH COLEMAN ...

Villagers Plead For Water In Cayo District
The village of Armenia located a few miles outside the City of Belmopan on the Hummingbird Highway, in the Cayo District was initially settled by immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras who were fleeing civil war. Later on Mopan and K’ekchi Maya moved into the a...

Central Bank of Belize Spearheads Caribbean Credit Reporting Conference
“Achieving the Possibilities Through Credit Information Sharing” is the theme for a Caribbean Credit Reporting Conference spearheaded by the Central Bank of Belize, CBB, the International Finance Corporation, IFC, and the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA, now...

Evangelistic Campaign Makes Its Way To Belize City
Preparations are underway for an Evangelistic Campaign entitled “Experience God” an initiative of the Seventh Day Adventist Church scheduled to kick off this Sunday in the Belama Phase One Park in Belize City. Pastor Osborn Collins, who is organizing the campaign spok...

Grace Primary School Choir Recruited For International Program
Grace Primary School Choir has been in existence for fifteen years and has touched the lives of many school children that have entered the gates of Grace Primary School. Presently the choir has about 60 members and has had the opportunity of performing in different neighbour countries ...

Aviation Fuel Found; Owners Unknown
A quantity of what may be aviation fuel was found in an area known as Back Landing in the Orange Walk District. Based on information received by Ladyville Police, on Wednesday at about 3pm, a team of Police officers from the Ladyville sub-formation along with members of the Belize Spec...

Association Involved in Management of Protected Areas Calls On Government To Rethink Amnesty On Rosewood
The Association of Protected Area Management Organizations (APAMO) has called on Government to rethink its position to implement an amnesty period, allowing the export of illegally harvested Rosewood. APAMO says while it was in full support of the moratorium declared one year...


Five Year Old Stung By Bees Sent Home To Bury His Younger Brother
On Monday afternoon a four year old Mennonite boy from the community of Little Belize in Corozal lost his life after he was stung more than 500 times by killer bees. Five year old Pedro Thiessen and his younger brother 4 year old Enrique Thiessen were playing in an open lot located a few feet away from their home in Camp 70 when they were swarmed by killer bees. The boy’s father, Jacobo Thiessen and neighbor Issac Shmith aided the children and were also stung in the process. Four year old Enrique Thiessen was pronounced dead on arrival at the Northern Medical Plaza while his brother and father were admitted under critical condition. According to Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, while Jacob Thiessen is out of the woods, the same cannot be said for his five year old son. Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez “Pues el niño se nota que está mejorando. Todavía está un poco hinchado pero el día de hoy sacamos algunas pruebas que le habíamos hecho el día anterior y nos dimos cuenta que había más inflamación en el hígado afortunadamente las otras pruebas de su riñón y las otras pruebas están normales. Lo único que se elevo es el hígado que era lo que esperábamos. El día de hoy el padre nos pidió que lo diéramos de alta por un rato porque iban enterar a su hermanito. Pero no más termine eso va a regresar. Los mayores ya están bien y ya les dimos de alta claro ellos no fueron severamente picados como el niño a quien vamos a tener con nosotros unos dos días más bajo observación.”

9 Gallons Of Aviation Fuel Confiscated By Police In Orange Walk
Yesterday Orange Walk Police received several calls from residents of Carmelita Village claiming to have heard the sound of a low flying airplane circling in the area, on Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning. We understand that police, along with members of the anti drug unit, combed the area from Carmelita Village to Crooked Tree but found nothing. Ladyville Police received the same information from residents living in Crooked Tree and the search was extended. At around 3:00pm a team of police officers from the Ladyville sub-formation along with members of the Belize Special Assignment Group visited an area known as Back Landing in the Orange Walk District which borders the village of Crooked Tree in Belize. There they found these nine plastic blue drums containing aviation fuel and sixteen empty white plastic five gallons hidden in some bushes. The items were discovered about 300 feet from an airstrip that had been destroyed previously by the Belize Defense Force. At the time of the discovery no one was in the area and all items recovered were transported to the Ladyville Police Station where they were labeled and kept as found property. So, what were 9 gallons of aviation fuel doing the in the area? Could it be that a drug plane was about to refuel and something went wrong? Those are questions that may never be answered, but one thing is for sure, residents of Carmelita say they are positive of what they saw and heard.

New System To Be Set In Place For Guatemalan Visitors
Since the news broke out that Guatemala’s new passports will feature a map in which Belize is included as part of the country’s territory, only demarcated by a dotted line to indicate the ongoing dispute between both countries, Belizeans have been up in arms. The People’s United Party has stated on the record 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. But the Government of the day is not being so passionate about the situation. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Wilfred Elrington, has indicated that if Guatemalan passports include Belize; residents will still be allowed to enter the country. According to Elrington Belize cannot put to risk the good business relationship shared with Guatemala. But according to Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse, there are certain measures that will be set in place.

Villagers Of Ranchito Tell GOB Leave Our Land Alone
On our newscast of April 3rd we brought you the story of the Pol family from the Village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District who claimed that Government was taking away their 3.6 acres of land located behind the village. Tonight, there is a similar scenario in the village of Ranchito only that this time it involves more than two hundred parcels of land and more than one family is being affected. Elmer Cornejo Reports. Elmer Cornejo - Reporting Tonight residents of Ranchito Village in Corozal are up in arms and are pointing fingers at the Government of Belize particularly the Ministry of Natural Resources. According to Orvin Rancharan, chairman of Ranchito Village, more than two hundred parcels of land are in the process of being taken away from villagers who already have a lease. Rancharan says that the lands in jeopardy were issued back in 2007 by the P.U.P Government. A year after there was a change in government as the United Democratic Party took office and that is when the struggle began. Orvin Rancharan: Ranchito Village Chair “We had never had a problem except since 2007 when these lands were issued in the Rancharan Layout and the reason we called it Rancharan Layout it was because we acquire it from Nataniel Rancharan almost 80 lots. We start facing a serious issue when the government change in 2008 but before that we had acquire lands in all areas in fact there are ten loan in Ranchito, with the latest land Rancharan Layout is where the problem is right now. What is happening to those lots is that we had surveyed the land and we charge $200 per person, all who were interested paid their $200 we didn’t discriminate got their lot and their file with official government receipt which they had gone to the lands.”

Land Grab In San Felipe Village
While that land dispute is taking place in the Village of Ranchito Corozal, trouble is also brewing in the Village of San Felipe Orange Walk. On Sunday, Israel Olivera, a resident of San Felipe Village was brutally attacked by two men from the same village, who by force wanted him to vacate the property on which he built his house on, four years ago. Olivera admits to not having the proper documents for the property which is located on the outskirts of the village. According to him, he has tried to obtain the lease papers for the land but it’s easier said than done. The men who attacked him are allegedly supporters of the United Democratic Party who have set their eye on the property. But that is not the only piece of land that is presently in dispute in the Village. Sixteen years ago, Terencio Magana took possession of a quarter acre parcel of land on which he planted several coconut and fruit trees. He has been taking care of the land ever since even though he has no proper documents. And that’s not because he hasn’t tried to take them out, the process is just too slow, he says. The bad news is that parcel 420 has been given to another resident of the village who is ready to construct. The only problem is, Magana says that land is his because he has squatter’s rights.

The Fight Against Cancer Is On
The Orange Walk Cancer Support Group has been providing much needed support for cancer patients over the past few years, and this coming Saturday the group will be hosting its 5th annual Cancer Walk in celebration of their 5th anniversary. The walk will be followed by a health fair at the Orange Walk Central Park. “The Fight is on against Cancer”, is this year’s theme and according to President of the group Badra Coleman, this year’s message is more than clear. Badra Coleman-President, Orange Walk Cancer Support Group “I think we are ready and we have been working for the past three months on this and so it is crunch time but we are fitting all in and we are ready and we know we will feel the support of our community. We have had good response and all our shirts are finished we might have just maybe ten shirt available it is a first come first serve but it is great to see the response throughout the country and we have raffle tickets going since March and we have raffle tickets all over the country and they have been sending and big up to Corozal also we have friend there and he is working for us every year.

Lions Zone 59 To Hold 35th Convention In San Estevan Orange Walk
Lions Zone 59 is hosting its 35th Annual three day Convention starting tomorrow, Friday April 20th 2013, through Sunday April 21st, in the village of San Estevan. “Lionism” has existed in San Estevan since 1978 and is one of four Lions Clubs in Belize. According to Zone Chairman, John Wongsam, the celebration is also an opportunity to seek new ways on how to make the community a more peaceful and safer place to live in. Today when we visited the Lions Crew in San Estevan we found them hard at work preparing for this year’s convention. The Official Welcome Ceremony kicks off at 8:00pm tomorrow with addresses from a number of guest speakers including Yolanda Gomez, General Manager of La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited. Ariel Munoz-President San Estevan Lion’s Club “El Sábado a las siete queremos comenzar y vamos a tener el pageant de las reinas y durante las ceremonias vamos a tener presentaciones de cada club y entre medio unos muchachitos van a dar una serenata a las reinas y acabando la ceremonia vamos a tener el baile con Super Furia band y hasta amanecer.

The Importance Of Donating Blood
The Northern Regional Hospital will be hosting a blood drive at this year’s health fair scheduled to be held immediately after the Cancer Walk on Saturday, April 20th, 2013. The drive is hoping to see more volunteers, as the need for blood is always very high and they are pleading for more public participation. A few recommended tips for donors are: Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron rich foods such as red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, iron-fortified cereals and raisins. Get a good night’s rest, drink an extra 16 ounces of water or non-alcoholic fluids before the donation, avoid fatty foods such as hamburgers, fries or ice-cream before donating since fatty foods can affect the tests performed on the blood. And if you are a platelet donor, your system must be free of aspirin 2 days prior to donation.


APAMO comments on recent Rosewood amnesty
The Rosewood Saga continues, as today, the Association of Protected Area Management Organizations (APAMO), the leading network of non-governmental conservation organizations, voiced its objection to and disappointment with the decision by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development to implement an amnesty period; which is now allowing for...

Bus Association meets with Transport Department
President of the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative (B.B.O.C.) Mr. Thomas Shaw, along with the Commissioner of Transport, the General Manager for Westline; Mr. Castillo and other relevant representatives; met this morning at the Belmopan Bus Terminal to bring resolution to a recent problem between both bus carriers. Plus news...

Washington University of Health and Science said it graduated 200 students
All this week we have been covering medical school operations in Belize. Yesterday we featured the concerns of one protestor who feels that the American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) has not been doing enough for Belize, and that school’s response. Today, vice president of operations for American...

Professional Standards Branch investigates two shootings by Police
A mid-day burglary took an unexpected turn for the culprit today. Police say that they responded to a burglary in progress in the Los Lagos Area and when they arrived there, they saw 27 year old Lenny Bengueche, a Ladyville resident, hiding behind the house. Shortly after, 23 year...

Arguement turns into brawl in Valley of Peace
An argument in the Valley of Peace Village turned into an all out brawl. On Tuesday night, a 19 year old resident of village was hanging out with another man at a local bar. They then decided to go to La Cabana night club in Belmopan on the man’s...

Belize hosts 3rd annual Caribbean Credit Reporting Conference
Credit is essential to businesses to obtain goods and services and to individuals to advance their livelihoods. Belize is in the process of establishing a credit reporting service and today the Central Bank of Belize hosted the 3rd annual Caribbean Credit Reporting Conference featuring representatives of financial institutions and...

UB hosts 3rd Annual Research Conference
The University of Belize (UB) has as part of its mandate the delivery of key research for national development. Its students are subject to numerous research classes where they learn the ins and outs of preparing and presenting research papers and have the option to do a final thesis...

UB hosts Earth Day Activities
Earth Day will be recognized globally on April 22nd of next week, but festivities have already begun to bring awareness to environmental conservation. For as we learned today, Earth Day is every day, as we should all seek to protect the earth and its natural resources daily. Today the...

Southern Zone maintains lowest levels of crime
For the second consecutive month, the Southern Zone and Dangriga Formation have maintained the lowest levels of major crimes throughout the country for the month of March. And yesterday, they were awarded by the Ministry of National Security for this success. Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano who heads the Southern ...

Hon. Lisel Alamilla recognized for work in natural resource management
Though she recently came under scrutiny for the Rosewood newly amnesty, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, the Hon. Lisel Alamilla is being recognized internationally for her work in natural resource management. The Minister has been honored by the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources, as...

The Guardian

Changing Traditions
Traditions are important. They help to hold societies together and shape the meaning of lives. By definition traditions have a history and do not change with the fads of passing fashion. However, though they remain fairly constant over time they are not unchangeable. Very often they are tightly bound up with and sometimes confused with religious beliefs and this adds to the natural resistance to change. Thus the Catholic Church is debating internally the tradition of celibacy for priests and many religious scholars question whether this tradition is based on any biblical injunction. Other Christian denominations are already satisfied that it is not and allow their ministers to marry. The question of the ordination or rather the non-ordination of women is another tradition that is creating controversy within many established Christian churches. Many denominations have women ministers, some forbid such actions outright and others stand divided on the issue. Contraception is a huge issue for the new Pope to grapple with and many think the Catholic Church will be forced to change its stance banning contraception since it is the one doctrine almost universally ignored by its followers.

UDP Chairman readies the troops for Village Council Elections
Every since Party Chairman, Alberto August took the reins of the office he's been moving around the country energizing the party's political machinery, getting it ready for the village council elections. Last weekend it was no different as he paid visits to five- constituencies in three districts. The weekend tour began on Thursday April 11th when he visited San Jose Palmar in the Orange Walk East constituency. Friday it was August Pine Ridge and San Felipe in the Orange Walk South constituency. Then it was the Calcutta Community on Saturday in the Corozal South East constituency. That very day he travelled to Corozal North and on Sunday it was Cayo Central.

Three-Week Amnesty but Rosewood Moratorium Remains in Effect
On the 14th of March, 2013, at the sixteenth session of the Conference of the Parties on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) a decision was taken to regulate the international trade of rosewood and now the harvest and exportation of rosewood from Belize will fall under the CITES regulations. In order to regulate the trade of rosewood, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development needs to account for the entire pre-convention volume of harvested rosewood currently available in the country. The best way to make such an exercise successful in what has become an extremely shady trade is the implementation of an amnesty period.

Chetumal Boulevard ready
Mayor Darrel Bradley and Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca cut the ribbon officially declaring the Chetumal Boulevard open on Tuesday April 16th. According the Mayor Bradley it took over three months and 708 thousand dollars for the contractor RJB Construction to complete the plans which were designed by M & M Engineering. Most of the finances, he noted, went to the construction of drains alongside the boulevard. The road also consists of other features which include proper lining with therma-plastic lining and a beautified median which will be adopted by Westrac. According to the Mayor, the plan is to extend the paving to meet the river and await the construction of the 4th bridge which will link the north side of Belize City to the south side on Chetumal boulevard.

Irrelevant Victory on Illegal PUP Oil Contracts
Audrey Matura Sheppard, Vice President of Oceana in Belize, stood outside the Supreme Court and posed for the Guardian Newspaper holding a judgment by Justice Oswell Legal on Tuesday April 16th. Oceana along with Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA) and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage had filed a claim in 2011 against the Minister of Natural Resources. They were seeking that the Supreme Court declare that offshore drilling agreements signed by the PUP government in 2004 and 2007 for 6 companies be declared illegal because they were in breach of the Environmental Protection Act, the Petroleum Act, the Fisheries Act, and the National Parks System Act. It is noteworthy that the 6 Production Sharing Agreements signed were all done under the People’s United Party Government’s tenure. Island Oil’s contract was signed on 25th May 2004, Miles Tropical Energy, Petrol Belize Company Limited, Princess Petroleum Belize Limited, Providence Energy Belize Limited and Sol Oil Belize Limited secretly signed their contracts on 12th October, 2007.

Give it a Rest Now
If you haven’t drawn this conclusion so far by way of inference, let me cue you in: I am a sympathizer of the United Democratic Party. And the Party I support has taken some big hits this past week, no maybes about it. Truly, the only good news “in the rush” since last Friday was the opening of Chetumal Street by the Belize City Mayor, Darrel Bradley. But that aside, it was downhill all the way and one can actually feel the excitement at Channel Fox when news time comes around.

Dean Dawson Jr. Charged for Wallace Donald Matura’s Murder
On Friday, April 12, police charged 22-year-old Dean Dawson Jr. for the murder of Wallace Donald Matura. On February 15, 48-year-old Wallace Donald Matura was shot while standing in front of VIP Wireless at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal. Minutes earlier he had intervened to stop an older male from harassing a female child. The man later returned with another male and opened fire with a handgun in the direction of Matura. He was shot to the stomach, left leg and left arm. He died six weeks later, on March 27, as a result of complications from the gunshot injuries.

Father and Son Taken to Court for Weed
Police conducted a search at a tire shop on Central American Boulevard owned by 67-year-old Genaro Gallego at 12 noon on Thursday, April 11th. Inside they found a bag containing 213 grams of cannabis stashed inside a tire. Gallego and his 33-year-old son, Jose Gallego, were arrested and charged with drug trafficking. Later that day they were escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to the charge before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Jose Gallego took responsibility for the drugs and pleaded guilty to the offense. Magistrate Cayetano issued a non-custodial sentence and fined him $10,000 plus $5 cost of court.

Densfield Lemott Charged for Snatching Wallet
On Tuesday, April 16, 33-year-old Densfield Lemott appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a charge of theft. 60-year-old tour guide, Errol Belisle, reported to police that he was in a Chinese shop at the corner of Raccoon and Allenby Street where he met two other men. Belisle had his wallet inside a bag while in the shop. However, when he later reached into the bag for his wallet it was missing. That was when he approached one of the men in the shop who he knew as Densfield Lemott and asked for his wallet.

Lloyd Alexander King’s Charge Upgraded to Murder of Ronald Rivers
A little before 11 a.m. on Monday, March 4, 28-year-old Ronald Rivers was doing mechanical work on a Ford Escape that had shut down in the Uno Gas Station compound on Youth for the Future Drive when he was approached by a gunman who rode up on him and fired a single shot. The bullet caught Rivers in the face. He was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and died ten days later when he was removed from life support. Police responded quickly to the incident and managed to detain Mayflower Street resident, 18-year-old Lloyd King, for the shooting.

One Dead One Critical in Roaring Creek Robbery
Police are investigating a robbery that took place in Roaring Creek Village that has left one man dead and another in critical condition. According to police report, sometime around 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday night, April 16, a lone ski mask wearing gunman entered Hyde’s Meat and Grocery Shop and demanded money. While executing the robbery, the gunman fired several shots. 42-year-old Randolph Hyde sustained gunshot wounds over his right eye and on the left side of his chest while 36-year-old Mark Hyde received gunshot injuries to his upper left chest and upper left back. Randolph passed away at 8:15 p.m. while receiving treatment. Mark is in a critical but stable condition. At this point in their investigation, police have not determined the amount of money stolen and no one has been arrested and charged.

Five Months in Prison for Grabbing Woman’s Buttocks
39-year-old Fernando Tun, a laborer and resident of the Gugulung area, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Monday, April 15, to face a charge of aggravated assault upon a 28-year-old woman. According to reports, at about 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, the woman was in front of Downtown Plaza on Albert Street when Tun grabbed her twice on her buttocks. The woman was offended by Tun’s actions and as a result she reported the incident to police, requesting court action. In court Tun pleaded guilty to the offense, claiming that he was drunk at the time of the incident. He was sentenced to 6 months at the Belize Central Prison for the offense. The maximum sentence for the offense is 3 years in prison.

UDP Chairman readies the troops for Village Council Elections
Every since Party Chairman, Alberto August took the reins of the office he's been moving around the country energizing the party's political machinery, getting it ready for the village council elections.

Lowest Levels of Major Crimes registered in Southern Zone and Dangriga
Hon. John Saldivar (c) and Compol Allen Whylie(r) make presentation to Sr. Superintendent Robert Mariano On March 17, 2013, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar presented a Certificate of Award and a Cheque of $1,000 to Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano who heads the Southern Zone and is also the Officer Commanding the Dangriga Formation which forms part of the Southern Zone.

National Agriculture and Trade Show Farmer of the Year
The National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Farmers of the Year 2013:

OAS says Guatemala Will Not Offend Belize at General Assembly
On Tuesday April 16th the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, held a press briefing to update the media on activities of the organization in particular, the OAS' General Assembly which will be held in Antigua, Guatemala on June 6th. At the last meeting of the general assembly in Bolivia in February of this year and again in Washington there was an offensive video presented by Guatemala which showed no differentiation in territory between Belize and Guatemala. At the time it was met with great displeasure by Belize's ambassador to the OAS, Nestor Mendez and a formal protest was launched. Belize's Foreign Minister has since reported that if such a video is again presented Belize will be walking out of the meeting.

Government of Belize and CDB launch $12.8M Poverty Alleviation Project
The Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), officially launched a BZD$12.8 million project on Thursday, 11th April, which will finance a number of poverty alleviation projects throughout Belize. The project will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF).

Rainbow Park in Corozal expanded
The Rainbow Park in Corozal Town is currently undergoing massive renovations thanks to the vision of Corozal Bay Area Representative, Hon. Pablo Marin.

RF&G Adopts Town Clock
The Belize City Council and the insurance company, RF&G officially inaugurated the town clock located on Barrack Road in Belize City on Monday April 15th. The clock was constructed in memory of Scottish doctor, Frederick Gahne by residents of Belize City in 1913.

Solid Waste Consultations begin along the Western Corridor
The Solid Waste Management Authority (SWaMA) within the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture held a public consultation on April 10. The event was held at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. A similar consultation has been scheduled for Belize City at the Young Women Christian Association YWCA at 6:30 pm on April 18.

Special Envoy Launches Children Sex Abuse Awareness Campaign
Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, has launched an awareness campaign aimed at reducing the prevalence of sexual abuse against childred. The key instrument in the campaign is a children's book entitled “my body is precious”. The book was written to appeal to students from Infant II to Standard II and an audience made up mostly of this age group gathered at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Monday, April 15, for its official release.

Million Dollar Chocolate Museum for Toledo District
The Toledo District will benefit from a significant economic investment which will create educational and job opportunities for its residents. The Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) has received a grant of €500,000 or BZ$1,250,000 through the Belize Rural Development Project II. This grant will be used for the construction of the Maya House of Cacao and Chocolate Museum.

Young Bank residents now enjoy potable water
Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Rural Development (2nd from right) and Mr Alberto August (far right) inaugurate the Young Bank water project Residents of Young Bank, a community on the outskirts of Camalote Village in the Cayo District, now enjoy quality, potable water twenty four hours a day thanks to a Social Investment Fund (SIF) and Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) project, which aims to improve and expand water supply to rural communities in Belize.

Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition opens
The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition opened on Monday April 15, 2013, at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. There are seven (7) girls’ schools and 16 boys’ schools participating in this year’s primary schools basketball competition. The schools in the girls’ competition are Muslim Community, Belize Elementary, Holy Redeemer, St. John Vianney, St. Martin De Porres, Queen Square Anglican and Buttonwood Bay Nazarene. Meanwhile, the schools in the boys’ competition are St. John Vianney, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Queen Square Anglican, Belize Elementary, Wesley Upper School, New Horizon Academy, St. Mary’s Primary, St. Luke Methodist, Trinity Methodist, Ephesus SDA, Hummingbird Elementary, Queen Street Baptist, St. Ignatius Primary, Holy Redeemer School, Unity Presbyterian and St. Martin De Porres.

Belmopan Bandits open its lead in Premier League Competition
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament for 2013 continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Saturday April 13, out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the defending champions and the current leaders in this year’s competition the Belmopan Bandits blanked FC Belize by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Deon McCaulay in the 61st minute of play. The competition then continued on Sunday April 14, with three more games. At the MCC Grounds here in Belize City, Police United also blanked Verdes FC by the score of 1-0. Devon Makin scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute of play. Out at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, Belize Defence Force blasted FC San Felipe Barcelona by the score of 6-0. The goals for the Belize Defence Force were scored by Shane Flores in the 45th minute of play, Harrison Tasher in the 61st, 79th and 90th minutes of play, Jeremy Gentle in the 77th minute of play and Carlton Thomas in the 85th minute of play.

Football Federation calls players to tryout
The Football Federation of Belize in preparation for Gold Cup 2013 has called the following players to camp. According to the FFB, the camp commenced on Tuesday April 16, 2013, at the FFB Headquarters. The players called are: Woodrow West (Belmopan Bandits), Frank Lopez (Belize Defence Force), Darrel Novelo (San Felipe Barcelona), Shane Moody (Marathon FC), Elroy Smith (Vida FC), Ian Gaynair ( Belmopan Bandits), Dalton Eiley (Placencia Assassins), Tyrone Pandy (Belize Defence Force), Cristobal Gilharry (FC Belize), Jermaine Jones (Police United), Bernard Linares (Placencia Assassins), Andres Makin (Police United), Floyd Jones (Belmopan Bandits), Harrison Tasher (Belize Defence Force), Trevor Lennan (Police United), Kalil Velazquez (Belize Defence Force), Everal Trapp (Verdes FC), Keshawn Pech (Police United), Gilroy Thurton (Verdes), Danny Jimenez (Police United), Lennox Castillo (Police United), Deon McCaulay (Belmopan Bandits), Harrison Roaches (Belize Defence Force), Evan Mariano (Police United), Clifton West (San Felipe Barcelona), Jaron Myvette (Brown Bombers), Ashley Torres (Placencia Assassins), Devon Makin (Police United), Luis Torres (Placencia Assassins) and Collin Westby (Placencia Assassins).

Interoffice Basketball to begin next Friday night
The 2013 Interoffice Basketball League Tournament is scheduled to commence on Friday April 26, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. This year’s tournament will see the participation of eight elite teams with representation from Belize City and San Pedro Town. The teams participating in this year’s tournament are Department of Youth Services, CYDP, Police, Allied Insurance, Belikin Under Dogs, Alamillas Furniture’s, Digi Cell 4G and the defending champions Tuff “E” Nuff Tours. The sponsors’ Interoffice Basketball League tournament includes Sprite & Belikin, Smart and Brothers Habet Ltd.

Camalote United open on right foot in the Miley Garcia Cayo Softball Competition
The 2013 Cayo District Softball Competition regular season opened on Sunday April 14, at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village. This year the teams will be playing for the Miley Garcia Softball Trophy, as he is the official sponsor of the Cayo Softball Association’s premier competition. In the first game played, the defending champions Camalote United continued its winning ways when it blasted Belmopan Capital City Emeralds by the score of 16-0. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Dana Mae King. In game two, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy employed the services of young pitcher Shanika Anderson who bested Ontario Rebels and the veteran Kenreen Gillett by the score of 9-3. The competition will continue this coming Sunday April 21, at the softball pitch in Ontario Village. In the first game scheduled for 12:00 midday it will be Las Flores against Camalote United; followed by roaring Creek Grace Kennedy against the Capital City Emeralds and in the final game of the day Esperanza Wolverines will be entertained by Ontario Rebels.

Oceana pays tribute to Marine Conservationist And Calls on all Belizeans to never forget his work, which we must continue
Oceana is saddened by the news of the passing of one of Belize’s first Marine Conservationists, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who was a true Belizean patriot contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees. In 2012, Oceana presented “Chocolate” its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist when that term had not even become popular or even considered a career field. “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate and always remember him as a role model because even though he has parted this earthly life his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant,” said Oceana V.P. Audrey Matura-Shepherd. A brief History: Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia spent much of his adult life in and around the sea as a fisherman and later as a tour guide. He built up a healthy respect for the environment, knowing how important conservation was without even knowing what the word meant.

New Market Trends for Belizean Farmers
Belizean consumers regularly use products from Nestle, Kraft Foods and other food imports. These popular products can be found at the dinner tables on the farthest reaches of the country. However; these food products which have attained the highest level in value added form, contain constituents that can be produced by our local farmers.

University of Belize to Present a Wide Range of Research Findings
On Thursday, April 18, students and members of faculty at the University of Belize will be making presentations on a wide range of research topics in the institution’s Third Annual Student Research Conference. The Student Research Conference is being conducted by the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS). The topics researched includes the Prevalence and Identification of HIV/AIDS, Risk Factors in Recovering Addicts, The Economic Impact of DFC’s MSME Loan Program on Loan Beneficiaries, Determinants of Risk in the Commercial Banking Center, Facebook’s Impact on Sales on Two Small Belize City Businesses, Texting and English: Factors Affecting Proper Writing at the University of Belize, Factors Contributing to Out District Students’ GPA, among others.

Belize Welcomed Home Her Very Own Yoga Master, Yogi Charu!
The 37 year old yoga practitioner and teacher, Yogi Charu, was born in Belize City and grew up on Prince Street. He was first introduced to yoga at age 15 through his classmate and lifelong friend, Alexander Aguet. By age 16, determined to deepen his yoga practice and his understanding of life through the science and philosophy of yoga; the young Belizean set off on a journey that took him to places like California, Hawaii, India, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Germany, Poland, Sweden, several countries in Africa, and New York where he currently resides. More than 20 years after leaving Belize; after years of studying yoga and meditation with adept yogis, after living as an ascetic yogi in the Himalayas, after years of teaching yoga around the world, after making a name for himself as an authentic yoga master; Yogi Charu has returned home to Belize to share his knowledge of yoga with us.


Sometimes You Don't Want to Catch & Release - Belize Weddings
One of the wonderful things about being a destination wedding photographer in Belize is that we get to meet all sorts of people, from all over the world, with different lifestyles, jobs and hobbies... These are some awesome wedding photographers in Belize ...

A Passion. A Love.
University of Belize Calabash Caye Field Station -- My Office! :D Great video, worth watchng.

Life in a Banana Republic - Raymond Auxillou Jr., My hero
RAYMOND DENNIS AUXILLOU Jr., my father, was fondly known as “Captain Ray” by the local Reef community of Caye Caulker and his Sail buddies worldwide; “Raymundo the Magician” by some of his oldest & dearest friends who remember his brief early years as a traveling magician; the familiar “RAY” or “DAD” or “Grandpa” as his children and grandchildren referred to him, was 75 at the time of his death, after fighting a valiant battle he eventually lost to Cancer.

Belize Fan Pages Taking A Gamble?
Ok I have to admit this is a bit of a pet peeve for me and I’ve hesitated writing this blog for this same reason. It seems that there are seasons on Facebook where contests of all sorts keep springing up or a new page is hosting a promotion to create awareness. Most of them are really good and I even won an overnight stay from a contest I saw posted on a Facebook page. However this is where it gets a bit sticky. It seems that very few people are aware that the contests or promotions are not in compliance with Facebook rules and they are in danger of getting their page shut down! I myself was ignorant of the rules when I just started with Facebook, I mean how many people actually sit down and read the Terms and Conditions? Unless of course you’re into that sort of thing. So I want to use this post to encourage those who are running contest, promotions, etc or thinking of doing one to take some time to familiarize yourself with the rules. You’ve already put a lot of work, time, energy into your page, probably built some really good connections, have a great fan base etc… are you willing to take a gamble and risk all that?

April 7, 2013 - April 13, 2013 Fishing Report
The second Orvis Saltwater seminar was a huge success with half day of classroom and practical work, provided by Orvis’ Jim Welch. The class was then followed by 3-1/2 days of fishing. Overall the wind slowed down the catch of tarpon but the guests and guides still managed some good fishing for permit and bones by hiding on the west side of the island, as much out of the wind as possible. Brian asked Kristen to marry him on this trip and she said yes! Wow! --Ed

Tacoboy’s 24h SURPRISE party
As of last Monday, the picture below was the only real clue tacoboy about his 24h surprise party and he was baffled by it. As far he knew he was having a party at Victoria House with an international DJ and 900 people on the guest list. Not long after his facebook invite and picture clue went out, Paul was at work and got a call from Maya confirming reservations Cindy had made under Pedro’s Hotel. The cat was a little more out of the bag, now he knew we were flying somewhere and that he had to bring slogger shoes just in case.

International Sources

There was an attack on Hostmonster Wordpress installations three days ago, and hostmonster added a lot of IP addresses to a blacklist. I think they used the kitchen sink method to determine who was attacking, because too many folks are having this problem.,,, are among sites hosted by hostmonster, and might be giving you a problem. Of those sites, only the SAGA site is a WordPress installation, so you don't have to be running a wordpress site to have your site be affected if your website is hosted by hostmonster. If you are unable to get onto certain sites because it says your IP is blacklisted, here is why

Travel to Cuba
I have been researching a trip to Cuba and was made aware of the National Lawyers Guild and their links to the travel organization below. I have provided a link here which is literally a mini-counter-intelligence manual as to how the travel restrictions work and how to disrupt and evade them. As a bottom line it appears no matter that even if one is tagged at the airport or by mail later (and the vast majority are NOT anyway), all one really needs to do is request a hearing within 30 days and then Treasury backs off. There will be no hearing, no fine, no nothing. Only suckers and cowards have paid fines and not one single person has ever been actually prosecuted. If confronted one needs only to stand up for their rights and refuse to answer any questions, other than the ones answered on the customs form. You are not required to answer any other questions coming back into the U.S. other than what is on that form -- period.

Caithness pupils to work in Belize rainforest
Caithness pupils are to work with the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh as part of efforts to conserve plants and habitats in Belize. The teenagers from Wick High School will spend four weeks in the Central American country this summer. The trip will involve staying at Las Cuevas in the Chiquibul rainforest. More than 3,700 plants have been recorded in Belize and hundreds of other species are thought to remain undiscovered. The country's forests also provide habitat for big cats such as ocelot and jaguar. Teacher Chris Aitken, who will be accompanying the fifth and sixth pupils, said the June trip offered the youngsters an "amazing opportunity".

Cuba and Belize Determined to Promote Bilateral Co-op
The governments of Cuba and Belize expressed their bilateral cooperation during a visit to this capital by Deputy Premier Gaspar Vega, who was received by Vice President José Ramón Machado Ventura. The two officials reviewed the links between their countries and discussed ongoing integration processes in Latin America and the Caribbean. According to an official note, Machado Ventura and Vega, who is also Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture of Belize, showed satisfaction for the good state of relations and talked about mechanisms like the Caribbean Community and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States.

Court rescues Belizean coral from offshore oil drillers
The world’s second-largest barrier reef was saved from offshore drilling by activists who successfully sued the government of Belize over the issue. Belize issued contracts to energy companies in 2004 and 2007 that allowed them to drill around the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. But the government officials awarded the contracts to inexperienced drillers and didn’t bother studying the environmental impacts first. That’s actually kind of understandable: I mean, what could go wrong? Oceana and two other nonprofits sued the government over the contracts. They won the lawsuit this week in Belize’s Supreme Court.

Offshore Oil Drilling Stopped in Belize -
Yesterday, Belize's Supreme Court declared offshore drilling contracts issued by the Government of Belize (in 2004 and 2007) null and void, providing a dramatic and potentially definitive setback to The Government of Belize and the petroleum prospecting companies issued the contracts.

Inspired Travel: The Great Blue Hole
If you’re an avid scuba diver or adventure junkie, you’ve probably heard of, or maybe even experienced the Great Blue Hole in the Belize Barrier Reef (an UNESCO World Heritage Site). Around 10,000 years ago, the hole’s roof collapsed to reveal the previously concealed cave below. Measuring at around 1,000 feet in diameter (and around 412 feet deep), the cave sits in the Lighthouse Reef and it is close to a perfect circle.

How an Unexpected Delay Led to a Wonderful Trip to San Ignacio, Belize
Sometimes, when it seems like things are going from bad to worst, all you gotta do is hang in there for a bit until the sun comes out again. After barely being allowed into Belize, we were able to get to the insurance office on time. At 3:00p.m. we were still harboring hopes that we’d be able to get down to Belize City in time to catch the 4:30p.m. Water Taxi to Caye Caulker. “So, Insurance Guy, how far are we from Belize city?” Insurance Guy, who looked suspiciously Guatemalan, responded in perfect Belizean-accented English: Oh, about 2… maybe 2 and a half hours.” Our hopes dashed, I mentally made a note to check the wireless signal on my Guatemalan Tigo modem when the vehicle’s paperwork was complete.

The Mayans the Mass and Me
While in Belize we had the chance to visit some Mayan ruins. I climbed to the top of the main pyramid in Caracol and sitting up there on a beautiful day in April, the jungle birds crying and the jungle trees and neatly trimmed lawned–I imagined the priests offering their sacrifices of grain and human lives to their sky gods. It was a different scene then. The forests all cut down, the barbaric rites continued in fear and desperation as famine and starvation loomed. The critics of Catholicism–both Protestant and atheist–might say, “Geesh, it’s not really any different than what you do is it Father?” They’d argue, “Don’t you also get dressed up and ascend to the heights of the holy place where you offer a sacrifice of bread and blood? Don’t you say this is the Body of Christ? Aren’t you making the same pagan sacrifices of body and blood and grain to the sky god hoping that he will bring you prosperity and peace?” The Protestant will turn away in horror at the idea that Catholicism is simply brutal paganism warmed up and the atheistic materialist will turn away in ridicule and disgust that we still believe such superstitious ideas and practice such crude religious magic.

April 18, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Representatives of US Fund for UNICEF visit the San Mateo Area

UNICEF and SPTC host Birth registration campaign
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in conjunction with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), held a Birth Registration campaign on Tuesday, April 16th at the Community Church in San Mateo. The church doors opened from 9AM to 5PM. Residents of the San Mateo area and other neighboring areas that have not yet registered their children were encouraged to visit the church and complete the registration process. The objective of the program is to properly document unregistered children. Proper documentation is essential for schooling, work and even medical care. Birth registration is normally done by parents in the days after the birth of their child, either at the San Pedro Police Station or in Belize City at the Vital StatisticsUnit. The campaign was started in February 2011 by Christine Norton, Belize’s country representative for UNICEF. The birth registration campaign has since visited several locations across the country promoting the importance of child birth registration and documentation of the unregistered.

SPHS wins third annual San Pedro Softball Cup
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team won the third annual San Pedro Softball Cup. The games, hosted by The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), were held at the Ambergris Stadium on Saturday April 13th and Sunday, April 14th. Participating in the tournament were San Pedro High School, St. John’s College and Belmopan Comprehensive High School. In the first game played on Saturday April 13th, SPHS faced Belmopan Comprehensive; SPHS took the lead with a 10-0 win. Unfortunately SPHS fell short in the second game of the day against St. John’s College in a 3-7 point game. In the third game of the day, St. John’s College faced against Belmopan Comprehensive. The game ended in a tight 9-8 win for St. John’s College. SPHS delivered a sweeping win in the last game of the day against Belmopan Comprehensive. Belmopan Comprehensive boys put on a struggle but it was effortless as the game ended in a 8-1 win for SPHS.

Ambergris Today

Is Coconut Oil a Healthy Alternative?
Reader: I want to know how healthy cooking with coconut oil is? Is it good to include on a fitness or healthy diet? Have seen many articles on the health benefits, but how much is too much. Katherine: This is a great question! I wondered how healthy coconut oil is myself; I even went out and bought a jar. When trying to lose weight, as I did when I competed, any form of oils was eliminated from my diet. I got fats from almonds, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter and fish oil pills. That’s definitely doable and it works but I know it may be too extreme for some. I currently use Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) when cooking, but every now and then when I want to add a little flavor to food so I use the coconut oil. I learned from a nutrition class not to believe what we read from fitness and nutritional businesses…they promote products to make money and will tell you things to make you buy their product. We were advised reading the facts about a product from credible sources that reference the research studies proving those facts. I read articles on the American Heart Association and from WebMD and found this article as the most educational on coconut oil and fats.

Belize Lions Zone 59 - Annual Convention
This year, the Lions of Belize are celebrating 40 years of Service in Belize. During these 40 years, Lion members throughout Belize have been involved not only in the traditional Lions Projects of eye conservation, but also in Projects impacting Youth, Education, Health, Social Issues, Environment, etc. And now Lions are planning to be more involved in Projects which will target the problems affecting Belize. As part of the Anniversary celebrations, the Lions of Belize will converge in the Village of San Estevan, in the Orange Walk District, for the Lions Annual Convention. There will also be a delegation from the Chetumal Lions Club. The Convention will be hosted by the San Estevan Lions Club from Friday 19th April, 2013 to Sunday 21st April, 2013, with the theme, “Lions-Serving and Embracing the Future Through the Winds of Change”.

Belize Offshore Oil Contracts are Null and Void
“This is a victory for the People of Belize, our democracy and the reef of Belize” on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, Justice Oswell Legall handed down the much awaited decision in the case challenging the validity of the offshore oil contracts issued by the Government of Belize in 2004 and 2007 and since then extended in 2009. The decision is a historic one as it chastises the government, especially Cabinet saying that “allowing oil exploration before any assessment of its effects on the environment is not only irresponsible, but reckless, especially in a situation where Belize may not be fully capable of handling effectively an oil spill.” In his judgment Justice Legall said that the Minister who signed the contracts “exceeded his jurisdiction when he entered into the agreements without first having or considering an environmental impact assessment of oil exploration on the environment”. He explained the entire intention of the Environmental Protection Act is to make environmental assessment so as to protect the environment. Having explained his reasoning for the decision he then handed down the four orders he issued, namely:

Misc Belizean Sources

Prepare Now to See the Whale Shark Migration to Belize
Travellers wishing to experience the spectacular annual whale shark migration to Belize had better begin preparing now if they want to make the most of this rare opportunity, according to the Belize Natural History Centre at Chaa Creek. The whale shark is the world’s largest fish and the third largest animal on the planet. Long known in Belize as “Sapodilla Tom” due to its penchant for staying at the Sapodilla Cayes and Gladden Spit during its annual feeding and breeding season, the whale shark has a recorded length of 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) and weighs in at more than 36 tonnes (79,000 lb). Although they are true sharks (Rhincodon typus) that have changed little over the last 60 million years, whale sharks are peaceful creatures, allowing divers to come close as they lazily strain plankton and other food during their annual stopover in Belize. Bryony Fleming, who coordinates tour packages and bespoke excursions from Chaa Creek, said that the increasing numbers of people coming to see the gentle giants is another indication that more and more people are discovering the attractions of this laid-back little Caribbean country. “Not very long ago you could go out and actually play with whale sharks and there would be no one else around,” she said, “But word has obviously gotten out, and while it’s still uncrowded, there are definitely more people coming each year to take advantage of opportunities to get close to these amazing creatures.” Ms Fleming said recent media attention such as National Geographic’s pictorial features have spurred interest in the whale shark’s stopovers in Belize, which is one of only a few destinations these giants choose for their annual mating and feeding gatherings, with Madagascar, South Africa, Australia, Mozambique, Indonesia and the Yucatan also acting as annual hosts.

Loving Belize Episode 5 - Belize Zoo, Police Brutality, Marine reserves, ...
Welcome to episode 5 of Loving Belize. In this episode I asked people what they would like to see on 'Loving Belize'. With interviews from: Driva don't stop at all, he wanted to show me the bridges of Belize city. Kevin Jay who wanted to talk about Belize city and police brutality. Stone Crab who wanted to talk about the youth of Belize. Nelson Young who wanted to talk about art and the art of living. Rudolph Boeing who wanted to talk about the Belize Zoo. Captain David who wanted to talk about the effect dredging has had on his lobster grounds. Adriel Casteneda wanted to talk about Marine reserves. Zoe Walker who explains the work Wildtracks is doing to help fishermen find other ways of sustaining themselves, in tourism, pig farming and other trades.

Offshore oil drilling stopped in Belize
On Tuesday, Belize's Supreme Court declared offshore drilling contracts issued by the government of Belize (in 2004 and 2007) null and void, providing a dramatic and potentially definitive setback to the government of Belize and the petroleum prospecting companies issued the contracts. The ruling, handed down by Justice Oswell Legall, was in response to a case brought by Oceana, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. It effectively ends the Belizean government's immediate effort to allow offshore oil drilling in the Meso American Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. The court overturned the contracts after determining that the government failed to assess the environmental impact on Belize's ocean, as required by law, prior to issuing the contracts. The court also found that contracts were made to companies that did not demonstrate a proven ability to contribute the necessary funds, assets, machinery, equipment, tools and technical expertise to drill safely. Oceana has campaigned against offshore drilling in Belize for more than two years. In 2011, after collecting the 20,000+ signatures required to trigger a national referendum that would allow the public to vote on whether or not to allow offshore oil drilling in Belize's reef, the government disqualified over 8,000 of these signatures effectively on the basis of poor penmanship, stopping the possibility of a vote.

San Antonio School Going Organic
Feelgood news of the day. Blancaneaux Lodge is giving back to the local community, and is working with San Antonio Primary school to get an organic garden growing. Plant those seeds! "One of our Community Outreach Projects and how Blancaneaux Lodge helps our communities to be responsible with our environment."

UB Earth Day Today
The University of Belize is having their Earth Day celebration today, and it looks to be quite an event. They'll have games, food, drinks, information booths, a 'Trashion' competition, a bicycle race, and much more. The theme this year is 'Addressing Climate Change: If Not Now, When?' See you there!

Earth Day Bike Race Today
To kick off the Unversity of Belize's Earth Day celebrations, they are having a cross Belmpan beach cruiser race this morning. They are going from UB to Westar, and back to UB. First place is $200. Have fun!

Belize Book Week Coming
The Belize Book Industry Association is doing a call for artists of the spoken word. Belize Book Week is coming up fast, and it'll be happening here in Cayo on April 27th. The theme this year is "A Night of the Spoken Word," and the venue will be the Cayo Welcome Center. The schedule will be posted soon.

Digicell's website finally gets a makeover
So Digicell finally did a redesign on their official website and let me tell you this one has a soothing and impressive design — but I wonder if it was built with responsive web design capabilities. It doesn't matter because this new design totally kills the one they had before. The new design is fairly easy to understand and the most important links are boldly visible on the front page. One thing I didn't see on the makeover was a blog section. I believe this is something they can work on in the future. Overall, I believe this design clearly speaks great things about Digicell, especially since they are the top mobile service provider in Belize. I also like this map that displays all their cell sites found in Belize. Really cool! You can find the full map in this link.

Leonel "Chocolate" Heredia: A Lion Of The Conservation Movement Passes
Belize mourns the passing of a giant in Belize's conservation community. Leonel Heredia, known as "Chocolate" dies at his home in Caye Caulker. He had been troubled by an aneurysm for the past two weeks and that's what took his life this afternoon. "Don Choc" as we affectionately called him, was 83. In his young days, he was a fisherman and later on became a founding member of the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association with his boat, "The Soledad." But he was best known for his deep affinity for manatees and in 2002, he got the Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary legally established. When it was established, the then 73 year old told said that he hoped to bequeath a legacy to coming generations yet unborn…

Channel 7

Min. Of Immigration Says No To New Guat Passports
Over the past three weeks, there’s been a lot of public uproar about those new Guatemalan passports. By now, you should know them well, the one’s showing Belize as a part of Guatemalan territory separated only by a dotted line. The passports have been put out to tender but they haven’t been printed yet. However, Belize’s Immigration Authorities already have a policy position. Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse outlined it today. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "We cannot refuse people entry into the country because we can't stop business and all. So they are legitimate people coming. People in Guatemala are not necessarily fully responsible for the kind of passport the state issues to them. What we are saying? That when you reach the border that we are not going to accept that which is on a front of the Belizean Sovereignty. So we are going to develop a mechanism whereby you will be required to have an entry permit which you will pay for and that entry permit is what is going to be the legal document that brings you in the country and keep you in the country. That is our position as we stand. Hopefully, they don't proceed with it because we understand that there are several moves especially through the UN Department not for them to proceed but that is our position should they proceed." The Guatemalan government is tendering to print millions of the newly –re-designed passports.

One Killed, One Critical in Roaring Creek Robbery
There was a murder and attempted murder in Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District last night. It started with the robbery of Hyde’s Meat and Grocery Shop – and ended with one man dead and another critical. Monica Bodden spoke to the surviving victim today Monica Bodden reporting Just 30 minutes before close time last night - Hyde’s Meat and Grocery Shop in Roaring Creek was held up by an armed robber. The attack played out in less than 5 minutes but when it was over, one man was injured and his brother - the owner of the store was dead. The incident happened around 7:30 last night . The gunman entered the store wearing a ski mask and carrying a firearm. He approached the cashier and demanded money. And shortly after, things turned deadly. Voice of Liani Mehiea - Common-law Wife Randolph Hyde "I was serving some children and they had just sold me their pint bottles so I was paying them. It happened so fast,I was in a shock. A person with a long sweater with a hood came in and he had on a black ski mask. He was in front of the counter and he said to me 'Give me all you have'. He had a silver gun in my face. He came behind the counter and stopped 1 yard in front of me and he put the gun in my face. He started surveying the area to check if any money was around. I only had some small monies - some $5 and $2 bills. He grabbed them while his gun was still in my face. When I saw he grabbed the money out of the box, Mr. Randolph Hyde said - 'What is going on at the front?' As I heard his voice, the gun was moved from my face. The man fired a shot to the back where meats are sold because that is where they were."

"Horse" Stabbed In Prison
There was a stabbing at the Kolbe Central Prison this morning – and while the injuries are described as superficial, the person involved is major. According to reports, Jermaine “Horse” Garnett was stabbed in the Supermax section of the prison by another inmate. Reports say that he was stabbed in the back of the neck as he returned from a visit. The man holding the “bora” was another inmate who was on recreation time. Notably, the reports say he was stabbed while being escorted by two prison officers. The prison described his wounds as superficial and the KHMH confirms that he has been discharged. He is back in the prison tonight. But his wife, Pamela Garnett, known as Ms Pam is far from satisfied with that. And that’s because the prison buildings are sectioned off to make sure that rival gangs do not encounter each other. But she says Horse Garnett was placed in Tango 10 because the prison regards him as a gang boss – which she says he is not. Voice of Pamela Garnett "They are saying that my husband is the leader of Crawl Road and Southside. On that she moved my husband from Tango 9 to Tango 10. So I asked her 'Why?' She said because he needs to go under protection and that is the best place for him right now. If Tango 10 was the best place for my husband; then 'Why did he get stabbed in Tango 10's building?' No one can answer me.

DOE: No Answers Yet In OW Fish Kill
One week ago, hundreds of dead fish started showing up dead along the banks of the New River in Orange Walk all the way from the BSI factory to the Tower Hill Toll Bridge. Tonight, the Department of the Environment says that they are investigating but so far, they have not determined the cause of the fish kill. Water samples were collected for analysis and the results are not yet known. And while the DOE has vowed to get to the bottom of it – we’d say that first they just have to check their files, because ours show that seasonal fish kills have been happening in the area literally for decades – and residents say the most likely culprit is industrial pollution. CTV-3 in Orange Walk reports that they also found a dead crocodile, and saw signs that birds, iguanas and Spider Monkeys are also affected. BSI has disavowed any responsibility and cited water tests to back up their position.

Customs Continuing Crackdown on Liquor With Suspect Sticker
Right now, the Customs Department is continuing its countrywide search for uncustomed liquor – and this evening that has them at 88 shopping Center on Central American Boulevard. The store was closed this evening as the officers conducted searches inside. The shutter was opened just a few minutes ago and the search turned up a relatively small quantity of uncustomed liquor, and cigarettes. And while that was small, as you saw yesterday at Vin Hong, Customs confiscated a major amount of imported liquor, reportedly more than 800 cases!. Today 7news confirmed that in just a one-day operation on San Pedro and in Belize city yesterday, they confiscated over two thousand cases of un-customed liquor. As we told you last night, all liquor that is legitimately processed by customs carries the “Belize Market” sticker on each bottle. But, customs searches have turned up thousands of bottles of liquor with a bogus, look-alike sticker. However, when checked under special light for security features, the sticker fails the test.

Terror In Cayo, Dangerous Men On The Loose
Cayo police have issued a wanted poster for two men accused of pulling off a brutal armed home invasion yesterday in San Ignacio. Tonight police have filled in details to what we reported yesterday: the target was the proprietor Rumors Resort on the Benque Road. She was in the laundry room when she was approached by 2 “dark skinned” men dressed in dark clothes with rags over their faces. They grabbed her by the neck and began choking her. She put up a fight and managed to pull off the rag from one of their faces. That’s when the other man said that they have to kill her because she already saw one of their faces. And while they didn’t do that, they did choke her with a piece of cloth. They took her jewelry, tied her hands and left her in the laundry room. They then went inside her house and stole various electronic items and fled. Neighbors saw them escaping and called police who launched a manhunt. At 12:30 pm, it proved successful when they went to a farm in the Trapaiche area and saw Marvin Neal and Jarod Lamb Arthurs sitting under a tree sharing up the stolen items. They saw police and dashed off, leaving behind all the items they had stolen just hours earlier. Cayo Police are looking for both men pending the charge of Burglary and Robbery. They also issue a dire warning to Cayo resident, saying, quote: “Residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town are asked to be on the alert as it is believed that, these people will strike again and are considered to be armed and dangerous.”

70 Year Old Accused Of Ugly Crime
70 year-old David Popper, a retiree residing in Burrell Boom Village, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly raping a 23 year-old man. Yes, that’s right; Popper is accused of a heinous crime where he allegedly abused the young man’s trust and took advantage of him. The victim reported to police that on Saturday, April 13, 2013, at about 3:30 p.m., he visited Popper at his home in the Riverside area where Popper offered him a drink. The man didn’t suspect anything, so he drank it, and he suddenly lost consciousness. He said that he later woke up and saw Popper standing up next to him, but he lost consciousness again. It was not until 5 hours later that he woke up at his mother’s home, where police came to detain him because of an allegation of assault Popper made against him. Police took him into custody, and he slept for 8 hours and woke up in the cell, when he had to relieve himself. The 23 year-old discovered that he was passing blood, and alerted the officers who took him to seek medical attention. The doctor who examined him certified that he had been sodomized.

Christian Cruiser Caught With Cannabis
Another septuagenarian was in court today – for a far less objectionable crime. 74 year-old American Douglas McCleary, a Christian Minister residing in Washington, had to pay just under a $1,000 today after he was busted with weed while on vacation. According to police, McCleary arrived this morning on one of the Cruise Ships and took a tour to Altun Ha. But before he could board the tendering boat back to ship, one of the tourism police searched him and found a pipe and 0.23 ounces of weed in his pockets. The officer became suspicious because he smelled the strong aroma of marijuana on McCleary. As a result, he was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled drug and possession of a pipe. He was arraigned this afternoon before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, where he pleaded guilty explaining that he uses the marijuana for his prostate cancer.

"Fawda" Protests Medical University In Ladyville
In the past three years, the American Global University School of Medicine has moved from Belmopan to San Pedro and now to Ladyville. The Ladyville move was made earlier this month – and professional one man protestor Phillip Fawda Henry was out on the Airport Road to welcome them today. Here’s what we found out. Jules Vasquez reporting Looking at the website of the AGUSM, it has every appearance of a legitimate operation and a going concern. And the website even boasts of a new campus. Clicking through we saw pictures of the facility located close to the airport. Phillip Fawda Henry - Protesting 'American Global' Medical University "What is going on behind this is all a 'hocus-pocus' - a scheme. This American Global has been taking money from people and stating that they have the right resource in here to have these people who are coming into the country to study to be doctors and these people are not getting what they paid for. If you could see right next to me here that from when I've been here this morning two of them left immediately and chained this gate up. So I am asking the Prmie Minister to investigate on American Global. What is going on up here? If they would have been doing the right thing the gate wouldnt have been chained.

Hon Hulse Makes GOB Position Clear On Crawl Caye
Last night during the news, Minister Godwin Hulse, who’s chairing a cabinet Subcommittee on investment called us to outline the position with Norwegian Cruise Line and the discussion of a cruise port on Crawl Caye near Placencia. He re-iterated that to us in person today. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Chair of Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment "All the departments responsible for of government fisheries, environment, tourism met to lay to the potential investor what our parameters are and see if those are acceptable to them and we go from there so at this stage there is nothing to be jumping up and down. The potential investor is going to go back to see if he can meet and come back to us with a proposal and we go from there. That proposal then will be subject of an EIA and all the rest of parameters that are required before the investment can be made and we move forward. All investments must first of all be economically and sociably acceptable and must be legally doable.

Disaster Managers Meet In Belize
We caught up with Minister Hulse at a meeting of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency this morning. The technical committee meeting is being held to come up with a five year strategy. Hulse told us more. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of NEMO "The whole idea is to be able to work through the various issues which will be coming up at the council's meeting sometime towards the end of May, early June. Therefore generally this meeting is a meeting where you have all the national coordinators coming together from the various countries in the Caribbean to be able to sync our talks regarding how we are going to continue to manage, mitigate and manage any disasters pending." Ronald Jackson - Executive Director CDERA, Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency "Well I think that one of the first challenges we face is changing the culture of our people to understand that disaster risk is a development issue. It is not simply a response issue. With that said we also need to look at the collective capacity of our region to deal with the requirements for responding to catastrophic events and I think what we are trying to do as an organization is to link development, the macro economic framework of countries to this disaster resilience issue. I think if we can show clearly the relationship between the development, economic prosperity, which all our countries are now striving to achieve then we can perhaps influence a little bit of the politics."

Citco Position On Vex Vendors
Last night, 7News told you about the dilemma facing the vendors and taxi drivers who operate around the Battlefield Park. The Belize City Council has issued them with a notice that they must vacate the area by Friday, which is a great inconvenience to them because their customers look to them for service due to proximity. We showed you one vendor who explained just how the obligation to move will affect her directly, and so today, we spoke to Kenny Morgan, City Halls PR Officer. He told us why it has become necessary. Kenny Morgan - PR Officer, Belize City Council "The vendors have been asked to vacate Battlefield Park but this is not something that just arose. They were informed, even the vendors who were originally at ground O and were relocated to Battlefield Park were informed at the time that it would only be a temporary measure because extensive renovation works were about to commence inside Battlefield Park. With the contracts now being signed for those works to commence we have had to asked the vendors to relocate until the works are finished. Currently we are looking to relocate them temporarily again to somewhere along Southern Foreshore. We are looking into it but I would like to remind you that it is not the councils' responsibility to find areas for the vendors. The vendors are to seek out these areas and then they come into the City Council to apply for the area and if the approval is given then they can conduct their businesses in those areas. We are going, I think, above and beyond the call of duty by trying to assist them in finding locations."

No Word Yet On Oil Find
15 days ago, we reported on what was called “an encouraging oil show in the Orange Walk District. Government said they’d know in two weeks if it was in commercial quantities, but 15 says have passed and, “nada.” Today KREM news spoke to Petroleum Minister Joy Grant told us that the company had to bring in equipment that they didn’t have to continue seismic testing. The last piece of equipment came in yesterday and so they should know in the next four days – so she says to look out for something early next week.

Shedrock’s Sad Situation
One week ago, 7News showed you the fire which completely destroyed the home of 88 year-old Shedrock McKoy at corner of Casuarina and Mahogany Streets. He continues to be housed by his Grand-niece, and has asked the public for assistance to try to rebuild his home. But, since interviews with the media, he’s being criticized by a private citizen who claims that he has been untruthful. Natalie Pitterson has come forward to 7News claiming that McKoy has no title to the property, which he was living on, and that he’s only been living there for the past 8 years due to her kindness. She explained the situation to us in detail in which she says that she have a problem with anyone trying to help him. What she doesn’t want is anyone building a new home for him on that land, because he doesn’t own it Natalee Pitterson - Claims Ownership of Land "I bought the property between 2004 and 2005 from Mr. Shedrock and allowed him to stay on the property after purchasing it and in 2008 I received title for the land. He is like a friend of the family so I didnt want to throw him on the street after buying the land because that wouldn't look good. He is old; at the time he was 80 years old, so I allowed him to stay there. Not knowing that he would even come on the air and say the truth, you undestand me? 'Ok I was only staying here the owner of the property is XYZ'. He just came on the air and said all types of things - far from being the truth. I feel like it wasn’t fair for the whole situation to happen the way it happened because I am at a lost. I own the place and I don't think it is fair for him to go back and build anything there. I want him off the property completely. I do not know what to tell the public what to do, you understand me? Ok if they want to continue help funding him since he does not have any property but.."

Springfield: A Rare Look At A Place Lost In Time
The traditional Mennonite communities of Belize very rarely make the news because, being very conservative, they keep to themselves and rarely allow cameras into their settlements. But, one photojournalist has gotten a rare opportunity to do a photo-documentary on the community of Springfield, just outside of Belmopan. He’s sharing it in an exhibit at the Image Art Factory, today he discussed with the media what was his vision behind it: Norris Hall - Photojournalist "Springfield is a small Amish Mennonite settlement about 50 minutes drive from Belmopan. It was established about 17 years ago and it is one of seven Amish settlements in Belize. The idea for this exhibition came when my wife and I, along with other friends, went out to Springfield around the middle of 2011 to buy plants. I was looking for organic fruit trees. When I was out there I got the idea to do a documentary on the Amish Mennonites. I found myself in a dilemma where I wanted to respect their not wanting to be photographed but I also found myself, as a photo journalist, having the responsibility to document life in all its pursuits. I tried all different methods.

Cops In South Are Best
The performance based appraisals in the Police Department continue and for the month of March, the Southern Zone shone brightest. Today, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar presented a Certificate of Award and a Cheque of $1,000 to Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano who heads the Southern Zone. This is the second month in a row that the Southern Zone has had the lowest level of major crimes in the Country.

Hon. Alamilla, Honoured But Still Has Headaches
She’s been taking a public beating for Government’s controversial decision on Rosewood - but Minister Lisel Alamilla is still gaining kudos internationally. She has been honored by the University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources as the winner of its, “2013 International Alumni Achievement Award”. A release says she was nominated due to her outstanding achievements including her selection as winner of the 2012 Whitley Award for Nature. Minister Alamilla has a Master's Degree in Conservation Social Science from the U- Idaho College of Natural Resources. And while she wins international praises, locally, the Rosewood pressures are unrelenting. 7news has received reports that the amnesty is being used by some as a license to cut all the rosewood they can between now and April 26th. Reports say that in villages such as Corazon, Sunday Conejo, Barranco and Midway, chainsaws are roaring and trees are falling late at nights. A release form the Forestry Department says the amnesty is only for rosewood that was previously cut. It adds that the Forest Department field staff can readily recognize the difference between freshly cut and old rosewood stock.

Channel 5

Brothers shot, one killed during Roaring Creek robbery
A family in Roaring Creek is today mourning the loss of one son and praying for the life of another who lies critically injured at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan. Both men, Randolph ‘Peeney’ Hyde and Mark Hyde, were the victims of a lone gunman Tuesday night at a meat and grocery shop operated [...]

Brother of slain man on the road to recovery
Randolph was allegedly shot in the head and died shortly after arriving at the Western Regional Hospital. His brother, Mark was shot in the chest and back. One of those bullets punctured his lung and another broke a rib, but his prognosis for recovery is good. He is in extreme pain and is grieving the [...]

Accident or intent? Cop shoots foot of North Creek resident
A Belize City man is tonight recovering from a gunshot wound to the foot…not at a medical facility, but in fact at the Queen Street Police Station. Arnold Anderson was detained for weed following a search at his house, but the family is saying the cops are covering up the shooting by a female officer. [...]

Bus Owners Cooperative near blockage of terminal
The issue of road permits is sparking up again. The Belize Bus Owners Cooperative confirms that one of its routes to Belmopan has allegedly been canceled at the instruction of Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport, Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro. The BBOC had planned to block the entrance to the Belmopan bus [...]

Second attempt on Horse’s life, this time in prison
A second attempt on the life of thirty year-old Jermaine ‘Horse’ Garnett, on pretrial detention for the murder of Raheem Requena, was made behind prison walls this morning.  Garnett, who is being held inside the Tango Ten cellblock, was stabbed once in the left side of the neck with a shiv.  It is unclear whether [...]

Former prison employees meet with P.M. on Kolbe Management
The Belize Central Prison Employees Coalition is an ad hoc group established following several terminations and suspensions by Kolbe Foundation which manages the institution. The former employees charge that all is not well behind the prison walls. And after the Coalition took to the airwaves, Kolbe sought legal advice regarding the allegations. But the group [...]

Minister Rene Montero allows cutting down of Guanacaste trees
There is widespread outrage over the mass harvesting and exportation of rosewood, and that sentiment shows no signs of abating. In the Cayo District, there is also outrage involving the cutting of trees on a much smaller scale. Our newsroom received a call on Tuesday from a furious resident of Santa Elena who told us [...]

Norwegian Cruise Line and G.O.B. sign MOU for Crawl Caye development
On Monday, a delegation of executives, representing Norwegian Cruise Line, met with government officials at the Belize Tourism Board office in Belize City to discuss the prospect of a mega infrastructure development project on Crawl Caye, off the coast of southern Belize.  The impressive undertaking, once approved, should see the total transformation of the small [...]

Wanted: 2 fugitives that robbed Rumours
The Belize Police Department has issued an all-points bulletin for two men believed to be involved in a vicious home invasion on Tuesday morning. Twenty year old Marvin Neal, a resident of Santa Elena Town, and his accomplice, twenty-five year old Jarod ‘Steel Bob’ Lamb of Ontario Village, remain on the lam, following an incident [...]

Another cruise tourist busted with marijuana
An American Religious Minister who was visiting Belize for the day found himself in big trouble with the law when he was busted with cannabis and a pipe used for smoking the illegal leafy substance. Seventy-four year old John Douglas McCleary, a resident of Washington D.C., came to Belize on board the Norwegian Cruise line [...]

70 year old drugged and abused victim, the accused him of assault
A seventy year old Burrell Boom resident is accused of a hideous sexual offense against a twenty three year old man, who he allegedly drugged.   This afternoon, David Popper was arraigned in the court of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer for an Unnatural Crime and Wounding of the twenty-three year old victim.  He was also charged [...]

Patrick “Faada” Henry says Medical School is bogus
In the past seventeen years, at least twelve licenses have been granted to offshore medical schools. Most of them have gone under and tonight there is the American Global University, School of Medicine that is also under question. The AGUSM is located on the Airport Road in Ladyville; that’s the most recent location because the [...]

Dead fish float near Orange Walk Toll Bridge
The Department of the Environment is investigating reports of a fish kill in the New River near the toll bridge. There are reports of fish kills in the same area at least once every year, and every year it is blamed on some material being pumped into the river by the Belize Sugar Industry’s factory. [...]

Empowering Education for Children in Today’s Society
The University of Belize is also paving roads of sorts for the future of our youths. U.B. will be hosting a biannual community outreach symposium under the theme ‘Empowering Education for Children in Today’s Society.’ It’s a popular event which is usually well attended, especially by students who plan to attend the university, but also [...]

Norris Hall’s Photo Exhibit on Springfield
A black and white photographic exhibition opens this Friday evening at the Image Factory.  It took some convincing for veteran photojournalist Norris Hall to record candid moments in the life of a small Amish community in Springfield off the Hummingbird Highway. His camera lens captured their way of life which shows that while basic and [...]


Annual Symposium On Natural Resources Management Held
The seventh annual natural resources management symposium is taking place at the Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan. Jamaal Andrewin Communications and Membership Officer MSDC. JAMAAL ANDREWIN "This year we partnered with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre or t...

Murder In Roaring Creek Village Grocery Shop Leaves Residents In Fear and Mourning
A trail of blood leads to the door of Hyde’s Meat and Groceries shop in Roaring Creek Village. On the door is a black bow to mark the passing of its proprietor, 42-year-old, Randalf Hyde, who was shot multiple times last night. Reports are that sometime around 8pm, a ...

Sea Collision In Northern Belize
There was a sea collision up north yesterday evening which left a boat sunken. Thunderbolt Water Taxi in Corozal Town has daily runs from Corozal to San Pedro, but yesterday evening at about 5:30 one of the company’s boats was travelling from San Pedro to Corozal when it was invo...

New Horizons Extends Its Services In The Pomona Valley
Yesterday we told you about the free medical services that New Horizon is offering to Belizeans. Public Affairs officer for New Horizon James Law says presently over 40 volunteers are rendering various medical services for residents of Pomona Village. JAMES LAW "At Pomona ...

Department of Environment Investigates Report of A Fish Kill
On April 12, 2013, the Department of the Environment (DOE) received a report of a fish kill in the New River near the Toll Bridge Area of the Orange Walk District. DOE personnel then responded to this report to investigate the matter. Various checks were made along the New River fr...

American National Fined For Drug Possession
Seventy-four year old American national John Mcleary, a tourist who came on the cruise ship, Norwegian, was fined a total of $900.00 today by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart after he pled guilty to possession of six point six grams of cannabis and possession of a pipe used for smoking con...

Senior Citizen Charged With Unnatural Crime
Seventy year old David Popper, a retiree of Burrell Boom who allegedly sodomized a 23 year old man, was charged with an unnatural crime when he appeared in Court today. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Popper was also charged with wounding and a mischievous act. The...

Family Loses Home In Suspected Arson
There was a reported arson in Belize City early this morning on Berkley Street. According to police, shortly after midnight, the residence of 59-year-old, Judith Morrerra was set on fire. Fortunately only a portion of the house caught on fire. Morrerra was alerted by her neighbor...

Armed and Dangerous Duo Wanted For Robbery
Police are looking for Marvin Neal and Jarod Arthurs Lamb. This follows a robbery reported at a resort on the George Price Highway on Tuesday. A woman reported to police that sometime around ten thirty yesterday morning she was in the laundry room when she was approached by...

Historical Ruling In Court; Oil Contracts Are Null and Void Says Supreme Court
A decision was reached today in court in connection with Oceana’s challenge to six offshore Production sharing agreements. The decision which was in favor of OCEANA and co claimants, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action and the Coalition to Save our Natural heritag...

Inaugural Ceremonies Held For Opening of Boulevard in Belize City; Mayor Explains Other Projects
Even though work has not been completed on Chetumal Boulevard in the Freetown Division, this morning the Belize City Council officially held inaugural ceremonies. According to Mayor Bradley the contract which was awarded to RJB’s Construction came at a cost of $708,000.00. DA...

OAS Assistant SG Ends Visit To Belize
Assistant Secretary General for the Organization of American States, Albert Ramdin, ended his visit to Belize with a press conference this morning at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. Ramdin said during his visit he met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of For...

Bench Warrant Issued For Accused Child Sexual Molester
A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of 38 year old John Baptist, a Belize City Council employee who is charged with one count of carnal knowledge and 3 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Baptist went on trial last Wednesday and the trial judge, Justice John ...

Belize Bond Rating Upgraded
Last month Government announced that it had met the required threshold needed to complete a debt exchange on the country’s external debt, allowing the restructuring of the country’s debt. On Monday Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Belize’s bond rating fr...

Belize City Resident Charged With Murder of Taxi Man
24-year-old Herman Grant of a Cleghorn Street address in Belize City was formally arrested and charged with the murder of 23-year-old Charles Ariola. Ariola, a taxi driver was shot to the chest while socializing with friends in a yard on George Price Drive in Dangriga on Su...

Belizean Buses Retain Parking Spaces In Chetumal
Three weeks ago Belizean buses were removed from the Mercado Lazaro Cardenas, also known as the Mercado Nuevo or New Market in Chetumal. Love News has been reliably informed that the buses have been allowed to return to the market. This means that things, at least for passengers ...


Man Chopped Several Times While Defending His Property
Blood flowed in the Village of San Felipe in Orange Walk on Sunday afternoon as one man was chopped several times on both hands as he allegedly defended the property he lives on. Israel Olivera has lived in the Village of San Felipe since the age of three. Four years ago, Olivera cleared a piece of land located on the outskirts of the village and built a house for his family. But on Sunday, two men from the village, allegedly supporters of the United Democratic Party, attacked Oliver with a machete while he was at home. The men, according to Olivera, wanted him to vacate the premises and when he refused the situation got out of control. Israel Olivera- Chopping victim “El Domingo llegaron dos muchachos a sacarme de mi casa por un terreno que yo tengo allí que quieren agarrar ellos y se metieron hasta mi cerco y me machetearon la mano.” Carmelita Perez – reporter “Que era la condición del terreno cuando usted fue a empezar a construir su casa?”

Police Release Pictures Of Wanted Men
Tonight police are on a manhunt for two fugitives both hailing from the west of the country. The two men are 20 year old Marvin Neal of Eve Street in Santa Elena Town and 25 year old Jarod Lamb of Ontario Village, Cayo. Marvin Neal is wanted for questioning in respect to the murder of Steven Valencia that dates back to January 24th, 2013 at Trapiche Area in Santa Elena Town. Police say he is considered armed and extremely dangerous. Marvin Neal is suspected to be hiding somewhere in the Belmopan area, Mango Creek in the South, Mahogany Heights in the East and within the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town. And if you doubt Marvin Neal’s criminal record, well, you may want to think again. Marvin Neal and Jarod Lamb are wanted for burglary and robbery after they are believed to have burglarized Rumors Resort located on the Benque Viejo road just outside San Ignacio, yesterday. The duo wiped the premises before making good their escape.

DOE Investigates Case Of Fish Kill
Last Friday we broke the news about the hundreds of dead fish that were seen floating along the banks of the New River stretching approximately six to seven miles from the Belize Sugar Industries Limited up to Tower Hill. Residents of the area are sounding alarm over what appears to be an environmental hazard that has been affecting aquatic life. Those living in the immediate area told CTV3 News that the stench is unbearable and it’s not the first time that the banks of the New River is seen covered with dead fish. The massive fish kill has led to an investigation being launched by the Department of the Environment and the Public Health Department. CTV3 News understands that environmentalist visited the affected areas on Saturday and collected water samples to verify what exactly was causing the fish kill which was concentrated in the area of toll bridge. We understand that DOE personnel also noticed that small-sized fish were coming to the surface for air; these appearing to be in distress. The preliminary investigation; however, was unable to determine the exact cause of the fish kill. However, water samples from the river were collected for laboratory analyses. The results are pending. The Department of the Environment will be conducting follow-up investigations into this fish kill and will be monitoring the river to address the matter. The Department of the Environment is also asking the public to be vigilant and to immediately report to the DOE any other incident, in addition to fish kill, that may affect the quality of the river ecosystem. We will keep monitoring the situation and bring you the results of the analysis as it becomes available.

Belize Sees 30 Murders In Three Months
The Belize Police Department’s Joint Intelligence Coordinating Centre has issued their national statistics report comparing major crimes committed during the first three months of 2012 and 2013. A total of 30 murders have been committed in the three month span of January through March 2013 throughout the country, 26 of those occurring in Belize City alone. This indicates a high increase in murder cases in Belize City since 2012’s statistics shows 11, compared to the 26 currently reported. Orange Walk has zero reported murders this year. All other districts report one each. The total number of murders committed in the Northern Districts of Corozal and Orange Walk, has decreased, since by March of last year, a combination of 6 murders had already been reported, compared to this year’s 1 in Corozal. On a broad scale comparison, 2013 has seen a decrease in robberies, burglaries and theft, with an increase in shooting incidents and murders, nationally. There has neither been a decrease or increase in reported rape cases countrywide, that figure remaining at 7, while carnal knowledge reports have almost doubled from 14 to 25.

Illegal Harvesting Of Rosewood Continues
On Monday Minister of Forestry Lisell Alamilla spoke about the 19 days rosewood amnesty declared by her government during her absence, for the first time. Many questions were answered but the shocking news came when Alamilla announced that government’s twenty-five thousand board foot rosewood, will be sold to GIV Enterprises, a company owned by German Ignacio Vega, the brother of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources Honorable Gaspar Vega. Alamilla explained that the amnesty, which will last until April 26th, 2013, is intended to take stock of all the already cut rosewood that private individuals may have in their possession, and to approve this stock for international trade subject to the conditions of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). But trouble is brewing and that is because the Ministry has received several reports indicating that persons are engaging in the cutting of rosewood after the declared amnesty.

New Horizons Belize Holds Free Clinic For Pets
Over the past 20 plus years, US Southern Command has regularly partnered with the Belize Defense Force as well as the Ministries of Health and Education to conduct combined exercises that make both sides more prepared to respond to humanitarian relief scenarios. This year’s initiative is scheduled to last approximately 90 days with several construction projects to add new classrooms and buildings to existing schools as well as ongoing events providing free medical services to Belizeans. Yesterday we brought you coverage from the New Horizons Team that was in Guinea Grass Village conducting free medical, dental and optometric services. While the medical team was wrapping up their final day in Guinea Grass today, there was a separate New Horizons Team at the Union Town Park in Orange Walk Town. Shelly Gillett – Reporting The New Horizons Exercise is an annual event conducted to train military civil engineers and medical professionals to deploy and conduct joint operations designed to build partnerships with the exercise participants from the host-nation's government and military forces, in this case..Belize. As a part of their three month exercise and deployment, The New Horizons Group was on hand today at the Union Town Park in Orange Walk tending to some of our less recognized, yet very loyal companions...our pets.

Sailing Race Scheduled For Sunday In Honey Camp
The Belize Sailing Association is once again organizing the Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta scheduled to be held on Sunday April 21st, 2013 with a preview day of activities on Saturday April 20th. The Honey Camp Lagoon Regatta forms part of the association’s 7 part regatta circuit which aims at establishing a National Rating system for “one design classes” necessary for Belizean sailors to attend international sailing events. Allan Usher and John Oliver form part of the organizing committee and gave us an insight as to what visitors can expect on Sunday. Mr. Allan Usher-Regatta Organizer “A regatta is a series of boat races and Mr. John will say it is a celebration in the water so when he refers to a regatta you should have a smile in your face and you should have in your mind that it is going to have a lot fun and basically we are going to have a series of boat races on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday right here on the Honey Camp lagoon. There will be about thirty boats on the water and they will be sailing on a course that is about almost three statute miles long, it will be two nautical miles and they would be sailing an international race course. The optimist there will be about twenty or so each with one sailor and the optimist class the sailors are between the ages nine and fifteen boys and girls, hopefully we get people from San Pedro or from the Corozal Bay Sailing Club or from the Placencia Sailing Club and couple of little clubs in Belize City, people from St. Lukes Methodist, people from Buttonwood Bay, Nazarene, people from Belize Elementary and Liberty indeed from Ladyville and I think we have three sailors actually sailing in this regatta.”

Taking A Look At Dysgerminoma Cancer
Last night we brought you the story of 41 year old Bernaldino Barrientos who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Synovial Sarcoma more than two years ago. In order to save Barrrientos’ life doctors amputated his right leg. The 41 year old is presently fighting the disease and hopes to walk again in the near future in order to sustain his family. Tonight we bring you the story of a young female who at the age of 18 was diagnosed with Dysgerminoma, a rare form of ovarian cancer that most commonly occurs in young women of reproductive age. Here is her story. Carmelita Perez - Reporting The most commonly occurring germ cell tumors is the dysgerminoma, which accounts for approximately 2% of all ovarian cancers. Although rare, dysgerminomas are important irrespective of incidence because they most commonly affect women of reproductive age. In fact, dysgerminomas make up two thirds of all malignant ovarian neoplasms in women younger than 20 years. Moreover, once diagnosed, dysgerminomas respond well to therapy, potentially sparing patients from infertility and early mortality.


Inaugural Ceremonies Held For Opening of Boulevard in Belize City; Mayor Explains Other Projects
Even though work has not been completed on Chetumal Boulevard in the Freetown Division, this morning the Belize City Council officially held inaugural ceremonies. According to Mayor Bradley the contract which was awarded to RJB’s Construction came at a cost of $708,000.00. DARREL BRADLEY “I think that this particularly thoroughfare is of great importance and significant benefit to residents including the business community in this area. It provides a major access way from the northern Highway to the Belama community. It was done in a little over three months at a cost of $708 thousand Belize dollars and it was done by RJB’s Construction. The design was provided to us by Roque Matus and it is an impressive design. One of the things that we are pleased to have been able to do on this boulevard was to ensure that the drains were properly constructed and on this project the drains cost more than the streets. We have ensured that we have state of the art drains and they fit into the other development plans for this area including the Flood Mitigation Project.” Also present at the inauguration ceremony was Leader of the Opposition and Freetown Area Representative Francis Fonseca. FRANCIS FONSECA “I want to express my gratitude to the Mayor, the Belize City Council, the contractors, the laborers who toiled to do the work every day and so behalf of the residents, we express our gratitude to you and the Council for understanding and appreciating the importance of this project.”

Senior Citizen Charged With Unnatural Crime
Seventy year old David Popper, a retiree of Burrell Boom who allegedly sodomized a 23 year old man, was charged with an unnatural crime when he appeared in Court today. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Popper was also charged with wounding and a mischievous act. The charge of wounding was a wound he allegedly caused to the anus of the complainant and the charge of mischievous act was for allegedly giving the police false information. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that Popper’s safety was in jeopardy. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser upheld the objection and remanded Popper into custody until May 17. The incident for which Popper is charged occurred on April 13.

Annual Symposium On Natural Resources Management Held
The seventh annual natural resources management symposium is taking place at the Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan. Jamaal Andrewin Communications and Membership Officer MSDC. JAMAAL ANDREWIN “This year we partnered with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre or the 5C which also based in Belmopan. The symposium is basically, a platform for professionals in the natural resource and conservation fields to showcase their findings over the past year and you know its an opportunity for the UB students especially to see what is going on in the field because they may not always know what kind of areas of interest are out there that they could get into once they left UB. Each year we normally pick a theme that is relevant to the status of natural resources in Belize and this year the theme is, ‘Meeting National Challenges of Water Security, Climate Change and Social Development. With climate change being the central focus of this symposium, just because it is so relevant to the country. We are fortunate to have a keynote address on climate change from the Executive Director of the 5C of the CCCCC and also a guest lecture from the University of the West Indies Cavehill campus Dr. Adrian Cashman, so they both did keynote addresses related to climate change. As the day progresses the themes shift a bit; we started off with climate change then we shift into basic terrestrial assessments of natural resources; we go into marine management and fisheries; we also do humans/wildlife interactions as one of the main theme. That’s kind of the layout for the day shift.

Murder In Roaring Creek Village Grocery Shop Leaves Residents In Fear and Mourning
A trail of blood leads to the door of Hyde’s Meat and Groceries shop in Roaring Creek Village. On the door is a black bow to mark the passing of its proprietor, 42-year-old, Randalf Hyde, who was shot multiple times last night. Reports are that sometime around 8pm, a man with his face covered, entered the store and pointed a gun at the cashier demanding money. The cashier, who is Hyde’s common law wife was at the time holding their one year old toddler in her hands, Love News tried speaking with her but we only managed one sentence. Randalf Hyde’s common law wife says the scream of the children in the store at the time is what alerted her husband that something was happening at the front. But by that time the assailant had already taken the money from the register. Randalf was shot to the right eye and the left side of his chest. The alleged gun man is said to have disappeared into the bushes across the street from the house. Still alive, Randalf was put into the back of his car and transported to the Western Regional Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment. Mark Hyde, his brother was hospitalized in a critical condition but today he spoke with Love News from his hospital bed, where he is now stable.

Armed and Dangerous Duo Wanted For Robbery
Police are looking for Marvin Neal and Jarod Arthurs Lamb. This follows a robbery reported at a resort on the George Price Highway on Tuesday. A woman reported to police that sometime around ten thirty yesterday morning she was in the laundry room when she was approached by two male persons dressed in dark clothing with a rag tied over their faces. She said the men began to choke her and she struggled with them and in the process she managed to remove the rag from one of the persons. The men then told her they would have to kill her because she had seen their faces. The woman said the men then tied her up and relieved of her jewellery. They then made their way into her house where they stole a number of items including a black Samsung laptop, a cell phone, three watches, an assortment of jewellery and 20 dollars in cash and assorted coins. The men then escaped. With the assistance of the community Police were able to locate the men on a farm in the Trapiche area of Santa Elena. The men were reportedly sharing the loot taken in the robbery when they saw the police. Both men then escaped. Police recovered the stolen items. Police are looking for Marvin Neal and Jarod Arthurs Lamb pending charges of burglary and robbery. Police say residents of San Ignacio and Santa Elena should be on the alert as they believe the duo will strike again and are considered armed and dangerous.

Family Loses Home In Suspected Arson
There was a reported arson in Belize City early this morning on Berkley Street. According to police, shortly after midnight, the residence of 59-year-old, Judith Morrerra was set on fire. Fortunately only a portion of the house caught on fire. Morrerra was alerted by her neighbors who quickly doused the flames. If it hadn’t been for her neighbors, Morrerra who was asleep at the time says that her entire house would have been engulfed in the flames with her family inside. JUDITH MORRERRA “Well what happened is that I heard a banging on my wall and when I got up, it was my neighbor who told me that my house is on fire. So, I jumped up out of my bed along with my husband; I woke up my children, took my phone and I started to call for police and I called for the fire department.

OAS Assistant SG Ends Visit To Belize
Assistant Secretary General for the Organization of American States, Albert Ramdin, ended his visit to Belize with a press conference this morning at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. Ramdin said during his visit he met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Minister of Foreign Affairs WilfredElrington to discuss and listen to concerns on how the relationship between Belize and the OAS can be strengthened. During the press conference, Ramdin addressed burning issues, specifically controversies stemming from the Belize-Guatemala differendum. One of the first issues he discussed was the comment made by Minister Elrington that Belize was not completely prepared to attend the meeting and has requested that no offensive map, meaning a map of Guatemala annexing Belize by a dotted line, be presented at this meeting. ALBERT RAMDIN “Our position is that during and OAS meeting and the general assembly is and OAS meeting nothing should take place, nothing should happen which can be offensive to any other member state of the Organization of American States; so we will be clear to all participants in that regard not to go that route or not to use that opportunity to be offensive or provocative in any way or means.


Paco Smith staunchly advocates the emergence of civil society to serve as a proactive force toward positive change within the policy development arena. Among his many involvements, he is a co-founder of the group Belizean Patriots against the ICJ. For approximately five years, I have monitored and expressed my view in terms of: Recently, an editorial appeared in the Jamaican periodical “The Gleaner”, which spoke of the current status involving Guatemala’s intransigence on the matter of Belize’s territorial integrity. I must express sincere thanks, for the voice of support that has finally begun to emanate from the region! (1) the signing of the Compromis… its folly, and trappings; (2) the need for caution on taking Guatemala on their word, due to their insistence on moving the proverbial goalpost; (3) the double-standard and lack of impartiality demonstrated by the OAS on this matter; (4) the gullibility of Belizean officials to believe that Guatemala would actually adhere to any agreement and subsequent developments that holds the potential for them not to prevail, especially given that the organiser (the OAS) has repeatedly allowed Guatemala virtually unchecked leeway by which to manipulate the agreement; (5) the Belizean government’s well-documented incompetence and ineptitude in dealing with this issue of national security; and

VIDEO: Maya Creation Myth
Based at researched conducted in Belize, this short film details the Maya creation myth according to the Popol Vuh and the importance of the Ceiba tree as the bridge between the heavens, earth and the underworld. This is such a fascinating story with lovely illustrations. Beautifully captured, you will see insects, fishes, birds, crocodiles, jaguars, howlers, and spider monkeys – they all play a part in the story. To learn more about the Maya, check out interesting facts about the Maya, the rise and fall of the Maya, and a short briefing on Maya architecture.

Swim with Whale Sharks at Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn in Belize
Francis Ford Coppola’s Turtle Inn, located in Belize’s village of Placencia on the Caribbean Sea, is excited to offer a Seven-Night Whale Shark Package for adventuresome guests looking for a thrill in one of the world’s greatest scuba destinations. Adventure seekers can explore the longest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere and the second longest in the world during Whale Shark season, March through June. During the full moon these months, Whale Sharks share the ocean with divers and snorkelers allowing them to swim right beside these gigantic fish as they glide through the water. Belize is one of the few dive spots in the world that guarantees the return of the Whale Sharks each year. The package includes three 2-tank dives for experienced divers along the barrier reef from the South Water Caye Marine Reserve in the north to the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve in the south. All dive trips are led by a licensed Tour Guide who is also a PADI Divemaster or a certified PADI Instructor. Excursions will take place from Turtle Inn’s beautiful 46-foot dive boat, Miss Ellie, equipped with two 4-stroke, V8- 350 HP engines, VHF marine communication, fish finder, rinse tank for camera equipment, first aid kits, life support oxygen, life vests, diver down flag, and of course, a captain who knows the sea like the back of his hand! Starting at $2,796 USD per diver, the seven-night package includes includes accommodations in a luxurious Garden View Cottage based on double/twin occupancy, daily breakfast, five picnic lunches, five dinners, three 2-tank dives, two whale shark dives and round trip transfers from Placencia Airstrip to Turtle Inn. Available from March 27-July 3, 2013, the package does not include round-trip air or marine reserve park fees. Additional whale shark dives can be added for an added cost.

International Sources

2nd cut reef crest wave action
Waves crashing over the reef crest at 2nd Cut, Belize Barrier Reef. This wasn't even that rough of a day on the water! Lots of fire coral on the crest - need to really time your hops or you'll get blown back over it!

RIP “Chocolate”; a tale of passion
There are times in life when you’re lucky enough to meet someone who doesn’t just have a passion, but who has lived their passion and created a legacy from it. Chocolate’s legacy is the Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary off the coast of Caye Caulker, Belize. There you will find the creatures that he has been ferrying tourists out to see since 1968. Not one to benefit through the exploitation of these manatees, he has worked tirelessly to protect them and their habitat. He’s a truly successful eco-tourism story. His effort paid off with creating of Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary in 2002. As the legend goes, he teared up when he received his copy of the statutory instrument that created this sanctuary. In 2003 he was awarded The James Waight Conservation Award and The Lifetime Achievement Award from the Belize Tourism Board.

Oil prospecting halted in Belize by Supreme Court
Belize's Supreme Court yesterday declared offshore oil drilling contracts issued by the government null and void. The move provides a dramatic and potentially definitive setback to The Government of Belize and the petroleum prospecting companies issued the contracts in 2004 and 2007. The ruling, handed down by Justice Oswell Legall, was in response to a case brought by international ocean protection advocacy group Oceana, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. The court overturned the contracts after determining that the government failed to assess the environmental impact on Belize's ocean, as required by law, prior to issuing the contracts, effectively ending the Belizean government's efforts to allow offshore oil drilling in the Meso American Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. "This is a great day for the people and country of Belize and its democratic process and it shows that we, as ordinary citizens, need not sit back and only complain about all the wrong decisions our government makes, but that we can use the Judiciary system to settle them," said Audrey Matura-Shepherd vice president of Oceana in Belize. Oceana, which has campaigned against offshore drilling in Belize for more than two years, has voiced its concern about the potentially devastating impact of an oil spill on Belize's reef and its economy, which depends heavily on tourism and the barrier reef. The companies were granted the oil concessions essentially in secret. Princess Petroleum, whose contract was just overturned, began as a hotel and casino company before it was granted concession to explore for oil.

Chaa Creek's Green Family Friendly Adventures Hailed
Families with a sense of environmental responsibility and a desire to bond over shared adventures are fuelling the growing trend towards “Green family vacations” which, according to one popular parenting magazine, no longer need be Spartan, uncomfortable experiences. And an educator at Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek, which was featured in a recent article in Natural Child World magazine for providing environmental and family friendly vacations, agrees that a growing number of families worldwide now place a high value on environmental sustainability. The Natural Child World article, “Time To Embrace a Green Family Vacation” begins by stating that “We learned that vacationing responsibly does not mean you have to sleep on the ground or cook your meals over an open fire. By doing your research and selecting travel suppliers that support the future of the environment, preserve cultural history and promote local economies we can all take greener family vacations.”

Guatemala Adding Fuel to Belize Dispute
As a Belizean American citizen, I hereby congratulate The Gleaner for its editorial on what Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations should do to Guatemala for failing to comply with the binding agreement it signed with Belize to take their dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final resolution. Guatemala is not going to go to the ICJ because it is convinced that most Belizeans will vote no to go to the ICJ with this dispute, and the Guatemalan government does not want this matter to be resolved once and for all through the courts. Successive Guatemalan governments have been using this issue for decades to divert their people’s attention from more serious internal problems their country is experiencing and to obtain power during the elections.

Mangrove Engineering
putting elements of Biology (Ecology, Photosynthesis, Adapatations, Diversity) into various aspects of Engineering and Architecture for this major coastal protection and restoration project.

Going Paperless: My Virtual Bookcases in Evernote
Some time back, I wrote a Going Paperless post called “Creating a Digital Version of Your House” in which I described how I use tools like Skitch and Penultimate to capture floor plans and measurements around the house that might be useful to have when I am away–say at the hardware store. While I was away on my Internet vacation, it occurred to me, as I was measuring my bookshelves, that it might be equally useful to have a digital version of my bookshelves in Evernote. With something like 1,100 books, I can’t always remember if I happen to have a particular book or not, and it might be useful to have a quick reference. Let me back up a moment and admit that yes, I still have paper books. The books on my bookshelves are part of a collection of books I’ve been growing since high school. They consist of science fiction books, books on science, and history books, as well as some miscellaneous books thrown in for good measure. Many of the books are pretty rare in their respective areas, and many more are signed by authors I admire, or who have since become friends of mine. I know there are database systems out there for keeping track of books, and I’ve tried many of them but they are too time consuming for me.

April 17, 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!!!
Defiant – Part I:
The brush dipped into the pot of shimmering powder. In the mirror, she could see the clothes that were strewn about haphazardly through the small, dark room. She squinted in the gloom, and expertly applied streaks of pretty powder along her brow bone. Pencil followed, lining her eyes darkly and bringing out the brown and hazel flecks in her eyes. She added mascara, and with a few quick swipes of color on her cheeks, she was done. The heat in the room was too much, and she turned the small fan by her bedside on, putting it to rotate as she walked all around picking up the discarded clothes. She wore her standard work outfit, fitted skirt that hit just above the knees, a colorful butterfly print blouse, and her hair short and swingy in a neat bob completed the ensemble. Her shoes were her only impracticality: they were sky high, strappy colorful wedges that matched the colors on her shirt. She teetered in them, but she wore them proudly.

The San Pedro Sun

SPHS honors male baseball team
The faculty, staff and students of the San Pedro High School (SPHS) took the opportunity to honor the male Softball team on Monday April 15th. The team won the National Secondary School Softball Tournament championship for the second consecutive year on March 16th. To celebrate the back to back win, the SPHS held a special award ceremony followed by a parade through the principal streets of San Pedro Town. Six seniors, who are expected to graduate at the end of the school year, were amongst the students that were recognized for their dedication to the team over the past two years. As their names were called, the student body applauded them one by one as they got on stage to be recognized. Following the assembly, the team members got on a truck and joined the other students in a school parade led by the SPHS marching band.

Offshore Oil contracts are null and void

Bishop Martin wins Sagicor Visionary Challenge
Bishop Martin High School has earned the top prize at the inaugural Sagicor Visionary Challenge, a regional competition showcasing science and technology. The Sagicor Visionary Challenge is a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Science Foundation (CSF), SAGICOR (a regional insurance company), and the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC). The point of the challenge was to encourage secondary school students to develop innovative ways to construct solutions to problems that their schools face. Orange Walk District’s Bishop Martin High School took on the Sagicor Challenge with their project “Coconuts for Life.” The team, composed of members Dovini Chell, Saul Osorio, team leader Angel Navidad and supervising teacher, Shakira Gonzalez, focused on the problem of high levels of consumption of artificially flavored drinks.Their proposal of a coconut plantation was aimed to not only eliminate the problem but to also provide a recreational facility for the school. The Bishop Martin students used the coconut tree and its fruits for food and drinks, recreation and to create ornaments to provide income for the school.

Oceana Pays Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia
Oceana is saddened by the news of the passing of one of Belize’s first Marine Conservationist, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who was a true Belizean patriot contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees. In 2012, Oceana presented “Chocolate” its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist when that term had not even become popular or even considered a career field. “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate and always remember him as a role model because even though he has parted this earthly life his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant,” said Oceana V.P.

Ambergris Today

Panama's Karen Jordan Crowned New Miss Costa Maya 2012
Miss Panama, Karen Jordan, was officially crowned as the new reigning Miss Costa Maya 2012-2013 on Saturday, April 13, 2013, during Belize Fashion Week runway show that took place at Fido’s Courtyard. Karen Jordan replaces Miss Mexico, Natalia Villanueva, who was unable to complete her duties as Miss Costa Maya 2012; Karen was the first runner up at the pageant. Miss Panama was invited to the island as a model for Belize Fashion Week and the Costa Maya Festival Committee took advantage of her presence on the island to officially pass on the title to her. Crowning Karen and presenting her with the official sash was Miss San Pedro, Naiely Puc.

Oceana Pays Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel Heredia
Oceana, along with the rest of the country, is saddened by the news of the passing of one of Belize’s first Marine Conservationist, Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, who was a true Belizean patriot contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees. In 2012, Oceana presented “Chocolate” its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist when that term had not even become popular or even considered a career field. “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate and always remember him as a role model because even though he has parted this earthly life his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant,” said Oceana V.P. Audrey Matura-Shepherd.

National AIDS Commission Held Health Fair in Caye Caulker
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee held its first ever Health Fair in Caye Caulker. Named “The Caye Caulker Community Health Fair”; the fair aimed at educating the Caye Caulker populace on the many health risk factors that exists while familiarizing them with the various services available within the country of Belize, at their disposal. The fair was held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court commencing at 10a.m. and ran through to 3p.m. on Saturday April 13. Further to this, the fair offered free first base testing such as Body Mass Index testing, Free HIV Testing with Pre and Post-test counselling, HIV Awareness, Breast Check UP, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Information, Down Syndrome Information, Mental Health Services and Blood Sugar Check amongst others. Residents of Caye Caulker took advantage of the fair and all the services and with music provided by Amador Magana of Caye Caulker, the court was soon bustling with residents receiving services.

Belize Fashion Week Opens New Doors
The first annual Belize Fashion Week took place this past week in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize with a spectacular two-day runway fashion show that highlighted the event. Gathering local talent from designers, models and businesses within the country and mixing it up with international designers and models, Belize Fashion Week has officially opened the doors to the fashion industry in Belize. Enrique De Leon, one of the organizers of Belize Fashion Week, commented that the goal behind the event was to give Belizean fashion designers the opportunity to showcase their talent, learn new skills and become professional entrepreneurs in order to launch their careers. Fashion week was not only about the glitz and the glamour on the runway shows; what many did not see were the workshops and seminars that were prepared for the designers. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), in collaboration with The National Institute of Culture and History through the Institute of Creative Arts (ICA) and the Belize Tourism Board, were involved in workshops that were provided to the designers.

Financial Crisis in San Pedro, La Isla Bonita
Dear Residents of San Pedro. How aware are you of the financial crisis in San Pedro? This news week article serves to bring to your attention our concerns surrounding the present financial crisis that is affecting so many established businesses and private homes of the founding families of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. As you are aware, the global economic crisis is the worst that the world has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930’s and it has also overtaken our beloved Belize. We believe that nowhere in Belize is the effect of this reversal of fortune in business and financial well-being more devastating than among the members of the indigenous business community and home-owners of Ambergris Caye. We predict that it is only a matter of time until the entire country falls prey to what we believe are the causes of the present hardships that we are enduring. It is our belief and sentiment that while the local business person is forced to borrow from institutions which offer rates that are comparable to a loan shark’s, the foreigner is able to come onto our island and compete with investment capital that is obtained overseas at preferential interest rates and less stringent payment and loan agreements.

Flashbacks: World Renowned Fido's
It has changed ownership over the years since the 1970’s and it has changed its looks, but it practically remains the same casual “all-friendly” and “anything goes” and “exciting things are happening” ambience that it started out with. Fido’s is the brainchild of Mr. Wilfrido “Fido” Nunez, J.P (+) originally designed as a centrally located spot to drop in for a beer or rum cocktail, some entertainment, a little dance and a good party. Fido’s has boasted natural beach, a seawall, several platforms and a variety of amenities that the visitor and eager shopper would delight in. At Fido’s you can simply throw off your shoes, get up and make any spot a dance floor- after all you are at Fido’s.

Old Timer Or Modern Sanpedrano? Num. 19
Even by the name you carry, you can know whether you are an OLD TIMER San Pedrano or a modern day one. If your name happens to be Florentino, Genaro, Anselmo, Benigno, Gerononimo, Eustasio, Fabiola, Liduvina, Baltazar, Anastacio, Deodato, Bonifacio, Cleotilde, Cleotilda, Cleto, Fausto, Reynaldo,Hildo, Isidora(o), Nemencio, or Mauricio, you are very likely an old timer San Pedrano. YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MODERN SANPEDRANO if your name happens to be Audry, Alex, Alexis, April, Betty, Bill, Dennis, Dymra, Dulce, Faith, Diane, Gricel, Grace, Sylvia, Tatiana, Cristal, Lindsey, Ronnie, Yanniqui, Mike, Smile, May, June, Savannah, Zoe, or Yara. If you believe that the road down south all the way to Victoria House and beyond have been there ever since, then it is quite likely that you are a modern day Sanpedrano or a new comer to San Pedro. YOU KNOW YOU ARE AN OLD TIMER SANPEDRANO if you remember that the entire way from Tropic Air down south was all bush and in some cases high jungle. There was not a single home nor building- no Ramon’s, Wine Divine, Island Supermarket, Fairdale Plaza, Island Plaza, Pepperoni’s Pizza, George’s Kitchen, Coconuts, Pete’s Gas Station, S P Supermarket, Marina’s, Banyan Bay, and no Grand Colony, Banana’s, Royal Palm, Victoria House, nada, nothing else but bush all along that route. That is what the old timers remember.

Misc Belizean Sources

Important Lecture on the 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan Boundary Convention, the 1931 Exchange of Notes and General Discussion on the Belize - Guatemala Relations
George Price Centre for Peace, April 17th at 7:00 pm

NRM Symposium Today
The Mesoamerican Society for Biology and Conservation, along with the University of Belize, and the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic, are having the 7th annual NRM Symposium today at the UB auditorium.

'My Body is Precious' Tour
The Special Envoy for Women and Children is doing a book launch tour all around Belize for the new 'My Body is Precious' book, and they're coming to Cayo on Friday. They'll be in Belmopan, at the UB Auditorium, on April 19th at 10am, and in Benque, at the Marshalleck Stadium, at 2pm. "Launch of the Book by special Envoy for Women and Children Mrs Kim Simplis- Barrow together with author Starla Bradley- Acosta, donors Christine Norton and the children of Belize in attendance. An arm injury could not keep the US Ambassador to Belize away and the Hon Minister of Education taught us a new three letter rule for bedtime (ppb, figure it out;-) For more info on the fabulous work being done by the Envoy, go to"

SHJC at ATLIB Football Finals
The Sacred Heart Junior College male football team travelled to Corozal for the ATLIB football finals at Escuela Mexico. They took home the 4th place trophy. Great work, guys. Next year take first.

Photos of Caves Branch Jungle Lodge
Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge has beautiful grounds, and boasts the biggest and most diversified orchid garden in Belize. Nestled along the lush Hummingbird Highway, it's very close to the Blue Hole National Park, and their famous Black Hole Drop. Check out those amazing tree houses. "Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge has some amazing grounds. They have an orchid garden which boasts the widest variety in Belize, if not Central America. They are known for having luxurious treehouses"

Belizean Cold Cake Version 1
This cake is similar to ambrosia or fruit salad. The Nestle's Crema is the distinctive ingredient in this cake. The Maria cookies are also unique and adds a wonderful taste to the salad.

Channel 7

Liquor With A Counterfeit Sticker?
This morning the Customs Department launched a major national operation on what can only be contraband liquor. But it’s an unusual case, because the imported, top-shelf liquor we saw customs impounding today at Vin Hong on Euphrates Avenue all bear the “Belize Market” sticker – which is only affixed to legally imported liquor, the stuff that’s NOT contraband. It is a specially designed sticker with multiple security features, given out by Customs along with the Supplies Control Office. That’s an important sticker because it identifies imported liquor that has been duly processed by the Customs Department – meaning it’s legit. In the past, the sticker was very primitive, but now it has been updated with security features. But, the owner of Vin Hong – who declined an on-camera interview - told us that Customs informed him that his stickers were counterfeit. He told us that he bought the assorted liquor legitimately from the agents. He wouldn’t comment further, but we know that the sticker has hidden features, which only show up under special illumination. While we were at Vin Hong this evening around 5:00, we saw Customs loading up two pickup trucks full of all imported top-shelf liquor. But neighbors told us they had gotten there from 1:00 pm, and had already taken a truckload back to the customs department.

How Bees Killed A Baby In “Little Belize”
Last night we told you about the tragic death of a four-year-old boy after he was swarmed by killer bees. It happened in Little Belize, a fairly remote Mennonite community in the Corozal District. Monica Bodden went there today to find out more, and speak to the family about the victims five year old brother who was also badly bitten:… The incident happened in the backyard of the Thiessen’s residents. 5 year old Pedro and 4 year old Enrique Thiessen were playing in some nearby bushes - when they were swarmed by killer bees. Their father Jacobo Thiessen was working in the yard and heard the commotion. He along with his nephew went to the boys rescue and in the process they were also stung. The boys were rushed from their home in the Little Belize Area to the Northern Medical Plaza - almost an hour drive. By that time, 4 year old Enrique had already died. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez - Pediatrician "Yesterday around 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, there were four patients that reached, two adults and two children. The children were 4 and 5 years old. Unfortunately, when they came in some of them were in critical condition due to bees stings that they had experienced in Little Belize. The 5 year old had a lot of bee stings and of course they had to give him treatment and put him through an IV/Drips and some treatment that was provided. But the 4 year old came without a heartbeat.

OCEANA Gets Major Victory: Court Declares PSA’s Illegal
For several months now, 7News has been closely following Oceana’s Supreme Court challenge to 6 offshore oil drilling contracts which the Government Issued between 2005 and 2007. Today, that matter concluded in dramatic fashion when Justice Oswell Legall ruled in Oceana’s favor, vindicating the position they took in 2001 – that quite a lot of Production Sharing Agreements aren’t worth the paper they are written on. The contracts under challenge were those issued to the companies Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Company Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd and Sol Oil Belize Ltd. After several months of court hearings, Justice Legall delivered the judgment against GOB along with very strict orders, which sends a clear message that the court did not agree with the procedure employed when they were granted by the then Musa Administration. Oceana’s Vice President, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, was – in a word – ecstatic, and today, she spoke to us outside of court about how challenging it was to get to this outcome.

GOB Says “So What” To Judgment, But Still Appeals
But, how effective is the judgment? It’s a question not clearly answered because although the court has declared them null and void, 3 of the contracts were terminated last week, and 1 of them expired last year. So, the judgment affects only Princess Petroleum Limited and Providence Energy Belize Limited which were extended long before today’s dramatic ruling. And more importantly, GOB still has the authority to issue new contracts to these same companies if they so choose. So, today we asked Godfrey Smith, attorney for the claimants, to explain what this judgment means for the overall mechanism that GOB has to employ when they grant these Production Sharing Agreements. He told us that it’s a major signal that the environmental checklists are there for a reason Godfrey Smith - Attorney for Claimants "The decision is welcomed because it's the first decision of it's kind involving Oil Exploration Offshore. I'm sure you're aware that there have been judicial challenges in court concerning onshore - the ones on land. This was the first to be challenged to production sharing agreement to offshore oil exploration. The main lesson is that decision makers should take care to ensure that before they enter into production signing agreement, that they are aware of all the full certitude of environmentally connected legislation whether it's the environmental protection act or whether it's some other piece of legislation and marine reserves.

Grant Charged For Killing Cabbie
Last night we told you about the weekend murder of 23 year old Charles Ariola – a Dangriga taxi driver. Police said that he was shot after he had a scuffle with 24 year old Herman Grant. Grant, it is alleged pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol and shot him in the chest. Police recovered the weapon and have now charged Grant for murder.

Terrifying Home Invasion In Cayo
There was a violent home invasion in San Ignacio town this morning – and tonight police have an all points bulletin out for the suspect. For much of this afternoon, Cayo and Benque police were on a manhunt for the suspect – but they did not find him. Reports tell us however that they did find a number of items stolen during the home invasion. According to unofficial reports, at 10:00 this morning, a single assailant stormed into a home near Rumours Resort, which is on the Benque Viejo road just outside San Ignacio. They badly beat up the female who was alone at home and stole a number of items. She has been hospitalized while the suspect continues to elude police.

Orange Walk Burn Victim Dies
A man died at the KHMH today after receiving massive burns in Orange Walk Town this weekend. On Friday night near the 45 year old Daniel Antonio Ayala was lying down amidst some boxes near the town’s old cemetery when he caught on fire. A group of men he had been socializing heard his screams and ran to help. They found him in flames and hurriedly put them out – but by then he had gotten massive burns to his left foot, back and abdomen. They report that the only flammable item he appeared to have in his possession was a bottle of what’s known as “red-top”, which is overproof rum, known to be highly flammable. Due to the severity of his burns, Ayala was rushed to the KHMH, but he succumbed this morning.

Marine Biologist: Why Crawl Caye Doesn’t Make Sense
Last night, 7News told you about the proposed development in the south by the cruise tourism company, Norwegian Cruise Line. The development plan includes building a cruise port on Crawl Caye, which is near Placencia. Crawl Caye is a privately owned island currently on sale on the internet. But because Crawl Caye sits inside a UNESCO World Heritage site, the environmentalists believe that GOB should not entertain the proposal at all. We asked Dr. Melanie McField about her expert opinion on the topic. She started by explaining that her organization has been having the very same difficulties our newsroom has been having in trying confirm the report. Dr. Melanie McField – Executive Director, Healty Reefs Initiative "We've heard bits and pieces mostly from the stakeholders in the Placencia area the resorts and the BTIA down there. People are beginning to talk about a deal or proposal that is under way for Crawl Caye which is primarily a Mangrove island ringed by coral reef. I think three sides of the island is surrounded by Coral Reef and it's inside the Southwater Caye Marine Reserve which is also one of the World Heritage site. The Tourist Board has commissioned two reports. One was in response to a previous discussion about whether or not to have a cruise terminal in Placencia a few years ago and they commissioned a consulting firm that came down and talked to people. There were consultations up and down the coast and all the communities. With the result of that it was very clear that the communities don't want it.

Chetumal Street Now A Boulevard
About 20 years ago, Chetumal Street in Belize City wasn’t much to talk about – it led into a budding housing community called Belama Phase two. Since then, Belama’s population has exploded – it’s now up to Phase 4 and has hinterlands extending beyond that. Chetumal street has turned into a major roadway, a gateway into that suburban sprawl. More than that, the street bearing the name of your favourite Mexican City is also going to lead to a third bridge spanning the Belize River and connecting north and southsides. So, then, it wouldn’t suffice anymore as a street. That’s why the city council upgraded it – into Chetumal Boulevard, concrete pavement with a dual carriage-way. It was opened today, and the news wasn’t the street, but the politicians who joined hands to cut the ribbon. When the Mayor and the Leader of the opposition are shoulder to shoulder in the front row, you know it’s a major event – and, in this case, a major street transformed into a Boulevard. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I think that this particular thorough-fair is of great importance and significant benefit to residents including the business community in this area" Chetumal Boulevard is the major gateway into the Belama community and the pavement is white and fresh, even as the median is still a work in progress. It cost just under three quarter million dollars but that’s because of the drainage demands.

Ramdin Says Guatemala Won’t Display Offensive Map
The Assistant Secretary General of the OAS Alberto Ramdin left Belize this morning after a quick round of meetings yesterday. He was here to talk generally about OAS matters – including the OAS General Assembly to be held in June in Antigua, Guatemala. Belize’s Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington yesterday told the press that if the Guatemalans display their offensive map including Belize in their territory, his delegation will walk out. Today at the Airport VIP Room, Ramdin told the media that won’t happen – or at least it shouldn’t. H.E. Alberto Ramdin - Assistant Secretary General - OAS "Our position is that during an OAS meeting and the general assembly is an OAS meeing, nothing should take place, nothing should happen which can be offensive to any other member state of the Organization of American States so we will be clear to all participants in that regard. Not to go on that road or not to use that opportunity to be offensive or provocative in any way or means. So this is a commitment which we made as an organization to be very clear about that to all, including the Government of Guatemala. We will make sure that in any document presented, in whatever form, whether thats a video, a document or in whatever form that no such provocative or offensive statements or depictions are provided. That whatever is presented to the general assembly in terms of to be presented as a docment or as a video or on a screen needs to be submitted seventy two hours before so that we can see the content of it before. I will apply it as rule, very strictly to avoid things from happening which are not helpful in any process." Ramdin also briefly discussed the dispute about the referendum over the territorial differendum. If you can follow all that high tech diplomatic talk – what we’re referring to is the fact that the Guatemalans have rejected the agreed upon October 6th referendum date. They want Belize to change it’s referendum law and to change the date. And if we don’t? Well, their president Otto Perez has been making strident declarations in the press, saying most recently, that, quote, “if Belize does not accept, we will not go to a referendum and waste 2 hundred 60 million quetzales on something that, going in, we know we will not win.”

Battling For Battlefield Park
Tonight, the food vendors and taxi operators based around the Battlefield Park are preparing to move their operation from that area – but they aren’t doing it willingly. That’s because the Belize City Council has issued them with notice that they must vacate by Friday. And as you would imagine, this notice affects their businesses greatly because of proximity to the downtown area, and because their regular customers won’t necessarily follow them to their new location. These vendors are very angry with this decision, but need assistance from the council in finding a new location for their businesses. As a result, they didn’t particularly want to speak freely, for fear of victimization. We attempted to get comment from the Council’s PR Officer, Kenny Morgan, but he was unavailable.

Min Of Works Shuts Down Citco Plan For Northern Highway
In March when the city council celebrated a year in office, one of the big plans it revealed was to transform and put a toll on that part of the northern highway between Belize City and the Haulover bridge. And while the mayor would have wished to start it, like, yesterday, 7NEWS has learned that the Ministry of Works put the brakes on the project? Why? Well, the highways entering Belize City and the Central American Boulevard for that matter are the responsibility of the Ministry of Works. The mayor told us its needless turf protection. Darrell Bradley - Mayor of Belize City "The Ministry of Works had expressed the original issue that always fell on the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Works. We have maintained always that this is a street. The speed limit along this highway is still 25 miles because it comes within the jurisdiction of Belize City. We've indicated to them and I wish to restate the sentiment mentioned by the leader of Opposition that all sectors of our Government and all political parties need to come together. There should not be an issue over turf war between the municipality and the Ministry of Works." Jules Vasquez "But right now it's at a standstill because of the no-go of the Ministry of Works."

Crazy Collision Caused By Streetside Shooter?
On Saturday night in Belize city, there was a crazy collision at the corner of Freetown and Salughterhouse Roads. A minivan heading west on Freetown Road, charged over a speedbump near Jusco Plaza and slammed into a car that was waiting to come out of Slaughterhouse Road. The driver of the van was neither drunk nor crazy, but he told us that someone on a motorbike started shooting at his van on Evergreen Street, and they kept chasing him right into Freetown. He believes it was prompted by someone who thought he had knocked down a bicycle rider. We have footage and interview captured on a cell phone. Voice of: Driver of Van, Fled Bullets "When I was turning i saw a guy coming on a bicycle and he fell" Daniel Ortiz "From where did you come?" Voice of: Driver of Van "From Mahogany Street. And I turned by WASA (BWS) then I stopped. A guy asked me 'what happened?' I told him 'I dont know but someone started shooting at me.''

Regional Port Meeting In Bze
Twenty delegates form Caribbean Countries are meeting in Belize this week under the auspices of the Belize Port Authority. The meeting is called the Port State Control Seminar about the 5th Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding. That doesn’t say much, and we found out that it’s really about ship safety. Dwight Gardiner - Chairman of Caribbean MOU1 Port State Control "It's about building capacity within the region so that our Port state control officers or ship inspectors can effectively and efficiently conduct inspections on all vessels entering the Port or Ports of each respective country. Basically our mandate as I indicated is for the elimination of sub standing shipping in the region. So the mandate of Port State control is focused on safety and security of a vessel. Hence, even if there is a breach in security or even a breach in the safety of a vessel based on the inspection then the Port State Control officer will have the authority to detain." The meeting concludes on Thursday.

Hon Hulse Speaks On Crawl Caye
Earlier on in the newscast we had marine biologist Melanie McField’s comments and concerns about the proposal for a Cruise Port in Southern Belize. Well, during her interview, Minister in charge of a Cabinet Investment Committee, Godwin Hulse called us. He told us that all the fuss that’s being raised is premature – because nothing has been agreed upon and talks are at a very preliminary stage. He said that the Cabinet Committee did meet with Norwegian Executives, but that was simply for government to lay out the regulatory parameters of what would be required for tourism, environment and fisheries before an investment is made. He said it is now up to Norwegian to take all this information back and decide if they want to proceed. He agreed that there is a draft Memorandum Of Understanding but that is a quote, “non-starter” because they “are not at that stage at all.”

Since Rebecca Stirm’s big appearances in the local and international fashion worlds, 2013 has become the year of opportunity for models and designers to be recognized. And today, another opportunity presented itself to the local models. It involves 2 professionals from fashion entities based in Jamaica are in Belize to discover local talent and to give them an opportunity. They are Kingley Cooper, the Chairman and CEO of Pulse Model Agency, and Romae Gordon, the Fashion Director for Caribbean Fashion Week. Today, they got a chance to meet the Belizean models, and we got a chance to speak to them about their plans should they decide that a local model fits into what they’re looking for. Here’s what Gordon told us Romae Gordon - Fashion Director "Well we are interested in the development of the industry here in Belize obviously we know that talent abound everywhere, just walking about since I have been here in Belize we've seen lots of great faces, beautiful women and so we are hoping that we could discover some of that talent here in Belize and also on the designs side. We do Caribbean fashion week which takes place during June 6th - 10th in Kingston Jamaica this year and we are hoping also that we could find some talent who potentially could walk the runway of CFW or present collections at CFW from Belize"

Vansh Continues
The Vansh Charles Birthday Giveway continued today at Channel 7 with children who share his birthday coming in to get their gifts. As we’ve told you, the idea is for all kids born on April 19th who are 12 and under to come to Channel 7 and collect a gift from Vansh himself. We spoke to one mother who came all the way from Guinea Grass for her gift bag and gift certificate. Daniel Ortiz "Where are you coming from?" Mother of Child "Guinea Grass" Daniel Ortiz "And how do you feel about receiving the gift on behalf of your daughter?" Mother of child "Fine" Daniel Ortiz "Are you excited?" Mother of Child "Yes" Daniel Ortiz "Do you think that the trip was worth it?" Mother of Child "It is good because we will get to meet a lot of other kids that share the same birthday" The giveaway continues tomorrow until Friday. Again, all children 12 and under who are born on April 19th, between the years 2001 and 2012 can come to Channel 7 on Albert street – with a proof of their birth date to pick up their gift bag and a gift certificate – free of charge and no strings attached.

Channel 5

Killer bees, four year old from Little Belize dead
A four year old boy suffered a horrific death on Monday afternoon. He and his five year old sibling were stung repeatedly by a swarm of killer bees from a hive attached to a nearby tree. By the time Enrique and Pedro Thiessen reached the closest hospital to Little Belize, Enrique had lost his life. [...]

OCEANA wins! Court rules offshore contracts illegal
OCEANA Belize and other environmental organizations have scored another major victory in the Supreme Court. They challenged the validity of six Production Sharing Agreements granted by government to individual companies for offshore oil exploration.  In 2007, concessions were exclusively awarded to Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy, Sol Oil Belize, Miles Tropical Energy, Petro Belize and Island [...]

Government to appeal loss to OCEANA
The forty-five page judgment this morning knocks the government for allowing oil exploration before any assessment of its effects on the environment. The judge described it as not only irresponsible, but reckless, especially in a situation where “Belize may not be fully capable of handling effectively an oil spill.” A release from the Ministry of [...]

Herman Grant charged for murder of Dangriga taxi man
Twenty-four year old Herman Grant, a resident of Cleghorn Street, has been arrested and charged for the murder of taxi-driver, Charles Ariola, which occurred in Dangriga over the weekend.  On Sunday evening, Ariola was embroiled in a physical altercation with Grant and two other men while at a yard on George Price Boulevard.  Ariola, a [...]

Do you support cabinet’s decision for Vega’s brother to be the sole exporter of confiscated rosewood?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the cabinet decision for the brother of the D.P.M. to be the sole exporter of confiscated rosewood? Yes or no. 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 [...]

No offensive images at O.A.S. General Assembly in Guatemala
At the last O.A.S. General Assembly in Bolivia and at a meeting in February in Washington, Guatemala presented a video that annexed Belize to Guatemala. Belize Ambassador to the O.A.S. Nestor Mendez protested the video for the offensive image. The next General Assembly is to be held in Antigua, Guatemala on June sixth and the [...]

O.A.S. will soon meet with Belize and Guatemala on Referendum
Another date that is on the collective minds of the two countries is October sixth, the scheduled date for a dual referendum on whether or not the dispute should be forwarded to the International Court of Justice. Reports from Guatemala’s Prensa Libre newspaper have quoted both President Otto Perez Molina and Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera [...]

Chetumal Boulevard now open for drivers
It’s been a solid three months of inconvenience, loss of business and traffic holdups, but today the Chetumal Boulevard located off the Phillip Goldson Highway was officially inaugurated. Well, it actually opens fully to pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Monday. It is an impressive stretch of road, complete with covered drains and median, and the [...]

City Hall and Ministry both want to improve Northern Highway
In what seems to be political irony of some note…while Mayor Darrell Bradley and the Belize City Council are being praised by leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca for their good work, they are being yanked to a screeching halt by the Ministry of Works. Remember the Mayor’s big plans to construct a new four-lane [...]

Garbage tax on water bill to be reality
The intensive work project in the city is necessary, and actually long overdue, but the reality is that the Belize City Council does need to service the Bond to ensure the continuation of the project, and that means that revenue collection has to be streamlined and enhanced. And one way in which the Council plans [...]

6 months in prison for tapping derriere
A man who tried for a free fondle of a woman’s rear now knows that nothing in life is free after he was sentenced to six months behind bars for Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature. A twenty-eight year old housewife told Police that on April twenty-first while she was in front of the Downtown [...]

Pregnant Prunella and the machete
And a pregnant woman was before the court this morning to answer to a single charge of Aggravated Assault. Twenty-five year old Prunella White, of Central American Boulevard, was escorted to court in a prison van and appeared before Magistrate Adolph Lucas Junior. She was arraigned for the aggravated assault upon eighteen year old Aaron [...]

Belize and CARICOM relations; where is it headed?
The two R’s remain on the front burner as it relates to issues of national importance …rosewood and the referendum.  On Monday, News Five asked Minister Wilfred Elrington if our CARICOM allies will be asked to support Belize on the referendum roadmap. The response from the Minister was surprising and sounded as if he was [...]

Belizeans getting Fashion Forward on the runway
Belizean models and fashion designers, male and female, interested in regional and international exposure through Caribbean Fashion Week, are being scouted by a pair of seasoned industry insiders presently in the country.   Renowned fashionista Kingsley Cooper, founder of Pulse Modeling Agency, accompanied by his wife and fashion director, Romae Gordon, is here in search of [...]

Mexicans, Mixed Martial Arts and Belizeans prepare for battle
This coming weekend there is a competition that promises to be entertaining and full of suspense.  The neighborhood House of Shotokan will take on their Mexican counterparts in what is known as mixed martial arts. The big ticket event will be a match in a cage. News Five’s Jose Sanchez caught up with the local [...]


Rosewood to be Sold To GIV, Company Owned by DPM's Brother
Last week the Government of Belize, particularly the Ministry of Forestry, came under fire after it was announced that Government was awarding a 19 days amnesty period for the sale and export of Rosewood to exporters who illegally harvest the precious wood during the moratorium that was set in place 13 months ago. The fact that the 19 days amnesty was implemented while Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla was out of the country, certainly raised eyebrows and left more questions than answers, answers, which received a response this morning during a press conference held by Minister Alamilla in Belize City. The press conference was scheduled for an unusual time, at 8:00am. It began at around 8:30 and lasted half an hour during which time; in a prepared speech, Minister Alamilla explained her government’s decision to carry out the 19 days amnesty program. According to Alamilla, the decision comes at the heels of the 16th Session of the Conference of Parties on the convention on International Trade in endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Apparent Freak Accident Claims The Life Of Orange Walkeno
This morning 45 year old Daniel Antonio Ayala, a resident of Santa Maria Street Orange Walk Town, died at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital after he sustained severe burns to several parts of his body. On Friday night, Ayala, also know as Chaparo, was hanging out with friends at the corner of Muffles and Cemetery Street when he decided to head home. Apparently Ayala could not open the door of is house and he returned to the area. But instead of sitting with his friends, he went behind the building where he laid down on some empty boxes. A few minutes after, Ayala’s friends heard him scream for help and by the time they arrived to his aid he was already on fire.

Four Year Old Receives Over 500 Bee Stings, He Does Not Survive The Attack
Last night we told you about the four year old Mennonite boy from the community of Little Belize in the Corozal District who was attacked by a swarm of African bees and did not survive. The child and his five year old brother were playing behind the family’s back yard when they wandered off into an open lot located near some bushes without their parent’s knowledge. By the time Jacob Thiessen reached his son’s, they were both laying on the ground covered by the bees. Both four year old Enrique and five year old Pedro Thiessen received multiple stings to face, head, arms and abdomen. Enrique did not survive the attack and died on the spot. As he tried to aid his son’s, Jacob Thiessen was also stung by the bees. Today, as he and his five year old son recuperate at Northern Medical Plaza, Thiessen relived the dreadful ordeal as he spoke reporter Elmer Cornejo.

New Horizons Belize Offers Free Medical Care To Orange Walkenos
New Horizons Belize, through the US Air Force and the Ministry of Health, is once again coordinating with the Northern Medical Team in Orange Walk to provide free family medical, dental & optometric services to residents of the north. The initiative forms part of a large scale humanitarian assistance exercise which is benefiting Belize in both the education and health sectors. As previously mentioned, the Belize Defense Force, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, are working hand in hand to train over 200 U.S. soldiers in engineering and in the medical field. Presently the construction team is building new classrooms at the Louisiana Government School and Trial Farm Government School here in Orange Walk and Lady Technical High School and Crooked Tree Government School in Belize City. As for the medical team, they are also spread out across the country. Yesterday a group of about 8 medical practitioners arrived in Orange Walk, specifically in the Village of Guinea Grass, where they are presently offering free medical services to residents of the area and surrounding villages.

The Battle Against Cancer Continues
On Saturday the Orange Walk Cancer Support Group will hold their annual Cancer Walk from the San Martin Gas Station to the Orange Walk Central Park. The walk is geared at creating cancer awareness but most importantly it honors those who are fighting against the disease and pays tribute to those who have lost the battle. Cancer is a disease that has no boundaries, affecting its victim and their family. As we all know, there are different types of cancer, most of them deadly. Tonight, in order to raise awareness about the deadly disease, we feature the story of Bernaldino Barrientos who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Synovial Sarcoma more than two years ago. His story can be considered peculiar because according to him, positive thinking is what’s keeping him alive.

Police Investigate Report of Carnal Knowledge Committed Against A Minor
Tonight a 55 year old man is behind bars after being accused of raping a nine year old student from the Village of Libertad. According to the child, in the month of December last year she was at her aunt’s house in Libertad when a male individual known to her, pushed her into one of the bedrooms. The individual then placed a knife to her side after which he covered her mouth, tied her hands and then raped her. According to the child, she recently decided to come forward since the individual threatened to take her life away if she reported the incident.

Historic Win For Oceana Offshore Oil Contracts Are Null and Void
On February 5th 2013, Attorney Godfrey Smith, representing Oceana Belize, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage concluded oral arguments challenging the validity of six offshore Production Sharing Agreements in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall. The PSA’s, were awarded to Island Oil Belize Limited, Tropical Energy Limited, Petro Belize, Princess Petroleum, Providence Energy Belize and Sol Oil Belize, between 2005 and 2007. What the claimants were seeking was for Justice Legal to quash the oil concession contracts. And today, that is exactly what Justice Legall did as he ruled in favor of the claimants. In his judgment Justice Legall said that the Minister who signed the contracts “exceeded his jurisdiction when he entered into the agreements without first having or considering an environmental impact assessment of oil exploration on the environment”. Justice Legall further explained that the entire intention of the Environmental Protection Act is to make environmental assessment so as to protect the environment.


Court rules that offshore oil concession contracts are null and void
Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall ruled this morning that the Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment exceeded his jurisdiction when between 2005 and 2007 he granted oil concession contracts to Island Oil Belize Ltd, Tropical Energy Ltd, Petro Belize Co Ltd, Princess Petroleum Ltd, Providence Energy Belize Ltd...

OAS will not tolerate disruption of its congress in Guatemala City
Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Albert Ramdin, hosted the press before his departure at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) this morning. He had been meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington among others. He explains the purpose of...

Herman Grant charged for murder of Charles Ariola
Police have arrested one man for the shooting of Dangriga resident Charles Ariola. 24 four year old Herman Grant, a Belize City resident, was charged today with one count of murder. Police say that on Sunday afternoon, Ariola was sitting with some friends in a yard on George Price...

2 boys attacked by killer bees
What was supposed to be a typical afternoon playing, took a horrible turn when killer bees attacked two brothers. Yesterday four year old Enrique Thiessen and his brother, five year old Pedro Thiessen, were playing in their yard at Camp 70, near Little Belize, when they were swarmed by...

Pros and cons of medical schools in Belize – Part 2
Yesterday we began a special series having to do with international medical colleges in Belize. We highlighted the work of the Central American Health Sciences University (CAHSU) in reaching doctoral candidates in countries far afield to achieve professional status. Another such college is the American Global University School of...

Former coach of Belize’s national Football team gives his side of the story
Leroy Sherrier Lewis; Former Coach of Belize’s National Team is back in Belize, but not for long. Sherrier was appointed as Belize’s National Team Coach in early October of last year. His appointment was brief, (being only six months) and was not without its theatrics. His recent trip back...

Two men walk away from murder charges
Two men walked away from murder charges today in the Belmopan Magistrate’s court. Brothers, Herson Sanchez and Jose Sanchez, were acquitted of the charge due to insufficient evidence. The two were charged for the murder of 66 year old Rosa Cornejo, the Belmopan business woman who was believed to...

Pueblo Viejo village without potable water for years
We all know that water is an invaluable resource. More so, having running water certainly eliminates the sometimes unhealthy practice of using water retrieved from creeks and rivers. But this is what the Village of Pueblo Viejo has been dealing with since they lost mechanical water supply some seven...

Belizean runners safe after Boston Marathon explosions
Yesterday afternoon, Monday, the city center of Boston, Massachusetts was rocked by a pair of explosions occurring near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest such event with more than 23,000 runners participating. Three persons including an eight year old boy waiting at the finish...

Lionel Heredia dead at 83
The environmental community is morning the passing of Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia of Caye Caulker, Belize District, at the age of 83. Heredia died at home Friday afternoon due to complications from an aneurysm, in the company of his wife Annie of 25 years. A former fisherman and water taxi...

Ports commissioners of the Caribbean, meet in Belize
The Caribbean MOU on Port State Control, a group of ports commissioners of the Caribbean, is meeting in Belize this week for annual training. Chairman Dwight Gardiner of Antigua and Barbuda spoke to PLUS News about the training. 1 The meeting continues through the course of the day.

Refurbished Chetumal Boulevard formally opened
Part one of the redone Chetumal Boulevard which runs through the Belama Phase 1 and 2 boundary to the Haulover Creek was formally opened today even though it will not be opened to traffic until next Monday. Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley gives details on the construction of...

Ras Indio promotes new project
Belizean reggae artist Ras Indio is back again in the country after being away touring and visiting Africa. Earlier this week he stopped by PlusTV to tell us what he’s been up to. Ras Indio – Reggae Artist: As usual, I made a trip to the US, and from...

Public presentation on Belize / Guatemala territorial dispute
The ongoing Belize Guatemala territorial dispute has been dominating the air waves for some time now and has been a hot button issue for many. The matter keeps on gaining momentum as the anticipated October 6th referendum draws nearer. And with that comes the surfacing of new elements to...

55 year old man charged for rape of 9 year old girl
A 55 year old man has been arrested and charged for the rape of a nine year old girl. On Saturday 13th April, the Libertad village student, accompanied by her mother, reported that in the month of December 2012 about 1:00pm, she was at an aunt’s house. She says...


Maya Leaders Alliance and Toledo Alcaldes Association furious – “worst of many injustices in rosewood and logging industries.” Last week Cabinet gave instructions to the Forestry Department to release all confiscated rosewood the department had in custody for sale, and granted amnesty from April 8 to 26, 2013, for all persons who have rosewood in their possession, to submit the timber to the Government for sale. At a press conference today, Monday, Minister of Forestry, Fishery and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, said that although the Government had in its possession three containers with over 25,000 board feet of rosewood, they still believe that there is more harvested rosewood being stored in secret. For that reason, the amnesty was granted, so that those persons would come forward with whatever amount of rosewood they might have. “The events of the past week have understandably given cause for concern,” she said. “The decision and action were taken with full cognizance that the decision, while not being a popular one, was in the best interest to solve an impasse in the local rosewood trade,” she went on to explain. She said that the Government’s decision was made in order “to account for the entire volume of rosewood currently available and to dispose of it and to concurrently be in compliance with a decision made by CITES on March 14 with respect to the trade of rosewood.”

The Foreign Minister says he and his delegation will leave the OAS meeting if Guatemala uses offensive map which shows Belize as a part of Guatemala. Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said during a press briefing this morning that the Belize delegation would walk out of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) meeting to be held in Antigua, Guatemala, in June, if the country uses or broadcasts any offensive material against Belize, in relation to the pending territorial differendum. Elrington made the comments right after he met with Albert R. Ramdim, the Surinamese who now holds the post of Assistant Secretary-General of the OAS, at Elrington’s Belize City office this morning, during what Elrington describes as “a periodic visit” with member countries. 7 News director Jules Vasquez asked Elrington how a Belize delegation would handle the situation, should Guatemala choose to display at the meeting of the OAS General Assembly in Antigua, Guatemala, this June, any map including Belize as part of their territory, as was done by the Guatemalan rep who played a preparatory video at an international OAS meeting earlier this year. Elrington said that the last thing he told Ambassador Ramdim this morning is that this offense should not be repeated.

News has been received today of the death of Lionel “Chocolate” Heredia, 83, dubbed by Oceana as “one of Belize’s first marine conservationists who was a true Belizean patriot, contributing immensely to the protection of marine resources, especially the manatees.” Chocolate, a fisherman who formerly lived in Belize City, moved to Caye Caulker many years ago, and quickly made a name for himself as a conservationist, when, according to Oceana, the term “had not even become popular, or even considered a career field.” Oceana, in 2012, presented Chocolate its Ocean Hero Award for his outstanding work spanning over five decades as a conservationist. “Everybody who has anything to do with conservation and the sea knows Chocolate,” we were told. The likable Chocolate was not only a fisherman, but also a tour guide. He is credited with being instrumental in the formation of the Friends of Swallow Caye, signed into law as a wildlife sanctuary in 2002 by the then Minister of Natural Resources. Chocolate, we were told, had been suffering from prostate cancer, and died of the disease. Of him Oceana said: “We must celebrate the life of our brother Chocolate, and always remember him as a role model, because even though he has parted this earthly life, his works and contribution to this nation remain with us. And it is his work all of us in the conservation community must continue, as we stand on the shoulder of this conservation giant.”

Plea bargains for possible parole in 30 years. U.S. press reports published today, Friday, say that Juan Enrique Torres—a Belizean migrant to the US accused last October of the vicious stabbing of his ex-step-daughter, Surie Baeza, 15, also of Belize—has pleaded guilty to murder and has accepted a life sentence with the possibility of parole in a plea bargain which he accepted Thursday afternoon. The mitigation was offered because Torres waived his right to a trial, which could have meant a capital murder indictment and a sentence of life without parole.

A taxi driver of Dangriga, Charles Ariola, 23, is dead after being shot in the left side of his chest by another Dangriga resident during an altercation. The incident occurred at about 4:00 p.m. yesterday, Sunday, April 14, in a yard on the George Price Boulevard in Dangriga. Police said that Ariola and three of his friends were in the yard when three men entered. An argument then ensued between one of the men and Ariola. The men reportedly left the yard, but returned shortly after. According to police, one of the men approached Ariola and slapped him, and when Ariola attempted to grab him, the man pulled out a 9mm pistol and shot Ariola in the left side of the chest. Ariola was transported to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he died of the gunshot wound shortly after, at about 4:15 p.m.

Owner found only the heads and hides on the ground. A carpenter from Santa Familia Village, Cayo District, reported that sometime between April 4 and 11, 2013, three cattle went missing from his pasture. Two of the cattle were black and white milking cows that were both pregnant, and both animals were branded RM on their left hind legs, weighed about 1,400 lbs and were valued at $3,000 each. The third was a white heifer which weighed about 1,200 lbs and was valued at $2,100. The carpenter reported that he later checked the racetrack on a feeder road and found three cow heads with the hides on the ground. He identified the remains to be those of his missing cattle. At press time no one has been detained in connection with the incident. Police have informed us that this is not the first incident of its kind in the area. Investigations into the matter are on-going.

The Kremandala organization looks to Nuri Akbar as our representative in Los Angeles, California, and we publish his views in Amandala from time to time. We respect his ideas greatly, but we do not always subscribe to them completely. For instance, in his last article published in last weekend’s issue of this newspaper, Nuri Akbar said that “ … Belize has no alternative but to step up to the regional balance and ask for Cuba’s assistance, both from a military standpoint and leveraging its expertise and experience in international diplomacy.” That is a good idea, but the time has not yet come for that. If Belize draws closer to Cuba, Guatemala will interpret such a move as indicative of open hostility on Belize’s part towards Guatemala. At the same time, how much longer can we Belizeans tolerate Guatemala’s provoking us, bullying us, threatening us, and actually humiliating us? Guatemala is our immediate neighbor, and so we want to exhaust all peaceful and diplomatic options before we make military alliances with Guatemala’s enemies. That is a given. In the Western Hemisphere, we can think of no relationship involving nations of similar population size which are in relative proximity to each other, which has been so intensely hostile for as long as the relationship between Guatemala and Cuba. That hostility began in January of 1959 when the Cuban Revolution overthrew the Cuban military dictator, Fulgencio Batista. Fidel Castro then declared himself communist, when Guatemala was being run by the hard line, anti-communist general, Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes. From 1959 until now, Cuba has remained communist, whereas Guatemala remains a capitalist oligarchy controlled by a neo-European minority supported by the military and the Church.

“Any Third World leader who preaches against colonialism yet will not tackle the deeper problem of colorism is evading the real issue. “There is no white colony in the world: all colonized peoples have a common denominator – coloring. “The conclusions are there to be drawn.” - pg. 100, X COMMUNICATION, Evan X Hyde, Angelus Press, Belize City, 1995 One of the strange things about Belize is that you can hear enough complaints and criticisms to last a lifetime, but we are also always hearing these effusive and sincere testimonials of how much we love Belize. Things are sometimes a bit contradictory. I know one thing about Belize, and it is that this society is rigged. Our society remains colonial in its thinking, and what I mean by this is that there is, from day to day, an entrenched favoritism/colorism which features certain families at the top, and then the masses being trampled on at the base of the socio-economic pyramid. I want to give you two examples of how Belize works. Ray Lightburn was an exceptionally gifted but controversial individual who was very close to the two most powerful PUP politicians in Belize during the middle 1970s – Premier George Price and Deputy Premier C. L. B. Rogers. Whenever the PUP needed any muscle work to be done back then, Ray got the contract. He was a cynical man in some ways, but was known by the streets as very generous. Because of that unwavering generosity, he was popular in the streets. Everything Ray hustled, he gave away.

Dear Mr. Vellos, I am writing with reference to the article – UB President slams GOB for lack of vision – which was published in the April 7, 2013 edition of your newspaper. The article selectively quotes from a document that I presented to the Board of Trustees at the University of Belize on March 14, 2013 which presented an analysis of what I consider to be institutional weaknesses at the University of Belize and my recommendations for improving the performance of the University. That analysis and the recommendations arose from an audit that I commissioned and which was conducted by the firm Castillo, Sanchez and Burrell. While I respect the freedom of the press as a universal right, I would also remind you that the press has a responsibility to engage in serious and informed reportage of matter that are published for public consumption. The article cited excerpts from the document but the headline and tone of the article seem to suggest that I am engaged in an ad hominem attack on the government of the day and on the Board of the institution. I wish to make it clear that my analysis of the University was clinical and was designed to identify problems and to propose solutions based on the need to improve institutional performance.

by Luke Palacio Editor Amandala Sir, In the early 1950’s David McKoy was the man who organized the General Workers Union in the Stann Creek District, using a motorcycle as his transportation. In 1957 he got elected as Stann Creek West representative for the PUP and was appointed Minister of Labour. He was the first Minister of Labour in Belize. He also was in government for 32 years, from 1957 to 1989. As Minister of Labour Hon. David McKoy spent 5 years negotiating to have the Social Security funds be established for the welfare of all workers. Today the Social Security funds have grown to many millions of dollars, a great safety valve to Belize, but Hon. David McKoy’s picture is not displayed at any of the Social Security offices here in Belize. It is disrespectful and hate for a Garifuna by those in authority which prevent them from giving Hon. David McKoy the recognition he so deserves. We were quick to name Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and also quick to deny a Belizean the recognition for leaving millions of dollars money for the people of Belize, just because of his being a Garifuna.


Learn the Secrets of Composting and Organic Farming
Composting is the natural process of ‘rotting’ or decomposition of organic matter by microorganisms under controlled conditions. Raw organic materials such as crop residues, animal wastes, food garbage, some municipal wastes and suitable industrial wastes, enhance their suitability for application to the soil as a fertilizing resource, after having undergone composting. Compost is a rich source of organic matter. Soil organic matter plays an important role in sustaining soil fertility, and hence in sustainable agricultural production. In addition to being a source of plant nutrient, it improves the physico-chemical and biological properties of the soil. As a result of these improvements, the soil: (i) becomes more resistant to stresses such as drought, diseases and toxicity; (ii) helps the crop in improved uptake of plant nutrients; and (iii) possesses an active nutrient cycling capacity because of vigorous microbial activity.

“Better Days” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Started the day by reading The Times on-line and was immediately mildly wound-up ( an English expression meaning “in a state of tension”) when I saw on the business pages that Sly Bailey, the former CEO of Trinity Mirror (the last newspaper publishing group I worked for in the UK) had received a pay-off of around £2.3 million for ‘loss of office’ (asked to leave). Why should anyone be rewarded for failure – the share price declined by 87% during her tenure. I just find it obscene. Apologies. Rant over. Really hopeful that my mood would improve and thought that lunch at Pedro’s Hotel while watching Arsenal versus Everton in good company would facilitate this. Well the company was, as usual, exceptionally good. And so was the food. Regrettably Arsenal never really got in to second gear and the best we could do was get a nil, nil draw. They have definitely had better days! After lunch Rose and I went to Captain Sharks to make the final arrangements for the golf cart that we are ordering and were given the good news that it could be with us within as little as four weeks. Feeling so much better Rose and I headed off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and as we parked the golf cart noticed that another golf cart was just behind us and the couple got out of the cart and introduced themselves as Grace and Randy, two readers of this blog who intend to also build on Ambergris Caye.

International Sources

10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America
Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him. This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment. I know that’s harsh, but I really feel my home country is not in a good place these days. That’s not a socio-economic statement (although that’s on the decline as well), but rather a cultural one. I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so let me try to soften the blow to my American readers with an analogy: You know when you move out of your parents’ house and live on your own, how you start hanging out with your friends’ families and you realize that actually, your family was a little screwed up? Stuff you always assumed was normal your entire childhood, it turns out was pretty weird and may have actually fucked you up a little bit. You know, dad thinking it was funny to wear a Santa Claus hat in his underwear every Christmas or the fact that you and your sister slept in the same bed until you were 22, or that your mother routinely cried over a bottle of wine while listening to Elton John. The point is we don’t really get perspective on what’s close to us until we spend time away from it. Just like you didn’t realize the weird quirks and nuances of your family until you left and spent time with others, the same is true for country and culture. You often don’t see what’s messed up about your country and culture until you step outside of it.

What's the best way to take money overseas
There is no one answer that fits every traveller in every situation, but a few general rules will work most of the time. Having all your travel funds in cash is a high-risk strategy, but a small supply of US dollars or euros will enable you to hit the ground running. Travellers' cheques offer the ultimate security but exchanging them can waste time. Automated teller machines are just about everywhere, and they provide a convenient way to access funds. You can use your normal ATM card to do this, provided you've contacted your bank and authorised its use offshore. Note that many foreign banking systems will not accept a six-digit PIN. Each time you withdraw via an ATM, you'll pay a cash advance fee and a foreign currency conversion fee. In a world of dazzling choice, Belize is the place. Mexico and Guatemala are perfect if you're interested in cultures and history, but my own choice would be Belize, a wildlife wonder. Tucked into the base of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Belize is luxuriantly endowed with tropical forests, mountains, rivers, more than 500 species of birds and the biggest reef system after our own. Since its human population has remained relatively small, Belize's wildlife continues to flourish.

The 154 Best New Hotels in the World
Aerial bicycles to traverse the forest in Ecuador? Frozen coconut mojitos in Belize? Friar-made bath lotions in Italy? Yes, please. These are a few of the luxe amenities available at 2013's hottest hotels. Condé Nast Traveler visited more than a thousand hotels across the world to find the 154 best places to stay this year, and their newly released list, complete with stunning photos, will make you think twice about your previous hotel plans. Now—how does one get that job?

Sharks Dive By the Moon
The moon and water temperature affect the diving behaviour of sharks, researchers reported Tuesday, in a discovery that could help prevent fishermen from catching the marine predators inadvertently. A team from the University of Western Australia's Oceans Institute and the government-run Australian Institute of Marine Science spent nearly three years monitoring grey reef sharks off Palau in the Pacific. They tagged 39 sharks -- common on coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region -- and used acoustic telemetry to follow them, finding they stayed in deep water on full moon nights but rose to the shallows with the new moon. Similar patterns have previously been recorded in species such as swordfish, yellowfin and big eye tuna, suggesting the reef shark behaviour was related to feeding. The study also said it may be an anti-predator response where reef sharks seek to avoid increased light nearer the surface that may aid the hunting abilities of larger sharks. "We also found that the diving behaviour of grey reef sharks was related to water temperature," said lead researcher Gabriel Vianna.

Amid a stacked OAS deck, Belize needs proactive support!
Recently, an editorial appeared in the Jamaican periodical “The Gleaner, which spoke of the current status involving Guatemala’s intransigence on the matter of Belize’s territorial integrity. I must express sincere thanks, for the voice of support that has finally begun to emanate from the region! For approximately five years, I have monitored and expressed my view in terms of: (1) the signing of the Compromis... its folly, and trappings; (2) the need for caution on taking Guatemala on their word, due to their insistence on moving the proverbial goalpost; (3) the double-standard and lack of impartiality demonstrated by the OAS on this matter; (4) the gullibility of Belizean officials to believe that Guatemala would actually adhere to any agreement and subsequent developments that holds the potential for them not to prevail, especially given that the organiser (the OAS) has repeatedly allowed Guatemala virtually unchecked leeway by which to manipulate the agreement;

Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities
Solar power and other distributed renewable energy technologies could lay waste to U.S. power utilities and burn the utility business model, which has remained virtually unchanged for a century, to the ground. That is not wild-eyed hippie talk. It is the assessment of the utilities themselves. Back in January, the Edison Electric Institute — the (typically stodgy and backward-looking) trade group of U.S. investor-owned utilities — released a report [PDF] that, as far as I can tell, went almost entirely without notice in the press. That’s a shame. It is one of the most prescient and brutally frank things I’ve ever read about the power sector. It is a rare thing to hear an industry tell the tale of its own incipient obsolescence.

April 16, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

National AIDS Commission Island Committee holds Caye Caulker Community Health Fair
The National AIDS Commission Island Committee held its first ever Health Fair in Caye Caulker. Named “The Caye Caulker Community Health Fair”; the fair aimed at educating the Caye Caulker populace on the many health risk factors that exists while familiarizing them with the various services available within the country of Belize, at their disposal. The fair was held at the Caye Caulker Basketball Court commencing at 10AM and ran through to 3PM on Saturday April 13th. Further to this, the fair offered free firs t base testing such as Body Mass Index testing, Free HIV Testing with Pre and Post-test counselling, HIV Awareness, Breast Check UP, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Information, Down Syndrome Information, Mental Health Services and Blood Sugar Check amongst others. Residents of Caye Caulker took advantage of the fair and all the services and with music provided by Amador Magana of Caye Caulker, the court was soon bustling with residents receiving services.

Belize Fashion Week 2013 brings color and creativity to life!
Fashion Week Cocktail Reception-6From Thursday through Sunday, fashion was the name of the game as Belize Fashion Week 2013 brought color, design and creativity to the forefront. Young Belizean fashion designers had a chance to showcase their talent for designing clothing, jewelry and handmade purses. Gorgeous Belizean models also had the opportunity to walk a runway under the lights for all to see. International designers Marisol Hernriquez and Momo Soho brought their own flair and talent, mixing beautifully with the raw talent that shone over the course of two nights. Fashion Week began with a cocktail reception held on Thursday, April 11th, where models, fashion-lovers and designers mingled in a fun, informal setting at Caprice Bar & Grill. It was an opportunity to meet Fashion Week Cocktail Reception-35with the people who would be showcased over the next two nights at Fido’s Courtyard.

Ambergris Today

National AIDS Commission Held Health Fair in Caye Caulker
The National Aids Commission (NAC) / Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee was established to Coordinate the Efforts locally towards the National One Response!!! We are a limb of the National Aids Commission (which is the only entity in the country sanctioned by the Belize Government to work in the Response to HIV) and as such we follow the guidelines established in the NAC's National Strategic Plan. Our vision is: "By the end of 2012, Belize will have continued to reduce the number of new HIV infections; extended the length and quality of life of people with HIV and their families; significantly reduce discrimination against persons vulnerable to HIV; and effectively coordinated a multi-sectoral response which is human rights based and gender responsive." Our Specific Goals are three fold: * Ending New HIV Infections, * Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Individuals living with HIV * Creating an Enabling Environment.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Belize Top Model of The Week - Lauren
Belize's Top Model is selected Weekly and shot on location at various sites in and around the beautiful travel destination of Belize. Models are selected based on various criteria by a well known and published photographer in Belize, Will Moreno from Will Moreno Photography and Lucelli Cal the owner and principal of one of the hottest trending boutiques in Belize, Catwalk Fashions. We will take you on a journey with us as we travel around Belize and perform these photoshoots in these beautiful locations with gorgeous models. The Main photo selected weekly is published on a full color print page in the Belize Times Newspaper in Belize. Make sure to tune in to see who our next weekly Top Model will be. Music by Chris Martin - "Hotta Than Dem"

VIDEO: Princess Margaret 1958 in Belize

Video: Extraction of natural resources, 1930
In 1930 clearing YOUR forest for banana plantation and air spraying it with poison to your health and then taking it to Jamaica and unloading at Rotterdam making the British rich on your natural resources.

VIDEO: Princess Margaret 1958 in Belize II
Freetown Road and North Circular Road

VIDEO: Princess Margaret 1958 in Belize III

JTF-B supports Belizean drug eradication
Joint Task Force-Bravo, together with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, assisted Belize authorities in a successful marijuana eradication operation April 8-11 throughout the Northern Tier of Belize. The operations resulted in the Belizean government destroying 16 fields, 61,000 illicit plants, 330 pounds of compressed marijuana and 22 pounds of marijuana seeds; for an initial estimate of $12.5 million U.S. dollars. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided the aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and the Jacob’s ladder familiarization support to 55 Belize Defense Forces personnel. “Jacob’s ladder, or caving ladder, operations were used in areas where the landing zone could potentially harm the aircraft,” said Army Staff Sgt. Glen Haynie, Bravo Company Standardization instructor. “It allowed us to get troops down and up without landing and still accomplish the mission.” The assets and expertise used to work jointly with the Belizean government allowed previously unseen levels of interdiction.

Race relations issues in Belize should be dealt with now
By Wellington C. Ramos There are some Belizeans who believe that our country does not have a race problem and we do not need to address this issue, but they are living in a fantasy world. When the British landed in Belize, the indigenous people of Belize were the Maya Indians. They fought against the British to try and keep their land but without success. Some of these Maya Indians fled to neighbouring Mexico and Guatemala where they continue to move back and forth within these three countries. The Mayas were living throughout the whole of Central America but the Spanish were able to take over all their territory with the use of brute military force. The British brought slaves to Belize from Africa to cut logwood and mahogany for them from the 1600s to the middle 1800s -- almost two hundred years of slavery. During slavery in Belize, some of these slaves had children for their slave masters and were given their slave master's name, hence the reason why most Creole Belizeans have British names.

VIDEO: Caye Caulker, Belize - GO SLOW
If you're looking for island vibes, beautiful weather, underwater adventure, reggae beats, and good people, travel on over to Caye Caulker, Belize! In this video, I reunite with my best friend Allie and get to know the island of Caye Caulker.

Cuban Medical Scholarships Application
Cuba is offering scholarships for medical students for Belizeans between the ages of 18 and 25. This is an incredible opportunity, so if you like science, go for it! "The Government of the Republic of Cuba, under the Belize/Cuba Government Scholarship Programme, is once again awarding scholarships to the Government of Belize. The scholarship will allow qualifying Belizean students to enter the Escuela Latinoamericana de Ciencias Medicas (ELAM), in the city of Havana, Cuba, to pursue a medical degree... Applications packages can be downloaded and printed from Packages are also available at the Ministry of Education in Belmopan and District Education offices countrywide. Completed application packages must be hand-delivered to the office of the Tertiary and Post Secondary Education Services no later than May 17, 2013 and should be addressed to: Director, Tertiary and Post Secondary Education Services, Ministry of Education, West Block, Third Floor, Room 10, Belmopan"

Caribbean Film Showcase at GPC
Tonight at the George Price Centre in Belmopan, the 5th Travelling Caribbean Film Showcase is having their cocktail party and film screening. They will show two movies, one being from Cuba and the other from Jamaica. Everyone is invited, and it's free. "For more information, kindly contact Ms.Suzette Jayden, Coodinator, Film and Media Arts Unit, Institute of Creative Arts, National Institute of Culture and History, Facilitator, Belize Film Commission, Director, Belize International Film Festival. Tel: (501) 227-2110 / Cell: (501) 600-8283 ."

UB's Lady Jaguars Win at ATLIB
A big congratulations to the University of Belize's Lady Black Jaguars for winning the ATLIB football championship! They traveled to the Corozal district to play at Escuela Mexico on Sunday, and they brought back the 1st place trophy. "UB Lady Black Jaguars are the new ATLIB Football Champions after defeating Belize Adventist Junior College (BAJC), and Independence Junior College (IJC) on Sunday, April 14, 2013. The first game was against BAJC which ended in a 1-1 tie during regular time which meant the victory was going to be decided at the penalty shots. UB’s able goal keeper Idania Ramirez, stopped three penalties, and UB classified to the championship game. In the final game of the day UB scored the only goal of the game, Rosaria Cal was the striker of that decisive goal."

Rotaractor of the Month
Congratulations to Marlayna Hecker, who is the Rotaract Club of San Ignacio's Rotaractor of the Month. If you're interested in joing Rotaract, or just finding out more about all the great projects they do around Cayo, they meet at 7:00pm on Wednesdays at Hode's. Keep up the great work, Marlayna! "Why she joined Rotaract... Moving from another country gave me extra motivation to join groups here in Belize. Rotaract's proven history of service and professional development seemed the most attractive of the options out there. So far, I love the energy and overall attitude of the Rotaract San Ignacio club and look forward to working alongside my new friends."

Belize Fashion Week 2013
Cayo was well represented at the Belize Fashion Week in San Pedro. Joris Hendrik and Gabriela Berrera, with her Add!ction line, were there to show off their designs. Jose Luis Zapata was on hand capturing the magic of the catwalk. And is it just a coincidence that the catwalk is in the shape of a 'J' as in Joris? "An excellent Fashion Show at Fido's Courtyard featuring local and intenational models and designers. Feel free to share the photos. Enjoy! :~))"

BELTRAIDE / SBDCBelize workshop at Belize Fashion Week 2013
The Small Business Development Centre (SBDCBelize) main goal in Belize Fashion Week was the strengthening and capacity-building of eight Belizean Designers by providing training in Entrepreneurship, corresponding to Business plan development, Marketing and Sales workshops. These workshops provided the guidelines that cover the core elements that make up the foundation of a business; along with examples for proper development and marketing applications.

Channel 7

Bees Swarm and Kill Child In OW District
Tonight there is terrible news coming out of the Orange Walk District: a four year old boy is dead and his five year old brother, Pedro Thiessen is critical after they were swarmed by killer bees. Their father and his nephew – both adults – were also injured when they tried to save the children. According to preliminary reports, it happened in the Little Belize area this afternoon when the children were playing under a tree at Camp 70. The four year old boy was stung in the face and head and by the time they got him to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town, he was already dead. His brother is tonight at the Northern Medical Plaza – still in critical condition. We’ll have more on this story tomorrow.

The Real Rosewood Deal: DPM’s Brother Is @ Top Of Food Chain
Last week when the Rosewood news broke – it had the air of a scandal – a private trucking company carting out thousands of board feet of confiscated rosewood from the forestry compound in Belmopan. Since then, Government has tried to get in front of the story – but mostly they’ve ended up getting run over by it. And that’s because there hasn’t been any coherent and orderly explanation of what’s happening, why and when the decision was taken. But today, back from Istanbul and up to speed on all the latest developments, Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla addressed the media in an 8:30 press conference at the Fisheries building in Belize city. 7news had a front row seat:… This morning, Minister of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla was calm and at ease as she met with the media. She opened with a statement: Hon. Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development "The events of the past week have understandably given cause for concern. The decisions and actions were taken with full cognizance that the decision, while not being a popular one, was with the best interest to resolve an impasse in the local Rosewood trade. The rationale for Belize's decision - the Government's decision is based on several mutually supporting activities. To account for the entire volume of Rosewood currently available and to dispose of it and to concurrently be in compliance with a decision made by CITES on March 14th with respect with the trade in Rosewood. The CITES decision directly limits and affects the exportation of Rosewood in its raw form as logs or flitches, lumber, veneer and plywood sheets. With this in mind, the Ministry of Forestry Fisheries and Sustainable Development undertook to institute an amnesty period on all harvested Rosewood. The purpose of the amnesty is to allow all those persons in possession of Rosewood material to declare it to the Forest Department.

GOB In Talk With Norwegian; Causes Conservation/Cruise Sector Worries
Tonight, waves of concern continue to ripple across the Tourism Sector as the Government of Belize has engaged in talks with the Cruise Tourism giant, Norwegian Cruise Line, about a major Cruise terminal on a small island in Southern Belize. Reliable information to 7News is that NCL has approached GOB with a proposal to build a cruise port to call in Placencia. Part of the plan is to purchase Crawl Caye, which is a few miles away from mainland Placencia, to operate marine tours. Crawl Caye is a privately owned island currently on sale on the internet for 6 million US dollars. One of the major concerns about this development is that Crawl Caye sits inside the South Water Marine Reserve, which is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. Environmentalists have contacted our newsroom so provide us with the opinion that all the major development to accommodate this cruise port will have major environmental impacts because of the close proximity to the Barrier Reef, which the website advertisement proudly boasts of as a perk to owning the island.

Cab Driver Killed In ‘Griga
Police have recovered the murder weapon and have a suspect in the weekend’s only murder – which happened in Dangriga Town yesterday. The victim is 23 year old Charles Ariola – a taxi driver. Yesterday afternoon at around 3:45, he was hanging out in a yard when he had a misunderstanding with Herman Grant, who was along with Raheem Williams and Elton Martinez. They left and came back five minutes later and Grant slapped Ariola in the face. Ariola tried to grab him and that’s when Grant pulled out a 9 millimeter pistol and shot him in the chest. Ariola was rushed to the hospital, but died at 4:13 pm. Police recovered the pistol allegedly used by Grant loaded with three live rounds. 24 year old Herman Grant, 18 year old Raheem Williams, and a 17yr. old minor have been detained pending charges.

Boots Bangles Burglars
Tonight, 7 Belize City residents are facing criminal charges in relation to $31,000 dollars in stolen building supplies. The allegations are that between Thursday, April 11, and April 12, 3 houses in the final stage of construction at mile 1 on the Western Highway were burglarized. The thieves made off with doors, windows, window frames, and bathroom items such as the toilets, and basins. Well, quick police investigation led to the recovery of a large portion of the items, and the arrest of 43 year-old Louis Robinson, along with his wife and 15 year-old and 17 year-old daughters. They were charged with 2 counts of handling stolen goods, and they were arraigned today in Magistrate’s Court. After police intercepted the items at Robinson’s home, they were led to 26 year-old Michael Godoy, and 19 year-old Adrian Avaloy, who they arrested and charged jointly with 3 counts burglary. They were also arraigned in court today. They were also charged jointly with Mark Godoy Sr. with handling stolen goods because some of the items were connected back to these three men by police.

Hon. Elrington Says He’ll Walk Out Of OAS Meeting If Offensive Map Displayed
Tonight, the Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Alberto Ramdin is in Belize for a quick round of meetings, visits and a press conference. He’s not here to discuss the hardline position on the referendum that Guatemala has taken, that’s the Secretary General’s job. But, we gather, that he is here to talk about Belize’s presence at the 43rd General Assembly on June fourth in Antigua, Guatemala. There’s an issue because Guatemala is now including Belize on many of its official maps as part of its territory, separated only by a dotted line. It will also be on their new passport – and the PUP says that if they were in charge, no one with that passport would be allowed to enter the country. Today Foreign Minister Elrington took a more moderate position – while also laying down a hardline: Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Foreign Minister "I think that the way to handle these things is to solve it through diplomatic means or to solve it through legal means with the least discord and the least break in relationship between the two countries." Jules Vasquez "So you will attend the meeting on June 14th - the OAS General Assembly?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington "That would be the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be recommending to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet that we attend these meetings and if you're not at the table, you won't be able to defend yourself. You have to be at the table to be able to defend yourself."

Chavez Successor Squeezes Out A Victory in Presidential Elections
Hugo Chavez’s successor Nicolas Maduro is the new president of Venezueala, but only by the slimmest of margins. Maduro won with a mere 50.8% of the vote – the closest poll that country has seen in 45 years. His opponent Henrique Capriles is alleging voter fraud and has demanded a recount, but the Venezuelan Congress is opposing it. While that plays out, preserving the Chavez status quo is important for Belize and other countries in the region that have benefited from Chavissmo initiatives such as Petrocaribe, Housing Grants and Mission Milagro.

Canadian Tour Guides in Belize
Tonight, a small contingent of Canadian Tourism Industry professionals is in Belize to experience what the Belize tourism package has to offer. Canadian tourists are a major marketing target for the BTB because they contribute significantly to the annual numbers for overnight visitors. And so today, when they arrived at the PGIA, 7News spoke to them about the importance of experiencing Belize as opposed to just reading about it in some tourism article. Here’s what they told us. Alyssa Carnegie - Marketing Director, BTB "They are here to actually familiarize themselves with the Belize product and to get to know a little bit more about Belize. And to know what we have to offer so that they can better sell that to Canadian residents and potential visitors from Canada in the future. So it's really important because a lot of people are booking their vacation by travel agents. A lot of people anticipate that it's just to log on and go to a website and book their website. But that's not necessarily true. A lot of people use travel agents because they trust what their travel agents have to tell them. So it's important that these travel agents are familiar and know the product that they are selling as well. You wouldn't be a sales person and not know what you're selling. So it's important for them. The destination has also developed quite extensively. Belize has become very sexy and lots of new developments happening and they want to get to know that. They want to experience it and get to see what it's like firsthand."

Special Envoy Targets Sexual Abuse in New Book
Today, Kim Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation launched a children’s book called “My Body is Precious”. Monica Bodden found out what it’s about at today’s launch. Hundreds of primary School students from across the city were invited to the Bliss today for the launch of a children’s book entitled "My Body Is Precious". The book is a part of a national public information campaign on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. It is the brainchild of Belize’s First Lady and Special Envoy for Women and Children in collaboration with the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation. Kim Simplis Barrow - Special Envoy for Women and Children "It's a project that started like about three years ago. I had asked Starla to work with me to put together a piece of information that will be child friendly and that they children would be able to read easily and that parents would be able to feel comfortable with reading the story to their children. So we started working and putting all the elements together and then we embarked on bringing UNICEF on board and all the different players, getting an administrator and getting the printing company to work with us. It's been work in progress really. It really stems from protecting our children and my passion is children. I really wanted to ensure that we could provide something that these children could read and understand that their body is precious and no one has the right to touch them in a body way or in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable. This is what this book is all about."

Smart Science Students Shine In Regional Competition
Tonight, the Bishop Martin High School from Orange Walk is the recipient of much praise and recognition in the Caribbean after they won a regional science and technology competition, held in Barbados. The high school sent representatives to Barbados to participate in the Regional Sagicor Visionaries’ Challenge, and they won with their entry, Coconuts4life. They brought back 5 thousand US dollars in prize money, and so today, 7News got a chance to speak with one of the students who made the presentation. Here’s what he told us about what Coconuts4life means: Angel Navidad - 1st Place, Bishop Martin High School "It was about finding a problem in your community or school and taking it up as a challenge using Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to solve it and create more sustainable community." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about your project and how did it perform in terms of the judges expectations?" Angel Navidad "Our project was about an Eco-Park which was called 'Coconuts4life' which would give us Coconut Water to solve the dehydration problem in our school. It would give habitats because there are already forests and savannah where we planned to make it. We would also teach the people sustainable practices so that they can take it home and they can practice sustainable practices and like that you bring sustainability to the park and into the community to create a more sustainable community."

Cricel Castillo Shines In Florida Figure Competition
And while those students excelled in the Caribbean, Cricel Castillo made a name for Belize in Florida this weekend. The 24 year old participated in a figure bodybuilding competition in Boca Raton Florida this weekend and won first place in the Figure category. She’s actually there pursuing a master’s degree but she started to seriously work out while in Belize with her instructor Mr. Jones. And when she went to the US, she continued, honing her petite frame to near muscular perfection. And that’s what she was recognized for when she came out ahead of a group of 50 competitors, in her first major event. It’s quite an accomplishment and via phone from south Florida, she told us what made her stand out. Voice of Cricel Castillo - First place, Figure Competition, Diamond Classic, Florida "I was really scared out of my mind because I was really fighting for this dream so long and so hard but because it was all coming into place, it kind of scared me and I began questioning my body. Was I big enough? Was I ready? Will I make a fool of myself on stage? Will I represent Belize in a wrong way? All of those questions crossing my mind and at that point my coach handed me over these little Bible stories. So I prayed to Him for strength and for faith in myself. To be quite honest i think all of that exuded force throughout the day of the competition and that was actually something I was judged on so well. The judges all told me how confident I was and I had so much poise. They told me they could tell I was a dancer. All of this is for Belize."

Teenager Accused By Family Of Burning Down Their Home Goes To Court
Last week, 7News showed you 19 year-old Alexander Pitts, the young man suspected of burning down his family’s home on Holy Emmanuel Street. Well, tonight, he is on remand after he was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court today. As we reported, the house at lot 45 was set ablaze and the entire house was destroyed. Police and Fire Department officials arrived shortly after, and they detained Pitts. He was eventually arrested and charged with arson, and he was arraigned today in Magistrate’s Court. Due to the nature of the offences, he was remanded to prison until May 15, 2013, his next court date. As we showed you in our story on last week Thursday, the family believes that he was having some sort of mental episode. He reportedly stood on the street and watch the house burn down after he lit it on fire. Neither the home nor the contents were insured.

The Week Of Vansh Gifting Begins
As we told you last week, Xtrahouse owner Jack Charles wanted to do something special for his son Vansh’s birthday – something that would teach the six year old that on his birthday, instead of thinking about receiving gifts, he should be giving. Two years ago, he held a mass, gala birthday party for all children born on the same day as Vansh, that is April 19th. This year, he’s set up a mass giveaway, and he’s doing it along with Channel 7. Here’s how it works: all children all children 12 and under who are born on April 19th, between the years 2001 and 2012 can come to Channel 7 – with a proof of their birth date to pick up their gift bag and a gift certificate. The gift sharing started today and continues until Friday. The giveaway continues tomorrow. Starting at 1:30 pm and going to 5:30 pm, only if you are 12 or under and your birthday is April 19th, you can come to Channel 7 at the corner of Dean and Albert to get your gift.

Town Clock Re-Loaded
The Dr. Frederick Gahney Town Clock on Barrack Road has been there for decades – almost a century, actually. But it had earned the reputation for being one of those clocks that are only right twice a day; you know the kind, a busted clock. WELL, now it’s been renovated and it’s always right because RF and G insurance has sponsored a brand new clock. The mayor told us more at the launching today: Mayor Darrell Bradley "One of the things that RF&G felt that they wanted to give another gift to the residents of Belize City. This is a clock that has always been maintained by RF&G Insurance and they've give it a total face lift in terms of purchasing a brand new clock and giving it a new paint job. They will be continuing to do the maintenance for the clock of the tune of $20,000. It is very important as I said in the presentation, Belizeans always have a problem with time and this is another reminder, a gift from RF&G insurance that time is important and that we should always be on time."

Channel 5

Rosewood sold to brother of Minister Gaspar Vega
Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla took the hot seat this morning to explain the recent rosewood scandal. It includes a decision by Cabinet to declare an amnesty for those in possession of the precious hardwood, and to approve the sale and export of rosewood with government splitting the profits from sales. We’ll have that explanation in [...]

50/50 profit split, but Lisel Alamilla says it was cabinet decision
And from the rosewood which was under government lock and key, to all those countless board feet which were in hiding because of the moratorium and are now coming to light under amnesty. With the decision becoming public while Minister Alamilla was out of the country, many speculated that it was a case of ‘while [...]

Minister says Maya communities are part of rosewood extraction
The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde’s Association have issued a joint statement saying that they are deeply disturbed and utterly outraged by the actions of government. Spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance, Cristina Coc, told News five that it was an insult and a slap in the face of the Maya people. Well [...]

Belize to attend O.A.S. meeting in Guatemala, but may protest
The second highest ranking man in the Organization of American States is visiting. Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin is in Belize regarding relations among Belize, Guatemala and the O.A.S.  Ramdin will oversee the upcoming General Assembly that will be held in Antigua, Guatemala from the fourth to the sixth of June. That holds significance for [...]

Calls for O.A.S. and CARICOM must to defuse political tension
The Caribbean is also weighing in on the territorial dispute. An article in the Trinidad Express calls on CARICOM and the Organization of American States to step into the fray to defuse political tension between Belize and Guatemala—political tension which has resulted, according to the author, from Guatemala’s surprisingly hostile act to circulate a new [...]

Cab driver shot and killed in Dangriga
The most recent homicide takes us south to Dangriga where a taxi driver was shot on Sunday afternoon. Twenty-three year old Charles Ariola was blasted on the chest with a nine millimeter pistol; he died minutes later at the Southern Regional Hospital. Two men and a minor with whom Ariola was engaged in an argument [...]

4 year old dies following attack by killer bees
Two young boys were stung by killer bees today in Little Belize up north. The siblings, four year old Pedro and five year old Enrique Thiessen, were playing under a tree when they were attacked by the bees. They were rushed to the Northern Regional hospital, but the four year old, who was stung to [...]

Norwegian Cruise Line going to the south?
Is there a cruise ship port of call in the works for southern Belize? Talks of a massive tourism development project, to be spearheaded by Norwegian Cruise Line, has been bubbling below the surface for the past few weeks, despite strong objection from environmentalists, as well as residents of Placencia and surrounding communities.  Crawl Caye, [...]

Territorial Volunteers will get in trouble; Guats protest
In early April, the Belize Territorial Volunteers traveled to Dolores in Toledo to continue their “Clear the Border” project in which they intend to demarcate the border between Belize and Guatemala. During this second excursion, they alleged that a Guatemalan company called African Palm Plantation had its property on this side of the border. The [...]

If Guatemalan passports include Belize, entry into the country will be allowed
At the top of the newscast, you heard the Minister of Foreign Affairs say that the Belize delegation would walk out of the June O.A.S. General assembly if Guatemala produces images offensive to the territorial integrity of Belize. But Guatemala also intends on producing ten million passports that will annex Belize to its landmass. Would [...]

Diplomats called home to chart plan for Guatemala issue
Despite all the offensive actions taken by Guatemala showing that it is keeping the unfounded claim alive, Minister Elrington says his ministry must wait for an official response from the O.A.S. regarding Guatemala’s position regarding the October sixth referendum. Guatemala’s President, Otto Perez Molina, had requested via the O.A.S. that Belize amends the Referendum Act [...]

Alexander Pitts charged for burning down family home
A teenager is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison for allegedly setting on fire his family’s house in the Gungulung area last Thursday.  Nineteen year old Alexander Pitts was charged this morning with Arson in the court of Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Everything was lost in the blaze and according to police, the [...]

7 persons on bail for 3 house burglaries
Seven persons are currently on bail for charges related to the burglary of three government-constructed houses on the George Price Highway. Two men, twenty-six year old Michael Godoy and nineteen year old Adrian Avaloy were jointly charged with three counts of Burglary. It is alleged that sometime on the eighth or ninth of April, 2013, [...]

Baptist High School wins regional Sagicor Science Competition
After competing nationally, representatives from the Bishop Martin High School from Orange Walk Town travelled to Barbados to compete on the regional stage. It was no small feat as they took on equally bright science minds from other CARICOM countries with their project called Coconuts for Life.  The competition   targets the innovation of high school [...]

“My Body is Precious,” a children’s book on sexual abuse
My Body is Precious…that’s the name of a new publication that tackles sexual abuse against children. The brightly illustrated book makes for easy reading and was launched this morning as a special project by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow.  The book explains in clear and simple terms, the difference between [...]

Agents say Belize is top destination for Canadians
Canada is one of the prime markets for Belize as a tourist destination. Today a contingent of some twenty persons from the Canadian travel industry arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport. The travel agents, tour operators and travel press are participating in a seven-day familiarization trip organized by the Belize Tourism Board which will [...]

Chocolate forever, well loved conservationist passes away
A man who dedicated a great portion of his life to conservation has passed away. His efforts brought him critical and international acclaim by environmental groups. He was simply known as “Chocolate” to everyone he met. But eighty-three year old Leonel Heredia had been ill for two weeks and died from the effects of an [...]

Sports Monday highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week 12 of the PLB Football Season saw league leading and defending champions, Belmopan Bandits play host Saturday night to FC Belize who came into the Isidoro Beaton Stadium looking for the full three points in an effort to keep their playoff hopes alive. [...]


Bus Owner Seeks Compensation From Owner of Cow Following Collision
Last week Friday night a traffic mishap involving a bus and a cow occurred on Mile 10 which left the conductor of the buss with injuries and the bus owner frustrated. Bert Ramos, Owner of Ramos Bus Service says that a herd of cattle suddenly appeared crossing the road. Ramos says that ...

Orange Walk High School Wins Regional Science And Technology Competition In Barbados
On Friday, April 12, Belize was represented in the Regional Sagicor Visionaries’ Challenge in Barbados. Belize was represented by Bishop Martin High School of Orange Walk. The school’s idea was to showcase the coconut palm as a versatile element and that idea has gained Bis...

Minister Explains Decision For Amnesty Period On Rosewood
Last week the Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla and her Department received a lot of flak from quite a few sectors of the community over Cabinet’s recent decision to return the flitches of rosewood that have been illegally harvested and allow for their exportation. The d...

Centennial Celebrations In Belize Continue With The Pallotine Sisters
Major activities in connection with the Pallotine Sisters Centennial Celebrations in Belize continued Saturday in Belize City. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG "The event was marked by a centennial style Youth Jamboree and Liturgy held at Birds' Isl...

Three Persons Charged For Burglary On Government Houses
Three persons were charged in connection with the burglary of three houses that are being constructed by the Government when they appeared in court. They are Mark Godoy Sr. , his son , 26 year old Michael Godoy and 19 year old Adrian Avaloy. Michael and Adrian were charged with t...

Teenager Remanded To Prison Following Alleged Arson and Claim of Hearing Voices
Nineteen year old Alexander Pitts, an unemployed of Holy Emmanuel Street, who allegedly burned down a plywood house belonging to his mother, was charged with arson when he appeared today in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. No plea was taken from him because the offence is ind...

Renovated Town Clock Unveiled In Belize City; Mayor Makes Presentation On Behalf of Secretary of State for Illinois
Renovation work on the Dr. Frederick Gahne Town Clock located on Barrack Road in Belize City was unveiled this morning. The work of restoring the clock was done by RF&G Insurance as explained by Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley DARREL BRADLEY "RF&G for th...

Dangriga Police Investigate Taxi Man Murder
A taxi driver was murdered in Dangriga Town yesterday afternoon. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU "Shortly after 4pm yesterday police responded to a call from the Southern Regional Hospital about a shooting incident. Upon their arrival they ...

Special Book Launch Just For Children
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with the Ministry of Human Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund this morning launched “My body is precious” a book for little ones discussing the topic of child sexual abuse. The book dep...


Father Is Accused Of Abusing His 12 Year Old Daughter
When we report on cases of carnal knowledge or rape committed against female minors, it puts one to think what goes through the mind of the perpetrator. But when we hear that the victims aggressor is her own father we are lack for words. There is such a case being investigated in Orange Walk Town tonight. CTV3 News understands that over the weekend a 12 year old Belizean student visited the station in the company of her mother and reported that in the month of December 2012, her father took her to an abandoned house and had sexual intercourse with her. But that was not the first time the child was abused. She told police that at the age of four her father also had sexual intercourse with her. Indeed it is a disturbing report and one that police are investigating. The father of the 12 year old has not been detained by police since he is nowhere to be found.

OAS To Hold Meeting With Both Belize And Guatemala To Determine Faith Of Referendum
Tonight the October 6th Referendum continues in limbo an all indications are that the next fifteen days will be crucial ones as the future of the referendum will be decided. On Wednesday April 10th, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Fernando Carrera, traveled to Washington where he met with OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza and requested the postponement of the October 6th simultaneous referendum since Belize refuses to amend its referendum laws to a simple majority. After that meeting with Carrera, which Belize did not form part of; the OAS has decided to hold what is considered to be virtually the last meeting with both parties to decide the faith of the referendum during the last two weeks of April. The reunion must take place during the two week time frame since the Supreme Electoral Tribunal to the referendum to resolve the dispute at the International Court of Justice is expected to convene in May. Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina has stated on the record that his country will not take part in the referendum process if Belize does not change its referendum laws in order to level the playing field.

Corozal's Rainbow Beach Extended To Accommodate More Visitors
For several days now there has been a good amount of speculation regarding the destruction of the building that formerly housed the Lands Department In Corozal located near the Rainbow Beach Area. Word was that the building was demolished since the parcel of land, which belongs to Government, was awarded to a certain U.D.P Minister from the Corozal District. But apparently there is no substance to those rumors as Mayor of Corozal Town Hilberto Campos says, the building was demolished in order to extend the Rainbow Beach Area in order to accommodate more visitors.

Four Year Old Dies After He Is Attacked By A Swarm Of Killer Bees
Tonight the family of a four year old Mennonite boy from the community of Little Belize in the Corozal District is mourning his death after the child was attacked by a swarm of killer bees. CTV3 News understands that the four year old and his brother were playing behind the family’s residence located at Camp 70 in Little Belize when they were attacked by Africanized bees. Both boys were stung on the face and head but the four year old never made it to the hospital as he died while on the way.

Rosewood to be Sold To GIV, Company Owned by DPM's Brother
Last week the Government of Belize, particularly the Ministry of Forestry, came under fire after it was announced that Government was awarding a 19 days amnesty period for the sale and export of Rosewood to exporters who illegally harvest the precious wood during the moratorium that was set in place 13 months ago. The fact that the 19 days amnesty was implemented while Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla was out of the country, certainly raised eyebrows and left more questions than answers, answers, which received a response this morning during a press conference held by Minister Alamilla in Belize City. The press conference was scheduled for an unusual time, at 8:00am. It began at around 8:30 and lasted half an hour during which time; in a prepared speech, Minister Alamilla explained her government’s decision to carry out the 19 days amnesty program. According to Alamilla, the decision comes at the heels of the 16th Session of the Conference of Parties on the convention on International Trade in endangered species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Honorable Lisel Alamilla- Minister of Forestry “The events of the past week have understandably given cause of concern and the decisions and actions were taken with full cognizance that the decision while not being a popular one was with the best interest to resolve an in past in the local rosewood trade, since the rose wood moratorium was enacted we have had modest success in regulating the trade and export of rosewood. However addmitively so, we have been unable to get a firm grasp on the illegal harvesting of rosewood which has decreased considerably from the time the moratorium was put in place thus far we have in excess of three containers with over 25000 board feet of rose wood material in our possession and accounted for an possible a larger volume still in private storage or on the ground already cut.

BMHS Named Champions Of The Regional Sagicor Challenge
They were named the overall champions of the Belize Catholic Secondary High School National Science Fair on March 8th, and then they were the only High School from the Orange Walk District to enter the National Sagicor Visionaries Challenge and were named the National Champions On March 20th with their Coconut for Life Project. The win earned the Science group a spot in the regional competition that took place in Barbados from the 12th to the 13th of April. Tonight we are proud to report that Bishop Martin High School is making headlines both locally and internationally as they were named the regional champions of the Sagicor Challenge. Today Belize’s representatives, Science Teacher Shakira Gonzales and group member Angel Navidad travelled back to the country. Their flight arrived at the Philip Goldson International Airport at 10:00am where they were welcomed as true heroes. Of course, in light that Bishop Martin High School is from Orange Walk Town and us as the local media have always highlighted their achievements we travelled all the way to the airport to greet the duo. Elmer Cornejo reports. Elmer Cornejo- Reporting It was a grand homecoming for the winners of the Regional Sagicor Visionaries Challenge that was held in Barbados at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre from the 12th to the 13th of April. As Science teacher Shakira Gonzales and group member Angel Navidad arrived on the 10:00am fight of American Airlines from Miami they were greeted as true heroes. And the welcome was well deserved since the high school placed Belize on the International map with their Coconut For Life Project.

Family Left Homeless, Their House Goes Up In Flames
On Wednesday April 10th an early morning fire left the Barkley family homeless as their residence located on Woodpecker Street in the Village of Trail Farm, in Orange Walk Town, was swallowed by flames. The family of eight, was sleeping when the fire started in one of the bedrooms occupied by 29 year old Karina Barkley, her daughter 3 year old Natasha Regalado and her common-law-husband Douglas Leslie who sustained third degree burns to the to the hand, face and other parts of the body. While the Fire Department was unable to determine the exact cause of the fire the family believes that fish coil which was lit in the room started the blaze. And tonight another family is homeless this time they hail from the Village of Progresso in the District of Corozal. At around 6:00am on the 13th of April, 23 year old Wilfredo Silverto Lino, Belizean Laborer of Progresso Village and his wife left their residence to go visit Lino’s in-laws who live in the same village. Half an hour later Lino received a call from his neighbor informing him that his pimento house with zinc roofing was on fire. By the time Lino arrived at his residence it was already totally destroyed by the fire. The house had no electricity but a kerosene lamp was left lit inside. The house and its contents are valued at $6,000.00bcy. The Corozal Fire Department is presently investigating the matter.

Venezuelans Elect New President
Yesterday Venezuelans headed out to the polls for the second time in less than a year to elect a new president following the death of former President Hugo Chavez who passed away on March 5th after losing the battle against cancer. Shortly before midnight the president of Venezuela's National Electoral Council announced acting President Nicolas Maduro as the winner of Venezuela's election to fulfill the remainder of deceased leader Hugo Chavez's presidential term. The 50-year-old former bus driver and union leader whom Chavez named as his preferred heir before dying from cancer, edged out opposition challenger Henrique Capriles with 50.7 percent of the votes in yesterday’s election. Maduro won by a close margin as figures show that he earned seven million five hundred and five thousand three hundred and thirty eight votes while Capriles obtained seven million two hundred and seventy one thousand four hundred and three votes. That’s 235,000 fewer ballots. While Capriles, refused to recognize the result and said his team had a list of more than 3,000 irregularities ranging from gunshots to the illegal reopening of polling centers, the National Electoral Council has announced that these results are irreversible as almost 80% of eligible voters participated in the election.


Bus Owner Seeks Compensation From Owner of Cow Following Collision
Last week Friday night a traffic mishap involving a bus and a cow occurred on Mile 10 which left the conductor of the buss with injuries and the bus owner frustrated. Bert Ramos, Owner of Ramos Bus Service says that a herd of cattle suddenly appeared crossing the road. Ramos says that the driver of the bus could not avoid hitting the cows. Here is what Ramos told us today about the incident. BERT RAMOS “Friday night, coming from Belize City, approximately the bus leaves Belize City 7:30, I would say about 8pm approaching the airport area, a cow just came out of the bushes and ran across the road. At the same time, the driver for the bus Mr. Castillo was preventing from knocking the cow by holding on to his brakes but he could not prevent it and so if you noticed, he knocked the cow with this side of the bus and it caused all these damage here; broke up the hood of the bus, dented the bumper and caused the light to break out. It’s the cow that was hit caused all these damages. The conductor was by the door standing up and due to the collision, the conductor got hit on the back of his head on the rail that you hold on to when getting into the bus.” Ramos is looking for compensation for the damages to his buss and says that the buss cannot operate if the damages are not fixed. This, Ramos says, is causing him to lose money.

Minister Explains Decision For Amnesty Period On Rosewood
Last week the Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla and her Department received a lot of flak from quite a few sectors of the community over Cabinet’s recent decision to return the flitches of rosewood that have been illegally harvested and allow for their exportation. The decision was announced while the Minister was away and organizations such as the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, and the Maya Leaders Alliance have fired off their criticisms over the decision, which allows for an amnesty period, temporarily lifting a moratorium implemented 13 months ago. And just back in the country, Minister Alamilla faced the media today to answer the questions that have been raised in her absence. The rosewood saga, she said in a prepared speech, is a microcosm of an issue that is being addressed collectively worldwide and the decision, while not necessarily being a popular one, was taken to resolve an impasse in the local rosewood trade and that it had been a while in the making. Since the rosewood moratorium was enacted, Minister Alamilla said that the Forestry Department has had modest success in regulating the trade and exportation of the product. However, the department has been unable to have control over illegal harvesting of the product. Hence, the reason for the decision. LISEL ALAMILLA “The rationale for Belize’s decision, the government’s decision is based on several mutually supporting activities to account for the entire volume of rosewood currently available and to dispose of it and to concurrently be in compliance with decision made by CITES on March 14 with respect to the trade in rosewood.

Centennial Celebrations In Belize Continue With The Pallotine Sisters
Major activities in connection with the Pallotine Sisters Centennial Celebrations in Belize continued Saturday in Belize City. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG “The event was marked by a centennial style Youth Jamboree and Liturgy held at Birds’ Isle with welcome remarks by Christine Smith of the Coordinating Committee while committee member, Lincoln Gillett introduced the dynamic and vibrant Guest Speaker, founder of Eternal Light Community in Trinidad and Tobago, Deborah de Rocia. Her inspirational and touching presentations focused on vital topics, call, gifted and sent directed to the youths of Belize.” DEBORAH de ROCIA “Young people: God is counting on you; God is depending upon you; he has given you by vitality; he has given you the fullness of life; he wants you to know that from your mother’s womb he called you, he consecrated you that you could be his very own. He wants to remind you that you are precious, that you are honored, that he loves you and that you must bring hope to your younger brothers and sisters. You must call them that they too must know that they are called; they are loved by God, He wants to befriend them and that God gifted them; God has gifted all of you. Use your gift, use your talent to build a new society for God is raising up a Kaleb and a Joshua generation that will bring the message of Christ, the message of salvation to all young people. May god bless you.”

Three Persons Charged For Burglary On Government Houses
Three persons were charged in connection with the burglary of three houses that are being constructed by the Government when they appeared in court. They are Mark Godoy Sr. , his son , 26 year old Michael Godoy and 19 year old Adrian Avaloy. Michael and Adrian were charged with three counts of burglary. All three were charged with handling stolen goods. They pled not guilty to the charges and they were each offered a bail of $4,000.00. Their case was adjourned until June 6. The burglary occurred between April 11 and April 12. The police reported that several persons burglarized three houses that are being constructed in the Linda Vista area and they stole six exterior wooden doors, nine interior wooden doors, 6 exterior door locks, nine interior door locks, one toilet bowl and one wash basin. The police reported that the following day April 12, they went to Godoy’s house and they recovered all of the stolen items.

Teenager Remanded To Prison Following Alleged Arson and Claim of Hearing Voices
Nineteen year old Alexander Pitts, an unemployed of Holy Emmanuel Street, who allegedly burned down a plywood house belonging to his mother, was charged with arson when he appeared today in the #2 Magistrate’s Court. No plea was taken from him because the offence is indictable. The prosecutor objected to bail for Pitts own safety because Pitts ,who appears to be mentally challenged, said that he was hearing voices and some creatures who did not have human faces were after him. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser upheld the objection and remanded Pitts into custody until May 15. Pitts has a laceration around his neck and according to reports he tried to hang himself. The incident occurred on April 11. Police reports are that Pitts completely destroyed the house which had a value of $8,000. And its contents, valued at $3,000.

Renovated Town Clock Unveiled In Belize City; Mayor Makes Presentation On Behalf of Secretary of State for Illinois
Renovation work on the Dr. Frederick Gahne Town Clock located on Barrack Road in Belize City was unveiled this morning. The work of restoring the clock was done by RF&G Insurance as explained by Mayor of Belize City, Darrel Bradley DARREL BRADLEY “RF&G for the last ten years has been maintaining the clock at their cost and what they did is that they had approached the City Council about two months ago and have indicated they wanted to make a substantial contribution in terms of the renovations of the clock. So, they purchased brand new clocks which require far less mechanization; it doesn’t require being wounded up and when electricity goes out, it will automatically reset itself. We expect that this clock will last a long time. They refurbished the clock, in terms of painting, planting around the clock and it was at a total cost of twenty thousand Belize dollars and they have pledged with us that they will continue to maintain it so that future residents of Belize City can benefit from this. We just wanted to express our thanks this morning at this opening ceremony for the gift of the town clock. Of course the town clock has a long history in Belize. It was constructed by residents who pooled their resources together in the 19(teens) at the death of Dr. Fredrick Gahne who was from Scotland and he came to Belize to give his gift of medical services to residents of Belize. He also served in the Town Board for Belize City and the Belize District Council so he was a local government leader also in Belize. The clock honours his memories and RF&G really stepped up to the plate today to ensure that this clock is preserved for future generations of Belizeans.” This morning’s ceremony on Barrack Road also featured the donation of mats to the Belizean Tumbling Association.

Dangriga Police Investigate Taxi Man Murder
A taxi driver was murdered in Dangriga Town yesterday afternoon. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the details. HARRY ARZU “Shortly after 4pm yesterday police responded to a call from the Southern Regional Hospital about a shooting incident. Upon their arrival they observed 23-year-old, Charles Ariola, taxi driver suffering from a single gunshot wound to his left chest. Police told Love News that Ariola was receiving medical treatment for his wound but died shortly after their arrival. Preliminary investigations revealed that Ariola was sitting with some friends in a yard on George Price Drive, where the Human Development Office was once located when three male persons approached him. According to police report one of the male persons and Ariola got into an altercation; the visitors left the scene and promised to return; on their arrival back to where Ariola was, the individual who had the conflict with Ariola confronted him once again and hit him with a handgun to his face. As a result, Ariola tried to defend himself but he was stopped by a single gunshot to the left side of his chest. He was rushed to the Southern Regional Hospital, where he underwent treatment for his injury but died shortly afterwards. Police now has three persons in custody including a minor; the alleged shooter is said to be from Belize City and is no stranger to Police nor the Hattieville Prison. Officials from this municipality and residents condemned this senseless killing. Police also confirmed that they found the murder weapon in the Rivas Estate Area where the alleged shooter was living. Police continue their investigation as they put the pieces of this puzzle together.

Special Book Launch Just For Children
The office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children along with the Ministry of Human Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund this morning launched “My body is precious” a book for little ones discussing the topic of child sexual abuse. The book depicts three children discussing their knowledge of good and bad touch, and the person who blew the life into these characters is Starla Bradley Acosta, the Director of the Community Rehabilitation Department in the Ministry of Human Development. She told Love News that her inspiration came in part by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow who approached her about writing a book on the topic. STARLA BRADLEY ACOSTA “She approached me through the CEO at the time, even before I was working at the ministry to partner on this project and I immediately said yes because talking about the issue of sexual abuse, it has to start in the home; it’s the parents’ responsibility to have that discussion. We are not taking that away from the parent but we are hoping to help the parents by giving them this book as tool to become comfortable with the information and to talk to their children about sexual abuse and to transmit some of the family values that they want their children to have. It’s a primary prevention tool, it’s prevention education; this by itself can’t stop sexual abuse if a perpetrator is more powerful but it’s the first line of defense, if you will, in the sense that is gives children that voice, it teaches them that their bodies are precious , that it should be respected and each part should be called by name and that other people should respect it too.


Minister of Forestry explains Rosewood amnesty
All of last week, PLUS News has been tracking developments in the rosewood trade which has seen would-be exporters carting off their goods from the Forestry compound in Belmopan and the Ministry suddenly advising of an amnesty in the trade that runs to April 26. All of this while...

Taxi-driver gunned down in Dangriga
A young taxi-driver was murdered in Dangriga, on Sunday. Harry Arzu reports. Harry Arzu – Dangriga Correspondent: Shortly after 4pm yesterday police responded to a call from the Southern Regional Hospital about a shooting incident. Upon their arrival they observed 23-year-old, Charles Ariola, taxi driver suffering from a single...

Six detained following stabbing of Police Officer
Six persons, five of them minors, have been detained in connection to a stabbing of a police officer. The off-duty police officer, Constable Joseph Perez, was socializing with a relative at a bar in Cotton Tree village on Friday night. That is when he was stabbed to the left...

BDF soldier in critical condition after traffic accident
A BDF soldier is in critical condition after he was knocked down by a pickup truck. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, 20 year old Rodrick Che, a BDF soldier of Big Falls Village in the Toledo District, was walking on the Big Falls Bridge, while heading toward...

OAS calls meeting between Belize and Guatemala
Prensa Libre: Guatemala says that the next 15 Days of Public consultation are crucial to the referendum process between Belize and Guatemala. The Paper reports that the Organization of American States (OAS) has called a meeting between the authorities of Belize and Guatemala which will potentially be the last...

Protest delays cycling election in the West
Last week we told you about a protest filed by representatives of the cycling community in the West. That protest has now delayed the national election that was set for Wednesday, April 17. We’ll have more on that later in this story, but first to the University of the...

Orange Walk Police investigate sexual abuse allegation
Orange Walk Police are investigating a very disturbing sexual abuse allegation. A father is being accused of having sexual intercourse with his now 12 year old daughter on two separate occasions – last year December and another time when she was 4 years old. The father is presently being...

Van crashes after being chased by gunman
Sometime on Saturday there was a traffic accident at the corner of Freetown Road and St. Thomas Street. Information to PLUS News is that the driver of a van was apparently being chased from the corner of Evergreen and Mahogany Street by an unidentified gunman with shots being fired....

New booths in Belize City Precinct One will enhance response time
On Friday you heard from Officer Commanding Precinct One in Belize City, Superintendent Alden Dawson. Supt. Dawson praised the community initiative that has flowed from his many interactions since February 27 when he took office but admits there is more to be done. One of those plans is expansion...

Frederick Gahne Town Clock is renovated
This morning the Belize City Council stopped to pay tribute to a respected man in Belize City history and acknowledge a corporate partner. The Frederick Gahne Town Clock on Barrack Road near the intersection with Victoria Street and Freetown Road was built shortly after the Scottish doctor’s death in...

Belmopan preschool receives playground equipment
This morning, Linda Escalante, Branch Manager for Tropigas Belmopan held an official ceremony at the St. Michael’s Pre-School in Las Flores, Belmopan; where she handed over a swing set for the 32 preschoolers who attend there. Escalante spoke with Plus TV and told us how the initiative came about....

Belizean national sentenced to life in prison in the US
A Belizean national has been sentenced to life in prison in the US penitentiary, after he pleaded guilty to the murder of his estranged girlfriend’s daughter. 41 year old Juan Enrique Torres, in an attempt to avoid being charged with capital murder and going to trial, plead guilty last...

Farmer makes gruesome discovery after cows went missing
A man says he made a gruesome discovery after his cows went missing. A Belizean carpenter of Santa Familia Village told Police that between April 4th and April 11th, three cattle were stolen from his pasture, two of whom were pregnant. While searching for them at a race track...

Local tumblers recieve donation of equipment
Tumbling gymnastics is enjoying a renaissance with the visit of a professional group led by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White to Belize last month. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley, our local boys made quite the impression on him, leading to a donation made this morning in Belize City....

Belize Medical College bring benefits for Belize
This week, PLUS News takes an extensive look at the issue of international medical colleges in Belize. We begin with Central American Health Sciences University-Belize Medical College (CAHSU-BMC), established in 1996 and which is based on the Burrell Boom-Hattieville Road at the old Datapro compound. It’s executive director Dr....

Venezuela has a new president
Venezuela has a new President. Nicholas Maduro, who the late Hugo Chavez named as his preferred heir, beat out opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, by a razor margin on Sunday, to become Venezuela’s new “el commandante.” The Central Electoral Commission is reporting that Maduro won with a less than two...

600 enrolled in the Police Department’s Youth Cadet Corps
More than 600 youth countrywide are enrolled in the Police Department’s Youth Cadet Corps which has been established since 1994. The program according to the Department places emphasis on instilling sound discipline, respect for authority, leadership and team building skills among young people between the ages of 8 and...

Former coach of the Belize National Football Team on Plus TV
We’d like to encourage you to stay tuned to tonight’s edition of SportsZone, where host Raynard Garbutt will have an exclusive sit down interview with former coach of the Belize National Football Team, Leroy Sherrier Lewis. You may remember that Lewis was the architect of Belize’s best performance at...


7 Cool Facts about the Praying Mantis
Mantidae (also known as praying mantis) is the common name for an insect of the order Mantodea which are mostly tropical or subtropical. The insect is named after the distinctive way they hold their front legs up and together as in a prayer and in Greek the word “mantis” means prophet or fortune teller. According to David Juarez, a Chaa Creek Naturalist Guide, Praying mantis can be found in all parts of the world with mild winters and sufficient vegetation. In this blog post, David highlights 7 cool facts about the praying mantis. 1.) The praying mantis is a large insect that can be found in gardens and is a predatory species that is always on the prowl eating any insect that moves. 2.) The praying mantis has a triangle head with huge compound eyes and chewing mouth parts that swivels freely atop a long, narrow pro thorax ( first section of the thorax),which also carries the highly modified, grasping forelegs with their array of hooks and spines. 3.) Mantis are cryptically colored to be like the plant on which they lie in wait, and projections of the cuticles of the body and legs often enhance their likeness to bark, twigs, leaves or flowers.

“I Like It, I Love It” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up way, way too early yesterday morning at 2.45 am. The consequence of going to bed too early the previous night at just after 10 pm. This after I had dozed off in the chair. I like to get up early but this is ridiculous. Message to self – stop going to sleep early at night! Caught up with the UK and world news with The Times on-line and then set about taking care of administrative stuff. First off being an email to Atlantic International Bank Link requesting a bank draft for the sum of US$ 1,950 payable to the Belize Tourism Board so that I could make the final payment for acceptance in to the “”QRP”. With acceptance for “QRP” I can now order a golf cart (I still have to get a Belize driver’s license and permission to import the vehicle but these should be mere formalities – hope that these are not “famous last words”) so next off was an email to Captain Sharks to place an order for the model/type of golf cart that Rose and I are going for. A Club Car XRT 850 (gas) with the ‘flip,flop’ seat.

International Sources

The Mayans the Mass and Me
Sorry not to have been blogging for some time, but after a week’s vacation in Belize I need a few days to catch up. While in Belize we had the chance to visit some Mayan ruins. I climbed to the top of the main pyramid in Caracol and sitting up there on a beautiful day in April, the jungle birds crying and the jungle trees and neatly trimmed lawned–I imagined the priests offering their sacrifices of grain and human lives to their sky gods. It was a different scene then. The forests all cut down, the barbaric rites continued in fear and desperation as famine and starvation loomed. The critics of Catholicism–both Protestant and atheist–might say, “Geesh, it’s not really any different than what you do is it Father?” They’d argue, “Don’t you also get dressed up and ascend to the heights of the holy place where you offer a sacrifice of bread and blood? Don’t you say this is the Body of Christ? Aren’t you making the same pagan sacrifices of body and blood and grain to the sky god hoping that he will bring you prosperity and peace?” The Protestant will turn away in horror at the idea that Catholicism is simply brutal paganism warmed up and the atheistic materialist will turn away in ridicule and disgust that we still believe such superstitious ideas and practice such crude religious magic.

Guatemala Adding Fuel To Belize Dispute
As a Belizean American citizen, I hereby congratulate The Gleaner for its editorial on what Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nations should do to Guatemala for failing to comply with the binding agreement it signed with Belize to take their dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for final resolution. Guatemala is not going to go to the ICJ because it is convinced that most Belizeans will vote no to go to the ICJ with this dispute, and the Guatemalan government does not want this matter to be resolved once and for all through the courts. Successive Guatemalan governments have been using this issue for decades to divert their people's attention from more serious internal problems their country is experiencing and to obtain power during the elections.

Moody’s Upgrades Belize Credit Rating, Warns of “Debt Overhang”
New York-based Moody’s has upgraded the credit rating on Belize’s government bonds, the firm announced Monday. The rating has been lifted to Caa2 from Ca, with a “stable” outlook. The move comes after Belize restructured its $547 million “Superbond,” which is due in 2029. That included what became Belize’s second default in the last seven years. But while Moody’s said the restructuring would provide “temporary liquidity relief,” it is “insufficient in addressing Belize’s debt overhang.” Looking forward, a number of structural factors will keep the government’s rating in the Caa space for the next two to four years, the firm said, pointing to Belize’s track record of two defaults in seven years, something that “signals a weak institutional willingness and ability to service external debt.”

Moody's Lifts Belize Rating Two Notches After Restructuring
Moody's Investors Service lifted Belize's bond rating two notches after the country restructured its sole foreign currency bond, saying its liquidity has improved. Moody's lifted Belize's rating to Caa2, eight steps into junk territory and still considered a very high credit risk. The outlook is stable. The upgrade reflects an improvement in the government's liquidity position after it restructured its external commercial debt, Moody's said. But the firm said that the debt overhang wasn't cured by the default and continues to impair Belize's credit solvency. Belize last month restructured its $47 million "Superbond" due 2029. Moody's said that the restructuring should provide temporary liquidity, but is "insufficient in addressing Belize's debt overhang." The Central American country became the first sovereign default since Greece in September, after bondholders refused a request by the country's central bank to accept a 45% cut to what they were owed, or delay payments for 15 years.

Expats in Belize Who Say Freedom Appeals as Much as Low Taxes
In the States, Americans may be griping about taxes this time of year, but American expats in Belize are taking them in stride. U.S. citizens are taxed on their worldwide income, but American expats in the Caribbean nation of Belize report that the move has allowed them to reduce their tax burden, lower their cost of living, slash their stress levels, and increase their sense of freedom. With white-sand beaches and the second-largest coral reef in the world, Belize’s coast and islands look quintessentially Caribbean. However, the former British colony, where English is the first language, comes with a far lower cost of living than that found in its more high-profile Caribbean neighbors. And the potential savings for would-be expats goes further. In order to attract retirees from other countries, Belize has adopted a “qualified permanent residence law,” which allows foreign retirees to live in the country while paying zero tax on their foreign-earned income.

CXC hosting stakeholder events in Jamaica
The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) will host three one-day stakeholder events in Jamaica during the week of 23 April. The Council is hosting a seminar for guidance counsellors from Belize, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Turks and Caicos Islands on Wednesday 24 April; a seminar for journalists from the four islands on Thursday 25 April; and a students’ forum for students from Jamaica on Friday 26 April. The events form part of CXC’s stakeholder relationship management programme over the next three years. The goal of the seminar for journalists is to provide journalists around the region with information pertaining to CXC, its products and services, to enable them to better report on stories related to CXC and its examinations, from a position of knowledge and an adequate understanding of the CXC system.

April 15, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The April 14, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Four Charged For Ten Bullets:
    lena, Cayo led to the discovery of ten bullets and the arrest of all four occupants of the house. It was in the early hours of the morning on Thursday, April 11, when at team of policemen, acting upon information received visited the residence of Kaing Contreras located on Eden Drive in Santa Elena. Armed with a search warrant the police arrived at exactly 3:45 am announcing their intention to search the house. Contreras reportedly invited the police to conduct the search which eventually led to the kitchen where a plastic bag, containing 10 live rounds of FC 25 ammunition was found in a plastic bag on top of the refrigerator. The discovery led to the detention of all four occupants of the house who were later identified as the home owner Kaing Contreras, 27, clerk; Shelly Lemus, 22, domestic and Alvaro Aldana, 19, labourer, all Belizeans and a 17 year old Guatemalan labourer, Angel Ermando Recinos all residing at the Eden Drive house.
  • Vega and Meda Busted With Over One Hundred Pounds Of Weed:
    San Ignacio police is this week reporting the interception of a cargo of over one hundred pounds of western weed suspected to have been destined for eastern streets. The report reaching us indicate that the sun was just setting in the western horizon when shortly before 6:00 pm on Thursday, April 4 San Ignacio police received the initial information of a weed carrying car heading eastward. By the time San Ignacio police got its act together, the car carrying the weed had already slipped pass San Ignacio from Benque Viejo heading full speed ahead in an easterly direction.
  • Police Investigates Police Traffic Accident:
    A four year old boy, the victim of a road traffic accident involving a police vehicle, was today rushed to the Community Hospital in San Ignacio. It was shortly after 7:00 pm on Tuesday, April 9, 2013 when police driver/Special Constable Domingo Kan, 46, was driving a black police Hilux with Belmopan license plates B-0145 on Bullet Tree Road heading to the San Ignacio Community on official police duties. In a report to the police, Kan informed that as he was driving on Bullet Tree Road he observed a child dashing across the road in the pathway of the vehicle he was driving.
  • Empowering Education, for Children in Today’s Society:
    Students of the University of Belize from the of Faculty of Education and Arts, Belmopan Campus, will hold a community outreach symposium entitled: “Empowering Education for Children in Today’s Society”. The bi-annual event will be held on April 18, 2013 from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm at the reception hall, Jaguar Building. The symposium is aimed at enriching participants with an understanding and strategies to overcome barriers that negatively impact teaching and learning. Informational booths will be on display about important topics concerning: Career Options, Vocational Programs, Parent workshop for CXC, Workshop for PSE, Motivational Learning, Managing Stress, Behavioral Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: ADHD, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder: ODD.
  • Mendez Pleas Guilty To Criminal Charges:
    The court appearance of a Benque Viejo Town pharmacist was fast tracked this Thursday morning when the presiding Magistrate, Attorney Linsbert Willis, was advised by the defense of the intention of the accused to change from a not guilty to a guilty plea. Cesar Mendez, brother of PUP Orange Walk East area representative, Marco Tulio Mendez, was criminally charged back in June of last year with three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature committed against a 12 year old female minor. Since the arrest last year, Mendez has consistently maintained a not guilty plea. The next appearance in court was set for Thursday, April 25 as court cases are currently heard only on Thursdays in Benque Viejo Town.
  • Uncle Accused Of Molesting Nieces:
    prison as he stands accused of sexually assaulting two of his nieces. A mother, accompanied by two daughters, visited the police station in Benque Viejo Town where the two minors, in statements to the police informed that the uncle had sexual relations with one and touched the other inappropriately. A medical examination conducted last Friday, April 5, confirmed that the thirteen year old girl was indeed carnally known. She told the police that her uncle, Alejandro Martinez had sexual intercourse with her, against her will, on two separate occasions the last such encounter being in June 2012.
  • Mexico Government Says Drug-Related Murders Down By 14%:
    Mexico's government says there have been fewer drug-related murders in Mexico since President Enrique Pena Nieto came to power on 1 December 2012. It said the number of drug-related killings between December and April had fallen by 14% compared to the same period a year earlier. Mr Pena Nieto says the fight against crime is one of his main priorities. Shortly after coming into office he announced the creation of a new police force. 'Early days' Government spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said 4,249 people had been killed by organised crime gangs between 1 December 2012 and 1 April 2013, a fall of 14% compared to the same four months a year earlier. The government of former president Felipe Calderon stopped releasing figures of drug-related violence in September 2011, but Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said the federal government had continued to keep a tally.
  • US Blacklists Honduran 'Drug Lord' Chepe Handal:
    The United States Treasury has frozen any assets held in the US by the alleged leader of a Honduran drug-trafficking organisation. The US Treasury accused Jose Miguel Handal Perez, known as "Chepe Handal", of smuggling cocaine from Colombia and Venezuela to Mexican drug cartels. Mr Handal and his family have been banned from doing any business with US citizens and companies. He has denied the accusations. "They fell on me like a bucket of water. We are trying to clarify the situation, as we do not know where they originate," he told the AFP news agency. His wife, Ena Elizabeth Hernandez Amaya, and his father, Jose Miguel Handal Larach, have also been blacklisted by the US Treasury.
  • Another Load Of Guatemalan Weed:
    Police is reporting the seizure of yet another cargo of Guatemalan weed making its way into Belize. While the earlier cargo this week was captured by San Ignacio police, Benque Viejo police is claiming fame for this one weighing a few more pounds than the San Ignacio Police seizure. It was exactly ten minutes to midnight on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, when Benque Viejo police received information of a group of male persons waking on the Hydro road towards Benque Viejo Town carrying suspicious cargo “Makapal” style on their backs and strapped across their shoulders. Police rushed to the location where they came upon a group of men on the Hydro Road. Realizing that the visitors were policemen, the men dashed into nearby bushes and disappeared into the night and in the process leaving behind three sacks later found to contain weed, water, food and a few items of clothing.
  • National Agriculture and Trade Show:
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee is pleased to announce the winners of this year Farmers of the Year 2013: Senior Farmer – Mr. George Choj. Mr. Choj is 30 years old of Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District. He currently owns 25 acres of land of which 12 acres are developed into crop and livestock. Mr. Choj’s farm is diversified and mostly based on the Integrated Farming System Concept. His activities involve both Crop (Periurban) and Livestock production through which he maximizes the by-products of each activity to generate income, reduce cost and improve product quality. Woman Farmer – Mrs. Sharon Moody. Mrs. Moody is from Scotland Half-moon in the Belize District and is 28 years of age. Mrs. Moody is a dedicated farmer who has been involved in mixed farming activities for the past seventeen years. Her farm consists of a combination of agricultural activities which include crop and livestock production. Her farm produces an assortment livestock for consumption and for the local market also she is involved in the agro processing of diverse products to include goat cheese, jams, jellies, pine apple, cashew, coconut oil and cohune oil for income generation.
  • Tens Of Thousands At US Immigration Reform Rallies:
    Tens of thousands of demonstrators have rallied across the US in a mass call for citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. The co-ordinated protests were designed to press Congress to act as senators negotiate an immigration reform bill. In Washington DC cheering crowds gathered outside the Capitol, and more than 1,000 demonstrated in Atlanta. Lawmakers are expected soon to unveil a bill that would grant a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants. The push for immigration reform follows an election in which Hispanic voters overwhelmingly supported President Barack Obama and Democratic candidates.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

The April 14, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Plus TV Defames Saldivar?:
    Belmopan Rep Takes Andrews and Plus TV to Court. Minister of National Security and Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar has filed a law suit against Patrick Andrews and PLUS TV for comments made by Andrews against Saldivar, comments which the Minister says cannot be proven, that are absolutely untrue and manufactured. The comments were made by Andrews on Plus TV’s Morning Show, Rise and Shine in an exchange between Andrews and Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber who was a guest on the show. Andrew’s comments were regarding the use of public funds which Saldivar, as an area representative, was authorized to utilize, in accordance with financial regulations, to provide assistance to his constituents during the Christmas Season.
  • The Media Polices Everyone Who Will Police the Media ?:
    Over the past two decades or so, there has been a proliferation of media entities, mainly electronic; and talk shows, mainly on weekday mornings, have become a staple of the Belizean diet. The competition has grown exceedingly intense as every media organization endeavours to dominate listenership, which means being able to feed the public’s insatiable appetite for scandal and sensation. It is, some will argue, an inevitable feature of a developed, in our case, a developing society. It is often hailed as Liberalism and an essential tool of a vibrant Democracy.
  • New Deputy Mayor for Belmopan:
    At a meeting of the Belmopan City Council held on Tuesday, 9th April 2013, Mr. Joel Westby was elected as the new Deputy Mayor of Belmopan for 2013-2014. He succeeds Councillor Amilcar Umaña who held the post for two consecutive years, 2011/2012 and 2012/2013. Mr. Westby is a well-known educator who is presently teaching at the Kuxlin Ha Government School in Belmopan. The Mayor, Councillors and Workers of the Belmopan City Council wish him every success in his new assignment.
  • Belmopan Bandits T-Shirts for Sale:
    Fans of the Belmopan Bandits Football Club are advised that the official Bandits Team Jersey is on Sale at a price of $50.00 each. Visit our Team Facebook page at www.facebook/ belmopanbandits or email us at bmpbanditsfc@gmail. com or call: 626-8362. Dress Like a Winner !
  • Paving the Road to Sea-Side Paradise:
    Project launched to Upgrade Hopkins Access Road. A Launching Ceremony to signal the start of works for the upgrading of the Hopkins road from the Southern Highway to the Main Street of Hopkins Village at King Cassava was held Friday afternoon April 12, 2013. The project, funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union (E.U.) as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II, is being executed through a contract with Belize Roadway Construction in partnership with Rodla Construction Company Ltd. Tourists and Belizeans alike with the desire to travel and explore the country of Belize will enjoy the outcome of the project, which will result in the 4 ½ mile access road upgraded from gravel to paved status. The project will not only enhance the beauty and appeal of travelling to Hopkins, but will also increase the livelihoods of the people of the village through the expected influx of visitors and the inevitable proliferation of new business in the village of Hopkins.
  • WANTED: ‘The Blessing’:
    What the Old Testament Jewish family knew and the Orthodox-Jewish family knows as ‘the Blessing’, which translates to the love, attention, encouragement and security that all children need, is missing from our homes. It is no secret that the home or lack thereof, is the primary reason for the escalating mayhem in our Belizean society. The absence of parental guidance, love and acceptance, replaced by indifference, neglect and abuse has had serious consequences in many children’s lives. Unless there is some positive intervention, these children become youths and adults who are unable to feel accepted by others and to build meaningful relationships; they become withdrawn and without concern for others and when they have children of their own they believe that they have no blessing to pass on to them.
  • Water Rates to remain unchanged April:
    On December 31, 2012, in accordance with the Water and Sewage (Tariffs) Byelaws, 2002 (S.I. 67 of 2002), the Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) made a proposal to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) that there be no Annual Review Proceeding (ARP) for the determination of tariffs for the Annual Tariff Period (ATP) April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014, and that the current tariffs remain unchanged. In accordance with the said Byelaws, the PUC concluded that there was no exceptional circumstances to warrant that an ARP be initiated on the PUC’s own volition and accepted BWS’ proposal. Consequently, the currently approved tariffs, fees and charges shall remain in effect for the ATP April 1, 2013, to March 31, 2014. The approved tariffs, fees and charges are as follows:
  • Training, Training and More Training:
    Police Officers Complete Course in Maneuvering Motorcycle. For our disciplined forces, every aspect of their work and operations must be executed with skill, professionalism and teamwork if they are to be effective. It might seem like a minor matter, but even the art of maneuvering a motorcycle through the streets of the city requires some specialized training. This past week, over twenty Police officers completed a three-day course in basic motorcycle maneuvering. Most of the officers taking part in the training were first time motorcycle riders. The officer in charge of the training, Sergeant Jerome Stevens, speaking with the Government Press Officer, explained: “The purpose of this training class is to allow the Police officers to learn to ride motorcycles.
  • Major Upgrade Underway:
    The National Agriculture and Trade Show, a traditional, annual event, is less than a month away and plans are well underway for it. This year it’s not just the regular, routine preparation, but major physical upgrading of the show grounds on the outskirts of the Nation’s Capital, and significant changes in the lineup of activities for the event itself. After leading a weekend tour of the show grounds by members of the media, CEO Jose Alpuche on Monday accompanied Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Hon. Gaspar Vega on a thorough inspection of the work in progress.
  • Precinct Policing Produces Progress:
    When Commissioner Allen Whylie took over command of the Police Department on January 9, 2013, one of the first things he stated quite clearly was that under his leadership the Police Department, the structure and style of Police Department would not be rigid but would rather be subject to whatever changes are necessary in order to be efficient and effective in fighting crime and restoring and maintaining citizens’ security and safe communities. “ We are challenged with the issue of crime countrywide, but in particular, in Belize City,” the Commissioner said. “I want to tell you, don’t despair. I am committed; the leadership is committed; the government is committed to make the necessary changes to ensure that the citizenry across this country, and in particular Belize City, can enjoy the level of safety and security that they deserve; and I will work tirelessly, the senior officers and the members of this Belize Police Department will work tirelessly.
  • Lakers Might Make It To the Playoffs:
    Kobe Bryant had surgery Saturday on his torn Achilles tendon, ending his season with two games left in the Los Angeles Lakers’ playoff chase. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti thinks Bryant will need at least six to nine months for recovery from the most serious injury of his 17-year NBA career. Given Bryant’s history of swift recovery from countless minor injuries, Vitti and Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak both believe the 34-yearold guard could be back for their season opener in the fall.
    Nominations opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 a.m. in all Villages Villages without asterisk denote Poll closes at 1:00 p.m
  • Melonie Gillett’s First Latino Track! Collaboration with Belmopan’s Chami-Ka:
    Melonie Gillett is, without a doubt, one of Belize’s best musical artists currently making music. She’s got charm, but she’s also got lyrics; and she’s got the voice. Having already made her mark, Melonie is doing it again; and this time she’s doing something completely different from what we’ve gotten used to from her, demonstrating the confidence she’s developed as a successful and ever-growing, authentic and original Belizean artist. Teaming up with well known Belmopan based latino artist, Chami- Ka, Melonie is now singing in Spanish. The track is called, “LO QUE SIENTO POR TI”, and it’s Melonie’s first ever Spanish recording.
  • Address by Hon. Rene Montero: Launch of Paving of Hopkins Access Road:
    I wish to extend my warmest welcome and hearty thanks to my colleague Hon. Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (With responsibility for Economic Development), CEO of the Ministry of Economic Development, CEO – Ministry of Works and Transport, Chairman of Hopkins Village, Representatives from the European Union, Staff from the Project Execution Unit and the Ministry of Works and Transport, Villagers and students from Hopkins and surrounding Villages and all invited guests – Thank you for taking part in the Launching Ceremony for the Upgrading of the Hopkins Village Road today. In particular, my special thanks to Mr. Cosimo Lamberti-Fossati the EU Technical Support Officer to Belize for joining us on this momentous occasion on behalf on the European Union.
  • Big Up Bandits! Belmopan Leads PLB:
    They are the defending champions from last year, and the Belmopan Bandits Football Club seem to be in good shape to retain their title in the Premier League of Belize (PLB). Having strengthened their line-up with additions as big as Belize’s international scoring machine, Deon McCauley, the Belmopan Bandits Football Club are now sitting on top in the standings in the PLB with 26 points, being the only team to have already qualified for the playoffs. This was accomplished last weekend, Saturday night to be exact, when they defeated the Belize Defense Force (BDF) by a score of 2 to 1, McCauley scoring the team’s second and winning goal, after helping to set the play for the first goal by beating two BDF defenders and passing the ball to Jerome James who found Denmark Casey, who in turn found the back of the net. The BDF’s only goal in the game came from a penalty.
  • Barbados Economy Contracts in First Quarter of 2013, its Central Bank Says:
    The Central Bank of Barbados Tuesday said that the Barbados economy contracted by 0.4 per cent in the first three months of 2013 and urged the authorities to put “back on track” the fiscal consolidation strategy as well as a new medium term adjustment strategy to turn around the island’s economic fortunes. In its review of the Barbados economic performance fore the first quarter of this year, the Central bank said that on current trends there may be no real increase in the contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) from the tourism or international business sectors in 2013. It said that the the forecasts for the rest of the economy are no better, with overall GDP expected to be virtually flat.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Results of Belmopan City Council Kids and Youth Cups 2013 (Organized by Belmopan Football League)
  • Darnell Did It - It’s About ‘Darn’ Time!:
    Almost one year ago when LeBron James finally won his first NBA championship, he exclaimed, “It’s about damn time!” And two weeks ago when Belizean cyclist Darnell Barrow finally won his first Cross Country Championship, that’s pretty much what most Belizeans were thinking: “It’s about darn time!” Certainly, from 2011, if not before, many were predicting a Darnell Barrow victory; and while he didn’t reclaim the garland for Belize that year, he was the second Belizean to cross the finish line, coming in fifth behind Shane Vasquez, who took fourth place that year, and who was at that time the last Belizean to win the title, doing so back in 2006. Shane was, of course, the first Belizean to cross the finish line in 2011, a Guatemalan cyclist, Luis Santizo, being the fifth straight foreigner that walked away with the prestigious garland following Shane’s victory in 2006.

The San Pedro Sun

Dr Love: Could she be using their son to get him back?
Dear Doctor Love, My husband has a twenty-six year-old son by a previous marriage. Since the boy was eight years old the only contact my husband has had with him has been child support payments to the mother up until he was eighteen. This is because the ex moved three thousand miles from California to [...]

Wolfe’s Woofers: Holdup
Diane of Wet Willy's calls shaken that she's been in a holdup. It's just interesting that she looks so fabulous for having been held at 'gun' point.

MoE concerned about online satellite school being proposed for San Pedro
The Ministry of Education (MoE) in Belize has officially written to a group of individuals on Ambergris Caye who recently announced their intention to open an online satellite classroom in San Pedro Town. The group, comprising of Cheryl Bowen, Tina Hayden, Mary Mooney and Tammy Peterson announced via a press release on April 3rd that they planned to open a non-profit online satellite school on Ambergris Caye on behalf of the Texas Tech University Independent School District (TTUISD) in Lubbock, Texas, USA. According to the MoE, their correspondence to the group comes after they failed to follow through with multiple requests made by the government ministry to apply for a Teaching Operator’s License, as required by Belizean law. According to the MoE, for any learning institution to legally operate in Belize, they must follow certain guidelines stipulated in the Education Act. One such requirement is for the educational institution to apply for a license to operate a school or educational institution in accordance with the Education Rules 11 and 13 of the Education Act. The license is free but mandatory and consists of five procedures which apply across the board for any applicant.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Chiclero - once a thriving occupation practiced by men in Crooked Tree Village and the surrounding areas has slowly become extinct since the early seventies. This line of work was done by the older generation of village men, who were accustomed to doing dangerous and arduous tasks to provide for their families. The sapodilla tree grows wild in the rainforests of Belize, especially around the vicinity of Crooked Tree Village. The men would be isolated at their camp sites for weeks at a time. This would give them enough time to harness the milky sap from the Sapodilla tree in sufficient quantity before returning home to cook the milk into chicle form.

Trades 4 Life Graduation
Feelgood news of the day. Trades 4 Life, which is a project that's designed to provide trade skills, leadership, and faith training to students within the country of Belize, had their graduation ceremony in Belmopan. Congratulations to all the new graduates!

Swigs Party Pictures
The Hands for Life Swigs Party was Friday night, and it was a fun filled night at the Bedran Hall, as you can see. Check out those nurses and their party shots. Island Time Beverages, makers of the popular Caribbean Coolers, had their blue carpet there, and were the sponsors of the shots. Cloud 9 was mixing the music that kept everyone on the dance floor all night. Congratulations to Mr. Simpson for winning the battle of the DJ's, which William Neal expertly moderated. "The Hands for Life club had their fundraiser last night, and it was a huge success. Cloud 9 was providing the sounds, and Island Time Beverages sponsored the 'shots.' Wild night!"

The Belize Times

Saldivar sues Plus TV – PLUS TV co-owner, Louis Wade, says it’s personal and political
UDP Belmopan Area Representative and National Security Minister John Saldivar has launched a legal attack on Plus TV’s Rise and Shine morning co-host Patrick Andrews for remarks made during the February 10th, 2013 morning show. Saldivar is accusing Andrews of committing libel against him and has turned to the Court for rectification. Saldivar’s attorney, Priscilla Banner of Courtenay Coye LLP Attorneys at Law, claimed in a notice letter dated 15th February, 2013 that Andrew’s words had “a deleterious effect” on Saldivar’s reputation, imputing “criminal activity”. The letter further demanded a full retraction and apology as well as immunity from future similar criticisms, indemnification and compensation of an unknown amount before Friday February 22nd, but that request was not met. Saldivar then instructed his attorney to file Claim 175 of 2013 against first Defendants Plus TV, owned by Louis Wade and his wife, and second defendant, Patrick Andrews. Plus TV has reacted to the legal threat. On his Facebook page, Wade posted that the legal claim is really a vicious attack on the media. “This case will be about the media’s right to know. It is about what constitutes fair comment on a public figure in the spending of public moneys. It is about freedom of speech in a broken democracy. It is about political organs of the ruling party that have the freedom to use obsenity on air, to malign and libel anyone they deem as opposition while trying to silence free media. It is about shutting up or shutting down…[sic],” said Wade’s post. On Wednesday April 10th, while hosting the morning show, Wade ratcheted up his station’s defence, revealing that Saldivar’s ‘beef’ with Andrews seems personal and perhaps even political.

Major Street Upgrade in Orange Walk
A major infrastructure project is on-going in Orange Walk Town, with the much-needed paving of streets and construction of proper drains. The Orange Walk Town Council led by Mayor Kevin Bernard is spearheading the infrastructure works ...

Lisel Alamilla: Powerless or Sell Out? – GOB ignores own moratorium to legitimise illegal Rosewood trade
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has made a controversial decision to allow the export of Rosewood for certain special interest businesspersons to profit, despite a standing Moratorium and public outcry against what has ...

Last week Thursday, a man was beaten brutally by Police. This happened in the San Ignacio Police Station. This is not an isolated incident. The Police beat the man until he agreed to sign a confession that he was involved in a robbery. The Police at San Ignacio Police ...

Absolute corruption
By G. Michael Reid At some point, Belizeans will have to get very serious about this fight against corruption. It matters not who is doing it, how much we like the ones doing it or what they have done for us personally. Corruption is wrong and must be stopped. Each government that ...

UDP Politics as Usual…
NO Clue… In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government ...

Editorial: Sticks and Stones
There is a parable about an unpopular politician and a Judeo Christian talk show host. The talk show host prophetically offered his personal opinion on an issue of corruption. The talk show host was then sued by the politician for slander after he refused to abandon his personal opinion. So finds ...

Belmopan Bandits still No. 1 in PLB football
Defending champions Belmopan Bandits have virtually assured their berth in the upcoming UNCAF Champion of Champions competition as they have topped the Premier League of Belize rankings with 26 ...

Conway Young hits a Double Century in cricket competition
erlan, scored the first double centuries in the 2013 SMART Harrison Parks national cricket competition when the Berlan Cricket Club hosted Brave Union of Burrell Boom in ...

Camalote United wins Cayo softball marathon
2013 Camalote United softball ladies remained undefeated, winning 3 games to dominate the Cayo Softball Association’s 2-day marathon to kick off their 2013 competition at the Joan Garbutt Stadium over the weekend. Camalote United ...

Cement Potholes
The cement streets in Belize City are breaking apart and showing pot holes. This is an expensive discovery and if we did not have the pictures ...

AMAZING GRACE – Dance Hall In Heaven
In the manual, 2 Samuel 6:14, I read about a King dancing. He was so happy that God was back among the people that he danced with all his might. To make it worse, he was almost fully naked! This was unfit behavior and attire for a king! In verse ...

The Importance of Time Management
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “You get to decide where your time goes. You can either spend it moving forward, or you can spend it putting out fires. You decide. And if you don’t decide, others will decide for you.” - Tony Morgan How do you spend your time? Do you set ...

Honey Bee Industry in Belize – A way forward!
By Richard Harrison (written in 2011) There is significant potential for a multi-million dollar honey bee industry in Belize. Bees are successful when there are lots of flowers....most places in the world only see one flowering season....Belize usually has two flowering seasons (one as a result of the hot dry period...and one ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Conduct Unbecoming
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia When he said it I knew immediately that he intended to disparage and insult me for the position I had taken in speaking on the appointment of the Ombudsman. A few months ago the motion for the appointment of the Ombudsman came before the House of Representatives. Hon. ...

Unions are empty handed again – No counter-proposal, No salary increase…just another “IF”
The large membership of three principal Unions in the country, the Belize National Teachers Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers and the Public Service Union, must be questioning the negotiating skills of their leaders. For the second time in a row, on Friday April 5th, ...

UDP mocks Union Leaders
Just three days after Prime Minister Dean Barrow gathered with Union leaders in Belmopan in a “respectful meeting”, the ruling United Democratic Party launched personal attacks at various leaders of Unions. This morning on the UDP talk show, “Wus Tin Da Morning”, which airs on Wave Radio, ...

BEL wants 17% rate hike unchanged
Belize’s so-called “pro-poor” Government wants to maintain the 17% hike in electricity rates it approved for itself back in December 2012. Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) has submitted its Annual Review Proceeding (ARP) to the Public Utilities Commission in which, aside from a proposed 0.0093-cent decrease in Mean ...

UB President responds to BELIZE TIMES article
Dear Editor, I am writing with reference to the article – UB President slams GOB for lack of vision – which was published in the April 7, 2013 edition of your newspaper. The article selectively quotes from a document that I presented to the Board of Trustees at the University of Belize ...

Public Transportation in a Mess
Dear Editor, The public transportation system in Belize is a national embarrassment. Thirty plus years after independence the Government of Belize continues to preside over a public transportation system that is rudimentary, inefficient and unsafe. On a daily basis thousands of Belizeans are crammed like animals into retired US school buses ...

PUP denounces Guatemala’s offensive passport
The Opposition People’s United Party announced on Tuesday April 9th that when it takes office the PUP Government will refuse and reject anyone carrying any Guatemalan passport, which shows Belize as part of their territory. The Guatemalan Government recently announced that it would re-issue four million new ...


“Fantastic Day” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up early yesterday morning and decided that I would go with the Kindle first. On Friday I reached a crucial stage in The Litigator by John Grisham and I just needed to know how the story would end. Thirty minutes later I knew – book finished. A book up to the normal standard of Grisham.Based on the legal profession with plenty of twists and turns. Book finished and I switched to my In Box where I was surprised but very pleased to find an email from Roshel Godfrey of the Belize Tourism Board advising me that I have been accepted in to the Belize Qualified Retired Persons Incentives Retirement Program(“QRP“). Acceptance six weeks after my application. Great news. I just now need to make a payment of US$ 1,950 and Rose and I (Rose as my dependent) will be issued with our ID cards and we officially enter the ‘Programme. We can then order our golf cart and arrange to get our goods shipped from the UK. Buoyed by this good news I made and ate breakfast and then watched Arsenal come back from a goal down to beat Norwich City to move to third place in the Premier League, above both Chelsea and Spurs. Entry in to the “QRP” and a win for Arsenal. What a fantastic day!

International Sources

Why Paying To Abolish Slavery Was A Cause Of Pride - Not Shame
Was it immoral to compensate slave-owners at the time of emancipation? That is the implication of most of the media comment that has followed the publication of a study of the records by UCL, showing that several prominent British families received vast cash payments. The Independent on Sunday calls it 'Britain's colonial shame'. Trevor Philips thinks it 'the most profound injustice that probably you can identify anywhere in this country's history'. I can't for the life of me see why. The fact that people were prepared topay to abolish the monstrosity of slavery is surely a cause for satisfaction rather than shame. It is one thing to say, in the abstract, 'slavery is a bad idea'; quite another to say, 'slavery is so wicked that I am prepared to make a personal sacrifice to help do away with it'. When, decades later, the United States got around to emancipation, no compensation was paid. Instead, a terrible war was fought, whose legacy of racial bitterness endured for another century and more. Yet, when Ron Paul suggested that it might have been better for everyone had the Americans adopted the British approach, buying out the slave-owners peacefully, he was pilloried.

Belize takes top award in Sagicor science contest
Their idea to showcase the coconut palm as a versatile tree crop has gained the Bishop Martin High School in Belize the top prize in a regional science and technology competition. The school’s project, Coconuts4Life, Eco Park beat 11 other schools and won them US$5 000 at the challenge finals of the Regional Sagicor Visionaries’ Challenge at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre yesterday. The Bishop Martin students used the coconut tree and its fruits for food, shade, recreation and ornamental use. And that’s not all. The school plans to grow a coconut orchard and ecological park on its grounds to produce coconut water, coconut material or snacks, ornaments and jewellery as well as offer students a place to play and relax.

Listen up | TED Playlists | TED
Talks on the importance of listening, and how to do it much better.

April 14, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Isla Bonita All Star Marching Band thanks supporters
On Saturday, April 6th, the sounds of drumming filled the air as members of the Isla Bonita All Star marching band paraded down middle and front streets. Dressed up in their fine uniforms and enthusiastically performing to the delight of those who lined the streets, the marching band showcased their pride in having performed at the biggest band competition in Belize.Their mini-parade was a show of thanks to the community that helped them get to Belmopan and represent San Pedro Town at Bandfest 2013. Isla Bonita All Stars Parade-3After the parade, the drummers and dancers were treated to a beach party by Wayo’s. They were even given awards for their hard work during the celebration. The band committee is moving forward with the band, formally announcing that John Thompson is no longer with the Isla Bonita All Star marching band. He no longer represents the school or the band. The new bandmaster will be announced at a later date. The band is also seeking a corporate sponsor to aid in their efforts.

BYC homeowners frustrated with management…
Some of the homeowners at the Belize Yacht Club (BYC) are not happy with new developments on the property and have gone public with their frustrations. Their issues include concerns over rental money from the rental pool, the turning off of lights from common areas and the inconvenience of not having a functional pool at the resort. But according to the Manager of BYC Sergio Torres while the homeowners have valid concerns, they need to understand what has led to some of these issues. Of the 44 units on the property 14 are owned by homeowners, while the others are owned by the management of the BYC. According to one homeowner, many bought their properties with plans of renting half of their property to cover expenses while they lived in the other half. “We are not wealthy people. Because Sergio Torres and his partner Michael Singh hold the hotel license issued by Belize Tourism Board, we must do all rentals through them. Accordingly, many of us have signed a Rental Pool Agreement allowing Sergio Torres (Island Club Resorts) exclusivity to rent out our units,” said a homeowner in an email to the media. In an interview with The San Pedro Sun, Torres explained that of the 14 homeowners, only seven are in the rental pool with two more expressing interest to joining. “Most of the buildings are owned by us (BYC management) but the issue is not with the homeowners in the rental pool. The real issue is with those not in the rental pool who are making it difficult for others,” said Torres.

Super Furia releases new song “Belize da fi we”
The Super Furia Band from the Orange Walk District has released a new song called “Belize da fi we.” Lead vocalist of the band Roxana Alcoser has been singing professionally for ten years and she visited The San Pedro Sun to tell us a little about the single. As the issue is at the forefront, the song is about Guatemala’s claim on Belizean land. Alcoser explained that the purpose of the song is to inspire Belizeans to unite and forget about political differences to come together and fight for what is rightfully for Belize. “Belize is ours, let’s unite as one. This is why we made this song for Belizeans to enjoy the positive message we are trying to relay.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Pallottine Sisters Celebration in Corozal
The Corozal House of Culture is pleased to be participating in the Pallottine Sisters Centennial Celebrations. We cordially invite you to the opening of the Pictorial Exhibition,Tuesday April 16, 2013 at 6pm. Historical photographs of the Sisters activities in Belize including images of Corozal will be showcased. The exhibit will be on display until the end of April.

Interview with Lionel Chocolate Heredia

Historian Nick Pollard weighs in on ICJ

SHJC Heads to ATLIB Football Finals
Best of luck to the Sacred Heart Junior College male football team as the head to Escuela Mexico in the Corozal District for the ATLIB football finals. Go, SHJC!

Dr. Megan Ryan: Tooth Saver
Dr. Megan Ryan is the best dentist in Cayo. Her office is located on Bullet Tree Falls Road close to the Puma station. She's great at her work, and she does it with a smile.

Agric Farmers of the Year
Agric is only 3 weeks away, and they've announced the Farmers of the Year. Congratulations to Mr. George Choj, who has a farm on the Cristo Rey road, for being named Senior Farmer. "The National Agriculture and Trade Show Committee is pleased to announce the winners of this year Farmers of the Year 2013: Senior Farmer – Mr. George Choj. Mr. Choj is 30 years old of Cristo Rey Road in the Cayo District. He currently owns 25 acres of land of which 12 acres are developed into crop and livestock. Mr. Choj’s farm is diversified and mostly based on the Integrated Farming System Concept. His activities involve both Crop (Periurban) and Livestock production through which he maximizes the by-products of each activity to generate income, reduce cost and improve product quality."


Mayan Leaders And Alcaldes Condemn Sale and Export of Rosewood
Mayan Leaders And Alcaldes Condemn Sale and Export of Rosewood Governments 19 days amnesty on the sale and export of Rosewood continues to make headlines tonight. Last night the People’s United Party weighed in on the issue and tonight the Maya Leaders Alliance, MLA and the Toledo Alcaldes Association, TAA is also being vocal about the move. A release issued by both organizations today states that they are deeply disturbed and utterly outraged by government’s decision to allow persons who illegally harvested rosewood in Toledo to now export the wood and share the illicit profit from these sales with the government. By sharing the proceeds of the sale of Rosewood 50/50 with illegal exporters, MLA and TAA believe that the government of Belize is saying to the entire country and to the international community as well, that it will allow so-called loggers to violate the laws and regulations, steal from legally recognized Maya lands and be rewarded and even embraced as business partners by elected officials. In the release MLA and TAA states and we quote “Government’s recent move is ranked among the worst of the many recent improprieties and injustices surrounding the rosewood and larger logging industry. We emphatically state that government’s conduct regarding rosewood and its extraction from Maya lands is intolerable.”

Four Fishermen Charged For Drug Trafficking
Four fishermen from the Village of Sarteneja in the Corozal District were charged today with drug trafficking at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. They are 20 year old Christian Flores, 24 year old Amaro Flores, 50 year old Salvador Flores and 26 year old Pedro Quirora. Details of the case were not revealed today during the hearing; however, we have been informed that the four men were socializing at a restaurant in Orange Walk Town on April 10th, when they were searched by police. Reports are that when police searched a bucket that one of the men was carrying, they found more than five pounds of marijuana. All four men pleaded not guilty to the charge and were remanded into police custody until Monday April 15th when they are scheduled to reappear in court. The men were not offered bail since their attorney Marcel Cardona was unable to appear in court today and the prosecution was objecting to bail.

Precious Discoveries Made At Cuello Site
Last night we told you about the amazing discovery that was made by archeologist at the Santa Rita Maya Ruin located in the Corozal District. On Tuesday, excavators came across a shallow grave in the heart of the upper flat of the ruin and inside archeologists found the remains of two humans and other precious artefacts. During our interview with Doctor Jaime Awe, we also asked if there was any truth to the rumor that artefacts were also discovered at Cuello Site located on the grounds of Cuello’s Distillery Limited on Yo Creek Road Orange Walk Town, by employees of the company which is presently constructing a new building. Tonight we have more details on that story that will put all rumors to rest. As mentioned by Awe last night, the Archeological Department received the report that the company was constructing a new building and visited the area last week Friday. Doctor John Morris and other representatives of the department visited the site. Today when we spoke to Morris via phone, he told us that they were at the construction site when employees of the company in charge of constructing the building, found several pieces of pottery. Further searches led to more broken pottery and by the time Morris and his crew left the area, more than one hundred pieces of broken pottery had been found. According to Morris, all the pieces were taken to the offices of the Archeological Department in Belmopan for furthering testing. As mentioned last night, the Archeological Department is presently in discussion with the Cuello brothers for the future development of the site with the aim of attracting tourism to Orange Walk.

Orange Walk Resident Pleads Guilty To Murder In Texas
On Tuesday October 30th 2012, Surie Baeza, a 15 year old Orange Walk resident who relocated to the states with her mother back in December 2000, was found dead in her room with stab wounds to her torso and chest. The young girl was viciously murdered two days after her 15th birthday. One day after Baeza’s murder, her stepfather, 41 year old Juan Enrique Torres also from Orange Walk confessed to the murder of the 15 year old. At the time the crime was committed, Surie’s mother, Irma Baeza was separated from Torres. Yesterday Torres pleaded guilty to the murder of the 15 year old who attending Rockwall-Heath High School at the time of her death. In a statement addressed to Torres and read to the court Thursday by Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper, Irma Baeza described Oct. 30th as the most devastating and saddest day of her life. Baeza wrote and we quote ““My children and I had started living happily without you,” Baeza wrote. “You were nothing good to me since our relationship started. You hurt me mentally, physically and verbally during all these years we were together. I know you wanted me to suffer, but that didn’t give you the right to take her away.”

Hundreds Of Dead Fish Decorate The Banks Of The New River
Tonight, hundreds of dead fish are floating along the banks of the New River. It’s a peculiar situation that has been happening for years now. The dead fish can be sited from the area of the BSI factory all the way up to the Toll Bridge. Residents living along these areas say the stench is unbearable but mostly importantly they fear for their health. From what we able to perceive, industrial pollution seems to be killing fish and nauseating residents. Today our news team visited the area to find out how severe the fish kill is and we even found a dead crocodile. Hipolito Novelo - Reporting Tonight hundreds of dead fish decorate the banks of the New River that runs along Orange Walk Town. This has been the scenario for the past week and according to families residing along the river banks each year around this time there is a strong scent from the river. Voice of Concern Resident “We local fish like Crana’s, the Chack Pintas, we got Base Snooch’s, Mud fish, we see the Blue Cat Fish and we have turtles. We have tourists on a daily basis on the river back and forth and they are seeing the same thing and they smell the river all bad and they want to know why the fish is floating up.”

Ras Cobra Killed In San Pedro, Shooter Escapes
There was a murder in San Pedro Town last night at about 8:00. The victim has been identified as 39 year old Eugene Anthony Lockwood also known as “Ras Cobra”. According to police reports, San Pedro Police received information that the lifeless body of a male individual with dreadlocks was seen lying face down on Glitter Street in the Bay Side Area of San Pedro Town. Upon arriving at the scene police observed that Lockwood had been shot several times in the stomach and left lower back. Initial investigations have revealed that Lockwood, a Belizean woodcarver of San Pedrito Area, San Pedro Town, was socializing at the corner of Glitter and Swan Street with three other male persons when they were approached by a lone gunman who fired anywhere between 5 to 10 shots at their direction. Derrick Samuels, who was one of the persons socializing with the victim, was also hit on the left lower abdomen. The gunman made good his escape. Police Investigation continues.

Week 19 Of Crop Season Shows Impressive Figures
Tonight our weekly crop review shows that for week 19 of the 2012/2013 crop season, a total of forty five thousand two hundred and seventy two tons of cane was milled, producing five thousand two hundred and sixty seven tons of sugar. Figures released by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited for the 19th week of crop, shows that the 2012/2013 crop season continues to be a productive one. Here is our weekly crop review. Carmelita Perez - Reporting Week 19 of the 2012/2013 sugar cane crop season began on April 3rd and ended on April 9th 2013. So far the factory has milled a total of eight hundred and sixteen thousand three hundred and twenty three tons of cane. That’s eighty seven thousand one hundred and twenty one tons more compared to last year when seven hundred and twenty nine thousand two hundred and two tons of cane was milled during the 19 weeks of crop. For this week alone the factory milled forty five thousand two hundred and seventy two tons of cane. Taking a look at sugar production so far eighty six thousand four hundred and ninety eight tons of the sweetener has been produced. Compared to last year its ten thousand two hundred and sixty three tons more when seventy six thousand two hundred and thirty five tons of sugar was produced. This week’s sugar production stood at five thousand two hundred and sixty seven tons.

Galen Caters For Northern Perspectives
Galen University, established in Belize in May 2003, has gained recognition as one of the premier educational institutions in the country, offering programs at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level in business, arts and sciences, and education. If there is one drawback, it is that Galen is located in the Cayo District, which is inconvenient to prospective students from the north, but not anymore because in 2010, Galen spread its wings to Corozal Town. This year Galen University is once again offering prospective candidates from the north a Bachelors Degree Program in Business Administration. The program will be offered at Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College and classes are expected to commence in the month of June. Joel Cervantes-Coordinator Galen University “We’ve been fortunate to communicate with the Mr. Gonzales, and it is a partnership we are looking forward to and I think it is a midpoint between the values spoken of the north Corozal and Orange Walk and it is strategically place I believe and it is something we looked forward from a long time, we want to first start with a Bachelors in Business Administration and this is at the Corozal Community, Professionals, workers and Orange walk also, so that is our main goal with Mr. Gonzales.” Elmer Cornejo - Reporter “Is it the first time you are partnering with CEMJC and why?” Joel Cervantes-Coordinator Galen University “Yes, it is our first time but frankly speaking it is not that we, well we hadn’t had the opportunity really to communicate with us but we did the first cohort with Corozal Junior College and this is an excellent opportunity to come midpoint and we have a lot of interest from students around the area of Escuela Mexico and the Junior College looks promising too and I think it is also an opportunity to grow the entire area and because we have many students coming from Orange Walk too, Escuela Mexico and also from Corozal so I believe it is a great opportunity and particularly it is to expand we are really with the market in Corozal and we continue in Corozal and it is also a partnership with Corozal and Orange Walk.”

Expect An Active Hurricane Season
une 1st marks the beginning of the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season, that’s more than a month away and all indications are that we are about to experience another active season. Forecasters are predicting a total of 16 named storms, 9 of which are expected to become hurricanes, including 5 major hurricanes category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. These forecast numbers are above the long-term average from 1950 to 2012 when 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, 3 major hurricanes were predicted and slightly above the averages for the current active era from 1995-2012 when the prediction was for 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. Three straight Atlantic hurricane seasons have had 19 storms and only seven Atlantic seasons have had more hurricanes than last season's 10 hurricanes. Of note is that the 2012 forecast of 10 named storms and four hurricanes, was far below what actually occurred last year when 19 storms formed, including 10 hurricanes. This included Hurricane Sandy, which slammed the Northeast coast in October, killing dozens and leading to billions of dollars in damage. The tropical Atlantic has anomalously warmed over the past several months and with that the chances of an El Nino event are unlikely. El Nino is associated with stronger vertical shear across the tropical Atlantic, creating conditions less conducive for storm formation. According to the Weather Channel, the lack of a predicted El Nino last year was one of the causes of the poor forecast in 2012.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Youths Get Land
On April 12th, the Caye Caulker Village Council along with Hon. Manuel Heredia and the Lands Department held a gathering at the Community Center. It wasn’t any regular gathering but rather a long awaited special occasion. Those who were invited included youths and long standing residents of Caye Caulker, who were blessed with the opportunity to finally own a piece of land. Every one present was selected via a recommendation by the members of the Council and Lands Committee of Caye Caulker. There was about 200 residents present and every one walked away with their own piece of Caye Caulker.

The Reporter

BEL cuts rates one cent/kwh
Belizeans should see a small reduction in their light bill this month, if the Public Utilities Commission approves a submission from Belize Electricity Limited. On Tuesday, April 2, BEL requested that the mean electricity rates should be reduced by one cent per kilowatt hour. With rates currently at over 48 cents/ kwh, that cut won’t bring your light bill down to what it used to be when the residential rates were 41 cents/kwh, but it’s a small saving nonetheless. BEL applied to the PUC for the rate reduction, under the annual review proceeding for the period June 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014. The adjust is to have rates more accurately reflect the actual cost of power since January, as compared to the cost BEL had projected when it submitted a cost-of-power estimate to the PUC last December. BEL’s targeted Rate of Return is also being adjusted downwards from 10 percent to 9 percent, because the company’s financing costs have made it possible.

Belizean entrepreneurs to access CEDA grants
Belizean entrepreneurs with small and medium sized businesses may soon access grant funding from the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) to finance up to 70 percent of any expansion which will help them reach export markets. Small businessmen often don’t have the start-up capital or the assets to use as collateral to access financing; however, they can approach the Development Finance Corporation. The DFC can provide 70 percent financing, once the project or investment has been approved for a CEDA grant. The key was for Belizean businessmen to understand what projects and investments can qualify for a grant under CEDA’s Direct Assistance Grant Scheme. Therefore, CEDA grant advisors, Celestine Moe and Kirk Brown, taught the small business owners how to prepare their grant proposal at a workshop hosted by Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and CEDA at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina on Wednesday, April 10.

CDB $11.1M to help Belize’s poor
Belize’s poor people stand to benefit from some 22 projects to be funded with Bz$11.1 million from Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and Bz$1.7 in matching funding from the government of the Belize. The Social Investment Fund (SIF) will implement the Bze$12.8 million project. CDB’s Mrs Darran Newman Belgrave, portfolio manager of the Social Sector Division, headed the CDB delegation which joined Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development Hon. Santiago Castillo in officially launching the fund’s seventh cycle (BNTF7) in Belize at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Thursday, April 11. The latest Bze$11.1 million grant represents a 75 percent increase in CDB funding over what Belize received from the BNTF’s sixth cycle. It means more money to fund more projects, with the poorest areas receiving the most attention!


RIP Chocolate – you will forever be in our hearts!!
Yesterday, after what started out to be one of the greatest days in Caye Caulker history, ended with the loss of our dear friend Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia! He died peacefully in his house on the island with his wife Annie at 83 years old – his passing away leaving us all deeply saddened!! For as long as I have known Chocolate has been Raggamuffin’s neighbor and friend, a mentor and a true support right from the beginning! His continued efforts towards protecting everything that inhabits our Belizean ocean were deservedly recognized with awards by all with any form of investment in her. He will be most recognized for his work to protect the Belizean manatee and indeed Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary – his work creating a legacy for generations to come. For us at Raggamuffin we will miss our neighbor and friend as we look out of our office – no longer will we see him scuttle past the office to go and purchase his afternoon’s sweet bun – he was part of our family and our daily lives and we are now forced to adjust to life without him – RIP dear friend, you will forever be in our hearts!!

“Fantastic Day” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up early yesterday morning and decided that I would go with the Kindle first. On Friday I reached a crucial stage in The Litigator by John Grisham and I just needed to know how the story would end. Thirty minutes later I knew – book finished. A book up to the normal standard of Grisham.Based on the legal profession with plenty of twists and turns. Book finished and I switched to my In Box where I was surprised but very pleased to find an email from Roshel Godfrey of the Belize Tourism Board advising me that I have been accepted in to the Belize Qualified Retired Persons Incentives Retirement Program(“QRP“). Acceptance six weeks after my application. Great news. I just now need to make a payment of US$ 1,950 and Rose and I (Rose as my dependent) will be issued with our ID cards and we officially enter the ‘Programme. We can then order our golf cart and arrange to get our goods shipped from the UK. Buoyed by this good news I made and ate breakfast and then watched Arsenal come back from a goal down to beat Norwich City to move to third place in the Premier League, above both Chelsea and Spurs. Entry in to the “QRP” and a win for Arsenal. What a fantastic day!

International Sources

Security minister sues local TV station
Belize’s National Security Minister John Saldivar has filed a lawsuit against a local television station and a talk show host over statements made regarding the distribution of public funds. He says he filed the suit against Plus TV and Patrick Jason Andrews because the statements attacked his character and reputation. Saldivar said the statements were made about him regarding the distribution of public funds in his constituency through the government’s Christmas Cheer programme. However, the National Security Minister says the Ministry of Human Development was responsible for that programme and that all bills were paid directly to the stakeholders involved.

The Adidas Originals Belize track top
An exclusive model that I hardly acquired, a hard to believe edition, a miracle : dazzling, pardon me for being so admirative but embroidered details, signs, references and remarkable winks, striking by its perfect marriage of colors, from sleeves to collar, through zip and the inevitable three stripes ? Blue, white and red : wonderful, I am really at a loss for words, seriously.

Belize Oil Industry Map
This shows the locations of the two producing oilfields in Belize (BNE Spanish Lookout and Never Delay) and following exploration wells - and status as listed below: Maranco South Canal #1: At TD, live oil shows, logged, prospective zones to be tested. [Amandala April 7th 2013] New World Oil Rio Bravo #1: Drilling at 7700' (1000' from TD), oil shows, to be logged at TD (then potential for any testing determined). [New World Oil and Gas PR April 10th 2013] Princess / Treaty San Juan #3: Drilling at 900' (2100' from TD), no oil shows, to be logged at TD (then potential for any testing determined). [San Juan #3 wellsite visit March 31st 2013. No update on Treaty website since then] [All facts not opinions or future predictions]

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. Picture: Nate Wallace poses bravely with a red belly tarantula on Emerald Paradize in Yallbac, Belize. Wallace traveled with his Tropical Biology class to learn about the flora and fauna in the rich tropics. - 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.

April 13, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

National News: Development discovered at Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone
On Saturday April 6th, a group of Belizeans, led by members of Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), visited two areas along the Belize-Guatemala borderline. To the surprise of the Belizean public, the BTV found that development, both infrastructural and agricultural, are taking place along the borderline. It comes as a surprise because in accordance to a December 2008 compromise, signed between both countries and observed by the Organization of American States (OAS), no development should be allowed within one mile of the borderline, now referred to in the compromise as the Adjacency Zone. The group of about 70 Belizeans travelled west from Punta Gorda Town and hiked the thick and dense jungle along two areas from the villages of Otoxha and Dolores in the Toledo District. After a few hours of hiking, the group was met by representatives of the OAS who went to the general area to observe the BTV members on their mission to clear the borderline. But there was no real clearing to be done, since upon arrival on the borderline, it was observed that the area was cleared, giving way for road infrastructure and agricultural activities. While the development being done by the Guatemalans is directly along the borderline and definitely within the established Adjacency Zone, it is suspected that part of the agricultural activities falls within Belizean territory.

Eugene Anthony Lockwood shot to death in San Pedro
On April 11, 2013 at about 8:10PM, acting on information received, Police visited Glitter Street in the Bayside Area of San Pedro Town, where they saw the body of a male with dreadlocks lying bleeding from his stomach area from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. Initial investigation revealed that Eugene Anthony Lockwood, also known as “Ras Cobra”, 39 years of age, Belizean Woodcarver of San Pedrito Area was socializing at the corner of Glitter and Swan Street with three other male persons when a single gunman unknown to them came and fired about 5- 10 gunshots which hit Eugene Lockwood on his left lower abdomen, and Derrick Samuels was hit to his left lower back. The gunman then made good his escape.

Poly Clinic receives final donation from the “Poly Dolly” Project
On Thursday April 11th a final donation was made to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II on behalf of the “Poly Dolly Project”. The Poly Dolly Project was presented at the Ladies Holiday Charity Luncheon that was hosted at Casa Picasso on December 4, 2012 and organized by Ti Southwell, Tina Hayden, Amy Knox, Tammy Peterson and Jackie Feldman. The “Poly Dolly Project” was made possible by Amy Oldham, Cara Thomas and Ti Southwell, who dedicated many, many hours of their time to create multi-colored and multi-ethnic cloth dolls, called the Poly Dollies. Filled with the classic ingredients in Belize’s national dish, rice and beans, these dolls were sold throughout the luncheon to the excited ladies who couldn’t help but fall in love with the cute characters. At the end of the fun event a grand total of $7,702 BZD was raised and with that money, a variety of equipment was purchased to be donated to the clinic.

No arrests in shooting death of Eugene “Ras Cobra” Lockwood
One man is dead and another was wounded in a shooting that occurred on Thursday, March 11th. The victims are 39-year-old Eugene Anthony Lockwood (deceased) and 19-year-old Derrick Samuels who was treated for a minor injury and released. The incident occurred at the corner of Swan and Glitter street in the Back-a-Town Area of San Pedro Town in the Eliot Subdivision. San Pedro Police have confirmed that they are looking for someone known to them. According to residents in the area several gunshots were heard shortly before 8PM. A witness, who asked to remain anonymous, said he observed when a boat with four males, three of dark complexion and a clear-skinned Hispanic person, approaching the general area, and saw one of them doing the shooting. “I saw the Spanish (Hispanic) and a dread one get off while the other two stayed on the boat. Shortly after that, I saw the dread one and the Spanish guy walking under where I stay. I saw the dread speaking to the Spanish guy; they were disguised so I already knew something was going to happen. One had a mask and the other had a fitted cap on. I saw the dread stay a distance behind while the Spanish guy ran and shortly after, I heard four gun shots. The dread guy ran leaving the Spanish person behind, and he jumped into the boat and it took off. The Spanish, when he came [back] to the lagoon, the boat had already left and he jumped into the lagoon and began swimming,” said the witness. The witness also told The San Pedro Sun that a few moments later; the boat came back and picked up the Hispanic person from out of the water.

Teenager in a critical condition after stabbing incident
A teenager is in a serious condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was stabbed in the early hours of Friday April 12th in San Pedro Town. He is 17-year-old Jason Chan, a construction worker and resident of Ambergris Caye. The stabbing incident occurred shortly before 1:30AM on Barrier Reef Drive. According to San Pedro Police, acting upon information received, they visited the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II where they observed Chan bleeding from what appeared to be two stab wounds to the right upper chest. Police say that Chan was in front of an establishment at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Pelican Street (corner of the Lions Den) when he and his friend Valerio Zetina got into an altercation with Alfredo Cowo and his brother. According to police, it is believed that during the altercation, Cowo and his brother inflicted the said injuries on Chan. Chan later ran westwards on Pelican Street but later collapsed on Pescador Drive.

Ambergris Today

Flying Copilot in Belize on Board Tropic Air
It is the best seat in the house! You can see the excitement on the faces of those tourists who are given the opportunity to fly on the copilot seat during their flights anywhere in Belize. It is not an opportunity you can get anywhere else in the world, but when the seat is available anyone can surely hop onto the copilot seat and enjoy one of the most magnificent flights of his life. Thank you Tropic Air! Why is it so magnificent? It’s Belize!!!! Whether you are island hopping or heading inland, the aerial views in Belize are always magnificent. And because most of the flights in and around Belize are along the coastline or above water, views of the beautiful, aquamarine, crystal clear Caribbean Sea, mangrove ecosystems, fringe islands and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere are some of the most spectacular views you will ever see.

Progress at the San Pedro Sunset Board Walk & Water Taxi Terminal Project
The San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal Project is well underway, the official ground breaking took place on June 21, 2012. The construction’s value is referenced at BZ$5.69 million and the construction timeframe is anticipated at 16 months. The San Pedro Sunset Board Walk and Water Taxi Terminal project includes three main components: (i)The Fisherman’s Promenade and Sunset Boardwalk (ii)The Rehabilitation of the Old Football Field and (iii)The Water Taxi Terminal and Platform.

Murder in the “Back-a-Town” Area of San Pedro
On Thursday, April 11, 2013, at about 8:10 p.m., acting on information received San Pedro Police visited Glitter Street in west side of the island near the Airstrip Area, San Pedro Town where they saw the lifeless body of a male. The male person with dreadlocks was lying on the ground bleeding from the stomach area from what appeared to be a gunshot wound. Initial investigation revealed that Eugene Anthony Lockwood Also known as “Ras Cobra”, 39 year-old, Belizean Woodcarver of San Pedrito Area was socializing at the corner of Glitter and Swan Street with three other male persons when a single gunman unknown to them came and fired about 5- 10 gunshots which hit Eugene Lockwood on his left lower abdomen. A second person known as Derrick Samuels was also hit on his left lower back. The gunman then fled the area. Police investigation continues.

Back to School
By Ryan Ancona It’s back to school and most likely a lot of people feel restless and tired because of staying up late and hanging with friends and family during the Easter vacation. So here are some tips to get back on track and be motivated for another good term of schoolwork. 1. Set a sleeping schedule – set a time in the night that you go to sleep and a time in the morning that you wake up if you don’t already have one. Try to keep this schedule and also try not to wake up and go back to sleep for “5” more minutes when it’s time to wake up because that will actually get you more tired than before.

Belize Fashion Week Commences in San Pedro
Belize Fashion Week kicked of last night, Thursday, April 11, 2013 at Holiday Hotel’s Caprice Restaurant with an opening ceremony and cocktail social. The event allowed all the participants, such as the designers, models, invited guests and government officials the opportunity to meet in person. It was a fun-filled evening with lots energy and excitement that the fashion event will bring to San Pedro and Belize with local, regional and international models and designers. Fashion week continues through Sunday, April 14 with seminars, an expo and two nights of fashion runway shows at Fido’s courtyard from 8a.m. to 10p.m.

Misc Belizean Sources

Lionel "Chocolate" Heredia passes away
"Chocolate" Heredia, father of the Swallow Caye Manatee Reserve, passed away this morning. Boy will he be missed. What a wonderful man, who fought for the creatures of this earth. Here's a lil about his life from the San Pedro Sun in July, 2007.... Born on the tiny island of San Pedro, Chocolate grew up enjoying his life by the Caribbean Sea. His nickname was earned when he displayed his negotiation skills by trading his mother's sweet bread, which he was assigned to sell, with chocolate candies. Although Chocolate did not receive a formal education, his adventures and life experiences have earned him whatever he's missed during school lectures. From a young age, he has loved nature and the environment; this love spurred his first actions as a conservationist. His first "save the environment" actions were when he kept a vigilant eye over the turtle hatchlings, keeping predatory birds away by hurling small coconuts at them.

Punta Gorda school hosts medical readiness training exercise
U.S. and Canadian medical professionals provided health care services for approximately 1,800 local residents during a medical readiness training exercise at the Punta Gorda Methodist School April 9 and 10. The medical exercises are part of a larger on-going exercise known as New Horizons and are designed to provide humanitarian assistance and medical care to people in multiple Belizean communities, while helping improve the skills of U.S. military medical forces. “We bring a team of doctors, nurses and technicians down and provide the care that was pre-coordinated by the Belize Ministry of Health and Air Force Southern Command based on the needs of the local villages,” said John Henry, team chief for the first medical exercise. The medical treatment provided consisted of general medicine, optometry, pediatrics, dermatology, dental, women’s health care, and pharmacist who filled almost 2,500 prescriptions on site. The team also provided close to 400 pairs of prescription glasses and extracted approximately 200 teeth.

Farcical Belize-Guatemala Referenda
The date for the referenda to be held simultaneously in Belize and Guatemala is October 6, 2013, as agreed to in the compromise signed in December 2008 at the Organisation of American States. It should be noted that Guatemala is attempting to get the government of Belize to change the threshold for elections from the 60 per cent enacted for referendums before the February 7 elections in Belize, unlike the change which Guatemala asserts happened after the signing of the compromise. I am glad to see that what is happening with Belize and Guatemala is being observed for what it is: a farce of a process neither the people of Belize nor Guatemala have been consulted on.

Fox News Features on Chaa Creek a Boon for Belize
Fox News’ recent pick of The Lodge at Chaa Creek as a one of the world’s most outstanding jungle and rainforest retreats marks the third time the Belize eco resort has been featured by the US news agency this year, and is further proof that the tiny Caribbean country is coming into its own as a premier travel destination, marketing administrator Larry Waight said today. “This is obviously great news for Chaa Creek, but more importantly, it’s a real boost to the entire Belizean tourism industry, as it highlights our growing acceptance as a world class travel destination,” Mr Waight said. “For years Belize has been struggling to gain recognition in a very competitive industry, where the more established players with larger marketing budgets and name recognition have traditionally dominated. For example, everyone knows where places like Jamaica, Barbados, Mexico and Costa Rica are, but until recently, most people would be hard pressed to tell you where Belize was, even though we have the second largest barrier reef and the largest atolls in the world, a plethora of Maya temples and archaeology sites, huge pristine rainforests and the Caribbean’s most culturally diverse population.

VIDEO: El Secreto - Belize
El Secreto is a unique barefoot luxury resort surrounded by tropical beauty and bathed by turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. El Secreto offers 13 exclusive individual villas with a smart combination of contemporary and traditional elements. The state of the art led lighting system paints with soft light the thatch, creating a warm romantic atmosphere.

VIDEO: Staghorn coral
From the back reef lagoon of 2nd Cut, Belize Barrier Reef.

Reef Beat - A Fish Tale
Once upon a time, Belizeans believed the sea could never run out of fish. But unless action is taken quickly there will not be a happy ending to this story. Produced by Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative.

VIDEO: Scuba Diving Compilation from Honduras & Belize
I went backpacking and scuba diving through Central America and made extended stops in Utila, Honduras and Caye Caulker, Belize. This video is a compilation of some of my diving trips. Filmed on a GoPro Hero 2 with the dive housing. It could have used the red filter, but it still came out pretty good.

Pro World Belize Medical Clinics
Pro World Belize had a student group in that provided medical clinics around Cayo. They were able to screen more than 300 people. Thanks, Pro World Belize! "We were happy to have 10 students and 3 faculty members from the Delaware Technical Community College volunteer with us in Cayo, Belize for one week. Most of the students, who studied nursing or emergency medicine, assisted at three community medical clinics in nearby villages. They helped to screen more than 300 people and performed basic health screenings, which include blood pressure checks, blood sugar screenings, and basic health measurements. They also had a chance to enjoy Cayo's Easter Festival which happened the same week!" Comment Share

Tapir Town Pictures
Just over 2 weeks away from World Tapir Day, and April the tapir's birthday, which will be on March 27th. Tapir Town, the Belize Zoo's latest special attraction, is open. Roni Martinez went there to take some pictures of the attraction.

Channel 7

Security Forces Make Record Marijuana Destruction
24 BDF Soldiers and Police Officers destroyed a record quantity of marijuana plants this week – and it only took them two days! A release from the BDF says that over 61 thousand plants, along with 220 pounds of compressed marijuana and 10 pounds of marijuana seeds were destroyed. To put it in perspective, those 61 thousand plants destroyed in just 48 hours are two times the 30 thousand destroyed all of last year, and 50% more than the 41 thousand destroyed in 2011. The operation was concentrated on the southwestern Orange Walk District and the Cayo district. According to the BDF, the marijuana in various forms has a combined street value of 12.5 million Belize dollars. It is of significant note that they did it with significant air support from the US Southern Command. The release reports that Joint Task Force Bravo provided support – and in the video the BDF provided we see the presence of US soldiers in Chinook helicopters. The BDF says the success of the operation is also attributable to improved information sharing and enhanced intelligence gathering.

City-Style Island Killing
Last night there was a murder in San Pedro town. A 39 year old Woodcarver was fatally injured when a gunman opened fire on a group of men. Eugene Lockwood was the only one caught and he died on the spot. It’s an unusual and disturbing crime for the island town - and today 7news went to San Pedro looking for answers. Daniel Ortiz reporting 39 year-old Eugene "Ras Cobra" Lockwood, a well-known artisan residing on San Pedro, was gunned down last night. Sometime before 8, he was socializing with 3 other men in the San Pedrito Area at the corner of Glitter and Swan Streets, when a lone gunman ambushed them and fired a barrage of gunshots at the group and ran off. Lockwood was fatally injured in the lower abdomen area, and died on the spot, while his associate, Derrick Samuels, was injured in the lower back area. At this moment, no one understands what led to the assailant to execute Lockwood in such a cold and calculated manner; and no one is more confused than his friends who were with him earlier. Marlon Usher - Friend of Deceased "We saw him around, up to about an hour before he lost his life. I was surprised, I couldn't believe it - how a man can be right here and within the next minute he's just gone. It's just surprising to me. I mean he was a healthy man, hardworking brother. What touched me was the way he just laid there for all those hours. How comes the police couldn't just get there and deal with that they had to deal with and take him to the hospital or try and get him to Belize City."

Woman Says Cemetery Bones Are Her Son’s
Last night, 7News told you about the controversy over the grave in the Lord Ridge Cemetery which the Belize City Council had to break open so that they could exhume a body which they buried in the wrong plot. We also showed you a photograph taken by our colleague from Love News which depicts human remains inside a garbage bag which was reportedly left out in the sun. But as you saw last night, CitCo’s PR Officer, Kenny Morgan, is disputing that the photo depicted human remains, and he refused to accept that it is even in the realm of possibility. Well, the mother of the deceased whose grave had to be disturbed strongly believes that those remains were her son’s. She told 7News today that City Hall has been dodging the question. Sharon Middleton - Family Member’s Grave Disturbed By CitCo. "I went to watch the Holy Cross country race Saturday morning, coming back I decided to stop at the burial ground to visit my son's grave. When I went to my son's grave, I saw that it was broken and it was tampered with and someone else was in it. I went to the Belize City Council, they told me that they made an error. They just told me they made an error, they put the person in the wrong grave. That person should have been buried besides my son. Wednesday night they took me to the burial ground. I went up the burial ground to have them remove the body from there Wednesday night. Watching the news Thursday evening, I saw that they had a bag of human remains and I want to know if that is my son's remains that is going around in the cemetery there."

Mayan Leaders Issue Scathing Condemnation Of Rosewood Amnesty
Reports say that on Monday the Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla will address the media on Government’s 19 day Rosewood Amnesty and the profit sharing scheme with exporters. But before she speaks, COLA, the PUP and now the Mayan Leaders Alliance have all had their say. The Mayan Leaders issued its statement this morning – and it is the most scathing so far. It says that the Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association are quote, “deeply disturbed and utterly outraged by the government’s decision to allow persons who illegally harvested rosewood in Toledo to now export the wood and share the illicit profit from these sales with the government.” It adds that by doing this, the government of Belize “is saying that it will allow so-called loggers to violate the laws and regulations, steal from legally recognized Maya lands and be rewarded and even embraced as business partners by our elected officials.” The release closes by saying that the Leaders Alliance and the Alcaldes are quote, “determining their further response to government’s unlawful and highly unethical conduct.”

Eight Year Old Loses Kidney On School Trip
Eight year old Malique Young is a student at Wesley primary school but he’s not gone returned to school after the Easter holidays – and that’s because he’s sick. But not in the way you might expect. Malique doesn’t have the flu or bad belly; he’s ruptured his kidney and had to remove it. It happened almost a month ago on March 15th - after he fell from a set of bleachers when he went on a class trip at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. His mother says he was unsupervised at the time – and was sent walking home. Today, asking to appear off camera, she told us that she saw him coming down the street in visible pain. Voice of Denique Arnold – Malique Young’s Mother "The afternoon I was at home and he was crying, pulling his bag through the street. I just asked him what the problem was and he said he was not feeling well. assumed he just had the stomach flu, so at 2:00 p. m. I got a call that he was in pain and he was urinating blood and blood clots,. We went to do the ultrasound. After the ultrasound it was requested that we do a CT Scan. After doing both of them, it was shown in the results that the Kidney was split in two so he had to go into an emergency surgery that same night. One of the kidneys had to be removed."

Finally, Hope For Highway to Hopkins
The seaside village of Hopkins is one of the top tourist destinations in Belize but the gravel road to coastal getaway is 4.5 miles of rough riding all the way. It’s been paved before but that was a bloated contract special and only a few chips of that pavement remain. But, now with over five million dollars in EU grant funding, Hopkins road should finally be getting a proper pavement. A launching ceremony to mark the start of work was held today – and Minister of State Santino Castillo underscored the importance of a good roadway to tourism and trade. Hon. Santiago Castillo Jr. – Minister of State, PM’s Office "There are approximately 90 tourism based businesses in Hopkins ranging from All-Inclusive hotel and villa properties to beach cabanas, small bars, restaurants, gift shops and rental services. Hopkins toursim, therefore, is incalculable. No tourism plan, however, can be effective if it doesn't have the necessary infrastructure to support it. The government is conscious of this fact and therefore today I am pleased to join the Minister of Works and Transport and his staff to formally launch the rehabilitation of 4.5 miles of the Hopkins Village Road project valued at $5.6m to be implemented over the span of one year. Today we have both Ravel and Rodeo with us and I will challenge them to finish it before the 12 months. This road project will not only contribute tremendously to the further development of toursim in this area but also to the development of Hopkins Village since transportation and access to the village will be easier, thus creating greater business opportunities for all of you."

Precinct Policing In Practice
5 weeks ago, we reported on the Police Department’s decision to adopt the precinct system as its new strategy to combat crime in Belize City. The emphasis in on the efficient use of resources by sectioning off the city into 4 zones. From there, they hope to respond more readily, and also to rebuild a relationship with the public. Well, that second aim is a daunting one because the department has been plagued by a minority of rogue officers who have damaged their public image, making the public very distrustful. Well today, we got a chance to see first-hand the intervention of Police Precinct #1 around Amara Avenue, which is one of the toughest areas to police because of the intersection of gang territories. Here’s what the Precinct Commander told us about the surprisingly favourable response from residents. Superintendent Alden Dawson - Commander, Police Precinct "Since coming over here the 27th of February, our objective was to reach out to the community in every form that we possibly could have. We started actually with the recruitment of the Cadet and we started on the first week of March. We had 16 cadets and these cadets are from the various areas and different kids of different behaviour -some are problem child and some are good children, it varies. After that recruitment we had 16 and to date we have 67 since first of March to now we have over 128-130 persons that are interested to come and work for the police in the neighborhood watch setting. Now we presently having the coordinator Mr. Pitts who is organizing that, like I've said we always welcome people to join in this kind of effort. It will make - it's our neighborhood, it's our community, they coming forward actually is helping the crime situation."

A Lion Of The Conservation Movement Passes
Tonight we note the passing of a giant in Belize’s conservation community. Leonel Heredia, known as “Chocolate” died this afternoon at 1:00 pm at his home in Caye Caulker. He had been troubled by an aneurysm for the past two weeks and that’s what took his life this afternoon. “Don Choc” as we affectionately called him, was 83. In his young days, he was a fisherman and later on became a founding member of the Caye Caulker Water Taxi Association with his boat, “The Soledad.” But he was best known for his deep affinity for manatees and in 2002, he got the Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary legally established. When it was established, the then 73 year old told us that he hoped to bequeath a legacy to coming generations yet unborn:…

Stabbing Follows San Pedro Shooting
At the top of the newscast we told you about a murder in San Pedro, but there was also a stabbing in the island early this morning and it has left a teenager is in a serious condition at the KHMH. According to the San Pedro Sun, 17-year-old Jason Chan was stabbed around 1:30AM on Barrier Reef Drive. San Pedro Police say Chan was stabbed twice to the chest. Chan and a friend were at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Pelican Street when they got into a fight with Alfredo Cowo and his brother. Police are currently looking for the Cowo brothers.

Kidney Health Means Knowing Your Numbers
Today, the Kidney Association held its 3rd Annual Health fair in the parking lot of the KHMH, as part of the campaign to raise awareness about kidney health. Because kidney health is closely linked to the risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, the association hosted different tests to help members of the public to “know their numbers” in relation to their blood pressure and blood-sugar levels. Our Daniel Ortiz stopped in at the fair to find out more about the importance of the campaign, as well as to find out about his own numbers. Here’s what the Association’s PR Officer discussed with him on this topic. Therese Diego-Blease - PR Officer, Kidney Association of Belize "This year we've had partners such as Ministry of Health and PAHO who are working with us, they have joined forces with us and brought in their medical expertise as well to encompass health on a wide basis." Daniel Ortiz "So what has been the response?" Therese Diego-Blease "We've had very good turn out, so far we've had about 200 indivduals since morning that have been tested and we're expecting another crowd for this afternoon."

Training For Cancer In Children
Yesterday the Belize Cancer Society held a one-day training and sensitization session inside the ITVET conference room in Belize City. The session was focused on children living with cancer and their families. A number of primary school teachers and principals involved in the care of these children were also invited to attend. The session provided information on cancer and deepened the level of awareness for the caregivers. Ivorine Bulwer - Clinical Director, Belize Cancer Society "Today we're having a sensitization session for our children with cancer and their families. We are creating this level for awareness because as you know cancer affect children. We have quite a number of our children in schools that are affected with cancer. So today we have brought the teachers and the principals of those respective children and HFLA Officers countrywide. We have a doctor, pediatrician on board, a social worker as the psychiatric nurse practitioner, the nutritionist. We also have the president of the Belize Cancer Society and myself - we are all facilitators for this one day session. We are persons who are all involved in the care of the children living with cancer. So we are here to provide that information, create the level of awareness, identify the needs of these children and bringing all the stakeholders together to better serve our children who are affected with cancer. Not only to serve the children but the families are also affected."

Wallace Matura’s Alleged Killer Remanded
22 year-old Dean Dawson Jr., a resident of Armadillo Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for murder. As we reported, 48 year-old Wallace Donald Matura was shot on February 15 in front of VIP Wireless, and succumbed a month and a half later. Matura was trying to keep the peace when he intervened to stop an older male from harassing a young female child that he knew. The man later returned in the company of another male and they fired indiscriminately - seriously injuring Matura and grazing two passers-by. He suffered eight gunshot injuries to left leg and in both arms, and succumbed after a five week battle.

Busted With A Bucket Of Belizean Breeze
At the top of the news we told you about the massive marijuana plant destruction that the security forces pulled off in the Orange Walk and Cayo Districts. Well, Orange Walk Police made a more modest bust two days ago. It happened in an Orange Walk Town restaurant where they searched four fishermen from Sarteneja Village and found a bucket stuffed with more than five pounds of marijuana. 20 year old Christian Flores, 24 year old Amaro Flores, 50 year old Salvador Flores and 26 year old Pedro Quirora all pleaded not guilty to drug trafficking in Orange Walk Magistrate’s court yesterday. They were remanded into custody until Monday April 15th.

Finnegan the Cricket Man
Michael Finnegan is not the minister of sports, but he is an avid sports fan, and today the Mesopotamia Area Representative handed over a much needed donation to a Belize Rural cricket team. Members of the Sandhill Bright Star Cricket team all received brand-new uniforms – imported from the USA. Today Finnegan told us why he made the donation. Hon. Michael Finnegan - Area Representative, Mesopotamia "These are member of the Sandhill Cricket team. The name of the team is Sandhill Bright Star - you are the captain. Is that correct?. We are here today to receive some playing uniform that I am giving to them as a gift for their dedication to cricket in Sandhill and in Belize rural." Monica Bodden "Why did you decide to that for this team?" Hon. Michael Finnegan "Because I went to Bermudan Landing one saturday afternoon and I happened to stop in at the cricket pitch with no intention to stop there. I saw them playing against Bermudan Landing but to me there appearance was not hellified. So I called the captain and I asked him if he would be pleased if I would donate to him a set of jersey for the team and he said Yes. I ordered them through United States to a friend in El Paso, Texas and he had sent down to me to be delivered to the guys."

Melonie’s Epic New Vid
Not too long ago, locally produced music videos used to be a big deal: they were costly to produce and only a few people could do it. But nowadays, it seems anyone with a cell phone camera and a PC Laptop can get their video on. But even amidst all that rush of content songstress Melonie Gillett has remained above the fray of the everyday music video. She’s earned a reputation for producing epic music videos with world class visuals, comparable to anything you’d see on VH1 or MTV. Two days ago she released her latest, called ““LO QUE SIENTO POR TI”. It’s her first Spanish recording and she did it with an accomplished reggaeton artist, Chami-Ka. They told us about the song and the video today. Melonie Gillette, Singer, Music Video Director "I called it my introduction into the Spanish - the Latin market and so we are now moving from Belize outside into Honduras. Actually the video is being played in Honduras on TeleCeiba as we speak and they are working on other television stations. We are getting - bookings interviews in Mexico, Chetumal initially and then we move out from there and of course El Salvador and every other Latin country we're going to try - mainly Central American countries we'll start with and move up from there."

Channel 5

Ras Cobra shot dead, shooter escapes in boat
There has not been a murder since April third when police constable Bertchel Ramirez was executed in Roaring Creek…but it got deadly in San Pedro on Thursday night.  The community today is reeling from the murder of Rastafarian woodcarver, Eugene Lockwood also known as Ras Cobra, who was shot to death by masked men who [...]

Islander stabbed on Barrier Reef Drive
There was another violent incident at La Isla Bonita on Thursday night in which a teenager was injured and transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a serious condition.  Seventeen year old Jason Chan, a construction worker and resident of Ambergris Caye, was stabbed shortly before one-thirty this morning on Barrier Reef Drive. According [...]

Maya Leaders and Alcaldes deeply disturbed by Rosewood sale
Forest Minister Lisel Alamilla returned to the country on Thursday from her trip to Turkey, but up to news-time there has been no official word from her Ministry on the controversial sale of harvested rosewood. But there is plenty of word coming in from other areas as public outrage continues to grow since the two-week [...]

Maya Leaders will respond to GOB’s ‘unlawful’ conduct
The joint release from the MLA and the TAA also states that, “the decision by government ranks among the worst of the many recent improprieties and injustices surrounding the rosewood and larger logging industry, and they call government’s conduct intolerable.” But notwithstanding that, the Mayan leaders are still committing their assistance with the possible fallout [...]

Twelve and a half million dollars of drugs up in smoke
There is big news to report tonight in anti-narcotics efforts. Law enforcement officers can proudly brag about locating and destroying drugs worth twelve and a half million dollars. That’s the estimated street value of the marijuana which was uprooted and burned earlier this week. A unit of the Belize Police Department with the support of [...]

Finnegan, the Philanthropist, gives to cricket team
Basketball and soccer are the preeminent sports that can turn foes to friends for the length of a game and the celebration of a win. But there are other sports that don’t have national support. Cricket is celebrated in the Caribbean, but it doesn’t get the love afforded to basketball and soccer in Belize. Perhaps [...]

Dean Dawson Jr. charged for Matura murder
It made the headlines on February fifteenth, when Good Samaritan Wallace Donald Matura was shot multiple times in Belize City while trying to intervene when somebody was harassing a child. Against all odds, Matura survived the initial assault, but succumbed to complications arising from his injuries nearly six weeks, on March twenty-seventh. Police say that [...]

Father and son busted for weed
A midday raid at a tire shop on Central American Boulevard in Belize City on Thursday led to the arrest of a father and son on narcotics charges. Sixty-seven year old Generio Gallego was at the tire shop when Police searched and found two hundred and thirteen grams of marijuana hidden inside a tire. His [...]

Stealing from mixed martial arts school; really?
It would be a foolish thing to try to burglarize the police or the Belize Defense Force, but we know that forty two weapons were successfully stolen from the B.D.F. Headquarters at Price Barracks in 2011. Perhaps bold acts such as that inspired a theft in Belize City on Thursday night on Princess Margaret Drive. [...]

World Health Day celebrated at K.H.M.H.
The temperatures soared to one hundred and three degrees Fahrenheit today, but over at the parking lot of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, a health fair was in full swing. The event, the third to be held, provided the opportunity to disseminate information, screening and testing on a number of prevalent conditions from diabetes to [...]

Stormy weather, active hurricane season ahead
The 2013 hurricane season for the Atlantic will be a busy one…that’s the official predictions coming out from Doctor William Gray and his colleagues at the Colorado State University. They predict that there will be more activity than the median from 1981-2010 season. From eighteen named storms, nine are expected to become hurricanes of which [...]

Advice from MET office on the heat wave
Over the course of this week and particularly today, the heat has been unbearable. While at the Met, we took the opportunity to ask, meteorologist, Ronald Gordon, about the cause of the sweltering heat. Gordon says that it is normal during the dry season and gave some recommendations in adapting to the hot temperatures.   [...]

“See I rise” artist releases new music video
Since releasing the hit single ‘See I Rise’ in mid-2008 Belizean dancehall/reggae artist Mr. Program has remained below the radar.  During his extended leave of absence from the music scene he has been doing a lot of soul searching, looking deep within to find the true purpose of his vocation.  After numerous encounters with fans [...]

Chami-ka and Melonie Gillet’s new music video
Chami-ka, the Reggaeton artist from Las Flores, Belmopan has been producing excellent music for the past few years. In 2010 he collaborated with a Grammy nominated musician from Florida, Shadowyze. This time around, Chami-ka teamed up with local talent Melonie Gillett for their duet called “Lo Que Siento Por Ti.” The video’s location shoots included [...]


Mexico Enforces Bus Laws; Belizean Buses Evicted From Parking Spaces
Belizean bus operators have been going through some changes when they go to Chetumal. Reporter Dalila Ical. DALILA ICAL Belizean buses have been parking at the Mercado Nuevo or new market for years; they have now been booted out. The Market Administrator, Marco Rene Gutie...

Shooting In San Pedro Leaves One Dead and Another Injured
A man was shot and killed last night in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Reporter Marion Ali is in San Pedro and filed this report. MARION ALI “The stained sand on an open lot on Glitter Street in San Pedro shows where two men were shot – one fatally and another les...


Toledo community leaders unhappy with amnesty program for Rosewood
On Monday of this week Plus TV broke the news that the confiscated rosewood flitches which were located at the Forestry compound in Belmopan, were being moved. That report triggered a press release from the Ministry who informed of a new amnesty period for Rosewood harvesters. Well today The...

Twelve and a half million dollars worth of marijuana goes up in flames
The Belize Defence Force has issued details on a major two-day anti-drug operation. Earlier this week, the Belize Police department with the support of the Belize Defence Force conducted an anti-drug operation in the Southwest Orange Walk District and Southwest Cayo District. In those operations, Police discovered over sixty-one...

Man murdered in Ambergris Caye
There was a murder on Ambergris Caye on Thursday night. Eugene Anthony Lockwood, 39, is a woodcarver originally from Sandhill, Belize District but at the time of his death was living in the San Pedrito area, of the island. Lockwood was shot dead when a lone gunman released a...

George Fraser concerned about students’ boat ride to school
Earlier this week, we brought you a story about boat transportation for students in Independence Village. Concern has been growing regarding a need for safer transportation for the students of the Independence High School. Now the problem isn’t necessarily that the students travel by water, but as you can...

Citco admits error at cemetery
The Belize City Council made a grave error – literally – this week. It buried someone in the wrong grave at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery due to bad information, and then had to exhume the body in a late night operation witnessed by various personnel including family. The matter...

Public advised to take extreme care when lighting fires
With the dry season upon us, there have been numerous reports of house fires since the start of April. Today, three more similar type fires have been reported. In light of these incidences, the Police Department is advising the public to take extreme care when lighting fires, especially in...

Man on rape charge released when victim fails to testify
23 Year-old Jesus Manuel Moroy, has been on remand for almost 2yrs now for a rape charge, but yesterday he was able to go home a free man. Moroy, was about to stand trial when the victim was called to testify for the prosecution, but she dropped a bombshell....

Vehicles impounded with smuggled goods
Customs and excise department has impounded a Freightliner Cargo Truck and a van belonging to a local Orange Walk business. According to reports, Customs received intelligence yesterday that both vehicles contained smuggled goods. Acting on that information, they followed the vehicles from Orange Walk to San Antonio Village, Corozal...

Day of healing in Belize City
Shockwaves were felt throughout the country in January when four men from the George Street area were ruthlessly murdered, in a case that remains unsolved. Residents of that community were initially shaken, but picked themselves up and started the healing process with a candlelight vigil and community day shortly...

Crime reduced in Belize City Precinct One
A little over a month ago the Police Department announced its plans to zone the city off into four precincts roughly covering the northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast sections. Each precinct would be somewhat self-contained, with its own commanders, police stations and branches of the national Police Department from...

Foggy day in Belize City
Belize City woke up to a foggier Friday morning than usual even for the height of the dry season. At seven this morning the Old Capital was completely shrouded in fog, a gray smoky mess that made it difficult for commuters to see. We are not sure where it...

World Health Day celebrated with Health Fair at KHMH
World Health Day, the annual celebration of the foundation of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1948, this year fell on a Sunday, April 7. Today the Ministry of Health, local branch of the WHO the Pan American Health Organization, and other health-related organizations marked the day with the...

New Horizon conducts free health clinic in PG
The Punta Gorda Methodist School was the venue for a broad-spectrum free health center. The clinic was provided by the US Military Mission – New Horizon, where a team of US and Canadian medical professionals conducted general services such as pediatrics, dermatology, optometry, women’s health and dentistry. The group...

Nicole C Mullen plans more visits to Belize
Many of you may know her the singer, song writer, choreographer, who recently extended her ministry to Belize. Some of you may be wondering who really is Nicole C. Mullen’s, the person. Well, we sat down with the world renowned Gospel superstar and found out who is behind that...

Toledo man accused of having sex with a 13 year old.
A Toledo man is tonight in Police Custody after he was accused of having sex with a 13 year old. The minor, told Police that around 8:30 on Tuesday morning, she was walking home after doing laundry at a creek in her village, when she was approached by the...


Ombudsman says he tasked prison CEO, Earl Jones, to do internal investigation, but Jones told us he has no such assignment! Jones asks Courtenay and Coye LLP to sue ex-workers on allegations of defamation against Kolbe and CEO John Woods Kolbe’s Chief Executive Officer, retired magistrate Earl Jones, has confirmed to Amandala that he has asked Courtenay Coye LLP, the firm representing the NGO which manages Belize Central Prison via contract, to file a law suit “as quickly as possible” against a group of ex-workers who produced a short documentary on Kolbe and the prison, which calls on the government to rescind the privatization effected 11 years ago, in 2002. Kolbe contends that the video’s contents are defamatory; however, the group responsible for its production and online publication insists that it will not retract, because it can prove each of the 25 points made in the release. They have gone further to present that documentary, along with a letter of complaint, to Ombudsman Lionel Arzu; and the group is, through the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), trying to get an audience with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, chairman of the National Security Council, as soon as possible. NTUCB president Dylan Reneau has previously told our newspaper that the effects of the prison’s privatization on the crime situation should be seriously analyzed. Reneau confirmed to our newspaper today that they are in the process of arranging a meeting with the Prime Minister. He said that they are also trying to get labor officials to be included in that meeting.

Next-door Peten included in target area. Guatemala’s military is acquiring six state-of-the-art, light attack planes from Brazil. Guatemalan officials have indicated that the planes would be used in anti-narcotics operations, as well as in efforts to combat deforestation caused by illegal logging and other unsustainable activities. The US$133 million purchase is being financed by the Bank of Brazil. The project dates back to 2008, under the regime of Álvaro Colom. Embraer Defense & Security, a division of Empresa Brasileira de Aeronáutica, S. A., a Brazilian company which provides armed forces internationally with defense and security systems and aids, announced this week the signing of the contract to implement a surveillance and protection system for the Maya Biosphere Reserve, in Petén, Guatemala, next-door to western Belize. The reserve is said to be the largest tropical forest area in Central America, covering more than 20,000 square kilometers. The company said, “The project for ‘Constructing the Surveillance and Protection System of the Maya Biosphere’ provides for the acquisition of six A-29 Super Tucano airplanes; a command and control system; and three primary three-dimensional radars.”

The talk show hosts said that 8 lawyers’ opinions were that the comments were “not libelous” Minister of National Security and Belmopan area representative for the United Democratic Party, Hon. John Saldivar, has filed a lawsuit against Plus TV, after he accused Rise and Shine talk show co-host Patrick Jason Andrews of making libelous comments against him. The comments in question were made on a show that aired on January 10, 2013. Andrews was discussing the pre-election Christmas pro-poor distribution of goods with that day’s guest, Hon. Patrick Faber. During the discussion, Minister Faber asked Andrews what were his views on the way the money was distributed in Belmopan. While we were not able to ascertain the exact wording of Andrews’ response, the gist of his comment, we were told, is that the money, reportedly $50,000, was badly wasted. Co-host of Rise and Shine and co-owner of Plus TV, Louis Wade, Jr., told Amandala that while it was made clear that the comments Andrews made were only Andrews’ opinion and not based on facts, there were no comments made directly against Minister Saldivar.

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow said on Love FM this morning that the United Democratic Party (UDP) members on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) would support having public sessions, but, he added, there is no way that the review of audit reports will begin in 2012, as the current committee chairman, Julius Espat, has proposed. Barrow suggested that the reports reviewing the performance of Government while under the administration of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) would not be “water under the bridge,” but the committee would have to probe into those reports as well. Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Espat, Cayo South area rep for the PUP, said that the committee, which was constituted after the February 2012 general elections and which held its first meeting in October, only has a mandate to look at what is presented to them under their tenure. Espat had particularly proposed a review of the 2010-2011 report of the Auditor General, which, he said, is the only such report tabled during the tenure of the present Public Accounts Committee.

On Sunday, April 7, the Belize Cycling Association’s (BCA) Interim Committee sent out a revised Final Classification list of participants and finishers in the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic on Sunday, April 7. Most notable among the changes are the name of Mexican Carlos Lopez (Benny’s Megabytes), which had been missing from the previous list provided by the BCA, and has now been inserted into the 12th position on the revised list we received. Aside from a few other position changes, also missing from our previously published list were 3 others that completed the race OTL (outside the 30-minute time limit after the winner). We therefore offer below the revised Finishers list for this year’s Cross Country, as provided by the BCA. After reviewing the latest BCA revised list and conferring with official Melvin Torres, we are satisfied that of the 88 riders registered, 87 actually started the Cross Country on Holy Saturday, 41 finished within the time limit, and 5 finished OTL, for a total of 46 who completed the journey. 41 cyclists did not finish the race. Below is the revised list of finishers:

Amandala sports desk extends condolences to the relatives and friends of former boxer Randolph “Kid B” Bowers who passed away on Saturday, April 6. We were informed of his passing today by one of his sons, Lincoln. Born on November 12, 1930, Kid B’s boxing career coincided with the glory days of boxing in Belize during the late 1940’s and 1950’s. After spending some time in the USA, Kid B had returned home to settle down in Silk Grass Village in the Stann Creek District. Kid B is a distant relative of former welterweight champion Carlton Bowers of Belize City. Funeral services will be held tomorrow, Friday, at 2:00 p.m. at the Christian Advance Tabernacle Church in Silk Grass. R.I.P. Randolph “Kid B” Bowers.

Crises are not things you can really plan for, and crises are not things you can really control. This is why they are crises: they happen. There is presently a crisis in the Government of Belize, and it is because of greed. There is a demand for rosewood in the People’s Republic of China which has become almost obsessive. The price for Belizean rosewood became very high in China, and there are greedy Belizean elected officials and their cronies who decided, in the first instance, to break the law, and, in the second instance, to circumvent it. The money was there to be made, and they had to have it. For us, this is a situation quite similar to the passport scandals of the eighties and the nineties. There was a demand for Belizean passports, especially in China and Taiwan, and Belizean officials and their cronies could not resist the money, even though the people of Belize made it clear to government after government, UDP and PUP, that they considered the sale of Belizean passports to be an unacceptable insult to our national dignity. Because of the sale of passports by government after government, UDP and PUP, the people of Belize first became skeptical of our politicians’ integrity and honesty, and eventually we became contemptuous of our politicians, their cronies, and their attorneys. We saw that if it were left up to them, they would sell out Belize and Belizeans for whatever was the market price.

Kirk Nicholas is the son of one of Belize’s greatest musicians, saxophonist Bert Nicholas, the founder of the famous Harmonettes. Both of Kirk’s parents (Mr. Bert and his wife, Eva Lodge Nicholas) are dead, and Kirkie has been mentally challenged for some years now. Kirk moves in the Regent Street West area where we sell this newspaper on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. So, we see him often. The television news reported on Wednesday night that Kirkie had been sentenced to two years in jail by a magistrate after he had been declared competent to stand trial by a psychiatrist. A society lady of substance had accused Kirk of assault. Please understand, we are not blaming the complainant. Mentally challenged people can be frightening. We’re not even blaming the psychiatrist. And, we’re not blaming Belize. We are a poor country, and poor countries have all kinds of problems dealing adequately with the mentally challenged. We just feel so sad, because Kirk Nicholas does not belong in jail. And, mentally challenged people make the job harder for people who run Kolbe. This is a no-win situation, from beginning to end. Having a mentally challenged person in the family adds greatly to the pressures of life on those Belizean families who are so afflicted. In the larger sense of the community, it is some of our most brilliant and sensitive citizens who become mentally challenged. This is sad.

Middleton was accused of having sex with a girl, 14. This evening a jury of nine men and women deliberated for just over three hours before finding Arden Middleton, 39, guilty of carnal knowledge of a then 14-year-old female student. According to the minor, on July 13, 2011, she was supposed to have gone to summer school, but instead, she decided to “play hooky” and went about her own business. According to her testimony, she wandered about aimlessly until she arrived at Little Wilt’s shop on Caesar Ridge Road. She testified that she was sitting outside the shop and asked to use the bathroom some time afterward. She said that, as she was going to the bathroom, which is located at the back of the shop, Middleton followed her, and she never made it to the bathroom. Instead, she says, Middleton guided her to a bed and had sex with her. The minor, who said she was a virgin when the incident occurred, told police that the entire act lasted just about one minute. She said that she pushed Middleton off of her because she was in pain, and after doing so, she left and went to a mechanic shop she normally frequents when she is truant.

Virginia Echols, host of the Women at Work talk show on KREM Radio/TV, was one of the 19 women awarded by the Women’s Department at the Outstanding Women’s Award ceremony on March 27, 2013. The ceremony was a part of the International Women’s Month activities. The Women’s Department chose to honor women from each district and invited agencies to choose women from their organizations to be honored for their outstanding work and contribution to their organization or communities. Echols was chosen by the Mattie Roter Outreach Women’s Group, which visits the women who are in the Belize Central Prison. She founded the group in the early 2000s. Echols said she doesn’t do her work for recognition but felt honored to have been recognized by others. “I don’t look for praise; I don’t look to be recognized, but when you are recognized you can’t help but feel honored and proud that people recognize what you do for the community,” she told Amandala. “I felt overwhelmed with the nomination. Even though I got the group together, doesn’t mean that I want recognition for doing it.”

A family is in an uproar after they found out that their loved one’s grave at the Lord Ridge Cemetery, had been opened without their consent, for another person to be buried in it. Beatrice Flowers said her daughter, Lydia, was buried in 1982. Her family visits the grave on special occasions. Lydia’s birthday was on March 20, but Flowers said she wasn’t able to visit her daughter’s grave until March 28. Flowers said she was shocked, and practically ran out of the cemetery when she realized that someone else has been buried in her daughter’s grave. She said she is not sure who is buried in the grave or when it occurred, as her last visit to the grave was in September 2012. She told us that she contacted the City Council twice last week, but her questions are still unanswered.

“..if Belize does not improve the conditions or accept the alternatives that Guatemala has offered, they are not going to have a referendum.” Guatemala president Otto Pérez Molina continues to insist that the date of the simultaneous referenda in Belize and Guatemala, to ask whether voters agree to put the territorial differendum before the International Court of Justice, should be changed from the previously agreed date of Sunday, October 6, 2013. In statements Perez Molina made this week, he again cited concerns over amendments Belize made to its Referendum Act—a change made months before the parties penned the special agreement in December 2008, to settle the dispute at the ICJ, pending voter approval. Guatemala has complained that Belize’s law requires a 60% threshold of voter participation in order for the vote to be deemed valid, whereas Guatemala’s law has no such requirement. Perez Molina takes the view that conditions on both sides of the border ought to be equal.

The Reporter

“We’ve been hacked!” In our increasingly interconnected world, it is the scenario every organisation fears. Even after you get over the initial panic, distress, confusion, embarrassment and anger of being hacked, it is not always easy to know what to do, or where to begin.

Rosewood ‘pays’ when minister’s away
The government of Belize announced Tuesday that it has put in effect a 19-day amnesty on the sale or export of the rosewood that were illegally harvested. The government, via press release, said, “The Ministry [of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development] has decided … to allow the sale/export of the [...]

Hon. John Saldivar sues Plus TV
Minister of National Security and Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar is suing Plus Television Managing Director Lewis Wade, and co-host of the Rise and Shine morning talk show Patrick Andrews for defamation and libel.

Citco corrects grave mistake!
The Belize City Council on Wednesday night rectified what its Public Relations Officer, Kenny Morgan, said was a mistake when it assigned the wrong corpse to the wrong grave for burial a few months ago.

COLA to GOB: boycott ICJ referendum process
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has called on Belizeans to boycott the International Court of Justice referendum process, in view of Guatemala’s move to print new passports with a map depicting Belize as a disputed territory.

BTV finds Guatemalan farms on Belizean territory
While travelling to the Gracias Adios border marker on Saturday, the Belize Territorial Volunteers found several farms worked by Guatemalans on Belizean territory.

BCA elections spark controversy
More controversy and protests have arisen from the Belize Cycling Association’s Western Zone elections held at Cahal Pech Resort in San Ignacio last Sunday morning, April 7, although the associations’ southern zone elections at the Sentor Building in Independence Village reportedly went without incident last Saturday morning, April 6.

Teacher and students charged for illegal hunting
A Teacher and four students, two of them minors, who allegedly captured and brutalized a howler monkey, were charged for gruesome and senseless act in Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court last Thursday. According to reports, the students used a sling shots to shoot the animal down from a tree; and at [...]

BTL Park undergoes serious makeover
A major project to reclaim land, construct a sea wall, and give a face lift to the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks, costing roughly $1 million, is expected to be completed by the end of June, just in time for the summer holidays.

WHO issues new guidance on dietary salt and potassium
Adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, or 5 grams of salt, and at least 3,510 mg of potassium per day, according to new guidelines issued by the WHO. A person with either elevated sodium levels or low potassium levels could be at risk of raised blood pressure [...]

HYPERTENSION – know your numbers
Hypertension is the theme for World Health Day 2013, which is celebrated every April 7th to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization in 1948. Each year we choose a theme for the day that highlights a priority area of concern for global public health.

Police blast San Ignacio United 4-1
The Police United have fallen to the bottom of the standings of the Premier League of Belize, even though they recovered from two consecutive losses last week to post their third victory 4-1 over San Ignacio United in the 11th week competition at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio [...]

Camalote United wins Cayo Softball Marathon
The Camalote softball girls won the two-day marathon which kicked off the Cayo Softball Association’s 2013 competition at the Joan Garbutt Stadium in Esperanza Village on Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7. Camalote’s winning pitcher, Francine Salazar, allowed only one run as she led Camalote to an 8-1 victory over the [...]

Thatcher’s legacy in focus as UK plans funeral
A day after the death of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female prime minister, preparations got under way for a funeral to rival those given to royalty — a farewell welcomed by some in Britain but questioned by others.

Pope to Vatican: ‘Act decisively’ on sex abuse cases
Pope Francis has told a senior Vatican official to “act decisively” against sexual abuse and carry out “due proceedings against the guilty,” the Vatican announced Friday.


Land rush in Caye Caulker!!!!
In all my years being here I cannot think of one that will be so pivotal for Caye Caulker’s future. Today the Hon Manuel Heredia (along with our local Caye Caulker Village Council) will give away 150 lots of land to the good honest people of Caye Caulker – all of them located on the North side of Caye Caulker!! It’s times like this that make you proud of nominating the good people into office in our Village Council as it looks like the very difficult process of selecting the lucky 150 new land owners has been done objectively, honestly and to the benefit of our community! It is the youth of our village that will today have their lives changed for the better – those who have not had the benefit of been given land before, persons who have lived here for more than 15 years or so and those not likely to sell it for mere profit!!!

Spanish Lookout, Cayo, Belize: Mennonites and Well…Just Odd…
There are many places that surprise me in Belize. I mean constantly. Belize City is so much more beautiful than you expected. Cayo, only a few hours away, is bursting with all sorts of crazy wild life. I won’t get too corny… But Spanish Lookout is the town that, in my three visits, is just plain nutty. It is one of the largest Mennonite communities in Belize. And I’m always expecting horse and buggies…simple things for simple folks and instead? To me, it looks like the most modern place in Belize. Between San Ignacio and Belmopan, there is a turn… (According to the friend that I was travelling with…20 years ago, the Institute for the Deaf used to be the home for wayward boys…a sort of juvenile facility. I can only imagine the stories.) It’s REALLY BEAUTIFUL out here. Huge gorgeous old trees…pretty farmland…bulls looking like they want to gauge my eyes out…

“I Love This Bar” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Yesterday evening when Rose and I were driving back from our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize we ‘bumped’ in to Carlo Segura. Carlo is one half of the (deadly) duo that is opening a bar & restaurant on the opposite side of the road to TMM. I broke (sounds dramatic doesn’t it) this news exclusively with a ‘teaser’ in last Tuesday’s edition and followed this up with further information in last Wednesday’s edition. Yes, you read it here first! We complimented Carlo on the speed of the build and how good it looked and he very kindly asked us if we would like to have a closer look and we accepted with pleasure. It really is a very impressive layout. And all designed by Carlo (obviously with professional help for the plans that need to be submitted for approval to build). He appears to have thought of everything. And a bit more! A covered seating area at ground level with ten picnic style tables. Great for eating a meal and having a drink while you watch and listen to whoever is performing on the stage that will be in the corner.

The 2013 Chocolate Festival of Belize
Chocolate lovers have an even sweeter excuse to discover Belize, as the annual “Chocolate Festival of Belize” provides 3-days of indulgence starting May 24 – 26, 2013! With rooted Maya history in cacao production, this anticipated event captures the traditional and modern chocolate making procedures, fun activities, chocolate inspired dishes and beverages, along with great cultural entertainment!

International Sources

NASA reports many fires on the ground in and around Belize
Dozens of red hot spots cluster at the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. To the south, fires also speckle the neck of the Yucatan, Guatemala, and Belize. Each hot spot, which appears as a red mark, is an area where the thermal detectors on the MODIS instrument recognized temperatures higher than background. When accompanied by plumes of smoke, as in this image, such hot spots are diagnostic for fire. April is in the middle of the dry season, which runs from January through May in this region. It is also fire season. Many of these fires may have been deliberately set to manage land for agriculture, especially in forest clearing, working cropland, and renewing pastures. Some also may be wildfires, with natural (lightning) or accidental sources. As the dry season progresses, the number of fires tend to grow, as does the pall of smoke which settles over the land. Although haze and smoke cover the region and pours northward over the Gulf of Mexico, the shiny, silver-toned band aligned in a north-to-south direction is not smoke. It is sunglint – the mirror-like reflection of the Sun off the water surface.

Drought blamed for demise of Mayans
The Mayan apocalypse may have been a bust, but a century-old understanding of the calendar that spawned the doomsday rumors appears to be right on. In a new study, scientists used modern methods to double-check the match between the Mayan Long Count calendar and the modern European calendar. Understanding how the two coincide is important, because research on the rise and fall of the Maya suggests that climate change spelled their doom. To be certain of that link, however, researchers have to be able to match carved Maya historical records with dates in the modern calendar. Linking the two calendars is no picnic. The Long Count calendar is essentially a cyclical count of days, known as k'in. The k'in are counted in 20-day cycles called winal or uinal, which in turn are catalogd in 360-day cycles called tuns. Twenty tuns make a 7,200-day k'atun (about 20 years), and 20 k'atuns then make a b'ak'tun. [Images: Mayan Calendar Carvings]

Legacies of British Slave-ownership
Legacies of British Slave-ownership is the umbrella for two projects based at UCLtracing the impact of slave-ownership on the formation of modern Britain: theESRC-funded Legacies of British Slave-ownership project, now complete, and the ESRC and AHRC-funded Structure and significance of British Caribbean slave-ownership 1763-1833, running from 2013-2015. Colonial slavery shaped modern Britain and we all still live with its legacies. The slave-owners were one very important means by which the fruits of slavery were transmitted to metropolitan Britain. We believe that research and analysis of this group are key to understanding the extent and the limits of slavery's role in shaping British history and leaving lasting legacies that reach into the present. The stories of enslaved men and women, however, are no less important than those of slave-owners, and we hope that the encyclopaedia produced in the first phase of the project, while at present primarily a resource for studying slave-owners, will also provide information of value to those researching enslaved people.

The case for compensating the Caribbean
In 1838, British slave owners in the English-speaking Caribbean received £11.6 billion (US$17.8 billion) in today’s value as compensation for the emancipation of their “property” – 655,780 human beings of African descent that they had enslaved, brutalised and exploited. The freed slaves, by comparison, received nothing in recompense for their dehumanisation, their cruel treatment, the abuse of their labour and the plain injustice of their enslavement. The monies paid to slaves owners have been studied and assembled by a team of Academics from University College London, including Dr Nick Draper, who spent three years pulling together 46,000 records which they have now launched as an internet database. The website is: The benefits of those monies still exist in Britain today. For example, they are the foundations of Barclays Bank, Lloyds Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland. But they are also the basis of wealth for many leading British and Scottish families among them the Hogg family – two of whom became Lord Chancellors in British governments. Dr Draper is reported as saying of the Hogg family: “To have two Lord Chancellors in Britain in the 20th century bearing the name of a slave-owner from British Guiana (now Guyana), who went penniless to British Guiana, came back a very wealthy man and contributed to the formation of this political dynasty, which incorporated his name into their children in recognition – it seems to me to be an illuminating story and a potent example."

11 Ways Airlines Are Cramming People Onto Planes And Saving Money
Profit margins in the airline industry are thin, and one of the key culprits is the cost of jet fuel. Filling aircraft tanks cost the global airline industry $207 billion in 2012 — 33 percent of its operating costs, according to the International Air Transport Association. Airlines can't control the price of fuel, but they can work to reduce how much much they use. There are two basic approaches: Reduce the number of flights by packing each plane to the gills, and make each flight more efficient by cutting weight wherever possible. Here are eleven ways to do just that. Some are already in place, others are on the way, and the rest are likely to appear in the next few years — no matter how uncomfortable they make passengers.

Danny Michel brings along his buddies from Belize for Ottawa-area shows
Fans who missed Danny Michel’s recent show at the National Arts Centre will have another chance to see this quirky Canadian singer-songwriter in May, this time with the Garifuna Collective, musicians from Belize, who appear on his new album. They play two shows at the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Que. on June 27 and 28, and another pair at the Neat Café in Burnstown on June 29 and June 30. The album, Black Birds are Dancing Over Me, has been nominated for a Juno in the world music category. The Citizen’s Lynn Saxberg called Black Birds “an inspired work, full of dazzling guitar, tropical percussion and truthful lyrics.” She also loved Michel’s show at the NAC last month.

New initiative aims to lower road deaths in the Caribbean
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) International Transport Forum (ITF) have joined forces with Jamaica and the United Kingdom to promote the implementation of best practices in road safety data collection. A key component of the IDB’s Road Safety Strategy for LAC is to support countries in the strengthening of their institutional and technical capacities in road safety via knowledge sharing. The goal of this effort, referred to as twinning, is to help Jamaica align its road safety data collection to international standards. This is an important step towards the development and implementation of effective road safety policies, recommended by ITF’s International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD). Currently, road deaths in the Caribbean are high, with 20 per 100,000 habitants compared to the rest of the region, which is on average 17 deaths per 100,000 habitants.

April 12, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Tropical Paradise – Becoming one with tranquility
Okay, so I thought it was a sleepy village, but I was wrong. Yes, Caye Caulker is somewhat slow paced, (ya can’t drive fast – pedestrians still own the streets) but there are certainly many options for pretty much whatever you’d like. A one-stop destination in Caye Caulker for accommodations, fine dining, drinks, music, and even daily excursions in Caye Caulker – is the Tropical Paradise Ltd. Tropical Paradise, located a little south of Caye Caulker, but yet in walking distance from everything, offers a more secluded and private stay. With several private cabins with either garden view or beach view, this establishment was one of the first to offer accommodations to visitors to Caye Caulker. Family owned since 1985, their years of being in the service industry are made apparent by the very high level of customer service offered by staff.

Human remains found in the Boca Ciega area of Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Police have recovered the skeletal remains of a human adult. The almost complete skeleton was found in about three to four feet of water in the Boca Ciega area of Ambergris Caye. A team of investigators and police officers visited the area after receiving information about the remains from a local fisherman who came across the bones. Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Formation Superintendent Luis Castellanos told The San Pedro Sun that sometime over the Easter vacation, a local fisherman who was on a fishing expedition with his family came across the bones under the water. Police said that they visited the area some three miles southwest of San Pedro Town on the leeward side of Ambergris Caye but their first search was unsuccessful. After speaking with the local fisherman, police officers were then taken Human-Remains-found-Offshore-3to the area on Wednesday April 10th where the remains were found.

The National AIDS Commission (NAC) Island Committee: Rethinking HIV Prevention
On Saturday April 6th, the National AIDS Commission Island Committee met to view a presentation prepared by Dr.Martin M. Cuellar, Ph.D, Executive Director of the commission at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II. The presentation,which started at 9AM,was primarily focused on “Rethinking HIV Prevention.” Topics discussed at the presentation included Identifying needs, Reviewing Risk Factors, Reducing Risks and Behavioural Change to those suffering and affected by HIV/AIDS. The main purpose of the meeting was to relay the latest information to its members, including outreach strategies. Also presented was some of the latest statistical information in regards to identifying prospective target groups, thus relaying competent information to that particular group. In addition to the health facts presented in the morning segment of the meeting was a presentation prepared by presentation specialist Eckert Middleton. This presentation edified NAC Island Committee members on the fundamentals of preparing an effective presentation. It included everything from what to include in a presentation all the way the down to fundamentals such as selecting appropriate font types and sizing. At end of the meeting the NAC Island Committee was given tools that would assist in outreach including, sex-ed games that could be used at the adolescence outreach level.

Dead crocodile found in northern Ambergris Caye
On March 30th American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) volunteer Chris Summers responded to a report of a dead crocodile at the Grand Belizean Estates area north of San Pedro. It was determined that the croc had been dead for a couple of days and due to the stage of decomposition cause of death was undetermined. It did however have a large machete wound on its right side in the abdominal area. It is estimated that the croc was approximately six years, not yet sexually mature. Less than one percent of American Crocodiles live to reach sexual maturity in the wild. When we add human interference, the number of survivors significantly decline. Crocodiles are a protected species in Belize and play a very important role in keeping our natural ecosystem in balance. Crocodiles even keep snapper populations healthy by feeding on the weaker and sick fish. Without crocodiles the island’s lagoons would be thrown out of balance and fish populations that residents depend on would become sick and eventually die off. Please remember not to feed, harass or molest crocodiles.

New officers join the San Pedro Police Formation

Ambergris Today

Chami-Ka & Melonie Gillett Shoot Exotic Music Video for Reggaeton Hit
Reggaeton artist Chami-ka has just released this week a new music video to his hit single “Lo Que Siento Por Ti” in which he features guest singer Melonie Gillett singing in Spanish. This song, which was released as a single on January 29th, 2013 has been a hit on all radio stations in Belize and several in Central America. Melonie Gillett and Chami-Ka visited Placencia in February where the video shoot took place, primarily at Robert's Grove Beach Resort. Other location shoots included that of Caves Branch Outpost with caWith just a few more shots left to do at Caves Branch Outpost.

Six New Officers Assigned to San Pedro Police Department
In January of this year San Pedro welcomed a new Officer in Charge for the San Pedro Police Department, Superintendent Luis Castellanos. He brought with him a positive mind, attitude and determination to bring good positive changes to our community and police department. Ambergris Today met with Mr. Castellanos to check how the department has been operating, what changes have been made and to welcome six new officers to the San Pedro Police Department. With the addition of the six new officers San Pedro now counts with 39 Police Officers. Supt. Castellanos personally introduced us to three new officers who were on duty - PC Epifanio Bol, PC Yannick Wade and WPC Kadizha Jones. All three were excited to be on the island and stated that they come ready and willing to work for the betterment of the island and hope to work hand in hand with the community.

3rd Annual San Pedro Softball Cup This Weekend!!!
The San Pedro Town Pedro Council will be hosting the 3rd Annual San Pedro Softball Cup on Saturday, April 13th and Sunday, April 14th at the Ambergris Stadium. Three schools will be participating as follows: St. John’s College – 2012 National Male Softball Sub-Champions Belmopan Comprehensive School – 2013 Male Softball Sub-Champions San Pedro High School – Back to Back National Softball Champions Schedule: Saturday, April 13, 2013: Game 1: San Pedro High School vs Belmopan Comprehensive School 9:00 a.m. Game 2: St. John’s College vs San Pedro High School 11:00 a.m. Game 3: Belmopan Comprehensive School vs St. John's College 1:00 p.m. Game 4: Belmopan Comprehensive School vs San Pedro High School 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 14, 2013: Game 5: San Pedro High School vs St. John’s College 9:00 a.m. Game 6: St. John’s College vs Belmopan Comprehensive School 11:00 a.m.

Dorian’s Angels Love Moondancer Kids
The Angels were invited to visit Moondancer’s latest addition to the company, Moondancer Kids. Moondancer is known for having the latest in fashion for women and the best accessories and perfumes on the island. And now Moondancer Kids does the same but with all what you need for your children. Moondancer Kids is the place to find everything for your baby; they have baby bouncers, baby bather, hooded towels, blankets, one piece baby clothes sized from new-born to 24+ months, baby bottles, sippy cups, and much, more.

Misc Belizean Sources

Shooting last night - Ambergris Caye
Shooting last night in the airstrip area, across from my little hotel, Two lots South of Stones across from Backatown Bistro.. One dead they call Cobra about 52-56 years old, two hospitalized. No shooter apprehended so far. Likely drug related. No other info. Don’t have any other details at the moment.

Fundraiser Events This Weekend in Corozal
FUNDRAISER- 1 This SUNDAY April 14th is all about “Beach Bash” happening at the Rainbow Beach Park in Corozal Town!! MAD SPINNNING by Corozal’s very own DJ Fi Real and DJ Ronnie Aguirre!!! Come out and have some family Fun!!Food and Drinks on Sale! NUFF MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT!!! Live Band performance featuring the New Varieties Band and Gilharry 7…It is another family day…Close the kitchen and come out this Sunday. FUNDRAISER- 2 Come and join us for a delicious chicken barbeque: Date: SATURDAY, April 13th Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Place: In front of town hall, across from Central Park Cost: $6 Food Chicken, flour tortilla, baked beans and coleslaw This is a fundraiser for Rigo, trainer at Corozal’s Lotus Gym to attend his first bodybuilding competition in England.

Ratings On Belize Raised To 'B-/B' On Expected Completion Of Debt Exchange; Outlook Stable; Bonds Due In 2038 Rated 'B-'
Creditors holding 86% of Belize's $547 million bonds due in 2029 have accepted the debt exchange offer, and today the Government of Belize will exchange the 2029 bonds for new bonds maturing in 2038. We are raising our long- and short-term foreign and local currency issuer credit ratings on Belize to 'B-/B'. We are assigning a 'B-' senior unsecured foreign currency rating on Belize's new proposed bonds due in 2038. The stable outlook on Belize reflects our expectation that the debt exchange will moderate some medium-term fiscal pressure but that the government's debt burden will remain heavy and economic growth prospects modest.

VIDEO: 2 Sly Weber! Belizean Female Artist
I like this kid. I agree she is honest and talented and speaking for the ones that are not ready to speak for themself. She should be on one of our shows.

Opposition rejects new moves by Guatemala to claim Belizean territory
The main opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has rejected the latest move by Guatemala showing Belize to be part of the Central American country. Guatemala plans to distribute four million new passports with the map showing the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country as part of its territory over the next decade. The opposition party has warned 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” and is urging the Dean Barrow government to do the same.

VIDEO: Tarpon of Caye Caulker
Go Pro underwater shots of the tame tarpon in the bay at the entrance to the underwater cave at Caye Caulker Belize. There is a slow mo section where the fish come up for some bait. Tarpon remind me of a gigantic version of the bleak Alburnus alburnus a rather small cyprinid coarse fish found in the uk. These fish ranged from about 5kg to 30kg and up to 1.5m in length.

VIDEO: Skydiving into the Blue Hole, Belize
The ultimate skydive in my 21 years of jumping! Exit from 13,500 feet in PERFECT weather conditions (ie endless blue skies, puffy clouds and NO wind) with my beautiful husband and Arizona friend Ginger. I deployed at 8,000 feet so I could soak in all the exotic beauty and sublime heavenly experience. A once in a lifetime never-to-forget skydive!!! BTW, my canopy is red, black and gray, and I am the last person to land in this video. WOOHOO! The Great Blue Hole is a stunning circular jewel surrounded by a ring of shallow luminous coral reef in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Measuring 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep, this ocean-floor limestone sinkhole is believed to be the world's largest blue hole, made famous by Jacques Cousteau. Atolls are characterized by a large, fairly shallow lagoon surrounded by coral reefs. Only four known true atolls exist in the Western Hemisphere, and of these, three reside in Belize: Turneffe, Lighthouse and Glovers.

Celebrities continue to help Belize's conservation efforts
Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh’s recent reflections on her conservation efforts in Belize in an international magazine highlight the importance of celebrity recognition in raising awareness of important issues in small developing countries such as Belize, according to an environmentalist at Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre, who said that assistance from celebrities continues to provide a much needed boost to the small Caribbean country’s conservation efforts. Chaa Creek naturalist guide and Natural History Centre assistant manager Brion Young said that several people had recently called his attention to an April 2013 article in Travel + Leisure magazine, and that this highlights the importance of celebrity endorsement of local conservation efforts. “Even though Ms Walsh was here last summer on World Ocean Day, this recent article shows that the effects of her visit are still being felt, and still raising awareness about the need to protect our fragile ecosystems such as the Belize Great Barrier Reef,” Young said.

Fried Rice/Spanish Rice
This recipe is a simple version of Fried Rice or Spanish Rice. I opted out of using tomato sauce, but normally tomato sauce can be used. This can be made with or without meat.

Channel 7

Cabinet Minister Defends Rosewood Decision, Opposition Wants Transparency
Tonight, Rosewood exporters are making the most of a 19-day amnesty on the precious hardwood. They are rounding up all the flitches they can get their hands on to export it before the amnesty expires on April 26th. The cabinet decision to allow the traders to export all they can – included confiscated Rosewood – has generated controversy. Fuelling that public uproar is a terse release from government – issued after the amnesty started – which gives an insufficient explanation of the programme – it only says that Government quote, “has decided to …allow the sale/export of already harvested rosewood.” Today we pressed Security Minister John Saldivar for more details as he exited WAVE Radio’s “Fus Thing Da Mawnin” where he makes a weekly appearance. Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security "We made a decision that we should allow the exportation of these Rosewood by the exporters, and that there should be some sort of profit sharing formula between the Government of Belize and the exporters. I believe it's a 50-50 profit sharing formula." Jules Vasquez "However, aren't we legitimizing those who have ran a red light in the law?" Hon. John Saldivar "Well I imagine what is of concern to Cabinet, is what we do with this valuable product that is on the ground, and we have to be realistic about what to do with it. The last time the minister set fire to close to half a million dollars' worth of Rosewood, there were those who applauded her for that but there are also those who felt that it was a waste of resources. So, Cabinet has tried to strike a balance and see how we can get rid of those Rosewood that is on the ground. So that after April 26th, we can have a clearer direction as to where we go with the Rosewood trade."

Two Charged for February/March Murders
Viewers may remember 28 year-old Ronald Rivers; he was shot in the face around noon on March 4 at a much trafficked intersection. He struggled for 2 weeks on life support at the KHMH, and he finally succumbed to his injuries. Well tonight, the man who police believe was the shooter was taken to Magistrate Court today on the charge of murder. As we reported, Rivers was trying to fix his SUV at the Bel-China UNO gas station when 2 men rode up on bicycle and shot him. A team of police officers were on patrol on Vernon Street when they heard the gunshots and immediately responded. One of the officers saw 18 year-old Lloyd King trying to flee the scene of the crime, and he was trying to hastily shove a gun into his pants. The officers caught him on Magazine Road in front of the Matron Roberts Polyclinic, where they retrieved a rusty .38 special revolver, loaded with 3 live rounds which they believed to be the weapon used to shoot Rivers.

Family Loses home To Fire, Points At Son And Brother As Arsonist
This morning at around 8, residents of Holy Emmanuel Street were alerted to a fire which completely destroyed a family’s wooden house. The residents at lot 45 have lost their home, and all their belongings, but even more disheartening than that, the man who is suspected to have committed arson against them, is their own son and brother. 7News arrived shortly after the Fire Department got the situation under control, and Daniel Ortiz has that report: Daniel Ortiz Reporting When we arrived at lot 45 on Holy Emanuel Street, the house was completely destroyed. The Fire fighters were finishing up their work to try to put out the last bits of flame on the wooden structure. Police already had the suspected culprit detained, and he sat on the ground handcuffed, waiting to be escorted to the station. The personal belongings of an entire family were reduced to ashes. They stood around confused and unsure: did one of their own burnt down the house? Anna Lorenzo - Family's Home Destroyed "I am not really sure; we just got a call and a text that our house was on fire so we quickly came." Reporter "Who called?" Anna Lorenzo "Our neighbor."

Customs Busts Container With Goodies In the Back
Customs has impounded a Freightliner Cargo Truck and a van belonging to a business house in Orange Walk after it was found with a stash of premium un-customed goods inside. Customs confirms that it received intelligence yesterday and followed the vehicles from Orange Walk to San Antonio Village, Corozal where they searched them. They found both loaded with local sugar, but stuffed behind the sugar, they found 15 cases of Monster energy drink, 23 cases of Red Bull Energy Drink and 13 cases of assorted liquor – all to a total value of $71,000.00 dollars. They could not produce receipts for any of the drinks and so the vehicles were impounded and three persons detained. Customs believes that no duty has been paid on those drinks. They also believe it’s a long standing practice of this and certain other business houses to smuggle contraband items beneath legitimate local products such as sugar.

A Late Night Exhumation and Grave Mix-Up Stirs Controversy For City Hall
Lord Ridge is the oldest and biggest cemetery in the country – and, tonight, the city council is in the middle of another ugly controversy over it. This time it’s about burying someone in the wrong grave, and then having to exhume them in a late night operation. That happened last night at 11:00 and the man known as Easy Glen – who bases his operations near the Cemetery - told us what he witnessed: Goldbourne Adolphus, "Easy Glen" - Lord Ridge Whistle Blower "Well last night, the first thing they did, they came with their equipment. They set out their generators and so forth; most of the guys that you see work at the Council, they had their rubber boots, their full gears. They prepared up themselves because they had advised the council to get the proper gears for them. They broke open the tomb and took out the box." Reporter "The man that was buried here:is it the man that was buried in the grave beside?" Goldbourne Adolphus, "Easy Glen" "That's right in the proper grave in which he had belonged." Reporter "As far as you know about these stuff, was it carried out in the proper way?" Goldbourne Adolphus, "Easy Glen" "Well, I will be straight up. It had been carried out in the proper way because they had gotten advice from the supervisor here at the burying ground, Mr. Betran, and Mr. Long at the KHMH. Right, but to say if the Health Department and so forth was involved, no."

Experts : 2013 Hurricane Season “Above Average”
Hurricane season is two months away, but forecasters are predicting an above-average 2013 Atlantic hurricane season. They are forecasting 18 tropical storms, nine of them turning into hurricanes. They say that of the nine predicted hurricanes, four should be major hurricanes — categories 3, 4 or 5 — with sustained wind speeds of 111 mph or greater. The team's forecast in 2012 for 10 named storms and four hurricanes -- was far below the 19 storms that formed, including 10 hurricanes. An average year has 12 tropical storms, seven of them hurricanes.

Court: Pharmacist Fondled In Benque
Members of the community of Benque Viejo Town continue to be outraged at the breach of trust by a local pharmacist, Cesar Mendez. He has been convicted indecent assault in the Benque Magistrate’s Court. A 12 year-old female minor reported to police that 2 times earlier this month, Mendez fondled her. As a result of her report, police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and he was arraigned exactly a week ago. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined a total of $500 by Magistrate Linbert Willis. But it would seem that the family of the victim is dissatisfied with that penalty, and they are considering if they have a right to appeal that sentence.

Unearthing A Thousand Year Old Burial Crypt At Santa Rita
Two months ago, we told you about the work to restore the Santa Rita Mayan temple in Corozal to its former glory. The project, funded by NICH and the US Embassy simply hoped to remove some of the rubble that was obscuring the grandeur of the site. But in what started out as a restoration effort, the team from the Institute of Archeology has come upon some major finds, like that pelican figure we showed you last time. Well that’s minor compared to what we were called out to see yesterday. 7news was there as Dr. Jaime Awe opened a Mayan burial crypt for the first time in over a thousand years! It’s an epic moment and we caught it all on camera. Jules Vasquez has the story:… Jules Vasquez reporting All this week, conservatory work at Santa Rita slowed as under this tent site workers made what’s being called “an incredible discovery.” It's only what's known as a stair block, the site manager saw tell-tale signs. Dr. Jaime Awe - Director Of The Institute Of Archaeology "A few days ago, Jorge came and said you know we have the stair block, which is located right in the middle of the stair way at the center line of the temple. Well when we started to discuss this and we agreed that we needed to put an excavation there because these stair-blocks, everywhere we find them on temples we often find tombs associated with them. We decided we have to excavate there. They started to go down and they found these capstones."

Police Learn to Maneuver Motorbike
Often in our newscast, viewers listen to members of the public complain that the Police Department is very slow in responding to their reports and calls for help. Especially during this time of mass street upgrades by the Belize City Council, the officers have been particularly challenged in trying to meet the demands of the public. As a result, the officers have been looking to more flexible means of transportation, and for the last 3 days, several officers have been participating in a motorcycle training court. Today, one of the officers who told us about their progress. Police Learn to Maneuver Motorbike "Today we will finish up with a 3-day basic Motorcycle riding course. We are dealing with mostly first time riders." Reporter "What is the purpose of this training class?"

Man Freed From Rape Charge After Two Years
23 Year-old Jesus Manuel Moroy, who has been on remand facing a rape charge for almost 2 years, was able to go home a free man yesterday when the complainant asked for no further court action. Moroy, who was about to stand trial before Justice Herbert Lord in the Northern Sessions of the Supreme Court was called up for his case to start. When the victim was called to testify for the prosecution, she told the court that she no longer wanted any further court action. She explained that over that extended period of time, she has met people who helped her work through the trauma, and she’s been able to attain a level of peace that the case would force her to disturb. After hearing her statement, Justice Lord directed the sitting jury to find the defendant not guilty, setting him free of the charge. According to the victim’s report, Moroy forced her to have intercourse against her will while in the village of San Narciso, Corozal.

Learning How To Export Wisely
Last night, we showed you the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s training workshop. They were trying to help the private sector access a portion of the European Development Fund, which has ear-marked a budget of 2.5 million European dollars for the Caribbean. Belize has to share access to this fund with 14 other CARIFORUM countries, so as expected, Belizean companies must make a major impression on the agency in order to be granted any portion of it. Only companies which are looking to export their goods and services have access to this funding so today, in line with that, the Ministry of Trade, released its plan of action called the National Export Strategy. It is a 5-year plan designed to stimulate export within different areas of the private sector, and today the Ministry unveiled the plan to stakeholders to get their input and consultation. Here’s an excerpt what the Executive Director of BELTRAIDE told the gathering about this the second iteration of the NES, and the challenges that the first plan faced.

Hon Saldivar Explains PLUS TV Suit
PLUS TV is facing a libel suit brought by Minister of National Security John Saldivar. It’s for a comment made by Rise and Shine co-host Jason Andrews accusing Saldivar of making defamatory remarks about his management of public funds. Now, in the news business, there are multiple libel suits facing media houses at any given time. Mostly, they are dealt with privately and only make news if and when they go to open court. But, PLUS TV has put Saldivar on blast and is having something like a pre-trial in the court of public opinion. Today Saldivar told us that despite the flak he’s taking daily, he won’t back down. And the public funds in question? He says he spent that on Turkeys. Jules Vasquez "There have even been aspersions that you're trying to muzzle the press. Why are you taking Plus TV to court?" Hon. John Saldivar - Minister of National Security. "Because I value my reputation and I believe that the words uttered by Mr. Jason Patrick Andrews was assailing my character and reputation. They disagree and that is why they have refused to apologize and retract. They feel that they were within their rights to say what they did. Only a court can decide that and that is how these matters work. If you're in the media, you know how it works. If they feel they had the right to say what they did, they take it to court. I feel that they wronged me, which they falsely accused me of something, and they assailed my reputation and I am going to court to vindicate."

Skeletal Remains Found In Southern San Pedro
Tonight, the San Pedro Sun is reporting that island police have found the remains of a human adult. It was found in about three to four feet of water on southern Ambergris Caye – about three miles south of the island. The find has aroused interest because – according to the Sun - since 2011, five persons have gone missing on Ambergris Caye. Families of those persons are urged to contact San Pedro police.

Profile of Pie-Bwai
We call him sweet man, and others call him jam roll man, while to most he is known as jam bwai. But whatever, whenever you call him, Wayne Myles has a smile and sweet words for the many patrons who support the happy-go-lucky vendor. But it hasn’t always been happy times for the fast-talking food vendor. He grew up tough and battled drug addiction before he made the change in his life. He is the subject of tonight’s profile.

Guat President Tells Belize Accept Change In Referendum Date Or Move On
Guatemala’s president Otto Perez Molina has said that the October 6th ICJ referendum would be off if Belize does not accept either of the two proposals his government made a few weeks ago. Guatemala wants Belize to change its Referendum Law so that there is no 60% threshold for validity. He is quoted as saying yesterday that quote “if Belize does not accept, we will not go to a referendum and waste 2 hundred 60 million quetzales on something that, going in, we know we will not win.” End quote. That 260 million quetzales works out to about 33 million US dollars. In other, related news, the OAS adjacency office sent out a release late yesterday. It challenges the publice statement made by Wil Maheia. It says quote “the verification officers of the OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone traveled to Gracias a Dios last Saturday, April 6th with the only and exclusive purpose of avoiding incorrect readings of the location of the Adjacency Line which could cause an incident or tension between the Parties. Likewise, it is important to note that at no time were land-clearing activities undertaken.” Touche!

Funds For Poverty
Today, the Ministry of Economic Development, in collaboration with Caribbean Development Bank, unveiled a 12. 8 million-dollar project which will fund poverty alleviation projects around the country. It is a very welcomed relief because according to the statistic, the countries poverty and unemployment rates are at all-time highs. It’s part of CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund, and today 7News spoke to one of the bank’s representatives about how this funding was granted to Belize. Hon. Santiago Castillo - Minister of State/Economic Development "First of all, it's the first one that the CDB is doing, it's a big one and it's $12.8m through the Basic Needs Trust Fund, 7th tranch. It's being done through CIF and it's all geared towards poverty alleviation for those people who need it the most. So that is what makes it very interesting and that together with the $30m that we had already gotten through the CIF Program, that's a lot of money that will be invested to the poorer sectors of Belize. It will be in areas such as education, housing, those areas that we feel need it the most to uplift Belize more or less as best as possible with the funds that we have through this program. Clearly we are very grateful to our partners at Caribbean Development Bank, who in their speech today mentioned that Belize is one of the countries that has shown the best economic recovery."

Channel 5

Belmopan minister explains the simplicity of rosewood fiasco
Shipments of Rosewood, which fetches top dollar in mainland China, were blocked by a moratorium by the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. But on Monday, cameras caught the removal of flitches from the Forest Department in the Capital. Both the Minister, Lisel Alamilla and the Chief Forest Officer, Wilbur Sabido, are out of [...]

How can confiscated rosewood be sustainably harvested?
So, finally there is an explanation of an official sort; even if delivered in a less than official fashion. But there are glaring points which the Minister of National Security brushed aside during his regularly scheduled appearance on the “Fus Ting Da Mawnin” show. In March, rosewood found in Belize and the rest of the [...]

Kambokin, one of the rosewood exporter kings
The rosewood crisis festered until February 2012, when the moratorium was introduced. Up to that time, one of the main exporters of timber, and a name frequently associated with illicit harvesting of rosewood, is Kambokin Enterprises Limited. That company is registered in Corozal, and when News Five went digging for answers, we found out that [...]

Guatemala buys combat planes to patrol reserve that borders Belize
Hopefully, rosewood extraction will not cause decades of dialogues and explanations as Guatemala’s unfounded claim against Belize. For years negotiations and discussions have failed. Earlier in the year, while both countries should have been preparing for an October sixth referendum on whether or not to forward the claim to the International Court of Justice, Guatemala [...]

Guatemala says no referendum if date not changed
Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina is making it abundantly clear that if Belize does not change the October sixth referendum date, Guatemala will not proceed to hold the referendum. The president made the statement on Wednesday adding that he was not prepared to waste two hundred and sixty million quetzals or thirty-two million U.S. dollars [...]

John Saldivar sues to protect his reputation
As we reported in Wednesday’s newscast, Minister of National Security John Saldivar has filed a lawsuit against Belmopan’s Plus TV and Patrick Andrews for libel and defamation.  The claim arises from remarks, allegedly slanderous, that were made by Andrews during an installment of the station’s Rise and Shine morning show in late 2012.  The comments, [...]

Saldivar says he didn’t demand removal of talk show co-host
Fifty thousand dollars is a lot to spend on turkey but Saldivar stands by his claim that he was defamed. Plus TV’s Managing Director Luis Wade, in an interview with News Five on Wednesday, said that he had been asked by Saldivar repeatedly to have Andrews removed as co-host of the talk show along the [...]

A son suspected of burning family home
While Saldivar and Plus TV will settle in court, a family in Belize City will also seek court action for their personal damages experienced this morning. At about eight o’clock, a family lost all their belongings in a fire.  That’s bad enough…but it gets worse because it is believed it is a case of arson [...]

Human remains found in mangrove on Ambergris Caye
While that family picks up the pieces of their loss, officers in San Pedro had to dive and pick up pieces of a lost life. The skeletal remains of a human were found on Ambergris Caye. At three-thirty on Wednesday evening, a fisherman informed San Pedro police about the discovery. Southwest of the island about [...]

Third inmate charged for drugs inside prison
It may be hard for officers to find clues to the demise of the individual in the swamp water, but not only do cops look for evidence at the scene of the crime, sometimes they must also check the prison. Earlier this week, two of three inmates at the Belize Central Prison were arraigned for [...]

Couple busted for weed
Tonight, twenty-three year old Jervin Robinson and his girlfriend, Jessica Sinclair, are remanded at the Belize Central Prison for drug trafficking. The charges were levied following the discovery of seventy-two grams of cannabis at their residence in Belama.  The couple appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Wednesday where joint charges were brought against them.  [...]

Suspect charged for murder of basketball player
Eighteen-year-old Lloyd Alexander King, also known as Moose, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison where he awaits trial for the Belize City murder of a prominent basketball player, Ronald Rivers.  King, who was initially indicted for attempted murder and firearm-related offenses, saw his charges upgraded following Rivers’ death a few weeks after the [...]

New code of conduct for law enforcement officers
Thieves, murderers and drug dealers aren’t the only people who are charged for crimes. Some-times the cops are also paraded before a judge. In the wake of numerous allegations of abuse and brutality against members of the Belize Police Department, the Ministry of National Security is drafting a new code of conduct for law enforcement [...]

Houston-based autism support group shares with Stella Maris
The run-of-the-mill cruise ship tourists get a tour to a popular destination or lounge around the village and get their hair braided or a drink of a local brew. But on occasion, there are those tourists whose presence are valued and felt way more than the few dollars they add to the economy. And that [...]

Caribbean Development bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund
A national project spearheaded by the Caribbean Development Bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund was launched today in Belize City.  Present for the occasion is Darran Newman-Belgrave, Portfolio Manager for (Basic Needs Trust Fund) BNTF’s Social Sector Division.  Speaking at the gathering was Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Santiago Castillo. [...]

Healthy Living succeeds in losing weight
If you’re heard of regimens such as ramen diet, cabbage soup, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, or workouts such as Zumba, or ten minute abs, then you are probably one of many people whom have tried many cure-alls for losing weight. And though some people manage to initially take off some weight, at the end [...]


Basic Needs Trust Fund 7 Launches In Belize
The Basic Needs Trust fund is a regional grant program geared toward poverty reduction infrastructure that is in existence for over thirty years. In that time the BNTF has expended almost 190 million U.S dollars regionally including Belize. Under the Social Investment Fund ...

Villagers In Toledo Protest Land Transactions In Their Area
Villagers of Jacintoville in the Toledo District are very concerned about transactions done regarding land within their village boundary. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG "During a well attended meeting on Monday evening discussions echoed strong conc...

Wednesday, April 10 - Dangriga Has New Deputy Mayor
Dangriga has a new Deputy Mayor. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU " Councilor Gilroy Howard Flores was sworn in as the new Deputy Mayor for Dangriga at an official ceremony held yesterday at the BTL Princess Royal Park. Residents of Dangriga a...

Sessions Planned For Caregivers of Cancer Patients
Cancer is a disease that discriminates against no one and more and more now, children are becoming victims. Since January already Belize has lost two children, ages five and 17, to cancer. It is with this in mind that on Thursday, the Belize Cancer Society will gather w...

PUC and BWS Say No Increase In Water Cost
Three months after the electricity company, Belize Electricity Limited received a seven-cent increase in tariffs, the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, has decided that it won’t levy an increase on water rates. The decision comes on a submission made by the BWS to the PUC, ...

Public Hearings Scheduled On Waste Management Facilities
The Solid Waste Management Authority will be holding a series of public hearings to update the public of the waste management facilities being built under the solid waste management project. Tyrone Chimilio is the Social Communications Officer for the Solid Waste management Authority. ...

Funding Available For Small Businesses Through The Caribbean Export Development Agency
And while the controversy at home is over Rosewood exportation, one Caribbean-based organization is zeroing in on helping local businesses who export their products to hone on their skills when applying for grant funding. The Caribbean Export Development Agency, headquartered in ...

Government Allows Illegal Rosewood Harvest To Be Sold
On Tuesday, the Government’s Press Office issued a release saying that the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development will allow for the sale and exportation of rosewood that was illegally harvested in order to avoid a total loss of the value of the wood. T...

Family of Eight Loses Home To Fire
A family of eight lost their home to fire early this morning. Reporter Dalila Ical has the story. DALILA ICAL "The family who resides on Woodpecker Street in Charleston Village in the Orange Walk District reports that the fire began sometime between 2:30am and 3am in one o...

COLA Issues Release On Guatemala's New Passport
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, has fired off a press release over the decision of the Guatemalan government to print its passport showing a map of that country that includes Belize. COLA expresses its strong belief that quote, “Guatemala has underl...

Shopkeeper Charged With Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Thirty-nine year old Arden Middleton, a.k.a. “Gad”, a shopkeeper of Caesar Ridge Road charged with unlawful carnal Knowledge of a girl, 14, was found guilty of the charge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The jury of six men and three women deliberated for abo...


Some $71,000 Worth Of Contraband Goods Confiscated By Custom Officers
Details are still sketchy but CTV3 News has been reliably informed that a Freightliner truck and a van have been confiscated by Custom Officers. The Freightliner was carrying some $71,000 worth of goods, most of them contraband items. We understand that both vehicles were intercepted by the Village of San Antonio in the Corozal District. Inside the Freightliner officers found sacks of local sugar, 15 cases of Monster Energy Drink, 23 cases of Red Bull and 13 cases of assorted liquor hidden beneath the sacks of sugar. While the Freightliner truck and the van have been confiscated by Customs, three persons have also been detained. We understand that custom officers trailed the truck from Orange Walk to Corozal. The Customs Department suspects that while the sugar is distributed thorough out the country, contraband goods, hidden beneath the product are also sold. The individuals detained were unable to produce any receipts for the confiscated goods.

Mayan Artifacts Allegedly Found At Cuello Site
During our exclusive interview with Doctor Jaime Awe at Santa Rita Mayan Ruin in Corozal, we also asked Awe if there was any truth to the rumors circulating that Mayan artefacts were recently discovered at Cuello Site located on the grounds of Cuello’s Distillery Limited right here in Orange Walk Town. Reports reaching our news room are that employees of the company unearthed several artefacts while constructing a new building near the site. According to Awe, NICH is working hand in hand with the owners of the company to verify the reports. Doctor Jaime Awe-Director of Archaeology at NICH “We receive a report that they had been constructing a new building by the Cuello farm and we did respond to it, we were there last week and we meet with the Cuello brothers and another amazing site the site of Cuello can be found highlighted in every book written on the Maya, it has some of the earliest material found in the Maya world and so from our initials discussion with the Cuello brothers, they were aware that some discoveries were made we don’t know what exactly it was so we’ve been there and we had these discussions and the plan now is that they are interested working together with us and we will see perhaps in the future we can develop the site of Cuello and it would be perfect because it is so close to Orange Walk Town, it would be good for education and for the student to go and visit, it would be good for tourism in Orange Walk and it would be good for Belizean heritage and so we plan to go back there and already the owners have indicated a support and interest to work along with us to hopefully develop Cuello as one of these important heritage site.”

Archaeologist Unearth Secrets Of The Mayan World At Santa Rita Ruin
Doctor Jaime Awe is a Belizean archaeologist with almost thirty years of experience in Maya archaeology. He has taught at universities in Canada, England, and the United States and is currently employed at the National Institute of Culture and History as Director of Archaeology. Doctor Awe is presently heading the restoration of Santa Rita Maya Ruin located in Santa Rita in the Corozal District where work commenced more than two months ago. Less than two weeks into the excavation, the Archaeological team discovered a burial that contained a Pelican Effigy Vessel and on Tuesday another remarkable discovery was made, a tomb was found at the foot of the ruin. Its contents prove that there are many secrets and treasures of the Maya left to be unearthed. In an exclusive interview with CTV3 News, Doctor Awe unraveled the mysteries that lie underneath the Santa Rita Maya Ruin. Carmelita Perez- Reporting Santa Rita Maya Ruin is an archaeological reserve located on the outskirts of Corozal Town. Historical evidence suggests that Santa Rita Maya Ruin was once the Capital of Chetumal. In 2012 the US Embassy granted thousands of dollars to the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH for the restoration of the archaeological site which will be converted into a Maya Wedding Garden in hopes of pinning Corozal as one of the most visited tourist destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, on the world map.

Government Will Split Proceeds of Rosewood Sale 50/50 With Illegal Exporters
Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla is back in Belize but today she refused to speak on the 19 days Amnesty Period offered by her Government to Rosewood exporters who illegally harvested the product and can now bring it out from hiding and export it mostly likely to China where the market value for Rosewood flitches is high. The fact that Minister Alamilla was not in the country when the amnesty was set in place, is cause for suspicion and COLA is describing the move as a ‘knife in the back’ since it counter reacts the moratorium set into law back in March 2012, for the protection of Rosewood. But what is truly causing public outcry is that Government will share the proceeds of sale 50/50 with the illegal exporters. So far Government has been silent about the issue and the media has had to work with a simple release speaking about the sale and export of the rosewood during the 19 days amnesty period. Today; however, the media managed to obtain the first comment from a government official as Minister of National Security John Saldivar spoke on the issue. Thanks to our colleagues at Channel Seven News we were able to obtain the interview.

Chinese Businessman Robbed A Gunpoint And Firearm Goes Missing In Corozal
An armed robbery in Corozal last night has left a Chinese businessman fearing for his life. At around 7:00 last night 21 year old Shi Yu Ma, proprietor of Lisa’s Restaurant located on 5th Avenue Corozal, was inside the establishment when a male individual of East Indian decent entered the restaurant with a 9mm pistol in hand and robbed him at gunpoint. According to Yu Ma, his attacker demanded that he hand over all of the cash, while pointing the gun at him. Fearing for his life Yu Ma did exactly as he was told and gave the robber $400.00. With cash in hand the criminal then made good his escape. So far no one has been detained and police investigations continue. Corozal Police also have another case of burglary to solve and this time it has to do with a stolen firearm. Fifty four year old John Sutherland, the Manager of Cerros Maya Ruin located in the Corozal District, reported to police that about 6:00pm on April 10th, he discovered that his 12 gauge Winchester shotgun was missing. Sutherland told police that the shotgun, bearing serial number L526301, was left at his private residence also located at the Cerros Maya Ruin Park. Police are investigating.

Nominate Your Candidate For The Belize Public Service Award
Belize, in solidarity with countries around the world, will celebrate the United Nations Public Service Day on June 23rd. In line with this celebration is the Belize Public Service Award which is a prestigious recognition of excellence and commitment to the achievement of high quality public service delivery and good governance that was established in 2006. The Ministry of the Public Service is now accepting nominations on the occasion of the 8th Belize Public Service Awards for the following categories: for Outstanding Public Officer of the Year, category one junior officer, category two senior officer and category three senior manager and for the outstanding government agency of the year. The Awards are opened to individuals employed by the Government of Belize at the national level as well as entire teams, namely, Ministries, Departments and Units. The awards are non-monetary with the exception of the Public Officers of the Year Award. Winners of this category receive a onetime monetary payment valuing two annual increments based on officers existing pay-scale.

Minister Saldivar Values His Reputation And Sues Plus TV
On Friday April 5th, Plus Television’s Louis Wade and Patrick Andrews, hosts of the Rise and Shine morning show were served with a notice of law suit by Minister John Saldivar, for defamation of character. The law suit is as a result of a comment which was made by Andrews in the month of December 2012 in reference to some fifty thousand dollar cash subsidy the government provided to area representatives before the general elections. At the time the comment was made, Wade was out of the country and Andrews was holding over the show when Minister Of Education Patrick Faber was guest. Wade has stated on recorded, that in order for no court action to be taken, Minister Saldivar made several demands. One was for an apology, two that both hosts desist from making negative comments about the Minister during the morning show and three that Andrews be removed as the co-host of the show. Obviously none of the demands were met by Plus TV since the matter is now going to the court. On the other hand, Minister Saldivar says he is suing Plus TV because he values his reputation.

Rejection Of Proposals Translates To No Referendum Says Guatemala
“If Belize does not accept the proposals, then Guatemala will not carry out consultations and waste $260 million Quetzals in something that we know we will not win” that was the statement made today by Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina. This statement comes in light of Belize rejecting Guatemala’s proposals on the referendum. Meaning that if Belize does not change its Referendum Laws or does not accept a change in the date of the Referendum from October 6th 2013, to a later date Guatemala will not take part in the Referenda. Guatemala made two proposals which are, one- for Belize to amend its Referendum Legislation so that it would reflect Guatemala’s terms of requirements for a referendum to be successful. Currently the referendum laws in Belize states that for a referendum to be valid, there needs to be 60% or more voter turnout. In Belize the referendum is set to cost about US$5 million and in Guatemala US$46 million.

PUP Condemns Lack Of Transparency on Sale Of Rosewood
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, was the first to jump on Government’s throat for the 19 days Amnesty Period awarded to Rosewood exporters by basically stating that the decision stinks to high heaven. Today the People’s United Party also weighed on the issue by condemning the lack of transparency and apparent facilitation of corrupt activities recently revealed. The release states and we quote “While the PUP is not against the sale of illegally harvested rosewood to benefit the public purse, the Party decries the lack of disclosure and unwillingness on the part of government to report to the public.” End quote. The PUP calls on Government to give a full and proper account for all proceeds including disclosure of who the contractors and exporters are, the value of sale, and where the Rosewood will be exported. The Party also recommends that the rosewood be sold through proper authorities and that proceeds directly benefit the communities from which the rosewood was extracted.


Minister of National Security “Cautioned in a friendly manner” removal of Rise & Shine TV Host
John Saldivar gives his side of PLUS TV suit. This television station is being sued for defamation of character by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, who claims that earlier this year statements purportedly made about him on our “Rise and Shine” morning program by co-host Patrick Jason Andrews...

Police make arrests in two murder cases, including Matura death
Coming out of the office of the Police Press Officer late this evening, is information that Police have made arrests in two separate murder cases. The first, 18 year old Lloyd King has been charged with the murder of Belizean baller Ronald Rivers. Rivers was shot in front of...

Family accuses mentally unstable member of setting deliberate fire
There was a fire this morning on Holy Emmanuel Street in Belize City that destroyed a family’s home and possessions. But what adds to their pain is that one of their own is accused of setting it. Anna Lorenzo, the sister of the accused, says she and other family...

Cabinet Minister comments on amnesty on Rosewood logging
The first public comment from a Cabinet Minister on the issue of the hastily declared amnesty on rosewood logging came today from John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. According to Saldivar, the Government’s intention is to start afresh on an issue that has become a political liability. John Saldivar...

PUP condemns the lack of transparency on Rosewood issue
Today the People’s United Party (PUP) sent out a press release saying “it condemns the lack of transparency and apparent facilitation of corrupt activities in relation to the rosewood issue and the recently revealed approval for the sale/export of already harvested rosewood. While the PUP is not against the...

Placencia Village council claims GOB playing politics with scarce community land
Plus news has been highlighting progress and challenges that the Village of Placencia have been facing over recently years and today we bring you a last in a series of those stories. The Placencia Village Council recently sent out a press release concerning at 31 lot distribution which took...

Four arrested in Santa Elena for firearm offences
An early morning raid today, led to the arrest of four persons, one of whom is a minor. Armed with a search warrant, San Ignacio Police visited the Santa Elena home of 27 year old Kaing Contreas, where they found 10 auto FC 25 rounds. The ammo was on...

Belmopan Police investigate possible case of attempted rape
Belmopan Police are investigating a possible case of attempted rape. An 18 year student of Belmopan told police that after 10pm on Tuesday night, she waiting for a bus in Santa Elena Town, when a gold colored Tacoma stopped in front of her and the driver, who she says...

Man charged for attack on bus driver
Two nights ago, we brought you the story of a bus driver who was attacked and rob by a man wielding an icepick. That man, believed to be Candelario Lemus was captured by police as he attempted to the flee scene. On Monday, he was arraigned on the charges...

Basic Needs Trust Fund scheme to tackle important areas of national development
The Social Investment Fund (SIF) in conjunction with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) today launched the seventh initiative under the Basic Needs Trust Fund scheme to tackle important areas of national development. The program will last for five years and see projects in education, community development and social protection....

Christian Artist Nicole C. Mullins establishes Baby Girls Club in Belize
BabyGirls Club is an organization that seeks to build young leaders for Christ through the arts. The NGO provides a home away from home, where girls can get involved in singing, dancing, arts and crafts and learning new skills. But as we said, there’s also a spiritual element to...

Government and private sector discuss revised National Export Strategy
Representatives of Government and private sector were seated this morning in the same room at the Belize Biltmore Plaza to discuss the revised National Export Strategy and accompanying five-year action programme first presented in 2006.Initially intended to last four years, the strategy ran into problems related with implementation. BELTRAIDE...

The Guardian

UDP’s $8.7 Million dollar gift to PSU and BNTU
The Unions representing the Public Service and the Teachers are at this point looking for a salary increase from the government representing 5% of their salary. While it is expected that unions make such requests for the greater good of the general membership it would appear that negotiating on collective bargaining agreements are all that the unions focus on when in reality there is much from within that they can do to help their membership. This takes us to the BTL Shares that the UDP government under the leadership of the then Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Manuel Esquivel gave to the unions back in 1995. At the time PM Esquivel handed over 480,000 B shares to the unions and they would later receive 180,000 C shares when Michael Ashcroft offered a script divided shares in lieu of dividends. Those shares were given to the unions at the time because the government could not afford to give a salary increase and the unions had accepted it. As part of the agreement the Unions should have set up a trust fund which would make financing available to the members of the unions as loans to cover medical, housing, educational and other expenses. The unions never made up their mind during the Esquivel tenure and a PUP administration came in.

Kevin Bernard is a liar!
The Mayor of Orange Walk Town is back on the news again, this time he's pretending to be the bastion of morality as he unceremoniously closed down a business in Orange Walk Town. Last week the mayor hit the airwaves on CTV3 and was even quoted in the PUP's Belize Times saying that “I will stand my ground on that again and this Council will not allow any casino or casino type establishment to operate within this municipality. Reason for that is that our social profit in this municipality is already decaying. If we should allow such type of business- we are just continuing to add more to the poverty and difficult situation that people are under.” What Bernard was speaking about was the closure of a gaming establishment by the name of 'Route 88' located on the Belize Corozal Road in downtown Orange Walk. He claimed that he was unaware of what type of business was being conducted at the establishment. The Guardian however has received a copy of an application for Gaming Machine License applied for by Jian Xing Chen specifically for 40 gaming machines. The application bears a 'No objection by Local Authority Signature (Kevin Bernard) and Stamp of Local Authority (Orange Walk Town Council). It also has a stamp by the Officer Commanding Orange Walk Police District (See page 1). The application is dated the 5th of December 2012.

Preparations Underway for National Agriculture and Trade Show
Preparations are now underway for the yearly National Agriculture and Trade Show NATS, which will be held on May 3rd, 4th and 5th at the Agricultural Show Grounds in Belmopan. As part of the preparations and a five year plan, the Ministry of Agriculture has successfully sought assistance from both the Private Sector and Communities to assist with improving the infrastructure at the Show Grounds.

Almost $80,000 in Grant Available for Local Businesses
Kirk Brown explaining application process to participants In collaboration with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) held a workshop in Belize at the Radisson on Wednesday, April 10, for private sector representatives interested in applying for grant funding under its Direct Assistance Scheme.

Belize National Teachers Union Holds Annual Convention
The Belize National Teachers’ Union B.N.T.U held its forty third Annual Conventions on April 3rd and 4th, 2013 at the Jaguar Auditorium in the Nation’s Capital. With ten branches from around the country present, the Convention was held under the theme “B.N.T.U Overcoming, Challenges, Enhancing Opportunities in Education.”

Electricity Rates to Fall While Water Freezes
On Wednesday, April 10, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced that water rates will be left unchanged for the period April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. On December 31, 2012 the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) submitted a proposal to the PUC that there be no Annual Tariff Review Proceeding (ARP). A release by the commission stated, “The PUC concluded that there was no exceptional circumstances to warrant that an ARP be initiated on the PUC’s own volition and accepted BWS’ proposal.” Therefore, the current tariffs, fees and charges will remain in effect.

Hopkins Road Upgrade to Start
A Launching Ceremony to signal the start of works for the upgrading of the Hopkins road from the Southern Highway to the Main Street of Hopkins Village at King Cassava will take place on April 12, 2013 at 1:00 p.m.. The project, funded by the Government of Belize and a grant from the European Union (EU) as part of the Belize Rural Development Project II, will be executed through a contract with Belize Roadway Construction in partnership with Rodla Construction Company Ltd.

Harvested Rosewood up for Sale
On Tuesday April 9th, the Government of Belize announced that rosewood that has already been harvested in the country will be allowed to be exported.

Good Friday Liquor license crackdown - Five Chinese nationals charged
Five Chinese business persons, including a woman and four men were before the court on Monday April 8th, to answer to charges of contravening the conditions of their liquor license. Allegations are that the Chinese Grocers were ordered not to open on Good Friday, March 29th, 2013, but they did. At least five of them were allegedly caught open and were cited for the offense and charged criminally. With the assistance of Chinese translator, Edmund Kwan, the 5 persons all pleaded not guilty to the offense of contravening conditions of their liquor licenses. Those charged are Wanxian Huang, 48, a businesswoman of Vista Del Mar Ladyville who is charged with keeping her business, Remejio’s Restaurant, opened on March 29th, 2013, in contravention to her liquor license.

Burglary victim forgives burglars
On Tuesday April 9th, three men were set free from a charge of burglary after the victim forgave them. The accused, 24-year-old Rupert Courtney Jr., a laborer with the Ministry of Works; along with 18-year old Kevin Rodriguez, a resident and Food Vendor of #8814 Jane Usher Boulevard as well as 22-year-old Ministry of Works employee, Tyrone Fitzgibbon, of #114 Jane Usher Boulevard appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where they were charged for burglary and handling stolen goods. The men were accused of entering the home of Belize Bank employee, 40-year-old Francisco Martinez, an Office Assistant and resident of #8605 Swallow Street in Belize City. His home was burglarized on Sunday, April 7th, 2013. The thieves made off with $4,829.00 worth of household items including a 40 inch flat screen television valued at $2,700. In court the victim appeared requesting no court action against the men. Martinez told Magistrate Dale Cayetano, “In life everybody makes mistakes.” With that, the charges were withdrawn against the men. The trio had all pleaded not guilty to the offenses.

Charles Guy Pleads Guilty to Stabbing Erron Budnah
54-year-old Charles Guy was sentenced to six months in prison after he pleaded guilty to the offenses of aggravated assault and wounding upon 24-year-old Erron Budnah. On Sunday, March 31st, Erron Budnah was attacked by Guy and stabbed several times to the body, face, hand and back. In court, Guy appeared unrepresented and wasted no time by pleading guilty to the offenses. He told the court that Budna had disrespected him three times before but he failed to make a report about the incidents. Instead, he attacked Budna with a knife and stabbed him multiple times. Police were called to the scene and they apprehended Guy. When police detained him, Guy told them that he knew what he had done and took full responsibility for his actions. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith sentenced him to six months imprisonment for the offense of aggravated assault with a knife. The charge of wounding was withdrawn since he saved the court time and pleaded guilty to the offense. In mitigation, Guy was very apologetic and remorseful for his action and admitted that he knew he did wrong when he attacked and stabbed Budna.

Khalid El Turk Extradition Case on Hold
On Thursday, April 4th, attorneys representing the Solicitor General’s Office, Magali Perdomo and Liliana Swift, requested that Khalid El Turk’s extradition hearing be adjourned after the defense raised three challenges to the extradition order. El Turk is wanted in the United States for charges of conspiracy to the importation of pseudoephedrine and importation of pseudoephedrine. He is being represented by Attorney Edwin Flowers and Anthony Sylvestre. In court on Thursday, El Turk’s attorneys challenged the extradition based on the requirement that the offence being committed must be against the laws of both country. Flowers submitted that the two offences El Turk is charged with do not exist in the Laws of Belize. The defense also submitted that a witness statement which the US Government is relying on has no signature. Though they claim it is for safety and security reasons, Flowers submitted that under the Laws of Belize, a defendant has the right to face his accuser, and that a signature is a mandatory requirement. At the end of Flowers’ submission on behalf of El Turk, the Solicitor General's office requested more time to continue to process their arguments. In light of that, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith adjourned the matter until April 22nd.

Three prisoners on remand charged for drug trafficking
On Tuesday April 9th, three prisoners on remand waiting trials on separate charges were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for joint possession of marijuana found inside a locker at the remand section of their cell area at the Kolbe Foundation located at the Hattieville Prison. The three are 24-year-old Orel Leslie, a resident of Linda Vista area, Belize City; 41-year-old Floyd Anthony, an Esperanza Village resident, and Emmanuel Westby, who was not removed from prison so was not arraigned in court. The three were jointly charged with one count of drug trafficking for allegedly having in their possession, 220 grams of cannabis. Leslie and Anthony were additionally charged with another count of drug trafficking for having in their possession, 2 grams of cannabis. Leslie and Anthony were also charged with another charge of drug trafficking for allegedly having in their possession, another 323 grams of cannabis. In court, Leslie pleaded not guilty to all charges while Anthony pleaded not guilty to the 220 grams and the 323 grams but asked the magistrate to allow him to plead guilty to the 2 grams because he claimed the 2 grams was found inside his cell but the others were not found there.

Guatemalan Convict Tries to Smuggle Ammunition into Prison
24-year-old Guatemalan convict, David Lopez, was busted when he attempted to smuggle seven live rounds of .25 caliber ammunition into the Belize Central Prison on Thursday, April 4th. Lopez was just recently convicted for another offense in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court and was sentenced to serve 5 years in prison. According to reports, it was during a mandatory search at the Belize Central Prison that officers found the seven live rounds of .25 ammunition in a piece of green cloth he had in his bag. He was charged for the offense of keeping ammunition without a gun license and appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Friday, April 5, to answer to the charge. Lopez appeared unrepresented and pleaded guilty to the offense. In mitigation plea he told the Chief Magistrate that he was forced by a man to carry the ammunition. Chief Magistrate Smith sentenced him to 5 years imprisonment for the offense. Lopez, who is a farmer originally from Palencia Peten in Guatemala, now has to serve 10 years in prison.

Percival Blancaneaux Gets three Years for Aggravated Burglary
On Friday, April 5th, Percival Blancaneaux was convicted of aggravated burglary in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court. In January of 2012, three men entered the home of Esmeralda Glastonbury armed with a knife. In her testimony, Glastonbury told the court that on January 24th, 2012, she, her son and husband were at their home located at Mile 11 ½ on the Phillip Goldson Highway when she heard noise inside the house at about 3 a.m. According to Glastonbury, she then heard her son shouting for help. She ran to his bedroom and saw a man of dark complexion holding her son by his throat with a knife. She shouted out “thieves” and ran towards her bedroom where her husband was. She then shouted to her neighbors asking them to call the police and that was when she felt someone squeeze her shoulder and order her to sit down on a chair. According to Glastonbury, her attacker was a man of fair complexion, who had his hair braided in corn rows.

Belmopan Bandits at top of the football standings
The 2013 Closing Season of the Premier League of Belize Football Competition continued over the last week with a number of games across the country. On Wednesday April 3, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo, the home team Verdes FC defeated Placencia Assassins FC by the score of 2-0. The goals for Verdes were scored by Humberto Rquena in the 11th minute of play while the second and final goal was scored by Rodney Torres in the 65th minute of play. In the other game also played that Wednesday evening at the MCC Grounds, the defending champions and the current leaders in this year’s competition, the Belmopan Bandits also blanked Police United by the score of 4-0. The 1st goal of the game for the Belmopan Bandits was scored by Jerome James in the 17th minute of play. Meanwhile, the other goals were scored by Deon McCaulay in the 56th, 68th and 85th minute of play that gave his team the 4-0 victory. On Thursday April 4, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town, the home team FC San Felipe Barcelona and the visiting San Ignacio United played to a 1-1 draw. The visiting San Ignacio United was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Rosny Martinez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 20th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. However, the home team FC San Felipe Barcelona was able to tie the score at 1-1 when Clifton West scored the equalizing goal in the 70th minute of plat for his team.

Central Zone Cycling elections this weekend
The Electoral Commission appointed by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association will be conducting elections for the Central Zone of the Belize Cycling Association on Saturday April 13, 2013, at 2:00 pm at the University of the West Indies Open Centre. All electors must bring their ID to participate in the elections.

Football Federation calls junior girls to open tryout
The Football Federation of Belize and the National Women’s Football Commission extends an invitation to young women born 1997 and 1998 to an open tryout for the National U-17 Women’s Team this coming Saturday April 13, 2013 commencing at 8:30 am at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The Football Federation informs that all athletes must bring along with them the following: Football gears (boots and shin guards), letter of permission from parent(s)/guardian and a passport which must have a life value of six or more months on it. Parents are also being informed that there will be a meeting for them at 9:30 am on the morning of the tryout.

Football Federation calls junior girls to open tryout
The Football Federation of Belize and the National Women’s Football Commission extends an invitation to young women born 1997 and 1998 to an open tryout for the National U-17 Women’s Team this coming Saturday April 13, 2013 commencing at 8:30 am at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan. The Football Federation informs that all athletes must bring along with them the following: Football gears (boots and shin guards), letter of permission from parent(s)/guardian and a passport which must have a life value of six or more months on it. Parents are also being informed that there will be a meeting for them at 9:30 am on the morning of the tryout.

KHMH captures first interoffice softball championship
The 2012 Belize City Interoffice Softball Competition came to an end on Saturday April 6, 2013, at Rogers Stadium with the Final and Grand Final games played between the top teams in the interoffice competition. In the Grand Final game played, KHMH escaped a late inning surged by BWSL to capture its first ever interoffice softball title when it was able to hold off the BWSL squad for a 14-13 victory. BWSL batting in the top of the 1st inning was able to score 2 runs for an early lead. However, KHMH came roaring back in the bottom of the 1st inning to score 4 runs. KHMH then scored 7 runs in the bottom of the 2nd inning to increase its lead to 9 runs. BWSL then scored 2 runs in the top of the 3rd inning, added a single run in the 4th inning, 2 in the 5th, 2 in the 6th and 4 more runs in the top of the 7th inning. Meanwhile, KHMH maintained its 9 runs lead when it scored single runs in the bottom of the 4th, 5th and 6th innings to preserve its first ever interoffice softball title. KHMH collected a total of 12 hits while BWSL collected 11 hits. The winning pitcher was Arlette Castillo and the losing pitcher was Shera Pandy.

Southern Zone elects first cycling executive
The Interim Committee that has been charged with the way forward for cycling in Belize is currently conducting zone elections. The first of the zone elections were held on Saturday April 6, at the Sentor Building in Independence Village, Stann Creek District. The elections were conducted by an Electoral Commission appointed by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, which consisted of Magistrate Sharon Frazier, Raymond Lashley and Hadie Gomez. Also in attendance were 2nd Vice Chairman of the National Sports Council Robert Allen and member of the National Sports Council Board David Griffith. Before the election process took place, the gathering was briefed by Mr. Hilly Martinez, President of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, on the role and responsibilities of the Southern Zone Association. At the end of the voting process, Cordel Gordon received 12 votes while Brian Levi received 2. As a result, Cordell Gordon was duly elected President of the Southern Zone Cycling Association. For the post of Vice President, Peter Morgan was elected; Keisha West was elected as Secretary, Elizabeth Zabaneh was elected as Treasurer and Tony Zabaneh Sr. was elected committee member. All were duly elected unopposed.

Special Constables Program Under Review
Senior Superintendent of Police Louise Geraldine Willis, having recently been featured in a Women’s Department Publication entitled ‘The Gender Agenda: Gaining Momentum’ came out of her vacation this past Monday night to be alongside the ‘Cayo Special Constables’ Committee’. The meeting was held at the San Ignacio Police Station with members of the Community Policing Unit present.

Luck More than Sense
A couple of months ago I had a conversation by the Barracks here in OW with a very cultured gentleman from Guinea Grass who has extensive international experience as an educator, mainly in Central America. He asked my opinion on the question of the Guatemalan claim going to the International Court of Justice, and if I was going to lend support for this process in this column. I told him that my first instinct was lukewarm at best for pursuing that path, but I was willing to give the educational process an opportunity so that I could listen to all the arguments, pro and con, before making a final determination on October 6. You see, it would be so natural and easy to completely reject any such notion since it is human nature to be wary of a process which one does not fully understand, especially if it involves one’s country! Anyway, my lone opinion would have been inconsequential in the general spirit of our democracy here in Belize. The entities who would have mattered most were the two major political parties. The UDP, as the government who signed the compromis, instantly put the issue to a Party resolution and the senior leadership of the Party openly supported the ICJ process.

Etched in Stone
It is said that many men thrive on the idea to live on long after they are gone, not particularly through Christianity’s promise of eternal life, but by making meaningful contributions to humanity. There is nothing wrong with this concept in life; in fact, is an admirable quality, since most great men are honored for the good that they have contributed to civilization. But great men take years, decades even, to make an indelible mark in history, and it involves much effort and great perseverance on their part. Not so with the PUP Town Council here in Orange Walk. They are in a hurry to make their scratch in history, not by works, but through shrines. One of the first projects they undertook involved a lot of artwork. They decided to commission the sculpting of the insignia of the OWTC alongside our country’s coat of arms and the names of all past Mayors who have served our municipality. While many citizens felt that this major task could have taken a back burner, considering the high price tag it came with, and these finances been directed to the pothole-decorated streets, they shrugged it off as just another misguided political fetish; an error of judgment, or lack thereof. But the OWTC did not stop there. The PUP Councilors must have said, but what about us? Are we not the greatest thing to happen to OWT? Do we not deserve to be recognized and remembered by all? So they decided to have their names carved out right alongside the Mayors’ roster; only theirs are more prominent. I have to ask, where does narcissism stem from? One year in political office and they want their names to be written in stone? Man, if they had done but one notable achievement for the town, at least pave the street by the BEL offices, then maybe even their fellow PUP supporters could agree with this claptrap, but nada, nothing, and their names are right up there in stone, for I don’t know how long.

Media’s Role in Our Violent Society
UWIAA President Paco Smith Presents Gift To Dr. Leith Dunn The Belize Chapter of the University of the West Indies Alumni Association is the latest organization to attempt to “educate” the local media on professional standards for reporting violent crime. The association invited Jamaican sociologist and Head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Dr. Leith Dunn, to conduct a series of workshops and lectures in Belize focusing on the effects violence in media have on children. Based on the attendance of the sessions, one would say the local media practitioners were not interested in being lectured one more time about their “poor standards of reporting”.

World Health Day 2013
The Ministry of Health joins its national partners, the Belize Kidney Association and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) – Belize to celebrate World Health Day 2013. World Health Day 2013 campaign focuses on hypertension or, as commonly known, high blood pressure and the need to “Know your numbers.” In the Americas, at least one in three adults is diagnosed with hypertension, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and death throughout the world. One third of the already affected adult population is unaware that they are affected by the condition, reinforcing the need for checking blood pressure regularly, especially in primary healthcare settings. The Ministry of Health has encouraged the regional hospitals across the country to setup on-location health booths for blood pressure checks. Additionally, the Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, continues to encourage the public to practice preventative measures, which include consuming less salt, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, doing regular physical activity, avoiding tobacco use and avoiding harmful use of alcohol. World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7th to commemorate the anniversary of the founding of WHO in 1984. An official ceremony will be held on Friday, April 12th, 2013 at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Parking Lot, starting at 9:00 am. A health fair follows the ceremony where the opportunity to check blood pressure and “know your numbers” will be offered by health practitioners. The media is especially invited to attend.


Basic Needs Trust Fund 7 Launches In Belize
The Basic Needs Trust fund is a regional grant program geared toward poverty reduction infrastructure that is in existence for over thirty years. In that time the BNTF has expended almost 190 million U.S dollars regionally including Belize. Under the Social Investment Fund the Basic Needs Trust Fund seven was officially launched this morning in Belize City Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Santiago Castillo says this project means for Belize. SANTIAGO CASTILLO “First of all it’s the first one that the CDB is doing; it’s a big one, it’s 12.8 million dollars through the basic needs trust fund, 7th tranche. It’s being done through SIF and it’s all geared towards poverty alleviation for those people who need it the most. So, that ‘s what makes it very interesting and that together with the 30 million that we had already gotten through the SIF 2 program that’s a lot of money that will be invested into the poorer sectors of Belize during the next few months. Where the project will be implemented will be worked out over the next 2 days but certainly it will be in areas such as education, such as housing, such as those areas we feel need it the most to uplift Belize more or less as best as possible with the funds that we have through this program and clearly we are very grateful to our partners, the Caribbean development Bank who in there speech today mentioned that Belize is one of the country that has showed the best economic recovery and that is why they have so much faith and that is why there are launching it in Belize today.

Funding Available For Small Businesses Through The Caribbean Export Development Agency
And while the controversy at home is over Rosewood exportation, one Caribbean-based organization is zeroing in on helping local businesses who export their products to hone on their skills when applying for grant funding. The Caribbean Export Development Agency, headquartered in Barbados, has a program with the European Union called the Regional Private Sector Development Program. The program provides for funding to the tune of 28 million euros for businesses in countries that are members of CARIFORUM. In 2012, twelve Belizean businesses received funding to help keep their operations going. That was a marked improvement over the previous two years because Belizean businesses had not qualified for any funding before that. Today Caribbean Export Development Agency’s Senior Grant Advisor, Kirk Brown, explained to reporters what the session aims to achieve and who can or cannot apply. KIRK BROWN “The facility we offer is a grant facility; we have two types of funding, one is the small grant which is five thousand euro and one is the large grant which is thirty thousand euro and firms have the opportunity to get funding to fund anything that can enhance the competitiveness of their company or business. Simply put, if they needed to develop a website, if they needed to upgrade equipment, if they needed to train staff, if they needed to market or promote their business or services, if they also needed to attend trade shows, they could get funding.

COLA Issues Release On Guatemala’s New Passport
The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, has fired off a press release over the decision of the Guatemalan government to print its passport showing a map of that country that includes Belize. COLA expresses its strong belief that quote, “Guatemala has underlined its lack of respect for this country and its sovereignty and its inability to let go of a claim that has distorted its image internationally and caused it to fall behind in its obligations to its own people. We consider this the end of the ICJ/Special Agreement process and urge Belizeans to boycott any referendum held at any time after October 6, 2013 that is premised on that Special Agreement”, unquote. The COLA release ends on a piercing note, appealing to the Belizean Government to deny anyone in possession of such a passport, including Guatemalan diplomats and representatives, access to enter Belize or its services. COLA also believes that Belize should withdraw from the upcoming OAS Congress in Guatemala City and all activities involving Guatemala at the state and national level.

Shopkeeper Charged With Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Thirty-nine year old Arden Middleton, a.k.a. “Gad”, a shopkeeper of Caesar Ridge Road charged with unlawful carnal Knowledge of a girl, 14, was found guilty of the charge today in the court of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The jury of six men and three women deliberated for about three hours and 20 minutes before it arrived at its verdict, which was unanimous. Justice Gonzalez has deferred sentencing until Thursday, April 18, in order to give Middleton time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The incident occurred between 11 a.m. and midday on July 13, 2011. The girl testified that she went to Little Wilt’s Place on Caesar Ridge Road and she asked Middleton to use the bathroom.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest Dates Announced
June 28, 29, 30


On a flight to Belize
I kept it relatively on the down-low that we were going away, and was doing my best to get as much off time as I could while gone. It’s 4:30 am and we are about to head out to to Sarasota airport to catch our flight to Belize after a 9 day vacation in Venice Florida. We had a great time visiting my family, it was really nice to catch up with everyone. While there we celebrated my brothers 5oth birthday, ate lots of delicious food, went to Siesta Key beach and shopped till we dropped. We also went to Ringling Museum of Art and saw the Herb Ritts exhibition. His photography is very cool so was the tour of John & Mable Ringling’s house and the scale model of the circus was super cool. They did a huge amount of work putting it together and the attention to details was amazing. My brother Rob and I had lots of fun posing in the clown car and walking the tight rope.

Belmopan and rebuilding Perdomo Rum Plant in the early 90s
Here is a short story with a few pictures from my Helena Montana Weatherman Brent Doig on his experience helping out rebuilding the rum distillery in Belmopan back in the 90s including more crazy small world Montana Belize connections. When I was working in Belmopan back in the early nineties, I did the rebuild of the Perdomo rum plant, I was sitting outside the motel I was living at feeding a baby coatimundi a bottle. It liked to dismantle my shoes while the maid cleaned my room…anyhow, I was sitting there in a chair when this pickup pulled up to the place and I glanced at the license plate and it was a Montana license plate… the way ours were numbered, and kind of still are, you could tell what county the vehicle was licensed in. It was a 6… Bozeman~ I was like WTF! was homesick and went over to the guy and about hugged him. We had a nice chat. He had actually moved to Belize with his wife and built cabinets. Lived way down south but was in Belmopan redoing his visa or something. Check link to Travellers Rum on Wikipedia… the picture of the distillation columns are the ones I set up..with a prehistoric crane! They bought them in the states and had them shipped down and then I went down and put it together. Good time… 6 weeks… awesome experience. The family, the Perdomos, told me to take a break before I flew home and steered me to San Pedro… that was the start of this whole thing. Spent 4 nights there. Crazy Was pretty cool J

A Serious Walk Around Caye Caulker: Part Three
A few weeks ago, I went on a serious walk-about all over the island of Caye Caulker and took SO many pictures. In Part One and Part Two, I had lunch at the Happy Lobster, passed lots of hotels and restaurants and made it down to the Split. Caye Caulker is such a cool place to visit…the island is so manageable (look at what I saw in only a few hours), you feel like you know everyone’s name after a day or two and there are so many reasonably priced places to stay and eat. And you can also go upscale if you want… Plus, it’s absolutely gorgeous. And the Rasta boat that is always parked down there. On the way back up the island and towards the lagoon side, I passed this very cute hotel that I’d never seen before. Sea Dreams Hotel. From looking at the website, the owner is also the founder of the Ocean Academy, the first high school in Caye Caulker. Very cool.

8 Photos to Make You Want to Vacation in Belize
Belize is the only country in the world with a jaguar preserve which is located in southern Belize. The park covers an area of 150 square miles of tropical forest and is rich in beauty, wildlife and even an ancient ceremonial Maya site. The park also protects the headwaters of two major river systems and supports and abundance of hardwood vegetation and diverse fauna assemblage.

“I’m Sorry” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Spent a bit of time yesterday morning finalising the ‘agenda’ for the meeting Rose and I were having with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, at 3 pm at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. This didn’t take too long because we are now trying to focus the meetings on a few things. And this is becoming increasingly easier as the build progresses. As part of the meeting preparation we browsed the Internet again to ‘screen grab’ a selection of light fittings – fluorescent for the store room, pendants for the internal stairwell and recessed for everywhere else. Oh, we are also having pendant lights over the breakfast bar but we have already chosen them. With the preparations for the meeting out of the way I took my trusty old Kindle down to the dock in front of our rented condo and got stuck in to reading The Litigator by John Grisham. I am now heading towards the finale of the book and it is becoming more and more difficult to put it down. I had to leave reaching the conclusion to another day though because it was time to head off for our meeting with Daniel. When we got to Tres Cocos Daniel was already there so we started our meeting straight away. But only after he had given us nine samples of different stain treatments for the cabinetry. We are now in a position to make our final choices and can then move on to making final decisions on the granite colours/finishes we want and next Thursday it is off to Belize City to choose the tiles.

International Sources

Don't Let Guatemala Duck Agreement
It is urgent that the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) engage the global community for help in sending a clear message to Guatemala that there will be no reward for bad behaviour, including, as seems to be the intent of the Central American country, squirming out of solemn undertakings. Jamaica, in its own right as a respected and influential voice on hemispheric matters, and as the CARICOM country with responsibility for the Community's external relations, must lead this initiative. The matter to which we refer is the agreement between Belize and Guatemala to take their territorial dispute to the World Court, once their populations support the initiative in simultaneous referenda on December 6. The Guatemalans, it appears, are attempting to derail the process, or want to provoke the Belizeans into doing so. Guatemala claims over half of Belize, or a portion of the country that is nearly 50 square miles larger than Jamaica. The dispute, in its modern iteration, goes back nearly 75 years since Guatemala rejected a treaty it signed with Britain 154 years ago that was thought to settle its territorial boundaries with what was then British Honduras. The Guatemalans based the territorial grab on an argument that the British reneged on a treaty obligation to finance infrastructure development in their country.

‘Bangor to Belize’ trip a winner
Spanish students from Bangor High School have been traveling to Central America every other year for the past 11 years. In previous years, they’ve visited Mexico and Costa Rica, but this year they tried something different and, according to teacher Heidi Lyga, the experiment was a good one for the 13 students who went on the trip. “The students thoroughly delighted in the the culture, climate and kind people of Belize,” Lyga said. The country was comparable to Costa Rica in that it was just as much of an adventure and because so many people spoke English, Lyga noted. A big difference, however, was that Creole (a blend of Spanish and European influences) is spoken everywhere. “I had never heard Creole before,” Lyga said. “It’s quite tricky — it’s the kind of thing you can only learn at home or on the street.” Fortunately, the students still got to practice their everyday Spanish with bus drivers, vendors and waiters. “We also visited a school where they spoke Spanish — although they would break out in Creole there, too,” Lang said. It was a memorable trip for many reasons. Lyga said that while Costa Rica weather can be hit or miss in the cloud forest, the weather in Belize was “spectacular.” Students spent a couple days hiking in the jungle, toured a cave and other Mayan ruins, visited a howler monkey sanctuary and a nature center where they learned the life cycle of the blue morpho butterfly. The trip also included a zip line canopy tour, cave tubing and boat rides on the Old Belize River and the New River lagoon. The final days were spent on the the island of Ambergris Cay, where the students enjoyed snorkeling and “snuba-ing” (a combination of scuba diving and snorkeling).

Drilling Continues at New World's Rio Bravo Well
New World Oil and Gas Plc announced that the Rio Bravo #1 Well on the West Gallon Jug Crest prospect (WGJc) in Belize is currently drilling at approximately 7,700 feet. While 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 (TD), open hole logs are run and interpreted, and well testing results are available. The planned TD of the Well is estimated at 8,800 feet. On-going operations are continuing to proceed without incident, are on schedule and under budget. Rio Bravo, which commenced drilling March 1 is targeting a non-fault dependent four way structural closure in the Upper Jurassic Margaret Creek Formation. The Well is currently drilling through the Cretaceous interval, through the anhydrite top seal and dolomite sequences. To date drilling operations at WGJc have been in line with the Company's geologic expectations.

Adventures in Underwater Photography: Diving the coral reefs of Belize
A scuba diving trip in Belize seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to try my hand at underwater photography. But not all of us can hit a home-run on the first swing. I bring back some murky video, and a handful of lessons learned for other beginners looking to jump in and shoot. Sitting on the edge of a boat bobbing in the waves, I have a tank strapped to my back, a mask clouding my vision and a snorkel dangling by my ear. It’s my first time scuba diving and I’m nervous that despite all my preparation I’ll forget something important — and the consequences are ominous. Outside of my possible death, the only other thing I can think about is the digital camera nestled in the pocket of my scuba vest. I want to be sure to capture some cool fish, the colors of the coral, the way the light scatters underwater and a few “selfies” to prove my bravery to Facebook friends.

VIDEO: Caye Caulker, Belize - GO SLOW
If you're looking for island vibes, beautiful weather, underwater adventure, reggae beats, and good people, travel on over to Caye Caulker, Belize! In this video, I reunite with my best friend Allie and get to know the island of Caye Caulker

VIDEO: Southwater Southern Ray
This big gal swam right by me. The posterior humps show that she was pregnant.

April 11, 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

The Legends lead in local 11-A-Side football tournament
The Ambergris Stadium was packed with cheering fans this past Saturday, April 6th and Sunday, April 7th as the 11-A-Side Football Tournament continued. Squaring off on Saturday was the team of United FC vs. the Jokers and Juventus vs. DFC United. The first game started at 6PM, and at the end of regulation, United FC spanked the Jokers 6-1! The second game started around 8PM, and it was a 3-3 draw between Juventus and DFC United. On Sunday, three games were played: Veterans vs. Lebanese Boys, Los Catrachos vs.Caye Caulker team and Dennis Construction vs. The Legends. With the first game starting at 1PM, the Lebanese faced off against the Veterans, winning the game 1-0. Los Catrachos and Caye Caulker team settled for a 2-2 tie in the second game that took place at 3PM. The last game for the day started at 5PM and the Legends delivered a blow-out 5-0 game against Dennis Construction team.

SPTC issues new driver’s licenses and learner’s permits
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has issued a new look for driver licenses and learner’s permit. As of Tuesday April 9th, the SPTC will begin issuing a new PVC driver license card, which includes a protective holographic film layer to encase the information on the card. Of special note, the license now has a new feature: a blood type insert is included. This will aid doctors, nurses and police to quickly and easily identify a person’s blood type in case of emergencies that require a blood transfusion. According to Councilor Kenrick Bracket, whose portfolio includes Traffic, the new license and learner’s permit is more durable and authentic. While the previous driver’s license was a laminated type written card, this new digitally made license will now fit universal standards.New Drivers License-2

Costa Maya Committee announces 2013 Festival dates
Karen-Jordan-1The 2013 International Costa Maya Festival dates have been confirmed. On August 1st through August 4th, Belize’s biggest International Festival will be bringing top notch entertainment to La Isla Bonita once again. The venue remains the same: the old football field, which is currently undergoing aesthetic changes under the Sustainable Tourism Project. Of exciting note is the fact that during the Belize Fashion Week event taking place April 12th – 13th, Reina de la Costa Maya 2012’s first runner-up Karen Jordan Beitia will be officially crowned Reina de la Costa Maya. This is because the winner of the pageant, Mexico’s Natalia Villanueva was married in February of 2013. According to the pageant regulations, the Reina de la Costa Maya must be single (not married). As the new beauty ambassador, Karen Jordan will be back on the island for the Costa Maya Festival 2013 and will be crowning the winner for this year’s pageant. Everyone is asked to start preparing for an amazing four-day festival of fun, as the committee will be in full gear to bring entertainment to the island once again. Que viva el Festival de la Costa Maya!

Ambergris Today

International Costa Maya Festival 2013 Announced for August 1 to 4
After much speculation and anticipation, we believe that many will be pleased to know that the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, will go forward for this year. Word just arrived to Ambergris Today from the organizing committee that the festival has been set for August 1 and run until August 4, 2013. The announcement came a bit late this year as for the speculations that there might not have been any festival this year. Construction of the Sunset Boardwalk at the old football field (venue of the festival) seemed to be getting in the way, but it does not seem so. The committee will get back to work in organizing another spectacular festival that brings so much entertainment and revenue for the island and Belize.

Hurricane Season 2013 Prediction 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 greater, of which six become hurricanes with peak winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, and approximately three become major hurricanes, ranked Category 3 or higher with sustained winds of over 130 miles per hour or greater. The Weather Channel has released its first 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook, calling for another active season. The forecast calls for a total of 16 named storms, 9 of which are expected to become hurricanes, including 5 major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale).

Stylish Dining at O Restaurant, Las Terrazas
The modern and sleek O Restaurant at Las Terrazas, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, is a great restaurant that offers a very diverse selection of food, from seafood to steaks to pastas and is fast becoming a premier dining destination on the island. The uniquely named restaurant ‘O’ is inspired by the world famous scuba diving site, the Great Blue Hole of Belize. The building is surrounded by water as if the centerpiece of an elaborate fountain and the inside décor is reminiscent of the cool colors found at the Blue Hole with a light and elegant touch of a nautical theme. A brightly blue-tiled counter of its Top Shelf Bar mimics the brilliant color of the summer sky, where you can enjoy a great selection of Caribbean-inspired cocktails, including a well-edited wine list. The dining area at O Restaurant is not very large, but seating is well spaced out and very comfortable; plus you have the option of dining outside around the 70’ infinity pool or arrange for more private dining on the beach or atop the restaurants Rooftop Lounge.

Misc Belizean Sources

Jim Hanna Obituary
IN LOVING MEMORY OF - James (Jim) Robert Hanna - WHO WENT HOME ON MARCH 31, 2013. Born in Amityville, NY on July 11, 1954 to Alberta Durkin and Marcus Alonzo Hanna III. Jim grew up in Elyria, OH. He attended St. Edward’s high school through the 9th grade in Cleveland, OH while living at St. Anthony’s Home for Boys on the west side. At 14 yrs. old he ran away from the home to Springfield, Vermont where he lived with the Hennessy family.

Public Hearings on Waste Management

Sale and export of illegal rosewood
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) views the sudden announcement of an amnesty for sale and export of illegal rosewood flitches as a ‘knife in the back’ and contrary to the sworn duty of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to protect and safeguard our natural resources. The timing of this amnesty – with the Minister and Chief Forest Officer out of the country – is beyond suspicious. Despite Cabinet having taken an official decision to impose the moratorium, this amnesty went into effect in the absence of Minister Alamilla but it appears to have been government-sanctioned. This appearance of corruption in a Cabinet decision, turning back on its previous one, reflects badly on the collective responsibility of Cabinet to Belizeans. Furthermore, those left in charge appear not to be interested in monitoring the exporters coming to the Forestry Department compound in Belmopan for the next two weeks to cart off their ill-gotten gains. We can only say that someone appears to be interested in collecting their profits at the cost of national pride and dignity.

Falcon Field NW Sets Signs
The Falcon Field Neighborhood Watch, one of the newer of the 20 or so neighborhood watches around Cayo, has gotten their 8 signs, and has been setting them up around the area. The neighborhood watches are working, and crime is down by 20%. Keep up the great work! "On Monday night we were given our 8 signs which we were more than anxious to put up the following day. Mr. Bart and Cheming did all the work. Eva and I were there for the pics and emotional support. We are truly grateful to them and on behalf of the entire group I would like to extend an enormous thank you to them. Now the whole country can see that we The Falcon Field N.W. are serious and committed to keeping OUR neighbourhood SAFE."

SHC Auditorium Progress for March
The Sacred Heart College auditorium is coming along nicely. In the last 2 weeks, the progress has been astounding.

SI United Game Day Photos
The San Ignacio United have posted some pictures from their last 3 games. They are in 4th place, which does qualify them for the semi-finals. They play the Placencia Assassins this Sunday at Broaster Stadium. Good luck! "Pics From our last three games. (Verdes, Barcelona and Police)"

'Show Off Belize' Video Competition
Amber Sunset Jungle Lodge, located in Cayo off of the George Price Highway, is having a video contest where you can win 2 nights at their lodge. They are asking for 30 second videos of people doing fun things around Belize. Unfortunately, fb is part of the competition, but then again, that's about all it's useful for. The contest ends on May 31st. "Summer is just around the corner and we have something fantastic to give away in our Show off Belize Video Competition! We are giving away 2 nights for two."

Miss Belize in Miss Humanity International
Idolly Saldivar will be representing Belize in the Miss Humanity International pageant, which will be in July on Barbados. You might remember Idolly from the 2011 Miss Costa Maya pageant, where she did a great job as Miss Belize. They are currently doing the people's choice online voting poll, and Miss Belize is in 3rd place, just behind Mexico and Portugal. Help her get to 1st place! Good luck, Idolly!

Belizean Reggaeton at its Peak! Lo Que Siento Por Ti [VIDEO]
Lo Que Siento Por Ti by Chami-Ka featuring Melonie Gillett Official Video. Lo Que Siento Por Ti Music Video - Chami-Ka featuring Melonie Gillett. Reggaeton Music. Shot in beautiful Belize at Robert's Grove Beach Resort. Director: Melonie Gillett Production by: 3D Prototype Animation and Metamorph Creatives

Channel 7

COLA Says GOB IS Up To No Good With Rosewood
Last night, 7News told you about the Rosewood Amnesty: a 19 day suspension of the moratorium during which Rosewood dealers can recover their confiscated product from government, bring out all those flitches they’ve been hiding, and sell it all, most likely on the export market where it fetches top dollar. The decision has stirred public outrage because it seems to be a complete reversal in policy for Ministry of Forestry, which enacted the moratorium 13 months ago to conserve the precious but rare hardwood because it was being rapidly depleted. The fact remains, however, that rosewood is a valuable commodity, and millions of dollars in wealth was sitting on the ground at the Forestry Department. The official position put out in a press release yesterday is that quote, “The Ministry has decided to…allow the sale/export of already harvested rosewood over the (amnesty) period…to avoid the complete loss of value. As we understand it, Government will share 50/50 in the proceeds of sales of all confiscated Rosewood. Though all the details are not known – it’s an unusual arrangement that illegal traders should profit from legitimate sales of confiscated product. The first organization, which has come out publicly against the amnesty, is the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). Today, the organization’s president, Giovanni Brackett, told 7News that it has the appearance of government corruption:

Family Spared In OW After Mattress Catches Fire
Tonight, a family in Trial Farm Village is lucky to have escaped a terrible end after their mattress caught on fire early this morning. It happened in the area of Blackwater Creek where 29 year old Karina Barkely, 25 year old Douglas Leslie and 3 year old Natasha Regalado were sleeping when a fish coil set fire to their mattress. The mother, step-father and daughter escaped with burns to their hands stomach and face. We can’t say how severe the burns are, because they are still being treated. They lived in a wooden house with five other persons – and this morning at around 3:00, a family member smelled smoke and got up to find the mattress on fire with the three sleeping on it. They all scrambled out of the house, which burned to the ground. It is of important historical note that in September of 2006 – in the same Trial farm village in the Orange Walk District, Two children, 2 and 6 years old died in a home fire caused by candles.

Alleged Ice-Pick Attacker to Court
Last night, we told you about 26 year-old Candelario Lemus, the man who tried to rob a bus driver in front of his passengers on Saturday using an icepick. As we reported, report, Eldon Chiac, was on his route on Princess Margaret Drive and he stopped his bus so that passengers could get out. After some passengers got off, Lemus rushed inside and grabbed Chiac by the shoulder, in an attempt to stab him with an ice pick. Chiac struggled with Lemus and was stabbed with the icepick, but he managed to escape. Lemus took that time to grab Chiac’s purse inside the bus, which contained $275 in the day’s proceeds. He didn’t get very far, however, because Chiac pursued him, and managed to keep him in sight until police intervened and arrested him.

Mentally Unstable Man Attacked Hofius Boss Jackie Roe
47 year-old Kirk Nicholas is spending the second night of a 2 year sentence after he was convicted of aggravated assault against a well-known businesswoman. Jackie Roe, the Managing Director of Hofius on Albert Street, testified that on May 8, 2012, she was walking on Albert Street when she heard a commotion behind her. She said that she looked back and saw that a man she later identified as Kirk Nicholas coming behind her with a knife in his hand. Nicholas reportedly had the knife held high and suddenly stabbed at her shoulder, but Roe managed to shield herself from injury by putting her purse in the path of the knife. Nicholas didn’t get a second attempt because civilians in the area came restrained Nicholas. Roe said that the next day, she was driving at the corner of Orange Street and East Canal when she saw Nicholas again, and he was standing in front of a store. She said that Nicholas recognized her, and immediately advanced on her vehicle in a threatening manner. She drove away, and went straight to the police station and reported the second terrifying encounter. Several days later, police arrested and charged Nicholas with aggravated assault.

Youth Explains Why McDonald’s In Cold Canada Is An Option
Many times before on this newscast we’ve told you about the group from Western Canada. We have spoken many times to the employers but we’ve never had a chance to speak with the prospective employee. And that’s because even though we’ve asked for interviews, most are a little bit shy about saying that they are out of work and willing to take a job in another country. But today we had the opportunity to speak with 18 year old Lloyd Gill – a 4th form Business student of Sadie Vernon High School who is unashamed; he feels like this is his big ticket to a future he could not otherwise afford Lloyd Gill - Student of Sadie Vernon "Every year graduates come out of school and it takes them a long while to get a job with a High School Diploma. So this will be a good opportunity for me and other graduates that are coming out of High School to get this job because it's a once in a life time opportunity. So that is why I think this job will be a good opportunity for everyone." Monica Bodden "Are you aware of how cold it gets in Saskatewan, Canada?" Lloyd Gill "Well mam' I'm aware that it gets really cold, colder than how Belize gets. But I have to make sacrifices if I want to make it ahead in this world. Maybe if I get a job and pay so that I can go to college, I will then have a degree and I could get something better."

Jack Charles Wants To Share On Son’s Birthday
He’s one of the biggest wholesalers of food products in Belize, but when it comes to his son Vansh’s Birthday, Jack Charles always keeps it humble and unique. Two years ago, he held a massive birthday party for his son in the biggest room at the Princess – and the guests were all the children countrywide who shared his son’s birthday – April 19th. This year, he’s got a similar idea, but with a twist. He wants to give all those April 19th children countrywide a super-sized gift-bag and a gift certificate – and he’ll do it here at Channel 7’s office. Here’s how it will work: starting next week Monday, April 15th and continuing to Friday, April 19th, all children 12 and under who are born on April 19th, between the years 2001 and 2012 can come to Channel 7 – with a proof of their birth date to pick up their gift bag and a gift certificate. Today, Jack Charles told us why he’s doing it Jack Charles - Owner of Extra House "Well we are celebrating Vansh’s Birthday, my son, and we did this event last year also where we had called all the kids 12 years and under born on 19th of April from Belize City at that time to come and attend the party and celebrate their birthday along with my son. Since last year we didn't have time to invite all the kids from throughout the country. I received several - good amount of text messages, like why were they left out last year.

Man Convicted Of Sex With Teen
36 year-old Arden Middleton, the man who was charged with unlawful carnal knowledge against a 14 year-old girl, was convicted today in the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. The minor testified that on July 13, 2011, she was sitting on the verandah of Little Wilt’s Place on Caesar Ridge Road. She asked Middleton to use the bathroom, and he showed her where it was. The minor continued that when she went inside, Middleton followed her and had intercourse with her.

How Belize Can Join Caribbean Export
Caribbean Export and Development Agency, the regional organization for trade investment development and promotion, was in Belize today to hold a workshop for small business owners in Belize who have aspirations to expand and export their services. It’s part of the agency’s program where prospective private sector members can access funding under the Direct Assistance Scheme, and today 7News stopped by the all-day seminar to speak to one of the facilitators. He told us that there are some strict requirements that the business owners must meet, but it represents a major opportunities for these companies: Christoper McNair - Facilitator, Caribbean Export Development Agency "What we're doing this time around in Belize, is we are doing a direct assistant grant proposal workshop. We have a mechanism called 'The Direct assistant Scheme' that provide grant funding to small companies looking to export their services and products. So what we are doing here is actually teaching people how to prepare their proposal for submissions to the process to be considered a grant. We have two funding mechanism under the grant, we have what we call 'Accelerated', that goes up to about 5,000 Euros, then we have the regular program which goes up to 30,000 Euros. On the last call we had, last year, we had five companies from Belize benefiting from under the scheme. We thought Belize as an importan partner for us, we thought it was important to come back here to work again with the firms to build their capacity to write better proposals to further benefit from the program. So that is essentially why we are here.

G. Mike Fundraising For His Health
Regular viewers of the evening news should remember G Michael Reid from his days as police press officer between 2000 and 2008. Up to when he got his walking papers from the police press office after the change of government in 2008, he was active and robust, but since then his health has taken a sharp turn for the worse. He’s in the grips of an advanced stage of rheumatoid arthritis which is a debilitating immunological disorder. Now it’s gotten so bad that he needs a hip replacement. It will be his second and after years of seeking treatment home and abroad, he’s run low on funds for the procedure, which is why he is fund raising. He told us a little bit about his condition and how you can help out without giving a handout. G Michael Reid - Fundraising for Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment "A very debilitating disease, it tends to affect all the joints. It wears away the cartilage from between the bones so if you can imagine it's bones rubbing against bone, which is extremely painful. We're trying to do some fund raising, it's an extremely expensive thing when you get sick, as everybody knows. I had to have a previous hip operation, I was able to take care of that but all the medicines and a couple of trips to Merida and all that trying to get results has depleted basically all the funds. So I've had the need to reach out. The average working class person, I think the way, the best way to do that is a BBQ sale where you're giving back something, they're helping you, but they are getting something back in return. The BBQ is going for $6.00 a plate and everybody has to eat. If you go out there and try to find a decent meal, you're not going to get that for less than $6.00. So I think it's a fair exchange and in return, though, I'm getting a lot of help.

Guatemala Foreign Minister To OAS
The Guatemalan foreign minister Fernando Carrera was in Washington DC today to meet with the OAS Permanent Council. Their business was the discussion of the draft Declaration of the 43rd OAS General Assembly, to be held in the city of Antigua, Guatemala between June 4 and 6, 2013. The subject of that meeting will be: “Toward a Comprehensive Anti-Drug Policy in the Americas." At this time, there is no report on whether he had any side meeting with the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza on the Belize-Guatemala issue. In other news from Guatemala, multiple newspapers in that country report that the Guatemalan government has acquired 6 new Brazilian made aircraft at a cost of 133 million US dollars. The planes will be used reportedly to stem deforestation, illegal occupation and other illegal activities in an area called the Maya Biosphere, which covers more than eight thousand square miles in the Peten region. A large part of that the area borders Belize’s Chiquibul Forest. This comes 3 months after 30 Guatemalan agents who are part of a Special Unit of the Police were stationed in the Peten, along its border with Belize to protect Guatemala’s natural resources from incursions and deforestation.

Did You Feel A Slight Shake?
Did you feel a very slight tremor today at about 1:15? We did and when we checked there was an earthquake! It happened near San Juan Pueblo Honduras. That’s about 100 miles north of Tegucigalpa, Honduras and right along the Motagua fault which caused a major earthquake that affected southern Belize in May 2009. This one, though, was not a major earthquake; it only measured 5.5 on the Richter scale. A spokesman for emergency services in Honduras said there were no immediate reports of damage.

Even In Transition, Cycling Still Beset By Controversy
A week ago, 7News told you about the impending elections for the Belize Cycling Association which will to be held using the federation rules which had been under dispute, but are now finally accepted. The process is now underway and on Sunday, the elections were held to field Federation representatives for the western region. Incumbent and embattled cycling Association president, Emil Moreno, was re-elected, along with the Vice-President candidate on his slate, Gilroy Requena. One of the candidates, Daniel Cano, has since come forward to protest the results based on an irregularity. In his formal protest letter to the elections’ oversight body, the National Olympic Committee, he says that the committee’s representatives allowed a mass registration on Sunday, and allowed them to vote in the elections. Today, Cano, whose protest has been documented, and is being allowed a hearing by the NOC, spoke to 7News. He explained why those members who registered on Sunday should not have been allowed to vote. Daniel Cano - Vice President Aspirant, Cycling West "I did a larger protest at that election, even before the election started on the grounds that on the morning of the elections there was a mass registration of new members to be able to vote in that elections. My concern is that goes contrary to what was agreed at a special general meeting held on March 2nd where there was cut off deadline of March 11th where people had to register by then to vote in the elections. You could still register afterward and be a member of the association but you would not be able to vote if you weren't registered by March 11th.

U-19 Team Ready For King James
Two Months ago, the Belize Basketball Association began to recruit talented basketball players around the country who are under 19. It’s part of their plan to prepare a team to compete in Belize’s second appearance at the King James Tournament in the US State of Ohio from April 26 – 28. It’s been an extended period of recruitment and training, and today the team’s coach, Bernie Tarr, caught up with 7News today to update us on the last-minute preparations being made before the team leaves in a few days. He told us that he feels that this year’s team is a lot more prepared than last year's Bernie Tarr – Coach "You know it's been a long process and it seems that its coming along very well. This past weekend we had the opportunity to travel to Cayo and Dangriga and played some games against the lower competition. We played the Western Ballers Senior Team, two games in Cayo and down in Dangriga we played the U-26 elect team. It was very very good. We were missing some players in Cayo and then we were missing a player in Dangriga so we learned a lot about our team. These are things we didn't do last year; we didn't get a chance to play against really superior competition until we got to the tournament so I think we got ahead of the curve. With all the verbal commitments of donations, I've been beating those doors down and shaking the trees on that. But just finalizing the paper work, we're going for Visas, I believe on Monday and so we're ahead by a few days from last year. We're planning on departing on Friday. You know just to touch base with the schools and principals, it's just a crazy time right now, so I appreciate them working with us. There are a lot of college coaches that have contacted me already and they look forward to seeing us."

Channel 5

Returning rosewood to dealers engaged in illegal activity
Rosewood is once again in the media spotlight; that is, confiscated or harvested rosewood. The much sought after timber first got all this attention because millions of dollars worth of its flitches were seized from illegal loggers even when a moratorium was in place. Now, ironically, it is getting all this attention because government is [...]

Wil Maheia says rosewood amnesty is invitation to criminals
But while government is ominously silent on the rosewood issue, public outrage has been fast and furious and very loud. This morning on the airwaves, Belizeans called the decision to return the illegally harvested rosewood shameful and disgraceful.  Today, News Five spoke to Toledo activist Wil Maheia, who has been involved in the fight to [...]

COLA outraged by rosewood fiasco
And the very active COLA, represented by its vocal president Giovanni Brackett, weighed in on the rosewood issue this afternoon as well. He says his organization is outraged, and will do whatever is necessary to call out the government to right what they see as an egregious wrong.   Giovanni Brackett, President, COLA “There are [...]

John Saldivar attacks free media (Patrick Andrews and Plus TV)
Belmopan-based Plus TV is being sued for libel by the area representative, Minister John Saldivar over a response made by Rise and Shine co-host, Patrick Andrews to a question posed by Minister of Education, Patrick Faber late last year. Now, libel suits are considered par for the course to media houses, but Louis Wade and [...]

Someone called him crazy, so he attacked a businesswoman
In the Belize City Courts, on Tuesday, forty-seven year old Kirk Nicholas began serving a two-year sentence for aggravated assault, following a psychiatric evaluation during which he was determined fit to stand trial.  On May eighth, 2012, he was accused of attacking fifty-two year old businesswoman Jackie Roe with a knife, as she was walking [...]

Verde given green light by mistake for court appearance
GST Supervisor, Reynaldo Verde, remains behind bars tonight waiting for a bail application to be heard by the Supreme Court. On Easter Sunday, Verde was detained by police for shooting a man with his licensed firearm. He was arraigned in the San Pedro Magistrate Court last Wednesday and remanded to the Belize Central Prison since [...]

Shopkeeper guilty of carnal knowledge
Guilty! That’s the verdict against thirty-nine year old Arden Middleton, a shop keeper who was accused of carnally knowing a fourteen year old girl. It took the jury of six men and three women only three hours to reach a unanimous decision. Inside the courtroom of Justice Troadio Gonzalez, Middleton appeared sad and shook his [...]

COLA condemns Guatemala’s proposed passports
The news that Guatemala has put out to tender four million passports which will feature a map in which Belize is included as a disputed part of its territory appears to have been greeted with indifference by officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But the always fiery President of COLA Giovanni Brackett, whose name [...]

A P.U.P. government would ban Guatemalan with offensive passport
The People’s United Party and its membership have been engaging in a series of consultations formulating a position on whether or not Belize should take its case to the International Court of Justice. While those consultations continue, they have rejected Guatemala’s proposals to amend the Referendum Act. The P.U.P. has taken a bold stance on [...]

3 second earthquake occurred near Tela, Atlantida
At two minutes past two this afternoon, a five point five magnitude earthquake occurred near Tela, Atlantida which shook up other areas in north, central and southern Honduras. It lasted about three seconds and while no deaths have been reported so far, telephone and electricity lines were interrupted. The earthquake was felt in north-eastern Guatemala [...]

Caribbean Export Development Agency and Direct Assistance Grants
The Caribbean Export Development Agency is in town, and that’s good news for businesses which could use some financial assistance in a wide variety of areas, from equipment modernization to market research and testing and nearly everything in between. Caribbean Export receives funding from the European Development Fund, and acts as the agency to pass [...]

Female athlete tryouts for U-17 Central American Tournament
Twenty-one female athletes seventeen years and under are being offered an opportunity of a lifetime…to represent Belize internationally in the football sport. On Saturday, the Football Federation of Belize and the National Women’s Football Committee will host open tryouts this Saturday at eight-thirty a.m. at the F.F.B. Stadium in Belmopan. The goal is to pool [...]

Water rates won’t increase for a year
The price of butane gas went down today and another utility bill that won’t see an increase is water for a year. The Belize Water Services Limited made a proposal to the Public Utilities Commission that there should be no Annual Review Proceeding to determine tariffs which means that water rates remain unchanged for the [...]


JB And Sons Closed Down Due To Unpaid Trade Licence Fees
Presently the Orange Walk Town Council has over two million dollars of property taxes and over $35,000 of Trade License Fees in arrears. The council is steadfast on collecting revenue in order to bring development to Orange Walk and to show how serious they are about collecting unpaid taxes, today a stop order was issued to Jaime Burns, the owner of JB and Sons Hardware located on Otro Benque Road. Kevin Bernard Mayor Orange Walk “This council is very much serious on its responsibilities, we need to collect our taxes, and we need to collect our trade and the revenues that are due to this council. Letters were sent out to some individuals, businesses that owe trade license and as you trade license have been due and payable by January 15th of each year and in the case of Jaime Burns to be exact a letter was sent to him to recommend and make his payment and so this morning a decision was made by the revenue manager and his team that they have to go out and issue the stop order and they requested the assistance of the police who accompanied them to issue the stop order and close down the business.” And it seems that the new measurement set in place worked because by one this afternoon, JB and Sons Hardware, was back in business. Kevin Bernard Mayor Orange Walk “Immediately after I receive the call by Mr Burns who was in Belmopan as I understand that payment would have been made and his son was there at one o’clock sharp making the payment and thus his business is now open.”

Ministry Of Forestry Mum About Movement of Confiscated Rosewood
Yesterday the movement of thousands of board feet of confiscated Rosewood from the Forest Department in Belmopan made headlines and also raised eyebrows. The flitches were loaded in two containers on Monday afternoon and by midday yesterday they were transported out of the Forest Department’s compound to an unknown destination leaving the media with more questions than answers. At six yesterday evening the Belize Press Office shed some light on the situation as they issued a release announcing the approval of sale and export of Rosewood over the period eighth to the twenty-sixth April, 2013 to avoid the complete loss of value. The timing of the amnesty is also being questioned since both Minister of Forestry Lisell Alamilla and Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Sabido are presently out of the country. As mentioned last night, the amnesty period allows for persons who harvested Rosewood before March 14th 2013, when the moratorium was put into effect, to bring out their flitches from hiding in order for them to be exported. While no one knew the exact destination of the two containers yesterday, tonight unconfirmed reports are that they are presently located at the Port of Belize in Belize City waiting to be exported to China where the market value for rosewood is high.

Man Charged For Rape Goes Free After Main Witness Refuses To Testify
Today the Northern Session of the Supreme continued here in Orange Walk Town. Eight of the nine cases that were brought forward to Justice Herbert Lord were adjourned due to the fact that the accused are unrepresented. One of the cases that were adjourned is the one against Eric Gonzalez who is accused of fatally stabbing Daniel Soto on February 26th 2009. That matter was adjourned to May 6th and so was the case against Osmar Sabido, accused of killing Christie Carrasco on February 28th 2011. The case of Krismar Espinosa, who allegedly murdered then 27 year old Rachel Chun in 2007 and the murder case against Benedicto Tillet and Geovanni Diaz, both accused of killing Josue Velasquez of San Lazaro Village on March 8th 2010, was also adjourned to May 6th.

Three Year Old Injured During House Fire, Family Losses All
An early morning fire has left a family of 8 homeless tonight. A little before 3 o’clock this morning the Orange Walk Fire Department was called to a scene on Woodpecker Street in Trial Farm Village where they encounter a zinc structure completely engulf in flames. Three persons were injured including a 3 year old girl. The fire department has not ascertained what caused the fire but family members have their own theory. Hipolito Novelo - Reporting This is all that was left of a zinc house elevated some 22 feet off the ground, after it was engulfed by flames shortly after three this morning. Sleeping inside the residence at the time was a family of 8 including Ellen Barkley, the owner of the house who was awoken by the smell of smoke. Barkley says when she made checks she noticed a bright light coming out of the room where her daughter 29 year old Karina Barkley, her son-in-law 25 year old Douglas Leslie and her granddaughter 3 year old Natasha Regalado were sleeping.

Recently Paved Streets Damaged In Orange Walk
In keeping with their mandate of serving the people, on Monday the Orange Walk Town Council paved five streets in Orange Walk Town despite the lack of resources. But even before the tar was dry the destruction began at least in the case of Staines Alley. This morning employees of the council were seen in the area patching the street that was recently paved. According to Mayor Kevin Bernard, if someone is playing mischief, it better stop. Kevin Bernard Mayor Orange Walk Town “It was brought up to our attention that some sort of damaged was done on the Staines Alley area, the street that we just recently paved and we immediately decided to take a look out there and it was obvious that whether it is through spitefulness or just drivers just wanting to wreck the recent paving that we did creating some sort of erosion on the street that we just recently paved, I think skid tyres and in some aspect it shows it was caused by bicycles and some of it was caused by heavy trucks. I want to plea to the residents and drivers and those bicycle people to be much careful especially on newly paved roads and let us remember that this is not just for the Orange Walk Town Council it is for the benefit for the people and monies invested in these street are not little money it costs us the worker time and energy, efforts put out there and for us to be able to put down these types of developments in our municipality just for it to be destroyed next day I mean it is sad to see these thing happening, it happened when I could recall very, very well in San Andres Street was paved by the honourable John Briceno and the next day someone went and skid tyres and we all know who did it but this are childish acts and it is silly to see things like these happening.”

Guatemala Says No Referendum On October 6th
The relationship between Belize and Guatemala is presently navigating in turbulent waters and stuck in between is the October 6th Referendum which will determine whether Guatemala’s territorial claim will once and for all be resolved by the International Court of Justice. But in order for that to happen, both countries must agree to take the claim to the ICJ and that’s where the dispute lies. Guatemala wants Belize to change its referendum laws to a minority vote, in order to level the playing field. As it stands, the law calls for sixty percent of the electorate to participate in the Referendum and fifty one percent to vote yes to go to the IJC. Guatemala refuses to hold the simultaneous Referendum on October 6th 2013 if Belize does not change its Referendum Laws. Now, we all know that the Government of Belize has categorically stated that they will not go down that road. In sight that there will be no changes on the Belizean side, Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina has made it clear that there intention is to postpone the date for the Referendum and today Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera reiterated his country’s position to the Secretary General of the OAS Jose Miguel Insulza after making a presentation during a special meeting held with the Permanente Council of the Organization of American States in Washington. The response of the OAS is not yet known.

5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes Honduras
A 5.5 magnitude earthquake shook the Honduran Capital of Tegucigalpa at around 1:25 this afternoon. While the quake caused alarm, there were no initial reports of damage. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake's epicenter was located 7 km South of San Juan Pueblo and 36 km Southeast of Tela. It was 6.2 miles deep. Reports are that the earthquake interrupted the electrical systems and telephone service in the city port of Tela. Moderate tremors were felt by the people of Arizona, San Antonio, Atenas de San Cristobal, La Masica and Santa Ana while people of Yoro, La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, Roatan, Juticalpa, Tegucigalpa, La Ceiba, El Progreso and Belize felt light to weak shaking. The 2009 Honduras earthquake claimed seven lives and was even felt in Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize.

Water Rates To Remain The Same
The Public Utilities Commission sent out a press release today announcing that consumers will not have to pay any additional fees for water usage. According to the release, the PUC upheld a request from Belize Water Services not to hold an Annual Review Proceeding which would have determined the water rates and fees for relates services for the period of April first of this year and ending on March 31st, 2014. The PUC, in a statement issued, said that in accordance with the bylaws on Water and Sewage Tariffs "there was no exceptional circumstances to warrant that an ARP be initiated on the PUC’s own volition and accepted BWS’ proposal." As a result, water rates will remain the same which means that consumers on the mainland who consume less than 1,000 US gallons of water only will only pay $8.00. Consumers of water and sewer services in Belize City and Belmopan will remain paying $9.60. Consumers in San Pedro will still pay $23.45 while those in Caye Caulker will continue to pay $23.00 base on the consumption of less than 1,000 US gallons of water.

COLA Says 19 Day Amnesty Is a Knife In The Back
And while the 19 days amnesty has been the cause of public outrage, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) is describing the sale and export of illegal rosewood flitches as a ‘knife in the back’ and contrary to the sworn duty of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to protect and safeguard our natural resources. According to COLA, despite Cabinet having taken an official decision to impose the moratorium, the amnesty went into effect in the absence of Minister Alamilla but it appears to have been government-sanctioned. This appearance of corruption in a Cabinet decision, turning back on its previous one, reflects badly on the collective responsibility of Cabinet to Belizeans, according to COLA. It appears, says COLA that those left in charge appear not to be interested in monitoring the exporters coming to the Forestry Department compound in Belmopan for the next two weeks to cart off their ill-gotten gains. And then, COLA throws a hard ball by stating that someone appears to be interested in collecting their profits at the cost of national pride and dignity. COLA finalizes its release by stating that the rosewood exporters should not be allowed to reap profits from the legitimized sale of the product. Instead, the profits should be put in a special fund for a rosewood replanting program to replace all the Rosewood that has been harvested illegally.


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 Floyd Anthony and Emmanuel Westby. But only Leslie and Anthony were arraigned today. Leslie and Anthony were charged with drug trafficking for 220 grams of cannabis. They were also charged with drug trafficking for two grams of cannabis and for 323 grams of cannabis. Leslie pled not guilty to all three charges. Anthony pled not guilty to two of the charges and he wanted to plead guilty to the third but his guilty plea was not accepted. The incident occurred on April 1. Prison officers executed a search in the locker of cell in which all three inmates were in and found the cannabis. The third inmate charged, Emmanuel Westby, has not been brought to court yet. Leslie is charged with the murder of ex-BDF soldier James Norales who was shot and killed on November 23, 2012 at the corner of Faber’s road and George Price Highway. Tyrone Meighan and Brandon Baptist are the other persons charged with Norales’ murder.

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 $118.00 in Punta Gorda.

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 the summer holidays. DARRELL BRADLEY “The BTL project is an impressive project; for a long time people have been talking about having a beach and upgraded park in Belize City and we are very pleased that we were able through our efforts with restructuring our finance and improve collection from our tax sources to be able to fund this and the sea wall and reclamation is going to be finished in 2 weeks and when that work is finished, the contractor will raise the park six inches, the entire park, even the original park and the reclaimed sections and they will be putting down grass. We are going to build a very nice amphitheatre that will allow for large concerts. We are going to build extended foot path that will allow for exercise in various times through the day and for persons just to walk with their kids and family activities. We will build on each of the sides a food court and we can accommodate 18 businesses. Bowen & Bowen has pledged already that they will contribute the kiosks and these will not be the kiosks like octanes in the park presently. We are going to build very nice attractive kiosks, permanent structure and of course preference is being given to the people who are in the park currently, As part of our open for business campaign, we want to use these spaces, if we could, generate more business activities so if persons would want to go into the park to apply their trades: sell food or sell other kinds of products or items, they will be able to do so and we will have activities for that. We are also going to build a 200ft pier into the sea and that will be a 200 ft by 30 ft pier and that will allow for interaction with the water.

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 vendors staged an impromptu demonstration. Correspondent Fem Cruz was there and filed this story. FEM CRUZ “A number of vendors from the Tuesday and Friday market days here in the City of Belmopan were having a peaceful demonstration this afternoon when they were stopped by the police because of not having a permit to demonstrate. Ms. Marisa Logan, the organizer of this afternoon’s demonstration will explain.” MARISSA LOGAN “We were having a peaceful demonstration; we were coming to speak to the Mayor about our concern. The concern is that Friday will be the last day we sell out there, then we must go to the show grounds on the 16th to sell. Out there is so dangerous to go sell and we won’t sell anything; we usually sell to the students, the police officers, the office people and I don’t think we can have business out there; nothing can sell out there, we were there before; so I come to the office to speak to Mr. Lopez and they did not want to accept me to speak to him. The secretary told us that on no grounds she will assist us if it’s about the market. I don’t know what we will have to do because this is not correct for us. We live, we educate our children, we live out at the market; we go out there 2:30am, we leave at 5pm. It’s hard work that we do out there; how will the people get their vegetables? what will happen who, will go buy at the show grounds? nobody; and we know that show grounds it’s not good to sell at.


Family recovering after injuries sustained in fire
A family in Trial Farm Village was awoken by a fire inside their home. It was around 3 o’clock this morning, when Ellen Bartley noticed what she described as a bright light coming from inside her daughter’s room, where her daughter Karina Bartley, her common-law husband and their three...

Four year old boy knocked down by Police vehicle
Reports reaching PlusNews is that a four year old boy was knocked down by a Police vehicle. Fortunately, the toddler, it appears, was not seriously hurt. According to reports, the four year old was on the Bullet Tree Road when he dashed across the street, running into an oncoming...

Laptops stolen from Belmopan school
Belmopan Police are investigating a report of burglary. The Shepherd’s Academy has been in operation for almost five years now. The school provides education for approximately 100 students from Preschool up to standard six. In an effort to further improve on its curriculum and empower itsstudents; the school acquired...

Concerns in Independence Village over water transportation for students
Residents in Independence Village say that the transportation assigned by the Ministry of Education for students of the Independence High School is completely lacking proper safety measures. The students travel to and from school by boat, but that’s not the concern. As we saw when we visited the docking...

Police offer advice after assault and robbery
We’ve heard numerous stories of assault and robbery that have taken place on the walkway leading to the market, across the street from the Belmopan Comprehensive High School. Many residents avoid traveling on the walkway and so there is not much traffic in the area. This makes it all...

BCA election in San Ignacio disputed
The protest committee of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association which is heading the interim committee supervising the Belize Cycling Association is scheduled to hear a protest from a candidate in Sunday’s disputed election in San Ignacio. Cycling enthusiast Daniel Cano, who ran for vice-president under Gilroy Spence’s...

Businesses learn how to get funds for development
This week the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) in conjunction with Belize’s Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is conducting a pair of workshops designed to ramp up opportunities in Belizean exports. Today, the businesses were learning how to write the best proposals to get funds to develop their...

Three men in prison busted with weed
Three men awaiting trial in prison were busted with weed. The bust came on Saturday, when Police searched a locker inside a cellblock that three inmates share. Found inside were three bags of cannabis, weighing a little over a pound. Two of the men, 24 year old Orel Leslie...

Earthquake struck Honduras
Tremors were felt in Belize when an earthquake struck Honduras this afternoon. The Earthquake hit 22 miles south east of Tela, Atlantida, Honduras and had a preliminary magnitude of 5.5 on the Richter Scale and a depth of 10 kilometers, which is about 6.2 miles. Reports coming out of...

Punta Gorda Police confiscates rosewood for improper documentation
As you may be aware, there is an amnesty period for Rosewood harvesters, and so harvesters are making the best of two and half weeks grace period being given by the Forestry Department. However, Punta Gorda Police confiscated a load of rosewood yesterday. Plus news understands that the reason...

COLA suggests withdrawing from any activity involving Guatemala
The pressure group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) today spoke out on two hot-button issues: the sudden amnesty on confiscated rosewood reported on this newscast earlier this week and Guatemala’s announced plans to print 4 million new passports with an offensive map on the front cover depicting...

President of Guatemala hopes for amicable agreement of Referendum
“No need to go through Congress to change the date of the referendum with Belize” – said President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina yesterday. The Prensa Libre is reporting that the President has expressed that he hopes they can come to an amicable agreement on the October referendum, with...

Joel Westby is Belmopan’s new Deputy Mayor
The Belmopan City Council has a new Deputy Mayor. Joel Westby now replaces Councilor Amilcar Umana, who held the post for two consecutive years. Westby is an educator who is presently teaching at the Kuxlin Ha Government School in Belmopan. Meanwhile, the Dangriga Town Council has also elected a...

Businessman celebrates son’s birthday with community
Vansh Chawla, son of supermarket owner and businessman Jitendra “Jack Charles” Chawla, turns six next Friday, April 19. But aside from a regular birthday party, Dad had the idea to honor all Belizean children born since 2001 on that date – all 296 of them! He shares details. Jack...

Butane down
The price of butane has taken a three-dollar decrease in hundred pound cylinder. Effective today, the new butane prices are as follows: Belize City and Corozal – $113.00, for Belmopan and San Ignacio – $115.00. In Benque the price is now $116.00, Orange Walk is $114.00, Dangriga – $117.00...

No water rate increases for a year
Today the Public Utilities Commission formally announced that there would be no changes to water rates and fees extending to next March, after provider Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) forwent an Annual Review Proceeding for the 2013-14 tariff period. The PUC says it found no exceptional circumstances to do...

G. Michael Reid needs assistance for artificial hip surgery
Former Police Department Press Officer and media commentator G. Michael Reid has been out of the public spotlight for some time as he fight a disease that has affected him since childhood. Rheumatoid arthritis slowly removes the cartilage between joints causing them to rub painfully against each other –...

New Horizon Mission Group offer free ear treatment
In an update to a story we aired last night about pre-screening sessions being held at the Western Regional Hospital, we have been informed that the group of medical professionals are ear, nose and throat surgeons, but will be focusing only on ailments of the ear. As we reported,..


Direct Assistance Grant Scheme Proposal Writing Workshop
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), will be facilitating a Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS) workshop, focusing on grant proposal writing. It is being held today Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina, from 8:30am – 3:30pm. The facilitators of the workshop: Ms. Celestine Moe, Grant Advisor, Caribbean Export Development Agency Mr. Kirk Brown, Senior Grant Advisor, Caribbean Export Development Agency

“Between the Lines” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
The day started off with me doing what I should ave done yesterday – posting the latest edition of the blog. The disciplines instilled in me when I worked in the newspaper publishing industry are sadly now not as rigidly followed by me as they once were. I am now retired though! With the edition published I got ready and went for breakfast – yes, at Estel’s – before catching the 8 am Belize Express Water Taxi to Belize City for my 11 am appointment with the dentist to have my stitches removed. Just before I left Estel’s I was pleasantly surprised when I heard a voice saying my name. I looked up to find that it was Wes, a reader of this blog for a couple if months. We didn’t get a chance to say much to each other because I had the ‘Taxi to catch and Wes was having a last breakfast at Estel’s before setting off for home. Brief though it was it was really good to meet him. The time in the chair this week was really short in comparison to my last visit. Doctor Pedro Habet didn’t take hardly anytime at all to remove the nine stitches – and painlessly (for me and him!) too – and take impressions of my upper and lower jaws. Next week the replacement programme starts (two sessions a day) and this will run for weeks. Nearly there. With such a quick visit to the dentist I was able to catch the noon ferry (this time I used the Caye Caulker Water Taxi) to get back to San Pedro and once again witnessed how they do things in Belize. We had left the mooring and were heading out when the boat slowed and went in to reverse to go back to the ‘Terminal to pick up three passengers! Imagine a bus in London doing this!!!!

A Sustainable Path: Agritourism In Belize
Mara Jernigan is currently the head chef and general manager of Belcampo Belize, a gorgeous property in the rainforests of Toledo and somewhere I visited years ago when it was initially Machaca Hill Lodge. I sought out to interview Mara because good news travels fast and word is that she is bringing a lot of exposure to Agritourism in Belize. Honestly, this news doesn’t surprise me because ever since I met her, it was obvious that she is innovative, has a passion for what she does, and wants to bring positive change for tourism in Belize. I encourage Mara to keep taking risks and I’m quite thankful that coming from such a developed country as Canada, she doesn’t mind being stuck “bakabush” as she helps to put Belize on the map.

The Grass-Beach Chronicles
Although promoted relentlessly by the “Travelcation” industry, sandy beaches are highly over-rated. I can confirm this having lived more than two decades near tropical beaches, from Mexico to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to East, West and South African shores and Louisiana; and another decade to boot, on Great Lakes beaches in and near Chicago. Famously, the beach across the street from my sea-front office (corner stool; Primo’s Casita Bar) in Corozal Town, Belize, Central America, is green-green grass gently sloping down to beautiful, topaz colored Corozal Bay. In contrast to a Rubicon of burning sand my beach is cool to bare feet. There, children gambol and are not crying because someone kicked grass into their eyes. I have watched bands of sand-beachcombers quarter a hot granular shore like bird dogs armed with metal-detectors proving what most already know, that a sand beach is a sink-hole-portal to another dimension where watches, rings, small-change and car keys vanish forever. I can report further that sand in one’s shoe, a condition romanticized by some, is not nearly as pleasant as a few blades of close-cut lawn caught between your toes. Even better, sand invading other body crevices is a non-irritation issue on my beach. Green grass does not collect in gritty piles on spread-out blankets, and children are not scolded by parents for walking on them because they have a few leaves of grass stuck to their feet. The blankets fail to blow away in a breeze, held fast by the living carpet; and, sand-free towels can be swept up to swaddle wet toddlers in an instant.

International Sources

Active 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season Expected by CSU, TSR, and WSI
After three consecutive years with a remarkable 19 named storms in the Atlantic, expect another Atlantic hurricane season with similar levels of activity in 2013, says the hurricane forecasting team of Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU) in their latest seasonal forecast issued April 10. They call for an Atlantic hurricane season with 18 named storms, 9 hurricanes, 4 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) of 165. The long-term averages for the past 63 years are 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 3 intense hurricanes, and an ACE of 103. The active hurricane period that began in 1995 has averaged 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. The 2013 forecast calls for an above-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (48% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (47% chance, 30% chance is average). The Caribbean is forecast to have a 61% chance of seeing at least one major hurricane (42% is average.)

Celebrities Continue to Help Belize’s Conservation Efforts
Grey’s Anatomy star Kate Walsh’s recent reflections on her conservation efforts in Belize in an international magazine highlights the importance of celebrity recognition in raising awareness of important issues in small developing countries such as Belize, according to an environmentalist at Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre, who said that assistance from celebrities continues to provide a much needed boost to the small Caribbean country’s conservation efforts. Chaa Creek naturalist guide and Natural History Centre assistant manager Brion Young said that several people had recently called his attention to an April 2013 article in Travel + Leisure magazine, and that this highlights the importance of celebrity endorsement of local conservation efforts.

Study Reveals Water Conservation Efforts Of Ancient Cultures
New research at the ancient Maya site of Medicinal Trail in northwestern Belize led by Jeffrey Brewer, a doctoral student in the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Geography (ArtSci), has revealed how populations in more remote areas built reservoirs to conserve water and turned to nature to purify their water supply. Brewer will present his findings on the hydrology of these hinterland societies this week at the Association of American Geographers’ (AAG) annual meeting. The new study is a continuation of a UC exploration of the ancient Maya civilization that has spanned decades. Primarily occupied during the Classical Period – AD 250 to 900 – the site of Brewer’s research functioned as a rural architectural community. It was a suburb, basically, of the major ancient Maya site of La Milpa.

Coral reef growth linked to air pollution: study
A research team linked airborne particles caused by volcanic activity and air pollution to episodes of slow coral-reef growth. Like tree rings, long-lived coral skeletons preserve a record of coral growth. Previously, scientists linked coral-growth patterns in the Caribbean to a phenomenon called the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation—fluctuations in sea-surface temperatures and incoming sunlight. In order to better predict the effects of climate change and human disturbance on reefs, Lester Kwiatkowski, University of Exeter, and researchers from the University of Queensland, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization and STRI analyzed coral-growth records from Belize and Panama spanning the period from 1880 to 2000. An Earth-system model simulation told them how well sea-surface temperature, short-wave radiation and aragonite-saturation state, a measure of ocean acidification, predicted changes in coral growth. Their 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.

Bitch Jacks
Last week I traveled to Southern Belize with all good intentions of fishing for permit and shooting photos in a place I’ve never been. I was able to check both goals off the list, but soon you’ll notice a conspicuous absence of a key component of this trip report. Note that I said, “fishing for permit.” Here’s what you need to know: Dennis Garbutt and his three brothers Scully, Oliver and Eworth, run a great operation out of Punta Gorda. They treat their anglers like family and their guiding skills are unmatched. Southern Belize offers an amazing variety of habitat: pancake flats, deep creeks, mangrove lagoons, and jungle rivers. Permit aren’t always abundant on bright sunny days with great visibility. Permit are sometimes incredibly abundant when it’s cloudy, raining buckets, or so calm that you can’t get near them. Permit don’t give a squat how many you’ve caught in your life. That slate gets wiped clean daily. When a permit eats your fly and runs right at you: keep stripping and curse/pray loudly. Yes, honey, I’m doubling down.

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